My wife and I have done 4 previous cruises on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises but they nowhere near compare to Cunard's Queen Mary 2 which I booked to celebrate my wife's 50th Birthday in April 2011.
Yes being British on a British ship (albeit American owned)made a big difference for me. I had read many negative reviews on QM2 and Transatlantic crossings and the only things that were true for us were that the weather at sea was miserable and the Kings Court (Cafeteria)was crowded, everything else was absolutely brilliant. The ship is marvellous and very impressive, very clean and very luxurious. The staff are super efficient and extremely polite and of course very smart in the best of British traditions. Formal evenings mean exactly that and everyone observes the dress code so don't expect to get served in the dining room on a formal night in your shorts and flip-flops.
Being an Ocean Liner there is a great deal of activity on board from ballroom dancing lessons to Bridge lessons to computer lessons theatre shows competitions art exhibitions and much more. Just walking around the ship and looking at the various exhibits is an event in itself and after 7 days at sea we still had not explored everywhere.
I read somewhere that the staff (especially the English) can be rude but this was certainly not our experience. Captain Paul Wright who we met in the Golden Lion was brilliant with us and wished my wife a very happy 50th, thank you Captain Wright.
We are non-smokers and at no time did we observe anyone smoking anywhere at all even though smoking is allowed in a number of areas including cabins.
The Golden Lion Pub and Sir Samuels offered an alternative lunch menu to either the Kings Court or the Britannia Restaurant at no extra cost. Drinks were reasonably priced compared to other cruise ships and certainly a lot cheaper than our subsequent hotel in New York.
The QM2 is supposed to have a 40 year lifespan so I intend to save for a world cruise but hopefully I will be back on the Queen Mary 2 very soon