ABOARD QUEEN VICTORIA_(Thursday, January 9): Thursday is our first full day at sea. It’s the last vacation day for people who signed on for the four night Southampton to Hamburg getaway. It’s our first formal night and their last formal night. The seas are calm.
Here’s how experience has taught us to wake up. Instead of setting an alarm or getting a wake up call, we place an order for rolls, juice and coffee to be delivered to the cabin at 7:00 AM. There’s a knock at the door, a steward brings in a tray with china and starched linen.
Cunard has a morning show type TV program starting at 6:00 AM. It helps us plan our day. After dressing, we head to the dining room for breakfast. It’s open seating.
This is a good moment to mention some of the little details in all the cabins. The shampoo and conditioner is from Penhaligon’s, one of those companies with a royal warrant. (Royal warrants indicate the firm is a supplier to the British royal family.) The jams and honey with breakfast come from Wilkins in Tiptree, another royal warrant holder. The pillow chocolates are Godiva. The tea is Twinings.
After breakfast we cruised the shops on board. There’s lots of fine jewelry, watches, perfumes and fashion items in the shops. Tables in the corridor sell costume jewelry and less expensive watches.
We head back to the cabin to read the books we checked out from the ship’s library. This takes us to lunchtime. At noon, the Officer of the Watch announces the location of the ship and distance covered. It’s a daily activity.
At 12:30 we head to the dining room. Surprisingly few people choose sit down dining because they have other options. This includes pub lunches in the Golden Lion and the buffet on the Lido Deck. We went for the linen tablecloth option. This included grilled pineapple and prosciutto as an appetizer, mussels in sauce, followed by a mushroom casserole and trifle for dessert. Lunch is a lighter version of dinner.
We met a nice couple who were seated at the next table. He retired from working for the Royal College of Surgeons.
After lunch, we headed to the Royal Court Theater, a two-story space with comfortable seats and lots of red velvet. The afternoon movie was “Poms,” starring Diane Keaton.
Did the end of the movie lead us into Afternoon Tea at 3:30? No. We were stuffed from lunch. More nap time and book reading.
At 7:00 we got into our formal wear and cruised a couple of the lounges. I thought the Winter Garden would be the indoor alternative to being out on deck in cold weather. Was I wrong! The room was cold! It was almost deserted because it was cold. You would need a sweater or scarf.
We headed to the Commodore Club instead. It’s the bar directly below the ship’s bridge. Panoramic views, except for the fact the sun in down about 4:30 PM. It was pretty packed. Walking to the dining room, we pass the Queens Room, with ballroom dancing. There were a few dozen people, dancing in synchronized precision. Perfection can be intimidating.
At 8:30 we headed into dinner. Since it’s a formal night, everyone is really dressed up. Jane and I switch seats. This allows us to chat with other people at our table. Everyone else is heading home when we dock in Southampton. They were great people. If they were on for the next 11 days we could have had the liveliest table in the dining room.
Back in our cabin, we see the TV is set to the screen reminding us to set the clocks back an hour tonight. It’s the first of our six 25-hour days. What a concept!
It was another good day. The seas were calm. The food and movie were good. We met nice people. We got that extra hour.
Cover photo: Queen Victoria Atrium, credit Bryce Sanders
For more information and to book a Queen Victoria sailing, click here https://www.cruisecompete.com/ships/queen_victoria_cruises.html
For more information about Cunard Line and Cunard ships Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, click here https://www.cruisecompete.com/lines/cunard_cruises.html