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5 Southampton to Canada & New England Cunard Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Reviews

This was a 3 segment cruise, 1. Southampton to New York via Le Havre, (this was Space Week). 2. New York sailing up the East Coast of USA and Canada returning to New York. 3. New York to Southampton. We had always wanted ... Read More
This was a 3 segment cruise, 1. Southampton to New York via Le Havre, (this was Space Week). 2. New York sailing up the East Coast of USA and Canada returning to New York. 3. New York to Southampton. We had always wanted to visit the East Coast of USA and Canada and to hopefully see the fall colours. Just a note about fall colours as you progress north you may miss the colours and New York was normal colour Friday 4 October and on return Friday 18 October, but Sept Iles more northerly the colours had finished by Monday 14 October. Weather - crossing the North Atlantic can be rough with storms, rain (Sunday 29 September), force 8 gales going west to New York and force 10 gales coming south from Quebec and Saguenay but the ship is so big you have some movement but feel really safe. The Captain and navigation team modified our route from Southampton to New York to avoid the worst of any storms. Food- we eat in Kings Court and Chef's Galley (on an evening), Breakfast - cereals, cooked eggs, bacon, sausages, kippers, cold meats, cold fish, sushi - very comprehensive coverage. Lunch and Dinner - soup, many hot dishes, root vegetables, salad dishes both prepared e.g. Caesar salads and help yourself to salad. Desserts range from cheese cake to pancakes and flambé fruits e.g. bananas. The food is monotonously good, tasty and plentiful. My wife and I went a number of times to the Chefs Galley on an evening as they have an Italian menu cooking the food in an open kitchen for you to see, 5 types of pasta with 5 different sauces - bolognaise, spicy arrabbiata, carbonara, tomato and basil, and aglio E olio. They make 5 types of pizza - Caprese, Pepperoni, Tuscan Baked Chicken, Hawaiian, and Diavola. A nice evening and lovely food. Entertainment - I went to the Cunard Insights lectures, my wife went to the art classes, and we went to the cinema in Illuminations to see the film "Red Joan". Lectures were on the rise of Islam, the Crusades, rise of the American Skyscraper, space law - yes you read right space law and it was fascinating, astronomy, black holes, and astrophysics with the lecturer doing a tutorial after his talk to help people understand and to clarify any points. An astronaut, Dr Robert Thirsk gave a number of talks on the International Space station, living in space, and he did a q and a in the Carinthia lounge. My wife and I attended the Golden Lion pub to listen to the guitarist and music expert Paul Garthwaite play and explain guitar music of various bands - Leonard Skynard, and Rolling Stones etc. Gym - we went to the gym - my wife to do her aerobics and I my weight training - plenty of free dumbbells 1-30 kg and aerobic machines - Technogym brand. You can also lap the promenade deck - 3 laps is 1.1 mile for aerobic fitness. Thursday 3 October we had a meet the speakers in the Commodore Club on deck 9 bow, it is a semi circular bar so not sure how it would work and no chairs arranged for the speakers nor audience. The speakers were Dr Robert Thirsk, astronaut, Dr Seth Gopin, art historian, Dr Dan Wilkins, astronomer / astrophysicist, Sir Simon Mayall, military historian, Amy and Susan Bean, wife and daughter of the late astronaut Alan Bean. This was excellent and the easiest way to describe was like a university tutorial with each speaker having a number of people around them talking and discussing , then people moved onto another speaker. The Cunard Insights lectures from New York to Southampton were Margaret Gilmore, ex BBC correspondent, Ken Lennox, ex fleet street photographer, Andy Wyatt, pilot and Gloria Barnett oceanographer. Fascinating talks and at meet the speakers at the end of the weeks as a keen photographer it was great talking one to one with Ken Lennox a pro photographer. Sunday 20 October I queued for Planetarium tickets - yes QM2 has a Planetarium at sea. We saw a film on Planetary weather in the solar system - made the Earth look beautiful and benign. Two incidents that irritated me - a German passenger criticised me for having too much ice in my breakfast orange juice thinking I was American liking ice - what give him the right to criticise? one day in the laundry our drying was taken out of a drier by an unknown person and placed on the floor, needing to be washed and dried again. It was wet when taken out of the drier! I cannot understand this behaviour. Thanks to a number of people Captain Hashmi - for his leadership, 12noon navigation announcements, and explanation of certain phrases used in the English language. Csilla, Tito and Sandor, all sommeliers who knew that we liked a certain Italian sparkling water with 2 glasses ice and lemon when in the restaurants and lounges. The staff in Kings Court and Chef galley who cleared our numerous dishes, Chefs who cooked the lovely food and always with a smile. Warren, our cabin steward who expertly looked after us and kept our stateroom clean and fully stocked with toiletries. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our stateroom was not to the standard we had been accustomed to aboard other cruise ships. The room was very small and the bathroom tiny. A refurb is very much needed. The carpet was badly stained and there was masking tape all around the interconnecting door. We mentioned this to our steward who promptly removed it. Then we found out why it had been placed there - when the people in the cabin next to us opened their balcony door half a hurricane come through and a high pitch whistling noise accompanied it. Drinks on board were exceptionally expensive and the whole tipping policy has to be looked at as it clearly does not work from a service users prospective. Food was very tasty in the main restaurant but often the portions were small. Trying to obtain drinks in the restaurant was so bad that we resorted to purchasing drinks in the bars first and taking them into the restaurant with us. Everything onboard ship was geared up for the over 70s, so much so that on this transatlantic crossing of 7days we were bored. Shopping was very poor and the entertainment was awful. We have always looked forward to the shows on other cruises but these were the worst ever. The worst issue was disembarkation. Everyone is aware that American immigration is very slow and we were quite prepared for it. Despite Cunard regularly disembarking service users in New York the staff were clearly not prepared for it. We were told to vacate our rooms by 8am and to go to our particular meeting point. There they left us without communication, food or water for hours. When we did go to the restaurant to try and obtain some refreshments the staff were putting it away and quite clearly did not want us there. To add insult to injury when we disembarked the ship and went to retrieve our luggage one of our group had a suitcase stolen - and you’ve guessed it, no one wanted to know. Overall we were very disappointed with the cruise and we will not travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and myself had never sailed with Cunard before and were worried that maybe we would feel out of place. We didn't have to worry as we met so many friendly people. I have read some other reviews on here and think that I ... Read More
My husband and myself had never sailed with Cunard before and were worried that maybe we would feel out of place. We didn't have to worry as we met so many friendly people. I have read some other reviews on here and think that I must have been on a different ship. The staff were extremely friendly, helpful and very funny. We certainly were not pestered by bar staff to buy drinks. If you don't want a drink you just say so and the waiter puts a serviette on the table to let the other waiters know not to bother you again. The ship was spotless everywhere. Our cabin was clean, no dirty carpets where we were and we weren't in an ultra posh cabin. The talks were very interesting that we went to. Obviously there were some that didn't interest us, so we didn't bother with those. The production shows were very good. A couple of the older comedians we saw weren't great. You can't please everyone so we weren't too bothered. There really is so much to do that you can't get bored unless you are not interested in anything. We will definitely be going on Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Since this is the first time we had ever been on a cruise ship, we have nothing to compare it to. Crossing was from Southampton to Brooklyn. We were totally delighted with the food, professionalism of the staff, the gala events, dressing ... Read More
Since this is the first time we had ever been on a cruise ship, we have nothing to compare it to. Crossing was from Southampton to Brooklyn. We were totally delighted with the food, professionalism of the staff, the gala events, dressing up for dinner each night, the entertainment. My husband took the WSET wine certificate course and is awaiting his score. We took the cocktails seminar and it was wonderful. Enjoyed eating lunch in the Veranda restaurant. Thought the jazz group on board was fine as well as the harpist, flamenco guitarist and all the entertainment. I especially loved my mornings at the Pavilion pool on Deck 12. Our cabin was on Deck 11 and was on starboard side. Next time I will book a port side cabin when traveling west. Met so many cruisers that said they have taken the QM2 many, many times. I will definitely consider taking this ship again. I was concerned about some of the reviewers that said the cabins were already in need of repair, food was not good, whatever. I needn't have worried. Only concern was boarding in Southampton. Our time slot was 1:30 and we arrived at 1:30. Found the line to be terribly long. Overheard many people saying they had later time slots but wanted to arrive earlier, causing the long line. Disembarkation in Brooklyn was a breeze. Suggest carrying your own luggage. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Day 1 Joined the ship at Southampton via the Cruise Connect bus, which was very efficient and would have been dead on time had it not been for the combination of the Southampton Boat Show and a football match which slowed traffic down ... Read More
Day 1 Joined the ship at Southampton via the Cruise Connect bus, which was very efficient and would have been dead on time had it not been for the combination of the Southampton Boat Show and a football match which slowed traffic down somewhat . Embarkation was fast, despite that the fact that I had forgotten to bring the tickets! I took them out to remove the luggage labels and forgot to put them back. At the check-in desk they said "no problem" and checked me in using my passport. That was when that my credit card didn't work on their system but they blamed that on their terminal and said to register it on-board. Impressed with the cabin - sorry, stateroom - plenty of room and a view outside between the lifeboat davits, which I prefer to having a sheer drop owing to my fear of heights. The interactive TV has the name of the previous passengers on it as well as ours. Went to Britannia Grill. Had asked for a table for 2 but our table, 63, is for 6 and located right in the middle. The other guests are a couple of blonde ladies from Southampton, who are on the same deck as us but the other side of the ship and a man and wife from the UK. Conversation is difficult due to the high noise level and the fact that I am totally deaf on one side. Service is quite fast. Day 2 Had breakfast in the Kings Court, wisely as it turned out as everyone complained of the slow service in the Britannia Grill - that's probably because you all tried to eat there at the same time. Had meeting in the Commodore Club with CCs. From memory I think it was Josie and Joan, Malc and Betty, Lynne and David and another couple. And us. After accosting a number of innocent passengers we realized that there is no easy way to identify Cruise Critics as they seem to come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Perhaps a badge would help? It was nice to meet people. We had brought our laptop so registered with the ships system to get WiFi access. Although we could pick up the network, even in our room, it wouldn't log on. Spent ages trying different settings. Dinner in Britannia - the man and wife have been replaced with a couple of ladies from the UK. We later find that the first couple had asked to be moved as it was too noisy. One of the waiters steps back into the path of another who deposits a large amount of drink on the head (and silk dress) of one of the new couple. They offered to clean her dress later but she declined as it was silk and she didn't trust them to get it right. Day 3 Let the computing people try to configure the laptop but eventually they gave up, blaming it on tunneling software installed by BT (I use BT broadband in the UK). I accept this explanation as I've no idea what they are talking about. Apart from writing this review laptop now useless. Went to see former RADA students perform "Bottoms Dream". The production is very good but we later see them in a condensed version of "Great Expectations" which is pretty awful. Apart from the fact that most of the characters seem to be the same as in the first production they have managed to fit it into an hour by dint of racing through it and removing all the pauses. It's a bit like the Reduced Shakespeare Company on steroids but without the humor. If I hadn't been familiar with the book I would have found it totally incomprehensible. All right, I admit it, I'm not and I did. As an amateur actor for many years I was looking forward to the RADA workshops. There were three in the week. The first was voice exercises which I skipped as I find going oo-oo-oo, aa-aa-aa-, etc a teeny bit embarrassing, The second was physical exercises which were quite good. The third was "your opportunity to deliver a Shakespeare speech" for which read "your opportunity to say a line from Shakespeare after a five minute rehearsal". Dinner tonight - last night's new couple had gone. We later found out that one of them was deaf and had found it hard to join in the conversation. They were replaced with a couple of American ladies. Apart