November 25, 2010
We Are Cunard
Firstly welcome to another week of Blogging, and actually our 250th Blog! It’s amazing how time flies, but it’s been great to see how this Blog has developed, and more importantly to see how many readers we now have. Thanks as always for your comments and questions as well as to our guest Bloggers, and the team in Southampton, who work so hard to support us, but mostly to you for logging on.
As Queen Elizabeth heads to Southampton before her mini voyage to Amsterdam and Cherbourg this weekend, Queen Victoria is in Monte Carlo today, enjoying the last few days of her final Mediterranean voyage of the season. She will then head to Bremerhaven in Germany for her dry dock, and Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth will meet for the first time when they are in Southampton together on 1 December. Meanwhile Queen Mary 2 is just completing her first Caribbean Voyage of the season heading back to New York.
On this Blog we are featuring Queen Mary 2’s latest Star of the Month as well as some breaking news, but that’s all after this week in Cunard’s History for the week of 19 to 25 November.
Before Queen Mary 2’s latest Star of the Month here’s some exciting news. On the same day that the Royal Wedding details were released, Cunard were quick to announce that guests on board Cunard’s three Queens on 29 April 2011, the day of the Royal Wedding, would be able to enjoy the historic union of the future King and Kate Middleton.
The Royal Court Theatres on each ship will broadcast the event live via satellite and extra venues will be used on board if necessary, to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the magic of the day. All three Cunarders will be at sea on the day, with Queen Mary 2 between New York and Southampton, on a seven-night transatlantic crossing, while Queen Elizabeth will be heading for Southampton after her Canaries Voyage, and Queen Victoria will be in the Mediterranean.
The day will be one of celebration on all ships, with that evening’s dinner featuring a commemorative menu and a champagne toast. Peter Shanks, Cunard President and Managing Director, told me:
“Cunard is a company with an enviable heritage and unparalleled links to the Royal family – our ships were named wither by Her Majesty The Queen or by her apparent successor, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. It follows then that our passengers are likely to have an above average interest in the pageantry of a Royal wedding. We intend to cater for that and ensure they do not miss one minute. Royal weddings don’t happen that often and with our impeccable Royal connections we intend to ensure that our red ensign ships lead the British merchant marine in marking this momentous day”
What a day that’ll be and it looks like I’ll be On Queen Elizabeth on that day, so we’ll make sure it’s a very special celebration.
Now to our Guest blog from Dominique Damerell who is the White Star Trainer on Queen Mary 2, with news of their latest Star of the Month.
<br>White Star Trainer
<br>Queen Mary 2
I am pleased to announce that Dennis Enriquez, Queen Mary 2’s Linen Keeper, was selected as our ship’s White Star of the month, for his invaluable contribution and commitment to White Star Service. His photo is proudly displayed in Queen Mary 2’s Grand Lobby for the month.
He has served the internal customers of our ship’s company with dedication and passion, fulfilling a demanding, and by no means easy position. When I refer to the internal customer I am talking about our invaluable crew; the fact that he serves every crew member and officer with dignity, respect and courtesy. Dennis was somewhat thrown into the deep end when he was selected to cover the position as a relief for the permanent Linen Keeper, who had to return home suddenly.
Dennis expertly stepped into the position and I can assure you, not one of our crew members would have known that any change had taken place in the Laundry. This exceedingly busy department functions like a well oiled machine, and can only run like clockwork through combined team work, diligence and a commitment to perfection. All Cunard crew members believe in being immaculate at all times, and we wear our uniforms with the utmost pride. When we first arrive on board we are issued with sufficient uniform to last a full seven day cycle, which means every crewmember has freshly laundered uniform for each day of the week. With over 1,200 crewmembers on Queen Mary 2, that’s a lot of laundry!
I have always marvelled at how this all comes together and working closely with Dennis whilst writing this article, I can only sing the praises of this extremely efficient team. This was recognised by his fellow crewmembers as well as the on board White Star Committee, and here he is receiving his well earned reward from Commodore Bernard Warner. Also in the photo from left to right are Hotel Manager, John Duffy and Executive Housekeeper, Colin Watson;
Dennis and his family come from the Philippines and his brother was the first member of the Enriquez family to join Queen Mary 2 with Dennis soon following in his footsteps. Dennis was a Restaurant Manager for three years prior to joining Queen Mary 2 in 2008. His first job was as Crew Utility, which involves working hard in the crew areas of the ship, ensuring that the crew accommodation, mess and recreation rooms are always meticulous. He was then promoted to Crew Housekeeping Utility No 1; a position of leadership and great responsibility for someone who has only been with Cunard for two years.
Naturally stepping into the position of Linen keeper was a daunting task but such is the nature of Dennis and his professional commitment, it would appear that he is a natural to responsibility.
Dennis is married to, Maria Celine who is a school nurse back at home in Bulacan province.
Dennis and Maria married in February this year and hope to start a family when Dennis is back home on his next well deserved vacation. Both come from very close families and enjoy their precious time together and here’s Dennis with his family:
Working for Cunard has helped Dennis purchase his first car and a house, which is also shared by a dog and numerous fish. When relaxing at home. Dennis and Maria enjoy working on the house and garden, driving the new car, singing and working with children. His great love is singing as he has a beautiful voice, and he was a church choir boy when he was growing up. Dennis also enjoys basketball immensely but has admitted that height is a problem!
Dennis told me he feels he is working on the greatest ocean liner of all time, and that Cunard is the finest company to be a part of. He is a proud and worthy member of our ship’s company and I believe that he has a wonderful career ahead of him.
Our White Star Program is a combined effort of communication, reward and recognition by the company for our incredible crew and their tireless efforts in maintaining Cunard for what it is today. I firmly believe that it is our passionate crew working in a positive and rewarding environment, that creates our legendary service excellence; after all this is why we are here and why we have all chosen to look after Cunard Guests. Each and every one of us is committed to providing the finest possible experience to our guests, regardless of whether we are directly serving our guests or conscientiously working behind the scenes.
Thank you Dominique for another wonderful Guest Blog which highlights the commitment of those crewmembers our guests rarely see, but without whom, White Star Service couldn’t be what it is.
That’s it for this Blog, but I’ll be back next week with more news from around the Cunard Fleet. I’m actually leaving Queen Elizabeth tomorrow for a very short break, returning for the Christmas Voyage on 14 December. Amanda Reid will be on Queen Elizabeth before she transfers back to Queen Victoria for her Christmas Voyage. With the help of my colleagues on board, I’ll keep posting stories and keep you up to date with everything. Cheers for now, Alastair