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185 Cunard Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was our 34th cruise and several of them have been crossings on the Queen Mary 2. We chose this crossing to get us to Europe for an extended stay. There were no surprises, pleasant or otherwise. Overall we were pleased. Some ... Read More
This was our 34th cruise and several of them have been crossings on the Queen Mary 2. We chose this crossing to get us to Europe for an extended stay. There were no surprises, pleasant or otherwise. Overall we were pleased. Some positives: Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Maybe Cunard has solved some of the problems that used to plague Brooklyn departures. The ship is in excellent condition and we were thrilled to return to our favorite public rooms, the Chart Room and the Commodore Club. Our Princess Grill stateroom was comfortable and well-designed. We received excellent help from the Concierge on a number of issues. Overall very good service. We continue to be underwhelmed by the food choices and quality on Cunard. It's just the same old quite old fashioned cruise ship cuisine, blah and not very interesting. English and French stye, few true ethnic choices. The exceptions were the alternative dining at night in Kings' Chaos where the menu was adventurous and quality very good. Note that this was a very formal experience with 3 formal nights out of 7, and with the expectation that men would wear jackets on the other evenings. The QM2 crossing is not for those who pack only casual clothes. We have another QM2 crossing scheduled for 2020, and hopefully there will be others. It's a great way to get across the Atlantic without jet lag. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked ... Read More
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked to toughness. First day party impressive poolside and music was excellent as we watched NYC fade away. Our eight-person seating companions at dinner each evening were excellent and we promised to stay in touch. Disappointed in repeated shows in planetarium. Was hoping for something other than dark matter and meteorites. Arson lecture was really good. As was lecture on British history. Live shows excellent in theater but very short. My very favorite restaurant was the Golden Lion. Trivia contests and space sharing brought us in contact with so many fine people for the fun competitions. My biggest concern was uneven flooring that felt like rotting wood under carpets, especially in the casino. With all the alleged grandeur, this seemed dodgy. Would not opt for balcony cabin again. North Atlantic, even in dead summer, is not conducive to enjoying outdoors. We didn’t use it. Food good in Britannia but as I don’t drink much alcohol, waiter acted as if I was less than when I ordered a soft drink with my dinner. Public spaces are beautiful. I might do it again, but looking at nothing but water for seven straight days was trying. I was excited on day six when I saw actually spied a bird as we approached land. All in all, I wasn’t all that impressed after reading all the glorious reviews about this glamorous ocean liner. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our trip started in Hamburg, Germany on June 21, 2019, stopped in Southampton for the day on June 24 and onwards to New York arriving June 30. The trip had 2 very different vibes: The Hamburg to Southampton segment had many more ... Read More
Our trip started in Hamburg, Germany on June 21, 2019, stopped in Southampton for the day on June 24 and onwards to New York arriving June 30. The trip had 2 very different vibes: The Hamburg to Southampton segment had many more families with "free range kids", noise, heavy patronage of the buffet, garbage on the floors, noise at night, kids running and knocking on doors, kids running free during the life safety segment, kids running down the promenade deck careening into guests and people sitting in chairs etc. Adults with loud voices and shouting in the public rooms. The Southampton to New York a quieter more refined experience with the amazing guest speakers and quiet conversations among guests. QM2 is an experience of a life time and each time we take a TA on the QM2 it is excellent, unique and designed to link the guest to the sea. The QM2 is the way a ship should be. QM2 did not disappoint - but we would say the food in the MDR and the Kings Court buffet was a significant step downwards from our last TA 2 years ago. Cunard, improve your general food offerings, make it the same as Celebrity. Your general food offerings should not be less than Carnival. Other than that, the QM2 was excellent. The positives: * QM2 is a ship, not a Vegas hotel. * There is no end of vistas so that a guest can feel and smell the ocean. The open wing deck under the bridge is simply amazing. Modern cruise ships are designed to keep guests looking inward so they can spend $. Well done Cunard. The step down stern open areas are spectacular and well patronized * A real promenade deck, enough said. It was heavily patronized. * Cunard expects guests to be able to entertain themselves during the day * This is a ship for intellectuals - meaning the amazing guest speakers and library enable guests to learn about the world. The guest speaks spoke on - being an envoy in Moscow in the cold war, a London theater actress speaking on the hidden gems of London, WW2 submarine technology and deployment in the war. What a joy versus the nonsense on modern cruise ships. * The historical boards towards the bow area recounting the glory days of the Queens and transatlantic travel * The service was excellent, excellent. The amount of staff, their training, their demeanor etc was top notch - a step well above our last QM2 TA. To be frank, the service in the common areas were as good as our trips on Crystal and Oceania. * The extra charge restaurants were - excellent. The Veranda was the equal of the steakhouse on Oceania. The most amazing food was at the Alternative restaurant located in a part of the Kings Court - Cunard, you have a winner here. There are themed nights - Coriandor, The Smokehouse, Azetec and Bamboo. The food was the very best I ever had on a ship period. Better than Crystal or Oceania. The tastes were sublime, the presentation, the quantity, the service by the hand picked staff was first class. There were Grill level guests there and many said they would abandon the Grills and book a non Grill and simply enjoy the extra charge Veranda and Alternative dining. * The officers - they were visible and pleasant and stopped to answer questions. * The Golden Lion fish and chips and the Indian food put most cruise ship venues to shame * The music on the pa was excellent - just loud enough, classic to modern. Excellent choice. Entertainment was good. * Well - the kennel. Being on the pool decks at the stern and hearing the dear dogs barking from time to time as they were out with their fur parents was to die for. It humanized the ship - it was a great hit with guests. * The sheltered balcony cabin was well maintained and very cozy. * The size of the public areas, the amount of space per passenger is amazing. * QM2 rides like a dream, never felt her move. * The side corridors on deck 3 which have tables for games and chairs for sitting. These areas are the closest to the ocean level and are amazing. * Smoothies and detox beverages in the Kings Court area - excellent * Room service was good. The chopped fruit salad was excellent, as good as the chopped fruit salad on Oceania. The pain au chocolate was not bad. Coffee was excellent overall with real cream Negatives: * Boarding in Hamburg - The Grills class passengers walked right in front of the non Grills class long line up to gain access to the check in staff. Disrespectful. Have a separate check in line for Grills guests. * Food in the Kings Court. Not good. Cheap looking, cheap taste. The hot dishes, breads, cold meats etc were set out - no garnishes around any of the food serving stations - just cold looking plates on a hard surface with no visual appeal. Simply the worst looking and worst tasting buffet I have seen. A steep decline from my last QM2 TA. The breads were the cheapest quality you could imagine. The cold meats were cheap. We had no interest in eating there. The realignment of this area was much better than before, the food was not. * The MDR. Fabulous room, the best on the seas. The staff were excellent. The food was not. The food size, garnishing, taste, quality was average to poor. The onion soup consisted of a dry powder soup base with a few onions. Served after was a small round bread piece with a few cheese shreds. Awful. It was returned. The protein portions were small and dry. Salads were small with minimum garnishes. The food did not live up to the amazing room. * The carpets since the refit are awful. The orange and yellow down the main corridor was glaring and cheap. It was the carpet in the cabin floors (all decks I think), beige on the right side trending towards a pattern and deep blue next the cabin doors. The carpet looked awful and cheap. Who needs beige carpet in a high traffic area? The carpet looked like you would have got it at the Dollar store. * Ah, the infamous post cruise mini bar in the room charge. Got dinged for $18.29 for a mystery charge. Will not be paying it. _______________________________________________________________ Having cruised since 1989, on the mass and luxury lines, we enjoy Cunard for the value it represents and the great itineraries and the real ships they provide guests. All cruise lines are cheapening their products. Cunard is as well. Cunard is best suited to guests who enjoy being on a ship, who wish to behave in a classy way and dress a bit better than the anything goes mass cruise lines. The Cunard guests are well travelled and well informed. If you want Vegas at sea, loud techno music, drunk guests due to the beverage packages etc do not choose Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked the Queens Grill = £9.000 so quite expensive. Was expecting a real quality experience but very quickly realised it was not all it was made up to be. So, arrived in Southampton and entered a chaotic cattle shed where I was shunted ... Read More
Booked the Queens Grill = £9.000 so quite expensive. Was expecting a real quality experience but very quickly realised it was not all it was made up to be. So, arrived in Southampton and entered a chaotic cattle shed where I was shunted to the priority line. Walked on the ship to be told “the lift is over their, like “get on with it”. Walked around aimlessly for a bit and really found my cabin (943) by chance. Cabin was clean, bathroom tiles were dirty. A welcome was conspicuous by its absence. Food in the Queens Grill was like clockwork .. boring and on numerous times Luke warm. I never got the Gala Nights. Put on a DJ to eat dinner, nothing else, I expected the captain to sit with us or a gala ball for the Queens Grill ... nothing. What was very surprising is that during the entire trip not once did any management come to us to say “welcome” or “how it the trip” .. there was no discerning quality, they just wanted your money. So where was “packing and unpacking, or a morning pot of tea” .. didn’t exist. The evening canapés delivered to the room were simply low grade pate or other stodge. Cut my leg badly on the edge of a chair on the deck and asked a crew member to get me a plaster, he just walked away. The whole experience felt like a Chanel Ferry crossing .. once you leave the ship in New York you are on your own. There is NO assistance to locate your baggage or assistance with carrying. We are elderly and really struggled through the immigration hall and border controls to the chaotic outside with NO assistance to find a taxi .. total chaos. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is our 13 Cruise trip and the third with Cunard. We sailed before on QE and QV, but it was our first time on the mighty QM2. The ship was iconic and displayed luxury interior deco in all areas. However, it lacked some of Cunard ... Read More
