Agent Diary: I think I may be a fan of ocean cruising after all

Spear Travels Wolverhampton’s Kim Kent returned from Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 pleasantly surprised

I think you know by now that I’m not a fan of ocean cruising – I much prefer floating down a river.

Well, I was presented with a dilemma earlier this year when my partner Steve announced he would like to sail on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 after seeing her docked in Madeira. He liked the look of the ship so much he added it to his wish list there and then. As a compromise, I said I would do a short trip to Hamburg from Southampton, thinking four nights would be enough for me to manage. For one thing, I don’t like any form of motion as it makes me feel nauseous.

We looked at availability and to my surprise there were only two Princess Suites left (I’d told Steve that if I was going to do it, it had to be in style), so we booked one on May 23 for a departure on May 24.

Comfort and luxury

We have just returned and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. Our stateroom was fantastic: it was spacious with a full bathroom, dressing room, more wardrobe space than we had clothes for, lovely robes and slippers, a smart TV, a settee, chair, table and fridge, a coffee machine and a big double bed with gorgeous sheets and pillows. We had a large balcony and there was a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolates waiting for us. It was all very comfortable and luxurious.

With this class of cabin you even have your own dedicated restaurant with a table selected just for the two of you. The food is à la carte with full waiter service, and it was all very sophisticated. For guests in the ‘Grills’ suites, you have your own sun deck with a Jacuzzi and bar. And the outside space on the Queen Mary 2 is generous, so there is always somewhere to relax.

We sailed to Germany and I felt no motion at all, probably because the ship is an ocean liner. And we found Hamburg to be a lovely clean city with lakes, canals and beautiful buildings. We bought hop-on-hop-off bus tickets with English commentary, which cost €20 each.

Pleasure boat

What surprised me most about the ship was the amount of entertainment on board, all day every day. There were fitness classes, dancing lessons, lectures, movies, solo travellers’ get-togethers, quizzes, music of all genres, shuffleboard and art classes. There were also tables set up for Scrabble, jigsaws, cards and many other board games, and we particularly loved the ‘Shakespeare Tales’ workshop, which was really interesting.

There was simply far too much to do in five days! We watched a brilliant comedian and enjoyed a Jersey Boys tribute production called Big Men in Town, which was very professional.

I really enjoyed the experience, and loved Queen Mary 2 and the whole Cunard concept. It just goes to show that no matter what your expectations are, you should not rule anything out.

As we get older, our wish lists tend to get longer and the urgency to do as much as we can becomes more pressing. I guess we are aware time is running out and need to fit everything in while still fit enough.

I’m very glad we did this cruise. I didn’t think I would say this before, but I’d definitely do it again.

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