Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by TheOldBear: Second time - no longer novices :-)
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Second time - no longer novices :-)
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
Shortly after our first cruise [Labor Day weekend 2009] we made plans for a second, longer cruise. We liked the ship and being able to use a local port, so we planned on the QM2 and a Brooklyn round trip - just longer.
The sunday before the cruise, observing the heap of luggage on our guest room bed, we both said 'too much stuff'! - we eliminated _one_ bag.
On Monday morning, our 'flapping ear alarm clock' [Weimeriner] woke us just after dawn. [The dog was not coming with us - we had neighbors watching him during the trip instead of a kennel] We had a leisurely breakfast at our local greasy spoon, then headed for Brooklyn.
Surprisingly, there were no traffic delays and we got to the terminal at noon. By 12:15 the luggage was unloaded, the car was parked and we were filling out the little forms in the pre check in waiting area. At 12:30 or so we were checking in with an agent who informed us that we were upgraded from our B4 'sheltered' balcony to one on deck More 8. We verified that the stateroom was not obstructed [the next one aft was] and walked past the diamond/platinum folk's special waiting room and right on board.
As expected, when we got to our room the luggage was nowhere to be seen. We stashed our carry ons, and went down to Kings Court for lunch. We then confirmed our table location in Brittania. Went back to our room and relaxed.
At about 3, we wondered what happened with our luggage, and called housekeeping. They promised the bags would be delivered promptly. When we returned to the room after the sail-away, it was time to go looking for them. I found the bags in a service area next to our original room. The folks there had never been told what our new room was.
Most days, we had a light room service breakfast, Kings Court or Golden Lion lunch, snack about 4 and dinner for the second seating. The exceptions were lunch ashore in Boston, Bar Harbor & Halifax and one dinner in the Chef's Gallery. I would recommend making the Chefs Gallery reservation early in your trip - it fills rapidly. We did bring a magnum bottle of local wine on board, and paid the corkage to have it served in Britannia.
After Dinner, we headed for the Queens Room, and danced when the music matched my 'rhythmically challenged' ability [my wife is much better dancer]. Most night's we didn't bother with the Royal Court theatre - the exception was for Jeri Sanger [self confessed 'broadway belter'] Her show was quite nice.
My wife elected not to venture into Newport, and enjoyed a massage and a spa day. We later spent the afternoon [1 pm to 6 or so] in the spa together. For our next trip, we'll both get the three day spa passes.
Returning to the ship from Halifax, my small pocket knife was confiscated [after passing through security on every other port] as it had a locking blade. This caused delays at disembarkation - I needed to wait for the knife and again for a pen to sign that I got it back.
For our real sea day, we packed in the morning, relaxed until lunch and after lunch tried the planetarium show. Unfortunately, one of the projectors lost a bulb about 5 minutes into the show ;-/
After dinner, we followed the Zombies and Ghouls to the Queens Room for the 'slightly loud' Halloween Dance. When we got back to our room, all the luggage in the hallway had mysteriously vanished!
I placed a wake up call for 'too early', and we got our morning exercise walking to Britannia for breakfast. Afterwards, we went back to the room to shower and stuff everything else back into the carryons. Soon it was time to wait...and wait...and wait...in the Golden Lion [not much to do but read]. When we were finally called, I needed to wait once more to get my knife back. Checkout was swift [nothing to declare] and all to soon we were back in the 'real world'.
Next trip? We're looking at a Transatlantic, probably in 2012 Less
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Cabin review: BB8009 Balcony
Near the Spa, Library and the Commodore Club [all nice]. Unobstructed balcony view. Far enough from midships [the 'metacenter' for naval architects in the audience] to magnify the ship's motion. Curtains due for cleaning. On deck 8, the CRT based TV sets were being replaced with flat screen units. I would not be surprised to find that this was completed between our cruise disembarking and the transatlantic boarding.Read All Balcony (BB) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Although I was able to return the overpriced [unworn] bow tie, in retrospect this should have been the day to take as a 'sea day' and just relax on the ship.
At the Black Falcon terminal, the MSC Posia had the space adjacent to the renovated portion of the building. Leaving the QM2, we were greeted with an empty dockside warehouse [with a bank of porta-potties]
On a future visit, I would recommend the 'Taxi Tour' over the hop on / hop off bus.
For this trip, I took the tender ashore in search of a haircut, and paid much to much for a bow tie at Brooks Brothers.
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Queen Mary 2