Our amazing colleagues on board our ships work so hard to create unforgettable holiday happiness for our guests, so we’re taking a moment to shine a spotlight on them! Continuing our Holiday Heroes series, find out what makes them shine, hear about their roles, ambitions, hobbies, and what life is like working aboard our P&O Cruises ships. 

Next up, say hello to Melvin Gonsalves, Arvia’s spirits specialist

Melvin Gonsalves is the spirits specialist on board Arvia, where he creates Golden Tide Rum and Marabelle Gin and runs masterclasses for guests in Anderson’s bar. He has been working for P&O Cruises for 20 years.

“I am the first distiller in the world to work at sea and I am very, very proud of what I do. There’s no one else doing this at the moment. I used to work for a French wine company back home and I started my career washing pots and pans. I took every day very positively and stepped up every rank. Now I am doing what I do best, and that’s making the spirits on board.

I was chosen to make the gin on Iona, and I think I set a benchmark, as I was then asked to join Arvia. I decided to do it because I wanted to learn something new. I feel so privileged to be here because apart from being the world’s first gin distiller at sea, now I am the first rum distiller at sea as well. The guests have all been very positive about the rum. Everyone’s interested in the still – they have to stop by while they’re passing Anderson’s bar to see what’s happening. I have the privilege of choosing my own team for Anderson’s bar, and they’re doing a fabulous job.

I love travelling, and that’s the reason I’ve worked on board a P&O Cruises ship now for almost 20 years. When I’m not on board the ship, I am a daddy back home. I’ve got a six-year-old and that’s the happiest place for me at the end of the contract. When I’m at home I give all my time to my family.

One of my hidden talents is card tricks, which I learned to do when I worked behind the bar. I usually keep two packs of cards behind the bar, and I show people tricks to make sure they always come back for more!”

Thank you Melvin for sharing your story with us!

Thanks to all of our Holiday Heroes for sharing their stories. Missed any of them? Meet them all now on the P&O Cruises blog.

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