We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home.
I blame myself a little for not researching the cruise more. We booked last minute, and we thought it would just be a lot of fun. We did not have passports as we don’t travel a ton outside Mexico and Canada. We were told by Cunard we could not have pre printed E tickets due to the fact that we did not have passports. This was a huge source of stress. I knew our enhanced licenses and birth certificates would be fine for getting us in and out of the country, but just not sure how it would all work. Getting on the boat was a complete disaster. We waited in line with everyone else for three hours. There were so many disabled people and elderly getting on the boat that simply had to go ahead of us. No one followed the time on their ticket and we were told to come at noon because we were unable to get pre printed tickets. The whole process was chaotic and confusing and people were very upset. Elderly people in line with us struggled to stand for three hours. There was no place to get anything to drink or eat. We had not eaten since the morning and didn’t enter the boat until 3 PM. People did not want to get out of line to even go to the restroom, because tempers were running thin. While waiting in line to enter the boat, we realized that we were probably some of the youngest passengers. Mind you we are not young in her late 40s. So basically getting on the boat was terrible. If I were getting on the boat again in Brooklyn I would get there around 3 PM. The boat didn’t even leave port until after eight due to a medical emergency and the boat being held for a flight coming from England containing eight passengers.
Activities on the boat are OK. There is a lot to do. Definitely geared towards older people. If you are an active younger couple or group of people, I would suggest another cruise. We were interested in a fun time in wanted to be active during the day and have beautiful dinners and some nightlife in the evening. Activity was hindered by the poor condition of the swimming pools and hot tubs. Most of the hot tubs didn’t even work. They were simply warm small pools in need of painting and maintenance with no jets. The pools are not extremely clean and we’re in need of repair and paintings well. Be forewarned the Queen Mary two does not have five pools as advertised. One of the pools on the very top deck must have been removed in the refurbishment in 2016. We were disappointed with our lack of options for swimming and lounging during the day as the weather was quite favorable for such activity. One of the outdoor pools was netted for the entire cruise, so It was unable to be used by any of the passengers. Frankly the condition and access to pools was unacceptable. The walking deck, deck seven, was often closed in sections making it impossible to walk loops around the deck. Once again the Queen Mary fell short in providing the simplest of activity.
The food was not bad. We enjoyed the main dining room three nights out of our seven night cruise. Our poor waiter really struggled with English and this hindered us from getting great service. He did try his hardest though. The food in the main dining room was presented nicely and there was a pretty good variety. The main buffet was also sufficient, but became a bit repetitive after seven days. I’m not sure how somebody does a 14 or 27 day cruise eating the same food over and over. The quality was quite good and overall we were usually able to find something we really liked.
We were in cabin 4022. This was a sheltered balcony in the front of the boat. I’ve very favorable things to say about the cabin. Our steward Gerry was very friendly and hard-working. He did a good job cleaning the room quickly and was helpful when we had questions. Although the room was not brand new or in sparkling shape it was a fine cabin. Even for being in the front of the boat, I found there to be little motion or disturbance.
Nightlife was also disappointing. Pretty much after 10 PM the place shuts down. The shows we saw in the royal court theater were nice. The dancers, singers and orchestra put on a wonderful production. There’s a nightly movie in the illuminations theater, but we were looking for more engaging activities. The night club is open later, but when we visited there it was quite empty. So basically if you’re not interested in going to bed around 10 or 11 PM you’ll have trouble finding anything to do.
The ports we visited were wonderful and a lot of fun. Halifax with a cute little city and we enjoyed our time walking around shopping and visiting museums. Boston was a great deal of fun as well, We did the trolley tour and then met up with our niece later. We like to walk, so we did walk a couple miles back to the boat. Not a bad walk but it was pretty hot when we did it. We viewed the highest of the fireworks from the top deck. We had fun in Newport Rhode Island, but getting off the boat was another disaster. We had booked a tour that was canceled because they could not run the tenders due to fog. I understand they have no control of the fog or the weather. The problem we encountered was they told us not to get tickets for the tender, but when our tour was canceled They required us to have tickets. Consequently we were in the back of the line and one of the last tenders to go out to Newport. We only had a couple of hours to spend in Port. The kicker is the captain and staff went on and on about How incredibly unsafe it would be to run the tenders during the fog in the morning. They canceled the tours and we were understanding because we all wanted to be safe. The problem I have is when we return to the boat after visiting Newport the fog had returned. No one spoke of any safety issues or concerns as they loaded us on to the tender and we took the small boat in the thick fog back to the Queen Mary 2. It was so foggy that when we finally returned to the crew ship the 100 passengers broke out in cheers and were clapping As we were so relieved. It seems they were concerned about our safety in the morning, when the fog had returned in the afternoon our safety seem to go out the window because they were more concerned with keeping their schedule.
In the end we had a good time because we made our own fun. I highly recommend this cruise for older people who want a nice quiet time. If you’re younger or want fun and a little nightlife look elsewhere.