DAY 31

Sunday April 21st

 

Happy Easter!

 

Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth!

 

Goodbye Queen Mary 2

 

Previously on arrival in New York we have got up early, and rushed to the upper decks to watch us sail under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. This included an extremely cold and blustery morning in January 2011.

 

Not any more. As much as I love the thrill of sailing under the bridge, I discovered you could watch from your balcony in your bath robe, and retreat back in to your cabin if it starts to get a bit chilly. Today I went one better. When we sailed under the bridge at 5:15 this morning, I watched the scene from the comfort of our bed. No there wasn’t the spectacle and thrill of checking to see if we would fit under the bridge (we did), but I was warm and cozy (I do love those beds), and I fell right back to sleep again.

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When we woke up we were certainly not at sea anymore. There was dry land right outside our balcony.

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We had breakfast in the Kings Court with a great view of the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline. Talk about food with a view!

 

Then the inevitable came, and we returned to our cabin, said a fond farewell, took some photos for a fellow traveler with a question about the bathroom cabinet.

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and headed down to the Royal Court Theater to await our bus transfer to La Guardia airport.

 

Officially you are not meant to have a bus transfer if your flight is before 1:00, but the tour office felt that we should be able to make our 12:24 flight in good time, and a bus transfer seemed to be the easiest way to go considering our mounds of luggage.

 

We were off the ship at 8:30, and found our luggage with relative ease. They do not have luggage trolleys in Brooklyn (unlike Southampton), and porters are a scarce commodity. Luckily another couple who were going to La Guardia offered to share their porter, and so with a very over laden cart, off we headed to the immigration queue.

 

The line was ridiculously long, but somehow our porter (who was from Glasgow) managed to jump the queue (much to the annoyance of the crowd control ladies), and in no time we were on the bus. The problem was that although things had gone very smoothly for us, it was not so for the majority of our fellow passengers, and we ended up waiting for an hour for them all to get through immigration. Maybe we’ll take a cab next time. Still, we had a view of the ship, so all wasn’t bad.

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There was very little traffic, and it only took us 45 minutes to get to the airport.

 

We thought it was a bit strange when the driver didn’t ask us which terminal we were going to as he placed our bags on the bus, but on arrival at the airport we found out why. The only stop was Terminal B (luckily our terminal). If you wanted another terminal, as did the majority of the passengers on the bus, then you had to take your luggage to the inter terminal shuttle bus, which would then transport you to your terminal. There was much unhappiness all around us, compounded by the fact that there were no available luggage trolleys.

 

Brian eventually found a trolley for us, so off we headed to the check in counter, leaving our angry fellow travelers behind. Not a good way for them to end their World Cruise.

 

We had been worried that our suitcases were too heavy, but they all weighed in at just under 50 lbs. They had not gained as much weight as we had feared. I resolved that I need to do more shopping next time. It’s silly to waste free baggage allowance.

 

Free of all of our baggage (they kindly checked our carry on bags for free), we headed to the gate. The TSA lady burst out laughing when she saw my passport photo, and then tried to apologize profusely as she continued to giggle as I gave her an angry glare. I wish I had been wearing my mask from the Masquerade ball.

 

We got to our gate, and realized our cruise was well and truly over. It has been a wonderful experience. I thought that Petra would be the highlight of the cruise, or else drinking champagne as we glided along the Suez Canal. But no, it was the Sagrada Familia that was the most memorable sight. I still tear up when I think about how beautiful it is.

 

I have been so lucky to have seen all of the things we did, and to spend 27 days with my love in life on the magnificent Queen Mary 2. Now to start planning our next adventure!

 

DAY 30

Saturday April 20th

 

At Sea

 

Packing Day

 

On past westbound crossings, the weather on our last sea day has been sunny, with calm seas, maybe a patch or two of fog. Everyone would be out on deck, as if emerging from a long harsh winter into a glorious spring. The dogs are running around on their own special deck area, the cats are peering out of their window. Pina Coladas by the pool become a reality.

 

Not so today. There are gale force winds, and a very heavy swell. We are even pitching and rolling. In the distance there is an extensive fog bank.

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Perfect weather for packing. Now packing 4 suitcases and 2 carry on bags shouldn’t take too long, but it always does. Finally everything was squeezed in, and our handy dandy travel scale was teetering on the evil 49 lbs mark. Hopefully it is accurate.

