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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in ... Read More
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in Dubai!! Approaching the ship is a fabulous sight but when you get on board it is evident it needs a refurb.Our balcony stateroom was ok but rusting pipes on balcony did not look nice,Found all staff to be efficient, helpful and understanding but had initial issue with Brittannia dining room getting a decent table for 2 but eventually got one.Used dining room for breakfast also and the maitre d’ had the annoying habit of giving us a table for 2 where we had to squeeze past another table to get to it when there other more suitable tables free.Food in dining room was excellent and all waiting staff were very helpful.For dinner you are allotted your table for the whole of the cruise which was fine.If you don’t like to be served food you can use the Kings Court self service restaurant but can be a bit of a bun fight trying to find a table and only the brits queue. Prices on board for drinks and speciality coffees horrendous with 15% surcharge.Evening entertainment was very good and the guest on board speakers had good attendance - particularly John McCarthy and the group called The Rewind Project.On board daytime activities very varied and found on deck 2 where there are games and puzzles for those who like a quieter place.Golden Lion pub too small for quizzes. We treated ourselves to a dinner in the specialist Verandah Restaurant at a cost of $39 each but what a rip off.We were told all about the type of steak on offer and had a choice of steak knives presented to us in a box- well what ever next.Food was fine but served on huge plates which made the quantity of food seem small and as the place was very underused we were constantly being asked is there anything else we needed and are we enjoying the food . It felt as though they needed the table for the next sitting.Needless to say we only went there once. Overall cruise was good with stop off points of interest but the cost of tours was high and when on board using their credit card system you seem to forget everything comes with a 15% surcharge and then the suggested tips . Be warned keep an eye on your daily spend. 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Part of a holiday which visited Golden Triangle in India before joining QM2 back to Southampton. First time on this ship. Last Cunard cruise was QE2 just before it went out of service. The cabin was well laid out but I did not want a ... Read More
Part of a holiday which visited Golden Triangle in India before joining QM2 back to Southampton. First time on this ship. Last Cunard cruise was QE2 just before it went out of service. The cabin was well laid out but I did not want a sheltered balcony which is like a metal box cut in the hull with no view if you are sitting down. I was disappointed in the food in the restaurant but found the buffet good for breakfast and lunch. Drinks were very expensive. I always ate dinner in the restaurant and had good waiters and a very helpful Maitr d’. Some of the speakers had very interesting topics but I felt the presentation standard was poor when they read directly from a script or the screen in often a less than enthusistic manner and they made no attempt to engage with the audience. Exceptions were Anthony Horowich and Sally Gunnell both of whom gave excellent presentations. That was the standard I had expected. Entertainment was variable and not as good as other cruise lines. The professional dance couple and their dance classes were excellent and there was a good hardworking team of dance hosts. That certainly was a very high standard. Overall however I felt the ship was living on a reputation of a high standard which is no longer being attained. The ports and Suez Canal were interesting and the problem of not being able to dock at Naples was quickly overcome by tendering (very proficiently carried out) into Sorrento was definitely an added bonus. Shore excursions were well organised but rather expensive compared to other cruise lines. Overall I enjoyed my cruise but would hesitate to go on QM2 again. Even ‘Cunarders’ were saying the other two Cunard ships are better than their ‘flagship’. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel ... Read More
This was our 5th Cunard cruise and second on QM2. The cruise was 3 weeks from Dubai to Southampton transiting the Suez Canal which we had never done before, this and visitng Petra was the main reason we booked with Cunard as our travel agent had a pre cruise offering of a South Africa trip 3 days 2 nights travelling on Rovos Rail from Petoria to Capetown and 2 nights in Cape Town before flying to Dubai for 2 nights so this was the main reason we booked with Cunard. There were just over 350 passengers doing the whole world cruise and we were told that's half the number there usually is, the remaining passengers like us were doing segments. Embarkation in Dubai was well organised and fairly quick, we were on board by 12:30pm and we made our way to the Kings Court for lunch which at that time was very busy but we did get a seat. Our cabin was available by 1pm, we got one suitcase quite quick and unpacked but the other didn't arrive until just before the boat drill however we managed to unpack in time for dinner. We were first seating in the Brittania Restuarant at 18:00, a bit early but the later sitting was too late for us. We had asked for a table for 2 which we got however these tables are so close together they are tables for 4, our table was 350 was not in a good position in the restaurant and I wouldn't recommend it. Food is always subjective and in my opinion the restaurant food was neither great or bad just mediocre , it was always presented well and was piping hot however not very inspiring. The waiters were always very busy but they were attentive and helpful. The food in the Kings Court was good, plenty of selection at breakfast and lunch, we had dinner a couple of times and we were surprised at the selection and the good quality of food available in the evening, it was very popular with guests who wanted casual dining. We had dinner in the Verandah Restaurant which was a nice change but not worth the $49 each to dine there, only 2 other tables were booked when we were in, I wonder why! There was alternative dining set in an area of the Kings Court and this had 5 different menus which changed every week there was American, Asian, Mexican, Italian and Indian, we ate there on one occasion and the food was very nice, there was an additional charge of $19.50 each for the privilege. Alcohol and mixers/soft drinks in the bars were very expensive especially when there is an 18% service charge on top, you also have to buy water, yoj an get it by the glass from a dispenser in the Kings Court, water is complimentary on a number of cruise lines and hotels bit not on Cunard. We purchased good wine ashore to drink in the restaurant and paid the corkage fee of $20 which was more cost effective. Service in the main was good and the majority of staff were friendly and helpful however there were some staff who were quite sullen and gave the impression that they didn't want to be there, this isn't White Star Service, in addition there was no interaction with the officers and passengers, we only saw the Captain on two occasions during the 3 weeks on board, at the welcome on board party and the loyalty club party. There are free laundries for passengers to use on each deck, there were always queues of people trying to get a machine, there were 4 each washing machines and dryers and they were constantly busy, this is not a nice place to be as people get quite annoyed and I witnessed a few arguments e.g the same passenger using 2 washing machines a 2 driers this tends to frustrate people. We had booked trips through Cunard to Petra, Herculaneum and Rome, although expensive they were good, well organised trips with excellent guides so felt they were good value for money. The celebrity speakers, Antony Horovitz, Sally Gunnell, a retired customs officer and forensic scientist which unfortunately I don't remember their names were all interesting The theatre company was okay and we enjoyed most of the guest entertainment especially the Barricade Boys, Mike Doyle and Kev Orkian Disembarking in Southampton was quick and easy. Would we travel with Cunard again, possibly if the price was right but there are other cruise lines out there who offer a superior service and are much better value for money. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh ... Read More
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh milk daily rather than using sachets of milk. The Stateroom was very good with plenty on storage and where we were situated was very quite , no noise from anywhere and the sheltered balcony at first being a concern was in the end great, I would recommend . We had late seating in the Britannia restaurant . The food was excellent every evening and plentiful [ I cant understand when I see reviews saying the food is not good ,I'm sure people don't eat better at home !! ] also we had lunch some days in the Britannia and it was equally as good . The Kings Court was also very good with plenty of choice and variety . There was one very bad thing that I picked up on , the so called baked ham offered as a carvery was a vacuum packed ham that had been baked of not a baked gammon as one would expect from Cunard , I'm speaking as one that worked in the meat and food industry all my working life. All other areas for food such as the Carinthia Lounge and the Chefs Galley also very good . The Boardwalk Café a complete waste of space as was the whole area of the deck around the café with no shelter and at times the temp. was in the 40's where we were. Evening entertainment was very good on the whole ,as where most insight lectures and afternoon concerts . One thing that did concern was on the last two evenings on board we where told that the ships resident dance and vocal entertainers couldn't perform because the stage lift didn't work and couldn't be fixed---well the rumour was this wasn't the case and the dancers were under rehearsed and the second rumour was employment issues with the staff ???------I personally believe that there wasn't a problem with the stage ?? . Service I found throughout the ship was excellent although some staff could smile a little more especially security staff.----My main concern with the QM2 is the layout of the ship , one does compare and the layout seems odd when comparing with both the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth , the pool areas have no shade not many tables around and don't seem as part of the main ship--I hope that makes sense , I'm not a ship builder so maybe it's because the QM2 is a liner and not a cruise ship.---Still had a fantastic time , enjoyed every day. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
