Travel To Go | 12 Tips for Queen Mary 2 Trans-Atlantic Cruises

12 Tips for Queen Mary 2 Trans-Atlantic Cruises

By: Marilyn Green

Crossing the ocean onboard Queen Mary 2 with Cunard Line is a unique cruise experience. With a very rich mix of nationalities offering a complete world at sea, the ship is a hive of activities from enrichment lectures and classes to shows in the Planetarium, special meals and celebrations, dancing and much more. Knowing these 12 tips in advance will add a great deal to your clients’ enjoyment onboard.

Cooler Than You Think. All those pictures of passengers wrapped in blankets on deck chairs? At sea, any form of additional warmth is needed. Even if it’s summer, take a warm jacket and hat.

Reserve Ahead. Without port days, everything from spa treatments to dining fills up much earlier on most cruises.

Show Up. Line up at 9 a.m. outside ConneXions to get Planetarium tickets for any of the shows of the day, and be sure to arrive 15 minutes before the start of the show. The Planetarium dome covers a portion of the Illuminations theater, and seats are limited, so it gets filled very early. And if you come just before show time, you won’t be admitted.

Dress Code. Don’t be daunted by the dress code. Women in particular on our cruise were very worried about the frequent formal nights and the nature of informal ones. Cocktail dresses are perfectly acceptable on formal nights, and passengers showed up in all levels of dress on other nights. What is typically referred to as “country club casual” on other lines is accepted on Queen Mary 2’s informal nights.

Theme Nights. Theme nights are similarly flexible. Masquerade balls and other themes were celebrated by a few people on our cruise, mostly at the dancing that follows dinner and not at mealtime.

Casual Only. If you decide to go extra casual on a formal night, you are welcome in two public areas: the Kings Court buffet restaurant and the adjoining Winter Garden.

Bridge Brigade. Bridge is huge on these crossings. If you want to join in, you can be connected to other guests who are similarly inclined, and tournaments are announced in the daily schedule. There are also classes for beginners.

Bring Your Talents. Participation in a guest talent show requires only attending one rehearsal.

Time Changes. The time adjusts by an hour practically every afternoon. This prevents the huge adjustment at the end of the cruise, but it also means being alert so you don’t miss lunch or midday activities.

Todd English. The Todd English restaurant onboard is a bargain, with a la carte pricing and wonderful food and service. But book early, or you’ll also have to be dining earlier than usual.

Healthy Cruisers, FYI. There’s a special healthy corner of the Chef’s Galley at breakfast.

Celebrity-Spotting. Actors and actresses, musicians and artists, scientists, statesmen and more sail with Queen Mary 2, so match your interests to the featured guest, and you might get to hang out with a celeb.

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