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Old June 1st, 2004, 12:23 PM
Jeanne S Jeanne S is offline
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Default Queen Mary 2 - My Review

This sailing was a three day “Mother’s Day Cruise” which we entitled “The Maiden Cruise to Nowhere.”

My first ocean liner voyage was the Rotterdam in the early 1960’s when transatlantic crossings were still the way to traverse the Atlantic and JFK Airport was known as Idelwild. My Aunt and Uncle (in their 50’s, German born and raised) were able to convince my parents that I was not too young to travel to Europe under their strict supervision.

Life at sea back then was a never varying routine of rising for breakfast, morning walks on deck, shuffleboard –weather permitting, Lunch - table games, card games (whist?), Afternoon Tea (called High Tea on this line), letter writing, cocktails (a Shirley Temple with 3 Cherries!) followed by a very long dinner at which I was expected to sit ramrod straight while consume everything on my plate (If not I was reminded of the hyperinflation in Germany in 1924 - the year my mother’s family emigrated arriving at Ellis Island – definitely in steerage). I was the very best little girl that I could be.

There has been much discussion on this forum regarding the “appropriateness” of this ship as a Cunard Liner. Liner Guy and Crouton said it best when they remarked this is a liner for our times. Likewise, on Rotterdam – built in the 1950’s (please correct me if wrong Russ), was a liner for her times. Last year I had occasion to discuss with my Aunt and Uncle (now in their 90’s) this QM2 controversy. They told me there was the same dissent and carping on Rotterdam – especially regarding the “modern interior decorations” with much unfavorable comparison to the old Rotterdam. Today, the most recent version is compared to the mid century version: “We were on the Real Rotterdam.”


Embarkation at NYC Pier:

Our documents instructed us to arrive no earlier than the appointed time of 3:30 pm. As we were parking on the pier roof and concerned about getting a parking space, we arrived at 11:30, passed the ever vigilant K9 checkpoint, and were told by the pier **** that we could not take any photos of QM2 from the pier (along with about 5 other vital regulations). We could not tarry, but had to immediately leave the pier, which we did, much regretting not being able to photograph her.


Fortunately Cunard allowed us to be processed early; we sailed through processing - the only glitch being the key card did not register our photo. We like to save our cards and were disappointed to not have this. We were told that as long as it would be seen by the “machine” it was ok.



CABIN
Around twelve fifteen, we boarded the ship on deck 2, portside and were given directions to our cabin 5178 (a B5 Category). We arrived to find our cheerful American cabin attendant Angela. The room is tastefully appointed in muted neutrals, with adequate closet space for a crossing for 2 (Am going 10 day sailing 10/6 with three in the cabin which will have to be re-assessed) and was certainly enough for our mini cruise.


The balcony is a rectangular window cut from the hull from waist up (if one is approx 5’8”). We found the chaises and floor to be sopping (pools of water) from the previous night’s rain. This was cleaned up by evening time. The chaises do not have any padding and can be somewhat uncomfortable, so we later placed the green beach towels found in the bathroom cabinet on them.

The bathroom, while very small, has a spacious shower one can move about in easily. The shower curtain seemed strange given all the new ships have easy open doors. In the past we have never had a problem with a cabin blow-dryer, but found ours to be very low wattage and suitable for a baby’s hair perhaps.

The bed mattress is the most comfortable at sea we have experienced so far. The duvet is soft and luxurious. There is a mini fridge, love seat, and climate control thermometer.


KING’s COURT

Although not fans of Lido type dining, no restaurant was open for lunch on embarkation day, so we waited on the long queues already forming and found a nice window table which jutted out onto deck 7 where we watched passengers walk by on their laps around the ship. The food was quite good. Iced tea is available as a cold beverage in sweetened (pitchers) and unsweetened (the machine). There was quite an assortment of deserts – we sampled just about all of them, my favorite being the cream puff swan. The tables are cleared quickly with ample staff to assist anyone.


BRITTANIA RESTAURANT AND SPA visit
We did not go to Todd English as we thought our friends from our last Cunard sailing were to take care of this (we thought they would be the first passengers on the ship). So we proceeded to the Britannia Restaurant to check out our table 272. This table for four was located on the 2nd tier, in the extreme rear by the exit door/prep station exit. It was as if it were not a part of the restaurant at all. Had we booked the lowest category inside cabin, we might have accepted this, but not for a B5 Category. We approached the Maitre d’ hotel, who placed us at a tier 1 table for six adjacent a window - although dining at 8:45 there would not be any view.

