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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
This was a short three night cruise visiting Belgium and France and was booked for our wedding anniversary. My Wife is disabled and a wheel chair user so I have commented on each part on any good and bad experiences in each of the ... Read More
This was a short three night cruise visiting Belgium and France and was booked for our wedding anniversary. My Wife is disabled and a wheel chair user so I have commented on each part on any good and bad experiences in each of the sections. Hotel We stayed at the IBIS budget in Southampton, which is as basic as it gets but it was clean and well located, on 10 minutes from the dock gates. The price of hotel room was very competitive, you do have to pay to park (£6), although it is free for those with a blue badge. There is a TGI and McDonalds on the site and restaurants in the other two hotels (Novotel and IBIS) that you can use. The hotel was great for accessibility and we were immediately allocated an accessible room which made life easier for us. The service from the front desk was very good indeed. Embarkation We sailed from Dock Gate four, which we have done before and used the on site parking which as normal was first class and highly recommended. The check in was quick and easy, although we were allocated to a special section for wheel chair users, I think everyone else probably checked in quicker than we did. The welcome to the ship was very good, professional and even had a red carpet laid out. We got on the ship just after 12 and asked when the rooms would be available and were told that they have been available since 10 a.m. which is very impressive. The Queen Victoria She is a beautiful ship, not as big as some of the competitors but stylish in most ways and spotlessly clean everywhere. Although a smaller ship, she is longer than I expected as it still seemed to take some time to walk from one end to the other. It did get a little crowed at times as she is narrower than other boats, with only one corridor running from front to back on some decks. Service The staff were very polite and attentive to all needs and we found the service in all bars and restaurants to be very good with not feeling of being ignored or rushed though meals which was nice. The wine waiter was very knowledgeable about the wine and automatically adjusted his comments and suggestions to our budget after we had ordered the first bottle of wine, which saved any awkward conversations. Dinning The food was outstanding in the main dinning room, which a good choice each night and staff that knew about the food which is helpful. Any requests for adjustments to the food, leaving out one ingredient etc. was never an issue and did not slow up the service. The buffet was of good quality and with a reasonable selection, but like all boats it is what it is and we did not struggle to find something to eat when we had lunch there. Activities Being only three days we did not take part in many activities, which the exception of having the afternoon tea which is served in the spectacular Queens Ballroom. It is the perfect setting to have your tea in fine bone china, eat tiny sandwiches and cakes and enjoy quiet music from a quartet or piano. Civilisation at its best and would highly recommend. Entertainment We did take in a couple of shows which were not the best that I have seen to tell the truth, one of which we left after about half an hour. One disappointing factor is that the boat has twelve disabled cabins but only 8 disabled spaces in the theatre, so we have to get there earlier to ensure we see the show. When we asked at the reception desk they suggested that we pay the $57 per person to sit in one of the boxes if we wanted to guarantee that we got a seat. The matter was not helped with the number of non disabled people that were sitting in the companion sits and in the second show that we went to we saw a number of other guests in wheel chairs come and go as they was no where available for their carer to sit. Again the staff seemed uninterested in helping the situation. Ports Zeebrugge We had ordered a taxi to pick us up at the boat and were disappointed that it did not arrive, however there are plentiful taxis available at the port to take you where you want to go. An advantage of using these official cabs is that the fares are fixed (50 euros to Bruges). The lady that drove the taxi was fantastic, helping my wife in and out of the car and delivering us to the very centre of Bruges and picking us up from the same spot exactly when we asked her to later in the day. Bruges itself is a beautiful city with lots of little shops to look at, although with all the cobble stones it is not the best place for wheel chairs, but the shops and restaurants were very obliging to helping us get my Wife to tables and around the tiny shops. We had a lunch in the main square at 'De Beurze' and found the food to be exceptional with very reasonable prices. Cherbourg Cherbourg is a pretty little port, that is undergoing a significant amount of work and we enjoyed the morning walking around the towns streets and stopping for coffee on the front. Getting on and off the boat in both locations was very well organised and we received assistance with the wheel chair in both ports. No real waiting was evident in either port, although we always waited about an hour after docking to avoid the main rush. Summary In summary we really enjoyed out short stay on board and would be happy to take another cruise with Cunard. The only caveat to this would be that I would not take my children, as although there is a kids club, the few children on the trip did look bored most of the time. The trip represented good value for money and was relaxed and enjoyable at all times. I have reviewed the cabin separately.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Having never travelled on Cunard before I held out great hopes for my annual holiday on board Queen Elizabeth. I was not disappointed, the ship was a delight and the staff were really friendly and nothing was too much trouble. I was ... Read More
Having never travelled on Cunard before I held out great hopes for my annual holiday on board Queen Elizabeth. I was not disappointed, the ship was a delight and the staff were really friendly and nothing was too much trouble. I was particularly surprised by the high standard of the entertainment and the 2 lectures by a former Concorde pilot were fascinating. Amanda Reid and her team are to be congratulated on a job very well done. The standard of the food was excellent and resulted in a 8 lb weight gain. I would add that the Britannia restaurant is something for the eye to behold and the standard of service by the waiters was good and attentive. Balcony cabin was lovely and superbly/discretely maintained throughout My one negative would be the snooty/unjustified attitude of some of the passengers who seemed to treat supper as an opportunity to mark the performance of the waiters. It was really dull to have to hear of any little mistake being amplified and used to start another story about standards on other Cruise lines Yaaaawnn! I was thoroughly impressed and maintained a positive perspective throughout despite the best efforts of others around me. I would definately recommend a cruise on Queen Elizabeth and my top tips would be to order wake up coffee/tea the night before as the room service gets overwhelmed first thing and go for 2nd sitting for dinner in order to be able to enjoy Port sailaways. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our first ever cruise and we were bowled over by the QM2! The ship itself is beautifully appointed and despite the number of passengers it never felt overcrowded. We chose Britannia Club, with a cabin on deck 12 and a dedicated ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we were bowled over by the QM2! The ship itself is beautifully appointed and despite the number of passengers it never felt overcrowded. We chose Britannia Club, with a cabin on deck 12 and a dedicated area of the dining room (and most importantly, the freedom to choose a time to dine which was well worth it!). We were seated on a table of 8 and our dining companions were lovely. The food was excellent and we also dined in Todd English which was even better. Afternoon tea is also superb. We found the prices for cocktails and wine surprisingly reasonable and about comparable with a decent restaurant in the UK. Above all though, what really shone through during the whole voyage was the wonderful customer service! Every member of staff we had an interaction with was nothing less than polite, helpful and friendly! In particular, the waiters in the dining room and our cabin stewardess were wonderful. We loved the Commodore Club for our pre-dinner cocktails and we also enjoyed the dancing too - the band and singer (Michel Chartier) were superb! We thoroughly enjoyed dressing up every evening and if there's one thing I'd say to Cunard it's: please never, ever relax the formal dress code! We saw a couple of really scruffily dressed women wandering through the Commodore Club one evening and I'm sorry ladies, but if you don't want to adhere to the Cunard dress code, choose another cruise company OK?! Finally, the dawn arrival in New York was nothing less than spectacular and an amazing finale to an amazing cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
This was my second crossing on the Queen Mary, having previously crossed a number of years ago to Fort Lauderdale. Transfer from my hotel (the Waldorf) to the ship was perfect. I had expected long details in checking in but was soon ... Read More
