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Queen Mary 2 Berlitz Review

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Berlitz Rating:

Families With Children
Ship Beam (ft/m):
Ship Builder:
Chantiers de l'Atlantique (France)
Ship Cabins (for one person):
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Ship Casino (gaming tables):
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Ship Elevators:
Ship Entered Service:
Jan 2004
Ship Former Names:
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Ship Length (ft/m):
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Ship Passengers (lower beds):
Ship Propulsion:
gas turbine + diesel-electric (103,000kW)/4 pods (2 azimuthing, 2 fixed)
Ship Self-Service Launderette:
Ship Size:
Large Resort Ship
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Ship Wheelchair accessibility:
A real sturdy ocean liner built for transatlantic crossings

Cunard Cruises - Queen Mary 2

Overview: Queen Mary 2 (QM2)offers the pleasures of crossing the North Atlantic comfortably on a regular schedule. It is really suited to couples and solo travelers who enjoy the cosmopolitan setting of a floating city at sea with an unequaled maritime heritage. Scores given are averaged for all accommodation grades.

The Ship: RMS Queen Mary 2, designated a Royal Mail Ship by the British Post Office, is the largest ocean liner ever built in terms of gross tonnage, length, and beam, though not in terms of passengers carried. A powerful propulsion system allows it to go backwards faster than many cruise ships can go forwards. It was the first new ship to be built for Cunard since 1969. In addition to its scheduled transatlantic crossings, QM2 operates an annual round-the-world cruise, and other, shorter cruises.Almost everything about the liner is British in style, but with some American decor input and accents; even the four tender stations have London names: Belgravia, Chelsea, Kensington, and Knightsbridge. There is a wide walk-around promenade deck outdoors (the forward section is under cover from the weather). Three times around is 6,102ft (1,860m), or about 1.2 miles (1.9km). Teak ‘steamer’ chairs adorn the walk-around deck, with plenty of room for walkers to pass. However, plastic sunloungers are provided on some other open decks.Here’s a deck-by-deck look at the facilities and public rooms, starting at the lowest deck and working our way upward, forward to aft:Deck 2: Illuminations (and integral planetarium), the Royal Court Theatre, the lower level of the six-deck-high atrium lobby, the purser’s desk, Video Arcade, Empire Casino, Golden Lion Pub, and the lower level of the two-deck-high Britannia Restaurant.Deck 3: the upper level of Illuminations and the Royal Court Theatre, the second level of the six-deck-high atrium lobby, Mayfair shops, Sir Samuel’s, The Chart Room, Champagne Bar, the upper level of the Britannia Restaurant, the Queens Room, and the G32 nightclub.Decks 4/Deck 5/Deck 6: accommodation and the third, fourth, and fifth levels of the six-deck-high atrium lobby; at the aft end of Deck 6 are facilities for children, including an outdoor pool (Minnows Pool).Deck 7: Canyon Ranch Spa, the Carinthia Lounge, the sixth and uppermost level of the six-deck-high atrium lobby, the Kings Court Buffet, Queens Grill Lounge, Queens Grill, and Princess Grill dining salons.Deck 8 (forward): the upper level of the Canyon Ranch Spa, and the Library and Bookshop. The center section has accommodation. In the aft section is The Verandah Restaurant, plus a Terrace Bar, and an outdoor swimming pool.Deck 9 (forward): the Commodore Club, Boardroom, and the Cigar Lounge (Churchills). The rest of the deck has accommodation and a Concierge Club for suite occupants.Deck 10: accommodation only.Deck 11 (forward): outdoor observation area. The rest of the deck comprises accommodation. The aft section outdoors has a hot tub and sunbathing space.Deck 12 (forward): accommodation. The mid-section has an indoor/outdoor pool with sliding glass roof, and golf areas (Fairways), located just aft of the public restrooms. The aft section has the Boardwalk Café, dog kennels, and shuffleboard courts.Deck 13: the Sports Centre, Regatta Bar, a splash pool, and extensive outdoor sunbathing space.There are 14 lounges, clubs, and bars. An observation lounge, the delightful Commodore Club, has commanding views forward over the bows; light jazz is played in this room, which is connected to the Boardroom, and Cigar Lounge. Other drinking places include a Golden Lion Pub (pub lunches are served here, too), Sir Samuel’s (wine bar), a nautically themed cocktail bar (The Chart Room), and a Champagne/Coffee Bar. Outdoor bars include the Regatta Bar and Terrace Bar. The G32 nightclub, which has a main and mezzanine level, is at the aft end of the ship, away from passenger cabins; it is named after the number designated to the ship by its French builder.Illuminations, the first full-scale planetarium at sea, is a stunning multi-purpose showlounge that also functions as a 473-seat grand cinema and broadcast studio. As a planetarium, it has tiered seating rows, and you sit in a special area with 150 reclining seats, under a dome, which is 38ft (11.5m) in diameter and almost 20ft (6m) deep – this forms the setting for the night sky. It’s worth reserving a seat for at least one of the several outstanding 20-minute programs. The venue also screens 3D movies.There are five swimming pools, including one that can be enclosed under a retractable glass roof. A large area of open sunning space includes a sports bar at one end. Sports facilities include an electronic golf simulator, giant chess board, and a paddle-tennis court.The ship’s Library and Bookshop is the world’s largest floating bookshop and the most popular public room on transatlantic crossings. Staffed by full-time librarians from Ocean Books, it features 10,000 books in several languages, in 150 book cabinets. It is a delightful facility, but there are few chairs, and the adjacent bookshop is quite small. Children have their own spaces, with a dedicated play area, and real English nannies.Queen Mary 2 (QM2) offers the pleasures of crossing the North Atlantic comfortably on a regular schedule. It is really suited to couples and solo travelers who enjoy the cosmopolitan setting of a floating city at sea with an unequaled maritime heritage. It’s also for anyone who can’t contemplate sailing without their dog – it’s the only liner with kennels. Scores given are averaged for all accommodation grades.

