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QM2 Transatlantic Cruise 2006

Queen Mary 2 cruise shipThe lure of traveling on the Queen Mary 2 made this cruise a real treat. For the first time we are on a cruise that accentuates the cruise itself, not the destinations. There are only three ports involved - start in New York, dock in Southampton, England after six days, and disembark at Hamburg, Germany after eight days.

The food was 'to die for' and the entertainment was first rate. We were three couples traveling together - The Dangerous 6 - and we compared notes all along the way.

New York, New York

QM2 at dock in N.Y.The Dangerous Six

Boarding the Queen Mary 2 in Brooklyn.

This ship is massive.

The Dangerous Six

Craig, Nora, Robert, Patty, Betty, Don

Click for a larger picture
leaving New York harbor

NYPD helicopterStatue of Liberty

New York's finest making sure we were safe.

The old girl still looks great.

At Sea

Don & BettyCraig & PattyRobert & Nora

Robert & Nora

Craig & Patty

Don & Betty

Casual dress was permitted for the first dinner - however, jeans were discouraged on board.

The Queen Mary 2 is a lot about class - both from a traditional separateness and in a good sense. On the one hand, there are dining and relaxing areas of the ship that only certain passengers can access. On the other hand, everything is done with a first class attitude.

anniversary cardPatty & Craig kiss

Patty and Craig celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary at the start of the cruise and this was a great present.

This little card is all you need aboard ship. It opens your room and allows to to charge anything for the entire cruise. Of course you get this bill at the end of the trip and the card DOES NOT cover the medical cost of your heart attack.

Day 1 dawned -- well we didn't get out of bed very early as we had to set our clocks ahead one hour - this on top of four of us traveling three time zones to get to New York. This was to happen almost every night (see the Daily Programme below) until we reached Germany. We effectively had 23 hour days all trip (try East to West next time).

our cabin Don in his room

Craig and Patty's standard balcony cabin aboard the Queen Mary 2 - with flowers.

Don dressed formally in his room.

Nora and Robert on their balcony.

As we awoke for our first day at sea, a Daily Programme was in our stateroom, telling us about everything going on aboard the ship that day.

We wanted to investigate every area of the ship and retrieved the map of the ship each of us received upon first boarding.
This map had to be split into two parts so that it would be somewhat readable and we start at the stern.

Patty looking over the two floor dining room

The stern of the ship held the restaurants and dancing/music areas. Dancing classes and the band made their home in the Queen's Room. Dance associates were available for women without partners. These men also served to help out on tours.

The main Britannia dining room was really very luxurious.


The bow of the ship held much of the entertainment. There were two theaters; one for major shows and one for presentations and a 'drop down' planetarium - very unique. The entrance to the planetarium is shown here.

We got a cruise pass to the spa that we used every day - also highly recommended for Princess ships.

The main shopping, cruising, and gambling areas are on decks 7 and 8. These two decks form the heart of the ship and also contain the Britannia dining room and Queen's Ballroom.

An extensive buffet on deck 11, overlooking an open deck area, was the other major place to find most passengers.

There were a number of small meeting areas and a fabulous library/bookshop at the very front of the ship.

There was a signing area and authors would give talks and sign copies of their books here.

Nora looks to check out a book.

Patty and Nora considering what mischief they could get intoCraig, Patty, Nora, Robert

Day 2 and we all started to settle into routines. Here are Patty and Nora considering what mischief they could get into.

Our second night on board was our first formal dinner - it was tux night for the men.

All the Dangerous 6 are shown here in their finery.

We just love taking photos of ourselves.

Patty, Craig, Betty, DonDon, Betty, Nora, Robert
Don ordering dinnerPatty & Craig enjoying libation

Nora started to take black & white pictures for fun and the results were so good we included one of them here.

If you want to see more black & whites of this dinner click on Don's picture on the left.

By day 3 we were all becoming 'old pros' and had picked out parts of the ship we regularly liked to visit - the 7th floor King's Court buffet, the casino, the planetarium - wherever.

Amidships was for shopping, drinking, and gambling. To get away one could go to the 11th floor and visit a 24 hour buffet (with formal dining available in the evenings). One difference between the QM2 and other cruise ships is that the entertainment areas were from the 11th floor down, while other ships we have been on were organized from the 7th floor up.

P.D. James, a favorite mystery author of Patty and her mother Addie, was on board giving lectures about her books. She was so popular that her book signing couldn't be scheduled in the library, but had to take place in the main atrium of the ship.

Of course Patty bought two books and had them signed - one for herself and one for her mother.

QM2 casino chipsthe casino

The casino is a place most people must visit at least once on the voyage.

