February 7, 2012
We Are Cunard
Today we have a guest blog from two of our officers on board, with the highlights from the first leg of her world voyage, Southampton-Cape Town:
Guest Blog: Paul O’Loughlin, Entertainment Director & Zoe List, Programme Coordinator
Distance travelled so far: 6118 nautical miles
Sherree Valentine Daines
- Sherree Valentine Daines arrived in Tenerife as a special guest of Clarendon Fine Art
- Several demonstrations in the Queens Room and Winter Garden, including painting Commodore Christopher Rynd and Entertainment Director Paul O’Loughlin, unveiled at a special gallery showcase of her work.
- Sherree’s daughter Lettice, who also accompanied her on Queen Elizabeth’s maiden voyage, is an accomplished violinist (Lettice began playing the violin at the age of four, has studied at Purcell, the Royal College of Music and Charterhouse Schools, and has been recorded and filmed with Olly Murs.). She played as Sheree painted during her demonstrations.
Crossing the Line (18 January)
- Queen Mary 2 crossed the equator into the Southern Hemisphere on Wednesday 18 January and held the traditional ceremony to initiate all sailors (both guests and ship’s company) who had never crossed the equator by sea before.
- Our volunteer ‘Pollywogs’ were put through their trials and graduated to become hardy ‘Shellbacks’ once King Neptune granted us safe passage across the equator.
- Queen Mary 2’s successful passage was celebrated that evening with a glittering Neptune Ball in the Queens Room, with a special guest appearance from King Neptune himself.
Hugh Hudson & Maryam D’Arbo
- Our special guest lecturers this voyage were Hugh Hudson and Maryam D’Arbo. Hugh is the Oscar winning director of Chariots of Fire and presented a special viewing of this and two more of his films with an introduction to each.
- Maryam D’Arbo is the Bond Girl who famously tobogganed down a mountainside on a cello case with Timothy Dalton in The Living Daylights. She gave a special presentation of her acclaimed documentary ‘Bond Girls are Forever’
- Maryam D’Abo had a brain rupture three years ago and almost died. She lived to tell this inspiring story of her suffering and the suffering of many others. She and her husband Hugh made a film about her experiences titled ‘Rupture’. This film shows a life affirming journey and gives an understanding to help those and the families who have been afflicted by or witnessed this frightening occurrence, ending ultimately with hope and affirmation. A powerful and moving film, and a very personal one for Maryam and her husband Hugh, they introduced a special screening and answered questions from the audience at its conclusion.
Burns Night (25 January)
- Took place on our second night in fabulous Cape Town
- Afternoon show in the Royal Court Theatre from the Cape Town Highlanders (comprising of an impressive ten pipers and six drummers) who performed several pieces and also demonstrated a traditional address to the haggis.
- The festivities continued in the Queens Room that evening with a Burns night celebration chaired by Hotel Manager Robert Howie and hosted by Social Hostess Freda Singleton. The haggis was addressed by Pastry Chef Dougie Begg, and the evening featured a performance from the Royal Cunard Dancers before guests took to the floor to try their hands (and feet) at traditional Scottish Dancing.
- The dramatic vistas of Cape Town never disappoint, and while high wind caused us to stay an additional twelve hours, the city gave us a spectacular early morning sail away when we finally departed.