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Sail Date: February 2004
Queen Mary 2, February 11 - March 6 2004 By CruiserDan Preface I knew that this was going to be a cruise to remember, therefore I took copious notes in my daily journal. The ship was advertised to be the most luxurious oceanliner in ... Read More
Queen Mary 2, February 11 - March 6 2004 By CruiserDan Preface I knew that this was going to be a cruise to remember, therefore I took copious notes in my daily journal. The ship was advertised to be the most luxurious oceanliner in the world, with white glove service and attention to every detail. I typically travel the luxury lines of Seabourn, Radisson, and Crystal, so my expectations were heightened. Embarkation My flight arrived at 12 noon, and although my cruise ticket indicated that I was to board no earlier than 3:00 PM, I got in line with several hundred passengers. Soon after, a Cunard representative announced that Queens Grill, Princess Grill passengers, and those paying with American Express Platinum card could skip the long line, and embark immediately. Having done the latter, I was whisked to the front area, checked in, and embarked the ship. This was very smooth for me, but I did hear a few people grumbling as to how long it took them to get on the ship. I expected to be greeted by a staff member, who like other lines, would take my hand luggage, and introduce me to my stateroom. This was not the case. I was told which floor to go to, and I was to find my stateroom on my own. I was a bit surprised, as this, being my 36th cruise in 9 years, was a first. The Stateroom I booked a category B1, outside stateroom with a balcony. The cabin was a bit crowded, with little storage space. It was very plain, and although it had a refrigerator, there wasn't anything in it. The wood tones were actually plastic, and the carpet was already showing signs of wear. Email was available on your television at a cost of $1.50 per incoming and outgoing emails. The cabin had a balcony that was basically a picture window with the glass removed. It was actually a hole in the hull. This made the cabin strangely dark and gloomy. If laying on the lounge out on the balcony, there was no water view. I was a bit disappointed in this arrangement. Had I known this fact in July of 2002 when I booked the cruise, I would have chosen another balcony category. The balcony staterooms on the higher levels offered clear glass balconies with beautiful views. The only category one should be aware of is B3. These balconies are fully obstructed by the lifeboats. The Stewardess I heard from the majority of the passengers that their stewards or stewardesses were very good. Unfortunately mine was not. On 3 occasions, she did not make up the stateroom (the card was out every time), and had to be reminded daily that I was out of things. We were not provided a pool towel until the 3rd day. There were plenty of excuses. When my stateroom was ignored the day of the second leg of the trip, I was told that she was busy making up the staterooms for the new passengers. I could understand that, but I was also a paying passenger who happened to elect to do 2 segments. She told me that she used to work for Silversea Cruises, to my amazement. She was not up to standard. This was just my experience, and not the experience of others. The Ship Obviously this ship is quite a sight to behold. She has lovely lines and a prominent bow. The designers achieved a look of a traditional oceanliner with the size of a mega cruise ship. The interior space was a bit disappointing, and so much of the ship's accessories were plastic. The public rooms were generous yet lacked the traditional elegance of yesterday. It was a bit difficult to find certain rooms such as the Queens Room and G32 nightclub, without much practice. 3 times around deck is over a mile, which illustrates just how big this ship is. Although she can accommodate 2600 passengers, I was able to make friends easily and was able to find them on deck or the many public areas. The only areas that were not accessible to everyone were the Queens Grill lounge and dining room, the Princess Grill dining room and the Queens Grill sundeck. The ship being so huge, it was agreed by all the staff that 1800 crew was needed to run this ship. The ship has a capacity for only 1300 staff, so service across the board was extremely slow, spotty and disappointing. Much of the crew had never been on board a ship before. The Bars and Lounges I personally preferred the Commodore Club for pre-dinner cocktails and post dinner brandies, and the G32 nightclub for late night dancing. G32 was well attended, but the DJ was limited to what songs he could play. Many requests were not on his corporate "play list". Policies like this are ridiculous. This is supposed to be an adult nightclub with adult music. There were other bars and lounges such as Winter Garden, Golden Lion Pub, Sir Samuel's Wine bar, the outdoor Regatta Bar and the Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar. Each offered its own feel or personality. There was one similarity though. The liquor pour was slight across the board. Although drinks were on the expensive side, from $4.50 to over $6.00 a pour, one could never say they were heavy handed or a drink was ever on the house. I experienced an incident where management threatened a group of bartenders in one of the lounges if they strayed from Cunard's drink policies. The ship claimed to have the most extensive wine cellar at sea, yet they were out of several selections throughout the voyage. The Culinary Experience The Kings Court for breakfast and lunch were at the very best, mediocre. The food was cold a lot of the time, the juices were thick and there was no skim milk to be found. Never staff members to carry a tray, only to quickly take your plate if you look the other way. Very crowded at times, and nicknamed by many, "the trough". For dinner, the Kings Court is transformed to 4 alternative restaurants. The Chefs Galley offers a type of interactive cooking demonstration. You watch the chef prepare your meal, as he explains his techniques. Wine is included, and there is a charge of $30 per person. The Carvery offers a selection of heavier meats and fare. La Piazza is the Italian restaurant, and offers pastas, red sauces and the like. The Lotus is the Asian restaurant. Though the first mentioned restaurants were average to good, the Lotus was the worst alternative restaurant experience I have ever had on a cruise ship. The nice table promised by the maitre 'd faced a blank wall, the unusual "condiments" on the table were never explained. No bar service, and the wait between courses was agonizing. After the 4th course (of 12) and 1-½ hours later, we left. The service was non-existent and the only way I can describe the food was that it looked and tasted like a $5.99 all you can eat Chinese lunch buffet. Todd English was the stand-alone alternative restaurant. It is open for lunch and dinner, and reservations are required. The ambience didn't strike me as elegant, and much of the wait staff was inexperienced. I did, however, recognize a wine steward from the Royal Viking Line, and was happy to see him. The food was very good, but a bit on the rich side. I understand that after my cruise, Todd English will command a surcharge of $20 per person for lunch and $30 per person for dinner. This is a shame, as its one of the only "escapes" from the poor food and service in the Britannia Restaurant. I witnessed a fiasco at Todd English during disembarkation / embarkation day on the second leg of my voyage. Because so many staying on board wanted a reservation at Todd English, many crowded the restaurant 2 hours before reservations were to be made. Because of the sheer size of the crowd, a passenger suggested that everyone write their name and stateroom number on a list of paper until the maitre 'd arrived. It actually was a very good idea, until someone lost page 1 with 20 names on it! The "honor system" did not prevail, and tempers rose. I was able to make my reservation, but soon after a punch was thrown, security called, and Todd English was closed due to a "technical difficulty". All this over trying to make a dinner reservation. This incident was very sad. They opened for business the next day with little fanfare. The Britannia Restaurant is the 2-seating restaurant where the majority of the passengers dine. The majority of the food is bland and unappetizing, although some items such as the lamb and rolls were tasty. Because the room is so understaffed, the wait throughout dinner can be irritating. Often the food is cold, because the kitchen is so far away. Without a lot more wait staff, this restaurant will never be right. Also missing was the on site flambEs, special orders, and baked Alaska. The room itself is very grand, but the food and service do not do it justice. There was an incident where a waiter knocked one of the maitre 'd's over the head with a peppermill, after being berated in front of several passengers. I assume he was asked to disembark at the next port! Princess Grill and Queens Grill are the 2 restaurants for the upper class stateroom passengers. I dined in Queens Grill several times, invited by friends, and enjoyed first class food and service. The ambiance was charming and relaxed, and the food selection grand. The only difference between the Princess Grill menu and the Queens Grill menu is that the Queens Grill menu has an additional "ala carte" section. During the day, the Boardwalk Cafe opens at deck 12. It is open air, and because it is on an empty deck, you have the feel of eating in a parking lot. The fare is hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken. Overcooked, stale buns, and bad taste. This is a "must avoid". Overall, QM2 MUST get their act together in the food and service categories, or I believe she will not survive. She most certainly did not live up to her advertisements and promises in this category. The Canyon Ranch Spa and Gymnasium This was a pet peeve of mine. I regularly use the gym, and found out that the way Canyon Ranch designed this area, you either had to sign up for a spa service, or pay $19 a day to use the locker room to shower and change. This was ridiculous. So many of us had to drag our sweaty bodies along public areas, to our staterooms, only to take a shower and change. I'm assuming that Canyon Ranch planned to charge for use of the gym across the board, therefore stowing the changing areas deep in the spa area. The gym itself is equipped with all the latest machines and free-weights. The only minor complaint in the gym was that the music videos on the small TV's in front of the machines were so outdated. I did not book any of the over-priced spa services. Finally I always say that if you make new friends on board a ship, you are definitely going to have a good cruise. If you meet new friends and can enjoy a first class experience on board, you are going to have a great cruise. This cruise was a good cruise. The marketing team for the QM2 should receive a medal for their efforts. The hype and expectations were high, and Cunard fell flat on its face. For the fares charged, one should have received 5 star service, great food, and lovely accommodations. This did not happen. I personally would never sail QM2 again, and would think twice about Cunard line in the future. Had I known its shortcomings, (especially the lack of crew, and the impossible task of finding births for more), I would have cancelled this cruise in a heart beat. I'm sure others had a good time, and were awe struck by the ship itself. The awe of being on her, in my opinion, goes away in a day or so. CruiserDan Read Less
Sail Date: March 2004
It truly is an imposing ship with some of the finest decor I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The size of the QM2 almost staggers the imagination. The first surprise was a disappointment when we entered our accommodations "Premium ... Read More
It truly is an imposing ship with some of the finest decor I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The size of the QM2 almost staggers the imagination. The first surprise was a disappointment when we entered our accommodations "Premium Balcony." The descriptions and photo in your "Welcome The Queen" brochure clearly showed a balcony that could be viewed from a chair. Unfortunately we only were able to use it when we sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale and when we returned. The entombed feeling of being in a cocoon or metal confinement was just too unbearable. I waited a few days before I approached the purser's desk to register my concerns and was told that the printer had made an error and it had been too late to make changes in the brochure, as it had already been sent out. It was suggested that I speak with the cruise sales office. I waited another day before approaching the sales office. I asked Ann (dark-haired woman) if I might see the original brochure describing the cabins. Her concern was that she only had one; I assured her by telling her that I only wanted to see it. I said that I was only verifying what I had seen from the beginning and my dissatisfaction with the accommodations when Betty, the other sales person who was not invited, jumped into the conversation without being asked. She should have remained with the client she had at her desk. I was told that the ship was built that way because it sails transatlantic which can experience very rough weather. I found that I had not been the only passenger who had been to their office with the same complaint . I could tell by their frustration and Ann's response of "YOU GOT WHAT YOU PAID FOR." However, I did not get what I had paid for. It was definitely misrepresented in the brochure. The service in the Britannia dining room is sorely in need of beefing up. It was the general topic of conversation by so many friends who were with me on the cruise, and also with others whom I had met on the ship. I would not have believed that the waiters of French descent would harbor ill feelings toward Americans, but that seemed to be the case, I felt, at two of our tables--one at main seating and one at the late seating. On the evening we set sail from Ft. Lauderdale, at 8:30 p.m. a large group of us were queued up outside the doors of the Britannia dining room. The main seating was still inside and we waited until 8:45 for the doors to open and we were allowed into the dining room. Many of the passengers were elderly, and they had to stand there for 15 minutes. Then I wondered if perhaps we were mistaken and not supposed to be seated until 8:45, but I was told that the second seating was set for 8:30. On the second night, the same thing happened. We were not allowed to enter until 8:45. Incidentally, we did not finish dining until 11:00 p.m., and on the first evening we never did get our coffee, nor the truffles that others received. On four occasions during the cruise, we did not get truffles served to us, but they were served at other tables. One evening I was served Perrier in a beer glass (no water glasses at our table), and on two occasions the waiter poured water into our glasses that had Perrier in them. He apologized in a round about way by saying that he had no way of knowing what the wine steward had done, but he never did make restitution, which I felt he should have done at least on the second occasion. Two people at our table who were members of my group decided to change after the second evening to main seating because they felt that finishing at 11:00 p.m. was just too late for them. On the 2nd night Yves, our waiter, asked how we liked the ship. Before we could answer, he said, "Remember, we French only built it, we did not design it." We felt that we were certainly not provided service in the manner of a 5-star cruise line. I felt that the wait staff lacked sufficient training, as did others on the cruise because it seemed to be a general topic of discussion. Also, I felt that the wait staff needed more thorough super-vision. Others agreed with me in this regard as well. It seemed as if Yves and the assistant waiter, Richard, did not work very well together. They could not establish a rhythm or rapport, and it was evident they lacked communication. Yves had no problem with the six French ladies at the table behind us or his other table of eight French guests. The food served in the Britannia dining room was exceptionally good--probably the best that I have ever been served on a cruise ship. If the service had been equal to it, I would truly have no complaint