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440 Cunard Cruise Reviews

This was only our second cruise and we picked it because we wanted to experience the "luxury" of Cunard. We were aware that the clientele would be older and were OK with that. Embarkation in Venice was somewhat chaotic and ... Read More
This was only our second cruise and we picked it because we wanted to experience the "luxury" of Cunard. We were aware that the clientele would be older and were OK with that. Embarkation in Venice was somewhat chaotic and very slow, there was not a big crowd, but it took a long time to get through the process, not really great in this automated day and age. First impressions of the ship were favourable, it was nicely appointed, and really quite stylish. It was also easy to navigate around. The room was OK (what I expected). Décor somewhat dated, but acceptable anyway. One word of warning, Cunard's website states that the cabins have UK and Euro plugs, in fact our cabin had 4 US plugs, 2 European plugs and 1 UK plug, so take your converters if you have more that one device to charge! The 1/2 bottle of sparkling wine was a nice touch. Cabin Steward was superb. Food The Lido restaurant (Buffet) is typical buffet fare, not good, not bad just average, BUT the service is poor with tables not being cleared quickly. There are free juices and coffee but it is self serve (which I was OK with). Breakfast was a bit of a scrum, the Britannia restaurant is only open 8 - 9.30, which means almost everyone hits the Lido Buffet and there simply is not enough space. Either make more space of extend the Britannia breakfast hours. Staff in the Lido seemed depressed, not sure I saw a smile all cruise! Britannia - Reasonable food, a fair choice and (in our case at least) very attentive service. Good wine choice, but very expensive. Waiters very good. Golden Lion Pub - limited lunch choice, but quite nice, service a bit hit and miss. Drinks inordinately expensive, $15 for a double G and T is a bit eye watering! Entertainment - Mixed, nothing really in the day time, other than the odd lecture and cards etc. I guess suited the older clientele, but not us, fortunately the weather was OK so we could sit on the deck and read or just catch some sun. To many of the courses are charged for (learn to use an iPad for example), and it just felt like they were nickel and diming (more on that later). Evening shows OK, on board entertainers were a bit "Saturday night live", but reasonable, the visiting acts were quite good with one being excellent. But it always had an "amateur hour" feel to it. And the entertainment director seemed to feel the need to introduce and say goodbye to every act - sometimes less is more! Excursions - Well organised and in most case quite good, but VERY expensive (similar tours could be had immediately you stepped ashore for 1/2 the price), I expect a mark up but this was too much. Disembarkation went well - we elected to "self serve" that is take our own case s off, which was effective. Transfers from the port to Rome were nothing short of profiteering, with a bus ride costing $69 and a private car $325 (it was only a taxi). There were taxis available at the port, and we pre-booked a car (port approved, pick up at the ship) for about $140. Again a mark up is OK, but this was daylight robbery! So overall I enjoyed the cruise, the ship was nice, the food was reasonable, and the itinerary was good. But I would not go on Cunard again, I can only compare it with one other cruise (Royal Caribbean) and that had a much "happier" and more lively feel. The real issue was that Cunard have a reputation for "luxury and Quality", yet my over powering feeling was that I was being nickel and dimed at every step - so slightly disapointing Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because we had massive items to transport from US to Germany, and because I have a back problem. We booked a package that included 2 days at 5 star hotel on Times Square in NYC -- wonderful. Embarcation a little ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had massive items to transport from US to Germany, and because I have a back problem. We booked a package that included 2 days at 5 star hotel on Times Square in NYC -- wonderful. Embarcation a little slow, but ok. The gym and daily YOGA classes were great for my back; steward excellent. I was content to contemplate the Atlantic, even though with two wind strength 10-11 storms, we suffered. My husband enjoyed the GYM and he GREATLY enjoyed the Pinot Noir tasting and cocktail tasting in the forward Commodore Bar (I enjoyed that bar as well). I, a retired orchestra conductor, found all musical entertainment beyond the pale. My husband didn't like it either. Movies and tv were only slightly better. We admit to being -- to our own regret, sometimes -- gourmets. We almost always got something acceptable from the complimentary room service (which we adored) or from Kings Court buffet. However, the Britannia restaurant as well as the heavily advertised but relatively empty Verandah Restaurant really disappointed our expectations A lot was made of the service, but no interesting or excellent foods came out of the kitchen. The Coq au vin in the Verandah was ok. My bean soup and scallops were not good, the 'wild strawberry' dessert contained no wild strawberries. Wines prices were exorbitantly high for the value. Shuffle board, bridge, bands singing Beatles are all boring. Wifi too expensive and slow. We would have liked more technical infos (lecture from the captain, or on how the ship functions). There was an excellent lecturer from the New Work TiMES, other than that... I doubt we would take this cruise again. Was't what we were looking for. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Return journey from New York 18 days round trip ,the pinnacle being a half day tour of New York , but only got only 23 minutes in the Big Apple. If I wanted 18 days non stop at sea would have joined the Merchant Navy. After leaving New ... Read More
Return journey from New York 18 days round trip ,the pinnacle being a half day tour of New York , but only got only 23 minutes in the Big Apple. If I wanted 18 days non stop at sea would have joined the Merchant Navy. After leaving New York on our MINI expedition made our way to Brooklyn Harbour to board the QM2 , no problems here swift embarkation & check in. However this is where after our party expected a bit of entertainment and fun . only to find that to get a decent meal you have to dress as if going to a Royal Command ball. Not our scene at all . Not to be on a complete downer, found there is an English pub on board. Hooray said we all.. Joy short lived Formal dress is required to go to the pub WHAT ? We where then directed to the informal area, one Corinthian Lounge more like an undertakers waiting room ,awful piped piano chamber music .Poetry recitals . a very talented Harp player,but not for me thank you,. Wine tasting Embroidery Book club etc dowdy and for the more refined ,so maybe its me that does not conform ,still only seven days of my life wasted on a boring fuddy duddy ship that needs some life bringing to its decks. Moan over hope you all enjoy your next cruise on QM Boring 11 Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We spent 7 days on a cruise on Queen Vic. From Venice to Athens. I knew it was not ther cruise for me when i noticed on the daily activity “Chair aerobics”. Excellent food,excellent staff service and operasrting BUT! Bars mostly empty ... Read More
