My husband and I took our three grown grandchildren on a 9 day New England/Canada on Grandeur of the Seas leaving on July 5, 2018. Positives: Weather was great, Baltimore is an easy port to access and park, our cabin attendant and ... Read More
My husband and I took our three grown grandchildren on a 9 day New England/Canada on Grandeur of the Seas leaving on July 5, 2018. Positives: Weather was great, Baltimore is an easy port to access and park, our cabin attendant and waiters were wonderful and the food very good. Diamond club and the designated diamond breakfast area were excellent. We did all ports independently...each grandchild was responsible for planning activities at a port and all of us had a wonderful time. We used the Viking Crown lounge on sea days for card games with the grandkids which was always quiet with no problem finding tables and chairs for our games. The ship to be very clean and easy to get around with friendly staff. When a hurricane threatened, the captain switched the order of the ports, even though in Halifax Royal Caribbean had to provide shuttles as the only berth available on such short notice was an industrial one. His actions insured that we were never exposed to rough weather and was much appreciated.Only complaint: one of the three cabins (2514 which is described below) was not satisfactory. Read Less
We have been on four cruises, all with Grandeur of the Seas. We like the crew and staff and the ship is just the right size for us. The staterooms are very nice, and clean and the staff really take pride in taking care of the rooms. The ... Read More
We have been on four cruises, all with Grandeur of the Seas. We like the crew and staff and the ship is just the right size for us. The staterooms are very nice, and clean and the staff really take pride in taking care of the rooms. The chefs and staff in the Great Gatsby go overboard (pun intended) to make sure that we had the best experience possible.
We loved the variety of menu options and there was not one meal that we did not thoroughly enjoy. The lobster night was perfect and if you are unsure of the menu items, the waiter and waitress make recommendations.
The shore excursions are plentiful and prices are set to suit every budget. We booked some tours through the ship and sometimes we just set off on our own to explore the area.
The only complaint that we had is that the 1pm curfew time for children should be adjusted to 10pm or 11pm. There seemed to be more unsupervised preteens this trip then in previous cruises, which led to some unruly behavior. Read Less
Best employees, best main dining food and service, best cruise director. Our cabin attendant was the sweetest lady ever !!!! Very helpful and kind. Also loved the on-board activities .... favorites were the 'Belly Flop' competition at ... Read More
Best employees, best main dining food and service, best cruise director. Our cabin attendant was the sweetest lady ever !!!! Very helpful and kind. Also loved the on-board activities .... favorites were the 'Belly Flop' competition at the pool and the water polo game ... crew vs guests, also at the pool. Ship had a full service spa and pool area, which was more quiet and laid-back, if that's what you wanted. Casino was brightly lit and had a wide choice of slots and game tables. Ship even switched ports of call to get better weather .... because Hurricane Chris was chasing us. As it turned out we had bright sun every day of the cruise !!!! Everything ran very smoothly. Loved all of the ports of call. Excursions were plentiful and varied. Looking forward to my next cruise on Royal Caribbean. It is helpful to leave from Baltimore, as then we don't need to fly/go thru an airport. Read Less
Converted from a scientific ship to cruising. Cabins are small and the doors can't be locked, deck has tarp-covered obstructions, decks have no service or chairs. Often hoses or equipment in walking areas. Not organized for exercise - ... Read More
Converted from a scientific ship to cruising. Cabins are small and the doors can't be locked, deck has tarp-covered obstructions, decks have no service or chairs. Often hoses or equipment in walking areas. Not organized for exercise - minimal gym is on floor 2, sauna on 5 (and is often not turned on), hot tub on 6 and massage on 3. Gift shop is just one cabin with a few shirts on hanger, a table with some gifts and is seldom open. . Very few refill supplies, i.e., toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
Getting luggage on board and identifying yours was pure chaos. Five hours into the cruise and the passenger luggage was still in the halls. Some of it was still there the next morning. The boat drill was treated almost like a joke and was VERY inadequate for someone not familiar with emergency cruising procedures. Exact details for the planned excursions were not revealed until that day's breakfast. Timetables were often missed and trips shortened to compensate. The trips did meet expectations although by no means spectacular.
