I know that this will be the most interesting cruise I've been on during the past 15 months. This will be #18 for me and while I'm tired, I really want to see if the negative side of the QM2 rears its ugly head. I was suppose to go on the first out cruise in January and was reviewing Disney and had to cancel QM2. Glad I did not go as I received a call from the Canary Islands from someone else on the ship that said it was a nightmare. I think people have no idea about the ills concerning transatlantic crossings. They can be extremely rough (no matter ship you're on) and the ship turns into a ghost as everyone is sick (including the crew and staff). When I was on QE2, in 60 footers, I went to the dining room for breakfast and it was completely empty. I just sat there watching as the waves tossed that puppy every which way to Sunday and back. Some people sat in the hallways with life jackets on in fear for their lives. I don't believe the bad service will kill the QM2 concept as much as the Atlantic will. Can't blame the crew for jumping, as they had no experience in this venue. First time crew and first time passengers going across have absolutely no concept of what can happen. The industry should watch itself, as these larger ships being mass produced, will flood the market, bring down service to an unacceptable level and kill the industry.
JUST FYI, the automatic tipping policy WILL NOT be removed by the QM2 pursers office. The only way they are able to remove the "service charge" is if you have made prior arrangements. I really appreciated it being added to my bill because of the number of dining venue's. I would have spent days trying to tip everyone had I done it myself. I felt that it was deserved. But then again we didn't encounter bad service in the restaurants.
But don't you realize that you don't have to accept Cunard's new automatic tipping?? Everyone is free to tell the Pursers Office to remove the prepaid gratuities from the shipboard accounts and then tip in cash as they see fit. The prepaids have only been done as a courtesy for those who are uncomfortable with the whole tipping process.
I am a novice- never cruised or crossed the Atlantic before- so maybe I'm dead wrong on this and won't mind if you all set me straight. But Cruise Pal's last email has me a little confused and worried. Since I am going on a transatlantic crossing in July, I'm concerned when he says that a transatlantic crossing can be "extremely rough" and that people were "afraid for their lives" and the transatlantic crossings will do in the QM2." That sounds very unpleasant and not something I want to spend $4,000 doing. On the other hand, he talks about the maiden voyage and someone contacting him from the Canary Islands that the trip so far had been a "nightmare." Now this is where I might be wrong, but that was not only in January- but they hadn't started the "transatlantic" part of the trip yet. It's certainly not the transatlantic route that we will be taking in July.
But I don't know- should I cancel before I make the final payment? I think I'd just be out $100!
I have never crossed the Atlantic. But will do so for the first time on April 25th on the QM2. From what I understand the weather can be rough or like a "mill pond" any time of the year. I have cruised to Bermuda a number of times out of NY and hit a few storms. The ships were a third of the size of the QM2. Never was I fearful of my life, infact it was rather fun. I'm sure the people who got seasick didn't think so. I'm hoping that one of the days on the crossing is rough. As for Cruisepal's comments, I find them a little rough. A website has been set up www.QM2reviews.com has been set up featuring the current 10 day Caribbean cruise which Cruisepal is a reviewer and the reviews so far are positive, or at least I'm reading as such. But then again I sometimes view the world as "half full".
If you think about it. The maiden voyage had almost 3,000 people on board. We only heard a hand full of bad comments. It's human nature for the people that had a bad experience to scream loudly and the ones that had a good time never mention it.
I was on the maiden voyage and don't know what ship the "nightmare" people were on.
As far as rough seas - our first full day at sea had 40 foot waves (according to the Commodore), and it LOOKED very rough, but I've felt worse seas in the Caribbean at 6 foot seas. The QM2 rides VERY smoothly, with a gentle movement during the bad seas. Several people were seasick, but for 99% of those, it was their very first time at sea, and the medication available could easily remedy problems.
It's a beautiful ship. Sure there were service problems - it was a maiden voyage. But lately, more people are saying the service problems are working themselves out... I'd sail on her again in a heartbeat.
Hi ThuleWX , we were on the maiden voyage, wasn't it fantastic, we will be back on asap. The only hastle we had was our waiter in the Britannia restaurant, and a bit of indiference in some of the other staff in the Kings Court, but most of the others made up for that, Thomas, the assistant purser went out of his way to help us with a problem, and Valerie, and Quentin in Britannia were great, also our cabin steward Willie, couldn't have done any more for us, he made us always feel special. I hope Carnival soon learn how to run Cunard, and don't let the Queens slip into mediocrity... And treat us like passengers on the greatest ships afloat, and not like some hotel guest at the family feed bag!
Not that I have any FACT or technical data to support it, but I think that QM2 is probably the most stable ship at sea.
Considering the 40ft waves we encountered, we really just sliced through them. Sure, there was a bit of rise and fall - but that's to be expected.
QE2 also rides well. So far as I can tell, the only time either of these ships is going to be at the mercy of the waves is when they are at a stand still or going very slowly. In these circumstances the ship's stabilisers will not work. When we came to a ?virtual standstill on QM2 mid Bay of Biscay, suddenly the ship rolled (We know - we lost a lovely vase of flowers to it!!!). Also, coming out of Cape Town on QE2 once - there was a massive sea swell and I can remember us going real slow and suddenly the sterm lifted and then sunk (not litteraly!!) - I felt as if I had been left in mid-air. Great stuff!!! But then when we got under way it was fine.
The one big difference I noted between QE2 & QM2 as far as movement was that the QE2 seemed to slightly shudder constantly when at full speed - glasses clinking at the bars, etc, but the QM2 never exhibited the same shudder.
