TRAVEL
08/22/2011 12:50 pm ET | Updated Oct 08, 2011

The Cunard Queen Mary 2: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

The Cunard Queen Mary 2 is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Cunard Queen Mary 2.

Destination

The Queen Mary 2, or QM2, sails primarily in the Atlantic. The QM2 sails between the British Isles, New York, Canada, Germany, France and Norway.

Grand Ship

The first of Cunard's "Three Queens," the Queen Mary 2 is one of the largest cruise ships ever built. It is 1,132 feet long and weighs more than 150,000 tons.

Special Features

In 2011, the Queen Mary 2 features special trans-Atlantic cruises with graduates of the Julliard School. If music is not your cup of tea, try a formal British tea in the Queen's Room. Take a class in casino games and try out your new skills in the Empire Casino. Little cruisers enjoy the Play Zone. Registered nursery nurses play with the children and lead them in sports and craft activities.

Accommodations

More than three-quarters of the Queen Mary 2's staterooms are outside cabins. Even some of the inside staterooms have windows with an atrium view. Larger Britannia Suites are as large as 248 square feet. By far, the largest and most luxurious staterooms are the Grand Duplexes. These two-story suites have more than 2,200 square feet of space.

Cost

The Queen Mary 2 offers cruises for many different budgets. A two-night cruise between Hamburg, Germany and Southampton, England, costs $495 per person for an inside cabin and $1,595 for a Deluxe Queen Suite. However, a 28-night cruise of the Norwegian fjords costs $6,320 per person for an inside stateroom and $24,355 for a Queen Suite.

Excursions

Several passengers recommended the Lyesfjord excursion. This side trip takes passengers up the fjord by land, since the QM2 is too large to sail into the fjord. The highlight of the tour is Pulpit Rock, a 2,000-foot-tall rock outcropping that is almost perfectly square.

Dining Experience

The Britannia dining room offers meals in either an early or late seating. Those staying in the Princess or Queen suites have their own dining rooms. Everyone is welcome to dine at the specialty restaurants such as the Golden Lion and Todd English's signature restaurant. An assortment of lounges gives passengers choices for between-meal drinks and snacks.

Maiden Voyage

The Queen Mary 2 was launched in 2004. The ship sailed from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In The News

According to MSNBC, and 80-year-old couple was asked to leave the ship after an argument with a fellow passenger.

WATCH:

The Queen Mary 2 arrives in New York.

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