We spent 7 days on a cruise on Queen Vic. From Venice to Athens. I knew it was not ther cruise for me when i noticed on the daily activity “Chair aerobics”. Excellent food,excellent staff service and operasrting BUT! Bars mostly empty due to high cost of drinks-but the pub was full every days wplaying darts and cards and trivia. Ballroom dancing each night most popular b it you would not want to go and break out on a dance. Most Aussies wondering why the decks were empty at 10pm.oh and for single ladies they did supply officers to dance with you- looked like they had stepped out of a coffin! So if you want a happy cruise of fun this would not be the one to choose, It seems they are relying on all the Brits who want to practice their ballroom dancing and stay in the pub and play darts.And there are plenty of these so no need to change. Basically a shame as had great expectations for a masquerade ball and 20”s evening- a flop unless you had a partner and did proper ballroom dancing moves. Lack of atmosphere and only highlights were good food and good ports.Oh and 1 good comedy show otherwise just ships entertainment. Shops well stocked with quality. Tried fencing but only 12 people allowed for. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The Queen Mary 2 is a magnificent ship, our cabin and steward was wonderful. The late embarkation was quick and easy except that some ships elevators were not working, which was a common problem throughout the cruise. The fifth level ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2 is a magnificent ship, our cabin and steward was wonderful. The late embarkation was quick and easy except that some ships elevators were not working, which was a common problem throughout the cruise. The fifth level balcony cabin was great. The balcony is not much use unless in port or very carm seas. The signage to the mini bar was poor some things are free and some are charged. We only realised that the bottled water was charged when it was noted on our room bill. We were also disappointed when we ordered a bath robe to take home. We were told $US45 and charge $US55. We quaried the cost and were told Cunard charges what is on your account not what price you were told or marked on the order form. Not good enough. The only other problem we had with the cabin was that the door to the balcony rattled in windy weather. We had a person come to fix the door but he bad little improvement. The Britannia Restaurant food was average and usually failed to live up to the men description. Steak was not tough but certainly not tender. My wife returned one seafood dish as it smelt off and another person at our table felt sick after a seafood dish. The deserts were usually good. The Kings Court Buffet was average with some food cold and or dry out. The Golden Lion had good cod and chips. We felt that the food quality was well below the quality of food served by other cruise lines. The talks by the speak were wonderful, delivered by quality speakers who were passionate about their topic. The classical performances were good but the Cunard performers we energetic but we did not particularly enjoy the shows. The movies were average. The planetarium was great until it broke down. The staff were generally very friendly but often appeared poorly trained. The except being the staff in the shop who were happy to talk to each other about their shopping trip to Boston and how it was not as good as Paris while I stood in front trying to get served. The shop also was poor as on the second day they only had small sizes remaining for some cloths. We did two tours the first to Cape Cod was a poor. We left the ship just before lunch and got to have lunch at 4 pm by which time we were very hungry and had lost interest in the incessant taking of the quide an the tour. The vist to the Grit Mill in total darkness was a joke. I am still not sure if the building was there or not. The other tour to Montreal was great. The tender to the Port was poor your were treat more like cattle loading on to a ship than a guest. When tied up to a dock reboarding was general good but at some ports there was two gangways one with a long line to enter the ship other with only a few people in line. This could have been much better co-ordinated. There were other problems two toilets had a lot of water on the floor when I tried to use them. The seat in the planetarium would reclaim back but when you came to the same venue for a lecture some seats would not return to the upright position so if there were limited seats you had to sit facing the ceiling. Our cruise was a Falls cruise unfortunately there was no Falls coloured to be seen and we were disappointed that we did not visit two of the port on the itinerary. Newport was too windy to visit but a couple at our table said this was the second cruise that they were on that had missed Newport. During the the cruise we noted that the port of Gaspé had been replaced by Sept-Isles not an interesting place. We got on the shuttle bus that was to go on a circular route stopping at a number of place. The bus was to operation every 20 minutes. We made the mistake of getting off at the first stop. It was an hour and ten minutes until we could get on to another shuttle as they were full and would not allow people to board the bus. An hour and ten minutes standing in the cold was no fun. When we eventually got on to the shuttle we went back to the boat fearing that if we got off that there would be another long wait. We were sorry for all the passengers refused access to our shuttle. We thought that the ship is magnificent but for us the food, service etc was below what is provided by other cruise companies. We spoke to other people on the cruise who have been on the Queen Mary 2 many times and just loved the whole experience. Maybe we expected too much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were on the Queen Mary for a New England-Canada 14 day cruise on September 22-October 6th. We were in a princess suite cabin 10010. The first thing you need to know is that Cunard ships are definitely Class ships. That means that the ... Read More
We were on the Queen Mary for a New England-Canada 14 day cruise on September 22-October 6th. We were in a princess suite cabin 10010. The first thing you need to know is that Cunard ships are definitely Class ships. That means that the better the cabin or suite the better the food and service you will receive. The ship is big and beautiful. Of course it was just redone in May. The points of this cruise that we really liked was the suite was very nice and clean. The cabin attendant always kept our room neat and clean. We were so pleased to see a Catholic priest on board that said Mass every day. The Princess grill service was amazing. The first night we weren't to happy with the table. The following day when we arrived for lunch we were escorted to a beautiful table by the window and we were given this table for the duration of the cruise. The food was excellent and we had several desserts made tableside by one of the matre'd.. We ate at the Kings court for lunch on our arrival on the ship. The food there was terrible, cafeteria style that had been sitting for quite a while. This was the only restaurant you could use if you didn't want to dress up. We only went to two shows. One was a comedian that was excellent. The other was the singes and dancers from the ship. They were god but not as good as those on the Celebrity ships. Most of the other shows were more geared to the British passengers who like more classical music and singers. We did have some issues with some ports. We missed Newport News because the high winds from Maria did not allow us to tender. We also missed Gaspe because of the whales. It was mating season so the ship had to reduce its speed. The captain did manage to add a stop in Sydney NS. Most of the tours were nice. However some included rides on a school bus and another on a local bus. The best tour we took was in Quebec when we had an evening tour for dinner at the sugar shack. That was so much fun. The other port that we really enjoyed was Saguenay. We were awakened by a bull horn saying "wake up Queen Mary" when we opened our curtain to our balcony that was a huge show going on. There was a tee pee with an Indian standing at a fire. There was a man walking on a log.They also had at least 30 dancers in costumes that put on a show until the first passengers got off the ship We were then greeted by all their dancers and by many locals that showed up to the pier. They also gave us their flags and also was handing out blueberry pie(they are know for their blueberries.) I am sure that after reading the review you are wondering why I didn't give it the highest rating. We are 70 years old and we like great service. But we don't like to dress formal. This ship had five formal nights and the other nights men had to wear a sport coat to dinner and in the Grill lounge. Another reason we won't go on Cunard again is the drinks were ridiculous. A coke cost me $4.25 and a Martini cost me $20.00. We are not cheap but those prices are ridiculous. One other reason is that we will go back to Seabourn or Celebrity is that because what we pay on those ships all is included and the price for the cruise is less.The special line for suite check in was so long it took us longer to check n then the regular line. In conclusion I will say that if you enjoy dressing up this is the ship for you. Just make sure you book a suite! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was the 14 night cruise, Venice to Rome. This was our third cruise on this ship and fourth with Cunard so we know the standards that CAN be achieved. (Most recent previous experience was in March this year - Auckland NZ to ... Read More
