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Online Lynda Bradford

Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« on: Aug 06, 2018, 11:06 AM »
As I have recently returned home from a most enjoyable Round Britain Cruise on Queen Elizabeth I thought I would share some of my memories with you. 

The first port of call was Rotterdam in the Netherlands. As we had visited the city twice before and previously toured the city and the hotel ship Rotterdam, we decided to take a tour to Delft, a very charming little town that is home to the Delft pottery, which we toured. 



Rotterdam is an interesting city but the highlight for me is always the sailaway, because of the sail down the river and on this occasion we had a particularly good view of the Rotterdam Hotel ship.



The sail away from Rotterdam with the ship reversing out of the port, which was described by a young officer as a tricky manoeuvre is demonstrated in this sail away video  from the Bridge of MS Rotterdam 2017, which is worthwhile watching. 


We had wonderful weather clear skies and as the sail away was after 9.30 the lights of the port industry and petrochemical works gives a memorable experience.

If you are interested have a look at the fact and figures, in the Port of Rotterdam pdf “Over 120 companies, one powerful cluster” Incredible amount of money has been invested in this port and you can appreciate the strategical importance of the port not just for the Netherlands but for surrounding countries,     


https://www.portofrotterdam.com/sites/default/files/facts-figures-energy-port-and-petrochemical-cluster.pdf

I will continue with my memories of the Round Britain Cruise tomorrow, when we visit Edinburgh from the port of Newhaven. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #1 on: Aug 06, 2018, 06:30 PM »
Many thanks, Lynda, for the great commentary, photos, and video.  The colour of the flowers is spectacular !  The video is fascinating and gives a great view of the bridge of MS Rotterdam.  I am very much looking forward to our next installment !  June  :)
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #2 on: Aug 07, 2018, 10:44 AM »
Newhaven for Edinburgh: Originally the ship was to have visited South Queensferry but prior to the cruise we were informed of a change and that Newhaven was the port for Edinburgh.  As the ship was anchored, the tender service was in operation.

Passenger had previously been told that as the tide levels would be very low there would be no tender service between 11.00 and 14.00.  My previous experience of using the tender service on ships has been that once the tour passengers are off the ship, there is a relatively short wait for the tender service, but this was not the case in the two ports where tenders were used passengers had a long wait to be called to board a tender.  We were informed that the Forth Belle (capacity 215 passengers) would be used to transport passengers up to 12 noon, so we were fortunate to get off the ship, before the low tide stopped tender services.  When we approached the shore passengers were told to move from the back of the boat so as to shift the weight and prevent the propellers from scrapping on the bottom, an indication of the level of the water.

A free shuttle was available to take people to the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre Leith, which is near the Royal Yacht Britannia.  We took a bus into Edinburgh to meet our daughter for a sandwich lunch in Princes Street Gardens.  It was a warm day and we enjoy chatting and watching the world go by.  Edinburgh is near to where we live so we did not do any touristy things.  The tours from the ship included Edinburgh Castle, Falkirk Wheel, St Andrews, Stirling Castle, which are excellent tours for anyone visiting this part of Scotland.   

Sailaway: I was looking forward to the sail away from Newhaven, as the ship would be sailing past the Isle of May and Bass Rock.  I was a bit disappointed that there was not any commentary or even a fact sheet made available to inform passengers about these islands.  For most passengers enjoying cocktails or dinner they would probably have thought the view was nice but would not realise the significance of these islands.  I live in Scotland hence my interest. 

The Isle of May is a seabird and seal sanctuary that I have previously only experienced from the web cameras at North Berwick Seabird Centre. I have also been interested in the lighthouse you see in this picture because of my interest in the Lighthouse Stevensons, Robert Louis Stevenson’s engineering forefathers, who were responsible for building lighthouses around Scotland.



The steep volcanic Bass Rock,  is an island that today is home to the world's largest colony of Northern Gannets.  I had taken a photo from the ship, which does not do justice to the island, so I am attaching this photo by Francis C Franklin where you can clearly see the birds on the rock and the lighthouse. 


Photo is the work of Francis C Franklin, who has given permission to share, however credit must be given to his work

It is difficult to imagine that this rocky island was once inhabited.  Initially by St Baldred, who gives his name to the ruin of  St Baldred’s chapel. Then the Lauder family, the ruins of a castle dating back to the 13 century are just visible below the lighthouse.  The island was purchased by the Crown in 1671 and used as a state prison.  The Scots author and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson used the setting of the Bass Rock prison in his novel Catriona, where the character James Stewart was imprisoned.  Another connection to the Stevenson family is Robert Louis Stevenson’s cousin, David Stevenson designed the lighthouse on the island.   

