Transatlantic cruise with Cunard
As you would expect Cunard are a well-oiled machine with the embarkation process being quick and painless. Before we had a chance to think about it, we were being welcomed on board and we started exploring the ship that would carry us home. First stop was our balcony cabin- number 4183 to be exact. Our cabin was pristine and by luck we had a fabulous view of New York from our balcony- what a treat! I often struggle to sleep when I am away from home but after a busy couple of days in New York the comfy bed and extra fluffy pillows were a welcome sight. Sail-away is a great occasion on most ships however sailing past Lady Liberty and watching New York disappear was extra special.
After looking through the daily schedule that is delivered every evening, we decided to try out line dancing on our first full day onboard- it is safe to say that neither my husband or I have any coordination and just about managed some heel scuff moves… but we had fun which is all that matters! We were also very lucky to start our voyage with some gorgeous weather so we relaxed by the pool drinking cocktails which was divine (I can highly recommend the Cunard Cooler!). The views out across the ocean were blissful and the colour of the water was out of this world, I could have stared at it all day! We also found the board games corridor of the ship which turned into a daily game of Rummikub, unlike line dancing, it turns out I am quite good at this game, much to my husband’s dismay! Day 3 involved more exploring, the weather was still beautiful however having caught the sun the day before, we spent time exploring the ship. Queen Mary 2 boasts the largest library at sea and it is certainly impressive. What I enjoyed the most were the seats that directly looked out over the ocean so that you have a view whilst reading your book. I also loved the plethora of travel books on offer! We found the Bridge Observation Deck which was fascinating to see the Captain at work. There is a scenic lift that is worth a quick ride and offers an outside view as you travel back down.
The entertainment options are boundless and there is something for all tastes. My personal favourite was the Commodore lounge up on deck 9. Great views from the front of the ship and beautiful cocktails! A very classy place to sit, talk and listen to the pianist of an evening. The Golden Lion pub down on deck 2 was also a great spot with pub quizzes, bingo and a fab karaoke night! We went to a couple of shows whilst onboard as well, the best being the Barricade Boys. Made up of cast from the Broadway hit Les Mis, you can imagine the vocal talents and they not only performed some classic songs but some rock and roll and pop numbers as well. The comedy night is also a must. It was on the evening of day 4 that we let our hair down and after spending some time watching the beautiful ballroom dancing in the Queens Room, we visited G32’s, the club! It has been many years since I have visited a club, let alone stayed up until the early hours but it was very hard to leave! The evening started with the band Purple Haze who are amazing and ended with the DJ playing great floor fillers. We danced our socks off and loved every minute!
Day 5 saw a change in the weather, it was very grey and a little rainy but we had force 8 gales. I will be honest, you could feel some motion within the ship but it was fine. I did wear SeaBands just in case but I have to say, I felt very safe and un-phased but more importantly I didn’t feel unwell at all. We loved watching the waves whilst playing board games.
There is one major element of our cruise that I haven’t mentioned yet and that is the food. Now I had eaten on board before during a cruise conference that I attended however that did not stop me from being constantly surprised and impressed at the quality, choice and taste of every meal that we ate. In general we ate in the Kings Court buffet for breakfast. There is everything you might want for breakfast available from kedgeree to the full English and an abundance of fresh fruit which I made the most of knowing what was ahead of me for the day. Our best lunch was in the pub- the fish and chips rivalled those from our best chippy here in Brackley! Dinner in the Britannia restaurant was consistently fantastic and the menu offered a variety of options for every taste. My favourite meal was the broiled lobster tail with sesame crusted jumbo shrimp! The best pudding was the lemon soufflé which was so light and fluffy and perfectly complimented by the limoncello sauce that our waiter poured into the middle. The afternoon tea in the Queens Room is also a must whilst travelling and there is something so charming and lovely about eating cucumber sandwiches with a cup of Earl Grey. Whilst on board, it is worth keeping an eye for the ‘Chocolate and Ice buffet’ on the daily schedule in the Kings Court. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be in heaven. From individual chocolates, to gateaux’s, cakes, mousses, deserts, cake pops… if it has chocolate it will most likely be here surrounded by some immense ice sculptures!
After 7 nights on board we arrived back in Southampton. Waking early I caught a beautiful sun rise over Southampton and I drank in the views of ‘land’.
The Transatlantic crossing was fantastic from beginning to end and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a luxurious, leisurely journey full of the finer things in life.
Here are some top tips! - There is a launderette on board that is free so no need to over pack - If you get a clear night, look up! The stars are magical and if you are lucky you may spot some shooting stars! - Keep an eye out for flying fish- whilst on deck one afternoon we spotted them popping out of the waves created by the ship and literally flying across the water before diving back in! Fascinating!