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A Day in The Life: Shore Excursion Staff (Job Description)

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  • Post category: Cruise Ship Jobs / Positions

The shore excursion department is by far one of the best jobs I had while working on a cruise ship. You are essentially the go-to person for everything shore excursion related. You need to know all the features and attractions, and most important excursions, in each and every port of call. One of the main perks, in my opinion, is the ability to try almost every excursion available for FREE.

You are the face of the shore excursion department and passengers trust that you know everything that is to know about the ports of call, even though it might be your first contract onboard and the only route you know is from your cabin to work and the crew mess; perhaps the bar as well; but that’s only if the watertight door is open. If it’s closed, PANIC!

Watertight Door Cruise Ship

One of the main reasons people go on cruise ships is to explore the ports of call, and they expect you to know everything but how can you know the ports of call if you just started?

In order to gain product knowledge, you will be “required” to go on the most popular excursions first, the ones that the majority of the passengers ask about. Working in the Caribbean? Be prepared to go on sightseeing tours, snorkeling tours, and food-tasting tours. Working on a ship based in Europe? You will most likely have a call in the port of Civitavecchia, where for sure you will “ have to” go to Rome.

Rome and the Colosseum tour - Shore Excursion

After you have been to the most popular excursions first, you can then choose which ones to go after, but that will depend on your schedule and the tour’s time, as well as the discretion of your manager. I can guarantee that working in the excursions department, you will get to travel while getting paid. Getting paid to go on excursions that guests pay a lot of money to go. For many guests, this is once in a lifetime experience, while for you it can be a once-a-week, or cruise, experience.

I had the privilege to visit many awesome places, including the Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, the Colosseum in Rome, the Pyramids of Egypt, wine tasting at a winery in Tuscany, swimming in the clear blue waters of Bermuda , just to name a few.

excursion job meaning

All of these places where people spend tons of money to go I went there for FREE and didn’t have to pay a dime because I was part of the best job you can get onboard.

Table of Contents

W hat are the Job Requirements for Shore Excursion Staff?

Sales background.

Handing credit card - Shore Excursion Job Cruise Ship

You definitely need to have some sales background. You will be selling an excursion, a product to the customer but worry not, the selling portion is only part of the equation.

The main reason people come on cruise ships is to travel and see the world, so when you go to sell this product to the customer, they are already inclined to buy it from you. All the sales onboard are warm leads, meaning the customer comes to you seeking information.

Your job is to explain it very well, use your own experiences from the tour, if you have already done this tour, and convince the guest to walk away with not just a tour but a lifetime experience. Guests will often come back to book more excursions if they had a great time on an excursion you recommended.

Customer Service

handshake - Shore Excursion Job Cruise Ship

That goes without saying. Working on a cruise ship is all about the customer experience. Every crew member that’s hired goes to extensive safety and customer service training in the first weeks onboard. The majority of customers will have a great experience on the excursions but you will always have a few that did not enjoy it, had some issues with equipment while on the tour or they will say the guide was “rude” and so on. I could probably write a book on the excuses I heard from guests. They all come to you expecting something, ALWAYS! Most of them want a free cruise because you “ruined” their vacation and the “only reason” they came onboard was to see whatever they didn’t get to see, so be prepared.

When a situation like this occurs, you have to be patient and use your best customer service skills to turn around the situation. A big part of your job will be customer service related and damage control.

Speaking More than One Language

flags from different countries - Shore Excursion Job Cruise Ship

Speaking more than one language can be the decisive factor in getting a position as shore excursion staff. Cruise ships are scattered around the world and visit almost every country in the globe and have an international clientele that speaks many languages. If your ship’s homeport is in Barcelona, expect the majority of the guests to speak Spanish.

The most common languages spoken onboard are German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, and Japanese. Having a second language it’s an essential part of the job but don’t get discouraged if you only speak English. It’s still possible to get a job without it but it will be a little harder and you might only work on ships based in the US market.

Caribbean beach - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

If you are a US citizen or green-card holder, you can apply to work for Norwegian Cruise Line on the Pride of America.

Normally the Shore Excursion has its own department, all under the supervision of the hotel director. The department size will depend on the size of the ship and itinerary but you should expect to have a manager and an assistant manager. You can expect your contracts to last between five to six months with normally five to six-week vacation in between contracts. As a rule of thumb, you should expect to have one week off for every month worked.

How the Guests Book the Shore Excursions?

Handing credit card - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

Cruise lines want to make it easy for guests to book excursions and guests have many options to book it, both before and during the cruise. There’s a lot of information on the cruise line’s website, including videos and reviews from past customers.

Guests can book excursions directly on the company’s website or via phone. Guests can call the cruise line’s call center and make reservations. Once booked, tickets are delivered to their stateroom and they don’t even have to see your face unless there’s an issue.

  • From their stateroom TV
  • From Kiosks around the ship
  • From the company’s App, if available.
  • By filling out an order form found at the Shore Excursions desk
  • By asking their Butler, who in turn will book the excursion.
  • By booking directly with you at the Shore Excursion desk.

Some guests already know what they want to see and what they want to do. These are the guests most likely to book either pre-cruise or onboard directly via the app, order form, and with you. They usually don’t ask many questions and know what they want. There are always those guests who have no clue where they are, or where they are going, and then come to you asking all the questions possible. One of the questions I hated to hear was “What’s the best tour?” on a cruise with more than 100 excursions available. It gets tiring explaining the same things over and over.

What Does a Shore Excursion Staff Do?

Staff ready for work - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

The job of a shore excursion staff goes beyond just selling excursions. There’s a whole new part of the job that happens behind the scenes. In no particular order, here are some key aspects of the job:

Download and Prepare Tickets

Holding tickets at the office - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

Guests that book their excursions pre-cruise will have their tickets delivered directly to their stateroom once they board the ship. By booking excursions online, the guests can sometimes get a discount if booked well in advance, as well as guaranteeing that they will have a spot on their desired excursion.

The process involves downloading a file sent by Shoreside into the company’s system (Fidelio Cruise for most companies) containing all the excursions booked online or over the phone, pre-cruise. Once downloaded into the system for the next voyage (this step is normally done 2-3 days before the next cruise) you have to print the tickets, place them in designated envelopes and deliver them to the guest’s stateroom at the beginning of the next cruise but before the guests are onboard.

Tour Dispatch

Sun Rising Port of Livorno - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

This is a BIG step and a very important part of the job. You can avoid many issues and guest complaints by having a good and organized dispatch.

You will have tour dispatches every day the ship is in port. When the ship arrives in the port of call, shore excursions are one of the first people getting off the ship. Early arrival means an early day for you.

The ship mostly arrives on ports in the morning and normally you are up one hour before the ship docks. One example of an early arrival was when the ship called into the port of Livorno, with a scheduled arrival of 6 am. We had to be up at 5 am to get our stuff ready to be off the ship and to meet the guests at the dispatch location, which was both ashore and inside the ship, normally on the ship’s theater if onboard. The bulk of the tours departing Livorno were mainly to Florence and Cinque Terre, which was about one hour and a half away from Livorno.

