Sunday, September 10th 2000, will see me once again, boarding this luxurious ship for a Transatlantic crossing. Ah, but this, my third trip, will be one with a difference - a daytime stopover in Amsterdam. We dock in the morning, have the day free and begin the Transatlantic crossing in the early evening. Having visited Amsterdam before, I have already planned my itinerary for the day -
the Maritime Museum. That, and a light lunch in one of the many cafes dotting the city's busy streets, and I shall be well satisfied. Of course, one has to shop for postcards and stamps, so as to send the proverbial " having a great time, wish you were here" to one and all.
I already know I shall have a wonderful trip. I intend reciting a couple of my poems in the on board talent show, on the final day. My plans for each day will be made in the morning with the daily schedule close at hand. The QE2 always has lots of entertainment on offer, quizzes to test your knowledge on various topics, theatre quality musical productions, interesting lectures by famous writers and personalities - the list is endless. Fancy some quiet time? The library offers the chance to peruse bestsellers and old favourites. You never know who you might meet in there!
Or, comes to that, on board! My last trip, I rubbed shoulders with Iris Gower, the Welsh novelist, and Simon Williams, best known for his role as Major Bellamy in the long running "Upstairs,Downstairs". You could not wish for nicer people, or more amusing anecdotes!
I'm looking forward to this weekend - as I slide out of the port of Southampton, my daughter and two granddaughters will be waving me off. I thought the younger ones, Angelica,5, and Nicolette,4, would find it something to remember forever. How many youngsters today, see anything of the pomp associated with the sailing of a magnificent ocean liner?
The QE2 is the last of the great ocean-going liners. In the tradition of her predecessors, she traverses the globe, carrying her passengers on a voyage like no other. The flagship of Cunard's fleet, this grand lady is modern through and through, yet transports you into a world once known only to a few - the rich and famous!