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27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Background. This was our first ship / cruise / crossing. UK couple celebrating 25th Wedding Anniversary. Preceded by a flight to New York from Heathrow and 4 nights in Manhattan. New York was fantastic with buildings for the ... Read More
Background. This was our first ship / cruise / crossing. UK couple celebrating 25th Wedding Anniversary. Preceded by a flight to New York from Heathrow and 4 nights in Manhattan. New York was fantastic with buildings for the first time for us being beautiful and the skyline is stunning. We will be back and would recommend Bryant Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Centre views , One World Trade Centre and a baseball game as must do's. We had done quite a bit of research prior to this cruise and felt reasonably comfortable before we embarked. We saw the beautiful Queen Mary 2 as we came into the Brooklyn Terminal. Our bags were taken straight from the car and we were 10 minutes ahead of our embarkation time of 15.00. We filled in a Health Questionnaire and were through security very quickly. We gave our credit card details and received our State Room cards all within 10 minutes from walking into the terminal, perfect! We made our way straight to our Stateroom 5141. Chosen for Low mid ships with a sheltered balcony. It was exactly what we hoped for with the bed and pillows being so comfortable and a spacious balcony. In our room was a half bottle of champagne, box of chocolates and coupons showing we had purchased the Bon Voyage package. We had a champagne breakfast in our room and free formal portrait still to come. Our bags arrived between 30 and 40 minutes of getting to our stateroom. Our stateroom steward Joseph was very nice and polite. Now our two niggles of the whole trip. 1. We asked Joseph how we handled our Bon Voyage Champagne breakfast in bed the following morning which was our Anniversary. We were new to any ship and wanted to be sure we did the right thing. He was unsure about the process for this other than putting out our normal breakfast in the room card. We showed him the coupon/ card but he was still not sure and was not giving us the most confidence so we went to the pursers office. The lady there told us not to worry and said she would inform the correct people what we wanted and to put out a normal breakfast card as well and mark Champagne breakfast on the card. We did this and everything arrived the following morning bang on time. Phewww... 2. The second evening meal was our Anniversary so we wanted to have the bottle of champagne from the Bon Voyage package with Dinner. At about 18.00 I took the bottle to the Britannia and was assured by a Maitre D' that it would be at our table for our meal. When we arrived we asked our sommelier but he had not seen it, it took 30 minutes to be found and then we were told that we should always hand drink to the sommelier's as they know where to put them which was not great for a first time Cunarder who had been assured by a Maitre D' that all would be fine! Anyway back to the story....We went on deck for the sail away and purchased two glasses of champagne. The weather was showery with the sail away party being held in the Pavilion Pool. We watched the ship squeeze under the Verrazano bridge which was thrilling. We then went to the Britannia Restaurant to found our table of 8 so we knew where to go later. Table 56 lower room by the window was lovely and our chosen meal time was 20.30. We had great evening companions with 4 first time English Cunarders and two experienced American Cunarders. Our conversations and meal started around 20.45 and never finished before 22.30, lovely! We loved the dressing up and the evenings were divine every time.We missed one evening meal which was a formal one sadly as the weather left us feeling a bit rough for one evening only. For three days the decks were off bound due to high winds. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday we were told was Force 8 winds with occasional force 9 and Friday night we felt it got a bit worse and heard it hit force 10. To be fair the QM2 handled this fantastically and we could not complain about her performance at all. We did pay the auto gratuities and some other tips on top with no concern at all. I think the presentation of all staff and service was fantastic. All the food we had whether from Britannia, Kings Court, Golden Lion or room service was fantastic. We had purchased four bottles of wine in New York and gave them to the Sommelier in advance with the $20 corkage charge being paid every time. I think everyone should expect to pay this and not hope for anything less. We did think about purchasing a coffee card before but would now strongly recommend you do not UNLESS you are an extreme coffee buff. We purchased a maximum of two coffees and had about another 12 - 15 by using the Kings Court or area by the Connexions lounges which are free self help machines and the coffee is very very good. We did purchase one soft drinks package and in hindsight would not do this again as we did not drink a lot of soft drinks. Entertainment...hmmmmm well we did 13 quizzes took in three evening shows attended 2 lectures watched an audience with Celia Imrie Watched the Chefs "Come Dine with me Performance" Spent 1 hour in the Casino AFTER attending a complimentary gambling lesson. Watched one film Went to the planeterium once Purchased a Three Day Spa Pass Attended two Silly Bowling competitions and One Deck Quoits Competition. Spent 3-4 hours playing cards and other games around the ship. Our evening routine involved at least one round of cocktails with Manhattans, Russian Elegance and Old Fashioned Deluxe being the favourites. Overall a magnificent voyage and we felt so at home. Forget tales of dress codes and stuffiness. We fully intended to enjoy what we did and not what others may or may not be doing. The Queen Mary 2 made it so easy to feel at home while also feeling decadent and spoilt. Yes drinks are expensive and dress codes are expected but you know that before you get on board, embrace what you want to do and focus on that alone and the QM2 will not disappoint, it really will not. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Our first trip on a cruise. Why have we not done this before. Embarking was a stress less experience and the meet and greet was a nice touch. Our state room with enclosed balcony was a good size and the bed was so comfortable. Having ... Read More
Our first trip on a cruise. Why have we not done this before. Embarking was a stress less experience and the meet and greet was a nice touch. Our state room with enclosed balcony was a good size and the bed was so comfortable. Having the enclosed balcony was a good choice seeing as we were doing a transatlantic voyage and also a good size for the two of us. There was good information around the ship about where you were and what was going on. We opted to do the silver service for our evening meals and visited the other restaurants for breakfast and lunch. The food was outstanding no matter where you ate and on a couple of occasions we did this in the bar. It's good to note that the standard throughout was first class. The staff gave the added value to the trip with their relentless enthusiasm and service no matter where they worked from you personal steward to the bar to the restaurant.... The front of house staff supported your every need without attitude and gave good unbiased advice. The entertainments varied and was enjoyable no matter your age. There were plenty of demonstrations going on giving you a good insight from food carving to beauty advice. The is no exchange of money as everything you do is based on your cabin card (think of it as a credit or debit card). You can check your bill at reception if you like keeping tabs but their honesty on all transactions is spot on. You can choose to give a percentage tip at the end which goes to all the staff or you can opt out and do you own tipping. It works out about the same in the end. Disembarking was a little chaotic but I think this was due to something unforeseen and communication could have been better. Still it did not spoil the trip. Spoilt by the whole experience I would definitely do further cruising. Well done Cunard Oh and no kids running around was a bonus Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
What a fabulous cruise - wonderful ship, lovely food and just the best dancing ever. We booked this cruise because we love to dance - although we are only social dancers, we do enjoy it. There was a dance class each sea day taught by ... Read More
What a fabulous cruise - wonderful ship, lovely food and just the best dancing ever. We booked this cruise because we love to dance - although we are only social dancers, we do enjoy it. There was a dance class each sea day taught by the lovely Eugene and Darya and dancing each evening in the Queens room as well as great music in the Yacht Club. There are 6 male dance hosts that dance with single ladies as well as ladies who's husbands don't dace. These are lovely guys and were very good at maneuvering ladies around the dance floor. There was also a sequence dance taught each day that we could do in the evenings. This is the only cruise we've enjoyed where I have not put on weight...gotta love that! Embarkation was a bit disjointed as we went to the ship first before being re-directed to the convention center for check-in and then sent by bus to the ship. Lovely cabin -6094 - Princess Grill. Plenty of hanging space. Very quiet. Meals in the Princess Grill were good but a bit limited. Until that is, I requested salmon and was told that it was available - I just had to ask. Also, if I wanted anything from the lunch menu for that evenings dinner - again, just ask! We loved the dance demonstration each evening at sea by the professional dance couple - they were fantastic. We only went to the show 5 nights from the 16 and thought they were a bit amateurish although the magician was very good. There were other activities around the ship on the sea days but we didn't partake in any so cant comment on them. Cant wait for our next cruise on Cunard. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
HAMBURG CRUISE CAR PARK The hotel let us park for free. But we have then to get a cab £20 round trip so it didnt save us anything against using a local garage £6 per day HOTEL Blue Keys - Excellent, comfy chairs in ... Read More
