Queen Elizabeth II

The queen of cruise ships until her big sister the Queen Mary II was built, the QE2 is a magnificent ship of classic beauty. It is also a floating live-entertainment multiplex with many musicians and entertainers aboard and excellent venues in which to perform. Piano entertainer London Bobby headlined the Golden Lion Pub on the QE2, November 2/04 to January 15/05.

Best For People Who Want: To experience the classic style of the famous ocean liners of yesteryear or who want a truly elegant cruising experience not normally found on most mass market ships.
Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer: Mega-ship sports facilities, lots of alternative dining options, plenty of late-night singles action and a "party hardy" type shipboard atmosphere

A "crossing" on the QE2 is definitely a formal experience, and most evenings' dress requirements are listed as formal in the daily program. Most men don tuxedos, while the ladies pull out their finest ball gowns for a night of dancing and merriment in the many elegant lounges and dance venues onboard. If you don't care for a high standard of formality, you may wish to steer clear of this ship, as the formal dress code for the evening is in force for all public areas, not just the restaurants and one will definitely feel out of place meandering the public venues in less than dressy clothing.

The QE2 is an elegant ship, if nothing else. Common areas are for the most part spacious, and the pace onboard is relaxed. The blue carpeting, paneled mahogany walls and plethora of high quality art work lends itself to a relaxed and elegant onboard experience. Entertainment is geared for an older passenger mix and you won't find "whacky and wild pool games" on this ship. Afternoon tea is a time-honored tradition and quite a production. Waiters line up in the front of the Queen's Room and then parade to their individual stations to pour tea and offer trays of delightful nibbles. The QE2 orchestra or a harpist provides the musical background for this elegant affair that is very, very popular with passengers

Entertainment: Dancing is a big part of life on the QE2. The ship really comes alive in the evenings, with music and entertainment available in multiple venues. A pianist can be heard in the Chart Room, while a harpist entertains in the Crystal Bar. Traditional pub fare can be enjoyed with a glass of ale in the Golden Lion Pub, and the QE2 Orchestra and Queens Room Dance Band entertain nightly in the Queens Room. Having perhaps the largest dance floor at sea, the Queens Room is a magnet for those people who enjoy dancing in the evening, and several "gentleman" dance hosts are always aboard to ensure the single ladies are never short of good dance partners. Daily dance classes are held so that dance enthusiasts are up to date on all the latest steps.

The Grand Lounge is the setting for classical recitals and lively West-End-Style revues. Stage shows are presented in this lounge by "guest troupes" of fledgling West End and Broadway stage productions purportedly onboard to prepare a show for a real big city debut. The actors hold workshops and interact with the passengers on a regular basis. The Chart Room hosts classical concerts while the Queens Room features the ship's orchestra for ballroom dancing in the evening. A classical trio, harpist, pianist, several dance combos and a Caribbean steel band also offer evening musical diversions in a variety of venues onboard

Visit Cunard's site and Cruise comment to read more about this ship.

London Bobby has been presenting his comedy, songs and piano stylings on cruise ships since 1996, most recently with RCCL and Cunard. See Where is he now?

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email: bob@londonbobby.com
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