Last September I made my 2nd cruise on a Queen, this time on Victoria. I have travelled more than 20 nights on two Queens, the other being Elizabeth in 1992, so now I am known as a 'Cunarder'. Although this was a long time ago, I still was awarded the credits. This comes with lots of extras, including upgrades and spending money on board.
I am a curious fellow, so I asked for some statics and Tommi, the cruise director obliged. Victoria carries over 2,000 passengers and 900 crew. On this voyage, 530 bottles of champagne, 70,000 cups of tea and 70 tons of fruit and vegetables are consumed, so we are a healthy lot. I also know lots about the engines and below deck working, but let's stick to the fun stuff.
I joined her in Rome for 7 wonderful nights. Queen Victoria's maiden voyage was in 2007. She was refurbished in 2015 so everything was in tip top condition as expected. She is a 'classless' ship. All the public rooms are for all passengers, but according to the cabin, you are assigned to various dining rooms, the most exclusive of which is the Queens Grill. This is an elegant, delicious affair and like everything on all the 3 Queens, memorable. For less formal dining the Lido self-service restaurant is open 24 hours.
No glitz or razzamatazz for the discerning folk who return often to cruise with Cunard. Photographers and bar staff are available, but discreet. You can be as busy as you like with activities starting at 6am and if you have the stamina, you can party till dawn. The word 'no' is never used by the staff on any of these super-liners and every effort is made to make sure a request is granted.
The day trips to Livorno, Barcelona and Monto Carlo were interesting and well organised. I also arranged to be picked up from Rome airport to join the ship and from the ship to Rome.
It is impossible to list all the activities one can choose during the day. Old fashioned quoits is played on the Queens and I spent some time in the library, the spa, played darts [my playing was well below par], had high tea at 4pm. I didn't know what sequence dancing was, so of I went to the Queen's ballroom at 7pm and watched in awe. Each club has its own special dance and you just have to know the dance or sit out. Tangos, the waltz, foxtrots and the quickstep. This is a big deal in England and as there were 800 English passengers on board and it was a great success.
A wonderful formal evening and 2 cocktail parties were arranged. This is just a small example of a day on a queen. I joined a wonderful couple from South Africa in the dining room and have plans to visit them next year, just one of the joys of traveling with Cunard. I'm leaving tomorrow for a short cruise on the QE2, can't wait to see what is in store for me, I'll keep you posted. Am I an addict? You bet I am. Why not be one too.