Danielle Kerton, account manager at Carnival Cruise Line, tells Madeleine Barber how she landed the job of her dreams and what advice she’d give to others hoping to do the same
“If you cut me open you’ll see ships sailing through my veins,” laughs Danielle Kerton (28) as she talks about how her passion for cruise is the reason her mum, dad, boyfriend and army of friends have become cruise converts.
But it’s not just in her personal life that Danielle is one of cruise’s biggest advocates, with her role as account manager at Carnival Cruise Line seeing her spend her days visiting travel agencies all over the UK to give product training, deliver marketing material, provide inspiration to sell and offer anything else agents may require to book a Carnival cruise for their clients.
The job comes naturally to Danielle, who sailed her first cruise in the Mexican Riviera onboard Carnival Miracle in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. “Nothing has ever measured up to my experience on Carnival, so I really believe in the product I’m selling,” she says.
Danielle took her Miracle trip while working at Thomas Cook, where she started dynamically packaging land-based holidays before moving over into cruise. It was here she crossed paths with Gemma Ashworth, one of Carnival Cruise Line’s account managers.
“I used to think Gemma had the most amazing job, but she was only in a team of nine and no-one ever really left, plus you needed at least five years of cruise sales experience – that was my goal,” Danielle remembers.
While she was building up that experience, Danielle also built up a good rapport with the Carnival Cruise Line team so when summer 2018 came around and an account manager announced they were leaving she was first in line for the interview.
“I’ve never been as nervous as I was going into that interview because I wanted the job so badly,” Danielle says, adding that she was “thankful Carnival took a punt on me”, given she was up against candidates with more sales experience.
It seems it was Danielle’s willingness to learn, passion for cruise and dedication that bagged her the job, which turned out to be the proudest moment of the account manager’s career to date.
Talking to her, it’s clear as day that Danielle enjoys every aspect of her job but she says it’s the agent relationships she loves most: “I’m very much a people person, so relationship building and maintaining those relationships is what I most enjoy – I can share my passion that way.”