QE2 Story Forum

Non-QE2 Area => QE2's Successors => RMS Queen Mary 2 => Topic started by: Twynkle on Jan 15, 2011, 04:54 AM

Title: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jan 15, 2011, 04:54 AM
Today, Robert Neal Marshall included a reference to The QE2 Story Forum during his lecture on the Three Queens meeting in New York yesterday!

The day before yesterday, John Maxtone-Graham referred to QM2 as a worthy successor to QE2
More about 'everything' soon...!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jan 20, 2011, 10:37 PM
OK - So there really is 'Something about The Mary'!

She is a seriously good ship and currently, there are few superlatives that would sufficiently do her justice.
It seems as if she reflects well the ambience, and to some extent, the character, of the two post WW1 Queens.
There's also a sense that had QE2 not existed, QM2 might have got lost on the way to becoming a great Liner she evidently is.
When remembering the 'shock and awe' of the design, style and 'class' of QE2 in the mid 1960s - it feels as if QM2 is doing 'shock and awe' pretty well, too!

To feel her great engines beating beneath the lovely thickly carpeted area around Stairway C  Deck 2, to experience a proper hair-wash from the windscreen washers/ wipers on the best bit of all - the Bit Beneath the Bridge, and to lie on a steamer chair on perfect teak decking, immediately above the spot where the great waves break against her mighty bow - this has to be the stuff of dreams!  (well... mine, anyway!)

As we left our last port, it was evident that the squeeze through the harbour entrance/exit would be a tight one.
'Something' Millennium had parked herself in the space used by QE2, and Mighty Mary needed to contend with the somewhat  diminutive Saga Pearl II 's bow, before wriggling  sufficiently astern, so that she could turn extremely hard '(right hand down!!), before joining the proper channel.
Having seen enough  to know what was happening f'wd, it was then possible to leg it down to the stern (in less than 2 minutes!!), via the best lift at sea - the external glass-cased lift straight from Deck 11 to the Boat Deck (7).
Here, immediately surrounding her stern, there were huge boulders, now at perilously close quarters, (these encase the harbour entrance) - and Mary needed to do an extremely nifty sort of multi- point turn, in seemingly no water.
This she did, with great panache, under the watchful eye of one tug, one pilot and a senior officer!
The lifts on board are superb,  magical even - more on these and other discoveries later.
btw, can't wait to try the outside lift in rough weather - Kerry (ex-QE2 Library person) has this as her number one treat!

Hopefully QE2 is proud of her successor.
She definitely doesn't creak, nor does she give you that lovely 'wrapped around' feeling -  however, The Mary does many things that have evolved from the style and substance of QE2.
She has a sense of dignity and grace, and she works extremely hard too!

Rosie -  off the 'mouth/s of the Amazon', and sincerely wishing you were all here too.

PS - By the way -if it's OK with the Mods (?!) please do 'chip in' here,  - I've caught the Mighty Cold, and it could be a while before the Mighty Expensive  Internet Connection becomes affordable again!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Jem on Jan 21, 2011, 05:17 AM
Rosie, so pleased your enjoying QM2. :) You can feel the heart beat of her engines through your feet and when entering or departing port you can feel the changes. I thought the external lift was great too.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: QE2 whistle on Jan 21, 2011, 12:37 PM
It looks like you're having a ball on Mary, Twynkle.  If you look at www.southeastflorida.com/inletcam/ they have archived Mary's departure from Fort Lauderdale.  It is a good camera for watching the other ships live, just like looking out your window on the port.  Great for us ship geeks! ;D
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jan 27, 2011, 08:15 PM
Greetings and Thanks to EveryOne!
Hope that you are well.
Missing you lots.

Here are some Notes from the South Atlantic, hopefully they make sense!

QE2's quirks have been discussed on the Forum, and after 14 days of her WC 2011, Queen Mary 2 is beginning to overcome a degree of shyness as she reveals just a few of her little secrets and surprises.

The Queen's Room in the QE2 was at the heart of the ship's community, and Afternoon Tea there was the height of white-gloved elegance, a tradition which survives in the 'Queen Victoria'.
However, it seems that commercial pressures on the QM2 seem to have dictated that shops, bars etc and smart profits now occupy the key areas of the main decks while the Queen's Room has been banished to the nether regions at the stern, distant and rather confusing to find: down steps beside the Britannia Restaurant, through the photograph gallery, round a corner and up some more steps, if you're not to break the rules and walk intrusively straight through the Restaurant. No wonder Afternoon Tea is not what it  was!  This Queen's Room is fairly dark, and definitely not the haven of the Queen's Room (nor remotely like the Grand Lounge) that QE2 was able to share with her Guests!

Then there are the spongy bits!
These exist throughout the main thoroughfare on Deck 2 - the carpeting is palatial, often almost doubly thick, yet in many places there's a mild sinking feeling.....
It puts a spring in your step as you approach the Britannia Dining Room, or alternatively it could trip you up a little in the other direction while on your way to settle your account!

The Great  Bell on Deck 3 is rung 8 times by the Chief Security Officer at noon  ...I have yet to discover what goes first - Whistle or Bell!
All Whistles are sounded daily, because of good insulation, these can only be heard properly in thr Gym, and the Library - here, The Whistle was 'felt' underfoot this morning, a strange encounter! 

Burns Night certainly presented a very good feeling of 'Quirk'!
There were many who came out of curiosity, the QR was packed - come to think of it, I wonder how the term 'Burns Night' might have been interpreted by those 'out of the know'  before the event!
A committee of Guests-in-Kilts  had formed to do everything they could to help the evening go with a swing - they certainly succeded, the Event itself was Brilliant!
Only problem was the curtailment of the second and best half of the Gay Gordons - the swizzling bit,  this was left out. Someone (Cunard-side) evidently lost the instructions!
More QM2 Quirks to follow.....

Taking our leave....
After having tried out her wiggle that could have been mistaken for a Samba in Barbados - QM2 readied herself to leave Rio (11.00pm) by showing the world that she was a highly accomplished smoker! Thick, rich and pretty dark it was, from her stack, as she was gearing up to go.
Thrusters begain to shake themselves alive...as if we were in for another speedy 'something' akin to a Tango, and it soon became clear that there were huge efforts being made to keep her stern almost static alongside, while stretching her bow to an angle of somethiong like 65 degrees - It was a superb bit of steering through shallow water and witnessed by very few.... most were on partying on deck 8 probably oblivious to the grand efforts made by both the bridge and engines - this ship isn't called Mighty for nowt - her size is 'all' when it comes down to getting out of tricky situations  - and her abilty to manouvre in tight corners without tugs is astounding!
We were shown the way out of Rio - slowly, and almost certainly reluctantly, on Mary's part  - maybe she'd hoped to try her hand at a bit of a Rhumba!   Being led by the huge, blazing spotlights of a Tug that seemed extremely proud to be at the head of the stately procession, we reluctantly made our departure together.
QM2 had looked remarkably 'normal'  from the top of Christ the Redeemer -  she looked small, downsized. This was something that felt great- she fitted in well.
 
Heading south now to the River Plate and Montevideo, Uruguay.
Our journey into the harbour will start at 4.00am tomorrow as the Pilot joins us - it will be long, slow and challenging to take QM2 through the shallow waters, they stretch for 20 miles - Will be up early, and watching!
Then six Sea days across to Cape Town.... QM2 is already preparing for the departure of 1800, before 1800 Australians take their place!

Still wishing that you were all here - we'd have such a good time.
I do feel lucky, fortunate and grateful - but she's Not QE2 - and I miss her considerably more than I'd expected to.

Highlander - Your review is excellent, thank you!
One thing you missed tho' - QM2's Library has 288 cabinet doors that need too be locked and unlocked daily!

Regarding QM2, I'm becoming quite attached to her (or is it the Sea!!),  It's just that it was incredibly good to experience how things are / were on QE2 - the importance of which cannot be emphasised enough -   QE2 set a standard that will hopefully last for ever!

Rosie
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Jan 27, 2011, 08:26 PM
Thanks for the update Rosie which I am thoroughly enjoying reading.   Good to hear that you are having such a good time. 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Jem on Jan 28, 2011, 05:14 AM
Wonderful to hear from you Rosie. So pleased your have a good time. Great to hear how things are going. :)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Jan 28, 2011, 09:25 AM
Hi Rosie,

I know exactly what you mean with the "squidgy" bits in the carpet!

Good to hear that you are enjoying your time - QM2 has a personality all her own as every ship does. Shelagh & I love her for that.

Gav
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jan 28, 2011, 05:06 PM
Just a quickie from Montevideo!
Found free wifi and can't resist the first Forum Fix for days, and days and...days!
We had an amazing sail in this morning - Over 20 miles of very shallow channel - and sailing at no more than 5kph.

Again, just a few to watch her in, together with another lovely sunrise, from the Bit Beneath the Bridge.
This is surprising - it seems that most passengers 'can't see the point' of experiencing the superb handling of a ship that can do amazing things when the challenge is fitting into tight corners.
The balconies seemed to be on the whole out of use (not that I'm a chronic Balcony-Peeper, you understand!)
There was good 'joshing' about a Celebrity Somethingorother that had previously declared itself as coming into port before QM2..after a while Captain Wright let us know that the original plan 'held', QM2 would indeed be arriving first...again more memories of QE2 - wishing she was here too, we are very close to where she docked

Rob -
The Agent here for Cunard has a lovely model of a Blue Star Line ship, the 'Avila' in their window.
Beneath the model is a beautiful old label 'Built at John Brown's Yard....'
(Sorry, forgot to note the date - possibly 1920)
Thought you'd be interested to know that Clydebank has reached Montevideo too!
Got photo, will post on arrival in UK!
Rosie
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: highlander0108 on Jan 28, 2011, 05:27 PM
Hi Rosie,

I know exactly what you mean with the "squidgy" bits in the carpet!

Good to hear that you are enjoying your time - QM2 has a personality all her own as every ship does. Shelagh & I love her for that.

Gav

My guess on the 'squidgy" bits in the carpet is that the concrete screed or leveling has failed below the carpeting and the padding.  Incredibly, they had to make repairs on QV for this it appears as posted in the www.wearecunard.com blog after only two years in service.
http://wearecunard.com/2010/12/queen-victoria-continues-her-first-refit/

This is a completely different feeling than the flexing floor plates onboard QE2 , partcularily in the doorway to the second floor balcony area of the theater which always gave you a little startle when stepped on.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Jan 28, 2011, 06:33 PM
Hi Rosie - I have been enjoying your reports "Live from the RMS QM2."  Keep them coming!

Janice
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Mauretania1907 on Jan 29, 2011, 01:56 AM

Many thanks for update on Scary Mary - makes me want to save up my pennies at least for a crossing from Auckland to Sydney (even better if I can catch a ship home too - no horrid airplane). I certainly would like to see her move herself through narrow passes. I wonder if she would dare to try Milford Sound (she could actually be too long) Achille Lauro managed a sneaky spin on her axis ON OPPOSING SCREWS ONLY (she had no thrusters) - what an adroit piece of shiphandling - and most people were too interested in the lovely views to notice or care what the ship was doing, she was being very slow and careful! ;D
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jan 29, 2011, 11:34 PM
More news from QM2

We have heard from Ray Rouse (Entertainment Director) that  Mrs B Mueller, now 90, sailed on QM2's Christmas cruise
and she is considering returning to live on QM2; Mrs Mueller lived on QE2 for 11 years.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Chris Frame on Jan 30, 2011, 12:54 PM
Enjoying your reports Rosie from your second favourite Queen!

Please pass on my hello to Ray and the team aboard!

Chris.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jan 31, 2011, 10:36 PM
Day 18 - nearly halfway across Southern Ocean
8644 miles from New York
1787 from Montevideo
1858 miles To Cape Town 
 
A life in the day of...

Sleepy at first, this had been the third in a consecutive run of  nights when 'Please be advised to advance your clocks one hour tonight'.
It won't be the last, either  - this is the stuff of a world cruise - time, motion and our position all matter just as much as food, and the availability of eight meals a day!

Reports on our smart (new!) wide screen tv show extreme weather conditions forecast  for N. America, protests in Egypt  and news that Murray was defeated.
Cunard hasn't 'got a line' yet, on the Egypt situation - it's months away, and with QE and QM2 both due to transit the canal, there's bound to be 'a line', hopefully some time 'down the line'! 
The  weather forecast for N America is a salutary reminder that we are just so fortunate, and leave us with fingers crossed that any power outages will be short lived for anyone who experiences them, and that our own little home will be warm enough for our family who are taking care of it for us.
Switch to the ship's channels - Ray Rouse introducing the Daily Programme, always good for reminders and intros to speakers et al.
This was the 'morning after' the Party for the Diamond Members - Ray interviews a couple who have spent over a thousand nights on Cunard ships - Four years and three months in all. They have booked another world cruise for next year, and have sailed on Berengaria, Caronia, QE2 , QV and QM2...

