Max Visits The Queen

What? Did you just say we are going to see a Queen?

What? Did you just say we are going to see a Queen?

The majestic cruise ship Queen Victoria arrived for a one day port call in Honolulu enroute to the South Pacific and a continuation of its around the world voyage.

The Queen Victoria visited for only one day enroute to the rest of her around the world journey. Here she is at Pier 8, Honolulu Harbor.

The Queen Victoria visited for only one day enroute to the rest of her around the world journey. Here she is at Pier 8, Honolulu Harbor.

Max and I invited the Alpha Japanese Female (AJF) to join us on a walk down by the docks to take a peek at this ship and join us for an imaginary cruise with the rich and famous.

It was a misty day with mauka showers passing overhead so not prime photography weather but, hey, this Hawaii so how bad can it be?

The MS Queen Victoria, to give her proper name, is a sister ship with Cunard Lines two other “Queens”, the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Queen Mary 2.

Max and my date for our imaginary voyage across the 7 Seas.

Max and my date for our imaginary voyage across the 7 Seas.

This 965 foot Panamax-sized vessel has twelve decks for 2,014 passengers and 900 crew and features seven restaurants, thirteen bars, three swimming pools, a ballroom, and a theater. Yet, at 90,000 tons, she is the smallest of the ships. Launched in 2007, she is also the newest of the Three Queens.

Interestingly, the Queen Victoria is not considered an ocean liner. Rather, she is classified as a cruise ship, the distinctions being fixed routes and schedules, heavier hull plating, larger fuel capacities and storage areas and a different mission: ocean liners are primarily mercantile vessels with pleasure passengers being a sideline. As of 2015, the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only ship still in service as a true ocean liner.

Cunard photo of QV's central atrium area.

Cunard photo of QV’s central atrium area.

QV, as I call her, is theoretically a classless ship with all passengers being equal.

But we all know that some passengers are more equal than others based on the price of their tickets and so it is on the Three Queens where there are different dinner restaurants.

It all depends on which class you are classless in.

Other than that, the great unwashed from the lower decks are permitted to mingle in all public areas and pollute the rarefied air intended for the better class of traveler.

I want Max to come along with us so we can all play together. There's plenty of room.

I want Max to come along with us so we can all play together. There’s plenty of room.

A 120-day around the world ticket on her floating majesty will pinch your Visa to the tune of $62,000 for a rather modest suite.

You can spend lots more if you are motivated towards plushier accommodations such as one of the four Master Suites which offer you about 2,000 square feet to spread out.

They are located aft, with great ocean views from their private wrap-around balconies, which contain a complete wet bar.

The suites have two bedrooms with walk-in closets; bathroom with bathtub and separate shower enclosure; lounge; and a dining room with seating for six. The Malt approves; two paws way up.

I'll wear out my tuxedo shoes prancing from venue to venue. I wonder if there is a casino?

I’ll wear out my tuxedo shoes prancing from venue to venue. I wonder if there is a casino?

On the other hand, if you are a cheapskate, $20,000 will get you a room on bottom decks for 120 days where you can spend your miserly and miserable existence re-enacting scenes from Titanic, the movie.

Returning home from their world cruises, the Three Queens will line up together in Southampton on May 3rd and then will meet again in Liverpool on May 25th to celebrate Cunard’s 175th anniversary.

When they sail up the Mersey together on May 25 it will be only the fourth place on the globe where the trio of ships has met. In 2011, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Victoria gathered in New York.

The Queens sailing in Lisbon in 2014, photo by James Morgan.

The Queens sailing in Lisbon in 2014, photo by James Morgan.

In 2014, the Three Queens met once again, this time on the River Tagus at Lisbon.

Finally, the Queens came together formally twice in their regular home port of Southampton – once to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and again shortly after their Lisbon meeting last year.

The AJF and I have been on two cruises, one to Alaska and one around the Hawaiian Islands, both aboard lovely Norwegian Cruise Lines vessels.  She is a big fan of this type of holiday; I was less impressed although I enjoyed my time on-board.

One wonders if any Royals have actually used the spa? If so, please pass the Royal Loofah while I exfoliate.

One wonders if any Royals have actually used the spa? If so, please pass the Royal Loofah while I exfoliate.

