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Queen Mary 2 Cruise
Posted by Piet10 on 02/12/2007
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I recently came home from the Queen Mary 2 New years Eve Cruise.

To summarise - for American passangers - give this ship a wide birth. It is expensive, over-crowded, badly air-conditioned, over-hyped, cigarette smoke all over, lousy public rooms,poor excusions, over-priced drinks, and poor cabins.

HOTELS:
Avoid at all costs the Wyndham Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. It is dirty, noisy, a dump and fleapit. Stay in Miami.

SHIP INFO:
Huge and over-crowded. The crew are good, but basically this a Carnival ship in a Cunard disguise. Do not expect anything but feeble attempts to emulate the old Cunard Line.

For $2400 per person, I expected a lot. I did not get it:

1) Breakfast in bed was consistently greasy & bad.
2) The public rooms are small and hot.
3) On New Years Eve, the ballroom accomodated only 500 people. Group tours received preference e.g. Singles Travel International. We could not get in. What a rip-off. We spent the evening in the smoke-filled Golden Lion Pub - what a disappointment. I came on this cruise to sing in the New Year, and didn't.
4) The so-called queensize beds are merely two singles pushed together, with a prominent ridge in the middle. This is very uncomfortable. Cunard also does not provide two sheets: only a cover and a comforter. Make sure and ask for a top sheet (typical money-saving trick).
5) The food in the Britannia is great, but the Kings Court Group is bland, poorly planned, and has the atmosphere of a burger stand at Walmart.
6) Service quite good on the ship as a whole. But drinks on deck are impossible.Very little privacy.
7) On the 4th day of the cruise, Cunard started diluting and underpouring the drinks. I found this unacceptable. 8) Their practice of adding a 15% gratuity and then also leaving space for a tip is ludicrous and dishonest.
9) The ship is very poorly sign-posted, and there are too few restrooms.
10) There are too few observation lounges.
11) Of the 8 nights at sea, 3 dinners were formal. In my mind, this is overkill.
12) The much ballyhood Pirates Ball was a bust. Only very few in costume, chaotic, and not a lot of fun. We left in disgust. Drinks were being diluted and underpoured.

I sensed confusion in the crew - often wrong times on the cabin TV, and wrong wakeup calls.


ENTERTAINMENT:
Average, and British oriented. One show was poor. The Royal Court Theatre was too hot.

CABINS:
Pleasant. You should book an in-hull balcony cabin. All others are over-priced or dismal.
Size: good. Bathroom nice.
Furniture: Beds very poor.. Adequate storage. Couch comfortable. Table much too small. Lighting - not romantic.
The in-cabin TV broke down a lot, and the PA system could not be made to work.

ACTIVITIES:
Very poor. Little going on. Prominent spots for religious services. Few movies, poor lectures, few dance lessons.
Very little live music.
There was only one chess set & one scrabble set on the whole ship.

SHORE EXCURSIONS:
Wide choice, but very disappointing, and badly organised. I think Cunard must have outsourced these to some shady operaters. For example,we were crammed in to a shabby taxi on St. Kitts, which was overloaded by two passangers. There was no commentary. Advice: hire your own taxi.

Barbados, St. Kitts & St. Thomas are poverty stricken, dirty & a waste of time. Avoid the city centers.

TEA:
4pm tea is a joke: only one tea available (English Breakfast). Not hot, but luke-warm. Accompanying sandwidges would not be out of place in a homeless shelter.

ENTERTAINMENT:
Average, and British oriented. One show was poor. The Royal Court Theatre was too hot.

DANCES:
Outside - only OK. Very expensive drinks.
Inside - Nice if you could get in.

EMBARKATION:
Good and fairly quick (2 hours)

DIS-EMBARKATION
Chaotic, poorly planned, and a vacation ruiner. All the luggage is piled in one place, when it is supposed to be sorted. It took me 45 minutes to find all my bags. I was on the priority list to dis-embark. This seems a farce, as I was repeatedly held up. The transport bus was hard to find. Hint: use a taxi.

Fort Lauderdale airport cannot hold 2000 travellers. We were in line for 5 hours, and made it to our flight with minutes to spare, exhausted. Hint: depart from another airport eg Miami, and don't use US Air.

Overall, although the concept of the ship is good, it is marred by poor management, overcharging, and cutting corners.

