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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff ... Read More
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff were helpful and efficient. The negatives for me were firstly the standard of food in the Britannia Restaurant which we were assigned to. The food was generally not prepared in a manner fitting the ship or the price of the cruise, meat and fish were dry and needed sauces, the vegetables were often hard - beyond al dente and almost uncooked, and the desserts were tasteless and unimaginative. The chefs seemed to focus more on presentation than the taste and texture of the food. We went to the buffet on deck 7 quite often which had a bigger variety of better prepared food and enjoyed it more than the restaurant. The other negative is the fact that there are two very small pools for a large number of people, the limit in each pool is 14 (I think) and there was hardly any room to move around if there was half that number in the water. As the temperatures were around 30 degrees and more, a lot of people were in and out of the pool especially on sea days. I preferred my previous cruises on smaller ships that had better food and bigger pools. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
If you want a cruise with everything "English", pick this ship - lots of formal nights (suits and tie and lots of guys in penguin suits), indifferent staff (with a few very pleasant exceptions) many of whom would walk past and ... Read More
If you want a cruise with everything "English", pick this ship - lots of formal nights (suits and tie and lots of guys in penguin suits), indifferent staff (with a few very pleasant exceptions) many of whom would walk past and not even make eye contact (in complete contrast to the staff on our last cruise with Holland America who went out of their way to be friendly and pleasant), average food (some good - but outdoor grill food was terrible), and activities frequently disorganised and inefficient (e.g. up to 3.5 hours to get a tender to shore). Evening entertainment shows were excellent, cabin rooms very good but basic and overpriced, and poor value compared to other lines. Tours were reasonable to expensive but really good guides, but at one port ship arranged for all tour buses to get back to port at same time leaving 2000 passengers standing in the sun for up to an hour while 4 tenders struggled to get us back on the boat. We have done several cruises (P & O, Princess, Carnival, Holland America, Avalon) and rate this ship the lowest. Next time, back to Holland America (for sea journey) or Avalon (for river cruise) - both were 5 star. For veranda suite only one restaurant and buffet to chose from, two other restaurants had ridiculous cover charge with limited menu. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The ... Read More
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The terminal was also full of people wanting tax refunds with no clear delineation of which "queue" was which ! Mind you we never needed a Chinese visa, another smart move by NT politicians! Balcony cabin was quite good, 5124. although the tenders were directly below the balcony which obstructed the view a little. Half bottle of champers was appreciated, gave a false impression of what was to come such as paying for a nondescript bottle of Australian water. Samsung TV was a smart TV, however, nobody on board smart enough to fully use its technology, eg., no bill display, no menu displays, no details of going ashore, nada ! In fact the secretariat generated piles of expensive heavy glossy paper, must do wonders for fuel consumption. No welcome aboard at DRW or cocktail invitation, in fact the only welcome aboard was when we returned to the ship in HKG. HKG arrivals also received invites, we did not. Major interest appears to be "Dress code" when what you really want to know is where do we need a tender. There were several "Gala h" evenings for which I wore my Galah tie !!. Had to wear a jacket in the Britannia restaurant. Food, service was excellent although several spelling mistakes on the menus & the Sea Brass, aka Bass, provenance was always from the last port of call, amazing how these Bass get around. Bottle of house red, which was from a good vintners in London, ended up at US$40 a bottle ! We found the Lido cafeteria most acceptable, as always pick your times, avoid 1pm. If you have a "see food" allergy it could be a problem, I see food & eat it ! The answer is to use room service for breakfast at least. Amazingly no extra charge, always arrived on time but often with elements missing, no QC on the trays going out ? Saving grace was the pub which served excellent lunches (no extra charge) with Guinness at US$6.90 a pint. Never bothered with the so called "speciality" restaurant, especially when you see the cover charge. Was neither fish nor fowl & did not offer anything special. One day out the Royal Arcade liquor store had a special so eg 2litres of Famous Grouse for US$42, which kept us going to SIN. All this kerfuffle about taking alcohol onboard is rubbish. We took a bottle of champers in carry on & our bags contained 1 litre of Plax mouthwash which had changed colour, funny that. If your bags are correctly labelled they are whisked away through the x-ray by the handlers Excursions, aka a necessary evil in some places. Nha Trang return to ship was a catastrophe with all the tour buses returning at the same time with just one tender in operation. Enormous queue of people, mostly open to the elements, until someone at least told bus drivers to keep passengers on board with the AC on. Reason given that only facilities for one tender were available. Appears to be a normal problem otherwise how come there were staff distributing cold towels & water? Disembarkation in SIN was a breeze once you eventually got off as the port staff had bags clearly defined by tag & colour, beats BNE hands down. In conclusion, if you are loaded, don't mind spending hours for something to happen when going ashore & into all the social climbing bling then no problem. Otherwise we shall stay with P&O which has a much more egalitarian approach. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Although very experienced travellers (88 and 80) we had never done a cruise so decided on a 10 day one on the QM2 from Shanghai to Hong Kong via Japan and South Korea. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board early enough to have ... Read More
Although very experienced travellers (88 and 80) we had never done a cruise so decided on a 10 day one on the QM2 from Shanghai to Hong Kong via Japan and South Korea. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board early enough to have a snack and a coffee in the impressive Carinthia Lounge before returning to our cabin (Cunard prefer to call it a stateroom but that I think is pretentious). Our three suitcases had been delivered and we spent the afternoon unpacking and stowing. The king size bed (an excellent sleeper with fine Egyptian cotton sheets) took up most of the available room bur we were impressed with the amount of hanging and drawer space. Empty cases under the bed. A two seater divan, small desk and a large wall mounted TV (Sky News UK, BBC World, ABC Australia included) completed the living area. Small attached bathroom with tight but very good shower). Balcony which got little use because of the winter temperatures. Eating of course was one of the priorities and we had requested a table for 6 and the second sitting starting at 8.30 pm in the main Britannia restaurant which was later than we would have liked but preferable to the early 6 pm one. We were fortunate in having at our table two couples travelling together from the UK who made us very welcome. Entertaining company. Overall we found the food in the Britannia of a high standard, not gourmet but very acceptable. Plenty of choice and although some servings were small a request for a repeat or something additional was always quickly met agreeably. As good as we expected and we're experienced foodies. Although I knew from my research wine prices were high this didn't stop us having our usual two glasses of red with dinner plus for me, as a treat, a brandy or a port to finish. It has to be said however that Cunard give the impression of gouging in the way they price their wines. They are outrageous. A x5 mark up on retail prices seems to be the base line. A huge wine list, one of the most comprehensive I've seen, 98% priced beyond what I was prepared to pay. Very good table service from waiters who stayed with us and got to know our likes and dislikes. Most days we had breakfast in the Britannia and liked the way the maitre d would ask each morning 'alone or interesting people?'. Provided we weren't near the closing time we opted for the interesting people and on virtually all occasions joined people, mainly from the UK, which resulted in good lively conversation. We ate lightly for lunch and on two occasions for dinner, in the Kings Court buffet which we found of a very high standard. Plenty of choice but more informal, less comfortable seating. The entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre varied from outstanding (most nights) to so-so on a couple of occasions. Quality beyond expectations. The lectures too were first class especially one by the designer of the ship itself (brilliant). Gym, library, Golden Lion pub (excellent cod and chips for lunch), Commodore Club, the Chart Room, The Carinthia Lounge (excellent sherries. and Spanish wines by the glass in the evening for a pr-dinner drink), all good. The one disappointment was the white glove Afternoon Tea service in the Queens Room, a poor presentation. We joined the QM2 to spend on our time on her so we stayed on board at the three ports of call. The weather was poor and we preferred the comforts of a relatively empty ship. Tipping: we paid the US$11.50 per day as recommended plus small cash amounts to our dinner waiters, wine waiter and cabin attendant. Despite giving high marks for our ten day experience the cruise ended on a bad note with both my wife and I coming. down with a dose of the Cunard cough which developed into serious chest infections. Not Cunard's fault but not surprising considering the number of passengers who were coughing and sneezing. Just the luck of the draw. At least the steps to prevent the spread of nanovirus worked with no outbreaks recorded. Would we do it again? No. We had a great time but we didn't catch the cruise bug. Very glad we did it and highly recommend the QM2 experience. But please do your homework first and don't have unrealistic expectations. Oh and don't hesitate to take a couple of bottles of your favourite wine aboard to have in the cabin or at the table (US$ 20 per bottle corkage, a big saving). There was no check on embarkation. Good travelling with good luck. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been ... Read More
