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This was my last voyage before the dry dock coming after the WC, so I hope to write a comparison next year - as we have booked the same class and the exact same trip - Quebec to NYC. I hope this review helps give a few tidbits and happy thoughts - though there was a hiccup or two. Boarding: NYC & Southampton have it down to a science; Quebec City was complete chaos. Enough said. And as for arrival time - this is the one time it didn't seem to make one whit of difference what time you arrived. Just wander on board whenever. No Grills or Platinum/Diamond line. Cabin: 9037 - a Q5. Still a wonderful experience to sail Queen's Grill. Champagne and chocolates waiting, and a beautiful view of Quebec City. Book starboard on these New England & Canada cruises which stay in Quebec overnight (they do this again next year) so you have the view of the sunset next to the Chateau Frontenac. Cabin was clean and spacious but it is looking a bit dated - 11 years old so it is definitely time for the refit. Cabin: A- Public Spaces - Still wonderful - The Vueve Clicquot Bar, Chart Room, Golden Lion, Commodore Club - all had been freshened in the last mini refit and they look great. However, the hallway carpets on Deck 9 are stained and look quite bad. There are obviously plumbing issues. leaks, etc. taking place which I understand will be attended to during dry dock. There are definitely some interesting plumbing "smells" in a few areas of the ship. But it really is the only liner afloat taking the punishment which the North Atlantic deals out so it's to be expected I think. The Kings Court buffet is so chaotic and poorly laid out, I don't ever eat there. A few other areas need freshening and the artwork has some scratches, etc., which need restoration but as I mentioned, this is coming. Public Areas: B+ Dining - The QG is the best. The Maitre d' will come by every day to ask what you may want for dinner whether it is on the menu or not. One day I ordered a wild mushroom risotto with Porcini because it's not easy to make good risotto at home. We had tableside flambe desserts 3 nights. A "Taste of India" full Indian dinner one night. With enough advance notice your wish is their command in the Queen's Grill. One night we had a Beef Wellington for 2 which they then carved tableside, and it was heavenly. If you like a particular flavor of ice cream, ask for it the day before and the kitchen will make it for your dessert the next day. The service is also excellent. After a day or so they learn what you like (double espresso after dinner) and you don't have to ask after that - it just comes to you. I think we ordered a la carte almost every night. The QG staff was friendly, personable and fun. They also work hard - and do a great job. The other dining standout was afternoon tea in the Queen's Lounge - they warm the scones and make you any type of tea you like, as well as serve some nice savories and sweets. Very quiet & relaxing compared to Queen's Room tea, but you get no live music in the Grills lounge. The Golden lion still offers the pub lunch, and we still enjoy the fish and chips, cottage pie, etc. Very traditional. We also ate in Todd English once and it was as usual, amazing. Queen's Grill dining: A (not an A+ but only because the décor is getting dated) Ports: Quebec City - best port in Canada due to beautiful architecture and great restaurant choices; Sydney, NS (Cape Breton Island) - a small port but full of friendly people and natural beauties. One of the friendliest ports in fact, and certainly the most rugged. The Cabot trail and the lakes are amazing. They also have a few nice local breweries popping up and a distillery a half day's drive there and back. Even the tender was a nice, smooth ride. Ports: A Entertainment - I like Cunard's entertainment. The enrichment program is the best anywhere I believe. Bill Miller "Mr. Ocean Liner" had wonderful stories and pictures of the "Golden Age of travel"; A British diplomat who served the Queen and had been knighted gave some great talks about the Jubilee, and about the "Special Relationship" between Britain and England. RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) give acting lessons and put on plays. The shows in the Royal Court Theater have the usual singing and dancing, but it is nice that they have a live orchestra at the shows. I will be honest and say the "guest entertainers" usually a classical guitarist, pianist or some such aren't to my taste so we skip them. Maybe I will like them when I am a bit older! But the small venue entertainment - Jazz in the Chart Room by a trio, a strings concert in the Chart Room before dinner, Dixieland Jazz band in the Winter Garden at lunch, and a pianist with a night cap in the Commodore Club martini bar - those are all wonderful and divine. Having the Queen's Room Orchestra with ballroom dancing every night is very special. We dance about 30 minutes every night but I see more and more strict ballroom dancers on board. Please, get over yourselves. Save the professional stuff for when it is empty in there or when you are at home. There are ballroom dance classes offered on board and many participate. There needs to be room for everyone (beginner to advanced) so perhaps Cunard should figure out a way to subtly emphasize that to the ballroom kings and queens. They also have the usual napkin folding & scarf tying classes, but I skipped these and paid my $30 for flower arranging which I discovered last year. This is a GREAT class and I highly recommend it. Afterwards, you bring two beautiful arrangements back to decorate your stateroom for the rest of the voyage. They also offer iPad, MS and other computer type classes which I don't need but appear to be very popular, and bridge lessons which I have also never participated in, but these also appear popular. They also have a large, beautiful library with an enormous selection. Entertainment: A- Intangibles: #1 - Sense of history. You walk around the ship and see pictures of the Carpathia rescuing Titanic survivors, the Lusitania before she was sunk, the Queen Mary carrying troops to fight the War, all Cunarders. You see all the stars who were on board the line over the last century and a half. #2 - Elegance. Fresh flowers everywhere throughout the ship. Formal nights where tuxes are the rule, and even informal nights are dressy. Cunard hopefully will continue to enforce the dress code which contributes to the elegance of the ship. The only "inelegant" part if the ship is really Kings Court buffet. #3 - Kennels. Where else but the QM2 can you see adorable doggies going for their afternoon walks? Intangibles: A+ Overall, Cunard still after 175 years, offers a wonderful , elegant, refined and top notch experience. The Grills restaurants are superb and the public rooms elegant and pleasant to spend time in. The "on-board life" is a rewarding experience, but not for everyone. If a flurry of activities, deck parties and in your face entertainment is your thing - you will NOT like Cunard. But if you want an elegant escape from the every day world, this is definitely for you. Don't be put off by the average age of Cunard travelers if you are younger; my husband and I are far under the normal demographic but find it o be charming and wonderful! And if you want to o to or from Europe with no jet lag...do a crossing! Overall: A

