March 15, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Ship's Company
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 210 days
As the World Voyages for 2010 continue, Queen Victoria is now heading for Vietnam and Queen Mary 2 is crossing the Indian Ocean for her maiden call to Mauritius. In addition to the many extra events and activities we do that mark the special nature of a World Voyage, we also maintain the very important elements of our White Star Service programme like celebrating our Star of the Month.
As many of you will know, the title is awarded to just one crew member per ship each month, as a result of guest and crew feedback, and then consideration by our on board White Star Committees. On this Blog we alternate ships, for which “Star of the Month” we feature, and this month it’s the turn of Queen Victoria. Each star has their photo displayed prominently in the Grand Lobby for guests to see, so here’s the one currently on Queen Victoria; Laundry Master Tito Rosales.
As Laundry Master, Tito oversees the whole laundry operation on board Queen Victoria. He has the huge responsibility of maintaining the highest possible standard in an essential part of the ship’s operation. Reporting to the Executive Housekeeper, he manages nineteen members of staff and liaises with the ships engineers to ensure all the machines that wash, dry and iron clothes and linen, are able to keep working around the clock. It’s quite a job when you look at the statistics. On linen change day Tito and his team wash, dry and iron over 2,800 sheets. Also on a daily basis the laundry washes and dries a staggering:
· 2,200 bath towels
· 700 bath mats
· 2,800 hand towels
· 5,000 face cloths
Here’s the main laundry on Queen Victoria with linen coming in and out throughout the day.
Tito and his team look after guests’ personal laundry as well as being responsible for the cleaning and tailoring of the uniforms for all 1,000 of Queen Victoria’s crew. For example to keep our chefs looking immaculate they clean over 360 pieces of uniform a day, and over 600 articles for the Bar and Restaurant Staff. Here you can see uniforms ready for our crew to put on fresh each day:
Tito was born in Cebu, Philippines, which he describes as a lovely island, surrounded with white sandy beaches, located in the northern part of Malapascua Island. Because of its natural beauty, it is one of the Philippines’ top tourist destinations. He met his wife, Rose in Manila and then he built their house in Caloocan City.
They now have three children Mariz 19, Louie 15, and Mae 10.
Tito started working as Laundry Man in Teves Dry cleaning and Steam laundry in Makati City in the Philippines in 1986, and then worked in Saudi Arabia for three different laundry establishments for almost five years during which time he gained his first supervisory position. But then the sea beckoned, as he decided to apply to an agency in the Philippines to work as Laundry Man on board passenger ships.
In 1998 Tito began his career at sea on one our sister company’s ships; P&O’s Oriana. He stayed there for ten years during which time he was promoted to Assistant Linen Keeper and consequently, Linen Keeper. In 2008, he joined Cunard as Laundry Man and after just one year was promoted to Laundry Master.
Tito starts work at 7:30am and begins his day by checking all areas of his responsibility such as the machines and linen stocks as well as looking over the area to ensure everything is in order. After mustering his day staff, he assesses the work load and organises the day’s work, which is always very busy.
During his time off he enjoys relaxing in his cabin either watching TV or a movie and likes to call his family at home regularly. During port days, he likes to go ashore whenever possible to go sightseeing or to the beach or even better a good Chinese restaurant, when he can find one.
I asked him what “We are Cunard” meant to him and he told me; “It means that we are all part of legendary service in our industry with the White Star Service principles applied in every aspect of the job we perform on board whether we are directly or indirectly looking after our guests. As we work behind the scenes I think it’s important to support our colleagues who do look after our guests”.
Our White Star winners never know they have won until they arrive at a very special presentation, where the nominees are read out by the on board White Star Committee Chairman, Hotel Manager, Jacqui Hodgson. When Tito heard the runners up and he finally realised he must be the winner as he was the only person left to be announced. Here’s Tito receiving his award, with (from left to right), Captain Paul Wright, Tito, Hotel Manager, Jacqui Hodgson, and ExecutiveHousekeeper, Thelma Rojas.
He also won a cash prize, and Tito told me he will be savingsome of hiswinnings,but will also spend a small amount on something special that will become a valuable memory to him so that in the future he can be reminded of his achievement.
As for the future Tito told me; “I dream that one day all my three children will be able to finish their college degrees. That is one of my greatest wishes for them, and the reason why I have chosen to work so hard. Once I have fulfilled these dreams I will feel relieved and relaxed.”
When I was chatting to Tito he asked me to help him pass on his thanks: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who believed in my knowledge and ability to perform my duty: Jaime Masing, Rosa Christiner, Andrea Keiser, Thelma Rojas, Mornay the Shop Manager, my Laundry Staff, Linen Keeper and of course the White Star Committee headed by the Captain and Hotel Manager. My sincere thanks to everyone; after all, “WE ARE CUNARD”.
Thank you Tito for a great interview. What a great way to end the Blog for today. In fact Tito has just gone home on a well deserved leave, so he’ll be able to read this at home and celebrate with his family who I am sure will be very proud of his achievement. I’ll be back on Wednesday with some great pictures of Queen Mary 2 as well as news of a special visitor to our flagship recently in Sydney. Cheers for now, Alastair