We sailed the Transatlantic and Autumn Colours cruises on the QM2 between 8th October and 27th October 2013. My wife and I have not sailed with Cunard before, but have sailed with other cruise lines.
When we first boarded we thought we were going to be in for a tough ride as things seemed tired and not of a standard we’d anticipated from the brochures. We stayed in a deck 12 stateroom with an unfortunate interconnecting door, that had to be taped up by the steward, otherwise we might as well have shared the cabin with the couple next door!
We dined in the Britannia Club restaurant and from here on in things got a lot better. The service was exemplary and the meals were wonderful for each of the 19 days we sailed. I cannot praise this enough. We dined in Todd English once, and whilst the menu was also excellent, the light heartedness and genuine service of the Britannia Club won us over. As the weather was generally bright throughout the voyages, lunchtimes were joyous watching the sea and sky from the restaurant windows.
I found the ship itself fascinating. There are so many places to go and things to do, and of course Cunard has a very strong sense of history, evidence of which is proudly displayed everywhere and referred to in the daily programme.
The entertainment venues were excellent and we thoroughly enjoyed all the shows we were able to see: dance shows, comedians, lectures, some movies and the planetarium. We hardly touched on everything that was available, there really was a wide variety and I imagine something for everyone.
We’d been to all the ports of call previously, Bar Harbor and Quebec are old favorites of ours. We’d not docked in Brooklyn before, which was a little out of the way. However, the view of Manhattan from the QM2 shone in the bright sunshine, along with the Statue of Liberty, so there are sight seeing advantages to the Brooklyn cruise terminal after all.
We got a shock at Newport, Rhode Island, with the tender service queues - never seen anything like it! So we abandoned that outing! We had a tender to ourselves when going ashore at Bar Harbor, but didn’t want to get off for fear of having to queue to get back on! Most other people seemed to take the queueing in their stride though. This wasn’t such a big deal as the ship is our destination, as they say, so we’re not too bothered about the ports.
Not being an all inclusive cruise made this trip a little more expensive than we’d anticipated so I’m not sure it represented good value for money in comparison to other cruise lines. Then again, the ship itself is something special and it’s not every day we get to travel on such a large and fascinating ocean liner!
Even in 19 days we didn’t get to experience everywhere, but of what we did experience the outside decks, the Britannia Club and the Commodore Club were our favorites. There were other nice things too, except the Kings Court which seemed to us akin to a motorway service station.
That said, we enjoyed an amazing ocean liner and were looked after by a wonderful and professional crew. The weather was wonderful, the sea was wonderful, so we’re very happy to have got over ourselves at the start of the cruise and had a fantastic trip!
Oh and something else! That funnel is impressive... the size of it, the red paint, the noise of the horns! When you go up to deck 13 and see it for the first time, you know something good is going to happen!