We are older adults but believe we are young,or at least young at heart. We have traveled independently throughout our lives but discovered cruising in our later years. The Queen Mary 2 seems to lure us back again and again. It may be the understated elegance that characterizes this ship, the library that contains over a thousand volumes or the helpful and respectful crew. Whatever the reason we gravitate toward this ocean liner repeatedly.
Our taxi driver to the Brooklyn pier informed us about the flooding in the Red Hook area. The pier itself reopened for this sailing but there was a minor delay in embarkation. Once onboard I noted the cleanliness and beauty of the ship. We settled in quickly and lunched at the King's Court Buffet, a venue I seem to gravitate for morning coffee only. A visit to the library and we each selected a book that would take us through the entire week. Our luggage arrived within the hour and we unpacked. Our cabin steward introduced himself and provided additional hangers.
We walked about the ship and noted the Christmas decorations and lights along the Grand Lobby staircases. All shops close while a ship is in port but we found that some of our favorite shops were gone.
For the Christmas holidays, Carolers sang in the Grand Lobby. For New Year's Eve festivities and celebrations were held throughout the ship to mark the New Year. At midnight Americans, the majority of passengers, welcomed in the New Year.
During sea days we attended outstanding lectures in the Illuminations. Rusty Schweickart, an astronaut, presented a lecture about his experience in space and a second about his work and research in preventing asteroids from hitting earth. Bruce Chadwick delivered an excellent forensics lecture about crime in literature, the movies and television. Lectures were not available when the ship docked in the various Caribbean ports.
We attended one Captain's party and, unfortunately, additional parties had to be canceled due to the outbreak of norovirus. We did not experience the problem but spoke to others who were less fortunate. Despite the crew being overworked because of the required sanitation procedures, they were always helpful and friendly. We met waiters and their assistants from previous voyages. They seemed as happy to see us as we were to see them. Sales people in the shops were helpful, staff in the Britannia dining room and Kings Court spent time speaking with us. The foodin the Britannia was beautifully presented and of excellent quality. We went to afternoon tea in the Queens Room, always a delightful experience. We played trivia and went to the gymnasium. We went to several shows in the Royal Court Theater. One or two were excellent.
Since the tours at each port were expensive and we have been to all the ports in the past, we walked about and spoke to the locals at each port. St. Lucia required tendering; we decided to stay onboard.
On sunny, warm days the captain encouraged everyone to get outside on deck. Doors were opened for fresh air to enter the ship. With my book in hand I relaxed on a deck chair and viewed the ocean. A British woman sitting next to me summed up my feelings exactly: "I could get very used to this life," she said. "Yes, it is easy to do that," I responded.
The Christmas and New Year voyage aboard the QM2 was beyond special. We plan to continue sailing the QM2 in the near future. We requested early disembarkation and left the ship looking forward to our next voyage.