Author Topic: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review  (Read 5778 times)

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Online cunardqueen

Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« on: Jul 18, 2015, 05:43 PM »
Quote
Hello from QM2 on the Atlantic (I'm only doing the return leg and am 'off duty' in terms of ship stuff).     
:o

Good lord that was kept quiet, or did l miss something.. ???
Bon Voyage anyway !
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #1 on: Jul 18, 2015, 07:57 PM »
:o

Good lord that was kept quiet, or did l miss something.. ???
Bon Voyage anyway !
No I didn't want to say to anyone! Just on holiday and deliberately avoiding anything QE2 related!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #2 on: Jul 19, 2015, 04:06 PM »
Quote
  Just on holiday and deliberately avoiding anything QE2 related!   

Hmmmm

Cunard, A Queen (?) Ship, Goldon Lion, white star service,Queens Room, Oh l know. one was the worlds best loved and most famous ocean liner ever, the other...well....l see where your coming from...New York,and yes v e r y slowly to Southampton.. ;) ;) ;)
Safe travels and enjoy the experience. I hope those onboard are aware of your status.. 8)
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #3 on: Jul 22, 2015, 07:17 PM »
I've split this so as to not disrupt the important 'QM2 2016 Refit' topic.

I'll post a full review very soon.  I have lots I want to say about my experiences - mostly good, some bad.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #4 on: Jul 22, 2015, 07:57 PM »
Welcome back, Rob, and I/we are looking very much forward to hearing about your experiences...

especially about the times you were daydreaming about being aboard our beloved QE2...

 :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline highlander0108

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #5 on: Jul 22, 2015, 11:05 PM »

Deck 5 plumbing issues.  Shades of QE2.  Repairs were ongoing during the 175th cruise, replacing the plumbing lines with new plastic piping.
"There will never be another one like her" QE2's last Master Ian McNaught
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Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #6 on: Jul 25, 2015, 02:37 PM »
The QM2 New York light show has been moved to this topic on the Cunard board:
https://www.theqe2story.com/forum/index.php/topic,6852.msg72732/topicseen.html#msg72732


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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #7 on: Jul 28, 2015, 07:22 PM »
Here's my review now, sorry for the delay posting it!



This is the review of someone who always wanted to take a transatlantic, then unexpectedly managed to do one relatively cheaply as part of his summer holiday, combined with an exciting but brief stay in New York.  I like that it was an "ordinary" crossing... I'd have found the previous crossing too exhausting.

To summarise my review - the ship is awesome but not perfect, as are most of her staff.  The way she's operated can be frustrating, and it seems easy to see some easy ways to improve her, even for ways for Cunard to make more money from her.

I didn't take a million photos, as I've been on Queen Mary 2 before and was concentrating on having a holiday, but I took photos of things that interested me, or things that I knew would change in the refit....

I know many of you reading this have been on QM2 umpteen times, so please feel free to comment, or post your own reviews.  The only thing I'd ask is that we keep the QE2 Photo Gallery for QE2 only... my photos below are all held on my personal Flickr page.


Itinerary

14th July - boarding in New York
16th July - in Port, Halifax.
22nd July - Southampton

Embarkation and disembarkation

Incredible embarkation.  From stepping out of the taxi, to being on our cabin balcony took around 10 minutes.
Disembarkation seemed chaotic with everyone being allowed off regardless of whether it was their time or not.  Having said that, it didn't take us long. 
The West Quay Taxi transfer to Southampton airport (booked on board for $10) was effortless.  However I'm not clear why Cunard don't offer a bus to Southampton airport - lots of passengers were there with us.


Weather.

Good all the way, and often fabulous.


Speed.

22 to 23 knots until the last day, and then 17-18 knots.  I don't think I could bear a crossing at 17-18 knots, it just felt too slow, but 22 to 23 seemed OK.  On lower decks, the water appeared to be speeding by quickly enough outside.


Other passengers.

Very mixed!  A good range of ages.  Most people seemed to 'get it' and dress and behave appropriately, but some looked like they'd meant to get on a cross channel ferry and joined the wrong queue - complete with soccer tops etc.  Some (i won't say which country most of them were from...) were very rude and demanding, to staff who were doing a good job.  They were more "me" than the passengers we'd had on our short (cheap!) European cruise on her in 2012.