The food ranks as the worst on any cruise I have taken. Breakfast was always standing in line cafeteria style. Massed produced eggs in warming pans with previously frozen croissants and sweet rolls. Lunch was also usually cafeteria style and some days it was pack your own lunch for excursions. The first dinner was lobster and mine took 1 1/2 hours to be served at 9:30 PM. Late starting (7:30 PM) & slow service often meant finishing dinner shortly before bed time. One desert choice. The only dining area was very loud and roughly equivalent to my high school cafeteria in appearance, The lounge/bar is very small, noisy and not designed for inter-mingling. If you are looking for a cruise with none of the frills, average food and service but emphasis on scenery and excursions this would be your choice. Read Less
We choose the QM2 because we wanted to experience a Cunard cruise as well as the QM2 itself, being such a well-known ship, with so much history and sense of luxury. That it had from the start to the last day. While not avid cruisers, we ... Read More
We choose the QM2 because we wanted to experience a Cunard cruise as well as the QM2 itself, being such a well-known ship, with so much history and sense of luxury. That it had from the start to the last day. While not avid cruisers, we would consider this ship for another adventure.
We started with the option of arrival the day before staying in NYC at the Knickerbocker Hotel on Times Square, which was the perfect kick-off to this week-long trip, giving us a great spot to work from, to see a show, tour a museum, and enjoy a great meal in New York City. The Knickerbocker is well appointed, modern, and quite elegant, as well as well located at the base of Times Square, but not in the middle of all the tourists.
Three of us were traveling together, and two black limos picked us up from the hotel to go to the Red Hook cruise terminal in Brooklyn. (They could have just done one, but that is OK.) While we did pay for this upgrade it was well worth it, and I encourage it. It takes the craziness out of terminal arrival, and being escorted like a VIP is very, very nice.
Check in at the Red Hook Cruise Terminal went smoothly, the building was bright, clean, and fresh. Perfectly set up for a large group departure. (it appeared that the different cruise lines use this space, just change equipment for other lines. The facility was much nicer than I expected, and what we experienced out of Boston's Falcon Terminal.) One of our travelers has a disability, and while not in a wheelchair, we were offered access to the handicapped line providing extra help. Again because we had an upgrade, thanks to our travel agent, we moved quickly through and into the VIP lounge and up the elevator and onto the ship.
Boarding the ship was easy, maybe it was because you boarded into their big center lobby, there were no crowds on the elevators, and we quickly found our rooms, (two rooms at opposite ends and sides of the ship.) The lack of crowds may have been because of this was a stop on an extended cruise, and the whole ship was not changing over with guests, only those getting on for this leg of the cruise.
We had two similar staterooms on deck ten (we had the upgraded Princess Grill level) both were spacious clean, modern, with large bathrooms, plenty of closet space and private balconies. Baggage arrived quickly and without any hassle, while we took a quick tour of the ship before unpacking. Our travel agent had sent us some nibbles, and the captain had a bottle of champagne chilling in our room for us (I believe a part of our upgrade package.)
After the Muster Drill where we found our lifeboat station and heard about how to put on the life jackets, (plus got a fun one-on-one people watching, and listening experience with some of our fellow cruisers.) Afterward, we toured the ship and found the Queen and Princess Grill restaurants, both are located at the back of the ship with a nice view. (Upgrade dining as part of a package in a tad fancier space is the Queens and Princess Grill. The Queens looked a little stuffy, making our choice of the Princess was perfect for us.)
At 5 pm we stopped in at the Commadors Club at the bow of the ship, for an afternoon drink (which is also where the LGBTQ travelers meet for Happy Hour each day. Thus we made this a daily event.)
Note: We had the drink package (drinks under $12 are covered in that package, we found that you had to order only one (shot) at a time if you did 2, it went over the maximum cost, and you would get charged.
We took to one of the cabins for the cruise out and enjoyed glasses of the champagne and cheered our upcoming week together on the QM2. Cruise out went smoothly gliding by the Statue of Liberty and out along Long Island as sunset began to take hold. Always fun to watch for the Pilot Boat and to say goodbye to the Harbor pilot when they leave the ship, giving her back to the Captain.
