With its huge art deco-styled lipstick red funnel, blue and white livery and wraparound promenade deck, Helen Flanagan was all at sea on the leviathan ocean liner Queen Mary 2.
Could the grandeur, elegance and romance of the golden age of sea travel exist today or is that the dominion of the movies such as Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio?
After stepping on board the Queen Mary 2, welcomed by a dashing officer in dazzling whites, gliding along the decks and carpeted passageways, entering a small but perfectly and cleverly designed Brittania stateroom decorated in gold and cream, with a generous sized balcony, it’s time for a glass of Veuve Clicquot whilst we unpack. There’s plentiful robe space and masses of hangers to swallow up the evening and the less formal albeit casual wear.
If you can afford to step it up several notches the Princess or Royal Grill categories have lavish staterooms and suites including two 209 square metre grand duplex apartments, plus special restaurants, bowing butlers and all the upper-crust accoutrements.
All the hallmarks and expections of glamerama and good taste yet hints of nostalgia await. From the sweeping staircase in Brittania Restaurant; the six-storey grand lobby; a ballroom where suave gentlemen hosts and terribly refined folk in dinner jackets and sequined frocks, samba to the orchestra; and performing arts in the Royal Court Theatre; to wide gallery spaces with displays of “stars on board” such as Greta Garbo, the Duke of Windsor and Mrs Simpson, plus more than 300 original artworks valued at more than $US5 million, there’s certainly a sense of space and style.
Let’s not forget the many outdoor areas with five swimming pools, golf simulators, putting green, basketball and paddle tennis courts and more. Plus a cool 14 bars and clubs, 10 restaurants of various culinary persuasions, 8000-book library, spa and gym with aqua-therapy pool, sauna, ice fountain for the brave, beauty salon and 24-treatment rooms, the world’s first planetarium at sea and eight swanky boutiques and souvenir-stocked shops with must-buy prices.
Commodore Christopher Rynd says “the flagship of the Cunard Line towers 62 metres above the waterline - the equivalent of a 23 storey building, and is the finest ocean liner ever built. Its four diesel engines and two gas turbines produce the thrust required to launch a jumbo jet. It’s a giant power station run by electric motors…made to take the heaviest weather…it’s as good as it gets.”