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The Latest Cunard Stars Receive Their Awards

March 22, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

Welcome to another busy week of blogging and more news from around the Cunard World. As Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 enjoy Asian ports on their World Voyages, Queen Victoria has returned to the Caribbean as she concludes her very successful Americas Season.

It’s been such a busy time blogging that I realised we haven’t told you about Cunard’s most recent Stars for a while. As a regular feature, we like to let you know about our Cunard’s Stars, where every month on each of our three Queens, one crew member per ship is awarded the title of Star of the Month. The award is a result of guest and crew feedback, and then consideration by our on board White Star Committees.

Following from last month, I’m delighted to introduce Cunard’s latest stars.

Queen Victoria

Attila Verdo – Lido Maitre D’hôtel

Being the Maitre D’hôtel of the Lido is a demanding job which involves looking after a very busy dining area that operates around the clock, so it was great to see that Attila was nominated for all his hard work and commitment to White Star Service.

Attila was born in north east Hungary, where the famous Tokaji Aszu dessert wine comes from.  He is married and Attila and his wife are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first baby, which he hopes will be a boy!

Attila started working at sea in 1996 on the original Love Boat.  He joined Cunard in 2007 as part of the opening team for Queen Victoria, as a Senior Waiter.  Attila has since worked in the Princess and Queens Grills and as for the future; his dream is to become the Senior Maitre D’hôtel some day.

According to his colleagues, nothing is ever too much trouble for Attila and he always finds a positive way to overcome any challenges. They added that he has an excellent attitude towards our guests as well as his colleagues and is a true team player.

Attila  told me that his favorite part of his job is taking pride in delivering White Star Service to our guests, and he is also known for making the best crepes suzette on Queen Victoria!

Here he is accepting his award from Captain Inger Olsen, with Senior Maitre D’hôtel, Osman Pinaolglu, Hotel Manager, Jacqui Hodgson and Food & Beverage Manager, Stefan Engl.

Attila’s favorite hobby is football, but when he is at home on leave he spends as much of his time as possible with his wife and friends, particularly now as they prepare for their baby’s arrival.

Queen Mary 2

Jeffrey Calija – Spa Attendant

Jeffrey has been working as a Spa Attendant for seven years and is from Las Pinas City in the Philippines, which is known for its Bamboo Organ Festival. He has been married to Remy Matimtim for nine years and they now have two children, seven year old Christian and Christine, who is five.

Before joining Cunard he worked for Globe Telecom as a Sales Associate and Supervisor and started to work for Cunard in December 2001. His first position was on Caronia as a Galley Utility, before moving to the housekeeping department.

He told me that he really likes his current job because he is able to meet many interesting people, and he feels by just talking to our guests, he has learned a lot about his own personal life.

The Canyon Ranch Spa Manager Mandy Meth, told me; “The whole spa team felt that Jeffrey was very deserving of the Star of the Month award. The spa attendants are constantly busy throughout the day and the staff noticed that Jeffrey consistently goes above and beyond his usual duties. For example while collecting towels in the gym he always takes the time to show guests how to operate the equipment, which is not his responsibility. He also exceeds guests’ expectations by offering to take their swimwear to be dried” She added that Jeffrey is a very cheerful person and his excellent customer service is reflected in the amount of White Star comments he receives from our guests.

Here’s Jeffrey receiving his well deserved award from Captain Paul Wright, with Hotel Manager David Stephenson and Canyon Ranch Spa Manager Mandy Meth.

In his spare time on board Jeffrey likes to read magazines about history, national geography and computers. He also likes to play cards and he hopes that he may get promoted sometime to a higher position within the housekeeping department. He also wanted to add that he considers working with Cunard a privilege that he will cherish for the rest of his life.

Queen Elizabeth

Jayadev Alapati (Jay) Assistant Printer.

As the Assistant Printer on board Jay works closely with the Chief printer and between them they are responsible for pretty much everything that gets printed on board, which includes the Daily Programme, Newspapers, Menus, etc.  Although he does most of the physical printing Jay sometimes gets the opportunity to design as well.

