This was my seventh cruise on Cunard, and my fourth on the QM2. It was my 33rd cruise in total, with many of the others being on Celebrity.
This trip was a particularly good value - there were several promotions offered, which brought the cost for the cabin down well under $2,000 total, and even included some OBC. In fact, crossing for a week on the QM2 cost less than hotel-only for the prior week in London.
Since I was last on the QM2, they've extended the crossing to 7 days, which saves fuel I guess, and (more important to guests) gives the flexibility to alter course a bit as we did to avoid storms. The ship is unbelievably stable; it's the only true passenger ocean liner, and it really is a terrific way to cross.
The ship has been very well maintained. I only saw one bit of carpet that looked ready for re-laying. All the upholstery, case goods, etc., was in fine shape. My cabin still had the new carpet smell from recent updating.
i was in an obstructed-view balcony cabin - with the glass wall, not the in-hull balcony. Cabins are wonderfully designed. Plenty of storage - terrific closet space, drawers, shelves, and the best night stands at sea, I think. Comfortable bed, good-sized shower for a cruise ship. And everything work exactly as it should. The shower held its temperature (no scalding risk!), and there was plenty of room.
The ship is gorgeous, and it never felt crowded - plenty of space for 2600 +/- passengers to spread out. It feels peaceful overall - less energy than many ships, but that was perfect for a crossing.
The service and food in the Brittania dining room were excellent. I was always pleased with the selection. During the whole trip, only two appetizers came out with a minor problem, so that puts them in the 96% terrific zone. Our servers were attentive and helpful.
I had one lunch in Todd English and it was the worst shipboard meal of my traveling life. That was terribly disappointing because I've had LOTS of meals in T/E on the QM2 and QV. I'll be very detailed here.
I was part of a large group, and there were ten at our table. One guest asked for a clean fork. The waitress looked at his fork, told him it was just onion from the foccacia bread, and THEN got him a clean fork.
The fellow next to me used my knife for his bread. So, when the entree arrived, I asked for a clean knife. The waitress leaned over, and pointed to the used knife, and said "That's your knife." I said, "I know; the gentlemen used it by mistake."
Why is there any response other than "Here you go, sir." to a request for clean silverware.
My first entree was the Sirloin Cobb - sort of a deconstructed steak salad. The only flavor on the plate was from the ground pepper. The meat had no marbling, no applied spice, no flavor. I asked to try something else - the burger, done medium. It arrived, and one bite in, it was cold and red in the center. When I told the maitre d', he said "well, they did prepare it quickly." I suggested that quickly wasn't the request; it was "medium."
To their credit, they didn't charge me for the meal. The $19 charge for a single glass of Aussie Cabernet was enough. And, the flatbread appetizer, and the chocolate lava cake was amazing, as it has always been.
Be aware that the normal wine list isn't available here, and there are few options that are reasonably priced. (And by reasonable, I mean that the single glass costs no more than you could buy an equivalent bottle here in the states.)
Drinks overall are expensive, and (other than the soda package) I didn't see any discount arrangements available. I spent most of my pre-dinner and post-dinner time in the Commodore club, where the drinks were great, the views were excellent, and by day two, the bartender knew my name and what I liked to drink.
I went to a few performances, and they were not world class. They weren't even college-level productions for the most part. Not-great voices, not-great staging.
The planetarium is a terrific space, but used mostly for lectures and for films that could have easily been done on a flat movie screen.