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QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« on: Jun 14, 2010, 07:08 AM »

I kept a hand written diary of my cruise from New York to Sydney. I have typed it as I wrote it, fixing any spelling mistakes or bad grammatical errors that 'word' nagged me about. It does seem repetitious at times, but it was just a quick journal to remind me of what we did and saw and to help with the labelling of my photos as I am a scrap booker.
Jennie B

Part 1 -- New York to Montevideo

Saturday 12th January 2008
We checked out of the Comfort Inn and a porter took our luggage over the road to “The Muses” Hotel. This hotel was quite sumptuous but it did not include tea making facilities, breakfast or free internet like the “Comfort Inn” and it costs an extra $100 a night. (It was part of our cruise package) We went by cab to visit “The Frick Collection” – an excellent collection of beautiful art, privately gathered by Henry Clay Frick (an industrialist) who specially built the house to showcase his collection. Afterwards we went by cab to Sak’s 5th Ave. where we met some other members of the QE2 World Cruise with whom I have been corresponding on the internet. They were nice, friendly people and we had a lovely lunch, well looked after by Sak’s Maître. We stayed chatting much longer than we thought we would, so only had time to walk the 12 blocks back to our hotel and dress for the opera. Charlie, who I met on Cruise Critic organised the tickets for Mum and I as well as Jo Ann from Cruise Critic. We went by cab again to the Lincoln Centre to see “The Barber of Seville”. It was an amusing opera with a donkey on the stage. The Met Opera House is a beautiful building. We arrived back at our hotel at 12.45 am.

Sunday 13th January
We went to McDonald’s for breakfast as it was very expensive at our hotel. It was a different menu to Australia. Bacon & egg McMuffins were a sweet concoction, with bacon between two sweet and fatty griddle cakes –NOT very nice.
We did a final pack and took a taxi to Pier 92 to embark on the QE2, to begin our cruise to Sydney. Our small cabin (5030) is very similar to the one we had on our Med cruise in 2005.We had a very large afternoon tea, and then unpacked everything which took us a couple of hours. We then managed to get a position right on the bow to watch the fireworks as the “3 Queens” QM2, QE2 & Q Vic met at the Statue of Liberty. Very exciting

Monday 14th January
Mum was very tired so she slept in, but I was hungry as we did not eat dinner last night, (due to the meeting of the “Queens”) so I went up for breakfast. We took part in the quiz at “The Golden Lion” then had a long lunch at our restaurant, The Mauritania. At 3pm we met quite a few members of the Cruise Critic group in the Yacht Club, where we all chatted for an hour and a half. We then went down to our cabin to dress for dinner (formal). We are at a table with 4 Americans – an elderly couple Dee and her friend Sol both from California, and 2 middle aged men. John is from Colorado and Bill is from Florida. They are not travelling together. All seem friendly. Our meal was very nice. In the evening we were entertained by Dave Evans, an impersonator and comic.

Tuesday 15th January
We had a leisurely breakfast with 2 cheery English women, then wrote and posted some postcards. At 12.15 we went to a lecture about the Bermuda Triangle (an area we are about to visit) and all the mysteries of disappearing Planes and ships. Very good. We then had a lovely lunch with Janet and Eric from New York State and Don from Sth Carolina. We then went to see a fantasy movie ”Stardust”. Quite a nice amusing show. This we followed with a light afternoon tea before dressing for dinner. Another very good meal. This evening’s entertainment was Dave Evans again as well as Billy Richards Coasters. Just so so.

Wednesday 16th January
We ate breakfast with Elaine from Hobart and Jo Ann from California. We then had an early lunch in the Lido before boarding the coach to Miami. We had arrived in Fort Lauderdale about 5.30 am but the dock is well out of town so we just did a short walk around, looking at the other cruise ships. We drove through an industrial looking area into Miami, then drove past a great many Art Deco hotels and apartments. Many of these have interesting histories. There are also a lot of new, tall apartments and hotels sitting cheek on jowl. We drove out to Vizcaya Mansion and Gardens. It is an Italian style villa built in 1916-17 to house a collection of Italian and Spanish Antiques collected by James Deering (International Harvester). The house is nicely planned but the rooms are a hotch potch of several different styles so not very attractive. Apparently it was designed to look like it had been in the same family for 400 years. The house is surrounded by gardens on three sides and a beautiful terrace leading to the sea on the other. We did not get enough time to properly look at the extensive garden. We had another nice meal for dinner in semi-formal dress. Tonight’s entertainment was an Irish comedian named Adrian Welsh. Very funny!!

Thursday 17th January
After breakfast we attended a lecture by Peter Crimes where we learnt the history of Barbados and saw many slides of the area. After that we went to the ART Auction to look at paintings that will be auctioned tomorrow, but mainly to get a couple of glasses of the free “bubbly” that is passed around. We had lunch again with Eric & Janet, then Mum went to our cabin for a rest and I went to the Yacht Club for another meeting of our Cruise Critic group. At 4pm I had afternoon tea, Mum and I then dressed for a formal dinner. Our entertainment was Kyle Esplin, an exceptionally talented pianist.