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been retired for a year, we are originally from the UK and have lived in Maryland USA for the past 30 years. We have predominantly cruised on Celebrity, but recently have become a bit jaded with them and have started to try out other cruise lines, including Azamara and Oceania, to see if we can find one that’s a “better fit”. So, why pick this cruise? My husband lived in Hong Kong as a child and had wanted to visit again. I wanted to cruise the QM2 for a second time. Cathay Pacific introduced a new 16 hour non-stop flight from Washington DC to Hong Kong (as opposed to 24 hours via anywhere else), and February 17th 2019 would be our 30th wedding anniversary. It seemed like the stars had aligned for us and this trip would be the perfect way to celebrate! How was that non-stop flight? We flew out of Washington Dulles to Hong Kong at 00:15am on the 15th, and I had hoped to get some sleep on board. We had booked Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy, and enjoyed the hot towel and champagne welcome and the expedited meal service, (served with real cutlery!). The premium seat had a decent recline, a large pillow and nice thick blanket, but I still only managed about an hours sleep. Ugh. I did get to read a lot and watch 3 movies though, and we did arrive about 45 minutes early which was a bonus. The plane took a route north over the USA and Canada, over the pole and down through Russia, Mongolia and China. A 15 hour non-stop flight really takes its toll though, and I was super grumpy when we arrived. How was the hotel? We had booked a harbour view room at the Royal Pacific Hotel, (part of the Sino Hotels chain) in Kowloon for 4 nights, and as our flight was due in at 5am, we reserved the room from the previous night and advised them of our very late arrival, so we could get to bed straight away. We had also asked for hypoallergenic bedding as I am allergic to feathers. Everything was prepared as requested, but grumpy me thought the room looked seedy, and after fighting and losing with the nespresso machine, tripping over the step in the bathroom and giving up on getting the shower to work, I went to bed. What a difference a few hours sleep makes! I woke up, pulled back the curtains to find an amazing view over the harbour to Hong Kong Island and The Peak, and then discovered a huge bathtub as well as a separate shower in the bathroom, and a kettle in the cupboard. Hooray! What did you get up to in Hong Kong? Saturday was sunny and warm so we had lunch at the Satay Inn in the hotel, and then walked through several shopping malls to the Star Ferry, crossed to Hong Kong, took a taxi to The Peak and walked back down to the ferry via the University where my husbands father worked as registrar in the 1960s, and Robinson Road where my husband lived in his teens. The apartment block is still there, but dwarfed by the surrounding tower blocks, and the harbour view has gone. 15,000 steps later we had a quick dinner in the hotel, had a glass of wine in bed and watched the laser light show on the harbour through the window and had an early night. Sunday 17th was our wedding anniversary, and also the Hong Kong Marathon and everywhere was crowded and chaotic and frustrating, so we celebrated with a sulk and a light lunch at the Mandarin Oriental and a relaxing Shanghainese dinner with fizz at Ye Shanghai. The weather took a turn for the worse during the afternoon and we had booked a tour to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island on Monday. The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms, so we called and rescheduled the tour for post cruise. Monday we were lazy, bought a few supplies (wine!) for the cruise, and decided on a light dinner at the hotel bar. So far the hotel clientele had been predominantly asian, but tonight the bar was full of english people. We walked in and were met with a chorus of “I bet you are going on the QM2 tomorrow”. It seems that the Royal Pacific Hotel was one that Cunard uses for its customers on fly cruise holidays. We chatted with a few soon-to-be fellow passengers, and bizarrely never bumped into any of them again once on board! Boarding Day! How did that go? We had originally booked a guarantee BV sheltered verandah cabin with late seating, and when we got our cabin assignment about 5 week before sailing, we had been upgraded to a BU cabin, midships, deck 6, with a 2:30pm boarding time. Two weeks before the cruise we got another upgrade notice, this time to a BA cabin, Britannia Club deck 12, 1pm boarding. What a nice surprise! The morning of the cruise we checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Kai Tak cruise terminal. When I first flew to Hong Kong over 30 years ago, planes landed at Kai Tak airport. It was a scary place to land as final approach was a steep plunge down through the skyscrapers, and if you survived that there was always the chance of ending up in the harbour if the pilots didn’t brake fast enough! Kai Tak airport closed a few years ago and the old airport runway has been turned into a cruise terminal. We dropped our bags and entered the terminal where we were given boarding number 7. We waited and waited, well past 1pm and 2 pm. Boarding groups A, B, C, D were called, then finally they started on numbers. Eventually we got on board around 3pm. I was frazzled. I like to get on board early and get organised. We dropped our bags in the cabin and went to the buffet. There was hardly any food, and what there was looked old and dried up. Not a good start. We did muster drill, unpacked and then headed up on deck for sailaway. There was a Caribbean band playing reggae music, drones flying after us, a lovely sunset and skyscrapers slowly lighting up. Probably one of the best sailaways I’ve ever experienced! How was your Britannia Club Cabin? First of all our cabin was about as far as it could possibly be from the Britannia Club dining room, apart from the Club cabins on deck 13! We got plenty of exercise walking to and from meals! Our cabin was configured with a king size bed, and prepared with hypoallergenic bedding. The bathroom was a decent size and the water pressure in the shower was good. The toiletries were nice. We found two bottles of sparkling wine in the cabin, along with canapes which were a gift from our travel agent. Our tour tickets were waiting for us along with our dining table assignment. Our cabin steward, Chris, kept the cabin clean, changing out the towels and emptying the trash twice a day. How was the Britannia Club restaurant? We enjoyed our time in the Britannia Club restaurant, and were seated at a table for 2 in a row of 4 tables for 2, so effectively a table for 8, as there was less than a foot between each table. Our waiter explained the dinner menu with the selections that changed daily at the front and the a la carte always available items listed in the back. He explained how everything was prepared “a la minute” in Britannia Club, (I think he was fibbing about that), and that if you wanted the a la carte duck you needed to order it the day before. I like eating fish and enjoyed many of their smoked salmon appetisers, and salads. I am not sure that the main course fish dishes were prepared “a la minute”, especially if we went to dinner at 8:30, as the fish seemed dried out, as if it had been hanging around under a heat lamp, or had been grabbed from the main Britannia galley. It was also difficult to get a steak cooked medium. One thing I did notice was that after bringing a course and wielding his pepper grinder, the waiter never came to check on whether the dish was OK. On the whole the food was pretty good. I only had one dud meal, a chicken and corn consomme that was actually more like a very heavily salted thick corn chowder. I couldn’t eat more than a couple of spoonfuls of that. The waiter never enquired as to why I hadn’t eaten it, nor did he offer to bring me something different. That same night I ordered a filet mignon medium. It arrived beyond well done, and was tough and gristly. My husband ate it as he didn’t want me to complain, and I enjoyed part of his chicken tikka masala. The fact that one disappointing meal stands out, is probably a sign that overall the food was really good! Desserts weren’t outstanding, but I loved the variety and quality of the cheeses offered on the cheese trolley. Wine service in the restaurant was OK, although initially the pouring was slow. I did notice that other people tended to only have one glass of wine a night and made a bottle last 2 or 3 nights whereas we prefer to enjoy the entire bottle in one sitting. Once the sommelier realised this, he was very attentive at keeping us topped up! We particularly enjoyed the french rose that came in a shapely bottle, and a very reasonably priced Cava. So that’s dinner taken care of, how about your other meals? We had a couple of breakfasts in Britannia Club, and appreciated it being available on disembarkation morning. However the poached eggs were cold both times I ordered them, and they didn’t have chocolate croissants either time we ate there, so not a great experience. Room service was a better breakfast option, especially as they had an excellent scrambled eggs and smoked salmon which always arrived piping hot, and they had chocolate croissants :) We did enjoy lunches in Britannia Club as it