Getting the Best Deal

Securing the best deal on a cruise aboard Queen Mary 2, like with any cruise line, involves a strategic blend of timing, research, and flexibility. Whether you are a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first voyage, these tips and recommendations will guide you through the booking process to ensure you maximise the value of your journey without compromising the quality of your experience.

Book Early or Last Minute: The most advantageous deals are typically found at either end of the booking spectrum. Booking well in advance can secure you early bird discounts, promotional offers, and the widest choice of staterooms and suites. Conversely, last-minute bookings can also yield significant savings, as the cruise line aims to fill unsold staterooms. This method, however, requires you to be flexible with your travel dates and accommodation preferences.

Monitor Sales and Promotions: Cunard frequently runs sales and promotions that can include onboard credit, free upgrades, or discounted packages. To stay informed about these opportunities, sign up for newsletters and alerts from Sail Away Magazine. Additionally, keeping an eye on reputable travel agents and cruise-focused publications like Sail Away Magazine can provide timely information on flash sales and exclusive offers.

Consider Shoulder Season Cruises: The timing of your cruise can significantly impact the cost. Opting for shoulder season voyages—the periods just before or after the peak summer season—can provide a perfect balance: fewer crowds and lower prices, without compromising on weather or experience. As Queen Mary 2 sails various itineraries, researching the optimal times to visit each destination can help you identify these cost-effective opportunities.

Explore Different Cabin Options: While the allure of a spacious suite with ocean views is undeniable, choosing a lower-category stateroom can dramatically reduce the cost of your cruise. Inside Staterooms or those with obstructed views offer the same access to the ship’s amenities and services but at a fraction of the price. Remember, the allure of Queen Mary 2 lies in its onboard experiences and destinations, not just the accommodation.

Take Advantage of Package Deals: Look for package deals that include additional perks such as special dining experiences, beverage packages, or shore excursions. These bundles can offer substantial savings over purchasing each element separately. Make sure to evaluate what’s included to ensure it aligns with your preferences and intended activities onboard.

Travel in Groups: Booking as part of a group can unlock special rates and perks that are not available to individual travellers. Whether you’re organising a family reunion, a wedding, or a getaway with friends, inquire about group discounts and benefits, which can include onboard credit, free photos, or even a free cabin depending on the size of your group.

Use a Travel Agent: An experienced travel agent can be invaluable in finding the best deals on cruises, often having access to exclusive offers not available to the general public. They can also offer personalised advice based on your preferences, assist with complex bookings, and advocate on your behalf if any issues arise during your journey.

Cunard Drink Packages

Cunard offers a variety of drink packages on Queen Anne, designed to cater to different preferences and budgets. Here’s a breakdown of the options available:

  1. Beers, Wines, and Spirits Option: This package includes a selection of beers, wines, spirits, liqueurs, and cocktails up to a certain price per serving, alongside all the benefits of the Premium Soft Drinks Option. You’ll also receive a 20% discount on more expensive drinks and certain bottles of wine. Pricing varies by the length of the cruise, starting at $85.50 per day + gratuities. This is cheaper for longer voyages.
  2. Premium Soft Drinks Option: For $36 per day + gratuities, this package covers a variety of soft drinks, small bottled waters, juices, specialty hot drinks, and non-alcoholic cocktails. You also get a 20% discount on any non-alcoholic drinks not included in the package​ (Cunard)​.
  3. Specialty Hot Drinks Option: Priced at $13.50 + gratuities per day, this package offers unlimited specialty coffees, Tea Forté infusions, and hot chocolates, allowing you to enjoy a warm beverage whenever you like​.
  4. Soft Drinks Option: This includes unlimited draught soft drinks, selected fruit juices, squash, and cordials, costing $10.80 + gratuities per day if booked before the cruise​​.
Cunard Drink Package Prices / Sail Away Magazine
Credit: Cunard Drink Package Prices / Sail Away Magazine

These packages can be a cost-effective way to enjoy a range of beverages throughout your cruise, especially if you purchase them before setting sail to benefit from a discount. It’s important to consider how much you typically spend on drinks as these packages can add convenience and potentially offer savings depending on your personal consumption patterns. Compared to drink package options with other cruise lines, Cunard are very expensive.

Want to discover the Cunard Drink Packages in more detail?

Cunard WiFi Packages

Cunard offers a range of Wi-Fi packages aboard Queen Mary 2, designed to meet various internet needs during your cruise. Here is a guide to what you can expect in terms of options and pricing:

Essential Voyage Plan: This plan includes basic internet access such as web browsing, email, and WhatsApp messaging, along with access to social media platforms. It is priced at $24 for a 24-hour period or at a reduced rate of $15 per day if purchased for the entire voyage.

Premium Voyage Plan: Including all the benefits of the Essential Plan, this option also supports video and music streaming and provides a connection speed three times faster. It costs $36 for 24 hours or $20 per day when bought for the entire voyage duration.

