This was the first of two crossings as we came back a few weeks later - in the same cabin- therefore this review covers both trips.
The embarkation was excellent - the accommodation pleasant and spacious,the cabin steward most attentive and the food seemingly non -stop and very good. Getting off in Southampton was a breeze - getting off in New York was a challenge not Cunard's fault however but the US Custom's service.
My frame of reference was the QE2 in the 1970's and at that time the food was atrocious and the service impeccable - you never saw a vacuum cleaner. Now the food is good and the staff hard working and at all hours and yes you do see vacuum cleaners.
My only real complaint was the beverage staff - from the grumpy wine stewardess on the east bound trip, and the hard of hearing wine steward at the first table who needed three requests before an order could be placed, to the difficulty in getting a drink after dinner - when being an older woman alone was a definite defect - hence the "cloak of invisibility". I wasn't the only one who remarked on the deficiencies and language barriers were also sometimes a problem. That said on the return trip the wine steward we had - after the table was changed, most efficiently - was amazing and a delight.
The putting out of tables with "stuff" for sale was a bit of a mystery - on one hand you had Hermes on the other what could only be described as a souk but people were shopping.
The souvenirs could benefit from come customer research as good quality ones were a bit tricky to find - however the Harrods merchandise was a total mystery as why would one want that on this Cunard liner.
The service staff were excellent and all was done quickly and with attention to customer service - as been mentioned other places the purser's office staff were somewhat more interested in each other than passengers but that hasn't changed since my time on the QE2 I would say.
My biggest concern was the internet service - not particularly cheap and using Internet Explorer 5 as their search engine - the manager was in direct contrast to the pathetic time it took to get on line and was courteous and most helpful.
The entertainment was varied and the speakers very interesting.
After three weeks in Europe and Britain the trip westward was very relaxing and in all I have been singing the praises of this ship ever since arriving home.