This was my second crossing on the Queen Mary, having previously crossed a number of years ago to Fort Lauderdale. Transfer from my hotel (the Waldorf) to the ship was perfect. I had expected long details in checking in but was soon installed in my PG stateroom prior to going for Lunch. I had been slightly concerned that being Brooklyn I would not be able to see lady liberty, but by booking a right sided room this was not a problem. Sailaway was one massive party and fully justified the decision to go West to East. Most meals were taken in the PG and were excellent and delivered to a high standard, We also tried the Todd English with friends who were on their honey moon. The whole crossing was a pleasure from start to end. There were though some minor giggles, although the entertainment was generally good we suffered an ventriloquist, whose act was purely American and who non of us could relate to. It was also noticed that the interactive TV had been replaced by a normal version. The drinks package is weird as draught pepsi is allowed but canned is not. Also the change in dress standards was confusing as I feel it would have been better to ask men to wear a tie rather than a Jacket. The dress code also applies on the first and last night making packing interesting. Would I go again on the Queen Mary? - Yes Certainly and am now a convert to the Grill class Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. However, we had never taken a voyage on an ocean liner until we sailed with the Queen Mary 2. To us, there is a world of difference between a cruise ship and an ocean liner such as the QM2. A major ... Read More
My wife and I are veteran cruisers. However, we had never taken a voyage on an ocean liner until we sailed with the Queen Mary 2. To us, there is a world of difference between a cruise ship and an ocean liner such as the QM2. A major difference is that although the waters may be very rough at times , passengers are not thrown about the ship. Another major difference is the level of service and the entertainment offerings. In addition to having an excellent musical director and two excellent orchestras, the QM2 had classical musicians playing throughout the ship in various venues for most of our trip. The ship also offers excellent plays by members of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Acting (RADA). We were treated to "The Merchant of Venice", "Hamlet" and "Scheherazade". The plays were condensed; however, the storylines and themes were extremely well done. The actors are very well trained and amazed us by making the stories come alive by improvising with very little, in terms of props. They are also very personable individuals. Food on the QM2 is almost always available during the day and night. It is plentiful and there seem to be dishes for a range of palate. Libations are top notch and there is something appealing to every passenger. The staff of the QM2 is of the highest caliber from my perspective and I do mean every staff member from custodians to directors and the Captain. It was our experience that the staff members were so professional and so accommodating that guests wanted to interact with them. The entire experience from July 6, 2014 through disembarkation on July 28th was an absolutely "fantastic voyage". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
This was my 5th time on the QM2, and this time my wife and I decided to take our toddler and in-laws, who have never sailed before. We purposely chose a short voyage out of a local port for convenience, and were very happy with the ... Read More
This was my 5th time on the QM2, and this time my wife and I decided to take our toddler and in-laws, who have never sailed before. We purposely chose a short voyage out of a local port for convenience, and were very happy with the decision. First off, embarkation and disembarkation were very easy, and made me very happy to not have to deal with airports/airlines for this trip. Once on the ship, we were happy to see her in all her grandeur. My in-laws loved the ship itself; the history; and sailing under the Verrazano Bridge. We were more than pleased with the service in the dining rooms and bars. The staff was VERY accommodating with our toddler, greeting her by name the first day and always making sure she had a kids meal and milk before we even arrived at the table. Dinners in the Brittania restaurant were excellent and elegant. My only 2 gripes are with the King's Court buffet, which I understand is being revamped (it needs it!) and that there were some stipulations on the use of the night nursery which we did not know until arriving on the ship (even after reading all of the documentation beforehand). We sailed around a hurricane and the ship was exceptionally steady. We always felt safe and we always had great service. This ship may not be the ideal for a younger crowd or those with children, but if you go in with the right expectations, you should be quite pleased. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
First cruise ever and I was awestruck. Embarkation was very speedy - taxi to stateroom in 20 minutes; luggage arrived in the next 20. Room was very clean and spacious enough - lots of closet space and hangers. Only electrical outlet is ... Read More
First cruise ever and I was awestruck. Embarkation was very speedy - taxi to stateroom in 20 minutes; luggage arrived in the next 20. Room was very clean and spacious enough - lots of closet space and hangers. Only electrical outlet is on desk in main cabin as is the hair dryer, which imagine would be a bit cumbersome if multiple folks sharing a cabin. Food was very good. Kings Court buffet is not glamorous but I found it just fine for salads, light snacks and a quick light breakfast. Brittania was excellent especially considering how many were served. Todd English was very good. Dined their on July 4 expecting to go out on the deck after to watch the fireworks but Boston put on that show on July 3 due to Hurricane Arthur. Captain and crew did outstanding job in navigation; adjusting the schedule a bit and keeping us out of the heart of the storm. The ship is excellent in rough seas; felt nothing more than some slight rolling. You will feel very safe on this ship. Excellent cabin steward - attentive but not overbearing. Found all other staff to be friendly and helpful. Entertainment (shows) were really excellent and I did not expect that. Lecture series also quite good. The only negative has nothing to do with the cruise - loved the cruise but did not like the single supplement. All in all, I would definitely cruise on the QM2 again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
We recently spent 2 fantastic nights on the QM2 . We have cruised many times before but this was our first with Cunard . I have to say that having read all the negatives on this site my expectations were not that high .We regularly stay in ... Read More
We recently spent 2 fantastic nights on the QM2 . We have cruised many times before but this was our first with Cunard . I have to say that having read all the negatives on this site my expectations were not that high .We regularly stay in 5* hotels and eat in good restaurants so we expect a certain standard . Ok the Kings Court buffet is a bit canteen like , but the food was good , fresh and a good choice. We also ate in the Britannia restaurant and again this was very good , some of the service was a little lapse and I was given a wrong drink , but lighten up people , relax and enjoy yourselves. Our balcony room was fine , clean and well looked after , bathroom was quite small but fine. Some people say the ship is tired looking ..... its a liner not a cruising resort, it looks traditional and elegant , if it was all ritzy and flashing lights people would moan about that too. Staff were pleasant and helpful.Some of the activities were not to our taste and I think 5 days on a transatlantic crossing maybe a bit boring personally but on the whole you have to try it , and make your own mind up , some of the negatives on here really do not reflect the ship at all . Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We are a couple in our early 50's on our first cruise, I didn't want lots of kids around, I did want to dress up in the evenings, I did a good bit of research before booking and it paid off; Cunard was perfect for us. The ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 50's on our first cruise, I didn't want lots of kids around, I did want to dress up in the evenings, I did a good bit of research before booking and it paid off; Cunard was perfect for us. The relaxation begins the moment you arrive at Southampton. We were dropped off by taxi and the bags were picked up by a porter before they could touch the ground, 20 minutes later we were on board, all checks completed, what a difference to airline check ins! I bought a soft drinks package which turned out to be good value, the soft drinks used as mixers in my evening drinks were covered by this too, so I just paid for the Archers in my Archers and lemonade. The staff could not be more helpful, our evening meals were wonderful, however as a table we all wanted a little more in the way of vegetables, no problem, our waiter brought us a dish of extra veg every evening, once he knew. If we couldn't decided between 2 dishes, that was fine, we had both! We ate at second sitting in the Britannia restaurant, and were concerned about the companions we might be matched with having opted for a table of 8. Cunard came up trumps there, it turns out all four couples were a bit worried about the same thing but we got on so well, I'm sure we'll remain firm friends for many years. It appeared that they matched us by our ages, we were the oldest! I went to the fencing classes each sea day; a good pace but personal tuition given for each member of the group until they were happy with the techniques. Very good fun and fairly energetic. I also joined the singing group which met at midday on sea days and put on a short concert on the last day. The choir mistress; Cordelia, and the Pianist; Gavin are humourous and made everyone feel welcome and relaxed, don't worry if English isn't your first language several of the group took part fully even though they were singing in a foreign tongue, it was lovely. The hairdresser was very professional and did a wonderful job. The stretch classes were good. DH found the gym adequately equipped with a far more enjoyable view than our usual gym; dolphin watching while exercising. We attended the lectures given by a brain surgeon which were informative but entertaining too. We enjoyed several films in the theatre and a few more on TV. Afternoon tea was pleasant and a nice opportunity to meet other guests. Tea was accompanied by a young harpist who played beautifully, all the live music was superb with a string quartet or the harpist playing on the formal nights in the dining room. There is so much to do that you have to pick your activities carefully, the lectures on upcoming ports were repeated on the TV, so you don't need to attend if it clashes with something else you'd like to do, a pity I discovered this too late. The food in all areas was wonderful, we ate at the Lido's Asado (Argentinian) alternative dining option one evening which was good value; $10 extra pp, the Lido looked quiet different from it's usual daytime buffet with the tables clothed appropriately. We discovered that there are cookies available to have with your coffee mid-morning, but you have to ask for them, otherwise there is so much food available all the time you are spoiled for choice. Being the school holidays there were some children aboard, but on the whole they were not noticeable. I had been warned that we might find the older people to be more of a nuisance, but didn't find that so either. Everyone we spoke to was friendly and interesting, the one exception being an amusing character who was over confident and you find those everywhere. We knew about the tipping policy and had decided to get our heads round it and go with it, however, 2 couples on our table withdrew from the blanket tipping option and tipped those they wanted to at the beginning and end of the cruise, their choice. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our third cruise with Cunard (Qm2 transatlantic, Queen Elizabeth last summer Ito Norway and just back from the Queen Victoria). The ship was wonderful, staff superb including very reasonable Hair spa prices (Heidi in the Spa was ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Cunard (Qm2 transatlantic, Queen Elizabeth last summer Ito Norway and just back from the Queen Victoria). The ship was wonderful, staff superb including very reasonable Hair spa prices (Heidi in the Spa was outstanding) and the ports were all good though some more to our taste than others. St Raphael was a new port stop and we took the ferry to Saint Tropez. Seeing both towns was great. Having experienced all 3 ships, from an inside cabin to a balcony, we loved all. I do love the steadiness of QM2 and felt a true war ness from staff on Queen Victoria, even more so than on the Elizabeth. Hope to cruise again soon. Cunard has always met our needs and excelled in so many ways. Food is excellent and so is the nightly show. Better and better is our experience. Yes, expensive but not when you cost a four / five star hotel, nightly West end Show and superb - often Michelin star standard- food. We work hard all year for this. We truly hope to return. Excellent!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Boarded the QE in Civitavecchia . Embarkation at about 4pm was a breeze. Note: if your flight arrives early enough on the day of arrival or departs after 4pm on the final day, Cunard offers a Highlights of Rome bus tour before or after the ... Read More
Boarded the QE in Civitavecchia . Embarkation at about 4pm was a breeze. Note: if your flight arrives early enough on the day of arrival or departs after 4pm on the final day, Cunard offers a Highlights of Rome bus tour before or after the cruise. We would have welcomed that option but unfortunately our flight left at 3 so we couldn't pull it off. Got to the port courtesy of Cunard transfers which was stress free. ($86 pp round trip. for the hour trip.) The ship's public areas were beautiful and elegant. Many evenings musicians were playing orchestra type music as we walked thru the ship. We had the late dinner seating (8:30) which was a little late but worked out well with our port intensive itinerary. The food was superior to the food we had on a Princess cruise a few years ago. We only saw one show which featured the comedian Allan Stewart which was ok to good. Our table mates saw a few more shows that they thought were not so great but they did like the one that was a variety show. This cruise had three segments and we were aboard for the middle week, visiting Florence, Monaco, Toulon and Barcelona. I had no complaints and really enjoyed my cruise. The only thing I complained about on my questionnaire was about the ridiculous price of the ships photos. Unlike the old days when every photo taken was printed out then thrown away when not sold, the process has gone digital where you view and select off a monitor. This should have reduced Cunard's cost greatly but wan't reflected in their pricing. Embarkation photos were $24.95 PLUS a 22%VAT tax. Photos taken on the staircase on formal nights were $34.95 plus the 22% tax. $30.43 and $42.64 seemed exorbitant so we avoided the photographers. Most people on the cruise seemed to have plenty of money so I guess Cunard can charge what the market will bear. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This cruise represented a few 'firsts' for us ...first time with Cunard, first time on a larger ship and first time 'sail out fly back'. It is very challenging to find a smooth way to travel from Scotland to Southampton ... Read More
This cruise represented a few 'firsts' for us ...first time with Cunard, first time on a larger ship and first time 'sail out fly back'. It is very challenging to find a smooth way to travel from Scotland to Southampton to board, so we spent some time in London and travelled down by the Cunard Coach from Victoria, which was a flawless experience, except for the arrangements at Victoria, which seemed a little haphazard. On arrival, the check-in at Southampton was very efficient and, having boarded QE, there were several people to help us to find our cabin (sorry Stateroom!). Having settled into our room, we found a place for everything and ample space for the two of us. Finding our way around the ship took a little longer! Starting with the positives ....everything was very well appointed and QE is a beautiful ship. The food was excellent, whether in the Britannia Restaurant, where our waiters were very attentive, or in the Lido where again every member of staff responded to a chat with a smile. To those who thought the staff less than welcoming, I would say perhaps you get treated as you treat others? The negatives (and this is personal) ...I found that the informal attire is still too formal for me ...I would prefer to be informal in a smart casual formal long-sleeved shirt with a tie, rather than the jacket with no tie, as preferred by Cunard! And now to my main concern .....Rome Airport(!!!). Having disembarked with normal Cunard efficiency, and with, as I recall, a promise that "we will arrange everything for you at the airport" (or some similar comment), we were abandoned at Rome Airport front door and then stood like refugees for three hours in various lines, first for check-in, then for security, then for passport control, then waiting for the plane, which was nearly one hour late. I do not consider myself disabled, but neither am I in the flush of youth, and by the time I reached the departure gate, the edge had been very firmly taken off our wonderful cruise. I cannot imagine the stress to those who were leaning on walking sticks etc., and who were obviously in a more difficult situation health-wise. Cunard please note ....check out your departure airports for ending future cruises!!! Overall, a great experience to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary, meeting great people, but spoiled by the journey home. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
The Queen Elizabeth provided the perfect base for our cruise around the Adriatic and Aegean Sea. We flew from Leeds Bradford in the UK via Amsterdam to Rome as part of a Cunard organised Fly Cruise package. We were met at the airport with ... Read More
The Queen Elizabeth provided the perfect base for our cruise around the Adriatic and Aegean Sea. We flew from Leeds Bradford in the UK via Amsterdam to Rome as part of a Cunard organised Fly Cruise package. We were met at the airport with a relatively easy transfer to the port where 5 or 6 cruise ships awaited their new passengers. Check in was very quick and efficient. Our Cabin (P2 class on an upgrade from Britannia Class) was well appointed in mid ships and had the luxury of a bath and a larger seating area. We ate in the Princess Grill and had access to the Grills area. I would certainly not refuse an upgrade if ever offered one again. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. We sailed passed Stromboli and through the Messina straights arriving in Corfu the next day. It was a Sunday but most shops were open. We were surprised to find that cricket is played on Sundays on the large green square. We visited the old fort. Our table mates were German and Australian and fascinated by Prince Philip's ancestry as he was born on Corfu. Our next port of call was Koter in Montenegro. We were late in arriving due to a massive storm during the night that prevented the ship entering fford like channel. The journey through the fford (actually a Ria) was quite magical and the nearest thing to a Norwegian fford in the Med. Koter is a lovely old walled town with a lot of history. It was a tender port. The sailaway was also excellent as the ship, in the very capable hands of Captain Inger Thorhauge manoeuvred through a very narrow straight back into the Adriatic. Next stop Dubrovnik where we were the only ship in port. We walked around the steep walls (cost 10 euros). Great roof top and sea views. The fresh red roof tiles gives an Inkling about how much damage the city sustained during the Serbo Croat war. We finished the first leg of our journey with a two day stay in Venice. This is also where our table mates left us. Cunard runs this cruise in 7 day segments with passengers getting on and off at the main cruise terminals at Rome, Venice and Athens so not repeating its ports of call apart from those 3 ports for 28 days. Most passengers seemed to be on for either 7 or 14 days though some on for 21. Venice was as to be expected. The sail in and sailaway are amazing. We took the hidden Venice walking tour and really enjoyed finding out more about Venice away from the crowds at the Rialto bridge and St Mark's Square. Cunard offered a launch service