It was my mother in law’s 90th birthday, and the whole family was coming together in Toronto to celebrate with her. After 3 hours sleep we drove to the airport again to catch our flight there.
After 3 blissful months at sea it was hard to negotiate the pitfalls of flooded freeways, extreme turbulence in the air, missed connections, cancelled flights, a substandard car rental (caused by booking the car while on the ship – something about it being a UK booking), and heading in the wrong direction on the freeway when we eventually arrived in Toronto.
However, celebrating my mother in laws’ birthday, and being with the whole family for a few days was a real treat. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family, and spending time with them was really something special.
They have been reading my blog, and our sons and their wives could not help noticing my obsession with the lack of Queen Victoria World Cruise tea towels. They took it upon themselves to make 2 unique tea towels for us – Hailey, who is well known amongst our friends for her fabulous art work (especially of Queen Mary 2, other art work at www.etsy.com/shop/btwhaileymae), did the beautiful design , but it was a group effort (see today’s photo). The tea towels are absolutely beautiful, and will be the most treasured souvenir of our trip.
I am currently on the long flight home. The 5 days in Toronto have been great, but it is so hard to be in crowds again, with everyone pushing and shoving and being intolerant. What is wrong with them all? Changing planes in O’Hare today was quite the challenge. And to think we lived in Chicago for 20 years and thrived on the hustle and bustle. All in all, I would rather be on the QV.
Although I am looking forward to seeing my coworkers when I return to work on Monday, I am not looking forward to actually being at work at all.
It has been an incredible journey. I still can’t get over how lucky I have been to experience everything I did over the last 3 months. The cruise exceed my expectations in every way possible.
Queen Victoria is a very beautiful ship. Despite my misgivings, you can comfortably squeeze everything you will need for 3 months into a Britannia cabin. From our cabin steward to the Commodore, everyone worked incredibly hard to give us the best experience possible. It is hard to even start to thank them.
Three months is certainly not enough time to experience everything on board. On my last day, while walking through the Queens Room on deck 2, the professional dance couple was rehearsing their routine. As they swirled and glided across the ballroom floor they looked incredibly polished, I wanted to linger and watch them longer. I regretted that we hadn’t spent more time at the balls. We never got to the Verandah Restaurant. I never heard Hannah the Harpist play during afternoon tea. I never got around to buying one of her CDs. I never sat in the Café Carinthia or Veuve Clicquot Bar. We only had drinks in the Midships Bar on one occasion. We never sat in the Grand Lobby listening to the Adagio Quartet. We didn’t spend enough time in the hot tubs. The list is endless. However, everything we did do was incredible.
The diversity of ports was amazing. From the mighty Amazon to the penguins on Magellan Island, from Iguassu Falls to a rodeo in Valparaiso, from the New Zealand Sounds to the beaches of Barbados. Everywhere we went the most wonderful people welcomed us. We saw sights I never imagined I would see, each day dawned with something special to experience – be it Easter Island, or trying to cope with beading classes, and giving in and buying a beading mat.
The friends we met on board really enhanced our experience – I miss them terribly already. It is strange not to share your adventures of the day with them, or make plans for our next port. One wonders what outrageous outfit will Roscoe wear tonight? They are all wonderful people. I even received an email from our friends who adopted Brunhilda. Guess what – she is pregnant with twins. So soon after I donated her, who would have thought it!
Keeping this blog has been tremendous fun. Our daughter helped me set it up. I first had the idea to write about our trip when my mother was so excited about our cruise, and wanted to know every detail of what we were up to. She loved to travel, and my parents’ constant desire to go on a safari has always been a great inspiration to me. Sadly, my mother passed away in August, but I know she would have enjoyed following along on our journey.
I loved knowing that my family was reading the blog too, and that there were people out there liking it – it really made my day. When I became over annoyed with the onboard Internet, I emailed the updates to my daughter in law Carrie, and she kindly posted them for me, at the same time as finishing up her dissertation for her PhD.
I was inspired by reading other world cruise blogs (dating back to Malcolm’s 2008 QE2 Cruise Critic report) and books, and we certainly would not have been as organized in our preparations and packing without that information. If you are thinking about a world cruise, do look out for them!
Finally, one of the great things about a world cruise is being able to share it with someone you love dearly. Simply being together all day every day has been an incredible treat. It is going to be tough when Brian heads out the door to work tomorrow. He has inspired me, and gone along with all of my nutty ideas, there is no way the cruise could have happened without his support. He is simply the best!
I have enjoyed waking up every day to your latest report. In 2015 we were in QE SOU-HK, 2016 QV SYD-HK and sadly in 2017 a very short SYD-HK. Victoria sure seems to attract the characters of the world voyages – Kym and Deirdre, Roscoe, Quack Quack to name but a few!