regarding the dining room service. All the section maitre d' could say was "ya ya." None of these situations ever occurred at lunches in the Britannia (we were served by other waiters and assistant waiters). We had a chance to meet some of the most professional serving staff, especially the British, Hungarians and Asian wait staff. When I had dinner in the Carvery with our group of 12 friends, clients and associates, the food was so slow in being served to us that several of the group complained about it (it was slow), and I thought that they might just get up and leave. One evening when we went to the Royal Court Theatre, I was on the upper level, on the left side. The audio acoustics were not very good. There was no unpleasant sound when the singers were facing forward, but when they turned toward the left side where I was seated, the voice sound was a loud, high screech pitch. Later when the show had concluded, I went to talk with the sound booth man. I told him about the problem, and he said, "What did you expect?" Not that response, I can assure you. The stateroom attendant, Henrietta, was the most attentive and courteous of your entire staff. She performed her task of cleaning our room and changing our towels without fault. Whatever we needed, she provided, and smilingly at that. We rewarded her with additional gratuity because she was such a diligent worker and truly an asset to Cunard Cruise Line. My cabin mate needed medical attention because of an eye infection that occurred after a few days at sea. Dr. Carroll was excellent at his job, and his staff was very professional as well. The 4:00 p.m. tea service in the Winter Garden area on Deck 7 was a wonderful experience. That wait staff performed in an exemplary manner. The food and tea were excellent and my group commented that this was the best service that they enjoyed on the ship in 10 days. The ship seemed to pitch and roll. At one point in the middle of the night, I felt that the ship was going to tip over. I was truly frightened. It was a time of high winds and rough seas, but I have been in much worse weather on smaller ships, and I have never felt that way. It seemed to me that the ship was unstable. Others complained of that as well. Much of my time seemed to be spent observing and suggesting how to serve people in a more acceptable manner. I have many years of service experience in customer service, training and quality control with American Airlines and my own company, TRA World Group. "The customer was always right." We "stepped aside" rather than crossed in front of customers. When a customer made a reasonable request, we were trained to comply with it. That is something that some of your wait staff needs to learn (it really is just a matter of training, and then being followed up with normal supervision). I am a seasoned cruiser, with at least 70 cruises behind me, and I and my friends and associates have experience on Silver Seas, Radisson, Holland America and many of the other 5- and 6-star companies. I have never been treated with such rudeness as I have on QM2. It is the first time that I feel that I have been disloyal to my friends, clients, and associates for recommending the QM2. I know that they were not happy cruisers. My final thought is that this was the first time I paid to help train people, to be insulted, and, contrary to Ann's remark, "I did not get what I had paid for." Read Less
Sail Date: April 2004
It was with much excitement that my husband and I booked onto the QM2 for what we hoped would be a very special 4 night cruise on what Cunard call 'the best ocean liners in the world'. QM2 was to sail from Southampton on the 16th ... Read More
It was with much excitement that my husband and I booked onto the QM2 for what we hoped would be a very special 4 night cruise on what Cunard call 'the best ocean liners in the world'. QM2 was to sail from Southampton on the 16th April 2004 and then on to make two maiden calls to Geurnsey and Cherbourg. It was to be our fourth cruise, the first being on Brilliance of the Seas in August 2002, Adonia in August 2003 and again on Brilliance in November 2003. We had been most impressed with all our cruising experiences, in particular, Brilliance of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) We left our home in Lancashire on 11th April to travel to Southampton for our pre-cruise hotel organised independently by ourselves. QM2 was due to dock into Southampton at 6.00 a.m. on the 12th. We awoke relatively early and were informed by the local news on our hotel room TV that QM2 was in fact to dock some 5 hours late due to a technical difficulty. Whilst this was obviously disappointing, it gave us the unusual opportunity to see QM2 arrive into Southampton in daylight at 11.00 a.m. video camera in toe, we waited for the first glimpse of QM2 which was the top of her red funnel over the top of the port buildings in the distance and watched her gracefully, quietly and slowly take up her position at the QE2 terminal. The time on our tickets showed embarkation to be 3.30 p.m. We had received no notification from Cunard (despite Cunard apparently being aware of this delay from the Friday before and in receipt of our mobile numbers) therefore, we attended at the terminal in accordance with the information given on our tickets. It took a significant amount of time to drive to the dock as the dock area was completely gridlocked with traffic. When we arrived at the terminal and parked our car our luggage was taken and we were asked to board a coach which would take us back through the terminal to the De Vere Hotel for refreshments. Whilst discussing what we should do we were informed by a fellow guest that if we chose to go to the local hotel then it would take at least an hour to get there and there was nowhere to sit. Therefore, we chose not to take up this offer and instead went into the terminal to wait for Cunard to open the doors. At 4.00 p.m. passengers on the previous voyage were still disembarking and the scene was one of absolute chaos. At 4.55 p.m. Cunard opened the doors and we were one of the first to be checked in. The signs to the ship were pointing in the wrong direction and the escalator to the waiting hall wasn't working. However, we were not too concerned, only eager to see what awaited us. After a very short wait of only one or two minutes in the waiting hall we were told we could embark. We dashed to form a queue and were then told that actually, they weren't quite ready. Another 5 or 10 minutes later we were finally told we could embark. We walked straight into the Grand Lobby and were faced with a line of staff who greeted us by saying "welcome aboard". No-one offered to show us to our cabin and no-one offered to help carry some of our hand luggage. We were just pointed in the right direction which we felt was very lacking in comparison with our other cruises. Anyway, not to be perturbed we eagerly made our way to our cabin. We had been upgraded from an inside to an outside with a porthole and the cabin had been adapted to be wheelchair friendly, therefore, it was huge. We were extremely pleased with our cabin which was furnished to a delightful standard and was spotless. There was also a complimentary half bottle of champagne which I understand is provided on all cruises. We left packing until later and explored the ship. If I had been a first time cruiser I am sure I would have been absolutely elated with her beauty however overall I felt the rooms were too similar and lacked atmosphere and character. There is very little wood, the wall panels are high gloss laminate and the huge murals which line the walls to the Britannia, whilst are designed to look like bronze appear to be made from plastic. I understand that wood has not been used to comply to fire regulations however Brilliance was only launched in 2002 and is full of beautiful wood panels and flooring. Our first meal on board was taken in the Britannia restaurant. We were on late sitting however by the time the safety drill had been done, it was 9.20 p.m. before we were able to sit down. Quite simply, the service was appalling. The waitress had to ask my husband to help her support the overloaded drinks tray as she was going to drop it and beer was 'served' in the can unpoured and even unopened. My glass had a 'tide mark' and the food served was cold. We felt it may be unreasonable to complain on the first night and hoped our dining experiences would improve. They did not. Each night our food was served luke warm and each night the food served was sent back to the kitchen. The water glasses were always kept full and generally the wine waiter was excellent however on one occasion, when the wine was brought by the Maitre'd it took two attempts for us to receive our correct order. These are only a small selection of instances, there were many more. On the third night we advised the Senior Maitre'd that for our last night we were to dine elsewhere as we were so disappointed. The Maitre'd promised he would ensure if we did chose to dine in the Britannia on the last night that everything would be perfect. He also offered us a free bottle of wine. We felt we ought to give Cunard an extra chance to deliver and took him up on his offer. The last night arrived and we went to sit at our table. There were no serviettes and no glasses. Starters were just about hot, mains were cold and the turkey served was processed. It tasted disgusting. We asked the Senior Maitre'd whether he was aware that the turkey was processed and he said he was, this was due to the chef running out of the carvery turkey. He said himself that it was unacceptable and embarrassing for him to serve food of this quality. There was no way I could eat the processed turkey as it tasted of chemicals and as there was nothing else I liked on the menu I was offered chicken. When this arrived it was a plain chicken fillet with boiled potatoes, broccoli and carrot. Not exactly imaginative however I considered myself lucky as it was steaming hot. I tried room service once for breakfast which was good however one item was missing. The self service Kings Court was used only once, again for breakfast and we found only a limited choice of food available compared with Royal Caribbean Windjammer. The Todd English Restaurant was excellent and was on a par with the alternative dining found on Royal Caribbean such as Chops Grill or Porto Fino. The shows were some of the best we have seen and Jennie Bond who was on board gave a lecture about her life as a Royal Correspondent and her contribution to 'I'm a Celebrity' which was extremely interesting. In my opinion, Geurnsey made no effort to welcome us (only had a tent selling special souvenirs) but we were tendered. We were much further out than when we have been to Guernsey before however the arrangements for the tenders seemed to be well organised. Arrival at Cherbourg was something else. The welcome Cherborg gave QM2 was amazing. As we sailed towards the docks at 6.00 a.m., the Navy and other little boats came to greet us spraying water. Several thousands of people lined the docks cheering and clapping and a band played. We disembarked and the tourist board had arranged for horse drawn carriages and antique cars or a shuttle bus to take us the short distance to the town. Many of the shops had posters of the ship welcoming its maiden call. Cherbourg had gone to so much effort and my husband and I will never forget it. The night time (11pm) send off was similar however more people lined the docks, someone said there were around 10,000 people holding torches. It was fantastic. As a 'gesture of goodwill' Cunard have offered to contribute 25% of the price paid for this trip against a future trip with Cunard to compensate for the late arrival of the ship in Southampton. They also provided us with a complimentary sailaway champagne party from Guernsey. All in all we were extremely disappointed with our QM2 experience mainly due to the apparent lack of organisation generally and awful service in the Britannnia Restaurant (especially with Cunard promoting their "White Star Service"). We also felt that the waiting staff seemed fed up and unhappy which is no surprise if their guests had as many complaints as what we had. Finally, on the morning of disembarkation, our steward walked 'mistakenly' into our cabin whilst we were still in bed at 7.15 a.m. and our friends told us they had their steward knocking on their door at 6.00 a.m. to say 'good morning'. With our hand luggage packed, we took the lift to disembark. A youngish male entered the lift with us with a suitcase and two boxes. One box had a picture of a toaster on it and the other box a kettle. I coyly said to him "the food wasn't that bad was it?" He replied no ma'am. My husband advised me once the male had left the lift that he was the cruise director who had completed his 4 month contract. I hope it gives him and his peers food for thought. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
My husband and I have been on many cruises and booked this one a year ago after hearing all of the hype about the Queen Mary 2. We were going to be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and wanted to do something special. Originally we ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many cruises and booked this one a year ago after hearing all of the hype about the Queen Mary 2. We were going to be celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary and wanted to do something special. Originally we were thinking of going to Europe and taking a Mediterranean cruise, but we decided this would be a great opportunity. We were so excited about this trip and believed it would be the ultimate cruise experience. We expected impeccable service and the best of everything. We were sadly disappointed because this ship did not offer anything more than the other ships we have been on. In fact, we seemed to have gotten a lot less for a whole lot more money. The room service menu is very limited. If you choose not to eat in the dining room, you are only left with the Kings Court on Deck 7 which is a glorified employee's cafeteria. I didn't pay all of that money to walk around carrying a tray. This area is turned into four specialty restaurants by night, with the buffet areas used for salads and appetizers. The food in the dining room was okay - again nothing out of the ordinary. I didn't like anything on the menu the first two nights and finally had to ask if I could get a steak instead. The waiter had to call over the assistant manager in order to get approval. The staff all seemed not to be very organized. We finally had lobster after almost nine days at sea! There was one band on board for the entire 10 days. It almost became comical because they were in the disco, in the Queen's Room, in the indoor pool area for the sailing party - they must have been exhausted! The production shows were good, but other than that there was not much to do. There were many lecturers on board, but who wants to hear about preventing heart attacks while on vacation. Poolside was very boring and dull. Mostly all of the other passengers that I spoke to felt the same way. I expressed some of these impressions to the Maitre'D during a conversation at dinner one night. He told me that I was not on a cruise ship but a "luxury liner" that was built to do transatlantic voyages not cruises to the Caribbean. Well, then why was this particular cruise marketed as such? Or the next two cruises? He then insulted me further by saying that Cunard had to lower the dress code to only 3 formal nights, 4 informal nights, and 3 casual nights for these cruises. I didn't like the division of the classes. If you pay for a suite, you are entitled to the Princess or Queen's Grill restaurants. I only had an eleventh floor balcony - I guess that is considered steerage. The cruise director Brian was good, and we enjoyed visiting the islands. The ship cannot go into port, so you have to use tenders which can be rocky and take time. I would not recommend this ship. We could have taken two cruises with what it cost for this one. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2004
CAUTION ... VERY LONG!!! Let me start by giving you some background on myself. I am male, 47 and I have taken nineteen voyages ranging from transatlantic crossings as a child to small yachts, medium ships, and Mega-ships. From ... Read More
