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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
It was nice to be a part of history, and the food was quite better. The grandness one sees is fake, however. For example, the handrails in the too-long passenger corridors are plastic-laminate covered plastic poles that are peeling. There ... Read More
It was nice to be a part of history, and the food was quite better. The grandness one sees is fake, however. For example, the handrails in the too-long passenger corridors are plastic-laminate covered plastic poles that are peeling. There is black mold in the tile grout of the bathrooms. Attendants do a poor job of cleaning beyond cursory wipes. To be truly grand, it needs to be real and pristine, or at least real and real clean. It was disappointing enough to ensure never being selected again for even basic transportation. Cunard makes RC look better. Got quickly tired of the baking-soda carpet vacuum sprinkle smell, and made me ashamed I used to use that 20 years ago. Lavender Surprise smells like 'Surprised to Be Alive' after the first 817 applications and vacuum-ups. It would be a fun time, they said. It would be, IF I HAD ONE. Cunard had one job to do, one. Ok, well they did do that one. Just poorly. The dining room head manager was a snob that refused to help us with the muster drill because neither of us got all of the information that blared out on the speakers, even when it was pointed out to him that I am hearing-impaired. He said "just copy what everybody else does". Well maybe he's right, I should copy him and be an arrogant snob that doesn't give a toss, but he was supposed to be working for Cunard, I was supposed to be the snobby passenger with my nose up in the air but I could not get over the Lavender Surprise yet. It would be grand, they said. Grand! Well it was a grand pile of ______. Other than that, it was a pleasant time partaking in oxygen consumption. Very nice oxygen it was. IF I HAD GOTTEN ENOUGH. The embarkation and disembarkation was the first time experiencing what it must be like to wait 980 years in the lobby of the spirit realm as portrayed in the movie Beetlejuice. It made me wanted to say his name three times, just to make any progress, even if only one inch. Went to the bathroom three times as exercise just to keep the blood under my fingernails circulating. Mind you, however, the boat did stay on top of the water, despite the sinking feeling. Rose, promise me you will have thousands of babies and when they grow up promise me they will never sail Cunard as I want you to be happy, I want them to be happy, I want everyone to live on, and on - and not go on and on about it like I do. We did see a whale towards the end of the journey as we approached the coast of America. It was the second time experiencing such a sight on the same cruise. Unfortunately the first time was just the stateroom mirror. The day before the last day, there was an injury in the laundry room, an employee got hurt. He got hurt bad enough that the US Coast Guard sent a helicopter and a plane to do a medical evacuation. They would not let us out onto Deck 6 outside to see what was going on. Do suspect they knew we would try to catch a ride with them, just to get off the boat one day sooner. Hope he is OK, though. I will have to stop here, before you feel like getting onto one of the Cunard Queens just to get away from this review. My wife and I met on the internet in 2001, got engaged in 2002, and married in 2003, and we now enjoy cruising together. Travel To Port of Embarkation We cruised to Barcelona, flew to Bristol, rode to Southampton, and embarked QM2 there. Hotel Info (if any) None - stayed with relatives in Tiverton for two days. Embarkation As stated previously, it was a long drawn-out unorganized process. A glance at other reviews show this to be correct. Stateroom 6295 on Deck 6 - the last cabin to the rear. Dining We did eat in the main dining room Brittania a couple of times, but enjoyed the King's Court Buffet more. Activities Watching the helicopter was fun, and the Planetarium was unique. Children's Clubs N/A - Do no have any children, despite being petulant at times. Staff & Service Food Staff and Service excellent for the most part, Dining and Stateroom Staff and Service not so much. Entertainment The Planetarium was good entertainment. The museum-like halls with pictures entertained as well. Shore Excursions There were no excursions, as it went from Southampton to New York with no stops. Disembarkation Almost as bad as Embarkation. Summary In all, we ain't gonna do this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015

We booked this trip as the 'holiday of a lifetime', it certainly was not.

