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25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This is not the quality product I thought I was paying for and would strongly advise people to avoid Cunard ships if you expect this to be a quality upmarket cruise company. Cunard are first class at the glossy branding and marketing but ... Read More
This is not the quality product I thought I was paying for and would strongly advise people to avoid Cunard ships if you expect this to be a quality upmarket cruise company. Cunard are first class at the glossy branding and marketing but the product is very poor. In summary, you are on a British ship where the currency is dollars and most staff struggle with the English language; so if you have a question or an issue they simply nod their head and agree, but do nothing. Areas of the ship are in poor condition. The food is very average, in fact I’ve had better on an aeroplane. The entertainment was basic and frankly second rate. We upgraded to a Queens Grill suite, as close to first class as possible and it was not cheap, but still it was a very very poor experience. I had expected elegance at sea and a first class experience. It was more like a 4 start hotel with a ‘Faulty Towers’ service style. There where various issues with the cruise, including Cunard leaving us stranded for one night as the ship was late to arrive. We had to find our own accommodation which was a challenge and they never even said sorry. When we got back their customer service staff were not interested in how bad it was for us. I even spoke with the CEO David Noyes and his attitude was poor. This says a lot about a company’s culture to me. I will not sail with Cunard or Carnival again and would strongly persuade anyone who is thinking about it to look elsewhere and avoid the disappointment. Cunard are trading on their connection with the British Royal family which is a mere name on a ship combined with some past glory. If you get a late deal at a bargain price then by all means it could be worth it but do not expect too much. Definitely do not pay over the odds and expect to have a good experience. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My husband and I have just completed a 12 night cruise from New York to the Caribbean and we had a truly delightful time. Our cabin on level 12 was quite spacious with a balcony. Greg, the man who serviced our cabin was extremely pleasant, ... Read More
My husband and I have just completed a 12 night cruise from New York to the Caribbean and we had a truly delightful time. Our cabin on level 12 was quite spacious with a balcony. Greg, the man who serviced our cabin was extremely pleasant, always greeting us with a smile and our accommodation was always immaculate. Our level of accommodation allowed us to dine in the Britania Club Restaurant which meant we were not restricted to an early or late sitting but were free to dine at any time between 6pm and 9pm. Our meals were all first class. There was quite an extensive menu from which to choose and we were not disappointed with any of our choices. On one occasion we did eat at the Todd English Restaurant (an extra cost) but once again the food and service was second to none. An exceptional way to celebrate our anniversary. I would like to make a special mention of three people who made our dining experiences so enjoyable. From the very first meal to our last Jana, Wendy and Shekhar took special care of us. They were so professional and yet so natural displaying their friendly personalities. Thank you to the three of you, we have very fond memories of you all. We visited five different islands in the Caribbean and all of our tours were excellent. Everything ran smoothly and we had the chance to be introduced to this wonderful part of the world. We experienced bus rides, train rides, catamaran rides and two refreshing swims in the Caribbean. There was plenty of entertainment and activities on the 'sea' days. We thoroughly enjoyed the forensic talks given by Dr Hal Tinberg and two young singers, The Opera Boys. As we have just retired it was just lovely wandering around, having coffee and relaxing on our verandah. The embarkation was extemely well organised and we were in our cabin very quickly. As we were disembarking ourselves, we thought there may be some hick ups, but that too went so smoothly. This was our first experience of an ocean cruise. We were so pleased we chose the Queen Mary 2. I highly recommend this ship and hopefully will one day sail on her again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our first cruise ever and it exceeded our expectations. From the start Staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome and catered to our every need. Personnel could not have been friendlier or more courteous and we ended ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and it exceeded our expectations. From the start Staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome and catered to our every need. Personnel could not have been friendlier or more courteous and we ended our cruise feeling we were leaving friends. So many things to do both at sea and on the tour excursions. All meals were superlative and the "Behind The Scenes" Tour offered an opportunity to really get to know what goes on in the everyday running of the ship - a real insight. The only quibble was with the White Star Luggage Service where the luggage pick up from home was scheduled for a certain day but DHL did not do the pick up as advised on the document. Apart from this, we would definitely choose Cunard and, particularly, the Queen Victoria again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We embarked in Southampton, we were booked for 14:30 but arrived at about 13:10. CPS took the car straight off us, and the luggage porter was helpful. There we no queues, and we were on board straight away, very smooth. Oh by the way ... Read More
We embarked in Southampton, we were booked for 14:30 but arrived at about 13:10. CPS took the car straight off us, and the luggage porter was helpful. There we no queues, and we were on board straight away, very smooth. Oh by the way this was our first ever cruise, we were a group of 5, my parents myself, hubby and pre-teen daughter. We really enjoyed the cruise, the food in the Britannia Restaurant was fantastic, we had chateaubriand, lobster, lots of seafood the baked Alaska was divine. Our waiters Romeo & Joy were excellent, actually all of the staff we came into contact were marvellous, and I think this made the cruise for us. The Lido had a good variety of foods, however at times it can be a bit of a scrum to get a table, especially for 5, but we managed this. I think at peek times Cunard could maybe allocate the seating, or come up with a system to help with this. The Lido was always very clean and tidy. It was quite windy at times and we had a day where we were most ill, and taken to our cabins. My husband visited the ships doctor and came back with some marvellous tablets, which meant were could fully enjoy the cruise, ( we did take some other tablets with us , but they were not working at all)!! We very much enjoyed the insight lectures particular Malcom Nelson who was a customs officer, even my daughter was totally enthralled by his presentations. We went to about 4 shows as a family. We enjoyed David Copperfield, although an older guy, we did enjoy that older generation humour ( bearing in mind most of the audience were well into there 60's ++). The dancers were good, but let down a little by the 4 singers, the 2 women need a bit more tone to there voices, and were a bit shrieky at times!! We missed one port of call due to bad weather. I have no qualms with this, and would rather be safe, we sailed straight onto Gran Canaria, the captain kept us up to date at all times. We thought the crew were very professionally, and the Captain safety conscious, they even had an extra crew drill whilst we were in port. We paid for 2 excursions, as we were new to cruising, we were a bit apprehensive about been back on time, but both excursions were well organised, particularly Madeira. Rosa was our guide, and as we were travelling as a party of 3 ensured we got a family basket for our toboggan ride, which I recommend. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
What a great way to cruise for the very first time on this beautiful great ocean liner. This ship is huge and very Grand. It's built for this crossing of the the North Atlantic. I would of normally chosen a warmer destination with ... Read More
What a great way to cruise for the very first time on this beautiful great ocean liner. This ship is huge and very Grand. It's built for this crossing of the the North Atlantic. I would of normally chosen a warmer destination with smooth crossing but this holiday was a gift. Of course the ship has some movement but because of the size and design of it, the crossing was only a little rocky in places. There is something for everyone on this cruise. I was a lot younger than a majority of the passengers and could of occupied my time well. If your a food lover, make sure you loose a good half a stone before you board as you definitely will not come home slimmer........ The Briannia restaurant was lovely the service was fine, beautiful food, choice of two sittings. I didn't try the Queens Grill as this is for selective passengers you can still use it of course, but would be charged. Dressing for dinner is of course part of the holiday especially for the ladies always smart evening wear. If you don't want to do this then the Kingscourt Buffet offers a massive variety of lovely prepared dishes from all over the world. The room was fine very clean and well maintained butler service at any time . We were on deck 4. Any information about your trip is delivered to your cabin. Night entertainment was good with various talented musicians planning around the ship. Cinema and Theatre performances, don't forget the night club. Or if you just fancy a steady beer then hit the Golden Lion pub. Dont feel you have to be dressed up all the time the day atmosphere is relaxed and casual. The night it can be either that's your choice! We did manage to get out on deck most days all apart from a couple of times where the weather was a little to windy, so it was fabulous to get a walk round the deck and check out that beautiful ocean, also to look around the ship. Was there anything I would change... Well we all want something different from our holidays so for me. Maybe I felt maybe because I was a little younger than a majority of the passengers as I'm in my late 40's the average age was maybe 70's .There could of been some different seminars, and activities to join in. "This is not a complaint" and remember Cunard will cater for the majority. Kings court was great food, clean, tidy and we were always looked after well It does need a revamp, but this is due to be done in May 2016. There were some absolutely brilliant staff on board this liner and I would like to give them a mention. Stanley in charge of Dining room Britannia great guy, very good at his job making sure all guests are seated at tables of there choice and well looked after. He is organised and has very efficient. Angelica a in the cocktail bar the Commodore. She new her guests names after a night, there favourite drinks, she was informative about questions we ask about different drinks. She knew information about the ship if we asked. Very good at her job. As was Vernica in the Chart Room. A very big thank you to Bernard the waiter he's a little guy with a big smile. He made us feel so welcome we instantly liked him and he served us on numerous occasions throughout our holiday. Just remember we can all complain about things! We do all expect something different from our holidays! I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise, next time I know I would join the cruise at a warmer destination point. The reason for this is so I have a choice to jump off at port and also you would be on deck more.. Unless you try you don't know ! Happy cruising! Well done Cunard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked this as a joint 50th birthday for myself and my husband, we wanted something special where we didn't have to fly, could relax but also see some sights. From arriving at Southampton to being in our Stateroom (BA Balcony) was ... Read More
