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52 Cunard Southern Caribbean Cruise Reviews

What a lovely way to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve. Out first time with Cunard but definitely will not be the last. The ship is magnificent, (bit warn in places) stateroom more than adequate and we found the staff to always be ... Read More
What a lovely way to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve. Out first time with Cunard but definitely will not be the last. The ship is magnificent, (bit warn in places) stateroom more than adequate and we found the staff to always be pleasant and more than helpful. Dining room experience was up and down but fortunately we shared a table with excellent company which took away from the pain of poor service. Did not see any of the artists or night time entertainment as we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment in the Golden Lion and ballroom. Pub lunches were excellent as were the trivia quizzes. Excursions are overpriced and we did the snorkelling with the turtles in Barbados which we were very disappointed with. I may be bias having spent many years living in the U.K. But this trip is high on my list of very memorable holidays. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
If you haven't recently sailed on her PLEASE do not believe most of the negative reviews. The Queen Mary 2 is stunning and in very good shape. That's the short length review. The medium review, or summary, is that the Queen Mary ... Read More
If you haven't recently sailed on her PLEASE do not believe most of the negative reviews. The Queen Mary 2 is stunning and in very good shape. That's the short length review. The medium review, or summary, is that the Queen Mary 2 is the last true Ocean liner and it is like walking into a time machine of beauty and tradition. It may not be for younger cruisers and you won't find amusement park rides, rock climbing walls, skating rinks, or spiraling pool slides. You will find a ship that feels more like traveling in the 1920's-1940's aboard a stunning, grand, very traditional ship. The full review: I was on the 12 night Christmas cruise with my two sons, 12 and 14, traveling from New York to the Caribbean and back. It's difficult to write a review for the Queen Mary 2 because you want to give it a glowing report in all ways, but in truth, while the ship really is breathe taking, there are some issues (with the overall experience, not the ship). The Brooklyn embarkation experience has a cold, low rent feel. Don't expect the union employees that search your bags or point you to the right line to smile or show the slightest courtesy. You feel like a cow being led to slaughter. You won't find as many crabs at a crab bake. The Royal Caribbean embarkation experience, with the gigantic Allure of the Seas, is so much classier and better run. Carnival, the cruise line that controls Cunard, ought to sail on the Allure to see how to do it right. Once you arrive at the counter the Cunard staff are pleasant enough. When you enter the ship you are greeted by high level staff and directed to your cabin, I think they will walk you to your cabin if you need help, but the ship is so beautiful you are in awe. I have been on the original Queen Mary, the one that is "docked" permanently in Long Beach, and I have to say they are quire similar. There is a kind of Art Deco interior design that is sleek and colorful; think bright gold decor and lush reds and exotic wood paneling. You honestly feel as if you have entered a time machine and somehow entered this perfectly preserved vessel. As some of you may know, the Queen Mary 2 is a true ocean liner, meaning it is NOT a hotel laying on a barge, as most cruise ships of today are... THE QM2 is designed to handle all season transatlantic voyages. I spoke to a frequent passenger who, in the past, encountered enormous waves and gale force five conditions and he said you hardly noticed. It was the largest ship when built and still seems very large. It'll take you a couple days just to see most of the ship. The sailing experience is traditional too. There is daily high tea served after lunch and, again, it's from another time. Think white gloves and English tea in fine china cups, served with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream, and small cakes. Even for my 12 and 14 old children, both boys, the experience was sublime. They looked forward to it each day. Dinner in the main dining room is a dressy, fanciful affair. Service is not necessarily slow, certainly not by the standards of a land based five star restaurant, but it is quite leisurely, you don't want to be in a hurry. Some may find this tiring. The dress standard, unlike the other cruise lines, is quite high. You are expected to wear a jacket and tie for all dinners served in the main dining room, and there are several upscale nights as well. Again, while it's certainly fun to put a tie on, having to do so at every single dinner might be a bit much for some. We grew tired of the stuffiness after a few days. The food: There were a few really special dinners, but honestly, it's hit and miss in the main dining room. Frankly, the chef tries way to hard with exotic, fine dining choices that would be difficult to master in a small seat fine dining restaurant, but to serve, what, 1000 people per meal, well, you just can't do it. It's basically mass, banquet food when you are serving about a 1000 at a time and you can't give the individual attention to each food item when you are cranking them out like a factory. Many on the ship agreed with me and felt you were lucky to get 6 nights of quality food on a 12 night voyage. It was never really bad, just average at times. The service is good enough, but you know that the staff is shoved into little rooms in the bowel of the ship and work every day for low wages and long hours -- you see it in their behavior and on their faces. The Buffet: There is a horrible layout. Much of the time you aren't aware of what is there. It's sort of laid out in a bizarre zig zag of separate rooms, you leave one buffet area and enter another, as if exiting the restaurant, to reach other areas. The service is quite amazing. Unlike the Golden Corral buffet experience you get on other lines, Cunard has staff whisking away the plates and dishes. It's almost as if you are in a normal, upscale restaurant, not a buffet. No IKEA like self clearing here. The Buffet Food: Again, and it's really surprising how different each day is, it's hit and miss. When it's a hit IT IS AMAZING. I have never had such quality buffet food on a cruise line. Filet Mignon, six inch grilled ship, grilled lobster, etc. are available on certain nights. Other nights you wonder what in the heck they are serving. It's bloody awful, and I'm not English. I love Thai food and they have this horrendous thai green curry that looks like it had already been digested. Other choices are just very average, again, more Golden Corral than fine dining. Again, to compare it with another line, on Royal's Allure the buffet was fresh, hip, unique, quality -- all the time. On the QM2 you have a small dinner buffet section "served" by disinterested staff -- except for those amazing exceptions. The breakfast buffet is better than average in all ways. Special Find: I wish I had known about this. It fills up very fast. Each night the ship has a "special dining room" area set up in the buffet -- separate from the main buffet. One night it's Asian, another it's Indian, another it's American bistro. They put down table clothes and candles although you can't disguise that it's in the buffet dining area. The service is excellent, better than in the main dining room, the food IS THE BEST I had on the ship, and the surcharge is minimal, perhaps $10 per person. Todd English: My, this guy likes himself. Watch his video. It's a nice room with good service. There is a fairly large surcharge if I remember. I think we spent over $100 for three. The food isn't nearly as good as he'd like you to believe and most on the ship that tried it agreed. However, there aren't the 20 restaurants aboard as on more contemporary cruise ships, just this, the buffet, and the main dining room and you'll probably want to try it. The food is good, to be fair, but it isn't any sort of five star experience. I think it all comes from the same kitchen that makes the 1000 meals at once dinner. My older son doesn't agree with me and thought it was great. Passengers: I read somewhere that the average age is over 70. One would like to think that a Christmas cruise would lower this age somewhat -- and it does -- but not by much. It's sort of like being at a retirement home. I don't mind it so much, screaming teenagers and drunk seventeen year olds that other lines have aren't my cup of tea and the older gentleman and ladies on this ship are calming. However, I'm not sure this is the best choice if you are under 40, probably not if you're under 50, and frankly, might seem a bit dull for those under 60. However, whenever we made an effort to talk to others they were very engaging and interesting and happy to talk with someone new. There were a lot of English on this ship, even though it was a cruise that left from the US, and it was fun to have people who weren't from the states. Entertainment: Frankly, there were times when it seemed that they didn't even bother to try. No other ship near this size is devoid of all entertainment such as this one. Again, with the Allure, there is a broadway quality show, amazing Cirque du Soleil performers, and on and on. On this ship you have bingo, a movie, or ball room dancing. Which is probably just what one had in 1940. Sure, there are excellent musicians aboard, very talented, but if you are not into music from the 1930's-1940's, or so it seemed, you don't have a lot of choice. Ball room music and big band. Most of the acts brought aboard were low rent. The movies were near first run and very good. There is a planetarium that has short, 20 minute films about the universe. They aren't bad, but seem a trifle dated. It's unique, but not breathtaking. The room: We had a deluxe balcony room. The room has a luxe feel and seemed classier than on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We had three in a room. There is room for two and let's leave it at that. I would say even roomy for two, but three's a crowd. I've never been on any ship that was ever different. The room service food was certainly a step above what I've had on any other ship, just don't order the thai curry. Just don't. Trust me, it's even worse than the buffet version. Staff: Honestly, despite that white glove marketing, you can tell it's run by Carnival. Not a horrible thing, I've sailed on Carnival and they're fine, but you don't have the same caliber of service you find on Celebrity. Also, this was for us an expensive ship, it's not as if the prices are low and so you expect more and don't always get it. So, don't expect more and you'll be fine. Plenty of forced smiles and how are you's and so on. I can't think of a particularly bad or dismissive staff experience, except perhaps in the library, which has very dated books, despite it's large size there isn't much you'll want to read unless you are into serialized novels or bibliography like books on Plato, and all of the staff seemed like jerks who had zero interest in the passengers. That is rare though. The ports: On this 12 night trip you only stop at about four stops and all in a row. The small caribbean islands are poor and similar. St. Lucia? St. Kitts? Barbados? Couldn't tell you which were which -- somewhat repetitive. Still, it's fun to hop off and soak in the sun and culture. Seven nights at sea is a lot -- I'm surprised they didn't add another island. SPA: Frankly, I didn't think the massages are of the same quality as on other lines, and they are very pricey. However, you get access to an interior area that has amazing features -- pools, numerous saunas, whirl pools, etc. It's really, really nice. WARNING: As usual on cruise lines, you'll spend a fortune on internet and phone provider charges. Despite our having purchased expensive international add ons and data with AT&T, and buying the internet time on the ship, we had a $1500 cell phone bill and $600 cruise ship charge. If you have kids, tell them it's a computer free trip and lock them away (their equipment, not the kids). As you can imagine, the net service on the ship is grossly overpriced, erratic and extraordinarily slow. This is probably not a problem for the over 70 year olds, but honestly, we live in a mobile society and cruise ships won't have anyone under 30 on them if they can't get the data/net issues worked out. Overall: 12 nights on a ship might seem like a lot, but it went very fast. Despite all I've said about the lack of things to do, it's really more a lack of splashy entertainment and activities you'll find on contemporary cruise ships, you'll find ways to make time disappear. We played monopoly, chess, walked the beautiful teak deck that surrounds the exterior, read books, went to bingo, deck quots and shuffle board, swimming, exercising, and just relaxing on a lounger watching the waves and the sun. We were rarely bored. I chose this cruise because I am a fan of ocean liners and I wanted to experience the QM2. It really is a wonderful ship. Whether it's the right cruise for you depends on whether or not you are a foodie (there are probably better choices) and whether you will feel comfortable with an older crowd. I am very happy I chose Cunard and QM2 -- it's an experience that may not exist some day. Would I do the Christmas cruise again? No, been there, done that -- however, I would consider a different, shorter cruise in the future, just to experience this grand vessel again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not ... Read More
