Canary Islands Cruise on the Queen Mary 2
Itinerary: Southampton > Funchal, Madeira >Gran Canaria > Tenerife > Lisbon > Southampton
Accommodation: Queens Suite, Q5 Number 9033, Queen Mary 2
This was a superb cruise, and it was lovely to travel from Southampton to Southampton. Travelling this way is so much easier than flying; all we had to do was drive to Southampton and hand over as much luggage as we (okay, I) wanted before checking in at the cruise terminal.
Queens Suite 9033
Our room was beautiful. Queens Suite 9033 has a mid-ship location on Deck 9, directly opposite the Grills Concierge Lounge (the Concierge Lounge has a small seating area, a concierge to assist with bookings and other requests, a DVD and video games library, and (my favourite bit) food treats throughout the day).
We had a lovely walk in wardrobe and room layout. The balcony was spacious, but one thing to note about staterooms and suites on this deck is the fact the lifeboats are situated just below the deck, so can clearly be seen. I have read some reviews about how this spoils the view for guests staying on deck 9 – this was not an issue for us, but just something to note.
This cruise was fairly port heavy given the length of the cruise. We went on a Cunard arranged tour at Madeira but everywhere else we wandered around on our own. In Madeira, we explored the town with our tour group and got some great views of the city, went on a toboggan run down to Funchal´s city centre in a wicker basket manned by two men (“carreiros”) dressed in white, with straw hats and black rubber boots that are used as brakes (you have to do this if you are in Madeira, its thrilling!) and enjoyed glasses of Blandy’s at the Blandy’s Madeira wine lodge.
In Gran Canaria we were really lucky with the weather so just explored the port and enjoyed the sunshine on deck.
Lisbon was beautiful (although, extremely cold when we visited). We decided to walk (aka hike) from the main town up the hill to Castelo de Sao Jorge. This walk/hike included two long flights of stone steps and some switchback style streets up to the top which were confusing – don’t be as stupid as me and attempt to wear high heeled boots to do this walk! I was very hot and very irritable by the time we got to the top of the hill, I nearly didn’t appreciate the spectacular views of the town from the castle in 5 inch heels… The castle is lovely to wander around and for those who don’t mind heights you can clamber around the walls.
On leaving Lisbon, we and the majority of those on the ship, went on the open decks to view the ship passing under the 25 de Abril Bridge (which connects Lisbon to Almada). The passing under the Bridge is a close shave for this ship and a fun experience to be a part of on the open deck.
We dined in the Queens Grill. Our principal waiter, Pasha, was absolutely excellent. He was running a waiting station looking after multiple tables, but he always had a keen eye on when we needed anything/ had finished a drink or course and was also helpful in, once he knew our tastes, suggesting alternatives or additions to meals that we might enjoy.
The tables of two in the Queens Grill restaurant on this cruise liner can sometimes be more like a table of four. This can either be great because you can meet nice new people but if you want to avoid people (not being harsh – just if you want a quiet romantic dinner without small talk) then it is best to get to dinner really early, or really late and then you will probably avoid your neighbours or at least, not end up eating a whole meal next to them. We tend to find that, being some of the youngest guests on the ship & in the Grills, we dine much later than most of our fellow passengers so the restaurant has thinned out greatly by the time we are on to our mains.
This voyage included some decent ports, our favorites being Madeira and Lisbon. The weather was not for sunbathers, but we didn’t mind given the amount of activities on the ship, and port days.
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