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5 Southampton to Africa Cunard Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Reviews

QM2 Southampton to Cape Town January 2018 was our 25th cruise but first on Cunard. We normally choose inclusive cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, Crystal or Seabourn but have also cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and ... Read More
QM2 Southampton to Cape Town January 2018 was our 25th cruise but first on Cunard. We normally choose inclusive cruise lines such as Regent, Silversea, Crystal or Seabourn but have also cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and Azamara. We decided on Queen's Grill because we imagined this would be the epitome of cruise life. It wasn't. Biggest disappointment was the Queen's Grill restaurant. Not the staff, who were excellent, but the meals did not live-up to expectation. For instance breakfast and lunch menus are the same as the Britannia restaurant and dinner choices were neither extensive nor that good. Cunard should look at the choice offered all passengers by Regent. The only good part of the Grills experience was that when I pre-ordered something not on the menu it was always delicious, often cooked table-side. Of course having food cooked table-side depended where your table was located. We were fortunate enough to have space; most others did not in the narrow and rather crowded restaurant. Apparently standards have deteriorated, at least according to guests at an adjacent table. This was their 42nd - and last - Cunard cruise, they said. Bars and restaurants even ran out of some wines on the first leg of a world cruise! Very poor planning. It does seem that for suite / grill guests Cunard has been left behind. You are not made to feel special (and you've spent a lot of money to be special) at Southampton check-in or at any other time. Quite frankly suite-class on Celebrity is much better value for money than Cunard Queen's Grill as are all the inclusive lines. All this said, the ship itself is in quite good condition considering its age. However it has a strange layout with a constant need to change decks as you work your way from one end of the vessel to another. Staff were generally very pleasant and helpful though I did overhear a conversation between two crew members that suggested staff in Britannia were not happy but "It will get better after Cape Town". I wonder why it would and if it did? I understand the entertainment was quite good, but shows are not why we cruise. Some lecturers were outstanding, others passable. But quite a good selection of topics. I would say never again, but we have another cruise booked on QM2 in a year's time. It will be interesting to see if standards have fallen even further - or returned to a level one might reasonably expect with such a famous "British" cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We boarded the QM2 on January 10th sailing from Southampton to Cape Town. Embarkation was very good. Stateroom 5319 with enclosed balcony. Not as clean as expected, one light fitting tied on with plastic ties as it was obviously broken. ... Read More
We boarded the QM2 on January 10th sailing from Southampton to Cape Town. Embarkation was very good. Stateroom 5319 with enclosed balcony. Not as clean as expected, one light fitting tied on with plastic ties as it was obviously broken. Thank goodness for no rough seas. Terrible smell in bathroom so a visit to the pursers office and a wait in a long queue. Problem sorted very quickly. Sheets only changed twice. Milk satches ran out on second week and we were told by cabin attendant to get some ourselves from the Kings court. Food in Brittania was unappetising and poorly presented so decided to eat in Kings Court. Food very good but did not appreciate staff sweeping up around us whilst we were eating and dustbins being pushed past us. Some excellent talks by Colin Jackson and John Mcarthy but other speakers seemed to be reading from books. Entertainment varied from very good to awful. A comedy juggler is not entertaining. This was our 32nd cruise on different cruise ships and this was the most disappointing. Very poor value for money, drinks far too expensive plus 15% plus tip and spa treatments also very expensive. We have cruised on Cunards Queen Victoria and enjoyed it very much, and we will be going on it again in June with friends. I would deffinately not recommend a cruise on QM2. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Admittedly, we were on the final leg of QM2's world cruise, but still - boarding her in Cape Town, we then stopped only in Namibia, Gran Canaria and Madeira. There were at least five other interesting places I felt we could ... Read More
Admittedly, we were on the final leg of QM2's world cruise, but still - boarding her in Cape Town, we then stopped only in Namibia, Gran Canaria and Madeira. There were at least five other interesting places I felt we could have/should have stopped. Namibia was wonderful ; Gran Canaria just plain dull; and Madeira utterly fabulous. Overall, I personally feel that this ship is too large for her own good. I have made many transatlantic crossings on smaller ships, including my absolute favourite - the incomparable QE2 - and love the sailing experience, the smell of the sea, the waves, the seagoing atmosphere and the feeling of travelling somewhere. All this, in my opinion, is missing from the QM2. She frankly TOO stable - the feeling of being onboard a ship is lost! No gentle vibrations, no gentle rolling, too far to walk I order to see and smell the sea. I nearly always felt like I was in a big impersonal hotel rather than on a ship. Without wishing to be too rude, the Gentlemen Dance Hosts were of a very poor standard, with only one of them able to dance properly, and he was not a very pleasant person, according to several friends who did try to dance with him.I do love to dance, and luckily have a willing and