We booked this as a joint 50th birthday for myself and my husband, we wanted something special where we didn't have to fly, could relax but also see some sights. From arriving at Southampton to being in our Stateroom (BA Balcony) was around 20 minutes, very impressed with embarkation. The stateroom was what we expected and the decor and cleanliness was too a very high standard. We found the food and service excellent and ate in the Britannia, Lido and The Veranda Restaurants, The Britannia was a different menu every night. We had read all of the small print before hand so we were not shocked at the drinks prices, although they are very expensive and you pay 15% on top as a service charge for every drink. I love wine so it was particularly expensive for us, though the wine selection was excellent and I tried a wide variety of them (I bought on board credit before going as I knew we would be spending quite a lot on drink!!). There was a variety of entertainments but they are definately geared towards the older generation and we did not take part in many, although we did enjoy the classical music concerts and the Male singer was excellent, the library is also of a very high quality. We did find that breakfast could be a bit of a scrum in the mornings as all the singles insisted on having a four seat table to themselves, we shared but others obviously did not like doing this. About 90% of the people on the cruise were couples but only about 5% of the tables are for 2 so be prepared to share or have complimentary room service and avoid the crowds all together. A major problem for me personally was not being able to make a cup of tea in the mornings, I wake very early, my husband doesn't, and I like to make myself a drink at 5 or 6 in the morning, it's not very convenient to have to get dressed and go up 3 desks just to get a cup of tea! The only other issue I had was the launderette, using an iron in your stateroom is not allowed so unless you want to be really creased you have to use the one in the launderette which is rubbish and there is only 1 for the whole deck. There are 3 washer driers for the deck which also wasn't enough as I was surprised how many people actually used them. There are some very selfish people that use 2 of the 3 washing machines at once..Grrrr. We took 4 shore excursions all of which were excellent, Herculaneum, Rome, Vejer and Barcelona. Rome it's self was a nightmare as 25000 other people were in the Vatican at the same time as us, however they are overpriced, but again I knew the price before I booked them so can't complain too much. It did end on some thing of a low point though, the disembarkation was a fiasco, they let 3 decks go at once so everybody ended up queuing for 40 mins to get of the ship, many of them elderly with health problems. There were complaints. Overall this cruise lived up to our expectations, the service was excellent and the ship's interior is beautiful to look at. The cruise itself is very good value for money although the cost of 'extras' is breathtaking. We are booking another cruise with Cunard. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Booked what was our 16th Cruise with Cunard and I have to say this was the one we enjoyed the least and will likely be our last. A new menu was imposed in the Grills which was a real retrograde step. What was once the hall mark of Cunard ... Read More
Booked what was our 16th Cruise with Cunard and I have to say this was the one we enjoyed the least and will likely be our last. A new menu was imposed in the Grills which was a real retrograde step. What was once the hall mark of Cunard has now been diluted down way too much. As a result the dining experience was poor. The Atmosphere in the dining room definitely suffered as a result. The passengers who had traveled on the old Qe2 were probably the most disappointed as we know what it used to be like. Cunard used to protect is Brand values fiercely but it seems now the Carnival conglomorate has ground it down. The style and class has definitely gone and we became increasingly exasperated at the continual mercenary attempts to squeeze more money out of the guests at every available opportunity. The world club events and guest cocktail parties were terrible. The line gives you cruise appraisal cards to have your say but in the all time we have been on we have never seen anything improved or added as a result of filling them in. Each time we board there is always something that has been taken away or changed for the worse. To be fair the staff are excellent but clearly they have little control or influence over how things are done. If anything we felt sorry for them particularly the ones with many years service. The shore excursions we did were very expensive and at times chaotic. Catching the tour bus from the Rome on your own tour outside the Marcello theatre was a shambles with buses double parked, people getting lost, coach drivers arguing and being cautioned by police and general chaos! We had previously booked our voyages on the Elizabeth for next year and are going to take a week or two to think about it but will almost certainly cancel them. it means that we lose our deposit but there is no point throwing good money after bad. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Review of Cunard Queen Victoria This was our first cruise ever, and for the purposes of the review I suppose it is prudent to note that my partner and I are in our late 30’s - which is quite young for Cunard passengers. SHIP ... Read More
Review of Cunard Queen Victoria This was our first cruise ever, and for the purposes of the review I suppose it is prudent to note that my partner and I are in our late 30’s - which is quite young for Cunard passengers. SHIP The Queen Victoria is a beautiful ship, both inside and out. We saw in several ports bigger ships, but in my opinion when the QV lacks in size on some of these behemoths is the fact that it is stately and elegant. The outside areas on Decks 3, 9, 10 and 11 are lovely and you do feel at times as if you have 'stepped back in time' to be on this ship. If you get up early enough (as my partner and I did a couple of times to experience dawn in a couple of beautiful ports) you will see the deck hands hard at work cleaning the ship every morning to keep the ship spotless. EMBARKATION We Embarked in Civitavecchia, and flew into Rome on a Cunard chartered BA flight from Heathrow. Flight was on time, and check in was painless and easy. One of the small downsides was the situation once we arrived in Rome. The bags took an absolute age to arrive, and once we had given them up to the helpful Cunard reps (the last time we would see our bags for a good while) we were directed around by locally sourced staff working on behalf of Cunard. This wouldn't have been an issue if they had told us what was going on but passengers were herded from place to place without any explanation of what was going on, seemingly to walk to a location simply to then stand with no information for 10-15 minutes, before repeating the process to another location for another wait. Eventually after a good while of being sent from place to place we were on the coach to Civitavecchia. I will note now that if you are being taken anywhere by Cunard they will massively over-estimate the time it will take when they tell you how long the journey is - planning for a worst case scenario i suppose! The drive to Civitavecchia, billed as 70-90 minutes, took about 45. We walked from the coach directly into the pier reception area and were checked in very quickly indeed - a couple of pictures, give over the credit card, and then through security and you are on - I had read horror stories about wait times, but from Coach - Ship took all of 10 minutes, maximum. Really slick and professional I thought. We went directly to our stateroom on Deck 5 midships, the cabin was ready and looking great (more of this later) however but no luggage yet (this was to be expected) so we went off for a tour of the ship and a bite to eat in the Lido buffet on deck 9. I thought the Embarkation process was absolutely magnificent and apart from the situation in Rome airport with the local reps couldn't really fault it (and even that was a minor annoyance) I had read reviews that stated you need to surrender your passport - this was not the case with us. TIP: If you are on a lower deck (2, 3 or 4) instead of waiting for the lifts at midships when you embark, just walk up the stairs - this was the one and only time we had real issues with getting in the lifts as so many people were getting on at once. It doesn’t take long and had I known, even on Deck 5, I would have walked up the stairs to avoid the wait for the lift. THE CABIN We were on deck 5 mid-ship, with a 'restricted view' - I did not find the view a bother at all and could see everything. It possibly limited your photo opportunities, but to be honest I didn't spend a great deal of time on the Balcony anyway so it didn't bother me in the slightest. If I had the choice again I would have gone for an unrestricted view but if your budget will only let you go for the restricted view, just go for it! The ship isn’t very old, less than 10 years, and the state of the Cabin reflected this. It was spotless and very nicely decorated, with a king size bed, dressing table, sofa (which I believe also turned into a bed), coffee table etc. Nice towels, bathrobes and slippers were provided and the amenities in the bathroom were of a high quality (Penhaligon’s) and refreshed should you require (although our steward did need a bit of prompting in this regard). There’s a refrigerator, hair dryer, safe, and several electrical outlets. I knew from reading reviews that UK outlets were provided, however since you have one UK, one US and one European, if you want to use more than one power outlet at once, bring a 4 way power strip or an adapter if you have one. The bed was lovely, with a huge abundance of pillows, and excellent quality bedding. Bathroom was slightly cramped but it was designed very well so you soon got used to the reduced dimensions. The fridge was stocked with water and cans of soft drinks, and the prices for these were fairly reasonable. There was a complimentary half bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us when we got in our room. We saved it for sail away rather than devouring it immediately! The one downside to the room is the size and quality of the television. It is small at 21” and the reception was not of a high quality. The choice of channels is quite limited. However, I didn’t go on the cruise to watch television, I can watch television at home so it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the cruise. LAUNDRY There is a laundry on every floor, but be warned they are busy. There were three washers and three dryers, open from around 0730 to 2100. Use of the machines was free and the soap was also free. Getting a machine seemed to be a challenge as they were always busy with lots of passengers waiting. I did not need to wash any items but I did have to iron a few things, and there tended to be a queue to do this. However not a huge one and didn’t take a huge amount of time. If I were to go again, I would probably take less clothes and simply use the Laundry service for a few select items, as I didn’t think the charges were astronomical for this service from what I could gather (compared to the pricing for some other things – more on that later) DINING There are two levels of Dining, one for Britannia level passengers, and the Queens/Princess grills for the higher levels of passenger – We obviously did not have access to these grills so I cannot comment on them. We had requested a table for two in the Britannia and were granted this, however on reflection I think next time I will state no preference/larger table, as some of the couples who were randomly mixed on the larger tables seemed to be having a whale of a time. However, this is highly dependent on whom you get paired with, and as I will go on to state throughout this review, you could well be unlucky in this regard. Our neighbour on the first evening ordered a sirloin steak well done and then spent 20 minutes complaining loudly to the waiter that it was tough! If you’re going to ruin a steak by ordering it well done madam, don’t be surprised that it’s ruined – you made that happen, not the chefs! We were given a table on the upper floor of the Britannia on the 2nd seating (8:30 dine time) again, I'm in two minds as to which would be the most advantageous – earlier seating at 6:30 means you have more time to enjoy the evening activities, however it does curtail your daytime activities. A quandary you can figure out for yourselves! We had one waiter with two assistants (Wilfredo, Srdan, and Marius), and a