It was a lovely evening for the sail away and we enjoyed taking some time out on deck to admire the view and who would have thought that there was so much history to a rocky outcrop, such as the Bass Rock. 

Tomorrow, I will tell you a little about the Queen Elizabeth and some of the areas of  the ship. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #3 on: Aug 07, 2018, 05:18 PM »
Thank you very much, Lynda, for our next installment of your Round Britain Cruise.  The commentary is great and very descriptive, so I feel like I am actively taking part !

That is very interesting that passengers had to move from the back in order to insure clearance for the props.

The Isle of May and Bass Rock are incredible ! It is great to see the photos !

I am very much looking forward to our next installment along with photos.  Also, how was the food on your cruise and do you have food photos ?

Who was your Captain on this cruise ?

June  :)
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Online cunardqueen

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #4 on: Aug 07, 2018, 08:03 PM »
Keep it coming !
I wonder why it was changed from South Queensfery to Newhaven given that Newhaven has issues with low tides.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Brandon Sterkel

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #5 on: Aug 07, 2018, 09:23 PM »
Great to hear more about your cruise, Lynda!
It sounds like it was a great cruise! I have always wanted to take a Round Britain Cruise in my lifetime and it sounds like it is a very interesting experience!

Looking forward to hearing more!
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #6 on: Aug 08, 2018, 10:27 AM »
I'm enjoying your cruise review.  A fact sheet should definitely have been made available, that's a shame.  But it tallies with my experience in June, that the majority of cruise passengers don't actually seem at all interested in where they are, just when their next free meal is ...
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #7 on: Aug 09, 2018, 11:08 AM »

I have sailed on Queen Elizabeth four times and although I have a preference for Queen Victoria her sister, ship I find the Queen Elizabeth to be comfortable and her crew welcoming.  There are some ex QE2 crew onboard, who appreciate it when they see you wearing QE2 badges.  However I have noticed an increase in the number of officers from P&O and less with a QE2 background than I have seen in previous cruises. 

Some ship facts:
Gross Tonnage: 90,900
Length:964.5 feet (294 m)
Width: 106 feet (32.3 m)
Draft: 25.9 feet (7.9 m)
Height: 179 feet (54.5 m)
Guest accommodation: 1,043 Capacity: 2,081 guests
Ships crew: 1,005

Distance cruised: 2536

Master: Captain: Aseem Hashmi
Deputy Captain: Mathew Nicholls
Safety Officer: Erik Rasmussen


Forum member Tom had posted a topic
Queen Elizabeth tour video by Tom which give a good view of some of the areas of the ship which he posted on this You Tube video


QE video Tour by Tom


I will continue with my tour of the ships below but this video lets you see some of the areas I will be referring to.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #8 on: Aug 09, 2018, 01:18 PM »
…..and now for my tour and where better to start than at the top of the ship where you find the Commodore Club.This is my favourite cocktail bar,  because of the view over the bow of the ship and panoramic views. As we were sailing in Northern Europe in summer months, it was light until almost 22.00 and after that we enjoyed the sunsets. I like the decor of this bar and the entertainment is low key, which allow you to chat in comfort. 

The only criticism I would give about the quality of the bar service is that there is inconsistency when making cocktails.  E.g. I like a cosmopolitan.  It is bad enough that a couple of years ago Cunard change the recipe, by replacing Grey Goose Vodka with a cheaper Citroen brand and to make matters worse they increased the price by $2 and rising. I would be prepared to go along with this but the quality of the cocktails changes from bar to bar - some good and some not so good.  I have even returned a cocktail and asked the barman if he could try again.  Something I have never had to do before!

On the same deck and close to the Commodore Club is the Yacht Club, where you can dance to “disco” music into the early hours of the morning. 

It does not seem all that long ago that we were discussion the pros and cons of the
QE2 memorabilia being removed from QE2
 

One of those item, the silver QE2 model was displayed in the Yacht Club.  In 2011 some forum members gathered onboard Queen Elizabeth and were pleased to pose for a photo in front of the QE2 Model in the yacht Club.



Fast forward to this cruise when I took this photo of the Queen Elizabeth model that replaces the QE2 model. 