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not only slipped, but slid quite away. The daily activities was virtually none existent, take the bridge classes, Spa Ranch, pub quiz, bingo and minority group meetings from the daily program and there was very little left. The guest speakers were a welcome break from the monotony, although not all were to my interest the auditorium was packed out on each of their presentations. The evening shows were second rate although the Cunard Dancers were very professional only let down by the Cunard Singers whose singing was amateur to say the least. The two comedians, one of home who is a house hold name in the UK had material not changed since the 70s and the other’s humour or lack of it was to take the mick from different nationalities. However, on the East Bound Atlantic crossing back to Southampton the Fly Rights were brilliant, we had to wait 3 weeks for some decent entertainment, which was this. One afternoon and one afternoon only the entertainment staff along with the production staff acted out a Murder Mystery Suspense Thriller to music where the audience participated. Very slap stick but the audience loved it. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was adequate and served cold on more than a few occasions although this was rectified each time we complained. The food in the Kings Court Buffet was acceptable and a good variety in choice. I’m afraid Cunard has had its day, surviving on its history and White Star Service which is a shade of grey now. Most people we talked to were very disappointed and talked of other Cruise Lines they had been with being far better. Cunard, your Platinum and Diamond members are not going to live forever and you need interest the future generations or sail with empty ships.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first actual cruise, having done the Southampton-Brooklyn ferry on five occasion my wife and I decided we should try a proper cruise. It should be remembered that all our views are subjective - some will agree some not. So ... Read More
This was our first actual cruise, having done the Southampton-Brooklyn ferry on five occasion my wife and I decided we should try a proper cruise. It should be remembered that all our views are subjective - some will agree some not. So here goes. EMBARCATION. It was the longest queue we have ever seen at Southampton but thanks to the efficient system we were through and on board within 30 minutes. We were anxious to see the results of the refurbishment but everything looked much the same. And it was just like coming home - cabin on Deck 5 spotless and with a warm welcome from steward Jamie. DINING. Food in the Britannia restaurant much the same - excellent service and fine quality. But two major differences - portions seemed distinctly smaller and the food, never hot in the Britannia, seemed to have dropped a degree or so. Some meals were sent back to be warmed up. No matter how they try the King's Court still remains a jumble of nooks and crannies and still resembles a works canteen, albeit an upmarket one. Food here is often lukewarm but the quality and the variety seemed greater than in the Britannia. ENTERTAINMENT. Yes Apassionata is still running along with some new shows and the usual 'headliners', many of whom we had never heard of but turned out to be excellent, especially guitarist Sam Piha whose link up with flautist Louise Garner provided afternoon highlights. Films on board QM2 are nothing more than a disgrace - surely a company of this size can provide a better selection and a better service. Those seen on the outward journey to New York were repeated on the return journey. Enrichment lectures are a feature of Cunard voyages and on this trip there were some absolute crackers - highlight being a former Scotland Yard detective's behind-the-scenes look at the Krays, the Brinks Matt bullion robbery and the M25 killers Kenneth Noye. EXCURSIONS. Cunard's policy on excursions continues to baffle. Two weeks before sailing we received an e-mail cancelling one we had booked, with subsequent reimbursement through a credit card - only to find that it was available from the tours office on board. Another was cancelled by e-mail less than 48 hours before it was due to take place - and again a similar excursion was on offer. Point to remember is that all these trips are billed in dollars which the credit card companies change into pounds sterling - at a cost. NOROVIRUS. No review can ignore the effects of the virus. It changed the whole ambiance of the cruise. And the crew worked hard to contain the spread of the virus. But were those early outbreaks norovirus or food poisoning? The rumours claimed the latter. My wife went down with the bug at 8.30pm on Christmas Eve. Christmas, therefore, was a washout with confinement to cabin for the next 48 hours. I notified the medical department at 7.30am on Christmas Day and the so-called hit squad arrived within 15 minutes to sanitise the cabin and bathroom - an operation repeated three times a day until clearance. The treatment by medical staff and cleaners was superb and could not be faulted. The system however could. The medics provided a menu plan with special meals to be ordered from room service. Unfortunately room service was too busy supplying double burgers and chips to be able to supply any food or drinks to the suffering. A recorded message repeated for two hours on Christmas Eve. What to do? Head to the King's Court and probably spread the virus. I was later told this problem was being addressed with dedicated phone lines for those with the virus. CONCLUSION Our comments should be taken in the knowledge that we love the majesty, the grandeur, the splendour and the opulence of the QM2 and will undoubtedly sail on her again - whether on a cruise or ferry we are not too sure. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was my first cruise on Cunard's QM2, and the 12 day holiday cruise was eagerly anticipated by myself and my travelling companion. We were also part of a larger tour group organized out of NY. And although the ship did experience ... Read More
This was my first cruise on Cunard's QM2, and the 12 day holiday cruise was eagerly anticipated by myself and my travelling companion. We were also part of a larger tour group organized out of NY. And although the ship did experience a number of norovirus cases, no one I knew was affected, and the ship's captain and crew took enormous steps to prevent a further outbreak. As a result, I had a very nice cruise and it was certainly comparable to many others I have taken. To start off, Cunard did a great job delivering our luggage, which arrived about an hour after we boarded the ship. Our stateroom as quite nice, with a good size balcony. The service on the ship was excellent. Our stateroom attendant, dining room waiters, etc. were all great. White gloves are standard on Cunard.This is a formal cruise, and more than half the days required tuxedo, etc. If you like formality, Cunard is a good choice.This might also be because it was the holidays. The Queen Mary 2 is a lovely ship. One of the nicest I have been on. There are unique features, like the Planetarium and on board lectures. Afternoon Tea is a highlight. It was definitely an older crowd, with far fewer children or teens than you would expect for a holiday cruise. The specialty dining rooms,esp. Todd English and the Indian fare, were excellent. The good has a definite British slant, which means great fish and chips, but a breakfast and lunch buffet that definitely needs greater variety and spice. Better to take these meals in the main dining area, where the food choice is better.On the third day, the Captain announced that several cases of norovirus had been reported and precautions were being taken to prevent further outbreak. This meant that the usual serve yourself buffet was not available, and that attendants had to serve you everything--including all beverages. This was frustrating for those of us who want to serve ourselves, but it is a minor inconvenience. Certain events were cancelled, as well, but other than the lack of handshaking and the persistent presence of hand sanitizers, the cruise continued. But neither myself nor any of my travelling companions were affected by illness, and I think the actions taken definitely prevented further outbreak. The ship's crew worked so hard sanitizing everything all the time, it was inspiring to see their hard work--disinfecting handrails, elevators, and all common areas all the time. I wanted to write this review so people know that this cruise was not ruined due to the presence of an unfortunate outbreak. The ship worked really hard to prevent further outbreak, and heroically stemmed the situation. As a passenger, I was not affected and experienced only some minor inconveniences. All in all, a very nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We've made six cruises on the Queen Vic and all in all they have been enjoyable and met our expectations for food, service, safety , and entertainment. However, our last two cruises on the Queen Victoria have been less than ... Read More
We've made six cruises on the Queen Vic and all in all they have been enjoyable and met our expectations for food, service, safety , and entertainment. However, our last two cruises on the Queen Victoria have been less than satisfactory, as much for the attitude of the ship's staff as the specifics of our displeasure. Seems there is a trend aboard the Victoria toward "hucksterism" in the Spa...the selling of promises of loosing eight inches off the waste, unheard of physical improvements, and such, if only you'll buy these expensive products and services. They really have no shame. All the while the Spa staff ignores basic care and attention of the fitness center; spa shower shoes are cleaned by the staff in the sink in the restroom/sauna; blinds on windows are broken, the chiller in the water cooler is broken, rap music blairs, towels and wipes are not available, the list goes on! Meanwhile down below, the beautiful Queens Room, once home to perhaps the best ballroom dancing at sea, has been taken over by "dance clubs" or groups seeking a dance teaching platform at sea. The result is the ballroom is no longer a venue for the casual passenger to have social dance but home to competition dancers wishing to impress the world. It's saddening to see couples, once quite at home dancing in the Queens room, disappear night after night and give way to "wanna be" Dancing with the Stars and dance students. All that said, the good news is Queen Vic (and Cunard) do so much right and hold to so many wonderful seagoing traditions that they still can claim a unique niche that has had us coming back to them and other Cunard ships. We only wish they would remember those traditions and put the breaks on what appears a downward spiral. Unfortunitly the spiral will continue unless the ship's staff musters more than a big "Oh, Ho-Hum" which is all I got. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
I booked the Q1 Balmoral Suite on the 2011-12 holiday cruise to be able to finish a writing project without distraction. This suited my purpose perfectly and the voyage was a success. This review is intended to assist those considering ... Read More
I booked the Q1 Balmoral Suite on the 2011-12 holiday cruise to be able to finish a writing project without distraction. This suited my purpose perfectly and the voyage was a success. This review is intended to assist those considering one of the better Queens Grill Suites, about which there is relatively little information online. Here are the main points: -QM2 is too large to duplicate the more up-market experience available on Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, Seaborne, etc. However, the Queens Grill experience is distinct. If you are considering one of the top Queens Grill suites, don't be put off by the negative reviews, most of which are for standard cabins. -Q1 has a distinct advantage over Q2, which is a wall of side windows, which completely changes the brightness, cheerfulness and interest of the cabin. The terrace is also considerably larger. If you are going to pay for Q2, I would recommend that you pay the extra for Q1. -The main drawback of the Q1 and Q2 suites is their location overlooking the busy (on a cruise) 8th deck pool area. This does allow you to hear the music and catch some of the fun of the "sail away" parties without having to leave your suite, but you are in full view of those both below and above and have to retreat deep toward the rear and corners of the terrace to achieve any privacy. -There was no special arrangement for Q1/2/3 passengers upon arrival at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, so one deals with luggage, and waits in security lines, with the general pool of passengers. After this, I was directed to a special Queen Grill check in desk, where I was identified as a Q1 passenger and then escorted quickly through lines directly to the cabin. Thus embarkation was nice and relatively painless, but it could have been even better. In many good international airlines, first class pax call when they are five minutes out from the terminal and are met at the curb by someone who then takes care of the luggage and escorts you through the whole process. -The service in the suite was excellent. The butler was polite, friendly, efficient, accommodating, sensitive and altogether terrific. I ate most meals in the suite while working, had him bring breakfast in three separate courses, and had all sorts of special requirements relating to my work. He handled them graciously. -The suite is well laid out and well furnished. Closet space and bathroom on second level are wonderful. The whole thing is extremely comfortable. (The second floor of the Balmoral Suite has a very loud creaking sound whenever the ship is in motion. I had to wear ear-plugs. This should be fixed.) -The Queens Grill restaurant is well run, well staffed and produces excellent results. When you stay in a Q1 suite the food you eat in the cabin comes from the Queens Grill restaurant (and most of my meals were taken in the apartment). The QG restaurant needs to meet many different expectations and does it well. They stock the ingredients and have the expertise to meet most any culinary preference. They were warm and welcoming from top to bottom. -I had some special requirements for furnishings and set up related to my work, and these were handled efficiently and without complaint by housekeeping in advance of my arrival. -I thought that it was interesting that while taking care of all requests, the ship did not otherwise reach out proactively in any way to those of us staying in the top suites. We were not offered a tour of the ship, an audience with the Commodore (other than in the company of hundreds of others), or even a hello from the hotel manager to see if everything was OK. This is not a complaint, but an indication to me that Cunard, pretty much focused on the mass-market business of filling up thousands of cabins, is not devoting much energy to cultivating high-end customers. BOTTOM LINE: You will be on a ship with thousands of fellow passengers, and thus the overall experience will never feel authentically up-market. But the QM2 is an engineering marvel that is worth experiencing, and if you can afford it, a Q1 suite is the way to go. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Route: 11 day voyage: Ft Lauderdale - St Thomas - St Maarten - Grenada - Bonaire - Panama Canal (Gatun Lake only) - Ft Lauderdale 1. General Comments: A most pleasant and interesting voyage. This was the ship's only Caribbean ... Read More