 

We went to hear the guest choir, who were singing in the Grand Lobby. Andrew disembarked in Southampton, and this crossing two of the Cunard Singers did the hard work of putting the performance together. The choir sang a selection of Beatles music, and two of my favorite Abba songs – Mama Mia and Thank you for the Music. It was a great performance; clearly there are a lot of talented singers on board.

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Then it was time to redeem our prize for the stamps on our Activity Card. Choices, choices. We settled on an umbrella (I’m always losing them), and a Cunard mouse pad. Seeing as I never use a mouse at home, and I have a perfectly wonderful Coca Cola mouse pad at work, I’m not sure why we ended up with that. Maybe it can be used as a trivet or place mat. I am sure I will find something to do with it. The good news is that it won’t take up much room in our over laden suitcases.

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We checked our on board credit balance, and despite all of our visits to the various bars around the ship, and wine at dinner, we still had some on board credit left. A quick visit to the shop took care of that. I bought a black sparkly top, that so far does not seem to leave a trail of glitter, but I suppose time will tell. Now to try to find some room in one of the suitcases for it………..

 

We said a fond farewell to our tablemates at dinner. They have been wonderful companions, and I will miss them. Knowing my penchant for all things Cadbury, Brian the tablemate, had somehow purloined a Cadbury Easter Egg for me. What a good man! It will be difficult to pack of course; so will need to be consumed as soon as possible.

 

After dinner Brian, the husband, and I went to the Commodore Club to have our final drink in our favorite space, and say good by to the wonderful waiters who have taken such good care of us over the last month, and have found extra canapés and crisps to keep me quiet.

 

It was still fairly rough, and you could definitely feel the motion. We were also in dense fog, and we could hear the plaintive moan of the foghorn every 2 minutes. All of a sudden it was midnight, and we needed to place out last suitcase out in the corridor.

 

Like Cinderella, we ran back to the cabin, and flung our smart attire clothes and shoes into the waiting suitcase, before the last stroke of midnight, when everything could have turned into pumpkins, or else been left behind.

 

Despite repeatedly telling myself not to do so, I did indeed pack all of my shoes into the suitcase, but realized the error of my ways just in time to retrieve a pair before the case vanished into the bowels of the ship. Phew. This time last year I was walking barefoot around Cape Town after having made the same mistake.

 

As I sank into our wonderfully comfy bed, the Abba song, Thank you for the Music, was going on in my head. Indeed, thank you for all of the beautiful music and wonderful experiences, this trip has been even more than I could have hoped for. I am so lucky.

 

DAY 29

Friday April 19th

 

At Sea

 

The storms and icebergs are far behind us. Today the sea is calm, the sun is shining, but it is a cool 43 degrees outside.

 

We got all dressed up and attended the Senior Officers Cocktail party in the Queens Room at 11:15.

 

There were a few senior officers there, but not as many as I remember from past parties. They were mainly talking among themselves, which is not surprising as the guests were also talking among themselves. There really wasn’t much mingling at all. Captain Hashmi was actually the only person doing a lot of mingling, and he spent a long time chatting to guests. I am quite happy with my glass of bubbly, but the couple next to us explained that it was a cocktail party, and requested cocktails. No problem, their desired drinks were there in a jiffy.

 

After the cocktail party, we had lunch in the Verandah restaurant. The food was good, but it was better before the restaurant changed into a steakhouse. We used vouchers to pay for the meal, I’m not sure I would want to pay the surcharge unless I was celebrating something special.

 

After lunch it was time to collect our activity stamps for finding all of the objects on the scavenger hunt. Now lets see what exciting prizes will be in store for us when we redeem them tomorrow!

 

Apparently we are flying a classic Cunard flag today. It is a flag from the original Queen Mary; a guest had brought it on board with them. Today is the first day when it would not suffer damage from the wind, so Brian went out on deck to take a photo of it, but had to retreat inside before he could take the photo he wanted, they were closing off the outside decks again. The wind has returned. However, the flag looked great.

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Tonight was our last formal night, and the Masquerade Ball. When we arrived at our table for dinner, we were graced with the presence of Her Majesty and Prince Philip, aka Jane and Peter. In the spirit of the theme they had bought masks for all of us! It was such a great idea, and we had fun wearing them, although it did impede consuming our food. The rest of the dining room also seemed to be intrigued, and people came by to take our photos!

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After dinner we all headed off to the Royal Court Theater to watch the production show “Rhythm of the Night”. We have seen it before, but I can watch it over and over, I love the singing and dancing, and the energy that the singers and dancers have. They are amazing. I am really going to miss their shows when we disembark.

