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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of ... Read More
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their offer this last summer to, effectively for free, include two nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square (room only – normally c300$ per night), plus transfers from JFK to the hotel and from the hotel on the 11th to the cruise terminal. You had to book by telephone or via a travel agent and not online. I insisted on an early morning flight for Friday 9th, this meaning we would have at least 50% of Friday in NY + all-day Saturday, rather than arriving late-pm US time as most did. We booked the cheapest inside cabin for this voyage as there is not much to see from a balcony but sea, mist, waves and rain at this time of the year. How did it all go? The flight was with BA leaving at 0830hrs UK time arriving in JFK c1100hrs US eastern time. BA actually supplied a decent breakfast and service was fine and flight ok. We pre-booked our seats and checked-in online before the flight. On exiting JFK Arrivals, we were met by two very nice Cunard reps’ who greeted us by our first names. It turned out we were the first two on the day of a 100+ total, but the only Cunard passengers on that flight. As a result, they had provided a taxi just for us and we were in our hotel room by 1pm – fantastic. Cunard have a desk in the hotel foyer, manned at certain times and later in the day we were able to confirm transfer times for the Sunday to the ship. Transfer to the ship? This was 100% fine at 1100hrs on the Sunday. Luggage was collected from rooms by porterage before departure, but we had to eyeball it before boarding the coach and likewise at the cruise terminal. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is basically a large shed with not much to commend it, but as Platinum Cunard World Club Members we bypassed the already mounting huge queues and were onboard by 1300hrs and the large cases arrived shortly afterwards. The cabin? We had 6209, which is an Inside on Deck 6 and as it so happens is directly under the so called ‘Chef’s Galley’ at the after end of the Kings Court Buffet on Deck 7. It is a smallish cabin, albeit with the usual shower and w/c etc., large double bed and sufficient storage space. Unfortunately, during the day one could hear from time to time, food trolleys being moved overhead and at night the distant sound of vacuuming. This was not a terminal problem, but might really irritate some people. If you have a choice, do not choose any cabin anywhere on Deck 6, as Deck 7 is the main self -service buffet, Grills Restaurants + promenade/lifeboat deck are all immediately above. Food? Super meals in Britannia Restaurant (we were second dining) but the buffet was so-so for lunch. Breakfast in the same ‘served’ restaurant or the buffet was 100% fine – decent choices, but probably hotter in the ‘served’ restaurant. The only comment on the dinners is: Why cannot they simply do as any of their eight choices a meat or fish dish without it being covered in fancy sauces. Even roasted Haddock had to come with a weird coconut sprinkling over it all, making it look like a cheap pullover. Tasty it was, but bog-standard fried cod and chips would have been nice as an offering. You can get this in the Golden Lion ‘pub bar’ as one of their lunch menu items, but this was always jam-packed from c1130hrs every day. We had to pretend to be interested in ‘Killer Darts’ between 10.45hrs and 1130hrs to get a table for two for a somewhat early lunch. Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room? Nice, but join the queue early! Speakers and Entertainment? John McCarthy was the headline speaker (Beirut hostage crisis) + a variety of other speakers including a retired RN officer talking about submarine warfare in three sessions + Commodore Connell talking about ‘defence matters’ – he is/was UK Naval Attaché in Washington at the time of the voyage. In the evenings it was the usual diet of song and dance, comedians you haven’t heard of, specialist musicians (finalists but not winners in Britain’s got Talent etc.). On the last night the entire Cunard team did Broadway Rocks, which was very good. Service? Always good and friendly. The downside of the voyage. We will never have an inside cabin again unless it is a cruise with numerous ports of call – 7 days was, for us, claustrophobic. It is nice to have some natural light though a window, or door. Drinks are massively overpriced in comparison to P&O and there is a 15% auto gratuity on every one purchased. For example, the Californian Rose wine we like at dinner was a total of 41.40$ a bottle (say 4 glasses) compared to the same on P&O for a flat £17.50. Cunard are now offering a drinks package for, wait for it, 69$ per day per person when all in the same cabin. That would mean you would spend 966$ for the seven days for the two of you for a half-decent reduced selection of drinks from the menu and some of, but not all, the speciality coffees/teas and water. We did not choose that option – did anyone? Auto gratuities? I joined the long queue on the first day at reception having them removed or reduced. P&O are removing them entirely in May 2019. Champagne Bar? – rarely saw