Usually sea days are relaxing. Not so much this one.
I decided to go to the Commodore Club for a short time to read, and missed Derek Tedder’s talk on “Trust me, I’m a journalist”. I sat in the Commodore Club musing over how much journalism had changed since my grandfather, who was a journalist, received an MBE back in the 60s for his writing. I don’t think he would have approved of some of today’s journalism.
There was no time to muse on the past, as it was already time for the Cunard logo and Norwegian souvenir sale. When I arrived on deck 3, the sale was already in full swing, and 2,000 of our 2,600 passengers were grabbing the bargains. Ruth was there in full shopping mode, and did manage to get a couple of mugs so she was happy, and able to emerge from the crowd unscathed.
I decided not to risk my life for a T-shirt, and waited patiently for the “new logo launch” in the shop. As I was waiting for the launch, there was an announcement for the assistance team to go to the laundry. I very much doubted that Captain Wells would be there to perform the grand opening, as he would be making sure that all was well with that facility. However, I needn’t have worried as he arrived on cue and cut the ribbon, assuring us that our ship was fine. Phew.
I negotiated my way inside the shop, and immediately saw a beautiful little teapot and cup and saucer. It was perfect. I was able to rapidly make my purchase and exit the shop before I was trampled.
It was then time for the senior officer’s party in the Queen’s Room. Getting all dressed up in “smart attire” at 11:15 in the morning on your final day at sea is worth it if you hate to miss a party.
There was a large crowd, and the fake champagne flowed freely. However there were no snacks that I could see, and the officers did not seem to want to mingle. Still, I had a great time talking with Helen, Martin, and Bill.
Then it was time for Bill Miller’s talk on “Flying the Red Ensign: Great British Passenger Liners”. As soon as Bill was done it was time for lunch in the Verandah.
The meal was excellent as usual. I think I prefer their lunch to their dinner. I ordered the Boef Bourguignon, and was surprised that the waiter asked me how I would like it cooked. I always though that this dish would either be uncooked, or cooked. However, looking at what arrived, I surmised that it must be a deconstructed version of the dish. It was not a stew at all, but separated parts of it. I don’t think Julia Child would have approved, but it was very tasty anyway.
As was the strawberry dessert.
Lunch was at 1:00, and I had my wine tasting at 2:45. I thought I would go there straight from lunch, but we were all having such a good time that suddenly it was 3:00. At 3:30 the wait staff were very discretely giving us the look that implied we were over staying our welcome, so we finally left. Well fed and happy.
The final talk was Eric Flounders presenting his opinions on “Lusitania – Casualty or Conspiracy?” I had very much enjoyed the book “Dead Wake”, so it was interesting to hear another interpretation of the events leading to the sinking.
Then it was time for the activity prize redemption so I headed off to claim our loot. There were actually some quite good prizes for those who had managed to get a lot of stamps on their cards. We only had 4 stamps, which meant the selection was limited. I ended up getting 2 memory sticks. Ruth and I could now exchange the photos that we had each taken on the trip. It turned out to be an excellent prize.
There was no way of getting around it. We had delayed the inevitable all day. I headed up to the cabin to begin the dreaded packing. We still had some champagne left over, so we drank this as we wondered how on earth our suitcases were so much fuller than they had been only a week ago.
Ruth had met 2 lovely couples yesterday, and we had arranged to all have dinner together tonight. We were given my favorite table right under the tapestry next to the hosted table. The other 2 couples were delightful, and it was amazing how much we all had in common. For the first time for the whole cruise we were about the last people to leave the dining room. I do wish we had met them earlier on in the voyage. You really do get to meet such interesting people on cruises. I love the destinations we visit, and easily get used to being so pampered on board, but I also really love the connections I make.
After dinner we headed back to the cabin to finish packing. I was very cognizant of the fact that on previous cruises this last minute packing had resulted in Brian packing my cruise card so I didn’t have one to get off the ship, and I packed my shoes so I had to head ashore barefoot. I decided there would be no such incidents this time.
I went to place Ruth’s suitcase out in the corridor, and horrors, the door handle came off in my hand.
There seemed to be no way to open the door so we could get out of the cabin. On the one hand this seemed like a good idea because if we couldn’t get out of the cabin, we couldn’t be thrown off the ship tomorrow morning. On the other hand we would not be able to get food. That would not be good.
We were able to do a temporary fix, and headed out in to the corridor where we saw a workman. However, he turned out to be a plumber, not a door fixer. For that we needed a carpenter, so we headed down to the Purser’s Office to request one. Apparently it is extremely unusual for the door handles to come apart.
In order to give the carpenter peace and quiet while he performed his task, we retreated to the safety and comfort of the Commodore Club, where not unexpectedly we met up with Helen and Martin. We had one last drink with them before heading back to our cabin and our newly mended door handle.
There was no other way of looking at it. Our fjording had ended. But it had been good ☺