IN SUMMARY:
DON'T EVEN THINK OF CRUISING ON THIS VESSEL.
IT NEARLY RUINED MY MARRIAGE

     
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Posted by Skye on 2007-02-13:
How did this nearly ruin your marriage??? Did you spend the whole time complaining to your spouse??
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-02-13:
I think Skye nailed it. Too many complaints about the watered down drinks.
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-02-13:
Considering the reputation of this boat, at first I was dismissing you as hard to please, but your review was concise and believable. Perhaps it was just a bad cruise for this ship and not the norm. I hope so, as this one and RC's Freedom are the next two on my to do list.
Posted by bill on 2007-02-13:
I found alot of your observations very informative and useful, but some were silly like the lighting not being romantic. I disagree with you in regards to Ft. Lauderdale airpot. It can easily handle 2000 passengers. Maybe that day weather in other parts of the country was causing delays and back ups. My final thought: If a cruise almost ruined your marraige then you need to take a good look at your realthionship. Maybe something else is the problem, like excessive drinking.
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-02-14:
C'mon people. This was a detailed curise complaint not a request for a few laymen to provide "tips" on the state of her marriage. STICK to the complaint and not zeroing in on the closing comment.
Posted by leopard on 2007-07-25:
wow! I think you are the most pessimistic person on earth! congratz!! Hope I never have the unfortunate pleasure of being stuck anywhere near you, I might just have to kill myself! maybe thats why your marriage is on the rocks.
Posted by piet10 on 2007-08-20:
It now is apparent that the negative responses to the review of the Queen Mary 2 have been posted by Cunard employees.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-20:
You took the time to put in so much detail to back up your opinion, I have never been on a cruise (yet!) but you give a good list of things to look out for. Thanks, hope your next trip makes up for the bad one.
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Cunard fails to disclose potential problems with Indian visas
Posted by Brianfpr on 01/10/2011
VALENCIA, CALIFORNIA -- My wife and I booked a cruise on Cunard which stops in Cochin and Mumbai. When we applied for our visas we learned that, due to complications arising from my wife's being born in India, we will probably be unable to obtain Indian visas. Our request for a refund of our $853 deposit was denied. We then requested that we be permitted to take another Cunard cruise in return for which they would refund our deposit. This request too was denied. It is true that, before we made this financial commitment, we were aware of Cunard's cancellation policy. However we contend that Cunard were negligent in failing to disclose, either to us personally, or anywhere in their literature, that people born in India may have difficulty in obtaining Indian visas. Our experience is by no means unique. If you google "Indian Visa problems" you will find that many people hav had experiences simliar to ours so Cunard could hardly be unaware of the situation.
     
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Posted by karleebarlee on 2011-01-10:
Unfortunately, it is not their responsibility to disclose that information to you. And, please correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you were trying to change the cruise and then cancel that one while you could to get your money back?
Posted by spiderman2 on 2011-01-10:
Would trip insurance have covered this? I don't think it is realistic to ask a cruise line to give you a list of problems you may have in each country depending on which country you were born in.
Posted by BEJ on 2011-01-10:
It is your responsibility to make sure that you obtain all the required visas not the cruise line.
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Cunard's Customer Loyalty Care Plan... Got A Problem? Tell Someone Who Cares
Posted by Former Diamond Cunarder on 04/29/2009
Following 8-9 years of regular transatlantic+ travel on Cunard for 13-14 bookings, Cunard, with respect to our complaints for Transatlantic Voyage in 2008 told our family (in not so many words)they had no interest in our problems.

Our family of 3 booked one year ahead. The pleasure of our trips, to spend precious time together with our child at dinner. Not only could we not be seated as promised, but thereafter further promises to fix things went by the wayside and ultimately we declined to go to our seating. No one attended to our complaint... until it was to late to address it. Additionally service was terrible generally and complaints ignored almost completely. We can say that in the last few days we received many apologies and acknowledgments from Officer's in charge as to how upset they were that our family had been treated poorly (the seating was one of several issues), that staff had ignored us for 4 days, etc.

However the most amazing aspect of this experience was that upon our return and at the recommendation of the on board staff, when we complained to Princess/Cunard they did absolutely nothing including not answering our letters. It was not until many months later (when we had gone to small claims court) that they got in touch to advise us that because we had gone to court months after they ignored us....now they could do nothing to address our legitimate complaints. However after we got a judgment they did spend thousands of dollars to lawyers (we did not see the legal bill on their end but believe they must have paid a fee)to overturn our judgment because technically it should not have been heard in Small Claims Court.
After many years of being a loyal customer....Cunard does not care about customer satisfaction. As our travel agent advised..."Yes it is unbelievable; but they have taken a page from the airlines".

We are a modest middle class family and this was our only yearly vacation extravagance since our family faced serious medical and other issues before we decided we should indulge ourselves after coming through some very difficult situations.
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-04-29:
What was the seating problem? They wouldn't seat just the 3 of you at one table? They couldn't seat your family together?

Posted by flissy on 2009-05-10:
I was shocked when I read we had the same experience as you and was just composing a letter to Cunard and now wondering if it is worth bothering. It was a our 25th Anniversay and it was ruined with seating problems and total disinterest from the staff. Our family of three generations have cruised many times and will not be going with cunard again. Where does one go now?
Posted by Jaime Lumsden on 2013-07-31:
I called Cunrd trying to book a cruise QE 5th Apr 2014. Called 8 pm Mon 30th July. Took 15 mins to get through after listening to tape telling me how important my call was.
Was eventually quoted special deal with 300 dollars credit per pers and reservation fee of £345. Asked for email to cofirm and it never arrived. Called Tuesday morning 10 ish and spoke to Jess. She told me offer was incorrect. She could only offer me the current price..
I complained and she agreed to put me through to manager. She came back and explained manager was on a call but would ring me back. Four hours later I called and was told that the Manager had been busy but I was transferred to Jonathan, a supervisor.. He promised to listen to recording of my call and come bak to me personally within hour and a half.
Another person rang me back and offered 200 dollars credit but full deposit required
I asked them to relay message to Jonathan asking for the courtesy of a call from him as promised.
He did and I advised him that the level service that I ha experienced was not “exceptional” as Cunard liked to claim, but atrocious. I will take my business elsewhere.
What an appalling company.
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