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215 Cunard Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Yes we are first timers and yes we did a lot of travelling, but not aboard a cruiseship or oceanliner. However we wanted to experience a long sequence on a vessel without any ports and being on it for some days. This was the ultimate test ... Read More
Yes we are first timers and yes we did a lot of travelling, but not aboard a cruiseship or oceanliner. However we wanted to experience a long sequence on a vessel without any ports and being on it for some days. This was the ultimate test if we would like the life on board or whether we would get bored. And by no means we even did not find the time to do all the things we wanted to do. Mind you the cruise from Southampton to NY normally takes 7 nights, but this one was extended to 8 nights in total. As the organized limousine transfer from Heathrow did not show up Cunard Representatives did everything to get us on the coach which brought us then with other fellow guests to Southampton. The terminal building and welcome of the hundreds of guests is already impressive, but as Queen Grill guests we have been checked in with priority. Soon as we were shown our suite our cabin steward came to welcome us and explained every detail in the cabin and as much as possible on board. Meanwhile the luggage also arrived. After a speedy unpacking we watched Queen Elizabeth leaving the docks as she was also just taking up a new cruise. The weather was very British with sunshine, rain and cloudy skies and rainbows in the distance. It was time to open the bottle of champagne in our room and get ready for the first dinner onboard. Despite the name informal most people dress up in the Queens and Princess Grill which is very nice and respects the ambience and style of the vessel. The hospitality on board is outstanding. The meals are succulent great and to not exaggerate in portions but mor in quality. The formal nights have been even better and we enjoyed it very much with all fellow guests. As already previous travellers wrote: going on this vessel is different than being on a casual fun party cruise ship. You should carefully decide and choose whether you like this perhaps oldfashioned but wonderful style or whether you dont. If you don't stay away and go for other cruises. If you do you will experience the best you can get. The days went by and we had four formal dinners. Also during the day one should not show up in the dedicated Restaurants with flipflops or shorts not suiting or "trained" figure. Also denim should be replaced by a solid pair of trousers and a nice shirt. There are enough possibilities to get sunburnt later on deck. There have been also a lot of activities which were free. The planetarium is not the greatest thing, but was fun to go once. The shows may be a bit outdated, but the comedy was very good and the singers also, more the dancers tent to be very russian style even when they announce an Italian night. The queens ballroom is very nice and you can try your dancing shoes all night long. There are so many restaurant options like buffets all day that you do not need to go to your designated restaurant, however as we do not like buffets and did not want to increase our weight, we sticked to the Queens Grill which was excellent and even only for a salad or appetizer very nice and quiet. The staff did really everything and the workers did a hard job to maintain and keep the vessel in a good condition. Although QM2 is already 11 years there are only little things which are damaged or not renovated correctly. Mind you it is also the guests who sometimes ruin cabins by just not taking care of the interior and think they booked and bought and are eligeble to misuse it. Our suite was midship and I can recommend that especially new cruisers should book the midship cabins as this is the most stable place even when the sea is rough. We nevery experienced any stomach problems though one day it was quite windy and the waves broke high. The Queen Suites are very good in size and even on a world cruise with a lot of days would give enough storage room for the clothes you may need. Our Cabin Steward Vishal was outstanding as well as his deputy Chistian. They did everything to us to make us feel like Kind an Queen. We did not use the roomservice for meals. But people we talked to liked it very much. The bathroom has also a very good size with a whirlpool option and is also suitable for shower. Also the bathroom had a lot of closets and space to place your belongings. The TV channels were not that fantastic as we were on the sea in the middle of nowhere on the Atlantic. Phoneconnection via satellite and also internet was available at all times with short interuptions. To summarize my much to long review: Yes we look forward to be again on this oceanliner which hopefully maintains its style and stricte policies about attire. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
So far, I've crossed the Atlantic three times on the Queen Mary 2; the first was the April sailing from Southampton to New York in 2012 (solo), the second, the May sailing from New York to Southampton in 2014 with my wife, and the ... Read More
So far, I've crossed the Atlantic three times on the Queen Mary 2; the first was the April sailing from Southampton to New York in 2012 (solo), the second, the May sailing from New York to Southampton in 2014 with my wife, and the third, the October sailing back to New York in 2014 (solo). I hate flying and I love the QM2, so this will remain my one and only way of crossing the Atlantic. Because I'll be doing this on a relatively regular basis, I'll probably always book an inside stateroom (cabin). It's good value and there's always the possibility of a free upgrade to an outside cabin with a balcony. In general, however, I'm not that bothered. I spend very little time in my cabin except to sleep and check my emails. Most of the time, I walk the decks, explore the ship, take loads of photographs, and enjoy the marvelous sea air. I also never eat in the restaurant but prefer the self-service instead. The food is truly excellent and I don't have to wear formal attire. I prefer jeans. As for the ship and the crossing in general, there aren't enough superlatives to describe the experience. It's simply a wonderful way to travel and switch off for 7 or 8 days. The crew are excellent; always very smart, very polite, very helpful and very professional. I do, however, have one major complaint which is more to do with the passengers than the crew: The problem in question is to do with passenger hygiene. Far too many passengers ignore the request to use tongs when picking up bread or other items of food. I've often seen people picking bread up with their hands and then putting it back if they don't like the look of it. I've politely reprimanded passengers myself about this over the years and I've also reported it to the stewards, but it keeps on happening and it's a sure-fire way of spreading germs. It's a very bad habit, and I believe that the crew should take a much firmer stance on the matter. Hygiene is of extra importance when a few thousands people have to spend several days with each other in relatively close quarters. The ship is so large that the only time you realize that there are so many people on board is during meal times, but this is when germs are passed on. Many of the passengers are elderly and often catch colds quite easily, so it's imperative that strict hygiene rules are observed. It's all a matter of education. Wealth doesn't automatically go hand-in-hand with a good upbringing and good hygiene. The ship needs to be more aware of this. All in all, though, to travel on a liner of the QM2's standard is an unforgettable experience and is certainly not out of the reach of most people's pockets. An inside cabin is excellent value and very comfortable indeed. I don't usually like confined spaces, but I'm okay with the inside cabins on the ship. Like I said, I only use it for sleeping and checking my emails, and occasionally to take a brief nap. I usually take a cabin on Deck 6 towards the stern on the other side to the children's play area, but it doesn't really matter. The ship has excellent stabilizers, so it's often not even noticeable that the ship is at sea. But to be on the safe side, the higher you go above sea level, the more you'll feel the movement of the ship. It's all a matter of personal preference. I'll be going back to Europe in May, so I'll see you on board. I'm the one who's always taking photographs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Having listened to friends who have sailed on the QM2 we decided that we would take a trip on this ship to celebrate our anniversary, however, having arrived back home, I have to report that I was less than impressed by the QM2. The first ... Read More
Having listened to friends who have sailed on the QM2 we decided that we would take a trip on this ship to celebrate our anniversary, however, having arrived back home, I have to report that I was less than impressed by the QM2. The first major disappointment was the cabin, I naturally thought that this would be superior to the cabin we had on the Queen Victoria but this was not the case. The decor was extremely plain, cold and uninviting, the balcony was not clean, quite a bit of rust, flaking paintwork, and very poor quality repairs to the paintwork, where carried out. TV quality was poor, USB port on TV did not work, furniture was scratched badly, sofa had not been cleaned properly. The shower curtain should be binned, full of pulled threads with many stains on it. The bathroom lock was loose, the silicone mastic around the fittings was applied by an amateur. One bedside lamp, had a mind of it own and would turn off and on constantly. All in all quite poor. Other things that I was less than impressed with were, the state of many of the men's public toilets, they smelt as if they had not been cleaned, many loose taps, generally in need of attention. The shops were overpriced, staffed by people that were less than helpful and many of them had what can only be described as market stalls outside, not very classy. The main restaurant that we used was the Britannia, the food was extremely good most of the time as was the service from our waiter for the first four days, the service was not as good when his trainee took over, but hopefully he will get better. Can the head waited take note, please ask your staff to wait until everyone on a table has finished eating before they clear the plates, on more than a few occasions I had to stop eating whilst a waited leant over me to remove finished plates, this is rude. Wine and drinks were far too expensive for what we were getting. $49 for a bottle of wine that should really have been priced at $25, still Cunard are like most restaurants, they all rip off customers with drinks prices. Despite reminders and assurances, Cunard do not adhere to dress codes, there were some very poorly dressed individuals in the restaurant on formal nights, this is wrong, if they want to dress badly, then please eat in the Kings Court. Talking of the Kings Court, I found this crowded, dirty, and the cooked food appalling. Having sailed on the Queen Victoria, which had a really good buffet area, I expected the same or better on QM2, was I in for a shock. I had very little cooked food in the end as the majority of what was served did not look very appealing. The head chef should look for another job if he thinks the food is good enough to serve this way. To give a few examples, uncooked sausages, half cooked toast, greasy corned beef hash, underdone english bacon, over done american bacon, undercooked pizza. Most of which was poorly presented. Did anyone else suffer trying to extract food from some of the displays, my arms really needed to be another six inches longer to get to some items. Does the chef know that cold plates are best for salads etc. If you required very hot plates, then you were well served, if you required a cold plate, then tough. For the usage this area has the staff need to be much quicker clearing and cleaning tables. The entertainment was mediocre, the so called comedian should look for another profession, the dancers were ok but not great. The best act was the Beatles Experience, by far. The daily activities left a lot to be desired, not very well thought out and too much of the same every day. Cunard do not seem to cater for all ages which is a mistake. I enjoyed the quiz events, as did many other passengers, perhaps Cunard should hold more of these as they appeared to be very popular. The evening entertainment other than the big shows was ok. Steve on the piano was on the whole good but only when he was doing what he wanted rather than what the audience required. Outside, I got really fed up with having to hunt towels. If they are not enough staff to man all pools and jacuzzi's then please ensure there are a supply of towels near these facilities, especially on deck 12. I could probably go on and on but really cannot be bothered, much like Cunard. I will never sail on the QM2 again and will probably have to be dragged onto another cruise, as this experience was not the best way to have a holiday.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have just returned from NY having sailed on the QM2 from Southampton, spent 4 days in New York and then flew home. Despite having read adverse comments about this ship, we found her to be beautiful. Without exception, the crew in every ... Read More
