More broken sleep (bed is simply too soft, hurts my spine; I rage quit on the doona a week ago and every night I fold it aside so I just have the sheet bit so I don't overheat). Slept through til about 6am though.

View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean

Got up and documented all the ConneXions rooms and all the tender rooms.

Starboard side games corridor
Starboard side games corridor

Deck 1  stairway B lifts, looking into Burma Road
Deck 1 stairway B lifts, looking into Burma Road

Outer door in Chelsea tender room
Outer door in Chelsea tender room

Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2
Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2

Christmas decorations in Kings Court
Christmas decorations in Kings Court

View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean

Got breakfast as takeaway and had it in the room, because the sweetie was feeling crap - coming down with a cold :(:(:(

At 8:30 I went to the protestant Christmas service, which was small but nice.

Gingerbread village
Gingerbread village

Royal Court Theatre ready for Christmas services
Royal Court Theatre ready for Christmas services

At 10:00 I went to the main Christmas service, run by the captain, and readings from various senior officers/heads of departments, and lots of Christmas carols. So that was lovely, but the sweetie wasn't feeling well so he hid out in the room. Got him a late breakfast a bit after 11, and checked out the Princess Grill lunch and dinner menus (no roast pork and crackling boooo).

Christmas service on the Queen Mary 2 with the captain and senior officers
Christmas service on the Queen Mary 2 with the captain and senior officers

The ship is getting hot now that we're so far south (22 degrees north at 11:33am), especially on the upper decks, and our room air conditioning is barely keeping up (ok, it's not). It being Christmas, I ditched the jeans for shorts at lunch time :) Cause who wears jeans in Australia on Christmas day??

Me on Christmas day
Me on Christmas day

View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean

Had lunch with the sweetie at Kings Court. Sadly no roast pork or crackling for me.

Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day
Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day

Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day
Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day

Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day
Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day

Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day
Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day

Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day
Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day

Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day
Christmas desserts in Kings Court on Christmas day

Christmas lunch in Kings Court
Christmas lunch in Kings Court

After lunch worked on the art jigsaw for a while. Then I watched the day's Christmas movie - Arthur Christmas. It was completely ridiculous but a bit of fun, and full of Harry Potter actors hehe.

Two Sisters (On the Terrace) (1881), by Renoir, on the jigsaw table, starboard side
Two Sisters (On the Terrace) (1881), by Renoir, on the jigsaw table, starboard side

Back in the room we put on Hidden Figures. Pretty amazing what those girls did, and the fact that they *could* do it.

View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 3 of cruise to Caribbean

During the end of the movie I had some wine (from room service, cause there's no extra charge) and got ready for dinner. Sadly the sweetie was feeling too sick to go to dinner, so I went by myself. I had pork for entree and duck for mains but the duck was *huge* and dry and just felt full and miserable by the end, and even though everything on the dessert menu looked amazing, I couldn't face it, so ended up just going to bed.

Dressed for Christmas dinner
Dressed for Christmas dinner

My hair done up in a bun
My hair done up in a bun

Table 51 in the Princess Grill, done up for Christmas
Table 51 in the Princess Grill, done up for Christmas

Grilled suckling pig, crispy sage hen's egg, watercress salad, black pudding, garlic and tomato chutney, scrumpy reduction, that I had for entrée
Grilled suckling pig, crispy sage hen's egg, watercress salad, black pudding, garlic and tomato chutney, scrumpy reduction, that I had for entrée

Clementine and spice glazed duck, duck confit croquette, red cabbage puree, root vegetables, jus, that I had for mains (I couldn't finish it)
Clementine and spice glazed duck, duck confit croquette, red cabbage puree, root vegetables, jus, that I had for mains (I couldn't finish it)

Another night of broken sleep. Awake at 1:15, 4:00, 7:22.

View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean

View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean

View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean

View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 2 of cruise to Caribbean

Pretty quiet day today.

Had breakfast with the sweetie, then watched the end of Love Actually which was playing on repeat on channel 24. Did some washing and jigsaw (sorting pieces on the stoopid art puzzle - they've started Polperro yet again).

Read for a while, finished the middle section of Love Actually, then had some lunch.

Reading a book on our balcony
Reading a book on our balcony

Wandered the ship for a while with the sweetie, then we had a swim on deck 8 (which as it turns out is a very deep pool, I can only just touch the ground on tippy toes at one end), then went in the spa for a bit.

Deck 7 promenade
Deck 7 promenade

Stu and Kaz on deck 7
Stu and Kaz on deck 7
Photo by Stu

The very blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle
The very blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle
Photo by Stu

Commodore's Cufflinks - spare propellor blades on deck 7
Commodore's Cufflinks - spare propellor blades on deck 7

Spare anchor on deck 7
Spare anchor on deck 7

Commodore's Cufflinks - spare propellor blades on deck 7, looking up to the bridge
Commodore's Cufflinks - spare propellor blades on deck 7, looking up to the bridge

Looking up to the bridge of the Queen Mary 2 on deck 7
Looking up to the bridge of the Queen Mary 2 on deck 7

Polished metal on one of the spare propellors
Polished metal on one of the spare propellors

Commodore's Cufflinks - spare propellor blades on deck 7
Commodore's Cufflinks - spare propellor blades on deck 7

Stu contemplating the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle
Stu contemplating the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle

Looking into the bridge from deck 14
Looking into the bridge from deck 14

Looking into the bridge from deck 14 - where we went on the behind the scenes tour
Looking into the bridge from deck 14 - where we went on the behind the scenes tour

People enjoying the deck 13 sun deck
People enjoying the deck 13 sun deck

Queen Mary 2 bell
Queen Mary 2 bell

Communications tower on Queen Mary 2
Communications tower on Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2's red funnel
Queen Mary 2's red funnel

Queen Mary 2 sign
Queen Mary 2 sign

Looking aft on deck 12
Looking aft on deck 12

We were going to go to the second pirate lecture, but didn't end up going.