Route: 11 day voyage: Ft Lauderdale - St Thomas - St Maarten - Grenada - Bonaire - Panama Canal (Gatun Lake only) - Ft Lauderdale 1. General Comments: A most pleasant and interesting voyage. This was the ship's only Caribbean run. It had completed Los Angeles - Ft Lauderdale, and after our voyage it was returning to its home base in Southampton. (According to the Captain, Cunard ships are "ocean liners" that are on "voyages." They are not "cruise ships," nor do they "cruise.") The ship was nearly full with ca 1,900 passengers. While the majority of passengers were American, next were the British, followed by the Germans. Most passengers were experienced, older, travellers. In the 11 days I counted only two infants and three grammar school-aged children on board. I saw no teenagers. We booked a Princess class stateroom in order to learn the Cunard standard for this level. We wanted something longer than a regular crossing, and we also were celebrating my wife's birthday. 2. Travel to Ft Lauderdale and Embarking: We made our own plane arrangements and arrived in Ft Lauderdale the day before the voyage. We took the hotel shuttle to the pier. Having checked in on-line, and using the separate check-in line for Grill class passengers, we got on the ship quickly. We arrived at the pier at noon, checked in, dropped off our carry on bags in our cabin, and were sitting down to lunch in the Lido at 1PM. Waiting for us in our cabin was a bottle of champagne on ice, a bowl of fruit, and a plate of sweets and chocolate-covered strawberries. This was an indicator of things to come. Our luggage arrived around 3:30, as did a bowl of fresh strawberries. 3. The Queen Victoria: A very attractive ship, enhanced by its smallness. Our cabin was a tad larger than a "regular" cabin with verandah. I think the extra size could be seen in the sofa; it was regular size instead of the smaller two-person type. Our cabin was perfect for two. Plenty of storage space (few drawers, but plenty of shelves), and the bathroom had a tub shower. There was a small safe and a small refrigerator (only filled with water and soft drinks, which we assumed were free. There was no liquor.). We had two TV screens (one for bedroom and one for sitting area) which received the usual news, movies, music, etc. However, there was no CNN nor ESPN. We did very well with BBC for international news, and CNBC for financial news. . You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are no announcements on the PA system. The Captain does his noontime report from the bridge, and that is it. You also get a daily newspaper (US, UK, or German, depending on your home), and weekdays you get an international financial news sheet.For the ship's public areas, see the films and descriptions on the Cunard website. They show you just about everything. While the audio may be a bit overblown, the pictures are accurate. 4. Meals: OK, we took Princess Class so we could have our own dining room. There are separate dining rooms for Princess and Queen Classes, and there is a lounge between the two. And, this area is restricted; you need your key card and a specific elevator to get to this level (11th deck). If you are celebrating a special occasion, save your pennies and go for this class. When you book, you indicate what size table you want. When you board, you receive a card informing you of your table. This is YOUR table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You only need to appear during the meal times. No reservations, no early or late seating... nothing. After you appear once, the maitre d', the wine steward, and your two waiters know you by name and your preferences. We only did dinner in our Grill; there was no way we would have been able to consume all three meals there. Dinners were uniformly outstanding, as was the service. I think the wine list is the same throughout the ship; you can get good wines for $40 and you can splurge $1,500 for a Bordeaux. The choice is up to you. Lido Buffet: Well designed, and very good food. The design is such that compared to other ships the Lido is relatively quiet. You can actually hear the background music on the speaker system. Selections for both breakfast and lunch were varied, and there was no rush. You could sit over a second cup of (weak) coffee and not feel that people were waiting to pounce on your table. Also different from other lines, there are no wine or beer carts going through hawking their wares. You want a glass of wine or beer? A crew member will get it for you. Oh yes, the Lido is open 24/7. Todd English specialty restaurant: My wife and I have mixed feelings on this. Food, service, and wine were great. However, when you are in the Grill Class, is this restaurant worth the $30 per person extra charge? We aren't so sure. The Grill dining rooms are already top flight. Yes, the Todd English menu is different, but not that much. We have no idea on the food and service in the Britannia dining room; we are sure it is good. On other ships we felt that the specialty restaurant was a definite step up from the dining room. We are not so sure that Todd English is that much of a step up from the Grill dining room. You have to make your own decision. There are plenty of bars - but not food outlets - around the ship. You have to choose what appeals to you. We settled into the Grill lounge for a pre-dinner drink and the Commodore lounge for after dinner. In all bars you have to specify the brand of liquor you desire for your cocktail; there is no "standard" or "house" brand. Birthday celebration: I ordered flowers, a gift, and champagne for my wife's birthday from the on-line Cunard gift brochure a month or so before the voyage. Flowers were delivered in the morning by our steward. The gift came late that afternoon because it was from a different department. I checked with our maitre d' that the champagne would be waiting for us for dinner that evening (it was). Our waiters and maitre d' presented my wife with a simple and attractive birthday cake with only one candle and NO singing at the end of our meal. It was all very well done. 5. Cunard dress code: Cunard is serious here. If you don't want to follow their code, the staff and fellow passengers will make you wish you had taken a different ship. Nothing blatant, but subtle... like you are the only one in jeans at formal night. Before you leave home, you will receive from Cunard some literature on the ship, your shore excursions, etc. Included will be a listing of the evening dress for each night of the voyage. No more wondering; you have the schedule ahead of time. We were 11 nights: 4 formal, 3 informal (coat and tie), and 4 informal (jacket, but no tie). Formal nights were all on sea days. On formal nights, most men were in tuxedos; the rest in dark suits. A number had medals or ribbons on their tuxes. The ladies were in everything from elegant pants suits to ball gowns. Informal nights for men was not so much suits as it was blazers with ties. 6. Shore Excursions: Make your shore excursion reservations on-line! This saves you standing in line at the ship's tour desk. The on-line billing goes direct on your credit card and not on your shipboard account. If you know the ports of call and want to travel by yourself, then, of course, you don't need the ship's tour office. Tour prices are not cheap; you are paying for the convenience of having the ship organize the tour rather than you doing it after you get ashore. Also, if you obtain your tour through the ship's staff, you have support when there is a problem. There was a professor (geology) on board who lectured on all aspects of Panama and the Caribbean before we entered the canal. Many people commented on how pleased they were to have heard some, or all, of his lectures. Another lecturer boarded the ship when we entered the canal and provided a very good commentary - not continuous - of the entire tour; she left the ship only after we cleared the last lock before re-entering the Caribbean. 7. Shipboard entertainment: The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes: lectures, bridge, bingo, etc, etc. Don't forget fencing lessons! The bits of the evening shows we saw were fine; we heard good reports about them in the Lido. The ship's theater is that: it is a theater. There is no bar service as on other ships. There are also boxes. For a fee, you can reserve a seat in a box and be treated royally - to include champagne - while you watch the show. While art is for sale, and there are auctions, this is done discretely and without noise. Much of the art on board is generally nautical and specifically of Cunard's long history...and ships. While there is advertising for the art for sale, there is also plenty for the ship's spa. The casino was small and the machine payoffs did not seem to be much worse than Las Vegas. Card and roulette tables were present, but no craps tables. There was a small selection of duty-free liquor on board; you order your liquor and it is delivered to your cabin the day before disembarking. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship's photographers--pricey, but a good souvenir. There are various venues for night owls. 8. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts. The amounts are charged to each person's shipboard account. You have nothing more to do. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings your room service. Your bar and wine bill automatically adds 15 percent. If you want to tip, for example, the maitre d' because of his help in organizing your wife's birthday celebration, then you have to give him some cash in an envelope. 9. Settling of Accounts: During your voyage, anything you purchase on board (drinks, souvenirs, tours, duty free items, photos, etc) is punched into a computer; you sign one copy of the ticket and you receive a copy. On March 26, three days before our disembarkation, we received a preliminary bill. This bill not only lists every charge you have made, but also subtracts the charges from whatever ship's credit you may have received from your agent or elsewhere. Pay attention to this as contrary to other ships, your credit is per person and not per cabin. If you are the usual couple, the husband signs all the charge slips. His credit gets used up. Now you find out that the wife's "voyage credit" has hardly been touched, and the credits are NOT transferable. For the last days of the voyage, my wife signed all the charge slips, and we made out OK. In short, if each person does not use his credit, he will lose it. On the last morning you receive a paper final statement of your account. 10. Disembarking in Ft Lauderdale: Your bags have to be out between 5PM and 12PM. Crew personnel are constantly removing the bags; you must be careful placing your bags outside because they will be gone, and you will have no chance to add or retrieve an item. Breakfast is early, and you will be out of your cabin by 8:30. You must be out and waiting in your designated area because that is the only place where you will hear disembarking instructions. Nothing is announced on the TV or PA system. The system works very well. In our case we got off the ship at 8:30; were through customs and immigration, and arrived at the airport at 9:15; and were checked in, through security, and at the gate at 10:00. 11. Our only complaint: Several days into the voyage I received a rude form letter from the "chief accountant" accusing me of "failing to provide credit card information" and threatening to freeze my ship account if I did not provide this information. Not being in a good mood, I went to the Purser's desk to find out what was up. The clerk apologized that there was a transfer problem from the pier check-in computers to the ship's system. That was reasonable, and he was not thrilled when I pointed out the tone of the accountant's form letter. More apologies. Cunard literature emphasizes how the line trains its personnel in service, manners, etc. While this training is well reflected in the crew and officers on board, it does not seem to apply to the bean counters who have no contact with the passengers. 12. Conclusion: This was a most enjoyable trip. We learned about the Cunard system of running its ships and can easily see why there are so many fans of this line. We are not interested in doing a crossing, but whenever a Cunard ship is doing some sort of a voyage based out of the US, such as this one, we will be interested. If anyone has questions, send me an e-mail at LTC519@satx.rr.com.Fred GrothSan Antonio, TX Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
This was our second cruise on the QM2 but the first commencing in New York (Brooklyn) which included flights to and from the UK. Living in Scotland meant a flight down to Heathrow and an overnight stay at the Sheraton Skyline hotel due to ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the QM2 but the first commencing in New York (Brooklyn) which included flights to and from the UK. Living in Scotland meant a flight down to Heathrow and an overnight stay at the Sheraton Skyline hotel due to the early Virgin flight to JFK (who - be warned - have a 6 Kg limit for carry-ons). We were obviously unable to take our formal kilt outfits (we were traveling with another couple who are our regular cruise partners) due to the new rules of just a single checked bag per person - introduced by all airlines in 2010 (as far as I can tell) no doubt to make more money - but not from us! We arrived at JFK on time and were met by a Cunard rep and asked to remain in one spot until all the QM2 customers arrived. Unfortunately, there was no seating and so we stood around for over an hour until we boarded a bus for the 45 minute ride to the Brooklyn Terminal. It was not our day as just about all the other 2000 or so guests seem to have arrived at the same time and we had to wait in line for almost 2 hours before finally gaining access to the Ship. This was unacceptable especially when compared to the really pleasant experience when we joined the QM2 at Southampton last time. Brooklyn Port is the pits in comparison to Southampton as I'm sure all who have experienced both will agree. I will generalise now otherwise this will be a rather long review. The bottom line is that we were all disappointed - it was definitely not as good as our previous cruise on the QM2 late 2009. There seemed to be a lack of focus and dedication by the service staff that was the opposite of the first time around. Our main gripe, however, had nothing to do with the on-board staff - we like our formal dinners and had asked for a table of eight. We got a table of 4 and despite the efforts of the very approachable Maitre d' - Jamie (& Bobbie his assistant) after 3 days, we finally got the same table of 4 but with the adjacent table of 4 pushed up - we really needed a round table but there were none available. Both couple had Wedding Anniversaries at the beginning of the cruise and true to form; we both received a small cake for two - with a candle - nice touch! The cabins (Staterooms) are fine as are the public areas - it's great that the casino no longer allows smoking! I would argue with a previous review that the "pub" is fine and we all used it a lot for both the food and the quizzes! Surprisingly one of the shows was a repeat from our first Cruise - as was the "magician". The planetarium films were also the same although I can understand that any projection system that uses 6 projectors is going find it difficult to have a varied selection! The American comedian was really good however; he directed his jokes at all cruise audiences - not just the Americans as we had feared. Overall I would agree with some previous reviews that imply that the best staff have been moved to the newest ship - Queen Elizabeth and I have a suspicion that Carnival have dumbed down what was a superb liner into an average cruise ship. A big mistake as we were certainly not on our own when decrying that we would not be back. The only happy punters were the newbies that had no reference point (and no doubt paid a lot less than us!) Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Despite the worst-ever embarkation in Southampton (Group4 security had a fault on a scanner) crossed the Atlantic on Q Victoria - lovely ship and excellent service. Thought we were in for a treat on QM2 until some German friends told us ... Read More