We have just returned from NY having sailed on the QM2 from Southampton, spent 4 days in New York and then flew home. Despite having read adverse comments about this ship, we found her to be beautiful. Without exception, the crew in every area were friendly and efficient. The food everywhere was fist class as was the entertainment. We were lucky enough to have The National Symphony Orchestra on board. We have never experienced a live orchestra before and did not think we would like it, but they were excellent, we are now converted. The whole experience was first class, and we intend to do the same in 2015, but in reverse. I think that says it all. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our first sailing on Cunard, and hopefully won’t be our last. We quickly got used to the Cunard “ocean liner” experience, as compared to the experiences we’ve had on 20 or so past “cruise ships”. The following is ... Read More
This was our first sailing on Cunard, and hopefully won’t be our last. We quickly got used to the Cunard “ocean liner” experience, as compared to the experiences we’ve had on 20 or so past “cruise ships”. The following is pretty detailed; however, I appreciate the detailed reviews I’ve read here, so I trust this one will help others. Our crossing was Westbound: Southampton to Brooklyn. Embarkation: Very short waits at the port. Our luggage arrived within an hour. Cabin: We had an inside, which was fine, since there’s not much to see at sea! The bed was comfortable and the cabin had plenty of storage. The bathroom tiles were a bit dated, but the amenities were very nice. Lots of storage areas in the cabin. I wasn’t impressed with the cabin steward; she was reactive, rather than being proactive. Dining: The Britannia (MDR) is quite stunning. Cunard’s food was good, but not anything better than Princess. Getting free cappuccino/espresso, etc. after dinner was a nice touch. Drink prices were average for a cruise ship and the bars had a good selection of British beers on draught. Cocktails seemed to be on the skimpy-liquor side. The buffet setup is a bit odd, with the King’s Court spread out over a large area. While it was never crowded, unless you had a table by a window (they jutted out over the Promenade) you were stuck in an interior area, which, frankly looked dumpy. Afternoon tea, either served in the Queen’s Room, with white-gloved service, or via buffet in the King’s Court, was a nice touch with many selections of tea as well as finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. We did the upcharge Indian dinner (Coriander) available the last 2 nights of the cruise. There was plenty of good (not great) Indian food in the King’s Court buffet area, which was converted to a sit-down restaurant. Public Rooms: This is where the QM2 shines. Corridors are broad, the public rooms very large. The Queen’s Room is the largest ballroom afloat. It was wonderful seeing people ballroom dancing. We attended 3 cocktail parties there. G32, the disco, seemed dark and is hard to find. Illuminations (the planetarium cum lecture hall) is beautifully decorated in Art Deco style. The Golden Lion Pub was very comfortable with pub lunch food daily and the Chart Room bar very spacious. The gym had a good amount of weight training equipment and free weights, along with cardio equipment. Unlike most other ships, however, the cardio equipment didn’t face broad windows. I didn’t use it, but took a peek at the Gold Canyon Spa….looked elegant. There were also additional nooks for card playing, and quiet times. There’s a large selection of gift shops, though many were geared toward jewelry and high-end items. One highlight of the ship is the amazing library with stacks categorized by topic and the full-time librarian. In addition, there’s even a bookstore! Entertainment—I was worried about not enough to do, since this was my first crossing, but was NEVER bored. Cunard had 5 lecturers on board, from the former director of the Bank of England to a speaker on musical theatre. Most were attended well. In addition, there were the popular planetarium shows. I even found a quiet place forward on the ship with dim lighting for real stargazing. At least 4 trivia contests are offered daily, though the prizes are only given at the end of the cruise and are skimpy at that. There was a nice (and usually empty) casino, with amazingly low table stakes ($3 in the afternoon, $1 one day). One nice touch is that there are no announcements made during the day, save for the Captain’s midday communication. One thing that set Cunard apart was the quality of the live music. At the Queen’s Room, you might find a 20 piece dance band. At other venues a string quartet or harpist. We even had piano recitals in Illuminations during the afternoon. If that wasn’t enough, I attended a 1-hour version of Hamlet acted by students of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A downside were the evening production shows. The costumes were beautiful, but they lacked a theme, decent music, and dancers who can also sing. A full wrap-around Promenade deck was always full of people walking or jogging (1.3 miles for 3 laps). The deck chairs were padded with pillows. One downside is that Cunard hasn’t banned smoking yet. The aft area was always had a few smokers. The Commodore Club has large windows forward on the ship and was always a popular place for reading during the day, listening to live piano music, or cocktails in the evening. The ship provided an area there for an LGBT cocktail hour. Unfortunately, Churchill’s cigar lounge is next to the Commodore and when the door opens, the smell often ruined the ambiance of the Commodore Club. A worse scenario occurs on the 2nd floor of G32, where it was just uncomfortable unless you were a smoker. One remarkable story: On the penultimate day, we had an almost-emergency on the ship. At about 5:30 all of the staff were called to their muster stations. Cabin stewards put on their life jackets and all waiters left their 1st seating dining passengers to get to their assigned places. Apparently, there was a chemical spill in the engine room. Captain Wells made numerous announcements keeping all passengers informed. While we never had to get our life jackets, it was memorable. Several crew members told me it was the only time in 8 years this had ever happened. Kudos to the staff and crew for being ready! Disembarkation: Very smooth getting off the ship. US Immigrations, however, was very slow, with only 5 people on duty. Finally, the Cunard experience isn’t for everyone. Like most others on the ship, we brought our formal clothes, and in keeping with ship policy remained dressed at the shows, ballrooms, and disco. It made for a classy cruise….or should I say “crossing”!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Transfer from La Guardia: Easy to find Cunard representative at baggage claim. Our flight was delayed departing so we were taken to a private car to take us to the ship. The driver had a foreign accent which made it difficult to understand ... Read More
Transfer from La Guardia: Easy to find Cunard representative at baggage claim. Our flight was delayed departing so we were taken to a private car to take us to the ship. The driver had a foreign accent which made it difficult to understand him at times. When we got close the ship the driver didn't know how to get into the area where the passengers boarded. As we had made this trip before I had to direct him. Embarkation: Staff very friendly. Since we were late (about 3 PM arrival at the pier) most everyone had already boarded. Once we had checked in and got our key cards we proceeded to the ship. We were familiar with the boarding process so we just walked past the obligatory photo op and passed thru ships security without any delays. There was staff available to direct people to the appropriate elevators based on their cabin location. Stateroom: We had booked an inside cabin but Cunard upgraded us to an obstructed view balcony cabin. It was nice to have the larger cabin. It did have a bit of a 'tired' feel to it. The drain in the bathroom sink was missing most of its finish and there were chips of paint missing here and there. The obstruction was a lifeboat just beyond the balcony. It wasn't a normal size lifeboat but a smaller one that looked like a six passenger jet boat. As it was smaller you could see over it and around the front and back so we still had a better view of the water than people with a standard size lifeboat beyond their balcony. Location-wise the room was right near an elevator bank but you really had to listen to hear any noise from the hall or the elevator. Staff: Stateroom attendant was very nice and always greeted us by Mr and Mrs with our last name. She kept our room well tended. The only issue I had was that one day I dropped something under the bed. When I bent down to look under the bed to see where it went I found it and also found a previous passengers tooth whitening tray. Kinda creepy. I noted this in the questionnaire provided by Cunard near the end of the cruise. Note that they also sent a survey to my email address asking some of the same questions shortly after we got home. Dining room: We didn't use the dining room as we decided to eat in the buffet area each meal. In addition we also chose not to bring our formal clothes. This turned out to be somewhat of a poor decision as there were many formal nights. Even the semi-formal nights requested dressier clothes than we packed. This caused us some discomfort when evening came and the people who were in formal dress walked thru the buffet areas on their way to their dining room. The daily program requested that people who didn't want to dress up remain in the buffet area or the Winter Garden area. Food: Good selection at the buffet each meal. Specialty pasta offering each night. Some sounded good so I tried them. They were. Others didn't sound appealing so I went to the buffet. The pizza wasn't that good however. Cheeseburgers at lunch time were tasty. Desserts left a bit to be desired. Soft serve vanilla and chocolate as much as you wanted was fair. At one of the drink stations we found a coffee dispenser that offered German coffee. We tried it and we liked it. Once we found that we didn't drink any of the regular coffee. Not that the regular coffee was bad it's just that we liked the German coffee better. Entertainment: Guest lectures on board were good except for one gentleman who was called Mr. Cruiseship. He was so engaging and animated during his lecture it kept me awake and interested. It helped that he was talking about a subject near and dear to our hearts - cruise ships of course. Very good speaker. The best part of the entertainment however, was that James Taylor performed. He was gracious enough to endure a 1 hour interview during which passengers who had earlier submitted questions was asked them by the cruise director while the two of them were sitting on the main theater stage. After the interview he agreed to sign autographs and pose for pictures. The line of passengers to see him was HUGE! He stayed for six hours doing this! What a great guy! Of course, I believe he got passage for himself, his family, his band members, and all his equipment for doing all of this. James performed two concerts - one for each dining seating time. When we went to the concert he played non-stop for an hour and a half. He played all the popular songs I knew and then some. Late in the concert he had his wife and one of his sons come on stage to perform as backup singers. Really good show! Disembarkation: On the last day we were told to meet in the main theater and wait for our number/color to be called. We got there and found some seats without too much difficulty since we arrived about 1/2 hour before we were supposed to be called. While we were waiting more and more people showed up. As the close by seats which were easy to get to were filled up people started standing by the entrance doors which made it difficult for other people to pass by. Some of the people decided to sit on the steps leading to some of the higher seats which made it very difficult for people to pass. There was even one guy who sat on the steps and refused to move for a while so people had to walk across the aisle where people were sitting to get around this inconsiderate person. Transfer to Heathrow: This was done by motorcoach (some would call it a bus). The driver was really nice and actually gave us a commentary and short tour of Southampton as we drove along. Once he got on the expressway there wasn't much for him to say so it was quite for the hour or two it took to get to the airport. On the ship we were requested to provide information about our return flight. We were supposedly on an American Airlines flight but it was actually operated by British Airways. We were dropped at the American counters at the airport but found we had to go to an entirely different terminal for BA. The way to get there was to take an underground train. This is mess is a whole other story though and doesn't reflect on the cruise. Summary: Nice, relaxing cruise which we took just because James Taylor was performing. All went well in the long run. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
First, I want to thank previous reviewers on the items that helped us the most: Packing - the North Atlantic is unpredictable so bring layers and "sensible" shoes. During our August crossing, we had sun, rain, fog and wind so ... Read More
