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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was pleasantly surprised to be let on board immediately. Embarkation was a breeze. To keep this review brief I will deal with the disappointments. I expected more of the food. It was very ordinary and at breakfast only one person was doing personalised egg choices. We gave up. Cheapest bottle of wine - $48 USD which equated to almost A$70. Toilettries were never replaced even after asking 3 times. In fact the steward was only seen three times and it was very poor service. Finalising of account queue on the last night. Both my partner and everyone in the queue were furious at the wait time with 2 people serving and another desk free being payment for tours with nobody at it. People eating at 8.30 pm session had to wait till 10.30 to see a show lasting sometimes till 12. My partner would have loved a tour of the ship's history perhaps as a speaking or walking activity. We spoke to others who agreed. It was both my birthday and our anniversary and there was no provision or opportunity/acknowledgement for anything special as with other liners where a sign and balloons are put on your door or they bring out a little cake to your group dinner table (sounds trivial and not that I wanted to be centre of attention but if it's a special occasion, it always goes down well). When I enquired about this they advised I should pay for the specialty restaurant or purchase one of their expensive gift packages. We did not go on a shore excursion with the ship as most were booked out and were quite expensive. We went on a private tour and it was the highlight for us. It was a public holiday in Burnie but as the operators were locals they knew all the places to go. We were stressing before we went as to how formal the gala dinner would be, what to wear and how this would be presented. It was over-rated and nothing special was done. On the positive side - room was comfy, smooth sailing, nice surprise of a bottle of bubbly in the room, entertainment good, good guest speaker talks, impressive fit out of ship and we particularly loved the bar near the theatre (can't think of name) where the meals there were better than most restaurants and were free with such a great atmosphere and we found the staff here to be the most welcoming and engaging of all Happy it was a sampler but wouldn't go again.. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
ON the face of it not a lot seemed to have changed on the Queen Elizabeth since we last sailed on her seven years ago…and vowed never to do so again after the ship’s truly unforgettable inaugural voyage to the Caribbean. Roy Walker, ... Read More
ON the face of it not a lot seemed to have changed on the Queen Elizabeth since we last sailed on her seven years ago…and vowed never to do so again after the ship’s truly unforgettable inaugural voyage to the Caribbean. Roy Walker, star of the “Comedians” and “Catchphrase,” was still the biggest name performing in the Royal Court Theatre at night, a retired law enforcement officer was giving witty lectures during the day and there was still karaoke of very dubious quality in the Golden Lion pub. The entertainment on that Caribbean cruise had to been seen and heard to be believed. One of the highlights was a gentleman playing tunes on a vacuum cleaner. It’s true. Another was the comedian who started a stampede for the exits when he announced he was going to do a medley of Engelbert Humperdinck songs after half an hour of insulting the audience. The biggest laugh of his show was one of the stampeders sneaking back into the theatre to collect his wife’s forgotten handbag. What changed our mind to give the Queen Elizabeth another go was, quite simply, Cape Town. The first major stopping point, where we disembarked, is one of our favourite cities … and this was almost certainly the last time we will go there. We’re getting too old for 17 hours of flights … Cape Town to Dubai (nine hours) and Dubai to Manchester, eight hours. But, we discovered, to be scrupulously fair, quite a lot had changed for the better on the Queen Elizabeth after the much-heralded £ multi-million refit. We were late bookers so we had a very limited choice of balcony cabins ... just one with an uninterrupted view on Deck Four. The accommodation itself was OK, even though the metal-fronted balcony itself did rather resemble grubby old paint-strewn 1930s tanker or the local tip on windy day. Might be worth spending a few bob more, Mr Cunard. And the pleasant young steward had to be reminded gently and occasionally that we were the guests. There were only three stops … Vigo in Northern Spain (sunny, breezy and busy), Funchal in Madeira (warm, sunny and welcoming) and Walvis Bay, Namibia, where such a mullock was made of the disembarkation procedure for the day that many people elected to stay on board. Even the dear old Garden Lounge seemed to have changed its image to reading marathons, occasional live music and quizzes. Whatever happened to those superbly-named seminars? We can still imagine the late, great Tommy Cooper saying: “A friend of mine said ‘You want to go to the Garden Lounge today. They’re having a seminar on puffy legs. So I did. And I got ‘em!’ The Lido now seems to stretch the length of the ship and is quite the best we have seen on 20-plus cruises for quality, quantity and variety. But, perhaps the biggest change was the quality of the entertainment and the musicianship. It was unfortunate that the two girl singers with the Royal Court Theatre Group had severe colds and some shows were cancelled. The huge band split up to play various venues around the ship but got together for one memorable evening in the Queen’s Theatre. And a spin-off group played a couple of excellent evenings of Dixieland Jazz in the Golden Lion. Plus another fair lady ... Captain Inger Thorhauge. And, oh yes, Roy Walker, aged 78, was just as funny as ever. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
See cabin review below. The Victoria was in very good order, and nicely decorated for Xmas and NY. No welcome drink despite slick embarkation and with bags in cabin immediately. Entertainment in the evening was above average and ... Read More
See cabin review below. The Victoria was in very good order, and nicely decorated for Xmas and NY. No welcome drink despite slick embarkation and with bags in cabin immediately. Entertainment in the evening was above average and during the day OK with good lecturers in the morning although the port lectures had funny timings. Plenty of quizzes and table & paddle tennis which suits us. The Lido restaurant was good with plenty of variety though just sometimes tricky to find a table . Dining in the Britannia Restaurant - The food was OK but often not exciting, though plates were hot. Service was professional but the waiter wasn't good at the socialising. Need to talk about Service Standards. The service overall wasn't as good as on other ships who do much much better in the Friendliness stakes and for going the extra mile. This was a surprise - not terrible but the others are much better, and we are experienced cruisers. I also suspect that staff were managed by the stick and not the carrot. Docking - Cunard was not in the best position at the docksides so longer walks and in Madeira were supposed to Tender and other ships were docked. Then the sea was rough so we did not get to Madeira! Luckily the NY fireworks were as good as ever - a real plus. Disembarkation was fine. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
it was our golden wedding anniversary and my wife wanted to go to new york. as i had spent 17 years working for american IT companies in europe and been to new york for a weekend some 38 years ago, i wasn't bothered. so i booked on ... Read More
it was our golden wedding anniversary and my wife wanted to go to new york. as i had spent 17 years working for american IT companies in europe and been to new york for a weekend some 38 years ago, i wasn't bothered. so i booked on the qm2 to go to new york and the caribbean. as expected the food in the britannia restaurant and the service was first class. the other features of the cruise showed that it was greatly overpriced. i am in a wheelchair so i booked an adapted cabin. this was very small. it was the smallest of all cabins on all of our 9 cruises, so far, and was only useable with the wheelchair, after our cabin steward removed some of the furniture. the entertainment was very like the curate's egg. the onboard song and dance company gave some of the worst shows i have ever seen. avoid new york unless you enjoy being forced to sit in US immigration sheds, even if you are not going into new york or any parts of the USA. as usual the weather in the caribbean was very nice. though the towns are not wheelchair friendly. lots of formal nights with the men dressed as penguins. i do not like formal nights. tried the buffet one night, to be informal. the food was below par. will not use cunard again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a bucket list trip for us and we were not disappointed. We had a balcony cabin on the 8th deck and dined at the Kings Court buffet for breakfast, the Corinthia lounge for a light lunch and the main Britannia dining room at night. ... Read More
This was a bucket list trip for us and we were not disappointed. We had a balcony cabin on the 8th deck and dined at the Kings Court buffet for breakfast, the Corinthia lounge for a light lunch and the main Britannia dining room at night. We had a smooth sailing and every day enjoyed doing some rounds of the promenade deck on 7 for some exercise. The guest lecturers were varied and very interesting and the evening entertainment was very good. There were many classes and group activities to choose from such as ballroom dancing, art classes, bridge, trivia, book clubs and the fitness centre and spa were excellent. The afternoon tea is a must on at least one occasion and I happily went without lunch twice in order to enjoy this special treat in the Queens Room - complete with silver service, music and delicious food and tea. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I always wanted to cross the Atlantic on a real ocean vessel, which is the QM2. The ship met all of my expectations and then some. We were lucky enough to have the National Symphony onboard who entertained the guests with a wonderful ... Read More
I always wanted to cross the Atlantic on a real ocean vessel, which is the QM2. The ship met all of my expectations and then some. We were lucky enough to have the National Symphony onboard who entertained the guests with a wonderful program that included passengers in the chorale. The paintings of Cunard's ships past and present are all over the walls. History adorns the QM2 (in addition) on the walls. The sailing was completely sold out with folks from many different nations. MY wife and I boarded in Hamburg while most of the passengers boarded in Southhampton, England. The food on the ship is very, very good. We dined in the Britannia dining room with a staff that moves and operates like a fine Swiss clock. The waiters and staff in the dining room are so professional. If you are like me and could care less about ports of call, then take a trans-Atlantic crossing and treat yourself to this majestic, wonderful vessel. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in ... Read More
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in cabin within 30mins. We chose earlyt dining (6.30pm) on table of 8 and had good company - we moved round the table as the cruise progressed. Formal dress (jacket a must), but informal dress at the all day Lido restaurant, which we chose on three occasions. Food and service in the Britannia restaurant were excellent, but be warned, alcoholic drinks are pricey. Lido food also very good with great choices for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. We didn't use any of the other restaurants (eg Verandah) were there is an additional charge. Evening entertainment was very good, and excellent at times, though we didn't see all the one hour shows. At 60 and 67 we were probably in the younger 10% on board. Only impact was the day time entertainmeent and some shows are aimed at the older age group. It didn't bother us at all. Excellent range of activitiess each 'sea day', including lectures/talks on forensics, historical evcents and politics. Also food demos, Bridge classes, line dancing, cinema and much more. Excursions are pricey, but good guides. We did two and found nearest Tourist Info and explored on foot in Cadiz, Venice, Hvar, Dubrovnik and Cagliaria. Need to book a tour for Sicily as Messina is just a dock port. Not much in Gibraltar either except tour of fortifications, which was very good. High street is like any British city. Gratuities are pricey (about £21 per day), but we went to Reception and asked to remove this from our bill - done without fuss. We arranged our own (well earned) gratuities at the end of the cruise to Head Waiter and Cabin Steward. Sockets in cabin are American and British. Tea and coffee makig facilities in cabin and all day in Lido, but hot drinks were reasonably priced in cafes on board. All in all, excellent experience - our first cruise, if a little pricey overall. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
An experience on the last operating "ocean liner" (versus cruise ships) was high on my must do list. The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) did not disappoint providing a much smoother sailing experience compared to luxury cruise ships operated ... Read More
An experience on the last operating "ocean liner" (versus cruise ships) was high on my must do list. The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) did not disappoint providing a much smoother sailing experience compared to luxury cruise ships operated by higher end companies. Most important to me was the fact that I never felt my bed shaking inside my midship cabin as I have on many occasions on "luxury cruise ships". Even when the Atlantic got choppy due to high winds; the QM2 kept her composure. Dancing in the ballroom was barely affected by the waves. The sail-away from Brooklyn, New York was picture-perfect and memorable. While Cunard is owned and operated under the Carnival corporate umbrella; it has several distinctions a cut above the other marques. Embarkation and disembarkation were both well-organized, efficient, and comfortable. I really like that photographers did not bottleneck the procedures. Other cruise line photographers should do the same. The fact that several free launderettes and irons are available to guests on the QM2 is a real plus. The QM2 benefitted from a recent refreshening of carpets, drapes, and some furnishings. She is kept clean and in ship-shape both inside and out. The library has over 9,500 volumes and is as beautiful as that on luxury ships. The teakwood promenades are wide, grand, and well-maintained. I really appreciate the good signage and ship diagrams throughout the QM2. Not only are ship maps provided during embarkation but also every level has several large, readable floor plan maps with "You are