• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

    October 31st - 11 November Caribbean cruise to break up the winter.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    August 2  I lined up on the geriatrics bench to get tickets for Christine and me at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last week. I set out early and reached the bench  before 9.30 in the morning thinking that I would be among the first–I did not want a repeat of the great disappointment of the previous week when the last ticket to be given out at noon went to the man immediately in front of Susan and myself! But I was wrong again; the bench was already two thirds full of aggressive oldies and I was once again on tenterhooks until the noon distribution. I was joined by Christine’s friend, Barbara, who , with her husband, were to make a foursome for the event. Both couples brought a bottle of wine to enhance the evening.

    And what an evening it was! Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” has never been done better in my view. Absolutely suited to the outdoor theatre. The set included a fairy forest with changing colored lights which added mystery to the actors who passed in and out of it. The cast included a nightclub singer. The costumes, not confined to one era, included a modern suit and gown.

    The mechanicals were a child’s delight. Part fairy tale, part pantomime the action was played at a spanking pace and was continuously amusing. What is more, Shakespeare’s words came across wonderfully well.


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Life on the QM 2

Cunard, although it is part of an American corporation and its vessels are built in non-British yards, exploits the nostalgia for the old British ocean liner travel of yesteryear. And it is a successful ploy, the master of the QM2 presented a gift to a couple who had traveled on Cunard ships on voyages totalling more than six years! and there were many runners-up.

My family and I travelled on the old Queen Mary some forty odd years ago. The main differences I can recall are: first growth clarets were about the same price per bottle  then as a small glass of plonk is now. And the flashier entertainment offered today does not include cardboard horse-racing tournaments or men in kilts playing bagpipes! There are also two significant societal changes; class differences are very hush-hush and optional tips for the crew are  deducted in advance at the rate of $10 to $12 per day or part thereof.

The dress code is just as severe, however: Black tie on  formal nights, dark jacket and tie on semi-formal nights and jacket and collared shirt for the elegant, casual nights.

The QM2 was not the only cruise vessel trailing around the Caribbean, as many as six of the giant ships were tied up or tendering at the same time at some of the ports

. . . . . .

In and out of port maintainence was never-ending. Here, the famous QM2 stack is getting a makeover.

Ethel selects her jewelry for dinner

The resulting effect

Elegant casual night

Music in the Atrium


The Master and his officers render a Chistmas carol



Semi-formal dinner


A theatre show every night

Sandra, our dinner companion one night

A cosy alternative dining room

Captain's party night

After all the eating and carousing, you could sleep it off out here


6 Responses

  1. This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  2. Sylaen. Thank you. I’m truly flattered.

  3. hi ben– just wanted to stay in touch. last couple of days on the ship were pretty intense. sorry i missed the watercolor class and art show.

    home now…at mom’s…till friday. no internet here, but a quick look at your site wowed me with your photos.

    • Vivian. You’re fast! Your comment is on last year’s post. I am working on this year’s post and photographs of our QM2 trip–
      among which, I have already prepared the lovely shot of you and Alice. I will put it up during the next two or three days. Love to you and Alice it was an honour being able to meet with her. Ben and Ethel.

      • ben–I couldn’t find your 2010/11 QM2 blog and didn’t want to lose the momentum. I’ll be watching for the new postings. hugs to you and ethel.

      • Vivian. I forgot to mention that I have printed out a 10 x 8 of the picture of you and Alice but I shall need your home address to post it to you. Ben

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