Today saw us spending another long and leisurely day at sea. But what a difference from Wednesday! The Atlantic was still fairly lively (isn’t it always?) but at least we could walk around the Queen Victoria without feeling as if we were going to fall over. 🙂
After getting up about 8.15am and breakfasting in the Lido Buffet as usual, we decided to go outside and do three laps around the promenade deck, which was roughly equal to one land mile. The sun shone brightly in a sky in which fluffy cumulus clouds drifted lazily on the sea breeze. It was pleasantly warm, particularly on the sunny side of the ship, where several people were stretched out on sunloungers, reading paperback books or just watching as the Queen Victoria glided over the ocean, taking us to Cádiz, our next port of call.
The four of us set off, but I soon fell behind the others’ brisk walking, as I kept stopping to take photos or just to let my surroundings indulge each of my five senses. First of all, there was the sight of miles of endless blue ocean with the white foam created by the ship’s passage and churned up by her propellors. Then there was the sound; the ever-present “sssshhhhhh sssshhhhhh” of the water washing against the side of the vessel. Add to that the distinctive smells of being at sea; the clean, salt air, the faint smells of varnish and diesel and wet rope and the feel of the sea breeze and the sun warm on our backs. Finally, and particularly if it is windy, you can lick your lips and taste the faint tang of salt. Yes, all of your senses will know when you are at sea, and despite this being our 57th cruise (or maybe because of it) it’s something that I really, really love and never tire of. 🙂
At 10.00am we went back inside and along to the Golden Lion pub, where they were holding a Team Trivia quiz. There were only Trevor and I in our team, and we only scored 13/20. However, if we’d joined forces with the adjacent team of two we would have fared much better, as they knew some answers we’d missed and vice versa. 🙂
Afterwards we hotfooted it along to the Royal Court Theatre to watch a fascinating presentation called “Making Faces from the Past Come to Life”. It was given by Kate Schroder MBE, FRSA, a Forensic Archaeology Medical Historian who specialises in reconstructing the skulls of people and building up their faces with clay to get an insight as to how they might have appeared when they were alive. The talk was accompanied by lots of slides and was extremely interesting; the 45 minutes it took absolutely flew by. We would look forward to another presentation by Kate later on in the voyage.
This brought us nicely up to lunchtime, and we decided to go to the Golden Lion for a “pub lunch”. As it was Friday, Trevor opted for fish and chips but I decided to have only a light lunch so I chose the Ploughman’s Platter. Did I say light lunch?! It was huge! There were hunks of two different types of cheeses, thick slices of ham, a crusty roll and butter, accompanied by pickled onions, celery, tomatoes and the obligatory Branston pickle. It was delicious, and we washed it down with a pint each of London Pride beer.
Afterwards, with my stomach feeling uncomfortably full, we went outside on deck once more to complete a couple more laps. Then we returned to cabin 5123 and I sat out on the balcony in the sunshine for a short while, before indulging in a 45 minute power nap afterwards.
As Platinum Cunard World Club members, we had received invitations to participate in some complimentary wine tasting in the Britannia Restaurant at 2.00pm, so we made our way down just before that time and were directed to take a seat each at a table for six; each group of tables had been allocated a sommelier who would explain which wines we would be tasting today; two whites and two reds. Four glasses in front of us each contained a sample of the wine; there was also a plate containing some cheeses and fruits. As you can see, the samples of wine and cheese were miniscule! 🙂
Of course, the whole point of the wine-tasting was to try to tempt you into buying the full bottles, but at least it was something we were getting for free on Cunard. Additionally, as there was a spare place at our table already set for someone, it meant that for some of us there was an extra sample! 🙂
After the wine-tasting we returned to our cabin and I had a long, hot shower and washed and blow-dried my hair for the formal evening later on. Tonight’s theme was a Masquerade Ball. I had brought with me a fantastic ‘jester’ mask I had bought in Venice, on our last cruise on the Queen Victoria in October 2018.
At five o’clock we started getting ready; I wore a floaty Gothic-inspired long off-the-shoulder dress with long sleeves that extended into a point. I teamed the dress with a black lace choker and donned one of my wigs; this one was a long brown wig the same colour as my own hair. When the mask was tied on, it all looked fantastic! Trevor, in his black dinner suit, had procured a white half-face mask in the style of the Phantom of the Opera; he completed his outfit with a black felt hat he’d borrowed from me. Our outfits elicted a lot of comments from the people we passed on our way to the dining room. 🙂
As it was formal evening, we wondered whether we would see the captain or any of the senior officers around; tonight would see our fourth night on board and up to now we had never clapped eyes on any of the ship’s officers. We also went to the restaurant in anticipation of there being lobster on the menu, which is usually the case on at least one formal night, particular on Cunard.
Neither the captain or any lobster put in an appearance tonight. 🙁
As usual after dinner, it was along to the theatre for tonight’s show, which featured once again the West End singer Eve Sheratt and the multi-instrumentalist Andy Buenger, who played seven different instruments, including two saxophones at the same time! It was an excellent performance by both entertainers, who were accompanied by the talented musicians of the ship’s orchestra.
We then went along to the Golden Lion once again to meet up with Billy and Carole. We had a couple of drinks and listened to the resident duo “It takes Two” before Trevor and I left for the quiz in the Yacht Club, which featured 1970s music. The quiz was really hard though; it only played the introduction of each piece, and many of the songs were not particularly big hits, so we didn’t do very well at all, only scoring an appalling 18/40.
We finished the evening off by going to the Queen’s Room, where the masquerade ball was in full swing. We had previously been talking to an American couple called Ryan and Rachel; they were extremely good dancers and each time they got up they made the floor their own. We couldn’t stop watching them; they were wonderful.
It was around midnight when we made our way back to cabin 5123 and settled down for the evening. We were due to dock in Cádiz tomorrow morning and we had to be up at 7.00am to go on an excursion with Billy and Carole to Seville. After getting ready for bed we propped the balcony door open an inch or so to enjoy the fresh sea air then we settled down to sleep in our comfortable bed, after another most enjoyable day. 🙂