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Trip Report QM2 - Queen Mary 2 - Transatlantic Trip Report

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I've been asked to write a trip report so here goes! My husband and I had such a busy summer that we just needed to get away, anywhere. Our daughter was to go with us so I looked at some last minute options but found that I was too late to find any triple accommodations...

...until I got an email about a sale on a Cunard Transatlantic crossing on the QM2! (Note: they don't call this a cruise, although I do). This was a one day FLASH sale for balcony cabins at $799 per person, less than the cost of an oceanview cabin. I called, they had a triple available and voila - we booked that afternoon. No planning - nada! (I checked the price later and some balcony cabins ran around $2000 so we were very happy.)

I'm going to admit that I wasn't actually too thrilled about the prospect of this cruise. I had read that the average age was about 70 and that there weren't too many activities on board. I read about lectures on board. It honestly sounded a bit boring because I love being busy on cruises. However, my husband has always wanted to go on a Transatlantic cruise on Cunard so I indulged him once I saw the sale. The point here is that I was wrong! We all loved this ship. There were people of all ages, even a good number of kids and younger parents. We fit right in and loved this week.

We also added on a few days at the end in England and booked a flight to Newark using air miles. I'll switch over to the Europe forum once I get to that point.

To start, we drove our car to Newark Airport, parked at ABC Parking (which worked out great at around $8/day) and booked a car service, Carmel Limo, to take us from a terminal to the Red Hook pier in Brooklyn. They picked us up in a decent town car and drove the 3 of us for an hour to the terminal for the price of $88 including tax, tolls and tip. That was an amazing price. (The cruise line transfers from Newark would have cost us $180 and would have gotten us to the dock much later.) The driver was prompt, polite and friendly and I would definitely use them again.

Drop off was standard as with any other cruise line. No additional amenities, not even cookies or lemonade as with Carnival, no champagne as we boarded as with Celebrity. I had heard that this would be fairly hoity toity but not so far. Everyone looked to be fairly regular folks...just like us...with the exception of the man in front of us in line. He had these pale blue felted loafer type shoes with purple edging and pinkish-lavender monograms and was carrying a Vuitton bag for wifey. Presidential suite material if I ever saw it. I'm sure he appreciated the harpist in the lobby as he passed by.

In our pre-cruise documents, we were given a boarding time of 3:30...which we promptly ignored. We always arrive early so we can have lunch on board, which we did again. We arrived at the terminal at about 10:30, thus avoiding the lines, waited a bit in the waiting area and boarded underneath the "Leaving Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboudit!" sign near the front of the line about 12:15. No one batted an eye that we didn't adhere to our specific boarding time.

There were no crowds in the buffet which was good because the tables were scattered about in little nooks, many by the widows with spectacular views of NY. The food was typical buffet fare which we enjoyed. Since this was a British line though, we did have a laugh at the massive number of tea bags on display. Think Costco size boxes...times 10! Tea lovers (like me) - it was tea heaven!

After lunch, we wandered around the ship and went to our cabin where we were greeted by a chilled half bottle of champagne (finally!), compliments of the captain, went out on deck to enjoy the wooden lounge chairs with thick cushions to enjoy the sparkling view of the NYC skyline. It was a perfect day for a view.

We took our champagne out on deck to enjoy the sail-away party (I didn't expect typical cruise type music but it was a great band XtaSea) and toasted the Big Apple as we passed the Statue of Liberty, pulled under the Verrazano Narrows suspension Bridge, past Coney Island and out of sight of land for a week. Really the perfect start and we were already unwinding.

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