First, I want to thank previous reviewers on the items that helped us the most: Packing - the North Atlantic is unpredictable so bring layers and "sensible" shoes. During our August crossing, we had sun, rain, fog and wind so shorts and sandals were fine a couple of days but we needed rain jackets and closed-toe, rubber sole shoes on others. My Steve is not "dressy" so he got by with one good black suit (with specially purchased bow-tie) for formal nights and a navy blue sports jacket for the informal nights plus 5 white long-sleeved shirts and a couple pair of nice slacks. He is "sporty" so had a good assortment of layers. I bought a couple of dresses and a small steamer especially for this trip. The steamer came in very handy and I never had to compete for an iron in the laundrette! The dress code is a little more flexible for ladies so I was able to wear cocktail dresses on both formal and informal nights. If you have luggage limitations for weight and/or space, I recommend you just go with a couple lighter, shorter evening dresses. My one "little black dress" did it's duty on three different occasions. Laundrettes - located on almost every deck with four washers and dryers (free-to-use), iron and ironing board. Soap is provided in wall container (not best so may want to bring some "pods" from home). My additional notes: Machines are full size so can hold quite a bit. These got very busy the last two days of the journey. Operating hours are limited so cabins near by are not disturbed at all hours. I believe the hours were 0700-2100 and the doors are locked during closed times. Spa passes - can be purchased in 1, 3 or 5-day packages. The pass gives you access to the thermal pools, saunas and specialty showers. I bought the 3-day pass for myself for $75 (I believe 1-day was $40 and 5-day was $90). For our crossing the 3-day pass worked out great for me but I may bump up to 5-days on our next trip. I especially enjoyed the bubbly heated pool, dry sauna and herbal sauna. My only complaints were the hot tub wasn't really hot and one of the two specialty showers was only partially working (nice tropical rain option). "Museum" ship - lots of fun, informative posterboards in stairwells and hallways. You can get a headset with audio recordings from the pursers' desk that correspond with some of the posters. I had to trade mine in after the first 24 hours because the battery died. The same thing happened after the second 24 hours so if you want to "do" the whole ship, you'll want to plan accordingly. I was able to cover all the posters in the stairwells (bonus opportunity to work off some calories!) but am looking forward to a future crossing to finish up the posters along the halls around Innovations theater. I wish they had some kind of pamplet/guide to help you (like a real museum) but as far as I know, none exist. Room Service breakfast - comes in 15-min time windows (0630-1000), drinks and food were still hot on arrival. Steve is a night owl and I'm an early bird so I would go up to the King's court to have coffee and cereal, peruse the daily "programme", get in some museum posters, and then get back to the cabin for the 0930 arrival of Steve's breakfast and a second pot of coffee for myself. The delivery attendant was different every morning and I tipped them (just $1). They were always appreciative and even surprised a couple of them but I viewed this as a special service (those trays are heavy!). Cunard Insight speaker Bill Miller is fantastic! His lectures were a wonderful foundation for the "museum" experience - they are interesting and he knows how and when to provide funny antidotes/jokes. I got to attend one of the lectures in person and saw another broadcast on the ship's channel. If he's featured on one of my future sailings, I'll make his lectures a priority to attend. There were 2 or 3 other speakers and I saw some interesting bits and pieces on the rebroadcasts. Afternoon Tea – wonderful experience! We went on our first day at sea and then two more days. We discovered all the cakes, scones and sandwiches were available at the King's Court, too, so on the days we didn't have time or just wanted one item with the tea, we went there. I wish the scones came with a “without raisen” option but I was able to pick most of them out, slather on the cream and strawberry jam and wow, yummy! To my American brethren: just give the scones and clotted cream a try, at least once. Now for the items we discovered on our own... Cabin – we were in 6082 and liked the “sheltered balcony” very much. During the rougher days, we were still able to go out and enjoy the fresh air without getting too wet. Since deck six is right below the promenade deck we did occasionally hear some foot traffic. We are not too sensitive to noise so this didn't bother us but I wouldn't opt for this deck if either of us were light sleepers! Also, our cabin was a bit forward so we swayed with the boat more than once on our way down the halls. I had brought stomach aids just in case, but the roll was gentle and neither of us needed the aids. Again, if you're sensitive to such things, you may want to go aft and lower for more stability. I did find the bed a little hard the first night so asked our steward for some extra padding (thanks to a previous reviewer for that tip!) and had no problem after that. We were located well for us – near the stairs going up to the King's Court and the spa/fitness center. Spa/fitness center – Good variety of aerobic machines and weights. Steve and I were using the treadmills one day while the ship was going through some swells – hold on tight!! Very weird experience that sent use to using stairs and promenade for our aerobic activity. Fitness bikes and stair steppers are probably the best bet while at sea... Pastry lovers rejoice because there are an abundance of glorious, delicious choices! One day they set up an entire buffet (with carved ice horse) in the middle of the King's Court. That's were I gained one of my vacation pounds, I'm sure. Bread lovers may not be so happy as I found the bread offerings to be average, at best. For me, this was a good offset for my pastry consumption, as I just turned down or passed by the bread offerings and doubled up on the pastry! Casino – Steve enjoys roulette and he especially appreciated the single “0” wheel. It's also nice that the bet minimums are just $1 on most tables and Steve said they went down to .50 some days he was there. He noted that the table personnel seemed inexperienced but the pit boss quickly corrected any errors. Next time, he wants to try more craps since that seemed to be the most fun when there were 3 or more players. They have classes some days so I may even join in next time. Transfers – We arranged these with Cunard and were pretty pleased. Our transfer in NY was the best because we came in early on our own arranged flight to JFK. We received a private luxury car to take us to the terminal! Between Southampton and Heathrow we shared an average tourist bus. This got us to the airport waaaayyy early. We found good seats in the Italian cafe so were able to make the best of it... Next time I'll look into making our own arrangements just so we can do self-disembarkation without the cattle-herding aspects of the group transport (including leaving the cabin earlier than necessary – remember Steve the late sleeper?). Wine Steward – the one sour note in my QM2 experience was the snobby wine sterward in the Brittania. Steve doesn't drink and I usually have just one glass of wine with dinner. The first evening I didn't want anything because I was already fatigued from the travel day. The second evening I decided to try the Cunard white wine from Sicily, which I liked. The next evening I thought I might try something different but the steward asked as soon as we sat down so I asked to wait until after I decided what to eat. Thirty mins later, the steward is flitting around to the other tables (with bottles) and chatting. When the waiter brought our entree, I asked HIM about getting a glass of wine and, of course, he said he'd send over the steward. It took another 10-15 mins before the steward showed up so I thought I might at least get some wine to go with the small cheese plate for dessert. I decided the same Cunard white would work fine for that, made my order and the steward rolled his eyes! On top of that, he never asked for my drink order again so I guess he showed me! (losing out on those automatic gratuities) Shrug – I commented on this in my final review but he seemed very popular with the big drinkers so I doubt that anything will change there. My strategy going forward will be to study the menus ahead of the seatings and have my selections ready when (and if) the steward deigns to offer. Planetarium – I was really looking forward to these shows but only got to see one towards the end of our trip because I didn't realize there was such limited seating. To get the tickets for the time you want, you have to get to the desk early (I encountered lines twice). They had two different shows on two days each with 3-4 different times each day. We saw “Infinity Express” and enjoyed it very much. I will make getting my tickets a priority on our next voyage so watch out for a smallish blonde woman with a determined gleam in her eyes! The Illuminations theater that houses the planetarium also hosts some of the lectures and runs good movies (we saw “Noah” and “Grand Budapest Hotel” which had just finished their initial theater runs a few months prior). If you go there for lectures or movies, you want to be careful about picking a seat in the planetarium section since some of these seem to be in a permanent recline mode. Dancing! - Classes for ballroom and line were offered almost every day in 45 minute increments. They were fun and very beneficial to us when we went to the wonderful Black and White ball and other dancing events offered throughout the voyage. Music! - Wonderful as background to tea and dinner and great on stage. We totally lucked into James Taylor and his band on our voyage. We enjoyed his music but were not huge fans like the people who bought onto the trip just for him. I must say everything I heard and saw (second performance), impressed me very much. The man greeted every person who waited to see him after his Q&A – over 4 hours worth of handshaking! He's pure awesome. In my opinion, any adult with a smidgeon of curiousity and flexibility would find a trip on the QM2 to be a fun adventure because I didn't even have time to try a pub quizz, acting classes, card games, tour of the bridge, food caving demos, art class, computer class, etc., etc... Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I booked for 22 days TA East/Channel / Norway/TA West. I also booked Cunard's Hotel/transport package. at a cost of $590 (only $ 390 was for room at Grand Hyatt). I arrived at JFK on time at Terminal 5 (Jet Blue) NO REP and of ... Read More
I booked for 22 days TA East/Channel / Norway/TA West. I also booked Cunard's Hotel/transport package. at a cost of $590 (only $ 390 was for room at Grand Hyatt). I arrived at JFK on time at Terminal 5 (Jet Blue) NO REP and of course NO TRANSPORT. No amount of phoning around produced any results, I was questioned by security because I was "hanging around" so long. I need a wheelchair , travelling solo and had to handle my luggage alone. Airport authority also became involved , they were surprised and shocked when the agency Cunard uses in NY told them that the agency does NOT meet passengers at Terminal 5, that I should have been told to get the airport shuttle bus over to Terminal 1 and there :look for the Cunard rep" I was stuck at the terminal for two and half hours. Grand Hyatt was fine, next day the group for the ship were told to meet in the lobby at 12 , our luggage was there out on the pavement, when the transport came it was TOO SMALL and we were told by rep that we would have to leave out luggage outside on the pavement to follow in another van. We all vetoed this and in the end we went to the ship with the luggage inside piled on seats and in the aisle.! East and West TA were as normal , mixture of passengers, but the 8 days in between though sold as a normal 8 day cruise in US/Canada and UK, was sold as a 2 day, a 4 day and another 2 day in Germany, so we had three lots of 2,000 passengers who were offered these days at a ridiculous cheap price. They disrupted the ship , pushed , shoved, shouted at staff because they did not speak German, and generally turned the . 8 days into 8 days of misery. Food in Britannia was reasonable in quality, not so fine in choice and because of the "2,000", service was slow. Entertainment , although Cunard were supposed to have hired new performers, they did the same old tired shows, that have been running for past 7 years. It is time Cunard changed to NEW SHOWS. Lectures were as per, and the good thing is they can be seen on the TV at night in your cabin if you miss them during the day - albeit Cunard did publish the incorrect channel . again par for the course from the pursers office. The staff there were at best indifferent. Shore tours , lazy incompetent staff who mixed up tickets for tours, lost bookings for transport ship to airport July 28th, and generally behaved as though they were there to play not work. In all I made a bad choice in this cruise. I will take great care not to book any cruise that does 2/3/4 day cheap cruises during rest of 2014 and 2015 (yes Cunard are continuing these until December of 2015 so choose carefully before you book you cruise to Europe)   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Our on board experience was a huge disappointment and afar cry from their adverts and brochures. Indeed even a far cry from past on board experiences. The ship looked badly worn and neglected, especially carpets and furniture. Sewerage ... Read More
