When Julie McIntyre was eight, she told her mum she wanted to work on a cruise ship like the one featured on the TV show The Love Boat or a hotel like the one in Hotel.
Fast-forward, and Julie began her career working for the Holiday Inn in Mayfair. By 21 she was working on Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess, which served as TV’s Love Boat.
Julie, who took a job as a junior bar stewardess with Princess Cruises, jokes: “I had never seen the world so I ran away to sea for three years!”
She can still remember her interview with Princess Cruises.
“I was asked what was in a London Fog cocktail and I said ‘lots of swirling mist’, as I had no idea, and they gave me the job as I showed a sense of humour,” she recalls.
The move was a good one. The experience led Julie to not only meet her husband-to-be, Bruce, a fellow bartender, during a stint working on the former Royal Princess ship, but also to land a job at a cruise agency later in her career.
Julie has now been selling cruises for more than 14 years, joining Cruise.co.uk as a homeworker in 2013. She works under the name of Molly because the cruise agency already had a homeworker called Julie.
“It was the best career move I’ve made. I’d tried working from home before and hated it but my children were very young. This was the right time and I couldn’t believe how much support I got from such a huge company,” says Julie, a mum-of-four. “You never feel alone. We have a Skype group we can chat to or there’s always someone to call.”
Julie works full-time but picks hours to suit her – working two longer days and a Saturday to allow her a day off midweek and the opportunity to pick up her kids from school two days a week.
“It’s freed up my hours so I have more time with the children and I’m earning one and a half times more than I was. There are also more opportunities to go on fam trips,” says Julie, who took Bruce to the naming of the new Royal Princess by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Julie now has her own weekly blog, Cruising The Molly Way, and a Facebook page, Molly McIntyre Cruises. But she admits the new name Molly can get confusing.
“Some of my old clients know me as Julie, so I have to remember which name to use on the phone!” she says.