April 25, to celebrate my wife’s birthday and to move from New York to London in style, we boarded Cunard’s Queen Victoria for a trans-Atlantic crossing (not cruising) onboard the luxury ocean liner (V509).

The night before we had a farewell dinner with some friends in New York at White Street restaurant, which was full of movie industry VIPs already invading Manhattan for the Tribeca Film Festival; our friend Jill, who could not attend the dinner, had a very nice gesture sending a bottle of champagne and a card from Washington DC. Then we spent the night at a friend’s house in Long Island (thank you again, Jennifer!).

The plan, devised by my wife, the wonderful Cruise Curator, is brilliant: for less than a one way airplane ticket, we get to move all our stuff (no luggage restriction), and enjoy a few days of relaxed downtime and luxury. Awesome!

As we arrived at the embarkation area with a Jeep and a taxi carrying all our possessions (30 pieces of luggage in total), we feared that the porters or some representative of Cunard Lines would object to our liberal interpretation of their “no luggage restriction” policy. But quite the contrary, they were not only glad to load our belongings to the ship, but they also stored 24 pieces of it so we only had to keep in our stateroom the 6 pieces we did need. We even walked onboard carrying with us a giraffe-shaped table, which is fragile and has sentimental value, and two hand made Venetian masks we bought in Italy for the masquerade ball! 😀

So, for the next 8 nights, we enjoyed the Royal Court Theater, lectures, a nice library, fine cuisine…

The first night, considering the fact that we had not sleep nearly enough, and that we were quite tired from moving around all that luggage, to dine more privately and to further celebrate my wife’s birthday, we decided to go to the exclusive and legendary Verandah restaurant. Chef J.M. Zinmmerman prepared the most exquisite French fare and the wait staff were all quite delightfully cheerful. A perfect first evening onboard.

Good bye, New York!

Here we come, London!