here" prominently shown for reference. Elevators are fast, plentiful, and easy to operate. I recommend other Carnival owned lines should emulate Cunard's signage and elevator efficiency aboard their ships. Most all crew were friendly and approachable. Smiles and greetings were abundant. My cabin steward introduced himself the first evening. He did a great job tending my stateroom over 14 days. I give huge credit to the very well-functioning and efficient HVAC system in my stateroom. I wanted my room kept cold and it did the job. Although the QM2 was fully booked with over 2,679 guests on this transatlantic voyage, it seldom felt crowded or plagued by long queues. I must state that previously posted negative reviews on Cruise Critic concerning food quality were not experienced by this reviewer over the course of 14 days aboard ship. In fact, several interesting and tasty offerings at the King's Grill buffet were very good. Same applies to Britannia dinner selections with some nearing 5 star quality. The Chicken Tikka Masala lunch in the Golden Lion Pub was spot on outstanding. Wine, spirits, and beer selections are extensive in the QM2 however not all are available in every lounge, bar, and restaurant. Sommeliers are knowledgeable and helpful. Waitstaff are friendly and polite but sometimes serve at a very slow pace. Meals (B,L,D) in the Britannia took me 1 to 2 hours whether I was alone or chatting with fellow table mates. For faster meals use the King's Court buffet. I dined at the extra-cost Verandah Restaurant 4 times. The 3 evenings during the Eastward crossing I tried various offerings in their French themed restaurant. After departing Southampton for the Westward crossing the Verandah was changed to a high-end Steakhouse. The entry price is now $39 as opposed to the previous $49. All my meals, wines, and services were excellent. I must say changing the concept and lowering the price point by $10 was a great idea since I never observed the Verandah operating with most tables seated on the Eastward journey. I really appreciate the delicious maple bread served in a huge iron skillet. The fact that waiters now show you the dinnertime steak choices in their raw state (ribeye, wagyu, filet, strip) plus offer you a choice of Sheffield blade steak knives with various handles is a real plus. I had the 8 ounce filet which was cooked exactly as I asked and delicious. Just don't be misled by adding surf to your turf dinner. Two medium sized grilled shrimp are placed atop your steak for an outrageous $10 up-charge. The new dinner menu erroneously lists these 2 medium sized shrimp as "large prawns" which is extremely misleading. Entertainment was first class all around from the musicians, actors, singers, and dancers. Shows were great and obviously well-supported by expert sound and light staff. The cruise director was brief and to the point. The entertainment director was fun and kept guests motivated and involved with fun activities like solo travelers coffees & lunches and contests during band breaks in the Queen's room (ballroom). The movie theatre was large and never crowded. Most movies were subsequently available in my stateroom TV monitor along with several TV channels. A few channels are in French, German, and Spanish. The Planetarium was very popular and free tickets quickly disappeared after being offered at 9 am in Connextions. I found that several seats were available at showtime since "no shows" occurred frequently. So if you get there 15 minutes before showtime just queue up in the ticketless line. Excellent Planetarium shows were informative and enlightening for all ages. During my 14 days aboard, there were a total of 6 gala or formal evenings after 6pm. I thoroughly enjoyed dressing in my dinner jacket and tuxedo. Participating in the Roaring 20's, Black & White, Big Band, and Masquerade balls were just a few of the highlights of my on board memories that will last a lifetime. Brad Reynolds sang excellent tributes to Michael Buble. Music was always spot on for the called dances. I met so many interesting and enthusiastic ballroom dancers on the QM2. Traditional British tea time was served in the Queen's room daily at 3:30 pm. Live music was often played and the most fun was when it became a "tea dance" once during each sailing direction. If you enjoy dancing, need to learn, or just brush up; plenty of group lessons are provided by the on board pros. Dance hosts are available to assist solo travelers. Be sure to bring your dance shoes or at least wear leather-soled shoes as rubber soles don't work well on the dance floor. Unwinding at the G32 Disco late evenings was also fun in retrospective as they have a great DJ (Chris) and several monitors displaying videos. The Daily Program provided a plethora of interesting activities, lectures, and shows during the entire voyage. I had to choose carefully since some events only happened once or twice daily. Kudos to the expertly-designed and informative Daily Program. I was able to plan and do all my first choices. The rest of Carnival's ships should use the same Daily Program format and layout. I came with high expectations and left with better than expected findings. I will definitely defer to the QM2 when planning future long-term cruises since this ocean liner sails like a dream and caters to all my whims and fancies. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have cruised numerous times, but had not yet cruised with Cunard. We wanted to experience the Queen Mary 2, and a short, 5 night cruise over the 4th of July was a wonderful opportunity to do so. The QM2 is a stunningly beautiful ... Read More
We have cruised numerous times, but had not yet cruised with Cunard. We wanted to experience the Queen Mary 2, and a short, 5 night cruise over the 4th of July was a wonderful opportunity to do so. The QM2 is a stunningly beautiful ship. The décor is very “art deco” and reminiscent of a more elegant age. The many common areas on the ship are large, well appointed, and, even at capacity, do not feel crowded. In fact, the whole ship feels longer and wider than any other ship we have cruised on. Just being on board was relaxing. QM2 was built as an “ocean liner” and not as a cruise ship. This may account for the fact that it is laid out differently (and sometimes confusingly!) Example: Access to the main pool on Deck 8 is through the Verandah restaurant!! The dinner venue on board the ship is dependent on the basis of the category of room booked. “Queen’s Grill Suite” passengers dine in the Queen’s Grill; “Princess Grill Suite” passengers dine in the Princess Grill. “Britannia Club balcony” passengers dine in the Britannia Grill. All the rest dine in the Britannia restaurant. Anyone can dine at the buffet. There is no poolside grill. Room service is complimentary. The QM2 has a serious dress code. Men must wear a jacket for dinner in the dining room and in many of the bars. A tie is essential for “gala night.” There were many entertainers and lots of venues. The ship also offers a “matinee” at 2:15 on sea days with live performances. There is plenty to occupy one's time. Among the best things on board is an actual, functioning library with wood paneling, comfortable seating, and great views. It is very classy and a great place to just sit and read. We would sail “transatlantic” for 7-9 days on this ship without hesitation. However, we are not at all sure that we would take a longer, more port intensive cruise. This has to do with the fact that the ship offered very few good options for shore excursions and those options that were offered were too short. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this 7 day cruise because we had been on the Queen Elizabeth and wanted to try the Queen Mary 2 The good:- Very good or excellent entertainment shows in the evening. Lots of games to play in games room. Excellent free ... Read More
