Home » Viking River crew wait patiently at home

Meet some of the fantastic Viking Idi crew and find out who they are and what they have been doing during lockdown.

Viking River crew stay at home but are not forgotten

In my position as Program Director, my assigned vessel for the Viking 2020 river season is the same as last year.

The gorgeous Viking Idi. The operation remains the Paris to Prague (City of Lights) itinerary. Obviously 2020 so far has been a dud, in terms of operating and taking our guests to and from Paris.

Instead, we, like so many millions of people worldwide, have been affected by the ramifications of this COVID19 pandemic  .

Viking river longship Idi

Our guests have had to face the disappointment of cancelled cruises and visits to Europe put on hold. Our season on the Idi started but ended even faster. It was the ultimate anti-climax. I cover that experience in my article  Viking Season 2020 – the party that never happened.

Suffice to say that the crew had to return to their respective homelands and wait out this awful virus until it is safe to go back to the rivers. Each week goes by and we wait for the updates and hope that the news will be good.

All of us are so ready to get back to the jobs we love and to see our friends and meet our guests. In the meantime, I want you to get to know them. But first, the BIG question:

Are Viking Cruises still in business?

Viking corporateIt’s a question I am receiving more and more these past weeks via email. And it’s a valid question given the circumstances the cruising industry finds itself.

Happily, my response is “Of course. Our hiatus is in the operation but our plans and development continue at speed”.

We are blessed to have exceptional corporate leadership who are navigating these choppy waters with skill and foresight.
 
All the while, we are constantly investigating ways in which we can operate safely for crew and guests in a way that will not negatively impact the cruise experience.
 
Our marketing, Operations directors, Future Development and various other departments are still working hard.
 

Sadly, at time of writing  (July 24th) we, as crew, remain at home. Our main demographic market – the US, are having challenges and the escalation of the Corona virus spread in the US is a concern to all.

But it is not total doom and gloom. We continue to wait for good news which we know will inevitably come.

Meet the Viking Idi Crew

But, the reason for this article, as I have stated, is that I wanted you to meet some of our crew. If you were booked on the Viking Idi, you would obviously have met these great people this year. Assuming we can keep to our  September 30 rollback date, you may still do so.

However, for many guests booked, I know that your plans may be delayed until 2021 or perhaps even later. So, let me bring some of the Viking Idi to you in the meantime and let you get to know some of our exceptional crew.

Not all crew members may be on the Viking Idi in the future, we move around from season to season. Also, if you were booked on the Viking Idi, you may have another vessel you sail on in the future.

However, let’s take a virtual vacation right now, and meet some of the nicest people you could share a cruise with.

Our first crew member we get to know is Gabor Gulyas, the Viking Idi Hotel Manager. I met Gabor at the season startup.

This is when we spoke about operations and planned the first cruise together. I was really looking forward to working with him and the team. 

I left the Viking Idi in Cologne early March 2020, for Zurich. My assignment to go and collect our Pre -extension guests for the cruise.
 
I never came back. My luggage is still on the Viking Idi. I am at home in Africa. But, as you will quickly discover why, I truly miss my co-workers for good reasons…
 
They are simply, the nicest and most interesting people you could ever wish to meet.

Viking Hotel ManagerViking Idi Hotel Manager: Gabor Gulyas

25 years experience in Hospitality. 3 years with Viking. Previously spent 3 years with Celebrity and 8 years with Seabourn & Cunard!  I am married and have a 4 years old daughter. Hotel Management & Learning & Development education from the US. Together with a Sommelier school, also from the US.

What have you been doing during lockdown? Spending time with my Family, especially with my daughter! Self education, sport…

Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work? Coordinate and overview the daily operation, deliver guest satisfaction, create a great working environment, anything what comes 

How long have you been a hotel manager at Viking? 2 years

What would you say most motivates you? I think to reach my goals & see the smiles on all those faces around me!!!

What are you most excited or passionate about? My Family and friends. My passion which is my own vinery and I love cars!

