This was my first cruise on Cunard's QM2, and the 12 day holiday cruise was eagerly anticipated by myself and my travelling companion. We were also part of a larger tour group organized out of NY. And although the ship did experience a number of norovirus cases, no one I knew was affected, and the ship's captain and crew took enormous steps to prevent a further outbreak. As a result, I had a very nice cruise and it was certainly comparable to many others I have taken.
To start off, Cunard did a great job delivering our luggage, which arrived about an hour after we boarded the ship. Our stateroom as quite nice, with a good size balcony.
The service on the ship was excellent. Our stateroom attendant, dining room waiters, etc. were all great. White gloves are standard on Cunard.This is a formal cruise, and more than half the days required tuxedo, etc. If you like formality, Cunard is a good choice.This might also be because it was the holidays.
The Queen Mary 2 is a lovely ship. One of the nicest I have been on. There are unique features, like the Planetarium and on board lectures. Afternoon Tea is a highlight. It was definitely an older crowd, with far fewer children or teens than you would expect for a holiday cruise. The specialty dining rooms,esp. Todd English and the Indian fare, were excellent. The good has a definite British slant, which means great fish and chips, but a breakfast and lunch buffet that definitely needs greater variety and spice. Better to take these meals in the main dining area, where the food choice is better.
On the third day, the Captain announced that several cases of norovirus had been reported and precautions were being taken to prevent further outbreak. This meant that the usual serve yourself buffet was not available, and that attendants had to serve you everything--including all beverages. This was frustrating for those of us who want to serve ourselves, but it is a minor inconvenience. Certain events were cancelled, as well, but other than the lack of handshaking and the persistent presence of hand sanitizers, the cruise continued. But neither myself nor any of my travelling companions were affected by illness, and I think the actions taken definitely prevented further outbreak. The ship's crew worked so hard sanitizing everything all the time, it was inspiring to see their hard work--disinfecting handrails, elevators, and all common areas all the time.
I wanted to write this review so people know that this cruise was not ruined due to the presence of an unfortunate outbreak. The ship worked really hard to prevent further outbreak, and heroically stemmed the situation. As a passenger, I was not affected and experienced only some minor inconveniences. All in all, a very nice cruise.