The liner sails on relentlessly across the North Atlantic with little to see other than sky and sea. The Captain has steered us on a more southerly route to avoid the worst of the storm up around Iceland. The wind strengths on Tuesday were mostly Force 5-6, increasing to Force 9-10 overnight on Wednesday night , and then settling again by late Thursday. Thursday was fairly foggy and the promenade deck was closed most of the day because of the windy conditions. Mr L missed his walk. Friday was a glorious day with sun shine and calm conditions. Somewhere around Friday’s location is where the Titanic went down – not sure I needed to know that! Saturday was calm with Force 4 winds but heavy rain and mist in the morning which eventually cleared to a reasonable day.
We have filled our days with going to Illuminations and listening to the excellent Ken Walsh give talks on matters pertaining to US Presidents – Ken Walsh is a retired White House correspondent who now makes a living by writing books and giving talks. The Illuminations lecture hall is also turned into a planetarium at certain times of the day so we also went along to two different planetarium shows. There are numerous other activities to get involved in during the day from Bridge classes, iPad lessons, flower arranging to name but a few…….we passed on these as well as the line dancing and ballroom dancing classes – we are not Strictly material!! There are also coffee meets each day for independent/solo travellers, and ‘Friends of Dorothy’ meet each afternoon in the Commodore Club. Shopping in the Grand Lobby, complete with the largest Christmas Market at sea on Saturday.
There are quizzes in the various bars throughout the day, great fun and good opportunity to meet and pair up with fellow travellers. We have not been winners but neither have we walked the walk of shame by coming last.
We took ‘afternoon tea’ in the Queen’s Room on Saturday afternoon, a daily tradition where we were served little sandwiches (crusts cut off of course), followed by delicious scones with jam and clotted cream, and then a selection of cakes – all washed down with copious cups of tea. Whilst we were eating the band played and people danced – a very genteel way to pass an hour.
Our last formal dress night was Saturday night and so for the last time Mr L donned his tux and Mrs L popped on her ball gown. Drinks with new found friends in the Chart Room was followed by yet another superb dinner in the Britannia Restaurant and then off to the Masquerade Ball with our masks. The final stop before bed was the Empire Casino……but no big wins on our $10 spend on the slot machine!
Our last day at sea was spent going to educational talks, walking around the ship, visiting the Bridge Viewing Gallery and watching how the QM2 is ‘driven’, afternoon tea in King’s Court, doing a quiz with other cruisers, playing Candy Crush (Mr L is back playing this silly game too!), pre-dinner cocktails and our last excellent dinner in the Britannia Restaurant served by the wonderful Ramiro, our waiter from the Philippines. Ramiro has been working on QM2 for 7 years and generally works 9 months and then has 2 months off.