Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

When I was 10 years old, my family moved from Hampton, Virginia to Kelsterbach Germany.  At that time it was West Germany.  When we moved, we drove to New York City and boarded RMS Queen Elizabeth.  They loaded up our car on the ship too.  We sailed to LeHarve, France where the family and the car got off the boat, and off we drove to our new home.

This was a magical time.  I have pictures at the bottom.

Imagine my surprise when we arrived in Athens and docked next to our ship was the new Queen Elizabeth.  Here are pictures I took.

Go to the bottom for my pictures and comments on the original RMS Queen Elizabeth.

Here is a picture of the original RMS Queen Elizabeth that I found on the internet.  To my young eyes it was the most exquisite sight I had ever seen (till the SS France on the way back 2 years later).  The ship has 2 classes, first and tourist, and we were in first class.  I could not find pictures of the rooms.  It was like living in a fairy tale.  I had so much fun and never forgot this experience! 

We dressed up every night to go eat as a family in the dining room.  Everything was very formal.

This was one of the lounges.

Here is the movie theater.  I remember going in there and watching Cleopatra several times.  I know another movie was An American in Paris.  The movie started my life long obsession with Paris.

We spent a lot of time in the swimming pool.  Since it is cold crossing the Atlantic, the first class pool was in the bottom of the ship where it would not slosh as much and was warmer.  The tourist class pool was on the top of the ship.  There was only 1 other family with kids that we would see at the pool.  I remember there were a lot of activities for the kids.

To the Ship, Dubrovnik, Corfu and Santorini

We left Trieste early and jumped on our train.  We had first class tickets but there was not a first class car.  The conductor told us to get a refund at the train station when we got to Venice.  Which we did.  It ended up being 10 Euros a piece to go from Trieste to Venice.  Can't beat the trains.  Of course we had luggage which  is not good in second class.  We had our bags piled in 2 seats and the train was packed. 

We got to Venice and had to go over a bridge to get to the people mover.  We made a wise decision to pay a guy to haul our bags since the bridge had steps.  When we got to the other side, we bought people mover tickets for a Euro.  It dumped us off at the ship.  We checked our bags then went to the check in which was very efficient.  Next we went to the cafĂ© for lunch.  It was cafeteria style and the food was good.  Bill especially liked having several small portions of desserts.

We were allowed to go to our room at 1 and I unpacked our backpacks.  We had to wait awhile for our bags but met our steward Angelica.  She was fantastic.  We had a lovely balcony room which we used a lot.  We had lots of storage.  When our bags got there, I send our dirty clothes off the laundry and unpacked the rest.  Bill discovered the English movie channel and ESPN.  We saw more soccer and poker than we wanted since football games and the world series happened in the middle of the night.

We went to dinner where we sat with 4 other couples every night.  We sat with the same Dane's 3 times and several people twice.  We did a 6:30 seating which was perfect for us.  The food was good and lots of choices.

Our first stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia.  We fell in love with the place.  The water was beautiful but there was no sea life in the Mediterranean.  Overfishing then pollution from boats killed it.  We were so disappointed.  The only boats out were pleasure craft.  No fishing boats to be seen.  Most boats were just on docks.

We went to a sidewalk cafe and drank very expensive drinks.  Bill got a coke and I ordered Orangina.  One of my childhood drinks from Germany.  It was just as good as I remembered and Bill liked it too.  We tried to find it in Greece and no one had any clue as to what I wanted.

We took pictures of an old fort but just walked through the town.  Our waiter noticed our binoculars and said he raises birds.  He told us to go to a park several blocks away.  We thought we found the park, but it was wooded.  We ran into some hikers trying to find their way out, so we told them how to get to the road and they told us where the woods were.  It was a lovely time.
Here are some pictures of a canon and a lovely moon!
Corfu was our next stop.  It was also nice.  It had an old fort with a university in the middle of it.  We walked around looked at the birds, listening to the music from the classes. 

The fort is old and the steps were cool!

 Lovely sunset!!

The next stop was Santorini.  Santorini is all on top of a hill.  To get there you take this lift!  It was very fun, but a monopoly.  You either paid 6 Euros to go up and walk the path that would have killed us.

The architecture was stunning.  At the top of the hill is miles of shops.  We did find some nice things to buy.  Bill got a CD of Greek music.


 Santorini at night! We would just eat on the ship and go ashore until our legs couldn't stand it any longer!  We ended up taking lots of naps.

Santorini is just beautiful!!