Author Topic: Non British Captains  (Read 7073 times)

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Cruise_Princess

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Non British Captains
« on: Jul 06, 2010, 06:29 PM »
Just been reading an email from a very high profile pasenger/lecturer presently on board QM2.   As we all know Capt Nick Bates and Capt Paul Wright retire next month...much to our loss and Cunards'....seems the Staff Captain presently onboard is a newbie....Indian from Mumbai......and I'm sure he is a very capable person.

Whilst I do NOT want to be classed as racist.  I do not think this is the way to go do you??  We have just come back from an( albeit 'cheapie') cruise on Ocean Countess whereby NONE of the Senior Officers could speak english..and having one very rough night at sea with glass and people flying everywhere there was a very obvious language barrier and it just does not go down well at all.  People were frightened and they just could not understand what they were saying.. The Cruise Director had to make ALL announcements as he  was only one of 2 brits  crew onboard!

I for one will NOT sail on a cruise ship liner or otherwise unless there is a BRITISH Captain at the helm...its the only way I do feel truly safe.... but then again I'm just 'old fashioned' so everyone keeps reminding me......but thats they way I'll stay!!

How would YOU feel if going on Queen Mary or another Cunard ship in particular with an Indian or other non British Master?? That's the Question.....
« Last Edit: Jul 06, 2010, 06:38 PM by Cruise_Princess »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #1 on: Jul 06, 2010, 06:56 PM »
I have absolutely no problems with non British captains. Indeed, I believe that I have already been taken places on QE2 by at least one non British captain, i.e. Nick Bates.

Not being British does not, of course, mean that one cannot speak English. Most Irish, American, Australian, and New Zealand people speak an English of (their own) sorts, as do most Indians, Pakistanis, Bangaldeshis, Maltese, South Africans and Kenyans, to name but a few countries. Of course, on a "British" (and is Cunard really British nowadays...?) ship, a perfect mastery of English must be a prerequisite for a Captain who is expected to mix and mingle graciously with the mostly English-speaking passengers. But one does not even have to be a citizen of a former British colony to achieve this feat!

To return to matters a bit more practical, last year on Black Prince, I was delighted to find that several of the deck crew who had quite possibly started at the lowest entry grades, had progressed up the careers ladder and their photographs were hung quite close to the (Norwegian -- a perfect English speaker too) Captain on the notice board showing us who was who on the ship. I would find it rather offputting if nationality was used as grounds for refusing deserved promotion to hard working and committed crew. It goes without saying, of course, that people should only be promoted to their positions if adequately qualified and experienced.

Indeed, they could even be.... women....   :o  !

Online cunardqueen

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #2 on: Jul 06, 2010, 07:55 PM »
 At the risk of a topic  which in this present day is hardly allowed to be discussed, here goes .....While l have no problem with err foreign Captains , I do think that for all that Cunard boasts about their heritage and white star service then if they cant produce a British Captain then they are doing something wrong. While perhaps in this present time we can't expect them to have Cunard in their veins, and remember what we thought when it was announced that a NON Cunard captain would be Commodore :o.

I sailed on a ship with MSC , a delightful friendly little thing, English wasnt the top language, in fact it was way down the list, there were only about 30 UK passport holders anyway. Captain Stiffa and his braid which was clearly sewn onto a white dinner jacket was very approachable indeed, infact all his Officers mingled very well. At the Gala buffet l asked Capt Stiffa if a bridge visit was possible and was astounded when he said yes.

Now consider the same Cunard officers on the Captains reception nights (which were always too short) they did tend to stay at the back and mix among themselves, ok this might have been to do more with timing for the Introduction to the Officers speech. But while the more selective parties there are some officers who can work a room, and alas some who cant, but on the whole they are very good.     

(Cruise Princess, you want to try calling the AOL call centre, they may not understand me, But l sure as heck dont understand them ) have l gone wildly off topic here, if so please delete..
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Cruise_Princess

  • Guest
Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #3 on: Jul 06, 2010, 08:24 PM »
Isabelle you obviously havent met Ms Breton   Master of P and O Artemis!! A Woman!!


GIRL POWER EH???  good for her I say!

think I class Capt NB as British though  Ireland is sooooooo close!

Offline highlander0108

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #4 on: Jul 06, 2010, 10:55 PM »
I just met Captain Bates last week on QM2 and am truly saddened that I will never have the pleasure of sailing with him.  I frankly thought of him as very "British" and perhaps some of us over this side of the pond just do not see the nuances of Ireland and Northern Ireland since we are far removed from it all.  Nevertheless, after taking to him, he seems to me to fit the Cunard ship captain persona to a tee, similar to other Cunard captains I have had the pleasure to sail with.  I have to agree with Myles, if Cunard cannot find suitable British crew, this takes away from the entire Cunard experience. 