This was the 14 night cruise, Venice to Rome. This was our third cruise on this ship and fourth with Cunard so we know the standards that CAN be achieved. (Most recent previous experience was in March this year - Auckland NZ to Wellington NZ via Australia - part of the world cruise. On that occasion the poor standard of food in the Britannia restaurant caused us to look seriously at abandoning the September Mediterranean cruise. But we persevered. Thankfully the quality of produce and skills of the chefs had improved considerably since last time. But we still think that on most evenings offering half of both the main courses and appetisers as "vegetarian" is far too many. Waiter service in the restaurant was first class, though the sommelier left more than a little to be desired. Drinks waiter service in the Lido (lunch) was (as before) patchy. You should not have to go looking for a waiter to order a drink. Similarly, overall service in the Golden Lion was also a bit hit and miss. The Lido pool area could do with some more shade. We recall there were umbrellas before - none now. We didn't go to any of the evening shows in the theatre - mainly because nothing appealed. However we feel the string musicians playing around the ship could do with a bit of makeover - the performances were rather hard work for us an an audience. Top marks to the young lady who was our stateroom steward. Our modest requests were never too much trouble and she did a good job keeping things today. Well done Edna! The makeover of the staterooms during the recent refit was very good, particularly the much larger TV and providing facilities for making tea or coffee. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because it was Southampton to Southampton, and because of the itinerary. We found that the sea days at the beginning were fine, as we were getting use to the ship, but on the way home, they seemed endless. Also, we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was Southampton to Southampton, and because of the itinerary. We found that the sea days at the beginning were fine, as we were getting use to the ship, but on the way home, they seemed endless. Also, we knew that Cunard go for formal wear, and many go on the cruise for that reason. For us it became a chore. We had been on the QE on a 4 day cruise in 2011, but this was our 1st proper cruise, and so compared with most, we were novices. The embarkation and disembarkation were very good, and all the service on board was to a high standard. We were disappointed with our cabin, but we did book late, so had little choice. We were on floor 8 and that was OK during the poor weather. We chose Balacony Club to get the flexible eating times, and although costly, it was very good. The entertainment was a mixture, the highlight acts were all good, the on board troupe were OK. We didn't do any paid for excursions, but walked to the port, or took the shuttle bus. It worked for us, but in most of the places visited we weren't the only cruise ship in, so they were crowded and you needed to plan your priorties. The Cunard line isn't the cheapest and we found the on board priced high, it was OK for people who had a lot of on board spending, but otherwise the money ratchets up. I think we became aware that all inclusive may have a benefit, as you know the cost at the start. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was part of our bucket list, to sail on one of the Queens to England, that is basically why we cose the QM2. We had a very nice flight to LaGuardia fro6tnm Toront. We had the Black car driver from heaven for our transfer to the ... Read More
This was part of our bucket list, to sail on one of the Queens to England, that is basically why we cose the QM2. We had a very nice flight to LaGuardia fro6tnm Toront. We had the Black car driver from heaven for our transfer to the cruise terminal, who gave us the best tour of NYK as we inched our way along the fast route to the terminal. (My advise is to get a flat rate taxi or car). Then it turned into a nightmare. We arrived around noon and met the first line up of those who were waiting outside the doors to get into the lineups inside. We were about 30 minutes in that line, then we got inside and were directed into another line. Where we inched along for the next 2 1/2 hours. We were told by the staff that "Its never like this...everybody came at once, sorry for the delay." I know everyone was getting angry. We had five staff serving our line, plus they also were taking the priority and special needs line. The other line had about 10 serving, and you can imagine that they were moving a lot faster. This fiasco should have been handled better. There was a sitting area which could have been used as a staging area with a numbering system as is done by ther cruise lines. By the end of all this people were exhausted. We got on board at 3pm, I'm not sure I'll got on their line in future. Someone should mention to cunard that first impressions are the most meaningfuull. After that embarcation the cruise was just OK, a little over dressed, but food was good, activities OK, weather was mostly foggie, not good to go outside. Disembarkation was slow, but heck of a lot better than embarcation, don't expect to make a train reservation. As to the stateroom, it was a good size inside. The bed was comfortable, there was a nice chair for relaxing and we were given a welcome aboard bottle of sparkling wine. Lots of wardrobe room for our clothing. The room stewart was good, always made up the room while we were gone, so we seldom saw him. Ship buffet was on the prominade deck, which I thought was different from other cruise ships I've been on, but it was large with lots of seating tucked along the way. Lots of choices for breakfast, lunch or dinner there. If you don't want to join in the dressup you can have a good dinner here, mostly the same as in the main dining room. There are a lot of areas of the ship that you can spend some alone time, just to sit and read or play cards with your friends. We did participate in the trivia and went to the planetarium show, but most of the other entertainment was not our thing, others we met enjoyed the lectures. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Having cruised many times with Princess Cruises, we decided to try Cunard's Queen Victoria because the itinerary included Dubrovnik, Montenegro and overnight in Venice. The ship had just undergone a £34 million refit in May and ... Read More
Having cruised many times with Princess Cruises, we decided to try Cunard's Queen Victoria because the itinerary included Dubrovnik, Montenegro and overnight in Venice. The ship had just undergone a £34 million refit in May and looked splendid, especially the Queens Room, Garden Room and theatre. That said, the new Grand suites and the additions like the Britannia Club restaurant are of no benefit to the majority of passengers. The ship was filled to capacity (around 2,000 passengers) with 1,300 Brits and several hundred Australians but, surprisingly, it seldom felt crowded. PROS • Good itinerary and we had sufficient time to explore independently at each port. • Efficient embarkation, disembarkation and port tenders. • Splendid decor with elegant Queen's Room, Garden Room and good theatre. • Excellent afternoon tea in Queen's Room and good pub lunch in the Golden Lion. • We enjoyed Jenny Bond's lectures, talks on forensics and the piano and guitar recitals. • Cunard is not constantly trying to sell passengers photos, art works, spa treatments etc. CONS • Food in the Britannia restaurant was a major disappointment. • Service was generally mediocre, especially in the Lido but our cabin steward was good. • Drinks were very over priced. • Ship can be unpleasantly cold, especially in the Queen's Room and Britannia restaurant. • Too restrained - nothing resembled "fun" and no sail away gatherings on deck. • Port lectures were poor and simply promoted the trips instead of giving useful information. • Shuttle bus charges were applied to selected passengers who had booked Early Saver fares. FOOD AND DINING There is no anytime dining in the Britannia restaurant, so we chose to eat at 8.30 pm. The service was variable and our table of 6 could finish eating at any time between 9.30 and 10.30 pm. We also went there for breakfast at 8 am and the service then was quite efficient. Food in the Britannia restaurant was a major disappointment with dull menus, no seasoning and very little flavour. We normally prefer the fish dishes but found them to be poorly cooked and flabby