We were on a ship last December before last and the Norwalk virus was a live and well on that ship for the full ten days. We went with a group of friends and everyone was as sick as can be. I'm just not expecting too much, as all of the passengers who have traveled on her can't be wrong. However, no matter how bad things might be (and I use the word might) there's nothing this ship can throw at you that's worse than a ship full of sick people. The great thing about being first on any new ship is that you get see everything new and clean. You hope that the ship lives up to its name and reputation. Yes, this is an expensive trip for all and there's only one March 6, 2004 cruise that will ever exist. Maybe that's the saving grace, maybe just maybe, you'll all be suprised and hopefully the beauty of the ship will negate any bad experiences that might take place. I don't think Cunard is listenting as much as they say they are to those who have had a bad experience. There are a lot of interesting posts on these boards and some people have taken it the wrong way, there seems to be alot of defenders out there who think that Cunard should be given a chance to prove themselves. I'm sorry but you spend money for a cruise and expect that cruise to live up to its press. I'll be revisiting this board as I can't wait to see what all of you have to say. I have heard that a website for those who review the QM2 (good or bad reviews) will be up and running shortly and that it will be heavily advertised on the net. From what I understand, the new site will be financed by those who cruised on this ship so they're putting up a website devoted to QM. If you experience something that's bad, let us all know and let those who plan to make reservation on this ship know as well.
Unless I'm misreading the brochure, QM2 has not yet done a 'crossing' - her Maiden Westbound voyage will be April 16.
Comments, pro and con, made to date have been about what could be called cruise/crossing combinations......Maiden voyages are 'shake-down time'.....the shortcomings show up! You pay your money and take a chance! Food, it seems, is of prime importance to many, not just quality but quantity - Many people seem to board a ship and focus on what they will eat - I call it the 'we paid for it' syndrome - just how many ounces of steak and how many lobsters can you eat!
It's hard to describe the difference but, to me, on a 'cruise' you focus on the ports you will visit - the day in between ports is like a beach day and you're thinking about what you will see tomorrow.
A 'crossing' - 5 or 6 days at sea on the QM2 (or any other ship), is about 'stopping the world and getting off' - there's little, if anything that you 'have' to do - you can explore the ship, get to know fellow travellers, perhaps arrange morning, afternoon, evening get- togethers, games, etc. - you can 'check-out 'and be waited on hand and foot - your choice! The ship is the destination; you've come to explore or ignore - there is nowhere else to go - you're 'at sea', in a world apart......you 'bond' with people.........relax and enjoy!
A 'crossing' is not for everyone - a 'port a day' cruise is not for everyone...........
Crossing or cruisin' - being on a ship is what really matters! It's your choice!
We are adventuresome travellers(15 of us) varying ages (55-75) and plan to have a ball
We are not ALL 100% healthy. One of our group will be using oxygen throughout her journey another will be riding her electric scooter to get around but we are out to have the time of our lives.
Most of us have cruised 6-7 times.
We are NOT wealthy . I think we will pass on the T.E. restaurant now that there is a $30 tab per person. Maybe we can request for Cunard to waiver this fee if I do a report upon returning for them. ( only kidding will NEVER happen)
We thank God every day that our feet touch the ground and we can experience such a trip in the near future.
A beautiful post. I always thank God for ability to be able to travel, have health and family.
I wrote similar thoughts in another post to counter some very vicious writings.
I wish you and your fellow passengers a happy, healthy, safe and fabulous vacation!
I've been told that a new website www.QM2Reviews is up and running and that CruisePal will be posting each day at sea in advance of publication. No doubt, not all of cruisepals story will appear on that site but I can't wait to see what CP has to say.
More power to you Peggy! I'm in your age range - few of us over 55 can claim to be 100% healthy but who cares - that we can get around and enjoy life is what matters.
From what I've read, your member with the scooter may well be the best off - you other guys will be huffing and puffing to catch up! - big smile here!
Seriously, with breathing problems, getting from point A to point B is what scares me - we can't all have mid-ship cabins which do seem to provide reasonable/easy access to most everything..........far foreward/aft, which is what I can (with a struggle) afford, is a l-o-n-g way from the dining room.
