QUEEN MARY 2
Above: The Grand Lobby.
Below: Most guests first view of the ship's interior is through the Deck 3 lobby entrance.
QM2 is a special ship and the feeling of being part of something special permeates the experience. It is not simply that she is a massive physical object or that her design incorporates the latest nautical technology, or that she is capable of going across seas where most cruise ships fear to tread, there is also something intangible. It is what made hundreds of thousands of people come out and line the River Elbe when she first came to Hamburg, Germany, what made traffic on the streets and in the harbor of Sydney, Australia come to a
halt when she first appeared there, and even made New Yorkers take notice when she completed her first transatlantic sailing.
In keeping with the ship’s ocean liner heritage, the ship is more formal than most cruise ships. During the day, people wear what people typically wear on vacation. However, in the evening, there are several formal nights and nights where
gentlemen are asked to wear a jacket and tie in the main dining room. If you want to wear a tee-shirt and jeans, there is a choice of more informal alternative dining rooms but be
advised that you will be missing out on part of the experience.
Although QM2 can serve some 2,600 passengers, it does not feel crowded. Keep in mind that many of today’s cruise ships pack more passengers into less physical space. Indeed,
Freedom of the Seas, which is about the same size, carries nearly 2,000 more passengers. Thus, one has plenty of space.
Along the same lines, the cruise director does not chase passengers around the ship trying to prod them into joining the belly-flop contest. Nor are there a string of announcements
coming over the public address system announcing various events onboard. There is no pressure; you decide what you are going to do.
People who travel on QM2 tend to be sophisticated and
intelligent. Most passengers are either British or Americans but there is also a high proportion of international travelers. The ship is also very popular in Germany. QM2’s cruise staff
includes hostesses who are specifically assigned to taking care of the German passengers.
It also tends to be an older group. There are facilities for children and teenagers, which are supervised by members of the cruise staff who are dedicated to taking care of younger passengers.
Some people are under the erroneous impression that QM2 is a two class ship. The reality is that there are separate restaurants for guests staying in the suites just as there are separate restaurants for suite guests on the most recent Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and MSC Cruises ships. With a couple of exceptions, any guest can go most anywhere on the ship and see any of the entertainment.
On QM2, it is easy to forget that one is on a ship. Unlike the first Queen Mary, which was a notorious roller, QM2
has very good sea-keeping qualities. It takes quite a storm
before one feels any significant motion. This may seem surprising because the ship is so tall, one might expect her to be top heavy. However, she has been designed so that the center of gravity is low in the ship. Her four stabilizers also reduce the roll by some 90 per cent. In addition, largely because
the bulk of her propulsion system is located outside of the hull in pods, engine noise does not ring throughout the ship.
In 2016, QM2 underwent a major refit in Germany. New cabins were added and changes were made to several of the public areas. While the ship retains her original character, she has a refreshed look.
Above: Captain Christopher Wells (See interview).
Below: Hotel Managers Robert Howie (see interview) and David Shepard (see interview).
Cunard takes pride in its history going back over 175 years and that is reflected in the decoration of QM2's public areas. Large panels tell the history of the line, its ships and the famous people who have sailed Cunard (above). A mosaic in which pictures of the Cunard ships come together to form a portrait of founder Sir Samuel Cunard welcomes guests (below left). The silver cup presented to Cunard by the citizens of Boston after the line's first transatlantic crossing in 1840 (below right).
The center corridors cutting through the public areas on Decks 2 and 3 are decorated with large panels. The reliefs on Deck 2 present images that are characteristic of the contients to which Queen Mary 2 sails.
The Pursers Desk (above) in the Grand Lobby is the ship's reception desk. It is the place to go for questions and to interact with the ship's management. Next door is the Tour Office (above right) where guests can arrange transfers at the end of a crossing or book shore excursions on a cruise. The Future Voyage Office (right) is also the onboard headquarters for the Cunard World Club, the line's repeat passenger program.
Cruise ship photo tour and commentary - - Cunard Line - - Queen Mary 2 - - Overview