Below is a blog courtesy of my friend, Bryce Sanders. Enjoy!
Veteran cruisers choose 2nd seating for dinner. If you are travelling on QM2 and dining in Britannia, there’s a big window of time between 4:00 PM and 8:30 PM, especially on transatlantic crossings. This might be downtime, but it can also be put to good use.
Let’s assume you went to afternoon tea at 3:30 PM. Who wants to miss out on white gloved servers pouring tea in the Queen’s Room? What next? Here are 18 possibilities:
- Nap. This one’s obvious. You will be staying up late if the 8:30 dinner seating finishes up around 10:00 PM. Lots of shipboard activities like shows take place late into the evening. Even if you aren’t a night owl, you want to catch up on all those time zone changes.
- Afternoon Trivia. The Golden Lion pub has a quiz around 4:00 PM. Get together with your team, find someone who wants to join a team or sit at the bar and try the quiz on your own.
- Gym. Most people eat and drink far more at sea than they do at home. No one back home will believe the dry cleaner is shrinking your waistbands. Spending some time in the gym helps. Plus, the view over the bow is great.
- Sit on your balcony, watch the sunset. You paid for one, yet have been so busy, you hardly get out there. Open up that bottle of sparkling wine you found in your cabin. You will discover your steward keeps your ice bucket filled, sealed and stored in your refrigerator.
- Visit the Gin & Tonic Bar. OK, that’s a Queen Victoria They have something like 40+ different gins, several tonics and a menu of exotic cocktail combinations.
- Sit in the lobby, listen to music. There’s usually a harpist or other soothing background music. It’s very restful. You can people watch.
- Do laundry. Don’t do a double take! If you pass the self-service launderettes on board, you will see they are always active. Those machines are spinning nonstop. You are running out of clean clothes. If you see a washer is empty, grab it!
- Dress for dinner. You have three formal nights on a seven night crossing. Almost everyone dresses up. It takes time to get ready. In Britannia class cabins, only one person fits into the bathroom at a time.
- Get on line early. If you are a Cunard World Club member, you’ve got at least two, possibly three pre dinner parties to attend. The receiving line can get very long, very quickly. Show up early. Talk to the other passengers.
- Checkout the Cunard Museum. On the main public decks, there are plenty of posters, photos and memorabilia lining the corridors between the Royal Court Theater and the bow. They tell the history on Cunard and the famous people who have sailed on their ships.
- Get photos taken. The ship’s photographer’s setup in the corridors leading to the Britannia dining room before each dinner seating on formal nights. Get a photo taken. Check it out a day or so later. Decide if you want to buy it.
- Jog around the deck. Some passengers are gym people, others are joggers. Visit Deck 7, the one with the wraparound promenade. Some people walk, others run. You’ll find you have plenty of company.
- Catch up on lectures. You meant to attend that lecture, but you were doing something else. They replay them on your stateroom TV.
- Checkout the casino. Maybe you gamble. Maybe you don’t. There’s nothing stopping you from watching other people wager at the tables.
- Visit the Chart Room. In my opinion, it’s the most elegant of the cocktail areas. There are plenty of plush sofas and chairs, but it fills up quickly. Invite friends to join you. Nail down a seating area. Order drinks and enjoy the canapes. Listen to the music.
- Visit the kennels. The QM2 is the only ship that’s got one. They won’t let you in, but you can watch the owners sitting in the gated area with their pets on their laps. It reminds you how much you miss yours.
- Visit the Champagne Bar. News flash! You don’t need to order champagne to sit in the champagne bar. You can order regular drinks. But why pass up an opportunity? They serve several true French champagnes by the glass, half and full bottles. You can usually order caviar, creating a classic wine and food pairing.
- Jigsaw puzzle. You saw those games tables setup along the corridor outside the Royal Court Theater. Some have games, others puzzles. You started one, then walked away. It’s probably still there. Another passenger may have stopped by earlier in the day, putting some more pieces in place.
It’s easy to think “What am I going to do between now and dinner?” You have plenty of choices, if you give it a little thought.
Bryce Sanders is president of Perceptive Business Solutions Inc. He provides HNW client acquisition training for the financial services industry. His book, “Captivating the Wealthy Investor” can be found on Amazon.
Photo courtesy of Cunard.