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Just for reference, we have done 16 previous cruises on 6 different lines, none on Cunard. This time we did Hamburg - Southampton - New York. It was, in short, a wonderful crossing. Why did we wait so long to try Cunard? Boarding in Hamburg was dreadful, great long line-ups. We were afraid it would be downhill from there but the exact opposite was true. The ship is gorgeous and luxurious and celebrates Cunard’s history and traditions. Formal means formal. Staff are friendly and service was great all around. Casual observation would suggest that 95% of fellow guests were over 60. Coming out of Hamburg there were many Germans on board and since it was already dark we enjoyed a fireworks display as we sailed down the Elbe. We had to slow down at one point since we were coming up to the Airbus factory, an aircraft was landing and we didn’t want an A320 clipping off the funnel. Cunard brings on a number of excellent guest lecturers and entertainers. Get there early, the theatres fill up half an hour in advance of start time. On this crossing we had Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra (which we did not know at time of booking). That gave one of us the chance to join the passenger choir and be on stage for “Last Night of the Cunard Proms”, an exciting and memorable experience. It was also obvious that Capt. Wells has no future as a symphonic conductor and should stick to steering the ship, but full marks for trying. We did not try the King’s Court buffet. We had a couple of light lunches in the Carinthia lounge where the band played some Dixieland. Most enjoyable. For lunch in the Golden Lion you had to be there before 11:45 or else wait till 1:20. At other times there was often an English soccer match on the screens there. Dinner in the Britannia dining room (with one ’n’) was always good, never superb. Food was artfully presented, not too much and hot, which some other lines can’t manage. China is Wedgewood and waiters are careful to put down plates in front of you with the Cunard crest at 12 o’clock. The ship has by far the longest wine list we have seen on a cruise ship and also by far the best selection of beers. The Royal Court singers and dancers were the best we have seen on a cruise ship. There are talented musicians all over the ship and they got together one night in Queen’s Room for a session of big band music and dancing. Talking of which, after nine days, we never did figure out the very confusing ship design aft. I think I understand Deck 2 and Deck 3 but it also has 3L. Eh?? You can get to Queen’s Room by walking through the middle of the Britannia dining room, but really? We had one stormy day, Wind Force 8 - 9, where the ship was pitching and outer decks were closed. Other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing. We used deck 7 to put in a couple of miles when available and work off some calories. Please, what is the etiquette? Concensus seemed to be anti-clockwise but not everybody agreed. We suggest painted arrows on deck. Getting off in Brooklyn was a breeze. Baggage was waiting for us, the line-up for passport control was all of two minutes (as Canadians we can use the U.S. line) and we were delivered to Newark in the Cunard bus in well under an hour from stepping off the ship.

Impressed with Cunard

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by Fairgarth

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview
Just for reference, we have done 16 previous cruises on 6 different lines, none on Cunard. This time we did Hamburg - Southampton - New York. It was, in short, a wonderful crossing. Why did we wait so long to try Cunard? Boarding in Hamburg was dreadful, great long line-ups. We were afraid it would be downhill from there but the exact opposite was true. The ship is gorgeous and luxurious and celebrates Cunard’s history and traditions. Formal means formal. Staff are friendly and service was great all around. Casual observation would suggest that 95% of fellow guests were over 60. Coming out of Hamburg there were many Germans on board and since it was already dark we enjoyed a fireworks display as we sailed down the Elbe. We had to slow down at one point since we were coming up to the Airbus factory, an aircraft was landing and we didn’t want an A320 clipping off the funnel.

Cunard brings on a number of excellent guest lecturers and entertainers. Get there early, the theatres fill up half an hour in advance of start time. On this crossing we had Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra (which we did not know at time of booking). That gave one of us the chance to join the passenger choir and be on stage for “Last Night of the Cunard Proms”, an exciting and memorable experience. It was also obvious that Capt. Wells has no future as a symphonic conductor and should stick to steering the ship, but full marks for trying.

We did not try the King’s Court buffet. We had a couple of light lunches in the Carinthia lounge where the band played some Dixieland. Most enjoyable. For lunch in the Golden Lion you had to be there before 11:45 or else wait till 1:20. At other times there was often an English soccer match on the screens there. Dinner in the Britannia dining room (with one ’n’) was always good, never superb. Food was artfully presented, not too much and hot, which some other lines can’t manage. China is Wedgewood and waiters are careful to put down plates in front of you with the Cunard crest at 12 o’clock. The ship has by far the longest wine list we have seen on a cruise ship and also by far the best selection of beers.

The Royal Court singers and dancers were the best we have seen on a cruise ship. There are talented musicians all over the ship and they got together one night in Queen’s Room for a session of big band music and dancing. Talking of which, after nine days, we never did figure out the very confusing ship design aft. I think I understand Deck 2 and Deck 3 but it also has 3L. Eh?? You can get to Queen’s Room by walking through the middle of the Britannia dining room, but really?

We had one stormy day, Wind Force 8 - 9, where the ship was pitching and outer decks were closed. Other than that, it was pretty smooth sailing. We used deck 7 to put in a couple of miles when available and work off some calories. Please, what is the etiquette? Concensus seemed to be anti-clockwise but not everybody agreed. We suggest painted arrows on deck.

Getting off in Brooklyn was a breeze. Baggage was waiting for us, the line-up for passport control was all of two minutes (as Canadians we can use the U.S. line) and we were delivered to Newark in the Cunard bus in well under an hour from stepping off the ship.
Fairgarth’s Full Rating Summary
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