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"The Magical Mystery Tour" - Fly med cruise on Cunard Queen Victoria Part two...the cruise

So in part one I spoke about the run up to the holiday and how we got there, now I am going to talk about the holiday and the different ports we sailed into.

First night
As you might know we had been traveling all day and had been up for about 36 hours, but before we decided to call it a day we had to find my mum's brother and wife, complete our safety training and then finally dinner.

When we boarded the ship our room was available straight away, so we wondered off all confused trying to figure out where we needed to go and reading the little map that you get given with your passes. We soon found our cabin on deck 5 and took in the view from our balcony. As our bags had not arrived yet, it was time to take another wander and explore some of the ship, find something to drink and a little snack.

While sitting in the Lido restaurant we hear the announcement that we will soon be called to gather at our muster stations with our life jackets ready for the safety briefing. With that in mind we made our way back to our cabin to await the signal.

Before you knew it the ships sirens were sounding and we collected our life jackets and heading out of the cabin, the next thing I knew I had caught my skirt in the door!!! How embarrassing because just as I did that two other guest were walking past and we all had a little giggle. With that over and myself sorted out we headed off to the Royal Court Theatre where muster station A was located and began the safety briefing. As this was my second cruise I knew what to expect but this was a first for my mum and she struggled a little trying to get the life jacket apart. After a few attempts we were all sorted and buckled up.

Now that was over, we started to relax even more and headed back to the cabin to get ready for dinner. At this point we had not been able to locate my mum's brother and his wife, but soon after we arrived at the cabin they turned up at the door. They had just arrived on board and therefore had missed the safety briefing. Also they had no bags yet, but this was not going to stop us and off we went to find out dinner table.

View from dinner table on first night
We had opted for the first sitting but we were not all on the same table when we first arrived at the restaurant. After speaking with the staff, they managed to arrange for us to be moved and sat together on a table for 6...but who were the other two guest going to be?! The table was located on the top deck of the Britannia restaurant, next to a window, over looking the promenade deck.

We settled in, our waiters introduced themselves and soon after the other guests arrived. As the evening went on we all got chatting and it turns out that some of us around the table we going to have more in common than first expected.

Desert and coffee arrived and shortly after an announcement asking for all passengers who had not attended the safety briefing to go to the Queens room. This quickly cut the even short but knew that if every evening was like the first then it was going to be a good holiday.

Once dinner was done, we chose to have a stroll around the decks while watching the sun go down before heading back to the cabin for the night.

Day 1 - Sea Day 
The first day of the cruise was at sea on our way up to Kotor. Waking up in the morning, opening the balcony doors and taking in the scenery was wonderful. We had all decided the night before to meet for breakfast in the morning and go to the Britannia restaurant for the first day. We met a lovely couple who had travelled from Australia, they had been travelling for the last month and this cruise was their last before heading home.

After breakfast we all went for a stroll around the promenade deck, we stood at the stern and took in the roar of the water and power of the ship, one of the things I loved most about the cruise and cruising in general. I tend to find it very relaxing and could sit there for hours.

Being the first day at sea we just spent a lot of time having a look around and seeing what was on offer, went to a few consultations at the spa and then took my first dip in the pool!

Later that day we choose to sample their afternoon tea in the Queen's room. I had been for afternoon tea before on a P&O ship, which I was slightly disappointed with but the one on board Queen Victoria was wonderful, civilised and calming. We were treated to instrumental music by one of the many onboard musicians, while being able to look out over the water.

As 4pm drew closer, we called it a day and headed back to our cabins to prepare for dinner as it was the first of two formal nights and the Commodore's cocktail party.

Day 2 - Kotor

View on the way into Kotor from breakfast
It was an early start today because we had all booked onto a shore excursion, therefore we decided to have breakfast in the Lido restaurant so we didn't have to worry about being delayed. After breakfast we all gathered in the Queen's room, collected out stickers and then waited to be called to be shown to our coach.

When our number was called, we all followed like sheep, down the stairs to deck A and then out to the dock to find our coach. The first part of our excursion was a trip up into the mountains. It took us up a long twisting road which had 20 hair pin turns! If you didn't like height then sitting next to the window was not ideal. The road most of the time was only big enough to get the coach through, let along the on coming traffic. As we made our way up the mountain you could start to see out over Kotor and the bay, as well as the neighbouring bays. Half way up we were able to stop and take pictures.

View from half way up
After a 10 minute stop, we continued into the mountains for a bit until we came to our next stop in Kopito. It was a little village where we stopped and sampled some local beer, bread and ham. This was again only a short stop, it was then back onto the coaches to continue our journey to Cetinje. This town was in the middle of the Montenegro mountains and had some beautiful architecture. While we were here we were shown around the King Nicholas Museum and was able to take in some of the culture before getting back onto the coaches. Instead of going back the way we came, we were taken on the main road which meant that we were able to see the coastal town of Budva. As we drove through the tour spoken about the place and also pointed out the hotel that the film Casino Royale was filmed in!

