QM2 Postcard The QM2, The largest Atlantic liner ever.
From a Cunard postcard.

1. Planning the Voyage.
2. Embarkation at Southampton
3. The Voyage to New York

3.1 June 27th.
3.2 Daily Routine
3.3 Eating
4. Around the ship.
4.1 The Grand Lobby
4.2 Ship's Bell
4.3 The Open Deck Areas
5. The Entertainments
6. Arriving at New York

6.1 First Impressions
6.2  Disembarkation and Transfer
6.3 At the Times Square Hilton Hotel.
7. Around New York .
8. The 4th. of July.
9. Leaving New York.
10. The Return Voyage.
10.1 Cunard History Posters
10.2 Back at Southampton
11. Reflections
12. The Final Reckoning

1. Planning the Voyage.
Diane and I first planned our voyage to New York one year in advance in mid 2007.  One day, reading the Daily Telegraph, I saw an advertisement, "Visit New York with No Flying!".
We had given up holidays by air since Diane had to use a wheelchair to get around and I had surgery and could not push her around the airports. Our holidays were motoring tours in France mostly using our Chrysler PT Cruiser car which is very comfortable for both of us. We had never done any other sort of "cruising" but it seemed here was the answer to our dream of going to New York, the one place left in the USA that we really wanted to see.
We booked the trip through the company who placed the Telegraph advert for the 6 days voyage from Southampton to New York, then staying in the Times Square Hilton hotel for 6 days and then the return voyage to Southampton.
This was in April 2007 for departure on the 26th. July 2008, so we had a year to save the money and make our arrangements. The cost was  £6902.64 which was far more than our usual holiday budget, but this was to be a special "One-off" and we knew it was our last chance to go to New York. This cost would include everything on board except alcoholic drinks, and our room cost at the Times Square Hilton. We would have to add the other costs there and  the service charge on board of $22.00 per day. We laid aside enough money to cover all these costs so we not need to economise during the holiday and it proved to be enough.
Another expense was having to have new clothes, no worry to Diane but I had to have a dress suit for dinner. I managed to get one quite reasonably from Marks & Spencer with some shirts and a bow tie.

2. Embarkation at Southampton
On the departure day, June 26th 2008, we left Green Hill in our PT Cruiser around midday to be at Southampton QEII dock by ,2.00 pm the embarkation time we had been given. It was an easy journey of 75 miles and we were well in time at Southampton. The car was valet parked and we made our way to the check in. Diane was using her electric scooter which we felt would be easier to use on the ship than a wheelchair and give her more independence.
Embarkation we had hoped would be easier than at an airport as there was only one ship and all day to do it, but this was not the case as most people arrived at the same time despite the staggered embarkation method. However, as Diane was on the scooter they gave us a special check in which speeded things up for us and we were on board in an hour or so.
The next problem was getting a lift up to deck 5 where our cabin was having boarded on deck 2. Everyone else wanted to use the lifts and getting the scooter in as well was a problem. Also, some lifts were dedicated to the luggage being taken to our cabins which restricted the number of lifts available.
When I learned later that the ship had to be turned around the same day as it arrived and outward bound by ,5.00 pm I realised then it was actually an amazingly well managed operation.
We got into our cabin eventually and started to unpack our clothes. The cabin was quite adequate with a very large 6ft. double bed as well as a sofa bed. We thought I would have to use that because of Diane's arthritis, but in fact the large bed gave us plenty of room and it was nice to be sleeping together again.
A bottle of "Champagne", actually sparkling Blanc de Blanc, on ice with chocolates was on the table for us.
Being a balcony cabin, I could look out and see the ship being made ready to sail and very close to  5.00 pm she started to move away from the dock. The Deep sound of the Horn sounded and we were away!

             QM2 001              QM2 002   QM2 003
             SOUTHAMPTON Departing from QE2 Dock.                       ISLE of WIGHT FERRY                                                 Looking up from our cabin to the Bridge
We went for our dinner at 7.30 pm having been told by the steward it was "From 6 till 8", but we were too late! The first sitting time was at .6.00 pm last orders at 6.30 but they provided a main course for us before the second sitting started at 8.00 pm. Not a good start, but we corrected the error by going to a self service restaurant that was open till late and had a lovely slice of roast beef with vegetables.

