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Published: July 14th 2015
Along with some of my family, we got a good deal on a mini cruise with Cunard on their beautiful ship called Queen Elizabeth. The ship sailed from Southampton to Hamburg and spent a couple of days at sea. This was the third time that I had ever cruised, but I have to say that I am not cruise mad like some people I know. For me, cruising is about relaxing, eating lots, drinking, being well looked after by the ship's crew, enjoying good entertainment and getting the opportunity to sometimes see several places/countries all in one go. This does sound like a perfect vacation, however, the downsides to this can be the cruise being quite costly itself, along with on-board spending and tipping, plus some port of calls you only get a few hours to explore, and I am all about the adventure and wanting to see so much of every different place I visit, this is why cruising is not always for me!
This was the first time that I had ever boarded a cruise ship from the UK and so it was nice not having to go to the airport and spend a few hours in the
plane getting to the destination. We had a 50 odd mile drive down to Southampton from home and so it took us no time at all to get down. We were able to leave the car at a secured location in the docklands and then got a mini bus that took us directly to the port.
Once boarded, we visited our cabins to find our luggage had been dropped off. Also, there was a bottle of champagne. It was a nice touch! After about an hour of being on the ship, Queen Elizabeth sailed out of the Solent to head for our journey to Hamburg. Despite being cold, the skies were clear and we got to see amazing sunset views.
We spent the next day and a bit out at sea. The sea was calm luckily and so I didn't feel seasick. As it was winter, it was too cold to spend time out on the deck. But there are loads of other things to be doing like watching films, going to the gym, relaxation & spa, use the library, evening entertainment, casino... or as we found ourselves eating most of the time!! I have to say the
evening entertainment was very enjoyable with a Beatles tribute band being the highlight.
On the day we arrived in Hamburg, the weather was dull and wet. We first visited the Hamburg Rathaus, the city hall, you couldn't miss it as it's right in the very centre. The architectural style of this building is renaissance revival. Viewing the city hall from inside was impressive and we found an English speaking tour for around 3 euros. We then walked around but found ourselves getting wet and cold so we stopped for coffee and waited for the rain to hold off. Once the rain stopped we walked around and visited shops and some of the churches. We came across ruins of an old church called St Nicholas. I say it's an old church as records stated it was built in 1189 and apparently in the late 1870's it was known as the tallest building in the world. The reason for the church being in ruins is due to bombing from world war II. Restoration has resulted with a lift being put in place to take you right to the top of the church. I went up in the lift but must admit
it did not feel safe being so high up in an old church that had been bombed. Although I did it, I wouldn't recommend doing this if you don't like heights.
Before heading back to the ship and leaving Hamburg, I needed to complete my Mcdonalds in every world mission and ticked Germany off the list. This is now an impressive 14 countries!! and yes, the food does taste different every time.
After Hamburg, we had one more day at sea. The last day we found the sea choppy due to a storm brewing in the Atlantic sea and so we gained an extra 4 hours on-board as the ship had to go slower. I guess lucky us, unlucky for the passengers who would be getting on at Southampton to head over to America. I was amazed to learn that the cruise was travelling around the world after we got off and got into conversation with people who were staying on-board to disembark at Florida. These Cunard ships really are world cruise liners.
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