There is NOTHING that can compare with booking a passage on the Queen Mary 2. To celebrate my sister’s birthday, we had booked this voyage, from Southampton to New York at the end of July. To say there was excitement about the journey would be an understatement!
Arriving at the Ship
As a passenger on the Queen Mary 2, you can take a coach from Victoria Station to the dock at Southampton. Your bags are taken care of as soon as you check in, which is very nice if you have done any shopping in London1!
The coach ride took about two hours to arrive at the ship. All the while the Titanic soundtrack was buzzing in my head and quotes kept popping out of my mouth. Not that anyone would like to mirror the Titanic’s ill-fated trip, but the ship promised to be just a glamorous.
The first views of the Queen Mary were spectacular. Our whole group was simply giddy with excitement. We were very satisfied the check in process at the pier was flawless. Cunard knows how to take good care of their passengers and we were on board in no time.
We had booked balcony rooms and the amenities were quite nice and the room very comfortable. We were able to unpack before heading to muster stations and dinner. The ship had a gentle rocking motion which was sure to put us right to sleep after some chamomile tea and a biscuit.
The seven day voyage was simply delightful. There can be a little confusion because not all stairwells go to all levels so it’s easy to get confused while acclimating to the layout. Luckily, there are maps everywhere to help the passengers.
The rocking motion of the ship lends itself to napping. A person can pretty much find a comfy chair to curl up in anywhere on the ship and once in a horizontal position, sleep will definitely come over you! There is also food EVERYWHERE! You can basically eat from the moment you wake up, until 2AM and then start all over again the next day. This would probably explain why the gym is a bit crowded!
The first formal night on the ship was The Black and White Ball. It is impressive that all passengers really adhered to the dress code and people looked beautiful. Having cruised on some other lines, it seems the formal nights can sometimes not be so formal. Not the case on the Queen Mary 2. It was a splendid evening.
There was an interesting conversation we heard from the table behind us at dinner. The couple had very strong cockney accents and had the funniest conversation. When we got up from dinner, I complimented the gentleman on his very handsome bow tie and his response was, “I really appreciate that because I know I’m a fat, old man who doesn’t get complimented.” Then his wife said, ” She complimented the bow tie, not you!” Then he said, “Well she included me in that as well!” They were a hoot!
Days at Sea
The days at sea were beautiful. Windy and a bit cold, but beautiful. As we headed further into the North Atlantic, the sea remained quite calm. There was a lovely place on the Promenade Deck where one can wrap up in a blanket and enjoy a morning of reading, Every so often you might see a few dolphins jump out of the water. And who doesn’t love a dolphin sighting? They are just happy animals!
The Queen Mary 2 is home the largest planetarium at sea. We saw “Cosmic Collisions!” While the presentation itself was only ok, it was something fun to do that broke up the sleeping and eating time!
Whenever we cruise, one of our favorite activities is to join the trivia games. Trivia on the Queen Mary 2 was held in the pub. The view out the windows is mesmerizing. Watching the waves, enjoying a drink, it’s absolutely stunning. We found the questions to be a bit challenging, but it is always a fun time. Some examples: what was the name of Long John Sliver’s parrot? What region is (some unrecognizable name) located? Very tough questions, but still a fun time!
Some other activities available throughout the voyage were champagne tasting, visiting the art gallery and partaking in high tea in the dining room.
We attended a tasting with Veuve Cliquot Champapgne. The speaker shared a great deal of information and the tasting was delightful. Of course, we liked the most expensive bottle. We did purchase a bottle and drank the whole thing. So tasty!
There was also a painting purchased! It’s beautiful and will always remind me of this glorious summer.
The high tea on the Queen Mary 2 is not to be missed. One must get there a little early to get in line but once in the dining room, you are greeted by a beautiful set up, music being played and an assortment of tea, scones and other treats that will tempt the taste buds. Every passenger should plan to experience the high tea while on board.
Arrival in New York
At the end of our journey, as we approached New York, the Captain had told us we would be going under the Verrazano Bridge at about 4:45AM. We arrived on the top deck at roughly 4AM, in the pitch black to find the deck already crowded with other passengers. As we approached the bridge, it was still very dark outside, but the sight was still spectacular. The trucks on the bridge, honked at us and we all cheered as we cleared the underside.
After clearing the bridge, the beautiful Statue of Liberty came into view. She is always much smaller than you think, but still gorgeous, especially all lit up. She stands there, welcoming all who come to the shore of the United States. A beacon of hope.
We also then had a beautiful view of downtown Manhattan and the Freedom Tower. It was terrific to see the Freedom Tower and not a blank space left by the World Trade Center. As dawn was breaking, the lights were still twinkling and you could glimpse the movement and activity of the city starting to awaken. Sadly, once you see Manhattan, it is time to prepare to leave the Queen Mary 2 and the glorious week that had been enjoyed. Until next time, which I’m sure there will be!
Let me just say there is NOTHING like coming back to the USA after being in other countries. I love, love, love to travel, but the USA is the best country out there. We may have our issues, but I am red, white and blue, through and through.