anyone in it in the evenings. A few young people onboard including one or two babies, but by far the average age of passenger must be 60+. Cunard must advertise heavily amongst the LBGT community because there was a significant and noticeable presence onboard – some going out of their way to dress and appear radically different from everyone else. Cunard have dedicated meetings for LBGT, Friends of Dorothy as well as Friends of Bill W on all their ships. This is fine by us, but might be offensive to some. On the other hand, Mrs Essex Man noticed that many of our older ladies seemed to feel that ‘glitter’ in its various forms was the in-thing this year. Evenings can be boring – you either have the bars, usually with some form of musical accompaniment, the theatre, G32 which is a small dance floor with a group or DJ who seems to like ABBA, or the Queens Court huge dance floor and seating area. This is predominantly for ballroom dancing which is not everyone’s cup of tea nowadays in-spite of Strictlys’ success. Films – poor choice and always at wrong times. Dinner in Britannia – Cunard must introduce Freedom Dining like P&O and other cruise lines ASAP. 8.30pm is too late to dine for many of us, but 6pm is also too early for some and why go to the buffet when you are paying a lot of money for proper service? We have never had a problem getting a table in Freedom Dining on P&O, particularly if one is prepared to share a table for 6 or 8. It is nice to meet other people – and you will probably never see them again on the same voyage if they are boring. In summary, the whole thing was okay, but Cunard are now living in a bygone era and having trouble filling QM2 (at least trans-Atlantic). Captain Wells (a great guy) admitted as much when he mentioned that QM2 will be trialling voyages going via Dublin, Liverpool. Iceland and Canada before arriving at NY – in other words, more of a cruise than a straight seven-day voyage A to B. And price? It was £1240 each including the cabin for 7 nights, flights, hotel and all transfers for the total of 9 days, so it was a bargain. We spent a grand total of 419$ on drinks, a photo + a reduced gratuity of 50$ each for the 7 days. To be honest though, we had more fun on MSC Magnifica in early-October for £700 each INCLUDING their standard Classic drinks package and all in a Balcony Cabin for 7 days around Northern-Europe, and we did not starve either! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Loved the ship.The interior was beautiful.The meals in the Brittania restaurant were very good and our waiter was cheerful and helpful. Not too impressed with the entertainment.although the Harpist and string trio were very good. ... Read More
Loved the ship.The interior was beautiful.The meals in the Brittania restaurant were very good and our waiter was cheerful and helpful. Not too impressed with the entertainment.although the Harpist and string trio were very good. Embarkation was a fiasco and disembarkation wasn't much better .StateRoom and table for dining not assigned when we boarded the ship. Don't bother with the Verandah as I thought the meal wasn't worth the extra although the service was good On the whole though the food in all the other restaurants was very good. The two gala nights weren't what I would have called special.The Roaring Twenties night was neither roaring or Twenties, dancing was done to contemporary music,a big let down for me and my partner. The ports of call were lovely apart from Corfu and the excursions were overpriced for what they were.i shan't talk about the exhorbitant drink prices and the added 15% "for your convenience" charge. On the whole it was an enjoyable cruise but not quite the experience that I was hoping for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I choose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary just the 2 of us, and to visit Venice the first time; this ship docked overnight in Venice which is perfect to see this amazing city. We searched many cruise ships, and ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary just the 2 of us, and to visit Venice the first time; this ship docked overnight in Venice which is perfect to see this amazing city. We searched many cruise ships, and choose this one due to the brand name "Cunard" for luxury cruises. We found out to be over exaggerated. First the cabin is not comfortable due to the air conditioner in the stateroom is not able to turn off; you can set the temperature from cold to hot, but it won't turn the air off !!! We can't sleep with air running in high speed all the time, and made us sneezing most of the time; it's terrible. Checked with the room stewardess and he confirmed that it is centralized control. Secondly, the food is not that fantastic compared to our previous experiences with Holland America and Princess cruises. We, from time to time, ran into dirty glasses and plates. Also we felt sometimes 2nd class passengers because we could not attend the Queen Grill restaurant. 3rd the entertainments are not that great. They repeated the show; we have experienced during this 21 days cruise. And 4th we felt uncomfortable with the service and tender staff, because they spoke in their own Filipino language, and wished that they used English as their official communication. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Incredibly expensive 30 dollars for a photo...less impressive than P&o...yet supposed to be the 5 star arm of the carnival organisation...30 minutes to get a drink... unacceptable...just not enough staff and waiter was complaining of ... Read More
Incredibly expensive 30 dollars for a photo...less impressive than P&o...yet supposed to be the 5 star arm of the carnival organisation...30 minutes to get a drink... unacceptable...just not enough staff and waiter was complaining of working 75 hours a week... entertainment ok nothing special...the comedian kev orkian was brilliant but the rest was ordinary and bland... other entertainment...well there just wasn't enough to do... food was on par with p&o but nothing spectacular in fact if anything if a lesser standard. .room was sgabby...TV channels awful and dated...no interactive TV .. bottle if water with tea and coffee making facilities is NOT free be careful... highlight of the trip was karaoke that says something the guests performing better than the ship...I expected so much more...a bellboy on day 1 for an hour is not 5 star.... and never go to Guernsey on a Sunday it's CLOSED...shame no one figured that out on the ship when we were at sea all day Saturday....all in all it failed to live up to its promise or its price point.... I Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Visiting norway and iceland Again Queen Elizabeth has technical problems : can‘ t therefore landing in Isjafordur. Excursions are cancelled; yesterday night the ship could‘t drive all the time with her max. speed, so ... Read More
Visiting norway and iceland Again Queen Elizabeth has technical problems : can‘ t therefore landing in Isjafordur. Excursions are cancelled; yesterday night the ship could‘t drive all the time with her max. speed, so we had a delay in Akureyi. I remember my cruising by QE 2 years ago: in St. Petersburg we could‘t depart; by the way: it has been the same captain Why cunard is not able to remove the known technical problems? I hope they will solve theses problems to the next cruise we have booked with Queen Elizabeth in may 2019: from yokohama towards alaska and to vancouver. I ithink cunard requires too much of this ship. Captain says that we shall have understanding for her decision. This will be difficult because things repeat. Summery: crew- specially in restaurants, bars, on deck and the butler in the staterooms is very courteous and friendly. The german hostess sometimes was arrogant and complacent. The (english) travel tours hostess rattled off the explanation of the trips. Dining in Queens Grill had been excellent; cabin was luxurious and calm. We will return and hope that technical problems will be solved. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We booked on-board QM2 on our T/A last year. The QM2 cruise was because is was an experience we wanted to have at least once. This cruise was booked as we wanted to try a smaller Cunard ship and see the fjords. Our overall ... Read More
We booked on-board QM2 on our T/A last year. The QM2 cruise was because is was an experience we wanted to have at least once. This cruise was booked as we wanted to try a smaller Cunard ship and see the fjords. Our overall impression of Cunard is a rather dark and subdued ship with a quiet atmosphere. This sophisticated atmosphere was pretty good for me but a little too staid for my wife, who's favorite line is Celebrity with Regent Seven Seas coming in second. The balcony cabin was fine, though it appeared cabin upgrades were not part of last year's refitting. We generally cruise in a suite and have never used Celebrity's MDR, so cannot make a comparison. We found the food in the Britannia restaurant to be just decent. A number of dishes were not prepared properly. The buffet happened to be quite good and the setup and service on QV was far superior to QM2. Our biggest problem was the travel desk. My wife has difficulty walking and we were concerned about her walking from the ship to the railroad in Flam. We spoke to staff shortly after boarding and on the day of the tour. They seemed totally disinterested in the problem. When we (barely) got to the train, the tour guides and train crew were very helpful to her. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries ... Read More
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries and it was wonderful, 10/10. (Queen Elizabeth). This time there didn’t seem to be the same number of staff around. Longer waits to be served with drinks seemed the norm. The food as before was excellent both in the Brittania and the Lido Buffett. The Oriental night and the Indian night in the Lido were exceptional. Drinks are in my opinion pretty reasonable on both the Q.V. & QE , around the same price as you would expect to pay in a London hotel. (And of course you get on board spend which dilutes the cost) To be honest we will look to travel on the QE again next time as this cruise was a slight let down. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
As a solo traveler I had hoped that this cruise would be enjoyable, it wasn’t. A lot of the time I felt that the ship was too crowded and it could be difficult to enjoy everything it had to offer. For instance, the sun loungers. ... Read More