This is our 13 Cruise trip and the third with Cunard. We sailed before on QE and QV, but it was our first time on the mighty QM2. The ship was iconic and displayed luxury interior deco in all areas. However, it lacked some of Cunard elements and plenty of cosmetic maintenance. We understand that it has been built as a translantic ocean liner, but the entertainment and the activities did not meet our expectations for 8 days full sea sailing. The food was great in term of quality, quantity and dining experience. We can't say exceptional or outstanding tho. Although, the customer service was pleasant by the staff in the public areas and the cabin alike, the senior management did not show positive courtesy or professional attitude. We had an incident on board for which the ship had to divert to Halifax and transfer an ill passenger, so we made it to New York with 5 hours delay. Unfortunately, at Brooklyn Red Hook embarkation on Friday, the customs and passport control process was utterly unorganised and disappointingly slow. It was a major complaint from most passengers and we heard a lot of unprofessional issues. The CPD officers lost a British passport while processing one passenger entry clearance between them, and they initially refused to admit liability, then they asked him to request an emergency travel document from the British consulate after four hours in order to catch up with his flight back to UK on Sunday. Cunard staff did not offer any help or assistance. We have decided to conclude our cruising experience with Cunard for the time being because the cruise line is not making any effort in diversifying their clientele, and providing extra excitements to middle aged passengers and young people. The planetarium, the Gym and the Swimming pools were extremely under used, and a lot of outdoor space was not utilised during this cruise. If you suffer from sea sickness, this is one of the most stable ships we have ever been as far you booked in the middle low floors. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method ... Read More
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method of travel again. Loved the food, the service and the ship. I tend to sea sickness and we were on deck 11, very high up. With 30 foot waves, this is the smoothest sailing ship I have been on. No rocking and rolling, just like a baby's cradle at night. You can do as much or as little as you want on this sailing. Entertainment is OK, but the lectures are very interesting. Warning, everyone likes them and afternoon tea, so get in line early, there is a lot of "waiting in line" for activities. But who cares, it is much better than a flight home from Europe and getting jet lag. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not ... Read More
We took a repositioning transatlantic cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Southampton on Celebrity’s Silhouette, then took Cunard’s QM II back to the States. Taking longer trips is one of the perks of being retired! Retired or not though, I don’t appreciate Cunard’s ineptitude at getting passengers on and off the ship; a basic and routine task. As Platinum members we had a special line for embarkation. We waited until noon to get on, but I could hear the same announcements that I’ve heard on each of the 6 times I’ve been on Cunard about how something "unexpectedly" went wrong which was causing the long delay. I had boarded, had lunch, came off again, walked to the Southampton shopping mall, came back at 4 pm for a 4:30 all aboard, and the area was still jam packed with passengers waiting to board. Cunard really needs to stop making excuses and get this simple job done right, every time. Of the 43 cruises we’ve been on with various cruise lines, I’ve never been on a cruise that I didn’t absolutely love. This cruise was no exception. We had a great time. My taste is contemporary, so QM2’s old ship décor charm was somewhat lost on me. We were in a “sheltered balcony cabin” # 5023. Sheltered means the outside of balcony wall is not glass, but metal (although oddly, I couldn’t get a magnet to stick to it). Often we take the extra savings provided with an inside cabin since we really only sleep and shower in the cabin. However, we “splurged” this time since I do like the ceiling-to-floor, wall-to-wall daylight. The cabin was inconveniently away at the front and normally we pick a more strategically located cabin when we pick inside. Turned out we spent more time in the cabin than planned as the ship was very cold and we often dashed back to the cabin where we had the heat cranked up. On Celebrity Silhouette the towels were old and thin, so we felt like royalty with Cunard’s plush soft thick towels. The food was good, but not as good as Celebrity’s. For instance, my husband is a meat-and-potato guy so he’s so easy to please. At lunch first day he looked for his usual ham and cheese sandwich only to be told it was way at the other end of the cafeteria. When he got there they directed him back to where he’d started. Now, uncharacteristically frustrated, he went back and demanded his simple request. They told him he couldn’t get it today, but each day he could order one for the following day! On ANY of the 43 cruises we’ve been on, there’s a deli-like sandwich bar where you can have any sandwich of your choice for lunch. From there, as far as food was concerned, it was just all downhill for him. As for me, I missed my daily salad for lunch. Sure, there were salad offerings, but just not as many items to include in it as I’m used to (never grape tomatoes) and certainly there were never fresh berries of any kind, at any time. I’m a chocaholic and on one formal night, the cafeteria had 1” chocolate Cunard-logo logs with flavors inside to die for. I’d go on the cruise again and again just for those little chocolates! Cruising transatlantic is different from Caribbean cruises in that Cunard emphasizes dressing up. On the 7-day Atlantic crossing there are three formal nights, but actually every night is pretty much a formal affair (although the food doesn’t always reflect it). There are more guest lectures and I enjoyed the short plays as slightly different entertainment. There are more guest “competitions” (golf, hoops etc.) than other ships; Zumba is free and there’s a variety of ballroom dance classes as well as line dancing. Cunard ships have a large ballroom which is unique, and even more unique is that it is actually used at night for ballroom dancing, complete with a half-dozen men who are paid to ask single women to dance. The ballroom of course has many other uses during in day time. Celebrity arrived in Southampton one day, and the next day we sailed back to the States. We've been to London several times and we'd both spent our first 20 years in Scotland so we weren't interested in visiting there. Celebrity arrived at 5:30 am and we took the 8 am ferry to the Isle of Wight where we visited Osborne House (Queen Victoria's vacation home and where she eventually died) and Carisbrooke Castle where Charles the first was imprisoned before being beheaded. Pretty island and worth the trip. Fish and chips on the ferry on the return journey just hit the spot. We spent the night at the Holiday Inn on Herbert walker Ave (highly recommend it) which is just outside the gate of the port where we docked so we walked straight there and next morning we walked to the nearby Titanic sites and around the Walls of old Southampton. We still had time to shop at the shopping mall right down town and Cunard's ship was also within walking distance. So we had two days and one night before sailing home. A trip I would have like to have taken would be to Highclere (Downtown Abbey) but they have limited opening days. With the ship arriving at 5:30 am you could take a train to London and enjoy the day there, but of course you would want to spend the night somewhere. With our Celebrity ship we could have taken a back-to-back to Norway (kicked myself when I realized this too late) and since Cunard's QM2 leaves Southampton (alternatively New York) every 2 weeks, we could have taken a later cruise back to the States. Oh well, maybe another time. Yes, I’d say when I take another transatlantic cruise from (or back to the States) in Europe I’d travel to Southampton to take this ship back to the States rather than fly. The 2 week cruise on Celebrity was great, changing the clock only every other day. On Cunard it was almost every day (shorter cruise) but far better than changing the clock 5 hours in one shot when flying. Flying is tough enough. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this ship because we wanted to return from the USA after visiting Florida, San Diego and finally New York. - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to return from the USA after visiting Florida, San Diego and finally New York. - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to avoid the long haul flights. For a disabled cabin 7002 was on the small size with just enough room for a disabled user and that is all. The room did have a roll in shower but only just enough room to get my small mobility scooter in and close the door. Having seen another review for this cabin 7002 on line here we did what they suggested and asked for the twin beds option or l would not have been able to get close enough to the bed to get in!! So we re-arranged the room and moved the small table over to the end of my husbands bed and managed that way. However no way as a disabled user would l want to be in this size cabin for longer than a week. Think a standard size cabin where they have taken the extra space out to enlarge the bathroom for a walk in shower and you pretty much have it. You can manage but some of the larger cruise lines outshine Cunard on the size of this disabled cabin. The ship was lovely and quiet compared to some other lines......lovely food and fair entertainment. Have to say that having been on many other lines and sailed with Cunard before that l was slightly disappointed with the standard of their theatre shows this time. Their own shows with their dancers and singers were not to the standard of other ship casts. The only other negative point is that the spar pool no longer has a disabled lift in it to be able to use the pool. We had taken a week spar package on a previous sailing and l enjoyed using the pool. So that was a no to a swimming for a whole week because the one on the upper decks was not possible to access. So for a line such as Cunard that was a great disappointment. However the rest of the cruise was very relaxing and laid back we enjoyed the meals and the good service and the ship looked lovely as she was completely dressed ready for Xmas - so had a lovely atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We very much enjoyed our first Eastbound transatlantic crossing in the QM2 in August of 2018. There was only one disappointment - the seas were too calm. The ship is after all a liner and it would have been fun to see her in some more ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our first Eastbound transatlantic crossing in the QM2 in August of 2018. There was only one disappointment - the seas were too calm. The ship is after all a liner and it would have been fun to see her in some more lively ocean conditions. Some of the new friends we met aboard suggested we could count on heavier seas and or storms later in the year. The generous welcome back onboard credit ($150 per person), the prospect of some free Internet as Gold members now and low prices in November got my attention. So much so that I grabbed a booking. Getting the credit to "take" for both of us was impossible online and proved challenging for the PCCs – one had the idea I would pay for the booking as is and they would somehow refund me later. The only balcony cabin left at the lowest price was a guarantee- sheltered deck 4 aft and deck 8 obstructed view were a bit more- I rolled the dice which resolved shortly in a slight upgrade -a deck 4 sheltered balcony midships. Which is by the way perfect in a bumpy sea. We were by stairwell C – we developed a pneumonic- C for Chow, D for Dancing. We were wait listed for early dinner- given how last minute we booked I was astonished to see it cleared for us. We are dancers, and a fair number of the recorded dance opportunities in in the Queens Room were right at 8:45 as an example. The main events were always at 9:45 however. The mystery of the missing dance couple dating from at least August was solved- Shane and Tiffany from the production company got an award for sitting in and helping in that role since possibly June. They are leaving the ship this week. We were delighted to see a bachata and even a country two step in some of the recorded sessions offered. The announcer, when present, was ear splittingly loud. We got a twelve piece orchestra for Big Band Night- up from the normal eight pieces every other night and for the tea dance. There was a saxophone section and an excellent clarinet. I know Cunard is having trouble with the “largest dance floor at sea” claim any more – but how about “the greatest commitment to ballroom dancing afloat.” Note to readers- I think a large wooden dance floor in a dining room, partly covered with tables – present on a few competing