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Queen Mary 2

News From Queen Victoria’s Americas Season 2011

March 15, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Mary 2, Updates

Before I start this Blog, thank you, for all your messages of concern after the tragic events in northern Japan. As many of you were aware Queen Mary 2 was about 450 miles the epicentre at the time and naturally our thoughts were with her guests and crew as soon as we saw the news reports unfold. The weather where Queen Mary 2 was at the time was calm, and it was a relief to hear that the sea area and route the ship was on was also unaffected by any after effects of the earthquake.  The Commodore kept the guest on board fully informed with the developments and fortunately the news got through quite quickly that everyone on our flagship was fine.

Over the weekend I received this message from Rachael Fish, the Assistant Entertainment Director on Queen Mary 2 with this update: -

On March 11th, we were crossing between Osaka and Nagasaki, Japan when we heard the news about the earthquake. Fortunately being at sea at the time, we were completely unaffected but there were 33 Queen Mary 2 guests ashore on an overland tour through Tokyo. They were due to rejoin the ship in Nagasaki on March 12th and were being escorted by Iva from our Tour Office.

We very soon heard they were all fine but with the Japanese ports all being closed we were not sure how they would rejoin the ship. I am delighted to report that the group were returned to us safely by pilot boat from Nagasaki yesterday, (12th March), at 3:00pm, along with Iva, who according to all her guests, did a truly fantastic job.

Thank you Rachael for that reassurance; of course our prayers and thoughts are with the Japanese people and everyone affected by this terrible disaster.

While Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth are in Asia on their 2011 World Voyages, I was delighted to receive two Guest Blogs from Queen Victoria, with some great pictures from their time in Hawaii and Mexico.

Firstly I would like to introduce Adam Ritchin, who is the Guest Computer Services Manager on Queen Victoria. Adam looks after the guest Internet Centre and teaches some great classes, where guests can hone their computer skills from the basics through to learning how to Photoshop holiday photos and more. In the first of a series of Guest Blogs, here he is with a pictorial review of the Hawaiian Islands;

Guest Blog

Adam Ritchin

Guest Computer Services Manager

Queen Victoria



Greetings from Queen Victoria!  I’m Adam Ritchin, the Guest Computer Services Manager on board, and every week or two, I’ll be posting some blogs to give everyone a sense of the Queen Victoria experience.

Recently, we were on our second of two voyages to Hawaii.  If you’ve never been, let’s put it this way; it was truly paradise. The weather was ideal at around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) with a fresh sea breeze. We stopped at four ports, and each one offered something unique.

Honolulu offered the charms of a large city, a welcoming oceanfront, tons of great shopping and restaurants, and world famous beaches.  From the famous Aloha Tower next to our ship…………

……….to remembering fallen heroes at Pearl Harbor………..

…….to the delightful beach at world famous Sunset Beach; the nirvana for serious surfers.

Honolulu is unforgettable. There’s a lot more to see than just high rise hotels and famous beaches.  Did you know that in Hilo, there’s a Buddhist temple that’s set in the mountains? 


In Laihana……..,

…….enjoy a meal at the historic Pioneer Inn.

You can also hop on a boat and watch whales in their natural habitat. I went on a whale watching trip and saw at least eight whales, but sadly the whales were quicker than my camera!

Finally, there’s Nawiliwili, with rustic charm and modern amenities.

In late December this year, Queen Victoria returns to Hawaii for her festive voyage.  I suggest you escape the snow, ice and misery, and whatever you choose to do, even if you’re just a turtle lying on the beach………

………..you will have a tremendous time. Bye for now!


Thanks Adam for a great post. We look forward to your next one and more news from Queen Victoria. Meanwhile in the same week I also heard from Anand Ramakrishnan who is Queen Victoria’s White Star Trainer. Anand is responsible for the White Star Training on board and this has kept him particularly busy recently with so many new crew members joining the ship. In his first Guest Blog he tells us about a wine tasting tour taken by some of the Queen Victoria crew in Ensenada, Mexico;

Guest Blog

Anand Ramakrishnan 

White Star Trainer

Queen Victoria




When we were in Ensenada, Mexico, I had the opportunity to join our Chief Sommelier Vijay Kumar and his team on a wine tasting tour to the Vina De Liceaga Winery. There were fourteen of us and here we are at the beginning of our day:

It was a 45 minute coastal drive towards the hills of Ensenada, and once we arrived Alejandro, Sommelier of the vineyard, welcomed us and explained in detail the viticulture and vinification process in wine making in their vineyard.  He apologised that he was unable to show us the actual cellar on that day as they were in the process of bottling their wine. However to compensate for that, he offered us a tasting of their homemade Grappa at the end of the tour.  This is the initial stage of the vines being grown.

Alejandro took us inside a well decorated tasting room overlooking the vineyard. We sat around the tasting tables which were resting on aged wooden wine casks, and the tables were laid out with wine glasses, bread, cheeses and three different types of olive oil.

We tasted six different types of wine, Chenin blanc, two types of Merlot, two types of Cabernet Sauvignon and a blend of Syrah and Merlot. Below you can see Alejandro explaining each wine, and of course he insisted we tasted each of them!


You can also see below our Chief Sommelier Vijay to the right of this next photo with his team. The Sommeliers asked quite a few technical questions which Alejandro explained in detail which gave our newly joined Sommeliers extra knowledge on wine making.


After we tasted all six wines we went down to the first part of the cellar where we saw wines in aged barrels. The barrels were from new French oak and new American oak. Alejandro also explained the whole process of ageing wine in barrels, explaining that they age their wine for between 6 and 22 months, depending on the blend and the wine maker’s decision.