Despite the worst-ever embarkation in Southampton (Group4 security had a fault on a scanner) crossed the Atlantic on Q Victoria - lovely ship and excellent service. Thought we were in for a treat on QM2 until some German friends told us they didn't like it. Oh dear - we have a World Cruise to look forward to! I'm afraid it's true - the buffet on Deck 7 (King's Court) isn't a patch on The Lido on QV and if you don't mind a queue that's the place to be! Salads? - what salads? The whole deck needs a refit - it's like a motorway cafe with furniture to match. To get a complete meal you need to try 3 different serveries 1/2 mile apart (it's a big ship!) Shows and atmosphere excellent, cabin nice and spacious, but service in public rooms really bad. All the best staff have gone to Queen Elizabeth and the management know it. This shop has been attacked by the beancounters. When we booked in 2009 the alternative dining on Deck was free (Only Todd English was extra) Now you pay between $10 and $20 for the Asian or Italian options. Cost-cutting is obvious and staff are not happy with their new contracts By comparison with Queen Victoria or Norwegian Gem this ship is a 1960's throwback in service attitude. Hope it gets better after our chat with the World Cruise concierge Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
this cruise to to celebrate my 60th birthday and we wanted to do it in style! Embarkation Embarkation was quick and easy, but unlike other cruise lines we have been with who offer a welcome drink as you board, there was nothing ... Read More
this cruise to to celebrate my 60th birthday and we wanted to do it in style! Embarkation Embarkation was quick and easy, but unlike other cruise lines we have been with who offer a welcome drink as you board, there was nothing offered by Cunard at all. We just went straight to our cabins to drop off our flight luggage. Cabin We were very pleased with our cabin (C5215) which was an "in hull" balcony on the Starboard side of the ship. The only thing I would say that it was across the hall from where the stewards process your luggage and so on embarkation and disembarkation day, it was fairly busy. This said it did not disturb the rest of the voyage at all. Our room had been upgraded in that it now had a flat screen TV and a new and very comfy mattress. The cabin was very spacious and clean and very well furnished. We had 3 large suitcases and these fitted under the bed without any problem. The only minor moan was that the shower curtain could have been slightly larger so that it could be pulled all the way across the shower. The balcony was spacious and had 2 chairs and a small table. As stated in many reviews when you sat down you could not see the ocean but that did not diminish our enjoyment of having a balcony which let the light flood into our cabin and brought the outside world in. We would not hesitate to have an "in hull" balcony again. Our steward Jean introduced herself straight away and was very attentive throughout the voyage - even ensuring she caught up with me on my birthday to wish me a happy birthday! Cunard Staff All the staff we found were polite and extremely friendly, and there were a few times that we overheard guests being over the top and really rude when it really was not necessary. Motto: Treat people as you would like to be treated yourself! Britannia Restaurant We found the quality of food to be very good on the ship. We had second sitting for dinner and on the first night the food was not really served hot enough, but we had a word with our waiter Juan who ensured that every night after that our food was served piping hot. Juan was our main waiter and although very good, some nights he seemed not so happy and not so communicative. Our assistant waiter Gilbert was an absolute gem, always happy and willing to get you anything we wanted. We preferred to have breakfast and lunch in the Britannia Restaurant on days that we did not have an early start for excursions - more civilised and a quieter way to start the day after a late night! The last night of the cruise was rather a let down. With other cruise lines on the last night of the voyage the waiters usually do a song or parade for the guests, then the meal is over and tips and goodbyes are said, photos taken - a lovely end to the cruise. With this cruise, the meal ended and that was that - a very flat ending to our cruise we thought! Kings Court The Kings Court perhaps had more choice and at lunch time their Chinese was excellent. There were always plenty of tables available but we did miss not being able to eat outside as Kings Court was covered. There was hand gel stations for people to disinfect their hands, but we saw many guests who simply did not bother (which may account for the outbreak of Noravirus on the next voyage out). We often found ourselves in the Kings Court at around midnight having a bite to eat and a cup of tea! Entertainment This was the only downside on this voyage - the evening entertainment in the theatre was not of a calibre that we have seen on other cruise lines such as RC, Princess and NCL. We caught a couple of evening shows that were very mediocre - the ventriloquist was very old hat and something that you expect to see at a seaside theatre matinee! The act had definitely seen better days. Having said that in the Chart Room (our favourite venue) there was a harpist one night and a string quartet later on the voyage who were absolutely fantastic but these were the exception not the rule unfortunately. Vibz were excellent and when they played in the G32 disco, it was full and everyone was up dancing - great! Although I celebrated my 60th birthday on board I did feel that most of the entertainment was even too old for me at times! Shops What shops there were, I felt, far too expensive on the whole and a great disappointment to me but not to my husband as I did not spend very much at all this voyage. Tours We arranged our own tours, except for the port of St Maarten which had been substituted for Grand Turk. It was found that Grand Turk did not have a high enough water level to accommodate the Queen Mary on a previous voyage so St Maarten was added. Unfortunately it was a Bank Holiday that day and the traffic was really bad. This in turn had a bad affect on our tour from Cunard which was "The Best of St Maarten and Beach" at a cost of $42 each. Well, it certainly was not the best of anything, we stayed mostly in traffic jams and had 1 hour at the beach. Upon return we did complain and duly received a 25% discount. Disembarkation This went very well, and as we were booked on a flight out on Sunday 19th December after 6pm, Cunard gave us a complementary tour of New York before taking us to the Airport. Heathrow Airport Closure and Events Contrary to another reviewers account of events, please now read mine: Indeed, the Airport was bedlam and eventually 2 Cunard representatives did arrive. They proceeded to put us on to coaches which took us to the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge Hotel. On the Monday, BA Reps were supposed to come to the Hotel to let us know what was going on but they did not arrive and the Hotel Staff advised us that no flights were going that day. Contrary to what has been written in another review Cunard staff were at the Hotel from at least the Tuesday evening until the Friday evening as we spoke to them every day. We were informed by the Cunard staff on the Tuesday evening that the earliest flights we could have were not until Christmas Day and that our return flights had been booked for then. Obviously other holiday makers who had flights out before us with BA, regardless of whether they were Cunard guests or not, had also to be accommodated. Admittedly we were disappointed as we all had family plans for Christmas but we made the most of a virtually free 6 days in New York! I think it was on the Thursday that BA put through messages to our rooms to let us know that some flights may have been double booked, and if we wanted to try and get home earlier then we could take a chance and go the airport in case there were empty seats on some flights. We spoke to the Cunard girls who were at the Hotel and they did advise us against this as if we left the Hotel and went to the Airport and no seats were available, we would not be able to return to the Hotel and we would be on our own! This we took to be sensible advice and stayed put! At that time we were handed a letter from Cunard stating that they were very sorry that we would not be able to get home for Christmas and that they had organised a Christmas Eve party at Morton's (a Steak Restaurant next to the Hotel) for the Friday night (Christmas Eve) starting at 6pm. This we duly attended (about 80 guests in all) and Cunard treated us to free drinks throughout the party (champagne, red and white wine) and a lovely 3 course steak meal. The Cunard Reps also attended and were duly applauded and thanked by everyone for giving us such a lovely Christmas Eve party. In addition, the Cunard letter also stated that in the New Year they would be sending us something they hoped we would enjoy (as yet to arrive). This we felt was marvellous as it was not Cunard's fault that Heathrow had closed and we feel very strongly that they did over and above what would normally be expected in these circumstances. On the Saturday lunchtime Cunard sent coaches to collect all their guests and drove them back to the airport. We were very glad to be under Cunard's wing during this event. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My husband and I signed up for Cunard's Christmas/New Year's cruise leaving from Brooklyn, 15 days, to the Caribbean on the Queen Mary 2. It was my husband's first cruise, as I had taken one on Royal Caribbean before to the ... Read More
My husband and I signed up for Cunard's Christmas/New Year's cruise leaving from Brooklyn, 15 days, to the Caribbean on the Queen Mary 2. It was my husband's first cruise, as I had taken one on Royal Caribbean before to the Mediterranean, and loved it. We had heard that Cunard was one of the best, luxurious cruise lines around. The boarding process was definitely much more complicated than my other cruise, which I didn't understand, as we were to be in a higher category of room. The room itself was fine, once we got there. The excitement, of the cruise, however, quickly dissipated within the first few days of being on board. I don't think we met one person on this cruise, who had been on Cunard before, who didn't tell us how far downhill the line has gone in its quality of experience, food, etc. Three days after we left New York, the main doctor on board announced that the noravirus was on the ship and spreading. We, of course, had no idea what the virus was or how it was spread. People were asked to start using hand sanitizer. On my only other cruise (with a friend) staff stood at the entrance to all restaurants and made sure everyone used it from the first day. We now had 11 days left on this cruise. We soon saw that people in our short corridor had it. Staff were wearing masks to clean the rooms. Then we saw other staff wiping down elevators and hand rails. Too little, too late. On our way to Christmas dinner, we had to step over a pile of vomit on the way out of the elevator. Still over a week to go.We went to the purser's desk and asked if we could disembark. We felt trapped in our room (although they stopped vacuuming it for several days for some reason), taking as many excursions as we could. But I always dreaded having to get back on the ship. It was a horrible feeling of anxiety and isolation. The woman at the purser's desk was unbelievably rude and arrogant. She told us we could disembark (NO help from the cruise line, however), but that we would receive no type of reimbursement. We have done extensive travel, worldwide, and have never received this type of treatment. She wouldn't even answer our questions about Center of Disease Control contact. What did we learn? We will never cruise again. Seriously consider doing a cruise this long with this line. Check the CDC's web site to check sanitation ratings, although these statistics are only what the cruise ship reports to them. The report for our cruise said 8% of the passengers had it. We believe that is way too low for what we saw. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Check in at Red Hook was a breeze and very well organized. Dropped off and in our cabins witthin an hour. We had two adjoining balconies, very handy in that we had two bathrooms! Our room steward introduced himself immediately and asked if ... Read More
