Crossing the Atlantic with the National Symphony Orchestra

Conductor Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra performed for guests tonight in the Royal Court Theatre onboard Queen Mary 2. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Conductor Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra performed for guests tonight in the Royal Court Theatre onboard Queen Mary 2. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Once again, sleep aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 takes on the feeling of being in a wonderfully luxurious hotel on land. Only the slightest swaying of the ship can be felt and when I awoke today, the wavelets that had littered the surface of the ocean yesterday had been replaced with small swells and seas so calm you’d think you were on a pond or a lake.

Morning onboard Queen Mary 2: still, calm and quiet. Taken from Deck 13 facing aft. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Morning onboard Queen Mary 2: still, calm and quiet. Taken from Deck 13 facing aft. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

The North Atlantic has often been subject to terms like “rugged”, “fierce” and “vengeful.” And all of those are true – just not this week. But the Atlantic is a chameleon; the weather, sea conditions and cloud cover change rapidly and repeatedly throughout the day. Sun comes out, then disappears behind clouds. The bridge navigation team does their best to skirt around rain whenever possible, but often the ship will sail through a short, five-minute rain storm before the weather changes yet again.

Some shots of the ocean taken today, from various points on Queen Mary 2’s spectacular outer decks:

10:00 am: Deck 12, facing forward. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

10:00 am: Deck 12, facing forward. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

3pm: Deck 8, facing port. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

3pm: Deck 8, facing port. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Our wake disappears behind us as Queen Mary 2...Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Our wake disappears behind us as Queen Mary 2…Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

...heads toward New York. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…heads toward New York. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

As much as the ocean changes, there are some exciting changes coming for Queen Mary 2 next year as well, when she enters drydock for a substantial refit at the Blohm + Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany.

Taking place between May 27 and June 21, 2016, Cunard is embarking on some of the first major structural and general arrangement changes to Queen Mary 2 since she first set sail in 2004.

Refitting a Queen: next year, the first solo traveller staterooms will be added to Queen Mary 2. These shown here will occupy the former Images Photo Gallery on Deck 3L port side. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Refitting a Queen: next year, the first solo traveller staterooms will be added to Queen Mary 2. These shown here will occupy the former Images Photo Gallery on Deck 3L port side.

Additional solo staterooms will take up space currently occupied by the Empire Casino on Deck 2. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Additional solo staterooms will take up space currently occupied by the Empire Casino on Deck 2.

These changes include the addition of 15 staterooms designed specifically for solo travellers, which will become the first solo accommodations added to the Queen Mary 2. Known as Category KB and KC, these solo oceanview staterooms will occupy some interesting areas of the ship. Nine Category KB staterooms will be installed on Deck 2, in the area currently occupied by the Empire Casino’s slot machines. These will be relocated to the forward part of the Empire Casino, adjacent to the Grand Lobby. Personally, I can see why Cunard chose that area: the Casino, even in the evenings, is far too big on this ship for the relatively small number of guests that utilise it.

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Our Live Voyage Report continues tomorrow with our fourth full day crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2! Be sure to follow along with our adventures on Twitter @deckchairblog.

 

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