Cunard promoted this cruise - or voyage - as something special: the 175th anniversary of the founding of the line, and the 100th anniversary of the Lusitania disaster. Was it?
It started rather disjointedly. We were at the Queen Elizabeth terminal, newly refurbished apparently. There seemed to be some confusion about blue embarcation cards, and green ones. People milled about, waiting for someone to tell them where to go, or they just went anyway. It didn't seem to make much difference. But we all got on board.
And there things improved. We had the band of the Household Cavalry playing in the Queen's Room, stirring stuff under the baton of their polished and witty Band Major. Next stop for them, Windsor Castle. For us it was Guernsey. As our ship moved up to the turning area, where she swung and took station, the Queen Mary 2 left the Ocean terminal, and the Queen Elizabeth, the Mayflower Terminal. Then all three enormous liners surged off down the Solent in convoy. This was a magnificant site, with us as back marker, and glimpses of sunlight bouncing off the red funnels of the two ships ahead of us. For those who like ships, this was impressive. Then the Queen Mary 2 moved to one side and we took the middle station, with the Queen Mary looming vast astern of us, the Queen Elizabeth ahead, until each went their seperate ways...
Very standard, very like others. But adequate. Not special.
We embarked via the Queen Elizabeth Terminal. It had apparently been recently refurbished. The check-in system seemed somewhat confused, at least for some of the passengers. They use a blue card system and then a green card system after the check in has been completed. But in our case and those around us, nobody seemed quite sure when to give a green card... So many people hung around waiting for an official, who frequently wasn't there. But no doubt it will sort itself out in time.