We chose this 7 day cruise because we had been on the Queen Elizabeth and wanted to try the Queen Mary 2 The good:- Very good or excellent entertainment shows in the evening. Lots of games to play in games room. Excellent free library. Nice afternoon tea Excellent Theatre and Cinema Generally interesting lecturers Excellent art exhibitions Excellent ballroom Very attentive and polite staff The bad: Everything is overpriced: Two coffees $12 in Godiva Room. A bag of kettle crisps $10.50 which is £1 in Tesco. They add service charges to everything of 15% They added a general service charge of $160 to my bill for 1 weeks cruise. You can easily get this removed by filling in a form. The sail away band were poor musicians and pumped out loud and raucous reggae music for a largely middle aged bunch of clientele. I was hoping to go for a swim but they had one tiny pool. Compare this to Jewel of the Sea on the Royal Caribbean - Different class. Very difficult to navigate your way round this ship as very often there is no direct path and sometimes you have to go up a level then come down on a different level. Wherever you sit down a wine waiter is chasing you to have a high priced drink. In the "smash and grab" self service restaurant on the 7th floor its always a struggle to find a seat. Unlike other cruise ships you don't get a tray so you have to keep going back for different courses. We tended to dine in the Britannia restaurant on level 2. In the Britannia Restaurant the menu sounded great but the reality was disappointing. I ordered Sea bass and got a child's portion. It was 4" long and they gave me 1.5 new potatoes with tasteless vegetables that had been frozen. Everything is denominated in US dollars which means it costs the Brits dearly because of the exchange rate. This is an American ship despite pretentions of being British and is extremely commercialised. It is no better than any Royal Caribbean hip and a lot more expensive. I won't be returning to Cunard. And the Ugly The cabins are a disgrace. See cabin Review below. 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
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Booked this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary and to see for ourselves if Cunard is what they say they are. The itinerary was great, Cochin excepted but we expected that. We had three complaints about this cruise, first of which was ... Read More
Booked this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary and to see for ourselves if Cunard is what they say they are. The itinerary was great, Cochin excepted but we expected that. We had three complaints about this cruise, first of which was the visas for India. We had no plans to go ashore in Cochin but was told that we must have full tourist visas otherwise we would not be able to embark the ship in Singapore. Due to a lack of time we had no choice other than to use Cunards intermediary CIBT visas, at a significant cost to us. Due to a lack of communication it turned out the visas were not required pre cruise. We watched people board the ship who had no visas. Cunard have since agreed to reimburse us, but only because we complained. If you were on this ship and had a similar experience then complain, they won't contact you! Secondly the stateroom------ We were in 13024 which is a club balcony cabin. The room itself was very nice with a roomy balcony and was well maintained by the steward, thanks Salvi.There is tea making facilities in the room which is always a bonus. Further to the stateroom there is significant vibration most of the time which is apparent to both port and starboard. Theses staterooms were a recent addition made during the last refurbishment. Cunard of course are aware of this and I'm told by a guest services executive that they are looking at ways of factoring it into the brochure stateroom descriptions. Too little to late for us, Cunard got our money, my wife got no decent sleep. As a matter of interest the vibration has nothing to do with sea conditions as it was present when the ship was on its mooring lines. Finally, the food--------I was served raw ( yes you read it right, raw) chicken with bloody juices running from it! As you can imagine there was mayhem, the servers, maitre d, chef and executive chef all arguing amongst themselves as to who was at fault, with fellow diners looking on in disbelief. I left the dining room and went for a meal. The outcome of this was that I was not allowed to make a formal complaint at the pursers desk,I wanted a case number so that I could take the matter up when I got home but was refused and told to drop the matter.I was given a complimentary meal in the Italian specialty restaurant, special it wasn't. Since being home Cunard agree that we have had a shocking experience with the three complaints and have offered us 20% of the cost of the cruise plus reimbursement of the cost of the visas. Is this commensurate with the cruise experience ? The service in the dining room was, we found, fine. The food in general in the dining room was adequate, but no more. A bit hit and miss. The service in the bars was, at times dreadful. Gone are the days of being escorted to seat and waited on for a drink, like it used to be. More often than not I got my own drinks at the bar and carried them back to where we were sitting. Staff work hard enough but there just isn't enough of them. The experience made me that I was at home in my local Wetherspoons. The entertainment for us was a mixed bag with no hint of a wow factor. The two productions shows were very poor and most certainly the entertainment was geared toward classical recitals and ballroom dancers with some jazz thrown in. The resident orchestra was very good as was the dance band. All in all we found the entertainment to be low key and not to our taste. Some of the sea day lectures were good though, as was the planetarium. Shore excursions were robbery but they are everywhere. The price of drinks was also robbery but we have seen worse, can't remember where. In the end we were glad to get home. Would we cruise Cunard again? Highly unlikely. For the life of me I can't see any evidence of a White Star experience, perhaps it's reserved for the grills? As for us we will continue cruising but methinks we will body swerve Cunard in the future. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Chose this cruise mainly because of its itinerary: San Francisco (I live nearby), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Sydney. Luckily we got on one the the queens. Service was superb, food was generally very ... Read More