Anyone who has sailed on RCCL’s radiance class ships would find this restaurant almost identical in that the center has dual staircases leading to the center which affords a vast open space of the three tiers with mural the entire height. This is where the captains table is located – dead center. On Serenade of the Seas, we were given a table for six next to the captain’s table. Although we would have preferred to sit is this area, given we were not of the highest categories of B class, we did think we merited a table in this section and did not inquire. We were please with our new table and proceed to the spa.


CAYNON RANCH SPA
Given the prominence of this spa we thought the prices fair. The only thing perturbing was that a shampoo, cut and blow dry/set was the same $59 as a “hairstyle” (or dry cut). I mentioned that all I needed was a dry trim and was told they would book me for a men’s cut at $29. I also booked a regular massage and manicure. Lorraine booked the Aromatherapy massage.

The prices for sea days are $10 higher. A tour of the spa is given was given. We were informed that for our massages, we could use the hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and reflexology foot bath. Otherwise this would be a $19 charge to use these facilities alone. The spa is located forward, portside.


TOUR OF THE SHIP

What can I say – QM2 is a beauty. Everywhere we strolled we found Cunard History, some breathtaking design, portraits, murals, carvings and sculpture. Lorraine found in poor taste (as luck would have it by our cabin) the shrine to Carpathia and Titanic as you exit the deck 5 midship elevator to Portside.

We visited the library which is Starboard to the Spa’s Portside. Here you will also find the computer center. This is probably the finest library at sea - anyone should be able to find adequate reading material. I checked out the latest Biography of Oscar Wilde. The “librarian” - one of the dancers - did not know where the Cruise Critic book was kept so we entered the adjacent bookshop; selected postcards (a great one of the ship at night making 30 knots during sea trials) and when we inquired about CC were presented with the book which we signed. It was fun to read everyone’s comments.


We went back down to deck 7 and made several laps around the ship. At the bow one can go outside and there are unique sculptures of what appears to be waves which became the must do Kodak Moment Opportunity for those walking by.

As we were passing King’s Court, out came our friend Jayne who spied us passing by her window table where she was dining with her mom Joyce. We had not seen them since last May when we were assigned a table for four on QE2’s Princess Grill and became fast friends. The ladies had been upgraded from PG to Queens Grill on this sailing.

One of the highlights of sailing on Cunard has been making new friends. On past QE2 cruises we met from CC Cunard site Terrence Richards (Terry) and his wife Loretta as well as Vic the Parrot (Vic). It was even better to sail with J&J again, reminiscing and comparing our experiences on both ships.

Unfortunately, the ladies had not yet paid a visit to Todd English and as you may have guessed, it was totally booked. No pleas to the Concierge from J&J worked (which is nice to know that Queens Grill passengers do not get special consideration in this case – although we would not have minded).

We spent so much time together that it was almost time for the lifeboat drill, thus ending our tour. We agreed to meet in the Ladies suite for a sail-away party.



LIFEBOAT DRILL
No more sitting in a lounge as on QE2 or some other lines (at least for Brittania Class). In sardine fashion we mustered in the King’s Court. It became somewhat stuffy so we made our way to the middle entrance and were allowed to stand just outside of it. On QE2 there was no sign off sheet – now there is.


SPA MANICURE
Unfortunately I could only book a manicure at sail-a-way 6pm so I went to the SPA while Lorraine went to the sail a way party and I would join them afterwards. The manicure tables are located Portside, near the bow with a window view. There are three tables and I soon found myself seated between a married couple. The manicure was excellent.

I had forgotten how excited passengers not from the tri-state area get when approaching the pit (ground zero) and went into tour guide mode attempting to explain the area as we sailed by.


Unfortunately I did not have my reading glasses and could not see the bill too clearly. I thought that I was being charged for a sea day, not this port day – the manicurist told me it was for a port day. So I added an extra tip to the bill (10% tip is pre-included) and went to the sail way party.


QUEENS GRILL SUITE – DECK 9
J& J were in a beautiful suite configured very much like Carnival’s Destiny and Spirit Suites but somewhat larger and more sumptuous (walk in closet/bathroom definitely larger). It was beautiful with Computer LCD screen, a huge balcony, comfortable couch, large coffee table and the advanced climate control thermostats that we had on NCL Dawn’s Mini Suites. This was the lower cat of QG and of course came with butler service. I arrived as a second tray of canapés was delivered. We had brought with us a bottle of Dom Peringnon, the ladies had Moet Brut Imperial (more than a few bottles), which we toasted out on the sumptuous balcony as the ship sailed past Governor’s Island and the Staten Island Ferry – whose passers waved to us while we of course were waving like the late Queen Mother back at them.