With these two captains retiring, has there been word of how these positions will be filled yet?
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Online skilly56

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #5 on: Jul 06, 2010, 11:38 PM »
Sarah Breton - very pleasant memories here :)

As we were disembarking the 'Ocean Village' in Barbados last January, we met staff captain Sarah in the embarkation foyer and chatted for 10 minutes. We had had a little bit of contact with her while we were on board.

Then, as we were about to get off, she wrapped her arms around my son (who, after leaving the QE2 in Dubai in December, had just completed nearly 11 months straight seatime on board OV, and was leaving as senior second officer) and said in a very loud voice, "When I am captain, you can sail with me anytime!" The lad was embarrassed as hell, all the crew and passengers in the foyer were grinning broadly and enjoying the moment. I don't know of any male captain who could get away with that manoeuvre!

Congratulations to her on the promotion, and I know she will do a very good job. After 9 years as staff captain, she has more than earned the respect of everyone.

Cheers
Skilly
« Last Edit: Jul 06, 2010, 11:41 PM by skilly56 »

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #6 on: Jul 06, 2010, 11:40 PM »
I have no problem with the nationality of any Captain, but I would expect all Captains to have the correct qualifications and experience plus that the senior officers between them should have enough multilingual skills to communicate in ALL the major languages.
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #7 on: Jul 07, 2010, 06:43 AM »
Isabelle you obviously havent met Ms Breton   Master of P and O Artemis!! A Woman!!

Great news that! She sounds like an attractive personality too. I am looking forward to a future where a female captain will have become just as normal as a male captain.

Offline Chris Frame

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #8 on: Jul 07, 2010, 08:18 AM »
Captain Rynd is a New Zealander living in Australia and is a very fitting master of the Queens.

I sailed with him when he captained QE2, QM2 and QV. He was extremely supportive of our upcoming QV book.

Cunard isn't a British company any more, it's a brand of an American corporation; something we would do well to remember.

Cruise_Princess

  • Guest
Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #9 on: Jul 07, 2010, 10:02 AM »
sadly thats the problem Chris....its enough to now keep me away.....

Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #10 on: Jul 07, 2010, 11:59 AM »
Captain Rynd is a New Zealander living in Australia and is a very fitting master of the Queens.

I sailed with him when he captained QE2, QM2 and QV. He was extremely supportive of our upcoming QV book.

Cunard isn't a British company any more, it's a brand of an American corporation; something we would do well to remember.

Quite correct Chris - and the reason the Cunard names lives on in today's current economic climate. The old traditional Cunard may have had it's very good, british values but was sadly never going to be enough to survive in today's cut throat world. Thankfully QE2 saw Cunard through to the point where someone could come in and take the helm otherwise they'd have been away late 60s early 70s.

Sad but true.

On the three times I have sailed on QM2 her master has been different - the first TA was Cpt Rynd, Caribbean was the Commodore Warner and last year's return TA was Cpt Bates. I would say that I dont mind who is on the bridge as long as they are qualified and competent. The days of British crews on British ships disappeared with the Empire........
« Last Edit: Jul 07, 2010, 12:09 PM by Clydebuilt1971 »

Offline Imonlygoingforone

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #11 on: Jul 07, 2010, 12:00 PM »
....seems the Staff Captain presently onboard is a newbie....Indian from Mumbai......and I'm sure he is a very capable person

Staff Captain Ghoshroy joined QE2 as 2nd Officer in 1998.

Offline Paul White

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #12 on: Jul 07, 2010, 06:18 PM »
Staff Captain Ghoshroy joined QE2 as 2nd Officer in 1998.

You are right, I sailed with him many times and he is very a capable officer. If he is promoted it will be well deserved and I, for one, would like to see him succeed.

Paul
Paul

1996 - 2001
Chief Officer

Offline highlander0108

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #13 on: Jul 07, 2010, 11:11 PM »
Captain Rynd is a New Zealander living in Australia and is a very fitting master of the Queens.

I sailed with him when he captained QE2, QM2 and QV. He was extremely supportive of our upcoming QV book.

Cunard isn't a British company any more, it's a brand of an American corporation; something we would do well to remember.

