Verslag Queen Elizabeth - 2
Transatlantic Southampton -New York
Marjorieann and I had a great trip to England and back. We spent two
days in Southampton before we boarded "QE2". On the day of arrival in
England, we went to the Dolphin Hotel in Southampton. It is an historic
building on the High Street. The hotel is somewhat worn out right now. I
found it charming and would stay there again, but I would not recommend it to
others. There are far better places to stay in Southampton. It was
interesting to find that about 30 or so Cunard trainees were also staying at
the Dolphin Hotel prior to boarding the "QE2".
After dropping our bags in our room, we met up with two friends and
walked to Cobwebs, the ocean liner souvenir shop on Northam Road. We also
visited other antique/collectible shops on the same street. All of us found
something we had to have. We had dinner at the hotel.
On our second day, Marjorieann and I took a train to Winchester. We
visited the cathedral, the Guild Hall and saw King Arthur's Round Table in a
medieval hall. It was pleasant to walk around the city.
We returned in midafternoon to Southampton and went to the Maritime
Museum, where we saw the "Titanic" exhibit and artifacts, as well as great
models of the "Queen Mary", "Normandie", "QE2" and other ships. As we left
the museum, we saw our friends, who were doing a "Titanic" walking tour with
a guide. We decided to join them for the balance of the tour. It was very
interesting. We saw the old White Star Line headquarters on Canute Road
where news was posted of the "Titanic" disaster, as well as Southwestern
House, where Cunard once had its headquarters. We ended up aboard the
"Shieldhall" a post war steamer built to pre-war specifications. It had an
operating triple expansion engine just like the "Titanic". We got a tour of
the whole ship, including the engine room,
That night the English Ocean Liner Society held a meeting in the
Dolphin Hotel and we were all invited. Ken Marschall, the noted artist of
the "Titanic", showed pictures of his dive to the wreck this past summer. He
would later give much the same lecture aboard "QE2".
On Thursday morning after breakfast, we went down to the docks and
took the Hythe ferry over to Hythe and back, just to get some pictures of the
"QE2" at its berth. Just after noon, we headed over to the ternminal to
await boarding, which started at 2:30.
By 3:00, all of us were in the Queens Room and having afternoon tea.
A great start. At 4:30 we had boat drill and at about 5:00 we sailed, with a
rainbow arching over us.
The first three days were rough. The ship pitched a lot, but not as
bad as during my December, 1999 crossing. It did not bother Marjorieann and
I. I even manged to use the hot tub on the aft deck, but I had to hurry into
the ship when I got out, because it was windy and cold.
Since this was the last leg of the World Cruise, there were four
formal nights out of our six nights aboard. The first and last nights were
"informal" - only jacket and tie were required.
We enjoyed lectures by Ken Marschall, Ted Scull, Dennis Cochrane (a
collector of "Titanic" memorabilia) and Peter Boyd-Smith, the owner of
Cobwebs. We had a cocktail party every night after the first night, so we
got our fair share of champagne. The last party was held in the Captain's
cabin under the bridge. It was very special.
During the trip, the Captain conducted a memorial service when were
were at the same longitude as the "Titanic". The service was two-fold. It
commemorated the 90th anniversary of the sinking of the "Titanic" as well as
the death of Bill Farmer, the former Chief Engineer of the "QE2". At the end
of the service, the ashes of Bill Farmer were dropped into the sea along with
two wreathes of flowers.
We were all on deck for our arrival in New York and we all hated
getting off. All of us had a marvelous time.
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