from the ship to near St Marks for 35 euros each for the 2 days. It is worth checking out the People Carrier and vaporetto water buses as an alternative. Our first port of call on the second leg of our cruise was Korcula in Crotia. We took the Highlights of Peljesac tour. The journey to Ston gave amazing and vertiginous views across the sea and Dalmation peninsular. We only had a short stop (almost a comfort break) in Ston before we set of for our return journey by the same route. We stopped in the village of Kuna where we visited the church, a donkey farm and were given a tradition snack of cold meats and cheese with wine (not a wine tasting). The trip was disappointing in that we only spent a very short time in Ston - it deserved more time. The village of Kuna was much nearer the ship and could have been a seperate trip. The coach trip is the only time I felt sick in the 14 day holiday!! Korcula is lovely and we wished we had not bothered with the trip. Our next port of call was Crete. We regularly holiday in Crete but have never visited the Museum in Heraklion that contains the artefacts from Knossos. What a wonderful experience and an easy walk from the ship. Other shipmates took the hop on hop off bus just outside the cruise terminal and said it was really good value. Rhodes followed and we visited the old town which is easily accessible from the ship. Lovely place and one to spend more time in in the future. Ephesus from Kusadasi, we took the Ephesus and Terrace Houses trip and was glad we did. Excellent guide. The Terrace Houses are amazing. Ephesus is busy so it is worth getting there early. We were the only cruise ship in in the morning but the day before there had been 3. Unless you are particularly interested in Turkish carpets suggest you avoid the optional visit. It's interesting but there is a danger you will leave with a rug!! Disembarked at Athens. As on fly cruise we did not leave ship until 2 pm though had to clear cabin by 8.30. We could have gone on tour or of ship but just chilled out till we left. Regarding the ship. We enjoyed the cruise so much we have booked for next year to do the trip from Istanbul to Rome tho next time in Queen Vic. All the staff we met were pleasant and very hard working. The cruise director excellent, the shows very good and the food in the Grills very good and in the Verandah restaurant fantastic. Next time we will cancel automatic gratuities and go back to the system of tipping personally. My personal tip is to take your own travel kettle and tea and coffee for an early morning brew. It is something that P and O get so right and Cunard should emulate. Room service coffee and tea do not match a fresh brew.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Although a regular 'Cunarder' this was my first time on the QE. My son and I booked it very last minute as it was his birthday during the 7 night stay. I was a bit dubious about doing fly cruise, as I live fairly near to ... Read More
Although a regular 'Cunarder' this was my first time on the QE. My son and I booked it very last minute as it was his birthday during the 7 night stay. I was a bit dubious about doing fly cruise, as I live fairly near to Southampton and the thought of flying did not fill me with joy. However on a positive note, one the pain of airports and transfers was out of the way and we arrived onboard it was was fabulous to be straight out in the sunshine rather having a few drab sea days with very little to do. The ship had an eclectic mix of international passengers of varying ages, which was interesting and amusing. We were luckily allocated second seating but unfortunately stuck with two old couples who had no other conversation other than cruises and ships they had been on and a desire to brag about them! We moved tables..... My son and I love the deck sports- quits, shuffleboard and on the QE even croquet, however it is always disappointing on Cunard as you get the felling that the nets staff doing them are trying very hard to get it over with as quickly as possible, and do not organise proper tournaments, instead they give your their version of the various sports, and although I am not a great P and O fan, it's the one thing they do so much better. They had some very attractive gentleman hosts on this voyage too ladies... I could have danced all night.... That aside the ship was looking good, the for was excellent. usual tired old shows and clapped out comedian, a new cruise director with fresh ideas would certainly help! However, on the whole, it was a great holiday and the atmosphere on the ship was positive and happy- heard no moans which was great!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We have just had a wonderful time on the Queen Elizabeth and here are a few thoughts and tips to enjoy it as much as us. We got a late deal fly cruise from Manchester from the ice house and the plane was aTitan Air charter. No problems ... Read More
We have just had a wonderful time on the Queen Elizabeth and here are a few thoughts and tips to enjoy it as much as us. We got a late deal fly cruise from Manchester from the ice house and the plane was aTitan Air charter. No problems apart from slow check in. Easy flight too as well as excellent transfer to port then very speedy embarkation. Inside cabin was lovely as we normally do balconies so were pleasantly surprised at space and amenities. Deck 6 was ideal, slightly aft but near the stairs and lifts. Now the specifics....... Dining-late sitting was ideal on our table for 6. We met 2 wonderful couples and got on great, what a hoot each evening. Food was excellent but the sommelier seemed to be very stressed when we ordered wines etc. We had breakfast in there twice, room service 3 times and had a try at the lido which was quite a mad scramble for seats. Lunch at the lido was very good and seats easier to come by. So overall the food was plentiful and very nicely presented although the staff are not very smiling and effusive. Entertainment- terrible what we saw, a very poor comedian, average shows and bar singers apart from the Commodore club pianist, who was very good. Bingo , quizzes as well but as we do our own thing that did not really matter. Movies were good at the theatre in the afternoon. The captains cocktail night was very good as was the other formal night, BUT...... we were very surprised how quiet the ship was at night/evening time in all the bars etc etc. Then we realised maybe why, the price of alcohol in all the bars plus the illegal mandatory 15% gratuity on each drink. A pint was around £4.00 with some wine at £10.00 a GLASS!!! for a Marlboro Sauvignon Blanc. (retails at £6.50 in shops) However we did not let this detract from the cruise as we thoroughly enjoyed these bars and lounges and it was easy to get seats. Ports-very nice but the ships excursions were very expensive and again we did our own thing. e.g. we went to Pompeii from Naples on our own for £30.00 all in for the 2 of us by train, great fun but watch out for pickpockets and gypsy singing groups. Santorini was beautiful but the trip up to the town from the docks was a lottery with crowded cable cars or the donkey derby up and down the stepped path. Very cruel for the donkeys, Cunard should stop docking here till the cruelty of the owners (and the fat, lazy tourists riding them) to these creatures is stopped. Send for Liz Jones I say!! Kotorkolon was small but pretty and Bodrum very nice too. We just sat at the dock of the bay, wasting time while whistling. Disembarking was fine and easy to negotiate as was Rome airport, so for the lateness of the booking and the price it was a fabulous holiday and thanks to Peter and Karen and Andrew and Sonia who were brilliant dinner companions. We would definitely do Cunard again and would recommend them. It would be even better if they paid staff the living wage and stopped this tipping malarkey as well as the silly drinks pricing. It might get the social areas an atmosphere in the evenings!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2014
Athens to Athens Cruise July 4, 2014 A very Happy 4th of July!!! My first cruise on a large ship was fabulous! We had a smooth check in and our bags were sent to our stateroom. The cabin was spacious for the three of us; two adults and ... Read More
Athens to Athens Cruise July 4, 2014 A very Happy 4th of July!!! My first cruise on a large ship was fabulous! We had a smooth check in and our bags were sent to our stateroom. The cabin was spacious for the three of us; two adults and a pre-teen. We had enjoyed the balcony and sat out only in the early morning with our coffee. I enjoyed the fitness center and met my family for breakfast in the Britannia restaurant. The servers are all top notch! I didn't have to wait for elevators and the ship seemed quiet. You did see everyone at dinner though. Turkey: We toured the Sultan's Palace in Istanbul and had a lovely lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel. Mykonos: We took a cab to Paradise Beach and ate lunch right under our beach umbrella. The food service on the beach is fantastic! Mykonos town is wonderful and the Greeks are very helpful and friendly. Volos was another stop which was so enjoyable. We took the local bus to a beautiful beach for the day. I love everything about Cunard. I couldn't tell if the ship was in motion. The food was good and I was happy with the Spa Menu! During our days at sea, I enjoyed the Spa!!!! Excellent service and I enjoyed the Spa locker room with sauna. Our disembarkation was just as smooth as our check-in. The entertainment was good, the casino was fun and lectures were very informative. Can't wait until my next Cunard Cruise! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
I am a big lover of ocean liners and get very irritated when I hear them confused with cruise ships (e.g. How was your cruise??). I went with my family (Who wasn't expecting to enjoy it). We all had a wonderful time and will ... Read More
