Queen Anne's funnel lift
10 things to know about Queen Mary 2
Award-winning travel writer Jonathan Thompson reveals 10 vital tidbits for any guest considering a voyage on Cunard's Queen Mary 2, from myth-busting to tips on things to do on board.
1: Pre-cruise preparation
Getting ready for a big trip can be stressful: everything from sourcing foreign currency and securing visas to squeezing in that pre-vacation haircut. Not when you’re sailing on Queen Mary 2 though. You name it, they’ll sort it. That’s what they call the famous “White Star Service”.
2: Something for everyone
The Cunard Queens have so much choice on board, you’ll find everything you need to create your perfect vacation, no matter your age and no matter your passions. Indulge in Afternoon Teas and elegant wine tastings. Learn new Zumba routines. Discover an interest in scandalous art history. Whether you crave late nights and leisurely lie-ins, or days filled with events and activities, spend your time exactly how you wish.
3: Round the world
Although many Cunard itineraries are marked 'World Voyages', you don't have to go the whole way around the world if you don't want to. Queen Mary 2’s Full World Voyages can take around 120 nights to complete, but it can be just as much fun joining her for one or two legs for a shorter, but no-less-sweet journey of discovery, particularly if there’s a special part of the world you want to see in style.
4: You won't be bored
Even if you did sail the Full World Voyage, you’d have something different to do every evening. Queen Mary 2 is the size of a small city, with all of the amenities you’d expect. There’s a swimming pool for every day of the week; a new bar for every day of the fortnight. And that’s before you’ve even started on the extraordinary restaurants…
5. Pack plenty of outfits
From captain’s cocktails to Britannia dinners, ballroom dancing to themed Gala Evenings, you’re going to want a few sartorial options. If in doubt, go glamorous (luckily, the staterooms are all spacious enough to house multiple costume changes). Luckily, Cunard have a handy packing guide to help you prepare your wardrobe for ship and shore.
6: Ship's time
Queen Mary 2 sails against the tides of “real” time, nonchalantly gliding across international time zones with graceful indifference. As a result, those on board live on “ship’s time”, which often changes overnight. So pack a watch you can swiftly alter (or buy one on board) and don’t rely on that auto-alarm. On the plus side, if you do sleep in, breakfast in bed is included in your fare!
7: Your best friend can come too
Even canine companions get the White Star treatment here: Queen Mary 2 is the only ship in the world to offer dedicated kennels at sea during her Transatlantic Crossings. There are 24 luxury kennels in total, as well as a play area and dedicated walking route (not to mention a traditional British lamppost and New York fire hydrant to ensure furry guests want for nothing during their aquatic ablutions).
8: Check out the Commodore club
The Commodore Club is your go-to venue for pre-dinner cocktails. Not only does this stylish lounge have the best cocktail menu at sea (you can even book a mixology class, to appreciate the exceptional work here), it also boasts spectacular views of sunset over the ship’s bow.
9: She's not hard to navigate
Yes, ocean liners are big. Queen Mary 2 is equal to the height of a 23-storey building - and considerably wider! But you won’t get lost if you simply imagine her as a three-dimensional city grid: an enormous cube with four stairwells.
10: Pack a spare piece of luggage
Something smaller and easily folded - like a duffel bag, because between the spa and the on board shops (Chanel, Hermes and Dunhill for starters), you’ll disembark with considerably more than you embarked with. Don’t worry about lugging it all home though - Cunard will do that for you. Yes, that’s part of the White Star Service as well.