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September 4, 2008

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates


Hello, I’m Alastair Greener and I would like to welcome you to the first “We Are Cunard” Blog. I’m currently the Entertainment Director on Queen Victoria, and I consider it a privilege to be the first host of this blog and I hope this marks a great beginning of a new extended Cunard community. After all “We Are Cunard” is a phrase that applies to us all whether we work on Cunard’s legendary liners, work in the offices shore side or of course travel with us as our guests. One of the first things I noticed about Cunard, when I first joined the company, was the sense of family that exists between our guests and crew. Perhaps this is because so many of our guests, who keep coming back, enjoy being welcomed by familiar faces of crew members, who have many years of White Star Service under their belts.

So how will this new community evolve? Well that’s up to you really. We hope to hear from you and look forward to your suggestions and ideas that will help us shape this exciting new project. Initially though, along with my colleagues, I’ll update this blog once a week with stories from all three of our liners, as well as from you, our readers, and our shore side operation that does such an amazing job in supporting us on board. There’ll be interviews with Officers and Crew offering an insight behind the scenes, and maybe we’ll persuade some of them to share their trade secrets! Perhaps you have some requests of who you would like to hear from, in which case I’d love to hear from you. There will also be an opportunity to meet some of the many personalities who sail with us from Lecturers, Entertainers and of course our guests, who’ll tell us more about themselves and describe life on board, from a different perspective.

We’ll keep you updated with the news of what’s happening right now on our ships as well as future plans – you may even get to hear about it first on this website! We know Cunarders love the tradition and heritage associated with our ships (one of the reasons “Cunardia” was created on Queen Victoria, featuring the world’s first museum at sea), so we’ll feature some of our rich history and give you a flavour of days gone by, perhaps a nostalgic trip down memory lane for our most travelled guests. If you have stories you’d like to share, we hope you’ll send them in, it would be great to post them as a regular feature.

It really is all about Cunard and Cunarders, and what an amazing year this has been so far, as Queen Victoria approaches her first birthday after an incredible year, having already circumnavigated the globe visiting 6 continents and over 38 countries. A year when our flag ship Queen Mary 2 began her fourth year of iconic Transatlantic Crossings. There were those occasions like the three Queens event in New York (where for the first time in Cunard’s history three Queens plied the oceans), as well as the historic meeting of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 2 in Sydney. Those were two days amoungst many I’ll certainly never forget, but it would be great to hear your stories too. This year we are also celebrating the life of Queen Elizabeth 2 as she leaves sea going service, but of course it is a year of mixed emotions as we bid her farewell in November. We’ll make sure this blog is part of that very important period of Cunard’s history.Then we’ll keep you up to date with the exciting future of Cunard as we prepare for a new sister in 2010, Queen Elizabeth, so I’ll try and get reports from the ship yard to mark her progress with hopefully some photos.

Below is an internal company video produced by our White Star Service training team. It shows the officers and crew preparing Queen Victoria for launch, for those same team members to watch as part of their pre-launch White Star training session. It shows so well the dedication of the team that we’d like to share it with our friends on this blog!

I’ll be back next week, letting you know what’s going on around the Cunard world, but in the meantime, thank you for logging on and being a part of our first blog. Please do write in, as I’m really looking forward to your questions, news, views and ideas, after all this is our website and We Are Cunard!

Cheers – Alastair

  1. Mrs Dixon, Dorset says:


    I heard via the grapvine that you were starting a blog. The ‘behind the scenes’ video is great. So good to see so many familiar faces I’ve got to know over the years.

    I’ve travelled on Cunard ships many, many times. My best experience was being on Queen Mary 2 in Sydney on 20 Feb 2007 – what a day, the city came to a stand still!

    Hope to see you on Queen Victoria in October.

  2. Jennie H says:

    I am a PR and manager and I work with Anneka Rice and Jose Carreras etc, good to see a blog, I have wanted to go on a cruise for years but not made it yet, I will one day. Keep up the Blog I will cruising without leaving my desk!

    Bon voyage


  3. Graham Lake says:

    As a Platinum Cunard World Club Member I’m delighted to see the launch of “We are Cunard” blog.

    As yet have not experienced the Queen Victoria, but this is my goal for 2009!

    Good luck with this new venture!

  4. Joan Ledgar says:

    We did the Full World Cruise on Queen Victoria. A fabulous trip on a fabulous ship. Alistair worked so hard to ensure that there was always something for everybody to enjoy. Particularly enjoyed Dr George Mc Gavin and his talks on bugs!!!
    Love the idea of the blog.