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work and life?  In my work: to become an L&D director. In my Life: to be surrounded by my Family and open my vineyard with a country side hotel.

 I want to understand how and why you ended up here working for Viking Cruises? After working for years on the ocean, I wanted to get a job closer to my family. So being in high position by seabourn the expectations are high. there was only option to work for Viking who delivers the highest standards and quality!

What led you to this job? I started in 1999 to build my future and career.

 Where did you grow up. Hungary! By the Croatian border.

 What was it like to grow up there? Amazing! I had a great childhood!

 

Next up, our Program Director – “Hang on”, you say. “You said you were the Program Director on Viking Idi!”  I am the Program Director, along with Jane. Jane is my colleague and she is responsible for conducting the Prague to Paris route.

My responsibility is to do the Paris to Prague run. So, when I disembark the vessel in Bamberg and travel up to Prague, Jane is traveling down with her guests from Prague to meet the ship and go back to Trier and Paris.

The system works well and we usually would meet briefly for lunch or coffee to touch base in Nuremberg (an amazing German city visited by both Viking groups) before heading off with our guests in the opposite directions.  

Program Director:
Jane McAnealy

Newlyweds – Jane pictured here with her husband, Drew.

About Jane:  After doing my masters at Drama School in London I was working several jobs to go to auditions. A friend had been an entertainment host on a season on a Celebrity Cruises Ocean ship and said I would love it. So I applied, got the job, gave it a try and that was 10 years ago. 

I progressed through the ranks and also ‘matured’ over the years and realised that I prefer more intimate audiences where you can really get to know the guests and wanted to learn more about history. I kept an eye on Viking river cruises for 2 years and it was clear from reviews and reports from both guests and crew that it was a great company. 

I applied went through a lengthy assessment process and very gratefully got the job. 2 years on I’m 200% happy with the move I made. I have the utmost respect for the company it’s vision, it’s leaders and the crew.  The way that they have really taken care of the crew throughout the pandemic and are very transparent about their decisions in this fluid situation is remarkable and I have my utmost trust in them and they will have my loyalty and hard work when we return to the river

What have you been doing during lockdown? A crazy few months on a rollercoaster of emotions and big life events. Where the timing of many things could not have been more precise. I’ve been home in UK and been able to spend a length time with my parents at a crucial time for the first time in 10 years.

My father passed away but I was lucky to be there. Two days later, my fiancé managed to move to the UK from the US just before it got crazy in the US, and we settled into our new pad just after lock-down was eased.

Our main Wedding had to be postponed to next year, but we managed to get a slot with the registrar just in time (within hours) when the government announced weddings can happen again, so we will have a tiny 5 minute wedding ceremony with 4 people.

I’ve gone through extreme healthy-fit phases followed by super party phases and seemingly nothing in between. I’ve connected regularly with good friends and reconnected with old friends. Some very precious moments that will be remembered and cherished.

How long have you been a Program Director with Viking? This is my second season

Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work?  My job is many things, wearing many different ‘hats’. Other than planning, organising and often re-organising the shore excursions, I see myself as the communicator between the company and the guests and the ‘go-to’ person for the guests.

My aim is to give the guests the best experience they can have on a cruise via assisting them, giving information and generally getting to know them and making them feel confident that they can relax and get what they want out of their cruise experience.

The best part is when the guests say what a great time they’ve had at the end of their trip, and they go home with many happy memories.

What would you say most motivates you? That my actions & what I do & say can make someone else happy

What are you most excited or passionate about?  Travel, seeing new things and learning about other people and cultures. The theatre. The Arts. Friends and Family.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work and life? I’m getting a few things ticked off in the last few years. I still want to be a home owner, and then have a dog and be able to prioritize being creative above the more mundane things in life that shouldn’t matter so much.

StokeWhere did you grow up?

I grew up in a town called Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire, UK. It used to be called ‘The potteries’ as all the pottery industries were based there, sadly not many remain today.