The cabin we were allocated 1041 had plumbing that did not always work, apparently because of the rough weather - this seemed to be a known problem, I ... Read More

We booked this trip as the 'holiday of a lifetime', it certainly was not.

The cabin we were allocated 1041 had plumbing that did not always work, apparently because of the rough weather - this seemed to be a known problem, I would have paid more money not to have had this cabin had I known! The pursors office on the whole were unsympathetic (we are full so we cannot move you), they suggested writing a letter to the Head of Customer Services we did and received no reply. Eventually the problem seemed to be cleared and we were given a complementary bottle of wine but this was not handled well and left a very bad taste in the mouth.We were never honoured with a meeting with the Head of Customer Services.

Some things about the cruise were good, some good speakers and occasionally good entertainment. The cabin steward was very good.

The food was mediocre and the waiters uncaring, except to get rid of us so they could lay the table for breakfast as quickly as possible. There were many options that we were never offered, for the first week we were unaware that sweets were available with the coffee. We liked to have a brown roll with our meal, we were asked every night and often they still did not have them. A table for 6 was only a table for 6 on 2 occasions in spite of frequent requests. Small things but they could have made such a difference. Tinned fruit in the caribbean?

In common with other reviewers we felt that Cunard were trying to extract every last penny from us, was this because they had to pay out a lot of money to cover late arrivals owing to the bad weather?

There were so many small problems, the ship's newspaper was rarely accurate, obviously not read through before printing, once offering a discount on internet time which having tried to use we were told was 'a mistake'.

We have cruised 5 times before with P&O or Princess, we believed the advertising and thought Cunard would be better - what a mistake.

 

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015

Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal.

That's where the chaos ... Read More

Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal.

That's where the chaos started, and no one seemed to know what to do......even the Director of Operations -Cunard. We finally got to our cabin at 2030hrs. Having been nearly 6 hrs in the terminal.

$50 on board spend for EVERYONE was wrong, as only 50% of the passengers were affected?

This incident left us and a lot of people around us very unhappy......we have all paid a lot of money for the privilege to be on the Queen Elizabeth.

However, the crossing to NY was interesting......force 11 gales and 30 foot waves.....too much for some, but we enjoyed it all.

Had a big problem with the internet charges on board. Although I had brought my minutes when I paid for my voyage in October, I was NEVER told that the charges were by the MINUTE and not by the second used. This is a racket, as in our case we paid for 270 min and only used 178 min...the difference was the overcharge of 112 min. When I brought this to the attention of the internet manager, he at first told me I was wrong and it didn't happen. On further evidence shown to him, a photo of the last internet page, which clearly showed the charges and the missing mins, he admitted that they did charge by the minute, but would not reimburse mine. I was not satisfied with this excuse and went to see the Purser.....I am afraid to say a one ringer, junior Purser, thought is was a good idea to shout back at me.....this incensed me further....I have since laid an official complaint with Cunard Southampton. This was never resolved and needs to be addressed by Cunard. All quests were complaining, but it would seem, accepted the situation.

Stateroom: 8033, was on a slight corner, and gave us a larger cabin and balcony. This we had specially booked when we made our booking. The Stewardess was good and efficient.

Dinning: We found this to be excellent in the Britannia Club. Our Steward, MARC was also excellent.

We had two head waiters, both were outstanding. The wine steward ,we found to be very knowledgeable, witty, and entertaining. We used the Lido a few times, and we found it ok. The Veranda was excellent, both service and menu and food, well worth the extra surcharge. We also tried the alternative dinning for Asian food and alfresco dinning. Both very good.

Entertainment" We found this to be poor. We did expect a high standard of shows, but only two evenings did they reach our expectations. We used the "boxes" on all occasions, and they are well worth the extra charge too.

Shopping on board: Very limited and expensive. For some reason (I guess profit) Cunard will only allow you to buy duty free on board, for consumption on board, once every 30days......? However you can go ashore and buy as much as you like???

