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Linerguy

QM2 July 1st Cruise - Comments

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Embarkation:

 

What can I say, it was flawless. We stayed one night prior to the cruise at the Holiday Inn Martinique (lovely) and, the next day, took a cab to the pier; arriving at about 130pm. We surrendered our luggage to a porter, walked inside and, within 20 minutes, we were on board. It was perfect. In fact, I'd say that it was one of the smoothest embarkations I've ever experienced.

 

Our Cabin:

 

My wife and I were traveling with our daughter, 12, and our son who is 9. We had a quad inside cabin on deck six; cabin 6073 to be exact. No complaints at all. I know I've mentioned this before but, the beds and linens are absolutely top of the line; the most comfortable I ever had on a ship. There is plenty of storage space (at least for us), and, while the bathroom isn't the largest I've ever had, it's lay out makes it seem larger then it really is ... no problems. I did find it funny that there is a "No Smoking" sticker on the mirror of the bathroom and then next to the toilet, an ashtray is mounted to the wall. ??? The Canyon Ranch soap, bath gels, and hair products are all high quality and not in the least "Motel 6-ish". If I had to "find" something wrong with the cabin, it would be that the upper berths do not have rails to keep the kids from falling out at night. No problem with our 12 year old but, our 9 year old, Elliot, moves around in his sleep like he's dreaming about Big Time Wrestling. So, my wife slept in the top berth two nights and I slept up there the other two nights. I'm not sure if our room stewardess just forgot about the rails or if they just don't have them. In any event, it was fine.

 

The Ship:

 

Well, after the inaugural trip I took in April, I wrote just how wonderful QM2 is; and my feelings haven't swayed. She is remarkable ... except King's Court. They should rip it out and start over. It's not so much that we had a problem getting a table as much as how damn confusing the room is ...

 

We did have a bit of excitement during tea one day in the Queen's Room. Along the port side wall, above the ceiling, a sprinkler pipe burst (or came loose or whatever) and water was pouring through the light fixtures and onto the floor. And I mean a steady stream that lasted about 35 minutes or so. Officers and crew came in with ladders and removed part of the ceiling and shut it off. We passengers made light of it in a good natured way ... we knew the ship would stay afloat.

 

I will say, and this is just an observation and not a complaint, that QM2 didn't feel very British to me. Perhaps it's because on my QE2 trips, years ago, most of the staff were British and now, on QM2, they are not. Then again maybe it's bacause QM2 hasn't acquired that intangible "patina" just yet. Nevertheless, she is the grandest of the grand as far as today's cruise liners are concerned.

 

BTW, it was hard to tell if QM2 was actually moving. I understand that we were, for the most part, sailing at a very slow speed, and that the sea was like a sheet of glass, but, she is probably the finest sailing ship I've ever encountered. Even on the last night it was tough to tell we were cruising along at 26 knots.

 

Food & Service:

 

I understand that desirod had much to complain about as far as the service in the Britannia. I guess we just had good luck of the draw (and he and I discussed this while on board), as the service we received was flawless. I suppose this means that service is still uneven and is, indeed for some folks, an issue. Perhaps we were just lucky or maybe some folks were just unlucky. Still, the service should be consistant throughout the dining room. As far as food in the dining room, I have nothing but praise to dish out. I wasn't disappointed at all. Soups were outstanding as were the desserts. Special requests were always met with "Absolutely, no problem". To my wife's disappointment, lobster wasn't served but it's wasn't enough to cause a black mark against Cunard. Personally, I think it's like eating a giant bug so, I couldn't have cared less. One other note: We never waited more than, I would say, five minutes between courses.

 

We passed on Todd English so I can't really comment on the food or service there.

 

Food in the King's Court (with the exception of that dreadful pizza) was very good; or at least on par with buffets I've had on Princess or Celebrity.

 

The service at afternoon tea in the Queen's Room was painfully slow; they simply didn't have enough staff. And while the sandwiches and desserts were fine, you didn't have a choice of tea as they came around and poured the tea from teapots for you. Not a big deal though and all in all, tea was lovely.