Our cabin

No strawberries to welcome us!!!  A cost-cut too far I feel!!   The chilled Pol Acker was present and correct though...

11122 was a 'BC' grade, which is one of the best ordinary Britannia grades. Even though it's only 5 cabins from the back of deck 11, it counts as 'midships'...  However nipping down to the Kings court or to go down to boat deck only took a minute or so.  We were told by 2 stewards that we could use the grills deck at the back of this deck - as long we were just passing through it. (I wonder if other QM2 past passengers on here agree with that?).  This made the back of the ship feel more QE2-ish than it had previously to me.

I was surprised to find it felt much more spacious than the previous cabin I'd had, 5146 - especially between the bed and the balcony.  The glass balcony was fantastic.  Stepping into the room to see the ocean moving by was a treat every time.  There was rust on the balcony when we boarded, which was magically painted one evening when we were at dinner.  However it's just been painted over, rather than scrubbed back to metal and treated properly.  I pushed a rusty bubble and it burst open with rusty water running out...  but the next occupant will not see rust on the balcony, and i suppose that's the main thing.  At one point the toilet roll holder came adrift of the tiled wall.  I left it hanging there.  That evening it had been partially fixed, but the following day it was properly permanently fixed - this was without me saying anything to anyone.  I was impressed.  The cabin's condition was otherwise perfect.  I still can't get used to the plastic bathroom, especially after QE2, it always feels like a ferry to me. The cabin TV system was blurry with very tinny sound - they need to improve this.  The screen that shows where the ship is etc. is not as good as the screen that was on QE2 in 2007/2008.  Bed was incredibly comfortable.  AC worked well.  Nothing was worn or dirty.
 
Above our cabin... the Boardwalk Café...?

Each morning at 8am (6 on the last day) the very heavy teak furniture for the boardwalk cafe was laid out.  This was right above this cabin, making it not great for anyone wanting a long lie - otherwise no noise was heard from above.  Questions : why do they put the furniture away each evening (conditions were calm, the furniture doesn't move easily) and why did the boardwalk cafe never open once? (more on that later).  Maybe if we'd been able to enjoy the cafe during the day, the noise of it being setup wouldn't have bothered us!


Closed due to inclement weather
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


Closed due to inclement weather
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


Dining

Britannia Restaurant.

I can only say it was disappointing.  Service was efficient but not particlularly friendly, and food was totally unremarkable.  After trying it twice we basically gave up.  Our penultimate evening, however, was on chief engineer Tony Kelly's table, and the food and service was signifcantly better, even though it was only about 20 feet from our normal table.  Tony seemed charming, but unfortunately I couldn't really hear him across the table in the busy restaurant, so I enjoyed speaking to others closer to me.  I never really got a chance to talk to him, and I don't think he knew why I was at his table...


Kings Court.


I thought the food quality and service was really exceptional, it seemed to have taken a step up since 2012 (and we enjoyed it then).  I just couldn't grasp why sections kept closing, with no warning.  For example, they'd be adding fresh hot food onto a tray, and then literally 30 seconds later, the entire section would shut, sometimes leaving you with half a meal on your table and having to go and hunt for the other half.  They didn't have trays - which to start with seemed daft to me - but I think it was making it function better.  People spent less time at the counter and there was less waste.


Kings Court a-la-carte.

Was extremely popular.  We did the Indian "Coriander" night, and it was really superb with a lovely cosy atmosphere.  I wanted to do the asian night (I forget its name?) but it was fully booked early on.  I couldn't help wondering if this was fully booked because Britannia was also disappointing other people.


Todd English


Really awesome, both the food and the service, and close to the experience I had in PG on QE2 in 2007 & 2008.


Public Rooms


G32

Truly dreadful.  I stuck my head in to check it was as bad as it was last time (smoky, smelly and unpopular) and it was.  Feels like an 80s club in Glasgow.

Queens Room


The “Blackpool style” ballroom dancing isn’t for me, so therefore most nights in the Queens Room aren’t for me, and I find it all a bit cheesy, but on the 2nd last night I think they had the full orchestra playing, and it was much better and i’d have stayed to listen if we didn’t have to be somewhere else!  I don’t love the Queens Room, but it's impressive, in its unique hard-to-get-to way.