CAUTION ... VERY LONG!!! Let me start by giving you some background on myself. I am male, 47 and I have taken nineteen voyages ranging from transatlantic crossings as a child to small yachts, medium ships, and Mega-ships. From "economy" lines to very expensive lines ... and NEVER have I been disappointed in my cruise .... UNTIL NOW! I have always felt that you get what you pay for .... so if you are in an inside cabin @ $299 per week, you probably do not have too much to complain about ... but The Queen Mary 2? The "Grandest Liner" of all time? My expectations were high ... as I have dreamed of sailing on "The Most Famous Ocean Liners." I was completely let down ... Embarkation: If the Cruise Line makes a big deal about NOT coming to the port before your allotted time ... then why, oh why, don't they stand by that policy?? Everyone came at once and was allowed to board together. Why isn't there somewhere for the early arrivers to wait while those who actually paid attention to our assigned times were allowed to board? The lines were excruciatingly long, two hours to get on the ship... don't forget this is an OLD crowd; this was cruel and inhuman treatment for them. We had called ahead for a wheelchair but when we arrived we were told that the party requesting it didn't seem to need one (I suppose that her MS is not sufficiently severe to be noticeable yet!!! Even after we informed the staff of this fact!) No escort to your room either ... just directions to your bank of elevators. Cabin: SMALL! Very little closet space and the "bathroom" should really be referred to as a very small powder room with a spigot stuck in the corner to rinse off with. This was by far the smallest bathroom I have ever had. Once the third bed was out you could no longer use the desk, open the refrigerator, or gain access to the balcony ... come on, this is The Queen Mary 2! Oh yes, and my end tables had water marks from the previous occupants ... not cleaned properly; which by the way, our room was rarely "cleaned" ... only "tidied-up". We never were provided with ice (in the miniscule ice bucket). Closets were not sufficient for two, let alone a third that this cabin allegedly carries. The area outside the bath is so small that you cannot exit the bathroom if your ship-mate is using the closet. The deck needs either to be larger or have smaller chairs, as the loungers were wedged in and could only be moved if you literally tilted them up in the air to rearrange them (I'd love to see an 80 year old do that!). Ship Layout: So bad it would be comical but for the fact that this is an expensive joke. The cabin halls were so tight that once the stewards started their cleaning (with vacs and carts) only one passenger at a time could pass (I actually took pictures to document this). So much for those with walkers or a wheelchair ... and this is The Queen Mary 2? There are numerous recreation areas (cigar lounge, library, hair salon, Todd English restaurant) on passenger decks. WHY? They are all far from the typical travel route of the ship ... this is a ship that is 1100 feet long ... so do not hope to make it from Todd English to the Cigar Lounge without traipsing over 3 football fields (in length) to get there! The phrase "you can't get there from here" MUST have been coined on this ship, as the designers seemed to go out of their way to make getting around tedious at best. The "largest running track at sea" MIGHT be useful but for the deck chairs being put out by 6:00 a.m.! Might be a better idea to put them out a bit later (say 8:00 a.m.) and the running track just might be usable. Pity those in the two-story apartments ... their decks are not at all private, and, in fact, overlook not only an adult pool and bar but also the KIDS pool! This, on The Queen Mary 2!!!! The Grandest Ocean Liner in the World!? ... and what ship designer places lifeboats IN FRONT OF Balcony Cabins??? Totally absurd. Restaurant: Lower level ... not bad, but the upper level where I was felt claustrophobic ... if you are taller than 5 FT. 7 in. (me) you will feel that your head scrapes the ceiling. We did have an interesting view though ... the escalator leading downstairs to the kitchen ... complete with GLARING florescent lights. The first night I ordered FOUR wines before I hit upon one that was actually on the voyage ... this is from the supplied wine list mind you. Notwithstanding my directions, we never, never were given our wine before our meal was half through ... not once. This is The Queen Mary 2? Our busboy never said "excuse me?" ... only HUH? Why did I assume that the staff would be highly trained? Several staff members actually complained to me about the staff and the lack of training ... one going so far as to reveal that rather than making an attempt to make every request a chance to provide the guest a "magical moment" they were actually instructed to try NO first!!! Are you kidding me??? We missed dinner one night and we were told to "go back to your room to eat" .... HELLO .... service?? Food was very good and plentiful, properly prepared and served. Alternative Dining: A FOOD COURT??? like in a MALL??? This is The Queen Mary 2!!! Say it ain't so!!!!! Common Rooms: DO NOT be fooled by the website, brochures, etc. as this ship uses WIDE angle lenses for photos and "Starbucks" terminology (you know, where "grand" really means "small") as in the "Grand Lobby." No feeling of ever having "arrived" at your destination ... the rooms all seem to be such an afterthought. The real emphasis was on the common halls ... large for no other reason than to shepherd you off at the end of the cruise ... like so many cattle to slaughter. Kids Program: Not too good, but I honestly would not have expected much (due to the average age on the ship) EXCEPT for the bragging by the company about their specially trained "nannies" ... other than the always pleasant Josalyn (who my 7 year old son, Gregory, fell in love with) the activity for the day seemed to center around the video game machines. Nickel-and-Diming: In the Gym you are charged for headphones if you want to use the video screen attached to your running machine! Cheap, cheap, cheap. History: The history of the Cunard Line is omnipotent. Hundreds, yes hundreds of pictures, stories, and references to the Cunard Liners of old. There is so much about yesterday that there is no apparent need to try to make TODAY meaningful. Cunard needs to stop using its past as a crutch and pay more attention to the here and now. Danger!: The hallways are FILLED with voids in the floors caused by improper concrete-type underlayment. Many of us twisted our ankles in the 1/8 to 1/4 inch voids. It was so bad that they crew was pulling up carpet and trying to fix the problem (be especially careful outside of Cabin #8097)!! Was the ship beautiful? Yes. But "beauty" without "brains" can only take you so far. All in all I will never sail on the QM2 again ... it's just not worth the cost .... take TWO cruises on another line instead!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2004
I have been on 10 cruises in the past 2 years and a lot were a lot cheaper then this one on what is supposed to be the best ship. Well, I DO NOT think it was the best ship. In fact it was the worst ship I have ever been on. The crew ... Read More
I have been on 10 cruises in the past 2 years and a lot were a lot cheaper then this one on what is supposed to be the best ship. Well, I DO NOT think it was the best ship. In fact it was the worst ship I have ever been on. The crew made it seem it was a problem to do anything for you. I saw old people(with walking sticks) trying to get a table after they stood in long lines trying to get some food, and none of the staff even offered to help If you got lucky enough to get a table then you had to look all over to get a drink (NO THE STAFF DID NOT GET IT FOR YOU - THEY TOLD YOU WHERE TO GET IT). You would go to one drink station and maybe find a glass and have to go looking for something to put in it. And if you were too long you would get back to your table to find your food had been cleared away and the buffet would be closed so you did not get any food. If you were getting food and it was time for the buffet to close and you were in the middle the food was taken away from under your nose and you were told "WE ARE CLOSED." Yes, they had a staff shortage, but the cruise we were on I heard about 150 staff just walked off the ship. I DON'T KNOW HOW TRUE THAT WAS, but I was on the island and coming back a lot of staff were shouting and getting off the ship with suitcases. As for disembarkation, I saw a 91 year old woman pushing her own wheelchair off, and another really old couple trying to get off. I helped them. The man had Parkinsons and the woman had 2 walking sticks and she said to me she could not walk anymore because she was in so much pain and had tears in her eyes. I took them aside and when I got off the ship I found a man with a wheelchair and told him about them. I just hope he went to help them. Also, do not expect to find your bags when you get off the ship. What a mess. At this point you wish you had stayed home for sure. Then we had a transfer to the airport and the buses didn't come so they said to all in the lines that if you want to get taxis go ahead (but everyone had already paid for the transfer). A lot of people did get taxis but our flight was not for another 3 hours so it was wait there or wait in the airport, so we waited. During the cruise a lot of people who were on the ship, including myself, asked if we could get off the ship and fly home. The shows on the ship are bad and there is not much to do except to play in the casino and that was always full. The only place you could get food and drink in peace was the Golden Lion Pub. If it was not for that I would have lost weight on the ship. At least the beds were very comfortable, but believe it or not there was no phone by the bed!!! The menus in the main dinning room were names you could not understand and the night they served lobster they did not serve melted butter with it. Can you believe that!! This is how the ship is run. Only one sugar free dessert and you had to ask for it!!! No powdered milk available for your coffee. I asked for an omelette with onions and I was told they did not do onions!!! Save your money and take a real cruise -- Royal Caribbean or Celebrity or just about any other line... The ship is new but not all that beautiful. The inside and outside pools leave a lot to be desired. Old fashioned step ladders to get in and out of the pools. Not convenient like the ones on Princess or almost any other line. Bottom line. Don't waste your money. For a lot less you can get a lot more. On a scale of 1 - 10 my husband and I (and probably everyone else the we talked to on the ship) would rate the Queen Mary 2 no more than a 3 star and that, believe me, is stretching it to the max. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2005
The QM2 is quite a beautiful ship but that is where the good stuff ends. We waited 3 hours to board her, it was total confusion. Locals told us this has been like this from the beginning. I learned the average age of our cruise was 66, no ... Read More
The QM2 is quite a beautiful ship but that is where the good stuff ends. We waited 3 hours to board her, it was total confusion. Locals told us this has been like this from the beginning. I learned the average age of our cruise was 66, no wonder the ship was so quiet all day. If Cunard is going into the Caribbean market I feel it will have to liven up a bit. Also, the pools were very small, no fun and games pool side either. There are no changing tables anywhere & if you are disabled it is hard to locate a handicap toilet, they are not in the bathrooms. We didn't find the staff very friendly either. We had room service for breakfast each morning & not once was the order 100% correct. In the Britannia dining room the food was excellent, but again, if you varied from the menu as written it got messed up. The Kings Court buffet area was not set up very well, each station was a bit different & therefore you had crowds milling around & again long lines. Our daughter was thrilled with their kid's program. She has a 14 month old but of course there were only 24 kids on the ship so it was sort of one on one. Some areas of the ship were hard to find, like the disco. Sometimes on the elevators you had to go up or down a level to get around the dining room so you could get to your destination. We had fun because 10 of us went but if we (hubby & I) were alone we would have been bored to death. We went on the Caribbean Princess in June & had a blast. I suppose this Grand Dame of the seas was built for the rich & elderly, not families looking to have a fun time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2005
My husband & I were so excited about cruising on the QM2 but shortly after our arrival at Port Everglades that excitement disappeared because we had to wait online for 2 hours to board her. There is no excuse for this. Luckily the ... Read More
My husband & I were so excited about cruising on the QM2 but shortly after our arrival at Port Everglades that excitement disappeared because we had to wait online for 2 hours to board her. There is no excuse for this. Luckily the weather was lovely but imagine standing in the South Florida heat for that long. People would be dropping left & right. As we boarded we were shocked that all this young man did was point us to an elevator. No one escorted us to our cabin. One thing we did notice was that the Grand Lobby was not all that large. Our cabin was nothing special. Sure it was clean & the decor was pleasing but that was about it. The bathroom was exceptionally small. Since we were on Deck 4 our balcony was a cut out of the hull. Why bother! Not much of a view! The layout was a bit odd, I thought. There was a lot of "can't get there from here" areas. We snuck thru the Britannia restaurant quite a bit. We'd just wave our hands & say "Sorry, we're lost." lol. The food was OK, again nothing special or outstanding, sad to say. Our server was not all that friendly. Also, on several nights meals were mixed up. Room Service also never got it right. I ordered skimmed milk every morning & never got it. The Kings Court had a poor layout & after spending all that money you end up standing on long lines carrying a tray. Pitiful! Although the daily schedule looked like there was a lot to do, most was pretty boring stuff. Like knitting, napkin folding or scarf folding (bring your own scarf). The pools were pretty small compared to other cruise lines I have been on. The Spa was a good experience. I got a facial & the girl never once tried to sell me anything. Something that really irks me on other liners. I didn't feel that the staff went over & above at any point. Some were downright rude. My other gripe is the lack of handicap restrooms. In the States all restrooms have at least one handicap stall but on the QM2 they are in another area, makes no sense. My daughter pointed out that there are also no changing tables anywhere. She had to change her baby on the floor. Maybe they don't like babies on the ship. The ship did rock & roll quite a bit despite having 2 stabilizers. I personally never got sick but my hubby wore a patch. We had a much better time on the Caribbean Princess in July. Don't get me wrong we did have fun but it was because we had family & friends with us. I was very disappointed in the QM2, she just didn't live up to all the hype. Sort of like a beautiful woman who is brainless, the looks only go so far, lol. The disembarkation was painless, thank goodness. :-) I wouldn't recommend the QM2 to anyone, sorry. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2005
We had sailed on the QM2 for our second time (first time May 2004) on October 26, 2005 for a voyage from Southampton to NYC. Embarkation: Very smooth on the pier, we had taken the Orient Express option to the ship so we arrived a bit ... Read More
