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    November 30. Susan, Christine and I saw two of three new Italian plays at the Cherry Lane theatre. I actually thought I had booked the third offer which was a Pirandello revival but we were all glad that we did not miss “The Journey I Never made” and “Story of Love and Soccer”. Both excellently translated and powerfully acted. The first is a thought provoking and somewhat unsettling portrayal of the current social turmoil and the second is modern thriller about corrupt sport and the triumph of evil over good. We were able to chat with one of the actors about the plays after the show. Before the show we ate lobster and oysters at the  “Fish” restaurant which was only two blocks from the theatre!

     

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Queen Mary 2 – Christmas and New Year 2011

Happy New Year to All!

For the third consecutive year we spent our end-of -year vacation on the QM2 cruising around the Caribbean. Also for the third year, we were joined by our dear travel friend, Sandy Troy, who likes to eat late and so was not assigned to our table for dinner. She and Ethel lunched and breakfasted together like class-mates of old. As usual, I joined the watercolour class, but I will make this the subject of a later post.

Each Xmas cruise has brought us new delights to savour throughout the following year and this time it was our great good fortune to have Malcolm and Joy Mills and Bob and Francie Stevens as dinner companions. Cultured, and wonderfully experienced, their conversation made our dinner times last until we were in danger of being thrown out each night in order to allow the late seaters in!

I have photographed the islands and the ship itself many times. I have endeavoured not to bore you with too many repeat shots. Don’t forget to  click on the images for maximum detail.

Farewell from Red Hook, Brooklyn

And welcome from the QM2 Carollers

Engaged directly from "The Wind In The Willows"

Ethel concentrates on her jewelry selection for the first Formal night

As always, the first order of business before we set sail - The lifeboat drill. Seven short and one long. (Two, if you count Ethel)

The Adagio Quartet soothing us in the Grand Lobby

Refitted Grand Lobby

At one of the Platinum Guests parties

Joy, delightful dinner companion

Malcolm, Joy's husband

Roasted tomato soup - orgiastic!

Francie, another delight at the dinner table

Francie's husband, Bob with Renato, our waiter in the background

Mr. Toad and Badger

Wine tasting

Caribbean gazebo

Island resident

Resident of a different colour

The neighbourhood

Francie and Bob waiting for the fun to begin

One of several Gingerbread villages

Ethel, Malcolm, Francie, Bob and Joy -Informal

Chocolate Santas for snacking

The QM2 dress codes are: Formal, Semi Formal and Elegant Casual. This unwitting young lady seems to have added another - Inelegant casual!_

Elegant photo op

Bob

Malcolm and Joy

Typical Island scene

Patient freighter

I climbed up the steps to this castle only find that an entrance fee of $2 was required to enter. Since I didn't have a dime with me, I walked around it.

QM2 from the Castle grounds

Ubiquitous Bougainvillea

Puplic transport

War damage?

Fellow artist. Freddy Paul's vibrant work can be seen on WWW.freddysartgallery.com. We had a great chat. His paintings sell like hot cakes. They are not inexpensive!

Dance of the Garfish

5-master in the dock.

View under the bow of the "Royal Clipper"

Expired Finch with amorous red beetles

Stanley Scott with his wares. I swear they are the same ones I saw last year.

Stanley and I chewed the fat for a long time comparing the lives we had lived. At the end he asked me to lend him $20 but, since again, I had nothing on me, I took his portrait. He has already called me at home to ask when he would get his copy!

A pod of cruisers

Too late!

Party shrimp cooked in lemon butter sauce--scrumptious!

Caribbean Crib

New Year's Eve

Up first again!

Young passenger marking her dance card

Here we are with Sandy

Each national group celebrated the new year as it passed the Internaional Date Line- starting with the New Zealanders and finishing at 12 midnight (Ship's time). It didn't seem to matter when you drank your Champagne!

The Cunard ships keep their traditions; The oldest crew member sees the old year out and the youngest one sees the new year in. Pictured is the traditional parade of chefs

And finally, apropos nothing what-so-ever, here is an amusing trio I found on one of the Islands. Dress code: Formal

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3 Responses

  1. Ben,
    Marvelous pictures. Wish you had named the Islands. Pictures of the ship life were great ( picture of the 1%)
    You and Ethel look smashing. A friend of mine says the 90s are the new 80s.
    We went to Australia/|New Zealand on the Volendam during November trying to recapture our 87 trip. Can’t be done. This is Ann’s absolutly LAST year to teach Art.so we are home until she is finished.
    John

    • John and Ann, so glad to hear from you – you can’t imagine how many times your names came up during our dinner conversations!. You would have loved Bob and Francie and Joy and Macolm, we all have so many interests in common. Ethel says we are expecting you in NY after your trip to New Zealand, Is this still on? (Ann wanted to see a play before it closed, I believe). We have visited most, if not all, the Caribbean Islands multiple times so that we have reached a stage and age where we prefer to stay on the ship and relax. Ethel is not great at walking anyway, so the few islands I wander about on, quickly become confused with each other in my hardening disc. Can’t wait till we hear all about your trip. Ethel and Ben

  2. Every photo beautifully tells the story of our Christmas cruise. Thank you for the record of our activities and including me in your comments.

    Best,

    Sandy

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