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March 2017

Ten years ago, I took a transatlantic crossing from Southampton to New York on board Queen Mary 2 and loved every moment of it. Even though my stateroom choice was modest, the whole experience was glamorous. So it was with great excitement that I headed on board Queen Mary 2 again, this time in a Queen’s Grill Suite, for a 5-night voyage from Sydney to Tasmania and back.

Just over a year ago, the ship emerged from a major re-mastering with new interiors and upgrades. The result of the recent remastering was to give the ship an updated, splendid and stylish look without losing any of the beautiful design elements. And they’ve achieved just that: the perfect balance of contemporary elegance.

But whilst the ‘hardware’ lives up to all things Cunard, the ‘software’, including the service, food and the overall cruise experience, falls short of what the company’s marketing claims. The pinnacle of dining on board here is the Queens Grill, where I found the food to be unimaginative and nothing special. The service was perfunctory and at times delivered with just a little attitude. On the flip side, the Queens Grill Suites are an absolute delight however, again, the service let them down as the butler and steward were less than impressive.

As one of world’s great ocean liners, I would be surprised if you did not enjoy yourself on board the QM2. But when it comes to the Queens Grill experience offered at top dollar, beware of being lulled too deeply into the company’s marketing promises. The saying goes that you get what you pay for; the problem was, I disembarked feeling I was short-changed.


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