Well it has been a while but I thought to write a review anyway! It was all about two weeks of relaxation and getting spoiled from the great “ White Star Service” as Cunard calls their Service rules.
This cruise took place December 2013 ! From Southampton to Southampton! Canary Islands!
Pre Cruise stay:
Prior the cruise I stayed three night in The Goring, London- Belgravia!
Now THAT was an experience in itself- dear me! It is a very small Hotel, compared to the other Hotel chains!! Still family owned and it still bears the name of that family- Goring!
After an hour everybody know ones name, how they do that I have no idea!
The ideal spot for people watching, which I love, was the Lounge, Bar and Tearoom.
Very elegant but a bit over the top- anyway I enjoyed every minute of it- and would go there in a heartbeat!
For example I ordered my usual tea, the first cup was poured from the white gloved waiter. When this delicious cup went down nicely and I was about to pour my next cup- out of the blue or somewhere a waiter appeared ( in white gloves – of course) and took the teapot out of my hand and said that is his job to do. Dear me, heaven and hell!
When my sandwich arrived- I was hungry as usual- I waited and waited – that some waiter may appear ( in white gloves- of course) to hold the sandwich whilst I bite on it.
Well he seems to have been busy- I went through the ordeal of eating it with my own ungloved hands. That just won´t do- and a complain letter is already on it´s way. LOL! ( THAT was a joke of course…)
The Goring is very close to almost everything weather by bus, cab or in walking distance- depends how much “ walk “ one can take!
Then the time came for Cunard to take me from the Goring to Southampton- I expected a bus with fellow cruisers, who were taken on at the airport. No such thing!
A nice limousine was waiting in front of the Hotel – the driver already waiting for me to leave the Hotel. I was nicely seated in the back, two bottles water next to me – well that’s a way to go Cunard I thought. The bus would have suited me perfect – but I won´t complain about this nice , fast and very “ posh” transportation to Southampton!
Embarkation in the Queen Elisabeth Terminal in Southampton was also quick and painless- worked like a charm – very, very well done Cunard!
The Queen Mary 2, the Service , the Style and the “ Royal Show” :
The cruise itself was great, the ship , well, QM2 is not to compare with any other ship, she is unique- VERY VERY BRITISH!
As I like it! ( oh well that sounds almost like a Shakespeare Play)
Even though I sailed her before I forgot how big “ Proud Mary “ really is- quite a walk from there to there- which is good, helps burn calories.
What I love is that wonderful real teak outdoor promenade which wraps around the whole ship with wonderful views out to the sea. There are no Rock Climbing walls, no ice rings and so such things. Gives one the real ocean liner feeling.
In the Service and food compartment Cunard is to compare with Celebrity- in some ways Celebrity shines, in some Cunard!
What I found a bit too much or in this case “ overboard” were the many formal nights- five all in all in ten days. THAT IS – even for me ( I have no problem with dressing up – still…) a bit too much!
Informal means , Jacket required , tie optional . We had a simple ( well as “ simple “ as Cunard goes..) Gala, then a black and white ball, a fancy dress ball, Royal Ascot ball- that´s how they called or themed their formal affairs! The Royal Ascot Ball was something not to be missed- many Ladies with a hut in the Dinning room and afterwards in the Queens Room. They made a “ Lady with hut parade” the one with the best hut won a bottle of bubbly ! That´s what I called “ The Show” – so much fun to watch- and all served with this great British Humor!
The Destinations :
The Canary Islands were great ( Madeira and Tenerife were my favorites) - but almost in the way- and I thing they experiences there were all over these boards often anyway! For me the ship is much more the destination than the port of calls!
The post cruise experience:
The Debarkation went as well the beginning- so only praise for Cunard here as well! The drive from Southampton to London Heathrow – well that was the bus then, but as soon as I sat down I fell asleep anyway- happens always with me in buses – I don´t know why! Went as well as could be! Fast and efficient!
All in all a very recommendable cruise experience and a very very recommendable Ship! If Cunard would get the right deals for both solo cruises and couples I would exclusively sail Cunard- but their prices are sometimes a bit over the top- in other words you get more days at sea or more time on board for the price you pay on the other mass market cruise lines! Preferably HAL or X – which are also mass market- of course , but more in the premium segment, with little touches other cruise lines have long forgotten or fell victim to the all too obvious cost cuts.