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13 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cunard Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Reviews

We had an enjoyable 10-day cruise on the Queen Mary 2 sailing from Southampton to four ports on Cunard's "Iberian Highlights" itinerary -- Vigo, Lisbon, Valencia, and Barcelona. This was our first cruise on the QM2, and ... Read More
We had an enjoyable 10-day cruise on the Queen Mary 2 sailing from Southampton to four ports on Cunard's "Iberian Highlights" itinerary -- Vigo, Lisbon, Valencia, and Barcelona. This was our first cruise on the QM2, and second on Cunard. We sailed on the Queen Victoria in January 2011 and found the contrasts interesting. For various reasons discussed shortly, we were more enamored with our Queen Victoria experience. Embarkation & Disembarkation Embarkation at Southampton was smooth and organized. While waiting for the front desks to open up, we appreciated the complementary magazine racks nearby. It was a nice way to pass the time. Once we boarded the Queen Mary 2, we were greeted with the customary friendly welcomes from the Cunard crew. Disembarkation on 9/14/12 was pleasant, but with an unexpected challenge. We waited at the designated place at the Royal Court Theatre for our early departure group in what was a well-organized process. However, what was NOT nice was our Cunard transfer bus waiting an extra 45 minutes for passengers who were late despite the "early departure" urgency of flight arrangements. Although the Cunard representative informed us the last tardy party had cleared the ship's security gate and should be boarding soon, they never did. After annoyed passengers complained and asked how many of us would support the bus leaving without this irresponsible party, the bus driver decided it was time to leave the station or face a potentially riotous group. Wise decision! Food & Dining We had the early seating at 6 pm, and in retrospect, we should have opted for the late seating at 8:30 pm at The Britannia. Early seating has several advantages, such as the option of seeing the headliner and production shows twice the same evening, but the main drawback is that you may still be full from afternoon tea or feel discouraged from partaking in the afternoon tea service or have less time to get ready for formal nights after a long day ashore. Overall, we were a bit disappointed by the quality of the food compared to what we've had on the Queen Victoria or on Princess cruises. We dined primarily at The Britannia, Golden Lion Pub, and Kings Court, although the specialty restaurants would likely have been more satisfying. Our dinners at the Britannia ranged from fair to very good. The prime rib roast was not cooked as ordered (rare came out medium and medium well done, respectively, for us) and the cut was definitely not prime, but more like a very lean, dense choice cut that had virtually no marbling one would expect from prime cuts of beef. The fish choices, including the roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass, on several nights were overcooked and dry. The lobster tail was delicious, but clearly petite. Even our waiter apologized for the tiny tail, an apparent admission that the lobster tails were smaller than usual. Nonetheless, the menu choices were sufficiently varied to accommodate different preferences. It's hard to say whether the decline in quality or quantity of food items was due to industry-wide efforts to control costs, but clearly the quality of preparation was lacking most evenings. However, we liked the smaller portions because it meant less waste, including less waist to worry about down the road. Food service was also slow from our wait staff, despite their pleasant and cordial demeanor. After one elderly couple complained about slow service, they began to get special attention from other wait staff and supervisors, while service to other tables was still lacking. Remember the old saying, "The squeaky wheel gets greased"? So true. The Kings Court selections for breakfast, lunch and late night snacks were standard fare. We've noticed that the late night selections were poor and not terribly appetizing. This was helpful for our weight management, although I wouldn't have minded a few extra well-earned pounds. We had no complaints about the food at the Golden Lion Pub. We had excellent fish and chips at the Pub several times during our cruise, and the bar and wait staff were excellent. The fish was expertly prepared and delicious. The executive chef, Nicolas Oldroyd, and his staff prepared an exquisite "Night of Chocolate and Ice" that featured all manners of chocolate confections to suit passengers with sweet dispositions and interesting and intricate ice carvings. The chocolates were absolutely heavenly! Stateroom Our interior cabin was located on the 12th deck, mid-ship. Our excellent steward always impeccably maintained our room. He always seemed to be around cleaning the rooms and making sure everything was picked up and properly maintained. Our chief complaint was the frequent noise from crew and passengers dragging deck chairs above us. Yes, you read that right. Deck chairs! The bank of rooms in this area was directly below an open-air deck where passengers could sunbathe or take in the scenery from one of the highest public areas on the QM2. Another passenger in our area also confirmed she heard lots of noise as well. Word to the wise -- avoid this area for future bookings! Port & Shore Excursions Our Iberian Highlights included four ports of call -- Vigo (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Valencia (Spain), and Barcelona (Spain). Cunard made its maiden voyage to Vigo. It was really convenient that the QM2 docked at the heart of Vigo making self-guided walking tours so convenient. Although we did not do this ourselves, the highlight of stopping here would have been a 96 km trip to Santiago de Compostela to visit the cathedral and the tomb of Saint James the Apostle. Along with Rome and Jerusalem, the Vatican considers Santiago de Compostela a Holy City. The Tram and Coach tour of Lisbon was definitely worth the time. We enjoyed an intimate ride through some of the narrow and hilly streets of Lisbon, as well as complementary port and lemon tart pastry on the tram. Be awfully careful when you use the public restroom at various parks. Our tour guide warned us about professional pickpockets and thieves who pose as tourists, armed with maps, to ask unsuspecting tourists for directions or hang out inside the restrooms. At our stop, I actually saw two suspicious guys casing out the tourists. One guy was following a young mother and her daughter since her large handbag was slung slightly behind her. We did enjoy seeing the Christ the King monument across the river, which resembles the one at Rio de Janeiro. For a panoramic view of Lisbon, be sure to take the Santa Junta Lift for wonderful views of the city and the sea of red-tiled roof tops. We also took a coach and walking tour of Valencia. It was unfortunate that our guide, Ivan "the Terrible" as he referred to himself to help us remember his name, was truly terrible. He did not use a microphone & amplifier and had to "shout" above the din of crowd and traffic noise. Needless to say, we could barely make out what he was saying. We could have done better by doing our own self-guided tour of this wonderful seaport so full of history, culture and ambience. We managed to do better at our fourth and last port of call