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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
Eighth cruise including three previously on Cunard, first time on QM2. Extreme disappointment is an understatement. The food in the King's Court Buffet leaves a lot to be desired and the tables are all set for two people, with a few ... Read More
Eighth cruise including three previously on Cunard, first time on QM2. Extreme disappointment is an understatement. The food in the King's Court Buffet leaves a lot to be desired and the tables are all set for two people, with a few for four people which means you can't meet up with fellow travellers (especially if you're a solo traveller). Added to this, there is no waiter service whatsoever, not even for hot drinks and not even for those passengers who need assistance however minor or major. Most of the stage shows were second-rate - certainly not world class and way too loud. Whilst the dance floor in the famous Queen's Room is superb, it is located way down the back of the ship down eight stairs, along the photographs corridor and then up eight stairs. There is a two person lift. Whilst it's a beautiful ballroom the band departs at 8.30 pm and doesn't bother coming back until 9.45 pm. This is the peak time when early diners would like to dance. Sure, the first show is on at that time but as previously mentioned, they're not worth going to and there's also a late show at which there are always plenty of seats. The planetarium is a circular cinema screen on the ceiling which shows 23 minute films on the solar system. The air con in the internal cabins blows straight on to the head of the bed which is not very comfortable. Trivia is held in the pub which is too small for the numbers attending. The Chart Room reeks of cigar smoke. Do not book early. Many passengers doing the same number of days paid less than half the fare I paid. There's more but that's probably enough. The library is the best I've ever seen and has the best views of any outlet on the ship. The scones and jam and cream are superb. I always book an inside cabin as I like darkness when I sleep, however the bright green light on the smoke detector lit up the room. However, as the bathroom door and the wardrobe doors open on to each other, I was able to leave both doors open at a certain angle which effectively blocked out the green light. Also, the person in the bathroom would need to alert the other occupant that they were exiting so as not to hit them. The air con blows straight on to the head of the bed and can't be changed. I removed the doona insert leaving just the cover and changed the air con to warm so the air blowing on the bed wasn't cold for three weeks. There is oodles of hanging and storage space which is great. The bathroom is big enough. There's no power point. Plenty of soft, white towels. Big safe in the cupboard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
Having cruised about 4 times before I wondered if QM2 would live up to the expectation and reviews that it would be the most magnificent experience I had ever had. Whilst the overall experience was very pleasant and there were many good ... Read More
Having cruised about 4 times before I wondered if QM2 would live up to the expectation and reviews that it would be the most magnificent experience I had ever had. Whilst the overall experience was very pleasant and there were many good activities and facilities, there was nothing outstanding about anything really. Food: generally good in all venues that i tried. Good choices and quality. Being on a circumnavigation of Australia I would have loved to see more Australian influence in the food and at least some fresh Australian produce being used. Drinks: Wine was expensive however the spirits and cocktails seemed well priced. Stateroom: we had a sheltered balcony midships deck 5 which was my specific choice for a variety of reasons. Room was well equipped with all that was required. There was plenty of storage space and the beds were very, very comfortable. Bathroom was very small (smaller than other ships I have been on). Balcony being 'sheltered' did not allow enough airflow and was on the whole unusable as it was at least 100% humidity out there and combined with the air temperatures was most unpleasant. Decks/facilities: Not enough shade or covered areas on the top deck. No where to sit out of the sun or wind so quite disappointing. A few sheltered areas around the pool or nice big lounges or day beds would be beneficial and would mean that people would be more likely to use this deck and pool area. The pool area on this deck also smelt bad as the stacks churning out black smoke were just above it. The indoor pool was nicer but sometimes I just wanted fresh air and a swim. Bars were nice and well decorated.On the whole the ship was beautifully decorated and furnished and there were some particularly nice spots to sit. Some areas were underutilized and others used too much. Activities: The guest speakers onboard Sydney to Perth were excellent. The entertainment was also first class. A few more interesting activities in the afternoons would not have gone astray. Organisation: this is where I think Cunard fell down in comparison to other ships/lines. With such a top reputation I expected much more in this regard. Some activities were held in areas that were not suitable creating great congestion for those wanting to be involved but also those that did not, therefore inconveniencing a large number of people. There were queues everywhere and for everything! Getting off the ship was mayhem at times and there was very little consideration given to those with walking