My husband and I went on the QM2 for a 4 day taster cruise to decide whether to book a further longer holiday for the two of us. When we booked on QM2, we were not aware of the refit that had been completed, until we arrived on the ship and were told that we were the first passengers to be on board after the refurb.
Naturally, as first time cruise people, we were excited and expected a high level of customer service and attention to detail. The ship looks amazing from the outside and is an engineering delight in itself.
The 45 minute queue to board was slightly frustrating, as we were herded like cattle through the long lines and then security, but were met with a warm welcome at the front of the gangway as we boarded.
I don't know really what we expected, but the service and the whole experience did not add up to the gloss of the brochure, plus the millions over the years that Cunard's Marketing department have spent on creating the illusion of the Cunard 'experience'. Some post refit teething troubles were expected, but to be quite honest, if this was post refit, I would have been disappointed if I had travelled before. Some furnishings were new, some in good condition but worn (so had not been replaced), from what I could see, it was new soft furnishings, i.e. cushions, carpets, linens and not the furniture such as lamps and sofas in cabin, which were slightly tired.
And what of the service? Breakfast a disaster in the Britannia Restaurant, lots of waiting staff milling around and looking important, but no real customer service, very abrupt, clipped tones with no real warmth. Almost an arrogance that the passengers were an inconvenience and that they were all bored rigid with the competitive nature of their jobs.
Lack of attention to detail overall. The queues were horrendous, first night at the Pursers Desk a 20 minute wait and a wait on each visit after that. Room keys deactivate if put near magnets, handbag clasps, or credit cards. You then have to join the queue again at the Purser's desk to get it reactivated. We ended up having this done 3 times in four days and twice in one day as the staff did not activate correctly.
Planetarium was not working for the whole cruise - very disappointed, the 3D cinema glasses did not work either, so could not watch the film showing. Food in the Kings Court was bland and the queues very long, it seemed that Cunard had heavily discounted the cabins to fill them, as there was a vast mix of passengers on board, the dress code was not enforced, with men wearing trainers and sports jackets and shirts, that would not fit with the elegant casual remit.
Went on a shore excursion to Honfleur, which was OK but expensive, Brussels 'Spirit of Christmas' excursion was value for money, but very little time in Brussels, nearly 4 hours on the coach and only 3.5 hours in the centre.
All in all, adequate experience, but not excited by it, customer service was very poor overall and would have expected more from Cunard. Will try another line next time, such as shame as QM2 is a great ship. The entertainment was from another era, I think that Cunard need to go back to doing high class really well in the older style and leave the freestyle family options to others, it it neither one thing or the other and at these prices, it needs to be a whole lot better than it is now.