Archive for December 31st, 2007
Queen Victoria heaves to in Tenerife

Queen Victoria

Slightly green around the gills, pale, and wearing running shoes, the passengers of the Queen Victoria cruise liner stepped onto Tenerife in Santa Cruz today. Well not all of them were fragile, just the 80 or so that have been hit by an outbreak of Norovirus, a form of gastroenteritis.

Apparently the bug, that really opens up the sluices at both ends, is pretty common on cruise liners. Those into seafaring superstition, are pointing to the launch in Southampton 3 weeks ago by the Duchess of Cornwall. When Camilla swung the bottle at the hull, it failed to smash, a surefire sign of bad luck according to some. Mind you, luck shouldn’t really come into it with a £300 million luxury Cunard liner on it’s maiden voyage.

Anyway, all that aside, she did cut a very impressive figure in Santa Cruz, all 90,000 tons and 12 decks of her. The official passenger compliment of 1,980 are wallowing in sheer luxury with 990 staterooms, theatres, shopping centres, swimming pools and even an ice rink. The ship has already called at Vigo and Granada in Spain and Lisbon, Portugal, and will continue on tomorrow to Casablanca, Morocco, and Gibralter before sailing back to Southampton for January 6.

Grand Lobby

I tried to get round to the ship itself but was stopped by security half way, and at that point I met a few passengers who, assuming me to be a fellow passenger, asked me where the bus goes from. I thought they meant for some day excursion, but no, they meant the shuttle bus between the ship and the docks exit, a mere 5 to 10 minute walk, pampered or what.

Queen Victoria is scheduled to leave port at 11pm tonight, which is a shame as Santa Cruz was vibrant and busy and shaping up for a fantastic New Years Eve. A large stage on the dockside will be belting out music tonight and Calle de Castillo, between the Plaza de España and Plaza Weyler has never looked better, lined with food stalls and street performers. Bon voyage and happy new year to them, and lets hope that like the England cricket team, they forget all about the runs.