December 11, 2008
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Welcome to this week’s blog and thank you again for continuing to read and comment. I’ll do my best to answer all your questions and if I don’t know I’ll try and ask someone who may. One of the advantages of Cunard family is that there are so many on sea and land that have worked with the company for a considerable amount of time and seem to remember everything! So with that in mind thanks Chris for your question about the Staff Captain on the Cunard Princess – I am trying to find out for you and will let you know if I can! In the meantime here is this week in Cunard’s history for the 4th to the 11th December.
December 4 1975
QE2 completes the first million miles of steaming.
December 10 1999
The Caronia is renamed at a ceremony in Liverpool.
December 10 2007
Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cornwall Names Queen Victoria as she enters service as Cunard’s 147th ship to sail under the Cunard Flag.
December 11 1931
Work was called off on the building of Hull number 534 due to the great depression. The partially built ship was left for 30 months before work resumed.
December 11 2007
Queen Victoria begins her Maiden 10 day voyage to the Germany and Norway Christmas Markets.
Quite a week in history and for all of us involved with Queen Victoria beginning her Cunard career, a very memorable week. Was it just a year ago that we came to Southampton for the first time? What an amazing year it’s been, as there are not many who at their first birthday, can say that in their short life they have already been around the world (literally) having visited 6 continents and over 40 countries and so the list goes on. She has travelled 111,828 miles, made 222 port of calls and looked after 54,827 guests. This year, like last year (though both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 are gearing up for the festive season) Queen Victoria is coming back to Southampton for the first time since July, and as soon as she docks a whole team of decorators will transform the ship for her 22 day Caribbean Celebration voyage. We’ll get you some pictures of the decorated ships in the next blog.
It’s certainly turning out to be a crisp and cold winter here in England so it’s nice to turn our thoughts to sunnier climbs. Queen Mary 2 has started her season in the Caribbean so it’s a pleasure to hear from Freda Singleton, who is the Social Hostess on board Queen Mary 2. Social Hostesses are one of the many traditional roles we maintain on Cunard ships and they do an amazing job. They have a high profile with our guests, from introducing the Captain at the cocktail parties to hosting singles events and lots more, including the traditional activities such as scarf tying and hosting culinary demonstrations, all of which remain as popular as ever So I’ll pass over to Freda and see you again next week….
FREDA SINGLETON, SOCIAL HOSTESS ON QUEEN MARY 2:
Queen Mary 2 is fresh out of her latest re-fit and looking magnificent! Freshly painted with a super, new, go-faster finish, all in the interests of improving fuel economy, she is impressing guests and locals alike in the beautiful Caribbean islands.
Having repositioned from Hamburg and now operating out of Fort Lauderdale for December and early January, prior to the start of her second World Cruise in 2009, Queen Mary 2 is basking in her newly refurbished glory in the islands of Curacao, Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, St Kitts, Grenada, Bonaire, Cristobal, St Thomas, Tortola and Dominica. You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from the hard working transatlantic crew as they slowly start to lose their un-sunned pallor and begin to find time for an hour or so of sun, sea and fun!
All aboard are sad to see Captain Chris Wells come to the end of his contract and to leave the ship for the time being, but are very much looking forward to welcoming Captain Nick Bates for his first time at the helm, until Commodore Bernard Warner returns from his break. They are also delighted to have many old friends from the now splendidly retired QE2 come to join the happy family. As always the crew have worked hard but know how to enjoy themselves and in addition to the many crew activities planned by our Personnel & Training Manager, there have also been several red-hot fun runs in Caribbean sunshine, promoted and energetically supported by the ever enthusiastic and fitness-mad Entertainment Director, David Pepper. Dancing Dave (as some affectionately call him), now takes his hard earned break from the ship as Ray Rouse returns to head up the Entertainment team.
On the upper decks, love is truly in the air with a very romantic and public marriage proposal at the height of the Royal Ascot Ball in the elegant Queens Room. To the delight of all the guests in the audience, his lovely intended managed a stunned acceptance before bursting into tears. With several other proposals, engagements and wedding vow renewals, the ship is in danger of becoming the new ‘Love Boat’!
As the Christmas season fast approaches and the ship’s beauty is enhanced by elegant festive decorations, everyone is totally focused on the forthcoming celebrations whilst keeping a keen eye on planning for the next epic 85-day World Cruise, re-visiting some of the glorious ports from the ship’s maiden world cruise and making maiden stops at Yokohama, Japan; Laem Chabang, Thailand and Salalah, Oman. Exciting times on Queen Mary 2!