April 27, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Welcome to the Blog celebrating Queen Victoria’s last installment of her 2009 World Cruise review as she returns home for the summer season. This summer all of Queen Victoria’s voyages will start and end in her home port of Southampton, before she heads off on her next World Cruise in January 2010. Also just in case you didn’t know the itineraries for Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are now available up to January 2011 and you can find out more on the Cunard Website.
Meanwhile thank you for all the messages about our circumnavigation, and as I write this last chapter of Queen Victoria’s World Cruise.It’s quite a strange feeling when you come to the end of such a long voyage, and what an incredible voyage it was.
After completing over 37,000 nautical miles, there were still many events for guests to enjoy in our last week. One of those is the annual “Tug Of War” competition held between the different departments of the ships company. Departmental pride comes to the fore, and this year the Musicians were defending their title. Alas this year, they didn’t make it past the first round – never mind better luck next year. The final was between the Engineers and Deck Officers. It was a hard fought final, but in the end the Engineers (who called their team “Piston Broke”), took the crown and here they are being congratulated by Captain Ian McNaught.
Any of you who have been on a World Cruise will know the annual “Country Fair” is a true Cunard tradition. It’s a great day where the Queens Room takes on the atmosphere of an English village fete – all except the rain that is! Preparations start weeks in advance with guests and members of the Entertainment Department deciding which events will feature in this year’s fair. The fair also gives guests an opportunity donate some of their unwanted clothes and souvenirs they had amassed during their time on board. Unfortunately some of those hoping this would be a chance to reduce their excess baggage were disappointed, as they soon discovered there were bargains to be had, and those suitcases would soon be filled with new souvenirs! Well that’s all part of the fun.
This year was another great success and featured new ideas as well as the traditional activities such as the human fruit machine and the “Carrot Chop”! Here Captain McNaught tries his hand at chopping the carrot as it appears at the bottom of a pipe – not as easy as it looks!
The afternoon included a charity auction which features all kinds of valuable memorabilia including the ship’s first Piston Ring (mounted on a wooden block with a commemorative plaque), courtesy of Willy Robinson (Chief Engineer) and his team. We also had some special gifts from guests from First Day Covers marking Queen Elizabeth’s and Queen Mary’s last visit to Southampton (thanks to Mr. Stewart Wilson), to a souvenir lapel pin from QE2’s Millennium. The last item was the ships navigational chart covering the entire World Cruise, featuring the track Queen Victoria followed and the signatures of both Captains and all the Bridge Officers.Then it was time to announce the winners of the various raffles and we were delighted that the giant teddy bear, (kindly donated every year by Mr. Richardson), was won by Dr. Carrim, and she couldn’t have been happier.
Apart from being a lot of fun, the aim is to raise as much money as possible for our World Cruise charities and I’m pleased to tell everyone that this year’s Fair and Auction raised over $9,000.When this money was added to the amount raised already, from all the other activities on the World Cruise, I’m proud to announce that $19,619.57 will be forwarded to very worthy charities. All I can add to that is a massive thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s events, and who were so kind with their generous donations of time and money. Special thanks also go to Marie and her helpers who ran a charity stall throughout the World Cruise. They did an incredible job and raised a phenomenal amount so thank you all so much.
Reaching Southampton after 109 days, it’s impossible to sum up the whole World Cruise as everyone has their own special memories. Whether it’s entering Sydney Harbour as the sun rose over the dramatic skyline, or meeting new friends with whom we’ll be able to share stories for years to come, the experience is quite personal. However I think we all agree that every World Cruise is different and there’s no one better to sum up this year than Dr. Harry and Mrs. Lillian Glassman. They took their first full World Cruise in 1980 on QE2 and have been every year since. From St Louis, Missouri in the United States, here they are pictured with Captain Paul Wright and Wendi Hardy & Rebecca de Reuss (On board Cunard World Club representatives), receiving their award as Cunard’s most travelled guests having sailed a staggering 3706 days with Cunard.
Dr. Glassman said they had always dreamed of going to countries they had seen in the National Geographic, and when he saw an advert in a New York Newspaper, the opportunity to see so many new places without having to fly seemed a perfect way to fulfill their dreams. At the age of 84, they both still relish every moment of their voyage and enjoy sharing their experiences with their family including their Great Grandson. Mrs. Glassman summed up their 2nd World Cruise on Queen Victoria;
“We have enjoyed this World Cruise so much, and have to say that although we really enjoyed last year on board, the continual crew training and White Star approach from the most junior crew to the Hotel Manager and Captain has really paid off. The ship has such a settled atmosphere already and it has been wonderful to be reunited with so many friends amoungst the crew and guests, from our days on QE2”.
Thank you again for following our adventures and I’ll be back on Thursday my regular weekly Blog. My colleague, Ray Rouse is back on Queen Mary 2, and I’ll be on Queen Victoria until 6 May, when I hand over to Amanda Reid. Even though I won’t be on board, I’ll keep blogging until my return in July with help from my friends on board with Guest Blogs and interviews as well as updates on Queen Elizabeth, and. Cheers for now – Alastair