Not so Grand Transatlantic……
Linda Woolston | March 6, 2014 | Cunard | Queen Mary 2
This cruise was from Southampton to Southampton and was advertised as the “Grand Transatlantic, New England and Canada”.
First the good points – although we did not experience any really rough weather (gale force winds and rough seas were the worst it got) the Queen Mary 2 barely moved. Her stability was really impressive. Sailing into New York, even at silly o’clock in the morning was so exciting, as was our arrival in the other wonderful ports on the itinerary. We watched the total eclipse of the moon at sea which was amazing, although the slight downside was that we then could not dock in Saint John as the tides were affected and low tide was too low. We also greatly enjoyed the excursions and found them to be good value for money. When one of the coaches broke down, delaying our departure from New York, we were reminded of the peace of mind that excursions offer…. I also enjoyed the musicians’ performances throughout.
Now for the rest – although the staff worked very hard to maintain appearances, there is no doubt the ship is overdue her refit. The carpets are a bit threadbare and grubby and the fittings are tired. The theatre was the worst I have ever experienced both for view of the stage and comfort. The ship’s design takes some getting used to – having the King’s Court buffet located on deck 7 is genius – again offering comfort and stability in rough seas (although trays would still be a welcome addition) but a satnav is useful if you want to find the Queen’s Room, which is so central in other Cunard ships. It is tucked away behind the Britannia Restaurant on QM2 and requires detours through the art gallery or photo gallery We were also both amused and bemused by the numerous dips in the floor, which seemed like holes under the carpets and made walking through the public areas in high heels a challenge. Our waiter was quite adept at juggling the bread rolls when he inadvertently found the large dip near to our table in the restaurant…..
However, the biggest disappointment came as the cruise progressed ( by the way, it’s not a cruise, but “a voyage or a crossing, on a true ocean liner”, when going across the Atlantic!). It seems as though the QM2 is so well suited to being a Transatlantic ferry, it has forgotten how to be a cruise ship. Once we settled further into our month away the repeats began – menus, production shows, Planetarium films, RADA presentations and even the themed balls were there again and again. Just to add insult to injury, we also received a questionnaire each week – NY – Quebec – NY – S’ton. Why?
Towards the end of the month, we used the buffet several times, simply to get more choice for dinner. We had requested extra veg at dinner as the main courses seemed lacking and we were cheerfully served broccoli, cauliflower and carrots every night, night after night, despite other veg being readily available in the buffet. Although there was always a vegetarian option on the main menu, the actual vegetarian menu did not change throughout the whole month!
I was also left unimpressed by the Insights programme. Lectures about war and solving murders? Not for me, I’m on holiday, thank you. But, since this was not really a lazing by the pool on sea days type of cruise, something more appealing would have been nice and there was a definite lack of entertainment most evenings from 4.30 to 8.00pm. Not too good for those of us dining at 8.30pm.
So, needless to say, I am in no rush to sign up for the world cruise!!!
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