Tuesday, 11 November 2008

ABC Wednesday - Q is for ...

... Queen & Quebec





In October 1968, I was ten years of age and

the adventure which had begun two years earlier was coming to an end.

In October 1966 we emigrated to Canada to start a new life.

We left Southampton docks

on the Cunard ship Arcadia and five of us shared a small cabin class room,

two sets of bunk beds and a cot for my 6 month old sister.

We settled in Pointe Claire, Montreal, Quebec.

The following year we moved to Mexico City

following the death of Papacito, my grandfather.

My grandfather was French but longtime Mexican resident.

He moved to Mexico as a young man and was latterly

the General Manager of the very swish department store

Paris, Londres.

We left Mexico and flew to New York,

where we stayed for a few days in the now long gone Hotel Manhattan,

in downtown Manhattan, New York.

A few days later we embarked the Cunard ship RMS Queen Elizabeth,

a much grander ship I had never seen.

First class Verandah grill

A fabulous adventure for young children, I recall watching many films in one of the several cinemas, my brother aged 4 and I exploring the ship. One day we went down some stairs and down and down until we found a swimming pool, but were asked by a steward to leave, I remember feeling very mischievous.

I also ran down a stairway straight into a wall and my nose bled for ages and until it was cauterized twice in '75 -when I was at school in New York state- I often suffered 1-2 hour nose bleeds.

First class Lounge

I remember the trip vividly, especially the last morning when we sailed sedately up the St. Lawrence river in the early hours and which has already been described beautifully here.

On this journey we travelled first class in a 'stateroom', which consisted of adjoining rooms.

My room was shared with Mutti, an elderly lady who was a family friend.

I remember the furniture was covered with green frilly floral upholstery, curtains and bedding.

I remember thinking it was very grand.

Mum & Dad dressed to kill for Captain's Cocktails

1968 Final Voyage RMS Queen Elizabeth

New York/ Southampton

This is also very topical as today the liner HMS Queen Elizabeth II began it's final voyage also!

RMS Queen Elizabeth

The world's largest liner 1939-96


  1. For years my Uncle Danny Leone was cruise dirrector of the Cunard line of ships.I will have to link him to this!!

  2. wow what an adventure. I love ships and their history.

  3. What a lucky child you were to have experienced this amazing ship! I looked at the other photos and it was certainly grand. :D

  4. You and your mom write such interesting posts of an amazingly rich life. I love it!

    Peace - D

  5. You've lived a bit haven't you!! Always such facinating stories to tell :)

  6. Wow - that's very cool! :)

    Did you go to see the engine room or anything cool like that? Hee hee

  7. What a an adventure, especially for a ten year old! :-)

  8. Lucky you. You seem to have travelled quite a bit. In the past I would have liked to go cruising but Greg has never been a good sailor and even the cross-channel ferries had him hanging over the side. I think it is out of the question now.

  9. I wonder, if today, a 10 year old girl would be impressed with sailing on such a grand ship?
    Or have they been over exposed to life's little luxuries?
    Bear((( )))

  10. Well that's a voyage I really enjoyed because you describe it so vividly. Thanks! I know that the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary were the two largest ships in the world at the time.

  11. Lovely post, and your memory is sharper than mine...I remember the journey out but most of the QE1 trip remains a blur.
    Though I do know we were taller?

  12. How lucky you were to have 'cruised' in its heyday, aboard such wonderful ships.
    Your parents look amazing in that pic! Very glamorous.

  13. oh how glorious! great pic of your parents. hooah! xx janelle

  14. Wonderful Qs and wonderful memories .. thanks for sharing!


  15. That was a fantastic voyage. Awesome adventure and you described it so nicely. Like reading a good book!!
    Super post! =)

  16. What an exciting adventure this must have been! I'd love to sail on one of these grand old ships.
    You're also the first post I've seen with Quebec for "Q" today; I expected many more:)

  17. I loved reading all this! You've had so many adventures. OUCH for your poor nose though!
    Excellent Q post!

  18. And gratefully not a tragedy to be found.

    This history runs like a movie in my mind, a movie I've known nothing of, but that I feel a nostalgia for it anyhow. Thanks for this. Lovely.

  19. Lovely memories
    Did you hear that the QE2 ran aground on a sand bank outside of Southampton before her final departure for the middle east?

  20. Really interesting, great pictures of the interior of the ship. I've never been cruising because I hate sailing but I must admit, these liners are magnificent.

    CJ xx

  21. My mum went on a Xmas cruise on the QE2 a few years ago. Unfortunately, it was rather shabby compared to some of the newer, glitzy cruise liners, but still an experience.

  22. Wow! what an adventure.
    I was one of the little kids standing on the beach on the Isle of Wight waving like mad when the big liners sailed out of the Solent.......heading to the New World.

  23. Here is a funny story. My family was supposed to take the ship to England in 1968 so Mom could do some research for her Ph.D, but Mom got pregnant and we decided to fly. I was 11...small world isn't it...


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