Quick squint at the Ships Log, and the bow webcam - both particularly useful for those of us in inside cabins, then up to say Good Morning to the sea from the Bit Beneath the Bridge and down 9 decks to deck 2. Still unused to going down to public rooms - another blessing belonging to QE2!

Early into breakfast - same table on most days, almost at water level; the delicious menu seemingly unchanged for at least eight years.
Then off to the Launderette.  Navy sweater, like my hair -  white with salt, needing a good rinse - salt is everywhere along the portside deck - and inevitable, as we've been travelling east  the wind full of salt blows it in day after day.
Brief Interval - checked We Are Cunard website - QE doing well on her worldie!
Then off to have a quick look at the buy-one get-one free sale of Cunard clothes - remember those?  QE2 Final Voyage represented on 4 extremely small white polo shirts - but nothing remotely like a size 12 or over, so decided to continue with penny-saving policy - it's worked well, so far!
Later - retrieve navy sweater - well shrunk, obviously didn't do well in dryer, so off to recruit friendly neighbours to help restore it to original adult size!

Captain's midday announcement - only caught the last bit, 'we shall be the only RMS' after that'. Made mental note to find out more!

Off to Lunch - lovely treat, the Maitre D' brings a p/copy of a post card of his home town - somewhere miles away from the South Atlantic, and a place I love!
His picture will join others on the wall of our cabin - this is where the 'living scrap-book' is taking root and growing well!
Dining Room lunch is a lighter version of dinner - always pasta, fish, poultry, red meat and veggie dishes x2 to choose from, as well as salad and or a sandwich - and at least 4 puds + cheese.

Met friend after lunch - time for chat, books and a restful half hour, perhaps...?

Before settling down, a quick check over the rail towards the stern - to see, just as happenned yesterday - 'The birds are back!!'
Headed off at speed towards the open decks and encountered Captain Wright en route.
He said that he might have more news tomorrow about RMS St Helena - both she and QM2 will be close to the island of Tristan da Cunha,
this was almost certainly RMS St Helena's last call there.
He seemed  interested in the Wandering Albatross, before informing me that he's had them under his personal radio control from the Bridge throughout his time as Master of QM2!

Then spent 3 hours watching the pair of albatrosses, they are huge and beautiful birds, with a wingspan of 12 feet or more!
They followed our ship, weaving along our wake, it was warm, sunny and then showery with a breeze that gave them lift as they needed it.
(Made note to check out their average weight!)

Later.
After dinner spotted extremely good photographs of QE2 in the ship's photo gallery.
She is well represented on board in the art work, and as part of a 2011 calendar that's selling well, it seems that once more, she's doing her best for Cunard!!

Rosie.
 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Cunarder Man on Jan 31, 2011, 10:58 PM
Love it - this is as good as any book at bedtime. Keep it coming Rosie. :)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Jem on Feb 01, 2011, 03:23 AM
Really enjoying your accounts Rosie. All those miles travelled already and loads more to travel amazing. The albatrosses must be a fantastic site? :)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Feb 01, 2011, 11:11 AM
Sounds like you are having a very good time, Rosie.

And if you are able to pick up the forum PM system on board, I have sent you a message.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Feb 01, 2011, 12:48 PM
Thanks for sharing your story Rosie
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Jem on Feb 01, 2011, 12:57 PM
Looks like QM2 and Rosie are making a stop at the Island of Saint Helena. Hope they met up with RMS St Helena OK.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Feb 01, 2011, 01:19 PM
No Jem that must be the island of Tristan da Cunha the and ship RMS St Helena is nearby.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Pat Curry on Feb 01, 2011, 07:27 PM
Day 18 - nearly halfway across Southern Ocean


It's an absolutely fascinating read Rosie.  I really look forward to reading your inputs. 

Thank you for making the huge effort. it's so hard to work on board with all the alluring treats awaiting pax at every turn all day long.  But I for one feel like I'm there with you. 

I bet QM2 TV (with your [new!] flat screen is more interesting thanUK TV!

Any chance of advising who is crewing on board?
Exec Chef
Staff Captain
Chef(s) de Cuisine
your Maitre D
Cruise Director ~ is that Ray Rouse?
asstnt CD
Librarian & asst librarian
World Cruise Club  crew person (used to be in the board room on QE2).
Doctor

If you can do it, for me it will be interesting to see who if any were on QE2.

Anyway, enjoy mid south Atlantic.  I guess it will soon be your delicious light lunch.  It's 7.30pm  here and I just cooked Dom and me a saag prawn curry.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 01, 2011, 11:16 PM
Possibly the last RMS Rendez-vous?

Today the two remaining ships flying the Royal Mail Service flags met and exchanged whistles in the waters off the slipway of the Island of Tristan da Cunha.
This was to be the last time that the St Helena would anchor there in her capacity as an RMS ship. The occasion was witnessed by two small vessels, one being the 'Fisheries Protection' vessel that looked remarkably like a rapid response boat / lifeboat/ pilot boat -  and it was orange! The master had kindly agreed to spend time photographing RMS Queen Mary 2 as she made her way towards the inshore waters of the Island - it was possible to see multiple flashes as she circumnavigated the great liner!
At the same time, was also possible to see loading and unloading taking place between RMS St Helena and other small craft.
From the Bit beneath the Bridge, we saw the second little white 'rowing' boat that was apparently called something like the National Geographical ('something'/ society?) of Edinburgh - Edinburgh being the main town on Tristan da Cunha (I think!) We could easily see houses, farms cattle church, and possibly even allotments on the Island - it is still part of the UK.
An exchange of gifts took place alongside between the fast response boat and QM2 -  hundreds of guests looked on, from their balconies as well as from the many open decks.

Today Guests also saw flying fish and there were many more sightings of Albatrosses (this was a Big Event!!)
There was a piano concert, a visit to the ships hospital - a very interesting talk given by Dr Martin Carroll - he was the Doctor on QE2 for very many years after 15 years in the services as Dr - and a visit to the Bridge area (safety control room?), to hear all about ship's stability - and lots more events were available in the Daily Programme  (More about this later!)
A busy day - and no time for the daily quiz, or crossword puzzle!

Tonight clocks go forward, yet again!
There are two and a half sea days till we reach Cape Town - where we'll be saying farewell to many newly made friends who have travelled with us from Southampton.
Thanks for comments - running out of internet time - will come back soon!!
Roie
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Pat Curry on Feb 02, 2011, 08:01 PM
Tonight clocks go forward, yet again!
Tonight clocks go forward, yet again!

Oh dear Rosie.
If I am right, you will cruise east until NZ  end Feb  ::) so I fear you will have 14 more time moves backwards (lost hours) between your south Atlantic position (GMT minus 1 hr today) and Auckland, which is GMT plus 12 hrs  before you sail west again.
At least then your clocks go backwards an hour every time zone you pass until S'ton (so you get an extra hour's  sleep or play).  The wonderful exception is Sri Lanka/India with its unique five and a half hr hour time shift.   ;D

Are you getting souvenir cards on your bed reminding you of the time change?

I note the QM2 route avoids a double crossing of the International date line.  Would have been fun but truly confusing though.

The QE2 World Cruise always went west to east.  This was a great joy to the crew who regularly got an extra hour in their bars or sleep. Doing east to west is really tough for crew who have to be up really early for cooking and service.  QE is replicating QE2's west to east WC as we speak.

PS there is a forum thread as you know called QE2 clocks.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Pat Curry on Feb 02, 2011, 08:14 PM

The QE2 World Cruise always went west to east.  This was a great joy to the crew who regularly got an extra hour in their bars or sleep. Doing east to west is really tough for crew who have to be up really early for cooking and service.  QE is replicating QE2's west to east WC as we speak.

I am a silly mutt.  I mean the ships cruise EAST to WEST :-*
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Michael Gallagher on Feb 05, 2011, 12:38 AM
For Rosie: The only two RMS' in the world meeting off Tristan da Cunha. It was the last call there for RMS St Helena and her future is uncertain. So RMS Queen Mary 2 could soon become the only RMS...

Spot RMS St Helena in the first picture...
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 07, 2011, 03:43 PM
More of 'The Same'!

We are  nearly a third of the way through, and really struggling with the fact that time's going too fast. We aren't the only ones afflicted, the clocks don't help - at times it feels as if we are travelling through time itself rather than The World Voyage - and on one of those speedy walkways at Gatwick Airport!.  Yet - I'm afraid it's really difficult to sound a bit boring about any of it, so please, please don't think that I'm deliberately trying to make you feel envious on purpose.  There seems to be a spell cast from the moment you step on board...and it doesn't seem to be stoppable!
Pat - Thank you very much for your comments - and like you mentioned, the time changes are odious, they certainly don't help!  Goodness knows how crews through the ages have and do manage for months at a time without any days off, and the lost/gained hours interfering with any sort of rhythm! Little wonder the 'Trannies' (transatlantics in crew-speak!) are trying!

Thank you too, Flagship!  The photos of the two RMS ships are great - and I took one of the Royal Mail flag being flown from the mast for you!
(About photos, these will need to be sorted, edited and posted after April - life and expense of internet time on board makes any sort of technical organisation' a bit tricky!)
We spent hours on the Bit Beneath the Bridge watching and waiting for Tristan da Cunha to appear - people weren't aware of the significance of the RMS 'bit' until Captain Wright made an announcement shortly before the two ships met.
After leaving the coastal waters of the islands we remained on the Great Circle route to Cape Town. The sea bed being many miles beneath us might have been a pretty reasonable explanation for the sudden lack of birds - unless they all chose to fall asleep simultaneously.  Perhaps they became exhausted by being so well watched..!

The Deputy Captain offered to Talk about Stability, and huge queues of interested people necessitated a whole series of 'ten-at-a-time' visits to the Safety Control Centre. This is behind the wheelhouse on the Bridge. He seemed a little surprised to find that over a hundred applied, having told us originally he thought it might be a few more than ten!
Using his state of the art technology,  he gave us a wonderfully comprehensive review of how the ship's need for balance is monitored and maintained.  He gave us explanations regarding ballast, storage tanks, water purification etc and the importance of these, and the systems that are used in relation to keeping the ship 'true'.
His talk filled in a few of the missing bits of the puzzle that concerns a huge ship, a significant number of strangers, and the need to treat anything to do with ballast with utmost respect.

Although it's important to point out here that the Deputy Captain actually made no reference to the following, reasons why there are no bath tubs (or at least very few) seem to have become clearer.   
For example, if all the occupants on the port side chose to run baths before the late sitting for Dinner - it would seem that the early diners on the starboard side might be needed to be called away from The Show in the Royal Court Theatre in order to balance the ship by running the baths in their cabins too...Hmm!
A pity really, as apart from missing QE2, the other thing that I would really, really like is to have a bath! 
An everlasting hope has always been to have one on a night when the sea's become quite confused.
Apparently this did happen just a bit, during the night before we reached Cape Town - and another great opportunity for a bath was missed.
Although, I have to say that from the lofty height of Deck 10, at the time, it felt as if QM2 was just swaying in time with a gentle breeze.
The Talk raised a number of interesting facts - For instance, did you know that all QM2's 5 swimming Pools can be emptied in 45 seconds (I think - or was it minutes?!!)
You know - this is what 'being at sea' does- all that seems to matter is The Sea itself and the impact it can have - so forget about the memory loss!!
Goodness only knows what we do all day, or what day it is, or whether we return via the North, South, East or West etc - it's all about  'Being at Sea' - in every sense of the expression!!

Our sailing in to Cape Town was probably quite tricky to manage as there was a strong wind, and the Bit Beneath the Bridge was Out of Bounds until we came quite close to the harbour.
Sadly, at the time there was no-one around to explain where QE2 used to be tied up. Louis - do you by any chance have any photos on another topic?

We were off the ship by 2.15pm, and with just over half an hour to get to the 'Mandela'  ticket office, it was possible to get a ticket for the Robben Island Ferry, a visit that had been a long hoped-for wish, and it was possible to sail and see round the island and be back to explore a bit of the V and A Waterfront, all  before dinner back on board.

I did try to work out where Nakheel had hoped to park QE2 for the World Cup, however this wasn't an easy task, mainly due to my lack of experience in such matters!!
QM2 was accompanied by some very energetic seals as she was parked alongside the pier. These are fitted with lots of pipes. I assumed these (pipes and valves)  were for bunkering etc - a bit like those surrounding Rotterdam V; it was some way away from the inner harbour. Maybe, I wonder -  was this also the place that had been planned for QE2 as well?

Day 2 in Cape Town - this was equally poignant, and all of it unforgettable.
Having spent years during the 60s, 70s and beyond, trying to support the anti-apartheid movement, it was now possible to experience at first hand a little of the impact of the work of the Peace and Reconciliation Commission and  'period'.  Also having been involved in working with people from southern Africa whose lives have been profoundly affected by HIV and AIDSs, this visit was always going to be a  significant one.
As well as being impressed by Cape Town's stunning position, with magnificent views of the landscape round the southern cape of Africa, I've been left with powerful, and inevitably painful memories that will remain, hopefully for a long, long time.