 

As I headed back to our cabin reality was setting in – tomorrow is packing day. This also includes dismantling all of the extra items we bring along to give us more storage and personalize our space.

 

Here are some of the things we have:

 

We always bring along thin velvet hangers as these take up less space, and there are never enough hangers supplied. Brian has his over the door shoe rack, giving me more space at the bottom of the closet for all of my shoes.

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In the bathroom we have extra caddies in the shower,

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and an extra storage shelf that goes above the 2 they supply.

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Magnet hooks on the walls give us more space to hang things up, and we use a magnetic clip to hang up our calendar, so we can keep an eye on our plans for the day, and hopefully not miss things (doesn’t always work).

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I always tease Brian about his need for bungee cords, but they do help keep the bathroom door open when we are getting ready in rough weather, and the duct tape came in handy when the little plastic bag in which I store my earrings sprung a leak.

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We love taking along the scratch off map that our daughter gave us before our world cruise – we take it on each long trip and track our progress around the world. So many more places we need to visit!

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Finally here is a photo of the bedside table, requested by a fellow traveler. I hope it’s helpful for her! I certainly appreciate seeing what the storage options look like as I am planning my purchasing and packing.

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Oh, and as a heads up, unlike Victoria and Elizabeth, Mary does not have under the bed storage drawers. It certainly makes getting suitcases that are stored under the bed more accessible, but they do come in handy for those pesky extra bits and pieces that don’t seem to fit in anywhere!

 

DAY 28

April 18th

 

At Sea

 

It was another bumpy night, just the sort I love, and we awoke to a Force 8 gale and rough seas. However the sun was shining so we thought we would go to the Pavilion Pool, and I could have a swim.

 

No such luck, there were no available loungers, so we decided to retreat to our usual place, the Commodore Club. There were no seats by the windows, but we did at least find seats. It really is quite rough today, and you can certainly feel the motion of the ocean. If we were on Queen Elizabeth now the waves would be splashing over the Commodore Club windows. Instead we are doing a fair amount of pitching, and our bow plunges downwards, but no water splashes up here.

 

At his noon announcement Captain Hashmi said the winds will be dying down and the 7-meter waves will be a thing of the past. Although we will continue to follow the Great Circle Track until 6:30 this evening, we are currently on a southerly course skirting the ice fields to the north of us. At 10:00 tonight we will be 90 miles south of where the Titanic was when she hit the iceberg. I looked out the window, no icebergs in sight at the moment.

 

Captain Hashmi reminded us that it was 50 years ago today that Cunard took ownership of the QE2 at John Brown shipyard. It’s hard to believe it’s that long ago.

 

I opted for lunch in the Carinthia Lounge. The light lunch there is just the thing after a big breakfast. However, it is often difficult to find a seat there now. Very different to when it was the Winter Garden. The change really is a huge improvement. The down side is that you used to be assured of finding a quiet place to sit and read in the Winter Garden. Now it is always full and quite noisy. I am OK with that.

 

I only went to 2 talks today, I’m busy with my craft project.

 

The first was by Julian Woolford, entitled “Climb Ev’ry Pyramid”. It was about the challenge of putting on a production of “The Sound of Music” in Egypt. I have to hand it to him, I certainly would have given up with all of the obstacles they had to face, including digging a pit in the sand for the orchestra. He also included some of the history of the show. It was as always very entertaining, and I enjoyed it.

 

Captain David Henderson gave a talk on “Is there a Doctor in the House – or on the Aircraft?” He included a clip from the trailer for the movie “Airplane”, which has to be one of the silliest movies ever made. I was compelled to order it from Netflix when we get home. It certainly deserves to be seen again.

 

Brian picked up the sheet for the final photo scavenger hunt of this trip, and off we headed around the ship to find the 9 objects for today’s hunt. 7 were fairly easy (I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that we know this ship so well), 1 was a challenge, but we found it, but 1 was very elusive. I had never seen the object before, so it was very frustrating, and we searched the ship deck-by-deck, lift-by-lift, room-by-room, but it vain. It simply did not exist.

 

We could not believe that we had failed in our mission, not to mention spent hours on our fruitless search. Still, with all of that exercise we didn’t need to feel guilty about not walking around the Promenade Deck today (not that we could have as it was closed due to the wind). Then the lad who goes to the gym once or twice every day had an inspiration. Could it be in the Gym? Well as I have never even set foot in the gym, how would I know? We were quite weary, but it was worth a look. Yes there it was, right by the entrance. You didn’t even have to venture far in to that establishment. Mission accomplished!

