As someone relatively new to cruise and already completely hooked, I was delighted to be invited on board the newly remastered Queen Mary 2 for training at sea, last week.
It was my first experience of the Cunard brand and Queen Mary 2 has recently undergone a major, multi million pound refurbishment - I was totally blown away. She is stunning.
Our first experience of the renowned Cunard 'White Star Service' began the moment we stepped on board when the white-gloved officers and crew greeted us with a smile and warm welcome.
My immediate impressions were of the sheer spaciousness and elegance. I was taken back to a bygone era where you would dress for dinner, listening to some fabulous jazz music before taking to the dancefloor.
I was appointed an outside stateroom and you can see from my photo that it was lovely and had everything you need.
Our first day was spent taking part in a treasure hunt! We had such a giggle, but it was a great way of getting to know this stunning ship and finding out some little nuggets of information including finding Homer Simpson discretely hidden in one of the panels.
Cruises are well known for the fabulous food and again, Queen Mary did not disappoint. We had the opportunity to eat at a variety of restaurants and the food was simply superb - top quality, accompanied again, by the fabulous 'White Star Service'. If you do get the opportunity, take advantage of the speciality dining at the Verandah and Kings Court - you won't regret it.
A wide range of entertainment awaits you, but my favourite had to be the dance lessons. I learned to Cha Cha Cha and line dance - later on in the cruise, we had the opportunity to showcase our new dancing skills. I was lucky to have two clients on board who are the most amazing dancers. I watched in awe at their chemistry and sheer elegance. Next time, that'll be me and my husband - with lots of practice, anyway.
We had two ports of call and I had a fabulous time on both. Whether you like something formal and planned, or just want to go and explore yourself, you choose - it's your trip.
The first trip was to Bruges. The last time I visited Bruges was in 1984 (how can that be when I'm only 27 you might ask!) We had a fabulous guide who gave us lots of information and background to Bruges before letting us loose on the chocolate shops. OK, Bruges is more than chocolate shops, but this is me - the chocolate called! What a vibrant place with so many amazing places to visit. We took a canal boat ride - it was a fabulous way of seeing Bruges from an alternative view. Be warned - some of those bridges are low - remember to duck.
Guernsey was our second trip. What a stunning island. My tip is to take the bus service that takes you around the island for £1 each! Yes, £1! It's full of little alleyways with local shops and if you're into World War Two history, you will find evidence of the German's occupation of the island.
The Cunard team were so welcoming, knowledgeable and approachable. Nothing is too much trouble for them. All you have to do is ask.
If you would like to experience a bygone era, get dressed up in your best clothes for formal night and dance to some fabulous music, whilst eating amazing food, mixing with like-minded travellers and making new friends - Cunard is for you!
A mini cruise really is a fabulous way of trying out a cruise to see if it's for you. If you've cruised before, it's a great way of trying a new cruise line. Or even, just a great excuse for a few days R&R, away from the stresses of life, being completely pampered and having special time together.
Always more than happy to help you find the perfect cruise for you. Just give me a call on 0191 432 6570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org