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We booked two weeks on the Queen Mary transatlantic as a “ get away from it all” luxury holiday. A few months after booking Cunard told us the Cheltenham Literary Festival would be on board on the return transatlantic trip - thought no more about it First week out to New York excellent - weather dreadful - but it is November in the Atlantic. However, food and service excellent, a range of interesting speakers that included a former Concorde Pilot, Colin Jackson famous athletic champion and an astronomer. Lots of variety and while the afternoon film selection was hit or miss, the fellow passengers great fun. Lunch in New York then boarded for the return week - what a difference in the passengers. Most were there for the literary festival - and I am sure they had a great time. Wearing their special lanyards, They were loud, rude and borderline openly racist. If you were not part of their festival they did t want to know. All the nice areas the previous week became like Surrey Golf Clubs with loud baying and shouting everywhere - including standing in the corridors late at night continuing their parties. Our table companions had to ring security about the noise late at night I know Cunard can’t do anything about the passengers - but there was nothing for those not involved with the literary festival to do. We went to one talk that sounded interesting to find everyone seated 20 minutes before start so ended up at back unable to see the supporting slides. The film selection was “ classic” - but Annie Hall 3 times in one day - really ???? We went to see The English Patient and almost fell asleep during the 20 minute literary introduction before hand Table companions who did attend some of the talks described them as hours of their life they will never get back The queues for booksigning stretched well into the lift / common areas - and if you dared ask them to move they were really rude - this from people who were carrying 10 to 12 books to get signed - almost felt sorry for the writers ! The lack of alternative entertainment for a full week at sea was not good - the planiterium was used for talks - and the trivia quizzes taken over by arrogant people who took it far too searioysly - first time ever marked wrong for spelling and paper returned with “ could do better” Fortunately Cunard have announced the dates for next years literary festival - if you are a normal cruiser - Do Not Go ! The quality of food remains excellent - along with the alternative dining options. We took the drinks package which was good value as it included coffees and fruit juices along with alcohol- it was the only thing that got us through the second week !

Literary week brings a hugely different cruising passenger

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by Trotpot

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Balcony, sheltered
We booked two weeks on the Queen Mary transatlantic as a “ get away from it all” luxury holiday. A few months after booking Cunard told us the Cheltenham Literary Festival would be on board on the return transatlantic trip - thought no more about it

First week out to New York excellent - weather dreadful - but it is November in the Atlantic. However, food and service excellent, a range of interesting speakers that included a former Concorde Pilot, Colin Jackson famous athletic champion and an astronomer. Lots of variety and while the afternoon film selection was hit or miss, the fellow passengers great fun.

Lunch in New York then boarded for the return week - what a difference in the passengers. Most were there for the literary festival - and I am sure they had a great time. Wearing their special lanyards, They were loud, rude and borderline openly racist. If you were not part of their festival they did t want to know. All the nice areas the previous week became like Surrey Golf Clubs with loud baying and shouting everywhere - including standing in the corridors late at night continuing their parties. Our table companions had to ring security about the noise late at night

I know Cunard can’t do anything about the passengers - but there was nothing for those not involved with the literary festival to do. We went to one talk that sounded interesting to find everyone seated 20 minutes before start so ended up at back unable to see the supporting slides. The film selection was “ classic” - but Annie Hall 3 times in one day - really ????

We went to see The English Patient and almost fell asleep during the 20 minute literary introduction before hand

Table companions who did attend some of the talks described them as hours of their life they will never get back

The queues for booksigning stretched well into the lift / common areas - and if you dared ask them to move they were really rude - this from people who were carrying 10 to 12 books to get signed - almost felt sorry for the writers !

The lack of alternative entertainment for a full week at sea was not good - the planiterium was used for talks - and the trivia quizzes taken over by arrogant people who took it far too searioysly - first time ever marked wrong for spelling and paper returned with “ could do better”

Fortunately Cunard have announced the dates for next years literary festival - if you are a normal cruiser - Do Not Go !

The quality of food remains excellent - along with the alternative dining options. We took the drinks package which was good value as it included coffees and fruit juices along with alcohol- it was the only thing that got us through the second week !
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Cabin Review

Balcony, sheltered
Cabin BY
Spotlessly clean and lots of storage - tv signal great
Deck 6 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins