At Sea, En-Route to Southampton aboard Queen Mary 2
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Position as of this writing: 41° 6.9’ N, 62° 42.3’ W
Speed: 20.7 knots
Wind: 15 knots / Temperature: 16°C / Seas: 1 to 4 feet
After a night of calm seas leaving New York, I awoke to a beautiful, sunny morning aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. We’re surrounded by nothing but miles of open ocean – and the possibilities for my first full day onboard my favourite ship are endless.
First stop this morning was breakfast at the King’s Court buffet on Deck 7. I’m absolutely loving my aft Deck 6 stateroom location, as I can quickly walk aft and out the door to the open deck on QM2’s stern. From there, I can ascend the staircase to Deck 7, walk forward, and go into the King’s Court by the Staircase D entranceway. I could do that same walk inside, but it’s more fun to go outside.
Last year’s Remastering completely gutted the King’s Court, which was one of the few areas aboard QM2 that caused real frustration. Although pretty, passenger flow through this area, as-built, was poor, and the whole area tended to bottleneck up quickly.
Now, King’s Court has an entirely new layout, look and design – and it is a substantial improvement. I had no issues at all getting breakfast, finding a seat, or getting a glass of orange juice from the new beverage stations, which are placed so as to be out of the way of the main food serving areas.
If you’ve never done a transatlantic crossing before – with absolutely no ports of call and only open ocean for seven straight days – you might be worried. Some people think they’ll be bored; others feel they’ll be afraid of the vastness of the ocean. Will you see land? Nope. Ships? Unlikely. It’s just you, QM2, and the sea.
And that’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. Here’s why.
Today, there are so many scheduled activities and events happening around this massive floating palace that it’s hard to know what to do.
Three speakers are giving lectures today as part of Cunard’s Cunard Insights program. We’ve got Michael Lister speaking about Lord Thomas Cochranel; John Penycate lecturing on the fall of Russia’s Romanov family; and Nigel West talking on the tradecraft of espionage. Don’t know the first thing about Lord Thomas Cochranel or espionage? That’s the best part – think of Queen Mary 2 as your own classroom at sea.
If you’ve got a flair for the dramatic, you’ll like Cunard’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) classes and performances. Today at 10:00am, a workshop on how actors prepare for their roles was held in the Queens Room on Deck 3, while a special performance, Cunard Street, was held in the new Carinthia Lounge on Deck 7 at 7:00pm and 10:00pm.
Also happening around the ship: a piano concert performed by Junko Ichikawa in the Royal Court Theatre at 2:30pm; watercolour art classes at 10:00am; a Killer Darts Competition in the Golden Lion Pub on Deck 2, followed immediately by traditional British Pub Lunch (and pub melodies) to accompany the frothy pints of Guinness that do flow at this popular shipboard event.
Then, there are multiple shows in the Planetarium (yes, QM2 has a planetarium!), afternoon Trivia; three screenings of the movie, Fences; and Cunard’s legendary High Tea in the Queens Room. This white-gloved affair takes place each and every day at 4:00pm and is still the best high tea on the high seas.
All of this takes place before our Formal Night dinner, which leads into the Black and White Ball in the Queens Room at 9:45pm.
And those are just the scheduled events for today. You can still absolutely do your own thing, too.
The first thing I did when I got onboard yesterday – literally – was to hit the Canyon Ranch SpaClub on Deck 7 and purchase a pass (called a SpaClub Passport) to the ship’s elaborate Thermal Suite.
Comprised of a Hydrotherapy Pool, lounging area, and a full steam and sauna complex with aromatherapy-infused scents, two different passes can be purchased: a seven-day pass for $120 per person; or a six-day pass for $106. I went with the six-day pass, as embarkation day is crazy enough without me trying to cram a visit to the Spa in before its closing time of 8:00 pm.
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