Victoria's Grand Lobby
There's no doubt that the Grand Lobby is the heart of Queen
Victoria. From this triple height reception area, you'll find a
places to work (the Internet Center) and relax (the library and
Cocktails & Conversation
Ascend the sweeping staircase to Deck 2 for before dinner
libations in the decidedly nautical Chart Room or a flute of
bubbly in the Art Deco Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar. For more
privacy, on Deck 3 you'll find my favorite spot, The Alcove Midships
Should you be a bit hungry before dinner, satisfy your craving
for canapés and a martini shaken tableside in the Commodore Club
forward on Deck 10. Don't let the view over Queen Victoria's
bow distract your attention; you'll want to concentrate on which
stuffed olive to select for that icy martini. Next door is Churchill's
Cigar Lounge, the ideal retreat for an after-dinner cigar from
the well-stocked humidor and a single malt scotch or fine port.
Don't get the ideal that Queen Victoria's lounges are
stuffy... back on Deck 2 forward you'll find the Golden Lion Pub,
where a seat near the faux fireplace is a cozy spot
for a pint of ale with your mates, and the Empire Casino Bar,
one of designated locations that welcomes cigarette smokers to light
Before we take a look at formal entertainment, I consider
reading a favorite pastime and found Queen Victoria's wood
paneled Library a haven for readers. On two levels, a spiral
staircase affords access to shelves containing nearly 6,000 books.
Don't forget to look up at the stained glass ceiling and down
at the carpet, in which the signatures of famed authors are woven.
Historic artifacts and unique memorabilia are displayed in "Cunardia,"
the collection of museum-quality exhibits that tell the story of Queen
Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth 2.
Fascinating and entertaining, I was particularly taken with the copy
of the Hales Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the Atlantic
Blue Ribband for speed. As Cunard Line explains, "Although Queen
Mary broke the speed record in 1936 and held it unchallenged
from 1938-1952, Cunard Line refused to accept the award on the
ground that the Line still followed Samuel Cunard's mandate to his
captains in 1840 to put safety before speed at all times."
A particularly appealing
and 'entertaining' pursuit at sea is
shopping and Queen Victoria passengers are in for a treat in
the Royal Arcade (photo left). Dust off those gold cards, ladies, the
selection is as long as your next bill. You'll find luxury boutiques
stocked with merchandise from Harrod's, Wedgewood, and Royal Doulton,
as well as tax-and-duty-free perfumes, jewelry, and logo items.
Styled after London's Royal and Burlington Arcades, the two-deck
arcade is a sort of "second" lobby with a dramatic
staircase grounded by a classically designed clock, the work of Dent & Co., whose most famous
timepiece is "Big Ben" in
London's Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster.
Where to place Hemisphere Lounge? Certainly it's a great
spot for cocktails with a commanding 270-degree view from atop the
ship, but late at night it morphs into a pulsating dance club. Even
if you aren't a dance fan, you may find yourself being entertained
at a lecture while seated beneath Hemisphere's sparkling chandelier.
And the pièce de résistance of entertainment is the
three-tiered Royal Court Theatre. Very 19th
century in feel, its walls are covered in rich brocades and a red
velvet curtain adorns the stage, which is framed by sixteen
sumptuous private boxes. Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall
was so taken with them that she declared one to be a Royal Box, and
so it shall be. In addition to full-blown production shows featuring
singers and dancers, the Royal Court Theatre will also be the
setting for concert-style shows ranging from classical to
Wait, there's more...
Victoria -> Part Three
Victoria -> Part One
© Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com
From Cruise Diva's Blog