July 27, 2011
We Are Cunard
Posted in: Guest Stories
We were delighted to welcome two very special guests to Queen Mary 2 recently. A good friend and colleague of mine – Carol Marlow. Many of you will remember Carol from her time as president of Cunard Line, and she is now Managing Director of one of our sister cruise lines – P&O Cruises. Carol has written a splendid blog about the voyage she enjoyed with her mum.
Managing Director of P&O Cruises
Well, at the moment I’m delighted to be on holiday on Queen Mary 2 with my mother. I enjoy taking a break on both P&O Cruises and Cunard, so this time picked a lovely fjords itinerary so we can both enjoy the scenery!
We are currently anchored in Geirangerfjord, and just this morning had an excellent trip up Mount Dalsnibba. Plenty of fabulous views and hairpin bends – over 40 apparently, and I was intending to count them as we went up, but our guide was great fun, and so I was distracted almost immediately – only getting to 4 – but I can assure you there are many more than that! We also saw reindeer grazing up on the high slopes, picturesque little log cabins and plenty of little rock flowers, but no trolls to report, I’m pleased to say…..
This is day 5 of our week on board, and it has been a wonderful break. We started off by popping along to Illuminations after dinner on the first evening to watch ‘The King’s Speech’. A great film made all the more relevant by the fact that Edward (David) and Wallis Simpson were passengers on the old Cunard liners on their transatlantic voyages to and from New York, and just to prove it, there’s a picture of them up in the starboard forward gallery showing them when they were travelling over with their dog!
Our first day at sea started with some heavy wind coming over the North Sea, but of course, as ever, this great ship handled it so well that we hardly felt anything. This is the first time that Mum has travelled on Queen Mary 2, so we spent our day acquainting her with the ship, and for me it was great to still see so many familiar faces, even 2 years on from having moved over to P&O Cruises.
In the evening we were delighted to be invited to dine with Commodore Rynd and his wife Julie on his Commodore’s Table – and of course I duly congratulated him, as he has been moved up into the important role of Commodore since we last met.
Our day in Stavanger was sunny and warm, and we went over to Flor & Fjoere Gardens which was beautiful under the clear blue sky. Such a magnificent place having been carefully created from a pretty barren island. In the afternoon we had a wander through the little wooden houses in the old part of town.
The weather was perfect in Alesund too, and the attractive little town had a boat festival on – so lots to see and do, with a street market, and the curious looking sport of youngsters riding down what looked like a ski jump on a skateboard and doing acrobatic jumps into the water – rather them than me! We then went on a boat trip down another fjord, and also headed up to the restaurant overlooking the town from one of the highest points, for some magnificent views – but I have to confess to taking a coach up there, whilst others from the ship – including the Commodore and his family – actually walked up the 400+ steps…and then walked down again.
So, if you are starting to be concerned that I’m not getting enough exercise to go with all this wonderful food on board, I can reassure you that this afternoon I am planning to go to the gym while Mum has her hair done. And I’ll certainly need it!
A day in Bergen to look forward to tomorrow, and then a final day at sea to relax, before arriving back in Southampton and back to work on Wednesday!
It’s always fun to take a Cunard voyage, and this one was no exception. I wish all you Cunarders out there smooth sailing and many more adventures aboard ‘The most famous ocean liners in the world’.
Many thanks Carol – I know that many of the ship’s company enjoyed seeing you on board again. I was a busy Tuesday in Southampton yesterday – and I spent a couple of hours on board Queen Elizabeth where Captain Chris Wells has just returned from leave. I was able to have a quick catch up both with Chris and our Hotel Manager to see how things are going. In a day full of meetings in the office, it was a pleasure to be able to pop down and see the ship and see how she was doing. I have to admit I was somewhat envious of all those embarking as I set off back to the office. She has just returned from quite a challenging Northern Voyage where the weather was not on our side.
That is all for now – back soon to explain how I plan to ride 50 miles on your behalf to raise money for The Prince’s Trust. I am hoping that all of our bloggers will have a role to play – I will offer to do the ride and invite you to partake by pledging a small amount of support that could make a huge difference to some deserving you people. More to come on that shortly.