  5. Francine says:

    Dear Alastair
    Is this blog only for Queen Victoria
    or do you also talk about Queen Mary 2

  6. William Rothschild says:


    Many congratulations on the blog – very interesting.

    I look forward to cruising on the Queen Victoria. I have been on the Queen Mary 2 twice and simply loved it!

    The highlight of each holiday was the ballroom dancing – simply superb. It is great to see people dressing up for the evening.

    Thanks again to everybody at Cunard for the hard work – it is much appreciated.

    William Rothschild.

  7. Peter Lockhart says:

    Great idea…love it, please keep it up. We love to hear all the latest Cunard news and this is a good way to keep us Cunard fans in touch. Won a free drink from Alaistair on QM2 Trans Atlantic Trip in October 2007, never cliamed it. Don’t worry Alastair, we are booked on V901 in December, hope to catch up then and, like a true Scot claim that drink!!
    Had already seen and inded added to my Facebook and Bebo site the You Tube “We are Cunard”. Its a great wee promo. For more Cunard clips, log on to You Tube and key the ship of your choice.
    Peter Lockhart and Morven Moore,
    Ayr, Scotland.
    PS Looking forward to a last glimpse of QE2, which I sailed on twice in the 80′s, when she sails up the Clyde on Sunday 4th October.

  8. Graham Lake says:


    I think it is for Cunard Line – not just QV.


  9. James & Moira Fergie says:

    Hello Alastair

    We have just discovered your blog. It was interesting, informative and we found ourselves recognising and smiling at a few weel kent faces.
    We have been on the three queens around four times now and looking forward very much to joining the QM2 on her fifth anniversary around the UK in October 2009.
    Our most memorable trip so far has been on board Queen Victoria sailing in tandem across the pond with QE2 and meeting up with QM2 just outside New York. I think almost every passenger on board was part of a privileged Cunard following to have experienced such a special event and certainly from the amount of cameras flashing and ship’s horns sounding it was certainly an unforgettable experience.
    We did enjoy the blog.

    Jim & Moira, Edinburgh, Scotland

  10. Chris says:

    Hi Alistair,

    I’ve just returned from a superb voyage aboard QE2 where I was a guest lecturer aboard talking about the Cunard and QE2 heritage. It was a superb experience aboard. Recently, I’ve co-authored a book, QE2: A Photographic Journey – which is a photographic tribute to the most magnificent Ocean Liner ever created. Aside from that, I also maintain an independent Cunard website at http://www.chriscunard.com

    I like the idea of your blog – superb! It’s a great way to stay in touch with all of us Cunarders out there. The Cunard Family is very special as we all share a common fondness for these great ships. I rate my voyages aboard QE2 and QM2 as some of the best experiences of my life and know that many other Cunard fans agree.

    I can identify with Mrs Dixon’s comments re: Sydney as I was aboard QM2 that day – it was amazing to see the city come to a halt as everyone in Sydney had the same idea – “let’s go and see the Cunard Queens”

    Looking forward to reading more as the blog develops and spending some time on QV in the near future.


  11. Richard says:

    Great blog. I will add a link to it from my website.

    FYI I have just added an interview with Captain Rynd about Queen Victoria to the Queen Victoria section of my site. http://beyondships.com/QV-Rynd-1.html

    All the best,


  12. Elaine W Reed says:

    Hi Alastair,

    Love the idea of the blog. My last trip on Cunard was the 2008 World Cruise – combo of the QE2 and the Vic from Sydney. You were terrific – loved your stint at handwriting expert at the Country Fair!!! Remember the auction – well I got the tour of the engine room and that was a highlight! Nice to see so many familiar faces on the video. Have booked for the Singapore-Souton segment of the 2010 Vic World Cruise. Hope to see you then, if not before. Cheers! Elaine

  13. Darran Burr says:

    Hi Alistair, my wife and I had the pleasure of meeting you and your team on QV’s maiden Christmas Voyage last year, we very much enjoyed the Cruise and the service in Princess Grill was, as expected, outstanding. We have just booked to travel to New York on QM2 for my wifes 50th Birthday on May 2nd next year, I have booked a Q5 suite for this special birthday occasion! Will you be aboard QM2 next year when we cross the Atlantic? Good luck with the blog, its a great idea, we will be regualar readers! Best Regards, Darran & Eileen Burr.

