May 9, 2011
We Are Cunard
This year we have introduced a designated Cunard World Club voyage on each of our Cunard Queens with special enhancements for Cunard World Club members. The first voyage was Queen Victoria’s Canary Islands Idyll that departed from Southampton on 14 April 2011. Maureen Ryan who travelled on this voyage as our Cunard Ambassador is known to many of you as Queen Victoria’s Madrina and the only person to have served on Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, QE2 and Queen Mary2 . Here is Maureen’s blog of the voyage.
Queen Victoria’s Madrina
As Queen Victoria sails north through the Bay of Biscay, I’m in the Lido, reflecting on the last 10 days. This has been the Maiden Cunard World Club Voyage and I have had the honour of being aboard as the Cunard Ambassador, a duty which I have much enjoyed – it is lovely to be back on board, seeing many familiar faces amongst the guests and crew, and also making contact with the newer Cunarders who have recently started to travel with Cunard Line.
The first morning at sea, I was invited by the Entertainment Director, Keith Maynard, to be a guest on the TV show “Catch Up With Keith”. It’s a great show, expertly presented and good fun, I recommend you tune in when next on board.
During the days at sea, I joined in many activities with the guests – line dancing, get-togethers for solos and ballroom dancing (my samba is much improved!). Captain Rynd’s welcome aboard cocktail parties presented another chance to find many guests from over the years, including Mr and Mrs Keith Gledhill, Mrs Dulcie Gate, Mr Donald Jackson and Mr and Mrs Eric Johnston.
Our ports of call were Madeira, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Vigo, and I escorted some lovely tours, including the Cable Car and Toboggan excursion in Madeira. In Tenerife, views of snow-capped Mount Teide against the blue sky and sunshine were spectacular, and in Lanzarote my coach enjoyed the Cactus Garden and the Aloe Vera Farm.
As part of the Cunard Insights programme, I gave an illustrated talk in the Royal Court Theatre, recalling my years at sea on Cunard ships, when I was a Lady Assistant Purser and Social Hostess.
Most evenings I co-hosted a table at dinner in the Britannia Restaurant. The Deputy Captain, Simon Love, and the Chief Purser, Jan Kristiansen, were two of the officers that I hosted with and we welcomed to the table, among others, Mrs Doreen Williams, Mr Joseph Mason and Mrs and Mrs William Brown. The conversation flowed, and we always seemed to be the last table to leave the Restaurant! After dinner, I caught some of the excellent shows in the Royal Court Theatre and visited the Ascot and Victoriana Balls in the Queens Room, where great music enticed many of our guests to the dance floor, it was the most beautiful sight.
After Lanzarote, I took part in the wine tasting event for all Platinum and Diamond Cunard World Club members. We tasted five different wines and the sommeliers provided very clear descriptions of the wines and explanations of what we tasted. It was a great way to spend the afternoon!
I also attended the Cunard World Club cocktail parties, another great occasion to mix with members. I was delighted to be asked to announce the Top Sailor, Mr Tony Stockwell, who started sailing with Cunard in 1970, and who has done 10 World Voyages and has now accumulated a wonderful 1,392 days sailing on Cunard ships! After the presentation to Mr Stockwell, Captain Rynd introduced Queen Victoria’s new Captain, Captain Ian Hutley, who takes over from Captain Rynd on Queen Victoria at the end of this voyage. Captain Hutley then announced news that was “hot off the press” that following the retirement of Commodore Warner from Queen Mary 2, Captain Rynd has been appointed Commodore of the Cunard Fleet. A memorable Cunard World Club party and many congratulations to Commodore Rynd!
During the voyage, Cunard World Club guests were given commemorative badges – very attractive, featuring the bow of Queen Victoria and the date of the voyage. Also a certificate, signed by Captain Rynd depicting a map of the voyage was sent to the cabins, plus a small gift, which was specially made for the Cunard World Club voyages of 2011.
And now, the voyage is almost over, and Queen Victoria will dock tomorrow in Southampton. Having been the ship’s godmother (Madrina) during the float-out ceremony in Venice, in January 2007, I have a special interest in the ship. I can only say that I have been so impressed. Apart from being a lovely ship, immaculately maintained, Queen Victoria is a true Cunard vessel, encompassing everything that has always been so special about the company – wonderful food, White Star Service, elegant, but relaxed and welcoming. The crew are simply the best, nothing has been too much trouble at any time, their level of service is so high and continuously, each day, the standard is maintained. I am extremely proud of my god-daughter!
I would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to Louisa Gould, Senior CRM and Loyalty Executive from the Cunard office and to Anna and Hayley, the Voyage Sales Specialists on Queen Victoria for all their help and kindness to me during the voyage.
Thank you Cunard for inviting me to be the Ambassador on the first Cunard World Club Voyage.
Thank you Maureen, and thanks to everyone on board who made this such a memorable voyage. If you were unable to make it this time Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing on 22 August and Queen Elizabeth’s Holy Lands voyage on 28 October are also Cunard World Club voyages, and there are 3 more in 2012.