EH - it's doubtful that your July 'Crossing' will be rough - I would'nt give it a second thought! - with so much to see and explore, I think your 5 days at sea will fly by!........... and with no shore excursions to pay for, you'll probably spring for TE's one night!
Just checked the QM2's March 6 itinerary (CruisePal's cruise) - 10 days, "Explorer's Caribbean" - there are 5 full days in port and 4 sea days - in waters unlikely to be even slightly rocky - certainly not to be compared with a true Atlantic crossing (regardless of direction) of 5 full days at sea.
I'm very sorry for the confusion. The second paragraph was a quote from a previous posting that I was replying to, it wasnt' mine. I just didn't want people to have the wrong information Just so we are straight, the pursers office WILL NOT remove the on board "tips" or service charges as they like to call them.
Thanks for the encouraging words. I was starting to panic!
You're all so helpful, I'd like to take advantage again. There may be a thread on this elsewhere, but what are your thoughts on medication for sea sickness?
Neither my husband or I drink- so that's not a consideration. My doctor said the ear patch, and I know there are wrist bands and also some kind of raspberry flavored chewable pills that some people swear by.
EH - I personally prefer ginger capsules (no additives) available at most health food and drug stores. My soft drink of choice is ginger ale or Perrier with a lime twist.
Think no more about it - you'll be fine.
Returning to the original topic. Can Cunard start charging for the TE restaurant? Their UK brochure says'included....all on board meals...'
$30 is not a huge amount but introducing a charge after people have booked and paid for their cruises is a bit naughty.
Has anybody asked them?
Okay, go to www.QM2Reviews.com and you'll find my ten day cruise review of the QM2. I can admit I was WRONG in my pre-cruise jabs at the QM2. We will be posting the complete menus for the Queen's Princess and Brittania and over 400 pics (within the next eight to ten days). The ship was absolutely beautiful, the staff terrific and there's nothing that even hints at Carnivalization. I apologize to all of those on this message board for pre-judging the Queen.
Previously on this site I posited the question: Can we who feel strongly about the advertised QM2 experience-B4's and below pictured w/balconies, Todd English offered free to one and all, etc.-and the apparent actual experience band together in some uniform way and politely request/insist Cunard compensate for these representations- at least by giving back Todd English. It's not simply the $30, it's the principle of the thing! Please, fellow cruisers and crossers, respond to this and let me know if together we can petition Cunard to uphold their end. I believe there are a number of ways this could be done and we can discuss ideas here on this board.
I can't speak for anyone else but I guess a lot of us don't know if it's worth the hassle. You have to pick your battles. Yes- it's wrong. I work in the legal dept of a bank and this would be considered plain unfair and deceptive practices and false advertising etc. I think I'm just hoping that by the time I'm on board they will have thought better of it. Maybe if they see enough bad publicity over the issue, they'll change their mind. Those of us who booked through travel agents should probably raise the issue with them, and it wouldn't hurt to email Cunard about our feelings, but I don't know what leverage we have except the public forum.
I understand your point, EH, @ folks not wanting the hassle. The problem is I have tried repeatedly to broach the subject directly to Cunard through their "Contact Us" email and was unsuccessful. I would like to believe they have representatives scanning the boards of sites like this one but I just don't know if that's the case. Have any of you spoken directly w/a Cunard rep @ this specific topic-Todd English? Have any of you spoken w/someone @ the brochure discrepancies w/the B4-B7 cabins? I would like to hear what anyone has heard from Cunard.
As a family we are very excited to be able to do this trip and I was so happy when CruisePal had such a great experience.
For an excellent photo essay go to www.passengershipparade.com, the photos there are very professional and cover most aspects of the QM2, including what the B4's are really like.
The issue of TE charge is one that I still believe was unfair. However, there are large groups which travel on the QM2 and you can see that Cunard has its hands full on this issue as the the large groups make reservations under different names each and every night. In other words, if i was cruising with a group eight people, on a ten night cruise I could potentially dine in the QM2 for eight nights as each on in my group could make a reservation under a different last name. Cunard did not think this one through and got caught by suprise by the shortcomings of their own system. The TE is small and there would be no way to allow it to be accessed for free. They made a real bad mistake when they offered it for free. They're only option would have been to close it down and one could only imagine the uproar had they closed it down. I guess they made the next best choice which was to control the flow of traffic into the TE with service charge and allowing you only one visit during your voyage. However, we preferred the food in the Brittania over that of the TE.
I was on QM2 for the Sept 17-29th cruise to Canada. I did not eat in Todd English but several people I spoke with did and said that they went more than once and that there were empty tables.
I guess I would have raised the issue of the charge of $20 for lunch/$30 for dinner (instituted to control access) if tables had been empty since the fee was to control access due to demand for reservations.
Just a quick note about the tips, you can have them removed by the purser, they come off your final account. I think that the service charge for TE wil b removed as she moves into her second full year out. It was originally introduced to control bookings, as they had the same cabin numbers booking for every lunch and dinner therefore denying other passengers the oppurtunity. As people start repeat cruising it will, i imagine settle down.
What do you mean this isn't how they eat onboard?
Queen Elizabeth 2 - Trans-Atlantic 2001
Queen Mary 2 - Caribbean - 2004
Queen Mary 2 - Mediterranean - 2004
Were you sailing the QE2 in Nov. of 1992 when the baby grand was uprooted and went flying into a window? When I boarded this ship in NYC Nov. 1992 I noticed a window boarded up, and crew told me about the rough sailing. During my crossing the ocean was very smooth and you didn't even know you were moving. You really take your chances when you sail during the winter!