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Crew Stories: I am grateful for the opportunity to work on cruise ships

Submitted by kgnadmin on

The following letter was sent by a former crew member sharing his personal experience about how work on the cruise ships changed his life.

My name is Cristopher Palanca Gambito, I am a former Crew Member of Oceania Cruises for 3 contracts and working with M/S Nautica, M/S Insignia & M/S Regatta. I joined Nautica in Civitavecchia, Italy in 2006 from Dubai since I worked in a 5-star & international chain hotel in Dubai before joining the ship. I applied for a cruise ship job in Odyssey, a Bulgarian Maritime agency in Dubai. I started as Buffer Runner in Nautica but after 2 months I was promoted for an Assistant Waiter by our Italian Maitre’D Siron Andreas. 

This is the time that I met my German Guest  Sir Eugen Fritz Jaiser, sailing with us for one month. He is the reason why I  stopped working in the ship because he offered me in taking care of him and saying that time to me that he will double my salary if I will be working with him as a caregiver.He disembarked the ship asking my contact details in the Phil's. The main reason why he offered me such because I was doing an extra mile to him and to her private nurse who is an Austrian. I gave them a city tour in Muscat including a lunch buffet in my former hotel company the Radisson Blu hotel Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman free of charge. Muscat is one of the ports of call of our ship.

Their cruise vacation made EXtra special because of that. They disembarked the ship asking my full details including my address in the Philippines and told that one day they will invite me to visit Germany & Austria. I  disembarked  Nautica after my first contract and joined Insignia for my second contract still in Italy but this time in another place.I had my promotion as Bar Waiter in Insignia with SiR Camilo's recommendation. I am so thankful to this Italian restaurant supervisor and also to my Filipino Waitress Susan.I disembarked Nautica, had my 2-month vacation spent both in Hinunangan, Southern Leyte & Manila. I joined Regatta in Los Angeles California USA for my 3rd contract as Bar Waiter.

This time I received a letter from Sir Eugen(my former guest in Nautica)addressed in my sisters'office in Manila City Hall. My ante informed me about the letter. I found out about SiR Eugen's invitation and an offer to take care of him because he disclosed in the letter that his private Austrian nurse passed away. I have 2 months left in my 3rd contract at that time and scheduled to disembark in Dover, United Kingdom. During my vacation in the Phil's.Siena Eugen did his first visit and we met each other in Manila and stayed in Hotel Rembrandt in Tomas Moratorium, Quezon City. He stayed for 3 weeks only and convinced to quit my job on the ship. I did quit.

My experience in the Cruise Ship and the people on-board including my wonderful colleagues were instrumental to what I am now. I took good care of SiR Eugen for five years and always traveling with him to Germany, Austria and Phil's. Sir Eugen sent me to the famous A1 driving school in Manila and he bought me a Toyota Fortuner on my 34th birthday.I took education supplemental to my University again at the Leyte Normal University in Tacloban. I became a Licensed Professional Teacher. I joined DepEd as junior high school Teacher and SiR Eugen passed away after the strongest Typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban City, Leyte in 2013.

Now I am an Instructor of the said university in Hospitality & Tourism. My experience and my tenure in the Cruise ship helped me a lot in getting this job.I am now teaching Cruise Tourism subject new subject for the new curriculum.

I thank Oceania Cruises, Sir Eugen Jaiser, former Colleagues especially Rose and Susan. My former Managers Sir Andreas and Sir Camilo.I thank the Lord my God Almighty Jesus Christ Holy Spirit for my life's orchestration.