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  5. Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Five years since our last return transatlantic cruise and we looked forward eagerly to the experience. Not a particularly smooth start with a booking while on the QE last November and being told cabin would be allocated later. Eventually ... Read More
Five years since our last return transatlantic cruise and we looked forward eagerly to the experience. Not a particularly smooth start with a booking while on the QE last November and being told cabin would be allocated later. Eventually we were told two weeks before embarkation that we had been upgraded. Take this tip - if you are offered cabins on deck four at the rear, especially 4180, say no. They are directly above the Queens Room and the night club. The constant thud thud of amplified sound can be heard until the early hours. But as usual there can be no cabin change as the voyage is full - has anyone been on a voyage when that sign is not on the Pursers desk? Embarkation - never seen the departures hall so full, hardly a spare seat. Priority check-in got us through in around 15 minutes. Cabin spotless as usual - steward Mayo on hand to sort out any problems. Up to the Kings Court for light lunch. I appreciate that I am in a minority but I prefer the old layout and find too many dark areas in the new layout. Food, however, good as ever with tremendous choice. Later Britannia restaurant proved much the same but we felt the choice was more limited, to the extent that some nights we found nothing on the menu to tempt us. Entertainment was the usual Cunard standard ie pretty average with one big exception - we had new films, after years of complaining. Insight lectures were mixed - some good, one excellent and some mediocre. Evening shows in the Royal Court theatre have changed little over the past 12 years - and as anything in the arts is so subjective it seems pointless praising or criticising. The transfer from the Brooklyn cruise terminal to Macy's was a complete shambles, due in some part, to road closures due to 30,000 cyclists taking part in a bikeathon. having been dropped some way from Macy's we were told the pick up would be at 7th and 34th which covers quite a few combinations, worse in the pouring rain. And, of course, no Cunard rep anywhere. Conclusion - we have always loved our return crossings but this will be our last. Difficult to pinpoint why but overall it seemed to lose the magic. Read Less
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: April 2019
me and my family did transatlantic crossing at easter had a fantastic experience the shows were good the food first class I'm a cyclist and monitor my weight I put on 3kg. Dalmore whiskey were on board and never missed a session 8 in ... Read More
me and my family did transatlantic crossing at easter had a fantastic experience the shows were good the food first class I'm a cyclist and monitor my weight I put on 3kg. Dalmore whiskey were on board and never missed a session 8 in total and the insight lecture by Jackie Stewart will stay with me forever to sum it up I can't wait to do go again . Queen Mary being a liner is bespoke for transatlantic crossings even in inclement weather indoor pool and hot tub hardly missed the time on deck is where I usually spend my time in the med in summer; My tip would be is take a highlighter pen and highlight all the activities you want to do the night before and take it from me you can't do them all I don't normally watch tv but I watched one of the champions league games from my cabin I think I just needed a rest.The only down sides were the photos are too expensive so I didn't buy and the bingo was to so I only played once Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The ... Read More
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The cabin... smallish yes, but everything there. And it is a ship, so space obviously won’t be the same as in a hotel. We had a balcony and enjoyed the fresh sea air. The service... probably the strongest part for Cunard. Quiet, efficient, friendly without being pretentious. Our waiters Ganesh and Arnold were particularly good. Any wish was catered for and next time quietly repeated. My husband was looking for a toothpick and there was one there every time. The food.... lovely food, good variety and in one word delicious!! Afternoon tea was a treat and always a spectacle. Entertainment... during the day there was lots to do and I enjoyed the fact that I would join activities, I wouldn’t normally do. Lectures on air travel, a dance class. In the evening we enjoyed the shows, yes some of the dancing wasn’t what I would ordinarily choose to see, but I still enjoyed it as part of the experience. Some of the shows were exceptional, Francis Ruffelles fro the West End was fantastic. Dancing in G32 was fun and a drink in your Sunday best in the Commodore’s Club is special! Embarking and disembarking was easy a very organised. Maybe my only criticism would be that drinks are very expensive. We loved every minute and can’t wait to see you again QM2 ❤️ Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in ... Read More