at Barcelona. We signed up for a coach and walking Gothic City tour of this magnificent ancient city. Our main complaint was that we did not have enough time to see and appreciate everything the guide pointed out, including what would have been a highlight of any tour -- a visit to the Picasso Museum (the other highlight would have been the La Sagrada Familia Church designed by Gaudi and never completed to this day). One highlight was visiting the Bouqueria, a marketplace along Las Ramblas. Our guide recommended lunch at La Gardunya, and we had the paella that was delicious. Afterwards, we found an even better place for dining -- the Universal Kioska, to be found at the left-most aisle at the entrance to the Boqueria. This place was packed with long lines, and no wonder. The mixed seafood grill was prepared in olive oil and was absolutely stunning and worth coming back to, again and again. We also had the mixed mushrooms that were also grilled in olive oil with generous sprinkling of sea salt crystals. We would highly recommend this venue for anyone looking for fresh seafood. If Cunard were ever to consider an overnight venue, Barcelona should be at the top of the list. My wife and I decided we would definitely consider a land vacation in Barcelona in the future. Entertainment The QM2 had four production shows and four "bumper" shows. The four productions were "Viva Italia", "Crazy for Love", "Variety Showtime", and "Apassionata." By far the most enjoyable show for us was "Apassionata," which is in its ninth year with the QM2. "Apassionata" featured various styles of dance, such as Glenn Miller's Swing, ballroom, and Russian folk dancing. We enjoyed the production so much that we watched it twice! The Cunard dancers were superb, especially the dance captain, Katy Laverton, who showed great skill and execution throughout her routines. Her dance crew was professional and energetic throughout the performances. We also enjoyed the featured Cunard vocalists, Martin Lawson, Emily Brooks, Craig Thomas, and Nicola Bryan. The bumper shows featured a comedian, Adrian Walsh, two instrumentalists, Maria King and Mark Donoghue, and an outstanding singer who has performed many shows at the West End, Phillip Browne, a thoroughly engaging and entertaining vocalist with deep pipes. Browne had a superb rendition of Barry White's classic hit, "You're the First, the Last, My Everything." The ladies loved it when he sat next to them and bellowed out the title lyrics. Hearts must have swooned. Walsh was absolutely hilarious, although some of his jokes were lost on us Americans. Although my wife and I enjoy ballroom dancing, we could not enjoy it as much on the QM2, which boasts the largest ballroom at sea. We were hampered by the fact I was having foot problems and in a walking boot for part of the cruise. Nonetheless, the Dance Hosts somehow gravitated to the same group of women every night and did not really circulate throughout the crowd to find other women without dance partners. My wife even told two Dance Hosts I was okay with them asking her to dance. They did dance with her twice, but often reverted to the same guests over and over. After awhile, we gave up. We also noticed that the QM2's Queens Room is larger in terms of volume than the Queen Victoria, a smaller ship. However, the Queen Victoria actually had a larger dance floor than the QM2, which made it less crowded and more enjoyable most nights. We, and other guests, did not like the inconvenience of the QM2's Queens Room since guests had to go to the front of the ocean liner, go down one flight of stairs and up another to access the room. The QV Queens Room was located mid-ship and easily accessible from anywhere on ship. On top of that, the QV's Queens Room could be seen from the floor above, which made watching the dancing and the professional dancers much easier. We were very disappointed that Illuminations, the only planetarium at sea, had been out of service for at least a month. The crew apologized for what would have been one of the highlights of the QM2. They also did not know when it would be operational again. Thankfully it was still available for lectures and movie showings. Internet Service What's a cruise review without some comment about Internet access? If you depend on satellite Internet service to handle "first come, first served" tasks, forget it! As you might expect from cruise ship Internet service, it was very, very slow with sporadic connections. Several guests in the Internet cafe gave up when they couldn't log on or were disconnected. Thankfully we qualified for some complementary minutes of Internet access, or else we would have complained that the bulk of our time was wasted on slow connection speeds. Certainly one benefit of being a frequent Cunard guest are the tiered benefits, including Internet service. Definitely one of the perks of using the cafe computers was the proximity to the beverage bar outside. The coffee there was far superior to what was available at the Britannia Dining Room! Overall Impressions The Queen Mary 2 is a beautiful ocean liner, well deserving its claim as the flagship of the Cunard Cruise Line. It's a matter of personal preference, but we much preferred the smaller and more intimate Queen Victoria, and its layout. On board the QM2, entertainment and crew service were good, but the food was somewhat lacking for us. Nonetheless, we enjoyed our overall experience with the Queen Mary 2. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We have cruised for several years with P&O Oceana, Aurora and Ventura (Ventura big, creeks and plastic decks, never again) We wanted to test out Cunard with a view to a transatlantic in 2013, having been to all the ports on this ... Read More
We have cruised for several years with P&O Oceana, Aurora and Ventura (Ventura big, creeks and plastic decks, never again) We wanted to test out Cunard with a view to a transatlantic in 2013, having been to all the ports on this trip before, apart from Valencia so we could concentrate on the ship. We had an outside Cabin on deck 5 with what is described as an "in hull" balcony,. Our check in at Southampton was smooth as normal however we did seem to have a relatively long ques for the scanner. about 15 minutes !! QM2 is Not a cruise ship, it is a transatlantic Liner we noticed this from the start..after we went straight to our cabin as we didn't get any other offers when on board and we found it to be much bigger than expected and the in board balcony was massive (compared to P&O) and when the sun was on our side gave plenty of sun. when sitting down you couldn't actually see out but i guess if its blowing a gale across the Atlantic it gives some nice shelter but plenty of fresh air. We had some lovely sunsets and breakfasts. We loved the very large promenade deck on level 7 lots of real teak, however on nice sunny days you need to be quick to get a deck chair ! Afternoon tea inthe Queens ball room is to die for, Harpist and Pianist included Entertainment during the day is "ok" don"t expect izzy wizzy ...as its a relaxing and and sophisticated way of traveling. However i did learn to water colour, take your own paints or there is a fee for the materials...35 dollars.. The cabin steward was excellent and very friendly, we gave him an extra tip even though the gratuities were taken upfront and on each ticket.. We usually have a table of eight but for some reason we had a table of ten, all the other guest were pleasant and good company as usual..ranging from 