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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: July 2018
This was a first smaller ship excursion. And a great one to go on. Great staff made it very enjoyable. The food was excellent. Would like to another of these type of this cruise. The shore excursions were enjoyable and not to ... Read More
This was a first smaller ship excursion. And a great one to go on. Great staff made it very enjoyable. The food was excellent. Would like to another of these type of this cruise. The shore excursions were enjoyable and not to long. Also provided for more time in ports for your own excursions. I found that the open dining aboard was excellent and gave one the opportunity to meet different people each day if they wanted. Service was excellent and entire crew and staff were excellent. Meeting all the needs for the passengers. The ports that we visited were enjoyable and had lots to do during our time there. Our starting point was a great location not only the town but the convenience of having our airport close. Also close to our embarkation. I would say this has been one of my more favorite type of cruises. The scaled down version makes for more fun an relaxation. No hurry up to type. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Getting on and off the ship was very easy they saw to that. The ports were great in Maine, Rhode Island and Marthas Vineyard. We had plenty of time in each port either with a tour or by ourselves. The food was great as was the service. ... Read More
Getting on and off the ship was very easy they saw to that. The ports were great in Maine, Rhode Island and Marthas Vineyard. We had plenty of time in each port either with a tour or by ourselves. The food was great as was the service. Entertainment could have been better. Our cabin was spotless and well stocked with amenities. The cocktail hour was great, good h’ordevours, excellent waitstaff. The Lobster Bake in Camden was excellent and so was walking around the town afterwards. The people that put on the lobster lunch on the shoreline was wonderful and very good so was the band. The lobster boat excursion was also a definite highlight- the person giving the tour and bringing in the lobsters knew everything you wanted to know about fishing , lobsters and the history of the fisherman’s. The Portland tour was also great and eat at HiRoller afterwards for the best lobster rolls and lobster tacos!! The tour guide -Ron- told us about the city and then we went to Cape Elizabeth lighthouse. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I recently sailed on the Veendam on the New England & Canada tour. I found it to be a very enjoyable experience. This was my 16th cruise, sailing with 4 different cruise lines. I loved the size of this ship. The mega ships can be ... Read More
I recently sailed on the Veendam on the New England & Canada tour. I found it to be a very enjoyable experience. This was my 16th cruise, sailing with 4 different cruise lines. I loved the size of this ship. The mega ships can be exhausting! I found the ship to be in very good condition. Holland America maintains a "classic " cruising ambiance, from the teak wood promenade deck with cushioned wood deck chairs to the antiques and art work throughout the ship. The fresh floral arrangements were beautiful. I found the food to be very good. I had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto and the main dining room - all meals were excellent! The chocolate extravaganza on the second formal night was a real treat! The Lido restaurant was great for breakfast. The food selection was large and had many stations where you could have your selections freshly prepared. I enjoyed the entertainment in the lounges. I especially enjoyed Adagio, the pianist and violin duet. The evening entertainment was good, but don't expect that it will be like some of the productions they have on the mega ships. I found the crew on the ship to be very friendly and most accomodating. I will definitely sail with Holland America again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
After my wife's first experience cruising 20 years ago, this was something I had always wanted to do. So, this year, we pulled the trigger. What a lovely experience! The staff, waiters, bartenders all stood out as part of the best of ... Read More
After my wife's first experience cruising 20 years ago, this was something I had always wanted to do. So, this year, we pulled the trigger. What a lovely experience! The staff, waiters, bartenders all stood out as part of the best of the experience and part of our fondest memories. A tropical storm developed into a Category 2 Hurricane directly in our cruising path. But, because of the captain's care in navigating around it and changing our itinerary, we wouldn't even have known that the storm was an issue. Wait staff was exceptional to the point that we are still grieving leaving our waiter Kadek Dwi. Food was very good. The drinks and bartenders were outstanding and the ports of call were very fun! Our tours of the ports of call were self-directed so I can't speak to Royal Caribbean's Shore Excursions other than to report that our table mates who took part in a number of the cruise line's excursions reported having a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
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. Tips: 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because I work for a school district and this was the perfect time. Departure from Boston allowed me to go a few days early which was great. Also stayed post cruise in Montreal which would suggest. All the ports ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I work for a school district and this was the perfect time. Departure from Boston allowed me to go a few days early which was great. Also stayed post cruise in Montreal which would suggest. All the ports were clean and residents and vendors very friendly. Traveled with another single mature gal who is a seasoned traveler. The ship is the perfect size. Even though it was sold out, never felt crowded and never a issue for having a table in the dining room for 'anytime dining'. Service was excellent as well as the food. Enjoyed the movies, the cooking demos, and entertainment was very good. Ports were perfect and tender was easy. Would definitely recommend and would do it again. HAL is my go to cruise line. I organized a "Meet and Greet" the first afternoon after the sail away and posted it on the Roll Call. About 6 were expected and several more came. We ended up sharing a rental car with one couple in Montreal. Suggest you reply to a Roll Call or host a Meet and Greet. It was great! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was truly Small ship crushing at its finest. We had been on the coast of Maine when we lived in New England and decided seeing it from the water side would be fun and it was great. The dining was all we wanted and more than we ... Read More
This was truly Small ship crushing at its finest. We had been on the coast of Maine when we lived in New England and decided seeing it from the water side would be fun and it was great. The dining was all we wanted and more than we expected. The chefs were incredable. The Fourth of July “lobstah” and clam bake by the ocean in Rockland was “all you could eat” goodness. The entertainment was real New England. The whole process from reservations to disembarking was informative, professional and easy. We enjoyed this cruise so much that we have booked another one in nine months, joining the non cost Eagle Society so that we can enjoy a few extra events and chances for pre cruise accommodations and tours included with the cruises. We have enjoyed large ship cruises with family, however, we are having a ball planning cruises by ourselves. Read Less

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