The second part of Toms birthday treat was a few days away on The Queen Mary 2 this entailed a quick flight from Manchester to Hamburg were we boarded the QM2 after boarding we sailed down the Elbe across the North sea though the straights of Dover and on to Southampton were again we took a quick flight back to Manchester a fairly hectic few days.
Six weeks ago I would not have thought it possible as Tom was really not up to it However his remarkable recovery over the past 6 weeks enabled the party to go ahead the credit for the admin and the conviction ( I for one needed convincing to take a 90 year old just recovered from a broken hip on a 2 flights and a cruise ) would work goes to the organisation skills of Mary(Noreens sister) It was Mary who organised the whole thing flights, Taxies, wheelchairs, everything we needed to get ourselves and Tom from A to B as the party consisted of eight you can imagine what the logistics involved.
As our first leg was a flight to Hamburg at 7.00am we arrived in Hamburg in plenty of time to board QM2 and settle in before dinner
Now the QM2 is slightly bigger than Buggerlugs it has 13 decks, not including engineer and engine decks 9 Dinning rooms, 2 night clubs, three theatres, 13 bars plus one English bar and accommodates 2500 guests, need I go on it is enormous. after a quick shower and change as we all had to dress formal for dinner (if you want to know how you can get enough clothes for formal dinning and three days casual wear into a Carry-on case weighing no more than 10kg then just ask us we are experts) Dinner was delicious and a very joyous occasion after which we all took a walk on deck. Having so many of us made moving Tom easy as we all took turns on the wheelchair duty, by now QM2 was leaving port and we were treated to a spectacular review.
As we pulled out of Hamburg we were given a rousing send off, it appeared that the whole of Hamburg had turned out to wish us bon voyage, a flotilla of boats had massed to our stern ready to escort the QM2 down the Elbe to the open sea there were all kinds of boats Sailing yachts of every size, pleasure craft, commercial Barges, Dutch Barges, inflatable’s coast guard, and a beautiful Paddle Steamer every craft you could imagine all blowing horns and sirens. On our starboard the river has its hotels and holiday houses 1000 of guests at these hotels were waving frantically from the balconies from one hotel we had a 12 gun salute then the Paddle steamer broke out in a very loud rendering of Rule Britannia which 90% of the passengers joined in with, which was great as half the guests were German. We now glided down the river on a very calm and beautiful summer evening. As the sun was well passed the yard arm we settled Tom and Shirley in their cabin and us younger ones? Went to explore the bars ??????????? However the early start and the hectic exciting day played its toll and we too were soon settling down in our own staterooms on king sized BEDS
Now the food on board is a strange affair for a start you don’t pay for any food or soft drinks Dinner as I said has a dress code but all other meals are quite relaxed breakfast, morning tea, Brunch, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Tiffin and then Dinner, plus room service 24/7 I tried to attend them all but failed I was quite devastated but I just put it down to my age ??
By now the first full day, Tom was really looking well the sea air, good food and good company had started to work. As I said the ship is enormous and there was so much to do, we only covered a ¼ of it.
The only thing I was not happy about was the fact the Capt never called on my services or advice, you would have thought knowing he had another experience boater on board he would have exploited the fact But obviously he had enough help
I believe that Tom having shared his birthday with his family (Bob and Norma, Mary and Rodger Noreen and myself plus Shirley Has greatly improved his recovery rate. The fact of having his family around him, spending time and going that extra mile to ensure his momentous birthday was celebrated with some style and Panache has made his recovery much brighter
but all good things have to come to an end Bob and Norma are returning to Canada via Northern Ireland though they are returning in the Autumn , Mary and Rodger started there return to Australia today
As many families grow older and have greater individual responsibilities therefore they tend to drift apart. As an extended family we are doing well to stay connected. We will miss them all and God willing will see them again soon.
Noreen and I will continue our summer cruise on Tuesday having a couple of jobs to do for Tom on Monday. For the first week we have Thomas Jnr with us. Now that is going to be fun
Setting out from Hamburg
only six of the eight the other two are behind the camera
The grand stair way
just like my boat all the guest just sit around????
Sun deck a waste of good wood
What a lovely couple
Communications are essential
I struggle with telle
One of the six pools. Im having one fitted on my boat in the cratch