August 9, 2013
Posted in: Interactive Transatlantic Crossing
Yesterday, I set sail from Southampton on Queen Mary 2’s westbound Transatlantic Crossing to New York, and as promised here I am keeping you updated during my time at sea. My day started like any normal day, at Carnival House, but I have to admit the walk to work was very different and certainly made me excited for what was to come. From Town Quay to Cunard HQ, I had Queen Mary 2 in my sight and as I walked past City Terminal I was eager to get on board.
Our Cunard Queens usually dock at the QEII, Ocean or Mayflower Terminals, so of all the days QM2 could be docked directly opposite the office – the day I was due to board – made it even more exciting.
I began the morning up on the rooftop of Carnival House – with such a great view, I couldn’t miss starting my interactive voyage with some photographs of our office view. And Windsor, my travel companion was just as eager to join me. With his passport in his arms, Windsor joined me up on the roof before we said farewell to our colleagues and departed for City Terminal early in the afternoon.
When Windsor and I arrived, we joined the check in queue, along with many other excited passengers, and waited patiently for our turn to board this famous Cunard Queen. Already, Windsor was getting attention from a few of our Facebook followers who recognised him as he waited patiently by my bag to board.
Once I had gone through check in, we were welcomed on board by Mladen (pictured below with Windsor), and we headed straight to our stateroom. By this point it was nearly 3:30pm, and after dropping my bags off, I grabbed my lifejacket and headed straight for muster at assembly point L – the Princess Grill.
After the safety briefing where we were shown how to put on our lifejackets in the event of an emergency, I returned to my stateroom to swap my lifejacket for my camera, and made my way up on deck ready for the sailaway party. At roughly 4:40pm, Queen Mary 2 set sail New York.
The sailaway was perfect – the sun was shining and everyone was up on deck, most guests sipping champagne and waving flags as they listened to the band play.
I was keen to soak in the atmosphere. As I mentioned in my previous blog post I am new to cruising altogether, but I’ve heard so much about the sailaways, and I was very much looking forward to experiencing it, and I wasn’t disappointed. Something else I was looking forward to was sailing past the Isle of Wight, which this week has been celebrating Cowes Week – there were lots of sailing boats out in the Solent, and although it was getting a bit breezy by this point, I stayed up on deck as we sailed past land for the final time for seven days.
By this point, I was hungry – after embarking later in the afternoon, I hadn’t had the chance to enjoy the buffet in the Kings Court, so I headed there were I opted for one or two – okay, three(!) – puddings. There I bumped into Mladen again – he wanted to see the photograph I had taken of him with Windsor, and I told him I had tweeted the photo of the two of them together.
Before I knew it, it was 7:30pm and time to get ready for dinner in the Britannia Restaurant at 8:30pm. There I sat with two couples and we chatted about our previous cruise experiences – one couple were regular cruisers, the other having only recently been on their first cruise on board Queen Victoria, and then there was me, completely new to cruising. They gave me some tips on what to do while on board, which along with all of your top tips and plans which I made with my colleagues back at Carnival House, it’s safe to say I will have a busy seven days ahead of me – and I can’t wait!
And with the thought of all there is for me to do over the next seven days, I went back to my stateroom, unpacked and headed for bed where I was very gently rocked to sleep as Queen Mary 2 made her way out to sea…
Don’t forget to join me over the next seven days on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join me again on the We Are Cunard blog very soon to hear what else I have been up to while I am #sailingtoNYC.