3. The Voyage to New York

3.1 June 27th.
The next day, after breakfast in the cabin, we attended a cocktail party with the Captain before lunch in the magnificent Queen's Room. The "cocktail" was the sparkling blanc de blanc. The party was for the ROL tour passengers, some 500 or so, to introduce the representatives. Captain Christopher Wells introduced himself and some crew members including the Scottish, Chief Engineer Ronnie Kerr who suited the role and looked like the Scotty from Star Trek.
The Captain explained that we were on a voyage not a cruise, "We are not stopping anywhere on the way". This was an Atlantic crossing of the classic kind undertaken by the famous "Blue Riband" liners of the past age before air travel took over, and  he explained the QM2 was built for that purpose and she could take the heaviest Atlantic seas head on because of her sharp, tapering bow designed to maintain her speed of up to 30 knots to keep to the schedule demanded. I had watched a TV programme on the building of the QM2 called "Megastructures" which help to explain this purpose and design of the QM2. We expected to be overawed and we were.

3.2 Daily Routine: We soon got used to the organized routine of life on board the ship. Each day we were given a "Daily Programme" leaflet. This listed all the entertainments, activities and restaurant details. It appeared in our cabin after dinner the night before when our beds were turned down together with a ships newspaper and some chocolates. we decided to eat in the Britannia restaurant as we preferred to be served  and just use the other eating places for snacks and hot drinks. We could decide where to go for the day's entertainment and there was a show every evening in the Royal Court Theatre. There was a resident troupe of singers and dancers who were very good. The dancers were all Ukrainian but they were so versatile they could have been from any part of the World as they danced different routines to a wide variety of music.

3.3 Eating: Our lunch and dinner table was reserved in the magnificent Britannia Restaurant. We could also choose to eat at the smaller complimentary restaurants in the "King's Court" on deck 7.  These venues were called "La Piazza", "Chef's Galley", "The Carvery" and "Lotus". The food was self service in one or another all through the day and La Piazza was open from 11.00 pm to 5.00 am.  A la Carte dinner at any of theses venues had to be booked.
A gourmet restaurant, "Todd English" the name of the Chef, could be booked for an additional $20 -$30.
We only used the complimentary venues for coffee or a bit of supper and hot chocolate because the food in the Britannia restaurant was superb and quite enough. The service was excellent and they understood the requirements of my gluten free diet better than any other restaurant I have known. They baked fresh gluten free bread and rolls every day. We enjoyed this service and the wines and the beautifully presented dishes.
Here are some pictures taken there;
              QM2 Brit Rest 1    QM2 Brit Rest 2   QM2 Brit Rest 3
              BRITANNIA RESTAURANT:  Entrance view                                           View from staircase                                                 Entrance staircase.           

The Dress for dinner was formal, semi-formal or elegant casual. It applied to the man strictly in that it was either black tie, jacket and tie, or jacket no tie. Ladies had more licence and some fabulous dresses were seen as well as some very ordinary ones. Diane had a chance to wear her new outfits with her jewellery, and she looked as good as anyone there.
              QM2 Dress            QM2 Diane Table  QM2 JB Table
                Dressed for dinner                                                                                          At the table
Eating was a major part of the QM2's entertainment, as with all the cruise ships apparently.  The range of dishes in the Brittania restaurant was impressive. There was a a different lunch and dinner menu for all the 6 days of the crossing, but that was the entire range because it was repeated on the return voyage. At the end of the 6 days they presented us with a folder containing all the menus and I have included an example menu here.       
The food in the other dining venues mentioned above was also excellent. It was also possible to have snacks in the various bars.  The "Golden Lion Pub"  for example served fish and chips!
It can safely be said that nobody went hungry on the QM2!

4. Around the ship.

4.1 The Grand Lobby
The Grand Lobby on deck 2 is the centre of the ship in all respects. It is the equivalent of the reception are of a hotel, circular in form with a beautiful flower arrangement on a central circular table with lounge chairs around.
Around the central lounge area are the Purser's Office, Tour Information Office and the entrance to the Theatre Stalls. There are corridors fore and aft.
The Grand Staircase there leads to a balcony all around on the next deck level where there are shops.
We spent quite a lot of our time there. Here are some pictures;
             Grand Lobby 1    Grand Lobby 2  
                                    Lounging on the settee in the GRAND LOBBY
             Grand Lobby 3  Grand Staircase
                               THE GRAND STAIRCASE, Deck 2 and shops on Deck 3.
             Grand Lobby 4        Grand Lobby 7  
                     GRAND STAIRCASE ATRIUM                                GRAND LOBBY glass lifts.
  A feature of the Grand Lobby is the two glass fronted lifts which take you up to the deck 3 balcony then up to deck 7.
  I took this picture of the lifts from the top of the Grand Staircase on deck 3 where there is another flower arrangement.
  The lifts are either side of the flowers, the left one is blurred as it is in motion.

