Going back in time… January 3rd- January 10th, 2018
What can we say about the Queen Mary 2?
When Dan was interviewing in the fall of 2016, we had a long discussion about moving internationally. Aside from the usual hesitations that go along with such a life change, my number one concern were the pups. I refused to move anywhere they would have to be quarantined. (As I mentioned, my little Murray is a sensitive soul and the thought of putting him in a cage for six months or longer was far too much for me to bear.) So, the international job search eliminated Asia and Australia, just like that. Our only feasible option was Europe. It was this early in the game that I found her, the Queen Mary 2: the only Ocean liner that has kennels and travels between the United States and Europe. We researched travel dates, sent emails about pricing and then went about our lives, knowing she was always in our back pocket. Then, in January 2017, when the decision to move to Spain was made, our first call was the reservation line at Cunard.
The Queen Mary 2 is just like living in Downton Abbey for a week. Most passengers are British with impeccable manners and a remarkable zest for life. We met more people who were on their fifth or more voyage on the Queen Mary than newbies like us. At first, we were confused. Why take the mode of transportation that takes a week to reach your destination if you don’t have dogs? By the end of the week, we were hooked and understood exactly why. It is a dignified voyage that makes you feel like a pampered millionaire (which we certainly are not). The staff learns your name, there are formal evening dinners that require cocktail dresses and tuxedos, and the entertainment feels like a Broadway theatre. At every step, you feel appreciated (which is so rare nowadays). When passing fellow passengers, there is always a greeting and smile. The world would be a different place if people treated each other the way they do on the Queen Mary 2.
The kennels were such a surprise. There were 19 dogs that traveled on this voyage. You would think with that many dogs there would be conflict, but they were just as civilized and well-behaved as everyone else on the ship. We met lovely people who love their dogs as much as we do and most were moving to Europe as well. There were set visitation times and if we were running late, our dogs usually met us at the gate. The two kennel masters cared for our pups and I mean really cared for them. They were treated to leftover steak, chicken and salmon, rice and vegetables in addition to their usual dinner. We were informed if there were tummy issues, they picked up after them, refreshed their water and cuddled with them. We could not have been more pleased with their care and were able to enjoy ourselves outside of the kennel because we trusted that they were safe and healthy.
Outside the kennel, there is a planetarium, a library, a bookstore, game tables, a casino, a movie theatre, a performance stage, pools, exercise rooms, a spa, seminars, a salon and shops. There were wine classes, art classes, exercise classes, Bingo and karaoke. Anything that you could envision wanting to do while out to sea, you could find on the Queen Mary 2. The only thing that took getting used to was the lack of internet, but now a week removed from the voyage, it was refreshing not being attached to technology. Stress melted off of us while on board, and I think that is exactly what she is designed to do.
We will be repeat visitors on the Queen Mary 2. Not only to go back to the United States with the pups, but they also have a world voyage that we are going to figure out a way to take. Around the globe in 100 days in the lap of luxury with 34 ports… SIGN ME UP! 🙂