THE QUEEN MARY 2 by Cheryl Locke

The Queen Mary 2 and the Norwegian Fjords

The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is a beautiful ship and one which was a joy to sail on. I had a couple of minor reservations when
booking this cruise on two counts – firstly, that the average age was going to be considerably older and that this may
not suit my two teenagers.  And secondly that the ‘class tier system’ – the only cruise company I am aware of which
offers separate dining to guests in suite accommodation – could be a little intimidating. I feel that the concept of
First Class and Second Class passengers should have disappeared with the Titanic!

Both ‘worries’ were totally unfounded. The age was considerably younger than expected with many
multi-generations travelling together. As a result, there were many passengers of similar ages to our family group.
And there were certainly no signs of any class system in operation, despite the dining arrangements, other than a
couple of deck areas which displayed signs for ‘Sky Suites Guests Only’. On the basis that deck space was in abundance,
this provided no issue whatsoever.

The stateroom accommodation was large – considerably more spacious than I have experienced aboard other cruise ships.
The bathroom was a reasonable size with no restrictions in the shower for the 6ft 3” guests I was travelling with!
The balcony was a reasonable size and the bed one of the most comfortable I have slept on.

Whilst speciality dining restaurants were available onboard and bookable at a supplement of US$30 per person,
we could not imagine that we could have possibly eaten better. Each evening the menu was varied,
the choices superb and, no matter what was chosen, the quality was excellent. Lobster and Chateaubriand
were two of ‘Chef’s Recommendations’ and, with no supplements applicable at any stage,
were well worthy of their endorsements.

The ports of call visited were charming; Flam and Alesund in particular. The towns are so clean, as is the air
with no apparent pollution. With the options to wander around the towns and hike the hills or to take the
funicular railways, there is plenty to entertain whilst ashore.

One of the reasons that the QM2 was chosen was that we, as a family, find dressing nicely for dinner all part
of the fine dining experience. This is something which is becoming less of a feature with many cruise lines
nowadays with dining being a far more casual experience. On the QM2 we found that evening meals were taken
in the main restaurant by most guests (as opposed to the casual buffet option being chosen as we have experienced
previously on other cruises) and whilst smart attire was the order of the evening, it was not stuffy in any way.
This made for smart but without being too formal, relaxed family occasions which were our ultimate aim.