If you haven’t come across them before the Guest Experience People Operations Team is part of the People Services Department and looks after the Rotations, Recruitment and Onboarding of our Cunard Crew.

People Services have been leading the crew repatriation efforts and ensuring our Crew return home safely as well as maintaining minimum operation manning onboard during the operational pause.!

What’s been happening with crew repatriation?
A total of 7,830 crew members across P&O and Cunard ships have been repatriated to 100 countries, which as you can imagine is no mean feat…

  • 2,824 Indian crew are safely home
  • 3,856 Filipino crew
  • 1,149 Crew from the rest of the world repatriated, with one crew member remaining who we continue to support.
  • Over 90 Embassies were involved in getting our Crew home.
  • Over 20 Employees were part of the repatriation team, focused on getting our Crew home safely.

In April we began repatriating our Filipino crew home with everyone repatriated by the end of June. In one day we saw over 400 of our Cunard crew members return home to their families. By the end of June we also saw all of our Indian Nationals repatriated across the fleet with the first charter from the UK with Carnival crew.

It was an interesting challenge when Mauritius closed all their borders in March, not allowing any flights into the Country – we had 57 Carnival UK Mauritian Crew onboard unable to return home. The team worked tirelessly with other brands in the Corporation and the Mauritian Government to get our crew home. A charter flight was arranged for 188 Crew across Carnival Corporation to Mauritius in August and our crew were reunited with their families.

Over 80% of our crew returning home were required to embark on a period of quarantine and further support was given throughout this period.

How many crew members do we have joining a ship now on a monthly basis?
The current manning of our ships has reduced significantly and we have between 93 and 120 crew on each ship to meet our minimum operational manning requirement. The team on board, as part of the minimum manning, enables us to maintain the ship whilst in lay-up. On average we have around 25/30 Crew joining each ship per month to replace leavers. 

What are the current challenges for the team?
The great British weather is a big challenge for us currently. With ships not always alongside for turnarounds, we ‘re managing our joiners to accommodate changing itineraries due to poor weather. Our colleagues in ORCA have been a fantastic support with this and try to ensure we get as much notice as possible!

PCR testing is a new addition to our onboarding process, and all Crew must have a negative PCR test within five days prior to joining. This can often be a challenge to make sure results are received back in time for crew to join.

Currently the World is a moving landscape, with travel restrictions changing by the hour. One of the challenges for People Services is staying on top of these and we’re tackling this by having members of the team dedicated to monitoring travel restrictions across the globe that can impact crew travel.

How are our manning agents (SINGA and CAREER) doing and how do we support them?
Our Manning Agents like ourselves have entered a period of reduced operations. We’re working closely with them to support them during this pause in operation and are in contact with them daily. Our relationships with our Manning Agents have really grown during the last few months and we’ve really enjoyed working with them to get our Crew home.

Working from home
Like everyone we’ve had to adapt the way we work and learn to communicate in new ways. Meetings are now online and most of us have not been in Carnival House since March. We’re using video calls to interact with the fleet more and have been able to keep in contact with those onboard in a new way.

What are you looking forward to when the Cunard ships will sail again?
We cannot wait to see our Crew walking up the gangway again and friends and colleagues being reunited. We’ve really missed seeing and speaking to our Crew and look forward to helping you all prepare for your return to sea when time comes.

Next week: ‘A day in the life of…’ Queen Victoria


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