Our on board experience was a huge disappointment and afar cry from their adverts and brochures. Indeed even a far cry from past on board experiences. The ship looked badly worn and neglected, especially carpets and furniture. Sewerage smells seem a recurring problem. Service in the Britannia Restaurant was below standard. Service was very slow and meals took over 2 hours from start to finish with long gaps during which they tried to keep diners happy with endless bread rolls. The dress code was not enforce and at night we encountered many passnegers who dressed like from a Council Estate. Staff appeared demotivated and and in a bad mood. Ship felt like Titanic. A museum piece rather than a luxury vessel. Please don't waste your money on Cunard. Try Celebrity Cruises instead if you are looking for a luxurios experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I put "cruiser" in quotes above as one of the reasons for taking this trip was to experience the closest thing still available to taking a voyage on an ocean liner. Cunard likes to call it a crossing rather than a cruise and that ... Read More
I put "cruiser" in quotes above as one of the reasons for taking this trip was to experience the closest thing still available to taking a voyage on an ocean liner. Cunard likes to call it a crossing rather than a cruise and that is what we were after, as we prefer to avoid airports whenever possible. We have never travelled overnight on anything larger than a trans-tasman car ferry so it was a real adventure for us. Other than seeing this huge ship up close, the other aspect of the journey that appealed to us was the dressing up factor - there are not that many opportunities to 'dress to the nines' in our home city and dressing for dinner 8 nights in a row was a real treat. Even the informal dress code on QM2 requires a jacket for men and something fairly classy for women, so every evening meant a change of clothes and some selfies in the cabin before heading out for the evening. We had booked a Britannia Club Balcony so had flexible meal times. The advantage of this was being able to arrange our evenings activities based on what we wanted to see. An early show in the Royal Court Theatre and then dinner or dinner then a late show or watch the dancing in the Queens Room. The downside of the flexible meal times was that there were times we arrived at our table for six just as our fellow diners were finishing their meals. This seemed a little awkward and somewhat impolite at first but by the end of the crossing we were all quite comfortable with the comings and goings and in fact had gotten in sync a bit. We went to several shows in the Royal Court theatre and enjoyed them immensely - including Apassionata which has apparently been running for a long time and viewed as a little tired by some frequent travellers. We liked it very much though and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to new QM2 travellers. During the day there were lectures in both the Royal Court and Illuminations theatres - A special highlight was Seth Gopin's series on New York skyscrapers, which provided us with a framework for exploring Manhattan after our crossing. There was no shortage of organised activities and always the passing ocean to watch from a window in the Sir Samuels coffee bar or the Commodore Club. A pre-dinner "molecular martini" in the Commodore club was a real treat. QM2 met our expectations and exceeded them in some areas. The Britannia Club dining room was excellent and we ate most meals there. We had one lunch and one (birthday) dinner in the Todd English restaurant and enjoyed it very much as well. A pub lunch in the Golden Lion was a nice change from the main dining room. A few tips for the first timer on QM2. If you plan to eat lunch at the Kings Court Buffet on the first day as the MDR is closed, go all the way through and you will probably find much less busy service areas and staff away from the "main" entrance. We did not venture back into Kings Court for the entire trip so cannot really review it. The staircase to the side alleys (through the art gallery and the images (photos) gallery) that bypass the Britannia Restaurant is right next to the entrance to the Queens Room, NOT off the main staircase and not visible from the cross-ship corridor ... it took me days to get this right. It is plain on the deck plan but somehow I still didn't get it .... It is a big ship and can take some working out for those who can't hold 3D maps in their head. If you have a with your stateroom, just ask your stateroom attendant or call the Purser. We put up with a weird noise in the aircon for several nights - one call to the Purser and it was fixed that day.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our first experience of cruising though in actual fact it is a Transatlantic voyage. My husband and I did the West bound and returning East bound crossing. We enjoyed the whole experience immensely. My comments about the QM2 are ... Read More
This was our first experience of cruising though in actual fact it is a Transatlantic voyage. My husband and I did the West bound and returning East bound crossing. We enjoyed the whole experience immensely. My comments about the QM2 are almost all positive. The ship is luxurious ,though after 10 years decor etc is a little tired in places. I understand a refit is due very shortly. The food was very good. The entertainment was varied with something for everyone. The same can be said for all activities. The overall facilities of the ship are excellent. The biggest positive are the staff especially the room stewards and restaurant staff. They work exceptionally hard and nothing is too much trouble. Now for the negative. On returning home we have done some question asking via the internet. We are saddened to read the employment terms and general wages of this grade of staff. Registering a ship in Bermuda apparently allows the payment of extremely low basic pay with little worker protection ie unions. Will we cruise with Cunard again? Yes we will and make sure we give large tips whilst voicing the opinions expressed above.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our third transatlantic voyage on the QM2. NYC-SOU-HAM-SOU-NYC..18-days. We left Brooklyn on June 13th in a storm. However, the sailed easily under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and out to sea. Most of the days the seas were calm ... Read More
This was our third transatlantic voyage on the QM2. NYC-SOU-HAM-SOU-NYC..18-days. We left Brooklyn on June 13th in a storm. However, the sailed easily under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and out to sea. Most of the days the seas were calm and despite occasional fog, rain and high winds, the ship was steady with minimal rocking. This was our third year in the Princess Grill suites by choice. We refused offered upgrades to Queens Grill. PG is definitely the best value for the fare. In the PG restaurant you have your assigned table for the whole voyage. The PG restaurant feels intimate and has experienced waiters plus the food was even better than previous years. PG class has priority boarding and disembarkation plus access to all the areas that Queens Grill enjoys(Concierge and Grills Lounge plus an exclusive lounging deck). We have read Cruise Critic reviews castigating the employees, service, and the appearance of the ship. This not the case in Grills class. We recommend that PG is the best way to travel as we feel that Queens Grill is overpriced. We love the QM2 and look forward to another voyage in 2016.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We are veteran cruisers, and this was our 35th, the fifth with Cunard, the second on the QM2. We chose this crossing because it would give us a few days in Hamburg beforehand, an excursion in Southampton, and a crossing, which would give ... Read More
We are veteran cruisers, and this was our 35th, the fifth with Cunard, the second on the QM2. We chose this crossing because it would give us a few days in Hamburg beforehand, an excursion in Southampton, and a crossing, which would give us the opportunity to dress up and dance every evening in the Queen's Room. My husband and I (from Florida) met our son Ron (from Tennessee) in Newark where we enjoyed a leisurely overnight stay in the wonderful new Embassy Suites at Newark Airport. The next day we boarded our nonstop flight on United Airlines to Hamburg. The flight was long but enjoyable, even in economy class. The price for the flight through Cunard Air was amazingly low. In Hamburg we had arranged through Cunard to be met by a driver who was waiting to take us to the Hamburg Marriott. When we arrived at the hotel around 9 AM, they had our room ready, and invited us to have breakfast in the Executive Lounge which was part of our package. Our stay at the Marriott was outstanding in every way. We enjoyed the huge pool and fitness room, as well as the complimentary tasty meals and snacks provided all day long and late into the evening in the Lounge. We especially enjoyed the complimentary "wine and spirits" that were available. Service was the best we'd ever had in any hotel. We nearly walked our legs and feet off trying to see as much of Hamburg as we could see in a short few days. Our favorite was the trip to the Minitaur Wunderland, a three floor extravaganza of model railroad (and other forms of transportation) exhibits. Absolutely breathtaking creations of miniature towns, ports, cities, and attractions. On embarkation day we took a cab to the port in Hafencity, and after a bit of a queue boarded easily, where we were nicely greeted by two rows of staff and directed towards our cabin 4223. We were instantly charmed by our cabin with the sheltered balcony. Our cabin steward, John, introduced himself to us just minutes after we entered our cabin, and took care of us very well for 10 days. After getting our luggage settled we headed up to the Kings Court for lunch. This was one of the few times we actually used the King's Court, which is indeed (as noted by other reviewers) the weak point of this particular ship in some ways. Not that it is bad, but just not outstanding, needing some upgrades in furnishings, selection, quality, and layout, in our opinion. (However, there is one secret that I must divulge: The only decent coffee on the ship--unless you buy it in Sir Samuel's--is found in the King's Court, at one of the beverage stations sort of in the middle section, from a machine marked "German Classic Coffee, always available". On the other side of the same machine is really awesome hot chocolate. My son and I both bought large mugs in the gift shop and filled them with this coffee each morning as the coffee in the dining room was not to our taste at all). After lunch we headed back to the room where the guys took a quick nap before lifeboat drill (which was quick and painless compared to others we have endured). I of course got busy unpacking their things, finding it easy to put everything in proper place with plenty of room for all of us. The beds turned out to be rather soft, but we adjusted to them over the course of the trip. The bedding and pillows were of high quality, comfy and warm. My son had a pull out couch which was supplemented by an "egg crate" pad that we requested, and he said that it was comfortable enough. The bathroom was very tiny, and the shower miniscule but serviceable with good water pressure. The slippers and robes were a welcome touch. The balcony was huge and we enjoyed it when it wasn't too chilly out. One annoyance is that when the sofa bed is pulled out you have to crawl over the bed to get to the balcony, and actually fold it up a bit in order to open the fridge. Having requested early seating, it wasn't long before we had to prepare for dinner. Jackets for the men, nice dress for me. One of the high points of our trip was the companionship of our delightful tablemates. George was an author returning from a European book tour, and the other a couple, John and Anne, from a town near Stonehenge. We enjoyed all of our meals in the evening with these new friends and are still keeping in touch. The food in the Britannia dining room was very good, no complaints except for the venison they served on the first night which my son and several others ordered. If they are going to serve game meat, someone needs to go in the kitchen and show them how its done! I knew better than to order that, and was more than happy with my broiled fish (Plaice); in fact, I got fish almost every night and was very pleased with all of it. On the nights I ordered steak or beef, it was also very good. My companions enjoyed the lobster one night, and all concurred that it was delicious! I am certain we got the best waiter in the dining room, Mariano, who was absolutely one of the best waiters ever. Everything arrived quickly, and at the appropriate temperature. It only took us a day or two to decide that we would eat all three meals in the dining room (or lunch at the Golden Lion Pub) for the most part, and we enjoyed all of them! Sometimes we were lucky enough to get Mariano at lunch. The wait staff works so hard, I don't know when they ever get any rest! There were so many wonderful things to enjoy on the QM2. We made sure to attend the lectures by Bill Miller, ship historian, and never missed a dance class taught by Ilona and Wilfried, our onboard dancing stars who performed a routine for us nearly every evening in the Queen's Room, where a live orchestra played heavenly music for ballroom dancing on a big and beautiful rectangular wood dance floor. Now, this floor is not as big as the floor was on the QE2, and got VERY crowded on the 5 formal nights when special parties took place. Everyone was having a great time, but some dance couples were not aware of the "line of dance" direction, which created a few hiccups on the dance floor especially if the dance happened to be a quickstep! Fortunately there were many dance hosts to dance with the single women, and they were kept busy! The dance show, Appassionata, in the Royal Theatre, was one of the best shows