HAMBURG CRUISE CAR PARK The hotel let us park for free. But we have then to get a cab £20 round trip so it didnt save us anything against using a local garage £6 per day HOTEL Blue Keys - Excellent, comfy chairs in restaurant and bar. Great helpful, friendly staff. It was was so easy. HAMBURG TOUR & SAMPLING 4c and stiff breeze but we had the right togs. Used the Viatour website at home to book&pay and use the hop on hop off for £13 each. Found the bus stop after a walk and wait but got prime spot on top deck at front for entire trip. SPEEDY EMBARK & DE-EMBARKATION - 3 BOTTLES Placed 3 bottles of wine in one case … within 20 mins of boarding had appeared in cases in room. No probs. That put me in a good mood and we bought a bottle at the table in the main dining room on 3 nights ! So they sold 3 more than they would have had they confiscated my own bottles. FOOD Chateaubriand, lovely lamb etc ate mainly in the buffet restaurant; Lido which is a lovely layout and style. QE DECOR Just lovely, My favourite ship now. Theatre gorgeous and you can see from every seat … plenty of “royal boxes” on the sides CABIN Cheap inside cabin by choice. Layout and storage clearly designed to take world cruise levels of baggage. No complaints and very good design Bed & pillows v good - good night's sleep in fact the pitch black being inside meant we had several nights of a full undisturbed sleep until 11am on one day ( normally I rise a t 5-6am ) WINE Did Not board with the intention of buying wine but bought 3 at approx $40 a bottle and was happy with each one… even had a glass of a special dessert wine - sublime. OBC We had $60 which got us into the wine purchase habit… cunning Cunard! DECKS Did not see them, air temp way too cold so ship felt a little small and easy to navigate but thinking about it we only had to navigate half the ship just the interior. I expect we would be quite happy in 20c plus temps to wander about outside and enjoy the cafes and bars in the sun SCORE 10/10 Best ship I have been… would book the inside again for the peaceful sleeping Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We have just returned from a 10 night cruise on Queen Elizabeth. We sailed in a P2 suite (4096). Great position on the ship with larger balcony so would recommend the cabin and that next to it (4094). There is a crew access point to deck 4 ... Read More
We have just returned from a 10 night cruise on Queen Elizabeth. We sailed in a P2 suite (4096). Great position on the ship with larger balcony so would recommend the cabin and that next to it (4094). There is a crew access point to deck 4 opposite 4098 so would avoid that one. Link below shows a video of 4096 and then also the Grills Terrace. https://youtu.be/mxxc4_iaTGA There has been recent comment re the new PG menus that were recently launched on QE. These are not yet on QM2 or QV. Firstly can I say that we had a fantastic PG experience the service and food hit the mark for us - we travelled as a party of 6 with a fantastic window table. It reminded us of the things that we came to expect on our first few cruises some 16 yrs ago on the small P&O ships Oriana / Aurora. Naturally all that time ago we were paying some £2,000+ per person for a balcony prior to the industry wide discounting and service / quality cuts that are a natural consequence. I managed to scan many of the menus for evening dinner. These can be viewed via the link below. There is also a copy of one of the two A la Carte menus. These rotate each week. Food is always subjective so they will work for some people and not for others. For us and our party they did. Breakfast and lunch menus are as they have been for many years so no real changes there - still excellant. https://app.box.com/s/ey73o2zzyft8wpj58znz2cqja5uf25vl The biggest difference in the new menu is the significant deteriation in the A la Carte offering. That said on each evening (except formal nights where there are stronger menus) there is a Cunard Signature Classic offered. These are in essence the favourites from the old A la Carte and include Dover Sole, Beef Wellington, Lemon Sole, Gressingham Duck, Rack of Lamb etc. There is no A la Carte desert menu and the cheese trolley remains. For me two real omissions were no Lobster Bisque or Escargots on the PG menu. Perhaps they are on a 14 day cycle? It was strange that Escargots were on the Britannia menu. That said the Maitre D' managed to organise both for us - so off-menu is possible but defiantly not encouraged in PG. Whilst off-menu ordering is not encouraged the mixing of courses - mains as smaller portion starters, multiple starters, lunch menu items to be served in the evening (with advance notice) and additional choices of vegetables were all easily arranged. The latter was needed as virtually every night asparagus featured. Personal views of our party was also that beef featured too much on the menu (very good quality) at the expense of chicken and pork. Several dishes are prepared tableside. Others are just finished off by the Head Waiter or Maitre D' essentially to get the correct dish finish - well done, medium well etc. At other times the flambe trolleys are used to warm plates and sauces. Breakfast and lunch are as we remember form QE2 and QM2 over the last 10 yrs as is afternoon tea. We took this several times in the Grills Lounge and also on deck. We had not experienced this before on deck so that was a treat and surprise - with the waiters bringing the afternoon tea trolley around both Grills Terrace decks. Also worth of note is that coffee and tea are available at no cost in the Grills Lounge - nice coffee it is too! Complimentary orange juice and iced water is available on deck 12 also. For UK travellers there are no tea / coffee making facilities in the PG suite - however room service is free and punctual. Plugs in the suite were one UK 3 pin and 2 USA 2 pin is I remember correctly. Hope that helps with the current changes. We certainly found a significant differance to Britannia (better) where we completed a QM2 transatlantic in July this year. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I'd like to start by saying that I have spent over seven years of my life in hotels as part of my profession. Hotels don't do it for me unless they are truly outstanding! My wife and I are also in our mid-fifties and ... Read More
I'd like to start by saying that I have spent over seven years of my life in hotels as part of my profession. Hotels don't do it for me unless they are truly outstanding! My wife and I are also in our mid-fifties and we're (especially me!) are truly weary of the seemingly ubiquitous casual atmosphere seen everywhere. of t-shorts, flip flops and shorts. We also are blessed enough to belong to a very nice club where the service is superb, the food better and the atmosphere comforting and gorgeous. For us, the QM2 met ALL of our expectations and more! I read many reviews prior to sailing and found the most disturbing theme to be one of the ship being a bit worn here and there......carpets and such. We DID, indeed, notice this, probably mostly because we were primed to do so from the reviews. Two thoughts....first, I don't think we would have noticed this so much had we not read the reviews mentioning it......Secondly, she's due for a major re-model and refit in April/May of this year that I'm certain will address all that we saw and more. That being said, it certainly did not detract from the grandeur of the ship. She is certainly grand and a throwback to reminisces of scenes from the movie TITANIC. We had an outside stateroom with a balcony (metal, not clear....who cares? Didn't matter to us!) that we found to be most comfortable. King bed, adequate bath, small couch, tv, etc. Our cabin steward was very attentive and accommodating to our requests (blanket instead of duvet was one). We found to food to be on par with that of our club.....and during the summer, we don't eat anywhere but the club as the food cannot be matched. The service was also excellent, the waitstaff impeccably groomed and exceptionally well trained and supervised. We loved the Chartroom for before dinner drinks. "OWayne" was our frequent waiter and was great! There are other bars but we enjoyed the atmosphere here the most. OK, my one and only real complaint......When we ask for a drink to be made a certain way, that's what we expect to be done. (Making a "sidecar cocktail" isn't rocket science......two parts cognac, one part Cointreau and real lemon juice). On evening we went to a different bar and they refused to make one that even came close. I suspect that they were following some Cunard recipe guide and refused to deviate from it. The bartender in the Chartroom was more accommodating. The ship has much to offer during the day....lectures, the planetarium, the library (Really liked that!) and more....many places to sit and stay quiet, read or just watch the ocean go by. The evening entertainment was definitely geared towards the older crowd but we found it quite enjoyable. If you're looking for rock climbing walls,,ice skating rinks, water slides and such and the "company of 4000" this is not the ship for you. If you want to decompress from your life, it is perfect, at least as far as we were concerned. We loved dressing for dinner and experiencing a time gone by in some ways. I would do another QM2 cruise in a heartbeat. Read Less
20 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Wife and I did our first "Crossing" in August and hope to do many more. As veteran cruisers we've determined that our favorite part of past cruises were days at sea. So, why not do 100% Days at Sea? Flew into Heathrow ... Read More
Wife and I did our first "Crossing" in August and hope to do many more. As veteran cruisers we've determined that our favorite part of past cruises were days at sea. So, why not do 100% Days at Sea? Flew into Heathrow from Boston, then a bus to Southampton. Great embarkation experience, cabin ready with bags already there. Deck 4, "Sheltered" balcony amidships. The Crossing is a VERY specific experience appropriate for a traveler looking for this particular experience. People who don't do their homework and come away disappointed have only themselves to blame. So, back to "Elegant"... IF Formal Nights are your favorite nights on a cruise, IF you always eat in the dining room and rarely touch a buffet, IF your musical preference is classical, IF you'd happily swap a rock climbing wall for the largest library at sea, IF you're happy with small portions of excellent and varied food provided by first class, caring wait staff that ensures dietary restrictions are followed, IF your idea of a great onboard activity would be attending 4 different astronomy lectures over 8 days, IF you'd like to leave your balcony door open regardless of the cold, wet, windy weather outside... WELL, book your Crossing without delay! Better yet, do a roundtrip NYC-Southampton for about the same cost as flying one way and cruising the other. We wish we had done that! On the other hand, IF you don't own a suit, love cruising for the unlimited buffet food, want to Party Hearty Marty every night, think a great onboard activity is getting together to discuss the Kardashians, can't imagine being disconnected from Facebook for a whole week, and enjoy getting up at 5AM to Save Those Pool Deck Chairs, I'm suggesting you would be MUCH Happier on another ship, with another cruise line. You'll just HATE Cunard. Quick word on Entertainment: We had, by FAR, the best entertainment at sea EVER with the National Symphony Orchestra performing twice, and a terrific set of romantic piano concerts by a world class pianist. Also wonderful string quartet and a harpist could be enjoyed in the lounges . Unfortunately, we also saw the worst production show, Viva Italia, in the history of sea travel. A high school would be embarrassed to put this on. Wife and I felt bad for the performers... really, Cunard could have plucked anyone from the audience and they could have sketched out a better show in an hour or two. Certainly not the singer & dancers fault, they gave it their all. Crowd mostly sat in stunned silence, sort of like the open-mouthed audience scene in The Producers when they presented Springtime for Hitler. So, I don't know how to rate Entertainment when it was in class of its own on both the Best and Worst scale. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We've been on QM2 from NYC to Hamburg 21-30. June. Our 5th TA crossing and everytime when we read these negative reviews, we worry about how bad our Crossing will be. The ship seems to be falling apart, the personel overworked ... Read More