First time on QM2...Arrived Dubai by air and spent 3 nights in JW Marriott (outstanding hotel)and had an "evening with Katherine Jenkins" which was excellent...did several private tours within Dubai...very good value. Overall ... Read More
First time on QM2...Arrived Dubai by air and spent 3 nights in JW Marriott (outstanding hotel)and had an "evening with Katherine Jenkins" which was excellent...did several private tours within Dubai...very good value. Overall impression of Dubai was Very good and would go again for a holiday. Boarding QM2 was not good and waited for over 6hrs for our luggage to come to our stateroom. As we were in the Queens stateroom on deck10, unable to attend our first lunch as we had no change of cloths.....shorts not accepted for lunch. Went ashore (privately) in Muscut. The trip round Yemen into Red sea was uneventful, thank goodness, although QM2 was well prepared.... Aquaba and Petra came next....outstanding trip and well worth going all this way for.... The 12 hrs though the Suez canal was another highlight of this trip...(think even better than the Panama canal)....Onto Limasul (Cyprus) and Messina and Naples, where we again went on a private trip to Sorrento, so had the day to ourselves...Then onto Lisbon and finally Southampton. Disembarking was another nightmare, created by Cunard. .Being on the Queen's suite, no priority given to us. They wanted to wait till ALL baggage we in hall before we could go down, this meant a huge jam in hall....top Suites should have been released much earlier..... Having done a World cruise on QE 2 yrs ago, we expected better from this cruise.... Entertainment was poor to very poor and we walk out twice.....only one lecture was of a high standard, John Peters....the others not so good. The Royal Theatre was not that good. No seats are bookable, so you had to rush your dinner to be seated 1 hr before the shows to get a good seat. The seats are like a 'big couch" with no arms.....not very comfortable either. The Pursers office seemed not to care about their jobs very much and on the 3 occasions I used them, found them rude....it was as though they were talking down to the older passengers.....ave. age must have been 65.....I found this attitude very concerning. Our Queen's stateroom was excellent, and made up for other short comings of this cruise. Very big with plenty of room and cupboards....Balcony was huge and excellent for sunbathing. The Grills dining couldn't be faulted either. Excellent choice of menu and service outstanding. This cruise left us with the impression , that Cunard were at the end of their World cruise and wanted to fill up the ship from Dubai with 900 people....that meant entertainment and ports of call suffered.....even the Captain, who was retiring, seemed to have lost interest. The QM2 has just been 're-mastered', unfortunately they should have looked beyond the new furnishings Value for money , this was a poor cruise and we would not travel on the QM2 again but stay with the QE instead....we have already cancelled our cruise on QM2 for 2018 and will go in 2019 on QE......speaking to our fellow passengers in the "Grills" they too had the same opinion, that QE was better. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the ... Read More
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the kings and lastly 3. Take a stroll along the harbour. However, we were given no choices at all! We were dropped off at the harbour and left there. There was only a few restaurant and tacky gift shops. I was in a wheelchair and on 24/7 oxygen. We tried to find some shops but it was a long trek and we only found a very small mall and went back to the harbour and waited there for a coach to return. We put in an official complaint at this persons desk when we returned and received 10% refund which was an absolute joke we had wasted our money and our day in Cyprus. The literature is completely misleading and if we had known what was in store we still could of taken the free shuttle bus or gone to Limassol where apparently the guests had a fantastic time which made us even more fed up ..... I keep trying to get in touch with the excursions specialist team as we was advised to do once we got back to UK but I have had no luck getting through so needed to vent my feelings somewhere. As for the cleanliness of the newly refurbished Kings Court, we found it dirty, especially the walls next to the tables, the skirting, the windows. Infact, a lot of the communal areas needed TLC. They were cleaned but the staff were very lethargic and did everything at a snail's pace and didn't seem to take any pride in the fact that they were on a Cunard ship, although they cleaned they didn't clean the edges or the corners. This is where germs lie ......... Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai noodle soup. The Kings Court always felt crowded, unless you dined early or late. The ship must have had over 2500 on board, but apart from the buffet and the rush to find a seat at the theatre, this huge number was managed well. We enjoyed most of the shows, but some of the seats available were only suitable for children with small posteriors!! During our first week, out of Dubai the meat quality provided in the Britannia restaurant was poor, somewhat dry and tough to eat. We had a table of eight and after a couple of days the other six table companions left us to have their dinner in the buffet, they preferred the quality provided in the Kings Court Buffet. So, for two weeks we were left on our own on a large table of 8. After the first week, the meat improved. The service in the restaurant was always to a high standard and Ryan & Jarold looked after us very well. Sunbathing on the deck could be an issue sometimes. Some of the wooden deck chairs on the Promenade Deck could not be adjusted and those that could were often reserved, sometimes for long periods. This was discouraged, but nothing appeared to be done about it. We always abandoned our chair when going to lunch, but we often appeared to be the exception. For three days, the chimney blew out specks of soot, this landed on sunbathers on the top deck and bathers reported staining issues. I reported this to the Pursers office and was told ‘We know’! During the first week, the ship suffered from Norovirus and restrictions for serving food etc. were put in place. This was generally handled very well and the virus restrictions were eventually successfully lifted. My partner was poorly on the last day after catching a tummy bug, given some prescriptions by the medical centre to help us travel home, hopefully avoiding any embarrassing incidents!! We were offered to be escorted off the ship. I thought this would help us get away promptly to catch a taxi to the station - wishful thinking. We were escorted off the ship and at the bottom of the gangplank told 'Have a safe journey home' We then had to find our case, queue for 20 mins for a taxi, all with a wife struggling to get around. So not a good end to the cruise really? So, the cruise overall? We enjoyed our holiday, We have never not enjoyed a cruise before on any ship or cruise line and we have been lucky enough to have enjoyed 28 cruises, including with Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean , P&O, Tui, Celebrity, but this proved to be perhaps the least enjoyable. A shame, because in many ways Cunard and the crew try very hard to put on a good show. I still believe three classes of passenger is old fashioned, it is restrictive and reduces freedom to go anywhere on the ship, also reduces space available to Britannia class passengers. I suppose Cunard is trying to provide a different experience, their choice of course. Yes we enjoyed our cruise again, but.... Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Booked on a whim on basis of offer from Imagine Cruising, who performed excellently and with whom we would book again. First the positives 1. The check in and boarding proceedure was quick and efficient. 2.Our Britannia ... Read More
Booked on a whim on basis of offer from Imagine Cruising, who performed excellently and with whom we would book again. First the positives 1. The check in and boarding proceedure was quick and efficient. 2.Our Britannia restaurant waiters and wine waiter were professional and pleasant. 3. We arrived safely in Southampton and on time. 4.The dissembarcation was as painless as the embarkation. Now unfortunately for the negatives 1.The layout of the ship is appalling with the two and three story public spaces- theatres, dining etc. clustered in the midship section of the vessel with the consequence that access was restricted by sloping corridors, half deck changes, steps etc- a nightmare for the mobility impaired , which seemed to apply to the majority of the octogenarian guests. Apart from this , whilst clean and generally well maintained the ship shows it's age. 2. Entertainment, the least said the better, well below village hall level. 3. Enlightenment lectures, attended two , both a waste of time, the lecturers had only a perfunctory grasp of their subjects- possibly reading from someone else's notes. 