Tuesday 14 April 2009 : Joining the Queen Mary 2 in New York for our Crossing to the UK
We had been staying in the Ritz Carlton at Battery Park in New York for the weekend before joining the Queen Mary 2 for the 6 night Transatlantic Crossing Eastwards from New York to Southampton. It was, therefore, very exciting when we went to the lounge for breakfast to see the ship docked across the river in Brooklyn. I took a snap from the lounge and being a bit of a geek, posted it onto Facebook, My Cunard blog (Http://allaboutcunard.blogspot.com ) and on my Flickr account. It was not a very good photo as the weather in New York is cloudy and visibility is not great. But still it had a sense of “event” to it, and doing a crossing on Cunard is all about the event.
We caught a cab from the hotel to the Brooklyn Pier 12 where the ship was. When we last did a crossing (on the QE2) we docked in New York itself. This was so much more exciting and felt more special. It is a pity Cunard moved across to Brooklyn. I am sure it is cheaper and maybe even more efficient – but it is does not feel quite as “eventful”.
We arrived around Noon as we are travelling in Queens Grill, and they encourage you to get there early on. It was a bit less organized than it seems to be in Southampton when checking in. The whole process seemed much smoother and faster in the QE terminal. But we got through security fairly fast and had to queue for a while in the Grills Check-in. Once to the front things got better. We had booked originally in a Q6 in Queens Grill and so were already expecting a special trip, but a few weeks ago we were told that we had been upgraded into a Penthouse (Q4) on the 10th deck. When the lady was processing us she handed us a big red card that said “penthouse” and said she needed to alert “them on the ship” that we were here. We liked that!
When we went through to the crowded Grills pre-boarding lounge this lady stopped us, as we were in jeans and so probably did not all dressed up for Grill level, and asked if we had a pass to the lounge. When shown the “red” card she went, “Ooh, that is a good one to have!”. We liked that too. This looked more and more like it is going to be an event after all!
On boarding, a lady escorted us to our cabin (10092 on the deck 10). It is really amazing. It is about 730 square feet, and so huge.
On entering the cabin there is a guest bathroom with basin on the right, then a dining table and bar area into a seating area with massive sofa, chair and table. Then an area with a large dressing table/ desk and TV with DVD player and X-box and then the bed area. Off that is a huge walk in cupboard with loads of space and a huge bathroom with toilet, bidet, Jacuzzi bath and then large shower. The balcony is also massive with 2 loungers, 2 chairs and a table. This is the life indeed! Amazing. Took loads of photos and video already.
We met our charming butler (Albert) who was off the QE2 and we worked out that Maureen who was our butler on the QE2 is also here, and so we will try and say hello to her. We headed off to lunch in the lovely Queens Grill and the Maitre De recognized us from our Queen Victoria QG trip last year. That is impressive and what the Cunard service is all about.
Lunch was fantastic, of course. Had vegetable soup and yummy turkey schnitzel and salad.
Mark has signed up (already) to do classes through the gym. I had on the other hand signed up to get “The Times” printed every day. Though sea permitting, I do plan to go to the gym every day (to try and mitigate the lovely food).
We are a bit nervous now, thinking back to our very rough QE2 crossing at Christmas 2004 as they are now warning that the 1st few days may be “a bit boisterous” due to high winds, and the Captain ahs suggested people make sure they do not leave bottles on surfaces. Oh dear. We have taken sea sick tablets just to be sure. Though hopefully as we have done a few cruises now we have betters ea legs than then…