DANCERS & ARTISTS
DAY 31 - 11 February 2023
enroute to Port Klang, Malaysia
Queen Mary 2 World Centenary Voyage
102 days, 31 ports, 18 countries.
Ellen Frazer-Jameson reporting live from Queen Mary 2
Dance Special – “Every night a new dress” Molly and Christopher
For 100 years, Cunard Queens have been famous for pushing the boat out when it comes to glamour, fashion and luxury. Queen Mary 2 has the largest ballroom of any ship at sea and a full-scale professional orchestra on board.
The Cunard Orchestra play every night in the Queen’s Room accompanied by singers, Kirsty Rae and Tasiia and guests take to the floor in their favourite ballroom dances; waltz, fox-trot, quickstep, cha cha, tango, salsa and samba.
Showcased under glittering crystal chandeliers, spinning and whirling and dazzling, certain couples catch the eye. US guests, Molly and Christopher are right up there with the dancers the audience love to watch.
Queen’s Grill guests, Molly and husband Christopher chose to take their World Voyage on Cunard, specifically to enjoy the ballroom dancing and dressing up. Molly shipped her ballgowns direct to the cruise terminal before they left the States. She knows exactly which dress is the perfect accompaniment for gala night themes. For the 20s gala a glittering gold mini dress ; for the white and black ball a silver star covered black dress; Roaring 20s revisited another new dress, silver and light mauve with rhinestones, tassels and an eye -catching pattern on the back.
Husband Christopher looks as dashing as any army officer in his selection of tuxedos and bow ties matching Molly’s dresses. “She’s the star, “ he says, “I am there to show her off. What man with a beautiful wife doesn’t love the chance to do that? “
“Every night a new dress”, was one of the earliest Cunard mantras on their transatlantic voyages and the description certainly fits Molly. She appears in a dazzling collection of sparkling gowns showing off a style that comes with dedicated preparation and training.
Molly and Christopher De-Garva live on Florida’s Palm coast having moved recently from Dallas where their grown-up children still live. The idea was to retire to the Sunshine State of Florida but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.
In her professional capacity, Molly, is Dr.Dempsey, an internationally acclaimed Specialist Paediatric Radiographer and far from retiring she accepted an executive position to oversee a major medical project rollout in a group of state hospitals.
Husband Christopher is a retired military Major from the US Army and holds executive positions as Chief Operational Officer in the fields of the security and technological. Molly and Christopher met on a dating website on the intern, first time lucky for Molly, who was not even looking for romance. It turned out both were members of a local dance club. After the second date, Christopher knew he had found the woman he wanted to marry and nine months later, he proposed. Fittingly they were on a Mediterranean cruise at the time and endured a day of high drama when they missed the ferry connection on an Italian island and the cruise ship was about to sail without them.
“We were 45 minutes late as we ran frantically along the quayside, “ explains, Christopher. “To our embarrassment we realised that the whole ship had come to watch from the upper decks as yet another hapless cruise ship couple feature in a “missed ship” video.
“The passengers were shouting and cheering us on, our names had been called over the ship’s announcement system for 45 minutes since all-aboard time and so everyone knew wo we were. The Captain and one of his officers met us at the gangway. Holding our passports. They explained that the procedure for passengers who miss the ship is to leave their passports and papers at the port. “
Molly recalls, “The ship was on its final port stop the following day in Rome – so we couldn’t even fly to re-join the cruise.” The ship’s crew searched the couple’s staterrom to find their passports and relevant ID. However, they did not find the jewellery box, Cristopher had hidden on the top shelf of the wardrobe.
With great relief, he rescued the ring and immediately went down on bended knee and proposed. “I was taken completely by surprise”, says Molly with a smile. “I had no idea he planned to propose. After all the drama of the day, I knew that this man, the one who had a plan and got us back to the ship albeit at the at minute, was the one for me.”
The couple still attend dance classes together and in predation for the cruise took extra lessons to brush up on routines they wanted to dance to in the Queens Room.
“Dancing is a wonderful way of connecting with your partners, “ they both say. “What could be more romantic the spending the evening locked in your partner’s arms? It’s the perfect activity for us on the ship. We do a class at lunchtime.; practice dancing.
Before dinner and an evening of music and dancing after dinner,” “Dancing is very social. “ says Christopher and we have made good friends, among the other dancers. Bring on Queen Mary in such luxurious surroundings, with nothing to do all day but enjoy ourselves, means we are living the dream. It is a very indulgent lifestyle and it works very well for us. Eat. sleep, dress up, dance REPEAT. ’
Every evening I see great dancing couples on board this World Voyage. If you would like to share your love story, about how you met, on or off the dance floor, please let me know. St. Valentine’s Day is coming up a perfect time for stories of love and romance. EFJ x
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Sea Days – Art Classes with Georgina Maynard and Craft Classes with Julia
On Sea Days there are dozens of activities on board to enjoy or try out for the first time. Watercolour Art Classes and Craft classes are very popular. At Singapore, when passengers disembark, an ideal opportunity arrives to sign up and join the waiting list.
