This was our first cruise with Cunard and it was with high expectations we boarded the ship in Hong Kong after spending an enjoyable, somewhat frenetic week in Honkers during Chinese New Year.
A very convoluted process which I can only assume was necessary due to the large number of people (close to 2000 I understand) who boarded in Hong Kong. We were processed at the airport which s quite a trip from the city and then taken on a half hour coach ride to embarkation. Problem was there was little of no communication during the process.
In fairness I should add that disembarkation was the opposite. Very smoothly done and well organised.
We were on deck 5 cabin 5181 which has obstructed view due to the balcony being enclosed up to about a metre - i.e. when sitting you could not see outside the ship. Room was your stock standard balcony view stateroom with nothing that would really set it apart from other ships. Plenty of hanging space and storage. The bathroom was slightly larger than we have experienced and it was refreshing that the shower stall itself had more space than those to which we have been accustomed.
We did find out during the cruise we may have been able to upgrade for a fee and it was disappointing this had not been offered.
We have been on about 12 cruises and the food on the Queen Mary was the best we have experienced. From full cooked breakfasts in our stateroom to five star quality food in the Britannia Restaurant and the Todd English speciality restaurant we could not fault the food. In fact this was the first time we have been on a cruise that we did not take a meal in the food court because we did not want to forgo the opportunity to have a quality meal with outstanding service. As an example of the food quality, on previous cruises we have steered clear of food such steaks and other like meat dishes because they can be very tricky to prepare. However on the Queen Mary no such problems. Special mention must be made of the beef wellington on day 16 of the cruise which was best I have ever eaten.
In general terms the food was varied, servings generous (and you could always have more by request)and you could (as we did) design your own side dishes to have with main courses.
One of the highlights for us was the afternoon tea which we took in the Queens Room and I would thoroughly recommend this to future QM2 cruisers.
As on all previous cruises service was outstanding. I must make particular note of our sommelier Andreas, waiter Baiba and our assistant waiter, Krishna. Their service was seamless, friendly, never obtrusive and very, very efficient. All three I would suggest have great futures in the hospitality industry.
Our cabin attendant, Argie, was very attentive and accommodating, nothing was too much trouble.
The high level of service throughout the ship, which, like the food, was the best we have experienced, made this a most pleasurable cruise.
If there was a weak spot on the cruise it was entertainment which I could only describe as average. Only a few were of a standard you would expect on such a prestigious ship. After a few disappointments we didn't venture back.
We only took one shore tour and it was well organised and good value for money. Our tour guide through Shanghai spoke excellent English, was knowledgeable and very experienced.
Generally in the older bracket. The ship is not really suited to children and teenagers and below thirties would probably find it difficult to keep themselves occupied on a long cruise.
The star of the cruise is the ship. It is breathtaking with huge indoor spaces and never feels crowded. All facilities are impeccably maintained and with 2500 passengers on a 150,000 tonne ship there is plenty of space. The theatres are outstanding and the best afloat we have experienced. As a transatlantic liner outdoor areas such as pools are limited but this is more than compensated by the huge interior rooms, bars and other facilities. The library is a joy and a great place to relax and take in the view from the front of the ship. The casino was great fun and a hive of activity, often to the very small hours.
Wide open decks complete the picture for this very impressive, well designed ship.
Very enjoyable and would recommend. We will take another cruise on this ship when the opportunity arises.