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Guest Solent Richard

Cunard Solo Trans Atlantic Blog - Day One

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Guest Solent Richard

Few cruise lines evoke the spirit of cruising more strongly than Cunard and crossing the Atlantic on Cunard's flagship the Queen Mary 2 has to be one of the classic experiences afloat.

 

So greetings and welcome to this (almost) live blog from Queen Mary 2 on her Eastbound trans-Atlantic crossing which departed New York yesterday, Tuesday 19 November 2013 on which I am doing a 'solo' crossing.

 

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I expect readers will be pondering why Solent Richard is both travelling solo and doing a live blog.

 

Well the simple answer is I love trans-Atlantic crossings on QM2 and this is one way that I had not yet experienced. Add to that the challenge to experience and understand why so many solo travellers perpetually moan so much, on various cruise forums,  as to the lack of opportunity and  high prices associated with solo  cruising generally, I decided to give it a go.

 

Included in my package was a Cunard arranged flight to New York on a scheduled British Airways flight (more Avios points- thank you Cunard) and 45 minute coach transfer to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal...

 

 

 

Welcome on board, I hope you enjoy the voyage.

 

Check-in was fast and efficient. There was no queue at the Diamond Member’s check-in and I was soon settling into my stateroom with a view, some 15 minutes from disembarking the transfer coach

 

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Now this was novel, but I did say I wanted to be like any normal solo traveller?

My luggage arrived within 15 minutes and soon I was settling in

I had a couple of hours before the ‘safety Drill and opted for a Smoked Salmon Panini from the Sandwich Bar in the Kings Court. First time there for a long time – all very civilised.

 

 It was at this point that my ‘solo’ cruise was about to change. I was spotted by an old Naval colleague and his wife. They too had joined earlier and this was their first time with Cunard.

 

Safety Drill was completed and for whatever reason departure was delayed. On returning to my stateroom there was a message waiting on the telephone system...would you like an upgrade?

 

Well an offer I could not refuse and by the time we eventually slipped away from the Brooklyn Terminal I was in my new Britannia Club stateroom on 12 Deck

Due to the somewhat chilly evening weather and our late departure the sailaway party was switched to the Queens Room.  It was well after 6.30 pm when we started to move so the grand view of Manhattan that I have become so used to during a New York...

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...being replaced by this...

 

 

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I'm not sure of the numbers embarking yesterday, it certainly didn't seem like many judging by the speed of check-in -  though we did arrive around 1.00 pm.

 

I arranged to meet my friends in the Commodore Club for a pre-dinner drink. They were on second sitting and I now had my new found flexibility.  I always find the anticipation of meeting 'new' table companions exciting and last night was no exception.   As usual I was last to arrive having been far too busy talking in the Commodore Club.  On arrival I quickly negotiated to join a table for 8, funnily enough the same I shared with my wife just 8 weeks ago.  A convivial gathering though one couple  had finished early as this is ‘freedom’ dining. I guess I will meet them today.

 

I linked up with my friends again later in the Queens Room for some dancing and we eventually moved into the G32 for a little more. The G32 was well attended and resident Caribbean band, Vibz, were as good as ever. My God, with the 5 hour time difference I had now been on the go 24 hours. At midnight Richard  called it a day.

 

 

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When you have a 'Britannia Club' stateroom, you dine in the Britannia Club restaurant which has no set dining times, it is 'flexible' or 'freedom' dining and you may go to the restaurant at any time during the opening hours.

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