Many people would not have taken note of the QE2 model and even less notice of the Queen Elizabeth model.  I am not being negative, but unless there was a heritage trail telling people about the significance of the art work on the ship and the connection to marine and Cunard history, a lot will go unnoticed.  And there is a lot of good art work!
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #9 on: Aug 09, 2018, 04:30 PM »
Going down one level to deck 9 is the Garden Lounge, an area that I believe is used more during the day with people relaxing, having a coffee or a soft drink (or even sleeping).  There is also entertainment at at 12 noon and in the evening there has been Jazz played by the Cunard musicians, which has had mixed responses mainly because of the venue, which can be cold in the evening.   Passengers who do not want to adhere to the dress code can use this lounge dressed casual. 

The Midship bar on deck 3, on previous cruises I have enjoyed listening to the pianist in the evening.  The Carinthia on deck 2 are popular both during the day if you want to pay for a special coffee such as a cappuccino coffee or just relax.  In the evening a popular venue for pre dinner cocktail especially when the harpist or string quartet play. The Library is a nice place to relax and read or maybe try to complete the daily crossword. 



The Queen Room is on this level and it was here that the Queens Bust was previously sited. The portrait of Queen Elizabeth II  which was previously in the midship atrium area has been moved here to replace the bust.  In my opinion it looked better in the atrium area.  The Queen Room is where afternoon tea is served in the afternoon, which is a lovely experience to be served by waiters with white gloves while enjoying the luxury of listening to the string quartet, pianist or the harpist.  On one afternoon there was a tea dance, not that we participated, but enjoyed by many. On formal evenings this is where all passengers are invited to the Captain’s cocktail party, and selected passengers invited to the Cunarders or Senior Officers Cocktail parties (depending on what level of Cunarders Club you have attained).  On formal evenings there is themed balls, such as the black and white ball, 20’s evening ball and it is where the ballroom dancers can show off their dance skills.  On at least one evening per cruise the band from the yacht Club play the more modern disco type music for the non ballroom dancers, which is usually very popular. 



The Golden Lion Pub, forward of the Queens Room is a popular venue.  Passengers can take part in Trivia Quizes, play darts, sing along to a Karaoke song or watch sports events , such as the World Cup final, which was streamed live on the TV, when we were onboard.  You can even enjoy a pub lunch here. 

Beside the Golden Lion Pub is the Casino and on deck 2 above this area is the shopping arcade. 



The Royal Court Theatre on three levels (decks 1,2, and 3) is where passengers enjoy lectures on days at sea, films and evening entertainment, which I will speak about in more detail later. 

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #10 on: Aug 09, 2018, 04:46 PM »
We were dining first sitting in the Britannia Restaurant (two levels decks 2 and 3) where you are allocated the same table for dinner for either the first or second sitting 18.00 or 20.30). 




If you want to dine there for breakfast or lunch you are allocated a table by the Head Waiter, a different table each day, which can be shared with others, or a table for two depending on your preference.  Also on deck 2 is the Britannia Club Restaurant, where people have paid a higher rate for their Britannia grade state room, so that they can dine at the same table for all meals for the duration of the cruise. 

You can pay a fee to dine at the Verandah Restaurant on deck 2, which we did not do on this cruise but have done so on previous cruises.

The Lido is the Buffet restaurant on deck 9. We dined there for breakfast and lunch on about half the cruise days, mainly because we wanted to eat light meals for these two meal and it suited our plans for days in port. For breakfast there is the choice of fresh fruit, cereals, hot food buffet with the option to have omelettes or eggs cooked for you.  Also cold buffet such as cold meats, smoked salmon and cheeses.  At lunch a similar format with hot buffet and cold buffet with salads. In addition there was the option to have pizza or pasta dishes and sandwiches made with filling of your choice. Last but not least was the choice of delicious sweets.  Aft of deck 9 is the Lido Pool Grill where you can get hamburgers with chips (french fries).   

Princess Grill/Queens Grill: On previous cruises we have booked Princess Grill cabins where you have the advantage of dining in the Princess Grill. The Grill restaurant is smaller and less noisy than the Britannia Restaurant. It is a very nice dining experience where you can order food such as steaks, crepe suzettes to be cooked at your table.  There is also an outside dining area, which I am sure would have been popular on this cruise, because of the good weather.  Grills passengers have their own private cocktail bar with concierge service.  Morning coffee or Afternoon tea is served here and passengers can enjoy a pre dinner cocktail in this bar, which looks forward over the Pavilion Pool. 



