As I reflect on the year there have been so many proud moments – several of which we showed in the video in the Atrium event on Tuesday. These were big milestone moments where, working together as a collective, we achieved commercial success, visibility for the brands, showcased the best of our fleet and the best of ourselves. Each and every one of these moments was fantastic to see and you should all be very proud of 2023.

It is not just the big showy moments though which should be recognised, but the day in, day out, work done by so many of you which enables us to run this business efficiently, effectively and safely for our guests and colleagues. These may be behind the scenes on our ships or in Carnival House, guest or travel agent facing, in planning, operations, finance, IT and so many other departments upon which we rely 365 days a year. These are often reflected in our Culture Essentials winners but I also wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone – you are all equally vital in the smooth running of this company and we never underestimate your contribution.

Of special note and stature though, were the number of our colleagues who received long service awards. While being here for a five years is a landmark, the number of you who have been working with us on board or on shore for 10, 20, 30 and even 35 years is testament to the incredible product we offer to our guests and to the atmosphere we create together. It made me so proud and so grateful to hand out those awards and to hear the cheers they received. I never forget that you have responsibilities and commitments outside of our building and our ships, as well as a choice of where you work. This is why I, and my ELT colleagues, want to make Carnival UK, whether on land or at sea, the very best possible working environment. I could be biased but I truly think this is an inspiring place to be.

But as we start to deck the halls at home, as I see our P&O Cruises and Cunard ships so beautifully decorated, and as we prepare for the big day I would like you to also remember our colleagues on board, for whom it is one of the most highly anticipated and busy times of the year. Our guests have the highest expectations and when Iona told me last week that they needed around 35,000 mince pies to get through the festive season I think that puts it into perspective!

Please do try to take time to switch off, make the most of this special time of year with colleagues, friends, family and loved ones and recharge and re-energise for the year ahead. 

Whether you are at home, at work, in the office, our ports or at sea this Christmas, I send you my very best wishes for a happy and peaceful break. Thank you for your hard work and dedication during this year and let’s look forward to 2024.

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