Shore Excursion Cinque Terre

The main job during dispatch is to gather all the guests that booked excursions and essentially make sure they get on the right excursion. Some ports are busier than others, so there’s a little short window of time that you need to get the guests from the ship to shore and into the correct excursion, making sure tours are not departing late. Tours dispatches can get very overwhelming and frustrating if not planned properly. The last thing you want is to have guests screaming in your face because they missed or were booked on the wrong excursion.

The only drawback of working in the excursions department is the early mornings. Going out to the crew bar at night sounds fun but not so fun the next morning, when you have to be up at 6 am, ready to deal with the guests. Enjoy the crew bar but don’t hang out too late.

Other Side Duties

Behind The Scenes Ship Tour - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

There could be additional duties assigned to you besides the job of a shore excursion staff. You could be chosen to participate in the crew welfare committee, Lead a Behind The Scenes tour for the guests, safety committee, or be chosen to randomly interact with guests to collect feedback on their cruise. This will vary from company to company.

What’s a Typical Day Like?

A typical day for the excursion department varies depending on which day of the cruise it is. Forget about the days of the week because once onboard, your calendar will be based on the days of the cruise, such as embarkation, debarkation, sea day, and port day. Instead of saying “Which day of the week it is?” you will be saying “It’s tomorrow sea day or sea day two?.”

I have divided the timeline into four different days that you will experience while onboard.

Embarkation Day

Crew welcoming passengers - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

Ah, everyone’s favorite( and not so favorite) day of the cruise. This is the day most crew love to hate. You love it because that’s the day you might get a morning off, not having to wake up early, having a chance to do some shopping at the homeport to buy things you normally can’t get in the ports of call. You hate it because you might have to work debark, turn around, and work embarkation.

Embarkation day is when all the guests come onboard and flock to the excursion desk to book tours. The days are long and you are on your feet the whole time , dealing with the guest’s questions and issues, often repeating yourself constantly, with fewer breaks. It’s one of the busiest days for the Shore Excursions department and the overall ship.

Ship sailing out of Kauai - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

As the name implies, sea day is the day that the ship is sailing 24 hours and you’re basically stuck onboard. Usually, If you have a sea day before the first port of call, expect to be just as long and busy as the embarkation day. The guests are stuck onboard with you and they have nowhere to go. The majority of your bookings will happen on sea days .

The shore excursions desk it’s usually open the whole day the only close for a few hours for an afternoon break. One example when I was working on the Norwegian Escape, the excursions desk hours ranged from nine to two (9 am to 2 pm)  and from five to nine(5 pm to 9 pm). We had rotations starting at 11:30 AM for half an hour lunch break. Besides that, you are essentially on your feet the whole day, answering questions about excursions, selling some tours, and preparing for the next port of call. Some ships have multiple sea days in a row, meaning more work for you.  In theory, more sea days mean more work most of the time.

Shore Excursion Staff

When the ship docks, the Excursions staff it’s one of the first people off the ship. We have to be up and ready typically one hour before the ship arrives in port, to get ready for the dispatch procedures and make sure there are no issues with cancelations, either due to weather or tour operator issues.  Once all the tours are out and on their way, most of the shore excursion staff will have part of the day off until the desk onboard opens back again. Opening hours will depend on the ship and company. Some open at 6 pm, some earlier. Regardless of opening time, the earlier you finish a tour dispatch, the more time you will have to enjoy the port.

Let’s assume the desk reopens at 5 pm. Once all the tours are dispatched and gone, say by 9 am, you don’t have to come back to the ship to work until 5 pm, giving you a good chunk of time to explore the port, go on excursions, or just go to sleep. There’s always one staff that is assigned an all-day duty.

All Day Duty on Port Days

Shorex Staff Private Island

All-day duty(ADD for short) means that you are working essentially all day while the ship is in port. As part of the shore excursions staff, you are in charge of making sure that all excursions are back, reporting excursions that are late coming back, to notify the excursion’s manager if any issue arises with an excursion, and notify the bridge that all tours are back. You are also in charge of delivering tickets booked onboard via the automated kiosks, the onboard app, or via a dropbox, where guests can fill out a form, requesting a tour to be booked when the desk is closed.

The all-day duty person cannot leave the port area for the whole day. You will be carrying a radio and the all-day duty phone, in case someone from shipboard management needs to get hold of you while the desk is closed.

The all-day duty person is off when the ship set sail. The staff that had part of the day off works at the desk in the evening, while the all-day duty person has the evening off to either enjoy one of the shows offered onboard, have a nice meal at one of the ship’s restaurants, or simply relax and enjoy the time off.

The all-day duty position is assigned on a rotation basis. For example, if you are in a port, let’s use one of my favorites, Naples in Italy, and you have the duty shift, you cannot go out and see Naples but on the next cruise you will most likely not have the ADD duty that day, and will be free to explore the best Naples has to offer, like it’s delicious pizzas!

Eating pizza in Naples, Italy - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

Last Day of the Cruise

cart full of Luggages - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

The last day of the cruise is usually not very busy. The only tours left to sell are the debark tours. On this day, you are preparing for the next cruise, making sure that everything is ready for the debark tours and that all tickets booked pre-cruise are ready to be delivered on the next day, which will be the embarkation day. The number of customers coming to the excursion’s desk will be minimal, giving you a much-needed break before the next passengers embark.

Debark day - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

Usually, debark days are short because fewer people go on these tours. The dispatch time takes roughly two hours to complete but again, that will depend on which ship and itinerary you are working on.

Debark tours give the guests an option to pick up at a drop-off location either at a predetermined hotel or airport at the end of their tour. The luggage is held on the same bus the guests are on, giving them more time to explore the port instead of worrying about where to store their luggage.

For most companies, the debark time is around 9 AM and by this time everyone must be off the ship. A lot of guests don’t book their flights until later in the day, sometimes late at night, so this is a good option for guests to maximize their time while not being bored at the airport or having to drag their luggage around.

How Much Does a Shore Excursion Staff Make?

Dollars - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

Salaries can vary greatly from company to company. Some companies pay better than others, while some companies have better perks and commission structures. Overall, you want to consider the whole package before deciding if a position is right for you.

Below you will find an approximate monthly salary:

Shorex Manager

Between $3,000 – $5,000

Asst Shorex Manager

Between $2,500 – $3,500

Shorex Staff

Between $1,500 – $2,500

salary - Cruise Ship Job Shore Excursion Staff

The position of Shore Excursion is not a tipped position but It’s not uncommon to receive tips from guests for a job well done. I have many times received tips from guests for lending an extra hand, like getting extra space on a tour when there was no more space available, or just by suggesting an excursion that the guest ended up really having a great time.  

You will have a fixed salary paid monthly but for most companies, you can request a cash advance, paid in the middle of the month for up to 50% of your salary.

Some companies provide a commission structure, while others might not have one in place. The commission structure sometimes can be a bit confusing, like a crazy math calculation created by shoreside and varies from ship to ship and from cruise to cruise, based on last year’s revenue. Sometimes you can work your ass off and not reach the commission target and when that happens, you don’t get a commission.  My recommendation is not to count on the commission and treat it as a surprise bonus that you can spend on the crew bar or ashore at the beach, cafe, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, the commission can vary from company to company and even in the same company, it varies from ship to ship and itinerary. Some itineraries are a gold mine for commissions. Alaska and Europe are ports where the majority of the guests go on excursions, so you have better chances of making a good commission on these ports. To have an idea, during my time at NCL, a typical cruise would bring around $50-$100 a cruise in commission. The most I ever made in commission was $215 on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise.

