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116 Cunard Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This is now my new favorite voyage, simple transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2. Regardless of what anyone say this ship is amazing! The service, incredible, the food, delectable. If you have a complaint about this ship or staff, you have ... Read More
This is now my new favorite voyage, simple transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2. Regardless of what anyone say this ship is amazing! The service, incredible, the food, delectable. If you have a complaint about this ship or staff, you have serious problems, some of the people who write reviews on here are waaaaayyyyy off base. There is NOTHING to complain about. Be grateful for what you have, and quit complaining, you should be ashamed of yourselves. On another note, if you are going to complain make sure you spell check, you loose all credibility when you can form a sentence. I have to give my highest compliments to the staff, they were super friendly, and the service was amazing. The food in all venues was amazing. The Britannia Dinning Room for dinner was unsurpassed, although I will say for breakfast we did wait 45 min to be served and the food we received was cold, this could be improved, but who cares, you are on vacation and were could you possibly have to be, and if you don't like it, there is always the buffet or room service. There may be better ships or service elsewhere, however you will pay for it. You always get what you pay for. Too many people expect everything for nothing. Trust me when I say you would never be disappointed with this ship or its staff and services. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My wife and I were making our annual visit to family in the UK, and this year decided on a leisurely return trip rather than our usual flight home. We had used frequent flier miles for our business class flight over so the comfortable ... Read More
My wife and I were making our annual visit to family in the UK, and this year decided on a leisurely return trip rather than our usual flight home. We had used frequent flier miles for our business class flight over so the comfortable sail home seemed an ideal way to wind up the visit. We used a car service from Barnet (just north of London) to the port, arriving at about 11:00 AM. After a few minutes wait, and a well-organized check-in process, we were on the ship before noon, and were delighted to find our cabin available (often not the case with other lines). Our bags wre delivered before 1:00PM, and we went to Kings Court for a light lunch. Altogether, the embarkation process was about the best we have experienced. CABIN: We had a through-the-hull verandah, not quite as attractive as the usual (with a plexiglass barrier which lets in more light) but it had ample space and allowed us to be "on deck" while enjoying the privacy of our cabin. The cabin was spacious and well laid out, with ample storage space and a comfortable bed. Our cabin steward was very efficient and helpful. DINING: We had early seating (6:00 PM)with three delightful couples (we always choose a large table and traditioal dining). The selections were good, the food was served hot and reasonably promptly. Our waiter seemed distant and did not appear to enjoy her work -- but provided good service. The wine steward was competent but seemed overwhelmed - it took too long for requested wines to come to the table. The only negative was that there was not the standard alternative dishes which most other lines seem to make available if the day'smenu does not entice. ENTERTAINMENT/ENRICHMENT: These were far superior than any experienced on other lines. There were interesting lectures, planetariium shows, and evening entertainment of Broadway-quality. The library/bookstore was marvelous. There were many public rooms - for various purposes, with ample space. NEGATIVES: The Kings Court buffet was a confusing maze of stations strung out for a long distance, with small, separated ares where tables were somewhat crowded together. It was a challenge to find out what the selections were, to get ones food, and to find a comfortable spot to enjjoy it. This is one area which should be re-thought. One small, curious thing, experienced in a number of areas were the soft spots in the deck -- in many spots as one walked it seemed that there was no deck under the carpet -- your foot just sank in - so much at times that you almost stumbled -- it may have been deteriorated under-matting, but in some places your foot wood sink in inch or more - almost as though the carpet was over an open hole in the deck below. DEBRKATION: THis was handled very well - with groups, essentially by decks, were assigned particular areas - with ample seating - to await their turns to leave the ship. OVERALL: A beautiful ship, a bit over-formal for my preference, with four formal nights in the week -- but still far preferable to the fast-food atmosphere experienced on some other lines, which I will leave nameless, and an experience I hope to enjoy several times in the future as I cross to England on a regular basis and now find myself with sufficient time to spend seven days rather than seven hours in the process. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
The Queen Mary 2 has excellent features and some disappointing features. The decor is very elegant and welcoming, the cabins are well apointed , the bathroom and shower were spacious. The chilled complimentary sparkling wine was very much ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2 has excellent features and some disappointing features. The decor is very elegant and welcoming, the cabins are well apointed , the bathroom and shower were spacious. The chilled complimentary sparkling wine was very much appreciated and the fact you could take small amounts of alchohol (we took a bottle of champagne). If you want a rowdy booze cruise stay away, on that point the karaoke night in the Golden Lion Pub with Erin were excellent and well attended as were the daily trivia quizes. There were four formal night which we love, if we wanted informality we would have chosen another cruise line , having said that should you wish to eat all your meals in informal surroundings there is the Kings Court where no formal dress is required The dining experience in the Brittania Grill was 5 Star thanks to Melanie (Malaysia) and Raphael (Brazil) who could not do enough for us and our table companions. The food was very good and if you did not like something you had ordered you could reselect, you could order as much as you desired. We agree the welcome into the Grill could have been less fraught and more welcoming. The Kings Court was confusing we did not appreciate having to complete a mile hike to discover what was on offer and then secure a table!!! Our Cabin Steward Mark Russell was wonderful. The shows were not the best I have seen, no guest artists (a comedian would have been nice) The carpeting in certain areas had sunk making walking a challenge on occasion we are able bodied but anyone with walking difficulties could have suffered a fall. If you are making a transatlantic crossing early or late in the year it is a good idea to pack some warm clothing if you are planning on walking on deck. On a positive note you can't expect all the staff to be sunshine and light all the time as they have a lot to put up with especially the compulsive moaners. Overall the experience on the Queen Mary 2 is one not to be missed and you will probably want to repeat it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My wife and I recently completed a 24 night Southampton to Southampton voyage entitled 'Grand New England and Canadian Wonders' onboard QM2. We have in the past made many trans Atlantic crossings onboard QM2, normally ... Read More
My wife and I recently completed a 24 night Southampton to Southampton voyage entitled 'Grand New England and Canadian Wonders' onboard QM2. We have in the past made many trans Atlantic crossings onboard QM2, normally spending five or six days in New York before returning home on her. This was the first occasion that we continued with QM2 while she sailed along the Eastern seaboard of the United States and Canadian coast, calling at Newport Rhode Island, Boston, Bar Harbor, Halifax and Quebec before returning to New York for the voyage home. The itinerary of this voyage included two 6 full day Atlantic crossings. This may seem a little daunting to many cruisers, however QM2 and Cunard have a pretty unique mix of activities and entertainment onboard QM2 so I thought, just for a change, that my review would concentrate mainly on the Atlantic crossings. I will skip mention of the usual cruise ship sea day activities, quizzes, bridge classes, bingo and spa lectures - QM2 has considerably more to offer in addition to the normal run-of -the mill activities. Without any doubt the biggest daytime draw is Cunard's 'Insights' programme where up to four high profile lecturers with considerable experience from varying interests give talks and answer questions on their specialist subjects which range from politics, naval history, astronomy , celebrity personalities and a host of other subjects. The Insights programmes are generally held in Illuminations, a purpose built state of the art 500 seat auditorium which is also home for the Planetarium, the first at sea, and another first at sea the 3D cinema. On this particular cruise the three most popular speakers were undoubtedly Lembit Opik, who needs no introduction, ITN Cameraman Phil Bye MBE and Roger McGuinn, the founder of the Byrds Rock Band. There are three separate Planetarium features on each voyage and each presentation is run four time a each day. Cunard is famous for it's 'ballrooms at sea' and certainly QM2's is put to considerable use during the day. Selections on this particular voyage included tap, line and Ballroom dancing, the latter using professional instructors who have competed at some of the highest levels. The ballroom is also the venue for the famous White Star Service Afternoon Teas and on two occasions the Ballroom orchestra played for Afternoon Tea Dances. QM2 has its own computer learning centre called ConneXions and classes, some complimentary and others at a charge, are available throughout the day. On this particular cruise there was the addition of a 'Song Writing Experience' with a team of song writers headed by Chris Difford: co-founder of the successful band Squeeze. Those passengers taking part were given the opportunity to perform the songs they had written at a special performance in the ship's Royal Court Theatre. Another regular and firm favourite with Cunard, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, gave a number of daytime 'workshops' as well as performing a number of afternoon and evening plays throughout the voyage. Live music is always available at a number of venues around lunch times. The Poolside, The Chart Room and our favourite, The Golden Lion Pub where, particularly on Dixieland jazz days, one often struggled to find a seat. So there is always plenty to do on QM2's Atlantic crossing; something to meet every one's taste and, in our case, often requiring a bit of planning to fit what we wanted to see and experience, into our daily schedule. No review of this particular voyage would be complete if it did not mention the fire. Our particular experience of this was somewhat quintessentially British, maybe something Noel Coward would have understood perfectly. Of course not everyone shared this particular experience. At roughly 8.00pm on Tuesday 4 October we were fifteen minutes into the Senior Officers' Cocktail Party in the Queens Room when the first broadcast called for the 'Assessment' Party to go to a particular location. A few minutes later we heard another broadcast stating there was a fire in the Gas Turbine Generators on Deck 12. Naturally the Captain and his Officers left immediately for their places of duty but those guests already at the party continued their social chatting as though nothing out of the ordinary was happening. Drinks were still available and the pianist continued to play. The Captain calmly made a broadcast from the bridge explaining the situation and, as a precaution, the crew were called to their emergency stations which, quite correctly, required them to have their life jackets at the ready. Quite correctly, at no time were passengers instructed to proceed anywhere: the crew were simply taking sensible precautions should events require further action. It so happens that the outer areas of either side of the Queens Room are a recognised muster station for crew members and it was quite surreal to find fifty odd passengers in Formal attire drinking champagne while the crew were waiting in the wings, life jackets on. Within fifteen minutes the fire had been brought under control and was then safely extinguished. Waiting staff were soon back to full strength and the party continued to around 9.00pm. The whole incident was a most pertinent demonstration of the calmness and professionalism of the officers and crew of QM2 who conducted themselves in the manner and traditions expected of British seafaring. Overall we had an excellent cruise and very much look forward to returning to Queen Mary 2 in the not too distant future Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
