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Queen Mary2 New York to Southampton


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We are two adults about to book a transatlantic NY to SOU. Kind of last minute, especially for us. Have NYC covered but need some help about Cunard and once we arrive in Southhampton.

Never been on a Cunard ship. We will be on 7 days straight.

What is included in Cunard or not included vs other main stream cruise lines, (have cruised Disney, Celebrity, Carnival, Costa and Norwegian)?

On this ship in particular, what are the must dos/eat...?

Are there specialty restaurants to pay for?

Are there ever discounted drink packages?

When we dock in Southampton, would you stay for a night and look around or head out to our other travels?

If time allows we would like to head to Oxford and London, we need to end up in Dublin for our flight back to Texas.

Appreciate any insight. Thank you!

 

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The thing to bear in mind is that a crossing on the QM2 is a travel experience rather than a ‘cruise’. With 7sea days,  life is different to an ordinary 7 day port intensive cruise. There is a specialty restaurant - the Verandah which is rather like an upmarket American Steakhouse. There are wine packages etc. Dress after 6pm is much more formal than a normal cruise ship - but don’t let that put you off. The ship is amazing and the crossing is a wonderful experience.

Whether or not you stay in Southampton depends on how much time you have. Southampton  is a large port but there are very pretty locations nearby such as the New Forest or the Isle of Wight. If time is of the essence, you might be better to head for London after disembarkation. Cunard can organise the transfer but there is a good and frequent train service from Southampton Station ( 10 mins by taxi from the docks) to London’s Waterloo Station.

you can fly to Dublin from many of the UKs regional airports.

Good luck in what ever you decide😀👍

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Never having sailed on the lines you mentioned, I can't compare what they offer to what you'll find on Queen Mary 2. But as for your specific questions:

 

1. There is so much to do on QM2 that what you must do very much depends on what you want to do. The Insight lectures are always interesting and often outstanding. Afternoon tea in the Queens Room is very popular. If the troupe from RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) is on board, their offerings would be well worth attending. Cocktails in the Commodore Club with piano accompaniment or in the Chart Room with the jazz combo have become musts for us. Walking round the magnificent Promenade deck and, weather permitting, settling in a deck chair as you make your way across the Atlantic is a simple pleasure of which we never tire. Do you like to read? Sitting in a comfortable chair in the library and gazing out over the bow is a must. Even if you don't like to read, sitting in a comfortable chair in the library and gazing out over the bow is a delight. Do you like to dance? There are wonderful balls and QM2 boasts the largest dance floor at sea. And, of course, there are shows, the fitness center, classes, the usual trivia contests, karaoke in the Golden Lion pub, gambling in the casino, and so much more.

 

2. There are specialty restaurants. The most expensive is the Verandah Steakhouse (lunch $25, dinner $39). In the evening a section of the Kings Court buffet is set aside as a specialty restaurant: Aztec (Mexican), Bamboo (Asian), Coriander (Indian), La Piazza (Italian), and the Smokehouse. The cost is $19. 

 

3. There are several drink packages: soft drinks, soft drinks premium, specialty hot drinks , and a wine, beer and spirits package. They are explained here: https://www.cunard.com/en-us/frequently-asked-questions.life-on-board.faq337.summary. You'll also find information about dining at the same site.

 

4. I wouldn't stay in Southampton myself, but where you should go once you disembark depends on your interests, how much time you have before you want to be in Dublin, and how you plan to get to Dublin. Winchester and Salisbury both about 25 minutes from Southampton by train. These historic cathedral cities are well worth spending a night or two, and they have excellent rail connections to London (Winchester is more interesting, I think, although Salisbury has Stonehenge). You can travel by train from Winchester or Salisbury to Oxford in about two hours. There are direct trains from Winchester, but you need to change trains at least once if you travel from Salisbury.

