In this review I want to distinguish between the ship, which we dearly love, and Cunard's service, for which I have only limited love. After about a dozen trips on Cunard (we are Diamond status), and after over 18 months of cancelled and altered holidays, we were eager to return to the QM2. This is a special ship, the last true ocean liner, which is built to comfortably navigate the high seas. We love the classic design of the public rooms, and when we are in them, our hearts soar. It's like sailing in a lovely old fashioned hotel. There are special almost unique features like the planetarium and the big ballroom, plus some quirky little corners that always delight. The ship is so spacious that one never feels crowded. On this Voyage, the QM2 was re-starting its transatlantic crossings, and the ship was in excellent condition. So happy to be back.
Now for the Cunard service. Another Cruise Critic poster has commented that Cunard is a mass market line with tuxedos, and I think this droll statement is correct. There is nothing really wrong with Cunard, and I have no major complaints. But there is also nothing so truly special that it can be set apart from the big mass market lines. The enrichment program is good with entertaining speakers, but it is not the best at sea. There are lots of things to do on board, which one should be assured of with a lot of sea days. The casino is lively and well-staffed, as it should be.
But so many things are mediocre. The food quality never rises above cruise ship standard cuisine. We traveled in Princess Grill class where the tendency to flambee things can create old fashioned drama that replaces quality and inventiveness. Quality and variety in the buffet (Kings' Chaos) has not improved and is only a step above a school cafeteria. The room service menu has been markedly reduced to only a very few fun items, with no real meals. Service in the restaurants tends to be very fussy with multiple staff stopping by over and over to ask if everything is OK. None of this is really bad, it just does not rise above the mass market level.
We booked Princess class because we spend a lot of time in the stateroom and enjoy the extra space. The design could be re-done to maximize usage of the square footage. The colors and fabrics were pleasing, the furniture only somewhat comfortable.