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1 New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook) to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

We've discovered over the years that the best way to cross the ocean is by ship. Comparing the QM2 with a cramped aluminum tube, and remembering that the QM2 includes lodging, food and entertainment for a week, it actually comes out ... Read More
We've discovered over the years that the best way to cross the ocean is by ship. Comparing the QM2 with a cramped aluminum tube, and remembering that the QM2 includes lodging, food and entertainment for a week, it actually comes out cheaper to sail than fly. And a lot more fun! The purpose of this trip was a cruise on the Royal Clipper around Italy (see my review of that ship elsewhere), the QM2 was just our chosen method of getting there and back. So the entire itinerary was: Fly to NYC, see a show on Broadway, stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Mid-town Sail to Southampton on the QM2. Bus tour to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge on the way to Heathrow, stay at the Holiday Inn Express T5. Fly to Rome, train to Civitavecchia, stay 2 nights in an AirBNB property. Sail on the Royal Clipper to Venice Fly back to Heathrow, stay 5 nights at an AirBNB property in London and see 4 shows in the West End. Bus to Southampton and re-board the QM2. Sail back to NYC, check back into the Holiday Inn Express, and see a couple of shows on Broadway. Fly home. The QM2 is the most elegant ship we've ever been on. She's pure class all down the line. The east-bound passage was 7 days non-stop, but the return a month later included stops in Liverpool, Halifax and Boston. It was the 175th anniversary of the first Cunard crossing, and Cunard did up the celebrations to a T. Wonderful fireworks at every port, and an unbelievable concert in the Liverpool Cathedral. Food aboard is very good, good variety, excellent soups. Service throughout the ship was good, but a little more impersonal than we like. Probably just the difference between American and British cultures. Great bridge instruction and afternoon play with Cheryl and Livingstone, and friendly players without exception. The enrichment lecturers were a mixed bag. All knowledgeable, but some put me to sleep with their presentation, while others the talk was over far too soon. My favorite was Stephen Payne - the Architect that designed the QM2. LOTS of live music throughout the ship - we couldn't experience it all there was so much. Evening shows were excellent on both crossings. The planetarium is excellent! Biggest library of any ship we've been on, mostly British authors. Didn't go on any of the Shore Excursions, except the Liverpool concert on the west-bound leg. But the variety and prices all seemed reasonable. This was our second and third time on the QM2, and we'll go on her again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015

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