Friday 18th January
We had breakfast in time to get to the 10am lecture by Sabin Robbins about “Pirates of the Caribbean”. This was an interesting talk with slides about pirates in general. We then visited Marie’s Charity Table where we bought some brooches, before going to the Art Auction. Only 2 pieces were sold but it was interesting to watch and we had a “bubbly” before going with Janet and Eric for lunch. They seem to have become our lunchtime companions. After another lovely dinner we went to the Grand Lounge to see both Adrian Welsh and Kyle Esplin again. We then went to watch the dancers all dressed up for the “Buccaneers Ball”.

Saturday 19th January
Up earlier this morning as we leave the ship at 8.30am to go on a coach tour around Barbados. We drove along the West coast where there is housing nearly all the way, many luxury resorts and hotels. Some very expensive yachts were moored on the beautiful aqua water of the Caribbean Sea. We then went inland to visit a plantation homestead “Saint Nicholas Abbey” built in 1650 by British owner Col. Ben Berringer. We had a very interesting tour of the house, saw a film made in 1935 by the then owner Mr Cave from England. This showed how the sugar was cropped, turned into liquid, then lump sugar and molasses (used for rum). We were all given a glass of Rum Punch before driving to the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill for a brief visit. We returned to Bridgetown via the more rugged but very picturesque South east coast which is the Atlantic Ocean. Barbados is a very pretty place and we could easily spend a week here. We had lunch aboard the ship with Bea Muller, a woman who has been living aboard the QE2 for some time- a few years I think. After lunch I shared a taxi with 2 crew members back into town and took myself on a self guided walking tour (out of Frommers). This took me into areas where I was the only white person about. The Barbadians are very friendly so I felt quite safe. Negro’s make up 90% of the population here. After another nice dinner we were entertained in the Grand Lounge by the QE2 Orchestra performing a Glenn Miller concert. This was followed by a “physical comedian” – a juggler really. Just OK.

Sunday 20th January
We slept in this morning, and then had breakfast at the Lido Buffet. Mum didn’t mind it but I much preferred the Mauritania Dining room. We then went to the laundrette to do our washing. This wasted the rest of the morning. At 12.15 I went to a lecture by Dr Peter Crimes about Salvador Da Bahia in Brazil. We were advised to take tours in this city due to a high crime rate, and not to carry much cash and no jewellery at all. It appears to be a pretty city – in his slides it looked much like Lisbon. WE had lunch on our own, then at 2pm I met other Cruise Critic Members and we did a cabin cavalcade. This involves walking all over the ship looking into each other’s cabins. The Princess Grill cabin was really lovely, also the Caronia single. I had afternoon tea, and then it was time to dress up for the Captain’s Cocktail Party. We managed to get a “Cosmopolitan” which was better than that cheap “bubbly”. After dinner we were entertained by a diva named Dorothy Bishop – very good!

Monday 21st January
We were up by 7.30, had breakfast and then I went to a lecture by Peter Crimes about Rio de Janeiro. It seems that both tours we have booked will be worthwhile. Mum stayed in the cabin and tidied her cupboard and drawers while I went to a digital camera seminar, which I think I will find has been helpful. I then met Mum, Janet and Eric and we attended a lecture entitled “Laughter is the best tonic” but it was not what we expected. It was really just an intro into other lectures that Gill Garrett will be giving. I think I will enjoy them but the other three are not interested. We then all went for lunch in our restaurant. Afterwards Mum met Dee, Bill and John at the Lido to help Dee proofread her memoirs. I filled in this diary, had afternoon tea and then spent a bit of time on the Sun Deck. There was an Oriental menu at the Lido this evening, and dress code is not enforced there so we decided to try that. The meal was NOT very good! It was overcooked, but we sat with Sharon and Jerry from Florida, then later had coffee and chatted with Bill from our usual dining table. Mum and I went to the movies to see “Hairspray”. Quite funny. Today the sea was ink blue and the ship was leaving an aqua wake for 500 metres. Very pretty.

Tuesday 22nd January
After breakfast we went to a lecture called “Spirit has no age” – about positive thinking and longevity. We then went for a coffee on 1 deck and got a good position to watch the “Crossing the line” ceremony. This is where King Neptune (Captain McNaught) presides over the judgement of “Pollywogs” (people crossing the Equator for the first time) for minor misdemeanours. All are found guilty and they have to kiss a fish which is then draped over their head. Next they are covered in spaghetti, raw eggs and vegetables before being shoved into the pool. This makes them “Shellbacks”. The pool looked like vegetable soup by the time at least 50 people had been shoved in. I am pleased that I didn’t let on that I have only crossed the Equator by plane. We had lunch in the Mauritania with a fellow named George from New Jersey. I did some ironing then went for afternoon tea while Mum had a sleep. We dressed formal for dinner, and then afterwards went to the Grand Lounge to see a magician Jamie Allen. He was very good and although I was right at the side of the stage I couldn’t see how he did any of the tricks. We later went to the “Crystal Bar” for a cocktail and to meet Cruise Critic members as we had a “dress in cobalt blue night”. We had a good chat and took photos. When we arrived at our cabin it was 12.10. We had to put our clocks forward an hour -1.10am.

