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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated ... Read More
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated royally. These are the reasons we needed a Cunard vacation. We were not disappointed. Nothing, really nothing, went awry. The embarkation process was amazingly smooth. We boarded the ship and about a half hour later our luggage arrived. This proved to be just the preview of how things were to play out for the rest of the trip. The cabin, see the cabin review, was beautiful. The dining experiences again amazing. Yes the menu options were grand, but Osman the Matre' D would come to the table and ask and give recommendations for off menu options. Foie Gras, an iceberg salad made to order, the Grand Marnier souffle, ask and it was yours. The casino was small. Not very many options. Roulette, Black Jack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold'em type game (not against players but similar to 3 Card Poker) and a few slots. One woman hit the same machine for 4 jackpots in 2 days. The beauty of the ship, the cleanliness of the decks, I walked the decks about 3 in the morning and found more than a few people vacuuming and cleaning the common areas. Loved it so much we booked next year's trip onboard already. Wish we found this years ago. So very happy we found it at last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced ... Read More
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced at sea. The service is impeccable. While we would rank the food at the Brittania restaurant as rather unremarkable, the Kings Court (buffet) was excellent! Their specialty salads were outstanding. One can also order pasta or pizza, prepared from menu choices (non-buffet), while at Kings Court. We did this, one evening craving pizza. It was fresh from the oven to our table, piping hot. The beds are so comfortable! The evening entertainment included a vocalist, a flautist, along with the ship’s Royal Court Dancers. Top notch. Don’t forget the band, also superior to other ships! Lounges provided a stringed-quartet, a harpist, and jazz band. The latter group did a Dixieland Jazz lunch which was just plain fun. Kudos to Cunard! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method ... Read More
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method of travel again. Loved the food, the service and the ship. I tend to sea sickness and we were on deck 11, very high up. With 30 foot waves, this is the smoothest sailing ship I have been on. No rocking and rolling, just like a baby's cradle at night. You can do as much or as little as you want on this sailing. Entertainment is OK, but the lectures are very interesting. Warning, everyone likes them and afternoon tea, so get in line early, there is a lot of "waiting in line" for activities. But who cares, it is much better than a flight home from Europe and getting jet lag. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. ... Read More
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. Bathroom was starting to show its age, but great shower pressure, size and heat. Spa services were wonderful, took advantage of some of the discounts onboard during slower times and found the value to be good, especially considering you get use of the in-spa jacuzzi and pool. Ate in the main dining room twice out of the five nights and probably would reduce this number on the next cruise. Service was not nearly as good as specialty restaurants, though I had no issue with the food quality. Our waiter in the second seating was rude, always trying to rush and never in sight after the order was given. It also took a long time for the sommelier to get to our table, he clearly had his hands full and the two times we ate there he would arrive at our table around the time we were eating our appetizer. I don't fault the ship for this and give a 5 star review because this was easily solvable by eating at the specialty restaurants where all these issues were more than solved. The Veranda was wonderful (ate there twice) as was the rotating restaurant - we had Indian and it was great. Loved grabbing lunch at the golden lion pub in the afternoons. Pool decks were nice and public spaces in part because there were far less children on this boat than many other carriers. This kept things more organized. My wife and I are in our early 30's and felt well placed in the crowd. Overall a great experience and great value. Will be back and would like to try the princess grill on the next voyage. Cheers Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose a short 5 night cruise out of SOU to give our friends a taste of cruise life - he has mobility issues and has not travelled for some time - we thought a cruise would be ideal. The whole embarkation process was fantastic and the ... Read More
We chose a short 5 night cruise out of SOU to give our friends a taste of cruise life - he has mobility issues and has not travelled for some time - we thought a cruise would be ideal. The whole embarkation process was fantastic and the staff very helpful. That's a positive! On the negative the ship now has the feel of a rather tired but yet still grand Old Lady. Some areas are in need of a refit (eg some of the carpets) and refresh. Let's deal with the negatives first - on board charges for drinks and extras (eg spa) are EXTORTIONATE - we tried to purchase a drinks package but this was $69 per day per person (so you can't even share with your spouse) and was for drinks up to the value of $11, however a double G&T is well over $13, so are the majority of glasses of wines so you would still end up paying extra. For a 5 day cruise this would have amounted to £690 and you would still have to watch how you chose your drinks!! Food - Kings Court buffet looks great until you realise that almost everything is repeated 3 times in various area so the overall choice is a little limited. The food in the Britannia Restaurant is average with hardly any vegetables served. It was only on the 3rd night that we discovered the "always available" menu which included steak,chicken and fish dishes - these were much better than the menu although our waiter was obviously not happy that we had discovered this! Cabins - we had a balcony cabin which was fine although the bathrooms do need a refit. Our beds were SO COMFY we are considering purchasing an identical mattress for home!! (Sealy manufacture) Entertainment - sadly the cruise company/chorus were dreadful, 4 'shouty' singers 3 of which were out of time/tune. There was a great comedian and a fab tribute 60's band though which made up for it. This was our 9th cruise so we do have a fair amount of experience with Cunard and other companies - sadly our overall experience was not as good as others and as this was very much a "fill in" cruise between transatlantic crossings were felt as though some staff treated us as the 'poor relations' ie..."oh bless, they can't afford a real cruise so they do a mini cruise instead..." If this were a school report it would read "Good have done better" Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I fell in love with the QM2 when I did the transatlantic crossing last October. I booked another transatlantic so wanted another one in between. Because the single cabins had gone then the cost was extra expensive so a short cruise was ... Read More
I fell in love with the QM2 when I did the transatlantic crossing last October. I booked another transatlantic so wanted another one in between. Because the single cabins had gone then the cost was extra expensive so a short cruise was needed. This visited p places id not been to before as well. I was on a table of 8 for the 6pm and the writing staff were friendly efficient and very professional. There wasn't a meal I didn't enjoy. The main meals are a little short of vegetables but we asked for extra and they were provided for us every night. I chose to eat all my meals in the Britannia apart from breakfasts on tour days when I had room service and late night snacks when I used the kings court. People are very friendly and so I never lonely and shared tables at lunchtime. There were lots of activities to do and I enjoyed them all. I did a couple of spinning classes but don't why these have to be paid for as other classes were free. I arrived early for embarkation but that was not an issue and I was on the ship in under 30 mins. I self disembarked so that was equally smooth. The tours are great. I went on the walking tour and canal ride in bruges. The tour guide was very informative and with doing four a first visit. On Guernsey I did the sea kayaking. This was great was it was the other side of the island di we had chance to see the island and the instructor was very friendly and from the island so very informative. Highly recommended. The entertainment was mixed. Some very good, some ok and some not quite up to it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Five years since our last return transatlantic cruise and we looked forward eagerly to the experience. Not a particularly smooth start with a booking while on the QE last November and being told cabin would be allocated later. Eventually ... Read More
Five years since our last return transatlantic cruise and we looked forward eagerly to the experience. Not a particularly smooth start with a booking while on the QE last November and being told cabin would be allocated later. Eventually we were told two weeks before embarkation that we had been upgraded. Take this tip - if you are offered cabins on deck four at the rear, especially 4180, say no. They are directly above the Queens Room and the night club. The constant thud thud of amplified sound can be heard until the early hours. But as usual there can be no cabin change as the voyage is full - has anyone been on a voyage when that sign is not on the Pursers desk? Embarkation - never seen the departures hall so full, hardly a spare seat. Priority check-in got us through in around 15 minutes. Cabin spotless as usual - steward Mayo on hand to sort out any problems. Up to the Kings Court for light lunch. I appreciate that I am in a minority but I prefer the old layout and find too many dark areas in the new layout. Food, however, good as ever with tremendous choice. Later Britannia restaurant proved much the same but we felt the choice was more limited, to the extent that some nights we found nothing on the menu to tempt us. Entertainment was the usual Cunard standard ie pretty average with one big exception - we had new films, after years of complaining. Insight lectures were mixed - some good, one excellent and some mediocre. Evening shows in the Royal Court theatre have changed little over the past 12 years - and as anything in the arts is so subjective it seems pointless praising or criticising. The transfer from the Brooklyn cruise terminal to Macy's was a complete shambles, due in some part, to road closures due to 30,000 cyclists taking part in a bikeathon. having been dropped some way from Macy's we were told the pick up would be at 7th and 34th which covers quite a few combinations, worse in the pouring rain. And, of course, no Cunard rep anywhere. Conclusion - we have always loved our return crossings but this will be our last. Difficult to pinpoint why but overall it seemed to lose the magic. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Writing this review, especially for those considering taking the transatlantic who prefer NOT to wear tuxedos or dark suits with ties. I took on 4/28 from England to NYC. Before I took chance I read 100+ reviews on this site. Now I want to ... Read More
Writing this review, especially for those considering taking the transatlantic who prefer NOT to wear tuxedos or dark suits with ties. I took on 4/28 from England to NYC. Before I took chance I read 100+ reviews on this site. Now I want to pay it forward. My wife and I took initially with reservations, as after 15 cruises, and being retired in Florida, we no longer enjoy dressing up on cruises. Also we did immediately after a 13 night repositioning cruise from Florida to England, and did not want to lug additional clothes for 2 cruises. We are very glad we took a chance, and encourage others to try. Our expectations were exceeded. Like other reviewers, with the same preferanceregarding dress, I would like to qualify my feedback. I knew from reading many reviews, that most QM2 travelers, preferred to dress to the hilt. I found about 75% of the travelers on my particular cruise fell into this category. I knew if I did not want to wear a tuxedo, or dark suit with tie, I could not dine after 6PM in the formal dining rooms. That was OK with me. Also knew that I probably could not attend the shows at night, but that was a trade-off I was OK making. Personally with about 25% of ship approximately preferring to dress casual at night, I think Cunard should bend a bit. Suggest they allocate a section, possibly balcony, to casual dressers, as a compromise. Also suggest they designate a small formal dining room or section, to those that would like to dress casually in the main dining room. That would give casual business casual dressers another option, but allow those that prefer formal to sit with those that prefer that option. We ate in the casual dining room and loved it. Our last few cruises were on Celebrity and the food on the QM2 casual dining room was superior to the Celebrity casual dining room, that was rather good. Some of my favorites in the casual DR were Rack of Lamb 2 nights, Rib Lamb Chops 2 nights, Sushi nightly, and Filet Mignon 1 night. Every night we say folks from the Main DR that opted for the casual DR because of the menu that night. Several days and nights, we watched movies, that included Academy Award movies. Never felt out of place at the movies, dressed casually. Enjoyed the afternoon tea, with 3 woman from Ukraine playing violins. Actually followed their concerts all over the ship. Enjoyed the concert pianist playing in the theatre, before 6PM :) Some days wore shorts, other days long pants, during day and night, throughout the ship. Found everyone on the ship extremely friendly although my dress was never better than business casual. Respected rights of those, to eat formally, in areas designated formal. Enjoyed the Winston Churchill Cigar Room very much, listening to classical music and watching the ocean. The Ocean Liner QM2 experience is unlike all the other cruises I have taken. Large percentage of British passengers, and ship seems very British. It looks differently than other cruise ships and handles the waves much better. We ate all our lunches in the Golden Lion Pub on the 2nd floor. Food is included with ticket, you just pay for drinks. Most days we were able to get small table right next to window. What an experience. We ate breakfasts and dinners in the casual dining areas. We enjoyed these areas, as they are really a bunch of spaces, rather than 1 room. Most days were were able to find tables in small alcoves overlooking the ocean. The QM2 accommodates casual dressed cruisers, but in my opinion, they could do more, without taking away anything from the experiences of those that prefer to dine dressed formally. However, to those of you, like my wife and I, that prefer not to dress formally, I encourage you to try the QM2. My wife and I both enjoyed so much, even with the limitations because we opted to dress business casual...that we will probably opt always to take the QM2 and or a repositioning cruise to from Europe. I took a chance on this cruise, because of the reviews on this site, by casually dressed cruisers. I encourage others to do the same. I also hope Cunard reads this type of reviews, and make additional changes to allow those of us onboard that prefer not to dress, to enjoy cruise even more. They can make these changes, in such a way, that respects the preferences of those that do not want to see any changes that effect them. Also by the way, just remembered to comment on the complimentary launderers onboard. On most floors, there is a room with 3 washers and 3 dryers. I picked a room close to the laundry, for convenience. We were never bothered by the laundry down the hall. Actually it was quite nice, the convenience of being close, and being able to do a load of clothes, when machines were empty. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not ... Read More
