|Afternoon tea aboard the Queen Mary 2|
A transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2 offers exquisite staterooms, gourmet dining, excellent customer service, entertaining shows and, of course, expansive ocean views from balconies and decks. Scoring at the top of the luxury scale experience, the icing on the cake - or clotted cream on the scone - is afternoon tea. And, not just one, but two: a classic three-course tea in the elegant dining room and, a decadent chocolate tea courtesy Godiva at Sir Samuel's.
Not a bad way to celebrate a milestone birthday!
|With good friends, Quint and, my birthday twin, Pam, Chris and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, one year in the making!|
Last spring, along with my husband, Chris and good friends, Pam and Quint, I boarded the Queen Mary 2 - our home for the next seven days as the ship made its way from Southampton, England to New York. It was a culmination of a year's worth of planning and it paved the way for a smooth sailing (although, not always quite literally) adventure of a lifetime.
|QM 2 stateroom with balcony takes in ocean views.|
Pam and I have the same birthday, April 11, and, as Quint has observed, we used to be just fine with going out to dinner. But, last year, we upped our game and decided to take that "dinner" on an ocean liner for seven days.
|Warming up with hot tea on the balcony.|
|Fancy dinner with the Captain|
A small city on water, the Queen Mary 2 provides the ultimate in pampering. The guest to crew ratio is two to one, so you're never waiting or wanting for anything. Tea time was no exception.
|All dressed up for afternoon tea|
Mid-week, we donned our mid-day fancy attire (I got to wear a new pink cocktail dress my son, Matt, had bought me for Christmas) and joined a few hundred other passengers in the two-level Queen's Room for afternoon tea. With just the right dose of pomp and circumstance, white-jacketed wait staff appeared with teapots, stopping at each of the tables to pour tea in the Queen Mary 2 branded china tea cups.
|Scones and teas served to table on silver trays.|
Next up, the staff brought out an assortment of savories, scones and finally, pastries, all served on silver platters and all delightfully scrumptious.
Less ceremonial, but every bit as extravagant, is the Godiva chocolate afternoon tea at Sir Samuel's on Deck 3. Aside from pots of tea (we chose Earl Grey!), you get to pick a Godiva pastry served up with white chocolate scones and two truffles all while taking in ocean views.
|Chocolate tea offered at Sir Samuel's on Deck 3|
The week on board passed quickly. We spent time at the pool, the library, the planetarium and hours exploring the many dining experiences on board. The only downside was spending Mother's Day away from my kids, but awesome children that they are, they arranged for a special cake to be delivered to our room as a surprise. I was so shocked when I saw the cake on our coffee table, I thought we had walked into the wrong room by mistake.
|Mother's Day cake from the "kids". Surprised treat to share with my twin.|
Other highlights of the cruise: a special French dining experience at the Verandah restaurant (c'est magnifique!) and, because this was May of 2018, the ship's crew's coordinated greeting to honor the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But, nothing can hit you with a boatload of emotion and patriotism like seeing the Statue of Liberty appear out of the mist as the QM2 sailed into New York harbor.
Tres bien! Excellent lunch at Verandah.
The crew assembles early in the morning to send wedding greetings to the Royal Couple.
|Nothing quite like the sight of the Statue of Liberty emerging from the mist as we enter New York Harbor.|
This was, to be sure, a fantastic way to celebrate a milestone birthday. Along with the memories I brought back from our transatlantic cruise, I also have something tangible from my trip - a souvenir Queen Mary 2 tea mug. Although I don't need a lot of prompts to remind me of the fun times on QM2, a cup of Earl Grey in my commemorative cup and few Godiva chocolates (almost) takes me back to the cruise of a lifetime!
|Been there, done that, got the tea mug, want to go back!|