A word about the upper balconies. Deck 7 juts out so that those in their deck balcony on 9, 10, 11 and 12 (8 has lifeboats in front) can be viewed by those below and vice versa. If one seeks privacy, perhaps a hull balcony might afford more. This suite – 9070 – was not over the lifeboats and afforded a great view of the deck and its inhabitants below.

We were given an NYPD and Coast Guard escort until Ambrose Lighthouse, and then we were on our way, with only the Carnival Legend behind us. We sailed south.



BRITTANIA RESTAURANT
First’s night menu was not encouraging. Having been a big fan of Chef Winkler’s Menu’s on QE2 we looked forward to more of the same. We had read that Daniel Boulaud’s relationship with Cunard as menu planner had recently terminated but still expected to experience some of his influence.

The menu was not inspiring. The only entree which appealed somewhat was the double pork chop. I cannot remember anything else about this meal that was memorable food wise (We were not given copies of each night’s menus as on QE2’s Caronia/PG). I had a déj* vu feeling of my cruise to Halifax on RCCL’s Serenade of the Sea’s during which we found the food in the main restaurants to be mediocre. We did have an excellent Riesling with dinner for a bargain price of $18.00. There are some excellent wines at very good prices on this ship.

We had arrived at the appointed time of 8:45 to discover a long line for dinner that eventually backed up from the restaurant door to the mid ship spiral staircase. We found a table in Sir Samuels which is across from the Chart Room and had excellent Martini’s. At 9:25pm the doors finally opened. Seated at our table was a family of four: parent’s approximately 75ish, daughter our age (late forties) with her 8 year old daughter. Although they had requested early seating, they were seated late, and then put on a wait list by the maitre d’hotel after complaining. By the time her pasta course was served, the poor child was asleep. She was woken up, ate a little, then went back to sleep. We felt terrible for them.


THEATRE
A definite improvement on QE2’s theater. The sight lines were good from most seats. I liked how the stage jutted out into the audience so one could get a great side view of the show from the side. Rock the Opera and Apassionata – great singing and dancing – although, the Jean Ann Ryan Dancers on the NCL Dawn were just as impressive


FIRST SEA DAY
Returned to the Spa for a hair trim when I noted the price list for yesterday’s manicure had the port day charge a full ten dollars than wheat I had paid. The receptionist assured me this would be taken care of (“we must complete this at night”).

Even though I had been previously told I could book a dry trim at the men’s rate, after trimming my hair, the “stylist” wrote me up for $59, not $29. I reminded the receptionist at the desk of what she had agreed to last night, and then gave her my appointment card which had the price written down. When the stylist realized that she was only being credited for $29 (and thus assumed she was going to get a smaller tip), she shrugged and said in a flippant manner “as you like it” and walked away, Gone was the polite, smiling, solicitous girl of only 5 minutes ago. I had wanted to leave her quite a large tip, being quite pleased with the results, even having purchased one of the many products she was hawking (which turned out to be great – a hair strengthener).

CRUISE CRITIC MEETING
At high noon in the Chart Room we met Pam and her husband and Viv and her Mom – all very nice people and good company. I had never been to the Chart Room during the day and it was soothing to listen to the harpist.


AFTERNOON TEA IN QUEEN’s GRILL LOUNGE
We went as guests of the Ladies and as we entered the lounge were greeted - to our happy surprise – by Patrick, formerly the Sommelier in Princess Grill on QE2! Patrick was promoted last November to Assistant Maitre d’ hotel of Queens Grill and has so far been on the ship without a break.

Much discussion has occurred on this forum regarding Princess Grill members not being allowed to take tea in QGL as they were on QE2. The lounge was less than half empty the two teas of this cruise and these both were sea days! We counted only seven others the first day and by 4pm -tea begins at 3:30 – even they had left leaving us entirely alone!

FIRST PLANETARIUM AT SEA
Unfortunately the lines for this showing became long with no evidence of any queue or supervision. We waited 20 min, and then towards the end approximately 15 people cut in front of us – one almost knocked me over while jumping the line. Only the seats under the red dome will allow one to view this show and they were limited. So as the doors opened (and everyone from the first show came rushing out) the barbarians took over. It became a free for all with people running and jumping over others. This couple went on each end of an aisle, to the left and right, ran down to the front, then came up the aisle and saved and entire row for their sycophants. When I attempted to take a seat, this brick house blocked the aisle telling me “You have to go through me to get in there.” We could not believe it. The four of us sat on the other seats not under the dome (listening first to the narration) and when the show was over were able to move over to the red seats.

This show is from New York City’s Hayden Planetarium and was wonderful. Only one show was offered on this cruise so that “everyone” might have the opportunity to experience it.”


CAPTAIN’S GALA COCKTAIL PARTY


We were never that fond of Queen’s Room on QE2, but the QR on QM2 is a smashing success. One enters a general area with bar and tables. The dance floor and surrounding tables/banquettes are sunken, with orchestra pit in rear. Like QE2 QR spans port to starboard and one can find a quieter table window side. There are two busts: Queen Mary and King George V and there is an informative historical archive of the Queen as the young German princess, May of Teck (as well as George in his Duke of York/POW years). One can see a resemblance to Queen Elizabeth II as a young woman.


We met Pam and her husband (Viv and her mom were at early seating) at the bust of Queen Mary, sitting behind/underneath on a banquette. The champagne was cold and crisp as were the canapés and assorted finger food. We are not usually all that enamored of meeting the ship’s captain, however this captain was an entirely a difference species. When the doors opened, we spied Commodore Warwick and Maureen the Social Hostess in the middle of the floor awaiting the crowds. People began to assemble around Commodore as Maureen left his side to circulate. Warwick had already worked the earlier cocktail party for first seating; here he was on his feet for 1.5 hours speaking to all comers. He did not leave the room until the last person was finished speaking with him and graciously posed for photos with Lorraine and I. This was the first time I had met Commodore (in the late 1970’s neither he nor his father were on QE2), having sailed with Paul (“direct all your thoughts to the Social Hostess”) Wright and Ian McClellan (forgot how to spell his surname). When the very last passenger had left, we watched Commodore look around, then pivot and leave by the rear door. Officer and gentleman do not begin to describe this man.


We had waited until the end of the cocktail party given last nights late dinner and this evening was no exception. Guests were again lining the corridors well after the cocktail party was over – waiting for Britannia to open its doors.

Guernsey Guy has inquired on this site what kind of passengers might we expect to sail with on this ship, given she is so very large and Cunard needs to perhaps widen its target audience. On this 3 day cruise, there seemed to be many passengers who had not sailed before on any cruise line coupled with experienced cruisers from the mainstream as well as luxury class ships. We encountered no British passengers (unless one counts Joyce who was born and raised in England, but later became a US citizen). The Daily Program probably did not list the passenger breakdown by nationality as it seemed everyone was American. We has hoped the earlier incident at the Planetarium was some kind of fluke and were looking forward to Chateaubriand accompanied by the fine bottle of Bordeaux we’d ordered earlier in the day to be served with our meal.

As the family – with a child - we has dined with yesterday were able to switch to early seating, we anticipated having new table mates, however, nothing could have prepared us for what awaited at our table. We arrived after most everyone had already been seated in the dining room to find our table fully occupied with three couples. We explained this was our table and was told by one of the men: “It’s not anymore.” Lorraine produced our card with the table # written on it, while asking if perhaps they might check their card. The reply from one of the women: “Its not your table anymore – first come first serve.” Then someone chimed in: “The early bird gets the worm” and “if you cared enough about your t-a-b-le you would have gotten here first, so sue us.” I told them that my wine was already ordered to be sent to the table to which one of them said: "We enjoyed it, but could you have selected white zinfandel next time."

It was then that Lorraine and I left to find the Maitre d’hotel (and located his assistant) who just shrugged his shoulders. He said that he could not ask anyone to leave – “please do not make a fuss miss – I seat you elsewhere.” Elsewhere turned out to be a table for 2 on level 1 adjacent to the galley doors whereby we were treated to the sounds of waiters rushing to and fro laden with heavy trays. We could feel the rush of air as each whizzed by. It was even worse than the original table we had been assigned upon embarkation. We had asked for another table and were told there was nothing, so by this time, hungry upset and frustrated, we just sat and ate. After repeatedly explaining to the wait staff and sommelier about the bottle of wine we had ordered, it came to our table already opened with about one quarter of it missing: “I saved your wine miss” the sommelier beamed, to which I said very slowly. “Please get me a new bottle of wine now. Take this already opened and partially consumed bottle away. If you do not do this immediately I will send an email to the CEO of Cunard and the Director of Guest Relations in Miami, Frank Sansone and tell them how you purported to sell and serve a half consumed bottle of wine.”