4.Spa, so overpriced that even my wife baulked, I wanted a simple sauna but would have had to purchase a whole day pass. 5.Food- Brittania restaurant, the menu read a lot better than the actual food, which was of four star hotel level and clearly pre cooked in bulk. Queens court cafeteria, poor pre cooked food( even the omelettes) compounded by an inefficient layout and marginal service- allowances have to be made for the Novovirus outbreak, but as the only real alternative to the Brittania simply not good enough. Special restaurants, we only tried the "Coriander" for Indian food which was so poor( we live in a country with a size able East Indian population) that we did not risk another option. General -there was no option anywhere on the ship to get freshly cooked food, even a simple hamburger by the pools, or a breakfast dish. 6.Beverages- small and overpriced spirits( a double was necessary), generally uninteresting and overpriced wine menu. Outside of the restaurants coffee had to be paid for. Most guests seemed to drink beer which is fine if you like it. 7. Ports, Dubai - great, glad we flew out a week in advance. Muscat OK but limited. Aqaba, Salelah, ship not allowed to dock due to Norovirus. Limasol, scruffy and a little pointless. Haifa, a disaster as the ship docked for two days, the last day of Passover , the following day being the Jewish sabbath and a public holiday which gave the Arabs a field day as they were the only ones working and charged accordingly. The Baha'i gardens however were worth a two hour visit. Kusadesi a real improvement and access to Ephesus which is staggering. Naples, dirty, congested, expensive and deteriorating fast, no charm whatsoever, however if interested in Pompei or Hurculanium OK. Cadiz a pleasant and much cleaner city than we remembered from our last visit there but other than tours to Jerez or Seville very limited in options. We concluded that overall the ships itinerary was predicated on the ability to sell what seemed to be overpriced bus tours, from our perspective we were glad to get ashore if only to go to a restaurant for a freshly cooked lunch. 8. Health, after the Novovirus subsided most passengers , including my wife, a hospital doctor and immune to just about every thing, and myself came down with a cold and persistent cough which the regular Cunarders referred to as the "Cunard Cough" so clearly a recurrent issue. 9. Ambience, the frequency of formal nights(dinner jacket/ evening dress) nine of the nineteen, and the requirement for jacket (tie optional) on others together with the predominantly geriatric English clientele was a pretense at an atmosphere that seemed false and outdated. Conclusion. We would not travel on Cunard again unless the start and end points were paramount to us, for example Transatlantic. However this should not dissuade those who aspire to this scenario, of whom there were many on board judging from the large number of generally satisfied repeat Cunard customers. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because it included the Suez Canal we had 2 nights in Dubai before the cruise and we were stopping in what we thought were fairly interesting ports ?? They weren't interesting at all for me ! The excursion to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included the Suez Canal we had 2 nights in Dubai before the cruise and we were stopping in what we thought were fairly interesting ports ?? They weren't interesting at all for me ! The excursion to Jerusalem and Bethlehem were excruciatingly awful, too many people ( last days of the Passover ) the guide ! Well the less I say about her the better !! We had sailed on the other two Queens and thought we give the QM2 a try ! I disliked the ship, not for me ! Not many of the staff had smiles although they appeared to be working hard ! On the whole the food was good not great but good ! Eating in the self service was not a pleasure at all and although we used it as little as necessary I never felt I wanted to stay any length of time! Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Our two night stay in the Marriot Marquis Dubai was a great success. We had a wonderful room with fantastic views and the food was excellent within the hotel especially the Indian Restaurant. We enjoyed the Miracle Gardens, the River ... Read More
Our two night stay in the Marriot Marquis Dubai was a great success. We had a wonderful room with fantastic views and the food was excellent within the hotel especially the Indian Restaurant. We enjoyed the Miracle Gardens, the River Cruise the Mall and old Dubai. Even the coach tour on arrival was good but we were all very tired after such a long journey. We travelled with Imagine Cruising and would do so again. We will not travel with Cunard again. This was our 13th cruise! I was very excited about this trip and had mistakingly thought that this was a 5 star cruise line. On arrival we noticed that the use of santising gel was optional in that passengers who failed to sanitise were left unchallenged. Staff were unfriendly and I remarked to my husband smiles obviously cost extra! There was no welcoming glass of champagne and no help finding your cabin. The half bottle of fiz in the cabin was a good addition. We had a hull hole cabin so when sitting there was no view at all. I found dirty used ear plugs down the side of the sofa cushions. The bathroom was minute and completed with a nylon shower curtain. We had lunch in Kings Court. The food was dreadful, poor quality and with very little choice. Using gel again seemed optional with no member of staff making sure that gel was used. In the evening we dined in the Britannia Restaurant where the food was generally good although I do agree with the Queen Mother that it is not possible to get a good steak on QE2. We asked for a table of 8- 12 but ended up on a table for 6. It was due to our table mates that the hoiliday was rescued to some degree. Ken ,Pam ,Steve and LInda were excellent company and fun to be with. We learn't within the first 24 hours that the ship had cases of Noro Virus and a severe chest infection. By the 22nd of April there were 70 cases of Noro Virus and the port authorities in Salalah Oman would not let us dock. By the 26th of April the number of cases had risen to 200, according to some staff. I was struck down by the Noro Virus on the 30th of April and confinded to my cabin but just as I was beginning to recover I got a chest infection and am still coughing . My husband became seiously ill and needed antibiotics. He was too unwell to leave the cabin for a week and two weeks later is still not completly well. We seriously considered catching a flight home and abandoning the holiday something we have never considered in the past. The entertainment in the theatre was poor but the Big Bands and the musicians were excellent. Afternoon Tea in the Queens room with the harpist playing was wonderful. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
After travelling on QM2 on 3 different occasions, this was for us a total shock. In all of our cruises by now probably 100 + this had to have been the worst. To board the ship and immediately start to hear that people paid as little ... Read More
After travelling on QM2 on 3 different occasions, this was for us a total shock. In all of our cruises by now probably 100 + this had to have been the worst. To board the ship and immediately start to hear that people paid as little as 400 pounds a cabin and with them came Norovirus with the result that we were like a hospital at sea for 8 or 9 days. We were not even allowed into Jordanian territorial waters. At one stage there were well over 200 cabins affected, but strangely, if one person suffered, the other person in the cabin could go where they wanted so all that happened was that it just spread further. If that was not enough, then came the Cunard bronchitis together with the cough, which I might add takes weeks until it clears. The Captain found it very necessary to discuss diarrhoea and vomiting at meal times, which surely is not appropriate. It was quite evident in the Brittania restaurant that the Maitre d" Hotel and his staff downstairs did not give a damn about their passengers. We were amongst many that walked out of the Brittania diningroom due to lack of service. For most of the cruise we then ate at the Buffet. We have given Mr Donald 7 weeks to reply to our complaints, but it is quite evident that passengers problems or complaints are just not dealt with. If you are lucky, you will get an email saying sorry, which is just not acceptable. We are a family that have platinum and diamond status and quite frankly saw that it meant nothing. If they cared they would have at least have sent a basket of fruit to the 3 cabins that we know were affected. Needless to say we are still waiting. What I had forgotten to mention, that all staff spoken to, obviously I cannot give names, say the system is totally unfair. The senior Maitre D' Hotel, only rotates staff he likes and only promotes staff he likes. Quite strange after 12 years his deputy has just left the Company as well. If there is one think that really annoys me it is when people are exploited. What is more amazing that Head Office seem to look through these problems as if they dont exist. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth in 2013, I thought that I would 'complete the set' by joining the QM2 on the final leg of her 2016 World Cruise from Dubai to Southampton. How things ... Read More
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth in 2013, I thought that I would 'complete the set' by joining the QM2 on the final leg of her 2016 World Cruise from Dubai to Southampton. How things have deteriorated in 3 years! My 2013 experience of Cunard was excellent service from friendly staff in all areas and excellent food - even during a Force 10 gale. Not so on the QM2. I had to find my own way to my cabin - it was a cabin, not a stateroom - on deck 11. My case arrived 5 hours later. Bathrobes are no longer standard - you have to request one. Pillows are no longer feather filled - lumpy man made fibre. Britannia Restaurant night one - menu thrown at me whilst slopping water into a glass and then demanding 'Had I chosen?' The food served was awful - I had only a starter and main - the starter was a couple of prawns in Marie-Rose sauce followed by a fillet of Baramundi that had given it's life in vain. It was so overcooked that I could have re-soled my shoe with it. I asked if I could have a drink with my meal and was told that the Sommelier was the only one that could take drink orders - he arrived half way through the main course. Night 2 in the Restaurant was no better, in fact, worse as the Sommelier did not even turn up. By now, the ship was in the grip of Norovirus and the Captain took great delight in making announcements including words such as vomiting and diarreah during lunch or dinner and I took the remainder of my meals in the Self Service Canteen on deck 7, where the food was unappealing and the staff were surly to rude. I stuck to pasta, cooked to order, toast and bananas. Cunard failed to control the Norovirus - if one person in a double occupied cabin was showing symptoms, they were confined but the other person was allowed to roam the ship at will, infecting anyone and everyone! We were denied access to the port of Dohar and we were also denied access to Jordanian Territorial Waters, meaning that Aqaba and Petra were off the list. This was my 15th cruise in 4 years and I chose to leave the ship in Cyprus, 10 days into the cruise, because I was so disappointed by every single aspect of the cruise. Something that I have never, ever considered before. The Carnival Cuts are apparent in every area of the ship - although I should qualify that because so many areas of the ship were restricted to 'normal' passengers and reserved only for World Class, Britannia Club, Queens Grill etc. passengers - perhaps the cuts are less evident there. Never again. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that ... Read More
