My college roommate and I cruise together every 5th year for our birthdays, and since this year is a landmark birthday for each of us, we went for the "whole hog" as they say and choice the QM2. We are so psyched for this, especially with all the media coverage and hype the last few weeks. Don't stress -- enjoy the excitement! This will be an adventure like no other! We get days of sailing (my favorite part) and then some nice days in port to poke around, enjoy the sun, do a little shopping.
We cruise a differernt ship each time so we always get to our cabin, hang up our dresses, and then seet out on a walking adventure on the ship so we get a fast good feel for where the different rooms are -- makes finding dinner and cocktails the first evening easier and more effecient. We pick a bar and a table and designate them as "ours" for the cruise. Here he have a predinner cocktail. It helps establish a place of familiarity in a vast unfamiliar place. You and your friend are welcome to join us some night if you are looking for a friendly (not younger woman!!!) face!
And I don't think you have to worry about younger women. I hear the average age is about 70 years old.
So, my advise before 10 May:
1. Coordinate your ensembles at home first (dress-shoes-jewlery), lay them all out so you know you have everything you need for each ensemble,
2. Write the ensembles down on a 3x5 card -- so when you are in your cabin you can pull our the items quickly and don't waste anytime wondering why you brought the pink shoes,
3. Pack as light as you can by then not taking things you don't need,
4. Take your seasick pill in advance of getting to the pier, and expect a magnificent time.
It has been my experience on the better ship lines that you come off relaxed and feeling like a princess. There is no better vacation when you really "need" a vacation!