Cunard Cruise Line This was our second Cunard Cruise, our first with this line in 13 years, we have done 18 cruise with Princess, 8 cruises with HAL and 12 cruises with Celebrity. We booked a B5 balcony on a promotion for less than $1500 each. I booked my own air with a direct flight with Continental Airlines. Picked up bags at Laguardia got my bags and was in a cab on the way to the terminal within 20 minutes. Took 30 minutes in a $34 cab ride to terminal due to construction, accident and heavy NY traffic. Gave porter bag at pier.
Embarkation: Waited in line for an hour before they started taking people. Ship had off loaded in NJ prior to coming to Red Hook. We were on the ship with in 20 minutes after the line started to move.
Cabins: The cabin 8102 (cat. B5) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony was nice with two plastic lounge chairs and a table. The shower is similar to what we get on Celebrity with a hose and wand arrangement. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. My wife enjoyed the bath robes. The bed was comfortable and my wife liked the room.
Public Areas: The public areas are nice, but the ship is confusing. Finding the Queens room and ConneXions involved going down a stair and a long hall. The ship is large and feels that way. Enjoyed the Golden Lion Pub, they have pub lunch daily and music and dancing at night. Met many passenger that I had talked with previously on the internet in a meeting on the second day in the Commodore Club. They had good shows on board and we enjoyed the entertainment. There was plenty of activities to keep you busy all day including lectures and classes of all kinds. They had Planetarium shows in ConneXions and you had to pick up the free tickets early or you were out of luck, don't miss these. They had a fine library and I read a couple books on sea day. Shops were pricey.
Dining: I requested 2nd seating traditional dining when I booked and I got nice table for two in Britannia with a good waiter too. We ate all our meals here except when we had early tours. We went to open seating for breakfast and lunch in the Britannia Dining room every day when not on tour. The main dining rooms was not full due to number eating in King Court. We had pizza, cookies and burgers several times for a snack. The Britannia restaurant was nicely decorated and the food varied from excellent to good, but not up to Celebrity standards. The food in the King Court was also good.
Tours: We did tours in all the ports but Sydney as we had been there before. In Corner Brook we did the Captain Cook's Trail tour and they stopped at a nice church for home made snacks and homemade gifts you could buy at the end of the trail. We had a nice time with some nice people. In Quebec we did the all day tour with lunch, went to Montgomery falls, had a good lunch at Augerge Baker Restaurant, visited St Ann's church, and we did a city walking tour on the way back. In Halifax we did the coastal drive to embarkation: Peggy's Cove. In St. John's we did the Highlights tour and saw the reversing river. High seas forced us to not go to Bar Harbor, a tender port, but we went straight to Boston instead and docked there over night. I had been to Bar Harbor before. In Boston we did the Harbor Cruise and in Newport we did the Grand Mansions tour. Tours were all fine and the wife came home with some nice memories and goodies.
Disembarkation: This was slow to start, but we were off a 9:30 AM. Customs had a long line and when we got to the Taxis there were 20 in line and 2 taxis. Rather than wait an hour, I took a limo right a way and it cost me $64 to Laguardia and we were there by 11 AM. Got plane at 4 and was home by 6 PM.
Overall, I was satisfied. I put a $600 per person deposit down on a future cruise to be designated later. This locks me in to discount and nice on board credit. Most of the problems centered around confusing layout of the ship. My wife has been wearing her QM2 tee shirt which is a sign that she enjoyed the trip. I recommend the ship, and hope to see some of you on her in the future. Next years cruise is 2 days shorter and skips 3 ports which is a shame because we enjoyed Corner Brook and St. Johns.