 

During our frantic search for the missing item we popped in to the Board Room. It looks like there will be a wedding there today – they thought of everything, there was even a box of tissues at the entrance.

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When we were leaving the dining room after dinner we came across the newly installed Easter display. The 2-headed egg is rather strange and unnerving. The other eggs were quite acceptable.

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There was a 70s and 80s dance party with Purple Haze playing in the Queens Room tonight. Purple Haze took over from the previous band Solutions. It was good to see the Queens Room and the dance floor packed with happy partygoers, and we joined the throng.

 

On other ships there have been twist and hoola hoop competitions, which we often won. Not on Cunard, alas.

 

I am resigned to the fact that I may never get Brian to engage in ballroom dancing. However, if the band plays a pop song we can bob to, he will reluctantly take to the dance floor. So we danced the night away.

 

DAY 27

Wednesday April 17th

 

At Sea

 

The wind calmed down to a mere force 5 during the night, and although the sea is still rough, the barometer is rising. The ship is hardly rocking at all.

 

We, as always, have a busy day ahead. I want to get started on the craft project I bought from the crafty lady Mary so I would have something constructive to do on the crossing. It is a patchwork extravaganza and requires ironing little rectangular pieces of fabric before you attempt to patch them together. I had been very tempted to purchase a very cute little iron in John Lewis. It would be perfect for the job, but as they don’t allow you to bring irons on to the ship, I couldn’t think of a plausible way to smuggle it on board, so I am stuck with using the iron in the launderette.

 

This has not been possible so far, every time I go to the launderette the iron is in use. Tonight is another gala night, and everyone’s formal clothes seem to need a good pressing. All very frustrating. So here I am doing my best without those pesky little pieces of material being ironed.

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The Celebrity Speaker on this crossing is Sir Jackie Stewart, and very popular he is too. Today he spoke on “The challenge of Sport and the Adjustment of Change”. There was also a talk by Susan Humphris on the sea floor (nice to know what’s happening below us as we sail along) and Captain David Henderson gave a talk on the mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian flight 370.

 

Now there are several plausible and implausible events that could have happened to the plane and its passengers and crew. None of which sound good. The talk further increased my reluctance to fly when you can go by ship. It seems to be all too easy for a nutty pilot to kill everyone off, or for someone to have an error in judgment during war games, and shoot down the wrong plane. And then there are aliens lurking out there just waiting for an unsuspecting plane to fly by so they can gobble it up.

 

I finally got around to reading the article on how to secure a seat at the captain’s table. Obviously I have been doing it all wrong. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cultivate the social host/hostess. Let them know that you will add color and interest to the table. Let them know how you rafted down the Amazon or walked the Camino Real Santiago (and back). OK, count us out on that. The captain really doesn’t need the sort of color and interest that we can add. His life is stressful enough already.
  2. Come Highly Recommended. Alas I can’t think of anyone who actually knows us who would recommend us.
  3. Look the Part. Sartorial elegance is a key factor when choosing a passenger for the top table. If walking around the ship wearing a long black dress and sparkly, but shedding, white jacket, waving a small plastic Union Jack, in the middle of the day hasn’t done it for us, I’m not sure what kind of sartorial elegance they are looking for
  4. Loyalty Pays. No it doesn’t. I have been cruising with Cunard since 1962. If that doesn’t count as being loyal I don’t know what does. Although we did go on the very last trip on the Big Red Boat. The company went bankrupt when we were in the Bahamas and they ran out of food on the ship, but that should not count as being disloyal. It was just a mistake.
  5. Don’t Hide Your Light. I do not have some special claim to fame; so discreet trumpet blowing will not secure me that much sought after seat. In fact I think I would have more chance if I remain anonymous.
  6. Congratulations you have just opened the coveted invitation! No I haven’t. The envelope that came today was indeed an invitation from Captain Hashmi, but just like the one a few days ago it was not from him alone, but from the Senior Officers too. It was the invitation to the Senior Officers Cocktail party in the middle of the day on Friday.

 

So I am no nearer to the big table than I was before reading the article.

 

I cheered us up by going to the launch of the new 2019 QM2 Transatlantic merchandise. We ended up purchasing a baseball cap, a tea towel (you can never have too many), and a plastic lined tote bag. We have several lovely tote bags and do not really need another, but the opportunity of owning a plastic lined one, and the uses it could potentially have, was not something we could pass up.

