They must have changed the policy when you sailed (mike and jon). The Queens grill menu and the Princess Grill menu were totally different from Brittania. The grills have a seperate kitchen that is not even close to Brittania. The Q Grill menu was the same as P Grill, but also offered an alacarte section. (Far superior than Brittania)
Some of us would just be happy with being able to afford to go on the QM2... maybe you should put all ur efforts into making your cruise/crossing or whatever you want to call it.. a great one... instead of coming on here and whinging...
Glad to finally hear someone else booked 5/10!!! My college roommate (from trillions of years ago) and I cruise every 5th year together. This being our 50th Birthday Years, we decided to book the QM2 for a trully memorable trip. Who else will be on 5/10?
We are hoping that just because we could not / did not book the Princess or Queen's Grills that we still will have a fantastic time. All you P&Q people gloating about the poor people in Brittania are SCARING ME! I can only imagine that once Cunard gets their act together the ship will run as smoothly as any.
Matthew -- Drink water and put all your Starbucks money in a coffee can. You'll be surprised how fast you have enough for a cheap cabin. My theory is I only sleep, shower and change clothes in the cabin. Why pay more for a room I won't be in most of the time. We booked over a year ago and got a fantastic early bird price.
The trip on the QM2 was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Everything about it was fabulous except the shortage of non-smoking areas. The food was perfect, the Oxford-sponsored lectures enlightening, the entertainment entertaining and the trip a gem. If anyone is disappointed, they spent way too much time reading bad novels in their cabin.
I agree with your post. I and my associates took the QM2 from Southampton to New York on its maiden transatlantic. As a platinum Cunard world club member, I was disappointed in shelling out double to triple the money for a Carnival-class experience. The food was fine, but the service was not that sharp. They double over-booked second seating and so we were relegated to early seating from a table of four to six. I inquired about a change, to which they replied that they would try but it was not likely to take place. Then I asked if we could set as four by ourselves at the 6 top, but was denied. After some insistence on my part, we sat by ourselves. Then it was a tremendous hassle to for them to remove the extra settings at our table. I finally went the Maitre d' and informed him that if he was not going to adjust the settings, I myself would remove them one by one and stack them on his podium. He complied. I was always very polite, but they were under-staffed, inattentive and disorganized. I felt sorry for our solitary waiter, who was always rushed. The food quality was fine, but comparable to other ships.
The ship itself was lovely, but at times gaudy. Who cares about the size if you can't run it efficiently and establish an "atmosphere". Cunard has been known for "atmosphere" in the past. The cabin was nice though, but the ship is way, way understaffed. It also certainly does lack the atmosphere and style of the QE2; which has some problems of her own. The ship rolled alot, given the very rough seas and gale force winds. Thats not a problem per se, but an officer admitted to me they did not expect it to perform that badly.
Disembarkation in New York was a nightmare, and it was totally Cunard's fault; despite the fact that they over-protested that it was US Immigration that was causing the problem. US immigration was a breeze on ship. It took us 7 hours to get disbembark, however. Circus trains are unpacked with more grace and aplomb than this ship was. One New York Cunard employee was extremely rude.
Despite the historical significance of sailing on her first trans-atlantic, I would be hesitant to board her again. Celebrity lines offer a much better experience in my opinion. The casino staff was fabulous though, and the planetarium was neat. Todd English was nice, but no worth it, except for the service. The spa was very, very nice, but closed most of the time. In the finaly analysis, I have to opine that QM2 is just a gigantic cruise ship, not a real liner. It was tantamount to a Carnival cruise minus the codoms and empty beer cans. Thats not the end of the story. I and my friends sailed back to England on the 25th of April on the QE2. Here goes the tale:
We had a three day lay over and went back to our homes. Returning on the 25th, I looked forward to the trip, since I had sailed on the QE2 many times before. We were booked in a Coronia class cabin on the fourth deck. The service and the food were much, much better than that on the QM2. The ship is showing her age though. I sailed on her August 2002, and I am sorry to say, things look alot more tattered. But the experience and the Cunard "atmosphere" were still there, I am happy to report. What was troubling however, was the constant sewage backlog that we were constantly experiencing in our shower. Everyday. They showed up to "fix" the problem 2 1/2 days out, but it still remained for the entire trip. The water mostly flowed a light to dark brown out of the tap, throughout the cruise, with occasional clear moments. Then the water was shut off completely for most of one day. I had to shave and wash from the bottled water that they supplied. I really hate to moan, but, at those prices, these things should not happen. To top off my journey, at breakfast I was treated to two pieces of cooked cardboard, thumb-sized cut-outs, sauteed in with my my mushrooms. That was disgusting, and combined with my cabin experience, put a sort of a damper on the trip. The entertainment was marginal, but service seemed up to snuff. The casino was alot of fun though, and the lectures were very good, in my opinion. All in all, I thinks Cunard has been carnivalized. I most likely will be looking to other lines such as Silversea and Crystal in the future.
