Musing on Cruising #4 Getting on board Queen Mary 2

imageElly and I have been through a few airports in our time and I’ve even been arrested in one but maybe that’s a story for another time.  We’ve been first class, business. economy and capitalist hyena class of whatever the Cambodian regime calls it but the one feature that unifies every flight, is it takes a serious amount of time to get from pavement to seat. 

Board the Queen Mary 2 with a Queens Grill booking in Southampton and everything changes.  Like all passengers your luggage is whisked away at curb side and you enter the terminal.  Then for Priority Boarding you join a queue of one, have your picture taken and hand over your credit card.  From that point on the Cunard fantasyland experience starts.

Through security and you’re on board and your find yourself in a photo line up with two munchkins dressed like Buttons from Cinderella.  Find your way to your room sorry stateroom, in our case a suite and the reality distortion field kicks in.

Meet Adrian our Butler

I always through that was another Cunard piece of marketing fluff and your Butler was just a waiter in a better uniform.  Wrong.  So wrong.

The first thing Adrian and his sidekick did was unpack, neatly fold and put away all our clothes and possessions.  I mean all seven bags, hat carriers and other assorted paraphernalia.  This is probably worth the enormous fare on its own given how long it took to pack.  The secret joy is knowing they’ll repack everything at the end of the trip as well.

Then we were free to explore the 500 sq.ft. that will be our home for the next 26 nights. The Q5 level suite (#9017) is large compared to a comparable hotel room and has more storage than our house. Apart from a huge walk in closet for Elly there are shelves and wardrobes from me and a huge bar area with glass cabinets, fridge and so forth. You simply tick a sheet confirming the spirits you want and your butler keeps them fully supplied while you are on board. As we don’t drink he asked what we’d like and then made sure that every day the fridge was topped up with Pepsi, iced tea, tomato juice and so forth.

Adrian delivers breakfast to the room, compliments us on our outfits and at about 5.30pm each day brings us canape in case the sheer act of dressing for dinner has made us weak with hunger. He also collect and hangs laundry, arranges the fresh flowers and most importantly ensures that the handmade chocolates are in the suite when we return from a hard evening dancing.

I understand he will also run your bath, tie your bow tie and serve drinks and canapes to your guests but there are limits to even my indolence.

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