Then he offered us two kinds of Grappa which they make in their vineyard which were very different from the wines we tasted, and I shall leave it at that!

Thank you Vijay, it was a great wine tasting experience, and I am sure this will further enhance our Sommeliers knowledge and will help them provide our guests with even better service.  On the way back to Queen Victoria we also got to see some beautiful scenery.


Thank you, Anand for that fascinating Blog. It reminds me of the wine tasting I enjoyed in Maclaren Vale last year and it certainly is great experience for our Sommeliers.

After this very busy week of Blogs I’d like to thank again all our guest Bloggers and will be back next week with  more news from Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden World Voyage and from around the fleet.  Cheers for now, Alastair 

  1. Judith Sayers says:

    Very interesting blogs, worth reading a few times to take it all in. Pleased to hear everyone is safe and well, on QM2. Looking forward to our trip on Victoria in April.

  2. Chris & Margaret Rose says:

    Hi Alastair,
    We are so glad all are safe on Queen Mary 2.
    This is where the Bridge Cam comes in so useful!!
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all in Japan at this horrendous time.
    Two excellent guest blogs from both Adam Ritchin and Anand Ramakrishnan.
    Hawii certainly looks awesome.

    Looking forward to more news from Queen Elizabeth
    Very best regards

  3. Geoff Palmer says:

    G’Day Alistair
    Just a last minute email to say my wife & I are looking forward to boarding Queen Elizabeth in 3 days from now in Singapore. She has not slept for 3 days with excitment – bring it on!
    Hope we can catch up with you on board. Make yourself known we are cabin 6007.
    We have both watched all the news items you have sent of all the ships, the highlight being when Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth both docked together in Sydney Harbour. Couldn’t believe it rained while they were there.The news channels were full of pictures all day of the ships. Cunard must be very proud of themselves just as we are being able to eventually sail on one of their ships!. All the best from Down Under – Australia.

  4. Ann Wilkinson says:

    Good morning Alistair
    What a shock that earthquack was on Friday last week. I was so shocked and knew Queen Mary was in the region. I am thrilled to hear that all the staff and passengers particularly those43 who were ashore in Japan are safely back on board Queen Mary. I remember when I was on Queen E~lizabeth’s second cruise there were many Japanesse on board these people were so kind to my friend and I my thoughts and wishes are with them and I hope they too are all ok. But what a shock to loose everything you have and maybe it would be nice if Cunard put collection boxes on all their ships for this year, I will put money towards it when on board Queen Mary in September this year.
    May I wish you and your staff and passengers safe jouney’s.
    Love ~Ann Wilkinson and Norah Mills

  5. Kenneth Eden says:

    I have returned fron my Hawaiian Cruise, in the Queen Victoria, and I found the ship to be all that she had been before, and then some. The ship sparkled from her rennovation, carpets, fabrics, all pristine. The entertainment was wonderful, as always, and most of the dancers from my earlier days with Queen Victoria are still aboard, delighting passengers.

    Several staff members helped to make my cruise even more wonderful. Raul Maitre D’Hotel, Princess Grill, as suave as ever, and running a perfect restaurant. Ossman was onboard, tending to the Queens Grill, and he would stop by to chat when he had the time. Amanda Reid, the Entertainment Director, as charminmg as ever. And, Captain Rynd, always a pleasure to sail with him.

    The dining was wonderful, Princess Grill and the off menu ordering a plus. Cunard always comes through with a wonderful cruise.

  6. Pam Towart says:

    Great blog from Hawaii, brings back a lot of memories as I’ve been there twice. I will be on Queen Victoria in THREE MORE DAYS!!! Am envious of the QV passengers touring the winery in Mexico, that’s right up my street, but one can’t do or have everything & I’m sure the Panama Canal voyage will be just as much fun…..

  7. Jeff Towns says:

    I was on the second voyage to Hawaii (17 Feb 2012) and had a wonderful trip. The service and food was as wonderful as usual. The crew were fabulous and we had so much fun that we have already book the same trip leaving next year on Valentine’s Day, and can’t wait. Mahalo to all on QV and Aloha!

  8. Margaret Tayler says:

    Having been on the cruise at the same time 2 great blogs. Would like to thank Adam for his patience in the Internet Room – not any easy job with the satellite signal dipping in and out. Now loooking forward to Queen Elizabeth in May.

  9. Beryl Moss says:

    It was great news to hear that Queen Mary 2 was safe and that the guests who were on an overland trip from Tokyo managed to safely rejoin the ship. Our hearts go out to all in Japan who have been affected by the devastating earthquake.

  10. Ken Seward says:

    Very very informative, thank you. After recent events in Japan it’s great to hear that everybody on the QM2 is safe, and we look forward to spending a month on board over Christmas and New Year.

  11. Kenneth Eden says:

    Two things that I would like to point out regarding the Hawaiin Cruise, I sailed the February 17th cruise, the second one.

    First, the colorful Mexican Folkloric group, pictured above. A true highlight for me in Enseada, I watched them perform, photographed them and videoed them from the balcony of our suite on deck four. I noted they performed, sang and danced, and posed for pictures with passengers, without asking for money, nor did they have a box in which to place tips.

    Secondly, the Hawaiian cruises have recreated a major chapter from ocean traveles past, the Pacific crossing from the US West Coaast to Hawaii, from which such legendary ships as the LURLINE, MONTERREY, MARIPOSA, and others, sailed this very same route decades ago. And, those wonderful days at sea, wonderful.

    QUEEN VICTORIA shall recreate these cruises, with Hawaiian sailings again in 2012. These are a great way to escape the megaships and their hoardes of passengers belching out on small islands in the Caribbean!

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