I was fortunate to have a happy childhood, loving family and lots of friends. My parents supported me in all my wild ideas and I was the first member of the family to leave Stoke and go to University.

I lived in many places in the UK, and worked seasons abroad. At 27 I went backpacking around the world for year, it was the best thing I have ever done and it made me realize how important learning about other countries and cultures is.

I was also certain that travel would always be part of my life as I love learning through experience.

The ChefAll through my career in hospitality, from hotel training in the UK to working on ships, I have come across many personalities.

I think if I had to be asked which position in the hospitality business seems to produce the ‘memorable characters”, I would say executive chefs.  

They vary from big personalities to fearsome characters you would prefer to avoid as a waiter or sous chef.

In Nuno’s case, here is a vibrant and happy person who shares his passion for life and food and leaves you with a smile on your face.

Meet Nuno Maia, our executive chef on board Viking idi…

Name: Nuno Maia   Position: Executive Chef

Life Story and Experiences

What have you been doing during lockdown? 
Family time, and that is a luxury in our business, and a perfect opportunity to take care of myself mentally and physically. Working out and getting back on track with some personal and professional studies
 
How long have you been with Viking?
With Viking Cruises, it has been 4 years, making this season the 5th
 
Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work? Motivate my crew and lead by example so we can deliver the best product to our amazing guests.
 
What would you say most motivates you? Our guests satisfaction and being able to convert and deliver desires wishes and dreams… We try to make the impossible as possible as can be… Their satisfaction when we managed to go above and Beyond is priceless
 
What are you most excited or passionate about?  My crew, simple as that. Happy crew happy guests, happy chef!
 
What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your work and life? Happiness and life balance  
 
Why did you decide to start working at Viking Cruises?
Always aim for the best… You can only be good when well surrounded by a positive environment. On a side note – I believe that Viking is one of the few companies in the world that treats crew as people
 
What led you to this job? A passion for guest contact.
 
What were you doing before you came here?  I have a vast world of experience but truly found happiness with Viking
 
What attracted you to work for Viking? I read an interview with Thorsten Hagen and fell in love with the philosophy – we are family we are proud Vikings
 
Where did you grow up? Portugal/England/France and Japan
 

What was it like to grow up there?  It made me what I am… For good and for bad

❤❤❤❤❤

 
ice cream pass around
With fellow crew members doing the ice cream round

The enjoyment of meeting so many interesting and different people as our guests is one of the common aspects we all share. Nuno is no exception..

Here are just a few of the guests with whom Nuno has enjoyed cruising with.

Executive Chef Nuno
Kate Barber - An American sketcher and an amazing artist
Hersheys Marketing Director
Lizzy, marketing director for Hershey's chocolates - came to do a cruise with me and brought chocolates for everyone
meeting Viking guests
Trekkie fans could be forgiven for mistaken identity here
The Viking kitchen
food tourism

Ernande Cardoso - Chef

I was born in Rio de Janeiro. My family is part Swiss and part Brazilian, I have both citizenships. I have been a chef for many years now, since I finished my studies in the ADF-Rio de Janeiro.

I decided to start to travel and work in different countries to get to know about international gastronomy. I was living in Switzerland, Basel, when I decide to join the Viking family.

I have been spending  my lock-down in the region of Rio de Janeiro with my family, in a city called Teresopolis.

Viking Cruises guest services
Viking happiness

I have had the pleasure of working with our next crew member  for 3 seasons during my time with Viking Cruises. All our employees are exceptional but Nikolina (Nina as we call her) is one of those who take it up an extra notch.

I won’t embarrass her with too much praise here, however much deserved,  but suffice to say, Nina is an exemplary employee.

Guest Service Manager - Nikolina Prpic

Viking River Cruises Guest services manager

For those with a keen eye and knowledge, you will notice Nikolina has three stripe epaulettes in this picture.

This was taken when she jumped in during an emergency as a Hotel Manager for 2 cruises and proved herself to be very accomplished at the position.

At leisure in lock down

Okay, so let’s find out more about Nikolina, who she is and what she does –

I’m in charge for all operation of front office/reception which is centre and flow of all information on board.

