Recommend August 2011 - (Page 48)

cruise cunard’s W vivian holley 48 august 2011 QUEEN ELIZABETH When it comes to carrying on storied tradition, nobody does it better than Cunard. Could be because of the company’s 171 years of practice, could be because they possess a one-of-a-kind product that is certain to capture the most sophisticated, discerning, and well-traveled clients in your database. As in, clients with a taste for civilized adventure and grown-up pleasures, with generous dollops of glamour and romance. The company’s game plan is to keep the golden age of ocean travel alive and thriving, a service it performs with seamless grace and admirable expertise via a classic trio that includes Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and the lovely Queen Elizabeth, fittingly christened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in October 2010. After sold-out maiden voyages to the Mediterranean and Caribbean, the new vessel set out from Southampton on its 103-night Maiden World Voyage, and Recommend joined the Curaçao-to-Acapulco segment for a look at life with the latest luminary. A regal sister to Queen Victoria, launched in December 2007, Queen Elizabeth shows off her share of updated luxuries and contemporary comforts—but, by design, remains laser-focused on the Cunard style and legacy. “There is quite an emphasis on education and enrichment...not climbing walls,” says Robert Howie, the new ship’s hotel manager, stressing the always-key task of matching client to ship. “And while passengers can choose to have dinner in the Lido if they don’t care to dress up, there’s an element of formality on board and the dress code for dining is strictly enforced. In this regard, a lot of heritage comes through, and it’s great to see the ladies and gentlemen dressed up for special occasions.” Sums up Howie, “As a product, Cunard is both relaxed and elegant. The newest Cunard ship offers a laid-back elegant ambiance. onboard review january 2011 This is something that agents should communicate effectively to their clients, as must we in our materials.” The fortunate passengers on board for the full World Voyage—some 800 Britons and 400 Americans along with smaller representations of Germans, Australians, and Japanese—appeared to be thoroughly enjoying the mix of “relaxed and elegant,” which on one evening found some of them gyrating to “Twist and Shout” while others trundled off to a classical concert. Among options on other evenings: a murder mystery presented by the resident theater company in the Royal Court Theatre, and “Jazz Under the Stars” in the airy Garden Lounge. On a typical day, cruisers were treated to just as varied a schedule. Distinguished speakers in the highly regarded Cunard Insights program routinely filled every seat in the theater. Elsewhere, passengers selected from seminars on gem stones and whisky-tasting and organizing digital photos. Then there was the darts competition at the Golden Lion, the gathering of vintage car buffs in the Midships Bar, a crafts class in the Garden Lounge, and bingo in the Queen’s Room. Oh, wait—consultants from the Royal Spa are revealing “Secrets to a Flatter Stomach” in the Yacht Club. These, of course, are the sea days. In ports such as this segment’s Willemsted, Curaçao; Limon, Costa Rica; and Acapulco, Mexico, cruisers deserted the ship in favor of well-managed shore excursions. A stellar event was the big ship’s tight transit through the locks of the Panama Canal—a first for Queen Elizabeth with excitement enough to fill the decks with passengers and shores with residents, all out to take in the show. It would be easy enough to fill sea days with simply exploring the continued on page 50

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2011

Editor"s Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk: Regent Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: The Wayfarers
Africa Travel Options Mix the Classic with the New
Thailand's Koh Samui
Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
Escaping to San Juan's Condado
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Central America: Roads Less Traveled
In Search of Flanders' Holy Ale
Downtown L.A. in the Thick of Things
Scrumptious Savannah
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Recommend August 2011