             Grand Lobby 5               Grand Lobby 6
                 GRAND LOBBY with the "Tea for 4" string quartet.
 The "Tea for 4" String Quartet played in the Grand Lobby most days after lunch and we sat and listened to their complete concert several times.
 There were 2 violins, the leader and a lady, a Viola and the cello played by the lady in the dark red dress. They were Ukrainian like the dance  troupe who played in the Theatre most days.
 They played popular classic chamber music and were very good, and equal to the best quartets I have heard.

4.2 Ship's Bell

Ship's Bell 1   Ship's Bell 2  Ship's Bell 3
The Ship's Bell is situated on the balcony of the Grand Lobby.
At 12 midday the Chief Security Officer rang "8 Bells" in four double dings on the bell, checking the exact time with a chronometer.

4.3 The Open Deck Areas
Deck 13 Funnel   Deck 13-3  Deck 6 Pool
The top deck, deck 13, has open sun deck areas from bow to stern.
The funnel has the two gas turbine engines which supply supplementary power needed to drive the ship at the 30 knots required.
At the bow there is an observation window area and sports area with golf driving.
Towards the stern  the top decks have pools and children's' play areas. The wake of the ship at speed stretches to the horizon.
It was always cool there on the crossings as one would expect in the North Atlantic, but there were days when sunbathing was possible.

5. The Entertainments
The Daily entertainments were many and varied, as can be seen from this link to the QM2 Documents page, where I have included an example of the program for one day.
We enjoyed most the recitals given by the String Quartet and a harpist, Fiona Magee, and a flautist, Suzanne Godfrey, who played most days in the Grand Lobby and at various places around the ship.
They also gave concerts in the Royal Court Theatre where the main entertainment events took place.  We were able to access the Theatre with Diane's mobility scooter by the seats at the the side of the stalls.
QM2 Theatre  ROYAL COURT THEATRE side seats
The Theatre was extremely impressive. Large and very comfortable with stalls and circle seats and a large stage area.
There was no outside noise from the ship and it was difficult to believe that this was actually part of an ocean liner.
The sea swell was mostly slight while we were there but there was no sensation of movement at all. We sat at the side for our comfort but we saw everything and the sound was perfect.
The resident dance troupe were Ukrainian and they were very good. The male dancers included some typical Cossack type dancing  in the routines occasionally. The girls were equally accomplished and very attractive.
The resident singers were British and also very good and versatile in the range of music they provided. Also, the band was very good.
All in all, the theatre musical entertainment was excellent and mostly equal to the best I have seen.
The artists signed autographs after performances and Suzanne Godfrey signed a copy of her CD for us.
Suzanne Godfrey Suzanne Godfrey signing CDs.

6. Arriving at New York

6.1 First Impressions
Our arrival at New York on the 2nd. July was dramatic. Just before dawn broke, about 5 am, we passed under the Verrezano Bridge. The Captain had advised us to make sure we saw that.
The bridge was lit and gradually appeared in the darkness. The weather was good, fine and quite warm, and we were able to watch from the balcony.
Verrezano bridge 1  Verrezano bridge 2
New York, approaching the Verrezano Bridge.                                Under Verrezano Bridge with harbour pilot escort launch.
As we approached the bridge a harbour pilot launch escorted us. It buzzed around us like a shepherds dog guiding us into the pen.
I know the clearance was only measured in feet as the ship design only just met that particular constraint, so I guess that was the reason the pilot launch was there.
Once past the bridge the New York skyline gradually appeared with the Statue of Liberty visible on our port side.
NYC Dawn  NYC Liberty
New York skyline at dawn.
                                                                                                        Dawn view of the Statue of Liberty.
As the daylight took over from the misty dawn the great ship gradually moved towards the Brooklyn Pier 12 Terminal, Red Hook, which is exclusively for Carnival Cruise Ships.
NYC Brooklyn dock
The Queen Mary 2 managed to turn and reverse alongside the berth using the swivel facility of the propellor pods.
We then had this view from the cabin balcony of the Brooklyn Terminal area.
In fact, I understand that the regeneration of the Brooklyn Docks at Red Hook has been due to the Queen Mary 2 owners,
Cunard, having chosen Brooklyn as the QM2 New York terminal, just as Cunard Line, the old Queen Mary owners, chose Boston,
as her United States home port destination.
Boston Cup

This was the Cup Boston presented to Cunard for choosing them as the US Queen Mary terminal.
I took this photo of the Cup in a presentation case on the QM2.

NYC Arrival 1   NYC Arrival 2
I had to cross to the starboard side of the ship to take these pictures of the New York Manhattan Skyline, the ship's lifeboats in the foreground.
These views of Manhattan are across the small Governors Island which is preserved as a National Monument. It was named by the British in 1784 as the place of the Governor's residence.
The Manhattan skyline from here would have been dominated by the Twin Towers.

6.2  Disembarkation and Transfer

Disembarkation was an inevitably slow process. We were given a colour code and number and told where we should wait to be called.
We found a place where we could sit, Diane on her electric scooter, and near to where she would be able to disembark via a ramp suitable for wheelchairs. This was actually in the Grand Lobby area.
The scooter had not been working properly, due I think to the high density of radio signals on the ship upsetting the potentiometer speed control.
We found a way to make it work but it was difficult to control and when we did get to the ramp assembly we had quite a job negotiating around the corners.
By the time we reached the luggage collection area there were huge queues at the passport control and the luggage was spread all over.
Eventually I found our cases and asked to have assistance for Diane. We were just about the last ones in the queue.
Fortunately, a friendly porter directed us to one of the desks and a customs officer appeared and seemed to open up the checkpoint especially for us. He was joking with the porter and I think they were friends and he did us a favour.
At last we were outside and waiting for a special coach to take us to the Times Square Hilton Hotel.
While we were waiting I took the opportunity to take photos of the great ship close up. I'm glad I did because it was never possible to do this at any other time.
At Brooklyn 1A           At Brooklyn 1
The QM2 at Brooklyn Harbour. Left: looking up towards the Bridge. Right: The line of deck 5 port side cabins indicated where our cabin, no. 5056 was for the outward voyage.
I located our actual cabin on the photo, but it is unfortunately behind the terminal block in the centre of the picture!
Our special coach turned out to be what they call an "Ambulet". Although it sounds like some sort of armband it is actually a small ambulance with a hoist for wheelchairs on the back.
Diane couldn't sit on the scooter inside the ambulet so we had to sit on a side seat in the back alongside one other lady in her wheelchair. Her husband sat beside the driver.
Amazingly, the driver did not know where the Times Square Hilton hotel was. I imagined it would be very well known like the main London hotels are, but it is not exactly in Times Square but down 42nd. Street and has a narrow front entrance not easily seen. Our fellow passenger fortunately had the exact address for the driver to put into his "SatNav" and we sped off.
It was a very bumpy ride as the New York streets are in poor repair. The main highways are good but the traffic speeds meant we were slung around in the back.
It was a 'hairy' ride but little did we know that much worse was to come when we were using the New York Yellow Cabs during our stay!
We arrived outside the hotel front, but the entrance for residents with baggage was around the back, so the driver had to get back in and take us around the to the back. We then got into a gridlock caused by some roadworks and the coaches arriving from the QM2. I think there were over 250 people staying with us at the hotel. I have to say that despite all this, the driver did a very good job and helped us safely into the hotel.
We then had to queue inside the lobby to get to the check-in. It has become clear by this time that being on such a large ship all going to the same place does have certain disadvantages!
Nevertheless, the hotel staff were very patient and helpful and it turned out to be the finest hotel we have ever stayed in. Incidentally, the lobby was on the 20th. Floor!
Times Sq Hilton         42nd. Street 3
The Times Square Hilton Hotel entrance.                         42nd Street  outside the Hilton Hotel.

6.3 At the Times Square Hilton Hotel.

When we found our room on the 32nd. floor and opened the door, we were delighted. It was very grand and spacious. There were the two double beds we asked for and a large bathroom, but most impressive was the picture window looking out across Manhattan with all the legendary skyscrapers.
Hilton view 1      Hilton view 2
Manhattan view from the bedroom window                               View from the opposite side. See Empire State Building
The above astonishing views show, on the left, the bedroom window view on the 42nd. Street side, and on the right, the view form the other side which I took from the a window by the hotel elevators on the same floor.
The tallest skyscraper is the Empire State building.
At Night, the views were even more stunning.
Hilton night view    42nd. St. night  Empire State at night
Manhattan at night, view towards Times Square                         Looking down at 42nd. Street at night.                                       Empire State Building

7. Around New York .
We knew that we should not be able to get around New York very easily but fortunately we had a dear friend living in Manhattan, Karyl, to help us and we did manage some outings.
She came to the hotel on the first evening and had dinner with us in the hotel restaurant. Although the restaurant was not exceptional there were still views across Manhattan and some beautiful paintings on the rear wall.
Karyl had been looking forward to our coming to "Her Town" and was eager to take us wherever we wanted. Diane could not travel any other way then by taxis which Karyl got for us.
The taxis were the famous Yellow cabs, not at all like London cabs in appearance or the way they were driven. I used to think London was hectic but New York is manic.
The taxis are driven at high speed through the narrow streets and you have to cling on to the straps inside to avoid being hurled around.
Some taxis were like 4 wheel drive hatchbacks and had a high step in which Diane couldn't manage, so we could only use the classic sedan car type. that was an added complication when hailing one.
The other problem was that most cabs ignored you when they saw Diane was disabled with her "walker" frame. We had to hide her on the pavement while we stood in the road and hailed one!
Apart from one time when a driver took us on a long roundabout trip, we got on very well and even that was not bad as we enjoyed the tour around.
The first day Karyl gave us instructions how to get to Central Park and meet her there. We managed that OK and she took us to a favourite Italian Restaurant of hers for dinner.
I forgot my camera so there are no pictures of that unfortunately, but I did have some of our next lunch out at the "famous" Empire Diner on the East Side.
Empire diner 1    Empire diner 2
Eating at the Empire Diner.                                            Outside the Empire Diner                                          
Although we were unable to do the usual tourist outings, we had the luxury of our hotel room to relax and take in the views of Manhattan.
We were looking forward to seeing the 4th. July fireworks from the hotel as it was advertised as being  "Macy's Fireworks Spectacular", and we were very close to Macy's Store.
Big mistake! The fireworks of course were on barges on the East River and out of sight from the Hotel. Ah well, never mind, fireworks are fireworks wherever!

8. The 4th. of July.

Empire State 4th. July     On the 4th. of July evening the Empire State Building was especially lit Red, White and Blue.
Having missed the fireworks, we were well compensated by being entertained by Karyl at her East Side apartment for a "4th. of July Dinner".
This had been prepared with the help of her sister Jay, and friend Linda, and they had printed this brilliant menu below for us;

July 4th. menu  Karyl's 1
 Karyl's 2
Jay, Linda and Karyl serving us at the table with the menu, and me showing my French's
mustard which Karyl gave me as I mentioned a partiality for it.
It was a great dinner. The hamburgers and hot dogs were just the best ever.
A truly memorable meal.


9. Leaving New York.
All too soon it was time to depart the hotel and leave New York. We had a bumpy ride back to the Brooklyn Red Hook terminal in the ambulet, but the driver looked after us very well.
Inside the terminal building chaos reigned again. Initially things went well, we checked in quite quickly as we were ahead of the main contingent from the New York hotels, and we were allowed to go into the First Class lounge because of Diane being on her mobility scooter. But when we were told to claim our luggage in the embarkation hall it was like a stampede! There were stacks of luggage all around , although it was sorted by colour codes which we were given at the hotel. However, people just hauled their own bags and cases out leaving other cases out of place, then dashed to join the long lines waiting to go on board.
There was some concession for the disabled passengers but I had to get help with the cases and leave Diane on her own. Fortunately, people kindly allowed us to join near the front of the queue and we managed to board fairly quickly from then with assistance. Getting on and off the ship was the least enjoyable part of the whole experience.
The departure from the dock and New York harbour was nearly as dramatic as the arrival. It was around 5pm. and I just had time to take some pictures before going to our dinner at 6pm.
NYC Leaving tugboat
Before the Queen Mary could depart the two supply tankers had to be pulled clear by tugboats.
These tankers had been pumping fuel into the QM2.
This picture shows one of the tugboats pushing a tanker after pulling it clear.
The Manhattan skyline forms the background, looking across Governor's Island

NYC leaving 1
When the supply tankers were clear the QM2 gradually moved sideways out from the dock.
Now we were in a starboard side cabin I could get this clear view across Governor's Island
to the Manhattan skyline.

NYC leaving water taxi

The Queen sounded the deep horn and people crowded on the deck of a water taxi waved as it sped by.

NYC leaving 2

As the Great ship moved dead slow ahead  the Statue of Liberty could be seen across the other end of Governor's Island.
The evening was clear and, though the light was fading, the views were good.

