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Queen Mary 2


February 21, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Mary 2, Updates

With Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth making their final approaches to Sydney, this week marks another historic Cunard Rendezvous. At about 6am on Tuesday morning (which is Monday evening at 7pm in London and 2pm in New York) the two Queens will pass through the Heads and make their way in to the famous harbour, and I’m sure many of you will be watching it on the Web Cams.

For us on Queen Elizabeth, it’s been an amazing journey heading across the Pacific to New Zealand. The weather was fantastic all the way, and the welcome was as warm as ever. I’ll have more Blogs on that later in the week.

Many of you will recall Queen Elizabeth’s Madrina Dennie Farmer, who was at the Float Out ceremony. It’s amazing to think that was it was just over a year ago, but as a reminder you can read more about it by following this link:


Dennie is on board Queen Elizabeth for the World Voyage, and I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special presentation a couple for days ago.  Dennie had brought the original bell from the first Queen Elizabeth with her and this is the bell that was rung by Commodore Warner at the New York Stock Exchange on the 13th of January.


Until recently it was on Queen Mary 2, where it had been since January 2004. It was taken on just before Queen Mary 2’s Maiden Voyage, but Dennie felt the right home for the bell was now on the new Queen Elizabeth. Here’s Denny making the presentation to Captain Julian Burgess with Hotel Manager Robert Howie and Chief Engineer Colin Black also at the presentation.

Dennie also announced that she would be generously donating the original bell from the Carmania, as a replacement, and that presentation will be made when Queen Mary 2 arrives back in Southampton at the end of her World Voyage.

Speaking of Queen Mary 2,  I was delighted to hear from the Assistant Entertainment Director, Rachael Fish who had a story to share about an important Charity Auction that had recently taken place. I’ll let her take up the story:

Guest Blog 

Rachael Fish, Assistant Entertainment Director

Queen Mary 2

Since late last year, Queensland has been hit by flooding and cyclones that have destroyed homes and businesses causing devastating disruption to every day family life. Queen Mary 2 took up the challenge to raise some money for the people of Queensland in conjunction with the Salvation Army and Variety, the children’s charity.  

Variety made us aware of some of the children in Queensland that had suffered due to the floods, having equipment that was vital to their everyday life completely destroyed.

A charity auction was held on the 16th of February 2011, and featured many items that had been donated by guests, Cunard President and Managing Director Peter Shanks as well as the Officers, Staff and Crew aboard Queen Mary 2.

Items for the auction included a Transatlantic Crossing on board Queen Mary 2, a one month vacation in Sarasota, Florida, holiday homes in Australia and Captain Paul Wright even donated his formal jacket, complete with gold trimming!

The Entertainment Staff organised the event along with Bruce Newey, who was a guest from Sydney, Australia. Bruce was instrumental in raising money for the charities and even hosted the auction. Here he is in full flow:


Bruce did an amazing job selling items which included one of the ship’s lifebuoys (a spare one I might add!), which was sold for $550. It was advertised as one size fits all as demonstrated here by Entertainment Director, Ray Rouse!

One unique experience up for auction was for a personal Bridge visit and the opportunity to blow Queen Mary 2’s whistle at noon. This was won by Mr. and Mrs. Lawson, who generously bid $1000. Here they with Second Officer, Connor Mulligan showing them the controls of our flagship.

Amongst the items was the Navigation Chart for that leg of the World Voyage, which I am holding here with a member of our Stage Crew, Peter Winter.

Everyone was so generous but I have to mention one lady, Dorothy Fisher, who bid on almost everything to raise more money…. what a fantastic lady!!! One of the items Dorothy bought was an Australian flag scarf:


The auction was a huge success and it raised over $25,000 and there are still more activities to come, so we look forward to making a real difference to these worthwhile charities. Our thanks again go to everyone who took part and especially those who were so generous with their bidding.

Thank you very much Rachael for an inspiring story and congratulations to everyone on Queen Mary 2 for raising so much. In fact raising money for charity is a Cunard tradition on a World Voyage and here on Queen Elizabeth we have already started with many more events planned over the next couple of months.

The day after the auction Queen Mary 2 arrived in Fremantle, her first Australian port on this year’s World Voyage. One of our Cunard Insights Lecturers, Blogger and Author, Chris Frame captured some great pictures of her arrival.

And here she is just coming along side to a wonderful welcome by local well-wishers.

Chris also took some video which you can see on this link: -


Thanks for the link and the great photos Chris, I’m sure we all agree she looks fantastic.

I hope you enjoy watching the Royal Rendezvous, and of course I’ll have pictures, and Vlogs coming to you soon with the highlights of the day. I’ll be back on Thursday with some great pictures of Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden calls to New Zealand and next week we’ll be celebrating Cunard’s latest Stars.

Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    It is 14.30 on Monday, here in Florida and I am watching you approaching the Sydney Harbour Bridge…awesome.
    Pity that the Queen Mary 2 Bridge Cam isn’t working!
    Very best regards

  2. Gavin Tippet - Port Douglas Queensland says:

    Hello Alistair
    As I look out of my Hotel room down onto Queen Elizabeth in Sydney Harbour. What a sight to see both Queen Mary and Elizabeth coming up the Harbour.
    Looking forward to Boarding the Queen Elizabeth at 2pm today 22/02/11

  3. Geoffrey Palmer says:

    G’Day Alistair
    I’m currently watching on TV the Queen Mary2 and Queen Elizabeth2 sailing into Sydney Harbour.
    It’s 6.30am and both ships have all their lights on looking absolutely magnificent. The commentator has described them as being two massive Christmas trees sailing on the harbour. They are blowing their whistles and other craft are sailing close to them with water canons giving them a true Aussie welcome. Cunard must be very proud. My wife Nancy is going balistic with excitement as we are joining the QE2 in Singapore on the 19th March, she can’t wait. Make sure our cabin number 6007 is ready for us! Hope we can catch up with you soon. Keep up the good news reports!
    Geoff Palmer from Queensland, Australia.

