Seabourn Odyssey: Team Spirit

You’ve no doubt heard that the Seabourn Odyssey was not ready for service when it was delivered.

The Italian shipyard missed its deadline and even suggested delaying delivery. But Carnival Corporation, Seabourn’s parent company, would not hear of such. To delay would have meant upsetting many passengers who had looked forward to sailing on the new ship.

What happened next is the story you probably have not heard.

“It was amazing,” says Gunter Steinbrunner, hotel manager on Seabourn Odyssey. The crew pitched in to do the shipyard’s job so that delivery could go on as scheduled.

They cleaned the ship during sea trials, not an easy task when the ship was pitching and rolling. “They just would not stop,” Steinbrunner says. “They had so much pride. They wanted the ship to be perfect for delivery.”

In fact, there was much more needed than cleaning. When staff walked into one room on deck nine, they found that it was missing carpet.

There was also much that needed to be loaded onto the ship, a task made difficult by the fact that the elevators were not yet functional. The crew members formed a human chain to move items up and along the decks.

Team spirit would be an understatement for the way the Seabourn staff stuck together. One night a shipment was due to arrive at 2:30 in the morning. “We wanted to send some of the crew members home, because they needed to be up the next morning to serve breakfast to some of the guests who were arriving early,” Steinbrunner says. “But the crew members refused. They said that as long as the others were there, they would stay too.”

Even the company president, Pam Conover, pitched in to help ready the ship. Talk about leadership by example.

To reward the crew, management rented one of the most spectacular villas overlooking the city of Genoa to host dinner and a party. “The company wanted to give them an experience that was equal to the guest experience on Seabourn,” Steinbrunner says. “We wanted to make them feel like royalty.”

Posted from my Blackberry.

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