I have team of two more people which working with me and we have to work closely in relation with Hotel Manager, Program Director, Captain and other Head of departments.

Many people and guest believe that we are there only for questions regarding tours, same basic thinks regarding cruise and ship “life”.

But actually there are many behind the scene aspects for which we are in charge for at front desk.

I like to say that we are HR team on board, managing all crew on board. They have questions and we assist them in many different ways.

We are in charge for all on board money flow, for the guest settlements of bills but also all other on-board expenses. 

As the Guest Service team, we are in charge of preparation of paper work for each pre/post in the hotels- ensuring a smooth preparation of cruise, embarkation and disembarkation.

We are managing all on board paperwork, as well all excursion tours matters. We offer a concierge service and pride ourselves in giving the best service to our guests. We are handling most of complaints on board and following them up to certain departments.

 

Of course to be able to do all of this,  we need to work together with our partners and colleagues.

There are our main offices in Basel and Los Angeles, the air department, customer relations, tour guides, hosts in hotels and all on board Head of Departments including the Chief Housekeeper, Maitre D’  Executive Chef, Program Director, Hotel Manager and the Captain.

We are there to be face of ship, to be there for guest to give them the most memorable journey, to ensure that they are happy and satisfied, to see if they need anything.

We have to learn and expand our knowledge every day to follow all wishes of our guest to give them best of Viking.

We need to be pleasant, smiling, patient, talkative and I believe to do this job you really need to be made for this kind of job. You really need to like what you are doing, you need to love people and enjoy in them and this active and interactive job.

The Journey

I have been with Viking already 7 seasons. I started as a cabin stewardess. I then had training and I became Night Auditor. After that, Guest service Agent.

As Viking Cruises encourages step-ups, I was afforded the opportunity to fill in as a replacement Guest Service Manager (filling in for the Guest Service Manager on vacation or sick leave).

I did this for 4 seasons and now I am resident Guest Service Manager and I’m training for the position of Hotel Manager.

My motivation comes with looking to my future and the opportunity to grow in my career.

Of course, traveling all over to world, meeting so many different types of people, making new friends and learning the cultures and about the countries I can travel to.

Life Story and Experiences

Learning new culturesMy passions: Regarding my job – This is learning and giving the best of myself in every moment to test my limits and move my boundaries.

As for my private life;  this is my family, friends, traveling and being home as well as time for myself. I like to spend quality time when I’m at home, learning something new. 

At the moment I’m going in school for Tour guide and Leader of touristic agency. I like to be creative, making home cosmetics and handmade decorations. I love to cook and host my friends and family.

I grew up in Croatia in a town called Osijek and Baranja (region) with my family – mom, dad and two year older sister and eight years younger brother.

It was very nice place to grow up, a place where you are surrounded by beautiful nature, and people are nice, helpful, hardworking, open hearted and humble.

Croatia has everything what you could wish for. You have the sea, endless fields, mountains, forest, many national parks.

Croatia is a quiet place with people with a welcoming and hospitable people. I believe we are good hosts for every one.

Always ready to help strangers and greet our neighbors. We love spending time with our friends and family, enjoy good food, life and lot of laughs.

Only thing I believe is that I grew up here in the wrong time. It was a time of war. My family and I were refugees and for sure all of this affected our lives and the way of we grew up.

I had to move 5 times, change 3 elementary school and there was no time to be real child, I had to be strong, survive and learn how to fight for myself.

But I believe all of this and way how I grew up made me stronger and the person who I am today.

Croatia as a modern day tourist destination

Play Video

Discover Nikolina’s homeland of Croatia

The work years

When I was in high school I was going in summer breaks to harvest of grapes and paprika as well I was promoter/ hostess for few companies to earn some extra money.

I think we should be proud of each job which we did in our life, because all of that leads us to a moment where we are now.

After that, my first serious job was working on Ferries between Belgium and England – so my first contact with ships was when I was 19.