There is much evidence of  the contrasting cultures in 'dwelling places' - we saw these as we drove  round the bays, and through some of the 'villages' that make up the city. I also visited one of the townships - this too, was a profoundly moving experience.
In the more 'wealthy areas - we noticed the roads as well as pavements were lined by walls that surround the properties - it seemed almost as if the inhabitants had locked themselves in from the outside world.
And then there were the penguins!
The fear that penguins get anxious and find mating difficult when in close proximity to humans, means that they are now 'fenced off 'too...
As we discovered, South Africa is still learning about itself - and as we were told, and indeed experienced - there's a sort of 'can do', really positive attitude here. This is something so good, it gives hope for the future.


Whilst we were in Cape Town, a significant transformation occurred - QM2 lost at least half her passengers.
Many had joined in Southampton, this also meant that we would be missing several who had become good companions through the highs and lows of the Great Atlantic Crossing, too.
(By the way, Everyone seems to know about QV's valiant attempts to beat her young sister to the Verrazzano Bridge!)
As well as the huge amount of physical work involved, Is this how the Crew experience all 'turnaround' days?
'Our' ship has changed! The Casino has now gained in size and stature! The Bars are busy and the unfamiliar buzz of The Aussies might turn out to be just a wee bit scary!
We have moved from our cosy table for two - having been invited to one for Eight, possibly even Nine!
The Queues for the first minutes of mealtimes are humungous - are The Aussies really that hungry?
Out-numbering us Poms by the thousand at the very least - they are wearing their cabin ID cards on lanyards round their necks - might they (perish the thought!) fear an ID crisis?!

I nearly forgot - on arriving in Cape Town, we'd found a small African band, playing drums and brass as we walked through and out of the long tent that was acting as Terminal.
As we left Cape Town, The Band of the Cape Town Highlanders played the Pipes and Drums - QE2 must have shared the same experience here, too.
As the wonderful sounds faded, the crowds waved; it would have been impossible not to feel extremely grateful and almost overwhelmed by all sorts of mixed feelings here too.

All the best to 'You Guys', 
and thanks so much to everyone - it does feel good to be in touch!

Rosie
at The Boadwalk Cafe
On the Bit Beneath the Biggest Funnel ...Ever!
Durban

PS - Having just read the sad news regarding Jem, I think h would want these posts to continue.
We had many personal exchanges by email some as recently as just a few days ago- and perhaps he more than anyone would appreciate the ongoing discovery of the Quirks of Mary.
RIP  - Brave Jem.

Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: QE2forever on Feb 08, 2011, 10:24 AM
Hi Rosie,

I definetely love your chronicle!

Have a great time and give QM2 a pat on her hull on my behalf!

PS - I have sent you a PM, don't know if you can access PMs there.

Marc
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: skilly56 on Feb 08, 2011, 01:43 PM
Hi Rosie,

Good to hear that your days are busy - it's makes for a very good night's sleep ;) (ask me how I know).

Where are you passing Australia - which coast? I'll be floating around here off W.A. between Perth and Dampier for another 3 weeks yet, but I'm suspecting QM2 will not come down this side during the cyclone season, and there have now been a few.

Your old home town of ChCh is still getting quaked on a regular basis - you'll be glad you are not there any more.

I know what you mean about the Aussies - we've only got 2 Kiwis on this ship, so we have to make a lot more noise than the others (nearly all Australians) just to get seen!

The young fella is now 2/O on Ventura and enjoying it. If he gets to the QM2 I think we just might have to do another cruise - you make it sound good. I'll keep reading with interest.

Cheers

Skilly
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Waverley on Feb 08, 2011, 10:30 PM
Hello Rosie,
               Really enjoying all of your reports.  Sounds like a great adventure.  Hope you are still taking plenty of photos.



Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Feb 08, 2011, 10:43 PM
For Rosie: The only two RMS' in the world meeting off Tristan da Cunha. It was the last call there for RMS St Helena and her future is uncertain. So RMS Queen Mary 2 could soon become the only RMS...

Spot RMS St Helena in the first picture...

Thanks Michael.  A great occasion indeed.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Feb 09, 2011, 01:03 PM
Thanks for your updates Rosie,

I'm personally glad that you like QM2 - she is a great vessel indeed and well worthy of her liner status.

She has a long way to go to being the legend that our dear QE2 became but there's time yet.

Keep the posts coming!!  ;)

Gav
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 12, 2011, 03:54 PM
'Making do' with Mary?

This header isn't really meant to be rude - it's just that I was thinking about QE2 last night; her style - her quiet dignity, her class and her quality, and the phrase 'Making do' became linked with all the 'noise' on board QM2 in my mind!
Would anyone ever even dream of 'Making do' with QE2?  No - absolutely not!
It's not that Mary would bite you if you were rude about her either - although she might go off in a sulk for a while…
...Or she might give you a bit of a hard time in the launderette, for example.
In there, there are always around 4- 5 people in a space that's no more than say 8' x 3' and The Aussies don't seem to 'do' queues.
After the incident the other day, when the iron started smoking, there was another this morning, one that could have happened as a direct response to my overnight thoughts of QE2!
While I was ironing, now halfway through dress shirt number 2, (these shirts take care and a little extra time, you understand) a discussion regarding Launderette Rage began.   “Did you know there was a woman who attacked another woman with an iron last year?' a Guest asked the assembled company.
'No? - Never - my old man would have killed her', responded another.
Then to me, 'Excuse me - how much longer will you be here for - there's only 2 irons in here...and he's on the other' she said, with her pointy finger going in the direction of an elderly man with a bit of a shakey ironing hand.
I replied that I'd nearly finished - and with that she started calling me something like a bl**dy pom!

Mindful of recent experiences, I wonder just how far Mary’s ‘getting her own back’ might reach!
For instance, yesterday, there was a lady in a lift who, after 4 others got in, started screaming - 'Get me out' etc,  Get out you ***ing crowd'
I guess the ‘crowd’ had been made to seem even bigger owing to the fact that three of the inside walls of the lifts are coated with mirrored glass!
On my visit to a talk in the ships hospital, the Doctor had described the type of psychosis that can be bought on by the use of scopolomine (anti-seasickness) patches; maybe this poorly lady was possibly using the patches….and who knows, she might well have been talking in affectionate terms about QE2, too!

Importantly, there are many on board here who have sailed on her, and out of those having seen her post-2008, most are convinced that ‘Oh-she-was-such-a-lovely-ship’ is rusting and rotting away in Dubai.
Hopefully some are now better informed – once they get home, they may just fish Rob’s good ‘labels’ out of their pockets and have a look at the Forum.

Btw - the Lifts / Elevators on Queen Mary 2 deserve a topic of their own!
They are stunning in every respect, and for the purposes of this 'Live from...', it might be better to leave something about them till later.

Despite these somewhat difficult events, Mary is full of lovely surprises too, and in many respects, she really does seem to be emerging as the worthy successor to QE2.  The crewmembers whose first ship she is, refer to her as My Ship - isn't this a good sign?  
And there’s the lovely lady from Liverpool who has done the World Cruise no less than 10 times!  Being extremely helpful, she’s told us exactly what to expect for the World Cruise dinner – beginning with ‘everyone one wears their special best frock’, and finishing with the words ‘…and everyone gets absolutely plastered’!!

Our departure from Durban was delayed. However the long harbour walls, car-parks and other vantage points were packed with onlookers – and there were at least a hundred small craft that had assembled to accompany us out of the harbour. They all waited and waited, and finally came with us, enjoying (I’ll bet!) at least 9 blasts of the whistles. It was long after dark.
This had been our final call in Africa. Sadly we didn’t get nearer to ‘big game’, Zulus, the lovely Garden Route or the great Drakensburg mountains.  However our delay was due to the late arrival of the adventurous Guests who had travelled overland from Cape Town to Durban while we rounded the Cape with Mary. She showed us the last of African coast; the skies and sea did change just a wee bit as we sailed across the oceans, from the South Atlantic into the Indian Ocean.

One of the best surprises has occurred since we left Cape Town; having joined a 'hosted' table, can you guess what's happened?
One of the other guests at the table is a already a Member of The QE2 Story Forum - he's Solent Water, and although yet to post on the forum, he’s definitely a real, genuine QE2 fan, with a love for QE2 that ‘knows no bounds’!
And... a couple of evenings ago, we were also joined by 2 more guys who have performed on QM2 over the past couple of nights, as well as over many years on QE2!   All three have said they will happily contribute to the Forum, hopefully they won’t keep us waiting too long!!

We left Mauritius last evening (more soon about that lovely Island),  
several Sea Days before Fremantle, with the clocks going forward for the next 4 – yes, that's correct, it is four, nights in succession!

Thank you to EveryOne for your posts, messages, etc.

Hi Skilly, It’s really good to hear from you – hope you’ll get shore leave before much longer!  
Perhaps we’ll miss each other by just a few hours, possibly in Freo, as well as Auckland…
If you look west – you can’t really miss The Mary – the only place where she looks ‘normal’ (whatever that is) is in Rio!, We’ll be looking out for you, and if our paths cross, we’ll will be waving as hard as we possibly can!!
She comes highly recommended – just keep out of the Launderette, don’t plan taking a voyage that has more than 6 formal nights in a row, and maybe wise to give the Veuve Cliquot a bit of a wide berth – an Aussie told me it’s US$ 20 a glass, although as yet, this is unconfirmed!

We are due in Fremantle at about 6-7.00am (tbc) on Thursday, 17th February having sailed across on the ‘Great Circle’ route. I’m not sure exactly where we’ll join the ‘lane’ into the harbour, or where we’ll be tied up– I’ll post more when I have discovered the details.
(There’s a chart up on Deck 12 showing that we’ll be arriving in the area from the west, before we actually coming into the harbour area from the north).
It might be possible to ask the Deputy Captain more at dinner this evening, - providing the ironing’s done!

Rosie
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Pat Curry on Feb 12, 2011, 06:28 PM

... the launderette ...
In there, there are always around 4- 5 people in a space that's no more than say 8' x 3'
... she [an Ausie] started calling me something like a bl**dy pom!

Re the pax launderette, no difference then from QE2!  A tiny space.  Too many rude users and it seems the same odious  behaviour. 
Of course that's because management want pax to use the (expensive but excellent) laundry service.

The Ausies ...
Re 'bl••dy pom!"  Remember the Ausies are on a loosing streak with sports.  Loosing the Ashes has really mortified them. (not to mention rugby, tennis, footy et al).  Loosing in the launderette must be just aboout the pits for them.  Keep waving the flag and the iron Rosie ;D

Never mind they will disembark in Aus in a few days.  Then you'll get Japanese pax embarking in Sydney  who will disembark in Mumbai  then Indians who will board in Tokyo leave in DBX.  Both sets will hate the food, and complain like mad while on board but they will have put a notch on their guns (by travelling on the Cunard flagship).  (If it's anything like the QE2's world cruises). Fun really (NOT).. 

Seriously, though Rosie, thank you for  superbly written report, as ever, this time truly funny. 

Don't know how you find the time to do it ... but many thanks for making my day yet again.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 15, 2011, 08:17 AM
Thank you Pat!

Update!
Captain's midday message - relayed to staterooms as well as throughout the ship.
Unfortunately, the message is serious as the ship's been struggling due to gas turbine problems.
Speed reduced to 16 knots, instead of expected 26 knots.
Therefore arrival at Fremantle on 17.02.2011 will be delayed by 4 hours.
However, the engineers have worked [valiantly, my words, not his!] overnight and they are now working well,
and ship's speed is now on it's way up again.
Unfortunately this was not relayed into Illuminations -
the place where a lecture was being given.

The sea is moderate - with a bit of a swell, a bit of a breeze - force 6 (60 mph total 'across the decks')
It's pouring with rain - Mary is still highly Majestic!
and there's just one very small place to sit outside without getting soaked, and I've found it!! te he!!
Rosie - in the midst of the Indian Ocean
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Feb 16, 2011, 08:13 AM
Then you'll get Japanese pax embarking in Sydney  who will disembark in Mumbai  then Indians who will board in Tokyo leave in DBX.  Both sets will hate the food, and complain like mad while on board but they will have put a notch on their guns (by travelling on the Cunard flagship).  (If it's anything like the QE2's world cruises).

We've been lucky then. I have found myself on QE2 each time with Japanese fellow passengers and have found them to be just as gentle and polite and appreciative on board as they are in Japan itself. And a lot is done to make them feel at home too -- menus in Japanese, and a reasonably decent Japanese breakfast in the Lido. But of course, they travel on QE2 for the European food, as they can have far better Japanese food at home.

As for the Indians... did they like your curry? Pia and I were very lucky, as we were both recognised as vegetarians early on, and were spoilt with vegetarian curry dishes cooked for us by the Indian chefs on board. Truly spoilt for choice!