I am a big lover of ocean liners and get very irritated when I hear them confused with cruise ships (e.g. How was your cruise??). I went with my family (Who wasn't expecting to enjoy it). We all had a wonderful time and will definitely be sailing again with Cunard. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 in July for a transatlantic crossing to Britain. Embarkation went very smoothly. We just had to sit for about 10-15 minutes before we were ushered aboard. The journey was on a schedule, but not too rushed. I am aware that it slowed from six days to seven to save fuel, but it is still a crossing on a tight schedule.The ship also runs nine day crossings to and from Hamburg and eight day crossings with an extra stop in Canada. The service was amazing. I had been warned by many people in advance that the service dropped after Carnival took over the ship, but we were nonetheless impressed. I can't imagine what the service was like before Carnival took over. It must have been pure bliss. The waiters on board were very attentive and accommodating (in low-grade Britannia-Class nonetheless) and we felt like we were pampered. My parents had their own cabin and my brother and I shared an ocean-view cabin towards the bow of the ship. The only complaint I had about the cabin involved the bathroom which smelled like urine. I know our steward and the maids cleaned the toilet and I tried as well, but it seems that nobody knew where exactly the smell was coming from. It wasn't too bad, but it was irritating when even the crew wasn't able to solve it. Other than that, the cabin was incredible! I definitely recommend an ocean-view for that traditional ocean liner feel. It had a nice picture window and, being located near the bow, we were able to feel the thrusters maneuvering us out of New York harbor. The seas were calm the entire way. One couple who had traveled before said that the weather was the best they had ever seen. I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't get to see the QM2 handle a bad storm, since that is what the ship was built to do, although fog appeared on the last day. We got to meet Kim Novak, the movie star, who was doing a lecture on the ship. We got to take a photo with her and autograph. Sue Cameron, a Hollywood insider, did an interview with her. We didn't do much. We watched two movies of Novak's: Vertigo, always a masterpiece, and Bell, Book, and Candle, which I had never seen before. We sat out by the pool and at night, when most of the pools closed down, I figured out that the indoor/outdoor pool stayed open later, and would run upstairs in my bathing suit at 11:00 and have the pool to myself, floating on my back staring through the magrodome at the night sky. The library was another spot that I could enjoy with few interruptions. My family spent their time elsewhere, and the others in the library were very quiet and respectful. The view out over that long liner bow was spectacular. The only major criticism I have is that I felt a little bored on the seventh day, but the rest of the crossing was great. It felt great to lounge around and not do anything. I stayed up the last night (afraid of sleeping through disembarkation) and saw through the fog the lights of the United Kingdom on one side, and France on the other, as the ship raced through the English Channel towards Southampton. I will definitely become a repeat QM2 passenger, and am disappointed to see only 69% of people enjoyed the QM2 (as of December 12, 2015). I hope they will give the Queen another try! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our first sailing on Cunard, and hopefully won’t be our last. We quickly got used to the Cunard “ocean liner” experience, as compared to the experiences we’ve had on 20 or so past “cruise ships”. The following is ... Read More
This was our first sailing on Cunard, and hopefully won’t be our last. We quickly got used to the Cunard “ocean liner” experience, as compared to the experiences we’ve had on 20 or so past “cruise ships”. The following is pretty detailed; however, I appreciate the detailed reviews I’ve read here, so I trust this one will help others. Our crossing was Westbound: Southampton to Brooklyn. Embarkation: Very short waits at the port. Our luggage arrived within an hour. Cabin: We had an inside, which was fine, since there’s not much to see at sea! The bed was comfortable and the cabin had plenty of storage. The bathroom tiles were a bit dated, but the amenities were very nice. Lots of storage areas in the cabin. I wasn’t impressed with the cabin steward; she was reactive, rather than being proactive. Dining: The Britannia (MDR) is quite stunning. Cunard’s food was good, but not anything better than Princess. Getting free cappuccino/espresso, etc. after dinner was a nice touch. Drink prices were average for a cruise ship and the bars had a good selection of British beers on draught. Cocktails seemed to be on the skimpy-liquor side. The buffet setup is a bit odd, with the King’s Court spread out over a large area. While it was never crowded, unless you had a table by a window (they jutted out over the Promenade) you were stuck in an interior area, which, frankly looked dumpy. Afternoon tea, either served in the Queen’s Room, with white-gloved service, or via buffet in the King’s Court, was a nice touch with many selections of tea as well as finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. We did the upcharge Indian dinner (Coriander) available the last 2 nights of the cruise. There was plenty of good (not great) Indian food in the King’s Court buffet area, which was converted to a sit-down restaurant. Public Rooms: This is where the QM2 shines. Corridors are broad, the public rooms very large. The Queen’s Room is the largest ballroom afloat. It was wonderful seeing people ballroom dancing. We attended 3 cocktail parties there. G32, the disco, seemed dark and is hard to find. Illuminations (the planetarium cum lecture hall) is beautifully decorated in Art Deco style. The Golden Lion Pub was very comfortable with pub lunch food daily and the Chart Room bar very spacious. The gym had a good amount of weight training equipment and free weights, along with cardio equipment. Unlike most other ships, however, the cardio equipment didn’t face broad windows. I didn’t use it, but took a peek at the Gold Canyon Spa….looked elegant. There were also additional nooks for card playing, and quiet times. There’s a large selection of gift shops, though many were geared toward jewelry and high-end items. One highlight of the ship is the amazing library with stacks categorized by topic and the full-time librarian. In addition, there’s even a bookstore! Entertainment—I was worried about not enough to do, since this was my first crossing, but was NEVER bored. Cunard had 5 lecturers on board, from the former director of the Bank of England to a speaker on musical theatre. Most were attended well. In addition, there were the popular planetarium shows. I even found a quiet place forward on the ship with dim lighting for real stargazing. At least 4 trivia contests are offered daily, though the prizes are only given at the end of the cruise and are skimpy at that. There was a nice (and usually empty) casino, with amazingly low table stakes ($3 in the afternoon, $1 one day). One nice touch is that there are no announcements made during the day, save for the Captain’s midday communication. One thing that set Cunard apart was the quality of the live music. At the Queen’s Room, you might find a 20 piece dance band. At other venues a string quartet or harpist. We even had piano recitals in Illuminations during the afternoon. If that wasn’t enough, I attended a 1-hour version of Hamlet acted by students of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A downside were the evening production shows. The costumes were beautiful, but they lacked a theme, decent music, and dancers who can also sing. A full wrap-around Promenade deck was always full of people walking or jogging (1.3 miles for 3 laps). The deck chairs were padded with pillows. One downside is that Cunard hasn’t banned smoking yet. The aft area was always had a few smokers. The Commodore Club has large windows forward on the ship and was always a popular place for reading during the day, listening to live piano music, or cocktails in the evening. The ship provided an area there for an LGBT cocktail hour. Unfortunately, Churchill’s cigar lounge is next to the Commodore and when the door opens, the smell often ruined the ambiance of the Commodore Club. A worse scenario occurs on the 2nd floor of G32, where it was just uncomfortable unless you were a smoker. One remarkable story: On the penultimate day, we had an almost-emergency on the ship. At about 5:30 all of the staff were called to their muster stations. Cabin stewards put on their life jackets and all waiters left their 1st seating dining passengers to get to their assigned places. Apparently, there was a chemical spill in the engine room. Captain Wells made numerous announcements keeping all passengers informed. While we never had to get our life jackets, it was memorable. Several crew members told me it was the only time in 8 years this had ever happened. Kudos to the staff and crew for being ready! Disembarkation: Very smooth getting off the ship. US Immigrations, however, was very slow, with only 5 people on duty. Finally, the Cunard experience isn’t for everyone. Like most others on the ship, we brought our formal clothes, and in keeping with ship policy remained dressed at the shows, ballrooms, and disco. It made for a classy cruise….or should I say “crossing”!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our first cunard Cruise to celebrate my wifes 40th birthday! In a word it was amazing and a great grand way to celebrate a special birthday. Even though it was only a short cruise it gave us a taster for Cunard. The QM2 is grand ... Read More
This was our first cunard Cruise to celebrate my wifes 40th birthday! In a word it was amazing and a great grand way to celebrate a special birthday. Even though it was only a short cruise it gave us a taster for Cunard. The QM2 is grand and has plenty of space so it never felt overcrowded. The food both in the Britannia Restaurant and Kings Court was of a high standard and always served on hot plates and was piping hot. Menu choice was varied and plentiful. Our cabin was an inside grade on deck 5 next door to the Launderette, again well appointed and a good size for 3 of us to share with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. We celebrated my wifes 40th in the Queens Ballroom having afternoon tea with the band playing- absolutely marvellous!!! To sum up we are glad we tried Cunard and would most definately do another cruise on this or the other ships and wouldnt hesitate recommending them to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This cruise was a substitute for the Black Sea and Turkish Splendors which, due to Mr Putin, hardly touched the Black Sea! As we had stops at Warnemunde [Germany] and Kristiansand [Norway] on a previous cruise to St Petersburg the decision ... Read More