There, I was working in different positions such as cabin stewardess, waiter, helping at reception. On this job I learned many things: how to move my boundaries, how to adapt to different people/ nationalities, how to be alone and independent and multitasking.

Since I was very young I think I set some very big goals and tasks for myself, all of which,  lead me to today. When I started to work in this ferry company I was, at that time, the youngest employee of company.

Croatia capital ZagrebWhen I left that job, I moved to the capital town of Croatia, namely, Zagreb. It was there that I was working in a call centre, pretty much like a debt collector. This job taught me how to be patient, how to listen and talk with people, how to handle complaints and have professional manners.

In my career – I want to learn as much I can, see how much I can grow, meet different people.  Learn, learn and learn. This for me is very important to invest in myself to find new ideas, hobbies, opportunities in life.

In life – to keep relationships with my friends. This is hard is when you are mostly not at home. So, spending my time with my family and supporting them is very important to me. And, of course,  plenty other small things which are part of making our life.

Finding Viking Cruises

working at Viking CruisesI found my way to work for Viking, because I was working in my home country and I wanted more in my life.

I needed some change at that moment there was an economy crisis in Europe. We had a very low salary and I decided that I wanted more for my family.

As I had some experience on ships,  I decided to start to search for similar jobs and research all the different companies.

I chose to apply for Viking because Viking is the leading company in the industry and they have the best benefits for employees, along with opportunities for growing in ones career.

It definitely is a great company for employees. We have, approximately every two months, a two week vacation break which give us time to balance our private life which is challenging when you work on ships.

I’m spending the vacation time with my family and friends to travel and do the things which make me happy and feel like a “normal person” such as pursue my hobbies.

Viking helps partners work together
Nikolina with her sailor husband, Tony
travel as a couple

Viking tries to put partners together on the ships as well. Obviously it cannot always be achieved, but I am fortunate as I’m working already seven seasons together with my husband on same ships.

Viking is all over the world and gives you opportunity to explore the world while you work – how many are blessed to have such a cool job?!

Viking also puts lot of effort to train us to give us opportunity to learn and grow. With Viking there are no limits to complete your dreams if you are hardworking employee who is ready to learn.

 

Luciana Nistor, Guest Services

I have also been fortunate to work with “Lucy” previously. She is another great employee who makes my job as Program Director so much easier.

In our previous season, I worked with both Luciana and her husband Sorin who were at the Guest Service desk.

Lucy has been with Viking since 2017 and, in her words.. “I love it!” I asked her what she has been doing during lock-down and she tells me she is spending the days with her family, getting plenty of quality time.

At home during lock down
Luciana with her husband Sorin
Vilking ship

Viking restaurant               

Maiabelle Rasonabe II

A couple of other Members of the restaurant and Galley

Peter Joseph Magracia. Sous Chef from Philippines.
Krista Zapsa . Chef de rang- Phillipines

foodie travel

Ionut Alexe (Jhonny)- chef de rang

Viking dining staff


From Romania, Constanta-Black Sea coast – a great place to live during the summer especially.

During lock-down I have been spending quality time with my wife. I have been with Viking Cruises for 5 years.

I enjoy working here and seeing the smiles and the guest satisfaction and I think I am well paid for the service I provide.

My lifetime goal is to own my own restaurant and have a happy family.

Name: EVANGELOS ATHANASOPOULOS
Position: Chef de Rang

Life Story and Experiences

I was born and grew up in Athens , Greece. I had a typical life of growing in up in a big city. I consider myself fortunate to live in such a stunning city with a huge history.

I had a beautiful and full childhood. Most times of the year we have sunny days so it is easy to enjoy yourself and the city.

Viking restaurant personnel

Professionally, I was working in the hospitality industry in my country (Greece) for the last 15 years as a waiter and as a manager.

I wanted to be able to provide my family a good life. And I combined it with my love for traveling and learning new things and seeing new places.

