An Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  02.18.13 | 7:25 AM ET

In the New York Times, Dwight Garner has a lighthearted dispatch from a January cruise on Cunard’s enormous QM2. He starts by outlining the ground rules:

The first rule about traveling between America and England aboard the Queen Mary 2, the flagship of the Cunard Line and the world’s largest ocean liner, is to never refer to your adventure as a cruise. You are, it is understood, making a crossing. The second rule is to refrain, when speaking to those who travel frequently on Cunard’s ships, from calling them regulars. The term of art—it is best pronounced while approximating Maggie Smith’s cut-glass accent on “Downton Abbey”—is Cunardists.

The third rule, unspoken, is to not fling your Champagne flutes into the roiling North Atlantic. My wife, Cree, broke this one. It was our second night aboard the ship. We were crossing, in January, from New York to Southampton. I was in black tie. She was in an extraordinary little black dress. We’d been flailing about, in the ship’s ballroom, to an adroit orchestra. We were happy, and tipsy.

We pushed open a door to the promenade deck. The icy wind heartlessly X-rayed us, but it was impossible to pull away from the railing. The North Atlantic in January is no joke; its heaving beauty is mesmerizing. It’s a volcano of sorts, one that seems to demand an offering. Better a Champagne flute than to leap over the railing yourself.

The piece meanders a bit, but it’s laced with funny and thoughtful observations about the cruise—er, crossing. (Via The Best of Journalism)

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

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