Cunard Appoints Queen Elizabeth Senior Officers

Following the appointment of Captain Christopher Wells as Master of its new Queen Elizabeth, Cunard Line has appointed three more Senior Officers who will be onboard when the ship enters service in October 2010.

Robert Howie, Hotel Manager

Scottish-born Robert Howie brings almost 25 years of experience – on land and at sea – to his new post as Hotel Manager aboard Queen Elizabeth. He held the position of Food and Beverage Manager aboard Queen Mary 2 in the ocean liner’s inaugural year and was later promoted to the prestigious position of Hotel Manager on Cunard’s flagship in 2005. Howie was also the first Hotel Manager onboard Queen Victoria when she entered service in December 2007.

As Hotel Manager, Howie is in charge of all onboard operations: housekeeping, food and beverage, entertainment and human resources. Prior to joining Cunard, he served in senior managerial food and beverage positions for Princess Cruises – both shoreside and onboard – since 1990.

Alastair Greener, Entertainment Director

Alastair Greener from Marlborough, England has a love of both the sea and stage, characteristics that will serve him well as he prepares to join Queen Elizabeth as Entertainment Director. Alastair has also served as Entertainment Director on both Queen Mary 2 and QE2 and was the first Entertainment Director onboard Queen Victoria.

Currently, Greener is the face of the company’s very popular blog,, which he frequently updates with all the latest news about the fleet. Alastair is a member of the British Actors’ Union and has appeared in a wide range of film, theatre and television productions, including the BBC’s “House of Cards” and Warner Brothers’ “Black Beauty.” He was also asked to represent CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as a media tour spokesperson.

Prior to Cunard, Greener joined Princess Cruises in 1997 and served on eight ships within the fleet.

Hamish Sunter, Staff Captain

Halifax-born Captain Hamish Sunter joined Cunard in 1990 as an officer on Cunard Princess, where he remained for three years. He also obtained his Master’s Certificate at this time. In 1993 he was transferred to QE2 as Junior First Officer and left that ship as Chief Officer in 1998. After two years Sunter was keen to go back to sea, which he did in 2000 with P&O Cruises, sailing as First Officer on several of their ships. He returned to Cunard as Chief Officer on Queen Mary 2 in October 2005. He rejoined QE2 as Staff Captain in December 2006 and has also served in that capacity onboard Queen Victoria.

Colin Black, Chief Engineer

Colin Black hales from East Lothian near Edinburgh, Scotland and joined P&O / Princess Cruises in 1990 as a CPO Mechanic onboard Royal Princess. He subsequently moved up the ranks to First Engineer prior to being given the responsibility for the newbuild of Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess, followed by Ocean Princess. In 2001 he was based in the Southampton Office working within the newbuild department. In 2002 he moved across to P&O Cruises serving onboard Oriana, Aurora and then the new Arcadia. Black’s first appointment as Chief Engineer was onboard Tahitian Princess in 2006 and her sister ship Pacific Princess.

In 2007 he was assigned as Technical Fleet Services Project Manager for Queen Victoria, thereafter taking over as Chief Engineer.

“Loyal Cunarders will be delighted to find so many familiar faces aboard our newest ship,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “One of our distinguishing characteristics is the number and frequency of our repeat guests, and they will truly appreciate sailing with these revered and long time Cunard staff members.”

Queen Elizabeth will feature many unique Cunard traditions linking her with her sisters Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria and their predecessors, together with all the modern day luxuries Cunard’s guests have come to expect. 

From the outside, her distinctive black and red livery will hint at an experience that differentiates a Cunard liner from a modern-day cruise ship. This will be most evident in the ship’s adherence to liner traditions, with elegant double and triple height public rooms on a grand scale, luxuriously endowed with rich wood panelling, intricate mosaics, hand-woven carpets, gleaming chandeliers, and cool marbles. Art Deco features will pay homage to the original Queen Elizabeth, and will allow the new ship to reflect a more civilized era of travel. 

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