Two weeks from now, we’re setting sail! Can you even actually say “set sail” if it’s not a sail boat? A question I can ask once I step aboard the Queen Mary 2, which has been on my life list/bucket list/whatever, things I would really like to do at least once list! And since you only move back home from Europe so many times in your life, we figured this was as good as time as any to come home in style.
But, I’m all kind of nervous about the trip. We’ve two weeks left here and haven’t even had our pack out, and I’m working full time nearly until the end plus trying to soak up all that we can of our life here in Copenhagen and Denmark, so it just occurred to me, I haven’t even started to prepare for the trip! Gah! And this is a trip that requires some preparation. Unlike a flight where you effectively step on and step off, here we have to head to London first, then Southampton, and then it’s 8 days aboard this legendary ship with all sorts of dinners and balls and dances and what not. Which is actually precisely why we chose to come home this way. Flying is something that we do so often, that I specifically wanted to have a trip for both myself and our children that felt like “a trip” – a voyage….a change…a time of transition. There are many quicker ways to get home, but having done those ways before and having a lot of issues with the readjustment back, we’re trying a new tack. We have a life here, and integrated life, and I wanted for us to have some separation between this current one and our next one. Traveling for so long is definitely a luxury, but I think it will be time well spent as a family. Plus, how many times in your life can you return home to America while sailing past the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline at sunrise?
I have NO idea what to pack for a trip like this… something tells me that life aboard the Queen Mary 2 is another world. So for those who have done such a crossing, I’m all ears for advice on what to prepare, what to do, what to pack – anything!
Since I’m going entirely from imagination, here are a few things I’d put in my dream suitcase – or even dream steamer trunk if I could. Tell me, what would go in yours? And what would you do for 8 days at sea?
- The black and white ball: There are actually two big balls during our time aboard, one of them being black and white in theme. My understanding is that the Queen Mary 2 has a full orchestra aboard! How’s that for dinner and dancing?
- Dance the night away: Speaking of dancing, I don’t think I have any dance shoes since it’s been so long since we’ve been do functions that actually require dancing. These seem glittery but practical.
- Feathered flappers: The second big balls is a Roaring 20’s theme, so if I don’t have a flapper dress handy, this seems like a fun way to add a bit a flap and plumage.
- Dress for dinner: There are four formal evenings and four informal evenings (in fact, the whole trip has a jazz theme with Herbie Hancock on board!), I’ll definitely have to think ahead what to pack for evenings.
- Please tell me there is shuffleboard: While I’ve really considered myself cruise material before (and yes, I know this is a crossing and not a cruise), I have a dream of learning to play shuffleboard. Please tell me they have it.
- Sailor stripes: Is it cliche to wear them? I don’t care, I wear them all the time anyway and I’m definitely trotting them out on this trip.
- Night swimming: There is a spa and a three pools on this trip so definitely looking forward to scoping those out.
- Carry it all: It seems like it would be handy to have your key things all in one place – in my case, to throw in the bottom of the stroller.
- Far and wide: Too much on the pants? I don’t know, this seems like the time to go for it!
PS – How wonderful is the photograph on the top of this post by Rex D. Morgan? That’s actually the captain of the Queen Mary 2 posing on the bow of the ship, which was a wonderful photograph that took months of planning, done for one of the ships anniversaries. Such fascinating history aboard this ship and can’t wait to be part of it. We’re so sad to leave behind our life behind here, but I read planning things to look forward on a trip and at home help with upcoming separations and we’ve been trying to do just that. So far, it’s definitely helping!
PPS – I know the above are for my dream suitcase, here are a few more that are in more likely reach for me!