After much discussion and arm twisting I convinced my partner that a crossing would be a great alternative to flying to New York and it would add a special touch to my annual Birthday Holiday. We booked a Q5 queens grill cabin for a few ... Read More
After much discussion and arm twisting I convinced my partner that a crossing would be a great alternative to flying to New York and it would add a special touch to my annual Birthday Holiday. We booked a Q5 queens grill cabin for a few reasons, the extra space and the single seating dining being the main ones. On embarkation day my expectations were very high, we arrived in Southampton and as I opened my car door a rude baggage handler barked at us and took our bags! Not the best way to start which was not made any better as we entered the terminal which I can only describe as being like a aircraft hanger with very uncomfortable seats. I don't know what I was expecting but when you book a premium product with an airline you get access to a confortable lounge so I was expecting something similar. It may sound that I am being negative and nit picking ( which seems to be the norm on reading the reviews! ) However my expectations were high and this part didn't meet them. Everything changed however when we boarded the simply wonderful QM2, we were directed to our suite and on opening the door I was very happy. The room was large, comfortable and well appointed with plenty of storage space. The butler Albert arrived quickly and introduced himself and his assistant, I have nothing for praise for the service they both provided. The room was kept clean and tidy and the bar was kept well stocked. The ship itself is wonderful with fantastic public rooms and lots of bars and things to do, I really do believe you have to work very hard to be bored on this ship! It was always clean and tidy and all of the staff were friendly and attentive. Considering the sheer size of the ship it never seemed crowded and we always managed to get a seat at the bar or any of the public rooms. The Cunard insights talks were very good and the RADA productions were also worth watching. The food and service in the Queens Grill Restaurant was simply perfect, we were greeted by name on each visit and shown to our table. Everything we ordered was cooked to perfection and served by attentive waiting staff. We ate in the Tod English restaurant once but to be honest our meal was no better than the food we had enjoyed in the Queens Grill. We ate most lunches at the Kings Court, It is a little confusing in terms of lay out but I was impressed by the food on offer. I especially loved the fact you dress for dinner and In my opinion it made the evenings that little bit more special. The Spa treatments were lovely but very expensive and they try to sell you products at the end, which ruins the experience a little. I really can't find anything to complain about, the crossing was simply superb and I have to admit I'm a little hooked! so much so that on our last day we booked another voyage for 2012 this time on the Queen Elizabeth once again in the Queens Grill. The only regret is that we got off the ship in New York, if we could plan it again we would have stayed on and completed the return trip after visiting north America. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone and if you want to make it special go Queens Grill. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
It's the only way to cross the Atlantic if you have the time, especially eastbound to avoid the jet lag and because you usually have a following wind, which makes walking the decks pleasant, even in September and October. We ... Read More
It's the only way to cross the Atlantic if you have the time, especially eastbound to avoid the jet lag and because you usually have a following wind, which makes walking the decks pleasant, even in September and October. We always go for an inside cabin, which means we pay only a little more than economy air fare (and much less than business) and get 7 nights and 6 days of first class accommodation and food. Some people say they need an outside cabin or a veranda. We only sleep in the cabin, so we don't care. QM2 is a superb ship. Except for crossing the Atlantic, we cruise with Holland America. We have previously found the food on the QM2 to not quite match Holland America, but this time (September 2011) it had improved considerably. The Cunard crew are efficient and courteous but mostly not as warm and friendly as the Indonesian and Filipino Holland America crew. And then we have the class system on Cunard that I prefer to do without, even though it is not too intrusive on the QM2. One big difference is that on Cunard, if an officer or other senior crew member sees something that need fixing, such as a dirty table or something dropped on the floor, we have noticed he or she will call over an underling to fix it. On Holland America, they would do it themselves. That being said, transatlantic on the QM2 is a magnificent experience. The main problem is that there are not enough transatlantic sailings! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This voyage was my third on the Queen Mary 2, yet it feels different. Maybe it's the warm weather -the previous occasions were during winter. Or maybe it is the destination that makes a difference as a transatlantic will draw a ... Read More
This voyage was my third on the Queen Mary 2, yet it feels different. Maybe it's the warm weather -the previous occasions were during winter. Or maybe it is the destination that makes a difference as a transatlantic will draw a different passenger mix than a Caribbean cruise. (Or, maybe it's being a Grill passenger that allows me cut to the front of the check in lines.) While docked in Redhook the starboard side of the promenade deck is the center of social activity. Many choose to lounge and just take in the sight of the Statue of Liberty and New York harbor. As for the port side of the ship -â€" well, that's a lovely view of the Brooklyn container yard. The ship was showing wear and tear from constant use. On the promenade deck the caulking was rising proud in a lot of places. Easy to feel if one is wearing thin soled dress shoes. "Dips" in the carpet and floor were also noticeable especially in high traffic areas such as the Purser's Desk. The stateroom steward rings within the first twenty minutes on board and introduces himself. The Grill staterooms have welcome aboard sparkling wine, chocolate covered strawberries, and fresh fruit that is replenished as needed. On the negative side, the bed cover is more than a bit frayed. The tea table that is supposed to pneumatically pop up for dining doesn't. The television was a CRT and not a flat screen. A lot of these things however will be addressed in the November refit. The sail away was a real celebration. The outside decks were alive with seemingly everybody outside and enjoying a sail away from New York that few will ever experience. This time, a Cunard Insights lecturer gave a narration as we move into the harbor. He did a good job in making people feel that they were part of a great ocean liner tradition that manages to continue today. The QM2 puts on quite a show for the Staten Island Ferry passengers. It's quite a feeling of privilege to be on this magnificent ship instead of the working person's harbor shuttle. As we approach the Verrazano Narrows Bridge everyone awaits the dramatic moment - will her funnel clear the bridge? (Yes, she made it under!) Once out a sea, it become obvious why the QM2 has wind screens instead of cabanas. At times we encountered near gale force winds that would blow that stuff off. When the weather conditions require it certain doors to the promenade deck were blocked off. On this crossing we had two days where we were following a storm that caused the ship to pitch. One day the sea state was "very rough" meaning waves of 10-14ft. The stabilizers however minimized the rolling. The QM2 was specifically engineered to get through seas like this. Dining in the Princess Grill was very enjoyable with a two part menu -â€" al la carte available every day and plus selections that change daily. I had requested a table for eight, but the largest on this voyage were tables for six. One of my table mates sailed on both the QM2 and QE2, and thankfully he wasn't making comparisons. While never having sailed on the QE2, my experience with the old Yankee Stadium baseball field in New York allows me to have some understanding of how they feel. Like the QE2, the old stadium was showing its age yet was beloved by those who spent many happy times there. Their successors have all the modern amenities but don't have the same atmosphere as their replacements. Room service on the QM2 is available 24/7 at no additional charge. The standard selections are what would be expected at a business hotel, and Grill passengers also have the option to order from that day's Grill menu. I prefer to have my meals in the dining room since that's what I'm paying for. But one morning I choose a simple room service breakfast because of an early morning Canyon Ranch Spa treatment. (Such disappointments must be accepted with grace on the QM2. I'd rather spend money in the Spa and feel great when I leave rather than spend money in the ship's casino and feel awful when I leave.) It was still pleasant because a balcony stateroom at sea makes for a wonderful ocean sight in the morning. (I really don't see the appeal of the new cruise ships which offer passengers an atrium view of a retail strip mall. I can check into a Motel 6 for that.) Each morning promenade deck is alive with walkers making some brisk paces around the ship. The wrap around deck really helps make the ship feel so vast. When jogging one can keep going and going until tired instead of having to turn around at a wall. Unfortunately, the Cruise Critic gathering that was supposed to happen in the Commodore Club never does. That's a profound disappointment