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not though, I don’t appreciate Cunard’s ineptitude at getting passengers on and off the ship; a basic and routine task. As Platinum members we had a special line for embarkation. We waited until noon to get on, but I could hear the same announcements that I’ve heard on each of the 6 times I’ve been on Cunard about how something "unexpectedly" went wrong which was causing the long delay. I had boarded, had lunch, came off again, walked to the Southampton shopping mall, came back at 4 pm for a 4:30 all aboard, and the area was still jam packed with passengers waiting to board. Cunard really needs to stop making excuses and get this simple job done right, every time. Of the 43 cruises we’ve been on with various cruise lines, I’ve never been on a cruise that I didn’t absolutely love. This cruise was no exception. We had a great time. My taste is contemporary, so QM2’s old ship décor charm was somewhat lost on me. We were in a “sheltered balcony cabin” # 5023. Sheltered means the outside of balcony wall is not glass, but metal (although oddly, I couldn’t get a magnet to stick to it). Often we take the extra savings provided with an inside cabin since we really only sleep and shower in the cabin. However, we “splurged” this time since I do like the ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall daylight. The cabin was inconveniently away at the front and normally we pick a more strategically located cabin when we pick inside. Turned out we spent more time in the cabin than planned as the ship was very cold and we often dashed back to the cabin where we had the heat cranked up. On Celebrity Silhouette the towels were old and thin, so we felt like royalty with Cunard’s plush soft thick towels. The food was good, but not as good as Celebrity’s. For instance, my husband is a meat-and-potato guy so he’s so easy to please. At lunch first day he looked for his usual ham and cheese sandwich only to be told it was way at the other end of the cafeteria. When he got there they directed him back to where he’d started. Now, uncharacteristically frustrated, he went back and demanded his simple request. They told him he couldn’t get it today, but each day he could order one for the following day! On ANY of the 43 cruises we’ve been on, there’s a deli-like sandwich bar where you can have any sandwich of your choice for lunch. From there, as far as food was concerned, it was just all downhill for him. As for me, I missed my daily salad for lunch. Sure, there were salad offerings, but just not as many items to include in it as I’m used to (never grape tomatoes) and certainly there were never fresh berries of any kind, at any time. I’m a chocaholic and on one formal night, the cafeteria had 1” chocolate Cunard-logo logs with flavors inside to die for. I’d go on the cruise again and again just for those little chocolates! Cruising transatlantic is different from Caribbean cruises in that Cunard emphasizes dressing up. On the 7-day Atlantic crossing there are three formal nights, but actually every night is pretty much a formal affair (although the food doesn’t always reflect it). There are more guest lectures and I enjoyed the short plays as slightly different entertainment. There are more guest “competitions” (golf, hoops etc.) than other ships; Zumba is free and there’s a variety of ballroom dance classes as well as line dancing. Cunard ships have a large ballroom which is unique, and even more unique is that it is actually used at night for ballroom dancing, complete with a half-dozen men who are paid to ask single women to dance. The ballroom of course has many other uses during in day time. Celebrity arrived in Southampton one day, and the next day we sailed back to the States. We've been to London several times and we'd both spent our first 20 years in Scotland so we weren't interested in visiting there. Celebrity arrived at 5:30 am and we took the 8 am ferry to the Isle of Wight where we visited Osborne House (Queen Victoria's vacation home and where she eventually died) and Carisbrooke Castle where Charles the first was imprisoned before being beheaded. Pretty island and worth the trip. Fish and chips on the ferry on the return journey just hit the spot. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn on Herbert walker Ave (highly recommend it) which is just outside the gate of the port where we docked so we walked straight there and next morning we walked to the nearby Titanic sites and around the Walls of old Southampton. We still had time to shop at the shopping mall right down town and Cunard's ship was also within walking distance. So we had two days and one night before sailing home. A trip I would have like to have taken would be to Highclere (Downtown Abbey) but they have limited opening days. With the ship arriving at 5:30 am you could take a train to London and enjoy the day there, but of course you would want to spend the night somewhere. With our Celebrity ship we could have taken a back-to-back to Norway (kicked myself when I realized this too late) and since Cunard's QM2 leaves Southampton (alternatively New York) every 2 weeks, we could have taken a later cruise back to the States. Oh well, maybe another time. Yes, I’d say when I take another transatlantic cruise from (or back to the States) in Europe I’d travel to Southampton to take this ship back to the States rather than fly. The 2 week cruise on Celebrity was great, changing the clock only every other day. On Cunard it was almost every day (shorter cruise) but far better than changing the clock 5 hours in one shot when flying. Flying is tough enough. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I recently sailed on Queen Mary 2 for a round-trip transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York and return. This was my first experience of Cunard, having previously sailed once with Celebrity but mostly with Disney Cruise Line ... Read More
I recently sailed on Queen Mary 2 for a round-trip transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York and return. This was my first experience of Cunard, having previously sailed once with Celebrity but mostly with Disney Cruise Line (with my late DH, as a couple who don’t particularly like children but enjoy the high Disney service standards whether on land or at sea). EMBARKATION I arrived at Ocean Terminal around 1215 and was in my cabin within the hour, which was a pleasant surprise. However, I believe some fellow passengers were not so fortunate due to computer issues later on, which resulted in our departure from Southampton being delayed. As I was on early sitting for dinner, I missed the departure from Southampton which was disappointing. I did think of skipping dinner but decided that would be rude to the wait staff and my tablemates, none of whom I had yet met. THE SHIP From everything I’d read (including the Haynes manual!) and watched, I expected to love this ship, and I wasn’t disappointed. She certainly has her quirks but they are all part of her charm and appeal. She pays homage to the original Queen Mary (which I’ve stayed on a few times in Long Beach) but has a character all her own. I enjoyed exploring the ship and simply being on board as she did what she does best, sail the Atlantic, most especially during the bad weather we encountered in both directions including a Force 10 storm. We had 2 helicopter medevacs within the first 18 hours. In the early hours of the first morning we diverted towards Falmouth for one, then later that morning we turned back towards the Isles of Scilly for the second. Obviously I didn’t see anything of the nighttime medevac but it was interesting to watch (from an inside public area) the multiple approaches of the HM Coastguard helicopter before eventually the winchman was deployed. CABIN I had a sheltered balcony cabin, far aft, Deck 4, which I chose in order to experience this almost unique accommodation. (Two of the Disney ships have ‘Navigator’s Verandah’ cabins which are very similar but the balconies are not as deep as on QM2.) The location had advantages and disadvantages. I liked being low down, close to the water, but occasionally did get engine noise/vibration, especially when the ship was sailing at higher speeds. Fairly regularly there was also noise which I believe was music from the Queen’s Room, but it didn’t translate as music, just a loud, thumping reverberation. It was a long way from anywhere but that provided good exercise. The cabin was comfortable and I did not find it dark, as I have read in some reviews. However, I did miss being able to see the sea whilst sitting down, whether inside the cabin or out on the balcony. It was handy during the storms though, being able to get outside onto the balcony when all other deck areas were closed off. I like the décor of the cabin, neutrals with blue and gold accents. The wardrobe storage is good except for the shortage of hangers. The double wardrobe had a few hangers but not enough, even though I was travelling alone – I asked for more and was given a few wire hangers. The single wardrobe had no hangers at all, and even if I had brought my own I don’t think they would have fit into the rail fixture. Fortunately I didn’t need to use it, but why provide a wardrobe and no hangers? The middle section of the wardrobe provides handy shelf and drawer storage, and contains the safe. The desk area is small and provides very little storage or counter space. There are 2 shallow drawers above the fridge but the larger one contains the hairdryer, which is fixed in so barely reaches the mirror and also requires the button to be kept pressed. (Another time I’ll take my own.) The fridge is a decent size but contains minibar items – I moved those around to make space for my own. The counter space above the fridge is taken up by the kettle and tea/coffee makings. As I wouldn’t be using those, I stored them in the wardrobe for the duration, freeing the space up for my own use. I had read about asking the cabin steward to remove them, and the minibar items, but couldn’t see the need to cause him any hassle when I could resolve the situation easily myself. The phone takes up a disproportionate (at least a quarter) part of the main desk area and seems unnecessarily large for the purpose, especially given the space is already small. The large TV is fixed to the wall opposite the bed. It doesn’t appear to be adjustable although I didn’t try too hard for fear of causing any damage. It would be handy if it could swivel slightly towards the sofa but I suppose there isn’t really the space to allow that between the foot of the bed and the wall. There was a reasonable selection of channels but no guide in the cabin until one appeared on day 3 and then it was as good as useless. It only covered a few of the channels available and didn’t always take into account the regular change in ship’s time. The French, German, Spanish and Japanese channels seemed to get much better movies than those in English. Mostly I listened to ‘Cunard Radio’ on the ‘Voyage Information’ channel. None of the ‘smart’ features were enabled on the TV, no ‘on demand’ anything or the ability to check your on board account. The bed was comfortable, with plenty of space underneath to stow cases, and the bedside tables provided handy extra storage. The bedside lights look good but, with the large bases being fixed right in the middle, take up most of the surface space of the bedside tables and are definitely a case of form over function. The sofa and coffee table serve their purpose, as do the chairs and table on the balcony. The bathroom was fine but the shower cubicle constantly looked grubby due to age and wear rather than a lack of cleanliness. The towels are good quality and the toiletries fine, although I only had soap, lotion, bath/shower gel and conditioner on arrival, no shampoo. I did eventually get shampoo but only after asking for it from the cabin steward. There is plenty of storage in the bathroom, on the counter top, shelves and cupboard. Both the sink and shower have mixer taps but the thermostatic controls weren’t very good and most of the time it was impossible to get cold water. Whoever chose to fit the square/rectangular knobs to all the fittings should be made to live with them permanently as they are annoyingly awkward to use. I did hear from a fellow passenger that they are in the process of being replaced so I hope the new ones are more user-friendly. The pages in the stateroom folder were scruffy, dog-eared and scribbled on in places. Some pages were duplicated, others possibly missing as ‘Cunard Radio’ regularly stated about a variety of things, “Further information can be found in your stateroom guide” but it wasn’t in mine. I’d read online that pens were no longer provided, that these had been swapped for pencils, but I didn’t even get a pencil. There were some envelopes and notepaper, although the notepaper was headed ‘2019 World Cruise’, obviously left over from earlier in the year. I think not providing anything to write with is extremely miserly of Cunard – in the scheme of things, what does it cost to provide a branded pen when buying in such quantity? Perhaps a few pence, a cost they can easily recoup from the fare, yet it gives a better impression and provides advertising when passengers use them elsewhere. It could be that there should have been a pencil in the cabin, perhaps the absence of one may have been another example of the overall lack of attention to detail. There was nothing major, only trivialities, but when added up it was noticeable and disappointing. As mentioned before, the lack of hangers, no shampoo, no pen or pencil, the initial lack of a TV guide and the scruffy stateroom folder. But also I didn’t have a ‘privacy please’ card (which I saw in the key slots of other cabins) or a laundry bag – I had the laundry order sheets but no bag, which would have made taking advantage of the laundry special (up to so many items in the bag for a set cost) somewhat difficult! The bed was made each morning and turned down each evening. Towels were sometimes tidied or replaced, sometimes not, and the bathroom was wiped down. The ice bucket was filled if I left it out, not if it was in the fridge. I don’t think the cabin was hoovered during the 2 weeks. There was only me in the cabin and I’m a tidy person so very low maintenance. The toiletries were never replenished except when I asked for shampoo because initially none had been provided. The cabin was never returned to ‘check in’ standard during the 2 weeks, not even on ‘changeover day’ in New York as I would have expected from experience on other cruise lines and in hotels. As I said before, only trivial things, but they all added up to give an overall impression of a lack of attention to detail, something which always niggles at me because it wasn’t acceptable in my working life. ENTERTAINMENT I very much liked Illuminations as a venue but not the Royal Court Theatre, where the view from many seats is blocked by pillars. I enjoyed some of the ‘Cunard Insight’ lectures, particularly those by Peter Dean, ‘the coroner’. He was a skilled speaker, both interesting and entertaining. Others, however, did make me wonder whether anyone actually ‘vets’ them before letting them loose on the paying public. I don’t want to be read to, I can read for myself. The best presentation by far was the one by Captain Hashmi, very informative and entertaining. ‘The 3 Tones’ group were very good, they deserved to be given more than only one full and one part show. I would have preferred to hear some of their more modern (70s-80s) offerings as mentioned in their write-up in the Daily Programme but appreciate they adapted their set to suit the audience demographic. Singing/dancing theatre shows aren’t a favourite of mine but I do appreciate good production values when I see them. Which I didn’t on this trip. I’ll give the orchestra the benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps the acoustics in the theatre leave something to be desired. However, I felt performances by the ‘Royal Court Theatre Company’ were more akin to a high school production than the professional shows I’ve previously enjoyed on other ships. Also, although I’m sure the Entertainments Director is a perfectly pleasant young woman, she appears to lack the personality I’d expect of someone in her position. The young man who was ‘ring master’ for the evening trivia quiz in the Golden Lion was much more what I would expect, with a friendly, outgoing personality, able to talk to anyone and everyone, make them feel welcome and included, and deal with whatever situation might arise. FOOD I ate