I personally have no intention of spending money on TE type restaurants - for the rate I'm asked to pay, seems to me I should be well fed and more than well looked after......pampered even is my hope.
Balance payment is not due yet so I'm still sitting on the fence!
My husband and I are sailing on the July 5th crossing. Is that your date also? We too have limited cruise experience and always travel by air to our destinations. We're very excited about this trip.
I have two clients booked on the 3/26/04 repositioning (Ft Lauderdale to Southhampton) and they say they did not receive the shore excursion info in their packet. Is anyone here doing this 17 day cruise? If so, did you get a booklet on these excursions? I'm wondering if they didn't get theirs because they booked so late. Answers are tough to get. Impossible actually, on the weekend!
I got off a 24 day QM2 yoyage last Saturday, and I must admit, I have to agree with Jim Averys post. This was not a cheap vacation, and the experience was more like a Carnival Cruise than an elegant Cunard cruise. Had I paid what a Carnival Cruise would have cost, there would be NO complaints from me! I expect to get what I pay for. Most of the crew have little or no experience, and many are "jumping ship" at each port. The biggest problem with QM2 is proper training of the staff (including the chefs), and more of them. They only have berths for 1300 crew. The ship clearly would need another 500. I posted on another thread that I think its downright bad business that Todd English is charging $20 and $30 per person to eat there. I understand that many other lines charge, fine. This was advertised as free of charge. The only reason why Todd English is so popular, is because its one of the only restaurant "escapes" on board, if your a Britannia diner.
I submitted a review to Cruisemates that has not been posted yet. The same review is on CruiseCritic at the Cunard message board.
Personally, I think I'll stick with Seabourn.
Just got off this ship yesteday (3/16) , the worst cruise I have ever been on. Could write a book on the tihings that were not even up to par. It's my opinion, but talking to a large number of people my opinion is shared by many. I will personally will never spend another dime with Cunard.
The comments on QM2 illustrate how people can have vastly different cruise experiences during the same voyage. My wife and I were on the 3/6-16 Caribbean cruise and had a great time. We have been on a number of cruises on several different lines and agreed that while this may not have been the absolute best cruise we been on to date, it certainly ranked high. We enjoyed the food [in the Brittania Restaurant, Todd English, Lotus, La Piazza, Golden Lion Pub(fish & chips), and especially dinner in the Chef's Galley), ambiance, and shows. We only had one problem with service (a very slow wine steward one night) and this was taken care of by the Chief Sommelier once he was informed of the situation. Our balcony cabin was fine and the housekeeping staff did a professional job. All in all, another great cruise experience.
Reminds me of my first time on QE2. A lady at our table hated everything, and I mean everything, about the ship, the service, most of the passengers, the ambiance, etc. You name it, she hated it. In fact, that became our running joke at dinner every night, what new things would Elena complain about.
Of course, all of us were first time passengersexcept for Elena. This was her 16th time. And she was more than willing, unprompted, to tell us what she had hated about her previous QE2 crossings.
I always thought that people who complain alot believe that others like to hear complaints. My father is like that. In the presence of others, nothing can be right. But at home he doesn't do that. Strange, but I think there is some truth to that.
Nobody points out that a new ship has a three month -- or longer -- shake-down period. That's why I haven't taken the ship yet to write a review.
You have thousands of crew new to each other and new to the ship. It takes a awhile to get dining up to speed. She will be a good ship, but it just takes a while.
Cunard Line has never excelled at outstanding cuisine or service except in the top restaurants. But she will be as good as QE 2, and that ship didn't get a lot of complaints.