was quiet and relaxing. There was a fish curry for lunch one day that was a real standout dish. After the boarding day lunch we never ventured back into the Kings Court buffet. The Corinthia lounge was a nice place for a specialty coffee and a bite to eat. Breakfast offerings were quite eclectic, ranging from fresh fruit bowls to yoghurt parfaits, from breakfast burritos to shiitake mushroom and scrambled egg croissants, and (my favourite!) quails eggs over peppers, chorizo and potatoes. They offered nice salads for lunch too. Another favourite lunch spot was The Golden Lion Pub. We had excellent fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash there. Another nice coffee spot was Sir Samuels, the Godiva Chocolate cafe. Lots of lovely chocolatey treats there, that we enjoyed looking at but never were hungry enough to sample! What was the bar scene like? I am used to cruising with drinks included, but the drinks package offered by Cunard was an eye-popping $69.99 per person per day, and required both people in the cabin to have the same package, plus there was an $11 price limit on things that were included. It didn’t seem worth it so we opted for paying as we went, and probably ended up spending under $100 dollars a day, including a bottle of wine with dinner, Perrier, tea and coffee, and pre and post dinner drinks. I thought the individual drink prices were quite reasonable. We enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in the Chart Room. They often had either a harpist, string trio or jazz combo playing there. We tried the Commodore Club one night and while we enjoyed listening to the pianist we found the venue dark and claustrophobic. The Golden Lion also had a really good guitarist in the early evening, and in the late evening he performed as part of a pop duo. I was really impressed with the quality of the live music on board the ship. How did you keep busy on sea days? We felt that Cunard excelled in the quality and variety of activities they offered during the day, compared to other cruise lines we have sailed on. Usually we find very little to interest us so bring books and puzzles to keep ourselves busy. On this cruise we were spoilt for choice for things to do. We enjoyed the talks about QE2, Titanic, The Royal Yacht Britannia, The Apollo Space Programme, The History of Japan, and the music masterclasses on Pink Floyd and Peter Green. We missed the talks on China, the QM2, the talks from the sports commentator Henry Blofeld and the masterclasses on Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. We never got chance to go to the cooking demonstrations as we were so busy. Chinese language, calligraphy, painting and craft classes were also offered, along with dancing lessons and bridge lessons! Trivia was also a favourite activity, offered 3 or 4 times a day in varying formats and taken very seriously by some passengers. We actually won “Name That Tune 1980’s”, and the prize bottle of white wine was very drinkable! What’s the deal with the dress code? We had 4 “gala” nights (including Black and White, Night in the Orient and Madam Butterfly Balls), where the dress code was tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and gown or cocktail dress for ladies, with the remaining evenings designated “smart attire”, jacket but no tie for gentlemen and cocktail dress or pant suit for ladies. My husband fell foul of what we jokingly called the “6pm jeans curfew” one night when he lost track of the time and tried to order a drink in the Chart Room at 6:15pm in polo shirt and chinos. The waiter, who had served us many times discretely came up and asked him if he would be “popping up to his cabin to put on his jacket on”. My husband looked confused, and the waiter added “It’s 6:15 sir, you need to be properly dressed if you are going to have a drink here”. I loved dressing up as I don’t get the chance to at home, my husband not so much, but he went along with it! Any passengers who didn’t want to dress for the evening had the option of dinner in the buffet, and then drinks and entertainment in either the Corinthia Lounge or the Golden Lion Pub, and boogieing the night away in the nightclub, G20. What about the ports? There were six port days on this cruise, with Shanghai and Beijing being the highlights. Both cities were quite a drive from where the ship docked. Usually we book private tours, but we struggled to find fellow passengers on the roll calls to share with, so we ended up with Cunard tours instead. All the visas were taken care of for us by the cruiseline. We noticed that as well as having guides, Cunard tours also have a crew member, (pianist, dance escort and bridge teacher), acting as an escort on their tours. They monitor things, make notes of any problems, and bring up the rear and double check everyone is back on the bus! How was Shanghai? In Shanghai we took one day tours. The first was Best of Shanghai, and the second Shanghai Old and New. The Chinese authorities took longer than expected to clear the ship in Shanghai so our Best of Shanghai tour started and ended late and the order of the sites had to be reorganised as the lunch was at a fixed time. We started with an hour in the Shanghai Museum, then had lunch in the function room on the top floor of the Shanghai Theatre. The Chinese meal, served family style, was really well organised and the food was fresh and tasty. In the afternoon we visited the temple of the two Jade Buddhas, the Yu Gardens and the bazaar, and ended with a stroll on the modern side of The Bund. Day 2 we were surprised to see we had the same guide as the day before! He was very concerned that we would be revisiting a couple of places from the day before, but we didn’t care. We started with a ride to the top of the Shanghai Centre, (the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world), in the worlds fastest elevator! The view from the top was incredible! Next we walked around the french part of The Bund, had a dim sum lunch (again delicious and well organised by Cunard), visited the Yu Gardens and the bazaar again and ended with a walking tour along the old side of the Bund. Shanghai is a really vibrant city, full of energy and very forward looking. The weather both days was overcast and smoggy and over 200 on the air quality scale which was really unhealthy. What did you do in Beijing? We booked ourselves on Cunards Beijing 2 Day Discovery tour, along with 500 of our closest cruisemates! It was a very popular tour! We started with a 3 hour drive to Beijing, followed by a 20 minute ride in a trishaw. It was a cold day and whizzing round in an open vehicle was absolutely freezing. We noticed that people not on a tour had a leisurely ride wheras tour people were driven at breakneck speed. Our driver probably did the circuit in 10 minutes, jammed his brakes on and said “out!”. We had lunch at a restaurant in a jade shop near the Great Wall, and then visited the wall itself. Wow! What a fantastic sight! I got halfway up the steps, looked back and thought “OMG if I don’t turn round now I’ll never get back down”. The steps were a foot high in places and very uneven, and not for people with vertigo. My husband got all the way up onto the wall and walked past three guardhouses until he was finally able to get a photo with no one else in it! Our overnight accommodation was at the China World Shangri-La Hotel and it was awesome! So awesome in fact, that we decided to forego that evening’s Peking Duck Banquet in favour of a nap, a few drinks and a light meal in the hotel lobby, a long soak in the fabulous hotel bath and an early night! We also took an executive decision to not bother with the 5:30am buffet breakfast, and enjoyed an extra hour in bed, ate the apples we found in our room, and headed downstairs for our 7am start, raring to go! There was a fair bit of whingeing and moaning on the bus about how people only got 5 hours sleep, about how disappointing the food at the banquet was, and how exhausted they were! Glad we passed on that! Day 2 in Beijing had us at Tiananmen Square by 7:30 and The Forbidden City by 8:30. We loved the guided tour of the Forbidden City and were surprised at how big the complex was. We had an early lunch banquet and then took a 40 minute Bullet Train ride to Tianjin. It got up to 215 mph, and was really quiet and smooth. Very impressive! The ship was scheduled to depart at 5pm, but 6pm came and went and at 7 they started calling certain passenger names and asking them to see the purser. We were still in port at 8pm and the Captain announced that there were problems with the Chinese authorities and some of the special tourist visas the ship had obtained for us. By the time the issues were resolved, and a slot in the river traffic had been assigned to us, we finally left around 11pm, six hours late. Next stop Kitakyushu. Where on earth is that? It is on Japan’s Kyushu Island, and it was a maiden port for QM2. We docked in a container port, where a makeshift passenger terminal had been created out of tents for us. We arrived to an incredibly warm welcome, crowds cheering and waving, and brass bands playing. I heard there were fire boats streaming plumes of red, white and blue water as QM2 entered the port! Because of the delay leaving China, and despite making up some time, we finally arrived at 11am instead of 8am, so the tours started later and the itineraries were rearranged. We had booked Best of Kitakyushu, and our first stop was at a local hotel for lunch. We were each presented with a Bento Box with lots of tiny portions of exquisitely flavoured food. It was delicious and a nice change of pace to the Chinese banquets. 

I am not a fan of public loos, but I made an exception here and went to check out the Japanese toilets I’d heard about. These didn’t disappoint and although I did like the heated seat I wimped out of pressing any of the other buttons! Compared to Shanghai and Beijing, there wasn’t a lot to do in Kitakyushu. We visited a museum with a very good robotic dinosaur exhibit, looked at the outside of Kokura Castle, which was closed for renovations, went up the Mojiko Retro Town Observation Tower and a wander around the town.

