Background: We have sailed with many lines, including Regent, Celebrity, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. This was our fourth voyage on Queen Mary 2, my favorite ship. My comments are colored by how much I love this magnificent liner.
Embarkation: Flawless as usual. After arriving at Red Hook about 1:00 PM, we joined a very short line and were welcomed warmly as we checked in at the desk. After the usual formalities, we walked on board and proceeded to our two sheltered balcony cabins on Deck 5.
Cabin: This was our first experience with a sheltered balcony cabin after having sailed in Queens Grill, Princess Grill and a glass balcony cabin on Deck 8. While I can see the advantage of the shelter from the wind on a crossing, I prefer a more open balcony. Don't think we'll book one of these again. Identical in every other way to our Deck 8 balcony cabin, our sheltered balcony was spotless and efficiently planned. We enjoyed having a flat screen TV and were happy to see the old loveseat remained as we find it extremely comfortable. Current decor is a little disjointed with the new predominantly black carpet, which seems out of place with the patterns in the curtains and the sofa upholstery. It's really not a significant issue, but the former decoration was quite lovely. The air conditioning and heat worked perfectly, but the toilet was a bit unpredictable. It would sometimes refuse to flush, and then flush of its own will a few minutes after use. The shower was fine but rather small, and flooring in the shower shows a bit of use. Towels were a mixed bag, with some new and fluffy and others old and thin. The bed was reasonably comfortable, and we requested a top sheet to augment the duvet, which we find too warm. Overall, we found the cabin comfortable, comparing favorably to some suites on other lines.