Commodore Club

Still love it, it's still the most reminiscent of QE2's public rooms, but the cigar smoke smell was very strong indeed (they all kept opening the door between the club and Churchills) and we sensed that the wealthy guests were given priority treatment in this area.  One evening we waited for ages to order a drink, before giving up and retreating with our tails between our legs back down to steerage.


Champagne Bar.

This is a total failure of a space, in my view.  But I think it could be fixed quite easily!  With frosted glass between it and the lobby, it would get an exclusive feeling that it currently totally lacks. 


Sir Samuels.

I still like it, but I was shocked at the tables (dirt and crumbs around the edge) and the worn and dirty looking chairs.  It felt more like a cheap cafe.


Golden Lion.

Constantly busy.  I enjoyed a game of darts here, and loved the sea view.


Winter Garden.

I actually like it, especially in the evening.  It has the feeling of a calming retreat.  It also was a good place for them to show the golf open live or do small demos.


Pavilion

Sadly, this was basically a no-go area for me.  Dominated by children and their families, I only ever passed through rapidly.  They seemed to be enjoying it (in fact they rarely seemed to leave that room) so I was happy to leave them to it.


Planetarium.

First time I'd experienced this, and I loved it.  Although I think its smaller than planetarium's I've been to ashore, it envelopes you in the same exciting way.  Slightly difficult to get a ticket though - queue before 9am at Connexions.  There must be a better way.  And on a particular voyage, preference should be given to people who haven't already been.


Illuminations

Watched a movie here on a formal night, and totally forgot I was on a ship.  The cinema is a great space, although I think the projector may need upgraded as it was a bit blurry.  And here's an idea for Cunard for up selling that wouldn't ruin the ship - do what every other cinema does and sell popcorn!  (Just don't sell anything with noisy wrapping papers!).


Shops.

Oh dear oh dear.  a rack of sale clothes in the middle of the grand lobby, and temporary tables setup every night selling what I would call junk.  Now why don't they show that in the brochure....?  The shops could be so much better and, I think, more profitable.  A clever brand-aware merchandiser could work wonders.


The "Grand" Lobby
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr

Book Shop - Chris Frame working wonders and dominating the book selection - but virtually no books left about QE2 which is very sad indeed.  I was amazed that even Cunard's own QE2 books from 2007 weren't present.


Photography

It felt like it was everywhere.  Constantly.  Every evening.  Including spoiling important public spaces.  For example, in the brochure, the elegant couple sweep along the corridor towards the Britannia Restaurant - but you don't see them having to step over cables, and step around camera equipment.


"Champagne Sailway".


It's too intrusive and I saw very few people indulging (most went to the bar and ordered something cheaper, that they actually wanted to drink).  Again this seems to take between 30 to 60 minutes to setup each time, spoiling the area during this important time.  Note that champagne is always available at the adjacent bar...


General thoughts about the ship.

Vibration

At the steady 22/23 knots, the ship vibrated as much as I remember QE2 doing in 1987 when she was on trials, being driven flat out, exceeded 34 knots, and bit of propellor had broken off!  And it was non-stop.  It definitely felt propellor related, given its rhythm.  This was felt throughout the back half of the ship.  It stopped when she slowed to the 17/18 speed...


Lifts.

Just an observation, but the lifts seemed very efficient.  They always appeared quickly, and seemed to get us to where we wanted quickly.  However I almost entirely used the stairs, for exercise.  Amazed by the number of people who took the lift just to move 1 or 2 decks. 

Did you know they go 'bing' for up and 'bing bong' for down?


Stateroom Corridors.

Seem to have thin carpets.  You can feel the metal deck going "clang" under your feet and they don't feel soft.  It feels like they just need underlay.  It feels cheap.  It doesn't feel like QE2 did...


Carpets throughout.

What is going on?  There are often craters which are big enough to trip on.  There's one in the Golden Lion that verges on the dangerous.  I think they said before it was underfloor fireproofing breaking up, and they fixed it on the main thoroughfare, but now it seems to be happening everywhere.


Windows throughout.

Many window units seem to need replacing with the view being either compromised or non existent.   On others the frames were very rusty and I found myself wondering if they'd cope with a big wave.


