Queen Mary 2
Crossing the Atlantic in Royal Style
to New York
woman who craves being treated like royalty is a woman after my own
heart and, after a seemingly endless flight from Atlanta to London,
I was so ready to step on board Queen Mary 2 and let the pampering
First, though, there
was the coach ride from London to Southampton and, I'll admit, I
slept off a lot of jet lag during that two-hour drive through the
English countryside. What I saw was charming, but, as I was soon to
discover, there's a much better--and far less stressful--way to
cross the Atlantic.
As we alighted from our
bus, my friends and I were delighted to see British ladies carrying
hats to wear at one of the traditional fancy-dress balls during the
crossing. Instead of
hats, we all-American gals were schlepping our rollaboards and, once
inside, were directed to a rather long line snaking alongside the
embarkation hall. Other than the terminal's name, Queen Elizabeth
II, the sights inside could have been anywhere in the world--typical
passengers anxious to be aboard. Let the journey begin.
Now, wait a minute,
we're princesses! For this crossing we were junior royalty. Our
mini-suites entitled us to Princess Grill dining and, it turned out,
there was a special check-in line for Grill-class passengers. It
wasn't well marked, but one of my enterprising companions found it
and led the way. One detail about the boarding cards that I'd never
seen before was the photo, taken at the check-in desk and printed on
Anxious to settle in, I
hurried through Queen Mary 2's breathtaking grand lobby and headed
for Deck 10 and my home for the next six nights. This was more like
it--the princess treatment had begun.
Mini-suite 10057 was
beautiful, bright, and above all spacious. When entering I noticed
the bank of closet doors to my left and was surprised to see a
walk-in closet to my right. Maybe I hadn't packed enough?
Light woods, heavy,
rich fabrics and enough storage space for a world cruise. What more
could I ask for except champagne and strawberries... and those
necessities were awaiting on the cocktail table.
Within minutes my
checked luggage arrived and I dove into unpacking in order to finish
before the boat drill. There was so much closet space that I stowed
suitcases in one of them instead of wrestling to hide it beneath the
I admit to opening the
champagne and resting with the Daily Programme for a few minutes on
my balcony before heading to the muster station.
It may seem odd to place
emphasis on what is typically a simple schedule of events, but the
Daily Programme on Queen Mary 2 isn't typical. For one thing, it
contains details that first time passengers might not even think to
ask about. And there's nothing more frustrating than discovering
until too late that you could have purchased a soda package or taken
advantage of some other amenity. The Daily Programme contained that
sort of information and more.
On a lighter vein, I
was told before leaving home about a couple who booked a crossing
for their honeymoon. The hapless husband apparently grew bored and
in mid-ocean decided he would have been happier if a pile of dirt
had been provided on the ship's bow, along with a wheelbarrow and
instructions to move the dirt to the stern.
What's an ocean liner crossing
REALLY like? Keep reading...
Queen Mary 2
Crossing Diary --> Part Two,
or Cruising? What's the difference? Cruise Diva looks at
conventional cruises, repositioning cruises, and a traditional Transatlantic
Crossing on the largest ocean liner ever to sail the
Atlantic, Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2
Learn about the
building of the Queen Mary 2 --> The
Mary 2, Relive the maiden crossing by Dr. John M. Clearwater
Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com