The Japanese also eat curry -- but you probably know that it is English curry, rather than Indian curry, a very different flavour indeed. They may have thought that your curries were not the real thing!   ;D

P.S. With Moderator's hat on -- this will need to be moved to the QE2 section!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 16, 2011, 11:39 AM
Re the pax launderette, no difference then from QE2!  A tiny space.  Too many rude users and it seems the same odious  behaviour. 
Of course that's because management want pax to use the (expensive but excellent) laundry service.

The Ausies ...
Re 'bl••dy pom!"  Remember the Ausies are on a loosing streak with sports.  Loosing the Ashes has really mortified them. (not to mention rugby, tennis, footy et al).  Loosing in the launderette must be just aboout the pits for them.  Keep waving the flag and the iron Rosie ;D

Never mind they will disembark in Aus in a few days.  Then you'll get Japanese pax embarking in Sydney  who will disembark in Mumbai  then Indians who will board in Tokyo leave in DBX.  Both sets will hate the food, and complain like mad while on board but they will have put a notch on their guns (by travelling on the Cunard flagship).  (If it's anything like the QE2's world cruises). Fun really (NOT).. 

Seriously, though Rosie, thank you for  superbly written report, as ever, this time truly funny. 

Don't know how you find the time to do it ... but many thanks for making my day yet again.


Pat - perhaps I wasn't clear.
In your comments and  pink bit that you have copied, it seems that you may have been mislead by what I wrote.
I am sorry, it wasn't my intention at all to be unclear, or misleading about what was at the time, a very amusing discussion
The lady referred to as using the words bl**dy pom was actually not Australian,
and it was in fact a very light-hearted situation where general banter was the 'order of the day'.

More about the 'Wonders of Mary'!
Some of the treasures of our time on board QM2 are the amount of lovely surprises that the good ship has in store for the unsuspecting passenger.
Even after 35 days on board, Mighty Mary still has the ability to give us such good and unexpected treats - we do feel incredibly lucky, and continue to try and keep an open mind about absolutely everything.
This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know people from all round the world, this includes the crew, hotel staff, as well as our fellow travellers.
Among the passengers, there have been at least 20 different nationalities listed in some of the  daily programmes.
Hopefully we shall continue to have the opportunity to meet and share some of the things about life in general, as well as of those on board The Mary. 
We, like many on board, are finding it wonderful to discover things as they happen, in preference to any advance knowledge of what might be round the next corner.


Today, I discovered a little wooden and brass model of a wee boat. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of craftsmanship I have ever seen.
She is called 'Swan' and was given to Queen Mary 2 by ALSTOM, at the yard in St Nazaire where she was built.
I 'm very much looking forward to take the 'guided tour' from the Purser's office;  a treat being kept for after Sydney - our next 'run' of Sea Days.

This evening the sea is going past the windows at speed - Mary is almost rocking!
It even feels just a bit bumpy!
Fremantle tomorrow...suddenly it feels as if the other side of the world is quite a long way off....

Hope all's well with you all - and on Friday, 12.30 UK time, we'll be thinking hard about Jem and his family.
Rosie - heading for landfall in Western Australia.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Chris Frame on Feb 17, 2011, 07:31 AM
Rosie has arrived in Fremantle:

Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Chris Frame on Feb 17, 2011, 08:50 AM
One last one for Rosie!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Chris Frame on Feb 17, 2011, 02:49 PM
Just been speaking to Rosie as QM2 prepares to sail.

All is well aboard.

TQS met via phone and text today as QM2's delayed arrival and work commitments made it hard to meet in person.

Photos or arrival here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chriscunard/sets/72157625948769031/

PS: Rosie is wishing Skilly all the best as he is at sea also, though not aboard QM2.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 17, 2011, 04:07 PM
Thanks so much, Chris
It was great to 'see-you-by-air-waves'!
and our farewell was almost as good as the TQS Chat - lasting much of the afternoon!

As Mighty Mary took us off into the dark red sunset,
Chris and I waved -
It was a case of the Bit Beneath the Bridge in touch with the starboard Lighthouse car park!!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Feb 17, 2011, 09:41 PM
Chris that was a treat to see the QM2 arrive in Fremantle on the photo slideshow.  I wish I was there!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Feb 17, 2011, 09:45 PM
She's looking good - and so is that sunshine and warmth!!  Wish I was there too!!!

One day... one day... I will get to do a WC on QM2.

Mind you I used to say that about QE2.  <sigh>.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: cunardqueen on Feb 17, 2011, 10:08 PM
Quote
  One day... one day... I will get to do a WC on QM2.

Mind you I used to say that about QE2.  <sigh>.  

Rob l used to say the same thing (about QE2 this is) however think on the luggage you would need, the forward planning,the time off work,the onboard spending, the weight gain :-X, then readjusting to normal life..Oh and the small matter of the fare.. :-\ heck l found 2-3 weeks was about the most l could handle.. How on earth Rosie is managing, We can only imagine..
 A lady l know used to do the QE2 World Cruise with only 2 suitcases  :o
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Feb 17, 2011, 10:28 PM
We did our 17 day honeymoon with 2 smallish suitcases; just decided it was worth paying for hotel laundry in order to reduce the luggage requirements.

Naturally this included the laundry service on board the "hotel" which took us from Southampton to Civitavecchia as part of that. :)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Chris Frame on Feb 18, 2011, 06:22 AM
QM2 in the paper this morning.

Seems the media's reason for her delay was "rough seas"...
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Mauretania1907 on Feb 23, 2011, 06:09 AM
Sadly, you will probably not go to Christchurch, as you know they had a second serious earthquake yesterday. Much more damage, even the spire of Christchurch Cathedral fell down. About 60 people (and counting) have lost their lives as this quake struck at 12.50 pm when lots of people were working and shopping. It is so sad, the people were just starting to fix things after the last big quake in September 2010.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: skilly56 on Feb 23, 2011, 10:55 AM
Hi Chris,

Thanks for passing on the message. I have been anchored in Shark Bay for 2 weeks while practising cyclone avoidance procedures, so Rosie's ship didn't manage to get any closer than 300 miles to us.

Rosie and I have managed to make contact irregularly, but the comms up there are not good when anchored half way between Denham and Carnarvon. We have been busy dodging Cyclones Dianne and then Carlos, and at present we are making our way back to Fremantle as fast as I can get those little fan thingies at the back to go! It looks like we have managed to outrun Carlos today, but the tornado from Carlos that went through Karratha did a lot of damage.

I will be arriving in Henderson Saturday morning - departing for Auckland the following Friday (by air, not sea).

Cheers

Skilly
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 24, 2011, 03:43 AM
Hi Skilly
Good to read your post here
Thanks too,very much indeed for your messages
'Safe way home' to you
Rosie


The World Voyage  aka  'We saw three ships come sailing by...'
Or rather, The Mary did!
There seems to be far more coming and going than we ever envisaged from what was 'in the brochure'!
Sydney seems to have been the place where many succeeded in jumping ship.
Instead of what used to be the mantra / stock-in-trade question on QE2 'Which restaurant are you?' - it's now more likely to be 'How did you get here?'  or the more seductive, perhaps -   'Where have you been?'!  
Such curiosity  can be met with one of several responses - and for the first time at breakfast, we met the first of the many 'Three Ship-ers'!
However, because seemingly (and confusingly!) new faces keep on 'appearing', it's still very possible to meet other QV/QM2-ers for the first time - they too have shared the same experiences since 'way back' - Jan 5th!

Very much more seriously, news of the catastrophic 'quake in Christchurch reached us late - it was after we returned from a day re-acquainting ourselves with the road that skirts the south side of Sydney harbour.

At the time of writing, on the one hand, the earthquake still seems unbelievable - too big to comprehend - and on the other, knowing that Mr Shanks is now sailing with us, on board QM2 - it's extremely tempting to ask him now - how Queen Mary 2 might be of some help to everyone in ChCh.
We know for a fact that for the past 12 months and more, the people of Christchurch and surrounding Canterbury have been so excited at the prospect of the visit of QM2...
We won't now be making a maiden call at the Port of Lyttleton  - sailing instead, to 'windy Wellington' for the day.

At one end of the spectrum - it feels quite weird to be on the biggest ship that has enough 'juice' on board to power the city of Southampton - and probably enough food to feed thousands (the galleys provide 14,000 meals a day - we did a galley tour!), so it's very tempting to ask why not anchor off the harbour, and give them a hand...?
After all, if cruise ships can help in Haiti etc etc...
And at the other end of the spectrum, the personal end - we have strong memories of a previous voyage.
In 1972, we took 2 young children round the world - again sailing out of Sydney to Auckland, in order to spend a year in Christchurch at a school that by several accounts was badly damaged on Tuesday - the main reasons that we chose this world voyage were because not only because Mary is the natural successor to QE2, equally importantly, she was also due to take us to ChCh.
The people there were the kindest hosts we ever could have wished for - and some of our happiest memories are of that time.
Feelings about this now are profoundly mixed and selfish - and hopefully, without being experienced as interfering - it might be possible to find someone who will help to find ways of collecting funds for ChCh.
The ship raised $25K in an auction for the Australian Flood relief scheme; someone donated US$600 for Captain Wright's jacket -  it would only be a small 'drop in the ocean', but maybe we can 'do it for Christchurch' too.
At the moment, it's quite difficult to sort out our thoughts - the perspective has changed, and we need to find the middle of the spectrum again.
No matter what - our thoughts and prayers are firmly with everyone, their friends and families who are linked with ChCh.

More about the voyage to follow soon....
Rosie


PS
A message to Rob and Mods!
You might want to move the next para to the topic re. confusion with QE2;  this was very much in evidence.

Over the past couple of days in Sydney, it was impossible not to notice Queen Elizabeth's presence there.
On many occasions she was called/ referred to as  QE2...
After trying to be as gentle as possible in making comments that were aimed to enlighten - a feeling of exhaustion has now set in!
One reference was particularly startling - a Freudian slip perhaps! It was broadcast during the good Captain's (final) midday announcement :) :)

More concerning in a way, are the general comments about the general 'state' of QE2.
The words rust, rusting and rusting away are often overheard - and once, 'She's an old 'rust-bucket' very nearly caused me to express outright outrage!
However, QE2 saved the day - again, and I used the opportunity once more to mention the forum, latest pics etc!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Feb 25, 2011, 11:09 AM
RMS Queen Mary 2 leads the way!

It was 4.55 am on the Bit Beneath the Bridge;  the outline of sky-scrapers in the distance - lights twinkling,
much smaller in scale, yet similar to those we saw well over a month ago, as we sailed into New York.
Gradually as day dawned, we were impressed by the size of Sydney -  different in many ways to the city we'd met in 1972.
Pilot on board, sailing in through the Heads - this was a poignant time for many Sydney-siders returning, some after a long time.
With Queen Elizabeth at first almost alongside/ aft, then taking her rightful place aft, we 'met' and did a sort of circumnavigation round the diminutive Fort Dennison.
Much whistling echoed round the harbour - it seemed as if Captain Wright was reminding the world that he was still i/c, and that before leaving the great flagship, he was going to have a blast!
QE took herself off to park at Circular Quay, whilst we went to 'survey the naval dockyard', before being tied up - Not in the Centre of things...although we made a great backdrop for the Botanical Gardens - and the two Cunard Funnels stood 'loud and proud' adding well to the local scenery.
There is a superb report by Matthew Parris in The Times of 24.2.2011.
He saw the ships come in from a small craft, it makes good reading.
If you can't access it online - any local Library (UK) will have a copy!

Two days in Sydney - on the first, we drove round the harbour - visiting the cliffs on the border of the Pacific, now famed for being The place to commit suicide.
Throughout our visit, we were well impressed by an extraordinarily high standard of living, with prices to match -  a very different place to the one we'd experienced nearly 40 yrs ago.
Getting to and from the ship was a bit tricky - the Naval side of things meant that security was particularly tight, so my intentions of going out after dinner and night-time photography etc were all pretty well blunted.  Perhaps news of Christchurch was also playing a part...

Day 2 - Hair cut morning! Planned some 8 weeks ago - and mission accomplished!
Then to town on foot - and we managed to spend a couple of hours looking round inside the Opera House.
QE was moving out by 12.30 pm, making a great sight from inside those wonderful windows.
Perhaps I should say, a 'great sight '- as long as you don't include her unfortunate back-side!

At the same time, Queen Mary 2 was host to the Sydney-siders who had  travelled on board the two Queens serving as troop ships during WWll.
They had been invited to attend a Service of Commemoration and Lunch on board - their average age being 90+ years, some wore military hats/ berets and badges, most wore medals.
We had visited the beautiful War Memorial in Perth - it seemed fitting that we managed to catch sight of the surviving comrades -  they left the ship, as we joined her.
The Service and lunch was referred to on this morning's 'Today' programme by Mr Shanks - he will remain on board until after the World Cruise Dinner in Auckland.

