Writing this review, especially for those considering taking the transatlantic who prefer NOT to wear tuxedos or dark suits with ties. I took on 4/28 from England to NYC. Before I took chance I read 100+ reviews on this site. Now I want to pay it forward.
My wife and I took initially with reservations, as after 15 cruises, and being retired in Florida, we no longer enjoy dressing up on cruises. Also we did immediately after a 13 night repositioning cruise from Florida to England, and did not want to lug additional clothes for 2 cruises. We are very glad we took a chance, and encourage others to try.
Our expectations were exceeded. Like other reviewers, with the same preferanceregarding dress, I would like to qualify my feedback. I knew from reading many reviews, that most QM2 travelers, preferred to dress to the hilt. I found about 75% of the travelers on my particular cruise fell into this category. I knew if I did not want to wear a tuxedo, or dark suit with tie, I could not dine after 6PM in the formal dining rooms. That was OK with me. Also knew that I probably could not attend the shows at night, but that was a trade-off I was OK making. Personally with about 25% of ship approximately preferring to dress casual at night, I think Cunard should bend a bit. Suggest they allocate a section, possibly balcony, to casual dressers, as a compromise. Also suggest they designate a small formal dining room or section, to those that would like to dress casually in the main dining room. That would give casual business casual dressers another option, but allow those that prefer formal to sit with those that prefer that option.
We ate in the casual dining room and loved it. Our last few cruises were on Celebrity and the food on the QM2 casual dining room was superior to the Celebrity casual dining room, that was rather good. Some of my favorites in the casual DR were Rack of Lamb 2 nights, Rib Lamb Chops 2 nights, Sushi nightly, and Filet Mignon 1 night. Every night we say folks from the Main DR that opted for the casual DR because of the menu that night.
Several days and nights, we watched movies, that included Academy Award movies. Never felt out of place at the movies, dressed casually.
Enjoyed the afternoon tea, with 3 woman from Ukraine playing violins. Actually followed their concerts all over the ship. Enjoyed the concert pianist playing in the theatre, before 6PM :)
Some days wore shorts, other days long pants, during day and night, throughout the ship.
Found everyone on the ship extremely friendly although my dress was never better than business casual. Respected rights of those, to eat formally, in areas designated formal.
Enjoyed the Winston Churchill Cigar Room very much, listening to classical music and watching the ocean.
The Ocean Liner QM2 experience is unlike all the other cruises I have taken. Large percentage of British passengers, and ship seems very British. It looks differently than other cruise ships and handles the waves much better.
We ate all our lunches in the Golden Lion Pub on the 2nd floor. Food is included with ticket, you just pay for drinks. Most days we were able to get small table right next to window. What an experience. We ate breakfasts and dinners in the casual dining areas. We enjoyed these areas, as they are really a bunch of spaces, rather than 1 room. Most days were were able to find tables in small alcoves overlooking the ocean.
The QM2 accommodates casual dressed cruisers, but in my opinion, they could do more, without taking away anything from the experiences of those that prefer to dine dressed formally.
However, to those of you, like my wife and I, that prefer not to dress formally, I encourage you to try the QM2. My wife and I both enjoyed so much, even with the limitations because we opted to dress business casual...that we will probably opt always to take the QM2 and or a repositioning cruise to from Europe. I took a chance on this cruise, because of the reviews on this site, by casually dressed cruisers. I encourage others to do the same.
I also hope Cunard reads this type of reviews, and make additional changes to allow those of us onboard that prefer not to dress, to enjoy cruise even more. They can make these changes, in such a way, that respects the preferences of those that do not want to see any changes that effect them.
Also by the way, just remembered to comment on the complimentary launderers onboard. On most floors, there is a room with 3 washers and 3 dryers. I picked a room close to the laundry, for convenience. We were never bothered by the laundry down the hall. Actually it was quite nice, the convenience of being close, and being able to do a load of clothes, when machines were empty.
Room was small but overall no issues. Although room small, it had a lot of storage space. Bathroom tiny. Shower smaller than some, larger than others.
Did not take excursion.