Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Monday, December 19, 2011 – Brooklyn NY, Clear – Cold – mid 30s

Embarkation Day

Our stay at the Hampton Inn in Ridgefield Park, NJ, was very pleasant.  A very nice, comfortable, and quiet room.  Our breakfast was good also – fresh waffles, etc. The desk manager even gave us a “take away” bag with muffins, fruit, breakfast bar, and bottled water.

Our only viable option for getting to the Brooklyn Seaport is to take another pricey taxi.  We will be crossing two bridges so we know this will be expensive. 

The Hampton Inn called a cab for us – it turned out to be a a Town Car but the cost was still the same - $85.00 including tolls and tip.  Costs a lot to get around the Tri-State area, I guess.

The trip encountered a lot of traffic but eventually we crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and headed for the Brooklyn Seaport.

Heading to the Seaport (Small)

On our way to Brooklyn

The Queen Mary 2 was there and a little out of place among the buildings and businesses of the seaport area. 

QM2 Brooklyn (Small)

The QM2 Awaits her Guests

We found out our room number – ED31 – turned our bags over to a porter and headed for a quick check-in. Soon we were on board the “Most Famous Ocean Liner in the World”.  The QM2 is not considered a cruise ship but rather an Ocean Liner.

Our Cabin ED31 is in the Entertainment Deck (ED?) on Deck 5 Forward.  We met the other speakers and enrichment personnel as we tried to get into our room (the key card would not work). 

Lunch was served in the King’s Court Buffet area.  The King’s Court occupies much of Deck 7 and consists of several buffet stations.  Some salad and pizza did the trick.

Our key card was fixed by the Purser’s Desk and we settled into the room.  The layout was very nice but the walls were mostly bare.  The bathroom was roomy with lots of storage and counter space.  The porthole was really all we needed for a view.

2011-12-23 Cabin ED31 (Small)

The outside deck (Deck 7) afforded great views of Manhattan and New York Harbor. Also visible below is the first of the new WTC buildings.

2011-12-19 13.53.40 Lower Manhattan (Small)

2011-12-19 13.53.55 Statue of Liberty (Small)

Top: Manhattan from Deck 7; Bottom: Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor

I was scheduled to meet with the Programme Director, Zoe List, in the ConneXions Lounge at 4:30 PM and then with Paul O’Loughlin, the Entertainment Director to tape his show for the next morning.  I did meet with both of them – I am scheduled for four talks this voyage.  I thought I could have done a better job with the taping.

Tonight, the dress is “Elegant Casual” (coat no tie).

 2011-12-19 17.47.10 Main Hall 2 (Small)

Dressing the part at the Midship Reliefs

2011-12-19 17.43.47 E on Staircase Atrium (Small)

Elegant on the Centrum Staircase

2011-12-19 17.44.27 E with friends (Small)

Wind in the Willows characters and Ellen

After speaking with the Maitre D’ we found out that we would be seated at a table for six in the Britannia Dining Room.  We arrived at our table at 6:00 PM.  Not a great table. Long story short – we plan to change our dining arrangements.

We attended the Welcome Aboard Show and saw the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers perform.

We looked for our piano vocalist on board without success. 

Our room is quiet – I don’t think I will need any earplugs tonight.

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