My whereabouts 1992 - 2012
Leaving QE2 in October 1992 I took off to a part of Russia that used to be Germany (Königsberg/Ostpreussen). My plan was to open a restaurant with my fathers local partner. After a few weeks I found out that this guy was not serious about the project and we abandoned the idea. There was plenty work setting up new sites for my dad’s touring business, taking care of the tourists and showing potential investors and clients around.
In October 1993, after one year on my own in Russia, I went home and decided to go back on the ships. With a bartender contract I flew to Miami and due to the magic words „QE2“ they turned me into a Bar Manager at Hallmark Cruises Services. I was working on the Regent Sea, Regent Star (photograph) and Regent Sun until early 1995. After five years at the top I saw the other end of the cruising business.
In March 1995 my new assignment was in the Maritime Leisure Group of Salzburg Austria with Jürgen Scharkosi whom I had met when he was F&B Manager on the QE2. Joining there as a Bar Manager I was six months later promoted Financial Controller on board MV Calypso.
They gave me the opportunity to participate in Management Courses in Salzburg.
In 1998 after a short stint in the Head Office I even became Asst. Hotel Manager on board TSS Topaz. The Topaz had once been a Canadian Pacific ship built in 1946 and was the first all-inclusive 4 star ship sailing for Thomson Cruises with lots of new ideas.
Henry Machado had joined Calypso only weeks ahead of me as a baker, later chief baker. His home town Vasai is 60 km north of Bombay, so he is Indian. As he is a catholic the cultural difference are not as big as they could be. In December 1998 we got married in India. It was a huge wedding with over 1300 guests. The Indian hotel crew, 20-odd guys, that I had selected for the Topaz previously were making sure that it was a party to remember.
We did not think it wise to keep working onboard ships together as a married couple, so we took up home in Bavaria just at the border to Austria and I went to work in Head Office in Salzburg. Jürgen gave me a big project, a conference on the Human Resource Issues in the cruise industry and later I helped with setting up a business center and appartment hotel.
In 2000 we left for our current home at my fathers campsite in the countryside between the Rhine and Moselle valleys in Western Germany. Our region has been voted by the UNESCO as the best area in its class for living conditions and safety. I have been running the campsite (www.countrycamping.de) and the tour company Perestroika Tours (www.mir-tours.de) since. Henry is working as a chef being in charge of the campsites 200 seat restaurant. My sister Susanne is also working with us.
No kids, no pets, no potted plans is how we live in an spacious appartment in the reception building outside of the village and just looking out on the fields and the forest.
Whilst our summers are very very busy, we try to go part of the winter to our home in India. I have recently become a PIO, a person of Indian origin, giving me better travel opportunities. We have also done a 6-week-world-tour by plane in 2002 and go to the United States every other winter for an alternative break. We would love to travel more, but the economy has taken it’s toll and cutting down on the staff there is more office hours for us family members to do.
Henry is really into watching sports, i.e. Cricket, Tennis and Football. The two German teams he supports have done well this year. Sometimes I drag along. We watched Barcelona playing Leverkusen this not so long ago. When I can make time I visit art museums and try to get the odd concert in. We both love to cook and are presently experimenting with our own tandoori oven.
Eventually we aiming at spending the winter in Henrys house in India, which is nice and the temperatures in winter between 15° and 30°C are really good.
Right now I am up to my ears in a new project. We are looking at buying parts of our fathers tour company Perestroika Tours. So now we have to get the new company registered and so on.