difficulties who could not stand in a queue for 1 hour or walk around in circles through the lobby to eventually get into to the queue. It was bedlam trying to get into the shows at night particularly if you had a walking issue. The Planetarium (where many of the guest presentations were held) did not offer any or enough spaces for disabled to sit or get to. More staff needed to be stationed at the entrances to these venues to guide people in and some preference should be given to those in wheelchairs and with walking aids - and there were a very large number of them on the ship at this time. So our over all experience of the QM2 was pleasant but it did not live up to the hype that is created about her. I don't think that I would cruise on her again and definitely not at full price. There certainly were some bargains to be had if you booked very late! At those prices I may be tempted. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
My husband and I were first time cruisers and therefore did not know what to expect. We embarked at Cape Town where there was a little delay, but everything went very smoothly. Our cases were brought to our cabin and the stewart was very ... Read More
My husband and I were first time cruisers and therefore did not know what to expect. We embarked at Cape Town where there was a little delay, but everything went very smoothly. Our cases were brought to our cabin and the stewart was very helpful. We did not share a table in the dining room but people around were very friendly. We were served by two very friendly waiters and nothing was too much trouble. Infact all the staff in the resteraunt were very helpful. The food in the Britannia resteraunt was fantastic, plenty of choice and well presented. There was so much to do on board. The library was excellent, so much choice. The entertainment was very good. There were some acts which were not quite as good but on the whole there was something for everyone. The bars were excellent, staff were eager to serve and friendly. We attended talks by Jackie Stewart and Max Hastings which were very entertaining. We loved the Cunard Celebration talks, learning the history of Cunard. Our cabin was large enough and very comfortable. I would give the QM2 10/10 and can't wait to embark again.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
My wife and I took the QM2 from Sydney to Perth Australia in March 2013. We had not been on a big ship at sea before so our expectations were based on the glowing reviews we had read and Cunards claim of 5 star service. We now ... Read More
My wife and I took the QM2 from Sydney to Perth Australia in March 2013. We had not been on a big ship at sea before so our expectations were based on the glowing reviews we had read and Cunards claim of 5 star service. We now understand that we have been spoiled by our river cruising experiences in Europe. We booked QM2 through Cruise Republic (CR) because we could not get a booking elsewhere. They were to be our source of advice as Cunard only had an answering service in Sydney and did not return calls. We were concerned when we received our only letter from CR advising that we were going on a P&O cruise! Some mistake! They assured us that they would send a corrected letter and an excursions brochure as promised. We did not get an updated letter or a brochure so we just met our local friends who organised parties for us. In Summary; Pros; big beautiful ship; formal attire worn by some; reasonable facilities; relaxing; excellent wine list; great roller coaster ride in moderate seas; well behaved passengers; a room on level 5 amidships. Cons; inattentive staff; no 5 star service or food; limited and repetitive entertainment options; cold coffee at breakfast & lunch; 1 mangled suitcase; poor shower drainage when the ship heeled; smell of vomit; poor value for money. Our experience; The Ship The QM2 is a glorious big ship with spectacular fittings and decor. Some 1200 Aussies boarded the ship in Sydney. We did not take advantage of the pools, spas and the boardwalk cafe because they were mainly closed due to bad weather. The only time we saw anyone in a pool was when 4 people played an advertised water polo game in cold windy weather as we sailed across the Great Aussie Bight (GAB) - they looked very cold. It would have been nice to depart Sydney harbour in the spa on the upper deck but it was not open late at night. Closures started on the first day (the best day) at sea - we were told this was because some facilities were only open when the forecast predicted fine weather - there was obviously no allowance for the forecasts being wrong. So it was ballroom dancing (on a rolling dance floor), the gym, dining and the library. The gym was adequate. The on-board shopping was limited and the best souvenirs were out of stock. Laundry facilities were grotty and barely adequate. Entertainment When we enrolled in the ballroom dancing classes we did not know that the Ball would be postponed (unknown reason) and later cancelled due to the rolling. We ended up dancing in our room. The stage-shows with professional dancers were also cancelled due to the rolling. An Aussie comedian (very good) replaced them, but you can't really listen to the same jokes more than twice. Some people said they had plenty to do just sitting, chatting and drinking. The computer classes were popular but for some reason the most interesting ones were not repeated. Stability We had one day of smooth cruising - the first day. After that things started to move. I was very surprised that such a large ship could move so spectacularly in what I regarded to be a moderate sea ~ 4m swell. Some passengers were