Check in at Red Hook was a breeze and very well organized. Dropped off and in our cabins witthin an hour. We had two adjoining balconies, very handy in that we had two bathrooms! Our room steward introduced himself immediately and asked if there was anything that he could do for us daily! We ordered our sparkling water , ice and lemons to be delivered daily and they were. He was excellent. The rooms were very nice standard balcony cabins, similar to any other line. I suppose with all the hype over QM2 we were expecting a bit more, but it was very nice and clean, and clean is what matters. The carpets drapes, and bedspread were worn, but the flat screens were in place. In the adults room we had the beds configured into a Queen, that left a huge uncomfortable lump in the center of the bed. Very surprised that Carnival actually has better bedding than Cunard, by a mile. By the end of our trip I couldn't wait to get to our own bed to get a good nights sleep. Cunard need s to get better mattresses, especially since they specialize in longer voyages. The Kings Court is the only venue for lunch on embarcation day, so we ventured off. Not the best buffet at sea, very bland, spread out and seemingly confused. Oh well, it served it's purpose. The food on QM2 is about what you would expect from a poor wedding at dinner and very limited during the day, the great part, none of us gained any weight! The service in Brittania Club was perfect, we had Michael and Stephano and they were just great, I wish the food was better, but service was spot on. A few nights one of us would order a steak, they were always cooked properly, but were suce a low grade (select) that they were only occaisionally edible. I would have preferred a smaller portion of a better grade of meat but I am not their chef. We dined at Todd English twice and found the food to be better, service about the same. If we were to go on QM2 again I think we would just dine at Todd English most nights. Getting on and off in ports seemed very unorganized, getting back on such a grand ship had nothing, no cold water or cold towels like other lines offer. The last few ports they did put out jugs of water. When we had to tender you had to sit on deck three and listen to this woman screaming into her microphone for a t least a half hour before you went downstairs, which usually resulted in a major headache. Why scream, you have microphone??? This leads me to the attitude encountered by most non service personnel, uninterested to downright rude. Again I must stress non service personnel, those relying on tips were very sweet and professional. Pursors desk seemed confused or untrained. Unfortunately we were on board for the norovirus trip. It was requested that anybody feeling any symptoms contact medical. Our son woke us up Xmas eve telling us he had thrown up and had diarrhea during the night, I called medical at 7:30am, was told a nurse would call right back. By noon we had no call and he was feeling alot better. I went ashore to purchase some pepto and immodium. Arrived back and we were hanging out in the cabin when medical team came and started yelling at us at 3:30, mind you, for not reporting it, they claimed our room steward informed them. Very nasty attitude when we had called many many hours before. When she calmed down I let her talk to our son who was already feeling much better, she quarantined him for an additional 48 hours and then tried to charge us $250 for the visit. I had to go to the pursers desk to get the charge removed, which they did after much discussion. We requested in room dining as it was Xmas eve and Xmas day and we did not want to leave our 12 yr old alone for these special days, no way, just the sandwiches listed. So we took turns eating and staying with him. Not very festive. BTW I contacted it after code red was lifted, called to report it and was again charged and had to have it removed, I was only quarantined for 24 hours. We wash our hands non stop and had brought our own Lysol, so we just were not to lucky I suppose. The live music on board was very good and we enjoyed the orchestra, jazz trio, Vibz and two of the piano players, one piano player was awful. There was no music anywhere else for most of the trip, only the last few days did they remember to turn on the background music in the dinning room, odd. They tried to have a Caribbean deck party and it was very geriatric. Imagine ballroom dancing to Bob Marley, comical but again, not festive. A much much older crowd on QM2, and I am no spring chicken. There were many families on board as it was a holiday cruise. The kids club had very little organized and deck 12 quickly became the unofficial kids club. They had a great time and made good friends, but I was surprised at how little they had planned. Entertainment on board was again very geriatric, very little to do on sea days, planetarium shows were good but only a half hour long. Trivia in pub once a day, knitting, ballroom dance lessons that were seriously over crowded and that's about it. Overall she is a beautiful ship, but I think I will delay our next Cunard voyage until we are well into our 60's and are into 100% subdued. Celebrity and Princess do a better job at celebrating holidays. We loved the dressing up, but as the saying goes, all dressed up and nowhere to go, the ship was asleep by midnight. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
The Queen Mary 2 is a truly gorgeous ship, it was classy and elegant, no brashness, piped music just lovely quiet atmosphere. We were suprised after booking an inside cabin to be upgraded to a Balcony room, we had sparkling wine ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2 is a truly gorgeous ship, it was classy and elegant, no brashness, piped music just lovely quiet atmosphere. We were suprised after booking an inside cabin to be upgraded to a Balcony room, we had sparkling wine left with the complements of the captain so this was a great start for our cruise. We loved the room and our first impression of the ship was WOW.. We ate in the Brittania room on the late sitting and the food was brilliant !! absolutly great.. I could not complain about a single thing.... hence the downside.... You could hear many people complaining OVER NOTHING !!! it drove me mad that people LOOKED for things to moan about and I soon cottoned on that this was mainly the American contingency and they were desperately trying to get more discounts !!! it become very tiring listening to such whingeing moaning over nothing......the staff/ship did not deserve it.... I heard one American lady say... by the time im done on here I will get this cruise for FREE.... what a stinking attitude to have... if you dont want to pay what the price is then DONT GO....... The staff worked so hard, were always polite but how they held it together with some of this people who were simply trying to shaft Cunard out of getting some of their cash back started to spoil my trip..... Sooo,,, tune out those trying to make a buck !! just relax, chill enjoy your holiday, this is a cruise for the 50+ and its a quiet chilled out type of cruise dont expect fireworks but if you want understated elegance then this is for you.... Well Done Cunard and the staff, a brill experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Some quick observations from our recent trip... This was our second cruise. The first was a trip to Bermuda from NY over ten years ago and we did not like it very much. We booked this trip late after our planned trip to Hawaii did ... Read More
Some quick observations from our recent trip... This was our second cruise. The first was a trip to Bermuda from NY over ten years ago and we did not like it very much. We booked this trip late after our planned trip to Hawaii did not work out. We did not have super high expectations but liked the fact that the cruise was 15 days and departed from NY. We enjoyed ourselves very much. I don't think we are going to become full time cruisers but we would think about going every few years. It was nice being in the islands when it was so cold at home. I am going to focus this review on the ship and not talk about the destinations. Ship 1. Clean. The crew was always cleaning and painting. 2. We often wondered where all the people were. It never felt crowded 3. I thought the crew response to the Noro virus was excellent. I did feel bad for the people impacted. I never washed my hands so much in my life and was lucky not to get sick. Once at the planetarium the person behind me sneezed all over me. I was mad at that. 4. New years with Vibz in the lobby was a great time. They played over two hours straight without a break. My wife does not drink. Near midnight they were passing out glasses of champagne for everyone. A crew member noticed my wife was not drinking and got her a glass of soda water to toast with. Thank you !!! 5. G32 was too small and they allowed smoking. Because of this we only went one night. 6. Winter Garden appeared to be only for the art auctions. What a waste. 7. Shops were fun to browse but did not buy anything. 8. My wife and I enjoyed going around the ship and stairways looking at the art. Near the end of the trip we could tell where we were by the paintings. 9. I liked the atmosphere in the commodores club. My wife liked the chart room. 10. Dressing up was fun in the beginning but got a bit old by the end of the trip. 11. Tendering to shore always went well but I wish every port could be at a dock. 12. Bar service was very good and they never complained about getting soda water for my wife who had the soda sticker. 13. We did not go to the casino. 14. We met the captain twice and he was very friendly both times. Britannia Club 1. Service was very good every night. By the end of the trip they knew our likes and dislikes. 2. I thought the portions were correctly sized for me. Only gained 4 pounds ? 3. I appreciated the extra options on the 'club' menu. 4. Good non meat options for my wife. 5. The best way I can describe the food is to think of the best wedding or hotel food you have had. 6. The deserts were very good. Enjoyed the flambE and the cheese trolley several times. 7. The people next to us at dinner did not speak very good English but we had some pleasant exchanges. They often were finishing dinner when we were arriving. 8. It's amazing how hard the crew work with such little time off. They still were always pleasant. We ate once at Todd English and were not impressed. 1. Had to ask the wine steward twice to fill my glass. 2. Appetizer was comically small. 3. Risotto and the tuna were both over cooked. 4. Dessert was much too large. Carrot cake and two large plates of petite four. More food in the carrot cake as both our appetizers together. 5. Tables were too close together. 6. Other people we talked to liked it so we might have hit it on an off night. I also had a bad experience at another one of his restaurants so I might have been biased from the start. Kings Court. 1. We only ate lunch once and got some cheese one other time. It had no appeal to me because the food and service was so good in our dining room. The one day we needed to get off the ship early we got room service. 2. We saw passengers with the most disgusting personal habits. People sneezing then grabbing tongs to get salad and children spilling food all over the place. Gross. We called it the plague floor. It was better after the Noro breakout and they staffed it better and did not let passengers touch anything. 3. We wanted to try the Chefs Kitchen but they did not show a non meat option for my wife. Room 1. The room attendant was excellent. She was friendly without being obtrusive and room was always well maintained. 2. On deck 12 you do feel more motion then on the lower decks. 3. With the holiday season more children were on board and hanging out at the deck 12 pool. We sometimes had children running down the halls or talking loudly. 4. We did have the new flat screen TV in the room. 5. Room service was nice if we missed lunch on shore but the menu was limited. Did get some port and cheese one night as a snack when we planned on going to a late show and music. Entertainment 1. They did a great job of getting people in the holiday mood. 2. Lectures were good. 3. Planetarium show was popular and interesting. 4. The headliner,Dez O'Conner, on new year's was great. 5. I enjoyed going to the different venues to listen to music. Some string quartet or harp music before dinner. Maybe listen to Vibz or piano jazz before going to bed. None of the performers were exceptional but always enjoyable. 6. The classical concerts were nice on sea days. 7. The dancers and singers were fun. 8. Only complaint was the 'Crazy in love' show. Just terrible. Spa 1. The aqua spa was great. Not too long ago water was a precious resource on a ship now we have pools with bubble benches, steam showers and reflexology basins. Amazing. 2. The waiting room was a great place to read, relax and watch the over ambitious jog past. 3. Had three massages, two were very good and one was just ok. My wife said her treatments were great. 4. I was a bit concerned that the red alert sanitation protocols in the rest of the ship did not appear to exist in the Canyon Ranch spa. 5. Good fitness equipment. Took a spin class once and it was just ok. 6. Spa staff works for Canyon Ranch vs Todd Engish where they are Cunard employees. Summary 1. Great ship 2. Good food. 3. Great crew Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Holiday Cruise R/T NYC to NYC on the Queen Mary 2. December 19, 2010 to Jan 3rd, 2011 We arrived at the pier around 12:15. Our party is 5 people: My 97-year old father-in-law in a scooter, 2 adults, and kids 6 and 8 years old. We ... Read More