dedicated sommelier assigned to our section (Milo). All 4 of these gentlemen were an absolute delight and worked SO hard to keep myself and my partner happy over the course of our voyage. I actually submitted commendations for them as I thought they were absolutely amazing. They really enhanced our voyage and our dining experience every night was amazing. The food is excellent quality, although on occasion slightly rich and you do end most evenings feeling extremely full! (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) Some of the choices I made over the course of the week were an absolute delight – The Beef Wellington and Baked Alaska were particular highlights. We did enjoy breakfast and lunch in the dining room as well, but not always, often choosing the Lido over the more ‘formal’ setting of the dining room for either the breadth of choice or because we were in a bit more of a hurry. Dining in the Britannia is not a rushed experience (nor should it be) ALTERNATIVE DINING You can dine on Deck 2 in the Veranda, which is high quality French food, for a surcharge, or in the Lido Buffet on Deck 9. We did not bother booking the Veranda; I thought the quality of the food in the Britannia was more than adequate for our needs. We did walk around it when not open though and it is very tastefully decorated and I am sure the experience in there would be excellent. We enjoyed several lunches and breakfasts in the Lido on deck 9. The Lido buffet is huge, with areas that we didn’t even notice until several days into the cruise. Breakfast in the Lido is a cornucopia of choice, from Waffles and Pancakes (and Eggs) cooked to order, to anything and everything that you might expect for breakfast, be you American, British, or Australian (or indeed many other nationalities!) So much choice that I can’t even begin to explain in words – I don’t have enough words. Suffice to say whatever you want for breakfast is there. I guarantee it, including huge quantities of fruit and breads. For Lunch it’s much of the same, choice wise, with additional areas that come into play, most notably a pizza and pasta station where they will cook your order fresh each lunchtime – the pizza was of excellent quality. They also serve an informal ‘afternoon tea’ in the Lido and also have sections dedicated to fresh donuts, cookies and cupcakes at seemingly random times of the day. It literally never closes, you can get something there 24 hours a day, should you require. There is also a Lido bar and grill at the aft serving ‘fast’ food like Hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries. Also it should be noted that every day you can take ‘proper’ afternoon tea in the Queens Room down on deck 2 which is very nice indeed, accompanied by a string quartet (Very elegant). There is also a champagne afternoon tea available for a surcharge but once again we didn’t see the need to partake of this. It’s also worth noting that the Lido does themed nights (for another surcharge). Room Service is also available 24 hours but I felt no need to take advantage of this at any point. TIP The Lido can get very busy at ‘obvious’ times. (9am for breakfast and 1pm for lunch) – it’s sometimes a challenge to find a table at these times, although I never completely failed to find one – it just required an eagle eye! SHOPPING Like most cruise ships this ship has shopping at the Royal Arcade. There were some very competitive buys in perfume, leather goods and liquors. Sales are a common occurrence. SPA The Spa looked amazing and Cunard pushed it quite heavily, but this would be one of my main criticisms of the QV. The prices are (in my opinion) astronomical for the services provided. If they reduced the prices in the Spa I felt like we would have actually used them but I didn’t think we could really justify this. If you have plenty of money though, it did look amazing. EMPIRE CASINO This has to be one of the smallest casinos on the seas. Located on Deck two, there are enough slots, roulette and card games to keep one busy. ROYAL ARCADE This is shopping and as with most ships there is a small retail outlet where one can purchase from a limited selection of clothes, watches, jewellery, etc. There was a store selling essential items and also a book store – although the shops are nice you do seem to pay full whack for everything but if you have forgotten any essentials you will find yourself covered. Once again I didn’t come on a cruise to go shopping, but the fact that they were there was a nice touch. THE ROYAL THEATER One of the visual highlights of the ship. A beautiful room indeed, seating for a lot of people and a wide variety of shows on in the evenings and insight talks from subject experts during the day. The productions were of a decent quality but nothing amazing, but still a fun way to spend an hour or so in the evening before or after your meal! DECK CHAIRS & SEATING Really nice deck chairs on the cruise and they seem to be dotted everywhere where there is room on the upper decks. Although Prime positions go quickly, we never had a problem finding somewhere to relax on deck, either in the Sun or the Shade if required. INTERNET I heard from several passengers horror stories about the speed of Internet on board. I didn’t need to use it as we were only on for a week and I could use my phone in any cafe when in port with free wifi, so I just limited my use to those times – this did not bother me in the slightest. Again I don’t want to spend my holiday checking my emails! POOLS One on the aft of deck nine and one in the mid-forwards section of the ship on deck 9. The pools were rarely busy but a lot of the passengers enjoyed sunbathing next to them. Two hot tubs by each pool as well. Very nice if not enormous, but then when are pools enormous on board – I used the pool twice and the temperature was perfect. There were towels by each pool and in several other common areas – I had read reviews stating you needed to take your towels from your room – this is definitely NOT the case! YOUR FELLOW PASSENGERS Now onto my biggest gripe of the cruise. This ship had about a third of the passengers from the United States followed by the UK and Australia. The remainder was truly a global mix. Many were seniors. Very few (perhaps less than a dozen) children were aboard. The ships’ dress policy stresses appropriate dress all over the ship in the evenings. They mention that there is strict enforcement. Well I couldn’t disagree with that more. There was absolutely no enforcement. At dinner where a jacket is required for men I saw several men in casual shirts with no jacket in the Britannia dining room and some of the women looked downright scruffy. I am not a snob by any means (as you will see shortly!) but one of the driving factors behind our decision to go Cunard was to experience the evenings as an ‘event’ and dress up. Well some of the passengers really push the limits of what should be deemed acceptable in this regard. Formal nights had a much higher ‘hit rate’ of passengers dressing up and making an effort, but some of them still really did push their luck in this regard. If you are going to pay for a Cunard cruise and you know the dress policy, why would you then ignore it? It doesn’t make sense to me. A less formal cruise would save you money if you detest dressing up that much. I suppose the trend away from Smart/Formal attire is a relentless one and even Cunard cannot escape forever. I think personally this is a shame. This takes me onto the rest of the passengers and their attitude. Although we met a great deal of nice and pleasant people on board, it was one of the main detractions of life on board that there were a significant minority of awful people on board. The personality and behaviour of some of these people was appalling. I saw several instances in bars, dining rooms and out on deck when passengers were not just rude to staff, they were downright abusive. Some of them treated the staff like slaves. I was horrified by some of this behavior and went out of my way to be as polite and thankful to the staff as I could be, just to try and redress the balance. I would say that if you say good morning/good afternoon/good evening to everyone you pass; approximately three quarters of them will return the greeting with a smile. The disgusting quarter of them who think they are better than everyone else on the planet will look upon you with disdain, but it’s wise to remember that you are the better person, and manners cost nothing. I lost count of the people I held doors open for who acted as if I was their personal butler rather than a fellow guest being polite. How hard really is ‘please’ ‘thank you’ etc? Apparently these simple words are too much effort for some people. TOURS ON SHORE We mostly preferred to do our own thing in this regard and the prices of some of the trips did seem a bit excessive and we talked to a couple of guests about their experiences and it seems they are very mixed. Some tours are excellent and some are very poor, and there appears to be no way of knowing in advance which is which! However, we got lucky – we booked the Doges Palace/St. Marks Basilica and Gondola ride tour in Venice, and it was absolutely brilliant, our guide was excellent and I enjoyed every moment of it! Well done Cunard! They did mess up though in advance of the tour, saying that our tour tickets would be outside our stateroom the night before the tour, and then they never turned up. Sadly this then led to me rushing around to get them in the morning before the tour, and after bizarrely telling me off for something Cunard had messed up, the member of staff on the tour desk printed us a couple of duplicates. I got the impression that you do pay over the odds for tours and it does seem like a huge money making exercise to me. I think you roll the dice and see if you get lucky on the tour front, we did but make sure you read up on them in advance and make sure that the tour at least provides you with exactly what you want to do, at least then if you do pay over the odds you don’t mind because it was exactly what you wanted! DAILY NEWS AND EVENTS The ship provides both a daily news summary and daily events bulletin to your stateroom. Some of the Port guides were better than others, some including Maps and some without, but on balance they were informative and helpful and we carried them around with us to plan our days. SHIP TOURS We missed the announcement of the bridge/back of house tour which was a shame, would have loved to have done it. We did do the galley tour with executive chef Mark Oldroyd and he was brilliant, giving us loads of interesting information and introducing us to a lot of the chefs on duty at the time preparing our lunches – a really nice passionate guy, both about his work and about Cunard. I was impressed he knew every single member of staff personally – there are hundreds of them! One of the best parts about the galley tour was seeing it was clear that the chefs enjoy their work – they all looked very happy and cheerful in their work. It seemed to me as an outsider looking in that Cunard must treat their staff well. PHOTO GALLERY Simple review of the photographs – very nicely done, but hugely overpriced. We looked at the prices and decided that at the end of the week we’d choose ONE to have rather than several. If you want a selection of photos and an album, it will cost you several hundred pounds – for a few photos and an album! Even one picture we had cost me £25. It’s a lot of money for a picture. There isn’t a hard sell at least which is a plus point, there are photographers everywhere especially on formal nights but if you don’t want your picture taken, don’t queue up DANCING The Queens Room is a very large room where lots of activities happen – fencing classes, ballroom dancing classes, afternoon tea etc. It has a large dance floor open every evening for your dance pleasure. From a man with two left feet, the mixture of dancing on offer was amusing. From one Japanese couple taking it SUPER seriously and throwing themselves about with abandon to older couples moving slowly around the dance floor, there is always something interesting to see. Some of the people thought they were on strictly I think! There is also a ‘nightclub’ on deck 10 called Hemispheres which was more to my tastes, although I was often too full or tired to enjoy it for a long period of time! BARS There is the Queens Room, the Champagne Bar, the midships lounge and the Chart Room---all elegant and a nice place to relax with a drink. The service was excellent in all of the bars. One step up from these is the