QUEEN MARY 2
NYC to SOUTHAMPTON
August 2011
   Last September at the conclusion of a cruise with Seabourn from Copenhagen to Southampton we met a
couple that also live in Connecticut and are experienced travelers.  When  asked  which flight they were taking
to New York they told us that instead of flying they take the Queen Mary between England and New York. When  
planning for our September 3rd Seabourn cruise from Dover to New York via the North Atlantic we decided to
take the
QM2 from NY to Southampton.  We really are starting to dread the airport treatment, so a leisurely 7
night cruise to England made a lot of sense!

August 22nd         Other than the usual traffic jams our trip to the Red Hook terminal in Brooklyn went
smoothly.  Security and boarding the QM2 went quickly and without hassle.  Cruising on one of the Queens of
the Cunard Line is much more formal than our previous cruising experiences.  On this seven night cruise we
will have four formal nights.  We had a lot of fun shopping for Eleanor's wardrobe, and were pleased that our
suite on the QM2 had considerably more closet space than the Seabourn ships. In addition to the benefit of
avoiding the airlines there was no luggage restriction!

After unpacking and the customary safety drill we enjoyed watching the New York skyline as we departed.  
Personally I was a bit surprised and disappointed when it seemed we were the only couple on the ship that were
moved when we passed the site of the World Trade Center where so many people lost their lives nearly 10 years
ago.  The new
Freedom Tower is rising above the city, but again I don't believe that many on board were aware
of that.  We were escorted by police helicopters and boats as we left NY harbor and passed under the
Verrazano Bridge  with about 13 foot clearance.  This will be our last visual contact with land until we reach
Southampton next Monday morning.

Dinner was relaxing and enjoyable.  We were assigned a table for our exclusive use during the duration of the
cruise in the Princess Grill Dining Room. Our room and bed were extremely comfortable and quiet and we slept
soundly.

August 23rd     The QM2 is many times larger than other cruise ships we have been on (Cunard gets a bit
picky about the QM2 being an Ocean Liner - not a cruise ship.  Hull design is different being a deeper "V"
design).   There are approximately 2700 passengers on this crossing compared to 440 on the larger Seabourn
vessels and 200 or so on Seabourn's three little sisters; the Legend, Pride and Spirit.  We have been surprised
that it does not seem at all crowded.  There are several large theaters which have lectures and entertainment
as well as a myriad of bars and clubs on board.  Today I listened to an interesting lecture on the history of
Cunard and its Queens (Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria) and we also attended a seminar on
the use of an Apple IPad.  This was our first Formal Evening and we also attended the Black and White Ball
after dinner.

August 24th - onward        The days are falling into a routine.  For the most part we are enjoying just
relaxing and enjoying our comfortable quarters.  We have a spacious balcony and the weather has
remained warm and the seas calm.  We enjoy dressing for dinner and the evening entertainment
which is extremely well done and I'm sure on a par with the best NY and other large cities have to
offer.  Much more elaborate than on the smaller ships, but  not as intimate.  With Seabourn the
entertainers are always mingling with the passengers when not rehearsing or performing, so we end
up with a personal attachment to them.  As mentioned we chose to have our own table and really
have not socialized any with other passengers.  There are about 1200 English, 900 Americans and
several hundred Canadians on board as well as large numbers of Australians, Italians, and French.  
Many, many other nationalities are passengers, even a couple from Sri Lanka.  Our head waiter is
from Mauritius, and his assistants are Hungarian and Philippine.  The  Maitre d'  is Austrian and his
assistant is Romanian.

August 29th        We docked in Southampton on schedule at 6:30 AM and after breakfast
disembarked at 9:00 AM where our car and driver was waiting to transport us to Canterbury where
we will stay until September 3rd when we board the Seabourn Sojourn for our 27 day cruise back to
New York via the North Atlantic.  Immigration procedures had been completed on board, so it was a
very straight forward process to gather our luggage and depart the Southampton terminal.

For us this was clearly a superior choice over flying to England and we most likely will repeat it in
the future.  Most of this cruise involved listening to lectures, enjoying the entertainers, and of course
dressing for the evenings!    There wasn't much in the way of scenery after we left New York, so
most of my
PHOTOS are of Eleanor and the interior of the ship.