Seabourn Club Herald - - IN THIS ISSUE - KAREN SIEMENS Cor­po­rate Head Som­me­lier — Traveling Trainer

Se­abourn staff goes above and be­yond.

For Se­abourn som­me­liers, con­tin­u­ous learn­ing is a way of life. With each new cruise, they wel­come a new com­ple­ment of guests with vary­ing tastes, lev­els of in­ter­est and dif­fer­ent ap­petites for ex­plor­ing the wide world of wines. Som­me­liers match those in­di­vid­ual palates with the con­tents of their cel­lars and the menus served up by the ship’s culi­nary staff, in an on­go­ing en­deavor to of­fer each guest the per­fect wine on ev­ery oc­ca­sion, as well as as­sist­ing them in dis­cov­er­ing new wines. Se­abourn has se­lected Canadian-born Karen

Siemens to act as a vis­it­ing an­gel for the som­me­lier teams, de­liv­er­ing news, ad­vice and ex­per­tise from around the world to as­sist them in their mis­sion.

Karen was born in On­tario, Canada, and grew up on a large farm. She stud­ied an­thro­pol­ogy at the Uni­ver­sity of Toronto, and achieved an ARCT Level at the Royal Con­ser­va­tory of Mu­sic. Her in­ter­est in wines even­tu­ally led her to the pres­ti­gious

Court of Mas­ter Som­me­liers, where she at­tained the status of Cer­ti­fied Som­me­lier.

“I had a ca­reer of 20 years in var­i­ous food and bev­er­age roles be­fore a friend of mine who was a Cruise Di­rec­tor se­cretly sent my re­sumé to Se­abourn,” she says. “That was in the spring of 2009, just be­fore Se­abourn Odyssey launched.

I was up­set at him, but I flew to Mi­ami to meet with two of their Ho­tel Di­rec­tors, and was hired that day.” She laughs, “Now I guess

I owe him a good bot­tle of wine!”

Although she en­joyed her pre­vi­ous time as a Head Som­me­lier on board, she also finds her new role traveling across the fleet as Cor­po­rate Head Som­me­lier very ful­fill­ing.

“The world of wines changes con­stantly,” she notes. “Ev­ery year, in ev­ery re­gion, there is a new vin­tage with its own char­ac­ter and quirks. And of course, wines al­ready in bot­tles are still alive and chang­ing too. This new role ful­fills three of my great­est pas­sions: learn­ing about wines, train­ing and sup­port­ing my teams and traveling the world.”

When she is not on board, Karen of­ten vis­its her fam­ily in Canada.

“I stay with fam­ily in a small town north of Toronto, or in sum­mer in a lake­side house among the vine­yards. My mother would do any­thing for you, and my fa­ther brings out my sense of ad­ven­ture. I have a great sis­ter and two younger broth­ers with new fam­i­lies of their own. Sim­ple plea­sures and out­stand­ing peo­ple keep me hum­ble, “she says. “They are al­ways happy to see me as if no time has passed. I am cur­rently serv­ing as beloved Aun­tie to all their horses and dogs!”

The most mem­o­rable desti­na­tion Karen has vis­ited with Se­abourn is Antarc­tica, which in­spired in her a sense of hu­mil­ity. “Some­how I learned that ev­ery mo­ment is fleet­ing,” she ex­plains, “and we must grab ev­ery chance to ex­pe­ri­ence life.”

Karen says her great­est job sat­is­fac­tion comes from see­ing her teams’ knowl­edge and con­fi­dence im­prove and Se­abourn guests’ sat­is­fac­tion in­crease. Traveling from ship to ship, she gets to see the re­sults of her work again and again, with many dif­fer­ent hos­pi­tal­ity pro­fes­sion­als and over an ex­tended time. “Now that I have been with Se­abourn for quite some time, the teams have come up with a nick­name for me. They call me ‘Mummi K,’” she says, “and I ad­mit I find that very en­dear­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.