Cunard Line - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews
Cunard Line

Queen Mary 2

by John C. Malley
Eastern Caribbean
December 21, 2005

Holiday Cruise, NYC to NYC

Boarding:
Went smoothly considering the transit strike was in full swing. We stayed the night before at the LaGuardia Marriott hoping the strike would be over the next morning. It wasn't but the concierge got us a limousine for the same price of $45 as the regular taxi fare from LGA to Pier 92. The only other option was the Marriott van back to LGA and stand in line for a taxi with a minimum passenger load of four people. The usual 30 minute ride was 80 minutes. We were on board at 12:30PM even with the strike and the ship having to disembark a full complement of arriving passengers

Cabin:
We were on Deck 8, cabin 8014. One of only two B category cabins on that deck with a partially obstructed view of about 25%. All the other B category cabins have no ocean view except when they are tendering or having lifeboat drill and are not worth the money. The cabin was spacious and immaculate. Plenty of drawer and closet space. Bathroom more than adequate. Multi-function TV took a little getting used. It had multiple music, movie and re-run sitcom selections plus CNN. The best feature was an e-mail capability to send and receive for $1.50 each way. Much cheaper than the Internet cafe. Our cabin steward was a lovely young lady and room service for breakfast was prompt and courteous.

Food and Drinks:
We were at first or early dinner seating and our waiter and assistant waiter very attentive. The food on the best night in our opinion never measured up to what we have enjoyed on our six Holland American cruises. Before dinner drinks in the bars or lounges only offered what looked like a coarse breakfast cold cereal or trail mix to nibble on with the occasional peanut. No napkins or hot hors d'oeuvres as served nightly in all lounges on Holland American. I think they were possibly served in the Queen and Princess category staterooms.Our major complaint was the the wine service. Never more than 2 ounces if that in any glass we were served. Mixed alcoholic drinks were supposedly 1.5 ounces of whatever but were noticeably weak and mostly ice cubes.Solo pianists and a harpist played the bars before the evening meals but we missed the musical groups that played in the Holland American lounges and afforded an opportunity to dance.The food in the Lido Buffet was plentiful and varied for breafast and lunch.

Long lines when first opened. Seating a complex arrangement between four buffet alternative serving areas with only a very few window seats with ocean vistas. Self service salad bars hard to negotiate as choices are hard to reach. Deserts mostly the frozen then thawed variety.We did not try the evening dinner reservation only specialty buffets or the Todd English restaurant. A dinner companion thought the latter was nice but not worth what they paid.

Entertainment:
Two wonderful show and ballroom orchestras and solo vocalists. Stage production song and dance numbers superb. Christmas eve show a one to remember spectacular. Plus, the usual comedians, jugglers and instrumen soloists on alternate nights. The movie theatre has great seating and had a good supply of first run movies. Plus, it also served as a facilty for the many visiting lecturers on board. Many art displays with numerous sales and auctions throughourt the cruise

Ship Decor and Facilities:
Ship beautifully decorated for the holiday season with gorgeous trees and wreaths everywhere. The library the best we have ever seen on any ship. The beauty salon and health/excerise facility superb. Four swimming pools.Never crowded and plenty of chairs on the open decks. The best of London's stores are represented in the shopping aracde

Tours and Cruise Ports.
We did not sign up for any island tours. We had been to all them on other cruises. We did walk or tender in early before the day got too hot to just people watch and see the shoreside entertainers in the visitor centers.Tender service is efficient thought it is slow early on as the tours have priority.On disembarkation in NYC take the Cunard airport shuttle buses. You are the first off the ship unless you want to carry your own luggage. We docked about 6:30AM. We were off by 8:30AM and at LaGuardia by 10:00AM.Taxis can scarce during the city commuting hours and waiting lines are not much fun with a lot of luggage.

Summary
Would I go again? No. The ship comes no where close to providing the level of service and food we experienced in the days before Carnival took over Cunard.Plus, any ship that size is too big for a couple of seniors in their early 80's.