I have just had the most amazing experience of sailing with Cunard and ticking a box from my bucket list. Over the next few blogs, I will be telling you all about my incredible journey and dispelling some of those common myths that surround Cunard.
My journey began on Friday 04th August 2017, the start of an 8 night voyage on the iconic Cunard Queen Mary 2, Transatlantic sailing from Southampton to New York via Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I met my fellow agents at the cruise port at 11.45 am and after a quick photo shoot for Cunard we very quickly embarked Queen Mary 2, in fact it took no more than 15 minutes from check in to cabin. The group was made up of 3 Cunard hosts and 19 agents from across the UK. After boarding and being greeted in the traditional Cunard White Service, I was pleasantly surprised that my luggage was already awaiting my arrival and we was able to access our cabins straight away. I decided to unpack straight away, then grab some lunch before our welcome on board meeting to discuss the week ahead.
This is the first time I have stayed in an inside cabin, I have always been very fortunate to enjoy an ocean view or balcony cabin for personal and work related trips. So I was a bit apprehensive about a full 8 nights in an inside cabin. The cabin however was very spacious, lots of closet space and a decent size bathroom. I have taken video footage of the cabin along with other aspects of the ship, but as I am no Steven Spielberg, you will have to await the final cut once our IT department have their hands on my footage.
After a brief introductory meeting with the Cunard hosts and part of the group (the rest was still on their way courtesy of the coach service Cunard provide), we were handed our daily planner for the week. I have to say, we really were given a full opportunity to experience this magnificent ship and sailing, as we were allocated only a few compulsory events and activities, the rest all being free time.
1st activity was the sailaway party, having experienced this on other ships and companies with such great fun, I had high hopes for Cunard, but was a little disappointed by the end result. Just background music, a man handing out the Union Jack Flag and an announcement from the Captain. It was to say the least a little lackluster.
After the ‘sailaway’ it was time to start getting ready for our 1st nights dinner. With pre-dinner drinks in the Corinthian lounge at 7.30pm to meet the rest of the group, we then headed on to Britannia Dining, we were allocated 2nd sitting on the upper level. The food as always on Cunard was superb and after a few glasses of rose and a heavy stomach, it was time to retire ready for a new morning at sea.
I slept like a log that 1st night and continued to do so all week. After a breakfast in bed, courtesy of room service, I got myself ready and headed on to meet the rest of the group for our 1st official morning and group activity. We had a brief about Cunard and what they wanted us to experience from this voyage – to feel inspired, free and special. Then we headed off on a treasure hunt.
We had such great fun as we had to explore all over the ship, there was even guests asking if they could join in as it looked such fun – I did notice later during the week that they did hold a guest treasure hunt, which was very successful.
We had the afternoon to ourselves before a quick catch up at 5.30pm with the group. We chose to eat lunch in the Golden Lion pub and the food was superb, the menu is the same each day but with a great selection on offer. I chose the Chicken Tikka Masala and was not disappointed. We gave ourselves a 2 hour food break then headed off to experience high tea in the Queen’s room, which is on the list of ‘1000 things to do before you die’, then it was time to get ready for the 1st of the formal evenings – the black and white ball.
We met in the Commodore Club on the forward of deck 9 and was treated to cocktails before we headed off for dinner. Everyone was dressed beautifully and after another superb dinner we made our way to the Queen’s room. I sat in awe watching the beautiful dancing from the guests on board. The Queen’s room is the ballroom on the ship at the aft on deck 3 and it was packed, in honesty I did not expect to spend much time here but would find myself drawn here each evening to listen to the band and watch the beautiful dancing. The big band played modern music but in a style that guests could still ballroom dance too. It was a real treat to experience this and I certainly wished I had the dance moves to join in, but being a spectator was just as good.
So after a very special night it was time for bed and to start day 3 on this 9 day experience..
Watch for my next blog and part 2.