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that many of them have had decades to perfect their rudeness. On this, my third Cunard cruise, I was amazed at the sheer number of bad mannered people with sharp elbows determined to be first in any line up. It was I admit the first time I had seen a woman use her husband in a wheelchair as a battering ram to get a window seat in the buffet. However it was not the first time and not unexpected when passengers “booked” chairs on deck with hats, books, towels etc. despite signs asking them not to. I would have loved to see the threat of possessions being removed to the purser’s office carried out. I am sure that the staff must take courses in how to deal with the rudeness of guests who for some reason think shouting at a waiter is the way to go. When one gentleman not looking where he was going fell over a waiter, he compounded the act by swearing at him for being in the way. And it is no use telling people not to video the shows in the theatre if one man repeatedly does so in the front row of the balcony. So enough about my fellow passengers, most of whom I must admit did not treat the staff as second class citizens. What about the Cruise itself? The food was excellent. Probably the most imaginative menu I have seen so far. One recent review complained about precooking food. Exactly how did that reviewer expect 2000+ guests to be fed? Individual portions cooked to order? It was all well cooked and often beautifully displayed. However, where it all went wrong was in the management of staff. Waiting 20 or 30 minutes for that first cup of coffee at breakfast never puts me in a good mood for the day. Nor does a wait of 40 minutes for my starter while watching other tables having their main courses cleared and desserts served at dinner in the Britannia Restaurant. Complaints resulted in little or no improvement, and on one occasion I actually left after the 40 minutes and went to the buffet. Profuse apologies from the Maitre d’ in my section resulted in improvement for three days during which time we hardly had time to finish a plate before it was cleared. However on the last night at sea, was it really a good idea to have me as the only person on our table who did not get his desert? For the first time ever, I did not tip the staff. The problem obviously was with management. On one evening we were treated to an officer I took to be the reserve captain sprawling at a table and entertaining two obvious VIPs. A pity he could not be bothered to introduce himself to the people next to him. Nor did he take the slightest notice when a wine waiter and food waiter managed to push past either side of a lady with a walking stick right in front of him rather than waiting a few seconds for her to pass. Obviously the crew had no control over the Norovirus outbreak, but I felt that it was treated efficiently and did not spread out of control. Staff cleaning efforts must be complimented. One of the problems in having so many people isolated in a tin can at sea, is that infection can spread like wild fire, that it did not is entirely down to the staff. Oh yes, several of us got a cough or cold. Not surprising, and calling it the Cunard Cough is merely facile. What was surprising was that the entertainment staff made no attempt to provide additional amusement for the passengers incarcerated for eight days at sea, due to not being able to visit Salalah and Jordan. In fact the on board entertainment was abysmal. The jazz trio, solo cocktail jazz pianist and the professionals in the bands were excellent. Visiting artists with two exceptions were not even third rate. I am sure I was not the only one thinking Hi De Hi whenever the entertainment director walked on stage. And only three Cunard singers and dancers shows in three weeks. Were they on a work to rule? When we did at last manage to get a couple of Captain’s cocktail parties, was it really a good idea for the entertainment staff and other officers to stand around talking to each other? I was always taught that the staff’s function at occasions like this is to circulate, talk to the guests and even, shock horror, encourage them to talk to each other. Good management in the entertainment industry is all about the customer, not the bottom line or tick boxes. You are better than this Cunard. Get your act together. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was the last leg of a world cruise by the QM2 and we were sailing from Dubai back to Southampton through the Suez Canal. We had a ''Sheltered Balcony'' as the balconies in the Staterooms(Cabins) on Deck 4 are in ... Read More
This was the last leg of a world cruise by the QM2 and we were sailing from Dubai back to Southampton through the Suez Canal. We had a ''Sheltered Balcony'' as the balconies in the Staterooms(Cabins) on Deck 4 are in the hull of the ship. Picture will explain. These balcony's aren't great and need a bit of a lick of paint. The Stateroom was fine, plenty of room with a small settee and table, not much smaller than an average hotel bedroom. If you want bigger than that on a ship you are talking serious money. The shower room was disappointing with an ill fitting shower head and not much room. The water was always hot so no trouble there. A great bed. The TV was poor with a terrible picture and sound. There was a small fridge and you could drink your own alcohol in your cabin. You just couldn't drink it by the pools or on the deck. The pools were fine if a little small but you could always get in them, not too busy. Great deck games that my wife and I played lots of days. The also had a golf simulator which we used quite a lot. Dave & Tom who ran the sports centre were very helpful and gave great service and help with all the activities. The entertainment was 1st class with lots of big names in the shows. You could dance every night in the ballroom or in the late night disco. The food was fantastic and you could have anything yo wanted really in both the self service and sit down dinning rooms, the King's Court and Britannia. The ship is huge and you can always find a quite spot to sit and read somewhere. The staff were very helpful and attentive throughout the ship. The reason we booked this cruise was the choice of excursions offered in the advert. Unfortunately a few months after booking Egypt was taken off the itinerary. They replaced that with Aqaba/Petra in Jordan, which would have been OK. However no sooner had we got on board before they cancelled our trip to Jerusalem because the Israeli authorities decided that because it was the Feast of the Passover, they could not accept anymore tourist in the morning. Our first excursion was Muscat, which was organised very well, it was a good day out. After this thing got nasty, a bout of Nora Virus ran through the ship affecting 400 hundred passengers at one point. The port of Salalah in Oman wouldn't let us disembark, and Jordan did not even want us in their waters! We were unable to get off the ship for 9 days, the next time we got off the ship was Limassol on Cyprus. The crew worked very hard to stem the tide of the virus and eventually the got it under some kind of control be the time we reached the Mediterranean. The rest of the excursions were fine but we explored a few places on our own too. In general I would say the price of drink on board was horrendous, it did stop people buying each other drink and I noticed there were very few passengers drinking at any of the shows or functions. The average age group of the passengers I would say was about 70yrs old. This was a very old crowd. It was like a floating old folks home. Cunard and the Queen Mary 2 obviously try to make the sailing experience a bit elitist and snobbish with their dress code being a bit too stuffy for the 21st century. I don't know how they'll keep this standard up as about 50% of the clientele will be gone in a couple of years and the younger generation won't accept sitting with a jacket on in an English themed pub, on an Informal night! All in all very disappointing, we were not even offered a glass of wine to compensate for our missed trips and disruption to every day cruising by the virus. Cunard could have done more I feel. I wont sail with them again, might not even cruise again! There was a lot of preparation for bigger jobs and maintenance going on around the ship all day every day, banging and clanging, not right. The whole ship is very tired and it is going in for a refit in August I believe, not before time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Passengers not allowed on observation deck; poor food quality, quantity and choice in Grills’ restaurants; fitness centre not up to UK safety standards; and rip-off prices for shore trips. All these on a cruise from Dubai to ... Read More
