In August 2011, my wife and I took our second 14 day transatlantic roundtrip with the QMary2 and as a result of our satisfaction with the cruise (and its price) reserved for a third transatlantic roundtrip, this third time not limited to repeating the 14 day crossing (which would have been in June, 2012), rather expanding it to the 25 day extended roundtrip in August, 2012 (which includes Germany and Scandinavian countries).
Our first crossing in June 2010 was on a A1 cabin, realizing it was no better than a A2 cabin, just more expensive, so took our second crossing in August 2011 on the latter and saved about 50% on a room just a few doors away. We therefore recommend anyone contemplating an A1 cabin to closely compare with A2 cabins before committing.
The Atlantic ocean behaved even better this time, several times forcing us to look out the balcony to make sure we indeed were on a ship crossing the Atlantic, not a mere lake large enough to not let us see the coast.
As in our first crossing, the food, the service and the entertainment were more than just acceptable. Actually better, especially the entertainment, with classical piano and guitar shows, 3D movies, a wonderful harpist and an even more wonderful violin quartet. Of particular interest and appreciation was seeing the opera Carmen on 3D.
The eatery on deck 7, called Kings Court, was no better or worse. Just crowded with the same food. However, the Britannia restaurant was much better, both food and service. The wine, however, was equally expensive and equally of low quality, unless one is willing to spend over $60 for a bottle costing $20 or less in a local store back home. We recommend having lunch and dinner at the Britannia, leaving the Kings Court buffet for breakfast, although the Britannia also offers breakfast a la carte.
The only really negative comment we have has to do with the violations of the dress code for men by many many guests and the ship staff’s unwillingness to do anything about it, as we experienced when we consulted with staff on three different occasions.
This is not a major issue, but it does upset those who follow the rules even to their dislike, which suggests that Cunard should rethink its dress code policy for men. Either maintain the present dress code policy and require its compliance from violators, or change it by making it strictly voluntary and requiring only the informality of coats and ties, or doing away with coats and ties entirely, as have done other cruise lines. We are, of course, referring to the eight (8) formal nights “requiring” tuxedos or dark suits for men, and two (2) informal nights “requiring” coats and ties for men. The worst is to pretend the codes are obligatory and then refuse to have violators comply.
As usual, main street on the QMary2, where all the stores are, was a constant sidewalk market with people spending their money as if they had received it as a Christmas present or as an unearned work bonus. The only thing missing was a sidewalk café, where men would be able to sit and sip a cup of tea or coffee while watching the women shop. A real treat to see so many people enthusiastically buying just because the tickets said the items were on sale, often buying regardless of the resulting net price. My wife was one of those, in her case buying for our grandchildren, primarily, although she did end up buying a couple of things for herself, because of the “terrific” prices.
The greatest satisfaction about this second cruise, to me at least, was that we spent 14 days without having to disembark for tours a single time. Next year it will be different if we indeed take the reserved 25 day crossing, disembarking for tours in several northern cities to enjoy rides and walks surrounded by the cool weather of Scandinavia.