Just did the very hard sudoku, chilled out, then got ready for dinner (had one of the bottles of bubbly I picked at Southampton, which as it turns out is closer to 1/6th the price of the cheapest bottle you can get on board, which is $30USD, plus service charges).

Dressed for dinner
Dressed for dinner

Dinner was nice enough at Princess Grill.

Snackages we got in the Grills Lounge
Snackages we got in the Grills Lounge

Escargot bourguignon with garlic and herb butter, grilled three onion ciabatta that I had for entrée (off the a la carte menu)
Escargot bourguignon with garlic and herb butter, grilled three onion ciabatta that I had for entrée (off the a la carte menu)

Roasted goose breast warm gooseberry chutney, crispy parsnip, duck fat roasted potatoes, red cabbage, cider gravy that we both had for mains
Roasted goose breast warm gooseberry chutney, crispy parsnip, duck fat roasted potatoes, red cabbage, cider gravy that we both had for mains

Gingerbread and butter pudding marmalade ice cream that I had for dessert (think the description was wrong for this, didn't get ice cream)
Gingerbread and butter pudding marmalade ice cream that I had for dessert (think the description was wrong for this, didn't get ice cream)

I wanted to go to the Christmas concert, but we were just too tired after dinner, so we collapsed into bed. But a nice relaxing day which was nice.

Christmas present from Cunard (tea cups and chocolates)
Christmas present from Cunard (tea cups and chocolates)

3:30 wakeup. Broken sleep til 6am.

View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean

View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean

View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean

View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean
View from our balcony, day 1 of cruise to Caribbean

Our balcony chairs
Our balcony chairs

Breakfast in Kings Court with the sweetie. Afterwards I went to the tour office to book tickets for one of the St Kitts shore excursions.

Then spent some time on the Polperro jigsaw and finished that (someone had restored it to the point where I got up to before it was destroyed, so I pretty much did most of that jigsaw at some point by myself).

Completed Polperro jigsaw
Completed Polperro jigsaw

Came back to the room for a bit and then at 12:15 went to the first of Doug Burgess's talks on The Pirate Myth.

For lunch we tried out the Kings Court pizza and pasta bar which wasn't too bad (although the sweetie's bowels did *not* thank him later).

Stu at lunch on Queen Mary 2
Stu at lunch on Queen Mary 2

Went to the 14:00 planetarium show, Dark Universe narrated by Neil deGrasse Tylor.

Spent some time on the horrible art jigsaw sorting pieces by shape.

At 15:30 went to Dr Fred Broder's talk on How to stay sane, happy and wise in an ever-changing world, which reminded me a lot of the two day training course I did once called "From technical professional to manager and leader" which was just sitting around listening to stories for two days. Life motivational type stuff which was all good.

And did a bit of ship wandering

Gingerbread village created for Christmas on the Queen Mary 2
Gingerbread village created for Christmas on the Queen Mary 2

Gingerbread village created for Christmas on the Queen Mary 2
Gingerbread village created for Christmas on the Queen Mary 2

Gingerbread village created for Christmas on the Queen Mary 2
Gingerbread village created for Christmas on the Queen Mary 2

Britannia Restaurant on deck 2
Britannia Restaurant on deck 2

Britannia Restaurant on deck 2
Britannia Restaurant on deck 2

Queen Mary 2 in New York, Gobelin by Barbara Broekman, The Netherlands
Queen Mary 2 in New York, Gobelin by Barbara Broekman, The Netherlands

Britannia Club restaurant
Britannia Club restaurant

Came back to the room (where the sweetie was feeling pretty miserable poor thing) and got ready for dinner. I'd been planning to watch all of Love Actually which they were having on the big screen at 17:00, but we were also invited to Captains drinks in the Queens Room at 18:30. So I watched the first hour and a quarter of the movie before going to that.

Captain Aseem Hashmi welcoming Grills guests
Captain Aseem Hashmi welcoming Grills guests

Captain Aseem Hashmi and senior officers at the Captain's Drinks
Captain Aseem Hashmi and senior officers at the Captain's Drinks

Then to dinner which was all very nice, and bed.

Ballontine of quail, braised button onions, smoked bacon confit and a light quail jus that I had for entrée
Ballontine of quail, braised button onions, smoked bacon confit and a light quail jus that I had for entrée

28 day aged Onley Grounds chateaubriand of beef, gratin potatoes and bearnaise sauce that I had for mains
28 day aged Onley Grounds chateaubriand of beef, gratin potatoes and bearnaise sauce that I had for mains

Iced grand marnier parfait, with orange sauce, that I had for dessert
Iced grand marnier parfait, with orange sauce, that I had for dessert

Moon over the North Atlantic from our balcony
Moon over the North Atlantic from our balcony

Woke up at 4:30. Except with the time change it was actually 3:30.

