Saturday, January 11, 2014
Day 1 - Departure from Southampton
After getting only 5 hours of sleep I was up at 7 am ( a time I seldom see). I found places for all of my newly acquired items and checked out Cruise Critic before it was time to take my bags down to the lobby. DreamflightPat, from our roll call, offered to take me to the dock. I'm sure she wished she hadn't. There were horrible delays in Southampton due to road works and the fact that three ships were leaving on World Voyages today (P&O's Arcadia, QM2, and QE). It took us about an hour to go not much more than a mile. Once we got to the port things were very fast - the porter had my bags out of the car (in much less time than it took the two of us to get them in!), I had checked in (no wait at all) and was on the ship in about 10 minutes.
I went to my stateroom first and checked it out. Then it was off to explore the ship, have a bite at the lido, and snap some pictures. By 2 all of my bags had arrived. At 2:30 there was a reception for the full world passengers. Found out there are supposed to be about 500 doing the full world but that probably includes those getting on in New York and Fort Lauderdale (91 days or more is considered the "full" voyage by Cunard) but there were still quite a few at the reception.
At 4:45 we had the muster drill but there was no checking to see if you attended. We listened to the information and then tried on our life vests. It took about 25 minutes total. Afterwards I did some more exploration trying to put off the inevitable unpacking. I finished my carry-on and largest bag before departure time. I'm not sure where two people would put 118 days' worth of clothing!
At 8:00 there were fireworks for the QM2 and QE. QM2 was supposed to sail out first but we heard there was a medical emergency on board that delayed her so we sailed first. Unfortunately it was pouring at sailaway but I stayed out until it was time for dinner.
I am at a table for 10 and we are all solo travelers. There are four women and four men and we come from Holland, Britain, the US and Canada. We had two no-shows. 5 of the eight are doing the whole world voyage. The food was very good and in order to break my habit of always ordering the same thing, I am trying something different each day. Tonight's was a chilled pear and honey soup which was actually quite good. I had turkey that came with vegetables, stuffing, cranberry sauce and a "piggy in a blanket". I was a bit skeptical about this but it turned out to be a tasty English sausage wrapped in bacon. For desert I had creme brulee cheesecake with a scoop of ice cream. It was the best vanilla ice cream I've tasted.
There was an introductory show at 10:30 so two of us excused ourselves to watch the show. Amanda Reid, the Entertainment Director, talked about different types of programs and had some of the entertainers perform.
I have had two nice gifts - a bottle of wine from Patty my travel agent (Thanks, Patty!) and a beautiful plant from ???
Tonight we gain an hour. Our first cruise critic meet and greet is at noon, so I think I will unpack one more suitcase and sleep late. I also need to talk to the people in the Internet Centre so I can post this.
Smooth sailing until next time!