The Queen Mary 2 through a dancer's eye
As our dance pro Robert kept emphasizing to get me moving across the floor, " it's not the destination, it's the journey" - and although he was referring to dance movement, it sums up perfectly my attitude about my newly acquired passion for cruising.
Of course it is interesting to visit new places, but honestly, the reason why I have taken these recent cruises to Asia, the South Pacific, the west and east coasts of N. America, and the Caribbean, is not for the destinations, but for the opportunity to ballroom dance each night along the journey.
That's why I absolutely love the two Cunard liners I have experienced so far, the Queen Victoria and The Queen Mary 2, and why I can't wait to sail on the new Queen Elizabeth, next year. They have the magnificent Queens Room dance floors. The QM2 ballroom is described as the largest ballroom with the largest dance floor at sea, measuring 7.5 by 13 metres or roughly 25 feet wide and 43 feet long (1,075 sq. feet). Although the floor is smaller than one would wish for on land, it is certainly the nicest dance floor I have seen on a ship and several times around the periphery doing a quickstep or Viennese waltz can leave me breathless.
Anyway, having only previously spent 4 nights on the QM2 on the East Coast cruise last year, I thought I would explore it a little more thoroughly before it was crowded with guests. So after I packed away the things I brought on board with me, and before my luggage was delivered, my camera and I set out to see around the ship.
The first place I made my way to was of course the Queens Room. So here are a series of pictures that show the all-important dance floor, as well as the comfortable chairs and tables.
During most evenings, the tables and chairs were packed with people sitting and watching the dancing. I was surprised at how many people over the course of the cruise said to me "oh you are one of the dancers - we just love to watch you all dance."
And it is also interesting to me that where as two years ago I would have been reluctant to go onto a dance floor unless there were other couples dancing, I have got so used to dancing on these cruises that I don't think twice about it.
Of course there was the one time when Robert, in the middle of a Viennese waltz when we were literally the only couple on the floor, decided to add some flamboyant showmanship to our dance and waltzed off alone with great flourishes and extravagant arm movements, leaving me in mid-floor like a deer in the headlights. When he arrived back to sweep me up to finish the dance, all I could say to him was "if you ever do that again I will personally kill you". He just laughed because he knew that when I thought about it some more, I would realize that that was actually a valuable experience. I mean what was the absolute worst thing that happened? I felt embarrassed because I was not prepared for it. Next time I will make sure I am prepared and beat him at his own game. So Robert watch out - you've created your own little competitive monster!
I remembered from last year that tucked away behind the Queens Room is the G32 Night Club. I heard from one of the ship tours, that the name derived from the shipyard hull number when the QM2 was being built. I checked it out.
This was actually where most of the dance workshops were held, and this is also where Robert, Honey and Chris mostly did their private lessons. Although the space is small it is surprisingly fine for teaching. And at least the floor is really nice.
The music in the G32 was different - when folks got a bit weary off the orchestra playing quickstep and shuffles, they visited G32 for some hustle and swing.
I left the Queens Room and went to find the Golden Lion pub where we were to meet later for the cocktail party.
I was surprised to find a little dance floor there too although it is the kind for lovers to sway in place rather than for dancers to "take a journey". It looks much bigger in the photo than it actually is. Perspective and all that!
In summary - Queens Room dance floor. Really nice although it gets really crowded during the special balls. G32 - mainly younger people - noisier but fun dances. And the Golden Lion- I confess I never made it back there to see if anyone danced.
So that's the dance spaces on the Queen Mary 2 seen though a dancer's eye.