 

Fish and chips in the pub were wonderful, served timely and were very hot.

 

We didn't visit the Boadwalk Cafe.

 

Service in all the bars was prompt and courteous and yet there was no pressure. Like many folks, the Commodore Club was our favorite.

 

Entertainment:

 

First off, let me say that the pianist in the Commodore Club, Campbell Simpson, was nothing short of incredible. Hopefully, future passengers will get a chance to hear this chap as he's simply brilliant. In contrast, the two gents who traded off on the piano in the Golden Lion were just horrible. They both played like they were on speed. Everything they did seemed in double time.

 

We only saw the "Rock at the Opera" production show and, visually, it was fantastic. The stage, the lights, the effects, are all state of the art. And the performers dancing are also very good. It was the three main vocalists who made my skin crawl. They were either sharp or flat most of the time. Still, it was worth seeing ... though I doubt I would sit through it again.

 

Fellow Passengers:

 

For the most part, a lovely bunch of folks. I had several pleasant conversations with folks who were having a wonderful time. Of course there were a few whiners here and there but nothing to ruin the moment. There was one annoying, yet funny, instance when, during the Captain's cocktail party in the Queen's Room, a lady sitting in a chair behind us kept yelling to the guy standing next to me "Sir, MOVE ... I'm disabled, I can't see ... MOVE, I'm disabled!". She thought the entire world was suppose to get out of her way. Eventually, a few people around her picked her up and moved her closer ... actually, right next to the guy she was yelling at. "I hope someday you're disabled and people aren't as rude as you are!". He just ignored her. After the party was over, and the guy next to me left, the old bat got up and WALKED out of the Queen's Room! Now THAT was funny.

 

Also, just want to say that it was a total pleasure to meet a small group of fellow C.C. members. We had a very nice time chatting briefly in the Commodore Club and I certainly enjoyed running into one another throughout the trip.

 

Newport:

 

At first, I was very disappointed that we would not be viewing the fireworks in NY harbor. After a while I figured, what the heck, don't let it ruin the trip ... Newport will be fine. And fine it was ... more than just fine, actually. Had we gone back to NY, we would not have been treated to such a warm welcome. Hundreds of pleasure craft, sailboats, etc escorted us into the harbor and there were folks lining the shores to take a gander at the Queen. It was actually very emotional. I'm not ashamed to admit that a tear or two crossed my lips ... it was something right out of the liner books I own. After we dropped anchor, we were surrounded by what had to be at least a thousand boats. I'm sure that, from the shore, it had to be an awesome site. While I've seen more impressive fireworks, these were still lovely and a memorable time was had by all.

 

If Newport is as wonderful as it looks from the harbor, I feel a return visit is in order.

 

Disembarkation:

 

Again, flawless. We left our carry on luggage in the cabin closet until they called our group to leave ... something I always do. When we were called, we got our bags, walked off the ship, collected our luggage and were in a taxi within ten minutes. Couldn't have been easier.

 

Overall, a great trip. The Queen is marvelous and I'd sail on her again in a minute.

 

I'll end with a heart warming story: My Father in-law and his sister (my wife's Aunt) also went ... along with two other friends. Anyway, my father in-law and his sister took a cab from LaGuardia to the Holiday Inn for our pre-cruise stay. After the cab left, when he tried to check in, he discovered that he had left his wallet in the cab! His credit cards, ID, and $800 cash just drove away in a NYC taxi cab! I tried to run after the cab ... right, like I'd ever catch him, but no luck. Anyhow, 20 minutes later, the cab driver called and, within 10 minutes, came around the corner and brought the wallet back! His next fare had found it on the floor, gave it to him and he returned it.

Amazing. You gotta love New York. My Father in-law tried to give the driver $100 but he wouldn't take it. We insisted that he take at least $50 and he did. Honesty is a lovely thing.

