I loved my QM2 voyage. I think there'san important way that the experience could be improved, and I'm surprised Cunard hasn't realized it.
A ship concierge or a ship "information desk" is very much needed, especially for those of us in Brittannia-level cabins (I know the grill-level passengers have a dedicated concierge). My party found it difficult--impossible--to find someone to answer questions for us. The "receptionists" at the purser's desk never seemed to know the answers (they could be a tad testy too), and the cruise director's door was shut and locked at all times. Does anyone have any insights into this?
Also, Cunard is losing good business by not having their shipboard cruise office better staffed and more readily available. Several times my wife and I went there to plan a trip, and the lines were simply too long. The purser's desk said the cruise-sales office would be open on disembarkation morning, so we waited, but it was closed. Also, no Cunard brochures were available (apparently) unless we wished to stand on the long line. I would have liked to take a brochure back to my cabin, think about 2005, and then go down and book. Or at least bring home a Cunard brochure to consider at my leisure.
But what a great trip! What a beautiful ship! It's pretty close to perfection when these are my biggest quibbles!
I would recommend that anyone who feels that problems should be addressed might be better off writing to Cunard's parent company...namely Carnival Cruises and send the letter right to the big boss who runs Carnival.
I am sure that after spending 800 hundred million dollars for this mega ocean liner there is going to be problems. Tis better to nip things in the bud now rather than waiting later on and hoping that the problem gets resolved.
If anyone here from the board was on the recent cruise to the Caribbean and you are reading this please advise what the meal times were in the Brittania restaurant...June 11th is coming very quickly...2 weeks from today and we're off.
Hi Shelly...thanks for the tip on early seating...that's what we have and wish it were a little later on the day of departure from New York,as all of us want to be on deck as we sail out,especially to see the Statue of Liberty and also for when we sail under the
Verrazano Bridge, so I guess we will opt to go to Kings Court for dinner rather than in the diningroom,which for us is the Brittania restaurant.
Being on deck for the trip down the Hudson was very exciting. Don't miss it. Seeing the skyline go by, and then the Statue of Liberty was terrific. We had late seating for dinner in the Britannia so it was not a problem. When we got to the Bridge it was completely fogged in, so we retreated to our cabin to change for dinner.
When you get aboard and to your room, call and make a reservation for dinner in one of the three restaurants that they change the King's Court into at night. There is no buffet casual dining aboard QM2 for dinner. You have to reserve a table for a specific time in the Oriental, beef or Italian section of the King's Court. No jeans etc. They might be able to seat you if you just walk in, but I wouldn't risk it. I'd book a table.
Gabriel, you are not the only one who saw the missed opportunity aboard QM2 as it regards future sales. I was Cruise Sales Manager aboard QE2, Sagafjord and Vistafjord in the 80s and, at that time, we had a full fledged campaign for on board future cruise sales. Every cabin was stocked with all future cruise brochures, the CSM’s name was emblazened on every possible document about Cunard Line you would find on the ship as the "your go-to-guy/gal", I tried to make travel agents know they were “Champions of Cunard Line” with special events just for them, made our Captain's Commend List and Repeat passengers known to each other at a cocktail party early in the cruise (talk about fertile ground for future cruise sales) and so on. It’s a 24/7 job and office hours are just a tiny part of the day, if you do the job right
Hey Matt...I will be onboard with you on the 11th...can't wait either. I also sailed on the May 7th 3nighter...the Queens Grill lounge is diretly across the corridor from Queens Grill, wih a prominent sign that this lounge is for QG passengers ONLY..as is the open deck/Jacuzzi aft on 11 Deck by the way.
Sadly the coffee onboard was a major disappointment!! I returned as a tea drinker as the coffee was so weak and flavorless....I thought they should tie up with starbucks or at least have an expresso bar somewhere on ship.
the nightclub on the 'Queen Mary 2' as she is known on board is called the G32.
it is accessed via the Queens Room.
the onboard band on my cruise (may 24th the med) was ONYX, a great group who really rocked and got the place buzzing, think they got off recently!
have a great trip
the Queen Mary 2 is ace!!!
Just returned from westbound transatlantic crossing.............Cunard, & Seabourn brochures were available round the clock in the Art Gallery lower level deck 3 on Starboard side around the clock. It was however only attended for a few hours each day.
We leave on 7/28 from NYC to Southhampton. My husband does NOT want to buy a tux or rent one. Will his dark suit suffice? Also, I have only one long dress, but several cocktail dresses. Will I be embarrassed, or can I bluff it for the four formal nights??
All the messages I've read said that the men wore tuxes and the women were defintely "formal" on formal nights (I thought there were only two formal nights on a crossing). We were able to rent a tux from a company that has a "cruise plan." We got a nice tux (but not a designer one) with two shirts, two ties, two vests, for the price of one night. I called several places until I came across this offer.
On my voyage, at least 95% of the men wore tuxes on formal nights, and most of the women wore black formal dresses. On a Caronia voyage last year, I wore a black suit (like the brochure says you can do), and I think I was alone in not wearing a tux.
Of course, you will not be denied service because you're not forrmally dressed, but you will definitely be in the extreme minotiry.
Could you please help me. I'm going on the QM2 carribean cruise and have bought 3 dresses for the formal nights, All of these are long gown type ball/prom dresses, ie flaired sparkly silk style. Would these be appropiate. Also would a white tux be OK for my husband?
Was on the 10 May Cruise to Caribbean, and formal nights were very very "Sparkly". Lots of sequins and beautiful gowns. Your gowns sound perfect! I saw men in white dinner jackets on some nights, but a black tux is more appropriate probably. My impression was that the QM2 was more elegant and refined than stylin' .
Experience overall on QM2 was terrific. There were moments when I wondered what moron was running this ship, but that can happen on any cruise ship. (Service staff, not maritime staff).
Service was a bit slow/spotty at times in Brittania, but food was good. We ate in Lotus, the Oriental alternative restaurant, one night. It was outstanding. Didn't bother with Todd English. But wished we had more nights so we could have done The Carvery and the Italian alternative restaurants. But we didn't want to miss out visiting with our dinner companions, so we went to Brittania the other nights. And I know lots of people objected to the Roll Colonel serving one roll to each person at dinner then disappearing -- more British than American, and Americans love their rolls at dinner!
Ship itself is a wonder of beauty and tasteful design, daily diversions very good (lectures, planetarium, shows), library and bookshop not to be missed, Tea every afternoon, formal nights where everything glitters. Ship's size did not put me off, like I was afraid it would. Its quiet dignified atmosphere was what I had hoped it would be.
Some of the staff were standoffish and occasionally rude, but not as a rule. BUT, I have NOT encounted this on other cruises, and I didn't expect it on the QM2. Room service left a lot to be desired by my standard, so after missing breakfast one morning due to Room Service not showing up within 1/2 hour of when we had asked it to be delivered, we left the cabin without it as we had to make our shore excursion tender (they assign you a tender time based on the shore excursion you have booked to make the tendering experience less chaotic, at least that's their plan). So if you order breakfast room service -- be advised. But others had no problem with this. Like I said, some of the service is "spotty". Good some times, not so good at other times.
I thought charging $27.50 for an 8x10 overexposed digital photo print outrageous, so I passed on them. It they had been $10.00 5x7 photos I might have had a couple.
I was afraid I would be put off by the Queens-Princess-Britannia distinction between passengers, but truthfully, other than not being allowed to enter the Queens and Princess Grills, you never sense any "class" distinction at all. I never had any other passenger say, "Me first, I'm Queen's Grill." I was very happy to see this.
Everyone's expectations of the ship and Cunard are very very high. And I think we all go aboard thinking it will be "Granada" or "Nirvana" or something, and the naked truth is -- it's a big brand-new ship run by Carnival with a slightly older, slightly richer, more sophisticated, more discriminating group of passengers. We all wanted No Excuses from anyone, and sometimes the staff proved to be just over-worked under-enthused people.
But yes, it was a great time, I'll go back and do it again in a year or two and see what they managed to improve on. They certainly won't get worse in any areas or they won't keep people paying the premium they pay for the experience.
You will enjoy yourselves immensely. Patience and an open-mind will be helpful. Learn all you can about the ship and where/when things are the first day or two as this will help the following days. It's very easy to get twisted around and walk half the ship before realizing you are headed the wrong direction!
If you want to shop -- shop the first day at sea. By the last day or two the "logo" store was practically stripped clean already. I wish I had bought more on the first day before it was all picked over.
Listen woudl give them a break Stop picking out the little things and just enjoy the trip! its not all about "U" u know! It is only a new ship and they need to make her perfect and it will take a while they are doign thier best! So please just give them all a break!
hey mvkath, you wanted to know what to do in london? I would recommend doing an opentop bus tour, touristy i know, but it's a great way to get an idea of the city. What do you like to do, museums, shop? Even if you don't like to shop you should definitely go to Harrods, it's in knightsbridge and is really easy to get to on the tube. it has it's own stop! if my memory serves me corectely it's on the picaddilly line. You should get a packed lunch from the food hall and take it to hyde park to eat! also you should try and visit buckingham palace, sometimes it is open to the public, you have to buy a ticket, i don't know if you can do this on the internet. There are lots of great are galleries if this is your thing. Visit leicester square, this is where films get their premiare (sp) and walk throught to china town, lots of good food! then you can also visit piccadilly circus (at night when it's all lit up is the best time to go). Covent garden is nice to visit for shopping and to see the street peformers. If you like to visit gardens you could catch the train to Kew. Greenwich is a great place to visit, ever fancied standing across a time zone, well this is the place to do it! You can also found out about Great Britains maritime history at the maritime museum. You can find out loads of info on www.visitlondon.com
I would recommend buying a day/weekly rover for the underground, but try and plan which zones you will be using before you buy it! London is split into zones and the tube is priced for each zone 1-6.
i hope this helps
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We took my mother to London two years ago-she was 78- and we found that the tube was faster for getting around town- but not always easy because of stairs etc. Not all stations have escalators or elevators. The bus would enable you to see more of the city and maybe be a little easier to access for your mom- it will just take you a little longer to get from here to there. I wish we had done the bus because I felt as if we had my mother underground most of the time. The open bus tour is an excellent idea, and also getting some food from the Harrod's food court and having a picnic.
We also went to Greenwich- but it was quite a trip on the light rail- although they also have a leisurely boat trip up the Thames to get there. Then it was a long walk, and to get to the Maritime Museum and Prime Meridian line - where you can stand with one foot in the western hemisphere and one in the eastern- is quite a trek up a hill. We left my mom on a bench with some water because she didn't feel up to the climb.
We stayed in a small hotel, B & B in South Kensington, and I wasn't very happy with it. Also, it was near the time of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and the taxi service that the hotel called for us to take us to Vicotoria Station tried to cheat us. He said that the roads to Victoria Station were all closed because of the Queen's jubilee, and he'd be happy to drive us to the airport for about $120. But luckily I had done my reading and when I confronted him with the fact that the Queen wasn't even in London that day, he backed off and we got to the station with no problem. So be careful.
I wish I had a hotel in London to recommend to you- but if no one on this chat line does, I would stick with some recommendations from a reputable guide book.
We explained that we would be gone for two weeks (we're leaving the US on 7/14 and returning on 7/28) and they didn't have any problem with that. We're paying $140 for the entire time. I called 2 places and one was about $240 for the whole time and the second place I called offered the "cruise special" for $140. I've been worrying about this for months and was pleasantly surprised! I don't know if the place we used is a chain but it's called "Formal Affairs."
We're packing the tux and leaving our luggage when we get to London and picking it up the next week on our way to the ship.