  4. Peggy Boll says:

    WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA Just seem the two QUEENS arrive into Sydney Harbour on T.V. beatiful morning would loved to be in Sydney, but am still busy cleaning up after cyclone ‘yase’.Will be joining Queen Elizabeth in Dubai with a group of Australian Seniors for the leg to Southampton, looking forward to meeting you again then, enjoy your stay in Australia. Peggy Boll, North Queensland, Australia.

  5. Sandra Tomlinson says:

    Well, l have just viewed on Television the two Queens arriving in Sydney Harbour and l must say how stunningly beautiful they look.
    The “Today Show” staff were allowed on board to show just how delightful the new Queen Elizabeth truely is. Look forward to sailing on her one day !

  6. Judith Sayers says:

    Will the tragedy of earthquake in New Zealand affect the schedule of the Queen Mary2? Lyttleton is a lovely little port, but access to Christchurch might be a problem. Hope all goes well.

  7. Christian Reay says:

    Dear Alistair,

    I would like to extend my congratulations on the Royal Rendezvous in Sydney, Australia this morning. I have very fond and happy memories of watching QE2 arrive in Sydney in 2007 during her 25th world cruise (I should stress that I wathced from QE2′s web camera at the time) when she met Queen Mary 2 who was sailing on her maiden world voyage.

    As I am sure I have mentioned in previous messages, it has been my ambition to work in the cruise industry and it is with great pleasure that this is a step closer as I have been given unconditional offers to study one of two courses at Southampton Solent University. I am hoping to study for either a Foundation Degree in Cruise Industry Management with Sport and Tourism or a BA (Hons) in Cruise Industry Mangement.

    May I wish you, the Captain and Ship’s Company of Queen Elizabeth a continued safe and pleasnt voyage.

    Best Regards,


  8. Hello Alistair, some nice photos of the QM2 & QE on arrival in Sydney on The Australian’s Travel page here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/travel/galleries/gallery-fn3025xv-1226009858186

    Looking forward to boarding in Fremantle to catch up with friends already on board from Southampton, and meeting you of course!

  9. Chris Frame says:

    Thanks Alastair, it was wonderful to see QM2 and looking forward to catching up soon.

    Chris Frame.

  10. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Just to let you know that the historic meeting of Queen Mary2 and Queen Elizabeth was featured in our local paper yesterday, the St Petersburg Times, along with a photograph and comment on the last time that two Queens met in Sydney was in WW2 as troop ships.
    Looking forward to your next blog with photographs of Sydney.
    As always, very best regards

  11. Great comments, photo’s and links of the magnificent arrival in Sydney – the atmosphere was buzzing according to my family resident down under. Looking forward to our family trip during August on Queen Elizabeth.

    Alistair – a little plea, please can you sought out the webcam from Queen Elizabeth to include the ships position : we see that information on screen for QM2 and Queen Victoria!

    Kind Regards- Gaskell Family.

  12. Gary & Ros Bricknell says:

    We recently cruised from Cape Town to Sydney on QM2, with 1500 or so other Australians, the general consenus of opinion was one of disappointment, as the QM2 did not live up to it’s White Star reputation. Cunard boast that they are the untimate in cruising, from our personal experiences (this cruise was our 20th) we rate Holland America far superior & then in line would be Princess, Oceania & Royal Caribbean and then CUNARD! In the 17 days on board the staff at times carried about their daily duties almost as though it was a chore to serve us, the Kings Court meals for breakfast & lunch were bland & monotonous, dinners in the Brittania were pretty much the same, at no time was lobster ever on the menu & even RCCL have that. The offer of additional vegetables consisted of carrots,cauliflower & broccoli (every night the same), bread rolls were served one each & then taken away. The so called “specialty” restaurants turned out to be a cordoned off area on what we would call the Lido deck (where we have breakfast) & for the pleasure of dining in this “wonderful” atmosphere they charge US10 dollars per head & elegant casual dress codes applied & our table was positioned right alonside the corridor & while seated waiting for our appetiser, waiters are going by pushing trolleys from the main buffet area. It is unfortunate how fast Cunard could lose it’s once proud reputation of quality & service. In summing up we will probably never cruise Cunard again and we will be ensuring that our other cruising friends are made aware of our experience. Although there is a lot more to say this is all from us now. Regards & happy cruising Ros & Gary Bricknell

  13. Sarah Nicol says:

    In response to the comment in the “St. Petersburg Times” – I presume they are mistaken that the last time two ships called the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth met in Sydney was in WW2??? Perhaps they were thinking of the first Queen Mary and the first Queen Elizabeth????
    There have been two ‘Queens’ in Sydney in recent years – when the QE2 was there for her last world voyage with the QM2, I think (or was her ‘companion’ the QV?), and then when the QM2 and the QV (Victoria) were there together.

    Please remember fondly that the QE2 is retired, and the QE currently in Australian waters has no number associated with her, although she is the third of the ‘modern era’ ships to bear the name of Queen Elizabeth.

    Greetings from Scotland to all Cunard bloggers in Australia and New Zealand as we think of you from other parts of the world – following your ‘natural disasters’.


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