As an experienced cruisers of 35 voyages in the last 10 years, we thought we had seen just about everything. We have been in a collision in Montevideo, taken 3 star ships with great itineraries to luxury 5+ stars where one is pampered. We expected a special trip to Norway on the QM2.
Embarkation was a breeze even though they had to change docks to accommodate the Queen Victoria. The British agents are always more cordial than others.
Our cabin was a sheltered balcony on the 6th deck just below the promenade. It was spacious with a nice sized balcony protecting us from the cold northerly winds. The pillows were only tiny little things and the bed was not very comfortable. However, the washroom was small but modern and the amount of storage space a little small for trips over one week.
The Queen Mary 2 is a massive ship with huge interior spaces but very disappointing outside space. I guess Cunarders don't often venture outside. It has the very finest library at sea but the main theater has many very poor sight lines and is absolutely the most uncomfortable seating of any ship we have been aboard. Many of the public areas like the pub, cigar lounge and casino had uncomfortable seating.
Dining on this ship was a paradox. Not what you want on a voyager costing this kind of money. Although better than Carnival it doesn't match Princess let alone Azamara which I had hoped it would rival. Breakfast in the dining room had great French Toast but the eggs were never warm and the service was dreadful. Waiters were SO SLOW and things would often come out of order even if you asked. Room service was the better choice especially if you wanted to go on shore before lunch. In the evening, inconsistency ruled in the dining room. I was surprised at the few choices one had on the menu. The 3 meals of lamb were fabulous but the lobster was the worst ever-sent back and the beef was always less than tender. Fantastic sole one night, half cooked salmon the next. We were at a table of 8 and I was shocked at the numbers of meals sent back. Bones in boneless chicken followed by a great creme brule. Appetizers are minuscule. Unfortunately our waiter was not attentive to the point of rudeness and if you have to question why 45 minutes between courses more than once when your trying to make a show, you have a problem. The 8 of us at the table got along well so we didn't move but others we talked to didn't have service problems like ours.
The buffet had unique tables by bay windows that offered a nice view but their food was the same a most buffets on modern ships today. Diabetics take note. The sugar free stuff was sometimes mislabeled or hidden under stainless steel cupboards, so ask. The food in the Golden Lion Pub was poor. The Wine was about 50% more on this ship than others but beer and other drinks are similar. The bar staff were very friendly and attentive.
The rest of the staff on the ship were excellent. Our room steward was efficient and the casino staff were great. Too bad for them the casino was virtually empty every evening. We found the people at the pursers desk and in the shops very kind.
If you see some lecture you are interested in, get there early. I attended two of Prof. Bapstone's and they were excellent but was shut out of his last even though I was 10 minutes early. There is many events on the ship to suit every taste. Unfortunately the other entertainment didn't fare as well. The headliners were average but the ship's bands, singers and dancers and their costumes were mediocre and the productions were boring.
It is difficult to rate the two shore excursions because of the windy damp weather but their was no excuse for Cunard to cancel the visit to the Geiranger Fjord. This was one of the highlights of the trip, a World Heritage sight and we're sent to some fishing village instead?
We could have paid half as much to get the itinerary we paid for on another line and I doubt the service or the food would be any worse. I will not be booking another cruise on Cunard. I'm am definitely not a "Cunarder".