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Life On Board

Queen Elizabeth’s Maiden Call to Portland

October 5, 2011

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Life On Board, Queen Elizabeth

Guest Blogger: Keith Maynard: Entertainment Director, Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth arrives in Southampton tomorrow after her maiden voyage along the coast of North America and Canada. Following in the footsteps of SS Britannia 171 years ago we enjoyed a very warm welcome in Portland, Maine. Fresh from guiding our new Queen safely through the foggy night, Captain Wells pulled us up safely alongside the new pier; it was completed just days before for our arrival even though it was all but invisible to the naked eye until the last 20 metres!!! As the morning wore on the fog began to lift and the sun peeked out from behind the clouds, a small delegation of local dignities were guided on board by Social Hostess Marianne Corlett and were welcomed in the midships bar by Captain Wells, Hotel Manager David Hamilton and myself. In typical Cunard style the champagne flowed along with the conversation and as some tasty aperitifs appeared so did the official plaque of Portland Harbour – a beautiful hand painted relief which will join the growing family outside the Commodore Club on deck 10 forward. But our friendly guests had a little surprise up their sleeve when out of a rather inconspicuous looking box they pulled out a live lobster and presented it to Captain Wells! We were later to learn that there were 11 more of his friends still lurking in the box! Of course by the time you read this blog you can rest assured the the Captain and his Executive Committee re-homed the Lobsters courtesy of executive chef Nicholas Oldroyd!


  1. Tom Morgan and Ken Youngert says:

    Keith, So great to see you on board the Queen Elizabeth. I hope that you instituted your “So you want to be a Cunard dancer” programme on the Queen Elizabeth. I had such a great time with it on the Queen Victoria last spring. My two daughters loved the tape and were not at all embarrassed by their dad’s “performance.”

    What great tricksters are those folks up in Maine. Love the lobster there and hope to sample it again in Bar Harbor. Last time was a land trip, hopefully, the next time will be on a port day of one of the Queens (the ships, not the people).

    All best and happy sailing. Hope to see you on board in January 2013, when we do our transit of the Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale. Tom and Ken

  2. David A. Walker says:

    Peter, Peter, Peter,

    Lobsters getting more publicity than human Cunard history, what a shame. Your blog is slipping into a name dropping slide lately, guest blog PR run amok. What about the news of hosting the descendents of Samuel Cunard’s family on board Queen Elizabeth when she called in Halifax? They still reside happily in the Canadian Maritimes, and were graciously invited to dine aboard when the new liner(?) recently called. Or should that read made her “Maiden visit to her ancestral heart?”



  3. Kenneth Eden says:

    I guess some people can not read or understand what they actually are reading. David, please reread the post.

    The above post by guest blogger Keith Maynard, not Peter Shanks, spotlighted Portland, ME, and featured lobsters.

    Halifax, NS, that is where the famed Cunard history reigns supreme, and justly so. And, yes, there are lobsters aplenty there as well.

    Tom and Ken have it right, and they do owe it to themselves to take one of the Queens, the ship(s), on a New England Canada cruise, as I have done, with the QUEEN MARY2.

  4. Kenneth Eden says:

    I remember the first time the QUEEN ELIZABETH II maidened at Bar Harbor – I was on board, as a young passenger! What a welcome, since she was at anchor, the TV crews were tenedered out to the ship – it was like Times Square aboard the ship. I had not thought of this in years. Cunard always makes happy memories.

  5. Roger Waterfall says:

    Thoroughly agree that the New England/Canada itinerary is one that should not be missed.
    We were on board QM2 during the last week of October 2010, the weather was good.
    (Thanks Cunard for offering free child places during a half term week)

    St. John.
    The jet boat ride at Reversing Falls is fun, worth getting wet for, especialy if your allotted boat coincides with being able to actually go over the ‘fall’.
    If you don’t want to get wet, there is now a zip line.

    The links with Cunard and White Star history during the call there, were very moving.

  6. judith sayers says:

    Nice blog Keith, looking forward to our U.S.A. Canada trip next year on Queen Mary2. Will look out for lobsters! Any other places recommended by previous travellers to look out for? We like walking ashore and exploring on foot.

  7. Paul Cunane says:

    Great to hear you are still keeping up the good work Keith. When Alister moved on we were all a bit concerned that you’d have some big shoes to fill. However, You appear to have settled into the Cunard family very well. So welldone ! Maybe we’ll see you on the QM one day.

  8. Kenneth Eden says:

    One thing for any passenger sailing these “New” England waters, is the lobster fest, and there are many, we take one from Halifax, booked onboard Cunard, well in advance, so we are sure to be accommodated.

    This includes a full lobster luncheon, with typical trappings and sides, not fussy, just a wonderful lobster meal. Pick a tour that also includes sightseeing by motor coach.

    If you can get over to Digby, Nova Scotia, on a tour, usually from Halifax, you get to savor scallops, THE best in all the world.

  9. Kenneth Eden says:

    @Judith Sayers

    Two “walking” musts are Bar Harbor, ME, if a tour is not for you, and Boston (take the ships shutle into the city) and walking is a must also in Quebec City. Also, should you take the July cruise, walking in Newport RI is also a must

  10. David says:

    Comment re Kenneth Eden’s critique of my post,

    Kenneth, I KNOW who wrote the blog, but the heading was and is Peter’s Blog! The writers are now usually guests and were noted as such when I wrote “. . . guest blog PR run amok.” Perhaps, living in Halifax and loving the lobster and the Maritime Museum and the Cunard Heritage residing here I was bothered by the importance of the lowly lobster vis a vis the Cunard family hosted on the ship on that same voyage when QE visited the Nova Scotian capital.

    I felt that Cunard’s illustrious history is being subliminated.


  11. Judith Sayers says:

    Thankyou Kenneth, have made a note. Have been to Canada before, but not the East Coast.

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