 

 

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I wouldn't want to miss either Winchester OR Salisbury, our favorite cathedral. Public transportation is so much better in the UK that it's very easy to get to these places. Of course, having enormous amounts of luggage for formal nights could hamper you. We always rent a car to do our “cathedral and pub tours,” so bags are not a problem.

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1 hour ago, 2Oldpeopleinlove said:

I wouldn't want to miss either Winchester OR Salisbury, our favorite cathedral. Public transportation is so much better in the UK that it's very easy to get to these places. Of course, having enormous amounts of luggage for formal nights could hamper you. We always rent a car to do our “cathedral and pub tours,” so bags are not a problem.

You can arrange to have a bag collected in Southampton and shipped home to Texas, and it won't slow you down. If you have a few days to be in London before you go to Dublin, There is a lot to see in and near the city, including Windsor Castle (Paddington Station) and Hampton Court Palace, (Waterloo Station) which you can visit by train. The train from Southampton Central takes you to Waterloo as well. You can also take a train to Oxford (also Paddington). All of these train trips take little more than an hour. It will take a bit longer than an hour to fly from London Heathrow to Dublin and you can get to the airport on the Heathrow express train (also from Paddington) which takes 15 minutes. In the city you can get around easily by taxi or the underground to tourist places as well as train stations. 

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6 hours ago, lovetotraveltx said:

We are two adults about to book a transatlantic NY to SOU. Kind of last minute, especially for us. Have NYC covered but need some help about Cunard and once we arrive in Southhampton.

Never been on a Cunard ship. We will be on 7 days straight.

What is included in Cunard or not included vs other main stream cruise lines, (have cruised Disney, Celebrity, Carnival, Costa and Norwegian)?

On this ship in particular, what are the must dos/eat...?

Are there specialty restaurants to pay for?

Are there ever discounted drink packages?

When we dock in Southampton, would you stay for a night and look around or head out to our other travels?

If time allows we would like to head to Oxford and London, we need to end up in Dublin for our flight back to Texas.

Appreciate any insight. Thank you!

 

There is plenty to do on Queen Mary 2, and on a seven day TransAtlantic, here are some of the things I recommend. First of all you can choose you accomodation level, and that will give you your principle dining options. In Britannia class you can take your meals in the Beautiful Britannia restaurant. If you choose Britannia Club, you will dine in the Britannia Club restaurant. If you choose Princess Grill you will dine in the Princess Grill. If you choose Queens Grill you will dine in the Queens Grill. All of these restaurants offer delicious food. With the grills being fancier that the Britannia. The Club, and the Grills are single seating restaurants, where you may dine when you want to. 

 

As for alternative dining. The Kings Court Buffet, The Golden Lion Pub, The Boardwalk cafe, the Carinthia Lounge, and the Afternoon Tea in the Queens room are all are free dining options. In the evening portions of the Kings Court become specialty restaurants at an additional charge as does the Verandah. 

 

You will find that evenings aboard QM 2 are dressier and a bit more formal than other cruise ships. There will be three formal nights where gents are requested to be in a Tux or a Dark suit and Ladies in dressy clothing. 

 

During the day. there will be lectures, films, musical offerings, the huge Library, Cunard Conexxions where you can learn to master your lap top if you wish. And the only planetarium at sea There is a great Spa, and of course a casino. The ship has interesting bars and clubs including a night club G32. or you can sit on your balcony or on a chair on the Promenade Deck and watch the sea go by. If you fancy retail therapy, there will be plenty of places to spend your cash. 

 

Queen Mary 2 is an Ocean Liner, and you will find that they have more things going on that you can possibly take in. You have a great choice

 

You will leave NYC about 5 pm, and arrive in Southampton early on the seventh day, with plenty of time to travel to London by train or coach. You can do it yourself, or let Cunard arrange it for you

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Lovetotraveltx,

DON'T DO IT, don't go west to east. For 5 of the 7 days, at 1:00PM in the afternoon, the ships clock will be moved forward one hour to 2:00PM, robbing you of one hour of the most primo time of the day. If you go East to West (SH to NYC), on 5 nights the ship's clock will be moved BACK from 2:00AM to 1:00AM, giving you an extra hours sleep, You may pay more for an East to West crossing but you will NEVER regret it. 