we've seen shipboard; we also very much enjoyed the RADA production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". One night we enjoyed the film "Shadow Recruit" in the Illusions theater. During the afternoon, HighTea in the Queen's Room is so popular that if you're not there 15 minutes early, you'll have to wait for a seat. The view from the gorgeous library in the bow on deck 8 is so wondrous that the book selected from the thousands available falls unread to the lap! If all of this isn't enough to do, head over to the row of tables with games along the enclosed promenade near the Royal Court and start a game of chess with someone. We enjoyed all of these activities and more! In Southampton we took a tour to Stonehenge and the Medieval town of Salisbury. The Salisbury Cathedral was one of the most magnificent sights I have ever seen. We would like to go back and spend more time in that town as it was utterly charming, like stepping back in history. Of course Stonehenge was breathtaking as well. There is simply nothing else like crossing the Atlantic on a real ocean liner! This was our third crossing, and we were loving every minute. One night at dinner, the seas were so rough that a huge wave crashed way above the windows in the dining room, giving us the momentary illusion that our deck was under water. The whole room broke into applause! Seas may have been rough, but the QM2 is built for it! No one missed a meal or a dance even though the floor sloped from time to time. On another night, the captain announced that we were altering our course south due to icebergs! We finally arrived in Halifax and it was a beautiful day. Having decided not to purchase a tour, we walked easily off the ship and along the wharf of this lovely harbor town. It was fun to just look at the many sailboats and enjoy seafood snacks along the way. Once back on the ship we sadly realized that our voyage was almost at an end. Two short days later we were disembarking in Brooklyn, where once off the ship we waited in a queue for nearly an hour to get a cab to our hotel in Manhattan. I made a note to self to circumvent this situation next time, somehow. After an overnight at the Conrad Hotel, enjoying some New York pizza and the Battery Park area, we were driven in style by Carmel Limo back to Newark airport where our flights were delayed but we eventually made it back to our homes. We loved our trip on the QM2 in every way, and can't wait to do it again! The three of us are unanimous in our agreement that this was the best vacation we'd ever had. We've decided that next time ("Lord willing and the creek don't rise...") we intend to cross the pond BOTH ways by ship, spend a few days in Southampton visiting the friends we met onboard (they've invited us!) and avoid that loooong flight. Maybe a crossing isn't for everyone, but it certainly is for us!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my 19th cruise - my first on Cunard and my last. The ship was full of mold - the dining rooms and photo galleries smelled of backed up sewage. There is so much hype and it did not live up to it - don;t waste your money - stick to ... Read More
This was my 19th cruise - my first on Cunard and my last. The ship was full of mold - the dining rooms and photo galleries smelled of backed up sewage. There is so much hype and it did not live up to it - don;t waste your money - stick to Royal Caribbean and NCL. The pursers desk was staffed by stuffy, rude people who were constantly making mistakes. The ship's crew had the attitude that we were there to accommodate to them. When I mentioned my concerns and the dramatic differences from my other cruise experiences, the answer was always this is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship - I have no idea what that means except that ocean liners are full of mold (stained damp carpets everywhere) and have sewage problems. My room steward was lovely, but I have never had anything but great room stewards. The entertainment was awful and really lacking. There was not much to do on the ship, The internet staff were rude and unhelpful. All this dress up business was a joke - to wear a long gown and tuxedo to eat in a room that stunk to high heavens!! The first night they told everyone to go the rear of the ship for a fireworks show which took place off the front of the ship. The food was bland and boring. Over done veggies and very few choices. I feel like Cunard should give our money back - this was a terrible, terrible ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This was our sixth transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2, our third going westbound, and our first in the springtime. It was a "special" voyage, because Cunard was celebrating QM2's tenth anniversary. We passengers were to ... Read More
This was our sixth transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2, our third going westbound, and our first in the springtime. It was a "special" voyage, because Cunard was celebrating QM2's tenth anniversary. We passengers were to travel on a week-long, floating birthday party! Sounded like great fun as well as transportation across the Atlantic Ocean. We booked six months in advance. Embarkation was as expected. We boarded with the Diamond, Platinum, and Grills group for the first time, qualifying in the Platinum category for priority boarding. Priority boarding means "first" not necessary "fast." Since we anticipated a large number of Diamond and Platinum passengers on this crossing, we were prepared for a lengthy wait. From the time we entered the terminal, until we boarded the ship, was about an hour and a half. Most of that time was spent in comfortable seating. Maybe, the final 20 minutes were queuing. We were on board by 12:45. Sail-away was delayed until evening so we all could enjoy the marching-band, which was playing from the pier, and some fireworks. The band was terrific! Then, there were fireworks, which really exceeded our expectations. It was a memorable experience and seemed to put everyone on the ship in the best of moods. British flags were passed out. Crew members took turns peeking out on deck. It really was exciting, for everyone. Of course, all passengers found a bottle of sparkling wine in their cabins as a complimentary sail-away "welcome" from Cunard, which DH and I appreciated. The ship and service were as we have experienced on other voyages aboard the QM2. Public areas were clean and presentable with maybe a few scuff marks, here and there, from constant use. Nothing objectionable. Our steward kept our cabin clean and resupplied unobtrusively, never forgetting special requests or specific desires. One minor disappointment, which we laughed about, was that our suitcases--marked "priority" for the first time, were delivered among the last to our corridor. This created no inconvenience for us, just gave us material to joke about. DH and I boarded the QM2 after 12 days of traveling through Spain and France, "camping" with friends. Consequently, the contents of our suitcases were in complete disarray. We were grateful that dry cleaning services put DH's tux and dress shirts back in order--at a reasonable price-- by the time they were needed, which was the evening after boarding. Self-service laundry --popular, but completely free, including the soap-- took care of washable clothing, in short order. We ate, as on previous Cunard voyages, in the Britannia--the main dining room. Service was, for some reason (which we believed beyond our waiters' control) substandard for the first two nights. Meals were delivered with long pauses between delivery of each tablemate's plate and water glasses were never refilled… THEN, for unknown reasons, service improved greatly and the waiters had to time to check whether meals were satisfactory, water was replenished, rolls were offered multiple times, et cetera. Service became absolutely terrific… Our tablemates were three delightful couples from various parts of the UK. Conversation was lively, so any lapse in service on the initial nights was overlooked in what became very pleasant rituals of nightly sociability. The food was good. We felt the choices offered were "better" than those on our last crossing in '12. The only disappointment was the escargot, which was NOT escargot dearly loved with the rich, garlicky butter, but snails cooked in another type of (not flavorful) sauce. Hard to complaint, however, since every evening had no lack of satisfying and tasty offerings. For lunch, we dropped into either King's Court (buffet) or the Britannia dining room, depending on our mood. Because we are experienced Queen Mary 2 travelers, we know which serving venue in the King's Court offers which-type-of-food and we know how to quickly find an empty table, away from the buffet areas--often in the Winter Garden. The King's Court can be confusing (and cumbersome) for those on their first crossing. In contrast, lunch in the Britannia is easy and pleasant without necessity to maneuver from station to station or carry a tray, while seeking a table. Regardless, we enjoyed noon meals in both places as well as one meal of fish & chips (with obligatory mushy peas) at The Golden Lion Pub. For DH and me, the highlight of the voyage was the daytime lecture series, which featured (among others) ship designer Stephen Payne, author Lynn Truss, and longtime Cunard social hostess Maureen Ryan. In addition to enjoying their enthralling lectures, happenstance created opportunities to chat informally with each of these speakers. This is part of the fun of being on shipboard: you and the entertainers/speakers "live" (for a while) in the same "small town" so your paths are bound to cross. On Cunard ships, we have always felt the caliber of speakers was exceptionally high. On this voyage, we felt the speakers were especially interesting and their lectures a pleasure--- Even if I now realize Lynn Truss would not wholly approve of my overuse of parenthesis : ) and might frown at my other punctuation errors… Days passed very quickly during the crossing. The week flew by. Three formal nights came and went. Laughter was shared at the dinner table. Two books were read. (Queen Mary 2's library is such delight! I always find an interesting book.) Meals were eaten. Snacks were consumed. We met with (new) friends for drinks in the Commodore. We tasted wines (all delicious!) DH ran daily on a machine in the Fitness Center. I admired him for doing this from a comfortable chair, looking out at the sea. Time zones were crossed and watches re-set, repeatedly. Suddenly, it was the final day. Email addresses were exchanged. Suitcases repacked (so much easier than when there is need to try to keep clothing unwrinkled). We arrived in Brooklyn thoroughly satisfied with every aspect of the crossing. As icing on a figurative birthday cake, Cunard presented passengers with a wonderful book about the QM2 to commemorate QM2's 10th anniversary. It was a generous gesture, which pleased and touched us. DH and I self-disembarked around 7 a.m., independently pulling our bags through the Brooklyn terminal. Customs was less than a minute's pause, while the agent examined the form we had filled out on the ship. Waiting for a taxi was orderly with no more than 10 minutes in a queue. One last long look at the Queen Mary 2 and we said "goodbye" to ship life---at least until next time.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My wife and I just returned from a combined eastbound transatlantic, Norway (14 days), and westbound transatlantic trip for a total of 28 days. This was our 19th voyage with Cunard and 44th cruise overall. We have cruised on the QM2 10 ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a combined eastbound transatlantic, Norway (14 days), and westbound transatlantic trip for a total of 28 days. This was our 19th voyage with Cunard and 44th cruise overall. We have cruised on the QM2 10 times in the past and unfortunately the quality of the cruises have declined over time. As one cruiser quipped the " QM2 has been Carnivalized." The ship itself is still great with plenty of room, even with a full ship. Its four sets of stairs and elevator banks make moving about the ship easy. The ship handles the seas of the North Atlantic with the aplomb of the great lady she is. But a lot of little things have shown declines in quality over the years. The toilet paper and tissues in the staterooms are now below that found in the restrooms at Walmart. The paper towels in the public restrooms are smaller in size and disintegrate when moistened. (whatever happened to the clot towels of yesteryear.) The ship needs a through cleaning. We had two different waiters during our trip and both were excellent. The food they served was not. The appetizers were very good, the soups varied from thick to thin (for the same soup) and the beef (except for the beef wellington) tended to be on the tough side. The fish dishes were okay except for the night they served "monkfish tail" which was tough and fibrous. The entrees now consist of one pasta dish, two vegetarian dishes and a fish, a fowl , and a meat dish. It seems they have substituted a vegetarian dish for one of the regular meals, a cost cutting measure I'm sure. None of the meals we had were outstanding, about what we would get on NCL. There was no variety in the rolls served with dinner, the same three types night after night. We ate breakfast in the Brittania restaurant every day. The service at breakfast ranged from mediocre to awful. They have used the same breakfast menu for the ten years we have traveled on this ship. It would be nice if they could at least have breakfast special as they do on other lines. The food in the Kings Court (Lido) was ok but again very repetitive. The sandwich prep area has great chicken salad. One problem is that many time the self service items are unlabeled. Sanitation is an issue they should address. The table in the Kings Court are many times wiped off with the napkins from the last user and are not properly sanitized. We witnessed a crew member refilling the automated drink dispensers by getting up on the serving line in his dirty shoes with no effort to even wipe down the area when he was done. We reported this to a supervisor to no avail as we saw this happen three other times afterwards. During regular operations many of the hand sanitizers were empty and when coming back on board after shore excursions no attempt was made to provide hand sanitizer facilities of any kind. The entertainment was ok and because we have made so many trips on this line the efforts of the lecturers Bill Miller, Stephan Payne and other regular lecturers are getting to be a little jaded. They still do a good job. Again, to regular cruisers the Production shows, specially Apassionata, are getting somewhat dated. All in all this voyage would have been ok had it been on NCL or Princess but for the prices charged by Cunard for this product it should have been much better. We will no longer go out of our way to travel Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I have recently completed two crossing on the QM2 from New York to Southampton (May 16th) and Southampton to New York (June 5) and I can truly call both crossings magnificent. There is little I can add that other people have not already ... Read More
