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Got this email from a blog fan with a few questions,

Hi Gary,

My husband and I booked a westbound transatlantic cruise from Southhampton to NYC for June 24 on the QM2. I’ve looked at lots of websites for research and I have to say that the BEST information available is from your website and from your podcasts. We’re first time cruisers and we’re taking the transatlantic cruise as our trip “home” to the USA after living 6 years in Europe. I found your podcast “First timer cruise tips” extremely helpful and it provided several answers that I could not find from I also enjoyed your podcast covering your QM2 Eastbound transatlantic cruise and along with your videos, they constitute the Ultimate Guide to the QM2.

I do have a few questions that I’m hoping you can advise me on:

First, what is the passenger ‘vibe’ on a QM2 transatlantic cruise? In your podcast you mention that many of the passengers on the eastbound journey tend to be American and on the westbound trip, they tend to be British. I would be delighted to meet the most diverse possible group of passengers….of all nationalities and all groups. My hesitation is that the QM2 might have a surplus of passengers in the “over 70” or “over 80” age group. I’m in my early 50s and my husband a few years older, but we’re still active in our careers and we are very active travellers. Is it likely that we’ll be in a minority of “under 60” travellers on the ship? I have no issues with older folks, but would it be considered rude if we ask to move to a dinner table where the conversation topics do not revolve around medications, ailments or hearing aids? We all love our dear old gran, but most of us wouldn’t choose to spend a full seven days with her.

Second, do you have tips on ‘secret places’ on the QM2 where one can relax without feeling crowded? We will certainly use our cabin for sleep and privacy, but it would be great to know the places on the ship where I can relax reading a book (or my Kindle) without being bothered by hen parties or drunken American rednecks. The library on the QM2 looks fabulous for spending some quiet time reading, but one post on Cruise Critic hinted that you have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get a good seat there. Do you have a favorite place on the ship (other than your Penthouse cabin) that you find particularly appealing for relaxation?

Thanks for your advice and I look forward to your next podcast.


Thanks for the email, and the kind comments on the blog and the podcasts! Glad you find them helpful – they are they reason I started doing them and so very pleased to hear they helping..!

On your various questions, here are some thoughts and comments:

What is the passenger ‘vibe’ on a QM2 transatlantic cruise?

On the crossings, the range of ages is very broad indeed and (if anything) seems to be more the 40s and 50s than the older age groups. There will also be a lot of younger, and if in School Holidays also families with children ages.

The Crossings seem to attract the more adventurous type, and so attitudinally I have found the vibe and the attitude to be more relaxed as well as more excitable – as people feel they are on an adventure. The tone and vibe when doing lots of ports is different, and does seem to be older (or at least less mixed). I love the Crossings for this reason.

Do you have tips on ‘secret places’ on the QM2 where one can relax without feeling crowded?

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One of the things that people often comment on when seeing the photos and videos I have taken and posted, is how few people seem to be about on the ship! The ship is so vast and pretty much all over you can find a spot which is quiet.

The decks are usually quiet, though as can be windy based on time of year that does not always work – though right at the top of the ship you can find a sheltered area of deck that is great. Inside, during the day the Commodore Club is always very quiet and a great spot to sit and read. This is where we would go, as a few people about at most in the day and great views across the bow.

I am envious of you heading off on a Crossing as I adore them! Have fun!! Hope the above helps

My video of a compilation of photos taken on the last crossing I did on the Queen Mary 2


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Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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