The locals treated us to a fantastic firework display as we left port. Did you go anywhere else? Yes, our final port was Seogwipo City, on Jeju Island, South Korea. Another new country for me and another maiden port for QM2. We were the first cruise ship to dock at their brand new cruise terminal. We were greeted with music, K Pop bands, speeches and free packs of facemasks, (as in skin care!) for everyone! Todays tour was Seogwipo City Highlights, our bus had disco lights in it, and our guide introduced himself and told us not to look out of the windows. Huh? It turns out that the new cruise terminal and nearby naval base had been a bone of contention for some of the locals, and along with “Welcome QM2” banners, there were some not so welcoming ones that he hadn’t wanted us to see. We walked over the longest pedestrian bridge on Jeju Island, and did a brief walk around Saeseom Island and then over to Cheonjiyeon Falls. Our final stop was to a local food market, which I always find fascinating. How was disembarkation? It was surprisingly easy! Immigration was all done behind the scenes for us by Hong Kong officials who boarded the ship in South Korea. We picked up our passports on the last evening and our Hong Kong visas were already inside. We put our cases out late on the last night, reusing the tags we used for boarding. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8:30am, so had a quick breakfast in Britannia Club, and then headed up to the Carinthia Lounge, where we were scheduled for a 9am departure. Our number was called at 8:50am. Disembarkation was quick, we found our bags, cleared customs and waited about 10 minutes for a taxi. Couldn’t have been better. We checked into the Royal Pacific Hotel again, and after a walk around the shopping centres next door to kill time, managed to be in our room by noon. Hong Kong Part 2, how was that? The miserable weather that had followed us for most of the cruise continued in Hong Kong. It varied from fog to drizzle to torrential rain and put a bit of a downer on our post cruise plans. Our rescheduled tour to Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha took place in awful weather. We visited a beach in the rain. Had a tour of a market and a river boat ride in a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The skies briefly cleared when we visited the Buddha, and then the fog descended for the rest of the day. We visited the Po Lin Monastery for lunch and their vegetarian banquet was fantastic, probably the best “included lunch” we had on any of our tours. Sightseeing was really not possible so our Plan B inevitably was food! Highlights included Jimmy’s Kitchen for a “ Classic British Food From The 1970s” fix, the Pho Boozer for a ridiculously cheap 3 course lunch in either Indian, Malay, Thai or Vietnamese style and Bombay Dreams, with its Michelin Star winning Indian lunch buffet. Our “last hurrah” was at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kowloon, where we went for drinks in their bar overlooking Hong Kong harbour and had front row seats for the 8pm laser light show, which was spectacular. It was pouring with rain so we abandoned plans to find a restaurant for dinner and splurged on a selection of fabulous asian tapas right where we were. How was your journey home? We arranged for late checkout at 1:30pm and used the hotel limo service to the airport as we couldn’t face dragging our bags out in the rain and trying to get a taxi. It was money well spent. We weren’t expecting to find a hotel employee waiting at the curb for us when we arrived at the airport. He took care of our bags and fast tracked us to the Cathay check in desks, oversaw the check in procedure for us and directed us to immigration. He wouldn’t take a tip and said it was all part of the hotel service. What a nice surprise. All flights to the USA have extra security, and we were screened at the gate and again just before we boarded the plane. Our 16 hour flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm Hong Kong time and arrive in Washington DC at 8:30pm the same day. I planned to try and get a little sleep mid flight. The meal and drink service was more leisurely flying back. I had an excellent steak for dinner, 3 glasses of wine and watched a couple of movies before sleeping, amazingly, for 6 hours! They served beef sliders about 10 hours into the journey and then, bizarrely, breakfast a couple of hours before we landed in Washington in the evening. The omelet was really good. This time the flightpath skirted China, Japan and Russia, entering the USA over Washington state, then heading east, and we arrived a few minutes early into Washington Dulles. For once the Global Entry machines were empty, and they didn’t reject our passports, so we whizzed through immigration. We had a bit of a wait for our bags, and finally got a Washington Flyer taxi around 9pm and were home by 10pm. We were absolutely shattered. Is it good to be home? Yes! Absolutely! But wow, what an epic trip! I would definitely fly Cathay Pacific again, and I think we have found our new cruise home with Cunard. I can’t wait to sail on Queen Mary 2 again and look forward to trying out Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth too! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Never having done a cruise before we chose the Queen Mary because we wanted luxury. We certainly got that. We had a Princess Grill suite and loved the dining experience that we got with it. Every meal was superb and the waiting staff ... Read More
Never having done a cruise before we chose the Queen Mary because we wanted luxury. We certainly got that. We had a Princess Grill suite and loved the dining experience that we got with it. Every meal was superb and the waiting staff were so friendly and very professional. We chose to sit on a large table with six other diners and found them to be great company. Each meal was leisurely and sociable. There weren’t enough hours in the day to participate in all the activities available but we did as many as we could. We went to the evening show every night and played whist in the afternoons. Did several of the quizzes and made new friends. The week just flew by and I wished we had booked longer. Cunard arranged our transfer from and to the airport and organised a first class meal at the airport in HongKong before our departure. We only did one organised tour in Vietnam and found it a bit rushed. In Hong Kong we did our sightseeing by ourselves and took advantage of the free shuttle service laid on by Cunard. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We cruised recently on the Queen Mary 2 from Dubai to Hong Kong Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest ocean liner ever built, having served as the flagship of the Cunard Line since succeeding the Queen ... Read More
We cruised recently on the Queen Mary 2 from Dubai to Hong Kong Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest ocean liner ever built, having served as the flagship of the Cunard Line since succeeding the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004. As of 2019, Queen Mary 2 is the only passenger ship operating as an ocean liner. A key point is that the Queen Mary as a liner travels the trans-Atlantic route for the majority of the year, Southampton to New York, but also does an annual World voyage as a cruise ship. Our cruise was part of that annual voyage from Southampton to Japan and back. The public areas are very opulent and there are many inside options for activities and eating areas. However, being a liner there are not many outside eating areas, and the poolside seating is limited and in the evening non-existent. As we travelled through tropical countries it would have been good to be able to savour the balmy evenings on sea days and after leaving port. We particularly enjoyed the Planetarium sessions and the guest lecture series. Craft sessions, Zumba, chair aerobics and line dancing were also available on the frequent sea days. We were in a cabin on deck 5 and found the décor and fittings tired; with the carpet needing a good clean and the cracked tiles in the bathroom replaced. It is obvious that the British class system is very alive and well on QM2. There were several deck areas and restaurants on the ship that were out of bounds for the majority of the passengers. Areas that didn’t seem to have much patronage despite covering significant areas of the ship. The entertainment changes frequently with speakers, comedians and other entertainers either joining or leaving the ship at many ports. The entertainment from Dubai to Singapore was excellent, but from then on it was mediocre for some reason. The size and draught of the QM2 meant that may times we couldn’t dock at the cruise ship terminal and ended up at a working port. These ports were often a distance from the nearest town. For instance Doha, we docked about a 50 minute drive from the town, similarly in Chan May which was about 45 minutes from the town. Because these were working ports, we needed to shuttle to the port gate to meet our tour, designated taxis were sometimes allowed on the port but charged to get to the gate. Several of these ports seemed to be maiden visits and much was made of the ceremonies that took place. But as a passenger, it used up valuable shore time travelling to the nearest point of interest and they were unattractive, messy places. The major disappointment with Cunard and QM2 is that they will not tender wheelchair passengers. We have tendered safely many times with other cruise lines, but with Cunard wheelchair passengers have to step over a 45cm gap unassisted to be able to tender. I observed a lift to the tender platform and there are wheelchair accessible ramps into the tender, and a space where wheelchairs could be parked. But wheelchair passengers are discriminated against and denied going ashore at tender ports. My observations were that many of the elderly walking passengers were more unsteady on their feet and more likely to fall while transferring. Whereas, a wheelchair passenger is safe in their wheelchair and can be easily wheeled onto the tender. Subsequently we will never travel with Cunard again. There were no shore excursions that could be undertaken with a wheelchair. The only offering was a vehicle at a huge cost in several of the ports where we could follow a tour and maybe gain access to the attraction. Therefore, we organised our own shore excursions but trying to get times of arrival and departure at all the ports proved to be a mission. I achieved it finally only by contacting Cunard via their Facebook page. But finding out which part of the port, which berth or gate proved impossible. Thankfully the tour guides we employed were able to use their initiative and local knowledge to find us. But in many cases they were not allowed onto the ports. So where we had organised a wheelchair accessible taxi we had to carry my husband into a taxi to get to the port gate and then lift him out of the taxi. Not a pleasant experience for everyone, in high temperatures and humidity. Finally in Singapore, one wheelchair accessible taxi was provided in the rotation to transport wheelchair passengers to the Marina district. On the way back to the ship we were thankfully provided with a wheelchair accessible bus and loaded in three wheelchairs for the trip back to the ship. In summary I think QM2 should stick to trans-Atlantic crossings and leave cruises to designated cruise ships that are designed for cruising. If you are in a wheelchair definitely don’t cruise with Cunard. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Excellent for special diets ie lactose free gluten free etc Good standard of food overall No where to eat outside. Very disappointing Kings court food area feels like motorway service station No basketball Main Sunbathing ... Read More
