May 24, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth set sail on 5 May for her first voyage to the Mediterranean for 2011, visiting 3 ports for the first time in the two week exploration of ‘Mediterranean Delights’. Leaving a surprisingly sunny Southampton, we set off with a full ship of expectant guests on a reversed itinerary as a result of Barcelona being too busy for us to call on our way down as had been planned.
The first of the maiden calls for Cunard’s newest Queen was Ajaccio in Corsica,
Queen Elizabeth set sail on 5th May for her first voyage to the Mediterranean for 2011, visiting 3 ports for the first time in the two week exploration of ‘Mediterranean Delights’. Leaving a surprisingly sunny Southampton, we set off with a full ship of expectant guests on a reversed itinerary as a result of Barcelona being too busy for us to call on our way down as had been planned.
The first of the maiden calls for Cunard’s newest Queen was Ajaccio in Corsica
The warm welcome of fabulous weather resulted in lots of tired, red faces at dinner that evening!
A busy day in Rome or the areas around the Italian port of Civitavecchia split us from the next maiden call to the picturesque town of Santa Margherita famed as a holiday destination for the elite.
And no wonder, with its stunning natural landscapes, luxuriant vegetation, colourful gardens, and fascinating Art Deco buildings around its bay and along the seafront promenade. Many guests chose to venture to neighbouring Portofino, or to visit the aptly named Hotel Splendido, a former Benedictine monastery perched on top of the hill with beautiful views of the bay, all providing plenty of topics for that evening’s conversation.
Not a maiden call, but a day to remember – our next stop, Livorno. Would it be the historic city of Florence or the must-see tower at Pisa? Or for the more energetic guests, the wonderful opportunity to visit both in the one day? For those choosing to pack as much into their visit as possible the day started early, with the first departures leaving at 7.00am, finally coming home almost 12 hours later to the most welcome sight of refreshments lined up in anticipation……..
A big thank you to Stefan Engl, Food and Beverage manager and his team for bringing together the different departments to produce one of those classic White Star moments as tired faces beamed with delight both from the excitement of the day and the pleasure of arriving back home to welcoming ‘family’ faces.
As our re-invigorated guests bounced up the gangway after their sparkling reception, the Bridge prepared to let go the lines for Queen Elizabeth to steam through the night for her arrival at 8.00am the following morning in Cannes, now spectacularly timed to coincide with the World famous film festival!
The Cannes film festival is the highlight of the film industry calendar and is steeped in history. Once renowned for low budget arts films, it is now the show case for Hollywood blockbusters and the rich and famous.
The list of film stars in town was endless, so along with many of our guests, I set out with the nice new pink ‘blog-designated’ camera, determined to snap a couple of celebrities. With the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean, sightings of Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz were rumoured and I already had images in mind of Penelope draping herself over me as I posed with my most intellectual expression, passing acting tips on to Depp…… sadly the associated security teams didn’t seem to share these images and I was unceremoniously moved on.
Not deterred, I switched my focus. The options included the release of the new Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise; Steven Spielberg’s release of two new films – Tintin the classic comic book, co-directed with award winning director Peter Jackson and the interestingly titled ‘Cowboys vs Aliens’ starring Harrison Ford.
Thwarted again by overly excited crowds, the vertically challenged Tom Cruise played havoc with the camera zoom – another missed photo opportunity.
My thanks to the delightful 6 year-old soon-to-be-lady who pointed out that although Pixar would be a major player with their award winning cars, there was no value in hoping to catch a shot of the cars……they are computer generated, silly!
By now, I’m becoming a little desperate to deliver to your expectations of pictures of the hottest stars on the red carpet……..my luck changed! A rare spotting of Queen Elizabeth’s International Host, Inigo with his head stuck in Samuel L Jackson….
Passing Queen Victoria on her way to Monte Carlo, we parked up in the ever popular Barcelona to round off the first Med of the season, thankfully delivering the all important glorious sunshine in our last port of call to light up the spectacular Gaudi architecture.
Queen Elizabeth now begins her Maiden Fjords and Waterfalls voyage to the beautiful ports of Norway. Watch this space for our next instalment ……..