The Wolk Morais Diary: A Transatlantic Crossing On The Queen Mary 2


Brian Wolk and Claude Morais have had another adventure and this one might top them all. The Wolk Morais designers write in with their epic adventure on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2! 

A Transatlantic crossing is not only a glamorous rite of passage; it is the last bastion of the golden age of travel. At the forefront of this majestic way to and fro Europe is Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the only ship in the world that still holds the title of Ocean Liner. Prepare for 7 days of unadulterated luxury, refinement and Elysian delight under the guise of Captain Aseem A. Hashmi MNM. A panacea of pleasure awaits you, for The QM2 is the antidote to the modern malaise. This regal ship spares no detail in its dedication to providing its passengers with a life changing experience, impeccably orchestrated from the moment one boards in New York to the grand finale at disembarkation in Southampton, England.

At a lanky 1,132 Feet, The Queen Mary 2 is one of the longest ladies of the sea. Although styled with an English aristocratic title, QM2 was actually born at Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France, where she was the largest, tallest, widest and most expensive passenger ship ever built. Since her Maiden Voyage in 2004, her hallowed halls have been a nautical playground where the illuminati and glitterati coalesce convivially. Her Royal Highness has hosted a plethora of the poshest people one can imagine, inclusive of Presidents, Nobel Prize winners and Oscar winners (Meryl Streep!). Yet with this impressive historical provenance, the ship’s modern accommodations, amenities and services are what make this glorious palace on the sea the most iconic and relaxing travel experience in the world.

The Staterooms 

With a nod to deco glamour, and an emphasis on modern comfort, the staterooms on the Queen Mary 2 are designed for indulgence. Beautiful handcrafted furniture, exquisite ambient lighting, and a spacious balcony awaited us in our Princess Grill Suite. With a king-sized bed and plenty of room to spread out, including a walk-in closet, we toasted the start of our crossing with chilled champagne and house made chocolates. After determining the perfect bedding for our seven night sojourn with the pillow concierge, we refreshed ourselves with the Penhaligon’s amenities, made a list of must do activities on our personalized stationery, and headed out for our first lunch at the Princess Grill.

Decadent Dining

There is an endless cornucopia of compelling culinary experiences onboard The Queen Mary 2. The Princess Grill, the exclusive dining room reserved for Princess Grill Suites, was our home for the week. The Grill offers its patrons flexible dining, free from scheduled seatings. Our table was nestled in a quiet corner of the room with panoramic views of the ocean. Every meal was a gastronomic adventure, served in the fine dining tradition overseen by Executive Chef Klaus Kremer. Caviar blinis, dover sole, lobster thermidor, chateaubriand and rack of lamb prepared tableside were a few of the exceptional entrees exquisitely executed and served by the 5 star team. No meal was complete without Crêpes Suzette Flambées, a dramatic and delicious dessert finale.

 

The Verandah is the handsomely appointed steakhouse located on the Aft of Deck 8. Postcard perfect views abound this classic fine dining institution flanked by picture windows. Diners are treated to the finest cuts of wagyu and black angus beef. For starters, one would be remiss not to experience the poetically presented Plateau de Fruit de Mer accompanied by a perfectly shaken martini.  Wine seminar lunches that are both delicious and educational are hosted by chief sommelier Dinesh Vijayan, a perfect way to spend your afternoon at sea.

Tea Time is a tradition deeply steeped in Cunard’s cultural lexicon. At the strike of 3:30PM, the caffeinated cotillion commences, and your choice of venue is one of the afternoon’s most consuming conversations amongst the ship’s passengers. For a grand affair, head to the Queens Room, where live classical music and the decadent mise en scène of the ballroom are the perfect accompaniment to the scrumptious scones. For suite passengers, The Grills Lounge offers a more private affair, and for the ultimate in unbridled decadence, the Laurent Perrier Champagne lounge hosts a high tea that would make Marie Antoinette blush. Powder pink champagne flows abundantly in this lavishly appointed Art Nouveau salon. Each sip of tea is scored by the arpeggio of a harp and accompanied by the finest pastries, finger sandwiches, and titillating teacakes.