We took our time to head to the dining room, where we had a table for six. and got to meet the two other cruisers who would be our meal partners. While they were finishing up their meal, it gave us a chance to introduce ourselves to them, and see if indeed we would want to eat with them for every meal. While we could have chosen a private table, we always enjoy meeting new people for meals.
QM2 dining options are many, from cafeteria style to private dining. We could have eaten in other spaces, one public space becomes an upscale $12 extra meal upcharge space, as we had already had the Princess Grill Dining room, we went there for, breakfast lunch and dinner. Though some mornings taking advantage of room service for breakfast.
Internet service is expensive onboard any ship, and we used this time to force ourselves off our screens, and as we got further out into the water our cell phones went silent, so we just used them as cameras. While we did log on to the free wi-fi when in port, and access to our mobile carriers when we could. We put the phones and tablets into airplane mode most of the time, so as not to incur any extra unwanted charges.
The first full day on the water was foggy with the quaint sound of the ship's fog horn. During that first day, one of the passengers became ill and had to be airlifted off of the ship, at which time all passengers were not allowed on the outside decks. While this took us a bit off our course, it did not delay us. Though we all thought, how sad that one would get sick and have to leave such a wonderful time aboard the QM2. And it made us think how much has the US Coast Guard with a boat, helicopter, and seaplane cost, and if insurance covers that.
We took the opportunity to attend a lecture and several presentations in the QM2's onboard planetarium/auditorium. While the lecturer was not very good, the planetarium experience was enjoyable. The shows on the onboard television are limited, and not very wide-ranging in the way of news or other shows. Experience them to find out for yourself, if they fit what you want to watch.
Our first port of call was St. Johns New Brunswick Canada. Cruise in was early in the morning, it was foggy so there was little to see until it burned off mid-day. We took the opportunity to get off the ship, just visiting the dockside tourist market and logging on to the free wi-fi. As we had already made up our minds that this trip was more about experiencing the QM2 and not the ports, we reboarded the ship.
That afternoon we went through American customs on board the ship, as US Citizens the line was short, but as the QM2 had plenty of travelers from other countries, they had a long line.
That evening we sailed away, again celebrating with glasses of champagne from the Captian on our balcony as we left port, and enjoying our delightful staterooms.
Sail into Boston for the Fourth of July, was at 5:30 am. Getting up to watch as we came in enjoying the islands and the boats as we passed by was enjoyable. (Also cell service returned, so I could get off some social media posts.) Last summer we had sailed out of Boston's Falcon Port, it is dark, dingy and warehouse-like, not as well appointed as the Red Hook facility. Taking a Lyft to meet friends for lunch when we returned to the ship to spend the afternoon at the Canyon Ranch Spa for pedicures and manicures (easy to get an appointment on port days.)
To celebrate the 4th of July we spent time in both cabins, as we were on opposite sides of the ship, both of them got the benefit of different views of local community fireworks. While not the big Boston Harbor display, you got to see fireworks lighting up the horizon all around the ship.
The ship set sail in the very early morning hours of July 5th, spending the day at sea. Which meant the shops and casino on board were open. Cunard offered a 15% discount for shopping that day, and we took advantage of that in the bookstore (which is not in the shopping area, but beside the large library.) And of course picked up a few items in the shops, making use of our shipboard credits.
Note: as a Carnival shareholder of at least 100 shares you get additional shipboard credits, depending on the length of your cruise. Make sure you submit a clear statement showing your holdings (I made sure information of any other holdings, balances were not visible before sending,) at least a ten-day prior to boarding the ship.
That night we put out our bags for collection and delivery back to us at the port the next morning upon arrival in NYC. Keeping a small bag with necessary items and clothes to wear with us in the cabin, that we would then carry with us in the morning.
Sail into NYC was early on Friday morning we were awoken by the lights of the Verazono Narrows Bridge. Quite a sight! Again seeing Lady Liberty and the skyscrapers of Manhattan is a wonderful way to start any day.
Arrival on the last day of the cruise meant breakfast and room service was discouraged, so having a few things to nibble on, and coffee to make in the room was something we should have thought of. The cabin steward did not refresh our coffee for the arrival morning, so while the trip was quite wonderful, those last few hours on the ship, felt as if they were rushing you off, which in essence they are.