Commodore Club at Deck 10 forwards. One of my favourite bars of all time, you get a great view from the front of the ship and absolutely brilliant service - and some quite wonderful (if pricey) cocktails. This is offset slightly by the snacks and canapés you will be served to go with your drinks, which were varied and delicious. At the slightly more ‘rough and ready’ (although obviously, as it’s Cunard, not really rough and ready) end of the scale you have the Golden Lion pub opposite the Casino on Deck 2. This is a great little pub with the cheapest drinks on the ship (basically UK pub prices before the service charge) and some varied entertainment – live sports, quizzes, bingo and pianists/jazz bands – You’ll enjoy the Pub. They only do food for a short period of time (12-2) but it’s excellent pub grub, the fish and chips in particular was delicious. The quizzes were taken very seriously by some! LIBRARY This ship has the best library we have ever encountered aboard a cruise ship. Located on Decks 2 & 3, there are hundreds and hundreds of books that can be checked out. Even if you are not a reader visit this library. It is one of a kind and a beautiful space. DISEMBARKATION Smoother than Embarkation, bags outside the room the night before by 11pm, they were gone in a flash. The transfer to the airport in Venice took no time at all and the flight was again on time – once again slightly ruined by some of the ruder contingent aboard ship but I’d gotten fully used to their behaviour by then! SUMMARY I absolutely loved my first cruise on board the QV. The Ship is fantastic and the service is excellent. I enjoyed the formality of the ship and dressing up as an event for dinner. It’s not for everyone but we loved it. Next time I would have no hesitation in going with Cunard, although I think we’ll try a more casual cruise line to compare the two. We are still novices at this after all! The food was excellent, and the choice is bewildering at times. The Room was very nice and we had no complaints at all with our Steward who was attentive and serviced our room constantly without us ever actually seeing him! Downsides are the size and quality of the Television, the prices for the following services: Spa, Photos and Tours and of course back to the rudeness and attitude of some of the guests. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Queen Victoria or sailing aboard her again! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
I'm a retired U.S. Navy Sailor and have spent a couple decades at sea so I knew what to expect as far as the nature and feel of a ship at sea but all I can say after being on the QM2 is Wow!! My wife and I had just spent 9 days in ... Read More
I'm a retired U.S. Navy Sailor and have spent a couple decades at sea so I knew what to expect as far as the nature and feel of a ship at sea but all I can say after being on the QM2 is Wow!! My wife and I had just spent 9 days in England and France so thought returning to the U.S. on a ship would be a nice way to wind down from all the sight seeing and travel. We were concerned about getting to the ship from London but easily found a coach service that picked us up at our hotel and stopped at Stonehenge for lunch on the way to Southampton. From the minute we entered our cabin (deck 11, port side, balcony) I had a feeling the ride would be memorable. Even the smell of the cabin was extremely fresh, clean and pleasant. The bed was very comfortable and the room was just right for the two of us. I had chosen that particular cabin to ensure a good view of the Statue of Liberty when entering New York. Granted you could leave your cabin and go elsewhere and the ship does a 360 as she is positioning to moor but seeing her all lit up before sunrise from the privacy of our balcony was spectacular and very inspiring. The first day at sea was spent mostly exploring and getting to know the layout. One of the most impressive features of the QM2 is the planetarium. I couldn't believe it.......... a planetarium on a ship! We attended a couple features in that facility as well lectures and nightly shows in the Royal Court Theater. We were amazed by all the daily activities the ship provided and subsequently spent very little time in our cabin. If you're bored on the QM2 then it's your own fault. Dining was an experience all it's own. We took breakfast in our room every morning and ate lunch from the King's Court Buffet. In the afternoon we enjoyed the tea service (the scones were the best I've had). In the evening we attended the first sitting for dinner in the Britannia Club. Every item we chose at every meal was excellent. I had heard it being hit or miss on other lines but Cunard got food selection and preparation right. The only thing I probably would have done differently is take lunch from another venue besides the Kings Court Buffet. The food was very good but it was very busy and at times hard to find a decent table. Disembarkation was very simple and efficient. Getting through customs was a little slow but then again a lot of people left from New York. Ground transportation is right outside customs and plentiful. Be aware, there is an aggressive flat rate car service in addition to the taxi's....... the taxi's are cheaper. Overall I was very impressed by the cleanliness of the ship and how friendly the crew was. Our evening table attendants and cabin steward were very professional and considerate. The ship is very comfortable and provides ample opportunities to be as busy as you want to be. Probably the most refreshing feature of this particular passage was the lack of younger passengers. My wife and I are in our early 50's and were on the low end of the overall passenger age profile. There were some children and a sprinkling of 20-30 year old's but in no way could a crossing on the QM2 be confused with boat load of young adults on a booze cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My first ever cruise was on Queen Elizabeth from Kiel, via Bruges to Southampton. Having flown from Heathrow to Hamburg on a Cunard arranged flight, Cunard staff met us by the baggage carrousel and we were coached to Kiel. Boarding was a ... Read More
My first ever cruise was on Queen Elizabeth from Kiel, via Bruges to Southampton. Having flown from Heathrow to Hamburg on a Cunard arranged flight, Cunard staff met us by the baggage carrousel and we were coached to Kiel. Boarding was a breeze and it as nice the suitcases were taken off the coach and magically appeared in our staterooms without any involvement from us. I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise experience and was treated like a VIP. It was a fantastic opportunity to wear my Dinner Jacket and dine in the plush Britannia Restaurant for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. I enjoyed seeing everyone else in their refinery on the formal night too, including children who also had suits or dinner jackets. Not everyone realised there was a formal night and guests from out table were leant (free of charge) dinner jackets by the ship. The ship itself was a joy to cruise on and I enjoyed swimming in the pool, relaxing in the Jacuzzi and a back, neck and shoulder massage with a hot paraffin wax to penetrate deeper muscles. Cocktails in the Commodore Club were delicious (especially the Transatlantic Love affair) and we started working our way through the menu although there is so much choice so it would take a World Cruise to have work your way through all the selections. We ended up having molecular martini’s which are finished at the table as we kept seeing others enjoy the experience. Complimentary canopies are served after 18:00 with drinks which makes it an even more enjoyable experience. My travelling companions preferred dining in the Lido at Breakfast and Lunch rather than the Britannia restaurant. They aren’t keen on the traditional dining experience and prefer to help themselves to whatever they fancy and not be limited by the choices in the main dining room. Having said that, we were fortunate to try the upgrade Veranda restaurant one evening and it was such an amazing experience. Both the service and food were exemplary. The bon voyage wine was a lovely touch and the inside stateroom adequate for my needs. I found I spent little time in the stateroom as there was always so much to do and the TV shows the front of the ship by camera so you can clearly see what the weather is like and whether it is light or dark outside. Amazing sunsets and scenery when departing Kiel. Roy Walker was the comedian on one night and he was funny. Afternoon tea was a nice experience. One disappointment were the ships photographers. You had to be in the know about where they would be and the back drops they had available. When I asked for my photo to be taken by myself against the ship at night back drop – they were far from happy that my companions would not join in and became very rude and just snapped a single photo of me without any thought or care which never appeared on the photo PCs. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We booked this trip early, 9 months before, a trip to Southampton, three weeks in Europe and then return passage to NYC. It turned out that the Queen Mary 2 did not sell out for the Aug. 19th sailing, and we and our friend traveling ... Read More
We booked this trip early, 9 months before, a trip to Southampton, three weeks in Europe and then return passage to NYC. It turned out that the Queen Mary 2 did not sell out for the Aug. 19th sailing, and we and our friend traveling alone with us were both upgraded to Princess statements and dining, perhaps because we booked early or were novice Cunarders, we don't know. We did not get upgraded on the return and dined in the Britannia dining room. In comparison, the Princess room was indeed larger, with a walk in closet even and decent sized bathroom and a larger balcony. We found the Britannia level room entirely satisfactory, however, and we were careful to have a room with an unobscured balcony. The steward at each level was very hardworking and attentive, with the Princess level steward having somewhat better English. The Princess dining offered flexibility in dining times, a constant table of our own, a few more dishes but pretty much the same food as Britannia. The service was very very attentive in the Princess Grill, but the teams of servers in the Britannia were really good as well. We loved the variety of bars on the Queen Mary 2, and we found the passengers incredibly friendly and enjoyable, although the demographics do tend significantly toward seniors. The activities, lectures, performances, and the like were well done but not consistently memorable. It was a great trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
I was ambivalent to say the least before embarking on this adventure with my husband and two teenage children, 14 and 17. If it ends up being the only cruise in my lifetime I can tell you it was an emotional, magical experience. The ship ... Read More
I was ambivalent to say the least before embarking on this adventure with my husband and two teenage children, 14 and 17. If it ends up being the only cruise in my lifetime I can tell you it was an emotional, magical experience. The ship is beautiful. The cleanliness, safety, general running of business impeccable. The cabins ( we had an ocean view) are pleasantly large and lovely. The ports were all easy walking distance to the ship. The two on board days were a welcome respite from pavement pounding different countries. Honestly, it was perfection. There was just enough teenagers there to entertain my kids although I'm certain they'd have been happy regardless. Formal nights are a feast for the eyes although my 14 year old son was made to feel like a second class citizen in his Polo shirt and Khakis (mostly by the staff) We had queried this with our travel agent and we were assured it was fine due to his age. It was not. The formal nights are taken very seriously without any sprinkling of irony or humour. It all feels like stepping back in time: no internet, formal dress, respect, a gentile feel. As a Brit living abroad I enjoyed the very British feel to this iconic ship. Thank you! The holiday would have been complete for my boy if he'd have been allowed to use the basketball net that was for crew only. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
It was the first time my sisters and I had ever been on a cruise and we absolutely loved it! All four of us felt it exceeded our expectations and though it was expensive we felt it was worth every penny. Since coming home we cannot stop ... Read More
