Queen Victoria Maiden Call To LA
This review is written by Amy Blume.

January 30th, 2008 saw the maiden Los Angeles arrival of Carnival Corp's new Vista class hull, the 90,000gt Queen Victoria. Sailing under the flag of Cunard Line, I have to admit I have very mixed feelings bout the ship.  It is nice that Cunard has a new ship, and I approve of the growing fleet, but as Victoria is displacing my Queen Elizabeth 2, I am disappointed they didn't design something truly unique.  The new Victoria looks a lot like the other Vista class ships I've seen, especially the dark-hulled HALs.  I approve that they put a more Cunard-like funnel on the ship, whatever that is.  It's something which only looks nice from the front.  It's squat like that on QM2 but ruined by those horrible pipes.  They should have covered those, making the stack taller and more graceful.  Also it doesn't help that it's identical to that on the original Queen Victoria, P&O Cruises Arcadia.  I really wanted to get excited about a new Cunarder like I had with QM2 but just can't when it's bits of Carnival, HAL and what ended up going to P&O.  I also feel the extra decks that were built around the stack sort of choke it, making it look even smaller than it is from the front and sides.  The people who were out for her evening departure were very happy to see her, many having come down to see the QM2 in 2006 for the Meeting of the Queens in Long Beach.  

Exactly on time for her 5pm departure, she blasted and cast her ropes.  Her whistle is an interesting mix of modern whistle and an attempt to create QM2's hybrid horns, one of which was from the Captured Cunarder, Queen Mary.  It's pretty good for a modern whistle, though still nothing compared to QE2 and I have to admit that the excitement of seeing off a ship was potent there on the dock with so many people waving her off.
We went to Cabrillo Pier to watch her sail out of the breakwater.  She was very pretty with all her lights on as she sailed into the beautiful but cold SoCal winter sunset.  This was the best shot I got of her nearing the breakwater from the pier in the gathering darkness.
To see photos of her Southampton send off as she and the QE2 set off on their world cruises several weeks earlier click here.

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© Amy Blume 30th January 2008
Not to be reproduced without permission