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After looking and booking several different cruises for my 60th birthday which included a stay in Europe and trip back on QM2, I decided to save a little money and do the roundtrip Belgian escape from NTC (Red Hook Brooklyn). This had the advantage of allowing my wife, Jill and I to drive in to CT early and visit my Father, sister and cousins prior to the cruise. Saturday before the cruise was nonstop rain, something we would not see again until May 31st when we debarked back in Red hook. We had a car service take us to the pier from my cousin’s house in Queens Village. The driver was very talkative and it was a fun drive. We were dropped off around 10:15 which was earlier than we planned but traffic was good, our experience with New York is if you want to be on time plan for traffic, if you don’t you’re late, if you do plan, you may be real early. For this day early was a problem. This was Queen Mary 2’s first return to the US for a number of months and so the US Coast Guard had to inspect the ship prior to passengers boarding. This wasn’t a huge issue but it was a lot of hurry up and waits. We had Queens Grill suite so we were in a lounge with scones and treats etc., but the plan was it wouldn’t be long. We could see the people at check in just goofing off and talking since they couldn't process anybody on. They had a good time being paid to do nothing, and by nothing, I mean they didn’t start the computers, log on or anything until we were lined up to check in and then they had problems logging on. If they had logged on while waiting, they most likely would have found the problem and corrected it before it wasted the passenger’s time, but not the case. Therefore Cunard gets graded down for this. After boarding we went to our suite to drop off our carryon bags and set off exploring the ship. We went to Queens Grill for lunch and met Osman, the Senior Maitre D on the QM2. He talked to us about our dietary needs (Jill is low salt, I have a severe shellfish allergy and carry an epi-pen) we were given the menu for that night and told at breakfast each day we would get a menu to order. We were also told we could order from Ala Carte, by lunch and they would have it for dinner. We were also advised if we wanted something special not on the menus let them know the day before and they would make it for us. We took advantage of this and were never let down on any meal during our roundtrip crossing. I found the Canyon Spa menu had some good sounding food the first day and ordered it for lunch and dinner. It was great and you wouldn’t tell by the taste it was healthy. After walking down the ship to get an understanding of the layout we returned to the suite and found our luggage waiting. We unpacked and the front closet and walk-in wardrobe were great. We were able to hang her dresses and my suits and shirts etc. with room leftover. We called Roger our butler to let him know of my allergy, since shrimp and crab canapés are not allowed for me. He tried several different snacks over the next week until he found what Jill liked best. Overall he ranks as our best butler to date and as suite cruisers who always have a butler that means something. Our crossing featured the best weather I’ve ever seen on a transatlantic crossing. The weather being sunny with the temperature in the sixties all the way across the North Atlantic is rare. For Caribbean cruises it’s cold, but for a TA it was great. Add to this the ship was designed for this and the voyage was the smoothest I’ve experienced on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. We arrived at Southampton early on May 22 as we navigated in around the Isle of Wight, I could seen the Norwegian Jade ahead of us. It was interesting in that our last cruise in March was on Jade, and in January we docked across from Jade during our Norwegian Dawn cruise. Sometimes it feels like a small word out there. At Southampton we went to Winchester Cathedral so Jill could see Jane Austin’s tomb. Outside and inside the cathedral I read lists of men lost in “the Great War 1914-1918” On the monuments outside the Cathrdral Dates “1939-1945” had been added to the monuments after the fact, showing how man doesn’t easily learn from his folly. The next day in Zee Bruges we went to Flanders field in Ypres to learn about the real loss of a generation. When we returned to Southampton on May 24 we stayed aboard due to not having booked anything. We used the hot tub and just relaxed. Entertainment on the cruise was lacking compared to some other cruises, but there were some interesting speakers on board. It would be unfair to compare Cunard cruises to NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean as they are very different in atmosphere. Cunard is more formal. For dining we ate in the Queens Grill most days. We did pizza and pasta one night in the chef’s galley portion of the Kings Court Buffet, and it was simply the best pizza I’ve had on a ship. They make it to order at the galley, so it’s not like pizza in the buffet lines, I don’t think people know about it, because when we told some people at trivia they had never been to the chef’s galley. Osman told us he could have gotten us the pizza for our dinner in Queens Grill or if we didn’t want to dress to eat in the Grill our meal would be served by our butler in the room. We think when we’re on QM2 in March of 2019 for a month we will try that. We did eat in the Britannia restaurant with the Chief Engineer for dinner. I had Beef Wellington for my dinner and Escargot as an appetizer. It was good, but after I had it in Queens Grill, I didn’t compare to the Queens Grill menu version. It was sort of like comparing sirloin to Filet Mignon. Having sailed in the Haven and Owners Suites on NCL, I would have to rate the Queens Grill as a more elegant atmosphere not matched by NCL. Our overall verdict was we’ll gladly cruise Cunard again.

16 Night Belgian Escape NYC to Southamton and Back

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by Cmdr Cody

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Queens Suite
After looking and booking several different cruises for my 60th birthday which included a stay in Europe and trip back on QM2, I decided to save a little money and do the roundtrip Belgian escape from NTC (Red Hook Brooklyn). This had the advantage of allowing my wife, Jill and I to drive in to CT early and visit my Father, sister and cousins prior to the cruise.

