This is a short review of Queen Mary 2 after having completed four Transatlantic crossings on her, with the most recent one being the December 8 to 15 2019 run from New York to Southampton.
First, the ship. Queen Mary 2 is not a cruise ship. She is an Ocean Liner. What does that mean? It means she is built differently than cruise ships. She is longer for her width, her freeboard (the distance from the waterline to the lowest deck where water can enter the ship) is much higher, her hull thicker and her top speed is considerably higher than a cruise ship. In fact, one thing she is well known for is being able to handle rough seas very well.
On the inside, I would describe her as being elegant in her décor and passengers have a lot of elbow room as her square feet per guest is one of the highest out there. Also noteworthy is how the ship’s interior is drenched in history and tradition. In some places it feels a little like a museum with informative wall coverings speaking of the history of Cunard Line, earned trophies and honors and even artwork everywhere telling the story of ships and the sea. Places like the Main Lobby and the Britannia Restaurant are huge and grand but still very tasteful.
With that said, sometimes she does feel a bit compartmentalized. This is an after effect of her being built strongly as a seagoing ship, so engineering considerations came first.
Second, the service from the staff is uniformly outstanding. They know their jobs, do them very well and their attitude is one of pride in their work and in their ship. They are also extremely approachable and friendly. It is not uncommon for staff to know the passengers and vice versa – this sort of ongoing friendliness is part of Cunard culture.
Third, the food. To me it is very well prepared across the board. The selection does not always conform 100% to my tastes but it is very well made with quality ingredients. I especially enjoyed the Steak Diane in the Britannia, the Fish and Chips in the Golden Lion pub and in the Verandah steakhouse the Filet Mignon was excellent. Which brings me to a place named Sir Samuels and the Godiva chocolate everywhere. The hot cocoa there is decadent to say the least.
Overall, to me the experience was simply wonderful. I HIGHLY recommend Queen Mary 2 with this qualification – you have to go into it understanding what she is and what Cunard is. Cunard is all about elegance and ambiance, about being steeped in history and tradition and yes, it is the line for ship buffs. It is not the line with on deck rave parties and ziplines in the middle of the ships. So if you are attracted to the aspects I mentioned then Cunard may be the fit for you.
11029 is a balcony stateroom on the starboard forward side of the ship very high up. It is spacious and well appointed, with a relaxing Art Deco motif. Storage space is more than sufficient. Bathroom is a shower version, but again has enough space.
It's okay. I landed at LaGuardia and Cunard handled the transport to the ship - and did it well.
I love Southampton.