Booked cruise to come through the Suez which did not disappoint however on landing from flight from UK we were taken to a hotel for breakfast as we were told we cannot board ship til lunchtime. There were 1400 passengers boarding in Dubai!! Approaching the ship is a fabulous sight but when you get on board it is evident it needs a refurb.Our balcony stateroom was ok but rusting pipes on balcony did not look nice,Found all staff to be efficient, helpful and understanding but had initial issue with Brittannia dining room getting a decent table for 2 but eventually got one.Used dining room for breakfast also and the maitre d’ had the annoying habit of giving us a table for 2 where we had to squeeze past another table to get to it when there other more suitable tables free.Food in dining room was excellent and all waiting staff were very helpful.For dinner you are allotted your table for the whole of the cruise which was fine.If you don’t like to be served food you can use the Kings Court self service restaurant but can be a bit of a bun fight trying to find a table and only the brits queue. Prices on board for drinks and speciality coffees horrendous with 15% surcharge.Evening entertainment was very good and the guest on board speakers had good attendance - particularly John McCarthy and the group called The Rewind Project.On board daytime activities very varied and found on deck 2 where there are games and puzzles for those who like a quieter place.Golden Lion pub too small for quizzes. We treated ourselves to a dinner in the specialist Verandah Restaurant at a cost of $39 each but what a rip off.We were told all about the type of steak on offer and had a choice of steak knives presented to us in a box- well what ever next.Food was fine but served on huge plates which made the quantity of food seem small and as the place was very underused we were constantly being asked is there anything else we needed and are we enjoying the food . It felt as though they needed the table for the next sitting.Needless to say we only went there once. Overall cruise was good with stop off points of interest but the cost of tours was high and when on board using their credit card system you seem to forget everything comes with a 15% surcharge and then the suggested tips . Be warned keep an eye on your daily spend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff ... Read More
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff were helpful and efficient. The negatives for me were firstly the standard of food in the Britannia Restaurant which we were assigned to. The food was generally not prepared in a manner fitting the ship or the price of the cruise, meat and fish were dry and needed sauces, the vegetables were often hard - beyond al dente and almost uncooked, and the desserts were tasteless and unimaginative. The chefs seemed to focus more on presentation than the taste and texture of the food. We went to the buffet on deck 7 quite often which had a bigger variety of better prepared food and enjoyed it more than the restaurant. The other negative is the fact that there are two very small pools for a large number of people, the limit in each pool is 14 (I think) and there was hardly any room to move around if there was half that number in the water. As the temperatures were around 30 degrees and more, a lot of people were in and out of the pool especially on sea days. I preferred my previous cruises on smaller ships that had better food and bigger pools. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined QM2 at Singapore on a section of her world voyage. Embarkcation was reasonable enough and were soon at the Kings Court for a light lunch. Our cabin was an obstructed balcony on deck 7 - a spacious cabin well turned out ... Read More
We joined QM2 at Singapore on a section of her world voyage. Embarkcation was reasonable enough and were soon at the Kings Court for a light lunch. Our cabin was an obstructed balcony on deck 7 - a spacious cabin well turned out although we did have a problem with a leaking toilet for 2 days at the start of the cruise. Our cabin stewardess from South Africa was excellent - nothing was too much trouble. Food in the Britannia Restaurant was very good ( much better than our Celebrity Cruise last year ) the waiters were attentive and catered for our likes. However, the price of drinks/wine on board was eyewateringly expensive so only glasses of wine were sometimes consumed at dinner. The food at the Kings Court self-service restaurant was very good but finding a table was like being in a motorway service café! The entertainment onboard was mixed but special mention of a guest speaker - Malcolm Nelson, a retired Senior Customs Officers at London Heathrow Airport. His seven talks were unmissable and this was evident by the number of people attending in the Royal Court Theatre. We booked five Cunard excursions pre cruise - generally good but some days tiring! Dress code was mostly adhered to but come on Cunard - surely a jacket every evening for dinner is a little outdated! compared to P & O, Princess & Celebrity. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Although very experienced travellers (88 and 80) we had never done a cruise so decided on a 10 day one on the QM2 from Shanghai to Hong Kong via Japan and South Korea. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board early enough to have ... Read More