from the first night I have been the only man on the table. What an awesome responsibility. Day 4 Dinner - the American couple have gone, never to be seen again. Is it me? The table is still set for 6 but only 4 of us are left, the two ladies from Southampton, my wife and me. Day 5 Still at sea. Spend quite a lot of time in the cabin as not many of the activities really interest us. I could be wrong, but I would have thought that napkin-folding and scarf-tying were pretty much minority interests. The library has an excellent selection of books and one copy of The Times and the Daily Mail We are told that they don't print more owing to the amount of ink needed and the Sunday papers are not printed at all for the same reason. The library has nice seats but the concept of quietness seems to have eluded people, even the staff, one of whom has a penetrating voice that reaches to the farthest corner when he is having a conversation with customers (the library is also a bookshop). In fact, it transpires that apart from in the cabins there is no quiet place on the ship. Day 6 More sea. The cabin balcony is quite useable despite being windy. Went to an excellent lecture by Dr Jeffrey Hoffman, an ex- shuttle astronaut. Earlier in the week there were lectures by Andrew Green, an astronomer so what with the planetarium films I found it fascinating. Day 7 Arrive at Brooklyn. As we had been to NY before we had only booked the shuttle bus to Manhattan. We were told to go to the King's Theatre at 8.45am. The theatre was full and we were eventually called to disembark at 10.43am. The immigration process takes place in a large shed and about 8 to 10 officers deal with the UK passengers. I timed the actual procedure at 4 minutes per couple and we had to wait in line until 11.41am. We got to Manhattan at 12.39am, walked to Macy's, turned round and by then it was time to return to the bus. Some of the later buses had less than an hour in Manhattan. Full marks to Cunard as they refunded our fee for the shuttle although I couldn't help thinking that it had been a day wasted. At dinner our companions tell us that a half bottle of Pol Acker had been left outside their cabin, in fact all the port side cabins on deck 8., but not on the starboard side where we are. At Southampton we were given a half bottle but they were given a full bottle. Later told the purser that some cabins had been given a bottle of Pol Acker but he said that they hadn't. When we insisted he went away and when he returned said that it was an administrative error and they shouldn't have had it. Day 8 Newport. We had booked for Scenes of Newport tour a couple of days ago but last night got a card saying that it was full and we were wait-listed. Decided to wander down to the King's Theatre anyway and were told to go ashore and wait to se if there were any vacancies. Turned out that there were plenty so we had a nice drive along the coast. The weather was more like summer than fall.. Had lunch in a sushi restaurant near the harbor. Delicious. The library has apparently discovered vast reserves of ink as they are now printing several copies of the newspapers and even include the Sunday Times (UK). Day 9 Boston. Another nice day. Took the shuttle bus to Quincy market. Wondered why many shops were shut. realized that it was Sunday. Have lost track of time. Bought one of the many trolley tickets that take you round the city. They are actually good value and run about every 15 minutes so you don't have to wait long. Back at Quincy market there is an amazing variety of snacks in the central hall. Boston is a beautiful city. I would love to come back some time. Day 10 Bar Harbor. Took the most expensive tour, the grand tour with lobster bake. Acadia National Park is very scenic but due to the late fall the trees have only just begun to change color. The programme lists 3 photo opportunities and sure enough 3 is all you get. Although the bus passes some interesting views and items like a beaver lodge, it doesn't stop, so for a photographer it is a bit frustrating. We stopped for lunch at a place not mentioned in the programme for some unknown reason and despite brilliant sunshine ate indoors. We did not have the clam chowder that we had been promised. At Thunder Hole the tide was out so we saw the hole but not the thunder. Apart from the top of Cadillac Mountain, which is spectacular, the few stops seemed to be linked to gift shops rather than the views. I would say that the tour is poor value and you would probably get a much better lobster dinner in the town. Day 11 Halifax. This is Canada so they don't even ask for our passports. Instead of immigration control we file past tourist shops. We then walked into the town via the boardwalk which follows the shoreline. You can even get a free bus round the city although it is packed and not that