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24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Queen Mary 2 Remastered -- Myeh! The Queen Mary 2 was in dry dock in Hamburg from the end of May through the third week of June, resuming her crossings of the Atlantic just a few weeks before our Eastbound crossing on July 6, and our ... Read More
Queen Mary 2 Remastered -- Myeh! The Queen Mary 2 was in dry dock in Hamburg from the end of May through the third week of June, resuming her crossings of the Atlantic just a few weeks before our Eastbound crossing on July 6, and our return sailing from Southampton on August 1. The "remastering", as Cunard calls it, was advertised heavily for many months. So, I was looking forward to the wonders we would find aboard. I'm sure if we were occupants of one of the several brand new suites dropped onto the 13th deck while the ship was in dry dock, enjoyed some of the improvements in the other most expensive suites, or inspected the newly cleaned and painted hull or engine pods, we would have seen many great improvements. From our vantage point, staying in a middle-level balcony stateroom, the ship was beautiful, but the "remastering" was greatly over-hyped. To be fair, the Carinthia Lounge and the King's Court buffet, available to all, are very nicely redecorated. There is also much beautiful, new carpet in many of the public areas. In a giant leap forward into the latter part of the last century, the tiny TVs that sat on the counter next to the vanity have been replaced by 42" flat panel TVs mounted on the wall, opposite the bed and love seat. There are probably other areas that have been redone that we didn't use or didn't notice. The stench of old cigarette butts in the 6th deck "C" elevator area on the non-smoking QM2 was awful. I can only guess they used the container standing there to dump the ash trays from the deck 7 outside smoking area. Since we were "commuting" between New York and Southampton before and after our Celebrity Eclipse Baltic/Scandinavian cruise, it was helpful that the QM2 has several laundry rooms where guests can do their own washing, since the Celebrity Solstice-class ships don’t have any do-it-yourself laundries . It is a miserable experience, though, since theQM2’s laundry room is tiny and sweltering, The launderettes are a great convenience, but once the first loads of clothes of the day are washing, you don't have much choice but to stand there waiting for a machine to become available. The "remastering" didn't address the lack of ventilation or cooling. It is still hot as blazes in the launderettes. There were several excellent speakers on our two transatlantic crossings, and it was a treat to see Herbie Hancock and his group perform. When the Kings Court buffet was being redecorated, the floor plan was completely revamped. There are several small, quiet alcoves and nooks with 2 to 5 tables, giving a feeling of pleasant isolation from the hustle and bustle of the buffet. The chaos in the buffet, however, is worse than before the remastering. The renovation seems to be a designer's plan of form over function. There are four separate food serving areas in a line down the center of deck 7, separated by passages and cross corridors. While the intention seems to have been to separate the pizza and pasta station, the hamburger and hot dog section, the hot and cold beverage stations, and other food areas, the result is that finding a seat, selecting a salad, beverage, entree, or dessert requires long walks back and forth, in and around, from section to section, often getting disoriented, and then searching for your table which cannot be seen if it is more than a few yards from where you are standing. The milling of hungry guests through four food-serving rooms, carrying plates and sloshing beverages, trying to find a food item, and then having no idea where the table they left is, is a major, recurring frustration. A large, open serving area, within sight of the tables and alcoves, would be much more practical in a self-service buffet. Food in the main dining room was very good. Room service, however, was a big disappointment on the QM2 after our cruises on the Celebrity Eclipse and Reflection. The room service menu is very limited. It is mostly burgers, a few sandwiches, and a half dozen very simple hot dishes, like spaghetti Bolognese and quesadillas. Of course, there are two full pages with three columns of small print listing dozens and dozens of glasses and bottles of wine, beer, and soft drinks you can buy through room service. My wife had not been feeling well, and she was tired the last half of our Celebrity cruise and the first half of our homeward crossing on the QM2. When our waiter on the Eclipse noticed my wife missing for dinner one night, he suggested that I order whatever I thought my wife would like from the dining room menu, and he would have it delivered by room service. He happily did that five or six of the 14 nights. In my naivity I asked our waiter to do that one night on the QM2. It was as if no one had ever imagined the concept. It took multiple conversations with the waiter and his supervisor, who eventually got it done, but why was that such a production? Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are celebrating 25 years together this year & decided on an extra special holiday. After 6 nights in New York we returned to the UK in style. We booked 3 of the nights in New York with Cunard, which I have reviewed elsewhere ... Read More
We are celebrating 25 years together this year & decided on an extra special holiday. After 6 nights in New York we returned to the UK in style. We booked 3 of the nights in New York with Cunard, which I have reviewed elsewhere (DoubleTree Hilton on Lexington Ave) and given a very good review for. Cunard arranged the transfer from the hotel to the Docks. Unfortunately this was not so good. There were 2 staff that attended the hotel in the days before the transfer who gave conflicting information about how the 3 coaches were going to be organised. This lead the a crowded reception area with a very long wait by most of the passengers from that hotel. One of the staff quite rightly told us that the 3 coaches had set times and which coach we would be assigned to. The other male staff wrongly told us all to be in reception an hour before the first coach was due and he would just pile everyone on the coach until it was full & then send them off. This was incorrect. If we had all turned up at the times that the first member of staff had told us, then most people wouldn't have left there rooms until later, reception wouldn't have been so crowded and less people would have been annoyed at their long wait (we were on 12:30 coach that didn't get there until 13:15. We were waiting from 11:00). Once on the coach, everything went more smoothly. The transfer from coach to dock to ship went without any issues. The ship has had a major refit recently and it shows. The whole ship is beautifully decorated. The ship is also enormous so, it takes some walking from one end to the other. All of the public areas are very well decorated. The room was amazing. It was everything we hoped for and more. It was beautifully decorated, with plenty of storage/wardrobe space and perfectly designed to maximise comfort. The cabin had an outside balcony that had a couple of seats and a small table to put drinks on. Our cabin steward Annalise was excellent and she would get us anything we asked for. She never appeared to be annoyed at us, despite the fact that several times she came to do the room, we were sat on the balcony and she said she would come back later, when we were out. Despite us being in our room until late morning, she managed to keep the room immaculate. My only criticism is that our cabin was near the front of the ship & the Brittania Restaurant was at the back, so we got a LOT of exercise before & after meals. The ship is really big. Dining, the food aboard the ship is amazing. The Starters, main courses and salads are cooked fresh and to a very high standard. Some of the deserts & cakes were either frozen & defrosted or not to as high a standard as the rest of the food. Certainly, the Afternoon Tea had frozen & defrosted scones. Maybe the pastry chef was having a bad week? That said, I cannot criticise any of the food that I had aboard the ship. We were assigned a table for all of our evening meals in the Brittania Restaurant. There were 2 sittings and we chose the later one. Our waiters Ramil, Kenneth and Luka were excellent. Their timing was perfect and Ramil in particular had an uncanny ability to know exactly how much black pepper to put on, which was particularly handy for me, as when I am talking I forget to pay attention. Although many people ate their breakfast & lunch in the Kings Court buffet style dining area, we found it almost impossible to find an empty table there. Not sure if it was because the design of the Kings Court was not designed with enough tables, or the particular group of passengers we were on with ate in there in unexpected numbers. Because of this we ended up having all our meals in the Brittania, which worked out for the better anyway by preventing too much snacking or adding an extra scoop. We did have a few issues with our wine waiter, and consequently purchased less wine than we otherwise might have done. The prices of drinks are also quite high, at our local restaurant we pay £18 for a particular bottle of wine, on board ship, the same bottle was $75 more than 3 times the price. Entertainment. All the time we on board there were things to do, all day long. Most of the activities we did, took an amount of time, we then had 30-45 minutes before the next activity, so we didn't have to rush from one thing to another, yet we never had a point where we were bored waiting for the next thing to start. The evening shows were amazing. 