It was the first time my sisters and I had ever been on a cruise and we absolutely loved it! All four of us felt it exceeded our expectations and though it was expensive we felt it was worth every penny. Since coming home we cannot stop talking about it. It was a beautiful ship, spotlessly clean and all services from all departments on the ship were excellent. We felt there was something for everyone -from quiet cocktail bars to a lively nightclub.The entertainment was excellent. We dined every morning in the Britannia restaurant for breakfast and evening meal and the service and the food was outstanding.The cabin was again spotlessly clean. There was ample storage space and coat hangers which you do not get in many hotels. Every evening a newsletter was delivered to the cabin with very detailed notes about the port we were docked in and all about the town with a map to guide you. The only criticism we have and it is a minor one is that the pre-voyage literature was very much about selling the trips and not enough about what we were entitled to use and where we could eat on board. We did not realise until the fourth day on board that we could also eat at the Lido restaurant and that it was open all day and for late breakfast. However, that said we are all planning our next voyage on the Queen Victoria! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Other than the horrible experience at the "hotel" in Brooklyn (hint - it was NOT "comfort"able), our trip was absolutely perfect. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather the whole trip. Well, except for the first ... Read More
Other than the horrible experience at the "hotel" in Brooklyn (hint - it was NOT "comfort"able), our trip was absolutely perfect. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather the whole trip. Well, except for the first night, where we apparently slept through a very loud thunderstorm! We were not sure what to expect with the sheltered balcony, but it turned out to be great! The staff was without exception delightful - very friendly, very gracious, very service-oriented. Given their working conditions, I think it a miracle that Cunard has found such a great team. We greatly enjoyed every aspect, other than the fact that the trip seemed far too short! We had planned to attend various events, lectures, shows, etc., but didn't make it to many of them at all, but still managed to feel as though our days were full of things to do! Having heard that the QM2 is going in for some refitting and updating, we did notice that she is showing her age in some places. Carpets are stained in many areas, torn or loose in others, and the decor is looking a bit dated. Nevertheless, she still looks like a proud Royal! Though we wandered through the ship day after day, we still managed to miss the G32 night club until almost the end of our RETURN trip several weeks later! I wonder how many other things we missed! We were a bit nervous about the table for eight that our travel agent set up for us, but it turned out to be a lot of fun, and we will definitely plan to dine that way on future trips. There were a few really interesting coincidences at our first dinner. The first was meeting the first couple at the table - when they told us their names, I realized instantly that they were someone I had "met" already, here in the roll call forum for our sailing! How amazing it that? Then the second couple arrived, two guys from Yorkshire, and we had met them earlier in the Commodore Club! The TRULY amazing coincidence, though, came to light near the end of our eastbound crossing. One of the things we had planned for our 16 days in the UK was to visit friends in Yorkshire, a couple we had not seen since we attended their wedding on our only other visit to the UK, in 1997. Well, after several days of fun conversation at dinner, our Yorkshire friends asked a bit more about our Yorkshire friends, and it turned out that they knew them! Mind-blowing! The third couple at our table, an older couple, unfortunately changed to the early seating, as they felt 8:30 was too late for them. Walking the promenade deck became our most frequent activity, one we both enjoyed immensely. I think we managed to come off the ship without gaining any weight, plus getting into better shape for all the walking we did in the UK! This was certainly an excellent introduction to travelling by ship. It may have spoiled us for "cruise" ships, though. From what I've heard, most of the cruise lines are far less formal (we LOVED the formal nights!), and we would miss things such as the White Star teas and the elegant meal service. I also can't imagine doing anything less than 7 nights - unpacking and repacking would take up half the trip, LOL. So I guess we can say we had the time of our lives on the eastbound crossing. Westbound was also great (though the weather didn't hold up as well!), and I will review it separately. We're hooked! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We sailed on Queen Victoria to celebrate our 25th Wedding anniversary, and this cruise was our first. We are both in our mid 40’s. We booked this 14 day Western Mediterranean cruise Embarking from Istanbul and returning from Rome ... Read More
We sailed on Queen Victoria to celebrate our 25th Wedding anniversary, and this cruise was our first. We are both in our mid 40’s. We booked this 14 day Western Mediterranean cruise Embarking from Istanbul and returning from Rome around 5 weeks before departure and at that time took advantage of a Cunard ‘Saver Fare’ and opted for a balcony stateroom with an obstructed view, which best fit our budget. Nearer embarkation time we received notification from Cunard of our stateroom being upgraded to an unrestricted view on Deck 5 Aft, Stateroom 5161, which was a lovely surprise. In total, the cruise cost a very reasonable £1349pp for the 14 nights including flight supplements. The cruise number was V517D in the Cunard brochure. Flights to Istanbul and return from Rome were included in the fare excepting a small supplement of £50pp due to us flying from Manchester (flights from London did not incur supplement). The charter flight carrier was Titan Airways, and flights both ways were pleasant enough, and flight times good, 8am out and 4pm for the return. It would have been beneficial, and I would recommend to all, to extend the holiday by staying on in Rome for a couple of days afterward or prior to embarkation in Istanbul or indeed both destinations, so that both these cities could be explored further but sadly, time and work pressures were not on our side. Just a note on the Titan Airways flights, the information we were provided prior to the holiday was that a very restrictive 20kg hold luggage and 5kg cabin bag was imposed and no possibility of paying for extra weight; it turned out at the check in desk, that no such restriction was in place, and essentially our packing anxieties were unfound, I guess as long as you don’t go over the top, checking in an extra few kilos would be fine. We flew into Istanbul Corlu, which is a tiny military and civil airport so getting through customs and onto the awaiting coaches was swift, transfers to the port in Istanbul was around an hour and a half, but this accounted for by heavy traffic in Istanbul, a city of over 15million people! Embarkation was an easy process, registering ourselves and our credit card for onboard spending was a speedy 5 minute process; passports exchanged for the ships card that provides you with identification to gain access and exit to the ship, port customs, stateroom key and as your currency on board ship throughout your stay. Our luggage was delivered to our stateroom within an hour of us boarding. Queen Victoria We remain in awe of this magnificent ship, and I cannot think of enough superlatives that quantify the feel good factor of being on board. The ship is fitted out beautifully, the public areas decorated and furnished to an extremely high standard and the deck areas nicely laid out and well provided for with equipment such as deck chairs and loungers, in the shade or in the sun. Despite the heat and humidity outside, the public areas and the stateroom were always at a nice comfortable temperature throughout, and the air-conditioning in the stateroom is nicely independently controllable. Dining In terms of dining, as per the booking conditions, dining allocated on embarkation, we were allocated the early 6.30pm sitting in the Britannia Restaurant, and we were disappointed by this initially, due to us having pre-booked several all day tours and we did request a change to the late sitting, the Maitre d’hôtel did get our reservation switched the second week, but actually, we much preferred the early sitting, as by the time you finish dinner following the late sitting, we were unmotivated to take in all the entertainment on offer due to the late hour and our tiredness, I guess its always to be careful what you wish for! The food in the Britannia Restaurant was fantastic; service was impeccable, unrushed and attentive our waiters Marlon & Mark were a great team; and the wine waiters were equally as diligent, but they were quite stretched and at times, they weren’t able to provide the service they are clearly capable of due to having such large stations to attend to. We were allocated a table for 2 on both weeks, early and the late sitting. We also took advantage of the Verandah Restaurant on two occasions for dinner, and it certainly is a worthy upgrade, the food and service ratcheted up a notch from the Brittania dining and we thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance and service provided there and its certainly good value for the $24pp it costs. Lunch, when not on tours and sea days, we took in the Britannia Restaurant which was always a pleasant experience and we did on occasions elected to sit with other diners which was nice to catch up with other people, their experiences and stories. We also lunched in the Golden Lion Pub and again, the food and service was great. Breakfast we also took in the Britannia; breakfasts there unhurried and relaxing, we took one room service breakfast on the balcony, but being a bit old-fashioned and much preferring a proper table we didn’t take advantage of the room service as much as my wife would have preferred to have done. The Lido buffet restaurant: I need to disclose that I’m not a buffet fan (it reminds me so much of queuing at a works canteen and also, my lack of self control would have led me to have eaten far too much!), so my comments are limited to the several breakfasts we ate there when necessary as some of our tours required an early start, and it was always an ok experience; the food plentiful and hot. We took a couple of snacks from the Lido on deck, but other than that, we stayed clear of the Lido, preferring dining in the Britannia, so I cannot comment on lunch and dinner provided. The upgraded dining menus in The Lido typically costing $10- $15, of which waiting staff are provided to serve you at the table, such as the Indian, Italian and Oriental speciality evenings looked very nice, but I found it difficult to come out of my comfort zone to take any of these dining options. Afternoon tea was extremely nice in the Queens Room and served with care and attention, and always accompanied by a pianist, the small cakes were gorgeous. I believe that afternoon tea is also available in the Winter Garden and Lido. We didn’t use Café Carinthia, and I’m really not sure why, probably just because of our schedule, as when passing by, the food and coffee always looked great. To sum up dining on Queen Victoria; there’s bound to be something to suit all tastes and palettes and dietary requirements, my wife did on occasions take the Royal Spa selections which are suggestions at meal times for health eating, in hindsight, perhaps I should have done the same. In short, you could never go hungry on Queen Victoria. Drinks All the bars provided great service and we tried them all out! The Golden Lion, great for a cooling drink following a tour, and a great place to have fun, such as quizzes, bingo etc. Midships Bar and Chart Room a really nice place to take a cocktail or G&T prior to dinner and pre dinner always served with a nice selection of complimentary small eats such as nuts and canapés. Fantastic views in the Commodore Club, but we found this space a little bit too stuffy and formal for our liking. The bars on deck were also very pleasant. I feel the drink prices were in keeping with the service provided and I feel that if Cunard provided an ‘all inclusive’ drink package add on, it would only serve to lower the quality and service standards and might cause over indulgence by some. We did take wine in the restaurants with our meals, and there’s plenty of selection to suit all pockets, ours were at the lower end, but there were some great wines, red, whites, rose and fizz in the $30 to $50 range that amiably accompanied dinner and made every evening special. The odd bottle of bubbly we had was a real treat. Entertainment This must be so difficult for any cruise ship to get the right balance and to suit all tastes, but the entertainment we participated in was great fun or interesting. Wine tasting was great, unlimited quaffing of some great wine and I did learn a lot from the experts on hand; lectures were engaging, particularly Jane Corbyn; sing bingo, quizzes etc. in the Golden Lion were great fun, the comedian Mick Miller attracted great big belly laughs all around the theatre. Dance classes were hilarious, due to my two left feet and the Royal Cunard singers and dancers put on some great shows, and clearly they are very well organised and proficient in what they do. Didn’t use the Hemispheres Club as we were simply too tired after all the days activities but perhaps we should of pushed ourselves that little bit more, as the advertised music on offer there sounded like great fun. My wife used the Spa on a couple of occasions and also the hairdressing, she would have probably used it more but the costs were for our budget, prohibitive, $70 for your hair putting up prior to dinner is cost prohibited, but probably is about right to stifle demand on the available hairdressers! Shopping on board was great, and the duty free prices seemed reasonable. There appeared to be some great deals on premium products. Photos Here’s my only gripe of the cruise, and not down to the quality of the finished product or the expertise of the photographers, but both the costs and the delay of getting to view the photographs. $24.95 for a photo at dinner or on quayside and $34.95 for the formal compositions are, I feel simply too high, particularly in this digital, everybody having a camera in their pocket day and age- maybe photography has become just too common place and taken for granted by me, but even my wife, who is usually over zealous and Gung-ho when it comes to photo purchasing at any location we visit, balked at the prices. Photo packages did not seem good value. I clearly don’t have access to Cunard’s balance sheet and cost of sales in the photographic department, so maybe for the quality and overheads of employing the experts they do, the prices might well be fair, but what I do know is, that if the prices were pegged at say $14.95, my wife would have certainly purchased a dozen or so photos, but as it was, she only purchased one! Extremely out of character for her. A suggestion I made on our feedback post cruise to Cunard was to raise my pricing concerns and at least suggest to make all the photo’s available as a digital download post cruise, for a more reasonable fee, or even at the same fee, but giving some time to consider the photo’s and buy them at a later date when you can save up a bit for them, rather than the inevitable and wasteful shredding and recycling of the printed article. Ports/Tours Istanbul. Fantastic city with so much to see and do and welcoming and friendly people and fantastic food and drink. We were so lucky to have an overnight stay there the first day before setting sail the following evening, and even better was a return to the city several days later. We used the first full day to take a marvellous excursion taking in the highlights of the city, so that when we returned, we could concentrate on taking a look in more detail of the sights, smells and sounds. The call to prayer from the many mosques around the city was fantastic to wake to in a morning and listen to at sunset. The tour we went on ‘Best of Istanbul Four Seasons’ took in all the major sites and included lunch at a fantastic hotel. The sites were of course the Blue Mosque but also Hagia Sophia; Topkapi Palace and the Harem; spice bazaar and so on. The tour guide was engaging, funny and knowledgeable and lunch a pleasant adjunct to the afternoon activities. I just wish Cunard would refrain in all of the Turkish port tours to include carpet making and the clearly commissioned sales pitch at the end! But I guess they are an optional feature of the tours. Shopping in Istanbul or any of the Turkish ports is a must, particularly clothing and jewellery, spices, tea olives, nuts and sweets such as Turkish Delight, which are all good value for money and high quality. On our second day visit we went to the Basilica Cistern and Grand Bazaar as well as chilling out in several squares and cafes and simply wandering the streets and parks taking in the cities warmth and culture. Marmaris. Beautiful port for Queen Victoria to sail into and berth, sailing into Marmaris is reminiscent of fjords, narrow channels, tiny islands and a backdrop of mountains shrouded by pine forest. We didn’t take a tour there, and simply walked to a beach for a day there swimming and sunbathing, followed by a traditional Turkish lunch. People we spoke to told us that the tours were great value, particularly the river cruise tour. Heraklion. We took a tour to Knossos, in hindsight, it would have been better and much, much cheaper to have done this tour independently and it’s a small site, cheap to enter- 6 euros and transport there by bus is only a couple of euros. Although the tour guide was good, we could hardly hear what she had to say due to it being so busy and because of the constant chirping of the Cicadas, which were extremely loud! The lack of the tour guide providing radio audio commentary hamstrung the tour. Piraeus. My wife’s favourite. Athens was a fantastic port of call; lots to see and do and we took a tour of The Acropolis and visited the Plaka area. Worthwhile and good value and the sights of the city from the Acropolis amazing. The Plaka is a great place to lunch and shop. Dardanelles. At sea passing the Dardanelles was amazing, and gave time to contemplate the strategic position that Turkey holds and the reason why so many lost their lives during the Great War in order to attempt to hold this. There are poignant memorials to those who fell are visible clearly from the ship. Kusadasi. My favourite port of call. Tour to Ephesus is not to be missed, and we took in two other landmarks also, Miletus and Didyma- all I can suggest is to visit, I can’t begin to sum up how wonderful and amazing Ephesus is, the tour guide was fantastic and lunch included on the full day tour, which engaged so much that the day whizzed by. Kusadasi itself is a fantastic port, lots of great shops, fantastic places to eat and drink, and don’t forget to treat yourself to beauty treatments; massage and a visit to a traditional Turkish barber who will coiffure your hair, massage your head and shoulders and give you the closest shave you’ll ever get for 30 TLi, a lot less than £10 GBP. Santorini. Now this was meant to be one of the highlights of my journey, but sadly I probably placed too much expectation on this port of call. We anchored in the bay, and tenders took as ashore to awaiting coaches to visit the village of Oia, and then a wine tasting, neither impressed, Oia was thronged with people, and the streets jam packed with a sea of people. Oia itself is without doubt beautiful, but too many people spoil the experience and the village is essentially one big gift shop! Santorini wine was uninspiring and not to my taste, but again one mans meat is another mans poison. To finish off the tour, a ‘free’ ticket was given for the cable car down to the old port from Thira, unfortunately, the demand was such that if we had queued we would never have got the last tender, so a horrid walk down the Donkey manure encrusted steps ensued, a horrid experience, made worse by people riding up and down the steps by the clearly exploited Donkey’s which lacked shade and water. If I do return to Santorini, it will have to be out of season. Transit Messina Stait. Amazing! Salerno. Not a pretty port! We were all tripped out by the time we berthed in Salerno and didn’t visit any of the obvious choices of excursions such as Pompei; Vesuvius; Amalfi or Sorrento but instead had a sojourn around Salerno, nice trip to the beach for a swim and the most glorious pizza and ice cream to round the day off. Civitavecchia. Our last port of call, and again, not pretty but if only we had time to stay on for a day or two in Rome but we did take in a city tour en route to the airport which was informative, but sadly not enough to satisfy much at all of what Rome has to offer. Disembarkation Much the same as embarkation hassle free and smooth. In Summary All in all, this was the best holiday we have ever taken. It was a special occasion for us, and we spent much more money on this two week holiday as we would taking our three sons away for a couple of weeks in the sun on our usual annual holidays. In terms of value for money and quality, the whole experience far exceeded our expectations, impeccable and friendly service delivered with care, attention and professionalism. Its great to get dressed up and make every evening a special occasion. The only difficulty for us now, is that Cunard has set the bar for our first taste of cruising and it would be so difficult to choose any other cruise line, in case the experience we had with Cunard wasn’t replicated. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
There were good things about this cruise line. We had no problems with the ship or crew. They were kind and helpful. This ship was very clean. The food was best in The Britannia restaurant, but the menu's were very strange offerings, ... Read More
There were good things about this cruise line. We had no problems with the ship or crew. They were kind and helpful. This ship was very clean. The food was best in The Britannia restaurant, but the menu's were very strange offerings, but ended up delicious. The Lido buffet was ok with the best food item we had being baklava. We did enjoy the Lion Pub lunch of fish & chips but it only served food until 2:00 pm. The Lion Pub also was where we hung out sometimes in the evenings playing trivia games and enjoying Troy our server. The evenings were very boring unless you enjoy piano, ball room dancing and mediocre entertainment. Thank goodness we only had one at sea day with the other days spent off ship enjoying excursions. Honestly, the worst part of the whole experience was being on vacation and having to dress up every night. The informal nights, men are required to wear a jacket. That is not informal to us. I didn't feel relaxed in a dress & heels every night. We have been on other cruise lines we enjoyed more than this and we will be returning to Princess again. The reason we went with Cunard was because Princess would not allow three people in a room. My single son ( who is a marine ) offered to pay full price for a single room but was denied. Cunard allowed him to share a room with his sister & her husband at a reduced rate. He slept on a cot in their room for a lot of money! IF we had known he was going to sleep on a cot, we wouldn't have used this cruise line either! An adult man deserves to sleep comfortably in a bed for the money that was paid. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
I've lived in several cruise ports, so because of my "disdain" of how busy and crowded places get on cruise ship days, I've always been reluctant to go on one. This time however it seemed like the best way to ... Read More