When we got back to the port the tour was not over yet, we still had the tour of Kotor town itself to experience. We were shown around the town which is surrounded by walls, which were not only at sea level but also stretched high up into the mountains.

By the time we got back to the ship, my mum was well and truly worn out, so this called for a spot of lunch and a well deserved rest in time for dinner and a show later.

Day 3 - Sea Day 

Sea day number two and what better way to spend it than a trip to the spa. After it being a long day yesterday with walking and being on our feet all day, my mum started to suffer a little. Luckily we were able to book her in for some acupuncture, this holiday was full of firsts!

After an hour in the treatment room, I came out feeling more relaxed and my mum...well...came out skipping and with seeds in her ear! This was amazing because it meant that she was able to enjoy the rest of her holiday and the remaining ports we had yet to explore.

On board, the ship always has a jam packed schedule of different things people can go and do, see, watch etc... Today my mum choice was to go and see a talk about the the painter L.S. Lowry, while I went and wandered around the shops and all before we went off to afternoon tea again.

Day 4 - Sea Day 

Our third and final sea day and I was going to spend it next to the pool. I got up early (not that I slept in once this holiday) and went off to breakfast all prepared to then go straight to the pool area to grab a seat. This was then where I spent my morning, listening to music and every now and then going for a dip in the pool. I am not normally a person who can sit down for long and do nothing so the idea of being here all day didn't last long. My mum had gone off for another talk after spending sometime with me by the pool and we agreed that we would meet back at the pool area after. Although then I had my mum's brother asking me if he had seen her because she was not where she should have been..this was not the first time we had lost each other.

Off I went to have a look, went to the cabin, to the room the talk was in and then decided to head back to the Lido restaurant to find the other only to have her sitting at the table with them!

That issue sorted we all decided what to do and mine was to head off to afternoon tea again with a book this time.

Once the afternoon tea was done, I headed back to the cabin to get ready for our final formal night of the cruise. As the holiday went on we got on more and more with the guys we were lucky enough to share the table with. We would alway see them around the ship, at lunch, in passing and the running joke was that when my mum and I would try looking for the other two then we would always pass them and vise versa.

While at dinner all the lights went dark in the restaurant, the Commodore's was then heard announcing that due to the weather that would hit Mykonos in the next couple of days we were not going to be able to visit the port, instead we would call into Crete. You could hear the grumble in the restaurant because this cruise had already had many itinerary changes. This got us talking and we all came up with a new idea for a cruise 'The Magical Mystery Tour", the idea being you get on but don't know where you are going!

Day 5 - Rhodes

Todays excursion was a tour around old town Rhodes by trolly train, followed by a tour inside the walls.

We got to see a bit of Rhodes and the side streets as we went around the old town wall. The tour ended outside the Old Town to begin the next stage of the excursion, but as we got off the trolly train we bumped into our friends from dinner. So instead of continuing with everyone else we joined them and went off to explore the shops of old town Rhodes. At first we kept to the main streets and then slowly ventured off into the small side streets. At no point did we feel worried or uncomfortable until we realised we didn't know where we were. So we popped into a local hotel and asked for the directions back to the port. Simple!

It had already been a long day and it was beginning to get hot, we decided that it was time to call it a day and head back to the ship. When we arrived back I went up to the top deck to have a swim and it was deserted, I realised then that the best time to relax in the pool was on port days. It was so peaceful to have the pool to myself, with the sun shining down and the wind blowing. I was in heaven and was starting to remember that I didn't have long left of the holiday.

The rest of the afternoon and evening went in a similar patten to the other nights. Afternoon tea with a book and then dinner at 6pm.

Day 6 - Crete

Last day of the cruise and we were up early again to explore Crete. We had booked a last minute excursion the night before because of the last minute change and was looking forward to another full days itinerary.

When we got off the ship to head towards the coach we noticed how windy it was and I had to hold onto my skirt. There was a man in front of us who had to go chasing his hat!

We were driven up to The Palace of Knossos and was shown around the ruins. It was a long period of time and not much shelter from the sun but some of the pottery I saw I was amazed by.

After this tour it was time for the next stage of our excursion, the winery where we were shown around and was shown a short video about Crete wine and how it was up and coming. Finally the day tour ended with the chance to sample some of the wines. Not being a big wine fan I was not blown away with them.

Day 7 - Athens and home

Disembarkation! How did this day come some quickly, I was sad to be leaving but then was looking forward to being able to come aboard again and experience more.

We were lucky because our disembarkation time was early morning so we didn't have to wait too long before heading off to the airport. We all met for breakfast for the final time and once we were done, it was time to head down to the Queen's room and wait to be called.

As we left the ship and headed to collect our bags everything was very smooth and well run. The only downside to the trip home was the confusion at Athens airport. They had not got the lanes correctly set up so when people started to queue, expecting check in to open three hours before, they then had to move us all and informed us that check in would not open until two hours before, well it was chaos. With that aside and check in navigated, we proceeded through the airport and to the plane, ready to start the final journey home.

The holiday blues set in straight away for me because as we landed it began to rain!

Sun rise over Athens


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