with not even a slice of lemon. Carrots and pak choi were served most days as was rice and mashed potatoes. Half of the menu seemed to be vegetarian options and the gluten free soufflés were mainly egg white. We explained this to the restaurant manageress but nothing improved. Even regular Cunard passengers commented that the food standards had deteriorated significantly - but few people thought to complain and just said "it's fine" when asked. We were served a mushroom tart with pastry like concrete, a crab starter that was a spoonful of nothing much in a bun and several deserts that were swimming in ultra sweet golden syrup. The menu on the four formal nights contained nothing special and lobster was only available once during our two weeks on board. Being presented with a set of menus on the last night only served as a grim reminder. The lunch time menu was also very dull, so we often went to the Lido restaurant where we could be more selective. Service in the Lido restaurant was poor, with nobody offering to fetch drinks and disinterested waiters. The Golden Lion pub served fish and chips, chicken curry, pies etc each day and we found this to be a really good alternative. The daily highlight was afternoon tea, served each day in the elegant Queen's Room with a string quartet or harpist to create the right atmosphere. There was a nice choice of crustless sandwiches, followed by cakes and then scones with jam and cream. All were served nicely at a leisurely pace and with a choice of teas. DRINKS Cunard charged around 50 USD for a bottle of very ordinary wine, which is extortionate. We took a couple of bottles on board and, even with the excessive 20 USD corkage charge, it was OK. It was, however, noticeable that little wine was being consumed because it was over priced. A half bottle of chilled bubbly awaited us on arrival which was a nice touch. One glass of wine and no canapés were served at the Commodores reception in the Queen's Room, which was a poor affair compared to the Princess's Captain's Circle. It reminded us of the P & O champagne waterfall, where they charged for every drink! ENTERTAINMENT The TV was small and there is no "on demand" capability, even after the recent refit. The theatre is very comfortable and we enjoyed trying the boxes at the sides. Drinks are not served in the theatre and there are no tables in the arm rests, which are useful for taking notes during lectures. Theatre entertainment ranged from excellent to poor but was perhaps a bit above average. We enjoyed Jenny Bond's lectures and talks about forensics. We enjoyed hearing a group called The Rewind Project presenting the music of The Moody Blues, The Hollies, 10cc and Cliff Richard. Another group (called the Overtures ?) also put on a good show of 60s and 70s music. A comedian named Jon Courtney entertained us with some good jokes and piano playing. David Howes, a multi-instrumentalist played the piano and trumpet and put on quite a show. Ilia and Plexus provided an interesting gymnastic show but trying to fill an hour with such performances is difficult. There was also a grim comedian / ventriloquist one evening. The resident singers and dancers, who put on four shows, were OK but the singers were not very good. CONCLUSIONS The Queen Victoria is a lovely ship but we were very disappointed with Cunard, who failed to come up to their quality image. Breakfast and afternoon tea were good, but, for most meals, menus were dull, food was poorly cooked and lacked flavour. Service was mediocre and the crew simply did their job. Drinks were over priced and the ship was unpleasantly cold in some main areas. No cruise line is perfect but, in our view, Princess provides a much better experience and we have no desire to cruise with Cunard (or P & O) again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Have traveled on other cruise lines and for what we were paying - I had expected more. The embarkation was a mess. The ship was at Terminal C at Athens, where we got dropped but we then had to walk over to Terminal B to actually check in ... Read More
Have traveled on other cruise lines and for what we were paying - I had expected more. The embarkation was a mess. The ship was at Terminal C at Athens, where we got dropped but we then had to walk over to Terminal B to actually check in (not a short walk). Instructions and signs poor. Ship - good, cabin - clean although steward had to be asked to replace shampoo etc when we run out! Food bland and had expected from dishes from the countries we were in. Entertainment average - some of the acts really didn't appeal to most on board. Service - good and 2 of the Ports, I'm not sure why we went there. Not much to see or do except the ship tours for megabucks and not sure they did much either. We wouldn't choose Cunard again unless it was the only option for the time and ports. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Been on Cunard before wonderful experience on Queen Mary and needed short cruise as unable to leave hubby for long due to ill health I picked this as it was a big band cruise . The entertainment in the theatre was excellent but the big ... Read More
Been on Cunard before wonderful experience on Queen Mary and needed short cruise as unable to leave hubby for long due to ill health I picked this as it was a big band cruise . The entertainment in the theatre was excellent but the big band experience was dissapointing difficult to get a seat and if you were on late sitting you missed a lot. The ship was beautiful however I am sorry to say the food in the main restaraunt was served warm when we mentioned this the response was it had to be carried a long way from the kitchen . Sadly we experienced rudeness from the pursers office and the photography staff when purchasing photos were unwilling to help although the photographers took extra time and the photos were excellent . Lovely meal in the speciality restaraunt. A presentation by Connie Fisher was very interesting . Overal this was dissapointing as I had persuaded my sister to move from P&O telling her about my previously wonderful experience I was embarrassed as the result was not what I expected from Cunard so back to Celebrity next year . Embarkation wand debarkation was slick and quick . Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Wanted to try this as an alternative to flying to europe. We were not impressed. Everything was just average. While the evening dress code is truly outdated, it wasn't a problem. Just wearing a jacket doesn't make for ... Read More
Wanted to try this as an alternative to flying to europe. We were not impressed. Everything was just average. While the evening dress code is truly outdated, it wasn't a problem. Just wearing a jacket doesn't make for well-dressed passengers however. Rarely have we been on a cruise where the passengers were dressed so plainly so Cunard should re-think whether the dress code actually achieves their desired result. The lunch buffet was quite good but in the evening, the buffet was minimal. Clearly the expectation was for the majority of passengers to go to the main dining rooms. We found the evening entertainment to be boring with the exception of the Broadway show one evening. Prices for internet packages were well above anything we have paid on other cruise lines. The wine selection was not good and prices for drinks in any of the lounges were absurdly high. We got our answer and won't be cruising on Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have been on 4 previous Transatlantic voyages and as we suddenly found we had a week available we made a late booking with Cunard. Cabin selection was limited and we ended up with a midships deck 8, obstructed balcony that was fine for ... Read More
