April 19, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 176 days
As Queen Victoria heads home to Southampton completing her 2010 World voyage, she’ll be meeting up with her sister once more in her home port. Before I get to this post about some of Queen Victoria’s Crew members, you may be interested in an article I saw in a newspaper this week, especially if you are able to make a visit to Southampton on Thursday.
People in port city are apparently invited to a free, grandstand view of our two Queens and a special waterfront tea party in the port. The Mayor of Southampton, Elizabeth Mizon, together with Associated British Ports (ABP), owners and operators of the city’s docks, will host the charity event on Thursday. A limited number of free tickets are available from Southampton’s Tourist Information Centre opposite the Civic Centre and from ABP’s reception at Ocean Gate in the Eastern Docks. If you can’t make it personally you can always keep an eye on our bridge cams on these links.
Queen Mary 2 http://www.cunard.co.uk/bridgecam/qm2_cam1.asp
Queen Victoria http://www.cunard.co.uk/bridgecam/qv_cam1.asp
They say a life a sea is in the blood, well that’s certainly true for one family that I see every day here on Queen Victoria. Luz Torres, from the Philippines, is one of our very hard working Bedroom Stewardesses and she told me about her family.
Before coming to sea Luz ran a successful slimming salon in Manila when one of her clients, who ran a recruitment company, asked if she would like to get paid to see the world. That was in 1988 and Luz told me that it seemed a great proposition and not long afterwards she found herself on the Royal Viking Sun. She worked on different ships before becoming part of the inaugural team on Queen Mary 2 in 2004.
Meanwhile her daughter Rochelle Padpad, (which ironically in English means “Flying”!), works in the Officers Mess where she is part of the team serving Queen Victoria’s officers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Rochelle is the eldest of three girls and having completed a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, she joined Queen Mary 2. While she was on Queen Mary 2 Rochelle met her future husband Tito Padpad, who also joined Queen Mary 2 for the set up of the ship.
Tito works as an Assistant Butler and he says that his marriage to Rochelle just shows that love can blossom on the high seas. Although married life on a ship has its challenges, Rochelle told me Cunard do their best to keep them together on the same ship. Mind you they also have Luz in the next door cabin to keep an eye on them! They now have a beautiful two year old daughter Almira Thea, who is looked after by Rochelle’s youngest sister Trachelle at home in the Philippines.
Luz also has another daughter, Maricel who also worked for Royal Viking Line, and while there met her husband and they currently work for another cruise line. As you can imagine family reunions are rather infrequent, but Luz told me she is incredibly proud of her three daughters and is very happy that she is at least able to see one of them regularly. Here are Rochelle and Luz together at work and play.
Rochelle and Luz were very excited recently when Trachelle, Maricel, her husband Patrickandtheir three year old daughter Chelsea Mariez were able to sail on Queen Victoria between Hong Kong and Singapore. They brought Rochelle and Tito’s daughter with them as well so it was a very special time for them all, as it was the first time in five years that Luz, Maricel and Rochelle had been together.
Maricel and Patrick had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the ship. Here they are on a formal night going to a show in the Royal Court theatre with Chelsea Mariez and Almira Thea
In their spare time they managed to spend some family time ashore in ports and to share a family meal. Here they are in Hong Kong from left to right, Tito, Rochelle, Trachelle, Almira Thea, Maricel, Chelsea Mariez and Luz
Trachelle looks after the family three bedroomed bungalow style house, which is in an area with many seafarers, so they have good company and lots of support. Luz said that it may not be a big house, but is large enough considering that the whole family are rarely there at the same time so it actually works really well. As well as the children, Trachelle also lives with Luz’s 84 year old mother, and they have a live in maid who helps around the house.
Luz told me that when they get home after a long contract they will have about six weeks holiday, and the first thing they do is to leave the alarm clock in the suitcase! The next day they’ll go for a massage and of course church on Sunday. She said they are very fortunate to have a maid at home, as she takes care of all the cooking when they are on holiday so the family can really relax. She told me they like to do as little as possible when spending time with the family, simply eating, sleeping, going to the beach and of course shopping.
As for the future Rochelle would like her daughter to become a Pediatrician. Well we wish the whole family good luck in their futures, and of course a big thank you for sharing their story.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with some great pictures of Queen Victoria’s third transit through the Suez Canal and on Thursday when both ships arrive in Southampton for the day, we’ll celebrate Queen Mary 2’s latest star of the month. In the meantime please do keep your comments coming in. Cheers for now Alastair.