all dinners in the Britannia Restaurant main dining room, at a table for 6, early sitting. I’m far from being a foodie but I was not impressed with the food in the MDR, in 14 nights not a single dish – or even a dessert, which for me is unheard of – stands out as being memorable in a good way, although I remember a few as particularly mediocre. If it hadn’t been that I would have felt rude abandoning both my tablemates and wait staff, I would have given it up as a bad job and eaten in the buffet where the food appeared to be fresher and much tastier. The MDR waiters were professional, polite, fairly friendly and unfailingly patient with my somewhat tricky at times, elderly tablemates. However, they didn’t seem to have any knowledge of the menu other than what was printed on it. I’m used to being given details and recommendations each night, able to ask questions such as ‘is that sauce cream or wine based’ and getting an immediate, knowledgeable, answer. But any such questions this time were only answered by the waiter looking at the menu and reading out what I could read for myself. Service in the MDR was often slow, with long gaps between courses, especially between dessert and coffee. However this was obviously due to logistics rather than any fault on the part of our waiters (something my tablemates unfortunately didn’t appear to understand). From what was explained during the galley tour, I believe the orders are input into a computer system then the waiters are called forward when their orders are ready to collect. My table was on the upstairs level of the main MDR, on Deck 3. To access the galley, our waiters had to go up 2 sets of steps, to a door in the corner, then down an escalator to the galley on Deck 2. So even if the system allowed, which I don’t believe it does, it wouldn’t have been easy for them to simply ‘pop in’ to the galley to fetch something. Although out of sequence or off menu requests were never refused, they were clearly not easy to deal with and took a little time to facilitate. For breakfast I ate in the buffet except for one day when I tried the MDR thinking the waffles would be fresher but they weren’t, they were exactly the same except for breakfast taking much longer. The King’s Court buffet is huge, it has to be because it’s effectively the only option except for the MDR. There are some ‘small plate’ offerings available in the Carinthia Lounge at different times during the day but no ‘fast food’ options to cater for the masses. As far as I’m aware, the Boardwalk Café on Deck 12 didn’t open at all during the 2 weeks. King’s Court often got very busy around the food stations during core meal times but there always seemed to be plenty of seating available if you were prepared to move away from the central area. It has a somewhat strange layout but I soon got used to it and liked that I could find a quiet spot away from the food service stations, where it seemed a bit less like a works canteen. To my regret, I didn’t try dinner there but did occasionally pop in later in the evening to pick up a snack (they had an excellent cheese board) and it did seem that it was made to feel more like a restaurant for dinner, with place mats on the tables and possibly a change to the lighting. The selection of food at the buffet is very good for all meals and I found everything fresher and tastier than in the MDR. At breakfast they had English as well as American bacon, something I greatly appreciated, and they appear to cater for a wide variety of nationalities. Croissants and mini pain au chocolat are available from warming ovens, both far too delicious for my own good. Strangely, pancakes and waffles were only available in a completely separate area, near the ‘gluten free’ corner. I wasn’t impressed by them, not helped by there being no warm syrup available, the only options being either Golden Syrup or a carob/maple, both cold from the bottle. Also, if you want fresh cut fruit with your waffle or pancake, that’s only available back in the main buffet area. Lunch selections always included a roast meat and a variety of dishes again catering for different nationalities including British classics such as cottage pie and an absolutely delicious beef bourguignon (compared to the MDR version which was slices of beef with a tasteless gravy). There was always fresh seafood and sushi, cheeses and cold meats, baked potatoes and ‘fixings’ for them, and a good selection of fresh baked bread. Desserts were varied and very good, mostly cold but with one hot option each day, and far superior to the MDR. There are soft serve ice cream machines but I did miss not being able to get scooped ice cream, which I prefer. Part of the King’s Court becomes a specialty restaurant for dinner with a changing menu, variously American Steakhouse, Coriander, Aztec and Bamboo (as I recall), at an additional cost. There is another permanent speciality restaurant, The Verandah, which offers lunch and dinner, again at an extra cost. I did not try any of these specialty options. The Golden Lion ‘pub’ (lounge) offers a pub lunch each day with a limited menu of ‘pub grub’ main courses and one dessert. This is very popular and gets extremely busy. I did manage to try it one day and very much enjoyed the fish and chips. Traditional, waiter-served, afternoon tea is available each day in the Queen’s Room. I believe it is popular and gets very busy, with passengers often having to wait for a table. Not drinking tea or being bothered for the fussiness involved, I enjoyed afternoon tea in the buffet instead. All the same offerings are available to help yourself – finger sandwiches, cakes, cookies, and warm scones, with jam and clotted cream if you so desire. I enjoyed room service breakfast on a couple of occasions. Hot items are available but I didn’t try these, only the danish, croissants and juice. I didn’t try the daytime room service menu as it was so easy to pop up to the buffet and have more choice. Although the buffet supposedly has a 30 minute closure between meals, effectively it’s open all day from early morning to late night. The drinks machines in the buffet are available 24 hours a day. The orange juice from them was surprisingly good, better than I was expecting. There are also drinks machines on Deck 2, far forward, in the computer centre area, which is handy if you’re down that way for a talk in Illuminations (the theatre/planetarium). LOUNGES The Golden Lion is a pub-themed lounge which bears only a passing resemblance to a genuine British pub. I enjoyed attending some of the evening trivia quizzes there but mostly it was too busy and noisy for my liking. There never seemed to be a moment without a quiz or bingo or live music, which isn’t my kind of pub. The Commodore Club is well situated overlooking the front of the ship, a very pleasant place to while away some time watching the sea and enjoying a drink. The Chart Room is a large but pleasant lounge, somewhere else to watch the sea but with a view to the side and lower down than the Commodore Club. Next to the Chart Room is the champagne lounge which opens onto the Grand Lobby. Sir Samuel’s is the coffee/Godiva chocolate lounge which looks very nice but I didn’t experience it other than to buy a few chocolates to eat elsewhere. There are other bars/lounges around the ship including in the casino, by the Pavilion (undercover) pool and on the aft terrace but I didn’t visit any of these except in passing. LIBRARY/BOOK SHOP The library has an impressive selection of books and is an attractive area to spend some time in, although it can be difficult to find a seat as it is popular and seating is limited. The book shop has a good selection of books to buy, particularly those on Cunard and maritime history, along with some greetings cards, bookmarks and other such bookshop items. HYGIENE The public areas of the ship always appeared immaculately clean. However, there was very little encouragement for passengers to wash their hands or use the Purell gel before entering the MDR or buffet. The buffet is large and spread across several areas of Deck 7 with stairwells and elevators in between. There are some handwashing stations but I never saw these being used by anyone, and generally if there was a crew member present holding a bottle of Purell, they would be standing in front of the handwash station effectively blocking access to it. After the first day, the supposedly automatic Purell dispensers were usually empty or not working. Sometimes staff would be there holding bottles but not always, and they were never proactive in offering it, they stood to one side and waited to be approached. I am used to being handed an antibacterial wipe, really whether I want it or not, or being politely directed to a handwashing station, in a friendly manner but which encourages everyone to comply. The lack of this on QM2 concerned me, and made me become somewhat obsessed with thoroughly washing my hands at every available opportunity. PASSENGER DEMOGRAPHIC I have been teased by family and friends because later this year I’m going on a Saga cruise, tempted by the look of their new ship and the fact it has 100 solo cabins so I won’t be paying for my invisible companion. The teasing is due to the age restriction, with passengers having to be 50+. However, I really don’t see how Saga passengers can possibly be older and less active than the majority of those on the westbound leg of my QM2 crossing! Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect lots of families and children. But neither did I expect to feel like I was on a floating nursing home – and that is how it felt at times. I’m not ageist, mostly I’m completely useless at guessing anyone’s age between 18 and 80, but what surprised me was the sheer number of inactive, elderly people slowly shuffling around, or sitting propped up with their walkers in the Grand Lobby apparently asleep. For that first week when I walked up or down the stairs, I rarely met anyone else using them, it seemed the majority of my fellow passengers were reliant on the elevators. One day I got chatting to a lady who said she and her husband had been dismayed to see the average age and lack of mobility on board, and it had made them regret their decision to sail on QM2 (they were only doing the westbound trip). She was in her mid-70s, some 20 years older than me, and it was a relief to know I wasn’t alone in my thoughts on the passenger demographic. When I arrived at dinner on the first night and met my tablemates, I couldn’t help but wonder if whoever allocated places had misread my date of birth. All 5 of them were at the very least 30 years older than me, one was 41 years older. Fortunately they were all (bar one) pleasant company but conversation obviously had some limitations, and at times it seemed as if we came from different planets rather than different generations. Most of us shared the fact that we are widowed, we are all from the UK, all doing the round-trip, so perhaps that’s why I was considered a suitable match for the table. However, I would have preferred a better mix of people, some nearer my age, some American rather than all British, and I had thought the second week would bring new people to meet. I know that I could have asked to be moved but that seemed rude, both to my tablemates and wait staff. I decided to stick with it for a couple of nights, see how it went, but of course once I’d started to get to know these people I felt it would be even ruder to move. Similarly when I discovered that we would be the same group on the same table for the second leg, by then it really would seem discourteous to request a move. Fortunately, although the second week didn’t bring different dinner companions, the demographic across the ship as a whole changed to more as I’d expected and it no longer had the overwhelming appearance of a nursing home. I met other people using the stairs, which initially came as a bit of a surprise, and saw a much wider mix of ages and more actively mobile passengers. I did meet some interesting and pleasant people during both weeks, mostly in passing, whilst waiting for a show to start or queuing for planetarium tickets, or those who struck up a conversation with me when they saw I was sitting alone in the buffet. I enjoyed all those interactions and appreciated the many small kindnesses. DRESS CODE The majority of people did seem to adhere to the dress code each evening. I was surprised how little red I saw worn on the ‘Royal Cunard’ night but the ‘20s’ night was popular with plenty of flapper dresses and feathers in evidence. One man turned up to dinner dressed as Oliver Hardy, complete with hat and moustache, which caused some bemusement. SHOPS The shops on board don’t hold much interest for me other than the occasional bit of window shopping. Mostly high-end jewellery, watches and handbags, and I’ve no idea how the prices compare to those ashore. I was a little disappointed in the Cunard merchandise, I expected more variety. I found it amusing that the first week they announced ‘the launch of our 2019 transatlantic merchandise’ when I knew it wasn’t the first transatlantic crossing of the season. Sure enough, the following week it was ‘launched’ again. What I found strange was the juxtaposition of such high end shops having trestle tables regularly placed outside bearing supposed sale items, which were clearly not genuine sale items from those shops but bought in specially. It was like a car boot sale and seemed very downmarket. TIME CHANGES Westbound, on 5 nights, the clocks are set back an hour overnight so that on arrival in New York the ship is already on local time. Eastbound the clocks are set forward an hour at noon on 5 days, so the Captain starts his broadcast at midday but as he finishes he says it’s now however many minutes past 1300. It makes the afternoons seem very short but I understand that it’s far better for the crew this way than to lose an hour overnight. RED HOOK Having visited New York city with my husband previously, it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to explore again alone. Instead I decided to have a walk around Red Hook, the local area by the Brooklyn cruise terminal. The weather wasn’t very favourable but I still enjoyed exploring and seeing the places I’d looked at online. Google Earth street view was particularly helpful as it meant I’d ‘walked around’ there before, it wasn’t completely unfamiliar. There are a couple of waterside parks with good views across to the Statue of Liberty, interesting even on a wet and foggy day. Having a keen interest in industrial archaeology, I especially enjoyed seeing the old warehouses, both outside and in – inside one being a supermarket and another an ice cream factory, what more could you want on a wet Sunday! I even came across a small urban garden centre which had such beautiful displays they would have been justified in charging an entrance fee. I thoroughly enjoyed my time ashore and would recommend it without hesitation. DISEMBARKATION I registered for self-disembarkation and was given a card but no instructions, and only late on the last night discovered I should have been told to report to the Queen’s Room at 0645. Having trekked there with my luggage in tow, we then had to trek back through the upper level of the MDR to the gangway to disembark which didn’t seem particularly logical or user-friendly. Anyway, other than some passengers apparently not quite having understood the instruction that you must be able to handle all your own luggage unaided in order to self-disembark, it went very smoothly. The taxi queue outside the terminal was well organised, although my taxi driver was clearly unhappy that I was only doing the short journey to the railway station. But I was in the station waiting room by 0730, having escaped the potential congestion of what I believe was 14K passengers disembarking from ships in Southampton that morning. OVERALL Queen Mary 2 lived up to all my expectations as a ship like no other currently at sea. The crossing experience was excellent, with the Atlantic providing a wide mix of weather conditions from fair to stormy. Cunard’s ‘White Star Service’ I found to be mostly hype, more so than expected, and rather disappointing across the board. I plan to sail on QM2 again for the ship and the crossing, now in the knowledge that those aspects make up for the service standards not being what they could or should be. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I ... Read More
