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39 Cunard Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was our 34th cruise and several of them have been crossings on the Queen Mary 2. We chose this crossing to get us to Europe for an extended stay. There were no surprises, pleasant or otherwise. Overall we were pleased. Some ... Read More
This was our 34th cruise and several of them have been crossings on the Queen Mary 2. We chose this crossing to get us to Europe for an extended stay. There were no surprises, pleasant or otherwise. Overall we were pleased. Some positives: Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Maybe Cunard has solved some of the problems that used to plague Brooklyn departures. The ship is in excellent condition and we were thrilled to return to our favorite public rooms, the Chart Room and the Commodore Club. Our Princess Grill stateroom was comfortable and well-designed. We received excellent help from the Concierge on a number of issues. Overall very good service. We continue to be underwhelmed by the food choices and quality on Cunard. It's just the same old quite old fashioned cruise ship cuisine, blah and not very interesting. English and French stye, few true ethnic choices. The exceptions were the alternative dining at night in Kings' Chaos where the menu was adventurous and quality very good. Note that this was a very formal experience with 3 formal nights out of 7, and with the expectation that men would wear jackets on the other evenings. The QM2 crossing is not for those who pack only casual clothes. We have another QM2 crossing scheduled for 2020, and hopefully there will be others. It's a great way to get across the Atlantic without jet lag. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our trip started in Hamburg, Germany on June 21, 2019, stopped in Southampton for the day on June 24 and onwards to New York arriving June 30. The trip had 2 very different vibes: The Hamburg to Southampton segment had many more ... Read More
Our trip started in Hamburg, Germany on June 21, 2019, stopped in Southampton for the day on June 24 and onwards to New York arriving June 30. The trip had 2 very different vibes: The Hamburg to Southampton segment had many more families with "free range kids", noise, heavy patronage of the buffet, garbage on the floors, noise at night, kids running and knocking on doors, kids running free during the life safety segment, kids running down the promenade deck careening into guests and people sitting in chairs etc. Adults with loud voices and shouting in the public rooms. The Southampton to New York a quieter more refined experience with the amazing guest speakers and quiet conversations among guests. QM2 is an experience of a life time and each time we take a TA on the QM2 it is excellent, unique and designed to link the guest to the sea. The QM2 is the way a ship should be. QM2 did not disappoint - but we would say the food in the MDR and the Kings Court buffet was a significant step downwards from our last TA 2 years ago. Cunard, improve your general food offerings, make it the same as Celebrity. Your general food offerings should not be less than Carnival. Other than that, the QM2 was excellent. The positives: * QM2 is a ship, not a Vegas hotel. * There is no end of vistas so that a guest can feel and smell the ocean. The open wing deck under the bridge is simply amazing. Modern cruise ships are designed to keep guests looking inward so they can spend $. Well done Cunard. The step down stern open areas are spectacular and well patronized * A real promenade deck, enough said. It was heavily patronized. * Cunard expects guests to be able to entertain themselves during the day * This is a ship for intellectuals - meaning the amazing guest speakers and library enable guests to learn about the world. The guest speaks spoke on - being an envoy in Moscow in the cold war, a London theater actress speaking on the hidden gems of London, WW2 submarine technology and deployment in the war. What a joy versus the nonsense on modern cruise ships. * The historical boards towards the bow area recounting the glory days of the Queens and transatlantic travel * The service was excellent, excellent. The amount of staff, their training, their demeanor etc was top notch - a step well above our last QM2 TA. To be frank, the service in the common areas were as good as our trips on Crystal and Oceania. * The extra charge restaurants were - excellent. The Veranda was the equal of the steakhouse on Oceania. The most amazing food was at the Alternative restaurant located in a part of the Kings Court - Cunard, you have a winner here. There are themed nights - Coriandor, The Smokehouse, Azetec and Bamboo. The food was the very best I ever had on a ship period. Better than Crystal or Oceania. The tastes were sublime, the presentation, the quantity, the service by the hand picked staff was first class. There were Grill level guests there and many said they would abandon the Grills and book a non Grill and simply enjoy the extra charge Veranda and Alternative dining. * The officers - they were visible and pleasant and stopped to answer questions. * The Golden Lion fish and chips and the Indian food put most cruise ship venues to shame * The music on the pa was excellent - just loud enough, classic to modern. Excellent choice. Entertainment was good. * Well - the kennel. Being on the pool decks at the stern and hearing the dear dogs barking from time to time as they were out with their fur parents was to die for. It humanized the ship - it was a great hit with guests. * The sheltered balcony cabin was well maintained and very cozy. * The size of the public areas, the amount of space per passenger is amazing. * QM2 rides like a dream, never felt her move. * The side corridors on deck 3 which have tables for games and chairs for sitting. These areas are the closest to the ocean level and are amazing. * Smoothies and detox beverages in the Kings Court area - excellent * Room service was good. The chopped fruit salad was excellent, as good as the chopped fruit salad on Oceania. The pain au chocolate was not bad. Coffee was excellent overall with real cream Negatives: * Boarding in Hamburg - The Grills class passengers walked right in front of the non Grills class long line up to gain access to the check in staff. Disrespectful. Have a separate check in line for Grills guests. * Food in the Kings Court. Not good. Cheap looking, cheap taste. The hot dishes, breads, cold meats etc were set out - no garnishes around any of the food serving stations - just cold looking plates on a hard surface with no visual appeal. Simply the worst looking and worst tasting buffet I have seen. A steep decline from my last QM2 TA. The breads were the cheapest quality you could imagine. The cold meats were cheap. We had no interest in eating there. The realignment of this area was much better than before, the food was not. * The MDR. Fabulous room, the best on the seas. The staff were excellent. The food was not. The food size, garnishing, taste, quality was average to poor. The onion soup consisted of a dry powder soup base with a few onions. Served after was a small round bread piece with a few cheese shreds. Awful. It was returned. The protein portions were small and dry. Salads were small with minimum garnishes. The food did not live up to the amazing room. * The carpets since the refit are awful. The orange and yellow down the main corridor was glaring and cheap. It was the carpet in the cabin floors (all decks I think), beige on the right side trending towards a pattern and deep blue next the cabin doors. The carpet looked awful and cheap. Who needs beige carpet in a high traffic area? The carpet looked like you would have got it at the Dollar store. * Ah, the infamous post cruise mini bar in the room charge. Got dinged for $18.29 for a mystery charge. Will not be paying it. _______________________________________________________________ Having cruised since 1989, on the mass and luxury lines, we enjoy Cunard for the value it represents and the great itineraries and the real ships they provide guests. All cruise lines are cheapening their products. Cunard is as well. Cunard is best suited to guests who enjoy being on a ship, who wish to behave in a classy way and dress a bit better than the anything goes mass cruise lines. The Cunard guests are well travelled and well informed. If you want Vegas at sea, loud techno music, drunk guests due to the beverage packages etc do not choose Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not ... Read More
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not though, I don’t appreciate Cunard’s ineptitude at getting passengers on and off the ship; a basic and routine task. As Platinum members we had a special line for embarkation. We waited until noon to get on, but I could hear the same announcements that I’ve heard on each of the 6 times I’ve been on Cunard about how something "unexpectedly" went wrong which was causing the long delay. I had boarded, had lunch, came off again, walked to the Southampton shopping mall, came back at 4 pm for a 4:30 all aboard, and the area was still jam packed with passengers waiting to board. Cunard really needs to stop making excuses and get this simple job done right, every time. Of the 43 cruises we’ve been on with various cruise lines, I’ve never been on a cruise that I didn’t absolutely love. This cruise was no exception. We had a great time. My taste is contemporary, so QM2’s old ship décor charm was somewhat lost on me. We were in a “sheltered balcony cabin” # 5023. Sheltered means the outside of balcony wall is not glass, but metal (although oddly, I couldn’t get a magnet to stick to it). Often we take the extra savings provided with an inside cabin since we really only sleep and shower in the cabin. However, we “splurged” this time since I do like the ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall daylight. The cabin was inconveniently away at the front and normally we pick a more strategically located cabin when we pick inside. Turned out we spent more time in the cabin than planned as the ship was very cold and we often dashed back to the cabin where we had the heat cranked