Queen Mary 2 - Eastbound Transatlantic

During the night, the room had become colder and colder so when we woke up before noon, it was freezing despite the heat being on full.  Then we discovered why - snow!  Not the damp stuff we're used to in the UK but it was quite dry and crunchy like salt.  Clocks went forward again at noon.  We took a wander and noticed fire doors were closed.  I'd forgotten the Grill only deck was at the end of our corridor, which is a bit stupid considering Grills are mainly the two decks below.  We received some odd looks from blokes in the hot tub.  The deck was a little icy and we didn't stay long before going for food.  We went to the Chart Room before heading to the theatre for David Copperfield's show.  Due to the motion, the upper level felt unsafe so we moved down.  Rob wanted to be near the stage.  Natalia served us and shocked me.  Not only did she remember me from my previous Mary cruises but specifically said the Chart Room on QE2 in 2008!  Bloody hell!  Must have been the October trip as I spent a lot of time there with my then-boyfriend who played piano on the ship.  

David came on and dragged a bloke called Steve on stage as well as Rob to help with part of his act.  Later, while singing Nessun Dorma, I got partially sung at and a flash of his leg, which I squeezed then stuck my tongue out, reducing him to a few giggles.  After dinner we went to the Commodore Club for a change.  Such a different atmosphere in the evening since many of the daytime old fart chair hoggers must be in bed after an exhausting day shhhhhing everyone.  I then lost Rob, who I'd left there while I went to the toilet.  Last I saw he'd been recognised from David's show.  So I hunted for him, eventually finding David and asking if he'd seen him.  A text arrived twenty minutes later telling me he was back in the room so I told him where I was and he came down.  A nice end to the day and the big pillows would be used as balcony door draught excluders from now on!

The 7th January began so well with the usual getting up before the noon whistle.  Things had returned to normal following about three cases of norovirus meaning people couldn't be bothered sanitising their hands and no one enforced it.  WTF is wrong with them?????  After lunch we spent some time with David Copperfield and the day went downhill from there.  Rob had picked up a lurgy from the cold we'd had when it snowed so we'd got him aspirin, Vicks Vapo Rub and cough medicine.  We did the afternoon quiz in the Golden Lion since we were there and got 10/20 which wasn't bad.  He didn't go to dinner, which was semi-formal night.  I didn't go to the World Club thing but I'd only received the invitations that day anyway while I had seen them outside other cabins a day or two before.  Rob asked for mint chocolate chip ice cream if they let him have some, which they did so I left the table early to take it to him then didn't leave the room for the rest of the night.
It had been a very long night and now it was the 8th, my mum's birthday and the first away since she died in November 2010.  I missed her so much and hoped my dad was okay at home.  Up again before the noon whistle, clocks forward an hour again, but Rob was feeling really awful with his lurgy so there was no way Olena could do the room.  Also, our toilet, which would have been better suited on the QE2 due to being an unpredictable pain in the arse, packed up.  At least it hadn't backed up like Lizzie's could!  This thing either wouldn't flush properly at all or suck all the water out, even when sitting on the thing.  I reported it to the Purser's Office around 12.40pm and was told he would send a message to the technical department.  Rob needed to eat to stop his dizzy spells so I ordered a burger from room service with him having the chips.  That came before any plumber.  An hour after I called, I tried the Purser again.  I had things to do like get Rob more potions to get him well and was stuck waiting.  The bloke at the other end of the phone was very rude, saying he'd told me something before when he hadn't and there were a few toilets needing seeing to.  As we waited, the toilet gave a little flush on its own but was still unresponsive when you pressed the button.  Bloody thing gets weirder by the day!  In the end, Rob was feeling less dizzy so I decided to go to the shop for potions.  A steward had knocked on the door about doing the room and told me the entire block on both sides had gone off around noon.  Why couldn't the bloke at the Purser's desk say that then I wouldn't have wasted all that time waiting thinking it was just ours.  It was a bloody good job neither of us had norovirus or food poisoning.  Fixing it was clearly low on their list of priorities since it was now after 2pm.  As I popped out, I saw someone listening to the bathrooms of each cabin then vanish, so I carried on going to the shop and bought him some Beechams powder.  He'd agreed to it if the other stuff didn't work.  Up to Kings Court for a cup of hot water.  David Copperfield was getting some coffee or whatever but by the time I turned round to tell him about Rob's lurgy, he'd vanished.  the toilet was fixed by 3.10pm - hooray!!!!!!  Only taken 2 1/2 hours since I'd called and over three since the fault was first reported.  Rob felt a bit better so we went to the Golden Lion for a drink.  David was in there chatting to some people but Rob didn't want to give him his germs so we stayed away.  We'd been told to take our feet off the stools they replaced chairs with yet a bloke later put his up and nothing was said.  Stools are for feet, chairs for for bums.  Rob felt unwell again by around 7pm so it was back to bed for him.  I didn't go to the party again but got brought him back the mint choc ice cream again after we'd had our dessert.  This day, as well as being my mum's birthday. was the day Mary was named in 2004 (though her birthday is actually the 12th).  Time flies!  Rob agreed to more Beechams as long as I got him a Coke so down I went for a pint of the stuff, pushing my way past people to find a space at the bar.  Another ruddy karaoke on formal night.  Two in one week!  Is this Carnival or Cunard for crying out loud????  I took the glass back down afterwards and stayed for one drink and some screeching by people thinking they can sing.  Rob was hungry when I returned so a quick trip to Kings Court before it closed at 1am then we found the Commodore Club still open, although last orders had been called.  We still got our Cokes though.  Hoity was sat behind Rob moaning to whoever she was with about Toity disturbing her and how she wished she had a single cabin.  Oh dear.  Don't want to go wee wee together any more?  Shame!

