Federico Berardinucci is one of the newest stars at Uniworld River Cruises.
As district sales manager for Eastern Canada, he’s responsible for managing agency sales for his region, answering emails from travel agents and making sure agents are up to speed with all things Uniworld.
“I really love helping people out when they need it!” Berardinucci tells PAX. “It gives me satisfaction knowing I made someone’s day that much better.”
The new gig has given the travel pro an opportunity to see amazing destinations that he otherwise would never get to experience, he says.
You could say Berardinucci has always worked in travel. At age 22, he got his big break at Pottruff & Smith (now Manulife Financial).
But it was a string of odd jobs throughout school that helped him prepare for the real world, such as delivering newspapers, working at KFC, answering phones at a Pizzaville Call Centre, and facilitating car rentals at Discount Car Rental & Hertz.
Here, PAX checks in with Berardinucci to chat about cologne, Gordon Ramsay’s “mouthwatering” steaks and his biggest travel pet peeve.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Federico Berardinucci (FB): Chuck Taylors (they are compact and comfortable), Cologne (I love my fragrances) and good vibes!
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
FB: I got to experience some amazing destinations over the past year. I would say Barbados due to the people being amazingly friendly and the country being super safe. Grenada is my second favourite spot. I loved this volcanic island because of its scenery. It's stunning!
PAX: What’s your favourite airport?
FB: Do people really like airports? I must say that most of my travels have been in North America and The Caribbean. If I had to choose, I would say Atlanta. It’s modern and has great places to eat and shop.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
FB: My first vacation was Cuba. I remember it like it was yesterday. We met some amazing people from Quebec and I got the nickname "lobster" since my face was always red. I have definitely learned to use sunscreen over the years.
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
FB: It wasn't a huge spend but I once ordered a watch in Las Vegas that I had them deliver to the concierge desk at the hotel. I feel that whatever you find abroad we have here in Canada (for the most part).
PAX: What’s the most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten while travelling?
FB: I preach by it and it’s a staple every time I go to Vegas: Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris Hotel. One of the best steaks I have ever had - it's mouthwatering. The steaks are aged for 30 days in their Himalayan Salt Room, which makes it so tender that it melts in your mouth. Not to mention their service is unlike any other.
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
FB: People who take off their shoes and socks on the plane (but why?)
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
FB: I am kind of computer geek, so maybe computers. I also play soccer, but that's not really hidden. Wait, I can roll my tongue. Does that count?
PAX: Checked bag or carry-on?
FB: Short trips, carry-on (four days or less). Anything longer than four days, you bet, a checked is coming with me. When I first started travelling I only used to check in a luggage. I used to get made fun of, saying I needed a luggage just for my cologne (which is kind of true).
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
FB: I must say my travel has been pretty uneventful. I do laugh, because every time I travel, the tallest person on the plane tends to sit beside me. Now if I could only predict lottery numbers the same way...
PAX: What are some things travel agents should be aware of right now in regards to Uniworld?
FB: All I have to say is U River Cruises. We are now offering themed cruises, catering to all demographics and experiences. To learn more, don't hesitate to contact me.