November 22, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
It’s hard to believe that Queen Elizabeth is still only on her third voyage, yet has already been in service for six weeks. She continues to be warmly welcomed wherever she goes, and for the first time tomorrow she will make her second call to a port, when she arrives in Gibraltar. We were delighted to receive this photo from one of our admirers in Croatia, showing Queen Elizabeth last week, arriving at the port of Gruz which serves the stunning medieval city of Dubrovnik.
And here she is moments later in her berth; but before you think our latest Cunarder has an interesting addition to her superstructure, there is a very modern and beautiful bridge just behind her!
It’s been an exciting voyage on board and one where the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company has been busy rehearsing for their latest shows in their repertoire. This voyage the company entertained our guests with two premiere’s; Hotel Royale and a matinee performance yesterday of a Neil Simon Triple Bill.
There was a tremendous response to those shows as well as the other shows performed by the Company during the voyage, and it was great to hear so many compliments about our very talented cast. As you will know from our previous Blog on the subject, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company is a new concept to Cunard. You can see more from the Blog below, which I posted when the Entertainment on Queen Elizabeth was first announced.
It’s great to see the repertoire coming to life, and we will be posting a special Guest Blog in a short while written by a member of the Company, which will give us a unique insight to the rehearsal and set up process from a performer’s perspective.
Entertainment has certainly come on a long way over the years and this was highlighted at our gathering of guests who have travelled on all three Queen Elizabeth’s. On this voyage there were nine guests who had travelled on all three, and here they are at the get-together yesterday.
There was just one guest this week, June Rawlings, from Coventry in England, who had travelled on all six Queens. Her first voyage was on Queen Mary in 1964 and she travelled quite regularly on the Queens including Queen Elizabeth in 1968. She told me that she remembered how First Class passengers would sneak in to the Cabin Class where she was, as they told her it was more fun there!
Getting back to the subject of entertainment; I was reminded about how much things had changed over the years when Mrs Wood from Dover in England, showed me some of her memorabilia. The item I found most interesting was this Programme of Entertainment for the Third Class Lounge on the Carinthia in 1938.
This of course was a show performed by the on board Entertainment Committee formed by the passengers. Among the performers of “The Three Musketeers” was Mrs Woods’ grandmother; Mrs Cureton, who was on the Transatlantic Crossing to visit her daughter (Mrs Wood’s Aunt), who had emigrated from Britain to Cleveland Ohio, during the depression. Mrs Woods went on to tell me that she had travelled on Queen Elizabeth in 1953, and when she heard QE2 was about to be sold, she told herself she had to sail on her before she ended her service in the Cunard fleet. She managed to convince her daughter to go with her and she told me she is now a committed third generation Cunarder!
She also showed me one of her original tags, which were designed for luggage that wasn’t needed for the crossing, but would be transported across the Atlantic in the ship’s storage area until it was collected at the destination port.
It’s always lovely to see guests’ memorabilia, which have such personal memories, and luggage labels are not easy to look after. However Mrs Angela Wall from Hatfield in Hertfordshire showed me the pristine labels from her journey to New York on the Ivernia and her return crossing on Queen Elizabeth.
They had stayed with her mother’s cousins for three months and she told me how her mother had seen the original newsreel of Queen Elizabeth being launched in September 1938. On that day her mother vowed she would one day go on that wonderful liner, and 21 years later in 1959 her dream came true. Here’s Mrs Wall on the deck of Queen Elizabeth on that crossing to Southampton.
There was another special voyage for Mrs Wall when she celebrated her 40th wedding anniversary on QE2 during her 40th year, and she told me how much she was enjoying the new Queen Elizabeth.
That’s it for this Blog, but I’ll be back soon with the final part of Lisa’s series of Guest Blogs from her recent Transatlantic Crossing on Queen Mary 2. Cheers for now, Alastair