The Online Cruise Travel Guide
Created by the Author of FODOR'S

tLinda Coffman's
Linda Coffman
Author & Cruise Authority

Cruise Lines & Ships Articles & Advice

Cruise Reviews

Before You Go 
On Board In Port Get a Fare Quote   Home Page

Cruise Essentials:

Site Search
Cruise News
Planning Tips
Packing & Lists
HOT Tips
Cruise Links
About Us


CLICK HERE for savings--CruiseCompete
Don't pay more than your tablemates...
CruiseCompete makes it easy to let independent agents compete to offer you the best deal.

Cruisers' favorites:

Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Porthole Cruise Magazine

Have a question or a review to submit? Write

Copyright © 1995-2013
Linda Coffman, SM

ll content is protected by United States Copyright Laws. Violators of our copyright, as well as bandwidth theft by "direct linking" of images, will be pursued by all means necessary. Find out more in
  Terms of Service

Queen Mary 2
Cruise Diva's Cruise Diary
Crossing the Atlantic in Royal Style

Part Two

Excited passengers--about half Brits and half Yanks--gathered on Queen Mary 2's stern to celebrate our sailing. Beneath a dreary Southampton sky the band played a colorful rendition of "Hot, Hot, Hot" and the ship's whistle announced our departure. Our voyage had begun in oddly cruise ship fashion. It was something of a let-down, though, as a drizzle of rain forced us indoors.

I'm not quite sure what I expected, maybe streamers and a brass band. No matter, I was soon to discover a different element, one that connects QM2 to her historic forbears. 

A Matter of Class
The Class System is alive and well on British ocean liners. Okay, it's not very democratic, but it's tradition and no one seemed to mind that passengers who'd paid a premium for suites were assigned to Queen's Grill for their meals. A small step down (no complimentary caviar), those of us in mini-suites dined in Princess Grill and all Grill passengers had access not only to a concierge lounge, but also the exclusive Queen's Grill Lounge for afternoon tea and pre- and post-dinner cocktails. Once underway, I was famished and it was time for dinner.

The Dramatic Britannia Restaurant

Everyone but Grill passengers is assigned a table at either early or late seating in the Britannia Restaurant. While the Grill dining rooms are more intimate, the Britannia is nothing to sneeze at. In three words, it's Drop Dead Gorgeous. As I would discover, diners in Britannia aren't second-class passengers when it comes to selection either. While those of us in the Grills had the option of ordering dishes from an à la carte menu in addition to (or in place of) the main menu items, the daily selections in Britannia Restaurant mirrored ours. 

I admit to feeling Princess-ish, though, when I ordered escargot as an à la carte appetizer with each dinner I ordered in Princess Grill. Even more royal was the service and thoughtfulness of the staff. After missing 'lobster night,' our headwaiter graciously offered to have it prepared for our table another night. I was so glad I didn't miss it...  without question it was the best lobster dish I've ever enjoyed at sea.

Throughout the ship, QM2 chefs performed at top notch levels. The food everywhere was uniformly very good to excellent. I made it a point to try dining in as many of the restaurants and other eating spots as I could and my only disappointment came the last morning aboard, when my French toast in Princess Grill was served somewhat cold.

As an alternative to the formal restaurants, the Kings Court serves as buffet by day and casual eateries by night offering several options: La Piazza for Italian specialties and pizza; Asian fare in Lotus; traditional meats and sides in the Carvery; and, my favorite, Chef's Galley, where diners are treated to a cooking demonstration while their meals are prepared.

Two of my favorite treats were the fish 'n chips offered during pub lunch in the Golden Lion Pub and quiche in Sir Samuel's where pastries are available in the morning and "light bites" are available from lunchtime into late afternoon.

QM2 is a British ship and of course there's afternoon tea. For children, it's served in the Chef's Galley, while adults indulge in tea and dainty finger sandwiches and sweets in the Queens Room or Lotus. 

Todd English Restaurant Foyer

I've saved the best for last. Todd English, the restaurant named for award winning chef and restaurateur Todd English (who else?) is a masterpiece. Moroccan in decor, the food is simply other worldly. Everything, and I mean everything on the menu sounded divine. I started with Lobster and Baby Corn Chowder and Truffled Potato Love Letters (ravioli with potato and truffle stuffing) and barely had room for my Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter Lobster entree and Chocolate Fallen Cake dessert. It's a dinner fit for royalty.

Okay, that wasn't the last. Room Service deserves more than a passing mention. The Breakfast in Bed menu served as my wake-up call most mornings and includes whatever you could imagine you'd want to start the day, from nine cold cereals to such delicacies as Wiltshire sausages and baked beans. And what serious breakfast menu doesn't include cottage cheese, Kadoga figs, and prunes? It's truly a complete menu to get you moving.

To end one day, I decided to give my high heels a rest and ordered a soup, salad, and sandwich dinner from room service and it arrived in under twenty minutes. Not only was the food great, the prompt and courteous service was amazing.

But, is there anything to do but EAT? Plenty...

Queen Mary 2 Crossing Diary --> Part Three, Part Four

Back to Crossing Diary --> Part One


Crossing 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 more about the building of the Queen Mary 2 --> The 12-Part Series

Queen Mary 2, Relive the maiden crossing by Dr. John M. Clearwater

Photographs © Linda Coffman,

CLICK HERE TO ORDER - Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
Order My
Latest Book

Don't Miss!
All-New Cruises Guide & Cruise Forum



Back to the top of  this page  

            Use keywords to search...

Search Search the Internet