Chose this cruise mainly because of its itinerary: San Francisco (I live nearby), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Sydney. Luckily we got on one the the queens. Service was superb, food was generally very good, and the ship was elegant. Had some rough rides between SF and Honolulu, and on the Tasman Sea, but didn't get seasick. The downside was that there was a cough going around on the ship, but I do not fault Cunard for this. This coughing virus and flu were going around San Francisco during embarkation. Unfortunately, the air conditioning exasperated the cough. Our steward got a technician to adjust the AC, plus we kept the balcony door open, which helped stop the condition. My sis (who I was traveling with) got excellent care from the ship's MD. We had lovely dining companions; a couple from Southhampton and another couple from Canberra. We were pampered and catered to and had a very nice cabin, which was overseen by our excellent steward, Alfredo. The cabin and the ship were spotless. The beds were extremely comfortable. The three performances we saw were top-notch. I especially loved the acrobats from Cirque de Soleil. The lectures were excellent too. There was a multitude of activities available during sea days, and the offshore excursions were fun and informative. I loved playing the daily "Name that Tune" contest. Cunard is so civilized - you get to play parlor games onboard; something I never get to do in the real world. And we loved the afternoon tea! The only un-fun necessity was doing laundry, but I packed large and had to visit the laundry only once. I waited in line 15 minutes before it opened and got a machine, then it was a done deal. Each deck has a launderette consisting of three washing machines and three dryers. Very busy place. Anyway, to sum things up, I was a bit apprehensive about this ship as some of the reviews are pretty brutal. Please do not disregard it. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 6th cruise on the QV and the 2nd New Year trip to Amsterdam. We travelled down to Southampton on the 28th Dec and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express just off the motorway and Ideally suited to get to the West Quay shopping ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the QV and the 2nd New Year trip to Amsterdam. We travelled down to Southampton on the 28th Dec and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express just off the motorway and Ideally suited to get to the West Quay shopping centre for a bit of retail therapy before embarking the ship. We were pleased to see the ship berthed at Ocean Terminal. We arrived at noon and were processed fairly rapidly but had to wait again to go through security as the ship wasn’t ready to take on passengers. The wait wasn’t too long though - our cabin, Deck 1 outside midships was ready and waiting for us. We dumped our stuff and went to the lido for lunch before it got busy - the ship was full and the Lido the only place to eat if you are not in Grills. The ship was still decked out in its Christmas Finery and looked fantastic. This was our first time back on the QV since her refit. The new wall mounted flat screen TVs are a great improvement. And at last Cunard have put in tea and coffee making facilities in the cabins. Hemispheres is now the Yatch Club and Britannia Club dining is now available for those who want to pay the extra. She does look a little drab in parts though - but not in the main passenger areas. Before we left S’ton, and just after muster stations, Commodore Rynd announced that due to the high winds and sea state we would not be going to Bruge but heading straight to Amsterdam to up our chances of getting into Ijmuiden and the North Sea Canal. This turned out to be a good call. There was a force 8 blowing for most of the journey over to Amsterdam. The QV proved to be very steady given the weather conditions. This gave us an extra sea day to relax. Very welcome after a busy Christmas. We were disappointed not to visit Bruge but I have visited Bruge on a number of occasions inc a long weekend (which I would recommend to give it justice). We took the opportunity to lunch in the Verandah Restaurant. It costs $20 but we think it’s worth it. It was already fully booked up for Dinner throughout the trip. I attended one of the guest speaker presentations - it was OK. It was interesting to hear a barrister talk and how Programmes such as Judge John Deeds give such a false impression of how the law works. We arrived in Holland about 9pm ships time (the QV stays at GMT throughout the trip). It takes about 3 hrs to get through the lock and North Sea Canal into Amsterdam - but lovely calm waters. On New Years Eve We breakfasted in the Britannia Restaurant where we took most of our meals. We then set out for the railway station that is a short walk away from where the ship berthed. We decided to visit Delft as it was a miserable day weather wise and we have “done” Amsterdam on numerous occasions before. There are regular trains to Delft, a lovely little city famous for its pottery and the home of one of the Dutch masters Vermeer. It takes about an hour to get to Delft and cost €26 return each. The journey takes you to the Hook of Holland. You really get a sense of how low lying Holland is and how vulnerable to the North Sea. The Vermeer exhibition is worth a visit if you are interested in how Vermeer worked with light and texture. We arrived back on the ship at 5 ish. Grabbed a scone or two from the Lido and relaxed with a drink before getting ready for New Year’s Eve Celebrations. The QV is much more a party ship on the 5 day trips. The average passenger age must drop by a half. I think there were more people from Japan, Germany and the USA than I remembered from the trip we did 2 yrs before. Everyone I saw was glammed up and the ship and it’s occupants looked fantastic. There was lots going on all over the ship. We watched the Dutch New Year fireworks at 11pm ships time. The Dutch had been letting off fireworks throughout the day and it really goes ballistic at midnight with displays taking place everywhere you look. This time there was literally our own display just off the bow of the ship - amazing. Luckily it had stopped raining too so there was many of us out on deck watching the show with lots of oohs and wows. We then celebrated GMT New Year with the Commodore and ships company in the Atrium and a Champagne Waterfall followed by a boogie in the Yacht Club. We left Amsterdam at 9am on New Year’s Day. This was the first time we had traversed the North Sea Canal in day light and was quite interesting. We ate in the Verandah restaurant again and had a fantastic view of the scenery and lock. We were heading for Cherbourg so effectively another sea day and another very relaxing day - busy doing nothing. We went to the show Hollywood Rocks that we enjoyed. The standard of singers and musicians throughout the ship is fantastic. It’s what sets Cunard apart for us though on a completely different level Thomson/Marella’s Entertainment teams are also second to none. The weather in Cherbourg was dismally wet and windy - but this is winter in the North Sea and Channel so our expectations were not high. We wandered the town, bought wine in Carrefour and returned to the ship. We were told by the Commodore that the weather would be very poor - storm force 10 with 9m waves. He would hug the French coast till 10.30 pm then make “a run for it” my words not his, The winds would be hitting us broadside so to expect some sudden movement and keep fingers away from doors! And so it proved. The QV handled the storm very well. We had chosen midships and deck 1 as it’s the most stable part of the ship and apart from the odd bump it was not an uncomfortable night although the noise of the waves hitting the ship was quite loud - the downside of being so low. However we did suddenly list to the left and kept listing for quite a long time before gradually righting. It certainly sent things flying off shelves - a reminder that we are not in a state hotel. We learnt next day we had a 7 degree list. The high winds in Southampton also meant we were unable to dock at the Ocean terminal where our car was - coaches therefore would ferry us back to ocean terminal. Disembarkation was reasonably straight forward though having to wait for coaches delayed our journey home by an hour but at least we were all safe and sound. A very enjoyable trip. In general. The cabin was well looked after by our steward, the food and choices were excellent, we only saw one show and that was very good. It was reasonable value for money. I would recommend the Verandah lunch if you are Britannia Class Cunard’s drink prices are getting very steep and worse for us sterling using Brits - the service charge on drinks is an American habit that is not necessary. A free glass of bubbly at midnight would have been graciously accepted especially as Cunard changed its World Club criteria from 5 + night’s to 6+ night’s just before the 5 day cruises took place - so World Club members didn’t get a cocktail party and us platinum members didn’t get a wine tasting or priority embarkation. We didn’t take any excursions as happy to do it ourselves. Would we do it again - there are other places to celebrate New Year we’ve yet to try. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
