Launched: October 2004.
Cruising speed: 28 knots.
Number of passengers: 2,620 at double occupancy.
Staterooms: 1,310, more than 70 percent with private balconies.
Where she cruises: Transatlantic crossings, the Caribbean, Northern Europe the Mediterranean and world cruises.
In almost every detail, Queen Mary 2 pays tribute to the golden age of ocean travel while being one of the most modern of cruise ships. One of the largest ever vessels to visit Australia, she is spacious and elegant in design, combining classic British heritage with hallmarks of nostalgia, opulence and style with her sweeping staircases, grand ballroom and promenade deck.
Who Should Go?
Things You Might Not Know
At the time of her launch, Queen Mary 2 was the longest, tallest and widest passenger vessel ever built, and cost more than US $800 billion. She is over 34 metres longer than the original Queen Mary, has the only planetarium at sea, and her whistle can be heard for 16 kilometres.
This ship has different accommodation options, including 171 junior suites, suites and penthouses, and two opulent Grand Duplex apartments measuring a whopping 209 square metres each. The Queens Grill Suites come in five varieties, and boast perks including priority check-in and embarkation, French champagne on arrival, butler service, an unpacking and packing service, access to private lounges and an exclusive sun deck. Like her younger sister, the Queen Elizabeth, the decor is simple and elegant with lots of cream, gold and red tones.
Next, all boasting private balconies, are Princess Grill suites with their elegant decor and separate living areas, and the spacious Britannia Club Balcony and Britannia Balcony staterooms. At the bottom end of the scale are the Britannia Oceanview and Britannia Inside staterooms, both standard options but like the larger suites are elegantly styled in cream, biscuit and soft gold colours. All staterooms boast standard amenities including interactive TV, a refrigerator, hairdryer and a safe.
Facilities and Entertainment
When it comes to bars and lounges, with 12 venues the Queen Mary 2 has something for everyone. Sir Samuel’s is the place to enjoy an elegant coffee and pastry, while Churchill’s is the place to head for if you are keen for a cigar and a nightcap. Other highlights include the Commodore Club, with sweeping views over the ship’s bow and boasting an extensive martini list, the Queen’s Room which holds top honours as the largest ballroom at sea, and the Winter Garden Lounge, which which draws inspiration in its design from London’s famous Kew Gardens.
Enrichment is a major part of a Cunard cruise and and like her sisters, daytime activities range from literary discussions in the Book Club to lessons in watercolour painting and political discussion times. Queen Mary 2 also boasts a prestigious Canyon Ranch Spa where you can enjoy a variety of indulgent treatments including a stone massage or Rasul ceremony, and if you fancy improving your game there are golf simulators with 51 golf courses to choose from.
Queen Mary 2 has five swimming pools including one for kids and one with a retractible dome in case of bad weather. Other outdoor activities can include short tennis court and fitness classes, and the promenade deck is perfect for active or leisurely walking. By night, you can be entertained in various ways, from taking part in karaoke in the Gold Lion, to watching a movie, listening to jazz music, or watching an elaborate production from the Cunard Royal Dancers and Singers.
Like the Queen Elizabeth there are three main dining rooms – the Queens Grill, the Princess Grill and the Britannia – all of which operate traditional fixed seating dining and serve menus of refined, international cuisine. Where you eat depends on your stateroom, with the top suites assigned to the Queens Grill. The Boardwalk Café is a casual outdoor venue, and the other place to try for a non-formal breakfast, lunch or dinner is the Kings Court. This versatile venue changes by night into one of four venues depending where the ship is cruising; Lotus for Asian cuisine, the Carvery for British-style carved roasts, La Piazza for Italian, and the Chef’s Galley.
The Golden Lion Pub, an authentic venue featuring an impressive selection of beer and cider, is also the place to enjoy a traditional pub lunch such as fish and chips or cottage pie. Top pick, however, is Todd English, an elegant venue with intimate alcoves, serving the celebrity chef’s signature dishes such as Porterhouse of Lamb and Pumpkin Puree Love Letters.
The Low Down
If you are a lover of maritime tradition and the golden era of cruising, and you don’t mind an element of class distinction, you will love this ship. She is super-spacious, refined and offers a unique cruising experience, a true fusion of history and mod cons in all the right ways.