spreading the rumour that the Captain had switched off the stabilisers and had gunned the engines. In fact he had reduced the speed by about 10 knots. The Captain made regular announcements about the 'heavy seas' and advised passengers to use the handrails. You certainly would not want to be a frail person on this ship when it is moving violently. Nevertheless there appeared to be many passengers with walking frames. The stabilisers obviously work very hard, but I am still not sure how effective they are for the poor souls on the upper decks of the ship. They are obviously no use for those in the expensive pitching suites on either end of the ship. They told tales of being compressed into their mattresses followed by levitation - it would be fun but probably not conducive to sleep. One American woman who claimed to be a long-standing Cunard client stated that she was not tackling the GAB again - once was enough. One of the three Rules of sailing in Australian waters had been broken 1. Never sail north of Brisbane in Summer 2. Never sail south of Brisbane in Winter 3 Never sail westwards across the Great Australian Bight at any time!! Library As an ex-yachtie I was happy with the library pitching up and down (I like roller coasters) and the bookcases shuddering as if the ship was being shelled (due to the bulbous bow hitting the water in each trough). I am told that this impact can be reduced by altering the angle of attacking the swell - presumably that would increase the amount of roll. It was easy to get a window seat in the library. I was not surprised that the library only held one small book on the stability of ships. On the limited information available it seems as though the QM2 may not be as stable as Cunard would like us to believe due to the shallow draught in relation to the height of the super structure. Accommodation We were lucky enough to have received a stateroom with a protected balcony on deck 5 amidships with enclosed balcony and protection from the wind, rain and spray. (we could see the coast and receive broadband and phone services). We pitched and rolled relatively little. Even so, I had problems staying in bed at night during the leg across the GAB as the ship was also heeling. I do not believe that an around the world trip would give you more than 70% fair weather on average, so an expensive suite in this ship would be very uncomfortable for a considerable time. With the smell of the exhaust gasses you probably would not want one of the suites overlooking the aft pool. The location of the power generating gas turbines is puzzling in terms of passenger amenity. They are located amidships on the highest passenger deck. In each corridor amidships on this level it is so noisy it is not possible to hear yourself speak. I hope that the passengers in these staterooms are deaf or get substantial discounts. So amidships on the top deck you might be spared the vertical movement but you get a good view, considerable roll, some forward/aft movement and constant noise! Having spent time river cruising in Europe it appears that the people who design ships, never actually live on them. They must have a strategy that punishes their most lucrative clients. On the Viking ships in Europe, they had the most expensive rooms either at the rear over the engines and near the exhaust pipes or next to reception - very strange. I would have considered a larger suite in both cases, but with hindsight we struck it lucky - in ignorance, by not doing so. Our experience with engines was gained many years ago on a Fijian cruise, where several American families were located next to the engine room - they complained endlessly and unsurprisingly no one wanted to swap with them. It was not only the noise but the vibration. On the QM2 we did get some engine vibration over and above the shuddering caused by the stabilisers but it was not too offensive. It may have been much worse lower down on deck 4. I assume that the placement of the Brittania restaurant on decks 2&3 was aimed to reduce engine noise on decks 4 to 12. The inner parts of the ship appeared to be built from 3/4" and 1" steel plate, so vibration would be easily transmitted. The constant groaning in medium seas in our stateroom was from the movement of fittings - I hope. It sounded like being on a wooden boat! God knows what the groaning must be like in a heavy passage or in another room with more movement than ours. The Food Since being to provincial France my food standards have risen. Consequently I did not regard the food in the Brittania to be anywhere near 5 star. The Kings Court was always busy and had reasonably bland cafeteria style food. As a person who watches what I eat, I was shocked to realise that you could eat continuously from 6am one day until 2am the next day by moving to different dining areas. I was also surprised to be confronted by our waiter with a lecture on how to give him an excellent rating prior to our departure. When I gave him tips on how he could achieve this he was a little miffed. One of our dining partners complained about one waiter and the general level of service did rise from there on. The wine selection was very good - it was one of the few things that exceeded expectations. One aspect that I did not understand was the placement of the Todd English restaurant aft, on deck 8. It must have been a converted suite. I investigated it one night and it appeared to be empty. It may have had something to do with its violent pitching. I can't imagine eating on a roller coaster. Dress QM2 was more casual than I was led to believe. I took a Tuxedo and wore it to dinner more than required - I actually got to enjoy that aspect. I also enjoyed the James Bond theme night at the Casino, which did not seem to be all that popular. Contrary to what Cunard had advised, they did not appear to enforce formal dress rules. Environment The Wartsila diesel engines on this ship appeared to constantly produce visible exhaust smoke and fumes. I would have thought that Cunard (considering its environmental claims) could and should do much better. I know they are burning bunker oil, but that is no excuse for visible air pollution in 2013. We most probably won't be cruising on the QM2 again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
