My intention to travel overseas and avoid the security hassle plus the 24-48 hours airport/flight struggle was the reason I decided to book a back to back transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2, and I was looking forward to traveling the pleasurable way, but it never occurred to me that this would turn out to be a very bad idea.
Other than a brief mention about the number of days, that all sorts of delightful activities and such which would be part of the cruise experience, plus the promise of formal nights to enjoy unique cuisines amid the splendor of the appropriate ship's restaurant (depending on the level of booking for cabins that were considered for the more elaborate dinners available in the Princess Grill rather than in the Britannia Restaurant), Cunard offered no other information.
Not one word was noted on their website or in the literature sent to me about the daily time change that would become for me an impossible race for enough daily time to eat, enjoy activities and have moments to reflect in a deck chair about the beauty of an ocean voyage, also to continue with the writing of my E-book city destination series. I was looking forward to the cruise a way of a release from daily cares and the usual staying in touch, which was I believe the primary reason for most passengers to embark on such a trip.
Let me qualify this by making a mention that early risers had no problem with time—those like me who were looking forward to sleeping in and enjoying a leisurely breakfast in the cabin never realized what was expected but not possible, not possible when an hour forward took place at 12 noon daily for 8 days of the cruise.
After I inquired to Captain William Wells (on board lecturer and maritime historian) as to why this unexpected time conflict made my transatlantic 9-day cruise to Hamburg an unpleasant experience, I was told the time change at noon, rather than when a passenger was asleep, was instituted some 10 years ago as an innovation—I noted that it was hell for me, and he laughed and said it was part of standard transatlantic cruising operation, and he said this innovation was considered a boon.
Yet Cunard never mentioned any of this in their distributed literature or website. Nor did the good Captain make mention of the fact that the return transatlantic from Southampton to Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York did indeed make the time change (one hour backward) while passengers were sleeping—I discovered this apparent disconnect re an "innovation " and a "boon" when I took the return transatlantic from Southampton.
Little did I know that worse than an accelerated day due to the noon time change awaited me when I boarded the Queen Mary 2 in Southampton on October 8—though when I arrived in Hamburg on day 9 of the transatlantic cruise I was exhausted, yet I had 7 days yet ahead to take trains and hopefully rest up before my return transatlantic cruise. I didn't doubt that I would have those 7-days transatlantic back to Red Hook, Brooklyn USA to rest and work on my E-book No More Hotels In Paris.
As I noted, I didn't realize that a very bad idea would bring about one of the most uncomfortable and unpleasant travel experiences I have ever had when I boarded the Queen Mary 2 at Southampton on October 8.
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