Few cruise lines evoke the spirit of cruising more strongly than Cunard and crossing the Atlantic on Cunard’s flagship the Queen Mary 2 has to be one of the classic experiences afloat.
So greetings and welcome to this (almost) live blog from Queen Mary 2 on her Eastbound trans-Atlantic crossing which departed New York yesterday, Tuesday 19 November 2013 on which I am doing a ‘solo’ crossing.
I expect readers will be pondering why Solent Richard is both travelling solo and doing a live blog.
Well the simple answer is I love trans-Atlantic crossings on QM2 and this is one way that I had not yet experienced. Add to that the challenge to experience and understand why so many solo travellers perpetually moan so much, on various cruise forums, as to the lack of opportunity and high prices associated with solo cruising generally, I decided to give it a go.
Welcome aboard, I hope you enjoy the voyage.
Included in my package was a Cunard arranged flight to New York on a scheduled British Airways flight (more Avios points- thank you Cunard) and 45 minute coach transfer to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal…
Welcome on board, I hope you enjoy the voyage.
Check-in was fast and efficient. There was no queue at the Diamond Member’s check-in and I was soon settling into my stateroom with a view, some 15 minutes from disembarking the transfer coach.
I settled into my Stateroom with a view…
Now this was novel, but I did say I wanted to be like any normal solo traveller and that is what was on offer.
My luggage arrived within 15 minutes and soon I was settling in
I had a couple of hours before the ‘safety Drill and opted for a Smoked Salmon Panini from the Sandwich Bar in the Kings Court. First time there for a long time – all very civilised.
It was at this point that my ‘solo’ cruise was about to change. I was spotted by an old Naval colleague and his wife. They too had joined earlier and this was their first time with Cunard.
Safety Drill was completed and for whatever the reason, our departure was delayed. On returning to my stateroom there was a message waiting on the telephone system…would you like an upgrade?
Well an offer I could not refuse and by the time we eventually slipped away from the Brooklyn Terminal I was in my new Britannia Club stateroom on 12 Deck.
Due to the somewhat chilly evening weather and our late departure the sailaway party was switched to the Queens Room. It was well after 6.30 pm when we started to move so the grand view of Manhattan that I have become so used to during a New York…
With these eventual views replacing the above…
I’m not sure of the numbers embarking yesterday, it certainly didn’t seem like many judging by the speed of check-in – though we did arrive around 1.00 pm.
I arranged to meet my friends in the Commodore Club for a pre-dinner drink. They were on second sitting and I now had my new found flexibility. I always find the anticipation of meeting ‘new’ table companions exciting and last night was no exception. As usual I was last to arrive having been far too busy talking in the Commodore Club. On arrival I quickly negotiated to join a table for 8, funnily enough the same I shared with my wife just 8 weeks ago. A convivial gathering though one couple had finished early as this is ‘freedom’ dining. I guess I will meet them today.
I linked up with my friends again later in the Queens Room for some dancing and we eventually moved into the G32 for a little more. The G32 was well attended and resident Caribbean band, Vibz, were as good as ever. My God, with the 5 hour time difference I had now been on the go 24 hours. At midnight Richard called it a day.
This series will be continued as and when internet connections permit.
Sounds like you are not missing me at all my darling, but don’t fret…Solent Barbara is having fun too and I have absolutely no intention of telling your dedicated following what I am up to!!
Brilliant reply to SR… luv it
Really looking forward to the reports of the rest of your trip, always informative, always great photos. A real highlight, thanks Richard.
Sounding good & I hope you continue to enjoy your cruise.
We’ve just got back from our trans-atlantic going the other way from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale on Eclipse. Our first cruise on a big ship & we thoroughly enjoyed it!
I met Louise a lady from Edinburgh who is coming back on QM2 now. She’s a fanatical dancer & was looking for dancing partner on QM2 but I don’t think she found anyone on Eclipse. Don’t think it’s such a dance ship as Cunard tends to be. If you meet her give her my best wishes. It was lovely meeting her & I hope she gets more dancing done on QM2.
Look forward to reading more of your blog!
That’s very enterprising trying the single traveller life Richard. I know from previous reviews you will enjoy the cruise and experiences on board even alone. As a regular single traveller I find you just have to accept it for what it is. The extra payments are annoying but if you look around you can avoid them being too high. Myself I usually just pay the supplement and enjoy it all rather than worrying about it. However at the weekend I struck lucky and in 2 weeks I have a getaway fare to the Carribbean on Ventura with no single supplement. Been allocated a de luxe balcony to myself so can’t wait, will not mention it on board as others will spit. Must admit it can gall you when you pay that high extra cost as a single then it sells so cheap later but in the end I know the suite I like and book early to get it, beggar the cost usually. . Would have preferred Azura but dates didn’t work so off to sample speciality dining at The White room instead of my favourite 17. Meantime I will get in the mood for the cruise by avidly reading your excellent blog and photographs.
Love it, both having fun in tour own special way! 🙂
Another upgrade…,,, next it will be the Owners Suite / lol