After more than 40 cruises on 7 different lines we wanted to try the upscale service on Cunard since folks we met highly regarded it. This was an economical way to try it especially since we love sea days and many ports are a bore for ... Read More
After more than 40 cruises on 7 different lines we wanted to try the upscale service on Cunard since folks we met highly regarded it. This was an economical way to try it especially since we love sea days and many ports are a bore for us. Everything lived up to or exceeded our expectations. Our penthouse room was the largest we ever have had. My wife had a walk-in closet with a drawer unit; my closets and drawers were along the hallway to the door. Dining at an assigned table for two with no set time and congenial neighbors at adjacent tables was extremely pleasant. Our assigned servers quickly learned our preferences. I restrict my salt so we were given copies of the next day's menu at dinner and we could select entrée items which would be prepared to my restriction next day. The lecture and music programs were first-rate (at least for us) and were very well attended, so lots of passengers agreed. There was the usual very good orchestra and a string quartet, and a harpist and a concert pianist and a baritone opera singer and a soprano. The two theatres were busy most of the time. We took along reading materials and "busy work" and didn't touch either there was so much going on. All age groups were represented, even some very small children. This is a very big ship with 2600 passengers but with so many very tastefully decorated public spaces it never feels crowded. Even for disembarkation there was ample seating for everyone. I learned that Carnival planned and built this ship - what a surprise! They have risen several notches in my opinion, but I still do not wish to travel on one of the "Carnival" ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Wife did not want to fly long distance to winter sun. This was good value for money, no flying and no luggage restrictions. The ship was excellent, crew very attentive, entertainment good and varied, food good, weather variable but ... Read More
Wife did not want to fly long distance to winter sun. This was good value for money, no flying and no luggage restrictions. The ship was excellent, crew very attentive, entertainment good and varied, food good, weather variable but warmed up as we neared the Caribbean. Been there many times so did no tours. Appreciated the presence of a bridge director for organised duplicate competitions on sea days. Guest celebrity speakers excellent. many activities but impossible to do everything as timings clashed. As expected many elderly people with mobility problems. Minor criticisms: No anytime dining unless in more expensive cabins. Dinner at 6pm too early, 8.30pm too late. No activities in the evenings for late diners during first sitting time. Second showw finishes at 11.15pm also too late for activities. Movies were repeated during the second half of the voyage. Need to have enough movies so no repeats. Dinner wines were ridiculously expensive so not much uptake. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This is the first time we have every cruised on a Cunard ship. We have been on others thought so can compare. We did a five day Big Band Dance Cruise Southampton, Brugges, Amsterdam and Cherbourg. Fabulous, from the time we got to ... Read More
This is the first time we have every cruised on a Cunard ship. We have been on others thought so can compare. We did a five day Big Band Dance Cruise Southampton, Brugges, Amsterdam and Cherbourg. Fabulous, from the time we got to embarkation until we stepped off this morning. Such a warm welcoming ship. The food in the main restaurant and the Lido Buffet was superb, the staff couldn't have been more helpful, they work so hard. Cabins good and the beds divine, so comfy. If I had one criticism it would be that the dance floor wasn't big enough as it was advertised as Big Band they under-estimated how many people did Ballroom Dancing. The resident band though were brilliant, they played great party music when you wanted a change from the Ballroom. All said and done we wouldn't hesitate to cruise on her again and now want to try Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The Queen Mary 2 is a magnificent ship, our cabin and steward was wonderful. The late embarkation was quick and easy except that some ships elevators were not working, which was a common problem throughout the cruise. The fifth level ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2 is a magnificent ship, our cabin and steward was wonderful. The late embarkation was quick and easy except that some ships elevators were not working, which was a common problem throughout the cruise. The fifth level balcony cabin was great. The balcony is not much use unless in port or very carm seas. The signage to the mini bar was poor some things are free and some are charged. We only realised that the bottled water was charged when it was noted on our room bill. We were also disappointed when we ordered a bath robe to take home. We were told $US45 and charge $US55. We quaried the cost and were told Cunard charges what is on your account not what price you were told or marked on the order form. Not good enough. The only other problem we had with the cabin was that the door to the balcony rattled in windy weather. We had a person come to fix the door but he bad little improvement. The Britannia Restaurant food was average and usually failed to live up to the men description. Steak was not tough but certainly not tender. My wife returned one seafood dish as it smelt off and another person at our table felt sick after a seafood dish. The deserts were usually good. The Kings Court Buffet was average with some food cold and or dry out. The Golden Lion had good cod and chips. We felt that the food quality was well below the quality of food served by other cruise lines. The talks by the speak were wonderful, delivered by quality speakers who were passionate about their topic. The classical performances were good but the Cunard performers we energetic but we did not particularly enjoy the shows. The movies were average. The planetarium was great until it broke down. The staff were generally very friendly but often appeared poorly trained. The except being the staff in the shop who were happy to talk to each other about their shopping trip to Boston and how it was not as good as Paris while I stood in front trying to get served. The shop also was poor as on the second day they only had small sizes