23.11.09

Queen Mary 2 - Ruby Wedding Trip













Taking a trip on one of the luxury liners was once only for the rich and film stars of the ilk of Cary Grant and Dorothy Lamour. Now such treats are within the reach of mere ordinary folk such as ourselves. David and I have just returned from a most wonderful trip on Queen Mary 2 to New York. From the moment we joined the ship at Southampton to sailing into the Hudson river with that first early morning sight of the Statue of Liberty, it was a voyage to remember. We enjoyed excellent cuisine, top class service and first rate entertainment. We were celebrating our ruby wedding and toasted the start of our adventure as the ship slid gracefully out of Southampton with a complementary half bottle of champagne.

This was our first cruise, more correctly termed a crossing, and we’d both packed several books to keep us occupied, not wishing to be left twiddling our thumbs for six long days and nights. As it turned out, finding time to read them was the main problem. There’s a swimming pool, cinema and theatre on board with shows every night to keep us entertained, plus TV in our stateroom, lectures, workshops and quizzes among other delights. With ten excellent restaurants and various bars to enjoy on board, David worked off some of his excess calories by walking on deck, one turn equalling a third of a mile, while I enjoyed the line dancing and took part in the fitness programme. This included pilates, yoga and step aerobics. I confess I avoided the gym, full of earnest folk puffing away on treadmills and such. I meant to swim in one of the pools but never quite got round to it.

Every evening I put on a ‘posh frock’ or little ‘elegant number’ specially purchased for the trip, and David looked very handsome in his tux or smart jacket. Then off we went dancing in the Queen’s Room, though I have to admit we weren’t very likely candidates for ‘Strictly’ as we jigged our way through the Latin numbers, and I never did persuade David to join in the afternoon lessons. We were, however, regulars at the disco in G32, tucked away aft where the most marvellous Caribbean Band Vibz kept us bouncing till the wee small hours.

We bounced in other ways too, as we did encounter some pretty rough weather. It was November after all. Captain Nick Bates, who kept us all entertained with his Irish jokes, informed us we were suffering a force 8 gale mid-Atlantic, which reached force 10 for a time over a twenty-four hour period. But Queen Mary 2 sailed blithely on through the 12 - 18 ft waves, her stabilisers making for a trouble-free crossing, although the odd slide to port or starboard did sometimes create much laughter on the dance floor.

The ship herself is magnificent, beautifully appointed throughout, the epitome of luxury, and all the staff were so friendly and attentive. It took us most of the week to explore all of her charms, visit the Mayfair shops, find unexpected corners where we could play a game, linger over a lunch time drink to the strains of the string quartet, or simply sit in the sun. I took part in the book club of course, and visited the well stocked library. We were sorry when it was over for all the excitement of docking in New York at dawn, and are already planning our next trip, perhaps on the brand new Queen Elizabeth whose maiden season is next year.

I’ve posted a smug shot of us both looking very pleased with ourselves, and one or two of the ship, including our lovely stateroom.
Read what my publisher has to say about one of life's little coincidences.
Best wishes,
Freda

1 comment:

  1. Freda! I couldn't find your email anywhere, so I must do this to reach you.
    I review Historical Fiction books and some non-fiction at The Burton Review. I have a page up that lists all the reviews (* & linked up) that have been published so far.

    I just learned of your book that is to be published in June in the USA, and I would so love the opportunity to review it for you on my site. The premise sounds absolutely fantastic. Is it possible that you or your publicist could send me an advance copy?
    Let me know if you are interested!
    marieburton2004 at yahoo . com
    just take the spaces out.

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