Excellent for special diets ie lactose free gluten free etc Good standard of food overall No where to eat outside. Very disappointing Kings court food area feels like motorway service station No basketball Main Sunbathing decks obscured by lifeboats Entertainment in the main theatre generally good Embarkation procedure in Dubai was a nightmare. Disorganised. Took 7 hours! We were given a bottle of basic red wine by way of apology but we felt complaints had fallen on deaf ears Drinks on board eye wateringly expensive but we were able to bring a bottle of gin and wine on board No proper deck to exercise/walk a circuit in the sunshine Sea day activity programme variable. Some good days some not Canyon ranch spa charging 58 dollars for a haircut or gel nails. Also 28 dollars for gel removal Excellent art lectures On board shops very expensive Ship totally unsuitable for children Planetarium is excellent and most unusual to find at sea Overall ship is quite dated. More suited to the elderly Air con is very cold outside your cabin. We needed more warm clothes in the ship especially the theatre. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After enjoying a wonderful cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in 2010 our special anniversary cruise on the QM2 was a huge disappointment and we wanted to get off 4 days into a 14 day cruise! We had more complaints about the cruise but the 3 ... Read More
After enjoying a wonderful cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in 2010 our special anniversary cruise on the QM2 was a huge disappointment and we wanted to get off 4 days into a 14 day cruise! We had more complaints about the cruise but the 3 major areas that Cunard need to address urgently are: Food, Cleanliness, Attitude towards passengers FOOD. This was really shocking especially in the King’s Court dining area where the majority of passengers will eat at some time. Poor quality, very limited choice, unimaginative menu which hardly varied, badly presented, small portions and often cold or alternatively dried out under the heat lamps. Only the occasional curry or stir fry reflected the local cuisine and these were bland and unappetising and only a couple of items cooked to order. Some examples of dishes served regularly were curly fries, Irish stew, roast chicken, skate wings, beef olives, pea puree, sponge pudding and custard, pork belly, lasagne. Breakfast was particularly poor but lunch and dinner were awful too, like being in a motorway café or a posh care home and we only ate eat here if we were really hungry, and we were often hungry (on a cruise!). There are alternative dining areas (we usually ate in the Britannia at night) but we sometimes we wanted a more relaxed buffet restaurant, didn’t want to wait to be seated in the Britannia restaurant and have waiter service. And we objected to paying nearly $40 extra per couple per dinner to sit in a cordoned off area of King’s Court to eat food which should have been included in the main buffet (e.g. Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican) or nearly $100 extra per couple to eat dinner in the Verandah. CLEANLINESS. The new design of the King’s Court restaurant is ill thought out with multiple entry points, no staff to encourage hand cleaning and you can enter the food areas straight from the outside deck without even passing a hand sanitizer. The food stations could have been cleaned more often during mealtimes. The windows and glass doors throughout the ship were covered with greasy finger marks and dirt and we never saw anyone cleaning them during the 2 weeks voyage. The window in the restaurant was so smeared with dirty cloth marks and finger prints that someone had written ‘CLEAN ME’ on it and that was still there when we left. Outside the decks looked dirty and marked with cups/ glasses/ plates not cleared away. Inside there were carpet stains, light fittings missing, some chairs were tatty, needing repairs and again cups, etc not cleared away. ATTITUDE. An arrogant, unfriendly attitude pervades the ship from the top down. Although some staff were excellent (our Britannia restaurant staff gave outstanding service) it felt like passengers were merely an inconvenience and many times myself and others had to stand aside to allow staff members, including the ship’s officers, to pass without even a thank you. We were often ignored or given the wrong item because people simply didn’t listen properly and we rarely saw any officers to talk to except when they had to attend the Captain’s cocktail party where they stood huddled together. This attitude affected the ambience of the ship which lacked energy, interest and warmth with many areas empty by 10pm. OVERALL OPINION. Cunard is trying to cut costs in the wrong areas, it is relying on it’s past reputation but not living up to it and it is targeting a increasing elderly clientele who may happily accept these standards but they won’t sustain future growth. Although many passengers will be loath to admit to their friends, family or even themselves that their cruise was overpriced and of a low standard I can honestly say that this experience was so bad that it has put us off cruising completely and I would not recommend the QM2 to anyone I know. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Whilst this ship - like its sister ship Queen Victoria - is well-designed and its public areas spacious and artistically decorated, Cunard’s failings are the way it treats its passengers both on board and at ports of call. Cost-cutting ... Read More
Whilst this ship - like its sister ship Queen Victoria - is well-designed and its public areas spacious and artistically decorated, Cunard’s failings are the way it treats its passengers both on board and at ports of call. Cost-cutting on food and services has resulted in a deterioration of standards over the years. Coupled with rip-off prices on drinks and tours it is no longer the leading cruise line of years gone by and certainly does not give value for money. My wife and I have been on many cruises on all Cunard Queens. This was our sixth on Queen Elizabeth but our first in its Britannia restaurant. We decided the food served in the Club and Grills restaurants - which the brochure describes as the “finest food” - was simply not worth the high extra cost. And, though the brochure states food in the Britannia restaurant is “superb”, we found that it was unsatisfactory. Over the years, food has become of poorer quality, the quantity has been reduced and its presentation unappetising - except for the extra-charge Verandah restaurant. Several times we ate in the self-service Lido and the Verandah. Even fish and chips in the Golden Lion pub were far better than the similarly described meal in the Britannia - where only 4 chips accompanied the fish. Complaints on board the ship and, in the past, directly to Cunard management have had no effect. The midships balcony cabin we occupied could not be described as roomy but the main problem was the small size of the bathroom. We booked a cabin with shower but the moulded-plastic shower cubicle was the smallest we have ever experienced, being only 70cm wide and 58cm deep. It was not possible to bend down in it to pick up the fallen soap so it was a case of having to step out of the cubicle to recover it. The cost of drinking water in the cabin was $4.54 for a 1.5 litre bottle - about 10 times the price in a UK supermarket. The mark-up on retail prices of wine was about 300%. Malacca was said to be the ships ‘maiden call’ there. I hope it will be the last. It became clear Cunard had not done sufficient work to eliminate the major problem which arose. Arrival time was listed as 8am and departure 5pm. The ship anchored a long way from the port and passengers were advised to allow 45 minutes for the tender journey. It appeared there were not enough tenders to do the job and some local pleasure boats were also used to take passengers ashore. An announcement was that there some delay in the tendering operation so my wife and I left it till 11am to collect a tender ticket from the Queens Room. Hundreds of people were waiting there for a tender. We were told it was unlikely we would get a tender before 12 noon. At 12.45 it was announced a ticket was no longer required. As it had taken at least 4 hours to get passengers ashore, we considered, in view of the sail-away time, it would not be worth going ashore. Many other passengers were of the same mind and were angry. Later, the captain apologised for the shambles stating it was due to the port authority (we did not have the authority’s version) and passengers who had been unable to go on their tours would get their money back. Whatever the problem was, it should have been sorted out by Cunard before Malacca was specified in the itinerary. If the problem could not be solved the ship should have gone elsewhere. A similar planning failure occurred in Colombo where a tour highlight was a visit to the cathedral. When we arrived there it was closed. At Penang a shuttle bus was provided from the ship to a shopping mall but some passengers were told a charge of $6 would be made for a single journey. At Colombo a shuttle bus was provided by the port authority from the ship to the dock gate and a handicraft shop. At Port Victoria, Seychelles the ship berthed within walking distance of the town and at Port Louis, Mauritius a limited service was provided to a shopping area - limited, we were told, due to taxi drivers’ opposition. On this latter service, the small buses used would not have complied with UK bus regulations. Small, ‘occasional’ seats attached to each pair of seats folded down onto the gangway and thus completely blocked the gangway. Not only that, but their small, hard backrest was completely unsuitable for the age group on this cruise. At Réunion we docked at a container port 9 miles from the island’s capital St. Denis. A shuttle bus was provided but it did not take passengers north to St. Denis but to Gilles les Bains, a coastal development, 15 miles to the south. It was little more than a boat marina with cafes; lots of concrete steps; and a beach nearby. Completely inappropriate for passengers with an average minimum age of at least 65. Passengers could go to St. Denis on a Cunard tour which cost $79 each or take a taxi. A similar situation arose at Port Elizabeth where a shuttle bus took passengers from the container port where we docked to the Boardwalk Shopping Centre to the south of the city centre. A Cunard tour of Port Elizabeth was priced at $71 each. I asked a senior crew member why shuttle buses were now taking passengers to shopping centres instead of city centres - as they used to do - and he said it was a “commercial advantage” for Cunard. The only open, forward-facing deck on the ship from which passengers could take photos and video was still closed off. It is at the forward end of deck 9 and accessed through the fitness centre. Until 2016 it was open to passengers but was then kept locked even though the doors, port and starboard, are labelled ‘Emergency Exit’. No credible explanation has been given for this situation. Now a ‘Crew Only’ label has been attached to the door ! Photo attached. Who has ever heard of an emergency exit being confined to crew ? What about the passengers ? Does every member of the crew have a key for the locked doors ? The ship’s dress code is that men should wear a jacket after 6pm. If a person wants to dress more casually he can dine in the Lido and relax in the adjacent Garden Lounge, says Cunard. However, we saw men allowed into the Britannia restaurant for dinner not wearing a jacket and, on formal nights, wearing a casual sports jacket or blazer and grey trousers. At evening performances in the theatre many men were in short-sleeved shirts with no jacket. Clearly the dress code is not enforced and, consequently, non-compliance will get worse. So what is the point in having it ? Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I was booked for 28 days and left after 2 weeks. The staff are really miserable, apart from a few, JR, Alfred, Christian, the waiters on table 321 and one or two others, the maintenance crew were very nice too. The staff in Kings court ... Read More
