Having a ball
Friday 16th October
Whitecaps abound and a great nights sleep! We awake late and miss the formal breakfast, but that's not a problem. As well as the formal meals there it's always the Kings Court, an all day buffet of magnificent proportions which ensures we never go hungry. At first glance I worked out that food was available from 4.00 am till 2.00am each day, and was a bit worried about the two countries hour "famine gap" in between. But fear not, the 24 hour room service exists for all such gastronomic emergencies!
As on most holidays, as time passes we get lazier and lazier, getting up later and later. We had a gentle morning shortened by the loss of another hour at noon so a late breakfast nearly did a rear shunt with lunch and a trip to the theater to see an abridged version on Romeo and Juliet, one of Shakespeare's plays I am familiar with and an engaging version it was too. This was followed by Helen attending a not so successful book group as I chilled out in the Commodore Lounge with its panoramic view of the seascape ahead.
The evening was the formal highlight if the trip, the Masquerade Ball. Everyone donned their finery, many including masks pausing for the obligatory photo sessions which are a feature of the voyage. For us this was preceded by a visit to the Commodore's Lounge for cocktails with two of our table companions, setting the tone for the night.
Photos. I need to mention the photos. The official photographers are ever present and clearly offer Cunard a lucrative money making opportunity, and the guests with professional standard momentous of the occasion. You can buy individual images for about thirty five dollars each or, as we did, buy one of the basic sets which includes five images taken from the seven nights afloat. This costs about 140 dollars, but does offer some enduring images for the wall. In some ways they don't really cost anything because the voyage includes spending money on the ships payment system, which is enough if you limit your alcohol intake.
The masked ball is based in the ballroom which was heaving, with guests there to be seen as much as to dance. It's fair to say it was a bit of a preening experience and whilst we attended with our masks, we cried off joining the masquerade parade which felt more than a bit over the top! Watching from the wings was enough....