Queen Mary 2 Tour Index
On the 24th September 2006, fifty lucky members of the Ocean Liner Society went to the QEII Terminal to visit this marvellous ship.  My taxi driver came too early but he used to work for Royal Caribbean which made for an interesting journey talking about RCI ships and others and also when he collected me afterwards.  We all had to wait in the waiting room and were called at 10.45am to get our passes for boarding.  The process was very well organised and we were all assigned a different colour depending on our group of red, blue or yellow.  I was yellow.  Our guides, Kora-Lee Depratere and Christina Hannon were helpful, friendly and funny.  We boarded and began our tour at the top of the magnificent Grand Lobby on Deck 3.  It really is an impressive feature of the ship.  Then we went in the lift to Deck 12 to begin the tour proper and the Pavilion Pool & Bar where we were to the sailaway parties are held.  There was a pool and table tennis table in it.  Once we had seen that we went out onto the deck. Thankfully the rain that morning had stopped.  It is a very long way down and I felt safe looking towards the ground with no dizzy spells at all.  We made our way up to Deck 13 and the enormous funnel before making our way around to the Boardwalk CafĂ© and back into the Pavilion Bar to proceed down to Deck 11.  No time for a detailed look at any staterooms on the decks because of the size of the ship and such limited time to get in lunch before the passengers arrived for the transatlantic crossing.  But some had doors open and there was enough time for a quick photo.  Next it was Deck 8 and the magnificent Todd English restaurant.  This is a speciality restaurant and early booking and a cover charge is required.  But looking at the menu posted outside it looks well worth the extra money.  After that we headed back on deck to the Terrace Pool & Bar at the stern.  It really did seem awful tramping our wet shoes on the lovely carpets whenever we went back inside.  We had a quick peek at the Queen's Grill Lounge through the doors on Deck 7, though sadly didn't get a chance to see the staterooms that go with it.  We were able to walk through the Princess Grill which had decor typical of this luxuriant liner.  We walked through King's Court, the buffet, and the smell of the food was just overwhelming.  It all looked wonderful and made us even more hungry.  Just off King's Court is Chef's Galley, another high quality restaurant but that was one we had to miss out seeing.  King's Court is very long.  Along many of the walls of the ship and is the lifts are various pieces of artwork and blown-up photographs, including paintings of the former Cunard ships and even Queen Mary 2.  If you are a ship enthusiast these are must-sees.  From Kings Court it was The Winter Garden, a relaxing piano bar complete with wicker chairs and pot plants.  Then onto Canyon Ranch SpaClub.  Spas aren't really my thing but I can see the attraction after looking at their many facilities from massage rooms to different types of saunas.  I must admit the aromas of different herbs did make it enticing.  While the rest of the group made for The QM2 Book Shop and library on Deck 8, I tagged along with a couple who were interested in looking at facilities for children on Deck 6.  This wasn't on the tour but Christina was only too willing to show them and explain about security and things.  Afterwards we walked the very long corridor from stern to aft to get to the book shop where the rest of the group were just leaving.  The library is a very cosy area of the ship with chairs by the windows so you can watch the world sail by as you enjoy your book.  Up to Deck 9 and The Commodore Club and Churchill's Cigar Lounge where we met up with the rest of our group.  By now passengers had begun to board so certain areas were even more off-limits in the public bars.  Behind the bar in the Commodore Club is a model of the ship which we were told is lit at night.  That must be quite a sight.  Churchill's was closed so I had to take a blurry photograph.  On Deck 3 as we made our way towards Illuminations, the only Planetarium at sea, we passed many blown-up photographs of famous people and royalty who had been on Cunard ships.  Made me feel quite humble.  Along the walls too were many awards given to the ship from various ports she has visited around the world.  As we left we walked down a corridor decorated in rich colours from the brown of the wooden walls and red patterned carpet to the high-backed, armless swivel chairs along the windows.  They are really comfortable and an ideal spot again to just watch the world sail by.  We were next taken to the Royal Court Theatre.  The decor again was rich, warm colours.  The lower deck has tables to put your drinks on.  We were gradually heading for the Britannia Restaurant and lunch but before then still had some public areas to fit in.  Back at the top floor of the Grand Lobby, we were shown the Inside staterooms with the atrium view but were told if we had one of those to keep the curtains closed!  It was a good view though.  There was also a bell with the name of the ship on.  We were shown from the outside The Chart Room, which again was steadily filling up with passengers, past the photo shop and Sir Samuel's and through Images as we appraoched The Queen's Room with the largest dance floor afloat.  On the walls hung many portraits of the British royal family from the days of Queen Mary.  Adjacent to that is G32, the nightclub.  Not my sort of thing as I'm getting old but from the lighting during daytime, I expect it is quite something in the midnight hours.  We walked through The Empire Casino, past The Golden Lion pub and Royal Mail postbox outside and at almost 1pm it was lunch.  I was on table 10 with five others.  The food and service was absolutely first class.  We had two entrees, main meal of either steak or salmon (I had steak), dessert and Petit Fours served with tea or coffee.  Wine was also served.  I'm not keen on wine but I had some and it was the best I've ever had.  Not acidic or too strong in taste.  I may order some on the QE2 next month.  Our guides had told us they would return for us at 3pm but as everyone seemed to be congregating outside the restuarant we all followed.  Then it was time to leave.

So my thoughts on this truly wonderful liner and the day in general?  Marvellous from start to finish.  The Cunard staff from arrival and tour to disembarking were a credit to the company.  I can't really grumble about the things we didn't get to see considering the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh didn't see that much when they were here for her naming ceremony in January 2004.  It did give an idea though of what the ship is like and it's certainly made me want to go on her even more.

Many thanks to Malcolm Oliver of the
Ocean Liner Society for arranging this visit and Cristina Munoz and our guides Kora-Lee & Christina from Cunard for making it such a memorable day.         

To look at photographs of facilities on each deck please click on the links below.  Click on the links on
Our Cruise Reviews for pictures after subsequent refits.
Arriving
Decks 12 & 13
Deck 11
Deck 9
Deck 8
Deck 7
Deck 6
Deck 3
Deck 2
Art & Port Presentations
Lunch
Leaving


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© Patricia Dempsey 24th & 27th September 2006
Not to be reproduced without permission