Although very experienced travellers (88 and 80) we had never done a cruise so decided on a 10 day one on the QM2 from Shanghai to Hong Kong via Japan and South Korea. Embarkation was efficient and we were on board early enough to have a snack and a coffee in the impressive Carinthia Lounge before returning to our cabin (Cunard prefer to call it a stateroom but that I think is pretentious). Our three suitcases had been delivered and we spent the afternoon unpacking and stowing. The king size bed (an excellent sleeper with fine Egyptian cotton sheets) took up most of the available room bur we were impressed with the amount of hanging and drawer space. Empty cases under the bed. A two seater divan, small desk and a large wall mounted TV (Sky News UK, BBC World, ABC Australia included) completed the living area. Small attached bathroom with tight but very good shower). Balcony which got little use because of the winter temperatures. Eating of course was one of the priorities and we had requested a table for 6 and the second sitting starting at 8.30 pm in the main Britannia restaurant which was later than we would have liked but preferable to the early 6 pm one. We were fortunate in having at our table two couples travelling together from the UK who made us very welcome. Entertaining company. Overall we found the food in the Britannia of a high standard, not gourmet but very acceptable. Plenty of choice and although some servings were small a request for a repeat or something additional was always quickly met agreeably. As good as we expected and we're experienced foodies. Although I knew from my research wine prices were high this didn't stop us having our usual two glasses of red with dinner plus for me, as a treat, a brandy or a port to finish. It has to be said however that Cunard give the impression of gouging in the way they price their wines. They are outrageous. A x5 mark up on retail prices seems to be the base line. A huge wine list, one of the most comprehensive I've seen, 98% priced beyond what I was prepared to pay. Very good table service from waiters who stayed with us and got to know our likes and dislikes. Most days we had breakfast in the Britannia and liked the way the maitre d would ask each morning 'alone or interesting people?'. Provided we weren't near the closing time we opted for the interesting people and on virtually all occasions joined people, mainly from the UK, which resulted in good lively conversation. We ate lightly for lunch and on two occasions for dinner, in the Kings Court buffet which we found of a very high standard. Plenty of choice but more informal, less comfortable seating. The entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre varied from outstanding (most nights) to so-so on a couple of occasions. Quality beyond expectations. The lectures too were first class especially one by the designer of the ship itself (brilliant). Gym, library, Golden Lion pub (excellent cod and chips for lunch), Commodore Club, the Chart Room, The Carinthia Lounge (excellent sherries. and Spanish wines by the glass in the evening for a pr-dinner drink), all good. The one disappointment was the white glove Afternoon Tea service in the Queens Room, a poor presentation. We joined the QM2 to spend on our time on her so we stayed on board at the three ports of call. The weather was poor and we preferred the comforts of a relatively empty ship. Tipping: we paid the US$11.50 per day as recommended plus small cash amounts to our dinner waiters, wine waiter and cabin attendant. Despite giving high marks for our ten day experience the cruise ended on a bad note with both my wife and I coming. down with a dose of the Cunard cough which developed into serious chest infections. Not Cunard's fault but not surprising considering the number of passengers who were coughing and sneezing. Just the luck of the draw. At least the steps to prevent the spread of nanovirus worked with no outbreaks recorded. Would we do it again? No. We had a great time but we didn't catch the cruise bug. Very glad we did it and highly recommend the QM2 experience. But please do your homework first and don't have unrealistic expectations. Oh and don't hesitate to take a couple of bottles of your favourite wine aboard to have in the cabin or at the table (US$ 20 per bottle corkage, a big saving). There was no check on embarkation. Good travelling with good luck. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been ... Read More
