Today was the last day of the Maiden Voyage of the Queen Elizabeth. Tomorrow morning we were due to dock back in Southampton before the long coach ride back to the North-East. 😦
Although it was sunny, the weather was decidedly colder and windier as we got closer to the cold British shores. We didn’t go out on the balcony today, but spent some time doing the boring things such as packing anything we wouldn’t need on the cruise any more and sorting out which clothes we would be travelling home it.
We went along to the pub for our last Golden Lion lunch and spent a pleasant hour in there listening to the pianist and enjoying a cold beer. Then we wandered along to the shopping arcade to see if there was any more last minute Christmas presents we could buy for people. We were already going back with loaded carrier bags of stuff as it was! At least the recipients won’t already have the gifts we’ve bought for them, ha ha 🙂
Around tea time it was the moment we’d all been waiting for; the time to go along and redeem our ‘wonderful’ prize vouchers. We had six vouchers in total, so we wondered what we would be able to get. What a let-down!! all the prizes were, in essence, advertising Cunard in some way: one voucher got you a Cunard bookmark; two got you a Cunard pack of playing cards, three you got a Cunard key-ring and five got you a Cunard base-ball cap. Whoopee! So with six vouchers we could pick a combination of these. There were various other Cunard logoed stuff as well; for 15 vouchers you could get an imitation leather photo album. The items really were not much more than holiday tat and there was nothing we wanted. So as we were going out of the room where the prizes were being dished out, we saw some guys coming in to redeem their vouchers so we just gave them ours to add to theirs!
You’d think, with all the money Cunard must make each year, they could at least give away decent prizes for their competitions. On P&O and Fred Olsen they give you bottles of wine if you win the quiz, and I got a nice Holland America flight bag and windcheater on the Volendam just for coming second in an X-Factor type contest. Cunard prizes are, quite frankly, pretty crap.
We enjoyed our last dinner in the Britannia Restaurant; one of the people on our table had brought up the remainder of a bottle of Remy Martin cognac for us to finish off – that was very kind of her. We said our farewells, went to the final show in the theatre (which was a variety show featuring the ship’s orchestra, singers and dancers) then back to our cabin to finish packing, as our suitcases had to be placed outside the cabin door before midnight.
Then along to the Golden Lion for our last evening on board. There were not many people in, as most of them would have been packing and perhaps having an early night if they had a long journey back home.