as posts in the Cunard forum described it as a congenial gathering that typically includes 10-20 CC members. Afternoon tea, in the Grills, is relaxed and elegant in the Queens Grill Lounge. Do make sure to ask for a scone -â€" they are heavenly. (Although I'm told the crème is not authentic English clotted cream. It's not available outside the UK and the ship was provisioned in New York.) Diversions: Cunard is known for their Insight Lectures on sea days. On this trip maritime historian Bill Miller gave a total of three talks on the great ocean liners. As a speaker he was very passionate about this topic, and managed to squeeze in 100 years of history while interspersing it with humor. Each talk had a different perspective. Lectures take place in Illuminations: a multi-use presentation space for lectures, movies, recitals, and is also the Planetarium. Only the Planetarium shows require tickets. Unlike other shows, one must sit the red upholstered seats directly under the dome in the center of the room to see the Planetarium projections. The real Planetarium can be seen outside on a clear night. For a city dweller, it's rare to see the more distant stars without their being obliterated by city lights. On nights which are partly cloudy, the shaded moonlight illuminates the surface of the Atlantic. It's an extraordinary sight that will only be seen by those who go to sea. One afternoon a scene almost out of a movie appeared - near the starboard bow a rainbow was bouncing on the water surface and a pair of dolphins came up to play with the ship's bow wake. Another Insight Lecture concerned the Enigma cipher machines of WWII and the attempts by Polish, British, and French intelligence to unravel how the daily mechanical settings were changed. The off-Broadway production shows take place in the Royal Court Theatre. Having been on the ship less than one year earlier I've seen them before, so I've opted for some of the smaller classical recitals in the Chart Room, Commodore Club, or Queens Grill Lounge. The art auctions are gone, but in the afternoon the Winter Garden is taken up with "infomercial" type talks. Table sales outside the shops continue. Cunard is taking a marketing gimmick from New York sports teams and making available T-shirts proclaiming: "2011 Transatlantic Season". (I'm sure somebody has tried to wear one on formal night, reasoning that if they're sold on the ship they must be OK.) The evening dress code on the QM2, especially on a transatlantic crossing, is taken very seriously. Many repeat transatlantic passengers adore the evening formality and elegance thank you, so please sail elsewhere if you are inclined to mess with it. The night before disembarkation is usually stated as "elegant casual". However only about one third of the passengers opted for that. While nobody was in formal black tie or long dresses, most men wore jackets with ties and women wear short evening dresses. Nobody looked like they went to dinner wearing whatever they had slipped on in the morning. Slow internet connections on the maritime satellite system will happen depending on the position of the ship and how many passengers are connected. The five time zone changes are made one each night, effective at 2AM. Upon returning to my stateroom each evening, my steward has laid out my PJs, robe, and the returned laundry. The QM2's laundry staff does an excellent job on pressing either cotton shirts or silk dresses. For "in transit" guests during the Southampton layover, tour options for Windsor Castle or Bath were offered. The advantage to taking a Cunard-sponsored tour is that getting you back to the ship in time is their responsibility. The last evening began with an absolutely gorgeous sunset through the clouds, shining over the aft end, another sight that can only be experienced at sea. The transatlantic crossing is a very special experience of the power and majesty of the Atlantic. The Queen Mary 2 is also a very special ship. She's built to handle the Atlantic and to do it with elegance that is increasing rare these days. The only reason I did not rate her five stars was due to the wear and tear throughout the ship, but by the time this review is read those issues will have been addressed in her November refit. I could not have known that Cunard would soon change her vessel registry and she loses the magic "Royal Mail Ship" title that made her a living link to the great past liners. How fortunate I was to have sailed her before that came to an end. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My spouse and I have more than 30 cruises behind us on various lines. He had sailed Cunard before and I was really excited about my first time with Cunard. We will sail with Cunard again but perhaps with our more realistic expectations. ... Read More
My spouse and I have more than 30 cruises behind us on various lines. He had sailed Cunard before and I was really excited about my first time with Cunard. We will sail with Cunard again but perhaps with our more realistic expectations. We had just completed 20 days in the Mediterranean on another cruise line and I will be honest the cost of a QM transatlantic sail home was not much more than a flight from Rome so we flew to London and decided this was a good way to test the waters so to speak and give the QM a go. We took the train from Waterloo Station and grabbed a taxi for 8 pound to the Cunard Pier. We sat on comfy blue couches until they called our number. Staff then guide you to the next available wicket. This was probably one of the best embarkations we have had. The ship is beautiful, immaculate and elegant. The passengers were very polite and all the teens and little ones that we met were all well behaved. We had ordered an obstructed balcony (lifeboat) but it was bright and cheery and we could still get a breath of fresh air and see snippets of the sea. A complimentary bottle of champagne was waiting for us. Our steward was very, very good. I never tired of walking the main halls with the wonderful art and murals. The venues for dancing, the Queen's ball room, the theatre, the 3D cinema with the planetarium are all brilliant. The library is wonderful and the Winter garden room is charming. The entertainment was great. The dance troop was fabulous, excellent choreography and variety of numbers. In all our cruising we have never seen dancers like these, especially the men. The night when all the musicians (20+) performed together was very good. I enjoyed Hamlet as put on by RADA. The female guest singer was wonderful so I caught part of her second show too. There was the usual a juggler, sigh. The lecturers were so good if we missed them we watched them later, on our room TV. The games room for bridge at the front of the ship on level 11 is terible for bridge lessons. It is less than ten feet wide, long and narrow. Everyone was jammed in like sardines and it was noisy. In the Gym/Spa, the area for the machines is cramped, crowded and dingy. No ocean views here. The area for the stretch, yoga and Pilates classes is on level one in the bowels of the ship. The room is alright but one must sign up for classes the day before. So the first day 30 of us arrived for the free stretch class and we were told that only the first 20 could attend. We then had to scramble as fast as we could to get up to the spa on level 7 at the other end of the ship and get our name on the list for the next day. Those of us who got into the class at 8:00 a.m. then had to run up the stairs or get on an elevator first, run to the spa and join the line up. The signup papers are then supposed to be put out at 8:45. By 9:00 there are 50 people in the line up hoping to get into the next day's classes. I was always on the waiting list and some people didn't show up so I got into the classes but it did not seem right that those who could run faster through the ship always could grab a spot and slower folks were left behind. I asked one of the staff about this and suggested having a second stretch class and I was told "no don't worry by the fourth day there is lots of room". That's true the numbers dropped to 20 because many people just gave up. And the classes were quite good. We dined in the Britannia first seating. We had very nice table companions, We had a rectangular table for six on the top level and it was very noisy. You really could not talk easily. This is a ship which requires a jacket for the men for every evening meal and tux or black suit for the formal nights. Fancy attire every night is not our favourite thing but I understand it. However on the last night when many men had already packed their clothes, they had to keep out their suits jackets out. Country club casual that one night would have been appreciated. On the whole the food was fine, but not exceptional. We felt the food did not match the attire requested. The dinner menu is more limited than most of the ships on which we have sailed. Food quality was on par with most Holland America and a few Princess ships but not as good as Azamara or Celebrity. Our table waiter and his assistant were very accommodating and did their absolute best. For example everyone at our table requested extra green vegetables and a variety arrived automatically every night from then on. The King's Court which is the buffet area, really feels like a college school cafeteria and is not very pleasant but it is functional and one can of course go to the buffet dressed smart casual. We found the lunch buffet did not have as much variety but the quality was much, much better than many ship's lido decks. I will take quality over variety anytime. The Kings Court has special dinners at night. A cooking demonstration meal (we attended Indian night which was fun and different), a carvery and Asian and Italian. One pays an extra $10 for these. I have a special diet. I have a gluten intolerance and it is my responsibility to communicate my needs. As with all other lines I pre registered. Perhaps because this is a seven day transatlantic run, there really isn't the time do develop a rapport with staff but there is a lack of communication between several staff even within departments. Suffice it to say that I got my gluten free items only after daily requests and finally after four days I received a few cookies and some cereal. I was then told that there were waffles, muffins, pancakes available and there were at least ten other passengers needing gluten free . On day five I attended the high tea and there were even gluten free scones with clotted cream..yum. My husband and I decided to book a future cruise but as we did not want to pick a specific cruise we wanted to put down the $300 deposit each on a future cruise and we would then fit one into our travel schedule. Like everyone else, I left it to the second last day and I queued up when the office opened at 10:00. At 10:30 the line had not moved and I had another commitment so I chose to come back in the afternoon. Once again I queued up but I was quite surprised when the young woman was very resistant to my request. She wanted me to pick a cruise anytime up to 2013. When I explained that we wanted to cruise again but wanted to put the cruise into our travels like a segment of a world cruise, she again insisted I pick a cruise. She then said that I could just keep cancelling with my travel agent until I got the cruise I really wanted. I replied that I did not think that was fair to my agent because of the extra work. So I asked if Cunard does allow a non specific cruise credit. She said yes but if I lose the piece of paper then I lose the credit. I was flabbergasted and there was a queue behind me so I asked if she had a form that I could fill out and she said I could call her line later if I was really interested. I found this off-putting so I did not try to call her later. Disembarkation could not have been easier. We arrived to Red Hook Pier in Brooklyn at 7:00 a.m. on Labour Day. We chose to take our luggage with us and disembarked around 8:30 and we caught a cab right away to La Guardia Airport. With a tip it was less than $35. I have since contacted Cunard customer relations to have them clarify the future cruise credit policy and they were straightforward enough to tell me that I had been given the wrong information and non specific cruise credits are accepted and they are automatically connected to our world cruise numbers. Do we want to try the Queen Mary again? Absolutely, the ship is gorgeous, the entertainment great fun and the food was fine. The positives far out weighed the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
