A Travellerspoint blog

For They Are Jolly Good

and quite white

RUSS_RAFF_crossing.jpegFirst, the bad news: we all mostly look alike. There is a distinct absence of diversity among a passenger list that shows guests aboard from 32 countries.

There are five passengers from the continent of Africa, all of them from South Africa. There are no passengers from South America. I leave it to you as to why there are no Brazilians or Argentinians; and why nobody comes from the Caribbean.

The Asia Pacific region has offered up 54 Australians and eight New Zealanders; there is one Taiwanese, one Singaporian, one Malaysian, one Indian and a pair of Japanese.

From Europe, six come from Austria, three from Belgium, one Croatian, one Czech, five Danes, eight Dutch, two Finns, a dozen French, two Hungarians, 21 Irish, two Israeli, five Italian, one Norwegian, two Poles, four Portuguese, one Romanian, five Spanish, one Ukranian, 40 Swiss and, perhaps since Hamburg is the next port after Southampton, 326 Germans.

North America sends four Mexicans, 78 Canadians (perhaps since the voyage prior to this one originated in Quebec and 549 Americans. There is no data regarding home states.

That totals 1,152 passengers; 46.5% of the total 2,478 officially booked aboard. It appears to me—and this is entirely unofficial—that there are only five children and a smattering of teenagers. On this, the only ship at sea with a proper kennel, I think I heard that there are more dogs than children: fifteen. And, there are two cats.

Aboard this very British ship, the remaining 1,326 of us come from the United Kingdom. In case you are wondering, there is no breakdown available as to how many of them are Welsh or Scots.B4NeewFriends.jpeg

I am surprised that there are no Chinese but not shocked at the absence of folks from Greenland even though we, at a distance, pass right by.

We are served by a crew of 1,239, who hail from 62 countries. No breakdown of now many are from which country—or even which countries those are—is available. I would guess that the majority are from the Philippines.

Sadly, among passengers and crew, the number of persons with black skin must be fewer than ten.large_PanoramicAtlantic.jpeg

Many of my fellows have lost their hair and the majority, like me, have lost their original hair color. There are not many wheelchairs or walkers but quite a few canes. A good number of gay men are travelling with their husbands. One man is heavily tattooed beyond his total sleeves and hands to include many markings on his face. Smokers retire to the stern of deck seven to smoke (where I walk laps) but there aren’t many of them at any one time.

This is a well-dressed bunch with their finery adorned by diamonds, none greater however than my companion. Their metamorphosis from afternoon High Tea casual to evening high style is nothing short of remarkable and delightful. There are few to no t-shirts or cutoffs even during the day; what shorts that exist are of the Bermuda variety. Denim is absent. 92741410-ccc3-11e8-bfae-df69d9b7cd51.jpeg

There are many smiles from those making eye contact and a goodly amount of “Good Mornings” or “Good Afternoons” offered up.

As is always the case, there are avid crossers and cruisers aboard. One, we are told at a Captain's Cocktail Party for "World Club" members, has spent 749 nights aboard Cunard ships, another has 913 nights but the champion "World Club" member aboard QM2 is Zeffi Bowles who has logged 945 nights at sea aboard Cunard ships.

Perhaps most interesting to me is a profound realization. While in the Golden Lion Pub listening to Paul Garthwaite doing his “History of the Electric Guitar” series (one early evening on Eric Clapton and the next on Mark Noffler of Dire Straites) where he performed guitar licks from hits we all know before playing some or all of the famous songs themselves, I watched my fellow audience members. Their faces and their tapping of toes or keeping of rhythm with their drum hands tells only a piece of the story. Many mimed all the lyrics as well. They knew the words to these hits of thirty or forty or fifty years ago. The inescapable conclusion is clear: we were all young once. We all stayed out too late or drank a bit too much or partied a bit too hard. We listened to the music and it became a part of us. Now, as we are in our sixties or seventies or eighties, the music awaits to be brought to life inside us and when we relive it we are in our teens and twenties once more. UnderTheBoardwalk.jpeg

Thus is the Golden Lion Pub when the Queen’s Room is not. Mr. Garthwaite played The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac at 9:30 to a standing room only crowd.

Posted by paulej4 12:40 Tagged queen mary 2

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NICE! Looks amazing! On our bucket list!!

by Linda Lee

Paul, I'm enjoying your blog. Your comments today about how the music is bringing back memories reminds me of a fine documentary that I would suggest you add to your list for future viewing: "Alive Inside". It's about the power of music and memory in the senior population, particularly in those who seemingly have dementia. It's fascinating.
Gay Lee

by Gay Lee Ludwig-Bonney

Add me to list of “golden oldies”. My Sirius station is continually playing tunes from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and I often find myself thinking back to those days. Great Music and happily NOT THERE, rap music.........

by Ray Stuart

You two are a beautiful (and very glamorous) couple!

by Mary Lee Schneider

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