This was our seventh cruise with our two kids, two on QE2 transatlantic, two on Disney, one on Holland America to Alaska and one on Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas.
Overall, an OK cruise but it did not meet our expectations, based on the amount of hype and publicity. People came away expecting to be wowed and I don't think most people were happy, unless you paid a small fortune to be in the Grill class.
Good things: the planetarium, meeting passengers from other cruise ships in ports that wanted to be on the QM 2, interesting 12-course tasting menu in Lotus (Kings Court), crab cake in Todd English restaurant.
Negative and need improvement:
1. Food was never the culinary experience we were hoping for. When you offer chili bean tacos for dinner (our dining companion got her two tacos with lettuce and bean chili, a la Taco Bell), we knew that the week was not going to be full of culinary experiences. There was plenty of food like steaks, roast beef, basic fish like turbot and sole etc. but nothing exceptional that was supposed to wow us. We really look forward to the gala midnight buffet but there was none - so we could not see what the kitchen staff was capable of. Only a basic spaghetti, burgers, hot dogs and cookies from 11 p.m. onwards. Not even nice cakes, tortes or pies as I look forward to a dessert before bed. $30 cover charge for Todd English is way too high.
2. Rooms - Ok but nothing exceptional. They need to add a set of curtains to allow a change area. With four people in the cabin, we had to change in the bathrooms which are small enough already.
3. Entertainment - You can't just cater to the over 60's with Big Band, Judy Garland, Chattanooga Choo Choo-type of songs. The Broadway style shows could have been better and catered to those of us in our 30's and 40's although Rock at the Opera was pretty good. G32 was pretty good but overall, the entertainment is focused on the much older crowd.
4. Kids program - Only 40 kids on board and no unique programs. Very nice of the staff to close at midnight - thanks. The kids got no souvenirs from the Kid's Club - something to remember the QM 2 like a T-shirt, CD holders, backpack, etc., like you get on other cruise ships and these would not have broken the bank. Small-cost stuff that would go a long way to advertising the ship.
5. Photos - all photos are $27.50 and I thought too pricey. Even the boarding photo that were actually 5X7, but with a border to make them 8X10 and were all the same price.
6. Architecture and flow - they need to relook how the King's Court traffic flows and how you access the Queens Room and G32. Very untidy.
Overall, an OK cruise but the Cunard and QE2 standard was never met. I would say they never met the Disney or Holland America standard for an overall cruise experience - and yes, we could have gone on two premium cruises for the price.