Tag Archives: Transatlantic Crossing

The Final Day on the Queen Mary 2

Today was our last day at sea. Our day started with an early morning breakfast and then off to a lecture by Maria Friedman and to look at art at the delightful gallery.  In the afternoon the weather broke and we finally saw sun and wispy clouds.  Took a walk around the promenade four times and then had some wonderful English tea sandwiches (cucumber and cheese and tomato) followed by a visit to the spa and gym.

I preordered duck for dinner tonight which was wonderful.  Tonight it’s entertainment night on board with entertainment by the Cunard dancers.  Fit and talented male and female dancers strutting their stuff in front of a wide variety of very unfit and elderly looking male and females. Both sets were all dressed to the nines. As usual we darted to the side front. Great seats and nobody ever sits there.  Thankfully, tonight it was a short show.

Had a nightcap at the Commodore Bar and then went off to bed.  Everyone here had their suitcase outside the door at 6 pm. No idea why. Check out remains a mystery to me!  There were some pamphlets about it but that all looked like a nightmare.  It said to assemble downstairs at 8 am in your designated space etc.  We are going casual though.  They have my credit card.  We have our bags.  We will see what happens tomorrow but I am approaching this a bit like checking into a flight. Late and relaxed. Always board last and never hand someone your luggage.  If they need you they will contact you and in meantime I’m going to get up early to watch landfall as we sail through the English Channel.  Docking at 8 they say.  They caught up blizzard delay.  And how long ago was that, wow.  Time actually did fly.  As it were.

Day 7 on the Queen Mary 2

Day 7

We started off the day with a morning breakfast disaster.  They had run out of brown sauce!  Now, to most people outside of the UK and Ireland, this means nothing, but to a Brit it is a major problem with an English or Irish breakfast., They said that the blizzard disrupted the supply in New York. The blizzard wreaks havoc again…

Today I went to an acupuncture session with a really nice lady, Ana, from Portugal.  She was very spiritual, very cool, and stuck lots of needles in me.  I️ felt great after!  She was amazing.  Went to the promenade for a circuit and the English tea sandwiches before I️ headed to gym. After the gym, I went to spa and then headed to a beautiful exhibition in the art gallery. Delightful.

Then to formal dinner where I got dressed up in bow tie and white shirt.  The food and service has been pretty good all the way through but tonight it was exceptional.  Tonight was the walk of the chefs as well. There are 236 chefs on board and they serve 15,000 meals a day.  Bloody hell!

After dinner we walked to a concert where there was an amazing pianist with a band performing classical and show tunes.  Afterwards, we stopped at the very cool art deco Commodore Bar for a nightcap.  What a way to spend the day.

The Weekend on the QM2 (Days 4, 5, and 6)

DAY 4

Last night a little rough out on the high seas.  Want to be armed with Dramamine.  Today we woke up to calmer waters and rain. The QM2 has 1,292 crew members and the capacity is 2,691.  The maiden voyage was in January 2004 – just about 14 years ago.

Today, people are strolling around the deck, mainly for exercise.  The sights out to sea are unrelenting rolling grayness interrupted by white caps.  Alas no whales nor dolphins nor passing boats to break up the dull vista.  There is no sky to peer through as cloud cover is intense.  Today I am off to gym again but yesterday five machines were out of order.  I’ll be heading to a lecture at the theater here that i wanted to go to.

Also today we will move another hour forward as we gobble up the time difference between the US and the UK. The captain came on to announce very causally that there had been a fire somewhere overnight and that various stairways were shut down. Nothing to worry about he said so life continues.  Breakfast ends early (9:30 am) at the waited seating and after that it all goes down to self serve.  It is a little messier and less comfortable.  The internet continues to be relatively hopeless and expensive.  Minutes disappear faster than the setting sun.  Off to connect and take some photos.  A giant whale would be handy.

DAY 5

Saturday showed much calmer seas after a rough night.  It was a night of Dramamine and deep breathing for me.  The secret to sea sickness is to be in center of boat down low.  We are at the top in the front.  The forecast ahead is smooth sailing.

