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Review of 6/25 Crossing- Southampton to NY

Liz 130

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We are a family of four from NY - two sons ages 18 and 22 - our fifth Cunard Cruise - second crossing.


First of all, let me say that we had a wonderful time and the QM2 is a truly beautiful ship in its own right - it is not the QE2 - and should be judged on its own merits and not constantly compared.


Here are some of my impressions and experiences.


Embarktation was effortless - our scheduled boarding time was 1:00 pm - and since we were staying at a hotel in Southampton, we had arranged for a taxi at 12:15 - arrived at the pier - and as fast as you could move - you were on board - sailed right through, urged along by cheerful Cunard Reps - had Platinum AE Card - but there did not seem to be a line anywhere.


We were escorted to our cabins - boys - 11 mid ship interior - Mom and Dad 11 midship Balcony. Both cabins were spacious, clean, and well appointed. Valentina was our room stewardess - she was cheerful and sweet - and took good care of us.


Dropped our carry ons and started to explore this ship that we had all read so much about. It is large!!! But it is also apparent that a great deal of effort has gone into the layout - it makes sense - and you find yourself quickly learning what elevator bank takes you where - and the color coding of the carpet helped me a great deal!


We had lunch in the Kings Court - Lotus Section - and Nestor who is a waiter in this particular section took great care to welcome us and make sure we were seated and started off on the right foot. We ate dinner at Lotus later in the week and requested that he be our server. Nestor always had a smile when we saw him and was willing to assist us whenever he could.


If you are interested in Spa appointments - dinner reservations in alternate dining areas - golf simulator time - make these arrangements as soon as you possibly can. They all fill up quickly, and to avoid being disappointed - making these arrangements should be a priority.


Britannia Restaurant - Unfortunately, much of what has been written about the service and food is true. It was not a bad experience - it just isn't memorable. We found our assigned table shortly after we boarded. It was possible the worst table in the restaurant. We addressed it immediately with the Maitre de (Neville) - he was gracious, and quickly changed it. I was impressed with his handling of this - and his attention throughout the week.


Our wait staff seemed over-assigned. Other than an introduction on the first evening, there was very little interaction with them. They took our orders and delivered our food - when pressed for a recommendation or explanation on a menu item - he gave it. Many times I was served last and my dinner order was taken after the boys (even though my husband corrected our waiter on the second evening) My impression was that he was new to this job and had not been trained adequately. It was what it was!!!!


On the other hand - the wine stewart (Rudy) was a lovely young lady from Bulgaria who was efficient - helpful - and seemed to effortlessly take care of many tables, making everyone feel special.


Entertainment - thought the shows were good - Royal Court Theatre was well laid out - and there was a variety the would have some appeal for everyone.


Guest Speakers were wonderful - and we all enjoyed the assortment that was offered and found the lectures we attended to be entertaining and informative.


Casino - the shining star of this part of the ship is the staff. I have never encountered on any cruise ship a more delightful group of casino employees. They were attentive and pleasant whether you were at the tables or the nickle slots - whether it be making change or paying off a win - they went out of their way to be friendly and up-beat - special kudos to Erik and Jason.


Golden Lion Pub was a fun place to congregate - wait staff - Franz and Andrea - were exceptional - and Dan Mills - the Piano Man entertained us on a daily basis (be sure to listen carefully - he really is a very funny, talented young man).


Other Lounges were nicely appointed - Commodore Club - Queens Room for tea, Winter Garden tries hard - but the decor just misses it.


Canyon Ranch Spa - we used the spa for massages and manicure. Knowledgeable staff - pleasant - professional. I enjoyed the exposure to Canyon Ranch products in our cabin, but resent having to endure a product pitch while I am using the spa. Though I must also say that when I showed no interest in purchasing additional products - that was the end of the pitch.


Illuminations - be sure not to miss this - attend at least one show - they last about 20 minutes - but seating is limited to about 150 - and on a ship this size - that is a very small group - shows fill up quickly - so arrive 10 to 15 minutes before viewing time.


Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you how impressed I was with our Captain - Paul Wright. He is funny, charming and very approachable. He seems to have a real affection for his crew and I thought it was particularly endearing when he referred to them as "the boys and girls" aboard have tried very hard to make this crossing pleasant. He made a ship this size have a more intimate feeling. Truly a credit to Cunard.


I know this review was long - sorry - if anyone has any questions - areas I didn't cover - that I could possibly shed some light on - please ask away.











Other lounges were nicely appointed - C

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I'm so glad you had a good trip-- especially as a whole family. I don't have children, but it seemed to me that the ship could offer a wonderful experience such as you describe to a family travelling together.


Although Britannia was obviously a disappointment, as a future returning passenger I have been happy to read (from you and others) that it is a disappointment in very consistent ways (e.g. slowness, spotiness of service). This suggests to me that the problems are eminently fixable once they get the right mangagement and staff sorted out.


You seem to have gotten oriented to the ship faster than most people I have heard from so far -- certainly faster than me. You mentioned that the carpet color of the different stairwells helped -- any other tricks/tips you could share?


Thank you for taking the time to post your review.:)



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