All at sea; literally and metaphorically. After a truly memorable Sail Away on our way to Norway, I spent a lot of my second day on the beautiful Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth finding my way round this enormous ship. This is sailing on a truly grand scale. For those of you who like numbers, here you go:
- Gross Tonnage: 90,400 ie very heavy
- Length: 294 m (964.5 ft) ie very long
- Width: 32.3 m (106 ft) ie very wide
- Height : 54.4 (179 ft) ie … you get the idea
- Guest Accommodation 1,034 ie no room at the inn on this cruise to Norway
- Guest Capacity: 2,068 ie a lot of people still lost on Day 2
- Guest Decks: 12 ie a lot of places to get lost
- Ships Crew: 1,005 ie a lot of people to point you in the right direction
After a deliciously healthy breakfast of fruit, croissant and berry smoothie, having been warned that you can put on a few ounces on this cruise, I was ready to explore. Now here’s a tip if you do go on one of Cunard’s cruise ships: find someone who’s been on before and get them to help you. I was with Lisa, who knows this ship well, and her sister ship, Queen Victoria, which has a very similar lay-out. The best piece of advice we got from the crew was at the Solo Travellers get-together: Freda, entertainment host extraordinaire, told us that the State Room corridors (nothing as plebeian as cabins on the QE) have red edged carpets on the left/port side and blue on the right/starboard side. Tis good to know!
One of the many excellent events on board is the Solo Travellers meetings; great for people who are on their own and want to share some of their time with others. At our meeting there were also four ‘Dance Hosts‘ – charming gentlemen of a ‘certain age’ who are delighted to partner the ladies on the dance floor and twirl the night away. Freda outlined lots of things to do: croquet was one of the more unusual sports to partake in!
Around the ship there is so much to do that everyone can find something to suit. What has been a real revelation is that this is a cruise to suit ALL ages and tastes. Whether you want to relax in the Library with a good book or research the next port, take part in a Trivial Pursuits Quiz, luxuriate in the Royal Spa, learn how to use Face Book or your iPod, understand Viking History or learn how to cut a vegetable into a beautiful flower, the Queen Elizabeth will sort it.
Eating is a real gourmand’s pleasure, whatever you book and I am loving the variety of food experiences on board. Apparently there are 140+ chefs to cater for every taste. I am really relishing the meals in the beautiful Princess Grill Restaurant where a true Cunard gem, Sanjay, has been making the most excellent recommendations to tempt us into ever more adventurous culinary treats.
And so, as we delve into Norwegian waters and Stavanger, our first port of call, the late evening sun sinks into a wine-dark sea (not only found in the Aegean), the next leg of this awfully big Cunard adventure beckons …