After one week at sea, we were finally happy that we would se land again and of course were excited about the arrival at the Harbor of New York – yet anxious if we would have a good view or if we would arrive during heavy fog.
During the daily announcement at noon from the bridge, the captain indicated the important times for the next morning: at 3:30 a.m. the pilot would board, at 5 a.m. we would pass underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and we would arrive at 6:30 a.m. at the Brooklyn Terminals. Until this point we had travelled a distance of 2.853 nautical miles at an average speed of 20 knots and had still 325 nautical miles to go.
How to disembark
Usually, you would disembark according to your deck number – as we were the lowest deck (deck 4), our time was 10:40 a.m. and we feard that it would probably delay more. This meant hanging around on the ship for another 4 hours after arrival. As much as we enjoyed this ship, we weren’t so happy about disembarking so late. Luckily, we had the option to self-disembark at 6:50 a.m., so just shortly after the arrival, but for this you had to get self-disembarkation-cards the night before and you had to carry your luggage out of the ship yourself. It turned out that this was a great option though, as we had alot more of our first day in New York City.
Getting up at 3:45 a.m.
After packing at night and enjoying our last dinner at the Britannia Restaurant, we went to bed for a short night (despite the extra hour we got!). The alarm rang at 3:45 a.m. and the first thing I did was jump out on the Balcony: LAND! In the full darkness I saw a thin line of lights – the shores of America. After a week of seeing only water, this was pretty exciting. We went up to Deck 12 again (where we had been during the departure in Southampton) to experience the arrival in New York City.
We got closer to the illuminated Verrazano-Narrows bridge – and then passed underneath it – with the funnel about one meter away from the bottom of the bridge – not kidding! And then we had the most amazing view: in the distance we saw the bright skyline of New York City and the illuminated Statue of Liberty at a dark blue sky. When we approached Manhattan, the sun began to rise above Queens and the thin, yet strong dark red line let the skyline almost appeare like a stage with its black blocks of skyscrapers dotted with small yellow lights. We passed the Statue of Liberty and turned the ship around 180 degrees, then went backwards into the Brooklyn Terminals. We docked at around 6:30 a.m. at a light blue sky, where the One World Trade Center just appeare to be merging with the sky.
Farewell, Queen Mary 2
After a quick breakfast at the King’s Court we disembarked with our suitcases and waited about one hour for a taxi. Apparently, we were the first ship of the season and they had forgotten about it. Later during the day we visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and enjoyed the view of Queen Mary 2 at the Brooklyn Terminals all day long. When we finally saw her leaving around 5 p.m. with three loud signals from the ship’s horn, we were quiet sad to see her go. I was surprised myself how attached I got to this beautiful ocean liner over the past week.
Final thoughts on the crossing
I had never been on a cruise ship or an ocean liner before and I was not sure what to expect of it at the beginning. When I saw her leave, I was much more emotional than expected, I admit that I actually did shed a tear! For some reason, I really got attached to her and I think this voyage will always be a very very special memory in my life. It’s not like you cross the Atlantic every day!
Video of the crossing