This cruise was a substitute for the Black Sea and Turkish Splendors which, due to Mr Putin, hardly touched the Black Sea! As we had stops at Warnemunde [Germany] and Kristiansand [Norway] on a previous cruise to St Petersburg the decision was made to head for Norway via Hamburg. Good choice. Embarkation at Southampton..........I must mention this, was the slickest ever! Practically straight onto the ship with no queue; I could hardly believe it! The stateroom was an upgrade issued about a week prior to the cruise. This glass-fronted balcony was the same as on QE and QV previously and is a better option to the enclosed balcony on decks 4 to 6 on QM2. There is often debate about this. To my mind the sheltered balcony would probably be better on a Trans-Atlantic trip. We will find out! Booked next July. Two stops at Hamburg were good with weather fine on first visit so we took to walking around the city rather than the open-top Red Bus or an organized excursion. Took the Cunard Shuttle bus to the Town Hall and and found our own way back; easy and not very far. Hamburg is a surprise with more canals than Venice, or so we were told! I won't go through all the Norway destinations as they were equally good. We did the Red Bus in Bergen and then walked the town in the afternoon after lunch. Our only organized excursion was at Andalsnes and the Rauma Railway. This is a 'must do', although greatly added-to by our guide back down the mountain in the coach. Weather was hot here, with some teenagers jumping into the fjord from the wooden jetty. Back to QM2. Cabin Service was, as on all our previous Cunard cruises, excellent. "Thank You" Larry. Also faultless were our two Britannia Restaurant waiters and all the Restaurant dining experience was [nearly!] 'spot-on'. I wish that I could get Consommé soup like this back in the UK. Of the Guest Speakers, Midge Ure [Band Aid] was really good. Of the entertainers, the flautist and pianist Metier Ensemble were terrific. One slight comment would probably be the result of a majority of the ship's guests being German. It seemed that much of the entertainment was skewed to the majority audience. A good instance of this was soprano Penny Mathisen's performance. Part of the routine was in German, to the point of performing a well known Italian song in German. Even the majority would probably have wondered what was going on! To me it just spoiled the show. Overall this was a pretty good cruise and would we do it again? Probably yes, but a month earlier if possible. A major plus was that we got away from the high pollen count in the UK.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We are just back from a transatlantic cruise on the QM2 which we booked at the last minute. It was so fantastic, I cried when I got off the ship to come home! We flew to New York and had a view days there before boarding the ship. ... Read More
We are just back from a transatlantic cruise on the QM2 which we booked at the last minute. It was so fantastic, I cried when I got off the ship to come home! We flew to New York and had a view days there before boarding the ship. Definitely the best way round to do it, to get the busy part out of the way first. Such a grand, prestigious ship. How amazing to sail out of the port of New York, looking at the iconic skyline and passing the Empire State Building. Unforgettable. As we prefer to adopt more casual attire on holiday, (having to dress fairly formally for work), we opted to use the Kings Court buffet dining for all our meals. Always a wide variety of hot and cold food available. No skimming on quality just because you're not in a formal restaurant. Choice at dinner even included venison, fresh tuna steak, guinea fowl and lobster tails. Tea, coffee, juice available 24/7. Excellent staff always available to clean tables. Yes it can get busy at times and feel a bit canteen-ish, but you don't have to go there if you don't like it! Even though the ship was near capacity with passengers, nowhere seemed too busy or crammed. Plenty of quiet places to sit. Our favourites were the Winter Garden with its beautiful friezes and ceiling paintings creating a tranquil setting and the Commodore Club with is wrap around views at the front of the ship. The Royal Court Theatre was great for shows. Wide variety of musicians, actors, dancers and comedy. Illuminations Is the Planetarium/cinema/lecture theatre. Queens Room is the venue for daily white-glove service afternoon tea and ballroom dancing. We were fortunate that the weather was pretty good so we spent a lot of time the the Terrace Pool. There is an indoor Pavilion Pool too. They are very small and can be dominated by children. I have noted other comments regarding the age of fellow passengers. People who complain about that should go on holiday with a group of same age friends if that is so important to them. Definitely a younger average age than the Norwegian Fjords cruise we have done before, but age is not important to us and if anything would prefer fellow passengers to the older, than young families. Older people have such interesting life and travel experiments to share. We did however feel perhaps we were in the minority of people for whom this was their annual summer holiday and not part of some greater adventure into Europe or beyond. Also we were probably part of the unlucky few who would be going back to work the day after getting home! Probably the most enjoyable holiday I've ever had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
Transfer from La Guardia: Easy to find Cunard representative at baggage claim. Our flight was delayed departing so we were taken to a private car to take us to the ship. The driver had a foreign accent which made it difficult to understand ... Read More
Transfer from La Guardia: Easy to find Cunard representative at baggage claim. Our flight was delayed departing so we were taken to a private car to take us to the ship. The driver had a foreign accent which made it difficult to understand him at times. When we got close the ship the driver didn't know how to get into the area where the passengers boarded. As we had made this trip before I had to direct him. Embarkation: Staff very friendly. Since we were late (about 3 PM arrival at the pier) most everyone had already boarded. Once we had checked in and got our key cards we proceeded to the ship. We were familiar with the boarding process so we just walked past the obligatory photo op and passed thru ships security without any delays. There was staff available to direct people to the appropriate elevators based on their cabin location. Stateroom: We had booked an inside cabin but Cunard upgraded us to an obstructed view balcony cabin. It was nice to have the larger cabin. It did have a bit of a 'tired' feel to it. The drain in the bathroom sink was missing most of its finish and there were chips of paint missing here and there. The obstruction was a lifeboat just beyond the balcony. It wasn't a normal size lifeboat but a smaller one that looked like a six passenger jet boat. As it was smaller you could see over it and around the front and back so we still had a better view of the water than people with a standard size lifeboat beyond their balcony. Location-wise the room was right near an elevator bank but you really had to listen to hear any noise from the hall or the elevator. Staff: Stateroom attendant was very nice and always greeted us by Mr and Mrs with our last name. She kept our room well tended. The only issue I had was that one day I dropped something under the bed. When I bent down to look under the bed to see where it went I found it and also found a previous passengers tooth whitening tray. Kinda creepy. I noted this in the questionnaire provided by Cunard near the end of the cruise. Note that they also sent a survey to my email address asking some of the same questions shortly after we got home. Dining room: We didn't use the dining room as we decided to eat in the buffet area each meal. In addition we also chose not to bring our formal clothes. This turned out to be somewhat of a poor decision as there were many formal nights. Even the semi-formal nights requested dressier clothes than we packed. This caused us some discomfort when evening came and the people who were in formal dress walked thru the buffet areas on their way to their dining room. The daily program requested that people who didn't want to dress up remain in the buffet area or the Winter Garden area. Food: Good selection at the buffet each meal. Specialty pasta offering each night. Some sounded good so I tried them. They were. Others didn't sound appealing so I went to the buffet. The pizza wasn't that good however. Cheeseburgers at lunch time were tasty. Desserts left a bit to be desired. Soft serve vanilla and chocolate as much as you wanted was fair. At one of the drink stations we found a coffee dispenser that offered German coffee. We tried it and we liked it. Once we found that we didn't drink any of the regular coffee. Not that the regular coffee was bad it's just that we liked the German coffee better. Entertainment: Guest lectures on board were good except for one gentleman who was called Mr. Cruiseship. He was so engaging and animated during his lecture it kept me awake and interested. It helped that he was talking about a subject near and dear to our hearts - cruise ships of course. Very good speaker. The best part of the entertainment however, was that James Taylor performed. He was gracious enough to endure a 1 hour interview during which passengers who had earlier submitted questions was asked them by the cruise director while the two of them were