Shore excursions: Very expensive for what you get, Whiles the trips are good, the guides are poor, as you learn very little about the country you are in. We found it much better, and cheaper to go by ourselves. Met more local people, and saw more, at a fraction of the cost. Whale watching in La Hania really was appalling, as we were all sure, we saw the same 3 whales,3 times, all very close to the QE. How convenient for the guides.

Tipping: We cancelled the daily tipping as soon as we got on board. 15% is added to every bill in all bars and restaurants and shops. We instead tipped our table and room stewards weekly throughout the cruise. We continued to get outstanding service from both of them throughout the voyage.

Overall, we found the cruise a bit long for a first timer. The Queen Elizabeth is beautiful and by and large the crew were very good. However the Pursers department needs to learn what customer service is all about and not "speak down" to the older generations.

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Sail Date: January 2015

In October I found a good deal (interior, OV, and balcony all the same price) for the first 11 days of QE's 2015 World Voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale. I let Cunard book my one-way airfare to London and got a great deal ... Read More

In October I found a good deal (interior, OV, and balcony all the same price) for the first 11 days of QE's 2015 World Voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale. I let Cunard book my one-way airfare to London and got a great deal (about 20% of what booking airfare on my own).

By the time I arrived in Southampton (two days early) there was already talk that QE might be delayed returning to Southampton. The day before we embarked Cunard notified us that there would be a delay and we were to go to St. Mary's Stadium instead of the terminal. Messages were sent by e-mail, text messages, and letters left in the major hotels.

At the stadium, things were handled very well. At arrival, luggage was taken directly to the terminal. Although it was a long afternoon, we were well taken care of including visits from Cunard officials. It did not take long to get checked in, go through security, and get on board once we arrived at Ocean Terminal. I gave Cunard five stars on "Embarkation" because of the way they handled this situation.

We left Southampton just before midnight. Unfortunately, we were forced to follow a southerly route because of a storm which put us behind. Two days before we were due into New York, Captain Clark announced that due to the bad weather conditions we would not make it into New York until noon. Because of this, we would overnight in New York, get to Fort Lauderdale a day late, and for those proceeding on, the stop in Nassau was cancelled. Cunard would take care of changing flights for those booked through them and there were free phone calls for the others.

All in all, I was impressed with the way Cunard handled these problems.

As for the cruise itself, I enjoyed my time (and extra day!) aboard. We had interesting speakers including Kate Adie, Diane Janes and Steve Rivellino. Entertainment was good although I had seen some of the performers and all of the shows last year.

About a month before sailing I had been upgraded to Britannia Club. For those who don't know, the major advantage of this is eating in a small restaurant with open seating. I was at a table for eight and had a very congenial mixture of people (most of us had been upgraded). The food was good (same menu as Britannia for the most part although some items were cooked at the table). Service was excellent and one nice thing about open seating was that you did not have to wait for everyone to finish before the next course.

The Britannia Club staterooms are on deck 8 (below a public deck). I found it much noisier than my deck 7 stateroom last year. I enjoyed the experience of Britannia Club but as a solo traveller I would never pay the difference for it.

I had only two very minor gripes. Although I like the new large screen TVs put in during the drydock last year, for me the location was not the best. With the old ones you could sit at the desk and watch the TV (which I did frequently). The best viewing location with the new ones is from the bed (not my favorite location). The second thing was the lack of cookies in the Lido at lunch. Last year I liked to grab a couple for my midnight snack. I only saw them twice out of 12 days this year and that was during tea time. (I did say they were minor gripes.)

Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was fairly easy. After claiming my luggage it took about 25 minutes to get through customs and immigration because there were only two officers working. There were plenty of taxis as well as shuttles to the airport.

I enjoyed my voyage immensely (and my extra day) and look forward to my next time on Cunard.