3 of the nights there were 4 singers and a group of dancers in the Royal Court Theatre. They were excellent, in fact one of the singers, Mandy, sang "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" which was the best version I have heard since Dusty Springfield sang it. The Royal Court Theatre also featured the incredibly talented singing voice of Jordan Bennett and the very funny John Joseph. The G52 bar at the front of the ship had a disco going quite late into the night, which featured a band most nights. During the day there all sorts of activities to meet most sedate tastes, although there is also a gym aboard and a couple of swimming pools. We did make use of the on deck Jacuzzi on one of the foggy days and managed to sunburnt at that time. One activity that I would have liked to have done which I didn't was use the Planetarium. To go to the Planetarium you needed to get tickets. for 2 days we went to the ticket desk, waited in a massive queue only to be told the tickets had run out. On the 3rd day we went extra early, waited for over 30 minutes (15 of those minutes after the 9am opening of the ticket office) and no one turned up. We went to the pursers desk to ask if there was anyone going to open the ticket desk, the purser rang up and said there will be someone there. when we got back, we had to go the back of the queue again and didn't get tickets again. We didn't try to go to the Planetarium after that. The only port that we stopped at was Halifax in Nova Scotia. Prior to visiting it, we have never considered Canada as a holiday destination. Now that we have been to Halifax, we would consider going back and exploring more of Canada. Halifax is a very nice place with a Beautiful Public Gardens. The experience as a whole was fantastic and I am very glad we chose to go on that cruise. My main criticisms are minor (couldn't get a ticket to the Planetarium, not enough tables in the Kings Court Dining Room and the Wine prices were astronomically high, as was the additional 15% surcharge on everything) and I would still recommend the experience to others. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This trip was the 1st time on any Cunard ship and I had expected it to be of a very high standard, so the no. of minuses we & some others experienced left us very surprised. We traveled by car & this time booked with CPS. ... Read More
This trip was the 1st time on any Cunard ship and I had expected it to be of a very high standard, so the no. of minuses we & some others experienced left us very surprised. We traveled by car & this time booked with CPS. Although this is dearer than parking off port. There were no queues as we drove up; handing over off the car keys & instructions for our return was speedy & within 10 minutes we had gone through the embarkation process and were walking on to Queen Mary. As soon as you walk onto her - there is a wonderful ambiance. Depending on time of embarkation you were greeted either by a harpist or pianist. Polished wood, art deco features, wide walkways from one spacious area to another gave it a grand feel. There are many venues for relaxing, drinking and dining - apart from the main restaurant Britannia. We enjoyed relaxing & listening to some jazz in the Carinthia Lounge - prior to eating something lighter - which was always delicious. The Kings Court (self-service) has the usual range of food that I've found with other cruise lines. However the place is very spacious with seating areas - tables for 2 and 4 are plentiful - so there was minimal queuing . The Britannia setting is lovely but see later for the negatives. Luggage was delivered to our cabin within an hour of embarkation - which was good. As people have different tastes I will not go into great detail regarding the entertainment and other activities provided. Briefly- the violinist(Peter Fischer) was excellent, the Q.M. orchestra played a range of styles very well. The Rhythm of the Night show by the company was lively - though somewhat loud and a little repetitive and only 1 female singer could actually be heard clearly.There were spectacular lighting effects.Unfortunately we found the following things not up to scratch:- 1.Mugs and tea bags not always replenished daily - and husband had to look for our cabin steward to ask him to provide them. He was very pleasant at all times but perhaps forgetful? The film list was placed in our room on the last night. 2.Lukewarm food - especially veg. Quantities of vegetables were minimal, so on the 2nd night I asked for extra(having seen another table do this ). Some choice was provided, however some of these were stone cold. When the waiter asked if everything with the meal had been good I explained about the vegetables in particular - though the main meat/fish was never more than warm . There was no apology or rectification with meals the following evenings. Note that this is in the main Britannia restaurant - not the self service. 3. We discovered on our 3rd night that we had not been put on the correct table for our 1st two evenings; in-spite of handing the waiter the card stating the table no. 4.Others found that some staff/technicians didn't arrive for their activity and had to be sent for and for me(at one line-dancing session) we had to wait over 10 minutes for the sound man and then had to send for him again, as the system wasn't working after he'd set it up. 5. Information & bus shuttle in Hamburg.Fortunately I had looked up Hamburg and listed a no. of sites/places for us to visit as no information or map was provided by Queen Mary.(On P&O ships there is a folder waiting for you in your cabin with maps and information on places to visit) We were told there was no need to take our passports, only our cruise identification card - although some photographic identification was recommended. Again I either carry it with me or have a photo-copy of the relevant page. We did need our passports to go through passport control & exit the building and others had to return to the ship to collect theirs. The shuttle bus took about 30 minutes to take us into Hamburg. However finding the pick up venue proved difficult for a no. of us. Some took a taxi back to the berth, 2 young girls managed to find it by chance by walking round the same area a no, of times and spotting the bus, another had to buy a map and then ask locals to guide them to the pick up. I had picked up a map at the cruise terminal(although it was in Spanish) and we used the metro and walked. 6. An extra 15% is added to drinks!! Sadly the above points spoilt the overall experience of Queen Mary 2. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Embarkation was quick and easy. Our room was ready and was overall impressed with the efficiency. Although this ship has recently undergone a remastering and will always be the Icon of the Seas - we still found it tired looking. I am ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and easy. Our room was ready and was overall impressed with the efficiency. Although this ship has recently undergone a remastering and will always be the Icon of the Seas - we still found it tired looking. I am not sure what the remastering included - but we had a 2 year old Daily Itinerary stuck between the artwork on the wall above our bed to stop it rattling. Evidently - they don't dust picture frames. The food in the Kings Court is akin to Luby's Cafeteria. Some days its ok - other days it looks remarkably like last night/this mornings left overs. Not at all impressed. The addition of the Godiva Lounge was our saving grace - the stodgy treacle pudding and vanilla sauce (custard that wasn't thick enough.........) was way too much for us on a hot sunny day on the ocean. So we took ourselves to Godiva for something cooler and more refreshing. The Lion pub is the Lion pub. Doesn't quite make it as a pub - but it is a nice place to meet people and while away on evening and the hostess "in charge" of introducing the entertainment did a wonderful job of keeping everyone engaged in a fun way - without demanding that everyone get involved. All in all, sad to say - we use the QMll as a means to get to England without jet lag and nothing more. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before ... Read More
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before the automatic door As many of the passengers were in the 60/80 age range I was the surprised that the unheated pool did not have graduated steps I could not get out of the pool, three swimming costumes were unworn . The entertainment was poor not enough to do in the daytime on sea days as most activities were in the morning. The set in the theatre broke down during a show also did the video for the piano players very poor maintenance. the whole ship was without water for six hours everyone went to dinner without be able to wash,it was very uncomfortable as well as being unhygenic Chairs on deck sticky and unwashed the food was excellent the service was very good cabin staff. Embarkation was swift Overall there were too many faults to overcome as I kept being caught in the heavy doors . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
The Cunard liners are the only liners we travel on. They are of consistently of a very high standard. The accommodation in Queens grill suites is excellent with a fully stocked free in room bar. The grill dining room and lounge are very ... Read More
The Cunard liners are the only liners we travel on. They are of consistently of a very high standard. The accommodation in Queens grill suites is excellent with a fully stocked free in room bar. The grill dining room and lounge are very comfortable with excellent food and service. Entertainment is usually very good with great shows in a magnificent theatre. Overall I can find nothing bad to say about any of the Cunard liners. Luxury,all three. The embarkation is smooth and cases delivered to your suite quickly. Embarkation is much slower and patience is required . Excursions at each port are extensive and passengers can usually find more than one option to suit at each port of call There are usually shuttle buses ,to take you to the hereby city/town,if you decide not to take a planned tour. Voyages from Southampton have many wheelchair / Zimmer frame passengers and on the whole come from the UK. If a more international spread it is advisable to do a world cruise ,or part of it , which will involve flying at some point of the holiday In conclusion, I have no hesitation in recommending the Queens . Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was a big disappointment. I am a travel agent and have been on several cruise lines and this was my worst experience. I chose this cruise line because I liked the short itinerary and the high level of service they advertise. ... Read More
