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Journeys : Jun Jul 2011
Icome from seafaring stock, with sea captains on both sides of my family tree. But if I tell you I feel queasy getting onto a fish punt in Hobart you’ll understand that my decision to accompany my elderly father in February on the newly built luxury Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth was not taken lightly. As expected, I felt movement of the ship as soon as I boarded – and we were still well and tr uly tied to Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal. But out at sea, thanks to the size of the ship and its stabilisers, any queasiness that my four year-old daughter and I may have felt did not last long and we didn’t have to miss any meals. Built in 2010, the Queen Elizabeth takes 2000 passengers and 1000 crew and weighs 90,000 tonnes (the Spirit of Tasmania is 30,000 tonnes). Our leg of the voyage had 880 Australians, 510 British and 216 Americans, w ith a few hundred people doing the full round-the-world voyage. Our route was Sydney to Singapore via Melbourne, Fremantle, Kota Kinabalu, Hong Kong, two Vietnamese ports and two Thai ports. If you like reading, resting, eating, board games, card games, deck games, quizzes, learning to dance, or if you like to party, then this is the holiday for you! Our RACT Travelworld consultants are experts on cruising holidays – call us on 1300 368 111 or visit your local branch. Cruising with the Queen Margie Law The food is wonderful – and there are so many treats! As well as breakfast, lunch and dinner, which you can eat in the à la carte restaurant or buffet cafe, there are spreads for morning and afternoon tea as well as special events like champagne afternoon teas or strawberries and crepes prepared as you wait. I had brought with me swimming pants that only just fitted, soIknewIhadtobevigilantorIwouldbe unable to enjoy the pool. I ate lots of salads and fruit and ran every day. I remained the same weight on disembarking, despite indulg ing in a delicious three-course dinner each night. I often chatted with the staff on the ship. Jayson, a deck hand from the Philippines, told me he works 11 hour days with just half a day off every two months. Every sea day Jayson scrubbed, sanded, varnished, primed and painted the rails and floors on deck and every port day he tended the anchors, gangplanks and tender boats and participated in practice emergency drills. Our cabin steward Melvin was at work before we were up for breakfast and still at it after we returned to our cabin from dinner. Although it is hard work, and many staff leave spouses and children behind for nine months at sea, the economic gains are usually better than what they might find at home. When we disembarked in Singapore I was so glad to have spent 25 precious days w ith my elderly father and young daughter, sharing meals, going ashore for interesting cultural experiences, relaxing and looking for white foamy waves from our cabin window. June / July 2011 59
Apr May 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011