Embarkation Day

So, greetings from Deck 9 aft on Queen Mary 2. It’s now about 11:30 PM and we’re out on the open seas. There’s nothing like a crossing to get the pulse racing. Think about it. For the next week, there’s nothing around or near us but the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s kind of thrilling, in a way. For those of you whose ancestors may have come to America from Europe in “the old days”, they most likely sailed on a ship to get to the new country. Perhaps not like we’re doing this week, but you get the idea.

Backing up, we were picked up at the hotel this morning at 10:30. Our driver, Pan, took great care of us and delivered us to the ship just before 1:00 PM. We were whisked through check-in and on board within 15 minutes. Surprisingly, our luggage made it to the cabin before we did.

Here’s AAC CPA just getting on board:

06 - Boarding QM2
AAC CPA Deck 3 – Boarding

We got settled in, met our butler, Michael, and headed up to Queen’s Grill to check our table and have a bite of lunch. So far, so good.

12 - Queens Grill
Queens Grill on Queen Mary 2

Then we took a walk around the ship to reacquaint ourselves with the layout. After many years of sailing on Crystal, this ship is very different and much bigger.

01 - Veuve Cliqout
Veuve Cliquot Bar – One of many watering holes

AAC CPA on board posing with an extra set of propellers

03 - Vogue
AAC CPA vogueing out on deck – Thanks, Nick, for the caption

By 4:30 it was time for the life boat drill – mandated by law and kind of like the safety announcement you hear whenever you fly. Nobody really pays attention but you have to know how to get into your life jacket and where to go in case of emergency. So there it is.

08 - Life Boat Muster
The obligatory life jacket photo

Then back to the cabin to get ready to sail away. There was some kind of “party” on 8 deck aft with champagne, which was not free. As it turned out, we received a bottle of the bubbly in our cabin and decided to have our own party on our balcony. We put a little Ella on the boom box thing, popped the cork, and watched our departure from Southampton. Perfect.

09 - Bon Voyage
Hail and Farewell (with champagne)

Then it was time to get ready for dinner. Tonight is “informal” meaning jackets with or without ties. We decided to go for it.

But first: a pre-dinner cocktail at the Queen’s Grill Lounge. Guess what we had?

10 - Negroni
First Negroni of the Voyage

Then over to Queen’s Grill for our first dinner. We have a lovely window table for two, in the front of the Grill. (Thanks, Osman.) We have a team of 3 waiters and a sommelier to spoil us. We like it. Tonight, it’s Dover Sole, which just might have been caught in Dover today – it’s that fresh. And a lovely Chassagne-Montrachet to accompany our meal.

Then a brisk stroll around deck 7 – the promenade deck. It’s just a bit brisk this evening. Hope we packed the right wardrobe. We’ll see.

The ship is very quiet tonight. It’s as if everyone disappeared into their cabins after a long day making their way aboard. Tomorrow we’ll see who’s here and what everyone is up to – this will be our community and neighborhood for the next week. And it’s up to us to make an adventure out of it.

Stay tuned.

PS. We turn the clocks back tonight, so everyone gets an extra hour of sleep – or an extra hour to play.

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