In addition Grills passengers have their own sun deck with comfortable sun beds. In the afternoon Grills passengers on deck are offered ice cream, or afternoon tea items such as scones and cakes. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #11 on: Aug 09, 2018, 05:07 PM »
The games deck on deck 11 is very popular especially with some of the younger people on the ship.  Many people enjoyed passing time playing, paddle tennis, croquet or bowls. Golf net is also a popular pastime for the golfers onboard. 





There are two outdoor swimming pools and as the weather was warm many passengers enjoyed being on deck or swimming. 





The gym is free to use but you can also choose to pay a small fee for activities, such as yoga.  Spa charges apply for services.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the ship. 

Tomorrow we are off to Invergordon and I will also tell you a little about the sail past the Isles of Harris, Lewis and Skye.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #12 on: Aug 09, 2018, 06:38 PM »
Thank you very much, Lynda, for the great commentary and the awesome photos and video. Your great descriptions coupled with the photos makes me feel like I am right there. 

Did you meet any crew who you had seen on previous cruises ?

It is disappointing, though, to hear that there is such a difference in quality between the various bars.  And can you comment on any P & O Officers or crew that you met ?   :)
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #13 on: Aug 10, 2018, 11:07 AM »
Thank you very much, Lynda, for the great commentary and the awesome photos and video. Your great descriptions coupled with the photos makes me feel like I am right there. 

Did you meet any crew who you had seen on previous cruises ?

It is disappointing, though, to hear that there is such a difference in quality between the various bars.  And can you comment on any P & O Officers or crew that you met ?   :)

There were ex QE2 restaurant staff onboard, such as Maitre d' Sanjay, who I know from QE2 and who was the Maitre d' in the Princess Grill last year.  Koli, a Head Waiter from Queen Victoria was onboard, on the Maitre d' team and one of the waiters serving us in the evening had served us on a previous cruise. We also spoke to a couple of the bar staff who had been onboard a previous cruise. 

Captain Hashmi was the Captain on the Arcadia in 2015 (the only P&O ship we have cruised on). He started his career as an airline pilot, then when there was a downturn in the industry, he changed course and went into shipping. He was a deck cadet on QE2 and worked his way up the ranks, working on many Cunard ship.  I thought it was strange that on his Officer Profile on the daily programme, there is no mention of him being Captain of Arcadia, despite this apparently being the first ship he was Master.

The Captain's cocktail party, Cunarders and Senior Officer Cocktail parties give you an opportunity to mingle and speak with the officers, if you wish.  The Hotel Manager, Naomi McFeeran, moved from P&O a couple of years ago, I think about the time David Hamilton retired.  We have been invited to dine at her table on previous cruises and find her to be very pleasant to speak to and reading her profile it is evident that she is well qualified for what must be a challenging job on any ship.  She remembered that I had been involved in organising the QE2 50 year conference and asked about the event.  We also had the opportunity to speak to one of the second officer,, who had previously worked on P&O Arcadia and came to work with Cunard around the same time as the captain. It was very interesting listening to him speak about the ship. We had a very pleasant conversation with Yvonne Smith, the Human Resources Manager, the Captain's secretary, and the Customer Services Manager, Ronel, at the Captain's Party.  I do not know if other cruise lines have the same opportunity to speak with the Officers, but it I always think it is good that Cunard give passengers this opportunity. 



In the future it is inevitable that there will be less Officers who had served on QE2 and more coming up the ranks of the currently Cunard and P&O ships or other shipping lines. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #14 on: Aug 10, 2018, 04:16 PM »
Many thanks, Lynda, for your reply and details.  It must be very nice to see staff who were on QE2 and also on previous cruises.

Were there any references to QE2 in any of the names of dishes on the menus, and did any of the menu covers have QE2 photos ?

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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #15 on: Aug 11, 2018, 12:17 PM »
Invergordon on the shores of the Cromarty Firth, in the North East of Scotland was the third port of call on the round Britain cruise.  Today the port’s deep water harbour is ideal for visiting cruise ships, but up until 1956 it was a strategically important base for the Royal Navy. Then with the exploration of the North Sea oil fields the town’s deep harbour was ideal for the construction and repair of oil rigs. 



In the morning we had a leisurely walk into the small town, where we had a cup of coffee in a cafe and chatted to passengers from the ship. Then browsed and bought some gifts in the shops.

We were aware of fabulous murals on the gable ends of buildings and when we enquired about these art works, a shop assistant told us that they are the result of a project to address social deprivation in the town.  A group called “Invergordon off the wall” created an outdoor art gallery where the murals depict the history of the town.  Apparently, these murals are now a tourist attraction.