up. On Celebrity Silhouette the towels were old and thin, so we felt like royalty with Cunard’s plush soft thick towels. The food was good, but not as good as Celebrity’s. For instance, my husband is a meat-and-potato guy so he’s so easy to please. At lunch first day he looked for his usual ham and cheese sandwich only to be told it was way at the other end of the cafeteria. When he got there they directed him back to where he’d started. Now, uncharacteristically frustrated, he went back and demanded his simple request. They told him he couldn’t get it today, but each day he could order one for the following day! On ANY of the 43 cruises we’ve been on, there’s a deli-like sandwich bar where you can have any sandwich of your choice for lunch. From there, as far as food was concerned, it was just all downhill for him. As for me, I missed my daily salad for lunch. Sure, there were salad offerings, but just not as many items to include in it as I’m used to (never grape tomatoes) and certainly there were never fresh berries of any kind, at any time. I’m a chocaholic and on one formal night, the cafeteria had 1” chocolate Cunard-logo logs with flavors inside to die for. I’d go on the cruise again and again just for those little chocolates! Cruising transatlantic is different from Caribbean cruises in that Cunard emphasizes dressing up. On the 7-day Atlantic crossing there are three formal nights, but actually every night is pretty much a formal affair (although the food doesn’t always reflect it). There are more guest lectures and I enjoyed the short plays as slightly different entertainment. There are more guest “competitions” (golf, hoops etc.) than other ships; Zumba is free and there’s a variety of ballroom dance classes as well as line dancing. Cunard ships have a large ballroom which is unique, and even more unique is that it is actually used at night for ballroom dancing, complete with a half-dozen men who are paid to ask single women to dance. The ballroom of course has many other uses during in day time. Celebrity arrived in Southampton one day, and the next day we sailed back to the States. We've been to London several times and we'd both spent our first 20 years in Scotland so we weren't interested in visiting there. Celebrity arrived at 5:30 am and we took the 8 am ferry to the Isle of Wight where we visited Osborne House (Queen Victoria's vacation home and where she eventually died) and Carisbrooke Castle where Charles the first was imprisoned before being beheaded. Pretty island and worth the trip. Fish and chips on the ferry on the return journey just hit the spot. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn on Herbert walker Ave (highly recommend it) which is just outside the gate of the port where we docked so we walked straight there and next morning we walked to the nearby Titanic sites and around the Walls of old Southampton. We still had time to shop at the shopping mall right down town and Cunard's ship was also within walking distance. So we had two days and one night before sailing home. A trip I would have like to have taken would be to Highclere (Downtown Abbey) but they have limited opening days. With the ship arriving at 5:30 am you could take a train to London and enjoy the day there, but of course you would want to spend the night somewhere. With our Celebrity ship we could have taken a back-to-back to Norway (kicked myself when I realized this too late) and since Cunard's QM2 leaves Southampton (alternatively New York) every 2 weeks, we could have taken a later cruise back to the States. Oh well, maybe another time. Yes, I’d say when I take another transatlantic cruise from (or back to the States) in Europe I’d travel to Southampton to take this ship back to the States rather than fly. The 2 week cruise on Celebrity was great, changing the clock only every other day. On Cunard it was almost every day (shorter cruise) but far better than changing the clock 5 hours in one shot when flying. Flying is tough enough. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this ship because we wanted to return from the USA after visiting Florida, San Diego and finally New York. - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to return from the USA after visiting Florida, San Diego and finally New York. - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to avoid the long haul flights. For a disabled cabin 7002 was on the small size with just enough room for a disabled user and that is all. The room did have a roll in shower but only just enough room to get my small mobility scooter in and close the door. Having seen another review for this cabin 7002 on line here we did what they suggested and asked for the twin beds option or l would not have been able to get close enough to the bed to get in!! So we re-arranged the room and moved the small table over to the end of my husbands bed and managed that way. However no way as a disabled user would l want to be in this size cabin for longer than a week. Think a standard size cabin where they have taken the extra space out to enlarge the bathroom for a walk in shower and you pretty much have it. You can manage but some of the larger cruise lines outshine Cunard on the size of this disabled cabin. The ship was lovely and quiet compared to some other lines......lovely food and fair entertainment. Have to say that having been on many other lines and sailed with Cunard before that l was slightly disappointed with the standard of their theatre shows this time. Their own shows with their dancers and singers were not to the standard of other ship casts. The only other negative point is that the spar pool no longer has a disabled lift in it to be able to use the pool. We had taken a week spar package on a previous sailing and l enjoyed using the pool. So that was a no to a swimming for a whole week because the one on the upper decks was not possible to access. So for a line such as Cunard that was a great disappointment. However the rest of the cruise was very relaxing and laid back we enjoyed the meals and the good service and the ship looked lovely as she was completely dressed ready for Xmas - so had a lovely atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
With a bit of trepidation, we boarded the QM2 in Southampton....concerned about the weather (forecast for storms), the location of our cabin in those storms (deck 12), the dress code (planned to rent a tux for DH) and the rumored ... Read More
With a bit of trepidation, we boarded the QM2 in Southampton....concerned about the weather (forecast for storms), the location of our cabin in those storms (deck 12), the dress code (planned to rent a tux for DH) and the rumored snobby-ness of crew and passengers. Our cabin (Club Balcony) was very clean, similar in size to most low end balcony cabin on Celebrity, but well laid out. The bathroom was tiny, though. Steward in our area was very friendly and paid attention to our 'style" of comings and goings. Cabin made up very quickly. The forecast storms did make the crossing bad for sunbathers for sure....decks often closed due to high wind and rain.. But for us a smooth ride with a mild rocking as the ship and huge waves passed each other. Did take meclizine to prevent any issues...but probably didn't need. Dh was unable to rent a tux...none close to his ordinary size. So he made do with his dark coat and pants, a white shirt and a black bow tie...I doubt anyone noticed. Many men were dressed in tuxes on the THREE formal nights, but many just in suits. It is actually nice to see nearly everyone dressed for dinner! Some ball gowns, some long and formal gowns..mostly cocktail dresses and the black slacks and formal top uniform. (If not your thing you are supposed to stay on deck 7..buffet, lounge and public areas....coat and tie seemed the rule there) Think like you're low end royalty and enjoy! Staff seemed busy and not able to take the time to socialize much. I would imagine those who are regulars get better service, but we had no complaints. Our waiter was very well trained and at the same time warm and friendly. Loved the set table for each meal (B-L-D) in Britannia Club...food was the same as the main dining room..although the flambes for desert may have been just in the Club. Lectures were nearly all great, shows variable but worth watching, and the music wonderful all around the ship. Did not do any classes ($35 for a watercolor kit??). But new friends seemed to enjoy. Events normally held outside had to be indoors crowding the public spaces...but weather happens. (a pool on deck 12 was covered) Cons....high cocktail prices for what you got. terrible disembarkation...little signage, no announcements in public area, staff unclear on why the delays (1.5 hours late getting off). Once off...very fast through immigration. Lots of luggage placed in wrong piles...and frantic groups searching for their bags. (amazing # of huge bags...must be using the ship to move to Florida for the summer) Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our tenth crossing on the QM2 and our 25th cruise overall. We return to the QM2 because it is an ocean liner and because we love many of the beautiful public rooms such as the Chart Room, the Commodore Club, the Britannia ... Read More
