The Queen Mary 2 Eastern Transatlantic Crossing is a phenomenal way to get to Europe and should be experienced at least once by everyone who travels. It's like a 7 day vacation before your vacation. The ship is beautiful no matter what other critics say about it looking worn, we saw none of that. Most of the passengers are seniors and due to the large percentage of German people, all announcements are made in German as well as English. There were very few families with children as the QM2 does not have children's activities. We made many new friends on the second day thanks to a Meet and Greet organized through participation on the Cruise Critic Boards before sailing. Lots of good information to be found in the Boards and Reviews on this website.
Our inside cabin on Deck 5 Aft was adequately spacious with the largest shower I've seen on any ship. The bed and bedding were luxurious to the point where we were so comfortable and slept so well, it was an effort to get up in the morning. One drawback was that the hair dryer is tethered to the inside of a drawer which made it somewhat awkward to use.
There are so many activities, it's difficult to coordinate everything you want to do, i.e. lectures, movies, dancing lessons, trivia contests, seminars, scarf tying lessons, etc. High tea is served daily at 3:30 pm but we only attended once because we had first dinner seating and were not hungry enough for dinner after having the tea with sandwiches and pastries. The library is outstanding, beautiful wooden cabinets housing every author you could imagine. The weather was not warm enough to walk the deck but some brave souls did so in their winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves. The pool has a retractable roof which always had to be closed so we were able to sit on lounges and read as well as listen to a really good live band in the afternoon. Even though there were some rough seas on a couple of the days, the ship's stabilizers were so efficient there was hardly any notice of motion. Every evening there is ballroom dancing in the Queens Room but it didn't start until 9:45 pm so I only attended twice but was pleased to be asked to dance a few times by the gentlemen escorts as they are called who are very attentive and dance with all the single women; that was fun. We didn't get to see a Planetarium show because tickets must obtained at 9 am all the way forward on the ship and the one time I got there, all the tickets were gone already. The entertainment, in my opinion, was top notch and we thoroughly enjoyed every show. We dropped a few dollars in the casino every night as they had lots of penny slot machines for the big gamblers like us. The service by all of the crew is impeccable, everyone is cheerful and bends over backwards to please. The only negative comment I would make is the food which I found to be mostly geared to the Brits and German people, not many choices at dinner, just four entrees and those were not very appealing. Other cruise lines offer alternatives of steak and fish if a passenger cannot choose from the regular entrees offered on any given evening. Queen Mary 2 does not. Not that we starved however, I just found the food to be much better on other cruise ships. The wine and drink prices were comparable to other cruise lines and the 15% gratuity is always added automatically (for the people who object to this, it is standard on all ships). The disembarkation in Southampton was the most efficiently organized disembarkation I have ever experienced. When our colorwas called, we walked off the ship with no lines, located our suitcases and were in a taxi within 10 minutes. ( Immigration is accomplished on board the ship during the week, also very organized according to deck.) Would I like to make this crossing again (as many people do many times) ? ABSOLUTELY !!