Queen Mary 2 Crossing – Top 10
Here are my Top 10 favorite (or favorite) things about the Queen Mary 2 crossing.
1. Watching the ocean. I assumed there would be nothing to see. I was wrong. The ocean changes colors with the weather. The waves increase and decrease causing entirely different patterns. Spotting another boat is thrilling. After not seeing any birds for days, a flock of birds signaled that we were once again close to land. We would wait with baited breath for the navigational announcement at noon telling us where our closest land was. Even H loved looking at the navigational charts, watching our boat head East.
2. High Tea. Going to tea is one of my favorite things to do, so why would this be any different? The scones are simply delicious and I could eat the Devonshire cream by the spoon full. I took H with me a few times and he did incredibly well. We did not see many other three years olds in the room, but he sat quietly and drank his tea.
3. The Planetarium. Yes. The QM2 has a full planetarium onboard. The planetarium shows are not to be missed. They are popular and always full, but they are a delight. You pick up tickets for your party on the morning of the show.If you miss ticket pick up there are always a few people that do not show up, so seats are available, but your group may not be able to sit together.
4. Old People. Average age for crossings hovers around 70 years. This seems hard to imagine because on our crossing, there were dozens of toddlers in H’s Kids Club class. Nonetheless, traveling with kids on the QM2 was really special because the old people loved the kids. The downside to the age of the people on the ship was that these folks were always on time. It was so unbelievable to see a line outside the restaurant at 7:50am when it opened at 8am.
5. Captain’s Party. On Day 3 of our voyage, the ship’s Captain hosted a party where he introduced the ship’s company. There was music, complimentary sparkling wine, white wine and red wine and a festive atmosphere. The staff even made a very special drink for H on request. We did not stand in the 30-minute long line to meet the Captain, but H still thought the Captain was very cool. Note that there is no hand shaking due to sanitary reasons, a welcome “bow” is given instead.
6. Golden Lion Pub. Lots of ships have pubs but none of the other four ships I have cruised on had real pub drink or food. This was our favorite place to set up camp. The large window seats were perfect for the kids to sit in, enjoy the views and do an activity. The Golden Lion Pub had a seriously good beer selection (starting at a reasonable $5.25) and their Irish lunch entrees were on-point. The crowd is always changing, meaning it is always crowded. If you want to hang out here you will need to arrive around 10 and set up shop.
7. The Bridge Viewing Area. Deck 11 & 12 are host to the bridge viewing area. On deck 12 you can look into the bridge and see the quartermasters, and some times the Captain, steering the ship. One deck down affords you an open air deck with the same view as the bridge. These areas were never crowded and utterly fascinating.
8. The Library. The library is an amazing resource. While on board we were working on planning a few other trips, so this was a great place to peruse the travel literature. My mom even checked out a book for a few days. There are no children’s books in the library, but the kids zone is full of them. You are able to borrow a few books from the kids zone to take back to your stateroom.
9. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). RADA is onboard most Atlantic Crossings. I attended their performance of Pride and Prejudice. It was a performance that you could easily imagine paying for. The theater was packed. There were a variety of other performances and events that were highly applauded that we did not make it to – silly kids – I was glad I made it to one though.
10. The food. The food on the ship was top-notch. I had the best shrimp of my life at the Todd English restaurant. (Todd English costs extra to eat at, but is worth every penny. They do not do a great job of explaining how it works. You pay the extra fee for the reservation and then have that as a credit when you are ordering.) Breakfast in the restaurant is the same every day, but lunch and dinner feature a changing menu. The last day of the cruise take the “Galley Tour” to see how everything is made!
Here are the Top 5 things I would love to see changed:
1. Communication. The Disney cruise ships have the “Wave Phones” that allow you to send quick texts between members of your party. Other ships have an app that allow you to use your phone to find the schedule, contact other passengers or make reservations. I would love to see something like this aboard the QM2. This ship is huge. Schedules change. It was sometimes hard to locate our whole group. Additionally it would be great for the Kids Club to have a good way to get in touch with parents – something better than their 1985-style pagers.
2. Key Cards: I know I’m just spoiled, but a key card I have to carry around in a pocket is annoying. I do not have pockets in most of my pants and dresses. A lanyard or bracelet or other option would be a nice touch. I lost my card daily and had to have it replaced once. I do not usually misplace my things so I was annoyed. Next time I’ll bring a lanyard for myself!
3. Planetarium Ticket Distribution. These shows are so popular. You have to wait in line for the tickets each morning at 9am. The line is long. They show things enough times for everyone to see it, so it would be great if you could book your tickets online, on an app (see above) or at an office at your leasure. Each person could be guaranteed one seat at a show and you could enter a standby queue for a differnt time or another seating if you wanted to see the show more than once.
4. Toilet Paper Holders. Seriously. Every time I used it the toilet paper fell off and onto the floor. Yuck. There has to be a better method. We just resorted to putting the toilet paper roll on a shelf.
5. Kids Programing on TV. I know children are not a huge part of Cunard’s clientel. I’ve been impressed with everything else they have offered for kids. It would just be nice to have something I could turn on in the room for the kids to watch. Even if it were just a loop of the same Disney Movie or cartoons. The kids to do get Disney movies in the evening in the Kids Zone but it would be nice to have something they could watch in the room.
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