We had sailed on the QM2 for our second time (first time May 2004) on October 26, 2005 for a voyage from Southampton to NYC. Embarkation: Very smooth on the pier, we had taken the Orient Express option to the ship so we arrived a bit later in the day. We checked in and boarded immediately. Once onboard there were no stewards to help with our hand luggage though. We had seen a porter and asked for help to our stateroom. He just pointed towards the bow after hearing our room number and walked away, our suite was in the stern. The Room: We stayed in a the Q2 Buckingham Suite. The duplex suite was wonderful, truly the most beautiful room I have stayed in aboard ship. The suite had a wonderful entertaining space, downstairs had a wonderful living area and dining set with a 1/2 bath and kitchen area for the butler. The terrace was nice sized, although the weather kept us from using it. Upstairs there has a treadmill the bedroom with two bathrooms, one with shower and body jets, the other with a jet bath and shower head. The closet was very nice sized. The bedding however is very uncomfortable, by the end of our journey our backs were looking forward to getting off the ship. Entertainment: The onboard performances were quite bad, we tried to attend several nights and always left shortly after the start. The music in the Queen's Room seemed a bid under powered with an heir of being in an elevator. Even the DJ in G32 needs work, I understand that you cannot please everyone's tastes, however, poor quality and electrified key boards are never a good idea. Food: We were so very excited for the Queens Grill, our last trip proved the food to be wonderful. This was not to be true on this voyage. The food was terrible. Common staples such as frisee lettuce were never available, as was caviar which was highly pressed by Cunard as a standard feature in the Queens Grill. Food was oily and over slated with NO imagination. We attempted to eat in the Grill two nights both of which were terrible experiences. The first night we ordered off the menu and thought the food very salty, slopped on the plate and oil was covering the remaining open plate areas. The second night we had special ordered grilled pheasant in a white wine mushroom sauce and wild rice. When we sat to dinner we were informed the pheasant was still frozen and we would have to have it the next night. I ordered a beef filet, not edible would be an understatement. I was so hard it was not able to be cut and was so very salted I returned the item and my partner's fish was so oily he became ill. We decided to not have anything to eat that evening and left the Grill. We decided to have our special order dinner in our suite the third night and arranged everything with our butler. Our table was set the following evening and we came downstairs to dine. We found a ground sausage formation with BBQ sauce covering it and a large bone stuck in the center for decoration (not from a pheasant). The mushrooms were soggy and covered in olive oil on the side. A far, far cry from what we had ordered. For the rest of the voyage we ate in our room and dined from the hamburgers and pizza from the room service menu which surpassed the cuisine in the Queen's Grill. We ate at Todd English twice and found the food better, however, once again over salted and very oily. Staff: Everyone was very friendly. Our butler and room steward were very nice. They were however, very invasive, entering without knocking and talking for extended periods of time. This is not quite the service of the formal yet friendly staff we had always appreciated and looked forward to. The Queens Grill staff was dramatically understaffed from our past voyage. One wine steward for the entire room meant getting anything to drink was a wait to say the least. The wait staff was all very nice yet very undertrained on waiting on a formal table. Decor: The ship is a modern interpretation of a liner. Much of her is plastic and veneer, yet she looks nice. I wrote a letter to Cunard explaining that their claim of the Queen's Grill being the "premier dining experience at sea" was not evident in anyway. The response from the cruise line was that Cunard does not claim to offer a higher level of service or quality of food in the Queen's Grill category. The promise of better food quality and the renowned Cunard White Star Butler Service are what seems to justify paying the very high passage rate of the Q level cabins. I would not travel on this ship in this category again as the ship is. The line offers no explanation and negates its sales brochure's claims concerning the Q grade amenities. Silversea, RSSC, or Crystal do a far superior job at far less cost. I was astounded at the Line's lack of caring to my issues being a frequent Queens Grill passenger on their ships and have cancelled my future voyages on the QM2. I will sail on the QE2 in Oct. 2006 and see if she is suffering from the Cunard/Princess affliction. I fear this take over by mass market cruise lines is ruining a wonderful and cherished line. They do not seem to have any idea of what the Queen's Grill. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2006
White star service? On a recent round trip cruise from L.A. to Hawaii, we got to sample the latest ship from the Cunard fleet, the Queen Mary 2, billed as the biggest and fastest cruise ship on the water. The ship itself is truly ... Read More
White star service? On a recent round trip cruise from L.A. to Hawaii, we got to sample the latest ship from the Cunard fleet, the Queen Mary 2, billed as the biggest and fastest cruise ship on the water. The ship itself is truly beautiful, taking it's design cues from the original art deco era Queen Mary 1. Its size, sadly, may be it's greatest fault. We came a way feeling like cattle. The disappointments started early. We had booked a balcony cabin and specifically requested to not be given an "in Hull" room. We got one anyway. In hull refers to the balcony rooms that are below deck 7, the Promenade deck. These cabins have balconies that are fully enveloped with steel walls but have a window cut into them. They are not what most people would consider a balcony and we found the very title quite deceptive. We also requested to be part of the first seating at a table for two. We were given the late seating at a table for eight. We wondered why they even ask preferences. Any requests for changes were met with cold indifference. Can you really maintain a high quality in service, food and entertainment when you're serving 2550 people? The staff, with the exception of the pursers office, give their all and are probably the best thing about the ship. In our opinion everything else falls short. We also got to give the staff a real test when my cabin mate fell ill and had to leave the cruise mid way through. The staff in the pursers office not only lacked compassion but were down right rude. This was our third cruise and only real disappointment. Crystal and Wind Star both did a superb job. Bottom line: For what Cunard charges and delivers, you can do a lot better elsewhere. Below are some highlights and things to think about if you are considering a cruise on the Queen Mary 2 THE GOOD: Beautifully designed and maintained ship. Well appointed cabins. Top notch support staff and service. Great gym and spa. Excellent library. THE BAD: Food that never quite tastes as good as it looks. Deceptively vague advertising and brochures. Standing in endless lines at main dining rooms and some entertainment. Being charged for soda and other non-alcoholic beverages. A confusing tipping program. Weak watered down shows. THE UGLY: Rude, burned out management staff. Being treated like cattle. Being constantly bombarded with art auctions, overpriced photographic portraits and other methods of separating you from your money. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2007
My companion and I had a Britannia Club Balcony cabin for our transatlantic crossing in July. We paid extra for the privilege of the Britannia Club, so we didn't have to go to meals at specific times. The cost of the one-way ... Read More
My companion and I had a Britannia Club Balcony cabin for our transatlantic crossing in July. We paid extra for the privilege of the Britannia Club, so we didn't have to go to meals at specific times. The cost of the one-way crossing was $4,300 each and it was not good value for money. The worst aspect was that smoking is allowed inside the ship, which we were both shocked about, as American ships and other cruises we have been on, have a no-smoking policy inside. Every time we went down to dinner, we could smell stale smoke. We only ate in the Britannia restaurant, as our one experience in the restaurant on Level 7 was dreadful, when we embarked. We couldn't get over how shabby the furniture was (chipped tables and chair legs) and the food was of very poor quality. The food in the Britannia restaurant was very disappointing. I do not eat steaks, seafood or any pork products, of which there was an abundance. To give credit where it's due, the service was very good and the person in charge did give me access to the menus for the following day so I could check them out to see whether there was anything I liked. He also gave me the vegetarian menu, so I could order something from that as an alternative. Unfortunately, the vegetarian menu had half a dozen set items on it, which did not change for the whole journey, so someone who was a vegetarian would not enjoy the food very much. I did select a couple of items from that menu and even then, the food I received was not as specified. The chef seemed to use a great deal of poetic license with the food, especially with the desserts, which almost never resembled what was on the menu. I did order room service a couple of times to the cabin, but the menu was very sparse and twice the wrong order arrived. The planetarium was really great, but unfortunately, there were only two 30 minute shows and once you had seen them, there was nothing else to see there. The movies were terrible and nothing more modern than 20 years old. The shows were ok, but not as good as some of the other ships we've been on. We were mislead by the purser's office and given contradictory information from several of the staff, which caused us a great deal of inconvenience on disembarkation. Overall, the ship is not worth the money. Until Cunard stops smoking inside the ship and improves the food menus, think about a cruise on another line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2007
Arrived this morning from a most wonderful stay in Scotland! Braemar Games and the whole and extraordinary Scots hospitality have left me wanting more! Which is not what I can say from the QM2 Cruise. What a nightmare - and unfortunately ... Read More
Arrived this morning from a most wonderful stay in Scotland! Braemar Games and the whole and extraordinary Scots hospitality have left me wanting more! Which is not what I can say from the QM2 Cruise. What a nightmare - and unfortunately I'm not the only one feeling totally let down and discouraged. When service doesn't meet perception. I arrive - well met and the transfer to the liner was good - seamless. Then the problems started. I will be sending this to Cunard also - the MD, Customer Relations and Canyon Ranch. AND cruise critic. The welcome was: your cabin is on Deck 4 and a point to the lift. A crowd had gathered, confused on where to go. I arrived on Deck 4 and my cabin was at the very end of the liner - apparently nestled comfortably with the crew cabins. I waited a couple of hours for my suitcase and went to investigate - it was tucked into the service area apparently to be delivered at some future time. The corridors and rooms smelt - literally of stale body odor and old carpets. This smell permeated the entire 4th Level. The room was as expected, the liner just OK - not overwhelmingly lovely, stylish or tasteful internally and the staff generally were surly, avoiding eye-contact in case asked for something/directions. Evening one: I had had an operation two weeks prior to my cruise and was very tired. Suddenly the floor started to vibrate and music flowed into my cabin. Yes the disco is directly underneath. The noise and vibration became unbearable so I called the purser. A women arrived some 15 minutes later to say yes the music was audible and perhaps she could ask the DJ to "turn down the bass". She said she had never had any complaints. Unfortunately she turned out to be a significant liar because every cruiser complained of this problem and depending on willingness to assist/availability of cabin they were moved. In other words, if they squealed loud enough. I spoke to the cabin attendant - he confirmed these true facts and offered me "earplugs". I received a note the next day that I could not be moved because no cabins were available and suggesting I get in touch with Customer Relations in the UK. so four nights I didn't sleep - sometimes the music would start at 6:30pm and go until after 3am!!! this seemed a little strange, given that an officers wife was emerging from a upper cabin and boastfully told me how comfortable it was and how many times she had sailed on the vessel!!! All the while, while I haven't had a wink of sleep!!! Come on now. The food was substandard to say the least, the onboard activities disappointing and the Captain/Crew remarkable by their absence, that is unless you're the Captain's wife/family that despite the fact no one is "allowed near the bridge because of security" were in full view during the festivities leaving Hamburg - a child on the bridge and much canoodling with the wife. The Captain made an appearance at the "cocktail party" - meaning he recited how many nationalities on board - and when suggesting the UK took precedence, I suggested Philippines!! Cheap labor - shame!!! The Captain/Officers never once walked through to shake hands and make anyone feel special. And here is the rub - no one feels special. It's a cafeteria on steroids!! Shuffled from one place to another and if we didn't like anything, were told - this is NOT a cruise but a liner!? We're the biggest, best and YOU (the customer) take what we give you! Canyon Ranch - the "beauty spa" is filled to the brim with amateurs all looking for the tip. I had a pedicure that cost me US$130!!! and the "technician" used an emery board to polish my feet - upselling to "paraffin treatment" - meaning not very much. My hair was a disaster but that was too bad because the "stylist" wasn't considering this a career, just a means of seeing the world. On round 2, I bought my own color, but was charged full price because "the time". So over US$400 later spent with these people, I felt ripped off and miserable. Clanish and unpleasant and desperately overpriced - all miserably grasping for tips. We were told by an entertainer to "buy his CD" after all it's not really money, it's only that we have to sign something and get the goods. Another example of amateur is I came back to my cabin and the door was open. I sat on the bed for 20 minutes until an attendant came to close my door saying he'd forgot after cleaning the balcony and please don't complain. Security? what security? Crazy, mad, a total waste of money and time. I will be seeking a refund from Cunard at least a portion and suggest strongly that they keep ALL the night crew in the back of Deck 4 so that poor people like me don't get stuck and leave the liner totally exhausted and demoralized. It took me a long time to recover from the ship where nightmares are made. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2008
We have cruised on many lines and we really thought that Cunard would be the best, we were gravely disappointed. The Queen Mary is a beautiful ship and we had a great room, actually two rooms. We had balcony staterooms that were adjoining ... Read More
We have cruised on many lines and we really thought that Cunard would be the best, we were gravely disappointed. The Queen Mary is a beautiful ship and we had a great room, actually two rooms. We had balcony staterooms that were adjoining that were clean and spacious. We should have know from the start with a poorly attended and a short and very low key, under enthusiastic sail away party. There was no staff in attendance, no cruise director etc, The service in the dining rooms was inattentive, servers were rude and unhelpful. We had a sommelier that was obnoxious and condescending. Service was slow, at one point I had ordered an ice tea 15 times and it took 45 minutes for it to be delivered to the table. We were told that our kids had to order off the adult menu and there was not a kids menu (Even though we had seen a kids menu on the first day of the cruise). The waiters acted like they did not understand English and starred blankly at us when we ordered our son a chocolate milk. We had to continually ask for bread, with an answer of "I will tell your waiter". The maitre d was unhelpful and although apologetic did nothing to rectify the situation. Although food was good in the dining room it was usually served cold. Buffet food was disgusting, cold, and poorly presented. The shows where terrible, a bad version of a cheesy Broadway shows. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2008
Embarkation: Quick, Easy and Efficient (left from Brooklyn Cruise Port). Cruise Port itself is extremely difficult to get to, but easy to get around in, once inside the port itself. Everything went smooth with check and staff were very ... Read More
