Urgh. Woke up at midnight and didn't get back to sleep til past 5am :( Had a bit of sleep til 8am. Was going to go to the SeaCity Museum, but it said to allow two to three hours, but it didn't open til 10am so decided to give it a miss.
Cooked the breakfast I'd bought last night - some potatoes, ham and cheese. Nice and low fodmap for the sweetie.
Blogged, did photos etc.
Then headed out to see the Queen Mary 2 in port. (I'd actually been watching her getting closer around the Isle of Wight all night, and come up the river to Southampton. So at 5am I looked out the window and there she was. Heading backwards up the river. She'd turned around slightly downstream of the dock, I assume due to depth of the channel.) It was cold and wet and miserable down at the docks, but was super cool to see her just there!
Queen Mary 2 docked at City Cruise Terminal, from Town Quay
Queen Mary 2 docked at City Cruise Terminal
Seagulls and Queen Mary 2 in Southampton
Queen Mary 2 docked at City Cruise Terminal
Stopped at the Lidl on the way back to the hotel and picked up a couple of bottles of bubbly. Because we can. And it's like a quarter of the price of the cheapest bottle on board.
Tudor House in Southampton
Then we checked out and got them to order us a taxi. Took about fifteen minutes to arrive, but it was only a five minute drive to the docks.
Security and checkin were a *lot* better organised than in Hong Kong. It was just a matter of lining up and going through.
Did I mention we scored an upgrade? I only found out the day before we left, and only then by accident. I would just as likely have put on the wrong tags on our luggage and gone through the regular security line and checkin before we would have found out otherwise. As it was (with Princess Grill upgrade) we got into the priority lines for both. Which meant we were through the hall in about fifteen minutes! Win!
About to board the Queen Mary 2!!
Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2
The Princess Grill room is also a lot bigger. There's an extra cupboard, bigger bathroom with actual (very small) bath, an extra chair (although it actually makes things a little awkward), wider balcony, bigger desk. Lovely!! Another bonus: a full sized bottle of champagne, instead of the mini bottle you get in Britannia class. We even got a second full sized bottle, although not sure if that is because of the upgrade, or simply that this was our second time aboard. We might have been buzzing slightly hehe.
Our Princess Grill deck 10 room - 10082
Entering our Princess Grill room 10082 on the Queen Mary 2
Our bed in the Princess Grill room 10082 on Queen Mary 2
Our Princess Grill room 10082 on the Queen Mary 2
The couch in our room
Our bed and the large desk / wall unit
Cupboards in our Princess Grill room, the same as a Britannia room
Glasses and tea and coffee making, with fridge in the cupboard
Glasses in the cupboard in our room
Photo by Stu
Walkin wardrobe in our Princess Grill room
Bathroom in our Princess Grill room
Vanity in our Princess Grill bathroom
Shower in our Princess Grill bathroom
Welcome champagne and chocolates in our room
Me having some champagne
Photo by Stu
Me and Stu enjoying the welcome champagne in our room
Balcony of our deck 10 Princess Grill room
We were waiting for our bags to arrive so we could put on some laundry. When they didn't knock after a while we decided to head out and get something to eat. And there were our bags. So we brought them in, unpacked a bit, and headed up to find the laundrette, which is waaaayyyyy up the far corner of our floor. Being so early onto the ship, only one machine was in use, so got our laundry going. Finished unpacking then went and got some lunch at Kings Court.
I also went to the concierge lounge exclusive to Grills guests, to ask about drinks packages, and also if they were going to be running a behind the scenes tour. She said yes, they were, and they allocate six out of the sixteen to grills passengers, and there was two free and I was like OMFG :):):) Sooo excited :)
Deck 10 corridor
Concierge Lounge for Grills passengers only
After washing and drying was done brought it all back, then it was time for the compulsory emergency drill. They actually scan your passenger card these days to make sure you've attended. They didn't do that last time.
Went to investigate the jigsaw situation. They had two new puzzles out (I'd have been pretty annoyed if they were the same ones I'd done before). One of them was a 1500 piece artwork puzzle that looked pretty awful, and the other was another comic jigsaw. So turned over all 1500 pieces and did the edge :)
Just before 18:30 I headed back to the room to get ready for dinner. At 18:30 we departed Southampton! Watched the departure for a while then we headed down for dinner.
Me dressed for dinner
Southampton by night
Town Quay, Southampton by night
Last trip we'd asked to go on a table of eight, because we're introverts and like being on a table where other people do most of the talking. With the upgrade to Princess Grill we were going to lose that. Turns out you still get allocated a table for Princess Grill that you sit on every night. And our table was in fact a table of six. We weren't sure if this was better or worse than just sitting by ourselves. On the one hand there's two other couples (Carolyn and Ray from Shropshire, and Bryan and Jan from Swansea in Wales) but on the other hand there's the stress of whether we should try and have dinner at the same time as them (with Princess Grill you can dine any time between 6:30pm and 9:00pm). Not to mention the stress of feeling like imposters. Hrmmmm.
Table 51 in the Princess Grill - our table for the whole crossing and cruise
Yeah so when we arrived (feeling pretty stressed) we had a constant stream of waiters coming and introducing themselves and bringing stuff and Oleg the somelier with the overwhelming wine list and I just wanted to take a photo of the table and I was like LEAVE US ALONE!!! arggghh. Then the others turned up. The other thing with Princess Grill is the wine list by the glass starts at crazy and gets to ridiculous pretty quickly. Cheapest bottle you can get is $30 USD. Ouch. Then there's the menu. I couldn't even recognise half the words on it. Ever heard of a crotin de chavignol? Turns out it's cheese of some description. I was like WE DON'T BELONG HERE. Was actually a pretty stressful dinner. The beef I had though was actually delicious and tender. And we didn't have any wine.
Parsley crusted crotin de chavignol, red onion and coriander marmalade with melba toast that I had for entrée
Roasted beef tenderloin and braised short ribs, celeriac pureee, speck potato rosti and red wine sauce that I had for mains
Strawberry and mint chocolate chip ice creams, lemon sorbet and caramel sauce that I had for dessert
The last time we were on this ship we basically had flat calm conditions for most of the trip and the ship didn't move. It was only every so often you'd just get a tiny hint that there was movement. This time we're on an upper deck (10) and the movement is very noticable. But. Turns out you can feel it all over the ship. We really do just have much rougher weather this time. Which I guess is to be expected on the North Atlantic :)
Navigation information on the tv in our room
Then we just collapsed into bed a bit after 9pm.