I've lived in several cruise ports, so because of my "disdain" of how busy and crowded places get on cruise ship days, I've always been reluctant to go on one. This time however it seemed like the best way to explore some Mediterranean islands, without hopping on and off planes and ferries. I am so glad I did! It even turned out to be timed just right to be a very special 30th birthday celebration. If you are looking for activities and entertainment, this may not be the cruise for you, as it doesn't appear to have as many programs and onboard entertainment as other cruises I've looked into. I however was looking for peace and quiet, so it suited me perfectly. My husband participated in the table tennis tournaments, the fencing lessons (both free) and the watercolor class ($35 for 3 lessons but provides the materials which he then took home). He was looking forward to the bridge lessons, but missed the first lesson and wasn't able to pick it up later. There were also some dancing lessons and other events, but I wasn't interested so I can't remember them all. I loved my first cruise experience. It was wonderful falling asleep and waking up in a new port and not having to had navigate buses, trains, boats or planes to get there. Highlights of this cruise would be the ample time in ports (morning arrival, evening departure) to discover the locations and the high tea everyday at 3pm! Though it may sound strange, another highlight was the laundry room! Free laundry (including soap) and ironing facilities, but also a great place to make friends! The standard food is English, which I preferred, but may not be everyone's cup of tea (don't expect hot dogs and hamburgers). Fellow passengers were mostly retirees from the UK, but that meant they had a wealth of knowledge and were very pleasant cruise companions. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and felt like family by the end of the cruise. I really enjoyed my first cruise experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
If it was not for the poor experience of embarking and disembarking for this first time surface Atlantic crossing was absolutely great. I realize that it is not all that easy to have many hundred people embark and disembark but it ... Read More
If it was not for the poor experience of embarking and disembarking for this first time surface Atlantic crossing was absolutely great. I realize that it is not all that easy to have many hundred people embark and disembark but it rerally soured my experience. I travelled in Princess Grill class cabin No. 10068 and received the instruction to arrive at the terminal at 12 noon, which I did only to find that it was already very difficult to get close and thus had to carry my luggage quite a way to the baggage drop. Then a long cue and once I made it inside the building my ticket was checked and I was directed towards a long zick zack cue with hundreds of passengers standing in line. The fast track which I was actually entited to was not marked and anyhow I was directed into the endless cue. Not for me I decided as I was not prepared and able to stand in line that long. I talked to the ticket controller and she told me that I could sit in a waiting area until there would be less people. The cue grew even longer. Another passenger who had checked in already came to sit on the same table and he advised me that there actually was a fast track. I returned and tthis time the ticket controller appologized and afterall directed me to the fast track. Why does Cunard ask seemingly all passengers to be there at noon with a sailing time at 23:00 hours? Why not give out different times with the strict advice to stick to these instead? Why is the fast track not clearly marked with Queens and Princess class passengers. For New York I booked a bus transfer to Central Station. Nobody was there to advise which of the many waiting busses was the one. After having been sent back and forth with all the luggage I was finally told that this bus had not arrived and that together with others I sould wait. Finally after an hour's wait the bus came. When actually disembarking QM2 the crew members in charge who were ever so friendly during the voyage were no longer the same and let one feel that one was no longer a passenger but someone one wanted to get rid off as quickly as possible. The impression of a wonderful passenger ship, great and very varied entertainment a super atmosphere and wonderful hospitality is compromised by poor handling of the embarkation and disembarkation procedure which after 11 years of experience could certainly be better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We really lived the perfect dream of our life! We had big hopes (not even expectations) on our dream - and also fears. Hopes as we fulfilled a dream of our life and you want to have it perfect then and fears as we thought that a) the ... Read More
We really lived the perfect dream of our life! We had big hopes (not even expectations) on our dream - and also fears. Hopes as we fulfilled a dream of our life and you want to have it perfect then and fears as we thought that a) the average age is very high and b) that we might be bored. Actually there we even younger couples than us (48+50) and also families with kids and teenagers. So this was a surprise already, although there is no doubt that the average is possibly >65 years. Boring is something which can not happen! I had books with me – and even did not manage to read one page. Instead we preferred to be outside, although weather was not the best, and I enjoyed just looking to the Atlantic and relax. Or walk around, have a coffee, (champagne) afternoon tea etc. I truly can not recall having had such a relaxing and wonderful vacation before! No phone, no mails, no computer, no TV – we just disconnected ourselves from any communication! GREAT! The service in the stateroom (Thank you, Tita!), restaurants, the G32 – just everywhere – was great! For the Kings Court you need to get used to – not on the service at all, but on the guests and how they sometimes behave. But to have snack or late breakfast it was good. We were very lucky to get tickets for the behind-the-scenes tour. It is worth standing at 8am at the tours office already (opening at 9am only....) to assign for it. Only some 16 tickets are granted – first come, first serve. The 3,5hrs tour was amazing and gave us an insight how hard the crew is working and what one as a guest never sees. We therefore – already before but after the tour in specific - can not understand guests, refusing the automatic tipp per person as they state they only tipp the person they have direct contact to. But the cabin service can only be as good as the washing is done properly, and the waiter is only as good as the chiefs are working etc. The food and wines were very good and we enjoyed late seating on a table for two in Britannia – and would do the same again. Big thanks again to Kenneth and Jimmy – our waiters – and Ekaterina – our sommelier. We experienced breakfast and lunch on a bigger table wit 4 or 6 – and have to say that you can be lucky with nice people – but also the opposite. You can really meet people complaing on anything and constantly. It is annoying that they can not simply enjoy the crossing, respect the crew and just look for the good. Yes, the QM2 is not a new ship and if you look for something to comlain about, you will find it. But is this the sense of a vacation? And what in life is perfect? Some remaks: Check-in and embarking: If everybody would just follow their check-in times and simply do not show up all at the same time and far before even the first are planned for embarking, it would be much easier and quicker. Our time was 12:30 (for deck 11 +12), we arrived 12:15 – and it was terribly full already. Temperature: Have to admit that I am easily freezing in normal life already and I am not used to aircondition at all. Therefore the first nights in evening or cocktail dresses were a bit cold. Got used to it and all was fine after some days. Formal/informal dress code: Still can not understand why people book QM2 when they refuse or ignore the dress code. This is part of the fun and why one books QM2. If you do not want to follow, book something else. There is so much more to tell about this awesome experience, but the „short“ version really is: Our hopes were all 100% fulfilled and even more. There is simply nothing we would like to have had differently or would do different – beside staying on board in NYC and going back home the same way! We will come back! For sure! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Before and after the booking I was looking for some personal information on weddings on QM2, but it was hardly possible to find a review – therefore I add one to help future brides. Beside fulfilling the TA dream we also got married ... Read More
Before and after the booking I was looking for some personal information on weddings on QM2, but it was hardly possible to find a review – therefore I add one to help future brides. Beside fulfilling the TA dream we also got married during our crossing! We had booked the wedding package with Cunard and after all documents from our side and the wedding booking details for the wedding itself were done, we were very excited how everything would work after embarkation. And what shall we say? It was another dream! Everything was so well organized and very personal. We soon after - as part of the package - priority embarkation had a meeting with our wedding planner and we still were able to adress wishes. We went through all details – decoration, music, ceremony, picking up, who had to be where and when etc. The wedding took place in the Atlantic Room. It was closed for hours for re-decorating for our wedding. You would not have recognized the room again. It was Captain Christopher Wells doing the ceremony – what a humerous and wonderful personality! We could not have been more lucky. As we were travelling on our own, we decided for witnesses from the crew – our wedding planner and the social hostess. Two wonderful young ladies. The spa was already preliminary booked for me for a trial before and the final on the wedding date. The flowers were beautiful and came well in advance, the wedding planner helped me with the dress, the bell boy was so nice and watching my steps, the ceremony so wonderful as Captain Wells really made it so much personal, easy and and memorable. We will always remember - and still have a big smile on our faces - the important advice from Captain Wells to my husband: You only need to learn two important words from now on: Yes, dear! All flowers and the cake from the ceremony were then brought over to the Todd’s English were we had booked the wedding dinner. The table looked just beautiful and everybody was so nice. Then all came to our stateroom – it looked like a flower shop as we also got surprising gifts from family and friends including wine and champagne. So we were covered with all for the rest of the crossing. The photographer did a great job during the ceremony and the walk around – we have perfect pics and I can’t stop watching them again and again! It definitively was the perfect choice to have the wedding on QM2! In this respect it is a pity you only do it once! Thanks to everybody making this day unforgettable and a wonderful life time experience! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Embarkation - was a dream, very efficient and in our cabin within an hour of arriving at Southampton. We brought on a bottle of spirits and some mixers with no trouble. I think as long as you are discreet and don't take advantage, ... Read More
