This was our second voyage on QM2 and she is as magical as ever. We had booked a D1 inside stateroom on deck 6 and were surprised at how much space and storage we had. The shower had more room and storage space in the bathroom was better than others we have experienced on Princess and Oceania. Our last trip to celebrate a special occasion had been in Queens Grill and that had set the bar high but we felt the D1 with its window over the Atrium was value for money. Our stateroom was kept spotless by Analisa. We had booked a return coach transfer to Southampton with Cruise Connect and everything went very smoothly from the journey down to check in and the disembarkation process and return coach journey. If only itineraries from Southampton offered more choice of ports we would never fly cruise again.
The service throughout the ship was excellent and unobtrusive, and all public rooms were kept spotless. We enjoyed the Chart Room, Sir Samuel's and the Commodore Club. The fish and chips in the Golden Lion were very good. We ate most of our meals except for breakfast in Britannia, we had a table for 4 at the main sitting. On the whole the food at Dinner was very good, with just a few lapses i.e. overcooked fish and a escalope of chicken served with too little sauce. But the beef was delicious. Lunches were excellent. After the first two mornings we ate breakfast in Kings Court as we had more choice of fruit, cheeses, breads etc and the omelettes cooked to order in the Galley were fresher than those served in Britannia. The experience in Britannia compared to Queens Grill was different, but the food was good and our waiter Arnold was very professional and although quiet quickly learnt the preferences of ourselves, our table companions and those on the adjacent table.
The entertainment on offer was very good, we enjoyed the lectures, the shows, the recitals. The port lectures were very good. On sea days if you wished you could find something to do every minute of the day. The Entertainments Director, Paul, was excellent, he was very visible and walked the ship, chatting to guests. The library as usual was a lovely place, either to choose a good book or to just sit and watch the sea. The World Cup matches were shown both in the pub and in Illuminations so my husband managed to see the England games, Cunard even provided flags. I and other non football fans also had a good alternative and for the evening match we could watch a RADA production in the Royal Court Theatre, so all tastes were catered for.
One little niggle, Cunard had informed us before the cruise that there would be 4 formal nights, 1 semi formal (the night before we disembarked) and 6 elegant casual, only 1 ball- the Black and White Ball. When we received our welcome aboard newsletter, we found out there would be 3 elegant casual, 3 semi formal and five formal nights, including 3 Balls, Black & White, Masked and Ascot. This also happened on our last trip on QM2.
We chose to do two shore excursions, the Mageroy Island tour was excellent but the tour of Tromso was disappointing and not value for money, the Botanical Garden is still a work in progress and an hour there was wasted, we did however enjoy the museum. At the other ports of call we did our own thing and enjoyed exploring the area. The weather was not that good and we didn't get to see the midnight sun but that's not something that can be helped. It certainly did not mar the holiday. Several of the ports were maiden calls and the local people were out in force to see this lovely ship. Overall a lovely cruise.