I have just completed 2 nights on the QM2, Sydney to Melbourne. Travelling on my own I paid a huge amount of money. I accepted the money and happily paid for it. But I now discover that the equivalent 2 night cruise from South Hampton ... Read More
I have just completed 2 nights on the QM2, Sydney to Melbourne. Travelling on my own I paid a huge amount of money. I accepted the money and happily paid for it. But I now discover that the equivalent 2 night cruise from South Hampton is $400 cheaper. I now feel ripped off, as that is a huge difference. My expectations for the Qm2 was that I would be getting very high quality dinners, and high quality service. The dinners were pretty average, although the service was very attentive at dinner. The 2nd night dinner was a touch better than the first. Breakfast on the next morning went on for 1 1/2 hours. They were so slow in bringing us our food. Because of this I missed out on some activities. With only 1 full day at sea, I really wanted to do as many activities as I could. I should have eaten at the buffet instead. My sheltered balcony cabin was lovely, but many rust spots on the balcony, especially around the outside door handle. My cabin steward was nice, but I hardly saw her. The ambiance of the ship was wonderful, especially for a lady travelling on her own, the other passengers were lovely. It was very old school, which I loved. I dressed up for the dinners, which I thought was expected, but not everybody did. They said they would enforce the dress code in the main restaurant. Not sure they did. Still I didn't feel out of place. The drink staff are not very attentive. On more than 1 occasion I had to go out of my way to ask for a drink. I expected better service than that. I was standing on the deck as we were sailing out of Sydney- no drink in hand with the drink waiter standing right behind watch the scenery- he never once asked me if I wanted anything. SO I didn't ask. A glass of bubbly would have gone down well at that time. The gentleman dance hosts were lovely. But most were not very talkative. They just danced with you. The most friendliest was a gentleman that confessed to me it was his first time as a host. I guess the others were over being friendly. There was only 1 show- on the sea day. Great singers, no razzle dazzle though and only for 3/4 hour. I would sail again. But would have to be very wary of the prices that Cunard charge for the smaller Australian sectors. if I can't get an inside cabin not sure if I would sail again. The best sailing would probably be from Southampton to NY. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
I have cruised since 2002, previously with Holland America (excellent experience & after Cunard regard them as much better value for money),Princess (very good, would choose them again) & P&O Australia (probably not again - ... Read More
I have cruised since 2002, previously with Holland America (excellent experience & after Cunard regard them as much better value for money),Princess (very good, would choose them again) & P&O Australia (probably not again - well, enough said). Embarked in great expectation, but found as the cruise progressed, pre cruise publicity not very accurate. The disappointments came fro a lot of little things. I will fill you in in 'dot point' fashion. I would probably think hard about going with Cunard again as the value is not there when compared with other cruises I have experienced. * Embarkation & De-embarkation - very smooth & easy (looked like P&O ground crew being used) * Found stateroom quickly (A lot smaller than other ships of same vintage & older) but not cleaned or prepared for 3 of us. * Went to Kings Court for a 'cuppa' ( & experienced our first taste of unhappy crew - sniping at each other) * Dined in Britannia Restaurant that evening (& most evenings), stewards and Maitre D welcomed us - great, but meal was good but not special. Our table stewards' service was excellent but took some time to warm up (again suffering from unhappy crew syndrome, may be because of many & varied cultural backgrounds)I must add that our table steward proved excellent. * Speciality Restaurants were booked out in a very short time after boarding. * Afternoon tea was a disappointment with soggy sandwiches and often stale cakes, &, often cold tea. * Ship ambiance, excellent but looking close at the timber panelling etc. showed how clever people are with the artificial. * Meals followed our first meal experience of being mostly good but not great. * We partook in the formal night activities and enjoyed them (your choice). * Kings Court, the few times we went, the food was pretty ordinary but always quick & easy. * Stage shows typical of cruising, not a lot of variation from other lines shows. * Illuminations would have been OK if special reclining seats were repaired or replaced. * Cunard Enrichment activities were good, informative & worthwhile - Library & Bookshop worth visiting. ( Commodore Rynd was available for book signing one day but I think was overwhelmed with response with many