October 1, 2009
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
It has been an exciting week aboard Queen Victoria this week as we reached New York and began visiting our first ports in New England. It also marked the opening of a new shop on board, but before we get to all that I would like to answer some of your questions. Firstly an apology over last Thursday’s posting regarding the dates of Queen Mary’s last voyage. Of course as many of you realized, it was a typo. Thank you again for all the comments about the pictures and video of our new Queen being constructed in Italy as well as some more questions. Firstly to answer Carol Kane’s, the yard is huge and only open to those with business there, so unfortunately it’s not possible to get close enough to see our new Queen for yourselves. However I’ll keep posting pictures and hope to have some more next week. As I mentioned I will be back there next month to take more pictures and another video, while Queen Victoria visits Venice. In response to Chrysie’s question, no, Queen Victoria isn’t having any work done while she’s there; it’ll just be a great port of call on her Mediterranean Voyage.
Before we go back to this last week on Queen Victoria here’s this week in Cunard’s history for the week 2nd to the 8th of October
October 4 2001
On QE2 Captain RW Warwick performed the wedding ceremony of his daughter Rebecca in Boston.
Cunard Announces the Master of Queen Victoria is to be Captain Paul Wright.
QE2 rescues three seamen who are transferred from fishing vessel ‘Gail Ann’ in the Mid Atlantic.
Cunard Line and unveiled a bronze statue of Sir Samuel Cunard, prominently presiding over the Port of Halifax waterfront. The towering bronze statue appropriately depicts Samuel Cunard standing beside a ship’s telegraph, an iconic symbol of steamship travel. Joining the celebration were Sir Samuel Cunard’s great, great, great, great grandsons Benjamin and Samuel Paton.
I don’t care how many times you sail in to New York, it is always feels special and you know you are following in the wake of the great Cunarders before us when you go under the Verrazano Bridge.
This time was no different as we listened to Bill Miller reliving the heyday of transatlantic travel in his superb commentary from the Bridge. Passing iconic buildings and monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island the magic of the occasion last Friday was still evident amoungst all of us, on the open decks on that beautiful morning. As we proceeded up the Hudson River, it was emotional passing the point where the World Trade Centre once stood, and in this picture you can also just about see Queen Victoria’s reflection in the office windows.
As soon as we docked at Pier 88, our guests then had two wonderful sunny days to enjoy New York and certainly judging from the Macy’s bags coming back on the ship, I think it was also a very successful shopping trip!
Meanwhile as we left New York there were more shopping opportunities on board as “The Victorian Sweet Shop” was unveiled as the latest addition to our many shops on board. Occupying the space next to the Cunardia Museum, the new shop is continuing the QE2 tradition of having a sundries shop open whilst the ship is in port for any essentials guests may need throughout the day or before going ashore. Of course being Cunard, there had to be a formal opening so here is a picture of our shop Manager Donna Flood and Assistant Shop Manager Gergana Kostadinova getting ready to invite Hotel Manager, Jacqui Hodgson to cut the ribbon and announce the shop open.
Our guests became the first to enjoy tasting some of the new confectionery lines that have been especially created in Yorkshire, England for Cunard. The wonderful large jars are reminiscent of the lovely old sweet shops and are available in smaller bottles as great souvenirs. Our on board photographers took some great pictures.
As guests take a trip down memory lane with the amazing décor in the shop they can find old traditional favourites such as pears soap, pear drops, black jacks, fruit pips, cola cubes, nougat and many more confectionery lines to tempt every taste bud. The new shop is also home to a whole range of exciting new merchandise such as jams, chutneys, shortbread, fudge, traditional teas as well as the on board collection from Harrods such as teapots, mugs, teddy bears and collectables.
The shop has a great atmosphere with the staff dressed in Victorian costume as they help guests choose from numerous sundries and souvenirs including the famous German Steiff teddy bears which are also amongst the many new products which arrived on board.
The port of Boston is always a firm favourite for guests and crew alike as they enjoy the opportunity to sample numerous Irish Bars, as there are quite a few to choose from including the world famous “Cheers Bar”! I managed to enjoy some oysters at what claimed to be America’s oldest restaurant; the 260 year old Union Oyster House in Union Street, right next to Quincy Market. I can thoroughly recommend a visit where you can literally step back in time and if you love oysters this is definitely the place for you.
Our next port of call was a new one for me and that was Portland in Maine, which is a lovely town celebrating seafood and fantastic scenery. This is just one of the many lovely streets in the old part of the town.
This voyage is all about the Fall (or as we say Autumn) colours which are indeed just starting here with the trees just beginning to make the transition from green to a kaleidoscope of beautiful oranges and reds.
We are now heading north again and to another personal favourite; Bar Harbor – but more of that next time. I know I said there would be an interview with Cunard’s new Entertainment Director, Paul O’Loughlin, but I’m afraid that will have to wait until next week, when I’ll also post some pictures of Queen Elizabeth that I’ve just received from the Fincantieri yard in Monefalcone. Cheers for now – Alastair