In August 2011, my wife and I took our second 14 day transatlantic roundtrip with the QMary2 and as a result of our satisfaction with the cruise (and its price) reserved for a third transatlantic roundtrip, this third time not limited to ... Read More
In August 2011, my wife and I took our second 14 day transatlantic roundtrip with the QMary2 and as a result of our satisfaction with the cruise (and its price) reserved for a third transatlantic roundtrip, this third time not limited to repeating the 14 day crossing (which would have been in June, 2012), rather expanding it to the 25 day extended roundtrip in August, 2012 (which includes Germany and Scandinavian countries). Our first crossing in June 2010 was on a A1 cabin, realizing it was no better than a A2 cabin, just more expensive, so took our second crossing in August 2011 on the latter and saved about 50% on a room just a few doors away. We therefore recommend anyone contemplating an A1 cabin to closely compare with A2 cabins before committing. The Atlantic ocean behaved even better this time, several times forcing us to look out the balcony to make sure we indeed were on a ship crossing the Atlantic, not a mere lake large enough to not let us see the coast. As in our first crossing, the food, the service and the entertainment were more than just acceptable. Actually better, especially the entertainment, with classical piano and guitar shows, 3D movies, a wonderful harpist and an even more wonderful violin quartet. Of particular interest and appreciation was seeing the opera Carmen on 3D. The eatery on deck 7, called Kings Court, was no better or worse. Just crowded with the same food. However, the Britannia restaurant was much better, both food and service. The wine, however, was equally expensive and equally of low quality, unless one is willing to spend over $60 for a bottle costing $20 or less in a local store back home. We recommend having lunch and dinner at the Britannia, leaving the Kings Court buffet for breakfast, although the Britannia also offers breakfast a la carte. The only really negative comment we have has to do with the violations of the dress code for men by many many guests and the ship staff's unwillingness to do anything about it, as we experienced when we consulted with staff on three different occasions. This is not a major issue, but it does upset those who follow the rules even to their dislike, which suggests that Cunard should rethink its dress code policy for men. Either maintain the present dress code policy and require its compliance from violators, or change it by making it strictly voluntary and requiring only the informality of coats and ties, or doing away with coats and ties entirely, as have done other cruise lines. We are, of course, referring to the eight (8) formal nights "requiring" tuxedos or dark suits for men, and two (2) informal nights "requiring" coats and ties for men. The worst is to pretend the codes are obligatory and then refuse to have violators comply. As usual, main street on the QMary2, where all the stores are, was a constant sidewalk market with people spending their money as if they had received it as a Christmas present or as an unearned work bonus. The only thing missing was a sidewalk cafe, where men would be able to sit and sip a cup of tea or coffee while watching the women shop. A real treat to see so many people enthusiastically buying just because the tickets said the items were on sale, often buying regardless of the resulting net price. My wife was one of those, in her case buying for our grandchildren, primarily, although she did end up buying a couple of things for herself, because of the "terrific" prices. The greatest satisfaction about this second cruise, to me at least, was that we spent 14 days without having to disembark for tours a single time. Next year it will be different if we indeed take the reserved 25 day crossing, disembarking for tours in several northern cities to enjoy rides and walks surrounded by the cool weather of Scandinavia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first Transatlantic crossing. From the moment we boarded it was almost going back in time to the glamorous age of travel. The Cunard staff treated us with respect at all times. All were friendly and gave us a great service. ... Read More
This was our first Transatlantic crossing. From the moment we boarded it was almost going back in time to the glamorous age of travel. The Cunard staff treated us with respect at all times. All were friendly and gave us a great service. The Commodore Lounge, The Golden Lion, The Queens Room, and our own dining Lounge the Princess Grill. We were catered for in every way, given a choice of dining table by the Maitre D, and our serving staff were able to offer recommendations on all servings. We used to the gym daily and it was always clean. We used the spa - fabulous... Not quite sure why the mixed reviews. We were one couple on a very full crossing. Some of the passengers took a lot to be desired. We encountered some of the rudest Americans, and even worse Germans. People putting towels, books and items of clothing on sun loungers as if they owned them. The staff remained courteous at all times. Offering alternative seating areas where necessary. Our only observation was the shops, or should i say lack of them. For a cruise liner such as the QM2 one would expect more. Hermes and Swarovski were the only two 'design' names aboard. The gift shop, perfume shop, and duty free did not cater for many. The Jewellery store severely lacking in quality. If you've not cruised before then this Ship offers almst everything. You pays your money and you gets your choice. We're booking again for next year Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
June 2011, Along with my wife we sailed to New York and back on the Queen Mary 2 to celebrate our wedding annniversary and birthdays. We had previously been on a similar voyage before on the same ship. The staff were excellent and ... Read More
June 2011, Along with my wife we sailed to New York and back on the Queen Mary 2 to celebrate our wedding annniversary and birthdays. We had previously been on a similar voyage before on the same ship. The staff were excellent and very well mannered, always polite and ready to help if needed. The choice of food was also excellent with more than enough choice for every taste. The service in the Britannia Restaurant was of the highest standard and something to look forward to every evening. The food was always nicely presented and every meal we had was enjoyable. The ship is very big and getting about can take some time but everywhere is easy to find once you have your bearings. We went to two performances by West End performer David Shannon, a singer of the highest quality, we even managed to have a chat with him afterwards. On a negative point far too many people come into the theatre after the performance had started which I thought was very bad manners and did spoil some of our enjoyment. The pub quizzes were great fun and a good chance to meet other passengers, we even won a few! The Commodore Club was a nice quite place to sit and read on the way out but on the return journey it did attract some people with loud voices who just would not shut up, shame. Our cabin was small, we knew this beforehand but it was comfortable and we did not spend too long in there, too busy enjoying ourselves with what this magnificent ship has to offer. The stair wells do smell of smoke although I never saw anyone smoking, perhaps it comes from the staff rooms. The furniture in the Kings Court is starting to look a bit tired and needs up grading but this did not detract from the pleasure of our voyage. For four days the sea condition was described as rough but we found it hardly noticeable, did not spill a drop! All in all a fabulous round trip voyage which we would be happy to repeat any time in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Check in at Southampton was smooth & quick. Luggage arrived within 15 minutes of me reaching my cabin - sorry stateroom - Cunard don't have cabins! Stateroom on port side, midships, between stairs B & C was an excellent ... Read More
Check in at Southampton was smooth & quick. Luggage arrived within 15 minutes of me reaching my cabin - sorry stateroom - Cunard don't have cabins! Stateroom on port side, midships, between stairs B & C was an excellent location. Steward, Fernando, introduced himself on my arrival and I can't praise him enough, Absolutely excellent and he soon discovered that I was an early riser and had the cabin cleaned and ready for the day by the time I came back from breakfast. One criticism was the food. I had breakfast and lunch in the Kings Court. Dinner in the Britannia Restaurant at a table for 6. Kings Court breakfasts were the same throughout the 3 areas and I can't fault the selection and service. However the individuality between the Kings Court areas at lunchtime seems to have been lost with exception of Lotus which still has an Asian theme albeit the food was rather bland. Last year the sushi displays and chocolate displays were amazing but missing 2011. My waiting team in the Britannia were first class (Marcel & co) but the menus are 'pretentious' and portions on the small side with virtually no vegetables other than a token piece of carrot or tomato. It would be good to order an additional portion of potatoes or mixed veg. Lectures were also excellent as was the planetarium. Theatre shows were disappointing but then again I am not a fan of variety shows. The variety of films was also disappointing. Southampton - New York - Halifax - Boston - New York - Southampton, the films were repeated each week! Thoroughly enjoyed the leg from New York to Halifax, Boston and back to New York. The majority of the passengers were American and very forgiving of a Brit whose American history was almost non existant. Cunard put on a brilliant evening on 4th July - well done Cunard. As a smoker, I would like an indoor bar area where I could enjoy a cigarette and a drink or a coffee and a seat! Surely on the size of the QM2 Cunard could provide such an area. In saying that, the Pavillion Bar smoking area (deck 7) is excellent on a dry day in warm weather. Travelling solo was not a problem. Fellow travellers were great. I met so many interesting people it was unbelievable. Everyone talks to one another - in restaurants, lifts, on deck, in bars - not mention some fantastic table companions in Britannia. Despite the criticism - or nit picking - I am booked to back on QM2 for a cruise to the Canaries in October and looking forward to it very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
From the moment we embarked in record time-15 minutes, we were welcomed, made to feel comfortable and began to relax in the majestic surroundings of QM2. The food was incredibly good, Todd English restaurant could not do enough to make our ... Read More
