In late April, I took an Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. It was a round trip, and I was at sea for a total of 14 days. This was my third time on the Queen Mary 2. While I have taken a number of transatlantic cruises, this was my first Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic Crossing where the ship is the destination.
The Queen Mary 2 has a long history of transporting passengers from New York City to Southampton, and Southampton to New York. An elegant ship, it offers excellent live theater, newly released movies, and several music venues. In addition, passengers have access to services not found on any other ships. There are kennels for pets, a planetarium, and the best ocean-going ship stabilizers. Most of the time it felt as if we were not moving at all! When we hit a few patches of rough weather the stabilizers enabled passengers to enjoy their meals, and the many ship activities with a minimum of movement.
I enjoyed many of the on-board activities. But what made the trip for me were the people I got to know during our hours of conversation each day. There are a lot of hours to fill when you are at sea for 7 days. An Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2 really sharpens one’s social and conversational skills!
Breakfast and lunch gave me the chance to share a table with new people each day. Dinner was a designated table with the same dinner companions. Going over, many of the passengers were British, returning home after spending the winter in the U.S. southern states. Others were from the U.S., throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Dutch South Africa. There were 430 American passengers making the round trip crossing!
Why An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2?
Despite where they came from, when asked, passengers would share that they preferred an Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2 to flying. American passengers were taking the Queen Mary 2 to vacation in other parts of Europe.
On the way back from Southampton to New York City, a number of passengers joined the cruise from the Queen Victoria. They had just completed a 97 day world tour, and were taking the Queen Mary 2 home to the states. Others were spending a few days in NYC then catching a plane back to other parts of the U.S., Australia, or New Zealand.
Cunard Ships Are a Favorite of Single Men and Women
While many of the passengers were 65+ couples, there were a significant number of solo travelers and singles traveling in groups. They ranged in age from 40+ to 80+ years.
The Queen Mary 2 holds a 10 AM social gathering each day for solo travelers and group singles travelers. The Queen Victoria holds similar gatherings. One lady, from Australia, who was our breakfast companion, has taken world cruises every year, for the past 20 years. She is part of a group of women who have met one another through world cruising. Her cruise agent travels with the group, and hosts meet ups each day for members of the group. Queen Mary’s staff make it their business to watch out for solo travelers. If they don’t show up for a meal, someone checks in on them to see if they are well.
The dining room managers seat solo passengers with other guests for open seating at breakfast, and lunch. At the dancing sessions there are dance partners for women and men who are solo travelers.
I was so impressed with the solo travelers, of all ages, who were either coming from or going on land tours throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. One lady was traveling to the U S. to spend four months walking the Appalachian Trail.
Services on An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2
The Queen Mary 2 is a safe, comfortable environment for all passengers. It has a large medical department capable of caring for everything from motion sickness to those needing to be airlifted for life saving care.
The ship is fully accessible for persons with disabilities. Passengers with food allergies can review the menus for the following day’s lunch and dinner. They then can make selections that are safe for their dietary restrictions.
Conversations at meal time were never boring. I came away with a greater understanding of the life styles, customs and cultures of other countries. I met unassuming people who had led, or currently lead fascinating lives.
The Queen Mary 2 is a relaxed, fun, social and interesting way to travel, especially across the North Atlantic. The Queen Mary 2 is a resort at sea!
On June 10th, I will publish the Inaugural issue of , “Cruise Along with Jean”. It will be available via email subscription.
The newsletter will cover such topics as:
- Our monthly Cruise for Your Charity luncheon schedule
- Jean’s hosted annual cruise schedule
- Value, price and quality tips for planning your custom cruise
- Cruising amenities for singles, and those cruising with a partner, spouse or family
- Reader Q&A
Thanks for visiting,