I only saw Queen Mary 2 at her christening and spent a night aboard her. I personally can't say very much, although Ted Scull took the inaugural and reports on it. Go to the Queen Mary 2 review (no stars yet, it's too soon) and see his articles.
how about some room for us on this thread that say 'UP on qm2" with pleasure!
just like everything else, we all have our opinions. some that have vented and screamed at everything are, in their own way, probably correct...to THEM. if they want a glass of water half full they probably categorize it as half empty. that's their right.
i am a "cruiser" that happened to enjoy qm2 THOROUGHLY and COMPLETELY on the march 6 sailing.. yes, i've been on celebrity, princess, norweigan, costa, carnival and even the tiny little ocean breeze out of fort lauderdale. but while i cannot compare prior cunard cruises, i am pleased to say qm2 was a pleasure and i appreciate the vision of micky arison and the entire onboard experience for providing such an exciting vacation. no, everything wasn't perfect, nor should we expect it to be, as there are always kinks to work out on a relatively new...or OLD...ship for that matter..
to those of you getting "horrified" of stories before your trip on her, i can only say go with a great attitude that you will have fun, and you will have a BALL. gee...there were several of those too. we had exceptional service and cuisine in brittania, todd english and lotus along with the other shipboard restaurant venues. our stateroom was meticulously maintained, and throughout the ship (even after some fairly nasty comments from rude passengers who we think should revamp heaven before...and if...they get there) the crew was always friendly, courteous and wished us a nice day or evening.
was it a bit expensive? of course. we knew we were paying a bit more, but we also knew we were embarking on a new venue at sea, an ocean liner, and looked forward to the experience. we were not disappointed in the least, and would sail on her again in a heartbeat. so to those of you with upcoming sailings, just look forward to a great time and don't sweat the (very) small stuff or get swayed by some other "opinions." you make it what you want to make it, and you'll be saying you want to go back for more too! from mike and jon in wilton manors, florida
On the other hand..
I sailed the 3rd voyage of the Grand Princess several years ago, and (even though Princess is not my line) they had it down pat. To make excuses is no excuse in my opinion. Cunard has been in the passenger ship biz for alot of years, not to mention Carnival and the several lines under that flag. The prices were extremely high per day, and media hype promised white glove 5 star service that, frankly, they did not or could not provide. I sail Seabourn almost exclusively, and for the value I received on Cunard, there is no comparison. (never will... wouldnt even think of paying the fare for Queens Grill) If you read my reviews over the past several years, you will see that I am fair, but tell it like it is. QM2 is understaffed, and does not have room for the staff it requires. I hope they can figure it out, because the ship itself is awesome.
Before you flame me, please let me tell you that I had a very fun time on my 24 days on QM2. I met some great people, and new friends for life.
My QM2 review is on this site BTW.
Cruiser Dan – you’ve cited good reasons for not (yet) booking QM2, It’s good that you post these observations! I can afford it but I’m not a gambler at heart. I have been thinking seriously of booking, now, I’ll sit back for a while! You’ve just saved me at least 10 grand!
Those of us in income brackets below yours appreciate it – at least I do! Altho money may not be a consideration for you, ever thought, or even given thought, to the fact that not everyone has unlimited funds to ‘try it out’ only to come away less than satisfied?
QM2 prices, per day, are extremely high, and media hype promised 'white glove, 5 star service'……it’s pretty obvious from reviews that QM2 did not or could not (thus far) provide such service. 'QM2 is understaffed, and does not have room for the staff it requires.'……that too seems to hold water – a beautiful ship may be….but…….beauty is but skin deep!
In my opinion, this is still a first class ship. Depending on which dining room you select, the cabin, food and service will vary a great deal. True, you all have the same public rooms and entertainment, but food and service are the most important aspect of any ship.
btw, anne, we noticed on qm2reviews.com that the menus for brittania, princess grill and queens grill are exactly the same. sure, there are other items available in princess and queens, but the majority of the food (we think) is probably prepared all together. know other specialities are for the asking, such as caviar, etc. in p&q, but the overall experience in brittania was excellent food...and we think was mostly the same for p&g. even compared the menus on qm2reviews with actual ones given to us at the end of the cruise...exactly the same.
jon...i am not doubting that, as i know the p&q offer other amenities and extras...i'm merely saying the brit tania was featuring the same "basic" menus, and frankly the food was as delicious as could be. what i meant was that i do think there's some "sharing" of at least the prep stage for all 3 venues, and if i'm wrong so be it. i just could not find any complaint at all with the food in brittania.