We suggested to a friend who suggested to others and before you knew it, there was a bunch booked for this 6 Night cruise Melbourne to Tasmania and Port Arthur. Our friends plan to check out QE high reputation, dance a bit, sight see and spend sometime together.
We enjoyed the good weather, smooth sailing and with excellent views of the Tasman Peninsula from Mt Wellington. Hobart and Salamanca Place was alright ( there was a big public demo infront of State Parliament for climate change to add some excitement ) and so was Richmond with its iconic arched sandstone bridge built by the colonial convicts to keep them mentally and physically occupied and be a better person after prison, unlike those today. We enjoyed the fresh Tassie scallops and hot scallop pies for lunch at a friendly bakery. But our visit to Port Arthur was most pleasant and enjoyable. See the photos. They speak a thousand words of the wonderful day and the views but not our personal experience. Entry to the penal settlement was free and so was the catamaran cruise in Mason Cove which allowed me to take some beautiful photos.This was a big unexpected bonus.
The ship public areas itself, is beautiful and elegant throughout as to be expected of Cunard. So pleasant to stroll along. So was the individual customer service from cabin stewards to dining stewards to dance hosts and especially, the entertainment director, Neil who also happened to be our zumba instructor. Same thing happened in our previous Queen Victoria cruise to Norwegian fjords. Entertainment director was also the zumba instructor. But Neil, was funny and easy going and the zumba exercises was always full and enjoyable. Line dancing was carried out by various staff from the Royal Court Theatre and were equally well instructed, enjoyable and again, pretty much fully attended.
Many of the guests enjoyed the recorded music ( it was good selection ) sequence dancing hosted by Lesley. She was well assisted by the many good dance hosts especially Jane and " Tarzan " from Wales. Our friends enjoyed the many ballroom and latin dancing to the live sounds of the Queens Room orchestra and especially when they were joined by the Royal Courth Theatre orchestra. What fabulous sounds and great ambience for the night. Jack Kennedy while talented and handsome and does sing well and plays the guitar, too appears to us,to be a bit jaded and flat on several occassions which kind of kill the song and hence, the dance altogether. So we kind of skip the dance altogether when that happens. Jack may do better singing on alternate nights to get the sparkle and be more engaging like Damian Dodd from the QM2 cruise in Feb 2018. Still, there is always some crowd on the dance floor but it peters off very quickly after 10.30pm which was unlike the QM2 and QV cruises that we were on last year. It was going strong till midnight. Okay, we we had other missions. Our friends very, very often have a late night supper in the Lido and catch up on various affairs and with other people we met on the ship. Dancing can be consuming despite what we already ate at dinner. So it was all good. Note, while there was afternoon tea, there was no live band and dancing like those of QM2 afternoon tea. Maybe this is the thing in QE with more dancing in the night instead.
Dining and service in the Britannia was excellent throughout. Dining among good friends, it was even better. Each of us, took our complimentary bottle to share as the sparkling wine does not hold overnight.
Entertainment was very good although it can be a hit and miss from the guest artists. The British comedian who perforned on the 2nd night was hilarious but not the other Aust comedian who was quoting jokes without much consideration as to its appropriateness to the ladies and wives. The lead solo female lady singer ( Lisa ) was superbwith strong vocals and crowd engageent. I remembered seeing her on the Wheelhouse Bar in Rhapsody of the Seas on the Pacific cruise some 10 years ago and she was good then. She may have put specs and a kilo or so, like me as we aged but she still looked marvellous and entertaining, not me or what a shame.
Overall, a fantastic cruise and highly recommneded. We are on the next QE cruise to Yokohama and we will let you know what happened on the next post
We enjoyed Port Arthur penal settlement and the views were excellent. Tender boat was a short 5-10 min smooth ride in Mason Cove.