25 December 2022


By P&O Cruises Editorial staff

Arvia Crew Stories
 

With Arvia’s arrival just around the corner, our incredible crew have been hard at work getting everything ship shape and ready to welcome our guests on board.

We caught up with a few of the team to hear their stories and find out what they are most looking forward to. Say hello to…

Carina Carino

- Restaurant Host

“I’m from the Philippines but my home away from home for the past 7 years has been at sea with P&O Cruises. I’ve previously worked on Azura, Ventura, Oceana and Oriana, and I was also part of the team involved in setting up Iona...

...I’m a Restaurant Host and I love what I do. Looking after our guests and ensuring they have a great experience in our restaurants makes me feel really good, especially now as I’ll get to show off our exciting new 6th Street Diner!

I’m so grateful to be part of the P&O Cruises team. I’ve met so many beautiful people and amazing guests over the years – they’re all so lovely and give me motivation every day. I really enjoy meeting different people - it feels so good to help others, including many colleagues who are new to sea. It’s been great to share my knowledge and help empower them.

I’m so excited to be working on Arvia and can’t wait to show our guests how special she is. I’m also looking forward for the Caribbean sunshine and can’t wait to see Barbados again!"

Jason Pollard

- Junior Doctor

“I was born and bred in Johannesburg in South Africa. My mum, dad and sister are at home and I look forward to visiting them when not on board.

I’m a junior doctor and my job is to oversee the wellbeing of both crew and guests. We do two clinics a day and provide 24 hour, seven days a week emergency assistance...

...I’ve worked at sea for one year now and I wanted to join a cruise ship because of my love of travel; combining work with the opportunity to see a bit of the world. Before joining Arvia, I worked on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth. My highlight was travelling on board Queen Elizabeth during her Alaskan season.

This is my first P&O Cruises ship, but already it’s an enjoyable atmosphere with friendly people. It’s so exciting to see the myriad of different activities on board Arvia – there’s so much for our guests to enjoy.  

Meeting all the crew has been wonderful and the excitement of our first sailing is immense. I’m especially looking forward to getting to the warmer waters and weather of the Caribbean!”

Sandra Thompson

- HR Manager

“I live in Watford, near London with my husband Ian. We’ve been married for 33 years and have three sons. I started my career at sea on Ventura, moved to Britannia and was then lucky to launch Iona. I’ve loved all my ships, but I think your favourite is always the one you’re currently on. Therefore, it has to be our sunshine ship Arvia!...

...Along with providing traditional HR support, I’m responsible for the Crew Office team and the Learning & Development Officers (LDOs).

We’re the first team that the ship’s company meet when they join and the last when they leave. We ensure that everyone is compliant, paid, have access to foreign currency and deal with a multitude of queries and questions about all aspects of living and working at sea.

In addition, I chair the Seafarer’s Welfare Committee (SWC), making sure that we offer activities and social events for everyone to enjoy during their leisure time as well as overseeing all wellbeing matters.

Like many people I came to sea for the opportunity to travel and the excitement of waking up in a different port every morning, However, I love the diversity of our ships with colleagues coming from all over the globe. I feel privileged to be able to support colleagues in their careers and lives on board. I’m dedicated to providing a happy, inclusive ship where everyone can be themselves and have opportunities to flourish both personally as well as professionally.

All of us are incredibly proud of being part of the team that takes Arvia into service. She’s a beautiful ship with stunning interiors and we’re all looking forward to the moment when we can finally show her off to our guests."

Sijin Oommen

- Housekeeping Manager

“I’m from Mumbai in India, have been married for 13 years and live a simple, happy life.

It was always my dream to work on a ship - to see the world and experience beautiful places. I’ve worked for P&O Cruises for 16 years, starting as a Junior Supervisor and working my way up to Housekeeping Manager. I manage and run the second biggest department on the ship and it gives me great pleasure to do so...

