Celebrating Ernie's 80th birthday on board the newest Cunard liner QUEEN ELIZABETH was a wonderful experience.
The liner is state-of-the-art latest design luxury cruise liner with some 2000 passengers and nearly as many crew members on board.
The service was 5star, the food was on average 4star quality, the amenities and entertainment 5.5star quality.
An unbelievable number of passengers were on board for the full 105day journey and not for the first time! Most were returning passengers who must be travelling on Cunard world voyages year after year, accumulating points to give them many advantages in cost and special privileges on board.
For those of us with European backgrounds and Aussie egalatirian larrikin bents,the upper-crust English pomp and circumstance is perhaps not as appealing as some of the other cruise liners can provide, but it was nevertheless a very enjoyable and interesting holiday comparable with any 5star resort such as a Club Med, say!
The interesting aspects were the various lecturers on board, classes, theater productions, star entertainers,films and the fantistically well equipped 2 level library!Most lecturers were retired VIPs like politician former FM Alexander Downer (before we boarded, but his lecture was still shown on the internal TV station when we arrived on board)who examined the international political scene as it affects our part of the world in Australia; General (Ret.) Peter Cosgrove who spoke about his experiences leading the Australian army through its various crises; a retired geographer who was the "destinations lecturer"; and the lecturer whom I found themost interesting,- Professor Richard Holdaway, Director (not retired!)Space Science and Technology, RUTHERFORD APPLETON LABORATORIES (see separate blog).
Classes consisted of computer technologies, bridge lessons for beginers andintermediates and various dancing, plus arts and craft lessons. There was certainly something for everyone on every day that we were atsea! Luckily, we had quite a few days on the oceans sailing from Australia to the Asian ports and luckily the seas were kind to us and very calm to keep the ship steady and on course! We avoided the aftermath of the disastrous tsunami after the earthquakes in Japan and except for one day on Ko Samui island, Thailand, we had no bad wether anywhere.
The one drawback for large liner cruising is the fact that shore-visits and sightseeing are often too limited. These large liners often cannot berth near the centre of the cities because the ports are not big enough to hold them. They end up being moored at container terminals or anchored far out in the bay and passengers are ferried by tenders to shore. This all takes time, so the sightseeing possibilities are of necessity limited. Therefore cruising is not for the serious sightseer of the various countries or cities where they happen to stop! The attraction has to be the cruise and the ship as a holiday destination per se.
See my web album 1:
Miriam's Topical Topics.: Queen Elizabeth maiden world cruise: Syd.-Singapore sector