WHY I BOOKED THIS CRUISE? As I had a voucher from my previous QM2 cruise I wanted to use it up and a longer cruise would be too expensive for a single person. I booked this cruise through an English agency who are very good.
TRAVEL TO THE PORT. I got the train from my local station which the ticket office is not normally open, it was this time but had no time. So when I arrived at Richmond I had to buy a ticket. It took ages fot him to work out my fare and I missed 2 trains! When I got to Waterloo my train was already pulling out, so I got something to drink and got the next one. These new trains are ok but there is nowhere to put your luggage. So I had to leave it by the door. When I arrived at Southampton Central there was no shuttle bus to be seen so I got a taxi to the dock. On my way I saw a shuttle bus in the city. On arrival at the dock my case was taken away and put straight on the ship. Then I found the queue virtually nonexistent except for a very few people. Every time I come there I usually have to wait a couple of hours and the computers always seem to go down. after x ray, My picture was taken and I handed my cruise card to put into their machine. No one to show me to my cabin! I found my way to deck 6. Found 6170.
ACCOMMODATION. I found a lovely large room with a shower and sink, a mini bar with only soft drinks. A safe that was locked from the previous guest. I told the steward but by evening the safe still could not be used. So I called reception once again and it was opened. A 2 seat sofa with wooden arm rests, a small table. 2 wardrobes. a large tv, and an enclosed balcony with 2 sun loungers, a small table and an open hole.
LIFEBOAT DRILL. This was very quick in the King's Court buffet, sitting down which was nice. No name checking off and as soon as we put the belts on we could go.
SAILAWAY. It was supposed to be 1800hrs, but it was later than this so I missed this as my dinner was 1800hrs.
FOOD. Dinner was in the Britannia restaurant, the food was good. Breakfast I had in my cabin which was good enough, I treated myself to the TODD ENGLISH on the last night and it was well worth the extra $30. I had clam chowder, octopus and squid, swordfish steak and creme brulee. A great feast.
ENTERTAINMENT. This was very good, singers and dancers were this best. The singer was not up to much as most left at this time. I missed the last night with the singers and dances as it was packed.
SHORE EXCURSIONS. I planned to book the Berlin trip at $284 for 13 hours but they were cancelled as no one was interested. A few other trips to Hamburg and surrounding places were available. There was a shuttle bus into town which was run free as it was quite a way into town. But the 1st was full so I walked in the harbour area which was 15mins walk. You could get a train from here 10mins into town. It was very busy today as well as being QM2 DAY everybody was coming there to see the ship and there was a motorcycle rally. I booked a harbour cruise on the "MISSISSIPPI QUEEN" around the dock area and passing the QM2 this took 75mins. It cost 20 euros.
SHOPS. A few good shops on the ship, Mayfair shops and Harrod's as well as jewelry shops. A good selection of things here, I bit less than last time as I got badges, cufflinks, tie pins before none of these were on sale.
ACTIVITIES. Bingo, dance classes, line dancing, bridge playing. Apart from these not a lot else.
NEGATIVE POINTS. Apart from the safe that was locked, my cabin was not made up very quickly after 11am mostly. Had to put make up room sometimes. then the day I was out put the do not disturb sign up and when I got back at 6pm the room still was not done.
Shore excursion cancelled, no comment form until I asked for one and then it was in French!
The interactive tv was great, you can read and send email, my friend said it was free to receive but it's $1.50 to send or receive. You can get restaurant menus when it's working, as it only worked on the 1st day.
Read your bill as it goes along, tipping is added to the bill at $11.00 per person per day. The captain's cocktail party was a waste of time. Had to queue up for a photo of the captain who was not even there. Then it was in the Queen's room where there was not enough seating. Then when the staff captain spoke it was just to tell us the captain was busy up on the bridge and couldn't come. Then that was it!!! There was no extra cocktail party for the World Club members which seems strange.
DISEMBARKATION. I woke at 5am to see us arrive in Southampton, 7am paid my bill then breakfast. Cabins had to be vacated at 0830hrs. then we were told to meet at different places. But mine was in the Royal Court Theatre on deck 2. When I got there they said this was for tours and I needed to go to deck 3, so up I went. Most of the people were leaving here as there were no audible accouchements heard in here. So most waited up on deck. My departure was shown at 0945 but in fact it was 0845 which was quite good. Straight off the ship pick up luggage and off into a taxi and a train home.
OVERALL IMPRESSION. The ship is lovely even without the minor problems, the highlight was all the people to meet us and see us off. but as its so expensive for single people I won't be going on Cunard again!!
P.S. Forgot about the minor hiccup. There was soot coming from somewhere and announcements were made by the captain and no alarm but it was soon sorted out. I could smell smoke though.