What to Pack Cruise Ship

Cruise ship life is very exciting and visiting awesome locations around the world is just one of the many benefits of working on a cruise ship. If this is your first time going to work on a cruise ship, you might be wondering what you need to pack for a cruise ship contract. This post might just be what you are looking for.

Do We Really Get to Go on Excursions?

Blue Hawaiian Kauai

You WILL and SHOULD take every opportunity to go on an excursion when time permits. If you are just starting in this position, your manager will most likely focus on sending you on the most popular excursions to get acquainted with the details of it. You will be surprised at how many questions you get from guests that are very specific and only someone that went on that excursion will be able to answer it but once you go on the excursions, you will have a different set of eyes and will be able to answer even the most specific questions.

Hanalei Bay Kauai

When you go on an excursion, your first responsibility is to take this opportunity to learn all you can about the specific tour, try to anticipate what guests might ask you about it, and see potential issues that can arise in the future.

Take every chance you can to go and enjoy the tours. That’s why you are here =)

Segway Tour Nassau Bahamas

Final Words

Working as a shore excursion staff, you get to see the world. How many people can say that their job is to go on excursions around the world, seeing awesome places while helping someone make a lifelong memory? We don’t sell tours, we sell experiences of a lifetime!

A ship is safe in the harbor but thats not what ships are built for. John A. Shedd

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Definition of 'excursion'

IPA Pronunciation Guide

Video: pronunciation of excursion

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excursion in British English

Excursion in american english, examples of 'excursion' in a sentence excursion, cobuild collocations excursion, trends of excursion.

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In other languages excursion

  • American English : excursion / ɪkˈskɜrʒən /
  • Brazilian Portuguese : excursão
  • Chinese : 短途旅行
  • European Spanish : excursión
  • French : excursion
  • German : Ausflug
  • Italian : escursione
  • Japanese : 小旅行
  • Korean : 짧은 여행
  • European Portuguese : excursão
  • Latin American Spanish : excursión
  • Thai : การเที่ยวพักผ่อนหย่อนใจ, การเที่ยวช่วงสั้นๆ

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  • boat excursion
  • shore excursion
  • fishing excursion
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Definition of excursion noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

  • trip an act of traveling from one place to another, and usually back again: a business trip a five-minute trip by taxi
  • journey an act of traveling from one place to another, especially when they are far apart: a long and difficult journey across the mountains
  • A trip usually involves you going to a place and back again; a journey is usually one-way. A trip is often shorter than a journey , although it does not have to be: a trip to New York a round-the-world trip. It is often short in time, even if it is long in distance. Journey is more often used when the traveling takes a long time and is difficult.
  • tour a journey made for pleasure during which several different places are visited: a tour of California
  • commute the regular trip that a person makes when they travel to work and back home again: a two-hour commute into downtown Washington
  • expedition an organized journey with a particular purpose, especially to find out about a place that is not well known: the first expedition to the South Pole
  • excursion a short trip made for pleasure, especially one that has been organized for a group of people: We went on an all-day excursion to the island.
  • outing a short trip made for pleasure or education, usually with a group of people and lasting no more than a day: My project team organized an afternoon outing to celebrate.
  • an overseas trip/journey/tour/expedition
  • a bus/train trip/journey/tour
  • to go on a(n) trip/journey/tour/expedition/excursion/outing
  • to set out/off on a(n) trip/journey/tour/expedition/excursion
  • to take a(n) trip/journey/expedition/excursion

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excursion job meaning

Life of Shore Excursions Staff Onboard a Cruise Ship – Job Description and Daily Duties

Shore excursions staff onboard Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship

As some of you may know, I have been working as a Shore Excursions staff onboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships for a few years now, and I wanted to share my experience and cruise job description with you.

I want to tell you about my daily duties as Shore excursion staff and will do my best to give you a description of what we do on daily basis.

Please note that this article describes my personal experience and is not the official company/agency job description . Shore excursion staff job duties vary on the cruise lines.

Purpose of Writing This Article

The main reason I am writing this article is to try to make it easier for all of you who never worked on cruise ships before, and have no clue what a typical day-by-day cruise flow on a ship looks like.

Before I first joined the ship, I remember I was struggling so badly to get to know as many details about my job as possible. I didn’t have anyone to describe it to me and on the internet, I couldn’t find any reliable information. That’s why I decided to make a small contribution to all of you who consider applying for this amazing job.

So, this article might be useful and interesting for you if:

  • You want to apply for the Shore Excursions Staff position.
  • You are simply curious to take a peek at what typical days onboard cruise ships look like.

Recommended articles:

  • Working On Cruise Ships: How To Apply For A Cruise Ship Job?

10 Things to Know Before Applying for Cruise Ship Job

New Hire? This is How the First Day on a Cruise Ship Looks Like

Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship sailing in the middle of the seas

Shore Excursions Staff – Who Are We?

First, let’s start with the definition of Shore excursion staff.

Shore Excursions Staff (or Shorex staff) is an important job position within the cruise industry that consists of promoting, selling, and dispatching shore excursions/tours in various ports of call worldwide. The staff position is a part of the Shore excursions department whose direct supervisor is the Shore Excursions Manager, assisted by Assistant Shore Excursions Manager.

The picture of me during the tendering operation in Villefranche

In the beginning, I’d like to highlight that for a crew member working onboard a cruise ship days of the week commonly known as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. – Do not exist . Our contracts vary from 2 to 9 months and we work every day.

Yep. You heard it well, no day off.

Very often we forget which date or day it is and start checking it only when our contract is about to finish. Then we start the countdown: two more months, one more month, two more weeks… Then they extend your contract last minute and you realize your home is not as close as you might have hoped. Anyway, that last month is always the longest one.

But let’s get back to the topic. If we don’t have typical days of the week, what do we have then? The answer is – the days of the cruise, commonly referred to as Embarkation Day , Sea Day , Port Day , and Debark Day .

First Day of the Cruise – Embarkation Day

Embarkation day is the first day of the cruise and is usually the busiest one for all cruise departments. Depending on your position on a ship, it can be either a very stressful day full of duties and guest inquiries, or just a chill day when you can go outside for a coffee or shopping.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Navigator of the Seas docked in Bruges, Belgium, sunrise time

For Shore excursion staff it can vary. Your assistant manager (who is in charge of making your schedule) can assign you to be “on duty” , which means you are in charge of escorting guests from the previous cruise who decided to go on a tour on the last day.

In homeports (the port where a ship is based and where the cruise itinerary starts and ends) the Shore excursions department usually offers a few tours with airport drop-off (after the tour ends, guests are transferred directly to the airport).

For Shore excursions staff on duty it means they have to wake up early (around 6 or 7 am) to make sure the debark process goes smooth. This usually doesn’t last long, just a couple of hours as guests are well informed about what debarkation procedures to follow. Once you escort guests to their buses, you have some time off before new guests arrive at the ship and you start your regular daily duties.

