Children on Board, Lecture Enrichment Programs and Internet Centre

Part III - Life on the Ocean Wave

D. Children on Board

In keeping with our format in starting something for the history buff, we offer the following that we have gathered from our research. Cunards have welcomed children onboard since 1840. It is no wonder for Samuel Cunard was one of nine children and had nine of his own. Among his 36 grandchildren, some have traveled on his ships. Arabia had a nursery as early as 1853 with an onboard cow providing fresh milk.

For decades since the children stopped being treated as mini adults, Cunard kept the children amused with deck games, parties, and separate day rooms. From Queen Elizabeth in 1947, Herbert Armstrong, a fond father wrote home to Eugene Oregon:

Dear Kids at Home,After lunch, Mother and I explored the ship. There is a very modern playroom and nursery for babies and little tots, with fairy tale houses. They play in a ship’s deck playhouse!

The kids had a ball on the QE 2’s special family voyages. British nannies looked after the younger children in the Noah’s Arc but each age group enjoyed the separate amusement programs from video games in Club 2000 and treasure hunts.

Knowing Their PlaceQueen Mary had three playrooms those long-ago days, one for each class of passenger. The areas were separate for boys and girls but a chute connected them. The boys especially had access to the top of the slide. There were performing teddy bears, trains and the man on the moon decorated the walls of the first class. This one even had its own movie theatre for aspiring Hollywood Stars.

Several clubs were even created for the teenagers and pre-teen sets. There were ping-pong tables and a jukebox that played continuously. There was also a coke machine. The first class squash court was for the teenagers and were also provided with a shuffleboard table and several ping-pong tables. A large number of pre-teens and teenagers were onboard on the Queen Elizabeth in 1964. The report is that it was a nice group, attractive and well-behaved.

Even Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed her Southampton visit to Queen Mary in 1936 as the maiden voyage was being prepared. She was ten years old then and specifically liked the pictures of the Sinbad the Sailor that decorated the walls of the third class playroom.

The main children’s playroom is on the Promenade Deck of Queen Mary. It is one of the most captivating ever created on board ship. There was an aquarium with real tropical fish, a sentry box, an illuminated parrot, a primitive log shack, and a long chute These are only a few the children enjoyed in their dream playground.

There was also a large doll’s house, complete with furniture that appealed to the girls. And this was not all because there was also a modern cinema where children could control displays of colour and comedy films. Paintings portraying fairy stories decorated the walls.

Today’s Policies:In current times, Queen Mary 2 has a booklet called Parental Notification that Georgia Kouppas kindly provided us. This details the issues on what and how to go about dealing with the children onboard. First of all, the Commodore, his officers and the company took the opportunity to extend a very warm welcome.

To make the holiday memorable to everyone, the parents were notified of the policies on board. These policies were adopted to ensure everyone’s enjoyment and safety. Family traveling groups are quite popular and a welcome sign.

BingoGuests under the age of 18 on sea days and non-US ports and under the age of 21 in all US ports will not be allowed to attend cash prize Bingo unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

CasinoGuests under the age of 18 on sea days and non-US ports & under the age of 21 in all US ports will not be permitted in the Casino and proof of age will be required.

Alcoholic BeveragesThe legal drinking age on board is 18 years on sea days and non-US ports & the age of 21 in all US ports. This is always enforced onboard and Government issued photo ID will be required for anyone who appears to be under the age of 25 years.

G32 NightclubNo persons under the age of 18 are permitted in G32. The only circumstance in which guests under the age of 18 are permitted in the G32 Nightclub is when a specific teen event is being held there and applies only if the teens are registered, participating and signed into the Teen Programme. Whilst in G32, guests may be asked to show identification indicating date of birth.

Canyon Ranch SpaGuests under the age of 18 are not permitted in the gymnasium, adult hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms or golf area, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Swimming Pool WarningsChildren are only permitted to use Minnows Pool, Deck 6 & the Pavilion Pool, Deck 12. Their opening hours are:Minnows Pool: from 6:00 am until 9:00 pmPavilion Pool and Bar: from 6 am until Midnight

Children are not permitted to use the pools without an adult in attendance to supervise them.

The area around the pool may be wet and slippery and cautions should be used when moving in this area.

No Lifeguards are on duty: All persons using the pool do so at their own risk.

Diving, jumping and running in the pool areas are absolutely prohibited.

Please stay off all safety netting in and around the pool.

For health and safety reasons, children in diapers will NOT be allowed in any of the pools.

Evening ShowsAll children are welcome to attend the evening entertainment features with their parents/guardians. Please note that children are not permitted to sit in the front three rows of the Royal Court Theatre.

Children’s Identity BraceletsIt is important that all children wear the bracelets at ALL times whilst on the ship. If there is an emergency or they become lost, a staff member will be able to take them to the correct Assembly Station. Identity Bracelets can be obtained from The Zone, located on Deck 6, aft and must contain the following information: Child’s first initial; Last name; Your emergency Assembly Station letter

Health and HygieneFor the well-being, comfort and safety of all passengers and staff, parents are kindly reminded to ensure that their children behave in a proper and responsible manner. You will find in your cabin a Health Advisory Notice. Please take time to read this important information.

In the mutual interest of the families using the children’s facilities onboard, we are obliged to exclude children if they are found to have a health problem identified as being of a public health concern (e.g. Influenza, Mumps, Measles, Chicken Pox, and Gastroenteritis).

Affected individuals can rejoin activities once they have been confirmed fit by the ship’s Doctor. The Medical Centre is located on Deck 4 and accessed via the forward staircase. Clinic hours are printed each day in the Daily Programme.

As you are undoubtedly aware, there is particular concern about the potential spread of Pandemic Influenza H1N1 or swine flu amongst children and young people. Therefore if your child is showing any signs of influenza such as fever, chills, cough, sore throat or a runny nose please phone the medical centre right away. You must not take any child with these symptoms to the child activity centre or any organized events until cleared to do so by the medical team.

The Zone Emergency Procedures1. If you hear the Crew Alert Signal, which is the CONTINUOUS SOUNDING OF THE SHIP’S ALARMS and your children are in the Children’s Center (The Zone: Deck 6, aft), please proceed right away and collect them.

If you are with your children at an organized youth event, such as the cinema, swimming, etcetera, your children will be handed back to you. At this stage there is nothing further required of you.

