Where do I begin? Crossing the Atlantic from New York City to Southampton, England on the Cunard Queen Mary 2 ocean liner was in one word… EPIC! Not only did it live up to and surpass my dreamy expectations of fabulous-ness (read my other blogs here, here, and here) , I have to proclaim it as one of the best times of my life!
It was basically the personification of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar inside a maritime Ritz Carlton, with a vintage twist. I can’t say enough good about the Queen Mary 2. I am completely enamored with ocean liner life.
Top 10 Experiences on the Voyage
10.) The nightly entertainment in the Royal Court Theater– We had singers, dancers, a comedian, orchestra with female soprano, violinists, all top notch quality. I can’t stress enough the caliber of talent they acquire to entertain the guests. We enjoyed these shows starting about 10:30 pm most evenings. We had full days indeed.
9.) All of the lectures in general – I have highlighted a few special ones below, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed every single lecture I attended. Everything from the top 10 shoe moments, a stylist, who on board did a Louis Vuitton campaign photo shoot, to the new Bill Cunningham documentary screening, to a history lesson on the original Cunard Queen Mary. I was never bored! Each evening we were excited to get the next day’s schedule of events.
8.) The Library – The QM2 library is refined, and old world, and quiet, and you can sit in chairs that look out over the ocean. The book selection is phenomenal. I enjoyed the fashion books, and Joe checked out an autobiography by Phil Collins of Genesis that you could often find him reading when he needed a break from the lectures and activities.
7.) The Promenade Deck – When it was warm, you would see many guests reading in the sun, or walking laps around the wood promenade deck. Joe and I would go both in the day, and in the night when nobody else was out, and we would look at the powerful Ocean. It demands respect! Being out in the middle of the Atlantic at night and in the fog, we’d hear those bellowing haunting fog horns sounded by the captain. There is nothing like that! (Additionally, I loved the Qm2’s gym too!)
6.) The food! All of the food is included as part of your package, and it is exquisite. Though there are several dining options, Joe and I preferred the Britannia Restaurant because it was elegant and the gourmet meals were served with white glove service. Our Waiters Marvin and Paul, and our Sommelier Dussan were charming and made our trip all the more joyful.
5.) Meeting a friend named Patrick who is a frequent Cunard guest. He is even doing the World Cruise for over 40 days! Believe it or not, there are many people who pretty much live on the QM2. I met several of them over tea, or at fashion events. Several times we had breakfast, dinner, or drinks at the Commedore Club with Patrick. He even helped me try to dance a proper waltz! (By the way, one surprise to me was that at the gala balls, seemingly half the ship knows how to properly dance the Fox Trot, Waltz, and Rumba. For those of us less skilled, there was a separate disco dance room!)
4.) The Dress Code – It feels so great to dress up for balls. I was the girl in High School who, and this was before Pinterest, would make an inspiration mood board for prom! So you can imagine how fun it was to get dolled up for 3 balls, and every day for the fashion events, and “smart attire” dinner nights. Everyone looked so marvelous! Everyone made effort. You hardly saw jeans even in the day, and never sweatpants with slogan tees.
3.) Lindy Woodhead– Wow, what a career! I was fascinated with her lecture covering 30 years in the fashion industry (high end brand public relations). She is also the author of 2 books. One, on Mr. Selfridge which was adapted into a TV series that I have watched. The other, War Paint, is about the feud between Beaauty Industry innovators, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein. This book of hers, was made into a Broadway show! Afterwards she signed my copy of War Paint. I have been reading it, and it is quite entertaining and informative.
2.) Getting asked “Would you two like to sit in the front row?” of Stephen Jone’s millinery fashion show. What a treat that was! I just adore his eccentric glamorous hats. It was a pleasantly lengthy and delightful show. He autographed my program for me too.
1.) Stuart Weitzman – His lecture was engaging, and he is such an down to Earth , gregarious man, and a business genius with equal parts business sense and creativity. He took time to take a photo with me before the lecture, and later in the hall, Joe was able to speak with him for a while. I will be a fan for life!
And one more thing – I totally loved the fact almost nobody had internet or cell phone service! Do you know how nice it is when everyone is engaged in the moment with books, or peaceful quietness, or each other? I was so pleased!