Space

Fantastic - lots of space.  If you wanted space to yourself, it wasn't hard to find it.  QE2 was like this too.  They must not ruin this in the refits.


Entertainment

For the sake of politeness, I won't mention the ones I thought were terrible but...


"International Band Xtasea".
They kept popping up everywhere and we didn't like them (everyone has different tastes but I'm afraid we just didn't think they were very good).  They seemed hard to escape.  Are they just "international" because the ship moves?

Pat Patton (Golden Lion).

This was an amusing moment.  The pub was busy (a sea day afternoon) with people chatting, or watching the Golf on TV.  Then Pat turned up at his allocated time.  Snapped off the TV, and started loudly playing the piano.  Within about 5 minutes, the pub was nearly empty.  It wasn't Pat's fault, but the rigidity of "the daily programme" sometimes made me laugh.

Chart Room entertainment.

I like jazz.  But not every night.  And not loudly, every night.  I think it was "The Jazz Club with the Harry Bolt Trio" (Rosie can confirm!)  Amazingly on the last night, Jeff Hughes from the Royal Court Theatre turned up and was simply superb.  Taking requests, and bringing the Chart Room alive.  MORE Jeff please!

Speakers

Lawrence Kunetz was fascinating and entertaining. He's been on other Cunarders including QE2 and I can see why..  Robin Oakley (the headliner, was interesting but a bit dry, and Nigel West obviously was an expert, but I found myself struggling to cope with the level of detail he went into, as did some of the others around me.  He maybe should reduce the detail for his audience!

Hilary O'Neil

I wasn't expecting much to be honest, but she was lovely, won over her audience immediately, and was genuinely funny in places.  I'm sorry she was only on once.


Outside Decks

Terrace pool and bar.

This is meant to be the luxury adults-only area.  The pool and hot tubs are not meant to be for kids. Subtle High-end Bose speakers surround the terrace, piping out quality "chill" music.    We made it into the Hot Tub, overlooking the incredible Manhattan skyline, enjoying the tunes and a cold beer.  I was looking forward to using this area throughout the trip.   It seemed to work well - until :-

- the smokers took up permanent residence.  Every single time I checked, every single chair was taken by the smokers.   This meant I couldn't sit there, and also made me feel uncomfortable when using the pool, as the steps are right there in front of them, and they're all sitting staring...
- People let there children, including toddlers, into the pool and hot tub.
- Xtasea appeared for sailaway with their massive speaker system being dragged across the deck (setup took about 45 minutes, ruining the atmosphere during this crucial time - why can't they plug into the Bose speaker system?).


Boat Deck.

Just awesome.  Incredibly popular - the steamer chairs and the walking and jogging (anti-clockwise only!).  And the lovely teak deck of course.  The front sheltered bit is still a very special space to walk through.


Taking it all in
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


Sports Deck.

This was my favourite area.  All 4 shuffle boards were in near constant use, and I played until my arm hurt, getting rather good (the starboard side board was the easiest, because the caulking was best here)! 
Tennis was really great too - the area is perfect, with hardly any wind, a great view, and the fake grass feeling surprisingly real under foot. I even saw families enjoying the paddling pool in the safe environment.
BUT :- the Regatta bar seems permanently disabled, and there was no way to get a drink on this entire deck (madness - Cunard could make more money here).  Not even water, because the water fountain next to the tennis court was broken.  Sun beds were strapped down and unavailable at the first sign of rain, meaning that 30 minutes later, people were roaming the hot sunny decks looking for anywhere to sit.  And the tennis court was still locked at 11am, causing a phonecall down to the pursers desk to bring a grumpy entertainment staff member up to unlock them.


DSC_0244
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


DSC_0212
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


Kennels

Were really busy!  I hadn't seen this before, and as a dog lover it was pleasing to see.  I was surprised to see that there was no lampost, and that there wasn't even fake grass for them...  they all seemed very happy and relaxed though.  We met a couple on board who's dog was on board, and they were delighted with the service and had only managed to get the dog on because someone else had cancelled.


