Anniversary on the QE2 By Gail...


February 06, 2000


Anniversary on the QE2

By Gail Snyder Shochet


No matter how quick or convenient airline travel may be, it can never match the romance or sheer nostalgia of traveling by ocean liner -- particularly if the ship in question is the Queen Elizabeth 2.

It doesn't hurt if the cruise departs from New York City and affords breathtaking views of the harbor at dawn, or that one is headed to balmy Bermuda to soak up the sun and sights, and to celebrate a wedding anniversary with one's husband and parents.

The two-day crossing from New York City to Bermuda was only slightly marred by stormy seas. We explored the great ship from top to bottom. My father toured the bridge while I pedaled away in the gym, a full nine decks below. Our meals, served by waiters from India and Spain, were sumptuous, and our Romanian wine steward made us feel at ease, making suggestions from the vast wine list. Touring the ship and its memorabilia, I felt part of a great seagoing tradition stretching back to the 1800s. After seeing all the menus and place cards, luggage tags and itineraries saved from previous ships' journeys, I felt as if I should save every swizzle stick and napkin that came my way for posterity's sake.

My husband and I prowled the decks by day and by night, often leaning over the railing and marveling at the mighty North Atlantic illuminated by a full moon, imbibing the freshest air I believe we have breathed in our lifetimes.

The Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda, where we were berthed, was beautifully restored, with shops, restaurants, a museum and even a movie theater. We learned to snorkel and were treated to a gorgeous parade of reef-dwelling fish, along with an octopus, an old anchor and several cannons. Rum swizzles, impromptu dancing and a little Bermuda history and lore all provided by our loquacious tour operator, capped off the tour as we headed back to the ship.

The last evening on board, my husband and I performed classical guitar pieces in the talent show while our parents and their friends watched from the audience. We wore our formal clothes for the occasion, of course. The cruise was a lovely and memorable way to celebrate a third wedding anniversary. I'm already thinking about when we'll be able to afford a trans-Atlantic crossing on the grand old QE2.

Gail Snyder Shochet lives in Baltimore.

Gondolas in Venice

By Barbara Lambert, Reisterstown Last summer, I traveled to Italy and beautiful Venice, the island city. The great church of Santa Maria della Salute on the Grand Canal provided the background for this photo of gondolas moored at the end of St. Mark's Square.


Ottawa, Canada

William Hollifield, Lutherville

"This is possibly the world's most arrogant stone lion; it is in front of the post office in downtown Ottawa. On the shield is the royal cipher of George VI. Nearby is the Canadian National Parliament Building, which can be toured free of charge. The city is clean and safe and has a number of parks, scenic waterways and museums worth visiting. It can be reached in about a day's drive from the Baltimore area."

Wendie and Keith Berenson, Owings mills


"What a wonderful experience we had on a trip this summer to Kenya and Tanzania. The people were hospitable, the weather was perfect and the animals were terrific. We experienced many different ecosystems of the Masai Mara and the Ngorongoro Crater. The tented camps were sophisticated and the lodges modern. Our guides were knowledgeable, and we were educated about the Masai people."

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