News of Christchurch continues to worsen, with images of the broken city centre being shown frequently on TV.
The maiden call to Wellington tomorrow (Saturday), together with a few shore excursions have been planned at short notice - probably made possible because of QE's call earlier this week.
Knowing from a friend how disappointed the people of Lyttleton and ChCh will be that the call's now not possible, this morning I met Ruud (Chief Purser) , we've known each other for some time (QE2, as well as QV) and he agreed to passing on my strong hope that the ship, and Cunard as a company will do whatever they can to help with the aftermath of the two 'quakes' in Christchurch.
He said that it was already on the agenda for the WC Dinner - I asked for at least as much coverage for Ch Ch as had been afforded for the Floods in Australia - and now keeping fingers crossed that something good can be achieved.  I thought of  mentioning that my precious 'I love QE2 badge' could be auctioned...we can but hope.

This Evening.
There is now a Christchurch Relief Fund collecting box beside the place where people queue for the Purser's Desk, there's also a mention of this in tomorrow's daily programme.
We saw an Albatross.
12 waiters sang  Happy Birthday before the dessert course.
Watched big waves breaking beneath the Chart Room windows as Mark Hodgson and his band played brilliant jazz in the Chart Room.
Now heading off to say goodnight to the Sea - tomorrow we'll be up early to watch as we sail through the Cook Straight, past the Sounds and enjoy our first day in Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Rosie.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Feb 25, 2011, 04:13 PM
Beautifully written "report," Rosie.  I look forward to reading them ... next best thing to being there.

Janice
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Cunarder Man on Feb 25, 2011, 05:12 PM
Thanks Rosie for a wonderful 'post'. This time next year I'll be heading out of Sydney on QM2 so your descriptions are very much appreciated. CAN'T WAIT ! Keep the posts coming.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 03, 2011, 07:59 AM
Wednesday/ Thursday 2nd -3rd March.
Heading north-west up the South Pacific, towards the Equator - again!

Firstly, thank you again and again for writing. It's so good to know you are all 'there'!!

Oh how  I wish you were all 'here' too!
Yesterday, the pale, and yet deep blue sea couldn't have been looking more like a millpond, however hard it tried
''We seem to stand in the center of  a saucer and it moves forward with us, so that we seem to be standing still in a [never-ending] expanse of water'
Quote no.117, found in the artwork of the port side promenade of Deck 3L under 'Dear Diary...1930's'

Today - It's about QE2 (at last!)
There's a sale of books, cards and posters in the Book Shop next to the Library and for just $2.50, I've bought half a dozen  'QE2 at Geiranger'  cards (think 'birthday, get-well, congrats, anniversaries etc - 'QE2's magic will be guaranteed to delight!') There are about 50 cards and envelopes left.
Sadly, no bookmarks, although there are few 'writing sets' ($10, I think)
Gaynor says these cards  are on a strictly first-come, first served basis.
I wonder, would anyone be interested in buying a few?
Let me know asap via a pm on the Forum, and I'll see what I can do!
If there are any that are still for sale, you'd receive 'your order' after April!

Port Vila isn't that far off and having spied someone from the Bridge, he's kindly supplied the following,  
'Vanuatu  (and Port Vila) was 500 miles off our stbd side at 8.00am this morning'
Not being marked on the current nautical chart on Deck 12- my trusty Times Atlas is showing it in a square on page 125...

Found in the Library  'Four Weeks in May: The Loss of HMS Coventry - A Captain's Story
by David Hart Dyke
The author returned home with the survivors on board QE2.
Published in 2007
This is a very good book - and at the same time, extremely sad.
(Rob - Mods, you might also need to move this para to 'Books about QE2, or The Falklands Topic
sorry, but 'surfing' is currently very expensive)

Yesterday, Deck 13  really came into its own.
Lunch in the shady bit, beneath the funnel - this has got to be possibly one of QM2's best kept secrets as there was hardly anyone there!
We watched as we passed weird sort of wavelets of floating stuff.  Two theories - one being 'spawning coral', t'other being sulphur!
Maybe the answer will be found tomorrow - one of the best lecturers to date (ever!) is speaking in the morning - all about Coral'.
He's informed us that the 10.00am students (us) are the sharpest and the best -(applause) then those who are up early can go out and earn to maintain their place!

The 'earning 'bit' had already been under consideration - given the somewhat limited possibilities  of 'earning' for guests,  thoughts are still germinating on this topic.
Having been introduced to a cup of 'Flat White' in Adelaide, and recognising it to be extremely superior to the de-salinated (?) coffee that's available on board - another Guest and I had contemplated investing in a coffee making contraption, some decent arabica, and opening up a private, members only Coffee Club  brew-house in our cabin...AUS$4.00 a mug!
However, when this was mentioned during last evening's semi-formal Dinner to one of the best waiters - he quietly murmured, 'Hmm...USPH??
Then there's the Casino.  A new (US) friend has offered to teach me how to play 'Craps' - having watched him assiduously on several occasions, I fear the risk of losing my dwindling supplies of precious cash to the oft times winner (probably aka 'the casino') of Deck 2 is still far too great!  
Regretfully, any thoughts of earning have needed to be re-allocated to The Start square again...

Rosie and QM2   -  fast  approaching the Doldrums

Noon today - 317 nm from nearest landfall - Solomon Islands.
2,090 nm from Guam - next port
2.7 miles above sea-bed
Air temp. 83F 29C
Sea temp. 75F
(Humidity must be at least 80%!)

Port of call after Guam is Osaka where the temp. is currently 8C!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Mar 03, 2011, 02:35 PM
Rosie, I loved your post on Sydney which is  a city I would love to visit.  Looking forward to hearing about your casino adventure.  Look on the positive side that you could win enough for another world cruise! 

It is good that you can keep posting on the forum  even though you are so far away.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: QE2 Canuck on Mar 03, 2011, 04:26 PM

Hi Rosie......I too am really enjoying your posts Live from RMS Queen Mary 2........sounds like you are enjoying yourself.
I also remember having lunch up top in the shade of the funnel, last August in Bergen, Norway...
I found QM2 has a few little well-kept secrets that a lot of people don't realize are there. Every time I've been on board, I always use the little outside elevator at the front going up to the observation deck......and I generally have it all to myself.
Looking forward to your next posts.....(Dubai is getting closer... are you ready?)
Fair winds and calm seas to you and Mary !!!

QE2 Canuck      Linda C
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: skilly56 on Mar 04, 2011, 05:31 AM
Hi Rosie,

I'm off and going home! Sitting in Perth Airport at the moment, and all in one piece.

The lads on the ship said a news item on TV here in Fremantle showed a lady explaining about how $25,000 had been raised on the QM2 for the Queensland flood appeal (they had collection boxes all around the ship). She then went on to say that collection boxes had now been put out for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, and had reached about $7-8,000 already.

Now who do we know who would get the staff captain going on an appeal for ChCh. ;)

My wife has donated some new wheel barrows to help the gangs of students who are digging out the 150,000 tonnes of liquifaction sediment and sand.

Good to hear you are enjoying life onboard.

Cheers

Skilly
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 04, 2011, 01:20 PM
'Evening All!
(Except that it's a Good Yesterday Morning to most!!'
Lynda and Linda  - thanks to you both for your posts.

Thanks so much and Great to hear from you too, Skilly - and very good to know that you survived those big storms.
They sounded terrifying, specially after the food ran out
We did miss you - it was by less than a week in 2 different countries!
We missed you too, Mauritania! Hope the lecture was a good one!
Think we'll have good enough reasons to come back - that is, if they'll have us!!

Still heading  NW - with more Sea Days ahead. At last there's some time to think more about New Zealand - and the Sea!
There'll be many things about our Worldie that we shall remember, and for personal and professional reasons - the events to do with Christchurch will always be at the top of our list.
Although news of the city is now less of a priority on tv news, we heard today that that there's no further hope that there will be more survivors.

Understandably, there were lots of mixed thoughts and feelings about QM2 and her role around at the time of the World Voyage Dinner.
The Dinner is an annual event, one in which Cunard express their gratitude to the Guests for taking a round the world voyage on one of their ships. 
 It would have appeared extremely  churlish to reject Cunard's generosity and their kind invitation, although on the face of it, it did seem somewhat inappropriate to be celebrating so near to where there was such distress.  And to hold the Dinner so soon after the earthquake  must have presented a dilemma for Cunard too. However, we later discovered what determined efforts had been made in  offering help to Christchurch, this went some way in alleviating our concerns as well.
It wouldn't have taken much for me to jump ship, I really did want to go and try to be of  'help' - however, common sense prevailed, at the same time ChCh remains very much in our thoughts.

Before the WC dinner there was a Minute's silence, this was followed by a very good speech made by Mr Peter Shanks.
He spoke about Christchurch - and then went on to praise the ship's company. He's been greatly impressed by the appearance of the ship and has thanked each and everyone who is involved with her maintenance. He's justifiably very proud of the fleet - he watched the two ships 'dance' around the harbour in Sydney from steps of the Opera House - he reminded us that Cunard has 'the youngest fleet with the oldest history' and added that he'd been left with happy memories to take on his long flight home.
More of his thoughts can be found on the blog  - wearecunard.com

There's something indescribably impressive about the routines of being at sea -
There are those who keep watch, round the clock - 4 hours on, 8 hours off, then 4 hours on again before the next 8 hours off... 8-12, 12-4, 4-8, 8-12, 12-4, 4-8, 8-12 and so on
No days off, no long stretches of sleep, relaxation, exercise - and the constant demands of ship-work, wherever that maybe, and whatever it involves.
Every night, sleep happens to the accompaniment of Mary's mighty power-plant constantly providing us with the air we breathe, every morning as we wake - she's still at it!
At times it seems relentless (it is!), and at other times, thoughts prevail about how miraculous it is that something that weighs tons and tons can stay above the surface of a sea that's over 2 miles deep!

Then there's the constant stream of people - they seem to (and probably do) number well into the hundreds who pound Deck 7 as if they'll collapse if they don't get their daily dozen circumnavigations, each one done at great speed! The intensity of purpose is plain for all bystanders to see - total focus, commitment and determination writ large on each and every unsmiling face - M25 in the rush hour comes to mind, with 'deck rage' much in evidence when overtaking becomes impossible!
They all go anti-clockwise - goodness knows why!

Then there are the skies - these are simply huge, even when we are, like today, being approached by  largish areas of tropical rain.
The sunsets - with the exception of one a few days ago - these on the whole have been non-existent (if that makes sense!!).
The stars - Rob, the Bridge have thoughtfully turned the lights off - and The Milky Way has been as superb to see, as the stars were too, at the time that you saw them on QE2!
The birds - currently there are few, and those we've seen have long wingspans, they dive like gannets for the plentiful supplies of flying fish (these look exactly like tiny birds with proper wings!) - not too sure of their species...yet

We cross the equator tomorrow - and I need to stop now, as heading off  to the Purser's desk to enquire further regarding the predicted time we are due to sail over the line!
Maybe the Bit Behind the Bridge will be open and we can see our position on one of the screens!!

Seats on the open decks are tied down tonight - time we had a rough one, and very much hope we get it!!

Rosie.

PS - Hope the Collection for Christchurch box gets re-instated beside the Purser's desk (it disappeared a couple of days ago)
- and that things like Equatorial high jinks don't get in the way of the very necessary fundraising.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 09, 2011, 09:16 AM
The Bit Above the Bow!

Standing in amongst the spare propeller blades is rapidly becoming a favourite pastime, two (I think!) of these blades have already seen service.
It was long after  dark - 11.00pm, on the daily 'wishing-the-sea-a-goodnight' visit, that someone from the deck floor shouted, 'Hey - don't tread on me'
Here was a new-found friend - complete with a pair of huge binoculars. He'd been thrilled to find the stars of the southern hemisphere, and this often quite drafty place had now become his nightly haunt too!

Then there was the evening when an announcement was made by the Officer of the Watch about a red-somethinged Booby. A pair of these  great sea-birds had been spotted from the Bridge, and were now gracefully circling the forward area of the ship.
After spying unsuspecting fish caught up in the ripple of the bow stem, one bird - with a huge and beautiful wingspan dived gannet-fashion, and the fish became the first of several courses of his early dining feast. The bird, once it had completed his evening meal, then spent several minutes attempting, before he eventually succeeded - in landing on the cross-bar of the bow jackstaff.  Having made himself comfortable, semmingly very much at home - the bird was then given the opportunity to view an extremely bright light atop the staff  - after a quick, disdainful glance in the direction of the light, he settled down again on his grand perch -  and probably felt much relieved after his night light was extinguished....
This event took place whilst the ship was sailing at an average of 24 kph a couple of nights ago. It was aided, abetted and witnessed by the Third Officer, together with this appreciative guest and some  good use of arm-waving and thumbs up signs taking place - twixt the bit in the Centre of the Bridge, and the Bit Above the Bow...The activity was then well reviewed at the Commodore's Cocktail Party yesterday evening....