This cruise was a big disappointment. I am a travel agent and have been on several cruise lines and this was my worst experience. I chose this cruise line because I liked the short itinerary and the high level of service they advertise. The service was poor from the time we entered the cruise terminal to check in until we disembarked. We were a group of 8 and 1 gentleman required wheelchair assistance which I specified when I made the booking 3 months ago. He sat and waited for 3 hours for a wheelchair. When he was taken to the special check in line, he had to wait another 25 min. as there were people in the line who did not need special assistance. The whole time he was there, there was no water for him or anyone else to drink. The other 6 of us checked in in less time, but we were in a long line as many of the stations were not open. My friends were at a station where the camera was broken and the machine to scan their credit cards was not working. We had numerous problems over the next 5 days. On one evening, one of our cabins was not made up by 5:30 when my friends went to it to dress for the formal evening. We had condensation dripping on us and the table from the ceiling tiles while we were having lunch. Seems like a health problem to me if it dripped onto our food. 2 of the special elevators for handicapped people were broken during most of the cruise. I know of at least 2 chairs which were broken in the planetarium. One night our fish for dinner was so salty we couldn't eat it.The day we had to have our passports checked was a circus. The line went down the hall, made a big circle and then went back down the hall again with people cutting in front of those who had been on line for at least 30 min. When we went to the pursers desk to arrange disembarkation so we would not have to wait 3 hours for a wheelchair we were sent from place to place with each place giving us different info. I wrote a letter of complaint to the hotel manager 2 days before we disembarked and asked for a reply. You guessed it, I didn't event get the professional courtesy of a response. So many of the guests to whom I spoke were displeased and dissatisfied. I blame all of this on poor staff training, mismanagement and poor supervision. This is just a snapshot of what happened. I could go on and on. This ship just came out of dry dock where millions of dollars were spent to beautify and up date it, but it doesn't matter if the service is poor. They have to invest more in staffing, management and using modern technology to speed the check in process. I will not be cruising on or recommending this ship to anyone that I know. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was better know as the 4th of July celebration with stops at Halifax Nova Scotia and Boston mass. The ship was exceptional in every aspect. Clean as could be and crew knowledgegdable about the ship. Dining was exceptional as ... Read More
This cruise was better know as the 4th of July celebration with stops at Halifax Nova Scotia and Boston mass. The ship was exceptional in every aspect. Clean as could be and crew knowledgegdable about the ship. Dining was exceptional as well as the shows and n liner.ambience of this modern liner. Pools were great and never crowded. The casino was a little small but the pubs were super. All I can say that I have been on 20 plus cruises and the qm2 was the most dynamic ship I have been on. Crowd was old average age 70 but people from England Germany and us all wear fun to be with. Also enjoyed teatime which all should attend at 330 pm. Tours were also well done and priced fairly. Excellent cabin and steward as well as the entire staff. Ports visited were fine and we loved walking in Halifax on the pier. Boston 3 hour tour was very informative. Overall 5 stars. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS cruising every January, was Cunard for me? Having heard about the advantages of transatlantic sailing travel compared to cruising for so many years, thought I’d give an ocean-liner a try. So, the brief 4th of ... Read More
AFTER ALL THESE YEARS cruising every January, was Cunard for me? Having heard about the advantages of transatlantic sailing travel compared to cruising for so many years, thought I’d give an ocean-liner a try. So, the brief 4th of July sailing offered on the Queen Mary 2 appeared to be a great opportunity to experience one of the legendary Cunard ships. She was built to sport the often-stormy high seas of the North Atlantic and this excursion was meant to show off her brand-new $132 million refurbishment. From the first moment we embarked the “QM2,” to find White Star bellmen kitted out in snug red uniforms welcoming us into the Grand Lobby, classical music lilting through the air from a string quartet, and sparkling wine on ice at the ready in the cabin, we had the distinct feeling of participating in a time-honored sailing tradition. Just the lush new raspberry carpet was enough to dispel the discomfort of long embarkation lines due to Coast Guard inspection when a ship begins its Canadian itinerary. As if Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn could waltz in at any time—or the Kennedys or the Windsors—I felt the sophisticated spirit of grande sailing nostalgia carrying us along, beside all those celebrated characters who had sailed aboard the 1st Queen Mary, now moored in Long Beach since 1967. To enhance this phenomenon, Cunard displays dozens of beloved celebrities in life-size sepia “Welcome” murals throughout the ship. Compared to the latest giant cruise ships which are, frankly, shaped like boxy shopping carts, the Queen Mary 2 appeared particularly sea-worthy in the Brooklyn port, with her graceful nautical lines and distinctive single red funnel. The ship’s extensive renovation began May 27, 2016, with QM2 sailing into her dry-dock berth at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, and sailing away refurbished by SMC Design less than 4 weeks later. ADDING CABIN SPACE for 75 extra passengers can bring the total count now up over 2690—with some crowding consequences, to be sure; particularly before the first evening’s dinner, and in the Queens Room, where an edifice of Queen Mary herself sternly reigns over proper High Tea service. Yet, this gracious also holds the late-night dances accompanied by a full orchestra. Additionally, the refitting project included expanded kennel facilities for traveling dogs and cats. Yet when I visited their spiffed-up facilities on one of the ship’s upper decks, complete with a playful British red fire hydrant, it turned out that all the dogs onboard were actually on much longer sailings than me. WANDERING around the decks, I was able to explore the ship’s generous library, an impressive glassed-in cigar lounge worthy of its namesake, Churchill; and forward from my own cabin, a small, sleekly crafted Observation Deck. All of these features made Queen Mary 2 stand out from previous sailing experiences over the years on cruise ships. As we slid away from the port in Brooklyn on our way to Halifax, the ship lingered in New York Harbor, so we could toast Lady Liberty in the foggy twilight from the upper decks. Even though it was a cloudy and chilly sunset, everyone was celebrating with Champagne and the festive atmosphere there on the Queen Mary 2 Observation Deck was one I shall not soon forget. AFTERWARD, gathering for cocktails at the Commodore Lounge, which is located deeply angled into the bow of the ship and my favorite location, our group of 10 friends, especially the frequent Cunard sailors, were all pleased with their “remastered” accommodations. They described cabins now decorated in champagne colors with deep blue velvet piping and Art Deco touches, flat-screen televisions mounted into the wall. In particular, everybody was delighted with the coffee-making equipment added to each stateroom. Other than a few little glitches, like sharp, hard-to-touch Jonathan Adler drawer handles, everyone was happy. One of our group was returning to his favorite window cabin looking out to an Art Deco mural high overhead in the hallway. And, after some concern by another that her newly added single cabin might be a wall-to-wall single-bed affair, there was in fact room enough in there for soft seating, a writing desk, and large picture windows. Fifteen single cabins were added in response to the solo travel market expanding by 15% in the last two years. THAT FIRST EVENING, we dined at sea together beneath towering maritime artwork depicting the original Queen Mary practically sailing into the room. Cunard’s English cuisine was elegantly served in the two-story Britannia Restaurant, with pleasant wines available. And from the dinner table, we experienced what for us was the chief distinction in the ocean liner experience, compared to cruising: remarkably stable sailing. The rough seas we entered provided dramatic-sounding waves against the large dining hall windows, but the ride of the ship was so smooth, we could barely tell it were moving, and our Champagne glasses never spilled. The next day at sea, between walks around the Promenade deck and hearing the traditional mid-day bell ring, we enjoyed a “lecture” with James Carville & Mary Matalin quipping back and forth at each other about the current political environment; and then, the first of two scheduled planetarium shows presented in the Illuminations Theatre; which were incidentally produced by the American Museum of Natural History, right here in New York City. One featured Tom Hanks describing the limitless variety of celestial bodies in the universe, and the other narrated by Harrison Ford explored the possibility of life on other planets. Also highly entertaining was a dramatic production performed by students from London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA), which featured a pastiche of Shakespeare scenes and an evening show starring London cabaret singers. Beside the main dining room, there were quite a few other meal-time opportunities. One of the decks has been entirely opened out and re-fitted as a sort of open-house medley of casual dining offerings, with the ever-popular radically refurbished King’s Court buffet as its centerpiece. In one corner, a chic French restaurant, the Verandah, has been added. One of the couples at our dining table left us one evening to try this new café and came back smiling, as it specializes in regional styles, and they enjoyed the fresh seasonal garden ingredients in their dishes. Throughout the dining deck, spacious food stations surrounded by Cunard’s re-figured expanded seating now provide a variety of dishes, some featuring Smoke House, Pan-Asian, and Tex-Mex elements. The refurbished buffet area also serves a full assortment of breakfast and luncheon food throughout the day. At one end, the former Winter Garden bar has been refurbished and creatively re-named “The Carinthia Lounge,” with a contemporary floor-to-ceiling glass wall case housing Cunard’s international vintage port collection. Not only does it offer salad bowls—my favorite—and pastries for breakfast, lunch, and traditional afternoon tea; in the evening, it kicks up into a rather upbeat gathering spot, serving cocktails, stylish small plates, and light entertainment. We had a harpist for supper one night and truly splendid jazz percolating through our favorite meal together, a serendipitous luncheon where we ended up sitting together. EXCURSIONS were available in Halifax to explore this historic region, which is the home of Sir Samuel Cunard, who founded the Cunard line. I’d visited before, however, and was quite happy to leisurely wander the beautifully developed Harbour Walk and enjoy a particularly crisp Canadian Summer day with new growth green bright in the foliage after heavy rain the day before. In Boston, we sampled a ride on the “Duck Boat,” an amphibious vehicle which picks up passengers as a bus; then drives down a ramp and splashes into the Charles River, and functions as a ferry. Toward the end of our journey, small children were invited to come up front and “drive” the Duck Boat and be photographed at the steering wheel by the friendly driver—and frankly, I did as well. Another highlight of our holiday was the late-night opportunity to view the much-beloved Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks display, which we were able to see perched upon the highest Lookout Deck, while at anchor in the bay until the performance was over. During one of the days at sea, it was a pleasurable adventure to try out a massage at the Canyon Ranch Spa. This area of the ship has been beautifully designed with a gracious Relaxation Lounge outfitted in chaise longues looking out to sea across the Promenade Deck through smoked glass. The treatments rooms & the massage itself were wonderful. And afterward, you can relax in the Canyon Spa whirlpool room, which is perhaps one of the loveliest & most expansive at sea. ALL THIS OCEAN-LINER ELEGANCE comes at a cost, of course and, while Cunard cabins are generally higher priced than most cruise lines, their premium Princess & Queens Grill service is priced, rather like 1st-class air travel, at more than twice the fare of basic balcony staterooms. Unfortunately, inherent in the non-premium level of service, which makes up 85% of the passengers, is an inescapable culture of standing in slow-moving lines, much longer than their cruise-ship equivalents. It was, nevertheless, a pleasure to enjoy the little luxuries unique to the Cunard sailing experience: such as proper fish-course cutlery and sparkling new stemware, scones and clotted cream at high tea, Penhaligon’s cosmetics in the bath and excellent jam in little jars. All of it made me long, truly long, for the leisurely week-long experience of a transatlantic sailing. For years, I’ve harbored a fantasy of being tucked into a deck lounger with blankets at sea, and being served the strong beer-spiked beef tea consommé I remember from the nostalgic ocean-liner stories of my Canadian grandmother. While most days did not warrant blankets, afternoon tea was indeed served out on deck to those of us reading in deck chairs & all those walking laps around the Promenade deck behind us, three laps of which constitutes a mile. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Wanting a restful get away we took a last minute decision to take this trip - no bothersome shore excursions! Took 9017 on the refurbished ship - excellent - spacious , well fitted and apart from the couch - very comfortable. Good ... Read More
Wanting a restful get away we took a last minute decision to take this trip - no bothersome shore excursions! Took 9017 on the refurbished ship - excellent - spacious , well fitted and apart from the couch - very comfortable. Good outside space. Priority boarding and disembarkation - stress free - others had issues when the system went down Thereafter Food - patchy. The Queens Grill more hits than misses, why you have to pre order some dishes for dinner was a mystery. Meat stronger than fish. Chose a table of 8 - were surprised that this was fixed seating for the trip so we were lucky to have an eclectic mix - otherwise it could have been trying. Why they could not mix the groups was not very clear. The few complaints at the table were dealt with more or less efficently. Veranda - tried it once - overly fussy to the point of being pretentious Kings Court. Looks like a hospital canteen , only ate there for the specialty "Smokehouse" experience - awful Pub - aceptable Plenty of other nooks and crannies - never felt crowded. Staff - typical cruise staff - some tried harder than others but to find your cabin not properly cleaned on arrival is not nice. As you can read the staff ratios are not as good as you would expect to find on a "luxury" cruise line. Diversions - nothing better than average - the shows very dated and no real draws for speakers. Expect to pay extra for art and IT classes, wine tasting etc. They try and talk up the experience and while many joined in the spirit of dressing up for formal nights etc it is all very faux - as is the decor. Many we spoke to who had used the ship previously spoke about it not being as "good as it had been" but with the right level of expectation it is a good way of having a complete relaxation. This is no luxury liner but a trade brand of a popular line. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We were on the post-remastering cruise for the QM2, boarding in Hamburg immediately after the dry dock. We love the QM2 and love the experience of transatlantic crossings. This was our 20th cruise and our 6th time on Cunard. ... Read More
We were on the post-remastering cruise for the QM2, boarding in Hamburg immediately after the dry dock. We love the QM2 and love the experience of transatlantic crossings. This was our 20th cruise and our 6th time on Cunard. Re-Mastered Ocean Liner: The re-mastering was largely a success. The cabins have a more modern and subdued color scheme. New carpets throughout the ship, most with classy designs. The old problem of spongy holes in the carpets seems to have been fixed. The new furniture and design in the Carpathia Lounge and Kings Court are all beautiful and inviting. We did not like the changes in the atrium lobby so much as it now looks like a tired hotel lobby from the 70s. Food: We were in Princess Grill for the first time and enjoyed the food very much. It was old-fashioned cruise line cuisine done very well. We had lunch and dinner one time each in the new Verandah restaurant, enjoyed both meals, and recommend the experience for a little splurge. Verandah's cuisine is quite modern and inventive, much like fine dining in a major world city. But while the King's Court design had been re-mastered, the food had not been and was pretty much the same as before and as in the buffet on all Cunard ships. In fact I think Cunard has standardized it across the line. Kings Court food was so mediocre that we tried it only once and never went back. Service: Adequate. All bar and drinks staff did a great job. Abelardo, the sommelier in Princess Grill was outstanding. Unfortunately we had the worst cabin steward of all of our cruise experiences. Day after day, things would be not quite right and communications were poor. Service in Princess Grill (other than Abelardo) was just OK, not close to a luxury level. Note that the pillow menu is no longer available in Princess Grill cabins, even though Cunard's PR info claims that it is a benefit at the Princess level. And note that it is no longer possible to order off-menu in Princess Grill. Queens Grill yes, but not possible in Princess. Entertainment: Loved, loved, loved the jazz performances in the Chart Room, our favorite room on board. Enjoyed the guest performances by the Overtones and the Beatles tribute band. But the big shows ("Rhythm of the Night") were the same-old same-old fare on all cruise ships, not our cup of tea, and we did not stay. Internet: Extremely slow, much slower than other cruise lines. We roamed the ship trying to find a WIFI hot spot that was truly "hot." The best we found was only mediocre, and it was impossible to deal with files that were at all large. The service was completely turned off at midnight on the last night, so those of us with remaining minutes lost them, and I was unable to conduct vital business to make arrangements for our arrival in New York. Customers were pissed off. Embarkation in Hamburg: Again I reiterate that we love the QM2, love crossings, and we have booked another. But I feel obligated to warn people about the terrible job Cunard does at embarkations. We had a substantial delay in Hamburg, and since we have also experiences big delays in New York, Los Angeles, and Cape Town (the worst, 3 hours!), it now feels like a clean sweep. Once again, systems were not ready, hundreds of people arrived with no place to sit, no refreshments, no organization. The lines were huge and chaotic and Cunard sent only one staff person out to manage the hundreds of passengers. No announcements, no explanations of what was wrong. We have never ever experienced anything like this on the other 7 or 8 lines we have cruised and where you pretty much step out of