December 1, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Guest Stories
Guest Blog: Rachael Fish, Assistant Entertainment Director, Queen Victoria
In the 1960′s British Industry was still on the slow road to recovery and so many people including my Grandfather decided to look elsewhere for work, in my grandfather’s case this was Canada. Shortly after arriving his bravery was rewarded when he landed a manufacturing position with Rolls Royce and during his many years of loyal service, he relied upon Cunard Line and ships such as ‘Saxonia’, ‘Carinthia’, ‘Sylvania’ to transport him back to Liverpool where my father, his brothers and sister and my Grandmother were waiting patiently on the pier, for his return.
On these occasions, the siblings would yearn to be taken onboard the ships and shown around, but there was never the time nor the opportunity. But it was those emotional re-unions where a seed was sown which over the years would grow into a passion to one day see the inside of a luxury liner.
The dream was first realised in 1970 when my Uncle Anthony, worked on board QE2 as a waiter and continued service with Cunard Line for years.
During that time, he was even able to meet with Her Majesty the Queen and was on board during the 1970 bomb scare in the Mid Atlantic.
Anthony’s twin brother Vincent also went to work at sea for P&O Cruises as a cabin attendant.
Years later after so many years of researching the ships his father used to travel on, my father could wait no more, he booked a voyage for us on board the QE2 and on 3 May 1991, we set sail from Southampton for New York. This was to be my very first time on the ocean and unbeknown to me the start of my own love affair with the Oceans.
Over the years, I sailed many times aboard Cunard liners such as ‘Cunard Princess’, ‘QE2’, ‘Vistafjord’ and ‘Caronia’, but it was on that first voyage that I knew I had to work at sea. The Cruise Director at the time was a charming chap called Lyndsay who was married to Kerry-Ann, the youth counsellor who catered for my age group. Every night I would sit and watch the show wondering at the way the dancers gracefully moved and the lights sparkled as they lit up this new world of Glitz and glamour. I still remember turning to my Dad one night and declaring that one day, I would do the same job as Lyndsay… Dad laughed, patted my head and said ‘course you will sweetheart’!
So it was that seven years ago, I applied to Cunard to become part of their Entertainment Staff, and my dream nearly imploded before it had even begun as I was informed that there were no positions available! Not to be beaten I went to work for another cruise line until finally, last September, I came home to Cunard as the Assistant Entertainment Director aboard Queen Victoria.
In September of this year, my father travelled with me for the Queen Mary 2 Round Britain Voyage. You can imagine how proud I was as we sailed into Liverpool together. Sharing the moment by phone with my Uncles Anthony and Vincent, where 58 years earlier my Grandfather’s love affair with Cunard had began.