I was booked for 28 days and left after 2 weeks. The staff are really miserable, apart from a few, JR, Alfred, Christian, the waiters on table 321 and one or two others, the maintenance crew were very nice too. The staff in Kings court were mainly really miserable, there must be something wrong with management. As I was leaving and paid for 2 weeks that I will not be on board I offered my cabin to a lady who was travelling with a companion on an inside cabin, she was on a world tour and a platinum member, so you would think a valued customer....... Cunard had me waiting for 30 minutes to their headquarters to ask "permission" for someone else to use my paid for cabin! They said no, unless she paid for it too! They are very petty with charges.... Mineral water, hello! Are you an upmarket brand or cheap and nasty charging for mineral water? No one asked me why I wanted to leave the ship 2 weeks early, I have been a business owner and I would be mortified if that happened to me and want to set it right or at least know why? Also, there is no shade anywhere on the ship? Steamer seats with no towels available, yuck! Maitre d is useless and very unhelpful. I understand that it is difficult to accommodate everyone but there were so many empty seats at tables, a lot of unhappy passengers re dining. One passenger decribed his experience as a prison sentence.. Glad I broke out of my prison experience!...... Never again! Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first Cunard cruise, and we probably won't be back for many reasons, but I will detail the good and bad. Our sailing was Brisbane to Singapore, with ports Airlie Beach, Darwin, Bali, Singapore Embarkation in ... Read More
This was our first Cunard cruise, and we probably won't be back for many reasons, but I will detail the good and bad. Our sailing was Brisbane to Singapore, with ports Airlie Beach, Darwin, Bali, Singapore Embarkation in Brisbane was smooth and easy, the fishermans grain terminal isn't nice but I wasn't going on holidays for the terminal so wasn't impacted. My first impression was that Cunard was missing the 'WOW' that an atrium such as those on Princess offer. The 'Grand Lobby' didn't seem that grand. It was lunch time so we headed to the dining room, though the cruise was on a world voyage we were told we couldn't eat there. We asked for a menu to cater to my husbands dietary requirements and were promptly given one. Upstairs in King's Court, we were blown away... By how below average it was. Small, limited variety.. Sure, you could find something but there wasn't much. I expected something grand and was flat. We had an inside cabin on deck 10. It was smaller than other inside cabins we had, and every surface was covered with things, ice buckets, tea, coffee etc. No room to put our own things so we asked our stateroom steward to remove everything and he did so promptly. Now onto the voyage itself. Well, what a disappointment. Cyclone in Darwin, so we could not port, which also meant Bali immigration could not board and due to a public holiday it meant no Bali. So we sailed for 9 sea days straight. The weather cannot be faulted to Cunard but their reaction was deplorable. A bottle of wine in each cabin, we are not drinkers and asked to swap for soft drink but were told we could have bottled water instead. That and only that was offered. For the price paid on Cunard cruises, in this case up to $30,000 we expected better. Thankfully, we did not pay that, but $6000 is still a lot to pay for a 12 day cruise with 11 sea days. Could we have stopped in Cairns by tender, or possibly Malaysia, Perth somewhere else, I believe so. The mood on the boat drastically dropped after the news. The holiday was a dud and with so many people disembarking in Singapore, it was very obvious nobody was happy. Dining.. Oliver , head waiter in the Brittania dining room, Deck 1 was superb. We were designated late sitting but wanted early, so we went every night at 6.30pm and were randomly seated. We mostly ended up at the same table and Oliver always bought out the next days menu for my husband. If we missed dinner, he would slip it under our door. The food was ok, never outstanding and without the ports it became very dry, bland and basic by day 7. Duck La Ronge was bought out 1 night, the driest piece of duck I've ever seen and one orange segment, no sauce.. Not very nice. The worst experience was when I asked for a straw to accompany my glass of ice and soft drink. The waiter told me no because they were banned on the boat. I had to argue to get my straw, and the next night it happened again. Finally I told him sternly that since they put straws in cocktails and other beverages I was entitled to mine. I was paying $4.71 for a coca cola each night, USD, so converted to AUD even higher - if I wanted a straw I was getting one. Then the straws started appearing. One night however, I watched him chastise a sweet older lady who asked for a straw with her ginger ale. I had enough and reported him to the head waiter. When he came back with the straw he proceeded to abuse her telling her that she shouldn't have gone over his head. Enough said on that, but rest assured he got a piece of my mind. Desserts were average,nothing fancy. We did like the games corridors on deck 2, they had boardgames, puzzles etc that was great. The planetarium was good but they didn't show enough shows and I found that silly since we'd been subjected to so many sea days. Loved the relaxation therapy pool in the spa spent many many hours there and the price was on par for what we received. Did not enjoy the shows, a guy and girl with a yoyo and some juggling for passengers of that age and price point was terrible. One night I overheard a lady say the singers and dancers sounded like 100 cats were dying, I thought she was being complimentary. The theatre is beautiful so they could do better trying to fill it. Crossing the equator service was hilarious and fun and I would say 70% of the boat went to that event, it was great to watch. Shops were ok, but we didn't buy anything. The staff didn't seem to knowledgeable but they may hve been new. IF you are a smoker, there is limited areas available on deck 7/8 and it is aft on the boat, be warned it is a very tiny area - you will not be catered to very well. Is it value for money. Not at all, and if you are spending that money I really think you deserve better. Cunard really needs to pick their act up, because the ship itself is quite nice,it is let down by poor offerings, average service (Where was white star), basic food, terrible buffet, expensive prices. Would i do one again, probably not. And whilst I met many people on board, a good chunk of them said the same without any prompting from me! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise as was on bucket list to cruise Cunard thinking it would be the best of the best. Embarkation painless, quick and very efficient. Cabin was clean but little shower pressure with antiquated shower curtain. Smallest ... Read More
We chose this cruise as was on bucket list to cruise Cunard thinking it would be the best of the best. Embarkation painless, quick and very efficient. Cabin was clean but little shower pressure with antiquated shower curtain. Smallest bathroom we have had, no ventilation and no shaving mirror. The excursions left much to be desired, booked a lunch on a Mississippi steam ship to find when we arrived qm2 customers had been allocated lunch on an old steel tub next door. Grey power rose and demanded to be taken back to the ship as the tub was not what we had booked. We were told we would receive a full refund. Back at the ship a line at the excursion bookings where staff turned up 45 mins late to the advertised opening time. The staff were rude and unhelpful telling us our refund would be credited to our ship account. We had all paid prior to sailing and wanted refund back into our original accounts. When refund was credited it was only 50%. Next a message from our invisible captain on loudspeaker to announce we would not be able to call in at Darwin because of the cyclone. We accepted this as it was a force mature spending a few more days at sea and everyone looking forward to docking at Bali. Once again an announcement from the captain saying we would not be docking in Bali as it was a public holiday and Cunard staff had been unable to get to Darwin to start the visa process. Totally unacceptable as Cunard cruise organisers should have known it was a public holiday in Bali. After 9 days at sea we docked at Singapore where ot took two hours to disembark from the ship and get visas stamped. Queue after queue with many more frail passengers having to also stand in line, myself included. Passengers were extremely disillusioned with Cunard by now. It also took another hour of queuing to get back on board. Compensation for 9 days at sea was a bottle of wine. Most of the activities on the ship incurred a fee ave $35. We had also been looking forward to a stop at Brunei which were notified of cancellation a very while to departure date. Other passengers did not receive any notification and only found out when they tried to book an excursion at the office. The shops were pathetic and overpriced, we purchased very nice jewellery on a holland America cruise with far better pricing. Wine was extortionate in cost as was the wi fi which regularly dropped out and usage monitoring was not accurate. The food in the buffet was regularly dried up and unappetising. It was like a cattle market at lunchtimes and frequently there was not enough seating.The service in the Britannia restaurant was good, but the menu not enough choice. All the passengers that we spoke to, which were many and varied said that they would not travel on the QM2 again and had had much better cruises on other lines, some of these passengers had taken 30 plus cruises. Even passengers that had travelled before on the QM2 said that they would not travel again on her. Our cabin steward did a good job of keeping our cabin tidy, we found the staff in the Britannia restaurant were friendly, however the rest of the staff we did not find to be particularly friendly as on other cruise lines. The entertainment was good the first time but not so good on repeat. The movie cinema only showed a couple of recent movies. The tv channels were appalling frequently dropping out with outdated movies. We were very disappointed with this cruise and we had been really looking forward to it. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose the QM2 for a taste of old world, traditional cruising British style (a 14-day cruise Sydney-Singapore) with four expected shore stops, only two of which took place. A cyclone prevented one shore visit (entirely understandable) and ... Read More
