Check in at Red Hook was a breeze and very well organized. Dropped off and in our cabins witthin an hour. We had two adjoining balconies, very handy in that we had two bathrooms! Our room steward introduced himself immediately and asked if there was anything that he could do for us daily! We ordered our sparkling water , ice and lemons to be delivered daily and they were. He was excellent.
The rooms were very nice standard balcony cabins, similar to any other line. I suppose with all the hype over QM2 we were expecting a bit more, but it was very nice and clean, and clean is what matters. The carpets drapes, and bedspread were worn, but the flat screens were in place. In the adults room we had the beds configured into a Queen, that left a huge uncomfortable lump in the center of the bed. Very surprised that Carnival actually has better bedding than Cunard, by a mile. By the end of our trip I couldn't wait to get to our own bed to get a good nights sleep. Cunard need s to get better mattresses, especially since they specialize in longer voyages.
The Kings Court is the only venue for lunch on embarcation day, so we ventured off. Not the best buffet at sea, very bland, spread out and seemingly confused. Oh well, it served it's purpose. The food on QM2 is about what you would expect from a poor wedding at dinner and very limited during the day, the great part, none of us gained any weight! The service in Brittania Club was perfect, we had Michael and Stephano and they were just great, I wish the food was better, but service was spot on. A few nights one of us would order a steak, they were always cooked properly, but were suce a low grade (select) that they were only occaisionally edible. I would have preferred a smaller portion of a better grade of meat but I am not their chef. We dined at Todd English twice and found the food to be better, service about the same. If we were to go on QM2 again I think we would just dine at Todd English most nights.
Getting on and off in ports seemed very unorganized, getting back on such a grand ship had nothing, no cold water or cold towels like other lines offer. The last few ports they did put out jugs of water. When we had to tender you had to sit on deck three and listen to this woman screaming into her microphone for a t least a half hour before you went downstairs, which usually resulted in a major headache. Why scream, you have microphone???
This leads me to the attitude encountered by most non service personnel, uninterested to downright rude. Again I must stress non service personnel, those relying on tips were very sweet and professional. Pursors desk seemed confused or untrained. Unfortunately we were on board for the norovirus trip. It was requested that anybody feeling any symptoms contact medical. Our son woke us up Xmas eve telling us he had thrown up and had diarrhea during the night, I called medical at 7:30am, was told a nurse would call right back. By noon we had no call and he was feeling alot better. I went ashore to purchase some pepto and immodium. Arrived back and we were hanging out in the cabin when medical team came and started yelling at us at 3:30, mind you, for not reporting it, they claimed our room steward informed them. Very nasty attitude when we had called many many hours before. When she calmed down I let her talk to our son who was already feeling much better, she quarantined him for an additional 48 hours and then tried to charge us $250 for the visit. I had to go to the pursers desk to get the charge removed, which they did after much discussion. We requested in room dining as it was Xmas eve and Xmas day and we did not want to leave our 12 yr old alone for these special days, no way, just the sandwiches listed. So we took turns eating and staying with him. Not very festive. BTW I contacted it after code red was lifted, called to report it and was again charged and had to have it removed, I was only quarantined for 24 hours. We wash our hands non stop and had brought our own Lysol, so we just were not to lucky I suppose.
The live music on board was very good and we enjoyed the orchestra, jazz trio, Vibz and two of the piano players, one piano player was awful. There was no music anywhere else for most of the trip, only the last few days did they remember to turn on the background music in the dinning room, odd. They tried to have a Caribbean deck party and it was very geriatric. Imagine ballroom dancing to Bob Marley, comical but again, not festive. A much much older crowd on QM2, and I am no spring chicken.
There were many families on board as it was a holiday cruise. The kids club had very little organized and deck 12 quickly became the unofficial kids club. They had a great time and made good friends, but I was surprised at how little they had planned.
Entertainment on board was again very geriatric, very little to do on sea days, planetarium shows were good but only a half hour long. Trivia in pub once a day, knitting, ballroom dance lessons that were seriously over crowded and that's about it.
Overall she is a beautiful ship, but I think I will delay our next Cunard voyage until we are well into our 60's and are into 100% subdued. Celebrity and Princess do a better job at celebrating holidays. We loved the dressing up, but as the saying goes, all dressed up and nowhere to go, the ship was asleep by midnight.