The Cunard Line represents cruise ship traditions and the maritime history of yesteryear, albeit in a modern context. The flagship Queen Mary 2 evokes the excitement of a Transatlantic voyage like no other, and maintains many of the cruise ship standards expected by passengers eager to experience British hospitality and class at its best. Launched in 2004, the Queen Mary 2 avoids the stereotyped fun-park atmosphere of many new cruise vessels, preferring to offer a distinctly mature cruising experience.
The Queen Mary 2 is more than just a cruise ship; it’s an ocean liner purpose-built for crossing the vast Atlantic Ocean. The vessel aims to provide a royal experience, and was christened by Queen Elizabeth 2. Although hosting almost 2,600 passengers, the Queen Mary 2 has the highest passenger to space ratio in the cruise industry, offering service excellence alongside opportunities for a tranquil escape where you can feel as if the ship were yours alone.
There are no noisy announcements on Queen Mary 2. The Captain makes a progress announcement at noon every day – and that’s it. The elegant dress code, impressive décor, luxurious Promenade and lack of vendors hawking goods all add up to a high-end experience. Spanning a length of more than three football fields, The Queen Mary 2 offers passengers plenty of diversions, and remains the pinnacle of ocean-going class and prestige. The ship has 6 restaurants/food outlets, 14 lounges and bars, 4 swimming pools, 8 jacuzzies and 8 shops/boutiques.
Cabins/Staterooms on Queen Mary 2
As expected on such a prestigious ocean liner, there are some very opulent staterooms onboard. However, ensuring the vessel sails to near capacity is important for any cruise company, and there are a range of cabins to suit all travellers. In all, there are 1,216 staterooms situated on 13 of the 17 decks.
Every Queen Mary 2 stateroom includes a king bed that converts into twin beds, satellite TV, refrigerator, safe, phone, 24-hour room service, daily newspaper delivery, bathrobes/slippers, and power sockets suited to European and American appliances.
Special perks for Suite passengers include access to exclusive venues, 24-hour butler service, priority check-in, en-suite afternoon tea, welcome gifts including champagne and flowers, luxury bedding and bath products, DVD player, PC gaming console, shoe-shine and more.
Grand Duplex Suites and Duplex/Apartment Suites: downstairs verandah, upper level master bedroom, 2 marble bathrooms with separate whirlpool bathtub, guest bathroom, living room, double sofa, walk in dressing room, powder room, gym
Royal Suites: views at the bow of the ship, master bedroom, living area with double sofa, dressing room, master bathroom with whirlpool bathtub, guest bathroom, powder room
Penthouse Suites: master bedroom with convertible king size bed, living area with sofa, table and bar, dressing room, master bathroom with whirlpool bathtub, powder room
Princess Suites and Queen Suites: convertible king size bed, large living area with sofa, table and bar, bathroom with whirlpool bathtub, dressing room
Britannia Balcony Rooms: convertible bed, sitting area with sofa and table, bathroom (shower), some rooms have obstructed views
Britannia Oceanview Rooms: All the regular room amenities and features plus a picture window
Britannia Inside Staterooms: include Atrium View cabins, some with additional bunk beds for a 3rd and 4th passenger
Dining on Queen Mary 2
One tradition that is strictly British is the class-system, reflected in dinner seating and restaurant availability according to the cabin you occupy. The most exclusive dining rooms on the Queen Mary 2 are off limits to all but top-paying passengers; a move that may seem antiquated or even discriminatory to some people.
In any case, the vast majority of passengers are treated to some very fine dining in the Britannia Restaurant. Transatlantic sailings mean there are a lack of port stops and the dining experience takes centre stage, especially when coupled with the high dress code requiring suits for men and evening dresses for the ladies. The majority of passengers on Queen Mary 2 are older or retired and the refined style of yesteryear sits comfortably with most people.
