Queen Mary 2 is, from an interior design and naval architecture perspective, a very significant ship. At the moment however, she clearly has yet to attain the level of personal service that her owners and the public would expect.
While the check in process at Pier 92 New York was smoother than many we've experienced, once aboard the new passenger is left to fen for themselves in trying to locate their stateroom .One would think that if sister company Holland America escorts their guests to their stateroom, this could equally be applied to a ship that touts " White Star Service". Upon locating the stateroom, there was the nice touch of a complimentary bottle of champagne. Baggage arrived in an acceptable time frame, considering the passenger load.
The most pronounced disconnect, and an issue that must be solved sooner rather than later, concerns the Brittania dining room service. Whether the problem rests with the kitchen, the dining room staff or both the end result is marginal service and long waits for the food to arrive. This reality elongates the dining, and not in a pleasurable sort of way, causing wait staff to be rushed...and this was apparent at all meal times. Morning coffee can rival a wait at your HMO doctor's office, and then there is no guarantee you can obtain a second cup with any greater ease. One evening there was just about two hours from sitting down to the entree arrival. Both matre'd and his assistant spent the time working the tables and appologizing. Bear in mind this was the 8th voyage, not the maiden, and the mood was not festive. Passengers at the second seating dinner were often lined up in the hallway, as the first seating ran behind schedule. Any table larger than two seemed to be impacted to some degree or the other.
Food quality was for the most part very good. The menus were diverse. A nice touch, post prandial, was the offering of petit-fours in the true continental style.
So, there is hope! But, the window of positive publicity trading on heritage, and the statistics of the vessel's size can only be maintained for so long. Many passengers were overhead to say that this would be their last trip on QM2, as the service did not meet their expectations. The guest lecturers and the show productions were excellent, the ship was immaculate and the decor had something to offer everyone. Those who were familiar with the pre-war Queens could see a familial resemblance.
The Todd English alternative restaurant was well worth the $30 dinner a la carte fee; the planetarium offered most interesting presentations.
Cabin service was excellent, and the rooms were cleaned promptly and effectively. Food service to the room did come on time, or slightly earlier...and was also a plus.
The bottom line on QM2-it has a great number of positive attributes, but must quickly come up to speed in the dining room service.