Yorky’s Knob, so Close Yet Still so Far

Day 4 – 7th March 2014

The (regrettably) quick Yorky’s Knob stop, then en route to Rabaul PNG.

We awake at around 6.30am just as the ship is approaching Cairns. Trinity Beach is in view and the beautiful friends we were supposed to meet for lunch today can actually see MS Queen Elizabeth from their balcony… Such a shame, as the saying goes, “so close, yet so far…”

Queen Elizabeth as seen from Trinity Beach

Queen Elizabeth as seen from Trinity Beach

 

Back to Deck 9 and The Lido buffet for breakfast, which we decide to eat in the restaurant’s garden lounge. The Lido can get quite busy during the breakfast rush, and so we spend some time hunting for a table. We are aware of time more than usual this morning as we are keen to get back to the cabin after breakfast so that we can begin our epic Skype connection with our friends to make up for missing our planned lunch date.

Eventually we hook up on Skype and are able to chat and show them around a little of the ship via and the portable modem. A personal tour with one of the Royal Spa ladies enables us to actually get in to view the expensive and restricted areas of the spa baths.

On Skype in the Sauna

On Skype in the Sauna

 

We find out that there is a “relaxing room” that we are allowed to use even if having no treatments done (“woohoo” says Moni!)…

At 10.15am the customs officers leave the ship having completed their duties. HOT TIP; If a passenger has purchases over a certain amount you could show them and get back the GST paid.

Customs Officers leaving the QE

Customs Officers leaving the QE

 

The anchor is pulled up and off we go again. Farewell to our lovely friends as we struggle to stay connected the further we move seaward.

Lunch in the Britannia Restaurant

Lunch is in the Britannia Restaurant which is the first time for us. We sit with three other couples and have some enjoyable conversations – always fun to get to know so many interesting people and we are grateful for these opportunities.

QE Britannia lunch collage

QE Britannia lunch collage

 

We settle in for more work time after lunch, followed by a coffee break at Cafe Carinthia, (which again somehow lacks to excite us in quality – a real shame).

QE Cafe Carinthia collage

QE Cafe Carinthia collage

 

I run off for a bit more exploring and wandering around the ship to get some more photos. For the first time, we can feel the ship sway a little, with moderate gales and 2.5 metre seas. I must say that MS Queen Elizabeth glides and rides the waves with superior grace.

Captain of MS Queen Elizabeth

Tonight is to be our second formal evening, and also the Captain’s “meet for cocktails” party at the Queen’s Room. We get dressed, and at around 5.15pm we join the queue with our other fellow passengers for the pleasure of a meet and greet with the Captain of MS Queen Elizabeth, and to have our photos taken with him.

We notice with pleasure many Japanese ladies who are beautifully dressed in the traditional Kimono, as well as some very pretty cocktail dresses and dapper suits worn by the other guests, tuxedoes and bow ties all around. The after-six dress code in the evenings really adds to the magical feel & atmosphere of going out at night while onboard this ship.

QE Captains cocktail party

QE Captains cocktail party

 

At the Captains party, we have a great time drinking bubbly, eating delicious canapés and chatting with the other excited guests. We all pause to listen to the Captain while he gives his perfunctory speech, and then it was off to dinner.

Back at The Britannia again for our evening meal and we are missing the previous two boys at the table who we had such a great time with previously. However, yet again, conversation flows in a steady and entertaining stream. We have a roaring evening enjoying the company of our dinner companions as time just flies by.

Afterwards, we partake in the after-dinner show featuring Danny Elliot, a very talented musician. Danny puts on a fantastic display, singing up a storm, and playing NINE different instruments. His performance is awe-inspiring and I briefly entertain the idea of buying a karaoke machine or taking up the bagpipes.

QE Royal Theatre show

QE Royal Theatre show

 

The experience is made even more special by where we are seated – in a private box on the upper level.

We always thought these were reserved only for the elite Princess or Queen-suite guests, but as we found out, they can be booked by any passengers like us, who would like the experience of being exclusively served champers and canapés while taking in a show. The booking and securing of the box are $50. You can however just turn up and use one if free of course.

What a great night.

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