August 20, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 383days
I know readers always like to hear about the behind the scenes aspects of ship’s life, so it’s great to hear that this month’s “Star of the Month” on Queen Mary 2 is crew member who works in an area where many of his colleagues take time to relax in their spare time. More of that in a moment but firstly thank you as always for your comments and your questions, many of which are centered on our eagerly awaited new Queen. I understand we can expect some more news about her progress and some other announcements very soon, but in the meantime I’d like to respond to Carol Kane’s question. Although I don’t profess to be an expert on such matters, I understand the water treatment plant on Queen Elizabeth will be similar to the ones on Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2, although with each new ship there are often technical innovations making them even more advanced. How this all works is frequent question so I would thoroughly recommend attending a lecture conducted on many voyages by the Environmental Officer, but I’ll try and get an interview with one of them on this Blog soon.
Before we talk to Queen Mary 2’s Star, here’s “This week in Cunard’s History” for the week, 21st to the 27th August:
August 22 1925
Carinthia begins her Maiden Voyage and is the first Cunarder designed for Winter Voyages and was painted completely white
August 26 2007
Queen Victoria ends her first set of sea trials and goes to the Trieste Dry Dock
August 26 2007
Cunard names the senior officers who will lead the inaugural team for Queen Victoria
August 27 2008
Queen Victoria makes maiden call at Monte Carlo
As you will know a key part of Cunard’s White Star Service Programme is when each month Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria recognise a “Star of the Month”. (You can read more about how the Programme works in the 7th of May Blog). Because the White Star Programme operates throughout the ship and includes those crew members who are not necessarily directly in contact with our guests, literally any crew member can win the award. This month’s winner on Queen Mary 2 was Gerjune Danuco, who works as the Crew Bartender.
He received numerous nominations from fellow crewmembers, who felt he was a true example of White Star Service, with his tireless work looking after his colleagues in the ship’s Crew Bar. Here he is receiving his award with (right to left), Captain Bates, Stefan Engl (Manager), Steven Carter (Food and Beverage Supervisor) and Beniamino Acler (Senior Maitre’D).
Gerjune grew up in the south of the Philippines, and now with his wife Venus, has his own family and is very proud of his two year old daughter, Juve Rich.
Gerjune was keen to work for Cunard but had to wait at home in Manila for two years before he could join Queen Mary 2, as his first ship, in 2004. Although he is currently a Crew Bartender he is hoping he will soon receive a promotion to Bar Waiter, and becoming Star of the Month will certainly help him.
His faith is very important to him, so he begins every day by signing a cross. On sea days he will work in the Crew Bar at lunchtime and he helps in the Crew Mess on port days. His main responsibility normally begins at 5.00pm when he picks up the provisions from the stores and sets up for the evening. He says he loves his job and takes pride in what he does, ensuring his colleagues, most of whom look after our guests, also receive great service in their leisure time.
Like most crew members spare time on board means a rest, meeting up with friends or watching television and when he gets the opportunity he loves to take part in sports.
I asked him what “We Are Cunard” means to him and he told me; “Well, I think we are legendary, elegant, memorable – something to be proud of.”
Along with the recognition of being the Star of the Month, there is a cash prize. For the moment, Gerjune doesn’t have anything he wants to spend it on, so he has put it in his bank account. For the future his main hopes are that his family is healthy and happy, and may be eventually he will be able to have his own business, at home in the Philippines.
Gerjune added that he would like to say; “Thank you to my Cunard family, to the Officers, Staff and to my beloved fellow crewmembers for giving me the recognition and award. Again, thank you so much, I really appreciate it – Bon voyage Queen Mary 2.”
Thank you Gerjune, for taking the time to chat to us and of course we congratulate him again for being a true Star.
I’ll be back again very soon with an interview with Peter Shanks and a special report from Queen Mary 2 as well as lots of other news. I will be back on board Queen Victoria on the 2nd of September (Warren Smith will be going on a well deserved holiday), so I look forward to seeing many of you who have written in over the coming months – and yes I’ll be hosting a Bloggers meeting every voyage as usual. Cheers for now. Alastair