Our all time favorite was Dina Ebeid on the Essence of the Albe: Hamburg to Prague, August 2011. She was just the most knowledgeable of the areas we visited of any PD's we've had in the past on other cruises; if she wasn't sure of something, she researched and came back the next day with the response. When we were eating dinner, she was working. When we were eating breakfast, she was working. When we became landlocked in the sand and Captain couldn't move the ship, she quickly arranged buses to take us to Meissen and Dresden, and made sure we were compensatd for lunch, and for the inconvenience, something some of us didn't expect because "things happen". There wasn't anything she wouldn't do for her travelers; she was compassionate for those who needed assistance; she was joyful in her job as well as what she had to tell us. When we returned, we wrote a personal letter to Alan and Harriet, but never heard if Dina ever received any accolade. She was absolutely the best.
Running a second in our mind, is DeeDee on our Ireland in Depth, May 2012 trip. DeeDee was a joy to listen to, she was very personable,and knew her history. She made us all comfortable. She only had to tell us once about being considerate and rotate our seats and she was so proud of her "traveling friends" when no one complained about "the front seat" and that we always were on time getting on the bus. She was faced with several instances of a traveler who fainted on walks just a few blocks from the hotels; she immediately, at each incident, was on the phone with emergency personnel, and after the third time around 4:00 PM, she discussed with the couple of returning home when they returned to the hotel. While several men were helping the man get up, she walked across the street to a cafe and borrowed a chair, carried it across the street, for the man to sit on until medical personnel arrived. She wasn't all that big of a person to carry a wooden chair the distance she did. I'm sure this is a very touching moment and very difficult for a PD to have to ask travelers to leave the group, but she was so empathetic to their position. She called her trusted friend, a limousine driver, who arranged himself the couple's air return, insisting DeeDee get her rest for the next day, and the couple was on on a plane less than 12 hours later, at 3:00 am. She was up with them the whole time. DeeDee was shaken by her this, not because she couldn't handle the stress, but because she watched one of her "new friends" leave the group. DeeDee kept us informed of our "friend's" safe return and his condition after seeing his doctor. DeeDee made the trip fun and exciting. At the end of the tour, she made sure each and everyone of us was at our proper check-in counter at the airport, despite having several different departures from the hotel--she was on each bus at the designated times. DeeDee herself met us at the airport on our arrival, something no PD ever did before (after 8 trips we'd been on).