The legendary Cunard Queen Elizabeth 2 on the Hudson River in New York City, October 16, 2008, as she departs for the final time.

10 January, 2012

Interactive Winter Crossing - January 8, 2008

(note: check back over time as I add more information to these posts, such as additional video, menus, etc.)

Second full day at sea and we awoke to rain and wind, with seas still whipped up a bit, but by this time, we had our "sea legs."

Queen Victoria was now off to the starboard, and actually quite close at times.  Thankfully, there were bits of blue sky poking through, signalling the weather might be improving.

The view from one of our cabin windows.  That bit of Federal Grey paint on the glass would irritate me the entire crossing!  At this point, the sun was finally out and it was actually warm.  We must be in the Gulf Stream now.

My favorite part of the ship remained closed, due to the high winds.  People were lining up on this side of the ship today to watch how the new Cunarder handled in the North Atlantic.  In the midst of all the talk about this and the overall sadness most were feeling that this was truly an historic crossing, passengers mentioned how special it was to cross and have something to look at; Queen Victoria off either side of the ship.  Not having done another crossing to compare this one too, I guess this does make some sense.

I heard one person mention that it was reassuring to have another ship at our side if QE2 broke down in the middle of the Atlantic.  I rather thought the opposite; that passengers on Queen Victoria should be sleep easier that a time tested true liner was at her side.  I had to bite my tongue, but chatted further with them and later found out they were on board for the first time and really did not know too much about the ship or even of Cunard in general.  I told them the Cunard Heritage Tour cannot be missed and after that, they would truly "get it" about QE2.

I had read about the Funnel Bar renovations that had been done since the last time we sailed in 2000 and decided to venture up to check it out. I encountered a sea of passengers reclined in their steamer chairs, with QE2 embroidered blankets, sipping on their hot bouillon, a Cunard crossing tradition! Those blankets are cherished now and unfortunately not a one got lost in my luggage.

Today, we made it to the Golden Lion for a Fish n' Chip pub lunch, with a Guinness and yummy mushy peas.  I had come quite fond of this dish, having experienced it in London prior to sailing and the QE2 kitchen did not disappoint.  We had quite a long wait to experience this dish since it appeared our waiter was very overworked!  We also had to wait for a table and were rewarded with a nice table with a view of Queen Victoria.  While we sat in the non-smoking section, with the smokers only a table away, that was an utter joke.  Who cares...we were on board QE2 and having a pub lunch with a view!

With Queen Victoria all lit up off to starboard, we heading off to dinner, giving the new tux I had bought for this trip some use.  We dined in the Caronia Restaurant, due to our cabin selection.  I had booked a Caronia grade cabin "guarantee" and we were rewarded with a two grade upgrade, to a C1 grade room.  With this venue set up as a single seating dining experience, the dining experience was never rushed or did we feel like the wait staff were hurrying us along for another seating.  This was very nice and with our wonderful table mates and superb wait staff, the dining experience was magical.  This was what I had dreamed QE2 was all about!
After dinner, we managed to get a group shot of our entire table, standing in front of the large ship's model at the entrance to the Caronia Restaurant.  Bill and Cassie, on our left, were actually from Connecticut too, while Roger and Wendy, to our right, were from the UK, just outside of London.  Lifetime friendships were made here and for that, we have QE2 to thank. 

I was extremely envious of Roger and Wendy as they were on board for the entire World Cruise, sadly QE2's final one.  Over the next few months, I would receive periodic updates from Roger and experienced the World Cruise through him and the QE2 bridge cam.  We would all later meet in New York City in April for a reunion of sorts, as QE2 stopped for her final port call on her trip back to Southampton.

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