Queen Mary 2 - Photo Tour and Voyage Report (Part 1)

Earlier in January we boarded Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 in New York to make the transatlantic crossing to Southampton. This is something I have long wanted to do, and the experience certainly didn't disappoint.

I had originally intended to complete a comprehensive photo tour of her passenger decks. Unfortunately, during the crossing, time slipped away (with more than one late night to blame) so I am left with the following photos which I took as I made my way around the ship throughout our 7 days on board. I hope they still give a good overall impression of her public spaces.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) alongside at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, New York
Queen Mary 2 alongside at Brooklyn cruise terminal
We boarded QM2 in Brooklyn. Getting a taxi to the port was quick and easy, and we were on board around 30 minutes after arriving at the terminal.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) alongside at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, New York
Ready for boarding - Glass gangways lead to the ship
Happily our cabins were ready immediately, so we headed straight for our sheltered balcony cabin on deck 4 to drop off our hand luggage and take a look at our home for the next week.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony Cabin
A sheltered balcony cabin on QM2
The cabin was calm, clean and inviting. The bedding was comfortable and the cupboards had plenty of storage space for a trip of this length.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony Cabin
The seating area in the cabin
The room also includes a decent sized sofa with a coffee table and a small writing/vanity desk with a fridge and TV. A half bottle of just-about-drinkable fizz was ice cold and ready to welcome us on board. We made quick work of this as we unpacked a few items and read some of the ships information.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony Cabin
The beds are really comfortable, with large, soft duvets provided
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Pol Aker sparkling wine waiting in the cabin
A welcoming sight - a half bottle of sparkling wine is provided in all cabins upon arrival
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony Cabin vanity area
The vanity/writing desk is small but functional
The en suite bathroom was a good size, and compared favourably to those I have experienced in similar cabins on other mass-market ships. The bathrobes were a nice touch, and the toiletries provided were of a good standard. The shower was usable, but nothing more, with the low water pressure leaving something to be desired.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony Cabin Standard Bathroom
The bathroom of a sheltered balcony cabin
The balcony itself was a great space. These sheltered balconies are much discussed in online reviews of QM2. For a winter transatlantic crossing such as this, I honestly wouldn't have swapped this for one of the more expensive glass-fronted balconies on the higher decks, as the steel front ensured that not a breath of wind got into the space. With the unusually mild temperatures we had on this crossing this made it possible to enjoy the balcony every day, for a bit of fresh air in the mornings, or as somewhere to sit and relax with a book.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony
The balcony itself is surprisingly spacious, with two lounge chairs and a small table
Looking out from the balcony gives a great view of the ship, and the view down to the ocean below gives you a real sense of the size of QM2, when you consider this is only deck 4, and the drop to the water really doesn't look too appealing.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony View
The view aft from our balcony, showing the angle of the hull as QM2 rolls through the waves
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Sheltered Balcony View
A long way down, even from Deck 4
It's difficult to move between many of QM2's public rooms without passing through the impressive and elegant Grand Lobby. This central feature of her interiors spans 5 decks, with a beautiful sweeping staircase linking decks 2 and 3, where many of QM2's bars, lounges and other facilities are located.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Grand Lobby
The Grand Lobby
Surrounding the Grand Lobby on deck 3 are the Mayfair Shops, which stock a variety of high-end clothes and accessories, along with the branded souvenirs you might expect to see. The duty free store also stocks everyday essentials if you find you've run low on anything during the trip.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Grand Lobby and Mayfair Shops
A section of the Mayfair shopping area
The lower level of the Grand Lobby has several small seating areas, which appeared to be popular meeting points. This is also the location of the Pursers (reception) Desk. The staff here were always polite and helpful.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Grand Lobby and Mayfair Shops
The lower level of the Grand Lobby
Just off the Grand Lobby, QM2's original builders plate is displayed, showing her yard number G32, which was used as the name for the nightclub on board.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Builders Plate
QM2's builders plate
One striking feature of QM2's interiors are the wide corridors which run through the centre of decks 2 and 3. These impressive spaces really add a feeling of grandeur to the ship, with intricate panels and murals running along both sides.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Deck 2 corridor
An impressive corridor running through Deck 3
When walking along these corridors it isn't uncommon to come across passengers searching out Homer Simpson, who is hidden in the North America panel, adjacent to the Golden Lion Pub on deck 2.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Homer Simpson in mural
Homer Simpson is hidden in the North America mural, complete with armchair and TV
One very popular feature of the daily program is afternoon tea, which can be taken in the Queens Room at 3:30pm every day. The Queens Room is located at the aft end of deck 3, and as such must be accessed via QM2's unusual 'half decks' which have been neatly squeezed between the very generous ceiling height of decks 2 and 3 as a way to bypass the main Britannia restaurant which occupies part of the midships section of these decks.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Clarendon Fine Art Gallery
The Clarendon Gallery acts as a route to the Queens Room
These additional spaces are used to accommodate the photo gallery on the port side, whilst the starboard side features the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery. It is probably fair to say that describing this as 'fine art' is sailing a little close to the wind, but the pieces here do at least act as a conversation starter.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Queens Room
The Queens Room
The Queens Room is a really fantastic space, and is used throughout the day for a variety of activities, from afternoon tea to bingo (a new guilty pleasure of mine thanks to this trip)

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Queens Room
A (slightly blurred) photo of the Queens Room
Afternoon Tea itself is a real occasion, and the sandwiches, cakes, and scones slip down very nicely considering this is effectively an extra meal between lunch and dinner. This is where dining at the second seating (8:30pm) really pays off.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room
Tables are set ready for Afternoon Tea service
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room
A daily staple of life on board: Scones, jam, cream and tea
Throughout the days numerous activities are held to keep passengers occupied. Some fantastic lectures are given most days, and a range of other classes, performances, recitals, quizzes and screenings make sure there is something for everyone. 

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Illuminations
The entrance to Illuminations
We did try out the planetarium show in Illuminations, and didn't find it to be a particular highlight of the trip. Definitely worth 20 minutes of your time if you're on for a week, but nothing to write home about in my opinion.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Connexions
A small lobby at the entrance to Connexions, QM2's Internet and computer centre
The main entertainment venue on QM2 is the Royal Court Theatre, which spans decks 2 and 3 towards the forward end. This is a decent space, and for the one show we did go to see it seemed up to scratch with good sound and lighting.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court Theatre
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court Theatre
Along either side of the theatre, the two half-decks reappear to bypass this space for people heading all the way forwards, to illuminations. These corridors have sloped decks, which can be disconcerting when the weather outside picks up (even though QM2 handles heavy seas incredibly well). Being so low down in the ship, the chairs in this area do provide great views of the waves breaking around the ships bow, with the windows regularly completely submerged in north Atlantic swells.

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) - Deck 3L Corridor
The walkway along Deck 3L, forward
Click here to continue to Part 2 of this tour, which looks at the main restaurants and bars on board.

Comments

  1. Very nice pictures, those martinis can cause a lot of trouble!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. Yes, the cocktails definitely have a lot to answer for!

    ReplyDelete

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