We just completed our first transatlantic cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2. We selected the Queens Grill. We were Q5. We can’t imagine going any other way in the future. We think we would rather save up and go once in QG rather than go twice in Britannia.
Due to a major northeaster storm and the coldest temperatures experienced in years, the boarding process was delayed and disorganized. A surprise health inspection by the USDA that delayed embarkation didn’t help matters either. Much of the responsibility for the disorganization belongs to the New York Port Authorities and not Cunard Line. The QM2 came into the port hours early ahead of the worst of the storm and was in position to accept us. However, the customs authorities and port officials were battling with horrible weather conditions and were delaying disembarkation. This sequence delayed boarding by quite a few hours, caused a huge traffic jam and we were all held in the boarding facility for a number of hours. Rather than departing at 5 in the afternoon as planned, sailing was delayed until midnight in order to accommodate late arriving passengers. The Commodore was forced by regulations to perform muster drills late into the night. I know many passengers were disturbed by the late night activity. But, it couldn’t be helped. We went to bed and missed going under the Verrazano Bridge.
The crossing was generally calm with only one bad day. Some days the sun was shining and everyone was walking the promenade getting exercise.
The ship was spotless. The public rooms were beautiful. Our stateroom was spacious, elegant and everything one would expect in QG. Someone fortuitously posted a video on YouTube of our cabin. Our luggage was in our stateroom waiting for our arrival. The bath was nicely appointed with lovely soaps, shampoos and wonderful towels and robes. Given that it was January, we didn’t think we would use our balcony, but the weather cooperated. We thoroughly enjoyed our private balcony with the deck chairs. The bed was most comfortable with luxurious linens. The TV swiveled and we could watch it from the sofa or the bed. There was a refrigerator in the room stocked with soft drinks. You were also given two bottles of spirits or wine.
If you are in QG, you have an assigned butler and assistant along with privileges in the concierge lounge, and the QG Lounge. In the evening our Butler would deliver canapés. The concierge lounge had tea and coffee available all day. If you needed anything you could get it from your butler or the concierge. No need to deal with the purser’s desk. You can get a full breakfast in your stateroom or eat in the QG. The concierge lounge also had breakfast pastries and muffins in the morning. It had finger sandwiches and sweets in the afternoon, if you didn’t want to go to the QG Lounge for formal tea. The concierge was there to handle all our needs from helping you with internet to booking car services or excursions. They were great and had a good attitude. They were very accommodating and really patient with the elderly passengers who needed lots of extra assistance.
It’s very easy to fill the days at sea. Both PG and QG have their own exclusive sun deck and hot tub. We actually used it. It was fun. The workout facility was very nice and heavily used. The library was also heavily used. The lecture series were really informative. We liked that they were recorded and run after 17:00 in case you missed one. We used the Canyon Ranch Spa. It was really nice. If you use one of their spa services, you will get a day pass to the spa. You can also buy a day pass. It is worth it to set aside some time to use the pool and sauna(s). They were great. At various times, there were dance classes. We took a few of them. They could be challenging when the ship rolls. We can do a tango now.
The QG dining was always elegant. The staff was really well trained, friendly and motivated. We found our fellow QG passengers to be warm, friendly, fun and excited to be in the QG. The food was mostly French/Continental. They did encourage you order off the menu. They would get you anything that you desired, if they could. One of our fellow table mates had suffered from a migraine episode. She wanted very simple food. They accommodated her and very tenderly cared for her. There was an entire section of dishes that were prepared tableside. One night we had a Indian menu, the next it was Chateaubriand, another night it was Beef Wellington. Other tables were having Duck L’Orange or Dover Sole. Wine was available by the glass or from the wine cellar. The sommelier provided assistance if requested. We brought a special bottle on board and he served it to us for a modest corkage fee. The food was rich and there was too much of it. But, it was the occasion of a lifetime and lived up to the billing.
Was it worth it? Would we do it again? Yes, absolutely. We are already planning the next trip. We are going to do the Westbound crossing next. It’s hard to please everyone and everything doesn’t always go perfectly. But, all things considered it was fun, exciting and the event of a lifetime.