July 25, 2012
I am often so enthused by our ships and the magic that happens when they come together. Looking back over the last couple of weeks, I have witnessed three very special events – each different in nature but all three very special in their own.
Let’s start with the Friday 13 July when – for the 2nd time recently – we had three Queens in Southampton. I was able to visit all three ships – and it was very motivating to see the team. We had a planned walk around Queen Elizabeth with our Hotel and Technical Teams to see how the ship was doing. Believe it or not we are already planning the first refit for Queen Elizabeth in 2015. There is not a lot to do as the ship has settled into service really well – but we are always listening to our guests and the ship’s company as to how we could evolve some of the areas on board and it’s always best to plan well in advance. The team on board was very excited – the ship had just been scored by our guests with the highest customer service scores – good for them. As I walked round the ship I was stopped by a very nice couple who had very much enjoyed their voyage – and as ever it was good to hear their feedback – it was the White Star Service and our wonderful ship’s company that had created the magic.
Then it was across to Queen Victoria – she too had a very good story to tell. We have a new Captain on board, Captain Peter Philpot and he was full of enthusiasm. Last but never least it was over to Queen Mary 2. She had just travelled across from New York – and apart from a little too much fog she had a terrific crossing. To see three teams of Cunarders in the one morning – all full of passion for what they were doing – was marvelous and reminded me that I am fortunate to work with such a special group of people.
One of the things we did that morning was to present each ship with a portrait of the meeting of the Queens for the Diamond Jubilee.
Now – here is one of our special videos. Before you click to watch – turn up the volume and enjoy some magnificent footage of our fleet leaving Southampton that evening…
That was the Three.
On to the Two. So last weekend we change countries and we have Two Queens in Hamburg. What a spectacular event. We have a special relationship with the city of Hamburg – and they have such a wonderful river running through the centre of the city and what a beautiful city it is. For over 100 years our Ocean Liners have been visiting this great city – but last Sunday was the very first time we had two of our Queens in town. It was a marvelous experience for our 4,600 guests on board and the police estimated that 250,000 local people came down to see us.
A big thank you to all of our friends in Hamburg. That was the Two.
AND A VERY SPECIAL ONE
I don’t often share family news on Peter’s Blog. But as special as the above two events were for me personally they do not come close to what happened in Leeds, England last Wednesday. The very special ONE is my eldest daughter – she graduated from Leeds University. There were no ships, there was not a crowd of 250,000 but I found it overwhelming. It was a very formal event in the Great Hall of the University. On the left hand side of the Great Hall sat 150 students. On the right hand side, family and friends and up on the stage were the academics who had supported the students through their degrees. My wife and I were so proud of all that my daughter has achieved – and as she went up to collect her degree I could not help thinking of the many experiences of her education, friends, sports, music – and here she was a beautiful young lady with so much to look for and – thankfully – a very good degree to launch her career.
It was a very special day – and there was such a sense of achievement and pride in the Great Hall – and great to see al, the students congratulating each other outside afterwards.
So there you go – THREE, TWO and a very special ONE. Each very different, each very special, one very personal and all three full of pride.
It’s the summer holidays – I hope you are booked to travel with Cunard and experience some of our magic. If not – then I recommend you book Queen Elizabeth this Fall in the Mediterranean – we have some rather tempting deals.