I have recently completed two crossing on the QM2 from New York to Southampton (May 16th) and Southampton to New York (June 5) and I can truly call both crossings magnificent. There is little I can add that other people have not already said --but I will and I am truly surprised at some of the previous negative comments. To each their own I suppose but I thought I would offer some of my personal observations: QM2: truly a wonder of a ship....grand looking on the outside and grand on the inside. You do feel special when you are aboard and truly do feel connected to the sea with wonderful views from the public rooms all the way to the uppers decks. I think this is the true value of a transatlantic crossing and particularly all the viewing options offered by the QM2: being connected to the ocean and enjoying the incredible colors; the power of the water and the weather; wonder skies and beautiful sunsets. To me this beats any Vegas show or rock climbing wall. That is the marvel of the QM2: it affords you the time and the opportunity to appreciate the many things we tend to overlook on a daily basis. I found the ship in great repair. Did not see rust or mold and it was fantastically clean! Spotless! There was always someone wiping, vacuuming and sprucing up any mess people might have left. We had some very rough seas and the QM2 rode them beautifully! Public Rooms: all were great each with their own unique flavor and character. The decor was fantastic and all furnishings of high quality and comfort. Golden Lion was a fun place to drop in for a pint and the Commodore Club offered great views with a high end modern elegant feel. Enjoyed Sir Samuel's for a morning coffee and sitting outside on deck 8 (despite the weather) offered great views of the horizon. Service: the crew were phenomenal always saying hello with a smile as you walked down the halls and never a shortage of some one to help if you needed it. I found the staff in all the lounges friendly, happy, helpful and surprisingly they always remembered my name. They were always talkative and looked like they were enjoying their job. You certainly did not feel you were aboard a vessel with 2600 other people. Found it was more like going to your neighborhood pub. Britannia Restaurant: this is truly a fine dinning experience. Service was marvelous and so was the food. I certainly did not see food being sent back. What surprised me, being a fussy eater and selective eater, was that there was always a menu choice that suited my tastes and personal preferences. Any steak I ordered was cooked exactly how I liked it. Food was always served hot. Portions sizes were perfect and a fine selection of deserts. One more comment about the service: in such a large dining room I found the service to be extremely personal, friendly and fun. I always looked forward to my meals in the Britannia. King's Court: not sure what people complain about---it is a buffet. Yes a buffet. It has great food, of which there was a large selection which changed everyday. For those who complain about lack of service (ie. wait staff) then remember it is a buffet and by that very definition this means self serve. If you want fine dinning then travel 5 decks down or visit other locations (i.e. Golden Lion) where you can order your food and it will be brought to your table. If people thought this reminded them of high school cafeteria food then they must be going to some out of high end private school cafeteria. That aside, I found it a great place to sit down, enjoy a snack or a quick meal. I enjoyed the roast beef they had on offer and always a great selection of deserts. Nice selection of fresh fruits One day at lunch they had a superb selection of Mexican food and one evening great Italian pasta I always found it easy to find a table by a window and in fact as soon as you were finished your plate there was someone there to take away your empty plate. I don't understand the confusing layout comments. I found it easy to get around. Again, great food, great setting with great views of the promenade. Granted on any one day the selection many not appeal to your particular taste but overall I do think most reviews of King's Court are unfair. Room Service: was fast, quick and most important delicious. Pre-ordered breakfasts were spot on time. I recommend the Spicy Chicken Thai Curry for dinner or lunch! Room service always arrived hot and within 20 minutes. Cabin: spacious, well kept and very clean. Very comfortable beds and pillows and beds and bed linens were super soft. Room stewards in both directions were fantastic. Room always cleaned in the morning when I left and turn down service occurred while at dinner. Perfectly discrete!. The cabin was extremely quite with very little sounds from the hall way. One evening I did hear the wind from the gale blowing outside but it was very low. Very easy to control the temperature of the room and very great storage. Water was always hot. One warm days the deck chairs on the balcony were enjoyable and a great place to relax. Only negative for me-not a big fan of the Gilchrist & Soames toiletries but understand that is changing. Embarkation/Disembarkation: quick and easy embarkation and disembarkation. Security and check-in was easy. Probably an average of an hour from check-in to boarding the ship. Faster than an airport! Luggage delivered promptly. Disembarkation took 20 minutes from ship to curb side(used self help). Suggestions for Improvement: just a couple of things I think could be improved--but hardly a deal breaker. The first is the gift shop. I thought they could have a better selection of gifts and various "knick/knacks". My second suggestion would be to have a channel on the TV were you could see the actually position of the QM2 (ie. where in teh ocean you were). I thought there was one but could not find it. Conclusion: After 15 days on the QM2 I can honestly say I am willing to go again! Everything was perfect---based on all the research I did prior to my trip (and it was extensive) both crossings lived up to and in many cases surpassed my expectations. My biggest surprise was when leaving the QM2 after getting off and looking back was the sheer size of the ship. After being on board for a week you lose perspective on how big she is--especially as there is no sense of overcrowding on board. That is how well laid out she is and how many different places there are for people to enjoy.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My partner and I sailed for the first time (on Cunard) in a Queen's Grill. We cruise only in large suites as we enjoy time away from the masses. Embarkation: As some have mentioned it was a right mess. Not enough staff to take care ... Read More
My partner and I sailed for the first time (on Cunard) in a Queen's Grill. We cruise only in large suites as we enjoy time away from the masses. Embarkation: As some have mentioned it was a right mess. Not enough staff to take care of the Grills Suite passengers If all those reading this sense entitlement - you are correct. We expected service to match the Grill Suite price tag we paid. Not one of you would expect less for a cruise that topped $10,000 USD. The weather and a surprise US cost guard inspection slowed the process, but that offers little solace for passengers paying for a 1st Class ticket...strike 1 Dress Code: If this was applied with the same vigour and zeal they advertise it in their brochure it would have been acceptable. However women dressed in cheap H&M blouses and skirts, evening dresses with flip flops, tarts wearing just enough to cover their bits with matching Payless slippers. Gentlemen: wearing a green kilt with a matching green T-shirt is not formal. The rest of the world does not care if kilts are formal in your country. The dress code states "Tuxedo or Dark Suit" Apparently this has been a thorn in Cunard's side for some time. Neither is having the letters " Q M 2" shaved into the side of your head considered "elegant or classy" Only 10% of the passengers were dressed formal or elegant. Which made the rest look like pigs wearing lipstick - wearing something black while leaving your hair unwashed nor combed doesn't mean you are "Elegant." Cunard's dress code is a sham - they allow non compliance to some - others they ask others to leave the common rooms because they are not dressed in black (wearing $300 of Brooks Brothers apparently gets trumped by a $20 outfit on a slag - just because it was black) Strike 2 Food: Exceptional in both the QG and King's Court - in fact, other mainstream cruise lines could learn a lot from only offering 10-12 hot items (all done very well) instead of 40 items with little to no consistency. Ship: as some have mentioned - some of the toilets around the ship kept having issues and were closed. The smell was quite awful and unfortunately lingered for some time in all directions of these affected WC's. Carpets in some areas were worn, and some furniture legs were damaged in our suite. In a 506 sf' Q5 suite - what is a 26" TV doing there ? It is not a college dorm room - it is a Queen's Grill Suite. Unacceptable. Strike 3 Cunard tries to create an experience based on class. The cost of which and price you want to pay for is up to you. If you chose to pay for a Fist Class Cabin without baulking at the price (because you can) then that is what should be provided. Nothing less. We heard that Cunard had a mass exodus of staff in NYC and there were many more leaving upon arrival in Southampton. Due to un paid wages. This might have explained why there were so many people with name tags on, but without uniform. Perhaps Cunard had to fill positions with staff from their land offices to handle this. Whatever the case, we have always voted with our dollars. Cunard does not execute the experience they advertise, and for that my money is going somewhere else. We have enjoyed service style and class for less money - but then again it isn't about the money, is it ?   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We just completed our first transatlantic cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2. We selected the Queens Grill. We were Q5. We can’t imagine going any other way in the future. We think we would rather save up and go once in QG rather than go ... Read More