Holiday Cruise R/T NYC to NYC on the Queen Mary 2. December 19, 2010 to Jan 3rd, 2011 We arrived at the pier around 12:15. Our party is 5 people: My 97-year old father-in-law in a scooter, 2 adults, and kids 6 and 8 years old. We pulled up and immediately gave the longshoreman a $35 tip. We had a ton of stuff (including the heavy scooter) to unpack and we wanted to assure that our stuff all made in onto the boat. He got us into the building and into the handicap line (where there was basically no line at all.) There are benefits to traveling with the elderly! The staff at the counter were efficient. We had pre-registered, so they really just needed to see our passports, take our photos, swipe our credit card and we were ready to go. Total time to check in, less than 10 minutes. We headed right onto the boat with no annoying waiting in a lounge to be called As we walked onto the ship there was a bit of a crowd, confused about where to go. They only had one person "directing traffic", so she was definitely overwhelmed. She told us to use another elevator down the ship, which was fine. We went right to our cabins to check them out, which was nice that the cabins were already available. We then went to the Kings Court (aka the Lido deck) for lunch. It was busy already, but we got a table for the scooter and then brought back food for all of us. If you need a walker or scooter, be sure to get a handicap-accessible cabin. We booked late on a great deal, so we couldn't get a handicap room. My father-in-law's walker JUST barely fit into the cabin door. We had to rearrange his room so that he could use the walker to move around the bed and get to the balcony and the bathroom. It worked, but it was sub-optimal. He had a handicap room on the last HAL cruise that was much easier for him to maneuver in. We parked the scooter in the "Atlantic room" (the little-used room for card games) down the hall. Others parked theirs in the elevator vestibules, as we have done in the past. The scooter was able to access just about every other location on the ship, although one pool deck is only handicap-accessible by passing through the Todd English restaurant. There were probably about 20 people on the ship with scooters. We loved being on deck 11, near the front of the ship. We had easy access to the B staircase that takes you to and from the show each night. We also were near the self-service laundry and the large Observation deck on the front of the ship as well as being directly down 1 flight from the pool on deck 12. The only downside is that we had to travel the length of the ship to get to the dining room. Beware of deck 6 on the port side. It leads to the Kid Zone and the outdoor pool. Those cabins have noisy crowds walking past their doors throughout the day. The Food: We ate most meals in the Britannia restaurant (the dining room.) My wife and I agreed that the QM2 food and service was nearly exactly on par with that we have experienced on our last three Holland America cruises. Very good quality. Very attentive service. HAL always has a few stock items that are always available (chicken, a steak etc.) While QM2 lacked that, you could order non-menu items (we had Caesar salads often) and if they COULD get what you wanted, they always would. (If you wanted something that they have at the Kings Court, they'll get it for you if you ask.) Our waiter learned that we like a basket of bread and a cheese plate every night, and it was always there waiting for us. Each menu typically included a red meat (beef or lamb usually), a seafood item (mahi-mahi was great), a veggie item, sometimes chicken, but not always and then one more (maybe pasta etc.) There is a different soup for every meal and just about all of them were excellent. As elsewhere, if you want to remove parts of a dish that you don't like, you can. You can also mix-and match items from one dish to another and french fries are always available. Desserts were just OK. The baked goods are all beautiful, but they are suited more to the European palate, I believe. A couple of soufflE desserts and creme brulee were outstanding. We found that the time it took to serve each meal on QM2 was a bit faster than on HAL. I would say that a typical dinner lasted a bit over an hour, while on HAL it would have been closer to an hour and half. The wait after you order and between courses was shorter, which I thought was great. We CERTAINLY were never rushed out, but neither did we sit wondering when the meal would end, which sometimes happens on HAL. The Ship: Public rooms were nicely decorated for the Holidays. Every restaurant and bar had it's own unique Christmas tree. And many of them were just gorgeous. Many passengers got in the spirit too, by decorating their door or "mailbox" with small wreaths or stick-on Santas or bows or stockings. One person wrapped their entire door in Christmas paper, like a giant present. It was fun to see all the original ways that people added a bit of decoration to their rooms. Most days we participated in the afternoon trivia contest in the pub. We met many very nice (and smart) folks by joining new trivia teams each day. Entertainment: The shows were similar in quality to those on HAL. I was impressed that they almost never used prerecorded vocal tracks or canned music (just one show, "Love Crazy", featured lip-synching.) The orchestra was very good. I find that all ships choose odd acts at times. We had a show starring a harp soloist and another with a violinist. Both were very talented, but how long can you sit and be entertained by a woman playing the harp? New Year's Eve featured Des O'Connor who apparently is famous in England. He was like a UK Merv Griffin (he sang a bit and told stories about his famous show-biz friends) which might have been entertaining if we knew who the heck he was. For Christmas Eve they had three sessions of group sing-along's of well known Christmas carols in the Grand Lobby. I was very moved by the emotion of singing along with hundreds of other folks who chose to come and join in the festivities. I was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, but that night turned out to be one of the highlights for me. New Years Eve featured events in several areas of the ship. A big ball in the Queens room (dancing etc), the calypso/rock band in the Grand Lobby and disco in the disco. They all had a balloon drop and complementary champagne at Midnight. A fun night. The Pools: There are basically three. One family pool (The Minnows), one 18-and-over pool and the indoor pool (with retractable roof) for adults and kids alike. As we had many days of unpredictable weather, the roof of the indoor pool was only open one or two days. We found that the pools were not well maintained; that is, they were dirty. When we got on, there were piles of some black stuff piled on each corner of the Minnow pool. I'd estimate that there was 1 to 2 cups of that black stuff in each corner, so I'm not talking about just a little speck of dirt. We called the purser at least 4 times about that, as well as telling people near the pool. Nothing was ever done. On the day we left the ship, I walked by the indoor pool before we disembarked and noted that there were piles of sand in each corner of that pool too. That said, we did use the pools just about every day and I must say that the water didn't look murky. Still, it's a weakness. The People: There were around 200 "kids" under 18 on the ship, ranging from babies to teenagers. The teens tended to move around in a pack of 10 to 20 of them, occasionally taking over one of the pools and jacuzzi. They seemed like basically good kids, although they can be a little loud when they all get together. The average age of the rest of the guests was probably in the late 60's to early 70's. While we bonded with LOTS of people on the ship and had many wonderful conversations, there was an undercurrent of rudeness and unpleasantness among plenty of the guests, particularly the older ones. We saw people being short (and downright rude) to the staff. Nothing seemed to please them and they just seemed like they had come off a crowded subway car and everyone better watch out! It was not the ship that caused these people to be in such a foul mood. It's Christmas for goodness sake. Lighten up and enjoy yourself. Our Cabin: We had an inside cabin and my father-in-law had a balcony down the hall. We were on the 11th deck, near the front, so we made a habit of taking a quick walk out onto the Observation deck (also on 11) each morning to see where we were and what the weather was like. They also have a channel on TV that shows a view of the front of the ship, but it's not the same as being outside to really see what's up. The bathroom was typical, although perhaps a tad smaller than our last couple of HAL bathrooms. Our cabin steward was efficient and helpful. He knew when we left for meals and I think only once was still cleaning the room when we came back. Special requests, like a cork screw or extra tissues were handled quickly and with a smile. The room was in very good condition. The TV's have been upgraded to flatscreens. Our rug had not been replaced, as I read that some others have been. It was OK, but ready to be changed. I suppose I'm behind the times, as people now routinely travel with their entire music collection in their shirt pocket, but I missed having music available in my cabin. They do not have CD or DVD players and there are no "music" channels on TV, aside from the Musak on the webcam channel. If I came back to the cabin by myself, it was strangely quiet. On TV they have a menu of movies that runs each day. They seem behind the times in that you cannot call up a movie "on demand". As such, we saw parts of many movies, but never saw one all the way through. I'm not going to plan my day around watching some old movie. Smoking: We were pleased that smoking is now restricted to only a few spots on the ship. The pub, which was very smoky 4 years ago, is now free of any smell. People can smoke in their cabins and so we sometimes smelled strong smoke in the halls, but that was the exception, not the rule. The only inside location that reeked of stale smoke was the disco. The Ports: St Thomas - We've been to Meghans Bay and it's really just OK. We tried Sapphire Beach this time. About the same distance from the boat 20-40 mins based on traffic. The beach was great: Very clean and beautiful. Good surf but not rough. Shared taxis from the pier were $11 per person, but since we filled the van we were charged $10 and the kids were free. On the way back, there was no discount and I paid $11 each for adults and kids. Chairs at the beach were for rent at $7 and there was a stand selling drinks and snacks. There is a bathroom and a diving rental store. No real restaurants. Less "locals" hanging around smoking than at Meghans. We're not shoppers, so while St Thomas looked to be a good place for shopping, I can't really say. US cell phones work here with no roaming fees. St Martin: Went to Dawn beach. It's closer than the famous Orient beach and much quieter. Chairs and umbrellas for rent ($15 for 2 chairs and an umbrella) and a nice (I'd even say pricey) restaurant/bar on the beach. (You can use their toilets.) This was the nicest beach on our trip until we got to Barbados. Great waves, perfect smooth sand and friendly people. Definitely worth a visit. St Lucia: You have to tender-in here. It rained terribly all day, so since we couldn't go to the beach (I had heard fantastic things about Pigeon Island) we just stayed on board. Curacao: We've vacationed here before, so we know the island quite well. It was a short visit (out at 2:00) and it was Boxing Day so many of the shops were closed. (In the end I'd say that 2/3 of the stores were open by Noon.) The shopping area is quaint and not as full of Little Switzerland-type stores as other ports. Plenty of t-shirt shops. Always worth a walk into, even if just to cross the floating bridge. If you come here, the nicest beach is Porto Marie. Barbados: We read on CC that Crane beach was great for body-surfing. Since the kids love that, we went there. We were quoted a price of $20 per person R/T, which for the 4 of us seemed steep at $80. We pleaded for a "even for the kids?" discount and agreed on $60 R/T. We arrived at the end of a street and the driver showed us how to get to the beach, by walking across concrete stepping stones that crossed an outcropping of sharp coral, down to the beach. Oh and what a beach! Incredibly soft sand, nice boogie-boarding waves and just about the most serene place you could ask for. Chairs, umbrellas and boogie-boards are available for rent. We watching daring youth jump from the cliffs into the turquoise sea and then went and jumped in too! Wow, what a day! There is a shack selling drinks. At the far end of the beach is a small outside shower. You can enter the beach through The Crane Resort and they have facilities. I'm told that they charge you for entering that way and to use the facilities. We didn't, so I'm not sure about the cost. Note that even though this beach was PARADISE, there was no place to change or go to the bathroom. I'd suggest arriving in your bathing suit, as we (and many others) used the trees just off the beach as our public changing area. Dominica: Not much of a beachy island and very limited shopping. We almost went back to the ship, but were talked into a tour by one of the local vultures who will descend on you as you cross the street from the dock. They all pretty much do the same tour, which is to see the sulfur pools and Trafalger Falls. The tour was about 1.5 hours and we were charged $20 for adults and $10 for the kids (fair enough.) The driver stopped along the way to show us flora and fauna and then on to view the bubbling hot pools. (You can also pay extra to visit one of the mineral spas for a soak, but that's not our thing.) From there you go to Trafalgar Falls (admission $5 per person.) You walk about 5 minutes on an easy climb trail to an observation point where you can see the falls. Very impressive. For the more daring folks (that was me and the kids, but not my wife) you can continue down an even rougher trail that takes you to large boulders at the base of twin falls. If you climb over them (it's fairly challenging) you can "swim" in the small pools just down from the falls. Many folks came prepared for this with their swimsuits under their clothes. My son just fell in with his clothes on instead. A very cool place! After leaving the falls, the tour then visited the Botanical Gardens (the crushed school bus from a hurricane in 1979 was a highlight) and then on to a viewing spot high above the city where you can see the ship and all that surrounds it. There is an inexpensive Internet cafe/phoning place right behind the bank as you exit the pier. Greneda: Very friendly people here. I forgot to bring cash and as the tender was arriving we contemplated just staying on and heading back. My wife had $25 and we were able to plead with the taxi guy to take us to Grand Anse beach R/T for that $25. This left us with nothing to pay the $1 fee to use the bathroom, but even the folks there were very kind and let us change and use the toilet. The beach is quite close and has all the facilities. Guys selling watersports are walking around. It was a shame that we had only a short time there, as it was a very comfortable beach. We wanted to go visit the spice plantations and processing plants, but apparently those tours take a long time and you need to be off the ship pronto in order to have time to do them. We took our time and it was too late to go. Our loss I think. St Kitts: Kind of rainy, so we just walked around. Too bad as I was excited about beaches I had read about. Lots of shopping but the prices were high. T-shirts mostly $15 and up. No bargains here. Liquor prices similar to New Hampshire. Tortola: A short day in port. Very long (30-45 minute) tender ride in. There is shopping about an 8 minute walk from the pier but we went to Cane Bay beach. There were 3 ships in port and the beach was very crowded. It's about 20 minutes from the pier by taxi ($8/person each way) over treacherous hills. Quite a ride. We actually got a different taxi back (there are tons available) because the shifter handle on the first taxi was falling off and we feared for our lives. The beach is nice with many beach bars and the usual chairs for rent. Not a quiet spot, but fine for our last day on a beach for 6 months. Tortola's currency is US dollars. There is a bank near the pier that had a big line at their ATM as American's restocked their cash supply. We had just gotten a cash advance on the ship, or we would have been in line too. Summary: We did have a great time on the ship. 15 days go by very fast. We would definitely consider taking this cruise again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Hello This was our 23rd cruise and our second on the Queen Mary 2 .We prefer to cruise around holidays as its easier for us to get away from our bussiness. We sailed on the this ship christmas/newyears last year and had a great ... Read More