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I had terrible Food Poisoning after having Scrimp soup. The Medical team didn't seem interested, they just sent up some Paracetamols, which they promptly charged me for. Then whilst I was in bed recovering they wanted to send in chemical cleaners to the room. I was told that other's went down with this same Food Poisoning by someone on the ship, but Cunard are now denying this and putting it down to Novo virus. It was Food Poisoning! It took me weeks to recover. Also, my companion on the ship had a terrible reaction to the shower gel. He couldn't see out of one of his eyes and he looked like he'd been in a boxing ring for days and done 6 rounds. They couldn't have cared less about that either. Although the food made me ill the waitress at our table was delightful and the service from her and her colleague was excellent. As well as this there was an awful smell of sewage coming up through the sink in our room. The carpets were dirty in a number of places too. I don't know how they can call this 5 star? I'd been on this ship before, but it has gone down hill. Go on a cruise with another company, the Customer Services with this one are rubbish when you have a problem. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
me and my family did transatlantic crossing at easter had a fantastic experience the shows were good the food first class I'm a cyclist and monitor my weight I put on 3kg. Dalmore whiskey were on board and never missed a session 8 in ... Read More
me and my family did transatlantic crossing at easter had a fantastic experience the shows were good the food first class I'm a cyclist and monitor my weight I put on 3kg. Dalmore whiskey were on board and never missed a session 8 in total and the insight lecture by Jackie Stewart will stay with me forever to sum it up I can't wait to do go again . Queen Mary being a liner is bespoke for transatlantic crossings even in inclement weather indoor pool and hot tub hardly missed the time on deck is where I usually spend my time in the med in summer; My tip would be is take a highlighter pen and highlight all the activities you want to do the night before and take it from me you can't do them all I don't normally watch tv but I watched one of the champions league games from my cabin I think I just needed a rest.The only down sides were the photos are too expensive so I didn't buy and the bingo was to so I only played once Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The ... Read More
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The cabin... smallish yes, but everything there. And it is a ship, so space obviously won’t be the same as in a hotel. We had a balcony and enjoyed the fresh sea air. The service... probably the strongest part for Cunard. Quiet, efficient, friendly without being pretentious. Our waiters Ganesh and Arnold were particularly good. Any wish was catered for and next time quietly repeated. My husband was looking for a toothpick and there was one there every time. The food.... lovely food, good variety and in one word delicious!! Afternoon tea was a treat and always a spectacle. Entertainment... during the day there was lots to do and I enjoyed the fact that I would join activities, I wouldn’t normally do. Lectures on air travel, a dance class. In the evening we enjoyed the shows, yes some of the dancing wasn’t what I would ordinarily choose to see, but I still enjoyed it as part of the experience. Some of the shows were exceptional, Francis Ruffelles fro the West End was fantastic. Dancing in G32 was fun and a drink in your Sunday best in the Commodore’s Club is special! Embarking and disembarking was easy a very organised. Maybe my only criticism would be that drinks are very expensive. We loved every minute and can’t wait to see you again QM2 ❤️ Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in ... Read More
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in Dubai!! Approaching the ship is a fabulous sight but when you get on board it is evident it needs a refurb.Our balcony stateroom was ok but rusting pipes on balcony did not look nice,Found all staff to be efficient, helpful and understanding but had initial issue with Brittannia dining room getting a decent table for 2 but eventually got one.Used dining room for breakfast also and the maitre d’ had the annoying habit of giving us a table for 2 where we had to squeeze past another table to get to it when there other more suitable tables free.Food in dining room was excellent and all waiting staff were very helpful.For dinner you are allotted your table for the whole of the cruise which was fine.If you don’t like to be served food you can use the Kings Court self service restaurant but can be a bit of a bun fight trying to find a table and only the brits queue. Prices on board for drinks and speciality coffees horrendous with 15% surcharge.Evening entertainment was very good and the guest on board speakers had good attendance - particularly John McCarthy and the group called The Rewind Project.On board daytime activities very varied and found on deck 2 where there are games and puzzles for those who like a quieter place.Golden Lion pub too small for quizzes. We treated ourselves to a dinner in the specialist Verandah Restaurant at a cost of $39 each but what a rip off.We were told all about the type of steak on offer and had a choice of steak knives presented to us in a box- well what ever next.Food was fine but served on huge plates which made the quantity of food seem small and as the place was very underused we were constantly being asked is there anything else we needed and are we enjoying the food . It felt as though they needed the table for the next sitting.Needless to say we only went there once. Overall cruise was good with stop off points of interest but the cost of tours was high and when on board using their credit card system you seem to forget everything comes with a 15% surcharge and then the suggested tips . Be warned keep an eye on your daily spend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff ... Read More
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff were helpful and efficient. The negatives for me were firstly the standard of food in the Britannia Restaurant which we were assigned to. The food was generally not prepared in a manner fitting the ship or the price of the cruise, meat and fish were dry and needed sauces, the vegetables were often hard - beyond al dente and almost uncooked, and the desserts were tasteless and unimaginative. The chefs seemed to focus more on presentation than the taste and texture of the food. We went to the buffet on deck 7 quite often which had a bigger variety of better prepared food and enjoyed it more than the restaurant. The other negative is the fact that there are two very small pools for a large number of people, the limit in each pool is 14 (I think) and there was hardly any room to move around if there was half that number in the water. As the temperatures were around 30 degrees and more, a lot of people were in and out of the pool especially on sea days. I preferred my previous cruises on smaller ships that had better food and bigger pools. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined QM2 at Singapore on a section of her world voyage. Embarkcation was reasonable enough and were soon at the Kings Court for a light lunch. Our cabin was an obstructed balcony on deck 7 - a spacious cabin well turned out ... Read More
We joined QM2 at Singapore on a section of her world voyage. Embarkcation was reasonable enough and were soon at the Kings Court for a light lunch. Our cabin was an obstructed balcony on deck 7 - a spacious cabin well turned out although we did have a problem with a leaking toilet for 2 days at the start of the cruise. Our cabin stewardess from South Africa was excellent - nothing was too much trouble. Food in the Britannia Restaurant was very good ( much better than our Celebrity Cruise last year ) the waiters were attentive and catered for our likes. However, the price of drinks/wine on board was eyewateringly expensive so only glasses of wine were sometimes consumed at dinner. The food at the Kings Court self-service restaurant was very good but finding a table was like being in a motorway service café! The entertainment onboard was mixed but special mention of a guest speaker - Malcolm Nelson, a retired Senior Customs Officers at London Heathrow Airport. His seven talks were unmissable and this was evident by the number of people attending in the Royal Court Theatre. We booked five Cunard excursions pre cruise - generally good but some days tiring! Dress code was mostly adhered to but come on Cunard - surely a jacket every evening for dinner is a little outdated! compared to P & O, Princess & Celebrity. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Although very experienced travellers (88 and 80) we had never done a cruise so decided on a 10 day one on the QM2 from Shanghai to Hong Kong via Japan and South Korea. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board early enough to have ... Read More
Although very experienced travellers (88 and 80) we had never done a cruise so decided on a 10 day one on the QM2 from Shanghai to Hong Kong via Japan and South Korea. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board early enough to have a snack and a coffee in the impressive Carinthia Lounge before returning to our cabin (Cunard prefer to call it a stateroom but that I think is pretentious). Our three suitcases had been delivered and we spent the afternoon unpacking and stowing. The king size bed (an excellent sleeper with fine Egyptian cotton sheets) took up most of the available room bur we were impressed with the amount of hanging and drawer space. Empty cases under the bed. A two seater divan, small desk and a large wall mounted TV (Sky News UK, BBC World, ABC Australia included) completed the living area. Small attached bathroom with tight but very good shower). Balcony which got little use because of the winter temperatures. Eating of course was one of the priorities and we had requested a table for 6 and the second sitting starting at 8.30 pm in the main Britannia restaurant which was later than we would have liked but preferable to the early 6 pm one. We were fortunate in having at our table two couples travelling together from the UK who made us very welcome. Entertaining company. Overall we found the food in the Britannia of a high standard, not gourmet but very acceptable. Plenty of choice and although some servings were small a request for a repeat or something additional was always quickly met agreeably. As good as we expected and we're experienced foodies. Although I knew from my research wine prices were high this didn't stop us having our usual two glasses of red with dinner plus for me, as a treat, a brandy or a port to finish. It has to be said however that Cunard give the impression of gouging in the way they price their wines. They are outrageous. A x5 mark up on retail prices seems to be the base line. A huge wine list, one of the most comprehensive I've seen, 98% priced beyond what I was prepared to pay. Very good table service from waiters who stayed with us and got to know our likes and dislikes. Most days we had breakfast in the Britannia and liked the way the maitre d would ask each morning 'alone or interesting people?'. Provided we weren't near the closing time we opted for the interesting people and on virtually all occasions joined people, mainly from the UK, which resulted in good lively conversation. We ate lightly for lunch and on two occasions for dinner, in the Kings Court buffet which we found of a very high standard. Plenty of choice but more informal, less comfortable seating. The entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre varied from outstanding (most nights) to so-so on a couple of occasions. Quality beyond expectations. The lectures too were first class especially one by the designer of the ship itself (brilliant). Gym, library, Golden Lion pub (excellent cod and chips for lunch), Commodore Club, the Chart Room, The Carinthia Lounge (excellent sherries. and Spanish wines by the glass in the evening for a pr-dinner drink), all good. The one disappointment was the white glove Afternoon Tea service in the Queens Room, a poor presentation. We joined the QM2 to spend on our time on her so we stayed on board at the three ports of call. The weather was poor and we preferred the comforts of a relatively empty ship. Tipping: we paid the US$11.50 per day as recommended plus small cash amounts to our dinner waiters, wine waiter and cabin attendant. Despite giving high marks for our ten day experience the cruise ended on a bad note with both my wife and I coming. down with a dose of the Cunard cough which developed into serious chest infections. Not Cunard's fault but not surprising considering the number of passengers who were coughing and sneezing. Just the luck of the draw. At least the steps to prevent the spread of nanovirus worked with no outbreaks recorded. Would we do it again? No. We had a great time but we didn't catch the cruise bug. Very glad we did it and highly recommend the QM2 experience. But please do your homework first and don't have unrealistic expectations. Oh and don't hesitate to take a couple of bottles of your favourite wine aboard to have in the cabin or at the table (US$ 20 per bottle corkage, a big saving). There was no check on embarkation. Good travelling with good luck. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been ... Read More
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been retired for a year, we are originally from the UK and have lived in Maryland USA for the past 30 years. We have predominantly cruised on Celebrity, but recently have become a bit jaded with them and have started to try out other cruise lines, including Azamara and Oceania, to see if we can find one that’s a “better fit”. So, why pick this cruise? My husband lived in Hong Kong as a child and had wanted to visit again. I wanted to cruise the QM2 for a second time. Cathay Pacific introduced a new 16 hour non-stop flight from Washington DC to Hong Kong (as opposed to 24 hours via anywhere else), and February 17th 2019 would be our 30th wedding anniversary. It seemed like the stars had aligned for us and this trip would be the perfect way to celebrate! How was that non-stop flight? We flew out of Washington Dulles to Hong Kong at 00:15am on the 15th, and I had hoped to get some sleep on board. We had booked Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy, and enjoyed the hot towel and champagne welcome and the expedited meal service, (served with real cutlery!). The premium seat had a decent recline, a large pillow and nice thick blanket, but I still only managed about an hours sleep. Ugh. I did get to read a lot and watch 3 movies though, and we did arrive about 45 minutes early which was a bonus. The plane took a route north over the USA and Canada, over the pole and down through Russia, Mongolia and China. A 15 hour non-stop flight really takes its toll though, and I was super grumpy when we arrived. How was the hotel? We had booked a harbour view room at the Royal Pacific Hotel, (part of the Sino Hotels chain) in Kowloon for 4 nights, and as our flight was due in at 5am, we reserved the room from the previous night and advised them of our very late arrival, so we could get to bed straight away. We had also asked for hypoallergenic bedding as I am allergic to feathers. Everything was prepared as requested, but grumpy me thought the room looked seedy, and after fighting and losing with the nespresso machine, tripping over the step in the bathroom and giving up on getting the shower to work, I went to bed. What a difference a few hours sleep makes! I woke up, pulled back the curtains to find an amazing view over the harbour to Hong Kong Island and The Peak, and then discovered a huge bathtub as well as a separate shower in the bathroom, and a kettle in the cupboard. Hooray! What did you get up to in Hong Kong? Saturday was sunny and warm so we had lunch at the Satay Inn in the hotel, and then walked through several shopping malls to the Star Ferry, crossed to Hong Kong, took a taxi to The Peak and walked back down to the ferry via the University where my husbands father worked as registrar in the 1960s, and Robinson Road where my husband lived in his teens. The apartment block is still there, but dwarfed by the surrounding tower blocks, and the harbour view has gone. 15,000 steps later we had a