We have been on 4 previous Transatlantic voyages and as we suddenly found we had a week available we made a late booking with Cunard. Cabin selection was limited and we ended up with a midships deck 8, obstructed balcony that was fine for a Transatlantic crossing. Cunard could only offer us BA London to New York (our least favourite airline) so we opted to do our own flights. Travelled with Norwegian on the day of the voyage. A bit worrying as if you are late they do not wait for you as you have arranged your own travel. However, left LGW 1/2hr late at 6am, arrived JFK on time at 0830am and through immigration by 9am (May 2017 3 hrs at Newark). 5 minute wait for our previously arranged Limo and at the cruise terminal by 1030am. Straight through security and a 45 minute wait for check in to open (3hr queue June 2015). At 12noon wheelchairs were called forward and we were on-board and having lunch by 1230. Best embarkation ever. Second sitting in the Britannia and found we were next to the waiters pantry, but were moved immediately we made a request. Tried a bottle of wine at dinner, $30 plus 15%, greatly overpriced, possibly £5 in Waitrose, and did not go there again. If they made it a more realistic price I'm sure they would sell more. Shows were generally good. I am not into magicians but on the last night the magician was exceptional, well worth going. I felt that the daytime lectures were very slanted and not to my taste but there is always something to do so no problem. One night I was not feeling up to the menu in Britannia and our waiter asked if I would like a steak and I agreed to this. He sent his number 2 off for this and when it was presented to me it had obviously been sitting around for some time. It was overcooked, dry and tough. I showed the waiter this and he immediately sent his number 2 off again, this time with a better result. I did not complain but obviously our waiter did as I was then visited by the head waiter for a personal apology. We did have a problem with our room early in the voyage and they were unable to rectify this and as the ship was full they could not move us. We had to remain out of our room all day whilst they carried out a temporary repair and they did compensate us. However, what has dragged down my rating is the clock changing sequence they now follow. When we first started travelling transatlantic clocks were moved forward 1 hr during the night. During the evening turn down service the steward would tune the TV to show a message advising you to put your watch forward by 1 hr. They now change the clocks a 12noon. My wife is an early bird and we go to lunch at 12 but suddenly find it is 1pm, this rapidly runs into the afternoon activities and you have diners on a late lunch clashing with afternoon tea. This is our second voyage where they have done this, I have written to Cunard to ask why but have not received a reply. Other Carnival lines such as Princess and P&O still change overnight so why do Cunard insist on Mid-Day. The recent refit has greatly improved the Kings Court, and they have changed the soft ice cream machine at long last. As we live in Southampton I offered to send them 50p so they could walk 70yds along the road to IKEA to buy an ice cream and see how it should be done. They now have 2 machines and the product is much better. Little bit of excitement on our final sea day. A passenger had unfortunately been taken ill and we had to turn about at noon for the Coast Guard helicopter. This caused a delay in our arrival in the Solent (10 cruise ships in that day) and so we missed our slot and were an hour late, but I don't think anyone begrudged this and we all wished our unfortunate fellow traveller a full recovery. As a late decision it did work out very well, but it is a bit worrying knowing that you are travelling on the day of departure and if it goes wrong it is down to you, but anything was better than travelling with BA. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We Chose this ship as it is the only real option to sail transatlantic into New York. The cabin was fine but nothing outstanding. The cleanliness in the cabin was high. We dined in Britannia restaurant on early sitting which was too early ... Read More
We Chose this ship as it is the only real option to sail transatlantic into New York. The cabin was fine but nothing outstanding. The cleanliness in the cabin was high. We dined in Britannia restaurant on early sitting which was too early for sailaways at Southampton and Halifax but the late one we had been told when booking was 9pm when in fact was 8.30pm. The food was just OK and on some nights was not of a high standard at all. I could not believe it when on two occasions we were served re hydrated potato. Not what you expect on a ship of this supposed caliber. I have had better food on most other cruise lines I have sailed with. Cunard expect a certain standard of dress which we are happy with, but their standard of food in Britannia dining room was not worth getting dressed up for. The ship was elegant but did not have the wow factor of many ships these days. It is however the smoothest ship I have ever sailed on and built for ocean crossings. We were amazed at how smooth it was it some rough weather at times Entertainment was of a very high standard with a good mix of shows and performers Not much in the way of activities on deck because of Atlantic weather and although plenty of other activities there were not many that suited us to be honest. Not exactly what I want on a holiday to listen to lectures in terrorism for example but many others seemed to enjoy them so it is personal choice really but all too deep for me when on holiday. I was disappointed with the lack of effort in getting guests to use hand sanitisers and this is the first ship I have been on where it has been lax on this. I also witnessed a waiter sneeze into his hand then continue to set out crockery and cutlery in dining room. I also witnessed another waiter in the pub use a departing guests napkin to wipe the table for the next guests. They need to tighten up on hygiene although there did not seem to be any instances of illness on board. Overall I was disappointed with the ship and the food but mostly the staff were very friendly with a few exceptions. We booked for a specialty evening in the Verandah restaurant and were disappointed that our booking was not confirmed and when we inquired no one could tell us why and it seemed that they did not go ahead with the planned wine and dine that we had booked on the first day on board and no explanation was given or an alternative offered. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Norway and Iceland have been on our bucket list for quite a while and the ports certainly didn't disappoint. Same couldn't be said for the cruise after our great time in the Med on Queen Vic two years ago. Is it just the ... Read More
Norway and Iceland have been on our bucket list for quite a while and the ports certainly didn't disappoint. Same couldn't be said for the cruise after our great time in the Med on Queen Vic two years ago. Is it just the different ship or is Cunard being Carnivalised? Cabin and attendant were great but just about everything else was understaffed, under quality and at times under sufferance. Dining and meal service in Britannia was rushed and off hand, food quality and presentation not of Cunard standard. In the end we retreated to the Lido at night where at least you could set your own pace. Drinks, especially wines, were expensive and there wasn't a decent cup of coffee on the ship. The theater entertainment was patchy but the music was great. The get together of the Bands to do a Big Band recital was very good. Guest speakers and the activities staff were good. Didn't do any ships tours but the tendering and shore-side set up was good in ports. I suppose when the rest of the ship isn't working well it is difficult for Pursers staff to raise a smile so they are excused. I imagine the ship did have officers but they certainly were not visible unless you went to the special events. Embarkation and disembarkation in Rotterdam were very smooth and well handled. It is an easy terminal to use. Bergen and Geiranger were both spectacular. A tip if doing the Funicular in Bergen is to book your tickets on line in advance. With 4 ships berthed the queue was horrendous. Just did the town in Akureyri and Isafjordur, both very Iceland and good to walk. Did a privately booked tour in Reykjavik which was interesting with some spectacular sights and a great commentary by a local. Torshavn in the Faeroes was a wonderful little town to spend a day and our private tour (See Orkney) in Kirkwall was a real highlight. Ticked off the bucket list but if I have to cart a Penguin suit half way round the world I expect the style and service to match the effort. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We booked last minute, suite 7044 in Queens grill. Some aspects of cruise were excellent. The suite was a good size with large balcony and new balcony furniture. The much hyped refit did not include cabin furniture, our coffee table was ... Read More
We booked last minute, suite 7044 in Queens grill. Some aspects of cruise were excellent. The suite was a good size with large balcony and new balcony furniture. The much hyped refit did not include cabin furniture, our coffee table was damaged on the edge for instance and clearly not new. Just a detail. We had a very nice cabin steward (butler). The in suite fridge and free bottle of Bells and replaceable white wine was good. We also had champagne and fruit in the suite. Linen and towels were lovely and all kept spotlessly clean. The canapés were so bad we stoped them after second night. WHY proved 5 canapés for two people? Anyway the cold bits of toast and topping were uninspiring. The Grills guests have private sundeck area. There's very limited shaded bits and no attempt to check on towels left hours on sun beds. When we went to move a bed into the shade the deck Stewart's removed towels but made no effort to bring replacement. He walked round offering drinks but did not tidy up beds eats and did not put clean towels on the beds. Many of the beds were Ben so that they rocked from front to back as you got up. There is a very small outside downing area avail for lunch only, why not dinner in hot climate, even if pre booking needed? The one dance show we went to was poor. It stopped suddenly when we did a pronounced lurch and keeled over a number of degrees (officially 5) but it felt more. The dancers rushed off and audience fled! We were glad for an excuse not to watch any more. The service in the restaurant was excellent. Breakfasts were good but other food mixed. Steaks could be tender or not, Dover sole meunière, pre ordered came as a very dry cooked fish over which a thick bron 'meunière ' sauce was served. Pre ordered rack of lamb was very tender. The lido was always busy but clean. Again one day superb rare beef, one day very well cooked not so good. Embarkation in Athens was very quick, we were taken in small coaches and got there first. No real greeting as we boarded, just pointed to our cabin. Our butler welcomed us and unpacked for us. My sisters butler said he was just finishing so could not unpack. Not major issue but we were late in the evening and it is a boasted service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We liked the ports of call. This ship was a bit to formal for us considering the weight limit on planes these days. It was pretty obvious that they did not want you on board unless you were going to accept the crazy dress code. We ... Read More
We liked the ports of call. This ship was a bit to formal for us considering the weight limit on planes these days. It was pretty obvious that they did not want you on board unless you were going to accept the crazy dress code. We found the ship a bit under staffed. The food was good, desserts wonderful however the service seemed a bit amiss. Room steward was wonderful We felt the communication was a bit lacking . It seemed we never stuck to when we were leavening ports or staying. Lack of communication with the ships crew was high. We felt the disembarking at ports was a fiasco. Go to one floor walk down other floors get tickets for tender was really crazy. It was so hot on the ship it was unbelievable considering at the restaurant everyone had on jackets. We realize this was an older crowd but the heat was a bit much. The Captains daily talks was usually mumbled, could not hear in room so we were unable to hear much of what he had to say. Saw some higher ups walking around the ship however they never talked nor did they smile, it was like they felt above everyone. It was strange to us as other cruise lines the staff talks to you even sits down and talks to you. The daily activities were minimal some of the entertainment was ok others not. Drinks were so ridiculously expensive it was insulting. The wine was very disappointing. The first glass of prosecco I ordered was flat! I would think they could see it by looking at the glass. Some of the ports were wonderful some were disappointing. The excursions left a lot to be desired for the price .Pursers office the most upsetting of all. They were not a happy crew at all and not very helpful they always looked mad at everyone. A smile would have helped. Overall not impressed with the ship, its crew, the liquor or the communication. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Cunard are very much trading on their name and need to sharpen their act. We were in a stateroom and the Queens Grill so not a cheap cruise. The amount of paper which arrived in our suite every day was quite ridiculous and most of ... Read More
Cunard are very much trading on their name and need to sharpen their act. We were in a stateroom and the Queens Grill so not a cheap cruise. The amount of paper which arrived in our suite every day was quite ridiculous and most of the info could have been shown on the TV. Having said that, the communication with passengers was poor. We did not know we needed to take our passports with us at Venice and our cabin steward didn't know which deck was disembarkation. The service in the Queens Grill was excellent but the food was not up to the standard provided by other lines in their better restaurants. The Lido buffet was fine for what it is. We only went to one show and the dancers were, quite frankly, embarrassing. Why when there are so many talented youngsters looking for that sort of an opportunity. Don't know if it was them or the choreographer !!!! The main gripe, however, was the exorbitant cost of drinks. All attracted a mandatory 15% surcharge and wine started at £35 a bottle before the 15%. Glass of prosecco £12.95. Won't be going with Cunard again. Sorry Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The food was mediocre, but after all they're British. The movies and videos in the theater were often disasters. The one film my wife and I saw, La La Land, stopped at least eight times during the presentation. Other guests told me ... Read More
The food was mediocre, but after all they're British. The movies and videos in the theater were often disasters. The one film my wife and I saw, La La Land, stopped at least eight times during the presentation. Other guests told me their films were equally bad and at least one of the lectures had similar problems. When I complained, I was stunned how unconcerned the staff was. The other problem was a woman who two days in a row put her diapered baby in the pool. That's dangerous for health reasons and clearly prohibited but nobody did anything. The staff on the ship were very accommodating and I have no complaints there. But so much was just little off. The ship needs to get its act together. I've traveled on Celebrity and Crystal and I gave them five star reviews. I won't be back to Cunard, and that's too bad. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Cunard is a little formal for us, having previously cruised with Celebrity and Holland America. We do not mind some formality, however the strict restaurant sitting times and fixed seating arrangements are a little over the top, especially ... Read More
Cunard is a little formal for us, having previously cruised with Celebrity and Holland America. We do not mind some formality, however the strict restaurant sitting times and fixed seating arrangements are a little over the top, especially if seated with people you cannot relate too. The food in the Britannia restaurant was a little inconsistent with average meals some days and below average on others. The Lido Buffet was a little boring and limited in choice compared to other cruises we had been on, however quality was good for buffet food. The recently upgraded cabins were fine, but we are not keen on the "shower curtain" as these can cling a little!!! Although the cabins have had an upgrade the TV stations are a little lacking and could do with "on demand" movies. Entertainment was a little boring and amateur compared to previous cruises. We could not fault on-board service with all staff being attentive and helpful. Overall we rate this cruise average at a 3 out of 5 Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Itinerary well-done, good order, didn't get anywhere on day when all museums were closed, so, that was great. In 14 nights, 7 ports, plus embarking/disembarking Southampton. Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, two ... Read More