We just completed our first transatlantic cruise aboard the Queen Mary 2. We selected the Queens Grill. We were Q5. We can’t imagine going any other way in the future. We think we would rather save up and go once in QG rather than go twice in Britannia. Due to a major northeaster storm and the coldest temperatures experienced in years, the boarding process was delayed and disorganized. A surprise health inspection by the USDA that delayed embarkation didn’t help matters either. Much of the responsibility for the disorganization belongs to the New York Port Authorities and not Cunard Line. The QM2 came into the port hours early ahead of the worst of the storm and was in position to accept us. However, the customs authorities and port officials were battling with horrible weather conditions and were delaying disembarkation. This sequence delayed boarding by quite a few hours, caused a huge traffic jam and we were all held in the boarding facility for a number of hours. Rather than departing at 5 in the afternoon as planned, sailing was delayed until midnight in order to accommodate late arriving passengers. The Commodore was forced by regulations to perform muster drills late into the night. I know many passengers were disturbed by the late night activity. But, it couldn’t be helped. We went to bed and missed going under the Verrazano Bridge. The crossing was generally calm with only one bad day. Some days the sun was shining and everyone was walking the promenade getting exercise. The ship was spotless. The public rooms were beautiful. Our stateroom was spacious, elegant and everything one would expect in QG. Someone fortuitously posted a video on YouTube of our cabin. Our luggage was in our stateroom waiting for our arrival. The bath was nicely appointed with lovely soaps, shampoos and wonderful towels and robes. Given that it was January, we didn’t think we would use our balcony, but the weather cooperated. We thoroughly enjoyed our private balcony with the deck chairs. The bed was most comfortable with luxurious linens. The TV swiveled and we could watch it from the sofa or the bed. There was a refrigerator in the room stocked with soft drinks. You were also given two bottles of spirits or wine. If you are in QG, you have an assigned butler and assistant along with privileges in the concierge lounge, and the QG Lounge. In the evening our Butler would deliver canapés. The concierge lounge had tea and coffee available all day. If you needed anything you could get it from your butler or the concierge. No need to deal with the purser’s desk. You can get a full breakfast in your stateroom or eat in the QG. The concierge lounge also had breakfast pastries and muffins in the morning. It had finger sandwiches and sweets in the afternoon, if you didn’t want to go to the QG Lounge for formal tea. The concierge was there to handle all our needs from helping you with internet to booking car services or excursions. They were great and had a good attitude. They were very accommodating and really patient with the elderly passengers who needed lots of extra assistance. It’s very easy to fill the days at sea. Both PG and QG have their own exclusive sun deck and hot tub. We actually used it. It was fun. The workout facility was very nice and heavily used. The library was also heavily used. The lecture series were really informative. We liked that they were recorded and run after 17:00 in case you missed one. We used the Canyon Ranch Spa. It was really nice. If you use one of their spa services, you will get a day pass to the spa. You can also buy a day pass. It is worth it to set aside some time to use the pool and sauna(s). They were great. At various times, there were dance classes. We took a few of them. They could be challenging when the ship rolls. We can do a tango now. The QG dining was always elegant. The staff was really well trained, friendly and motivated. We found our fellow QG passengers to be warm, friendly, fun and excited to be in the QG. The food was mostly French/Continental. They did encourage you order off the menu. They would get you anything that you desired, if they could. One of our fellow table mates had suffered from a migraine episode. She wanted very simple food. They accommodated her and very tenderly cared for her. There was an entire section of dishes that were prepared tableside. One night we had a Indian menu, the next it was Chateaubriand, another night it was Beef Wellington. Other tables were having Duck L’Orange or Dover Sole. Wine was available by the glass or from the wine cellar. The sommelier provided assistance if requested. We brought a special bottle on board and he served it to us for a modest corkage fee. The food was rich and there was too much of it. But, it was the occasion of a lifetime and lived up to the billing. Was it worth it? Would we do it again? Yes, absolutely. We are already planning the next trip. We are going to do the Westbound crossing next. It’s hard to please everyone and everything doesn’t always go perfectly. But, all things considered it was fun, exciting and the event of a lifetime.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
FIRST SECTOR OF 2014 WORLD CRUISE EMBARKATION We arrived at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton at 12:30 and were told there was about a half hour delay in boarding. We were nevertheless on board and in our cabin by 1:30pm. We then went up ... Read More
FIRST SECTOR OF 2014 WORLD CRUISE EMBARKATION We arrived at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton at 12:30 and were told there was about a half hour delay in boarding. We were nevertheless on board and in our cabin by 1:30pm. We then went up and found a seat in the Lido self-service restaurant and had a leisurely lunch. CABIN We had a balcony cabin on deck 8, directly below the Lido, from which we heard no noise during the cruise. The cabin was clean, in good condition, with little evidence of wear and tear. There are two wardrobes, with 40 hangers provided. There are also shelves and drawers, which should provide ample storage for a 2 week holiday, but perhaps not for a full World Cruise. The cabin was kept clean by the steward while we were at breakfast and dinner each day – excellent service. Dressing gowns and slippers are provided. The bed linen is very good quality fine cotton. The two beds can be arranged as twin or double. They are reasonably soft, yet supportive. There are two large pillows, one square and one oblong, with good quality foam filling. The shower room was also in good condition, except for some mould on the tile grouting in the shower area. The shower curtain is a heavy fabric material, rather than plastic, which is much more practical. This was very clean, presumably because it can be easily placed in a washing machine. The shower thermostat was not always very effective at controlling the water temperature, but we have had the same problem on other ships. The strength of the lighting was good and a shaving/make up mirror is provided. Gilchrist and Soames, soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion are supplied and replaced as used. The bath towels were fluffy and an adequate size, but certainly not bath sheet size. There are also small hand towels and flannels. The balcony has two chairs and a table, but no recliners. The small flat screen television in the cabin provided general information and often had a recording of one of the talks from the previous day. It had US news channels, plus Sky News and BBC World. A number of films were shown each day, but the quality of the picture was so bad that most were not worth watching. FOOD Britannia restaurant. We were on the second sitting at 8:30pm. Our waiter, Dennis, from Dubrovnik was a real character. He was full of advice about which choices to make and even sang to us on one evening. We were initially impressed, but soon realised that he spent too much time entertaining us and not enough time serving and his assistant struggled to make up the lost time. Unlike tables served by other waiters, we were asked to choose our desserts with the starters and main course, instead of deciding on a light or more filling dessert after our main course. This procedure meant that it provided extra time for Dennis’s entertainment. Unlike other sections around us, we were rarely offered the Petit Fours with our coffee. It will be interesting to hear other peoples’ experience with Dennis. The food itself was good to excellent and there was no indication of the budget being cut since our last Cunard cruise in 2012. It is certainly much better than that provided by P&O. In particular we enjoyed some superb steaks, of a quality one would expect in the best restaurants. We also ate breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant, where the quality and choice was consistently good. You can have the full range of cooked English breakfast, cereals, pancakes, fruit, yogurt, bread and pastries, etc, etc. We normally had lunch in the Lido, where there was always a good choice of hot and cold dishes, plus pasta and pizzas made to order. Chocolate and vanilla ice cream was always available from a machine – parents please note! When the weather was bad it was difficult to find a seat between 12:00 and 1:00. If it was really full, a more leisurely lunch was available in the Britannia Restaurant. When the weather is fine the Lido grill is open where you can dine outside. This mainly offers burgers and hot dogs, with chips or salad. They no longer serve steak, so that is one cut back on the budget. Cunard’s famous afternoon tea is still available in the Queens Room between 3:30 and 4:30. Even if you only go once, you have to experience it. It is just not the same to have a self service tea in the Lido. DRINKS As is normal on Cunard and many other ships, the drink prices are very high ( from around $10 for a glass of wine) and there is also a15% service charge. We noted that many only drank water with their meals. THE CRUISE The title “Lost at Sea” refers to the fact our 10 day cruise from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale was just that. The stop in the Azores was cancelled. After leaving Southampton we experienced 3 days of rough weather. At one stage speed was reduced to just 4 knots due to the storm force winds (Normal cruising speed 20 knots). On the third day (4th January) we were advised that our one and only morning ashore in Ponta Delgada in the Azores had been cancelled, as the weather would be too rough to enter the harbour. On the morning of our intended stop (6th January) the wind and sea conditions had moderated as we passed South of the Azores. Since the cost of fuel is now a major factor in running a cruise ship, it is clear that the cancelled stop had more to do with the additional cost of the fuel that would be needed to make up lost time, than the sea conditions. If you were in a restaurant at 9am or 12 noon when there was a report broadcast from the bridge, you would not hear these and the only way to monitor progress was on the “Report from the Bridge” shown on the television. This was often not updated and continued to show the previous day’s position, speed and sea conditions, or nothing at all. Despite the rough weather experienced at the beginning and a swell in the middle of the Atlantic, only a gentle rolling motion was experienced, except during the storm, when there was more rolling and pitching which some found uncomfortable. ENTERTAINMENT For the first few days we were entertained by a comedian and a singer. We did not find anyone who had ever heard of them. Presumably they work mainly on cruise ships. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers appeared towards the end of the cruise. We were told they were a new group and had to rehearse before appearing. Although the singers were good, the dancers were typical of those seen on cruise ships and lacked experience. They were certainly not up to the standard of those previously seen on Cunard cruises. There were also a number of musicians who performed in the theatre and around the ship and these were generally good. It had been intended that new acts (and Speakers) would join the ship in the Azores. Having cancelled this stop, the comedian ran out of jokes and the singer expanded her repertoire. We did have some interesting speakers. An adventurer, Adrian Hayes, who told of his mountain climbing, trips to the poles and trek across the desert. He was certainly entertaining. A retired policeman, David Bright, was less so and openly admitted that speaking was not his forte. He regularly over ran his allotted time and was unable to finish his story. It was more like listening to an ex-copper talking in the pub and as such was nevertheless fairly entertaining. An ex-BBC man, Peter Dorking, gave us a potted history of the BBC, with both archive film and sound. These were well produced talks. OTHER ACTIVITIES There were talks on how to dress (women), jewellery, learn to dance, fence (yes, with swords), get the most from your i-phone, i-pad etc., etc. There were also films shown in the theatre, cooking demonstrations, an audience with the Captain and many other things throughout the day. In fact it was often difficult to fit in time for your meals!! CREW Overall we found the crew courteous, helpful and very professional. Well done Cunard for the standard of training. One thing we did notice was there are now a much greater number of waiters from Eastern European Countries and they certainly were able to provide a better service, having a greater understanding of English and European culture, than many of the Asian crew members. DISEMBARKATION Where immigration does not take place on board, but in this case, ashore at Fort Lauderdale, be warned, it is a very long process. We stood “in line” for over an hour. The Americans certainly do their best to discourage tourists! CONCLUSIONS Firstly one has to bear in mind that as with most first sectors of a World Cruise crossing the Atlantic, the fares are heavily discounted and offer exceptional value for money. Even leaving this factor aside, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, which was followed by a few days of hot sunshine in Florida. We were certainly relieved to find that Cunard have not lowered their standards. I did hear one woman ask at the Purser’s deck “Can I wear jeans in the restaurant tonight?” “No” was the answer, “The description of semi formal clearly states no jeans”. As I say, Cunard have not lowered their standards.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I boarded the QE on January 10, 2014 for a West-bound Transatlantic cruise immediately following my East-bound Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2. Both were beautiful experiences, though very different. The QE is much smaller than the Queen ... Read More
