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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
12 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service ... Read More
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service seemed to be a burden on crew. Our cabin steward was the exception. Smaller than Phone booth size showers drove many to use showers in the fitness center. Balcony ok for two. Glass and rails were cleaned twice. Entertainment and lecture series outstanding. Am now on Oceania Nautica where food quality and presentation are far superior. The Brits seemed to like and praise the food but we could not. Stewards pushed guests aside with service carts in the buffet line. They had no other path to transport clean or used tableware. Paper napkins in the buffet at night are not in step with the smart dress code requested. Maybe the Queen is intended as transportation rather than cruising. It does that well at 22+ knots. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a one way fly cruise, 10 nights Southampton to Barcelona. I booked a one way car hire to Southampton, cruise only with Cunard and booked hotel and then flights back to Cardiff. It all worked really well and I would happily do ... Read More
This was a one way fly cruise, 10 nights Southampton to Barcelona. I booked a one way car hire to Southampton, cruise only with Cunard and booked hotel and then flights back to Cardiff. It all worked really well and I would happily do something similar if Cunard reintroduce fly cruises in the future. I booked an extra suitcase on the flight (approx £30) so there was no issue with luggage. Embarkation/Disembarkation Very easy on both occasions, we were a bit early for our 12.30 boarding time and were on board and eating lunch in the Golden Lion by then. We disembarked in Barcelona at 9 am. Food/Dining We had a shared table of 6 on second sitting. Food service was great but our Sommelier was very busy. We got into the habit of ordering wine at lunchtime or the previous evening to make it sure it arrived in time for the food. We found something good on most menus, often more than one. I was a bit worried when I read comments about new menus but overall it was an improvement. We never ordered more than one soup/starter/salad but we never have so that wasn't a problem. We had starters as main courses a couple of times. We enjoyed the light bites at lunchtime in the Chart Room and room service breakfast, the time slots are now 30 minutes which isn't great if you have an early. We made it to the Britannia restaurant for breakfast and lunch on a couple of occasions, always had a table for 2. Entertainment Never a priority for us but we enjoyed a couple of the guests performers, particularly the Comedy String Quartet, it doesn't sound very promising but it was very funny. It was good to see The Royal Court theatre orchestra and Caribbean band Changez playing in the Golden Lion. One of our favourite evenings was the deck party. Cabin We had a metal fronted balcony forward on Deck 4. The cabin itself was fine but there was some noise from the crew pantry opposite. Itinerary We only took one ship's excursion, the others were easy to diy. Santa Margherita was probably the highlight for us. Summary Another great cruise on Cunard. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Why did we choose this? Time, Cost, and Destination. Food was great--I know some don't think British Food is good but we really enjoyed it. Frog Legs, Escargot, lamb and more lamb, pub food, we enjoyed it all as well as the sweets. ... Read More
Why did we choose this? Time, Cost, and Destination. Food was great--I know some don't think British Food is good but we really enjoyed it. Frog Legs, Escargot, lamb and more lamb, pub food, we enjoyed it all as well as the sweets. The weakness of the cruise was its entertainment. Now I must say the Brits on board really enjoyed some of the entertainers but as an American they did not appeal to me. The Cunard singers and dancers were outstanding and so energetic. I don't know how they do it. Since we only had 3 stops I really enjoyed the onboard library. Got to read 6 books on the way over. Malcolm Nelson gave a great series of talks on the HM Customs service. My wife really enjoyed the movie selection including the one on Hawkins which was so timely as he passed away as we were on the cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my 32nd sailing, my 6th with Cunard. I love Viking but Cunard may have the edge in terms of elegance and tradition. A beautiful ship, not too big, expertly run -- what more could one want? Well, ok, a couple things: I wish there ... Read More
This was my 32nd sailing, my 6th with Cunard. I love Viking but Cunard may have the edge in terms of elegance and tradition. A beautiful ship, not too big, expertly run -- what more could one want? Well, ok, a couple things: I wish there were more variety on the lunch buffet and I wish there was popcorn to go with the movies, but these are quibbles. The breakfast buffet had everything I could want and dinner in the dining room was excellent. Our waiters were professional yet friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, steering us toward things we might like (based on what we had already liked) and steering us away from a couple other things. The quality of the food was right up there with Viking. The theatre, the dance floor in the Queen's Room, the beauty of the public spaces in general and the lack of ship-wide announcements (except from the captain at noon) were all part of a wonderful voyage. And of course that great Cunard tradition, afternoon tea, was much appreciated. Finally, I attended six different classical music concerts -- who else at sea offers such sophistication? I don't go to shows much but I made an exception for a concert featuring ex-members of the Moody Blues and 10CC. It was great! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
No white glove welcome at Southampton. A junior rating called out welcome and that was that - find your own way. After 4 hour wait for our one piece of luggage I went to hunt it down - cabin stewardess said she would find it for us - ... Read More