Pay As You Go: If you prefer not to commit to a daily rate, Cunard also offers a flexible option where you can purchase internet time by the minute. The rates for these are structured as follows:

  • 30 minutes for $15
  • 120 minutes for $45
  • 240 minutes for $80
  • 480 minutes for $135
  • 960 minutes for $220
  • 1920 minutes for $330

These minute-based plans become more economical with larger purchases, with the per-minute cost decreasing as the total minutes bought increase.

Additionally, Cunard World Club members at Gold, Platinum, and Diamond levels receive complimentary internet time per voyage, which can be a substantial perk depending on your membership level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cunard implements a daily Hotel Service Charge as an automatic way to simplify the tipping process for guests. The amount varies depending on the type of accommodation. For Britannia staterooms, the charge is typically around $11.50 per person per day. For those staying in Princess Grill and Queens Grill suites, the charge is slightly higher, about $13.50 per person per day.

The Hotel Service Charge automatically charged to your onboard account can be removed or adjusted at any point by visiting the Pursers Office.

On Queen Mary 2, the dinner dress code ranges from formal to smart attire. Gala evenings require formal wear, with men donning tuxedos or dark suits with ties, and women in evening or cocktail dresses. On other nights, smart attire is appropriate, where men should wear jackets, shirts, optionally with ties, and women can opt for dresses or stylish separates. Ripped jeans are not allowed in the dining rooms.

While Queen Mary 2 offers activities and spaces designed for younger guests, such as the children’s club, it is worth noting that the ship’s facilities and programs might not be as extensive as those found on ships more specifically targeted towards families.

The cruise fare typically includes your accommodation, most meals onboard, entertainment, and access to many of the ship’s amenities and activities. Additional charges apply for specialty dining, beverages, spa services, shore excursions, and internet access. Port taxes are also included in the Cunard cruise fare.

Yes, you can bring alcohol on a Cunard cruise, but there are specific guidelines you must follow. Cunard allows passengers to bring one bottle of wine or champagne (up to 750ml) per passenger at embarkation for consumption in your stateroom without a fee. Additional bottles brought onboard or any other types of alcohol will incur a corkage fee if consumed in public areas. It’s important to note that any alcohol purchased ashore during the cruise or from the ship’s duty-free shop will be held by the ship and returned to you at the end of your voyage.

Itineraries and Destinations

Queen Mary 2, the flagship of the Cunard Line, is renowned for her impressive itineraries that span some of the most iconic and desirable destinations across the globe. Here is a detailed review of the primary destinations visited by this magnificent ocean liner:

Transatlantic Crossings: Southampton to New York

Queen Mary 2 is perhaps best known for her legendary transatlantic crossings between Southampton and New York. This classic route, steeped in maritime history, offers passengers the quintessential ocean liner experience. The journey across the Atlantic is an elegant blend of tradition and luxury, providing ample time to enjoy the ship’s extensive amenities while marvelling at the endless expanse of the ocean. Arriving in New York, with the iconic skyline greeting you, is an experience steeped in nostalgia and grandeur.

World Cruise: January to April

Each year, from January to April, Queen Mary 2 embarks on an epic World Cruise, visiting an array of diverse and exotic destinations. This extensive voyage allows passengers to explore numerous continents and cultures in unparalleled style and comfort. Key stops often include vibrant cities in Asia, the stunning landscapes of Australia and New Zealand, the exotic allure of the Middle East, and the historic charm of Europe. This journey is ideal for those seeking a comprehensive and luxurious exploration of the world.

North America

Beyond the transatlantic crossings, Queen Mary 2 frequently visits other notable ports in North America. These voyages often include stops in New England, where passengers can enjoy the charming coastal towns and vibrant fall foliage. Additionally, journeys to Canada offer the chance to explore cities like Quebec and Halifax, rich in history and culture.

Caribbean

For those seeking sun and relaxation, Queen Mary 2 offers cruises to the Caribbean. These itineraries provide an escape to tropical paradise, with stops at islands known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant local cultures. Ports of call often include popular destinations such as Barbados, St. Lucia, and Antigua, where passengers can indulge in water sports, explore lush landscapes, or simply unwind on the beach.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, with their year-round pleasant climate, are another popular destination for Queen Mary 2. These Spanish islands off the coast of Africa offer a unique mix of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Passengers can explore volcanic landscapes, enjoy hiking trails, or relax on beautiful beaches. Key ports include Tenerife, with its stunning Mount Teide, and Gran Canaria, known for its diverse microclimates and scenic beauty.

Northern Europe

Queen Mary 2’s Northern Europe itineraries include visits to some of the continent’s most captivating cities and regions. These cruises often feature stops in the Baltic Sea, allowing passengers to explore historic cities such as St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Stockholm. The Norwegian fjords, with their breathtaking scenery, are another highlight, offering a chance to witness nature’s grandeur up close. Additionally, itineraries may include stops in iconic cities like Copenhagen and Amsterdam, known for their rich history and cultural offerings.

Cunard Blogs: Essential Reads for Your Next Cruise

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