passengers turned away). * It was good not to feel overcrowded - on board passenger/space ratio excellent * Room Service excellent (better than buffet for quality) * Cabin Steward very obliging * reception staff very good. * Overall ship appearance - at just under 10 years old and following previous maintenance & upgrades, the ship is showing some lack of regular/ongoing maintenance (tired looking, bad rust in some areas) * We had 2 tender ports which was good but some new crew had difficulties with tenders (got to learn sometime somewhere I guess). * Entertainment throughout the ship was excellent * Guest entertainers ( mixed quality) * Ports were all good particularly Akaroa and Fiordland - bonus at Milford Sound where Cunard had arrange some publicity shots allowing us extra time in that beautiful place, even maneuvering/navigating within a few metres of a waterfall. * To repeat it was a lot of little things including some unhappy crew that let the ship down. Overall enjoyable cruise to a lovely area but not quite as publicity generated expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
My husband and I have just had the most wonderful cruise from Sydney to Singapore leaving Sydney 24th February. After a miserable week of wet weather in all ports in Australia, we headed for Manilla. From Manilla to Shanghai, Hong Kong, ... Read More
My husband and I have just had the most wonderful cruise from Sydney to Singapore leaving Sydney 24th February. After a miserable week of wet weather in all ports in Australia, we headed for Manilla. From Manilla to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Bangkok it was beautiful clear sailing. I unfortunately had to use a Walker as I am booked in for a hip replacement in a weeks time and was traveling in a lot of pain. I didn't have to say anything, staff were very observant and were so kind to me, if it wasn't for them my cruise would have been so much harder,even going ashore or having to use a tender was so much easier because of the care given by the crew. I only had one grouch, the whole system of how the Queen Victoria runs is amazing, it makes you feel like a Queen yourself, the organisation that is done in organising the tours, the paperwork, the news every night from your home Country, just everything is so organised and at your fingertips just when you need it. The Dining Room experience is truly amazing from those beautiful afternoon teas in the Queen's room to the dining room each evening with everyone elegantly dressed, the service and the food was first class with such interesting menus. Breakfast and Lunch was equally the same. Every night in the Theatre was an amazing first class show which was something to look forward to every night. A particular highlight was the 'Sake' dinner which we attended in the Todd English Restaurant, wonderful food and interesting Sake wine in a fabulous restaurant. My husband attended his art classes every sea day and thoroughly enjoyed them. I want to thank the staff at Cunard who obviously work very hard to make every passenger have a wonderful time, if it isn't for them it wouldn't be half as good. Ports of call were great, especially overnights in Shanghai and Hong Kong, Manilla was a surprise, had a lovely tour and find it a very interesting and beautiful place. Shanghai on the bullet train was a wonderful trip. Bali was okay if you do a tour in which we did up in the mountains and it was a lovely day. I said I had one grouch. I used to cringe when I would see passengers getting in the pool with out showering. There are showers on each side of the pool and there is a notice to shower at the end of the pool, it is in small print and nobody reads the signage. Because we have these ignorant people in the world and to the health of fellow passengers and I wonder if Cunard could put in print on the glass that surrounds the showers to please shower before entering the pool. Thankyou Queen Victoria for yet another well organised voyage. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2012
We have just returned to reality after spending 22 wonderful nights on Queen Mary 2 as she circumnavigated Australia during her 2012 World Voyage. Embarkation: The QM2 docked in Sydney at the Garden Island naval base and therefore ... Read More
We have just returned to reality after spending 22 wonderful nights on Queen Mary 2 as she circumnavigated Australia during her 2012 World Voyage. Embarkation: The QM2 docked in Sydney at the Garden Island naval base and therefore passengers were embarked and disembarked at Wharf 5 Darling Harbour. Arriving at Wharf 5 we received our boarding card relatively quickly and, despite being given the wrong one by the attendant, managed to pass through customs and board the catamaran (that would take us to the ship) within a reasonably short period of time. The catamaran ride from Darling Harbour to Garden Island was a lot of fun and provided many excellent photo opportunities of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House. Upon boarding the ship we were directed to the Queens Room where we handed over the credit card and were provided with our room swipe key. The whole process probably took no longer than an hour and a half (including catamaran ride) and I thought Cunard did an excellent job. The stateroom: We'd booked a Princess Grill suite and were impressed with the new decor (following the Nov 2011 refit) and the cleanliness of the suite. The new carpet, bedding, fabric on the sofa & chair and curtains all looked wonderful. Having now seen a variety of staterooms on board QM2 (from Queens Grill down to an inside) I can honestly say that the Princess Grill suites enjoy