Why Sail with Cunard?

Dear Traveler,

Are you thinking of taking a cruise? a voyage? a journey by sea?  Or are you thinking specifically of sailing with Cunard?

This legendary cruise line is betting you’re just not looking for any cruise experience, and that you’re not going to just “fall into a Cunard cruise.”  They’re pretty sure that you’re looking for them.  After all, Cunard goes back to the 19th Century has quite the venerable grande dames of the seas in their fleet – Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth.  And they had the QE2 for many years.

The Core of Cunard is White Star Service: white gloves at embarkation, your room steward or butler and 1 staff member per couple.  And there are the Grills, Princess Grill or Queens Grill “for pure elegance and the best accommodations at seat.”  Queens Grill suites range from 500 to over 2,200 square feet, including duplexes and penthouses.

Dining. They boast table-side cooking, carving and flambe’. And your meal is served on Wedgwood bone china, and your drinks served in Waterford crystal.  With sterling silver, of course. It’s clearly different from other lines.

On board lecturers hail from the Royal Astronomical Society and entertainers from the Julliard School.  Other speakers are ambassadors, statesmen, politicians, journalists, academics and broadcasters. And how about acting lessons on Queen Mary 2 with teachers from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Or fencing instruction on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth with equipment from Leon Paul Fencing Equipment.

In the evening?  How about a Royal Night Theme Balls? Sounds fun!  Or casino games, musical revues in the Royal Court Theatre. Or lounge entertainment, or just strolling on the open deck.

You can be married onboard or if you already have a family there are children’s’ programs.

I’m a Cunard Commodore, a small group of travel agents who have studied the line backwards and forwards and who have submitted to gruelling tests.  Happy to help you if I can.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & complimentary amenities with Voyager Club on certain sailings.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco’s financial district
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with casto, a virtuoso member agency

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Read my review of Seabourn Sojourn
Read my review of Silver Cloud
Read my review of Oceania’s Marina
Read all luxury cruise ship reviews with photos

Josh Friedman is a travel agent specializing in luxury travel for small groups and individuals – particularly ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations and food & wine inspired journeys.  Based in San Francisco, and with clients throughout the USA, his business is focused on 24/7 personalized service to the sophisticated leisure and business traveler.  His personal  relationships with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies often allows for exclusive amenities and VIP status. 

If you’d like to learn more about luxury travel and our services, please contact Josh Friedman Luxury Travel in San Francisco’s Financial District via phone at 415.987.0372  or email at josh at joshfriedmantravel dot com. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, too.

associated with casto, a virtuoso member and four seasons preferred partner, 500 sansome st., san francisco, ca 94111 cst#1008439-10


Queen Elizabeth Naming | Cunard’s Newest Cruise Ship

Her Majesty the Queen to Name Queen Elizabeth. Cunard news.
Cunard Academy Insider
Special Edition September 2010
We are honoured and proud to announce that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will name our new Cunarder QUEEN ELIZABETH on Monday 11 October
Her Majesty the Queen to Name Queen Elizabeth
Cunard Line is pleased to announce that Her Majesty The Queen will name the company’s new Queen Elizabeth, the third Cunard ship to bear the name, at a ceremony to take place in Southampton, England on Monday, 11 October 2010.The naming will be a milestone in British maritime history and will be a major event of worldwide interest.“The naming of a Cunard Queen is a very special occasion and this will be an historic event in the true sense of the word,” said Peter Shanks, president of Cunard Line. “The Queen launched Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1967 and named our current flagship, Queen Mary 2, in 2004. We are both honoured and proud that Her Majesty will name our new liner, Queen Elizabeth,” added Shanks.

Her Majesty was also present at the age of 12 at the launch of the first Queen Elizabeth on 27 September 1938 when she accompanied her mother, Queen Elizabeth, to Clydebank for the launch.

The Naming Ceremony will take place in Southampton on Monday, 11 October and Queen Elizabeth will set sail on her Maiden Voyage the following day.

Other historic namings of Cunard ships by British royalty over the Line’s 170-year history include the following:

  • Her Majesty The Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, launched Caronia, the ‘Green Goddess,’ in 1947.
  • Her Majesty Queen Mary, wife of King George V, launched Queen Mary in 1934 – and in so doing became the first British Monarch ever to launch a merchant ship. His Majesty King George V accompanied his wife.
  • The late Queen Mother, as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, launched
    Queen Elizabeth in 1938. Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret accompanied their mother.
  • HRH The Princess Margaret launched Carinthia in 1955.
  • HRH The Duchess of Cornwall named Queen Victoria in Southampton in December 2007. HRH The Prince of Wales was also in attendance.

