June 22, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Shore Staff
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 112 days
Before I get to some exciting news about Queen Elizabeth and also answer some of your many questions that you’ve been posting, we are very excited to announce that our Blog has won its first award. The great and the good of the online travel industry gathered at the 2010 TravelMole Web Awards last Friday, to celebrate its winners at the Canadian High Commission in central London. The great news is that WeAreCunard.com was awarded the accolade of Best Travel Blog. A lot of work goes in running the Blog and much of that is done by Shelley Turner back in Southampton who was at the ceremony to pick up the award.
TravelMole Managing Director Graham McKenzie said: “We just couldn’t believe the sheer numbers of nominations in each category – it just goes to show that this award ceremony is reflecting a growing sector of the travel industry that is just going from strength to strength.”
This is our 191st post and we are proud of the teamwork that goes in to making the Blog, so a big thank you to everyone involved from our Guest Bloggers to the team in Southampton, Richard, Matt and Shelley, but mostly to you our readers. You have given us many of our ideas and helped us shape the Blog over the last eighteen months, so thank you for all your support and encouragement.
Before I get to some more breaking news, I would like to answer a few of your questions. As the excitement builds and The World Awaits Queen Elizabeth, it was great to get such an amazing response to the recent posts on her progress and in particular her dining options.
The Verandah will indeed be a wonderful addition to our new Queen, and as many of you have spotted, it will be located on deck 2 in the Grand lobby (the space occupied by the Todd English restaurant on Queen Victoria), and yes it will be available to all guests for a small surcharge.
Preparing for the expansion of the Cunard Fleet, making it the youngest in the industry does create challenges for our Fleet Personnel department in Southampton, as they need to recruit and train over 1,000 new staff so they can continue the tradition of delivering Cunard’s legendary White Star Service. So to answer your question Barrie and Diane, this process has already begun with White Star Academies on both Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria hard at work welcoming new crewmembers to the Cunard family. In fact we are working on a special Blog which will give you an insight in to how this is coming on. So as many of our experienced crew members prepare to go to Queen Elizabeth, there will still be a wealth of talent on our other two ships as they gradually welcome new faces to the team.
Now for the breaking news about the Entertainment Programme on Queen Elizabeth. Cunard is renowned for the quality and variety of its on board entertainment and our President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks recently gave a sneak preview of what to expect on Queen Elizabeth.
Our new Queen will add an exciting element to Cunard’s entertainment programme, in the form of her Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company which will consist of a 21-strong team of singers, dancers and actors and which will be a first in the industry.
The theatre company will be staging a tremendous repertoire of shows from lavish musical productions to classic dramatic theatre, and more details of that to follow in a future blog.
Peter added: “The whole programme has not yet been settled on but is being designed to appeal to the sophisticated international audience who sail with us. Our research suggests that 50 minutes is about right for an evening show on board and the productions, which include some novel and exciting new ideas are being designed to fit that time period.”
As you can imagine I am very excited about heading up a department offering a number of new concepts and as soon as the programme has been finalised in the coming weeks I will give you the details.
That’s it for the moment but I’ll be back tomorrow with a Blog featuring Queen Victoria’s latest Star of the Month and then on Thursday I’ll be introducing a special guest Blog featuring the Youth Programme on Queen Mary 2 following a suggestion from CJ earlier this month.