In the Mood for Dancing

After an excellent’s night sleep, during which time the Queen Victoria glided through the calm Mediterranean sea, we got up around 8.15am and went out on the balcony to see what the weather was like. It was pleasant; not too hot or too cold, just ideal for strolling the decks.

The Lido self-service restaurant was fairly busy when we got there, and we shared our table with another couple. They were also from the North East; the lady was from Newcastle and the man from Seaham, near Sunderland. We therefore spent quite a while chatting with them, mainly about other ships and cruises we’d each been on. We also, inevitably, got talking about the football; they were Newcastle supporters, while Trevor and I support Sunderland! Neither of these two staunch rival teams are doing well at the moment, so neither side had anything to brag about to the other!  🙂

Afterwards, we decided to go outside and take a few laps around the promenade deck in an effort to reach our target 10,000 steps a day. Three times around the deck is equal to a mile. A lot of other people were outside, strolling or power-walking around.  As we were approaching the Messina Strait, we could see Stromboli.  Stromboli is a small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, containing one of the three active volcanoes in Italy.  Because it had been raining earlier on, we could distinctively see a vent of steam coming from the cone-shaped top of the mountain.

Mt. Stromboli, in the Messina Strait

We did three laps then decided to go back inside and have a coffee, before going along to the Royal Court Theatre for a talk/presentation given by former BBC producer Johnny Beerling, called “On the Wireless”. The talk, which was very amusing in parts, outlined a brief history of the part played by radio “the wireless” in households long before the advent of television, and featured clips from old radio shows such as “The Goon Show”, “The Navy Lark” and “It’s That Man Again” (ITMA). We enjoyed it a lot.

The Queen Victoria’s entertainments team had put on a packed programme of events and activities to choose from, but today we decided to go along to the Queen’s Room to have a ballroom dancing lesson. Trevor and I have started going to dance classes (we’ve had three so far) and we knew we’d miss two of them through being on this cruise, so we thought we’d make the most of what we’d learned so far, and join in with the dancing when we could. Today, the ship’s dance hosts were holding an hour-long lesson in the “Cha Cha Cha”. This is one that Trevor and I have been learning in our weekly class at home, so at least we had some idea!

The dance lesson was really enjoyable and there were a lot of couples (as well as single dancers which were partnered up) taking part; it’s just as well that Cunard ships have large and opulent ball rooms. We had good fun and felt we’d made a lot of progress in our cha cha cha steps.

Then end of the dance class brought us nicely to lunchtime, a little later today at one o’clock. For a change we opted to go along to the Golden Lion and have a traditional pub lunch. I chose a Ploughman’s Lunch while Trevor had good old fish and chips. I washed it down with an Aperol Sprtiz, a drink I first discovered in January on the Celebrity Constellation.

Afterwards we just returned to our stateroom and sat out on the balcony for a while, just watching the world go by and relaxing.

Tonight was the Captain’s Gala Party at 5.15pm, preceding our dinner at six. So I took my time getting showered and doing my hair, then getting primped and preened and dressed for the Black and White Ball in the Queen’s Room.

Trevor wore his smart dinner suit with white wing-collared shirt and black bow tie and cummerbund, while I wore a floor length, swishy black dress with a plunge neckline, along with a white feather boa and black and white high-heeled shoes. To give my hair a touch of glamour, I enhanced it with a back-combed hair-piece that perfectly matched my own hair colour and gave it loads of volume.

Thus attired, we made our way down to the Queen’s Room, where we only had to queue for a short while to get in, before meeting and shaking hands with Captain Tom Connery, who hails from the Emerald Isle.

On entering the Queen’s Room, we looked around to see where the waiters emerged from, with their silver trays bearing glasses of champagne, wine, martinis or gin and tonic. Long practice has told us that sitting in an aisle seat adjacent to where the waiters come from gives us the best chance of grabbing a free glass of fizz as they go past. Indeed, we managed four glasses of fizz each, listening to the band playing and watching the dancers taking to the floor, while the Captain came on stage and made a short speech. Then it was time to go along to the Britannia Restaurant for our dinners.

An elegant string trio entertains us at the captain’s welcome party on Queen Victoria

This time we weren’t dining alone; there were a couple of an adjacent table for two, who introduced themselves as Guy and Tessa, and came from Solihull, near Birmingham. We enjoyed their company and conversation as we feasted on our usual delicious meal, washed down with rosé wine, as we watched the sun going down over the Mediterranean from our seats by the window.

After dinner we went along to the Golden Lion pub for the quiz, but it had already started by the time we got there, so we just did it ourselves for fun, before getting front-row seats in the Royal Court theatre for tonight’s show, which featured the fabulous Royal Court Show Company, doing a fantastic high-energy dancing and singing routine.

Then it was back along to the Golden Lion again, where tonight was the passengers’ turn to take the limelight as it was karaoke night. Quite a lot of singers got up of a wide range of abilities (!), I was the first up with Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, and I finished the evening off with my rendition of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U. We had a really good laugh overall tonight, because some of the singers were abysmal and knew they were; in fact they were so bad they were good, as far as entertainment went.

It was well after 1.00am when we returned to our stateroom, and I enjoyed a gin and tonic nightcap out of our minibar, sitting on the balcony in the mild night air, before settling down for the night and sleeping very well.

Tomorrow we were due to reach our first port of call, the picturesque island of Corfu.

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