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joro44

QM2 to Norway via Hamburg return

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We have recently returned from a 12 nighter round trip to Norway via Hamburg. There were as many Germans on board as all the other nationalities put together. Thus announcements in two languages and menus in the buffet (King'Court) to suit their taste. For them it was a 7 nighter, hence a lot of towels on sun loungers types, generally bad manners were the order of the day. This contrasted with the North Americans and others who were most polite.

We are in two minds about the liner, some parts are the best of the twenty we have been on; theatre, cinema, and loads of space, inside and out. Including the facility to have cats and dogs on the North Atlantic run, with a London lamppost and New York fire hydrant to make them feel at home. All material things a grade up on P&O, proper ballpoint pen, ice cream and soft drinks 24/7, heated flannel to wipe ones heated brow and hands when returning from ashore. Three excellent speakers to enrich one. Entertainment was restricted due to languages, hence no comedian, the dance/song  group was sixteen strong.

BUT, King's Court (buffet) is to our minds awful, despite having been altered during the recent major refit. It is about half in length, full width of the ship and has two walkways going through it. Different types of foods are in various stations so by the time one has filled a plate, the food is cool. To crown it there are no trays, so the whole charade has to be repeated for each course including drinks. That is just the start, it is arranged in alcoves with natural light or large central spaces without daylight. In order to maintain a seat each couple must collect their food course one at a time, else the table is wiped and others are seated. On one occasion I ate on my own and lost my place each time I went to get the next course/drink! We did not see any assistance for those with mobility impairment, unlike P&O. Suggest that the buffet is given a miss at main mealtimes and recommend the main dining room. 

To take advantage of this, the only true cruise liner in operation, we suggest the Southampton-New York-Southampton round cruise would provide the opportunity to sample all QM2's facilities. However, not one starting or ending in Hamburg.

48 cruises 20 ships

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We did the north cape with the same Hamburg two stops I felt this made the cruise disjointed, because when 1500 German passenger got on, it was the embarkation day even though we had been aboard two days, so first formal, and captains do far was four days into the cruise, if you see what I meam, and the same with the end of the cruise, last formal, and good buys were prior to Hamburg but we still had two sea days. Felt wrong to us.

just my opinion 

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Hi  I sailed on Cunard's twice named ship the Vistafjord and eventually Coroina in the late 1980's and this vessel was a bilingual vessel with announcements made in  English and German so your experience is nothing new.  It is possible that Cunard may be trying to increase their potential market share by opting to becoming a more international cruise line rather than relying on UK passengers.

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I found the same as you Land Ahoy especially on QE2 transatlantic crossings it was quite normal for announcements to be made in several languages, Cunard have for quite a while now been embarking/disembarking in Hamburg for certain cruises and if you look at the current brochure you will see more and more short cruises ( Amsterdam/Rotterdam being one example ) where it appears passengers are being accommodated by embarking them at these ports no doubt to enable them to do longer cruises without the hassle of flying, a friend recently did a short cruises to Hamburg and didn't like it at all but it does seem to be a means to an end to encourage a more international passenger which can't be a bad thing, incidentally the trip my friend did there were no formal nights and no welcome aboard party in her words it was basically a 'ferry service' from A to B.

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