Embarkation: Quick, Easy and Efficient (left from Brooklyn Cruise Port). Cruise Port itself is extremely difficult to get to, but easy to get around in, once inside the port itself. Everything went smooth with check and staff were very pleasant. Arrival on Ocean Liner: Upon arrival and walking on board, we were shocked how faded the QM2 was. (We were used to seeing Royal Caribbean being painted on a regular basis to maintain it's freshness and newness). We stepped on board in the Grand Lobby and didn't even realize it, as it was small, cramped, was only about two decks high, and had nothing grand about it. A few crew said "hello, and welcome aboard," but it was very, very, low key. No one asked us if we needed any help finding our room, offered no champagne, etc. We didn't even know they had a Bonvoyage Party until I read other Cruise Reviews when we returned home. Public Rooms: The public rooms were very, very, small, and segregated, depending on what deck your cabin was on. Overall Ship Design: We found out shortly after arriving that this was not a cruise ship, but an ocean liner; which is why Cunard can advertise they are the most luxurious ocean liner every built. We were expecting gracious, luxurious, and grand, but to much disappointment, there were no areas that were memorable. DEcor appeared to be somewhat of an "art deco theme" (plastic/wood wall coverings). No luxury anywhere that we saw. Overall ship design/layout was extremely poor, confusing and choppy. Walking from one area to another usually involved up and down half floors and around stairways and elevators to reach one section to another. Example: the indoor (small) poor area you had to walk directly through the dining room, or up and down half floors to reach it. The library was very nice, but the only way to reach it was to walk all the way to the front of the ship past staterooms, which was very odd. Cabin: We had a Quad (inside) Cabin on the 6th deck, staying with 2 children under 12. Upon booking, we requested our twin beds be separated in the room to allow more floor space due to the upper beds. This was one of the more smaller staterooms than on other ships. Upon arrival, the beds were not placed as we requested and when we asked the Cabin Steward to correct it, she repeatedly told us to try it like it was. We gave in to her, but found it to be cramped and unusable. We wrote a note and left it on the bed requesting it be moved apart again the next day and it finally was. The beds did not have a flat sheet or blanket, but rather a duvet - which made us wonder if they were ever washed? This was a little unsettling. The cabin was clean, but the floor in the bathroom always had a pool of water on it due to the shower curtain and liner that was 4" or more too short. There were four of us in the cabin and we only had two bath towels. We asked for two more and she told us she always puts two in there. We explained we had four people and were eventually brought two more. We did not receive bath robes until the second night of the cruise. Our ice bucket was filled with ice when we arrived, but was not re-filled again the entire cruise or emptied of the melted ice so we had to walk up to the dining area to retrieve water and ice ourselves. The room was kept clean, however, upon check in, my husband found dirty toilet paper stuck on the toilet. Fitness & Recreation: We did not use the Canyon Ranch Spa or the Fitness Center, but did take a look at it. Again, this area was very small. Enrichment: This ship boasts a "Planetarium" on board. We were one of a lucky few that did get to see it, as they were experiencing technical difficulties during our showing, as part of the picture on the screen was shaking. The next day, all of the Planetarium shows were cancelled, and did not take place for the rest of the trip. There was a Watercolor Class offered that was just o.k. and I cannot remember anything from this short 4 night cruise where any other activities were offered, other than wine tasting which you had to pay for. Rates: Overall, for the service and amenities, the price of the entire cruise was outrageously overpriced! We were expecting to be "wowed" by Cunard's WhiteStar, five star service, they advertise and promote everywhere, and ended up with disappointment after disappointment. If we had not cruised on other lines before, we probably would have thought this was fine, but we know what other's can do. Biggest Pet Peeve: Cunard automatically applies an $11 per day, per guest charge to anyone staying in inside or outside cabins on floors that do not have suites; suites pay more. This is their tipping policy, but, of course, if you wish to tip more, you could do so. This is a joke! It was quite apparent that everyone on board knows they will be getting "X" amount of dollars for tipping each cruise, and therefore does as little as possible, because they know it does not matter how they perform. I highly recommend that you stop at the Purser's Desk and request the automatic tipping be removed, and ask for Cunard envelopes for you to personally tip as you see fit. Second Biggest Pet Peeve: While on board, the fact that you are not a passenger staying in a suite is thrown in your face repeatedly. There are special restaurants, lounges, rooms, pools/spa's, and sun decks, specifically reserved only for use by suite guests. For example: suite guests have teak lounge chairs, as everyone else gets white plastic lounge chairs. I suppose QM2 has not evolved as the world haswanted to maintain their "class" stereo-typing and old school separation of mixing peon's with upper class from the days of the Titanic; this practice is reprehensible. Dining: Breakfast Buffets were the basics. Nothing special, no omelet or Belgian waffle stations. Breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, and a few pieces of fruit; nothing more that you would get at a Holiday Inn. Lunch Buffets were pathetic! The same lunch buffet was served every day and consisted of the following: Bowl of salad greens, pasta salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and a type of pasta. No pasta stations, carving stations, and tasteless desserts. No decorative displays of fruit or vegetable carvings, and no fancy displays of breads. There were soft ice cream machines, but most of the time were empty. The same went for the ice cream cones which usually ran out, resulting in people using coffee cups to put ice cream in; no toppings, etc. Dinner in Britannia Restaurant: (This is the Restaurant we were allowed to eat in since we were not paying for a suite). The food was good, but again, nothing exceptional, or that brought out the "wow" factor. Same Grilled Sirloin Steak on menu each night, as well as the same children's menu which never changed. The Waitstaff were the worst we have every experienced anywhere! They were unfriendly, inattentive and asked at the end of the meal how everything was. Never asked if we needed anything. We have never experienced such unfriendly, curt staff on any ship like this one. We requested a large table for 8-10 and found out if it would not have been for the fact that an older couple requested to be moved, we would have sat by ourselves. We then sat through most dinners with empty water glasses and plates waiting to be cleared. We were never offered refills on our lemonade, and had to ask for everything. We had to ask for fresh ground pepper, sour cream, ketchup, etc., a number of times, and it usually took them about a half hour or more until we ever got what we wanted. The Waiter and his Asst. didn't seem to know what was on the menu half the time, and we always felt like they were rushing us, and being very stern. The Maitre'D, of course, was very pleasant, and always said the right things, however, we never saw him doing anything other than talking. At one point I asked the Asst. Waiter (since she was the one that took our orders) if I could have a soup from the previous evening and was told yes, however, a few minutes later, the Waiter came over to me and basically scolded me for asking for a special request and told me that special requests like that need to be made far in advance; he made me feel very uncomfortable. Presentation/Displays of Food: What can I say here? There were absolutely no presentations or displays, and only one or two carvings of a watermelon. That's it! No fancy bread displays, fruit/vegetable carvings, etc., nothing. Special Easter Decorations: I will give them credit on this one. I was surprised when we went back to our room on the night before Easter and found a China plate with eater grass and a wrapped small chocolate bunny and a few pieces of candy on the plate. We later found out, every cabin got the same. What confused me was, the next morning while walking around, we saw some easter decorations, but they were the kind you would find in the dollar store; paper and cardboard cut outs of bunnies with some crepe paper wrapped around posts or pillars. (This to me was really odd for an ocean liner that is advertised as the most luxurious - something didn't seem quite right - but at least they made an attempt). Entertainment: There was absolutely nothing to do on board. They had Bingo and a Casino, but other than that, there were no activities. This was the most boring cruise we have ever taken. We didn't even know they had an entertainment staff until the third night and they actually had a "Liars' Club" game. The evening shows were basic and somewhat below average, and could be compared to a high school production. One night there was a man and woman, who looked like they were in their 70's, and he banged on the piano and she played a banjo - one number would have been o.k., but an hour of this! We left shortly after the third song (?). The Final nights show was to include pyrotechnics which never happened. Once again, we expected so much more, and got so much less. Service: Extremely poor! Actually, overall, for this ocean liner's reputation and 5 star WhiteStar service and reputation, it was a complete an utter joke! The staff did not smile, they ignored you, and no-one, absolutely no one, offered to carry trays, etc., no one asked you how you were enjoying your trip, etc. No one was attentive at all. The staff appeared to be robots, doing their job, but nothing else. Every time you did have to ask for something, they made you feel like you were bothering them. Everyone seemed so miserable. The unfriendliness on this trip from staff was incredible! Other passengers were polite and helpful, but staff, no way! Children's Program: The children's program was pathetic as well! Usually our children, between ages of 10-12, look forward to attending these programs while on board, but on this cruise, there was nothing for them to do. Their activities staff geared the activities to under 8, and they only had a very small space for games; 4 X-Box, etc. My older child never had anything to do as they did offer a 12-15 group, but all they did was watch movies. What!!!!! Shore Excursions: We only went to Eluethera Island-Princess Cays-Bahama's, and they only had a few rentals of water toys, so we cannot fairly evaluate this piece. What was really nice was Cunard brought food on the island and had BBQ Spare Ribs, Chicken, and Value for the Money: To sum it up - this cruise was over-priced. We have been on 5 other cruises with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, and they both, have exceeded our expectations. Granted, they have their own share of minor issues, but the QM2 in no way, shape or form, stand up to its reputation and I ask myself why anyone would want to travel on this line when you can get so much more elsewhere. Overall Cruise: Anytime we can get away is wonderful, and we did enjoy our time. We kept thinking the experience on the QM2 would get better, and after taking to numerous other guests, we found out our experience was the same of everyone we talked to. It was a very, very, low key, un-attentive, boring cruise, with extremely unfriendly staff - no fun or wow factors to mention. I would suggest if your looking for a cruise, I would not recommend the QM2, as there is nothing worth seeing or experiencing, and for less money, you can have so much more on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2008
After cruising with several different lines (celebrity, princess, royal Caribbean and crystal), we wanted to try out the QM2 because of the hype that it was. The tagline itself says the most luxurious ocean liner. We had high expectations ... Read More
After cruising with several different lines (celebrity, princess, royal Caribbean and crystal), we wanted to try out the QM2 because of the hype that it was. The tagline itself says the most luxurious ocean liner. We had high expectations cause price-wise, QM2 would be considered a higher-end ship compared to the more mass-marketed ships. I will start with the good: - Stateroom was clean, bathroom was clean, the bedding was comfortable, and they greeted you with a bottle of sparkling wine. All the necessary facilities were there, plus there were slippers which usually signify luxury. Chocolates at the end of the day every night were the treats. - We did not have to queue long for food which means good flow of passengers. - Dress code for dinner was strictly enforced. That means no jeans, slippers and shorts even on casual nights (cause they called it elegant casual). Now the bad: - Service. I experienced a lot of bad service at all levels from this ship. Mostly found on the 7th floor buffet area by the waiters there. Example, I needed help getting a slice of pizza but the waiter there just said that it's self service and did not offer any help. Another example, my dad was waiting in line to be served and was skipped completely by the serving waiter for no reason whatsoever. Most of the ships that I have been to have their crew greet you, but I found few greetings by the crew aboard QM2. I could go on and on, but I would say the service at QM2 is the worst I've ever experienced, save for my stateroom steward and my dining table waiter. - Layout. I don't know who designed the layout of this ship, but found it to be quite funky and "interesting." All the other ships' gym would have full 180 deg view of the ocean, but at QM2 gym, you only get partial view and the rest can be happy looking at the mirror. The exercise classes were not held at the gym or near the gym, but on the 1st floor near the entrance to the crew area. This room is also sometimes used as the disembarkation points/x-ray checks during ports of call. To reach the library or Todd English the restaurant, you had to travel through other people's staterooms corridors. The grand lobby is hardly grand considering how small the lobby was. - Food. The so-called Chinese food was always the same, except that they call it by different names just by changing the type of noodles used. And please put some exhaust in the area, your clothes would smell like the kitchen everytime you go to the Asian section of the dining area (lotus). Room service menu was very limited. All in all, I would not recommend this ship to others. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2008
In common with other reviews it appears as though Carnival does not has the knowledge,experience or background on handling a ship like the QM2 or Cunard. The Good " we shipped a bag by DHL to await our arrival and this was waiting ... Read More
