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Retro Travel / The Way We Once Traveled / Cruise Travel / Ships / Cunard / Queen Elizabeth / Vintage Travel / → All Tags
We'll fully admit that we save our ticket stubs even sometimes our bag tags. Of course travelers of decades ago were no different; in fact, they were worse. Sometimes we dig up vintage gems that deserve to be shared. All week, we'll look at a few lost pieces of ephemera that continue to inspire.
Water Aerobics. Mixology. A lecture on wildlife photography. Hairiest Chest Contest. These are just a few standard daily activities you'll likely find listed on the schedule of a modern cruise ship. However, it was back when passenger ships were called "liners" that schedules focused on the social, rather than the active and educational, advantages of the journey.
It's within this schedule for the old Cunard liner RMS Queen Elizabethher third day of a crossing from New York to Cherbourg/Southamptonthat we see this for sure. Where iPad classes would be listed on a 2011 cruise shop activity list, the 1949 version favors watching horse racing or listening to the news broadcast.
What are your vacation plans for 2013? To many, it may seem wayyy too soon to start even thinking about what city you'll be living in two whole years from now, let alone where you'll head for rest and relaxation, but for those dead-set on a once-in-a-lifetime world cruise now is the time to begin planning. An even more compelling reason to look forward to 2013 is the fact that Cunard announced three epic voyages, one for each of their three sleek ships:
Queen Mary 2
Following a 2012 world cruise circumnavigation of Australia, the QM2 is doing an encore in 2013 with a circumnavigation of New Zealand before hitting South Africa. Exotic! In total, the world cruise (beginning in January 2013) is 106 days to 34 stops in 18 countries. The ship will sail through the Mediterranean to the Suez Canal and Middle East before visiting India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Australia and New Zealand. Starting price for the whole shebang? $19.995. For that, at least you get an at-sea planetarium thrown in.
Cruise Travel / Photo Gallery / Cunard / Queen Elizabeth / Ship / Jaunted Reporting Live / Videos / Luxury Travel / → All Tags
It may be freezing in New York City right now, but that doesn't mean the cruise ships will stay away...especially when there's things like fireworks promised. The three current Cunard shipsQueen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth were in the Big Apple on Thursday for just such a thing, a "Royal Rendezvous," if you will, and to herald the very first NYC visit of the Queen Elizabeth, which only hit the waves a couple weeks ago (after Queen Elizabeth II herself did the honors). So of course we hopped onboard for a whirlwind tour of the massive ship, only hours before her 2,000+ passengers continued on their Around-the-World voyage.
The MS Queen Elizabeth is the second largest Cunard ship ever built, after the Queen Mary 2, and it's sort of replacing the recently retired historic liner Queen Elizabeth II, who made her final NYC departure during the first Royal Rendezvous, in 2008, after forty years and over 700 stops in New York. She, in turn, replaced the RMS Queen Elizabeth, a liner-turned-troop ship-turned-liner during World War II. But now we're getting carried away...
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Just as promised, last night saw the three Cunard shipsQueen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabethtake to NY Harbor all at the same time for a little "Royal Rendezvous" and a lot of fireworks. This is only the second time that all three Queens have been together in NYC at the same moment, and the last was only in 2008, as the Queen Elizabeth II (now retired) made her final departure from the Big Apple after hundreds and hundreds of historical sailings. Needless to say, it was a very cool occasion.
We managed to take in the scene from the Cunard party in the lounge at the tippy-top of the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, and still froze our bits and bobbles to death on the outdoor deck, catching these photographs.
As we type this and as you read this (assuming you're reading it yet this evening, January 13), 2,092 passengers onboard the newest Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth are enjoying a big, multi-course meal in one of the ship's tiered dining rooms. Now close your eyes and, for a moment, imagine you're there...slowly sipping a flute of Veuve Clicquot as the ship cuts through a dark New York Harbor, in the very beginning of her first 103-day World Cruise, Panama Canal-bound, after the quick Royal Rendezvous with her two sister ships.
Only hours ago we too were onboard, although not for a meal or a cruise, but for a tour of this newest jewel in the Cunard crown. We have some news: we're in love. She is....gorgeous. Something about those classic liner colors and the Art Deco interior design grasped our heart and hasn't let go. Sometimes we get that way about shipsairplanes too, most definitelybut what can we say? We have a hard-on for all forms of transportation, especially when they're at their best.
Anyways! Back to the menu for tonight...
Cruise Travel / Cunard / New York City / Events / Queen Mary 2 / Queen Elizabeth / Queen Victoria / Ships / Fireworks / → All Tags
We took this video during 2008's Royal Rendezvous (the first), as the now-retired Queen Elizabeth II tooted her horn. Seen from Liberty State Park in New Jerseynot a recommended spot.
Tomorrow evening in New York Harbor, the three ships of Cunard's fleetthe Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabethwill get together for the first time in three years, and for only the second time ever. The meeting of all ships in the harbor is called the "Royal Rendezvous" and cruise fanatics, ship-watchers and the generally curious will turn out in droves to watch the ships slide by and the massive accompanying fireworks display. And we'll be there too, of course.
We saw it three years ago, when the Queen Elizabeth II was making her final NYC departure, and this year there's a new ship making her first entrance: the Queen Elizabeth. She'll be the big and shiny oneha. Anyways, we have to say that it is a very cool, very New York event, and the fireworks are awesome. They will feature Cunard red pyrotechnics, and even the Empire State Building will be lit up in red for the occasion. P>Now on to the best spots to watch everything:
Do Not Do / Michelle Obama / Barack Obama / G-20 / Queen Elizabeth / Handshaking / Travel Tips / → All Tags
Now we know why our invite to Buckingham Palace keeps getting lost in the mail: First Lady Michelle Obama unwittingly exposed the British taboo against touching the queen, causing cultural critics to bemoan the end of friendship between both copies but ultimately resorting in nothing worse than a string of adorable photos.
The Obamas arrived in London this week bearing gifts (including an iPod for Her Majesty) and plans for the forthcoming G-20 Meeting. As the First Lady met the Queen, she curtsied, but then shook her hand firmly, a huge no-no. And later, when posing for pictures, she even touched the Queen. But soon enough they had their arms around each other's backs like old camp buddies, and other world leaders were jealous.
Is the take-away here that the Obamas, unlike most travelers, can do anything they want abroad and still be adored? Hardly; it only takes one disastrous state dinner to ruin his international face. But here's what Michelle Obama didn't do: Get flustered and over-apologize. Maybe she had words with the queen, but she treated her with the same warmth and grace that she treats everyone. And hey, at least it wasn't a fistbump moment again.
Still, we say you should always be prepared to know what's acceptable in terms of hand-shaking abroad and what's not--provided that you aren't meeting royalty or germaphobes.