I have had the opportunity to work on some very interesting projects over the past 40 years+ as a research psychologist and professor. I have worked with many National Organizations; Federal, Local and State Agencies; and private human service agencies during my professional career. But probably the best project I ever worked on was with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line where we were asked to assess their youth activity programs (aka child care). What was so much fun with this project was the data collection phase where the only way to collect data was to be booked on seven day cruises. Now that was a blast!!
I was still at Penn State and directing the Capital Area Early Childhood Research and Training Institute when this project come to fruition and I still remember the day when I mentioned to the faculty and staff of the Institute that we had a new project. This always got them excited because it meant additional work for staff who were busy all the time. But when I started to describe this new project with Royal Caribbean, suddenly eyes of discontent turned to scenes of royal blue waters.
The staff of Royal Caribbean were first class and a joy to work with. I will not mention names because I have not asked their permission to include them in this blog but all of them from the Director of Global Security to the Captains of the Ships were all highly professional.
The other wonderful outcome of this project was that the standards we developed a portion of them were adopted by the CLIA – Cruise Line International Association for all Youth Sponsored Programs for all their members which numbered about 30 cruise lines. I wished getting standards adopted were as easy for early care and education back in the states.