April 3, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Hopefully the title of this special Blog is a little intriguing!
Firstly I hosted the first Bloggers meeting on Queen Victoria this week, which gave me an opportunity to meet guests who have been reading the Blog and get some feedback from them. It was a modest but informative group of five, and they gave me great food for thought. When I’m on board these meetings will become a regular feature, so if you are joining us at some time in the future, please look out for them, and of course I look forward to meeting you.
Meanwhile at some stage of the day last Wednesday, you will probably have realised that it was April fool’s Day. The question is; were you caught out? It’s a long standing tradition on Cunard ships to enter the spirit of the occasion and this year we had a lot of fun as usual. In previous years there have been some wonderful spoofs, from icebergs being dragged to Dubai to help with their water shortage, to ask guests to keep clear of the Lido deck as the mail was being delivered to the ship by helicopter! On Queen Victoria last year we offered guests guided tours to a unique feature on Cunard’s latest liner – a glass panel on the ship’s hull. We weren’t sure how many would go for it but we gave out nearly 300 tickets (which informed guests they had been April fooled!)
This year we got a little carried away with a few ideas. We placed this notice in the Daily Programme: –
I’m not sure how many did go and check but we did receive a complaint from a guest asking why the work hadn’t started yet! I know you are going to say what a great idea it would be……. Well perhaps in the future – you never know. Meanwhile we also had another special offer on the front page of our Daily Programme:
It hopefully looks plausible and again a great idea. However we thought that the phrase “take the helm” may have rung alarm bells, but no, we had lots of takers. In fact we heard the night before, (when the Daily Programmes are delivered to Guest Staterooms, that one guest was planning to be there early so he could guarantee being the first in the queue. So that we didn’t keep people waiting too long, I arrived 45 minutes early at 8.45am with the Sports Director Chris Thomas, to set up our hospitality desk. We were greeted by 15 enthusiastic guests eager to be the first to sign up and here’s Chris handing taking signups and giving out confirmations slips, (which informed guests they had been April Fooled!).
Just over an hour later we had over 325 signatures! The atmosphere was very good spirited, and it was fun to watch guests who had been caught already enjoying the moment watching others realising they too had fallen for it.
Meanwhile I asked Amanda Reid (who has joined Queen Mary 2 for a few weeks to cover the Assistant Entertainment Director role), whether they did anything for April Fools Day on board. She told me that Captain Bates made an announcement early that morning as they arrived in Civitavecchia, (the port for Rome) that the local currency had changed as from midnight the night before from Euros to a new currency due to the financial crisis hitting Italy. An immediate queue formed at the Purser’s Desk with guests asking to change money. This was despite the fact that Captain Bates mentioned the new currency was called the Pizza and it took five of them to equal the value of one Euro!
All good fun and I am pleased to say on both our ships a good sense of humour prevailed – so now we just have to think up something for next year, so if you are thinking of joining us – beware! Meanwhile I’ll be back on Thursday with the regular weekly Blog with more news as we come towards the end of our 2009 World Cruises.
Cheers for now – Alastair