quick dinner in the hotel, had a glass of wine in bed and watched the laser light show on the harbour through the window and had an early night. Sunday 17th was our wedding anniversary, and also the Hong Kong Marathon and everywhere was crowded and chaotic and frustrating, so we celebrated with a sulk and a light lunch at the Mandarin Oriental and a relaxing Shanghainese dinner with fizz at Ye Shanghai. The weather took a turn for the worse during the afternoon and we had booked a tour to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island on Monday. The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms, so we called and rescheduled the tour for post cruise. Monday we were lazy, bought a few supplies (wine!) for the cruise, and decided on a light dinner at the hotel bar. So far the hotel clientele had been predominantly asian, but tonight the bar was full of english people. We walked in and were met with a chorus of “I bet you are going on the QM2 tomorrow”. It seems that the Royal Pacific Hotel was one that Cunard uses for its customers on fly cruise holidays. We chatted with a few soon-to-be fellow passengers, and bizarrely never bumped into any of them again once on board! Boarding Day! How did that go? We had originally booked a guarantee BV sheltered verandah cabin with late seating, and when we got our cabin assignment about 5 week before sailing, we had been upgraded to a BU cabin, midships, deck 6, with a 2:30pm boarding time. Two weeks before the cruise we got another upgrade notice, this time to a BA cabin, Britannia Club deck 12, 1pm boarding. What a nice surprise! The morning of the cruise we checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Kai Tak cruise terminal. When I first flew to Hong Kong over 30 years ago, planes landed at Kai Tak airport. It was a scary place to land as final approach was a steep plunge down through the skyscrapers, and if you survived that there was always the chance of ending up in the harbour if the pilots didn’t brake fast enough! Kai Tak airport closed a few years ago and the old airport runway has been turned into a cruise terminal. We dropped our bags and entered the terminal where we were given boarding number 7. We waited and waited, well past 1pm and 2 pm. Boarding groups A, B, C, D were called, then finally they started on numbers. Eventually we got on board around 3pm. I was frazzled. I like to get on board early and get organised. We dropped our bags in the cabin and went to the buffet. There was hardly any food, and what there was looked old and dried up. Not a good start. We did muster drill, unpacked and then headed up on deck for sailaway. There was a Caribbean band playing reggae music, drones flying after us, a lovely sunset and skyscrapers slowly lighting up. Probably one of the best sailaways I’ve ever experienced! How was your Britannia Club Cabin? First of all our cabin was about as far as it could possibly be from the Britannia Club dining room, apart from the Club cabins on deck 13! We got plenty of exercise walking to and from meals! Our cabin was configured with a king size bed, and prepared with hypoallergenic bedding. The bathroom was a decent size and the water pressure in the shower was good. The toiletries were nice. We found two bottles of sparkling wine in the cabin, along with canapes which were a gift from our travel agent. Our tour tickets were waiting for us along with our dining table assignment. Our cabin steward, Chris, kept the cabin clean, changing out the towels and emptying the trash twice a day. How was the Britannia Club restaurant? We enjoyed our time in the Britannia Club restaurant, and were seated at a table for 2 in a row of 4 tables for 2, so effectively a table for 8, as there was less than a foot between each table. Our waiter explained the dinner menu with the selections that changed daily at the front and the a la carte always available items listed in the back. He explained how everything was prepared “a la minute” in Britannia Club, (I think he was fibbing about that), and that if you wanted the a la carte duck you needed to order it the day before. I like eating fish and enjoyed many of their smoked salmon appetisers, and salads. I am not sure that the main course fish dishes were prepared “a la minute”, especially if we went to dinner at 8:30, as the fish seemed dried out, as if it had been hanging around under a heat lamp, or had been grabbed from the main Britannia galley. It was also difficult to get a steak cooked medium. One thing I did notice was that after bringing a course and wielding his pepper grinder, the waiter never came to check on whether the dish was OK. On the whole the food was pretty good. I only had one dud meal, a chicken and corn consomme that was actually more like a very heavily salted thick corn chowder. I couldn’t eat more than a couple of spoonfuls of that. The waiter never enquired as to why I hadn’t eaten it, nor did he offer to bring me something different. That same night I ordered a filet mignon medium. It arrived beyond well done, and was tough and gristly. My husband ate it as he didn’t want me to complain, and I enjoyed part of his chicken tikka masala. The fact that one disappointing meal stands out, is probably a sign that overall the food was really good! Desserts weren’t outstanding, but I loved the variety and quality of the cheeses offered on the cheese trolley. Wine service in the restaurant was OK, although initially the pouring was slow. I did notice that other people tended to only have one glass of wine a night and made a bottle last 2 or 3 nights whereas we prefer to enjoy the entire bottle in one sitting. Once the sommelier realised this, he was very attentive at keeping us topped up! We particularly enjoyed the french rose that came in a shapely bottle, and a very reasonably priced Cava. So that’s dinner taken care of, how about your other meals? We had a couple of breakfasts in Britannia Club, and appreciated it being available on disembarkation morning. However the poached eggs were cold both times I ordered them, and they didn’t have chocolate croissants either time we ate there, so not a great experience. Room service was a better breakfast option, especially as they had an excellent scrambled eggs and smoked salmon which always arrived piping hot, and they had chocolate croissants :) We did enjoy lunches in Britannia Club as it was quiet and relaxing. There was a fish curry for lunch one day that was a real standout dish. After the boarding day lunch we never ventured back into the Kings Court buffet. The Corinthia lounge was a nice place for a specialty coffee and a bite to eat. Breakfast offerings were quite eclectic, ranging from fresh fruit bowls to yoghurt parfaits, from breakfast burritos to shiitake mushroom and scrambled egg croissants, and (my favourite!) quails eggs over peppers, chorizo and potatoes. They offered nice salads for lunch too. Another favourite lunch spot was The Golden Lion Pub. We had excellent fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash there. Another nice coffee spot was Sir Samuels, the Godiva Chocolate cafe. Lots of lovely chocolatey treats there, that we enjoyed looking at but never were hungry enough to sample! What was the bar scene like? I am used to cruising with drinks included, but the drinks package offered by Cunard was an eye-popping $69.99 per person per day, and required both people in the cabin to have the same package, plus there was an $11 price limit on things that were included. It didn’t seem worth it so we opted for paying as we went, and probably ended up spending under $100 dollars a day, including a bottle of wine with dinner, Perrier, tea and coffee, and pre and post dinner drinks. I thought the individual drink prices were quite reasonable. We enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in the Chart Room. They often had either a harpist, string trio or jazz combo playing there. We tried the Commodore Club one night and while we enjoyed listening to the pianist we found the venue dark and claustrophobic. The Golden Lion also had a really good guitarist in the early evening, and in the late evening he performed as part of a pop duo. I was really impressed with the quality of the live music on board the ship. How did you keep busy on sea days? We felt that Cunard excelled in the quality and variety of activities they offered during the day, compared to other cruise lines we have sailed on. Usually we find very little to interest us so bring books and puzzles to keep ourselves busy. On this cruise we were spoilt for choice for things to do. We enjoyed the talks about QE2, Titanic, The Royal Yacht Britannia, The Apollo Space Programme, The History of Japan, and the music masterclasses on Pink Floyd and Peter Green. We missed the talks on China, the QM2, the talks from the sports commentator Henry Blofeld and the masterclasses on Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. We never got chance to go to the cooking demonstrations as we were so busy. Chinese language, calligraphy, painting and craft classes were also offered, along with dancing lessons and bridge lessons! Trivia was also a favourite activity, offered 3 or 4 times a day in varying formats and taken very seriously by some passengers. We actually won “Name That Tune 1980’s”, and the prize bottle of white wine was very drinkable! What’s the deal with the dress code? We had 4 “gala” nights (including Black and White, Night in the Orient and Madam Butterfly Balls), where the dress code was tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and gown or cocktail dress for ladies, with the remaining evenings designated “smart attire”, jacket but no tie for gentlemen and cocktail dress or pant suit for ladies. My husband fell foul of what we jokingly called the “6pm jeans curfew” one night when he lost track of the time and tried to order a drink in the Chart Room at 6:15pm in polo shirt and chinos. The waiter, who had served us many times discretely came up and asked him if he would be “popping up to his cabin to put on his jacket on”. My husband looked confused, and the waiter added “It’s 6:15 sir, you need to be properly dressed if you are going to have a drink here”. I loved dressing up as I don’t get the chance to at home, my husband not so much, but he went along with it! Any passengers who didn’t want to dress for the evening had the option of dinner in the buffet, and then drinks and entertainment in either the Corinthia Lounge or the Golden Lion Pub, and boogieing the night away in the nightclub, G20. What about the ports? There were six port days on this cruise, with Shanghai and Beijing being the highlights. Both cities were quite a drive from where the ship docked. Usually we book private tours, but we struggled to find fellow passengers on the roll calls to share with, so we ended up with Cunard tours instead. All the visas were taken care of for us by the cruiseline. We noticed that as well as having guides, Cunard tours also have a crew member, (pianist, dance escort and bridge teacher), acting as an escort on their tours. They monitor things, make notes of any problems, and bring up the rear and double check everyone is back on the bus! How was Shanghai? In Shanghai we took one day tours. The first was Best of Shanghai, and the second Shanghai Old and New. The Chinese authorities took longer than expected to clear the ship in Shanghai so our Best of Shanghai tour started and ended late and the order of the sites had to be reorganised as the lunch was at a fixed time. We started with an hour in the Shanghai Museum, then had lunch in the function room on the top floor of the Shanghai Theatre. The Chinese meal, served family style, was really well organised and the food was fresh and tasty. In the afternoon we visited the temple of the two Jade Buddhas, the Yu Gardens and the bazaar, and ended with a stroll on the modern side of The Bund. Day 2 we were surprised to see we had the same guide as the day before! He was very concerned that we would be revisiting a couple of places from the day before, but we didn’t care. We started with a ride to the top of the Shanghai Centre, (the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world), in the worlds fastest elevator! The view from the top was incredible! Next we walked around the french part of The Bund, had a dim sum lunch (again delicious and well organised by Cunard), visited the Yu Gardens and the bazaar again and ended with a walking tour along the old side of the Bund. Shanghai is a really vibrant city, full of energy and very forward looking. The weather both days was overcast and smoggy and over 200 on the air quality scale which was really unhealthy. What did you do in Beijing? We booked ourselves on Cunards Beijing 2 Day Discovery tour, along with 500 of our closest cruisemates! It was a very popular tour! We started with a 3 hour drive to Beijing, followed by a 20 minute ride in a trishaw. It was a cold day and whizzing round in an open vehicle was absolutely freezing. We noticed that people not on a tour had a leisurely ride wheras tour people were driven at breakneck speed. Our driver probably did the circuit in 10 minutes, jammed his brakes on and said “out!”. We had lunch at a restaurant in a jade shop near the Great Wall, and then visited the wall itself. Wow! What a fantastic sight! I got halfway up the steps, looked back and thought “OMG if I don’t turn round now I’ll never get back down”. The steps were a foot high in places and very uneven, and not for people with vertigo. My husband got all the way up onto the wall and walked past three guardhouses until he was finally able to get a photo with no one else in it! Our overnight accommodation was at the China World Shangri-La Hotel and it was awesome! So awesome in fact, that we decided to forego that evening’s Peking Duck Banquet in favour of a nap, a few drinks and a light meal in the hotel lobby, a long soak in the fabulous hotel bath and an early night! We also took an executive decision to not bother with the 5:30am buffet breakfast, and enjoyed an extra hour in bed, ate the apples we found in our room, and headed downstairs for our 7am start, raring to go! There was a fair bit of whingeing and moaning on the bus about how people only got 5 hours sleep, about how disappointing the food at the banquet was, and how exhausted they were! Glad we passed on that! Day 2 in Beijing had us at Tiananmen Square by 7:30 and The Forbidden City by 8:30. We loved the guided tour of the Forbidden City and were surprised at how big the complex was. We had an early lunch banquet and then took a 40 minute Bullet Train ride to Tianjin. It got up to 215 mph, and was really quiet and smooth. Very impressive! The ship was scheduled to depart at 5pm, but 6pm came and went and at 7 they started calling certain passenger names and asking them to see the purser. We were still in port at 8pm and the Captain announced that there were problems with the Chinese authorities and some of the special tourist visas the ship had obtained for us. By the time the issues were resolved, and a slot in the river traffic had been assigned to us, we finally left around 11pm, six hours late. Next stop Kitakyushu. Where on earth is that? It is on Japan’s Kyushu Island, and it was a maiden port for QM2. We docked in a container port, where a makeshift passenger terminal had been created out of tents for us. We arrived to an incredibly warm welcome, crowds cheering and waving, and brass bands playing. I heard there were fire boats streaming plumes of red, white and blue water as QM2 entered the port! Because of the delay leaving China, and despite making up some time, we finally arrived at 11am instead of 8am, so the tours started later and the itineraries were rearranged. We had booked Best of Kitakyushu, and our first stop was at a local hotel for lunch. We were each presented with a Bento Box with lots of tiny portions of exquisitely flavoured food. It was delicious and a nice change of pace to the Chinese banquets. 

I am not a fan of public loos, but I made an exception here and went to check out the Japanese toilets I’d heard about. These didn’t disappoint and although I did like the heated seat I wimped out of pressing any of the other buttons! Compared to Shanghai and Beijing, there wasn’t a lot to do in Kitakyushu. We visited a museum with a very good robotic dinosaur exhibit, looked at the outside of Kokura Castle, which was closed for renovations, went up the Mojiko Retro Town Observation Tower and a wander around the town.

