Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
DanielleFaye

When to do QM2 - Hurricanes and Seasickness?

Recommended Posts

Hi, my husband and I wanted to do a Trans-Atlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 next year for our 20th anniversary which is on Sept 1st.

 

But that is in hurricane season, and getting hit by Hurricane Irma in Florida makes me not trust my luck.  

 

Has anyone taken the trip in hurricane season?  Is it easy for the ship to get the forecast and dodge storms?  Otherwise winter prices seemed affordable and safe from hurricanes, but I've heard that the seas can be rough in the winter, is that true in your experience?  I am prone to seasickness/vertigo though it is helped by medicine and I know it's impossible to guarantee I'd like to pick a time that's the best gamble.

 

I guess any advice for good times to travel.  We were going to stay in Queen's Grill so that if I must be sick I can be sick in luxury.  

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QM2 has some flexibility in the route across the Atlantic aside from the endpoints so the worst storms can be avoided to a good degree (although it will often sail through weather that makes other ships turn back, and some welcome weather that makes one know that they're on a ship).

 

On an eastbound crossing you tend to travel slightly slower than the weather so whatever weather you start with is sometimes the weather for the crossing. A westbound crossing will often have more varied weather since you're traveling into the weather that's coming your way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve done a September crossing westbound and the annual January 3rd crossing eastbound.  I found the seas rougher in September though it was obviously colder in January.  Of course the Atlantic is pretty unpredictable and no crossing is exactly like the one before it. I’ve actually booked the January crossing again for 2021 as it was a wonderful experience crossing at that time of year. The ship was filled with people who really had a passion for transatlantics and there were also a great number of UK citizens sailing home after the QM2’s Caribbean cruise. 
 

That said, whilst September is certainly hurricane season, it is not as common to have debilitating storms in the northeast of the US as it is on Florida (though of course there are always exceptions). Chances are, crossing then would be affected by a hurricane unless it was an abnormally unusual storm. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The three QM2 transatlantics I've been on were in June, July, and September in three different years, with one eastbound and two westbound.  All three crossings were flat calms from beginning to end.  On the eastbound, I think the biggest sea we encountered was the wake from the Staten Island ferry on the way out of NY harbour.   (I exaggerate slightly, but really only slightly).  I'm still awaiting the North Atlantic that QM2 was designed to deal with.   Guess I'll just have to keep on trying!

 

 

Edited by sfred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This photo of the in-room TV screen on QM2 from November 25, 2019 may be of interest to this discussion. This was during a westbound crossing on the final sea day before reaching New York. It goes to show that hurricane force winds are possible during a crossing even in late November. The captain mentioned during his noon announcement that winds had been gusting above 70 knots during the early hours that morning. I wasn't really aware of any particularly unusual movement of the ship that morning although most access points to the open decks were closed as a precaution.

 

image.thumb.png.b8aa0306a3d8114c94f56beac594627e.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Bostonjet wrote, weather on the North Atlantic is notoriously unpredictable. We've never been on a winter crossing. By all accounts winter crossings can be a bit boisterous, but some people enjoy surprisingly smooth seas. All of our crossings have been in July and August when the ocean is usually at its calmest. But although we've never encountered an outright hurricane, we have experienced a few days of very rough seas. And yet, I hasten to add, even on the stormiest of days we were none the worse for the wear.

 

So as you make your plans, keep three things in mind. First, as Bostonjet pointed out, it's very unlikely that you'll encounter a hurricane. Second, as Underwatr wrote, QM2 an alter its course if necessary. And third, as bluemarble observed, QM2 is remarkably stable even in the midst of hurricane force winds. I am very sensitive to motion, so this is something to which I can enthusiastically testify.

 

Have a wonderful 20th anniversary crossing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add one more reassurance, we traveled westbound in mid-December 2018.  Some days, seas were high -- 30 feet and more. Outside decks were closed for much or most of the voyage.  But QM2 was unbelievably stable. One night, in the Royal Court theatre, we noticed the potted pine trees at either end of the stage were swaying (and not in time to the music).  But at no point did we feel any rolling or pitching.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DanielleFaye said:

Has anyone taken the trip in hurricane season?  Is it easy for the ship to get the forecast and dodge storms? 

I'll echo what others have said above. We sailed through a hurricane years ago-- the ship is extremely stable. It also has the speed to avoid most of it or get through it faster than other ships if there is no choice but to sail through it. It is one of the few things that QM2 does better than QE2-- QE2 had a habit of rolling in bad weather. QM2 sails right through heavy seas. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the QM2 is stable, with the computer controlled stabiliser fins coping well eliminating most of the side to side movement.  You will get Forward-Aft pitching which can be noticeable when it is particularly rough.  Cabins in the middle of the ship suffer this less, and aft is better than bow.  Worth noting that the QM2 was specifically designed to cope with Atlantic weather and, unlike the floating hotels, doesn’t need to steer a wide berth from storm systems.  They have some slack in their timings to vary the track if they can, but you won’t find the QM2 sailing hundreds of miles off route to avoid a storm, as do the cruise ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the same crossing as Bluemarble and although Jane normally gets very seasick on the Bay of Biscay missing several dinners on various cruises, she was fine on QM2, so much so, we sat and watched the waves crashing against the windows down by the Sales Office in the deck 2 games corridor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, all this information is incredibly helpful!  I really appreciate everyone taking the time to share their experiences.    I was just so anxious about it, I think we've decided to try going as close to our anniversary as possible then, more romantic that way.  🥰

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/10/2020 at 2:38 PM, bluemarble said:

This photo of the in-room TV screen on QM2 from November 25, 2019 may be of interest to this discussion. This was during a westbound crossing on the final sea day before reaching New York. It goes to show that hurricane force winds are possible during a crossing even in late November. The captain mentioned during his noon announcement that winds had been gusting above 70 knots during the early hours that morning. I wasn't really aware of any particularly unusual movement of the ship that morning although most access points to the open decks were closed as a precaution.

 

image.thumb.png.b8aa0306a3d8114c94f56beac594627e.png

 

I was on this crossing too!  And it was my birthday, and of course the final day.  The weather the other days was cold and gray but the motion of the ocean, mainly pitching, was tolerable.  This day though, the rolling was getting to me although IIRC things improved greatly around lunch time.  That said, aside from not being able to pack early in the day, I was fine and QM2 really does handle the seas very well.  Walking was a bit of a challenge though for several hours, nothing that a few G & Ts didn't handle!  😄  I've been in higher, rougher seas on Caribbean sailings from Cape Liberty, on ships that aren't built to deal with the seas as well. (I will admit though that I did hit my stash of ginger chews on the above referenced date...as a precaution, and I fared very well.)

 

Stock up on your favorite seasickness remedies just in case!  Happy anniversary and enjoy your voyage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...