Just Back From a Cunard Transatlantic Crossing

Our writer is just back from a transatlantic crossing aboard Queen Mary 2®.

Sailing aboard Queen Mary 2 on a transatlantic cruise from New York.

Queen Mary 2 is the only purpose-built ocean liner in the business with a V-shaped, thick hull designed especially for the ocean seas.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Cunard

How do you make an amazing ocean liner even better? If you’re the venerable Cunard® Line, you spend about $140 million remastering Queen Mary 2® into a more passenger-friendly, extremely elegant and spectacularly perfect ship on which to sail across the Atlantic.

Earlier this year, Cunard added 35 new Brittania Club staterooms to Deck 13 and created 15 single staterooms—a first for Cunard—on Decks 2 and 3. I sailed on my transatlantic cruise from New York in one of the new single staterooms. They are wonderfully designed, with amazing storage, a double bed, two large windows approximately 4 feet in circumference and a comfy bathroom and shower.

The renovations to the 11-year old ocean liner are smashing and make for a remarkable travel experience. The changes and renovations to Queen Mary 2 included the addition of the posh Carinthia Lounge, which offers light meals, specialty teas and coffees and a tremendous collection of port wines. More than 3,800 pieces of stateroom artwork were replaced, as were close to 9,000 cushions and bed throws. Cunard also upped Queen Mary 2’s number of kennels—still the only kennels at sea—to 24. The floor in the popular King’s Court buffet on Deck 7 is made up of 300,000 individual tiles, and all of the carpeting on Queen Mary 2 is brand new. The entire job took just 25 days.

Gourmet dining abounds on a Cunard transatlantic cruise from New York.

Gourmet dining is a signature of Cunard sailings

Photo Credit: Courtesy Cunard

A transatlantic cruise from New York aboard Queen Mary 2 is unlike the experience of calling at half a dozen ports in a week. That’s all fine fun, and I love a Caribbean cruise, but this is something else entirely. It is an elegant week during which lectures on a variety of topics—which might cover treating arthritis or tracking down Jack the Ripper—are scheduled daily. High tea is served at 3:30 p.m., and dining—whether in The Grills or the lovely Britannia Restaurant—is an art form filled with fine cuisine and gracious service. Nightly entertainment might include a production revue of singers and dancers, a performance by a symphony orchestra, or a clever comedian whose work bridges the different nationalities on board. (On my transatlantic cruise from New York, there was almost an equal number of Brits and Americans on board, and about 40 other nations were represented.)

Nightly entertainment on Cunard's transatlantic cruise from New York.

World-class entertainment can be enjoyed nightly

Photo Credit: Courtesy Cunard

Since re-entering service after its renovation, Queen Mary 2 has been named the Top Large Resort Ship 2017 by the Berlitz Cruising and Cruise Ships Guide and has been awarded the Cruise Critics’ 2016 Editors’ Pick for Best Cruise Ship Refurbishment. It also won two awards in Town & Country Magazine’s 2016 Cruise Awards; Queen Mary 2 was named Best for Onboard Activities and Best for Pet Lovers in the magazine’s Mainstream Luxury category.

The iconic Queen Mary 2 has been extensively remastered with new staterooms, expanded kennels and new dining venues. Call us at 877-396-7159 or contact a AAA Travel Counselor about booking a Cunard cruise.

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Marco Ruiz, AAA Travel Counselor, Monterey, Calif.

I love to suggest Italy and Spain because of the culture and the flair of the people–their fashions, language and way of life. They take time to enjoy life's pleasures. When you're there, you feel it, too.

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