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

Part Three

It Was Dirty Work
But someone had to do it... all that relaxing on a deck chair. No one can accuse me of being an outdoorsy-type, but even I made it a point to walk around the 360° promenade deck several times. On one day when wind and rain necessitated closing access to outdoor decks, a friend and I did our laps indoors on Deck 8. There wasn't much to see in the passageway, but then, there wasn't much to see except the sea outside.

While I was thrilled to be on my first crossing, there was that nagging worry that five full sea days would be a bit too many. Fortunately, I didn't need a pile to dirt to move in order to stay busy. The Daily Programme contained many compelling activities from Oxford Discovery lectures (Joshua Levine drew standing room only crowds with his series on Britain in World War II) to Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts performances and workshops. There were celestial presentations in the planetarium, computer and photography classes, and cruise ship standards such as Bingo, art auctions, and gaming challenges.

One pursuit many passengers enjoyed immensely was socializing. Lounges hummed with the pleasant buzz of conversation throughout the days and into the evenings. Whether over tea or champagne, passengers on QM2 seemed as content to play impromptu card games as participate in scheduled activities. There was no frantic urgency about the ship and no one seemed anxious to cram too much into their days. After all, there'd be another day at sea tomorrow... the QM2 sailing was the most relaxing of the 70-plus voyages I've taken.

Canyon Ranch Spa Time
I've tried many treatments in many spas over the years and have even been to Canyon Ranch Spa in Las Vegas, which was somewhat disappointing. However, the QM2's Canyon Ranch Spa made my top three list. My Canyon Ranch Massage was just what I needed to overcome the lingering travel weariness I felt. The 50-minute treatment was a full-body Swedish massage that the therapist adapted to take my sensitive back into consideration, while still working the kinks out of my tense shoulder muscles. It was so soothing that I drifted off and awoke feeling refreshed.

Use of the Aqua Therapy Center is complimentary with any massage booking, so I changed into my bathing suit and headed for the huge aqua therapy pool. Wow! It was like an extension of my massage... in addition to the usual reclining airbed that is de rigueur to a therapy pool, this one also had a deluge waterfall, neck massage fountains, wall-mounted body jets, and a floor-mounted "air tube" that creates a really unique floating sensation. Adjacent is a large hot tub, but I found even better things next door. First off are the reflexology foot basins that you can choose to fill with either cool or warm water. While seated on a heated bench, just select the temperature, the basin fills and the whirlpool action begins. Done there, I hopped into the herbal sauna, a gentle humid sauna infused with herbs, then cooled off by rubbing myself with crushed ice from the fountain outside and made my way to the scented aromatic steam room and, finally to the hot, dry Finnish sauna. To wrap up my indulgences, I finished in the sensory shower with its multiple jets, cool fog, and rain shower. A day pass is available without a massage for $29 and is well worth it. Three and five day passes are also offered at a discount over the daily rate. I could have spent all day, every day just in the therapy pool and herbal sauna.

After Hours
Queen Mary 2 is a formal ship after dark and our six-night sailing included three formal nights, an informal night, and two casual nights. That may seem like an awful lot of dressing up, but it turned out to be enjoyable, mostly because of the glamorous balls.

QM2 has the grandest ballroom at sea and her passengers put it to good use! They weren't the usual, "let's take dance lessons because we're cruising" crowd either. We're talking some serious footwork and elegant attire at the Black and White Ball (with attendees attired in black and/or white) and the Royal Night "Ascot Ball" with its Hat Parade and most stylish hat competition. The judging leaned toward the most inventive creation and the winner, Ruth from Birmingham, England, beat out a woman whose hat had actually been worn at Ascot. She seemed a bit miffed at losing, but Ruth had topped her hat with cut-outs of our ship and received thunderous applause (at least from our table).

Through doors at the back of the Queens Room ballroom is G32 Night Club, the late-night disco where the Caribbean band Illusion alternated with a DJ. We checked it out, but when the musicians cranked up the volume we fled to our favorite night spot, the Commodore Club where we could carry on a conversation, even when the pianist was playing.

One very cool aspects of an east-to-west crossing was that we gained an hour five out of the six nights, enabling us to take advantage of the nightlife without guilt.

And, yes, there's MORE...

Queen Mary 2 Crossing Diary --> Part Four

Back to QM2 Crossing Diary --> Part OnePart Two


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,
Spa Photogragh Courtesy of Cunard Line

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