January 13, 2005
MORE REVIEWS OF OUR CROSSING: VIC'S VIEW
Always interested to see how others found the crossing we did on the QE2 in December.
Here are the thoughts of "Vic the Parrot" who had given us a lot of tips and advice before the crossing - but we never did get to meet on the ship in the end! (he has implied the 2nd part of his trip - he stayed on for the Caribbean leg - was not at all good... so eagerly awaiting his take on the problems others have reported...)
"Embarcation: Have to be honest, this was the 1st time I've seen a madhouse at the Southampton terminal! By the time our bus got there (around 2pm ... 3....) the check-in area was mobbed. It was like all of the coaches arrived at the same time.The sight did overwhelm me, I must admit. But the line was moving at a pretty good pace, so I was on board by 4pm. Guess it seemed longer because my feet were KILLING me! LOL Been told that's a good sign of seeing London .... Our sailing was delayed by a few hours. Many of the provisions were still being loaded at 6pm. Good thing Capt McNaught kept us up to date (and entertained) with the occasional message on the tannoy.
My cabin:I was occupying cabin 2034, a 'CA' grade single in 2 deck fwd. As it turns out, 2034 was the very 1st cabin I had on my 1st ever trip on that ship! It seemed bigger from what I remembered.But that was ages ago! LOLIt was a tight squeeze trying to manoeuver my bags in order to unpack. But luckily, there was enough room to hold all the stuff I brought with me. Bags fit under the bed, nice closet space for 1 person, deep drawers, etc. The bathroom threw me for a loop.Since this is a CA, there is a bathtub. When you stand in the cabin, the bathroom seems to take up half the space of the cabin.The steward was a pleasant chap who took care of everything with a smile. I found out he was 'new' after I realized a few things were'nt replenished. Such as ice, only left me 1 towel.LOLI just shrugged it off, and went on enjoying the crossing.
The ship:For a 35 yr-old, the ol gal still has it!I was impressed with the upkeep, and even tho there were some 'worn spots', the ship still looks great! The refit in May made a big difference. Some new furniture here and there, the new Funnel Bar, plasma TVs in the pub. And a nice treat was the lunch being offered in the pub! Good selection of pub favourites.I recommend the cottage pie! :-)Overall, she looks just as good as I last remembered her!Let's hope that she makes it to 2010! (Keep your fingers crossed that the QV will have a few more delays......)
The crossing:All I can say is 'WOW' ...... We went thru some rough weather a few times, and she did what she was built to do with flair!40 ft swells kept some pax below, as I went all over the ship enjoying the sights, and sounds of her making her way thru the rough Atlantic.A crash of china here, creaking woodwork there..... the grunting of a chap as his cup of coffee flew into his lap.It was a great voyage!After seeing some people struggling with thier trays in the lido, I mentioned an old trick to keep everything on it.Lightly soak the paper mat with water, then add a few wet napkins. That should prevent any plate from sliding around.(And keep your blouses and trousers clean....)
Food and service:I don't know how they do it, but it works!All meals were beyond SUPERB! From the burgers in the Pavilion, to the dinners in the Caronia Restaurant, every thing was a pleasure! Cunard did a great job in hiring the chefs. It's like each time I come aboard, it only gets better.The waitstaff were excellent, made you feel like a friend visiting thier home rather than a 'customer'. I just hope Florin and Vijay will be on for my next cruise! Thank you guys!!
Overall impressions:This is a must to experience! I know the 'other ship with the square stern, and stubby funnel' will be doing the majority of crossings, but if an oppurtunity comes along to sail QE2, DO IT!
The 'other ship' will be around for a long time, but this lady won't. So I have to say that I'm looking forward to being on board again. Not sure when that will happen, but I'm shooting for 2006. It is a real treat to sail on QE2, and I will do it again!
Coming up next: my 'Caribbean Holiday' portion of my 19-day sojourn. The Christmas cruise that would make the SS MINNOW seem like a relaxing holiday..........