From the moment we embarked in record time-15 minutes, we were welcomed, made to feel comfortable and began to relax in the majestic surroundings of QM2. The food was incredibly good, Todd English restaurant could not do enough to make our anniversary dinner special and delicious. Our stateroom was immaculately pristine complete with champagne and spirits, ice and mix. The service in the Queens Grill would be hard to beat in the finest establishments, simply put - we felt very spoiled! To top things off, we had been upgraded from Princess Grill, which in previous trips we have found to be outstanding! What a fine start. We attended all of the lectures on Shakespeare by Emma Smith (very good!) and all of those by John Maxtone-Smith on cruise ships (excellent) but were disappointed with Dr. Ruth, so left early. There was so much to do, even Julliard Jazz musicians were superb, pianists were great and the dancing/galas wonderful. One could not manage all the activities available - choices had to be made. Captain Paul Wright was a most friendly guy and Cunard will miss him as he retires after this trip. Oh, almost forgot, did the personal trainer thing each day and it was very good at Canyon spa. Tip: buy a 3 day spa pass and use the thallasotherapy pool and sauna/steam room, a good bargain! The TA crossing was mostly quiet seas running although we did have 24' waves one day, but the motion was minimal on QM2, nobody missed dining,nor walking nor jogging. We left home a day early as is our pattern to join the cruise and stayed in a hotel of our choosing, allowing for morning shopping in NY. We were first off the ship (0715) in Southampton to limo it to catch an early flight to Ireland (expensive limo but got us to Ireland in time for Guinness!). Put a QM2 TA on your list, we will do it again and enjoy it ever so much, simply a great experience! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
First Timers sailing with Cunard Queen Mary 2 transatlantic from Southampton to New York. Absolutely faultless cruise from start to finish and can highly recommend.Booked Princess Grill but on day of embarkation we were upgraded to a ... Read More
First Timers sailing with Cunard Queen Mary 2 transatlantic from Southampton to New York. Absolutely faultless cruise from start to finish and can highly recommend.Booked Princess Grill but on day of embarkation we were upgraded to a Queens Grill suite on Deck 9 midships - delighted of course! The cabin was spacious with a walk in closet and very good sized bathroom with whirlpool bath. Well stocked fridge with soft drinks, water, beers etc all complimentary. In addition we were offered 2 bottles of alcohol in cabin, again free of charge. Fruit, nibbles replenished daily. Queens Grill dining perfect, very high standard of food and our waiters were just fantastic, very relaxed, friendly and efficient!! In fact all the Cunard staff were brilliant and we found the atmosphere extemely pleasant and welcoming. Seperate QG lounge for pre-dinner drinks and concierge lounge on our Deck which we visited daily for coffee and to read newpapers. Again a relaxing experience. Fantastic entertainment every night including 3 Balls, shows, dancing, guest soprano and the icing on the cake was the songwrting experience with Squeeze founder Chris Gifford and his musicians and not forgetting Roger Daltrey who sang with the band culminating with a marvellous jam session on the last night of the cruise in the Golden Lion Pub!! Not a fan of the Who myself but his performance changed my mind immediately!! Formal nights were as they should be, very formal with most cruisers donning their best bib and tucker ie dressed to the nines! I was thrilled to be able to wear my long gowns and felt glamorous! Previous cruises with Celebrity saw dress standards slip, not so with Cunard.My husband went to several lectures which he found informative and enjoyable, I retreated to the Spa which proved rather expensive but worth it.Overall a perfect cruise and one that we will repeat in the not too distant future sailing the other way around from New York to UK. If you are considering this trip - I can highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My wife and I have done 4 previous cruises on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises but they nowhere near compare to Cunard's Queen Mary 2 which I booked to celebrate my wife's 50th Birthday in April 2011.Yes being British on a ... Read More
My wife and I have done 4 previous cruises on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises but they nowhere near compare to Cunard's Queen Mary 2 which I booked to celebrate my wife's 50th Birthday in April 2011.Yes being British on a British ship (albeit American owned)made a big difference for me. I had read many negative reviews on QM2 and Transatlantic crossings and the only things that were true for us were that the weather at sea was miserable and the Kings Court (Cafeteria)was crowded, everything else was absolutely brilliant. The ship is marvellous and very impressive, very clean and very luxurious. The staff are super efficient and extremely polite and of course very smart in the best of British traditions. Formal evenings mean exactly that and everyone observes the dress code so don't expect to get served in the dining room on a formal night in your shorts and flip-flops.Being an Ocean Liner there is a great deal of activity on board from ballroom dancing lessons to Bridge lessons to computer lessons theatre shows competitions art exhibitions and much more. Just walking around the ship and looking at the various exhibits is an event in itself and after 7 days at sea we still had not explored everywhere.I read somewhere that the staff (especially the English) can be rude but this was certainly not our experience. Captain Paul Wright who we met in the Golden Lion was brilliant with us and wished my wife a very happy 50th, thank you Captain Wright.We are non-smokers and at no time did we observe anyone smoking anywhere at all even though smoking is allowed in a number of areas including cabins.The Golden Lion Pub and Sir Samuels offered an alternative lunch menu to either the Kings Court or the Britannia Restaurant at no extra cost. Drinks were reasonably priced compared to other cruise ships and certainly a lot cheaper than our subsequent hotel in New York.The QM2 is supposed to have a 40 year lifespan so I intend to save for a world cruise but hopefully I will be back on the Queen Mary 2 very soon Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We travel to England twice a year generally to visit family and this was the second time we chose to get there via Queen Mary 2. We booked a B5 Guarantee and were quickly upgraded to a B1. We flew into Newark on the day of the cruise and ... Read More
We travel to England twice a year generally to visit family and this was the second time we chose to get there via Queen Mary 2. We booked a B5 Guarantee and were quickly upgraded to a B1. We flew into Newark on the day of the cruise and were quickly met and transferred to the ship by Cunard. I was surprised though at the length of the queue at 2:45 in the afternoon. Nevertheless we were quickly processed and in our stateroom by 3. The ship was everything we remembered from our first cruise on it 18 months ago. It is a grand vessel - nothing else quite like it at sea - and we very soon felt at home. Little did we know when we booked the crossing in late 2010 that a Royal Wedding would be scheduled for the time we were at sea. Cunard could have made quite a big marketing deal of this, but the cruise was probably well sold by the time the wedding date was announced. So therefore I could find nothing on their website pre-cruise that said what would be happening as far as the wedding was concerned. But after getting on-board, a lot of festivities were announced for the wedding day - April 29. We watched the ceremony on the big movie theatre sized screen in Illuminations - and it was a fantastic venue for that. Several other places on board also broadcast the wedding. We were promised a piece of wedding cake to be delivered to our stateroom that evening, and the bubbly was supposed to be poured all evening in the Britannia Dining Room to toast the Royal couple and also to celebrate the delivery of the 100th ship to Carnival Corp that day. We did get our wedding cake, but the toast was non-existent. We were given one small glass of sparkling wine at the end of the meal, but as for a toast, none was heard. Cunard really missed an opportunity here to make it a fabulous evening.As for everything else on the cruise, nothing had changed much from my November 2009 review of our first crossing. The stateroom was fine - ours was well serviced by Danilo - and the public rooms were in great shape. They seemed to have banned smoking in the Golden Lion pub, which was a tremendous improvement compared to our first voyage, as you were not exposed to a terrible stench as you left the lower level of the Britannia restaurant. We ate our evening meals at the early sitting in the Britannia - and after a disappointing first evening when our table reservation had not been honoured, Maitre D' Sascha had it all fixed up the next night and we were served very pleasantly by Aleksander and Kinga. They seemed to be over-worked to say the least - not sure if they were covering for an ill crew member or this is just normal, but they were constantly running and had no time for chatter. Still their attitude was great. The food was generally quite good - not fantastic but quite acceptable. After a very slow service in the Britannia for breakfast, we ate the remaining ones in the Kings Court. Lunches were a mix of the Britannia, where the food was very good, and service was fine, to several in the Kings Court where again the food was excellent and one in the Pub, where I found the fish and chips a bit disappointing for a British vessel.As for entertainment, it was a bit of a mixed bag. I enjoyed one of the enrichment speakers (Royal Astronomical Society), while the others were not particularly interesting. The evening entertainment was so-so. One production show was very good - Appasionata - while the others were just OK. The entertainers brought on board were mediocre, with the exception of multi-instrumentalist Samantha Jay, who is quite exceptional. The orchestras in the Royal Court Theatre and in the Queens Room were great. One disappointment for me was that the planetarium was out of service due to technical reasons. It was a very smooth crossing - hardly felt the ship moving at all most of the time. The six days passed all too quickly and before we knew it, we were disembarking in Southampton. We look forward to doing this again - it is by far the best way to get to England if you have the time and the ship's schedule and the pricing are what you are looking for. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We had quite a few worries before we arrived on board. I have to say that none of them were borne out. We enjoyed the trip immensely.We were a party of four: two elderly parents with two thirty-something offspring. Would there be enough ... Read More
