Embarkation was excellent - turned up at the terminal at the allotted time and on board within minutes. On first appearances the ship does not have that initial wow that some of the big cruise lines have but you soon come to realize that all the decor / artwork/ furnishings etc are top quality. The cabins have that understated type decor that really cannot offend and the layout is good. The "enclosed" balconies in this grade of cabin are a bit odd but functional.
I found signage to be poor and the ships map provided on arrival is certainly a must. The layout of the stairways and lifts is most confusing and access to the decks at the rear (where the swimming pools are) is often not easy.
The food in the britannia dining room was good the waiters were efficient, polite and helpful. The food court on deck 7 was, however, odd with lots of food stations scattered about, each offering different food but if you wanted a little from each you found yourself wandering around such a long distance that by the time you found a seat the food was cold. The staff did not help when looking for seats or if you wanted drinks etc ( unlike Celebrity Constellation where the staff often found seats and helped to bring drinks etc.) Generally throughout the ship the staff were very polite and helpful if a little reserved. They became more friendly as the cruise progressed and they got to know you and the way you liked to be treated. The captain ( or Commodore as he like to be called) tells us its a liner not a ship. Its certainly not built like or has the layout of a cruise ship, the top deck, for example, is mainly a vast open space with little else other than sun beds. The staff then set up the area for eating if the weather permits and then clear everything away then next the area might be used as an open air cinema.
The ship is built for speed and you soon realize that when its racing along at over 30 knots, which it often did, the outside decks need to be clear to allow for this. The entertainment in the main theatre was in my view only average at best. The entertainment in the bars mainly piano the dining rooms either had a classical trio or a harpist each night.
If you are looking for a cruise where you are constantly told when and where the entertainment is, when the bingo starts, what the cocktail of the days is, music playing everywhere etc. then this is not for you. Also if you like that casual approach to dress in the evenings again this is not for you as every night the dress code is jackets for the men. However if you want a touch of class and peace and quiet then give it a try. I have cruised with RCCL, P&O, Celebrity, Princess, Seabourn and whilst I feel that the standards are generally going down on all lines ( particularly RCCL) and more and more ways are being found of making you spend money on things that used to be included in the fare the QM2 is perhaps the nearest to how cruises used to be.
I would definitely cruise on this ship again.