I just returned from a three-day QM2 trip, and we had a great time.
At lunch one day, they did not open the upper floors of the Brittania restaurant, and so throughout lunch, there was a long line of people waiting. Except for the first night, the food was superb.
My general complaint is that for the less-tthan-Grill passenger, there is no Cunard employee who acts as a concierge. There was no one to ask "is this a formal night?" or "where is the cruise-sales office?" or any other questions, and the receptionists at the purser's ofice could be rather curt. The door labeled "Cruise DIrector" was always shut and locked. Also. I never found the "Harrads at sea."
On the good side, there's lot to do, everyone is very friendly, the ship is spotlessly clean, and there are lots of nice, quiet rooms to retreat to.Even though the cruise wa sold out, there was never the feeling of being crowded (except at dinner). The ship was beautifully smooth. I had really just fallen into the cruise state of mind when it all ended. The disembarkation process was very smooth. We had a great time, and I want to go again, very soon.
Queen Mary 2 is carnival cruises at Cunard prices. Poor service by staff in the dining room and bar areas try ones patience . Disembarkation was terrible and poorly managed almost leading to fights between the staff and guests.
Celebrity Cruises offer much better service and excellent food and beverage service at much lower cruise prices.
This ship is beautiful but, is run like Carnival cruises at Cunard prices . Don't be fooled by the hype of Cunard QM2 was not an enjoyable cruise.
But I hope someone in Cunard will step forward and correct these problemsif not people will not pay high prices for such poor service.
Keeler we need specifics. Anyone can write bad things about the QM2. You said nothing to back up your claim. For example, I was on the Tandem Crossing on the QM2. Having been on 5 Carnival Cruises over the years. It did not feel like a Carnival Cruise. I found the food very good, much better than I was expecting. Possible because people were putting the food and service down. Also I had a wonderful waiter in the Britannia Dining room his name is Hansel, at table 95. The only thing about the food I didn't like was the midnight snack in the Kings Court was the same every night. I'm glad they don't have a midnight buffet. I've always felt it was a cattle stampeed, and it was too soon after dinner(I like to eat late) for me. The entertainment was great. The lectures were wonderful, I've never had a lecture on a Carnival Cruise. The planetarium was amazing. In fact I brought 2 books that I wanted to read, thinking I would have lots of time on my hand. I never opened any of them. Too many things to do during the day. The QM2 is definately a "big ship" experience. You're not going to get a "intimate ship" cruise on a ship that hold over 2,000 passengers, I've been on many big and small ships. Also the QM2 has a real nice disco, I don't know if you think a disco should only be on a Carnival Cruise, but it was well attended to on my crossing. Cunard should have more bar servers in the G32, because it was packed after midnight. All in all. I love the Queen Mary 2, I'm planning an 8-day cruise in March. I though she was very beautiful. The Queen Rooms IMOHP is the most beautifu afloat, watching all the couples ballroom dance was a pleasure, never seen anyone ballroom dance on a Carnival Cruise. I think if you assume that all the options to fork out money is a Carnival Cruise, I think you need to take a look at the world. Every Corporation in America is trying to make as much money from us as possible. Cruise Lines are no different, the CEO's have an obligation to their shareholders to bring as much $$ as possible. Cunard is not exempt from this, either is Celebrity. Also if Celebrity is the perfect Line for you, maybe you should stay with them. I personally have gotten smitten by the QM2. Long live the Queen!!!!!
We will be going out of NY and returning 6/19 to NY. Can you please tell me what a "self help guess" is? Do you request this? Are you given special tags for your luggage or do you just get off the ship with your own luggage instead of putting it out the night before? We are thinking of either parking our car at the pier or having a car pick us up? Would prefer a car to pick us up but didn't know what time to tell them. Would it be safe to have a car pick us up at 8 AM. Thank you for your help.
I got my "pre-cruise" docs and there is a page explaining disembarkation and "self-help." All it means is that you notify the Purser's office no later than noon on the day PRIOR to arrival that you want to do "self-help disembarkation." You will carry your own luggage off (up to two pieces per person) and not need the services of the ship's porters. I guess if you had more luggage than that you would have to use their services.
I agree with your post. We are also on the 11/26 cruise from NYC. I'm not going with a pre-conceived notion or a chip on my shoulder based on the opinion of someone else. I'm going with an open-mind. I am as satisfied with a slice of pizza and a beer as I am with a nice filet and a good bordeaux. Keep the faith and have fun. After all, it's supposed to be a vacation not a visit to the complaint desk.
P.S. I've heard that the Q deck passengers eventually find their way to the Britannia for a little atmosphere.
I find it humorous that people would spend so much time trying to defend the exorbitant cost of their passage by convincing themselves that their food was prepared differently. Face it folks, you're on a ship. A ship has limited space. This means that you can only get so much food on the ship. Ergo, there will be similarities in the food all over the ship.
If you were to follow the logic of some on this board one would assume that only certain, high-end vodkas are served in the Q club as opposed to the rot gut they give the knaves in steerage. Please, if you can afford the amenities then live it up, but stop trying to spoil the party for others with inaccurate generalizations.
Unless you have dined at Brittania how would you know about the food?
My husband and I also just traveled on the QM2 from Southampton to NYC. As a first-time crosser (and I have never cruised), but as an experienced international expatriate and traveller, I can only say that the service was superb. To me, service is defined not by what goes wrong, but by how it is dealt with when it inevitably does. We were given the wrong day and time for our Captain's Cocktail Party, putting us into the Queen's Room party when in fact we were a Britannia level guest (and there is a story in that, as well). The mistake was of course taken in stride by the Captain and by the ship's hostess, and to apologise for our embarrassment, we were then invited by the Pursar to attend a Senior Officers' Cocktail Party later in the week. The whole thing was handled with utter taste and finesse.
The food, and I am normally ambivalent in this area, consistently, every day, and every meal, surpassed not only my expectations but my experience as well.
One thing we missed not having: an old-fashioned sailing party, with ticker tape and a quayside band, were conspicuously absent. We had a (not very good) reggae band playing hits from the 50s instead, which was not exactly the sailing ambience we had hoped for.
In addition, I missed the camaraderie that I was hoping for on board. I found most people to be distant, aloof, not overly given to making spontaneous acquaintances. I would have enjoyed a bit more engagement from passengers, rather than avoidance of eye contact from fellow shipmates who weren't even inclined to say hello when passing one another in empty corridors. But that is not Cunard's fault.
After living and working for half of my adult life in China, the crossing on QM2 provided a welcome reminder of the nature of genuine service and style which can only be bred from the depths of heritage, values, and remarkable taste. Well done, Cunard.
There will always be those who will focus on the negative. I'm sure you've heard the story of the twins who were told their birthday presents were in the barn. They run to the barn and one twin - the pessimist - sees it's filled with manure. "Phew, this is disgusting," she shouts and runs away. Her sister - the optimist - dives in, all smiles. "With this much manure, there must be a pony in here somewhere," she states. This is the inaugeral year for the Queen Mary 2 so I expect that kinks need to be worked out. We're looking forward to our Carribean voyage in February 2005. We have cruised on NCL, Royal Carribean, Disney, Carnival and Cunard's QE2, so we're not cruise virgins. Our daughters, (no, they're not twins), each under 12, have been on 7 and 8 cruises. We'll post our impressions after the voyage. If anyone has had experience with the childrens' program, please let me know.