We've been on QM2 from NYC to Hamburg 21-30. June. Our 5th TA crossing and everytime when we read these negative reviews, we worry about how bad our Crossing will be. The ship seems to be falling apart, the personel overworked and unfriendly, food in general - particularly in KC uneatable. Totally wrong - always! Ship's condition: Admittedly the Ship needs new paint on many places, but staff are constantly working in removing imperfect spots when the weather allows. I've read a review here, which mentioned a missing and rough handrail recently: This is what I have seen one morning and I was speaking to the staff: They did take off the real handrail some weeks ago - refurbished it and you can see the new bits laying on the deck. In the meantime, they installed a rougher not nice handrail to prevent people falling overboard and marked the sharper corners with tape to make sure that nobody gets injusred. Now they are replacing the temporarily handrail with the real one. Food in Kings Court: We like the food there! And we took the chance to have a look at the food AFTER it was presented and BEFORE passengers served themselfs, everything looked really nice. Of course this changes latest after the 10th portion taken off from the buffet. Food in General: To us, it has slightly improved - portions went a bit smaller which is a good thing as we could try out a second starter or dessert now and then. Our Stateroom Steward and Waiters all appeared to be more friendly and attentive compared to the previous voyages and everybody stopped to ask, if we where enjoying what was just happening. Speaking to our fellow passengers, most of them have been more than happy with their experience and easily overlooked the existing faults (holes in the floor, still defective seats in Illumination - worn out chairs in MDR). Our Steward even gave me a new mattress after I have asked for one. One factor may have been the perfect weather on our trip - we've had for the first time the chance to spend 2 pool days on deck 8 without wind - simply beautiful! But we could hardly credit Cunard for the good weather. Another beautiful thing which we've just discovered is the music which happens all around the ship in the nights. We are no ballroom dancers but the atmosphere in the Queens Room just sitting there with a drink and listen to the band and singers is phantasic! Particularly on Big Band Night, which is hardly the music that we usually hear. But it works on these magic nights! Nothing is perfect in life and so is QM2 - but we prefer to enjoy our time onboard instead of falling over on small flaws which simply happen. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
One more cruise on the Queen Victoria, and we were delighted to find the ship as usual, in excellent condition. This classical masterpiece of modern cruising, if we may call her so, looks every time the same as some years ago, when we ... Read More
One more cruise on the Queen Victoria, and we were delighted to find the ship as usual, in excellent condition. This classical masterpiece of modern cruising, if we may call her so, looks every time the same as some years ago, when we embarked on her for the first time. As to the particular cruise, it was special, as it combined two anniversaries simultaneously: the 100 years of the Gallipoli campaign in WWI, and the 175 years of Cunard line. Embarkation in the port of Piraeus (Athens, Greece) was smooth. We were soon on board ('always nice to be back'), straight to our cabin, where our suitcase already waited for us. The same did a bottle of complimentary sparkling wine (which I think applies even to those traveling to Cunard for the first time). The cabin was spacious and tastefully decorated, with a nice sofa/sitting area. Storage space was ample, and there was one additional large drawer under every bed. Arguably, the weak point of the cabin (and virtually of all this beautiful ship) was the bathroom, a bit on the Spartan side and somewhat small. In addition, the water stall in the shower was fixed, something that we are not accustomed to. However, the bathroom was adequate and neatly appointed (and after having a fixed water stall in a Waldorf Astoria suite bath, in New York, we have realized that it is more common than we used to believe). Moreover, the bathroom was made more attractive by the provision of toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion. After trying various brands through the years that we travel with them, Cunard has introduced Quercus toiletries, which we found superb and the best of any cruise line that we have traveled on. Also one could find in the bathroom a hair-cup, cotton in little balls and ear-cottonettes. Some other companies provide all these only in suites - as happens also with the slippers, which Cunard provides free and you can take them home (bathrobes are free for the duration of the cruise, and can be purchased after). A fruit basket also can be provided daily, after request. I must add that our cabin was kept in immaculate condition by our stewardess, Marian. Immediately after inspecting the cabin, we embarked on (re-) exploring and marveling at the ship. The Queen Victoria belongs to the Vista class of cruise liners, a successful ship design within the Carnival conglomerate, and she also combines elements from (at least) the Spirit class and the Princess Cruises ships. However, her designers took special care to differentiate her from the other ‘Vistas’ with magnificent interior innovations, creating unique and brilliant spaces, decorated in a fine Edwardian style, that bring you in mind the famous ocean liners of the past. It was the beauty of these spaces, combined with the classic cruise experience that Cunard offers to modern passengers, that has prompted us spontaneously to acclaim the ship 'a classical masterpiece of modern cruising'. So, her designers endowed this Queen with a three-deck Lobby (based on Princess Cruises ships), which may lack the huge spaces of other liners. but is full of grace. Another nice innovation is the Winter Garden (next to the Lido casual restaurant at the top), with its nice retractable glass dome, suitable for every weather conditions. However, the most brilliant innovations are the library and the ballroom. The two-story library, with rich 'wood' paneling and a central spiral staircase, contains 7,000 volumes and is one of the largest at sea (second only to QM2's). Accordingly, it had something to everyone's tastes and it reflected nicely Cunard's more cerebral ambiance. As to the two-deck high grand ballroom, the Queens Room, it is inspired by Osborn House (Queen Victoria's summer palace in the Isle of Wight), and Carolyn Spencer Brown, the Editor of Cruise Critic, has acclaimed it one of the finest rooms at sea. During the day this magnificent venue was host mainly to the elegant afternoon tea, served by waiters with white gloves, under the accompaniment of strings, harp or piano. At night dancing found here an ideal place - the stage is one of the largest at sea. The grand balls is a tradition that 175-years veteran Cunard knows perhaps better than any other cruise line. Actually, a special ball was held to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the company. I should add that contrary to some other lines, dancing in the ballroom and disco continued until late every night. Beyond formal tea and dancing, entertainment in Cunard is refined and more cerebral, as said, than in other lines. If you expect hairy chest contests and drunken passengers shouting in the cabin corridors, it is difficult to feel at home. On the contrary one can expect, as said again, strings, harp or piano. Cunard offers classic cruising, and it does it well. Classical restraint is part of both internal decoration and on board atmosphere. As to the shows, they were generally first rate. We enjoyed especially the Opera Boys and found the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers charismatic, even if their shows 'Victoriana' and 'A stroke of genius', although brilliantly executed, left something to be missed. It must be added that the shows are complemented greatly by the magnificent West End-style theatre, the most beautiful we have ever seen afloat. The beauty of the nights on board is enhanced by the elegant dress code, unique to Cunard as far as we know, which takes place after 6:00 pm. Two nights of every week are formal, with tuxedo or dark suit with tie for gentlemen, and evening or cocktail dress for ladies. The rest of the nights are informal, with jacket required, tie optional, for gentlemen, and cocktail dress, stylish separates etc for ladies. People not wishing to adhere, can eat at the Lido casual restaurant and relax in the Winter Garden. But it is a pity not to be part of this wonderful elegant and festive atmosphere, which reminds of the Golden Age of ocean liners. Elegant dressing complements beautifully the marvelous surroundings of the ship, making every night special, and if you are romantic and nostalgic then search no longer. As to everyday activities, we found them plenty and enough to keep one entertained. Special mention should be made to the lecturer, Sir Simon Mayall, who also did a live commentary as the ship was passing through the Dardanelles to Anzac Cove. Dining was of the usual Cunard standard. In our recent cruises with Cunard we have found that desserts have improved considerably. Service in the Britannia restaurant, table 350B, was impeccable. Our waiters really surpassed themselves to accommodate our wishes. We had sometimes breakfast and lunch in the Lido casual restaurant, which we found very good in terms of variety and quality. The only things to be missed were fresh squeezed orange juice and chocolate milk in the morning, which we enjoyed much in our last Holland America cruise. We could not help to compare the ship to her younger sister, the Queen Elizabeth, on board of which we had the pleasure to travel relatively recently, some months ago. Both ships are virtually identical in terms of beauty and comfort, but in our humble opinion the Queen Victoria has the edge. The main reason for that is that the Queen Victoria offers the magnificent Chart Room (which her sister lacks), a beautiful piano lounge adjacent to the Britannia restaurant, an ideal place for pre-dinner drinks and canapes (as well as people-watching), one of the best places on board. Moreover, as said above her Winter Garden has a retractable glass dome (QE has a fixed glass ceiling), which during our cruise opened to the glorious Aegean sun and breeze. Last, Queen Victoria's Lido casual restaurant is brighter and feels more airy than that of her sister. So, thumbs up for gorgeous Vicky. It should be also noted that the ship was well maintained and clean, and one could see continuously members of the crew taking care of her. The itinerary was great. A splendid and sophisticated mix of Greek and Turkish 'delights'. Two full days in Istanbul gave one plenty of time to explore this fascinating city. Shopping in so many places, especially in the Grand Bazaar or the Spices Bazaar, or visiting the monuments of two great Empires (the Byzantine and the Ottoman) can keep one continuously occupied and delighted. Just be prepared for extended, Oriental bargaining. We had, for example, a taxi ride from port to the Sultanahmet historic centre for 5 euros, when the driver was initially asking 15. Next morning was dedicated to the one-hundredth anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign during WWI. Under live commentary, as said above, we travelled through the Dardanelles to Anzac Cove, There, a little ceremony took place to commemorate the heroes who fought in those battles. The ship then turned to Greece. Volos was a nice port and a convenient entrance to picturesque mount Pelion, known from ancient Greek mythology as the place of the centaurs, and perhaps more importantly to unique Meteora. These are huge, high rocks, crowned at their top by monasteries built since the Middle Ages. According to ancient Greek legend, too, Jason began the Argonautic expedition near Volos, in order to fetch the Golden Fleece. Last port was the island of Myconos, which I think needs no comment. An absolute 'must' for every visitor of the Aegean sea. In all our ports we preferred to do our own thing, as all cruise lines offer overpriced shore excursions - so we cannot comment on them. However, I have to say that whenever we booked Cunard shore excursions in the past, we have generally been satisfied with their organization and overall quality. Disembarkation in Piraeus was, like embarkation, smooth and swift. Overall a great cruise on a great ship. I have really tried to find something really negative to mention in this review, just to justify the word 'cruise critic', but could hardly find something. It is ten years now that we have cruised on Cunard, and contrary to other reviewers here, we have found the standards to be generally well kept and high, both in software and hardware. Now we are planning our next cruise on them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
