Queen Mary 2 -- Staying Ship Shape
Solely responsible for printing 1,500 copies of daily programs distributed in cabins to the roughly 2,600 passengers, more than 1,700 menus for the three main dining rooms and seven alternative venues, personalized name cards for special occasions, as well as eight-page versions of U.S. and British daily newspapers (downloaded by satellite), Neugebauer and his assistant, Jared Unterborn, produce jobs in hours, not days. As a result, files fly through the shop digitally employing Prinect workflow software and all proofing constitutes PDF files that are signed off electronically.
Another time saver: for some of their jobs, Chesapeake Digital Printing, in Baltimore, supplies preprinted shells and then Neugebauer and Unterborn just have to print the blanks.
With their workload, they don't have much time to lounge on deck. "We were working 18-hour days initially but now, with both port and sea days, we're putting in 10 to 12 hours," reveals Unterborn, an RIT graduate and now a master's candidate. "The flexibility of the hours is great for a student," he adds. "We do most of our press work at sea so that we have the luxury to spend quality time exploring the various ports. And it's great to get school credit and be able to travel around the world at the same time."
RIT has been running co-op programs for its students on a cruise ship since 1987. Following a 10-week training course at RIT's Rochester, NY, campus, students are assigned to the ship for six months. Both Unterborn and Neugebauer worked on the Queen Elizabeth 2 before their current tour of duty. They have no expenses for lodging, meals, travel, laundry, etc.; only for what they spend when they go ashore. But it's a life best suited to being single.
Unterborn will be completing his contract and leaving the ship this month to continue his education. Neugebauer replaced the former chief printer when he retired and has now been employed with Cunard for the past seven years. As a full-time employee, he works 41⁄2 months straight and then has one month off.