02 April, 2018


Early morning we sailed into this large bay and dropped anchor.  Nha Trang is a tender port that also requires a shuttle bus ride of +/- 20 minutes to get to the city.  Neither of us had ever been here before as in previous cruises we have stopped in Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) but I think the Queen Mary 2 is just too large to get up the river.  

Edward and I had breakfast and decided that we would not join the exceptionally long que for tender tickets but we would wait until later and then proceed ashore.  This decided we went and found a special area on the Port side opposite the Chef’s Galley where they serve gluten and lactose free breakfast items as well as Edwards favourite French Toast with maple syrup.  We hung about the deck sitting the Corinthia Lounge playing games on our handies until about 11h00 when we decided to check the tender ticket lines.  They were almost gone so we joined to get a ticket.  They have a mat on the floor with 2 stripes 45 inches (114.3cm) apart.  You must prove that you can step over this distance before they let you take a tender ticket. If you can’t do this then you can’t get into the tender!

We got group 41 and were told to wait in the pug until called.  This only took a few minutes and we were taken down to the tender lounge to board the tender.  Luckily we managed to get onto the roof for a sunshine trip to the landing quay ashore.  
The ride took about 20 minutes as well and then a 20-minute shuttle ride into the city.  We had not changed any money into Vietnamese Dong as we will only be here for a few hours.  Also, we had been on a digital diet for just over 24 hours so all we really wanted to do was get online.  
Vietnam is not part of our T-Mobile World Wide Data Plan!!  Edward signed in this morning and as he was reading the T-Mobile message the charges went from $50 to $250!!!   I don’t think this can be true, but you never know. 

Luckily for us the shuttle bus stopped directly outside an hotel which advertised free Wi-Fi.  We went in perfectly prepared to buy coffee or something for the use of the Wi-Fi but the did not expect this and the password was freely available to everyone.  Quite lucky actually as the cafĂ© was jammed packed with crew and guests all wanting some free digital time.  We both signed on and disappeared down the web for an hour.  Edward did his blog and other stuff and I downloaded ORIGIN by Dan Brown in the hopes I could listen to it on the voyage.  Once we had caught up on all online matters we took a cursory glance around the vicinity and decided, as the shuttle was there, that we would miss the rush and head back. 

The Vietnamese has set up a market tall o the Pier filled with all the stuff you wonder how the hell you can live without!  Edward found a nice navy blue GOOD MORNING VIETNAM T-shirt which we bought.  Then we found a nice trouser suit which we wanted as well and instead of change we got 2 gift bags full of Vietnamese coffee complete with their version of a cup filter. 

The tender boat ride back to the ship was very full and we bobbed about waiting a turn to dock against the ship.  So much bobbing going on that lots of people onboard the tender started turning green……  Everyone was relieved when we toed up alongside and were able to get off the tender. 

Back on board and we took a nap.  Changed for dinner and went to the Chef’s Galley for supper.  Definitely Edwards favourite place – they make fresh pasta of various kinds with a daily special, nice garlic bread and you can bring your own bottle of wine.  

The stewards are fantastic and there is a lovely South African lady chef – tiny little woman who makes a mean pasta!  It is certainly going to be one of our favourite places.   We wandered about the deck mesmerised by the moon before falling into bed for another fabulous sleep lulled by the ship moving through the water – they should make this sound into “white noise” I think!! 

01 April, 2018

QM2 Day 1 - at sea

Not only is today April Fools day but it is also Easter Sunday.  The foundation day of our religion and our culture.  We awoke early and decided to attend the Catholic Mass in Illuminations at 8.30.  The priest is Father Bill Gold retired, of San Diego diocese and now travelling a bit.  He informed us that whilst at sea Pope Francis is also our Bishop!  We both found that very interesting and we were impressed with Fr Bill who seems to have a nice way with himself and people.  

Still early and we hadn’t eaten so we went to the Kings Court for a full English breakfast with all the trimmings- as an Easter treat! 

Then we had to decide what to do for the day.  Which such a big ship it is difficult to decide what to do as the choice is amazing.  This section of our cruise will take us around some fabulous places.  

We took it upon ourselves to check the daily guide at breakfast and then mark off things that we wanted to do or listen to.  First off we chose to go and listen to a port lecture given by Graham in the Royal Court Theatre.  The lecture was about the ports after the Singapore stop and it helped Edward and I decide what we wanted to do.  Bart very kindly spoke with his friend Anna who told us that we could definitely escort tours, but we would have to do a little training and this would take place the 2nd sea day after Singapore. 

With this big item on our agenda settled we went to Deck 12 midships where the QM2 has an indoor/outdoor pool and lay in the sun for a short while and then had a nice dip in the pool.  After such a busy morning we went back to 3L194 for a quick nap.  I think that we are still getting over our jetlag but have been pushing ourselves through as we wanted to do so much in Hong Kong. 

Evening entertainment involved meeting up with Bart and the Med Team for World Cruiser Cocktails in the Queens Room.  Dress code was “Asian attire”.  I was able to wear my velvet trousers and the beautiful double-sided Chinese Silk jacket with my hair up.  Edward wore his dinner suit.  He and Bart had Black Russian cocktails and I had a very nice glass (or two) of bubbly.  

We stood chatting with the Medical team and with Anton who is currently stepping up to Guest Services Manager from his usual F&B Manager position.  Anton was able to tell us that the lovely John Henry Wasserval had resigned to go and live with Benny Helqvuist in Helsinki.  I am so happy for them both as they are a lovely couple and both individually wonderful kind people. 

Dinner was in the Kings Court with the Med Team.  We sat at a table with Bart and Rossea, a very nice pretty, Spanish nurse who has also spent time in the UK.  We had a lovely dinner finally deciding to skip the show and adjourn to the Ward Room where Edward, Bart and I sat chatting up a storm.  A quick hot shower and into a warm bed for a fabulous sleep in a very gentle swell.