We were very excited about taking this cruise on the QM2. When we boarded (which went very smoothly) we were in awe of the Grand Lobby & Hallway near the elevators. That was about it though. It is a beautiful ship, but the layout is very strange. It does not flow, it is choppy and you have to go through rooms to get to other rooms. Smoking is allowed. You can smell it in the hallways. There are ashtrays by the elevators for some reason and the smell was awful. I heard many complaints.
On the program that we received each day it had info on the restaurants and pubs. It stated that the Golden Lion Pub was non-smoking. It is not. There is a smoking and non-smoking area. They would have all of their trivia games and get together's in this pub which was awkwardly shaped and small. We tried to get in a couple of times, but there was no room. It did smell of cigarettes though so we really didn't want to. There were other areas of the ship such as the Winter Garden Room that would have been perfect for the games. That room was hardly ever used for some reason except by the Art Auction which took up a ridiculous amount of space. On other cruise ships we have been on they would do the auction in a hallway area. This room did have a bar, but the service was awful. It was a very pretty room though.
The service on the ship throughout wasn't like other cruises we have taken, but I think we are spoiled. Compared to Holland America and Celebrity at least. Our waiter in the Britannia Dining Room was exceptional and professional as well as the wine steward. The food in that dining room was also exceptional. We had dinner in the Todd English Restaurant one night and that was also wonderful!
In the Kings Court area, no one helped you with your trays and forget it if you wanted to buy a beverage. This was throughout the ship. The waiters/waitresses would walk around the pool areas with trays, but did not ask people if they wanted a drink, you had to wave them down. Even the cabin attendant who was very nice was not as exceptional as the other cruise ships we have been on. Maybe they have too large of an area to cover.
We felt the ship was overcrowded and there just were not enough areas to sit and relax, inside as well as outside. The indoor pool area in which the roof does open was about 1/4 of the size of the Noordam/Holland America. We enjoy eating breakfast or lunch on the decks by the pool areas. The food area was on the 7th floor, many floors down from the deck areas.
All in all the British on the ship seemed to have a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute of the Oceanliner. Their were 1800 British passengers as well as a large group of French and Germans. The group of people I was with thought it was a great ship, but were very disappointed and will not be going on it again.
They did have a very large ballroom...I would have rather had a larger pool area. I guess it was just too formal for us. Casual night requires a sports jacket. Informal a sports jacket and tie and formal night a tux or formal dark suit. It got old real quick for us.
The shows each night were so terrific. The dancers and singers were incredible as far as I was concerned. The costumes and scenery were also wonderful. The other shows they had were also very enjoyable. I have to say that the shows on the QM2 were the best I have seen on a cruise.
It is an experience that we are glad we took, but we will definitely be going back to "cruise lines".
They should look into the non-smoking policies just like the rest of the world is doing. When you are feeling a little queasy smelling cigarette smoke does not help at all.