Scorpion Fish and Nemo and the Queen Mary 2
Trip Start Apr 03, 2011
9Trip End Apr 26, 2011
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Where I stayed
Queen Mary 2
The terrain is like what the moon must really look like. Sharp peaked mountains in multi colors surround us, white sand below us and dramatic deep blue seas are every where the eye can see. We disembarked to find Sunshine Scuba waiting with a sign at the port gate for us. We drove out through black top covered brand new four lane roadways. Palm trees dotted the roadside and many were dead from lack of water and not even unpackaged after planting
As we drove into the resort where I would be diving, again brilliant condos and resorts surrounded us. We walked up to the water with our dive gear on and under we went. The water world exploded with fish I have never seen. It was more brilliant and clear than the Great Barrier Reef or any other dive sight I've been in worldwide. We swam through reefs, only about 25 feet depth. I cant even begin to name all the fish we saw, but anything from the tiny Nemo swimming carefree through small anemonie, eals, schools of colorful fish in unusual shapes. We swam through noduals of coral and the dive instructor pointed out the Scorpion fish, (also known as the deadly Stone Fish) laying quiet and camoflauged at the base of one coral reef..... waiting for his strike. The instructor said one touch of that and you are a goner! We kept our distance. He had to point out the shape of the fish several times before I could see how it had camofloged itself.
The dive equipment was the best I've used. I felt very comfortable with it and glad we had full wet suits on as we were very close to the coral and jellyfish, and many different types at that
We returned to our gorgeous Queen Mary 2, to a nice swim in the pool, jacuzzi, a nap by the pool, showers and next thing you know it is time for dinner again.
The time on board has been amazingly relaxing and I think I am totally spoiled. Its so easy to get used to this life.
DAYS AT SEA
The first days we spent just getting to know this massive ship the QUEEN MARY 2. We have a balcony stateroom 4078 on the port side of the ship....fabulous for sunsets and wine! It took hours for us to unpack and settle in to our room. We even missed dinner the first night as we were so tired from jet lag and the wandering we did in Dubai
Our first impressions were the public decks. The Purser's square has a very elegant ambience and of course lines for the many questions that need answering on the first couple of days. Same with the Tour Desk. Long lines. We waited for a few days before approaching with questions and future shore excursion books. The Spa is fabulous and only $40 to spend the full day in the many waters, waterfalls, jacuzzis, rest area, sauna and aromatherapy rooms. Im waiting till the TransAtlantic crossing to enjoy a day of that....seems a reasonable amount, however, the massages and other services are outrageous. I suppose if you are on the tops decks and suites, it is a drop in the bucket in expense.
The aft decks are impressive as when you step out on deck 12, you look all the way down to deck 7 with deck chairs, pools, jacuzzis and color coordinated. The Royal Theater is just like a theatre off Broadway in New York City, or London. Seems enough room, if you get in there at least 15 minutes earlier than the performance for a better seat. We have also enjoyed the movies. Pretty close to an AMC theater with the seating effect. We have not partaken in the Stars at Sea, Planitarium, where the seats recline and you look up at the stars. It is in the same room as the movie theater and lectures
Our dinners have been teriffic with a super table of 8, all from the U.K., we are the token Americans. WE have wonderful banter with comparing differences with UK and US as well as the family and pet talk. I think we were the loudest (but not obstrusive) in the dining room last night and pretty much the last to leave. The Steaks are great, Turkey, Venison and salads. Oh where oh were did my waist go?!
The lectures have been interesting to boring. The first day at sea, the monotone drawl of the lecturer almost put me to sleep and it was an interesting one to have enjoyed. We've had light hearted lectures, shore excursion talks, lectures on the Middle East and as we head into the Mediterranean, we are learning more on the arts and history of Italy
I want to think of some negatives of the ship, but they are very minor and less than some annoyances of other ships I've cruised. SMOKING is an issue for me. I congest and am terribly allergice to being anywhere near to it. Some of the corridors wreak of smoke, obviously ingrained in the carpets and drapes, mostly outside the Britannia Restaurant, the one we dine in. Last couple of nights, we have also smelled smoke in the Theatre. It just wafts by and no one does anything about it. Im suspecting it is staff behind some closed door and because there is smoke on the stage, maybe they think we cant smell cigarrette smoke. That is my biggest issue with the ship. The ship is supposed to go in to dry dock in September and hopefully deal with that smoke, but in the meantime, Im sure there are many that walk away wondering if Cunard is a ship they want to stay loyal to due to their smoking policies. It is ok to smoke in your cabin and no thought goes out to the next people that stay in that cabin. Thank god, ours was fine. It did take a couple of calls to Cunard pre cruise to tell them it would not be acceptable for our cabin to smell at all. I think they are bout to change their smoking policy, but I think it is too late for some who wont return to this majestic ship. In other words, I can highly recommend this ship for smokers.
We started into the Suez Canal early in the morning and apparently were first in line to make our way North. We spent a lot of time just watching from our Balcony but finally went up stairs where we could view a lot more. The water traffic was something. Ferries darting across just in front ot the ship and lines of cars, vans, intermodal trucks, tractors, motorcycles and more went into infinity waiting for their turn on the ferry crossings.
The life along the Suez was amazing. People would come to the water front and shouted out "Welcome to Egypt", it was heart warming as you knew they missed our ships coming and going through the canal. I didnt realize the canal did not have any locks and it is the same sea level all the way to the Mediterranean. We could see sand storms in the distance. It was hot and humid and we couldnt stay outside too long from the heat. There were a few large cities along the canal, however, we didnt see that many people on the streets. It all came to a halt too soon. We finally reached the waters of the Mediterranean and immediately went into heavy waves. The ship is taking it just fine.