10 things to know before traveling on 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.

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”.

Not just for the older generations.

One of the most common non-facts about Cunard is the demographic: contrary to popular belief, the average age on board Queen Mary 2 isn’t anywhere near 80. In fact, in recent years it has dropped from 59 to 55, and there are plenty of twenty- and thirty-somethings on each voyage. Well if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé…

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.

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…

Dining on Queen Mary 2.

Dining in a variety of settings, including your stateroom-grade restaurant and 24-hour room service, is included in your cruise fare. The choice doesn't stop there: enjoy daily afternoon teas, stop at Sir Samuels for a luxurious chocolate treat, or pick one of our alternative dining venues for something extra special.

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Bars and lounges on board.

Sip at cocktails by the pool, enjoy the comforts of hearty food and special brews in our onboard pub, or choose from several stylish venues to relax in the evenings, each with its own theme and drinks menu.

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Days at sea.

Days on Queen Mary 2 are never short of things to do. Take a fencing or dancing class in the Queens Room, play deck games with friends old and new, go wine tasting or take a swim. The onboard spa, shops, library and planetarium are also available for you to enjoy.

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Evenings with Cunard.

When the sun goes down, the ship comes alive in a whole new way. With theatrical performances, live music and entertainment, and Cunard's famous Gala Evenings, there is something for everyone to make the nights as memorable as the days.

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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).

For more details and advice on what to wear on ship and on shore, visit our useful packing guide.

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!

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).

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.

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She's not hard to navigate.

Yes, ocean liners are big. Queen Mary 2 is equal to the height of a 23-story 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. Explore the ship, plus deckplans, on our webpage.

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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.

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Queen Mary 2 returns.

Watch Cunard's flagship become illuminated as she returns to sailing in November 2021, welcoming guests back on board in sensational style.