The locals treated us to a fantastic firework display as we left port. Did you go anywhere else? Yes, our final port was Seogwipo City, on Jeju Island, South Korea. Another new country for me and another maiden port for QM2. We were the first cruise ship to dock at their brand new cruise terminal. We were greeted with music, K Pop bands, speeches and free packs of facemasks, (as in skin care!) for everyone! Todays tour was Seogwipo City Highlights, our bus had disco lights in it, and our guide introduced himself and told us not to look out of the windows. Huh? It turns out that the new cruise terminal and nearby naval base had been a bone of contention for some of the locals, and along with “Welcome QM2” banners, there were some not so welcoming ones that he hadn’t wanted us to see. We walked over the longest pedestrian bridge on Jeju Island, and did a brief walk around Saeseom Island and then over to Cheonjiyeon Falls. Our final stop was to a local food market, which I always find fascinating. How was disembarkation? It was surprisingly easy! Immigration was all done behind the scenes for us by Hong Kong officials who boarded the ship in South Korea. We picked up our passports on the last evening and our Hong Kong visas were already inside. We put our cases out late on the last night, reusing the tags we used for boarding. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8:30am, so had a quick breakfast in Britannia Club, and then headed up to the Carinthia Lounge, where we were scheduled for a 9am departure. Our number was called at 8:50am. Disembarkation was quick, we found our bags, cleared customs and waited about 10 minutes for a taxi. Couldn’t have been better. We checked into the Royal Pacific Hotel again, and after a walk around the shopping centres next door to kill time, managed to be in our room by noon. Hong Kong Part 2, how was that? The miserable weather that had followed us for most of the cruise continued in Hong Kong. It varied from fog to drizzle to torrential rain and put a bit of a downer on our post cruise plans. Our rescheduled tour to Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha took place in awful weather. We visited a beach in the rain. Had a tour of a market and a river boat ride in a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The skies briefly cleared when we visited the Buddha, and then the fog descended for the rest of the day. We visited the Po Lin Monastery for lunch and their vegetarian banquet was fantastic, probably the best “included lunch” we had on any of our tours. Sightseeing was really not possible so our Plan B inevitably was food! Highlights included Jimmy’s Kitchen for a “ Classic British Food From The 1970s” fix, the Pho Boozer for a ridiculously cheap 3 course lunch in either Indian, Malay, Thai or Vietnamese style and Bombay Dreams, with its Michelin Star winning Indian lunch buffet. Our “last hurrah” was at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kowloon, where we went for drinks in their bar overlooking Hong Kong harbour and had front row seats for the 8pm laser light show, which was spectacular. It was pouring with rain so we abandoned plans to find a restaurant for dinner and splurged on a selection of fabulous asian tapas right where we were. How was your journey home? We arranged for late checkout at 1:30pm and used the hotel limo service to the airport as we couldn’t face dragging our bags out in the rain and trying to get a taxi. It was money well spent. We weren’t expecting to find a hotel employee waiting at the curb for us when we arrived at the airport. He took care of our bags and fast tracked us to the Cathay check in desks, oversaw the check in procedure for us and directed us to immigration. He wouldn’t take a tip and said it was all part of the hotel service. What a nice surprise. All flights to the USA have extra security, and we were screened at the gate and again just before we boarded the plane. Our 16 hour flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm Hong Kong time and arrive in Washington DC at 8:30pm the same day. I planned to try and get a little sleep mid flight. The meal and drink service was more leisurely flying back. I had an excellent steak for dinner, 3 glasses of wine and watched a couple of movies before sleeping, amazingly, for 6 hours! They served beef sliders about 10 hours into the journey and then, bizarrely, breakfast a couple of hours before we landed in Washington in the evening. The omelet was really good. This time the flightpath skirted China, Japan and Russia, entering the USA over Washington state, then heading east, and we arrived a few minutes early into Washington Dulles. For once the Global Entry machines were empty, and they didn’t reject our passports, so we whizzed through immigration. We had a bit of a wait for our bags, and finally got a Washington Flyer taxi around 9pm and were home by 10pm. We were absolutely shattered. Is it good to be home? Yes! Absolutely! But wow, what an epic trip! I would definitely fly Cathay Pacific again, and I think we have found our new cruise home with Cunard. I can’t wait to sail on Queen Mary 2 again and look forward to trying out Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth too! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Never having done a cruise before we chose the Queen Mary because we wanted luxury. We certainly got that. We had a Princess Grill suite and loved the dining experience that we got with it. Every meal was superb and the waiting staff ... Read More
Never having done a cruise before we chose the Queen Mary because we wanted luxury. We certainly got that. We had a Princess Grill suite and loved the dining experience that we got with it. Every meal was superb and the waiting staff were so friendly and very professional. We chose to sit on a large table with six other diners and found them to be great company. Each meal was leisurely and sociable. There weren’t enough hours in the day to participate in all the activities available but we did as many as we could. We went to the evening show every night and played whist in the afternoons. Did several of the quizzes and made new friends. The week just flew by and I wished we had booked longer. Cunard arranged our transfer from and to the airport and organised a first class meal at the airport in HongKong before our departure. We only did one organised tour in Vietnam and found it a bit rushed. In Hong Kong we did our sightseeing by ourselves and took advantage of the free shuttle service laid on by Cunard. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Excellent for special diets ie lactose free gluten free etc Good standard of food overall No where to eat outside. Very disappointing Kings court food area feels like motorway service station No basketball Main Sunbathing ... Read More
Excellent for special diets ie lactose free gluten free etc Good standard of food overall No where to eat outside. Very disappointing Kings court food area feels like motorway service station No basketball Main Sunbathing decks obscured by lifeboats Entertainment in the main theatre generally good Embarkation procedure in Dubai was a nightmare. Disorganised. Took 7 hours! We were given a bottle of basic red wine by way of apology but we felt complaints had fallen on deaf ears Drinks on board eye wateringly expensive but we were able to bring a bottle of gin and wine on board No proper deck to exercise/walk a circuit in the sunshine Sea day activity programme variable. Some good days some not Canyon ranch spa charging 58 dollars for a haircut or gel nails. Also 28 dollars for gel removal Excellent art lectures On board shops very expensive Ship totally unsuitable for children Planetarium is excellent and most unusual to find at sea Overall ship is quite dated. More suited to the elderly Air con is very cold outside your cabin. We needed more warm clothes in the ship especially the theatre. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We cruised recently on the Queen Mary 2 from Dubai to Hong Kong Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest ocean liner ever built, having served as the flagship of the Cunard Line since succeeding the Queen ... Read More
We cruised recently on the Queen Mary 2 from Dubai to Hong Kong Queen Mary 2 is a transatlantic ocean liner. She is the largest ocean liner ever built, having served as the flagship of the Cunard Line since succeeding the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2004. As of 2019, Queen Mary 2 is the only passenger ship operating as an ocean liner. A key point is that the Queen Mary as a liner travels the trans-Atlantic route for the majority of the year, Southampton to New York, but also does an annual World voyage as a cruise ship. Our cruise was part of that annual voyage from Southampton to Japan and back. The public areas are very opulent and there are many inside options for activities and eating areas. However, being a liner there are not many outside eating areas, and the poolside seating is limited and in the evening non-existent. As we travelled through tropical countries it would have been good to be able to savour the balmy evenings on sea days and after leaving port. We particularly enjoyed the Planetarium sessions and the guest lecture series. Craft sessions, Zumba, chair aerobics and line dancing were also available on the frequent sea days. We were in a cabin on deck 5 and found the décor and fittings tired; with the carpet needing a good clean and the cracked tiles in the bathroom replaced. It is obvious that the British class system is very alive and well on QM2. There were several deck areas and restaurants on the ship that were out of bounds for the majority of the passengers. Areas that didn’t seem to have much patronage despite covering significant areas of the ship. The entertainment changes frequently with speakers, comedians and other entertainers either joining or leaving the ship at many ports. The entertainment from Dubai to Singapore was excellent, but from then on it was mediocre for some reason. The size and draught of the QM2 meant that may times we couldn’t dock at the cruise ship terminal and ended up at a working port. These ports were often a distance from the nearest town. For instance Doha, we docked about a 50 minute drive from the town, similarly in Chan May which was about 45 minutes from the town. Because these were working ports, we needed to shuttle to the port gate to meet our tour, designated taxis were sometimes allowed on the port but charged to get to the gate. Several of these ports seemed to be maiden visits and much was made of the ceremonies that took place. But as a passenger, it used up valuable shore time travelling to the nearest point of interest and they were unattractive, messy places. The major disappointment with Cunard and QM2 is that they will not tender wheelchair passengers. We have tendered safely many times with other cruise lines, but with Cunard wheelchair passengers have to step over a 45cm gap unassisted to be able to tender. I observed a lift to the tender platform and there are wheelchair accessible ramps into the tender, and a space where wheelchairs could be parked. But wheelchair passengers are discriminated against and denied going ashore at tender ports. My observations were that many of the elderly walking passengers were more unsteady on their feet and more likely to fall while transferring. Whereas, a wheelchair passenger is safe in their wheelchair and can be easily wheeled onto the tender. Subsequently we will never travel with Cunard again. There were no shore excursions that could be undertaken with a wheelchair. The only offering was a vehicle at a huge cost in several of the ports where we could follow a tour and maybe gain access to the attraction. Therefore, we organised our own shore excursions but trying to get times of arrival and departure at all the ports proved to be a mission. I achieved it finally only by contacting Cunard via their Facebook page. But finding out which part of the port, which berth or gate proved impossible. Thankfully the tour guides we employed were able to use their initiative and local knowledge to find us. But in many cases they were not allowed onto the ports. So where we had organised a wheelchair accessible taxi we had to carry my husband into a taxi to get to the port gate and then lift him out of the taxi. Not a pleasant experience for everyone, in high temperatures and humidity. Finally in Singapore, one wheelchair accessible taxi was provided in the rotation to transport wheelchair passengers to the Marina district. On the way back to the ship we were thankfully provided with a wheelchair accessible bus and loaded in three wheelchairs for the trip back to the ship. In summary I think QM2 should stick to trans-Atlantic crossings and leave cruises to designated cruise ships that are designed for cruising. If you are in a wheelchair definitely don’t cruise with Cunard. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This is a tricky review to write. We spent 19 days on the Queen Mary 2, and it was a lovely break. We’ve often cruised before, but this was the first with Cunard who came recommended. We booked the Queen’s Grill service – this is the ... Read More
This is a tricky review to write. We spent 19 days on the Queen Mary 2, and it was a lovely break. We’ve often cruised before, but this was the first with Cunard who came recommended. We booked the Queen’s Grill service – this is the First Class tier, and as Cunard claims the First Class level in general, I suppose this was the First Class of the First Class. So we had high expectations. The service was really good by and large, our cabin was spacious and well-appointed and the staff mostly charming, motivated and friendly. But we also had issues some of which were serious – things which Cunard really should address or assist with, and these often took the edge off the experience. Hence the title – ‘Close…but No Cigar’. In the interest of balance, I have also asked Cunard to respond at the end which is why it’s taken a few weeks to post this review. Cunard accept all the issue and are very apologetic. They have refunded some items such as the tours described below and they compensated us unasked for others (£1200.00 as a credit). But I also awaited their response to publish here – which as I say is at the end. You can judge from the response whether Cunard address the issues and actually change anything. So what did we like? Lots. We saw wonderful things and places, and had some great experiences. An example is our Butler. Friendly, helpful where he could be, in a role many will say is not clearly defined beyond stateroom cleaner and servicing. But twice he saved us specific upset. The first was the late arrival (by several hours) of one suitcase – with all Mr’s clothes in. Krishna (the Butler) went the extra mile to track it down in security and bought it to us, just as we prepared (indeed so we could dress) for dinner on the first night. On another occasion my wife lost her ‘Fitbit’ watch as we hurried late for a shore excursion. Not hugely valuable, but it was a Christmas present from our son, so sentimental. We knew it was lost between our stateroom and the theatre. Again, after we’d asked the Purser for several days if it had been handed in, we asked Krishna if he could help. He went to security, and they checked the cameras along the entire route from stateroom to theatre. They found where it was dropped, and a passenger who then picked it up was spotted. A polite call by the Butler and security to his cabin, and apologies that he’d not yet handed it in, and it was returned. This is particular is probably the best piece of Customer Service we have ever seen…well done. The food was excellent as expected, and the dining staff like all others, engaging, interested, keen to help. Both the daily menu and a la carte were simply superb and to our taste. The sommelier was knowledgeable and engaging and added to our experience. The talks on board, the Planetarium, afternoon tea, the films, the range of games, the choir we joined (after abandoning dance – see below) were again all great fun and world class. So…what went wrong? It was several things – some serious, some less so but none the less all were surprising. And (to note) I deliberately left it two weeks before writing this review (and then longer to allow Cunard to respond) to allow some perspective and objectivity – but these did really affect our experience. Our arrival The stateroom was spacious, and we went in. The very first thing I noticed was (apart from one orchid flower in a bowl of water) no flowers. There’s a shelf right by the door where they are placed in all pictures from Cunard – so the first thing you see. Small detail but we like plants and flowers around us, and we had noted their provision with pleasure from the brochure. In the end we bought flowers for the room on day two, but then three days after sailing an orchid potted plant did arrive unannounced. Just as you’ll see in all the brochure pictures. We didn’t mention it to the Butler as we found a more serious fault described below and didn’t want a general ‘moan’, but a room is either prepared or not. And had I known these were coming (and