AUTHOR Gabriel O’Rorke
In the Galapagos Islands, it’s obvious for all to see who the main stars of the show are, but what about those back stage? Here at Ecoventura we know that what makes our voyages unique and memorable is not simply due to the miraculous flora and fauna of the archipelago, but also very much down to our crew members who keep the show afloat, so to speak! They take huge pride in delivering a high standard of service, whilst making sure the whole operation runs smoothly. As a result we would like to focus on a few of these individuals, beginning with our fabulous concierge, Daniela Munoz, who looks after our guests on board Origin.
Born in 1986, Daniela’s interest in the tourism industry begun when she was only 15 and it spurred her onto enrol at the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo in Guayaquil where she obtained a degree in Tourism and Hotel Management. She continued to work as a customer representative in TAGSA at Guayaquil Airport before joining Copa Airlines where she remained for 7 years. After this, she decided to look for opportunities further afield, and completed a Master’s Degree in International Tourism Management in Barcelona. However, life Ecuador was never far from her thoughts and she knew she wanted to return and work in her home country. This is when she decided to focus all her energies on finding work in the Galapagos Islands – one of the most competitive destinations in tourism not only in Ecuador but in South America itself. She was successful, and in December 2018 we were delighted to welcome her to the team at Ecoventura!
“I am currently a Concierge at the Origin and sometimes I can’t believe that Galapagos is my office. I have many responsibilities on board this luxury vessel; I have to supervise that the cruise, food and beverage operations run smoothly every day, making sure that all procedures that were established by Ecoventura are fulfilled. I am in charge of bringing top notch customer service to the passengers that we receive every sunday, I have to indentify and anticipate their needs, making them feel that they are always taken care of is my main priority. I also have to make sure that we mantain a positive work environment and professionalism between the crew members.
What I love most about my job is that it gives me the opportunity to learn every day and grow as a profesional. The fact that we are in a luxury vessel in a privileged destination such as Galapagos, is always a challenge. It’s not the same to manage a hotel on land as it is on board a cruise. So I really love and enjoy the fact that I have to come up with solutions for different situations every day. I don’t feel it’s a routine and having sunsets that look like paintings is really a plus.
It’s really hard to pick my favorite spot in Galapagos because I really enjoy them all. From Kicker Rock to Tagus Cove or Rabida, every one of these islands are really magical. If I would have to pick one I would have to say Devil’s Crown definitely. Since I’m a diver I like to get in the water for snorkeling every once in a while and this has become my favorite site.
It’s challenging working in a Relais & Chateaux property, but in a good way. I think it gives prestige to Ecoventura and I share their philosophy about the art of living. The tourism industry is about that; always giving the customer the best experience and making them feel as if they are in their own home in a welcoming environment. It’s good to be part of an association that helps you guarantee and maintain a certain quality of standard.
One of the most memorable moments for me was hearing one of my passengers say that she felt proud of the role that I had developed. She told me that it was inspiring for her young girls who were on board to watch a woman in that role. The Origin gives me the opportunity to have the most amazing office and to set a positive example at the same time. “
The Origin and her sister yacht Theory are the only vessels in the Galapagos Islands to be accepted as a member of the esteemed Relais & Châteaux collection, joining a distinguished group of hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs that have set the standard for excellence in hospitality. Our guests can be reassured once on board they will enjoy the highest standards in the hospitality world for food & beverage, and as is clear from Daniela’s own words, a supremely attentive service from our crew.