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The Cunard Queens Celebrate Valentine’s Day

February 17, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

It’s been another very busy week on board our ships, and as always it’s been great to read your comments and hear how many of our readers are following friends and family on their voyages around the World with Cunard. We’ve been busy passing on your good wishes to our guests on board so feel free to keep those mentions coming.

Meanwhile although our Queens are in different parts of the world, they have all been celebrating the day of romance in their own way and I’ve got news and pictures of that after this week in Cunard’s history for the week of the 17 to 23 February.

17 February 1949 Caronia makes her maiden call to Willemstad, Curacao
17 February 1954 Saxonia is launched by Lady Churchill at John Brown Shipyard, Clydebank and goes in to service on the Canadian emigrant run.
20 February 2007 QE2 meets Queen Mary 2 on her World Voyage in Sydney – first time two Queens had been together in Sydney since the first Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth in 1941 as troop ships
21 February 1905 Carmania (sister ship to the Caronia) is launched and together they are known as “The Pretty sisters”. Carmania is the first in a generation to have turbines (as opposed to quadruple expansion engines), which makes her faster than her sister Caronia.
21 February 1920 The Berengaria (formerly the Imperator), has her first sailing under the Cunard flag from Liverpool, making her the largest passenger liner to ever enter the Mersey.
23 February 2006 Maritime history is made as Queen Mary 2 and Queen Mary, meet for the first time in Long Beach Harbour for a “Royal Rendezvous” beginning at 12 noon.
23 February 2010 Cunard announces the names of the Senior Officers who will head up the Queen Elizabeth Management Team


On 13 February, while Queen Victoria was in Los Angeles for the second of four visits during her Americas season, renowned Chef Todd English hosted members of the Entertainment Publicist Professional Society, media and other guests for a luncheon in his restaurant on board.

One of the most decorated and respected chefs in the world, Todd English was named the National Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation early in his career and in 2001, Bon Appétit recognised him as “Restaurateur of the Year.”

He made history once again when he launched his first and only restaurants at sea aboard Queen Mary 2 in 2004 and Queen Victoria in 2007, both simply called Todd English. The restaurants highlight Chef English’s interpretive Mediterranean cuisine. Many of you will be familiar with his restaurants on Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 and we posted a blog about him and his work in this Blog:

The day after Queen Victoria celebrated St. Valentine’s Day in traditional Cunard style with a signature ball in the Queens Room hosted by Social Hostess Marianne Corlett, and here she is pictured with Sports Director Warwick Newton:


Meanwhile Assistant Entertainment Director Keith Maynard was getting in to the spirit by hosting the Marriage Game Show, and here he is seeing how well three couples, including John and Barbara from California pictured here, actually knew each other!

As always our Queens are beautifully decorated on these occasions, and the Food and Beverage Team on Queen Elizabeth did a great job with fabulous Grand Lobby display.

During the afternoon in the Queens Room, members of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company presented a specially prepared performance of “Hearts and Harps”, joined by Pianist Dustin Turner and Harpist Fiona McGee, in an elegant celebration of love through music and poetry.

On Queen Elizabeth we also ran a Valentine’s Dedication service to raise money for our World Voyage Charities. Guests were invited to write a message to their Valentine which would then appear in a special flyer that was delivered to guest staterooms with their Daily Programme. Guests were invited to enclose a donation with their message and the dedication accompanied by the biggest donation would appear on the front page of the Daily Programme itself. It was a great success with lots of dedications proving romance is alive and well on Queen Elizabeth, and we raised over $450 for our charities. This was the winning dedication.

Congratulations to Helen McMaster who wrote the dedication for her husband Andrew. I caught up with them both later that evening as they had their picture taken in the heart shaped arch of balloons that evening in the Queen’s Room at the Valentine’s Ball

Earlier in the evening as guests entered the restaurants on all our ships, the ladies were presented a red rose, and in this photo Headwaiter Sylwester Potrac offers a rose to Mrs Margo Irving from Dumbartonshire in Scotland, who is with her husband Ian.


As always it was a very special day and made that much more special by being celebrated on a Cunard Queen.  Well that’s it for the moment, but I’ll be back next week with more news from Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden World Voyage as she reaches New Zealand, as well as other news from around the Cunard Fleet.

The big news of course will be on Tuesday 22 February, as Queen Elizabeth meets up with Cunard’s Flagship, Queen Mary 2 at 5.30am (local time), off Sydney Harbour. Queen Mary 2 will then lead her sister in to the spectacular harbour before both ships enjoy their two day visit. This is definitely well worth watching on our Bridge Cams that morning and of course we’ll bring you some pictures and Vlogs from the event later that week. Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. John McMichan says:

    Hello Alastair,
    I am looking forward to sailing with you on Queen Elizabeth next week.