 

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014

We first did a QM2 transatlantic in the summer of '12, and having found a tempting rate decided to see what might be different about a winter crossing. On the whole, we found the Queen much the same as it was two years ago, improved in ... Read More

We first did a QM2 transatlantic in the summer of '12, and having found a tempting rate decided to see what might be different about a winter crossing. On the whole, we found the Queen much the same as it was two years ago, improved in fact in some areas, and on the whole a very, very satisfactory way to spend a week's relaxing holiday.

We traveled Britannia Club and can recommend it wholeheartedly. The difference in fare is, to my mind, more than justified by the significantly enhanced dining experience and the few other little perks that make the trip more fun. We sat this time in the separate rear dining room and found it an incredibly relaxing and serene place to eat our three meals daily (so pleasant, in fact, that we didn't try any venue, despite fond memories of the pub lunch in the Golden Lion). Our servers were very good, with special praise due to the assistant waiter (bravo Freddie!) who magically anticipated every need.

On the whole, the QM2's food seemed rather better than it was two years ago, with especially delicious vegetables, salads, and marvelous fish. We eat less red meat, but nonetheless greatly enjoyed the rack of lamb, venison, and prime rib. Desserts, to our taste, were sometimes less successful, but in Britannia Club one can have a flambé dessert made tableside nightly, so that was our go-to choice. The added Club a la carte dinner menu is a nice option, with excellent choices such as sole and a prawn salad that gave us more to choose from when the usual menu didn't tempt (surprisingly rarely, although we usually make dinner a four- or five-course meal and so had more choosing to do). The food was consistently piping hot - something that we heard from fellow travellers in both the main Britannia restaurant and (more surprisingly) the Princess Grill was not always the case in their experience.

We chose exactly the same cabin as we'd traveled in previously and found it in ship-shape condition - we love Cunard's mattresses and despite some occasional pitching (well, it was December in the North Atlantic, after all), slept beautifully. The bathrooms are, as others have noted, small, and we might have minded that more if we didn't rely so much on the spa, where we spent some or most of most days and frequently used its excellent showers instead of the smaller cabin one. Cabin service was unobtrusive but excellent.

We're fairly self-contained travelers and so can comment less on the entertainment - the one or two things we went to were fine, although it seems the relationship with RADA has ended, as there was no drama troupe on board. Music everywhere was lovely - we do enjoy the range, from a string quartet to a jazz combo, and the wide range of timings and location of the live entertainment.

As noted, we found the December crossing moderately rougher than the June one, but nothing the QM2 couldn't handle with ease - I was actually hoping for some wilder seas, just to see what it was like. Next time!

I had feared that the proximity to Christmas might mean more children, but there were very few and all well-behaved that we saw. In general, the crowd did seem significantly older than on our last trip - in our early fifties, we definitely felt among the younger set. Even so, the nightclub was lively until well after midnight most nights, although most other venues emptied earlier. I'm an early riser who enjoys morning walks, so not a problem for us. We're a same-sex couple and found no issues at all in regard to that; in fact, there was a sizable gay tour group aboard and very lively gatherings at cocktail time in the Commodore Club.

On the practical side, embarkation in Southampton went far more smoothly than it had in '12 - we arrived at 12:30 and were on board within an hour, with very little waiting in queues. Our departure was delayed by about eight hours for technical reasons, but the only effect on the passengers was that the casino remained closed the first evening. Disembarkation in New York was delayed by U.S. customs (seemed to be an understaffing problem), and for those in any hurry to get off, self-disembarkation was definitely the way to go. BC was scheduled to get off at 9:30, but we waited until 10:30 and only just caught a noon train (Once off, departure was fast and smooth - it was probably wise to hold passengers on board rather than crowding the rather chaotic departure facilities).

So for not that much more than the price of the airfare, we got a lovely week on the high seas, on a ship of great beauty and very good service. If we can once again make schedules and fares align, we'll look forward to a third crossing on the last true liner.

