Inside Cunard and Queen Mary 2 : Exclusive Audio Interviews With The Senior Crew
I am very excited to be bringing you a 3 Part Audio series about the people behind creating the luxurious experience of traveling on Cunard’s flagship ocean liner: the Queen Mary 2. I spent 3 weeks on the ship, first on a transatlantic crossing of the Atlantic from Southampton to New York, and then down to the Caribbean and back to New York. While on-board, Cunard gave me exclusive and unique access to interview some of the key people that work on board to ensure the passengers have a memorable crossing and cruise.
Over a series of 3 audio episodes, that you can listen to online or subscribe to my Tips for Travellers Podcast and download them, I will share those interviews. You will be able to hear first hand about what goes into creating the passenger experience on a massive ship like the Queen Mary 2. And also hear the stories behind the people and the personalities, how they got to do these jobs, what their role entails, insider tips to get the most out of the ship and cruising , how they see Cunard evolving and what makes Cunard different in their view.
• In Part One, I interview 2 of Cunard’s Entertainment Directors, known as Cruise Directors on other lines. The Entertainment Director is responsible for supervising and scheduling all the entertainment and events on board, from music, to production shows, talks, religious services and movies. You can hear from Ray Rouse, who joined Cunard’s over 40 years ago when the QE2 was just 4 years old, and was entertainment director on the Caribbean leg, and Ed Moffat who was cruise director on the crossing and has been with Qm2 since 2004 – the year it came into service.
• In Part 2, I interview Queen Mary 2’s Hotel Manager and Executive Chef. The Hotel Manager has a massive job, as he is is responsible for everything on-board other than steering the ship and maintaining the engines – and has a staff of 1,100 covering everything from food, housekeeping, revenue earning activities like the shops, casino and spa. We were joined in that interview by the Executive Chef, who is responsible for the over 20,000 meals served everyday to both passengers and a crew – and he will tell us how they manage to serve around 1,100 meals an hour at dinner time to passengers while also meeting the varied diet needs of over 55 nationalities of crew members. So in part 2 you will hear from Robert Howie, the hotel manager, who joined QE2 22 years ago, and Nicolas Oldroyd the QM2 executive chef who joined the QE2 15 years ago.
• In Part 3, you will find out about 2 unusual roles on-board. That of the Social Host / Hostess and what exactly a “Gentleman Host” is and does. In part 3, I speak to Kevin Usher, who started as a dancer and singer for Cunard 20 years ago, and acted as the social host on board and Derek Stratton who has been a gentleman host for Cunard for over 15 years.
For now, you can listen to these online using the links below, or if you prefer subscribe to my Tips for Travellers podcast on iTunes, RSS feed or your favourite podcast app, and over the next few weeks the podcasts will start to download onto your iPhone or other Smartphone and you can listen to them on-the-go too.
Click on the link below to listen to the episode online, or use the player below:
Episode 1: Gary Bembridge of Tips for Travellers talks exclusively to Cunard Queen Mary 2 Entertainment Directors
Episode 2: Gary Bembridge of Tips for Travellers talks exclusively to Cunard Queen Mary 2 Hotel Manager and Executive Chef
Episode 3: Gary Bembridge of Tips for Travellers talks exclusively to Cunard Queen Mary 2 Social Host and Gentleman Host