2. If you hear three General Emergency Signal, which is SEVEN OR MORE SHORT BLASTS FOLLOWED BY ONE LONG BLAST ON THE SHIP’S ALARMS, or the same signal on the ship’s whistle, and you have not got your children, you should proceed to the Princess Grill restaurant (Deck 7, aft) - Assembly Station L - and collect your children from the Children’s Staff. Please then go to your allocated Assembly Station with your children.

3. If it is necessary to Abandon Ship and you have not collected your children from either, the Children’s Centre (The Zone) as in “1” above, or Princess Grill Restaurant in “2” above, your children will be evacuated and looked after by the Children’s Staff.

IN THE EVENT OF AMEDICAL EMERGENCYPLEASE TELEPHONE 911Thank you for your kind co-operation

Queen Mary 2 Fun Zone“The fun begins here!”

The Zone is a supervised area for children between the ages of 1 and 17 years old.

Our Children’s Co-coordinatorsAt Cunard, we only recruit the highest quality staff to run our children’s program. The Zone staff are qualified British Nannies, University/College educated children’s co-coordinators in fields such as education, child-care or sports with a minimum of three years experience working with children in nurseries, private families, schools or summer camps.

RegistrationImportant: Before your children join the Zone they need to fill out a registration form. Come along to our registration session on embarkation day, or any day thereafter during the voyage. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun!

Signing In/OutSafety is a top priority at the Zone. We want you to feel assured that your children are in good hands and completely safe. For this reason, we operate a registration process by which you sign in your child to the care of the Zone Staff at the beginning of the session, and sign them out at the end.

Please make sure parents/guardians who are collecting the child, have their shipboard ID available for inspection. Children under the age of 13 may NOT sign out younger siblings. With consent from parents/guardians, children aged 8 and above may sign out independently.

MealsThe Zone does not provide meals. The chef’s galley provides a special children’s tea, from 4:40 pm until 5:30 pm daily, with parental supervision required. However on port days, we will provide lunch for children whose parents are booked on tours. Please be aware that a booking system will be in place.

Where You Can Find UsWe are located on 6 deck, aft, port side. Our telephone number is 26046.


1 -5 years9am - 12pm2pm - 5pm6pm - 12am

6 - 17 years9am - 12pm2pm - 5pm8pm - 12am

Please note that pre-booking is required for the daytime sessions whilst the ship is in port. Please see the Zone staff for more information.


To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all passengers, all passengers must abide by the following policies:

1. Parents/guardians must accept supervisory responsibility for children who are not participating in the program.

2. Parents/guardians must restrain their children from engaging in any loud and/or disruptive behavior, running in the public rooms, open decks and passageways, or playing in the elevators.

3. We encourage all children to conform to the suggested dress code of the day. Children must wear cover-ups over swimwear in interior public areas.

4. Entry into the Nightclub and the Casino is limited to passengers over the age of 18, regardless of whether or not they are accompanied by a parent/guardian.

5. Children under 13 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in the theatres during production shows. Unescorted children will not be permitted to enter the theatre(s).

6. Children who are in diapers and/or who are not toilet-trained may not use any of the pools and spas. This includes all splash pools.

7. No passengers under the age of 16 are permitted in the spa/hot tubs, sauna, steam room or gymnasium unless accompanied by a parent/guardian.

8. Cunard reserves the right to disembark any passenger(s), including parents of minor passengers, whose behavior is disruptive to other passengers or crew or who cause damage to the ship.

9. Missing persons reports are taken very seriously. Parents or guardians must be fully aware of the whereabouts of their children at all times. Missing person reports can cause much disruption when our ‘missing persons’ search routines go into effect.

Terrace PoolThe Terrace pool on Deck 8 is strictly for adults and children over the age of 16. The minnows family pool can be found on Deck 6, aft. An indoor pool can also be found on Deck 12, stairway B.

Kite FlyingWe would like to advise parents that no kite flying is allowed whether at sea or in port.

Children’s Wrist BandsIt is important that all children wear the wrist band provided. If there is an emergency or they become lost, a staff member will be able to take them to the correct location. Wrist bands should contain the following information: Child’s first initial and last name and the current emergency station letter. Wrist bands can be obtained at the zone, located on 6 deck, aft.

Some information have been repeated but the importance is such it bears repeating like the following:

The Zone Emergency Procedures

If you hear the CREW ALERT SIGNAL, which is THE CONTINUOUS SOUNDING OF THE SHIP’S ALARMS, please proceed immediately to the Zone to collect your children. If you hear the General Emergency Signal. Which is SEVEN SHORT BLASTS & ONE LONG BLAST ON THE SHIP’S ALARMS and you do not have your children, please return to your cabin, collect warm clothing, a life jacket and any medication needed and proceed to the Princess Grill Restaurant (Muster Station L) to collect your children, then proceed directly to your designated Muster station.

They have registrations which are really necessary for the protection of the children and all concerned:


To be completed by the parent/guardian of children aged between 1 and 17 years of age who wish to use our facilities. Please complete this form today and return it to the Youth Staff or Zone Supervisor as soon as possible. Thank you for your co-operation:

NAME OF CHILD________________ VOYAGE NUMBER__DATE OF BIRTH & AGE___________ STATEROOM #______

EMERGENCY DRILLI (print name)…………………………..understand I must collect my child/ren in the event of the ship’s staff emergency alarm being sounded and I have had the opportunity to ask any member of the Youth Staff any additional information regarding my responsibility during any such emergency.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS, SPECIAL NEEDS, ALLERGIES, DIETARY REQUIREMENTS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONPlease use this section to provide us with any information which may affect our ability to look after your child, or which may affect the health and safety of your child, other children within the Youth Centre and/or the Youth Staff. For example, we would like to know if your child has any relevant allergies, dietary requirements or medical conditions (such as peanut allergy or asthma).

CONSENT FOR YOUTH STAFF TO CHANGE CHILDREN’S NAPPIES/APPLY SUN BLOCKPlease indicate your answer by ticking the appropriate box below. I, the parent/guardian of the above named child permit the Youth Staff to:1. Change the nappy of my child when necessary, whilst in their care. Yes___No___N/A__2. Apply sun block to my child when necessary, whilst in their care. Yes___No___N/A__Note: If you do not wish for the Youth Staff to change your child’s nappy or to apply sun block, you undertake to promptly respond to being paged so you can do this yourself.

IMPORTANT INFORMATIONIt is the ship’s policy that parents or guardians may not leave children under the age of 16 (sixteen) onboard without a parent or guardian over the age of 16. This is in the case of any medical or shipboard emergency arises. Unless your child/ren have been pre-booked into the Youth Centre for the port call the evening before and agreed by the Zone Supervisor.I __________________ understand that my child/ren are not to be left onboard whilst in port without a parent or guardian over the age of 16 unless they have been signed into the care of the youth department for each individual port.

