28-29 April, 2019 – Queen Mary 2 Day 1/2

Our transfer from the Queen Victoria to the Queen Mary 2 was a timed process. We saw the Queen Mary 2 arriving after the Queen Victoria was already docked. However, the process is a long one……You have to be out of your room by 8 AM and your bus doesn’t come until 10:15 AM and then it doesn’t leave until 11:15 AM. When you arrive at the Queen Mary 2 terminal, you have to wait until they allow check-in which was a confusing mess. We finally spoke to a person who was knowledgeable and we were allowed to check in, just not to go through Security. Fortunately, we checked-in and then they announced everything – lifeboat drills, the sail-away celebration, etc. – was delayed because they were having computer issues.(Picture above: Southampton sunrise from Queen Victoria.)

Through Security and boarding the ocean liner (aka ship), the first thing is find your room. This time we are on the 11th floor of 12 – nice view. Then, you need to wander the ship and find where everything is located – such as dining rooms, entertainment, the spa and gym and of course your muster station for the emergency drill.

Then back to your room to figure out which bags get unpacked on this ship and which ones stay packed because you don’t need as much to travel 7 days to New York. Cram the huge packed bags under the bed and finish unpacking the rest, or at least most of it. It seems like too many clothes!

Now, for the evening dining room check-in. You bring a piece of paper so they can show you to your assigned table. What? A table of 6 when we requested a table of 2 like we had for the past 99 days!? No way. Back to the dining room manager who claims I requested a table of 6 – no way, dude! After some discussion about why would I ask for a table of 6 if I really wanted a table of 2?!? – he finds us a table of 2 – #5. Right near a very busy dark part of the restaurant – however, the irony is that this is our 5th time crossing on the Queen Mary 2 so it suits us! And the waiter and his staff are excellent given the cramped conditions they have to work in. Food quality is also very good.

Back in our room and sleep with the clocks turning back an hour tonight and the tomorrow. Well, at 2:20 AM (new time), we are awoken by the Captain explaining to us not to worry. There is a medical emergency on the ship and the person has to be evacuated by helicopter. We will hear a lot of noise – do not go out on the balconies and do not take flash photography through your balcony windows for safety reasons. The helicopter comes 2 minutes later, very loud since we are up so high we think it actually is landing right above our heads! Then, it leaves, and comes back?! We don’t know why but then all is quiet. Back to sleep!

Up not so early, looking out the ocean is as calm as it can be. Rainy and foggy 54 degrees. A gala night and lots of new lecturers, movies and all sorts of activities similar to the Queen Victoria.

Whoa, just after I write this we have another medical evacuation. The ship has to turn back towards England, the Coast Guard helicopter rendezvous happens at 10 AM the floor above us. Interesting chart of our voyage!

Okay we are now back on course heading the right direction again. We are taking a more southern course because there is a storm brewing on the northern route. This ocean liner can go very fast (up to 39 knots or 35 mph) vs. Queen Victoria – up to 23.7 knots. We are fairly certain we’ll make it to New York on Sunday.

Lectures are filled up – we will have to watch on TV in our room later tonight. We had forgotten how many people are on this ocean liner. We learn from the Captain’s announcement that there are 442 passengers who are doing the round trip – New York to Southampton to New York. There are just over 90 people who transferred from the Queen Victoria. Queen Mary 2 holds 2,695 passengers and 1,253 officers and crew versus Queen Victoria that has capacity for 2,081 passengers and 900 crew. Queen Victoria is 964 feet long and Queen Mary 2 is 1,132.

Classical concert pianist, Mikhail Shilyaev, performed Beethoven, Debussy and Tchaikovsky without sheet music to read – excellent! No photos allowed while he was playing…..

Report from the Captain today – 330 nautical miles traveled at noon, 40 nautical miles of this were due to the two medical emergencies. We have 2,942 nautical miles to go to NYC.

We are adapting to our new home🚢 for the next 6 days.