Cruises

The Queen Mary 2: Trans-Atlantic Elegance

Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is the only ship dedicated to crossing the Atlantic in old-fashioned, high-glamour style. Its voyage is a non-stop 6-day passage across the Atlantic Ocean with no ports of call, but the ship's dedication to elegance, service and grace provides some of the planet's best travel. Here are our 10 favorite aspects of sailing aboard the Queen Mary 2.

10. Ports of Importance
Southampton, England, and New York, NY, where the QM2 begins and ends its journeys, are 2 of the most symbolic and significant ports in the world. New York's harbor, amidst the city's famed skyline, has welcomed travelers to the United States for over 100 years. While Southampton is where the historic journey of the Mayflower began in 1620. These ports are rich in history and the feeling is tangible as guests board the Queen Mary 2, the world's most famous and historic trans-Atlantic ship.

9. The Ship
When spending 6 days and 5 nights at sea without a single port of call, your ship is your home and your city. It's where you should experience relaxation, excitement, adventure, luxury and the height of service -- and the QM2 does not disappoint. The ship's sleek exterior perfectly complements the opulent interior; both are designed to handle the open ocean with ease. The QM2 offers 3 levels of ship accommodations that determine your guestroom and dining options -- another subtle reminder of the ship's historic style.

8. The Service
With 1 staff member catering to every 2 guests, the Queen Mary 2 prides itself on personal attention, what they call, white star service. With a name that sets a royal standard, it's no wonder that the treatment aboard the QM2 is fit for a queen. White star service is a regal dedication to each guest, and includes butler service, breakfast in bed, laundry service and even a perfectly prepared cocktail at the end of each day.

7. The History
The Cunard fleet of ships dates back more than 150 years and was the first company to take passengers on trans-Atlantic journeys. Its newest fleet of ships, which also includes the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, widely offer a level of luxury that was once available only to a select few. These liners are modeled after ships that sailed through history allowing guests to truly feel as though they've stepped back in time.

6. The Commodore
It's no surprise that the Queen Mary 2 is steered by a remarkable team, led by the Commodore, or head captain. He oversees a team of 1,200 crewmembers and is responsible for the safety of all the ship's passengers. The Commodore is very present on the ship, as happy to talk to guests about the ship's engines and main propulsion systems as he is to host dinner at the Commodore's table.

5. The Entertainment
There's no getting bored while onboard the Queen Mary 2. Crossing the Atlantic, guests can enjoy the ship's movie theaters, spas, fine dining and planetarium. The diversity of entertainment includes acting classes taught by members of the prestigious Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts. For those not interested in taking center stage, the onboard sommelier offers a wine and food pairings tasting session.

4. British Beverages
Although it may be hard to imagine today, in the 18th century tea and sugar were still considered rare, exotic and expensive delicacies. Therefore, on the Queen Mary 2, high tea is offered as an experience retaining the air of upper-class English travel. Afternoon tea is presented with white-glove service and offers cakes, sandwiches and select teas. For those seeking something a bit stronger, head to the Golden Lion pub for a traditional black and tan pint.

3. The Food
The Queen Mary 2 has several dining rooms catering to the 3 different accommodation levels. However, regardless of your suite, all the dining rooms feature white-gloved waiters serving formal, multicourse dinners. Amidst the 14,000 meals served each day here is the highly coveted opportunity to join the Commodore for dinner -- an experience often reserved for VIP guests and frequent travelers.

2. The Canyon Ranch Spa
The state-of-the-art Canyon Ranch Spa promotes relaxation and wellness. The 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center challenge the body and nourish the mind and spirit with a beautiful pool complex and water treatment area. The famed Canyon Ranch Spa offers one of the ship's best activities -- a day of pampering and doing nothing at all.

1. The Glamour
Three out of the 6 evenings spent at sea are formal nights, and no one does formal better than the Queen Mary 2. Imagine a mix of old Hollywood on Oscar night combined with formal dinners at Windsor Castle, and that's the type of bejeweled, red-carpet event experienced onboard. The pinnacle of the formal affairs is the black and white ball -- many of the guests take ballroom dancing lessons while onboard to prepare for this glitzy event.

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