 

Russ

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Thank you Linerguy for your nice review! I am leaving for London On wednesday, and am looking forward to my crossing on July 22nd!! My understanding of all of the reviews that I have read are, that you cannot please everyone in this world. I am glad to hear that you and your family had a good time, and the change of itinerary did not ruin your trip. As for others, whom I read on this board, it seems like they have to find reasons to complain about such minor things, and I can't see how anyone would want to ruin their vacation. I am going on this ship with an open mind, and I know I will just love it!! I will post a review when I return!

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and don't forget to sign the Cruise Critic visitor's log in the library...Just for fun, do you mind counting the number of signatures we have? Thanks.

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I will say, and this is just an observation and not a complaint, that QM2 didn't feel very British to me. Perhaps it's because on my QE2 trips, years ago, most of the staff were British and now, on QM2, they are not.
That also describes London, where it is reported by the Times that almost half of the population is not native English speaking.

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That is very much the case. London is now more remote from the rest of the country, outside its quite wide south eastern area of influence than ever. If you want to experience England you won't do it in London.

David.

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Thank you Cusyl! I will be sure to sign the cruise critic log, as well as count the signatures!! The anticipation is mounting and I just can't wait another day!!!!!

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Great review Russ! Having not read this first I asked some questions on another thread. My TA was one of those who encountered bad service in BR as well as her cabin (for the first time she had her tips removed as she was so disgusted).

 

So you’ve had a taste of Newport. If they love QM2 as much as they do QE2….. You would enjoy the wharf of this seaport. This is a town that does appreciate ships.

 

I first realized the un-Britishing of this ship when we noted the Bromley Toiletries were replaced by Canyon Ranch, fine products, but not British. Our cabin attendant was from Brooklyn with accent to match. The ship seemed all American until I ran into Maureen the Social l Hostess.

 

Am really looking forward to the Commodore’s Club, having missed it the first time around.

 

That is wonderful to hear about the cab incident. This happens all the time here – we’re not so bad all in all.

 

 

 

Jeanne

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Thanks for your thoughts,Russ

 

I'm glad thatyou enjoyed the ship. Now, it's MY turn!

 

Been thinking of 2005, maybe one of those 12 nite Carib from NY.

Welcome home!

 

 

PS .... Hope you gave the hull a 'pat' :-)

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I hate to say it, and please don't take this the wrong way but, I think your TA was out of line. If she was so disappointed with the service, she should have spoke to someone with the clout to do something about it. It may have been corrected and all may have been fine. Taking the gratuities off altogether impacts more than just her cabin attendant and waiter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's fine to reward someone for bad service. I'm simply saying that talking to the right person, with the right attitude, and as a PASSENGER and NOT a TA (I hate when they do that), can make all the difference in the world. I know, I've done it.

 

Desirod was also on board. He had a problem, talked to the right person (eventually) and it was solved.

 

IF your TA did try to have the situation looked into and was met with a brick wall, stiffing the staff MAY have been justified ... though I don't think I could ever do it myself.

 

With respect,

 

Russ

 

P.S. Vic - Glad to say a few 'pats' were in order!

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Jeanne - I know how glad you must have been to spot

Maureen Ryan on QM2. She is a true 'slice' of Cunard,

going back to the original Mary and Elizabeth. I loved

her "sit, knit and chat with Maureen" QE2 days.

A PTA friend says Maureen got her start aboard

the old "Chusan" sailing from the U.K. to Asia.

W o n d e r f u l woman.

 

Curls.

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Linerguy—You had a good experience on the short QM2 sailing. For this I am happy.

 

I had a less than wonderful experience on a QM2 crossing. For this I am sad for it is Cunard and I expected better of them based on prior experience.

 

But, imo, to chalk everything up to passenger attitude is just a little too Pollyanna-ish. There is a thing called bad service and we sure experienced it. [in other places, I have detailed exactly what I mean by bad service.]

 

We spoke to more than one first line supervisor about our table service. Lip service was paid, but no improvement from our end. [On another line, we had a similar experience, and management fell over themselves to make corrections.] On QM2 what we actually got was ‘go away and leave me alone.’ [i once had a boss who would say, ‘you’re called a manager, so manage!]

 

Only after we in a social conversation with the F&B Manager [we did not seek him out] in which we discussed the hidden ashtrays [a violation of procedure] did anything happen to equip the designated smoking area with ashtrays.

