We have cruised for several years with P&O Oceana, Aurora and Ventura (Ventura big, creeks and plastic decks, never again)
We wanted to test out Cunard with a view to a transatlantic in 2013, having been to all the ports on this trip before, apart from Valencia so we could concentrate on the ship. We had an outside Cabin on deck 5 with what is described as an "in hull" balcony,. Our check in at Southampton was smooth as normal however we did seem to have a relatively long ques for the scanner. about 15 minutes !!
QM2 is Not a cruise ship, it is a transatlantic Liner we noticed this from the start..after we went straight to our cabin as we didn't get any other offers when on board and we found it to be much bigger than expected and the in board balcony was massive (compared to P&O) and when the sun was on our side gave plenty of sun. when sitting down you couldn't actually see out but i guess if its blowing a gale across the Atlantic it gives some nice shelter but plenty of fresh air. We had some lovely sunsets and breakfasts. We loved the very large promenade deck on level 7 lots of real teak, however on nice sunny days you need to be quick to get a deck chair !
Afternoon tea inthe Queens ball room is to die for, Harpist and Pianist included
Entertainment during the day is "ok" don"t expect izzy wizzy ...as its a relaxing and and sophisticated way of traveling. However i did learn to water colour, take your own paints or there is a fee for the materials...35 dollars..
The cabin steward was excellent and very friendly, we gave him an extra tip even though the gratuities were taken upfront and on each ticket..
We usually have a table of eight but for some reason we had a table of ten, all the other guest were pleasant and good company as usual..ranging from 45 to 70 in age and Engineer to Lt Commander.
With 5 formal nights in 10 days; if your not keen on dressing-up you will miss out on lots of evening fun .. if you can ball room dance or sequence then you won"t be disappointed, equally the B45 club goes on until very late if you like to boogie. our favourite was the Chart Room with live Jazz trio until after midnight.
The Pub food lunch time in the Golden Lion was excellent, Food second sitting in the Britannia was very good with just the correct size of portions and a good selection, wine from 30 dollars to 2548 bottle or 7 dollars a glass. If its not on the menu then just ask and they will try and accommodate. We dinned in the pay extra "Tod English" which although very nice and service was very attentive the portions were American sized and the restaurant was virtually MT so lacked atmosphere.
good points. relaxing, art deco traditional grand voyage feel lots of space. negative, we were billed 15 dollars corkage for the "complimentary" wine in our state room...some parts of the ship smell of cigarette's hardly worth noting..we loved it and will be booking the trans atlantic next year