Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Days Aboard the Queen Mary 2

On July 1 (day 1), we boarded the Queen Mary 2 from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The cruise, called a "Fourth of July Getaway: North American Odyssey" is the same one we took last year. After doing the same thing twice I feel like I finally got to see most of the ship- it's huge! This is how huge- look at it berthed next to what appears to be a three-story building in Nova Scotia!

On day 2, we were at sea travelling towards Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada). The weather was clear and we enjoyed this view from our private balcony:

At 6:30 am on day 3, we arrived in Nova Scotia. The ship was greeted in the harbor by "Theodore", a tugboat with a big smile and a ball cap! Last year, we had a blast touring the harbor aboard Theodore.

Nova Scotia has a beautiful pier and plenty of beautiful blue water for the cruise ship tourists. 

This year, since we had previously toured Halifax and rain was threatening, we stayed within walking distance of the QM2 and enjoyed the harbor area and the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Some of the musicians playing for tips on the pier play the bagpipes. Nova Scotia, after all, means "New Scotland".

And there are lighthouses, which I absolutely adore. I took this picture last year from aboard Theodore the Tugboat. 

This part of Canada is similar to the U.S. in many ways- they speak our language and they accept our currency. But some things are different:

If I had not eaten a big breakfast on the ship, I would've definitely tried one of those McLobsters!

Day 4 was a leisurely day at sea, on the way back down the coast to Boston. We could have been there by the next morning, but then it wouldn't be a five day cruise, would it? The extra day gives you a little time to rest up and enjoyed the ship's activities. We were greeted in the morning (obviously, we missed the actual sunrise because I was not getting up that early) by this view from our balcony:

Now that's a great way to start the day! On sea days, we enjoyed bridge lessons, plays (including the Canterbury Tales), two Juilliard Jazz Orchestra concerts, two classical piano concerts, an amazing Nat King Cole tribute performer, deck games, ping pong, Scrabble at a game table overlooking the ocean, a British film, and other activities too numerous (and fun!) to mention. On formal night, we attended the Black and White Ball. I got to wear a full-length gown for the first time since prom! Some other activities we couldn't squeeze in were: swimming, dance lessons, drama classes, casino gambling, watercolor classes, computer classes, a planetarium film, and the list goes on. I should note for you here that if you are looking for waterparks, rock-climbing walls and such, a Cunard cruise is probably not for you.

And the sunset that evening was particularly gorgeous.

This would probably be a good time to mention that we ate a lot. We reserved a Queens Suite, which entitles you to eat your meals in a small restaurant called the Queens Grill, where you have your own assigned table and waitstaff, and the most delicious food you can imagine. I tried foods I've never been offered before- most I loved, a few (perhaps surprisingly) I didn't (caviar, foie gras, rare ahi tuna). But I've never eaten better food or experienced better service on land or sea! 

On day 5, we could have left the ship in Boston and didn't have to return until 11:45 pm for sailaway at midnight. However, since it was nearly 100 degrees, and since we seen a lot of Boston before, we elected just to stay on the ship! It was a great time to get some lobby shots of the ship, while so many of the other passengers were ashore.

And to enjoy one of my favorite places on the ship, the library:

After dinner, from our balcony, we enjoyed the fireworks on the Boston skyline from dusk until well after midnight as we sailed out of the harbor.

I'll admit that debarking  (a fancy word for getting off the ship) at 9 am, catching a cab to Penn Station, waiting for our train, riding the train for and hour and a half longer than expecting, and arriving home at midnight to our storm-damaged property was a bit of a letdown. But we had the time of our lives (again)! 

Thanks for reading such a long post. I wish you could've come with us!

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