• Upcoming trips

    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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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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