This was our tenth crossing on the QM2 and our 25th cruise overall. We return to the QM2 because it is an ocean liner and because we love many of the beautiful public rooms such as the Chart Room, the Commodore Club, the Britannia restaurant, and the library. We find plenty to do and prefer crossing on the QM2 to air travel over the Atlantic. On this crossing the boarding and disembarkation were super-smooth. We have learned to show up a little late to avoid the crowds, and to leave at the end of the morning. This time it worked and we had no delays or stress. We were comfortable in our Princess Grill stateroom, which we chose for the extra square footage. We spend a lot of time in the room, so space is important to us. I attended one lecture on Oscar Wilde which was excellent. The other lectures on space and maritime history did not appeal. Our favorite evening entertainment was the jazz in the Chart Room, which is always superb and played in the most beautiful setting on board. We went to one big show performed by a guest opera/pop singer who was adequate. The big shows are old and tired IMHO. Good fitness center will all of the equipment we use in working order. Service was adequate, not big problems, no wow factor. Food is always somewhat a challenge on QM2. It is definitely not up to the standards of fine restaurants on land, but there is plenty to eat and some variety. In Princess Grill we commented early on regarding the lack of spices, so the staff decided to make us a special curry dish on the last night, It was rather odd as every day at lunch and dinner a parade of staff would stop at our table to remind us that we had a special curry on the way. One would have thought that the Queen of England was going to visit. The promised curry turned out OK, but nothing more than what one would find in hundreds of Indian restaurants in London or New York and pay about $15 for the main course and accompaniments. Overall we just lower our food expectations when we board and try not to complain as it does no good. My only true complaint from this crossing is the sad state of the wifi service. There was absolutely no access in our stateroom, so I often was found standing in the hallway holding my laptop up to a router hoping for the best. I was able to complete basic email correspondence only in public room, especially down in Connexions. Access to complex sites like our bank accounts and credit cards was impossible. It's a good thing we had no crises while traveling. I swear, it seems as though the wifi is getting worse. How can that be? We will return to the QM2 as long as we continue to travel to and from Europe. We focus on the features we enjoy and try to ignore the issue areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We've crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a bunch of times, but this time was memorable because of the rescue at sea of a yachtsman from a disabled craft. We watched from our balcony, and then learned from a Q & A session between the ... Read More
We've crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a bunch of times, but this time was memorable because of the rescue at sea of a yachtsman from a disabled craft. We watched from our balcony, and then learned from a Q & A session between the Captain and the rescued seaman. Very interesting. Otherwise, we keep coming back to the Queen Mary because of the beauty of the ship and our favorite experiences on board. We most love the Chart Room and go there for cocktails before dinner and the nightly jazz concerts after dinner. Also love the Commodore Club atmosphere day and night. We slept in a Princess Grill cabin, which suited us well because of the extra space. We tend to hang out a lot in our cabin, especially during the mornings, so the extra space was very important. The cabin is well enough designed and furnished. Enjoyed a series of lectures by Christine Roussel on art and history in New York. Also enjoyed the headline entertainers including a West End cabaret singer and a group of male vocalists. Plenty to do on board during the day, and some of our favorite activities are workouts at the fitness center and walking the promenade on Deck 7. Food quality in Princess Grill was adequate, although definitely not big city restaurant quality. A little too much in the direction of standard cruise ship fare. Service in Princess Grill was also adequate, again nothing special. We went to the Verandah for dinner one night and were underwhelmed by the quality, shocked by the noise from the kitchen and doubly shocked by an argument from our waiter. Also went to Coriander one night and were disappointed by the bland South Asian food, too bland even after we specifically asked for spicy food. I think the chef ignored our request. We will be back on board in October and hopefully many times after. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise as an alternative way to get from the States to England. I am glad we did. Our cabin (sheltered balcony) was quite nice and more than adequate for a winter crossing of the North Atlantic. A few minor details, such as ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an alternative way to get from the States to England. I am glad we did. Our cabin (sheltered balcony) was quite nice and more than adequate for a winter crossing of the North Atlantic. A few minor details, such as stained carpet and floor of the shower, kept the cabin from achieving an excellent rating. The food in all venues was excellent as was the dinner service in the Britannia Restaurant and and all meals in the King's Court buffet restaurant. Such excellence was, however, lacking in the single time we ate in the Britannia Restaurant for breakfast. The three shows we attended were very well done. Embarkation in Brooklyn was exceptionally smooth while the same could not be said of the disembarkation in Southampton. We received quite conflicting information, regarding procedures for disembarking, from the staff as to what was required to depart the ship early in order to meet our pre-arranged shore transportation. The person in the Tour Office gave us (what turned out to be) the correct information while the person coordinating the departure times and disembarking passengers seemed to not be on the same page as the Tour Office. On a positive note to all bridge players, the afternoon duplicate bridge games were well run and enjoyable. Kudos to the director. All in all, this was a wonderful trip and we would definitely cruise with Cunard again when we next cross the Atlantic. The atmosphere, service, food, and entertainment all add up to make this cruise a very pleasant experience. The very few and very minor complaints listed above are all that kept this review from receiving a rating of five (5). Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The highlight of our October crossing was the selection of terrific jazz performances by Blue Note artists Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and their bands. Headline concerts in the Royal Theater, more informal concerts in the ... Read More
The highlight of our October crossing was the selection of terrific jazz performances by Blue Note artists Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and their bands. Headline concerts in the Royal Theater, more informal concerts in the Carinthia Room, and jam sessions in the Chart Room were all fantastic and really made our experience enjoyable. Embarkation: We've had a number of bad experiences in this area on Cunard, so this time we decided to show up late, after 2:30. No line for Grills, so we walked on board, short line for Britannia class. The Captain later announced that there had been a problem with American immigration during the morning that caused a traffic jam for those leaving in Brooklyn that spilled over to long lines and delays for those boarding. But later in the afternoon all was resolved. Note to self: Always show up later in the afternoon. Queens Grill: This was our first time in Queens. We enjoyed the extra space in our stateroom (see review below). The Queens Grill dining room and food quality was underwhelming. The dinner dishes were mostly traditional cruise ship food, done well, but with no special or modern touches. They will try to make a special dinner for you, if you order in advance and they have the ingredients. There is a special menu available for those who order at lunch time, but it is confined to traditional dishes like Dover sole, rack of lamb, and Chateaubriand, nothing modern. They make a big deal of finishing the preparation on a trolley brought to your table. A bit too lah-dee-dah and old fashioned for our tastes. We were a bit shocked that the menu at breakfast and lunch matched the menu for Britannia and the food quality was often less than fabulous. Post Re-Imagining: We had crossed immediately after the renovations in June, and now found that things had settled down and actually improved a bit. No more balls on lint on the new carpets. The ship is truly beautiful, and much improved in the decor in the staterooms, the new Carinthia Room, and the re-design of Kings Court. Note that uneven and spongy flooring seems to be returning especially outside the Golden Lion Pub. Kings Court: While the re-design has improved visuals and traffic flow immensely, we still find Kings Court to be the weakest link on the ship. Re-imagining has not brought any improvement in food quality, and in fact, it seems as though the food is exactly the same as when we first sailed on the QM2 7 years ago. Tasteless cheeses, poor selection of fresh fruit, mediocre salad bar, blah pizza slices, and inexplicable pre-prepared hamburgers and hot dogs sitting under heat lamps It's a very mediocre buffet and we try to avoid it as much as possible. We dearly love the QM2 and will return in December, and again in June, 2017. It's not a perfect cruise experience, but remains a lovely way to cross the Atlantic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Chose this cruise because they cancelled the earlier Victoria sailing and we wanted to cruise back to the states just having completed a Costa cruise. We were celebrating our 60th Anniversary/and 80th birthdays. Because there was a lapse ... Read More