Itinerary well-done, good order, didn't get anywhere on day when all museums were closed, so, that was great. In 14 nights, 7 ports, plus embarking/disembarking Southampton. Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, two days St. Petersburg, Warnemunde (but not enough time to go to Berlin), Skagen, Denmark. L We got a very nice magazine type booklet, with our name, booking # etc. Shore excursion info. But no times in port!! We did our own excursions throughout which they didn't make easy at all. Absolutely no where in information or by even calling customer service in States, could we get times in port! That has never happened with other cruise lines. We know they want to sell shore excursions and that times can vary because of weather or port traffic, but not even approximate times???? Weird. So, getting Vasa Museum or Abbas Museum tickets in advance wasn't possible, so we were met by long, long lines. Got in to Abbas Museum which was fun but weren't able to get in Vasa Museum. Used TJ Tours in St. Petersburg and they were great to work with and had an incredible guide, in van with only 8 people. We didn't have to gather other people into a group, they did. We had 2 amazingly sunny days in St. Petersburg with only a short downpour. So grateful we got 2 of their 60 sunny days a year. Such an interesting port, loved Tallinn. Shipboard port talks were pathetic!! Totally read, no personal insights from person, nothing to excite you about the places at all! They repeat on tv which would be so helpful, but not to hear a boring rendition of what we had all googled ourselves. As mentioned earlier, it's an incredible itinerary with wonderful assortment of kinds of ports- historical, scenic, large cities, small cities etc. But you didn't get that from port lecturer. Lots of mention of what people with limitations couldn't do. Not a fun, positive slant at all!!:( Queen Elizabeth has strict formal policy, so just be aware and ready. Men have to wear jackets for dinner and in most of the ship in the evening. We had 4 formal nights during 14 night cruise. A Roaring Twenties night, Masquerade Ball etc. We decided to make it fun and got masks etc. In advance & it was fun. Different just meant carrying a little extra. It was like sailings of yesterday year, class & all....... QE the perfect ship for that. She is beautiful and well done. So.... my husband cooperated and we've done that now and will probably never do it again! :) Collared shirts is enough dress up for him with a couple of formal nights thrown in when he'll dress up. Now for the food..... :( We have sailed on 8 cruise lines and this food was the worst and most boring of them all, I'm sorry to say. The fish was usually good... but that's all the positive I can say. Lido Buffet was the basic same choice from lunch to through dinner everyday. We've never seen that before. Fresh salad was always pre-made bowls of some lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumbers, tomato and purple onion OR you could make your own, but the ingredients were exactly the same!! There was usually a stir-fry choice of the day, but all tasted the same, no matter what they were supposed to be. Had an Italian bar, where they would make you pizza but the limited topping choice never changed either throughout cruise. Dining room was no better. We were in the Britania Restaurant- in our "class", no anytime dining offered. 6pm or 8:30pm, so the good news!?!? We certainly didn't gain any weight which is usually impossible on a 14 night cruise!! Our cabin steward was cute, friendly and great.... but lots of crew need an attitude adjustment and maybe some more training. Service in the Lido was especially bad. Had to ask for coffee/tea refills at breakfast, they would slowly get around to clean tables, had to ask for silverware. Sullen would probably the best description of the attitude of many. Dining room wait staff were "OK" but not exceptional at all. Ship staff friendly in corridors and if you needed the Pursor desk, they were helpful All I needed was my key card reprogrammed a couple of times. In all ports we were docked and didn't need to tender, but port far from town centers in some cases. In Stockholm & Tallinn, the ship ran shuttles. When we read our daily schedule better that night in Stockholm and heard people on bus complain, we realized charge info was in program and were aware for Tallinn. Said they were charging $8 per person in Stockholm and $6 each in Tallinn. Have never been on a cruise line that charged for ship shuttles. We heard lots of complaints from people at meals, bars and on bus. When our bill arrived, we weren't charged, so gathered complaints prevailed!! Our balcony was deep and large, but my husband wished they had used some of that room to make the shower larger & sink wider... more bathroom in general. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Looked like good value. The dress code was to restrictive. The meals in the buffet were better than in our restaurant. The staff never looked happy as if they were being watched all the time and were not allowed to be social with ... Read More
Looked like good value. The dress code was to restrictive. The meals in the buffet were better than in our restaurant. The staff never looked happy as if they were being watched all the time and were not allowed to be social with quests. A number of times in the Lido (buffet) staff were disciplined in front of guests - not the done thing. The in-house entertainment was average. The Blue Jays were fantastic - other acts were OK but not to the standard experienced on other cruise lines. They seem to cater for the age group above 70 which is not a problem but a balance for younger age groups would be more appropriate. The ports of call were great except Sarande - a complete waste of time. An additional Greek island would have been better. Our cabin was good and the cabin steward great. The on-board internet service was expensive and slow. In this day and age of technology it should have been much better - I suspect it was a money making exercise. I doubt we will ever go with Cunard again. To stuffy and formal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We used this cruise for transportation, not a vacation, not a geriatric prom, not a chance to buy stuff or gamble. Others cruise for other reasons. I get that. Three formal nights on a seven day cruise is excessive. Dress code for the ... Read More
We used this cruise for transportation, not a vacation, not a geriatric prom, not a chance to buy stuff or gamble. Others cruise for other reasons. I get that. Three formal nights on a seven day cruise is excessive. Dress code for the dining room on non-formal nights is a little stuffy. I'm OK with no shorts or even no jeans, but requiring a jacket is unnecessary. The cabin was nice. The bathroom was larger than on other cruises we have been on. Especially the shower. The sheltered balcony was fine. Food was OK, but other cruises were better. The wait staff was wonderful and made great efforts to accommodate my wife's food allergies. In fact all the staff were wonderful. Entertainment was so-so, and the theater is awkwardly designed and has seating issues. The Times lectures were nice. And the on deck activities were hampered by the weather. No fault of Cunard. This was scheduled to be straight across no stops, but one day out the captain announced an unscheduled stop in Halifax to drop off an ill passenger. He said that it would not affect our arrival time in Southampton. We would make up the time by going faster. I was anxious at first about our flight connections but the captain was true to his word. The passenger was dropped off in Halifax and we made Southampton right on time. I applaud this. If I were that sick passenger, I would appreciate being dropped off rather than enduring five and a half more days at sea to get medical help. Bravo Cap'n. Would I sail the QM2 again. Reluctantly yes, but only if it was our only choice. Of course it would mean a trip to the Oxfam to pick up another black jacket. Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
II found it wonderful to be at sea, even though we had dense fog for 4-5 of the 7 days. Properly planned, it's a wonderful way to do nothing, or stay busy for a week. Unfortunately, the only other cruise we've taken was on ... Read More
