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Review Queen Mary 2, Independance Day Cruise


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The ship itself and passengers she attracts are great. One really

gets the feel of a liner form the Golden Age that we associate with

the grand MGM musicals. Food and beverage staff is not yet up to





Telephone calls to Cunard before the voyage never got me the same

answer twice. At one point laughter broke out in the background and

unable to hear the customer service rep.


Bar service was bad everywhere and waited 5-10 minutes for a drink.

The Brittannia Dining Service was worse than my QE2 Mauretania

service of 6 months ago which was unfit for a Dairy Queen much less a

Cunard Queen.



I was in a party of 4 and had us sitting separately on the first

night. The other 2 were mistakenly assigned to a table for 6 with 8

people. The assistant Maitre `D idiot got officious, the Maitre D'

Neville saw what was going on and chewed out the assistant Maitre d

idiot. We finally got our table together, but were upset about

missing the first night. They offered no compensation or apology

letter at all. We had good waiters, but the kitchen was slow. One

day at lunch it took 40 minutes to get an entrée of grilled trout, I

skipped desert to get to an activity on time. Britannia service was

never consistent and other passengers were near mutiny. For lunch

since I had pub grub in the Golden Lion which was excellent. Not

wanting to bet on what the Britannia would screw up next we ate

dinner at the Carvery.


Conversation with Maitre D" ineffective


Me:I sailed the Rembrandt with Premier a budget line and had flawless


MD: I was the Maitre D' in the last season on that ship

Me: that was the cruise I took

We then recognized each other

Me: That ship sis not have the high tech state of the art galleys the

QM2 does

MD: We worked hard to make it happen.


If this Maitre d' on the Rembrandt provided flawless serve, then on

the QM2 the bottom barrel we received, bad service on the QE2 6

months earlier, I deduce the problem comes from Cunard management.




She is large, and dwarfs the Carnival Victory docked next to her. QM2

is elephantine in scale and Stalinist in her proportions. Mussolini

would feel at home on her.


The flow planning and layout is excellent. QM2 is bigger than the QE2

and SSNorway combined yet is much easier to navigate than either of

them, especially the QE2. There are 4 distinct stairtowers that cover

all decks and the freedom of choice reduces the feeling of being too

big. Unlike the QE2 all stairtowers lead to Rome. QM2 has as many

public rooms as a ship half her size, but they are scaled larger. It

rarely takes more than 5 minutes to get anywhere. The ship does have

an uptown-midtown-downtown feel as one goes from the bow to the

stern, the public rooms get more festive.


The décor is retro Art Deco patterned after the Queen Mary 1 with

definite design DNA. The spaces on deck 3 are patterned after the

Normandie with a huge gallery leading to the Britannia Restaurant

with carved relief panels descending from the Dupas originals. The

galleries tween decks are also a Normandie copy. However they are

useful and fun when traversing the Britannia Dining Room when closed.

At the bow there are Queen Mary 1 style long galleries to sit and

watch the ocean on a cold day. The Illuminations Planetarium is right

out of Radio City Music Hall. Queens Lounge has the ambience of the

SSNorway's Club Internationale with the Rainbow Room thrown in. I did

not use the Winter Garden. The Royal Court Theater is not as well

executed. The only rooms out of context are the shopping mall ersatz

Victorian Golden Lion Pub, and the G32 disco which is out of Las

Vegas. The fake wood used everywhere looked it. I wish they had used

laminate in a more imaginative way. Late Art Deco used laminate since

at the time it was an exotic material. Overall I wish QM2 was more

adventurous in its interior design.


The cabins are finished in light sycamore with dark accents. We had

an obstructed balcony double on Deck 8. The room was a good size, but

the bathroom was too small, smaller than the bathrooms on the

SSNorway N grade and QE2 M4. I used the balcony only to take

afternoon naps. At night, I would prop the door open, turn of the A/C

and sleep to the sound of the ocean.


Her deck space is excellent and plentiful. The tinted windows on the

wind screens detach one from the sea. The winds on Deck 13 can be

severe even at 15 knots. The 7 deck promenade gives the feel of a

liner. The aft terracing is quite graceful and well laid out. The

deck spaces get progressively quieter as one works their way to the



The podded propulsion system gives hardly any vibration at all. The

ships rocking motions are a slight jiggle; however we had very calm

seas. The last night we were hauling 26 knots with authority and





The people on board were very nice and only a handful that should

have taken the Carnival Dysentery instead. The 4 day cruises bring

out the worst passengers and was not the case here. I did miss the

international flavor and the eccentrics that are usually on the

crossings like my QE2 voyage 6 months before. Passenger complement

was a full cross section of young, old, mellow and festive. There

were 200 kids on board of which some behaved better than some

seniors. There was plenty of activities for all and each public room

and activity automatically drew the like minded.


This is one of the first adult cruises not traveling alone. I had my

brother, sister-in-law and personal friend aboard. I did run into a

QE2 tablemate and Simon Lasky a QE2 musician. A neighbor from home

was also on board by pure coincidence, and a friend whom I met on

Rembrandterdam 4 years ago. My cabin steward Jeremy was also a

delight. He too was on the Rembrandt with me. Socially I was not

alone for a minute with my family, previously known friends on board,

and the lovely new people I have met.





