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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.

Memorable in more ways than one - Oldhand1931

Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by Oldhnad1931

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Balcony, obstructed view
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.
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Cabin Review

Balcony, obstructed view
Cabin DF 8016
Forward, satisfactory in all respects.
Deck 8 Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins