April 27th, 2023
Today was another cold and rainy one. We decided to skip the Isle of White, and instead blow all of our OBC in the spa. Well I did anyway. It was OBC well spent.
I had fallen in love with a scarf in the Liberty shop on board, but it was ridiculously expensive. Seeing as we had a good amount of OBC for the crossing, I had decided to wait until we were on our way to New York before purchasing it. Now of course the shops are closed, so there is no way to buy it. I was quite upset about that, but such is life. Maybe on a future voyage we will end up with a lot of OBC, and then I will buy it. Just I can’t buy it now. Bummer.
However, I can go to the spa, and like many other guests on the ship, we are all having a great time spending our OBC and the spa was buzzing. Manicures, pedicures, massages, hair cuts, you name it. Everyone is queuing up for services. I certainly enjoyed mine until the lady tried to sell me anti wrinkle cream. I am quite happy with my wrinkles, and quite put out that she thought I needed to do something about them.
I decided that I needed to check on the funnel, and lo and behold the decks were open and I could take a look at the funnel. Well it’s still there and looking good on the outside, like it has always done.
The Kings Court is closed. You can’t even walk through there. Getting from the front to the back of the ship you either have to go up to deck 8, or down to deck 6, otherwise you have to brave the freezing weather out on the promenade deck. I am not a fan of the Kings Court in general, but it is very handy when you are struck by the urge to have a snack, which in my case is a chocolate éclair. All meals are now taken in the main dining room with waiter service. No chance for a quick bite any more, and no snacking between meals. Probably good for those of us who are gradually gaining weight. But still annoying.
Apart from the lack of continued sustenance, the band plays on. Zumba and line dancing continue, music fills the ship, you could almost be in the middle of a crossing instead of at Ocean Terminal.
At lunch we were sort of joined by a couple of workmen fixing the window near us. I never realized it was broken. Lunch time seemed like a strange time to embark on this noisy repair, and we had to forgo any conversation as they hammered and chiseled away. We abandoned the dining room and returned to our stateroom to see what was on the afternoon program.
It turned out that packing was to be on the afternoon program. Our letter arrived informing us that we were booked on a direct flight home tomorrow at 3:30. Of course, I would have liked to stay on board for a longer period of time, but I am very grateful for the 5 wonderful days we have had on Queen Mary 2.
I was still obsessing about whether I should book the coronation celebration voyage, but as it turned out I needn’t have worried. The voyage sold out in under 45 minutes, and there were problems making the bookings. The preregistration that the Queen Victoria folks did didn’t work well. The booking software kept on crashing in the middle of people making bookings, leading them to think that they had made a booking, only to discover that they hadn’t. It was not one of Cunard’s best moments of booking history. The voyage was not available to book on the US travel advisor booking engine, so if you were from the US you had to phone Cunard in England to make the booking. This kept on failing miserably. So all in all, having the coronation voyage is a great idea, and should have been good PR for Cunard during the time that Queen Mary 2 is indisposed, but it turned out to have the opposite effect for the hundreds of folks who were unable to book. I am very happy for those who were able to book, however, and look forward to hearing all about it.
We did our best to pack everything in to our 4 suitcases, Brian was frowning at my decision to buy a large box of Legos for our grandson when we were at West Quay. We then settled down on the balcony to watch our sail away. No alas, we are not heading down the Solent, but changing our berth as some other ship is scheduled to arrive at Ocean Terminal. We had thought of having a sail away party on our balcony, but as our stateroom is in a severe state of disorganization with the attempts to pack everything, it is quite a challenge to climb over the objects strewn all over the floor in order to reach the balcony door. Plus there is no Kings Court to go to to get provisions for a soiree, so it was just the 2 of us watching from our balcony.
We had single malt and champagne, and nuts that needed to be finished. Essentials for a sail away. The biltong has been finished alas. We had my sail away playlist blasting Rule Britannia and Jerusalem, and all my British sail away music. The playlist ends with God Save the Queen. I felt sad that it needs to be updated. I had my flags to wave (which I think startled the tug pilot next to us). One disadvantage to the sheltered balconies is that you can’t actually see anything if you sit down, but at least we were sheltered from the wind and rain somewhat. In no time at all we were docked at City Cruise Terminal, with a view of Mayflower Park. Well that was a short trip, we didn’t even get to the end of my playlist.
At dinner, friends asked us to join their table. They were also sitting with a very interesting and charming couple, so we had a great evening. That’s one of the things I love about Cunard. You really get the privilege to talk with other guests from all walks of life, and share their experiences. There was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding on the menu, a very British way to end our wonderful time on board.
We still had packing to do so we had to miss the show. That was a pity because the very talented duo Celli were playing, but we felt we had to get this done.
Finally the 4 suitcases, 2 carry on bags, and 2 backpacks were good to go. Yay! It was time to join friends in the Commodore Club for a final get together. We were about the only people there, the ship is feeling emptier and emptier. The good news is that it was easy to sit in my favorite seats.
A friend had recommended that instead of a chocolate affair martini I should try a PS I love you. It was a good choice, not so chocolatey but very creamy. I may have a new Commodore Club nightcap. It’s not as good as a milky way martini, nothing seems to be, but certainly an acceptable substitute.
We were having a nice relaxing time talking about how wonderful the cruise had been, when all of a sudden it went dark, and then the low auxillary lighting came on. This did not shed much light at all, but as I was now very conscious of the fact that my wrinkles were clearly a problem, I though the low lighting was just perfect. Captain Hashmi let us know that there had been a power failure (you think?), but that the power would be back on again soon. Another technical issue I assume.
Sure enough we were soon bathed in non wrinkle hiding illumination, and all of the ship’s background noises were heard humming again. I hope the problem will be solved by May 2nd when she will head up to Liverpool.
Our last night on board was soon over, and it was time to retire to our stateroom. These 3 weeks on board have been wonderful. I am so grateful to Cunard for not just throwing us off the ship when it was clear that our crossing wasn’t going to happen, but treating us with the usual great food, amazing service, and excellent programming. Thank you Cunard :).
However, I do feel bad for the people who were not able to come on board, and had to head back home before they had had a chance to enjoy the ship. How horribly frustrating for them. I do hope they will be able to do another crossing.