Sigh.

Couldn't use the ship's internet (as per usual) to see where we were so turned the tv on in the end.

When we got close I went up on deck to watch us come in under the Verrazzano Narrows bridge which was pretty cool, and watch us drift past the Statue of Liberty and New York. Very very cool!

Queen Mary 2 about to pass under Verrazzano Narrows Bridge
Queen Mary 2 about to pass under Verrazzano Narrows Bridge

Passing under the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge
Passing under the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge

New Jersey and New York from Queen Mary 2
New Jersey and New York from Queen Mary 2

Statue of Liberty from Queen Mary 2
Statue of Liberty from Queen Mary 2

New York from Queen Mary 2
New York from Queen Mary 2

The sweetie was ready when I got back, so downloaded all my photos that hadn't been downloaded, and downloaded and cleared the GPS.

Then we got some breakfast.

New York and Governors Island
New York and Governors Island

Then left the ship around 8:00. Took around three quarters of an hour to get through immigration because of the queue.

Cunard wanted $47 per person for a transfer to midtown so we took a taxi to a station in Brooklyn and took the F train to 42nd Street. I was going to get single tickets on the train as we only needed the two trips, but the machine wouldn't give more than $9 change and I only had $20 notes, so went and talked to a human who sold us a single metrocard which has the equivalent of four trips on it, and we can share the card by swiping it twice in the machines, so that worked out well.

When we emerged from the subway we were next to Bryant Park which was setup with a Christmas market and ice rink, so that was nice.

Winter ice skating in Bryant Park
Winter ice skating in Bryant Park

Then meandered past the library to Grand Central Station.

New York Public Library
New York Public Library

New York Public Library
New York Public Library

Lion outside New York Public Library
Lion outside New York Public Library

Chrysler Building
Chrysler Building

New York buildings and Chrysler Building
New York buildings and Chrysler Building

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station

Then back 42nd street to Times Square. Had a coffee there (outside cause they don't have space for chairs inside).

Times Square
Times Square

Nasdaq building in Times Square
Nasdaq building in Times Square

Times Square Studios
Times Square Studios

Times Square
Times Square

Times Square
Times Square

Started to get cold though so went into the Disney Store to warm up, and have a look. But it was super crowded. They really need crowd control there.

Kept walking north through Times Square.

2018 ball in Times Square
2018 ball in Times Square

Went into the M&Ms store because I thought it would be easy to get some orange or other interesting flavoured M&Ms, but instead it was three floors of merchandise and CHAOS. I thought I'd go to the toilet there but the queue was a hundred years long so didn't bother, just tried to escape. And didn't get any M&Ms.

M&Ms galore
M&Ms galore

Headed for Rockefeller Centre with thoughts of *maybe* going up the tower (it was pretty cloudy, although clear, so it was a bit of a dilemma). Decided not to (the queue most of the way down the block was also a bit of a put off), and instead tried to get a photo of the ice rink and Christmas tree and the gold sculpture, but PEOPLE. Argh. Couldn't move. Didn't really get all the photos I wanted, oh well.

Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall

Christmas decorations off 6th Ave
Christmas decorations off 6th Ave

Golden Prometheus statue and Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza
Golden Prometheus statue and Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza

Golden Prometheus statue in Rockefeller Plaza
Golden Prometheus statue in Rockefeller Plaza

Christmas decorations in the Channel Gardens
Christmas decorations in the Channel Gardens

Also saw the front of Saks, which would have been really pretty at night.

At this point we started heading south. At one point we saw a sign that said pizza, so headed for it and had a couple of slices of New York Style pizza which was pretty cool.

Stu and pizza in Ambrosia Café
Stu and pizza in Ambrosia Café

Kept walking to 34th, and cut across to Macy's to have a look at the Christmas windows, but they weren't that exciting, and PEOPLE.

Empire State Building
Empire State Building

Macys Christmas store window
Macys Christmas store window

Macys Department Store
Macys Department Store

Macys Department Store
Macys Department Store

Jumped on a train back to Brooklyn, and got an Uber to the cruise terminal.

Hippopotomous Sculpture
Hippopotomous Sculpture

Got a super epic awesome photo of the ship with New York in the background :)

Queen Mary 2 and New York skyline at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal
Queen Mary 2 and New York skyline at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

America needs to get rid of its penny coins. And they also need to do what Australia got right - include GST *before* the cash register. We literally have no idea how much we are going to pay for things to get out the right money. From Stu's last trip we had a *heap* of American coin, so I've been holding up traffic while I count exact coinage to get rid of it all. Also I've been breaking larger notes every time we spend money to get $1 bills, needed for tipping nonsense.

Room 10082 sign with Christmas decorations
Room 10082 sign with Christmas decorations

Back on ship I froze my fingers off in the wind getting photos of New York from the ship.

