We embarked our cruise at Southampton. The cruise terminal wasn't great but we found the Cunard team very friendly and the boarding process slow but efficient. Having only every been on very small ships before (Seadream), we were staggered by the size of the ship and got lost several times a day, that wasn't a problem though, as we found it part of the fun.
We requested and got a table for two at dinner, the table was in a good position but was too close to a table for 8 making waiter access to both their table and ours difficult. Some tables for two were literally a few inches separation from other similar tables. We would have found this a big problem had we of been allocated one of those. Our waiters Ansell and Robert were brilliant and they made our dinning a pleasure. The vast majority of the waiting staff we met were also great but a small number were unfriendly and bordering on being rude. It surprised me that such people worked on the ship as I would have though that the QM2 was a prestige posting and Cunard would have been able to pick the best of the best. Similarly the staff in the bars were generally very good but one or two, particularly one in the Commodore Club who we complained about, were very poor. We found the food in the restaurant was of an excellent standard for such a large ship. Outside of the restaurant meals you could go and get even more food from the Kings Court on deck 7. The quality of the food here was very variable and we generally didn't like the area. It was dirty, untidy and wasn't up to the standard of the rest of the ship. It reminded us of a BHS cafe.
The entertainment was generally of a high standard and very professional. The Disco at the back of the ship was beautifully laid out with great sound and lighting, and we loved the soul band that played nightly called Vibz. Surprising, given that smoking is banned in discos & restaurants in most countries, Cunard allowed smoking upstairs in the disco. This unfortunately pervaded the entire disco, and because I suffer from Asthma meant that our visits had to be short. There was a similar problem in the Commodore club that has a smoking room off of one side of it. This again resulted in a disgusting smell in the lounge. This coupled with the rude staff member and the fact that the commodore club isn't up to the standard of say Queen Victoria, resulted in us not using this area.
Coming into New York early in the morning was a real treat. How the ship gets under the bridge that leads to the harbour beats me. The views on new york at dawn were just stunning.
Disembarkation was a nightmare. The lower the deck you are the longer you have to wait to get off. They give you an option to self disembark with your own luggage - if you can take it, otherwise like us you might literally wait hours to get off. And when you do the transport arrangements to the city are really poor and we had to with one and a half hours for a taxi. I would have though Cunard could have sorted something out for their passengers other than the high priced limos they do offer. This really wasn't good enough and you would have though simple to resolve.
As we watched passengers cases being disembarked, we saw several fall into the Hudson river due to the carelessness of the ships staff. The passengers holidays may well have been ruined by this carelessness and is another reason why I would recommend you take care of your own luggage if you can.
Although I've probably concentrated on services and people who performed poorly, overall we had a great time and felt that the cost of the cruse offered good value for money. We would definitely go on this cruse line and indeed this particular cruise again. I would like to see Cunard weed out the waiting staff who are not up to the required standard, sort out Kings Court and sort out the disembarkation arrangements in new York. None of it is rocket science and the difference it would make would be enormous.