In common with other reviews it appears as though Carnival does not has the knowledge,experience or background on handling a ship like the QM2 or Cunard. The Good " we shipped a bag by DHL to await our arrival and this was waiting in the cabin. The food in the Britannia restaurant was good to excellent although the portions were small. The waiter was also very good and willing to please although he was the only member of the wait staff that we saw while eating. The Maitre D never made an appearance and the sommelier was very rushed. The bad " Photographers occupied the main hallway on every night pushing their souvenir photos. They stretched across nearly the whole space leaving a narrow section to pass by which if somebody was coming the other way you had to wait for each other to pass. The photos taken on boarding were $27.50 each which I consider excessive. The shops were very expensive and there was only one with moderate priced goods. We needed something for our 2 year old twin grand daughters and the only thing available were little bears with Cunard on the chest. There was nothing for our other grand children of 6 and 8. There was an art gallery occupying another section of corridor with prices ranging to $50,000 which I don't see what an art gallery has to do with an ocean liner. I know that Cunard and/or Carnival rent the space to these companies but it's all done with the "buck" or "pound" in mind with no consideration of the passenger. There was a British style pub with pub type food that was good but if you ordered a 7 up or coke that was $1.75 plus 15% service charge. The food was included but the soft drinks were charged!! Yes I can agree with charging for beer,wine etc but soft drinks? This was a similar charge in the Sir Samuel (sort of coffee shop)with food included but not the 7ups. The old style British class system was evident with some sections of the deck "reserved" for the more expensive cabins. This was also true with a separate dining facility for these cabins. Our tickets and info about the ship arrived the day before we left. The actual info was very poor and in fact when we checked in at the docks in Southampton the clerk never even looked at the ticket was all our worrying was for naught. The so so" Entertainment was adequate with a very good female singer and classical violinist but the female pianist was a joke and the chorus dancers only passable. My wife and I have traveled extensively with cruise ships, airlines, inclusive resorts etc,etc and I was really looking forward to this trip. We were returning with another couple after a golf holiday in Ireland and I thought I'd blow the money on this ship instead of a cramped airline seat. The experience was underwhelming however and now I wish I'd saved my money. Many years ago I came with Cunard as a teenager again from Southampton to N.Y. and that was a journey to remember but perhaps as I said earlier having a quality liner like the QM2 to look after is not what Carnival is used to. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2009
Having booked our Cruise some 12 months in advance we were excited at the prospect of sailing on such a prestigious vessel and couldn't wait to board. Check in was swift and smooth - first impression of the 'Grand Lobby'? - ... Read More
Having booked our Cruise some 12 months in advance we were excited at the prospect of sailing on such a prestigious vessel and couldn't wait to board. Check in was swift and smooth - first impression of the 'Grand Lobby'? - is this it? We were not however disappointed in our accommodation - basic balcony staterooms - very spacious, spotlessly clean, ample storage - excellent. Our cabin steward greeted us and we found it quite amusing that her name was Santa - we wondered whether her 'little helpers' might join us too? On exploring the ship we found another staircase - the Clock staircase which I have to say inspired us much more than the 'Grand staircase'! The lights on the stairs though were somewhat dazzling and off putting. The shops were limited - stock even more limited. Food throughout the cruise could not be faulted however the wait staff left a lot to be desired - it took nearly an hour for a wine waiter to enquire whether we would like a drink! In fact we found the wait staff in the majority of the lounges very scarce - not quite what we had expected for this cruise line - we definitely didn't get service with a smile either - we felt we perhaps should apologize for asking them to serve us! Entertainment? well, sadly lacking, very amateurish although the entertainment staff did their best but again - not what we had expected on Cunard. We were lucky on 3 or 4 nights to have visiting entertainers and they were excellent. Not enough sun loungers as usual - non smokers taking up the seats in the smoking area and then complaining if smokers stood nearby - even hiding the ashtrays to try to deter anyone from smoking near to them! The casino was much smaller than we had expected and really didn't feel like a casino - it felt more like a bar with a few machines and gaming tables in it. Casinos on other ships had a much more atmospheric feel to them - having said that we always came away winning! Waiters were few and far between on deck during the day - again we felt this poor service We felt there was overall a lack of atmosphere on the ship wherever we went. Too much emphasis was placed on outward appearance and formalities i.e. formal nights and not enough attention to basic detail like friendly, helpful, waiting staff. Reception staff also didn't provide service with a smile - one passenger brought some of their fruit to reception complaining it was filthy and should have been washed before serving to them - they didn't want to know The wait staff were very lax in ensuring the correct room card was returned to passengers - I even managed to sign for a round of drinks on someone elses card and it was only apparent when I tried to use the card to gain entry to my cabin! Reception staff - didn't want to know - couldn't see a problem and why was I complaining? My cigarettes were on sale in the shop but I couldn't have them until the night before we were leaving the ship - I was told I could purchase cigarettes from behind the bar - the problem was they didn't stock my cigarettes behind the bar! When I asked if they could get me some from the shop - No they couldn't. Overall we enjoyed the trip but came away very very disappointed - the 'special' holiday we thought we had paid for was very much lacking and we felt we could have had better service for half the money on another Cruise line. Our world cruise in 2011 was going to be with Cunard on Queen Elizabeth - a last minute change of mind meant we booked with P & O instead - I think we had a lucky escape. Cunard are operating on their name only and not on the 5star service we paid for. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
Have just returned from 4 nights on Queen Victoria. Checking in/disembarkation like clockwork. Food very good but no better than cheaper cruises-one night 3 out of 5 main courses had cheese-husband allergic. Wines expensive (upwards of ... Read More
Have just returned from 4 nights on Queen Victoria. Checking in/disembarkation like clockwork. Food very good but no better than cheaper cruises-one night 3 out of 5 main courses had cheese-husband allergic. Wines expensive (upwards of 25 dollars) Staff varied from stewardess(lovely) to aloof waiters in Britannia restaurant. Very little atmosphere on board apart from Golden Lion pub. Entertainment (what entertainment?)-very poor. Excursions expensive-D day landing beaches not far from Cherbourg but cost approx 150 dollars each.Absolute robbery. 3 ports of call, only 2 visited,couldn't disembark in Belgium due to 'high gusts'- not unusual at end of October in North Sea?)-naughty naughty Cunard to include unsuitable ports at this time of year when there's a good chance you can't disembark-happens quite regularly according to one travel agent.Felt sorry for the Americans & Japanese on board who missed out on Bruges or Brussels.Never mind, Cunard made lots more money out of us spending an extra day at sea. 15% gratuities added to onboard spend as well!No compensation offered,not even a free drink.Jazz band in pub saved the day. Many announcements missed as could only be heard in corridors. Shopping mall limited and expensive.Plenty of really expensive paintings for sale (cost thousands)-if you could afford them why buy at sea? Never saw Captain or other crew and wondered why we had dressed up for a formal night. Beautiful ship but somehow disappointed overall. May be better on New York trip but feel Cunard are trading on their name. Have emailed Cunard for their comments but no reply received. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
We knew that Cunard appealed to older clientele but surprised at just how old the vast majority of passengers were. Not many of the activities on board would appeal to anyone below their seventies - enrichment lectures very dull and ... Read More
We knew that Cunard appealed to older clientele but surprised at just how old the vast majority of passengers were. Not many of the activities on board would appeal to anyone below their seventies - enrichment lectures very dull and unimaginative. Theatre really beautiful but shows very poor - a bit end of the pier. Shopping on board not good, quite tacky in fact. Excellent embarkation and disembarkation at all times. The ship new and very tidy but lacking in any real atmosphere or wow factor. Food and services in restaurants OK but not outstanding. Food quite similar every night in Queens grill quite hard to find something really wanted to eat by the end of the cruise. Lido restaurant was good and staff very efficient. Cabin supposedly 3rd best on ship and although comfortable and not cramped by any means did not have the wow factor we were expecting. Would not book with Cunard again but would choose Crystal or Oceania much less stuffy, much more mixed clientele and real luxury.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2010
My wife and I took the Cunard Queen Mary 2 World Voyage 2010 - Our trip started in Southampton January 11th and we left the Queen 91 days and 33 ports later in Ft. Lauderdale. The size of the Queen affords the passengers the luxury of ... Read More
My wife and I took the Cunard Queen Mary 2 World Voyage 2010 - Our trip started in Southampton January 11th and we left the Queen 91 days and 33 ports later in Ft. Lauderdale. The size of the Queen affords the passengers the luxury of large public rooms and lots of space to lounge around. The airiness and many large windows gives the light and view a chance to be admired by all passengers from every direction. The down size to this large vessel, is that you see all the major container ports of the world; the ship is so large (155 thousand tons) that it does not accommodate the ports well, and one docks miles from the center of passenger interest. The shuttle service takes anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour to transport the passengers to town and the lines are long; and in some ports, no cover was available to shade the passengers from the heat, and a few passengers fainted while waiting to board the ship..The lack of water at the port stations were very obvious to all. If the ship is your "destination", this ship has what you want. If you are concerned about seeing the ports in detail, and with maximum time, you will need to go on a "cruise" ship, not an ocean liner; the QM2 is a great venue for quiet elegance an the enjoyment of serenity, but you can also be busy all day long if you choose. The food quality ranges from 5 star cafeteria to excellent; the quality was not consistent from day to day. The Kings Court venue with its four no charge alternate dining restaurants are a nice touch from the main dining room. The service in the Kings Court was always above par. The food was excellent; but you were limited to two reservation per cruise segment, and when making the reservations, one had to call many days in advance as the space is extremely limited. The decor is a bit "dowdy" and needs help; the ship, built in 2004, is in desperate need of upgrading; the TV's are the old box type, not the new flat screen; there were no DVD players available; the Internet service was very slow and expensive, and was down many hours during this voyage. We also were told that it is coming back on, but it sometime did not for 24 to 36 hours. The Internet manager was helpful to a point, then he would walk away as he had no authority over the web service. In the meantime, one is paying 75 cents/minute to wait it out. The entertainment was broad in nature; the lectures covered a wide variety of subjects, some very stodgy, some down to earth; the port lectures were low in content and were more travel logs to brag about their own experience in the ports. The computer instructor ( different from the computer manager) was excellent, and was very friendly and helpful. Computer class were given several times a week and were at no charge. The movies in the theater were a mix bag; from gory murders to comedy, not all were current. The Broadway style shows were high school in quality and very repetitive. The headline acts were mostly violinist, piano players, and singers; very few comedy or other lite entertainment. Service was no winner. The dining room waiter had to be asked several times to refill the water, coffee, bread etc. This should have been routine training; we finally got the section head to monitor this function for our table as the waiter could not be bothered. The cabin was inside - 6103 - great location and very quiet. Our cabin steward was okay, not outstanding, but the cabin was always clean, and she did her best. On the subject of service, my main complaint with Cunard is the lack of caring from the management. This ship, and it may have a Cunard label, is very arrogant in the dealings with the passengers, and they act as though they know what is best for you. From the World Cruise concierge, to the social hostess, to pursers office, your needs are not met, phone calls not returned, and general destine is apparent. I could write volumes about the misinformation given at the pursers office, and the double talk from the staff, but you get the drift. So it comes down to this; I can not recommend the QM2 for a long cruise; a better choice would be the New York to Southampton crossing. Would I go again on this ship: NO ! We have taken 169 cruises, on several different branded lines and the QM2 does not hold a candle in quality and service to the other ships - what the Queen does have is a name and past glory. Its reputation is slowly being tarnished by the current management. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2010
As an experienced cruisers of 35 voyages in the last 10 years, we thought we had seen just about everything. We have been in a collision in Montevideo, taken 3 star ships with great itineraries to luxury 5+ stars where one is pampered. We ... Read More
As an experienced cruisers of 35 voyages in the last 10 years, we thought we had seen just about everything. We have been in a collision in Montevideo, taken 3 star ships with great itineraries to luxury 5+ stars where one is pampered. We expected a special trip to Norway on the QM2. Embarkation was a breeze even though they had to change docks to accommodate the Queen Victoria. The British agents are always more cordial than others. Our cabin was a sheltered balcony on the 6th deck just below the promenade. It was spacious with a nice sized balcony protecting us from the cold northerly winds. The pillows were only tiny little things and the bed was not very comfortable. However, the washroom was small but modern and the amount of storage space a little small for trips over one week. The Queen Mary 2 is a massive ship with huge interior spaces but very disappointing outside space. I guess Cunarders don't often venture outside. It has the very finest library at sea but the main theater has many very poor sight lines and is absolutely the most uncomfortable seating of any ship we have been aboard. Many of the public areas like the pub, cigar lounge and casino had uncomfortable seating. Dining on this ship was a paradox. Not what you want on a voyager costing this kind of money. Although better than Carnival it doesn't match Princess let alone Azamara which I had hoped it would rival. Breakfast in the dining room had great French Toast but the eggs were never warm and the service was dreadful. Waiters were SO SLOW and things would often come out of order even if you asked. Room service was the better choice especially if you wanted to go on shore before lunch. In the evening, inconsistency ruled in the dining room. I was surprised at the few choices one had on the menu. The 3 meals of lamb were fabulous but the lobster was the worst ever-sent back and the beef was always less than tender. Fantastic sole one night, half cooked salmon the next. We were at a table of 8 and I was shocked at the numbers of meals sent back. Bones in boneless chicken followed by a great creme brule. Appetizers are minuscule. Unfortunately our waiter was not attentive to the point of rudeness and if you have to question why 45 minutes between courses more than once when your trying to make a show, you have a problem. The 8 of us at the table got along well so we didn't move but others we talked to didn't have service problems like ours. The buffet had unique tables by bay windows that offered a nice view but their food was the same a most buffets on modern ships today. Diabetics take note. The sugar free stuff was sometimes mislabeled or hidden under stainless steel cupboards, so ask. The food in the Golden Lion Pub was poor. The Wine was about 50% more on this ship than others but beer and other drinks are similar. The bar staff were very friendly and attentive. The rest of the staff on the ship were excellent. Our room steward was efficient and the casino staff were great. Too bad for them the casino was virtually empty every evening. We found the people at the pursers desk and in the shops very kind. If you see some lecture you are interested in, get there early. I attended two of Prof. Bapstone's and they were excellent but was shut out of his last even though I was 10 minutes early. There is many events on the ship to suit every taste. Unfortunately the other entertainment didn't fare as well. The headliners were average but the ship's bands, singers and dancers and their costumes were mediocre and the productions were boring. It is difficult to rate the two shore excursions because of the windy damp weather but their was no excuse for Cunard to cancel the visit to the Geiranger Fjord. This was one of the highlights of the trip, a World Heritage sight and we're sent to some fishing village instead? We could have paid half as much to get the itinerary we paid for on another line and I doubt the service or the food would be any worse. I will not be booking another cruise on Cunard. I'm am definitely not a "Cunarder". Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Queen Mary Is No Match for Crown Princess! We departed Ft. Lauderdale on May 1, 2010 on Crown Princess for a 53-day cruise to ten countries arriving Southampton, UK on June 23rd. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 on June 25th for a 6-day ... Read More
