Elegant Nights on the Atlantic

Speeding off into the Atlantic onboard Queen Mary 2. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Position as of this writing: 49° 29.1’ N, 15° 11.1’ W

Speed: 21.7 knots

Wind: Force 6 / Temperature: 13°C / Seas: Moderate Swell

There’s something very special about Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 when the sun goes down.
At night, this ship looks like no other ship I’ve ever been on. It’s interior spaces are transformed each night into places of elegance, mystery and wonder. Nighttime on this ship has fascinated me in a way that no other ship has.
There’s the soft lighting in the Chart Room on Deck 3, with its tall ceilings and warm, faux-wood wall panelling, that looks like it would be right at home in one of the classic hotels in London or New York.

The Chart Room Bar, Deck 3. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

One deck below, the Golden Lion Pub couldn’t be more different. One foot into the threshold and you think to yourself, “Ah – now here’s your typical English local.” Dark walnut columns; brown leather chairs so plush and soft that you could lose yourself in them; structural beams on the ceiling; live music, and frothy pints flowing as if it were the last night on Earth. Where the Chart Room is elegant and subdued, the Golden Lion is a rollicking good time, filled with the din of conversation and the clinking of glasses.
Outside both rooms, the darkness of the North Atlantic swirls close by. From the illumination of the ship’s windows and deck lights, you can just see the ship’s bow wake clash and clatter against her hull before it, too, disappears into the darkness behind the Queen Mary 2.

There’s nothing like a cocktail soiree to kick things off…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…in the Queen’s Ballroom. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

High up on Deck 9 forward, the Commodore Club is something different. It spans the entire width of the ship, and then some: partitions on the port and starboard sides mimic the curvature of the ship’s navigation bridge, which extend over the sides of the ship. Here, there’s something decidedly nautical afoot: memorabilia is featured in glass lightboxes mounted into the bulkheads in the middle of the room, and teak railings separate two subsections of seating on the port and starboard sides. Lighting here, though, is an effervescent neon blue. Think of it as Queen Mary 2’s futuristic navigation bridge, where the craft cocktails never stop flowing.
Some areas of this ship are decidedly mysterious at night. Take a wander through Cunard ConneXions, the ship’s digital hub and meeting space, at night to see what I mean. Soft lighting illuminates portions of this area, casting huge shadows that you don’t normally see on most ships. Most ships, even at night, have a sort of floodlit quality to them – much like land-based hotels. Queen Mary 2 does not.

Cunard ConneXions, Deck 2 forward. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Queen Mary 2 at night takes on a very moody, mysterious look. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

If wandering the ship at night is entertainment in and of itself, so too are the activities onboard. To be sure, there are evening production shows that mimic those found aboard more traditional cruise ships. But Queen Mary 2 offers nightly entertainment you won’t find anywhere else.
Tonight, the Masquerade Ball was held in the Queen’s Room on Deck 3. Guests could purchase Venetian-style masks during the afternoon in the Grand Lobby, or at the show in the Queen’s Room. And they did: this is one of the most popular events on the ship and it’s like nothing else at sea.
If you’re a past guest with at least World Club Gold (three or more voyages), or are staying in a suite, you could find yourself invited to a special cocktail soiree with the ship’s Officers. These are also held in the Queen’s Room, and they’re very, very well attended. The World Club party I went to (I finally hit Gold after all these

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