Parent or Guardian Signature_____________________DECLARATIONI declare, that I am the parent or guardian of the above named child and that the above information is correct. I give Youth Staff parental responsibility to undertake the relevant care of my child according to any preferences indicated in the form. I also confirm I have disclosed to the Youth Staff any medical condition my child has which affect the health and safety of my child, other children within the Youth Centre and/or the Youth Staff.SIGNATURE PRINT NAMEDATE STATEROOM NUMBER*******************************************************************MEDICAL CONSENT FORMTo be completed by parent/guardian of children 1 and 17 years of age who wish to use our facilities.

The undersigned is the parent or guardian of ________________(minor child), age__

In the event of an accident or emergency whilst my minor child is in your care, I consent to any and all emergency medical care or treatment necessary to be rendered to my minor child at the discretion of the shipboard physician (or other licensed physician at the request of the shipboard physician), in order to preserve the health and safety of my minor child. I further agree to pay all charges for that care or treatment.

This consent is valid and given whether I am away from the ship or on board the ship at the time emergency medical care or treatment is required and/or rendered.

Whilst every effort will be made to locate me, I understand these efforts will not delay the arrangements or provision of medical care.

As the parent or guardian of the above named minor child, I confirm that I am responsible for the health care of the minor child and am authorised to consent to any medical treatment reasonably necessary to preserve his or her health and safety. This consent shall remain in effect at all times while the minor child attends the Youth facilities.

Parent or Guardian Signature Date

Print Name Voyage and Stateroom #


Dear Parent/Guardian,

During this voyage the ship’s photographers will be taking photographs/images of the children during some of their events and activities. Any photographs taken will be displayed in the Photographers Gallery, and/or within the Youth Department to promote our programme. For this reason we require the consent form below to be completed and returned when your child first attends the onboard Youth facilities.

Please complete the section below to indicate whether you are happy for your son/daughter to have their photographs/images taken.

Child’s Full Name____________________ Age ____________

Stateroom Number ____________________ Voyage Number __

As the parent/guardian of the above named minor child, I __________(please print name)Do or do not give consent for the ship’s photographers to photograph/take images ______ (child’s name)

As the, I do/ do not give consent for the photographs/images to be used for display purposes within the Youth facilities or within the ship’s photographer’s display area.

Signature _______________________ (parent/guardian) Date __________

All the basic guidelines out of the way, children can have so much fun on board. There is always something everywhere for them like the range of books and gifts for children at the Bookshop and Library. For example, they can discover the power of the elements, explore the mountains and unearth the secrets of the deep in the beautifully illustrated Encyclopaedia of Planet Earth. The younger ones can travel to Alaska on Peter the Cruise Ship with Baldie the Eagle and Hazel the Harbour Seal.

Part III - Life on the Ocean Wave

A. Food, Glorious Food - For People Who Love to Eat

B. Exercise - Be Kind to Your Heart

C. Drinking the Bubbly on QM2

D. Entertainment

E. Children on Board

F. Lecture Enrichment Programs

F. Lecture Enrichment Programs

It turned out the world cruise did not only offer food for the body but also food for the soul (There’s church every day! Thankfully for the power of prayer cannot be denied; it brings not only hope and comfort and heal the soul but the body too.) and food for the mind as well. So right here, we will let you know of the food our mind was fed with on a daily basis (We received newspapers every day too). Mind you this was done on a voluntary basis, the gentle way Queen Mary 2 does everything.

In addition to the satellite TV in our stateroom, we received news bulletin everyday as you can gather from the USA Today with the headlines we listed below. We were also able to access our favourite Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper at the Winter Garden. Therefore, we didn’t miss anything except we forgot to request for St Petersburg Times (now called Tampa Bay Times) which is our favourite periodical when we are in our winter home.

USA Today Headlines

January 14- Youngest Arizona Victim BuriedJanuary 15- Federal Judge Roll MournedJanuary 16- US Debt Passes $14 TrillionJanuary 17- Gifford’s Condition ImprovesJanuary 18- Gifford’s Recovery MiraculousJanuary 19- China’s Hu Jintao Visits USJanuary 21- Hu Urges Closer US-China TiesJanuary 22- Giffords Leaves Tucson HospitalJanuary 23- Obama Focusing on EconomyJanuary 24- Giffords Case Could Take YearsJanuary 25- Loughner Pleads Not Guilty January 26- Obama Calls for UnityJanuary 27- Economic Outlook is BrighterJanuary 28- Carney Named Press SecretaryJanuary 29- Egypt Leader Fires CabinetJanuary 30- Chaos Engulfs CairoJanuary 31- Mubarak Urged to Stand DownFebruary 1- Army Won’t Fire on ProtestersFebruary 2- Obama Pushes Egypt ChangeFebruary 3- Gunfire Overnight in EgyptFebruary 4- US Talks Over Mubarak QuittingFebruary 5- Obama Presses MubarakFebruary 6- Egypt: Top Party Leaders QuitFebruary 7- Packers Win Super BowlFebruary 8- Obama Wants Jobless AidFebruary 9- Biden Clarifies Egypt MessageFebruary 10- Strikes Erupt in EgyptFebruary 11- Mubarak Clings to PowerFebruary 12- ‘Egypt is Free’ as Mubarak QuitsFebruary 13- Obama Welcomes CommitmentsFebruary 14- Lady Antebellum Wins Big at GrammysFebruary 15- Obama Sends Congress BudgetFebruary 16- US Concerned About UnrestFebruary 17- Police Storm Bahrain CampFebruary 18- Mideast Crises Alarm USFebruary 19- US Condemns Bahrain ViolenceFebruary 20- Obama Backs UnionsFebruary 21- Gadhafi’s Son Warns ProtestersFebruary 22- Gadhafi Denies Fleeing LibyaFebruary 23- Emanuel Elected Chicago MayorFebruary 24- Obama Outraged by GadhafiFebruary 25- Pressure Mounts on GadhafiFebruary 25- Allies to the Rescue: Brits, Spaniards Evacuate Canucks from Libya Started Getting the Canadian OutFebruary 26- Harper Prepares Libya SanctionsFebruary 27- US Slaps Sanctions on GadhafiFebruary 28- ‘King’s Speech’ Reigns at Oscars, No Joy for CanadiansMarch 1- Rebels Repel Pro-Gadhafi Forces March 2- Warship Being Sent to LibyaMarch 3- GOP Wins First Budget SkirmishMarch 4- Government Introduces Bill to Freeze Dictators’ AssetsMarch 5- Toronto 18 Member Handed Life SentenceMarch 6- More Canadians Evacuated from LibyaMarch 7- Twister Victims Focus on Clean-UpMarch 8- Opposition Urges Tories to Contact Libyan RebelsMarch 9- Freshman Democrat Upbraids Obama on National DeficitMarch 10- GOP Ends Wis. StalemateMarch 11- Major Tsunami Hits JapanMarch 12- Meltdown Threat at Nuke PlantMarch 13- Canadian Confirmed Dead in Japan DisasterMarch 14- Second Explosion at Nuclear PlantMarch 15- Ottawa: Canada Not at Risk from Japan RadiationMarch 16- Japan Nuclear Crisis DeepensMarch 17- Water Dumped on ReactorMarch 18- Japan Asks for US HelpMarch 19- Plane Shot Down Over BenghaziMarch 20- US, Allies Launch Libya ForceMarch 21- Gadhafi’s Compound BombedMarch 22- Libya Rebels Try to AdvanceMarch 23- Japanese Anxious Over RadiationMarch 25- NATO Takes Command in LibyaMarch 26- Pentagon May Add Air Power in Libya ConflictMarch 27- US Helps Rebels Retake CityMarch 28- Canadian Soldier Killed in AfghanistanMarch 29- Obama Defends Libya ActionMarch 30- Rebels Flee Gadhafi AssaultMarch 31- CIA Sends Teams to LibyaApril 1- US Ending Libya Air AssaultApril 2- Fuselage Rupture on PlaneApril 3- US Eases Off in LibyaApril 4- Liberals Unveil $8B Campaign PlatformApril 5- Harper Reaffirms Vow to Scrap Gun RegistryApril 6- No Deal Yet, Shutdown LoomsApril 7- Obama: Progress, No Deal YetApril 8- Harper to Release Full Platform as Libs Talk HealthApril 9- Liberals See Health Care as Key IssueApril 10- NDP to Unveil Platform That Balances BudgetApril 11- Schwartzel Wins the MastersApril 12- Tories Under Siege After Leak of Bombshell G8 ReportApril 13- Harper Asks for Majority GovernmentApril 14- Obama Seeks Cuts, Higher TaxesApril 15- Congress Oks Big Budget CutsApril 16- Obama Seeks CompromiseApril 18- Death Toll Rises After StormsApril 19- S&P Issues US a WarningApril 20- Election Campaign Gets UglyApril 21- GOP Medical Plan RadicalApril 22- McCain Arrives in LibyaApril 23- Tornado Hits St. Louis AirportApril 24- Cleanup Starts in St. Louis

In partnership with the Oxford University, QM2’s enrichment program is second to none. Specialist lecturers such as artists, historians, authors, scientists and other renowned intellectuals were featured helping make us smarter than when we first embarked on this ship.

Presented by Comedy and Drama Writers of Television and Screen, Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais “The Write Stuff, Part 1” Their story began in British Television and continued via Hollywood feature films. January 16

“The Write Stuff, Part 2” They resumed their talk with glimpses into a unique creative partnership that has lasted for more than four decades on January 19.

We joined the writers of the hit film The Bank Job Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais who introduced and explained the movie of the day on January 20.

Presented by Criminal Lawyer, Politician and Author, Sir Ivan Lawrence QC. “My Life of Crime as a Defence Barrister” on January 16. We are sorry not to have attended this but Roger did not want to be reminded of the part of the work he left behind as an expert witness in the Canadian Court System

“My Life of Crime as a Defence Barrister”, famous cases and the Work of an MP on January 19

‘Why Lawyers Make Good MP’s’ on January 21

Final Questions and Answers Session on January 22

Presented by Destination Historian and World Affairs Speaker, Richard Cowley ‘Brazil Nuts’ enlightened us on dramatic, tragic and sometimes comic figures on the Amazon on January 17.

‘An Empire Adrift’ on January 20

‘Syncopation, Zabumbas and Sensational Sambas!’ on January 21

‘Lost in the Snows of the Andes’ on January 22

‘Behind the Battle of the River Plate’ on January 24

Presented by Cultural and Maritime historian, Peter Quartermaine‘The Box Ships’ that transport over 90% of world-wide cargo that shows growth of Chinese and Eastern economies and the low prices western consumers pay for them on January 17.

“Queen Elizabeth: A Cunard Inheritance’ on January 21

‘Cities at Sea: Why We are Fascinated by Great Liners’ January 22

Presented by Royal Astronomical Society Speaker, Mark Butterworth‘Analysing Starlight - Understanding the Stars’ on January 20

‘Animals in Space - Paving the Way for Human Spaceflight’ January 22

‘Spots on the Sun - Blemishes in its Perfect Face’ January 24

Presented by International Relations/Foreign Policy Speaker Ambassador Howard Walker Ambassador Walker’s 33 years diplomatic career included assignments in Africa, the Middle East and Europe and missions to Asia and South America. He was ambassador to three countries, Director of the State Department’s Office of South Africa, Vice-President of the National Defense University in Washington and Deputy Commandant of the NATO Defense College in Rome.

Ambassador Walker, who has a PhD in Government, has written about foreign policy for newspapers and journals, spoken at conferences, and taught classes all over the world. He is from Newport News, Virginia and lives with his wife, Terry in Chevy Chase, Maryland, as well as in New Hampshire and Capetown. Their son lives in Washington while their daughter lives in Manila.

‘The 21st Century International Order (Part 1) on January 26

‘The 21st Century International Order (Part 2) on January 27

‘21st Century International Conflict and Cooperation - Their Issues and Diplomacy’ on January 29

‘Behind Embassy Walls’ Who Works There and What Do They Do on January 30

Ancient African Empires, the historic Islamic influence, the translantic slave trade, and European Colonial Rule on January 31

‘South Africa: Africa’s Regional Great Power’ February 1

Presented by Dance Instructor Harold King Harold King was born in Durban, South Africa, he has danced professionally with The Cape Town Ballet Company. He travelled to London in 1970 and joined The Western Theatre Ballet and later became a founding member of The Scottish National Ballet.

He has worked with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev and danced with Royal Opera House; Covent Garden Opera Ballet Company. He formed the London City Ballet in 1978 where Princess Diana was a patron for 18 years.

‘From Dancer to Director’ on January 26

‘The London City Ballet, Princess Diana and Other Royalty’ on January 27

Presented by Video Photojournalist, Phil Bye For 28 years he was a news cameraman for Independent Television News of London and witnessed first-hand major international stories including 12 major wars, three revolutions, the troubles in Northern Ireland and seven British General Elections. He filmed interviews with world leaders including Saddam Hussein in 1990 and was in Baghdad for both Gulf Wars.

He travelled extensively with the British Royal Family. His work has been recognized by the Royal Television Society and British Academy of Film and Television Arts. He was awarded MBE in 2004 for Services to Television News.

‘Travelling with the Queen’ on January 26

‘Shock and Awe’ A First-Hand Account of the 1991 and 2003 Gulf War from the viewpoint of a foreign correspondent in Baghdad on January 27

‘Princess Diana’ A newsman’s perspective of her life in the spotlight, her tragic death and the emotional aftermath on February 1

‘Scoop!’ A look behind the scenes in Prague and Antarctica on February 3

Presented by the Former Leader of the Opposition, Parliament of South Africa, Ambassador Tony Leon Ambassador Toney Leon started his political career in the Antiapartheid Progressive Party, becoming the longest serving leader of the opposition since the advent of democracy in April 1994. A trained lawyer, he actively participated in the negotiation that led to the democratic South Africa.

He has been in the forefront of national and international events and a writer of articles and two books. He was awarded a Fellowship at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was appointed South African ambassador to Argentina in 2009.

‘From Apartheid to Democracy and Beyond’ on January 29

‘De Klerk, Mandela, Mbeki, and Zuma’ Close, personal Observations of four South African presidents on January 30

Question and Answer Session on January 31

Presented by Southern African Wild Life Expert, Gavin RobinsonGavin Robinson was born and raised in Zimbabwe. He has been actively involved in the different aspects of wildlife conservation. The main force of his work has been the relocation of endangered species from areas of conflict to where they can be safe.

He has a dangerous drug license which enables him to carry out veterinary work in the field including darting and treating sick animals and relocating them if needed. He is married to Jacqueline and has two sons Luke and Daniel. He has chosen to stay in Zimbabwe despite difficult circumstances so he can use his knowledge and expertise to protect the wildlife industry.

‘Game Capture Techniques in South Africa’ on January 29

‘A Day in the Life of a Game Manager’ on January 30

‘Crocodiles - the Secret Behind the Myth (Why we breed crocodiles and all about the Nile crocodile, yes, he is ugly but he is an amazing creature!) on January 31

‘Elephants - Africa’s Gentle Giant’ (Fascinating insight into the world of the beautiful African elephant) February 1

‘Destination Guide: Cape Town’ on February 2

‘Destination Guide: Durban’ on February 3

Presented by Journalist and Literary Critic, Peter Kemp (Fiction Editor and Chief Fiction Reviewer of the Sunday Times)Peter Kemp broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 3 arts programmes, especially Front Row, etc. He was theatre critic for the Independent for a number of years and has written books on Muriel Spark and HG Wells and is the editor of the Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations.

‘Cluedo and Corpses; Detective Fiction’ on February 6

‘Life With Deadlines: Reflections on Reviewers and Reviewing on February 14

Presented by Maritime and Australian Historian, Warwick Abadee Warwick Abadee is widely travelled and now retired from a lengthy career as Chief Executive and Board appointments with two of the world’s largest shipping conglomerates: Royal Dutch Group and Zim Israel Navigation and has published many articles.

‘Navigators and Explorers’ on February 6

‘The Ship’ A fascinating timeline snapshot of man’s largest moving object on February 9

‘Crossing the Oceans and Cruising the Seas’ on February 10

‘The Golden Years of the Boats that Flew’ on February 13

‘SS “Great Britain” and Isambard Kingdom Brunel’ on February 15

Destination Lecture on Freemantle and Perth on February 16

Destination Lecture: Sydney on February 21

Presented by Military Historian, Colonel John Nowers Colonel John Nowers went straight from university to National Service and served the full career as a regular officer in the Royal Engineers. Afterwards, he was appointed Director of the Royal Engineers Museum for Engineers. An experienced public speaker, he made television appearances and is also a published author.

‘My Corps - The Royal Engineers’ A brief historical on the work of Corps on February 8

‘Early Military Aviation’ Balloons, man-lifting kites and airships on February 9

‘The War Against Napoleon’ The Duke of Wellington and the Peninsular War on February 10

‘The French Prisoners’ The little-known story of the Napoleonic prisoners of war on February 12

‘Early Mechanisation’ on February 13

‘The Invasion: Normandy 1944’ on February 14

‘The Royal Engineers Museum’ on February 18

‘More on ‘The Royal Engineers Museum’ on February 20

Presented by Author and Humorist, Lynne Truss Lynne Truss (Best known for her best selling books, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves; The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation and Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today have established her as an endearing comic voice with important things to say about the collapse of literacy and the breakdown of social cohesion, the beauty of the semi colon (when correctly used), and the way the airline check-in people and hotel receptionists evidently have to type out all of Gone With the Wind right up to the burning of Atlanta before they remember to look up from their keyboards and acknowledge you as a human being.

Before Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, Lynne was well known in Britain as a highly versatile writer, her careers including newspaper columnist, television critic, novelist, broadcaster and even (from 1996 to 2000) sports writer - a four year aberration in an otherwise quite literary career that will seem all the more intriguing, perhaps, when you learn she had zero interest in sports.

The year 2007 saw the appearance in book shops of A Certain Age: Twelve Monologues from the Classic Radio Series, and also The Girl’ s Like Spaghetti - a funny, illustrated children’s book demonstrating the value of apostrophe. Meanwhile on BBC Radio 4, there have been three series of Inspector Steine, a comedy police drama set in Brighton in the 1950s. In October 2009, she published her book about her experience as a sportswriter, Get Her Off the Pitch!)

‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation on February 8

‘A Certain Age’ on February 12

A Morning with Lynn Truss and An Informal Q&A session with Peter Kemp on February 15

Cunard Writing Competition - Entries discussed and winner announced on February 21

Presented by Intelligence Analyst, Glenmore Trenear-Harvey Glenmore Trenear-Harvey is a writer, broadcaster and lecturer on intelligence, security and espionage, he is also an intelligence analyst for Sky News TV, the Editor-in-Chief, World Intelligence Review, an Associate Editor of Eye Spy intelligence magazine and publisher of Intelligence Digest. He broadcasts regularly on different networks.

‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ on February 8

‘The secrets of the Russian illegals in America. A Cold War legacy? On February 9

‘The Spy in the Sky’ The secret of aerial intelligence on February 10

‘Combating 21st Century Piracy’ on February 12

‘Mossad and the “Wrath of God” on February 13

‘Tracked and Hacked - The Secrets of Surveillance’ on February 14

‘Combating 21st Century Piracy’ on February 15

‘Spies in High Heels’ on February 16

Presented by Film Historian & Former BBC TV Producer Bobby Brown Bobby Brown was born and educated in Australia and he worked for the Australian Broadcasting Commission where he appeared in both radio and TV. He joined BBC TV in 1968 creating magazine programs and documentaries. In 1984, he became head of Purchased Programmes for BBC TV until he retired in 1990.

‘Hollywood’s Aussie and Kiwi, Touches of their Lives and Careers’ on February 18

‘More Hollywood’s Aussie and Kiwi, Touches of their Lives and Careers’ on February 19

Hollywood Down Under - The Story of Australian Cinema on February 21

‘Hollywood’s Tasmanian Deal - Life and Career of Errol Flynn’ on February 24

‘Hollywood’s New Zealand’s Locations’ on March 1

‘The Life and Career of Bette Davis’ on March 2

‘Hollywood Song and Dance Man - Gene Kelly’ on March 4

‘Hollywood’s Maverick- The Life and Career of Clint Eastwood on March 8

‘Hollywood’s British Gentleman - The Life and Career of David Niven on March 9

Presented by Chief Officer Dave Hudson and 3rd Officer Tom WeirInsight into the Navigational Skills and Equipment Needed on February 19

Navigational Chart Auction and Virtual Tour Bridge with Third Officer Andrew Atkinson on April 1

Presented by Destination Speaker, Colin Burring‘The Cutty Sark’ Lifestyle and Language of Victorian Sailors on February 24

Destination Lecture: Wellington on February 25

Destination Lecture: Auckland on February 27

‘Pictures from Cook’s Travels’ on March 4

Destination Lecture: Guam on March 5

Destination Lecture: Osaka on March 8

‘Pacific Ocean Scrapbook’ March 9

Presented by TV Presenter and Insect Expert, Dr. George McGavin‘To the Ends of the Earth’ on February 24

‘Bug World: Sex, violence and a cost of billions’ on February 25

‘Good Grub: the science of eating insects’ (Low in fat and high in protein) on February 27

‘The eXcrement Factor: the natural history of dung’ on March 1

‘How many species inhabit the earth?’ on March 3

‘Lost Land of the Tiger’ March 5

Presented by Astro-Journalist Dan Benedict‘Cruise Ship Astronomy’s Top Ten Greatest Hits’ on February 25

‘Stargazing aboard the Queen Mary 2’ on February 27

‘The “New” Southern Constellations of Plancius’ on March 2

‘The “New” Southern Constellations of Lacaille’ on March 3

‘Hello Dipper/ Plough, Goodbye Cross’ on March 6

Presented by Oceanographer, Meteorologist, Career US Naval Officer and Professor, Dr. Denny WhitfordDr. Denny Whitford is a graduate of the US Naval Academy who served 30 years in the US Navy driving ships, flying planes, forecasting weather and ocean conditions, and mapping uncharted seas before retiring at the rank of Captain. He holds a PhD in Oceanography and has been a Professor and Oceanography Department Chair at the US Naval Academy.

Denny, a former NASA astronaut candidate and Arleigh Burke Scholar, listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, is currently a Professor at the University of Maryland, where he was honoured with the university’s 2007 Teaching Award and 2008 Professor of the Year Award.

He has published and lectured world wide on issues related to the state of the planet’s oceans, how they behave and what they mean to our future. He is an engaging presenter whose insights will change forever the way you view the oceans.

‘Dangerous Marine Animals’ on March 1

‘Monsoons and Tropical Cyclones’ on March 2

‘Coral Reefs’ on March 3

‘Volcanoes’ on March

‘Tsunami’ on March 5

‘The Very Deep Sea’ on March 6

‘Extreme Waves’ on March 8

‘Who Owns the Oceans?’ on March 9

‘Seafaring Lore and Legend’ on March 13

Presented by Politicians and Current Affairs World Speaker Michael Hindley Michael Hindley was a European Parliament member from 1984 to 1999 and Vice-President of the Trade Committee. He wrote several reports on Europe’s relations with Asia, particularly with China and was the President of the Parliamentary Friends of Hong Kong. He has been a commentator on European Politics for the “Business Times of Singapore” and “Frontline” newsmagazine, India.

He now works as a freelance consultant on international politics and has recently finished a report on “Fair Trade” for the UN’s “International Trade Centre”, Geneva. He is currently acting as expert adviser to the Trade Committee of the European Economic and Social Committee.

Michael has lectured at Georgetown University, Washington DC; University of California, Berkeley and Keio University, Tokyo and organized a summer school in Brussels for the Business School of Melbourne University for several years.

‘Europe and Asia Past and Present’ on March 11

‘Europe, Japan and China’ on March 13

‘China: The Sleeping Giant’ Napoleon once said that China was asleep and the world should fear its awakening. China is now awake. Should the world be fearful or welcoming? On March 15

‘Europe, China and Hong Kong’ on March 17

Presented by Destination Historian Patrick Cherry After studying history and geography at Newcastle University, Patrick Cherry chose a career in commerce. He spent 10 years with a major publisher and oversaw the launch and growth of a number of specialist consumer magazines including Garden News, Smash Hits, Angling Times and Q Magazine.

In 1989, a further change in direction saw Patrick join Page and May, a leading tour operator, as Marketing Director. While there, he developed the company’s tour programmes and introduced cruising and specialist art history and music holidays.

He considers himself extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many countries throughout the world and has a great deal of experience of cruising from an operational and destination perspective. He has visited all the continents with the exception of Antarctica where he hopes to travel in the not too distant future.

‘Nagasaki: a history of the city, the bomb and the aftermath…’ on March 11

‘Beijing, From the Forbidden City to the Great Wall…’ on March 13

Destination Lecture: Shanghai on March 15

Destination Lecture: Hong Kong on March 17

Presented by BBC’s Legal Correspondent, Leading Comedy Writer and Columnist, Clive Coleman Clive Coleman is the BBC’s Legal Correspondent providing news coverage and analysis on television and radio across a range of big legal cases and issues. He is a barrister by training and practiced in both the criminal and civil courts.

He has presented panorama on BBC 1, and was for six years the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Law in Action’ programme. But Clive is also one of UK’s leading comedy writers with credits including Dead Ringers, Smith and Jones, and Sarah Lancashire. Clive has also been a columnist for The Times and written for the Guardian and the Independent.

‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Courtroom…’ on March 11

‘Privacy Versus the Press on March 17

Presented by Television Journalist Jeremy Bitz Jeremy Bitz is an executive television producer journalist in the television news industry in New York City. Jeremy spearheaded over two years of coverage of the 2008 Presidential election and spent much of that time travelling with the candidates as they ran their campaigns. In 2003, he travelled to the Middle East and was a producer in Kuwait during the ‘Operation Iraq Freedom’.

Currently, Jeremy is tasked with working on launching new local news efforts across the United States for both television and ‘Next Media’ technologies. Jeremy also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Journalism at New York University where he teaches undergraduates and continuing education journalism courses.

‘A Story the World Watched: Covering the Campaigns’ on March 20

'Telling Stories and How Stories Become Stories' on March 26

‘A View from the Inside… A Look Behind the Lens’ on March 29

‘Why We Watch What We Watch’ on March 31

‘The Future of Information and Questions and Answers’ on April

Presented by Historian Dr. Peter Durrans Dr. Peter Durrans (He was educated at the Universities of Hull (BA), Carleton, Ottawa (MA) and Oxford (PhD). Peter began his lecturing career as an Associate Professor at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta before returning to England where he was Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield.

He was subsequently appointed head of history at the University of Sunderland where he became associate Dean before his retirement in 2008 His specialist interests include empire, exploration and travel and he has published on modern Britain and empire. He is married with one daughter and lives in the North East of England.

‘To the End of the Earth’ on March 20

‘The Making of Modern Singapore’ on March 22

‘The Voyages of Drake and Cook’ on March 24

‘Victorian Travel’ on March 29

Presented by Destination Speaker Jeff Roberts Jeff Roberts spent his early career in the Royal Navy, specializing in Meteorology and Oceanography (Fleet Air Arm and NATO) He now works and travels as a freelance presenter, using his experience to enlighten audiences on destinations around the world, in addition to speaking on the Battles of Trafalgar and the Somme; global warming and climate change; the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and the life and works of Van Gogh, Caravaggio and Gauguin.

Destination Lecture: Nha Trang on March 20

Destination Lecture: Laem Chabang on March 22

Destination Lecture: Singapore on March 24

Destination Lecture: Phuket on March 26

Destination Lecture: Cochin on March 28

Destination Lecture: Dubai on March 31

Presented by Journalist and Author Robin Oakley Robin Oakley is a contributor to CNN on European Affairs. He is also the Turf columnist of The Spectator Magazine. Robin recently ended an eight-year term as European Political Editor of the international broadcaster CNN. Before that he was for eight years Political Editor of the BBC, working for a broad range of TV and radio programs and covering EU summits, GB meetings and prime ministerial trips around the world as well as the full range of domestic politics.

In 2001 he published "Inside Track", an anecdote-filled reflection on his years reporting politics. In September 2010 he published "Frankincense and More" a biography of the horse race trainer, Barry Hills and he is working on a history of the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival to be published in March 2011. He was awarded the OBE in 2001 for services to Political Journalism.

‘Leaders or Soap Stars’ on March 22

'Alcohol at the Top: The Dangers of Mixing Drinks With Leadership' on March 26

‘The History of Political Joke - and some famous put downs’ on March 28

‘Tales from the Track’ on April 2

Presented by Concorde Captain. Richard Routledge Richard Routledge started his career with British Airways in 1973 after training at Hamble College of air training in Southampton, flying Tridents and Boeing 737s. In 1988, he joined the Concord Fleet and flew Concorde for nine years during which time he also became Concorde Business Coordinator.

Being a Concorde pilot also opened the door to lecturing and after dinner speaking on a subject very close to his heart. It was on a cruise ship in the Caribbean that he met his wife Carole. After Concorde he went on to fly Boeing 747 Jumbo. He and his wife and Tibetan Terrier, Runway, now live in a converted Mill House in Somerset, England and enjoy traveling and golf.

‘Supersonic Achievement’ on March 24

‘What Makes Concorde Special’ on March 28

‘The Race for Speed’ on March 29

‘The End of a Dream’ on April 1

‘The Next Step’ on April 2

Presented by Navigator James GriffithsThe History of Navigation on March 31

Presented by Historian and Arabist Eamonn Gearon‘Pharaonic Glories, Global Treasures: The Pyramids at Giza’ on April 4

‘From Cairo to Casablanca: The Arab Invasions and Conquest of North Africa and How it Changed the Region Forever’ on April 6

‘God, Gore and Glory: The Mediterranean’s 60 Year Medieval World War’ on April 7

‘Sun, Sea Sand and Spies” Military Intelligence in the Middle East…’ on April 10

‘Saudi Arabia: A Portrait of Life Behind the Sand Curtain’ on April 11

‘Revolutions in the Arab World, from Tunisia to Bahrain…Where Next?’ on April 16

Presented by Art Historian Dr. Seth Gopin‘The Art of the Pharaohs’ April 4

‘Egyptomania: The West’s Fascination with Ancient Egypt’ on April 5

‘A Renaissance Genius: Michaelangelo in Rome’ on April 6

‘Bernini and the Popes’ on April 10

‘The Englishness of English Architecture: from Palladio to Pugin’ on April 16

‘Hogarth Pokes Fun at the Nation: Satire and Art’ on April 17

Presented by Destination Speaker Tina J L CresswellDestination Lecture: Safaga on April 4

Destination Lecture: Sharm El Sheikh, Sinai and Suez Canal on April 5

Destination Lecture: Civitavecchia and Rome on April 6

Destination Lecture: Monte Carlo on April 11

Destination Lecture: Barcelona on April 12

Destination Lecture: Southampton on April 17

Presented by Royal Astronomical Society Fellow Dr. Francisco Diego‘In the Beginning …’ on April 5

‘What the Stars Have Done For Us: From Astrology to Astrophysics’ on April 7

Ghost Universe: The Greatest Challenge to Modern Science on April 10

Aliens! Could Darwin Work on the Worlds of Galileo?' on April 12

“Rainbows from the Stars: Colourful bridges to the Secrets of the Universe' on April 18

Presented by Fellow Guest, Lt. Gen. Simon Mayall‘Comfort in a Stampede’ on April 11

‘How Does It End?’ on April 18

Presented by New York Travel Writer and Historian, Ted Scull‘Ocean Liner Twilight’ on April 20

‘Icons of the Metropolis: New York’s Skyscrapers, Streetscapes, Brown…’on April 21

‘Central Park: Manhattan’s Glorious Greensward in All Seasons’ on April 23

‘The Great Port of New York’ on April 25

Presented by Airline Captain, David Henderson‘Come Fly With Me’ on April 20

‘Air Traffic Control’ on April 22

‘Terrorism’ on April 23

‘Glamour in the Skies’ on April 25

Presented by Scientist, Dr. Jim Wild‘Mission to Planet Earth’ on April 20

‘The Aurora Borealis: Nature’s Lightshow’ on April 21

‘Weathering Solar Storms’ on April 22

‘It’s Hardly Rocket Science!’ on April 23

‘The Solar Systems Top Tourist Destination’ on April 24

Presented by Writer and Historian, Caroline Aston‘Queen Mary’ on April 21

‘Dukes, Dames, and Dollars: The American Heiress and the British Ar…’ on April 22

‘Tulle, Tears and Tiaras: Royal Romances Revealed’ on April 23

Paul O’Loughlin interviews Caroline Aston on April 25

Presented by Fellow Guest, Robert Stewart Eads‘Stock Market Trends… Retirement Spending’ on April 23

Planetarium ’Passport to the Universe’ narrated by Tom Hanks on January 20.

In addition, the Planetarium film was ’Passport to the Universe’ hosted and presented by Royal Astronomical Society Speaker, Mark Butterworth. A word of caution, the planetarium films include high-speed sequences which are not considered suitable for guests suffering from epilepsy and nervous disposition.

For safety reasons, the entire audience must be seated before the start and so no entry is allowed after the start of the show. It is limited to 150 people per show and tickets are required. The complimentary tickets are available in advance of the showing.

The Planetarium film on January 30 was The Search for Life - Are We Alone? It is narrated by Harrison Ford. Here we explored the links between life on earth and the potential for life on other planets as we travelled from the depths of the earth’s oceans, to the surface of Mars and to the outer reaches of the cosmos.

The Planetarium Film on February 1 is Infinity Express - The universe is offering up its secrets! Narrated by Laurence Fishburne

The Planetarium film February 6 is ‘Cosmic Collisions’ narrated by Robert Redford, which illustrates that cosmic collisions as a universal force of nature, both creative and destructive. Vibrant and astounding, they have created things we take for granted like the sun, the moon, and the changing seasons among other things.

’Winter Sky, a Live Presentation’ was the planetarium film on April 6 hosted and presented by Royal Astronomical Society Fellow Dr. Francisco Diego

As gathered from all the enrichment lectures, a part senior passengers loved were the destination’s culture history. Now that people are living longer and healthier, it is wise for cruise lines to cater to these needs and Queen Mary 2 is not an exception. Lectures of academic quality were well attended, sometimes standing-room only.

The lectures are not the only source of enrichment. The television programming is a mixture of onboard videos and satellite feeds but can’t rely on satellite TV because the ship was constantly moving out of the narrow beam through which the satellite is transmitting. But we didn’t miss it much because we are not really TV viewers.

Internet Centre on QM2 or ConneXionsConneXions is what they call the internet on board. It is really a learning centre that includes seven smart classrooms for Oxford University’s Discovery Programs. Classes are held for such things as computer learning, wine and art appreciation, navigation and seamanship, photography, history, and languages with fast-access internet connectivity

There are many computer terminals with a choice of internet packages to suit the needs and full wi-fi service is available for the personal laptop 24/7 in many public rooms as well as in the stateroom. We are glad QM2 recognizes that the world operates at a faster pace now, making life on the ocean wave quite different from even ten years ago.

QM2 offers internet access 24 hours per day. There are three locations where self-service computers are available - Cunard Connections on Deck 7 forward (Rooms 1 and 7) and the library on Deck 8 forward. For computer inquiries, the Internet Centre is available 24 hours a day, designed for easy use. The Internet manager is available during business hours.

Wireless internet is available ship wide, but if you find the signal inadequate, relocate near the doorway. Wireless internet is restricted in theatres and dining rooms. Setting up an account is easy, thanks to the clear directions. You will have to choose the package you want which any of them is better than the $0.75 a minute on the pay as you go.

It is important to know as in everywhere else that Cunard is not responsible for any content transmitted through the internet. There is no guarantee it will be available at all times due to the nature of satellite communication (subject to disruption from physical obstructions and weather) It is also slower than the internet access on shore.

The signal strength can change. The farther north we were, the closer the telecommunications was to the horizon and so the signals tended to fade in and out. It was the same thing when we were closer to the mountain ranges. Needless to say, it sometimes took longer to load. It was best to avoid the time before and after evening meals as these were the peak demands time.

There is even a computer learning centre where sessions take place on sea days and lasts about one hour. Sessions are at different levels from the beginner up to savvy users who want to improve their knowledge and skills. There may be software demonstrations and hands-on learning at various levels.

You can have your own e-mail address on the ship so you can get connected to your friends and family. If you have your own email service, you can still access them with your email address and password. Isn’t that great, to be able to send an email while you’re in the middle of the ocean? Internet Centre is open 24 hours but the best thing is that you can access the internet 24/7 because they have wireless capabilities here.

We were also able to access our bank accounts in the middle of the sea. We were able to review the account activities and credit cards. (Great for finding unauthorised use) We were also able to pay our bills at our convenience although we had trouble with Verizon. But Verizon is always difficult to access even on land.

We were advised to confirm our onward travel arrangement that we can check online so we don’t have to stand in line. We were told we could even print our boarding passes. We must remember to do this when coming to the end of this 103-day World Voyage. We are glad we have the skills to adapt to this fast-paced global way of life.

We were even able to check our investment portfolio. We were able to review our accounts but did not sell or buy any because we left instructions to our financial adviser what to do in different scenarios. The stocks and bonds are fine and the money is still working for us which is a good thing for we are spending a lot of money on this trip.

Due to the immigration process and the large number of people in the ConneXions centre we were advised the best way to access the internet would be in our rooms as the Internet Centre will remain available to all guests throughout the immigration inspection.

But QM2 was forbidden to operate the C - Band satellite while in Japanese territorial waters, there being a 5-mile limit for this so we did not have internet or telephone facilities while we were in Japanese waters.

As for telephone calls, there is a direct satellite link so you can call from your stateroom to anywhere in the world. The only places we could not access either the internet or use the telephone was when we were in the territorial waters of Japan and China.