I boarded the QE on January 10, 2014 for a West-bound Transatlantic cruise immediately following my East-bound Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2. Both were beautiful experiences, though very different. The QE is much smaller than the Queen Mary 2, but she is every bit the Queen. The QE decor details were spectacular and the intimacy of the ship was very special. The food was remarkable but the service from all areas was outstanding with staff that showed they were happy with their work demonstrated wonderful client services. As a solo 65 year old female traveler I felt most comfortable and welcomed as most of the ship were people of my 'vintage'. With the multiple music venues and food areas, if one was lonely it was their own fault. I did not meet a stranger for all the passengers were very friendly. My balcony cabin was wonderful. The cabin was beautiful and most comfortable. I enjoyed the balcony views of the sea. The warm tones of the room were very classy with golds, cream tones, navy blues...lovely. The bed was very comfortable and beautifully appointed with plush pillows with wonderful attentive cabin stewards. Spacious with a little sitting area and flat-screened tv with 24-hour something on to enjoy. I would highly endorse this beautiful ship. Sailing with Cunard is not a cruise....it is an experience...! I understand why most passengers were former Cunard Cruisers for once you sail Cunard you fall in love with the Queens. We cruised through gale-force winds and high waves most of the week. The boat does move about, but that is expected and wanted by the majority of the cruisers as part of the Transatlantic experience. I developed my sea-legs as we set sail and enjoyed the entire voyage and found the motion of the seas so very beautiful. I would encourage others to experience the Cunard Lines at least once in their life and I intend to set sail with the Queens again as I must try the Queen Victoria next! Treat yourself and sign up for a voyage on one of the Queens! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I will try and be as constructive as possible. First can I say that we are regular cruisers (20) but have only sailed with cunard twice before. We are loyal Celebrity Cruisers and nothing on this cruise will serve to change that. In all ... Read More
I will try and be as constructive as possible. First can I say that we are regular cruisers (20) but have only sailed with cunard twice before. We are loyal Celebrity Cruisers and nothing on this cruise will serve to change that. In all ways design/decor/layout/food/entertainment and staff Celebrity wins hands down. On our last winter crossing with QM2 I found the layout incredibly annoying. Nothing flows! My partner did enjoy it for the dancing etc. This time because of the terrible weather (not blaming Cunard for that!), the dancing was not going to be enjoyable. Because of being locked inside for 5 days the drab (not grand or elegant)decor was incredibly depressing. One positive: the food in Britannia appears to have improved slightly in two years BUT still not great compared to Celebrity. Most of the shows were cancelled because of said weather although the actual evening that the Italian show was on turned out to be not that choppy but the pooe dears hadnt had time to rehearse (having done the same show about 100 times find that a bit much!). Went to a few lectures. Astronaut very interesting, the one with a supposed doctor discussing after death experience I found incredibly biased and very Evangelical Christian. Boarding and disembarking went smoothly although the porters managed to break one of the suitcase trolley handles leading to five days of arguing about compensation. This finally got sorted day before we left the ship! Staff were surly and very unfriendly and Im sorry I dont accept that Cunard train them to be like this for British customers. I like to talk to people as people not as some sort of subservient slave! I havent even talked about the horrible decor in staterooms. It felt like a gps waiting room (no bright colours). All in all we were both more than happy to get off this ship!. How it won the large category in cruise awards I will never know! These people that only go with Cunard need to try others because they are not the best company by far! Transatlantic South only from now on and never with QM2 where ever it goes!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We took the Queen Mary 2 across from Southampton to New York in December 2013. Our package included 2 nights in New York as well as all flights and transfers: a really good deal. It certainly lived up to our expectations. Check-in was ... Read More
We took the Queen Mary 2 across from Southampton to New York in December 2013. Our package included 2 nights in New York as well as all flights and transfers: a really good deal. It certainly lived up to our expectations. Check-in was well organised, given that they had over 2000 to check in in a very short time. Once on board we easily found our stateroom: a balcony on deck 11. A good size and well equipped, including toiletries, bathrobes, slippers, TV and safe. Plenty of storage space. Very clean and our cabin steward could not have been more helpful. It takes a while to get used to where everything is but there is plenty to do on board: talks, entertainment, dances, a superb library and a not-to-be-missed planetarium. Or you can simply chill in one of the bars/cafes. There are also several swimming pools, but these were closed due to the bad weather. Food was excellent with a choice of eateries. Personally I wouldn't bother with the Alternative Dining Options: the food in the Britannia restaurant was excellent. There was a show and film every evening. If these were not to your taste then there were several bars, all with a different atmosphere for drinks. We found the staff, without exception, to be friendly, helpful and efficient. It was like being on in a 5* hotel. The crossing was very rough, with gale force winds and heavy seas for much of the time. However, the ship coped beautifully and it never felt really rough on board. Disembarkation took a long time, mainly because of the US immigration procedures. Transfers to our hotel were well organised. Remember that when a ship arrives in a port, you cannot simply get off: the ship itself has to be cleared, before they can even think of disembarking the passengers. However, please do your homework. This was a Transatlantic crossing and therefore different from a traditional cruise. If you are used to the more traditional cruises offered by lines such a Princess, Carnival, Celebrity, Silversea etc. then you may well be disappointed. We heard people complain they didn't like being on a ship for 7 nights with no stops!! Also heard people complain about the weather and the fact that we couldn't use the pools or go out on deck: it was the middle of December, what did they expect!! An experience not to be missed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Last year I was in PG. This time I did QG. I did my own unpacking. The only two things the butler did for me was to bring me my canapé munchies in the early evening and a bottle of Drambouie. Not his fault, I just didn't need ... Read More
Last year I was in PG. This time I did QG. I did my own unpacking. The only two things the butler did for me was to bring me my canapé munchies in the early evening and a bottle of Drambouie. Not his fault, I just didn't need anything else and preferred to unpack and pack myself - in part because I decided to go on to Southampton - some of my luggage I sent home when we docked in NY. My room was lovely. I did have to move for the second part, this second room needed some repairs as the coffee table was very wobbly and the waste bin in the bath wouldn't stay closed - previous tenants must have been a bit rough. For the first three days the food was not very good. I actually considered going to King's Court.I think it was after the first port the food greatly improved. Don't know why except everyone was very unhappy. Never did like the lobster - it was way over cooked. Streaky bacon was cooked beyond recognition - but, I understand this is the way it is prepared in England. Shameful. Anyway, once we left the first port, food was otherwise very good. And, the service improved. No complaints here. I thought both trips were lovely. At least this year, I didn't get the dreaded (with good reason) norovirus. I heard some people got sick this trip so made sure my hands were clean at all times and never touched fresh fruit or anything I had to touch with my hands unless I had first used sanitizer. The number of people who did get sick must have been very low. I didn't think anything looked tired. But, then it has been several years of wear and tear since the last refurbishment. A lot less Christmas wrapped doors... I liked last year's Christmas gift better. What does one do with just one cup? Thought I would have a great time dancing, but it never occurred to me dancing styles would be different! So, it took several days to work that out - what can I dance with who... There was one couple who thought they owned the dance floor but after too much time I guess someone told them to tone it down. I do have to say that I thought the games Jessica played in the ballroom, though apparently enjoyed by many, were a bit silly. They interrupted dance time! I guess it was called a Sequence Dqnce, but that was fun to watch the officers of the ship have some fun! I thought the dance hosts did as good a job as can be expected with a number of solo female travelers wanting to dance. They have a hard time keeping very one happy and there were a couple of women who seemed to like to complain. They did their best. The orchestra was very good, as well as Michael Chartier. Vibz was good but a of couple songs went on forever - with jumping up and down kind of dancing. Not my cup of tea. I never went to the disco - every time I looked in it was empty. Last year I spent most nights in there with my table mates. Speaking of table mates, both years I have thoroughly enjoyed them! Spent many nights in Royal Court Theater. I do have to agree with other posters that the RC singers were not that impressive - not sure if it was the sound system or just them. At least this year, my ear drums were not blasted out of my head every night. As for the TA part of my trip, it was a bit rocky a couple of nights - other nights less so. I was told the trip from Southampton to NY was very rocky! A number of people suffered seasickness. When I was trying to decide if I was going to do the TA, I asked if it would be better another time of year - one can never tell was the answer. So, I stayed on board and went to the UK. Very glad I did. I have wanted to do a TA since I was a teenager. I will have to do it again! Overall? Great trip! Were there bumps in the road? Of course, but I didn't let any of it interfere with my wanting to enjoy my trip! Cunard? My cruise line of choice!! I did see other ships, but none that harkened me to give them a try.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Arrived by first class coach which was clean, comfortable and a pleasent journey. I like the fact that once your luggage is on board the coach you do not have to handle this again until you are inside your cabin. A rather long journey from ... Read More
Arrived by first class coach which was clean, comfortable and a pleasent journey. I like the fact that once your luggage is on board the coach you do not have to handle this again until you are inside your cabin. A rather long journey from 6.30am to 2pm. Arrived at Southampton where everything went smoothly with the aid of ground staff directing you to the appropriate check in desk. Entered the ship with a warm welcome from members of the crew who all looked very smart and gave you a warm welcome. My first words on going inside the Queen Mary 2 was, WOW. Everything inside this ship is luxury, comfortable, warm, stylish and friendly. being a ballroom and Latin dance teacher I was very intrested to see the ballroom which i was pleased to see is of a good size. The gentleman dance hosts worked jolly hard and helped make my holiday very enjoyable. The daily programme delivered to your cabin is a great help to organize your day.The lectures i attended were very intresting. The planetarium was again a wow factor, relaxing and enjoyable. Perhaps the buttons which make your seat go back could be made easier. The galley tour also very informative and the fact sheet of quantities of food consumed was amazing. The food was first class, i enjoyed every meal i had and the service was first class. The captains daily anouncement helped make being at sea for six days more intresting. as we only see water for six days but with his information of our bearings and speed and weather conditions i looked forward to this. Captains cocktail party was pleasent but i think perhaps it would be nice if the crew circulated more with the guests. White Star service excellent including their afternoon tea. Well trained staff of a high standard. Bars and lounges all kept clean tidy and have a nice relaxing atmosphere. Facilities and retail have a good selection of various products, something to suit everyone. Housekeeping crew very good and also helpful. Perhaps very large suitcases like mine are difficult to store but it was placed by the curtain and i had no problem with that. I do not know where i have had such a good nights sleep before, wether it was the fact that i was totally relaxed and eaten very well but the beds were so comfortable i had no problems sleeping. I enjoyed the facilities and activities on board which were presented and delivered professionally. Unfortunatley i was not able to view a cinema film or watch a show in the theatre due to other commitments. The lady i travelled with accidentally fell back in the shower so i cared for her for 4 days untill she recovered. Perhaps one day i shall have the chance to travel again on the Queen Mary 2. The disembarkation took quite a long time due to a problem with the mechanism of the tunnel attatching to the ship, I noticed One or two elderly people getting aggitated and cross but i think perhaps the long wait had made them over tired. Altogether a wonderful experience and a memorable one. The ballroom was the iceing on the cake for me!! Dancing and teaching dancing is my passion. I reccomend anyone who has never sailed before to experience the Queen Mary 2 for quality. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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