8 Questions With…  June Muenzer, Business Development Executive with Star Clippers

CIRE Travel CFO Mark Pizza went on his first FAM trip back in the fall.  He had an amazing time visiting his family homeland in Italy.  But this wasn’t just any ordinary trip: Mark traveled with Star Clippers, sailing on a tall ship along the Amalfi Coast. His host on that trip was the delightful June Muenzer. You’ve got to meet her!

CIRE: Hello June! Mark couldn’t stop raving about his sailing with Star Clippers. We knew we had to introduce you to our traveling friends, fans and clients. Please say hello!

JUNE:  Hello, my name is June Muenzer, and I am the Business Development Executive for Star Clippers in the Northeast. My job is to introduce travel advisors to completely different, unique, and experiential opportunities to bring their clients. I have been in the travel industry for over 30 years. My career actually started as a travel advisor! I am proud to be able to serve the travel advisors at CIRE and be able to provide exceptional service so that their clients come back raving and want to do another sailing.

CIRE: Love that you’ve worked both sides of the business!  Tell us more about Star Clippers.

JUNE:  There are few adventures more thrilling than sailing aboard a tall ship on the open sea. Anyone who has experienced it can tell you — there is this moment when you feel the wind catching the sails just so, and suddenly, you are flying.  The powerful sensation of being one with nature takes over and leaves you exhilarated, humbled and awed all at once.  Star Clippers operates three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels. Visiting ports often untouched by larger cruise ships and offering guests the activities, amenities, and atmosphere of a private yacht, Star Clippers is recognized as one of the premier specialty small ship lines.

CIRE: What makes the onboard experience with Star Clippers different from your “typical cruise?”

JUNE: On Star Clippers, you are encouraged to help raise the sails, learn how to tie knots, visit the open bridge, lay in the bowsprit netting suspended above the rushing sea, and – most unique of all – climb the mast to the Crow’s Nest for a stunning panoramic view. Or just relax in casual elegance and enjoy the high seas.

With itineraries built on wind charts, Star Clippers’ ships are under wind power as much as possible. The glorious masts and billowing sails make it clear from the start that you are embarking on a special voyage. Guests enjoy the romance of sailing aboard a true tall ship in a relaxed atmosphere with high standards of service provided by an attentive crew. All three ships have expansive teak decks, swimming pools, informal dining, a convivial Tropical Bar on deck, and a comfortable piano bar. Ships are large enough to offer first-class accommodations and dining, but small enough to call on intimate ports untouched by large cruise ships.

CIRE: Where’s home for you, June, and what do you love about your hometown?

JUNE:  I grew up in Central New Jersey in a town called Manalapan. I still reside there with family all around. I love my town.  While it has grown over the years, it’s still very suburban but close to the beaches and New York City. While my town specifically wouldn’t necessarily be a vacation destination, the Jersey Shore is! My favorite restaurant is Rooney’s Ocean Crab House on the beach in Long Branch. Not to be missed. Then head to Asbury Park and visit the Stone Pony, where Bruce (Springsteen) got his big start. I live 10 minutes from the home he grew up in. A great place for dessert would be Jersey Freeze in Freehold where you can find Bruce and (Jon) Bon Jovi stopping by on a whim in the summertime.

CIRE: We love a fun Jersey Shore weekend…with potential star sightings, to boot! What’s your favorite vacation destination?

JUNE:  I do love the beach as a vacation destination and after experiencing Star Clippers, Amalfi Coast and Sicily are up there on my list.  My all-time favorite spot to date is Ponza: the clear blue water, the beaches, and the grottos were spectacular.  You can even experience an ice cream boat pull-up with your favorite gelato. Being able to see the small intimate ports that big ships can’t access was just an incredible experience that I will never forget. Being on board with less than 200 guests provides an opportunity to meet people from all over the world, creating lifelong friendships sometimes. We were lucky enough to sail by Stromboli, a volcanic island, and it was erupting. Being on a smaller sailing ship, we had the flexibility to circle around a bit and get amazing photos.

CIRE: What an incredible thing to witness while traveling! How did you get into the travel business originally?

JUNE:  I got into the travel business out of college. My high school boyfriend’s mom was a travel agent and I always wanted to do that since I loved to travel so much as a kid. My family took a few vacations a year, we were very lucky to be able to do that. I was a travel advisor for 15 years, and I was able to be a stay-at-home mom to my 3 kids. Then I decided to try the other side of the business and work in business development. I got a job with Palace Resorts, later moving to Hilton Worldwide. I then took a position with Travel Leaders as a business solutions manager. Unfortunately, that’s when COVID hit. But then I was offered this opportunity with Star Clippers. I am truly blessed to be with such an amazing company and product.

CIRE: What a diverse career path! When you first joined Star Clippers, did they have any advice before your first sailing?

JUNE:  Try not to overpack! When I travel I overpack. I joke that I need over packers anonymous. I just cannot do a carry-on. When I first took this role with Star Clippers, they told me not to overpack, and to bring one bag! I said OK, I can do it. Well, I was home packing and stressing to no end. I said to myself “I must just be me”, so I brought everything but the kitchen sink!  I had an average size cabin, and everything fit perfectly. From my fan (because I am always hot at night), to my multi-plug extension cord to make sure my phone was charged to take pictures, to medications for the “what ifs” and lots of extra outfits. What can I say? I know all my colleagues do laugh at me, but I am “me”.

CIRE: We don’t judge, June! What’s one thing that most people are surprised to learn about Star Clippers?

JUNE:  One thing most people do not know about Star Clippers is that we are one of the only cruise lines that can still sail down the Venice Canal! That’s on my bucket list. How about yours?

CIRE: Well, it is now! Thank you, June! This was such an informative and fun “8 Questions!” See you soon!

CIRE Travel is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York, NY.  Our expert corporate travel planners, honeymoon travel agents, and luxury travel planners support clients across the country and around the world.

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