I chose the QM2 for a taste of old world, traditional cruising British style (a 14-day cruise Sydney-Singapore) with four expected shore stops, only two of which took place. A cyclone prevented one shore visit (entirely understandable) and a right royal mess up (for which Cunard would accept no responsibility) prevented the other. For this, we were compensated with a bottle of red wine and a reduction of US$175-00 on our next Cunard cruise. The vessel is beautifully decorated and the public areas were certainly handsomely refurbished in the 2016 refit to reflect its past glory. However, noise containment between staterooms was not satisfactory (I had to move staterooms twice before I could get a relatively quiet room). The main dining room food was not really up to the standard of a luxury line (the Princess Line serves food just as good). The Indian special restaurant was fine but in the Verandah Restaurant (named after the legendary Verandah on the Queen Mary) -- for which hefty cover charges were levied at lunch and dinner -- the food quality and service fluctuated considerably. Compared with its equivalent on the "Celebrity Solstice", where I had the best meal I have ever had on a cruise ship in 2015, the Verandah was a big let down. I did complain and efforts were made to mollify me. However, I found this a dispiriting experience -- as did other passengers. Nevertheless, there were positives: friendly and efficient stewards and waiters, great musicians, the opportunity to participate in a choir and, of course, the usual range of shipboard activities. However, I have to say that, because of the noise problems experienced, the Verandah issues and the shambolic shore stop situation, I would never travel Cunard again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
As a World Club member my wife and I are familiar with the Cunard from previous Queen Elizabeth sailings and thought we would experience QM2. It was terrible ! Kings Court is like a downmarket cafeteria with poor food and ... Read More
As a World Club member my wife and I are familiar with the Cunard from previous Queen Elizabeth sailings and thought we would experience QM2. It was terrible ! Kings Court is like a downmarket cafeteria with poor food and passengers constantly pounding the promenade deck and watching you eat. Missed three ports - Darwin, Bali and Brunei. 9 days at sea. Bottle of wine as a goodwill gesture doesn't cut it. Two letters on board to the Captain not responded to effectively. I find it difficult to understand the shambles of disembarking in Singapore after 9 sea days. The wrong tour number stickers issued for shore excursions, terrible communication, disinterest generally. There was considerable passenger dissatisfaction however no genuine concern for those passengers cruising Brisbane to Singapore and as nothing but ocean. There is a negative culture on this ship that needs immediate attention. Do not travel on this ship ! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We like Cunard for still keeping the style of cruising. There are some formal nights with formal/cocktail dress ups, but we like it. We like that the company keep the same dress code for dinners at the restaurant. It is classical style. ... Read More
We like Cunard for still keeping the style of cruising. There are some formal nights with formal/cocktail dress ups, but we like it. We like that the company keep the same dress code for dinners at the restaurant. It is classical style. The ship is beautiful, very clean and service is outstanding. Embarkation and disembarkation both were very organized and went so smoothly and quick. Ports of call were new for us, we went out to shore excursions at each port. But we did not buy all shore excursions from the ship, some of them were expensive compare to some on-line companies that offered shore tours. The tours that we bought from the ship were very well organized and very informative too. This ship is not so good for children, there are no children playgrounds and pools are plain, without any slides. There are mostly elderly people on the ship and it did not bother me, but for young people there are not much to do in the evening: bars closed early and dance club is only one for the whole ship. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We travelled in QM2 for a short 10-day leg of the ship's current world cruise, taking advantage of a generous sale that had been advertised. In short, the experience was everything we expected, and more. Every aspect of the ... Read More
We travelled in QM2 for a short 10-day leg of the ship's current world cruise, taking advantage of a generous sale that had been advertised. In short, the experience was everything we expected, and more. Every aspect of the ship's service was of a very high standard. Crew members, waiters and cabin stewards quickly got to know our preferences and routines, and provided personalised service to match. Our balcony cabin was about the usual size for a cruise ship cabin of that standard, but was well designed and comfortable. Despite some review suggesting otherwise, we found the quality of the food in all locations to be excellent. The main dining room (Britannia) provided a varied menu of high-quality dishes. The buffet (King's Court) had a good variety of excellent food, and we were especially impressed with the 'alternative dining option', "Bamboo", which is well-worth the additional charge. We also dined at The Veranda Restaurant, for one meal. While this was also exceptional, we doubted whether it was really worth paying the significant surcharge for this restaurant, given the quality of food and service at the other locations. A very full program of entertainment and 'enrichment' options was offered. There was certainly something for everyone. However, we found that some shows in the main theatre were a little lacking. Indeed, for some reason, the ship's own company of singers and dancers presented the same show just three nights apart. Surely they must have more than one show in their repertoire! One big plus for QM2 is its size. This allows for generous and numerous public spaces. Unlike other ships of a similar size that take up to 4000+ passengers, QM2 accommodates only about 2500 passengers. This means that bars, restaurants, lounges and theatres are never crowded. You can always find a quite place to sit and read, or enjoy the company of others. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I've taken over 20 cruises usually of 21 night duration on Cunard, Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.Solo (single) traveller thus usually paying a 75-100% surcharge. For what it's worth I'm a gold ... Read More
I've taken over 20 cruises usually of 21 night duration on Cunard, Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.Solo (single) traveller thus usually paying a 75-100% surcharge. For what it's worth I'm a gold level Cunard Club member. I returned on 09 April 2017 from an unpleasant and unenjoyable 3 weeks on Queen Mary 2 - Hong Kong to Singapore sector of the QM2 world voyage. I confidently booked this cruise having been delighted last year by a 21 night cruise on Queen Victoria from Cape Town to Southampton. The QV was sophisticated, gracious with passable food (buffet always better than dining room food), excellent speakers and entertainment and a stable compliment of sophisticated fellow passengers. Along with most cruise enthusiasts I was exposed over recent years to Cunard's “hype” and “propaganda” about the QM2. Thus I was looking forward to cruising on QM2. However, my experiences on QM2 sadly did not come close to my expectations. In fact I was bitterly disappointed and disillusioned. I found the ship poorly designed as a cruise ship with limited available deck space (especially in wet weather), public rooms inconveniently located, cramped and relatively small library (quite unlike the double storey, gracious QV library/internet cafe), uncomfortable theatre seating (were those Ikea discount barrel chairs and sofas designed to slip one on to the floor?) and endless narrow corridors and difficult layout especially forward on decks 2 and 3. The unattractively decorated Queens Room is tucked behind the Britannia Dining Room down a corridor which doubles as an "art" gallery. Some public rooms are tucked away inaccessibly and for the size of the ship they were small. The decor has suffered the unstylish, minimalist approach of tasteless designers leaving many spaces feeling more like a shopping mall than a supposed luxurious cruise/liner. As usual on cruise ships the food looks good but is usually tasteless and poor quality. Consequence of mass production? The QM2 Britannia Restaurant food was mostly unappetising/tasteless requiring a visit to the Kings Court buffet directly afterwards. Usually buffet food is more tasty and varied than dining room food. However, on QM2 the food seemed equally tasteless, lacking flavour and the salad selection worse than on any other ship on which I've travelled. The Kings Court Buffet must be one of the worst designed buffets afloat. I renamed it the Rabbit Warren due to the numerous narrow corridor seating areas, small inaccessible alcoves with often no table availability at peak eating times. The food display area was sterile, unattractive looking and user unfriendly. Food variety was very limited and ever changing in location resulting in passengers milling around looking for their food choices. The customer service from the Purser's Office was usually inefficient, non personalised and sometimes rude. The experience of the constantly changing passenger complement was akin to a mass transit ferry, rather than an elegant cruise liner. Furthermore the ship’s decor suffered from her recent refit looking more like a semi modern shopping mall than an elegant ship. “Liner” versus “cruise ship” propaganda from Cunard?! The Chart Room, Corinthia Lounge and Illuminations Cinema/Planetarium/Lecture Hall were however redeeming features of the ship. The itinerary was tedious and ports of call not conducive to independent sightseeing. This was exacerbated by miserable weather for 18 of the 21 days. Singapore, the port of disembarkation, was a notable exception with easy access along a 600m covered walkway to the MRT (underground) station. Transfer to/from Changi Airport is an easy 45 min ride in air-conditioned comfort costing S$2.50 each way. Access to sites such as the Botanic Gardens easy using the MRT Matters aboard were made worse by my 6th deck balcony cabin (6251) being relentlessly noisy from the promenade deck above and the laundrette across the corridor. Slamming deck, balcony and passenger doors ruined any chance of peace in my cabin or on the awful balcony. The sheltered balcony was so unpleasant with a 1,2m high balustrade and noisy that it was unusable other than letting fresh air into my cabin in-between noises from above and around my cabin. There was no view of the sea from inside the cabin. Rectification of some of the causes of my complaints took 2 weeks. Noises continued for