45 to 70 in age and Engineer to Lt Commander. With 5 formal nights in 10 days; if your not keen on dressing-up you will miss out on lots of evening fun .. if you can ball room dance or sequence then you won"t be disappointed, equally the B45 club goes on until very late if you like to boogie. our favourite was the Chart Room with live Jazz trio until after midnight. The Pub food lunch time in the Golden Lion was excellent, Food second sitting in the Britannia was very good with just the correct size of portions and a good selection, wine from 30 dollars to 2548 bottle or 7 dollars a glass. If its not on the menu then just ask and they will try and accommodate. We dinned in the pay extra "Tod English" which although very nice and service was very attentive the portions were American sized and the restaurant was virtually MT so lacked atmosphere. good points. relaxing, art deco traditional grand voyage feel lots of space. negative, we were billed 15 dollars corkage for the "complimentary" wine in our state room...some parts of the ship smell of cigarette's hardly worth noting..we loved it and will be booking the trans atlantic next year Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Hi, my husband and I have just returned from the Mediterranean cruise on the Queen Mary 2. We found all the staff to be exceptionally attentive and nothing was too much trouble. Check in was swift and trouble free. The cases were delivered ... Read More
Hi, my husband and I have just returned from the Mediterranean cruise on the Queen Mary 2. We found all the staff to be exceptionally attentive and nothing was too much trouble. Check in was swift and trouble free. The cases were delivered to our room within in the hour. The food was wonderful with a great choice and service in the Queens Grill. Our suite was very spacious with a well lit dressing table, more than ample storage having a walk in wardrobe including a set of deep drawers in addition to a triple wardrobe. The bathroom was large and comfortable with a jacuzzi bath and well lit mirror plus lots of storage. Our room was cleaned thoroughly every day and towels replaced twice daily. The laundry's, of which there were several on various decks, had free access to both the washers, dryers and soap powder. Ironing boards and irons were also freely accessible in the laundry rooms. The only slightly negative comments are that the restaurants (including the Queens grills and lounge)are all situated on the 7th deck looking out onto the passenger walkway which is used for storing the life rafts in a lot of the area. The view of these rafts is not what one would expect whilst dining. We found the standard of entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre to be rather disappointing with poor choreography and singing. We see that the Queen Victoria and, (we think) the New Elizabeth both have the Queens dining area on a higher deck with uninterrupted sea views and the Queen Elizabeth has formed it's own theatre company so both those concerns will be solved. I can say that our cruise was without doubt the best holiday we have ever experienced, how lovely not to have to negotiate hideous airports, we have now booked another trip, this time on the Queen Elizabeth's journey next September to New York and the coast up to Canada and returning to Southampton next September and just cannot wait. Wonderful wonderful staff and a superb holiday. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
This was our 3rd time on QM2 so we knew what to expect in terms of size and layout and we settled in very quickly. We were travelling with a family party, some of whom were 1st time cruisers. Boarding was really easy as we are now platinum ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on QM2 so we knew what to expect in terms of size and layout and we settled in very quickly. We were travelling with a family party, some of whom were 1st time cruisers. Boarding was really easy as we are now platinum members, the luggage turned up quickly and we were having lunch in the Kings Court at 13.00. We went to the sail away party and had some champagne to set the mood. Ports This was our 3rd cruise to Norway, and as ever the scenery was stunning, Norway is always beautiful. One of the scheduled ports (Stavanger) was changed for Alesund, a number of people were not aware of this, although we had received notification from Cunard a few weeks before the cruise. Other ports were Gerainger, Flam and Bergen, we had visited all of the ports before so did not take any of the ship's tours. The weather was warm and sunny most of the time with some rain in the late afternoon in Flam and Bergen which was a shame as the sailaway party had to be held indoors. Food Breakfast - most days we had tea and juice delivered to the cabin first thing and then went to breakfast in the Britannia restaurant. On the sea days there were long queues, and breakfast service finished quite early at 9.30. Lunch - a mix of the Kings Court and the Britannia restaurant. The food in the Kings Court, particularly the Oriental section is good, but it was sometimes difficult to find a table for all of us to sit together! Dinner - our assigned table was on second sitting as requested and was in a good position on the upper level, we were able to look out at the scenery, the area felt more intimate than the lower level of the dining room. The food was very good, although some portions were small and we had to ask for additional green vegetables. Service was a little slow and sometimes we did not leave the dining room until 22.30, having arrived at 20.35. Our wine waiter was very good and seemed quite knowledgeable about the wines on offer. One of us has special dietary requirements and the staff were excellent at dealing with these, there was a letter in the stateroom on arrival and the maitre'd came to the table every night to arrange the following days food, which was much appreciated. Entertainment There were some good musical shows and headline acts, the dance shows were great and the band in the theatre was excellent, The dance band in the Queens room was ok although the singer was excellent. Other music around the ship was good, particularly the sail away band. We went to the disco a couple of times, which was quite buzzy until the early hours of the morning. Staff and Ambience As usual the staff were very helpful and friendly, particularly our cabin stewardess Shirley and the bar staff in the Commodore Club and our wine waiter. Thoughts We enjoyed our cruise on QM2 and she truly is a great ship, we have also cruised on Queen Victoria twice recently and think that we prefer her layout and size to QM2 we also wish to try the new Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
It has always been our dream to travel on the Cunard ships , and this year we finally got our chance .  We booked the "Mediterranean Delights " voyage for 11 days out of Southampton on May 14 . We flew into Heathrow at 8.30 a.m. ... Read More