Needless to say, the dinner was not memorable. The chateaubriand was ok; the béarnaise sauce was good though. We also had lobster as an appetizer (the main course). It was tough.

Someone on this forum remarks from time to time “sounds like a bad might in Mauritania” (the double seating restaurant on QE2) – I think I may know what he is talking about now.



DAY THREE AT SEA

We enjoyed breakfasts in Britannia as we arrived early enough to be seated immediately. Those not so fortunate have a wait (those who insisted on being seated alone and not with other passengers).

We asked to speak with the Maitre d’ hotel about the last night’s dinner incident and he immediately went into a litany of stories of passenger rudeness and overall tacky behavior on this cruise: “Never have we sailed with passengers such as this M'aam.” Apparently the reason for dinner being held up so late the past two nights was to accommodate “more that a few” diners who arrived at 7:30 or so, sat down at their tables (and if those were still occupied - at the tables of those apparently at an alternative restaurant) - demanding to eat. Some of these passengers were from early seating, but also from late. They just wanted to be served when they felt like it. Ours was not the only table which passengers just sat down at to eat. This was commonplace. It turns out that no-one had been assigned to our table last night but us and when these people saw an attractive empty table, for six, they just took it. “We were threatened by one person and when it was suggested that people acting in this way could be disembarked at the next port – he laughed that the next port was his port of NY.” - the maitre d’ told us.

We felt a little bit better in that misery loves company, but wondered who these people were and what could they have been thinking. “You would not behave this way in a greasy spoon diner or anywhere – let alone on a cruise ship” Lorraine commented.
I agreed that this would never occur on any ship – on Carnival or any ship - they would have refused to serve them.



MASSAGE AND HYDROTHERAPY POOL

We both had an 11am appointment for massages but arrived at 9am to use the facilities. The Spa does not give you a key to the locker; rather, each locker has a combination that you can program just like the room safe. The only problem with this was the inadequate amount of lockers. On the Norwegian Dawn, which has actual keys, these are only given out to those having treatments. On QM2 those paying the $19.00 (NCL was free) per day for just the use of the facilities were told not to use the lockers (although if I were paying that amount – I would want a locker too) and of course they did. Thus we could not find a locker and were given a laundry bag to put our purse, cloches and anything else in and these were placed behind the front desk.

The hydrotherapy pool is very photogenic with a waterfall and “bed” one can lie on. There were “aromatherapy Saunas” What we cold not figure out were the reflexology basins for the feet. We put our feet in them but all there was was some mild whirlpool action, nothing for the soles of the feet.

The massage was wonderful and I am pleased to report that the hawking of products did not occur.


Our Final Dinner in Britannia

The Maitre d’hotel awaited our arrival, seating us at a table for two by the rail on tier two overlooking the mural and captain’s table. I wish that I could say the menu was inspiring but it was again mediocre with temptations such as Roast Tom Turkey and Chicken. There was lamb; however I do not care for lamb. What was nice about Caronia on QE 2 was that it shared a common galley with the Grills, so even though there was no a la carte menu, once could order off of it anyway – the wait staff would rattle off offerings. Then there was the cheese cart which was sorely missed.

I must say the frozen Grand Marnier Soufflé was outstanding. Also, for lunch we were delighted with a steak pot pie whose presentation and aroma was a mouth watering delight.

In the latest World Club magazine, the new Corporate Chef is portrayed. I had not heard of him before but apparently he is now responsible for the menus. I do not expect a kitchen to be three stars when only 5 months old, but at least the menus could be more inspiring. That said, the wait staff was generally competent, polite and helpful. The Maitre d’ hotel – I really felt bad for him for the deluge of bad behavior he had to deal with, for which no one could have envisioned. I do hope that when the ship sails for the 4th of July 4 day cruise to nowhere, the staff will be prepared for these untoward personalities as well as better able to anticipate and deal with boorish behavior.


CASINO

I like this place – probably because I actually won and held on to my winnings. The dealers are good, the pit bosses even better. I play Roulette and Blackjack (occasionally Craps) and was impressed with the skill level of the blackjack players I sat with.


DISMEBARKATION DAY

Monday morning was upon us as we awoke at 4:30am to get up to the top deck to view passing under the VN Bridge at 5am. Usually the QE2 passes under at 5:30am, but we were told 5 and 5 it was. It always seems (even for ships that are 90,000 tons) the ship is not going to clear the middle of the bridge, so we really wanted to see QM’s clearance. There is not much that we could see. There were about 50 of us on top deck. Lorraine stayed up for the entire sail up bay and river, while I went looking for coffee.


