Recent QM2 Voyage

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#1
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
I've just returned from a recent Eastbound crossing on the QM2 from the 28th July to the 4th August. This is my second crossing. I enjoyed a Westbound one last year and just wanted to do it again: it's addictive! Thought I'd include a few observations below:

The Commodore club is my favourite place on board, particularly prevdinner drinks. The service here was faultless across the week, with waiters remembering our drinks order night-after-night. However, it's certainly not cheap. I'm a gin and tonic drinker and the increase in price with a 1oz or 2oz pour was noticeable. Elsewhere on the ship, some staff made it clear they wouldn't charge for the tonic if we ordered a 2oz!

The Verandah, whilst pricey, was comparable to a fine dining restaurant in a major city. There were plenty of extras included in the price and I like the theatre of some the dishes. However, I noticed the on-board photographers have now found their way to the Veranadah and they particularly enjoyed interrupting our food for a picture! A firm 'no, we are not interested' sent them on their way.

The Carinthia Lounge remains a very popular spot on board but food offerings are now limited. Last year I can remember chefs working in the small kitchen serving some delicious small plates but now it's simply early morning pastries available and the odd cake for afternoon tea. The blinds were firmly shut for much of the day. Has anyone else noticed this?

All in all, it was another fantastic voyage and whilst I'm going to give it a break next year, I can easily see myself booking another voyage in the years to come. Happy to answer any questions about my recent experience.

And finally, we arrived on the day of the crossing but our plane was delayed for three hours, which meant we arrived at JFK at 2pm. We cleared security at 2.30pm and were then left waiting for a Cunard arranged transfer for two hours! I understand this is managed by Intercruises? and they were truly dreadful. Our transfer arrived at 4.30pm and we arrived at the ship at 5.30pm, handed in our passports and were rushed in via an alternative entrance. Never again will I fly in on the day of the cruise!
#2
Philadelphia, PA
98 Posts
Joined May 2004
I was afraid that the Carinthia might get less staffing attention over time. I'm looking forward to seeing it in December, because it looks very attractive. But if the incentive to frequent it diminishes, it could end up as barren as the Winter Garden was.

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#3
Vale of Glamorgan
3,253 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Thanks for reporting back, your arrival experience sounds a bit stressful, not a great start.
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#4
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by Host Hattie
Thanks for reporting back, your arrival experience sounds a bit stressful, not a great start.
I glass of champagne in hand, ten minutes after boarding, certainly helped to ease the stress!
#5
Vale of Glamorgan
3,253 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by DG12345
I glass of champagne in hand, ten minutes after boarding, certainly helped to ease the stress!
I could see that would certainly help !
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#6
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by frankp01
I was afraid that the Carinthia might get less staffing attention over time. I'm looking forward to seeing it in December, because it looks very attractive. But if the incentive to frequent it diminishes, it could end up as barren as the Winter Garden was.

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Ironically I'd say it was overstaffed with bar waiters but they were pretty much surplus to requirements as most passengers had visited Kings Court and were using Carinthia as an extension of the buffet. I used to really enjoy the small bites and this was a major selling point of the new lounge so it was disappointing to see they have gone.
#7
Chicago
180 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by DG12345
And finally, we arrived on the day of the crossing but our plane was delayed for three hours, which meant we arrived at JFK at 2pm. We cleared security at 2.30pm and were then left waiting for a Cunard arranged transfer for two hours! I understand this is managed by Intercruises? and they were truly dreadful. Our transfer arrived at 4.30pm and we arrived at the ship at 5.30pm, handed in our passports and were rushed in via an alternative entrance. Never again will I fly in on the day of the cruise!
In my opinion the Cunard transfer in NYC is horribly overpriced at $40 per person from LGA (probably similarly priced from JFK). A taxi would've gotten you to the port at 3 or 3:30.

And yes, a scheduled arrival in NYC at 11 am the day of departure is cutting it close. Was it an international flight?
#8
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by abefroman329
In my opinion the Cunard transfer in NYC is horribly overpriced at $40 per person from LGA (probably similarly priced from JFK). A taxi would've gotten you to the port at 3 or 3:30.