able husband, but I did feel sorry for those women on the dance floor who were being shuffled around by some pretty lousy movers. The Sports Team were great fun and organised hilarious Decathlons and other games to fill those long days at sea. The entertainment team were excellent, and indeed organised 70 of us into a passable choir, and we even gave a concert of show tunes, which was quite well received, considering we were all amateurs ! The meals onboard are just fine, and the dining rooms quite splendid. Service, as ever on Cunard ships, is impeccable. Our next cruise is on a P&O ship, and it will be interesting to compare the trips. I'll not be sailing on the QM2 again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We sailed from Southampton to Cape Town - the first leg of QM2's current world cruise. Generally, once everyone (passengers & crew) settled down, it was a fine experience. The ship was full and, at first, things didn't run ... Read More
We sailed from Southampton to Cape Town - the first leg of QM2's current world cruise. Generally, once everyone (passengers & crew) settled down, it was a fine experience. The ship was full and, at first, things didn't run too smoothly but by the time we reached Madeira everyone was more or less au fait with what to do and where to go etc. My wife wasn't too happy with the dining experience in the Brittania restaurant, constantly complaining that the food was indifferent but I was less critical. Feeding 2,350 people at two sittings in the evenings will never be more than mass catering. The entertainment was pretty good (Louis Hoover was outstanding and put on a "free" third concert in response to the acclaim he received). Some of the lecturers were fascinating (Martin Saunders, a BBC wildlife cameraman, for instance, and Peter Hawthorne on Afrikaners - standing room only for that one). There is a fine library on board and the planetarium films were amazing. Each day seemed to pass in a flash - there was no excuse for being bored though some people were. One common complaint was the nine-day leg at sea from Tenerife to Cape Town -- a very long stretch for passengers and crew which seemed unnecessary as we passed equidistant from Cape Verde islands and St. Helena with Ghana to the east. The fascinating desert excursion in Namibia made up for some of this. The other common complaint, as ever, was Cunard's absurd alcohol prices - £10 for a glass of wine and a beer. All this does is to reduce sales and encourage passengers to bring their own drink on board. Our cabin on Deck 4 had a "sheltered" balcony. Before we sailed, we were unsure about this but couldn't upgrade. In the event it was not a problem at all and there was plenty of space and sun. All in all, a memorable experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We sailed south on the first leg of QM2's 2014 world cruise to Cape Town. The first few days to Madeira were not the greatest. The weather was roughish, the passengers were newcomers and the crew was shaking down. In addition, the ... Read More
We sailed south on the first leg of QM2's 2014 world cruise to Cape Town. The first few days to Madeira were not the greatest. The weather was roughish, the passengers were newcomers and the crew was shaking down. In addition, the poor weather kept everyone indoors which, with a full ship, left little room for manoeuvre. Madeira was a pleasant interlude and from there onward we had a pretty good voyage to South Africa as everyone settled down. The nine-day sea leg from Tenerife to Cape Town was on the long side and as we passed near the Cape Verde islands and not so far from St. Helena it felt like a missed opportunity. We had a cabin on Deck 4 with a sheltered deck - fine by us as we are not sun worshippers but did appreciate the protection from the wind. The cabin (and our attendant) was fine - no issues at all. As ever on cruises, food loomed large. QM2 could really do with another restaurant - perhaps in the under-utilisied Winter Gardens space. The Kings Court buffet isn't as good as the one on the Queen Elizabeth - not sure why but the choice seemed narrower and the space rather cramped. My wife never really enjoyed the evening meals in the Britannia restaurant but I was less critical - it is never going to be straightforward to feed 2,300 people to a five star level at two sittings night after night. The Todd English restaurant was pretty good but expensive. The best bet, we found, were the themed nights in the buffet (American, Italian, Indian etc). Anyone who has cruised with Cunard will know in advance that the line hikes up alcohol prices to sky-high levels. A glass of wine and a beer in the Commodore Bar, for example, cost £10 (gratuity included automatically - another gripe). The answer is to bring on board as much of one's own booze as you can. Were Cunard to lower their prices to UK levels, I'm sure they would sell twice as much drink. But perhaps they don't want to? Entertainment was generally good. Some excellent lecturers were on board for this leg, notably Peter Hawthorne on Africa, Ambassador Walker on foreign policy issues and the charming Martin Saunders on life as a wildlife cameraman. Louis Hoover was the pick of the singers; he got successive standing ovations and put on an extra show without charging a fee. Hannah Kuipers (harpist) was another standout for us. QM2 or Queen Elizabeth/Queen Victoria? We have come down on the side of QE/QV for a cruise - these ships are simply better designed for cruising. While on board we heard a rumour (there are many!) that Cunard was up for sale/had been sold by Carnival. All the officers claimed to know nothing about this so the rumour simply spread faster. One for Cunard's PR department to address. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 5.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 3.5 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.8

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