I may never again holiday on board ship but if the QM2 transatlantic voyage is my only experience, I have no complaints.
We booked a restricted view, balcony stateroom 8023 for an eastbound crossing New York to Southampton. I read reviews and was concerned that the lifeboat would be a nuisance alongside the balcony, that having a connecting door would prove noisy, that the room would have too little storage, that we could not take wine on board, that the line for embarkation would take forever.
None of the above proved true. Embarkation was quick and efficient, we took three bottles of wine on board, our luggage arrived at our stateroom quickly. A half bottle of Fizz was provided with the room - very welcome.
The cabin was plenty big enough - who wouldn't want a bigger one if offered? The view was obstructed by a lifeboat but it was 4 metres away from the balcony and we had a view of the Statue of Liberty. During the voyage the lifeboat gave some shelter and one could see the ocean and sky. The balcony was pleasant, especially during the first few days. There are dozens of places to sit on QM2 and watch the ocean - we saw whales one time.
The bed was large and pillows were outstandingly comfortable - we both slept as unto logs. The shower worked well and the toiletries were of good quality. The sofa proved useful and the lectures that we missed were shown on the TV.
Each day we waited with anticipation for the programme of events and marked those that interested us. There was no shortage of activities to suit all interests. RADA was wonderful as was Harold, our Bridge tutor.
We chose the late sitting in the Britannia which proved right for us. Shows run twice and last just 45 minutes, this means that you can enjoy them regardless of which sitting you choose. 45 minutes is an ideal length for shows and lectures and it works well.
We opted to share a table of 8, which turned out to be a table for 6. Service in the Britannia at breakfast, lunch and dinner is superb. You can always eat from the buffet at Kings Court - especially if you want to eat a great deal or very little. Our dining companions were charming.
Music and other entertainments around the ship are varied and of high quality. Jazz, classical, easy listening etc. We enjoyed quizzes and the lessons in the casino, for $5 you can enter a roulette or blackjack competition with a prize for the ultimate winner. This was fun and a good alternative to playing for real.
Dressing for dinner was fun and created a sense of occasion. The balls, black and white and Ascot, were disappointing and may need a re-think. They are not that special. The G32 night club is fun. Drinks are pricey.
The only fly in our ointment was when a waiter returned my cruise card to another guest and his to me. We inadvertently used the cards and the Pursers office proved less than efficient in putting things right.
All in all though, a wonderful experience.