A transatlantic crossing on Cunard’s iconic Queen Mary 2 allows you to experience the best of New York and sail the Atlantic in sumptuous style
New York City’s lights are twinkling in the distance, the resident band is playing live and there’s a celebratory atmosphere on board Queen Mary 2. After a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple, we’re waving farewell to the city that never sleeps and our sailaway party is in full swing.
Our time in Manhattan made us feel as though we were starring in a glitzy American rom com: shopping on Fifth Avenue; crossing the Brooklyn Bridge; exploring Central Park; and a palatial suite at the Peninsula hotel, although sadly without Bradley Cooper or Paul Rudd in tow.
A full day of sightseeing began with a trip to the Top of the Rock at the Rockefeller Center – the perfect place for an exceptional view of the city, including the spectacular Empire State Building in all its glory.
Following a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty and a walk down Wall Street, we passed sombrely through the World Trade Center site and paid our respects at the vast 9/11 Memorial pools.
Later we set off down Fifth Avenue, admiring shop windows and becoming part of the unmistakable New York City atmosphere, and eventually find a traditional American family restaurant for dinner.
After 48 hours in New York it was time to board our ship, Queen Mary 2. Looking up at the red funnel from the cruise terminal, I was struck by the ship’s impressive size and timeless elegance. Stepping through its magnificent atrium we found our stateroom where our luggage was already waiting for us – our seven-night crossing from New York to Southampton had begun.
Our stateroom was spacious and had cleverly designed wardrobe space, a dressing table and seating area with sofa and coffee table. The bathroom was smart and compact, with all that we needed.
As first time cruisers facing seven nights at sea, my friend Sally and I had some concerns about what we were going to do to pass the time. But there was so much on offer we had trouble fitting it all in, from entertainment, lectures and morning dance classes followed by afternoon tea dances and dancing in the Queens Room in the evening (you could dance until the early hours if you want to).
Queen Mary 2 is equipped with brilliant facilities: the Royal Court Theatre; Illuminations planetarium; the largest library at sea; and the luxurious Canyon Ranch SpaClub, where massage therapists are on hand to administer an array of luxurious treatments including aromatherapy massage and reflexology throughout the voyage. And we were thrilled to find out that treatment bookings include use of the spa for the whole day, where there’s an aqua therapy pool, Finnish and herbal saunas, steam room, whirlpool, ice fountain and powerful sensory showers.