Aboard the Queen Mary 2 – Yesterday we woke up to a very dreary day in New York City. The sky was granite and the clouds heavy. It didn’t seem like an auspicious start to our transatlantic cruise.
But the day held many surprises.
We were transferred from the Hilton New York to the Queen Mary 2 before noon and along the way we saw two places that we very much wanted to see but didn’t have time to visit during our very short overnight stay.
We saw the High Line, a new city park that has been built on top of an old elevated rail line right in the heart of the city. It is miles long, planted with greenery and a great addition to city life.
But the most important place we got a close look at (although we did not get off the bus, of course) was the 9/11 Memorial and the two new towers that are going up next to it. The Freedom Tower is nearly finished and can be seen for miles around. It is a testament to the rebirth of this devastated area.
Boarding was efficient and swift although complicated slightly by the fact that our cabin keys did not work and had to be replaced at the Purser’s Desk. But no matter, there was the Stature of Liberty outside of our veranda and that view was reward enough.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring this lovely ship and I still haven’t found all of the public rooms. Many of the smaller rooms are tucked out of the way at either end of one of the long decks so finding them takes considerable walking, We just located the Commodore Club and Churchill’s Cigar Bar…these lovely quiet rooms, perfect for reading during the day, are way in the bow, about a half mile from our cabin!
But I digress. As the afternoon progressed, the clouds cleared and more and more blue came peeking through until by the time of our sailaway at 5 p.m. the sun was shining, the temps warm and everyone was out on deck for a festive departure.
It was perhaps the most memorable sailaway in my 40+ cruises. The New York skyline in the distance with the two new towers rising high, Lady Liberty to our left, the enthusiastic passengers waving small British and American flags and patriotic music over the loud speakers.
Of course, the final song was “New York, New York” sung first by old Blue Eyes and then by the on-board band, Vibz.
A perfect beginning.
June 17, 2012
Photos by Chet Janssens