The last week of June 2017 found me at sea on the Norwegian cruise liner Dawn as its pointed bow plowed through the deep blue sea heading to Bermuda from Boston, Massachusetts.
It was my first cruise and I was like a kid in a candy store.
Weeks prior to departure I had reached out to the public relations team at Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) asking them a few questions about my ham radio.
I informed them the adventure was a mix of work and pleasure as I wanted to write a story about how a cruise liner compares to the homes you and I live in.
That’s how I came to meet Emelinda Nonato a few days into the cruise.
Emelinda has been working on cruise ships for thirteen years I believe and she’s climbed high on the ladder to become an Assistant Maitre D in a few of the fine restaurants on the Dawn.
The NCL public relations team goes out of its way to extend courtesies to members of the media like me. One of them was a very nice invitation to eat breakfast and lunch at a few of the exclusive restaurants on board the ship.
I decided to try breakfast at Moderno Churrascaria. It’s an enclosed restaurant in the middle portion of the ship on Deck 13. It’s got large windows that overlook the outdoor pool area.
This restaurant is very formal and I’m quite sure the Dawn’s Hotel Director, Alain Magnier, puts his A team members in these high-profile assets. The passengers that visit these upscale restaurants on the ship pay to dine here and expect the best service and dining experience.
I can tell you I was not disappointed and neither would my close friend Dan Murray who appreciates white tablecloths over plastic forks and foam bowls when dining.
Emelinda was the Maitre D on duty the first morning I dined for breakfast in Moderno Churrascaria. She was professional and made sure my meal was perfect.
As I was leaving the restaurant that morning I mentioned that I’d be having lunch with the Hotel Director and asked her how to spell his name.
“Oh, you’re going to have a great time with Alain,” said Emelinda. She kindly corrected my spelling as she saw me write down his name forgetting to add the letter “i”.
Little did I know that she’d be on duty that afternoon at Cagney’s Steakhouse where I was to have lunch with Alain after my interview with him.
While I can’t speak for the official duties of the other assistant maitre d’s, Emelinda worked at no less than three of the fine restaurants on board the Dawn. She was kind enough to pose for our photo together while on duty at Bamboo.
I hope when you cruise on the Dawn you’ll remember Emelinda and take a few moments to engage her in conversation. Ask her if she remembers the silly old goat with the white hair who asked too many questions!