We are about to embark on our second cruise in Princess Grill Queen Victoria and I thought I might add my oar because we had a Med. cruise last year on this ship that we enjoyed very much - hence again. The ship was gorgeous and ... Read More
We are about to embark on our second cruise in Princess Grill Queen Victoria and I thought I might add my oar because we had a Med. cruise last year on this ship that we enjoyed very much - hence again. The ship was gorgeous and transported us to a by-gone era in the grand and elegant style. It was a spotlessly clean, sophisticated ship and after reading some reviews here I think it’s sometimes a matter of personal taste which sort of ship/holiday one chooses to be happy on. On Queen Victoria few children were a bonus for us and it was pleasantly quiet in the public areas. It is a ship that attracts adults, with over 40s being the norm, which we like. The staff were polite and helpful. The staff in the PG restaurant always greeted us by name and nothing was too much trouble. After a few days, our waiter anticipated things we might like and made suggestions. Service was efficient and friendly without being intrusive, the food good and plentiful, if not ‘nouvelle haute cuisine’. The Grills Lounge for afternoon tea and before/after dinner was pleasant, and if you travel Grills you have access to an outdoor (competitive!) courtyard for meals as well. On formal nights most ladies generally wore short/cocktail style dresses or dressed up pants and top but if you do wear a long, glitzy formal dress (I didn't), you will be admired. There is no need to break the bank for formal evenings - just a little forethought and bling will dress up what you already might have in the wardrobe. I enjoyed sailing forth in my AUD$22 ‘sale’ dress. Men are best in penguin suits and most wear them or a dark suit and tie. We enjoyed the shows after dinner. There is a big emphasis on British entertainment and the comedians were ‘clean’, not smutty which was refreshing and kid-safe. There was some repetition on a 21 night cruise, but there are other things to do. I never saw any overcrowding on activities that another reviewer referred to, one could always find a seat in the theatre and if you wanted to do something on board in the daily program, no problems - and this cruise was booked out. Our sail at Gallipoli was fantastic, as we sat off the shore for an hour and listened to live commentary from a senior former British army officer ( A Brigadier General?). His enrichment talk the day before was a highlight of our cruise. If you book to see Gallipoli check the itinerary carefully first to ensure this experience is specifically offered. Shore excursions - we pre-booked but you can also easily book on board. These were overall good value for money but they varied in quality and we had some ups and downs - we liked it when air-conditioning was good on the buses (not all were), when the tour operators used headsets on land tours (not all did) and when bottled water was on the bus (few offered it). Take your own water, a handheld fan and if you wear them, don't forget your hearing aids! The ship switched ports (minor ports) for 'security reasons' on two occasions while we were sailing, so if one had organised private shore excursions, off itinerary changes to docking port could have been very inconvenient/expensive/missed. Tour times changed for almost all the tours we went on, advised the night before. Book what you want to see and anticipate the need to be flexible with departure time. 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: June 2015
We've discovered over the years that the best way to cross the ocean is by ship. Comparing the QM2 with a cramped aluminum tube, and remembering that the QM2 includes lodging, food and entertainment for a week, it actually comes out ... Read More
We've discovered over the years that the best way to cross the ocean is by ship. Comparing the QM2 with a cramped aluminum tube, and remembering that the QM2 includes lodging, food and entertainment for a week, it actually comes out cheaper to sail than fly. And a lot more fun! The purpose of this trip was a cruise on the Royal Clipper around Italy (see my review of that ship elsewhere), the QM2 was just our chosen method of getting there and back. So the entire itinerary was: Fly to NYC, see a show on Broadway, stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Mid-town Sail to Southampton on the QM2. Bus tour to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge on the way to Heathrow, stay at the Holiday Inn Express T5. Fly to Rome, train to Civitavecchia, stay 2 nights in an AirBNB property. Sail on the Royal Clipper to Venice Fly back to Heathrow, stay 5 nights at an AirBNB property in London and see 4 shows in the West End. Bus to Southampton and re-board the QM2. Sail back to NYC, check back into the Holiday Inn Express, and see a couple of shows on Broadway. Fly home. The QM2 is the most elegant ship we've ever been on. She's pure class all down the line. The east-bound passage was 7 days non-stop, but the return a month later included stops in Liverpool, Halifax and Boston. It was the 175th anniversary of the first Cunard crossing, and Cunard did up the celebrations to a T. Wonderful fireworks at every port, and an unbelievable concert in the Liverpool Cathedral. Food aboard is very good, good variety, excellent soups. Service throughout the ship was good, but a little more impersonal than we like. Probably just the difference between American and British cultures. Great bridge instruction and afternoon play with Cheryl and Livingstone, and friendly players without exception. The enrichment lecturers were a mixed bag. All knowledgeable, but some put me to sleep with their presentation, while others the talk was over far too soon. My favorite was Stephen Payne - the Architect that designed the QM2. LOTS of live music throughout the ship - we couldn't experience it all there was so much. Evening shows were excellent on both crossings. The planetarium is excellent! Biggest library of any ship we've been on, mostly British authors. Didn't go on any of the Shore Excursions, except the Liverpool concert on the west-bound leg. But the variety and prices all seemed reasonable. This was our second and third time on the QM2, and we'll go on her again. 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
Sail Date: February 2015
My husband and I are seasoned "cruisers" and have booked many, many cruises on different cruise lines..We cannot find enough adjectives to describe our experience on the Queen Victoria from Los Angeles to Australia...The entire ... Read More
My husband and I are seasoned "cruisers" and have booked many, many cruises on different cruise lines..We cannot find enough adjectives to describe our experience on the Queen Victoria from Los Angeles to Australia...The entire 21 days were perfect from beginning to end...The welcoming staff was very friendly and professional...Our suite was magnificent as were our butler, Elvie and her assistant Bernard...Every dining experience in the Queen's Grill was a culinary delight..The staff in the Grill was beyond our expectations...The ship is absolutely beautiful, extremely well cared for and filled with a wonderful staff of caring and friendly people...We were very sad when the cruise came to an end...We definitely did not want to disembark...We hope in the very near future to book another Cunard cruise and hope it would live up to the fantastic experience on the Queen Victoria...Thank you Cunard for giving us beautiful memories to last a lifetime... Background Information.. We flew from Norfolk, Virginia to Dulles to LA and stayed at the Airport Hilton (fabulous hotel). Our embarkation experience was friendly, professional and efficient..Our stateroom, 4106 was absolutely magnificent, including a fabulous Butler, Elvie and her assist Bernard..We could not have asked for anyting more. The ship was beautiful, well appointed, very clean. Everything you could or would desire..We dined at the Queen's Grill, a beautiful dining room, with fabulous menu, and superb service. The Buffet was also great..We had lunch there several times. We booked two shore excursions, San Francisco and Brisbane, City Highlights...Great tours, great buses, guides...Money well spent...The disembarkation was very smooth and efficient...Again, thank you Cunard for our wonderful memories... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Accommodation: Suite 10043, Queens Grill Q5, Queen Mary 2 We boarded the Queen Mary 2 at Southampton just before midday. The Queen Mary 2, part of the Cunard line, holds fond memories for Hus and I; he proposed on this ship in 2012. ... Read More