It has always been our dream to travel on the Cunard ships , and this year we finally got our chance .  We booked the "Mediterranean Delights " voyage for 11 days out of Southampton on May 14 . We flew into Heathrow at 8.30 a.m. and were met by a Cunard representative at the airport . Our luggage was taken from us , and we didn't see it again until we were in our cabin . Nice touch ! A motorcoach took us to Southampton , about a 2 hour transfer . I had to laugh when the busdriver announced that he was due for his teabreak and had to stop for a while  . It took me right back to the year I spent in England way back when . After all , we were only half an hour away from the ship , but that's the Brits for you , and I love them anyway ! In Southampton check-in was a breeze ! From the time we arrived to our first step on the ship it took about half an hour . We had done our pre-registration on line , so everything was easy as pie . According to Cunard , the QM2 is the most magnificent oceanliner in the world , and we were not disappointed . The ship itself is just beautiful . The first day was at sea , and I used my time to explore she ship top to bottom . The murals just took my breath away ! Every corner oozed class and sophistication .  All public areas were beautiful and inviting . Our cabin was on Deck 12 , right behind the bridge . I guess cabins are always small compared to regular hotel rooms , but we had all the space we needed . Plenty of drawers and closet space , roomy balcony . We didn't spend much time in there anyway , mostly to change , shower , and sleep , and that very well . The beds were the most comfortable I had ever slept in . It was great that there was a way to see bridge operations through the observation window . On other ships you never got the chance to take a peek at the inside of the bridge . We were assigned to the  Britannia Club ,  so we could pretty much go for dinner whenever we wanted . Food and service were impeccable . We usually had lunch on Deck 7 at the buffets . Most of the time we had to wander a little for a table , but never had trouble finding one . The desserts just about did me in , they were so delicious I just could not resist . I also noticed that a lot of care was being directed towards passengers with disabilities or any kind of mobility problems , and there were quite a few . Being middle-aged ourselves , we quite enjoyed not being surrounded by a hoard of screaming teenagers . The average age of passengers is quite high , a plus in our eyes . On the whole voyage we never saw more that a couple of kids .  After supper we would be in the Queen's Room without fail , because we like to dance . The music was great for dancing , the bands were very accomplished . I could have done without the one singer they had a couple of times , his voice was a bit like fingernails on a chalkboard .  They also have a dance pro couple , who did beautiful presentations . They also gave lessons every day in the ballroom .  I have to admit that we never made it into the theatre  , we were having too much fun dancing . I heard from others that the shows were very good .  The shore excursions we took were very nice . There were plenty of choices for all activity levels . You could do a 10 hour walking tour of Rome like we did , or just a city tour of Barcelona by bus . All people who had booked tours were taken off the ship in groups to buses which were already at the pier by the time the ship docked . We had excellent guides every time who really knew their stuff . Disembarkation was very well organized . You could have breakfast at your leisure and just wait  , until you group was called up to leave the ship . The night before you got colour-coded labels for your luggage , and while you had your morning coffee the different colours were called on to leave .  In total , it was a fantastic experience . If I want to mention anything negative at all , be warned about the cash machine near the theatre . We decided to get some British Pounds for a cab before we left the ship to get to the airport , and ended up with one 5-Pound note , the rest were single US $ , which didn't help at all . Thankfully , the cab driver accepted our Euros after some grumbling .  Other than that , it was perfect . We will definitely go back . Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
As we had only previously cruised on an NCL 'freestyle' cruise we decided to experience a more formal type of cruise and so decided on Cunard. Embarkation at Southampton was a dream. From arrival at the terminal to sitting in ... Read More
As we had only previously cruised on an NCL 'freestyle' cruise we decided to experience a more formal type of cruise and so decided on Cunard. Embarkation at Southampton was a dream. From arrival at the terminal to sitting in our stateroom took just 20 minutes, all handled by very friendly and efficient staff. Luggage arrived around 15 minutes later. The cabin was spacious and beautifully presented with a large 'sheltered' balcony. The bathroom was adequate with a small curtained and, strangely, unlit shower. We were slightly disappointed in the sheltered balcony since the front is steel and sitting on the deck chairs you have no view. Walking through this huge, magnificently appointed ship was quite awesome. The decor is mainly art deco and the public rooms and areas are extremely impressive. Special mention here for the Commodore Lounge,the stunning Library and the Britannia Dining room. Due to the size of the ship it does take a little time to find your way around and the maps provided in your cabin are invaluable.The size of the ship and the fact that it was designed for transatlantic crossings means that it is extremely stable and comfortable to be on. No rocking or rolling for this ship! We found the food in the Kings Court, on the few occasions we used it, to be very good but the customer flow through the restaurants took some time to get used to. The various areas of the Kings Court are converted in the evening to different restaurants eg Chinese,Italian and a carvery which can be booked if required. We preferred to use the Britannia for breakfast and lunches on sea days although we did indulge in room service breakfast on 3 occasions. Impressive that the food had to come a long way but was always lovely and hot. The standard of food in Britannia was excellent and we managed to sample frogs legs,snails,lobster tail and surf and turf. The service in this restaurant was 1st class and would shame most 5star hotels. Our only disappointment was the Todd English(additional payment)restaurant.The menu was typically american and the food seemed to lack finesse. Definitely not worth the extra!Wine and drinks on board were reasonable and positively cheap compared to NCL. The boardwalk cafe area on deck 12 needed more shading for the the very hot days we had. Tours from the ship were all good, if a little expensive and the guides were all extremely patient and informative.Ports of call with the exception of Vigo were great choices. On board the entertainment was varied from theatrical shows to guest speakers. The planetarium was particularly interesting. We found the staff to be very willing and with seemingly endless patience, particularly with the older passengers of whom there were many. We loved the formal and gala nights where the ship and Briannia restaurant positively buzzed. We had chosen a table of 6 and were so fortunate to meet two delightful couples with whom we became great friends. Disembarkation was as well organized as our arrival on the ship but came all too soon. We loved this beautiful spotless ship with it's marvellous service. What a wonderful way to travel the high seas Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
After cruising with several different lines (celebrity, princess, royal Caribbean and crystal), we wanted to try out the QM2 because of the hype that it was. The tagline itself says the most luxurious ocean liner. We had high expectations ... Read More
