We both are well traveled and we enjoy cruising. We do not enjoy flying anymore, so we decided to give the Queen Mary a try as a means of transport from Europe to New York or Viceversa.
We had booked a transfer with Cunard from London to the ship. The bus departs from Victoria Coach Station at around 12.00 pm. It takes about 2 and half hours to arrive to the ship. There is no water or any thing for transfer passengers at the Bus Station or at the bus itself. There was a Burger King next to the waiting room, where you can buy something to eat or drink. The use of the toilette costs. I think about half a pound. Transfer itself was uncomplicated.
Once at the ship, we made sure that we saw our luggage being transferred from the bus by the porters. Embarkation was smooth and one hour later we were at our room. There was a half bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us.
We have booked a balcony cabin, which was on sale, without realising that it was an obstructed view category. The room was fine but we had a life boat in front of us. The weather was not very conducive for using the balcony, so this did not bother us very much. It was convenient to have fresh air though.
Once our luggage arrived to our room, we noticed that my luggage (a 6 months old Samsonite luggage, which is supposed to last at least 10 years) was damaged. The handle was broken making the handling of the luggage impossible.This has happened between the delivery at the port and our room, since we had previously seen the luggage undamaged. We had taken the luggage to the guests services and they have given it to their carpentry for repair. It was miserably fixed. We complained and were told that we should make a claim at our non existent travel insurance. What??? You have to be kidding! In any airline when this happens, the airline will cover the replacement of the luggage, specially if it is of a high quality. But not in Cunard. We insisted that they repair it properly, which they have tried to do. Unfortunately, it looks so fragile, that I am afraid it will break again in my next trip. Imho, they should have given us an immediate refund for a new suitcase. What a souvenir from my transatlantic with Cunard: a damaged expensive Samsonite suitcase...
Food at the Britannia restaurant and at the Kings court was under average. We were surprised from the low quality offered at the QM2 since the prices of the passage are quite high. Making numbers, 7 nights with the Queen Mary cost about the double than with Royal Caribbean. Food at Royal Caribbean is in the MDR and in the Wind Jammer much better than at the Britannia and the Kings Court. Sorry guys at Cunard. You might not like the comparison to Royal Caribbean, but a comparison to Celebrity or Azamara would be worse. Room service was at the QM2 for us the best option towards the end of the seven nights crossing. Very good was afternoon tea with scones.
The balls were rather boring. We love to dance, but looking at the dancers moving at the dance floor as if they were zombies, following learned steps as counting them was not very inviting. Of course there were exceptions and some couples were a pleasure to watch dancing.
Excellent in the QM2 was the library and activities during the crossing. We found RADA performances great! We have also enjoyed enrichment lectures, specially the one from Eamonn Gearon. The opera Carmen as a 3D movie was amazing! The planetarium was good too. The pictures of celebrities crossing with the Queen Mary gave a very nice touch. We both love animals, specially dogs. We found very good the possibility of transporting dogs with the QM2!
A highlight was the arrival in New York. What a view of the liberty statue! Disembarkation was smooth.
In summary, a transatlantic crossing with the QM2 is an alternative to flying. We would probably do this crossing again because of this reason. If we can take a repositioning ship with Celebrity or Royal at time of the crossing, we will prefer those instead of the QM2.