After much discussion and arm twisting I convinced my partner that a crossing would be a great alternative to flying to New York and it would add a special touch to my annual Birthday Holiday.
We booked a Q5 queens grill cabin for a few reasons, the extra space and the single seating dining being the main ones.
On embarkation day my expectations were very high, we arrived in Southampton and as I opened my car door a rude baggage handler barked at us and took our bags! Not the best way to start which was not made any better as we entered the terminal which I can only describe as being like a aircraft hanger with very uncomfortable seats. I don't know what I was expecting but when you book a premium product with an airline you get access to a confortable lounge so I was expecting something similar.
It may sound that I am being negative and nit picking ( which seems to be the norm on reading the reviews! ) However my expectations were high and this part didn't meet them.
Everything changed however when we boarded the simply wonderful QM2, we were directed to our suite and on opening the door I was very happy. The room was large, comfortable and well appointed with plenty of storage space. The butler Albert arrived quickly and introduced himself and his assistant, I have nothing for praise for the service they both provided. The room was kept clean and tidy and the bar was kept well stocked.
The ship itself is wonderful with fantastic public rooms and lots of bars and things to do, I really do believe you have to work very hard to be bored on this ship! It was always clean and tidy and all of the staff were friendly and attentive. Considering the sheer size of the ship it never seemed crowded and we always managed to get a seat at the bar or any of the public rooms.
The Cunard insights talks were very good and the RADA productions were also worth watching.
The food and service in the Queens Grill Restaurant was simply perfect, we were greeted by name on each visit and shown to our table. Everything we ordered was cooked to perfection and served by attentive waiting staff. We ate in the Tod English restaurant once but to be honest our meal was no better than the food we had enjoyed in the Queens Grill. We ate most lunches at the Kings Court, It is a little confusing in terms of lay out but I was impressed by the food on offer. I especially loved the fact you dress for dinner and In my opinion it made the evenings that little bit more special.
The Spa treatments were lovely but very expensive and they try to sell you products at the end, which ruins the experience a little.
I really can't find anything to complain about, the crossing was simply superb and I have to admit I'm a little hooked! so much so that on our last day we booked another voyage for 2012 this time on the Queen Elizabeth once again in the Queens Grill.
The only regret is that we got off the ship in New York, if we could plan it again we would have stayed on and completed the return trip after visiting north America.
I would highly recommend this ship to anyone and if you want to make it special go Queens Grill.