Queen Mary Is No Match for Crown Princess! We departed Ft. Lauderdale on May 1, 2010 on Crown Princess for a 53-day cruise to ten countries arriving Southampton, UK on June 23rd. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 on June 25th for a 6-day crossing to New York. Crown Princess is an excellent ship with great food, service, and entertainment. Our expectations were high that the Queen Mary 2 would be even better. We discovered Crown Princess is better than QM2!! Food: QM2 food was poor to fair. The maitre D confirmed one entree was an "inedible rubber fish". Also, Venison had no flavor nor texture. Side dishes were strange, e. g. guacamole filled twice-baked potato with re-fried beans. Food was rarely served at the right temperature - entrees were often cool; ice cream arrived half-melted. The QM2 menu was very small making it difficult to find something I wanted. Buffets served "cafeteria quality food" with extremely limited choices. I tried a cookie and almost broke my teeth. Food was consistently great/excellent on the Crown Princess. The menu was very large. Food was served at the right temperature and it had great flavor and texture. Compared to QM2's puny buffets, Crown Princess has huge buffets with lots of choices of freshly-prepared, delicious food! Princess also has well-stocked areas such as the International Cafe with lite fare meals, great snacks, deserts, and an excellent choice of flavored coffees. If you like frozen coffee, Princess serves about six flavors vs. one flavor on QM2. Likewise, there are four types of cookies, freshly baked throughout the day, on Princess vs. one type of cookie (baked weekly?) on Queen Mary. The QM2 buffet has "fake ice cream" from a machine. Princess has "real ice cream" and for $ 1.50 you can buy three scoops of delicious gelato. A passenger explained, "Of course food is better on Princess, but that's an unfair comparison. Princess has Italian chefs. They're passionate about food and world-renowned as the best. The priority on Princess is food taste/quality. Chefs offer freshly cooked food when passengers want it. Guess where the chefs are from on Queen Mary? They're Indians. Who ever heard of a world famous Indian chef? On QM2, the priority is cooking schedule. All food is prepared at once and much of it is frozen and reheated with a sauce poured on top. That's why entrees don't have natural juices, just toppings." At the cooking demonstration, the head Indian chef fried a steak and asked his assistant to taste it. The assistant answered, "I don't eat meat." OMG! The chefs don't taste food as a quality control measure. That's why my venison was tasteless with no texture. Food Service: Princess food service combines great service and having fun. Waiters are friendly and outgoing. They proudly announce which county they're from, engage passengers, and we become friends sharing stories and laughing together. Waiters are extremely attentive and personally committed to anticipate and immediately respond to passenger needs at the table. Queen Mary waiters are formal and reserved, limiting their conversation to "good afternoon". Waiters are not involved nor aware of passenger needs at the table. We had to ask, multiple times, for more water, coffee, bread, etc. Food would arrive and waiters didn't know who had ordered it - lots of mistakes and confusion. Queen Mary only had a few waiters (I think three) at the pub lunch. They couldn't keep up with orders nor bus tables. Princess has the number of waiters needed for quick, efficient service and busing of tables for pub lunch at the Wheelhouse Bar. Public Area Appearance, Cleanliness, Design, & Layout: Princess is beautiful. Queen Mary is both beautiful and elegant. Both ships have attractive, clean public areas. QM2 even has an automatic wash system to clean dining room windows at sea. Really slick! Design and layout of public areas on Crown Princess are excellent - thoughtful, practical, and good for mobility-challenged passengers. Facilities are organized logically and centralized at the Piazza with entertainment, the computer center, future cruise booking, lite fare food, a bar, a great coffee shop, wine tasting, deserts, etc. Public spaces are open with lots of seating so it never seems crowded even with 3200 passengers. Designers of the Queen Mary failed interior design school. Public area design ranges from impractical to just plain stupid. There is no central hub with access to everything. Facilities are scattered all over the ship. You would think this helter-skelter layout would reduce crowding, but the Queen Mary public areas feel crowded with no place to sit even though it has 700 fewer passengers than the Crown Princess. Bad layout on QM2 is further complicated by different ceiling heights. To achieve a "luxurious feel", designers used 20-foot high ceilings (two-decks) in some areas which connect to two 10-foot ceilings/decks. When you exit the main elevator, you see two sets of stairs. One goes up/down 20-feet, the other goes ten feet. Queen Mary has manually controlled, tiny wheelchair elevators to go a single-story. They're the width of a wheelchair and deep enough for the chair and a person to push it. I pushed a wheelchair into the elevator. We went up one-story and discovered the manual door was at the other end. I couldn't reach over the person in the chair and couldn't walk beside her to reach the door. A passenger saw our predicament and opened the door. Another problem ramp-type floor to adjust from a 2-story deck to the adjacent single-story decks. I found it difficult to push a wheelchair up the carpeted ramp. Queen Mary poses a problem for all passengers trying to find their way around the ship and a special problem for mobility-challenged. Design of the Crown Princess is better because it is simple and intuitive to find your way around the ship and it's handicap-friendly. Queen Mary has two theaters; both pose problems. The Royal theater has twelve pillars about a foot and a half in diameter that block the view to the stage. Passengers see empty seats from the aisle, walk past seated passengers to the empty seats to discover they can't see anything. Then, they get up, walk past seated passengers again to the aisle. One man started to shout to passengers entering the Royal theater, "You can't see anything from these seats, that's why they're empty". By comparison, Princess has an excellent theater design with no pillars and good viewing from all seats. Acoustics are also better in the Crown Princess theater. The second theater on Queen Mary is Illusions. It's also the planetarium. A dome in the ceiling is lowered about 10 feet over 150 red color seats. The seats recline by pushing a button, but many are broken so you have to standup, push it back and jump on it quickly to keep it in the reclined position. All lights are turned off so you can watch a 23-minute video projected on the dome. There are only two, 23-minute computer generated videos using NASA images. The video is slightly blurry. If you like this kind of video, tune your TV to the History channel. They have much better and clearer videos with more information and cover more subjects. QM2 "hypes" this as the "only planetarium at sea". Other cruise companies are smarter about how they spend money. "Movies under the stars" on Crown Princess is a much better offering that QM2's planetarium. Embarkation on Queen Mary 2 in UK vs. Crown Princess in Ft. Lauderdale: Embarkation on Crown Princess was efficient and fast. We arrived at 2:00 PM at QM2 to avoid the early boarding crowds while comfortably in time for the 4:30 PM deadline. The terminal was very crowded and lines were NOT moving. I asked a Cunard employee how long she thought it would take for me to get onto the ship. She said, "Princess Anne was here today and that delayed everything." I said "Ma'am, Princess Anne is not in this terminal, I'm just trying to get past the six couples in front of me to the check-in lady." She said the problem is that passengers don't have all their documents ready for check-in. I said, "Ma'am, I've timed the process. It takes 15-20 seconds for a passenger to hand documents to the check-in lady and she takes 9 minutes and 45 seconds to complete the check-in. I think there's something wrong with your systems or procedures. It's not like Cunard didn't know my wife and I were coming to board this ship today." After check-in, I was told I had to wait until number 15 was called and that I should sit down in the terminal which was dirty, hot, crowded and had no air conditioning. The reason was "the gangway is full". I said, "Ma,am I can see the gangway all the way to the top at the ship entrance and there are only a couple of people on it. Why can't I just walk up the gangway to the air conditioned ship?" She said the gangway is not designed to handle a lot of people. I said, "Ma,am there are only a dozen or so people on that gangway. Princess ships load 3200 passengers and I've seen continuous lines of people on the gangway." She said, "You're in the UK now and this is the way we do it." I sat down and waited till number 15 was called. There was NO line on the gangway nor at the entrance to the ship. Later, passengers told me the delay in boarding was to give photographers more time to photograph passengers. That's amazing; Princess photographers quickly take photos so as not to inconvenience passengers. Summary - Why Crown Princess Is a Better Cruise Experience than Queen Mary 2: For Princess, it's all about the passengers. Their ships are beautiful and well-designed with all the creature comforts, services, entertainment, etc. I may want. The entertainment, food, and services are truly exceptional. Our cruise experience on Crown Princess was excellent because their culture of employee commitment involves everyone in a relentless effort to improve customer satisfaction. For Cunard, it's all about their "regal", $ 800 million ship. They don't realize the interior ship design/layout is impractical because they're pre-occupied with hull design, powerful engines, and ability of QM2 to crash through huge waves at very high speed so all passengers can throw up in a storm. Fortunately, we didn't encounter a storm. Cunard believes passengers are privileged to travel on the Queen Mary and the ship is exempt from critique. They assume I don't know what great food and service are. Rather than involve employees in a continuous improvement program, Cunard allows employees to distance themselves from customer satisfaction creating an employee culture of excuses explaining away and diminishing passenger problems rather than improving service to fix them. In the embarkation terminal, I heard a Cunard employee laughing at how dumb passengers are citing one who had packed his passport in his luggage. Princess employees would never regard a customer as dumb! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2010
We were really looking forward to our cruise on the Queen Victoria. We have cruised with Cunard on four other occasions. Unlike the other cruises we have taken we found the staff to be the worst we have had on any other cruise ship we have ... Read More
We were really looking forward to our cruise on the Queen Victoria. We have cruised with Cunard on four other occasions. Unlike the other cruises we have taken we found the staff to be the worst we have had on any other cruise ship we have been on and we have done over forty cruises. The reception on the ship was none existent and it just got worse from there on. No one smiled or acknowledged us hardly on the whole trip. We went to dinner on the first night and waited forever to be served and when the food came it was average to say the least and the choice was limited. This was the only night we ate in the Britannia and after that we ate every meal in the Lido as did many other people. We have never done this on any other ship we have been on. The quality of the food in general was very poor. I have never tasted such tasteless prawns and tough steaks. You can also see other cutbacks. Was more like carnival than cunard. Every port of call we made was a maiden port and travel agents and other guests took over the ship on each occasion and we were meant to feel like second class citizens as the staff ignored us and looked after them. The worst was to come!!! When we arrived in Liverpool it was a very wet day and we were late. We had been informed that HRH Camilla was coming on board for a visit and that there would be no one allowed on or off ship between 11.00am and 12.30. We arrived back at the port at 12.45 very wet and cold to be informed we were not allowed even inside the cruise terminal for security reasons and we left out in the rain with no cover yet press and other officials were allowed through. You will understand this was very distressing and we were only allowed through at 1.45 p.m. by which time we were soaked through and very upset. Then to rub salt on the wound, as we were waiting to go up the gangway we were huddled under a canopy to keep warm until they were set up when out of the other gangway came the guests and press and they took the canopy of us to put over the other gangway. This almost caused a mutiny. The televisions in the rooms are not suitable. You have to stand up to see the picture properly. If you sit on the bed or settee it goes all dark and is hard to view. The internal messaging system did not work so we could not send our friends messages when we got back on. The shower heat regulator was not working. We told them that it was either cold or red hot and burnt so they came in and turned it down??? I called them again to say that it was not working but they didn't get it repaired all trip. The drink dispensers were always broken and the ice machine did not work all trip. Another really annoying thing was every time we went to our cabin the rubbish bin was left outside and dirty laundry. The hoover was a permanent fixture in the hall. I will not be cruising again on this ship Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Just where do I start. All the hype about this wonderful ship and the pure privilege to sail on her was lost when we found our own way to our cabin. The greeting when we arrived at the port gate, the greeting from the car parkers & the ... Read More
