Australian Coast voyage

Queen Mary 2 – from those who’ve been onboard


Last night I was invited on a tour on board the Queen Mary 2 and to dinner on board afterwards. On the same day, Biba, our cruise consultant at the Mosman Cruise Centre, disembarked after travelling on board this grand lady for 3 weeks from Los Angeles. So we have lots to tell – and we will be updating this blog as we get more pictures and information.
For Biba, cruising on the Queen Mary 2, was a ”fantastic experience”. You can read her email below that was sent while she was on the voyage. We will put up some highlights of her trip in the next few days.
For us, last night, it was a quick trip around this floating mini-city, we simply didn’t have time to see very much in an hour and a half. The ship has the atmosphere of a grand old English hotel, like the Ritz. Highlights such as the real English red post box, outside the English pub, help to encourage the feeling that you are enjoying a little bit of England. Many years ago we spent a day on the original Queen Mary at her permanent mooring in Los Angeles. We visited the suites occupied by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, marvelled at the size of the engine room and the pool in the depths of the ship, and enjoyed an English high tea – of sorts (the American idea of a pot of hot water and tea bag was unfortunately found even here).
At the moment the Queen Mary 2 is the world’s fastest ocean liner. Ocean liners are built to travel the world including crossing the North Atlantic – cruise ships are built to cruise in calmer waters and are not constructed with the same strength and stability of the ocean liners.

Last night we dined in the Todd English restaurant in the bow of the ship. Named after one of England’s first celebrity cooks, this restaurant has a cosy, comfortable atmosphere and the food was excellent. The entree was a goat’s cheese with salad and crouton, the mains were rack of baby lamb or yellow fin tuna served on a risotto and dessert was creme brulee. A selection of wine was served and we finished with coffee and petit fours. According to Biba the food was generally ‘excellent’. There are 10 restaurants on board, though not all passengers may eat at all the restaurants as the Queen’s Grill and the Princess Grill are for those paying for the top suites. However says Biba, this was not a problem.
I’ve downloaded an album of last night’s visit… and we’ll bring you more photos as they become available. The picture above is one of many on the walls of the QM2.
Bookings are being taken for next year’s QM2 trip to Australia – and you will be surprised at the prices, there are some great bargains to be had.
Contact me – martin@travelchoice.com.au or Biba – travel@travelchoice.com.au – for more information.


Sail Australia’s Eastern seabord in luxury


It’s luxurious and everything is included on Regent Seven Seas Mariner – and it is sailing Australia’s coastal waters from Sydney to Darwin in March. We loved every moment of our trip on this ship in November last year (there’s a photo gallery of the Mariner on the side of the blog – and that’s me on the promenade deck) – so I really recommend this trip. Especially if you’ve been looking for a cruise out of Sydney! And especially if you would like to get away in the next month or so!
But you will need to be quick. The ship boards on March 25 (and you overnight in Sydney) then sails for Newcastle the next day. It leaves Newcastle on 27 and cruises north through the Great Barrier Reef arriving at Cairns on March 30. Then it goes to Cooktown for a night before sailing up to Cape York, through the magical blue waters of the Torres Strait and arriving at Darwin on April 3.
You will be pampered the whole way. Every cabin is a balcony cabin and you will find:

  • complimentary wines, spirits, soft drinks and bottled water in your fridge – as well as the complimentary champagne on your embarkation
  • your refrigerator replenished daily
  • complimentary 24 hour room service
  • all onboard gratuities included

– in fact nothing to pay for, unless you fancy shopping or the casino.
Call me during office hours on 02 9968 1600 – or email me, martin@travelchoice.com.au and I’ll send you some more information. Prices for this 10-night Australian Coastal Voyage start at $6270.