sitting on the main theater stage. After the interview he agreed to sign autographs and pose for pictures. The line of passengers to see him was HUGE! He stayed for six hours doing this! What a great guy! Of course, I believe he got passage for himself, his family, his band members, and all his equipment for doing all of this. James performed two concerts - one for each dining seating time. When we went to the concert he played non-stop for an hour and a half. He played all the popular songs I knew and then some. Late in the concert he had his wife and one of his sons come on stage to perform as backup singers. Really good show! Disembarkation: On the last day we were told to meet in the main theater and wait for our number/color to be called. We got there and found some seats without too much difficulty since we arrived about 1/2 hour before we were supposed to be called. While we were waiting more and more people showed up. As the close by seats which were easy to get to were filled up people started standing by the entrance doors which made it difficult for other people to pass by. Some of the people decided to sit on the steps leading to some of the higher seats which made it very difficult for people to pass. There was even one guy who sat on the steps and refused to move for a while so people had to walk across the aisle where people were sitting to get around this inconsiderate person. Transfer to Heathrow: This was done by motorcoach (some would call it a bus). The driver was really nice and actually gave us a commentary and short tour of Southampton as we drove along. Once he got on the expressway there wasn't much for him to say so it was quite for the hour or two it took to get to the airport. On the ship we were requested to provide information about our return flight. We were supposedly on an American Airlines flight but it was actually operated by British Airways. We were dropped at the American counters at the airport but found we had to go to an entirely different terminal for BA. The way to get there was to take an underground train. This is mess is a whole other story though and doesn't reflect on the cruise. Summary: Nice, relaxing cruise which we took just because James Taylor was performing. All went well in the long run. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
First, I want to thank previous reviewers on the items that helped us the most: Packing - the North Atlantic is unpredictable so bring layers and "sensible" shoes. During our August crossing, we had sun, rain, fog and wind so ... Read More
First, I want to thank previous reviewers on the items that helped us the most: Packing - the North Atlantic is unpredictable so bring layers and "sensible" shoes. During our August crossing, we had sun, rain, fog and wind so shorts and sandals were fine a couple of days but we needed rain jackets and closed-toe, rubber sole shoes on others. My Steve is not "dressy" so he got by with one good black suit (with specially purchased bow-tie) for formal nights and a navy blue sports jacket for the informal nights plus 5 white long-sleeved shirts and a couple pair of nice slacks. He is "sporty" so had a good assortment of layers. I bought a couple of dresses and a small steamer especially for this trip. The steamer came in very handy and I never had to compete for an iron in the laundrette! The dress code is a little more flexible for ladies so I was able to wear cocktail dresses on both formal and informal nights. If you have luggage limitations for weight and/or space, I recommend you just go with a couple lighter, shorter evening dresses. My one "little black dress" did it's duty on three different occasions. Laundrettes - located on almost every deck with four washers and dryers (free-to-use), iron and ironing board. Soap is provided in wall container (not best so may want to bring some "pods" from home). My additional notes: Machines are full size so can hold quite a bit. These got very busy the last two days of the journey. Operating hours are limited so cabins near by are not disturbed at all hours. I believe the hours were 0700-2100 and the doors are locked during closed times. Spa passes - can be purchased in 1, 3 or 5-day packages. The pass gives you access to the thermal pools, saunas and specialty showers. I bought the 3-day pass for myself for $75 (I believe 1-day was $40 and 5-day was $90). For our crossing the 3-day pass worked out great for me but I may bump up to 5-days on our next trip. I especially enjoyed the bubbly heated pool, dry sauna and herbal sauna. My only complaints were the hot tub wasn't really hot and one of the two specialty showers was only partially working (nice tropical rain option). "Museum" ship - lots of fun, informative posterboards in stairwells and hallways. You can get a headset with audio recordings from the pursers' desk that correspond with some of the posters. I had to trade mine in after the first 24 hours because the battery died. The same thing happened after the second 24 hours so if you want to "do" the whole ship, you'll want to plan accordingly. I was able to cover all the posters in the stairwells (bonus opportunity to work off some calories!) but am looking forward to a future crossing to finish up the posters along the halls around Innovations theater. I wish they had some kind of pamplet/guide to help you (like a real museum) but as far as I know, none exist. Room Service breakfast - comes in 15-min time windows (0630-1000), drinks and food were still hot on arrival. Steve is a night owl and I'm an early bird so I would go up to the King's court to have coffee and cereal, peruse the daily "programme", get in some museum posters, and then get back to the cabin for the 0930 arrival of Steve's breakfast and a second pot of coffee for myself. The delivery attendant was different every morning and I tipped them (just $1). They were always appreciative and even surprised a couple of them but I viewed this as a special service (those trays are heavy!). Cunard Insight speaker Bill Miller is fantastic! His lectures were a wonderful foundation for the "museum" experience - they are interesting and he knows how and when to provide funny antidotes/jokes. I got to attend one of the lectures in person and saw another broadcast on the ship's channel. If he's featured on one of my future sailings, I'll make his lectures a priority to attend. There were 2 or 3 other speakers and I saw some interesting bits and pieces on the rebroadcasts. Afternoon Tea – wonderful experience! We went on our first day at sea and then two more days. We discovered all the cakes, scones and sandwiches were available at the King's Court, too, so on the days we didn't have time or just wanted one item with the tea, we went there. I wish the scones came with a “without raisen” option but I was able to pick most of them out, slather on the cream and strawberry jam and wow, yummy! To my American brethren: just give the scones and clotted cream a try, at least once. Now for the items we discovered on our own... Cabin – we were in 6082 and liked the “sheltered balcony” very much. During the rougher days, we were still able to go out and enjoy the fresh air without getting too wet. Since deck six is right below the promenade deck we did occasionally hear some foot traffic. We are not too sensitive to noise so this didn't bother us but I wouldn't opt for this deck if either of us were light sleepers! Also, our cabin was a bit forward so we swayed with the boat more than once on our way down the halls. I had brought stomach aids just in case, but the roll was gentle and neither of us needed the aids. Again, if you're sensitive to such things, you may want to go aft and lower for more stability. I did find the bed a little hard the first night so asked our steward for some extra padding (thanks to a previous reviewer for that tip!) and had no problem after that. We were located well for us – near the stairs going up to the King's Court and the spa/fitness center. Spa/fitness center – Good variety of aerobic machines and weights. Steve and I were using the treadmills one day while the ship was going through some swells – hold on tight!! Very weird experience that sent use to using stairs and promenade for our aerobic activity. Fitness bikes and stair steppers are probably the best bet while at sea... Pastry lovers rejoice because there are an abundance of glorious, delicious choices! One day they set up an entire buffet (with carved ice horse) in the middle of the King's Court. That's were I gained one of my vacation pounds, I'm sure. Bread lovers may not be so happy as I found the bread offerings to be average, at best. For me, this was a good offset for my pastry consumption, as I just turned down or passed by the bread offerings and doubled up on the pastry! Casino – Steve enjoys roulette and he especially appreciated the single “0” wheel. It's also nice that the bet minimums are just $1 on most tables and Steve said they went down to .50 some days he was there. He noted that the table personnel seemed inexperienced but the pit boss quickly corrected any errors. Next time, he wants to try more craps since that seemed to be the most fun when there were 3 or more players. They have classes some days so I may even join in next time. Transfers – We arranged these with Cunard and were pretty pleased. Our transfer in NY was the best because we came in early on our own arranged flight to JFK. We received a private luxury car to take us to the terminal! Between Southampton and Heathrow we shared an average tourist bus. This got us to the airport waaaayyy early. We found good seats in the Italian cafe so were able to make the best of it... Next time I'll look into making our own arrangements just so we can do self-disembarkation without the cattle-herding aspects of the group transport (including leaving the cabin earlier than necessary – remember Steve the late sleeper?). Wine Steward – the one sour note in my QM2 experience was the snobby wine sterward in the Brittania. Steve doesn't drink and I usually have just one glass of wine with dinner. The first evening I didn't want anything because I was already fatigued from the travel day. The second evening I decided to try the Cunard white wine from Sicily, which