As a solo traveler I had hoped that this cruise would be enjoyable, it wasn’t. A lot of the time I felt that the ship was too crowded and it could be difficult to enjoy everything it had to offer. For instance, the sun loungers. Plenty of them, but most draped with towels even though no one was using them. Obviously people would bag their lounger and keep it all day. The lido restaurant, often I had to eat later than I wanted to as there were no free tables. The staff were efficient at clearing the tables but the layout of the food areas was confusing. It would be better if the service area was more thoughtfully laid out. Lots of people seemed to be walking around looking for things. The cost of drinks on board was very high, not unlike London hotel prices. Fair enough, however, I was charged an exorbitant £25 for a large glass of Cloudy Bay wine in the restaurant! Plus all drinks carry an extra 15% service charge, and then they leave space for another gratuity. All this when you are also paying a “one off” service charge of $161 per person for the fortnight. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our first cruise and had been looking forward to it for such a long time. Overall we enjoyed it and ensured we had a good time. However, our experience was marred by poor service on a number of occasions along with ... Read More
This was our first cruise and had been looking forward to it for such a long time. Overall we enjoyed it and ensured we had a good time. However, our experience was marred by poor service on a number of occasions along with indiscretions from two employees who were managers. Whilst the good old British class system is still alive and kicking, you don't expect it from the crew !!! The ship is beautiful and was a pleasure to be on. The food we found to be very good and we thought that Britannia Club dining was ideal for us. The drinks are very expensive in general, but the wines are extortionate. So how come P&O are more reasonable ? Our balcony room on deck 8 was bigger than we had expected and was very comfortable. However, the bathroom is small with a shower that was absolutely tiny. The water being either very hot or scalding no matter where the temperature control was set. Deck 8 is not ideal if you want a lie-in as the scraping of deck chairs from 06:30 becomes your early morning wake-up call. We also had to make do with the mini-bar contents being left on top of the cupboard, the entire two weeks as our cabin person didn't seem to want to move them anywhere else after "emptying" our fridge. Embarkation was efficient, although disembarkation was a complete shambles. Time in ports were limited. I suspect that they are just long enough for the official excursions from the cruise line. Could have done with longer to enjoy the local atmosphere better. Overall, like I said we did enjoy our holiday but it could have been so much better. It was the little things that let it down, mainly service and maintenance - shame. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I choose sailing on the QM2 (this was my 3rd voyage) because it is a civil and upscale voyage and if you want a peaceful journey with nice people, this is it. You are almost guaranteed no children on board because this is not a ship with ... Read More
I choose sailing on the QM2 (this was my 3rd voyage) because it is a civil and upscale voyage and if you want a peaceful journey with nice people, this is it. You are almost guaranteed no children on board because this is not a ship with children's attractions. I was on the July 1, 2018, cruise to Canada and Boston for the 4th of July Fireworks. We left out of Brooklyn, NY. The regular balcony staterooms are a good size and efficiently appointed. There were several noticeable stains in my carpet and also stains in my bathroom sink. Otherwise, the cabin was clean. In the Brittania, Golden Lion and King's Court, the food is mediocre at best and in a few instances the beef was inedible. Portions are average to small. The cocktails are priced fairly but it is about time that Cunard enters the 21st Century and offer an alcoholic beverage package. There is a soft drink package, a coffee package (waste of money as it does not include flavored coffees) and a water package - yes, can you believe it - a drinking water package! The therapy pool (which I love) in the Canyon Spa was closed for one full day for maintenance so people who paid for it lost a day of enjoyment. The excursion I chose in St. John Canada (Skywalk) was a waste of time and money. Crew is polite and friendly but no one goes overboard (no pun intended) with warmth and joviality. I cannot rate the shows as I do not go to them as a rule. Lecture on The Bermuda Triangle was not thrilling. The planetarium is okay. I might be wrong but I don't think there is a general souvenir / sundries store on the ship any longer - at least I could not find it - no where to buy Cunard "logo" type items - shops are upscale and I don't need that as I am a New Yorker and can shop Michael Kors any day of the week. The draw for this cruise is seeing the fireworks in Boston Harbor and from the ship, the viewing is limited. Read Less
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