If you are not a person on duty, you can have a morning off and start later in the day. “Later” can mean 10 am (if you are scheduled to set up the Shore excursions desk which usually opens at that time for new guests coming onboard) or around 1 pm (meaning SHOPPING TIME!! You go outside of the ship and check out shopping malls, or you can just stay in your bed and chill).

Suggested articles:

25 Top Shore Excursion Packing List Items

Life onboard a Cruise Ship: 18 Crew Cabins Must-Haves

20 Gift Ideas for Cruisers

Embarkation day is the day when the Shore excursions desk is open all day , usually until 9 pm. The shore  excursions desk is a sort of customer service desk where we sell tours and handle all guests’ inquiries and issues regarding shore excursions.

My lovely team and I at the Shore Excursions desk, Independence of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship

On embarkation day when new guests come on board, Shore excursions staff are very proactive and do their best to answer guests’ questions regarding tour bookings or resolve any problems they might have. That’s also the day when most of the guests come to the desk to book a tour, so you have to repeat yourself a lot of time to recommend to guests a tour that suits them.

The first day can get exhausting as you also have to answer questions non-related to tours. Guests don’t know the ship yet, so they can ask you where the toilets are, what the program of the cruise is, where certain venues on the ship are… Sometimes it can consume a lot of your energy so you have to be extremely patient.

Shore excursion staff is sometimes required to help out other departments and participate in their activities on embarkation day.  These are mostly entertainment activities or helping other departments promote their products. Those activities vary from company to company and ship to ship.

Another part is “pax-drill” – a passenger safety drill , mandatory for all guests and some crew before the ship sets sail. Few Shore excursion staff are always required to participate and help out guests to find their muster stations (muster station is the designated place on the ship where you go in case of emergency). The drill requires great crowd-management skills, usually lasts up to one hour, and starts once all guests have embarked on the ship (middle of the day).

Middle of the Cruise: Sea Days vs. Port Days

The following days of the cruise can be split into two categories: sea days and port days.

SEA DAYS are the days when the ship is sailing 24  hours and both guests and crew members stay onboard . When the ship is sailing, all venues on board are open to accommodate guests, which means a lot of hard work for crew members in all departments.

For Shore Excursions, it depends on whether sea day takes place before or after port day.

If it’s before the port day, it means that the entire Shore excursions team will be engaged in promoting and selling the tours and conducting other job-related activities (This also varies from company to company!).

One of them offered by the Royal Caribbean cruise line is my absolute favorite: a Behind-the-scenes tour of the ship , hosted by Shore excursions staff. It is also called the All Access Tour, and it’s a tour of restricted areas of the ship guests can sign up for (crew areas onboard cruise ships are restricted for guests). It is an amazing experience allowing guests to access the Galley, Bridge, Engine Control Room, and other ship venues.

View from the Bridge during All Access Behind the Scenes ship tour, Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship

If sea day happens to be after port days, usually the Shore excursions desk is open a few hours per day only (as there are no more tours to sell). That’s the day when the Shore excursions team deals with remaining guest issues or complaints and starts preparing for the following cruise.

PORT DAYS are very active and most interesting days for the Shore Excursions team . At the beginning of the day when the ship arrives in port, we have a tour dispatch, so we are among the first ones to get off the ship. It means that we need to make sure that all guests are properly escorted to their tour meeting point and joined the right tour. Shore excursions team is also there to ensure that the whole dispatch process goes smooth, and when most of the tours are escorted – we are free to go!

Shore excursions team onboard Navigator of the Seas (Royal Caribbean cruise ship) doing dispatch in the port of Bruges, Belgium

We can enjoy some free time for a few hours or join one of the tours with guests – which is the  number ONE advantage of this job !

Off-road UTV ride in Aruba

The shore excursion desk usually opens an hour before all-onboard time (the time when all guests and crew members have to be on board because the ship is about to leave port), which gives us more than enough free time to explore and enjoy the destination. In the late afternoon or evening, we open the Shore Excursions desk for several hours and that’s more or less the end of the working part of the day.

Port Day for Shore Excursions Staff on Duty

These port days sound too perfect to be true, right? Well, for the majority of the Shore excursions team they are because they get a lot of free time to enjoy port. On the other hand, there is always one Shore Excursions staff assigned to be “on duty” when the ship arrives in port (Usually your supervisor is the one who assigns you for duty days and Shore excursions staff rotate, so it’s not that often).

Grand Cayman cruise terminal

Being on duty means that the staff member is responsible for the management of the whole tour dispatch process and overall paperwork that needs to be dealt with . When you are a person on duty, you are not allowed to go outside of the ship as you need to be available for ship management in case they try to reach you. You communicate with tour operators, tour guides, and keep track of how tours went and if anything went wrong. One of your responsibilities is to wait for all tours to be back and write a daily report.

“On duty” day is long and tiring, there are no other words to describe it. Challenging, sometimes, depending on how the day and tours went. Tour operators have rights reserved to cancel a tour anytime, so if it happens (and it happens a LOT in the Caribbean), you are in problem as you need to explain to the guests and find the alternatives for them. However, it is a part of the job and we quickly get used to it (after some time, it’s not that scary).

Finally, after all of the guests came back from tours and you are done with your paperwork – you are off duty and finished work for that day.

Last Day of the Cruise – The Day Before Debark

This day can also be both a hard and easy-going one, depending on the department you work in.

For the Shore excursions department, this day is usually a relaxed one, as most of the work is done in the office. The team prepares the paperwork for the following cruise : tour tickets for guests who prepaid their tours are being printed and delivered to their staterooms, tour order forms (brochures) printed and stuffed, as well as all necessary letters and other paperwork.

The desk is still open for several hours in case guests have questions or issues. There are still some additional activities to be done but overall, that should be all.

The last day of the cruise is normally an easy-going one for Shore excursion staff. My favorite part of it is going for dinner with the team after we had finished in the office and just chilling in a crew bar with friends. It is usually a quiet night as all crew members are getting ready for the following embarkation day.

Dinner time at Johnny Rockets onboard Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship

The next day is debarkation day for old guests and embarkation for new guests coming on board. We don’t have any free days in between, the ship sails non-stop, so the same the old guests leave the ship we have new ones arriving onboard. On this day, Shore excursions staff can either be “on duty” (I spoke about it in the First Day of Cruise – Embarkation day section) or have a morning off.

Sunset on Navigator of the Seas, Royal Caribbean cruise ship

As you can see, it’s always dynamic onboard if you take into consideration that cruise ship capacities can be up to 6500 passengers, plus crew members. It’s crowded and busy at all times, never boring and never the same. The main difference lies in the people you meet, places you visit, and the experiences you get.

And whoever says the life on a ship is hard – they speak the truth. Challenging and hard very often, but one of the most rewarding life experiences you can get. There is one sea life quote that crew members like, and that is: “Once you experience the life at sea, the life on land is never the same”. And, I couldn’t agree more.

You May Also Like:

  • Why Is Shore Excursions Staff One of The Best Cruise Ship Jobs?
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3 thoughts on “Life of Shore Excursions Staff Onboard a Cruise Ship – Job Description and Daily Duties”

excursion job meaning

Was quite indepth and helpful… thank you…

excursion job meaning

Thank you for giving ideas about the life of shore excursion staff onboard. It was very helpful at the entry level, like me. This is one of my dreams: to be a part of Royal Caribbean. May I know where I can apply for this position? I’m trying to look at the different cruiseline websites, but the position is unavailable.

excursion job meaning

Hello! If the position is unavailable – it means they do not have open positions. I advise you to keep following up until the position is opened. The best is to apply directly on Royal’s website but you can also try through local recruiting agency. Also, you can apply for other cruise companies as well, such as Norwegian, Carnival, Virgin… Good luck, I hope you fulfill your dream!

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excursion job meaning


Dictionary definition of excursion

A short trip or journey, usually for pleasure or a specific purpose. "She went on an excursion to the nearby city to explore the museums."

Detailed meaning of excursion

It can be a day trip or a longer trip, but it is usually a temporary departure from one's usual routine or place of residence. Excursions can be organized by travel agencies, schools, or other groups, and can include activities such as sightseeing, hiking, or visiting historical or cultural sites. It can also refer to a deviation or a departure from a main course of action or a usual path, as in a excursion from a topic in a conversation or from a main subject in a book. In general, the term implies that there is a short trip or journey, usually for pleasure or a specific purpose, whether it's a day trip or a longer trip, and that it can include different activities, and that it's a temporary departure from one's usual routine or place of residence.

Example sentences of excursion

1. We went on a thrilling mountain excursion during our vacation. 2. The school organized a field excursion to the local museum. 3. I booked an excursion to explore the coral reefs while visiting the island. 4. The excursion to the national park offered breathtaking views of the scenery. 5. The tour guide provided interesting facts during our city excursion. 6. We enjoyed a relaxing boat excursion along the river.

History and etymology of excursion

The noun 'excursion' traces its origins back to the Latin word 'excursio,' which is derived from the verb 'excurrere.' 'Excurrere' is a compound of 'ex,' meaning 'out of,' and 'currere,' meaning 'to run.' Thus, the etymology of 'excursion' can be understood as a journey that involves venturing out or running out from one's usual location or routine. Over time, this term found its way into Middle English as 'excursioun' and eventually evolved into the modern English word 'excursion.' This etymology encapsulates the essence of a short journey or trip, often taken for pleasure or a specific purpose, where one temporarily departs from their regular activities or surroundings.

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Further usage examples of excursion

1. The excursion to the historic site gave us insights into the past. 2. The excursion to the amusement park was a highlight of the trip. 3. We signed up for an excursion to visit the ancient ruins. 4. The excursion included a guided hike through the forest. 5. The excursion to the vineyard offered a wine tasting experience. 6. We embarked on an exciting safari excursion to spot wildlife. 7. The excursion to the waterfall allowed us to swim in its refreshing waters. 8. The excursion to the art gallery showcased masterpieces from renowned artists. 9. We took an adventurous ATV excursion through rugged terrain. 10. The excursion to the chocolate factory delighted our taste buds. 11. The excursion to the botanical garden showcased a wide variety of plant species. 12. We joined a guided excursion to explore the underground caves. 13. The excursion to the historical landmark provided a glimpse into the past. 14. We participated in a guided snorkeling excursion to explore the vibrant marine life.

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trip, stay, hiatus, rest


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excursion noun

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What does the noun excursion mean?

There are 12 meanings listed in OED's entry for the noun excursion , six of which are labelled obsolete. See ‘Meaning & use’ for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence.

excursion has developed meanings and uses in subjects including

Entry status

OED is undergoing a continuous programme of revision to modernize and improve definitions. This entry has not yet been fully revised.

How common is the noun excursion ?

How is the noun excursion pronounced, british english, where does the noun excursion come from.

Earliest known use

The earliest known use of the noun excursion is in the late 1500s.

OED's earliest evidence for excursion is from 1574, in the writing of John Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury.

excursion is a borrowing from Latin.

It is derived from Latin excursiōn-em .

Nearby entries

  • exculpation, n. a1715–
  • exculpative, adj. a1832–
  • exculpatory, adj. 1781–
  • excur, v. 1656–
  • excuriate, v. 1656–76
  • excuriation, n. 1658
  • excurrency, n. 1650–
  • excurrent, adj. 1605–
  • excurse, n. 1587
  • excurse, v. 1748–
  • excursion, n. 1574–
  • excursion, v. 1792–
  • excursional, adj. 1848–
  • excursionary, adj. 1769–
  • excursioner, n. 1786
  • excursionism, n. 1886–
  • excursionist, n. 1829–
  • excursionize, v. 1827–
  • excursive, adj. 1673–
  • excursively, adv. 1791–
  • excursiveness, n. 1753–

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Meaning & use

Pronunciation, compounds & derived words, entry history for excursion, n..

excursion, n. was first published in 1894; not yet revised.

excursion, n. was last modified in September 2023.

Revision of the OED is a long-term project. Entries in which have not been revised may include:

  • corrections and revisions to definitions, pronunciation, etymology, headwords, variant spellings, quotations, and dates;
  • new senses, phrases, and quotations which have been added in subsequent print and online updates.

Revisions and additions of this kind were last incorporated into excursion, n. in September 2023.

Earlier versions of this entry were published in:

OED First Edition (1894)

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OED Second Edition (1989)

  • View excursion, n. in OED Second Edition

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Definition of excursional

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“Excursional.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Apr. 2024.

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U.S. bans noncompete agreements for nearly all jobs

Andrea Hsu, photographed for NPR, 11 March 2020, in Washington DC.

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has said noncompete agreements stop workers from switching jobs, even when they could earn more money or have better working conditions. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has said noncompete agreements stop workers from switching jobs, even when they could earn more money or have better working conditions.

The Federal Trade Commission narrowly voted Tuesday to ban nearly all noncompetes, employment agreements that typically prevent workers from joining competing businesses or launching ones of their own.

The FTC received more than 26,000 public comments in the months leading up to the vote. Chair Lina Khan referenced on Tuesday some of the stories she had heard from workers.

"We heard from employees who, because of noncompetes, were stuck in abusive workplaces," she said. "One person noted when an employer merged with an organization whose religious principles conflicted with their own, a noncompete kept the worker locked in place and unable to freely switch to a job that didn't conflict with their religious practices."

After 26,000 public comments, FTC to vote on rule banning noncompete agreements

After 26,000 public comments, FTC to vote on rule banning noncompete agreements

Noncompete Agreements Are Everywhere, Even Neighborhood Yoga Studios

Noncompete Agreements Are Everywhere, Even Neighborhood Yoga Studios

These accounts, she said, "pointed to the basic reality of how robbing people of their economic liberty also robs them of all sorts of other freedoms."

The FTC estimates about 30 million people, or one in five American workers, from minimum wage earners to CEOs, are bound by noncompetes . It says the policy change could lead to increased wages totaling nearly $300 billion per year by encouraging people to swap jobs freely.

Many workers barely recall signing noncompetes, until they try to change jobs

Many workers barely recall signing noncompetes, until they try to change jobs

Flight attendants don't earn their hourly pay until aircraft doors close. Here's why

Flight attendants don't earn their hourly pay until aircraft doors close. Here's why

The ban, which will take effect later this year, carves out an exception for existing noncompetes that companies have given their senior executives, on the grounds that these agreements are more likely to have been negotiated. The FTC says employers should not enforce other existing noncompete agreements.

