Transatlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 Observations: Food Glorious Food, and Gluttony

Transatlantic Crossing on the QM2 Observations: Food Glorious Food, and Gluttony

Caviar in Queens Grill on Cunard Queen Mary 2

Caviar in Queens Grill on Cunard Queen Mary 2

This series of articles was written while I was on-board a transatlantic crossing on the grand Cunard Queen Mary 2. So far my articles of observations have included marveling at the power of the Atlantic, dealing with seasickness, the obsession with keeping the Norovirus at bay – and a study of the passengers aboard.

In this article I address the “elephant in the room”. Literally. The humongous amounts of food that is available every minute of every day, and the obsessive and frantic devouring of food undertaken on-board. Elephants eat constantly, and they devour phenomenal volumes of food every day. Passengers on a Crossing are exactly the same! It is constant, all consuming and undertaken frantically. For seven days, other than perhaps one day when about a third to a half of passengers get their sea legs and feel too queasy to eat, most of the rest of the 7 days seems to be spent planning to eat, getting ready to eat and eating.

On-board the Queen Mary 2 during a crossing you can eat 24 hours a day. You do not have to sleep. You can just eat. You can eat all day in one specific restaurant, and intersperse it with trips to others. And if you desire, you could also simply avoid the need to get dressed to eat by simply staying in your cabin and ordering from the 24 hour room service menu.

Over 15,000 meals are served every day for passengers and crew. This article shares just how much eating is available for passengers alone.

This is my guide to eating for 24 hours for 7 days on a Queen Mary 2 crossing.

  • 04:00am – 6:30am: Start your day with a self service continental breakfast in Kings Court Buffet.
  • 06:30am – 11:30am: Fill up with a full breakfast buffet in Kings Court, perhaps pop off to your allocated restaurant at some point between 08:00am and 09:30am to get some variety by being served your food.
  • 11:30am – 03:00pm: Self serve yourself in Kings Court, with some variety again by being served in your allocated restaurant from 12:30 to 2:00pm.
  • 3:00pm – 5.30pm: Get a quick snack in the forward port of Kings Court, with a break for afternoon tea in Queens Room.
  • 5:30pm – 11:00pm: Back to Kings Court for self service, and dinner in your restaurant. If you are Britannia the time you eat will depend on if you are on the 6pm or 8:30pm sitting. If in Queen or Princess Grill then you have open seating between 6:30pm and 9pm.
  • 11:00pm – 04:00am: Late snack in Kings Court.

As mentioned above, there are some options to just having self service to help you to shake it up a bit – and get some more variety for your 3 main meals. So you can also:

  • Have a sit down breakfast in your allocated main restaurant (Queens Grill, Princess Grill or Britannia Restaurant) from 8am to 9.30am.
  • Have a full 3 course lunch in your restaurant from 12:30 to 2pm.
  • Have a full 3 course dinner in your restaurant in the evening. If in Queens or Princess Grill at a time of your choice between 6.30 and 9 pm. If in Britannia in your allocated 6pm or 8.30pm sitting.
  • Have lunch or dinner in the Todd English restaurant. This would be the ONLY time it will cost you to eat! You pay a surcharge per course if you eat in here.

Of course, to fill in the gaps between main meals there are more options if self service is not for you. These include:

  • Full English Afternoon Tea of sandwiches, cakes and hot scones from 3:30 to 4:30.
  • Eating in the Golden Lion Pub.
  • Early evening canapes delivered to your suite if you are in Queens Grill.

On the crossing I interviewed the Hotel Manager and the Head Chef, which I will cover in a separate article and podcast with more on the facts, figures and logistics of serving food 24 hours a day to 2600 passengers and 1500 crew. But it will not surprise that around 15,000 meals are served on-board every day for all on the ship. And all food has to be carried on the ship to cover those meals for 7 days. For there is no chance to pop out or stop to replenish.

Food is a major part of the crossing. Passengers devour obscene amounts of food. It is amazing just how incredible the food is. The logistics are impressive. More on that to come..

Read the other observations on Crossing the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2:

  • The power of the Atlantic.
  • Dealing with seasickness.
  • Keeping the Norovirus at bay.
  • The passengers on-board

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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4 Responses

  1. Jonathan says:

    Hi Gary,

    I have listened to all of your podcasts. I have recently started to visit your website. I like your blog but you need to have pictures on it. When describing the glorious food onboard the QM2, pictures will be worth more than anything you can say in writing. Also, you can go into more detail about the restaurants and the types of food served. Thanks for your great tips on traveling. I love it.

    • Thanks! Yes, will be adding photos once off the ship or in port when get better access as connection too slow and irregular to post photos successfully. So will tweak and update with photos as soon as I can. Thanks for reading, and keep doing so! I will do more on the restaurant types and food too. Plus interview with the Head Chef that I have done

  2. Marilyn says:

    My husband and I took a cruise on QM@ in past, maybe 5 years ago. We are going on the Transatanltic Cruise, January 2015. I do not see any of the evening, smaller restaurants, as Chef Galley, listed. Can you tell me if they are available?

  3. seraphimin says:

    Gary are you carrying on with your most informative videos, blogs etc please? I am a newbie and taking an eastbound QM2 transatlantic crossing in October. My cabin will be on the boardwalk. I’m interested to hear about what you think that the travel agent pushed it and virtually forced me to take that cabin… Your views are always very interesting.

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