My friend & I joined the QM2 on November 30th for 11 nights of relaxation & pampering. After a fairly short wait at check in we stepped on board the QM2 on deck 3 opposite the Champagne Bar to be met by a very nasty smell. Assuming it to be left over from tanks etc being emptied we assumed it would clear later. It never did for 11 days the area they call the Grand Lobby had a nasty smell around it. We found our cabin 6234 & our bags were already there. Cabin seemed very pleasant so we unpacked & headed to Kings Court on deck 7 for a late lunch. What a disaster... I have been on 30+ cruises & I have never seen such a badly laid out buffet. It's mainly a long corridor with seats in it. The food selection & presentation were the poorest I've ever seen & while we had 1/2 nice meals on the whole it was unacceptable for a ship that considers itself a quality ship.Salad selection was minimal & cold meat at times on display was curled at the edges.I have seen nicer staff canteens than this Dinner in the Britannia dining room was mediocre at best & there were a few beef dishes so tough that I could not chew them. Service was slow & staff looked very unhappy. We had a table for 8 on the upper level so could not see very little of this room but our table companions were very good company thankfully as we often had long waits for food.
We then took a walk on deck 12 "the pool deck" I was expecting a luxurious resort type pool area with nice sun beds & seating area's .Not on this "Ocean Liner" Bare decks with furniture stacked in 1 corner. It was awful like the deck of a ferry boat. This is not a ship for those that like to sunbathe on the top deck & swim in pools there. Pools were more like paddling pools sitting on top of the deck & some of the hot tubs were badly peeling & needed replacing. The indoor pool was again basic & very poorly furnished. No feel of luxury in here either. At the rear of the ship is 4 terrace decks. 1 for Grill guests only & others with loungers around poorly designed & very small plunge pools. Deck area's were not even 2 star & certainly not 5. Inside the ship is a maze of corridors stairs & dead ends. The ship has no flow. The Grand Lobby is not grand at all with the sweeping staircases I admired in the brochure pictures leading into the side of elevators.
The theatre has avery bad design with a protruding square stage & therefore square seating around it. With poorly placed pillars a good seat here was hard to get. Not that the entertainment was a must see anyway. The singers & dancers seemed like a good group but the production shows just do not work. They are an odd choice of music & songs & were very dated & just old fashioned. The orchestra were very good but again music choices were very strange. The entertainment director (not cruise director) was on the older side & we only saw him here for 2 minutes at end of each show.
The planetarium (doubles also as a cinema) was very nice room but shows are short (maybe 20 mins) & this room seemed under utilised. More films on sea days would have been great or maybe a cookery demonstration.
The lounges on deck 2 & 3 are very nice as is the Lions Head pub & we enjoyed the pub lunches in here. Hot & tasty & I think best place for lunch on board,
The Queens Room is the most amazing ballroom at sea but is situated behind the restaurant so you had to go up or down & across the dining room to get to it. There was a line dancing class in here daily & ballroom dance class & in the evening ballroom dancing from around 8 to midnight. This is a stunning room but if you do not ballroom dance then there's nothing going on in here for you !!!! Afternoon tea is served here with white gloved service & it was very nice but service was very slow so we only went once. behind this room is G32 disco but sadly smoking is allowed here & room just stinks. We tried twice but smell was off putting.
The gymnasium on this ship is small & the worst decorated one I have ever seen & I certainly would not have wanted to use it.No luxury here. As the pool deck was so bad we bought a 6 day spa pass for the spa pool sauna's etc at $95. During that time various areas did not work & everyday something was closed for maintenance. Again this area was in a poor state of repair & requires an extensive upgrade. Treatment prices were expensive but probably on a par with other ships.
Queen Mary 2 is pretentious but there is no substance to deserve it. Calling your captain Commodore is fine but you have to deliver good quality in a luxurious setting. Ocean liner or cruise ship we are paying for a quality holiday & QM2 fails to do that in all area's.
I am very unsure where Carnival are aiming to go with the QM2. with an average passenger age of around 75 this ship is a floating ballroom appealing to gentlefolks & retirees of a post war era but sadly this ship offers nothing to my age (early 50's) I had high expectations & they were not met.