Wednesday 23rd January
After breakfast we went for a walk on deck. Weather is warm and the sea a deep cobalt blue. We then went to a lecture on “Are you born lucky or do you make your own luck?” After that we met Janet and Eric at the Art Auction for a “bubbly” and I “won” a print. I have yet to choose which I would like. We had lunch with Janet and Eric then we did some shopping on board. We tidied our cabin and again dressed for a formal dinner. We were tired and both seem to have hay-fever so we didn’t attend the concert, but went to bed early.

Thursday 24th January
Up at 6am to be ready for our 8am tour of Salvador in Brazil. The coaches weren’t ready so we were 45 minutes late leaving. We went for a drive around the city which appears to be very poor and rundown. The once nice Portuguese style buildings were in very poor repair and some actually rotting. The residents were generally slovenly and most women very overweight. We did not see any modern shops from the bus though there may be modern stock inside. At the main square we got caught next to what appeared to be a protest march which was so noisy with a loud speaker that we were unable to hear our guide. We visited the Jesuit Cathedral which is lavishly carved and gilded, but in need of much repair. Across the square we visited the famous Cathedral of San Francisco (St Francis) which is richly carved and coated with 80 kilos of gold. Our guide took us for a walk along the cobbled streets towards the “Our Lady of the Rosaries of the Blacks” Church, built for the black African residents. Here we got caught behind a large band of drummers, possibly practising for Carnival which begins next weekend. The noise was deafening and my brain was vibrating. I got a severe headache which turned into a migraine when we returned two hours late to our ship. I spent the rest of the day in bed. We had room service for dinner. It was poor food!!

Friday 25th January
Today I attended three lectures. The first one was an account of a trip up a Brazilian river in an inflatable boat by a couple in 1983. Quite interesting and scary at the time. The 2nd was Peter crimes talking and showing slides on Montevideo. He spoke to a packed house and it was an interesting talk. We then heard from Gill Garrett about depression – causes, how to recognise and treatment. We had a lovely lunch with Carl & Sue from Bowling Green, Kentucky. After lunch I wrote up my diary and wrote out some postcards. Late afternoon we attended an Australia Day ‘get together’ in the Yacht Club. We had a cocktail and heard a Sydneysider recite some poems by Banjo Patterson .He was excellent. We dressed formal for dinner and as it was Robbie Burns Day haggis was on the menu. It was very tasty so I had a second helping. Afterwards we saw Duo Yalba, a duo who played over 20 musical instruments very well. The son is only 21 years of age. We then went to the Ballroom to watch the Carnival Ball. Very good.

Saturday 26th January
We were up at 5am to get ready and go up on deck to watch the QE2 sail into the bay of Rio de Janeiro. It was lovely to watch the sky gradually become light and the scenery is very striking. We had a continental breakfast in the Pavilion and were ready for the first bus to go to see the Christ the Redeemer statue. We had a train ride through very lush rain forest up to the mountain top. The weather was pleasant and clear as we arrived, but thick cloud came over about 10 minutes later. Luckily we had taken most of the photos needed by then. The statue is huge close up and beautifully carved. The area was very crowded with people. We visited a small chapel at the base of the statue. After our descent we were taken for a drive along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana. Both beautiful beaches and crowded with people playing volley ball and soccer, or just walking or sunbathing. Large waves crashed onto the shore even though the Atlantic has been as calm as a duck pond whilst we have been sailing upon it. There are a lot of very green parks which also have many people playing sport or picnicking. The people here are more attractive than in Salvador, though the women often have large stomachs. We arrived back at the ship by noon. After another good lunch at the Mauritania restaurant Mum went for a “Nanny Nap” and I went on another tour. This time I went for a drive through the city of Rio. A lot of lovely buildings- some very modern; art deco; 19th century Portuguese and copies of famous French buildings which were much admired by the Portuguese Royalty that lived in Rio for the 19th and some of the 20th century. We then drove to get the cable car up to Sugar Loaf Mountain. These cars take 60 people at a time and there was quite a queue. The weather was cloudy with passing showers so the views were not as good as they could be. After our descent we drove to the Cathedral of Sao Sebastion, a conical shaped building that was built in 1976. Plain on the outside, it has 4 huge stained glass windows, a couple of nice modern statues and very good ‘stations of the cross’ made of beaten metal. We did drive through some poor areas and the city had been spoilt a little by homeless sleeping in parks and doorways as well as the graffiti. I used the internet at the port and also rang Warren. We were late to get ready for our restaurant so ate at the Lido. At 9.45 a local folk show was on board. The music was loud and awful but the dancers looked very pretty.

Sunday 27th January
We slept until 8.45 after such a long day yesterday. Had breakfast in the Lido then wrote up my diary and wrote out some post cards. The sea is choppy today so there is a little bit more rolling of the ship. After lunch we went to the theatre to see “Chicago” which I quite enjoyed. We then had afternoon tea with Janet before dressing for a formal dinner. It was a French menu tonight and we had a wonderful soufflé.  Our waitress Jessica from Taree in NSW cut a heart shaped lid into which she poured yummy custard. At the Grand showroom we were entertained by Kev Orkian, a comedian pianist.

Monday 28th January
Today we did the Cunard Heritage Trail with Thomas Quinone who very passionately describes the history of the Cunard/White Star ships. This went for 2 hours and involved extensive walking around the ship. We had lunch, wrote postcards and then spent a good hour or more reclining on the Sundeck, reading. We dressed for a formal dinner which was followed by entertainment from a good vocalist named Mark O’Malley. He sang a love song to me, down on bended knee. I was VERY embarrassed.

