Cruise Review - Queen Mary 2
By Kate Mott, Cruising Specialist at Cruiseabout Burnside
As I made my way onboard the Queen Mary 2 at the Fremantle dock, equipped with expectations of elegance, majesty, class and paralleled service, I was delighted to find that Cunard's Queen May 2 did not disappoint.
Our sheltered balcony, located on Deck 4, was spacious and light, with plenty of storage space. While I was initially disappointed that we didn't have a full balcony, the weather on our cruise turned out to be a bit wild and woolly, so in the end we were very grateful for the enclosed balcony as we were able to sit out there without being blown away!
We were embarking on a 4-day sector that was just a small part of the world voyage from Southampton, which Queen May 2 embarks on yearly. And an amazing 4 days it was!
- Queen Mary 2 has the largest and most comprehensive library at sea, featuring more than 8,000 volumes. You can sit down in one of the comfortable arm chairs in front of one of the big windows overlooking the bow of the ship and delve into a book or magazine. There is a bookshop located next to the library where you can get Queen Mary 2 books, postcards and other souvenirs.
- This ships also has the largest ballroom at sea - the Queens Room Ballroom spans the full width of the ship (134 feet wide) and has double-height ceilings accommodating beautiful crystal chandeliers. It really is a sight to behold!
- Queen Mary 2 has the only Planetarium at sea! In Illuminations you can take a virtual ride into outer space, view the stars or take a course on celestial navigation.
I definitely felt quite young onboard, as in general, Queen Mary 2 attracts passengers mostly in their 50's and up. Many passengers had cruised with Cunard before and appreciated the cruise line's throwback to cruising-times passed.
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Queen Mary 2 is not the kind of ship where you walk around in your swimmers all day! There is a general dress code for days and nights, but a full break down of dress codes, the number of formal nights and any themed balls will depend on your itinerary.
During the day, casual shirts, shorts, trousers and beachwear were recommended, and the main restaurants required casual wear for both breakfast and lunch. In the evenings, the dress code gets split into two - formal or informal, indicated in your Daily Programme each day.
Formal wear consists of an evening or cocktail dress or smart trouser suit for women, and a tuxedo, dinner jacket or smart suit for men. Informal evening-wear consisted of a required jacket and optional tie for men, and a cocktail dress or stylish outfit for women.
There was quite a selection of food onboard, other than the main dining rooms. There was a more casual buffet with the adjoining Chefs Galley, which offered a different speciality each day (e.g. a healthy corner, Asian, burgers).
One thing to note is that Princess Grill Suites and Queens Grill Suites and Penthouse guests each have their own exclusive dining areas away from other guests.
Cruising With Children
Whilst children are allowed onboard and there are Kids Club facilities, they generally only make up a small number of the guests. There are also only limited children's activities offered onboard.
The onboard activities are quite varied, with options like lectures, art auctions, ballroom dancing and deck activities like shuffleboard and Majong. There is also a fantastic High Tea offered on some days - definitely one not to be missed!
You can also attend wine tastings and lectures, spend time in the Empire Casino, join in some karaoke in the Golden Lion Pub or enjoy a thrilling musical or theatre show in the evenings.
Overall, I had a wonderful time onboard, and would highly recommend Queen Mary 2 to the discerning cruiser who has perhaps already cruised with companies such as Holland America Line or Princess Cruises, or those who love the classic and traditional experience of transatlantic cruising.
"To speak to Cruising Specialist, Kate, about cruising onboard Queen Mary 2, call her on 1300 841 742, or visit her at the Cruiseabout Burnside store in South Australia.
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