I had tired to order from the 24 hour room service at 4:30am to be told there was no room service anymore. So I went to King’s Court and could not find any coffee – seems there is no 24 hour coffee/tea station on QM2. Eventually I found coffee that had been set up for the 6am opening which was covered up. We uncovered the tarp, found some mugs and milk and finally I had my coffee. One gentleman noted this was tacky of them to tell us that we could get up for the 5am passing under the bridge, only to not provide us with coffee.


The extra charge from the Spa on day 1 which was supposed to be removed Saturday night was not. We did not find our bill under our door until we woke up this morning. After waiting on a long line at the purser, I was told that they could not remove this charge that they needed to communicate with the spa! Oh well, another letter to Miami.


I returned to our cabin to finish any last minute packing as we were walking off the ship with our luggage. We passed Ellis Island. Looking out from my hull balcony, I gazed over at these building that I’d never been to, which were always just a part of the scenery from a passing ferry or boat. There were bathed in the light of sunrise and had this almost surreal glow to them. I thought of my Aunt and Uncle who came through this place on a ship unknown, who had introduced me to ocean liner travel so many years ago and how I wished they had lived to travel on QM2 with me as they would have loved her.


We tied up to the pier b 6:30 by which time we were enjoying breakfast in Britannia. Breakfasts are done well (and no powdered eggs as in Princess Grill on QE2!). Particularly the English bacon. Because there was no immigration process to clear, disembarkation was called at 7:10am. We walked off the ship at 7:35am, got the car on the pier and were off at 7:50 am. Just as the NCL Dawn was puling into port.


Am sailing on this Queen again in the fall and do hope on a ten day Caribbean sailing, the passenger mix will have some Brits and that the bad behavior experienced will be just an anomaly. If the menus could be enlivened somewhat, my joy would be complete!
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  #2  
Old June 1st, 2004, 05:13 PM
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BorderLady BorderLady is offline
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JeanneS -- your review leaves me gasping! How awful to be trapped (even for 3 days) with a bunch of scumbags. I'm so sorry your trip was marred by their them.

Your experience in the dining room, when they nabbed your table AND your wine -- that's really revolting.

One can only guess the short cruise brought out people who did it as a lark, having never cruised before and hopefully, never will again.

About 3 weeks from now, we'll be crossing Southhampton to NY. With any luck, the ship will be filled with "normal" people.
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Old June 1st, 2004, 05:20 PM
Chuck & Phyllis Chuck & Phyllis is offline
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That was some review! We just booked an 8 day out of NY to the Caribbean for next April on the QM2. Hope the clientel is a little more civilized then. We sail the mass market lines, (Celebrity, RCCL, NCL, Carnival, etc.), and find that there's more class as far as passengers are concerned than described in your review (NY passengers that is). Also, Celebrity or RCCL would have thrown that entire table of arrogant people out of the restaurant if that occurred on their ship. Hoping for our cruise to be more civilized.

Chuck & Phyllis

Doing Empress on 9/18/04

Doing QM2 on 3/2/05


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Old June 1st, 2004, 07:03 PM
Msbelinda Msbelinda is offline
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Thank you for a very complete review. We'll be on QM2 over July 4th and are hoping to have nice sailing partners after having several rough incidents on the QE2 2000 4th sail. We know exactly what you encountered, but the QE2 staff (except for one incident) took care of problems immediately--we didn't have to say a word!
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Old June 1st, 2004, 07:55 PM
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eroller eroller is offline
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Wow Jeanne S,
I'm still in shock after reading your review! Thank goodness the passengers on my sailing were nothing like you described. In fact I've never experienced such behavior on any ship, including Carnival. I do want to thank you for such a comprehensive and thorough review. It was very interesting.

I must say I am a very easy going person, but what you experienced in the dining room would have been enough to put me over the edge. No doubt I would have confronted those people and it would not have been pretty. I just don't tolerate bad behavior and I guess this comes from years of being a flight attendant and having to endure it day after day. When I'm on "my" time, I don't put up with it.

Better luck next time with QM2. It can only get better. I have to believe that the fact your cruise was a 3-day sailing was the root of many of the problems. Not that it should be an excuse, as I saw the prices for that 3-day cruise and they were not cheap. I pretty much have crossed 3-4 day cruises off my list on any line, for fear of exactly what you experienced.

Best regards,
Ernie
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Old June 1st, 2004, 09:26 PM
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lknick lknick is offline
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Oh Jeannie...how horrible.

Are you suggesting I take out my ceremonial sword from my cadet days and see if it still fits? Will I need it on my upcoming crossing?