Statue of Liberty from Queen Mary 2
Statue of Liberty from Queen Mary 2

Looking up the East River
Looking up the East River

New York from Queen Mary 2
New York from Queen Mary 2

New York and Governors Island from Queen Mary 2
New York and Governors Island from Queen Mary 2

New York Dock Co building
New York Dock Co building

Norwegian Gem departing New York
Norwegian Gem departing New York

Governors Island and New York from Queen Mary 2
Governors Island and New York from Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 departure party and NewYork at night
Queen Mary 2 departure party and NewYork at night

New York at night
New York at night

At departure time (left at 17:26) I went onto the Grills Terrace to document the departure. It was so much prettier departing New York in the evening when all the lights were actually on. And I got a super epic awesome video of us passing under the Verazzano Narrows bridge - we pass sooooo close to it! They said something like 14' but it looks a lot closer than that heh.

New York at night
New York at night

Moon over Brooklyn
Moon over Brooklyn

Verrazzano Narrows Bridge
Verrazzano Narrows Bridge

Then got ready and went up to dinner. The table had been set for eight out of New York. Carolyn and Ray had disembarked and we now had Paul and Sue, and Ray and Helen from Kent. Then collapsed into bed.

Dressed for dinner
Dressed for dinner

French onion soup with cheese crouton that I had for entrée
French onion soup with cheese crouton that I had for entrée

Medallions of pork fillet in bacon with sauteed wild mushrooms, dauphinoise potatoes, green beans and caramelised pearl onions served with a mustard sherry sauce, that I had for dinner
Medallions of pork fillet in bacon with sauteed wild mushrooms, dauphinoise potatoes, green beans and caramelised pearl onions served with a mustard sherry sauce, that I had for dinner

Poached pear, sable biscuits and a caramel ginger butter sauce that I had for dessert
Poached pear, sable biscuits and a caramel ginger butter sauce that I had for dessert


Woke up early, as per usual, but didn't bother to get up and continue documenting the ship. Just lay there not sleeping. Yay.

At 7:30 (when the laundrette "opens") I went to see about putting on some washing, but of course all the machines were in use already weren't they?

Blogged, breakfast.

Sunrise from our balcony
Sunrise from our balcony

Sunrise from our balcony
Sunrise from our balcony

Did a bit of the new jigsaw (of Polperro).

At 10:00 was Seth Gopin's last talk on skyscrapers - The Chic New York Skyscrapers of Today: Green and Lean.

Did the jigsaw some more.

At 12:15 was a talk by a journalist Bryher Scudamore about con artists and scams, which was ok but nothing really new.

Found the sweetie and had some lunch.

At 14:00 was Bill Miller's last talk - Gateway to the World: The Great Port of New York. The silly thing is a lot of it mirrored Seth Gopin's talks on New York skyscrapers hehe.

<<Jetlag-induced ranty paragraph about people snipped>>

Sigh.

At 16:30 we watched Ready Player One, which was a bit of fun. I got plenty of the pop culture references, but I'm sure there was heaps I didn't. Be fun to read the IMDB entry for its references. Some of them are there for only fractions of seconds (eg a gremlin!).

The sweetie didn't want to go to fancy dinner, so we ended up going to the pub for beer and trivia and had a light dinner in Kings Court.

Stu in the Golden Lion Pub
Stu in the Golden Lion Pub

Urgh. 2:20 wakeup originally, but had broken sleep til about 4:40 then it was all over.

The external battery must have run out during the night, because the GPS was dead as well. Plugged it into the laptop and charged the external battery.

As per routine, got ready early and wandered the ship documenting. Did a bunch of stuff on deck 2 including the theatres.

Golden Lion Pub threshold
Golden Lion Pub threshold

North America mural by Gonzales and Harms, United Kingdom
North America mural by Gonzales and Harms, United Kingdom

Can you see the hidden Homer?
Can you see the hidden Homer?

What about now?
What about now?

Wind in the Willows characters in the Grand Lobby
Wind in the Willows characters in the Grand Lobby

Empire Casino
Empire Casino

Empire Casino
Empire Casino

Purser's Office in the Grand Lobby
Purser's Office in the Grand Lobby

Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2
Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2

The Grand Lobby staircase
The Grand Lobby staircase

Australia - Verre églomisé design by Christianson Lee Studios, USA
Australia - Verre églomisé design by Christianson Lee Studios, USA

Deck 3 walkway from Illuminations Theatre looking aft on the port side
Deck 3 walkway from Illuminations Theatre looking aft on the port side

Blogged while waiting for the sweetie to get ready and had breakfast at Kings Court. Had some salady bits and bircher muesli and meat and cheese, for something different. Sadly they don't have Coco Pops, my holiday goto breakfast.

View from our balcony, day 5 of the crossing
View from our balcony, day 5 of the crossing

Clouds over the North Atlantic from our balcony
Clouds over the North Atlantic from our balcony

At 10:00 we went to Bill Miller's talk - Sailing to the Sun: Cruising History and Folklore, about cruise ships.

Picture of the Titanic and a Behemoth of the Seas as they'd look at the same scale
Picture of the Titanic and a Behemoth of the Seas as they'd look at the same scale

Bill Miller in Illuminations Theatre speaking about ocean liners
Bill Miller in Illuminations Theatre speaking about ocean liners

Did the jigsaw for a little while.

At 12:15 I went to Seth Gopin's talk on the World Trade Centre, both 1973 and 2014 versions.

