Grand Days aboard Queen Mary 2

Every day is a grand one when you’re crossing the Atlantic aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Friday, May 19, 2017

Position as of this writing: 47° 30.9’ N, 30° 50.6’ W

Speed: 20.6 knots

Wind: Force 5 / Temperature: 16°C / Seas: Slight

What do you do on a voyage with no ports of call? It’s a common question that most people ask whenever I tell them about crossing the Atlantic aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2. Truth be told, you are going to wonder what to do – but not because of lack of activities. No. You’re going to wonder what to do every day simply because there are so many different things happening around this 1,130-foot long ship.

Halfway across the Atlantic, the fifth day of my Queen Mary 2 crossing started out misty and grey. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

The Cunard Daily Programme outlines them all. We’re halfway across the Atlantic today, steaming for Southampton at a comfortable 20.6 knots. For the first time this crossing, it’s grey, misty, windy, and rainy outside. A few hearty souls are doing laps on the Promenade Deck on Deck 7, and a handful of people – mostly die-hard smokers – are clustered around the teak tables and chairs at the after end of the deck, utilising one of the ship’s only designated smoking areas. Other than that, most guests, including yours truly, are inside Queen Mary 2’s nice, cozy interior.

It may be cold outside, but it’s warm here onboard Queen Mary 2! Shown here is the games hall, Deck 2 forward, port side. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Fancy a game of Scrabble? Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Here’s a look at what’s happening between 9am and 5pm today. I’m leaving out things like spa seminars and art lectures, of which there are many, for the sake of space:

  • 9:00am: Fencing. Limited to 16 people, first come first served. With your sports host, Dave. Queen’s Room, Deck 3, D Stairway.
  • 9:30am: Baggo Competition. Pavilion Pool, Deck 12, B Stairway (over 18s only).
  • 9:30am: iStudy Seminar. Apple Computers. ConneXions Room 6, Deck 2, A Stairway.
  • 10:00am: Zumba. With your Entertainment Host Jade. Queen’s Room, Deck 3, D Stairway.
  • 10:00am: Cunard Insights: John Penycate. The Fall of the Romanovs, Part III. Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway
  • 10:00am: Watercolour Art Class. Britannia Restaurant, Deck 3, C Stairway, Port side.
  • 10:30am: Morning Trivia. Golden Lion Pub, Deck 2, C Stairway.
  • 10:30am: Intermediate Bridge Jon CourClass. Atlantic Room, Deck 11, A Stairway.
  • 11:00am: Jon Courtney Presents, ‘The Other Funny Guys with Pianos.’ Royal Court Theatre, Decks 2 & 3, B Stairway.
  • 11:00am: Cunard Insights: Michael Lister. “Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood.” Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway
  • 11:00am: Line Dance Class. Queen’s Room, Deck 3, D Stairway.
  • 11:15am: Killer Darts Competition. Golden Lion Pub, Deck 2, C Stairway.
  • 11:30am: Shuffleboard Tournament. Deck 13, B Stairway.
  • 12:00pm: Eight Bells. Grand Lobby, Deck 3, B Stairwell.
  • 12:00pm: Navigational Announcement. Public Address System.
  • 12:00pm: Time Change. Today at midday, the ships clocks will be SET FORWARD BY ONE HOUR. Please adjust your watches FORWARD at 12 Noon today.
  • 1:00pm: Low Limit Afternoon Sea Days. Empire Casino, Deck 2, B Stairway.
  • 1:15pm: Pub Melodies. With pianist Miklos Szabo. Golden Lion Pub, Deck 2, C Stairway (until 2:00pm).
  • 1:15pm: Ballroom Dance Class. Queen’s Room, Deck 3, D Stairway.
  • 1:30pm: Poolside Music. With Purple Haze. Pavilion Pool, Deck 12, B Stairway (until 2:30pm).
  • 1:30pm: Lunchtime Melodies. With harpist Fiona McGee. Carinthia Lounge, Deck 7, B Stairway (until 2: 15pm).
  • 1:30pm: Planetarium: To Space and Back. Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway.
  • 2:00pm: Planetarium: To Space and Back. Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway.
  • 2:00pm: Wipeout Trivia. Chart Room, Deck 3, C Stairway.
  • 2:30pm: Afternoon Classical Concert: Junko Ichikawa. Royal Court Theatre, Decks 2 & 3, B Stairway.
  • 2:30pm: Duplicate Bridge Tournament. Atlantic Room, Deck 11, A Stairway.
  • 2:30pm: Transatlantic Games. Pavilion Pool, Deck 12, B Stairway (over 18s only).
  • 2:30pm: Wine Tasting. Great white wine tasting sensations from France. A nominal fee of $120.00 per person applies. Tasting Room, Deck 3, C Stairway, Port side.
  • 2:30pm: Planetarium: To Space and Back. Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway.
  • 3:00pm: iStudy iPad Workshop. A $15 fee applies. ConneXions Room 6, Deck 2, A Stairway.
  • 3:00pm: Snowball Jackpot Bingo. Golden Lion Pub, Deck 2, C Stairway.
  • 3:30pm: Cunard Insights: Giancarlo Impaglia. “The Birth of Modern Art.” Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway.
  • 3:30pm: Complimentary Golf Competition. The Fairways, Deck 12, B Stairway.
  • 4:00pm: Afternoon Trivia. Golden Lion Pub, Deck 2, C Stairway.
  • 5:00pm: Film: “Inferno”. Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones. 121 Minutes. PG-13. Illuminations, Deck 3, B Stairway

And that doesn’t even include the jam-packed nights onboard Queen Mary 2!
Today though, I didn’t do any of those activities. I created my own relaxing day aboard Queen Mary 2, starting with my daily caffe latte in the Carinthia Lounge on Deck 7.

Queen Mary 2’s Library is one of the largest at sea…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…with plenty of relaxing seating areas overlooking the bow…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…and over 10,000 titles onboard. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Of particular note: the excellent Maritime section! Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

This was followed by a trip to the ship’s Library on Deck 8 forward. The largest library at sea, it is stocked with over 10,000 titles, including a very decent section on maritime history, including the history of the Cunard Line, great ocean liners, modern cruise ships, the design and construction of Queen Mary 2, and plenty of books on the RMS Titanic.
Another guest stopped and asked why I was looking at a book on Titanic. She seemed horrified that I was doing so; I guess she hasn’t seen the enormous placards and informational panels on the ship that adorn the B Stairway. Cunard offers books and information on Titanic because the ship is so anchored in the minds of the public, thanks in part to James Cameron’s 1997 film. But more importantly, it does so because a Cunard Line ship (the Carpathia) came to the aid of survivors, and would eventually bring them to New York.

Then, it was off to The Veranda for lunch. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Formerly known as Todd English, The Veranda is an all-new specialty dining venue added during Queen Mary 2’s 2016 Remastering. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Book-in-hand, I took lunch at The Veranda, Queen Mary 2’s specialty restaurant located on Deck 8 aft. This new dining venue replaces the former Todd English restaurant that was here from 2004 to early 2016, and as such has been given a more toned-down décor scheme that makes the room look much warmer than its previous incarnation.

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