Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day 1 (July 7, 2019) – Cunard Queen Mary 2 – Transatlantic (New York to Southampton) – Embarkation Day

We got up at a decent time, got ready and then went down to have a quick bite to eat at the breakfast included with the hotel stay. It was fairly typical food of Fairfield Inn’s, not great, not horrible. After breakfast, we packed up and checked out at 11am.

The QM2 was in port and we could see it from the roof terrace of our hotel.
We got a Lyft to take us the 2.5 miles to the port to check in and board the Queen Mary 2. It was going to be a very unique voyage for us, a direct sailing from New York to Southampton over 7 days with no stops. Once we arrive in Southampton, we plan to just head to the airport and fly home.

We got to the terminal, gave the stevedores our luggage and headed inside to check in. There were about 8 groups in front of us in line and the line moved very quickly. They gave us our “Silver” room cards and we were ushered into the waiting area ready to board with group 19. Silver means that this is your second Cunard cruise. We sailed on the Cunard Princess back in November 1981 in the Caribbean and it was our very first cruise. Amazing, 38 years later, we are back on the same line.

At about 11:45, they started boarding the ship. We were chatting and realized that our group 19 had already been called and they were up to group 21. That was fast!! We hustled and boarded the ship with our carry-on luggage.

We were resigned to haul luggage around the ship while our rooms were made up (as happens on every other ship we’ve been on – especially Crystal where the rooms are usually not ready until about 2pm – they allow you to check your carry-on luggage, which makes the process of wandering the ship much easier). As we got to the elevators, the guides were there to help us get on the elevators and go wherever we wanted.

In our case, we decided to go to our room and see if we could drop off our stuff. We went to deck 5 (room 5142) and our room was READY!! It looked like every other room was ready too as we did not see a single cleaning cart or cabin steward or stewardess. We were blown away.

We dropped our bags off, checked out the room, took some pictures, and then headed up the Kings Court buffet lunch (we thought that it was the only thing open – we learned that the Pub also had their lunch open). The buffet lunch was on the Promenade Deck 7 (where you can walk the entire ship outside) and not up on the top of the ship like most other ships. Interesting. So, we got some salads and had a quick bite. Both of us thought that the food was ok, but nothing to write home about.

After lunch we wandered back to the cabin, saw that two of our three bags were there and hauled them inside of the room. We then decided that we were going to explore the ship and managed to spend about an hour walking up to the top and exploring almost all of the decks and areas (including the kennels where people place their dogs and cats that they bring with them on board).

Commodore Club



Royal Court Theatre


Godiva Lounge

Britannia Dining Room
We then headed back to our room, got our last bag and unpacked. The balcony rooms are fairly spacious, but the amount of storage is a little inadequate, with only 4 decent sized drawers, but two closets.

At 4:30 we headed to the Kings Court for our mandatory safety drill with our life jackets. It was the usual affair with hearing from the captain, watching a demonstration of putting on the life jackets and then having to do it ourselves. After that, we headed back to our cabin to drop off the jackets. The cruise line had given us a bottle of champagne in our room and so we each took a glass and headed up to the Promenade deck to check out the sail away.

Up on deck, it was nice as there were many people hanging out, mostly sitting in the numerous deck chairs. At 5pm, we started to move and slowly inched our way out of the berth, by the Statue of Liberty and eventually under the Verrazano Bridge. It was a wonderful sail away and the deck chairs made it very pleasant.

At about 6pm, we headed back to the room to get ready for our second seating, 8:30 dinner. The QM2 requires that that you have to dress for dinner if you are going to the dining room or the shows. Tonight was smart dress, which means jacket and slacks for men (no tie required) and slacks and top or dress for women.  Gala nights (of which there are 3 on this 7-day voyage) requires a tuxedo or dark suit (Bob brought his tux).

Dinner was in the main Britannia dining room. Julie had Smoked Fish Cake (she thought that it was very dry), Salad of Baby Spinach, Bacon and Blue Cheese, and Beef Tenderloin with Black Pepper Crust.

Bob had the Plum Tomato Tart, plus the same salad and same entrée as Julie. We both loved the salads and liked the Tenderloins.

After dinner, we headed up to the 10:30 pm show in the Royal Court Theatre. It was a performance by violinist Katarina Rossa who performed many songs that varied from classical to rock and roll. She was very good, but we were both pretty tired and slept through a bit of the show.

Today, we walked 10,331 steps and 4.48 miles.

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