A CRITICAL SUMMARY OF OUR CROSSING ON QM2
The Queen Mary 2 is big. Too big to be easy to get around, although, not too big for the task of scheduled crossings on the north atlantic where her size means that even in poor weather the ride is quite comfortable. She also has a rather peculiar arrangement of decks and public rooms.
If you are traveling in "Grills" class you will have a very nice room, unusually good service, a spotless environment and excellent food. All of which are important when you are at sea for a week or more. The experience comes very close to my presumption of what the good old days of trans Atlantic voyages were like.
Entertainment is a very personal matter. The intellectual and educational programs while well done are offset with a dreadful selection of movies running in the theatre. Since we are not night-clubbers we can't speak to the quality of that side of the entertainment.
The tacky bazaar that is laid out every morning in the ship's central lobby on deck three confirms that the Queen has something of a split personality. Perhaps these ships were always this way with their first, second and third classes.
When you leave the calm of the "Grills" areas the atmosphere changes noticeably and feels as though the line is trading on past glories or perhaps the assumption that the past was glorious. Perhaps the reason that there are poor online reviews is that for those in Britannia class the experience doesn't match the line's marketing.
It appears that the Britannia class trip is no better than a cruise on an "ordinary" ship. The initial impression of the art deco interior of the public spaces eventually begins to resemble the feel of Disney World's instant plastic history. The massive bas relief art deco wall panels turn out to be vacuum formed plastic coloured to simulate bronze and pewter.
So strip away the marketing and nostalgia and what is left is a replica of what people wish to believe life on the ocean liners was. It is a cruise wrapped in a facade of glamour and history. A very nice cruise in "Grills" and maybe a very ordinary one in "Britannia".