Cunard tends to attract the demographic group, more so than many

other lines. There were about 250 gay and lesbian passengers on

board; 55 from Peid Piper's partial ship charter. The Commodore Club,

nicknamed Commodorothy Club from 10:30 to midnight and the G32 after

midnight are the LGBT hangouts. There were 2 Friends of Dorothy

parties. The people ranged from tweedy intellectuals, Bohemians, to

GUPPIES, and Prada poofs. Everyone was friendly and the crew





There was more than enough to do and could not attend everything I

wanted to. I attended all 3 Bill Miller lectures, the musicians were

good all around. The Vegas style shows do not interest me so I cannot

comment. The ship really does not have a British flavor at all.




The QM2 is a great piece of hardware that the hotel staff has not yet

learned to manage. What keeps me coming back to Cunard is the

wonderful passengers she attracts, and great cruise format,

especially on the crossings. What Cunard does well it does like no

other, when it screws up it does so beyond one's wildest imagination.

When debarking it felt like leaving a familiar home.

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Did we sit at the same Brittania restaurant??? we thought the service impeccable. we also thought the assistant M'D's were great saw them working very hard at a thankless job trying to please everyone. yes there were some people who did not care fro their seating arrangements, but I have seen the same issues on other lines. Seemed Cunard tried hard to please the masses

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It may have been at lunch on day 1. I was in the Commodore Club for the CC meeting.


After my conversation with the Maitre D' and the coincidence that he performed flawless service on the Rembrandt when I sailed her; QE2 Mauretania has similar problems and is an old ship. With the evidence at hand the problem seems to start at Cunard corporate.


I am not fussy, but lunch should take one hour. Waiters should be showered and not have BO [from QE2 6 months earlier]. Courses should come in sequence.


My philosophy is that when there is a customer service problem, state the problem, the result desired, analyze, exchange information and most important: DO NOT humiliate or berate anyone personally.


Regardless, I had a great time on the cruise and the glass is half full.

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I am so sorry you had all these problems. We were on the same sailing and found the Brittania to be excellent. Maybe it was our table (#80) and our wait staff which was fast and efficient which attributed to this.


We did have a problem with the toilet flusher falling off the wall and it did take most of the day to fix it, but, all in all, we had a great time.


If I were you, I would contact Cunard's corporate offices to tell them what happened and the terrible way you were treated. To degrade a passenger in any way is deplorable.


Keep us informed.



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I have been reading all the posts on the boards both before and after we took the July 1-5 Indendence Day Cruise. This was my first time on a cruise which does not exactly make me qualified as a "Cruise Critic"; however, I travel constantly and approached my first cruising experience as I would any new travel experience. After having read many posts prior to leaving, I was, frankly, prepared for a large, crowded ship with some significant service problems.


Happily, none of this proved to be true for me and my party on our cruise. I felt the service was excellent almost across the board. The exception was the bartenders who served at the Pavilion Bar on Deck 12 - they simply seemed unhappy. In fact, when we complained, one bartender sought us out the next day to apologize for her rudeness and told us that if even one passenger complains about an employee they will be fired immediately. We were clearly shocked that Cunard would treat their employees like that. Several other employees confirmed that they believed the same fate would befall them if anyone complained!


What I wasn't prepared for and was disappointed by was the lack of quality in the food served both in Brittania and the Kings Court. Everyone in my party agreed that it was barely a cut above eating at Denny's and certainly NOT what we had expected on the venerable QM2. We are not food snobs at all and yet found several of our Brittania dinners to be barely edible. We didn't hesitate to make up for that by pigging out at Kings Court later (quantity over quality) but all in all were very disappointed by the food.


Nobody has mentioned what became our biggest disappointment of the entire cruise. I am curious if it was just me and my husband or if others felt the same way. On Sunday morning, July 4th, we pulled into Newport at 6:30am to drop off a sick passenger. The previous day the Captain had announced that we would drop off the sick passenger early in the morning, spend the day "at sea" and then return to Newport Harbor in the afternoon for the fireworks. Since it was such a short cruise, we were terribly disappointed to find ourselves spending the entire day anchored off the coast of Rhode Island. If you only have 3 days at sea and one is spend sitting anchored "dead in the water", our "cruise to nowhere" has suddenly become "sitting nowhere". I, frankly, felt ripped off. My guess is that Cunard was trying to save some money on fuel costs since we were originally supposed to spend Sunday night anchored in New York harbor. It just seemed wrong to me that we weren't "cruising" for one entire day. I complained to the purser about this and next thing I knew he called me and said the Captain would like to meet with me!! We had a nice discussion with Captain Wright but he provided no real acceptable answer to why we were "sitting" except that the staff thought the passengers would prefer it. Can anyone tell me if they felt the same way I did or if they really did prefer spending the day anchored?


All this being said, once we started moving into Newport Harbor the parade of boats and amazing "escort" we had was remarkable and the highlight of my cruise.