Visit WeAreCunard.com to read Peter Shank’s blog entry about this exciting announcement.

josh friedman luxury travel at casto
in san francisco’s financial district
415.248.5079 | http://www.joshfriedmantravel.com
a virtuoso member agency

Cunard’s Queen Victoria | A Visit

Cunard’s Queens

Cunard’s Queen Victoria, smaller sister to Queen Mary 2, was here in San Francisco on Wednesday picking up guests on her circumnavigation of the Earth — ending in Southampton in April.  

[before i forget, you can still fly to Dubai to join her for that last leg at very favorable rates]  

I’ve sold Queen Mary 2 before to some well-heeled travelers from both New York and San Francisco but hadn’t the chance to visit myself.  Some of my impressions, and of course, photos follow.  

For more photos, please visit www.flickr.com/joshfriedmantravel  

Size | At 90,000 gross registered tons (grt) she’s not the biggest luxury ship around (QM2 is 151,400) but she’s not the smallest either (Seabourn’s original ships are 10,000 grt and the newer ones are about 30).  But the way she’s designed she comes across as fairly intimate.  The hallways and various passages are narrow and subdued in color, and there are no atriums like in some hotels and ships, so one doesn’t get that super grand feeling. In fact, the only two public area where you really grasp the size of the ship are in the Queens Room (a massive ballroom) and in the theater.  

Dining | Cunard is well known for elegant dining and three distinct classes on board – the famous Queens Grill and Princess Grill. And the Britannia accommodations for everybody else. Britannia is fine – again it doesn’t come across as being massive and I don’t think you’d feel as if you were 1 in a million.  The Queens Grill and adjacent Princess Grill is a different story. If you’re used to the smaller luxury lines, like Seabourn, Silversea or Regent, this would even feel small to you. These dining rooms are small, with service more personalized. Private lounges, patios and exclusive suite accommodations accompany the Grills but the experience culminates in the restaurants.  

Dress | Cunard makes no bones about the onboard ambiance. This is not like any other cruise line these days. Gentlemen are expected to dress in a tuxedo on formal evenings and the ladies in their finest. When I asked a staff member about this he was mildly horrified that I’d even brought up the subject. However he also told me that about 5% of the men just wear dark suits.  Quelle horreur! 

Decor & Cabins | It’s classic, traditional and nautical.  And it’s historical.  Everywhere you’re discovering old ship memorabilia including models, menus, souvenir booklets and massive photos of past guests like Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. And there’s a lovely photo of Camilla Parker Bowles, the ship’s Godmother, in case you forgot you were on a British ship (forget that it’s owned by Carnival). The ship is all wood, of a medium brown hue. As a matter of fact, the entire ship is not too many shades away from this color, with the main exception being the Royal Court Theatre with its bright red velvet curtains.  

Service | My clients have loved Cunard and its White Star Service. And certainly the feeling on board the ship was very friendly.   Keep in mind it is a very large vessel and the crew to guest ratio is not what you’d find on Seabourn, Silversea or Regent where it approaches 1:2. On Queen Victoria, it’s about 2:1.  

Queen Elizabeth

In January 2011 look for the introduction of QE2’s replacement vessel, the Queen Elizabeth. She’ll have 4 dining rooms, adding a level in between the Brittania and the Princess Grill. This is a great idea and a great value. Queen Elizabeth is the same size as Queen Victoria, with 85% of staterooms having an ocean view, 71% with balconies and 12% Grills Suites.  

Learn More  

If you’d like to learn more about the Cunard queens, other luxury cruise ships or anything else about the world of luxury travel, please contact me in San Francisco’s Financial District via phone 415.248.5079 or email: josh [at] joshfriedmantravel [dot] com.  

500 Sansome St., Ste. 601, San Francisco, CA 94111       t. 415.248.5079

Queen Victoria | Royal Court Theatre
Queen Victoria | Royal Court Theatre


Queen Victoria | Library
Queen Victoria | Library


Queen Victoria | Reception
Queen Victoria | Reception