Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth up and down the English Channel

Please scroll down to read my report

Date: Port: Flag: Tour Escort: Comment:
28/08/2011 Southampton, UK Overcast
29/08/2011 Zeebrugge, Belgium Brussels in a day Atomium & City Centre
30/08/2011 Rotterdam, Netherlands Delft's blue Porcelain Factory and Town Centre
31/08/2011 Le Havre, France A taste of Normandy Calvados, cider, cheeses & Honfleur!
01/09/2011 St. Peter Port, Guernsey Glorious weather!
02/09/2011 Southampton, England Home by 10:15 am!

Lighthouse in St. Peter Port, Guernsey

Lighthouse in St. Peter Port, Guernsey

Here's my report on the cruise:

Just to let you know that I have just got back from my mini cruise on board Cunard's new Queen Elizabeth. She's a lovely big ship with about 2000 passengers and 1000 crew.

My first visit to Zeebrugge included a day trip to Brussels as a tour escort. We began our tour with a photo stop at the famous 1958 Atomium. I was admiring the courtyard of the City Hall in the Grande Place when one of my ex-students, Wing Cdr Mark Simpson RAAF, came up to me to say hello. I'm surprised he recognised me after 23 years!

The next day I took the shuttle bus into the centre of Rotterdam and walked back to the ship past the Maritime and Harbour museums and then over the Erasmus bridge to the Holland-America line building. In the afternoon I was a tour escort to Delft. We visited the Royal Porcelain factory and then had a coffee in the main square.

On my first visit to Le Havre I was an escort on the Taste of Normandy tour. We visited a chateau to sample their Calvados, cider, cheeses and apple tart. Later we had a tour of the charming old port of Honfleur.

No tour on Guernsey so I took the tender into St. Peter Port and went around taking photographs for a future port talk. I climbed the Victoria Tower for a wonderful view. The weather, some locals claimed, was the best they had had all summer!

I made the mistake of telling my dinner companions that my birthday was on the final day of the cruise. They then arranged for me to be presented with a birthday cake at dinner the evening before!

This turned out to be a "Mother and Daughter" cruise with the former being better dancers than the latter despite the age differences. Thomas Quinones the Social Host wrote in my evaluation report "Great dancer, bring him back any time"!

Good points were:

  1. Flexible dress code.
  2. Two excellent orchestras (ballroom and theatre).
  3. No silly rules to obey (e.g. access to pools and jacuzzis).
  4. Free (small) launderette on every deck.
  5. Good cabaret acts & production shows.
  6. Fridge and minibar in cabin.
  7. Efficient cabin steward and waiters.
  8. Lovely treble height Royal Court Theatre.
  9. Lovely treble height Grand Lobby.
  10. Lovely double height Queen's Room dedicated ballroom.
  11. Quiet and smooth outboard propulsion pods.
  12. Choice between restaurant and cafeteria for dinner:

Usual evening programme:

For the record ...