Tea at the Burj

One of the arrangements I made long before we left home was for Mike and I and the clients I had booked onto the Farewell cruise to have afternoon at the Burj al Arab hotel. This is probably the most expensive hotel in the world and is a self-proclaimed 7-star property. All rooms in the hotel are suites, and the smallest is about 1800 sq. ft. and costs about $2300 per night. The Royal Suite is over 8,000 sq. ft. and never mind the cost because you can't afford it! This hotel is situated on a man-made island about 900 feet from the shoreline and is shaped like a billowing blue and white sail.

Posted at 07:51 PM Read More

Arrival in Dubai

We docked in Dubai around 6:00 pm on November 26, even though we would not be disembarking the ship until the morning of the 27th. Apparently, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum wanted to host a grand welcome for the ship, complete with fireworks, and it is difficult to do that at 7:00 am. It was a sensational welcome and was quite emotional, and Dubai has promised to take excellent care of the QE2, but I still wanted the Captain to put the pedal to the metal and take the ship back to Southampton.

Posted at 07:05 PM Read More

QE2 Characters, Part 2 - The Geisha and the Cockney

Actually, I shouldn't have used the word Geisha because the lady in question is a perfectly lovely Japanese lady traveling with her husband, but it made for an interesting title so I used it anyway.

Posted at 04:58 PM Read More

QE2 Characters - The Flutesnoots

Disappointingly, a number of the familiar faces that I have talked about on previous blogs, such as the QE2 Diva and Lips, are not on board for this cruise. I guess they either chose not to participate or just couldn't get a cabin for this cruise. So my entry is going to be less interesting than in the past, but thankfully the ship is not without a few characters that I can comment upon. 

Posted at 12:21 PM Read More

Nostalgic in Naples

Actually, we weren't so nostalgic for Naples as we were for Capri. So once the ship docked in the port of Naples, we walked next door to the terminal and caught a hydrofoil over to the island. I have been there at least a dozen times and Mike has been three, but he has still not seen what I think is one of the most impressive sights on the island, so that was our destination point.

Posted at 11:45 AM Read More

Arrivederci Roma

We didn't see much of the port city of Civitavecchia because we wanted to spend our day in Rome, about 50 miles to the south. Sarah and David and Mike and I made plans to get off the ship and catch a train into Rome, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. There is so much to see and do there that even though I lived in the city for a month and have made many visits, I have not seen it all. 

Posted at 04:15 PM Read More

Final Call at Gibraltar

Gibraltar, otherwise known as the Rock, is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom located between Europe and Africa. It shares a land border with Spain to the north, and is the only place I know of where one has to drive across an air runway to enter the country! Gibraltar used to belong to Spain but was handed over to Britain in the early 1700s. The two countries still have tussles over which country should have control of the area, and occasionally Spain will close access, but the arguing doesn't usually amount to much and locals prefer to remain under British protection. 

Posted at 01:49 AM Read More

Lisbon, Portugal

As soon as we left Southampton and got out into the channel, the seas got a bit rough and basically stayed that way until the morning that we were due to dock in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. But the sun was shining on Lisbon and the temperature was in the mid-60s, and we had a lovely day there.

Posted at 09:27 PM Read More

Time to Say Goodbye - to Southampton 

 After spending 11 wonderful, but mainly wet, days in southern England visiting friends and family in such varied places as London, Cornwall, and Devon, it was time to get ourselves down to Southampton to board the QE2 for her final sailing, to Dubai. This port city went all out to organize a magnificent day of celebrations. Rumor had it that even the Duke of Edinburgh would be on hand for the final farewell, the last of 721 visits by the QE2 to her home port. 

Posted at 02:29 PM Read More

One Last Time

We're heading off to England to join the QE2 on its last voyage

Posted at 08:55 AM Read More