 

Just as we thought it would be safe to go out on deck again, the winds started up, and we are now at a Force 7, and the outside decks are closed once more. We are also on a more southerly course, trying to avoid the low-pressure areas around us. I hope they are allowing the dogs out on deck, if not, they should get little treadmills for them to run on. The dogs can’t be happy. The cat is probably gloating though.

 

Tonight was another gala evening, and the World Club Cocktail party. Despite the number of confused looking newcomers, there were still 1000 of us World Club members on board. As usual the sparkling wine was flowing, and little canapés kept on appearing making it a pleasant party. I can’t remember the names of the 3 passengers on board who had the most days sailing with Cunard (the lady with the most had over 1000 days), but the dog with the most days on board was Cooper. I hope he is enjoying this, his 4th, crossing.

 

At dinner our tablemates complimented Brian on how well he had tied his bow tie. He had to admit he has had a lot of practice over the years! We had yet another excellent meal with lively conversation. One of our tablemates, another Brian, used to work with the Sea Band company, one of those firms that makes the wristbands which are supposed to prevent seasickness. I told him about my suggestion several years ago that they should make black Bedazzled bands that can be worn on formal nights. He said I wasn’t the only person to suggest this, but that they never got around to it. I still think it is an excellent idea, and one that they need to pursue. Case in point, another of our tablemates, Jackie, usually wears one but as it didn’t coordinate with her very lovely cocktail dress she wasn’t wearing it tonight.

 

Our evening’s entertainment was Isabella Zebrowska, a violinist. Her dress was rather unusual, but wow, could she play the violin! From the Beatles to Vivaldi she danced around the stage producing the most perfect sounds, backed by the as ever very talented Royal Court Theatre orchestra. It was a magical evening,

 

DAY 26

Tuesday April 16th

 

At Sea

 

We have entered a low-pressure zone, and have finally hit really rough weather. The pressure is 996, winds are 11 on the Beaufort scale, and the sea is described as rough.

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Captain Hashmi says we should be through this later today, but it has been fun to watch the waves from deck 2 where they are splashing against the windows.

 

Apparently the bad weather also affects the satellite internet connection, and getting on to the internet has been quite the challenge. No way to pay bills today. I did hear that they had planned to upgrade the internet band width while we were in Dubai, but they failed to send the right equipment, so it could not be done. The upgrade will now be performed on May 12th. Also, they will reduce the cost of the internet packages. We will see.

 

We had been hoping to get a window seat for lunch in the Golden Lion so we could watch the waves, but the pub was packed, and we had to settle for a table in the middle. Still lunch in the Golden Lion is always fun. My beef and mushroom suet pudding doesn’t look that appetizing, but believe me it was delicious.

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Today was one of those great sea days spent going to lectures and quizzes. We managed to get 2 more stamps in our Activity Reward Card from the photo scavenger hunt, yay! However, we didn’t win any quizzes, but we had a great time participating.

 

My favorite lecture was given by Julian Woolford on “Behind the Mask: The Phantom of the Opera”. Phantom is one of my favorite musicals (the Lion King comes in first of course), and we really enjoyed his talk. Hmmmmm, it is time to see it again I think.

 

Next thing we knew it was time to meet up with the couple we met last night and have pre-dinner drinks at the Commodore Club. They like cruises, but prefer sailing their sailboat, and have done some amazing trips. It was fun talking to them. All of a sudden it was dinnertime, so we arranged to meet up again so we could continue the conversation. Then we headed off on the long walk from the front of the ship to near the back of the ship for dinner. Not easy in high heels at the best of time, and the ship’s movement makes it more of a challenge. It feels like to have to walk twice as far as you go up and down, and from side to side despite your best efforts to walk in a straight line. Of course it may not be the ship, could it be the effect of the bubbly I had been consuming? I think not.

 

Our dinner table companions are a lively bunch, so we had a very pleasant, if not noisy meal. We had all been to different quizzes, so we were quizzing each other. I think we may be nerds alas. However, it was fun. They are all well traveled, so I am as always looking for inspiration as to where we should go next. So many choices!

 

The evening’s entertainment was a comedian, Micky Zany. For no good reason, especially as we had had an extra hours sleep last night with the time change, we decided to give him a miss, and get an early night. The rocking motion of the waves, and our comfy bed were both too much for me to resist.

 

DAY 25

Monday April 15th

 

At Sea

 

107th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

 

Well, I guess we’re not in the calm Mediterranean Sea any more. We woke up to a grey and wet day, with rough seas (5-meter swell) and a Force 8 gale outside. That explains the spray splashing onto our deck 8 balcony. The cabin is creaking, and our flag collection is no longer in its glass, but is scattered on the floor, with one lonely flag in the rubbish bin.

