We took the 4 night Labor Day cruise from New York and having cruised before the QM2 is all hype and little else. Yes the public rooms are lovely but that was the best thing I can say. The staff do try but they are overworked and not enough of them. I think since they have instituted this service (tip) assessment automatically to everyone's bill the staff does not try very hard to get to know the passengers or their preferences. The Kings Court buffet was always overcrowded, the food was acceptable, the waiting in line was interminable, you had to jockey for a table and it was rarely cleaned when you did. The Britannia dining room was lovely but it took 3 tries before they got our table assignment straightened out and then it was the last night. They advertised 2 formal nights but arbitrarily changed to one when we were already onboard and had packed specifically for those 2 nights. What a waste, not to mention that most people overdressed on the other semi-formal nights because that is what they had brought. The comedian was embarrassingly awful and the dancers seemed more suited for a Burlesque review than a cruise ship. I was truly looking forward to the Planetarium shows but tickets were issued on a daily basis and you had to queue up by 9AM to get them. High tea was supposed to be a high point for us but again too few tables, standing room by the door waiting for someone to get up and then you literally had to pounce for the table or you'd missed out. On the 4 days we went the items served were exactly the same. No variety.
My biggest complaint was the casino. We enjoy gambling and are used to paper tickets at slot machines. Every other cruise ship has them and it was a real shock that the QM2 still uses tokens. Not only that the machines very ancient and any jackpot over $25.00 required a hand pay and excessive paperwork. When I inquired why they had not converted to the paper system I was told that it was too expensive. Goodness the ship cost almost 1 billion to build! I am grateful this was an inexpensive jaunt and a chance to try out this ship before booking a longer cruise. I now have all the information I need. We'll be skipping the QM2 in the future.