Saturday evening and our first night on this, the last leg of our cruise heading non stop back to Southampton, it got off to an uncertain start. Eight of us met up on our new table, a retired Geography teacher from the South and his lady friend from Essex, a retired couple, both US
judges from Texas and two widows from London well into their 80’s; quite a mixed bag but we kept an open mind. Looking around, it certainly looked as if the Britannia restaurant was full up, so any chance of moving table looked improbable. Oh dear, best foot forward and see what happens.
Fortunately everybody seemed to want to make it work, and after introducing ourselves managed to enjoy a light hearted conversation involving everyone throughput the meal; so far so good. One of the ladies though was concerned she may not come back as she had to negotiate a number of stairs to get to our table but after persuading her to have a glass of port, I think she was having second thoughts.
Sunday and our first of five full days at sea. Apart from round the clock eating, there were lectures, films and reading to fill our day, or so we thought. Remember the saying, “be careful what you wish for”,
well, walking into a lecture an Australian lady tapped me on the shoulder and said “hello Geoff” and gave me a kiss, I looked at her with surprise until it dawned on me who she was. Paul and Debbie were two of our fun dinner companions on the Queen Victoria, what a coincidence. This chance meeting re-kindled our friendship over a few beers in the Golden Lion pub on board.
Tonight is formal, it was also the captain’s cocktail party to welcome
everybody on board and we enjoyed it in the company of our dinner table companions, school teacher Andrew, and his lady friend, Angela. Fortunately on this occasion we had a seat in the main “waiters” thoroughfare and champagne was flowing!!!! Like a well maintained clock, dead on 1800hrs the party ended and we had to leave for the Britannia and go to dinner.
Fortunately all of us had enjoyed the ships “complimentary fizz” before arriving at our table so we were all quite relaxed and “Sonia” let go???, probably much to Gill’s disapproval!!!! Sonia and Gill are the widows and well into their eighties so what the heck. Another sociable night followed; what a difference a change of table makes!!!!! Things were working out so well that we were the last but one table to leave; I bet we will be the last before we arrive at Southampton.
Monday and Tuesday followed the usual pattern, eating, lectures, films etc., but walking around the deck was not an option, well not for us as it had snowed, it was very cold and windy and the sea was beginning to get slightly uncomfortable, well for some anyway.
One thing we like about travelling this way across the Atlantic is, there is “no jet lag”, the clocks go on 1 hour at midday so no sleep lost, it just brings lunch an hour earlier!!!
Tonight we had another good night around our table and I also encouraged Sonia to enjoy a small port with her coffee.
Wednesday and again at sea, though today we had all the political disruption about Teresa May and the vote of confidence so we were pretty well glued to the TV, well in between lectures and eating that
is!!!!!! Another good evening at our table and an interesting discussion with our American judges from Texas, Keith and Elizabeth, about the variances in the laws between the States.
Tonight our entertainment was music in the guise of two classical pianists, Worbey and Farrell, playing one piano with a lot of comedy; they were very entertaining and well worth watching. After this we went to the Queens Room where the Queens Room and Royal Court bands joined up and produced “big band” music.
Thursday, another time-change at midday and the good news is the sea state has calmed down.
Today, amongst the final lectures was one on the life and “times” of Oscar Wilde, very interesting it was to but this ship is all about “extracting” as much money as they can from their guests, and continuing this theme, today we had a Christmas market. Following the lecture about Oscar Wilde, and whilst the Xmas market was taking place, I went to watch his play performed by a company of RADA, “The Importance of Being Earnest”. It was an abbreviated version and adapted to fit into the ship’s timetable but good nevertheless.
Tonight we had agreed to meet Paul and Debbie, our Ozzy friends from the Queen Victoria in the Veranda Restaurant for a farewell meal. We had a great night, lots of laughs and banter mixed with a little alcohol. Cunard are getting quite naughty these days regarding money. To enter this specialist restaurant there is a $39 pp cover charge and then if you stray off their “official” menue, there are supplements!!! Still we had a good time. Being much later than usual we went to the 2230 hrs show and as one would expect it had a Christmas theme, “Jingle Bells Rocks” performed by the Ships resident Bandmasters Singers and Dancers. To finish off an excellent evening, Christine and I went to the “Pub” and listened to the last of the “Karaoke” singers, some OK, some not so OK!!!!!! One more sea day left?????