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Forever Cunard

Christmas for the Crew on Board Queen Mary 2

January 9, 2012

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Forever Cunard

Guest Blog: Dominique Damerell, White Star Academy Trainer, Queen Mary 2

Celebrating Christmas on the grandest ocean liner ever built is an unforgettable experience and particularly for the ship’s company on board. This is our home away from home and we pulled out all the stops to make celebrating Christmas on board an unforgettable event.

In keeping with tradition, the officers on board Queen Mary 2 show their appreciation to our crew by serving Christmas lunch in the Crew Mess.

The transformation of the Crew Mess, our biggest crew restaurant on board, started promptly after breakfast and we had two hours to complete the change. Because of the incredible team work this ship is renowned for, this alteration was completed in good time and this extremely busy part of the ship looked quite unrecognisable to those who dine in here every day.

Preparing a Christmas lunch for well over a 1000 crew members is no easy task. At any one time there are up to 52 different crew nationalities on board our ship and so a lot of careful planning and consideration for the varying tastes we all bring to the table is a massive undertaking in itself.

However We Are Cunard for a reason and both the portside and starboard side of the buffet lines looked appealing, fresh, colourful and most of all extremely appetising. We had something for everyone to enjoy. And enjoy they all did.

Furthermore, our gracious and willing officers all contributed to the cherry on the top by making themselves available for serving behind the lines. This unique to Cunard touch is what makes Christmas so special for our crew because it is one of the ways we can show our appreciation to the very people who help to make this ship what she is.

A Legend.

I think that it is safe to say that this has been a year of immense challenge interspersed with moments of great reward. Producing and serving a fantastic Christmas lunch with all the fun and festivity we could muster whilst still maintaining the relentlessness of this operation is the least that we can do to say thank you to all of our crew.

Here at Cunard, the welfare of our crew is integral because a happy crew makes a happy ship. Our on board Crew Welfare committee is of paramount importance because we seek to put the happiness of our crew first and are continuously striving to include events and activities that they will enjoy and appreciate.

Christmas is a special time and usually spent with our families and loved ones. Christmas on board Queen Mary 2, especially if it is your first, is far removed from anything that you are accustomed to. However I think that because of our combined efforts to make it special and rewarding, to keep it fun and unique helps make celebrating Christmas on your home away from home that more memorable.

We are all in the same boat after all…

A sincere thank you to each and every one of the ship’s company for the part that they played in this year’s Christmas. It is certainly an event that will remain in our memories forever. As always it is both a pleasure and privilege working with our crew and I look forward to a momentous 2012 during which, we will make it happen.

Warm regards,


  1. Kenneth Eden says:

    Interesting blog, and fitting for the crew. Being away from family and friends can always pose problems for some and having the mess turned around for them as a special place is certainly a salute to their value as integral parts of the Cunard family. I could only hope other cruise lines had as much empathy for their crew and staff as Cunard has always provided.

  2. tony maguire says:

    Chistmas at sea is very uplifting,a time to reflectand t remember its all about a birth.

  3. S. & G. Mix says:

    My husband and I want to thank you so much for making Christmas a special day for your crew members. Our son has missed Christmas at home for the last 11 years, the last three being onboard the QM2. We often wondered if he had a nice dinner like he would’ve had at home. After reading your blog, we feel much better. We know he has a family on the ship with the musicians, but knowing that all the crew is one big family makes it not so hard being away from home. Again thank you so much! If you see Joey, please tell him “Hi” from us. Have a Happy New Year!

  4. Brenda Vessey says:

    It is really nice that the crew were looked after by the Officers and that they showed how much they appreciate the crew. It looks as if a good time was had by all. Well done

  5. John & Joan Smith says:

    Great that the hard working crew were also able to celebrate Christmas together albeit in the absence of their famiy & loved ones. We are sure they appreciated the special occasion’s offerings.Well done to all who waited on them.

  6. Alison Mitchell says:

    We had the best Christmas and New Year on board QM2 – I am so pleased that all the crew had a fun time too. The staff on the ship are simply fan-tas-tic – in particular our table staff – Renante, Darwis and Plamen – also the entertainment staff especially the singers and dancers – Dennis the singing waiter, Kelvin and the Maitre de in the Britannia Restaurant – thank you all so much for making our Christmas and New Year so special.

  7. sheila odell says:

    Old Cunarders never die, they just keep on sailing. I was.an officer on the original Queen Elizabeth – an Assistant Purser – in 1953/54. There were only 5 of us female officers and we had to belong to the British Merchant Marine in order to sail on that venerable ship which came to a sad end in Japan. Since then, I have been constantly “at sea” (my friends agree). I’ve sailed on many other ships including The France and many others, but could not resist the urge to join Queen Victoria when she sails from NYork to San Francisco on January 18th. I will bring funny pictures of me in my uniform to share with the staff, if they are interested. I bet I’ll be the oldest ex-cunarder on board this time.

    Sheila Odell

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