Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by Terpitude: Quite Satisfied
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: New York (Manhattan)
My elderly father and I embarked upon the QM2 for a 12 night cruise to New England, the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec. Whilst we usually cross the Atlantic on the QM2 for holidays, we decided to venture a "cruise". As usual, we were delighted by the experience. We ate daily in the Britannia restaurant and found the food exceptional. We're a little curious as to why anyone would waste their money on Todd English and not eat in their assigned restaurant, but to each their own.
As has been discussed on other parts of this board, there was a outbreak of Norovirus on the journey. We think the Captain and crew did an exceptional job controlling this potentially catastrophic virus from taking over. Why I say "catastrophic"? I would estimate that 80% of the passengers were elderly, some quite old and frail. Norovirus can be life-threatening to someone with a compromised immune system, such as the elderly. Captain Oprey was doubtlessly aware of this and he and his crew did everything More possible to maintain a pleasant atmosphere whilst still containing the virus.
Some reviewers question the "authenticity" of the measures taken. I have experience in Public Health, and know that it's always a balance between the health and welfare of the passengers and their (natural) desire to enjoy themselves. The balance was carefully and considerately done, and apparently, only a handful of passengers actually got sick (news reports have it at between 8 and 15 out of a passenger complement of 2000+)
All this aside, the rest of the journey was extremely pleasant and fully up to the high standards of the QM2. We enjoyed our ports of call (though I was disappointed at the cancelation of my bike trip in Bar Harbor, but the fog was really bad). Our excursions were lovely, and our guides quite knowledgeable.
I've noticed on my several journeys on the Queen Mary 2 that many passengers make it a sport to complain about [fill in the blank]. As the last of her species, the QM2 is a wonderful exemplar of how to balance the needs of modern (and quite querulous) passengers with the mystique of long-ago ocean travel.
To be sure, it's not for everybody. Many folks are less interested in the nautical aspects of a journey and more into the entertainment, food, bars, whatever. If you want to take a journey back in time, enjoy days of peace and quiet and see a real ship in action, I highly recommend the QM2. Less
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Cabin review: ED5269
5269- the endmost cabin on the ship. You're above a pod, so be warned you'll know when you've arrived in NYC or Southampton. That being said, their's no public weather deck so you're at a dead end. It's also built for handicapped folks in mind, with the cabin being a bit larger and the bathrooms with handles everwhere, which is useful even to the non-handicapped in rough seas. Our favorite cabin - it's also low to the sea, so you don't notice the motion as much.
Port and Shore Excursions
Quaint, but kitschy. Nice harbor view though- make sure you walk on the harbor-side path to catch some great photos.
The terminal is quite close to the old downtown. We recommend you take the bus, then stop off at the Harpoon Brewery on the way back (it's an easy 10 minute walk from there to the terminal).
Be sure to bring your comfortable shoes, as the walking tour is quite extensive. A lovely city with a spectacular central park. Lots and lots to do.
A botanist and hortoculturalist's delight.
A great tour if, like us, you've never been. We had a very sharp guide and the coach gives you the ability to get a real feel for that part of the world.
This should be St. John New Brunswick. That being said, a lovely town. The photo tour was terrific and our guide very knowledgeable and helpful (I was a professional photographer for many years- he was spot on in his lectures). A good one-day city.
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Queen Mary 2