From July 14th – 21st, 2023, Mike and Mary were fortune to make a transatlantic crossing from Southhampton, England to New York on the Queen Mary 2 (QM2). The QM2 is the Cunard Line’s flagship, and is one of the few ocean liners in service capable of a transoceanic crossing.
The QM2 holds about 2,600 passengers, and (I believe) the ship was at capacity for ths crossing. We booked the cruise through Ahoy Vintage Cruises, and were a part of a group of about 60 people that are vintage enthusiasts. Most of the people in the group wore vintage or vintage-inspired clothing for daytime, and especially evenings.
Music for the nightly dances for our group was provided by London, England based Alex Mendham and His Orchestra. The band played mostly 1920s/30s arrangements, pretty much in the style of a British dance band from that era. A very good band, with talented musicians and vocalists.
See below for a few pictures from the cruise (pics not in any type of order). Hover over the picture for a bit of info.
Postscript 1. I’ve been asked how was the music by the Alex Mendham Orch. for Lindy Hop and Balboa. In general, not very good. Now to reiterate (as noted above), the Alex Mendham Orch. was excellent, and the vocalists, to include Alex Mendham, were first-rate. But overall the band played a lot of fox trot and ballroom type music – – not a lot of swingin’ arrangements for Lindy Hop and Balboa. I believe the band certainly had the talent and chops to play 1930s/40s swing era arrangements, but they really didn’t on this cruise. The band had a gig at the Swing 46 Club in NYC a couple of days after we disembarked. Mary and I had to get back home and couldn’t attend, but it would have been interesting to see what arrangements the band played for that gig.
Postscript 2. A word about Tom Pecena, Cruise Consultant/Travel Advisor who set up this vintage cruise and (and three previous ones). To summarize, Tom was a great Travel Advisor – very professional, he knows his stuff! He made all the arrangements, he communicated very effectively with me and Mary, and made worthwhile recommendations – – everything ran pretty smooth for the entire trip. Mary and I now plan to contact Tom for many of our other travel advisor needs.
Tom has plans for additional vintage cruises in 2025; space will be limited. If you are interested in an Ahoy Vintage Cruise contact Tom at [email protected]. or 214-761-1968.