The Air Canada flight from London to Vancouver departs Heathrow around 10 in the morning. Disembarking in Southampton from the Queen Victoria after the Ballroom Dance Cruise around the British Isles, I knew that there would be no way to catch that flight, so I had elected to stay overnight at the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel near the airport and travel back to Canada the following day.
A friend, Nancy, who was traveling back to the US also had a flight the day after the cruise, so we decided to take a Thames River Dinner Showboat Cruise.
Several of us had booked a van to drive us from Southampton to London. After dropping the others off at the Heathrow terminals, the driver took us to our hotel. We had to wait quite a while to check in which was a bit annoying but we had arrived before the official check-in time so we could not really complain.
Fortunately my friend Carol is a great organizer because left to me, I would probably not see much of the various ports at which we call. Remember for me its the journey! But thanks to Carol we had a itinerary planned for this first destination in Boston.
We decided to have an early breakfast in the King's Court buffet, where we met up with Dorothy and Bruce, and enjoyed a good chat. I was scheduled to have a lesson with Honey at 9:30 so I headed down to G32 where we worked on styling and following. Its those arm movements that get me every time. I think I have to just get less self-conscious and just let my arms move naturally.
After the lesson I found Carol waiting in the cabin and we headed ashore. We had booked a Boston Duck Tour and needed to get to the Tour start center at the Prudential Building.We got there a little early and wandered through the shopping center before returning to wait for our tour.
The threat of turbulent seas from Hurricane Earl meant that the cruise itinerary had to be revised. So when I checked into my stateroom, there was a notice saying that the Queen Mary 2 would remain at the Brooklyn Pier till later that night and in the early hours, set sail, so to speak, for Boston. So instead of visiting Newport, we would have an unexpected day at sea.
I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to try a lunch at the Todd English restaurant so I trotted down the corridor to the aft end of the ship and made a reservation for lunch at 12:30 for Carol and myself, and figured I would check with her later. I had been wanting to check out some of the alternate dining opportunities both on the Queen Victoria and on the QM2 but since with DAS we generally have each evening's dinner as a group, I have been reluctant to seem unsociable and skip out on a meal. So this unplanned day at sea seemed like an ideal time to eat out.
As I mentioned in my earlier post The Queen Mary 2 through a dancer's eyes, what I love about cruising is not as much the destinations but the journey. And running a close second to the joy of dancing as I journey over the seas, is fine dining at sea. As readers of my Sipping and Supping segment know, I am a committed foodie, and while my home cooking has to be remarkably restrained so I can stay light enough to dance over the seas, I love the chance to indulge in new taste sensations while I travel.
As our dance pro Robert kept emphasizing to get me moving across the floor, " it's not the destination, it's the journey" - and although he was referring to dance movement, it sums up perfectly my attitude about my newly acquired passion for cruising.
Of course it is interesting to visit new places, but honestly, the reason why I have taken these recent cruises to Asia, the South Pacific, the west and east coasts of N. America, and the Caribbean, is not for the destinations, but for the opportunity to ballroom dance each night along the journey.
INDEX to Autumn East Coast Dance Cruise New York to Quebec on QM2
This is a nine night cruise out of Brooklyn, along the US East Coast calling at Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, up to Halifax, and then along the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City before returning to Brooklyn. Our group will enjoy ballroom dancing each night with dance workshops on sea days - meeting up with old friends and making new ones. As well this is a tour through the culinary offerings aboard the Queen Mary 2 on this voyage - although obviously reflecting my food favorites.
(Each story posts to the home page in reverse chronological order. The link to each story will appear in the index as it is posted until the travelblogue is complete at which timeit will be reordered so that it may be read in the correct time sequence.)
The key saga...ah yes. So there I was, around 11 PM, having limped back on blistered feet to my cabin, with a newly recharged key card in my hand... and again it would not work. The light kept flashing red. I checked carefully that I was on the correct deck - because I have been known to try to get into a cabin with almost the same number - just on the wrong deck , but I was definitely outside my own cabin. I was tired and annoyed by now.
This has been an unusual voyage from the dancing perspective because of the timing of the days when the ship is at sea. Wendy usually organizes two dance workshops taught by her dance pros in the morning on sea days and most times there is at least one quite early in the voyage. But in the cruise round the British isles, the sea days came at the end. So workshops were scheduled on the days that we sailed between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and from Edinburgh back to Southampton.
We gathered in Club Hemispheres at 9 am for the first workshop taught by Robert, on rhumba.
After a day at sea cruising from Greenock, the Queen Victoria entered the Firth of Forth (don't you love that alliteration?) and headed towards an anchorage near South Queensferry, approximately ten miles north-west of Edinburgh city centre. I was up early and sat out on our balcony enjoying the beauty of the early morning landscapes.
After a full day at sea, tonight was Formal Night with a Victoriana Ball. Again the Queens Room floor was more crowded than usual as people came out looking elegant in evening attire, and joined the throngs on the dance floor.
These pictures will say more than words so here are some of the fabulous members of the DAS group in their evening gowns and tuxes.