frequent. At dinner we experiment and find that our table for 6 can easily be converted to a table for 4 by putting the flaps down so we show the waiter and he says that he will do that every night. Had a long conversation with the head waiter regarding service issues. I tell him that I am half deaf and find it difficult to hear and he does a most amusing impression of a deaf person, consisting basically of putting a hand behind one ear and saying "What?". We all explain to him that in a real restaurant the waiters serve from the left and clear away from the right, cutlery is put out at the start of the meal and not pushed through from behind as you are eating, food is not cleared away as half the table is still eating and especially not as you are still conveying the last mouthful from the plate to your mouth, etc. He cheerfully explained that as we were not getting silver service we had to put up with these little problems, and explained the difference in staff/passenger ratio between the Britannia Grill and the Princess Grill. Most people that I speak to seem to think that the problem is just bad staff training. I asked the head waiter why the tables could not be rotated at various times through a long voyage but was told that it would be too complicated. I'm pretty sure that other ships manage it. Day 12 At sea. Decided to do our laundry. There are several laundries on different decks but each one is quite small and heavily used. People get quite irritated when loads of washing are left in the machines and nobody returns for them Unfortunately, no baskets are provided , so if you take somebody's washing out there is nowhere to put it. We heard of one major argument where a man had put his whites in one machine and a single pair of black socks in another, while a long queue was waiting. Toyed with the idea of doing the washing in the middle of the night but decided that everyone else may have the same idea. The guest lecturer today was Art Linkletter who is in his eighties but still an excellent speaker (without notes, too). Cabin interactive TV not working. You can report problems but you have to do it on the interactive TV! Tell the steward and he says that he will get it fixed. The ships system is down for maintenance at the moment so there may be a connection. Hurray! The dinner table has been set for 4. Day 13 Quebec. Another lovely city and a sunny warm day. Together with another couple we hired a taxi for two hours and he gave us a conducted tour. It cost less than the ship's tours and being a smallish vehicle we were able to get through narrow streets. Also, he stopped wherever we wanted for photos. We ended the tour in the upper town, from where it is an easy walk back to the ship. Interactive TV still not working. A very good comedian on tonight, Jon Courtenay. Nearly didn't go as he was billed as a "comedy pianist". Actually he is a brilliant comedian and a brilliant pianist. And singer. We later met him in the lift and he said that they never billed him as a comedy pianist before - somehow to me it conjures up someone who is neither one nor the other. Dinner table set for 6 again. After choice words with the waiter checked with the menu that there wasn't anything that we especially wanted and then left and ate in the Lotus restaurant. Day 14 At sea. Interactive TV now working. Turns out that that connection had been pulled out at the back when the steward drew the curtains. Ate dinner in the Chefs Galley. Highly recommended as the food is nice and you see it cooked. Not sure that chef should have sneezed into his hand and then carried on preparing the crab cakes but the ones that we were served came from the galley. Day 15 At sea again. By now everyone has realized that this is three one-week cruises, rather than one three-week one. The waiters tell us that the menus have a 6-day cycle. There are three major music and dance productions that are repeated each week. RADA have only two productions and their workshops are the same each week. The planetarium shows are repeated. The only things that seem to change are the guest lecturers and the films. The lecturers are excellent but seem only to stay on the ship for a week. Likewise Jon Courtenay who was the best performer but only did two shows. Ate dinner at Todd English. The food was nicely presented but very salty. We ordered a bottle of champagne and they poured us one glass. When the glass was empty I had to ask the waiter to re-fill it but when he did there was only half a glass each At that point they realized that they had mixed up our bottle with someone else's, obviously that of a quicker drinker. For some reason they use enormous plates and the design is such that when you put down your cutlery it slips into the middle of the plate. Didn't leave a tip. Britannia Grill had obviously missed us as they rang our cabin