We saw Maria Friedman today.  She did a one woman show on Sondheim and Bernstein. We actually saw Merrily We Roll Along at the Huntington Theater in Boston recently. She directed it! She did a wonderful condensed show of Sondheim songs primarily. What a lovely lady with an extraordinary career and a fabulous voice.  So fortunate to have her pass the week on the crossing with us. Chatted with her by the elevators and she is moving Merrily We Roll Along to New York City soon. It was such an amazing coincidence to see her!

Took to the open promenade for a long walk. We are slowly adjusting to life without internet connection and lots of time on our hands. The walks along the outer perimeter of the boat are quite amazing. The temperature outside is balmy and miles away from the freeze on the eastern shore. Here we are soaking up warmer temperatures and Atlantic rain. Still nothing has been sighted except white caps.  But I am slowly getting used to the nothing vista and the beat of the crossing. Gym and spa every day to ward off temptation of endless mounds of food. Dance routine after dinner plus disco.  Late night ahead.

DAY 6

I have been slowly adjusting and as of Sunday I am starting to evolve into a crossing type! I see the allure. It’s just a nice way to pass the time and it forces you to disconnect from everything.

Announcement from deck this morning called for us moving another hour forward.  We slowly make our way to the British time zone. After a morning of not much at all, we drifted into a lecture on Jack Vetrianno and Fabian Perez.  A really interesting talk about two painters, one Scottish and the other Argentinian. The art gallery on QM2 is stacked up with good stuff. It’s all stocked somewhere below and the collections change every day. The setting is just a dream for the collections too as the waves splash across the porthole windows. Perez is a really cool painter and Vetrianno is the bad boy of modern painting!  Actually loved his stuff but Perez was a great guy to pair him with.

After an interesting chat with the two curators we moved on. For me it was the gym and the spa which I have grown to love.  I like the availability of it and the knowledge that I know how to work everything.  Every day becomes part of my routine.  It’s a good investment for the week. Tonight we went to another curated nighttime show on Broadway and the 1960’s.  We snuck into the front row on the side and what a great show it was. Everyone spills out of dinner and drifts into shows at the end of the day.

The casino was humming, the nightclub noisy and fun, and everything is going full belt.  I am loving the rhythm of the crossing.  Can’t believe I just said that!  The internet is still hopeless.

Day 3 on the Queen Mary 2

It was formal night last night and everyone had to dress up. You sit at the same table as usual but you have to wear a tux. There was a captain soirée earlier for certain sections but I took a massage and enjoyed the spa instead.

The boat is still rocking around fiercely.  It’s a little unpleasant and the decks are still closed. There was an early morning wake up by the captain to announce that all water in the cabins is not working. No toilet or shower. Great wake up news. After breakfast the cold water is back at least but the hot was still out.  Just in time!

We went to watch a dance class which reminded me of my holiday camp days.  The internet connectivity is dreadful and they charge you even though it barely works. So far I have spent 200 dollars and the speed is worse than dial up! The boat is rocking and rolling around. I’m going to try the gym but it could be tricky as it is probably impossible to stand straight. It’s either that or playing bridge. It’s a huge boat. I still get lost. That makes every walk an adventure.

Day 1 and 2 on the Queen Mary 2

Day 1

First, a confession.  I have never been on a cruise ship. So to board a ship with another 3,000 passengers was strange. To understand that this ship had been in the Caribbean and was on its last voyage across the Atlantic before setting off on a round the world cruise was amazing.  There were people on board who were going for the whole thing.

But we were the cruise virgins.

While we were going through the safety procedures on board, as we were looking out on a beautiful Manhattan skyline, we discovered that the boat was stuck. Blizzard! And so we got used to the skyline (which was amazing), had some great food, and waited until the morning.

Day 2

Today we had a morning blizzard.  There were high seas but the tug boats pulled us out of the harbor.  Under zero visibility and raging seas with huge waves and snow lashing the decks, we sailed in a loop passing the Statue of Liberty through the narrows and rocked our way along the coastline of Long Island.  All this before breakfast!

The outer decks were shut down but I sneaked out for a quick photo.  After all, I don’t want to get swept away in these conditions.  Just took a Dramamine, then off to the gym, then a massage later in day plus watercolor class.  Very cruisy.  So far it’s all a bit of an adventure.  The Wifi is expensive and TV is not great unless you want Premiership soccer all day and outdated movies.  But the blizzard is a trip.