LOCATION: On board the elegant Cunard Queen Elizabeth in Southampton Harbor
WEATHER: Sun! Warmer – high 58
We spent the morning walking around Old Southampton and found a place for coffee and toast. We killed time until our hotel check-out. Then, we donned our backpacks and started walking toward our ship. We had driven the route when we had our rental car, and it seemed a short distance. However, now lugging backpacks and dragging a suitcase, it seemed much farther! We walked about 3 miles to our harbor entrance, only to discover that we had another mile to go to the end of the harbor for our ship. We were the only ones walking; I think it is posher to board the QE via a taxi or private car. Oh well – we got some good exercise and saved some money.
As we were walking in the harbor area, we passed a cargo ship and spotted this Airstream in the lot. Someone must have brought it over here from the USA.
Finally we arrived! Here she is!
Boarding went smoothly. It is interesting to watch the people. The cruise goes on to Australia after South Africa, so most of the passengers are English and Australian. We have by far the least amount of luggage. The median age of the passengers must be about 68.
We found our room – quite nice!
A bottle of champagne was awaiting us….
After unpacking, we expxlored some of the ship. It holds 2000 passengers, so it is big but not as huge as some cruise ships. This is the view of Southampton from the 9th deck- we could see the long walk we took passing by all these ships.
There are 2 pools – one inside and this nice outside one…
As we embarked, around 5:00, the harbor put on a big fireworks display for us.
Another cruise ship left at about the same time. Each ship blew its horn merrily.
We were required to attend the ship’s safety meeting. A guy from the USA sat next to us and told us that he cruises all the time, free, as he is a dancing companion. He is a very good ballroom and Latin dancer, so in return for free fare, he attends all the dancing sessions and dances with the single ladies.
There are two dinner seatings. We have the late one – at 8:30. So we hung out at the ship’s British pub for a pint before dinner. We met a traveler from Australia, and then a lady from England joined us.
There are 6 at our assigned dinner table. The other two couples are British. They seem nice and we immediately found out that we share the same political views. I had vegetable gyoza as my starter, then shrimp fettucine for the main. I am really going to try to eat quality not quantity on this cruise, so I only ate the shrimp, not the pasta. George had octopus as his appetizer, lamb shanks as his main, and a British cheese plate for dessert.
Then, we went to the ship’s theatre where we watched an excellent Broadway-type musical. To a rocking bed at about midnight.
Note – we don’t have wifi on the ship (correction: we don’t want to pay for expensive wifi on the ship) so will only be posting when we dock during the journey.