Accommodation: Suite 10043, Queens Grill Q5, Queen Mary 2 We boarded the Queen Mary 2 at Southampton just before midday. The Queen Mary 2, part of the Cunard line, holds fond memories for Hus and I; he proposed on this ship in 2012. Hus has a preoccupation (as most men do when it comes to size) that the size of this ship gives it greater gravitas than its sister ships, the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. I, however, find it much more difficult to navigate internally, and find that the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are much more manageable in terms of learning quickly where everything is (which I think is especially important on a mini cruise). The Queen Mary 2's decor is traditional, timeless and classic and on this Christmas Markets voyage it looked sublimely seasonal – it would be impossible to walk an inch and forget that Christmas was fast approaching. There was an imposingly grand christmas tree centred in the six-deck-high atrium lobby, christmas garlands draped around the sweeping staircases and gingerbread house displays littered around the shopping and bar hub of the ship. We also had a poinsettia delivered to our room during our very short stay as a present which was a lovely touch. After boarding the ship, we were almost instantly treated to a seasonal 'welcome aboard' performance by the Boy Choristers of Salisbury Cathedral in the atrium lobby, followed by a programmed performance in the Royal Court Theatre (a three-deck-high theatre designed in the style of a classic opera house). The choristers sang a number of well-known hymns and some more obscure ones, with the audience encouraged to join in on a couple! After the performance we settled into our room and enjoyed our complimentary boarding champagne (Delamotte) and chocolate dipped strawberries, before wrapping up to enjoy a pre-dinner firework display from on deck. Dining on board The three Cunard ships (known at the three Queens) have different dining venues depending on the category of cabin that guests are assigned to; the main dining room is the ‘Britannia Restaurant’ (plus the ‘Britannia Club’ restaurant on Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2 which has single seating, not fixed meal times) for guests staying in staterooms, the ‘Princess Grill’ for princess suite guests, and the ‘Queens Grill’ for queens suite guests. As the majority of guests travel in staterooms, the main fixed seating Britannia restaurant is the largest on the ship and is fittingly grand. The Britannia Club, Princess Grill and Queens Grill restaurants are all much smaller by comparison. We booked a princess suite for this voyage about a year in advance, and were upgraded to a queens suite just a month before it set sail. I much prefer the layout of the Princess/ Queens Grill Restaurants and deck areas on the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria to the Queen Mary 2. On the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria if you book a Princess or Queens suite your cruise card (which you use to “log in and out” of the ship and put your many drinks orders on), allows you access to a certain deck of the ship (accessible by insertion in a card slot in the lift), which is reserved for Grills guests. This does draw criticism from some as creating a “class system” on Cunard, but I think the segregation of the Grills away from the bustling main area of the ship means that the Grills are not flaunted in the faces of those who may feel it is dividing. The Grills deck is primarily dominated by the Princess and Queens Grill restaurants, which are essentially mirror images of one another (although the Queens is decorated with gold tones and Princess with silver). On the Queen Mary 2 the Grills restaurants are just along from the Kings Court buffet restaurant- they are not separated on a different floor. Indeed, the restaurants almost pop up out of no-where, and to get there you either have to take a convoluted walk throughout the internal decks, or walk through the Kings Court (a humongous buffet restaurant, a place I tend to avoid unless forced, it reminds me of a hospital canteen in terms of decor and an African watering hole in terms of diners…, although Hus' more affectionate term for it is smash and grab and he is keen on it!). The Queens Grills restaurant on the Queen Mary 2 once you are inside, is really lovely and spacious; I think the shape of this restaurant adds to the atmosphere, and it was a pleasure to dine in here, as we did for every meal of this voyage. Other alternatives for dining on the Queen Mary 2 include the Kings Court, which does cuisine “themed” evenings, and the speciality a la carte restaurant, ‘Todd English’. Our first night on board All guests in Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites are served afternoon canapés in their rooms before dinner (usually late in the afternoon, at around 5pm). The standard canapés delivered are cold toppings on blinis and this was the first time on a cruise in a suite that we asked for hot pre-dinner canapés. We had clearly expressed our excitement at the prospect convincingly as we were rewarded with an immense amount of hot food, enough to fill us both up all night! We followed this 'pre dinner nibble' by steak in the restaurant – Hus had a sirloin, and I had the fillet au poivre which is an option available on the ‘a la carte’ menu, an additional menu to the daily menu which the Grill restaurants exclusively provide. For dessert I had one of the best lemon meringue slices I have ever had. Petit fours after the meal with tea/coffee are standard at dinner. Day At Sea We missed breakfast on the second day as I didn't feel up to it, much to my Hus’ upset (but he sweetly only told me he was upset about it once I felt better). Even though it was very cold, we wandered around deck and joined in a dancing lesson with the on board dancers to warm us up and build up an appetite for lunch. This brief stint of activity was followed by - you can guess- more food. Both of us had a chicken tikka masala curry for lunch which came with all the trimmings; the mini naan bread was really good, but the curry was not anywhere near the standard of the one that can be ordered off the ‘a la carte' menu with an afternoon’s notice. My fruity meringue dessert was gorgeous, light and chewy inside – something sweet enough to prevent me from stuffing myself with afternoon tea, but small enough to not make me feel too guilty. Hus had jelly, also light enough for lunchtime. In the afternoon the sun came out and we enjoyed sitting on our balcony (our Cunard robes over our clothes providing some protection from the cold), playing cards and enjoying working through our minibar. The minibar was stocked with complimentary Peroni beers for Hus at our request (other beers are usually put in as standard), and I made a bucks fizz concoction out of orange juice (which I always request on the first day of a cruise to be put in the minibar) and the truly awful sparkling wine, Pol Acker, which Cunard continue to insist on giving to all passengers as a complimentary boarding drink (notwithstanding many blogs and reviews continually berating this drink!). However, the bucks fizz is really palatable and a great way to use the paint stripper, sorry, Pol Acker, if you are struggling to think of uses for it. Getting ready for dinner is always fun on a Cunard cruise; the ceremony of getting dressed up makes dinner feel a special occasion. On this evening we pre-ordered our favourite dinner - (until a honeymoon discovery- to be blogged soon) - chateaubriand. The meat is fantastic quality and cooked to your liking in front of you at the side of your table by the Maître d'. All of the vegetables and accoutrements can be dictated by your own preferences if you do not like the suggested options, and the sauce brings it all together wonderfully. We must have had this dish on Cunard at least 10 times and we have never been disappointed by it! To start I had ordered another a la carte special, Jumbo Shrimp Tempura. This is one of the best al la carte starters in my opinion. The chilli sauce is fiery and sweet and the tempura batter is always crispy. We concluded our meal with another firm pre-order favourite, Crepe Suzette, which is like heaven on a plate; I could literally eat these Crepes all day for the rest of my life! Entertainment There is a variety of entertainment on the Queen Mary 2, my favourite being the planetarium but there is always a rush for tickets for showings. In the evening there are usually two shows in the Royal Court theatre in addition to various musical performers at bars located throughout the ship. The nightclub on the Queen Mary 2, which picks up later in the evening, is quite large and has two floors – the upper floor is a good place to spy on the dance floor if you don't fancy getting involved in the action but is smokey as smoking is permitted. There is also open dancing or dancing performances in the ballroom in the evening, so people can practice the dances they have been learning on the ship. We went for an evening drink at the grills lounge, located outside the Queens Grills restaurant, and went to bed given our action packed day coming up of guzzling mulled wine and chocolates by the bucket load. Bruges Breakfast is always a full on affair and we make pigs of ourselves (especially in light of the fact our normal breakfast at home consists of, at most, some breakfast biscuits). I had a fillet mignon to make up for the fact we had missed breakfast the previous day, which was lovely but definitely too much for me to be eating at 9am! After overindulging at breakfast we hit Bruges. The ship did not offer a free shuttle to Bruges; there was an arranged coach at >50$pp to get to Bruges and back (with an enforced time of stay) or guests could brave a complimentary shuttle bus to the town of Blakenburg and make their own way from there by cab or train. The train is exceptionally cheap but it does not run very frequently which is my only bugbear with it. A cab would be more reasonable than the ship shuttle but much more than the train. We travelled by train and wandered into the town centre where the Christmas markets dominated the main centre of town, together with a large ice skating rink. We enjoyed mulled wine whilst wandering around the stalls (€2 to keep the glass which we thought was a bargain and great souvenir) before buying chocolates from a few local shops. Would we do it again? We find with our busy lives that a short cruise is a perfect way to have a relaxing long weekend away, and wouldn't hesitate to book another short cruise with Cunard given the quality of the food. In fact, we have a short weekend in Hamburg coming up with Cunard this year! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I must say after reading some of these reviews, we were more than a little bit worried about cruising with Cunard! But We were very pleasantly surprised. I really can't see what Anyone would have to moan about?! I'm a non ... Read More
I must say after reading some of these reviews, we were more than a little bit worried about cruising with Cunard! But We were very pleasantly surprised. I really can't see what Anyone would have to moan about?! I'm a non confined wheelchair user, in other words I can, on a good day, walk a Little. We drove to southampton and had prebooked our car in with CPS. We were directed to the kerb and I was helped out of the car into my chair whilst my husband unloaded the luggage. The luggage was taken on board and placed in our room whilst a very chatty gentleman wheeled me through security, passports and check in and then to our room! The room was more than big enough with 2 doubles and 1 single wardrobe, several drawers a table and sofa, dressing table, fridge, hair dryer etc and the bathroom although small had everything you needed plus complimentary toiletries. Everything was so simple and nothing was too much bother. Every single member of the crew greeted us with smiles and fell over themselves to help. Each meal time ( we decided the Lido was a better fit for us) they carried my tray reached over and got whatever I asked for and then escorted us to the table. They would come over several times to ask if you wanted anything else! The food was varied and plentiful, even a fussy eater like myself was able to find plenty to eat from the selection of cold meats, cheeses, salads, breads, fruit, vegetables, hot meat, fish, etc. oh and dont forget the pudding 😊 there is also a grill by the pool at lunch times for hotdogs/burgers etc, a pizza bar, vanilla & chocolate ice-cream on tap as well as nightly specials. From 6am until 11pm there is food available and soft drinks, tea & coffee. We had one night in the Britannia restaurant and they even did me a special meal with plain chicken when I couldn't find anything I liked on the menu! The jacuzzis and pools were great, everything was clean and the bar service excellent. Disembarkation was just as easy, there were lots of men waiting to help with the disabled passengers (make sure you advise them of your disabilitys and fill in the medical questionnaires when you book) they took us straight down to check out, straight through customs and was met by another man that collected our cases and then both took us to our car and helped pack the car up. FANTASTIC! The only thing that would have made it better for me would be to have a parasol as I did burn quite badly but other than that it was perfect. Very mobility friendly and We will definitely be going again.   Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
