Long May She Reign!

At the first stroke of the alarm clock at 4.30am on Tuesday, 12 October 2010, we leapt out of bed… strange how it is so much more difficult a feat to accomplish at 6.30am on a working day ๐Ÿ™‚

Our journey by coach to Southampton was, thankfully, uneventful; no traffic jams, no bad weather, no roadwords or any other eventuality which might have delayed our arrival. Sipping a champagne and waiting to embark the ship, whilst surreptitiously examining fellow passengers-to-be is part of the excitement of the impending voyage. ๐Ÿ™‚

We boarded the Queen Elizabeth at around 2.30pm, and proceeded to our stateroom, number 6179. As we opened the door, the afternoon October sunshine streamed through our balcony doors and glinted off the steel champagne bucket, where a chilled bottle and two flutes awaited us. ๐Ÿ™‚

We cracked open the bottle and took it out to our balcony. Eight decks below us we could see the frenetic activity of passengers embarking, and supplies being loaded onto the vessel; barrels of beer and cases of wine, fresh fruit and vegetables and the plethora of other items intended to make our voyage a comfortable one.

We made our way to the pool deck at the stern in order to procure a good vantage point for the first time the Queen Elizabeth would slip her moorings and sail off into the sunset. Below us, a brass band played “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Jerusalem” and other rousing, patriotic tunes. All around us the passengers waved their arms or their Union Jacks, then, with three deafening blasts of the ship’s foghorn, we were off!

For me, those three blasts herald the symbolic start of any voyage, and particularly the Maiden Voyage. It is so reminiscent of old film footage of famous ocean liners leaving, destined for foreign shores and hopefully better things.

As the Queen Elizabeth glided majestically away from the Southampton shoreline and along the Solent, a flotilla of smaller ships and boats followed alongside us, the air filled with a cacophony of hoots, blasts and whistles.ย  Occasionally the QE gave a mighty blast back, as a forest of waving hands and flags accompanied us.ย  Another thing that made this Maiden Voyage so special was that we were sailing the same route that the grand old lady of the sea, the Queen Elizabeth 2, had taken on her maiden voyage way back in April 1969.

Tired, but excited, happy and so privileged to be part of this, we changed and made our way to the Britannia Restaurant and the first of many sumptuous meals.

The voyage had begun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Almost here…

It is with great excitement that we are counting down the days to the arrival of Cunard’s new luxury cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, as we are among those lucky enough to have procured a place on her Maiden Voyage on 12 October 2010.ย  The QE’s maiden voyage is the fastest-selling cruise ever in Cunard’s history, selling out in a record 29 minutes 14 seconds, so we are indeed lucky to be one of the chosen few. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Queen Elizabeth was officially handed over to Cunard White Star line on 1 October 2010 and she is, at the time of writing, on her way to Southampton from Fincantieri yard in Italy.ย  She is due to arrive in her home port tomorrow morning at around nine o’clock.ย  I have been looking at her bridge cam every day to see where she is: you can watch her arrival in Southampton by going to:


On Monday 11 October, Her Majesty the Queen will be doing the official naming ceremony in Southampton by breaking a jeroboam of champers on the Queen Elizabeth’s bow.ย  Let’s hope the bottle smashes; it has long been considered bad luck in nautical tradition if the bottle doesn’t break. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I shall be doing a daily blog to mark the Maiden voyage for posterity.ย  It’s the first cruise I’ve done since I set up this blog so I will actually have something to write about for a change!ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Anchors aweigh!