Tuesday 29th January
We arrived at Montevideo in Uruguay at 7.30am. After breakfast Mum, Dee, Sol, Beth and I took a shuttle car into town where the driver took us to a good hairdresser. Dee and I had a colour and cut, while the others did some shopping. This took over two hours, but they did a good job and it was very inexpensive-$55US. Dee, Sol, Mum and I then hired the driver to take us on a 2 hour sight-seeing trip around Montevideo. We enjoyed this very much. We visited some lovely areas with beautiful homes and clean sandy beaches. The people here are slim and attractive, so much different from their neighbours in Brazil. We also looked at the usual Government buildings and Churches etc. which are neat and clean in the city. The residents seem very proud of their city. We arrived back at the QE2 at 3.30pm, just in time for afternoon tea. After a wash and change into elegant casual?? clothes we had dinner in our restaurant, and then waited in the Grand Lounge for a tango performance by a local dance troupe. It was quite good.
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2010, 10:05 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »


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QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #1 on: Jun 14, 2010, 07:14 AM »
I could only fit from New York to Montevideo on the first post of the diary, so this is from Montevideo to Tahiti, then the final entry will be from Tahiti to Sydney

Part 2 -- Montevideo to Tahiti

Wednesday 30th January
After breakfast this morning I spent an hour at the nearby Internet Cafe and also rang Warren. Mum and I then went for a walk around the nearby streets. Not as nice as the other areas of Montevideo. We also spent time walking around a market near the QE2 and bought a few trinkets. We had lunch with Carl and Sue then went to the Funnel Bar for the “Sailaway”. We watched shipping containers being moved and loaded onto trucks. As we sailed away a couple were frantically waving at the ship. I hope they haven’t been left behind. After a semi formal dinner we saw a very funny comedian named Kelly Monteith (male).

Thursday 31st January
Another good breakfast, then we went to three lectures. The first was “An introduction to Chile” by Peter Crimes. The next was Hilary Kay from ‘Antique Roadshow’ explaining how the show is done and showing us some humorous footage. The final was a talk with photos by the QE2 doctor – Petra Schmidt who spent a year on a weather station at Antarctica. Amazing photos and interesting talks by all speakers. We had lunch then I wrote some postcards and in my diary. We had a long chat with Suzanne from California (Jerry’s wife) then afternoon tea with Margaret. After a formal dinner we were entertained by Shirley Dominguez on harp. Excellent!

Friday 1st February
I was up early this morning to be on the first boat (tender) to Port Stanley, Falklands. As I lined up in the Lido for breakfast, the announcement came that due to heavy seas and expected worse weather this afternoon, all excursions to Port Stanley had been cancelled. We were all disappointed, and no doubt it was an even bigger blow for the residents on the Island. I then moved to the Mauritania for breakfast with Don (Columbia) and Elaine (Hobart). Later I woke Mum who was having a sleep in, and then wrote in my diary and wrote up recommendations for friends from the QE2 when visiting Australia. We had lunch with Janet, Eric, Sue and Carl, and then Mum and Janet went to the movies to see ‘Evening’. I went up on deck for a walk and to watch the huge waves which were great to view. I then ironed and read before going to afternoon tea. We dressed for a semi-formal dinner and afterwards went to see Tracy Shields who sings Celine Dion songs. Not very good at all.

Saturday 2nd February
After breakfast I wrote in this diary and also wrote out what there is to do in Melbourne for some of the other passengers. At 11am we went up on deck to watch and to take photos as we circumnavigated “The Horn”. It was exciting to be at the ‘end of the earth’. The weather was very cold and windy but we stayed until 12.30pm then had lunch with Janet, Eric, Carl & Sue. After lunch we wrote some postcards and I put a colour in Mum’s hair. I then sat by a window near the library and watched the sea and read until it was time to dress for formal dinner. After dinner we were entertained in the Grand Lounge by the QE2 singers and dancers, as well as another round by harpist Shirley Dominguez.

Sunday 3rd February
We anchored at Punta Arenas in Chile this morning at 7am, so we assumed we would be able to take the tender to shore, but at 8.30 Captain McNaught announced that the wind was too strong for us to use the tenders.- 40 knots gusting to 60 knots. A lot of people were disappointed, especially those who had been looking forward to seeing penguins at either The Falklands or here. So far we have sailed 8712 nautical miles from New York to Punta Arenas. We sailed from Punta Arenas at 10am having exchanged entertainers and collecting a couple that missed the ship at Montevideo. (The husband had broken his arm and was delayed at the hospital while having it set). We spent the rest of the day sailing through the Strait of Magellan. This is a beautiful passage with mountains on both sides, some with snow or glaciers. Very pretty!! Up on deck the wind was extreme and I had to hold on to a bar to pull myself around the bow. I was surprised it was still open. Mum and I spent the day by a window, reading and watching the lovely scenery. In the evening we had a semi-formal dinner. The Super Bowl American Football grand final was being televised in the Golden Lion Pub so it was not too difficult to get a good seat in the Grand Lounge for the performance of ‘Vanity Fair’ by the QE2 singers and dancers. They were dressed in lovely costumes.