Again disembarking from the ship was somewhat civilized, though with large amounts of travelers leaving the ship about the same time, means crowds. Getting into the terminal was fine, and finding our luggage (which was not with others from our deck) took some time. Walking out to catch car service (we did not have a limo this time) was somewhat involved, but not terrible. We took a lyft to NY's Penn Station and returned home on Amtrak.
Use an experienced Travel Agent who has a relationship and an understanding of the cruise industry to get your best perks and deals.
If traveling on any one of Carnival's many brands of ships, have 100 shares of stock for extra onboard credits.
If you want to experience the ship, do so when you are in port and everyone is off on excursions.
Take the opportunity to upgrade, it is well worth the cost. Be it a day before arrival, car service to and from the ship (This is a BIG YES) or for a better cabin and meal experience. It is more expensive, but the benefits are worth it in the long run.
Meet new people, while you will probably never see, or speak to them again, it is always interesting to talk to different people and understand where they come from. And YES sometimes you have to zip your lip if they do not have similar beliefs that you do. You can always smile and move on, or ask to be seated at a different table. Or talk about them as a part of your adventure.
Bring a small foldable carry-on bag in your luggage for that last day, when you have to put all of your luggage out, This way you will have what you need with you, and you can always repack it once off the ship, or more likely just use the space to carry the things you purchased.
Have Fun, we are only in this life once. Read Less
First, this review is my personal opinion. This is my first time on the QM2 and second cruise ever. My first cruise ever was an inside cabin on the Crown Princess cruise in the Caribbean. For background while I enjoy cruising I would ... Read More
First, this review is my personal opinion. This is my first time on the QM2 and second cruise ever. My first cruise ever was an inside cabin on the Crown Princess cruise in the Caribbean. For background while I enjoy cruising I would not consider myself a diehard cruiser. Also, if something is really subpar I will say so. I do not think the QM2 is subpar in any way for a mass market cruise ship.
A Note on the Weather: We encountered fog on the way up and back. You might want to check to see if this is normal this time of year for this itinerary and decide for yourself if this would affect your enjoyment. The seas were generally calm.
A bit of excitement: On the way north a passenger got sick and a US coast guard helicopter landed on the top deck to pick them up. I didn’t think there was room up there for a helicopter but apparently there was.
Bottom line: We liked the cruise and would consider the QM2 for another cruise however my biggest problem was the price. I thought the $300 per person per night for a Britannia class obstructed view balcony cabin was not justified by the value received. I don’t feel cheated, just that it was a little overpriced. I would probably consider the QM2 for a transatlantic return to the US or possibly some other itinerary.
More extensive review:
This is a mass market cruise ship and so I review it as such.
After 2 cruises I have learned that on cruises the attitude and how other passengers act very significantly affects your enjoyment of the cruise. If the other passengers are loud, obnoxious, rude and do not dress appropriately they can ruin your cruise. On the other hand if the other passengers behave appropriately for the cruise then you can have a better time.
On this specific cruise I think the majority of passengers dressed and behaved appropriately, even the children. In my opinion, based on this cruise, the QM2 is appropriate for passengers wanting the following type of cruise:
• a nice calm relaxing vacation, e.g., to destress, read a book from their extensive shipboard library
• low key
• dressing for dinner
• ballroom dancing
• afternoon tea
• trivia contests
• sipping a cocktail or glass of wine in one of the many bars or by one of the pools
• enjoying a lecture on weather or whatever else is being discussed or maybe taking a class on fencing (personally I would have liked to try the fencing but never quite made it to the class)
While most of the passengers were older there were younger passengers and some children a few of which dressed for dinner. I thought I saw a five year old in either a dark suit or tuxedo on formal night.
If you enjoy the following I suggest you find a different ship or you will be wasting your money, will not be happy, and annoy other passengers:
• drink a lot and get drunk
• be loud and party (this is not a party ship, even on the Crown Princess cruise which skewed older there were more 20 and 30 year olds who discoed and drank more and were loud)
• want to wear casual clothes at dinner
• want water slides, rock climbing walls, etc.
