Our trip was the RT NY/NY, up past Newport, RI, to sydney, NS, Quebec, Halifax, Bar Harbor, and back again. The embarkation process was relatively smooth, onboard accommodations upper mid-range in quality.
Positives: food, food and more food, excellently prepared, beautifully presented. Waiter service in the main dining room, Britannia, was painfully slow, especially at breakfast time (40 minutes between turn in or older and delivery), but OK at other times. Obviously a British ship, they act as though they have never heard of iced tea. Requires a lengthy process to get it, and forget about refills. The Lido (Kings Court) buffets were excellent, abundant, easy.
Negatives: the evening entertainment was designed, apparently, for 20-30 year olds, while 90% of the passengers were well past 65. Extremely loud band, rock and roll stuff. The dancers were excellent, the comedian mediocre, the guitar player very good. The MC, who is the Cruise Director, was peppy and entertaining, but seemed to take delight in picking out some unfortunate older person on the front row to embarrass. Both he and the comedian seemed to enjoy penis jokes. Does this tell us something? Why is this fun?
The onboard photographer is EVERYWHERE, and the pictures are unusually expensive to buy--$27.95 for one "collage" picture, very gussied up for a QM2 quality event.
Biggest area of incompetence--requiring incredibly long lines for the Captain's Reception (2600 passengers on one night? Couldn't the captain at least appear on TWO nights to cut the crowd?) And the so called emigration check on the night we sailed back into US territory, when again, all 2600 passengers stood in a single file line that stretched the length of the ship and back. Many stood in line for more than an hour and a half. With nine months of sailing behind, can't they come up with a better process?
Finally, calling this tour "the Splendours of the Fall" cruise was misleading. The people in Quebec and other ports laughed at this title because the "fall splendours" don't begin for another couple of weeks after our tour ended. I think we saw one tree in the public park in Quebec that was JUST beginning to turn. The "splendour" was in the ship and the experience of Quebec itself.
Again, wonderful food, comfortable accommodations. They even provided on the third and fourth day a hurricane like storm at sea, said to be the worst seas the QM2 has experienced, up to 70 MPH winds on deck, and the ship sailed so smoothly one would never have known of the storm without looking out. I would go again, but would pack more PATIENCE to use in the poorly planned line-standing.