your taxi and walk on board the ship. This chaos and delay seems to be a trademark of the Cunard experience. Staying on Board in Southampton: As we were in transit and the weather in Southampton was grey and rainy (big surprise!), we decided to stay on board. The process was a total disaster and breakdown. First we received no written information on what we should do, apparently an oversight of our cabin steward or housekeeping. The concierge assured us that all we needed to do was get our passports stamped by UK immigration officials on board and recommended that we wait until most passengers had disembarked. So at 10:30 we went to the immigration guy who stamped our passports. Then a second immigration official insisted that we exit the ship and pushed us toward the Cunard staff who were scanning key cards for those leaving. The second official told us that we could immediately re-board. Over our protests, we followed along like good soldiers and were forced to make a complete exit down to the Southampton dock where Cunard was throwing a champagne party for travel agents to promote the re-mastered ship. We went completely through the layers of security to re-board the ship, only to be confronted again by the same immigration official who told us that we could not re-board. I reminded her that she had told us 15 minutes earlier that we could re-board, but she seemed to have amnesia. The Cunard staff did not know what to do, and it was chaotic as there were now several disabled passengers who wanted to stay on board, but who were being forced to exit. Cunard staff did manage to herd us into a holding pen in champagne lounge (alas, no bubbly available, not even any water), and our unhappy group were told that Cunard had no idea how long we would be jailed there. A number of us made a very vocal protest, and eventually Cunard staff went around the lounge and wrote down our names and cabin numbers, and once that was complete, allowed us to re-enter the rest of the ship. So while embarkation and the Southampton debacle were unacceptable, we will be returning to Cunard and the QM2, mostly because we love the ship. We wish that we could love certain parts of the experience. Cunard seems to devote resources to marketing and PR (champagne parties for travel agents, glossy brochures full of handsome models), but often has only mediocre follow through with its actual delivery. But in spite of this, we will be back. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Chose this cruise because they cancelled the earlier Victoria sailing and we wanted to cruise back to the states just having completed a Costa cruise. We were celebrating our 60th Anniversary/and 80th birthdays. Because there was a lapse ... Read More
Chose this cruise because they cancelled the earlier Victoria sailing and we wanted to cruise back to the states just having completed a Costa cruise. We were celebrating our 60th Anniversary/and 80th birthdays. Because there was a lapse in time between Costa and joining QM2 we drove to Italy and "killed time" there before joining the Hamburg departure. QM2 had just completed being remastered [refitted/upgraded/new engines/etc.] in Hamburg. It was to spend the two days to Southampton as a trial run. All was perfect on the trial run. Embarkation was the pits. Surprising since Cunard typically has its act together. For people like us, traveling overseas for over three months with a lot of luggage and being allowed 2 ea. 70 lb. suitcase flying business class the apparently new (?) weight restriction by Cunard on suitcases was a problem. Regardless of which category, you are restricted to 44lbs. maximum weight per individual bag! The "threat" in the notice that if you exceed that weight, you will have to meet the weight limit (getting on/off) before they will touch your bag! The aforementioned is not consistent with what they have posted on the Internet. Bottom line here is to insure you meet whatever the requirement is. (Rather than be stressed or have to deal with the bureaucracy, we bought two suitcases [on sale] and activated the two duffle bags we had in reserve in the four suitcases we started with...and yes, we had two had carry too.) The cabin was freshly painted with new carpeting. Cabin steward was exceptional. Cabin was Ok considering we weren't traveling an upper class. Had a nice balcony. The bathroom was miniscule. Dining room was fine. Their alternative dining was excellent! Every three days they "changed" the menu in the non "fine-dining" alternative dining room to cater to a different cuisine at a reasonable extra charge. The "fine dining" alternative was a bit pricey but worth it. We typically ate breakfast and lunch in their Lido (buffet) which was recently renovated. They did a good job. You have to check out all the different serving stations. It is a plus. Service was excellent. Seating was better than usual but still not always able to fined. The ship had 4 formals. On non-formal nights men in jackets/tie optional. The formal nights were disappointing!!! Travelers ado not adhere to the dress code and the ship doesn't enforce the dress code. This trend is apparent on other cruise lines (like Costa and Princess). Entertainment was overall excellent. Seating is mostly raised so views are OK. Shopping on board was less than thrilling. Lots of special sales to reduce inventory. Disembarking: was at the Brooklyn terminal. You are given colored luggage tags based on what you advised your schedule. I had arranged a limo from the Internet to take us to JFK to get a car; canceled it and used transportation through the Shore Excursion. (Thought it would be "safer" but either way is fine). For planning you were told allow two hours from leaving the ship to get to whatever transportation. The good news is that your luggage is in the terminal in groups corresponding to the color; the bad news is that the ship's porters are apparently color blind since our luggage wasn't in the correct "color pile" it was supposed to be. It turns out that the luggage is first brought ashore by color; having completed then it is brought ashore by numbered decks. Our missing piece, properly tagged, was with the wrong group ((deck 6). Having gotten our luggage and slowly got through customs/immigration finding the limo was a bit of a challenge since there was no one holding a placard w/our name...but found where the ships arranged JFK limos were and off we went. Note that there are porters in the terminal. The ship also offers white glove service which is shipping your luggage to wherever at a cost but you don't have to lug it anyplace. FYI the nearest car rental is Avis in Brooklyn at a place it is said difficult to find, which is why we opted for JFK since also we'd be returning the car to an airport (Newark). Bottom line: Cunard is (I believe) the only cruise line offering transatlantic crossings all year long as opposed to the other lines only when repositioning. For that reason it is worth the cost (although the cost is more pricey than others). Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had driven around the Fjords of Norway in 1972 in a Saab I purchased in Amsterdam and shipped home from Goteborg, Sweden. We have seen the Fjords in New Zealand by air and bus and in Alaska by seas so we decided to go back to Norway to ... Read More
We had driven around the Fjords of Norway in 1972 in a Saab I purchased in Amsterdam and shipped home from Goteborg, Sweden. We have seen the Fjords in New Zealand by air and bus and in Alaska by seas so we decided to go back to Norway to see the fjords by sea. My wife's brother is a big promoter of Cunard and has cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary. He wanted to go on Queen Elizabeth and organized the tour with AAA. We traveled via London with he and his wife. The QE was beautiful maybe a little more formal than I had experienced on previous cruises. Overall I would say we had an very good to excellent experience. I did have three complaints: 1) I abhor the internet charges and for all the money you pay I cannot understand why we don't have free internet. The service we purchased was slow and at times non operational. I had to pay for an extra 50 minutes when my package was used at the exorbitant rate of 75 cents a minute. I know I was charged for 530 minutes which was 50 % waiting time for connections; 2) With your food service you get coffee, tea and all types of fruit juices, Why do they make you pay for diet sodas. I find this policy on all cruise liners really silly and unnecessary; 3) The food in the major restaurants was short on vegetables. The exception was the Lido at breakfast and lunch. The salads in the Britannia restaurant were generally lousy mostly lettuce, cucumbers and onions and lacked tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. When you received vegetables with a meal they were overcooked and the quantity was bite sized. Way to many potatoes, gravies, sauces and fried foods. I loved the lamb dishes, turkey, salmon, duck and beef when served without sauce and gravy(special request). I love every type of fresh fruit except lemons which like many US restaurants they put in every glass of water and soda. I always wonder why the lemon industry has so much influence on getting a lemon in every drink. On all the cruise liners I find most of the spa services overprices and the educational information they deliver heavy on junk science. As a scientist for 40 years I prefer medical information to be science based. I didn't really use the spa on QE except for the fitness center so should not be too critical. I did read all the sale literature they distributed. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First Cunard cruise (done P&O and Fred Olsen before) but we joined up with friends who favour Cunard and who were going to the Baltic. where we wanted to go again for the second time (P&O previously). This cruise advised us we ... Read More
