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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My husband and I have just completed a 12 night cruise from New York to the Caribbean and we had a truly delightful time. Our cabin on level 12 was quite spacious with a balcony. Greg, the man who serviced our cabin was extremely pleasant, ... Read More
My husband and I have just completed a 12 night cruise from New York to the Caribbean and we had a truly delightful time. Our cabin on level 12 was quite spacious with a balcony. Greg, the man who serviced our cabin was extremely pleasant, always greeting us with a smile and our accommodation was always immaculate. Our level of accommodation allowed us to dine in the Britania Club Restaurant which meant we were not restricted to an early or late sitting but were free to dine at any time between 6pm and 9pm. Our meals were all first class. There was quite an extensive menu from which to choose and we were not disappointed with any of our choices. On one occasion we did eat at the Todd English Restaurant (an extra cost) but once again the food and service was second to none. An exceptional way to celebrate our anniversary. I would like to make a special mention of three people who made our dining experiences so enjoyable. From the very first meal to our last Jana, Wendy and Shekhar took special care of us. They were so professional and yet so natural displaying their friendly personalities. Thank you to the three of you, we have very fond memories of you all. We visited five different islands in the Caribbean and all of our tours were excellent. Everything ran smoothly and we had the chance to be introduced to this wonderful part of the world. We experienced bus rides, train rides, catamaran rides and two refreshing swims in the Caribbean. There was plenty of entertainment and activities on the 'sea' days. We thoroughly enjoyed the forensic talks given by Dr Hal Tinberg and two young singers, The Opera Boys. As we have just retired it was just lovely wandering around, having coffee and relaxing on our verandah. The embarkation was extemely well organised and we were in our cabin very quickly. As we were disembarking ourselves, we thought there may be some hick ups, but that too went so smoothly. This was our first experience of an ocean cruise. We were so pleased we chose the Queen Mary 2. I highly recommend this ship and hopefully will one day sail on her again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We booked this trip early, 9 months before, a trip to Southampton, three weeks in Europe and then return passage to NYC. It turned out that the Queen Mary 2 did not sell out for the Aug. 19th sailing, and we and our friend traveling ... Read More
We booked this trip early, 9 months before, a trip to Southampton, three weeks in Europe and then return passage to NYC. It turned out that the Queen Mary 2 did not sell out for the Aug. 19th sailing, and we and our friend traveling alone with us were both upgraded to Princess statements and dining, perhaps because we booked early or were novice Cunarders, we don't know. We did not get upgraded on the return and dined in the Britannia dining room. In comparison, the Princess room was indeed larger, with a walk in closet even and decent sized bathroom and a larger balcony. We found the Britannia level room entirely satisfactory, however, and we were careful to have a room with an unobscured balcony. The steward at each level was very hardworking and attentive, with the Princess level steward having somewhat better English. The Princess dining offered flexibility in dining times, a constant table of our own, a few more dishes but pretty much the same food as Britannia. The service was very very attentive in the Princess Grill, but the teams of servers in the Britannia were really good as well. We loved the variety of bars on the Queen Mary 2, and we found the passengers incredibly friendly and enjoyable, although the demographics do tend significantly toward seniors. The activities, lectures, performances, and the like were well done but not consistently memorable. It was a great trip! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Other than the horrible experience at the "hotel" in Brooklyn (hint - it was NOT "comfort"able), our trip was absolutely perfect. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather the whole trip. Well, except for the first ... Read More