remaining for some cloths. We did two tours the first to Cape Cod was a poor. We left the ship just before lunch and got to have lunch at 4 pm by which time we were very hungry and had lost interest in the incessant taking of the quide an the tour. The vist to the Grit Mill in total darkness was a joke. I am still not sure if the building was there or not. The other tour to Montreal was great. The tender to the Port was poor your were treat more like cattle loading on to a ship than a guest. When tied up to a dock reboarding was general good but at some ports there was two gangways one with a long line to enter the ship other with only a few people in line. This could have been much better co-ordinated. There were other problems two toilets had a lot of water on the floor when I tried to use them. The seat in the planetarium would reclaim back but when you came to the same venue for a lecture some seats would not return to the upright position so if there were limited seats you had to sit facing the ceiling. Our cruise was a Falls cruise unfortunately there was no Falls coloured to be seen and we were disappointed that we did not visit two of the port on the itinerary. Newport was too windy to visit but a couple at our table said this was the second cruise that they were on that had missed Newport. During the the cruise we noted that the port of Gaspé had been replaced by Sept-Isles not an interesting place. We got on the shuttle bus that was to go on a circular route stopping at a number of place. The bus was to operation every 20 minutes. We made the mistake of getting off at the first stop. It was an hour and ten minutes until we could get on to another shuttle as they were full and would not allow people to board the bus. An hour and ten minutes standing in the cold was no fun. When we eventually got on to the shuttle we went back to the boat fearing that if we got off that there would be another long wait. We were sorry for all the passengers refused access to our shuttle. We thought that the ship is magnificent but for us the food, service etc was below what is provided by other cruise companies. We spoke to other people on the cruise who have been on the Queen Mary 2 many times and just loved the whole experience. Maybe we expected too much. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
An amazing experience. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a true ocean liner is the only way to go. Never want to fly across again. Everything was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. However, we'd researched ahead of time and ... Read More
An amazing experience. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a true ocean liner is the only way to go. Never want to fly across again. Everything was wonderful and exceeded our expectations. However, we'd researched ahead of time and knew what to expect-horrible food! If we hadn't known this heading into the crossing we'd have been very disappointed. Food quality aside, the ship and its entertainment and enrichment activities were superb. The high evening dress standards and formal nights were such more enjoyable than expected, very special indeed. Music onboard is seconds to none in the cruise industry. We were fortunate enough to have the British National Orchestra performing on our crossing. Stick to the main dining room or Grills for all meals, they are the least bad option. The buffet is TERRIBLE, so, so bad... Wine list is extensive if a bit over priced but not badly so. Extremely comfortable bed, pillows, and linens. Excellent service all around once onboard ship. Great spa and fitness facilities. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
i picked this cruise as it was sold as a big band cruise and it was going to Amsterdam a city i haven't visited before. Unfortunately I didn't read the itinerary carefully enough the ship actually went into Rotterdam for Amsterda ... Read More
i picked this cruise as it was sold as a big band cruise and it was going to Amsterdam a city i haven't visited before. Unfortunately I didn't read the itinerary carefully enough the ship actually went into Rotterdam for Amsterda which was an hour and half journey away. As it turned out Rotterdam is quite an interesting city so enjoyed the visit. Amsterdam will have to wait a bit longer for a visit. Embarkation in Southampton went very smoothly - we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal and our cases were already outside the door by the time we reached the cabin. We were in the Britannia Club and service in the restaurant was as good as ever. I wasn't impressed with the choice of dishes on the menu and had great difficulty finding anything to my liking. I am a very fussy eater and ended up having either melon or smoked salmon as a starer and grilled salmon every day for the main course. Dessert choice again not to my liking - I like fruit crumbles or pies, trifles etc. These were not available but strawberry cheesecake and mousse style dishes were, but we did have flambes on three evenings. So I had cheese from the trolley or a flambe. Now we come to the drink prices which are horrendous. Two two oz gins and a bottle of Fevertree tonic with the 15% service charge $25.93! So if you enjoy a drink be prepared! Entertainment was good. We had two big band evenings which everyone enjoyed, a group called the Overtures who were excellent and a very good comedian. Entertainment overall very good. Other than my problem with the food (which is down to me) we had a great time and already booked for Christmas. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Wanted to travel from London/Southampton to Barcelona and visit Gibraltar and Mallorca. Everything on this cruise was boring and well over priced. Excursions in Gibraltar and Mallorca were a waste of time and money - drove around the ... Read More
Wanted to travel from London/Southampton to Barcelona and visit Gibraltar and Mallorca. Everything on this cruise was boring and well over priced. Excursions in Gibraltar and Mallorca were a waste of time and money - drove around the 'rock' in Gibraltar on a Sunday (everything was closed) and were dropped for 2 hours in a tourist trap market in Mallorca. Meals in the restaurant were lacking, tasteless and the meat was tough - some inedible. Drinks were easily twice the price they should have been. A drink was charged as the liquor + mixer + service charge (which was described as how the servers were paid). A $5 drink ended up costing around $11+. Photo shop delivered photos on CD that are damaged and Cunard nicely provided the name of the company but said they have nothing to do with it after the ship docks so that is probably wasted money as well. The Bridge instructor (folks learning) was rude and condescending. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My wife i have had eight prior cruises, with the most recent two on Holland America. For this cruise, we wanted a trans-ocean cruise on a ship with dance floor, as we are social ballroom dancers. We also wanted a ship which looked and felt ... Read More