Monday 4th February
After breakfast Mum and I went to a lecture by Peter Crimes on Glaciers, Glaciations and Global Warming”. Very interesting and he doesn’t think global warming is caused by what mankind is doing because it has happened before. Later Mum went to read in the outer halls and I went to a lecture “Think your way to happiness” by Gill Garrett. Quite good but just reinforces what I already do. We had lunch with Carl, Sue, Joan (from Florida) and Elaine. After lunch I went to a lecture on Thomas Chippendale. It was an interesting BBC film presented by Hilary Kay from Antique Roadshow. Mum met me for afternoon tea with Helen and Maurice, a lovely couple from London. We then dressed for a formal dinner and later we were entertained by Alfreda Gerald singing songs from the Divas. Very good voice and lots of energy.

Tuesday 5th February
Mum and I both woke with a headache. Mum slept in but I went to breakfast and took 2 neurofen tablets. I then attended “The art of palmistry” lecture by Gill Garrett. I took Mum down a cup of tea and then I went aft to the pool area where a pancake race was taking place between the different restaurants as today is Shrove Tuesday. It was a lot of fun and the race was eventually won by The Master Chefs (which was appropriate). I met Mum for lunch with several others, and then I went to the lecture and film about Josiah Wedgewood. Very interesting. Mum and I then went on the deck to lie in the sun and have afternoon tea. Later we dressed for an informal dinner. At 7.30 we met our friends from Cruise Critic in the Princess Grill Bar for a celebration of Veronica’s 50th birthday. Norman (from Western Australia) bought drinks for us all. Very kind of him. The concert tonight was a variety show. The QE2 Orchestra played Big Band Sounds; The QE2 singers and dancers did a few numbers and so did Alfreda Gerald.

Wednesday 6th February
We had breakfast today overlooking the very large port of Valparaiso. It was a lovely warm sunny day. At 9.30 Mum and I went on a tour of Valparaiso and then on to the seaside resort of Vina del Mar. After some time there we visited the Fonck Museum. This houses a collection of artefacts from Easter Island as well as the history of Easter Island. Valparaiso is a pretty city of houses of all colours clinging to the steep hillside that rises from the harbour. They have ornate decorations in plaster but many homes are in need of a coat of paint. Most looked pretty anyway. We were back on the ship for lunch, and then we got a taxi to the town centre to do a bit of supermarket shopping and buy some wine. We felt quite safe here. Back at the ship terminal I rang Warren and used the Internet. Malcolm (cruise critic) spent the time here in hospital with his partner Paul who had to have a broken ankle pinned. They made it back to the QE2 in time. Paul has had to be pushed in a wheelchair since tripping in the bathroom. What bad luck on holiday! After dinner (semi-formal) Mum and I sat up on the Funnel deck and watched the Sailaway with Phyllis and Gene from Huntsville, Alabama. It was a lovely warm night. The Chilean Navy was moored beside us – 9 ships. We just watched a little of the concert from the shopping area. A pianist named Amy Abler - OK

Thursday 7th February
We received a letter to say we have been upgraded to ‘Gold Class’, so we went to collect our new card at 10am. We then went to a lecture by Peter Crimes about Easter Island as well as the Mutiny on the Bounty. We met Jo Ann’s husband Rich who joined her at Valparaiso. We had lunch with Carl, Sue and Joan. In the afternoon we went to an “Eat more to weigh less” seminar. Nothing new to be learnt there, then we had a Cruise Critic gathering. I had afternoon tea with Norman while Mum stayed in the cabin with rollers in her hair. We dressed formal for tonight’s dinner. Afterwards we went to see Martyn Dominque a tenor. Very good.

Friday 8th February
I awoke early so I got ready and went for a half hour walk on the deck (7laps) which made me feel virtuous.  Breakfast took a long time and a table companion made a complaint to the Maitre ‘d. Mum took our washing to the laundry where she sat talking to a friendly Pom while it went through the wash and dry. I went to a reflexology seminar, then to a talk about Faberge the Russian jeweller. It was quite interesting. We had lunch with Janet, Eric, Elaine and David (Michigan). We then went onto the Sun Deck to lie on the recliner and read. The sea is a beautiful cobalt blue again. Formal dinner tonight followed by a Vaudeville comedian named Richard Gauntlett. Very funny.

Saturday 9th February
We had another lovely breakfast. I do love these big breakfasts!! Mum sat on the Boat Deck and read while I went to play in a shuffleboard tournament. I had a partner named Sadie and we made it through to the ¼ final which was good for my first try. After lunch we just lay on the deck reading. It was quite a hot day, sailing across the mid-Pacific Ocean, so we both got a little sunburnt. We dressed for a formal dinner which was followed by the cocktail party given by Captain McNaught for people who are Gold Glass Members. Afterwards we saw Lorraine Brown sing at the Grand Lounge.