NYC leaving escort 1  NYC leaving launch2 A NYC harbour police launch came alongside to escort us out.
The crew of the launch waived to us and as the Queen Mary gathered speed we also departed- from our cabin to dinner.

10. The Return Voyage.
Being now experienced in life aboard the QM2, we were more organized in our routine. We knew where to go to enjoy the entertainments, the restaurants and all the facilities, well some of them anyway.
The ship is so enormous that it would be impossible to cover everything, but we spent less time searching for what we wanted.
We had our breakfast in the cabin having discovered that it was the easiest thing and really good. Good coffee, bacon and eggs, fruit, cereals and gluten free toast for me.
Then we would go around the ship to the shops and the lounges before arriving at the Brittania restaurant for lunch. After a rest back in the cabin we could get ready for dinner, no wonder we put on a few pounds!
After dinner we would enjoy the theatre show and then a cup of hot chocolate in on of the Kings Court venues. A generous tot of Brandy saw us happily off to sleep.

10.1 Cunard History Posters
During this idyllic existence I wandered around the ship looking at the series of posters depicting the Cunard history and took some pictures of some which particularly interested me.
QM2 Poaters 3
These two posters are typical of the type of advertising  for voyages in the early 1900s.
The passenger train connection to the port must have been just like my Grand-Aunt Alice took when she boarded
the SS Canada of the White Star Dominion Line to Boston at Liverpool.
It  advertises "New York  and Boston to Liverpool".

The cross-section of the liner shows the decks just like on the Queen Mary 2.

QM2  Posters 2
This poster records the 80th. Anniversary of the Cunard  Line and the text reads;
"In 1840, four ships of a total tonnage 4616 coprised the entire Cunard  fleet.
In 1920, the addition to the existing mammoth liners, Aquitania, Mauritania, Caronia and Carmania, and other famous ships of the Cunard Line,
the company have, either building or completing for service, a tonnage of a quarter of a million.
These new assets, forming a vast fleet in themselves, are the
Scythia, Albania, and Tyrrhenia (completing) Samaria, Servia, Franconia, Laconia, Alaunia, Andania, Aurania, Ausonia,
Ascania and Antonia"
A truly impressive fleet of liners..

QM2 Posters 5 Aquitania

This poster shows the 4-funnelled Aquitania.
This was the liner my GrandAunt Alice and husband Will Lane sailed on from New York to Southampton when they came over in 1921.
I described this visit in the "American Cousins" page.
It was great to see this link with the family history when on board the Queen Mary 2.
The text panel reads;
   The Aquitania (1914-1950)
   The Aquitania was a suvivor. Cunard's longest serving vessel of the 20th. Century.
   When her flag was lowered for the last time, Cunard's Chairman summed her up "In peace and war, fair weather and foul,
   she has done her duty in a manner unsurpassed by any of her sisters who have helped to build up the Company's long history".

The Aquitania was immediately sent into war service after being  launched in 1914.
She started into passenger service after WW1 on the newly opened New York to Southampton crossing.
She again went into war service in WW2 and then back into passenger service right up to 1950.
A truly great service record.

10.2 Back at Southampton
The smooth inward voyage to Southampton ended with our arrival at 7.00am. Monday 14th. July 2008.
I took some pictures of our approach to the QE2 dock;
Soton return 1  

 Southampton water was flat calm and the morning clear as we approached the dock.

Soton return 2

  The harbour crew could be seen waiting to tie down the cables as the great ship  approached.

We had time for breakfast in the Britannia restaurant until about 8.30 and then vacated our stateroom to our designated meeting point.
This was determined by our colour coded tags for our luggage tags which we had put the night before.
We disembarked about 10.30 am. This was a bit of a performance with Diane's mobilty scooter not working properly and being difficult to manoeuvre but we managed it.
Although joining and leaving the ship is not easy, especially because of Diane's disability, people are generally helpful and there is probably no simple way to cope with so many people.
A porter help me find our luggage and took us to the car collection point and fetched the car for us  and we were soon on our way home.
Thus our adventure was concluded.

11. Reflections
The Queen Mary 2, the voyage, the time in New York, the on board entertainments, the food, the sights and all, made a truly memorable experience.
Our immediate reaction on returning home was "Fantastic, but never again!" It was all almost too much and exhausting.
But now, having recovered and reflected on it all we want it again, but not so much, so we are going to try a short voyage to the Canaries on the new Queen Victoria.
I'll be writing that up no doubt.

12. The Final Reckoning