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Queen Victoria World Cruise 2024 Notes from the Navigator (Sector 3)

28 February 2024
Weather: 17 degrees
Nestling on the lower slopes of a steep sided extinct volcano, the historic port town of Lyttelton is overflowing with trendy cafés and quirky shops. It's also the gateway to nearby Christchurch. Lyttelton has a long, colourful history and was the point where the first European settlers, bound for Christchurch, came ashore in 1850. Today the centre of Christchurch is just over seven miles away, thanks to the 1.2-mile-long Lyttelton road tunnel, which burrows through the Port Hills.

One of the city's proudest features is its neo-Gothic Timeball Station. Built in 1876 to keep Greenwich Mean Time and to signal the time to ships in the harbour In use until 1934, this outstanding example of Victorian technology is one of only five still operating around the world. It was badly damaged in the earthquake, but was painstakingly restored.

29 February 2024

Queen Victoria let go her lines, thrusted off the berth and made reciprocal courses outbound from Lyttelton. After disembarking the pilot we altered to north and proceed towards the Cook Strait. The Cook Strait separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and connects the Tasman Sea on the northwest with the South Pacific Ocean on the southeast, It is 14 miles wide at its narrowest point and is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world. The strait is named after James Cook, the first European commander to sail through it, in 1770. This morning we pass 5 miles to port off Stephens Island, and then clear cape Farewell at around 10.00am as we bid farewell to New Zealand, and commence sailing west across the Tasman Sea bound for Sydney.

Photos: Lytteltown from ship, Chistchurch tram and landscape around Lytteltown to Christchurch.

Read from the top of topic plus World Cruise map
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Sea Shanties / Re: Accidents and mishaps at sea
« Last post by Chris Thompson on Jun 24, 2024, 06:00 PM »
Saw this image, vessel name unknown……Ouch!
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I've just entered - sorry for the delay, life got in the way!

I've picked 3 photos from my collection that I don't think have ever seen the light of day, but capture one of my favourite moments on board.
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RMS Queen Mary 2 / Re: QM2 problems
« Last post by Rob Lightbody on Jun 24, 2024, 04:28 PM »
in terms of any delays QM2 left for New York on time yesterday with Queen Anne following her down Southampton Water on a beautiful evening looking at Solent Ships webcam footage. It is interesting to see the two ships in one shot as QA is so angular compared to QM2 - which was accused of the same thing in 2004 compared to the truly curvy QE2!

As this one of her unusual six night crossings she was doing 26 Knots down the English Channel later that evening  so should arrive on schedule on 29th June if can maintain that speed as 24 knots needed overall. .

I have not had the chance to view video yet in this thread but the drop off in Cunard service levels has been a staple of dinner table conversations amongst regular Cunarders ever since my first QE2 trip in 2003. I am booked on QM2 for a return crossing in October - first trip since 175th anniversary crossings in 2015 so will be interesting to note any significant changes since then.

I have also been led to believe that service on short cruises such as 4 days as in case featured here can be more rushed / lower than on longer perhaps more relaxed itineraries so such first timers may get a misleading impression.

Gary

A 6 night crossing!!  I'd have absolutely loved that!!  Lucky passengers (but how many of them on board know or even care...!).

Can you please come back and give a bit of a review of your crossing?  Cunard QM2 crossings are, after all, still a direct link back to QE2.  I'm assuming its all just teething problems due to the crew moving around the newly expanded fleet.

My first trip on QE2 as an adult, was a 2 night party cruise, where I remember... boarding and going straight into a lovely afternoon tea, exceptional service in the BG restaurant (it was this that made me really realise what I'd been missing all those years...)  and amazing cocktails - rather too many...  she wowed me with her service from her happy crew the moment we stepped on board.
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RMS Queen Mary 2 / Re: QM2 problems
« Last post by Barumfox on Jun 24, 2024, 02:55 PM »
in terms of any delays QM2 left for New York on time yesterday with Queen Anne following her down Southampton Water on a beautiful evening looking at Solent Ships webcam footage. It is interesting to see the two ships in one shot as QA is so angular compared to QM2 - which was accused of the same thing in 2004 compared to the truly curvy QE2!

As this one of her unusual six night crossings she was doing 26 Knots down the English Channel later that evening  so should arrive on schedule on 29th June if can maintain that speed as 24 knots needed overall. .

I have not had the chance to view video yet in this thread but the drop off in Cunard service levels has been a staple of dinner table conversations amongst regular Cunarders ever since my first QE2 trip in 2003. I am booked on QM2 for a return crossing in October - first trip since 175th anniversary crossings in 2015 so will be interesting to note any significant changes since then.

I have also been led to believe that service on short cruises such as 4 days as in case featured here can be more rushed / lower than on longer perhaps more relaxed itineraries so such first timers may get a misleading impression.

Gary
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The end of the month is getting closer, and so is this month's photo competition!

This is your chance to support the photographers who are making the effort to enter photos they took while QE2 was still sailing the seas. Each month, these competitions add excellent photos to the collection, and it is right to encourage the photographers by taking a few moments to vote in the competition. Please come and have a look and let us appreciate your votes!
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RMS Queen Mary 2 / Re: QM2 problems
« Last post by Rob Lightbody on Jun 23, 2024, 06:33 PM »
That per night cruise price caught my attention, I'm sorry they were disappointed but 75 Pounds per night is not bad at all.
Our Cruise on Celebrity last year was $400 per night with a discount, by the way we were delighted by everything on that trip :D

Booking 2 weeks before seemed to be the main source of the bargain, lucky them . If you live fairly close to Southampton and you're retired, last minute bookings would be great, I'd love that.  Some of us unfortunates have to book it in a year in advance and schedule it in with other commitments!

I did like their parking tip too.
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RMS Queen Mary 2 / Re: QM2 problems
« Last post by Chris Thompson on Jun 23, 2024, 01:23 PM »
That per night cruise price caught my attention, I'm sorry they were disappointed but 75 Pounds per night is not bad at all.
Our Cruise on Celebrity last year was $400 per night with a discount, by the way we were delighted by everything on that trip :D
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RMS Queen Mary 2 / Re: QM2 problems
« Last post by Rob Lightbody on Jun 23, 2024, 11:25 AM »
They seemed very impressed with Mary herself - nobody is disappointed in her it seems, Stephen Payne's design continues to wow 20 years on which is great, and they enjoyed the entertainment.  They're correct about the drinks pricing (in my opinion) so that really just leaves the service that they're moaning about.  I think the ship must just be short-staffed just now.

A friend-of-a-friend is boarding today for the transatlantic crossing, we'll see what they have to say! 

I think the advertising is part of the issue for Cunard though.  The advertising (on telly just now frequently) shows Cunard as very luxurious, and I think it just raises expectations too high.  A similar trap that QE2 Dubai is falling into I think.
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RMS Queen Mary 2 / Re: QM2 problems
« Last post by Lynda Bradford on Jun 23, 2024, 11:00 AM »
I got bored listening to these two moaning about everything.  They got a four night cruise for £299 pp and they even moaned about the price. 

One moan was about the dietary requirements.  I am pescatarian and have found that the Head Waiter gives attention to people with dietary requirements.  Some understanding has to given that on the first evening they are particularly busy but always I have been given the next evening's menu to ensure there is something I like, plus I am given vegan and vegetarian menus.

They like P&O cruises so perhaps they should cruise with them. 
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