My wife has never set foot on a Ship. If I was going to get my wife interested in cruising it had better be comfortable and luxurious. Answer book a cruise first class on QM2. We spent the better part of the voyage in Q5 Queens Grill ... Read More
My wife has never set foot on a Ship. If I was going to get my wife interested in cruising it had better be comfortable and luxurious. Answer book a cruise first class on QM2. We spent the better part of the voyage in Q5 Queens Grill and for last 3 day Q1 Sandringham Suite. Just sensational. The dining breakfast lunch and dinner in Queens Grill is without parallel you could have whatever your heart desires from caviare to truffles, fois gras etc. etc.. The wine list amazing and the service just impeccable. We may have been among the youngest couple on board but had an absolute ball the whole time. We loved getting dressed up. Putting on Black Tie and evening gowns for the formal nights. Loved going to the Commodore's Club bar for drinks and then into Churchill's for Cigars and port. Made some great friends and, met many interesting people. The acts the shows the speakers were all world class entertainers. Sir Jackie Stewart was guest speaker and we took over his suite when he disembarked in Melbourne. The Sandringham Suite was opulent and enormous on two levels with king size bed overlooking the stern and out to see just amazing. Down stairs the lounge and dining room all with massive balcony the perfect place to party with friends we had made on board for our last two nights. I can honestly say, it was the only time that after getting back from holiday we wanted to stay on board and keep going. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
My Husband and I are new to travelling via cruise, and as such we decided we'd try out the shortest cruise we could find. That lead us to booking a last minute deal to join Cunard's QM2 for 2 nights on a sailing to Hamburg. ... Read More
My Husband and I are new to travelling via cruise, and as such we decided we'd try out the shortest cruise we could find. That lead us to booking a last minute deal to join Cunard's QM2 for 2 nights on a sailing to Hamburg. BOOKING: We phoned to book our cabin and opted to upgrade to a Princess Grill room. The staff on the end of the phone were very helpful, and gave us lots of hints and tips to get the most from our journey. EMBARKATION: This could not have been simpler or quicker for us. We arrived at shortly after 12pm, our luggage was unloaded from the car we arrived in, and whisked straight away. We walked straight up to a desk, checked in and were shown straight through to the ship. No waiting, no stress. We met our concierge as we boarded and were directed straight to our room. Our luggage was not there when we arrived but it was no surprise as it would have been virtually impossible to get it there before we arrived as we literally walked straight on. We had a lovely bottle of wine and some delicious nibbles waiting for us in our room which we thoroughly enjoyed on our balcony as the ship sailed off. ROOM: We were on deck 10 in room 095 and it was better than we expected. We're used to staying in luxurious surroundings and enjoying some of the finer things in life and the rooms lived up to our expectations. It was spacious, light and airy and the balcony was lovely. When we booked, cruising friends told us we'd never use it, but we spent so much time enjoying the fresh air on our balcony, I don't think we'd have enjoyed cruising without a balcony to step out on to last thing at night and first thing in the morning. RESTAURANT & FOOD: Due to having a Princess Grill suite, we were able to eat in the Princess Grill restaurant. This made all the difference for us, our eating habits in normal life are quite erratic so it would have been difficult for us to get into a routine enough to want to eat at set sittings. The Princess Grill was not only beautiful and intimate (we had a table to ourselves) but we could please ourselves to a large extent with what times we wanted to eat. The food was beautifully presented and tasted sublime. Our waiters were attentive and remembered everything from our names, to snippets about our life, to how much sugar I liked in my tea. I also highly recommend the Wickham Vineyard Fume wine - we had rarely tried English wine and were so surprised by how good it tasted that we have since visited the vineyard and now regularly buy the wine from there! They only did afternoon tea one day in the ballroom and the crowd to get in was crazy. We did que for awhile and try to get a table but it was impossible and the stampede to get there was ridiculous. In the end we decided to visit the Queens Grill Lounge for a drink, not realising that they served Afternoon Tea here too. We actually preferred this area for afternoon tea, no mad rush, no crowds, just relaxed and refined atmosphere with plenty of delicious food beautifully prepared, presented and served. ENTERTAINMENT ONBOARD: We really enjoyed everything about our stay onboard. Although we weren't so interested in taking classes, or listening to talks, we did enjoy a bit of shopping (I'd forgotten my perfume and thankfully the shops onboard stocked Chanel Chance). We also spent a lot of time at the tables in the casino soaking up the atmosphere and making back some of the money we spent on the cruise itself! We enjoyed the Planetarium experience and saw a couple of the shows in the theatre. There is virtually NOTHING better than sitting in your seats, watching a show and having a member of staff bring you drinks so you don't have to get up! We enjoyed drinks in several of the bars, including the Commodore Club and the Chart Room. I highly recommend trying to Shipwrecked Martini! DISEMBARKATION: I think the only disappointment of the whole journey was how early we had to leave the ship. Our bags were required to be outside our room by midnight the night before, and we didn't manage this due to being in the Chart Room with family members who were also onboard at the same time until gone 2am. I don't see how anyone can be expected to be dressed up and enjoying their time onboard only to be told they basically have to be fully packed and go to bed before 12am. As it turned out, it was OK though as we forgot whilst having a good time, rushed to pack and get our bags out at about 2-2:30am and all was well. In the morning we got up, had a lovely breakfast and then sat in the Chart Room until our numbers were called to disembark. At which point everything was again seamless. We walked straight off the ship, our luggage was right there and easy to find, and a taxi rank was available to take us on to our hotel in Hamburg. All in all, the whole process of disembarking took less than 10 minutes. OVERALL THOUGHTS: We thoroughly enjoyed our entire experience with Cunard on the QM2. The only regret was that we booked such a short cruise. We are now about to book a much longer cruise and can't stop talking about what a fantastic time we had onboard. The main problem we had was that there were so many opportunities to eat that after the first 24 hours we felt like we'd over indulged and we actually missed dinner on the 2nd day as a result of not being able to physically consume any more! We look forward to joining Cunard for a cruise (or two!) in 2014. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
My wife and I just returned from the September 10, 2013 sailing of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 to New England and Canada and, although we liked the cruise, we learned that preventing the Norovirus is easier than getting over it. Upon ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from the September 10, 2013 sailing of Cunard's Queen Mary 2 to New England and Canada and, although we liked the cruise, we learned that preventing the Norovirus is easier than getting over it. Upon sailing from NYC on Tuesday afternoon, the only advice we received from Cunard staff and literature was to wash hands frequently and use the hand sanitizers frequently. To Cunard's credit, the hand sanitizers were amply available throughout all public areas of the ship. My wife is sort of a "Clean Freak" and always washes her hands frequently plus utilizing the hand sanitizers. I would place her in the top 5% of passengers with respect to hand washing and sanitizing. I, on the other hand, would place myself in the top 40% of this category. On Saturday afternoon around 3 pm and four full days into the cruise, my wife displayed the first obvious symptoms of the Norovirus and I followed suit about 5 hours later. From that point on, my wife and I were extremely ill. When I called the Medical Center onboard, pain and dehydration medicine was prescribed and delivered shortly thereafter. Although my wife's symptoms ended after 12 hours, my illness was more severe and lasted more than 24 hours. I was advised to confine myself to my cabin for 48 hours _after_ the last symptom ended. Due to the number of passengers exhibiting symptoms of the Norovirus, Cunard offered complimentary laundry and room service which I had to utilize since I was confined to my cabin for a total of 3.5 days. During the last 36 hours of confinement, I finally had somewhat of an appetite but the complimentary room service only consisted of clear broth and other liquids - and room service would not accommodate my request for more solid food. Cunard, to their credit, after the outbreak of Norovirus was evident late on Sunday afternoon, instituted stringent sanitary procedures in the King's Court Buffet. Passengers could no longer serve themselves but rather, everything, including coffee and tea, would be handed to or served to them by a crew member wearing gloves. And those procedures lasted until the very end of our cruise. Cunard began showing a prepared Norovirus video on channel 41 explaining all of the new sanitary procedures and advising passengers not to touch hand rails or even the buttons on the elevator without some sort of barrier between your hand and the object. The video further stated that "These safety precautions are usually only instituted the first 48 hours of your cruise." Lessons learned from this unfortunate experience: 1. A passenger does not want to contract the Norovirus - it is extremely unpleasant - I consider myself to be very healthy and took all usual and typical precautions and yet I contracted the Norovirus and it made me extremely sick for well over 24 hours. 2. The Norovirus is transmitted by touching surfaces - so don't touch handrails, buttons on elevators, chairs, tables, etc. directly - carry and use a paper towel to touch those surfaces. Don't use public toilets onboard. 3. Cunard's video made one rather damning statement: "These safety precautions are usually only instituted the first 48 hours of your cruise." Why weren't these extreme precautions instituted for the first 48 hours of our cruise as stated? If they had been instituted, would that have likely prevented the outbreak? I think the answer is, "Yes, possibly." Daily announcements by the Captain after the initial outbreak stated that right up to the end of the cruise, there were still new cases of the Norovirus onboard the QM2. We were, of course, never told exactly how many passengers onboard the QM2 contracted the Norovirus. My wife and I have sailed different cruise lines to many ports around the world including two visits to Istanbul and have had no health problems before this one. We certainly find it ironic that we were both struck by the Norovirus on the QM2 while sailing off the coast of New England. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