the best location (deck 10 - not too high and the view not impacted by the lifeboats) and have an excellent floor plan. There was enough room for us to store three large suitcases and multiple bags along with what seemed like a ton of clothes. The bathroom is very large (includes bathtub) and can easily accommodate two people at once without feeling the slightest bit claustrophobic. The balcony is very spacious and includes proper steamer chairs (made of wood). We spent 22 nights in this suite and enjoyed every minute, the bed was so comfortable and the sheets and pillows were lovely and soft. Our suite was kept very clean by our steward who did a good job cleaning and maintaining it every day. The restaurant: We ate in the Princess Grill and enjoyed open seating on a table for six. In addition to the daily chef's specials (which change daily) there is an a la carte menu which had some wonderful dishes on it such as Duck a l'orange & Dover Sole. The food in the Princess Grill was excellent. Each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner we enjoyed wonderful dishes that were cooked perfectly and always arrived at the table at the correct temperature. Ordering off-menu was never a problem and all of my requests were met (some with very short notice). During our voyage we decided at one point to only have desserts that were flambeed at the table, our head-waiter was excellent and came up with suggestions for flambeed desserts we hadn't thought of. During the 22 night voyage there were a couple of dishes I didn't care for (nothing wrong with them - I just didn't care for them) so I simply sent them back and ordered something else. The staff genuinely cared whether or not we enjoyed our meals. On the rare occasion we didn't eat everything (too full) they made enquiries to ensure that everything had been to our satisfaction. One of the pleasures of dining in the Princess Grill, in addition to being able to dine at whatever time you like (within the restaurant opening hours), is that you have the same waitstaff for each meal. This means that they quickly learn, and remember, your preferences, which means you no longer have to ask for your preferred breakfast tea or bread roll - they just appear. On our last day we tried Todd English for lunch and were quite disappointed. The three of us all thought the food was nothing special and the service perfunctory. I remember a post on the Cunard boards were someone said that the way to have a Grills experience on a budget was to book a Britannia stateroom and eat at Todd English every night. Having now experienced Todd English, I can, with confidence, categorically reject this suggestion as the food and service is a thousand times better in the Grills. Afternoon tea was wonderful, every day we'd enjoy tea with cakes and scones in the Queens Grill lounge. The offerings were always delicious and the service excellent (with one exception on one day). The service on board: Truly outstanding. The staff in the Princess Grill that looked after us were excellent. Our head waiter, two waiters and junior waiters were all consummate professionals and their attentive service made each meal feel as though it was a special occasion. We couldn't have asked for more, the service truly was exceptional. Outside of the Princess Grill the excellent customer service was maintained throughout the ship. Each staff member we passed acknowledged and smiled at us. The staff in the shops were friendly and knowledgeable. From the deck attendants on the Grills deck (11) to the friendly bar staff in the Commodore Club, all of the staff on board were excellent. Throughout the ship the staff would remember us and what we regularly ordered; this includes Sir Samuel's, The Commodore Club and the Queens Grill lounge. The excellent service was replicated throughout the ship - in the Grills and everywhere else. Tendering operations & tours: The three tender ports on our itinerary were the Whitsunday Islands, Cairns and Bali. The tendering process at Cairns and Bali were well organised and when rough weather struck at Cairns a catamaran was provided by Cunard to prevent further guests from getting seasick. We did get seasick whilst on a catamaran from the Whitsundays to the Great Barrier Reef however this wasn't a Cunard tender ride as such. If Cunard offers this tour again they should advise passengers to take seasickness medication prior to going on the tour. All the tours we went on were well organised and reasonably priced. Entertainment: We didn't see as many shows as we should have done. We enjoyed watching the Cunard singers and dancers, they are excellent and put on a great show. The other entertainers that we saw were okay but nothing to write home about. With regards to the lecturers we enjoyed very much the lectures by Chris Frame and Dr Denny Whitford. There were other lectures on board but we never attended their lectures (we didn't hear glowing reports from those passengers that did attend). Nightlife: Whilst we don't dance we did enjoy watching the dancing in the lovely surroundings of the Queens Room. G32 continues to disappoint as it's not a nightclub in the traditional sense, what with there being a Caribbean band in residence. What you need to do is work out when the DJ is playing (usually 10:30 - 11:30) and attend at those times with your friends. Expect to see a nearly empty dance floor and no atmosphere (except on Abba night when the place is pumping and the dance floor is full). The music isn't current so you'll need to make lots of requests to the DJ. Once you've got your requests in, and they're being played, you can dance with your friends and have a good time. It's