No white glove welcome at Southampton. A junior rating called out welcome and that was that - find your own way. After 4 hour wait for our one piece of luggage I went to hunt it down - cabin stewardess said she would find it for us - that did not and was not going to happen - finally tracked it down behind the door where the luggage arrives at the deck. Food better than we expected but entertainment and activities very disappointing. Have not been on Cunard for 13 years and do not plan to cruise with them again. Due to rough seas the first port of call Bermuda was cancelled and substituted by an afternoon visit to Ponta Delgada in Azores. Now this port does not compensate for Bermuda. I did write and request a refund (or partial refund) of port taxes which would have been fair but after 3 weeks the reply was no refund. Activites (such as putting a golf ball in a plastic cup) were on a landing outside of the elevators which was not only dangerous but totally unacceptable did not take part in any more! Were glad to disembark and go home. Not a enjoyable cruise even though we have taken 50+ this was one of our worst. We did expect better entertainment/activities for the start of a world cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
Wow
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
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
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
14 Helpful Votes
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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We very much enjoyed our 25 day Sydney-San Francisco cruise on Queen Victoria. It was made even more enjoyable by our upgrade to a Princess Grill Suite. The first benefit of the upgrade was the priority embarkation when we went ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our 25 day Sydney-San Francisco cruise on Queen Victoria. It was made even more enjoyable by our upgrade to a Princess Grill Suite. The first benefit of the upgrade was the priority embarkation when we went straight through Immigration and all the other checking in processes, avoiding the very long lines for others not so fortunate. The exclusive Princess Grill dining room is nice, but the dinner arrangements of the same people at the same table, arriving at any time between 6.30pm and 9pm, is not for us. As an example, we could have arrived at our table for 6 persons at 8pm and found the other two couples had arrived at 6.30pm, departing at 8pm. We dined each morning at breakfast in the Princess Grill and the staff were top class, addressing us by name from the second day. As Princess Grill guests we were given 135 minutes free internet time each, indeed a bonus! We relocated to the Brittania Restaurant for dinner, seated at a table for eight. This table for eight made dinner a delightful occasion for the duration of the cruise. The Queens Lounge which is shared by Queens and Princess Suite guests, is very enjoyable for reading quietly and conversation, and the daily afternoon tea is certainly a treat. Afternoon tea in the Queens Lounge is the ultimate in pampering: a private lounge for suite guests, Cunard do afternoon tea brilliantly: white gloved waiters serving finger sandwiches, petit fours, scones with jam and cream. There is a Captain’s Cocktail Party for Princess and Queens Grill guests, there is a feeling of spaciousness throughout the ship, with all staff being pleasant and attentive. Guest speakers, lecturers and entertainment are of a very high standard. Two stand-out guest speakers were Midge Ure and John McCarthy. Midge Ure was a member of the group Ultravox and had an extremely interesting story to tell, including his partnership with Bob Geldorf, forming Band-Aid and Live-Aid. John McCarthy was a journalist, taken hostage in Beirut and kept prisoner for 1,943 days, in company with others, including Terry Waite. The Queen Victoria Library has 7,000 books, an excellent reference section, and along with Queen Elizabeth, the best we have experienced in all our years of cruising. Criticisms The Princess Suite bathroom is no larger than any other cruise ship balcony stateroom we have experienced, indeed, the lighting is worse than others. There was no TV channel in our suite or indeed in the entire ship, that showed AFL football live or delayed, even though there were more Australians on the ship, Sydney-San Francisco, than any other nationality. It is worth noting that in the Golden Lion Pub, which was saturated by televised soccer, rugby, golf and every other imaginable sport, they could not find a spot for AFL. Our observation was recorded in writing as part of the end of cruise questionnaire. As a contrast, on Celebrity Solstice in 2016, Sydney-Honolulu, AFL live broadcasts went to every cabin. Dress standards While dress standards are a big plus for Cunard, we wonder whether they have gone a bit too far to the extreme in wanting to have a point of difference. Jackets are required, not only every night at dinner, but everywhere on the ship other than the Lido Buffet and the semi-outdoor Winter Garden after 6pm. You could not even enter a bar or the coffee shop after 6pm unless a jacket was worn. Perhaps one night in four of smart casual, where men are required to wear long trousers with an open neck, long sleeved shirt, or polo top, would be welcomed by guests. Whilst our Queen Elizabeth cruise was in 2012, we think that the dress standard at that time included a “Smart Casual” evening option. Summary Cunard’s Queen Victoria was everything we expected: a beautiful ship, well maintained, with excellent food, entertainment and lectures. We would definitely cruise with Cunard again, depending on the time frame, itinerary and cost. Gratuities are discretionary and can be negotiated at the Purser’s Office. From the Commodore/Captain down, all staff were professional and courteous, with a high degree of visibility around the ship daily. Queen Victoria is very shortly going in for a refit, there will be more suites/passengers, elimination of some public areas and with no additional crew. Hopefully this will only have minimal effect on the amount of public spaces. Read Less
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