A Travellerspoint blog

Our Last Full Day on the QM2

Time to pack up for London!

semi-overcast 16 °C

Dear Friends,

We have been quite busy—formal dinners, formal balls, concerts and performances, lectures, kids program, strolling the deck, a little “ship school,” swimming, taking in a spot of tea in the afternoon, careful research in the champagne bar, and, of course, finding just the right deck chair for a morning and/or afternoon nap. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for updating the blog!! Plus, don’t forget that we’ve been losing an hour a day (a fact that is painfully obvious when traveling with children)—lots of things keeping us away from the computer.

We’ll try to get caught up when we reach London, which we expect to be tomorrow. The ship is scheduled to arrive in Southampton at 7:00 in the morning. Getting our things together, finding our bags, meeting our ride, etc., etc.—we anticipate getting to London around lunch-time.

But, below you will find a couple of photos from our stay on the QM2—a voyage that we highly recommend! Enjoy!

Best to all,
Susan

Here are John and Margaret with some of their friends from the Cunard Kids' program, all dressed up for the formal dinner and ready to attend the after-dinner show at the Royal Court Theatre.

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Here are Dad, Margaret, and John, arriving on our last night for dinner at Britannia.

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Here are Mom, John, and Margaret (wearing her dad's suit jacket on account of the cool breeze) standing on Deck 7, with the kids' pool below and behind them, and the sunset in the distance.

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And some final thoughts from John:

I can’t wait to get to England because I remember it being a fun place. The first thing I want to do is go to the London Eye, then go to Big Ben, then go to the Tower of London.

Posted by jrreisert 12:30 Archived in USA Tagged cruises Comments (1)

Day Four At Sea

Our Glorious Voyage (Mostly)

overcast 18 °C

Mom:

The seas have picked up a bit today—up to “4” on the ship’s scale (moderate). The “technical” word for the seas today seems to be “wobble” (that’s how the crew refers to the level of the seas and what it does to the ship) and there is quite a bit of wobbling—wobbling down the hallways (good thing there are railings) and wobbling through dining areas, etc.

One of the best places we’ve found for dealing with the wobbling is the pavilion pool on deck 12. You don’t feel so much the wobble, but every few minutes there is a great slosh against one of the sides of the pool.

We went to the nondenominational Christian service this morning, led by the Commodore himself. We sang some good hymns. We were led in quite a few prayers, including a prayer for the royal family, of course. And, the Commodore delivered a fine, if pedestrian, sermon. He spoke of the significance of the journey, rather than the destination, which seemed to have absolutely nothing to do with the lesson from Romans on loving one another.

The kids are spending another afternoon in the Zone. Joe went to a concert this afternoon by the BSO Chamber Players. They gave a really marvelous Mozart program yesterday.

I spent some part of the afternoon on a deck chair with a book. I didn’t get much reading done, however. I took a nap, instead. A much better choice.

Margaret:

We went for the Pub Lunch on Sunday, after church. My question for today: How did the English conquer the earth whilst they ate mushy peas? [Mush peas were served with the fish and chips we had for lunch — ed.] Maybe they conquered the world so that they could get away from the mushy peas? The mushy peas were very disgusting: they were dry and strongly textured. I really, really, really don’t like mushy peas.

Mom and Dad made me go yesterday to a lecture all about poo. The speaker told us to figure out how much poo everyone on the ship makes during the whole crossing. Dad says it is an estimating problem just like the ones in my math book, only more disgusting. We are working on it. Dad really wants me to win.

John:

I slept until 10:00 today. I won the “sleepy slug prize” for today. This is our family prize that goes to whoever sleeps latest. Mom and Dad made me go to the church service this morning. I liked best the first hymn. [“Immoral, Invisible, God Only Wise” — ed.] At 11:30 this morning, we were exactly halfway to England according to the captain’s noon announcement.

Today I also want to write about the games. We do beads a lot, which is really fun. One of the other activities was a tour of the ship, and one of the things we did was walk through the gym. Our tour guide told us not to laugh. We had to look for: (a) the sweatiest person, (b) the person who was not really exercising, and (c) the person who was not really working. My Dad was at the gym and he was voted the sweatiest. The other activity is to watch movies.