Just thought I would offer another view of the QM2 Independence Day cruise, from a first time cruiser's relatively unbiased point of view. The ship is amazing, the service for us was outstanding and the food disappointing. I found myself catching the "cruise bug" but my dh said "never again - if the QM2 can't do it right, then nobody can".


Thanks for listening to my humble opinion...

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I truly love the Cunard experience. My QE2 voyage of 6 months earlier was also very siginificant.


The people I met on QM2 were lovely including fellow cruisecritic participants.


It is within my interest not to bash Cunard, but to fairly identify problems and Cunard solve them so we can all have a better cruise.

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I didn't mind being anchored off Newport. In fact, I loved that so many folks sailed all the way out to take a gander at the ship. The horns, folks yelling up at us, etc. all added to the excitement. The Queen was obviously the big news of the day.


Sorry you had such a problem with the food; I guess we were just lucky.


Thanks for the comments.



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I guess we were just lucky also..as were all the people we met and spoke to onboard. It's interesting that you start your review with notes about what Cunard did wrong. It seems to me that is what you were looking for. While nothing in this world is perfect, our crossing, the staff, food, etc. were fabulous and as close to perfect as one can expect. We ordered drinks, soda, etc. from numerous spots and never, not once did we have to wait more than a few minutes to be served, and always served graciously and with a smile.

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we also enjoyed our cruise. we sat in Britannia at table 81. It may have alot to do with where you were situated in the dining hall as to how quickly you are served. I also must say that the bar service was abit slow. But all in all we really enjoyed ourselves, felt like Queen for a few days. Didn;t mind being anchored in the least, but thought a spectacular sight as we were cruising ,the " dolphin show" that ran along side for miles. Would defin. cruise her again

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We were at table # 80, right under the tapestry. We ate at the Captain's table on formal night. You were probably sitting right next to us. It is the best section in the dining room. We thought the service was great. Had a wonderful time.



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The Dolphins were spotted the first day at sea at about 10am, just off the port bow. There were at least a dozen and they were indeed swimming along with the ship. Everytime I've seen dolphins at sea, they've always been going the same direction as the ship ... I have no idea why.


I remember it well as Desirod and I, along with my wife and children, had just met for the first time ... it was on deck 11, the forward observation deck.



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I can imagine how dissapointed many passengers are especially those who cruised with Cunard before the company came to Carinval and still had the service Cunard was famous for. The same goes for the crew - they must be frustrated to hell because they are not being able to give the same kind of service they used too. Carnival just doesn´t know how to run a truely premium class cruiseline!

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the dolphins , seemed like quite a few dozen or so, swam along side on the second day down toward the Carolina's, they really did put on a show, jumping in the wake of the ship. beautiful sight and we had a great view on the back deck outside Todd English restaurant(deck 8)


Hve 2 ,

yes, I know your table, we were the table for 4 just in front of the Captains table. You are so right , we had superb service, might have something to do with being so near the Captain, our waiter did his table too.

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"I can imagine how dissapointed many passengers are especially those who cruised with Cunard before the company came to Carinval and still had the service Cunard was famous for. The same goes for the crew - they must be frustrated to hell because they are not being able to give the same kind of service they used too. Carnival just doesn´t know how to run a truely premium class cruiseline!"


I sailed twice with Cunard before Carnival bought the line and the service I received on QM2 was just as good if not better. As far as the crew being frustrated, I didn't see it.


I suppose you think Trafalgar House did a better job than Carnival is doing ... and we all know how that almost ended up.


If Carnival doesn't have the ability to run a "truely premium class cruise line", then they couldn't possibly operate a luxury class line. This means that both Seabourn and Holland America would be in the dumps; and that certainly isn't the case.

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Linerguy - I'm with you - QE2 post Carnival was better than with Trafalgar House - even simple things like maintenance were better. IF Cunard had not gone to Carnival we certainly wouldn't have QM2, and we probably wouldn't have a QE2 or a Cunard either.......I reckon Samuel would be pretty happy with the way things are run.....Its a business....not a retirement home for distressed gentlefolks. When the original QM and QE started to consistently lose money they were not long for this earth....



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"When anything goes wrong, it's the pennypinchers"


"When anything goes right, it's the saints"


So right you are.


Ever notice that whenever someone has a problem on a Celebrity cruise, they don't scream at Royal Caribbean? Or when NCL screws up, it's never because of the blood-sucking, money hungry execs at Star Cruises? But, for some reason, people just love blasting (and blaming) Carnival for everything.


I think it's because some folks hate the idea that so many lines are being bought by a company that offers an experience that they feel is beneath them.



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Saw this on the HAL board and thought it was germain to this thread given all of the yahoo.

First of all, you should not be flamed for this posting - if you are, well, to me that speaks volumes about the posters on this board. It's easy to point the finger at someone and say "well, my cruise on the Zui was great, so you must be lying about yours" - I absolutely detest this type of attitude, 100%. We are ALL individuals with different likes & dislikes. To say someone else is wrong or to post "oh, don't listen to the negative" is not helpful in the least, also a bit disrespectful, IMO.

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