Sunday 10th February
Today we managed to anchor off Easter Island –Hooray!! The weather was perfect- blue sky, no wind and about 30C. It did take a long time to get us off the ship in the ‘tenders’, but once on shore we had a great tour. We visited the quarry where the Moai were carved, and there are still a lot there in all stages of preparation. Next we visited a line of 15 Moai, restored and looking inland. We then drove along beautiful blue sea scenery to an area where the Moai had been pulled down by the people of the ‘Birdman’ religion and we learnt about their burial methods. Last we went to an area where there is a replica of farming methods. There was a fully restored Moai there with eyes. We were able to take lovely photos of the QE2 anchored out to sea from this point. We arrived back aboard the QE2 at 6pm, very sweaty, grimy and thirsty. We were too late to be ready for 1st sitting at dinner so we ordered a cold beer, showered and dressed in plenty of time for 2nd sitting. Later we went to the Grand Lounge where we were entertained by Kenny Smiles, a very funny comedian.

Monday 11th February
We had a late breakfast and then went to see two lectures. The first was film historian Barry Brown talking about famous film stars – a little boring. The next was Peter Crimes talking about Tahiti. After lunch we went up on deck and I read a bit and wrote postcards. WE went to a matinee session to see Martyn Dominique, a tenor who did a Mario Lanza tribute. He was very good. We dressed for another formal dinner, and then went to the Grand Lounge to be entertained by comedian Richard gauntlet and pianist Amy Abler. Amy was very good. As we have to turn our clocks back 2 hours tonight we decided to go to the movies to see “Gladiator” again. We still enjoyed it.

Tuesday 12 February
I woke very early so arose at 6am. After showering etc. I went for a walk on deck. Later we went for breakfast before going up to the boat deck to get a good position to watch the ship sail around the tiny Pitcairn Island. It is SO small and in the middle of SO vast an ocean. The Pacific was such a lovely shade of mid blue today. About 25 locals came out to the QE2 on a small boat and set up stalls in the Grand Lounge to sell souvenirs. Most are descendants of the ‘Bounty’ mutineers. We had our Passports stamped with Pitcairn Island (cost $5 though). After lunch we sat on deck writing postcards. At 2pm Mum went to our cabin to read or nap and I attended a RADA production of “Richard 3rd”.It was excellent and a brilliant performance by Clive Kneller who played Richard. We dressed early for a formal dinner then went to John Jakobi’s cabin for drinks and cheese and biscuits. After dinner we were again entertained by Lorraine Brown. I enjoyed her choice of songs and she was very good.

Wednesday 13th February
After breakfast we went up to a windy but warm deck. Mum read and I played Shuffleboard. We got very wet in a short, sharp shower. I didn’t do so well this time at shuffleboard. I would like to play more but it often coincides with lectures. We then went to the Art Auction with Janet and Eric. We had a couple of drinks and someone bought two paintings. We had lunch with Janet and Eric and a Canadian couple. After lunch I used the computer for over an hour and Mum sat near the Casino and read. We dressed formal for dinner and then saw the QE2 singers and dancers do “Africa” followed by comedian Kenny Smiles.

Thursday 14th February
We arrived in Tahiti at 8am and disembarked at 9am with Jo Ann and Richie. We went on a
6 ½ hour tour around the Island with Patrick’s Adventure Tour in a 4 wheel drive covered ute. We had such a wonderful time!! The scenery is so beautiful; every bend in the road is at least as lovely as the one before. We were driven over extremely rough tracks. Patrick stopped frequently to allow us to photograph or to pick us a flower or fruit which he described fully. If a fruit he cut and peeled it for us to taste. We had lunch in a picnic area by a lovely lagoon into which a small waterfall flowed. Patrick, Richie, Jo Ann and I went for a swim. It was just delightful. After a lunch of French baguettes with ham, cheese and salad we continued our journey. At the lunch area we were joined by a cat that looked very similar to D’Arcy. He managed to entice Mum to give him quite a bit of ham and cheese. As we ate lunch it began to rain quite heavily and did so for a good hour. This caused many waterfalls to appear. In one part of a mountain we saw 30-40 waterfalls all in the one area. We bounced about in the back of the ute like teenagers and had heaps of fun. Back in Papeete we went to the market, but it was very expensive. We dressed for an informal dinner in the suggested colour of pink or red for Valentine’s Day. None of our table companions appeared for dinner which was most unusual. It is the first dinner missed by Dee, Sol and John. Bill often eats in the Lido so we only have his company once or twice a week. We were very impressed with our dessert which was a heart shaped chocolate and cherry coconut delight. The entertainment was Gary Thompson, a poor comedian who verbally attacked his audience when we didn’t laugh. Mum went to bed but I stayed up and went to a poetry reading in the theatre and then to the Chocolate Midnight supper.
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2010, 10:08 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »


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Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #2 on: Jun 14, 2010, 07:21 AM »
This is the final installment of my diary from New York to Sydney on the QE2 Farewll World Cruise

Part 3 -- Tahiti to Sydney

Friday 15th February
After breakfast Mum went to the laundry to do a load of washing and I sat and read ‘The War Poets’ in the Crystal Bar with what passes as a cappuccino. We had lunch with Beth, and then I did the ironing. We sat up on deck for 1 ½ hours and read some more. Quite a lazy day! We passed the Cook Island at about 4.15pm. I waved at the speck in the distant as Julie’s son Michael is holidaying there at the moment. We dressed for a formal dinner then heard Gary Williams a singer. He was quite good at Frank Sinatra songs.