Posted by jrreisert 14:32 Archived in USA Tagged cruises Comments (2)

Our first day on the Queen Mary 2

It's as beautiful as ever and the seas are calm (so far)

sunny 22 °C

Mom: We are now somewhere in the North Atlantic off of George's Bank. The ship pulled out of Brooklyn late yesterday afternoon and we sailed under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge just before six. Then it was off to dinner!

We left Maine on Tuesday and visited Grammy and Grampy in Massachusetts. On Wednesday, we headed for Long Island, where we stayed with Pete and Deanna, Hailey, Justin, Ashley and Allie. Margaret and the girls are pictured, below:

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The weather today is clear and beautiful. It is warm (low 70s) and the sea is calm. The kids had a great night of sleep, as can be seen in the photo at the end of this entry.

The kids are enjoying the kids program so far. They like it a lot better than “ship school,” which was this morning’s activity. John worked on his spelling and some of the fractions workbook; Margaret did some of her math (estimating and problem-solving) and read the story about energy. As I write (mid-afternoon Friday), they are on a special tour of the ship. We’ll see what they learn!

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Here’s Margaret’s journal entry from yesterday (see photo, above):

As we leave the harbor I start thinking like the buoy with the bell. Here is what I am thinking:

“An Ode From the Buoy”

Ding! Ding! Ding!
Look at me O big boat.
Look at me!
Can you even see me?

I really want to go on you,
O Ship leaving the harbor.
I want to go with you.
I’ve been here all my life, and I am bored.

Alas, I cannot go and I have to stay here and make you listen to me.

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Here’s John’s entry, also from yesterday (see photo of Statue of Liberty, above):

This is the obvious picture of the Statue of Liberty, made in 1886. This picture was taken from the top deck of the Queen Mary 2 before sailing. I am having a great time so far.

We're trying to get John to write more: maybe he'll reveal the location of the secret bas-relief of Homer Simpson in the QM2's grand lobby.

One last picture of the kids on their best behavior:

J_M_asleep_in_cabin.jpg:

Posted by jrreisert 12:40 Archived in USA Tagged cruises Comments (1)

First Stop-- LL Bean

3 Suitcases not enough

sunny 22 °C

Mom: So, it turns out that three suitcases are not enough! Alas. So, our first stop was to Bean's to pick up another small suitcase. Now, each of us has a suitcase. We'll look so cute marching through train stations with our Bean suitcases, all the same model, but different colors. Hopefully, we can get along with just two backpacks. School work, electronics, our own version of a roaming pharmacy, plus all those guidebooks (despite ripping them up and taking only what we need) made the difference. But, at least now we have room for stuff as we venture through Europe!

We are in Massachusetts now, but will leave soon for New York. We board the QM2 tomorrow!!

Best to all,
Susan

Posted by jrreisert 07:32 Archived in USA Comments (0)

So close

sunny 21 °C

Mom: It's our last full day in Maine. Tomorrow, we head to Massachusetts and then on Wednesday we go to New York. We board the QM2 on Thursday.

We are spending our last day in Maine mostly packing.
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Here's the first of the suitcases. It belongs to John and Margaret. Two more suitcases are waiting--one for me and one for Joseph. Plus, a couple of backpacks. Can we live out of three small suitcases (plus a couple of backpacks) for the next couple of months. Let's hope so!

The kids are playing with friends today. John is playing with Logan and Max, the grandchildren of the neighbors. Margaret is playing with her friend, Louisa. Everyone has been swimming, despite the fact that it's very windy (it's no Hurricane Gustav, but it's still windy for Great Pond.)

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Margaret: Louisa and I had fun wave-jumping today, and swimming. I'm looking forward to our trip, especially going to Paris.

John: I'm really excited. I had a great day today, playing with Logan and Max. I am sad about leaving, but excited for our trip.

Posted by jrreisert 12:07 Archived in USA Tagged preparation Comments (1)

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