 

This could either have been caused by the ship lurching during the night, or by a poltergeist. Brian favored the former, I the latter. We once stayed in a hotel in Springfield that was clearly haunted, I mean no doubt about it, but Brian said all of the happenings had a perfectly logical explanation (yes, like the toilet flushing by itself in the middle of the night?), but I am still going for the supernatural explanation. Anyway, we probably did have too many flags in the glass, so we are now limiting the total number to 4.

 

We passed by Bishop’s Rock at 5:00 this morning and that signaled the official start of our westbound crossing. Off we go on the famous Great Circle Route. There are some storms out there, so we may need to change course, but that is our planned route at the moment.

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The ship has a very different feel to it today. There are many first timers, and they all seem to be totally lost. The corridors and public areas are all full, there are children running all over the place; instead of mobility scooters, strollers now obstruct your path. I decided to retreat to the Commodore Club. It was also fairly full, but I did manage to get a seat so I could watch us tackle the stormy North Atlantic.

 

This is apparently a whisky-focused voyage, so Brian headed off to a whisky talk while I enjoyed my usual Coke and chips. Life is good.

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At his noon announcement Captain Hashmi reminded us that this was the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic while she tried to navigate a westbound crossing. He pointed out that of course it was a Cunard ship, the Carpathia, that rescued the 705 surviving passengers and crew.

 

I saw that there was a rehearsal for the guest choir today. I decided to give the choir a miss this time; it had been really wonderful on the trip from Dubai, but very time consuming. I am feeling like a holiday would be nice, and 6 unstructured days at sea are exactly what is needed.

 

At 1:30 we picked up the information sheet for the photo scavenger hunt, and set off in search of the places and items in the photos. This was an easy one, and we had all of them photographed in good time for the 2:00 quiz in the Chart Room.

 

We tied for first place in the quiz, but then lost the tiebreaker. We seem to make a habit of doing this. So no more stamps for our Activity Reward Card today alas.

 

The sun came out, although the sea was still very rough, and the outside decks were closed due to the wind. We decided to head up to the Pavilion Pool again so I could swim, as this has become one of our favorite places on cold, sunny days. I can’t remember when I last saw the roof open, but we certainly needed it closed today.

 

Well, all the children on the ship seemed to be there too, and it was very reminiscent of being on a Princess cruise. I decided to avoid the pool and hot tubs– no chance of swimming laps with youngsters jumping in and out, and too many toddlers without swim diapers on for my liking. Still, it was very pleasant to lie in the sun and I finished a craft project, which just leaves one more to finish. And I finally was able to relax and read my book. Yes, there is a lot to be said for westbound crossings. The extra hour’s sleep last night was also a plus.

 

Instead of getting individual invitations to the Captain’s Welcome on Board cocktail party, the event was listed in the daily program. With the whole ship being invited we were sure it was going to be very crowded, but decided to give it a go anyway.

 

It was a gala night, with the Black and White theme. Yay for my black dress and white sparkly jacket, they get another outing.

 

Although the other passengers were not dressed as formally as they had been on our last segment, they were well dressed for the most part – no jeans or shorts in sight.

 

At the captain’s party you can enter the Queens Room on the starboard side and get to shake his hand, and get a photo with him, or you can just walk straight in on the port side. We usually chose the latter, the captain doesn’t need yet another couple to make nice with.

 

Well, it looked like almost every one of the 1,300 people at the party wanted to indeed shake the captain’s hand, and there was no queue to enter the Queens Room on the port side. For the first time ever, we were able to get a seat and relax while we watched the goings on.

 

There was plenty of champagne flowing, and canapés being handed out, so I declared that it was a good party. A British couple joined our table and we had a good time chatting to them, and we arranged to have pre-dinner drinks tomorrow in the Commodore Club.

 

As always Captain Hashmi gave an amusing and informative speech. There are 35 different nationalities on board, with the British being the most numerous, and Americans coming in a very distant second. We also have 10 dogs on board, and one solitary cat.

 

Dinner was excellent, and we went to the show, “Be our Guest” afterwards. This is not their best show – when I first saw it I had been hoping for a Disney theme, instead of which there is a PT Barnum theme. Also I’m not too keen on the costumes, but the singers and dancers themselves are excellent, so I was glad we saw it again.

 

The ship is definitely showing some movement. Finally it feels as if we are on a ship rather than a floating resort.