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Queen Victoria

Crossing the Pacific

February 5, 2009

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Victoria

Firstly I must thank you for the flurry of comments this week – it’s always great to hear your stories and click on the links you send in. I have to say I love the story from Marc Winchester, about receiving a certificate for the first confirmed pregnancy on board Queen Victoria. That’s a new one for me, so I would like to add my congratulations on the birth of your daughter Zsa Zsa. Meanwhile since last week Queen Victoria has visited Los Angeles and began her long voyage across the Pacific, but before I tell you about that, here’s “This week in Cunard’s History” for the week of the 6th to the 12th February.

February 6 1924

Aurania III is launched in Newcastle and enters service as the second set of triplets of the A Class liner

February 7 1925

Alaunia II (14,040 Tons) is launched at John Brown’s, Clydbank and enters service on the Canada route

February 11 1975

QE2 makes her maiden call at Bombay, India

February 11 2008

Queen Victoria makes maiden crossing of the international Dateline

Meanwhile back on Queen Victoria’s World Cruise; this is a part of the voyage for our guests to enjoy the eleven days at sea between the islands of Hawaii, Samoa and Tonga before reaching New Zealand. In fact one of the aspects many World Cruisers say they enjoy so much about this itinerary are the sea days, as they provide a great opportunity to not only to relax, but also to take advantage of all the activities and lectures on board. That of course means it’s very busy for us in the Entertainment Department, who do our best to ensure our guests have lots of events to choose from. We do a lot of extra activities which I’ll tell you about over the next couple of weeks including the legendary “Crossing the Line Ceremony”. This takes place when we cross the equator, and in one second move from winter to summer! I know those of you in freezing temperatures would love to be able to do that, and I’ll tell you more about that event next week. Although we have a lot on offer, there are always places around the ship to enjoy the quiet whilst overlooking the ocean. Mind you most guests seem to keep quite busy and one of the best compliments I heard the other day was from one of our guests who joined three weeks ago in Fort Lauderdale. She told me she had taken out three books from the library the day after she arrived on board, and still hasn’t had a chance to read any of them, so we must be doing something right!

After four days at sea it was great to dock at Honolulu on Sunday, as it’s such a great port with lots things to do. One of the main attractions, especially for our American guests, is of course Pearl Harbor, which is now a museum and memorial to the unforgettable events of the 7th of December 1941. It has all been incredibly well done, and here’s a picture taken from a helicopter of what Pearl Harbor looks like today.

The white canopy covers the USS Arizona, whilst the battleship on the right of the picture is the USS Missouri, and for all the guests I spoke to who visited Pearl Harbor that day, said it was a very moving and memorable experience.

For other guests the opportunity to visit Waikiki Beach was not to be missed.

Although it’s a great beach, albeit surprisingly small, I personally prefer some of the less crowded and equally beautiful beaches around the island.

Meanwhile we were showing the Superbowl on board the ship, but some of our guests seem to enjoy joining some of the ships company, watching it in a nearby restaurant called Hooters. Some of you may know that restaurant and understand the attraction – it was certainly very popular!

Before a packed deck party that night, we enjoyed a beautiful Sailaway, with Hawaiian music and a fabulous sunset as we watched one of our sister company’s ships “Oriana” sail ahead of us.

As we blasted the ships whistles we said Aloha (which is a general greeting in Hawaiian as well as meaning “Love”), and set a course for our next port Apia in Western Samoa where we arrive on Friday morning.

On a slightly different subject, there are many aspects of life at sea we all get asked about when we come home, and one of them is what is the social life like on board for the crew. Well I don’t want to give away all our secrets, but we do have a thriving crew club who, with our Personnel and Training Manager, organise many events for the crew from movie nights to barbecues and other celebrations.