always enjoyable having pre-dinner or post-dinner drinks with friends in your favourite bar. Whether it's the Queens Grill lounge, the Chartroom or the Commodore Club there are plenty of really cool places to simply hangout and chat over drinks. We usually had pre-dinner drinks in the Queens Grill lounge and ended the night in the Commodore Club. The price of alcohol on board is quite reasonable and the staff are very helpful with suggestions of new cocktails to try. Shops: The revamped shops are looking great and there is a really good selection of perfumes, aftershaves and merchandise. Everything was reasonably priced and I was pleased to see that the so called 'tables of tat' were set up near the shops and not in the main corridor on level three. There is also a good selection of basics (white shirts etc) if you find you haven't packed enough. The photo packages are reasonably priced and they have some lovely albums you can purchase. There is also the option to purchase digital or print packages. Purser's desk & Grills Concierge: There were no issues with our interim or final on board account; everything was 100% accurate. We visited the purser's desk on about three occasions and each time they were very helpful and efficient. The Grills concierge was also very helpful, assisting us to cancel booked tours, book lunch at Todd English and also helping out with organising a drinks party in our suite by organising nibbles and complimentary champagne. One of our friends also hosted a drinks party in their suite and the Grills concierge sent out lovely invitations to the invitees. On board maintenance: The ship sparkled from top to bottom and we saw no signs of any lack of attention to detail with the maintenance of the ship. One of the vanity lights in our bathroom blew and our steward organised a replacement without us having to ask him to do so. Speaking of our steward he did a really good job of keeping our stateroom clean and tidy. We were always pleased with the job he did. The gym and spa: The gym is located forward on deck 7 and contains a large number of machines, free weights and treadmills. I never had to wait for a machine and found it to be very well equipped. The Canyon Ranch Spa is also located forward on deck 7. There are spa packages you can purchase and these are very good value which also give you free access to the spa facilities for a set number of days. The spa itself is well equipped with various saunas, spas and a large pool. It was very relaxing using these facilities. The Canyon ranch staff who provided the various treatments we purchased were very professional and friendly. Disembarkation: We waited in the Chartroom until our number was called and exited the ship to find that our bags were waiting in the passenger terminal. Pleasingly they only had the bags for the number that had been called so we found our bags really quickly. There were plenty of trolleys available and once we passed through customs we were pleased to see that there were plenty of taxis waiting.Cunard was organising everything so that there were no big queues. A very smooth disembarkation. Complaints: Just one. I lodged a complaint at the Purser's desk and spoke with the Princess Grill maitre d' about it (as it occurred in the Queens Grill lounge) and I was very pleased with the way the maitre d' handled and resolved the situation for me. The maitre d' followed up with me that evening to advise me on what action he'd taken and include me in the decision on the final outcome, which I really appreciated. Because of the excellent manner in which Cunard resolved this matter for me it was no longer an issue and I continued to enjoy my cruise. I won't judge Cunard on the actions of one employee but I will judge them on how they responded to and resolved my complaint (and whether I feel I am genuinely being listened to) and in this respect I was entirely happy (and very impressed to be honest). Overall: This cruise cost a lot of money and as far as I am concerned every cent was well spent. We had a wonderful time on board and met some lovely people. The food and service was excellent and ship itself is a dream - so stable and magnificent. Paying extra for the Grills is worth it in my opinion. As one of our waiters said to us "The service is good everywhere but in the Grills it's just different". And I agree, the service is excellent everywhere but we were made to feel very special in the Grills and I appreciated that. If you're looking for a special cruising experience with wonderful food and attentive service, and you enjoy dressing for dinner and being surrounded by like-minded people, then you can't go past Cunard. If you're having a bad time on board Queen Mary 2 then you must be really working at it. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
As my partner and I are considering a future world cruise, we took the opportunity to cruise on the Queen Elizabeth from Sydney to Brisbane. We are pleased we did, as we would not cruise on the QE again. Embarkation went well, no line ... Read More
