Marcia Levin recently completed a transatlantic cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria.
The crossing has been completed.
I spent a few days in the UK, and returned home Saturday. Laundry is done, my dry cleaning has been dropped off, and I will eventually go about the business of getting back to business.
It was a good trip – one I thought long and hard about . I know I made the right choice.
Queen Victoria is the quintessential British product. Although Cunard is part of Carnival Corp., it is a testimony to corporate management that the line has retained its super-strong British personality. I believe the ship is even more British than Queen Elizabeth 2 or Queen Mary 2.
Maybe it is the Victoriana decor, it is certainly more than a formal tea time in the Queens Room, but it is hard to define. I think the vessel – and in 16 days I walked about every inch of her – is amazing. One sensed the UK a long time before our Thursday arrival in Southampton. And the Cunardia collection of maritime history is a sheet delight for anyone interested in ships, immigration and luxury liners. All from the British point of view.
And that’s a good thing. I am an Anglophile. I enjoyed my time in London.
Two highlights? Seeing an American playwright’s famous 77-year-old work (Lillian Hellman’s “The Children’s Hour” with Ellen Burstyn. Carol Kane, Keira Knightley and Elisabeth Moss) play to a packed house in the West End; and dining in the 138-year-old Criterion Restaurant with a good friend. In one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s early books he has Watson and Holmes meeting at the bar at the Criterion.
And, of course, the uber-hype of The Wedding pervades everything about the city.
So it was a good trip.
I loved the ship’s daytime programming, enjoyed the gym, spa and salon, met new people and enjoyed my table. We were a group of nine: two couples from Canada and Germany respectively, three Brits and two Americans. Dinners – really the only time we were all together – were fun. Some of us split up for evening theater productions, others toured together or met for a drink. Officers and crew on Queen Victoria are terrific and all, in all, the crossing was great.