We had quite a few worries before we arrived on board. I have to say that none of them were borne out. We enjoyed the trip immensely.We were a party of four: two elderly parents with two thirty-something offspring. Would there be enough to keep everyone interested? We took plenty of reading just in case. Very little reading was done; the on-board activities were many and varied. There was a show in the Royal Court Theatre every night - twice, actually: one for each dinner Sitting - and the standard of entertainment was high indeed. The Royal Cunard Singers, a close harmony group, were as good as you would find anywhere. We were really impressed. The dancers, too were excellent. Other acts, whilst making rather less of an impact on us, were also of high standard. The theatre itself is surprisingly large with none of the usual obstructions (pillars etc) we have seen on other vessels. Were it not for the gentle swaying of the ship you could imagine yourself in a medium-sized venue ashore. The ceiling is high and there are upstairs and downstairs seats.The ballroom is advertised as the largest afloat and I am prepared to believe it. Once again no compromise seems to have been made just because it is on a ship. It is a full-sized affair that would not disgrace your local venue. Here, in addition to the obvious balls, dancing lessons were given and the daily afternoon tea sessions took place: tea, sandwiches, and cakes served at table in typically English fashion. The third major venue is called "Illuminations." This is the world's only sea-going planetarium which doubles as a perfectly adequate cinema and theatre. Here it was we enjoyed "The King's Speech" - there was a different film every night: all up-to-date. Although there were some technical problems that delayed the planetarium presentations, we were astonished by "Cosmic Collisions" and "Search for Life" as we reclined on the special seating in almost total darkness. German guests had their own presentations. In was here, too, that the Cunard Insights lectures took place: talks on a variety of topics by expert speakers including astronomer Mark Butterworth and journalist Jerry Eskenazi.Especially enjoyable was the programme of events provided by the group from RADA. In addition to conducting an excellent series of workshops on storytelling, the group presented performances of "Canterbury Tales" and "Much Ado About Nothing" in the theatres, and read bedtime stories and ghost stories at other venues, as well as "Jazz Poetry" and "Passion and Piano" which we were not able to see: there was simply too much to do. Thus we did not use the pub, the casino, the Winter Gardens or the Chart Room, and spent only a little while in the Library. The youngsters spent quite a lot of time in the fitness room, and seemed pretty content with arrangements there.There was one major disruption to the programme of events on 29th April when the Royal Wedding was shown on TV in cabins and on the big screen in the Illuminations cinema. Many other events were poorly attended that day, which is not surprising. Most of the ladies loved it, and Cunard rose to the occasion with a special afternoon tea, dinner menu, souvenir menus, complimentary wedding cake for all guests, and special souvenir items on sale in the Mayfair shops. Dinner that night was Formal - an exception to the normal pattern. There are normally two formal nights when dinner suits are pretty well mandatory. On our trip, of course, there were three. It all adds to the overall atmosphere and fun. A few people let the side down by not adhering to dress codes, but then...We all love dining out and enjoy good food. The Britannia Restaurant did not disappoint. Far from it. The fare was consistently as good as our favourite restaurants at home. Furthermore, our special needs did not cause any problems. One of our party is vegetarian, and was able to select from an extensive vegetarian alternative menu daily - or select from the regular one. I am diet-controlled diabetic, and once more there was no problem. I did not need the special diabetic menu: the regular one had sufficient choice of suitable items.We were impressed by the overall standards of cleanliness, not only in the staterooms, but throughout the ship. We managed to get a glimpse into the kitchens. Absolutely shiny and spotless!A few grumbles: Internet access is expensive. So is the Hair Salon ($200+ for partial highlights: $120 quoted, but then a surprise $80+ for shampoo and blow-dry, as if there is any choice about this.) $11 per person per day is added automatically to your cabin account. No real problem there, the service was excellent and well worth it: I'd just prefer it included in the ticket price. But then another 15% gratuity is added to the price of drinks and some other services, and there is room on the payment slip to add yet an extra tip! A tip + a tip + a tip?A few tips:We discovered that getting a cab from Manhattan to Brooklyn can be a real problem around 3pm: the time that the taxi drivers change shifts. (We made our own arrangements in Manhattan.)There was no problem arranging for our cabin cards to open both cabins and getting different cards allocated to different credit cards.Laundry is not a problem. There are several self-service laundries with dryers and ironing facilities, and they are free to use but not available 24/7.You can get tea, coffee, snacks, etc in the King's Court just about anytime, and full meals most of the time - all free.Disabled access throughout the vessel is first-class. Lifts are provided wherever needed.Room service is free.We were glad we chose the early (6pm) sitting for dinner. Otherwise it's late nights if you want to include the shows.The clocks go forward one hour per day on the Eastbound crossing.There are phones located all around the ship and you can use these to ring you cabin. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We are retired in our 60-70's. Have cruised for 30+ years - elite on Princess, Celebrity and 3 star on HAL. We had been looking for a Cunard cruise for a few years to try. The recent Transatlantic with a stop in Cobh Ireland caught ... Read More
We are retired in our 60-70's. Have cruised for 30+ years - elite on Princess, Celebrity and 3 star on HAL. We had been looking for a Cunard cruise for a few years to try. The recent Transatlantic with a stop in Cobh Ireland caught our attention, so we booked it thru a local travel agent in 2009. At the time we were very surprised that we received an on board credit of $600. We have had on board credits on other lines but not that much. We were not sure we would like Cunard because we generally special order with the Head Waiter in the dining room on other lines. Inquiries before we went on the cruise about the opportunity to do so on Cunard were mixed. Some folks suggested this was only possible in the suite categories and others suggested that doing so was inappropriate. Regardless, we decided to give it a try. Much to our surprise this was no problem at all in the MDR and for Room Service in our cabin. Cunard was most responsive to our requests. We had a table for 2 in the MDR. I also noticed others around us special ordering as well. We booked a A-4 category cabin, balcony on deck 5. Very pleasant and comfortable cabin, comparable to what we would have on other lines. Lots of closest space, drawer space is limited. Bathroom is adequate, shower only. We loved the entertainment options on the ship. Having dancing available both before and after dinner every night til midnight in the Queen's Room was most enjoyable. The singers and dancers and production shows on board were outstanding, better than we have seen on any line. We felt the Lido area which we did use for breakfast was spacious and comfortable. We had eggs to order and egg white omelets most mornings. The short order cook in the Lido making eggs was outstanding. He remembered everyone and what they wanted and did special things for many folks. The only negative on this cruise was the weather, quiet windy, crossing was more northerly then we have done in the past. Ship rocked a lot at night making sleeping soundly impossible. Crossing are like that, sometimes the weather does not cooperate. Regardless, we enjoyed the cruise so much that we decided to book the Queen Victoria again in October, next time in the Mediterranean out of Rome to the Holy Land. We booked on board and received another healthy on board credit. I am writing this review for anyone wishing to try Cunard. If you like dressing for dinner, dancing and good quality entertainment and very good service you will enjoy Cunard's Queen Victoria. Cobh Ireland was the only new port of us on this cruise. We enjoyed our visit there. Stayed in Cobh, visited the Irish Immigration Museum right there and walked and shopped in town. Charming peaceful place, wonderfully quiet. We enjoyed lunch on our balcony the day in port. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed from L.A. to Hawaii roundtrip of 14 days on Cunard's Queen Victoria. It was very different from any other cruise line. It was a very British experience, with maybe 60% of the passengers of the old colonial British Empire ... Read More
We sailed from L.A. to Hawaii roundtrip of 14 days on Cunard's Queen Victoria. It was very different from any other cruise line. It was a very British experience, with maybe 60% of the passengers of the old colonial British Empire set. We dressed for dinner. We attended formal Balls. We had afternoon tea and scones from white-gloved waiters. We went to shows where we sung old music-hall songs and waved our Union Jack Flags to 'Land of Hope And Glory', and we observed all of the dress-code rules, including having Hats for Ascot, Masks for Masquerade, and Bustles for Victorian Balls. Ex-pat Brits (such as we) really loved it, but we can see that it might not be so jolly for everyone. We didnt like the 2 class Grills/Britannia system. The ship projected the eliteness of priviledge to which we were supposed to aspire. I left the UK to get rid of that. By the way, the stage shows were the best of any that I have seen on any cruise. Very professional, amazing dancing, ballet, costumes, singing and staging. Also the internal decor for the theater, the Queens Lounge/Ballroom, the bars, the lounges.....just amazing. The panelling, carpeting, and lounge chairs were like being in an exclusive London club. Nowhere was crowed. So why cant I give this a full 5-star rating? We did find the British cultural thing a bit over-whelming by the end. But there were some issues. First the food was British 'gourmet', meaning that courses were fussed with cosmetic minutia and you often had to ask what you had ordered because it didnt look like what you had ordered. The Brittania dining experience was very poor....about the worst ever among major cruise lines. The Lido was spacious, and at least had 24/7 fruit drinks and ice cream, but they did manage to mess up the scrambled eggs...a cardinal sin. Generally, not much selection and a low-budget affair. But we loved the pub lunches at the Golden Lion. The second issue was that the ship was poorly designed above deck. The two outdoor pools were just boxes. No childrens pool. The walking spaces were not available to make a complete loop on any deck. The two-class 'Grills' system kept us riffraff out of some of the high-deck areas. We had a nice stateroom (A4 deck 5) but it had a very small balcony overlooking a lifeboat...almost useless. The very comfortable bedding, towels, and facilities were excellent. The final issue was that we suspected that the ship may have real issues since it traversed almost calm water with excessive pitching...up and down. On it's first sea trials, surely someone said 'Oh, my God.....?"...the rear pool was flat, while the front pool was roped off for huge waves. I would like to try the QM2 for 10 days, but will revert to HAL for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Decided to go to USA for Thanksgiving and thought I'd give the QM2 a try instead of flying, Much, much better and cost was less than I expected, especially including return airfare. Food was superb - could not fault it, or the ... Read More