large ships - does not count. Or they could use “largest active dance floors at sea.” I asked those in the know about hot appetizers in the Chart Room. We saw some cold appetizers being delivered – “the hot ones were a food safety issue- how can we ensure, lacking our own kitchen they would remain at a safe temperature.” The cold ones can be properly refrigerated and issued out on demand. Britannia dining was again hit and miss. Service was uniformly excellent. I got an answer to one question. On the Queen Victoria, the head waiters were everywhere, on QM2 not so much. Our waiter team were fine and seemed not too overworked. One of the leaders said the QM2 main dining room was “1100 covers- each head waiter has nine or ten stations” – which explains why I did not see them as much. We were baffled by some of the menu choices and some of the items delivered. The portion sizes were not too huge- just right. The Korean spring rolls were sent back and the cock a leekie soup was more like dark bullion as an example. Desserts got an “A” grade, and most soups were fine. The last night had a polenta and artichoke entrée that was amazing. This is a sturdy ship that handles strong wind and large seas with grace. One of our speakers, a Royal Navy submariner, who had been on the previous crossing made a comment about Force 10 conditions and the advantages in his service of being 600 feet underwater. The previous voyage reportedly saw “hurricane force” winds and seas for a while. The shared dining tables never failed to deliver good conversation. There was quite a bit of excitement about trivia games – the best players were being actively recruited. The pub lunches (served 12-2:30) were excellent. The pub was always jammed. We found the tiny table in back (#30) which was the last available. I did not ask if the food here came from the central galley or was locally prepared. One day a large wave slapped across all the windows in the pub, dimming the light- a cheer rang out. We tried lunch in Carinthia – they had artfully prepared small plates. The desserts were good also. My personal favorite (usually in Britannia and or Golden Lion) were the “puddings”- a large bowl containing a baked good surrounded by a sauce. We avoided King’s Court all week- but did have a question on the role of the Chef’s Galley space. The layout overall up there is quite choppy. There was a good selection of weights in the gym. We noted the careful design of the promenade deck- it was usable in many types of wind. The ship performed well in a following or quartering wind and sea- the decks were lovely if you subtracted the speed of the ship from the wind speed there was often not much left. I slipped an extra 20 pounds above the prepaid gratuity to Larry, our steward. He was effective, cheerful and unobtrusive. I said hello to Nancy one floor above from the last crossing. Cunard runs a happy ship which is not a guarantee in this industry. The Cunard bus to Heathrow left about nine and pulled in at 10:57. If you were stressing about making a flight this was a sure thing- on a Sunday. Disembarking was as stress free as I have seen in about 17 cruises. We had an “only on Cunard” moment after boarding at 12:00 or so – the wait was minimal and we asked aboard when our cabin would be ready- “why it is ready for you now sir”- and our luggage was there soon after that. More such moments, which business school text books might refer to as competitive advantages: 1 It was possible to find places without the sickening piped in music which is for some reason a policy on other, lesser lines -this is good for those reading or writing or wishing to remain sane 2 Tea kettles in the rooms (one cannot make tea from warm, coffee flavored water) 3 Very hot water is used to make tea in the dining rooms – boiling water seems to be a deadly safely hazard on other lines 4 Dance hosts and ballrooms on every ship (in his 2014 book, QM2 designer Steven Payne says the QV and QE were stretched versions of the HAL Vista class ships, “the additional length being used for the incorporation of a ballroom…” ) 5 Themed formal balls 6 No announcements selling things 7 Smoke free casino on every ship 8 A large selection of tap beers and ales on every ship 9 Authentic pub fare every day on every ship 10 Quality speakers – the naval history and stellar physics talks were amazingly good 11 10,000 books- my wife found her book club selection- which was wait listed at home 12 Promenade decks on every ship – we were out every day but did firmly grip the inside railings in the heaviest wind and waves 13 Forward facing observation decks – on lesser lines these are converted to cabins or revenue spaces Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
For our 40th anniversary, my wife and I decided to do something special, take a 7-day cruise on the Queen Mary II from Southampton, England to New York, May 11-17. I am writing to let you know why we will never do that again. On the ... Read More
For our 40th anniversary, my wife and I decided to do something special, take a 7-day cruise on the Queen Mary II from Southampton, England to New York, May 11-17. I am writing to let you know why we will never do that again. On the plus side, the room was very nice. Our steward was superb. The art gallery was excellent, and the entertainment was the best we have enjoyed on any of the multiple cruises we have taken previously on other cruise lines. We flew from Orlando, Florida to Paris and took a Viking river cruise. We then intended to fly to Heathrow and take the cruise home. Our problems with Cunard started on the last day of the river cruise. That night, we were informed that our flight from Paris to London had been cancelled due to a strike. Working with our travel agent, we were able to book an alternative flight. Cunard was informed of the change that evening and confirmed that we would be met at the airport to transfer to Southampton. Unfortunately, the next day, no Cunard representative was there when we left the baggage area. After waiting a while, my wife tried to call Cunard, but her cellphone stopped functioning. So, I left her with the bags to use a pay phone located at the end of the terminal. After going through your length tape messages, I finally reached some and explained the situation. The young woman pleasantly explained that Cunard was then talking with wife. Pleased, I asked for a direct phone number so I could avoid the lengthy process to reach an employee. She complied. I returned to my wife only to find she was not talking to anyone since her cellphone was still not working. We think Cunard was talking with our travel agent, who could not communicate with us because of the cellphone problem. I returned to the payphone. I dialed the number given me by the Cunard representative. I still had to listen to tapes, but when I reached the appropriate office, the line went dead. That happened three straight times. The phone then stopped taking my credit card. I returned to my wife. We had been there close to three hours by then with no apparent change. Reluctantly, I went back to the phone and used the old number. Naturally, I was put on hold because operators were “assisting other customers.” After about 10 minutes, I finally reached a woman who identified herself as Stacy. She listened to my concerns and then said she would put me on hold while she checked things out. I was put on hold. Within 30 seconds, I was disconnected again. At that point, I gave up. When I returned to the luggage, my wife told me a Cunard representative had just arrived. He was very nice and told us he had just been called, hours after we arrived at the airport. It was now almost mid-afternoon. The driver realized we had not eaten anything since arriving at Heathrow because I was at the payphone and my wife had to stay with the luggage. So, he stopped at grocery store so we could buy food for dinner. When my wife called Cunard later about the long delay at Heathrow, she was stunned to be told it was our fault and that a driver had been contacted as “as soon as” Cunard learned we were stranded. That’s simply not true. Cunard had been informed the night before, and the driver confirmed he had not been contacted until three hours after we arrived in the terminal. The delay at the airport alone should have warned us of the troubled waters ahead, but we continued anyway. We probably should have flown home. The hotel was nice, and in the morning, as promised, a taxi came to take us to the boat. When we arrived, luggage was handled efficiently. When we entered the terminal, an official directed us to sit and not go upstairs because crowding on the upper floor. We joined many others on chairs scattered about on the first floor. The official then began chatting with a colleague. Meanwhile, many people arriving after us went up the escalator. I finally interrupted the officials’ conversation and asked if we could go upstairs. The official who had stopped us before shrugged and said, “Why not?” Somewhat nonplussed by the behavior, we went to the second floor, got green passes and found seats. When our number was called, we were efficiently directed to the next available clerk and allowed to proceed. After passing through security, everything stopped. There was no announcement, but, upon asking a security woman, we were informed that, anytime a large boat went by, the dock disengaged. We were stunned that such a problem still existed given Cunard’s longevity. On the positive side, there were seats where we were located. Others were not so fortunate. I have a bad back and cannot stand for very long, so the available seats were greatly appreciated. In addition, we waited so long that our luggage arrived in the room before we did. Because of dietary restrictions, we decided to skip the dining room and go the buffet. We were disappointed in the design of the buffet area, which guaranteed everyone ran into each other and that one person could accidently block an entire area. The food, which was average at best, consistently ran out. Waiters occasionally bussed tables and often had to be asked to assistance. That disinterested approach to service was consistent. By and large, most of the employees ignored the guests and seemed unhappy. We have no idea why, but, perhaps, they heard the same grumbles we did. The staff member manning the tour desk next the pursers was actually sullen and rude. We simply asked for an emergency number should buses not be available in New York to take us to La Guardia. My wife declined to talk to him after that. In contrast, the staff at the pursers’ desk were uniformly nice and helpful. Breakfast and lunch were logistical nightmares. We began timing meals to try to avoid as much of a crush as possible. Conversations with other guests confirmed that they, too, were enduring the same difficulties. My wife and I have been on at least 15 previous cruises on various lines. This was the most-chaotic situation we have encountered. Activities during the day were very limited. The library was excellent, and I spent the mornings there. In the afternoon, I played social bridge. That was obviously an afterthought. On two occasions, the door to the bridge room was not open or marked. The first time, the woman apparently responsible for setting out the cards couldn’t find the room. We together discovered the door was closed. Eventually, no staff member showed up, so I daily distributed the cards and scoresheets. I also cleaned up. Such confusion was normal. The guide giving a large group of us a tour of the ship had no microphone. She finally gave up and called her boss to take half of the group. The glass, outside elevator was located behind a closed door with no sign to indicate its presence. I have no idea how my wife found it. We both got lost trying to find Connections and couldn’t locate the art gallery without assistance. We often passed people repeatedly as they, too, tried to get their bearings. Even staff members were little help. One just shrugged and told us that “everyone gets lost.” We talked to people who had been on the ship for more than 130 days as part of the around-the-world cruise, and they still didn’t understand the layout. We wanted to see the planetarium show and went down earlier each day to get tickets. We never did receive any because, as others noted, people who had previously been on the ship knew to arrive as much as 45 minutes early and went to repeat performances. Cunard staff made no effort to ensure that newly arrived guests had even one chance. After being repeatedly told that the individuals presenting talks were unfirmly boring and, in one case, indecipherable, we skipped that option. Since I have taught Elder Hostel classes on various topics for more than 20 years, I carefully avoid disinterested and disengaged speakers anyway. The weather precluded walking outside for all but the hardiest, but the pool was too cold for swimming. Normally, at home, my wife and I swim daily. As a result, we contented ourselves by walking up and down the stairs. We went early to the theater, assuming a crowd, but seats were never a problem except for the pillars seemingly placed throughout the room for the sole purpose to block views. Multiple seats were simply unusable. Nevertheless, the opera singer, comedian and Cunard singers really stood out for their performances. So was the harpist. Upon disembarkation, we gathered as requested on time in the theater. Nothing happened for close to 30 minutes after the planned departure time. Then the young woman who led our initial tour of the ship came in and shouted something. Inexplicably, she still hadn’t been given a microphone nor, apparently, did she have access to the sound equipment in the facility. A young man who entered a few minutes later did arrive properly equipped. We were so happy to be able to leave and remain saddened that Cunard, which was so noted for courtesy and service, should have declined to such a level. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
With a bit of trepidation, we boarded the QM2 in Southampton....concerned about the weather (forecast for storms), the location of our cabin in those storms (deck 12), the dress code (planned to rent a tux for DH) and the rumored ... Read More
With a bit of trepidation, we boarded the QM2 in Southampton....concerned about the weather (forecast for storms), the location of our cabin in those storms (deck 12), the dress code (planned to rent a tux for DH) and the rumored snobby-ness of crew and passengers. Our cabin (Club Balcony) was very clean, similar in size to most low end balcony cabin on Celebrity, but well laid out. The bathroom was tiny, though. Steward in our area was very friendly and paid attention to our 'style" of comings and goings. Cabin made up very quickly. The forecast storms did make the crossing bad for sunbathers for sure....decks often closed due to high wind and rain.. But for us a smooth ride with a mild rocking as the ship and huge waves passed each other. Did take meclizine to prevent any issues...but probably didn't need. Dh was unable to rent a tux...none close to his ordinary size. So he made do with his dark coat and pants, a white shirt and a black bow tie...I doubt anyone noticed. Many men were dressed in tuxes on the THREE formal nights, but many just in suits. It is actually nice to see nearly everyone dressed for dinner! Some ball gowns, some long and formal gowns..mostly cocktail dresses and the black slacks and formal top uniform. (If not your thing you are supposed to stay on deck 7..buffet, lounge and public areas....coat and tie seemed the rule there) Think like you're low end royalty and enjoy! Staff seemed busy and not able to take the time to socialize much. I would imagine those who are regulars get better service, but we had no complaints. Our waiter was very well trained and at the same time warm and friendly. Loved the set table for each meal (B-L-D) in Britannia Club...food was the same as the main dining room..although the flambes for desert may have been just in the Club. Lectures were nearly all great, shows variable but worth watching, and the music wonderful all around the ship. Did not do any classes ($35 for a watercolor kit??). But new friends seemed to enjoy. Events normally held outside had to be indoors crowding the public spaces...but weather happens. (a pool on deck 12 was covered) Cons....high cocktail prices for what you got. terrible disembarkation...little signage, no announcements in public area, staff unclear on why the delays (1.5 hours late getting off). Once off...very fast through immigration. Lots of luggage placed in wrong piles...and frantic groups searching for their bags. (amazing # of huge bags...must be using the ship to move to Florida for the summer) Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 50th cruise -- the first on Cunard's QM2. You must include this ship in your plans for a future cruise, it's spectacular. We flew to London (Heathrow) from Toronto and were met by a driver to take us for the 1 ... Read More
This was our 50th cruise -- the first on Cunard's QM2. You must include this ship in your plans for a future cruise, it's spectacular. We flew to London (Heathrow) from Toronto and were met by a driver to take us for the 1 hour drive to the port at Southampton. Aboard ship, we toured to acquaint ourselves with all of it's features. 5 days later, we still found things and features we hadn't seen on day one. It has a gorgeous planetarium, the largest dance floor at sea, comfortable theatre and 5 swimming pools. The dinner menu is creative and the seating is either 6 or 8 pm (we prefer NCL's Free Style Dining). We were in cabin 8088 -- very roomy, large bathroom + balcony with an obstructed view (life boats). The ship is equipped with a laundry room. THE COMPLETE COST through Prestige Travel was $3300. FOR TWO and that also included; the flight from Toronto to London, the car transfer from Heathrow and the gratuities were covered by the $175. cabin credit we received. Yes! ... $3300. USD for 2 ... All-In ... Fabulous Value!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were not happy with this cruise. We have cruised dozens of times, but this was the first and last on Cunard. They cater to a group of loyal Cunard passengers, and do nothing for anyone else. The pro's: The cabin was nice. ... Read More
We were not happy with this cruise. We have cruised dozens of times, but this was the first and last on Cunard. They cater to a group of loyal Cunard passengers, and do nothing for anyone else. The pro's: The cabin was nice. For the most part, the entertainment was very good. The embarkation was excellent. We received excellent service from our cabin steward and the Britannia Restaurant staff. The con's: Ship is very dull looking inside. Food left a lot to be desired, low quality. There was a very limited menu in the dining room and in the buffet. The dress codes weren't being followed, and no one did anything about it. Many of the passengers were very pushy. Lecturers were boring, with uninteresting subjects. Port lecturer gave inaccurate information. Shops on board were limited and were overpriced. No real sales on board. The casino was very small, although I must admit, it was usually empty. The ship has a sliding covered pool. On the windiest day, it was left uncovered, WHY??Had it been closed, people could have enjoyed the pool area. Cunard really needs some help from Princess, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. Upon boarding, we noticed some items that needed to be addressed, such as dripping water in bathroom, only hot water in shower, cooler/'refrigerator that didn't work, and the safe did not work. The safe and the cooler were taken care of soon, but the others were left until the last day of the cruise. Some of the ports, such as Mauritius, and Reunion were worthless. Port Elizabeth was a good port with good tours. We went to Addo Elephant Park and found it wonderful. Prior to boarding the ship, we took a Safari in Kruger National Park, which made the trip worthwhile. Without that and Addo, this trip would have been a total waste of time. We would go to So. Africa again, but not with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
After more than 40 cruises on 7 different lines we wanted to try the upscale service on Cunard since folks we met highly regarded it. This was an economical way to try it especially since we love sea days and many ports are a bore for ... Read More
After more than 40 cruises on 7 different lines we wanted to try the upscale service on Cunard since folks we met highly regarded it. This was an economical way to try it especially since we love sea days and many ports are a bore for us. Everything lived up to or exceeded our expectations. Our penthouse room was the largest we ever have had. My wife had a walk-in closet with a drawer unit; my closets and drawers were along the hallway to the door. Dining at an assigned table for two with no set time and congenial neighbors at adjacent tables was extremely pleasant. Our assigned servers quickly learned our preferences. I restrict my salt so we were given copies of the next day's menu at dinner and we could select entrée items which would be prepared to my restriction next day. The lecture and music programs were first-rate (at least for us) and were very well attended, so lots of passengers agreed. There was the usual very good orchestra and a string quartet, and a harpist and a concert pianist and a baritone opera singer and a soprano. The two theatres were busy most of the time. We took along reading materials and "busy work" and didn't touch either there was so much going on. All age groups were represented, even some very small children. This is a very big ship with 2600 passengers but with so many very tastefully decorated public spaces it never feels crowded. Even for disembarkation there was ample seating for everyone. I learned that Carnival planned and built this ship - what a surprise! They have risen several notches in my opinion, but I still do not wish to travel on one of the "Carnival" ships. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our tenth crossing on the QM2 and our 25th cruise overall. We return to the QM2 because it is an ocean liner and because we love many of the beautiful public rooms such as the Chart Room, the Commodore Club, the Britannia ... Read More
This was our tenth crossing on the QM2 and our 25th cruise overall. We return to the QM2 because it is an ocean liner and because we love many of the beautiful public rooms such as the Chart Room, the Commodore Club, the Britannia restaurant, and the library. We find plenty to do and prefer crossing on the QM2 to air travel over the Atlantic. On this crossing the boarding and disembarkation were super-smooth. We have learned to show up a little late to avoid the crowds, and to leave at the end of the morning. This time it worked and we had no delays or stress. We were comfortable in our Princess Grill stateroom, which we chose for the extra square footage. We spend a lot of time in the room, so space is important to us. I attended one lecture on Oscar Wilde which was excellent. The other lectures on space and maritime history did not appeal. Our favorite evening entertainment was the jazz in the Chart Room, which is always superb and played in the most beautiful setting on board. We went to one big show performed by a guest opera/pop singer who was adequate. The big shows are old and tired IMHO. Good fitness center will all of the equipment we use in working order. Service was adequate, not big problems, no wow factor. Food is always somewhat a challenge on QM2. It is definitely not up to the standards of fine restaurants on land, but there is plenty to eat and some variety. In Princess Grill we commented early on regarding the lack of spices, so the staff decided to make us a special curry dish on the last night, It was rather odd as every day at lunch and dinner a parade of staff would stop at our table to remind us that we had a special curry on the way. One would have thought that the Queen of England was going to visit. The promised curry turned out OK, but nothing more than what one would find in hundreds of Indian restaurants in London or New York and pay about $15 for the main course and accompaniments. Overall we just lower our food expectations when we board and try not to complain as it does no good. My only true complaint from this crossing is the sad state of the wifi service. There was absolutely no access in our stateroom, so I often was found standing in the hallway holding my laptop up to a router hoping for the best. I was able to complete basic email correspondence only in public room, especially down in Connexions. Access to complex sites like our bank accounts and credit cards was impossible. It's a good thing we had no crises while traveling. I swear, it seems as though the wifi is getting worse. How can that be? We will return to the QM2 as long as we continue to travel to and from Europe. We focus on the features we enjoy and try to ignore the issue areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Wow
We chose a transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton. We had never cruised at all and were apprehensive, about the formalities really and not coming up to expectations. Why on earth did we worry. I can honestly say that ... Read More