Found the sweetie in the room and we went to lunch. They had pork belly at Kings Court which was pretty good, but the crackling was fail.

Current Position of the Queen Mary 2 on the tv in our room.  We are about 60 miles from where the Titanic sank
Current Position of the Queen Mary 2 on the tv in our room. We are about 60 miles from where the Titanic sank

Lunch on the Queen Mary 2 - pork belly, sadly the crackling didn't work
Lunch on the Queen Mary 2 - pork belly,sadly the crackling didn't work

Went to Princess Grill to see about what a la carte options they had for dinner, and ordered duck a l'orange.

Finished the jigsaw in the afternoon.

Completed Comic Jigsaw
Completed Comic Jigsaw

Found out they'd cancelled our port visit to Antigua because they were worried about rough weather making the tenders unsafe (they cancelled the same port back in November). So they've replaced it with St Kitts. Somewhat disappointing, but at least there's something else to do.

Went down to the lobby to go to the tour office to pick up info on the shore excursions but got distracted by the Christmas Carols hehe.

Came back to the room and we took our time getting ready and had the other bottle of champagne they gave us when we got on.

Kaz with champagne before dinner
Kaz with champagne before dinner

The evening event was the Masquerade Ball. We didn't actually wear our masks to dinner, but did take them.

Masquerade masks on our table at dinner
Masquerade masks on our table at dinner

Dinner was duck a l'orange - yumm! - but basically a whole duck (well at least the breast and leg). Was pretty full. We also had crepes suzette for dessert. All very nice.

Wild mushroom cannelloni, cauliflower and black truffle that I had for entrée
Wild mushroom cannelloni, cauliflower and black truffle that I had for entrée

Preparing the duck a l'orange
Preparing the duck a l'orange

Duck a l'orange in the pan
Duck a l'orange in the pan

Duck a l'orange, parsnips and apricot croquette, braised red cabbage that we both had for dinner
Duck a l'orange, parsnips and apricot croquette, braised red cabbage that we both had for dinner

Crepes Suzette that we both had for dessert
Crepes Suzette that we both had for dessert

After dinner we tried to find somewhere nice to have a photo of the two of us in our masks. Struggled. Ended up in the main lobby with most of the rest of the ship trying to get photos in front of the Christmas tree. Too much people stress. I just wanted a nice photo of the two of us, but the sweetie won't talk to people and I HATE talking to people and anyway everyone's old and has no idea how to use a camera (or a phone). I dragged those damned masks all around the world and didn't even get a decent photo of the two of us. Felt like tossing the damned things into the ocean.

Kaz with masquerade mask in the Grand Lobby with the Christmas Tree
Kaz with masquerade mask in the Grand Lobby with the Christmas Tree

Stu in the Grand Lobby with the Christmas Tree
Stu in the Grand Lobby with the Christmas Tree

Stu with masquerade mask in the Grand Lobby with the Christmas Tree
Stu with masquerade mask in the Grand Lobby with the Christmas Tree

Sigh.

3am wakeup urgghhh. This insomnia is killing me. Having too soft a bed and too hot a doona is certainly not helping matters :(

Got up eventually and wandered around mostly on deck 3.

Deck 10 corridor
Deck 10 corridor

Grills Lounge and Bar
Grills Lounge and Bar

Grills Lounge and Bar
Grills Lounge and Bar

Christmas tree in the Queens Room
Christmas tree in the Queens Room

Bust of King George V in the Queens Room
Bust of King George V in the Queens Room

Model of the Queen Mary 2 adjacent to the Queens Room
Model of the Queen Mary 2 adjacent to the Queens Room

Clarendon Fine Art Gallery
Clarendon Fine Art Gallery

Painting of a tiger in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery
Painting of a tiger in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery

The Chart Room
The Chart Room

Christmas tree in the Chart Room
Christmas tree in the Chart Room

Laurent Perrier Champagne Bar
Laurent Perrier Champagne Bar

Fire - Verre églomisé design by Bolaé Glass Studios, USA
Fire - Verre églomisé design by Bolaé Glass Studios, USA, on the Deck 3 main corridor

Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2
Christmas tree in the Grand Lobby of the Queen Mary 2

Christmas decorations in deck 3 main corridor
Christmas decorations in deck 3 main corridor

Christmas tree outside Godiva chocolate bar
Christmas tree outside Godiva chocolate bar

Picture of Queen Mary 2 next to stairway C, outside Britannia Restaurant, deck 3
Picture of Queen Mary 2 next to stairway C, outside Britannia Restaurant, deck 3

Queen Mary 2 bell
Queen Mary 2 bell

The Boston Commemorative Cup, residing in whichever Cunard ship is the flagship.  Grand Lobby, deck 3
The Boston Commemorative Cup in the Grand Lobby on Deck 3. This cup resides in whichever Cunard ship is the flagship, currently Queen Mary 2.

Top of the Christmas Tree in the Grand Lobby
Top of the Christmas Tree in the Grand Lobby

At 7:30 the laundrette opened and I got a load of washing going. One out of the three washer/dryers is out of action which is a bit annoying. Fiddled around, put on the drying, and then we went to breakfast.

View from our balcony, day 4 of the crossing
View from our balcony, day 4 of the crossing

After breakfast came back to check on the drying but the machine had stopped about ten or twenty minutes in. Tried getting it going again but it kept stopping and not heating up on the regular cycle, so tried another one and that worked ok.