I was trying to find a way be a better provider to my family and due to the fact that I have a relative of mine who is working for a lot of years in the cruise industry he suggested to me to take a look at the industry. After all, it made sense – I have a lot of experience in the hospitality area.

He suggested some cruise lines that I should send a CV to (Viking was in the top 2 ). So, as I was sending CVs, an opportunity came up with Viking and I was extremely happy to accept, of course!

Viking has been voted as the best Cruise Line of the Year for many years in a row so I was very happy to get the job.

In the process I realized that Viking is one of the best companies you can work for. Viking Cruises is a BIG FAMILY. And, as a family, everybody is looking after each other at all times

My motivation

What drives me and makes me want to do better is my passion and love for my work over all these years. Actually, I have 2 passions in my life – my family and my job. Everything I am doing is for the well being of my family..

I am always trying to be the best I can be at my work and I want to improve every day.  In my life I want to be the best dad and husband I can be, in order to help my daughters to become the best human beings they can be.

What I do on the job

My career is fun and challenging. As a Chef de Rang my responsibilities are to prepare the restaurant for breakfast , lunch and dinner.

Serve the guests during breakfast , lunch and dinner and also serve the guests at the bar, We must be able to remember their preferences after a couple of days in order to provide the Viking Experience during their entire cruise. This is now my second season with Viking.

During this lock down period, I have taken advantage of the time to spend with my family, my two beautiful daughters and wife.

Also, I am trying to improve my skills in the English language and increase my general knowledge etc.

Housekeeping on Viking Cruises

Housekeeping

Definitely, coming “home” to a pristine, clean stateroom that has fresh towels, smells good and is a total 180 from the devastation you left in the morning, has to be one of the greatest pleasures on vacation.

Thanks to some extraordinary individuals at Viking, we have a team that works tirelessly in the public areas and in the staterooms. All to ensure a clean and healthy environment. Time to meet some of these hard working employees…

Name: Dariia (Dasha) Asafatova - Stateroom Stewardess

Life Story and Experiences

Viking Stateroom stewardessI grew up in city called Khmelnitskyi in the western part of Ukraine. It`s not a very big city (population is about 300 000). I like my city, because I grew up here. I have family and friends here.

I went to the local kindergarten and school, and then to the university. I really had a regular childhood- studying from Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday- weekend time! Me and my friends were mostly playing outside with different games.

We liked to sing too. Sometimes we were making concerts at home and were singing Spice girls.

When we had summer holidays we were heading to the village. It`s very beautiful there and unofficially, this region people call “Podillska-Switzerland”.

What I enjoy?

I`m excited about traveling and meeting new people. I like to communicate with people, find out something new, visit new places.

The world is so huge and different and this is amazing! We are all different, we speak different languages, have different culture and mentality, but something we have in common –a big beating heart. It`s not about nationality, it`s about humanity.

I know that I`m only at the beginning of my way, but I believe that with hard efforts and huge desire I can be a good specialist in a professional sphere in the future.

In my personal life I would say that the biggest goal is to find harmony in yourself and in what you doing and share this with people who  surround you and your family.

About my career

Viking Idi

Before joining Viking Cruises, I was studying and working in Ukraine. I`m really happy to work for this company, because Viking gives me the opportunity to express my potential, to speak English, communicate with other people, see new countries, etc. I feel like I`m in the right place.

The opportunity to work for such a big and great international company, improve my English skills, increase my professional level, meet new people, get familiar with other cultures and countries excites me.

My responsibility is to care about guests, keep their cabins clean and tidy, be empathetic to their needs, provide laundry service, welcoming and escorting guests to their staterooms on embarkation day.

I also take care about the public areas and all about the ship. I have been in this position since May 2019.

My goals for now are – Understanding the importance and having an appreciation of my job. Moving forward to become better in my professional and personal life.

On Viking Idi sundeck
affordable holidays

Life in lock-down?

At first, I couldn’t accept this situation with virus at all. We`d spent only 11 days on board. I was ready to work and then…cancellation of cruises seemed like a bad joke.

When I came back home I decided to spend this unplanned free time for my mental and physical health.