Here is one of the chips Robert was playing with.

Robert relaxing and taking it all inAncient MarinersDon, Robert, Nora

Robert relaxing in a quiet spot and observing the activity.

These ancient mariners moved only slightly slower than waiters at a very bad restaurant.

However, our ancient mariners couldn't be found in one place for too long.

Nora making an entrance into Britannia ResturantPatty at dinner

Nora making an entrance into the Britannia dinning room.

Patty enjoying fine food and friends at dinner.

Nora taking snapshotsBetty at dinner

Betty, relaxed and not organizing a thing.

waiter Kristopher

Nora taking a snapshot of the group.

All our waiters were first class. Here Kristopher attends to our needs.

QM2 Main Lobby

These photos of the Main Lobby aboard the QM2 show the central area where the glass elevators deposit passengers...

The Grand Lobby extends five floors up, where the top three floors are an atrium fronting staterooms.

Purser's Office

The Purser's Office, where Patty is asking a question...

...and a view down the main hall to the Britannia Restaurant (yes it is as big as it seems).

QM2 Main Lobby

There were two bars off the Main Hall, on the left the Chart House (jazz) and on the right the Golden Lion Pub.

A wine bar across from the Chart House served a selection of gourmet sandwiches at noon and quiche in the morning.

During lunch the pub served fantastic fish 'n chips and other English specialties.

Of course Guinness and other British libations were always available.

Day 4 was our third formal night, the colorful Ascot Ball. Patty had packed a very special dress - but no hat - for the occasion.

Patty and Craig indulge in the traditional formal portraits.

Colorful dining - what a way to cross the Atlantic for Nora.

There were even art classes where Betty continued her interest in drawing.

Day 5: Our tour of the ship's galley and our reservation at the fancy restaurant on board - Todd English. Remember, cruising is all about eating first and everything else later.

The Galley Tour - a real must!

However, I expected the Irish to be in the pubs, not managing the kitchens and giving tours.

The main entries are all tracked from here - ordered, made, and delivered.

There are seven kitchens aboard the QM2. This one is the largest.

H'orderve plates all ready for delivery to your table.

The Dangerous Six waiting to be seatedTodd English

Just before landing in Southampton we had reservations in the Todd English restaurant - yes you have to make reservations here.

We all gathered for this photo before being seated - Nora, Robert, Don, Betty, Patty, Craig.

Of course we also had to take individual pictures of each other inside the restaurant as well.

Don & BettyRobert & Nora Craig & Patty
Southampton portSouthampton pickup area

Day 6 -- and we were docked at Southampton, England. This busy port is a major passenger and cargo port for Great Britain.

The first picture is of our neighboring ship unloading automobiles. As we got off the ship we entered a huge terminal where buses and taxis, as well as trains, were available.

This is where the famed Orient Express stops.

Orient Express arrival door

Orient Express logoThe Orient Express was in the station when we disembarked for the day and we got to see how the cars are furnished.

Here is a dining car and a picture of Nora outside one of the cars.

Orient Express dining car

Day tours out of Southampton, England

Craig & Patty took a bus tour to Stonehenge & Salisbury. If you want to see more of their tour click here or on the picture.

Robert, Nora, Don and Betty toured Windsor Castle and the town of Windsor. For more pictures of their tour click here or on the picture.

Deck plan for the ship

Day 7 and we are at sea again. Since this will be our last sea day, we are all trying to do as much as we can.

Illuminations theater

Here is a presentation in the Illuminations Theater. There was no way to take pictures when the Planetarium was functioning - it requires complete darkness.

Here is a view of the deck plan for the Queen Mary 2. The yellow designates public areas and the orange cabin space.

Winston Churchill smokers room

The Winston Churchill room is reserved for smokers - we didn't go in there.

King's Court buffet area on the 11th floor. There are four different buffet areas, each serving a different type of food.

In the evening one is converted to a formal area and dinner is served - often with joggers passing by on the deck.

Our final formal dinner,
the night before docking
in Hamburg, Germany.

Robert and Nora are making the most of this.

Early morning on day 8 found us arriving in Hamburg, Germany. The city has adopted the QM2 and thousands of people braved the early morning to see the ship arrive. It was the most 'people impressive' arrival we have ever seen on any of our cruises.

Early in the AM the welcoming boats were out.

Thousands of people lined the Elbe river as we traveled to our docking area.

This was a welcome for the ship, not us...

...and the band played on - and on.

Hamburg arrival

We spent the day touring Hamburg, each couple finding their own way around the city. Of course all of us started by examining our city maps. Click on the picture or click here to see more of what we found in the city.