Decided to go to USA for Thanksgiving and thought I'd give the QM2 a try instead of flying, Much, much better and cost was less than I expected, especially including return airfare. Food was superb - could not fault it, or the service. Entertainment was great - a bit "Butlins Redcoats" at times, but I enjoyed the Disco and the Golden Lion pub too. Although the piano player doing tje "English pub sing-song" had a heavy American accent, which rather spoilt his rendition vocals of "Roll out the barrel" lol Travellied with a friend who is wheelchair bound, and the staff could not have been more helpful and courteous. The layout of the ship was not really disabled friendly, my companion thought. You had to use hand-operated lifts to access some of the intermediate decks, which was impossible to do single-handed. Very poor design for a modern ship, on that score. Loved the library - so restful - and the afternoon tea, the Grand Lobby - all totally charming. Very conscious that it is now American owned, with the "Big SEll" from the photographers, and the bar prices were very, very high. Cheapest bottle of very average wine in the Brittannia was over $30 - hey, come on!! A small Can of Heineken was $4 for goodness sake!! Stayed with my wife on the Old Queen Mary in California Long Beach some years ago, and that old lady has real class. The new QM is very good in parts, like the Curate's egg. Was slightly disappointed with the Grand Arrival in New York. We only saw both the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from a great distance. We hit a storm on the first day and I was seasick for 2 days. Got tablets from the Purser $10 and was ok, but beware of North Atlantic storms in November. they are not nice Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
After a 25-day voyage on the Queen Mary 2 round-trip from New York, I am pleased to provide my perspective on the embarkation/disembarkation process, the ship, its staff, and its passengers. Check-in at Red Hook Terminal was a bit ... Read More
After a 25-day voyage on the Queen Mary 2 round-trip from New York, I am pleased to provide my perspective on the embarkation/disembarkation process, the ship, its staff, and its passengers. Check-in at Red Hook Terminal was a bit tedious because the ship had been five hours late in arriving due to electrical problems experienced near Quebec. My initial impression of staff in the terminal was a bit gruff as that was how we were welcomed to the terminal: a guy with a clipboard barking orders. We arrived early (around 11 am) and sat until 2 pm when we were finally able to check in. Cunard provided some food for embarking passengers in the terminal in the meantime. The ship didn't leave until around 10 pm but we were on board by 3 pm. The ship met all my expectations. Although I don't find her particularly elegant viewed from the exterior, on the interior she surely is. I particularly liked the Chart Room, the Royal Court Theatre, the Queen's Ballroom, and the Britannia Dining Room. Our Britannia stateroom (in this case an in-hull balcony on deck six) was amazingly practical. You can't tell from the photos, but you can store a lot of clothes and personal items in the room without clutter. It's also comfortable. The bed was so comfortable that we stripped the sheets to determine the manufacturer of the mattress before disembarking in preparation for replacing our own. The passengers were overwhelmingly older than 60 (including me) and on the eastbound crossing, predominantly British. On the Mediterranean voyage the British were even a larger proportion of passengers, much like folks you'd find on a Mexican Riviera cruise in the U.S., but less outgoing. The westbound crossing had a majority of Americans but I wouldn't have known it had they not announced the fact at the commodore's reception. The dress code during the day is relaxed. No one needs to fret. Surprisingly, there were people walking in the hallways in their Cunard robes and slippers, something that I found a bit over the top. In the evenings, formal/semi-formal nights outnumber the "elegant casual" by far. Although I enjoy wearing a tuxedo, I have to admit to having faced "formal fatigue" after almost a month. Many others—men and women—expressed the same. Having said that, "elegance" is in the eye of the beholder. Based on what I saw, I would advise anyone considering QM2 not to expect the image from the Cunard brochures. There is, in my opinion, a substantial dose of dowdiness. Many women on Cruise Critic worry they won't have the right clothes. Take my word for it: no worries. Watch some of the YouTube videos of QM2 trips or look at pictures passengers have taken on Flickr or other online photo sites for a reality check. The experience of QM2 staff was mixed. In the Britannia Room, many of the wait staff appeared both inexperienced and uncoordinated. (The person assigned "pepper grinding" duty became a standing joke at our table: he dispensed black pepper from his grinder as if he had been asked by the company to preserve every precious peppercorn). According to veterans of the line, many of the experienced staff had been assigned to the new Queen Elizabeth. It's curious to me why Cunard would ever sell its flagship short. On the other hand, the stateroom staff was outstanding. I couldn't have asked for better. Wait staff in the Commodore Club was particularly good as well. The pub was mixed: when Cszabo the Hungarian bartender was there, it was excellent; other times it could be lackadaisical. I had one negative experience with staff in the Queen's Ballroom for tea when staff initially refused to seat us because it was 10 minutes before the end of service. Overall however, staff was friendly and competent. Staff invariably greeted passengers in the hallways. The entertainment on-board was also mixed. I found the stage shows to be kitschy and boring, although the talent was fine overall. The RADA plays were quite good, as were the lectures. Overall, there were many more activities than could be accommodated, especially by anyone trying to sleep-in and relax. I particularly loved the jazz in the Commodore Club at night and the special concerts by Julliard School jazz faculty. The Planetarium is worth the effort, if only to remind one how small we are in context of the universe. Just pick up tickets in a little plastic stand on the desk near the Connexions (internet access) area on deck two forward before lunch. There is a show every half hour in early afternoon and there are four different shows altogether. We enjoyed an occasional darts game in the pub as well as the trivia contests that proved good fun and were intensely competitive. The games area on either side of foredeck two was also fun and relaxing, especially given its perspective on the ocean: up close and personal! I'd recommend the crossing to anyone who wants to arrive on the eastern or western shore of the Atlantic relaxed, with a preference for the westbound crossing, since one gains an hour almost every night. I had hoped for rougher seas but had to accept seas like glass on this voyage. The small swells of 9-12 feet we experienced for a day and half after leaving Southampton for New York appeared to cause some people to lose their minds, but there is no way to appreciate QM2's abilities without some good-sized North Atlantic swells and I had hoped for something more exciting. A couple of other tips: lunch in Britannia was, in my opinion, almost always better than what was offered in the Kings Court, and choices for breakfast were quite a bit better if you can get yourself up early enough, i.e. before 9:30 am. However, in the evening, we discovered that the food in the Kings Court was often better than what was offered in Britannia, and with better service. One must reserve, but there's a little button on the phone in your room to do so. If you want to attend the Chef's Kitchen dinner, make reservations without delay after boarding. There aren't many places available. There was a French evening we had wanted to enjoy but found that by waiting one day after leaving Southampton, we were already too late. We had mixed experience with our dinner tables that changed on each segment of the voyage. On the way back from Southampton, we were paired with a family group traveling together who had not expected to have to sit with others. By the time the maitre d' figured things out, the trip was over. We were moving tables every evening. One way to avoid such a situation is to travel and eat with a group, or get a table for two. One other observation from my perspective is that the cruise in the Mediterranean, moving every night to a new port at which one disembarks at 9-10 am and has to embark again at 4 pm for a 5 pm departure, is exhausting. We got frustrated both with the pace (especially after the leisurely crossing) and not being able to spend enough time in cities/regions we liked. We decided we probably wouldn't bother cruising again on QM2 (with perhaps the exception of a World Cruise) but would continue gladly to use her for the transatlantic crossing. We discovered, comparing notes with other passengers who had purchased Cunard tours in Naples, that we were all fed the identical and very poor lunch in spite of the fact that we were in different areas of the region and eating in different restaurants. For a line that sells itself as "luxury" it was surprising and a not a little depressing. We had the sense that the restaurant staff where we ate was a bit embarrassed to be serving such dreck. One more thing: a fellow passenger with whom we'd become acquainted found in Southampton that another passenger had taken her luggage away. She had nothing but the clothes on her back and was headed for London for two days of theater before flying home. She was in a panic. In New York, a few bags fell into the river as they were being removed from the hold, at least one of which was permanently lost. Beware. I was not at all impressed by the staff's consideration of the inconvenienced passengers. Disembarkation was easy and efficient overall. We stayed on the ship as long as we could and upon departure found our luggage with no problem. In sum, I'd recommend this ship to anyone who wants to experience a real ocean liner on a transatlantic crossing. As Maxton said it's "The Only Way to Cross." Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Our six week holiday began in NYC after a 24 hr flight from Sydney. Phase I included 3 days in NYC and the Transatlantic on QM2. Phase II was driving around the UK for 8 days and then Phase III was on the Crown princess for 26 days around ... Read More
Our six week holiday began in NYC after a 24 hr flight from Sydney. Phase I included 3 days in NYC and the Transatlantic on QM2. Phase II was driving around the UK for 8 days and then Phase III was on the Crown princess for 26 days around the UK then Iceland, Greenland and back to NYC. On that basis I was really looking forward to cruising with 'royalty' and after 3 very hectic days in NYC, it was so exciting to see the Queen at Red Hook. I couldn't wait to get onboard Having experienced the QV in her maiden year, my expectations were that the QM2 would be just as grand and elegant and be above the rest in all aspects, as only Cunard can do. Well, I think most of my expectations were met but not all EMBARKATION I think Cunard needs new computers or something because the processing at the desk is plain slow. Otherwise, it was smooth getting onboard and our luggage was there very quickly. Only unpacking 1 of my 2 cases, we were able to have lunch in Horizon Court without a mass of people and found a seat on the Promenade deck to watch the helicopters and SWAT guys walk past every few mins!! Muster was easy - although they sent us to the wrong location - we just covered the numbers on our vest in case they told us to move on!! STATEROOM Having gone guarantee on a very low inside category cabin(this would be a very expensive trip) we were very pleasantly surprised to have been upgraded to an Atrium View Inside cabin - so much better than what I was expecting. Certainly not as nice as our previous balcony on the QV but then... it was only 6 nights and just to have a window with some light was better than no window at all. Just to be on the QM2 was a privilege for me DINING We had a lovely table for 6 under the large picture in the Brittania Dining - great for watching everyone come in and out on formal nights!! The food was good but not as good as I expected. It seemed to me that the food was no more superior than that on Princess or HAL - it was more or less the same - not bad but not brilliant. The service was fine, no problems. One day we had fish and ships in the Golden Lion Pub and as usual in a hurry to get to the next lecture. Whilst the beer and cider came quickly, the food did not and I mistakenly forgot to say NO SALT on the chips, which meant I rejected them and asked for more without salt. What a mistake - they took nearly 30 mins to come by which time I was so annoyed and had to run off to the next venue, that we just left without them - lunch was one small piece of fish. Not that I was going to starve but I was looking forward to some 'plain food' ENTERTAINMENT This is QM2's strength. On a non stop transatlantic, one expects to be kept entertained right through and this they did well, we thought. Our biggest dilemma was how to be in 2 places at the same time in order to take it all in. The RADA actors were excellent. We saw The Importance of being Earnest and Othello, so to the speaker who was an ex airline pilot, telling us about the history and workings of modern aircraft. I never wanted to miss his lectures - they were so informative and entertaining. The John Cleese interviews were not that interesting for us and really hard to get a good seat, given that we were always somewhere else just beforehand!! The Celia? interviews were somewhat more intimate, being in the Planetarium - a smaller venue and more enjoyable. We could then stay around there for the planetarium film - although getting the tickets was quite problematic, again given that we were always somewhere else when they became available! DISEMBARKATION It was smooth and painless - we were off before we knew it and so ended Phase 1 I would do another Transatlantic in a flash, in fact I will contemplate a return to the QM2 after our expensive QE trip in Jan 2011 BUT not too soon. We love Cunard despite the far too many formal nights and its at times lapses in service and ordinary food. Till next time Bon Voyage to all who sail on her Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
This was the first of two crossings as we came back a few weeks later - in the same cabin- therefore this review covers both trips. The embarkation was excellent - the accommodation pleasant and spacious,the cabin steward most attentive ... Read More
This was the first of two crossings as we came back a few weeks later - in the same cabin- therefore this review covers both trips. The embarkation was excellent - the accommodation pleasant and spacious,the cabin steward most attentive and the food seemingly non -stop and very good. Getting off in Southampton was a breeze - getting off in New York was a challenge not Cunard's fault however but the US Custom's service. My frame of reference was the QE2 in the 1970's and at that time the food was atrocious and the service impeccable - you never saw a vacuum cleaner. Now the food is good and the staff hard working and at all hours and yes you do see vacuum cleaners. My only real complaint was the beverage staff - from the grumpy wine stewardess on the east bound trip, and the hard of hearing wine steward at the first table who needed three requests before an order could be placed, to the difficulty in getting a drink after dinner - when being an older woman alone was a definite defect - hence the "cloak of invisibility". I wasn't the only one who remarked on the deficiencies and language barriers were also sometimes a problem. That said on the return trip the wine steward we had - after the table was changed, most efficiently - was amazing and a delight. The putting out of tables with "stuff" for sale was a bit of a mystery - on one hand you had Hermes on the other what could only be described as a souk but people were shopping. The souvenirs could benefit from come customer research as good quality ones were a bit tricky to find - however the Harrods merchandise was a total mystery as why would one want that on this Cunard liner. The service staff were excellent and all was done quickly and with attention to customer service - as been mentioned other places the purser's office staff were somewhat more interested in each other than passengers but that hasn't changed since my time on the QE2 I would say. My biggest concern was the internet service - not particularly cheap and using Internet Explorer 5 as their search engine - the manager was in direct contrast to the pathetic time it took to get on line and was courteous and most helpful. The entertainment was varied and the speakers very interesting. After three weeks in Europe and Britain the trip westward was very relaxing and in all I have been singing the praises of this ship ever since arriving home. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
My wife just turned 80 and since we always traveled to Europe East to West from Sydney this time it will be west to east making it around the world for the first time. There is lot of first. First time in New York, first time on QM2 and ... Read More
My wife just turned 80 and since we always traveled to Europe East to West from Sydney this time it will be west to east making it around the world for the first time. There is lot of first. First time in New York, first time on QM2 and first time in southern England. We booked return cruise with 4 days in England. I judge my experience on QM2 on past cruises. First thing that I noticed is that there is lot of similarity between all the cruises. Level of service, food quality, entertainment, ship sales all work to the same principle. Most of the people that I spoke to are dedicated QM2 travelers and have done the same crossing many times. Easy to understand why. Ship is spectacular, both departure port and arrival port are fantastic. QM2 is level above anything I have experienced before.Food in Kings Court was of good quality and variety served on Wedgwood china instead unbreakable plates as is on other ships. Evening are for dressing for dinner and dance. It is time for people watching and it is nice. I most like that service charge is automatically added to account and there is no need to think about it any more. I always found it embarrassing to be distributing little envelopes on the last day. In England we drove to Bath and Windsor. Oakley Court hotel in Windsor was absolute highlight of the trip. We have stayed in many fine hotels on our travels but this hotel was amazing. On the last day we stayed at Ibis hotel in Southampton which was walking distance to car rental office. On Eastbound crossing we had A1 grade balcony stateroom on 11th level and on our return it was in grade B1 in hull stateroom on 6th level. It is nice to have extra light but it was to cold to get any use of balcony. Cruise on QM2 was the best cruise that we ever took. We are glad that we did it. One negative: Sea card represent the only personal link to the cruise that we took and it was taken from us on disembarking. This is the only Sea card that is missing from my wast collection. I was so disappointed by this. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Cruised 10th to 24th November 2011, roundtrip from Southampton UK calling at New York. No Ice Bergs spotted! Choosing this low season option we weren't sure what the weather would be like so packed for all eventualities. The Westbound ... Read More
Cruised 10th to 24th November 2011, roundtrip from Southampton UK calling at New York. No Ice Bergs spotted! Choosing this low season option we weren't sure what the weather would be like so packed for all eventualities. The Westbound crossing started off dry, cool and a little windy and as we approached the Bay of Biscay the sea got a little rough, with gale force winds across the decks, but being seasoned cruisers we enjoyed being rocked to sleep in our beds at night. Some delicate souls found it a bit too rough for two days then as we approached North of the Azores the sea calmed and the weather improved. Spent the one day in New York before completing the Eastbound crossing. The rain greeted us in the afternoon of our departure from New York then cleared and as we sailed for home the weather improved daily until we were sunning ourselves trying NOT to get burnt. We could not believe it. Good mix of fellow passengers from all parts of the world but majority on both crossing were from the UK. This was our second voyage on QM2 the first being in June when we went to the Fjords in Norway for one week. PROS: Beautiful ocean going liner, styled in the art deco manner with beautiful glass screens, different woods used throughout the ship, chandeliers. The ship is so well designed that you never feel there are two thousand fellow passengers at any one time, the most you see is during the life-jacket drill on day one, and if the theatre or cinema are packed to the roof, which would be most unusual because they have two shows every day. Food excellent in the Britannia restaurant for evening meals. Used Kings Court Deck 7 for buffet style breakfast and lunch. Also ate at Oasis one evening paying the $10 per head surcharge for the Asian Tasting Menu which was a good experience. Tried the King's Court Carvery a la carte menu once evening at $10 per head surcharge but personally we felt it was no better than Britannia. Service on board by all waiting on staff was excellent. Pursers Office and Tour Office were very efficient and dealt with all queries. Chart Room lounge, in an evening enjoyed a Jazz trio and on other evenings a resident pianist. CONS: TV channels in staterooms - choice was abysmal. Cinema - went to 3 showings, one was the opera Carmen in 3D - for us it was awful, made our eyes ache and gave me a headache, left after half an hour, the other two films we went to see, (1) Ghost Writer and (2) Friends with Benefits, not our cup of tea, (1) we have no idea what country it was taking place in, or the plot and it was so boring (left early) and (2) American film, couldn't understand what they were talking about they talked so fast, (again left early). Daily entertainment lectures, again not to our personal likeness, compared to other ships we found them quite boring, but we overheard others who enjoyed them so it is personal choice. Theatre, must say that the resident singers and dancers have improved slightly from when we saw them in June, (Same shows though, which was disappointing) but the brass section of the resident orchestra overpowers every time. Other acts in the Theatre, female singer, male pianist and American comedian. I hope this appraisal helps others to make their minds up to try out a beautiful friendly ship with lots to do on board if you want it, or plenty of places to relax and unwind. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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