Classes are taught by Georgina Maynard a British artist who lives in Dorset and owns an antique shop specialising in French art in a town, Cord sur Sceile in South West France.
In the Watercolour classes, run twice a day on sea days in the Britannia Restaurant on Deck 3, there are upwards of 25/30 guests. Some of them are confident and regular painters, others complete newbies.
“My job is to encourage and identify if there are problems how to correct them, says Georgina. “It is amazing how imaginative people are even when they haven’t painted before. Everyone has seen a beautiful flower, building or painting that appeals to them.
We can’t have oils on the ship, because of the highly inflammable clean up products, so in class everyone starts with painting watercolours. It is not the easiest medium to work in because you can’t change anything on a watercolour pointing. Once it’s painted, it has to stay. “
Georgina was a journalist writing about arts and antiques in glossy magazines before she took up painting seriously. “I took a Foundation course at Taunton College of Art and a Fine Arts degree in a program which cantered in Venice.”Georgina has taught on other cruise ships and she calls herself an artist who teaches, not a teacher who paints. “The work in the first set of art classes on QM2 since we left Southampton has been really inspiring.” she says, “I start each lesson with a short lecture about basics like what paper to use, drawing and painting tools, then we discuss techniques like washes which are the starting point in watercolour painting.”
After the first month, Georgina arranged an open day for other passengers to come and see the work that is being done. Every person had to have one thing to exhibit. Some had many more than one. The range was quite enlightening from flowers, to houses to people, to landscape to desert scenes painted when the ship visited Arabia.
It is an area Georgina is very familiar with as she has travelled extensively and set her debut novel, I Will Keep Her (published by Conrad Pres) in many of he European locations she knows, and also the mystery thriller has a large part of the story line abouta kidnapping in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s wonderful to see people in class learning and developing a style of their own”, says Georgina. For passengers going all the way on the World Voyage, there will be about 50 lessons over three months, that’s a good amount of time to identify what you want to do and what you are good at. “
Georgina’s own art covers many different genres, children’s portraits, still life, landscapes shooting events. “My commissions are all diverse, “ she says, “ and I like to work that way.”
To a beginning artist who has not yet found their niche, Georgina gives the advice, “Keep going. Nothing is wrong in art. Whatever it is, it’s yours, personal and unique. I never tell my students that something is wrong, I say, “How can we make this better.”
The exhibition onboard of over 50 pieces of art showed what can be done when people put their minds to it. The only advice is “Lose the Fear.” “You have every right to paint in any Style you choose, and the subjects you choose. Art can become much more than a hobby if you commit yourself.”
Cunard charges a small fee for the art class materials, and Georgina always supplies lots of brushes, paint and research on the paintings.
“Be brave,” : she says, “you may well surprise yourself.”
Craft classes with Julia Childs
The ladies who Craft also had an exhibition on a sea day before get into back to back shore excursions. The subject of their crafting was necklaces this term and the range and all colours under the sun, was delightful. All materials needed for the crafting of the necklace, beads and tools to put them together, are supplied for a small fee. Julia names each necklace and its design after QM2 ports of call. Classes are held for two hours morning and two hours in the afternoon in the Britannia Restaurant Deck 3.
Most of the makers said they would take the necklaces home as gifts for family or friends. One woman had a dilemma, “If I give a necklace to every one of the women and girls in my family and then to friends, I’d still have necklaces over. I’ve enjoyed making them so much I kept making more and adding to my collection. Of course, I wear them myself and always receive very flattering comments.”
Craft classes are open to anyone to sign up and after Singapore there will be more vacancies. Whatever you choose to do with your sea days...
Current position of Queen Mary 2: (11 February 2023) - 16:13 gmt
Under way from Penang to Port Klang
Departure was 7 hrs 13 min ago. (at 17:00 h local time)
Arrival will be in 6 hrs 47 min. (at 07:00 h local time)
Traveled distance since Penang: 87.64 nm (162.31 km)
Remaining distance to Port Klang: 82.45 nm (152.69 km)
Traveled distance since Dubai: 3,596.52 nm (6,660.75 km)
Happy Sailing ... The Journey continues... Ellen
NEXT PORT - PORT KLANG, MALAYSIA
12 February 2023
Photo of the day (from the archives of JD Schwartz)
Further updates will be posted as soon as we get them from Ellen onboard Queen Mary 2.