 

Jack

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You will find the MDR food and service better than on Celebrity - and immeasurably better than on NCL, so specialty dining is not really called for; except, perhaps, for a special occasion.  There is a lot to do on those sea days: lectures, good library, real music, good enrichment talks, etc., even a planetarium.

 

Southampton is all right, but not worth missing a day in London - or many other places.  If you are flexible, Salisbury is worth a day - for the cathedral and access to Stonehenge.

 

 

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Good advice all around.

One other must-do. Pub lunch in the Golden Lion Pub. No charge. Excellent pub lunch basics: Fish & Chips (and mushy peas), Cottage Pie, Ploughman's Lunch, Chicken Tikka Masala, Portobello Mushroom. Served every day (usually including boarding day)  Extra advice - there's a big rush when service starts. However, starting after about a half hour, the tables start turning-over. If you wait about 45-60 minutes or so, there should be no problems getting a table with plenty of time remaining for service. (By the way, superior to Pub Lunch on Princess - every day, more than one sitting, and to my tastes, superior food)
For a crossing, at lunch, we'll usually eat at the Pub on embarkation/turnaround day and one other. Usually 1-2 times, we'll grab something light at the Carinthia Lounge and enjoy Afternoon Tea later. And the remaining 3-4 afternoons, we enjoy the Britannia Restaurant.

Personally, we also prefer Westbound crossings for the time change advantage. However, we find the absolute best is doing a roundtrip crossing. (And, to be fair, by taking the hour off on midday for Eastbound crossings, they minimize the impact and make it as painless as possible.)

 

 

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I live near Southampton, and think it severely underrated, as it is an interesting city. But, unless you have a lot of time, I would get straight on a train to Oxford or London, having made suitable arrangements for your luggage and booked your accommodation in advance. Oxford is small and quite samey  (how many colleges do you need to see?), but London is practically infinite.

 

One or two trains an hour to Oxford, at least two fastish ones to London, but again worth booking in advance, if you can, as can be much cheaper.

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15 hours ago, Jack E Dawson said:

Lovetotraveltx,

DON'T DO IT, don't go west to east. For 5 of the 7 days, at 1:00PM in the afternoon, the ships clock will be moved forward one hour to 2:00PM, robbing you of one hour of the most primo time of the day. If you go East to West (SH to NYC), on 5 nights the ship's clock will be moved BACK from 2:00AM to 1:00AM, giving you an extra hours sleep, You may pay more for an East to West crossing but you will NEVER regret it. 

 

Jack

I thought Southampton to Ny was Westbound when clocks go back and Ny to Southampton is Eastbound when you loose time as clocks go foward ?  

Edited by fizzy1
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8 hours ago, lovetotraveltx said:

Thank you all. If you’re in the Brittania Restaurant, you have to have a set dining time? If so, what time(s)? Thank you!

 

The first seating for dinner in the Britannia Restaurant is 6:00pm. The second seating is 8:30pm.

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On 5/6/2019 at 11:59 AM, fizzy1 said:

I thought Southampton to Ny was Westbound when clocks go back and Ny to Southampton is Eastbound when you loose time as clocks go foward ?  

Fizzy1,

You are correct, SH to NYC is Westbound, or as I put it "East to West". I think we are both saying the same thing, that going from the East side of the Atlantic to the West side offered an extra hour on 5 of the at-sea days.

 

Jack

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On 5/6/2019 at 2:07 PM, Mabbiesmum said:

Cambridge is much prettier than Oxford, a 50 minute train journey from Kings Cross station. It is very compact and easy to walk around. King's college and  boat trip on the Cam are not to be missed

I agree, although my daughter went to Oxford! Cambridge is for sure the prettiest town. Just check photos on google.