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Scholars at Sea

For those of you with academic aptitudes, put your spectacles on, take out your composition books and prepare for some major pelagic pedagogy. The internationally renowned lecture series aboard QM2 offers a post-graduate promenade through a wide array of tantalizing topics ranging from Hollywood History, contemporary art to the more ethereal including intergalactic life. If you’re more of a bookworm, head up to the largest and most beautiful library at sea. Boasting over ten thousand volumes and staffed by full-time librarians, there is no better place to cozy up with a book on your transatlantic journey.

Maritime Mélange

Days aboard the Queen Mary 2 are filled with an endless array of activities, or if you prefer, not so active activities. Whether you fancy fencing or floral arranging, watercolors or whirlpools, the ship’s colossal calendar can keep one busy from dawn to dusk. Wellness onboard doesn’t end with early morning Zumba or laps in one of ships 4 Pools. The Mareel Wellness and Beauty Spa offers 20,000 Square of luxuriant relaxation. In addition to crowd-pleasing favorites including fabulous facials and mood enhancing massages, the aqua therapy center offers hydrothermal, aromatic and sensory treatments that are state of the art and tension targeting.

Cocktails at High Sea

Majestic Mary does not disappoint when it comes to lifting one spirit with spirits. The cocktail culture of the ship is stirring, well shaken and effervescent. With more than a dozen places to get your drink on, for one to fully imbibe Queen Mary 2’s mixology mastery you might need to book a round trip. There is truly a venue for every mood. The Golden Lion is the delightfully dark English Pub, The Carinthia Lounge offers Hollywood Regency refinement whilst serving up vintage Ports and Sherries, and our personal favorite was The Commodore Club. With its handsome wood paneling, white leather club chairs and commanding views from the bow of the ship, one cannot imagine a more magical place for sunset libations. The bar specialties include an enticing array of punches and potions are inspired by Cunard captains of the past. Most notable were the Chieftain of the Clan, a cognac coffee concoction, and Punch Romaine A LA Carpathia made from a creamy blend of limoncello, advocaat, and sherry.

 

That’s Entertainment

There was never a dull moment on our transatlantic sojourn, this is in part to be accredited to the delightfully talented members of The Royal Court Theatre Company. After a grueling audition process, and months of rehearsals under the creative auspices of Cunard’s entertainment impresario Neil Kelly, the ensemble’s talented triple threats gave nightly show stopping performances that rival the West End. The posh proscenium also hosts a dazzling array of international talent inclusive of classical musicians, jazz legends and accomplished vocalists. But if theatre isn’t your calling, perhaps the outer limits of the universe are? Illuminations is the only seagoing planetarium in the world. Get lost in the cosmos in the most romantic setting imaginable to man, or if you’re more in the mood for the magic of Hollywood, catch the latest blockbuster after your extraterrestrial expedition.

Formally Afloat

Take out your tuxedo, and ruffle your feathers for an evening of gallant pageantry. Formal nights afloat the Queen Mary 2 are not only a tradition, but also a spectacle for one’s eyes and palettes. Two soirées during the transatlantic crossing are dedicated to black tie glamour. The Red and Gold Gala and the Twenties Ball are resplendent with silks, pearls and fine jewelry. The festivities begin in your assigned dining room where the culinary team pulls out all the stops. From soup to soufflé no detail is spared. The cotillion continues in the Queen Room where the champagne flows and the dancing is scored by the sweet sounds of the ships big band orchestra. For night owls for whom the evening is always young, G32, the ship’s impressive duplex nightclub, offers boogieing till the wee hours of the morning.

The Finish Line

Upon docking in Southampton, we felt a deep connection to this civilized way of crossing the Globe. Ocean liners began with necessity, but our inaugural crossing was nothing short of a glamorous baptism into the world of cruising. The leisurely passage of time, distance and sea on The Queen Mary 2 is a rarified and life changing experience that will be indelibly etched into our hearts and souls.

For more behind the scenes content and videos of our crossing check out our highlights on the Wolk Morais Instagram page. 

 

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