This Was mine and a friends first cruise with cunard and will be the last one to. Things started to go wrong from 6 days out, when i noticed on the port of southamptons web site the the qm2 would be docking at the ocean terminal and not the mayflower terminal as per all documents , so i chased this up with a few calls to cunard and they said the web site was wrong and it was going from the mayflower terminal, ( the reason i wanted to check this out is because it would affect what way i would drive into southampton),anyway i called the port authority to check and got put through to the operations dept who confirmed to myself that infact cunard had requested a change in terminal and that qm2 would dock in ocean and queen elizabeth would be in the mayflower terminal so i was hapyp with this. Anyway on driving to southampton and finally getting to the dock gate after nearly 1hr 30 in traffic only about half a mile from the dock gate ( not cunards fault , but there was both qm2 , queen elizabeth, independance of the seas and artemis in that day) we drove up to be told by a security guard that we would need ot drive to the normal car park at the ocean terminal then proceed into the terminal where we had to wait for a bus to take us to the qe2 terminal to check in as the ship was now docked there. Any way problem there , as all the staff had told us that the weather was so bad that the artemis could not leave the night before and had to remain in dock, so again could see no problem in that and the weather was bad. we proceeded to park the car and head to the terminal to be met by a lady at the baggage belt to be told that woudl we mind carrying out cases on to the ship as the ship was not at this terminal and it was more easy if they did not need to take our bags for us and saved them time. We had 2 large bags and a suit bag and when we questioned this she said oh ok no problem they will take them ( despite having alot smaller bags checked in already).
We then went to the ocean terminal to be met by cunard staff asking what resturant we were at and then hurded and i mean hurded into the britannia line and given a green with C on it and told to wait untill our number was called, so we waited and we waited and waited infact nearly 3 hours where as queens grill etc where arriving well after us and being put on buses to the terminal where the ship was to check in and enjoy lunch, who said the class system had gone from cunard.
Finally after many attepmts by myself and others to see how long it was going to be a lady announced that due to buses stuck in traffic they would be delaying our transfer, by this time the terminal was full and there was no where to sit. I approched someone and asked if we could walk to the next terminal as it was only about 10 mins away to be told oh no you cant possibly do that for health and safety, despite passengers and crew from the qm2 getting off and doing the same while we where waiting, i then asked someone else who said oh i would walk and suggested we did.
check in went fine and we boarded and managed to get lunch and things seemed to calm down a bit and we went ot our cabin.
We had a sheltered balcony and it was great infact ideal for the weather conditions , however on unpacking our bags which turned up very quickly i opened a draw to be met with 2 used razor blades that had been left in there from another passenger uncovered, i brought this to the attention of the cabin steward who did not really seem to be interested and then took them away, but we could of been easly cut by them .
We went for our evening meal and it was good but the service seemed to be very rushed this night because as we had finished the next course was there, unlike th efinal night where it took alot longer and there seemed less in the dining room. Our waiter was not over freidnly but i would say done what he had to and the assistant waiter who was training was better however we hardly saw him the next eve . The food was good and i would say it did beat the food on celebrity as we had a choice of 5 courses still.
The down fall here was the lady sommalier, neother of us drink wine so we decided to order vodka, we said to her that we wanted smirnoff, however recieved another brand which was 3 dollars more ( not the fact of paying more thats ok but we like grey goose , but to be told oh you have drunk it now, despite being given the bill later at the end ), the 2nd night again we ordered the same but had to wait 40 mins why she was serving others who were ordering full bottles of wine 2 times we asked her and she kept saying ok its on its way so unless you had wine she was not interested.
The show on the 2nd eve was ok and the comedian on the first night was dire and alot of people left during the act.
On the last day we decided to go to afternoon tea in the queens room, as we had been told that we had to experiance this and iam glad we did as when we got it , its was outstanding however we arrived 45 mins early and wherew aobut 14th in line so no problem there however the ques where getting longer and longer and about 15 mins before gthe doors opened people where coming from the side stairwells and instead of going to the back of the line just pushed in and infact nearly made 2 elderly ladies go flying over, There was no control over this and it would of helped if cunard had someone there to guide people, as it seemed the regualer cunarders seemed to think they had the god forsaking right to push to the front of the line as they wanted the front seats next to the ball room floor and then when anyone said something to them they just looked down there noses at them.
disembarkation was fantastic and easy and infact i must say that there was no problem getting a seat in the resturant / buffet for breakfast unlike most ships so this did impress us alot.
Over all i dont think i shall be sailing with cunard again and will stick to celebrity and rccl, i did look at going again next year for the same cruise booked at about the same time out , however this year we paid 220 per person for the balcony and for the same one next year they are charging 675. each. so i know where i shall be spending my money from now on.
SO MUCH FOR THE WHITE STAR SERVICE , ITS MORE LIKE A GREY SERVICE