I am sure going to miss waking up to Wheteissafariigal each morning.
Christine and David
Thank you for your kind thoughts, and persevering on this 3 month odyssey! It sounds like you have also had wonderful voyages – I have found out that an extended port is not just about the ports, but it is about the people you meet and adventures you have along the way. Happy future cruising!
I have so enjoyed “travelling” with you from the very beginning of the talk of segments and then more segments and then . . . world cruise! I have joined you in every port, shared your puzzlement regarding party invites–or non-invites–and your appreciation for the Commodore’s Club. Most of all, I appreciated the great job you did of conveying your appreciation for how lucky you were and how special this bucket list journey was.
Please keep cruising and writing! BTW, I think your family is on to something with the tea towel.
Thank you so much for following along on this wonderful journey. I discovered that a world cruise is so much more than checking new countries off of your to do list. Each one is unique, and I learned so much along the way. It has really shown me how lucky we are to live on this beautiful little planet, and how we absolutely need to take good care of it. The world is an amazing place, just waiting to be explored!
Thanks again for sharing your adventures with me and all the rest of we lurkers out here. I really enjoyed your writing style, your pithy observations, and your sense of humor. Safe travels!
Thank you for your kind comments and for following along – it was an excellent trip. Now to do the unpacking of all of that stuff…………….!
Thank you for sharing your world voyage with us. I know how you feel at leaving the ship; we did the World Voyage on QM2 in 2015 and we would have quite happily stayed on, and we still miss her – she was our home for 4 wonderful months. We wish we could afford to do another world voyage; but we have many other trips we wish to do. We. are on QV post re-fit in June and we will be interested in the changes they make to her. Once again, many thanks for sharing your experiences with us, and letting me re-live our wonderful trip in 2015.
Thank you for sharing your voyage. Your writing has inspired me for the future! Best wishes to both of you for the future.
Thanks for reading the blog – I can definitely recommend a world cruise. It is just so much more than the ports of call, it is an incredible experience!
I just spent my whole Saturday binge-reading your blog after stumbling onto it via Cruise Critic. Thank you soooo much for taking the time to share your wonderful journey. I just loved your personal take on everything, from amazing grandeur to small annoyances, it’s all part of the adventure. I’m hoping to find a way to go on one of these incredible voyages in the next couple years, and reading about your experience inspires me to really go for it. Thank you!!!
Thank you so much for your kind words. A world cruise is so worth the money – I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to do this – it was totally amazing.
I finally completed binge-reading your wonderful adventure, and I enjoyed myself so very much. Thank you! I’ve always been a big ocean liner fan, and I finally booked my first crossing just recently. I’m very excited, and your blog and your posts on CC have been enormously helpful, and truly inspiring. I hope you don’t think I’m a stalker, but I’ve even been following your YouTube videos, and enjoying those as well…especially when I heard the ‘Out of Africa’ music on one of them. I’d like to include a new book and reread an old favorite for the crossing. Now I know which old favorite to choose. One of the things that draws me to QM2 is the camaraderie and the myriad of fascinating people to meet and enjoy their company. In reading your blog, I kept thinking how much fun it would be to meet people like you and your husband and your fellow travelers on my journey. I hope to be so fortunate. Thank you, again.
Thank you so much :). Over the years I have realized that crossings aren’t for everyone, but I have been fortunate enough to always have a wonderful time, and I have met such interesting people along the way. I do hope you have a great time, and don’t forget to ride the outside elevators up to the Commodore Club. It’s magic!
It’s funny that you mentioned those outside elevators. It’s one of the reasons I chose cabin 11.004. They’re right there! And only 2 decks down to what I think may wind up becoming my fav lounge. I’m hoping to enjoy my very own Carlo. 🙂 And I’ll bring some Milky Ways, in your honor.
Great position of your cabin for the Commodore Club, library and spa – but beware you could be in for a bumpy ride if the weather gets rough (my kind of weather).
I do wish we had Carlo on every ship, he is simply the best. Terri, the current pianist is good, and I love listening to him in the background, but Carlo is amazing 🙂
I’m really hoping the weather gets rough. That’s one of the reasons I booked in November, and another reason I booked so far fwd/high. The bigger the waves, the wider my grin and the louder my giggles. Good thing CC contains a wealth of information and great advice on motion sickness remedies! 🙂
Is your Carlo from Boston? Carlo Nuschi? I just saw him on a YouTube video. He’s near the beginning of ‘Cunard 57 Nationalities-Queen Victoria Crew’. Check it out. A great little video.