And yes, a scheduled arrival in NYC at 11 am the day of departure is cutting it close. Was it an international flight?
It was a planned arrival time of just after 11.00am from London but I was told this was relatively normal when booking. The transfer was included as part of the 'Cunard Fare', which is available in the UK. In future I'd pay the flight deviation charge and stay overnight.
#9
New Jersey
8,838 Posts
Joined May 2007
Carinthia had its usual small plate lunch on our two TAs in July, so if they've stopped serving lunch, that's a very recent change. I love Carinthia for lunch, especially at the beginning of a voyage when few people have discovered it. After about 3 days, it gets crowded (mostly KC overflow) and it's difficult to get a seat.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
11 QM2 - 7 TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
10 HAL -Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Alaska
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
1 American Cruise Line - Queen of the West, Columbia & Snake Rivers
#10
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
Carinthia had its usual small plate lunch on our two TAs in July, so if they've stopped serving lunch, that's a very recent change. I love Carinthia for lunch, especially at the beginning of a voyage when few people have discovered it. After about 3 days, it gets crowded (mostly KC overflow) and it's difficult to get a seat.
That's interesting to hear and I also really did enjoy Carinthia for lunch. On the daily programme it listed a two hour window where 'light pasties' were available for breakfast but then nothing else. I certainly didn't see any light bites or hot food at all, just pastries and small slices of cake. In fact the colourful and funny sized plates used in Carinthia last year seem to be of use in the chefs galley now.
#11
Chengdu - PRC
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
I was on the same crossing and it was annoying as the shutters for the kitchens in Carinthia were always down after 10am, which is annoying as one of the things I would have liked to have done is sit there read a book with a light snack.

Regarding the prices of drinks, my bar tab came to around 400ish usd and that included an average 2 or 3 cocktails per day and two bottles of wine 30 and 45 usd each, so maybe a bit high for some, but I thought it was ok. But I had 300 usd OBC so didn't notice too much, photos I thought were / still are expensive. I'm always surprised how people complain about the drinks but not the photographs.
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#12
Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
6,839 Posts
Joined May 2000
I was on the same crossing and greatly enjoyed it, but also noticed the increase in drink prices. I tend to drink a fairly basic bacardi rum & diet coke. The first drink came with a hefty price of $13.50. I later found out that was for a 2 oz pour but was never asked if I wanted the larger pour. The standard 1oz pour was $10 and some change. If you wanted diet coke that meant buying the can which was more expensive. Diet Pepsi was cheaper and was from the gun behind the bar. Regardless of 1 oz or 2 oz pour, the drinks tasted the same and were weak, especially if you're used to the free pours we have at most bars in the US. On Cunard they were very careful to do an exact pour. Also I don't ever recall seeing the alcohol and mixer having separate charges on the bill. In the past (and on just about on every other line) it's charged as a single drink. I'm sure this is a way for Cunard to get more $$ for every drink purchased.

Anyway that aside I loved the crossing and will be back in November.
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#13
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by eroller
I was on the same crossing and greatly enjoyed it, but also noticed the increase in drink prices. I tend to drink a fairly basic bacardi rum & diet coke. The first drink came with a hefty price of $13.50. I later found out that was for a 2 oz pour but was never asked if I wanted the larger pour. The standard 1oz pour was $10 and some change. If you wanted diet coke that meant buying the can which was more expensive. Diet Pepsi was cheaper and was from the gun behind the bar. Regardless of 1 oz or 2 oz pour, the drinks tasted the same and were weak, especially if you're used to the free pours we have at most bars in the US. On Cunard they were very careful to do an exact pour. Also I don't ever recall seeing the alcohol and mixer having separate charges on the bill. In the past (and on just about on every other line) it's charged as a single drink. I'm sure this is a way for Cunard to get more $$ for every drink purchased.

Anyway that aside I loved the crossing and will be back in November.
Couldn't agreee more regarding it being an enjoyable crossing and I really did find it to be a lovely week at sea. It was also a surprise seeing the spirit and tonic listed separately, which must be for in an increase in profits. We were constantly informed that Fevertree Tonic was much better compared to the soda gun, which I do agree, but it certainly made for some hefty bar bills.
#14
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by Moscowlad
I was on the same crossing and it was annoying as the shutters for the kitchens in Carinthia were always down after 10am, which is annoying as one of the things I would have liked to have done is sit there read a book with a light snack.