QM2, Quebec to NYC: Another Great Cunard Voyage

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by axelskater

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was my last voyage before the dry dock coming after the WC, so I hope to write a comparison next year - as we have booked the same class and the exact same trip - Quebec to NYC.

I hope this review helps give a few tidbits and happy thoughts - though there was a hiccup or two.

Boarding: NYC & Southampton have it down to a science; Quebec City was complete chaos. Enough said. And as for arrival time - this is the one time it didn't seem to make one whit of difference what time you arrived. Just wander on board whenever. No Grills or Platinum/Diamond line.

Cabin: 9037 - a Q5. Still a wonderful experience to sail Queen's Grill. Champagne and chocolates waiting, and a beautiful view of Quebec City. Book starboard on these New England & Canada cruises which stay in Quebec overnight (they do this again next year) so you have the view of the sunset next to the Chateau Frontenac. Cabin was clean and spacious but it is looking a bit dated - 11 years old so it is definitely time for the refit. Cabin: A-

Public Spaces - Still wonderful - The Vueve Clicquot Bar, Chart Room, Golden Lion, Commodore Club - all had been freshened in the last mini refit and they look great. However, the hallway carpets on Deck 9 are stained and look quite bad. There are obviously plumbing issues. leaks, etc. taking place which I understand will be attended to during dry dock. There are definitely some interesting plumbing "smells" in a few areas of the ship. But it really is the only liner afloat taking the punishment which the North Atlantic deals out so it's to be expected I think. The Kings Court buffet is so chaotic and poorly laid out, I don't ever eat there. A few other areas need freshening and the artwork has some scratches, etc., which need restoration but as I mentioned, this is coming. Public Areas: B+

Dining - The QG is the best. The Maitre d' will come by every day to ask what you may want for dinner whether it is on the menu or not. One day I ordered a wild mushroom risotto with Porcini because it's not easy to make good risotto at home. We had tableside flambe desserts 3 nights. A "Taste of India" full Indian dinner one night. With enough advance notice your wish is their command in the Queen's Grill. One night we had a Beef Wellington for 2 which they then carved tableside, and it was heavenly. If you like a particular flavor of ice cream, ask for it the day before and the kitchen will make it for your dessert the next day.