The vote was 3 to 2 along party lines. The dissenting commissioners, Melissa Holyoak and Andrew Ferguson, argued that the FTC was overstepping the boundaries of its power. Holyoak predicted the ban would be challenged in court and eventually struck down.

These companies tried a 4-day workweek. More than a year in, they still love it

These companies tried a 4-day workweek. More than a year in, they still love it

Shortly after the vote, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would sue the FTC to block the rule, calling it unnecessary, unlawful and a blatant power grab.

For more than a year, the group has vigorously opposed the ban, saying that noncompetes are vital to companies, by allowing them to better guard trade secrets, and employees, by giving employers greater incentive to invest in workforce training and development.

"This decision sets a dangerous precedent for government micromanagement of business and can harm employers, workers, and our economy," wrote Suzanne P. Clark, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber, in a statement.

Correction April 27, 2024

An earlier version of this story misspelled FTC Commissioner Melissa Holyoak's last name.

  • noncompete agreements
  • competition
  • Federal Trade Commission

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What the New Overtime Rule Means for Workers

Collage shows four professionals in business casual clothing.

One of the basic principles of the American workplace is that a hard day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay. Simply put, every worker’s time has value. A cornerstone of that promise is the  Fair Labor Standards Act ’s (FLSA) requirement that when most workers work more than 40 hours in a week, they get paid more. The  Department of Labor ’s new overtime regulation is restoring and extending this promise for millions more lower-paid salaried workers in the U.S.

Overtime protections have been a critical part of the FLSA since 1938 and were established to protect workers from exploitation and to benefit workers, their families and our communities. Strong overtime protections help build America’s middle class and ensure that workers are not overworked and underpaid.

Some workers are specifically exempt from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime protections, including bona fide executive, administrative or professional employees. This exemption, typically referred to as the “EAP” exemption, applies when: 

1. An employee is paid a salary,  

2. The salary is not less than a minimum salary threshold amount, and 

3. The employee primarily performs executive, administrative or professional duties.

While the department increased the minimum salary required for the EAP exemption from overtime pay every 5 to 9 years between 1938 and 1975, long periods between increases to the salary requirement after 1975 have caused an erosion of the real value of the salary threshold, lessening its effectiveness in helping to identify exempt EAP employees.

The department’s new overtime rule was developed based on almost 30 listening sessions across the country and the final rule was issued after reviewing over 33,000 written comments. We heard from a wide variety of members of the public who shared valuable insights to help us develop this Administration’s overtime rule, including from workers who told us: “I would love the opportunity compensated for time worked beyond 40 hours, or alternately be given a raise,” and “I make around $40,000 a year and most week[s] work well over 40 hours (likely in the 45-50 range). This rule change would benefit me greatly and ensure that my time is paid for!” and “Please, I would love to be paid for the extra hours I work!”

The department’s final rule, which will go into effect on July 1, 2024, will increase the standard salary level that helps define and delimit which salaried workers are entitled to overtime pay protections under the FLSA. 

Starting July 1, most salaried workers who earn less than $844 per week will become eligible for overtime pay under the final rule. And on Jan. 1, 2025, most salaried workers who make less than $1,128 per week will become eligible for overtime pay. As these changes occur, job duties will continue to determine overtime exemption status for most salaried employees.

Who will become eligible for overtime pay under the final rule? Currently most salaried workers earning less than $684/week. Starting July 1, 2024, most salaried workers earning less than $844/week. Starting Jan. 1, 2025, most salaried workers earning less than $1,128/week. Starting July 1, 2027, the eligibility thresholds will be updated every three years, based on current wage data.

The rule will also increase the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (who are not entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA if certain requirements are met) from $107,432 per year to $132,964 per year on July 1, 2024, and then set it equal to $151,164 per year on Jan. 1, 2025.

Starting July 1, 2027, these earnings thresholds will be updated every three years so they keep pace with changes in worker salaries, ensuring that employers can adapt more easily because they’ll know when salary updates will happen and how they’ll be calculated.

The final rule will restore and extend the right to overtime pay to many salaried workers, including workers who historically were entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA because of their lower pay or the type of work they performed. 

We urge workers and employers to visit  our website to learn more about the final rule.

Jessica Looman is the administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Follow the Wage and Hour Division on Twitter at  @WHD_DOL  and  LinkedIn .  Editor's note: This blog was edited to correct a typo (changing "administrator" to "administrative.")

  • Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • overtime rule


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Meaning of excursion – Learner’s Dictionary

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Watch CBS News

FTC bans noncompete agreements, making it easier for workers to quit. Here's what to know.

By Kate Gibson

Edited By Alain Sherter

Updated on: April 24, 2024 / 10:17 AM EDT / CBS News

Federal regulators on Tuesday enacted a nationwide ban on new noncompete agreements, which keep millions of Americans — from minimum-wage earners to CEOs — from switching jobs within their industries.

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday afternoon voted 3-to-2 to approve the new rule , which will ban noncompetes for all workers when the regulations take effect in 120 days. For senior executives, existing noncompetes can remain in force. For all other employees, existing noncompetes are not enforceable.

The antitrust and consumer protection agency heard from thousands of people who said they had been harmed by noncompetes, illustrating how the agreements are "robbing people of their economic liberty," FTC Chair Lina Khan said. 

The FTC commissioners voted along party lines, with its two Republicans arguing the agency lacked the jurisdiction to enact the rule and that such moves should be made in Congress. 

Within hours of the vote, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would sue to block "this unnecessary and unlawful rule and put other agencies on notice that such overreach will not go unchecked." The new rule would "undermine American businesses' ability to remain competitive," the trade group, which advocates for U.S. corporations and businesses, said in a statement.

Why it matters

The new rule could impact tens of millions of workers, said Heidi Shierholz, a labor economist and president of the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. 

"For nonunion workers, the only leverage they have is their ability to quit their job," Shierholz told CBS MoneyWatch. "Noncompetes don't just stop you from taking a job — they stop you from starting your own business."

Since  proposing the new rule , the FTC has received more than 26,000 public comments on the regulations. The final rule adopted "would generally prevent most employers from using noncompete clauses," the FTC said in a statement.

The agency's action comes more than two years after President Biden directed the agency to "curtail the unfair use" of noncompetes, under which employees effectively sign away future work opportunities in their industry as a condition of keeping their current job. The president's executive order urged the FTC to target such labor restrictions and others that improperly constrain employees from seeking work.

"The freedom to change jobs is core to economic liberty and to a competitive, thriving economy," Khan said in a statement making the case for axing noncompetes. "Noncompetes block workers from freely switching jobs, depriving them of higher wages and better working conditions, and depriving businesses of a talent pool that they need to build and expand."

A threat to trade secrets?

An estimated 30 million people  — or one in five U.S. workers — are bound by noncompete restrictions, according to the FTC.  The new rule could boost worker wages by a total of nearly $300 billion a year, according to the agency.

Employers who use noncompetes argue that they are needed to protect trade secrets or other confidential information employees might learn in the course of their jobs. 

"It'll represent a sea change," said Amanda Sonneborn, a partner at King & Spalding in Chicago who represents employers that use noncompetes. "They don't want somebody to go to a competitor and take their customer list or take their information about their business strategy to that competitor."