  14. Bernd Kaercher says:

    Alistair, our complete family is in love at least with QM2 and the great people who make and made hear alive.
    We watched here various times arriving and departing in Hamburg – until we made our first dream come true in the short “Summer Sampler” this year – more experiences to follow.
    We are also exited about the new Queen Elizabeth.
    Apart from that we were disponted last year in December after flying to Hamburg and noticing that the wheather kept QE2 from entering the river Elbe -probbly our last chance to see here in regular sevice.
    Anyhow Greetings from the south of Germany to the rest of the Cunard family

  15. Martin Charles says:

    Hello Alistair,
    Just found your blog! We were on V813 and met you at the Captains Cocktail Party. It is great to read your blog, and gives us a feeling that we are ‘intouch’ with the ship. We loved our cruise and look forward to cruising again. We hope you are able to provide updates on Queen Elizabeth.
    Keep up the good work and enjoy.
    Regards Martin & Jo Charles

  16. Christine Davison says:

    I think that the Blog is a lovely idea and I look forward to reading it every week. It was nice seeing you again on the recent Greek Isles and Aegean Shores cruise between 6th and 18th September. What a lovely itinerary and a wonderful finale sailing into Venice. Just spectacular!

  17. Lynne says:

    Hi Alastair.

    My daughter Rebecca Clancy is sailing aboard the Victoria at present as part of the crew. She took us aboard the QE2 recently for a look around. Truly the end of an era.
    Say hello to here from me please.



  18. Hello Alastair, The Cunard Blog is a fantastic idea. We have just returned after doing the 100th Westbound transatalntic crossing aboard a Magnificent Liner QM2 (not a Cruise Ship) as Commodore Warner stated. What a wonderful gentleman. My wife does not have water wings as she usually suffers from seasicknes but this voyage converted her to do it all over again. She had one uncomfortable day but the rest of the voyage was teriffic.
    I was totally amazed how this ship is kept so clean and tidy considering it’s size and the quick turnround. I would like to thank Commodore Warner and all the crew on board who made the voyage so special. Special thanks also to David Pepper for arranging fantastic entertainment. Everyone did Cunard proud and it’s a memory that will live with us for the rest of our lives. Can’t wait to do it all over again. Bon Voyage.
    Jim & Margaret Egan Carnoustie Scotland.

  19. Douglas Hooker says:

    First Cunard voyage transatlantic in April this year. Six days of sheer luxury on board QM2 what a magnificient ship with such friendy, helpful and attentive crew. Sailed again to Cherbourg on QM2 and nearly all of Cherbourg residents watched sailaway. Travelled to the Clyde and was on a good Calmac boat to escort QE2 up the Clyde. What a magnificent sight she was. As a result on board QE2 next week 22 October. Booked for Queen Victoria next May and QM2 Round Britain in October 2009. Cannot wait. Marvellous blog.

  20. QM2Shellie says:

    Hello Alastair what a wonderful blog!!!

    My husband and I are joining the V901 voyage and we are really looking forward to it.

    Could you confirm if the rumour I heard about Cunard rectifying the fact that the QV does not have a wrap-around prom’ deck is true or not?

    Thank you

  21. Anne Dexter says:

    Hi Alastair,

    Forgot to mention in my last blog that we met up again with ‘Jo’ and also David Pepper on board the QM, is it only me but David must be a stand in for the actor/comedian “Bradley Walsh” Do you agree? great staff and crew who help to make the cruise more than just memorable.

  22. Alastair- Happy new year to you. Just wanted to reach out to you. I’m a huge ocean liner fan. Sure you hear this alot. I am currently working on a series of large formant paintings of the great ocean liners. Would like to share my site with you. Go to scottmcbee.com. Hope you enjoy them.

  23. Steve says:

    What a wonderful video! I am so impressed with the legend of Cunard!!

    I must ask Alistair..I keep reading online, especially Youtube that Cunard Line is managed and directed by Princess Cruises..is this true? That all of your ships are designed by Princess?

    I can’t imagine this is true but I keep reading this.

    Please confirm at your earliest convience!


  24. frank urban says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Loved our time onboard, and miss starting our day off, with your Morning Show. (NY to LA 1/10 – 1/27/09) Planning our next leg amidst the cold and snow of Coastal Virginia.
    Huge favor if possible…the recipe (measurements and method) for the Cunard Absolut Citrus Martini…my stock will go up if I can produce this new favorite of my lovely wife.
    Frank Urban
    onancock VA

  25. Carmel Panton says:

    Dear Alistair

    I agree, what a wonderful video! I have had the pleasure of two voyages on QE2 and was on board in Sydney in 2007. I loved QE2 and had wanted to take another trip in 2010, sadly this will not happen now but I have wonderful memories and the video brought it all back.