This was cruise #2 on the QM2. We are two gay men in our late 50's and wanted to do one more short cruise to make certain we could handle a much longer cruise. We loved the QM2 ship last year and it did not disappoint us this year. We ... Read More
This was cruise #2 on the QM2. We are two gay men in our late 50's and wanted to do one more short cruise to make certain we could handle a much longer cruise. We loved the QM2 ship last year and it did not disappoint us this year. We booked a BC Balcony on deck 11 forward part of the ship. Last year we were Britannia Club in the middle on deck 12. We did not notice a substantial difference. For the money, the location on ship wasn't that noticeable. In some ways, we liked being forward in the ship more. We were closer to elevators. Although we had set times for dining, we actually liked the large restaurant better than the small Britannia Club. The service was better, the Maitre 'd friendlier and got us a better table. The ambience of being in the larger room was grande...the views nicer. It is something to consider if you are thinking about paying more for the Club rooms. Save your money. I really can't understand some of the poor reviews about the food. We ate in the dining room for each lunch and dinner. Choices were great, timing was perfect, and the food really good. Perhaps it wasn't like a $200 meal, but it was elegantly presented, creative, and interesting flavors...and nice diverse choices. You would have to be either picky or a snob to not find plenty to eat from the Britannia menu. The Britannia state rooms are compact, but there is plenty of storage, closet space, drawers and nightside table storage. For the price, you really can't beat this level of room. We like the balconies because it does extend the room and we spent time on the balcony. If you haven't sailed on the QM2 it is a grand ocean liner. It is wonderful to hear string quartets playing in the restaurant, bars. Great piano music. For the most part people dress and it is just a lovely, upscale traveling experience. The Kings Court is not horrible as some depict it. It is very busy, but food is great and you can get a nice breakfast, lunch, or dinner there if you are on the run and don't want to spend a lot of time at a meal. We loved walking the decks...all of them. The top of the ship is fun and lots of walking or promenade space there, too. The entertainment was good. Good song and dance numbers and a very talented former Olympic gymnist. On this particular cruise there were 75 or so GLBT travelers. We met couples in the Commodore Bar. It really became like a gay bar from 5:00 to 7:00 during cocktail hours and after dinner. Everyone is friendly and just a terrific atmosphere. We made friends that we are still corresponding with. One bad thing I will mention. We had problems with our toilet flushing on days 2, 3, and 4. It was frustrating. Reported it each day. It wasn't like it didn't work the entire time, it was just intermittant with the suction system. But it was annoying. Finally, I had to go down to the Pursers desk and demand to speak to a supervisor. That was difficult. They do not want to come out. But, I did and it was odd. They are extremely beaurocratic and focus more on filling out the paperwork for the problem than appeasing disgruntled passengers. It was annoying that they didn't see this as a big issue to have sewage standing in your toilet in your stateroom. It was finally completely repaired on day 4. If you are reading this and considering a cruise, don't freak out. There are 1200+ cabins on the ship and we just were unlucky. Even having this problem, we are looking at the 16 day Panama Canal cruise because we like the ship so much. We will just go down the purser's office sooner next time. All in all...it is a great ship and I highly recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2012
We have just got of the QM2 having travelled from New York to Southampton, it continues its journey to Hamburg later today. We are a couple in our mid 40's having been on a single cruise before (7 days bay of Biscay last year on ... Read More
We have just got of the QM2 having travelled from New York to Southampton, it continues its journey to Hamburg later today. We are a couple in our mid 40's having been on a single cruise before (7 days bay of Biscay last year on P&O Oceana) We have travelled to New York before and flew out for 3 days before joining the QM2 last Friday. 1st Impressions were of a truly massive ship as we approached the dock. Check-in was trouble free. We found our stateroom easily using the maps located near most lifts. Our thoughts were as follows : 1. Ship/Weather The ship is very impressive and coped weather with what was described as typical transatlantic weather - rough sees (up to 12 foot swell) and force 7-8 winds (40+knots across the deck) for much of the trip. There was some movement and we did feel a bit queasy in a high cabin on deck 12 on 2 or 3 occasions, but nothing that spoilt our enjoyment or that needed any medication. It did mean that the upper deck (13) was closed for much of the journey. We thought the interior was clean and well maintained. There was a lot of information all over the walls about Cunard's history - previous ships and famous passengers for instance although we never found time to read it all. We had a small map, but i found the deck plans by each lift most helpful, and within a day we had no problems navigating. 2. Accommodation - we were in a Britannia club balcony room on starboard side on the 12Th deck. The bed was very comfortable and the room was perfectly adequately sized, with just enough hangars in the wardrobe - perhaps we would have struggled for clothes space on a much longer trip. The bathroom again was fine, with a decent size shower. Arthur kept it very clean for us. We did use the balcony at the start and end of our trip, but it was too windy to spend much time mid atlantic. We did not notice much noise, although i was woken around 5.50am once by a couple talking loudly as they walked past. 3. Activities/Entertainment. It would be fair to say that we did not partake in many of the enrichment activities as we entertained ourself quite a bit. We did listen to 1 speaker which was ok, and saw another couple on the TV - the days talks were repeated on the TV in your room on channel 42 after 5pm each day , although my wife found some quite boring, they perhaps were targeted more to the older male -code-breaking machines, Alan Turin, voyage of the beagle etc There were also talks on murder and art history but i did not see those. RADA - we did not use their workshops, although enjoyed their version of 3 of Chaucer's Canterbury tales Juilliard Jazz - we never quite managed to get to these either. Bingo/quizzes/ballroom - not really our thing Cocktail Party - We bypassed the queue for the captain and met the hotel manager instead. We had our free sparkling wine and a couple of canapes. The captain spoke about the titanic and carpathia and it was over quite quickly. We did speak to the safety officer and i think the hotel managers pa, who were pleasant and fun to talk to, but after the Captain introduced his heads of dept, every-one vanished before we could talk to them. Mingling for 1/2 an hour would have been nice for at least some of them. G32 DISCO- We only spent any time here on one night, when it was abba night for an hour. The dance floor was empty apart from us at the beginning, although had filled by the end of the hour. The strange bit for a disco was that the DJ said nothing for the whole 90 minutes we were there, just kept playing the songs. Exercise We did a lot of laps of deck 7 promenade -it is 1.1 miles for 3 laps. It can take some concentration to match the slow walkers, power walkers, electric buggies and joggers but i never saw any collisions. We also enjoyed a walk on deck 12 to have a look at the dogs in the kennels -i think there were 11 on this trip. They had some fun pictures of the dogs in their life jackets in the photo image area of the ship. Pool We were never brave enough to use the outdoor pools, although did see them used by the occasional brave person. The covered pavilion pool was very close to our room. It did get very busy though, with loungers being saved with towels, although people seemed to pack up and leave, but left their towel on the lounger, so it was very confusing which loungers were still occupied or free. It was nice and warm under the glass roof and we did spent a few hours their once or twice. Gym I used the gym daily (for the 1st 5 days). It had decent equipment but at many times seemed too small, with the cross trainers/cycles in particular being fully used. A bigger gym, or limiting use of a machine to 20minutes at a time would be helpful. We found that lunch time was generally a good time, between 1-2pm. I expect 6am would also be good, but never managed to get there that early. We had a look around the spa but never used it - cost and not really expecting enough benefit to justify the cost to ourselves. 4. Food/Drink Drink- we tended to have a drink or two pre dinner and usually went to the Commodore club at the bow on deck 9 as it seemed quieter than the other bars being furthest from the dining room. We generally had cocktails ($8.95-9.95) each although also tried the chart room and the golden lion on the last evening when they were quieter.Half a pint of cider seemed more reasonable there at $2. We usually had some crisps or nuts and canapes as well-initially cold ones, then hot ones if we stayed long enough. We also tried the Sir Samuel coffee bar - $3.50 for a decent coffee and also had a nice quiche one day for lunch there. Kings Court - 24 hours a day food of course - dinner ends at 11- then have another buffet hot meal until 4am, then cold breakfast until 6, then hot breakfast, lunch, cream tea, afternoon snacks, and back to dinner etc We had some hot food once to say we had tried it -1am after our trip to disco - chinese noodles/sweet chilli chicken etc - it was fine, but we preferred the slower pace and service of the main dining room. The cream tea we tried once but were a little disappointed by the scones (dry) and the whipped (not clotted cream) We did have breakfast in bed once to try. We left the order on our door (before 1am) and received exactly what we had ordered at the right time (15 minute windows). The only negatives was that the hot food (oat meal and cooked breakfast) was warm and not hot, but moving hot food across the ship, i think it was as hot as one could reasonably expect and certainly edible. The rest of our food we ate in the main club dining room - less frenetic pace and we looked forward to seeing the waiters/maitre d - In general we found the quality of the food to be excellent and hot. for much of the week i did enjoy the "canyon ranch spa" choices which list the calorie/fibre/fat content. It was one way of trying to limit any weight gain and i usually found they were still very tasty and in fact on "lobster night" my wife preferred the sauce and rice of my spa lobster to her standard version. I can appreciate that people perhaps do not want to know the calorie content of everything they are eating, but personally i did not want to spend a month or more trying to lose weight i had put on, and would have welcomes the choice of having the option to see a menu with calories listed besides all dishes. Portion wise at dinner, we found a 3 course meal without extra veg, was just the right amount to avoid being overfull. Appetites vary of course and some of our fellow diners enjoyed 2 starters and 3-4 desserts and extra veg on occasion. we did find on the last few days that we had had enough eating and tended to miss lunch in the dining -perhaps having the quiche in sir Samuel's or 3-4 finger sandwiches from the afternoon tea. We did not feel the need or inclination to use the a la carte kings court options or the Todd English restaurant. 