The legendary Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 on the Hudson River in New York City, October 16, 2008, as she departs for the final time.

11 January, 2012

Interactive Winter Crossing - January 9, 2008

(note: check back over time as I add more information to these posts, such as additional video, menus, etc.)

Third full sea day and we're back to dreary weather again and Queen Victoria is off to port again.  Early in the AM, the switch had been made, with her dropping off speed and then slipping behind us, and then catching back up.  I wonder if we slowed down so she could catch up with all of her engines running!

Once again, my favorite area was off limits due to the high winds.  I spotted activity on the open bridge wing, one of QE2's now somewhat unique features among the current fleet of cruise ships, which predominantly have enclosed bridges, full width of the ship.

Turns out is was Captain McNaught, wearing glasses with what looked like one very lucky passenger.  I would make my attempt once again, writing the Captain to request a bridge tour, on this trip, only to be turned down yet again "due to security reasons."  At least I got a letter signed from the captain expressing his regrets.

Seas and wind pretty much curtailed all outdoor activities for the day.  At this point, I'm starting to appreciate the view a bit better, thinking to myself that at least the stern decks are tiered more like a traditional ocean liner, at least in appearance.  These areas are all large private balconied cabins and not public spaces such as on QE2.  Either way, I'm trying to like Queen Victoria from afar.

Here's a view of the port side Boat Deck, taken from the protected area near the stairs to the forward observation deck.  A few brave passengers were about, but walking on deck today, into the wind, was more challenging and the older passengers stayed indoors.

As you can see, it was windy and the spray off QE2 hull was in the air and wreaking havoc on my camera lens.

Back inside, at the top of the A stairway, is a model that was once on display in the original configuration of the Britannia Restaurant.  I am not sure what the name or significance of this ship is.  It is not the Cunard's original Britannia as she was a sidewheeler.  The wall coverings and artwork in this stair are essentially as they were since the ship was built.  Carpets have been changed and the balustrade modified over time to comply with newer safety standards.  The A stair is a bit of a mystery to those unfamiliar with the history of the ship.  A few floors are bypassed at the upper levels, a function of the two class layout that the ship had when originally constructed.  I would use this stair every day to go from our 3 Deck level directly to the Boat Deck; a very nice workout to work off all the "Full English" breakfasts, pub lunches (with Guinness), and the wonderful dinners in Caronia Restaurant.

This carving was oddly positioned in the A Stair upper lobby, in front of what is now the Mauretania Restaurant.  This carving of Britannia was commissioned by Lloyds of London and presented to Cunard and one stood on display in the original configuration of the Britannia Restaurant.  Original plastic laminate wall coverings, whose pattern was specifically designed for the ship, along with some of the original modern art on display are visible to the right.  The red balustrade is original, but the metal handrail installed above to increase the height, are a later addition.

Additional information on the history and refurbishment of this iconic carving can be found here, on Commodore Warwick's son's QE2 website.

Queen Victoria turned on all her exterior lights early on in the afternoon as the skies darkened.  She was looking rather smart cutting through the seas now.  I kept saying "she's the future so embrace her."  Still, the funnel, a clear QE2 knock-off, appears oddly placed towards the rear, instead of more amidships as QE2's, probably purely a function of locating the engines farther aft closer to her Asipod propulsion units.

Here, I believe I am standing just outside the revolving door entrance to one of the main gift ships, protected a bit from the elements as it began to rain again.  It appeared that the seas had kicked up a bit too in response to the higher winds.

Those standing beside me, chatting about Cunard's future and clicking away at the same time were treated to a few spectacular moments.  I wished I had a better camera at this time to capture this in the low light conditions.

We were have such a grand time on board doing nothing (well not really since the days were filled with Cunard Enrichment lectures, bridge lessons, and elegant dining) and thoroughly enjoying it
; so much so that these are all the photos I took for the day! 

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