Regarding the prices of drinks, my bar tab came to around 400ish usd and that included an average 2 or 3 cocktails per day and two bottles of wine 30 and 45 usd each, so maybe a bit high for some, but I thought it was ok. But I had 300 usd OBC so didn't notice too much, photos I thought were / still are expensive. I'm always surprised how people complain about the drinks but not the photographs.
Never really noctied the cost of photographs as I didn't intend to purchase but did you see the sign which informed guests that if they took a photo of their photo on their mobile phone they will be charged accordingly!? I still saw some guests taking some sneaky photographs!

I wonder why the change at the Carinthia lounge?
#15
4,077 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by Moscowlad
I was on the same crossing and it was annoying as the shutters for the kitchens in Carinthia were always down after 10am, which is annoying as one of the things I would have liked to have done is sit there read a book with a light snack.

Regarding the prices of drinks, my bar tab came to around 400ish usd and that included an average 2 or 3 cocktails per day and two bottles of wine 30 and 45 usd each, so maybe a bit high for some, but I thought it was ok. But I had 300 usd OBC so didn't notice too much, photos I thought were / still are expensive. I'm always surprised how people complain about the drinks but not the photographs.
That's an easy one: Photos are an auxiliary expense, drinks much less optional.
#16
NYC
3,660 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Sad to hear that the artistic light platters are gone from the Cafe Carinthia. It was a delight to see what new offering was there. I thought the conversion was a real hit and had far more life than the old Winter Garden. It gave me incentive to stop there for a light lunch and also order one of the specialty coffees. Well, no point in going there anymore if the food is no different from what is in Kings Court.
#17
New Jersey
8,838 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by BlueRiband
Sad to hear that the artistic light platters are gone from the Cafe Carinthia. It was a delight to see what new offering was there. I thought the conversion was a real hit and had far more life than the old Winter Garden. It gave me incentive to stop there for a light lunch and also order one of the specialty coffees. Well, no point in going there anymore if the food is no different from what is in Kings Court.
I think OP was saying that there was no food served at lunch time. So any food was KC food brought in by people looking for somewhere nicer to sit. There are a lot of bar waiters, and I don't think half of the people there bought drinks. DH liked having his Guinness of the day there because it's on tap. I suspect the bar waiters resent having to clear dishes from tables, especially when they've come in from KC.

I agree that Carinthia was a welcome change from the underused Winter Garden. I would like to have seen more variety from day to day. The mushroom crepe was delicious, but I didn't want to eat that every day.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
11 QM2 - 7 TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
10 HAL -Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Alaska
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
1 American Cruise Line - Queen of the West, Columbia & Snake Rivers
#18
Vale of Glamorgan
3,253 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
What a shame about the reduced offerings in Cafe Carinthia, it sounds as if it will be gone before I even had chance to try it 😱
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#19
19 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
I think OP was saying that there was no food served at lunch time. So any food was KC food brought in by people looking for somewhere nicer to sit. There are a lot of bar waiters, and I don't think half of the people there bought drinks. DH liked having his Guinness of the day there because it's on tap. I suspect the bar waiters resent having to clear dishes from tables, especially when they've come in from KC.

I agree that Carinthia was a welcome change from the underused Winter Garden. I would like to have seen more variety from day to day. The mushroom crepe was delicious, but I didn't want to eat that every day.
That's exactly right, the blinds were firmly closed at lunchtime and, yes, the bar staff spent much of their time clearing tables. I remember the trio of fish from last year, so missed that. I liked the original idea of tapas style dishes washed down with a beer or wine. Hopefully the food will reappear at some point.
#20
Chicago
180 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by DG12345
It was a planned arrival time of just after 11.00am from London but I was told this was relatively normal when booking. The transfer was included as part of the 'Cunard Fare', which is available in the UK. In future I'd pay the flight deviation charge and stay overnight.
I'd recommend you do, that's cutting it awfully close! You were very lucky to be through immigration and customs so quickly!