BTW, the maiden voyage of the old Rotterdam was 1959.

40 cruises: mainly Cunard, Carnival, HAL, NCL, RCI, Starclipper, Seabourn. ~511 days total, ~325 on HAL
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Old June 1st, 2004, 10:54 PM
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Linerguy Linerguy is offline
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I'm with you, Ernie: I would have stood there until they moved or the Spam would have hit the fan.

Russ
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  #8  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 02:32 AM
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Jeanne,

Thanks for a thoughtful and informative review.....I've NEVER come across anything like you describe at dinner on the QE2 or Caronia (even 'Grumpy' was amusing in his crossness). But for the grace of god your boors happened to be American....I'm sure us Brits could give them a run for their money in the bad manners stake....but it does seem that QM2 is attracting some pax one would rather not meet. Or as Noel Coward said after WWII and the **** death list of Brits they would have shot had they invaded(communists, trade union leaders, people like Coward himself) was published 'To think, the people one would have been seen dead with'.

Peter
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  #9  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 06:37 AM
Hve2cruise Hve2cruise is offline
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Jeanne........My mouth just dropped to the floor reading about what happened in the dining room. I blame the staff! Once you brought it to their attention, they should have checked the cabin numbers to the reservations and immediately ejected those arrogant people from the table. And, not being able to sit down to dinner until 9:25 or later is outrageous! I hope you are preparing a nice, long letter to Pam. So sorry you encountered all these problems and I hope they have learned from your horrendous experience.

Helane

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  #10  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 07:54 AM
Shipping Out Shipping Out is offline
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I'm shocked at what happened to you in the dining room of the QM2. I think that the Maitre'D should have insisted that the other passengers leave the table, and that he should have ordered that they not be served until they did.

Judging by your account, the Cruises to Nowhere seem to attract a crass group of passengers, newcomers to cruising in general and unfamiliar with the etiquette of taking a cruise. Those booked on the 4th of July can probably expect more of the same. Cunard should reconsider using the QM2 for "Party Cruises" and readers on this board should think long and hard before booking on one of them.

By the way, we sailed on the Maiden Westbound Transatlantic, and experienced none of this - I found the passengers to be exceptionally well mannered - and would guess that guests on longer and more costly cruises know how to conduct themselves appropriately to their surroundings.
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  #11  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 08:31 AM
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There are eight of us on the July 1st sailing. No matter what type of people are on board, I can assure you, this will not happen to us!

BTW, forgot to thank Jeannie for the thoughtful review ... thanks!

Russ
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  #12  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 10:48 AM
Hve2cruise Hve2cruise is offline
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It really doesn't matter what length the cruise is. Either you have the proper manners and respect others or you don't. It doesn't matter where you are from or how much you paid! It was still up to the Matre'd (sp?) to handle this problem in the proper way. Apparently, he needs more training IMHO!

Happy Sailing!!!!!

Helane

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QM2 7/1/04
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  #13  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 11:54 AM
mtbny7 mtbny7 is offline
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Jeanne,

Thank you for such a long, thoughtful review.

I have followed your postings for a long time; and I always find them to heartfelt and well-balanced, so I'm sure this one is as well.

I was saddened to read about the things that happened on your cruise, but not surprised...
I had heard of the dining room stories from friends who were on this cruise.

I've never seen anything like that on Cunard before; or any cruise/crossing I've ever been on! My r/t New York 2-day "cruise to nowhere" on the Regal Empress was somewhat cheezy but still full of nice passengers AND caring staff.

The incidents you describe in the dining room are unaccptable under any circumstances. My "friends in the know" who were on this cruise (who also had late seating) said that the early-seating passengers arrived late on the first night (7:30 ish) because they did not want to miss the NYC sail away on deck. My question was: so why did the maitre d' seat them and allow them a full dinner? Outrageous...

And the story about your wine! Argh!

Jeanne, I hope you and Lorraine and others on the "Mother's Day Cruise" will write letters to Cunard expressing your displeasure... and please let us know the results.

Michael
NYC

PS: I know what you mean by "pier ****"... there is no reason for security staff to be so rude to people.
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  #14  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 11:55 AM
mtbny7 mtbny7 is offline
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Jeanne,

Thank you for such a long, thoughtful review.

I have followed your postings for a long time; and I always find them to heartfelt and well-balanced, so I'm sure this one is as well.

I was saddened to read about the things that happened on your cruise, but not surprised...
I had heard of the dining room stories from friends who were on this cruise.

