April 28, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Victoria
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 166 days
One of the landmark events on a World Voyage is when a Cunard Queen hosts the “Country Fair”. The event which goes back more years than I care to suggest, serves firstly as an opportunity for guests and the ships company to raise money for charity, but is also one that is enjoyed by everyone. Readers in Britain will be familiar with the annual Church Fete. Well this is very similar, with comparable events and that same wonderful atmosphere. The only differences are you don’t have to worry about the weather interrupting proceedings, the microphone system actually works and we don’t have to worry about a new roof!
In my last post we heard from Queen Mary 2 and the fabulous job they did at their Country Fair, so now it’s time to see what happened at Queen Victoria’s.
In keeping with Cunard’s World Voyage tradition, the charities being supported this year were chosen by the Officers and Crew on board Queen Victoria. This year the ship’s company chose Cancer Research UK ( The world’s leading independent organisation dedicated to cancer research), Emasithandane Children’s Project (a home for orphaned and other vulnerable children in Nyanga which is one of the poorest townships in Cape Town), Gawad Kalinga (A housing project in the Philippines which has helped several hundreds of poor families build small homes) and ShelterBox (an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide, most recently in Haiti and China).
On a World Voyage there are numerous events to raise money for the ship’s chosen charities and on Queen Victoria this year events included, Auctions, Sponsored Events, Collections and Donations. For the second year we have also been lucky enough to have Marie and Frank Sotille running a charity table which features everything from local craftwork to guest donations.
This is their second year on Queen Victoria continuing the tradition from QE2. They do such an amazing job in raising so much during the World Voyage sea days and we are incredibly grateful for all their work.
Queen Victoria’s Country Fair marked the beginning of an amazing day. In fact work had been taking place for many days before hand, carefully orchestrated by Lisa Fanning, Thomas Quinones, Mel Jones and Jennifer Schaper of the Entertainment team along with many other members of the Entertainment Staff and guests.
The morning was a hive of activity as guests and crew prepared the stalls and decorated the Queens Room with Captain Rynd poised at 2pm to cut the ribbon to let eager guests spend their money.
It didn’t take long for the Queens Room to be packed with bargain hunters at the Second Hand Rose stall, and others trying their luck at the computer simulator where they could drive the ship, with our Bridge Officers on hand to help.
There was, Guess the Weight of the Cake, Chop the Carrot and we even had a raffle for a lucky guest to become a member of the Entertainment Staff for a day! This was won by Joanne Brown and you can read more about that in a Blog next week. We also had Tina Poxon, Mary Tinson and Joan Burrel as the Human Fruit Machine!
When refreshment was required, we had guests who volunteered to serve tea and cakes, and here’s Patsy Wilson serving fellow guests Elizabeth Davidson and Sean Thomson.
This was one of the big events where crew are also invited to come along and join in the fun and this is Ariel, one of our accommodation team who, by the looks of him, did very well at the tombola stall!
We also showed off items which were to be sold a couple of days later at the Charity Auction which included the whole World Voyage Chart, Afternoon Tea with the Captain in his quarters as well as items from the Deck and Engine Department and some unique Cunard memorabilia donated by guests and crew. In fact by the end of the World Voyage Queen Victoria had raised over $35,000 including the proceeds of the Navigational Chart Auction from each leg of the World Voyage, (which goes to the Princes trust). It was an amazing achievement and our thanks go to the guests and crew of Queen Victoria for all their work and generosity.
That night we held our Full World Voyage party; the final one of the voyage for our guests who were enjoying the 2010 Full World Voyage. The Theme was our adventures around the world and the Culinary Team excelled themselves in some superb sculptures and decorations like this head table depicting some of the ports we had visited.
How about this magnificent ice sculpture? It is a stunning Chinese Dragon, which arrived in four sections.
These incredible displays weren’t only for show; here guests were invited to enjoy fresh sushi and seafood from one of our talented chefs. Yes that is a handmade Hong Kong Junk behind him.
Much of the beautiful artwork had been created by our on board ice and food carver, Catalino, and here he is with some of his handiwork like this camel which took him two days to make.
There was so much preparation involved for such an event and here are our Executive Chef Bernard Stumphel and Executive Sous Chef, Nicholas Oldroyd, looking very proud of their team’s work.
And here they are, just some of the creative talent behind the event.
Then it was time to let our guests enjoy the evening which was a huge success, receiving numerous compliments from guests saying it was a fantastic crescendo to the World Voyage, as you can see in this picture which captures just some of the atmosphere of the evening.
That night there was an Egyptian Ball and we were fortunate enough to have Amanda Reid on board. She had been on for the beginning of Queen Mary 2’s World Voyage and had been instrumental in the Sand Dance at their Egyptian Ball in January. When she suggested doing the same on Queen Victoria I agreed instantly before realising who she had cast in the roles……
Yes, take a close look and the cast are – on the left Social Hostess, Jenny Schaper, on the Right Assistant Entertainment Director Amanda Reid and yes in the middle it is yours truly! Oh Well it was the World Voyage!
That’s it for now, but I’ll be back tomorrow with some pictures and news of some of the events over the last couple of weeks. I know I said I would have more pictures of Queen Elizabeth, but I’m afraid they will have to wait for next Tuesday – but they’ll be worth it. Cheers for now, Alastair