Edited by globetrotteur
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On 5/5/2019 at 9:11 PM, Jack E Dawson said:

Lovetotraveltx,

DON'T DO IT, don't go west to east. For 5 of the 7 days, at 1:00PM in the afternoon, the ships clock will be moved forward one hour to 2:00PM, robbing you of one hour of the most primo time of the day. If you go East to West (SH to NYC), on 5 nights the ship's clock will be moved BACK from 2:00AM to 1:00AM, giving you an extra hours sleep, You may pay more for an East to West crossing but you will NEVER regret it. 

 

Jack

Like everyone I agree that gaining an hour per day for five days is preferable to losing an hour. But there is one significant advantage to the eastbound crossing: the UK immigration procedure is done on board. You can attend at your convenience, even though passengers are recommended to go on certain days and times according to your deck. There is a long queue every day when the inspection opens, but if you go much later there may be no waiting at all. In about a dozen e/b crossings we have never waited more than a minute.

 

Arriving in New York can be a major inconvenience. There may be many hundreds of people in the queue. Some people will get through quickly but I have read on this forum of people standing for a very long time, even longer than I have. We may be taking a w/b crossing next year and the thought of arriving in NY is already giving me doubts.

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And going eastbound you can send the extra "dress up clothes"  home and not have to lug them around on your other travels.  We went over and back (a month apart) and I never noticed any difference--other than not experiencing jet lag on arrival either way.  In Princess or Queens Grill, your table is your table for entire journey and you can eat anytime during their meal hours..  The tables for two are close enough/far enough apart that you can/or not chat with the diners near you.  The best of all worlds in my opinion. 

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8 hours ago, harpy3 said:

And going eastbound you can send the extra "dress up clothes"  home and not have to lug them around on your other travels. 

 

I've also sent a suitcase with formal and cruise wear (and a few changes of underwear etc) ahead to await me aboard the ship. It's wonderful. No lugging cruisewear around a vacation beforehand - and having some fresh clothes, while you send the earlier vacation clothes to the laundry.

 

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I just did a transatlantic from Florida to Europe and I do concur that the time changes eastbound were pretty annoying. It wasn't so bad for me as I worked rotating shifts for years, but my friend was miserable. It was a slow-motion jetlag torture for her, where every day was "Spring Forward". If the spring time-change kills you, this may be something to consider. I'm greatly looking forward to the westbound TA where I get all that time back. :-)

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35 minutes ago, racephoto said:

I just did a transatlantic from Florida to Europe and I do concur that the time changes eastbound were pretty annoying. It wasn't so bad for me as I worked rotating shifts for years, but my friend was miserable. It was a slow-motion jetlag torture for her, where every day was "Spring Forward". If the spring time-change kills you, this may be something to consider. I'm greatly looking forward to the westbound TA where I get all that time back. 🙂

Were those overnight time changes ?

 

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Oldest son attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where one of the requirements for his degree and Coast Guard license was a year at sea on commercial or Military Sealift Command ships. One of the ships that son sailed was a cargo ship that literally sailed around the world - eastbound.  I think it was about two months. He started in Albany, NY and crossed the Atlantic, through the Med, the Suez Canal, and the Indian Ocean to a port in India where they delivered turbines built by GE. Then they sailed to South Korea and picked up cargo to be delivered to Long Beach CA. Every day (except for the two days they were in India and the day they were in South Korea) was a 23-hour day. By the time they reached Long Beach I don't think son knew what day it was. He got a redeye flight from LAX to LGA, made his way back to school, and collapsed in his bunk for a day. He took a commission in the Navy after graduation so he's continuing his life at sea. One thing that amazes me about him is his ability to sleep on a dime.😊

 

As for us, we're doing the eastbound crossing on QM2 on 7/7 and the westbound Iceland crossing on 7/14.  I'm planning on taking it easy on the eastbound and sleep in a bit, and then enjoy the extra hour when it comes (it-s a two-week crossing) on the westbound.

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