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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!