As my partner and I are considering a future world cruise, we took the opportunity to cruise on the Queen Elizabeth from Sydney to Brisbane. We are pleased we did, as we would not cruise on the QE again. Embarkation went well, no line up and we were in our cabin within 25 minutes. We were quite impressed with the grand, elegant ship and made our way to locate our cabin to unpack and have lunch. Our cabin steward arrived immediately and welcomed us with a complimentary bottle of sparking wine on ice. After that we hardly saw him again. Our cabin was elegant and well furnished, slightly smaller than other cruise ships, overall the cabin was quite satisfactory. We booked the Brittania Club which entitled you to dine any time in the Brittania Club restaurant. We decided to have lunch and it took us a while to find the restaurant. When we arrived we were asked by one of the waiters whether we were entitled to dine in this restaurant? Why did they not ask our name and check their list. The menu was limited and not to my liking. The staff were quite sullen and reserved, a smile would have been welcomed as would have the wine menu. The salad I had was not fresh, limp salad and a dry tomato slice. We could not believe the standard and quality of the meals provided for lunch, we were hoping there would be an improvement at dinner. Not so. After lunch we familiarised ourselves with the ship. We were quite impressed with the grand elegant decor and furnishings, however the ship did not have that atmosphere that you have on other cruise ships, light and open spaces and happy staff. Most of the staff seem to be reserved and avoided you unless you acknowledged them first.We met fellow passengers who embarked previously in other ports (this cruise is part of world cruise). We all seemed to have the same opinions of the ship and some were very disappointed as their cruise was much longer. Some of them preferred the QM and QV and felt the QE lacked the atmosphere and life that is felt on other cruise ships. Overall we feel that the atmosphere, meals, service and staff attitudes were not to the expected Cunard standard. There were other issues that contributed to our decision, but won't go into detail. The disembarkation in Brisbane did not go well. There was no announcement when or where to wait. We were ushered here and there, in the end we just walked off on our own accord. We will continue cruising, however not on QE. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
Cruising on the QM2 was such a treat! It was exciting to be on such a large liner as the moments of boredom were few and the wonderful experiences memorable. Overall I would say I'd be thrilled to sail on the QM2 again and look ... Read More
Cruising on the QM2 was such a treat! It was exciting to be on such a large liner as the moments of boredom were few and the wonderful experiences memorable. Overall I would say I'd be thrilled to sail on the QM2 again and look forward to the opportunity. The food was mostly of a very high standard and the entertainment more hit than miss. We loved the atmosphere of the Britannia Restaurant -but we didn't like the fact that you eat with the same people for the whole cruise. Why do some cruise ships do this? We were lucky, as after changing tables once ( the whinging from one perpetual whiner became unbearable!) we settled in with a nice crowd for the rest of the trip. The table and wine service were wonderful. No complaints in this restaurant. We loved the 'speciality' Lotus 'restaurant' too and the maitre 'd's in both restaurants were simply marvellous! The only complaint would be the design and layout of the 'family' restaurant -the "King's Court". What an ugly mess this is! It looks more like some tacky shopping centre cafeteria and sadly there were times one had no other option for a quick bite but to try here. There is no excuse for the ordinary design of this large area and with a little imagination it could me made so much more stylish. There is little to make you want to hang around...it's strictly self service in every sense of the word. It really is an awful atmosphere! The 'Winter-garden' area near this is also a design nightmare! Like some creepy forest where Hansel may have strayed from Gretal deliberately! Still, when the main options are so grand one can largely avoid these two yukky areas. Accommodations are as you would expect - stylish and well presented with wonderful cabin service. Avoid rooms on the 4th floor above the Queen's Room as you will be kept awake until 1am by the dance band music which permeates the floors and goes right into your stateroom. An unforgivable design fault that should be brought to passenger's attention before they book. Having been allocated a new room for the second leg I had to endure this for over a week and since the ship was full there was nothing they could ,or would, do about it. I found this fairly shocking for a newish ship. The entertainment was largely excellent, though the movie options were very dated and , again, this is hard to fathom why. We loved the Planetarium and suggest that on port days more entertainment options be made available as many chose not to get off.The Commodore Club was a wonderful haven in which to enjoy pre or post dinner drinks, which, thankfully, were not over-priced. For Gay and Lesbian readers you may be pleased to know that, as with most cruises these days, there is a social hour - the traditional 'Friends of Dorothy' and this was also held in the Commodore Club, though at the ridiculously early time of 5p.m. Surely it would be more appropriate to make it closer to dinner times. The Royal Court Theatre lives up to it's name and is truly sumptuous! Some of the shows were fabulous. A couple a bit rough around the edges, but with acts flying in and out at various ports I suppose it's hard to ensure consistently high standards. Shopping options provided a wide range of goodies to buy and the prices were good too. The Art Gallery was a pleasant find and offered some wonderful collections to view with a sip of sparkling wine in hand. In conclusion I would absolutely recommend you treat yourselves to a cruise on the QM2. Even months down the track the wonderful memories endure! Read Less
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