Saturday, October 30, 2010

Maiden Voyage Fit For A Queen

Not all new ship Maiden Voyages are created equal and some are a disappointment to passengers who anticipate something special. That wasn't the case as Queen Elizabeth completed her 13-night Maiden Voyage in Southampton, England last Tuesday. As well as enjoying the distinction of being the first to sail on Cunard Line’s new Queen, guests were also treated to several surprises during the voyage.

British singing icon Lulu took the Royal Court Theatre by storm with a rousing performance of hits and a tribute to the 1980s and was joined by surprise guest Kiki Dee.

Headlining the Cunard Insights line-up was broadcasting legend Sir David Frost, who spoke to a packed theatre on “Interviews I Shall Never Forget.” Frost, who led the TV satire boom in the 1960s, has interviewed the seven most recent US Presidents, as well as Vladmir Putin and Nelson Mandela (the latter on QE2 in March 1998), and was the subject of the hit 2008 motion picture “Frost/Nixon.”

In addition, the first marriage proposal took place on board, with guest James McCracken proposing to girlfriend Lisa Lehman – the answer was “yes!”

Most importantly, Queen Elizabeth received a warm welcome from the hundreds of guests on board who have been full of praise for both the ship and her crew. In fact, 98% of those on board reported that they would recommend Queen Elizabeth to a friend, which bodes extremely well for her Maiden Season. One of the many highlights of the voyage was the ship’s new restaurant, The Verandah, which was full every night with guests enjoying fine French cuisine in a setting reminiscent of the original Queen Elizabeth. On a personal note, Cruise Diva had lunch in The Verandah during the naming ceremony events and concurs—the food and surroundings are superb.

“Expectations were bound to be high for her Maiden Voyage, which sold out in 29 minutes 14 seconds, and I am elated to hear the high praise from our guests. This is a true testament to the ship’s officers and crew who have done a magnificent job. We can’t wait to welcome future guests on board,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line.

Queen Elizabeth received warm welcomes and bon voyages from all the ports visited during her Maiden Voyage: Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Las Palmas, Tenerife, La Palma and Funchal. For more information, go to and see Cruise Diva's ship profile, The Art & Soul of a Cunard Liner: Queen Elizabeth.

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