We awoke to a glorious Sunday morning and luxuriated in bed, while we listened to the bow wave pulsing thirty feet beneath our cabin. We were heading for Las Palmas that was a six-day cruise away. We would sail diagonally across the bight of Africa, where the sea turns almost black because it is so deep there is no refraction.
Today was cruise decks discovery day for us. We were determined to explore every nook and cranny and find sheltered, sunny spots where we could take in the endless ocean gliding past. What impressed me most was how clean everything was. Queen Mary 2 just has to be the epitome of spic and span, shipshape and Bristol fashion.
Partner likes to be standing at the top of the world, so up the walnut-paneled lifts we went until we reached the level of the bridge. After peeping through the viewing window and satisfying ourselves that the Captain was hard at work, we stepped out into blazing sunlight and tried to work out what the bits were for.
The twin towers are the two gas turbines that kick in when Captain calls for thirty knots, although we never saw them used outside of periodic testing. For our purposes the four diesels provided more than enough electricity for cruising at twenty-six knots – while keeping cabins for 2,620 passengers, fifteen restaurants and bars, five swimming pools, a casino, a ballroom, a theatre, a planetarium, a kennel and a hospital well supplied.
We strolled along the topmost cruise decks feeling like the admiral of the fleet. Partner thought the round thing was something to do with navigation and I decided to let it go. At the stern, we gazed over what could have been a Hollywood film set, except that it was real.
There was lots to choose from to do that afternoon, including the Manhattan Dolls taking a sentimental journey back to 30’s and 40’s music on their Chattanooga Choo Choo, and a live piano concert of the best that Bach, Schubert and Chopin have to offer.
After an early evening aperitif in the Chartroom Bar accompanied by an elegant lady on a harp, we dined well and retired to our cabin. I dozed off while watching From Here to Eternity with Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra and Montgomery Cliff. Cruising is hard work and I needed my beauty sleep.