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Road to Heaven…

September 28, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Updates

Hello All

I could not help but be saddened when I heard that Dolores Hope passed away at home in Los Angeles recently at the grand age of 102. In my youth I remember fondly Bob Hope’s films ‘Road to…’ in black and white. We at Cunard Line have fond memories of both Bob and Dolores Hope who often travelled on Cunard Liners. Even today we have some wonderful Black and White photos displayed in the Heritage Trail on Queen Mary 2.

In memory of both Bob and Dolores Hope – and all the laughter and fun they gave so many of us – here are some pictures of them both enjoying their time on board and of Bob Hope performing on the original Queen Mary.

It was in 1939 that Bob and Dolores Hope travelled on Queen Mary from England to New York. Bob had taken his new wife to introduce her to his family in London. On the ship during the crossing on 3 September 1939, it was announced on the BBC that war had been declared by Neville Chamberlain that morning in London, seeing how upset everybody was, Bob organised a show to lift people’s spirits – he wrote his show that afternoon and then performed in the First Class lounge.

Here are a couple of his one-liners that will lift your spirits today;

How does it feel to be almost 100 Bob – ‘I don’t feel old, in fact I don’t feel anything till noon and then it’s time for my nap’

‘I asked my good friend Arnold Palmer how I could improve my game – he advised me to cheat’

In October 1962 Bob Hope performed at the Royal Variety Show at London’s Palladium – in front of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. At the start of his show, he looked up to the royal box and said – ‘We don’t have titles in the US. No – we just have two classes, the people and the Kennedy’s’. The Queen turned and smiled to her husband. Bob Hope continued – ‘And there are more people than Kennedy’s’. The Queen roared with laughter.

So – God bless Bob Hope and God bless his wonderful wife Dolores. We will remember them fondly and they have a very special place in Cunard’s history – they just don’t make them like that any more.

Best Regards


  1. Anthony jr says:


    I read somewhere that Cunard is debating whether or not to remain British flagged for the sake of weddings at sea. Of course you have the final say, but I feel I must put out here that Cunard ships have always been British flagged. Seeing a true liner means she will embody many things, but flying at the stern, she should have the true ensign, that of the UK. It would be like having a wedding cake with no icing, or a bike with no wheels. It is an essential part of the whole thing. Ships flagged in Great Britain flying the Cunard House Flag, have been setting the standard and raising the bar for speed, luxury and power for almost two centuries. To stop now would be a shame. I hope you take this into consideration when you make your decision, and I hope that the most famous ocean liners in the world remain thoroughly British.

  2. Fred & Shirley Bernard says:

    take the above comment to the “debate” referred to. If weddings at sea is the reason given for changing , the people considering marriage can do so in whatever country they want. It is not a valid reason for changing the British flag.

  3. Bill Bradbury says:

    Totally agree.

  4. Roger Waterfall says:


    What wonderful photos and comments, of the crossing during the declaration of war, fascinating.
    More like this please.

    I would not normally go ‘off subject’ but now that Anthony jr has raised the subject above, I offer my rather mixed views.

    If Cunard want to book weddings at sea. Would it be possible to ask one of the many friends of Cunard in government, to propose a private members bill to change the regulations concerning weddings at sea? To save our most important remaining flag carrier from defecting to Malta or Bermuda.
    Several years ago the regulations were relaxed so that wedding venues are now available in some of the most unlikely places. Was there lobbying by Merchant Navy representatives at that time, to include British ships REGARDLESS OF THEIR LOCATION.

    Unfortunately I suspect that the other reason for considering a departure from the red ensign is the real reason that this may happen.

    If people are desperate to marry at sea, Carnival can accommodate them on one of their other lines and the cash goes into Carnival coffers through them, instead of via Cunard.
    I do take the point that Cunard would top all other lines weddings but that could prove to be a ‘double edged sword’
    Consideration should be given, to all the other passengers (guests!) who are not involved with the wedding.
    This is going to brand me a ‘grumpy old man’ but I have stayed in hotels where there has been a ‘conveyor belt’ of weddings. After cooing at the first one or two, the ‘celebrations’ (or the alcohol involved) often impinges on other guests relaxation.
    As it is, the photographers on Queen Elizabeth are annoying enough, setting up all their lights, wires, backdrops and lighting paraphernalia in the passageways, imagine the disturbance a wedding group photo might involve.
    Would passengers be asked to vacate public rooms so that staff could ‘set up’ the room for a private wedding party? as happens on some ships (it also already happens on Queen Elizabeth, for the ‘senior officers cocktail party’ in the Garden Lounge) Even one such occasion is one too many in my book.

    Perhaps the answer to this situation, is for Cunard to just sit back and let the other lines accept more and more weddings at sea. Cunard will then be able to advertise ‘sail with the line where you will not be disturbed by the wedding ‘celebrations’ of others!

  5. judith sayers says:

    If weddings are to happen on board, perhaps it should be a condition that the “party” fully books the ship for the event, no other passengers, and the rest of us could book as normal on other trips,and not be disturbed by the wedding antics.

  6. Kenneth Eden says:

    Imagine, Dolores Hope passes on, and BAM – Cunard is “thinking” of reregistering the ships, and talks of weddings on board – what do some people think about all day long?

    Mrs. Hope was a beloved figure here in the states, and her husband most assuredly was, born in England, most thought he was Yank.

    Lets try to stay within the subject on the blog.

  7. Peter Shanks says:

    All – Quite a few questions on the topic of potential weddings on Cunard Line – so let me try and answer them together.We do have a lot of pent up demand for weddings , and today we do a lot of wedding renewals that work very well and give guests a lot of pleasure. We do always need to look at where we can enhance revenues and attract more people to sail with Cunard Line – and we are missing out on a lot of potential and having to turn guests away. So that is why we have for some time been examining our options. If we were to progress then of course we would find an appropriate way of doing our weddings. One of the things we do have on Cunard ships is beautiful public rooms and venues and plenty of them. So whether big or small we would be able to accommodate most requests and (to answer your point Roger) we would make sure they did not interfere with the enjoyment of others guests – as is the case today with the many wedding renewals that our Captain’s undertake. Best Regards. Peter

  8. Kenneth Eden says:

    Sister ships from Princess cruises, have offered weddings and renewal of vows for years, in an unobtrusive manner, in a small don-demoninational ships chapel. We were actually invited to attend a wedding during one of our Grand Princess cruises, merely from enjoying the company of the uintended couple who were married in the chapel during a cruise.

    Incidently, we neither gave a wedding gift, nor were we pressured to attend the event. These were perfect strangers that merely wished to share their special day.

  9. judith sayers says:

    Perhaps weddings should be restricted to the very short voyages from Southampton/Hamburg. This would enable more promotion of the ship to potential future guests.

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