Sailing westbound from Southampton to New York on La Grande Dame (Queen Mary 2) is like taking a step back in time. It's a luxurious and elegant mode of travel.
There's no island hopping and no day-trippers. This is life on the high seas as of yesteryear. And it's one big fancy dress party!
We were in a Princess suite with a private balcony, comfortable sitting area, mirrored dressing table and a marble bathroom. Numerous cupboards and large walk-in wardrobe gave the game away; Cunard don't expect their passengers to travel light and if you like to dress to impress, you won't be disappointed here.
The passenger ticket stipulated: A Black & White Ball, A Big Band Ball and an Ascot Ball (headwear optional).
Three formal black tie nights are a tall order for anyone. But it's more cocktail dresses than evening gowns and there was quite a loose interpretation of that from what I witnessed on the dance floor.
So when packing your travel trunk think more wedding reception soiree than Cinderella going to the palace ball.
The QM2 is 1,132ft long and its grand interior is a mixture of polished wood, marble and chandeliers. Sweeping staircases make for the perfect entrance, and she boasts the largest ballroom at sea.
There are three smart restaurants to dine in depending on your choice of stateroom - the Queen's Grill, Princess Grill and the Britannia Restaurant, all with 'white-glove' service.
Like a lot of hotel groups, the ship also has its own signature gourmet restaurant with American celebrity chef Todd English. The best tables overlook the pool terrace and it's worth paying the extra tariff for the sheer pleasure of dining there; the fillet steak melted in the mouth.
The daily routine was so relaxed that I found the voyage to be the ultimate 'switch off'. No mobile phones and no contact with the outside world. None of the usual holiday hassle of car hire or taxis and airports. Six nights at sea with a panoramic vista of nothing else but the Atlantic Ocean.
After breakfast in the room, mornings were spent power-walking the promenade deck which goes full-circle. With the wind in your hair and all that wonderful fresh air it really is the ultimate tonic.
There are pools, whirlpool baths, hot tubs and numerous sunbathing decks to choose from. Relaxing in a lounger with a blanket to shield the breeze and tucking into complimentary cucumber sandwiches was rather lovely.
The weather was mixed. We had three sunny days, quite a bit of rain and heavy fog. For two days the sea lashed against the ship and the whistle blew every ten minutes. The QM2 has four - two on the funnel, one on the mast and one on the bow. The starboard one is the original whistle from the Queen Mary and they can be heard for over ten miles.
At night it felt very surreal, a bit like something out of Titanic. Oh, and just to prepare you, they play the theme music from the film in all the public areas!
There are some modern touches too. Cunard offers an extraordinary choice of recreation over 14 decks, including sport facilities, shops, bars, lounges, and more casual dining. There's a planetarium, theatre, cinema, casino and library and daily programme of activities from 6am to 5pm.
Heading west, the advantage of clocks going back an hour each day is that you gain more time to enjoy the ship. But, like many other women on board, I found my self caught in the rigmarole of 'hair and make up', Having to don your glad rags for six nights on the trot became an additonal daily regime.
With so much excitement going on at night, I spent most of my days in the Canyon Ranch Spa Club. They have health resorts in Tucson, Arizona and Lenox, Massachusetts which are famous for world-class pampering.