November 12, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Company News
It’s been a great week for Cunard, as the company has received more accolades, which is always a boost for those of us on board as well as those who support the ships from the shore side. Before I pass over to Richard Curtis (Cunard’s Head of Marketing) for his guest Blog, here’s what’s happening on board. Queen Victoria is currently enjoying the Mediterranean sunshine, with the highlight of this voyage, for many, being the return to Venice, the second of just two visits this year. (We will be arriving at about 0730 GMT, if you would like to watch the arrival on the Bridge Cam). Queen Mary 2 is also heading for the sun and once she arrives in New York on the 17th, after the final westbound crossing of the year, she’ll be heading down to the Caribbean for the next couple of months before beginning her 2010 World Voyage in January. Thank you again for all your comments especially on last week’s post which celebrated the careers of two great Cunarders. I have some more nostalgic stories on the way, as well as what is happening on board at the moment. Meanwhile here’s this week in Cunard’s history, for the week 13th to the 19th November
14 November 1949Caronia arrives in Liverpool for her first annual overhaul which takes 3 weeks
15 November 1997 QE2 makes her maiden call at Miami, USA
15 November 2008 Queen Victoria makes maiden call at Dikili, Turkey
16 November 1950Caronia arrives in Liverpool for her annual “Overhaul”
19 November 1968 QE2 moves to the dry-dock in Greenock, before beginning sea trials. HRH Prince Charles becomes the first civilian to board the ship.
To tell you about the great news this week, it’s a pleasure to introduce Richard Curtis for this special celebratory guest Blog: –
Through the decades Cunard has always been proud to receive good feedback from our travelling guests and we are fortunate in the amount we receive. The fact that so many regular guests continue to return year after year, and that so many recommend us to others is always very encouraging. In fact the number of guests saying they would like to travel with us again and that they would recommend us to a friend is consistently over 95%. In addition to the feedback we receive directly from our guests, feedback and recognition also comes through the various awards we win and this year has been a vintage year in that respect.
Already this year we have been recognised as being the very best by the readers of both The Daily Telegraph and Conde Nast Traveller in the U.K. and have been recognised by Travel Weekly and Travel & Leisure in the U.S.
To add to the collection, last week Cunard was awarded Best Cruise Line 2009 at the annual British Travel Awards in London. These prestigious awards recognise the very best in the UK travel industry and are voted for by both consumers and travel agents.
Below is a picture of a very proud Peter Shanks, President and Managing Director of Cunard, collecting the award.
Peter commented; “It’s the big one! The best thing is that I can go and tell all my staff on Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria the news that they have been recognised by guests as the best cruise line. It’s a great achievement!”
I could not agree more, our teams on board do a fantastic job in delivering that quintessential and very special Cunard experience. In addition to our wonderful people we are also fortunate in boasting the youngest fleet on the oceans, even before the arrival of Queen Elizabeth next year.
The day following the British Travel Awards I was lucky enough to attend the annual Hotel Catey Awards in London, which reward the very best people in the hotel business. As someone who has spent many years working for international hotel groups prior to joining Cunard, I know just how prestigious the Catey Awards really are; they are acknowledged in the U.K. as the ultimate accolade anyone can receive during their career, and this year two Cunard team members were recognised and shortlisted as amongst the very top 3 or 4 people in the hospitality business.
Stefan Engl, Food and Beverage Manager on board Queen Mary 2, was shortlisted as Food and Beverage Manager of the Year. Stefan was born in Innsbruck Austria, but now lives in Thailand. He joined Cunard in 2003 and has sailed on Caronia, Queen Elizabeth 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Mary 2. The second person to be recognised was Mandy Meth, from the Canyon Ranch Spa on Queen Mary 2, who was shortlisted as the Spa Professional of the Year. Mandy is South African and currently lives in Durban. She first joined Queen Mary 2 in December 2003, has remained on board since then. Here is a picture of Stefan and Mandy at the awards ceremony.
Many of you will have met Stefan and Mandy and I am sure you will agree that their recognition is very well deserved. They are just two examples of the many wonderful crew who work on board and whom make me feel so proud whenever I am lucky enough to sail on one of our beautiful liners. We are nearly at the end of this year’s award season and I look forward to another vintage year in 2010!
Thank you very much Richard, great news indeed. Well I’ll be back tomorrow – yes that soon – with a Breaking News story with some new pictures of Queen Elizabeth in Italy. On Monday I’ll be posting a special interview with Ronnie Kier, Chief Engineer on Queen Victoria. Cheers for now, Alastair