We chose a transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton. We had never cruised at all and were apprehensive, about the formalities really and not coming up to expectations. Why on earth did we worry. I can honestly say that this was easily the best holiday ever. It did take quite a while to embark and was a little confusing for the first time person such as ourselves. It was Labour Day though and we understand was exceptionally busy. A lot of our anxieties were dispelled when we got to our stateroom. We were introduced to Chris who explained that he would be looking afted our needs on the corridor and would be maintaining our room. He was lovely and explained lots of procedures to us. Our room was quite big enough for us and had a wonderful enclosed balcony. We used that often all times of the day to go out watch the waves ad movement of the sea and enjoy the fresh air. Chris worked his magic on our room each morning after we had left it, replacing towels,making the bed and just generally looking after us. The best bit in the evening was the lights on,bed turned down and two chocolates on the end of the bed! We ate in the Britannia Restaurant. We had two regular waiters but am embarrassed to say I only know the name of one ,Michael. We had a lady Somellier who was lovely. All the meals were delicious and so varied. The activities were amazing plentiful and varied. All the evening entertainment als brilliant. I could go on and on. Suffice to say Cunard is amazing. Definitely not my last! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We used this cruise for transportation, not a vacation, not a geriatric prom, not a chance to buy stuff or gamble. Others cruise for other reasons. I get that. Three formal nights on a seven day cruise is excessive. Dress code for the ... Read More
We used this cruise for transportation, not a vacation, not a geriatric prom, not a chance to buy stuff or gamble. Others cruise for other reasons. I get that. Three formal nights on a seven day cruise is excessive. Dress code for the dining room on non-formal nights is a little stuffy. I'm OK with no shorts or even no jeans, but requiring a jacket is unnecessary. The cabin was nice. The bathroom was larger than on other cruises we have been on. Especially the shower. The sheltered balcony was fine. Food was OK, but other cruises were better. The wait staff was wonderful and made great efforts to accommodate my wife's food allergies. In fact all the staff were wonderful. Entertainment was so-so, and the theater is awkwardly designed and has seating issues. The Times lectures were nice. And the on deck activities were hampered by the weather. No fault of Cunard. This was scheduled to be straight across no stops, but one day out the captain announced an unscheduled stop in Halifax to drop off an ill passenger. He said that it would not affect our arrival time in Southampton. We would make up the time by going faster. I was anxious at first about our flight connections but the captain was true to his word. The passenger was dropped off in Halifax and we made Southampton right on time. I applaud this. If I were that sick passenger, I would appreciate being dropped off rather than enduring five and a half more days at sea to get medical help. Bravo Cap'n. Would I sail the QM2 again. Reluctantly yes, but only if it was our only choice. Of course it would mean a trip to the Oxfam to pick up another black jacket. Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
II found it wonderful to be at sea, even though we had dense fog for 4-5 of the 7 days. Properly planned, it's a wonderful way to do nothing, or stay busy for a week. Unfortunately, the only other cruise we've taken was on ... Read More
II found it wonderful to be at sea, even though we had dense fog for 4-5 of the 7 days. Properly planned, it's a wonderful way to do nothing, or stay busy for a week. Unfortunately, the only other cruise we've taken was on Crystal. Cunard's QM2 suffers greatly by comparison. It's a nice experience and I would do it again, although my wife found the crowded conditions to be a turn off. If you're planning to go I would be prepared for a number of things, in no particular order: 1. It's crowded. Our key cards didn't work and there was a half hour wait on the line at the Purser's Office (service desk) to straighten it out. No one from the crew came to speak with anyone on line to speed things up, offer us a drink, or commiserate, which we would have expected on a fancier boat . It was a poor introduction. The computer room always had a line, and I finally gave up on seeking the computer advice I needed. The very nice library had great armchairs looking out forward, but hey were always occupied. There was a wait on the elliptical machines in the health club after about 7 AM. We tried for lunch in the ship's pub, and had to wait and then sit with another diner to get a table. The worst manifestation of the crowding was at the buffet, but more about that later. 2. It's a big boat, a bit unmemorably and haphazardly decorated (but in fine condition as it was renovated last year), and poorly signed. Getting around the boat is sort of like the New York City Subway system: if you don't know it, they don't make it easy for you. It's a small thing, but it would have been nice to have a sign at each stairway/elevator lobby pointing in the directions of the even and odd cabins, or even starboard and port. We didn't even know about some parts of the ship until the last few days: You do get a map, but it might have been nice to have a discovery walk laid out for you. Partly our own fault for not exploring more the first day on board. 3. Regarding information, there's a nice printed newsletter that comes out each evening (late by the time you get back to your cabin) detailing the next day's events. There was plenty to do, but It seemed odd that you had to plan day by day when schedules had obviously been set up for the whole cruise. Also, there was a perfectly fine TV screen in the room that could have repeated or highlighted what was upcoming for the week of the cruise. As far as I could tell there was also no way to access the information by computer or on one's phone. The lack of information was bothersome. 4. The cigar bar was great. I met some very interesting people and we had some lively discussions. 5. We went to one night of live entertainment and it was fine. Many of our fellow passengers looked forward eagerly to the shows and to dancing every night, including one night at a masquerade ball. 6. The New York Times lectures were excellent, and we really heard stuff we had never known. Absolutely worthwhile. The lecturers themselves were approachable and willing to discuss the fields of their expertise if you encountered them around the boat. 7. The food is fine, if not generally outstanding. The most accurate description for the food was someone's remark that it was like "Club food". Generally better than diner food, and some very good, with a few clunkers, like some watery pasta and hockey puck hamburgers we tasted. We had a lovely Indian dinner one night and an excellent sort of Italian dinner another night at alternative restaurant venues on the ship for an additional fee (we were avoiding the main dining room on formal nights). All the restaurant food was presented very beautifully. 8. Drinks are not expensive, approximating the prices of a moderate restaurant in New York (the drink menu is online should you care to review it). Even so, with lots of leisure time and two or three drinks a day, it does add up. There was a drinks package that included a number of bottles of wine, but you had to eat where the bottle was stored. Fine if you always ate in one place (and if you didn't mind drinking the second half of a bottle after it had sat by itself for a day). As far as we could tell, there was no drinks package you could buy that covered wine and hard liquor and mixed drinks at the various bars around the ship. My favorite bar was the Commodore Club, with armchairs and windows looking forward over the bow. Although, as with many of the public spaces, it did get crowded at peak times. Again, we'd been spoiled by Chrystal. 9. The Buffet - Very disappointing, for a number of reasons. Unlike our one other experience on Crystal, which had a few cozy never crowded buffets around the ship, the QM2 has a large, antiseptic, industrial-looking central buffet, Unlike a lush, colorful buffet in any midtown Manhattan deli, with mounds of attractive (and mostly tasty), interesting foods, the QM2 buffet, while it had a good variety, looked sparse and unappetizing and the hot foods looked monochromatic and tired. The desserts, however, were varied and tasty and unfortunately plentiful (there was also a spigot for soft serve ice cream with cones). It was hard to find a seat at mealtimes in the buffet (I know that sounds like the Woody Allen joke that the food's lousy and they don't give you enough), which made the whole exercise of buffet eating a chore. There's a bar with a limited buffet next to it, and it was lovely, but when we went there for a drink, our waitress complained that the non-drinking passengers filled it up with food from the adjoining buffet; apparently, it wasn't meant to be used by the big buffet customers. There might be a nice buffet on the top deck next to the swimming pool, but we didn't discover the top deck until the last day of the trip. I'm sure these problems go away once you upgrade to the Princess Grill and other higher classes. 10. And speaking of class, there are three formal nights. This was the least important part of our decision to go on this ship. However, it appeared that lots of people liked the dress up and they looked swell in their glad rags. We got by on a suit for me and a fancy jacket over nice pants for my wife on the night we went "formal". We also had room service on one formal night and it was fine and prompt. Technically, it's no shorts or tee shirts on any night after 6, but this wasn't strictly enforced. Similarly, on formal nights you're supposed to avoid the public areas if you're not dressed formally. Not enforced, but a bit chilling. 11. And speaking of class again, notwithstanding the three formal nights, we saw lots of tattoos and tee shirts during the day. We took the trip partly because it was relatively inexpensive, so we shouldn't have been surprised that everyone didn't look like an English lord, but there was a bit of cognitive dissonance. 12. The movie theatre is nice. Not a lot of veriety, and only two shows a day of the same picture, but we did get to see two movies that were OK. 13. The last straw – I bought a wifi package on the ship, mostly to permit me to make phone calls without incurring outrageously expensive cell phone charges. However, when I got back, I discovered that AT&T didn’t connect with Cunard’s wifi, and I was charged for voice over internet, meaning that I was paying for wifi and was also getting charged cell phone charges. I called Cunard to complain about their failure to disclose that their wifi might not be compatible with my carrier. I really didn’t expect to get anything out of it, but what I really didn’t expect was the return email message saying that on post-sailing billing matters, they would get back to me in two weeks. I think this says a lot about the level of service at Cunard. It’s simply not a luxury cruise line. They did get back to me in a little over a week, and, not surprisingly, were not helpful. I would do it again, with my advanced knowledge. If I did, I would give myself the following advice: A. Explore the ship from stem to stern and top to bottom on the first day. B. If you're not into it, don't sweat the formal nights and don't overpack for them as we did. I also took two extra sports jackets, dress shoes, business shirts, etc. thinking it would be more formal walking around the boat generally; it's not. Nice casual attire can be worn at all times, even on formal nights, although you might feel a bit out of place. Formal and casual seemed to mix fine in the buffet. I would ignore the formal nights entirely, but that’s personal preference. C. Get as much information about scheduling as early as you can so you can schedule your do-nothing time without missing out on anything. D. Get a balcony cabin. Even with 5 days of fog, it was neat to have the ocean literally at your door. We had excellent sea and wind conditions, and there was only one day when the sea was listed as "rough", but the ship was smooth as silk. We couldn't tell you what our cabin, rather far forward, would have been like in a storm. Weather was in the 50's and 60's except warmer the one sunny day we had, which included a lovely sunrise. E. If you want to see the Statue of Liberty on the way out (Eastbound), get a deck chair before the ship leaves its mooring in Brooklyn. It gets crowded out there. F. Here's a secret we discovered too late: there's a "behind the doors" tour of the ship, including bridge, but it's only open to 10, count 'em, 10 people who sign up immediately on boarding. G. Check whether your carrier accepts the ship’s wifi for telephone calls. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We've crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a bunch of times, but this time was memorable because of the rescue at sea of a yachtsman from a disabled craft. We watched from our balcony, and then learned from a Q & A session between the ... Read More