 

I support Jeannie’s TA 100% on her conclusion. It would be a disservice to her clients to not let them know of her personal experiences. After six months, procedural problems should be fairly well solved. Yet, some people come back today saying the same things that were said in January.

 

For me to see something usually takes a lot. I even liked the Zuiderdam’s inaugural cruise despite many who did not. But in my opinion, QM2 is out of control without trainers or leadership anywhere to be found.

 

We were very careful to present a balanced view of our crossing…but with a few exceptions it could be summed up as ‘vastly overpriced donkey s**t’ [And we love donkeys as my lady used to breed them in New Mexico besides 'birthing them [human] babies']

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Lkinck-

 

I'm sorry that you had a "Bad" experience on your QM2 crossing. I did read your review and found that it was mostly negative. I did find Linerguy's "Fair and Balanced".

 

I was on the 4th of july cruise. I know my experience was VERY close to linerguy's.

 

As few points here-

 

The food was not 5 star but portions and taste was very good - right down to the crystalized ginger!

 

Dining staff in the Britannia room was very attentive; they knew our names the very first night, our drinks were brought to us with out our asking for refills or even ordering them on subsequnet evenings. The 2 children I was traveling with had shrimp cocktail every night WAITING for them at the table.

 

Our stewardess was wonderful; she put up with 2 teens who rarely arose before 10am. She replaced the feather pillow for my daughter who is allergic. (Russ we did have 2 bunks down and had only one bed rail; maybe they ran short???)

 

The Kings court...I never saw any staff chatting among themselves. I did see how they were waiting at attention to wisk trays away so you could dine without a tray..I saw how they promptly wisked away empty dishes and if you needed assistance in getting to your table all one had to do was ask. You did make a comment in your review Lkinck about passengers loading up on food and bringing it back to the cabin. I was one of those. You see I would make a plate of fruit and breads every morning and tea sandwiches in the afternoon for the girls. I found it better than ordering room service for them as I did not know when they would arise in the morning and I found that the tea sanwiches (eaten as we were showering and dressing for dinner) carried them over till dinner. So if someone saw me and thought that I was hording food; my guess is that they have never sailed with 2 active skinny teens who need all the food they can get!!

 

On the down side, yes service in the bars was slow; the staff in the jewlery shop did not know the difference between crystal and white topaz another thought that topaz and citrine were the same stone.

 

Other than that all was well. So well that I have 2 more booked.

 

Malinda

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Thanks, Malinda. BTW, when I saw you in the Casino, I sat at a slot and won about $200! You must be good luck!

 

lknick:

 

Yes, I've read the review of your QM2 trip. Actually, it would make a good movie, ... "The Ashtray Conspiracy".

 

A few folks talk about the way Cunard "use to be" compared to their QM2 experience. Well, I've been on Cunard in the past as well and, other than QM2 not feeling very British, I don't see such a vast difference. In fact, many aspects of my QM2 trip were far superior to my two trips on QE2. Still, I managed to have a great time on all of my Cunard sailings.

 

BTW, while determining if folks had a good time based on attitude may be Pollyanna-ish to you, the fact remains that, during the trip, a majority of the passengers seemed to be having a good time. Perhaps you're knocking the theory because you failed (or forgot) to have a good time during your stay on QM2. Had you not been so concerned about ashtray bandits and their evil, non-smoking ways, you might have enjoyed it more than you did.

 

Also, I'd appreciate it if you would keep comments like "vastly overpriced donkey s**t" out of my threads. If you want to debate an issue, fine. If you want to disagree with me, well, that's fine too. I'll always be happy to engage in spirited debate. But remarks like that bring you down to a level where, quite frankly, I don't want to go; and it's beneath you. Your edit to attempt to soften the comment with humor is appreciated.

 

Bottom line: I had a great time on QM2. It's unfortunate that you, Jeanne's TA, and a handful of others, for whatever reasons (valid or petty), didn't.

