Some friends and myself elected to take a short 2 night trip on the QM2 from Southampton to Hamburg, partly as a weekend away, but also as I wanted to see what the ship was like before taking a transatlantic crossing later in the year.
We booked direct with the line and it was all very easy. There were two of us sharing a Q6 suite on Deck 9 and I was able to call and pay my balance separately from my friend and found the whole booking process easy and straight forward. Voyage Personaliser on the Cunard sight allows easy input of personal details and to view your documentation.
We arrived at Southampton and were impressed with the quick and easy checking for the trip. Bags were taken from us kerbside and were seen again a little later in the suite. There were 2 of us in Queens Grill and the other 4 in Britannia, but they allowed us to all check in together and after that, we waited maybe 5 minutes before the called the first people for boarding. We were all allowed to board together and were through within a few minutes. On to the ship and met by some very friendly and helpful staff, we were given directions to our suite and told that out butler would be there to greet us, which he was.
The only downside of the whole experience, which we did not let bother us, was unfortunately our Butler. Did his job, but certainly was not interested in anything we asked for, was not overly friendly or approachable and never smiled for the whole 2 days. Was a little disappointing, however, he was the only member of staff on the whole ship who had that approach or attitude. Every other member of the crew were lovely, helpful, smiley and happy to assist if we needed some help. We wrote him off as a bad apple in a very large barrel.
The suite was absolutely delightful. Much has been discussed about the recent refurbishment to the ship, and I think they did a very nice job... I even like the new carpet! *eek* The space in the Q6 was really nice, well laid out, and just right. The suite was very clean and well maintained, everything worked and everything was supplied as required in terms of amenities in the suite its self. We loved the size of the balcony, which had a small square table and two steamer chairs which were very nice to relax on.
We were only on the ship for 2 days, and have not even scratched the surface of things to do onboard. I was a little worried that on the transatlantic crossing, I may be bored, however, having now been on the ship, i can't believe all the different things that there is to do. All of this on top of eating and drinking that seems to be endlessly available throughout the day.
We found the dining in the Queens Grill restaurant to be wonderful. We had asked for a table for 2 when we booked but were allocated to a table for 6 for lunch on the first day but asked if we could be moved for dinner, and when we turned up, hey presto, we had a table for 2. The staff were all lovely and the food wonderful. I did not have anything which I did not like, but knew that if something was not for me, I could have asked for something else. Portion sizes just right, at the end of the meal, I felt satisfied, but not overly full.
We spent the first night in G32 night club... We were not overly impressed with Vibz, the band, however, the DJ, Chris was great. Really played to his audience. A lot of modern stuff, aimed at the large number of young and young at heart guests in that evening and I danced the night away, having a great time... We found the drinks to be of a very reasonable price, cheaper than what we regularly pay in central London, and thought nothing of ordering what we wanted and enjoying it.
We used Kings Court twice... Once at 03:00 in the morning for nibbles after dancing, and the on disembarkation day... And on the second occasion, yes, it was blinking busy... However, within a minute or two, we had secured a table for 6 (no mean feat I can assure you!) and had piping hot, fresh food which was lovely. Self serve ice-cream being my downfall, but hey! Everyone has a week spot!
We have all already said that we want to book another trip on Cunard and on the QM2... We can't believe that it has taken us so long to realise there is this wonderful way of relaxing a holidaying out there... And all wish we had started sooner...
We did feel a little on the young side of the passenger scale, but there is a lovely mix of passengers that we came across, that we felt very comfortable and, as a group of 6 gay men, we felt very safe and comfortable in terms of how people would be with us... Not that we were overly worried, and although some may think it is a silly thing to worry about, but some places and people do have a slightly off-side reaction to gay people these days....
So, overall, outstanding... Small issues with the Butler, but we can't wait to get back to it!