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been retired for a year, we are originally from the UK and have lived in Maryland USA for the past 30 years. We have predominantly cruised on Celebrity, but recently have become a bit jaded with them and have started to try out other cruise lines, including Azamara and Oceania, to see if we can find one that’s a “better fit”. So, why pick this cruise? My husband lived in Hong Kong as a child and had wanted to visit again. I wanted to cruise the QM2 for a second time. Cathay Pacific introduced a new 16 hour non-stop flight from Washington DC to Hong Kong (as opposed to 24 hours via anywhere else), and February 17th 2019 would be our 30th wedding anniversary. It seemed like the stars had aligned for us and this trip would be the perfect way to celebrate! How was that non-stop flight? We flew out of Washington Dulles to Hong Kong at 00:15am on the 15th, and I had hoped to get some sleep on board. We had booked Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy, and enjoyed the hot towel and champagne welcome and the expedited meal service, (served with real cutlery!). The premium seat had a decent recline, a large pillow and nice thick blanket, but I still only managed about an hours sleep. Ugh. I did get to read a lot and watch 3 movies though, and we did arrive about 45 minutes early which was a bonus. The plane took a route north over the USA and Canada, over the pole and down through Russia, Mongolia and China. A 15 hour non-stop flight really takes its toll though, and I was super grumpy when we arrived. How was the hotel? We had booked a harbour view room at the Royal Pacific Hotel, (part of the Sino Hotels chain) in Kowloon for 4 nights, and as our flight was due in at 5am, we reserved the room from the previous night and advised them of our very late arrival, so we could get to bed straight away. We had also asked for hypoallergenic bedding as I am allergic to feathers. Everything was prepared as requested, but grumpy me thought the room looked seedy, and after fighting and losing with the nespresso machine, tripping over the step in the bathroom and giving up on getting the shower to work, I went to bed. What a difference a few hours sleep makes! I woke up, pulled back the curtains to find an amazing view over the harbour to Hong Kong Island and The Peak, and then discovered a huge bathtub as well as a separate shower in the bathroom, and a kettle in the cupboard. Hooray! What did you get up to in Hong Kong? Saturday was sunny and warm so we had lunch at the Satay Inn in the hotel, and then walked through several shopping malls to the Star Ferry, crossed to Hong Kong, took a taxi to The Peak and walked back down to the ferry via the University where my husbands father worked as registrar in the 1960s, and Robinson Road where my husband lived in his teens. The apartment block is still there, but dwarfed by the surrounding tower blocks, and the harbour view has gone. 15,000 steps later we had a quick dinner in the hotel, had a glass of wine in bed and watched the laser light show on the harbour through the window and had an early night. Sunday 17th was our wedding anniversary, and also the Hong Kong Marathon and everywhere was crowded and chaotic and frustrating, so we celebrated with a sulk and a light lunch at the Mandarin Oriental and a relaxing Shanghainese dinner with fizz at Ye Shanghai. The weather took a turn for the worse during the afternoon and we had booked a tour to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island on Monday. The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms, so we called and rescheduled the tour for post cruise. Monday we were lazy, bought a few supplies (wine!) for the cruise, and decided on a light dinner at the hotel bar. So far the hotel clientele had been predominantly asian, but tonight the bar was full of english people. We walked in and were met with a chorus of “I bet you are going on the QM2 tomorrow”. It seems that the Royal Pacific Hotel was one that Cunard uses for its customers on fly cruise holidays. We chatted with a few soon-to-be fellow passengers, and bizarrely never bumped into any of them again once on board! Boarding Day! How did that go? We had originally booked a guarantee BV sheltered verandah cabin with late seating, and when we got our cabin assignment about 5 week before sailing, we had been upgraded to a BU cabin, midships, deck 6, with a 2:30pm boarding time. Two weeks before the cruise we got another upgrade notice, this time to a BA cabin, Britannia Club deck 12, 1pm boarding. What a nice surprise! The morning of the cruise we checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Kai Tak cruise terminal. When I