Chose this cruise because they cancelled the earlier Victoria sailing and we wanted to cruise back to the states just having completed a Costa cruise. We were celebrating our 60th Anniversary/and 80th birthdays. Because there was a lapse in time between Costa and joining QM2 we drove to Italy and "killed time" there before joining the Hamburg departure. QM2 had just completed being remastered [refitted/upgraded/new engines/etc.] in Hamburg. It was to spend the two days to Southampton as a trial run. All was perfect on the trial run. Embarkation was the pits. Surprising since Cunard typically has its act together. For people like us, traveling overseas for over three months with a lot of luggage and being allowed 2 ea. 70 lb. suitcase flying business class the apparently new (?) weight restriction by Cunard on suitcases was a problem. Regardless of which category, you are restricted to 44lbs. maximum weight per individual bag! The "threat" in the notice that if you exceed that weight, you will have to meet the weight limit (getting on/off) before they will touch your bag! The aforementioned is not consistent with what they have posted on the Internet. Bottom line here is to insure you meet whatever the requirement is. (Rather than be stressed or have to deal with the bureaucracy, we bought two suitcases [on sale] and activated the two duffle bags we had in reserve in the four suitcases we started with...and yes, we had two had carry too.) The cabin was freshly painted with new carpeting. Cabin steward was exceptional. Cabin was Ok considering we weren't traveling an upper class. Had a nice balcony. The bathroom was miniscule. Dining room was fine. Their alternative dining was excellent! Every three days they "changed" the menu in the non "fine-dining" alternative dining room to cater to a different cuisine at a reasonable extra charge. The "fine dining" alternative was a bit pricey but worth it. We typically ate breakfast and lunch in their Lido (buffet) which was recently renovated. They did a good job. You have to check out all the different serving stations. It is a plus. Service was excellent. Seating was better than usual but still not always able to fined. The ship had 4 formals. On non-formal nights men in jackets/tie optional. The formal nights were disappointing!!! Travelers ado not adhere to the dress code and the ship doesn't enforce the dress code. This trend is apparent on other cruise lines (like Costa and Princess). Entertainment was overall excellent. Seating is mostly raised so views are OK. Shopping on board was less than thrilling. Lots of special sales to reduce inventory. Disembarking: was at the Brooklyn terminal. You are given colored luggage tags based on what you advised your schedule. I had arranged a limo from the Internet to take us to JFK to get a car; canceled it and used transportation through the Shore Excursion. (Thought it would be "safer" but either way is fine). For planning you were told allow two hours from leaving the ship to get to whatever transportation. The good news is that your luggage is in the terminal in groups corresponding to the color; the bad news is that the ship's porters are apparently color blind since our luggage wasn't in the correct "color pile" it was supposed to be. It turns out that the luggage is first brought ashore by color; having completed then it is brought ashore by numbered decks. Our missing piece, properly tagged, was with the wrong group ((deck 6). Having gotten our luggage and slowly got through customs/immigration finding the limo was a bit of a challenge since there was no one holding a placard w/our name...but found where the ships arranged JFK limos were and off we went. Note that there are porters in the terminal. The ship also offers white glove service which is shipping your luggage to wherever at a cost but you don't have to lug it anyplace. FYI the nearest car rental is Avis in Brooklyn at a place it is said difficult to find, which is why we opted for JFK since also we'd be returning the car to an airport (Newark). Bottom line: Cunard is (I believe) the only cruise line offering transatlantic crossings all year long as opposed to the other lines only when repositioning. For that reason it is worth the cost (although the cost is more pricey than others). Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal. That's where the chaos ... Read More
Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal. That's where the chaos started, and no one seemed to know what to do......even the Director of Operations -Cunard. We finally got to our cabin at 2030hrs. Having been nearly 6 hrs in the terminal. $50 on board spend for EVERYONE was wrong, as only 50% of the passengers were affected? This incident left us and a lot of people around us very unhappy......we have all paid a lot of money for the privilege to be on the Queen Elizabeth. However, the crossing to NY was interesting......force 11 gales and 30 foot waves.....too much for some, but we enjoyed it all. Had a big problem with the internet charges on board. Although I had brought my minutes when I paid for my voyage in October, I was NEVER told that the charges were by the MINUTE and not by the second used. This is a racket, as in our case we paid for 270 min and only used 178 min...the difference was the overcharge of 112 min. When I brought this to the attention of the internet manager, he at first told me I was wrong and it didn't happen. On further evidence shown to him, a photo of the last internet page, which clearly showed the charges and the missing mins, he admitted that they did charge by the minute, but would not reimburse mine. I was not satisfied with this excuse and went to see the Purser.....I am afraid to say a one ringer, junior Purser, thought is was a good idea to shout back at me.....this incensed me further....I have since laid an official complaint with Cunard Southampton. This was never resolved and needs to be addressed by Cunard. All quests were complaining, but it would seem, accepted the situation. Stateroom: 8033, was on a slight corner, and gave us a larger cabin and balcony. This we had specially booked when we made our booking. The Stewardess was good and efficient. Dinning: We found this to be excellent in the Britannia Club. Our Steward, MARC was also excellent. We had two head waiters, both were outstanding. The wine steward ,we found to be very knowledgeable, witty, and entertaining. We used the Lido a few times, and we found it ok. The Veranda was excellent, both service and menu and food, well worth the extra surcharge. We also tried the alternative dinning for Asian food and alfresco dinning. Both very good. Entertainment" We found this to be poor. We did expect a high standard of shows, but only two evenings did they reach our expectations. We used the "boxes" on all occasions, and they are well worth the extra charge too. Shopping on board: Very limited and expensive. For some reason (I guess profit) Cunard will only allow you to buy duty free on board, for consumption on board, once every 30days......? However you can go ashore and buy as much as you like??? Shore excursions: Very expensive for what you get, Whiles the trips are good, the guides are poor, as you learn very little about the country you are in. We found it much better, and cheaper to go by ourselves. Met more local people, and saw more, at a fraction of the cost. Whale watching in La Hania really was appalling, as we were all sure, we saw the same 3 whales,3 times, all very close to the QE. How convenient for the guides. Tipping: We cancelled the daily tipping as soon as we got on board. 15% is added to every bill in all bars and restaurants and shops. We instead tipped our table and room stewards weekly throughout the cruise. We continued to get outstanding service from both of them throughout the voyage. Overall, we found the cruise a bit long for a first timer. The Queen Elizabeth is beautiful and by and large the crew were very good. However the Pursers department needs to learn what customer service is all about and not "speak down" to the older generations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Being seasoned cruisers we should have known better than to book a two week cruise, comprising of 13 sea days, 6 hours in New York, and Transatlantic crossing in mid November! Before the sea legs had even been unpacked we found ourselves ... Read More
Being seasoned cruisers we should have known better than to book a two week cruise, comprising of 13 sea days, 6 hours in New York, and Transatlantic crossing in mid November! Before the sea legs had even been unpacked we found ourselves in Force 12 winds, extremely rough seas and a horrid corkscrewing motion on the ship - most of all in our 'upgraded' cabin on Deck 11 and just back from the bridge. Some three days were lost to the mal de mer before I started to even get to know what the ship had to offer. This was our first Cunard cruise and we were anxious to judge for ourselves if the QM2 was as superior as we had been led to believe. Whilst we found her extremely spacious, I public rooms and our cabin, we really could not find anything which puts her above and beyond the many other lovely cruise ships on which we have sailed. When they do a major refit - will someone please remove the stupid raised reception area on Deck 2 of the Britannia Restaurant. Where is the sense in walking up five stairs to be paired with a waiter to take you down five stairs to your table?? As I use a mobility aid that meant using a side entrance and waiting to attract the eye of someone - anyone - before the will to live was lost. Bad design! The 'Transatlantic both way crossing in November' experience will not be repeated, but if the itinerary suits us, we may sail QM2 again, or maybe try another Cunard ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I wrote a review a while back titled "Declining standards in a single year," complaining that the food in the Britannia was not what it had been. This was our third crossing in 2013, and I'm happy to say that the food is ... Read More
I wrote a review a while back titled "Declining standards in a single year," complaining that the food in the Britannia was not what it had been. This was our third crossing in 2013, and I'm happy to say that the food is back to what we expected -- i.e., very good, indeed remarkable under the circumstances. The service is now, if anything, even better. And my fears about the simplified dress code have not been realized: On the "elegant casual" nights (at least at the late sitting) many men wore ties and many who went tie-less wore suits. Of course the women were for the most part extremely well turned out. And the great majority on "formal" nights were actually in formal dress. My principal complaint now is just that Cunard seems to be constantly trying to sell you stuff. About half of the cable channels are devoted to peddling various products and services, and one is constantly fending off pushy photographers. In my earlier post I said something about the HSN/QVC vibe, but threading the maze of photographers to get to dinner feels more like traversing a souk. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Although we have been on a fair number of European cruises, this was the first time we have sailed transatlantic and was the last part of an overland trip from California home to the UK. We booked in advance a cabin (stateroom) with ... Read More
