This was our third cruise on QM2 in a year, previously we have done a TA and a Canaries cruise. This time Norway and the North Cape, the trip was really chosen for timing rather than destination but so glad we did see these places, the scenery was stunning and the weather incredible.
Embarkation. Last time we embarked at Southampton we got there early and had to wait for 90 minutes before we boardd. This time we arrived about 2.30pm and walked staright on - fab! We used Jayne Cruise (real name!) parkatmyhouseDOTcom for parking and transfers and she was excellent - a five minute ride from her house to the terminal
We got to our cabin - a balcony guarantee - we were mid ships so very pleased with that allocation. Luggage was there.
Cabin. I like the sheltered balcony cabins - think the layyout is as good as it is going to get - our steward was very efficient, we hardly saw him but that is fine by us. I asked for extra towels one day and he made sure we had them for the whole trip
Dining. We dined in Britannia, 2nd sitting. We usually have a table for two but decided on a table for 8 this time and so glad we did. We had 6 Americans the first night who had come over on a TA, 3 left 2 nights later in Hamburg where we were joined by a Canadian of German origin and a British couple. We had great fun at dinner. Food I think was the best of the 3 trips we have done and the service was good. At breakfast and lunch we did a combo of room service, Kings Court, Golden Lion and Boardwalk cafe. Only made tea in the Queens room once. Kings Court is indeed an enigma but always food available and somewhere to sit!
Entertainment. This was very good . rather than having the second sitting shows always after dinner (which i prefer) on some night s they were before, at 7 pm. I am not a big fan of variety but must say I enjoyed everything, there was very little repetition as the acts got on and off in variuos ports. We did see a singer Phillip Browne, the first night who said he would be back later in the cruise with a different show, well he was but it wasn't! We picked up a whole new bunch of passengers in hamburg so it was new to them!
Ports - Norway is no doubt a beautiful place. We were blessed with the most wonderful weather for most of our trip and sailing past the North cape in glorious sunlight at 10pm was amazing! The midnight sun is a strange phenomenon and so pleased I experienced it.
We did not do any organised tours but pottered about in the ports, Hamburg, Bergen, Tromso, Alesund, Andalsnes,Honinsvag, Trondheim Stavanger and Hamburg again. We were part of the famous Hamburg QM2 sailaway on our second stop - look on you tube for QM2 hamburg 22 June 2013......hundreds of thousands of people, amazing
Passengers. because of the itinerary the majority of passengers were German. Some nods to this were made, eg all announcements made in English and German, a German brunch one day, English/German bingo calling. When we dropped off the majority of passenegers in Hamburg we picked up a lot more just doing a 2 day trip to Southampton There were a couple of hundred Americans doing a whole trip too. I enjoyed the demographic, makes for great people watching!
Any downsides? I can think of a couple, we had a problem with our plumbing and had to wait several hours for it to be fixed - we did not have a problem with that but the information we were given by the Pursers office was incorrect and badly communicated. The worst thing was some of the behaviour of my fellow Brits about the Germans......very rude, loud, boorish comments about them which I was ashamed to hear