If you are expecting poor service , bland food , a party atmosphere , "push those drinks" , neon light Vegas decor and terrible entertainment then you are going to be greatly disappointed if you sail on the magnificent Queen Mary 2.
First of all you should be aware that this is not a cruise .. this is an experience . We were fortunate to enjoy this during our 7 day Eastward and return 7 day Westward return voyage between NYC and Southampton .
Embarkation in NYC was a breeze .By far the easiest one we have experienced during our many other sailings . Southampton took a little longer and was more involved but was on a par with others we have had . Disembarking at both ports was efficient , quick and well organized . In NYC we used the Cunard Bus facilities to get to JFK Airport. This was cost effective, comfortable and hassle-free.
* A hint - we brought a large bottle of rum and ample mix with us on our carry on and there was no problem even with it in plain sight .
The ship was wonderful .
Service - All staff would greet you as you met. The waiters , cabin stewarts were friendly , efficient and professional in every way . In all our dealings with shop keepers, purser office , internet office , pool attendents etc. we were treated extremely well .
Food - Unlike some other ships , the Queen Mary 2 food can be best described as Fine Dining .Quantities are small , quality is excellent ... just like dining at a five star restaurant . If you want more quantity just do like we did once and awhile - order 2 delicious appetizers . The food in the Kings Court (Lido Deck ) is typical buffet style fare. We usually ate breakfast there so we could get an early start to the day
We also went to the Specialty Restaurants - Todd English , Lotus / Chef's Gallery(where you watch the chef prepare your meal )and the specialty Italian restaurant . Todd English was nice but the Lotus and the Italian Restaurants were wonderful - well worth the extra $10 per person ( We went 4 times )
Entertainment - Excellent . The singers/ dancers were extremely good . The costumes were some of the best we have seen and the energy night after night was exhausting to watch . Oh to be that young again ! There were live plays , broadway shows , big band nights , comics, and many outstanding lectures by knowledgeable speakers .
Our days were filled with dance lessons, high tea , movies( even in 3D) , spectacular documentaries in the Planetarium , Trivia contests and restful days by the roof covered hot tub and pool . Our nights were filled with fine dining , and dancing the hours away to the sounds of a full piece orchestra on the largest ocean going dance floor. There theme nights that included a salute to Glenn Miller , The Dorsey's , Black and White Ball , Masquerade Ball, Ascot Ball that added to the fun .
Stateroom - Our agent advised us that because the ship is fast the balconies can be windy , and there is nothing but water to see for days anyway , so the best selection is an obstructed view balcony . What an excellent choice . They were right . We were able to have ample light and fresh air in our stateroom , sit out on the balcony in comfort and the price vs a standard balcony was less. The stateroom was the largest we have had and beautifully decorated . The large fridge was appreciated. The bathroom was more than adequate and there was lots of storage space . * A hint - bring some extra hangers for all the extra evening wear .
Dress Code -During our 14 days at sea we had 10 formal nights . Now to some that may seem too many but too most others - what a pleasure to be elegant and classy . We particularly liked the directive that was enforced by Cunard .. if you did not meet the nightly dress code , you were not allowed in the dining room and were advised to dine at the Kings Court or other dining locations. No hassles as every knew this . Unlike other ships we have been on ... there were no passengers that chose to defy this known fact and showed up in jeans and a tea shirt for dinner --- and were allowed in .
We were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and my wife's birthday and Cunard added to the events with 4 cakes / free champagne and waiters entertaining us in song .We were even allowed to bring our complimentary bottle of Champagne to the dining room to help celebrate the occasion- no corking fee.
We could go on and on about OUR opinion of QM2 and all .But you MUST experience her yourself .
In conclusion , prior to any holiday , we use many sources to select Cruises , hotels etc. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, there are always those that are never satisfied and will find fault with everything . We see the reviews of THOSE people about the QM2 and we pity them on going thru life this way .
Nothing is ever perfect and seasoned travellers know this . However , the experience on the magnificent Queen Mary 2 is as close as you will find to being just so.