Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Deimos

Is cruising on the QM2 for me?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi all,

So I've been pondering the idea of cruising to the USA instead of flying for quite a few years now and whilst there are other options, such as cargo ship voyages (which now accept the Visa waiver thing), they are more expensive and offer a lot less than a transatlantic cruise to New York.

I didn't really want the expense of cruising to America, staying there for a month, then flying back, as a single trip flight is 3-4 times the price of a return one

But, since Norwegian air has started doing direct flights to/from Tampa to Gatwick, it's opened new options for me

So I'm pondering cruising to New york, staying there for a few days to see the sights, flying down to Tampa/Sarasota and staying for a month, then flying direct home via Norwegian air.

But...

I'm not really sure if I'm compatible for QM2 cruising, meaning, I'm not posh, nor rich, I don't do dressups/suits just to eat at a table and I feel like I would be very out of place on such a ship

That's not to say I don't dress in a smart/decent fashion (Shirt+Trousers or Jeans during the day for example)

But my main concern is of course evening time when the ship goes into formal/non formal mode, would i be allowed to access regular areas of the ship, for food, like the buffet area?

 

Essentially I just want to use the QM2 as a transatlantic ferry service.

Edited by Deimos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

This question does come up from time to time from folks who simply want to use QM2 as a means of transportation. For some it's a matter of being unable or unwilling to fly.

 

While in my view you would be missing out on a big part of the Cunard experience by skipping the evening dinners in the Britannia restaurant, you can indeed dine more casually in the Kings Court buffet. Also, other areas of the ship including the Carinthia Lounge, the Golden Lion Pub, the Casino, and the G32 nightclub are open to those dressed more casually during the evening.

 

So, yes it is possible to do what you are suggesting.

Edited by bluemarble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are in a similar position. DH and I have booked QM2 eastbound April 2020. We will be touring England and Ireland for three weeks and returning late May on the westbound trip. Because we will be lugging our cases on trains, ferry and buses without porters we must pack light. Absolutely no room for formal wear. We plan to wear smart casual including sports jacket for DH for dinner in Britannia on non gala evenings. Regretfully, we will have to dine elsewhere on gala nights. This will be our first trip on Cunard. This trip involves a great deal of planning so I am trying to not obsess about our wardrobe not being quite up to the standard. Really looking forward to traveling on QM2! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deimos,

I can't imagine anyone not enjoying a crossing on the QM2, even if on the three formal nights you eat at one of the four alternate smart casual dining venues. On the other four non-formal nights of the crossing, a sports coat is all that is required in the main dining room. (tie optional but no jeans). If you do decide on Cunard, I would encourage you to consider bringing a tux and giving formal nights a try. Putting on a jacket and bow tie really isn't all that bad. Who knows, you might even like the atmosphere and people you find yourself with. If you don't own a tux, you can buy one from a reputable rental shop for under 250 pounds. On the other hand, Cunard may not be for you (e.g. I'll never eat Brussel sprouts). There are many great cruise lines out there doing crossings where smart casual is the dress code. Traveling on the QM2 is a unique experience in many different ways, best enjoyed if you are open to embracing new experiences and stepping a little bit out of your comfort zone. 

 

Jack

The 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for the feedback, given me a lot to think about.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Deimos said:

Thanks all for the feedback, given me a lot to think about.

 

 We also don’t do formal and don’t think it would have made us any happier on Cunard. We were in a suite and had dinner served there most nights.  We found the food to be mediocre and the atmosphere to be sudo-posh. We only chose our cruise because it avoided flying but Never again! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, nancynana9950 said:

We are in a similar position. DH and I have booked QM2 eastbound April 2020. We will be touring England and Ireland for three weeks and returning late May on the westbound trip. Because we will be lugging our cases on trains, ferry and buses without porters we must pack light. Absolutely no room for formal wear. We plan to wear smart casual including sports jacket for DH for dinner in Britannia on non gala evenings. Regretfully, we will have to dine elsewhere on gala nights. This will be our first trip on Cunard. This trip involves a great deal of planning so I am trying to not obsess about our wardrobe not being quite up to the standard. Really looking forward to traveling on QM2! 