Sunday 17th February
We crossed the International Date Line so we completely lost Saturday. We had a very lazy day today. Arose late, had a long breakfast, and then went shopping. I bought some slacks and also a top that I might wear to Belinda’s wedding. We spent most of the afternoon sitting on deck in the shade reading. Dressed for a formal dinner tonight, and then saw Marty Hill, a multi instrumentalist.

Monday 18th February
This morning we docked in Nuku’alofa in Tonga. It is quite a flat island. We went on a 4 hour bus tour around the island, visiting the historical sites. It was quite an enjoyable tour. The bus drove slowly so we were able to get a good look at the houses, vegetation (of which there was a lush, diverse growth), animals and people. Very friendly folk and very thin animals. There were lots of pigs, dogs and chooks roaming free. We visited the Royal Tombs, the Royal Palace, and “Stonehenge” and had a fruit lunch while watching local dancing. A very pleasant day! The dancing was similar to Maori and Hawaiian. Mum and I went to the market but it was mainly produce. We also shopped locally and bought some tasteful shell jewellery and a lovely dress for Tahlua. We dressed later for a semi-formal dinner and were entertained by Julia Daniels.

Tuesday 19th February
This morning I attended a lecture by Peter Crimes on ‘Auckland, Waitomo and Rotorua’. Beautiful photos!! Afterwards I went to a seminar on ‘Secrets to a flatter stomach’. I will heed the advice when I return home. We had lunch with Sue and Carl. Mum went to the movies to see ‘Double Indemnity’ but I went for a good ½ hour walk up on deck. I then read for a while. We then dressed for a formal dinner, and later we saw the QE2 singers and dancers in a stage production “Passionata”. It was very enjoyable.

Wednesday 20th February
After breakfast I went to a lecture about Australian artist Jeffrey Smart and his work. He is a contemporary artist whose work I have admired in the Benalla art gallery. I then gave myself a manicure before meeting Mum, Sue and Carl for lunch. After lunch we spent 2 hours on the
Sun Deck watching 17 crew teams in a ‘tug of war’ competition. It was a glorious day in the sun. We dressed for another formal dinner, followed by a ‘big Band evening’ in the Grand Lounge, with guest appearances by Janes Nelson, Rosanne Priest, Gary Williams and Marty Hill.

Thursday 21st February
We arose early to see the QE2 sail into Auckland but she arrived an hour early so we only saw her being pushed into place. At 9.30 we were collected by Margaret from Auckland garden Tours, a nice woman who drove us to Coatesville to see 3 lovely gardens. The first was a beautiful rambling garden of 10 acres called “Woodbridge”. It was a lovely garden featuring blue shades of flowers overlooking a tranquil pond, a lovely summer house surrounded by climbing roses, drought gardens, a veggie/herb garden and lovely lawns (including crochet). The owner/gardener, a friendly woman named Chris, showed us around. We next went to a very large garden of about 20 acres. A lovely large home is situated on a 5 acre lake which is filled with beautiful flowering waterlilies of various types. A path leads to a nice gazebo out in the lake. This is hired out for private picnics. There are different gardens around every corner as well as a smaller lake with white swans and other water birds. This property is often used as a wedding venue. We then drove to a cafe for lunch which attracted mothers with young children as there is a good play area both inside and out. It was great to drink a proper coffee again! After lunch we drove to the third property where we were met by a lovely lady named Helen. Her beautiful home and garden were on about 10 acres. The garden was formal with many small topiary hedges, a lovely lily pond and other pretty, neat gardens. Margaret drove us to Parnell on the way back to the ship and dropped us at the top of the street. We looked in several gift shops as we made our way down the street to where Margaret picked us up and drove us back to the QE2. We didn’t have to dress for dinner tonight. We watched the QE2 leave Auckland. A large crowd turned up to cheer us on our way and the tug did ‘wheelies’ which was very unusual. Our entertainers tonight were an acrobatic pair named ‘Popeyed’ who has amazing strength and agility. They were followed by a good Italian violinist.

Friday 22nd February
Following our usual excellent breakfast we went to the Peter Crimes lecture on “Sydney-Capital of the Pacific Rim”. This showed us lovely slides of Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Mum went to the cabin to begin packing while I went to the Yacht Club to organise the chilling of our wine bottles for a farewell drink this evening. WE had lunch with Janet, Eric, Sue and Carl. Mum went back to our cabin to continue packing while I read in the area outside the library. The Tasman Sea is very rough so the Boat deck is completely closed off. This has made it busier inside. At 3.15 I went to the RADA production of Wuthering Heights. It was a much abridged version, but was very well acted and the style of telling the missing parts was well done. We dressed early for a formal dinner then met Dee, Sol and John in the Yacht club for drinks and nibbles. After a nice dinner we were entertained by an attractive Australian Soprano named Davidia

Saturday 23rd February
This morning after breakfast it was my turn to pack. My heart was not in it but I had it done by lunchtime. We had a rough night at sea and I woke once as I was about to slide right off the bed (wearing a satin nightgown). We had our last lunch with Sue and Carl and the Mum went to the cabin to finalise her packing. I did some last minute shopping and listened to some of an interview with Captain McNaught. He said that the QE2 has been sold to Dubai for $1billion and that includes all memorabilia. They intend spending $3 billion doing her up, back to her 1960’s style. The QE2 is still the fastest passenger ship afloat. She can do 34 knots forward and 19 knots in reverse. Mum and I then dressed for our final formal dinner on board with Dee, Sol and John. We had a quick meal as we had to meet our ‘Cruise Critic’ friends for a farewell drink for Mum, Chris (Perth) and myself. We said our goodbyes, and then we went to the Grand Lounge to see the QE2 Crew ‘Pop Idol’ Grand Final. It was not very good, singing wise, but the QE2 singers and dancers danced on stage with each contestant and this made it look good. The sea has calmed down now. Although we still appear a little drunk when walking. We went straight to bed as we have an early start tomorrow.