I liked. The next evening I thought I might try something different but the steward asked as soon as we sat down so I asked to wait until after I decided what to eat. Thirty mins later, the steward is flitting around to the other tables (with bottles) and chatting. When the waiter brought our entree, I asked HIM about getting a glass of wine and, of course, he said he'd send over the steward. It took another 10-15 mins before the steward showed up so I thought I might at least get some wine to go with the small cheese plate for dessert. I decided the same Cunard white would work fine for that, made my order and the steward rolled his eyes! On top of that, he never asked for my drink order again so I guess he showed me! (losing out on those automatic gratuities) Shrug – I commented on this in my final review but he seemed very popular with the big drinkers so I doubt that anything will change there. My strategy going forward will be to study the menus ahead of the seatings and have my selections ready when (and if) the steward deigns to offer. Planetarium – I was really looking forward to these shows but only got to see one towards the end of our trip because I didn't realize there was such limited seating. To get the tickets for the time you want, you have to get to the desk early (I encountered lines twice). They had two different shows on two days each with 3-4 different times each day. We saw “Infinity Express” and enjoyed it very much. I will make getting my tickets a priority on our next voyage so watch out for a smallish blonde woman with a determined gleam in her eyes! The Illuminations theater that houses the planetarium also hosts some of the lectures and runs good movies (we saw “Noah” and “Grand Budapest Hotel” which had just finished their initial theater runs a few months prior). If you go there for lectures or movies, you want to be careful about picking a seat in the planetarium section since some of these seem to be in a permanent recline mode. Dancing! - Classes for ballroom and line were offered almost every day in 45 minute increments. They were fun and very beneficial to us when we went to the wonderful Black and White ball and other dancing events offered throughout the voyage. Music! - Wonderful as background to tea and dinner and great on stage. We totally lucked into James Taylor and his band on our voyage. We enjoyed his music but were not huge fans like the people who bought onto the trip just for him. I must say everything I heard and saw (second performance), impressed me very much. The man greeted every person who waited to see him after his Q&A – over 4 hours worth of handshaking! He's pure awesome. In my opinion, any adult with a smidgeon of curiousity and flexibility would find a trip on the QM2 to be a fun adventure because I didn't even have time to try a pub quizz, acting classes, card games, tour of the bridge, food caving demos, art class, computer class, etc., etc... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ... Read More
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ship from Hamburg, embarkation was fairly smooth the port was not crowded; it took us less than 30 minutes to board the ship. This is our 4th cruise on QM 2, still impressed by her elegance. We went to our balcony cabin on Deck 8 which is very spacious. The cabin 8058 balcony was partially obstructed by the life boats, lacks privacy as maintenance works done on the boats on and off. We went to King’s court for a bite to eat. On our return to our cabin, luggage was promptly delivered by ship staff. Our room stewardess very sweet Filipino lady Jeanette greeted us with a warm welcome. We went around the ship familiarize various facilities spread throughout the ship. At 5 PM we went to King’s court on Deck 7 for drill. We took a shower, dressed semi formally with a jacket tie for me and dress for Sharon. The ship had 5 formal night where Tuxedo or Jacket and tie for men and dress for ladies required. Our dining table was in Britannia Deck 3. Our waiter Rose was another fantastic Filipino lady. She knew my dietary requirements even before I sat on my chair. Tour able was # 336 and we met our tablemates, from Florida, Dallas Texas. The service in the Britannia dining was excellent. We enjoyed our table mates company very much we were frequently among the last tables to leave at our early seating, so we were not looking for quick dinner. Britannia offered a wide selection for dinner including a Canyon Ranch Spa selection with low calorie for the diet conscious as well as several vegetarian offerings indicated with a “V”. Then we went to a variety show at the Royal Theater. Sharon unpacked the luggage and put away all our clothes while I was whiling away on the ship finding my ways to Queens’s room and club G32 which were at the very back of the ship behind the dining room on Deck 3 one has go through a maze to find them. This is the only ship on high seas equipped with planetarium “Illumination” in the forward section on Deck 3 behind Royal Court Theater, which is also a lecture hall and movie theater. While walking between Deck 2-3 passage ways, there are rows of tables along the windows with variety of board games and jigsaw puzzles, or offered a place to watch the ocean streaming by. On Deck 8 the QM2 library is well stocked with 8000 books on various subjects from, biography, travel, mystery, fictions. I got 3 books written by Alex Rutherford on Moghul Empire, Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir. The ship has to wait for the low tide before her funnel can clear the bridges. The sail away occurred almost at mid night was unbelievable with the bright lights of Hamburg receding on the back ground. Queen Mary slowly glided on the Thebe River like a black Swan on a Pond. Then she passed under the various low Bridges her funnel was so close, look like she was almost touching the bridge. Every day between 3:30 and 4:30, a formal white glove tea is served with fresh warm scones, little sandwiches, and pastries while Big band era was playing. Every evening is a special time on QM2; we had 5 formal nights, 5 semi-formal nights (equally formal) and 3 smart causal nights. After dinner we went for little dancing and headed toward Royal Court Theater for evening shows. Every day we had different performances, some by Cunard Dancers and other performers from outside. All the shows were of 4 star qualities. Cunard big production show “Viva Italia” was great; “Apassionata” was quite good. At the end of each show we went to Queens Ball room where some times Cunard Orchestra played Big Band Era Music and other days other band played popular Music. One day we had Black and white Ball, another night we had Ascot Ball where ladies wore different fashionable hats, men wore Tux and some wore ascot and top hats. All in all it was fun to dance through the night. We called off our night around 11:30 PM. In the morning we had room service around 7 AM consisted of Danish, juice, cup of coffee or tea. On the sea days we walked 1-2 miles on the Promenade Deck (7). Three round the ship =1.1 mile The Planetarium had some great shows and we were sorry we only had time for two of them. A small grumble concerned the too frequent attendance of the photographers. Perhaps those who want to pay $25 for each photograph of every special evening and gangplank arrival could make a special arrangement, while the rest of us won't need to keep saying 'No, thank you'. Furthermore, with such an advance in digital photography available today, passengers should be in a position to view their photographs in their cabin TV monitors rather printing all the photographs and shredding the unwanted prints thus wasting all those papers and inks. To sum up, it really was one of the best ships we have sailed on; it was so elegant with excellent service throughout and the delight was in the details. We can hardly wait to book another cruise. Disembarkation due to high tide QM2 has to wait for the low tide to sail into the harbor. She was docked at 10 AM. We disembarked at 11:15 took a Taxi to Hamburg to catch our Amsterdam flight. KLM flight got delayed due to mechanical problem of the plane. We missed our connecting flight to NY. KLM booked us the first flight on Tuesday and also arranged accommodation at IBIS near the airport which is a descent airport hotel.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I'm very satisfied with our cruise on Queen Victoria to the Baltic and Northern Europe. We have cruised before and this was the best experience. The food was uniformly excellent in the different venues, the entertainment was varied ... Read More
I'm very satisfied with our cruise on Queen Victoria to the Baltic and Northern Europe. We have cruised before and this was the best experience. The food was uniformly excellent in the different venues, the entertainment was varied and professional and the service could not be faulted in any way. By way of example of the service that was typical, I dropped the cap of my lipstick one morning while in the stateroom bathroom and it rolled away under the counter's bottom shelf and out of my reach. I considered it lost. However, the room stewardess must have noticed it missing when she made up our room and retrieved and re-placed it. Another example is when I ordered a veggie burger on the pool deck for lunch. I was pleased to see that the cook grilled the patty separately from the beef burgers on a different grill and used clean utensils to flip it. These are just small matters but they show the level of attention and care. I was also told by the executive chef that with two weeks notice a separate vegan menu could be prepared for the entire cruise. This might encourage a vegan family member to come with us another time. Contrary to what I've read elsewhere, I found the drink prices reasonable at about $7 - $8. There was no pressure in any of the lounges to purchase a drink, however. To balance my review, I thought there was more ballroom dancing than necessary, from my point of view. It seemed that the same six to ten couples fox trotted and quick stepped around the floor while everyone else watched from the sidelines or were elsewhere on the ship. Read Less
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