It’s Not A Cruise – It’s A Crossing!

The only way to cross? You bet! Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Monday, August 31, 2015
On this last day of August, those of us sailing aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 have officially passed the halfway point on this westbound Transatlantic Crossing.
It’s been five days since my feet have touched land, and I don’t mind at all. In fact, I’m already worrying about the fact that this eight-day voyage (one day longer than most crossings aboard Queen Mary 2) is coming to a close on Friday. If I was smart, I would have booked a roundtrip crossing – which you can do, from either Southampton, England or New York (Brooklyn).

With opulence like this, it's hard to believe you're on a ship at all. Fortunately, designer Stephen Payne has included plenty of natural light and sea views in every single public room aboard Queen Mary 2. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

With opulence like this, it’s hard to believe you’re on a ship at all. Fortunately, designer Stephen Payne has included plenty of natural light and sea views in every single public room aboard Queen Mary 2. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

But it’s not just zipping across the ocean that is the draw here – it’s Queen Mary 2 and all that she has to offer. And on Cunard’s 175th Anniversary this year, the line is pulling out all the stops. Onboard, there are special anniversary cocktails and martinis. Napkins are printed with the line’s 175 marquee logo. The gift shop is filled with anniversary swag. For Cunard, nearly two centuries in operation is a Very Big Deal.

The 1,094-seat Royal Court Theatre was packed to standing-room only... Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The 1,094-seat Royal Court Theatre was packed to standing-room only… Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...to see conductor Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra perform again this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…to see conductor Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra perform again this morning. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

This morning, guests were treated to another spectacular performance by the National Symphony Orchestra, as conducted by Anthony Inglis. I can’t get over how spectacular these performances are; a crossing on QM2 is special enough in its own right, but these live classical music concerts have really raised the bar on shipboard entertainment, in my mind.
Unsurprisingly, the 1,094 seat Royal Court Theatre on Decks 2 and 3 was filled to capacity. It was standing-room only by the time I entered for the 11:15 a.m. performance of Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky. Running just 35 minutes in duration, you could have heard a pin drop in the theatre were it not for the rich, full sound that filled the room just as it had last night. It was impressive, thrilling and enormously moving.

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