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Sail Date: December 2014

My wife and I had an amazing crossing of the Atlantic sea on QM2 from Southampton (Dec 15) to NYC (Dec 22). Onboard, everything was exceptional: The crew, the service, the cuisine, the fabulous dining rooms, the Commodore club, the ... Read More

My wife and I had an amazing crossing of the Atlantic sea on QM2 from Southampton (Dec 15) to NYC (Dec 22). Onboard, everything was exceptional: The crew, the service, the cuisine, the fabulous dining rooms, the Commodore club, the lectures onboard, the very elegant evenings, the library with its 10,000 books, the high tea, etc. (only to mention a few)

Every morning, I could not wait getting up for a run on deck 7 while admiring the sea around us

We also enjoyed real friendship with fellow Cunarders that we met onboard. As a lover of the golden era liners (Mauretania, Queen Mary, etc.), QM2 itself was the destination and I was not disappointed.

 

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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014

Just returned from the Caribbean Fiesta aboard the Queen Mary 2, a 12 night excursion from New York visiting 5 Caribbean ports. To describe this in a word, AWESOME!

We first sailed QM2 in 2009 on a Transatlantic voyage, it was a ... Read More

Just returned from the Caribbean Fiesta aboard the Queen Mary 2, a 12 night excursion from New York visiting 5 Caribbean ports. To describe this in a word, AWESOME!

We first sailed QM2 in 2009 on a Transatlantic voyage, it was a wonderful time and decided to try it again this Christmas. It completely exceeded our expectations. We treated ourselves to the Grill Suites this time as opposed to the BC. It is the only way to go. I'll break it down as follows:

Our Suite 9042 was mid-ship. Two doors down from the Concierge Lounge. We got to know the Concierge 'Ophia' quite well during the cruise. Interestingly, we never saw our Butler the first two days of the cruise. Our steward Grace, seem to be doing all the work from delivering luggage to attending our cabin. Late in the second day, Andres rang our bell and introduced himself. He apologized saying he was ill and not able to perform his duties until now. Oddly, he seem a little terse in the beginning and began to warm up towards the end. We just assumed he was still recuperating. On the other hand Grace was very warm and friendly until the last 2 nights of the cruise where she was downright icy. This didn't hamper our experience. The Suite was spacious to say the least with a Bar and Refrigerator fully stocked, a very comfortable King-Size Bed and we couldn't quite believe it a walk-in closet. The Balcony was long, but narrow the lounges couldn't be placed side by side.

The Royal Court was organized and well maintained. There were many different food offerings up there. We mainly used it for Breakfast and mid-day snacks. We choose not to go to the Dining Room for every meal. There was an abundance of Breakfast cereals, Fresh Fruits, and Hot dishes. The only caveat is trying to locate a glass of milk. Unlike other ships where they have containers of milk, Cunard only has a milk dispenser for cereal that's not available all day. We would just take an extra glass and put it in our refrigerator for later. Lunch and Snacks were available, a fine selection of meats and cheeses and a sushi station that was very appealing. The chef's galley served Burgers and Sandwiches. On a previous cruise they used to o a cooking demonstration, but it was not available on this cruise.

The Queen's Grill was a culinary masterpiece. Each meal we ate there was even more perfect then the last. Our servers Clarence and Satia were attentive and professional. We saw Satia off ship in some ports and he was just as polite when in the Dining Room. He was leaving the ship when they return to Southampton to go home. Our sommelier, Nick was prepared for us every night. We gave him our food order and he produced the exact wine to complement it. As for the food, we had Prime Rib our first night out that was excellent. During the course of our 12 nights, we tried the Dover Sole, that Bobbi prepared tableside and there was not a single bone in it. We had Beef Wellington for Christmas and Chateaubriand and Lobster for New Years. The Lobster Newburg was a hit as well as the King Scallops. I could continue to rave about the menu, but you get the idea.

