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Queen Elizabeth


August 19, 2010

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 53 days

While Queen Mary 2 is in Norway, and Queen Victoria is back in the Mediterranean, Queen Elizabeth is less than eight weeks from her Maiden Voyage and the momentum is building towards her completion at an amazing rate. She has just passed another major milestone after passing her first set of sea trials. She is now in dry dock in Trieste where she will receive her final coat of paint on her hull, before her second set of sea trials heading back to Monfalcone. I will be getting pictures from this over the weekend and will post them on Monday.

Today we have the last in the series of Vlogs from our visit to the shipyard a couple of weeks ago, but that’s after for this week in Cunard’s history from 20 to 27 August:

August 22 1925 Carinthia begins her Maiden Voyage
August 26 2007 Cunard names the senior officers who will lead the inaugural team for Queen Victoria
August 27 1870 At 3,700 tons and 420 foot long, the Oceanic is launched for White Star Line. It is the first of four sisters, The Atlantic, Baltic and Republic

In this Blog we are focussing on the Entertainment venues on our new Queen, and before we get to some new pictures which arrived just last night, here’s the final Vlog in the series with a bit of a wrap up of our visit as well.

Thank you for all your comments about the Vlogs, and thank you to our Cameraman Andrew for all the great shots as well as his team for doing such a fantastic job in editing all that footage back in London. We really enjoyed the bit in this Vlog with the White Star Bellboys’ “We Are Cunard”, with Cunard’s President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks. It seemed to be a milestone in itself to see our crew on board, beginning work on her delivery and bringing the White Star spirit to Queen Elizabeth.

Since the Vlogs were made, the pace of progress has been incredible with this shot of the Queens Room, from the balcony on deck 3, showing the newly installed chandeliers and completed dance floor.

While we are on the subject of lighting, the chandelier has also been installed in the Yacht Club on deck 10. Work is still taking place on the remaining lighting fixtures and nautical finishes that will feature in this venue.

Moving to the Royal Court Theatre, the team of theatrical outfitters have arrived, and are busy installing the technical aspects of the Theatre. Richard Parker is overseeing this important process, while Queen Elizabeth’s Senior Production Manager, Chris Knowles and some of his team have now arrived to help. My thanks to his Crew Chief, Ryan Quinlan, who sent me these pictures last night. The first shows a very busy stage with one of the many lighting bars ready to receive the lighting fixtures in the foreground.

And yes, you will have noticed that all the seating and carpets have now been installed and like everything else, immediately covered as you can see in this photo.

This is a rare view from the stage itself showing the line sets that will bring the scenery for our new shows in and out. All the bars have to be weight tested for safety, which you can see with the red weights hanging off one of the bars.

Everything in the Theatre is going well, ready for the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company to begin their rehearsals on stage towards the end of September. Meanwhile they are still very busy in Northampton, rehearsing all the exciting Production Shows that will premiere on our new Queen. As Queen Elizabeth will be their first ship for many of the cast, they were all invited to spend a day on Queen Victoria last Sunday, while she was in Southampton.

This was a perfect opportunity for them to get a feel of what their ship will be like as they looked around Queen Victoria’s Royal Court Theatre, the dressing rooms and of course their cabins as well as the other crew and guest areas. We couldn’t resist taking a photo of the cast of 21 on stage with Lisa Cotterill who has been involved in the creation of the new shows.

They were then treated to a special performance from Queen Victoria’s Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers. As many of them knew each other we thought it would be fun to get both casts on stage, for a rare photo opportunity – all 37 of them!

The Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company left at the end of the day saying goodbye to old friends and new, very excited at the prospect of joining their ship in just a few weeks time.

I’ll be back on Monday with some pictures from Queen Elizabeth’s sea trials, and then on Thursday we have some exciting breaking news about the Shops on board our new Queen. It’s a busy time of Blogging so please keep your comments and questions coming in. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Barbara says:

    Please don’t let the sound in the theatre shows be too loud.
    On my last cruise (not Cunard!) although myself and other guests complained as the music in the theatre was so loud, nothing changed, and we left two shows well before the end.
    Older people are not all deaf and I think it must be the younger sound engineers who think they are !!
    Please consider this as a genuine request.

  2. Mary Elizabeth Murphy says:

    Hello Alastair,

    Thank you for all of the wonderful vlogs showcasing Queen Elizabeth’s progress. Not only are they informative, but you always make them so entertaining to watch! I love seeing familiar features from Queen Victoria, but also new additions such as the beautiful staircase in the Britannia Restaurant and the new entrance in the Queen’s Room.

