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Meet the team: Charlotte Gunn

13/12/2016

Loyalty & Cruise Sales Manager Charlotte Gunn on why she loves working on board and how hard it is to pick a favourite port of call

Loyalty & Cruise Sales Manager Charlotte Gunn

Loyalty & Cruise Sales Manager Charlotte Gunn has been working for P&O Cruises for almost six years

How long have you worked for P&O Cruises and what attracted you to working at sea?

I have worked for P&O Cruises for almost six years. I spent two years in our Southampton Head Office before taking to the sea for the first time on Oceana in October 2012. I’m now on Britannia and have been on board since she first came into service in March 2015.

I grew up in a place called Hythe, on Southampton Water. As a teenager, I remember watching Queen Mary 2 sail into Southampton for the first time. I was fascinated. My father then started telling me stories of my great-grandmother, who was the Executive Housekeeper on the original Queen Mary; I was hooked.

 

What does your role entail?

Our role is about customer service, as we deliver all of the benefits of The Peninsular Club to our guests, organising the lunches, cocktail parties and discounts around the ship. We also take future cruise bookings – having first-hand experience of the different ports and each of the ships in our fleet means that we are able to tailor our advice to each individual guest.

 

What are your favourite things about your job and cruise life?

As a child, my school reports always used to comment on my love of talking, and I really feel like I’ve found my perfect job – I get to chat to lots of different people every day and it’s my job! I love the fact that cruise life means that no day is the same. I don’t know any other job where you can wake up somewhere different every day. I have visited around 40 countries since working at sea – I still feel like I’m going to wake up one day and it will all be a dream.

Charlotte in Pisa

Charlotte in Pisa

Are there guests you see regularly and come to recognise?

Absolutely, and it makes my day every time it happens. Usually, these guests are Peninsular Club members too, which means that sometimes I spot names I know before the cruise starts. Other times, it’s a complete surprise to both parties. I am often seen in the terminal during embarkation, embracing regular guests and catching up on their news.

 

What do you like doing during your time off on board?

I am lucky enough to work on board with my partner, so we often go ashore together or with friends for a bite to eat, a walk or – if I can manage to convince him – some shopping. If I stay on board during my time off, I like to read, watch a good film or go for dinner in one of our Select Dining outlets with friends, colleagues or guests. My favourite place to eat on board is The Epicurean – it’s such a treat.

 

What’s your favourite port of call you’ve visited since working for P&O Cruises, and are there any others still on your bucket list?

That’s the hardest question to ask anyone who has worked at sea. I am so fickle that I have a top five, and even that changes regularly. I love Barcelona  and Monte Carlo, because they are both very cultural. Madeira is magical, because you feel like each time you go, you could do something completely different. La Rochelle  in France has such a great bohemian feel and some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. And Barbados is beautiful: the music, the cocktails, the white sandy beaches… One day I would love to sail into New York and watch the sun rise over the Statue of Liberty. Some friends did a transatlantic cruise recently, and their pictures from the sail in to Manhattan were incredible. I would also say the same about Sydney – to sail in to the harbour, towards the Opera House would be such a special experience.  


Are there any particular stories that stand out from your time with P&O Cruises?

I worked out recently that I have witnessed 46 weddings in my time working at sea. That’s a lot of dresses that I have helped brides get into! It’s such an honour to be part of a big day for anyone. There are some great – and very romantic – stories, so it would be wrong to pick just one; they were all lovely in their own special way. I’ve even shed a tear on more than one occasion.

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