Passengers not allowed on observation deck; poor food quality, quantity and choice in Grills’ restaurants; fitness centre not up to UK safety standards; and rip-off prices for shore trips. All these on a cruise from Dubai to Southampton on Queen Elizabeth in April/May 2016. In the last four years my wife and I have completed 11 Cunard cruises including five on Queen Elizabeth. This one is likely to be the last we make on that ship. On the four previous cruises on QE there has always been access to the open observation area at the forward end of deck 9 for any passenger to take video and photos of entry into ports, etc. But on this entire cruise it was closed to passengers except for transiting Suez Canal. Three of the ship’s officers, including the captain, gave me different and contradictory excuses for it being closed. None of them were credible. The access to this viewing area - the only open forward-facing space for passengers - is from doors on the port and starboard sides of the fitness centre. Both were marked ‘Emergency Exit’ but both were locked. Asked why such doors were locked the fatuous excuse given by senior officers was that the doors were not an exit from the fitness centre onto the open deck, but were from the open deck into the fitness centre (as they could be opened manually from the outside). Asked how a person could get outside when the doors were locked produced silence or a quick change in conversation. No credible reason was given for the viewing area being denied to passengers or for the emergency exits being locked When I wrote to Cunard HQ with details of the matter - with names, dates and photos - the response from Customer Services was that if the captain decided to close that area that was his decision because he was in charge of the ship. They declined to reply in writing. Dissatisfied with being fobbed-off, I referred the matter to a director of Cunard. His response was that the area ‘is not an advertised passenger area’ and its opening is at the captain’s discretion. But no reason was given for it being closed and no comment was made on why emergency exits were locked. My request for an assurance that the deck would be open on future Queen Elizabeth cruises - and the identical Queen Victoria - were ignored. So passengers should be aware that if they sail on these ships their access to the deck in question is at the whim of the captain. My frequent visits to the fitness centre to check the doors showed that it did not meet UK safety standards. Bearing in mind almost all passengers were pensioners, no assessment was made of a person’s fitness to use the equipment, no training was given in its use and there was no continuous supervision. Anyone could walk in and use mechanical equipment or weights. One of the two trainers admitted they were not supervising all the time due to personal training commissions, taking classes and meal breaks. He accepted that a person could die if suffering a heart attack or stroke when using the gym on his/her own with no-one to call for assistance. The quality, quantity and choice of food served in the Princess Grill has deteriorated over the past year. The dining room staff said it was due to the menus being dictated by Southampton HQ instead of on-board ship and - like our cruise on QE at Christmas - said there was nothing they could do about it. Many items did not match the menu description; many descriptions were obscure; quality was often poor; and several meals were sent back. Vegetables seemed to be in short supply or pathetically small or both. Food in the Lido buffet was far better than in the expensive Princess Grill. As usual, all shore excursions were at a high price. For example, a day trip from Aqaba to Petra was $217 each. So for each 50-seat coach Cunard was raking in over $10,000. And, in Istanbul a private minibus (of unspecified seating capacity) could be had for $1,000 for a tour of some tourist sites for a day (8.30am to 5.0pm). Lastly, the ship’s itinerary listed Salalah, Oman as its second port of call. But QE did not go to Salalah but docked at the container port of Raysut over 20km to the south. Cunard provided a shuttle bus only from the ship to the dock gate. Getting to Salalah was a $100 taxi ride. And for the return journey the taxi drivers wanted even more cash. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose the cruise as QM2 is the last ship of its type, also going through the Suez Canal. We ticked both of those boxes and that is the best we can say about the cruise. It was infact the worst cruise we have ever been on. Due to ... Read More
We chose the cruise as QM2 is the last ship of its type, also going through the Suez Canal. We ticked both of those boxes and that is the best we can say about the cruise. It was infact the worst cruise we have ever been on. Due to norovirus on ship we were refused entry to 2 ports and not allowed into Jordons waters. We have experienced this before but not on such a large scale, hundreds of passengers ill. Cunard denied that there was a problem!? Captain Wells, we saw once on the cruise? The rest of the officers were no better no communication and looked and walked away from passengers, difficult on a cruise ship but they managed it very well. The entertainment on the ship was average, if it were only the ships entertainers it would have been poor. The guest entertainers and speakers were very good. The service we received onboard was good, but not the best we have experienced. Would we sale with Cunard again, NO. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
I mostly agree with the points raised in previous reviews so will not repeat them but will add a few more. The good first Roy walker, Kelly Holmes and some of the speakers were good. Tom O' connor was quite good but past his ... Read More
I mostly agree with the points raised in previous reviews so will not repeat them but will add a few more. The good first Roy walker, Kelly Holmes and some of the speakers were good. Tom O' connor was quite good but past his best Some of the shows were good but others not to our taste Cabin steward did his best but cabin shabby and sheltered balcony not clean clumps of hair and dirt in the corners. Vibz band were excellent a highlight of the voyage Now the not so good No welcome aboard parties until we had been on board for 11 days .the reason being they did not want so many people in the same space at one time because of the Norovirus. Yet the theatre was full as was the buffet and the ballroom most evenings. Just another cost saving. At least 50 % of the people round the pool areas had bags from other cruise lines RCL princess HAL etc. Noone had a Cunard bag. I metioned it to an officer and she said Cunard bags were more expensive and they believe once you have travelled with Cunard you will come back. Sorry NO. The only shade round the rear pool areas was for people already killing themselves by smoking. Drinks far too expensive if they were cheaper we would have bought more. Phone in cramped cabin was on the dressing table and could not be moved hard luck if you were ill in bed . TV was too small, sound quality was very poor no information about what channels were available and it took 5 days to get a list of what films were being shown on the 2 film channels. Connecting door did not fit we could hear our neighbours talking about what to order for room service breakfast. I stuffed the gaps with the papers we got each night and this helped. Pillows very lumpy I asked for a replacement and that was just as bad. No officers seen by us anywhere on the ship until day 14. Entertainment director needs to retire he has no personality and his morning show was dire, his staff were good and they should have been the customer facing person not him. First show Viva Italia by the singers and dancer was excruciatingly embarrassing the cast were good but the choreography was terrible. Food was tolerable nothing exceptional. Service was patchy some days we waited over half an hour between courses. After the main course the waiter came and swept the crumbs off the table onto the floor or our laps, very odd, on other ships they have swept the crumbs onto a plate not the floor. 6 pm dining was too early and 8.30 too late no anytime dining for lower class passengers. Ship has no heart no central area where people get together you have to sit in a bar. The ship is dead by 8.30 people are either in dinner or in the show or in bed. Conclusion. If you want to sit inside ,read, play board games ,listen to string quartets, go to lectures and go to bed at 9 pm then this is the ship for you. Cunard have a problem when the older passengers no longer are able to travel. All the younger people we spoke to on the ship said they would not travel with Cunard again. The only fortunate part was the weather from Dubai to Turkey which was wonderful. I will not be going with Cunard again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Prospect of interesting Ports of Call were our reason to book this cruise. Embarkation in Dubai was very efficient and we enjoyed a fantastic sail away from the city. However we were hit by the noro virus on board soon after and could not ... Read More
Prospect of interesting Ports of Call were our reason to book this cruise. Embarkation in Dubai was very efficient and we enjoyed a fantastic sail away from the city. However we were hit by the noro virus on board soon after and could not land for 7 days so missed Sallalah and Jordan. However this was compensated by fantastic two day stay in Haifa. Visited Jerusalem during Passover and Masada on the Dead Sea, which was spectacular. Shore excursions are expensive. The ship was due a refit after this cruise and it needs one. My husband found the gym equipment he wanted to use out of action and having to take classes in ballrooms or even worse rooms down near embarkation points not ideal when extra charges were being made of $13 per class. We hope the gym will be included in the refurbishment. Food in the Queens Grill excellent and most requests can be catered for with sufficient notice. We did not pay to eat in speciality restaurants. Age demographic is for the newly retired and older and entertainment is catered for that market. Disembarkation in Southampton was less organised and our cases were is different locations and there were no trolleys available. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
As a first time cruiser on the Queen Mary 2 we looked forward with high expectations to the cruise from Dubai to Singapore late January through early February. We were disappointed. It started badly with a 2 ½ hour check in at Dubai. We ... Read More
