This was our sixth voyage aboard the QM2. As we stepped aboard we noted that the ocean liner sparkled in appearance. Throughout the voyage the ship traveled at top speed and windy conditions made it difficult to be on deck for any length of time. Therefore, we spent seven day of the east bound transatlantic voyage reading, attending lectures and theatrical performances, exercising at the gymnasium, playing trivia, eating glorious food in the Britannia restaurant.
While the Britannia is considered to be a lower class dining venue, it is an elegant setting with waiters and maitre d's prepared to satisfy our every wish. Tea is served every afternoon in the Queens Room and waiters offer scones and petite sandwiches. Some passengers prefer to have their afternoon tea in the King's Court where I observed a display of pastries, scones, fruit and tea sandwiches. My personal preference is the Queens Room. The King's Court is a buffet setting that I seem to gravitate only for early morning coffee. In truth, it is my least favorite area of the ship. Evenings we attended cocktail parties in the Queen's Room. The Captain is highly visible and has years of experience. Following our late seating dinner we went to the Royal Court Theater to view professional dancers in gorgeous costumes. To my knowledge the QM2 is the only ship at sea with a planetarium in the Illuminations. Since we have sailed on this ocean liner several times we saw one show only, "Passport to the Universe," narrated by Tom Hanks. Some evenings we went to a movie in the Illuminations theater. At Southampton we booked the ship's tour to New Forest. The tour was expensive and somewhat disappointing. We observed horses through bus windows, stopped at Lyndhurst for an hour and viewed the grave of Alice Hargreaves, the real Alice In Wonderland, at the church of St. Michael and All Angels. We left Southampton late that afternoon and sailed westbound to New York.There were new lectures, new planetarium shows, and new faces on board. I borrowed a new book to read from the extensive collection at the library. Finally, I attended a lecture one afternoon where the Captain explained his rationale for moving clocks ahead at 12 noon. Setting our watches ahead one hour at noon during the eastbound voyage makes the time change unnoticeable and no one experiences fatigue. On the westbound sailing it is determined that clocks should be set back one hour before we retire for the evening. This seemed to work well and everyone arrived at their final destination in the absence of jet lag. There are two questions to be asked here: Would I take a back to back transatlantic voyage from New York again? Would I recommend this trip to friends and family? My answer is an absolute "yes" to both questions.