    My mother and I are really looking forward to the Maiden World Voyage. Our only concern is that the Queen Elizabeth will not offer the Indian alternative dining option. It was our favorite on Queen Victoria and, I believe, the most popular with guests. Is there any chance Cunard will add the Indian option for those of us with curry addictions?!

    Mary Elizabeth Murphy

  3. Beryl Moss says:

    What a fantastic series of video blogs on Queen Elizabeth. It is truly amazing the progress that has been made since the last ones thanks to all the hard work of the people involved.

  4. judith appleton says:

    Every blog/vlog and image tells the story of the commitment and industry of the workers and staff.
    It`s hard to believe the rate of progress.It`ll soon be time to get the cases down and pack for the 12th!!!

  5. Steve says:

    Alastair the Royal Court Theater looks amazing, and I like the colour scheme very much. Thank you again for sharing the progression of work with us. Sea trials on Monday? Can’t wait!

  6. Enrique L. says:

    Hi Alastair.
    I write from Mexico.

    Queen Elizabeth perfectly combines the sophistication and the memories of the RMS Queen Elizabeth of 1940 and RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 of 1969.
    I think that the Art Deco style will remember to the golden age of ocean travel. Also she will innovate as they have done his successors as the Campania, Carmania, Lusitania, Mauretania, Aquitania, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth 2 and the extraordinary Queen Mary 2.

    She is really beautiful.
    Some pictures of The Verandah restaurant would be fantastic.
    Thanks for the pictures.

  7. Matt says:


    I will fly out to join the ship as crew on the 25th Sept and can barely contain my excitment!! I received my confirmation letter and flight details today!! Only 37 sleeps to go now!!

    I feel so proud to be on her as she sails into Southampton for the first time and to be onboard for her maiden season. I look forward to meeting all crew and passenges onboard soon!

    Thanks for all you do to keep us informed Alister!

  8. mary murdoch says:

    Hi Alastair. Thanks to you and all the team involved for these blogs/vlogs and vidios its just great. I just sit here watching the computer screen in awe of all the progress that has taken place Iam sure when we embark on the 1st of December 2010 the QE will feel very familiar like de-javu its just so exciting and looking forward to meeting you and seeing your office.

  9. CJ Johnson says:

    Hello, I’m very excited for the Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage. I did have one quick question. Will there be any jazz onboard the ship? I have always been a huge fan of jazz and love to sit down for a meal while a jazz combo is playing. Thank you for these blogs. They are very informative and entertaining.

  10. fraser mcinnes says:

    I love the new chandelier’s in the Queens room. They remind me of the stunning one that was in the oval salon of L’Atlantique of the 1930′s. The original one is my favourite piece of art deco lighting ever, so im happy to see the similarity in these, intentional or not.. haha

    Cant wait for the sea trials blog…

    Thanks again Alistair.


    Fraser :)

  11. Dawn Melloy says:

    So glad the sea trials went well – I knew she’d be innocent!!

  12. Robert - Hunter Valley says:

    When one retires, the immediacy of attention, is – where are the blasted ports – luggage to others. Resting, after a day and evening of arduous attentiveness to gravitas, severitas and auctoritas, demands a presence of the chesty bonds et.al close to the bed. Photographs of the bed, suggest limited space, under the bed.
    Travelling, as we do, here, in the Land of the Golden Urn, demands serious thought to the positioning of the ports. For peace of mind and equanimity, a dedicated answer is asked for the embedded Voyager. Is there room at the Inn-er room.

  13. Debbie King says:

    Hi Alistair, We remember you from the Maiden Voyage of the QV and we are also booked on the Maiden of the Queen Elizabeth on 12 October, and we are counting down the days with bated breath.
    Absolutely cannot wait – a Maiden Voyage is a one-off and we were also proud to be part of the celebrations on board the QM2 on her Maiden back in 2004.
    So the QE will be a hat-trick for us.
    Anchors aweigh!

  14. John & Sheila Laurence says:

    We’re getting very excited about the Maiden Voyage on 12 October and enjoy all the blogs with great interest. The new Queen looks absolutely gorgeous and we’re so pleased there is an Art Deco influence in the appointments.
    Thank you once again for keeping us up-to-date with progress.
    John & Sheila Laurence.

  15. Elaine Glave says:

    Thank you Alistair for all the blogs and videos. It is so exciting and I can’t wait to board Queen Elizabth on her maiden voyage. It will be lovely to meet you again (without your safety hat) and I guess there will be several other familiar faces too. Queen Elizabeth is truly beautiful,See you on 12th October.

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