Do you want to know how to make the most of your time on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 during a 7 night transatlantic crossing? Well we have the answers.
There are so many activities that you can do onboard, along with the large array of entertainment options during the day and the evening. Not only this, but Queen Mary 2 features numerous bars and dining venues so you can always try something different each night.
After reading this blog you will see why Queen Mary 2 is by far the most popular ship amongst guests for transatlantic crossings. Sovereign’s Assistant Reservations Manager, Charlotte Emery, and Voyage Sales & Customer Services Consultant, Rochelle Griffith, recently travelled on Queen Mary 2 sailing from Southampton to New York City. Below is an account of their day-by-day experience. We hope you enjoy reading it!
Day 1 – 4th August
We received a very warm welcome when we arrived onboard RMS Queen Mary 2, we were greeted with smiles all around from the crew. The crew stood in line to greet us as we entered the Atrium and immediately we were struck by the elegance and grandeur.
We went to our staterooms first of all just to see whereabouts we were located. We had an inside stateroom on deck 6, it was very spacious and well appointed. Once we had settled in we took a few hours to familiarize ourselves with the ship before enjoying the sail away party on top deck. There was a great atmosphere with music and passengers getting into the spirit of things, waving their flags as we left Southampton to set sail for New York!!
A pre-dinner cocktail was enjoyed in the Carinthia Lounge, this was a lovely relaxing venue for a drink. This is a great venue, day or night, whether you want to sit and have a quiet cup of coffee and a pastry in the day or enjoy a cocktail by night as the sun sets!
Dinner that evening was in the Britannia Restaurant where the menu offered us a great selection of dishes and we certainly were not left hungry!! The restaurant staff were all very friendly and talked us through the menu for that evening. The dining room was very stylish and had a great mixture of different sized tables to offer guests plenty of choice.
We returned to our stateroom later that evening to find that we had received a lovely turn down service. Reading through the daily program for the next day we were amazed at just how much there was on offer throughout the ship for guests to do.
Day 2 – 5th of August
We started the day with breakfast in Kings Court, the buffet offered us a fantastic choice of food, from pancakes, fruit, pastries through to a full cooked breakfast if you wanted it…..or even all of it if you had room!! After a wonder about the ship we popped into the Carinthia lounge where we had a lovely chat with the bartender Jason. He recommended certain drinks we could try and told us we must try and hot chocolate from Sir Samuels! As we were there we decided to try lunch in the Carinthia Lounge, they had a lovely selection of fresh salads, sandwiches and tapas dishes. I couldn’t decide what to have so I just had to try a bit of everything……an extra lap of the promenade deck that afternoon for me!!
In the afternoon we took a trip to the Planetarium to watch the Infinity Express, this was certainly a very unique way to learn about the stars. The theatre converts into the only Planetarium at sea, which seats 150 guests. Guests can find details of what will be featured in this theatre in the Daily Program. The planetarium dome allows the showing of high tech programs, including astronomy shows and virtual reality movies.
The weather was very pleasant at sea on this day so we enjoyed some time out on deck and a few laps around the promenade deck. This seemed to be a very popular option for guests…all working off their three course dinners!
It was then time for us to dress to the nines for the Black and White Ball, a great excuse to wear that black number that spends most of the year hiding in the back of your wardrobe. This is a Cunard tradition and the atmosphere onboard the ship was amazing, guests had made such an effort and everyone looked so elegant. The ship really came to life with everyone all dressed up and suddenly the Queen Mary 2 seemed even more grand and graceful!
Pre-dinner cocktails were a great way to start the evening, followed by a delicious three course meal in the Britannia Restaurant. After dinner we headed for the Queens Room for the Black and White Ball, what an incredible atmosphere it was in there, for me when I picture cruising, this was what it was all about. It was wonderful to see so many couples dancing the night away to some beautifully performed music.
Day 3 – 6th of August
This was a very relaxing day for us. We enjoyed breakfast in bed and some down time in our staterooms. The jewelry sale in the main Atrium had us tempted in the afternoon and we managed to buy four rings between us, fairly restrained we thought!
The highlight of our day had to be the Captains Cocktail party. This was held in the Queens Room and the atmosphere was amazing. It was lovely to hear the captain speak about the ship and the crew so passionately and with such fondness. It was a very entertaining speech and he certainly had all the guests laughing. We got chatting to a lovely gentleman from New York, he was telling us about some of the things we should experience in New York and telling us about some of his favorite places!
Day 4 – 7th of August
We started our day off with a great talk from Jason Ward, the Entertainment Program Manager for all three Cunard ships. He told us all about the Insight and Enrichment programs onboard. It seems like there is almost no limit to what you can learn on your holidays. All the speakers add another dimension to your cruise. I have to say it made me feel incredibly lucky to be part of it and made me realise there is a lot more to a transatlantic crossing than just 7 days at sea! We were lucky to be part of the Greatest Generations Cruise, we were onboard the Queen Mary 2 with seven incredible and inspiring World War 2 veterans. That day we were privileged and humbled to be able to listen to Joseph Reilly and Steven Melinkoff share their experiences of Normandy and the D-Day landings. This was an incredibly moving experience and a real chance of a lifetime!
It was time for the Godiva afternoon tea in Sir Samuels that afternoon. The presentation was beautiful and the taste was even better. Sadly we didn’t have room for all of the cakes, we were saving ourselves for a very special dinner that evening.
Dinner was in the Veranda Restaurant, the specialty restaurant onboard Queen Mary 2. Here we dined on a mere 7 courses! We were torn between the steak and the Lobster, so they very kindly offered us a Surf and Turf option. This showed great service on their part and the food was amazing. I would highly recommend the Veranda Restaurant to everyone, it makes for a very enjoyable evening and it isn’t just a meal it’s a great dining experience.
Day 5 – 8th of August
Another enjoyable breakfast in the Kings Court, we decided to make an effort to try something new and different each time we went there. We then went to pick up a takeaway iced latte from Sir Samuels, they had got to know my order by now and gave me extra shots of caramel!! We then took our coffees into the theatre for another seminar from the Greatest Generations. They had actually had to move the seminar from the Illuminations theatre to the main theatre due to the amount of passengers wanting to attend. This time it was the turn of Douglas Dillard, he talked us through his experiences in the South of France during World War 2, and again this was incredibly moving.
We decided to enjoy lunch in the Golden Lion pub onboard. The menu offers a great choice of classic British pub dishes, which to be honest is something you do begin to crave after a while onboard.
We got to experience cocktail making in the Commodore Club in the afternoon. The cocktails were a little strong for me but it was a fun experience and well carried out by Cunard.
Day 6 – 9th of August
Another interesting seminar today in the theatre with Lord Paddick, the politician and retired police officer for the Metropolitan Police. Today was his question and answer talk, and it was very interesting, he answered all sorts of questions from the passengers about his career and even his time on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! Again a great example of having an insight into something that perhaps wouldn’t have usually caught your attention.
The theme for the evening was the ‘Roaring Twenties’, time to celebrate the era of the Charleston! This was great fun and everyone really got into the spirit of it. There were certainly some great outfits. The Queens Room was perfectly decorated that evening for the 1920’s ball and it was lovely to see couples dancing to the Charleston in traditional outfits.
Day 7 – 10th of August
We set foot on land for the first time in six days as we arrived into sunny Halifax. We decided to enjoy the morning onboard the ship and enjoyed some sun out on deck before our excursion in the afternoon.
Our excursion took us on a scenic drive to Peggy’s Cove. Peggy’s Cove is a beautiful fishing village located on the eastern shore of St. Margaret’s Bay. The village is mostly famous for Peggy’s Point Lighthouse. We got to spend about an hour here which was plenty of time to explore the area and enjoy some of the craft shops. You can also get your passport stamped at the post office with a lovely stamp of the lighthouse…well worth doing. The drive to and from Peggy’s Cove is very scenic and the tour guide told us lots of interesting facts about Nova Scotia and what the area is famous for. We felt we had a really good insight into what Halifax had to offer.
Day 8 – 11th of August
Our final day at sea before our arrival into New York! Another nice relaxing breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant for us then we made our way to the Greatest Generations seminar. Today was the day that all seven of the war veterans would speak to us and share more of their incredible and quite unbelievable stories. This was quite an experience and one we feel incredibly lucky to be part of.
We were lucky enough to be taken on a tour of the Bridge today, it was really interesting to see where it all takes place so to speak. The third officer talked us through some of the controls and shared some really interesting information with us all.
He explained the technical side of things to us and was able to answer all of our questions with ease!
On our way to dinner that evening we were lucky enough to be able to meet some of the World War 2 Veterans. We were able to have a quick chat with them and we took the opportunity to get some great photos with them and sign their posters.
Final Day – 12th of August
Alarm set for 4am! We all emerged from our cabins in our dressing gowns and headed out on deck to watch the ship sail into New York. The sun wasn’t even awake yet! It was my first ever view of New York and I have to say it did not disappoint. Sailing in was incredible and as the ship arrived into her berth the sun was up and the city looked stunning and so it was time to explore the city that never sleeps!
Overall, it sounded like Charlotte and Rochelle had a fantastic experience on Queen Mary 2 and they have been highly recommending it to friends, family and Sovereign guests ever since they returned.
We hope this blog provides some insight into what a transatlantic crossing is like onboard the most iconic ship at sea. If you are interested in doing a transatlantic crossing, then please contact The Sovereign Cruise Club and we will offer you the very best fares and expert advice!