Other than the horrible experience at the "hotel" in Brooklyn (hint - it was NOT "comfort"able), our trip was absolutely perfect. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather the whole trip. Well, except for the first night, where we apparently slept through a very loud thunderstorm! We were not sure what to expect with the sheltered balcony, but it turned out to be great! The staff was without exception delightful - very friendly, very gracious, very service-oriented. Given their working conditions, I think it a miracle that Cunard has found such a great team. We greatly enjoyed every aspect, other than the fact that the trip seemed far too short! We had planned to attend various events, lectures, shows, etc., but didn't make it to many of them at all, but still managed to feel as though our days were full of things to do! Having heard that the QM2 is going in for some refitting and updating, we did notice that she is showing her age in some places. Carpets are stained in many areas, torn or loose in others, and the decor is looking a bit dated. Nevertheless, she still looks like a proud Royal! Though we wandered through the ship day after day, we still managed to miss the G32 night club until almost the end of our RETURN trip several weeks later! I wonder how many other things we missed! We were a bit nervous about the table for eight that our travel agent set up for us, but it turned out to be a lot of fun, and we will definitely plan to dine that way on future trips. There were a few really interesting coincidences at our first dinner. The first was meeting the first couple at the table - when they told us their names, I realized instantly that they were someone I had "met" already, here in the roll call forum for our sailing! How amazing it that? Then the second couple arrived, two guys from Yorkshire, and we had met them earlier in the Commodore Club! The TRULY amazing coincidence, though, came to light near the end of our eastbound crossing. One of the things we had planned for our 16 days in the UK was to visit friends in Yorkshire, a couple we had not seen since we attended their wedding on our only other visit to the UK, in 1997. Well, after several days of fun conversation at dinner, our Yorkshire friends asked a bit more about our Yorkshire friends, and it turned out that they knew them! Mind-blowing! The third couple at our table, an older couple, unfortunately changed to the early seating, as they felt 8:30 was too late for them. Walking the promenade deck became our most frequent activity, one we both enjoyed immensely. I think we managed to come off the ship without gaining any weight, plus getting into better shape for all the walking we did in the UK! This was certainly an excellent introduction to travelling by ship. It may have spoiled us for "cruise" ships, though. From what I've heard, most of the cruise lines are far less formal (we LOVED the formal nights!), and we would miss things such as the White Star teas and the elegant meal service. I also can't imagine doing anything less than 7 nights - unpacking and repacking would take up half the trip, LOL. So I guess we can say we had the time of our lives on the eastbound crossing. Westbound was also great (though the weather didn't hold up as well!), and I will review it separately. We're hooked! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Me and my wife actually were recommended this cruise via a small tour company who we had used for booking Jamaica airport transfers and tours before when we went to Montego Bay, Jamaica. And it was our first cruise so we didn't know ... Read More
Me and my wife actually were recommended this cruise via a small tour company who we had used for booking Jamaica airport transfers and tours before when we went to Montego Bay, Jamaica. And it was our first cruise so we didn't know what to expect, but it turned out to be one of the most wonderful experiences of our lives. The customer service on the Royal Carribbean Independence of the Seas was pretty incredible and there was lots of nightly entertainment (music and dancing) and great food and drinks!; as well as some great swimming pools with water slides! However, the highlights of our 6-day cruise were the day excursions in Labadee, Haiti, George Town, Grand Cayman, and Falmouth, Jamaica, where we went zip-lining, river rafting and had lots of great local cuisine at each of these places! Highly recommend anyone going on a cruise to try this cruise out at least once in your lifetime! I promise you won't regret it or forget it! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
First, I want to thank previous reviewers on the items that helped us the most: Packing - the North Atlantic is unpredictable so bring layers and "sensible" shoes. During our August crossing, we had sun, rain, fog and wind so ... Read More
First, I want to thank previous reviewers on the items that helped us the most: Packing - the North Atlantic is unpredictable so bring layers and "sensible" shoes. During our August crossing, we had sun, rain, fog and wind so shorts and sandals were fine a couple of days but we needed rain jackets and closed-toe, rubber sole shoes on others. My Steve is not "dressy" so he got by with one good black suit (with specially purchased bow-tie) for formal nights and a navy blue sports jacket for the informal nights plus 5 white long-sleeved shirts and a couple pair of nice slacks. He is "sporty" so had a good assortment of layers. I bought a couple of dresses and a small steamer especially for this trip. The steamer came in very handy and I never had to compete for an iron in the laundrette! The dress code is a little more flexible for ladies so I was able to wear cocktail dresses on both formal and informal nights. If you have luggage limitations for weight and/or space, I recommend you just go with a couple lighter, shorter evening dresses. My one "little black dress" did it's duty on three different occasions. Laundrettes - located on almost every deck with four washers and dryers (free-to-use), iron and ironing board. Soap is provided in wall container (not best so may want to bring some "pods" from home). My additional notes: Machines are full size so can hold quite a bit. These got very busy the last two days of the journey. Operating hours are limited so cabins near by are not disturbed at all hours. I believe the hours were 0700-2100 and the doors are locked during closed times. Spa passes - can be purchased in 1, 3 or 5-day packages. The pass gives you access to the thermal pools, saunas and specialty showers. I bought the 3-day pass for myself for $75 (I believe 1-day was $40 and 5-day was $90). For our crossing the 3-day pass worked out great for me but I may bump up to 5-days on our next trip. I especially enjoyed the bubbly heated pool, dry sauna and herbal sauna. My only complaints were the hot tub wasn't really hot and one of the two specialty showers was only partially working (nice tropical rain option). "Museum" ship - lots of fun, informative posterboards in stairwells and hallways. You can get a headset with audio recordings from the pursers' desk that correspond with some of the posters. I had to trade mine in after the first 24 hours because the battery died. The same thing happened after the second 24 hours so if you want to "do" the whole ship, you'll want to plan accordingly. I was able to cover all the posters in the stairwells (bonus opportunity to work off some calories!) but am looking forward to a future crossing to finish up the posters along the halls around Innovations theater. I wish they had some kind of pamplet/guide to help you (like a real museum) but as far as I know, none exist. Room Service breakfast - comes in 15-min time windows (0630-1000), drinks and food were still hot on arrival. Steve is a night owl and I'm an early bird so I would go up to the King's court to have coffee and cereal, peruse the daily "programme", get in some museum posters, and then get back to the cabin for the 0930 arrival of Steve's breakfast and a second pot of coffee for myself. The delivery attendant was different every morning and I tipped them (just $1). They were always appreciative and even surprised a couple of them but I viewed this as a special service (those trays are heavy!). Cunard Insight speaker Bill Miller is fantastic! His lectures were a wonderful foundation for the "museum" experience - they are interesting and he knows how and when to provide funny antidotes/jokes. I got to attend one of the lectures in person and saw another broadcast on the ship's channel. If he's featured on one of my future sailings, I'll make his lectures a priority to attend. There were 2 or 3 other speakers and I saw some interesting bits and pieces on the rebroadcasts. Afternoon Tea – wonderful experience! We went on our first day at sea and then two more days. We discovered all the cakes, scones and sandwiches were available at the King's Court, too, so on the days we didn't have time or just wanted one item with the tea, we went there. I wish the scones came with a “without raisen” option but I was able to pick most of them out, slather on the cream and strawberry jam and wow, yummy! To my American brethren: just give the scones and clotted cream a try, at least once. Now for the items we discovered on our own... Cabin – we were in 6082 and liked the “sheltered balcony” very much. During the rougher days, we were still able to go out and enjoy the fresh air without getting too wet. Since deck six is right below the promenade deck we did occasionally hear some foot traffic. We are not too sensitive to noise so this didn't bother us but I wouldn't opt for this deck if either of us were light sleepers! Also, our cabin was a bit forward so we swayed with the boat more than once on our way down the halls. I had brought stomach aids just in case, but the roll was gentle and neither of us needed the aids. Again, if you're sensitive to such things, you may want to go aft and lower for more stability. I did find the bed a little hard the first night so asked our steward for some extra padding (thanks to a previous reviewer for that tip!) and had no problem