HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KEVIN! wales, August 4th, day 4…setting sail!

by grace on October 5, 2015

such a big day!  when can a person say that they’re celebrating their birthday by setting sail on the Queen Mary 2, headed across the Atlantic Ocean?  not many people.

have i mentioned that we had way too much luggage?

too much luggage

too much luggage

we had printed out four luggage tags well before our departure, but then the morning we left we realized we probably didn’t have enough tags, so before leaving for the train, we printed four more.  they weren’t as fancy as the earlier ones, which we’d laminated and cut apart, but at least we had something to identify our bags so hopefully they wouldn’t get lost.

self-printed tags...and more self-printed tags

self-printed tags…and more self-printed tags

i gave kevin a couple of gifts, including this very important and incredibly useful kevin minion fan/candy dispenser combo.

kevin with his kevin fan!

kevin with his kevin fan!

we loaded our stuff into a cab and off we went!  the driver didn’t know how to get to the brooklyn terminal and had to put the address in his phone, and it seemed like we were going around in circles through the back roads of brooklyn, but suddenly, there it was!

view of the ship from the taxi!

view of the ship from the taxi!

we got there before our scheduled boarding time but we knew from past experience that they’d let us board early.  we dropped our bags off so they could be scanned and taken to our cabin.  i saw a few cute dogs waiting to get on board – i think there are eight kennels – and one poor cat in a carrier.  i’m sure the crossing was traumatic at some level for the dogs, but for the poor cat, it must have been awful.  at least the dogs could get out and walk around outside on a small section of deck 12 every day, and the owner could visit with them a lot.  i bet they let the cat’s owner visit, too, but i bet the cat wasn’t happy no matter what.

the brooklyn terminal isn’t modern and nice like the one in southampton, but we weren’t there very long.

inside the brooklyn terminal

inside the brooklyn terminal

they gave us a number, and then they called the numbers, which were very small groups of people, so we didn’t ever have to wait in a huge line.

the boarding process, so very civilized

the boarding process, so very civilized

we had to wait just a little bit to actually get on the ship, because everybody had to have their cruise cards swiped.  we used the cards for anything we wanted to buy on the trip.

boarding!

boarding!

it was all so efficient.

loading the luggage

loading the luggage

our stateroom was on deck 5, and we had a “hull” balcony, meaning that the opening from our balcony was cut out of the hull, as opposed to the fancier glass-fronted balcony we’d reserved for our return trip.  the thing about this hull balcony is that when you’re on the balcony you have to stand up if you want to see out.  but i booked this crossing on expedia, and we figured we’d be happy to save the money on our outgoing journey.

one of these is probably our stateroom

one of these is probably our stateroom

we quickly got to our room, no need to take an elevator and we knew right where we were going.  even though the cabins aren’t huge, they’re plenty big, and big enough to fit our many bags, including space under the bed and in the big closets.

so neat and tidy when we entered!

so neat and tidy when we entered!

some of the mountains of luggage – at least it wasn’t all dumped in a huge pile, like on the amtrak train.

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i had thought maybe we’d take pictures of kevin minion during our trip, but i think this is the only one!  i’m not sure where he was for our journey most of the time.

candy-filled kevin minion

candy-filled kevin minion

we got a large bottle of sparkling wine, and i was forced to drink it all since kevin can’t drink.

complimentary bottle of bubbly

complimentary bottle of bubbly

we quickly headed to the buffet for a delicious lunch, featuring lots of healthy salad.  plus cheese and dessert, of course.

first of many lunch salads on board

first of many lunch salads on board

this is a view from the other side of the ship – lots and lots of taxis waiting to drop off passengers.

so many taxis!

so many taxis!

and on the other side of the ship, this fantastic view of the city.

a perfect day

a perfect day

there were people already in the pool; it wouldn’t have occurred to me to do that.

the pool area, before the hordes assembled

the pool area, before the hordes assembled

kevin and i walked all around, even though we’d seen all the rooms before.  at this point, everything was deserted.

the deserted chart room

the deserted chart room

 

ditto

ditto

 

the bar

the bar

 

sir samuel's

sir samuel’s

 

corridor leading to the dining room

corridor leading to the dining room

i was so surprised when i saw this photo – i just wanted to get a random shot of people getting on the ship, and the bellhops in their uniforms – but upon studying it carefully, i realized these were our table-mates for dinner!  we had dinner with them every night, and it’s so funny that i happened to take this photo without knowing who they were, and not realizing i’d even taken it til i just looked at it!  Jim and Linda, from florida.  nice people, and they were going to take another long cruise in europe, and then a long cruise back to florida.

a serendipitous photo!

a serendipitous photo!

we took the glass elevator in the middle of the ship, and there just weren’t many people anywhere.  they must have all been unpacking.  or eating?

view from the great glass elevator

view from the great glass elevator

at 5:00, we all had to assemble at various places for our emergency drill.  we didn’t have to wear our lifejackets to the drill, but of course somebody always did.  during the drill they then instructed us how to put them on, and how a little light would come on if you hit the water.

later, somebody told me that if we had to jump overboard wearing life vests, the vests would snap up and break our necks.  so luckily we didn’t have to jump overboard.  whew, crisis averted.

safety check!

safety check!

many people then gathered by the pool for a “sail away party,” where you could buy champagne and listen to the music as we sailed away.  lots of people were smoking, plus it was crowded, so we didn’t linger.

launch party

launch party

 

ditto. too many people for our tastes

ditto. too many people for our tastes

instead, we stood on the deck as we passed under the Verrazano bridge, leaving manhattan for the wide open waters.

Verrazano Bridge

Verrazano Bridge

we asked a couple to take our picture, and they were some very nice folks from england.  Rob and Anne.  he did lots of ancestory-type stuff, and was fascinated that my grandmother’s maiden name was Stonecipher.  i’ve never looked up anything about my ancestors, and he said he’d be happy to do some research for us.  hmm, has kevin heard from him yet?  i bet not.  super nice people, though.

kevin with new friends

kevin with new friends

it was such a lovely night…a beautiful ending to kevin’s birthday sail-away.

sunset

sunset

w64

there is NO SMOKING most places on the ship, but after the sun set, kevin decided to have a couple illicit puffs on his pipe before bed.  he’d literally been out there for maybe 10 minutes, when the phone rang…our neighbors had ratted us out!  dang.

later, somebody said that the smoke could blow back into the ship; i don’t know how this is possible since the door to our cabin was closed, but i felt bad anyway.

kevin, before he got in big trouble

kevin, before he got in big trouble

but at least we had time for this nice photo!

ok then,

mrs. travelling hughes.

 

 

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