    Queen Victoria will be making her first visit to my home town Hobart, Tasmania, on 17 February and I am really excited to see her. Can’t wait to watch her coming up the Derwent river on what will hopefully be a lovely clear summer morning (I’ll be on the beach closer to the city following your progress). I hope you all have a great day with us.

    Carmel, Hobart, Tasmania

  26. Anita & Morris Krakower says:

    Hello Alastair…Do you have any idea who will be Entertainment Cruise Director on “The Elizabeth”….We are hoping it might be you!!!We enjoyed you so on Queen Victoria’s Maiden World Cruise 2008….Hope to see you again in 2010.

  27. David and Helen Harston says:

    Hi Alastair we were on QV 902 Sydney to Singapore had agreat time and met some wonderful people that are still on the QV doing the world cruise Patrick and Darlene Dunlap, Heidi and Dieter McGrew,all from the USA and a very sweet lady from Ireland called Helen Durkin, we have just found out about a couple of trips next year one is V002 in January 2010 San Francisco to Fremantle where we live, might give us a chance to catch up with the above, or Singapore to Southampton, Hope to see you and your wonderful ship next year, cheers mate.David and Helen Harston.

  28. june kirby says:

    Hi Alistair
    I’ve been enjoying your blogs from the world cruise, it has been very interesting and gave my husband and myself a taster of our first world cruise which we will be taking on Queen Victoria in January next year, as part of our 40th wedding celebrations which we will celebrate on board on the 20th January. Prior to that we will join Queen Victoria again in September this year when we sail to New York and Boston etc. This will be our first trip on her. We were fortunate to travel to join the Queen Mary in October in the Carribbean last year and the White Star service is what sets Cunard aside from the rest. I met my husband on one of the old Cunarders the Countess in 1969 he was an engineer officer and I was a vocalist in a cabaret band. The band had previously worked on the QE2 on her maiden voyage and for a subsequent 3 months before we joined the Countess. We met in the July and Married the following January (not a shotgun in site)! Which is another reason to spend our 40th with cunard in January. So I will continue to follow the adventures on board and look forward to joining you in september.

  29. HI Alistair
    I shall be having my 5th cruise with Cunard on the new Queen Elizabeth in 2010. i was very fortunate to secure a booking on her maiden voyage.
    It will not be my first time on Queen Elizabeth becaues I was a boy seaman on the old Cunarder learning the ropes as they say as a 16 year old.I wander if I will be the only link between the two ships. If Cunard want her new ensign hoisted on that maiden voyage I’m your man.
    Steve Saunders

  30. Anthony says:

    Hi Alastair I wanted to leave a comment to your blog. I used to go on Princess Cruises all the time with my Grandmother. We traveled the world together and are Favorite Cruise director was you. The morning show with you and Frankie doing walking on sunshine! Those cruises were some of the best of my life. I have now grown up and started working in the travel business and I was selling a group on a couple of Cunard itineraries and I saw your video blog. I was so surprised to see you after all of the years since the first time we met you when the Grand Princess was brand new. I hope all is well and would love to hear about the upcoming things that have been going on. We saw Frankie on a ship a while back and he gave us a slight update but it would be great to hear from you. And I am glad I will be sending my groups on a ship with the best cruise director i have seen in my some 30 cruises. Hope to year from you soon!


  31. Judith says:

    Hi Alistair, just received the Cunarder magazine, a very enjoyable read, especially liked the April fool tales. The ‘adjustment’ for the new decade on the Festive Getaways page, (opposite the Blog page information), is a worthy contender too. Albeit a couple of months late. I wonder how many other people will spot it!!!!
    We have been on the Queen Mary 3 times, and the Victoria once, and off on the Queen Mary again next year to the fiords. Looking forward to the new Queen Elizabeth the year after perhaps, depending on the itinerary. Best wishes Judith, Devon.

  32. Alessandra Garo says:

    Hi Alistar,
    congratulation about this lovely blog and thanks for dedicate your time to it.
    Greetings from Fincantieri ship yard where the new Queen is under construction.

  33. Liz says:

    Along with my husband, we disembarked from the QM2 at Southampton yesterday, after celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary on board. It was our first cruise. We left with memories of the destinations, the comfort, and the surroundings but also significantly, recognition to those people who had provided us with such an excellent, personal and professional service during our voyage.

    I look forward to keeping up with the blog until we are able to sail with you again!