the duration of the cruise. The Maitre ‘d took the liberty of moving a group of 5 friends (2 couples and their solo friend) on to my under sized table for 6 where two of us solo travellers were already seated. Thus 7 of us were cramped around a table. I thus withdrew from the table only after objecting to the unilateral, high handed attitude of the maitre 'd and happily sat alone at a table squeezed between several other tables for two. We may all just as well have sat at a large table as there was no privacy between tables for two guests! As it happens I spent little time in the Britannia dining room because within minutes of most meals I realised I’d need to retreat to the Kings Court “rabbit warren” to try to find a meal that had taste. For the first time in over 20 cruises, I instructed the QM2 Purser’s Office to remove all pre-paid gratuities from my on board account due to the tardy service and disappointments on QM2. My other woes were added to as the Finance Manager on board, sent three letters to me in the first week of the cruise instructing me to provide my credit card for on board payments. Of course presentation of my credit card and “reserving” funds on my credit card were done in the embarkation process in the Hong Kong Terminal but apparently had not correctly reflected on the ship’s system. However, charges reflected immediately on embarkation on my credit card and was advised me via SMS on my iPhone. This indicated poor and un-coordinated admin and non personalised service for which an apology was never forthcoming. Furthermore repeated account statements appeared OUTSIDE my cabin door ( for all passing passengers to view) for the duration of the cruise. The deck and balcony noise as well as slamming doors continued for the duration of the three week cruise. The quality of entertainment was disappointing. “Sing along” and audience participation sometimes started within minutes of a show commencing. Awful. Decent speakers and quality performers not needing “audience participation” appeared once we sailed from Hong Kong for the third week of the cruise. However, soloists such as Lara the Harpist and the pianists were excellent as were the string quartet, duo performers on stage and the speakers after the second Hong Kong call. The Theatre productions were mostly average to poor. "Class" distinctions on the QM2 have increased with the advent of Britannia Club. Amusingly, Queens and Princess Grill guests are delightfully "on view" through picture windows into their dining rooms and private lounge while us other guests are promenading on deck Embarkation in Hong Kong was chaos between 11:00 to 14:00 with almost unheard announcements, poor queue management and a very lengthy wait of three hours from time of transfer drop off at the terminal to boarding the ship. Ports of call, excluding only Singapore and Nagasaki, were mostly inaccessible for easy independent sightseeing or they required 1-2 hours in shuttle buses to get from the berth to centres for sight seeing. As usual Cunard Shore Excursions are over priced and often tedious. Clearly Cunard used the itinerary to promote QM2 to as many Oriental guests as possible for short duration cruises hence the shifting population of guests for the three weeks of my cruise. I shall never return to QM2 and may even revisit my previously held positive view of Cunard following my superb experience on Queen Victoria I had last year on the 3 week, last sector of the world cruise, between Cape Town and Southampton. I feel that I wasted my time and money on the QM2. I have cancelled a booking I had for a long cruise in September 2017 on QM2 from Southampton to Quebec/St Lawrence disembarking in NYC. I am now a disgruntled GOLD level Cunard guest. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Im a platinum member of cunard which means i have traveled a lot on all there ships mostly on QM2. the food in the britania resterant always arives less than worm although presentation is good,even though the ship has undergon a big ... Read More
Im a platinum member of cunard which means i have traveled a lot on all there ships mostly on QM2. the food in the britania resterant always arives less than worm although presentation is good,even though the ship has undergon a big re-fit it is still tied in parts its saving grace was getting rid of that terrible palm court. the shops are exspensive as products can be got ashore at a better price toiled papper is appoling and cheep staff seemed always to be stressed ,but always,well mostly are plesant . the big pluss are the new single staterooms although you cannot book the on the saver fair,disspite what cunard tell you,cunard were the very best at one time now they are only good to ok christmass is not recomended on cunard,not my opinion but having spoken to passangers who had don christmas told me it was only ok. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We have always wanted to cruise on Cunard and we weren't disappointed. Queen Mary 2 was just as we expected. Great service, great food, plenty of space and a touch of class. We had 14 days on the ship and the dinner menu was ... Read More
We have always wanted to cruise on Cunard and we weren't disappointed. Queen Mary 2 was just as we expected. Great service, great food, plenty of space and a touch of class. We had 14 days on the ship and the dinner menu was different every night. Our table of 4 in the dining room all enjoyed our meals and the friendly Maitre De, Elvis, checked every night to make sure we were happy. We requested our favourite deserts that were not on the menu and he made sure that we got them the next night and any other night that we requested them. I don't normally like the buffets on cruises but Kings Court was one of the best. We quite often don't eat until 2.00 pm as we have late dinner and they were always replenishing the dishes with fresh food. Other ships we have been on you get the scraps at that time. The variety and the quality of food was excellent. Different stations for each type of food. We particularly like the Sushi station, which was always topped up with fresh sashimi, as it was quite popular. The deck chairs on the promenade deck were excellent for viewing the sights or just reading a book and catching the breezes. We only saw half of the shows as 10.30 pm is a bit late for us to go to a show. Would prefer if they put the shows on before dinner. The shows we did see were very good. Their broadway shows could have been better and we had seen some of the acts on other cruise lines but that happens when you cruise a lot. This was number 40 cruise for us but our first on Cunard. We will definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We only decided on this cruise due to the price. We were not looking for a cruise but this one "appeared" on our email and we could not ignore it. And we are sooo glad we didn't ignore it. Best holiday ever!! If we had ... Read More
We only decided on this cruise due to the price. We were not looking for a cruise but this one "appeared" on our email and we could not ignore it. And we are sooo glad we didn't ignore it. Best holiday ever!! If we had stayed at home and ate at a Michelin rated restaurant every night, we would have spent more than the fare for the cruise- and missed out on the other meals, ports of call, entertainment etc etc. Gotta experience it to appreciate it.... what can I tell ya? Apart from the fact that this liner is a mechanical marvel and physically huge in size, it has everything you could want on a holiday. The formality of dress after 6pm may not suit everyone but, there are plenty of cruise ships available for the more casually inclined. QM2 is the only liner in the world and should be appreciated as such. I have read negative reviews of the ship and encountered people during the cruise that had a whinge. Seriously... you will find people everywhere who will complain that the sunrise isn't to their liking, or their Verve Cliquot is half a degree below optimum temperature and you need to ignore them lest you become infected with their misery and snobbery. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Chose this cruise, Sydney to Hong Kong on QM2 to get a sample of Cunard Line, not so much the ports. Always been on my bucket list to try QM2. Embarkation in Sydney was very good, efficient, only had to wait half an hour to embark. ... Read More
Chose this cruise, Sydney to Hong Kong on QM2 to get a sample of Cunard Line, not so much the ports. Always been on my bucket list to try QM2. Embarkation in Sydney was very good, efficient, only had to wait half an hour to embark. The ship was magnificent, like new after refurbish, nicely furnished and plenty of deck space. Cabin was fine, had sheltered balcony cabin on deck 5, well furnished, comfortable bed. Shower pressure not great, just adequate. Dining, my biggest disappointment. We did 1st sitting @ 6pm in Britannia. Table of eleven. Service good from waiters, but wine waiter not attentive and forgetful at times. Food choice poor, about 5 mains to choose from, portions very small and of mediocre quality. Drink prices way over priced. Entertainment was ok, mix of singers, dancers etc. Ports and excursions ok, but Vietnam not nice. Overall an average cruise, would not travel Cunard again, Grills pax had too much of the ship to themselves, couple of lounges/bars, two restaurants, own sun deck etc. Much prefer Princess/P&O UK. QM2 after all the hype in Australia is over rated in my opinion. Enforcement of dress codes was poor, they gave up. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as part of a package tour and cruised to Sydney from Capetown. Most of the Phillipino staff were excellent, Some of the staff did a rotation in the buffet area and European staff came on board, they were not friendly ... Read More
We chose this cruise as part of a package tour and cruised to Sydney from Capetown. Most of the Phillipino staff were excellent, Some of the staff did a rotation in the buffet area and European staff came on board, they were not friendly and quite surly they were definitely not suited to this type of work and many looked as though the guests were an inconvenience. The food was very nice in the Britannia Room and the buffet although the Buffet area was a bit confusing as it is broken up into sections and different food in each part which caused the areas into these sections to be very crowded. Always there is crowding in the seating areas which is understandable. Everything on QM2 costs, unlike other ships for the price there should be a few inclusions, like the watercolour classes, and the craft classes, they would not have cost much to run.No complementary shopping bags as on Holland America, which I though a bit stingy. The emergency drill was poor, we had people wandering in areas they should not have been and staff a bit lax with it as well. I was pleased there was no emergency asthe discipline in organisation really was not great. The onshore organisation was poor and they should take a lesson from Holland America who do not expect people to line up and wait, they should have just handed out numbers and when the tender number was ready call the guests with those numbers I think all I think the QM2 relies heavily on their old reputation, and charges accordingly,a lot more expensive than ships like the Holland America Line . The QM2 really does not live up to the hype!. Read Less
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