Our final sea day and Rob was feeling much better, though still a bit off.  Instead of Mary farting loudly at noon, we went to the Grand Lobby as Rob had never heard the Eight Bells before.  Then it was the announcement and food!  Rob went to do stuff while I packed then he did the same before we put them out and went to the Golden Lion, passing Bill Miller en route.  We'd managed to miss all his maritime lectures - bugger.  We stayed for the 8pm quiz and teamed up with two couples, one Welsh and one American.  Got 13/20 which wasn't bad then off to dinner.  Hoity and Toity were on the next table despite not being there all week.  Later, it was Golden Lion for Derek's final session.  Sleep seemed far away as Rob noticed we were passing Black Watch on our port side so we could see her in comfort!

I managed to get maybe an hour of sleep before I was woken up by an impatient Rob wanting to go to the Observation Deck.  It was only 3.10am, we hadn't got the pilot and weren't due to dock until 5.30am so there was a big fat zero to see until we were closer.  As my alarm was due to go off twenty minutes later, there was just no point trying to go back to sleep.  I looked out of the balcony and saw Vicky behind us.  Bugger!  That meant I had to go on deck earlier than planned!  Rob was nowhere to be found so I called my dad as I wandered around the Prom deck and then went to Deck 12 to snap Vicky and Black Watch, who was now slightly visible behind her.  Rob was on deck 6 listening to music and wasn't sure if he was hearing voices when I yelled to him.  The dogs in the kennels were barking quite loudly.  I'd love to take my two across the Atlantic but hate the thought of them shut away in there.  

We neared the QEII Terminal, which had Saga Ruby berthed in 40 having developed a crankshaft problem so didn't sail on the 7th on her world cruise.  We turned again at Dock Head and backed into the berth.  Rob and I were on deck 6 for that then I headed to the Prom deck and waited for Vicky and Black Watch to pass.  Several passengers were on deck orgasming over Vicky's imminent arrival, not giving a toss about Black Watch.  Once those you passed, I went for breakfast and chatted to a bloke who was tracking Azura.  He didn't know Rotterdam was coming too.  As we had to be out of the cabin by 8.30pm, it was the perfect time to go up onto the Observation deck for Rotterdam.  A shame the mist had come down a little.

Disembarkation was 9.30am in the Winter Garden so we went to wait.  Like last month, it appeared to be only Declan giving any information - when he appeared to tell us to sod off.  Disembarkation though was much smoother than December 2012 and the taxi queue was much shorter too.

So that was the end of our very first transatlantic and it won't be the last.  May do it in warmer weather next time though!  They managed my dietary requirement properly but I do wish there was some consistency between opening hours on sea days between crossings and cruising.  Kings Court closing at 4am on cruises is better than 1am on crossings, for instance.

To see more photos of the arrivals, click here and Black Watch in the English Channel is here.


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© Patricia Dempsey 3rd-10th January 2013
Not to be reproduced without permission