Hello This was our 23rd cruise and our second on the Queen Mary 2 .We prefer to cruise around holidays as its easier for us to get away from our bussiness. We sailed on the this ship christmas/newyears last year and had a great time. Originally booked this cruise when we were on the ship last year ,but later had our booking transfered to an internet agency that we regulary use. Embarkation in Brooklyn, was no problem ,lines move fast,and Cunard reps. were very pleasant. Food and service in the dining hall ,I thought was excellant ,balcony room was adequit, plenty of storage and hangers,not spacious,room steward was ok.Gym is also very good. I found that the cunard line is more respectful to there passenger needs .We're plantnum members on norwegian cruise lines and I felt like we recieved more perks and service from Cunard .I couldn't believe Cunards liquor policy,after we visited St.Thomas we purchased 6 bottles on liquor,had it delivered to the ship ,when I returned to cabin the boxed liquor was already delivered to our state room. Now Norwegian treats you like a criminal if you try and bring Liquor to your room,My past experiance with Norwegain ,We bought into a upgrade to an owners suite [expensive] upon embarkation they locate a pint of vodka in my carry-on and confiscate it . All this did was really piss me off and change my mind on future Norwegian cruises. We highly recommend Cunard realgearhead Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Generally, we really liked the ship, but it was disconcerting to feel hollow spots under the carpet. The Queen's Room is a spectacular dance venue. The food was poor to average in the Britannia Restaurant. It could be American ... Read More
Generally, we really liked the ship, but it was disconcerting to feel hollow spots under the carpet. The Queen's Room is a spectacular dance venue. The food was poor to average in the Britannia Restaurant. It could be American vs English taste buds. I loved the food in the Todd English, but my wife did not find it very good. The service in the Britannia Restaurant was the worst I have ever had on any prior cruise. Our tables were the last to leave the restaurant every night. We ordered coffee with dessert every night and on only one night did it actually arrive with the dessert. The food service personnel were unprofessiopnal and unfriendly. Maybe if we paid for Queen's Grille passage we would have had better service. The room was okay and the room stewardess was excellent. The entertainers were talented, but the shows were not good and wasted the talent available. My wife viewed it as unimaginative cruise entertainment that is available on any cruiseline. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This is our 15th Cruise on the sixth cruise line we have been on. We decided to go on this cruise because of the itinerary and this was supposed to be a classic ship. It took us longer to get to our stateroom after we boarded the ... Read More
This is our 15th Cruise on the sixth cruise line we have been on. We decided to go on this cruise because of the itinerary and this was supposed to be a classic ship. It took us longer to get to our stateroom after we boarded the ship than on any other cruise. Elevators are very small. If someone needs a walker or a motor scooter maybe one other person could fit in. After walking around the ship one notices that you tend to sink down into the rug in certain areas. A hole in the floor? You do walk uphill in some areas and downhill in others. There are also half decks to negotiate. Once again, if you are handicapped or have mobility problems good luck with the lifts. There is very little outdoor activities on the QM2. However, this ship is mostly an ocean liner to get you from place to place. The library is very good. Didn't go to the gym on this cruise. Dinners in the dining room- I had heard from past passengers that the food was very good on this ship and the service was excellent. Maybe it was for them, but, not for us. Out of five dinners in the Britannia Dining Room we got tired of things being brought to us that we didn't want, food not tasting good, and poor overall service. It may be the European custom to have tea after dessert, but, Americans prefer to have tea with dessert. The service in different areas of the Britannia Dining Room are substandard and does not meet the Carnival standard. On a good note they did make a special request for me. Moussaka. It is a Greek dish and usually tastes good. My wife didn't recognise it and it did not taste particularly good. Both my wife and I spoke to the dining room manager and even the hotel director. They failed to do something. Specialty Restaurants- On the other hand we had dinner several times in the different dining areas of The King's Court and Todd English. The food was noticeably better and so was the service. Also, we had our tea with our dessert instead of 25 minutes after finishing the desert. As an added bonus, we had what we wanted and not gotten served something else. Lions Den: It is only open a few hours for lunch. The food is pretty good. They serve drinks during most of the day and night. Has a piano player and they do karaoke here. Room service- Room service met the standard. Service was prompt and mostly correct. Entertainment- The shows for the most part were not that good. My wife enjoyed the singer, and piano player. I like the ventriloquist and comedian that came on toward the end of the cruise. They joined us at Barbados. My wife saw some movies in the illusions theater. Also, at same theater they had some speakers. The mystery writer drew a big crowd every time he spoke. That theater is also the planetarium. Casino- The casino is somewhat behind others in the Carnival Corp. They use tokens for slot machines. And you must bring them to the cage and cash them into money each time or you would still have gaming tokens. I played at the craps table every night. Love the game and met some interesting people there. Dealers got to know me long before the cruise ended. Sometimes I was the only one there playing. Then later we got some other players. What is the fasination with watching me play craps I'll never understand. Did have a few big rolls there. My wife and I enjoy playing BINGO. We only played once this voyage because they use the Lions Den for BINGO. Most cruise lines use the theatre where there is more room. The Lions Den could get cramped. Places we went to: St. Thomas: We docked at the Crown Bay pier. The last two times to the island we docked at the Havensight pier. We got off the ship walked around the went back to the ship. The Crown Bay pier is like a flea market. The Havensight shopping area is better. They allowed panhandlers in the Crown Bay shopping area. The stores are not as nice. This is the #1 shopping destination down this way. St. Lucia- The water was so bad that day we decided against risking it going on the tender. The people that worked in the area of the tender said, "we never saw the water so rough before." We stayed on the ship doing things. Grenada- Went on shore excursion. Island is very poor. In our limited contacts with the people who live there they seemed to be decent. Not a big shopping destination. Barbados- Went on shore excursion here. Better shopping than on Grenada and island is more developed. There seems to be more commercial interests in Barbados than on Grenada. Dominica- Poor island, but very nice. You purchase something here it is not made in China. This island does not go after the tourist trade the way the other islands do. As a result it is more preserved. Formal nights- There are many formal nights on this line. We did maneuver our way around them. We did go to s few and didn't participate in others. I noticed many passengers did not participate in some formal nights. However it is formal only for dinner. Also, you are not required to eat in the main dining room. You could go to another dining venue to eat. Even after a few formal nights my wife got tired of them. Go on a shore excursion then come back tired and tell me you want to dress for dinner. As the cruise went on the alternative dining venues filled up. They did have a Rabbi on board to have services for Hanukkah. That was pretty good. The Latkases were pretty good too. Jason was our room steward. He was very good. Provided everything we needed. Overall, I've been on worse cruises. This one left me disappointed after the big buildup people told me. Now that I am officially a Cunard-er, and survived the first cruise I would consider going again. In my experience on the first Cunard cruise it showed me what there is to do and there will be times to catch up on your sleep. I am booked until 2012 on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Our first time on the QM2. Boarding was easy and the room was great. Our cabin steward and waiters were absolutely perfect...fun, gracious, and skilled. Elegant decor at every corner of the boat. We enjoyed the formal/semi formal ... Read More
Our first time on the QM2. Boarding was easy and the room was great. Our cabin steward and waiters were absolutely perfect...fun, gracious, and skilled. Elegant decor at every corner of the boat. We enjoyed the formal/semi formal requirements for dinner each evening. As with most ships these days, however, no one questions the folks arriving in jeans and golf shirts on formal nights. Unfortunate. For all her beauty, this ship is oddly constructed. It is apparent that the large sections did not fit exactly together in the shipyard. There are many "humps" in the floor where large sections of the ship join. There are also many holes in the floor under the carpet that you actually step into when walking around the ship. Non of this spoiled the experience. It was actually quite interesting. As with many ships these days, QM2 offers a one time charge for unlimited soft drinks. Ideal for those of us who consume too many. And as usual, when you present this card for a soft drink the bartenders immediately change from friendly to surly. Some began to recognize me and would begin scowling before I arrived at the bar. I commented, jokingly, to the female bartender in the Commadore Club that I must be "predictable" as I ordered a Diet Coke. Her response was an agry YES as she dropped the class on the bar turning away. I really don't get this attitude. It is as if they are all trained to react this way. The Canyon Ranch Spa is extremely nice and relaxing after a long day. All in all - the waiters and other staff more than made up for the angry bartenders. You will love the QM2 Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Started our holiday with a 2 night stay in NYC. having never been there before, we were truly amazed at the size of the buildings. We loved new york and had a great time. Our hotel was Grand Hyatt near Grand Central which was lovely and we ... Read More
Started our holiday with a 2 night stay in NYC. having never been there before, we were truly amazed at the size of the buildings. We loved new york and had a great time. Our hotel was Grand Hyatt near Grand Central which was lovely and we had a good room on the 17th floor - very large,flat screen tv etc. Only downsize was the transfer from the airport using Super Shuttle - reasonable price - rude fast driver who texted while driving. We had a great diner across the road called Pershing Square where we went for breakfast twice - i would highly recommend it. We did a new york city tour which took in the main sites and had a very informative tour guide. We did Rockefeller at night - amazing seeing the city lit up and we went up Empire state next day after the tour. Enjoyed it all immensely. Used a limo company called ETG and had a comfortable journey to the port at a cost of 10 dollars more then the super shuttle. would definitely use again. On arriving at cruise terminal dropped our cases off, went straight to desk for registration etc, got a number and walked straight through to ship no waiting in lounges and had lunch. This was about 12.45. Room was usual thing but very clean and light. It seemed spacious and was well set out. We had a in hull balcony which I thought was great. Not bothered about sun bathing on the balcony and we like to stand and watch the arrival at port. Couldn't fault it. Room steward was excellent and came in and out like wil o the wisp - hardly ever actually saw him. Now for the actual ship. Yes it is lovely and very grand and traditional which i loved and if there were signs of wear and tear i never really noticed it. They were replacing the carpets and doing jobs late at night. The restaurant was nice and food was good. I can say our service on the whole was excellent and our waiter Jaes was very good. Maybe one or 2 nights a little slow but i would say that was the kitchens fault. We ate breakfast there once and it was horrendous-really slow and not all that when it came. We helped ourselves in Kings Court and we always got a table. Daily entertainment was plentiful - we were never bored although we didn't attend any lectures. Evening entertainment was another matter - it was on the whole, in my opinion, very very poor. The shows weren't good although the young singers had very good voices. The Queens room had dancing every night with the same songs every night and closed too early. The golden lion liked to close just as people were starting to enjoy themselves. Think the ship needs a new cruise director who is actually interested in what is going on. The guy on there just likes the sound of his own voice on his daily tv prog. I have been on 2 P&O cruises (owned by same company as Cunard apparently) and there is no comparison with the entertainment. I would also say that the food and service is equal to that of QM2. Its not that we want a party ship just some decent entertainment that doesn't shut down on the stroke of midnight. I think Cunard thinks anyone over 60 is in bed by then. Enjoyed it overall but wouldn't rush back unless it was a very tempting offer. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
This was our second QM2 winter Caribbean cruise, the first in 2006 departing from a warm Fort Lauderdale. This trip was the final leg of a Vegas / New York / Cruise from the UK. We won't be taking another QM2 winter cruise to the ... Read More
