Simplon - The Passenger Ship Website - www.simplonpc.co.uk
Simplon Home - www.simplonpc.co.uk - Simplon facebook - Recent Updates - Search Simplon - Copyright Information - Contact Simplon - www.cunard.co.uk
This website has no connection with any shipping company, cruise line, boat operator or other commercial organisation - There are no postcards for sale on this website
Queen Victoria Cruise
Voyage V913: Mediterranean Medley II - 17th-30th August 2009
Day 1: 17th August - Southampton Departure
This is the record of a 13 night cruise taken on board Cunard's Queen Victoria from Southampton on 17th August 2009. The party consisted of myself, wife, son and son's friend (both aged 17), in a balcony cabin and opposing inside cabin. Separate pages show the main ports visited, with images of the shipping and other transport systems encountered. This is not primarily a tourist travelogue. This page covers the departure from Southampton on Monday 17th August.
Overall this was a hugely enjoyable cruise, and the few gripes detailed on subsequent pages did little to affect this. I found Queen Victoria to be a comfortable and well laid out ship. However I did not form an immediate affection for her. This my be due to her newness, but I did form an immediate attachment to Oriana in her first season, and also to Aurora on her first completed (but third scheduled) voyage, despite some misgivings about the open plan passenger flows. Queen Victoria maintains a similar design style throughout, loosely based on that of the first Queen Mary. Nothing stands out as being exceptional, but nothing offends either. She is virtually smoke free as cruise ships increasingly are, with only the casino as a no-go area if you prefer breathing air to smoke. The cruise experience has been immeasurably improved over the last few years for non-smokers, fug-filled rooms a thing of the past.
The weather throughout was fantastic, with continuous sunshine from our sailaway past Cowes and the Nab Tower until sunset on the final sea day on the 29th August. If anything, temperatures were too high, hovering around the mid to upper 30°s until we made our final call at Gibraltar when it was a pleasant 28°C. Only on the return sea days did it drop below 20°C, although remaining sunny. The only rain was a very brief but heavy thundery shower as we left Palma.
The cruise was initially advertised as a 12 night voyage. An extra day, and a call at Livorno (Pisa/Florence) was added by shortening the following minicruise from 4 to 3 nights. The map below reflects this revised itinerary. Finally, just 6 days before departure, we were informed that the Livorno and Civitavecchia calls were being transposed, which obviously saves fuel, and allows a weekday visit to Rome (more Vatican tour options than a Sunday?). The itinerary below shows the actual route taken - the map incorrectly shows Civitavecchia preceding Livorno. This late change caused us considerable annoyance since we had pre-booked tours of the Colosseum and Leaning Tower at Pisa. These were only changed after much effort and additional expense, so Cunard started the cruise with some ill feeling from us.
Both Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 were in port on 17th August, the former at the Mayflower Terminal and the latter at the new Ocean Terminal. Queen Victoria was due to depart first at 16:30, but was late due to a delayed delivery of bottled 'Cunard water'. Queen Mary 2 left first and we never came close to her. Both Ocean Scene and Ashleigh R of Blue Funnel Cruises were running harbour tours to see the departure of the two Queens. A day of dull weather brightened up as we left, giving a spectacular view of the Nab Tower. This weather continued over the following days, with mid to high 30s and blue skies every day, but visibility remaining good. This was too hot to do much walking in many of the ports.
An initial problem was that despite booking two adjacent cabins simultaneously with Cunard we were allocated different tables for dinner. This could not be rectified for the first evening, but we were promised a change for the second night. However, we all enjoyed the company on our separate two tables and our son decided that they preferred their existing table rather than risk a change of companions.
I also had 120 free minutes of internet access as a Cunard Gold Club member, but the internet service was appallingly slow - quite the worst speeds encountered in all my years of cruising. Theoretically I could have wi-fi access in the cabin, bit not within my 120 free minutes. By day 5 I had used only 6 of my free minutes since I could not access any websites on numerous attempts. The ship is apparently being re-cabled (on a ship less than 2 years old?) but this will not be completed until September. With a crucial Ashes match in progress it was very irritating, plus I could not upload any of these web pages as they were completed as I have always been able to do in the past on P&O, Princess, Celebrity or RCI ships, and even on the QE2.
Day 1 17th Aug - Southampton Mayflower Pier Dep: 4:30pm
Day 2 18th Aug - At Sea Full Day Cruising
Day 3 19th Aug - At Sea Full Day Cruising
Day 4 20th Aug - At Sea Full Day Cruising
Day 5 21st Aug - Barcelona - Arr: 8:00am Dep: 5:30pm
Day 6 22nd Aug - Monte Carlo - Arr: 8:00am Dep: 6:00pm
Day 7 23rd Aug - Livorno - Arr: 8:00am Dep: 6:30pm
Day 8 24th Aug - Civitavecchia - Arr: 7:00am Dep: 7:00pm
Day 9 25th Aug - Alghero - Arr: 8:00am Dep: 5:00pm
Day 10 26th Aug - Palma - Arr: 8:00am Dep: 4:00pm
Day 11 27th Aug - Gibraltar - Arr: 1:00pm Dep: 6:30pm
Day 12 28th Aug - At Sea Full Day Cruising
Day 13 29th Aug - At Sea Full Day Cruising
Day 14 30th Aug - Southampton Mayflower Pier - Arr: 6:30am
Sections on this Page
APL Russia - American President Lines
Blue Funnel Cruises - Solent & Wight Line
Queen Mary 2
Red Funnel Ferries
Ships on this Page
APL Russia - American President Lines
Ashleigh R - Blue Funnel Cruises
Normandie Express - Brittany Ferries
Ocean Scene - Blue Funnel Cruises
Queen Mary 2
Red Jet 4 - Red Funnel Ferries
Red Jet 5 - Red Funnel Ferries
Solent Cat - Solent & Wight Line
Queen Victoria Pages
Queen Victoria - Page 1a - 2007 Images
Queen Victoria - Page 1b - 2008 Images
Queen Victoria - Page 2 - Postcard Images
Cunard Line Pages:-
Cunard - Header Page
Cunard - Page 1 - Ocean Liners 1838-1899
Cunard - Page 2 - Ocean Liners 1900-1914
Cunard - Page 3 - Ocean Liners 1915-1939
Cunard - Page 4 - Ocean Liners 1940-1970
Cunard - Page 5 - Cruise Ships 1971-
UK Excursion Vessels
World Ferry Fleets
Simplon Postcards. Home Page
Simplon Postcards - Recent Updates
Cunard Line - www.cunard.co.uk