when we ordered through the Concierge I did explain why I was buying), I’d not have bought more flowers. And totally get this really is a first world problem! But also on arrival anywhere, I tend to hunt for electric sockets – charging both phones, tablets and so on, we need power, and often I find a hidden socket behind bedside lockers so we can keep these on our bedside tables. No sockets. But what I did find behind my locker was a lot of filth and dirt, what looked like a dead insect or cockroach, and other mess (as you’ll see in the pictures accompanying the review). My wife’s was worse – among the filth and piles of dust were coins and a number of the QM2’s internal newspaper. Dated August 2018 (again you can zoom into the picture). This means the last time the room was properly cleaned was more than five months before our arrival – and judging by the dust a long time before that. But demonstrably not since August 2018. This we did raise with the Butler, and it was sorted out the next morning (he did offer that night but we just wanted to get on). There were also hairgrips all over the walk-in wardrobe floor and under the dressing table – my wife picked up about 20 over the next week – presumably the vacuum cleaner rejects these. So not only had this room not been cleaned properly (for months) but also (if you’ve ever seen TV programmes) Cunard shows the highest level of pre-guest inspection, with each room being checked before being released for new guests. I sort of understand that occasionally in a difficult turnround this may be missed. But half a year – not cleaned and/or inspected? And you have to wonder what else was missed or short-cut? Sorry, that’s not good enough in any hospitality venue, let alone Queen’s Grill on QM2. In the walk-in wardrobe the bottom two of four drawers were broken (we assume someone tried to climb on them to check the shelf above). We unjammed them and they worked after a fashion. But as above, either they were inspected before we arrived and ignored, or simply not checked after previous guests. And finally a detail (see picture again) but outside on the balcony a large piece of the paintwork was peeled off and peeling. QM2 is a working ship, we get that. Conditions can be harsh. But we don’t live with broken furniture or peeling walls at home, so why should I on holiday, especially with such a large maintenance staff? The paint loss must have been noticed as the missing pieces, the size of a couple of dinner plates had been cleaned away. The Entertainment Honestly, some of the shows seemed under rehearsed and the in-house troupe didn’t match other cruise lines we’ve been on. It’s subjective, and some on the other hand we did get to see, particularly external entertainers, were excellent. But it didn’t matter – as after the first few days we really gave up on the Theatre as a regular event. The problem is that most passengers (in Britannia class) eat dinner from 1800. They finish around 2000 – and head to the Theatre where the shows begin at 2045. In Queen’s Grill though the service starts at 1830 – and you don’t finish until 2015-2030 – unless you hurry your meal or miss courses (and as I’ve said the food is excellent). But by the time you get to the Theatre, it’s basically already full. Three nights in a row (the first three nights) the only seats we could get were high up on one end of the balcony, which wraps around the stage so you’re actually just behind the action and actors. You can’t see the set, band or whatever as they’re hidden from view by the side of the stage. The acoustic high up is also pretty dreadful. The second show is 2230 ending at 2315ish – that’s too late for us, and we don’t want to hang around for two hours after dinner anyway. And we couldn’t eat after the 2045 show as these are 45 minutes long and end at 2130 plus. The Queen’s Grill restaurant take last sittings at 2130, and even if we snook I late – who wants to eat alone with the staff hanging around? On two nights the show timings were bought forward to 1900 for the first show. This worked well both times and we enjoyed the entertainment. On another night we really wanted to see the show so ate at the self-service Kings Court which was good – but not a choice for every night simply to see the entertainment. There are easy fixes – for example open the Queen’s Grill at 1800 – or move the show time to 1900 regularly (clearly it can be done). Put aside some seats for Queen’s Grill – after all we’re paying a huge premium. On Celebrity in Suite Class, the Butler saves a seat or two for First Class guests on a roped off row. Again an easy fix and something the Butler could do over and above being a stateroom cleaner. And then on Celebrity the Butler will bring you a drink – there’s no service in the balcony on Cunard. This issue I did raised with the Concierge – many people talked about the shows – but we felt we missed out. I think the final straw was a show with apparently fabulous backdrops – we weren’t even aware there was a set from where we had to sit. The Concierge said she’d talk to the different teams – and acknowledged this was a complaint she’d heard before from others. A week later she asked if the Assistant Entertainment Manager had been in touch – he/she hadn’t. They never did. We came to the conclusion that ‘I’ll talk to the Management’ was Cunard crew’s way of Kicking issues into the Long Grass – more below. Again, this was a disappointment. Dancing Mrs B and I have only tried dancing lessons once – 20 years ago. After lesson three we considered calling lawyers. But this time I thought I’d really give it a go. She loves to dance, and it must be possible to master something. And Cunard do say ‘Try/learn something new’. The easiest seemed to be Line Dancing, so we attended the first lesson. Within five minutes we were into ‘So that’s two grapevines, a slide, a chasee, then a pivot…’ which meant nothing to me. I was sunk. So afterwards I went to the two dance instructors and said ‘It’s clear everyone had experience, do you have a beginner’s class, for those who’ve not line danced before?’. The response was abrupt. No, they expect everyone to come with at least two years’ experience. So much for learning a new skill. But actually they felt it was such a good idea, such a revelation, they’d raise it with their Manager (see Kicking into the Long Grass above) and they took my Stateroom number. I didn’t hear another thing. It’s interesting to note that out of 50-60 people in the Line Dancing class, only five were men – we don’t generally do these things outside a holiday or leisure and the gender mix reflects this. So we moved onto Ballroom. Again two excellent instructors, and at the end of the first hour, I felt I’d got the real basics of waltz. Just needed developing and repeating. But next day we did Cha-Cha. OK, try to master two in quick succession from no skill at all. And day three was the Tango. Again I was lost. An hour isn’t long enough, and two or three days on each dance would really have consolidated things. Again though ‘that’s not how it’s done’, previous experience is clearly required. My Dancing Days will have to wait for another time… Trips Ashore We pre-booked some Cunard excursions – Seville, Delphi (Greece), and the Holy Land. We’re pretty young and fit, and also well-travelled. We tend to be adventurous so the first two tours we booked were described as arduous, lots of walking, uneven surfaces, hills and so on. Cunard call these ‘High Activity Level’, as explained on the booking form. Other activity levels are offered on other excursions. For Seville, the problem started before we even went on board the QM2. A key destination there is the Cathedral – the third largest in Christendom. It was central to the tour when we booked and our reason. But an email a few weeks before departure explained that because we were there on a Sunday, the Cathedral was closed to visitors. Now it was always a Sunday, so who didn’t check such a thing when creating the programme? No matter we went ahead anyway (and will return another time to see the Cathedral – it’s great from the outside!). What this indicated was a general lack of attention to detail and ownership over the excursions. In the event, we had a lovely tour of this wonderful City and a Moorish castle, and apart from missing one fellow passenger after lunch (she sat with another group, and was completely unaware when we left, the Guide saying she seemed to be struggling with it all a bit) all was fine. Then, as we walked through the old town, an elderly American lady fell on cobbles. She had clearly been getting very tired and it was a long walk (‘high activity’), and couldn’t pick her feet up. Down she went, cutting her leg, and clearly in shock. Worrying for her and us – so the Cunard Rep (one on each coach plus the guide in theory) stayed with her, and we were hurried to the end point, so the Guide could then leave us for 45 minutes, and go back and bring this lady to us. She was at a guess 80 years old, clearly exhausted, and very upset. The next stop was Greece, for Delphi. We were late driving from the ship as our Cunard Rep didn’t turn up for the coach. After 15 minutes, long after two other coaches had departed for Delphi, our local Guide gave up and said we’d go without the support. The Oracle at Delphi is up a fairly long hard hill climb on smooth stones and broken ground with large steps, in the heat. As we got off the coach it was clear the Guide was weighing the group up. Some of the less fit were already struggling – so she said that we’d go up slowly, and stop every 50 metres or so people could get their breath back. It’s about a 10 minute climb up the stone steps for people such as us, but the regular stops meant it took 40 minutes to reach the temple level. We did try going ahead – but without the guide to explain we lost all the context. Eventually reaching the temple level, we had about 10 minutes at this Wonder of the Ancient World we’ve longed to see for so long. Other groups had had half an hour plus to explore – and we missed key things, it all felt rushed, and really not what we’d expected. We’d set off late, and then had a lengthy climb. Worse was to come. On the way down a British man, tripped and fell. He’d already spent his time sitting quietly apart at the top, and I’d asked him if he was OK, and he said he was tired. In the tumble he gashed his hand badly and again was shaken up. However after a slow descent he sat outside the museum restaurant and had a drink and seemed fine. Then after the museum (I think this gentleman sat outside) we went for lunch. Again, my wife and I found ourselves helping this man clearly a bit shocked still, and his wife. So we were last in the restaurant (remember, no Cunard Rep to assist on this trip as they overslept or whatever…). He wouldn’t bandage his hand as he said he wanted it to ‘dry’, so we sat through lunch on four person table with his blood dripping onto the table cloth and forming a pool beside him. What we did discover though was that he is 88 years old. And because of this, and he now felt he shouldn’t have done the trip, he had a furious and loud row on the coach with the guide on the way back when he refused to complete a Cunard accident form. Cunard have a clear and absolute Duty of Care to their guests. So I discussed this with the Concierge (same time as I raised the Theatre timing issue above). Fine, I get it that Cunard don’t know people’s fitness levels. But they do know our ages from the start, and permitting an 88 year old onto a trip marked ‘high activity’, up a long hillside in the bright sun, on smooth irregular marble steps and stones and lose earth. That’s ridiculous. They can clearly provide a clearer description – and the fact that in Seville they didn’t even spot it was Sunday when putting the excursion together shows a lack of attention to this sort of detail when selling the trips. We hope no one ever has a much more serious injury or health event. But if they do, someone old and frail pushing the boundary too hard, blame will be shared – Cunard are not taking their responsibility for welfare if they let people who are clearly going to struggle onto these trips. It’s not good enough to say an 88 year old should have read ‘High Activity Level’ and not taken part. Two trips in a row we saw potentially serious accidents, both resulting in blood loss. And, although it’s clearly of less importance, that totally spoils the experience for the rest of us. Our Champagne Evening One of the nice things about Queen’s Grill is we get out own deck at the back of the ship. So we decided on the last Gala (dressing up) night, to invite some (10) new friends to start the evening with a Champagne reception on the back deck as the sun set over the sea. We’ve done it before on other companies – Celebrity again for example. There, one call to the Butler, and it’s sorted. However there’s a bar on the Queen’s Grill deck so I asked there for starters which seemed logical. The barman tried to help, and said he’d have to ask his Manager if there would be room for ten people (a deck some thirty metres by ten!). Then he’d need to get us to talk to the restaurant team, and the drinks team to arrange the canapes and drinks. It was all too much, and he later came and said it would be best if we talked to the Concierge. So off we went. The Concierge said of course it was possible, but she’d need to talk to our Butler. She said there was no need for me to raise it with the Butler, she’d plan it, and she clearly then discussed it with the Butler. And thus, He came to us in our room to get more detail. Yes, entirely possible, he said. The champagne (we reckoned 4-5 bottles) and canapes can be brought to the room, and I could take them onto the deck. That’s not his role. But I explained that would mean I spent the entire event shuffling back and forth, pouring drinks and serving food and so on – not what I’d planned. I asked about glasses – he said well, you have four here already in your room, so I’ll bring another six. Again to be taken to the deck and then back to the room. This wasn’t the special black tie event I’d envisaged. So I went back to the Concierge. Her first comment was ‘I told you not to speak to the Butler’. That miffed me slightly – what were we supposed to do when he came to our room to discuss it? And unless he had, how would we know the planning was going slightly off line? Frankly I felt I got a bit of a telling off which was both inappropriate and undeserved. But the outcome was that the Concierge took arrangements back in hand. This was just as well as at the last minute (after invitations had been sent out etc.) she contacted us to say we had to shift the date forward as we’d were still in the security area south of Yemen, and because of the piracy risk decks were closed at nightfall. I said this was shame as I’d done invitations – and in passing, why had the original dates for the decks to be closed, announced before we planned the event and already taken into account, been changed? No answer really came forth apart from, a little later, she showed me the sunset chart (a Word document on her computer screen) from the Bridge which showed sunset getting later by about ten minutes each day, except oddly for the original date I’d planned the event. That day alone, sunset actually jumped back half an hour. And then the next night jumped forward 40 minutes. I queried this apparent phenomenon of nature – and asked for a copy of the chart as I really didn’t understand what I had been told. She told me that sunset times were in confidence for staff only! I’m pretty certain, like our Sunday trip to Seville, someone didn’t do the sums right to begin with, so the night deck closure was extended by one day, but was covered up with my own ‘sunset chart’ in apparent justification. It was really bizarre, but I may be wrong – this may have been a new bit of physics. I then talked with the Bar manager, the Restaurant Manager (who both rang the room, and were very understanding and efficient). Went round and reissued invitations with the new date. I also rang the photographers to get someone to come and take a picture – my responsibility apparently. And after days of too’ing and fro’ing it was finally a relief having talked to (I think) seven different people, all in different departments, that it was sorted out. But a long, long way from one call to the Butler or whoever and it gets arranged. And had I known at the outset how complicated it would be, I’d have had second thoughts. So the event went ahead, an area of the deck was roped off, chairs were put off, a lovely lady served the canapés and drinks and it was excellent and enjoyed by all. BUT there was a sting in the tail. In the phone conversation with the Bar Manager he said ‘What champagne would you like’. I said the Laurent Perrier they serve on board ($75 a bottle) would be fine, but then added as a throwaway, that my wife and I do prefer Taittinger, it’s what we have on special occasions, and if there was any that would be nice. The Bar Manager said he’d not got any, but would see if the Restaurant Manager had some. On the evening, when I arrived the champagne was in buckets with nice white serviettes round the necks. I asked the lady serving whether they’d