QUEEN MARY 2 SAILS ON 250TH ATLANTIC CROSSING TODAY

An update into 2016 including enlargement of kennels area to accommodate more furry passengers.

IMG_1281

The Queen Mary 2 will embark passengers today for an historic Atlantic crossing- her 250th such voyage since she first entered service in January of 2004. The great liner will sail from the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn, New York, on an eight day eastbound transatlantic crossing this afternoon. Following her arrival in Southampton on December 3rd, […]

https://travelswithanthony.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/queen-mary-2-sails-on-250th-atalntic-crossing-today/

/ nice review /.  Mini Cruise on the Queen Mary 2 from Hamburg to Southampton

1-IMG_1257

Mini Cruise on the Queen Mary 2 (Queens Grill, Q2 accommodation) In September of this year Hus and I enjoyed a mini – and I mean MINI- two night cruise from Hamburg, Germany back to Southampton, England. When we disembarked the ship at Southampton (looking at the ship with forlorn faces) it was embarking on […]

https://thelulureview.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/mini-cruise-on-the-queen-mary-2-from-hamburg-to-southampton/

Blog Final: Our Queen Mary 2 Voyage – Cunard’s 175th Anniversary of Liverpool – Halifax

 

How does one top a twelve day (12) voyage on Cunard’s Flagship Queen Mary 2 especially the 175th Anniversary Voyage from Southampton via Liverpool to Halifax retracing the original of the Britannia from Liverpool, those many years ago, by Samuel Cunard.

9-IMG_1236 - Copy
QM2- Southampton City Terminal

Well, you do not,  but you can be part of it with 2,315 other souls who booked on this historical voyage.

My wife Elizabeth and I spotted this cruise for July 2nd -14th 2015 to celebrate Cunard’s 175th Anniversary from Liverpool to Halifax then  Boston, finally  New York back in early 2014 . Our travel agent,  as we live on Vancouver Island was up in the early hours to Cunard to book a stateroom for us as they were selling fast .  In fact for 24 hours they held a suite for us out of Liverpool  (all $25,000 worth of it) sadly I asked her to start our trip out of Southampton with an Outside Stateroom instead

To give ones perspective , our TA was booking with Cunard at 05:00 pst while I was sleeping and by 09:00 pst  we had communicated and I sent an message to  a Facebook friend ( We are Cunard Fanzine) in my Cunard  group  to query why the Liverpool bookings were gone for us normal people. Bless her (Helen) responded and said, book out of Southampton, loads of space, so we did , course we were not one of the esteemed  Liverpool  400 who would embark in Liverpool but we would embark in Southampton, much easier and allow us two extra days on QM2 plus four  days in Southampton.

Course we also decided on four days in New York after QM2 arrived at her final port.

Many have shared about this trip on various cruise Blogs on this trip so I will leave out some of the same info.  Though a good reference point is a blog written by a friend of mine, who is also part of the ‘We are Cunard Fanzine’ group.   http://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2015/07/24/queen-mary-2-anniversary-voyage/

As a child I left Liverpool to immigrate to Canada via Halifax, Pier 21 ,  http://www.pier21.ca/home/

Now being retired it was my dream to recreate this trip but in comfort and able to truly enjoy a Cunard voyage, our first Cunard experience and on its flagship QM2 across the Atlantic. Elizabeth and I have travelled on various cruise lines over time to many destinations and once retired the prior work part of me being systems and computers caused me to join cruise forums and create my personal cruise blog.  https://robbarcruises.com/

In deciding on our flights as they would be one-way ones with help of my TA we managed to arrange Air Canada business class on Aeroplan points a year ago to Southampton and from New York.  I also contacted   Imperial Cars Southampton Ltd to transport us from Heathrow to Novotel  in Southampton , then from hotel to ship.

We spent 4 days in Southampton.

, 1-IMG_1204 2-IMG_1205-001 4-IMG_1211 5-IMG_1213-001 7-IMG_1223 8-IMG_1233-001

12 days on QM2 and 4 days in New York.

On July 2nd, we boarded the ship   at the City Terminal, after a bit of a wait we were processed very fast and onboard by past noon.

IMG_1238
Luggage at Novotel, taggd and ready for ship

 

 

IMG_1240
Southampton City Terminal- Waiting for colour card/ number to be called

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the sail away and excitement was to see and hear the Irish Guards performing for us on deck then with my friend watching them on the quay playing for the sail away. Was I excited, of course

1-IMG_1257
Southampton
IMG_1242
Liz- Sail Away
IMG_1244
Rob Sail Away
IMG_1267
Irish Guards – Southampton Sail Away
IMG_1271
Paul, Richard , Barbara (We are Cunard Fanzine)
IMG_1261
Richard

.

