Fred. Olsen Crew Members Receive Service Awards

Service Awards

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ crew have received Norwegian Ship Owners Association Medals for their long service at sea.

Eight crew members have amassed over 270 years’ worth of service onboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ships, according to a press release.

“Our crew are a vital part of everything that we stand for and they are central to the specialness of a Fred. Olsen cruise,” said Pete Deer, managing director of Fred. Olsen.

“We are incredibly proud of our wonderful team on board who, in turn, are proud to welcome our guests. To have so many crew members who have decided to spend more than 30 years of their career with us is truly special and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines would just not be the same without them.”

The longest-serving crew members Victor Magbanua and Carmelita Lao have each spent 37 years with the cruise line, the company said.

Magbanua, an oiler, began his career with Fred. Olsen in August 1986 as he wanted to work at sea and travel the world. He has worked on board the Black Prince, the Black Watch, the Borealis and the Balmoral.

“My favorite ship to work on was the Black Prince and New York is my favorite destination,” he said. “I’ll be retiring soon so I’m enjoying my remaining contracts and will really miss working on board the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet.”

Room stewardess Carmelita joined Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in February 1987 after founder Frederik Olsen visited the Philippines to hire crew for the Black Prince.

“I was one of the lucky ones who was chosen and was so fortunate to be able to provide for my family,” Lao said. “Black Prince – which I called Happy Ship – was my favorite, but I’ve also worked on Boudicca and Balmoral, and I’ve loved visiting a variety of new places and meeting people of all different nationalities.”

First engineer on Balmoral Jose Villalobos and fitter Roberto Rebite have served for 34 years each.

“My role as first engineer in the technical department ensures the smooth operation of the ship,” said Villalobos, who began his maritime career in October 1989. “I love the strong sense of camaraderie on board, it feels like I’m part of a larger, seafaring family.”

Rebite also joined Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in October 1989 on board the Black Prince. His work spans various departments including deck fitting, engine fitting and welding.

“I really enjoy working on small ships and my favorite is Black Prince,” he said. “I love working for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and hope to do so for as long as possible.”

Assistant Housekeeper Ruth Manaog has been part of Fred. Olsen since December 1991. She has worked on the Black Prince, the Boudicca, the Black Watch, the Balmoral and the Borealis.

The five crew members were presented with their long service awards during the Fleet in Funchal event in November.


Three other crew members have also been recognized for their service but were unable to attend the celebrations in Madeira – tank cleaner Roberto Cortez for 36 years, deck carpenter Noel Cuevas for 33 years and chef de partis Gimmie Macatangay for 31 years.


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