found Taittinger and she said she was pleased to say they had. Full marks! When it was poured though I could see the bottles were a different shape and not a label I recognised. Tasted wonderful though. And we drank our way through five bottles. Guests departed, and I said I’d sign the bill. I then discovered the $75 a bottle Laurent Perrier had indeed been substituted with Taittinger as asked – but Vintage Taittinger, at $225.00 a bottle. Our bill was not $375 for the hour long soiree, but $1125. I’m circumspect, we and our close friends had a truly wonderful event as the sunset over the deck, and thus I paid without quibbling. But this may have really spoilt the evening for some, and when one asks for a substitute, I think it’s reasonable to expect some equivalence on aspects including price – and if not to be contacted again to check it’s OK to triple the price and cost. But there we go…lesson learned, and I hope we’ll prevent other also doing this the hard way. And frankly, the different departments, the tiers of bureaucracy – it makes doing anything special painful. The customer certainly isn’t king! Conclusion If you think we’re high maintenance, that’s fine. I really want to stress what I said at the start that we enjoyed our time away, and most of what Cunard does is world class. We found much – food, most staff, facilities, our stateroom (once it was clean) completely engaging and worthwhile. We’re not generally moaners, so there’s nothing lengthy here about internet (its cost and awful performance), the rude on board Israeli immigration staff I reported to the Concierge, the chaos of getting passports back (kept for Israeli immigration but it was mayhem when they were returned after our trip to Delphi – one person handing out 40 passports to a queue of 100 people and a total lack of security which means we could have walked off with any number of other persons’ passports). But from time to time I have been a ‘mystery shopper’ so I do spot things which aren’t right – especially customer services – and maybe that should also be taken into account here. Just playing fair. And frankly, Cunard could do with one or two ‘Mystery Guests’ to get the sort of feedback we’ve given! These are specific and detailed points, some of which are clearly serious. For that reason, and because I’ve never written a review like this before, before publishing I have invited Cunard Customer Services. Their response follows below. But now you will also see why this is called ‘Close…but No Cigar’. Response: Cunard Customer Services say: 'Thank you for your patience in regards to my response time, I have been feeding relevant information back to both ship and shore-side departments after our initial conversation we had. In regards to a reply about action that is taking place internally to answer the issues you have brought to my attention, unfortunately this is something that cannot be disclosed, as I’m sure you can appreciate takes several departments working closely together and also a time frame that can range anywhere from a couple of weeks into a couple of months. What I am more than happy to do is outline the issues we have discussed and how they have been addressed with management teams to ensure that hopefully we can prevent these issues reoccurring. Having taken the time to read your comments, I am most sorry to learn of the issues experienced during your voyage on Queen Mary 2 and that this voyage did not live up to your expectations as a first time guest on Cunard Line. As I am sure you are aware we endeavour to ensure that our passengers are offered clean, well presented accommodation. Our standards of housekeeping and sanitary procedures are very high and we make every effort to ensure that these are met. The conditions that you describe are certainly not reflective of the conditions that we expect for our guests. I would wish to assure you that we do have a policy in place and the stateroom stewards are very well aware of the standards we expect. If they deviate from this standard, action will be taken with both onboard and shore-side management. However, as I am sure you will appreciate there are in excess of 1000 staterooms on Queen Mary 2 and it is physically impossible to check each and every one before our passengers embark on turn-around days. We therefore do have to rely on the training given to the stewards who attend to the staterooms and the realisation of the importance of adhering to the standards laid down. I am pleased that the problems were rectified at the time, but I am sorry for the unnecessary inconvenience caused. Further to this, I am sorry that your walk in wardrobe was not up to the level of standard we expect in a Queens Grill suite and I fully appreciate what an important aspect of your cruise this facility is. I have logged your comments for senior management's review and I have sent this across to the Housekeeping Management team onboard the ship. In regards to the experiences you had with the theatre and the timing of the shows conflicting with your dinner arrangements, I sincerely apologise for the inconveniences this caused you. It would be virtually impossible to provide a venue onboard that could accommodate all passengers who simultaneously wished to attend and watch a particular event. Generally speaking, however, we find that passengers differing interests results in a reasonable availability of seats in the public venues. However, I regret that this was not what you experienced on this occasion and apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused as a consequence. I have logged your comments about your Butler reserving seats or a separate section of the theatre being reserved for Grill Guests with the Entertainment Team onboard as well as the relevant team here that deal with the acts and production. This will be looked into and seen if something can be arranged to improve the operational side of the theatre, especially with our Grill Guests. In regards to the experience you had with our dance instructors onboard, this has also been passed onto not only the Entertainment Team, but the management onboard so this can be investigated further. Dance classes should not be exclusive to people who have experience as we promote ‘trying something new’ and it is not a necessity. I apologise that you were made to feel this way. I have also fed back your comments regarding the pace at which the classes are taught. This will also be looked into, mainly by the ship based management team to see if the way these classes are taught can be amended to ensure guests get the full experience they have signed up for, as well as actually learning a few dances. I would like to assure you that guest satisfaction is extremely important to us. We are constantly reviewing the services and facilities that we offer to our customers as we endeavour to ensure that all aspects of our holidays are maintained to the same high standards. We record all guests’ comments and these are reviewed on a regular basis in an effort to locate any trends, positive or negative, arising. In this respect, your comments and observations have been most helpful and I would like to thank you for taking the time to share them with us. I am most grateful to you for detailing your experiences in relation to the shore excursion, and it is disappointing that the tour did not operate as described. Although shore excursions do not form part of a passengers’ overall contract with Cunard Line, we understand and appreciate what an important contribution tours make to cruise holidays. As such, a great deal of research is carried out before we finalise our shore excursion programme to ensure that passengers are provided with a high quality service. I have highlighted as a matter of urgency and importance the safety issues you have brought to light regarding the two excursions you experienced issues on with both the Health and Safety departments onboard and shore-side. As I am sure you can appreciate the safety of our passengers is of upmost importance to us and would be at the forefront of any decisions made, therefore this will be reviewed by the Hotel and Land department in our Head Office that organise these trips. It goes without saying that we must rely heavily on local agents who operate the tours on our behalf, and in general terms, we receive a great deal of positive feedback. Nevertheless, your comments are very much appreciated and will certainly assist us in the future. Although of little comfort or consequence to you at this stage, I have ensured that your comments are forwarded to the appropriate management for their review and consideration with future cruise itineraries. In this respect, I must thank you for taking time out to outline the issues you experienced on two of your shore excursions. I would also like to sincerely apologise for the level of service you have received trying to plan a special evening with friends. After our discussion on the phone and all the issues outlined, I completely agree with you that in fact, the events that occurred were completely unacceptable and this has been fed back accordingly. The level of service offered to you by several members of staff onboard i.e. concierge, Butler and bar manager, I can assure you is not the luxury service we set our high standards to. As explained over our telephone call, a private event should have been as simple as asking your Butler and everything else simply falling into place. I apologise that you had to constantly go back and forth between several managers to get the evening organised. What I was concerned to read as well, was the choice of champagne not being confirmed with you before your evening commenced. This has been reported back to the management team onboard to ensure correct training is carried out and this mistake does not occur in the future – as you stated, this could have easily ruined a holiday without being budgeted accordingly. Thank you for your comments and criticisms, we do appreciate all feedback and I have passed on the comments to relevant senior management here in our Head Office for review as this as stated above, was unacceptable. I understand after speaking to you over the phone, you were looking for an answer, rather than compensation, but I do strongly feel it is necessary I offered you something an apology for all the inconveniences caused to you onboard and the level of service you experienced from members of staff onboard. We do look forward to welcoming you back onboard in the near future, as we will have the opportunity to fully restore your faith in the service we know we are able to offer.' Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Boarded for the first leg of the World cruise, Southampton to Dubai. Embarkation was 2 1/2 hours; very poor. Ship was tired and dirty. Carpets were threadbare and stained. Entertainment was generally poor. Drummer was brilliant as ... Read More
Boarded for the first leg of the World cruise, Southampton to Dubai. Embarkation was 2 1/2 hours; very poor. Ship was tired and dirty. Carpets were threadbare and stained. Entertainment was generally poor. Drummer was brilliant as was the trumpeter soloist and the juggler. Opera Boys did too much silly talking and not enough singing. Singers and dancers were far too loud; many left the theatre Food was very disappointing especially evening meal in Brittania. Tiny portions of tough meat and virtually no vegetables. Overall, food was monotonous and tasteless. Managing the guests for excursions was shambolic. The Entertainment Manager did not keep guests informed. I complained to the Hotel Manager who agreed with most of what I said and gave me a $150 credit. On return home I emailed Mr Palethorpe, Cunard Vice president, who did not reply. So I emailed Customer Services who also failed to reply. Cunard are trading on the past and have lost the plot. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The boarding experience was delayed as the ship was not berthed at its regular dock as it was undergoing maintenance. We arrived 2 hours earlier than requested on the ticket so weren’t surprised about inevitable delays. We were on board ... Read More
The boarding experience was delayed as the ship was not berthed at its regular dock as it was undergoing maintenance. We arrived 2 hours earlier than requested on the ticket so weren’t surprised about inevitable delays. We were on board by 1pm after arriving at 11am but were asked not to arrive until 2pm so all in all very successful. Every cruise I have been on since 1992 I have encountered moaning whingers generally in the older age category. Sadly this cruise was no exception. Some passengers complained the portion sizes were too small, some passengers complained the ship was too big (I completely failed to sympathise with that one). How can you complain about an itenery which is printed in the brochure? Yes if to set out to look for things to complain about then you will find them. For me this trip was one of the most amazing in my life, highlights were visits to Corinth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Dubai, Doha, Muscat, Phuket, Colombo, Penang and most amazing of all Singapore. Lowlights were Goa which wins my prize for being the filthiest place on the planet and the Indian government force you to buy an Indian visa at great expense even if you choose to stay on the ship. The ship is now 15 years old and there have been some changes since the maiden voyage which I was lucky enough to be on. The palm court (possibly the least successful room on the ship) has been transformed into the Carinthia Lounge which now feels like a proper space befitting a 5 star hotel. It’s previous incarnation was a rather tacky Las Vegas styled theme of a palm court which failed to convince me. The kings Court buffet area has been redesigned although personally I preferred the original arrangement of 4 separate themed dining zones offering different cuisines. Also the 2 glass lifts that used to arrive here from the grand lounge have been completely removed which is a real shame. I suppose the intention was to increase seating capacity but to my mind it wasn’t worth all the expense to gain a few extra tables. The insights lectures were absolutely fantastic celebrity guest speakers included Michael Parkinson, Peter Snow and Reza Muhhamed alongside about 8 other guest speakers and port lectures. Subjects were wide and varied. Entertainment was excellent with the usual singers, dancers, musicians, cabarets, comedians and a group on board developing a musical called AmDram for production in London. With so many sea days I was concerned about having enough to do but the real challenge was prioritizing what’s I wanted to do as often I wanted to go to several events at the same time. Dining room service was excellent and food good, our waiter Caesar quickly learned our preferences and used to bring me 2 steaks every time I ordered after I asked once if I could have a large one (I think they now employ accountants in the kitchen to slice up the meat). The portion sizes are carefully controlled to minimize wastage which I don’t object to. If you are particularly hungry the top tip is to order a main course in lieu of a starter. The carpets in many areas have been changed. Foolishly a pale cream carpet has been fitted to many passenger cabins. Not surprisingly these show every spot of coffeee, tea or bodily fluids which inevitably end up getting spilled on them. I asked to have my carpet shampooed after arrival which helped although in reality it’s time to replace these carpets again and sack whoever authorized their installation in the first place. The main cabin corridor carpets used to be a deep beautiful swirling design of red, black and cream. Sadly these have all been replaced with something much inferior which reminds me of a printer that has run out of ink halfway through printing a page. Much more suited to a cross channel ferry than a luxury liner. I wonder if this is P&O management interference. It would be so much better to have the original carpet designs and quality reinstated everywhere (the accountant has been at work here too penny pinching I fear) The Queens Room remains beautiful and I opted to attempt to learn ballroom dancing in here (1215 on every sea day) These were very popular and I grasped the cha cha but failed at the quick step ! Outside deck areas are extremely generous and you NEVER fail to find a deck chair or sun bed in a quiet spot (deck 12 or 13 good for this) all decks are covered in teak and immaculately maintained. The deck chairs themselves would benefit from overhauling. Another stupid decision what to varnish these rather than to oil them. The cabins are a good size, ours 11137 had a glass balcony screen. Cabins on deck 4,5 and 6 are “sheltered” which in essence means solid steel below the handrail. I would have preferred a made to order facility in the buffet, this could easily be accomplished in the chefs galley perhaps noodles or Indian dishes prepared. At the end or our cruise in Singapore we very much wanted to stay on for longer. We had a great table of 10 in the dining room and it was sad to say goodbye. Read Less
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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