My wife and I have recently returned from a 14 day Christmas cruise aboard the QM2. We were in Queens Grill accomodations and although the ship itself is a worthy addition to the Cunard heritage, the total experience does not begin to measure up to any of our cruises on Crystal.
Our room was very nice and was somewhat roomier than a comparable PS on a Crystal ship. This was accomplished by only having one sink in the bathroom, a combination tub/shower and no bidet. The extra room gave a few more square feet in the cabin and an extra closet separate from the walk-in closet.
The food was not up to Crystal standards and the service was efficient but very mechanical and hurried. Our waiter in the Queens Grill (who should have been one of the more experienced waiters on board) had never been on a cruise ship before, whereas Crystal requires at least two years experience on another cruise line before they will consider you for employment.
The public rooms were well fitted out, but any of the Crystal ships have a superior layout. For example, the QM2 has a Winter Garden which is similar to Crystal's quiet and peaceful Palm Court Room. However, the Winter Garden sits astride a very busy part of the ship and people are constantly streaming through it. Additionally, the QM2 has many lounges and bar areas, but nothing close to the intimacy of the Avenue Bar or even the Vista Lounge. The closest was the Commodore Club, but the windows had to be covered at night so the reflection would not disturb the bridge.
Finally, the QM2 is so large that tendering is the norm at most ports. We typically had to go to the Queens Room, get a number and wait 30 to 45 minutes to get a tender into the port. I suppose with 2600 people on board this is inevitable.
We plan on sailing exclusively with Crystal in the future; it is simply the very best Cruise Line in the market today.
Thank you for your perspective. I wondered how a ship the size of QM2 - and built and designed by the same people as Carnival cruises - could measure up in the luxury sector. Obvioulsy there is some cachet to being the world's biggest passenger ship, but the actual size of QM2 is IMMENSE!
It really makes you wonder how one can feel at - and how personalized any level of service can be -- on such a huge vessel.
I would have to heartily agree with the original poster on this thread. We did a 7 day cruise on the QM2 in January, in a Q5 suite and were soundly disappointed by most everything. We were looking forward to dining in the Queens Grill, and were greatly disappointed to discover that the dinner menu in the QG was exactly the same as in the Britainnia. For the money you pay for QG accommodations, I don't expect to be served the same food as in the main restaurant. I also feel the general layout of the ship was poorly done. Why did they put the main outdoor pool at the back of the ship with no direct access to it because they put the Todd English restaurant right inside the main door to the pool. You have to walk around, go up a set of stairs to the next deck, walk around and then go back down a stairway to get to the pool. It's the same with the placement of the main dining room. If you want to get to a venue on Deck 4 aft from Deck 4 Forward, you have to go up or down one or two decks, walk over or under the Britainnia restaurant and then get back to deck 4. Quite honestly, this ship is not built for pleasure cruising, but should only be for crossings. We also didn't feel the service was up to par at all. Rude and surly is the best way to describe the crew's attitude. I went to the computer center to sign up for service and when I asked the "help desk" staff person for assistance, she refused to look up from her novel and just grunted that I should just read the posted sign by each computer and figure out how to use their machines. Not the best in service, in my opinion.