February 24, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 235 days
Following on from the appointment of Captain Christopher Wells as Master of the new Queen Elizabeth, I am pleased to let readers of this blog know, that this morning Cunard Line issued a press release which gave details of four Senior Officers, who have been appointed to join Queen Elizabeth when she enters service on 12 October this year, which is less than 34 weeks away.
These are the details of the newly appointed Officers, as given in yesterday’s press release:
Robert Howie, Hotel Manager
Fife-born Robert Howie brings almost 25 years of experience – on land and at sea – to his new post as Hotel Manager aboard Queen Elizabeth. He held the position of Food and Beverage Manager aboard Queen Mary 2 in the ocean liner’s inaugural year and was then promoted to the prestigious position of Hotel Manager on Cunard’s flagship in 2005. Robbie was also the first Hotel Manager on board Queen Victoria when she entered service in December 2007. As Hotel Manager, Robert is in charge of all on board operations including housekeeping, food and beverage, entertainment and human resources. Prior to joining Cunard, Howie had served in senior managerial food and beverage positions for Princess Cruises, both shoreside and on board, since 1990.
Hamish Sunter, Staff Captain
Despite his Scottish forename, Hamish Sunter is proud to be a Yorkshireman. Halifax-born Captain Sunter joined Cunard in 1990 as an officer on Cunard Princess where he remained for three years. He also obtained his Master’s Certificate at this time. In 1993 he was transferred to QE2 as Junior First Officer and left that ship as Chief Officer in 1998. After two years Hamish was keen to go back to sea, which he did in 2000 with P&O Cruises and sailed as First Officer on several of their ships. He returned to Cunard as Chief Officer on Queen Mary 2 in October 2005. He rejoined QE2 as Staff Captain in December 2006 and has also served in that capacity on board Queen Victoria.
Colin Black, Chief Engineer
Colin Black, from East Lothian, joined P&O/Princess Cruises in 1990 as a CPO Mechanic on board Royal Princess. He subsequently moved up the ranks to First Engineer prior to being given the responsibility for the new build of Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess, followed by Ocean Princess. In 2001 he was seconded to the Southampton Office working within the new build department. In 2002 he moved across to P&O Cruises serving on board Oriana, Aurora and then the new Arcadia. Colin’s first appointment as Chief Engineer was on board Tahitian Princess in 2006 and her sister ship Pacific Princess. In 2007 he was assigned as Technical Fleet Services Project Manager for Queen Victoria thereafter taking over as Chief Engineer.
Alastair Greener, Entertainment Director
Alastair Greener from near Marlborough – about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK – has a love of both the sea and stage, characteristics that will serve him well as he prepares to join Queen Elizabeth as Entertainment Director. Alastair has also served as Cruise Director on both Queen Mary 2 and QE2 and was the first Entertainment Director on board Queen Victoria.
Currently he is the face of the ‘We Are Cunard’ Blog, which is the site to visit for all the latest news on this new Cunarder. He was also asked to represent CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as a media tour spokesperson. Alastair is a member of the British Actors’ Union and has appeared in a wide range of film, theatre and television productions. Prior to Cunard, Greener had joined Princess Cruises in 1997 and served on eight ships within the fleet.
On confirming the appointments, Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, said:
“Our guests will be delighted to find so many ‘old friends’ aboard Cunard’s newest ship. One of our distinguishing characteristics is the number and frequency of our repeat guests and they will truly appreciate ‘coming home’ to these familiar faces.”
For me, it’s a real honour to be selected to head up the Entertainment department on Queen Elizabeth, and I look forward to the challenges the position will bring as well as being part of Cunard history. It does mean I’ll be very busy with the job in hand as well as continuing to host this Blog but I’m very excited about this year and of course bringing you all the news as it happens.
I’m also looking forward to working with a great team and over the coming weeks, I’ll be interviewing my colleagues, Robert Howie, Hamish Sunter and Colin Black so you can get to know the senior officers who will be heading up Queen Elizabeth’s ship’s company. I’ll start next week with an exclusive interview with Captain Chris Wells who is travelling on Queen Victoria at the moment. I’ll be back on Thursday with an amazing but true story from Queen Mary 2. Cheers Alastair