II found it wonderful to be at sea, even though we had dense fog for 4-5 of the 7 days. Properly planned, it's a wonderful way to do nothing, or stay busy for a week. Unfortunately, the only other cruise we've taken was on Crystal. Cunard's QM2 suffers greatly by comparison. It's a nice experience and I would do it again, although my wife found the crowded conditions to be a turn off. If you're planning to go I would be prepared for a number of things, in no particular order: 1. It's crowded. Our key cards didn't work and there was a half hour wait on the line at the Purser's Office (service desk) to straighten it out. No one from the crew came to speak with anyone on line to speed things up, offer us a drink, or commiserate, which we would have expected on a fancier boat . It was a poor introduction. The computer room always had a line, and I finally gave up on seeking the computer advice I needed. The very nice library had great armchairs looking out forward, but hey were always occupied. There was a wait on the elliptical machines in the health club after about 7 AM. We tried for lunch in the ship's pub, and had to wait and then sit with another diner to get a table. The worst manifestation of the crowding was at the buffet, but more about that later. 2. It's a big boat, a bit unmemorably and haphazardly decorated (but in fine condition as it was renovated last year), and poorly signed. Getting around the boat is sort of like the New York City Subway system: if you don't know it, they don't make it easy for you. It's a small thing, but it would have been nice to have a sign at each stairway/elevator lobby pointing in the directions of the even and odd cabins, or even starboard and port. We didn't even know about some parts of the ship until the last few days: You do get a map, but it might have been nice to have a discovery walk laid out for you. Partly our own fault for not exploring more the first day on board. 3. Regarding information, there's a nice printed newsletter that comes out each evening (late by the time you get back to your cabin) detailing the next day's events. There was plenty to do, but It seemed odd that you had to plan day by day when schedules had obviously been set up for the whole cruise. Also, there was a perfectly fine TV screen in the room that could have repeated or highlighted what was upcoming for the week of the cruise. As far as I could tell there was also no way to access the information by computer or on one's phone. The lack of information was bothersome. 4. The cigar bar was great. I met some very interesting people and we had some lively discussions. 5. We went to one night of live entertainment and it was fine. Many of our fellow passengers looked forward eagerly to the shows and to dancing every night, including one night at a masquerade ball. 6. The New York Times lectures were excellent, and we really heard stuff we had never known. Absolutely worthwhile. The lecturers themselves were approachable and willing to discuss the fields of their expertise if you encountered them around the boat. 7. The food is fine, if not generally outstanding. The most accurate description for the food was someone's remark that it was like "Club food". Generally better than diner food, and some very good, with a few clunkers, like some watery pasta and hockey puck hamburgers we tasted. We had a lovely Indian dinner one night and an excellent sort of Italian dinner another night at alternative restaurant venues on the ship for an additional fee (we were avoiding the main dining room on formal nights). All the restaurant food was presented very beautifully. 8. Drinks are not expensive, approximating the prices of a moderate restaurant in New York (the drink menu is online should you care to review it). Even so, with lots of leisure time and two or three drinks a day, it does add up. There was a drinks package that included a number of bottles of wine, but you had to eat where the bottle was stored. Fine if you always ate in one place (and if you didn't mind drinking the second half of a bottle after it had sat by itself for a day). As far as we could tell, there was no drinks package you could buy that covered wine and hard liquor and mixed drinks at the various bars around the ship. My favorite bar was the Commodore Club, with armchairs and windows looking forward over the bow. Although, as with many of the public spaces, it did get crowded at peak times. Again, we'd been spoiled by Chrystal. 9. The Buffet - Very disappointing, for a number of reasons. Unlike our one other experience on Crystal, which had a few cozy never crowded buffets around the ship, the QM2 has a large, antiseptic, industrial-looking central buffet, Unlike a lush, colorful buffet in any midtown Manhattan deli, with mounds of attractive (and mostly tasty), interesting foods, the QM2 buffet, while it had a good variety, looked sparse and unappetizing and the hot foods looked monochromatic and tired. The desserts, however, were varied and tasty and unfortunately plentiful (there was also a spigot for soft serve ice cream with cones). It was hard to find a seat at mealtimes in the buffet (I know that sounds like the Woody Allen joke that the food's lousy and they don't give you enough), which made the whole exercise of buffet eating a chore. There's a bar with a limited buffet next to it, and it was lovely, but when we went there for a drink, our waitress complained that the non-drinking passengers filled it up with food from the adjoining buffet; apparently, it wasn't meant to be used by the big buffet customers. There might be a nice buffet on the top deck next to the swimming pool, but we didn't discover the top deck until the last day of the trip. I'm sure these problems go away once you upgrade to the Princess Grill and other higher classes. 10. And speaking of class, there are three formal nights. This was the least important part of our decision to go on this ship. However, it appeared that lots of people liked the dress up and they looked swell in their glad rags. We got by on a suit for me and a fancy jacket over nice pants for my wife on the night we went "formal". We also had room service on one formal night and it was fine and prompt. Technically, it's no shorts or tee shirts on any night after 6, but this wasn't strictly enforced. Similarly, on formal nights you're supposed to avoid the public areas if you're not dressed formally. Not enforced, but a bit chilling. 11. And speaking of class again, notwithstanding the three formal nights, we saw lots of tattoos and tee shirts during the day. We took the trip partly because it was relatively inexpensive, so we shouldn't have been surprised that everyone didn't look like an English lord, but there was a bit of cognitive dissonance. 12. The movie theatre is nice. Not a lot of veriety, and only two shows a day of the same picture, but we did get to see two movies that were OK. 13. The last straw – I bought a wifi package on the ship, mostly to permit me to make phone calls without incurring outrageously expensive cell phone charges. However, when I got back, I discovered that AT&T didn’t connect with Cunard’s wifi, and I was charged for voice over internet, meaning that I was paying for wifi and was also getting charged cell phone charges. I called Cunard to complain about their failure to disclose that their wifi might not be compatible with my carrier. I really didn’t expect to get anything out of it, but what I really didn’t expect was the return email message saying that on post-sailing billing matters, they would get back to me in two weeks. I think this says a lot about the level of service at Cunard. It’s simply not a luxury cruise line. They did get back to me in a little over a week, and, not surprisingly, were not helpful. I would do it again, with my advanced knowledge. If I did, I would give myself the following advice: A. Explore the ship from stem to stern and top to bottom on the first day. B. If you're not into it, don't sweat the formal nights and don't overpack for them as we did. I also took two extra sports jackets, dress shoes, business shirts, etc. thinking it would be more formal walking around the boat generally; it's not. Nice casual attire can be worn at all times, even on formal nights, although you might feel a bit out of place. Formal and casual seemed to mix fine in the buffet. I would ignore the formal nights entirely, but that’s personal preference. C. Get as much information about scheduling as early as you can so you can schedule your do-nothing time without missing out on anything. D. Get a balcony cabin. Even with 5 days of fog, it was neat to have the ocean literally at your door. We had excellent sea and wind conditions, and there was only one day when the sea was listed as "rough", but the ship was smooth as silk. We couldn't tell you what our cabin, rather far forward, would have been like in a storm. Weather was in the 50's and 60's except warmer the one sunny day we had, which included a lovely sunrise. E. If you want to see the Statue of Liberty on the way out (Eastbound), get a deck chair before the ship leaves its mooring in Brooklyn. It gets crowded out there. F. Here's a secret we discovered too late: there's a "behind the doors" tour of the ship, including bridge, but it's only open to 10, count 'em, 10 people who sign up immediately on boarding. G. Check whether your carrier accepts the ship’s wifi for telephone calls. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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