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.
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.
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