Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by mariposa777: QM2 Transatlantic Jun 5 2014 - first time
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QM2 Transatlantic Jun 5 2014 - first time
I put "cruiser" in quotes above as one of the reasons for taking this trip was to experience the closest thing still available to taking a voyage on an ocean liner. Cunard likes to call it a crossing rather than a cruise and that is what we were after, as we prefer to avoid airports whenever possible.
We have never travelled overnight on anything larger than a trans-tasman car ferry so it was a real adventure for us.
Other than seeing this huge ship up close, the other aspect of the journey that appealed to us was the dressing up factor - there are not that many opportunities to 'dress to the nines' in our home city and dressing for dinner 8 nights in a row was a real treat. Even the informal dress code on QM2 requires a jacket for men and something fairly classy for women, so every evening meant a change of clothes and some selfies in the cabin before heading out for the evening.
We had booked a Britannia Club Balcony so had flexible meal times. The More advantage of this was being able to arrange our evenings activities based on what we wanted to see. An early show in the Royal Court Theatre and then dinner or dinner then a late show or watch the dancing in the Queens Room.
The downside of the flexible meal times was that there were times we arrived at our table for six just as our fellow diners were finishing their meals. This seemed a little awkward and somewhat impolite at first but by the end of the crossing we were all quite comfortable with the comings and goings and in fact had gotten in sync a bit.
We went to several shows in the Royal Court theatre and enjoyed them immensely - including Apassionata which has apparently been running for a long time and viewed as a little tired by some frequent travellers. We liked it very much though and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to new QM2 travellers.
During the day there were lectures in both the Royal Court and Illuminations theatres - A special highlight was Seth Gopin's series on New York skyscrapers, which provided us with a framework for exploring Manhattan after our crossing.
There was no shortage of organised activities and always the passing ocean to watch from a window in the Sir Samuels coffee bar or the Commodore Club. A pre-dinner "molecular martini" in the Commodore club was a real treat.
QM2 met our expectations and exceeded them in some areas. The Britannia Club dining room was excellent and we ate most meals there. We had one lunch and one (birthday) dinner in the Todd English restaurant and enjoyed it very much as well. A pub lunch in the Golden Lion was a nice change from the main dining room.
A few tips for the first timer on QM2.
If you plan to eat lunch at the Kings Court Buffet on the first day as the MDR is closed, go all the way through and you will probably find much less busy service areas and staff away from the "main" entrance. We did not venture back into Kings Court for the entire trip so cannot really review it.
The staircase to the side alleys (through the art gallery and the images (photos) gallery) that bypass the Britannia Restaurant is right next to the entrance to the Queens Room, NOT off the main staircase and not visible from the cross-ship corridor ... it took me days to get this right. It is plain on the deck plan but somehow I still didn't get it .... It is a big ship and can take some working out for those who can't hold 3D maps in their head.
If you have a with your stateroom, just ask your stateroom attendant or call the Purser. We put up with a weird noise in the aircon for several nights - one call to the Purser and it was fixed that day. Less
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Cabin review: 12-24
Unobstructed view as lifeboats are well below, can see down to the promenade deck - plenty of storage room in wardrobe and under bed (for suitcases). There is an extendable clothes line in the shower recess for drying ones 'smalls'. At the opposite end of the ship to the Britannia Club dining room and the elevator near the dining room goes to level 12 but then one has to cross open deck, which on the Atlantic can be less than pleasant - a passenger with poor mobility may find it annoying but we worked out a standard inside route from stateroom to dining room and it was fine.Generally quiet except for an odd noise in the air conditioning which was resolved by maintenance the same day we notified the purser of the problem.We did not spend huge amounts of time on the balcony on our TA crossing but did use it daily and would definitely book this deck/stateroom category again.
Don't travel Fred Olsen.
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