Doggie Deck
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


Doggie Deck
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr


Doggie Deck
by Rob Lightbody, on Flickr



The rest of my photos are here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/lightbody/sets/72157656224322605
« Last Edit: Jul 28, 2015, 08:09 PM by Rob Lightbody »
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #8 on: Jul 28, 2015, 07:45 PM »
Thanks very much, Rob, for sharing this with us. 
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #9 on: Jul 28, 2015, 10:03 PM »
Excellent and very fair review Rob but I can't see how anyone likes the Winter Garden. Delighted to say changes coming there....

Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #10 on: Jul 28, 2015, 10:22 PM »
Thanks for sharing such a brilliant review! Great to see you enjoyed yourself, and interesting to read the little bits where you compare QM2 to QE2. :)
"The QE2 is one of the last great transatlantic liners, and arguably the most famous liner in the world"

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Offline Brandon Sterkel

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #11 on: Jul 29, 2015, 03:36 AM »
Wonderful review, Rob!
Great pictures!
Thanks for sharing! :)
« Last Edit: Jul 29, 2015, 03:57 AM by Brandon Sterkel »
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Online Cunarder Man

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #12 on: Jul 29, 2015, 07:08 AM »
A very full and fair review, hope you attached this to the tick box evaluation sheet on disembarkation! I appreciate this would not be the case, but perhaps you should send it in formally to Cunard. That's what will make the difference for future passengers. I really hope next year's refit will not compromise the fantastic open deck space on board. I enjoyed reading your comments and comparisons with bygone experiences on QE2.

Online cunardqueen

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #13 on: Jul 29, 2015, 07:09 PM »
Thanks Rob for sharing a good honest review. Naturally l have no idea what on earth your on about, and l doubt l ever will but thanks  :) :) ;)

I was always told with the Officer tables that the officer knows exactly who you are long before you take your seat.
In the good old days and l hate to hark back to such times  ::) but when the invite was extended, you were there for the duration of the crossing five or six days or the cruise and many long and lasting friendships were formed around the table. And the host had the manners to ensure all "his" (or her) guests were included in the pleasure of eating with the crew.

Dare we ask, did you encounter the Upgrade fairy....
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline tdickson

