I boarded Queen Mary 2 in Southampton on July 17 for my first ever transatlantic voyage to New York – I could barely contain my excitement in the months leading up to the trip, as not only was I experiencing Cunard (twice), I would also be doing a 16-day East Coast road trip with a friend of mine.
My Britannia Club Balcony Stateroom was perfect. I couldn’t have wished for better accommodation. I had a Queen-sized bed, a sofa, vanity area, large flat-screen TV and lots of wardrobe space. The bathroom was a decent size and featured a shower, basin and toilet. The balcony was actually one of the biggest I have ever had on a ship and you could comfortably recline both chairs and still have room to manoeuvre. I didn’t get to use it much, thanks to typical North Atlantic weather, but it was nice to open my curtains and see the sea every morning.
Great company, views and food
Before I joined Queen Mary 2, I selected first sitting (6pm) in the Britannia Restaurant via my Voyage Personaliser, and as I was travelling on my own, I was placed on a table with 5 others who were also travelling alone. It was a nice mix of people and dinner with them was always fun and full of chatter. I’d not experienced fixed dining for quite some time – I usually go with freedom, but that isn’t an option on Queen Mary 2 – and the change was quite nice. We were also lucky to have a table right in the centre of the restaurant on Deck 2, which meant we had wonderful views in each direction.
The food was very good indeed, that was one thing that I most definitely could not find fault with. The new menus are superb and there was so much choice. In the Kings Court I had prawn skewers with peanut sauce at lunchtime, delicious link sausages and waffles at breakfast and a rather tasty shrimp salad for dinner. I had lunch in the Golden Lion Pub a few times and found myself becoming quite addicted to the chicken tikka masala – it was so unbelievably good, one of the best curries I’ve had on a ship. The Britannia Restaurant offered some very nice dishes, including delicious scallops from the CanyonRanch menu, Chateaubriand, pumpkin soup, seared sirloin steak and guinea fowl, the latter of which I’d never had before but really enjoyed.
The only onboard planetarium at sea
I also got my space fix during the crossing thanks to the onboard planetarium – the only one at sea – and several space related talks from Dr. Chris Crowe. The planetarium was actually one of the venues I was most looking forward to experiencing and it was so much fun and super interesting, too! The first short movie I watched was called ‘Asteroid-Mission Extreme’ and it looked at ways in which mankind can prepare for asteroid impacts in the future and how we can possibly even use them to create fuel, which can be used in space to allow crafts to explore further than ever before. It was a great way to spend 25-minutes on a Wednesday afternoon at sea when it was windy and cold outside. I also went along to watch the short-movie ‘Cosmic Collisions’ and that too was good, probably my favourite. This movie gave insight into how our moon came to be, and what will happen to some of the galaxies out there in the next few billion years.
Boarding Queen Mary 2 for a voyage to New York had been a dream of mine for a very long time and it certainly didn’t disappoint. I can’t even explain the feeling of seeing the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty in the distance – it was quite surreal. It was a truly unforgettable voyage, but the westbound crossing was just the start of the adventure…I had 16 days in the US and an East Coast crossing to look forward to.
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