I've never seen anything like that on Cunard before; or any cruise/crossing I've ever been on! My r/t New York 2-day "cruise to nowhere" on the Regal Empress was somewhat cheezy but still full of nice passengers AND caring staff.

The incidents you describe in the dining room are unaccptable under any circumstances. My "friends in the know" who were on this cruise (who also had late seating) said that the early-seating passengers arrived late on the first night (7:30 ish) because they did not want to miss the NYC sail away on deck. My question was: so why did the maitre d' seat them and allow them a full dinner? Outrageous...

And the story about your wine! Argh!

Jeanne, I hope you and Lorraine and others on the "Mother's Day Cruise" will write letters to Cunard expressing your displeasure... and please let us know the results.

Michael
NYC

PS: I know what you mean by "pier na_i"... there is no reason for security staff to be so rude to people.
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  #15  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 12:24 PM
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guernseyguy guernseyguy is offline
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ARTannen wrote:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> to refer to someone as the "pier n*zi" is insulting to the dedicated officers...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Really? Why? If the behaviour is officious and rude, then the epithet may be well earned. No doubt there are many 'dedicated officers', but also there may well be officious 'jobsworths'. The information is highly relevant to people who may be parking in NY and want to take photos of QM2...

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Secondly, to say that non-residents are "excited" about passing ground-zero, is also a slap in the face to the memory of those who perished <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Really? Why? If people who do not live in the Tri-state are 'stirred by strong emotion, agitated (OED)' on passing Ground Zero, I would have thought that an entirely understandable response - and Jeanne S helping them understand where they were an act of ambassadorship, not a 'slap in the face'.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Thirdly, I have sailed with Captain Paul Wright on numerous occasions and must strongly disagree with your characterization of him. Also, I do not find it humorous for you to refer to the Master of the QE2 by using an incorrect name. For your reference, his name is Ian McNaught.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are entitled to your opinion, but it appears Jeanne S is not entitled to hers. She did also point out that she was not sure of the second Captain's name.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>To claim that actual table location in the dining room should be a function of your cabin category was just down-right funny. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Really? Why? How do you think they assign tables? Cheap cabins with the captain, top cabins by the service entrance? I would hope that Cabin grade (and or past pax) has some bearing on where one sits - if one has paid more, why should one not expect a better table location?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Additionally, the "sculptures" you mentioned are spare blades for the pods and were not placed there for "Kodak moments" or as an art exhibit.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Quite correct, and did you point this out in a friendly constructive manner?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>However, based upon the poetic license that you used in your review, I find it very hard to believe that you encountered such barbaric passengers on this trip. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which poetic license? So far you have pointed out one error, and differing opinions. For one, I certainly believe Jeanne.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I do hope that those reading this thread do not reconsider sailing on the QM2 based upon your review. She is a wonderful ship and should be enjoyed.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Undoubtedly, unfortunately, some of the passengers are to be avoided. Do please tell us when you next plan to sail?

Peter
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  #16  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 01:12 PM
mtbny7 mtbny7 is offline
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Peter,


Bravo!



Michael
NYC
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  #17  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 01:29 PM
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Linerguy Linerguy is offline
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I ditto Michael's "Bravo".

ARTannen:

I suppose you were offended by the episode of "Seinfeld" about the "Soup ****". Afterall, it's insulting to those dedicated to in their job of making soup!



Linerguy
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  #18  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 03:47 PM
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Thanks for the interesting review. We are booked on the 2005 July 4th 3-day, so it posed real food for thought. I am waiting with baited breath for those on this year's July 4th to report back and tell us if it was as grisly as your Mother's Day trip. If so, we may just forfeit the cancellation penalty and bail out!
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  #19  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 04:07 PM
Loves_A_Laugh Loves_A_Laugh is offline
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Really, people -- QM2 has been sailing four months now. That would be in the neighborhood of 16 sailaways.

Don't you think they know by now how to manage seating people for dinner on the first evening of a cruise?

Regardless of the cruiseline, three and four day Kwickie Kruises draw a whole different crowd. They might as well hang a big sign over the gangplank -- "Have it your way."
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  #20  
Old June 2nd, 2004, 04:56 PM
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On short cruises, people seem to go wild as they try to pack too much into a short period of time, and the staff simply looks the other way.

I have no doubt Jeanie's report is accurate about passenger behavior and personally resent the immediate 'taking her to task.'

40 cruises: mainly Cunard, Carnival, HAL, NCL, RCI, Starclipper, Seabourn. ~511 days total, ~325 on HAL
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