We have decided that writing a daily log would be a bit repetitive, as the main things to do on board are eating and drinking! Which of course we are managing to keep up the tradition.
On our first two days on board we had formal nights, where I am pleased to say, most people made the effort, everyone looked lovely, and even the ones who only had suits looked very smart, so no complaints there. Fortunately our two dinner companions, didn’t get there clothes back from the dry cleaners in time, so they couldn’t come, so we had a lovely peaceful time with the other couple, we had been unable to get to know them before, as bossy boots had taken over all the conversation. Linda and Al, they have a place in New York and Chicago, and very easy to talk to.
Our formal night also included a black and white ball, which was fabulous, a full orchestra, a spectacular ball room, with lots of dancing, my problem was, I couldn’t take part much, mainly because of my breathlessness, but also I really wish I could dance properly! Maybe dance classes are the answer, I shall look into it when we get back.
We have been swimming in the indoor pool and been in the jacuzzi, the pool is quite small but adequate. Geoff and I have been playing ping pong, if we can work out where to put a table I wouldn’t mind one, it uses energy and is fun.
Walking around the deck has not been attempted yet (4th day) the weather and following seas, have been rough, at present it is Force 8 – 9, and apparently the waves are 8 metres, fortunately I feel fine, the boat is so stable.
We have varied our meal times, mainly to avoid this ghastly woman, she doesn’t drink either! we went for lunch at the posh restaurant, which beats the scramble for the buffet, and enjoyed the meal, so many places to choose from, life is hard. Trouble with lunchtime eating is, that you have the normal wine, and your finished for the rest of the day, well I am anyway.
The bridge is visible from behind, so we watched the crew working hard, also the Captain Christopher Wells, makes an announcement every day at midday, he also had a cocktail party on one of the formal nights, and shook hands with everyone, he is very witty, and obviously a popular Captain.
Queen Mary 2 is a lovely ship, very comfortable, spacious, with a crew second to none. We cannot compare the three ships we have been on, as they are all different. Norwegian took us across, with no frills, food was good, no formal evenings, structured for the Americans even though 70% were British i.e. Quizzes were good if you were American etc., Princess was far better, equal to the Celebrity brand, they had the formal nights, food was good, and they were more professional than Norwegian. The Cunard is a fantastic ship, a cut above the rest, so it depends what and where you want to go, who knows what is next.
Queen Mary 2 is different from other cruise ships, primarily she was designed as a trans Atlantic liner, in keeping with her heritage as much of her time this is what she does however she does at least 1 world cruise and at Christmas adds a week in between her west/east crossing by heading into the Caribbean. For any body interested here are a few more statistics about Queen Mary:-
She is owned by Cunard which is a subsidiary of Carnival Inc. An American outfit that also owns Celebrity, Princess, P&O Australia, Costa, Holland America and several others, fortunately HO lets the various lines do their own thing in keeping with their traditions and in Cunard’s case, heritage.
She was built in France and her Maiden Voyage was 12th January 2004; incidentally she is off for a partial re-fit in May this year and at the same time she is having an extension built on 12 deck adding a number of additional staterooms.
Her dimensions are length 345 meters, width 39.9 meters, draft 9.75 meters and gross tonnage 151,400: her height above the waterline is 204 ft; this had to be kept deliberately low so that she could get into New York and therefore looks a little squat for her size, but she is a very large ship and bigger than both her sister ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria.
She can accommodate 2,618 passengers in 1,309 cabins and a crew of 1,240 people
For the more technical, she doesn’t have propellers in the normal way, i.e. Driven through a gearbox from the engine. She has electric motors in 4 pods hanging down the hull. Two fixed and two that swivel 360 degrees. There is no rudder, she is steered by the two rotating pods, (manufactured by Rolls Royce). To supply the power to these electric motors she has 2 Diesel generators and 2 General Electric Gas Turbines, together they produce a whopping 157,169 HP..
Her maximum speed is a little over 29 knots and at that speed she consumes approximately 261 tonnes of Heavy Fuel oil and 237 tonnes Marine Gas oil per day. Her fuel bunkering capacity is 1,412,977 US Gallons of Heavy Fuel oil and 966,553 US gallons of Marine Gas Oil.
All in all a very nice, comfortable ship offering a service a cut above most other cruise liners, we will be back!!!