First day at sea, and a formal dilemma

Twenty four hours aboard the Queen Mary 2, and we’re slowly heading north just south and east of England. We cruised by the white cliffs of Dover a couple of hours ago, and they were clear and sharp from a few miles offshore. Our first real sight to see.

We were supposed to leave Southampton at 5pm yesterday, but didn’t leave until midnight due to rough seas. The Captain says we’ll still get to our first port, Bergen, on time, making a steady 15 knots through moderately rough seas. Good trick, that.

The QM2 has a decidedly different vibe than the other 3-4 cruise ships I’ve been on. Less crowded, less frantic, much more comfortable. And the two of us definitely bring the average age down a few years. I like it a lot, though I despise the expectation that one will dress up (suits, tuxes and black tie) many nights for the sit-down dinners. I told K before we left that I wasn’t doing that, and…we’re negotiating. Having not brought formal wear at all, it’s more about negotiating how often I’m going to subject myself to being the poorly dressed unsophisticate in the crowd.

In my defense I dressed up every day for almost 40 years to go to work, and I hated it every time. Forty. Years. Now that I’m retired, I have a closet full of dressy clothes that (a) I don’t want to wear and (b) no longer fit, some by an uncomfortable amount. So my curmudgeonly attitude has a basis. K is taken by the whole Downton Abbey aspect of the evenings, and while I understand her desire, I don’t share it.

Internet service is very spotty – it works for a bit and then simply doesn’t. You do something else and try again later. Rather than spend $20/day for all 13 days, I plan to just sign up every other day or so. We’ll see how that works – I’m very addicted to having Internet information at my fingertips.

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