Neither of us are enthralled by all-you-can-possibly-shove-down-your-gullet consumption which appeared to be one of the major attractions for many cruise passengers but we liked the shows and entertainment, the lectures and lounging. I liked the gym and the AJF liked the spa so all in all we were happy cruisers.

I think it would be different on the Queen Victoria. I told the AJF she would have to wear a ball gown better than any seen by Kate Middleton and I a baby blue tuxedo that would shame Jared Leto. Wait a minute…   The Malt would have a jeweled harness and a collar studded with 500 Swarovski crystals. We giggled.

Is this too feminine or dainty for Maxwell? What do you think?

Is this too feminine or dainty for Maxwell? What do you think?

She told me we would dine on pheasant and keep the glass it came under. Champagne would flow and we would dance as though our hips don’t hurt and we would teach Max to pirouette and properly bow when meeting other posh dogs.

Our imaginary voyage was marvelous and we enjoyed the trip, full of dreams about sailing in a style we will never experience and maybe that’s the best trip of all – the perfect one in your mind’s eye where nothing ever goes awry and Maltese are always welcome.

He dreams of meeting canine princesses and sipping his water from crystal bowls.

He dreams of meeting canine princesses and sipping his water from crystal bowls.

By the time we got home, the princely pupster was tuckered and ready for a nap.

That night we ate rolled cabbages and it was almost as good as pheasant.

Fair winds and following seas, Queen Victoria!

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28 Responses to Max Visits The Queen

  1. loisajay says:

    The thought of being ‘out there’ surrounded totally by water and not knowing exactly (accent on exactly) where I am freaks me out just a tad. Never having been on a cruise, I think I’ll hang out with Max and just sleep through it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have control issues, Lois? No worries, those boats have displays everywhere to show you maps of exactly where you will sink and drown slowly, I mean, where you are sailing at any given moment. You’re pretty close to the world capitol for cruising and there are cheap, quick deals that you could try just to see if it appeals. It’s an unusual experience, at least to me, but worth the shot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kismet says:

    I wondering about the 2,000+ passengers who got to Hawai’l and expected to get lei’d.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh. If you saw the profile – the demographic – of the passengers you would realize that was the last thing on their mind. My guess is that the average passenger is mid-70s and upward. You need a lot of nickels to get on this boat, birdie, and a lot of free time to spend them. There were forklifts lined up just to load the Metameucil.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. kerbey says:

    As much as I loved the Love Boat, I would worry on a cruise, whatwith all the sickness and toppling over and nonesuch going on these days. We just watched a Disney Cruise liner on the telly that had interactive animated portholes and paintings on the walls that talked. That might be worth it, if not for unsanitized mannerless children. Your imaginary game sounds fun. Pheasant and champagne might put me over the edge, with seasickness, but they sure look lovely. I’d think 5 days would be plenty stuck on a ship, no matter how large. Esp in my lower class classlessness. I better not be fed dark meat chicken like a prole. Who on earth could do 120 days? Who would pay all the bills that come in during your absence? They’d shut the lights and gas off! Who would feed your dogs? They’d feel abandoned at a kennel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Disney cruise sounds like one of Dante’s levels of Hell for me. I mean, I suppose one can be segregated from the gap toothed toddling berserkers racing around, puking and looking Goofy and that’s just the group tour from Walmart. But how to avoid the kids? I like kids, I’ve had kids, I sold kids…wait, forget that part. But I do not want to be corralled with herds of anonymous tykes.

      If you can afford the QV global cruise, Kerbey, you have minions to do all the scut work you worry about. Bills, pshaw, that’s for the little people and the chickens on the QV don’t even have any dark meat – they are all breast with little feet, much like Snooki.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Mother lives in Southampton where the local papers regularly report the arrival of cruise ships awash with vomit and faeces and passengers transported to hospital with food poisoning….sort of puts me off.

    I think Max needs that necklace restyled into a harness, then it would be perfect for his more formal outings. You know, to welcome Presidents and suchlike trash to the island…someone has to add tone to the event.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As we saw with all those outbreaks of the Norovirus, the ships can act as Petri dishes to incubate all sorts of nasty diseases especially of a gastrointestinal nature. That would be terrible: queasy stomach while on a ship on a bouncy bit of ocean.
      – “Some oysters, sir, with your Champagne?”
      – “Bleccccch….”

      It seems cruising is something of a polarizing option for holidays. As usual when faced with things calling for strong opinions, we don’t have them. What we liked about cruising is that it’s a very convenient and luxurious way to visit interesting destinations but the true fun was on shore and sadly that time was all too short. I guess once again à chacun son goût. Same with the dog collar. Max says “forget about it.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it’s the places to visit that would attract me….but as you say visiting hours are pretty curtailed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        Hmm…Max with all that bling? No, I think your Max is like our Lady scrubs up alright but diamond collars can cramp your style and mean you have to sit still on a velvet cushion instead of gallivanting through the bush chasing rabbits, cats and possibly following up on some of those online dating opportunities.
        Lady is still wearing the “bush collar” she arrived in. It’s green with the diamantes on the inside of the collar and Lady is written on the collar in permanent marker. I haven’t had the heart to replace it as I know how much her previous owners loved her.
        That said, I wouldn’t mind getting her something posh yet functional…especially for our cafe visits.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe you could approach Lindt about expanding their branding programs! “Lady Lindt” in diamonds or other precious stones would be a win-win.It’s funny how we obsess about whether our doggies like their fashion accouterments. They are sitting there wondering why there is a bit of leather or fabric around their neck and we are agonizing “Do you really think she likes it?”

          Liked by 1 person

          • roweeee says:

            I remember my mum dressing me up as a little girl in stiff and starchy dresses and precious shoes when I just wanted to play. That said, I do like a bit of fashion. Oh and I forgot to mention my daughter’s plans to get clothes for Lady! That was rather inevitable!

            Like

    • Years back I traveled to the Duke’s Keep in Southampton to try and convince the folks at Cunard to let the company I represented operate the duty free stores on their liners. They were the most singularly insufferable folks with whom I ever held a business meeting. I flew there from New York at their request, made my down there by train and then was kept waiting for an hour and then given all of about 20 minutes of faux interest before being sent packing.

      I bring this up because. I started to think of your Mother – she’s 98, right? – standing on the shores in Southhampton and giving those (rather pompous) Cunard executives the sharper side of her tongue.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Like Dr. Suess says…”Oh the places you will go!” Sometimes that can mean those places in your mind as well. I’ve been on a number of cruises, including Europe, it’s a fabulous (and ‘reasonably’ inexpensive) way to see lots of sites without having to pack and repack when you venture out and I recommend it highly. You’re correct though about the eat-till-you-drop mentality of some guests. Luckily I move around a lot on board and have actually lost weight cruising which is to be expected when you’re in steerage and always take the stairs. 🙂 That said, it is a lovely way to travel-being soothed by waves, blue skies and fascinating locales makes for great trip memories. 🙂 P.S. Did not know the difference between cruise ships and ocean liners. Fascinating!

    Liked by 1 person

    • roweeee says:

      Love the Dr Suess quote, Monika. I remember finding some great lines in there when I was reading them to the kids. That one definitely had some great quotes xx Rowena

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are spot on that the cost for cruising, broken down on a per day basis for food, lodging, transport, entertainment, etc., is actually lower than alternatives. Sometimes there are great bargains as when a ship re-positions from one market to another.

      Like Roweee, I love the Seuss quote, it’s one of my favorites and it’s the one I whispered when our twin grand daughters were born.

      Like

  6. We took a cruise on the Mediterranean for our 30th anniversary. Pros: being able to shut off our brains and not worry about a thing except catching the shore excursion boat on time. No worries about currency exchanges or navigating foreign roads. Cons: The DISGUSTING recreational aspect to inhaling massive amounts of food. Truly it was repulsive to watch. I wasn’t happy about the people we were force-seated with (before open seating was introduced) who were dullards in the extreme. Example: Me (desperately trying to introduce some level of conversation): So, what did you think of Pompeii? Him: It was different.
    Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. zebrakat says:

    I love the photos with the ship behind you. 😄

    Like

    • I don’t quite know why I am drawn to these big ships but I rarely miss an opportunity to look at them. Maybe in some other life, in another world I was a sea captain but chances are I was the rat running down the anchor line or the guy adding coal to the engines when the captain said he wanted to go water skiing.

      Liked by 1 person

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