The food: On the whole I thought the food was fine. We ate most dinners in the main dining room (MDR). This is not a five star or Michelin rated restaurant in a large city. However, overall the service was excellent and I though the meals we had were Ok to very good considering the number of meals they serve. We had a 2 person table at the early seating which we requested when we booked the cruise. There is a dress code at dinner. I saw the crew turn one person away who was not properly dressed although I did see someone who was not properly dressed sneak in. As I stated before, if you do not want to dress for dinner (men wear jacket without tie on informal nights) you should probably pick a different cruise, you will be wasting your money on this ship.
We also ate breakfast twice in the main dining room, once in our room, and once at the buffet. The breakfast in our room was very enjoyable, came on time and hot, same with the MDR. We didn’t particularly care for the buffet, the food was not necessarily bad. It is just that it gets crowded, can be hard to find a seat and generally reminds me of the buffets they have in US casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. The one nice thing is it is open early if you need to get to an excursion and we found our way there at 1 AM one time and they still had a small selection of food available (some hot).
For lunch I didn’t think the menus in the MDR were up to par, we never tried it. We did have lunch in the Golden Lion Pub on embarkation day (really glad we chose to go there instead of the buffet) and one other day. It can get crowded in the pub for lunch when it first opens so get there early or wait for a seat. It is a limited menu however, we very much enjoyed it and the atmosphere. They actually had some beers that had to be hand pumped out of the barrel. They let me sample a beer or two before I purchased, very civilized. They had 2 dart boards in the back and they play trivia here.
They also serve a small selection of hot snacks and deserts in the Carinthia Lounge for breakfast and lunch. Given its proximity to the buffet at breakfast or lunch you can grab something in the buffet and from the Carinthia Lounge to round out your meal.
The QM2 also has a proper afternoon tea in the Queens Room. We tried it once and it was very nice. Actually they do a very nice afternoon tea on the Crown Princess (my wife thought they were equivalent to the QM2) however it is much more crowded on the QM2 compared to the Crown Princess so they line up early on the QM2. On the QM2 they had a selection of teas (you can purchase champagne by the glass), finger sandwiches, scones with what they called clotted cream (I am not really sure it was true clotted cream although it tasted fine), and other nice deserts. They had chamber music during the tea. They also have scones etc. in the buffet which you can grab and enjoy out on the promenade if the weather is nice (the buffet and the promenade are both deck 7).
Bars and night clubs. There are several bars on the QM2. Most of the bars have some form of live music or entertainment at various times of the day and evening (e.g., piano player, harpist, jazz band, rock group). For some reason they close the shades in the Commodore Club at sunset, wish they didn't. I thought the live music was on par with the Crown Princess. I think the Carinthia Lounge is the place to go if you want to try ports. I did a port flight there. In general I thought the cocktails in the bars were properly made and reasonably priced by US large city standards. Way better than the cocktails on the Crown Princess, maybe because they do not do drink packages on the QM2 for Britannia class. I tried a couple of mixed non-alcoholic beverages (smoothies, mock tails) that I thought were quite good. They have wine by the glass which we tried, it was OK. It is probably less expensive to buy wine by the bottle which they will supposedly hold for you until it is finished, another passenger told us that this is what they do. You can also bring your own wine onboard and consume it in your room for free which we did (supposedly you can pay a corkage fee and have it in one of the public venues, we didn’t try this). We also brought our own bottled water and soda on board, it was not inconvenient for us to do this.
There is one location on the ship that I would consider a night club, it is G32. We looked in but did not stay, they had live music at night. Seemed nice and there were people there.
The big thing about the QM2 is that they have a real ballroom for dancing (fox trot, waltz, tango, etc.), the Queens Room (proper dress required). The dance floor is relatively large. They have live music from a good band at certain times of the evening. Even if you don’t dance it is worth going there to watch other people dance. Personally, even if you are younger I would suggest trying to learn a little ballroom dancing, you might hate it however you might also like it. Personally, while some may consider it heresy, I would suggest to Cunard that they add some line dancing in the ballroom for the younger crowd, you DO NOT have to nor should you reduce/eliminate the dress code for this.
