As way of background, this was my first ever cruise so I had no real idea of what to expect except what I gleamed from this website and books. On top of this being the first cruise I am also prone to motion sickness if in the back of a car or buses so was concerned about this as well. I read a lot of reviews on this website and also made a posting asking for people's suggestions on the motion sickness and choosing a transatlantic in the middle of winter for my firs cruise. People on this site were very helpful in their recommendations and encouraging which put me at ease so I highly recommend you reeview this site if you are a first timer.
The cruise was from New York City to Southampton in the early part of January 2010. It was the first leg of the QM2 World Cruise and so many of the passengers were continuing on after Southampton. I chose the least expensive cabin inside as I thought given the time of year the extra money for outside was not necessary. The cabin was well designed and perfectly fine and I think I made the right decision. It was certainly smaller than the outside cabins but we didn't spend much time there anyway as there were so many places around the ship to lounge and watch the world go by. We went with some friends who did have a cabin with a balcony and it was much larger so if space is a concern for you or you are the type who would like room service and spending more time in the cabin then it would be beneficial for you to spend the extra money if you can afford it.
We stayed in a hotel the night before the cruise in New York at LaGuardia Airport. It is actually called the LaGuardia Hotel and for the price and location was a very good find. I will use this hotel again should I find the need to cruise out of Brooklyn in the future which I hope to do. It was an easy commute and cost around $35-$40.
Check-in went smoothly and didn't seem to take that long. Of course we were chatting and excited about the upcoming cruise because none of us had cruised before so that helped pass the time.
I will not go into a description of the ship as others on this site have done it more justice than I could ever hope to. I will leave it at it surpassed my expectations in almost every way. It is indeed a beautiful lady.
The food was excellent and it took me over a week to get used to having only one course for breakfast once I got back home:) The staff were very friendly especially the wait staff in the main dining room. I also found that the food in the buffet was excellent with a great choice. They also offer a nice selection of tea you can have at anytime you like. As we were in the late sitting we would end up seeing the late shows and then make our way up to the buffet for a hot drink before bed. You would usually see some of the performers up there having a late meal and it gives you a chance to let them know if you liked the show which many people did.
There is always some activity or other going on and so you will never be bored. If you are then you tried hard to be. I did find I didn't go to as many things as I thought I might because I enjoyed sitting and watching the ocean and reading. While New York and England were having the coldest winter in years oddly enough in the middle of the Atlantic it was rather warm, i.e. in the 40-50F during the day and I sat outside a couple of days on the deck chairs. And for the most part it was sunny with a few showers every once in awhile. There was one day where the weather was such that it was best to remain inside.
The crossing itself was extremely smooth which again was a surprise. The crew said it was the smoothest winter crossing any of them could ever remember being on so I guess the gods were smiling on me. I understand the Queen Victoria did not have it so good as it was crossing East to West at the same time. We were trying to meet up and cross paths with them but the Captain announced this would not be possible as they had taken a more northernly route to try and avoid some of the bad weather they were encountering on their crossing.
I guess I have written enough. I have not put very many details about the ship itself as I was more wanting to let those that may be considering doing a Transatlantic crossing with the QM2 but are concerned about sea sickness or being bored not to be. She is a wonderful ship that obviously handles the open ocean well and I can't wait until the next time I get the chance to sail with her again. I in fact liked it so much I have already booked another cruise, this time on the Queen Victoria, going from Southampton to Barcelona this September. I wasn't sure how I would take to not having dry land around for days on end but turns out I really liked it. Now I am not so sure I want the disruption of having stops get in the way of the cruise which is why there are none on the next cruise either:) At some point I guess I will have to try and do a cruise that takes you to numerous places. Maybe a world cruise that would seem to give you the best of both, many endless days at sea with a hop on dry land every once in awhile.