Cruising Asia on the QUEEN MARY 2

by Lawrence Ferber

The Queen Mary 2 embarks on its 108-night, 25-country 2019 World Cruise in January, while sibling vessel Queen Victoria is doing an equally whopping 107-night, 24-country voyage this year. It’s fair to say that either would suffice for my updated bucket list!

Lawrence Ferber

The fish and chips secret was certainly out during my cruise, and sometimes there was a significant wait for the pub grub (further, the orders could be slow to arrive since everything was to-order). So worth it, though! There are quite a few dining options on the Queen Mary 2, including a breakfast and lunch buffet at casual restaurant King’s Court; French restaurant The Verandah; the classic, grand cruise-style Britannia Restaurant (open for every meal, including two dinner sittings, it accommodates up to 1,351 passengers), rotating theme restaurants Lotus (Pan-Asian), Coriander (Indian), La Piazza (Italian), and Smokehouse (USA Southern cooking). There are also dining rooms reserved for passengers of specific accommodation classes. Queens Grill, for the guests occupying Queens Grill suites, and Princess Grill for its category’s passengers.

Other spots for food and drink include an afternoon tea venue, Queens Room; the art deco-influenced Lady Godiva chocolate and sweets café, Sir Samuel’s; the self-explanatory Champagne Bar, which offers a Champagne afternoon tea; and Commodore Club, which overlooks the bow and boasts a fantastic assortment of creative signature cocktailsinspired by formership commodores, served on coasters bearing their respective initials. I particularly enjoyed the Land of Hops and Glory, which arrivesin a beer bottle and is topped with beer foam once poured in a mug.

Britannia Restaurant

Britannia Restaurant


Reading is definitely fundamental on this liner, with a bookstore and very cool 9,000-tome library (the largest at sea), and plenty of armchairs, couches, and other spots throughout the ship to nestle with a book against sea views. The Empire Casino is also straight out of a James Bond movie, at 6,000 square feet with beautifully upholstered seating and décor, while the shopping aboard was totally high-end, with brands like Cartier, Michael Kors, and Mont Blanc.

I spent part of an afternoon at theCanyonRanch SpaClub, enjoying treatments and facilities spread across 20,000 square feet on two decks. That includes a co-ed aquatherapy pool, whirlpool, herbal sauna, Finnish sauna, aromatic steam rooms, and relaxation lounge. I didn’t make use of the gym and fitness facilities, alas, but just exploring the ship’s many decks proved a solid, invigorating walk. Or so I tell myself.


During one exploration, I happened past activity rooms for children and teenagers, which are more likely to join cruises during summertime and other school holidays (I spotted maybe a handful of kids, tops, during my weeklong segment). Adults don’t lack for entertainment and things to do either day or night. The programming of shows and movies in Illuminations, which screened The Walk in 3D, while planetarium productions were in both Mandarin and English, and concerts in the 1,105-seat Royal Court Theater was robust, plus live music in the ship’s lounges.

One at sea day, en route to Busan, there was a trio of special sakerelated experiences, including an Akashi Sake Brewery afternoon tea that included matcha green tea, five types of sake, and sushi (at a cost of $30 per person). Yum!

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