First Cunard cruise (done P&O and Fred Olsen before) but we joined up with friends who favour Cunard and who were going to the Baltic. where we wanted to go again for the second time (P&O previously). This cruise advised us we would get an open questionnaire to complete after we returned home but Cunard have not invited us to thoigh we did complete the standard questionnaire onboard (numerous standard questions) plus no real open comment due to limited free space and expected invitation on returning home. So, where is the free questionnaire for us to complete? Why automaticaally add 15% service charge for drinks orders (plus utility invitation!) when you expect passengers to make an excessively set service charge (c12 US dollars each per day) which we removed to provide individual tips to our regular servers. The drinks charges are greaty excessive even compring with other cruse line ships. Also, as a mathematician, adding 15% making an inclusive 0.5 US cent should be rounded down not up which is illegitimate! We were overcharged onboard by Cunard in advance for the local touring buses in Copenhagen when the ship had stated same charge as paying on the bus itself - I did insist on a refund from the excursions desk! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Booked on a whim on basis of offer from Imagine Cruising, who performed excellently and with whom we would book again. First the positives 1. The check in and boarding proceedure was quick and efficient. 2.Our Britannia ... Read More
Booked on a whim on basis of offer from Imagine Cruising, who performed excellently and with whom we would book again. First the positives 1. The check in and boarding proceedure was quick and efficient. 2.Our Britannia restaurant waiters and wine waiter were professional and pleasant. 3. We arrived safely in Southampton and on time. 4.The dissembarcation was as painless as the embarkation. Now unfortunately for the negatives 1.The layout of the ship is appalling with the two and three story public spaces- theatres, dining etc. clustered in the midship section of the vessel with the consequence that access was restricted by sloping corridors, half deck changes, steps etc- a nightmare for the mobility impaired , which seemed to apply to the majority of the octogenarian guests. Apart from this , whilst clean and generally well maintained the ship shows it's age. 2. Entertainment, the least said the better, well below village hall level. 3. Enlightenment lectures, attended two , both a waste of time, the lecturers had only a perfunctory grasp of their subjects- possibly reading from someone else's notes. 4.Spa, so overpriced that even my wife baulked, I wanted a simple sauna but would have had to purchase a whole day pass. 5.Food- Brittania restaurant, the menu read a lot better than the actual food, which was of four star hotel level and clearly pre cooked in bulk. Queens court cafeteria, poor pre cooked food( even the omelettes) compounded by an inefficient layout and marginal service- allowances have to be made for the Novovirus outbreak, but as the only real alternative to the Brittania simply not good enough. Special restaurants, we only tried the "Coriander" for Indian food which was so poor( we live in a country with a size able East Indian population) that we did not risk another option. General -there was no option anywhere on the ship to get freshly cooked food, even a simple hamburger by the pools, or a breakfast dish. 6.Beverages- small and overpriced spirits( a double was necessary), generally uninteresting and overpriced wine menu. Outside of the restaurants coffee had to be paid for. Most guests seemed to drink beer which is fine if you like it. 7. Ports, Dubai - great, glad we flew out a week in advance. Muscat OK but limited. Aqaba, Salelah, ship not allowed to dock due to Norovirus. Limasol, scruffy and a little pointless. Haifa, a disaster as the ship docked for two days, the last day of Passover , the following day being the Jewish sabbath and a public holiday which gave the Arabs a field day as they were the only ones working and charged accordingly. The Baha'i gardens however were worth a two hour visit. Kusadesi a real improvement and access to Ephesus which is staggering. Naples, dirty, congested, expensive and deteriorating fast, no charm whatsoever, however if interested in Pompei or Hurculanium OK. Cadiz a pleasant and much cleaner city than we remembered from our last visit there but other than tours to Jerez or Seville very limited in options. We concluded that overall the ships itinerary was predicated on the ability to sell what seemed to be overpriced bus tours, from our perspective we were glad to get ashore if only to go to a restaurant for a freshly cooked lunch. 8. Health, after the Novovirus subsided most passengers , including my wife, a hospital doctor and immune to just about every thing, and myself came down with a cold and persistent cough which the regular Cunarders referred to as the "Cunard Cough" so clearly a recurrent issue. 9. Ambience, the frequency of formal nights(dinner jacket/ evening dress) nine of the nineteen, and the requirement for jacket (tie optional) on others together with the predominantly geriatric English clientele was a pretense at an atmosphere that seemed false and outdated. Conclusion. We would not travel on Cunard again unless the start and end points were paramount to us, for example Transatlantic. However this should not dissuade those who aspire to this scenario, of whom there were many on board judging from the large number of generally satisfied repeat Cunard customers. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth in 2013, I thought that I would 'complete the set' by joining the QM2 on the final leg of her 2016 World Cruise from Dubai to Southampton. How things ... Read More
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth in 2013, I thought that I would 'complete the set' by joining the QM2 on the final leg of her 2016 World Cruise from Dubai to Southampton. How things have deteriorated in 3 years! My 2013 experience of Cunard was excellent service from friendly staff in all areas and excellent food - even during a Force 10 gale. Not so on the QM2. I had to find my own way to my cabin - it was a cabin, not a stateroom - on deck 11. My case arrived 5 hours later. Bathrobes are no longer standard - you have to request one. Pillows are no longer feather filled - lumpy man made fibre. Britannia Restaurant night one - menu thrown at me whilst slopping water into a glass and then demanding 'Had I chosen?' The food served was awful - I had only a starter and main - the starter was a couple of prawns in Marie-Rose sauce followed by a fillet of Baramundi that had given it's life in vain. It was so overcooked that I could have re-soled my shoe with it. I asked if I could have a drink with my meal and was told that the Sommelier was the only one that could take drink orders - he arrived half way through the main course. Night 2 in the Restaurant was no better, in fact, worse as the Sommelier did not even turn up. By now, the ship was in the grip of Norovirus and the Captain took great delight in making announcements including words such as vomiting and diarreah during lunch or dinner and I took the remainder of my meals in the Self Service Canteen on deck 7, where the food was unappealing and the staff were surly to rude. I stuck to pasta, cooked to order, toast and bananas. Cunard failed to control the Norovirus - if one person in a double occupied cabin was showing symptoms, they were confined but the other person was allowed to roam the ship at will, infecting anyone and everyone! We were denied access to the port of Dohar and we were also denied access to Jordanian Territorial Waters, meaning that Aqaba and Petra were off the list. This was my 15th cruise in 4 years and I chose to leave the ship in Cyprus, 10 days into the cruise, because I was so disappointed by every single aspect of the cruise. Something that I have never, ever considered before. The Carnival Cuts are apparent in every area of the ship - although I should qualify that because so many areas of the ship were restricted to 'normal' passengers and reserved only for World Class, Britannia Club, Queens Grill etc. passengers - perhaps the cuts are less evident there. Never again. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that ... Read More
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that many of them have had decades to perfect their rudeness. On this, my third Cunard cruise, I was amazed at the sheer number of bad mannered people with sharp elbows determined to be first in any line up. It was I admit the first time I had seen a woman use her husband in a wheelchair as a battering ram to get a window seat in the buffet. However it was not the first time and not unexpected when passengers “booked” chairs on deck with hats, books, towels etc. despite signs asking them not to. I would have loved to see the threat of possessions being removed to the purser’s office carried out. I am sure that the staff must take courses in how to deal with the rudeness of guests who for some reason think shouting at a waiter is the way to go. When one gentleman not looking where he was going fell over a waiter, he compounded the act by swearing at him for being in the way. And it is no use telling people not to video the shows in the theatre if one man repeatedly does so in the front row of the balcony. So enough about my fellow passengers, most of whom I must admit did not treat the staff as second class citizens. What about the Cruise itself? The food was excellent. Probably the most imaginative menu I have seen so far. One recent review complained about precooking food. Exactly how did that reviewer expect 2000+ guests to be fed? Individual portions cooked to order? It was all well cooked and often beautifully displayed. However, where it all went wrong was in the management of staff. Waiting 20 or 30 minutes for that first cup of coffee at breakfast never puts me in a good mood for the day. Nor does a wait of 40 minutes for my starter while watching other tables having their main courses cleared and desserts served at dinner in the Britannia Restaurant. Complaints resulted in little or no improvement, and on one occasion I actually left after the 40 minutes and went to the buffet. Profuse apologies from the Maitre d’ in my section resulted in improvement for three days during which time we hardly had time to finish a plate before it was