Todd English was a bit of a disappointment, we dined there once. The service was excellent, but the food was lacking pizzazz. The Grill was better.

The Entertainment was just average. We skipped many of the shows as they didn't appeal to us. The ones we did see weren't exciting. The Flyrights were about the best with their Motown style of entertainment. The show Crazy in Love was dreadful. We skipped Incanto as we saw them on another ship.

The Common areas were neat and tidy, you can see some wear in the carpeting especially near the entrances and exits. We purchased a Spa Pass for the cruise duration and was well worth it. The Spa pool area was quiet, but it's also small for a ship this size. All in all this will go down as one of the best trips we've ever taken.

 

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014

Awful choice of Vegetarian Food.

This is not our first transatlantic crossing. When we sailed 18 months ago we had informed Cunard that we were vegetarian and they told us we would be catered for.

This did not happen, ... Read More

Awful choice of Vegetarian Food.

This is not our first transatlantic crossing. When we sailed 18 months ago we had informed Cunard that we were vegetarian and they told us we would be catered for.

This did not happen, the Kings Court had no vegetarian option available on an afternoon or late evening, the dining room offered exquisitely prepared for dishes, which were all vegetables, possible with a little goats cheese on. No balanced diet, no protein and we came away from dinner still hungry. We complained both on the ship and when we returned home. Nothing has changed.

November 2014 we take the QM2 again. Hoping and praying that this time they would have listened. Again disappointed. We were offered a very minimalist menu list to choose from for the entire crossing.

What was even more alarming was having dinner in Todd English, we made a reservation only to find the menu was the same as the Britannia restaurant menu for vegetarians !!!

Credit where it is due, the staff in Todd English were brilliant and said they would try to help us find a meal as long as we gave 24 hour notice, so we putt off our dinner and talked about what we would like, they came through with a lovely curry.

Every meal was either pastry & vegetables, rice and vegetables or cheese. On option for tofu..For world class chef they lack imagination. No quorn or no nuts, simple additions that would make a difference. At one point I asked with a Biryani on the menu the next day with veg could I have some lentils, I needed some protein, it was like I had asked for the world, it would require consultation and on and on. They did give me a some lentils which I knew they had from the Coriander restaurant.

The Kings Court buffet was grim. Lots of different meats available with trimmings and veg. not a single vegetarian option. When I asked the chef he was less than polite and offered me a plate of carrots. I am not a vegetarian for some fad or diet. Like many through out the world this is a religious requirement. I was offended, but was delighted to find a friendly manager who went out of her way to go and get me a meal from Britannia restaurant even though I was up in the Kings Court, that I may have a meal.

--Cunard, if you cannot cater for vegetarians, then just say so, rather be honest and up front that have us disappointed.

Chaos disembarking

Ok so you have thousands to get off a ship. But the chaos as we left and came through customs was ridiculous. No trolleys for cases, many elderly struggling with bags.

Then our issue, after the customs hall not a SINGLE member of staff giving directions, like many other we had no idea where to go for our bus to the air port. It was freezing cold, no trolley so we were lugging all our cases to where we directed by a taxi driver only to find, the wrong bus. Eventually we arrived, just in time as the bus was ready to leave, some passengers were asked to get off the bus as their luggage was unable to fit in to hold… they stood outside, with no shelter waiting for another bus.

The bus driver dumped us all at one end of the terminal so if you were like us on an American Airlines flight be ready for a hike, it would have been no effort to drop us off at both ends of the terminal.

It felt like our money was taken for the transport and once handed over no one cared. – I have learned my lesson next time just get a taxi from outside.

Friends of Dorothy

Love the fact they have the space to meet the room was packed. always a bonus.

RADA

what a performance, they never disappoint.