Many of us who do transatlantic crossings on the QM2 and spend time in the UK and other European countries  between crossings take one suitcast just for formal wear and then use the Cunard luggage storage in Southampton.   Once we board the ship in NY,  we don't have to carry this bag again until we disembark back in NY.   Cunard picks up your formal wear suiitcase outside of your stateroom in Southampton and returns the suitcase to your new stateroom for the return voyage to NY.   It's the best of both worlds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, orchestrapal said:

 We also don’t do formal and don’t think it would have made us any happier on Cunard. We were in a suite and had dinner served there most nights.  We found the food to be mediocre and the atmosphere to be sudo-posh. We only chose our cruise because it avoided flying but Never again! 

That's probably what I would do, which brings me to another question, do you have to tip when someone brings food to your cabin? That part seems a bit vague.

I heard that you are strongly encouraged to leave a tip in your room after you leave, is that for housekeeping?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Deimos said:

That's probably what I would do, which brings me to another question, do you have to tip when someone brings food to your cabin? That part seems a bit vague.

I heard that you are strongly encouraged to leave a tip in your room after you leave, is that for housekeeping?

We have always tipped our butler and housekeeper and some others. We did this on QM2 as well although the only help worth a tip was our housekeeper. Butler was almost useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is a valid idea of taking the Transatlantic for your trip...

There are locations you can go eat and enjoy even if you don't want to dress formally- including the buffet... 
Just some food for thought, though...

I do know that there are many people who choose Cunard because they are interested in the rich history and feeling like they are a part of that tradition... and yes- part of the tradition many Cunarders cherish is the formality... but that does not mean that many people on board would be stuffy... they just like the tradition.

If you decide to try it, just try to keep an open mind... and who knows, you might really enjoy it as a pleasant mode of transportation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Deimos said:

That's probably what I would do, which brings me to another question, do you have to tip when someone brings food to your cabin? That part seems a bit vague.

I heard that you are strongly encouraged to leave a tip in your room after you leave, is that for housekeeping?

Delmos,

We do understand your circumstances and reasoning but I suggest you should give the "Queen of the Seas" a try. After the QE2, she is one of a kind to experience that we love to return each and every time. We've tried other lines in the past on and off but always return to the QM2. Mega & Party Ships are not for us. We too are not rich, posh but traditional. We enjoy the traditional style of sailing with all it's features of the historical liners of the past. You may even feel the history through it's service on board.

 

BTW...we do offer a tip when our Room Service orders are delivered to cabin. Showing our appreciation for the efficient service we received. Always on time each and every time.

 

And we do also show our appreciate to our cabin steward/stewardess at the conclusion of our journey in person to thank them for the professional care they showed us and upkeep of the cabin. They do appreciate hearing it in person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cunard does add a daily gratuity to your on board account each day.   With room service some will give the delivery person a few extra dollars.   It's up to you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BobBranst said:

Many of us who do transatlantic crossings on the QM2 and spend time in the UK and other European countries  between crossings take one suitcast just for formal wear and then use the Cunard luggage storage in Southampton.   Once we board the ship in NY,  we don't have to carry this bag again until we disembark back in NY.   Cunard picks up your formal wear suiitcase outside of your stateroom in Southampton and returns the suitcase to your new stateroom for the return voyage to NY.   It's the best of both worlds.

 

I've used this service and it's absolutely worth it. Luggage issues shouldn't stop anyone from enjoying the full Cunard experience when shipping and storage services are available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

You don't need to worry about "posh" really. And I'd like to suggest a simple dark suit (which works for all dress codes) Others, who are doing extensive traveling with very little luggage have reported success with black pants and jacket which are actually separates and made for travel (wrinkle resistant etc) but without close inspection can pass for a suit and for those not paying attention and the addition of a bow tie, a tuxedo. (Personally, we bought formal wear for one of our first cruises over 25 years ago and pack a bag just for our tuxes and jackets that we don't open until we get aboard, even after a week in NY, so I'm not recommending it. Just mentioning)

Question for others here - is the dress code enforced in the Kings Court Alternative Dining?

