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Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth Travels On

May 24, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Queen Elizabeth

Guest Blog

Marc Wilkinson

Sports Director

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….

Mission accomplished!
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 ……..

Marc Wilkinson
Entertainment staff

  1. tony mac says:

    what a great idea to greet the passengers after a long hard day ashore with what lks like bucks fizz,mysel i would like a rum and coke ,tall glass, slice of lemmon and lots of ice, make it a double.

  2. Daryl Cooper says:

    For the 3rd. comsecutive day, Wednesday May 25th., here in Queensland Australia, the bridge cam on Queen Elizabeth not available with the usual apology, “due to satelite strength etc.” Strange how the other 2 “Queens” strength is sufficient. Perhaps the Icelandic Volcano can be “blamed” this time at least it would be a new excuse!

  3. John Waring says:

    Very good blog Marc.Wish I could have been there for the trip.You may have a new career as a scribe rather than COACH of the croquet court.

  4. Daryl Cooper says:

    It is now 5:40 pm in Queensland on Wednesday May 25th. and STILL the Bridge Cam on ” Queen Elizabeth” is not functioning! How long Cunard, in partciular Mr. Peter Shanks, are you prepared to sustain this total inadequacy? May I suggest remove the bridge cam until you can fix it! It is since the naming of the ship that it has not been up to the standard of the 2 other” Queens” therfore should be removed until such time that it is. Perhaps this is the new standard of ” everything” abourd “Queen Elizabeth” that other “bloggers” have been complaining about! Not Cunard Standard

  5. Eddie Marshall says:

    Daryl fom Queensland. The major reason for the webcam not being operational over the last couple of days is that the satellite signal cannot be transmitted due to being in the Fjords. This is something that happens a lot with all webcams and I’ve seen it with QM2 and QV as well. The camera itself will be working. It just can’t broadcast a signal to the web. Surely Peter Shanks has better things to do than deal with why the webcam feed is down on the website? I admit it’s nice to look at the Bridge cams but surely it’s not the end of the world if there is no feed?

  6. Tom Roesser says:

    Daryl, do you honestly think that Mr. Shanks would be personally responsible for the operation of a simple webcam on one his company’s ships? It’s a webcam! It hardly shows anything of interest anyway. It’s the same old picture of the ship’s fo’c'sle, either at sea during the day (a vast, featureless expanse), in port (docks and terminals), or at sea during the night (black nothingness). There is no need to call Cunard inadequate, or that the Elizabeth is not up to standard. Relax, I’m sure it’ll be up soon enough.

  7. Paul Cunane says:

    Chill out Daryl Cooper ! please don’t be using the ‘We are Cunard site’ to vent your frustration.
    Whilst you may have a point re the QE bridge cam, and I agree this has been on and off for the last few months, this may not be somthing that can be rectified just overnight. I do hope this site is not going to turn into one of those ‘cruise critic’ forums, there are plenty of those on line where we bloggers can disagree with each other. Well done to the QE F&B department lets see and hear more of these new innovations !

  8. Kenneth Eden says:

    Interesting, quite unique, photo of the port and starbaord sides “meeting”.

    I see Amanda Reed in the “port side photo” – did I miss it from earlier blog posts, – what Cunard position is she currently serving, since she has left the Queen Victoria?

  9. judith sayers says:

    Amanda is Entertainment Director on queen Elizabeth, took over from Alistair Greener. Looking forward to meeting her again soon.

  10. Joanna Armitage says:

    Have just returned today from a wonderful trip to the Fjords on QE – and delighted to report that everything was up to the usual high Cunard standards. Amanda is now Entertainment Director on board QE – she does a fantastic job.

  11. Eddie Marshall says:

    Kenneth, Amanda Reid is currently Entertainment Director on Queen Elizabeth.

  12. Daryl Cooper says:

    Mr. Peter Shanks: You have achieved, regarding bridge/webcam,what you advised me of not long after you commenced “Peter’s Blog” that you would look into the problem. My thanks and appreciation!
    Matter is now closed from my perspective.

  13. Kenneth Eden says:

    Thank you to all that set the record straight for me about Amanda! — seems I did miss something from prior posts.

    Yes, she is indeed a very special person. I have sailed with her since CUNARD COUNTESS days!, as well as on various Cunard ships.

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