 

Russ

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My TA, Rosemarie is a pretty easy going, always polite, thoughtful type person whom was a big promoter of Cunard in an agency whose late owner detested Cunard, so no one was more surprised than I to hear her how upset she was - that she would remove tips and not sell the ship (complaints posted on another thread) as she was always positive. I have not heard her complain like this before. Did not ask her what she did in response to this however. I could not imagine myself not tipping. Even for some very bad service have always tipped at least 15%. I just feel that this is income for people who rely on tips and maybe I got them on a very bad day.

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Malinda and Linerguy--I will grant that your experiences on the QM2 were different than lknick's, but I do not see why you equate a differing opinion with a personality defect. Nor do I see why Malinda on another post felt it necessary to publish a barb.

 

The idea is to share experiences and information, not to kill the messenger. If JeannieS's TA posted here and outlined her bad experiences, would you also nail her?

 

And, when did a string become the personal property of the original poster? This sure indicates to me the original poster believes only he has the perspicacity to make a valid judgement.

 

Linerguy--you loved your cruise. Others hated theirs. Accept that and stay away from personalizations.

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Somewhere:

 

It's nice to know that Clayton Moore isn't dead afterall.

 

"My threads" refers to exactly that, threads that I start. No more, no less. There's no need to read anything argumentative into it. I don't own anything here ... you know it and I know it.

 

"The idea is to share experiences and information, not to kill the messenger". Agreed. Trust me, Jeanne knows that nothing I said was directed towards her; she is a peach of a lady. Perhaps I wasn't clear in my post about Jeanne's TA. Put simply, Rosemarie's experience MAY have improved if she had said something to someone who could something about it. If she did in fact try to get it resolved on board and was unsuccessful, then there would be a reason (though I could never do it) to remove the gratuities from her on board account. Period.

 

One last thing, why do folks find fun in posting negative remarks when someone has something positive to report? People come back, excited that they have a great time, tell folks about it and get (in a nutshell), "glad you had a good time, ... BTW, I HATED it". It's not like I'm going to sit back and say, "you know, you're right ... I hated it TOO!" Oh well, perhaps it's just sour grapes because someone else had a great time and they didn't.

 

Hi-ho, Silver, and away!

 

Russ

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I started a thread on the HAL board to ask that very question because there, suddenly absolutely benign threads were being taken over with mean tacky posts.

 

One string had turned into attacks on people who offered good wishes to a poster who'd mentioned celebrating an upcoming anniversary on a cruise. It got so bad the whole thread was removed. Can you believe it?

 

I've been following this thread and a couple of others here on the Cunard Forum. It's getting really tacky. So many recent Cunard posts are filled with personal attacks. And one thread has been removed already.

 

The thread by Carolyn (?somebody) has been removed. It was a very comprehensive review of QM2 complete with lots of great pics, IMO the best published to date -- and now its gone.

 

And more current threads definitely qualify for removal. This one is a PRIME candidate.

 

There's much information to be shared here -- many well-experienced and knowledgable posters. No reason anyone should -- or ever will -- see eye-to-eye with any or all the participants.

 

Holding a different judgement about something doesn't mean anyone's right, wrong or stupid. Chalk it up to a difference in perception or a difference in standards, whatever. Absorb whatever might be of value and just ignore the rest.

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Linerguy,

 

I hear what you are saying. I was bashed in a past post for giving info on evening attire in the alt dining areas( by the way it was later discovered what I had stated to be true as the orig poster called cunard themselves) All I can say is that I also had a fantastic time on the July 1 cruise. The couple who traveled with my hubby and myself have been on multiple cruises as we have been on quite a few too, and I must say we were very impressed. I am contemplating doing the Feb repo on QM2 as it looks like an awsome run.

 

 

 

Listen, you can't please everyone, so you've got to please yourself

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We were also on the July 1st sailing and had a great time. Read all the previous posts, both good and bad, and decided to go with an open mind. The only bad thing that happened to us was that the thing on the wall to flush the toilet fell off. It took several hours for them to fix it, but we didn't fret. There were plenty bathrooms to use throughout the ship!

 

Looking forward to sailing on this grand lady again.

 

Helane

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