Midmorning by now and hadn't seen the sweetie since breakfast, and couldn't find him either.

Had a quick look in at the Christmas markets in the Queens room but there were too many people and I didn't have much time anyway. I thought I'd go back a bit later (but I never did).

At 10:30 I went to a cooking demo put on by the chefs in the Verandah restaurant. They've changed their theme recently to steakhouse, and it made it all look very enticing :)

Cooking demonstration by the chefs of The Verandah restaurant
Cooking demonstration by the chefs of The Verandah restaurant

Steaks cooked by the chefs of The Verandah restaurant
Steaks cooked by the chefs of The Verandah restaurant

Still couldn't find the sweetie. Came back to the room and blogged, then went out again, and happened to see him coming down the corridor.

Stu on our balcony
Stu on our balcony

Oh yeah, my new phone won't work on the ship's mobile network. No idea why, it just can't pick up the carrier. I fired up my old phone in the end, and that works ok.

Had lunch in Kings Court (venison and pork cordon bleu which were quite nice, and some vichy carrots, which had an orange sauce which was very nice). Getting a bit sick of Kings Court. I think I'm trying to try too many things. Need to keep things a bit simpler.

Chocolate fountain in Kings Court
Chocolate fountain in Kings Court

Desserts in Kings Court
Desserts in Kings Court

At 14:00 we met up for the Behind the Scenes Tour!!! It was pretty awesome, visiting the Bridge (saw the location of the Titanic, and the bridge webcam (a big Sony camera)), walked past crew quarters, the mooring deck (they were doing repairs on doors damaged in the rough weather we had the other day), the anchor deck (I would love to have seen the room where they pile up the chain), then down to "Burma Road" on Deck 1, and saw a bunch of stuff along there (door to the crew's pub the Pig and Whistle, the baggage handling room, some of the waste processing rooms, one of the firefighting lockers, the Engine Control Room, and walked into one of the freezers (one for meat) and a meat processing room). Then we headed up to the Britannia Galley and saw a bit of that (not as much as the last galley tour I did, but had more detail about what was what). Had a brief break with champagne and nibbles, then saw backstage of the Royal Court Theatre. I would love to have seen the engine room, but probably too cramped and noisy to take people (I've stood next to an XPT engine at idle and *that* was loud enough. They gave us a pin, and the galley gave us a chefs had and apron which is pretty cool. I'll write up a longer review at some point (I took four pages of notes in my Field Notes book!).

Just me on the bridge of the Queen Mary 2
Just me on the bridge of the Queen Mary 2

View straight down from the bridge of the Queen Mary 2
View straight down from the bridge of the Queen Mary 2

View forward from the bridge of the Queen Mary 2
View forward from the bridge of the Queen Mary 2

View aft from the bridge of the Queen Mary 2
View aft from the bridge of the Queen Mary 2

We were pretty tired after the tour (three hours of standing or walking slowly), but we had tickets for the 17:30 planetarium show - Wildest Weather in the Solar System, narrated by Michael Trucco, so went along to that.

We didn't have the energy to get dressed up for dinner (well some of us didn't haha) so got a beer in the pub then had Kings Court for dinner (I kept it simple with just beef stroganoff).

Golden Lion Pub bar
Golden Lion Pub bar

I did over 12000 steps yesterday.. craziness. Collapsed into bed a bit after 20:00.

Urgh, 4:10am wakeup :( This insomnia is killing me.

So went to check the internet in the morning, and it turns out when it froze up last night it never logged me out. So nearly two hours all used up. PISSED.

Gave up sleeping around 6:30 (actually 5:30??) and went for a wander. Photoed/videod the Gym, Commodore Club, Board Room and Atlantic Room with noone in them.

Queen Mary 2 Gymnasium - Exercise bikes and elliptical machines
Queen Mary 2 Gymnasium - Exercise bikes and elliptical machines

Queen Mary 2 Gymnasium - Weights equipment
Queen Mary 2 Gymnasium - Weights equipment

The Boardroom
The Boardroom

The Boardroom fireplace
The Boardroom fireplace

The Atlantic Room (with curtains still closed because it was still dark)
The Atlantic Room (with curtains still closed because it was still dark)

The Library Bookshop
The Library Bookshop

Kings Court bay window seating
Kings Court bay window seating

Kings Court main area before anyone got there
Kings Court main area before anyone got there

Kings Court corridor - so rare to see this devoid of people!
Kings Court corridor - so rare to see this devoid of people!

Picked up a bread roll at King's Court and ate it while the sweetie got ready. Then we had breakfast, much the same as always.

Weather information on the tv in our room.  We think this was the roughest the weather got.
Weather information on the tv in our room. We think this was the roughest the weather got.

Sunrise over the North Atlantic
Sunrise over the North Atlantic

Stu at breakfast
Stu at breakfast

Deck 7 promenade from Kings Court
Deck 7 promenade from Kings Court

Went and finished the comic jigsaw.

Comic jigsaw finished
Comic jigsaw finished

Then to the second talk by Bill Miller - Getting there was half the fun - The Last Atlantic Liners. There was a bit of repetition of content but it was still pretty good.