Just for clarity, when was the last date that QE2 was actually "owned" by a British company?  Carnival must tread a fine line here.  If they water down the "British" experience too much, as many would debate has already occurred, they will destroy all uniqueness to this line that they own, in my opinion.
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
My Blog:  http://qe2-prideoftheclyde.blogspot.com/

Online cunardqueen

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #14 on: Jul 08, 2010, 08:52 AM »
Correct me if lm wrong but, Cunard used to mention, and promote  in their brochures, and recent ones at that about the British Officers.
Now l for one always had Cunard as one step away from the rest of the cruise companies. Now with the dumbing down of the dress codes, the lack of afternoon tea on embarkation Im really glad l sailed with Cunard when l did. I doubt very much if l would care for the product of the present day.
 I believe its a thing called progress or is it change, Something the old fogies from the Glory days dont like ;) 
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Imonlygoingforone

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #15 on: Jul 08, 2010, 11:30 AM »
Correct me if lm wrong but, Cunard used to mention, and promote  in their brochures, and recent ones at that about the British Officers.
Now l for one always had Cunard as one step away from the rest of the cruise companies. Now with the dumbing down of the dress codes, the lack of afternoon tea on embarkation Im really glad l sailed with Cunard when l did. I doubt very much if l would care for the product of the present day.
 I believe its a thing called progress or is it change, Something the old fogies from the Glory days dont like ;) 

I think it's a case of hyping up their product.... Depending on what you determine an 'Officer' as, then the ratio changes dramatically.

Within the Merchant Navy, Officers are only truly those with a certificate of competency as issued by a Governing Body - ie. MCA for the UK, USCG etc. That means only Deck & Engine Officers can 'correctly' hold the rank of officer, however I've seen this argument go wild so to speak, so I'll leave it at that!

In the Deck Department on QE2 & QM2 , I have sailed with Indian, South African, Canadian, American, Norwegian, Irish, French and Bulgarian. In the Engine Room I have sailed with those Nationalities plus there have been Junior Filipino Engineer Officers since the early 00's. All have been very good at their jobs with the exception of one or two as found in any industry.

If you count the Hotel Department as Officers, then you would be lucky to get 25% as Brits, just how it goes I'm afraid.

It is just a marketing thing, as 99% of cruisers wouldn't know or care who is in the uniform - just a fact of life. This proved by the fact that in the 10 years I was with the company, all of these nationalities were on the Bridge (and on the same ship as yourself!) , but hardly anyone noticed until now!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #16 on: Jul 08, 2010, 12:45 PM »
Thank you for these statistics, which make interesting reading. In this era of globalisation, I would be inclined to think that something must be wrong with a ship if its management did not have a reasonable mix of nationalities -- and you confirm that QE2, certainly in her latter years, had just that.

... in the 10 years I was with the company, all of these nationalities were on the Bridge (and on the same ship as yourself!) , but hardly anyone noticed until now!

Not so  ;D  ! I always responded with delight to the Irish voices over the loudspeaker... And whatever anyone might say, Nick Bates did have a lovely Irish voice -- presumably still has. He was not the only one though. There was a Third Officer making noontime announcements, a few years back, who also had a great Irish voice, a bit further south than Nick Bates's -- but that was on a different cruise.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #17 on: Jul 08, 2010, 03:34 PM »
Quote
I think it's a case of hyping up their product....

Cunard/Carnival wouldn't do that, would they? ;D
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #18 on: Jul 08, 2010, 03:50 PM »
Just for clarity, when was the last date that QE2 was actually "owned" by a British company?  Carnival must tread a fine line here.  If they water down the "British" experience too much, as many would debate has already occurred, they will destroy all uniqueness to this line that they own, in my opinion.

QE2 was last owned by a British company back in 1993 when Hong Kong Land (mainly a Hong Kong Chinese concern) took over the majority shareholding of Trafalgar House. So the Chinese had a stake in her at this time. Then she went into Norwegian ownership (Kvaerner) and then American (Carnival). So she wasn't British owned for the last 15 years of her life.

And Cunard Britishness is tenuous. Samuel Cunard was Canadian from American And German descent. But please do not jump down my throat for pointing this out and using examples of what Cunard might claim as I don't start the claims in the first place.

Offline Chris Frame

Re: Non British Captains
« Reply #19 on: Jul 09, 2010, 01:54 AM »
And Cunard Britishness is tenuous. Samuel Cunard was Canadian from American And German descent. But please do not jump down my throat for pointing this out and using examples of what Cunard might claim as I don't start the claims in the first place.

So very true and well pointed out Michael!

 

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