Dawn today -  heading for the Land of the Rising Sun
Brrr - after the mid-30's of Guam, the sea's been looking as if it's on its way to the Atlantic, it's turned a sort of pale grey. It's a tad choppy - and on the art gallery bit of the bow,  it was little fresh for the sunrise this morning!   A thin pink ribbon of sunlight bordered the clouds that were blanketing the horizon - the sun, on waking, was finding it a little chilly too, maybe.
As it's become more breezy, this afternoon the deck crew have closed the watertight doors that lead onto the Bit Above the Bow - the  green cushions of the steamers have been stowed in the great plywood chests, - ( sadly the royal blue of QE2 is now nowhere to be seen!) and the afternoon marchers will soon be thumping orbiting deck seven on the daily grind ...;)

The people from the immigration, customs and excise department in Japan have been inspecting all passengers' documentation; finger prints made and passengers' eyes have been photographed - and we are now ready for our call at Osaka tomorrow morning.

Isabelle - about the older ship that you admire (in Japan), please might it be possible for you to post the name, port and link on this topic just for a short while?
(I have currently just a few minutes left for the internet, surfing/ searching for it will take longer!)

Because of the restrictions in Japanese waters which ban the use of the ship's satellites for email, internet and mobile phones, there may be a short break till the next 'episode' - please feel free to 'talk amongst yourselves'!

Rosie - still very much wishing that you were all here.

PS - Myles - you mentioned luggage, and clothing management skills.  There's still one suitcase waiting to be unpacked!
PPS - For The Tug of War, please 'watch this space'!

Footnote: Others on board are now more aware of The QE2, her story and the Forum - hopefully a few more  'Live from QM2' posts might appear here too!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Mar 11, 2011, 09:50 AM
I got an email this morning from Rosie saying everything was ok with her and qm2, but it's hard not to worry.

Thinking of Japan.

There seems to be earthquakes everywhere qm2 goes...
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Mar 11, 2011, 09:59 AM
Thank you for letting us know that Rosie is okay.  I was really worried. 

My thoughts are with the people affected by this disaster. 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Mar 11, 2011, 10:03 AM
CUNARD STATEMENT
>
> Queen Mary 2 is currently in Japanese waters on passage between Osaka and Nagasaki, where she is due to arrive tomorrow (12 March). The ship is currently 450 miles south west of the epicentre of this morning's earthquake, and it is extremely unlikely that the ship will be affected in any way by  the earthquake or its aftershocks. The Commodore has made an announcement from the bridge to advise passengers of the situation.
>
>
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Clydebuilt1971 on Mar 11, 2011, 12:30 PM
CUNARD STATEMENT
>
> Queen Mary 2 is currently in Japanese waters on passage between Osaka and Nagasaki, where she is due to arrive tomorrow (12 March). The ship is currently 450 miles south west of the epicentre of this morning's earthquake, and it is extremely unlikely that the ship will be affected in any way by  the earthquake or its aftershocks. The Commodore has made an announcement from the bridge to advise passengers of the situation.
>
>

Thanks Rob for the info from Cunard and more importantly from Rosie - when I heard of the disaster in Japan and knowing the proximity of Rosie and QM2 to that area my thoughts immediately turned to her.

I see Tsunami warnings for a number of countries as a result of this quake - doesnt look good.

Gav
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Mar 11, 2011, 04:05 PM
When I heard of the earthquake/tsunami warnings my first thoughts were of Rosie and the QM2 also ... thanks for posting Rob and letting us know Rosie and the ship are OK.

Janice
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Mar 11, 2011, 05:23 PM
I heard on the BBC news just now that all Japanese ports are closed for the time being. I wonder whether QM2 will manage to land in Nagasaki...

I would be sorry if not -- it is a fascinating city. So glad that QM2 managed to get to Osaka before this dreadful disaster happened...
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Mar 11, 2011, 09:09 PM


Cunard's latest post on Facebook states:
"We are in communication with Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. All of our guests and crew are safe and well, we will update you here if any itineraries should change."
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Mar 11, 2011, 10:50 PM
Looking forward to hearing more news from Rosie when she is able to communicate.   

The latest Facebook feed from Cunard states that the QM2 has arrived at Nagasaki but the port will remain closed.  Looks like the ship will be sailing to Beijing after picking up passengers. 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Louis De Sousa on Mar 12, 2011, 04:41 AM
Quote
QM2's call to Nagasaki has been cancelled, she will continue to Beijing & arrive as scheduled. All guests & crew are safe & accounted for.

Quote from Facebook
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 12, 2011, 02:01 PM
A brief update following the catastrophic earthquake tsunami in Japan
There's been no internet link for QM2 for the past 3 days, now the satellite link is overloaded, otherwise this would have reached you sooner.

Thanks so much to Everyone for so many messages.

Just to let you know that we are now re-united with the 32 Guests that had been on an organised shore excursion,  'overnighting' to Tokyo and we are now sailing in the Yellow Sea towards China - with all the little fishing boats to watch out for.

At the time of writing the news gets worse for Japan - and there's a significant and difficult irony in having watched the beautiful port of Nagasaki, as reports come through that there are serious problems with one, possibly two of the nuclear reactors, and a new significant aftershock this evening.
We are thinking so much about the lovely people that we met - students, our tour guide, those on the ship who stayed for a few days
and many others who have been so kind to us all.

The ship's company have worked incredibly hard all day - many having had to forgo the rare opportunity of a port visit.

Rosie.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: highlander0108 on Mar 13, 2011, 06:55 PM
This blog, written by another couple on this eventful World Cruise with Rosie, has an excellent write up regarding the passenger transfer, including pictures.  If you look carefully, it appears Mr. Shanks is helping the passengers guests back on board.
http://jryan2011.wordpress.com/
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 14, 2011, 01:19 PM
Greetings to All- from Beiijing!

Following a very misty voyage across the China Sea, am now sitting in a brand new Amazing Cruise Terminal - made in China!
The ship's been incredibly busy over the past few days, and today's been no different.
The Bridge was highly occupied with 'Watching', as the mist over the Yellow Sea, then a Big Wind and Foghorn at full blast (great!!)  must have meant total concentration for all concerned. The muffled echo across the sea was really quite eerie.
Last night on going to say Goodnight to the SEa - I couldn't walk across the decks from doors to railing such was the strength of the Chinese Breeze!

Just back from a 12 hour shore excursion, Temple of Heaven - (fear this wasn't too heavenly, bleak and freezing cold) then onto the Forbidden City - with the best bit at the end - a wonderful small garden, and last but not least - a visit to Tianneman Square.
Spent nearly half an hour there - Thoughts still with people of Japan, Christchurch and the Nobel Prize winner imprisoned in China, his wife still under house arrest, and the many many who died as a result of the protests on 4th June 1989.

Sitting in the Cruise Terminal - free WiFi here, and note there are 101+ emails, so as we sail shortly, there's just one gangway owing to the Official's restrictions in this country, maybe it's time to say goodnight from Beijing, and will be back soon

Rosie
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: RMS Lozzy on Mar 14, 2011, 10:57 PM
Pleased to read that all passengers are accounted for and are safe.  Ive been reading blogs and witness reports and its just beyond belief what has been happening these past few days.

My thoughts go out to all those suffering and struggling in and around Japan during this hard time. :-\
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 15, 2011, 10:59 AM
The chart for the World Voyage segment: Sydney to Hong Kong sold at auction on board Queen Mary 2 for US$2500.
The proceeds are to contribute to World Voyage Charities
These include funds for Earthquake survivors in Christchurch and Japan, the survivors of the floods in Australia, and Cunard's special project - an orphanage in the Philippines.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 17, 2011, 12:32 PM
St Patrick's Day on QM2 -
The sea's turned a sort of yellowy green in tune with the mood on board as we recently turned SW'erly into the Straights of Taiwan, en route to an overnight call at Hong Kong.

There are many guests who have managed to find a sort of shamrock colour to wear - and a few may have experienced feeling a bit green as QM2 has been letting us know that there's a gentle swell in this part of the world too.
We are expecting  the beer in the Golden Lion  to have turned green, although In Shanghai yesterday, several reported that there wasn't a green silk bow-tie to be had anywhere.
Anyone arriving from Mars might think that the Irish had taken us over - in fact they might have done, although it hasn't been mentioned in the Daily Programme...yet!!

On the Bit Behind the Bridge at lunchtime the computer / radar screens were full of life - little and several larger ships 'keeping us company'.
It's been good to watch on the decks as QM2 sails past most at 25.8 kts, as if she's showing them all how 'it' should really be done - it's not difficult at all to imagine how it must have been time and time again on board QE2.
There was a good 'list' from stbd to port yesterday evening - we were tied up in the biggest container port in the world (yes - much, much bigger than Dubai!) and as the tide rose, we were needing to wait for it to peak before sailing out. It was impressive, both the docking in a very tight parking bit between two 'small' container ships', and then speeding off from no kts to several in seconds, before the water depth dropped any further. We knew the depth was particularly shallow (sorry, as can't remember exactly how much it measured - hoping some one else might let us know!)
Before we sailed and from on the quay, alongside, I dropped a red rose into the sea - this was in very loving memory of  Saga Rose. You'll remember that she was taken to the Yangtse River to be scrapped less than a year ago, not too far from where we were on QM2.

By the way - if ever you get the chance, go to Shanghai; it's the most amazing place, everyone loved it!

700 passengers disembark in Hong Kong - as well as many crew members.
The latter will be missed much by their friends, and of the new crew joining, several will need to be trained by those remaining.

Thanks to everyone for their messages. - thinking of you, and wishing you all well.
Thinking too, of the rest of the world.
It feels as if we are sealed in our own bubble at times - and it's difficult to reconcile this with the tragic experiences of all in Japan as well as Christchurch and the 'trouble spots' in the Middle East
Rosie.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Mar 17, 2011, 02:19 PM
Good to hear from you again, Rosie.  Keep those updates coming.  It certainly has been an eventful World Cruise that you will remember for many reasons 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Mar 17, 2011, 06:38 PM
Always good to read your posts, Rosie.  Thanks for being so conscientious about letting us know what's happening on and around the QM2.  I can't imagine what it feels like being at sea for so long.

Janice
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 24, 2011, 04:24 PM
Greetings from the Sea,  Everyone!

Thank you for messages, some mentioning the possibilities of us having nine lives, and other sort adventurous sea stuff - someone too, mentioned the T*tanic!!
Just having been to say goodnight to The Sea, we are fine, hot and sticky!

It's been quite a week for Mighty Mary - in fact it could be her mighty size that is partially at the root of what matters these days!
Trouble is, like her Guests, QM2 doesn't find it easy to stick to a diet.

This time a few days ago - (sorry, but having spent over about 80 days on board, the odd number of days or so get 'lost in translation')
we were sailing North, into Beijing -having had snow in Kyoto, plenty of fog, it was freezing cold and also very windy ashore.
Then - having found ourselves as what can only be described as 'over-watched' again,  we buzzed about Shanghai - loving the colourful and dynamic feel of the city, we then sailed round the outside of Hong Kong harbour - and QM2's magnificent anchor rumbled down and did its stuff well.
It was here that we were required to use what can be best described as small 'boats for the masses!'
It wasn't possible for the ship's tenders to be deployed round the clock, and the Chinese officials of HK not only denied us parking space in the harbour, they evidently thought we'd enjoy being parked as 'junk' in Junk Bay - and worse still, QM2 wasn't able to take on any of the essentials such as Weetabix.
It was a little disturbing to meet passengers from one of Seabourn's  'yachts' on the way down from the Peak, and hear at first hand how they had been delighted to find themselves parked alongside the Ocean Terminal, although they did admit to feeling sea-sick en route.
Hey - This was QE2's old stamping ground - so why was it not Mighty Mary's too?
Commodore Warner has commented on Mary's size, on more than one occasion - and usually in relation to the designated parking places.  Hopefully none of her future guests will be put off by the often long coach journey to and from the desired destination....
Tomorrow - our call is at Singapore, and the shuttle journey (thankfully a 'free' one) will again take one hour plus.
Container ports are interesting - up to a point and hopefully this interest won't wear too thin!!

Anyway - after a damp couple of days in HK, when we treated by friends to a wonderful, typically English liquid picnic complete with rain, we then sailed for Vietnam.
Sailing into the harbour - a couple of fishermen in tiny coracles, each one with a very small paddle, bobbed towards QM2's bow - and then alongside - then away towards a beautiful sunrise and into the wake - they waved, so did we and it was wonderful.

Here, not only did  Mighty Mary's anchor come into its own again, the tenders were up (or rather 'down') and running within minutes (almost seconds)  of our arrival - this was the stuff of such good memories of QE2...and just as awesome.  The speed at which the deck crew worked was incredible, and although it must have been an exhausting day for all concerned, it was one that was truly well worth all their efforts.

On from Vietnam, and another single Sea Day, as we sailed towards Bangkok.
Up early, hoping as usual to beat it up to the Bit Beneath the Bridge before we reached the harbour wall of Laem Chabang, the huge port outside Bangkok city.
To our surprise,  QM2 was being  greeted by thunder, lightening, horizontal rain, a great wind (?80kph) blasting at her beam, and water was being forced through the seals of the heavy wooden doors of deck 7, then into and across the floor of the Winter Garden. The latter adding a second water feature to the waterfall  already in situ...
Needless to say, the Observation Deck could have been the best possible place to be - however for safety reasons, it was out of bounds.