As a first time cruiser on the Queen Mary 2 we looked forward with high expectations to the cruise from Dubai to Singapore late January through early February. We were disappointed. It started badly with a 2 ½ hour check in at Dubai. We unfortunately arrived dockside just minutes after what seemed like 1500 or so other passengers arrived on buses. Begs the question why buses are not designated check in time same as individuals. The 2 lines meandered outside the terminal to just get through the security. Then the wait to proceed to the Cunard check in, hand over passports, give credit cards details, obtain on board identity cards and at last pointed in the direction of the ship and boarding. Took another few minutes to find the way but finally we walked the red carpet and on board. No welcome, no meet and greet, just find your own way to the elevators with other slightly bemused passengers all working their way to find their respective cabins. Not a good start but with the excitement of being on board the fabled Queen Mary 2 the rest of the cruise could only get better, one lived in hope. The Cabin: Great. Deck 8, unobstructed view, clean and comfortable. Room steward always seemed to be on duty and eager to please, polite and keen to ensure our comfort was taken care off. Once he forgot to replace towels, easily rectified and constantly apologising for his error. Perhaps the best of the crew we came across. The Food: When it was good, it was very very good, when bad, terrible. We ate 1st sitting in the Britannia room. Day one we ate alone, not what we asked for, we asked for a table of 6, day two another lone sitting, but luck came our way and two escapees from a bad table took the opportunity to ask if they could join us and from that time onwards dining was a pleasure. Good company and perhaps ongoing friendship. First week the service was great, but week two it became very much hit and miss. The waiting team around us seemed to lose interest and this affected their manner. At no time did we ask for anything out of the ordinary or a demanding table. The food was hit and miss in the Britannia room, great one day, plain poor the next. One day rack of lamb, the best ever tasted, then next a mish mash of inedible and unpronounceable offerings. Memo Cunard, calling bad food by fancy names will not make it taste better. The food in the Kings Court overall not a great deal better than Britannia, but one has the choice and ability, if choosing wrong, to get up and change. Sometime hot, sometime not so hot, plenty of choice. We chose to eat lunch and breakfast here and on most days were satisfied without being wowed. Waiting staff were generally polite and quick to clean tables and move dirty dishes. A very busy place and the need for patience was necessary. The Entertainment: Good, bad and just plain awful. We went most evenings and there were times we wanted to follow others and leave mid performance, but we stuck it out to the end out of respect to the performers. If one could only know in advance whom was good you would avoid the rest of the performances. The Activities: After a few days one could see a sameness appearing in the daily information sheet, perhaps if as much attention to detail was given to the activities as to the daily sales brochures things would be better. Yes plenty to do and see and listen to (and who picks those films?) but as time wore on and it did through sea days that long list of activities just got boring. Shore days: We did two Cunard arranged shore trips, both overpriced and not worth the high cost charged. We booked these pre boarding so “as not to miss out” but found these same tours available almost to the time of tour departure. The other four shore days we did our own thing at far cheaper rates and no doubt better served by locals. Just left the ship and arranged things on shore, plenty of choice and easy to do. We never heard of any passengers doing their own thing getting into trouble or missing departure. Other Passengers: Have no illusions, based on our sector and from what we heard of the first sector the average age of fellow passengers seems to be around 70. If you are looking for this age bracket and this is what you want from fellow passengers then the QM2 is for you, however if young or young at heart it is suggested you look elsewhere. But and this is a very big but, if you want to be virtually guaranteed your fellow passengers will obey the rules, and dress appropriately for each and every occasion, you can be assured this age bracket will be a pleasure to be amongst and I suspect this is the allure of the QM2, it follows custom of a distant past and tries hard to replicate the magic of a bygone age. The Ship: In need of a face lift, rust showing inside and out, in the restaurants, cabins and balconies. Daily maintenance by the crew working hard to contain this problem but it seems a losing battle. The QM2 is far from a rust bucket, but the ship is not in pristine condition. Inside, age is showing through, carpets need changing in places and where changes are being done it is piecemeal instead of entire sections. However there is still a wow factor as one moves around the ship and if overlooking the obvious maintenance issues one can see how this ship is the grand vessel of the seas. Health: It took only three days for my wife and I to go down with the “Cunard Cough” and like others it did interfere with our enjoyment. Warm outside and cool inside is a recipe for ailments and many passengers on this sector of the voyage were afflicted. Our cough was mild compared to others and our own medication kept us away from the Cunard medical centre and no doubt high costs, however we did not hear of any other major illnesses in this sector associated with cruising, so perhaps we were lucky after all. Departure: After the 2 1/2 hour boarding problems we were hoping for an easy departure, after all this is efficient Singapore, what could go wrong. We collected our passports the night before and ensured our departure documents were in order and stamps in place in our passport. We went to our designated departure lounge at the designated time and waited. Not bad, only 10 minutes behind schedule and we were on our way, well almost, perhaps 100 hundred yards and we came to a halt, congestion in the departure hall we were told, stand around and we will have you on your way as quickly as possible. 10 minutes later another 100 yards, before finally departing the ship and heading into the chaos of the Singapore customs hall. Every passport had to be inspected. Ok not Cunard’s fault, but it took time, then every item of luggage had to be X rayed and long delays eventuated, again not Cunard’s fault. I guess Singapore authority have their reasons. And this reason soon became apparent. Every passenger that had a bottle(s) of alcohol, no matter if full or opened was unceremoniously escorted away from the x ray machines with offending contraband and passport in hand taken to the far side of the customs area to face the music. The crime, smuggling. As the QM2 had called at 2 Malaysian ports on the way to Singapore, Singapore does not allow a duty free allowance on alcohol and as such every passenger bringing alcohol into Singapore and not making a declaration and paying duty is effectively smuggling and as such will be fined and charged duty. So you may ask what this has got to do with Cunard, not their fault if passengers don’t know the rules, is it? Let me quote you from the departure sheet handed out by Cunard to departing Singapore passengers………………..”Singapore Landing Arrangements”…………………….Customs Allowances, Alcohol: 1 litre of wine or spirits for each guest aged 18 years or over Well done Cunard, you have made criminals out of several hundred of your passengers by giving them the wrong information. It is you that should refund all costs incurred by passengers in this Singapore sting (pun intended). Conclusion: Would we travel again on the QM2, no, would we recommend it, no, based on our experience. Were there good points, yes certainly, calm seas all the way, no hold ups and arrival and departures on time every port, but unfortunately for us not the cruise we expected and for the price paid and the expectations a big letdown.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
The easiest way to provide accurate feedback is to share my letter, with detailed attachments, which I sent to Cunard on 3rd June with the audience. If Cunard were serious in wishing to be a 5* cruise line I would have long expected their ... Read More
The easiest way to provide accurate feedback is to share my letter, with detailed attachments, which I sent to Cunard on 3rd June with the audience. If Cunard were serious in wishing to be a 5* cruise line I would have long expected their reply by now and not merely "an acknowledgement" that my communication will be dealt with "in due course". Obviously a Queens Grill passenger is not very important/interesting as a future business to Cunard. I take their point graciously and will in future look at cruising with more discerning companies then Cunard. One of the main points of failure of Cunard is that for Queens Grill passengers there is little else than only the Queens Grill restaurant which is for Queens grill passengers only. For the rest you have to share everything with the other 1900 passengers. It's really not worth the money I am afraid to have to observe. If you want a top notch cruise you are better off with the likes such as Silver Sea and Seabourn (despite the fact that Seabourn belongs to the same Group as Cunard). QUOTE: My wife and I have recently cruised on the QM2 from Dubai to Southampton (cruise M403) as Queens Grill guests. As we have both turned 60 over the last 6 months we wanted to treat ourselves to a very memorable cruise. Having read so much about the Cunard Queen's including Cunard’s own marketing materials, we opted for the "famous 5* Queens Grill service". In the past we have experienced some excellent cruises on Seabourn with superb levels of service and as this is one of your sister companies we had high expectations. Unfortunately for us, apart from the good size of suite and the very enjoyable Queens Grill Restaurant, there was very little else 5* about the QM2 in our opinion. All in all a great ship for the masses not a great experience for the discerning traveler. To clarify our comments please find attached our completed questionnaire together with another list of items which we feel illustrate that the level of facilities and services on the QM2 fall far short of the 5* you suggest. Overall a very disappointing experience! Yours sincerely, Gerhard and Hilary Hardick UNQOUTE Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Background Information - we are a married couple in our late 60's and are experienced cruisers having sailed with various lines including Cunard over the past 15 years. We were attracted to this final sector of the World Cruise, as we ... Read More
