December 29, 2010
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Updates
Firstly, from all of us at We Are Cunard, we hope you have had a wonderful Christmas wherever you spent it, and no doubt you are now excited about the New Year’s celebrations to welcome in 2011. Thank you again for your comments and questions as well as your lovely Christmas greetings.
Because of all the Christmas celebrations, we didn’t feature This week in Cunard’s History last week, so here it is for the extended week from the 17th to the 28th of December:
It’s always an exciting and busy time for all of us working on board over the festive season with plans being made many months in advance.
One big job is decorating our Queens ready for the Christmas voyages, and the lady responsible for our beautiful decorations is Debbie Gilmore. You may remember reading about Debbie in the set up of Queen Elizabeth as the lady who coordinated the installation of all the plants on board. The decorations are installed by a professional team in the first week of December, and it’s a huge task involving numerous decorations and on Queen Elizabeth, over 300 Poinsettias!
Before I get to Queen Elizabeth, I was delighted to receive some photos of Queen Victoria in her beautiful Christmas decor from Queen Victoria’s Assistant Entertainment Director, Keith Maynard. The first shows the ships stunning Grand Lobby:
There are so many beautifully decorated Christmas trees all over the ship, each with its own colour scheme like this one by the stage in the Winter Garden.
Like all our Queens every guest venue is decorated with wonderful detail such as the fireplace in the Golden Lion Pub adorned with garlands and Poinsettias
Christmas is a very busy time of year for the Galley teams, not just in preparing all the extra menus, but also in the numerous displays around the ship. This one is by the entrance of Queen Victoria’s Britannia Restaurant;
And this is the stunning display by the Lido Buffet;
Thanks very much Keith for those really great pictures. Meanwhile the Galley Team on Queen Elizabeth have also been incredibly busy creating some amazing displays all over the ship, and each day in the run up to Christmas the team added more and more, creating a really festive atmosphere around our new Queen. This Christmas Village was just one of the displays in the Lido Restaurant which was created under the guidance of Queen Elizabeth’s Executive Chef, Nicholas Oldroyd, with the collaboration of the carpentry team;
The Carpenters first cut out the ply board templates and assemble the houses and then, the Executive Pastry Chef, Sigfredo Satin and his team in the Pastry Galley decorated the frames with gingerbread and other assorted treats. Each house took up to eight hours to build and decorate. Adding to the display is the incredible talent of Chef de Partie, Catalino Paje, pictured next to the village, who crafted individual St. Nicholas themed scenes out of Styrofoam. These very detailed pieces take up to twelve hours each. Here are some more his characters adorning the Lido;
Just like her sister Queen Elizabeth’s lounges, restaurants and bars look stunning with the festive decorations such as the Britannia Restaurant
Again every venue has decorations to suit the style of the room as you can see here in the Yacht Club with the beautiful picture of QE2 in the background:
Two days before Christmas Queen Elizabeth arrived in the picturesque Caribbean port of St. Johns on the Island of Antigua, where she towered over the main shopping street.
It was great to be in the Caribbean, away from all the freezing temperatures in Europe and Queen Elizabeth has received a wonderful welcome at each port with Steel Bands, greeting guests as they headed to the beaches and island beauty spots. Here she is again in Antigua, providing a stunning backdrop for guests and locals in the nearby shops, bars and restaurants.
On Christmas Eve in St Lucia Queen Elizabeth could see her sister Queen Mary 2 anchored just outside the harbour and it was a great opportunity to meet up with friends and colleagues. Then it was soon time to continue the festivities on board as we continued the Cunard tradition of the carol singing in the Grand Lobby. It’s a very special part of the evening when members of the ships company from all departments, including Captain Julian Burgess, (standing next to me in the front), join guests in singing carols;
Later that evening we held the traditional Christmas Eve church services and then of course it was the big day, and I’ll be back on Friday with photos of our Christmas day on Queen Elizabeth. Tomorrow I’ll have a Vlog and news about Cunard Float, A Grand Celebration at Sea, which will feature in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.
Next week I’ll have more news from around the fleet including Deputy Captain Andrew Hall’s final instalment of Queen Victoria’s recent refit in Hamburg. Cheers for now, Alastair