Invergordon off the wall

In the afternoon I had booked a tour to the Glenmorangie whisky distillery in Tain. 

We had a short stop in Dornoch to visit Dornoch Cathedral.  It was the minister of Dornoch Cathedral who had married Madonna and Guy Richie, and it was where their son Rocco was christened.  Trevor Casey may be interested in this fact. 



I would have liked to have had a longer stop in Dornoch as we only had less than 30 minutes there but as the tour of the distillery was booked it was important to keep to time. 



The tour guide of the Glenmorangie whisky distillery was very knowledgeable everyone enjoyed the tour and the glass of whisky to sample the product, however the tasting was interrupted by a fire alarm so everyone had to evacuate the building, but were soon allowed back into the shop, where many people were keen to purchase whisky. 

To celebrate it’s 175 year history the distillery had started building work on a multi million pound expansion for a new still house

I was interested to learn that the distillery was working with the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project DEEP with the aim to restore Native European  Oysters to the Dornoch Firth

You can learn more about this project on the website.  http://www.theglenmorangiecompany.com/about-us/deep/

We also had a short walk to the shore of the firth to have a look at the bird hide where you could view birds through telescopes. 

When we got back to the ship we caught the end of a show in the Royal Court Theatre that had been put on by local entertainers with Scottish singers and dancers.  There also was a pipe band playing at the sail away, both much appreciated by the passengers, especially those from further afield. 

We were at dinner at the time when the ship sailed away from the port, but were lucky to see dolphins leap out of the water. 

After the show in the evening we went to the Commodore Club for a cocktail where the views over a calm sea and the sunset was amazing.  Most enjoyable end to a most enjoyable day!

I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #16 on: Aug 12, 2018, 01:07 PM »
Sail by Harris, Lewis and Skye and Killybegs, Ireland

It was a welcome day at sea and very pleasant to take time to admire the scenery of Lewis, Harris and Skye.  But the sea days entertainment was excellent and managed to tempt people away from sitting up on deck and enjoy the entertainment.  Captain Hashmi gave an entertaining, informative, virtual bridge presentation and with his charismatic presentation style, it was worthwhile missing the scenery for a while to attend his presentation. 

There were the usual activities, on sea days, such as fruit and vegetable carving, bridge lessons, art class, dance lessons, trivia quizes, etc. Even a fashion show with passengers and crew taking part. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent entertainers/lecturers on the at sea days. 

Classical concert Ray Lemond . Excellent performance of “romantic” piano music

Lecturer: Kenneth Vard an ocean liners historian

However, a special mention should be given to Pam Ayres, author and poet who was fantastic.  I remember her on TV in the 1970’s but hearing her live was a completely different experience and on two of her three performances the theatre was full with people  standing at the back of the theatre and sitting on the stairs, so as to hear her stories and poetry. 

Killybegs: It was the ship's maiden call in Killybegs, a small fishing town in Donegal, Ireland.  I regret not taking a tour to Donegal, as there would still have been plenty of time to explore Killybegs.  The local people were very friendly and pleased that cruise ships were visiting. We went to a craft fair, where we had the opportunity to talk to some of the local people, and purchase a few items.  It was unfortunate that it rained the day we were there as it looked a beautiful area that would be good to explore on a good day. 

local paper reports on Queen Elizabeth visit

Before the ship departed from the port, a marching band could be heard marching towards the ship, where they entertained passengers on the quayside.  Officers from the ship could be seen making a presentation to the young group, who did a great job representing their culture and town.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #17 on: Aug 14, 2018, 08:04 PM »
Great commentary and marvelous photos !  And thanks very much for sharing !  As you tell about each day, this Round Britain Cruise sounds, at least to me, to be one of the better cruise choices !  More please !  :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #18 on: Aug 16, 2018, 11:00 AM »
Greenock

Our next port of call was Greenock where passengers could take a short train trip to Glasgow or take a ship organised tour, such as to Loch Lomond. 

At the “terminal building” there is a very helpful team of volunteers to advise passengers on what they can see and do in the area.  Passengers can also book free tours, where volunteers tell them a bit about the town and surrounding areas. 
https://www.inverclydetouristgroup.co.uk/content/tours/

I have never done these tours but I noticed there was a lot of people waiting to participate

The stalls selling Scottish souvenirs and clothes attracted a lot of attention and I was pleased to see that they were popular with the passengers who were buying items. 