first flew to Hong Kong over 30 years ago, planes landed at Kai Tak airport. It was a scary place to land as final approach was a steep plunge down through the skyscrapers, and if you survived that there was always the chance of ending up in the harbour if the pilots didn’t brake fast enough! Kai Tak airport closed a few years ago and the old airport runway has been turned into a cruise terminal. We dropped our bags and entered the terminal where we were given boarding number 7. We waited and waited, well past 1pm and 2 pm. Boarding groups A, B, C, D were called, then finally they started on numbers. Eventually we got on board around 3pm. I was frazzled. I like to get on board early and get organised. We dropped our bags in the cabin and went to the buffet. There was hardly any food, and what there was looked old and dried up. Not a good start. We did muster drill, unpacked and then headed up on deck for sailaway. There was a Caribbean band playing reggae music, drones flying after us, a lovely sunset and skyscrapers slowly lighting up. Probably one of the best sailaways I’ve ever experienced! How was your Britannia Club Cabin? First of all our cabin was about as far as it could possibly be from the Britannia Club dining room, apart from the Club cabins on deck 13! We got plenty of exercise walking to and from meals! Our cabin was configured with a king size bed, and prepared with hypoallergenic bedding. The bathroom was a decent size and the water pressure in the shower was good. The toiletries were nice. We found two bottles of sparkling wine in the cabin, along with canapes which were a gift from our travel agent. Our tour tickets were waiting for us along with our dining table assignment. Our cabin steward, Chris, kept the cabin clean, changing out the towels and emptying the trash twice a day. How was the Britannia Club restaurant? We enjoyed our time in the Britannia Club restaurant, and were seated at a table for 2 in a row of 4 tables for 2, so effectively a table for 8, as there was less than a foot between each table. Our waiter explained the dinner menu with the selections that changed daily at the front and the a la carte always available items listed in the back. He explained how everything was prepared “a la minute” in Britannia Club, (I think he was fibbing about that), and that if you wanted the a la carte duck you needed to order it the day before. I like eating fish and enjoyed many of their smoked salmon appetisers, and salads. I am not sure that the main course fish dishes were prepared “a la minute”, especially if we went to dinner at 8:30, as the fish seemed dried out, as if it had been hanging around under a heat lamp, or had been grabbed from the main Britannia galley. It was also difficult to get a steak cooked medium. One thing I did notice was that after bringing a course and wielding his pepper grinder, the waiter never came to check on whether the dish was OK. On the whole the food was pretty good. I only had one dud meal, a chicken and corn consomme that was actually more like a very heavily salted thick corn chowder. I couldn’t eat more than a couple of spoonfuls of that. The waiter never enquired as to why I hadn’t eaten it, nor did he offer to bring me something different. That same night I ordered a filet mignon medium. It arrived beyond well done, and was tough and gristly. My husband ate it as he didn’t want me to complain, and I enjoyed part of his chicken tikka masala. The fact that one disappointing meal stands out, is probably a sign that overall the food was really good! Desserts weren’t outstanding, but I loved the variety and quality of the cheeses offered on the cheese trolley. Wine service in the restaurant was OK, although initially the pouring was slow. I did notice that other people tended to only have one glass of wine a night and made a bottle last 2 or 3 nights whereas we prefer to enjoy the entire bottle in one sitting. Once the sommelier realised this, he was very attentive at keeping us topped up! We particularly enjoyed the french rose that came in a shapely bottle, and a very reasonably priced Cava. So that’s dinner taken care of, how about your other meals? We had a couple of breakfasts in Britannia Club, and appreciated it being available on disembarkation morning. However the poached eggs were cold both times I ordered them, and they didn’t have chocolate croissants either time we ate there, so not a great experience. Room service was a better breakfast option, especially as they had an excellent scrambled eggs and smoked salmon which always arrived piping hot, and they had chocolate croissants :) We did enjoy lunches in Britannia Club as it was quiet and relaxing. There was a fish curry for lunch one day that was a real standout dish. After the boarding day lunch we never ventured back into the Kings Court buffet. The Corinthia lounge was a nice place for a specialty coffee and a bite to eat. Breakfast offerings were quite