cleared. However on the last night at sea, was it really a good idea to have me as the only person on our table who did not get his desert? For the first time ever, I did not tip the staff. The problem obviously was with management. On one evening we were treated to an officer I took to be the reserve captain sprawling at a table and entertaining two obvious VIPs. A pity he could not be bothered to introduce himself to the people next to him. Nor did he take the slightest notice when a wine waiter and food waiter managed to push past either side of a lady with a walking stick right in front of him rather than waiting a few seconds for her to pass. Obviously the crew had no control over the Norovirus outbreak, but I felt that it was treated efficiently and did not spread out of control. Staff cleaning efforts must be complimented. One of the problems in having so many people isolated in a tin can at sea, is that infection can spread like wild fire, that it did not is entirely down to the staff. Oh yes, several of us got a cough or cold. Not surprising, and calling it the Cunard Cough is merely facile. What was surprising was that the entertainment staff made no attempt to provide additional amusement for the passengers incarcerated for eight days at sea, due to not being able to visit Salalah and Jordan. In fact the on board entertainment was abysmal. The jazz trio, solo cocktail jazz pianist and the professionals in the bands were excellent. Visiting artists with two exceptions were not even third rate. I am sure I was not the only one thinking Hi De Hi whenever the entertainment director walked on stage. And only three Cunard singers and dancers shows in three weeks. Were they on a work to rule? When we did at last manage to get a couple of Captain’s cocktail parties, was it really a good idea for the entertainment staff and other officers to stand around talking to each other? I was always taught that the staff’s function at occasions like this is to circulate, talk to the guests and even, shock horror, encourage them to talk to each other. Good management in the entertainment industry is all about the customer, not the bottom line or tick boxes. You are better than this Cunard. Get your act together. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We are experienced cruises using many different cruise lines but this was the first time that we had used Cunard. The main reason was that two ports of call were in India which we had yet to visit. Singapore was as usual a delight have ... Read More
We are experienced cruises using many different cruise lines but this was the first time that we had used Cunard. The main reason was that two ports of call were in India which we had yet to visit. Singapore was as usual a delight have lived there in the past and visited on quite a few occasions. The check in was excellent within 20 minutes we were through all the formalities and on board the ship which without a doubt is beautiful, the art deco features on the ship are just wonderful, our balcony cabin on deck six at the rear of the whip was spacious there was sufficient wardroom and hanging space the bathroom was adequate, staff were as usual were extremely good attentive but unobtrusive. We were dining in the Britannia Restaurant on deck two, asked for a table for two got a table for six eventually sorted out,food of good quality and there was enough of a choice, portion size on some items left a bit to be desired, waiting staff were extremely good. Overall the entertainment was poor one nights entertainment consisted of main theatre two girls playing Indian Sitars a man playing classical piano in the atrium a man in the commodore club playing jazz in another part of the ship a lady on a harp and lastly four girls in a string quartertet playing you into dinner. The thing that epitomised the Cunard line to me was around 9.15pm in the lido buffet there was a table set up with three large thermos flaskes on it and a member of staff would dispence either hot chocholate Horlicks or ovaltine and by 9.45 the ship was a ghost ship with lots of people safely tucked up in bed. Cunard obviously know there market and pitch there services to that market and unfortunately at 64 it would seem that I am still to young for this ship. Someone put it very aptley "its not a ship you want to be giddy on" Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We have been on many cruises from Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand, and this one was by far the best. The ship is beautiful, and the service impeccable -- when I asked at the purser's desk for more recommendation cards, I was ... Read More
We have been on many cruises from Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand, and this one was by far the best. The ship is beautiful, and the service impeccable -- when I asked at the purser's desk for more recommendation cards, I was told with a rueful grin that so many passengers wanted to commend the staff that they had run out of cards. The service in the midships bar and the Britannia restaurant were particularly to be recommended. Food in the Britannia was great, if not memorable. The sommelier was very attentive, and soon knew our favorite wine, which was a Cunard blend, so that the bottle was ready and waiting when we arrived. The alternative dining was not as good -- too much meat and too little garnish, and poorly presented, in both alternative restaurants -- but we were very happy with the main dining venue. And the buffet was wonderful for breakfast and lunch. Plenty of space so the tables were not crammed together. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Boarded Brisbane 24th Feb at Grain Terminal !st port of call Cairns Went ashore in large catamaran excellent transport compared to ships tenders 2nd port of call Rabaul We decided to do a shore tour What a disaster Cost ... Read More
Boarded Brisbane 24th Feb at Grain Terminal !st port of call Cairns Went ashore in large catamaran excellent transport compared to ships tenders 2nd port of call Rabaul We decided to do a shore tour What a disaster Cost US$119 each for a 4 hr ride to hell and back , decided to go and have some acupuncture to ships acupuncturist to relive some of the aches and pains ) Debbie Ai knows her stuff and her treatment helped tremendously (cost us$ 1500) for 5 treatments each Temperature 36 degrees C hi humidity .We boarded our minibus to find a very shabby interior no air conditioner working/shock absorbers at 20% working/dirty/non operating seat belts and multiple cracks thru windscreen. Our tour visited 3 places 1st War museum which consisted of a 1 acre of well mowed grass a couple of buildings and all these war machines almost totally rusted away and still deteriorating due to no overhead protection and a crocodile in a enclosed pond at back of display. Next ,visited war cemetry which is financed by the Australian Government which is very well maintained and worth seeing. (beautiful setting) At no stage did the tour operator commissioned by the ship (PAIVU TOURS) offer to stop for a drink or a pit stop for the ladies. We could have hired a local taxi and had airconditioned comfort at a fraction of the price the ship charged. Next stop Japanese tunnels (very interesting if you could see I had to turn my Iphone torch to see where i was going ) Poorly presented with only 3 x10 watt fluros distributed along the entire tunnel (80 metres) system driven by a petrol generator at the entrance and extension leads to the floors causing a trip hazard to the visitors . Roads are full of very large pot holes which do not seem to get much maintence making the trip a back ache/cramped leg nightmare As expected we did not go on anymore paid shore tours Next stop CEBU but this was cancelled during trip in favour of Puerto Princesa a beautiful town in an great location. Dis embarkation in Hong Kong was another nightmare which was totally cunards fault. They had a plan but- it totally got stuffed up .Luggage was collected the night before and arranged by deck number to be off loaded with the passengers from that deck. Guess what they unloaded half the luggage from deck 8 then released luggage from deck 7 then 6 while the people from deck 8 were still in the collection area looking for the other half of their luggage , In the meantime the people from lower deck 7 -6 were released into baggage collection pickup area (very small) were people could not move. It was so crushed that a person could have easily had a heart attack in this environment which was also very cold 12 degrees C and wet The average age of the passengers on the QE was 71 years old and very few children all of who were well behaved The off loading point at Ocean terminal was not appropriate for this size of vessel or the number of people getting off for tours and disembarkation. Another fiasco was the organization of emigration documentation (held on board) which was compounded by late arrival of officials and the route to and from the imigration officials set up by QE staff to get the people thru. Apart from the above I would highly recommend the Ship and the crew excluding the people responsible for the above fiascoes Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We did enjoy the ship,how ever thought it lacked the wow factor. We enjoyed the QE last year much more. The ship seemed a bit higgle de piglle with stairs all over the place. Service was ok , but only ok over all. We have had better ... Read More