5.Service we experienced excellent service from the bar staff and in the restaurant. "Danny boy" as he referred to himself was excellent in the commodore club, making suggestions of drinks to try for my wife. In the restaurant "Willy" and "Jimmy" our two waiters were brilliant as well. I think they were a little bemused by our choice of healthier options and tried to fatten us up as the week went on. I made the mistake of saying i was torn between the beef wellington and the canyon ranch lobster, and despite my protestations i ended up with both! We also made use of the flambe dishes for dessert especially later in the week with baked alaska (flambe cherries) and crepes Suzette - these were done by your table by the maitre'd. We started off on a table for six -this was really due to an oversight on my part -the agent making our booking in September never asked me what size table i wanted -i would have chosen 2 and for some reason i never thought to try and change it. Our fellow passengers were perfectly pleasant, but while we are under 45 both other couples were in their 80-90's. They were keen to chat and shared many interests/experiences with each other - flying, the war etc, while being younger we had little that we could share and we consequently spent much of the evening listening to their interesting stories and really had no time to talk to each other or appreciate what we were eating. Perhaps many people would see that as the benefits of cruising, but we would have preferred some time to talk to each other and to be quiet and appreciate the food. We spoke to Iolata (apologies for spelling) our polish maitre d who was excellent. She could see we were embarrassed and concerned about how the other couples would react. She put us at ease and assured us this happened all the time and that they were happy to be a table of 4. Most of the other tables also had an average age of twice our own, but we did move to lunch the next day with a slightly younger German foursome and by the evening we had a table for 2 which we kept for the rest of the week. She really made our cruise by being so understanding and helpful, and we looked forward to seeing her smile every meal time. We did keep the auto-tipping on our bill - $22 per day for the two of us. We also felt it appropriate to leave a small envelope tip for our waiters and also for our maitre d at the end. 6. Final Thoughts / Preconceptions from a younger 1st time Cunard couple a. We will be the youngest there ? - yes there were a lot of older guests, but some young children, and quite a few of a similar age, we did not feel out of place b. We will be bored - we were never bored even though we used only a small part of available entertainment. We enjoyed a leisurely drink for a couple of hours before dinner, eating at a relaxed pace, doing a lot of walking, using the gym and also reading and talking. c. Its too formal - we enjoyed dressing up - ladies wore all sorts of length dresses on formal nights, there was no rigidity -in fact people did ignore the dress code all together especially in the commodore club we noticed and no-one was singled out or made to leave ,but it was nice to see everyone in their finery (even if my dinner jacket was one of those cheap M&S ones) d. We got many lovely photos from the excellent photographers. It was a shame that they were so expensive, $24.95 each print, or as we chose $149.99 for 10 - they print all the photos they take, so we ended up choosing our 10 at the end of the week and giving them back 40+ more to throw away - there would be no extra cost to them by just giving us the photos, and it would be nice if this was an option for similar fee , say $200. All the shots were clear and well focused e. Can i have the job of the customs officer ? - there were twice daily sessions on 3 days for each deck to have passports checked to avoid delay in Southampton. Our check took about 5 seconds, no electronics were involved, just a visual check. The accompanying crew member told us the customs agent is free for the rest of the week-we saw him in the bar and restaurants - seems a good job to me- perhaps its on a rota basis ? f.Would we do it again ? Yes, perhaps we would try a cruise next time instead of transatlantic, but we would use Cunard again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
My husband and I took the transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary II and were very pleased with almost all aspects of the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and well organized. Our room was pretty and clean and ... Read More
My husband and I took the transatlantic crossing on the Queen Mary II and were very pleased with almost all aspects of the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth and well organized. Our room was pretty and clean and the design was elegant. The robes and slippers in every stateroom are another nice touch. Food was very well done in the restaurants with a good selection and presentation. Room service breakfast was lovely and the staff would try to accommodate written special requests, even rather strange ones. The one negative with the food was that food in the cafeteria was often cold or not fresh. However, even the buffets had beautiful presentation. Our waiter was WONDERFUL!! He was not only funny, very fast, and polite but he let us know some of the ins and out of how cruising worked. He also remembered I loved dark chocolate, so when there were dark chocolates after dessert, he always made sure to bring a couple more for me. We were quite a bit younger than the couples on-board, but for us it was not a problem, as we are a bit old fashioned. Almost all passengers were well dressed for the occasion everyone seemed very friendly and helpful. We especially enjoyed afternoon tea as well as trivia in the pub, where you could win real prizes. Our only one complaint was that the Cunard travel agent promised us a special complimentary honeymoon package with champagne in your stateroom on arrival, fresh flowers in your stateroom on arrival, a congratulations card from your Captain, and a formal portrait photograph. These things were not delivered and when my husband asked why, they took two days to get back to us eventually saying that we are Americans and it did not apply to our country. This disappointed us quite a bit, as we were looking forward to the extra touch. Overall, it was a great cruise and we would happily travel on this ship again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2011
ARRIVAL & EMBARKATION: We flew to New York and overnighted in Brooklyn the day before this cruise. The Brooklyn Car Service from La Guardia was a good recommendation by another Cruise Critic member but the Holiday Inn Express on Butler ... Read More
ARRIVAL & EMBARKATION: We flew to New York and overnighted in Brooklyn the day before this cruise. The Brooklyn Car Service from La Guardia was a good recommendation by another Cruise Critic member but the Holiday Inn Express on Butler Avenue was a bit of a disappointment. We took a car service to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at Red Hook around 1:00 p.m. the day of the cruise, cleared security and were on board the Queen Mary 2 in record time - less than 1/2 an hour this trip. CABIN: Our inside cabin was ready but be warned that the bow location was noisy in the tender ports when they started lowering the anchor at 6:00 a.m. and was very rough sailing the day we encountered the tail end of Hurricane Ophelia and gale force 11 winds. Next time we will pick another cabin location - closer to the middle of the ship. Inside cabins are pretty small but there is lots of storage space. DINING & ENTERTAINMENT: This was our 4th cruise on the Queen Mary 2 and it was nice to know our way around the ship. The downside of familiarity is that we had seen most of the shows held in the Royal Court Theatre and even the menus seemed similar to previous cruises. We went to the Chef's Galley one night as that is one of the things we especially enjoy. The food and presentation were good but despite the $10pp charge imposed this year, it seems that the number of courses have been reduced and we weren't in a hurry to book another night. Menu in the Golden Lion Pub hasn't changed and we really enjoy eating lunch there occasionally. SERVICE: While there seem to be fewer waiters in the Britannia Dining Room, we had great service (Salvador) at our table for 6 and ate most of our meals there. We had requested early seating which was confirmed but when we boarded our dining room card indicated late seating so we had to wait in line to see the maitre d' to get that changed. No real problem just annoyed that happens repeatedly. Room steward (Dennis) was pleasant and obliging. Only service complaint was waiting 20 minutes in the Pub one day at lunch time and feeling invisible. Finally walked out and went to the King's Court. PORTS: Weather was a factor and we enjoyed some of the ports less than others because of that. Tour guides on the bus trips we took in Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park) and Halifax (Peggy's Cove) were super. Bus tour in Boston was disappointing - not a good way to see this fabulous city - a 'hop on/hop off' type tour would have been a lot better. Did a lot of walking in Newport and Quebec City - best way to see QC. OTHER: It seems worth noting that the storm we encountered after leaving Quebec City was pretty wicked. Other ships that left port before us returned to wait it out but the Queen Mary 2 is built for the North Atlantic and tackled gale force 11 winds and 8 meter seas with no problem. A small fire on Deck 12 during the storm had us worried for a few minutes but it was quickly under control and we were kept informed by the Captain throughout the alert in regard to what was happening. In my opinion, those passengers who panicked and ran around in life jackets looked ridiculous - LISTEN people and follow directions otherwise you are just contributing to the problem and interfering with the crew. I would also like to say that the ship is showing some wear and tear - especially the elevator corridor near the dining room where there are lots of 'potholes'. We heard that there is a retrofit scheduled for November and hope some of the more obvious problems are addressed. DISEMBARKATION: Very quick - only 20 minutes in the terminal to get our luggage and clear customs. Then caught a town car to midtown for a night in Manhattan before heading home. Read Less
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