Monday, January 14, 2008

Bon Voyage NYC!

Words cannot properly sum up the sense of elation that Matt and I felt last evening as we waved goodbye to Manhattan and set sail for warmer climes aboard the Queen Victoria. As we departed New York City, sailing down the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty, we stood outside on deck amid the snow flurries drinking glasses of champagne and cheering (loudly!) at the incredible fireworks display that Cunard had arranged to be set off to celebrate the meeting of all three of their historic ocean liners in one location.

So far, almost everything onboard has been amazing. Our room is larger and more luxurious than expected, the bed itself is the most comfortable I have ever slept in, and the bartenders (already my friends) are a hilarious, enthusiastic and completely delightful bunch. They’ve already taught me how to make a new drink, which I’ll share with you in a moment, but the polite term for the shot is Springbok, after the South African rugby team (but is also known more crassly as “Shit On The Grass”). Layer the shot glass with half Crème de Menthe (bottom), and half Bailey’s (top), it’s brown and green and surprisingly delicious given the fact that it’s made up entirely of after dinner liqueurs.

The only hiccup thus far in the journey lies in the dining experience which has been, well – challenging. Although we were confirmed before departure on a table for two, the maitre d’ attempted to seat us at a table for eight and was unable (or unwilling) to fix our seating arrangement. The head of guest services, who could use an additional course or two in er, guest service was also less than helpful. No worries! Our fabulous travel agents The Travel Siblings, who have been insightful, well-organized and beyond helpful every step of the way are taking care of it so that Matt and I can rest easy. An extra shout out of appreciation to them as they were so thoughtful as to have champagne and canapés sent to our state room on our first night at sea – when I received them I jumped on the bed a la Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman.” They really are our fairy godparents and we are so pleased to have them helping us along in our journeys. This experience has taught me to always, always, always book my trips through a travel agent – if something goes wrong you can turn to them to help you, otherwise you just may be out of luck!

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