We've crossed the Atlantic on the QM2 a bunch of times, but this time was memorable because of the rescue at sea of a yachtsman from a disabled craft. We watched from our balcony, and then learned from a Q & A session between the Captain and the rescued seaman. Very interesting. Otherwise, we keep coming back to the Queen Mary because of the beauty of the ship and our favorite experiences on board. We most love the Chart Room and go there for cocktails before dinner and the nightly jazz concerts after dinner. Also love the Commodore Club atmosphere day and night. We slept in a Princess Grill cabin, which suited us well because of the extra space. We tend to hang out a lot in our cabin, especially during the mornings, so the extra space was very important. The cabin is well enough designed and furnished. Enjoyed a series of lectures by Christine Roussel on art and history in New York. Also enjoyed the headline entertainers including a West End cabaret singer and a group of male vocalists. Plenty to do on board during the day, and some of our favorite activities are workouts at the fitness center and walking the promenade on Deck 7. Food quality in Princess Grill was adequate, although definitely not big city restaurant quality. A little too much in the direction of standard cruise ship fare. Service in Princess Grill was also adequate, again nothing special. We went to the Verandah for dinner one night and were underwhelmed by the quality, shocked by the noise from the kitchen and doubly shocked by an argument from our waiter. Also went to Coriander one night and were disappointed by the bland South Asian food, too bland even after we specifically asked for spicy food. I think the chef ignored our request. We will be back on board in October and hopefully many times after. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
After looking and booking several different cruises for my 60th birthday which included a stay in Europe and trip back on QM2, I decided to save a little money and do the roundtrip Belgian escape from NTC (Red Hook Brooklyn). This had the ... Read More
After looking and booking several different cruises for my 60th birthday which included a stay in Europe and trip back on QM2, I decided to save a little money and do the roundtrip Belgian escape from NTC (Red Hook Brooklyn). This had the advantage of allowing my wife, Jill and I to drive in to CT early and visit my Father, sister and cousins prior to the cruise. Saturday before the cruise was nonstop rain, something we would not see again until May 31st when we debarked back in Red hook. We had a car service take us to the pier from my cousin’s house in Queens Village. The driver was very talkative and it was a fun drive. We were dropped off around 10:15 which was earlier than we planned but traffic was good, our experience with New York is if you want to be on time plan for traffic, if you don’t you’re late, if you do plan, you may be real early. For this day early was a problem. This was Queen Mary 2’s first return to the US for a number of months and so the US Coast Guard had to inspect the ship prior to passengers boarding. This wasn’t a huge issue but it was a lot of hurry up and waits. We had Queens Grill suite so we were in a lounge with scones and treats etc., but the plan was it wouldn’t be long. We could see the people at check in just goofing off and talking since they couldn't process anybody on. They had a good time being paid to do nothing, and by nothing, I mean they didn’t start the computers, log on or anything until we were lined up to check in and then they had problems logging on. If they had logged on while waiting, they most likely would have found the problem and corrected it before it wasted the passenger’s time, but not the case. Therefore Cunard gets graded down for this. After boarding we went to our suite to drop off our carryon bags and set off exploring the ship. We went to Queens Grill for lunch and met Osman, the Senior Maitre D on the QM2. He talked to us about our dietary needs (Jill is low salt, I have a severe shellfish allergy and carry an epi-pen) we were given the menu for that night and told at breakfast each day we would get a menu to order. We were also told we could order from Ala Carte, by lunch and they would have it for dinner. We were also advised if we wanted something special not on the menus let them know the day before and they would make it for us. We took advantage of this and were never let down on any meal during our roundtrip crossing. I found the Canyon Spa menu had some good sounding food the first day and ordered it for lunch and dinner. It was great and you wouldn’t tell by the taste it was healthy. After walking down the ship to get an understanding of the layout we returned to the suite and found our luggage waiting. We unpacked and the front closet and walk-in wardrobe were great. We were able to hang her dresses and my suits and shirts etc. with room leftover. We called Roger our butler to let him know of my allergy, since shrimp and crab canapés are not allowed for me. He tried several different snacks over the next week until he found what Jill liked best. Overall he ranks as our best butler to date and as suite cruisers who always have a butler that means something. Our crossing featured the best weather I’ve ever seen on a transatlantic crossing. The weather being sunny with the temperature in the sixties all the way across the North Atlantic is rare. For Caribbean cruises it’s cold, but for a TA it was great. Add to this the ship was designed for this and the voyage was the smoothest I’ve experienced on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. We arrived at Southampton early on May 22 as we navigated in around the Isle of Wight, I could seen the Norwegian Jade ahead of us. It was interesting in that our last cruise in March was on Jade, and in January we docked across from Jade during our Norwegian Dawn cruise. Sometimes it feels like a small word out there. At Southampton we went to Winchester Cathedral so Jill could see Jane Austin’s tomb. Outside and inside the cathedral I read lists of men lost in “the Great War 1914-1918” On the monuments outside the Cathrdral Dates “1939-1945” had been added to the monuments after the fact, showing how man doesn’t easily learn from his folly. The next day in Zee Bruges we went to Flanders field in Ypres to learn about the real loss of a generation. When we returned to Southampton on May 24 we stayed aboard due to not having booked anything. We used the hot tub and just relaxed. Entertainment on the cruise was lacking compared to some other cruises, but there were some interesting speakers on board. It would be unfair to compare Cunard cruises to NCL, Carnival, or Royal Caribbean as they are very different in atmosphere. Cunard is more formal. For dining we ate in the Queens Grill most days. We did pizza and pasta one night in the chef’s galley portion of the Kings Court Buffet, and it was simply the best pizza I’ve had on a ship. They make it to order at the galley, so it’s not like pizza in the buffet lines, I don’t think people know about it, because when we told some people at trivia they had never been to the chef’s galley. Osman told us he could have gotten us the pizza for our dinner in Queens Grill or if we didn’t want to dress to eat in the Grill our meal would be served by our butler in the room. We think when we’re on QM2 in March of 2019 for a month we will try that. We did eat in the Britannia restaurant with the Chief Engineer for dinner. I had Beef Wellington for my dinner and Escargot as an appetizer. It was good, but after I had it in Queens Grill, I didn’t compare to the Queens Grill menu version. It was sort of like comparing sirloin to Filet Mignon. Having sailed in the Haven and Owners Suites on NCL, I would have to rate the Queens Grill as a more elegant atmosphere not matched by NCL. Our overall verdict was we’ll gladly cruise Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We've sailed Cunard 9 times including 6 Transatlantic crossings on the QM2. We love the interior design of the ships, so many lovely spacious public rooms where one can relax and enjoy the experience. We love the variety of things ... Read More
We've sailed Cunard 9 times including 6 Transatlantic crossings on the QM2. We love the interior design of the ships, so many lovely spacious public rooms where one can relax and enjoy the experience. We love the variety of things to do on board from the good fitness center to the engaging enrichment program lectures. Most of all we love the excellent jazz music on board including the regular offerings in the Chart Room in the evenings, and on this crossing, some performances by the Theater Orchestra in the Carenthia Room. Unfortunately on this crossing we were disappointed by the quality of the food and service. This is most likely because we had booked Queens Grill class and had high expectations. Those expectations were not fulfilled. We did enjoy our large stateroom and spent a lot of time there, and in the end our expensive upgrade paid for the extra space. While in my dreams I would re-design the stateroom space so that a private sleeping area and a real dining area would be created, but as it is, it is lovely and extremely spacious. Now on to food: I've learned to avoid the King's Court buffet altogether. With the refit of the ship, the design of the space is much improved, but the food quality has not changed a bit and is still low level cruise ship buffet quality, nothing luxurious here. So we had almost all of our meals in the Queens Grill restaurant. Unfortunately we consistently bumped up against mediocre to poor execution, and even bad presentation. One night we had to send back our main course ordered from the main menu because it was inedible. It even looked ugly causing our server to comment. We've never sent a dish back before on 21 cruises on many lines, and I don't know how a fancy restaurant would let such food leave the kitchen. When we ordered a special meal off menu (had to be ordered 1 1/2 days in advance), it came out not as ordered and of low quality. At least it was edible. Service was like a busy coffee shop with us constantly waiving our arms to get the staff's attention for more water, more coffee, a dessert order etc. At one point our server gave us bad attitude in a loud voice when we asked for some relish to go with our hot dogs at lunch. The next day he reminded us to fill out our comment card in our stateroom. What planet was he living on? Who trained him? Was he eager to lose his job? This is not luxury cruising. Finally I need to comment on the disembarkation process in Brooklyn. At 7:15 there was an announcement on board that the process was being delayed because of a problem with unloading the luggage. No explanation as to the cause. Once it got underway, most passengers encountered excessive delays in allowing them to leave their departure lounges, but even worse, enormous lines at the immigration stations. We were told that the immigration service's computers kept malfunctioning and had to be re-booted. I think some people were in line for 2 to 3 hours. Not a luxury experience. So we have booked two more crossings on the QM2, not in Queens Grill. In spite of issues, we still think this is a great way to cross the Atlantic, far superior to the air travel experience for long hauls. And we dearly love the interior design of the ship, which makes us happy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise as an alternative way to get from the States to England. I am glad we did. Our cabin (sheltered balcony) was quite nice and more than adequate for a winter crossing of the North Atlantic. A few minor details, such as ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an alternative way to get from the States to England. I am glad we did. Our cabin (sheltered balcony) was quite nice and more than adequate for a winter crossing of the North Atlantic. A few minor details, such as stained carpet and floor of the shower, kept the cabin from achieving an excellent rating. The food in all venues was excellent as was the dinner service in the Britannia Restaurant and and all meals in the King's Court buffet restaurant. Such excellence was, however, lacking in the single time we ate in the Britannia Restaurant for breakfast. The three shows we attended were very well done. Embarkation in Brooklyn was exceptionally smooth while the same could not be said of the disembarkation in Southampton. We received quite conflicting information, regarding procedures for disembarking, from the staff as to what was required to depart the ship early in order to meet our pre-arranged shore transportation. The person in the Tour Office gave us (what turned out to be) the correct information while the person coordinating the departure times and disembarking passengers seemed to not be on the same page as the Tour Office. On a positive note to all bridge players, the afternoon duplicate bridge games were well run and enjoyable. Kudos to the director. All in all, this was a wonderful trip and we would definitely cruise with Cunard again when we next cross the Atlantic. The atmosphere, service, food, and entertainment all add up to make this cruise a very pleasant experience. The very few and very minor complaints listed above are all that kept this review from receiving a rating of five (5). Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The highlight of our October crossing was the selection of terrific jazz performances by Blue Note artists Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and their bands. Headline concerts in the Royal Theater, more informal concerts in the ... Read More
