It took a long time for me to convince my husband to sail across the Atlantic; he spent over 30 years in the US Navy, most of the time at sea, so of course he felt that it would be a busman's holiday. But for our Golden Wedding anniversary, he finally caved in and we were off to the Queen Mary 2 on June 1st. Earlier in May we sent two huge bags ahead to the ship via White Star Service--a very wise move, since we're no spring chickens and my husband has some mobility issues. A note: only shoes and clothes can be shipped ahead--no liquids or medicines.
Using Cunard's excellent air travel service, we were able to get tickets to fly from Boston to New York-JFK, where a Cunard representative met us and put us on a bus for transport to the pier in Brooklyn. We even enjoyed the bus ride through a part of the City that we'd never before seen. Embarkation was easy, with crew handy to relieve us of our carry-ons, and when we arrived at our stateroom we found our big bags waiting for us; our carry-ons soon followed.
Our stateroom was spacious, with a nice balcony and spectacular view of lower Manhattan and Governor's Island, and the Statue of Liberty to tell us "Bon Voyage" as we left the harbor. There were loads of closet space and a nice bathroom. We enjoyed the half bottle of champagne that Cunard provided us. There was a lot of fog on the way over, and the QM2 blew her fog horn every minute, but it was a soothing sound. We frequently left the door to our balcony open at night, and the sound and smell of the sea was wonderful. I don't think I have ever slept so well.
Dinner the first night was informal, and we met our delightful table-mates. The food in the Britannia Grill was good and beautifully plated, and in exactly the right portion size for us. We always "suited up" for dinner, and formal nights were a chance to look our best (my husband wore a dark business suit and tie for those nights, and that was perfectly acceptable). We occasionally ate breakfast in the King's Court, but frequently had breakfast in our room--a delightful indulgence; it was always right on time, and always hot. The Golden Lion served good honest pub food, perfectly prepared, when we wanted something a bit less formal.
The lectures were excellent, as was the entertainment. The ambience was wonderful. The service was superb: our steward, Edwin, made sure that my husband, a diabetic, received a new needle disposal container each day.
(My husband's only complaint about anything on the ship was that the computer service was terribly slow and expensive. However, that didn't bother me--computers are something I traveled on the QM2 to escape!)
If you don't mind spending seven days en route to England, this is the only way to travel. For less than the cost of a business class airline ticket, you can cross the Atlantic in perfect comfort, with a touch of old-style elegance.