September 30, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Countdown to Queen Elizabeth – 12 days
What an exciting week it’s been here in Italy, with both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 on Mediterranean voyages and Queen Elizabeth spending her last few days in Monfalcone. In fact as I write this Blog on Wednesday night, a special presentation is taking place in the Royal Court Theatre, and I’ll tell you more about that in a special Blog tomorrow as Cunard officially takes delivery of Queen Elizabeth.
Today as promised I have more pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s interior and more news about what we have all been doing, but that’s after this week in Cunard’s history for the week from the 24th to the 30th of September:
|September||25||1974||In the Mediterranean, QE2 rescues 6 survivors from the sinking yacht ‘Stephanie’|
|September||25||2003||Queen Mary 2 undertakes her first sea trials|
|September||26||1934||The 80,744-ton Queen Mary launched at Clydebank and becomes the first merchant vessel to be launched by a member of the Royal family (Her Majesty Queen Mary).|
|September||27||1938||The Queen Elizabeth, at 83, 673 gross registered tons, becomes the largest liner ever built. She is launched by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.|
|September||27||1967||Queen Mary sails in to New York for the last time completing her final transatlantic crossing, with 1,400 passengers on board including the designer John Brown incognito. Shortly afterwards she set sail for Long Beach, California|
|September||28||2009||Queen Victoria makes her maiden call at Boston|
I know I always say how astounded I am by the progress the Fincantieri ship yard team make, but this last 10 days has been truly staggering. The Grand Lobby is looking fantastic with just some final adjustments being made to the lighting.
Meanwhile to give you an idea of the speed of progress these two pictures of the Royal Court Theatre auditorium were taken just three days apart during which time the covers came off the seating area and the lighting bars were completed and raised in to place:
In the Queens Room, you can see the wonderful chandeliers with the other lighting fixtures going in just a couple of days after this picture was taken, which shows the famous Cunard dance floor is receiving it’s polish:
The art deco influences are beginning to become more and more prominent, such as these beautiful lighting fixtures in the Royal Arcade. Between the steps there’ll be a stunning Dent clock which I saw being place today so I’ll send you a picture of that soon.
If you have ever wanted to know how they attach some of the paintings on the ships panels, well you’re about to find out. I just happened to be passing through the Grand Lobby the other day as this piece was being placed in its new home behind the Purser’s Desk.
This next photo will seem quite familiar to many readers as the Golden Lion Pub, although it has slightly different decor and furniture to the one on her sister Queen Victoria.
Moving on to some of the dining venues, I know the anticipation is building towards the opening of the Verandah Restaurant. The name comes from the first Queen Elizabeth, and the paintings you can see were inspired by those in the original restaurant.
Another new venue for Queen Elizabeth is the Britannia Club restaurant and what a stunning venue this will be. There were just 3 days in between these photos being taken, again showing the tremendous progress being made:
And talk about a dramatic transformation, this is the Britannia Restaurant a few days ago just before the lighting and other decor was completed:
The restaurant teams have been as busy as everyone on board, preparing for the Maiden Voyage. Here are some of them forming one of the many human chains I’ve seen around the ship this last week, bringing in the brand new china to be cleaned and then stored ready for our first guests.
And here they were a day later, under the direction of the Britannia Restaurant Maitre D’ Patu Kerai, all dressed and ready for a function for some special guests from the shipyard and from our new build team based here in Monfalcone.
Another venue that has progressed enormously is the Yacht Club, and again these photos were only taken four days apart.
Meanwhile around the ship, there are so many people finishing off a variety of projects such as the careful marking out of the Deck Quoits and Shuffleboard courts by a team of specialised craftsmen.
A big job that can only take place over the last two weeks of the outfitting process is the planting of literally hundreds of plants around the ship, so we were recently joined by Debbie Gilmore and her team to begin that huge task.
With the entire inaugural crew now on board, everyone is very busy preparing their respective areas such as the shop staff loading all their stores, preparing window displays and stocking up the shelves.
The whole ship is receiving that last bit of special attention with every area looking pristine ready for her hand over to Cunard, and that includes the iconic red funnel.
How lovely it is to see the name Queen Elizabeth on the astern of the ship, and even that area receiving special attention, so that she looks immaculate when she arrives in her home port for the first time on the 8th of October.
I’ll have more pictures tomorrow which will show her on her delivery day, and I have to say our new Queen looks stunning. Next week I’ll have a special Vlog for you as well as news from our crew event and the handover ceremony, but now we have to prepare to leave Monfalcone for the last time.
Cheers for now, Alastair