eclectic, ranging from fresh fruit bowls to yoghurt parfaits, from breakfast burritos to shiitake mushroom and scrambled egg croissants, and (my favourite!) quails eggs over peppers, chorizo and potatoes. They offered nice salads for lunch too. Another favourite lunch spot was The Golden Lion Pub. We had excellent fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash there. Another nice coffee spot was Sir Samuels, the Godiva Chocolate cafe. Lots of lovely chocolatey treats there, that we enjoyed looking at but never were hungry enough to sample! What was the bar scene like? I am used to cruising with drinks included, but the drinks package offered by Cunard was an eye-popping $69.99 per person per day, and required both people in the cabin to have the same package, plus there was an $11 price limit on things that were included. It didn’t seem worth it so we opted for paying as we went, and probably ended up spending under $100 dollars a day, including a bottle of wine with dinner, Perrier, tea and coffee, and pre and post dinner drinks. I thought the individual drink prices were quite reasonable. We enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in the Chart Room. They often had either a harpist, string trio or jazz combo playing there. We tried the Commodore Club one night and while we enjoyed listening to the pianist we found the venue dark and claustrophobic. The Golden Lion also had a really good guitarist in the early evening, and in the late evening he performed as part of a pop duo. I was really impressed with the quality of the live music on board the ship. How did you keep busy on sea days? We felt that Cunard excelled in the quality and variety of activities they offered during the day, compared to other cruise lines we have sailed on. Usually we find very little to interest us so bring books and puzzles to keep ourselves busy. On this cruise we were spoilt for choice for things to do. We enjoyed the talks about QE2, Titanic, The Royal Yacht Britannia, The Apollo Space Programme, The History of Japan, and the music masterclasses on Pink Floyd and Peter Green. We missed the talks on China, the QM2, the talks from the sports commentator Henry Blofeld and the masterclasses on Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. We never got chance to go to the cooking demonstrations as we were so busy. Chinese language, calligraphy, painting and craft classes were also offered, along with dancing lessons and bridge lessons! Trivia was also a favourite activity, offered 3 or 4 times a day in varying formats and taken very seriously by some passengers. We actually won “Name That Tune 1980’s”, and the prize bottle of white wine was very drinkable! What’s the deal with the dress code? We had 4 “gala” nights (including Black and White, Night in the Orient and Madam Butterfly Balls), where the dress code was tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and gown or cocktail dress for ladies, with the remaining evenings designated “smart attire”, jacket but no tie for gentlemen and cocktail dress or pant suit for ladies. My husband fell foul of what we jokingly called the “6pm jeans curfew” one night when he lost track of the time and tried to order a drink in the Chart Room at 6:15pm in polo shirt and chinos. The waiter, who had served us many times discretely came up and asked him if he would be “popping up to his cabin to put on his jacket on”. My husband looked confused, and the waiter added “It’s 6:15 sir, you need to be properly dressed if you are going to have a drink here”. I loved dressing up as I don’t get the chance to at home, my husband not so much, but he went along with it! Any passengers who didn’t want to dress for the evening had the option of dinner in the buffet, and then drinks and entertainment in either the Corinthia Lounge or the Golden Lion Pub, and boogieing the night away in the nightclub, G20. What about the ports? There were six port days on this cruise, with Shanghai and Beijing being the highlights. Both cities were quite a drive from where the ship docked. Usually we book private tours, but we struggled to find fellow passengers on the roll calls to share with, so we ended up with Cunard tours instead. All the visas were taken care of for us by the cruiseline. We noticed that as well as having guides, Cunard tours also have a crew member, (pianist, dance escort and bridge teacher), acting as an escort on their tours. They monitor things, make notes of any problems, and bring up the rear and double check everyone is back on the bus! How was Shanghai? In Shanghai we took one day tours. The first was Best of Shanghai, and the second Shanghai Old and New. The Chinese authorities took longer than expected to clear the ship in Shanghai so our Best of Shanghai tour started and ended late and the order of the sites had to be reorganised as the lunch was at a fixed time. We started with an hour in the Shanghai Museum, then had lunch in