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READER WRITES


Nicolai on board QM2


Dinner was in the Princess The independence the ship


offered enhanced our time together. Some days we spoke for the fi rst time at dinner but we always had things to talk about. On our last morning, New York sparkled beautifully. We were ready to hit the Big Apple.


NICOLAI’S CRUISE When my dad proposed a cruise to New York, I was excited – and sceptical. Our house feels small so how would a cabin compare? But a cruise seemed a great break from home life and I wanted to see New York. As we approached


Southampton we saw a red and black funnel. We strolled through security and boarded Queen Mary 2. This was more relaxing than boarding a plane. Our luggage was already outside our cabin, as was a note from our steward, Stanley, welcoming Mr & Mr Collins aboard. To my relief, the cabin had two beds… As Southampton disappeared, I had a meal and a work-out. The gym was well equipped but I felt nauseous exercising at sea.


CRUISE-INTERNATIONAL.COM


Grill. The food is the same as in the Britannia Restaurant but the waiter/passenger ratio is bigger. I didn’t want to eat alone with Dad so it was great to have Barry, a Cockney, and Bruce, a Welshman, as company. We also met other passengers, including an FBI drug investigator and a former US Navy offi cer who adored this ‘sleek liner’. Most days I went to the pub quiz. Dad preferred upmarket activities – which dominated the ship. He was very impressed by an elderly politician and dragged me to one of his talks. Then he made me come to one on the ‘Special Relationship’ by a US Foreign Policy offi cial. He said it would be useful for my History A-Level but I left after fi ve minutes. At the pub quiz I met a couple


called Steve and Cath from Essex who invited us to their wedding vows renewal. I dragged dad along. He felt embarrassed because he hardly knew them but when he met a woman who hardly knew them either he didn’t feel so bad. Meals were a highlight for


me. When dad started worrying about my meat consumption


and persuaded me to go vegetarian I had to become more gastronomically adventurous. I liked the entertainment even though they had no comedians. Sometimes I enjoyed the cultural shows – like the Adagio String quartet. What I was really curious about though were the meetings for Friends of Dorothy and Bill. Why did they have so many friends? And why did they meet every day? I asked a barman and he asked


if I was a friend of Dorothy. I said I didn’t even know anyone called Dorothy. Then he told me that Friends of Dorothy were meetings for gay passengers. And that Friends of Bill were Alcoholics Anonymous. That was fi ne although the AA timings were odd – after the Whisky Tasting Society. Most passengers were old


adults or young kids but I met interesting people. And Dad and I got on really well. As we passed the Statue


of Liberty, I was excited because, like fi lm stars, presidents, and immigrants in the past, we had sailed rather than fl own across the Atlantic.


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