Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by candango: Disappointment in QM2 Cruise
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Disappointment in QM2 Cruise
My wife and I have taken a number of cruises with four cruise lines. This was our first cruise with Cunard. I took away a few good impressions of the QM2: the library is excellent. I have always thought it was crazy for cruise lines to lock up their libraries. I thought they should just buy paperbacks and forget about the hard covers, and give people 24 hour access to them. With QMII, they have such an impressive collection it should be locked. Their non-fiction and reference sections are great, and the fiction is ample.
The ship is truly beautiful: great Art Deco style and tastefully decorated. You will be hard pressed to find a more attractive looking ship.
My opinions of the programs on our cruise are mixed, but primarily favorable. I expected the Julliard Jazz Orchestra and it was not there. (Had I known that in advance, I would not have taken the cruise. The entertainment on the cruise was competent, as you expect on every cruise – theme nights, show More tunes, accessible classical, etc.
The lecturers covered a variety of subjects, and are better than on any line I have cruised. The Royal Astronomical Society speakers were excellent – able to explain complex information for the amateur to grasp, and they were witty and available. The fellows who discussed 20th century composers of popular music and artists were also interesting. Some others appeared to be primarily concerned with selling books or products in which they have a stake.
However, there were a number of unexpected disappointments. The biggest was the food. My favorite meal is breakfast. Our immediate cruise prior to the QM2 was on Princess. Their breakfast menu varied seemingly daily, not on this cruise. I wake early and so initially went to the buffet to eat. The meats ranged from extremely salty to instant stroke. I could not eat them. They seem to have been cured in salt and then salted after the curing. The eggs were greasy, the pancakes flat and tasteless, and while the fish seemed appealing, that is not my breakfast custom. The pastries were un-changing Danish for the most part. After my first to ventures at the breakfast buffet, we decided to forego it and just wait for the Britannia to open. Every time we went for breakfast it arrived cold. I finally gave up and settled for the healthy -- a tasty mixture of oats, nuts, fruit and anything else natural I could find. I must say however, that the British and German travelers (who were the overwhelming majority) seem to have enjoyed the breakfast, even the beans and leek sausage. Overall, the buffet for other meals was comparable, I think, to the offerings of hinterland casinos, but far below other cruise-lines I have cruised or any major Vegas casino. The dinner offerings in Britannia were not bad. Not the haute cuisine that they try to portray it as, but decent or better.
Another problem I had with the ship was poor ventilation. The exhaust fan and air conditioning in the cabin, to us a car analogy, could not get out of 1st gear. The cabin steward said that it functioned as it was supposed to. For much of the cruise if we opened our balcony door for air, it sounded like a pack of wolves howling, thus making it impossible to sleep or hear. It seemed to me that the stuffiness extended to the hallways and stairwells, and almost anywhere that did not have a door to the deck that was being opened regularly.
Our veranda room was advertised as “partially obstructed view”. There coverage of the ship in their blurbs did not show this type of room, but it should have been advertised as “partially unobstructed” because our cabin had a boat blocking the view except for a few feet of sky above the boat. Beware of advertising nomenclature.
Also, I walked laps around the deck everyday, and at one section which had barrels/vats piled atop each other the odor of sewage reeked, I don’t know if there were a leak, certainly there could not have been, but for that 30 or 40 feet the smell was revolting.
The staff, as you might expect was a mixed bag. The cabin steward was excellent, as they generally are. The Trivia staff was the best I have encountered on any cruise, as was the librarian. The wait staff on the other hand was the worst. Unapologetically slow. If you asked for something it was as if you had intruded on their free time. It was the first cruise in which I went to the service desk and cancelled my gratuity plan, and tipped only those who I felt deserved it, and this included one fellow who cheerfully cleaned the public portions of the ship.
I must say, I don’t think most of my fellow passengers would share my views, but of course most of them were on for far fewer days than I. I don’t think we received anywhere near the value we paid for the trip. You can cruise other ships with far fewer discomforts and much better food and more accommodating staff than you will find on the QM2. Less
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