Yet corporations concerned about protecting their intellectual assets can use restraints such as confidentiality agreements and trade secret laws, and don't need to resort to noncompete agreements, the FTC staff determined. 

The commission's final rule does not nullify existing noncompetes with senior executives, who are defined as those earning more than $151,164 a year and who hold a policy-making position. Those execs are much more likely to negotiate the terms of their compensation, according to regulators.  

Still, the FTC is banning new noncompetes for senior executives on the grounds that the agreements stifle competition and discourage employees from creating new businesses, potentially harming consumers.

The idea of using noncompetes to keep business information out of the hands of rivals has proliferated, noted Shierholz, citing a notorious case  involving Jimmy John's eateries .

Low-paid workers are now the hardest hit by restrictive work agreements, which can forbid employees including janitors,  security guards  and  phlebotomists  from leaving their job for better pay even though these entry-level workers are least likely to have access to trade secrets.

Real-life consequences

In laying out its rationale for banishing noncompetes from the labor landscape, the FTC offered real-life examples of how the agreements can hurt workers.

In one case, a single father earned about $11 an hour as a security guard for a Florida firm, but resigned a few weeks after taking the job when his child care fell through. Months later, he took a job as a security guard at a bank, making nearly $15 an hour. But the bank terminated his employment after receiving a letter from the man's prior employer stating he had signed a two-year noncompete.

In another example, a factory manager at a textile company saw his paycheck dry up after the 2008 financial crisis. A rival textile company offered him a better job and a big raise, but his noncompete blocked him from taking it, according to the FTC. A subsequent legal battle took three years, wiping out his savings. 

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kate Gibson is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch in New York.

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The FTC has banned non-compete agreements. What does that mean for workers, the economy and your paycheck?

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The FTC banned non-compete agreements. What does that mean for workers, the economy and your paycheck?

The FTC rule would eliminate a common part of employee contracts for millions in the U.S., one that limits innovation, mobility and wages, experts say.

excursion job meaning

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Lina Khan sitting in a chair speaking.

The Federal Trade Commission announced a new rule to ban non-compete agreements, an element of employee contracts that prevent workers from leaving to work for competitors, with a new rule that would radically change the U.S. labor market.

Despite the rule facing challenges from business groups –– the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sued the FTC over its authority to ban non-competes –– experts say the impact of the FTC’s decision would be seismic for workers, companies and the economy.

“For me, this is something that is a long time coming and should have happened sooner,” says Samina Karim , professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern University. 

“It doesn’t seem that non-competes are necessarily good for firms’ own profitability, it seems that it’s not necessarily good for innovation, it’s certainly not good for employee choice,” Karim adds. “Denying choice usually always leads to bad outcomes.”

The FTC projects that eliminating non-competes will lead to the formation of more than 8,500 new businesses per year, a $524 wage increase per year for the average worker and a $194 billion decrease in health care costs over the next decade. The FTC also says the ban will result in an average increase of 17,000 to 29,000 more patents each year for the next decade.

Non-competes are a common practice in many industries in the U.S. According to the FTC, about 18% of U.S. workers, 30 million people, work under non-competes. These contract clauses usually prohibit employees from working for a competitor within a specific geographic area or a specific time period after they’ve left their current employer.

Headshot of Samina Karim (left) and Mindy Marks (right).

“In this case, if you ban these non-compete clauses, economic theory predicts wages should go up for workers and we should see more turnover,” says Mindy Marks , an associate professor of economics at Northeastern who specializes in labor economics. “Instead of being locked into their current employer, we should see greater mobility.”

That’s exactly what happened in Hawaii when, in 2015, the state banned non-competes in the tech sector. New-hire wages increased by 4% and mobility by 11%, researchers found . The same study found that, on average, in states with non-competes, tech workers had 8% fewer jobs and 4.6% lower cumulative wages over the course of their careers.

“I have no reason to think that Hawaii is not representative,” Marks says.

According to Marks, the danger of non-competes is they have the potential to create a monopsony, a market environment where there is one buyer with a tremendous amount of power. Similar to a monopoly, this can result in lower wages and worse working conditions, Marks says.

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“In that environment, non-competes help give firms market power, and there are certainly instances where non-compete contracts get drawn in such a way that there is literally one employer you can work for,” Marks says. “I’ve heard stories of hair salons who set up hair salons that say you can’t work for any other [competitor] within a 30-mile radius. That basically forecloses any other potential employer that you may have.”

The arguments for non-competes usually come down to the need for businesses to protect trade secrets or ensure long-term investment in employees is not lost to a competitor. 

But Karim notes there are already plenty of ways for businesses to protect their ideas, from patent laws to non-disclosure agreements. More than 95% of workers with non-competes have also signed an NDA, prohibiting them from sharing information about their employer’s trade secrets even after leaving, according to the FTC.

Karim argues the ban will create more opportunities for innovation, noting that this has already been happening in states like California that don’t support non-competes.

“We see that there’s a lot of innovation there when you give workers choice,” Karim says. “In sectors like biotech, [the ban] will certainly raise the question of when we codify things to have more patent protection, which we think of, in general, as intellectual property rights protection. That might be a little more prevalent, but, again, biotech has been in California for a long time.”

While the wage increases stemming from a non-competes ban will understandably grab headlines, Marks says the benefits of increased mobility for workers should not be underestimated.

“We saw in the COVID recession and recovery that there were wage gains, but the wage gains were really concentrated in people who switched firms, who could take advantage of the dynamism of the labor market and move to locations and industries that are growing and hiring,” Marks says. “Most economists think that worker mobility is a good thing for the economy; it helps it run more smoothly.”

“To me, this feels like a win,” Marks adds.

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Britons don’t like culture wars, but that doesn’t mean the ‘woke mob’ messaging will stop

Owen Jones

New polling confirms people care more about jobs and public services than an orchestrated backlash against minorities – Labour, take note

T here was a time in the UK when “culture war” conjured up a certain ugliness that disfigures political discourse across the Atlantic. Particular kinds of Americans, went the narrative, “get bitter, cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren’t like them”, as Barack Obama put it in 2008, nearly torpedoing his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination. His opponents put rocket boosters under so-called culture war strategies when he was president – from racist conspiracies about Obama’s birth certificate to unabashed Islamophobia. The Donald Trump phenomenon was forged in those fires.

You can see why the British right would seek to import this poison, because there have been political dividends Stateside. We also already had significant homegrown sources, thanks to our highly aggressive rightwing newspaper ecosystem. Regardless of the provenance, in simple terms, the approach allows you to flood the airwaves, drowning out discussion on substantive issues. When vulnerable minorities are in the firing line, attention is deflected from the rich and powerful. The “culture war” strategy seeks to place opponents on a defensive footing. As Ronald Reagan once summed up: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

But a new report by the centrist thinktank More in Common both suggests that the culture war strategy may have run out of road, and that there are limitations in how the topic is framed. Just a fifth of the population are familiar with the term and its meaning, according to its polling. That said, the report itself lacks a clear definition of what a culture war is for people to refer to and evaluate. My own view is that it’s an orchestrated backlash against the claims of minorities, as well as the more progressive social norms of younger generations. This definition will be disputed, but at least it is clear.