Background Information - we are a married couple in our late 60's and are experienced cruisers having sailed with various lines including Cunard over the past 15 years. We were attracted to this final sector of the World Cruise, as we love sea days and the itinerary interested us. Our package included flights from London to Dubai and two nights’ accommodation in Dubai. To put this review in perspective, I want to say right from the start that I really enjoyed this cruise despite a few disappointments. However, the whole point of writing a review is to outline both the good and the not so good. So to start: The Positives Embarkation was easy and within half an hour of arriving at Dubai’s Port Radhid we were boarding the stunning Queen Elizabeth. The ship has a capacity of just over 2000 passengers and was nearly full. Apparently 1000 disembarked in Dubai and another 1000 boarded. About 500 hundred were doing the full round-the-world voyage. For this sector there were 31 nationalities represented among all passengers, about half were British and the other larger contingents were Japanese, German & American. This passenger mix would have been quite different for other sectors of the voyage. Stately Ambience: On first impression the decor of the ship looks slightly under stated. There is lots of dark wood paneling, but once you get used to the fact that it does not have the glitz that some of the other lines offer, you realise that this ship is really more Ritz than glitz and is very stylish in a sophisticated way. Cunard puts a lot of emphasis on its heritage and all around the ship are mementos of its proud past. The stairwells are adorned with interesting artwork. The carpets have a luxurious feel to them and all the public rooms are comfortable and beautifully furnished, with a remarkable sense of uncrowded space. Although the ship was almost full it never felt crowded, you could always find somewhere to sit down. The only time you realised there were a lot of people on board was at show times. Our stateroom was booked as a Guaranteed Balcony cabin on Deck 6. We received our cabin allocation about 2 weeks prior to departure. The room was quite near the front of the ship and not a cabin that I would have picked out of choice. We rocked and rolled a little during swells in the Mediterranean. However, the room had everything you would expect and a generous storage facility included two useful drawers under the bed. The queen bed was extremely comfortable and the bed linen was lovely. The bathroom was small, but perfectly adequate for our needs. The towels, although perfectly clean and changed daily, were not as soft and fluffy as I would have liked. Bathrobes were supplied as standard. Shipboard organisation is something that Cunard generally seems to excel at: embarkation, disembarkation, etc. Excursion musters and debarking at ports of call were well planned and there were never any long queues or hold ups. Entertainment was excellent, production shows, singers, dancers and comedians as well as an acrobat and a mind reader. There was also nightly dancing in the Queens Room including numerous themed evenings; as well as more informally at various bars where you could have a quiet drink or listen to music. It is worth noting here that if you want to see the professional dancers or join in any of the fancy dress parades, you really need to be on early dinner sitting. Because of this, Cunard’s various theme nights are difficult for late diners. Day time enrichment and entertainment was also first class; there was indeed something for everyone. There were some very accomplished and interesting speakers for Cunard’s Insights Lectures. There were also excellent port talks and cookery demonstrations, as well as various deck games, trivia, line dancing, ballroom dance lessons, needlework, a choir, classical music concerts. There is a well equipped gym and a fabulous library and a feature film shown most afternoons. I am placing food under my positives as on the whole the quality and presentation of meals were of a good standard, but not excellent, leaving plenty of scope for improvement. Compared to our experience on QM2 five years ago, there seems to have been a parring back. However, as on all cruise ships there is an abundance of food available around the clock. Room service on Queen Elizabeth is worth a mention - this is the first cruise ship I have been on where a full English cooked breakfast is offered on the room service menu at no charge. We opted for this on a number of occasions - it was lovely to have breakfast on our balcony and also very convenient to have room service when going on or returning from a full day excursion. Most of our meals were taken in the Britannia Restaurant. Breakfast and lunch is on an open sitting arrangement and dinner is at a set table. We also enjoyed a couple of pub lunches, and two meals using the alternative dining options. The Indian Bistro was most enjoyable with excellent food and good service, whilst the premium Verandah Restaurant, whilst delivering excellent cuisine, was marred by pretentious service, which rather spoiled the ambience. The Negatives - Now I move on to a shorter list of areas where I was disappointed. The big one for me was Service - this was sadly lacking in most areas on this ship. The staff either do not know or have forgotten how to smile and there was a 'no can do attitude' and certainly no service with a smile. One night I asked if I could have something that was not on the menu. As there were no starters that I liked I asked if I could have a prawn cocktail instead. I was told that was not possible unless I gave 24 hours notice - not the response I expected from Cunard. On all the other cruise lines I have sailed on there has always been an optional 'always available' menu. I was surprised to see that Cunard did not offer this as the choices offered are quite limited. The service in the Britannia dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner was very slow. At breakfast and lunch we were generally happy to share with other diners as we like meeting people, but we found that if we did not have too much time to spare it was better to ask for a table for two. Again at dinner the service was so slow that we always arrived at the show late. However, we were by choice on a table for eight and we enjoyed the company of 6 delightful people, which no doubt lengthened proceedings! Buffet Restaurant - We ate a couple of lunches in the Lido. As other reviewers have said the layout of the Lido makes it quite a difficult eating area with people coming and going in all directions and various counters with different options available, it is all a bit confusing and by the time you have worked it all out and found a table the food is cold. Bar service in the Lido is almost non existent. Health & Hygiene: During our first few days on board, the ship was still on red alert at the tail end of a Norovirus outbreak. This meant that in the buffet restaurant staff had to serve all food to the plate - passengers were not allowed to handle any food. I felt that this situation was not operated well by the restaurant teams and could certainly have been done more efficiently and cheerfully. Interestingly, last year we were on a Princess ship with exactly the same scenario, but I felt that they handled it with more professionalism and the staff still smiled, even though they had more work to do. Another area that disappointed me was cleanliness - considering that this ship had an outbreak of Norovirus and a number of people coughing and sneezing, I would have felt the cleanliness should have been a top priority. On arrival to our stateroom, we noticed that there were sticky marks on and in the drawers of the bedside cabinets and one of the glasses had a chip. I also came across some plates in the Lido that were dirty underneath, as well as cutlery that was not as clean as it should be. Excursions: Port talks were given prior to arriving in a port. These talks were extremely informative giving information about the dock, shuttle busses, Public transport, Ho-Ho's, banks, shopping and of course the ship’s own excursions. All of this was presented with slides in a very professional and personable manner - generally insightful, except for Israel. Haifa had been substituted for Egyptian ports as a precaution, and clearly the presenter did not seem to have been there, simply reading a script and mispronouncing some of the place names and religious terms! We booked the following excursions: Petra from Aqaba - A long full day excursion, extremely interesting, a long walk in extreme temperatures, but well worth the effort. Dead Sea & Masada from Haifa - Another long hot day with a 3 hour coach journey each way. A little disappointing for me, but still a reasonable day. Galilee & Nazareth from Haifa - This was without doubt the worst excursion I have ever taken. The guide was appallingly bad; so bad in fact that we put in a complaint to Cunard. 3 sites on your own in Lisbon - This basically was a guided transfer to the three sites - 2 in Belem, plus Central Lisbon, where we were allowed a reasonable amount of free time in each place. The guide on this excursion was of a much higher quality and gave a lot of very interesting information whilst we were in the coach, making this an excellent trip with the advantage that we had a lot of free time in the various sites. In both Naples and Palma we did our own thing, using the Ho-Ho and the complimentary shuttle bus respectively. In Conclusion - you can see that it's a pretty mixed bag, some good, some not so good - I hope that I have given a balanced picture on my perception of this trip. I do feel that Cunard’s standards have slipped a little and unlike many, I did not find them a cut above the rest. The big question: would I use Cunard again? The answer is that I would not be prepared to pay top dollar, but if the ship was going to where I wanted to go and the price was acceptable then yes I probably would, but I do feel that Cunard need to pull their socks up, if they want to return to their reputed top of the game position. There is a lot of competition out there!   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I am prompted to write this review as I have read little or nothing about the solo traveller experience on the Queen Elizabeth and was pleasantly surprised. As background I am a single female in my early 60's. I booked this trip ... Read More