...I’m really proud of my team; together we manage the ship’s outfittings, laundry, florist activity, public area cleaning, crew areas, butler services, upkeep of all furnishings, maintaining the open deck lounges, providing services to guests, and so much more!

I’ve previously worked on Ventura, Azura, Adonia, Artemis, Aurora and Oceana – but most special was Britannia. Like Arvia, I’m very proud to have been part of Britannia’s set up and I have many beautiful memories from my time on board.

Now it gives me pleasure to contribute my experience to Arvia and build the best department in delivering exceptional services to our guests, all whist sailing in the beautiful Caribbean.”

Yasmyn Cocca

- Senior Entertainment Host

"I’m from East Anglia in the UK, have a big loving family (including my cats) and I live by the sea.

As Senior Entertainment Host, my role takes me all around the ship from morning until late at night. I host events such as bingo, quizzes, sailaway celebrations, dance classes, game shows, comparing and much more.

...Growing up by the sea, I’ve always had a deep connection with the ocean. I love to travel and explore new places and love entertaining, so working on ships is the perfect combination of my passion and my interests.

I’ve worked at sea for 7 years now and it feels like a home away from home. I love the fact that ship life has so much diversity. We live and work with lots of different nationalities and learn so much about each other and our different cultures. The connections you make onboard are very special and colleagues soon become friends for life and a part of your family.

I’ve worked on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora, Azura and now Arvia. Every single ship is special and has something unique and different, but Arvia is a whole new level. There are so many amazing experiences for our guests to enjoy – they’re going to love her!

Being part of the launch team has been such a great experience and I’m very grateful to be here. Now, I’m looking forward to welcoming our guests on board for the very first time and, of course, sailing to the sunshine! The Caribbean is my favourite itinerary of all - the music, the people, the sunshine and the vibes make it a really happy place to be."

Rachel Wallis

- Crew Services Manager

"I was born in South London and now live in West Sussex with my family. Living in between London and the South Coast is great as I get the best of both worlds – the hustle and bustle of the city and the fresh air at the seaside...

...As Crew Services Manager, I’m responsible for our crew’s documentation which must be kept and maintained accurately to ensure the ship is clear to sail. The Crew Office is a very busy place on board as we’re also the main point of contact for our crew, handling all their financial, logistical and administrative affairs – quite a task for 1500+ colleagues!

For the past 5 years, I’ve been working on board P&O Cruises sister brand, Cunard and have experienced life on all three Queens. There are many things I love about ship life. The exciting destinations we visit was the attraction that brought me to sea, but I’ve stayed because of the people. I love working with a diverse mix of nationalities and cultures and have made friends for life here. They make being away from home that little bit easier and as much as I look forward to being reunited with my family, I get the same feeling when I return for a new contract.

Coming to Arvia posed a new challenge and change of scenery - she’s my first ship build and a change of brand, so the concept was both exciting and daunting. Coming into an environment with new ways of working and few people I knew made me a little nervous, but everyone has been so welcoming, and I’m really enjoying the experience. It’s been amazing to see her build progressing each day and I’m very impressed at how well she handles the rough seas.

Now I’m looking forward to getting back to the Caribbean sunshine. As lovely as Germany and the Netherlands are, I’m ready for warmer temperatures!"

Priti Sonawane

- Hotel Assistant

"I am from Mumbai in India where I live with my dad, two brothers, sister and sister in-law.

This is my first contract and my first job ever. Working in the housekeeping department we have various tasks each day and right now I’m looking after the crew laundrette, making sure it’s clean and well looked after...

...I’m so excited to be working at sea and I can’t wait to visit new places. This is my first time out of India so visiting Europe has been exciting and I’m really looking forward to seeing the Caribbean - it sounds like it will be hot!

Every day since joining Arvia has been a new experience for me and I’m learning so much. Everyone has been very helpful and friendly, and as a first job it feels like the best place to be. I’m excited to see where my career progresses with P&O Cruises and look forward to future opportunities to work with the galley team. I’ve always wanted to work as a commis, so one day I can become a chef."

 

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