The last couple of days before departing on a trip are always busy with an array of last-minute to-dos. Today is no exception. We are leaving on Wednesday to fly to New York to board the Queen Mary 2 for a transatlantic crossing.
Usually the crossing is straightforward – six days of sailing and then you get off in Southampton, England. This particular itinerary is a bit different in that while it does call in Southampton, it then goes on to Le Havre, France, and ends in Hamburg, Germany. I am anticipating this visit to England because we are going to Stonehenge – another place on my bucket list.
My history with Cunard goes way, way back. My first cruise was about 1980. I was a single mom and working as travel editor of the Detroit News. I took my mom along with me and we sailed on the Cunard Countess for a week in the Caribbean. I was hooked on cruising and Cunard spoiled me into wanting the kinder/gentler sort of cruising that it offers.
Three years later Chet and I boarded the famed Queen Elizabeth 2, better known as the “QE2” for our honeymoon. It was the middle of January and snow was flying. We were booked on the first two weeks of its 1983 World Cruise, sailing through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles. It was an ever-so-memorable experience and I still love reading the clips of my stories in the Detroit News.
The late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was one of the speakers on that voyage. The last time we saw that ship was eight years ago in Dubai, where it is docked near the cruise terminal awaiting conversion to a floating hotel. (It is still there, by the way, and still waiting.)
Six years ago, we boarded the Queen Mary 2 in New York and sailed across the North Atlantic to Southampton. Although we had done three transatlantic cruises before that, they were repositioning cruises from Europe designed to move the ship from one part of the world to another. In contrast, the QM2 is an ocean liner, built specifically for these week-long crossings. I will tell you more about that in future posts.
Two years ago the QM2 was “remastered,” which is a British way of saying it was refurbished/remodeled/redone. I am eager to see and experience the changes.
A crossing with Cunard is a very special experience and I invite you to experience it with me over the next ten days.