 

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014

Being seasoned cruisers we should have known better than to book a two week cruise, comprising of 13 sea days, 6 hours in New York, and Transatlantic crossing in mid November! Before the sea legs had even been unpacked we found ... Read More

Being seasoned cruisers we should have known better than to book a two week cruise, comprising of 13 sea days, 6 hours in New York, and Transatlantic crossing in mid November! Before the sea legs had even been unpacked we found ourselves in Force 12 winds, extremely rough seas and a horrid corkscrewing motion on the ship - most of all in our 'upgraded' cabin on Deck 11 and just back from the bridge. Some three days were lost to the mal de mer before I started to even get to know what the ship had to offer.

This was our first Cunard cruise and we were anxious to judge for ourselves if the QM2 was as superior as we had been led to believe. Whilst we found her extremely spacious, I public rooms and our cabin, we really could not find anything which puts her above and beyond the many other lovely cruise ships on which we have sailed. When they do a major refit - will someone please remove the stupid raised reception area on Deck 2 of the Britannia Restaurant. Where is the sense in walking up five stairs to be paired with a waiter to take you down five stairs to your table?? As I use a mobility aid that meant using a side entrance and waiting to attract the eye of someone - anyone - before the will to live was lost. Bad design!

The 'Transatlantic both way crossing in November' experience will not be repeated, but if the itinerary suits us, we may sail QM2 again, or maybe try another Cunard ship.

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Sail Date: November 2014

Despite the niggling criticisms, the Queen Mary 2 remains much the same as it was when we first cruised over seven years ago - a damned fine ship, with a great crew providing five-star service. Yes, I am sure a case can be made out for ... Read More

Despite the niggling criticisms, the Queen Mary 2 remains much the same as it was when we first cruised over seven years ago - a damned fine ship, with a great crew providing five-star service. Yes, I am sure a case can be made out for a drop in standards (whatever that means) and there's no doubt that things aren't what they used to be. But I'll bet at Cunard board meetings members bemoan the fact that passengers aren't what they used to be! But both sides must accept that things change (well most things - just not Apassionata). Foremost in most cruisers' minds is food. So for what it's worth here's my take.

Britannia Restaurant. Food is of excellent quality, service is generally great but as always the food is never quite hot enough. We felt a strange switch had taken place in the main course with the meat/fish increasing in size and the vegetables decreasing.

Kings Court. Unlike many of our fellow cruisers we thought the Kings Court offered a varied and imaginative alternative to the Britannia. In short, we like the Kings Court even though it can resemble a canteen buffet It is not impossible, even at peak times, to find a quiet corner for breakfast or lunch. For the more discerning diner, the Chefs Galley is as good as it gets with fresh juices at breakfast and a host of healthy options. And tne piece de resistance for lunchtime has got to be the Golden Lion - pub grub as it should be served - two of us shared a ploughmans but could not finish it. Just a few of ther ingredients - slices and slices of dry ham, large slab of cheese, pot of pate, half an iceberg lettuce and so on.

Enterrtainment. Always a good selection of enrichment lectures, afternoon recitals and evening concerts. No-one could fault the efforts of the Cunard dancers and singers but oh for a budding Bob Fosse or an up and coming Arlene Phillips to bring some decent choreography to the routines. Entertainers on this particular voyage were old stagers, seen many times by regular cruisers but to us fresh and new and thoroughly enjoyable.

Excursions. Why only one shuttle from the Brooklyn Terminal to Macys. And why at the godawful time of 7am? Surely two or three could run through the morning with final pick-up at around 4pm. We were told the return shuttle would be about 3pm to coincide with the 4.30pm sailing. Seriously when did the QM leave Brooklyn at 4.30? We duly sailed at around 6.45pm

Embarcation at Southampton took longer than usual despite priority boarding. And why weren't we told in our voyage personaliser that we would need to provide our ESTAs? Ours were packed in a case! Disembarcation was as smooth as it's ever been.

All in all another superb voyage on the queen of the seas. Biggest niggle - the price of wine - 43 dollars (£27.75) for an indifferent Beaujolais, 57.50 (£37) for a decent Sancere

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