Following a seemingly brilliant bit of parking up against a 'short' bit of wall alongside in a tight space, we went in search of silk, and found traffic gridlocked all the way into the centre of town.
Because of delays to most of the 56 coaches (!) that left the quayside, the ship's departure time was delayed - and delayed again, this time for different reasons.
The Commodore gave us a brief explanation - the doors of the thruster weren't working properly. Some time later, a wee Thai tug was seen giving  the great bow a bit of a nudge.  To this inexperienced pair of eyes,  the exit would have been incredibly challenging, no matter what - and it was just lovely to sail away calmly into the hot and humid night,  after a long and what must have been yet another exhausting day for Officers and Crew alike.

Currently, we are almost rocking, there's a bit of swell - and from 'up front' in the Library, it feels as if QM2 is having her skirt pulled about a bit - as if by an enthusiastic  wee child encouraging it's mother to 'come on'.

There's to be yet another change of Guests tomorrow.
After the influx of 700 in HK, including those having read 'Readers Offers' from 'B'rum', 700 more Aussies are leaving tomorrow to go home with some great memories - we will miss them.

Not many days now until we reach Dubai, hopefully QE2 will quite enjoy the call of her old friend and fleet-mate.

Hope this finds you all well.

Rosie.

Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: highlander0108 on Mar 31, 2011, 02:07 AM
For those not following this QM2 World Cruise Blog, here is Commodore Warner's sobering announcement on the precautions the ship will be taking as she sails through the pirate infested waters.  Godspeed QM2 and Rosie!  She's had quite a trip and seeing QE2 is only days away!

http://jryan2011.wordpress.com/

Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Mar 31, 2011, 04:12 AM
Steaming (literally!!!) across the Arabian Sea bit of the Indian Ocean.

Ken - Re the post from another Guest.
 I was of the thinking that the details of all security precautions (now well instated) were probably best maintained as confidential!
The same precautions were implemented last year, too.

Will post more about this magnificent ship later, once the dolphins have gone for breakfast!

All the best

Rosie - at sunrise.

Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: highlander0108 on Mar 31, 2011, 04:48 AM
I was of the thinking that the details of all security precautions (now well instated) were probably best maintained as confidential!
The same precautions were implemented last year, too.

I guess they should have shut down the internet access onboard! Hopefully, none of the pirates have internet access or the ability to use Google!  Perhaps QM2 will also show her maximum speed as she traverses this area.  She will not be easy to catch at that speed, as was similarily mentioned when QE2 made her last voyage through this area.  I'm sure Cunard has plenty of security measures that they have NOT revealed.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Jeff Taylor on Mar 31, 2011, 01:27 PM
I know QM2 has two of those ear-blasting, high intensity sound devices for repelling unwanted "guests", but curious if she has any other defensive measures besides her speed.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Apr 02, 2011, 01:19 PM
Here's more about The Day before Yesterday...'fraid it was just about as good as it gets!

.....following a superb swing away from our berth in Cochin, India - tight cornering and hairy looking multi-point turns seem to be the real specialty of  Mary,  thankfully, we were once again
at sea.
And this sea day was all the more enjoyable after the disappointment in Cochin, when we'd been directed to a wrong coach -  (hoping for an eagerly awaited destination, we'd signed up for the 'Backwaters' and hoped to see the Real Kerala -  instead we found ourselves on the 'Best of Cochin'  - Cunard's tourist 'special' range!!)  -  yesterday was well nigh perfect!
It started after midnight, as we left the Queen's Room, we headed off to the Bit Beneath the Bridge to bid goodnight to the sea.
The Beatles Celebration had played and sung lots of their great songs as we danced - rocking in posh frocks, exactly as they had done on QE2's last night in service with Cunard  :)
Sadly there's been  no opportunity so far to ask the Group more about this - however they are still around, so 'watch this space....' - investigations already under way!

After 'quick sleep', up at 6.20 to see sunrise, firstly from the Bit beneath the Bridge, then down to the foredeck - on deck 7.  
It seemed weird, the surrounding Arabian Sea was almost flat, and at the same time - it was also looking strange and mysteriously bumpy and black in several places. As we approached the darkened areas, it looked as if there was something not too far off, a bit like a huge long squall disturbing the surface.
It was then that the dolphins started jumping!
There were possibly hundreds of them - many having the time of their lives!
The sun rose, sleepily through the mist, then big and a fiery sort of orange - and the schools of dolphins swam through the sun's reflection on the water.
A glance up to the windows of the bridge, the usual morning greetings exchanged with the Quartermaster and Third officer on 4-8 watch, before heading off aft to deck 8 for early morning coffee, time for the deck crew to set up all the green stripy sunbeds and a long gaze at the ship's wake.
Sea and air temperature were the same - over 80 degrees, with a stiff breeze created by QM2's movement through the air (23kph.)
Not sure how and where the sea temp gets measured - is it 80 degrees for the mile and a half beneath our keel? (think possibly not!)

Off to the launderette, and while washing underway - attended to hair, (is there any such thing as a perfect hair-day at sea?!) before heading to the brekkie-time feast.
Since passing through all countries of a tropical nature, dragon fruit and other exotic curiosities have been arranged like Christmas decorations around the strangely named King's Court - (Who was the KIng - anyone know?)
The best thing is the crispy streaky bacon. Unfortunately, the porridge needs a bit of salt, however - and at last, Weetabix is back !  
No food delivered (as previously planned) in Hong Kong  - our Junk Bay anchorage there rendering deliveries impossible, so apparently it was  transported ahead of us to Singapore - and loaded on board while we enjoyed an hour in the Long Bar of Raffles.
Must have Costa Fortune.

Down to Sir Samuel's for coffee - not as comfortable as Cafe Carinthia on QV, but every bit as good in other ways - the seat nearest the window is almost at sea level..
Plans to re-think ship Coffee Club-shop in cabin on hold for the time being - as coffee in Sir S's tastes considerably better than elsewhere on QM2! (although it does cost a dollar or three)
Perhaps the coffee machines in the KC will be replaced during the refit in November!

Meet up with new friends to have a lovely chat about Cornwall, and our favourite places there - especially the North Coast, and it was great fun thinking about ships, wrecks and the Padstow Lifeboat!

Lunch - salad, frilly pancakes and ice-cold lemonade flavoured ship-water, and onto Deck 7 to continue reading a shippie's book - written by one of QE2's earlier Captains,
Reached page 90, and still no mention of QE2...

Then off to a meeting of anyone who sailed on Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth - fairly well attended, more Guests than ex-Crew members.
Had to leave early, as there was a talk by QM2's Navigator about the History of Navigation that was high on my agenda - the talk was excellent,  - very interesting, although it underlined the fact that the work of Navigators past and present  includes a huge amount of highly complex maths - so sadly, all personal aspirations previously held were now in dire need of abandonment!
Later I learnt that at the QE / QM meeting, the member of the Entertainment Team took names, and would be forwarding these plus the photograph to Mr Greener for the We are Cunard blog

Tea, -  a neat cucumber and tomato sandwich, warm scone, and wee bit of cream  - before heading back to the setting sun on deck 7.
Fun to dress up for another formal evening, with late dinner to follow....
(Just 4 different evening outfits - all very simple  'separates', each time with a different 'twist' - nothing too flashy or, I hasten to add - costly!)

Hopefully each sea day will be as good as today, yesterday and the day before.... after tomorrow there'll be just 9 sea days left.

TOMORROW - we'll see QE2...
(Clocks go back tonight - a big pity, as I doubt I'll sleep...much.)

Rob, The Cunard Pictures of the meeting QE and QE2 have been greatly admired by a number of ship's company who have worked on board QE2 for many years
It's been good to show them her smoke - and see that access across the quayside looks much better than I'd first imagined.
The Forum is getting a good 'airing' via my lap top, and I will take labels and a print of the index page with me as i go.

All good wishes to EveryOne,
and of course, still wishing very, very much that  you were all here too.

Rosie.


Oh yes, nearly forgot
Security on QM2 is very good indeed :)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: skilly56 on Apr 02, 2011, 02:03 PM
Thanks Rosie,

Another really good read about the side of life I never see.

But, I have mentally already begun packing my bags ;)

Cheers

Skilly
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Apr 02, 2011, 04:07 PM
Rosie - Dolphins, orange sunrises, warm breezes, leisurely afternoons, dinner and dancing at sea ... what a perfect day.  Your reports from sea read like the great adventure it has been.  I'm sure you will enjoy those final nine days ... I will enjoy them vicariously through your reports!

Janice
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: QE2forever on Apr 02, 2011, 05:54 PM
Hi Rosie,

Great read, as always!

Enjoy the meeting with QE2 tomorrow!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Apr 02, 2011, 06:50 PM
Hello Rosie

An excellent report - must be the best yet.  

I particularly liked you description of the dolphins.  That is the sort of experience that will stay with your forever.  

I am looking forward to seeing photos from your cruise when you return home.  
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Apr 04, 2011, 06:23 PM
http://jryan2011.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/shes-still-beautiful/
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Apr 04, 2011, 06:59 PM
Thanks for the Ryan's post, "shes-still-beautiful," Rob.   It's easier to use these icons than try to find the words to express everything I felt when I read the article.  :D >:( ::) :-[ :-\ :-* :'( 

Janice
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Apr 13, 2011, 11:34 AM
QE followed QM2 through the Messina straights yesterday, and is currently docked right in front of QM2 in Civitavecchia.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Apr 17, 2011, 11:55 PM
Now it's a question of hoping, praying and begging Queen Mary 2 to take things slowly!

Every morning, she's 'there', during each day, there's always something 'sea-wise' going on, she's managed a superb transit of the Suez Canal - and yes, there was a bit of a breeze as we turned one of the several corners (the canal ain't straight!!), we noticed her stern was keen to touch one side - and yet her bow wasn't
After 2 utterly wonderful days in Egypt - desert, - where the silence amongst the mountains was like a warm sort of heavy blanket, and the majesty of the high spiky reddish mountains rising from the sand - the bedouin, spitting  camels and the mirages made it feel completely timeless - and after Suez it was on to Rome where we sailed into port with a stiffening wind - calling for the aid of a couple of tugs - sometime after fleetmate Elizabeth.  A quick visit to see QE2's Builders plate etc, then on to  Monaco for a beautiful day in St Paul en Vence and then time in Barcelona, before giving the Gibralterians a bit of a blast...now we are counting the seconds - and maybe the Commodore is too - he 'retires from the sea' in Southampton.
Will post more soon - however, this has been a nineteen hour day, sleep beckons and  Mary's ready to rock us across the Bay of Biscay - another night of heaven!

Rosie.

(Some of the voyage has deserved more than a brief glance - and it'll be easier to post more in retrospect, and from my wifi at home!)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Janice Naylor on Apr 18, 2011, 12:08 AM
Thanks for the post, Rosie.  I can't believe you're still at sea ... seems such a long time to me.  The Commodore certainly had an eventful last World Cruise!  Safe home.

Janice 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Apr 18, 2011, 08:07 AM
Thanks Rosie

 I am sure you have many more memories that you will want to share once you get home.  Safe journey home .
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: cunardqueen on Apr 18, 2011, 09:50 AM
Quote
  The Commodore certainly had an eventful last World Cruise!  Safe home.

     

His retirement would appear to have been kept very quiet.
 
Hes not the only one making a move.Captain McNaught is also on the move...
   http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/news_i...ity_house.html
    (ftp://http://www.trinityhouse.co.uk/news_i...ity_house.html)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Apr 19, 2011, 12:47 AM
Just ending our final evening on QM2.
Having just said goodnight to the sea, new friends and several crew members - it was good to see you live in Chat, Rob!
QE2's whistle sounding loud and clear both on the Forum and in our Suite. :)
This has to be another 'first' for the Forum, and a special treat for QM2, and the neighbours!
Docking in Southampton at 6.00 am.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Isabelle Prondzynski on Apr 19, 2011, 01:10 AM
Thank you for all your traveller's tales, Rosie! I have enjoyed them so much and have felt privileged to be among those reading your stories even as you were living them.

Wishing you a calm night and a safe arrival back home. And then, you will need to regain your land legs...  not easy...   ;)
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Pat Curry on Apr 19, 2011, 01:31 PM
Just ending our final evening on QM2.
Having just said goodnight to the sea, new friends and several crew members  ...
Docking in Southampton at 6.00 am.

It's going to be a terrible anti climax leaving the ship.  It always was for me.  You miss the engine noise, the motion, on-board activity, the friends, the crew, the glorious food, no washing up, and well just everything.  Above all you can't help wondering who is sleeping in my bed  :o
So glad you enjoyed it, and that you've come back safely and  to good weather.  So glad too that you shared so much with us.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: QE2 Canuck on Apr 19, 2011, 08:09 PM
Welcome back to reality, Rosie......and a big thank you for allowing us to be with you on board "lovely Mary".