Although we have been on a fair number of European cruises, this was the first time we have sailed transatlantic and was the last part of an overland trip from California home to the UK. We booked in advance a cabin (stateroom) with balcony directly with Cunard as they offered a good deal with an inclusive airfare to LA; from experience we prefer to have an outside cabin despite the extra cost. We were independent passengers so arrived at Brooklyn with our hire car. It is a shame that Cunard do not use the main Manhattan terminal: we found it very difficult to find the Brooklyn terminal despite our research and it was not helped by such minimal and appalling road signage: it was almost as though Cunard had been banished to the outskirts of town. After dropping my wife and luggage I had to drive the car back to the centre of Brooklyn as there are no hire car facilities at the terminal. I returned to the terminal in a NY taxi, whose driver had no idea where the terminal was so I ended up directing him. Back at the terminal, our baggage had already been loaded; check-in and boarding was a quick and efficient process. Our outside stateroom was on deck 6 and was perfectly adequate and comfortable; everything worked properly and our cabin steward was very discreet and highly efficient throughout the voyage. We had allocated dining in the Britannia Restaurant at second sitting and had requested a table for two, which we actually had. It has to be said that this was definitely NOT a cruise ( we never expected it to be), but rather a voyage. The ship itself is exactly as would be expected for a classic liner and no expense has been spared on its internal layout, facilities and elegance. There was always plenty of space for everyone, despite the ship apparently being at capacity on this voyage. Most ships generally have an inbuilt identity: QM2 seems to struggle in this respect. It is almost as though the ship is trying to do its best to pretend it is not British and pander to its American and German clientele. This was especially true with its on-board US Dollar accounts and automatic 15% gratuity system, rather like Royal Caribbean. The restaurant menus were obviously tweaked towards American tastes while the vegetable portions were decidedly miserly. We were quite disappointed with the wine list which we thought was unnecessarily large and expensive, especially with the 15% on top. Every one of the less expensive wines that we requested was out of stock so we ended up paying a minimum of $41.00 for a bottle of decidedly average wine. We never expected wine to be cheap (if we are going to do it we do it properly!) but this really was excessive. The Kings Court Buffet was certainly adequate although there was not nearly as much choice as there would have been on a P.& O. ship and generally seemed to aimed towards German tastes. It was nevertheless refreshing to see that most plates were not piled to the obscene heights seen on some cruises, although we were concerned to see that so few passengers appeared to make use of the hand sanitizers. Some areas of the ship, especially in the theatres and Britannia Restaurant, felt very cold to European tastes and I know we were not alone in this opinion. The indoor games area in particular was so cold that it was impossible to stay there without a warm jacket. Presumably the AC was set to American tastes..... The theatre presentations were the most professional and slick performances that I have ever seen on board a ship and the quality of the musicians was superb. There was a little too much emphasis in the bars towards 3-piece jazz for my liking but it was nevertheless good. The on board lectures were absolutely first rate, particularly Bill Miller who entertained packed theatres with his knowledge of ocean liners and Nigel West who did likewise with his knowledge of security and spies. We felt as though we had been to college for a week....... All in all, we had a very enjoyable time on the voyage and I would definitely do it again; however I do not think that a conventional cruise with Cunard would be for us: P.& O. have the edge there. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend the experience.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We took an eastbound transatlantic, spent a month in Europe on two other cruises, and took a westbound transatlantic back to New York. We had ample time to explore the ship and find our likes and dislikes. CON: (1) Our Verizon I-phones ... Read More
We took an eastbound transatlantic, spent a month in Europe on two other cruises, and took a westbound transatlantic back to New York. We had ample time to explore the ship and find our likes and dislikes. CON: (1) Our Verizon I-phones did not work for calls and texting, even though they worked fine on Royal Caribbean during the same vacation period. In addition, the internet was extremely slow, though you would expect this in the middle of the ocean. (2) The dress code is ridiculous. I know there has been much discussion and it will continue forever. We don't like the fanfare of the dining room, and eat exclusively in the buffet area or smaller areas, like Chef's Galley or Golden Lion Pub, on all cruise ships. It is understandable if some people enjoy dressing up every single night, but there are some who do not. We should not be excluded from the theater and other parts of the ship, only the dining room. This is how it is on most other cruise ships. Yes, we can stay off of the ship entirely, but it was going in the right direction at the right time. (3) There is no central gathering area, such as the atrium on Princess, or the Promenade on Royal. Everyone sits around reading in little corners or sleeping on deck chairs. There is really no place to go if you don't hang out in bars. PROS: There were four excellent lecturers on our cruises. They were very knowledgeable and very interesting speakers. The evening shows were standard cruise fare--OK, but not memorable. There are numerous tables for two in the buffet dining room, unlike on other ships we have been on where there are mostly tables for six and the staff tries to put strangers at your table. The buffet food was mostly good quality, though there was not as much selection as you would like. Desserts were adequate. Chef's Galley has great hamburgers and fries at lunch, and great pasta and salad in the evening, in addition to freshly-made pizza. Would we do it again? Yes, if it were going where we want to go. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
A transatlantic voyage has been sold to us all on the basis that it is a grand experience. Well, on the QM2, it is and it isn't. Boarding at New York is something of a let down. I expected something more than what is effectively a ... Read More
A transatlantic voyage has been sold to us all on the basis that it is a grand experience. Well, on the QM2, it is and it isn't. Boarding at New York is something of a let down. I expected something more than what is effectively a large shed with a slab of concrete next to it. Where were all the waving crowds and streamers we've all seen? My partner was in her wheelchair, and access is not easy. The ramps have raised joined plates and little lip to aid getting over. Granted, we had not paid full tilt and thus we were assigned a stateroom on Deck 4 and midships. Now here is the first thing Cunard don't mention. The vibration midships is horrendous. My partner suffers from MS. If Cunard are going to send out medical questionnaires, I fully expect them to have an understanding of the condition upon reply. Thus, in my partner's case, the lesions on the brain associated with MS were nicely being vibrated against her skull, triggering an episode there and then. To their credit, the Pursers office (not for the only time on the trip, kudos to them) sorted the situation as fast as possible and moved us up a deck and forward. So my advice is try and get a forward cabin. At least that way, your teeth will stay in your head. Dining. The Britannia Grill. God help you if you are, like me, a non-meat eater. I phrase it that way as I am not fond of vegetables, so if you want a vegetarian option that does not include rabbit food or lasagne, be prepared to go hungry. Also be prepared for a table than can be vibrating heavily underfoot turning your stomach into a blender and snotty waiters getting upset that you don't wish to eat from the menu. Again, to the credit of the maitre'd, he was superb in trying to sort our table problem, but the whole experience meant we gave up eating there and opted for the Kings Court instead. Now, again, this is a problem if you are a vegetarian. Yes, you can get pizza. Yes, you can get salad. Yes, you can usually get some sort of potato product. But that is not what you came on board the QM2 for. There were days when I existed on bread rolls and nuts as the choice was meat, meat, and more meat. Something simple like a hot cheese and onion pie would have sufficed. The Kings Court needs to put on a simple vegetarian option alongside other food. On the plus side, once warned, you can take your fill at breakfast of hash browns, toast, beans and suchlike. So here is the second thing Cunard fail to mention. Certain other areas of the ship also do food and it was not until the very last day that my partner and I discovered the Golden Lion pub did Quorn pies. Perfect! You are not charged extra for this. I'm sure there must be other parts of the ship where food is served too, but the staff neglect to tell you. However, where the staff are magnificent is looking after those in a wheelchair. My partner was able to move about the ship independently as the staff were always willing to lend a hand, particularly in the Kings Food Court, where credit must go to a waiter called Manoj. Make friends with him, he is the guy to know in that area. The ship requires you to search out places. Take your first day to have a really good look round as many decks as you can. Do