 

 

It turned out that we of the same Facebook group were  together at the same dinner table in the Britannia Restaurant  for second seating,

what better way to get to know cyber friends in real life. 1-IMG_0719

For us from the West Coast , it was lovely to dress up for Formal and informal nights which of course on Cunard means the men have jackets on in the evening regardless while the woman have cocktail dresses and such on.

QM2 1st Formal
QM2 1st Formal
QM2 1st Formal
QM2 1st Formal
QM2 1st Formal
QM2 1st Formal

The QM2 staff treated us wonderfully 1-IMG_0718

 

 

 

 

and one could not find fault with the food nor services,  so many choices.

1-IMG_0852 1-IMG_0850 1-IMG_0851 02-IMG_0809 1-IMG_0784

Cunard always arranges gifted speakers to give talks during the day so talks were presented to attend or one could find a quiet spot to read and relax, even people watch

The voyage starts:

IMG_1304 IMG_1316 IMG_1315 IMG_1308 IMG_1241 Two Deck, forward to aft view

01-IMG_1259
Spare Propellers , Captains Cufflinks

07-IMG_1313 - Copy46-IMG_07073-IMG_12605-IMG_13094-IMG_13026-IMG_1310

QM2 Library - Liz
QM2 Library – Liz
QM2 Library
QM2 Library
QM2 Observation area
QM2 Observation area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liverpool:    Was after a sea day and we were treated to a fantastic concert at the Liverpool Cathedral, it was about 2 1/2 hours long and well worth it.   For me, my highest emotional point was saying to myself, wow , back in my country of birth and singing ‘Rule Britannia’  in this church..

What more do I need.

IMG_1291 IMG_1284 IMG_1298 IMG_1281 IMG_1273 IMG_127705-IMG_1293 - Copy04-IMG_1279 - Copy

Cunard pulled out all the stops for this Anniversary voyage with special meals and menus including an Anniversary hardcover book given to each passenger and lapel pins.

After Liverpool, we made our way across the North Atlantic and though we sometimes had Force Gales where the decks were closed , we could not feel a thing , look out the porthole and see the swells and waves but this Ocean liner just moved through at 21. Knots,  average speed. We were in an Outside stateroom on deck 5- section A (#5003) near the bow and did not notice any true movement though we could see it. For meals, we used the buffet at times (Kings Court) and mainly had cabin service for breakfast. We took all our evening meals in the Britannia Restaurant, lower level,  deck 2.  The service was excellent including the wine / bar service.

 

1-IMG_0579
Liz – Richard Golden Lion
QM2 Martin-Paul-Helen
QM2 Martin-Paul-Helen

 

We had fun….   The first night the wine menu was presented to Elizabeth  with the first page  opened showing  wines starting at $120 US + ,  both of us went gulp!  Then I said to her, try some of those other pages, surprise we were now in the more affordable area, not inexpensive but what a quality restaurant would offer.

Did I mention the lovely menu options for all tastes and the decadent deserts, course the Canyon Spa offered on the menu selections to help one enjoy but not gain weight, sure.

Our cabin service was spot on, lots of space for four pieces of luggage and gifts we accumulated from ship or shore.  We kept the nightly chocolates on our pillows for our grandchildren Arrived in Halifax after enjoyable days at sea including some lovely lunches at the Golden Lion, just pay for your drinks. I also spent time in the Commodore Club having a few Highland Park Scotch  or the Chart  Room and Liz and I would venture for a nightcap in the Queens Room watching the more experienced folks dance to the QM2 Orchestra.

During our North Atlantic crossing we also enjoyed listening to an amazing couple (four times) who played classical and modern on a Spanish guitar and Oboe, called the Zoco Duno and attended the QM2 Interdenominational   Sunday Church service led by the Captain, for us it was like being in our local church.

In Halifax, we went back to see Pier 21 and I even got a returning immigrant sticker. We then went on a lovely walk of the Harbour area, took a trip on the Theodor Too Tug boat and of course went to a local store for some supplies. That night, Halifax sent us off in style with a 21 gun salute at sail away,  an escort by Mr Tugboat and the Royal Canadian Navy .

1-IMG_0767
Halifax Sail Away pre-party
IMG_1375
QM2 Moored Halifax

15-IMG_1379 - Copy 14-IMG_1378 - Copy 12-IMG_1346 - Copy 11-IMG_1345 - Copy 09-IMG_1335 - Copy 08-IMG_1332 - Copy 13-IMG_1349 - CopyIMG_1354

 

Another sea day and into Boston,

01-IMG_0785

16-IMG_1385 - Copy 17-IMG_1388 - Copy 18-IMG_1390 - Copy 11-IMG_0826 - Copy 10-IMG_0823 - Copy 08-IMG_0811 - Copy 07-IMG_0810 06-IMG_0820 05-IMG_0818 04-IMG_0817 03-IMG_081509-IMG_0822

where we went to the John F Kennedy Museum, a marvelous experience and learning about that period of time. They also have a bookstore of many items to purchase. Only hitch into Boston prior to leaving for tour was it took awhile for us to be processed by USA Immigration on the ship. Considering the QM2 had about 2,315 passengers, our tour was delayed about 30 minutes only, left at 10:30 instead of 10am Our final sea day and of course packing day prior to arrival to New York.

A few days prior to our arrival, Cunard advertized their White Star Luggage service as being available for passengers to send luggage from ship to one home destination. We elected to explore this option and in fact sent one piece onwards from New York to Victoria. I have included that part of the trip at the end of this section on New York.

New York:  Disembarkation Day: 

Reading some of the boards as we were to go to the Sanctuary Hotel for our four days. http://www.sanctuaryhotelnyc.com/   which  is near Times Square.  I asked for a porter to get me a Black Cab instead of a Yellow Taxi , these are fixed rates based on area in town , black newer SUV’s or large cabs. In essence one pay s a flat rate plus tip also I tipped the luggage porter. We were off the ship at 10:30am and into a Black Cab by 11am, into our hotel by 12:30pm as traffic was thick and the hotel offered coffee or tea and a couch plus amenities while we waited for our room to be available as check in time is normally 3pm , we were in our room by about 2pm

New York:    What can one say , it is the city that never sleeps, people always  in a rush and we experienced restaurants where dinner conversations were like yelling matches, at least to our tender Pacific West Coast ears. Turns out , it is normal.

27-IMG_1423 25-IMG_1419 24-IMG_1418 - Copy 23-IMG_1417 - Copy 22-IMG_1414 - Copy 21-IMG_1411 - Copy 20-IMG_1408 - Copy 19-IMG_1407 - Copy

We used the Hop On Hop Off Buses for two days and basically rose the two loops , lovely way to see the city , waterfront and get to know where we were an how far things really are from each other.

Do New Yorkers read books was a question for us as we could not find a bookstore nor large grocery stores, seems people in the city buy what they need for a few days and walk or bike it home as many did not have parking spots like we are used to .  Of course we had to experience a Hot Dog from the sidewalk vendor

26-IMG_1421

and I found an Irish Pub 30 feet from our hotel.  Best find was Starbucks and numerous TD Toronto Dominion Bank branches so I could get monies without a fee.  We did lots of walking and toured Macys and Lords and Taylors.

Value for this voyage . QM2 and Cunard , 6 stars  ****** service   We are now looking to book QM2 again next year , perhaps Florida to San Francisco on Queen Victoria  or  around Canada / new England  on  QM2,  as I do  have a brand new tux to wear.

Post script:    White Star Luggage service  I had read about transporting your luggage to the ship prior to a voyage via the service Cunard offered called White Star Luggage service By the time I looked into it , was three weeks too late. It intrigued me as to send ones luggage not really needed while in transit as we would spend time in Southampton prior to boarding and it would reduce concerns about air weight and transporting luggage for long distances. We live on Vancouver Island and would fly to Southampton then back from New York. About seven days prior to end of our cruise the Pursers office announced that staff would be available to coordinate transfer of luggage from port to your home city if wanted by White Star Luggage (DHL). I went down and discussed the options and discovered the options and costs were to my mind not that expensive to ship a 50 lb luggage case. From New York city to Victoria Canada , about $190 US for 3,030 miles. As were staying four days in New York we elected to have only three pieces of luggage with us and ship back our formal clothes and extra we did not plan to wear. In our case our weight limits and number of bags (4) were allowed free on Air Canada but we thought why not try this service and see the results for future cruises. So we hipped one item back. The way it works is you fill out forms indicating your approval, agreement and destination, supply passport to be copied and a credit card for payment as to option chosen. We had one day to complete the process as the information had to be sent and approved by DHL and Cunard prior to arrival in New York. The fun part was to fill out a form that detailed the items being shipped and their approximate value for Insurance purposes. You are automatically covered for $2,000 US and can add another $1,000 increments for $10 US. We chose $3,000 🙂 Imagine Liz’s surprise when I asked her to decide what had to go into this suitcase 7 days prior to disembarkation. No gifts, food et cetra are allowed. Only Clothes though I did add all our daily news items on actual night of packing prior to New York. The Pursers office confirmed all was well 2 days later and sent ne copies of my itemized list though nerd here took a picture on my iPhone, just in case The day we received our luggage tags we also received a special plastic pouch with scan code papers and instructions. one inside the suitcase and UNLOCKED. Once off the ship we went through customs and just outside the hall our luggage porter took us to the White Star representative. pile of luggage already there. The rep checked m name off a list and that was it. Six days later , 2 after we got home we had a call from DHL. please send by email , copies of our passport and list They would clear through customs and send to our home The only glitch was I sent a copy of our declaration of goods intransit instead of the official carbon copy , it not bother DHL but did bother a CBSA person Lesson learned The item I did do right was to declare to an agent not to the scan machines that we had this intransit Within 2 weeks all was at our home.. We will use White Star Luggage service ( DHL ) again It works and is safe

IMG_1455
Antler- Home by Cunard White Star Luggage Service (DHL)
30-IMG_1445
New York to Victoria , Air Canada 549
28-IMG_1439
Newark Airport
29-IMG_1446
Waiting Vancouver to Victoria , prior midnight

I hope you all have enjoyed my account of our trip , long perhaps but it was overall  a wonderful  trip for the both of us and we were pleased to meet Cyber Friends who are now real friends in the flesh

Rob  (aka Robbar)

Queen Mary 2 Anniversary Voyage : By Solent Richard

Liz and I were blessed to also be part of this same Queen Mary 2 Anniversary Voyage to Halifax thence Boston , New York via Southampton and Liverpool.

Click link  >     http://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2015/07/24/queen-mary-2-anniversary-voyage/
Richard has been a cruise blog and vapour land friend of mine for over six years and we finally met in person, still great friends we are 🙂 🙂
As usual he is ahead of the pack in getting his blog write-up together so I have elected to share his write up with you as it covers areas I would not have covered. He is an early riser while I am the one who closes the shop.
In his zeal to cover the Red Arrows in Southampton by getting to Mayflower Park to take pictures. his wife was frantic as he almost was last on board. Then again , that is the detail he strives to publish on his blog for us all to enjoy
Enjoy ,    Cheers / Rob Holloway (aka Robbar)

Cunard’s Thank You To Southampton

Patricia has written a lovely update on Cunard festivals this year
I now know the time it departs and even the terminal change from her and Paul C
Getting excited I am to be part of this event

Linerlovers's Blog

As everyone knows by now, 2015 is the 175th anniversary of Cunard or British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company as it was originally called. Since returning from the world cruises on the 3rd May, we’ve had all three ships in Southampton, the sinking of the Lusitania centenary commemoration and all the ships in the Mersey with a flypast from the Red Arrows en route to a display in Blackpool. Next up in the true anniversary of the 4th July, the day Britannia set sail from Liverpool. The recreation of this crossing begins in Southampton 2 days before with a thank you to the city they have used for over 100 years. Some wrongly believe Cunard only started calling at Southampton in 1967 when they moved their head office out of Liverpool but the connection with the city goes back to 1911 with Albania, Ausonia and Ascania. They…

View original post 284 more words

QUEEN MARY 2-SOME TRANSATLANTIC SNAPSHOTS

Never get enough pictures
Where are all the passengers 😄

travelswithanthony

This album is intended as an insight into some of the daily sights and routines of life as experienced aboard the last true North Atlantic liner- Cunard’s incomparable Queen Mary 2.

This series of pictures were taken during an implausibly calm westbound crossing to New York in December of 2014. Each shot captures a sight or a mood that briefly piqued my curiosity, and/or one that I thought would appeal to my readers out there- a way to savour the ‘virtual’ experience of sailing on this fabulous ocean liner.

So, without further ado, I give you- Queen Mary 2. Enjoy the crossing!

QM2 at Southampton QM2 at Southampton

The huge flank of QM2 The huge flank of QM2

My room. stateroom 12104 My room. stateroom 12104

Atlantic panorama Atlantic panorama

View over the stern View over the stern

Two Deck corridor Two Deck corridor

Two Deck, forward to aft view Two Deck, forward to aft view

Britannia Restaurant Britannia Restaurant

Out over starboard bow Out over starboard bow

QM2 ballroom QM2 ballroom

Winter Garden at night Winter Garden at night

Sunny Atlantic disposition Sunny Atlantic disposition

Looking up from Seven Looking up from Seven

Forward covered promenade Forward covered…

View original post 11 more words

Queen Elizabeth Fanzine and Hamburg Cruise

I do not normally post another cruise blog but this one from Richard is exceptionally good as it is on the QE and a short visit to Hamburg
Of course it also shows pictures of a Cunard Facebook group I belong to which is a rare sight to see a lot of them on the same cruise😎😇😄
Course living near a major seaport helps
Enjoy

Solent Richard's Cruise Blog

My wife and I have just completed a very satisfying short cruise on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to Hamburg and return.

