My partner and I have just returned home after a round trip on the Transatlantic on the QM2. We took in Halifax (NS) and New York before returning home to Southampton. This has been our third cruise on QM2.
I have read the reviews of several people that were obviously on the same cruise as us (judging by the dates) and would like to make my comments to their reviews first. I would like to confirm first of all that no where on the ship did it smell of sewage nor did we encounter any mould. This ship is 10 years old and is continually being maintained during cruise time, you can see teams of technical crew at work when you walk around. Of course it isn't going to be presented brand spanking new, but to over exaggerate and make false statements is unfair and misleading. Secondly, I am not sure what table the reviewer that complained about the escargot's was sitting at, but we certainly didn't see plate after plate being returned. And the base was a puff pastry, not 'a bread of some sort'. If you want your complaint to have substance, get your facts straight to start with. Thirdly, to the reviewer who complained about their balcony that had a steel front with rusted pipes.....read the description of the stateroom and balcony before you book next time, that way you won't be disappointed. As for the rusted pipes........the sea air contains salt.......salt oxidises metal.....really! If a bit of rust stresses you that much, I suggest learn to chill out a bit. In all honesty though, the rust is minimal and is not unsightly......we have stayed in one of these staterooms on a previous voyage so I speak from experience. On a fourth note, the Kings Court Buffet and to the reviewer commenting on the chairs and the trays etc.......I hope you entered a constructive suggestion into the 'Suggestions Box' prior to disembarking. I am sure Cunard would be interested in how else to prevent passengers from manhandling cleaned and sterilised food areas. The chairs in the Kings Court area were adequate for their purpose. Again, perhaps the complainer should offer some suggestions of what a Buffet lounge chair should consist of! All in all, I think these reviews are unjust and unfair made by people that obviously enjoy being miserable.
Our experience on this wonderful ship was nothing less than amazing. The staterooms were cleaned twice a day (well before midday I might add) and all public areas were constantly being cleaned. All crew members were extremely courteous and well mannered. The waiting staff in the dining rooms were real characters and went a long way to making the cruise a memorable one. Pool areas were always manned and assistance always being offered to those who required drinks, towels or instruction on how to use the deck facilities. Entertainment was great, although a couple of shows were repeated on the return trip (but that was okay as there was alternatives). Internet was fast and affordable. Formal nights are great.......if you don't want to wear your tux and gowns, then choose a different a ship....simple! Don't choose the QM2 and then complain about it. We are glad that Cunard uphold this dress code. It is great to be able to get dressed up for dinner without feeling over dressed. The Pursar's Office is manned by competent team members who were always able to answer our questions on pretty much all matters. The alternative dining experiences (Lotus, La Piazza, Coriander and Todd English) are all extremely good with bigger portion sizes than the main Britannia Restaurant and are exceptional quality. My only niggle was that at Lotus, La Piazza and Coriander we had to pay for water which we weren't told about (US$4.98 plus 15% service). No biggie, but it would have been nice to have been told. Todd English is a la carte prices (an average 4 course meal for 2 will set you back around US$68 plus any drinks - water is free!), the other three are a US$10pp cover charge. Casino was good fun and the staff are very friendly and helpful. Not being a gambler, all the tables were foreign to us.....the crew gave great instructions on how to play each of the games. Minimum bets are cheaper between noon and 6pm. The overall appearance and condition of the ship is in line with its age and 'star' rating (We would definitely give it 5*). The carpet in some heavy traffic areas are thinning but I am sure this will be remedied during its next refit. It is by no means unsightly though. The ships entertainment itinerary is very full and if you wanted a full on holiday, you could quite easily make it so. If anyone found the Transatlantic boring, then perhaps one should consider a stretch of water that has stop off points. We choose this voyage because we love the ship, its facilities, its safety record, the friendly crew, its sheer luxury and its seemingly never ending lovely, fresh food (food is available publicly until 2am......beyond this you can still get hot food delivered to your room - 24 hours at no charge).
All in all I would recommend the QM2 to anyone (whether you have been on 30 other cruises or not). She is beautiful and the crew we met certainly seemed to love what they were doing. If you want luxury, a sense of days gone by, dressing up, dance galas, endless entertainment then I am sure you will enjoy this magnificent ship and her crew. If you like mega screen (drive in type) movie screens, water slides, pool parties, anything goes dress attire......best you choose something else.
Hope this helps a little.