this before midday if possible. Not a lot happens prior to that. The ship really only comes alive after 6pm, when the dress code kicks in and you actually feel like you've entered the era of cultured cruising. The balls are great fun if a little cringeworthy thanks to the singer. The Chart Room has a terrific jazz trio. The Golden Lion pub has quizzes most evening, but if you are under 40 you will struggle with the music ones as these are orientated towards the older generation. The Winter Gardens are a good place to chill out for a while, although this is where the big screen tv is deployed if a major event is taking place, such as the French Open Tennis. The productions at the theatre did not really grab my attention, and neither did the lectures or films. None of these lasted more than 30 minutes, which I felt did not give me enough time to enjoy the subject in depth. If you are a cigar fan, the Commordore Club has the Churchill Room within it, and I must say it was great fun puffing on a stupid size cigar whilst chatting with fellow passengers about all things under the sun. So that is the third thing Cunard don't tell you. There are places you have to find for yourself. The map they provide is small and not really descriptive enough. For example, there are games on board, such as Scrabble, Monopoly, etc, tucked away down on the lower decks which you can play next to a large window with the sea mere feet away. These help pass away gray days yet you still have a sense of travelling. Be prepared to spend cash. On-board prices can make you blush. If you are feeling lucky, try the casino to win back some that you will have to spend. The shops are limited and if like me you have a sudden craving for say, peanuts, you are out of luck. Here again, Purser's office to the rescue. They suggested I try the pub, and it turns out nuts and crisps are complimentary in there. Another little thing Cunard fail to mention. So, in summary, if you can find the hidden delights, if you can find food that will suit your own requirements, and if you manage to get a stateroom that does not shake, rattle and roll, there is much to recommend this. Hellfire, you can say you actually crossed an ocean! The sense of history as you stand on the promenade looking at at this vast expanse is awesome. Take time to understand where you are. The QM2 offers an experience that is either brilliant or a nightmare. There is no in between when on board. When it is good, it is magnificent, and when it is bad, the Purser's office will usually do their utmost to help. Would we do it again? Yes, but only because we now know where to look, where to eat and who we need to clap round the ear if something is going wrong.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Arrived at a very busy terminal on the 14th and we had to wait approx 30 minutes before being checked in, although well organised they should open more terminals during busy periods. Not a smooth embarkation. Our cabin was spotless and ... Read More
Arrived at a very busy terminal on the 14th and we had to wait approx 30 minutes before being checked in, although well organised they should open more terminals during busy periods. Not a smooth embarkation. Our cabin was spotless and our luggage was already waiting for us when we opened the cabin door. There was the usual complementary bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us, a very nice touch by Cunard. Our cabin steward soon knocked on our door and introduced herself. Tatiana did a marvellous job keeping our cabin clean and tidy throughout the voyage. We had a rough crossing both ways but it would appear neither of us suffer from sea sickness or maybe it was the situation of our cabin which was on the fourth deck towards the middle and so not as much movement. The ship was very comfortable, and the food was good, but we had trouble with the Kings Court which covered both sides of the ship and whichever way we went it seemed to be the wrong one because that side always seemed closed off and we had to cross over and use the other. We never got it right the whole three weeks. When we booked Cunard sold us one three week cruise from Southampton to Southampton, unfortunately we received three one week cruises, it was very disappointing to get three Welcome aboard shows, three Appassionata shows, three cinema showings of Men in Black 3 and Madam Butterfly, along with repeats from the RADA group members and the planetarium shows. The menus in the Britannia restaurant were also repeated at least twice over the voyage. The only thing that wasn't repeated were the questions in the daily quizzes or we would have won hands down. It was also disappointing to see that the dress code was not adhered to as we expected it to be and we saw passengers wandering round after 6 at night in jeans and t-shirts on a regular basis, these passengers were not refused service by the staff even though the daily paper mentioned that the dress code would be strictly adhered to, this was definitely not the case. In conclusion we have decided that Cunard are living on past reputation and although we enjoyed our holiday it is doubtful we will travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We have just returned from an Eastbound transatlantic cruise on the QM2, having left New York 45 minutes before the port was closed ahead of Hurricane (Storm) Sandy. First the good news - if you want to ride out force 11 weather (80mph ... Read More
We have just returned from an Eastbound transatlantic cruise on the QM2, having left New York 45 minutes before the port was closed ahead of Hurricane (Storm) Sandy. First the good news - if you want to ride out force 11 weather (80mph + winds and big seas) you cannot do better than the QM2. With all the turmoil of leaving New York we settled down to a very civilised dinner, with just a bit of rolling motion - unlike the poor souls we had left behind who were soon to suffer the full effects of the terrible storm. This was our second trip on QM2, having done a back-to-back transatlantic in 2011. We flew out on this occassion (flights and hotel with Cunard) and had a 'guarantee' A grade balcony. The flight with American Airlines was fine - not as good as BA or Virgin but perfectly acceptable. We were meant to have a transfer from JFK airport to our Hotel (Marriott), but along with several other couples we were left stranded. Only after enlisting the help of various 'travellers aid' reps at the airport, a Cunard bus was eventually tracked down (90 minutes late - and with no hint of apology). The transfer to the ship on the Sunday was far better organised, but seemed very early i.e. bus left at 10.30am, with cases/bags having been collected at 8am. This ruined any idea of a bit of last minute sightseeing or shopping - we thought that being based in NY, we wouldn't be leaving for the ship until at least noon. Check-in was smooth, and once onboard, all seemed in order (aside from that approaching storm!). We soon settled in and found that a number of things had improved since 2011. All the crew we met seemed far more friendly and at ease. Our waiters (Anthony and Mark) were fantastic. Kings Court is still a bit of a mess, but did seem slightly less crowded and a bit more organised. The planaterium was working, we had some very good speakers (top marks to Captain Tim Orchard) and the RADA team of actors were brilliant. The one big complaint (and warning). We booked a guarantee A balcony and were allocated 11104 on deck 11. This was noisy and rattling the first couple of nights, which we assumed was down to the bad weather. However, things outside were quite calm by night 3,but the cabin noise was even worse - a long story (and after a couple of night time visits from guest relations) but it seems 11104 suffers from being adjacent to an outlet to the ships funnel - specifically a gas turbine spinning up and down. We did get moved to another cabin, but felt cheated as it was clear that all concerned knew about this cabin and they put people in there in the hope they are either deaf or too polite to complain. Whilst we were moved, we didn't get any apology or even the gesture of something like a bottle of wine to compensate for at least 2 nights lost sleep and a morning spent moving cabins. We still managed to enjoy our trip, but Cunard need to pay a bit more attention to customer care. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
After many years of cruising/transatlantic crossings with various cruise lines, my husband and I decided Cunard was our favourite. Since being widowed I have travelled with my adult children (it's better value than single occupancy) ... Read More
After many years of cruising/transatlantic crossings with various cruise lines, my husband and I decided Cunard was our favourite. Since being widowed I have travelled with my adult children (it's better value than single occupancy) and have just returned from my first trip with my daughter and grandchildren, aged 4 and 5. I opted for a day trip to New York, seeing the return Transatlantic crossing as a holiday in itself. A major disappointment was that the Planetarium was out of action for the whole trip. I have seen it many times and it was one of the main reasons for choosing QM2. I had described it to the children, they were looking forward to seeing it and were sadly let down. On the plus side the Kids Zone was excellent. My daughter is a childcare professional and she was impressed with the staff, facilities and programme. Understandably there are lots of forms to sign, protecting the children's and the staffs' interests. My daughter and I were therefore shocked to see one of the gentleman hosts, Clinton, filming our children on his mobile phone. When confronted, he said he was not a member of staff but a volunteer and he wasn't breaking any laws because we were not in the UK! He called one of the Social Hostesses to his defence (she was definitely a member of staff) and her attitude was very defensive in support of him. My daughter reported the incident to the Kids Zone staff, who were furious, the matter was taken to the highest level and the participants reprimanded (or so we were told, no apologies were forthcoming from Clinton or his supportive lady friend). The children thought Clinton was "creepy" and were wary of going into the Queens Room or any where else he might be, if they saw, or thought they saw him they were unnerved. This one unpleasant incident took the shine off the otherwise exemplary attitude of the staff who were charmed by and charming to the children in the expected White Star manner. I am left wondering what checks are made on these volunteers, who receive a free holiday in exchange for befriending single ladies? Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
