Friday, July 31, 2015

Dining and Evening Activities with Youth on the Queen Mary 2

Enjoying the Night with Youth on the Queen Mary 2

By Mark Fitzgerald

Dining on the Queen Mary 2 with a family is a lot of fun but often raises a few questions  about food, dress code and evening activities.

Dinner in the Britannia Restaurant by Mark Fitzgerald
Dinner in the Britannia Restaurant
First comes the food.  For the younger folks in the crowd they have a separate menu.  The menu only has a few choices and they tend to be standard kid favorite - spaghetti, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and the like.  You are also welcome to order off of the normal menu.  While they will not server smaller portions, there is lots more choice and have a good chance of finding something your kids will like.  The MaĆ®tre D' also told us that if we had specific requests they would work with us. 

The waiter will be quick to point out that the items on the kids menu are made on demand so take a little longer to come out than a dish off of the normal menu.  It was obvious with things like the chicken nuggets, it was made from scratch and when we sampled them they tasted delicious.  

Parade of Chefs in the Britannia Restaurant by Mark Fitzgerald
Parade of Chefs in the Britannia Restaurant
Our older children loved having the variety of choices from the menu. They also ordered an appetizer and sometimes a salad too.  The challenge was understanding all of the ingredients and terms. To help we put together a glossary to help understand the menu.  They all tried new things, some of which they like and others not so much.  No one went away disappointed.

We chose to eat dinner every night in the Britannia and use other venues for lunch and breakfast. Each night the boys went up to the buffet for more and also availed themselves of room service.  

On a standard crossing there are three formal nights. Cunard is very formal and many of their clientele sail with them because of the formality. As a result dress is frequently discussed on forums and boards.  Cunard posts that "Children under 18 do not have a dress code but should adhere to the daily dress code where possible."  Our kids really enjoyed dressing up but we didn't go overboard. 

On normal nights our boys wore slacks, not jeans, and a knit shirt.  They didn't have a jacket and that was just fine. Our daughter wore a dress or skirt, but nothing fancy. On the formal nights they wore a tie. We did have a tux for the oldest one that he had for school music performance. They all received a lot of positive comments from other passengers.  Most of the teenage girls had on skirts but very few had formals or prom type dresses. 

Performance of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) by Mark Fitzgerald
Performance of Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA)
There are a variety of options for children in the evening.  The zone is available and can even be used to put younger kids to sleep for the night.  Most nights the movies shown in the Illuminations Theater were family oriented.  The family also enjoyed the music themed performances in the Royal Court Theater.  Though the children were welcomed at the balls, it was late and they didn't seem interested.  Swimming is also an option nail 10 pm.  

One thing we found challenging was to find bathrooms near to these large venues, especially the Britannia restaurant. On the upper level you go out of the restaurant and head left and there is a small hallway heading towards Sir Samuel's that has a bathroom. On the lower level you have to leave the restaurant and turn left for women's, right for men, head to the end of the hall and turn again. 

Going on a family vacation builds memories, provides life changing experiences and helps teach about the world we live in. Take time to explore, enjoy and have fun. If the evening activities sounded interesting, you may also like the article about the Youth Zone. You can also look at our entire list of Queen Mary 2 articles



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