Just where do I start. All the hype about this wonderful ship and the pure privilege to sail on her was lost when we found our own way to our cabin. The greeting when we arrived at the port gate, the greeting from the car parkers & the luggage porters was a great start but that did not continue. On arrival in our cabin it was good to see our luggage but on closer inspection 2 pieces was missing. Advised the Pursers Office who advised it was too early to notify about missing luggage. Well I suppose so as it was only 3pm! We went for a wander to see whats what on board & get a cuppa. Back to the cabin, still missing the luggage so we stopped for a drink from the half bottle of bubbly supplied in the cabin. On disembarkation it was noticed cruise 3 had full size bottles on Deck 1! Went on Deck 3 for Him InDoors to have a smoke & a bar steward Melvin was offering half bottles of champagne ready for the sailaway. $23, good mark up! All the supplies were loaded & sailaway was under way... We slunk out of Southampton like a car ferry!! No Razzamatazz, No band on the dock, No fairy lights or bunting. Just a stevedore shouting " you lucky people " & a few friend on a new Bride & Groom on board. THIS WAS HER 2nd MAIDEN SAILING ! The sailaway band was playing on the Lido Deck 9 & that was the sailaway party. Back to the cabin & found that 1 piece of luggage had been found & delivered. Off for lifeboat practice. 6pm early sitting so off for dinner & meet our our dinner cruisers. Everything was great so after dinner off to the theatre for the " Welcome Aboard Show ". Show was interesting but did not match the theatre & then for another wander & so to bed. The missing last piece of luggage finally arrived but guess what.. yes the suit bag was ripped to smitherens. Formal Tuesday at sea. Starting with Alastair's " Morning Show " & off to various talks / lectures. The speaker on Barcelona was unable to hold the interest as most of the audience went to sleep. He didn't know the slides or the order claiming they were not his slides so didn't know where they were from. He was also very critical of Wayne Rooney & his new salary settlement! " Secrets to a Flatter Stomach " was very interesting but as it was repeated 4 / 5 during the cruise with different speakers it was a waste of time. Complimentary Gaming Lessons & Texas Hold'em Lessons were interesting but if the experienced gamers we not sitting in to help Jenny, who had not prepared then we would have learnt less. DJ's for dinner & posh frocks then off to the theatre & then the ball. Another wander & off to bed. Advised the Pursers Office about the suit bag & they advised they will get back to me. Formal Wednesday at sea with lots to do Alastair's show to start then Beginners Bridge, Livorno for Florence, another bad talk with Alan Crisp, Mr Cruise Liner Bill Miller talk on Cruise liners, Art Talk - Rolf Harris, lunch then Classical Concert, very good then off for the Martini mixing. Still didn't get to meet " Dorothy " DJ's & Posh frocks & off to dinner. Theatre, the London Ball wander & bed. Such a busy cruise. Semi Formal Thursday at sea. Morning Show with Alastair they rush rush rush around the boat to get to the 6 earmarked interesting talks today. Giancarlo Impiglia was excellent with the talk on Michelangelo, not many fell asleep ! Dixiland at the Golden Lion was superb & so was Twelfth Night. Gave the wine tasting, at $41 each a miss. Dinner, theatre to hear Nicola Loud, very good. A wander & then the Latin dance in the Queens & off to bed. Semi Formal Friday in Port. Off to Monserrat by Rail to see the Black Madonna. Back on board after a jaunt into Barcelona to stock up on " Duty Paids " Up to the Lido for refreshments & the sailaway. Dinner, theatre to see Phillip Hitchcock the magician. Again very good. Off to the Elizabethan Ball, a wander, then bed. Elegant Casual Saturday in Port. Off to do the F1 circuit & see the Princes car collection. Harbour is full of very expensive yachts with the Queen Elizabeth towering over them all. Captain Wells was able to moor up in the harbour rather than tendering us to the dock. A few expensive cars about with a very psychedelic Porsche Cayenne. It was a lovely morning walking around but the wind was gradually gaining strength & the harbour waves were beginning to batter the quays. We had docked in Bow first, wonder why, most people I know usually park up in reverse? The winds get even stronger so we are delayed from sailing for several hours. We all got on with our cruise so it was dinner & off to the theatre for more of Nicola with Robert Meadmore accompanying. A wander around the decks then off to bed. The Beatles tribute as too late. Whilst waiting to be called for our tour in the "Royal Court Theatre" we were " entertained " with the latest news about the failed bombing in the cargo holds. Why not something about Monaco?? We did not need to be wound up about something we have no control over. Very insensitive Cunard. Elegant Casual Sunday in Port. We must have been released from Monaco as we have now arrive in Livorno with the rain & wind. Some gathered in the theatre for the tours. The stewardess failed to notice that when the ship board announcements were being broadcast no one could hear her announcements. Dried out & trying to warm up after the days soaking we went up to the Lido for a snack. Meals generally boring & most were unlabelled. Standard cold meat salads & lumpy soup & soggy cold chips. Found the Ovaltine Hot water & a dash of cream lovely. Tea in the Lido was always good if you ran off the hot water first to get the freshly boiled water. Generally to tired to stay up but had a quick wander. Found out who "Dorothy" & friends are. Elegant Casual Monday in Port. Shame it is what we know as a "Bank Holiday" but we were off to Vesuvius & Herculaneum & the weather was lovely. No real time to wander around the port. Dinner, more a snack in the Lido then off to the theatre for "Benny Goodman" by Kenny Martin. Another excellent show. The tribute Rolling Stones was again on late. No chocolate sauce for the profiteroles... needed for breakfast was the reason..?? Saw the Captain on deck & asked why no band to play us out in Southampton & said about the stevedore. His reply was " well someone saw you off then " He was not interested unlike Lord & Lady Howard who were very pleased to stop & chat when spotted in the Lido. Elegant Casual Tuesday in Port. Up early to meet our booked Limo at the port for a private tour of Rome. Breakfast in the "Stateroom" Very good but forgot to order the butter but it was delivered very quickly when I foned Room Service. Out all day & back at about 6pm having had a very enjoyable day & totally tired out. The bottle of wine given to us by our guide Roberto Brunetti (find him via Facebook , well worth every euro) was a very welcome refresher. Another snack in the Lido with an Ovaltine & back to our cabin to recover. Formal Wednesday at Sea. Lots to do & see from fencing to watercolour art with the high light being Lord Howard's talk in the Royal Court Theatre on Churchill. It was very popular so seats were scarce unless you got there early. DJ's & Posh frocks for dinner & then to the theatre for Lorraine Brown & Kenny Martyn. The whole show complete with the Royal Court Theatre Orchestra was wonderful but was only on once during the cruise, apart from the 2nd sitting repeat. Again no free seats unless you got there early. The Venetian Ball was a but flat but hey maybe we have had a few too many good times & expected too much. Elegant Casual Thursday in Port. Lord & Lady Howard disembarked & we went for a wander to get some more " duty paid " Lovely weather so sitting around the dock area watching the world go by was great. Back on board for dinner & off to the theatre to see John Martin for an hour of comedy. John advised the orchestra they were not required & they didn't need a 2nd telling. The show was good with the usual picking on the front row & new jokes. Semi Formal Friday in Port. Our tour was the Dolphin Watch in the morning & then back to the boat for an early departure back to "Blighty". No time for a wander. All aboard for 2pm sailaway. Lots to see & do until dinner & then the theatre to watch the Flautist Suzanne Godfrey who was very good. We actually had a "sailaway" Pipe Band to play us away this time. Formal Saturday at sea. Programme today is very busy with the cooking demo in the Royal Court Theatre for the "Aztec" restaurant another talk by Bill Miller, the chart auction & the guest talent show & then off to the Vodka tasting. Dress for our last formal dinner in DJ's & Posh frocks but we booked the Aztec for a first class dinner then off to the Starlight Ball. Casual Sunday at Sea. Our last full day so running around to get best offers for next cruise on board Cunard. Another great talk from Bill Miller & bits & pieces to see & do then back to do the packing ready to leave outside the cabin for disembarking collection. Off to dinner & say farewell to our dinning cruisers & then to the theatre for the "Farewell Variety Show" a final wander around the entertainment haunts & off to bed for an early breakfast start to the day. Disembarkation was smooth but delayed. Glad it was not raining as had to join a long slow queue to find our car in the car park. Home at 12.30 & a bath !! Whilst the cruise was enjoyable it was not the " special " cruise it was hyped up to be via all the Cunard bloggs & Facebook. Reading the bloggs it came to feel we would be spending 2 weeks at "The Dorchester or Ritz" but it was not so. The ship is very beautiful in its grandiose style & the carpets were deep & soft but the cruise did not live up to the bloggs. Everything was in US Dollars with no acknowledgement to sterling. Every purchase has an "add on" of 5 or 15%. The service in the Britannia Restaurant was good & the stewards were very helpful as expected although they did not understand, that when asked for crispy bacon I did not want jaw breaker crisp which they labelled "American". English bacon appeared steamed & soggy. The cabin steward kept the cabin tidy as required but cleaned around rather than under. Cabin service was very good if not delivered earlier than requested. The hot water was off the boil for the tea so tried coffee which I found too strong so I opted for Ovaltine. This worked a few morning but then fone calls at 6am to advise they did not have any Ovaltine would I like a full English breakfast instead? Ovaltine was plentiful in the Lido. The TV listing was not very helpful as programmes listed were not always shown but sometimes those shown were good. Was unable to scroll up to channel 38 as it didn't exist but well into the cruise, I found that if 38 was input it came up. A bit of a waste of time as this channel was supposed to repeat, on a loop the talks from the Theatre which froze or dropped out regularly. The pursers desk was not impressed or helpful when advised it was not working correctly. Alastair's morning chats were interesting if you caught them live but suffered the same drop out problems. On the last morning show Alastair introduced his main cameraman but nobody adjusted the camera height so we only were introduced to the man's chest! Very disappointed that there was no Pre Release film shown onboard as with other cruise lines. Was hoping it would be the new Harry Potter film. Fotos taken on board were for sale at $24.95 but the foto of the Queen taking up most of Monaco harbour was only $12.50 why? Disappointed by the timings at Monserrat meant we were unable to see the Basilica or the Black Madonna. No-one must be checking the "Daily Programme" as the spelling & grammar was awful throughout the cruise & do not blame the American language. The meal in the Aztec was excellent with the service as expected on booking this cruise. The advertised pricing was misleading as it looked that there was a $10 service charge before the cost of the meal but that was not so. The whole meal cost $10 including $2.50 service charge per person. The wine bill was something else. $25 plus 15% for 2 glasses of red wine, but they did happily change my wine when I advised it was too dry for my taste. It was a lovely evenings service. We booked deck 4 & our cabin was listed as "obstructed view" Not really Try totally blocked by a lifeboat. Only glimpses of the sky was visible. I had to chase up about the damaged suit bag & was told they had tried to fone us but there was no reply. A very good excuse. We were out & about so why no note to advise progress? Another visit introduced me to a very rude receptionist who made sure her name was not easily read. The little dumpy one, other cruisers will recognise her as she crossed many cruisers with her rudeness The re-booking service was not very persuasive to get our next booking. She offered 5% off but on returning home I have a letter from Cunard offering 15% off. Right & Left hand syndrome? The IT & technical team really need to brush up their act with what they are filming & transmitting even the Bridge Cam is fixed without advice as to where the shop is. As already said the cruise as a cruise was good but not as was blogged to be so I do not expect to be booking again on Cunard if this is their standard. Fred Olsen's Balmoral was far superior. The stewards in the Queens Room did not pay attention to what was around any drinks left & just cleared them away, even full glasses. The hyped up "tea in the Queens Room" was a let down as none of the stewards understood that the English love their tea & it must be made correctly with FRESHLY boiled water. Such a shame as the scones & petite sandwiches were lovely. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Having booked over a year agowe had plenty of time to anticipate the trip,we even went on th Victoria to tesr the water. Arrived at the Southhampton Hilton as prvious cruise cant fault it well organised clean tidy food good staff the ... Read More
Having booked over a year agowe had plenty of time to anticipate the trip,we even went on th Victoria to tesr the water. Arrived at the Southhampton Hilton as prvious cruise cant fault it well organised clean tidy food good staff the same as last year,apart from noone manning Cunard desk,must have cut the staff back. Good nights sleep,breakfast supposed to have been famous,was last year, this time no staff no food,perhaps they too where cutting staff,never mind on the coach and of to the ship. Boooking in procedure very efficient. Up the gangplank wheres the ship,never mind plenty of days to see ino farewell do must be cutting staff back. Find the cabin our friends are next door but one,we are 8025 our friends 8029,into the cabin,open the door to the balcony,same view as last year feel at home already,back in the room sharpish,smoking next door,smoke drifting over. Off to the leaving party,experienced cruisers lol,playing the game dodge the photographers,party my elbow been to better wakes. You bored yet,full of anticipation of we go to the Britannia restuarant,staff superb,food good. LIdo,tea making facilities poor after first day laid out wrong probably due to hot water system for tea making failed,Burcos arrived after 11 days. Britannia breakfast must be rated amongst the top one in the world,sorry I mean in the list for poor quality,its appalling,i repeat its the worst I have ever had anywhere Cant use the balcony smoke worse corridor wreaks, air conditioning pushing smoke through vents in door from next door. REad the brochure carefully,smoking allowed in the rooms,pity the people who had room 8027 this week,they arrived to clean the room with specialised vacuum cleaners even beforethe ship was vacated so they knew they had a problem. The lady mentioned the Dorothy club,what a gay time was had by all,like packs roaming the ship,best entertainment I had all week was watching some Americans trying to take some upskirt photos of a man wearing a kilt,true outside the toilets on the way to the Britannia restuarant. Entertainment.comedian brilliant band brilliant,saw the lady with the flute on the Victoria,was good but already seen the act,multiplaying muscian DIRE,singers leave a lot to be desired. If you drink,be prepared to wait for service,shall we discuss the measures,be warned all is not what it seems,never seen so many short measures in my life,why they bother to stock take at the end of the night amazes me.Drink at casino bar only chance of a fair measure. Casino,odds beyond me,only one history showing on roullette, table broken they said on the one table,could cunard please check the system they play,I admired the staff for the way they could get double zero. The lady in the previous report said she was home for 12.30,we were stuck in the garden room for hours waiting to disembark excuse was the weather,bullshit it happens every time priorities given to other passengers if you stay at the hilton you leave last. Im not by nature a complainer,this I find to be a fair critic of our time on this cruise,it is not White Star service,it does really fall short. No good sending me any more offers Cunard. Read Less
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