After cruising with several different lines (celebrity, princess, royal Caribbean and crystal), we wanted to try out the QM2 because of the hype that it was. The tagline itself says the most luxurious ocean liner. We had high expectations cause price-wise, QM2 would be considered a higher-end ship compared to the more mass-marketed ships. I will start with the good: - Stateroom was clean, bathroom was clean, the bedding was comfortable, and they greeted you with a bottle of sparkling wine. All the necessary facilities were there, plus there were slippers which usually signify luxury. Chocolates at the end of the day every night were the treats. - We did not have to queue long for food which means good flow of passengers. - Dress code for dinner was strictly enforced. That means no jeans, slippers and shorts even on casual nights (cause they called it elegant casual). Now the bad: - Service. I experienced a lot of bad service at all levels from this ship. Mostly found on the 7th floor buffet area by the waiters there. Example, I needed help getting a slice of pizza but the waiter there just said that it's self service and did not offer any help. Another example, my dad was waiting in line to be served and was skipped completely by the serving waiter for no reason whatsoever. Most of the ships that I have been to have their crew greet you, but I found few greetings by the crew aboard QM2. I could go on and on, but I would say the service at QM2 is the worst I've ever experienced, save for my stateroom steward and my dining table waiter. - Layout. I don't know who designed the layout of this ship, but found it to be quite funky and "interesting." All the other ships' gym would have full 180 deg view of the ocean, but at QM2 gym, you only get partial view and the rest can be happy looking at the mirror. The exercise classes were not held at the gym or near the gym, but on the 1st floor near the entrance to the crew area. This room is also sometimes used as the disembarkation points/x-ray checks during ports of call. To reach the library or Todd English the restaurant, you had to travel through other people's staterooms corridors. The grand lobby is hardly grand considering how small the lobby was. - Food. The so-called Chinese food was always the same, except that they call it by different names just by changing the type of noodles used. And please put some exhaust in the area, your clothes would smell like the kitchen everytime you go to the Asian section of the dining area (lotus). Room service menu was very limited. All in all, I would not recommend this ship to others. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
Embarkation at Southampton was easy, efficient and quick. Our cabin/stateroom was 'upgraded' from a deck 8 obstructed view balcony to a deck 6 in-hull balcony. Having read other reviews prior to leaving, I wasn't sure this ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was easy, efficient and quick. Our cabin/stateroom was 'upgraded' from a deck 8 obstructed view balcony to a deck 6 in-hull balcony. Having read other reviews prior to leaving, I wasn't sure this was an upgrade I particularly wanted. However, on arrival we were happy enough with the cabin and the balcony. It's true though, that there is no view other than sky if you sit down whilst on the balcony - but it is very private and sheltered. The cabin itself was clean, reasonably spacious and the bed very comfortable. Eddie our steward was friendly and unobtrusive. Room service was quick although a couple of times, we got a line busy message when we rang. Food and Restaurants Britannia restaurant was lovely - understated dEcor and sophisticated food. The service at our table of 6 was amazing thanks to Ramon and Alexander. Food after the first night was excellent and lunch also very good in this restaurant. Arrived one morning for breakfast at 8.35am and was told the restaurant closed for breakfast at 8.30am although the daily newsletter said 9.00am. No budging the chap at the door though! There were a few disappointed people that morning. Normally we ate around 8.30ish in the Kings Court self-service restaurant. The food in Kings Court during the day was plentiful and reasonably good but the organization of breakfast some mornings left much to be desired. Too many times there was no marmalade or the mugs had run out and we were expected to have tea in a paper cup! The tea and coffee stations were badly organized as well - not a logical layout with the result that people were wandering about that area. Not really good enough for the 'White Star Service' that Cunard boasts. Bars A pre dinner drink in Sir Samuels or The Chart Room was always an enjoyable experience. Wine cost about $8.50 for a glass and a Champagne cocktail (sparking wine) was $6.50. A fish and chips lunch and a pint of Guinness for hubby in The Golden Lion was good too. The Commodore Club was a quiet spot in daytime but some other people thought it a bit cliquey in the evening. I can't comment personally as we didn't visit there. Entertainment The piano players and harpists dotted around the ship were very good and ideal background music. We never actually got to the theater but our dinner companions were less than impressed with some of the shows. Sailaway parties were always good fun. Summary It's a great ship and we had a great cruise. I would have no hesitation in recommending a cruise on QM2. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
We are a married couple in our early seventies from San Diego who fell in love with the "Queen Mary 2" two years ago. We first sailed July 2005 doing an Atlantic crossing from New York to Southampton and taking an 18 day European ... Read More
We are a married couple in our early seventies from San Diego who fell in love with the "Queen Mary 2" two years ago. We first sailed July 2005 doing an Atlantic crossing from New York to Southampton and taking an 18 day European land tour to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. It was our first experience on any ship. We had such a wonderful time that we decided to sail again on the QM2. This time our choice was the "Mediterranean Medley" leaving from Southampton and sailing the western Mediterranean for twelve days in September 2007. Three days before we flew to London via Boston, we received a phone call from our travel agent telling us we had been upgraded from our A1 cabin to a Princess Suite. We were elated, to say the least! Our cabin was huge! We loved the large deck with the two lounge chairs and table. In the cabin, the closet and drawer space was very ample. The huge bathroom with tub was more than we ever expected. On the 12 night cruise, we left our deck door open every night listening to the waves as we slept! Dining in the Princess Grill was a grand experience! Our server, Kelly, was the most pleasant person we encountered! We learned that most of the Princess Grill staff was going to have a two month leave, then join the Queen Victoria on her maiden voyage. We were seated at a table for six, which we had requested, and had four of the most interesting people as tablemates! One couple was from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the other from Sydney, Australia! We were of different ages and cultures, but got along famously! A few days into the voyage, we had a note slipped under our cabin door. My husband opened it and we discovered we had been invited to have dinner the next evening at the Captain's Table! We, to this day, have no idea how we were selected! It was a