Monday, July 15, 2019

Day 8 (July 14, 2019) – Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Transatlantic (New York to Southampton) – Travel Home

We have to hand it to Cunard (BTW – it is pronounced Cue-Nard, not Coo-Nard), as disembarkation was amazing. The planned arrival time was 6:30am, but due to traffic in the port, we were delayed until about 7:00am. We were supposed to vacate our room by 8am and meet in the Royal Court Theatre to disembark around 8:30am and take the Cunard provided bus to Heathrow, Terminal 3. Both the trough and the dining room were available for breakfast from 6:30 to 8:00, so we went to the dining room and had a lovely breakfast.

Our disembarkation took a bit longer because of the slightly delayed docking, but ultimately we left the port in the bus right on time at 9:30am. We arrived without incidence at the airport, checked in, turned in our luggage and headed through security. Security was reasonably efficient. Because we are both Delta Gold Medallion status, we were allowed free entrance into Lounge 1 in the F set of lounges. It was fairly crowded, but had free WIFI (the rest of the airport had it as well), a nice lunch, and drinks.

Our Virgin Atlantic plane was scheduled to depart at 3:25pm, so we left at about 3:10 to do some walking exercise and then head to the gate. They do things a bit differently and don’t assign the gate until an hour before you are scheduled to depart. Weirdly as we were walking, we went right by the gate. We walked a bit more and then went through the check-in process to the holding area. We sat there for a while and suddenly, people were boarding without any announcements. We got up and had to push our way through to board with the premium economy class.

The flight was great and we arrived home safely.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Day 7 (July 13, 2019) – Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Transatlantic (New York to Southampton) – Sixth and Last Day at Sea

Well, today is our last day at sea before disembarking tomorrow. It was a jam-packed day!! We started with our daily walking the deck and then headed up to the Kings Court for a quick breakfast (we had missed the last time to eat in the dining room). Next up was the first of three talks that we attended:

1) Dave Mallinder – The Frank Sinatra Story at 10am.
2) Doug Burgess – The Rise and Fall of Captain Kidd at 1:15pm.
3) Captain Jonathan Holloway – Cyber Security at 4pm.

We chose not to attend the Architecture talk by John Sherlock or the Q&A with John McCarthy.

We did our packing, dealt with the fifth straight day of a one-hour time change at noon, went for lunch in the Britannia Dining Room. Note – Bob had a Korean BBQ Chicken Taco – which was kind of a wrap with some Korean style chicken, hot peppers, and cabbage. He really like it. Julie had pasta and said that it was excellent as it has been other times at lunch. It’s interesting that there have been no pasta offerings in the evening dining menu. After lunch, we went to afternoon Tea again (this one included a dance with the Queens Room Orchestra).

In the evening, we decided to go up to the Commodore Club bar for a drink. They are famous for their Commodore drinks that were created especially for the bar. We decided to opt for traditional gin and tonics. The bar had a huge selection of English gins and we tried Monkey 47 and Sipsmith. It is an amazingly nice bar on Deck 9 off the front of the ship. We compared it to the Palm Court, much smaller and less panoramic views, but very nice. We then went to the 7:00pm variety show with the two sopranos known as Indigo May and comedian Mike Doyle. We still didn’t really like Indigo May and thought that Doyle was great, although this time a lot of the jokes were very specific to the Brits.

For dinner, we decided to try out room service. It only took about 20 minutes and we had Caesar salads to start. Julie then had the hamburger (6oz of prime hamburger) without bun and Bob had the pizza. The burger was definitely the winner.

We concluded the day by watching a TiVo recorded episode of “This Old House.

Today we walked 12,239 and 5.67 miles.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Day 6 (July 12, 2019) – Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Transatlantic (New York to Southampton) – Fifth Day at Sea

Julie had a very rough night again, being awake for many hours. Eventually she fell asleep. It is pretty clear that the time changes are catching up with us. We didn’t really get up until after 9am today. We both walked and Bob caught the last 30 minutes of Doug Burgess’s talk on the Golden Age of Pirates. Julie checked out the all items for $10 shopping event down in the atrium. She also talked to the tour people to get our baggage tags for our transfer to Heathrow when we get into Southampton. We will be debarking at around 8:30am, heading to the airport for our 3:30pm flight back to the states.

We decided to have lunch in the dining room because they offered a Beyond Burger. Neither of us have tried Beyond burgers, so we figured it was worth a shot. We felt that it was decent but wanted to learn more about the nutritional facts about them. Julie mentioned that because they were topped so differently from what we normally have that it might have colored our view. We will definitely try it again.

In Kings Court, they were doing their Ice and Chocolate day with many ice sculptures and many, many different kinds of desserts. They even had sticky toffee pudding. However, Julie felt that it was way too sweet (it had dates and other sweets in it).

After lunch, we hung out for a while and eventually we went out on Deck 7, Starboard side and sat in the deck chairs. It was incredibly nice. Just a little chilly.

Tonight was our third Gala, dressup evening. It was themed to the Roaring Twenties. We didn’t have anything Roaring, but saw lots of feather boas and headbands on the women. Dinner was again in the Britannia and Julie had a Caesar Salad, the Broiled Lobster Tail, and finished with a cheese selection for dessert. The lobster was not Maine lobster, but still had good flavor.

While Bob had Roasted Onion Soup (it was pureed, not like the French Onion Soup we are more familiar with), Pearly Barley and Roasted Carrot Salad, Fillet of Beef Wellington, and finished with Baked Alaska. Bob thought that it was all excellent, especially the Beef Wellington which used mushrooms instead of Pate inside.

After dinner, we went to the big production show Broadway Rocks, essentially a compendium of many songs from many Broadway musicals. We both thought that it was very nice.

Today we walked 11,835 and 5.48 miles.