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #14 on: Aug 04, 2015, 02:29 PM »
Having read your REVIEW many times over and printing it so as to reflect on your experience of a transatlantic on board QM2 I find it, a fascinating but very negative review. Firstly I must mention that I together with my father where on board at the very same time, I do wish we had communicated first & I would have promised NOT to mention QE11 but at the same time put a name to a face, never mind next time maybe.
To summarise:
 An awesome ship but not perfect: Nothing is perfect and we have to bear in mind she is now eleven years into service & designed a few years prior and like everything else has to change with the times and demands of the paying guest (Hence a major refit 2016) I have sailed upon her many-many times since her inaugural year and witnessed so many changes, not all good as you say, but the price paid reflects this and unfortunately her clientele (Football shirts etc…)
Embarkation & Disembarkation:
As you say Embarkation at Brooklyn New York was swift, efficient and effort less. We are Diamond members so unfortunately unable to comment, other than for ourselves. Dis-embarkation at Southampton, again no problem for our selves, however I do have on good authority on that particular morning they had several issues with the air bridge, so NOT a typical morning. An Airport transfer, even for a small fee would definitely be a way forward for passengers from the North.
Weather:
Could not of asked for a better crossing except, a force 12 on board QM2 is an exciting place to be and you also get to have most of the Ship to yourself. (Maybe next time)
Speed:
Average for a crossing these days, probably slower next year to save fuel but the stabiliser’s will become in effective if any slower.
People:
Again totally agree: Depending on where she (QM2) sails the staff are somewhat different in their demeanour, what with some arrogant Germans or VERY demanding North Americans or just not right Brits it sometimes feels like a different ship. I have to say though this was my most enjoyable voyage, fellow passenger wise, up until now.
Our Cabin:
I have to correct you, you are on board CUNARD and they are not cabins, but Staterooms, never had a bad one yet except the TV never seems to work correctly, they need to be interactive etc… with on board credit/spend and more informative. The bed was Oh so comfortable, need one back home. (Contact Sealy Beds/Mattresses if you want one)
Boardwalk Café:
In all the seasons we have been on–board never ONCE have we seen it open. Jan/July Transatlantic: June/July/August Fjords, Oct/Nov Canaries, Nov/Dec/Jan Caribbean. This time next year it will be Cabins/Staterooms probably.
Britannia Restaurant:
Again I have to agree with almost all your comments, god help you if you order after a table of say eight, you could possibly starve whilst waiting.
Kings Court:
Again I totally agree with all your comments, some years ago all four sections would be open at very busy times. Cost & time saving rears it’s ugly head again, the good news is after the re-fit it will be free flow similar to QV & QE.
G32:
Unfortunately I’m one of the SMOKERS so spent a lot of my evenings in the G32, it appears to get busier a few days into the voyage as more and more guests find it. The whole room needs a complete makeover especially the DJ.
Queens Room:
In a few words Beautiful and impressive, like you say difficult to get to if you don’t wander through the Britannia (Frowned upon)
Commodore Club:
The room with the most amazing view, all comments agreed with, where is steerage on board QM2 ???
Champagne Bar:
They are all the same on each ship, not utilised often enough, I would love to know if Veuve Clicquot have ever considered pulling out of whatever contract they have as they can’t possibly make any money. It would serve better as a Cocktail lounge with a partition as you say.
Sir Samuels:
Out grown it’s usefulness, now that the world and his dog love speciality coffees, hence moving to the Winter Garden next June and Sir Sam’s will be part of new shops together with the never manned photo shop.
Golden Lion:
If it took up half the ship I think it would still be busy, great place even though the fish n chip portions are somewhat smaller than they used to be. The staff where probably the friendliest on board.
Winter Garden:
I used to love it when they did the Art Auctions, but cost me a fortune back then. It will be interesting to see the New Winter Garden incorporating Sir Samuels.
Pavilion Pool & Bar/ Planetarium/ Illuminations:
Again totally agree:
Shops:
Totally totally agree with table issue sometimes you wander/push passed, it is like Tesco or Asda on a Christmas eve, with NO trolley’s of course. We were on board during the “Salute to Liverpool” 3 Queens voyage & they had so many 175 souvenir’s, we couldn’t decide what to leave behind, this time very little 175 or Transatlantic items available unless you go on E-bay. The merchandise manager definitely got his numbers wrong this year. All new arcade of shops in the pipeline during re-fit.
Photography:
Always trying to capture the moment !!! It is always worse during Transatlantics as there are four formal nights.
Lifts:
Love your observation about using the lifts to get to the next floor, some people obviously need too, but the majority are just lazy.
Stateroom Corridors/Carpets & Windows throughout.
Again well observed. She is beginning to look tired and worn.
Terrace Pool & Bar:
The seating area that you mention, I’m one of the smokers by the way, used to be 2/3rds non smoking and the first 4 tables nearest the bar were designated smoking tables. This has changed several different times over the years as there is now no were else to smoke outdoors or indoors except by the clock on deck 7 aft & there is NO bar there. We the smokers are a friendly sociable bunch please feel free to join us and have a chat and a beer, we normally pay aswell.
Sports Deck:
I cannot comment as I have only ever walked passed. Just like the Boardwalk café, I have never seen the Regatta Bar open except in her inaugural year way back in 2004.
Closing comment:
The Queen Mary 2 is a wonderful ship/ocean liner that unfortunately is beginning to show her age. I trust Cunard have thought it through long and hard with their plans for her major refit and that they don’t spoil her appeal to the thousands of returning guests.
No offence meant with any of the above.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #15 on: Aug 04, 2015, 05:06 PM »
Hi,

Thanks for your review review!  Sorry for keeping quiet about being aboard, I just wanted to keep myself to myself.  I was rather worn out from Work, so it was really just to rest and relax, and a way to get home from New York!

This was probably the only transatlantic i'll ever do, especially if they're on a go-slow.  An 8 night crossing means a lot of my annual holiday allowance is going on Atlantic sea days...  My current cruise rate is once every 3 or 4 years, with lots of other varied types of holidays in between. 

I didn't mention our FlyBe flight home in my review, which wasn't great.  A tiny plane where the approved cabin luggage size didn't fit anywhere, and a restricted 20kg hold weight limit.  I would tend to avoid next time.

This was not a cheap holiday for me.  With the price of transfer flights, taxis, tips, hotels and drinks, it was an expensive holiday.  I have a good job, but this was top of budget for me.  I think they made quite a nice profit off me, all in.