The service is also excellent. After a day or so they learn what you like (double espresso after dinner) and you don't have to ask after that - it just comes to you. I think we ordered a la carte almost every night. The QG staff was friendly, personable and fun. They also work hard - and do a great job. The other dining standout was afternoon tea in the Queen's Lounge - they warm the scones and make you any type of tea you like, as well as serve some nice savories and sweets. Very quiet & relaxing compared to Queen's Room tea, but you get no live music in the Grills lounge. The Golden lion still offers the pub lunch, and we still enjoy the fish and chips, cottage pie, etc. Very traditional. We also ate in Todd English once and it was as usual, amazing. Queen's Grill dining: A (not an A+ but only because the décor is getting dated)

Ports: Quebec City - best port in Canada due to beautiful architecture and great restaurant choices; Sydney, NS (Cape Breton Island) - a small port but full of friendly people and natural beauties. One of the friendliest ports in fact, and certainly the most rugged. The Cabot trail and the lakes are amazing. They also have a few nice local breweries popping up and a distillery a half day's drive there and back. Even the tender was a nice, smooth ride. Ports: A

Entertainment - I like Cunard's entertainment. The enrichment program is the best anywhere I believe. Bill Miller "Mr. Ocean Liner" had wonderful stories and pictures of the "Golden Age of travel"; A British diplomat who served the Queen and had been knighted gave some great talks about the Jubilee, and about the "Special Relationship" between Britain and England. RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) give acting lessons and put on plays. The shows in the Royal Court Theater have the usual singing and dancing, but it is nice that they have a live orchestra at the shows. I will be honest and say the "guest entertainers" usually a classical guitarist, pianist or some such aren't to my taste so we skip them. Maybe I will like them when I am a bit older! But the small venue entertainment - Jazz in the Chart Room by a trio, a strings concert in the Chart Room before dinner, Dixieland Jazz band in the Winter Garden at lunch, and a pianist with a night cap in the Commodore Club martini bar - those are all wonderful and divine.

Having the Queen's Room Orchestra with ballroom dancing every night is very special. We dance about 30 minutes every night but I see more and more strict ballroom dancers on board. Please, get over yourselves. Save the professional stuff for when it is empty in there or when you are at home. There are ballroom dance classes offered on board and many participate. There needs to be room for everyone (beginner to advanced) so perhaps Cunard should figure out a way to subtly emphasize that to the ballroom kings and queens.

They also have the usual napkin folding & scarf tying classes, but I skipped these and paid my $30 for flower arranging which I discovered last year. This is a GREAT class and I highly recommend it. Afterwards, you bring two beautiful arrangements back to decorate your stateroom for the rest of the voyage. They also offer iPad, MS and other computer type classes which I don't need but appear to be very popular, and bridge lessons which I have also never participated in, but these also appear popular. They also have a large, beautiful library with an enormous selection. Entertainment: A-

Intangibles: #1 - Sense of history. You walk around the ship and see pictures of the Carpathia rescuing Titanic survivors, the Lusitania before she was sunk, the Queen Mary carrying troops to fight the War, all Cunarders. You see all the stars who were on board the line over the last century and a half. #2 - Elegance. Fresh flowers everywhere throughout the ship. Formal nights where tuxes are the rule, and even informal nights are dressy. Cunard hopefully will continue to enforce the dress code which contributes to the elegance of the ship. The only "inelegant" part if the ship is really Kings Court buffet. #3 - Kennels. Where else but the QM2 can you see adorable doggies going for their afternoon walks? Intangibles: A+

Overall, Cunard still after 175 years, offers a wonderful , elegant, refined and top notch experience. The Grills restaurants are superb and the public rooms elegant and pleasant to spend time in. The "on-board life" is a rewarding experience, but not for everyone. If a flurry of activities, deck parties and in your face entertainment is your thing - you will NOT like Cunard. But if you want an elegant escape from the every day world, this is definitely for you. Don't be put off by the average age of Cunard travelers if you are younger; my husband and I are far under the normal demographic but find it o be charming and wonderful! And if you want to o to or from Europe with no jet lag...do a crossing! Overall: A
axelskater’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
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Cabin Review

Queens Suite
Cabin Q5 9037
Still a beautiful experience to sail the Queen's Grill, but glad they will be doing a refit to "freshen" everything.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews