Queen Mary 2 (QM2) Cruise Review by ABoatNerd
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Transatlantic
- Cabin Type: Balcony, sheltered
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.
* 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
* 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.
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The size was excellent. The in hull balcony does limit the amount of sun that comes into your cabin but on a TA it is a good location.