Sunday 24th February
We were up at 5.45 to go on deck and watch our cruise into Sydney Harbour. It was beautiful to see. Very pretty. As the Queen Victoria is berthed at Circular Quay we had to dock at the Garden Island Naval base. We were led in by a water sprouting tug. At 8.30 we left the ship and went to get the hop-on, hop off bus but had to wait an hour – most annoying! Luckily it was a magnificent day with blue skies and no wind. We alighted at the Opera House and went on a tour of it. Very informative and interesting. We continued our bus ride until we arrived at the Sydney Sky Tower. We went to the top for great views of Sydney and of the QE2 at dock. We then went on a simulated light plane ride through various Australian tourist sites –eg. McDonnell Ranges; Uluru; Great Barrier reef and Bondi Beach. Mum and I then went for a ride on the Monorail but that was both boring and expensive. We saw just as much from the double decker bus. Sydney is a lovely looking city. It still has a lot of the 19th century buildings, but nicely restored. We were back on board the QE2 in time for a tidy up and afternoon tea as we had not had any lunch. We rang John and made arrangements to meet him on deck for the special rendezvous with the Queen Victoria, then to go to late dinner. This rendezvous turned out to be spectacular and one of the highlights of our cruise. Tens of thousands of people lined the shore or sailed by in ferries and other water craft. All waving and taking photographs. A great flotilla of small boats was following both ships and the ships were blowing their horns at each other. The QE2 has a lovely deep baritone horn whereas the Queen Victoria has a very tinny sounding horn. I managed to get some great photos as the ships passed. We then had farewell drinks with several of our lovely ‘new’ friends that we have met on the QE2 as we will probably not see them again after tomorrow. Judi (Fox Is Washington) joined John, Mum and I for late sitting dinner, which we did not have to dress up for. After dinner we went to the evening show which featured the old Australian group – The Four Kinsmen. They were very versatile – good in some areas and corny in others.

Monday 25th February
Today is a sad day as we have to disembark the QE2 after a final yummy breakfast. We were off the ship by 10.15am and then waited quite some time for a taxi to the airport. We had a few hassles at the airport with change for a trolley etc and were glad we speak the same language as no one was helpful. Anyway we eventually sat down and drank a lovely cappuccino while waiting for our plane to Melbourne.

« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2010, 10:09 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2010, 10:14 AM »
Thank you for this, Jennie! Looking forward to reading and enjoying your diary at leisure.

What many of us would have given to have taken this wonderful journey  :D  !

I wonder do you remember Malcolm and Paul from your time on board?,543.0.html

Oh! and by the way... I would have gained far more than 4 kg in 42 days!    ;D

Online cunardqueen

Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #4 on: Jul 19, 2010, 01:18 PM »
How nice to see reviews of the big daddy of cruises, They always make for very interesting reading.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Peter Fitness

Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #5 on: Jan 28, 2017, 11:11 PM »
I too was pleased to read Jennie's account of the outward leg of QE2's last World Cruise, as we joined her in Sydney for the homeward leg to Southampton. At the time we made the booking we did not know that this was to be her final World Cruise, we did not discover that until much later. It was our first (and only) time aboard QE2, and it was an honour to be part of her farewell from many ports. Leaving Sydney was an unforgettable experience in itself. As the great ship departed for the final time, news helicopters hovered overhead, small boats crowded the harbour and Sydney ferries stopped and saluted her as she passed. Some boats stayed with us until we were well past the heads and heading south for Hobart, it was indeed unforgettable.

We experienced similar scenes at other ports too, in particular, Fremantle gave us a rousing send off, and the departure from Fort Lauderdale was absolutely amazing. Leaving Fremantle was especially poignant, as it was the last time she would ever be in Australia. She first visited Sydney in February 1978, 30 years earlier.

The cruise is one we will never forget, and I'm proud to be able to say, "I sailed on the QE2".


Offline June Ingram

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Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #6 on: Jan 29, 2017, 01:36 AM »
Thank you very much, Peter, for sharing with us your memories.  It is truly amazing what an impact QE2 made on so many people the world over !  QE2 truly is Forever Queen of the Seas !  June
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Malcolm

Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #7 on: Jan 29, 2017, 08:44 AM »
I wonder do you remember Malcolm and Paul from your time on board?

Isabel - as you know I've been away from the forum for a while so have only just seen this post. Yes, we do remember Jennie although we never became close friends on board although I don't remember you, Peter - sorry :(

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: QE2 Farewell World Cruise -- Jennie's Diary
« Reply #8 on: Jan 29, 2017, 11:39 AM »
Good to hear Peter's story about being on QE2's final World Cruise.  What an amazing experience this must have been, thanks for sharing.

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank


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