The ship as a whole. I thought the ship as a whole was nice. I thought the ship itself was on par with the Crown Princess however, my wife really liked the QM2 better. A lot of time on the Crown Princess they are trying to sell you stuff.
The pools were nice and one of the pools (Pavilion Pool) they will close the glass cover when the weather is inclement so it can still be enjoyed. I think they have live music by the pools at certain times however we didn’t see it.
Other things we did on the ship. Saw a planetarium show, it was nice (you need to get tickets in advance). Saw a 3d movie in Illuminations. Played trivia in the pub one evening. Saw the show in the theater first night out, it was fine, not spectacular. Watched a lecture on the weather which I enjoyed. Listened to a ghost story in Carinthia Lounge, it was OK but should have been done later at night when it was dark.
Took a book out of the really big library, for a ship. Walked the promenade a few times and sat out on deck a few times. Really liked the promenade. Tried shuffle board. One thing I did miss that they have on the Crown Princess is outdoor movies however I assume that they don't have this because it is more appropriate to the Caribbean as opposed to the itinerary that the QM2 usually has.
Service overall was very nice everywhere.
Shore excursions. As a whole we really didn't care for Saint John (not that much to do) however I did enjoy the Fundy Coastal Photography tour.
I like and always have liked Boston, we are about a five hour drive from Boston.. Didn't do any of the ship sponsored tours, didn't need to. I did like that Cunard provided a free shuttle to and from a center of Boston. We could see some fireworks from the upper deck and other passengers chose to watch the fireworks there however you are pretty far away and do not have the same experience as if you are up close.
We live near Brooklyn so we just drove there and left the car until we returned. If you have never been to New York before and your cruise either starts or ends here I strongly recommend allowing at least 2 to 3 full days to explore he city either before or after your cruise. Disembarkation was fine however embarkation could have been organized better. Read Less
I choose sailing on the QM2 (this was my 3rd voyage) because it is a civil and upscale voyage and if you want a peaceful journey with nice people, this is it. You are almost guaranteed no children on board because this is not a ship with ... Read More
I choose sailing on the QM2 (this was my 3rd voyage) because it is a civil and upscale voyage and if you want a peaceful journey with nice people, this is it. You are almost guaranteed no children on board because this is not a ship with children's attractions. I was on the July 1, 2018, cruise to Canada and Boston for the 4th of July Fireworks. We left out of Brooklyn, NY. The regular balcony staterooms are a good size and efficiently appointed. There were several noticeable stains in my carpet and also stains in my bathroom sink. Otherwise, the cabin was clean. In the Brittania, Golden Lion and King's Court, the food is mediocre at best and in a few instances the beef was inedible. Portions are average to small. The cocktails are priced fairly but it is about time that Cunard enters the 21st Century and offer an alcoholic beverage package. There is a soft drink package, a coffee package (waste of money as it does not include flavored coffees) and a water package - yes, can you believe it - a drinking water package! The therapy pool (which I love) in the Canyon Spa was closed for one full day for maintenance so people who paid for it lost a day of enjoyment. The excursion I chose in St. John Canada (Skywalk) was a waste of time and money. Crew is polite and friendly but no one goes overboard (no pun intended) with warmth and joviality. I cannot rate the shows as I do not go to them as a rule. Lecture on The Bermuda Triangle was not thrilling. The planetarium is okay. I might be wrong but I don't think there is a general souvenir / sundries store on the ship any longer - at least I could not find it - no where to buy Cunard "logo" type items - shops are upscale and I don't need that as I am a New Yorker and can shop Michael Kors any day of the week. The draw for this cruise is seeing the fireworks in Boston Harbor and from the ship, the viewing is limited. Read Less
Hey honey--I got tickets to Springsteen on Broadway--can we sail on Queen Mary 2?
That's how this voyage began...
We sailed on the five day portion of this itinerary--from NY to Saint John, New Brunswick, to Boston for the 4th of ... Read More
Hey honey--I got tickets to Springsteen on Broadway--can we sail on Queen Mary 2?
That's how this voyage began...
We sailed on the five day portion of this itinerary--from NY to Saint John, New Brunswick, to Boston for the 4th of July, and back to NY. We were "trying out" the Queen Mary 2 with the idea of a world cruise in 2021. Five days is nothing like 113 days, of course, but we still felt like we got a feel for the ship, and we loved it.
We embarked from Red Hook Terminal in Brooklyn, which definitely doesn't have a five star feel--very industrial port and waiting area. Our embarkation time was listed as 3 PM. but from reading reviews here, I learned that we could ignore that, get there early, and be aboard well before that time. This proved true, and we were aboard before noon. The bigger surprise was that our staterooms were ready, which was a treat. Nothing like a quick glass of bubbly before lunch! I also didn't think the Pol Acker was swill lol.
Sail away in New York Harbor actually brought tears to my eyes. Seeing the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline, sailing under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, where it looks like the ship is going to crash, listening to fun music on deck and waving a little American flag--it was a blast.
We dined in Britannia for the late seating every night but one, when we wanted to catch the first show and ate in the Kings Court instead. I requested a large table in the dining room because we love to meet people from everywhere, but it was just the four of us. Table location wasn't great (not a huge deal), but the service was attentive and friendly. Dining choices were varied and generally very good. My daughter went for the Canyon Ranch choices (lots of chicken) most nights and was happy with them. My son and husband did steak/chateaubriand/short rib with good reports. I had an OK lobster tail, a delicious salmon filet, a dry sea bass, and a good sirloin steak. Our servers Ned and Ronald, the sommelier Oleg, and the head waiter Oliver all went out of their way to chat with us and assist us. We love wine, but live at the low end of the Cunard wine list. Oleg pointed us to well priced delicious wines and didn't make us feel cheap. We also paid the 20 dollar corkage fee a few nights.
Kings Court was also a nice surprise after some of the reviews here. There was plenty of window seating when we ate there, and a good selection of both healthy and not-so-much options. The chocolate truffles made me grateful that we were only on board for 5 nights. I wish I had stashed some in my luggage though.
Entertainment was one reason we chose Queen Mary 2. Our son loves live music of all kinds, so we spent a lot of time at concerts in pubs and lounges listening to a great variety of music. The musicians were without exception talented and professional. There was a guitarist who gave really informative lectures on famous guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana. He was really knowledgeable and entertaining at the same time. We heard a lovely concert by Alton Fitzgerald White, who played Mufasa in the Lion King on Broadway. Comedian John Joseph had us in stitches, and the Royal Court Players were outstanding. They put on different full shows with great dancing and singing. The Broadway show was especially good. The a capella group Six Appeal was incredible.
Our daughter is 23, and she made friends with some of the young women in the entertainment department. There are not many 20 somethings on board, but she still had a great time.
We walked around Saint John on our own, found Big Tide brewery, and chatted with some locals. We didn't get off in Boston, as we live nearby and wanted to explore the ship some more.
Another reason we chose Queen Mary 2 was because we like to get dressed up. I read some of the controversy on the boards about the "change" in Cunard dress codes, but we didn't really see anything untoward in the clothing department (except that one lady that wore her bathrobe as a coverup in the main area of deck 2--awkward). If I am being honest, what other people wear has no bearing on how I feel about my cruise experience, though I love to see people in their finery. I know my family looked and felt great in their tuxes and gowns. We took lots of pictures, had some delicious cocktails, and generally enjoyed the elegance of the ship and her passengers.
Speaking of cocktails, here's my take on Cunard beverage prices. We live in a medium sized city, and when we go to our favorite restaurant, which is not super fancy and is in a mini mall, my favorite martini costs 10 dollars. In the Commodore Club--our favorite pre-dinner cocktail spot--my favorite cocktail was the Sazerac. It was 10.50. It was served with a bowl of spiced nuts and olives, some lovely canapes with shrimp, crab, and prosciutto, and a stunning view of the Atlantic. Well worth the extra 50 cents.