The positive first: Service remains superb. It's Cunard's strongest selling point. Room stewards, bar and Britannia staff, purser's office personnel -- all were cheerful and competent. From a p.r. point of view, the ... Read More
The positive first: Service remains superb. It's Cunard's strongest selling point. Room stewards, bar and Britannia staff, purser's office personnel -- all were cheerful and competent. From a p.r. point of view, the captain was a definite improvement over the captain we sailed with in May 2012. Although perhaps not up to the commodore of 2011 (who was straight out of Central Casting), he carried himself with some dignity and presence. Our stateroom was comfortable and spacious; the bars and lounges (especially the Commodore) were pleasant; the Britannia dining room, the Queen's Room, and the theatres were grand. Now the criticism: The standard of food in the Britannia had noticeably declined from 2011. There were more stews and braised meat, more steamed vegetables, more "schoolboy food." Even that was not always well prepared: We had pudding and souffles overcooked to the point of toughness and an undercooked "Monte Cristo" sandwich (with no cheese). Moreover, several items were not as listed on the menu: a curry "with mango chutney and poppadums" came with no chutney and one-half of a poppadum, and a "sticky toffee pudding with ice cream" had no ice cream. (Both the curry and the pudding were very tasty, though.) We noticed an increase from previous voyages in a sort of Home Shopping Network or QVC atmosphere (the word "exclusive" should be banned in Cunard's promotional literature). There seemed incessant hectoring to buy things, and it is annoying to have to run a gauntlet of photographers to get to supper. The lectures on our voyage were a decidedly mixed bag. David Frost was disgraceful: over the hill and unprepared. The lectures on astronomy and art history were interesting, but we enjoyed them more on our stateroom television than in the theatre. (They could easily have been replaced with canned material.) The series on Broadway was quite good; lectures on musical theatre with no music are somewhat strange, but possibly it was a question of rights. RADA was reliably good, but they need to expand their repertoire. The musical reviews were, as usual, absurd -- Vegas ca. 1962 (I kept expecting to see the Rat Pack). The dancers are excellent, but the costumes and choreography can only be described as tacky. The dance band, on the other hand, was excellent, also as usual (although personally I'd like more swing and less Latin). We wish Cunard would play at least one of the balls absolutely straight. Butlins-style contests and parades seriously lower the tone. Finally, we would like to see the dress code enforced more rigorously. Perhaps it is too much to insist that "formal" means black-tie, but "semi-formal" should mean a lounge suit, not a sport coat. And tie-less men are by definition out of place at black-tie dinners. Cunard should consider setting aside an area or two -- a bar or lounge -- where jeans, shorts, tee-shirts, baseball caps, and athletic attire are banned at all times, and I would like to see them banned at afternoon tea in the Queen's Room. If I wanted to look at slobs I could fly Delta Airlines. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We both decided to take this unplanned cruise from Southampton to New York 22nd May to tick one box more from the bucket list. In April we were on Celebrity Eclipse and had a great 7 day cruise so May was definately not planned. Finding a ... Read More
We both decided to take this unplanned cruise from Southampton to New York 22nd May to tick one box more from the bucket list. In April we were on Celebrity Eclipse and had a great 7 day cruise so May was definately not planned. Finding a one way reasonably priced flight from Miami to Heathrow was difficult, it never ceases to amaze me that when you enter airline websites and price a return, then change to a single and the price increases by $300. Using the web I finally managed a BA flight for $625. We had a short weekend with family before driving to Southampton and seeing Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 berthed. We handed over our luggage kerbside and entered the terminal to be given a coloured numbered card. After oabout 40 minutes our colour/number was called and we checked in went through security and walked onto the ship. The process took about 90 minutes start to finish. We were directed to our stateroom (Deck 5 #5190) where we found a luggage waiting by the door. Stateroom 5190 is a sheltered balcony that has a steel front in place of the regular glass. The cabin is basic, very typical of other ships but we did like the four deep drawers provided and al in the wardrobe worked very well considering that I alone was travelling with three suits. I found the TV was to small and it was not easy to watch from the bed. Why they did not wall mount and provide a decent size I do not understand. You get no interactive menus and considering the recent refit I think Cunard could have done better. Cabin guy was ok we hardly saw him and only one day did he not service the room till quite late in the day.I would not recommend this cabin to anyone who has trouble sleeping, you hear the sounder or chime from the nearby elevator and the crew door opposite has no closer on it and just slammed shut everytime someone used it. Many have written about the QM2 so I will just highlight a few thoughts, plus opinions are all about taste and expectations. Britannia Dining Room. Started on a table for 6 with two Germans (this cruise was a 9 day from Hamburg with 700 plus German guests) We approached Stanley Williams the Ass/MD and he found us a table for two on deck 3. We both liked the MDR, tables were spaced out and it was not too noisy.Food was ok, just. I have had better quality and variety on Celebrity and HAL. Salads in particular usually turned out to be a be a plate of lettuce and not much else. The food was always hot and I did like that you could order cappuccino without being charged. Service at our 8.30pm seating was always good but a different story some lunchtimes. It was almost like a fast food restaurant and at lunchtime staff seemed to have no time to talk with you and it seemed like waiters had to many tables. Deck 7 Eateries. This selection of food stations was well thought out and never had that crowded felling most cafe type stations have. Generally on other cruises I stay away from them as the sight of peoples hands over and around the food selections worries me. QM2 has a great well thought out set up that was spoilt by the food. It was not poor quality, it was just things like the pastry selection was repetitive and boring. There seemed to me a lot of men in suits walking around and again not a lot of table waiters. Our friend told us they saw a man with a walking stick trying to hold a tray and two waiters walked bye not offering to help. Shops. Small selection but with all the important items if you had forgot something. Had a big sale late in the cruise. Golden Lion Pub. Big letdown, Yes they have fish and chips but it was hard to find a seat and being honest having been brought up in a real Golden Lion pub this could have been a NY bar or anything else. Coffee Shop. OK but they stocked no pastries. Library. Fantastic selection of books but very limited seating. Outdoor decks. Seems to be great space but forward area was closed off due to high winds, seemed strange what do they expect on a transatlantic crossing. Rear decks - sheltered and when the sun was out very busy. Photographer's. Everywhere usually blocking walkways etc. Ten 8" x 6" prints $145 was the offer of $25 each. Promenade Deck. Great facility. I never understand why ships have these blocked at the front of the ship. Three laps was a mile and we did this and never used the gym. Queens Lounge. Great afternoon tea, and some good performances in that room. Planetarium. Worth a visit you go for tickets at 9am on a first come basis. Pity may of the seats were broken and did not fully recline. Entertainment. I thought the performances were excellent almost on a par with Disney. Singers could sing, dancers could really dance and the German rock band was fantastic. Kennels. Spoke to a couple that had their terrier with them cost was 300gbp. Cleanliness. Ship was always clean with the exception of male restrooms. On Celebrity they have staff on hand keeping them clean. QM2 restrooms had paper towels overflowing from bins and liquids on the floor. Officers. You never saw them walking around the ship. maybe the Grille people saw them ? I might have missed some things but to conclude I liked that ship and its layout. 12ft seas and not any movement. Entertainment was very good, food was very average. Glad I took the voyage would not have wanted to make the return trip. Generally the staff were ok but nothing like as friendly or professional as the HAL people. Europeans are not always the friendliest !   Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We booked our cruise over a year ago, with it being Cunard we knew it would be good. Which it was, however getting to the ship was stressful and a challenge within its self. We flew into Newark, cleared all us regulations within ten ... Read More
We booked our cruise over a year ago, with it being Cunard we knew it would be good. Which it was, however getting to the ship was stressful and a challenge within its self. We flew into Newark, cleared all us regulations within ten minutes. We got to the arrivals, to meet the transport, however no one was to be seen. Waiting for thirty minutes, a lady appeared and told us to wait. She reappeared and moved us to he road side on the upper level to meet the bus. An hour later the bus had not made it to us. I had phoned Cunard direct and they offered no help. The bus did come and forget two passengers which we returned for. The lady left the bus at Newark and we and fellow passengers were left to direct the driver to the port as he did not know where he was going as it was his first time. Three hours and thirty minutes later, we arrived rushing into the departure terminal to get the boat. You have go agree the ship is lovely and very grand. First time and it won't be the last on the qm2. However, the daily entertainment programme was very very poor to p a o I have to say I was expecting it tone wonderful but it was not. I had gone with an openmind after reading some blogs and Facebook prior to going and I have to now say understand the negative comments this ship has received. The food was very good, as was the service. Nothing was to much trouble for them nor did they ever look un happy. Only did we encounter one rude member of staff, a young English man on reception. I had cause to complain about this person twice and we received a letter saying he would be given guidance, up to the last day of our cruise he had not been given this as he was still rude and off hand with us. This ship is a wonderful example of heritage for British tradition. One I am pleased to say I have done. But I don't think I will do the transatlantic again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We really enjoy the transatlantic crossings and this was our third on the Queen Mary 2. We were disappointed that much of the entertainment was the same that we saw on previous cruises but the new members of the dance troupe were ... Read More
We really enjoy the transatlantic crossings and this was our third on the Queen Mary 2. We were disappointed that much of the entertainment was the same that we saw on previous cruises but the new members of the dance troupe were fantastic. Best dancers we have ever seen on land or sea and the RADA actors are always fabulous. Canterbury Tales was great but we found Merchant of Venice a little heavy going. We ate most of our meals in the Britannia Dining Room. Service at dinner was quite good and we appreciated being recognized by a couple of staff members we met on previous trips. Food was perhaps a little less varied and not as memorable as earlier cruises. We weren't all that impressed with the refurbishing done to the ship since our last cruise and missed the clothing shop now replaced by an expensive (and mostly free of customers)cosmetic/perfume boutique. We stayed overnight before the cruise in Brooklyn at the new Comfort Inn Brooklyn Cruise Terminal which was excellent and very close to the pier. Our only complaint about the hotel was the free shuttle dropped us on the street across from the terminal and it was a long way to walk with luggage, especially as one member of our party is handicapped. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
First of all can I say that Cunard did give us a very reasonable upgrade from a guarantee D8 cabin and the actual price was very good including NY for New years Eve: We had been on the QE in April last year and found the ship quite ... Read More
First of all can I say that Cunard did give us a very reasonable upgrade from a guarantee D8 cabin and the actual price was very good including NY for New years Eve: We had been on the QE in April last year and found the ship quite classy although it did have problems. We had been promised by people on that that QM2 was vastly superior and we looked forward it. QM2 is probably the most attractive of the large ships. I personally find the decor not to my taste. The refurb had taken place but it made us wonder how bad it was before as bits of still looked a bit shabby; the restaurant and the theatre were bland and uninspiring. QE had a nicer restaurant and theatre (with boxes etc). The food was ok but did notice quality and portions was lower than even last April on QE. Staff were fine and we loved the Planetarium shows (went to all of them). Met some nice people. Nice room. Very quiet. In conclusion: I think that this being a winter transatlantic crossing skewed my opinions as Im not used to being inside for so long and if this had been a summer med cruise my review would have been more positive. I would probably go on QM2 again but not transatlantic (unless really good deal!) Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We try to visit our daughter, who married an American and lives just outside Chicago, twice a year and were planning a week's visit for November when an attractive Cunard Transatlantic offer came to my attention. The dates fitted and ... Read More
We try to visit our daughter, who married an American and lives just outside Chicago, twice a year and were planning a week's visit for November when an attractive Cunard Transatlantic offer came to my attention. The dates fitted and using airline points for the flights it worked out almost as inexpensive as flying with a weeks cruise thrown in! It was inevitable that we compared our voyage on the QM2 with previous cruises, mainly with Celebrity where we are Elite members. Overall the Cunard and QM2 experience was (of course) excellent value for money and a very enjoyable and satisfactory way to cross the Atlantic. Embarkation at Southampton was efficient and took about 45 minutes with adequate seating available whilst we were waiting to check in and then embark. We were greeted with a somewhat muted welcome as we boarded and then had to find our own way with our hand baggage to our stateroom. We were impressed to find all three of our suitcases had got there before us (a first) and so we unpacked before starting our exploration of the ship. Our standard inside stateroom was very similar to others we had occupied even if the decor was somewhat bland. There was more than adequate storage and everything worked properly with ample toileteries and a good shower in the usual small but almost perfectly formed bathroom. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself and was cheerfully efficient throughout the voyage. We then needed sustenence and went up to the Kings Court cafeteria/buffet on deck 7. This facility is probably the only really unsatisfactory feature of the QM2; its design is unattractive and confusig with potentially dangerous people flows when the area is busy. Furthermore the standard of food was not good with limited selections of often tired and rather bland offerings. This seemed to be the case at both breakfast and lunch times which encouraged us to eat during the day in the Britannia dining room more often than we had on previous cruises. The Britannia dining room is an elegant and impressive room with three floors of seating. We had requested second sitting (8.30pm) on a large table and were comfortably seated on a table for six with two other delightful couples with whom we enjoyed six very pleasant dinners. Our waiter was generally efficient and friendly but we felt that the food quality, presentation and style of service did not quite reach Celebrity Cruises levels. On one night we asked for the early seating as we wished to attend a3D screening of a Royal Opera House production of Carmen (which was excellent) and quite coincidentally were seated on our same table and met two other interesting couples. One advantage of breakfasting and lunching in the formal restaurant is that it again gives the opportunity to meet and converse with more guests: this we enjoyed. We used room service occasionally for food and beverages - this was good and prompt. The many public areas of the ship are spacious and generally elegant with some interesting artwork and many murals and pictures depicting the history of Cunard, transatlantic sailing and previous vessels in the Cunard fleet. Our favourite places were the library and the Commodore Club. The QM2 is really spacious and absorbs its passengers well - the atrium and shops on decks 2 and 3 are very well done but not very well stocked. Entertainment and activities are many and varied: the lectures were interesting (with the talks repeated on the in-room television over the following 24 hours). I attended bridge lessons and played duplicate bridge in the afternoons though the venue in the Atlantic Room was not ideal. My wife used the well equipped gym and the addictive golf simulator. We both attended the cinema twice (as well as Carmen) and took in one of the production shows (average) and a male singer who had sung the lead in a number of West End musicals (very good). Internet access is OK, if expensive, with the WiFi working in many parts of the ship (including our stateroom). The QM2 sails well and even though we experienced some seas of up to 12 feet and force 7 winds for a couple of days and nights (which forced the closing off of some of the top deck areas) the voyage was generally quite smooth for us though we were aware that some passengers did find the sea conditions unpleasant on a couple of the days. Capable of sailing at least 28 knots we did in fact average about 21 knots - hence the 7 day scheduled time rather than the 5 days the old Cunarders used to take. Presumably the slower speed saves fuel and makes for a more comfortable crossing. All too soon we arrived in New York at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and having requested an early disembarkation in order to ensure we caught our flight to Chicago from Newark the process was smooth and efficient and took about 30 minutes including clearing Customs and Immigration. We had prebooked a car to take us to Newark through the internet and the transfer took about 45 minutes -very satisfactory. Our verdict: we would certainly take the Transatlantic crossing with Cunard again - much better than flying! However we are not convinced that the overall cruise experience measures up to Celebrity Cruises standards and there would have to be good reasons such as the itinerary or the cost for us choosing to cruise on Cunard rather than Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
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