Saturday before the cruise was nonstop rain, something we would not see again until May 31st when we debarked back in Red hook. We had a car service take us to the pier from my cousin’s house in Queens Village. The driver was very talkative and it was a fun drive. We were dropped off around 10:15 which was earlier than we planned but traffic was good, our experience with New York is if you want to be on time plan for traffic, if you don’t you’re late, if you do plan, you may be real early.

For this day early was a problem. This was Queen Mary 2’s first return to the US for a number of months and so the US Coast Guard had to inspect the ship prior to passengers boarding. This wasn’t a huge issue but it was a lot of hurry up and waits. We had Queens Grill suite so we were in a lounge with scones and treats etc., but the plan was it wouldn’t be long. We could see the people at check in just goofing off and talking since they couldn't process anybody on. They had a good time being paid to do nothing, and by nothing, I mean they didn’t start the computers, log on or anything until we were lined up to check in and then they had problems logging on. If they had logged on while waiting, they most likely would have found the problem and corrected it before it wasted the passenger’s time, but not the case. Therefore Cunard gets graded down for this.

After boarding we went to our suite to drop off our carryon bags and set off exploring the ship. We went to Queens Grill for lunch and met Osman, the Senior Maitre D on the QM2. He talked to us about our dietary needs (Jill is low salt, I have a severe shellfish allergy and carry an epi-pen) we were given the menu for that night and told at breakfast each day we would get a menu to order. We were also told we could order from Ala Carte, by lunch and they would have it for dinner. We were also advised if we wanted something special not on the menus let them know the day before and they would make it for us. We took advantage of this and were never let down on any meal during our roundtrip crossing. I found the Canyon Spa menu had some good sounding food the first day and ordered it for lunch and dinner. It was great and you wouldn’t tell by the taste it was healthy.

After walking down the ship to get an understanding of the layout we returned to the suite and found our luggage waiting. We unpacked and the front closet and walk-in wardrobe were great. We were able to hang her dresses and my suits and shirts etc. with room leftover. We called Roger our butler to let him know of my allergy, since shrimp and crab canapés are not allowed for me. He tried several different snacks over the next week until he found what Jill liked best. Overall he ranks as our best butler to date and as suite cruisers who always have a butler that means something.

Our crossing featured the best weather I’ve ever seen on a transatlantic crossing. The weather being sunny with the temperature in the sixties all the way across the North Atlantic is rare. For Caribbean cruises it’s cold, but for a TA it was great. Add to this the ship was designed for this and the voyage was the smoothest I’ve experienced on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

We arrived at Southampton early on May 22 as we navigated in around the Isle of Wight, I could seen the Norwegian Jade ahead of us. It was interesting in that our last cruise in March was on Jade, and in January we docked across from Jade during our Norwegian Dawn cruise. Sometimes it feels like a small word out there. At Southampton we went to Winchester Cathedral so Jill could see Jane Austin’s tomb. Outside and inside the cathedral I read lists of men lost in “the Great War 1914-1918” On the monuments outside the Cathrdral Dates “1939-1945” had been added to the monuments after the fact, showing how man doesn’t easily learn from his folly. The next day in Zee Bruges we went to Flanders field in Ypres to learn about the real loss of a generation. When we returned to Southampton on May 24 we stayed aboard due to not having booked anything. We used the hot tub and just relaxed.

Entertainment on the cruise was lacking compared to some other cruises, but there were some interesting speakers on board. It would be unfair to compare Cunard cruises to NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean as they are very different in atmosphere. Cunard is more formal.

For dining we ate in the Queens Grill most days. We did pizza and pasta one night in the chef’s galley portion of the Kings Court Buffet, and it was simply the best pizza I’ve had on a ship. They make it to order at the galley, so it’s not like pizza in the buffet lines, I don’t think people know about it, because when we told some people at trivia they had never been to the chef’s galley. Osman told us he could have gotten us the pizza for our dinner in Queens Grill or if we didn’t want to dress to eat in the Grill our meal would be served by our butler in the room. We think when we’re on QM2 in March of 2019 for a month we will try that.

We did eat in the Britannia restaurant with the Chief Engineer for dinner. I had Beef Wellington for my dinner and Escargot as an appetizer. It was good, but after I had it in Queens Grill, I didn’t compare to the Queens Grill menu version. It was sort of like comparing sirloin to Filet Mignon.

Having sailed in the Haven and Owners Suites on NCL, I would have to rate the Queens Grill as a more elegant atmosphere not matched by NCL.

Our overall verdict was we’ll gladly cruise Cunard again.
Cmdr Cody’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Queens Suite
Cabin Q6 10005
This is a Queens Grill suite so you get the Grills experience with it. Nice size room, large balcony. It was the only Queens Grill suite available in the price range I wanted to pay for the cruise. The location was great, we were near the deck 10 launderette and forward elevators. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom with whirlpool tub was nice. Butler and steward were very helpful and they helped Jill decorate the room for my birthday. Photos are included.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Suite Cabins