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Cunard Ambassadors


May 9, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Cunard Ambassadors, Queen Victoria

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.

Guest Blog

Maureen Ryan

Queen Victoria’s Madrina

Cunard Ambassador

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.


  1. judith sayers says:

    It was so nice to have dinner with Maureen and Louisa, a lovely evening where we were the last to leave!! Maureen is a lovely lady, and so interesting to be with.The voyage was everything Maureen says, and we met some very nice people, it was great.

  2. John Ferguson says:

    Just seeing Maureen Ryan’s name and reading about what she’s up to, was a pure joy for me. I met Maureen Ryan aboard the first QUEEN ELIZABETH when I was the only ‘American’ on the Cruise Staff for a series of short cruises from/to New York City. At the end of the series I don’t mind admitting that I was ‘honored’ to have been a part of that great group of people. And I had met a new friend, Maureen. Our paths don’t cross any longer but I’m very happy to see she is still the wonderful person I met so long ago…

    PS…sorry about that!

  3. William James Dundas says:

    What a nice blog! It gave a clear idea of how Maureen Ryan enjoyed her voyage, mentioning different personalities she had met and spent time with. It also advised us of the breaking corporate news of the appointment Captain Rynd as the new Commodore and the special gifts given to Cunard World Club guests. It is a great shame that this blog has, until now, not received any comments.

    It is one of the few blogs I have read that does not read like a Cunard press release and has not been written by someone of high rank within the company. It would be really good if, given time and a lot of hard work, the blog can become an effective communication tool for customers. Up until now it has, to a great extent, functioned as a back slapping forum for a small group passengers who seem to be seeking to promote their profile with senior officers and management.

    This has been a good start in easing the the rather engulfing corporate tone. The blog will be read by people who, for the most part, know what Cunard is and what it stands for. It should present insights, views and aspirations rather than be bristling with corporate dogma and ideology. Here’s to a more relaxed blog in the future.

  4. Daryl Cooper says:

    William James Dundas, the last sentence in your second paragraph is excellent as I share your “description” totally.

  5. Sonia and Mike Graves says:

    Maureen was appearing alongside Thomas,Ray and others members of the crew in the pantomime Cinderella on QE2 Christmas 2004. A great time was had by all the cast and passengers, who also had the task of explaining to the non-British guests the rudiments of a good traditional pantomime. We have been aboard QM2 on every Christmas since 2005 and a pantomime has never been performed again. Is it possible to bring it back on board Cunard for the festive season.

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