My wife i have had eight prior cruises, with the most recent two on Holland America. For this cruise, we wanted a trans-ocean cruise on a ship with dance floor, as we are social ballroom dancers. We also wanted a ship which looked and felt like a real ship, not a floating hotel. The May 15, 2017, eastbound crossing on the QM2 fit those requirements. Booking: We had a misunderstanding about ship board credits. I thought we were to received a $200 shipboard credit, but that did not happen. I had originally looked at fares on Cunard's website, but then booked directly with Cunard by phone. I think that I saw the credit on the website and assumed it would also apply to a booking by phone. The misunderstanding was probably my mistake, but, if you book with Cunard, be sure and clarify whether you are entitled to any shipboard credits. Embarkation: Embarkation was substantially delayed as a result of a U. S. Coast Guard inspection, or so Cunard said. Given that the QM2 had not been in the U. S. for some time, we have to wonder why Cunard was surprised that there was a thorough inspection which took longer than usual. More importantly, the substantial delay kept many elderly and some disabled people STANDING in lines, some of whom had been there for hours as we were told. We know that may of those asked for chairs or other places to sit, but were told that none were available, although we later saw hundreds of unused chairs in an adjacent area. This problem could have created some serious medical issues. Given that cruise lines must be aware of the potential for embarkation delay, it is difficult to understand why Cunard was not prepared to take care of its elderly and disabled guests affected by the embarkation delay. I suspect Cunard's attorneys and risk avoidance folks would be very interested in this issue. However, once boarding was authorized, embarkation went smoothly and quickly. Dancing and Entertainment: Ballroom dancing is the reason we booked the QM2, and we were not disappointed. The dance floor was smooth, and the music by the Queen's Room Band and the DJ was perfect dance music. We danced every night until we could dance no more. The daily dance lessons were great as the instructors helped beginning dancers and those who needed more technique than basic instruction. We enjoyed visiting with the dance hosts, and they were happy to help us with some of the steps. Those guys didn't miss a dance, ensuring that single ladies had the chance to dance as much as they wanted. The dance hosts seemed to love to dance and were there only to be sure as many guests as possible danced as much as they wanted. The only minor complaint is that the dance floor was very crowded on the three formal nights, and Cunard could help remedy that by expanding the size of the dance floor. The Queen's Room is so large that it could afford to lose a couple of tables. However, the dance floor was far less crowded when the music was by the DJ, and we certainly had all the time to dance that we could possibly have wanted. We enjoyed the Romanov lectures which were very well done by a speaker who challenged us as well as providing very interesting information. The one show we saw (too busy dancing to see the shows) was excellent. If you do not dance, and most passengers don't, you will not be bored as there are activities for everyone. Dining: Service in the Britannia Dining Room was superb. While it would be difficult to say that the food itself was gourmet, it was good. We thought the food in the King's Court Buffet was good for a buffet, but limited much more so than with most cruise ships' buffets. While we never waited for a table in the King's Court or waited in a line, it often seemed crowded, Unfortunately, many of the tables in the King's Court do not provide an outside view. Attacks of the Ice Cream Machine: After dancing on the first night, we went for ice cream in the King's Court. My wife pulled down the lever on the machine and received a shot of chocolate ice cream all over her dress. Several staff members can running over, not to help her get the ice cream off her dress, but to get get it off the deck. It was not until I complained to a manager that she got some help. No one offered to have her dress cleaned. The next night, in a not so bright move, I got ice cream out of the same machine and was also rewarded with ice cream all over my tux coat and pants. A manager provided some napkins to help me get the ice cream off my tux, and took my room number with a promise that the ship would have my tux cleaned. I did have a call from someone later that night, advising me to leave the tux on the bed in the morning, and the steward would get it to the laundry, but the steward did not get the word, and the tux was still on the bed when we arrived back at the room. And, the story does not end here. We ran into some friends the next day after lunch, and the lady had chocolate ice cream all over her shirt. Same ice cream machine. So, if you cruise on the QM2 and want chocolate ice cream, do not stand in front of the ice cream machine! Room: We were in 11064 for which we paid a bit more as we wanted an open balcony. I spent some time on the balcony, but my wife did not. If we book Cunard again, I think we will get an enclosed balcony for less money. The room was small as are most cruise ship cabins. However, we have generally been Holland America customers before, and the rooms on HAL ships are considerably larger, particularly the bathrooms. The bed was comfortable, and everything in the room worked. The room steward was great, ensuring that the room was clean and made up each day. Service: Regret having to be a bit critical here. Compared to the "customer is always right" attitude on HAL ships, that was not always the situation on QM2. Some staff seemed to resent being asked questions (my wife loves to ask questions). It does not seem to me to be out of line to ask for clarification, but that seemed to bother some staff personnel, even to the point of rudeness a couple of times. We heard the same from other passengers on board. Service with a smile (remember, the customer is always right) is an area in which Cunard could focus some attention. This was not a result of language barriers as the non English speaking staff members were uniformly courteous, but rather it was English speaking staff. Other Activities: We enjoyed sitting and reading in the Commodore Lounge which has a wonderful forward view. We also enjoyed walking the promenade deck most mornings. We made a number of new friends on the crossing, and it was always fun to sit and visit. For anyone not a ballroom dancer, there is so much to do on this ship that you will not be bored. Time Factors: Keep in mind while booking, that you lose five hours going east and gain five hours going west, because of time changes. So, going west, you get ten more hours on the ship than going east. The ship is large, and it takes a while to get from one end of the ship to the other, and since one elevator bank was removed during the last overhaul, it often takes a bit longer to get places on the ship than other cruise ships. Stability: My wife has sea sickness issues, and we were concerned about that, but the QM2 is amazingly stable. While the Captain was not reporting high sea states, i was in the Navy long enough to know that the seas were high enough to make most ships roll substantially. The QM2 only moved slightly with very gentle rolls. Perfect for sleeping! Laundry: Forget using the personal laundry. Two few for 2500 guests. Internet: As good as possible given that you are on a moving ship. However, it is slow and expensive. We found that both with an Iphone and a Kindle that logging out was for some reason difficult, and we went through a lot of minutes. Disembarkation: While it did not happen at the time stated, it was well organized and went smoothly once it began. Summary: Wonderful crossing! We hope to do it again soon, although we may try one of the two smaller Cunard ships, and we will almost certainly travel westbound. 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
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