the function room on the top floor of the Shanghai Theatre. The Chinese meal, served family style, was really well organised and the food was fresh and tasty. In the afternoon we visited the temple of the two Jade Buddhas, the Yu Gardens and the bazaar, and ended with a stroll on the modern side of The Bund. Day 2 we were surprised to see we had the same guide as the day before! He was very concerned that we would be revisiting a couple of places from the day before, but we didn’t care. We started with a ride to the top of the Shanghai Centre, (the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world), in the worlds fastest elevator! The view from the top was incredible! Next we walked around the french part of The Bund, had a dim sum lunch (again delicious and well organised by Cunard), visited the Yu Gardens and the bazaar again and ended with a walking tour along the old side of the Bund. Shanghai is a really vibrant city, full of energy and very forward looking. The weather both days was overcast and smoggy and over 200 on the air quality scale which was really unhealthy. What did you do in Beijing? We booked ourselves on Cunards Beijing 2 Day Discovery tour, along with 500 of our closest cruisemates! It was a very popular tour! We started with a 3 hour drive to Beijing, followed by a 20 minute ride in a trishaw. It was a cold day and whizzing round in an open vehicle was absolutely freezing. We noticed that people not on a tour had a leisurely ride wheras tour people were driven at breakneck speed. Our driver probably did the circuit in 10 minutes, jammed his brakes on and said “out!”. We had lunch at a restaurant in a jade shop near the Great Wall, and then visited the wall itself. Wow! What a fantastic sight! I got halfway up the steps, looked back and thought “OMG if I don’t turn round now I’ll never get back down”. The steps were a foot high in places and very uneven, and not for people with vertigo. My husband got all the way up onto the wall and walked past three guardhouses until he was finally able to get a photo with no one else in it! Our overnight accommodation was at the China World Shangri-La Hotel and it was awesome! So awesome in fact, that we decided to forego that evening’s Peking Duck Banquet in favour of a nap, a few drinks and a light meal in the hotel lobby, a long soak in the fabulous hotel bath and an early night! We also took an executive decision to not bother with the 5:30am buffet breakfast, and enjoyed an extra hour in bed, ate the apples we found in our room, and headed downstairs for our 7am start, raring to go! There was a fair bit of whingeing and moaning on the bus about how people only got 5 hours sleep, about how disappointing the food at the banquet was, and how exhausted they were! Glad we passed on that! Day 2 in Beijing had us at Tiananmen Square by 7:30 and The Forbidden City by 8:30. We loved the guided tour of the Forbidden City and were surprised at how big the complex was. We had an early lunch banquet and then took a 40 minute Bullet Train ride to Tianjin. It got up to 215 mph, and was really quiet and smooth. Very impressive! The ship was scheduled to depart at 5pm, but 6pm came and went and at 7 they started calling certain passenger names and asking them to see the purser. We were still in port at 8pm and the Captain announced that there were problems with the Chinese authorities and some of the special tourist visas the ship had obtained for us. By the time the issues were resolved, and a slot in the river traffic had been assigned to us, we finally left around 11pm, six hours late. Next stop Kitakyushu. Where on earth is that? It is on Japan’s Kyushu Island, and it was a maiden port for QM2. We docked in a container port, where a makeshift passenger terminal had been created out of tents for us. We arrived to an incredibly warm welcome, crowds cheering and waving, and brass bands playing. I heard there were fire boats streaming plumes of red, white and blue water as QM2 entered the port! Because of the delay leaving China, and despite making up some time, we finally arrived at 11am instead of 8am, so the tours started later and the itineraries were rearranged. We had booked Best of Kitakyushu, and our first stop was at a local hotel for lunch. We were each presented with a Bento Box with lots of tiny portions of exquisitely flavoured food. It was delicious and a nice change of pace to the Chinese banquets. 

I am not a fan of public loos, but I made an exception here and went to check out the Japanese toilets I’d heard about. These didn’t disappoint and although I did like the heated seat I wimped out of pressing any of the other buttons! Compared to Shanghai and Beijing, there wasn’t a lot to do in Kitakyushu. We visited a museum with a very good robotic dinosaur exhibit, looked at the outside of Kokura Castle, which was closed for renovations, went up the Mojiko Retro Town Observation Tower and a wander around the town.