We had arranged to meet with forum member Clydebuilt 1971 for lunch and later met with Rob for a very pleasant walk along the esplanade, where you can see the villas that had been built for ship owners and investors, when Greenock was in it’s prime. 

It was a big bonus to see PS Waverley as she sailed down the Clyde to pick up passengers at Greenock, then in the evening on her return sail up the Clyde. 

A highlight for me was the sail down the River Clyde in the evening sailing past the Isle of Bute, Millport, and Arran.  For beautiful the River Clyde spillway would get the prize. 

« Last Edit: Aug 16, 2018, 11:04 AM by Lynda Bradford »
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #19 on: Aug 16, 2018, 11:04 AM »
Belfast

Before we left the ship we noticed that in the atrium area Belfast Tourism staff were offering advice to passengers.  They very helpful offering advice and giving up maps.  There was a shuttle bus from the port of Belfast to the city centre, which was welcome as it would have been a bit of a walk.  The Titanic Quarter is a very popular tourist area, not far from the city centre and we had intended to visit.  However the shuttle bus dropped us off opposite the Belfast City Hall, we went over to have a look just in time for the start of a tour.  The tour was very informative and after a coffee and sandwich we viewed the exhibition, so we were three longer that we had intended and did not have time to go to the Titanic Quarter, which gives us an excuse to go back for another visit. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #20 on: Aug 16, 2018, 05:13 PM »
Thank you, Lynda, very much for the great descriptions of your Greenock and Belfast calls.  It must be quite interesting to get off your ship in an area that you know and observe tourists' reactions.

Great photo of Waverley !   :)
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #21 on: Aug 17, 2018, 10:47 AM »
Liverpool

Liverpool is a favourite port of call on the round Britain cruise. The growth of Liverpool docks contributed to the city’s economy in the 19th and early to mid 20th century but with the success of container ships the Liverpool docks went into decline.  However is it is significant that cruise ships bring people to the city and the Albert Dock, is now a popular tourist attraction with museums, pubs and restaurants.

I like Liverpool, a vibrant city which in my opinion has a similar atmosphere to Glasgow and New York, another two of of my favourite cities.  I have always found the people very down to earth and friendly.

A big plus is the fact that the ship terminal is close to the Cunard Building, the museum of Liverpool and within a short walking distance to Albert Dock and the town centre. 

Passengers were invited to a ceremony at the Saint Nicholas Church, to celebrate 80 years since the launch of the second Mauretania (1938) at Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead. We were pleased to get tickets to attend the ceremony, which was a good mix of telling the ship’s history along with the religious part of the ceremony of hymns, prayers and a reading by Captain Hashmi.  The choir has to be given a special mention - they were excellent.

After the service we walked to Exchange Square where we enjoyed a coffee and took time to relax in the sunshine. 

I was a Beatles fan when I was a teenager, so a visit the Cavern Club is always on the agenda when visiting Liverpool. On previous cruises we experienced the Magical Mystery Tour where you are taken on a tour of Liverpool, to the Beatles Museum, the Cavern, and to the houses where the Beatles lived. A fantastic tour, especially as Beatles music is played. 

I like the shopping area, which is within a short walk from where the ship is docked and even although it was a Monday the area was busy with shoppers.

I had wanted to visit the Terracotta Army exhibition but had been too late to get tickets as there were time slots for tickets and the only one available was 16.00, which was too late. 

At the sailaway there was entertainment, including an opera singer, which attracted a crowd on shore as well as the passengers watching from on deck and on their balconies. It was not as big an onshore crowd as when the ship leaves later in the evening when there is sometimes a fireworks display, but they certainly added to the atmosphere.   

We were early sitting for dinner and as the sail away was around 18.00 it was a bit of a juggle getting hair and make up down and taking time to enjoy listening to the entertainment.   

Later in the evening The Barricade Boys were the entrainment in the Theatre.  As the name would suggest they had all starred in Les Miserables, but in addition to featuring songs from this show, they included music from Jersey Boys, Beatles songs and other big hits, much to the delight of the passengers, who gave them a standing ovation.
« Last Edit: Aug 17, 2018, 10:51 AM by Lynda Bradford »
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Round Britain Cruise Q821 July 2018
« Reply #22 on: Aug 19, 2018, 03:15 AM »
Very good photo, Lynda, and great commentary ! Liverpool sounds to be an exciting city to visit, and if one has not been there before, one could spend a great deal of time just to get acquainted !  :)
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