This was very much a last minute decision with the intention of  killing  two birds with one stone. Firstly a number of members of the “We Are Cunard’ Facebook Fanzine were planning a get together and secondly, we were very keen to visit the delightful German couple with whom we made friends on our Europa 2 cruise last September.

I have previously reviewed Queen Elizabeth in some detail at…

Queen Elizabeth – A day visit

…though there have been some changes following a recent refit.

Check-in was both smooth, efficient and well organised and Cunard were still operating the priority check-in system for their Grills and World Club members…

Southampton’s Ocean terminal has also been upgraded with the security screening facility enhanced. We were soon on board and…

View original post 1,516 more words

FLIGHT REVIEW: BA 112 JFK TO HEATHROW

The only way to fly for sure
Good BA experience

travelswithanthony

Date: 22/12/2014

Flight: BA 112

Type: Boeing 747-400

Class: Club World (Upgraded from Premium Economy)

BA 112 pre departure at Terminal &, JFK airport BA 112 pre departure at Terminal &, JFK airport

BA had their work cut out with this one for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I had just disembarked from the Queen Mary 2 at the end of a memorable Atlantic crossing, and was feeling very much like Cinderella the morning after the ball.

Secondly, I was flying home on what is traditionally one of the worst days of the year to travel- one that, from personal experience, had always proved to be a nightmare in the past.

All of which made what follows that much more surprising,

I arrived at JFK’s Terminal 7 a good six hours prior to my flight. Booked into Premium Economy and already allocated a decent seat, my main concern was to get through the usual, pre Christmas train wreck of…

View original post 954 more words

Ships, Shoes and Maggiemou.

My book is on its way but I fully agree with Richards comments about the book and Maggie cruise experience. Repost on my blog for cruisers / Rob. 😄

Solent Richard's Cruise Blog

By way of  a little promotion I am taking the unusual step of plugging a really fun book on cruising that has recently been published by one of this blog’s avid followers and a personal friend, Maggie Thorpe.

Maggie Mou Book aspect shot

Maggie Thorpe, better known on many cruise forums as MaggieMou,  is a veteran of many world cruises and particularly  many with Cunard. Indeed the book follows Maggie’s adventures across the globe on the 2014 Queen Elizabeth World Cruise.

Maggie, as does Solent Richard, suffers from  a clothes and shoes addiction and this  book takes the reader initially through the logistics of packing/unpacking, storing and caring for 100 or more evening outfits, 12 different pashminas, 40 pairs of shoes and 30 hand bags.

Maggie certainly enters into the spirit of everything and isn’t afraid to have those pictures taken, from Vietnam to Japan and from on board to the Roaring 20’s…

MaggieMou in Japan

*****

View original post 112 more words

Cunard’s New Queen Elizabeth – Southampton (October 2010)



Queen Elizabeth- Southampton , Welcome


Well, If you did not know but were waiting for the newest ship of the Cunard fleet  ‘Queen Elizabeth’  to be ready for its first cruise out of Southampton, it arrived. October 8, 2010.
 “The 90,000-tonne vessel has been built at the Fincantieri shipyard near Trieste in Italy”

I extracted some sample pictures which are are published on the Cunard Blog,   http://wearecunard.com/  / thank you Alastair Greener ,  Entertainment Director for Cunard Line /
Also some great videos.

 and a friends blog   http://joscruisejollies.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-just-like-scene-from-poirot.html
  /thank you Jo of cruise.co.uk  joc@cruise.co.uk  /

Welcome to Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth , may she sail safely with her crew and passengers into the ports around the World for many years to come.
Here are some of the pictures for you to enjoy.

Queen Elizabeth- Sails into Southampton October 8, 2010



Queen Elizabeth- Docked at  Ocean Terminal, Southampton

 Did you know almost 70 % of the crew were transfered from the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 to be part of the new Queen Elizabeth’s crew. A great way to continue the Cunard tradition of impeccable service to passengers.



Queen Elizabeth – Naming  ceremony by  Queen Elizabeth 



The Queen and Captain Christopher Wells
The Queen has officially named Cunard’s new Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in the port of Southampton. October 11, 2010



Queen Elizabeth- Princess Grill Cabin




Queen Elizabeth – Grill’s sun deck