An August 2007 trip
to Halifax by Sandy Goes
Quote: Four nights at sea on the world's largest most expensive cruise ship and a chance to enjoy old world cruising elegance.
What a great chance to savor old world style cruising on the Queen Mary II with one port of call. Built in 2004 as the most expensive, largest and tallest ship; the ship is large! After two days we were still exploring. The only Planetarium at sea was truly exceptional. The ship is decorated with fabulous artwork and photographs and memorabilia from early sailing days when cruising was in its prime. Especially nice was the bottle of champagne in our nicely furnished inside cabin #5090 which was a bit smaller than some previous ships. Robes and slippers were provided for our use. Cabin service was great. The room always attended to with fresh towels and much appreciated bucket of ice. Out of four nights at sea, two were formal; the other two nights requested informal attire; jacket and tie for men. While formal dressing is not for everyone we particularly enjoy dressing for dinner and most passengers adhered to the requested dress codes.
The elegant 3-level Britannia Restaurant was the assigned dining restaurant for our accommodations. Service was attentive perhaps a tiny bit stand-offish. The food and wine was excellent with many choices. The portions were not so huge, which we liked. The theatre and the ballroom were beautifully designed while the entertainment was mediocre at best. The white glove afternoon tea dance was delightfully well attended.
Queens and Princess grills available based on your booked accommodations. We never felt any distinction in our dining room or cabin accommodations. There were about six dance hosts for the lady passengers looking to dance. Good musicians playing the same old tired tunes. The library with thousands of books was like a Barnes and Noble store but quite impressive for a ships' library and gift shop. The seating area could have been designed with a more comfortable seating. Windows overlooked the bow of the ship which made me queasy when I attempted to linger a few minutes with a magazine.The casino had some wonderful artwork from the glory days of elegant sailing. Exploring and discovering this beautiful ship was great fun. A list of "101 Things To Do" is published while I vowed to do all it was impossible; perhaps on a Transatlantic crossing. Pool areas were small which might make a difference if sailing to the Caribbean. Overall I would not say the best ship I have ever sailed but would repeat.
Sailing from Brooklyn, NY was terrific. We drove from Staten Island and parked our car for a day and drove off immediately upon debarking the ship. I estimated that most of the 2500+ passengers on this voyage were from the east coast. The Kings Court buffet offered casual buffet for lunch and dinner; Asian, Italian, Carvery, and the Chef's Galley. The areas are crowded and I didn't care to stand in line especially for morning coffee. The coffee was excellent; the food was good. Again I didn't care for the crowds or lines even though they moved fairly quickly. Servers were quick to remove dirty dishes. Find your table first if you like to sit by the window.
You must make appointments immediately upon boarding for services; the beauty salon, Canyon Ranch Spa, etc. The gym was huge with many treadmills each with their own TV screens, weights, and machines. The first day even before we left New York the Todd English Restaurant was already booked. Lunch is and dinner PP extra. You even need to grab the free ticket to the Planetarium shows early in the day. However, if you show up five minutes before show time you could probably get in without a ticket as people take tickets and do not use them. Don't miss it. There are two different shows.Surprisingly the liquor prices in the nine bars and lounges was not as exorbitant as some other ships. The musicians alternated in the bars, you could find jazz, piano music, a string quartet, and a harpist which was enjoyable listening with a cocktail before or after dinner. The shops carried designer items, Hermes, Choppard, Harrods and were somewhat pricey. I loved the two costume watches purchased for each; good momentos of the trip. It was great fun trying to cover everything on such a short sailing and relax at the same time. Some of the things I would like to try on a longer journey the Canyon Ranch spa, acting workshop offered by actors from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, the Connexions computer classes or even class in watercolor painting for a charge of , fish and chips in the Golden Lion Pub and actually using the gym not just look in and get up early enough to hear one of the lectures offered.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 28, 2007
Upper Water Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 1, 2007
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
1675 Lower Water Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1S3
(45 minutes down the Halifax shoreline)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Staten Island, New York