  34. Judy says:

    Hi Alistair

    I am wondering if there are any passenger lists for the Aquitania. My husband sailed on one of its last voyages to Canada (August/September 1949) and the ship has always fascinated him (and myself)

  35. Jeff says:

    Hi Alistair
    can I just say how much my wife and I enjoyed our cruise on Queen Mary 2 around the Caribbean in November 2008.
    all the staff were so friendly and helpful especially as this was our first ever cruise, although the staff
    are very efficient in the dining areas they have not been made to lose their personality and became friends with the people they serve, I caught many of them walking a long singing to themselves which in my mind a happy crew makes for a happy ship,even the captain had a sense of humour and he and fellow officers could be seen in all the restaurants meeting passengers.
    my wife is more enthusiastic about cruising than I am now and we have already booked for November 2010 on the QM2, we had been so well looked after by our stateroom steward and our waiter and waitress we decided to travel with Cunard again.
    a benefit that seasoned cruisers will tell you about the QM2 that is not always apparent is the staterooms are large and very well soundproofed and although we were below the promenade deck we never heard any noise at all.
    keep up the good work Alistair
    kind regards

  36. Mary Jane M. Gayona says:

    Dear Sir Alastair Greener,
    Hi! Good morning! I am the wife of Armando Gayona one of your stage crew employees in Queen Victoria .
    Thank you so much for the help you extended to us when we experience the typhoon“ondoy”.
    It will be a great help to us. More blessing and more power to all the staff of cunard . God Bless!
    From: Mrs. Mary Jane M. Gayona

  37. KEVIN BARGEN says:

    Nice comments about the first QM2 visit to my hometown Liverpool. My shanty band “The Travelling People” provided the quayside music on the Cruise Terminal for the returning passengers that day. We also covered the last 2 visits of the QE2 and will be there to welcome the Queen Victoria on 26 July 2010. Our faces, our music and our instruments are now known around the world. I will be a paying passenger on the Victoria on the Baltic Cruise early July, looking forward to another fine Cunarder

  38. harry says:

    Hi Alistair, totally amazed looking at all the thigs your doing…wogen etc, my friend Graham Smmers and his friend Andy are flying to cape town wednesday 24/03 to join ‘I think’, ueen mary 2, if you get this, if poss, please take care of him etc, my email address is, harry@forthsport.com, be in touch, see you and all the best, harry

  39. Vera Wilday says:

    Dear Alistair

    We were fortunate enough to book a place on the Maiden Voyage of QE on October 12 2010.

    Could you please tell us if we will be invited to the naming ceremony? We were guests at the naming ceremony of the Queen Victoria which was a superb day to remember and were wondering if this would repeated.

    Kind regards

    Vera Wilday

  40. Sheila Briddick says:

    Hello Alistair,

    We sailed with you on the Queen Victoria in November and enjoyed every moment, even the severe storm on our first evening!
    I have continued to travel on the Queen Victoria as a ‘mental’ traveller by reading your excellent Blog and logging on to Victoria’s Bridge Cam each morning before starting work – this has got me through the long, cold and wet winter months here in England.

    Hoping to come on board again in the near future.

    Happy sailing to you all.

  41. Daryl Cooper says:

    Please have the Bridge cam on New Queen Elizabeth updated. Not happy having to view dark scenes at 17:42 Queensland time when Queen mary 2 7 Queen Victoria are shown in daylight. Thus far the maiden voyage has been a disappointment.

  42. Please confirm or otherwise are you still planning the Queen Elizabeth special sail-past of Scarborough in 2013?
    The tribute to Sir Jimmy Savile may now not be appropriate?

  43. Ray Thompson says:

    Unfortunately a wonderful trans Atlantic trip on the Queen Mary II November 2012 has been jaded with poor after care. On our final night a waiter spilt food down the back of my wife’s evening jacket. Two attempts to clean the jacket failed. Reception on the ship were not very forthcoming and it was only through my wife’s insistence they completed a “Loss or Damage Report”.

    To date Cunard have not responded.

    I wrote Cunard’s head office two weeks ago requesting information with the same response. Nothing.

    I expected better from Cunard.

  44. irene sairez says:

    hi im irene sairez daughter of mr. fermin gamboa who work more than 10 years in queen elizabeth, i would like to ask to whom shall i write a letter regarding our concern to my father who had been sick on board during his working in queen elizabeth last april 2012, and currently he is in our hometown doing his medication, we would like to ask any help from your company regarding his condition. i hope this letter will be given attention which we greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless.

    sincerely yours,

    irene sairez

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