March 29, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Updates
In last week’s Blog we covered just some of the signature events on a World Voyage, and I’m glad, judging from your comments, that you enjoyed reading about them. This week I am bringing you more, starting with the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race. This is where teams of crew from different departments dress in an array of interesting outfits to compete in this traditional race.
For Queen Elizabeth’s very first pancake race we certainly had some interestingly attired crewmembers, such as the Oscar Rejects team from the Galley: -
Our engineers decided to go with a more youthful look going back to their school days with ties decorated with electrical tape!
Probably the most creative was another team from the Galley who came as Team 300 Galley Crew, dressed as Roman Centurions complete with their own Queen.
The Youth staff on board went with the theme of the ingredients of the pancake, while the Purser’s Staff chose to concentrate on what how best to enjoy your pancake!
Then the race was on, with six team members taking their turn to run from one end of the Pavilion Pool to the other ensuring their pancake had been flipped at least three times on the way before being flipped in to their team mate’s pan. Here, wearing some interesting masks, are the Royal Court Theatre Production Staff as the Repairs and Renovations team, under the watchful eye of Ron Barela from Washington State who was one of the judges.
Meanwhile on the other side of the pool the Oscar Rejects were being watched carefully by another guest judge, Ron’s wife Vicky
In the end the glory went to some of the cast of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company, from left to right Tom, Ben, Will, Captain Julian Burgess presenting them with their prize, Tim, Katie and Penny.
One of the traditions we are proud of at Cunard is our association with various charitable organizations around the world. A highlight is when we invite the children and staff from the Father Ray Foundation on board for the afternoon. Continuing the tradition from QE2 and more recently Queen Victoria, the children and the staff from the Foundation travelled by bus from Pattaya to where Queen Elizabeth was docked in Laem Chabang, Thailand. They were delighted when Captain Chris Wells joined them on the forward deck for a photo;
Before their performance, our Food and Beverage team did a great job in providing some refreshments as Thomas Quinones and the Youth Staff provided games and crafts for the children to play with.
Then it was time for the show which featured dancers, Thai Kick Boxing and a particularly moving performance from the children from the School for the Blind. There was also an inspirational performance from the boys who performed some remarkably impressive dances and acrobatics in their wheelchairs.
I think they really enjoyed using the stage lift to get them on and off the Royal Court Theatre stage as well, all under the watchful eye of our Production Manager Chris Knowles and his staff.
It was another fantastic afternoon and our guests were delighted to see them perform. On the same day some of our guests and crew visited the nearby Pattaya Orphanage, taking with them toys and gifts for the children.
Helen Eatough from the Entertainment Staff went along and told me a bit about the visit:
When I was invited to go to the Pattaya Orphanage, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but it turned out to be an incredibly moving day and a real eye opener. What struck me was how positive the atmosphere was, and how beautiful the play areas and the gardens were. One little baby I saw was just a month old, and all these little children wanted was love and a human touch.
What an amazing day it was and despite the very sad circumstances that brings these children here, it’s heartening to know that over 80% of them go on to study at university. All of the children without exception come back to help out at the orphanage for a few hours a week, spending time with the children, helping out with the duties and even performing for them in bands.
Although it was an emotional day for all of us, it was great to see such dedication from the staff and as we left the Orphanage, we all felt a strong sense of how privileged we are.
Our guests come from all over the world as you know and often they bring some friends with them in the form of their favourite soft toy. Sometimes they bring their furry friends so that they can be pictured around the world. We had seen some around the ship so thought they may like to meet one another!
And here are their respective owners, I wonder if you can match the pet with their owner!
Oscar, the Australian black cat is travelling on his first World Voyage with his owners Heather and Will Lee from New South Wales. It seems that Oscar has also found himself a new friend, in the form of 45 year old Eeyore who is a true British Pedigree, as he comes from the prestigious Harrods Store. He was brought on board by his owners Lesley and Michael Tudor Pole from Southampton, and is being watched at home by Kate and Mark.
We also have two stowaways and they are two monkeys called Lad and Little Bro and Joshua and Lilly in Nottingham, England are watching his travels around the world. Then there’s Woolly Jumper, a British sheep and he is being followed by Tim and Yvonne
The children back at St. Petroc’s School in Bodmin, Cornwall are watching Busky the Bear carefully, as he travels the world proudly carrying the St. Pirin’s Flag, (The Patron Saint of Cornwall), with him.
James and Mary Fitchie, originally from Northern Ireland, but now living in the Isle of Man, couldn’t make it to the meeting that day, but I met up with them a few days later and they told me all about Stripey.
Mrs and Mrs. Fitchie were among some other Queen Elizabeth guests who found a soft toy animal during our call to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. They were walking along a path on the way to the church in Russell, which is the oldest working church in New Zealand, when they found Stripey on the ground. They first thought a child had dropped it by accident, but then they saw this sign attached to Stripey’s neck:
Stripey has come from Russell School in the Bay of Islands, the children of Room 6 left lots of soft toys around Russell, hopeful that they would be picked up by our guests and taken around the world! Mary and James have already sent five post cards to the school and hope the children will enjoy reading about Stripey’s new home when they return to the Isle of Man at the end of the World Voyage.
That’s it for the moment but I’ll be back on Thursday with some photos from Queen Elizabeth’s maiden calls to Singapore and ports in Malaysia. Cheers for now, Alastair