Newbie to Cunard, specifically QM2, all suggestions welcome


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#1
Manchester, UK
10,598 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
As we enjoy in transatlantic crossings (having done 3 to date and have 2 more booked), but not with Cunard, we are considering Cunard for future voyages to New York.

Therefore, to try and experience the onboard ambiance, we are sailing on M818E in May 2018 from Southampton.

Now we know that this will not be totally representative of a transatlantic voyage, but hopefully will give us a flavour of how life onboard QM2 is conducted.

We understand the dress code on this sailing is only informal (jacket required) which we have no issue with as even though dress suggestions on the lines we have sailed on most frequently (RCI and Celebrity) have become more informal we still dress in tuxedos and so have no issue with this at all on any line.

I’m looking for any tips or suggestions that we should consider in advance of sailing.

Thanks
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Peteukmcr from Manchester, UK




#2
East Lancashire
2,751 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Afternoon tea in the Queens Room is a must
If you like cocktail bars then the Commodore Club is the place to go.
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#3
Gower Peninsula, Wales
3,187 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Make sure you go to the Bridge viewing room, to look into the Bridge, on sea days.
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#4
San Francisco, CA
1,471 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
(1) Don't miss lunch (free) in the Golden Lion Pub. However, there's usually a rush right at the start. Stop by 60-90 minutes after service starts and you should get seated easily. (Coming from the UK, the novelty factor is likely less for you, but I'm told that their version of fish & chips with mushy peas, cottage pie, chicken tikka-masala, and plowman's lunch is done well.)

(2) Also for lunch, or an odd snack, check out the Carpathia Lounge. It also worked out well one day when my husband found things to his liking, but I went next door to the Kings Court to grab something from there. It's also a nice way to pick up a small lunch on the days you're planning on afternoon tea, later.

(3) The planetarium is fun activity. If you miss on the complementary free tickets available from the desk at Connexions (I usually ran down for the two of us after we placed our breakfast order in Britannia) - just show up for a showing a few minutes beforehand and introduce yourself to the entertainment staff member managing the door. Inevitably, many more people will grab tickets and be no-shows.

(4) The Behind the Scenes tour is excellent. It's a three hour tour of the operating parts of the ship (the room with the spools of lines and anchors was unexpectedly fascinating). No engine room but the engineering nerds geek out in the engine control room (guess what, the engines run on Windows XP), the galley (with snacks), the backstage area of the theatre, and the bridge with a chat with the captain. It's not cheap (last year it was $160, I think) but it's worthwhile once, and numbers are severely limited. It's not publicized, but you can sign up at the Concierge Lounge, if you're in the grills or line up at the Excursions office (I recommend lining up 45-60 minutes beforehand)

(5) If dining in Britannia, be aware that there are other options which your waiter can get upon request, but are not listed in the menu. Your waiter will have the latest info, but traditionally, steak, chicken breast, salmon, caesar salad and shrimp starter were available.
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#5
West Berkshire
95 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
The library forward on deck 8 is worth visiting - there are comfortable chairs looking out to sea over the bow.

Lanky Lad has already suggested afternoon tea in the Queens Room: you have one sea day on your itinerary - I expect it will be very busy so I would recommend arriving a few minutes before 3.30. Sometimes the doors are opened early, sometimes at 3.30 on the dot.

Hot canapés are served in the Commodore Club, usually around 6 & 8pm, to accommodate the two sittings in the Britannia, though the times might vary. If you're on the late sitting, it's best to get there before 7.30 as the room starts to fill up with diners who have eaten early.

A walk around the promenade deck - indeed exploring all of QM2's exterior decks, is also a "must" in my view.

Enjoy your trip!
#6
Manchester, UK
10,598 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks for all your suggestions, as it is only a short sailing we’ll have to be selective in what we do regards dining, but will be exploring as much of the ship as possible, although I doubt we’ll have the budget for the all access tour! Would leave that for a longer voyage.


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Peteukmcr from Manchester, UK




#7
227 Posts
Joined May 2000
We have been following this thread with some interest as we are also Cunard newbies - and will be onboard the QM2 for a 14-day New England Canada cruise embarking from NY on Sept. 23rd. Any other tips for those who will be taking a somewhat longer voyage?
Also - how long before the cruise will Cunard release the identity of the onboard guest presenters?
Thank you.
#8
Vale of Glamorgan
4,378 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
See attached for list of speakers, subject to change.QM2-insights-1803 (1).pdf
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#9
warminster uk
852 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
You will have 3 Formal nights so not completely informal as you believe.
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#10
227 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by zider
You will have 3 Formal nights so not completely informal as you believe.
We understand there will be more formal nights - we are looking forward to dressing up!
#11
Vale of Glamorgan
4,378 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by zider
You will have 3 Formal nights so not completely informal as you believe.
The OP is only on board for 3 nights in total
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#12
Brooksville FL
3,970 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by Host Hattie
The OP is only on board for 3 nights in total


Yes, all 3 nights are Informal on this unusually short cruise .


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#13
Manchester, UK
10,598 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by zider
You will have 3 Formal nights so not completely informal as you believe.
Actually no, it is listed as ‘informal, jacket required’ on the voyage personaliser and I checked this with Cunard and it shows on the website this too.
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Peteukmcr from Manchester, UK




#14
Overlooking the Straights of Dover
253 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by Host Hattie
The OP is only on board for 3 nights in total
Zider was presumably replying to ponstad, not to OP. A bit of quoting on zider's part would have prevented the confusion...
#16
3,034 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Make sure you walk around the wonderful prommenade deck QM2 offers- seldom to find anymore nowadays! Queen Mary 2 is a very special ship!
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#17
Manchester, UK
10,598 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Once again, many thanks for all the suggestions. Walking around a promenade deck is a favourite for us too.

I have noticed from the voyage personaliser, that Cunard are as vague as P&O on publishing port arrival and departure times. Yet if you were to book a ships shore excursion then the tour departure times are specified.

I am used to the other lines I've sailed with on having specific port arrival/departure times published well in advance of sailing (in all cases at the time of booking). I have done searches including the port of Le Harve, but cannot get any times.

Do Cunard only provide this in the Daily Programme?
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Peteukmcr from Manchester, UK




#18
Overlooking the Straights of Dover
253 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by peteukmcr
I have noticed from the voyage personaliser, that Cunard are as vague as P&O on publishing port arrival and departure times. Yet if you were to book a ships shore excursion then the tour departure times are specified.
Have a look at http://www.cunardcruceros.com, the port times published there are reliable from my experience. Vagueness about port times seems to be a Southampton 'thing' but the information leaks out through such semi-official Cunard channels in addition to the well known cruise calendar and port sites.
#19
Manchester, UK
10,598 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by kentchris
Have a look at http://www.cunardcruceros.com, the port times published there are reliable from my experience. Vagueness about port times seems to be a Southampton 'thing' but the information leaks out through such semi-official Cunard channels in addition to the well known cruise calendar and port sites.
Thanks for that, I'd already tried my usual reference points, but not this one.

The Southampton 'thing' only appears to affect P&O and Cunard, as it is definitely not a issue with RCI, Celebrity, MSC nor Princess (all of whom I have sailed with from this port with the exception of Princess) and all show port departure/arrival times even when planning a cruise.
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Peteukmcr from Manchester, UK




#20
Overlooking the Straights of Dover
253 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by peteukmcr
The Southampton 'thing' only appears to affect P&O and Cunard
Hint: it’s nothing to do with Southampton as a departure port, more to do with wherever Carnival UK’s head office might be.