We have just returned from a 6 day cruise to the Norway Fiords aboard the QM2 and found the experience to be totally outstanding. The main difference to this cruise, as to others we have been on such as the Oriana and CostaAtlantica, is that the QM2 is an ocean liner, with its attendant style and ethos, whereas the latter ships are purely cruise ships.
We arrived at Southampton at the prescribed time and our luggage was taken from us. We went through a really efficient boarding procedure and were on board within ten minutes and to our amazement found our luggage already in our suite.
We were booked in Queens Grill accommodation and went immediately for lunch, which was the first of a number of truly wonderful dining experiences. One could choose from the table d'hote or a la carte menu - the latter featuring caviar, smoked salmon, escargot, dover sole, chateaubriand etc - the former featuring an excellent choice of starters, entrees and desserts. The wine list was extensive and reasonable - at the first lunch I chose a 2003 Muscadet sur lie to accompany my smoked salmon and dover sole and this was 20 dollars for the bottle. The waiters and sommeliers were outstanding and truly professional throughout the cruise.
We toured the ship and found it to be truly elegant and very roomy. Certainly the feel of the ship mis far classier than such as the Oriana and one feels that it is the modern equivalent of a time when transatlantic voyages were the way to travel.
Although restaurant is assigned by the cabin one chooses one does not get any feel of a class ridden ship. All the activities are open to all and the choice is down to the individual. After saying this the range of options is quite extreme with on the one hand there being acting lessons by RADA and a full length play staged by them or a string quartet giving a concert or the restaurant sommeliers providing a wine tasting - whilst on the other there are bingo, Karaoke and darts tournaments provided in the Golden Lion pub. The latter seem more at the traditional cruise end of the market and the former at the liner end of the market but both seem to work in harmony and certainly one can easily avoid the area of the ship providing the activity you want to miss !!
In all the QM2 is the best ship I have sailed on by a country mile and when one compares prices is far better value than its equivalents in P&0. For example I have travelled on a 7 day cruise on the Oriana in one of its best suites and paid considerably more than a Q5 level suite on the QM2 and the food and service do not begin to compare with the 5 star level of the Queens Grill.
Thank you Cunard for a wonderful experience - you certainly provide a high quality alternative to traditional cruising on a majestic ocean liner.