Cruise on the Queen Victoria across the Indian Ocean and the Med, Spring 2010
(Please scroll down to see the photographs)
||Changed planes at Hong Kong!
||Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
||Patong Resort Escape
||Buffet lunch but no beach!
||City & harbour cruise
||Snow dome in the desert!
||Queen of Sheba's castle
||2 trips into town
||Sharm el Sheik, Egypt
||St. Catherine's monastery
||Suez Canal, Egypt
||Lots of sand!
||Ancient Corinth & Canal
||Trajan's market & Castel San Angelo
||Home by 9 am!
Dennis, Art, Gregory, Jay, me, Peter B, Horst & Peter M.
Self portrait with Leo Sayer in Salalah, Oman
Come in number 17 your time is up! Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Here's my report on the cruise:
Just to let you know that I have just got back from my month
in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean on board Cunard's Queen Victoria.
She's a lovely big new ship with about 2000 passengers and 1000 crew.
Good points were:
- Flexible dress code.
- Two excellent orchestras (ballroom and theatre).
- Excellent programme of up to 3 lectures per sea day.
- Retractable sun roof over Winter Garden (but seldom opened)!
- No silly rules to obey (e.g. access to pools and jacuzzis).
- Some good theme nights (Indian, Egyptian etc).
- Free (small) launderette on every deck.
- Good cabaret acts & production shows.
- Planning spreadsheet for us.
- Fridge and minibar in cabin.
- Efficient cabin steward.
- Lovely treble height Royal Court Theatre.
- Lovely treble height Grand Lobby.
- Quiet and smooth outboard propulsion pods.
- Indian visa reimbursed!
- Evening off: One per month.
- Choice between restaurant and cafeteria for dinner:
- I chose the former the other 7 dance hosts ate in the Lido!
- I hosted two tables in the main dining room as on Saga ships.
Usual sea day programme:
- 10:15 - 11:00 Line dancing in ballroom.
- 11:15 - 12:00 Solo travellers coffee break in Winter Garden.
- 12:15 - 13:00 Dance class in ballroom.
- 13:00 - 13:30 Lunch in Lido cafeteria.
- 13:30 - 15:00 My siesta in cabin.
- 16:00 - 17:30 Cabin mate's siesta.
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 which hostess tried to get us to dance through!
- 22:30 - 23:15 Dancing in ballroom.
- 23:15 - 23:30 Break for midnight snack.
- 23:30 - 00:00 Dancing in ballroom.
Here was my itinerary:
- Mon 22nd Took train to Brian's in Ealing.
- Tue 23rd Flew Cathay Pacific 747 from Deathrow (sic) to Hong Kong.
- Wed 24th Flew Cathay Pacific 777 from HKIA to Singapore.
- Thu 25th Glimpses tour escort in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- Fri 26th Patong Resort Escape tour escort in Phuket, Thailand (pool but no beach)!
- Mon 29th Masquerade ball, thanks for the mask Margaret!
- Tue 30th City & Harbour Cruise tour escort in Cochin, India.
- Thu 1st Heritage walk tour escort in Mumbai (Bombay), India.
- Fri 2nd Night at the Raj ball.
- Sat 3rd No tour in Muscat so I took the shuttle bus to the souk.
- Sun 4th Panoramic tour escort in Dubai, UAE.
- Mon 5th No tour in Dubai so I took the shuttle bus to the old quarter.
- Tue 6th Combined Big Band and Black & White ball.
- Wed 7th Contrasts tour escort in Salalah, Oman. Sat and chatted with Leo Sayer on the coach (see photo above)!
- Thu 8th Survived transit of pirate alley.
- Fri 9th Putting on the Ritz ball.
- Sun 11th No tour in Aqaba, Jordan so I took the shuttle bus into town twice.
- Mon 12th St. Catherine's Monastery tour escort in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt.
This tour cost half as much again as the same tour last year with Voyages of Discovery!
- Tue 13th Suez canal transit.
- Wed 14th Egyptian ball, I wore the outfit given to me by my Saudi student over a decade ago!
- Thu 15th Ancient Corinth and Canal Cruise tour escort in Piraeus, Greece.
- Fri 16th "Sock Hop" dance night.
- Sat 17th No tour in Civitavecchia, Italy so I took the train into Rome.
- Saw Michelangelo's Moses in San Pietro in Vincolo.
- Free entry to Trajan's Market, a two thousand year old shopping mall!
- Free entry to Castel San Angelo.
- Sun 18th Costume ball, I wore my Greek tunic.
- Tue 20th Royal Ascot ball, I wore my union flag bow tie.
- Thu 22nd Southampton and then home by 9 am!
For the record ...
- Food: Excellent.
- Tours: Good but expensive.
- Weather: Excellent no rain at all!
- Sailaways: Most 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: Yes, hosted by Amanda the ACD and Jim Gardiner from Scotland.
- Sequence dancing: Yes, twice hosted by me, thanks Sandra!
- Ballroom dancing: Yes, most nights in the lovely double height Queen's Room.
- Western night: No.
- Tropical night: No, but there was a Night at the Raj and an Egyptian ball.
- British (Red, White & Blue) night: No, but there was a Royal Ascot ball.
- Singles party: Yes, twice. We had a coffee morning every day at sea too!
- Singles lunch: Yes, once.
- Formal nights: Yes, including Masquerade, Black & White/Big Band, Ritz and Costume balls!
- Cocktail parties: Yes, most formal ball nights.
- Captain: Christopher Rynd, very English.
- Cruise Director: Alastair Greener, English.
- Assistant Cruise Director: Amanda, English.
- Host/ess Jennifer, American.
- Host: Thomas, not English.
- Cabin mate: Peter Maciejewski, Polish American.
- Dance couple: Petre & Roxana Samoila from Romania.
- Other dance hosts: 2 Anglo Americans, 2 Asian Americans, 1 German American, 1 German Canadian.
- Lecturer(s): Peter Smith, Christine Roussel, Richard Hayman, Roy Hattersley, John Stalker, Joe Snyder.
- Musician(s): Lots including EOS String Quartet & Harpist Ellen Smith.
- Comedian(s): Mike Doyle & Alan Stewart.
- Singer(s): Jeri Sager, Opera Interludes, Lorraine Brown, Paul Ritchie et alia.
- Song of the cruise: "Weekend in New England" a waltz by Barry Manilow.
- Cabin: 4182 inside twin.
- Passenger(s): Leo Sayer (see photo above), Sandra from Dessau, Gill from Isleworth, Stephanie from the US & Jackie from Brighton (thanks for the photo)!
- Photographs taken: 646
- Emails back home: 435
- Good, free Wi-Fi:
- Hong Kong International Airport.
- Virgin Store, Dubai.
- outside Macdonalds in Aqaba!
- free PC in Corinth hotel lobby.