Carnival/Cunard, Queen Mary2 - Avoid Holidaying on the Queen Mary 2
ALICANTE, SPAIN -- My husband and I have recently returned from a Queen Mary 2 cruise from Hong Kong to Southampton, our boarding in Hong Kong was not too bad, however we were required to present our passports to Chinese immigration in person later on in the evening, resulting in long ques and a lot of pushing and shoving, the much hyped farewell to Hong Kong was delayed until well passed midnight, missed by us because we had gone to bed.
Almost all ports of call were to container ports, resulting in long transfers to the advertised destination, in some cases up to 40 minuets.
Trips were overpriced and in the case of Sokhana if you hadn't booked one you were stuck on board as it was made quite clear that after a 10 minute transfer there were no taxis available outside the port. Drinks on board were also pricey, food in the Britannia restaurant was fine most of the time although portion control was certainly high on the agenda, we were only offered vegetables with our main course after a group on the next table who arrived on board in Dubai complained, food in the self service Kings court was unappetizing with very little choice.
In general, service was okay, but having had three or four instances of either being ignored or downright rudeness we decided to cancel our automatic gratuities and tipped only those staff who were helpful.
Organisation is certainly lacking, in Cochin (India) after queuing for well over an hour we gave up and decided to stay on board with a number of people who had booked excursions and were unable to fight their way through the crowds to get to them.
After developing Noro Virus, I was one of 16 people on deck 6 to have it, we were charged $50 for a visit from a nurse and some Immodian tablets, I wrote to Cunard to complain and point out that in a number of cases we had reported to staff that the hand gels were either empty or faulty and not working, basically got the brush off.
The ship certainly has air conditioning problem as the smell of cigaret smoke was evident quite strongly in specific areas such as, the Champagne bar and the Chart room and in some of the lift/stairwells.
The last straw was changing ports of call, I realize that this for various reasons can and does happen, my complaint was not at any time being informed, we were not alone, a great number of other people had no idea either, our last itinerary was dated 1-03-2012, we departed for Hong Kong on 22-03-20012, on reaching Malaga, not Lisbon as per the itinerary we decided we had, had enough and disembarked and true to form it too almost 2 hours to get our cases, Never, never again Cunard we will stick to Celebrity .