My wife i have had eight prior cruises, with the most recent two on Holland America. For this cruise, we wanted a trans-ocean cruise on a ship with dance floor, as we are social ballroom dancers. We also wanted a ship which looked and felt like a real ship, not a floating hotel. The May 15, 2017, eastbound crossing on the QM2 fit those requirements.
Booking: We had a misunderstanding about ship board credits. I thought we were to received a $200 shipboard credit, but that did not happen. I had originally looked at fares on Cunard's website, but then booked directly with Cunard by phone. I think that I saw the credit on the website and assumed it would also apply to a booking by phone. The misunderstanding was probably my mistake, but, if you book with Cunard, be sure and clarify whether you are entitled to any shipboard credits.
Embarkation: Embarkation was substantially delayed as a result of a U. S. Coast Guard inspection, or so Cunard said. Given that the QM2 had not been in the U. S. for some time, we have to wonder why Cunard was surprised that there was a thorough inspection which took longer than usual. More importantly, the substantial delay kept many elderly and some disabled people STANDING in lines, some of whom had been there for hours as we were told. We know that may of those asked for chairs or other places to sit, but were told that none were available, although we later saw hundreds of unused chairs in an adjacent area. This problem could have created some serious medical issues. Given that cruise lines must be aware of the potential for embarkation delay, it is difficult to understand why Cunard was not prepared to take care of its elderly and disabled guests affected by the embarkation delay. I suspect Cunard's attorneys and risk avoidance folks would be very interested in this issue. However, once boarding was authorized, embarkation went smoothly and quickly.