Queen Mary 2 Voyage & Boston July 2009
Wheelchair Accessible Cruise
by Syd & June Burns 2009

Syd & June Burns aboard the Queen Mary 2.

Syd & June Burns
aboard the Queen Mary 2.

We are back home after holiday packed with fun, history and a massive tiredness with jet lag.

The train journey to Southampton went without a hitch, and June was assisted throughout. We travelled the 400 miles in just over four hours which was pretty good going.

We stayed at the Premier Inn Southampton Town Centre, which was totally w/chair friendly the staff were accommodating and the food was good.

Getting aboard the QM2 was painless and as we had the same cabin as last year we knew our way around. There had been some modifications and it was easier to travel with the chair. Arriving in the restaurant for the evening meal was chaos. They put us on an inside table against a wall so we dared them to get the wheelchair in. June asked them if they had a portable crane to lift her over the outside table. There was a lot of navel searching and then the staff decided that it wasn't a good idea so they moved us to a table for six which happened to be the table we wanted and was the table we had last year. The other four people were great companions and conversationalists. Three English, one Welsh and an Irish couple. There were several other mishaps in the dining room mainly June getting the wrong meal. These little things took the edge off what was a perfect voyage. If you read last years report to New York it was practically the same without any mishaps. We attended lectures, the planetarium, loved the huge library and of course there were many many bars. We went to one variety show and left after 10 minutes. Not our scene at all. I must add the everything was wheelchair friendly and accessible.

Queen Mary 2, wheelchair accessible shower.

 

Queen Mary 2, wheelchair accessible bathroom.

Queen Mary 2, wheelchair accessible shower.

 

Queen Mary 2,
wheelchair accessible bathroom.

Queen Mary 2 wheelchair accessible bedroom.  

June Burns takes the top deck as Queen Mary 2 enters NYC harbor.

Queen Mary 2 wheelchair accessible bedroom.

 

June Burns takes the top deck as the
Queen Mary 2 enters NYC harbor.

Arriving in New York we decided against going ashore as we had been there 4 times before, the 6 hours ashore was not worth the hassle. We had never the less to go through security, passport control and customs which was a bit of a nonsense. We had a great time on a virtually empty ship.

When we sailed to Halifax Nova Scotia Canada the ship was full again. This time mainly Americans. We had some delightful meetings in the bars and it made for a superb passage to Halifax. We were first off the ship and were met by Calvin who is a member of a group of which I am a member who have been writing for nearly 10 years now. Calvin had taken the trouble to show us all around Halifax in the short time we were there. He took us to the must go to sites like Peggy's Cove, Titanic cemetery along with lovely places that the tourist never see. Time just flashed by and before we knew it we were back on board. A hearty thanks to Cal for all his time and trouble it was superb.

Overnight to Boston. Once again we had to go through the trials and tribulations of passport control etc. We had great fun with the taxi. The wheelchair just would not fit. Eventually I removed the wheels and sat the chair next to the driver. This chair was just a normal manual fold up. Somehow American boots (trunks) are not deep enough to take the cars spare tyre and a chair. However we managed in the end.

The Marriott Copely Square was very friendly and they really took care of us. The roll in roll out shower was perfection. June had asked for a room to view the Independence Day fireworks.

As the room was not available for a few hours we wandered down to the Charles River area to mingle with the crowds who were there by the thousands. We decided that it was not good for w/chairs as the crowds were immense and if you left to use any of the portable toilets available, your place was gone. So in the afternoon we joined in the fun having hot dogs and ice cream, listened to bands play and most of all people watched. We were treated so well especially when they found we were Brits and I kept telling people "Please can we have our city back". Great fun. We had a meal in a trendy bistro, made our way back to the hotel via a few bars and settled down to see the fireworks. We definitely had the best seat in town. 35 floors up and right opposite the show. We could feel the windows moving with the bangs. I videoed and took pictures. It was really spectacular.

Sunday we walked to the park and Boston Common. What a delightful place. There was a big show taking place with a huge group of musicians called Spirit of America. It was a lovely day and June found the paths in the parks easy for the chair. There was a food hall nearby that had disabled rest rooms that were accessible if you bought a coffee or something. They gave out a coin and the rooms were spotless. June made regular visits during the day as they gave more coins than you would ever use. As this was our last night we had a superb meal at the hotel, plenty of drink and then it was time to say goodbye.

June Burns on Boston's Freedom Trail.

  Boston: Independence Day fireworks.

June Burns on
Boston's Freedom Trail.

 

Boston: Independence
Day fireworks.

Monday we piled into a taxi, same trouble with the chair not fitting. Again we soon sorted it out. Right through Boston Airport to Newark and then the full treatment started. We had booked first class home. We were ushered into the 1st club, getting free drinks and food in total luxury. Our flight was called and we were in sumptuous surroundings. Seats that folded into beds food that was top rate even to being offered port after the cheese. Now there's posh. The toilet was just the same size as in any plane so that did not make life easy for June. It was the most comfortable flight ever but the jet lag was still there when we landed. We caught the train back to Penrith after what was a great adventure but at the moment we are both of the same idea that this is our last long haul journey. It really took it out of both of us.

So there you are another diary of a great American holiday.

Don't miss Syd & June Burn's many other adventures:

London Holiday '09

Amsterdam Weekend '07

Springtime in London '07

Weekend in London '07

New Zealand Part I

New Zealand Part II

Barcelona '06

Palma Mallorca

Tenerife

East Coast Of America (Boston to Richmond and return)

Chicago and Las Vegas

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