I am running in the morning, exercising at the gym, reading, helping my sister with exams, working in the garden, learning to cook new dishes, improving my English and many other different simple things that you can do when you at home

In life you come across those people who just profoundly impress you. They have a sparkle and zest for life that few have.

They are the people that don’t just talk about stuff. They do! Our next Viking employee is one such individual.

I have known Novak for a long time now and have known of his principled work ethic for his job.

It is a position that enables him to pursue his insatiable passion for travel and photography.

Every chance that Novak has, he is out there exploring. If he has a sacred day off, he does not go to his cabin to rest. He is out there on his own exploring a town or with one of the tours.

Novak Zivanovic - Cabin Steward

Housekeeper at Viking Cruises

Life Story and Experiences
I was born in Serbia, in a small village. I can say it was an awesome childhood, we had a lot of fun. We didn’t always have money or food, when I was growing up.

There was a lot of conflict in the country at that time. In 1999 we had to escape because the town beside our village was bombed like the rest of Serbia in that year.

But we were last generation of kids who grew up without mobile phones or internet, even TV.

Every day goes by and I am starting to get more and more grateful to have grown up in my childhood before the technology of today.

I have a saying: if you live an ordinary life all you have are ordinary stories, you have to live life of adventure!

For me, the best motivation is to travel, that is main reason why I am working on a ship. I get to meet new people every day, and am always seeing new places.

My goals include a visit to New Zealand and also to make a family and to travel with them 😀

Before Viking, I was a cook in a few restaurants and markets in Serbia and in Montenegro. Why Viking? It is simple, in Serbia where I am from, the salary is very low and you are stuck in one place. Viking offers a great atmosphere to work in and offers more money.

And, of course, you get to see the world while working and on a break. I have now been with Viking for 5 years.

In the position of stateroom steward, I am responsible for cleaning the guests stateroom daily, and making sure that everything is spotless when guests return back to their accommodations.

Novak's selfie travel gallery

* Editors note: No, Novak is not some self-absorbed narcissist. When you travel to amazing places alone…you have to be in the pic, right?

Florin - Stateroom Steward

Life Story and Experiences

Housekeeping department on Viking IdiI grew up in Brașov, România. It was a wonderful childhood. At that time there was communism in Romania, but I felt free and safe.

I grew up with my brother and had a lot of friends. In those times all the families had two or more children. We spent most of our time outdoors in the natural environment. I can talk about it 24/7. It was an amazing time.

I have degree in engineering, but in my country does not compensate well for this career, so I needed to find alternative ways of making money. After a few experiences in different working fields I decided to apply for a job on the cruise ship.

I worked for Carnival Cruise Lines for 13 years. After this, I then started a family business in Thailand. My wife takes care of the business now that I have joined Viking.

I chose to work for Viking because is a seasonal job, and after 2 or 3 months at work, I get 2 weeks off, and continue until end of the season.

Then I enjoy another 3 months at home with my family at the end of the season. It’s a good combination between work and time off which is suitable for me and my family.

This is my second season with Viking Cruises. And it is here that I want to enjoy the time at work, make people feel happy and excited, stay healthy and live a normal life!

I’m passionate about traveling, enjoying the time in nature with my family and practicing or watching sports. Travel, meeting people from all over the world and saving money at the same time, I think is good motivation.

During this lock-down period,  I have spent my time in Thailand, at home, together with my family, having a good time.

Florin with his family

Name: Maiabelle P. Rasonabe II Position: Chef de Rang

Life Story and Experiences
Viking restaurant staff

I grew up in a small town of Matalom – a coastal municipality in the Province of Leyte, Philippines. I had a happy childhood way back then and we were raised by our parents with discipline and respect. And I am blessed to have a twin sister who has the same dream as me. 

We went to the same school and got our Bachelors degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. When our father died in 2014, that was the saddest part of my life. You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.