after that. We were located well for us – near the stairs going up to the King's Court and the spa/fitness center. Spa/fitness center – Good variety of aerobic machines and weights. Steve and I were using the treadmills one day while the ship was going through some swells – hold on tight!! Very weird experience that sent use to using stairs and promenade for our aerobic activity. Fitness bikes and stair steppers are probably the best bet while at sea... Pastry lovers rejoice because there are an abundance of glorious, delicious choices! One day they set up an entire buffet (with carved ice horse) in the middle of the King's Court. That's were I gained one of my vacation pounds, I'm sure. Bread lovers may not be so happy as I found the bread offerings to be average, at best. For me, this was a good offset for my pastry consumption, as I just turned down or passed by the bread offerings and doubled up on the pastry! Casino – Steve enjoys roulette and he especially appreciated the single “0” wheel. It's also nice that the bet minimums are just $1 on most tables and Steve said they went down to .50 some days he was there. He noted that the table personnel seemed inexperienced but the pit boss quickly corrected any errors. Next time, he wants to try more craps since that seemed to be the most fun when there were 3 or more players. They have classes some days so I may even join in next time. Transfers – We arranged these with Cunard and were pretty pleased. Our transfer in NY was the best because we came in early on our own arranged flight to JFK. We received a private luxury car to take us to the terminal! Between Southampton and Heathrow we shared an average tourist bus. This got us to the airport waaaayyy early. We found good seats in the Italian cafe so were able to make the best of it... Next time I'll look into making our own arrangements just so we can do self-disembarkation without the cattle-herding aspects of the group transport (including leaving the cabin earlier than necessary – remember Steve the late sleeper?). Wine Steward – the one sour note in my QM2 experience was the snobby wine sterward in the Brittania. Steve doesn't drink and I usually have just one glass of wine with dinner. The first evening I didn't want anything because I was already fatigued from the travel day. The second evening I decided to try the Cunard white wine from Sicily, which I liked. The next evening I thought I might try something different but the steward asked as soon as we sat down so I asked to wait until after I decided what to eat. Thirty mins later, the steward is flitting around to the other tables (with bottles) and chatting. When the waiter brought our entree, I asked HIM about getting a glass of wine and, of course, he said he'd send over the steward. It took another 10-15 mins before the steward showed up so I thought I might at least get some wine to go with the small cheese plate for dessert. I decided the same Cunard white would work fine for that, made my order and the steward rolled his eyes! On top of that, he never asked for my drink order again so I guess he showed me! (losing out on those automatic gratuities) Shrug – I commented on this in my final review but he seemed very popular with the big drinkers so I doubt that anything will change there. My strategy going forward will be to study the menus ahead of the seatings and have my selections ready when (and if) the steward deigns to offer. Planetarium – I was really looking forward to these shows but only got to see one towards the end of our trip because I didn't realize there was such limited seating. To get the tickets for the time you want, you have to get to the desk early (I encountered lines twice). They had two different shows on two days each with 3-4 different times each day. We saw “Infinity Express” and enjoyed it very much. I will make getting my tickets a priority on our next voyage so watch out for a smallish blonde woman with a determined gleam in her eyes! The Illuminations theater that houses the planetarium also hosts some of the lectures and runs good movies (we saw “Noah” and “Grand Budapest Hotel” which had just finished their initial theater runs a few months prior). If you go there for lectures or movies, you want to be careful about picking a seat in the planetarium section since some of these seem to be in a permanent recline mode. Dancing! - Classes for ballroom and line were offered almost every day in 45 minute increments. They were fun and very beneficial to us when we went to the wonderful Black and White ball and other dancing events offered throughout the voyage. Music! - Wonderful as background to tea and dinner and great on stage. We totally lucked into James Taylor and his band on our voyage. We enjoyed his music but were not huge fans like the people who bought onto the trip just for him. I must say everything I heard and saw (second performance), impressed me very much. The man greeted every person who waited to see him after his Q&A – over 4 hours worth of handshaking! He's pure awesome. In my opinion, any adult with a smidgeon of curiousity and flexibility would find a trip on the QM2 to be a fun adventure because I didn't even have time to try a pub quizz, acting classes, card games, tour of the bridge, food caving demos, art class, computer class, etc., etc... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