Went around to the starboard side to work on the other jigsaw, but it's not as much fun.

Two Sisters (On the Terrace) (1881), by Renoir, on the jigsaw table
Two Sisters (On the Terrace) (1881), by Renoir, on the jigsaw table

Had lunch with the sweetie.

Then to the planetarium show to see Asteroid - Mission Extreme, narrated by Sigourney Weaver.

Wandered around and ended up at the library so borrowed a Roald Dahl collection of stories. Some of them I've read but others I haven't. And if I don't finish by the time we get off it won't matter.

Plugged things into charge then collapsed into bed from 15:30-17:30. So damned tired :(

Got ready for dinner. This was the formal night that I mixed up with the first one. The first one was the black and white ball and this was just a non-named one. Shoulda worn my dresses around the other way. Oh well.

Kaz dressed for dinner
Kaz dressed for dinner

Stu in the Golden Lion pub
Stu in the Golden Lion pub

Kaz and Queen Elizabeth II photo in the Golden Lion Pub
Kaz and Queen Elizabeth II photo in the Golden Lion Pub

Dinner is basically a lottery of food. I have no idea about half the descriptions, and even what I do order is completely different to what I expect. I think I should just choose by throwing a dart. I need somewhere between Kings Court and Princess Grill. Oh wait, that would be Britannia. Ended up very full again.

Salad of French rabbit saddle, confit of leg and poached rhubarb that we both had for entrée
Salad of French rabbit saddle, confit of leg and poached rhubarb that we both had for entrée

Fillet of silver mullet, clam and tomato chowder, saffron potatoes and peas that we both had for mains
Fillet of silver mullet, clam and tomato chowder, saffron potatoes and peas that we both had for mains

Low sugar vanilla panna cotta with fresh raspberries that I had for dessert
Low sugar vanilla panna cotta with fresh raspberries that I had for dessert

Slept somewhat better. Well except for hurty keeping me awake for a couple of hours. Still a very early wakeup though. And even earlier with the change in timezones overnight. Blerf.

Deck 10 utility room used by housekeeping
Deck 10 utility room used by housekeeping

Had breakfast in Kings Court. Much the same, although no fruit this time because I was already feeling a bit full.

Went out for a wander to photograph/videograph some rooms in the ship I hadn't before (specifically the Board Room and Churchills for this venture), but people kept being in them :(

Commodore Club bar
Commodore Club bar

Commodore Club
Commodore Club

Headed back to the Grills Concierge Lounge to photograph it (hey, I'll never get another chance) and pick up tickets for the planetarium show (they have a bunch reserved for Grills passengers so you don't have to fight the hoardes down in Connexions. So that was pretty cool.

Grills Concierge Lounge
Grills Concierge Lounge

Did some more exploring. Took photos/videos in the Verandah restaurant and the library (including photos out the front windows of the waves coming up as high as deck 7!!).

The Verandah Restaurant sign
The Verandah Restaurant sign

Bar in The Verandah Restaurant
Bar in The Verandah Restaurant

The Verandah Restaurant
The Verandah Restaurant

Waves coming up as far as deck 7
Waves coming up as far as deck 7!!

Churchill's Cigar Lounge
I did get back to Churchill's Cigar Lounge to find noone in it

Then did the jigsaw for a while.  Did I mention the rough seas?

View of the waves on the North Atlantic from the deck 2 jigsaw table
View of the waves on the North Atlantic from the deck 2 jigsaw table

View of the waves on the North Atlantic from the deck 2 jigsaw table
View of the waves on the North Atlantic from the deck 2 jigsaw table

A bit before 12pm collected the sweetie and we went and saw the ringing of the bell at 12pm, then went to a talk by Dr Seth Gopin on The Rise of the New York Skyscraper which was pretty interesting.

Again lunch in Kings Court was pretty crowded with people coming out of the talk (I suggested we could actually have lunch in Princess Grill but the sweetie wasn't interested).

Pretty much just did the jigsaw in the afternoon.

We went to go see the planetarium show only to find they'd all been cancelled due to the rough weather.

Pitching back on heavy seas
Pitching back on heavy seas

Pitching forward on heavy seas
Pitching forward on heavy seas

Pitching back on heavy seas
Pitching back on heavy seas

Pitching forward on heavy seas
Pitching forward on heavy seas

Pitching back on heavy seas
Pitching back on heavy seas

Pitching forward on heavy seas
Pitching forward on heavy seas

Headed back to the room to fill in some time. I downloaded photos, but I was too restless to relax. We were both feeling a little off colour due to the non-stop rocking of the ship. Not sick sick, just not 100%. The sweetie didn't want to go the restaurant for dinner, so we ended up going down to the pub for a couple of drinks, did the pub trivia (got 9/12 plus the double or nothing question), then dinner in Kings Court.

Belhaven beer in the Golden Lion Pub
Belhaven beer in the Golden Lion Pub

Golden Lion Pub Duo - SYNRG
Golden Lion Pub Duo - SYNRG

Stu in the Golden Lion Pub
Stu in the Golden Lion Pub

I tried again to use the internet, but it was basically useless. Couldn't get anything to load. So tried to logout, but the page froze up. Wasting most of my time just waiting for the login/logout page to load and nothing happening. Why am I paying for a "service" that they're not even providing??? Filled with rage, but the sweetie just told me to deal with it in the morning. Le sigh.

Urgh. Woke up at 01:50. Damned insomnia? Jetlag? Very upsetting. Never got back to sleep, so zombie day.

The ship is rocking (mostly pitching, a bit of rolling) quite a lot. It's actually kinda nice in bed. But I could understand how people that get seasick would hate it.

View from our balcony, day 1 of the crossing
View from our balcony, day 1 of the crossing

Had breakfast at Kings Court. Made myself wheat-free eggs benedict with hash browns instead of muffins :) I do like the fresh bread rolls though.

Stu at breakfast.  Rough seas meant fewer crowds and we could get a window seat!
Stu at breakfast. Rough seas meant fewer crowds and we could get a window seat!

Pointsettia plants in the corridor - they were distributing these to all rooms
Pointsettia plants in the corridor - they were distributing these to all rooms

Mini Christmas tree and pointsettia plant we had for the whole cruise
Mini Christmas tree and pointsettia plant we had for the whole cruise

Went down to the little single chairs on 3L so the sweetie could read and I could blog, and wandered for a bit as well.

View of the clouds from deck 7 promenade port side
View of the clouds from deck 7 promenade port side

Storm clouds over the stern of Queen Mary 2
Storm clouds over the stern of Queen Mary 2

Rough seas sloshing the pool water around
Rough seas sloshing the pool water around

Rough seas sloshing the pool water around
Rough seas sloshing the pool water around

Then left the sweetie to read while I went and joined a tour of the public areas of the ship. It was mostly stuff I already knew, but I do need to go hunt for the hidden Homer Simpson in the North America sculpture.

Then I went and did the jigsaw for a while.

At 12:15 we went to Illuminations to hear a talk by Bill Miller - Floating Palaces - The Great Atlantic Liners. It was really good, we both enjoyed it. There's another three by the same dude to come.

Bill Miller giving his talk on Floating Palaces - The Great Atlantic Liners
Bill Miller giving his talk on Floating Palaces - The Great Atlantic Liners

Lunch was pretty crowded at Kings Court after that because so many people all went at once after the talk.

After lunch (and a bit of a wander around the ship) we just collapsed. Two nights in a row of epic insomnia were killing me, so we had a nap for like three hours.

Deck 7 promenade on the Queen Mary 2
Deck 7 promenade on the Queen Mary 2

Deck chairs on the Queen Mary 2
Deck chairs on the Queen Mary 2

Stairway from deck 8 up to the deck 11 Grills Terrace - never been up these before!
Stairway from deck 8 up to the deck 11 Grills Terrace - never been up these before!

Deck 11 Grills Terrace
Deck 11 Grills Terrace

Deck 11 Grills Terrace
Deck 11 Grills Terrace

Deck 8 pools from deck 11 Grills Terrace
Deck 8 pools from deck 11 Grills Terrace

View of the clouds from our balcony
View of the clouds from our balcony

Stu relaxing in the bed
Stu relaxing in the bed

We got invited to the Grills meeting of the Captain. Although we didn't actually meet him hehe. It was definitely a LOT less crowded than when we went with all the Britannia peoples last time. Met a nice couple - Tracey and Terry. Only managed to grab two glasses of champagne before they whisked it away for the welcome and senior staff introductions.

Here's the numbers of passengers for the top countries on the crossing - Australia - 53, France - 66, Canada - 66, USA - 500, UK - 1678.  And there's 19 dogs and 1 cat.

Kaz and Stu in the Queens Room at the Captain's drinks
Kaz and Stu in the Queens Room at the Captain's drinks

Captain Aseem Hashmi welcoming Grills guests
Captain Aseem Hashmi welcoming Grills guests

Captain Aseem Hashmi and the senior officers of the Queen Mary 2
Captain Aseem Hashmi and the senior officers of the Queen Mary 2

Stu and Kaz dressed for dinner in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery
Stu and Kaz dressed for dinner in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery

We might have gotten called by the pub on the way to dinner. Had a couple of drinks before finally heading up to dinner. So we were a little later than the others. Ooops. :) Dinner was a lot more relaxed after a couple of drinks, although I did end up quite full.

Golden Lion Pub Duo - SYNRG
Golden Lion Pub Duo - SYNRG

Croquette of suckling pig with apple and ginger puree served with sweet and sour pork sauce that I had for entrée
Croquette of suckling pig with apple and ginger puree served with sweet and sour pork sauce that I had for entrée

Loin of lamb provençal with braised shoulder, confit of breast, celeriac dauphinoise and savoy cabbage that I had for mains
Loin of lamb provençal with braised shoulder, confit of breast, celeriac dauphinoise and savoy cabbage that I had for mains

Kaz and Stu at dinner - a lot more relaxed than last night!
Kaz and Stu at dinner - a lot more relaxed than last night!

Prepping our baked alaska with flambéed cherries
Prepping our baked alaska with flambéed cherries

Prepping our baked alaska with flambéed cherries
Prepping our baked alaska with flambéed cherries

Prepping our baked alaska with flambéed cherries
Prepping our baked alaska with flambéed cherries

Baked Alaska, flambéed morello cherries that we both had for dessert
Baked Alaska, flambéed morello cherries that we both had for dessert

Then to bed.