The locals treated us to a fantastic firework display as we left port. Did you go anywhere else? Yes, our final port was Seogwipo City, on Jeju Island, South Korea. Another new country for me and another maiden port for QM2. We were the first cruise ship to dock at their brand new cruise terminal. We were greeted with music, K Pop bands, speeches and free packs of facemasks, (as in skin care!) for everyone! Todays tour was Seogwipo City Highlights, our bus had disco lights in it, and our guide introduced himself and told us not to look out of the windows. Huh? It turns out that the new cruise terminal and nearby naval base had been a bone of contention for some of the locals, and along with “Welcome QM2” banners, there were some not so welcoming ones that he hadn’t wanted us to see. We walked over the longest pedestrian bridge on Jeju Island, and did a brief walk around Saeseom Island and then over to Cheonjiyeon Falls. Our final stop was to a local food market, which I always find fascinating. How was disembarkation? It was surprisingly easy! Immigration was all done behind the scenes for us by Hong Kong officials who boarded the ship in South Korea. We picked up our passports on the last evening and our Hong Kong visas were already inside. We put our cases out late on the last night, reusing the tags we used for boarding. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8:30am, so had a quick breakfast in Britannia Club, and then headed up to the Carinthia Lounge, where we were scheduled for a 9am departure. Our number was called at 8:50am. Disembarkation was quick, we found our bags, cleared customs and waited about 10 minutes for a taxi. Couldn’t have been better. We checked into the Royal Pacific Hotel again, and after a walk around the shopping centres next door to kill time, managed to be in our room by noon. Hong Kong Part 2, how was that? The miserable weather that had followed us for most of the cruise continued in Hong Kong. It varied from fog to drizzle to torrential rain and put a bit of a downer on our post cruise plans. Our rescheduled tour to Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha took place in awful weather. We visited a beach in the rain. Had a tour of a market and a river boat ride in a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The skies briefly cleared when we visited the Buddha, and then the fog descended for the rest of the day. We visited the Po Lin Monastery for lunch and their vegetarian banquet was fantastic, probably the best “included lunch” we had on any of our tours. Sightseeing was really not possible so our Plan B inevitably was food! Highlights included Jimmy’s Kitchen for a “ Classic British Food From The 1970s” fix, the Pho Boozer for a ridiculously cheap 3 course lunch in either Indian, Malay, Thai or Vietnamese style and Bombay Dreams, with its Michelin Star winning Indian lunch buffet. Our “last hurrah” was at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kowloon, where we went for drinks in their bar overlooking Hong Kong harbour and had front row seats for the 8pm laser light show, which was spectacular. It was pouring with rain so we abandoned plans to find a restaurant for dinner and splurged on a selection of fabulous asian tapas right where we were. How was your journey home? We arranged for late checkout at 1:30pm and used the hotel limo service to the airport as we couldn’t face dragging our bags out in the rain and trying to get a taxi. It was money well spent. We weren’t expecting to find a hotel employee waiting at the curb for us when we arrived at the airport. He took care of our bags and fast tracked us to the Cathay check in desks, oversaw the check in procedure for us and directed us to immigration. He wouldn’t take a tip and said it was all part of the hotel service. What a nice surprise. All flights to the USA have extra security, and we were screened at the gate and again just before we boarded the plane. Our 16 hour flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm Hong Kong time and arrive in Washington DC at 8:30pm the same day. I planned to try and get a little sleep mid flight. The meal and drink service was more leisurely flying back. I had an excellent steak for dinner, 3 glasses of wine and watched a couple of movies before sleeping, amazingly, for 6 hours! They served beef sliders about 10 hours into the journey and then, bizarrely, breakfast a couple of hours before we landed in Washington in the evening. The omelet was really good. This time the flightpath skirted China, Japan and Russia, entering the USA over Washington state, then heading east, and we arrived a few minutes early into Washington Dulles. For once the Global Entry machines were empty, and they didn’t reject our passports, so we whizzed through immigration. We had a bit of a wait for our bags, and finally got a Washington Flyer taxi around 9pm and were home by 10pm. We were absolutely shattered. Is it good to be home? Yes! Absolutely! But wow, what an epic trip! I would definitely fly Cathay Pacific again, and I think we have found our new cruise home with Cunard. I can’t wait to sail on Queen Mary 2 again and look forward to trying out Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth too! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 5.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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