Alternative dining options
- Kings Court buffet: open from 4am for a continental breakfast. Lunch choices include a carvery, Italian dishes, burgers and sandwiches
- Todd English: a la carte appetisers, entrees, main dishes and desserts
- Golden Lion Pub: authentic British pub food, very popular at lunch time
- Boardwalk Cafe: a tasty grill
- Pavilion Pool & Bar: light soup and sandwich snacks
Afternoon tea in the Queens Grill or Kings Court offers a relaxing distraction, and the ever-present temptation of room service is also available on Queen Mary 2.
Activities on Queen Mary 2
It’s true to say the Queen Mary 2 is no fun park for teenagers. The majority of onboard activities cater to the mature age passenger demographic, with diversions such as trivia contests, card games, bingo, watercolour painting and flower-arranging to while away time on the Transatlantic voyage. The onboard enrichment and lecture program is extremely varied, showcasing contemporary issues and significant events and hosted by well-known experts in diverse fields, from American political commentators to 60s music icons and film directors.
Other activities and venue features
- The Apple Learning Centre: for computer study courses including photo editing and movie-making.
- The Queens Room: the largest ballroom at sea on any passenger ship, often featuring a live orchestra
- G32 Disco: a place to kick up your heels and dance the night away
- Illuminations: the only cruise ship planetarium featuring movies and lectures
- Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar: featuring seven varieties of champagne
- Commodore Club: piano entertainment in the evenings
- Churchill’s Cigar Bar: a haven for smokers of the finest cigars
- Empire Casino: try your luck at Roulette, Three Card Poker and Blackjack, or on one of the 100 slot machines
Public spaces on Queen Mary 2 feature a dazzling array of fine artworks which provide a worthy distraction while exploring this enormous ship. It’s easy to get lost onboard, with 4 major staircases and more than a dozen elevators. Queen Mary 2 provides an almost sea level view of the ocean from forward on Deck 2, with windows at water level and the opportunity to see for yourself just how fast this massive vessel cuts through the waves.
- Promenade deck: comfortable seating ideal for relaxation and people-watching
- Winter Garden: a conservatory and bar modelled after the famous Kew Gardens, doubling as a wedding venue
- Library: a well stocked repository of famous titles
- Book and Souvenir Shop: an extravaganza of maritime memorabilia and collectibles
- The Observation Deck: located just behind the bridge for a birds-eye view of the Queen Mary 2 in action
Health and Fitness on Queen Mary 2
A Transatlantic crossing is the perfect opportunity to get into regular health, fitness, or pampering regimes. You will arrive at your destination looking and feeling great.
- Canyon Ranch Spa Club: a huge area incorporating a Fitness Centre, Aqua Therapy Centre and Salon. Activities and amenities include state-of-the-art gym equipment, fitness classes, reflexology, a Finnish sauna, steam room, a range of massages and scrubs, and much more.
- The Beauty and Skin Care Centre: hair-styling, nail treatments and anti-ageing treatments
Sporty types can enjoy basketball, paddle tennis, ping-pong, golf simulators, shuffleboard and more. With four pools and plenty of jacuzzis onboard there is also ample opportunity for sunning and swimming. If the weather is inclement the Pavilion Pool on Deck 12 has a retractable roof.
After more than 215 Atlantic crossings and more than 1.5 million nautical miles of cruising, the Queen Mary 2 is still a jaw-dropping example of pleasure cruising on the high seas for the adventurous, and a once in a lifetime opportunity for many lucky passengers.
Queen Mary 2 Stats
|Decks||13 passenger, 17 total decks|
|Max Speed||30 knots|
|Gross Tonnage||148,528 GT|
|Length||1,132 ft / 345 m|
|Beam||135 ft / 41 m|
|Height||236.2 ft / 72.0 m|
|Draught||33 ft / 10.1 m|
|Installed power||4 x Wärtsilä 16V 46C-CR / 16,800 kW|
2 x GE LM2500+ / 25,060 kW
You can find the list of 2015 cruises on the official Queen Mary 2 website.