The report finds that if voters receive leaflets from parliamentary candidates promising to deal with bread-and-butter issues – such as creating jobs, saving the high street or fixing potholes – they are far more likely to read on than if they receive, say, leaflets offering plans to “save us from the woke blob” or to “protect our children from drag queens”. This is unsurprising, though not unhelpful to have it spelled out.

Voters, the research finds, believe politicians talk about divisive social and cultural issues to attract attention, and should instead focus on more pressing concerns, such as the economy and the NHS. A significant number wisely believe “they are only doing it to distract from the poor job they are doing”.

But while the culture wars are reportedly becoming tiresome for voters, they are not going away. First, the failure of all the different flavours of Tory rule we have been subjected to since 2010 means the party has no convincing policy solutions to offer, leaving it with little option but to double down on culture wars in opposition. Second, because Labour has stripped away its own substantive policy offer that leaves a vacuum that must be filled, which is why we get Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer engaging in the deeply unserious pantomime of condemning the new England football kit design .

Culture wars are lethal to leftwing politics for a very straightforward reason. For the left, the fundamental divide that matters is who has wealth and power and who does not. Culture wars create new coalitions of identities that encourage those in precarious economic circumstances to align their interests with the powerful. Brexit did just this: we became “remainers” and “leavers”, as though a young Black supermarket worker in east London who voted remain was on the same team as David Cameron, or an ex-miner in Mansfield was allied to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

With its obsessive flag-waving, Starmer’s Labour believes it neutralises Tory culture wars by leaning into many of the same narratives. With a landslide Labour victory near-inevitable, this strategy appears vindicated; but as new election polling shows , the opposition has weaker ratings than Ed Miliband’s Labour had before his crushing defeat – it’s just this time Tory self-immolation leaves the government in a far more parlous state.

The worry must be what happens next, and we can see in Germany and the US that when Labour’s sister parties triumphed with similar political prospectuses, they swiftly became unpopular and the far right surged. Labour retaining a Tory fiscal rule that bakes in austerity risks driving more of the public disenchantment that was always at the heart of our years of political turmoil. That fury will have to go somewhere, and the danger is a Tory opposition defined by culture war will channel it in disturbing directions, much as Trumpism has.

So what, then? The More in Common report sets up a false equivalence between a Tory and Labour culture war approach. A hypothetical but entirely plausible quote from Sunak committing to “taking our country back from the woke mob who have taken over” was found to reduce Tory support. On the other side, they were shown a Starmer culture war quote promising to “[take] our country back from the racist and classist elite who have taken over” and prevent the rise of “white supremacists”. This reads like a caricature of leftwing prose – Labour didn’t speak like this under Jeremy Corbyn, let alone now – but, interestingly, it had little impact on the party’s support.

What the report does suggest is that Labour pushing messages around protecting public services is a better approach. True, but given its self-constrained economic approach is an obstacle to investment, such rhetoric may prove hollow in government. Labour should instead tie credible policies to a portrait of society that emphasises the real divide: asking those booming like never before to pay a fairer share of tax to secure the investment our country desperately needs, for example.

This is not culture war, but it is an issue that will generate strong responses and force the Tories on the defensive, thus dominating the political conversation. The danger, otherwise, is Labour will win by default with an unpopular leadership team and few answers to the country’s problems – and a new Tory party, perhaps taken over by Nigel Farage, will take the inevitable disenchantment to the darkest possible places.

Owen Jones is a Guardian columnist

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here .

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  1. Excursion Definition & Meaning

    excursion: [noun] a going out or forth : expedition. a usually brief pleasure trip. a trip at special reduced rates.

  2. A Day in The Life: Shore Excursion Staff (Job Description)

    The shore excursion department is by far one of the best jobs I had while working on a cruise ship. You are essentially the go-to person for everything shore excursion related. You need to know all the features and attractions, and most important excursions, in each and every port of call. One of the main perks, in my opinion, is the ability to ...


    EXCURSION meaning: 1. a short journey usually made for pleasure, often by a group of people: 2. a short involvement…. Learn more.


    EXCURSION definition: 1. a short journey usually made for pleasure, often by a group of people: 2. a short involvement…. Learn more.

  5. EXCURSION Definition & Meaning

    Excursion definition: a short trip or outing to some place, usually for a special purpose and with the intention of a prompt return. See examples of EXCURSION used in a sentence.

  6. EXCURSIONIST definition

    EXCURSIONIST meaning: 1. a person who goes on an excursion (= a short journey usually made for pleasure, often by a group…. Learn more.

  7. EXCURSION definition and meaning

    8 meanings: 1. a short outward and return journey, esp for relaxation, sightseeing, etc; outing 2. a group of people going on.... Click for more definitions.

  8. excursion noun

    Synonyms trip trip journey tour expedition excursion outing day out These are all words for an act of travelling to a place. trip an act of travelling from one place to another, and usually back again:. a business trip; a five-minute trip by taxi; journey an act of travelling from one place to another, especially when they are a long way apart:. a long and difficult journey across the mountains

  9. excursion noun

    excursion a short trip made for pleasure, especially one that has been organized for a group of people: We went on an all-day excursion to the island. outing a short trip made for pleasure or education, usually with a group of people and lasting no more than a day: My project team organized an afternoon outing to celebrate.

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    Shore Excursions Staff (or Shorex staff) is an important job position within the cruise industry that consists of promoting, selling, and dispatching shore excursions/tours in various ports of call worldwide. The staff position is a part of the Shore excursions department whose direct supervisor is the Shore Excursions Manager, assisted by ...

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    Excursion - A short trip or journey, usually for pleasure or a specific purpose.

  12. Excursion

    excursion: 1 n a journey taken for pleasure "many summer excursions to the shore" Synonyms: expedition , jaunt , junket , outing , pleasure trip , sashay Types: airing a short excursion (a walk or ride) in the open air field trip a group excursion (to a museum or the woods or some historic place) for firsthand examination Type of: journey , ...

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  16. Excursion Definition & Meaning

    excursion /ɪk ˈ skɚʒən/ noun. plural excursions. Britannica Dictionary definition of EXCURSION. [count] : a short trip especially for pleasure. a fishing excursion. They went on a brief excursion to the coast. — often used figuratively. Her brief excursion into politics [=her brief political career] ended badly.

  17. Excursionist Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of EXCURSIONIST is a person who goes on an excursion. Recent Examples on the Web At Oceanside the excursionists were met by a reception committee composed of W.L. Damey, W.M. Bradbury, Sig. — San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Sep. 2019 Fully 1000 excursionists from San Diego with a number from Los Angeles journeyed to this city, loading the special San Diego excursion trains to the guards.


    EXCURSION meaning: a short journey made by a group of people for pleasure: . Learn more.

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  20. meaning

    Using Excursion - a short trip or outing to some place, usually for a special purpose and with the intention of a prompt return. Trip - 1. a journey or voyage: to win a trip to Paris.2. a journey, voyage, or run made by a boat, train, bus, or the like, between two points: It's a short trip from Baltimore to Philadelphia. Hence where "excursion" is used for an outing ...

  21. Excursionary Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of EXCURSIONAL is of or relating to an excursion. How to use excursional in a sentence.

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