From a printing family in Hyderabad in India, Jay is still a student and he is currently on an Internship at Cunard. He told me that this is his first real job and Cunard is the first company he has ever worked for. He added that he has always loved travelling and when he found out about this job, where he could travel and do what he loves most, he couldn’t have been happier. Jay was part of the inaugural team on Queen Elizabeth, joining the ship in Monfalcone in September, and like most of us on board he loves that fact that he gets to wake up in a different city almost every day.

Jay was nominated for the award by his colleagues and guests, after he helped a lady to use her iPhone, so she could email and text her family while away. Jay has also been instrumental in simplifying some of the Print Shop processes and he constantly delivers high quality service by taking on any request and following it through ensuring guest satisfaction.  Here’s Jay receiving his award from Captain Julian Burgess with Hotel Manager, Robert Howie, Chief Purser, Tracy Riley and Chief Printer, Andrew Berghauser;

Afterwards Jay told me how excited he was at winning the award; “Every day when I went to work I walk by the board that has the picture of White Star of the Month on it along with all the nominees, and I always hoped that someday I would be up there too. When I found out that I had actually won, I was so surprised and happy”. He added; “This is my first real job and in my first five months I have won the Star of the Month, so I’m pretty excited.

Jay went on leave last week and returned to America to continue with his studies. But he told me that once he has graduated this summer, he’s looking forward to hopefully coming back and maybe even as Chief Printer. He said he would like to stay for a few years at sea, then go back to college and get an MBA, and eventually join his father’s printing business back home in India.

Congratulations to all of this month’s winners and of course I’ll bring you our next month’s winners in a few weeks time. Well that’s it for the moment but I’ll be back later in the week with some news from Queen Elizabeth as she continues her Maiden World Voyage in Asia.  Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alastair,
    Once again this Blog shows how diverse the work is on all three Queens.
    Each of the “Stars of the Month” obviously demonstrate such great passion and attention to detail for their roles.
    Congratulations to all three of them.
    Best regards

  2. Jeff Towns says:

    Congrats to all. I have know Jeffrey from QM2 for years, and he really is a great guy. He always has a smile, is so friendly, remembers my name (I wonder why),and really represents what I imagine White Star Service to be. I just got off QV’s Aloha to Hawaii voyage and spent a lot of time in the Lido. Atilla has got it down. The pizzas and pasta made to order is the best. I love being able to order and then have it hot out of the oven in 7 minutes, not waiting in line or hassles. You guys all do great work, and I look forward to seeing you again.

  3. Judith Sayers says:

    Congratulations to all three winners.They have all done very well in their different departments, all adding to the quality of service for the clients on board.

  4. Heinz Günter Welke says:

    Hi Alastair,
    we aren`amazed, that Attila Verdo was awarded to a Star of the Month.
    We have meet Attila on our voyage “Mediterranean Treasure 1″ in Mai 2009 on Queen Victoria.He was our Head-Waiter in the Britannia Restaurant. At that time we have promised that Attila gets a Star of the Month, because after our opinion he was the best Head-Waiter we have met on a Cunard ship! It is really true that Attila has an excellent attitude forwards the guests.

    Congratulation to Attila beeing the Maitre `D`otel of the Lido.

    On the 31. of March we`ll embark Queen Elizabeth in Dubai. We hope to see you.

    Best regards

    Roselinde & Heinz Günter Welke

  5. Beryl Moss says:

    Congratulations to all three winners. They all deserve this recognition in their own departments. It was great to see that Attila had got the Star of the Month as we found him very pleasant and helpful on our several cruises on Queen Victoria. Looking forward to our next cruise on her to the Med in May.

  6. Mark Rosenfeld says:

    Congratulations on recognition by colleagues and Cunard

  7. Kenneth Eden says:

    How nice to see Jeff Calija receiving his “Star” award. He runs a superbly maintained spa, the Canyon Ranch, mens facility and hydro pool area. His thoughtfullness and caring are well appreciated. I have never asked him for sandals or towels, they are always presented to me in the spa, and he keeps tabs on “saved” chaises at the hydro spa. Maybe it is because I sail the Queen Mary 2 so often that he remebers me, always with “welcome back, sir, it is nice to see you again”. A little thing, but something that makes the voyage feel more like home, rather than just a voyage.

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