Today we would like to share with you a story of a lovely guest, Mr Malcolm Murdey.
Mr Murdey booked a cruise holiday on Royal Carribean’s Radiance of the Seas back in February. The cruise, scheduled to leave Sydney on October 31st, travels around the top coast of Australia, into Bali and Perth, then connects with a second journey on the same ship through Melbourne to New Zealand, eventually arriving back in Sydney on 3rd December.
Over the last 4 months Mr Murdey, with the help of staff at his nursing home, has navigated his way through the muddy waters of the Australian Passport and Immigration Department to obtain a new passport. After many attempts however, on the day he left Adelaide his passport had still not arrived.
When Mr Murdey got to the cruise ship terminal on October 31st, he was unable to board. The ship left, on time, though with one less holiday-goer on its decks.
Courtney Brooks at Royal Carribbean assisted Mr Murdey at the terminal, booking him a room at Mercure Sydney so he could be close to the passport office. Mr Murdey checked in and began a two-day pinball machine ride to obtain a new document, bouncing around the different departments of DFAT, with little success.
Mr Murdey came to the attention of hotel staff when, upon check-out, he asked for assistance getting to Brisbane to join his cruise ship. Matthew Guy, Front Office Manager, made enquiries and found the story of Mr Murdey’s journey so far. He re-issued Mr Murdey with his room key and promised to assist in getting him on the cruise.
Sitting through a tense meeting at the Department of Immigration, Matt learned that many of the documents required to obtain a passport for Mr Murdey were still in Adelaide at Mr Murdey’s nursing home. After a quick phone call to the Festival State, Jeremy Samuels, General Manager of Ibis Adelaide, personally drove out to the nursing home and searched Mr Murdey’s room for the documents. Not finding anything in his room, Jeremy decided to look in his car as a last-hope effort and found all of the required forms on the front seat.
An overnight courier meant Matt and Mr Murdey could again make the 100 foot journey to see Larissa, one of the gatekeepers at Immigration and Passport Control, though this time armed with correct paperwork.
Guest Relations Manager Jennifer Eger, took up the cause, helping Mr Murdey through his passport interview and pushing for a quick turnaround. After a wink and a nod, Government Officer Larissa promised to put the application on the top of the pile, meaning Mr Murdey should have his passport within 24 hours.
Another day, another shuffle across Lee St to visit our new friends at Dimmo. Success!! Mr Murdey returned to the hotel as the proud holder of a freshly-minted Australian Passport!
However, given the Radiance of the Seas was still missing a passenger, our job was not nearly over.
On the 5th of November, Front Office Team Leader Jennifer Chaplin met Mr Murdey in the hotel lobby at 04:15am, travelled with him to Sydney Domestic Airport and saw him off at the gate for his Jetstar flight to Cairns. Not to be outdone, the team at Pullman Cairns International met Mr Murdey at the other end, drove him to the Boat Club and ensured he made the tender to join his ship. Courtney and the staff on board Royal Carribbean Radiance of the Seas have promised to look after Mr Murdey as he set off on his voyage, 6 days late.
From a shaky start to a memorable ending, Mr Malcolm Murdey has kept smiling through every hurdle. Events that would ruin many people’s holidays have just been part of the adventure for him. We wish him a fun-filled and safe onward journey and hope, when he is next in Sydney, that he drops in and says hello.
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