and the maitre d' sent a note of apology and some chocolate covered strawberries. Don't like strawberries but it's the thought that counts. Day 16 Back to Brooklyn. Surely we won't have to go through immigration again? Oh yes, we will! Everyone has to get off the ship, even if they don't want to go ashore. We turn up the King's Theatre at the appointed time and are told to return in twenty minutes. Then a further thirty minutes. This time when we disembark we only have to wait for an hour as we go through immigration, go out through one door, back in through another and wait in a hall until we are allowed back on the ship. For some reason we have been issued with new passes, without our pictures on them, and once on board we go for a drink and find the new passes don't work although to be fair we were able to enter our room with them. The waitress tells us that the staff have also been given new passes with new numbers but their uniforms are all marked with their old numbers for the laundry. The interactive TV has stopped showing our names and has reverted to showing only the previous inhabitants. Ate dinner in Britannia again. Our table companions said that the staff had been quite worried that we had shut ourselves in the cabin and were starving to death but I reassured them on that point. They had remembered to set the table for 4, although for the last few nights there had only been two people at the table. Day 17 Heading home! This time a full bottle of Pol Acker was left outside the starboard cabins but not the port ones. When we told our table companions they complained and were given a half bottle. There very good guest lecturers from the New Yorker magazine, Andy Borowitz, Anthony Lane and Adam Gopnik. Also, ambassador Gwen Clare who spoke about the war against terror and managed to make the subject interesting. Unlike in the US British immigration are on board and seeing people in the dining-room for a couple of hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. Long queues. Figure that if we go about fifteen minutes before they are due to finish the queues will have gone. I was right. Dinner in the Britannia. All went well except for feeling of dEjà vu on seeing menu. Day 18 Only four days and we will be home. Has it come to this? Dreaming of home comforts and walking dogs again. Had an invitation from Elderhostel (?) to a cocktail party. Turned out that we had been invited by mistake so we drank their champagne and left. Day 19 Had lunch in the Britannia Grill instead of dinner. The lunch is very good. Neither of us are big eaters and we find that we cannot cope with both lunch and dinner in the Grill so it is either/or. Day 20 Dinner in Britannia so that we could say goodbye to our table companions. Waiter gives us a folder with copies of the menus in. There are six of them and half or ours are in French. How does he know I speak French? And why after three weeks can he not remember that I am deaf on my left side? Doesn't he wonder why I keep ignoring him when he stands there waiting for the order? Day 21 Have lunch in the Britannia Grill but not dinner. Reflections on the voyage. Well, it is very obviously three separate cruises although a couple of month sago when I asked if I could upgrade one leg to Princess Grill I was told that it was all one trip so I would have to upgrade the whole lot. I declined. It is a beautiful ship and the crossing was smooth despite a force 9/10 tail wind on the Eastward crossing. The actual public rooms are not as impressive as I expected. The layout of the ship means that you don't see all that much at once except when you look along the corridors where the cabins, sorry, staterooms, are. Come on, guys, the Winter Garden is not modelled on Kew Gardens. Kew doesn't have a few artificial trees and a painted ceiling. The central atrium from the Royal Court Theatre to the Britannia Grill looks good but much of the time it is filled with trestle tables laden with cheap "bargains" and mementos or photographers and their painted backgrounds. It looks more like the center of many UK cities a few years ago. Most have cleaned up their act now. I overheard a senior member of staff giving an interview to the press in the Commodore Club and telling them what sort of perks people expected if they had paid $50,000 for a suite. Well, I could afford $50,000 for a suite but I don't think that I would pay it. Before we went I thought that Kindlychap was mad when he suggested paying extra for the Princess Grill but now I see his point but resent having to pay for service that I think should be available all through the ship. Day 22 Home! Foliage in the UK looking lovely as it just turning color. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
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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