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Fun On Cunard’s Queens As They Make Their Way Back To Southampton

April 7, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

Today Queen Elizabeth is visiting the Jordanian Port of Aqaba where many of our guests will be going to enjoy the incredible lost city of Petra. You can read more about this amazing destination in a blog I posted two years ago, when Queen Victoria made her maiden call there:

Icons Of The Ancient And Modern World

Queen Mary 2 is very nearby in the Red Sea, calling at Safaga, Egypt tomorrow, and from there her guests will visit Luxor and the incredible Valley of the Kings. Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth will meet again in the Italian Port of Civitavecchia next Wednesday, so it will be a good day to look at the Bridge Cams. There’ll also be an interesting challenge as the crew football teams of both ships play against each other for the first time. We’ll certainly bring you some pictures from that reunion of the Queens and the meeting of the football teams later next week.

In today’s blog we are going to all three Queens to get some of their news and that’s after this week in Cunard’s History from 7 to 13 April

7 April 1976 QE2 makes her maiden call at Alexandria, Egypt
9 April 1921 Laconia is launched and enters service the next year
9 April 2008 Queen Victoria makes her maiden transit of the Suez Canal
12 April 1976 QE2 makes her maiden call at Odessa, Ukraine
13 April 2008 Queen Victoria makes her maiden call at Naples

There’s been a lot of fun happening on the Cunard Queens and while Queen Elizabeth was in Dubai, guests were interested to read in last Friday’s Daily Programme about some new environmental initiatives that Cunard was introducing:

I interviewed our Environmental officer Mike Lee that morning on the TV show who explained how it was all going to work. Guests were fascinated by the initiatives, although that evening when I was introducing the shows in the Royal Court Theatre I had to remind the guests what the date was.

Yes it was 1 April and it was another Cunard April Fool’s day joke. Did we get anyone I hear you say? Oh yes, we certainly did, according to the Bar Staff working at the Lido bar that day, they had numerous guests (and some crew), asking about the project.

I have to say a big thank you to Melanie Jones for her great artwork on the Daily Programme and Mike Lee for making it sound so plausible. I loved the bit when he explained how the turbines would fold down over the deck if we had to have a helicopter come to the ship. He even managed to keep a straight face when he explained about the exercise bicycles being linked to generators!

Even today (nearly a week later), I heard that a gentleman wants to see Colin Black, our Chief Engineer, to find out more about the initiatives!

Meanwhile on Queen Mary 2 a subtle advert was delicately placed in Queen Mary 2′s Daily programme on that same day;

The question everyone was waiting to know was how many guests would take the bait?  According to Queen Mary 2’s Entertainment Director, Paul O’Loughlin, over 80 guests were waiting to meet the prize Jersey cows and all the rest of the animals on Deck minus four.  Paul then made an announcement over the Public Address System wishing everyone a Happy April Fool’s Day, especially those guests who were in the Golden Lion Pub on the Farm Tour.  Paul tells me that laughter rang out throughout the ship and as always our guests took the joke wonderfully!  He added that he’s working on next year’s already so watch out!


On Queen Victoria, Entertainment Director Keith Maynard, interviewed Chris Thomas, the Youth Director on the morning TV show as the ‘Onboard Gardener’ called Colin.

Colin talked about the latest and little known addition to Queen Victoria, the wonderful and vibrant garden on deck 12 forward which drew inspiration from the hanging gardens of Babylon! Keith told me that there were a lot of guests who went up looking throughout the day and even a week later Keith had to let one lady know that it was actually an April fool.

There’s also some exciting news from Queen Victoria that’s not an April Fool’s Day joke!

Each year Cunard enters the Bacardi Cruise Competition and this year out of literally hundreds of entries Michal Miller, a Bartender on Queen Victoria, was successful in winning a semi-finalist position.

Michal’s creation won the Bombay Sapphire category with his ‘English Breakfast Spiced Tea’ cocktail and this has now been added to the Commodore Club bar menu underneath the ‘Cunard Award Winners’ section.

In congratulating Michal I asked him about his award winning cocktail. He told me: -

“It was wonderful news to be announced as a semi-finalist for the Bacardi Competition. I’m very excited that my cocktail – ‘English Breakfast Spiced Tea’ will now feature on all of our Cunard cocktail lists! The cocktail itself is a very British feeling cocktail that really showcases the great British traditions of Cunard!”

Here Michal shows off his winning Cocktail with Jason Pascall, the Public Rooms Manager on Queen Victoria

Congratulations again Michal, I look forward to trying one! Meanwhile I’ll be back on Monday with a special interview with Entertainment Director Amanda Reid and I have to say it really is a great read (excuse the pun!) Cheers for now, Alastair

  1. Sarah Nicol says:

    I have to confess that you fooled me with those wind turbines for Queen Elizabeth! For one second I thought, “What about the noise? What if a blade goes wrong?” Red face, but sigh of relief!!
    I like the idea of Cunard going greener, but…..
    Continue your safe journey up through the Suez canal.


  2. judith sayers says:

    I thought it was a historical item, but more accurately should say “hysterical”. Read about the first two, went to tell my husband , couldn’t stop laughing as I told it, and came back to find the last item. Absolutely brilliant. Thankyou to all concerned, have had some sad news family wise recently, and this really helped cheer me up. Looking forward to our trip next Thursday.

  3. Mark Rosenfeld says:

    good idea but the QE s new and should have incorporated any”new innovations”. sorry that these things are not real.

  4. Mark Rosenfeld says:

    short of Noahs ark

  5. Pam Towart says:

    I met Michal on Queen Victoria recently but have to confess I did not try his new Bacardi cocktail (I was too enamoured of the Cuban rum mojitos…!).

  6. Paul Cunane says:

    You don’t know what you were missing Pam it was delicious !! and with a name like ‘English breakfast tea’ this was a good excuse for me to order one at 10.30 am ! Mmmmm very moreish.
    A special mention to all the crew members of Q.Victoria for a most enjoyable voyage ( LA-Southampton)
    Thankyou crew members ! one of the best Cunard trips I’ve ever done.

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