Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth up and down the English Channel
Please scroll down to read my report
||Brussels in a day
||Atomium & City Centre
||Porcelain Factory and Town Centre
||Le Havre, France
||A taste of Normandy
||Calvados, cider, cheeses & Honfleur!
||St. Peter Port, Guernsey
||Home by 10:15 am!
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:
- Flexible dress code.
- Two excellent orchestras (ballroom and theatre).
- No silly rules to obey (e.g. access to pools and jacuzzis).
- Free (small) launderette on every deck.
- Good cabaret acts & production shows.
- Fridge and minibar in cabin.
- Efficient cabin steward and waiters.
- Lovely treble height Royal Court Theatre.
- Lovely treble height Grand Lobby.
- Lovely double height Queen's Room dedicated ballroom.
- Quiet and smooth outboard propulsion pods.
- Choice between restaurant and cafeteria for dinner:
- I chose the former the other 3 dance hosts ate in the Lido!
- I hosted a table in the main dining room as on Saga ships.
Usual evening programme:
- 18:00 - 19:45 Dinner in main dining room.
- 19:45 - 20:30 Dancing in ballroom.
- 20:30 - 21:30 Show in theatre.
- 21:30 - 22:15 Dancing in ballroom.
- 22:15 - 22:30 Break for 2 hosts.
- 22:30 - 23:15 Dancing in ballroom.
- 23:15 - 23:30 Break for 2 hosts.
- 23:30 - 00:00 Dancing in ballroom.
For the record ...
- Food: Excellent - fillet steak, chateaubriand and lobster!
- Tours: In 3 out of 4 ports (see table above).
- Weather: Got progressively better - no rain!
- New ports: Two - Zeebrugge & Le Havre.
- Sailaways: Three ports but few dancing ladies present!
- Tea dance: None.
- Masonics: Not hosted by us.
- Service clubs: Ditto.
- Dinner host: Yes, in the lovely double height Britannia restaurant.
- Line dancing: Electric slide taught by the Caribbean band.
- Sequence dancing: Yes, twice hosted by Thomas.
- Ballroom dancing: Yes, most nights in the lovely double height Queen's Room.
- Western night: No.
- British (Red, White & Blue) night: No, but there was a Cunard Ball.
- Singles party: No.
- Singles lunch: No.
- Formal nights: One.
- Cocktail parties: One.
- Captain: Christopher Wells.
- Cruise Director: Keith Maynard.
- Assistant Cruise Director: Jason.
- Hostess: Marianne.
- Host: Thomas Quinones.
- Cabin mate: Roy Busby from Birmingham.
- Dance couple: None.
- Other dance hosts:
Brian from Essex & Constantino ("Tanny") an Asian American from San Francisco.
- Lecturer(s): None.
- Musician(s): Lots including EOS String Quartet & Harpist Fiona McGee.
- Comedian(s): None.
- Singer(s): Beatles Celebration tribute band and Michel Chartier.
- Pianist(s): Maria King from Manchester.
- Cabin: 7047 inside twin.
- Passenger(s): Barbara, Debbie, Doris, Kylie, Nicky and Maria (thanks for the cruise DVD!)
- Photographs taken: 547
- Good, free Wi-Fi:
- Grande Place, Brussels.
- Innhotel, Rotterdam.
- Delft Tourist Information Office.
- Le Havre Tourist Information Office.
- St. Peter Port Tourist Information Office.