I always count myself lucky to work in the cruise industry and when i was asked if i would like to join others on the Queen Mary 2 to New York i jumped at the chance.Having booked many customers over the years i relished the opportunity to experience what is a truly iconic journey, But why hadnt i gone before ? I began thinking of the perceptions of Cunard and the journey ahead;
What if 6 days at sea were too much, would i be bored ? I love my food but did i want to sit down suited and booted every night for a full meal ?,the ship was built in 2002 and i had travelled on luxury ships before, would the hype live up to the ,well hype ?
As soon as we saw her on the at Ocean Terminal, Southampton i began to understand.
We had a cabin with the metal front balcony and we were really glad of the position and protection from the elements as it got a little windy in the Atlantic some of the days but when the sun was out we could still sit out on this type of balcony,The room was lovely, with big screen TV showing movies and even Corrie ! A nice touch was all of the interesting lectures on board were shown live or the after to watch from your cabin.Our daily programme was a 4 page activity festival,packed with things to do.A very short list of 1 days activities are:Charity auction,talent show,classical concert,celebrity speakers,70s and 80s party band,movie The Greatest Showman,Trivia and Music quizzes,wine tasting,target golf,line dancing,snowball jackpot bingo,Planetarium-Asteroid-Mission Extreme.Needlework and knitting,Art enjoyment,afternoon tea,5 types of live music,Champions League final in the Golden lion pub,fitness classes in the Canyon Ranch Spa and late night jazz after the theatre and an even late night in G32, the nightclub.
My bosses always pull us up for talking about food all of the time but for many it can be the highlight of any cruise and once again my perception was blown out of the water (unfortunate analogy).
From the Kings Court Buffet to the spectacular food in the Steakhouse at the Verandah ( The only place i have ever been offered a steak knife menu ), and the Britannia restaurant it was superb.Yes, the Steakhouse has a cover charge of $39 but its worth every penny for the experience and the cheesecake (watch out for cheesecake battles in my next blog)Dont forget the late night buffet till 2 am either !.There is also a great little selection of healthy options in the healthy corner of the Chefs Galley.The Kings Court also turns into an alternative venue ie Bamboo -Pan Asian cuisine (cover charge $19.50). The fish n chips and curry in the Golden Lion pub are also excellent.I could have visited just the buffet restaurants in the evening and not worn anything more than smart trousers and a polo shirt,however on the 3 formal nights people loved to dress up in smart attire.Masks are available on board for the masked ball,or take your own.
The mix of people on board was really diverse,families with children,lots of Americans travelling back in style to New York,lots of repeat cruisers,people taking their dogs back to the United States (see pictures of the dog area with its own lampost and fire hydrant) The champagne bar, upmarket shops and beautiful restaurant together with impeccable levels of service just didnt feel like this ship had been built so long ago, it felt brand new so there was no worry about the perception of Cunard being old luxury, its contemporary and refreshing.
A fabulous trip with lots of little Cunard extras, dont forget that after just one cruise you are a member of Cunard World Club,that will bring you added extras.
It was a kinda magic.