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  • M&A

Day 1 - 11.11.22: And then there were 3!

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

We were very excited. In fact, we’ve been very excited about our cruise ever since we’d booked it way back in February! So where are M&A off to this time, we hear you ask. Well, we‘re off on a mini-cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria, oh yes, only the best for us darlings, and the exciting thing is that our friend Jane is coming too. We’ll be visiting Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, and although its just a short five day trip its not about the length, it’s about the quality and that’s what we’re expecting on the QV. Of course it also gives us the opportunity to dress up to the nines and be waited on hand and foot. Hey, what’s not to love!

Now, as you are aware, our packing regime over the last few holidays has been getting worse so you can imagine what an absolute dilemma it was for us when packing for this cruise. Not only did we need to consider what to wear on our sea days, shore days and our ‘evenings out’, including the Gala Night dinner, we also had to maintain our ‘chic’ image at all times of the day! We’d even met up at Jane’s house some six weeks ago to showcase our evening attire, then days before we sailed we photographed all our ‘outifts’ and uploaded them onto our ‘shared album’ so we could see what we were all wearing. Is this normal activity? Do other people go to these lengths when packing for a cruise…..or is it just us?

With Sir Winston and Milly dispatched to their respective holiday homes we were able to undertake ones packing in earnest, which incidentally took forever. We’d packed our suitcases on the Thursday evening and in true M&A fashion we’d repacked them on the Friday morning. Jane however fared much better than us. What went in the case stayed in the case. I’m sure one day we’ll get to pack like that…..!

Suitcases firmly closed and labelled we set off to Jane’s house where we decanted ourselves and our luggage into Mike’s car. Jane’s husband Mike had kindly offered to drive us to the port and with that we sat back and let Mike do the driving. None of us had driven into the Port of Southampton before and for those who don’t know it it’s a rather large area where one can quite easily get lost. We were undeterred by the numerous amounts of signposts and roads directing us here-there-and-everywhere as we were being directed to the terminal by the in-built car navigation system. However, there is a saying ….’too many cooks’ which in this instance was translated to ‘too many women passengers all trying to give directions to poor Mike who was trying to listen to the SatNav’. Ah well, one day we’ll get from A to B without the need for any deviations!

As soon as we offloaded our suitcases from the boot of the car they were immediately whisked away by the porters… that’s service for you. Well, no kidding. Within thirty minutes of saying our goodbyes to Mike we found ourselves sat in the Lido buffet restaurant having lunch. We were well impressed.

Our stateroom, number 8003 on deck 8 was lovely and was just like the photo in the brochure albeit the photo had ‘elongated’ the length of the room so it looked more spacious than it was. How much room we’d have when the sofa bed was made up we’d just have to see, but worry not… least we had a good sized balcony!

After lunch we wanted to get our bearings so went for an exploration around the ship, via the stairs! We started at deck 10, made our way down to deck 1 and then walked back up the stairs to deck 8! We do not recommend this type of activity for those who suffer with their knees, or even if you don’t suffer with your knees, you certainly will after walking up so many flights of stairs! Its true, we did get our ‘steps’ in but there are plenty of lifts to utilise so we decided we’ll be walking down and taking the lifts up! By the time we returned to our stateroom our luggage had arrived and we set about unpacking our cases, a process which became quite farcical, taking care not to knock each other out when opening the cupboard doors or when coming out of the shower room, so narrow was the hallway. Thankfully the wardrobes contained plenty of clothes hangers (must be a first on any holiday we’ve been on) and we managed to hang everything up. Navigating our way around the room we found the fridge which contained a complimentary bottle of Prosecco which was immediately opened, and then re-stocked with the three bottles of champagne we’d brought with us.

At 5.30pm we set sail and made a toast to our forthcoming cruise then made our way down to the Chart Room Bar where we enjoyed a cocktail whilst partaking in the fascinating past-time of people watching. Don’t you just love being on holiday! We do of course, but even on this, the glorious Queen Victoria there’s always someone who feels the need to complain, and that someone just happened to be on the sofa opposite us! And all because this lady wanted a bigger bottle of coca-cola! It’s certainly going to be an interesting cruise!

For dinner we’d chosen the second sitting at 8.15pm but due to our constant faffing and dithering when getting ready for dinner we turned up fifteen minutes late and joined the queue to get into the restaurant. A queue! Whatever next. We were taken to table 610 which would be ours for the duration, sat down and totally enjoyed the dining experience. The waiters were superb, the food was delicious and the Prosecco went down extremely well. Ah yes, we could certainly get used to this.

After dinner we headed off to the theatre to see the comedian Mick Miller. Didn’t think he was still around as we remember him from the 1970s, but there he was on stage, still attempting to crack a few jokes. We were late and the theatre was full so we had to try and be discreet when making our way down towards the front, you know, one false move and we would no doubt be the target of his jokes. Thankfully he didn’t spot us but he did pick on some other poor unsuspecting passengers who arrived late. Phew, we had a lucky escape!

It had been a long day and by the time we retried to stateroom 8003 we were tired out. All the excitement, the walking round the deck, the walking up and down the stairs, the Prosecco, the cocktails and the wine had taken its toll. We were looking forward to being rocked to sleep by the gentle motion of the ship as it glided silently through the waves. As long as we don’t get sea-sick we’ll be fine…..!

Night all from room 8003, Deck 8, The Queen Victoria…….M, A & J xxx

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