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April 10, 2017

Cruising on Queen Mary 2: Three sides to Cruising


There's something about Mary

With its huge art deco-styled lipstick red funnel, blue and white
livery and wraparound promenade deck, Helen Flanagan was all at sea on
the leviathan ocean liner Queen Mary 2.

Could the grandeur, elegance and romance of the golden age of sea
travel exist today or is that the dominion of the movies such as
Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio?

After stepping on board the Queen Mary 2, welcomed by a dashing
officer in dazzling whites, gliding along the decks and carpeted
passageways, entering a small but perfectly and cleverly designed
Brittania stateroom decorated in gold and cream, with a generous sized
balcony, it's time for a glass of Veuve Clicquot whilst we unpack.
There's plentiful of robe space and masses of hangers to swallow up
the evening and the less formal albeit casual wear.

If you can afford to step it up several notches the Princess or Royal
Grill categories have lavish staterooms and suites including two 209
square metre grand duplex apartments, plus special restaurants, bowing
butlers and all the upper-crust accoutrements.

All the hallmarks and expectations of glamerama and good taste yet
hints of nostalgia await. From the sweeping staircase in Britannia
Restaurant; the six-storey grand lobby; a ballroom where suave
gentlemen hosts and terribly refined folk in dinner jackets and
sequined frocks, samba to the orchestra; and performing arts in the
Royal Court Theatre; to wide gallery spaces with displays of "stars on
board" such as Greta Garbo, the Duke of Windsor and Mrs Simpson, plus
more than 300 original artworks valued at more than $US5 million,
there's certainly a sense of space and style.

Let's not forget the many outdoor areas with five swimming pools, golf
simulators, putting green, basketball and paddle tennis courts and
more. Plus a cool14 bars and clubs, 10 restaurants of various culinary
persuasions, 8000-book library, spa and gym with aqua-therapy pool,
sauna, ice fountain for the brave, beauty salon and 24-treatment
rooms, the world's first planetarium at sea and eight swanky boutiques
and souvenir-stocked shops with must-buy prices.

The Commodore tells us "the flagship of the Cunard Line towers 62
metres above the waterline - the equivalent of a 23 storey building,
and is the finest ocean liner ever built. Its four diesel engines and
two gas turbines produce the thrust required to launch a jumbo jet.
It's a giant power station run by electric motors…made to take the
heaviest weather…it's as good as it gets."

Grey Goose Citron martinis beckon in the smart Commodore Club,
overlooking the bow, prior to dinner in the Britannia restaurant.
Choices are many, quality and service is excellent, wine list
extensive. Open sandwiches andtarts in Sir Samuel's or British staples fish and chips with mushy
peas and ploughmans are on the menu in the Golden Lion pub. Both are
excellent lunch options as is the Veuve Clicquot Twinings High Tea in
the Winter Garden with white-gloved service of dainty sandwiches and
rolls, choux pastry swans, scones, tartlets and melodious strains of a
harpist.

[Editor's Note: QM2 received substantial updates in 2016. For details about these new features, see here.]

After dinner it's show time with headline acts ranging from opera
singers, comedians, cabaret stars; playing black jack, poker or slot
machines in the casino; or ballroom dancing in the Queens Room, the
largest ballroom at sea. At the G32 night club, sing and dance to
brilliant Caribbean band and after umpteenth stanzas of 'Feelin' hot,
hot, hot', it's time for more refreshments. The night is young and
tomorrow's decisions are easy especially when not in port. Or are
they?

A multitude of options in the daily oracle range from pub trivia,
table tennis, deck quoits, card games, movies, bridge and twist, jazz,
ballroom and line dancing classes, martini mixology, whisky and wine
tastings, fruit and vegetable carving, art classes, scarf tying and
napkin folding to curling up on a steamer chair for a zizz or catching
a few stray rays poolside.

No time to be bored. We're here for a good time, not a long time.

*There are after-all three sides to cruising: starboard, portside and
funside! How true.

For more information and bookings visit www.cunardline.com.au or call 13 24 41.

Words: Helen Flanagan

Images: as supplied.

Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.com.au

Captions:

  1. Britannia Restaurant
  2. Spa
  3. Succulent lamb
  4. QM2
  5. Stateroom
  6. St Valentine's Day arrival in Sydney
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