|Sunrise one morning|
|Ian and Philip with Her Majesty Queen Mary - just to prove we were all on board!|
There was so much to do. Each day we received a schedule of organised events. I went to art classes on most days and Philip went on various talks. We avoided the talk on Titanic survivors, although I'm told it was entertaining! We both enjoyed the relaxing spa and I worked out in the fully equipped gym or ran the jogging route round the ship. (3 laps to a mile!) There was music throughout the day in various locations from a classical harpist, through to Dixieland jazz and a wonderful pianist who played Gershwin. In the evening there were films and live shows, although the choreography was more Buzby Berkeley than Matthew Bourne! In order to accommodate the time change to the USA, the clocks went back an hour most days which meant the days felt long! One day was choppy and windy but otherwise it was a smooth crossing and on the last couple of days we were able to sunbathe on deck. Several people spoke of seeing whales and dolphins and on the last day we too clearly saw a pod of dolphins cavorting near the ship. Sadly no camera at the time!
|Fresh flowers in the atrium|
|One of the shows|
|Running on deck 7|
And as for the food - don't ask me what I weigh! There was a choice of using the formal dining room allocated to our booking or eating in the King's Court, a huge self-service restaurant serving food day and night. The English Pub, various bars and other locations also offered food, virtually all of which is included. For the evening meal, there is a strict dress code of formal, semi-formal or elegant casual. After our initial reservation we found the sense of occasion quite fun and the food, served by white jacketed servers excellent! One day there was a cup cake theme for afternoon tea and my favourite - gateaux afternoon! One morning there was a tour of the main galley and we discovered that on a seven day crossing, 14 tons of meat and 55 tons of fruit and vegetables are consumed. At a more mundane level 87,000 pieces of china and glassware are washed each day but fortunately the high temperature dishwasher cycle takes two minutes.
|Just a corner of the huge galley - kitchen for you landlubbers!|
|Cup cake day|
|Carved vegetable decorations - I sadly missed the demonstration|
|The formal Britannia Dining room|
|Parade of the chefs on the last night|
And before you all think that all this luxury puts us in the super rich category, I'll hasten to add that its very good value. We paid $800 (about £500) each for which we got our transport to the USA, six nights accommodation in a beautiful stateroom with sea balcony, all our food (room service if we had been too lazy to move) and most entertainment. The deal also gives $150 on board credit which pays for drinks. We paid extra for the spa and art classes. Now back in Palm Springs its back to the mundane, Philip off to work and me to keep home but I won't be serving dinner with white gloves!