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Issue No. 1

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A Royal Rendezvous: The Historic Meeting of Cunard’s 3 Queens

The Statue of Liberty served as a fitting backdrop for what is dubbed as the Royal Rendezvous of Cunard Line’s 3 luxury cruise ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2 and the new Queen Victoria, as they make a historic meeting in New York’s harbor last January 13, 2008. Truly an eventful occasion in Cunard’s 168-year shipping history, the rendezvous was the only occasion that the three world famous ships docked at the same port at the same time. Spectacular fireworks lit the New York night sky while thousands of well-wishers gathered to witness the majestic liners making their first rendezvous. This occasion will be marked in the British maritime history as another milestone for Cunard Line.

It was Queen Victoria’s first port call to New York after she was christened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in glittering ceremonies last December 10, 2007 in Southampton. It will also be the last time that the three Queens would be seen together because Queen Elizabeth 2 is set to retire and become a floating hotel in November 2008. QE2 will surely be missed by those who have experienced sailing with her for many years. After the meeting, QE2 is set to sail on her final world cruise. While for Queen Victoria, it was the start of her first world tour.

  Singa Ship Staff in Baguio Getaway  
The Singa staff went to Baguio City last April 4 to 6, 2008 for their annual summer getaway. Everyone enjoyed the cool crisp mountain climate and refreshing sceneries the city is famous for. After breakfast of April 5, the group went on a city tour and visited the Grotto, the Chinese Temple, Mines View Park, the Strawberry Farm, Camp John Hay, the PMA grounds and Burnham Park.

A trip to Baguio will not be complete without visiting the Baguio Market to buy fresh vegetables and strawberries, strawberry jams, and many other Baguio produce. Of course, anyone who visits Baguio makes it a point to buy the “Walis Tambo” (brooms) and other novelty crafts that are symbolic of Baguio and available in almost every corner. It was a day full of fun and everyone enjoyed the tour. In the evening, everyone went back to the accommodations for a hearty dinner and spent more time bonding with one another.
  Alvin Hiteroza Back from QM2  

Alvin Hiteroza, Singa Ship’s Crewing Coordinator for Queen Mary 2, joined the famous cruise vessel last November, 2007.  Alvin was assigned at the Crew Office giving him the opportunity to get familiarized with crew operations on board. He also had the chance to interact with Filipino crews of the QM2 and discussed their work related concerns and experiences.

Last May 4, 2008, Alvin went on training at the White Star Academy, which gave him the necessary knowledge and skills that he may later share with newly hired personnel for their proper orientation prior to deployment. Upon completing his training at WSA, Alvin was back at his post at Singa Ship.

  Wedding Bells  

Last December 12, 2007, Iryl Mercado, Crewing Coordinator of Queen Elizabeth 2 exchanged wedding vows with Jaime Umali, a Singa Ship waiter at the Lido Restaurant of QE2.  The wedding ceremony was held at the Oasis Pavillion in Quezon City and was attended by relatives, friends and members of the Singa Ship Family. One of the sponsors was Ms. Norma David, Vice President of Singa Ship Management Phils.

Jaime and Iryl were classmates in elementary, parted ways after graduation and never saw each other until they became members of the Singa Ship family. But, as fate would have it, they crossed each other's path in 2004 and love struck almost instantly.  It wasn’t exactly a story of love at first sight but more of love blossoming between two people who meet again after so many years without contact.  To Iryl and Jaime, we wish you a blissful married life.  Go forth and expand the Singa Ship family!

  Cunard is No. 1 in Berlitz Guide to Ocean Cruising's Top 10,   QM2 is Travel Weekly's Best Cruise Ship  

To add another feather to its cap, Cunard Line was named Number One of the world’s top 10 best cruise ship lines in the 2008 Berlitz Guide to Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships. The Berlitz Guide is the most comprehensive publisher of information and independent ratings of cruise ships. Cunard was also given top honors for Best Overall Food and Best Overall Service.

In the Fifth Annual Readers’ Choice Awards, Queen Mary 2 was named the world’s Best Luxury Cruise Ship by Travel Weekly, the national newspaper of the travel industry. The award reflects the educated opinions of Travel Weekly’s 40,000 readers, which include industry executives, travel agents and wholesalers.

  Cunard Holds First Recruitment Drive for 2008  

Cunard conducted its first recruitment drive for 2008 last February 26-29.  The four day recruitment drive was aimed at hiring cooks, dining, bar and housekeeping staff.  A test cooking was held to evaluate applicants’ skills in cooking and food preparation.  The cooking sessions were conducted by Mr. Frank Mark, Chef de Cuisine of Cunard who was assisted by Singa Ship’s Anthony Naguillen and Glenn de Guzman.

Cunard’s Karen Price and Maureen Murray, on the other hand, interviewed applicants for dining, housekeeping and bar. Cunard has been conducting regular recruitment drives for their three cruise ships where each occasion draws large numbers of applicants who all dream of working on board Cunard’s luxurious liners.

  Seabourn Conducts Test Cooking  

Last May 14 and 15, a big number of applicants came to meet with Seabourn’s Corporate Executive Chef, Jochem Lambrechts and Recruitment Manager, Andy Rowe who came to the Singa Ship Manila office to recruit chefs, bakers, butchers and pastry chefs for Seabourne’s various luxury yachts.

All applicants went through qualifying test cooking, which was supervised by Seabourn Pride’s Executive Sous Chef, Bart Bathan and assisted by Pastry Chef Joseph Paduan.

  Singa Ship Crew Shine On Board  

Five Singa Ship crew members have been recognized by our principals for their excellent job performances: Rosemarie Manalo (Queen Victoria), Rowena Paz (QE2); Tessie Garcia, Roderick Alcantara and Ruel Solis (all of SeaDream1). Truly, the Filipino seafarers never cease to excel in their jobs. And, many are proudly Singa Ship crew.

  Family Center Inducts New Set of Officers for 2008  

The Family Center, the association of the families of Singa Ship crew members and beneficiaries in the Philippines, has elected and inducted its new set of officers for 2008 in a simple, but fun ceremony last May 3, 2008.  Mr. Rene Riel, Singa Ship Crewing Manager stood as the inducting officer.

Elected to their positions were President Arsenia Tan, Vice President Flora Chan, Secretary Rowena Abrantes, Treasurer Angela Chong and Asst. Treasurer Veny Estominos.  This year’s Vessel Coordinators are Noemi Rivera (QE2), Miriam Lucina (QM2), Nelia Perez (QV), Fe Ancheta (Seabourn) and Rose Cesa (SeaDream I & II).

  Regular Monthly Meeting Focuses on Proper Handling of Household Finances  

The Family Center held its regular monthly meeting last May 3, 2008 at Ship Hotel Cruise Institute of the Philippines.  The Resource Speaker was Mr. Rene Riel, Singa Ship Crewing  Manager who talked about sound household finances.

Mr. Riel advised housewives and beneficiaries of Singa Ship crew members that proper handling of financial matters should be dealt with utmost importance. He said that nowadays, in order to survive, we have to simplify our lifestyles.  Don’t spend more than what we earn and think of what is best for our children.

He also reminded the members that, with the continuing increase in food and power prices, everyone should practice some belt tightening and be prudent in spending in order to make both ends meet, and always be cautious where our hard-earned money goes.

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