| Cunard Queen Victoria 2016
Spain & Morocco and Canary Islands Celebrations
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Christmas was everything we could hope for and more - Cunard do Christmas well as we have found on previous years. It was far more than all the trees and decorations round the ship and a couple of good meals.
The comprehensive decorations had been going up through the previous cruise and a Christmas market was held in the Queens Room. A huge Gingerbread Village appeared opposite the Golden Lion Pub and more appeared round the ship as Christmas approached, many with bowls of Licorice Allsorts and Smarties, as well as other delicacies, in front of them. And of course any excuse was taken to bring out ice carvings. There was also the usual choir in the Grand Lobby at the end of the first cruise.
Christmas however really started at Southampton when passengers were embarking for what was our second of our back-to-back cruises. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Choral Chorus came on board and gave two 'performances, the first less formal on the double-down stairs in the grand lobby which is an ideal setting with passengers filling all three levels and they followed up with a mid afternoon performance in Queens Room. Both were exceptionally good and we attended both.
There were several more performances of Carols and other Christmas songs on the staircase of the Grand Lobby, one by a choir hastily trained from the passengers and secondly a choir led by the Captain and Officers of the Queen Victoria - they were both packed on every level and everyone was joining in. There was even artificial snow falling during the staff one and Mince Pies being handed out but the staff found it difficult to penetrate the crowd.
There is usually a reading by the Captain for the younger guests - it turns out there are a lot of young at heart as well who come to listen. Normally there are very few children on Cunard ships and they have special facilities for them but over Christmas they were many more family groups and they were much more prominent.
There were several alternative services and a midnight mass on Christmas eve and we went to the Inter Denominational Service of carols and readings led by the Captain on Christmas morning - there were 9 carols and readings again it was full, this time in the Grand Theatre. This finished just in time to get to see the arrival of Santa - there was a video feed in the Queens room of his arrival on the funnel before he came down and through the ship. Again a magnificent show for the kids each of whom got an individual present addressed to them from him, with of course a photo taken! The Elf and Safety, department, staffed by the children's 'nurses', did a full inspection before anyone was allowed to sit on Santa's lap.
We had a few minutes after lunch to recover before going to the Garden Lounge for the relay of the Queens speech. We were very glad we were second sitting for Dinner, formal of course, where there was Norfolk Turkey and all the trimmings but also we were recommended the Chateaubriand which was blood red and melted in the mouth.
The following pictures taken round the Queen Victoria show something of the Decorations and celebrations which took place over Christmas and the New Year
|Copyright © Peter and Pauline Curtis
Content revised: 2nd January, 2018