My wife and I just returned from a combined eastbound transatlantic, Norway (14 days), and westbound transatlantic trip for a total of 28 days. This was our 19th voyage with Cunard and 44th cruise overall. We have cruised on the QM2 10 times in the past and unfortunately the quality of the cruises have declined over time. As one cruiser quipped the " QM2 has been Carnivalized."
The ship itself is still great with plenty of room, even with a full ship. Its four sets of stairs and elevator banks make moving about the ship easy. The ship handles the seas of the North Atlantic with the aplomb of the great lady she is.
But a lot of little things have shown declines in quality over the years. The toilet paper and tissues in the staterooms are now below that found in the restrooms at Walmart. The paper towels in the public restrooms are smaller in size and disintegrate when moistened. (whatever happened to the clot towels of yesteryear.)
The ship needs a through cleaning.
We had two different waiters during our trip and both were excellent. The food they served was not. The appetizers were very good, the soups varied from thick to thin (for the same soup) and the beef (except for the beef wellington) tended to be on the tough side. The fish dishes were okay except for the night they served "monkfish tail" which was tough and fibrous.
The entrees now consist of one pasta dish, two vegetarian dishes and a fish, a fowl , and a meat dish. It seems they have substituted a vegetarian dish for one of the regular meals, a cost cutting measure I'm sure. None of the meals we had were outstanding, about what we would get on NCL. There was no variety in the rolls served with dinner, the same three types night after night.
We ate breakfast in the Brittania restaurant every day. The service at breakfast ranged from mediocre to awful. They have used the same breakfast menu for the ten years we have traveled on this ship. It would be nice if they could at least have breakfast special as they do on other lines.
The food in the Kings Court (Lido) was ok but again very repetitive. The sandwich prep area has great chicken salad. One problem is that many time the self service items are unlabeled.
Sanitation is an issue they should address. The table in the Kings Court are many times wiped off with the napkins from the last user and are not properly sanitized. We witnessed a crew member refilling the automated drink dispensers by getting up on the serving line in his dirty shoes with no effort to even wipe down the area when he was done. We reported this to a supervisor to no avail as we saw this happen three other times afterwards.
During regular operations many of the hand sanitizers were empty and when coming back on board after shore excursions no attempt was made to provide hand sanitizer facilities of any kind.
The entertainment was ok and because we have made so many trips on this line the efforts of the lecturers Bill Miller, Stephan Payne and other regular lecturers are getting to be a little jaded. They still do a good job.
Again, to regular cruisers the Production shows, specially Apassionata, are getting somewhat dated.
All in all this voyage would have been ok had it been on NCL or Princess but for the prices charged by Cunard for this product it should have been much better. We will no longer go out of our way to travel Cunard.