I am a big lover of ocean liners and get very irritated when I hear them confused with cruise ships (e.g. How was your cruise??). I went with my family (Who wasn't expecting to enjoy it). We all had a wonderful time and will ... Read More
I am a big lover of ocean liners and get very irritated when I hear them confused with cruise ships (e.g. How was your cruise??). I went with my family (Who wasn't expecting to enjoy it). We all had a wonderful time and will definitely be sailing again with Cunard. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 in July for a transatlantic crossing to Britain. Embarkation went very smoothly. We just had to sit for about 10-15 minutes before we were ushered aboard. The journey was on a schedule, but not too rushed. I am aware that it slowed from six days to seven to save fuel, but it is still a crossing on a tight schedule.The ship also runs nine day crossings to and from Hamburg and eight day crossings with an extra stop in Canada. The service was amazing. I had been warned by many people in advance that the service dropped after Carnival took over the ship, but we were nonetheless impressed. I can't imagine what the service was like before Carnival took over. It must have been pure bliss. The waiters on board were very attentive and accommodating (in low-grade Britannia-Class nonetheless) and we felt like we were pampered. My parents had their own cabin and my brother and I shared an ocean-view cabin towards the bow of the ship. The only complaint I had about the cabin involved the bathroom which smelled like urine. I know our steward and the maids cleaned the toilet and I tried as well, but it seems that nobody knew where exactly the smell was coming from. It wasn't too bad, but it was irritating when even the crew wasn't able to solve it. Other than that, the cabin was incredible! I definitely recommend an ocean-view for that traditional ocean liner feel. It had a nice picture window and, being located near the bow, we were able to feel the thrusters maneuvering us out of New York harbor. The seas were calm the entire way. One couple who had traveled before said that the weather was the best they had ever seen. I was a little bit disappointed that I didn't get to see the QM2 handle a bad storm, since that is what the ship was built to do, although fog appeared on the last day. We got to meet Kim Novak, the movie star, who was doing a lecture on the ship. We got to take a photo with her and autograph. Sue Cameron, a Hollywood insider, did an interview with her. We didn't do much. We watched two movies of Novak's: Vertigo, always a masterpiece, and Bell, Book, and Candle, which I had never seen before. We sat out by the pool and at night, when most of the pools closed down, I figured out that the indoor/outdoor pool stayed open later, and would run upstairs in my bathing suit at 11:00 and have the pool to myself, floating on my back staring through the magrodome at the night sky. The library was another spot that I could enjoy with few interruptions. My family spent their time elsewhere, and the others in the library were very quiet and respectful. The view out over that long liner bow was spectacular. The only major criticism I have is that I felt a little bored on the seventh day, but the rest of the crossing was great. It felt great to lounge around and not do anything. I stayed up the last night (afraid of sleeping through disembarkation) and saw through the fog the lights of the United Kingdom on one side, and France on the other, as the ship raced through the English Channel towards Southampton. I will definitely become a repeat QM2 passenger, and am disappointed to see only 69% of people enjoyed the QM2 (as of December 12, 2015). I hope they will give the Queen another try! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
Just returned from five nights on the QM2. It was our first time on a cruise ship and my reaction to the experience is "so-so". The ship is certainly grand, and there were many activities planned. It is definitely aimed at a more ... Read More