You call my review negative (it wasn't meant to be, it was meant to suggest easy improvements) but then you agree with pretty much all my points!  I deliberately didn't repeatedly compare her with QE2 in my review, as there is no point, but i feel that they could relatively easily make a lot more of what she is now, even before the refit.  Their brochure and marketing builds up a lot of hype and expectation, they need to make sure what happens on board actually reflects it.

She's still fabulous and unique though.  I hope Stephen Payne remains proud.  One point I forgot to make was that on the Atlantic, she didn't feel overly-large, she felt just the right size I think.

- Rob

PS: I can't bring myself to say stateroom, even though I know thats the correct term.  To me, its a cabin!  Stateroom always sounds like a huge room in a palace or something to me...
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #16 on: Aug 04, 2015, 06:15 PM »
Rob, I should have commented much sooner on your excellent review. It was great that you took the time and care to write up QM2's features and include suggestions as to how they could work even better.

I doubt I shall ever set foot on her -- but if I do, I shall come back here to read it all again!

Trevor, thank you also for your own review and comments. It is always helpful to see several angles to a story.

Offline Alan Snelson

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Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #17 on: Aug 04, 2015, 06:29 PM »
Very interesting and informative to read the observations from both of you. Like Isabelle I doubt that I will ever take a trip on her, even though I would like to. The Stateroom thing was something I never got either, sounds dreadfully pretentious.
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Online cunardqueen

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #18 on: Aug 04, 2015, 08:36 PM »
Quote
You call my review negative (it wasn't meant to be, it was meant to suggest easy improvements) but then you agree with pretty much all my points!  I deliberately didn't repeatedly compare her with QE2 in my review, as there is no point, but i feel that they could relatively easily make a lot more of what she is now, even before the refit.  Their brochure and marketing builds up a lot of hype and expectation, they need to make sure what happens on board actually reflects it.
   

Negative ..? a review is just that a persons own view of how they see things, Alas we are not all from the happy clappy ship that if its Cunard its got to be great and grand.

To cut a long story short, l stopped at Gleneagles last year and for ME it was a complete disaster, for my friend he enjoyed each and every moment, and questioned why l wouldnt leave a tip, simple l dont reward failure. Two different views from what is supposed to be a glorious 5 start product.

I have believe it or not casually glanced a Cunard brochure and requiring a masters degree just to understand it, and even looked at the crossings and do wonder if what is promised inside delivered onboard, but for me to spend   
the best part of 7 or 8 nights tootling over the Atlantic going one way is way to much time out of my holidays, and now simply is not an option.

Quote
  I didn't mention our FlyBe flight home in my review, which wasn't great.  A tiny plane where the approved cabin luggage size didn't fit anywhere, and a restricted 20kg hold weight limit.  I would tend to avoid next time.
 
Rob you have my sympathy, l would never fly them again ever, we call them Flymaybe.con up here, flew them once Inverness-London and what with the complete fiasco of security, mixed up seats,no drinks and a go around , it has provided entertaining after dinner tales...

Im more shocked at 20kg..... :o :o :o  ;)   
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline karl_nj

Re: Rob's July 2015 transatlantic QM2 Review
« Reply #19 on: Aug 09, 2015, 03:30 PM »
Boardwalk Café:
In all the seasons we have been on–board never ONCE have we seen it open. Jan/July Transatlantic: June/July/August Fjords, Oct/Nov Canaries, Nov/Dec/Jan Caribbean. This time next year it will be Cabins/Staterooms probably.

I've eaten there a few times.  Only seems to be open on cruises, when in port.  Of course, most people are on shore then, so it's never very crowded.  And it seems like nobody actually knows about it.

For anyone that has never been, you aren't missing much.  The food isn't very good, and there isn't much of a selection.  Mostly hot dogs and overcooked hamburgers.  The room itself is a tiny, dark, depressing looking closet.

However, the deck outside is a very nice place to eat.  They also have someone from the bar department up there with a selection of beer on ice.  The tables have umbrellas so you can sit in the shade, and you have great views of wherever you are docked at.

The views were the main reason to eat lunch up there.  If it turns out that the expanded kennels end up taking over this space, it's probably not a huge loss.

 

Robs review of M822 QM2 Fjords Cruise

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