fantastic evening.....a table for 12......turned out to be a couple celebrating their 45th anniversary, two people who were friends of the Commodore, a retired Concorde pilot and his wife, one middle aged couple who we didn't meet, Commodore Bernard Warner, a doctor aboard the ship, and my husband and myself. The dinner was wonderful and the champagne and wine flowed all evening. Commodore Warner only took a tiny sip of wine, and said he does not drink when he has such a huge responsibility of manning the ship! We made some visits to the Empire Casino. Two years ago, it was quite generous, this time, we couldn't win anything! That's the way casinos work! Oh well! The shows we saw in the Royal Court Theatre were wonderful.....although we missed some of them because we spent so much time visiting at our dinner table. We managed to go ashore at every port destination, but took the short excursions. We had seen a lot of Europe two years ago, and truly enjoyed relaxing aboard the ship. The port at Cannes, France was exquisite...... million dollar yachts sailing past the QM2 waving at us! We will never forget the blue water of the Mediterranean along the French Coast. Disembarking was a breeze! The only thing that was hard was the 12 hour flight home from London to Los Angeles. We would definitely break up the flight if we were to do it again, by stopping on the east coast. Maybe someday.........once again......! Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
My husband and I have just returned from a 12 day Mediterranean cruise and have had a wonderful time. Travel to Southhampton Travelling from Australia we organized our own flights with Japan Airlines which included a one night stopover ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 12 day Mediterranean cruise and have had a wonderful time. Travel to Southhampton Travelling from Australia we organized our own flights with Japan Airlines which included a one night stopover in Narita, Tokyo and a single night in a hotel at Heathrow before the transfer to Southhampton via Cunard Motorcoach. We did not take up the option of Cunard organizing our shore accommodation as the hotels offered were at the highest end of the market and would be wasted on travellers who just wanted to sleep off jet lag. Having talked later to other passengers they wished they had just organized their own accommodation. Perhaps Cunard needs to organize more middle level shore accommodation. Finding the representative at the arrivals gate was tricky as the instructions given by the Cunard Sydney office were vague and inaccurate - we were told to look for representatives wearing maroon jackets! When I found the representative (in a grey jacket) she did not have our names on her list but her manager did know we were meeting the coach there and our transfer went without a hitch. Arrival in Southhampton Leaving our bags to be put on board by staff, we joined the long embarkation queue that moved at a reasonable pace because of the number of staff processing passengers. We then found our way to the gangway and onto the ship. We were met by staff at the gangway, who while friendly, did not look particularly pleased to have drawn that duty! Having studied the floor plans before leaving Australia we found our cabin with no difficulty. Cabin We had chosen a cabin on Deck 8. While we had a restricted view (we were fully aware of this before the cruise) we felt that these cabins, at the same price as the cabins on lower decks, offered more premium features such as the large glass veranda. While the life boat did restrict the view it did have the advantage of blocking the high winds while at sea! Our friendly cabin steward, Vitalito, was waiting to greet us on embarkation and showed us all the features of our cabin. Vitalito's friendliness and helpfulness did not waiver throughout the voyage and I was amazed by how willing he was to keep our cabin in a perfect condition, changing our towels and cleaning the cabin twice a day! Food Early in the voyage we enjoyed the buffet dining in the Kings Court. We quickly realized that if we continued to enjoy the food so much we would leave the ship a lot bigger than when we started! After two days of breakfasts and lunches in the all you can eat buffets of the Kings Court on Deck 7 we decided to take all of our meals in the Britannia Restaurant. The service in the restaurant was excellent and the portions more controlled! At breakfast and lunch you could indicate if you wanted to sit as a couple or join others - a great way to meet other passengers. At dinner we had chosen to sit at a table of 8, we were placed on a table of 10. The first night we sat down and asked the other couple where they were from - Australia, the next couple came and you guessed it they were from Australia! In the end 8 of the diners were Australians and the last couple were English (they eventually became honorary Australians by the end of the voyage) Our table companions were friendly and outgoing and made all diners memorable - our 3 table waiters added to the pleasant experience getting to know all of us as individuals. The food and service in the restaurant was superb at all meals. High tea in the Queens Court was a highlight of our day and we met many interesting fellow passengers here and it reinforced our decision to have a late sitting for dinner. We used room service for some breakfasts and for extra cups of coffee! All delivered in a timely fashion and with a smile. The ship The beauty and ambiance of the inside of the ship surpassed all of our expectations. While there were over 2600 passengers on our voyage there were few times it felt crowded. We enjoyed exploring the ship and getting lost was part of the fun we had. We continued to 'discover' new areas up until the last day on board and on disembarking there were places we just never got to. The pools were lovely though at times it was hard to find a shady place. Many passengers had not been educated in the Australian sun safe messages and quickly became burnt. I was shocked that crew were not wearing sun hats for protection when on duty outside. The lack of shade at times forced us to take up a place on the deck 7 side deckchairs as this was the only fully covered area apart from our own cabin veranda. The pools were heated to the right temperature and were rarely crowded. At times, however the no children rule in adult pools was not enforced. Drinks Alcoholic drinks were expensive but varied. We found that buying both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks in port and placing them in our mini fridge we could avoid an outrageous bar bill. You are restricted on how much alcohol you can bring back on board and all bags are scanned on return. We had no problem with this as we kept within the restrictions. We also bought bottled water in port rather than on the ship for shore excursions. Shops Sales in the shopping area in the evening could bring out the worst in people and some pushing happened at these times. Perhaps the staff should reconsider the venue for setting up sales of some items such as souvenirs as using trestle tables in walkways did not work, especially when you add the presence of photographers taking formal portraits - a recipe for disaster. Most of the shops on board were very over priced compared to other shopping on shore and I only purchased a few souvenirs. Souvenirs choices were limited especially for passengers who needed smaller items to take home on flights - perhaps a look at the range offered in the Royal Palaces in London could enhance the Cunard collection. Shore excursions We chose shore excursions for 5 of the 7 ports we visited. Each of the excursions was a different experience and provided us with a quick glimpse of the country and culture of the port we were visiting. Having taken tours on other holidays we felt the tours offered by Cunard were fairly priced and very well organized - getting you to venues and places you just could not visit in an unknown city in one day. Cunard staff had the organization off the ship to the shore working like a well oiled machine. Travelling to shore via tender at Cannes and Gibraltar was a highlight and like an added harbor cruise. To say keep your sense of humor and just relax on the tours is an understatement - passengers who complained about the accent of the hostess, the sound level of the microphone or the temperature of the air conditioner needed to relax more and remember the tour is a group experience and is not just for them. We enjoyed all of our tours and took the time to get to know our guide - each guide and driver was more than willing to answer our questions and give us there personal insights into the culture of the country we were visiting. Entertainment We enjoyed all of the shows, lectures, celebrity guest presentation, exercise classes and dances we attended. Some shows revealed a lack of practice - perhaps the diversions of port visits but mostly the shows were of a high standard. The printed daily program was comprehensive and easy to follow - there was so much to choose from!!! We enjoyed the morning wake up program provided by Ray the cruise director. The shopping advisor was only interested in helping those wanting to purchase expensive items and the tour guides were the best people to ask for shopping advice - local knowledge. Would we go again? YES the voyage surpassed all our expectations. There were moments that didn't go to plan but all travel involves new experiences and we found much to laugh about and enjoy. My advice to lady travellers - you need lots of formal outfits - three just wasn't enough! On reflection I should have sent one bag home with the Cunard bag delivery service as at the end of the voyage we stayed on in Europe for another two weeks and carting the luggage around was hard at times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
My wife and I cruised on the Queen Mary 2 for our 1st wedding anniversary. We have cruised on NCL and Carnival ships before but not on Cunard so we were looking forward to trying a premium ship. It was a very pleasant trip. The cabin we ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the Queen Mary 2 for our 1st wedding anniversary. We have cruised on NCL and Carnival ships before but not on Cunard so we were looking forward to trying a premium ship. It was a very pleasant trip. The cabin we had was not the largest or the smallest that we have had before but it was comfortable. I did find that the fridge in our cabin was already filled with pay as you use pop and water and left no room for anything else. If you are like me and would like to have other refreshments that were not purchased on board, the steward will remove all the items if asked. The food was very good and the excursions were expensive but well organized. We landed in London three days early to see the sights before our cruise as we have never been to London before. We stayed at the Jolly St. Ermins, a very nice and central hotel. When I go back I will definitely consider staying there again. It was excellent for being within walking distance to everything, and while the rooms are small, they are very well kept. They even offer a complementary continental breakfast that had a lot more on the menu than the regular fare. The hot buffet was not worth the extra money they were asking when the free breakfast had more than I could ask for. If you are booking the cruise from anywhere other than England, book your own flight and transfers. You will save over twelve hundred dollars per couple, that is what we used for our three day trip to London and transfers. The amenity's on the ship were very good and the food was excellent. If you are the type who doesn't like dressing up for dinner then this is not the ship for you. On our cruise there were four black tie nights and six semi formal dinners. Even the casual nights a jacket is required. All in all we really enjoyed our time aboard the Queen Mary 2 and would recommend it to people who like a top notch experience. I wouldn't recommend it to families as there isn't a lot to do for small children. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Queen Mary 2 Review Western Mediterranean September 2006 Southampton, Vigo, Barcelona, Cannes, Rome, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Southampton We booked the QM2 for the first time this year. Embarkation: We booked a limo to Southampton from ... Read More
Queen Mary 2 Review Western Mediterranean September 2006 Southampton, Vigo, Barcelona, Cannes, Rome, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Southampton We booked the QM2 for the first time this year. Embarkation: We booked a limo to Southampton from London and we arrived at about 12:30. There was a queue but it went fast. We were issued a cruise card with our picture on it and went straight to the ship. We stepped into the Grand Lobby and were amazed, it is so beautiful, one of the stewards asked us if we know where to go, we said yes, so she said welcome back! That was nice especially it was our first time on the QM2. Our cabin was in one of the best locations between the two sets of 6 elevators number 5133. The Cabin: Our cabin was a B2 (Premium Balcony). It was very similar to our cabin on board the Constellation. Both QM2 and Connie were built at by Chantiers de L'atlantique, so we felt immediately at home. The bed was comfortable, it had some cushions, the bedspread was very nice, there was a desk with refrigerator, some drawers, hair dryer, and interactive TV, sofa bed which was good, wardrobe with a safe, 3 very nice wall pictures. The shower was big and comfortable and under the sink was a cupboard with some storage space. The toiletries were from Canyon Ranch. The air-condition system was very good. The balcony was in hull and very private, its door was a regular one and not a sliding door. The interactive TV was the best we've seen, it had a selection of music, we could send and receive emails - there was a keyboard on top of the TV, and a selection of pay movies, also there was information about the ship and the evening menu, which was great. The Ship: The ship is the most beautiful ship we've seen. The Grand Lobby is magnificent with wonderful chandeliers. The halls that ran from one end to the other on deck 3 and 2 where very wide with beautifully decorated walls. Decks 2 and 3 are the main public area decks with the Queen's Room, the Britannia Restaurant, the Royal Court Theatre, the Chart Room, Golden Lion Pub, Champagne bar and Illuminations. All are lovely and very beautiful. Illuminations is also a planetarium which is a novelty. Our favorite lounge was Commodore Club on deck 9. The Winter Garden is also lovely. The library is the largest we saw on a ship and has a very good bookstore. The casino is large but full of smoke. Throughout the ship there are beautiful pictures of Queen Mary 2, Queen Mary, QE2, QE and all the other ships. This is the most beautiful ship in the world. The Food: The Britannia is very large and beautiful. Our waiters were Lisandro and Lara. They were great. The food was wonderful. The desserts were fantastic. The Peach FlambE and the After Eight were the best. Dinner was an occasion to look forward to. For lunch and breakfast is was open seating and there was a choice between the Britannia and the Kings Court. The Kings Court was OK but we mostly ate at the Britannia. Entertainment and Activities: The Royal Court theatre is very beautiful. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers were very good, they did several shows, the singers Emma Sinclair, and Paul Emmanuel, John Martin a comedian and a pianist, flautist and violinist and a juggler. All in all the entertainment was very good. There were movies daily in Illuminations. Illuminations is wonderful with great sightlines, we saw there also a very interesting planetarium movie. There was also music at the lounges and bars. There were many things to do, especially in sea days, quizzes, lectures, chef demonstrations, art auctions and more. There are several swimming pools and the spa therapy pool, which cost extra, Connextions internet cafe, there are two game rooms with tables set up with board games which were very nice. The Itinerary: Since we've already done the Western Mediterranean we didn't go down in every port. The first one for us was Barcelona. Barcelona: We booked a limo to the Arts Decorative museum and afterwards to the CosmoCaixa science museum, both are very interesting. Rome: We booked a limo to Rome, had a nice breakfast at the Cavalieri Hilton. We went to see Villa Gulia, afterwards we went to see the new Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition in Piazza del Popolo which was very interesting, they built models from Da Vinci's plans and it was amazing. Finally we paid a visit to Galleria Doria Pamphilj. Then we had lunch at Cavalieri Hilton before returning to the ship. A fantastic day. Gibraltar: We booked Gibraltar with elegant tea. After the tender experience, we had a guided coach tour in Gibraltar, and afterwards we went to one of the local hotels for tea and some cakes. It was very nice. Then we took the bus back to the port. Lisbon: We booked a shore excursion, which included the Maritime Museum. This is a fantastic museum with a lot of ship models, marine instruments and wall pictures, from the earliest vessels to the modern ones. It is the most comprehensive marine museum we ever visited. Afterwards we visited the monastery and then back to the ship. Lisbon is a beautiful city and we really want to return some day. We had a wonderful cruise, the weather was perfect (about 22-25 C) in all the ports we visited, everything was perfect. We really love QM2, it was very hard to leave her in Southampton. See you next time QM2. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Jewels of Iberia,5/24-6-4. Concensus of opinion 40 people spoken with. None of us will book ship again. Service level poor, incompetent, inefficient, untrained, rude and insulting. Plates of food removed before diners are finished. Asked ... Read More
Jewels of Iberia,5/24-6-4. Concensus of opinion 40 people spoken with. None of us will book ship again. Service level poor, incompetent, inefficient, untrained, rude and insulting. Plates of food removed before diners are finished. Asked for beet salad, received mixed greens,told waiter I had ordered beets, asked me "are you sure?" King's Court restaurants fine except for the fact that menu never changes. Prime raw materials (food). Cabin layout/decor adequate. Steward kept clean but did not understand English. Wrote notes to supervisor. Amenities were not replaced after first day. Wrote note, received note in return saying if wished bath gel replaced would have to return empty bottle. Had to request the return of a bath mat. Did not appear until requested. Cruise line shore excursions--since we had never visited Spain & Portugal, opted for city tours. These were very short, made no provisions for photo ops in most cases and generally had guides with inadequate English. Cruise line entertainment--Royal Court Theatre badly designed, seats not raked or staggered, balcony seating obstructed. Dancers and choreography superb. Other entertainment worst we've seen. Irons in the 5th deck launderette filthy, bottoms never cleaned. Computers on board very slow, racking up minutes to the ship's advantage. Faxes slow. Were charged for 4 when only 2 were sent. No clock anywhere in cabin. 9:30am,Tues. June 2, toilet did not flush. At l0:00pm announcement that vacuum system needed to be fixed. June l-balcony flooded with 3" of water, never receded. Reported, never fixed. May 28 Did not get to the Costa Nord Foundation or to see the Michael Douglas film as promised in the tour brochure. There was a very find Chopin piano recital in the monastary. Tried to register for tours on TV as suggested. Did manage to register for lst city on itinerary but there were so many glitches and it took so long, became annoyed and went to tour desk to talk to human being. Were not able to visit Gibraltar as promised on May 27 tho the Caronia visited on May 26. Reason given that there was a quarrel between the Spanish and the Brits and the Spanish would not allow the ship to visit other Spanish ports if it stopped at Gibraltar The halogen lights over the pictures on the fore and aft walls went out and no one fixed them Husband jiggled with them, relit and discovered they were cheap fixtures. Tea and Coffee are part of the meals in the Royal Court restaurants and the Britannia; must be paid for in the Golden Lion Pub. Why? There were two announcements of technical difficulties involving (I surmise) the engines; nothing was ever said as to the cause. Once in the middle of the trip when backing away from a dock and continuing the ship moved very slowly for at least an hour. The second announcement came on June 3 when we were several hundred miles outside the port. The engines slowed and we did not dock till 9:00am which was the time some of the tours were supposed to start. I would think this type of problem would not occur on a ship's fourth voyage since it is to be supposed new engines would not break down. The following is a small but annoying caveat. The brochure indicated a Royal Ascot Ball. About l0 to l5 women including myself and a friend brought our own. Were thoroughly disappointed to discover they meant us to make parodies. The hats that won were one that was made to look like a table covered with a cloth on which was a plate, a glass and an intricately folded napkin. The other was a crown made of the ship's swizzle sticks and tin foil. We all felt it should have been stated that parodies were required. For one thing there would have been more room in our suitcases. We were not able to visit Cadiz as promised. A choice was given of visiting Civitevecchia, Rome or Ostia Antica. We opted for Ostia Antica because we knew 5 hours in Rome would not be enough. When we got the tour program on the ship, Ostia Antica wasn't even mentioned and no one seemed to know anything about it or why it wasn't there. Had to open the cabin door to hear the general announcements from the bridge. Once, during the voyage, heard them in the cabin without opening the door. Is there a PA system in all the cabins? Were told we would receive written disembarkation announcements in our cabins. Never did. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
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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