Just returned from five nights on the QM2. It was our first time on a cruise ship and my reaction to the experience is "so-so". The ship is certainly grand, and there were many activities planned. It is definitely aimed at a more mature and sedate crowd, with lots of options for things like ballroom dancing, knitting parties, and intellectual talks happening daily (sometimes several times a day). Those are fine options but we wished there were more things for younger folks too (we are in our 40s!). We did enjoy the trivia games several times a day. The food was pretty good; not fantastic but certainly not terrible. That was all fine with us. Sadly, however, there were some major issues we had, probably the worst of which being that our stateroom carpet was soaking wet, as was the carpet in the hallway outside our stateroom. And the entire corridor smelled of raw sewage (at varying times it was stronger and/or less noticeable). We asked them what was wrong and they pretended not to understand what we were talking about (as if we were the only ones to notice it; unlikely). They did send a wet vac to dry our rug but it just was re-wet within a day. There were staff up and down our corridor with wet vacuums (about 10-15 vacs) daily. Clearly something was leaking and I shudder to think what it might have been. Thankfully our room did NOT smell bad, only the hall. And in general the ship is showing signs of age all over. Finally, the QM2 is clearly in the business of making money, and I don't fault them for that. What I didn't like, though, was that if I ordered, say, a glass of wine, without even asking they would pour me a glass of their most expensive of that type (about $15/glass plus mandatory 15% gratuity), and not offer the "house" brand ($10) or even ask which kind I prefer. It took me a few days to realize I had options. This was the case with all kinds of drinks and services available; if you didn't know to ask they would automatically give you the most expensive. As first time cruisers this was disappointing and resulted in quite the bill upon departure. Similarly, the excursions at ports were extremely (!!!) overpriced for what they offered. Example: there was a tall ship docked in Halifax that we wanted to take a day-sail aboard. The QM2 was charging something like $50 or more pp for this excursion (it did include a bus to the dock of the sailboat and back). We looked up the sailboat's website and the same sail was $20pp. It did not include a ride but the ship was a 10 minute walk to the sailboat. So we saved $40pp by walking 10 minutes. Also, perhaps the kicker, was their NYC excursions (we live there so didn't need them but we still saw what they offer). They were charging $60 pp to "walk across the Brooklyn Bridge". Really??? It is FREE to walk across that and any other bridge. The only thing this excursion included for $60 was transfers from the Red Hook terminal (also in Brooklyn) which is not all that far from the bridge; no meal, not even an ice cream. Very very expensive to the point of being laughable. I personally would NOT take this cruise line again, at least not for another 20 years when my age group more closely fits the activities offered and when they update the ship's accommodations/amenities. All in all it was a nice few days away and I did enjoy the cruise ship concept, but I don't think Cunard will get any more of my dollars any time soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
My trip back to the Motherland (England), started on a sad note, my fiancée had to take a flight due to work so I travelled on the ship alone. To my delight when I made this apparent to the staff they put me on a table with a bunch of ... Read More
My trip back to the Motherland (England), started on a sad note, my fiancée had to take a flight due to work so I travelled on the ship alone. To my delight when I made this apparent to the staff they put me on a table with a bunch of great people, and the Captain... for the week! I was very happy with this and made some great friends during my crossing. To my surprise the crossing was extremely smooth, even in 'waves'. The food was spectacular and so was the service. I thoroughly enjoyed the Spa every morning, and then the afternoons in the hot tubs on the back of the ship. The evening entertainment was always fun and there always seemed to be something to do-even as a single passenger. Embarking and disembarking was very enjoyable with no problems and great communication. Sadly my room was above the engine room so I could feel vibrations through the hull, I asked about this in the morning and was caringly upgraded, to which I gladly accepted. Rooms were clean and spacious. I have just booked another trip for in a months’ time and hope I enjoy it just as much as I did before, albeit this time I will have my Wife and 4 year old Son with me. I think this ship is the proper way of doing transatlantic, I am not a keen flyer so this for me is a great option, luxurious, exciting, elegant, tranquil.. I cannot wait to be back on board this magnificent liner. Thank you Cunard. Read Less

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