We did enjoy the ship,how ever thought it lacked the wow factor. We enjoyed the QE last year much more. The ship seemed a bit higgle de piglle with stairs all over the place. Service was ok , but only ok over all. We have had better on other ships and on ships with less star ratings. Ships Captain and Officers might have been on another planet,for what we saw / heard of them. When cruising around Easter Island no live commentary was given other than they were disembarking a sick guest. This even though they had lecturer staff onboard who could have made this very interesting. Ditto the food....it was ok. The staff running Brit/restaurant never followed up on complaints placed by other,s we dined with. Our waiters at dinner were good though. Kings Court, never had any staff offer to help guests with mobility problems, including my wife.Very poor. Shows did not match some other ships we have cruised on, again average shows for the most part really. Lecture,s some were in the main not to our liking, unlike the QE. However those that did interest us were ok. Our cabin 5099 was in a good postion and comfortable enough. The ship is due for a refit so was not A1 condition , but was kept clean and tidy by the cabin steward all the time. Shore trips, we did no ship tours as we had visited these ports a few month,s ago. Décor ...seemed odd to us with different carpet, pictures style's etc mixed up all over the ship. The ship gave us a smooth run across the South Pacific. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
The many hours travelled from Melbourne to Valparaiso to join the ship were rewarded with a relaxed,first few days on board.Our cabin 6092,hada sheltered balcony and was excellent.Cleaning staff were very thoroughand welcomed us by name ... Read More
The many hours travelled from Melbourne to Valparaiso to join the ship were rewarded with a relaxed,first few days on board.Our cabin 6092,hada sheltered balcony and was excellent.Cleaning staff were very thoroughand welcomed us by name throughout the voyage.We soon discovered that QM2 offered a quieter,more reserved style of cruising,which suited us fine.However,while we were firstly happy not to have the obligatory Calypso band on deck,after 16 days we kind of craved it! We found lots of nooks and crannies to sit and read inside,but were disappointed that the outside areas were limited to mainly just deck 7.Deck 6 had a small area with a pool and deck chairs.Upper deck had plenty of space,but no deck chairs,just a lunchtime cafe.The observation deck at the bow was excellent for viewing,but again,no seating . The theatre shows at night grew to be more interesting,with magicians,comedians,acrobatic shows and themed groups-Beatles and Jersey boys.Sadly to say ,much more enjoyable than the shows the ships singers and dancers put on.We dined in the dining room every night (except one when we were ashore.)Totally enjoyed the food,the service,excellent wine list and our waiters were delightful.The meal sizes were elegantly small,but a mention to our waiters and an extra serving was added with no fuss.The shine of formal nights lost its lustre after about the 6th one-total of 9!-but we still participated,as did our 4 table-mates.We usually ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet,but did venture to the dining room for lunch when the menu suited us. Trivia was a staple pass time at the English pub - it was on morning,noon and night-all good fun! Karaoke every 4th or so night as well and a guest talent show one night.Lecture subjects were diverse and frequent,we sat in on 3 or 4.Afternoon & night time movies were varied and enjoyable. We only did 2 shore excursions booked through Cunard and both were very good,with informative guides and ran on time. We enjoyed our 22 days aboard and if the itinery suits,would have no qualms about cruising on QM2 again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We travelled on Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to Rio, via New York, Fort Lauderdale, Amber Cove, Barbados and Salvador, from January to February 2016. The ship then carried on with her World Cruise. We thought the ship was mostly ... Read More
We travelled on Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to Rio, via New York, Fort Lauderdale, Amber Cove, Barbados and Salvador, from January to February 2016. The ship then carried on with her World Cruise. We thought the ship was mostly excellent throughout, although there were one or two worn areas of carpet and a cracked tile or two in the bathroom. The ship is due to go to Hamburg for work, when she returns from the World Cruise in May 2016, so maybe these tired areas will be improved then. Food in the Britannia Restaurant was good although some of the portions were quite small. Not to worry though; you could eat as much as you wanted in the self-service restaurant! Entertainment was of a variable standard. There were some very talented acts in the evening shows, but the traditional Brazilian dancers, for example, had people walking out of the theatre. Anybody can bang what looks like an old paint can and wiggle his or her bits around. Guest speakers included Celia Imrie, John McCarthy and Sir Tony Robinson. They were well-received, but I'm not sure if the American and European guests realised who they were! The 'Insights' lectures were varied and you could choose which ones took your interest. I found most of them very interesting. Movie shows were mostly poor. This wasn't just my opinion. There was usually a very small audience (as few as a dozen people at times). For example, there was a film, set mostly in the early 1950s, about a Russian, homosexual, serial child killer. Not quite the thing to cheer you up before bed! We lasted about 20 minutes before walking out, along with almost everyone else. When we raised this with the staff, we were told that they had to show the movies they were sent from ashore. Tours were okay, but as usual with cruise lines, very expensive. When they ran out of places for trips in Rio, they didn't put another coach on, so we went out into the terminal and got a similar one (minus lunch) for less than a third of the Cunard price, saving $250 between us! The ship was, as expected, very big indeed. It was really smooth going across the Atlantic, in very rough seas. Yes, you could tell you were afloat, but the movement was very subdued. We were impressed. Even though there were 2 and a half thousand passengers aboard, it was easy to find a place to sit and many a time, we were alone in an area. New York was fascinating, Fort Lauderdale was okay if you want to see the Everglades, Amber Cove was nothing to get excited about, there wasn't much to see in Barbados, Salvador was worth missing, but Rio was fascinating. What a contrast between poverty and affluence! Beautiful beaches and promenades, great shopping, Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain.... and not a mosquito in sight! It's a pity we couldn't have stayed on for the rest of the trip. The ship's spending quite a bit of time around Cape Horn, which looks fascinating. However, we both intend to travel on the QM2 again, as soon as possible, so maybe we'll see it then! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our 3rd cruise on QM2. After many years of spending Christmas & New Year entertaining family and others, we thought it time we had a rest and enjoyed our Christmas without cleaning, cooking and all that goes with having a ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise on QM2. After many years of spending Christmas & New Year entertaining family and others, we thought it time we had a rest and enjoyed our Christmas without cleaning, cooking and all that goes with having a house full over Christmas. We planned as 'seniors', a lovely holiday that meant for over 40 years we were spoilt. After arriving in the UK we had 5 great days for the very first time experiencing Christmas in London. The coloured lights the very cool weather, seeing we live in the tropics in Australia. What a thrill it was & what an experience. We finally caught a shuttle bus to Southampton and boarded the very beautiful Ocean Liner QE2. The experience of crossing the Atlantic during winter was a fantastic journey. Yes, it was rough and the seas were high and the winds were tremendous, yet the QM2 handled it all with ease. After visiting New York on the 7th day we headed to the Caribbean for the warmth and hospitality of the locals. We must say cruising at Christmas on QM2 is just breathtaking, the decoration on board, the excitement of being spoilt by the stall and officers. Just a beautiful memory that we will never forget. Some of the lovey people on board have now become pen friends we hope forever. New Years Eve was just something that will live with us forever.. We do not believe Cunard can top the effort they put into a our Christmas & New Years cruise. We highly recommend a cruise on a Christmas New Year Cruise on QM2. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
A bit painful to pen this, since QM2 deserves much better care than she is getting from her owners. First, the positive: we still found many things to love as we did on our very first cruise in May last year. Many public spaces still ... Read More
A bit painful to pen this, since QM2 deserves much better care than she is getting from her owners. First, the positive: we still found many things to love as we did on our very first cruise in May last year. Many public spaces still sparkling, excellent service from her crew and the magnificence of the ship itself. We had fantastic weather and many fun people on board. Also paid a maiden call to Amber Cove which was a very enjoyable stop. The port area is nice. There is also a well organized taxi line where you can get a driver for a short period or all day. We went into Puerto Plata to the Amber Museum and Fortelezza San Pedro with a fantastic driver/guide. For us, the best stop on the trip! Sadly, a number of things were out of order: planetarium not working; broken fixtures in the spa (including the steam room, at least one day); a foul sewage smell on Deck 9 permeating into the Commodore Club the entire two weeks. This last point for us was especially unfortunate as the CC had been our favorite spot on the prior voyage. Also - very disturbing - quite a number of the public restrooms were filthy (bits of paper on the floor; water all over the floor; urine smell in one case). Especially bad were those near the Britannia DR, Queens Room and G32. She also had a steering pod issue/fault which kept us overnight in Tortola. To be fair, Captain Oprey kept us very well informed. Still, it left us with a feeling that this beautiful ship is not being cared for by the suits in charge at Head Office. They also need to address the cleanliness issue pronto! We will not rebook on QM2 until after reading reports post her one-month dry dock. Read Less
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