I am prompted to write this review as I have read little or nothing about the solo traveller experience on the Queen Elizabeth and was pleasantly surprised. As background I am a single female in my early 60's. I booked this trip prior to taking a 28 day trans Pacific on the Celebrity Solstice so I anticipated a similar lack of provision for, or recognition of, the solo traveller - and consequently was not particularly looking forward to this cruise (or voyage as Cunard called it). On the first day at sea there was a reception for solo travellers at 12 noon (with fizz provided) in the Yacht Club hosted by Lauren the Social Hostess. There we met fellow solos along with the Gentleman Hosts. There was then a daily meet over coffee in the Lido, several lunches and finally a farewell reception before arrival in Southampton. Lauren got to know most of us and always had a friendly chat when out and about. Through these sessions I met many interesting fellow solos (mainly female it must be said) and chummed up with different ones for triva, excursions, nights bopping in the Yacht Club or just chatting over a drink. I am not a ballroom dancer but did observe the gentleman hosts making sure that any unaccompanied lady in the Queens Room was invited to dance - and one of them even got me to shuffle round the floor. I have read elsewhere complaints that the gentlemen favour certain ladies and this I did see happening at times but this was invevitable as several of the ladies who danced regularly were "round the worlders" so they had been dancing together for 3 months! Another welcome offering were the watercolour classes where Freddie (our wonderful teacher) had everything set up every day at sea from 10am until 2.30pm so we could spend as much or as little time as we wanted on our "art". The art kit we purchased for US$35 was great value and Freddie instructed us on its use and then helped us as much or as little as we wanted rather than giving formal classes. This was another great way to meet people. I thoroughly enjoyed this ship - thought it was beautifully appointed and well designed with lots of open spaces so it never felt crowded. I never experienced queues in the Lido, found service in the Britannia Restaurant unhurried but timely and found the crew generally polite and welcoming. Yes I could find faults here and there (mainly the quality of the meals) but nothing that would stop me from going on Cunard again - or recommend it to others.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
We decided to take this trip as we had previously enjoyed cruising on Thompson cruises and fancied going 'upmarket.' We were really looking forward to experiencing the QM2 The organisation before the trip was good with a lot of ... Read More
We decided to take this trip as we had previously enjoyed cruising on Thompson cruises and fancied going 'upmarket.' We were really looking forward to experiencing the QM2 The organisation before the trip was good with a lot of information from Cunard but as we were using a tour agency we also,had excellent information from them which arrived before the information from Cunard and they arranged all our transfers. The embarkation was swift and trouble free and we were soon in our stateroom with our luggage and the welcoming bottle of sparkling wine. Although the ship itself was certainly a step up from others we have sailed on, that was where the difference ended. The ship was beautiful, very clean and well appointed with a large stateroom which gave us a lot of space but the ship seemed to lack the soul that smaller ships have and the size meant we spent a lot of time walking from one place to another and in the end tended to use just a small area of the ship rather than explore it all. Our steward was lovely and gave us super service and the waiters were also very attentive but the service in other areas of the ship was average and did not match the hype we had heard from Cunard about their ship and staff. It was good but certainly not exceptional. It was certainly not better than on much cheaper cruises we have had. This was also true of the food. The meals were nice but not exceptional and the menu was rather limited. I was however very impressed by the attention I received when I told the waiter I had an allergy as I was invited to chose my meals ahead of time to ensure they were free of the food I was allergic to. It was though, rather difficult to have to choose the following day's meals immediately after finishing my dinner! We were on a table that was right at the top of the Britannia Restaurant and right next to the kitchen door which was far from glamorous - even though the restaurant itself was lovely we were only able to see this while walking to and from our table and we could have been eating anywhere. We did enjoy the look of the room at lunchtime when we had a freer choice of where we sat and we would have preferred a better choice of table in the evening. We asked to move later in the cruise but were then put on to a table on the other side of the restaurant in the reciprocal position, next to the kitchen! My husband liked the Kings Court buffet where there was a very good choice of food available all day but I didn't like the atmosphere there as it reminded me of any high street department store restaurant. I would have loved the opportunity to eat on the deck but there were no outside eating areas. I was looking forward to the formal nights as I rarely get an opportunity to dress up and although the men looked wonderful in their black or white evening jackets, I felt the majority of ladies did not really dress up as I had imagined they would. This meant that the 'balls' I was expecting were more like any normal dance. I really did expect more glamour. There was little difference between the formal nights and the informal. Our main disappointment though was the feeling that Cunard was doing whatever it could to get as much additional cash out of us as possible. . The price of drinks was high and all had 15% added as well as an additional space on the ticket for yet another gratuity. The bottled water was nearly $4 a bottle which was extortionate and it has always been free on other cruises we have taken. Like most other people we spoke to, we asked for the $11 per day, per person gratuity to be taken off our bill as we preferred to tip the staff we had dealings with rather than have this amount taken by the company without knowing where it went. We also felt the tours were overpriced and that the person giving the tour information lectures was not very subtly trying to steer people away from doing their own thing on shore by warning that taxi drivers might overcharge or they might not get back to the ship in time so they would be better taking an organised tour. We only took one organised tour and wished we hadn't because we had a much better time and more value for money by hiring a local taxi driver who was in every case ready to take us wherever we wanted to go for a fraction of the cost of the organised tours and to give us lots of information about the places we saw. To be fair, I think this is true of most cruises and I would always prefer to arrange my own days on shore. The itinerary sounded really exciting but unfortunately we arrived in Cochin on Independence Day and everything was shut. This was especially annoying to many people as everyone had paid a lot of money for a visa to go there, even if they didn't want to go on shore, and of all the places we visited this was the most disappointing. Langkowi on the other hand was wonderful. We hired a local taxi and the driver spent the whole day taking us to all the points of interest, including a trip on the river to see the eagles and a bat cave . He was so pleased to tell us lots of information about his island. . Excluding the cost of the river trip we were only charged $85 for the whole day which was about six hours in all. Photographs on the ship were about $24 for a single print which was also very expensive and it seemed a shame to see so many prints that would obviously be destroyed as they were not being bought. If they had been less expensive they would have sold many more I suspect. We were photographed at every turn, as was everyone, so there must be a lot of photos destroyed at the end of every cruise. Although the ship was very clean and attention to hygiene was excellent, especially the efforts to avoid the spread of Norovirus by the implementation of a closed buffet for the first 48 hours and the constant use of hand gel, there was an awful smell.about the ship on several days, especially in the corridors and on deck 7 which seemed to be connected to the discharge of effluent. This was very unpleasant and on one occasion was very strong outside the restaurant. I'm not sure if there was something wrong with the equipment but a lot of people were complaining about it. Another extra Cunard didn't tell us about ,was the threat of pirates! We had to blackout the staterooms at dusk every evening and were not able to go on deck which was a shame. It reminded me of the war! On the last day we were told to wait in the Winter Garden for a member of staff to take us to disembark. Despite being there twenty minutes before the appointed time, we were left there along with a large number of others for nearly an hour and then told the staff member had taken people away half an hour before the allotted time. This was followed by us being asked for $300 tax for our 400 duty free cigarettes by the Singapore customs, despite having been assured by the staff in the duty free shop that the tax was only 7% of the purchase price on board. Of course we had to forfeit them as this tax was more than the purchase price. Cunard must have had people disembark in Singapore before but the information they provided about the custom rules there was woefully inadequate and could have caused us big problems if we had put our purchases in our suitcase as we intended, believing we had the right to take in 200 cigarettes each. This could have caused us a large fine or imprisonment according to the customs officers. The staff were giving out completely wrong information and I think this was unforgivable! I had expected to spend a lot of money on this cruise and am aware that this review sounds as if I am penny pinching but that isn't the case. I simply didn't feel we got value for money as far as the extras were concerned and that Cunard were taking advantage of a captive audience. All in all we did have a good time and we met some lovely people on this cruise but it was definitely not what I had expected, given the hype that Cunard gives out about their cruises over others. I would probably go on a similar cruise again but would check out the itinerary with more care ( public holidays en route etc.) and would be more prepared for the reality of what to expect next time.   Read Less
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