We enjoy crossings and using ships as a means of transportation and actually prefer crossings to port-intensive cruises. Thus we chose the QMII as a means to get to Europe for a reunion of friends in Paris.
Embarkation: Super-smooth, but probably because we arrived at 3:00 well after most passengers were on board. I recommend this option to others since Cunard's embarkations can be chaotic and crowded.
Stateroom: We were in 4142 with a sheltered balcony. The cabin was small with a tiny seating area and a mini-bathroom. The bed was good and there was plenty of storage space. Our stewardess did a terrific job of keeping everything clean and tidy and was very responsive to our requests.
The Ship: This is a truly beautiful ship with magnificent public spaces. It is so huge that one seldom feels crowded even though there are over 2,000 passengers on board. Spend some time in each of the public rooms and soak in the atmosphere.
Food: Adequate. We were in Britannia and always had acceptable meals at dinner time and at lunch, although none were out of the ordinary. We ate in Todd English once as a gift from our agent and it was very good and beautiful. TE now has an ala carte pricing policy, and a 3-course dinner costs about $35. We ate at Lotus and Coriander in Kings Court in the evenings and the food there was excellent, of the same quality as a good resto in a big city UK, US or France. Atmosphere, however, was tacky. The buffets in Kings Court are the weak link on the QMII. They are chaotic (nickname "King's Chaos") and the quality is ridiculously shameful. Avoid the buffets if you can.
Drink: We drink wine and the quality and prices were good. But we tired of being nickel-and-dimed for every drink, soft and hard. We prefer an all-inclusive in this area, but it is not available.
Service: Always very good, but exceptional in Britannia at dinner time.
Activities: One of the major reason to take the QMII. Exceptionally high quality enrichment lectures. Adequate fitness center where we never had trouble getting time on the machines late in the afternoon. We loved playing darts in the pub. You will never be bored on the QMII.
Entertainment: Exceptionally high quality jazz in the Chart Room and elsewhere. RADA staged several excellent high brow performances. These features are head-and-shoulders above the mediocre song-and-dance routines offered on most cruise ships (hello Belinda King?).
Disembarkation: I don't know what went wrong, but this was the only big problem on our trip. We booked a transfer to St. Pancras Station to take the Eurostar. We waited about 45 minutes in the theater to be called to leave, navigated through several lines before we were loaded chaotically on the bus, and then we sat for over an hour supposedly waiting for additional passengers who could not be accounted for. They never arrived, so our departure was delayed and we arrived at St. Pancras with no time for the leisurely lunch that we had looked forward to.
We arrived in Southampton relaxed and with no jet lag. Would we do this again? Definitely! And in fact we will return from Europe on the QMII. We love the ship, love the activities on board, and love the experience of being at sea.