What we expected and what we got on our transatlantic crossing were very different. We honestly didn't know what to expect, except for rest and relaxation. And we did not get that.
We decided to take the Queen Mary 2 to move to Europe so that we wouldn't have to fly the pups at all. We could also limit our own time flying. We figured eight days at sea with slowly changing time zones would help with jet lag and be an adventure.
Jumping ahead an hour 5 out of 8 days on board is not what I would call easy. It's like living daylight savings time-change every day. It's exhausting. We lost the noon hour for each of our time changes, which doesn't sound that bad, but our bodies strongly disagreed by the second or third time jump.
Our crossing had us in the middle of two storms, one at our back and one in front of us. This meant that we were in nearly constant "gentle swells". I'm not sure what was gentle about them and I'm afraid of what not-gentle swells would feel like. These gentle swells were up to 18 feet! They looked gentle from our giant ship but they did not feel gentle. Thank goodness for Dramamine, even Daniel had to partake in daily nausea medicine, as he was sick the first 36 hours. By the end we had learned to walk like Jack Sparrow, moving through the ship while following the rhythm of the swells.
Sleep during this went from being gently rocked to sleep to feeling like you were going to be tossed out of the bed. Sleep did not come easy, my smart watch didn't register sleep the entire time we were on board, so I'm unsure if I really slept at all.
The best part of the ship was the kennels and the kennel master, Oliver, and his assistant, Aldrin. Our days were spent in the kennels for visiting hours with our pups and all the other puppies on board. Visiting hours were 8am-Noon, 3pm-6:00pm, and 7:30pm-8:30pm; for a total of 8 hours with the pups and their owners.
The McFluffington puppies made some friends with some fellow travelers and we did too. Cirrus had his first crush on a little Maltese named Molly. When he first laid eyes on her, he followed her all around the poop deck. Cirrus also made a new bestie called Rocky. He was only four months old and Cirrus loved his energy playing. They had all the wrestles. Magnus, being the old man he is, spent most of his time sleeping and watching everyone else play and rest with their people. He eventually decided Sammy the pug was a worthy nap partner and they shared a blanket as a pillow for awhile. We also made some friends and acquaintances while on board of fellow dog owners. Even after disembarkment we have talked to Chris and Szabi, Sammy's people. They moved from Canada to the UK for Chris to research and teach at a University in Bath. All the owners were very kind and we had some great conversations.
Finding and transporting out luggage on disembarkment was very unorganized and stressful. But we got it done and then had about 4 days to really rest in Southampton. Or so we thought…