Speaking of celebrations it is very likely that crew members will spend a birthday on board and this last week was the turn of one of my Entertainment Staff Rebecca Clancy. Rebecca, or Bex to her friends, is new to Cunard having just started her second contract. Yesterday she turned 27 (I’ve been reliably informed it’s not impolite to talk about a lady’s age when she’s under 30!), and we held a small party for her in the Officers Wardroom which happened to be the same night as a Hawaiian party which explains the team’s outfits!.

Bex, who is from Poole in Dorset, (and whose parents are regular readers of this blog!), said she enjoyed all the attention she was given by fellow crew and guests alike. It did help that I mentioned it on the morning TV show, but even she was surprised by the amount of cards she received from friends she didn’t even know she had – well that’s ships for you. In fact she was also thrilled to receive many cards from guests including a hand-made one from Mrs. Jennifer Gamble who has been attending Bex’s Scrapbook Challenge group.

Well that’s about it for now, but before next week I’m going to chat to some of our guests on this World Cruise. We have some very interesting guests including Cunard’s most travelled guests (just wait until you hear how many days they’ve travelled on Cunard ships). I’ll also be talking to Mr. Philip Andrews who is the great nephew of Thomas Andrews whose name you may recognise as the Captain of Titanic.

Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Christian Reay says:

    I should like to point out that Thomas Andrews was the Chief Designer of Titanic – and not Captain as you say in your blog. I would like to take the opportunity to say how envious I am of your World Cruise guests who are enjoying the winter sun – a far cry from the freezing temperatures and snow back in the UK.

  2. Thomas Andrews was the naval architect who desinged Titanic. E.J. Smith was the ill-fated liner’s captain.

  3. Benjamin Lowy says:

    Hi Alastair!
    I love your blog and read it all the time.
    I just wanted to correct you in that Thomas Andrews was not Titanic’s captain, but her designer and builder.
    Titanic’s captain was Edward John Smith

  4. Avariel says:


    I have been reading this blog on and off for some time already but this is my first comment.

    You mentioned that Thomas Andrews was the Captain of the Titanic, actually he was sort of the chief designer from the shipyard. The Titanic’s Captain was Captain E.J. Smith.

  5. Benjamin Lowy says:

    Hi Alastair!
    I love your blog and read it all the time!
    I just wanted to correct you in that Thomas Andrews was not captain of Titanic, but her builder and designer.
    Edward J. Smith was her captain.

  6. roscoe says:

    Hey Alistair., Roscoe here from the 2008 World Cruise., ..i think youll find that Thomas Andrews wasnt the captain of the Titanic….he was the designer…Edward Smith was the captain of the Titanic……and you run the Trivia…ha! Looking forward to you arriving here in Auckland this week…best regards to you…see you in 2010….roscoe (ps….you can wipe this comment once you make the change….haha.)

  7. Kevin Mcloughlin says:

    Entertaining blog Alistair but in your 5th Februay entry you refer to Thomas Andrews who was in fact responsible for the design of the Titanic and not the Captain who was E J Smith.

  8. John says:

    We are soon to take a trip on the Queen Victoria and note there is to be a “Masquerade Ball” one evening. Does this mean Masquerade in the traditional sense i.e. costume and mask, or just mask
    with evening dress/suite? In fact do Cunard ever have fancy dress/costume functions on board?

  9. Willis Riccio says:

    Since some of the things you recounted in terms of individuals who had familial relations with persons connected to ships of the past (Andrews and the Titanic), this may be of interest.I am a Professor of Law in Boston. About 5 years ago in calling the first class roster, I noticed the last name of a young female student was “Schwieger.” I remarked (being an ocean liner buff) that that was the name of the Commander of the German underwater boat U-20, the submarine that sank the Lusitania in May, 1915,Walther Schwieger. She replied tht he was her great, great grandfather! In another vein, we said a sad goodbye to QE2 (in which we sailed 43 times) as she left Newport, RI for the last time this past September 17th. Also, congratulations to Mr. Duffy with whom we sailed often (we have mutual friends in Nancy Brookes and Mandy-Jo Walter); we hope to see him in QM2, 30 November.

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