Traveling famously on a Transatlantic crossing or cruising the world on a stately Cunard has been the exemplar of the good life for 163 years. Cunard's rich legacy of lustrous White Star Service? and realm of privileged indulgence are the gold standard by which others are measured. Few thrills compare...
Cunard has launched nearly 180 ships with enough firsts and foremost to be forever inscribed in maritime history. Canadian Samuel Cunard began his steamship company in the early 1800's with a vision, but it is unlikely he foresaw ships with the size, speed or cultured, gracious living afforded by the magnificent Cunarders of today.
The onboard ambience attracts a loyal following of guests with similar interests and values - the opportunity to socialize with peers who share so much in common is one of the great joys of "traveling Cunard."
Cunard Cruise Lines White Star Service can only be described as truly European in that staff attends to every desire with polite, gracious and highly responsive attention - unobtrusive but very much there. When you first come on board, if you half-close your eyes, you will sense immediately that you are on a liner from the twenties or thirties. But open them fully and you will realize at once that the d?cor is strikingly contemporary.
Civilized pleasure of afternoon tea, complete with crumpets, scones, berries and clotted cream. QM2 and QE2 each have an authentic English pub offering an incredible variety of beverages ranging from single malt whiskies, special brandy and cognacs, to beer from around the world. Guests can watch sports programs on satellite TV and enjoy time honored pub food.
Each Ship Is A Virtual City At Sea!
Each ship is a virtual City at Sea featuring every pleasurable pursuit found in the most cosmopolitan metropolis. There are sports activities, fitness classes, spa treatments, and exquisite boutique shopping and stimulating enrichment programs, from round-table discussions with eminent scholars, to a wide variety of classes and workshops.
In the tradition of the great ocean liners of the past, accommodation is matched with reserved tables in one of the main dining rooms, most with single seating dining. Cunard's Queens Grill and Princess Grill restaurants are recognized as providing the finest epicurean experiences on the globe. And there are many complimentary alternative restaurants as well.
Evenings are filled with excitement with gala balls and dazzling theme events providing the opportunity to dress to the nines - an increasingly rare treat in a day and age governed by the monotony of "country club casual". Add dancing to a live orchestra in the ballroom, fine liquors and smokes in the cigar bar, cabaret, film festivals, superb performances in the grand show lounge (QM2's Apassionata, as just one example, is a dance extravaganza with styles from Glen Miller's Swing to the tantalizing Argentinean Tango). It is not to be missed.
Cunard's goal with the introduction of QM2 is to acquaint a whole new generation of travelers with the joys of a Transatlantic Crossing. You could fly across by air in six hours, but six rewarding days at sea give you the gracious gift of time - the opportunity to do wonderful things that you never have time for at home. Freedom at last!
More grand news! Plans call for another magnificent Cunarder, the Queen Victoria, to be delivered in 2007. At 85,000 tons she will carry 1,850 guests, and will be in the style of QM2 and QE2.
Queen Mary 2 (QM2)
A magnificent cruise experience on board the world's most prestigious ocean liner, Cunard's renowned White Star Service, Sophisticated and extravagant, yet paradoxically, an intimate, casual ambience, accommodation paired with distinctive sea-view restaurants, Ten restaurants. From lavish dining in baronial splendor to your tasty local pub fare?with absolutely everything in between!
Superb gustatory celebrations by Mediterranean master Todd English, 24-hour room service, Largest wine selection afloat, Acres of poolside decks and promenades. Full scale Illuminations Planetarium, Afternoon tea accompanied by a string quartet in the colonial-style Winter Garden, and a 20,000 square-foot Canyon Ranch SpaClub? brims with therapies and facilities.
Fitness center with 50 pieces of card equipment, weight room, Deck sports, Canard connections, and QM2's academic and enrichment programs. On the Transatlantic Crossings the renowned University of Oxford will present their fascinating Oxford Discovery Programs, as well as a Grand West End style cinema, Ballroom dancing, jazz and champagne clubs.
Fine wine bar, G32 for rock and disco, cabaret in the Chart Room, casino, Royal Court Theatre for brilliantly staged shows and West End-caliber productions. Gallery of shops, the largest library at sea, Computer Center (classes too), The Play Zone - supervised "kids camp", Gentlemen hosts, Facilities for pets.
She's like every Cunarder before her. The stupendous QM2 is a ship of opulence and splendor where classic Cunard hallmarks weave throughout. Sweeping staircases, towering dining salons, a grand ballroom and an unprecedented cache of innovations include a virtual college-at-sea, Cunard ConneXionssm. ConneXions are a cultural campus with a full syllabus of mini-courses, seminars, workshops and eminent guest lecturers selected by the University of Oxford. You can learn about everything from film-making to the marvels of the cosmos, even take a ride through outer space in a "Search for Life" at IlluminationsSM, QM2's planetarium.
If you want to get physical, there are five pools (one with retractable dome), golf simulator, shuffleboard, paddle tennis, a 360 degree promenade for walking and jogging, plus a fitness center which features personal trainers and panoramic views. Then reward yourself in the 20,000 square foot Canyon Ranch SpaClub?, brimming with therapies and a wondrous thalassotherapy pool.
Evenings bring out the best in QM2 - and her guests. Beaded gowns, black ties, laughter and applause. Crystal chandeliers preside over dancers sweeping across the largest ballroom at sea. Guests sip from long Waterford flutes in the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar. Wine enthusiasts sip Bordeaux in Sir Samuel's. Jazz sets the tone in the Commodore Club.
You can dine on cuisine created by Boston superstar Todd English, darling of the food critics, and after dinner, enjoy a superb musical production in the Royal Court Theatre or a play performed by actors from London's famed Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Then how about rolling the dice in the Empire Casino, or enjoying a nightcap in the Chart Room where a cabaret singer croons Some Enchanted Evening?which, in fact, occurs nightly aboard QM2. You'll feel like one who has caught the golden ring.
Nearly 80% of QM2's staterooms are ocean view with over 94% of these offering spacious balconies. Accommodation choices range from the merely commodious to the shamelessly extravagant, such as the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites with elevator access reserved just for you.
Queens Grill Accommodation (Q categories) is the ultimate in luxury living. Marble baths with whirlpool tubs, fully stocked en-suite bars, private butlers and concierge service. Choices range from duplex apartments to grand duplexes, to the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Suites and the Queen Anne and Queen Victoria Royal Suites. Guests enjoy single seating in the renowned Queens Grill. The elegant Queens Grill Lounge and a private sun terrace are also reserved exclusively for Queens Grill guests.
Princess Grill Accommodation (P categories) is on Deck 10. The spacious 381 square foot Junior Ocean-View Suites feature a large balcony, bath with tub and shower, sitting area with sofa, TV, walk in closet, concierge service. Guests enjoy single-seating dining in the elegant Princess Grill.
Britannia Accommodation (B, C and D categories). The Deluxe Balcony Staterooms, Premium Balcony Staterooms, Oceanview Staterooms, Inside Staterooms with Atrium View and Inside Staterooms found in B, C and D categories are anything but ordinary (more like the deluxe staterooms on other ships). Guests in these accommodations have a reserved table in the Britannia Restaurant.
"Untold elegance and grace". Magical and worldly where glamorous, bejeweled women in beaded gowns and men in black tie or tails are in their element. Soft music, quiet murmurs, excited laughter and friendly banter around the tuxedoed croupiers at the roulette wheel. A string quartet and freshly brewed tea in the Winter Garden, premier cru Bordeaux in Sir Samuel's, jazz in the Commodore Club, cabaret in the Chart Room. Dancing on moonbeams. Shangri-La really!
The centerpiece of the QM2 experience. Superb award-winning gustatory celebrations inspired by Mediterranean master Todd English. Owner of the internationally famous Olives of Boston among others, Todd English is one of America's leading chefs and the darling of the food critics. He has been named both "Rising Star Chef" and "Best Chef: Northeast" by the James Beard Foundation. His beautiful restaurant on board QM2 overlooking the Pool Terrrace has been designed with intimate alcoves and exquisite architectural detailing - the perfect setting for his highly interpretive Mediterranean cuisine.
The best restaurants in the land are now at sea and the Queens and food critics as the premier dining experience afloat have chronicled Princess Grills. Gourmet delicacies are staples in QM2's ten restaurants. Feast in baronial splendor. Superb amid genteel chatter in The Carvery. Dine al fresco on contemporary Mediterranean cuisine. Fans of dim sum, tuna tartar and nouvelle cuisine, even pub food (accompanied by televised sporting events) have not been forgotten. QM2 is the first Cunard ship to debut a "Chef's Galley" Restaurant where chefs will teach guests how to prepare their meal just prior to dining. Chef's Galley features both Cunard chefs and guest appearances by world famous chefs sponsored by Gourmet Magazine.
Entertainment and Activities
Brilliantly staged West End calibre shows in a state-of-the-art show lounge with tier seating, cabaret performances, ballroom dancing in the Queen's Room, the Empire Casino, G32 Nightclub for rock and disco.
At Cunard ConneXions enjoy workshops, seminars and lectures conducted by historians and scientists, college professors and top diplomats (as well as cooking classes, wine appreciation courses, foreign languages and photography spotlights as examples). On Transatlantic Crossings, the renowned University of Oxford will present their fascinating Oxford Discovery Program.
London's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) will perform plays and lead a variety of readings and workshops, including acting classes. In addition to seminars led by graduate students, QM2 guests will have the rare opportunity to see talented performers on the threshold of their careers in plays seldom seen in the commercial theatre.
Grand lobby, restaurants galore, including the Queens Grill, Queens Grill Lounge, Princess Grill, and Britannia Restaurant. Todd English Restaurant, King's Court with an Asian restaurant, an Italian trattoria, the Carvery, and the Chef's Galley (24-hour room service too). There's even a full-scale planetarium dubbed "Illuminations" where you can view the stars and other visual spectacles or take a course on celestial navigation.
Cunard World Club
World Club is Cunard's Past Guest Program. World Club guests enjoy on board parties, priority check-in and embarkation, recognition gifts, additional savings, quarterly Cunard World Club Newsletters and periodic mailings. Guests will be automatically enrolled after completion of their first Cunard voyage.
Cunard's Connoisseur Collection
For a truly grand holiday, guests can combine a QM2 Transatlantic Crossing with a leisurely European exploration before or after their voyage.
Cunard's fabulous selection of European land tours offers something for everyone. Guests can choose from a London Holiday, a Paris Holiday, a London & Paris Holiday, a Glimpse of Ireland, Royal Scotland, a Wimbledon Tennis Holiday, and the ultimate QM2 holiday. In New York guests may select Broadway Up-close. These tours may also be requested in conjunction with Caronia, and QE2 cruises.
About the author:
William Lezubski (Accredited Cruise Counsellor (ACC), and Certified Travel Counsellor(CTC) - William is a professional in the Travel Industry and is the owner and author of "Discount Caribbean Vacations Web Site" available at http://www.discount-caribbean-vacations.com/index.htm