Embarkation - was a dream, very efficient and in our cabin within an hour of arriving at Southampton. We brought on a bottle of spirits and some mixers with no trouble. I think as long as you are discreet and don't take advantage, it's allowed. A quick unpack then into the Lido for a spot of lunch and to explore the ship (although I still had trouble with front and rear of the ship even with my trusty map! Food - usually we had breakfast and lunch in the Lido, (and lovely afternoon tea) and dinner in the Britannia, and we went to the Verandah on our last night. The food in the Britannia was very good with a slightly retro feel - beef Wellington, cold soups, crepes Suzette, baked Alaska. We loved it! The Verandah put on a bit of a show and flambed steak at our table, very 70's! We had 2nd sitting at 8.30 and I was a bit worried about eating so late but as long as we had a snack about 5pm it was fine. Portions in the restaurants were just right. There was a huge choice of food in the Lido, all through the day and night. Sometimes there was a bit of a scrum at breakfast but I couldn't fault the choice, presentation and quality of food. The coffee in the Britannia was horrible so we used go up to the Lido and have our coffee and then decide whether to go to the show or for a drink or bed! Ports – we had port information with maps the night before together with the ships programme and the Purser usually had more maps if you asked. We got off at every port and did our own thing but used the shuttle buses if available. Most of the ports weren’t very pretty as you would imagine except for Rapallo (a lovely seaside town) where we had to go in by tender. Loved Gibraltar (buy your duty free there) even though we only had a couple of hours, Barcelona and Valencia but very disappointed in Monte Carlo – overpriced and very built up. There was a big choice of excursions from the ship but we only booked one, transport into Florence from Livorno, very overpriced at $75 for a bus ride with no air conditioning on a very hot day. Entertainment – lots of things to do were listed in the ship’s daily programme. We went to a couple of the talks – Simon Weston and the Red Arrows’ director were on our voyage; port talks; a galley tour and we managed a film showing one evening. There were other things like fruit carving, craft circle, engine tour, spa activities. There were 2 shows in the beautiful theatre every evening, singers covering show and pop tunes, a tenor singing opera style, an acrobatic act and the amazing Cunard dancers. Even if it’s not your taste you have to admire the effort that goes into the shows. There was ballroom dancing every evening in the Queens (Ball) Room and pianists, harpists, string quartets in various locations. 2 of our party made it into the night club one night (“Dad dancing” was the verdict). Drinks – we usually had a cocktail before dinner and tried out a few different bars, our favourite being the Commodore Club at the front top of the ship with an amazing view, we saw dolphins one evening. The drinks have an additional service charge added to the bill and we did find that more than one waiter had trouble charging 2 drinks to one cabin and 2 to another so keep an eye on what you are signing for. Tried a few cocktails on the menu, favourite was the Cosmopolitan! Dress code – this caused the most amount of discussion before we went – basically the men had to wear a suit every night with tie/bowtie for formal, without tie for informal. Ladies - I wore dresses for the formal but only took 1 long dress and smart trousers and tops for informal. I took masks for the Masquerade Ball and a fascinator for the Royal Ascot Ball but didn’t wear them; if you didn’t want to participate you don’t need to bother. There was a 175 Ball as well but didn’t see any dressing up at all. Everybody in the restaurants dressed up which was lovely although I think the men found it a bit hot in their jackets. Gratuities – this also caused a lot of discussion, we happily paid the added on gratuity (and hope it did indeed go to the staff as promised) and left a bit more for our steward in the cabin. Some of our party also tipped the restaurant waiters that served us. Ship facilities – everything was spotlessly clean and tidy, the decoration is quite ornate but in keeping with the Cunard name. The pools were tiny as expected but lots of places to sunbathe if you wanted to, we were just as happy to sit on our balcony and watch the world go by. You could always find somewhere to sit and read or chat in the public areas without having to buy something. Disembarkation – the was luggage taken the night before, turfed out of our cabins by 8.30am to hang around the ship till 2.30pm. The instructions were to go to the restaurant to be called and escorted to our airport coach, having gone to the restaurant we were told to make our own way to the gangway with no farewell or thank you for your custom! The luggage was waiting for us ashore with no check on who owned what and we were taken to the airport hours too early on a shabby old coach with no aircon (another hot day) and a good view of the road underneath every time the aisle carpet lifted. A bit of an anti climax to a lovely holiday Drawbacks – the extras like drinks, ships photos, shops, excursions, Wi Fi were all overpriced but at least you could avoid then if you wanted to. Thought it was a bit mean to charge for Wi Fi as most people think it’s a necessity nowadays. We began to feel life onboard after 9 days got a bit wearing – too much eating, drinking, spending; and dressing for dinner had lost its appeal (perhaps a couple of less informal nights would be good, shirt and smart trousers for men and smart clothing for ladies). Would we do another one? Yes, maybe leave it a few years first though! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
A bit of background: this was the QM2's crossing after the Liverpool salute. It was also our first crossing and first time sailing with Cunard. We were in a mid-ship AA Britannia Club cabin. After booking this crossing many months ... Read More
A bit of background: this was the QM2's crossing after the Liverpool salute. It was also our first crossing and first time sailing with Cunard. We were in a mid-ship AA Britannia Club cabin. After booking this crossing many months ago, I spent a great deal of time researching things and trying to dampen my expectations so as NOT to be disappointed. I am very, very happy to say that my expectations were not only met, but in almost every category they were exceeded. This was truly a "bucket list" adventure that lived up to the Cunard reputation. Is the ship perfect? No, it is not. But honestly, what in life is? I CAN say that the ship is, however, magnificent and the food, entertainment, service, and overall ambience where exactly what we were looking for after two rather strenuous weeks touring Europe. Special kudos go to Oliver our Maitre d' in the Britainnia Club dining room as well as Arnold our waiter. The Britannia club dining room is really a wonderful setting that is well worth the additional expense. We sat at a larger table with two other wonderful couples who made dining each night a pleasure. Other pluses include the entertainment, with a nod to Mike Doyle, Bill Miller and his lectures on Liners of the Past, and also to the classical and jazz musicians ( we really, REALLY enjoyed the jazz poetry session ). The positives on the trip are really too numerous to elaborate here. From our comfy cabin on deck 12 to High Tea in both the Queen's Room AND tea in the Veuve Cliquot lounge to the final arrival at 4AM in the dark passing under the Verrazano, it was really a wonderful trip of a lifetime! If I have any criticism to add, it would be concern the disembarkation process, which seemed a bit confused and understaffed. Aside from that small glitch, it was a spectacular crossing. We will happily sail Cunard again in the future! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
In my opinion, the QM 2 is not a cruise ship, but is a ferry to get from one place to another. We like to take a transatlantic cruise to Europe each year and stay for a month or so. The QM2 is really the only ship returning to the US in ... Read More
In my opinion, the QM 2 is not a cruise ship, but is a ferry to get from one place to another. We like to take a transatlantic cruise to Europe each year and stay for a month or so. The QM2 is really the only ship returning to the US in May. We have made this trip 4 times and our opinion remains the same---The QM2 is not a cruise ship--it is a ferry with none of the service and activities of a cruise ship. The embarkation on this trip was the worst I have ever experienced. We used the Cunard transfer from Heathrow to Southampton and arrived at the pier at about 11:00 AM. They boarded ALL priority passengers first and did not even begin embarking those of us who were not priority until after 1:00 PM. We have embarked at Southampton on all of our previous trips and have never experienced such a disorderly embarkation. We always travel in a balcony cabin about mid-ship. Perhaps service is better for those in suites and higher class cabins but we found our service to be very basic with nothing special. The cabin is clean, and basically in good condition although the balcony could use some repair. The shower was good and we were able to adjust the room temperature to our liking quite easily. We always order flowers for our room and they do a beautiful job with the flowers. A bit of an indulgence, but I love it! The internet service was priced decently, however the service was the worst we have experienced in recent years. I was amazed to find that they charged 50 cents per page to print out your boarding passes. ($2.00 for me and hubby)--a bit tacky! We have travelled on many lines and have never paid for this service. I have never been impressed with the food on the QM2. It was acceptable and the size of the portions was good (not too large which I find all to frequently on many cruise lines.) We were at a table for 8, with very nice dinner companions. Service was not the best. We could never seem to get our coffee WITH our dessert....it was always served late. Food at the buffet - the Kings Court- is acceptable, but no where near the quality and variety of other lines such as Princess, Holland America, Celebrity or others. There are plenty of servers around, but they never seem to clear tables promptly. I have watched dishes sit on tables for over 30 minutes while servers just passed by. I put my cruise card on the table hoping someone would ask if I wanted a soft drink or a glass of wine, but no one asked, so I helped myself to some iced tea. We only used room service to have a bottle of wine delivered--service was fast and we tipped them nicely. We each had a capucchino each morning in the Sir Samuel coffee shop. Excellent coffee; however, the servers never gave us a napkin with our coffee - we had to ask each time. Two coffees with tip was usually around $10. Unless you plan to buy a big ticket item, the variety of items sold in the shops are pretty ordinary. Some of the lectures were interesting. We enjoyed some of the in-room presentations very much. The gym was adequate and usually not overcrowded. So, why do we continue to take the QM2 when we really do not enjoy it very much??? Quite frankly, if we had a good alternative we would use it! In the meantime, we sail on the Queen. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
First time crossing for us. We decided to go in Princess Grill and it was well worth doing. Cabin was as nice as any good hotel room, with a sofa, arnchair, and a walk-in closet, as well as a balcony. The food was fabulous and so was ... Read More
First time crossing for us. We decided to go in Princess Grill and it was well worth doing. Cabin was as nice as any good hotel room, with a sofa, arnchair, and a walk-in closet, as well as a balcony. The food was fabulous and so was the service. Our single complaint was the boarding and debarking process. the baggage was handled brilliantly, but in boarding the person directing passengers neglected to recognize that our "class" had priority boarding and we waited a bit till we asked about it and were properly directed. On landing, our debatcation group was left in a lounge wondering what was going on, again untill one of our number went to inquire. Entertainment was varied and fun. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Let me start with the only negative in our experience and that was at embarkation. we had been given on our paperwork a time of 1.55pm to arrive for embarkation. However we soon discovered that allotted times were totally disregarded and ... Read More
Let me start with the only negative in our experience and that was at embarkation. we had been given on our paperwork a time of 1.55pm to arrive for embarkation. However we soon discovered that allotted times were totally disregarded and it was on a first come first served basis. We had to wait over two hours to get on board which was totally unacceptable. Top tip as soon as you are able present yourself for boarding ignore any time you have been given as our experience was of a first come first boarding. Now the good bit we were in a lovely cabin 11021 which had everything you could wish for and as this was our first experience of cruising we had been apprehensive about how much space we would have however there was ample space. The bed was so comfortable it was sometimes a struggle getting up. The room was cleaned to a very high standard each day. The ship itself is stunning with two major public passages dissected by the grand lobby decorated with metal murals surrounded by rich colours giving a real feel of opulence. The Britannia dining room was a great place in which to dine. The food was excellent complimented by attentive service. You could be as active as you wanted as each day was packed with speakers, quizzes, and activities such as the use of a golf simulator etc. The entertainment programme was varied and there was something for everyone. To sum up this was for us a fabulous introduction to cruising and one we thoroughly enjoyed. Top tip if you are making your own travel arrangements into New York it is to take your luggage off early yourself and you should sail through American immigration quickly. We were in our hotel in Mid Town by 8am. Read Less
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