QE2 Canuck     Linda C
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Apr 25, 2011, 10:57 AM
Thank you for all your welcome home messages - life is certainly different, shoreside!
There's more to write about the experience of a Worldie with QM2 - but a wee bit too hectic at the moment!
Can't wait to see, smell, hear, taste and feel the Sea again!

After 41,000+ miles, QM2 is experiencing a change in the weather
Seems a bit unfair that it waited until after Soton
I understand that the view from the Bridge yesterday was somewhat similar to one inThe Tempest....
(The mist on the webcam view below is modified by the watermark,
however it's possible to judge it's density by comparing the railings!)

 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: cunardqueen on Apr 25, 2011, 01:01 PM
Theres a bit of a debate about it on cruise critic  "Queen Mary 2 world cruise good and bad"
You wonder how the discounting of fares might come into question, and the ones on the heavily discounted crossing right now, l wonder how they feel.But we all have tales and have met people who have paid less  ::) so l guess thats just life

When you look and view Alan Whicker on the fast boat to china programme, that cruise looked simply stunning !!! then again it was on QE2...
Perhaps its the same old story, Cunard used to be very good and the regulars knew it, Now its not so good, the regulars still know it, but the new comers dont and to them its still all singing all dancing.

Rosie,Looking back on your World cruise ;D what do you wish you had known before your boarded that you know now
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Apr 25, 2011, 06:24 PM
Hi Myles - it's too soon to tell!
There's been no time to think 'straight' (not that that's ever easy, you understand!)

It was this time last week that we were saying our farewells to several good friends as well as crew; they will be completing the voyage in New York.
Having just had a look at the sailwx site - and the view from the webcam as QM2's sailing off the East Coast,
the visibilty there is recorded as 0.0
Hope they are out of the dense mist very soon.

Safe way home, to Everyone on board.
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Jul 25, 2011, 06:34 PM
In the light of the posts here:
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,3348.0.html

you might be interested in this!
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/07/queen-mary-2-atlantic-crossing/

Klaus Kremer was our Executive Chef, he with the wicked sense of humour!
 - and apart from the twirl of butter with the scone, our experience was very similar.
we were SO fortunate; i can't begin to express how much i miss the Mary -
and we've been home 3 months now, and for family reasons,
I still haven't had an opportunity to unpack, or post the photos!

Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Dec 08, 2011, 11:20 PM
It's an absolutely fascinating read Rosie.  I really look forward to reading your inputs.  

Thank you for making the huge effort. it's so hard to work on board with all the alluring treats awaiting pax at every turn all day long.  But I for one feel like I'm there with you.  

I bet QM2 TV (with your [new!] flat screen is more interesting thanUK TV!

Any chance of advising who is crewing on board?
Exec Chef
Staff Captain
Chef(s) de Cuisine
your Maitre D
Cruise Director ~ is that Ray Rouse?
asstnt CD
Librarian & asst librarian
World Cruise Club  crew person (used to be in the board room on QE2).
Doctor

If you can do it, for me it will be interesting to see who if any were on QE2.

Anyway, enjoy mid south Atlantic.  I guess it will soon be your delicious light lunch.  It's 7.30pm  here and I just cooked Dom and me a saag prawn curry.

Now - Not 'Live' and so very, very much wishing it was!
Just beginning to realise that it's only a few days before there'll need to be a big change!
Up until now, it's been 'Earlier this year...we lived on a truly great ship, visited Japan, saw the Maracana Stadum, visited the Favelas in Rio, and Townships in Capetown, called in to see a Nursery school and family in (my best loved) Vietnam,' and 100's of etcs!
Soon it will have to be 'Last year....' and I can hardly bear it!
At least, it's only, and not quite 9 months since we were with QE2!
Pat - I now recognise so well what you wrote above, and still in very real terms too. How Seafarers leave their ships time and again, and survive ashore - I really don't know!

Anyway, I'm aware that Pat, you asked about  the Officers etc. I am so sorry that it's taken far too long to answer.
And I believe many will have changed by now - and another sorry for that, too.

Exec Chef was Klaus Kremer (Tall, thin and great fun!)
Staff(Deputy)  Captain - Robert Camby (who is one of very few Officers to have the same guests every night at his table for each leg of the voyage. (The other Officers have different Guests each night!)
Not too sure how much he might have regretted inviting us to join him! We all had the time of our lives, our laughter became legendary!)
Maitre D - Sasha, who has become a good friend. Although he didn't 'know' QE2, his warmth and genuine interest towards us meant a very great deal, and curiously, it felt as if QE2 had shown him the way!
Cruise Director - Ray Rouse and Paul O'Loughlin changed over at half-time!
Not too sure who was Asst CD - The 'Entertainment team' were fantastic - Jamie, Erin, and others, including Gun (Social Hostess)
They worked their socks off!
Gaynor and Kerry (both ex QE2) worked in the Bookshop and Library respectively
Yoko (ex QE2) and Charlotte (new) were the World Cruise Club team
Dr Carroll was the Doctor - he gave us a great time showing us round his domain!
Chief Eng - Brian Watling until Paul Yeoman joined to take over - both ex QE2
Mr Stevenson (ex P&O) was Hotel Manager

There were also Deck Officers who knew and loved QE2, she'd taught them a great deal! We were just so fortunate to have sailed with them too.

Did you get to know any of the Cabin Stewards and Housekeeping Officers?
Both ours were ex QE2, we spent a good while reminiscing with them (Donna - known by the lads as Mamadonna, and Janice too!)
Here's an interesting blog - to begin, click on Januray 2011. There's so much in it, it could take a while to read!
There are lots of photos of people we spent time with too...
http://jryan2011.wordpress.com/itinerary/
Feeling sad, so had better stop.
(By the way, I still haven't unpacked - ha ha and Hmmm!)
Rosie



Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Sep 25, 2012, 08:00 PM
Hello Everyone!

Renewing our love affair with Queen Mary2 has been an unexpected treat - pure joy, in fact!
The only ' thing' sadly missing is  - You Guys!
The welcome's been truly amazing and the fact that we can remember names,
as well as each and every one of her 'passenger parts' really does make her feel like home - again.

The refit - the carpets are really thick, great for barefoot walking 'a la QE2' after midnight!
The spongy bits - having been repaired, they are now increasing in numbers - daily!
Thinking of doing a quiz - 'Find the latest Spongy Bit'  with 1st Prize - Sea-watching in Sir Samuel's  with a delicious coffee from the brand new proper Coffee Machine.
(Every Good ship should have one!)
And so 'Gone at last - the endless quest for decent coffee at each and every port of call!

Things about QE2 - these continue to be a daily delight!

There has been a lecture by Richard Clifford - a retired Royal Marine with SBS; now a Guest on board QM2.
He had been responsible for assisting the Leader of the bomb disposal Team , Mr Williams, onto QE2 by parachute  from a Hercules.
This was in May 1972, and  followed a call to the FBI that there were bombs on board QE2.

https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,4217.0.html

His lecture was amusing, it was presented in Military style, in it the speaker aimed to dispel the many myths that were associated with the story during the  past 40 years.
A QE2 Story Forum slip was offered to him, and he was invited to report his recollections of the event here too.

An informal (un-hosted) gathering in honour of QE2 is planned for the final leg of the voyage - it will take place during the eastbound journey to S'oton from NYC.
This time, it is very much hoped that Officers, Crew Members as well as Guests on board will also be able to attend.
If it can take place at 10.30 am, this should allow enough time for anyone to attend who wishes to.

Rob - The case of Sleeping Beauty (Your DVD) was shown this morning on the Cruise Director's TV Programme - he was talking to the new Librarian, she'd bought it for him to mention on his show.

There are now more pictures of QE2 in the Photo Gallery  - and she is often mentioned by both passengers, particularly the ones from the US, as well as by the crew, and very much referred to as the most famous Liner etc, Baseball caps and T-shirts etc are more commonly worn than we've noticed before - it is so good to know that she's not forgotten. 

We are on a typical QE2 Voyage visiting her old haunts up the eastern seaboard, and I have been handing out slips where appropriate...
Two Forum members have been incredibly kind in finding us in both NYC, as well as Boston - all in all we are fortunate, and feeling extremely grateful for the lovely welcome that was waiting for us.

All the best - and still wishing you were here

Rosie - between the ports of Bar Harbour and St John, New Brunswick


PS - Rob and Mods
Because the internet is slow and sometimes not consistent via the maritime  satellite, I will fill in the references to QE2 above in the appropriate topics on returning to the UK


Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: QE2 Canuck on Sep 26, 2012, 03:49 AM

Hello Rosie.... I did this same voyage on QE2 in September of 1998. Lots of beautiful fall colours and the trip down the St Lawrence river to Quebec was beautiful.  It is 10:45pm Tuesday evening here in Ontario and QM2 is scheduled to be in Halifax N.S. tomorrow.  There are some wonderful webcams all over Halifax and surrounding areas (Peggy's Cove, etc.) And I check in with them on a daily basis.  QM2 will be at Pier 22 and the webcamera will be looking at her from one of the waterfront hotels so I'll be watching you. Also if you get this message in time.. have a look at the statue of Samuel Cunard there at Pier 21..

QE2 Canuck    Linda C
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Lynda Bradford on Sep 26, 2012, 09:00 AM
Hello Rosie

Pleased to hear that you are having a lovely time.  The sail up the St Lawrence to Quebec is spectacular when the autumn leaves are ready to fall. 

I have added a link in your post to the QE2 bomb scare topic for you.

Enjoy the rest of your cruise. 
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Cunarder Man on Sep 26, 2012, 07:16 PM
Great to hear from you on QM2 and, in particular, how QE2 is remembered on board.
We really wish we were there! Watching the webcam daily.
Cheers Rosie.  :)
J & R
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Twynkle on Sep 26, 2012, 11:14 PM
Ooh! It's a tad doubtful as to whether there'll be any leaves left on the trees after tonight...there's a bit of a breeze forecast, and Mary is beginning to  judder shiver as I write this in the Atlantic  Room;-)
Please to report the portholes are already covered on Deck One, and the steamer chairs  are lashed to the railings on deck 7,
Can't wait!

Thanks so much for your messages
In Halifax We saw Sir Sam, found my grandfather's great grandfather, saw pier 21 and had wonderful welcome and lunch at the Bicycle Thief with very good Worldie friends!
Only really sad problem is that the whales are hiding, maybe they know that the wind'll blow away their 'spouting'....
Title: Re: Memories from QM2
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 10, 2012, 07:15 PM
On one of my early crossings l went to try this bouillion thing.. it was disgusting and iv avoided it ever since

This was readily available on the colder days for passengers on board for QM2's Full World Cruise last year.
The passengers spending smaller 'segments' on board weren't able to make use of this sort of hot stock, or daily newspapers, neither were they served tea, or the offices of a special concierge - there were somewhat shadowy green and grim feelings towards those stationed with a special waiter in a cordoned off area of the Winter Garden!
Rosie - still feeling guilty!
Title: Re: Re: Memories from QM2
Post by: Peter Mugridge on Oct 10, 2012, 11:22 PM
Rosie, are you saying that unless one spends a fortune on doing the entire World Cruise one may not sample the full choice of food now?!  Nor get newspapers?!  Ye Gods...!!!
Title: Re: Re: Memories from QM2
Post by: Twynkle on Oct 11, 2012, 10:03 AM
Rosie, are you saying that unless one spends a fortune on doing the entire World Cruise one may not sample the full choice of food now?!  Nor get newspapers?!  Ye Gods...!!!

Hi Peter
Firstly - Cost! Isn't 'a fortune' a bit of a debatable term? We realise that because of an excellent travel agent, he has saved us much - our worldie, (and other travel) has cost considerably less than what many others have chosen to pay! And in many ways it was, and is still 'a fortune' for us too!
Secondly - the afternoon tea that I referred to (as well as morning coffee etc) was served in the area specially reserved for full-world cruise pax. I believe the area has since been changed  -now behind closed doors (?), as there was considerable envy shown by a few non-full worldie pax! The food was usually the same as served elsewhere.
If you did a segment of the Worldie, I don't think there would be access to the newspapers - US, UK and sometimes Australian, these were printed off daily!
Throughout our trip, the Gods looked kindly upon us, however this was certainly not the case for the people of Christchurch NZ, Japan or many other parts of the world where poverty was rife - for example, I'll never forget the queues of men (without shoes) in Cochin - waiting in a line outside the dock gates hoping for work, or the begging of people throughout China, or the children in Thailand etc etc etc. In Vietnam, children were selling their A4 paintings to tourists, the older adults in the family I visited  - none had teeth. Maybe we saw more results of extreme poverty because we weren't protected by the excursions laid on by the Company - if we had used these, they would have cost us very much more of 'the fortune' that we don't have!
The brief answer to your question is partially Yes, and the remainder is No!
Rosie - still missing the feeling of 'Being at Home'!
Title: Re: Live from RMS Queen Mary 2
Post by: Rob Lightbody on Oct 12, 2012, 04:59 PM
Just thought I'd say a quick hello from QM2. Looking forward to doing a full write up once back home! Lots of interesting comparisons which are impossible not to make!