Edited by MarkBearSF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, orchestrapal said:

the atmosphere to be sudo-posh

Not sure what you mean.  On ANY cruiseline there are always those who would like to think they are better than the rest of us but I wouldn't say that the whole atmosphere was like that.  DH and I have had the privilege of sailing with Cunard 6 or 7 times and I can honestly say that as people who have had to work hard for their money all their lives, we have never found the atmosphere as you describe.  Maybe you were just unlucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It used to be possible for men to hire a dinner suit on board. I'm not sure that still applies. Many ladies wear smart black trousers and a sparkly top on formal nights and I have never seen them being turned away from the restaurant. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, babs135 said:

Not sure what you mean.  On ANY cruiseline there are always those who would like to think they are better than the rest of us but I wouldn't say that the whole atmosphere was like that.  DH and I have had the privilege of sailing with Cunard 6 or 7 times and I can honestly say that as people who have had to work hard for their money all their lives, we have never found the atmosphere as you describe.  Maybe you were just unlucky.

We did meet some lovely people and I am not so much speaking of the cruisers but of the especially snotty staff in the grills. For the price paid we can happily cruise on luxury lines which are really such with top trained lovely staff and incredible food and ships with hundreds of less people. 

Our fault for being snagged to try Cunard.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Summergee said:

It used to be possible for men to hire a dinner suit on board. I'm not sure that still applies. Many ladies wear smart black trousers and a sparkly top on formal nights and I have never seen them being turned away from the restaurant. 

I am not sure if we can include direct links on here but can I suggest an exellent UK based Company for formal wear https://www.dobell.co.uk/ .

You can purchase an excellent quality tuxedo for under £100, far cheaper than even hiring on-board.

I am not associated with the Company but have purchased various formal items from them in the past and can certainly recommend the quality and efficient on-line service. I should be on commission!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Summergee said:

It used to be possible for men to hire a dinner suit on board. I'm not sure that still applies. Many ladies wear smart black trousers and a sparkly top on formal nights and I have never seen them being turned away from the restaurant. 

 

Yes, that's an option. See the FAQ for the question Can I hire formal wear? for general pricing information.

 

Also, the What to pack page shows an illustration for suggested women's Gala Evening attire that includes trousers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bluemarble said:

 

Yes, that's an option. See the FAQ for the question Can I hire formal wear? for general pricing information.

 

Unfortunately, it is an expensive option.   You can actually purchase a suitable tuxedo for less than the rental charge for 5 nights on the QM2.

 

For many, if not most, their first transatlantic crossing on the QM2 will not be their last.  If you purchase a tuxedo at home prior to your first crossing, you will have it available to wear for many more Cunard crossings/cruises as well as your own special occasions  in the future at no additional cost other than an occational dry cleaning.  I'm still wearing the tuxedo I bought for our first crossing 10 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, nancynana9950 said:

We are in a similar position. DH and I have booked QM2 eastbound April 2020. We will be touring England and Ireland for three weeks and returning late May on the westbound trip. Because we will be lugging our cases on trains, ferry and buses without porters we must pack light. Absolutely no room for formal wear. We plan to wear smart casual including sports jacket for DH for dinner in Britannia on non gala evenings. Regretfully, we will have to dine elsewhere on gala nights. This will be our first trip on Cunard. This trip involves a great deal of planning so I am trying to not obsess about our wardrobe not being quite up to the standard. Really looking forward to traveling on QM2! 