My biggest concern with Queen Mary 2 has to do with accommodation choices for people with disabilities. We are a family of four. We were fortunate that our adult daughter could join us for this short excursion, so we booked two staterooms and were very pleased with the accessibility. Our daughter will not be coming on our world voyage, however. Our son’s wheelchair cannot fit through the door of a typical stateroom. But there are no wheelchair accessible staterooms that will accommodate three people. There are also no single wheelchair accessible staterooms. And there are no adjoining wheelchair accessible staterooms in any category except Queens Grill. These are grave concerns for us. When I met with a shipboard Cunard agent, he told me that I would need to book two staterooms and pay the full fare for a 4th person in order to do the world voyage with our son. This feels discriminatory to me, and is our one reservation about booking this dream trip. We're talking about over 30000 dollar difference in what we would pay for the voyage. I drive a crappy car, but that would pay for a pretty nice one.
If you've read this far, thank you. If you have any advice regarding how we can reconcile this ship that we love with our predicament, we'd love to hear from you. Except for this major issue (for us), we loved this voyage. For able bodied travelers, we recommend Queen Mary 2 without reservation. Read Less
We have cruised numerous times, but had not yet cruised with Cunard. We wanted to experience the Queen Mary 2, and a short, 5 night cruise over the 4th of July was a wonderful opportunity to do so.
The QM2 is a stunningly beautiful ... Read More
We have cruised numerous times, but had not yet cruised with Cunard. We wanted to experience the Queen Mary 2, and a short, 5 night cruise over the 4th of July was a wonderful opportunity to do so.
The QM2 is a stunningly beautiful ship. The décor is very “art deco” and reminiscent of a more elegant age. The many common areas on the ship are large, well appointed, and, even at capacity, do not feel crowded. In fact, the whole ship feels longer and wider than any other ship we have cruised on. Just being on board was relaxing.
QM2 was built as an “ocean liner” and not as a cruise ship. This may account for the fact that it is laid out differently (and sometimes confusingly!) Example: Access to the main pool on Deck 8 is through the Verandah restaurant!!
The dinner venue on board the ship is dependent on the basis of the category of room booked. “Queen’s Grill Suite” passengers dine in the Queen’s Grill; “Princess Grill Suite” passengers dine in the Princess Grill. “Britannia Club balcony” passengers dine in the Britannia Grill. All the rest dine in the Britannia restaurant. Anyone can dine at the buffet. There is no poolside grill. Room service is complimentary.
The QM2 has a serious dress code. Men must wear a jacket for dinner in the dining room and in many of the bars. A tie is essential for “gala night.”
There were many entertainers and lots of venues. The ship also offers a “matinee” at 2:15 on sea days with live performances. There is plenty to occupy one's time.
Among the best things on board is an actual, functioning library with wood paneling, comfortable seating, and great views. It is very classy and a great place to just sit and read.
We would sail “transatlantic” for 7-9 days on this ship without hesitation.
However, we are not at all sure that we would take a longer, more port intensive cruise. This has to do with the fact that the ship offered very few good options for shore excursions and those options that were offered were too short. Read Less
We wanted to sail out of New York City and thought this cruise would be a good fit. The ship was beautiful, the room was nice, however the service was very disappointing. It started with the 1.5 hour wait in line to get onto the ship. Then ... Read More
We wanted to sail out of New York City and thought this cruise would be a good fit. The ship was beautiful, the room was nice, however the service was very disappointing. It started with the 1.5 hour wait in line to get onto the ship. Then there was a long line to get into dinner the first night while only one crew member had the list to help find passenger’s s find appropriate entrance to the dining room. It was very disorganized. At least two waiters were unable to describe the menu items when asked. Although many staff smiled and said hello in a hallway, most did not. The bartender and wait staff on deck were unfriendly at best. It was not a good experience. There were no more than one staff person to direct passengers who were not clear how to navigate the process of getting off the ship for excursions. There were no signs on the ship to help people get to places where they needed to be. And when arriving in Brooklyn, we were told to assemble in the Queens room and once there, we were told we did not need to go there and could leave the ship anytime. Once again, this told us that the staff was not trying to anticipate passenger needs and assist them. And finally, we were very unhappy in both the written and verbal comments, we were told we could not see the Boston fireworks from the ship, but recommended places to go in the city to see fireworks. This was not true. We were lucky that we just happen to wonder onto deck 11 and see that the fireworks could be nicely seen from the ship.
Overall, there was just a lack of service and attention to passenger needs. We do not recommend Cunard. We are truly disappointed in our experience. Read Less
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