The highlight of our October crossing was the selection of terrific jazz performances by Blue Note artists Gregory Porter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and their bands. Headline concerts in the Royal Theater, more informal concerts in the Carinthia Room, and jam sessions in the Chart Room were all fantastic and really made our experience enjoyable. Embarkation: We've had a number of bad experiences in this area on Cunard, so this time we decided to show up late, after 2:30. No line for Grills, so we walked on board, short line for Britannia class. The Captain later announced that there had been a problem with American immigration during the morning that caused a traffic jam for those leaving in Brooklyn that spilled over to long lines and delays for those boarding. But later in the afternoon all was resolved. Note to self: Always show up later in the afternoon. Queens Grill: This was our first time in Queens. We enjoyed the extra space in our stateroom (see review below). The Queens Grill dining room and food quality was underwhelming. The dinner dishes were mostly traditional cruise ship food, done well, but with no special or modern touches. They will try to make a special dinner for you, if you order in advance and they have the ingredients. There is a special menu available for those who order at lunch time, but it is confined to traditional dishes like Dover sole, rack of lamb, and Chateaubriand, nothing modern. They make a big deal of finishing the preparation on a trolley brought to your table. A bit too lah-dee-dah and old fashioned for our tastes. We were a bit shocked that the menu at breakfast and lunch matched the menu for Britannia and the food quality was often less than fabulous. Post Re-Imagining: We had crossed immediately after the renovations in June, and now found that things had settled down and actually improved a bit. No more balls on lint on the new carpets. The ship is truly beautiful, and much improved in the decor in the staterooms, the new Carinthia Room, and the re-design of Kings Court. Note that uneven and spongy flooring seems to be returning especially outside the Golden Lion Pub. Kings Court: While the re-design has improved visuals and traffic flow immensely, we still find Kings Court to be the weakest link on the ship. Re-imagining has not brought any improvement in food quality, and in fact, it seems as though the food is exactly the same as when we first sailed on the QM2 7 years ago. Tasteless cheeses, poor selection of fresh fruit, mediocre salad bar, blah pizza slices, and inexplicable pre-prepared hamburgers and hot dogs sitting under heat lamps It's a very mediocre buffet and we try to avoid it as much as possible. We dearly love the QM2 and will return in December, and again in June, 2017. It's not a perfect cruise experience, but remains a lovely way to cross the Atlantic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As always I read these wonderful reviews on here so I feel I need to send you my feedback about my QM2 transatlantic last week. Well, I had a brilliant time and loved every minute of it. Ship is in very good shape indeed. Personally ... Read More
As always I read these wonderful reviews on here so I feel I need to send you my feedback about my QM2 transatlantic last week. Well, I had a brilliant time and loved every minute of it. Ship is in very good shape indeed. Personally I really liked the new carpets etc compared to the old ones. I felt the ship has started to develop a personality by itself compared to 8 years ago. I had a single balcony cabin (double single occupancy) with obstructed view. It was really obstructed, however I loved the space and the daylight compared to an inside cabin . A balcony is not really necessary on a TA but nice to have. Jerel was an excellent cabin steward, the cabin was spotless. I felt really at home there to relax or nap certain hours of the day. Fellow passengers were really nice and I enjoyed their company. i had a great table for dinner with really nice table mates who made me feel good. I made an effort to share tables for breakfast and lunch in the Britannia and it was always to pleasure to do so. QM2 on TA does attract a different clientele than a regular cruise ship and I heard some very interesting stories from a lot of different people. The LGBT cocktail hour in the Commodore Lounge was always very well attended and I went there every day. Considering my last Cunard voyage ws 8 years ago and having read a lot of “standards are dropping” articles for me it really hasn’t. Service and food were very good and on the same level as before. Couldn’t really find a weak spot, mind you I wasn’t looking for it either. Cabin service excellent, room service every day spot on time and dining room service very well organised. Embarkation in Southampton went really smooth. I arrived by 1130AM and was given a check in number A1 just after the Grills and Priority people. and was on board in a breeze by 1210. Cabin steward allowed me to store my bags in my room and lunch was ready. I normally never do buffets however Kings Court improved dramatically compared to before. The Carinthia Lounge is a big success even though I already saw some wear and tear on the hot seats next to the windows. Library assistants were very helpful. I loved going there every day. The weather was good, a little chilly and a little bumpy on the second and third day. (I had hoped for more stormy weather) I noticed again how incredible seaworthy QM2 is as at times you hardly noticed any movement as all. One thing which was vey badly organised was disembarkation in Brooklyn. I think this was not Cunard’s fault as it seems only half of the required immigration officers showed up. I booked a transfer to Penn Station and left the ship an hour late. In the terminal you had to collect your bags and queue up in a long line with these bags for another hour. All very inefficient and terminal staff didn’t seem to have an proper overview either. Once cleared it was a little hard to find the proper coach. I ended up with other people at the wrong one and a woman (fellow passenger) started loading our bags. Probably to help, however it was the wrong coach and it took a lot of effect to retrieve them again. Next time I would definitely take early self disembarkation as I even saw Grills guest lining up with their bags for a long time. I still find it very unfortunate QM2 doesn’t dock at Manhattan anymore which is so much easier. However I understand the logic behind the decision to move to Red Hook Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a wonderful time on our recent voyage on the Queen Mary 2. For a more detailed daily description please see the Cunard Forum for our daily reports titled “Join Pete and Judy on their FIRST crossing on the Queen Mary 2”. We ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our recent voyage on the Queen Mary 2. For a more detailed daily description please see the Cunard Forum for our daily reports titled “Join Pete and Judy on their FIRST crossing on the Queen Mary 2”. We are experienced travelers and cruisers in our 60’s with most of our cruise time on Holland America and Princess, with a few cruises on Celebrity, NCL, RCI and Viking. The Queen Mary is now permanently moored in Long Beach where it is a museum, hotel and event center. My father sailed on the Queen Mary when he returned from WW II back in 1945. It is also where Judy and I spent our Honeymoon so it will always be a special ship to us. While cruising on the Queen Mary is no longer possible, we decided to try the next best thing and sail on the Queen Mary 2 on her iconic voyage – a westbound crossing. Why westbound? You get an extra hour of sleep each night for 5 of the nights and you get to sail into New York Harbor and see the Statue of Liberty the way she was intended to be seen, from a ship arriving from Europe. Our cruise – er, voyage – started in Hamburg, Germany, and would have a single port visit in Southampton before continuing the crossing to New York City. One thing you learn quickly on the Queen Mary 2 is that she is not a cruise ship but an ocean liner and great pride is taken in pointing that out whenever they have the chance. Cunard vessels also go on voyages, not cruises, and have an entertainment director, not a cruise director. As a final note, the QM2 is an OCEANLINER, not a cruise ship which make her seakeeping abilities much superior to a typical cruise ship. The seas picked up quite a bit as we closed on NYC and the remnants of Hurricane Hermine, but we sailed along much smoother that I would have expected on another vessel. SUMMARY We loved the QM2 and plan to sail again on her, particularly on another crossing. The prices of some of the crossings can be competitive with business class airfare which makes taking the QM2 to Europe an alternative worth considering If you have the time. By their nature, a “Crossing” is all sea days which will often feature a special theme or guest like Fashion Week or Jazz legend Herbie Hancock. The Cunard website will feature these special crossings on their web site. Other features of the QM2 we enjoyed include: • Formal night means Formal night. Tuxedos required in all public areas after 6pm (except the Kings Court) and we found almost 100% compliance. Every other night is informal night which on the QM2 means jacket required, tie optional. • The large central hallway presents a grand appearance and allows you to quickly get around without weaving thru the casino or lounges. • 34 musicians are on the ship and you will find live music everywhere. In addition to the Royal Court theatre orchestra there is another wonderful 7-8 piece orchestra in the Queens room playing ball room dance music nightly. On one night, the two bands joined forces for a Big Band night. If you like ball room dancing, I can’t think of a more accommodating ship. The QM2 has the largest dance floor at sea and is one of the few ships with dance hosts on such short cruises. • The lounges are busy after midnight. For a ship with an older demographic, this was pretty amazing. On many ships catering to older clientele, the bars and lounges can become ghost towns after 9pm. We found most of the QM2 bars and lounges comfortably full until past midnight. • There is a nice suite of classrooms in the Connexions area and the theatre, “Illuminations”, which is also used as a Planetarium and a lecture space is another nice venue. Plenty of enrichment activities, classes and lectures available. • The Photo Gallery features large flat screen monitors which makes finding your pictures easier than wandering up and down rows of photos trying to find your picture. • The weather wasn’t great so we didn’t spend much time outside or use the pools. • While the ship carries 2600 passengers, it never feels crowded and there was rarely much of a line for anything. Our