  2. Gavin Tippet- Port Douglas Qld Australia says:

    Hello Alistair
    I will definitely be watching and waiting on the 22nd Feb in Sydney.
    I have a great hotel room that overlooks the entire harbour. This day I will remember forever, to see the two Cunard liners enter Sydney Harbour.
    I also will be keen to board the Queen Elizabeth at 2pm for her next leg of her world cruise.

  3. Rob Holloway says:

    Thank you for all the recent blog posts though I have to admit I’d probably get something wrong for the Marriage Game Show. You can always spot us types, in the back row of seats.

    I like the Cunard style of celebrating Valentines Day vs. a mass reunion of vows some ships have.

  4. tony mac says:

    what a great night

  5. Phil Whitaker says:

    Can’t wait to see the Elizabeth and MaryII sail into Sydney Harbour. We’ll be there – waving – but you may not see us in the dark. All the best. Phil Whitaker and Jim Williamson.

  6. Robin Knight says:

    What’s the weather been like on Queen Elizabeth’s voyage down the Pacific please?

  7. Brogan Swan says:

    My father John and i cannot wait to board on Tuesday for the QE world cruise. We will be on a breakfast cruise to greet both ships in the morning early and i am very excited as i am bringing a personal collection of original Queen Elizabeth items aboard for viewing and cannot wait to show onboard. See you in a few days.

  8. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alistair,
    Another great blog.
    It is good to see news from the other Queens, but we are especially interested in Queen Elizabeth as she continues her maiden world cruise!
    Rest assured we will be watching the two Queens when they enter Sydney.
    Very best regards

  9. wow it would be good if Gavin Tippet could send some pictures of the 2 Queens entering the harbour from his viewpoint. It all sounds very exciting.

    Eddy and Ann

  10. Phil Whitaker says:

    Hi Alistair,

    We will be sitting having breakfast at the Oyster Bar watching you clear formalities as we wade though a full English (whoops – Australian). We have some good freinds on board with you, so regards to Barb and Graham (former Grillers on Maiden World on the Queen Vic)and of course our friends Will and John. Not long now as Sydney girds up its loins in prep for your arrival. Happy Sailing Jim Williamson & Phil Whitaker

  11. Judith Sayers says:

    Have made a note on the calendar to watch the ships entering Sydney Harbour. Hope the weather is good for you. See you soon

  12. Beryl Moss says:

    As usual another very intersting blog with great photographs. Will be watching via the ships web cams to see the arrival of the two Queens into Sydney Harbour on Tuesday morning and looking forward to the blog describing their arrival with another set of great pictures and hopefully a video.

  13. Lucy and Mike McNulty says:

    Please say a big HELLO to Nell and John who are cruising around the World on the Queen Elizabeth. Thinking of you!!! All the McNulty’s back home. xx

  14. Hattie says:

    Question is Alastair, did you get a rose?

  15. Thank you for all the super photographs and updates. Wish we were there! Enjoying keeping up to date with all your adventures as our relations Ian and Margo Irving are on board.Loved the valentines day photograph. Vera and Angela

  16. John & Linda Rogers says:

    Thank you for the wonderful blog, we have been following you since Royal Rendevous at Ritz Carlton. We enjoyed meeting our dear friends, and your guests Vic and Maureen Long from Crowborough,Sussex. They are currently about to transfer from Queen Elizabeth to Queen Mary 2 on the next leg of their world cruise. Would you please contact them and give our best wishes and that they have a pleasant visit with Vic’s sisters in Sydney. We hope that they were not impacted too badley with the terrible floods in Queensland. Thank Vic also for mailing us photos of the Queens & fireworks in NY.
    Meanwhile we shall enjoy following the blogs, till we make our own arrangements to enjoy the experience ourselves.

  17. Marlene Thomas says:

    Wonderful to see the lovely photo of our dear friends Andrew and Helen McMaster,a very special couple.
    Love your blogs Alastair,
    Cofion Cynnes,

  18. Daryl Cooper says:

    Well Cunard might consider that the BridgeCam on Queen Elizabeth is functioning CORRECTLY but from my perspective it is not. Logged on @ 05:52 Queensland time this morning, 22/2/11 and the caption on “Queen Elizabeth” bridgecam showed time as “20:15:14 21/2/11″ yet the image clearly showed vessel just east of the harbour bridge.Logged on again @ 10:45 Queensland time and although image shows vessel “tied up” at Circular Quay caption showed 01:44 of 22/2/2011. Is it just my computer. Enjoy your stay in Sydney!
    There are some very good photos of the arrival of the 2 Cunarders in this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald.

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