One of the first things we learned was that this was neither a ship, nor were we on a cruise. This was an ocean liner and we were on a crossing.
Eating, eating, eating
One of the first things we did aboard was eating. Dinner was served at the Britannia Restaurant during two times, at 6 pm and 8:30 pm – we had chosen the later seating time. Every night, we had various choices for a total of four courses – starter, salad, main dish and dessert – and the food was absolutely delicious and great every single night! We also had our breakfast at the Britannia Restaurant with a wide variety of healthy and less healthy foods, but a real minus was the extra charge for Cappucino or other coffee specialites, and the normal coffee wasn’t so great. Lunch was usually just a snack on in the King’s Court – a buffet restaurant that was open from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. There were also alternative dining options (for an additional charge), but we did not make use of them!
One of the first things we saw in our room was the daily program with tons of activities which was almost stressfull to choose from. The activities provided do match the target group of Cunard, as you can read things like “needlework & Knitting”, “quiz night” and “beginner’s bridge” on the program. But when I read “Meeting of the young people age 18-30”, i got pretty excited. However, the total of 4 girls (including me) that showed up did confirm the big picuture.
I found a fun thing on there: the transatlantic olympic games, which turned out to be alot less sporty as expected, but the 4-day event was super funny and every participant was a good sport!
Part of the program were the formal nights, where we had to dress up to be allowed in for dinner, and on the two themed nights (black&white ball and 20’s party) the people really made great efforts to dress up! A popular activity was the walking and running on deck 7 – where you could do a whole loop around the ship. Also a good place to hear news, as you met most of the people out here sooner or later.
Unfortunately, the back-of-the-house tour was too expensive for us, but during a smaller tour of the huge kitchen we did get an exciting view behind the scenes.
Why do people do these crossings?
One of the things I was really wondering is why people cross the Atlantic on a ship, sorry, ocean liner. We heard about everyhing. Some people just did not like to fly and thus travel by ship, others were just completing their world voyage (which meant that they had been on this ship since January!) and for others it was just an adventure and wanted to arrive at the New York harbour by ship once in their lifetime! In total, there were passengers of 32 nations on board, the majority coming from the US, Canada and UK.
I must say, the best thing about this crossing were the 25 hour days. Almost every night, we set back the clocks for one hour and just had longer days. If you ever want to do a crossing, don’t do it eastbound, because you pay the same and loose an hour every night! A big plus was also the fact that we arrived in New York without a jetlag :-).
Usually, you don’t know what to talk about anymore when you start talking about the weather, but on a transatlantic crossing, there is not much as important as the weather (and other ships passing by as a sign on life!). We were extremly lucky and had sunshine from day 3 onwards. The maximum wind force we experienced was force 8, where you really had to hold yourself when walking on deck! Unfortunately, the great viewing areas on on deck 12 and the front of the ship were closed during these times.
Titanic and other curiosities
Every day at noon there was an announcement from the captain witht the current position, weather contition, miles sailed and the nearest point of land (usually some tiny rock hundreds of miles away!). On Saturday the announcement featured two exciting news: we had passed the midpoint of our crossing the night before (Friday, 13.5. at around 10:30 pm), and apparently of interest for many people: we would pass 6 miles south of the last resting place of the Titanic. Luckily, nobody decided to jump off the ship looking for Leo. One unexpected passenger was Homer Simpson, who sits comfortably on his chair in the main hallway.
As the view from our room (the restaurant, the deck, fill in anything you want) remained pretty much the same all week (water, water, water) one of the most exciting things were spotted dolphins, birds and other ships (I saw 2 container ships!), as they made us feel less alone out here.
Practical things on Queen Mary 2
⦁ Very practical (and very popular) were the laundry rooms with washers, dryers and ironing board which were free of charge and even included washing powder!
⦁ On QM2 there are 2 types of plugs: american and british – As I had an adapter with both, I was able to plug in 2 things at a time!
Impressions from the crossing