voyage had 1000 Brits, 600 Americans and 400 Germans. • Afternoon Tea features a live string quartet and is quite elegant. We went twice. • While still slow, Internet was faster than on other ships, but the per minute cost was a little higher. • Lounges are not taken over by artwork in preparation for Art Auctions. There are not Art Auctions on the QM2. A few negatives: • The casino floor space was cut in half during the remastering and they removed the poker table. This may be a pro depending on your point of view, but I missed not having a poker table. Note: It was advertised as the largest casino at sea before remastering, but no more. However, no one was forced to walk thru the casino to get anywhere. • A pet peeve of mine – no room service on disembarkation day coupled with a requirement to vacate your cabin by 8:30 am. • On board purchases, from drinks to photos, to spa services seem to be 10 – 20% more than on Holland America. For example a men’s haircut on the QM2 was $38 ($25 on HAL). A few more details CHECK IN Check in at the Hamburg cruise terminal was unremarkable. There were 9 check in stations for most passengers with an additional 3 set aside for suite passengers and others at the Platinum or Diamond loyalty level. We arrived around noon, which was probably the peak check in time and waited about 1 hour to get to the head of the line. Once we checked in, there wasn’t any line for security and we were quickly onboard. The pre-voyage photo was taken on the ship in the Grand Lobby instead of inside the cruise terminal. We enjoy embarkation photos and find they make a wonderful memento of our cruise. After our photo we were on our way to our cabin. Our first impression of the ship was wow! The Grand Lobby is spectacular. One feature that is quite striking is the height and width of the central hallway on Decks 2 and 3. Most cruise ships usually have parallel hallways on either side of a central core and you are generally required to pass thru the casino and other lounges to get most anywhere. On the QM2 the central hallways are Decks 2 and 3 extending forward and aft from the Grand Lobby with the Britannia Dining Room at one end and the Royal Court Theatre at the other. This central hallway is very wide and very high and runs along various lounges and eating venues, but you are not required to pass thru any of them to get anywhere and people in the various lounges are not distracted by people in transit. THE CABIN By the time we got to our cabin, our bags were already waiting for us. We chose Cabin 6036 which is one of the larger oceanviews since it is adjacent to the balcony cabins nearby. You end up with the space of the balcony only inside your cabin. If you carefully review the deck plans you can find other cabins like these. Although the cabin could have accommodated more closet space, there isn’t any more storage in these larger cabins. The cabin was newly remastered with a flat screen TV and carpeting. The bathroom was not upgraded and had a shower only, no tub, which was fine with us. As a sign of how the times have changed there was a built in ashtray next to the toilet. All cabins and balconies are no smoking on the QM2. The room had a small refrigerator stocked with a few sodas and beer at reasonable prices (as far as a mini bar goes) and there was plenty of room to add your own items if necessary. The flat screen TV has HDMI inputs and a USB input. There isn’t a DVD player, but if you have a USB stick that contains movies then this TV is capable of playing them. A note of caution – some TVs in some rooms were bolted to the walls and I wasn’t able to check if you could still access the rear input ports on these TV’s. If using these ports is important to you then it may be wise to bring along a USB and HDMI angle adapter which are available from many places – search for HDMI or USB angle adapter and you will find them. There were quite a few selections on the TV, with all the cable news outlets represented: CNN, FOX , MSNBC, and Sky News. Like most ships these days, only the most pressing of safety announcements are broadcast inside the cabins. There is one of the channels, that plays all the announcements so if you quickly flip to this channel, you can avoid having to open your door to hear what is being said. A TV guide that covers your entire voyage should be waiting for you in your cabin or delivered the next morning. Your cabin will have the usual booklet with all the safety features along with a room service menu and services available onboard. The cabin has both North American electrical outlets and UK electrical outlets, bring an adapter and you will have access to an extra outlet. Another nice touch was a kettle that will make hot water along with an assortment of instant coffee and teas. We were surprised to find clothes hangers that don’t have any hooks on them that require a matching adapter on the hangar rod. The other closet didn’t have any hangars at all, but our cabin steward brought some more once we asked. Our Cabin Steward didn’t have an assistant, or at least one that he mentioned. Another observation was that the cabin stewards worked from carts (containing spare towels & supplies) in the hallways similar to what you would find in use by room service personnel in hotels. The bathroom has a nice selection of soaps, shampoos and conditioners in small sizes, as opposed to dispensers on the walls of the shower you find on other lines. Water pressure was fine and the temperature was easy to control with a thermostatic valve in addition to the water volume control. There is a digital thermostat to control cabin air temperature and it worked fine. Our cabin was directly below the Deck 7 promenade and we only heard footsteps a few times, not often enough where it became a nuisance. One time when I left the room and looked at the foot traffic on the promenade, I was surprised to see how busy it was while I had heard nothing below in our cabin. I can only surmise that the few times I heard footsteps it must have been walkers wearing very hard heels or boots. THE FOOD All of our breakfasts were from room service and our dinners were in the Britannia dining room (late seating). For lunch we ate in the Kings Court, Chefs Galley, Golden Lion Pub and room service. We tried the Hot Chocolate and a desert at Sir Samuels in addition to attending two afternoon teas in the Queens Room. The food was excellent in every venue and our only disappointment was that we didn’t have an opportunity to try the Verandah Restaurant and the Boardwalk Café. The Boardwalk Cafe was never open during our voyage since it requires nice weather which is less likely to occur on a crossing due to the prevailing winds and cooler temperatures normally found on a crossing. BREAKFAST Room service breakfast is our standard for all our cruises. The QM2 did not disappoint with its wonderful hang tag menu of hot and cold choices. I was pleasantly surprised that it was possible to write in items like Eggs Benedict, waffles or French toast and had them all delivered the next morning. All of our breakfasts were delivered hot and on time. One day I went to the Kings Court for Breakfast and found a wide variety of choices, everything from eggs benedict, fried eggs and omelets to order, cold cereal, oatmeal, a variety of breakfast meats, fried tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms. The Kings Galley (Aft) is home to pancakes, waffles and French toast in addition to eggs and other selections. We never went to the Britannia Dining Room for breakfast. LUNCH The Carinthia Lounge has a small buffet with a few sandwiches and other light fare and is a very relaxing place to linger with friends over a light lunch. Beverages are available for sale from the bar or otherwise you have to get something from the beverage bar in the Kings Court. The Kings Galley is the place for burgers, hot dogs and pre-made sandwiches. I stopped by here a few times for something quick and the burgers were hot and good. There were always some empty tables and one time the Captain and his wife sat down nearby for a quick bite. Kings Court (aft), which is right next to the Chefs Galley, serves pizza and pasta in addition to salads and desserts. I never tried the pizza, but it certainly looked delicious. The main Kings Court Buffet had a wide variety of hot and cold selections. The center section has breads and desserts while the aft buffets have sushi, salads, meats and cheeses. Soft serve ice cream is available from machines on both the port and starboard side and is very good. There are four beverage stations serving complimentary coffee, tea, orange juice, lemonade, apple juice and cranberry juice. One of the four stations serves iced tea instead of lemonade. I found the various buffet stations not very crowded and easy to get around even during busier times. It did take about 10 minutes of wandering around the Kings Court, Chefs Galley and Kings Court Aft to understand what was offered in the various areas. We are a big fan of Fish and Chips and we enjoyed two lunches in the Golden Lion Pub. The place is packed when it opens at 12 so be prepared to wait until the first wave gets thru the kitchen. People tend to linger here and this was the only venue where there was a little trouble finding a table from time to time. Lunch is available in the Britannia Dining room, but we never ate there. AFTERNOON TEA DINNER We ate all our dinners in the Britannia Dining room at an oval table for eight. We find that an 8 top is a good size as it allows even people sitting across from one another to have a conversation. The menus offered 6 choices for starters, entrees and desert. Not listed, but I have been informed by others, there are some always available options like salmon or chicken, but they are not listed on the menu. There is not a separate desert menu as they are listed on the main menu and when it is time for your desert selection they pass around the original menu once again. FOOD SUMMARY We enjoyed the food very much and it was typical of our experience on most other cruise lines. Trying to review food is something that I don’t spend much time on as it is so subjective and can vary somewhat from day to day. My general observation was that the food on the QM2 was excellent and about the same as you would find on any other cruise line in this price range. ENTERTAINMENT The QM2 presents the typical type of entertainment found on many cruise lines. They have a house cast of singers and dancers which are augmented by guest entertainers of the usual genres. Original singers, comedians, tribute singers and novelty acts. ROYAL COURT THEATRE Queen Mary 2’s main stage is the Royal Court Theatre (RCT), a large theatre with 2 levels. One of the new features from the remastering was the installation of a large video flat screen behind the stage which can display city scenes and other images to support the production show taking place. The theatre is beautiful and has wonderful sight lines and acoustics. We never had trouble finding a seat for any show or lecture, although a few events were pretty full, we were able to find seats off to the side which still provided a good view of the stage. The Royal Court Theatre Singers and Dancers presented 2 excellent production shows, with the second show called, “Rhythm of the Night”, that made full use of the newly installed video wall. The late shows were at 10:30 and were surprisingly well attended. QUEENS ROOM The Queens Room is a large ballroom with the largest dancefloor at sea. The ceiling is high and the room is very open and a perfect venue for parties and balls. You can expect 3 formal nights on a Crossing with 2 of the 3 being themed balls. CASINO Small – no poker table, but $3 minimums on card games during the day and $5 at night. SHOPS A nice selection of shops selling the stuff you would expect. If you forgot to bring your formal wear, they sell tuxedos and they are also available for rent. LIBRARY This library is huge with over 10,000 books and is the largest library on any ship sailing today. ART GALLERY The QM2 doesn’t have Art Auctions found on other lines, but sells art thru its Art Gallery during scheduled shows. The Art Gallery is on the way to the Queens Room and you almost have to walk thru to get there, but you are not bombarded with sales pitches along the way and browsing the collection is interesting and the art displayed changes frequently. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.5 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 5.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 3.5 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.8

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