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m/s Queen Elizabeth 2: Transatlantic
If you enjoy luxury, style, and service then crossing the Atlantic Ocean aboard Queen Elizabeth 2 is a trip you must take. While everything aboard is considered first class, and all passengers have access to most rooms and facilities, high-end accommodations are noticeably superior. For the ultimate in elegance book a stateroom associated with either of the Grill dining rooms (Queen's Grill, Princess Grill or Britannia Grill). Our favorite is the Princess Grill which seats only 65 passengers.
Most eastbound trips leave from New York City so if you have the time, it is well worth arriving a day early and seeing the city. If you arrive the day of the sailing the easiest way to get to the pier is via taxi from LaGuardia, Newark or JFK although transfers are included with all tickets. Most westbound trips leave from Southampton, and the best way to get there is by train - although the Ocean Liner Express (formerly the "boat train") which used to drop you off right in front of QE2 has been discontined. However you plan to get there, make sure you make arrangements early as space fills up quickly.
QE2 is over 900 feet long and carries more than 1,500 passengers. She is the last of the great transatlantic liners and is often referred to as a destination herself.
During the trip you now have 6 days at sea rather than the traditional 5, and they can be as relaxing or as exciting as you want. Make sure you bring along a number of good books because a deck chair near the railing is one of the best places we can think of for reading a book. Evenings on board are our favorite time of day.
None since you are at sea the entire trip.
Dinner in the Grill rooms is formal (except for the first and last night), and there is only a single seating. There are a number of bars and lounges on board, including the Chart Room (one of our favorites), which includes the piano from the RMS Queen Mary. The Queens Grill Lounge, which is exclusively for Queen's Grill passengers is a great place to have afternoon tea. The quality of meals on board is excellent and if you decide you want something that's not on the menu, feel free to ask your waiter and chances are he will be able have it prepared for you. After dinner, there is usually a show to watch and music to listen to or dance to. While the rooms and service associated with the Caronia and Mauritania restaurants are above average, if you can afford it, we urge you to book a Grill class room. The best time of year to go is late Spring or early Summer when the North Atlantic is most predictable. Fall or Winter crossings can get a bit rough. Recommended tipping for the Grill room passengers is $5.00 per passenger per waiter and steward per day. A service charge is added to all bar bills.
The QE2 Spa offers a wide variety of services including personal training and massages. There is also a nice fitness center with a fairly good variety of weight machines. If you like to jog or run, it's 3.5 laps around the Boat deck to the mile ( which can get quite interesting when QE2 is up to speed and the wind is blowing). There are also two swimming pools both of which you can actually swim laps in (short laps).
There is a fully staffed Children's playroom and an early dinner especially for children. Baby sitting can be arranged with off-duty staff for the evenings.
There are 5 restaurants, 5 bars and lounges, a theater, library, fitness center and two pools (one indoor) aboard. Visit this page for more details about QE2.
Stateroom prices range from $1,995 per person to $10,450 per person for the 5 day crossing depending on season. These are brochure prices and you can always get some type of discount off these numbers. Booking early is one way but speak to your travel agent about other ways to save money. Included in the price is a return trip on British Airways.
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