MaiabelleAfter we had graduated in 2012 from Visayas State University here in the Philippines, I got my first job in a 5-star hotel and my sister worked from a different hotel. I started as a Service Associate for a probationary period and received a regular position after 6 months. 

It was not an easy journey, but I love my job. I love to serve the guests with a warm welcome and smile that comes from my heart. I worked in the hotel industry for 6 years. 

I multi-tasked in the Food and Beverage Department, worked as a Receptionist, Cashier, Waitress and Pantry person. Then I was offered to be transferred in Front Office. Later then I realized I would love to experience to work in the Cruise Line Industry and pursue my dream.

What have you been doing during lock-down?

Viking employeesI never expected this pandemic would be a huge problem. I am very excited to work my first season with Viking Europe this year. 

Above all, I’m very thankful for the safety of all crew who went home with the help of our Hotel Manager and the rest of the Viking Idi team, and our agency MSM.

I have been spending quality time with my family and friends. Staying healthy and strong as I am very excited to be back soon for the operation. Days have passed when we have had a problem in our road and with the source of water.  The Association in our Compound decided to construct a private road and dig a deep well. 

Thankfully all the people helped each other and it did finish. We enjoyed living in our compound as the kids can do outdoor games during this pandemic so they will not focus using gadgets.

How long have you been as Chef de Rang?

3 years. I started my Viking Journey in 2018, with 2 seasons in Viking Russia and this is my 3rd season and first in Viking Europe. Thank you, Viking, for the opportunity you’ve given to me to be transferred this season as I really love my job and the Company.

Can you give me a brief overview of what it is you do in your work? 

As Chef de Rang we provide a warm and attractive atmosphere, treat every guest as unique and add a personal touch to genuine services. This what I love in my job – talking to the guests, serving their breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining area and making sure their stay and travel is a wonderful experience – the best they could have imagined.

Viking Cruises restaurant staffWe are making sure we deliver the guest’s preferences and pay attention to their allergens. This is with the help of our Front Office team in the information they give to us once the guests arrived. 

They pass this on to the Galley team and Food and beverage. Everyone has its roles so we can meet the standard that Viking has prepared for us. Before the embarkation day, they provide training and dry run for us to be familiar with our job. 

Food and beverage department help in welcoming the passengers and this is the first contact that we provide to our guests. We escort them to their respective state rooms once they arrive on board. My work also helped me to expand my communication in English and work with the different kinds of cultures on board.

What would you say most motivates you?

My family are always there for me. You will love and be loved for the rest of your life.

The encouragement and constant motivation of my work pushed me to heights I never thought possible.  I have learned to strive for excellence.

Travel around the world

 What Attracted You to Work for Viking?

Travelling around the world is my dream. One of my schoolmates from my University introduced me to the agency that handled Viking Russia. I attended the orientation and this gave me hope for my dream. Viking has been the World’s #1 River Cruise Line and the benefits for the crew are awesome. 

Viking make sure you will have a home and a family feel on board.  And I am very happy and thankful for the blessings Viking had shown in this trying time. They never left us behind during this pandemic.

Employees of Viking cruises
I found my second home with my colleague and they treated me like a family on board. You will not feel the homesickness they told me before I joined. Home away from Home indeed.

Where did you grow up?

I like my hometown!

Matalom is a small and quiet town of Leyte, Philippines. Beneath this humble town there lies a gem of attractions. One of the most well-known tourist spots is Canigao Island due to the fact of its white sand beaches and gorgeous sandbar. This place has been our immediate getaway if we want a quick relaxation and have our moment by the beach.

Thank you for taking the time out to meet these amazing individuals and getting to know them a little better. On a personal note, you perhaps can understand why anyone would want to spend time working with these people.

I learn so much from all these Viking employees and they constantly remind me of the true value system in life – love, family and appreciation. Obviously these are but a few members of the Idi family and in time, I may be able to add many more.

Of course, we have 1000’s of employees across our river and ocean fleets and the character you identify in this small group, you will find on all our ships. They are a HUGE reason for Viking’s success and for that, we thank them.


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