Cunard offers a very reasonable storage service in Southampton where you can leave your 'extra' clothes (in a suitcase of course) while touring the U.K and Ireland. You can put what you need for the touring in a couple of roll aboards. They also have a reasonably priced laundry service as well as free washers and dryers. So you can leave the ship with fresh clothes, and have them laundered when you return to the ship. You can go ahead and pack more formal clothes and enjoy the six formal nights you will have on your round trip, with out having to haul them around the British Isles. Formal nights are wonderful on QM2.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great advice. I wasn’t aware of the storage service. Do you know where I could find the cost to store one case for about 3 weeks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Deimos said:

Hi all,

So I've been pondering the idea of cruising to the USA instead of flying for quite a few years now and whilst there are other options, such as cargo ship voyages (which now accept the Visa waiver thing), they are more expensive and offer a lot less than a transatlantic cruise to New York.

I didn't really want the expense of cruising to America, staying there for a month, then flying back, as a single trip flight is 3-4 times the price of a return one

But, since Norwegian air has started doing direct flights to/from Tampa to Gatwick, it's opened new options for me

So I'm pondering cruising to New york, staying there for a few days to see the sights, flying down to Tampa/Sarasota and staying for a month, then flying direct home via Norwegian air.

But...

I'm not really sure if I'm compatible for QM2 cruising, meaning, I'm not posh, nor rich, I don't do dressups/suits just to eat at a table and I feel like I would be very out of place on such a ship

That's not to say I don't dress in a smart/decent fashion (Shirt+Trousers or Jeans during the day for example)

But my main concern is of course evening time when the ship goes into formal/non formal mode, would i be allowed to access regular areas of the ship, for food, like the buffet area?

 

Essentially I just want to use the QM2 as a transatlantic ferry service.

Deimos, I am not sure I understand your reason for using the QM2 as a ferry. You say one way air line Tix are too expensive, why not book a round trip. Fly to NY, Use Jet Blue to take you to Tampa and Back to NYC and then fly back. That way you can get an economical round trip purchase, from the UK to the US and flights on JB are all priced as one way trips. You can also check to see the cost of an 'open jaw' trip on BA Fly to NYC and return from Tampa. I did a test booking on BA outbound to NYC in September and returning in October from Tampa. The cost on BA was GBP 555. NYC to Tampa is $ 125. I have to believe that that is going to be less than the cheapest room on QM2 with a single supplement.

 

There are good reasons to cross on Queen Mary 2, but trying to do it as a leg of cheap trip probably isn't one of them. It is a wonderful experience to travel Trans Atlantic on QM2, but you at least need to be able to dress for the ship, at minimal a Blue Blazer and some dark trousers and shirts with collars. You will fit in for most nights. During Formal nights you can dine in the Kings Court Buffet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, nancynana9950 said:

Great advice. I wasn’t aware of the storage service. Do you know where I could find the cost to store one case for about 3 weeks?

 

Per the daily programme from day two of our 10 June 2018 eastbound crossing ...

 

Luggage Storage in Southampton

Guests who wish to store their luggage prior to their return voyage in the future may do so with 'Luggage Concierge' in Southampton. Please register at the Purser's Office. The deadline to sign up is 12:00pm on Wednesday, 13 June 2018. The cost of this service is $65 per bag for up to 30 days and an additional $30 per bag for the next 30 days. This will be charged to your on board account. Bags must be collected in the terminal ashore from the baggage hall and dropped off with the Luggage Concierge Representative after exiting customs.

 

Edited by bluemarble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, nancynana9950 said:

Great advice. I wasn’t aware of the storage service. Do you know where I could find the cost to store one case for about 3 weeks?

Well, with the condition of the Cunard web site that's not the place. I have scoured the internet and found this from a poster "I just received a call from Cunard in Los Angeles. There is an off site luggage storage facility in Southampton. It's apparently relatively large and used by passengers in my situation as well as people from all over the world in between cruises. The cost is $65 per bag for up to 35 days. The luggage is separately tagged the night before disembarkation, charged to our shipboard account, and will be delivered to our cabin aboard Queen Mary 2 when we embark a month later." From my recollections of the times I have stored luggage, this seems to be about the price I paid. Others have said there is a $100 additional fee for pick up and delivery, but I don't recall that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...