This was our second QM2 winter Caribbean cruise, the first in 2006 departing from a warm Fort Lauderdale. This trip was the final leg of a Vegas / New York / Cruise from the UK. We won't be taking another QM2 winter cruise to the Caribbean departing New York.It would have to sail from warmer waters to get us back on board. The journey to and from New York was just too cold for our liking. We will look for a luxury cruise liner that is based in one of the Caribbean Ports such as P & O who sail from Barbados or even Holland and America from Florida. The ship itself is still very grand, the lounges ( apart from the tacky themed pub ) were very smart. Food in the Britannia was good. We ate in the Lotus restaurant one night and the taster menu was surprisingly good. Its a shame Cunard are introducing a charge to eat there in the New Year. Balcony cabin was immaculate. All in all, couldn't fault the ship, just kicking myself for sailing from New York, so sun lovers - be warned. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
Queen Mary 2 November 27th Caribbean Cruise This was our third Caribbean cruise on Queen Mary2 and we were very happy with this trip. We love cruising from NYC because we can drive to the port in about 3 ½. Hours. Traffic on the ... Read More
Queen Mary 2 November 27th Caribbean Cruise This was our third Caribbean cruise on Queen Mary2 and we were very happy with this trip. We love cruising from NYC because we can drive to the port in about 3 ½. Hours. Traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike was horrible making us arrive at the ship just after 3:00pm. The lines were huge at check in, but the grill check in line was totally empty so we walked directly onto the ship. Finding food at that time in Kings Court was a challenge. Our Q5 stateroom was wonderful except for the long walk to the Queens Grill. Our butler Lily was waiting for us wondering why we were so late. We did ask her to unpack us during dinner and she did a good job. More about Lily later. We had French Champaign upon arrival and had a second bottle in the fridge. Lily brought me a bottle of Beefeater Gin a pitcher of vermouth a martini glass a cocktail shaker and a steady supply of olives. Very nice. Last two times we dined in the Princess Grill, and I have to say Queens Grill was a very pleasant surprise. The service was impeccable, food was great for the most part and selections diverse. The a la carte menu was three times bigger then the Princes Grill. The last time we were on QM2 was '07 and most of the senior staff was sent to the new Queen Victoria leaving promoted waiters from Princess Cruise Line staffing the Princess Grill. The difference between our experience in the Princess Grill in '06 and '07 was like night and day. The '06 service was professional and wonderful. The service in '07 was typical cruise line service. The waiter would ask how the food was and if I said good he would not leave me alone until I said it was excellent. He was more concerned about our survey at the end of the cruise than making us comfortable. I thought maybe the same thing would happen this time because of the introduction of Queen Elizabeth, but the service was very professional and our table for two near the window afforded great views of passersby from the neck down and lovely conversations with adjacent tables. We do not dance or go to shows (poked my head into a show about Italy and saw dancing Mona Lisas which confirmed my feelings about shipboard entertainment and walked out) we love dining walking around the ship looking in the shops finding quiet places to sit and read. QM2 enables us to do this very well. We had two new ports for us on this cruise, Grenada and Dominica. Grenada was very nice we took the spice island tour which drove us to a volcanic lake and saw many beautiful views and a visit to a nutmeg drying facility. Because of the two hurricanes in the past few years almost all of the homes were heavily damaged, now most of the homes had been repaired with new roofs and new paint make for pretty villages along out tour. Dominica was a little scary if you wander beyond the gated-off part of the port, but the straw market was nice. Lily Lily Lily, our butler. Great job but something was a little creepy. After coming back from diner in St. Thomas Lily said "I saw you went shopping I love the Gucci watch but I want to see what you bought at H Sterns the box was empty". The shopping bags from said purchases were stashed under the desk, so she really had to look for them. Then later in the cruise she told us she let her friends in to see my wife's purse which was on the top self in the closet. Then she came in one day and said to Judy "you don't look very well can I do something for you". Judy said no she had medication to help then Lily said "I know, you have a drawer full of medications." If she tells us she is a snoop does that make it okay? We asked people at the table next to us and they were appalled and said you must report her. We still don't know what to do about this. She never took anything but we don't want to be responsible for her losing her job. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We were the first color called, found are luggage very easily, into our car and on the road by 8:30. In conclusion we love QM2 and will cruise on her again, but we are sad that there are no NYC Caribbean cruses next year planned. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
The Queen Mary is divine! We are in our sixties and have been on many other cruises. This one was special. The ship is beautiful. We were advised to book a veranda cabin that has glass surround rather than the ones within the hull of the ... Read More
The Queen Mary is divine! We are in our sixties and have been on many other cruises. This one was special. The ship is beautiful. We were advised to book a veranda cabin that has glass surround rather than the ones within the hull of the ship. It was great because you can see the ocean without standing up. It was, however, much more expensive and I'm not sure we'd bother to spend the extra money again because the staterooms with verandas are all fine and all identical except for the veranda...............Because this was a holiday cruise the activities were geared to Xmas and New Years. Cunard did a fabulous job....Christmas Carols sung in the main lobby.....New Years parties all over the ship.....gorgeous decorations throughout, etc. etc....The service was fine except for the deck chairs and lack of them during days at sea. Since the Queen Mary II is not really built as a cruise ship but rather an ocean liner, they are not prepared to accomodate 2000 passengers around the swimming pools. They did run out of deck chairs on a few occasions. That being said, it was a small complaint during an otherwise wonderful trip.....FOOD!....The Britannia dining room is just fine. Lots of people find fault with little things. We did not. All the food was more than fine and so was the service. The Lido buffet is divided into sections that can be a little confusing, but so what! There was plenty to eat and plenty of choices were available. Cunard does tea in the late afternoon not to be missed. How elegant!!! ACTIVITIES....The main activity is BEING on this special ship. If you are interested in wet tee shirt contests and rock climbing this is NOT for you. If you like elegance and dressing to the nines for dinner, then you chose the right ship. People watching is half the fun. The various bars on board are each different and wonderful just to sit there...The shows are typical ship-board stuff but fun if you like that sort of thing.--------All in all, the Queen Mary II is a must experience! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
We have looked forward to cruising on the QM2 since we toured it as Carnival stockholders 4 years ago on its maiden call on New York. This was to be our 70th cruise. PROS - The ship is absolutely gorgeous - no corners cut or money spared ... Read More
We have looked forward to cruising on the QM2 since we toured it as Carnival stockholders 4 years ago on its maiden call on New York. This was to be our 70th cruise. PROS - The ship is absolutely gorgeous - no corners cut or money spared anywhere. It is also absolutely spotless - have never seen a cleaner ship. The cabins even our rock bottom inside (D8) was both spotless and beautiful. Amenities are provided that are not available on other ships unless you are in a top tier repeat cruiser (elite on Princess for example) They included, robes, slippers, large and varied toiletries, cotton balls and swabs (my wife loves those), As a repeat Cunard cruiser (Gold) we also received 2 hours of internet and a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately, this is the end of the pros. CONS - EVERYTHING ELSE is second rate unworthy of any cruise line, much less Cunard (really Princess) and far lower than any Princess cruise we have been on so it is unclear how far Princess management extends in the line. Although I did not receive any sympathy from Cruise critic members when I posted my comments on a huge (30%) price drop and the absolute refusal of Cunard (Princess) to grant ANY concession of any kind - i.e. shipboard credit, upgrade etc. it bears repeating here. THE ONLY PROTECTION IS TO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO BOOK. I bring this up again because our neighbors booked a New Year's Eve cruise on CELEBRITY and there has been a similar price drop. Celebrity offered them (they did not have to ask) an equivalent shipboard credit or upgrade commensurate with the price difference. So we weren't happy before we sailed, but put it behind us and were looking forward to sailing on this beautiful ship. Also it should be mentioned that the prices of QM2 cruises are 2-3 times the amount of other similar or identical cruises so consider that in reading the following. FOOD - Some of the worst food we have ever had. Cold, tasteless, but beautifully presented. Poor selection. Food is apparently prepared all at once and if you are early, it is much better. Dining stewards wonderful. Always addressed us by name. We don't cruise to eat and almost always eat in the Lido (buffet) rather than the dining room. This time we ate a number of times in the dining room due to the inedible nature of the food in the Chinese (Lotus) buffet which was frequently the ONLY alternative dining venue. Pizza was frozen cardboard bread of the absolute worst type - you could see the marks on the bottom. It was absolutely inedible. The alternative dining is different. You must book for 3 of the 4 for dinner and they are frequently booked for days in advance or in the case of one - the entire cruise. Also the menus change very little. When they go to restaurant like setting in the evening (which require advance booking) the menu is ALWAYS the same. However, as it turned out this is the best food on the ship! It is cooked right there and is both delicious and fresh. SERVICE - Forget about legendary Cunard service. In most cases the crew goes about its work oblivious to the passengers. They act like we are not there at all. Step in front of you, between you and your wife, fail to yield, just start working even though you are trying to pass with a tray - they are very rude. The service is no different than any other ship in general and in most cases was worse with the exception of the dining room and room steward. In the bars you would be ignored. We went to Sir Samuels at 11:50 and asked for a lunch item. We were told it would not be available until 12 and we said fine and waited - and waited - and waited while the waiter just went about his business completely ignoring us until about 12:20 when he came over and asked if we wanted anything! There were 4 other occupied tables and about 3-4 waiters. Same in the Chart Room (which is a gorgeous room) BUT, the most egregious example was in the Queen's Room for high tea - a British and of course Cunard tradition - but of course there is a schedule to keep. So at 4:30 the waiters come around and remove not only the tea cups BUT THE TABLE CLOTH - we could not believe it. Clearly there is a sore lack of management on the ship. We have seen that on other ships and it always starts at the top - poor management at the top = poor service to the passengers. In fairness however; there were a few examples of the type of service one would expect from "the greatest ship in the world" At Sir Samuels whenever I approached the bar, after the first time, the bar tender would start pouring my diet coke when he saw me coming. Same in the Queen's room - only had to look at the waiter and the diet coke and water would be on the way. Unfortunately this is the service one would expect on a ship of this type but it was rare indeed. ROOM - Although our steward did an admirable job - the two of us existed for the 2 weeks on the two small bars of soap. No replacements. Likewise the toiletries were replaced - in part - once. Clearly this is direction from management and I am sure if requested they would have been provided. But should you have to make a request for this on - again - the greatest ship in the world? The ship is a virtual floating museum about Cunard and quite fascinating. There is memorabilia, exhibits, blowups, photos etc. There are also several channels about the line. Sadly, today's Cunard - Princess - Carnival - whatever it is - simply rests on and does not live up to its laurels. If you sailed on Cunard in the past (pre Carnival/Princess) you will not recognize it today. Cunard is no more! ACTIVITES - not much - not really a cruise staff as you might be used to. A couple of social hostesses, some trivia - very little else. They do have well known (and sometimes boring!) lecturers. HOWEVER, the planetarium is not to be missed. It is simply amazing and must be seen to be believed! DISEMBARKATION was a disaster. TWO hours late. Not sure whose fault BUT there were only 2 announcements, one that it would be 30 min late and one 45 minutes. Nothing further. As people began to panic, staff's response was they should know better and not book anything until sometime late in the day apparently. Our only problem was a limo that billed us $10 for every 15 minutes - yep $80. NOW, the reason we booked it was we have sailed from Brooklyn before. On a weekday there are virtually no cabs as they are all in the city where they can make much more. There are high priced limos, but not very many and no other transportation options. Save your money and sail 2 or 3 times on any other cruise line and you will likely be more satisfied. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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