April 26, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Mary 2
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 168 days
Firstly I hope you like our new look and more interactive Blog. A big thank you to Richard, Matt, Shelley and Lisa back in Southampton, for managing to incorporate so many ideas in to the new look Blog as well as making it easier to read. I’d love to hear what you think, along with all your comments and questions as always.
Both our Queens have settled in to their summer seasons, with Queen Mary 2 making her first westbound Transatlantic Crossing and Queen Victoria on her first voyage to the Iberian Peninsula. However there are still a few stories from our World Voyages that I’ll be sharing with you over the next week or so, as well as what’s new on board and ashore.
Now it’s a great pleasure to hand over to Queen Mary 2’s Social Hostess who managed to send me a post about the last few days of Queen Mary 2’s World Voyage before she went on leave in Southampton, so it’s over to Freda.
Guest Blog – Freda Singleton, Queen Mary 2, Social Hostess
As Queen Mary 2 approached Southampton last Thursday, she came to the end of her 2010 World Voyage; we’d like to bring all our avid bloggers up to date with the latest.
We asked our guests to make the 2010 World Voyage Charity Country Fair the best ever and they jumped up to the challenge! The atmosphere in the Queens Room was pure Country Fair, with the full range of typical stalls hosted by guests and crew alike from ‘Hook the fish’, the flower booth, the coconut shy, and the wonderful 5-minute massage run by the housekeeping team, the florist, the entertainment staff and the Canyon Ranch Spa respectively; to Numerology, the Human Fruit Machine, ‘Guess the weight of the cake’ and the ‘Book stall’ all hosted by our guests, to name just a few of the activities on offer.
The ‘Second Hand Rose’ stall could have easily filled the entire starboard section on the upper level and was all but empty by the end of the afternoon. All supported by the delicious offering from the Corner Cafe with cream teas, crepe suzettes, chocolate coated strawberries and the most tempting display of beautiful cakes, pastries and sandwiches. And what a fantastic result! A phenomenal $18,426, made up of $11,776 from the fair and $6,650 from the auction of things that money can’t buy, such as dinner at the Captain’s Table, blowing the ship’s whistle, a Queen Mary 2 life ring, the full World Voyage navigational chart, Queen Mary 2’s Sunday ensign – enthusiastically bid for and taken by the on board Protestant Priest – and much more.
This picture shows just some of the nautical items that were available for our guests to bid for, while Captain Bates discusses raffle prizes with guests. As you can see from the next picture, there was even an authentic coconut shy!
Added to that were the superb contributions from the crew, who somehow managed their own midnight auctions and raised $2,340 (part of which went to the Crew Welfare charities). The total of Queen Mary 2’s charity donations for the whole World Voyage came to the magnificent total of $26,020.05, which has been split between this year’s four nominated charities:
The Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
The Prostheses Foundation of Thailand
The Seaman’s Institute of Brooklyn, New York
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Then it was – Time to Dance – Queen Mary 2 Style!
Queen Mary 2’s answer to Strictly Come Dancing, we gave our guests their moment in the spotlight on the largest dance floor at sea. To the delight of the packed Queens Room we were entertained by ten superb dance performances from the traditional waltz to the Viennese waltz and from the quickstep, to the jive and the Argentinean tango! Ten nervous couples put themselves at the mercy of our tough panel of judges, led by Entertainment Director, Ray Rouse – a fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance and two of the talented Royal Cunard Dancers, Kelly-Rhian Scott and Katie Woolnough, assessing their technique, timing, interpretation and performance.
It was such a rewarding experience to see such polished and elegant routines that for many, was entirely the result of their time on board with us for our 2010 World Voyage. Heart-warming reinforcement indeed for those who select Cunard for the ballroom and dancing!
Our runners-up – Jean Baker and Gentleman Dance Host, Dennis King who performed an outstanding quickstep. Jean’s radiant smile lit up the entire ballroom and did not slip once! Meanwhile here are the well-deserved winners with their Argentinean Tango; Cecile Lanthier and Steve Groleau.
What better way to celebrate the end of a truly legendary, elegant and memorable World Voyage than to send us spinning us into the 2010 transatlantic season – the glamorous finale with Renato and Katy to whom so many of our guests wish to pay a special thank you for their dancing expertise and inspiration.
Thank you so much Freda for another great Blog and congratulations to everyone involved in those fantastic events; it’s great to see so much being raised for these very worthy charities.
I’ll be back on Wednesday with a blog about some of the events during the last week of Queen Victoria’s World Voyage and on Thursday I’m delighted to tell you that I will have brand new photos from Monfalcone in Italy where Queen Elizabeth is currently under construction. Cheers, Alastair