This was a 3 segment cruise,
1. Southampton to New York via Le Havre, (this was Space Week).
2. New York sailing up the East Coast of USA and Canada returning to New York.
3. New York to Southampton.
We had always wanted to visit the East Coast of USA and Canada and to hopefully see the fall colours. Just a note about fall colours as you progress north you may miss the colours and New York was normal colour Friday 4 October and on return Friday 18 October, but Sept Iles more northerly the colours had finished by Monday 14 October.
Weather - crossing the North Atlantic can be rough with storms, rain (Sunday 29 September), force 8 gales going west to New York and force 10 gales coming south from Quebec and Saguenay but the ship is so big you have some movement but feel really safe. The Captain and navigation team modified our route from Southampton to New York to avoid the worst of any storms.
Food- we eat in Kings Court and Chef's Galley (on an evening),
Breakfast - cereals, cooked eggs, bacon, sausages, kippers, cold meats, cold fish, sushi - very comprehensive coverage.
Lunch and Dinner - soup, many hot dishes, root vegetables, salad dishes both prepared e.g. Caesar salads and help yourself to salad. Desserts range from cheese cake to pancakes and flambé fruits e.g. bananas. The food is monotonously good, tasty and plentiful. My wife and I went a number of times to the Chefs Galley on an evening as they have an Italian menu cooking the food in an open kitchen for you to see, 5 types of pasta with 5 different sauces - bolognaise, spicy arrabbiata, carbonara, tomato and basil, and aglio E olio. They make 5 types of pizza - Caprese, Pepperoni, Tuscan Baked Chicken, Hawaiian, and Diavola. A nice evening and lovely food.
Entertainment - I went to the Cunard Insights lectures, my wife went to the art classes, and we went to the cinema in Illuminations to see the film "Red Joan".
Lectures were on the rise of Islam, the Crusades, rise of the American Skyscraper, space law - yes you read right space law and it was fascinating, astronomy, black holes, and astrophysics with the lecturer doing a tutorial after his talk to help people understand and to clarify any points. An astronaut, Dr Robert Thirsk gave a number of talks on the International Space station, living in space, and he did a q and a in the Carinthia lounge.
My wife and I attended the Golden Lion pub to listen to the guitarist and music expert Paul Garthwaite play and explain guitar music of various bands - Leonard Skynard, and Rolling Stones etc.
Gym - we went to the gym - my wife to do her aerobics and I my weight training - plenty of free dumbbells 1-30 kg and aerobic machines - Technogym brand. You can also lap the promenade deck - 3 laps is 1.1 mile for aerobic fitness.
Thursday 3 October we had a meet the speakers in the Commodore Club on deck 9 bow, it is a semi circular bar so not sure how it would work and no chairs arranged for the speakers nor audience. The speakers were Dr Robert Thirsk, astronaut, Dr Seth Gopin, art historian, Dr Dan Wilkins, astronomer / astrophysicist, Sir Simon Mayall, military historian, Amy and Susan Bean, wife and daughter of the late astronaut Alan Bean.
This was excellent and the easiest way to describe was like a university tutorial with each speaker having a number of people around them talking and discussing , then people moved onto another speaker.
The Cunard Insights lectures from New York to Southampton were Margaret Gilmore, ex BBC correspondent, Ken Lennox, ex fleet street photographer, Andy Wyatt, pilot and Gloria Barnett oceanographer. Fascinating talks and at meet the speakers at the end of the weeks as a keen photographer it was great talking one to one with Ken Lennox a pro photographer.
Sunday 20 October I queued for Planetarium tickets - yes QM2 has a Planetarium at sea. We saw a film on Planetary weather in the solar system - made the Earth look beautiful and benign.
Two incidents that irritated me -
a German passenger criticised me for having too much ice in my breakfast orange juice thinking I was American liking ice - what give him the right to criticise?
one day in the laundry our drying was taken out of a drier by an unknown person and placed on the floor, needing to be washed and dried again. It was wet when taken out of the drier! I cannot understand this behaviour.
Thanks to a number of people
Captain Hashmi - for his leadership, 12noon navigation announcements, and explanation of certain phrases used in the English language.
Csilla, Tito and Sandor, all sommeliers who knew that we liked a certain Italian sparkling water with 2 glasses ice and lemon when in the restaurants and lounges.
The staff in Kings Court and Chef galley who cleared our numerous dishes, Chefs who cooked the lovely food and always with a smile.
Warren, our cabin steward who expertly looked after us and kept our stateroom clean and fully stocked with toiletries.
Our cabin was a sheltered balcony stateroom 5238, deck 5. The stateroom was in good condition and expertly cared for by our steward - Warren, thank you. The sheltered balcony was useful when the weather was bad you are protected from the rain and wind but not the cold.
Internet reception in stateroom was poor, better in public rooms. A real faf to log on and log out.
TV was useful for us Brits with BBC and Sky news to keep up to date with UK life.
A grumble with the stateroom, no coat hooks so have your jacket on the chair or have to hang up in the wardrobe.
We did the Macy's shopping transfer as you are dropped off in central Manhattan. We visited NYC 2x on the cruise.
1st trip to NYC, walked to the Flatiron building, then up 5th Ave to Central Park, visited the massive underground Apple shop next to Central Park, wanted to see the autumn colours in Central Park but no colour change. Walked back to Times Square and visited Hard Rock café, and a few other shops to have a cold drink.
2nd visit we thought the autumn colours would have changed in Central Park but no so walked about and photographed some natural scenes, walked back past Trump Tower and photographed it after checking with security.View All undefined undefined Reviews
A bus drops you off at Faneuil Hall / Quincy Market. This is central Boston and easy to walk the Freedom Trail by yourself. I had wanted to photograph Acorn Street, and have lunch at Hard Rock Cafe as our 35th wedding anniversary. A nice easily walkable city, full of history, lovely architecture and plenty of places to eat and drink.View All undefined undefined Reviews
We had 3 days in Quebec,
day 1 arrival walked up the Chateau Frontenac, slowly walked around the Chateau and the Citadelle, lovely. We went back afte dinner for some night time photography of Chateau Frontenac and QM2 in the harbour.
day 2 the highlight of this tour was the Montmorency Waterfalls a few miles outside of Quebec. We took a local bus number 800 buy your tickets at the VIA railway station return tickets cost 6.20 canadian dollars return and the bus stop is where Rue de la Gare and Boulevard Jean Lesage intersect. Stay on the bus to the end of the journey. Disembark and walk back on yourself and you will hear the falls and very quickly see them. We used the cable car to descend to the base of the falls. I was photographing for about 2 hours - wonderful.
day 3 we had cold, went to a local pharmacy and bought symtom relief. Day 3 was cold and of interest the local garage was selling winter screen rated to -45c. A lovely city, easily walkable and Montmorency waterfall is spectacular 87m high.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Lovely lunch in a fish restaurant, and a delightful harbour to walk around and enjoy life. Very quiet.View All 20 Lunenberg & Mahone Bay Reviews