Darren McBurney was recently selected to be the Cruise Director for the Disney Treasure and he’s ready to take the stage.
Cruise Directors play an important role not only for our crew, but also for our sailing guests. They kick off the morning show, introduce nighttime entertainment and their voice can be heard throughout the ship providing daily tips and can’t-miss activities. However, many guests don’t know that they also manage all the teams in the entertainment department, which includes lifeguards, youth activities, port adventures, technicians and more.
“It’s really about the flow of the ship and everything we can do to help the team along the way,” Darren said. “It’s a strange job, but for me, it’s the perfect job.”
As a 25-year crew member with Disney Cruise Line, Darren has a long history with our fleet, but his career voyage didn’t begin quite how you might expect.
It all started with competing in a British television game show in 1995. With general knowledge and a little luck, he won a two-week holiday to Walt Disney World – his first Disney trip ever!
“I told my friends ‘I don’t know how or when, but I am going to work for that company.’ It just felt right to me,” Darren said.
He researched his options, and in late 1997, Darren heard Disney Cruise Line was hiring for an opening team – which piqued his interest.
“I knew that for the Disney Cruise Line opening team, and a brand-new venture for the company, they would be looking for experts in the field,” he explained. “Although my love was entertainment, my background was in retail, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as part of the opening team as a merchandise host.”
Keeping in mind his calling to be in entertainment, Darren volunteered for a position that wasn’t even created yet and started planning crew events. Through role shadows and dedication, he transitioned to entertainment and worked positions in port adventures, youth activities and more. Over the years he held more than 14 different positions before ultimately landing his dream role of Cruise Director.
While Disney Cruise Line celebrated 25 years this summer, the occasion was personal for Darren, having started on the Disney Magic all those years ago.
“I remember selling the car I had at the time and saying to friends, I hope I last about two years, to pay off the car loan,” Darren said. “I take it day by day, but I would have never suspected 25 years.”
For the next few months, Darren will continue to spend time on the Disney Wish as Cruise Director, while also researching logistics for potential Disney Treasure programming.
As the Disney Treasure continues to take shape, next year he will make his way to Germany to become more familiar with the Meyer Werft shipyard where he’ll assist with on site management of operations and entertainment needs and the onboarding of new crew.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the leaders and making sure that our crew members, both seasoned and newbies have a smooth and meaningful onboarding process,” Darren said. “That’s one of the things in the back of my mind, always.”
In true entertainment style, he also can’t wait to see how the stage shows will be brought to life. From the exclusive debut of “Disney The Tale of Moana” to the representation of his favorite movie, “Beauty and the Beast,” he’s looking forward to the creativity behind everything the Disney Treasure will have to offer.