Crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 is Like Riding a Time Machine... with a Champagne Room
The Queen Mary 2 is just 10 years old, but the atmosphere she provides feels a lot older. (All photos: Courtesy of Gayot)
By André Gayot
As the Queen Mary 2 slips beneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and heads for open water, she looks back fondly on the 10 years that have passed since her first journey. She knows rough seas are ahead, but this is her 215th crossing and she is going strong. Since her first transatlantic journey, the Queen Mary 2 has traveled the world over, dropping anchor in over 60 different.
There is no need to worry about the weather ahead because this mountain of steel is equipped with cutting-edge technology that assures the passenger a safe and comfortable trip, and weighs in at a staggering 151,400 metric tons. She is the longest, tallest, widest, largest, and most expensive ocean liner ever constructed.
Who would want to spend seven days crossing the Atlantic, when eight hours in an airplane would suffice? Obviously this voyage is not for everyone, but you’d be surprised by the number of candidates opting to eschew a harried sense of time for the tranquil ocean voyage, including those who suffer from a fear of flying or don’t handle jet lag well. On a slow, calm, stable boat such as this, without agitation or obligations, peace of mind comes on its own. To perfect the soothing atmosphere, 128 artists contributed to the decoration of the beautifully adorned ship, where 5,000 works of art, including bronze and glass sculptures, are on display.
With her massive size, the Queen Mary 2 is built for comfort.
However, if contemplation and meditation are not your cup of tea, there’s a roster of occupations: shows, movies, lectures, concerts, stargazing, wine tastings and dance lessons, to name a few. It’s possible to be taken care of all day long, from breakfast in bed to an evening massage at the Canyon Ranch Spa (this pampering comes at a charge though). The calm, restrained and decidedly upscale ambiance of the Queen Mary 2 is readily sought by the clientele, whose average age is 65. So it goes without saying that guests are expected to dress and behave like real ladies and gentlemen. No shorts, no short sleeves or sandals past 5 p.m. Evenings that are not strictly formal are at least “smart casual,” and ties and jackets are de rigueur, while black tie attire is strongly recommended for the Gala dinner. Those without proper attire should make their way to the less formal King’s Court restaurant open 24 hours.