finally, finally, more photos.  but the thing is, after these, there are STILL MORE!  will they never end?

maybe by christmas i’ll be done with them…

so on friday, july 24th, we took a cab from our b&b in southampton to the port. they had sent us an official check-in time, which was 3:30 in the afternoon.  the ship was going to set sail at five, and we didn’t want to wait around till 3:30 – there was nothing we had any desire to see in southampton, and i’d read online about people showing up early and getting right on board.  we figured we’d try it.  we left our b&b at 11 and arrived at 11:10.

we got to the dock and WOW was our reaction at this mammoth vessel.  the taxi had dropped us off at the check-in point, but we walked outside to get a picture of the ship because once we were inside, there wouldn’t be an opportunity.  there weren’t many other people walking around outside.


we walked back to the check-in counter and there weren’t many people there, either.  i remember there was an old guy sitting outside wearing a suit and tie – we saw a few people dressed like that, but then other people were wearing fancy sweats or jeans or whatever.

check-in took maybe 15 minutes.  they issued us our room keys and we didn’t even have to wait in any line at all.  we took the escalator upstairs to the big waiting room.  it was kind of like an airport terminal.  we were sitting there at 11:30, wondering if we’d be waiting for a few minutes or a few hours and i started to write in my journal, but then they called us to board.  fast.  crazy fast.  we walked onto the ship and there we were.  from check-in to being on the ship, less than an hour.

there was a mini bottle of champagne in a bucket in our room when we arrived.  very nice.


our stateroom was large and lovely.  we had a hull balcony, meaning that the balcony window was cut out of the hull.  there was no glass in the window, which was cool.  here’s a picture of the balcony.  we were on the 4th level, room 4025.  i read more about the ship after getting our tickets and found out that it was preferable to have a stateroom on the other side of the ship, because of the view when we got to the new york harbor.  i called cunard and tried to change our room, but the ship was completely sold out!  in the end it didn’t matter at all.  actually, it was better to be on this side because we could see the action of the ship pulling away from the dock…and once we were at sea, it was just water, water everywhere…


and this is our room – before we made it a big mess, of course.  actually, we kept it fairly clean because there wouldn’t have been enough room if things were scattered around.  there was plenty of room to stow all our stuff, and if we didn’t keep it tidy our housekeeper would come in and clean it and we felt that she was way overworked anyway and didn’t want to add to her burden.  that coffee pot on our bed was there when we arrived, but it was whisked away while we were out and we didn’t see a coffee pot anymore.  of course, you could get anything your wanted any time of the day or night.


we immediately set out exploring the ship.  because we’d boarded so early, there didn’t seem to be so many people on board.  of course, it held so many people that there could have been lots of people who we just didn’t see.  here are some pictures of the main lobby.



this is the corridor from the main lobby into the main dining room.  sometimes during the day there would be tables set up and stuff for sale on them.  when i was researching going on this trip i read many comments about the QM II on a cruising website, and people complained bitterly about these tables.  they didn’t really seem so bad to me.  i guess people just like to complain.


kevin didn’t take that many photos of the ship, but i videotaped just about every different space we saw. here’s us as we’re about to set sail.


and this is the giant bumper alongside the ship, so it wouldn’t bump against the dock.


here’s one of the many men whose job it was to cast off the ropes.  he was very busy scratching his balls, or maybe adjusting them.  did he not realize that many people could be watching?  maybe he just didn’t care, he’d been doing his job so long.  or maybe he felt he was part of the show…


it was a beautiful, perfect day for sailing.


this picture isn’t sideways – that’s the bridge up there, taken from hanging out the balcony.


here’s me at our first breakfast on board.  even though the ship was completely full, it was almost always possible to sit right next to the window.  we always asked; some people didn’t seem to care about sitting next to the window.  breakfast in the main dining room was a fancy affair, with a menu and fancy service and it took quite a long time.  eventually we had breakfast up in the food court area, which wasn’t anything like your average food court.  there was actually a bigger selection up there at the buffet and we got there early enough to find seats by the window.  later in the morning, it was too crowded up there.  overall, the only thing i didn’t like so much about the trip is that there were way too many kids.  most of them were OK but others were running around like crazy.


this is the only marginally decent photo we have of us being all dressed up for dinner.  we got dressed up more than this, and i don’t know why there are no other photos.  i wore this dress on the first night that we got dressed up because it was kind of tight and i figured that there would be a risk of it not fitting as well later on the trip.

i was very right about that.


here are some great photos of the upper decks.  most of the time it was much too windy to be up there, and kind of chilly.  one day we did see a few people playing shuffleboard, intrepid souls who didn’t care about the wind and cold.






you could go look at the bridge through a window.  there were a couple of guys in there, and one of them was just sitting there looking out ahead of him.  wouldn’t that be a horribly boring job?


there are still more photos of the QM II, even though i felt kevin didn’t take enough pictures.  i WILL post them before christmas!

ok then,

december grace.