OK, well, there was nothing really bad about the QM2, but I still came away from the cruise feeling dissatisfied. I am 60 y/o. I would guess the average age on this ship was probably 80 y/o. I mean there were probably 90 year olds plus roaming around this ship....no kidding. That's great, because when I'm 90, I hope I'm still inclined to jump on a ship and travel across the Atlantic.
So, not really knowing whether my problem with this cruise was the ship or the itinerary, I thought I'd just give you my impression of the QM2 and leave it at that.
First, the ship is laid out in a way unlike any other cruise ship I've ever been on. Yes, there's a small central atrium, but most "go to" spots are at either end of the ship or on deck 7, 3, 4, 9, 10 or 11. Get the picture? That's right, it's kind of spread out and almost hidden in a way. Get off elevator A on deck 9 and walk around to the right and "presto" you're in the Commodore Club. There's no real special entry or sign there to let you know it's there. In fact, if you had turned to the left, you'd have been walking past staterooms. For those of us who've cruised on other ships (including Cunard's Queen Victoria), the lay-out of the Mary is unusual. That doesn't mean it's bad, mind you, just, let's say, different.
It's obvious that the QM2 specializes, and expects you to take advantage of, the regular dining rooms for all meals. The buffet seemed to be an afterthought on this ship, and somewhat of a disappointment. They only open one or two of the food stations every three hours. So, if you are used to finding food at one corner of the buffet, you may find it closed the next time you visit the buffet. The food was OK both in the dining rooms and the buffet, but they still seem to be stuck in that old, bland British fare that, fortunately, the UK is pulling itself out of. Still, with an older clientele sailing on this ship, I'm sure the Chef would get more complaints if he tried to "rock the recipe boat"(pun intended) and introduce more contemporary offerings. They had 2 soft-serve ice cream machines in the buffet. One that didn't work well and the other that didn't work at all. I think the highlight of the buffet was the "Chef's Galley". This is a specialty sandwich area of the buffet that serves really decent burgers, hot dogs and designer sandwiches throughout the lunch hour.
Service....what can I say. It's the Cunard. How could you ask for better service? The crew that work on these ships seem pleased to be there. They are happy to help in any way they can, and genuinely care about you while you are a guest on their ship. I have yet to find a Cunard crew member that is anything less that professional and congenial. With that being written, let me just mention a crew member on the QM2 that, I feel, is truly exceptional. His name is Atilla (from Hungary) and he is the Assistant Dining Room Manager. The man is a machine. I mean he never, never stops. One minute you'll see him on the lower dining room floor picking up dirty plates, and (honestly) literally, the next minute he'll be seating some people at the table next to you. He is, without question, the most phenomenal worker I've ever seen on any cruise ship. What's more, the smile never leaves his face the whole time. He will absolutely captivate you if you are at all into noticing how hard service people work on these ships.
We are not keen on attending the shows in the theater on any ship we sail. They seem to all have the same idea of what's entertainment, and I think another Cruise Critic reviewer said it best when he described it as one step above a high school musical. This transatlantic voyage, however, had 3 or 4 lecturers on board during the daytime, that seemed to captivate all travelers across the age spectrum. Kudos to Cunard for choosing people to speak that so many of your guests would love to hear.
Cunard is known for providing laundry rooms on each deck for its passengers(unlike Celebrity and Royal Caribbean...booooooo to you).Thank you, Cunard! These little rooms have 2 ironing boards and 4 washers and 4 dryers (all for free including detergent).
OK, so why did I have this feeling of lack luster after the QM2 cruise was completed? I'm thinking that the journey was really one of utilitarian nature. I was sailing from one place to get to another. I should not have expected to be mesmerized by the ports of call, the scenery or tropical weather any more than I would be taking a commuter train between New York and Washington,D.C. This cruise got me whare I wanted to go in comfort and without distress. What more could I ask?