In New York, we now had to cross the Atlantic and were faced with three options: boarding a sailboat, a containers ship or a cruise liner. Boarding a sailboat is complex, often requires sailing experience and departure time is often an issue. Container ships take more time than liners and are surprisingly also more expensive. We therefore decided to take a liner, the Queen Mary 2 (QM2).
With its 435 meters length and 40 meters width, the QM2 is quite a big ship. At full capacity, it can carry almost 4 000 passengers (including crew). The crossing we had booked would take 6 days and 7 nights.
As we boarded the ship, we rapidly realized that we were not the typical clientele of this type of liner. We were probably one of the youngest couple on the boat! Although most of the activities organized on the boat were geared towards a much older audience, we didn’t have time to get bored. We watched movies in the cinema, walked and lounged on the deck, went to the gym and various pools, and I attended dance line classes every morning (improving your Madison skills is never a bad idea). The rest of our time was spent eating. There was food everywhere, at every hour and of a large variety. Cruise boats sure know how to keep you busy!
As the days went by, we designed our daily routine, marked by meal times, time zone changes (one hour added almost every day around noon), gym sessions (to balance out the overeating!) and formal/informal dress code changes at 6 pm. We soon discovered that we had not planned enough formal outfits, and for the remainder of the trip, varied the location of our meals so that it would go unnoticed by more serious travelers.
We got so used to our routine that we did not notice our arrival in Southampton. As we woke up on the morning of our final day, the boat was already docked. After a quick breakfast, we packed our bags and disembarked to catch our train to London.