Accommodation: Although there are four separate categories – Queens Grill, Princess Grill, Britannia Club, and Britannia – QM2 really operates as a two-class ship (Grill Class and Britannia Class); the restaurant to which you are assigned depends on your accommodation grade. You even get a different cabin breakfast menu in all accommodation grades, plus a tea/coffee-making set.All grades have a flat-screen infotainment system, and beds have European duvets. There’s a mini-fridge, safe, and hand-held hairdryer. All bathrooms have toiletries supplied by Penhaligon. Other features include digital video on demand (English-, French-, and German-language movies are available), music on demand with 3,000 titles, and audio books on demand. One channel covers Cunard’s eventful history since 1840.Beware of cabins on deck 6 located under the Kings Court – they can be subject to noise from the casual eatery on the deck above, where almost constant trolley movement creates noise.From the smallest to the largest, they are as follows:Standard outside-view/interior cabins. There are 62 outside-view cabins and 281 interior cabins measuring 194 sq ft (18 sq m). Beds can be arranged in a king-size or twin-bed configuration.Atrium-view cabins. Each of these 12 interior cabins (194 sq ft/18 sq m) has an unusual view – into the six-deck-high atrium lobby. Beds can be arranged as king-size or twins. An en-suite bathroom has a shower enclosure, washbasin, toilet, and toiletries cabinet.Deluxe/premium balcony cabins. These 782 cabins (248 sq ft/23 sq m) include a sitting area with sofa, and bathroom with shower enclosure. Beds can be arranged in a king-size or twin-bed configuration.Junior Suites (Grade P1/P2). There are 76 Junior Suites (381 sq ft/35 sq m). Each has a lounge area, large private balcony, and marble-clad bathroom with whirlpool tub and separate shower enclosure. Beds can be arranged in a king-size or twin-bed configuration.Suites (Grade Q5/Q6). These 82 suites (506 sq ft/47 sq m) have a large private balcony, living area, dressing room, and marble-clad bathroom with whirlpool tub/shower. Beds can be arranged as king-size or twins.Penthouse Suites (Grade Q4). The six Penthouse Suites (758 sq ft/70 sq m) have a living and dining area, large private balcony, bedroom, and dressing room with master, marble-clad bathroom with whirlpool tub and separate shower enclosure.Queen Anne/Queen Victoria Suites (Grade Q3). These two suites (796.5 sq ft/74 sq m) have the most commanding views over the ship’s long bows. They consist of a bedroom with master, marble-clad bathroom with whirlpool tub and separate shower enclosure, separate living/dining area, and a second bathroom with a shower enclosure (no tub).Queen Elizabeth/Queen Mary Suites (Grade Q2). Measuring 1,194 sq ft (111 sq m), these are located just under the navigation bridge, with good views over the ship’s long bows, with living and dining areas, and a large private balcony (but smaller than the Balmoral/Sandringham Duplex balconies). The master, marble-clad bathroom has a whirlpool tub and shower enclosure, and a second bathroom has a shower enclosure (no tub). Each suite has the convenience of private elevator access.Duplex apartments (Grade Q2). There are three duplex apartments: Buckingham and Windsor (each 1,291 sq ft/120 sq m), and Holyrood (1,566 sq ft/145 sq m). Each has a gymnasium, balcony, butler and concierge service, and superb views over the stern.Balmoral/Sandringham Duplexes (Grade Q1). The largest stand-alone accommodation (2,249 sq ft/209 sq m) has superb views along the length of the ship’s exterior. Upstairs is a bedroom with wood-framed king-size bed, and large (not-so-private) balcony; downstairs is a living room with sofa, coffee table, dining table, and writing desk. There are two marble-clad bathrooms with whirlpool bath, separate shower enclosure, toilet and bidet, and two washbasins.Wheelchair-accessible cabins. Additionally, there are wheelchair-friendly suites and cabins in various categories. All have pull-down rails in the closet, above-bed emergency pull-cord, and large, well-equipped bathrooms with roll-in showers and handrails. Facilities for blind passengers include Braille signs and tactile room signs. Eight wheelchair-accessible elevators service the dining areas. Additionally, 36 cabins accommodate deaf or hearing-impaired passengers.

Cuisine/Dining: There are 10 dining rooms and eateries (and seven galleys to service them), and all dining venues have ocean-view windows. The wines and Champagnes have been selected by Michael Broadbent, one of the world’s top wine experts.Britannia Restaurant. This main dining room seats 1,347, and spans the ship’s beam. A lavish room almost three decks high, it has two grand sweeping staircases, so you can make your entry in style. Breakfast and lunch are open seating, while dinner is in two seatings, all with crisp linen and fine china. Vegetarian options are included on all lunch and dinner menus. One downside of open seating for breakfast or lunch is that each time you’ll probably have a different waiter, who won’t know your preferences. Also, if you are seated on the lower level underneath the balcony formed along the sides of the upper level, you may feel enclosed in an inferior space. It’s better to get a table in the central well or on the upper level.Queens Grill/Princess Grill. There are two Grill dining salons: the 200-seat Queens Grill and the 178-seat Princess Grill. Which you dine in depends on your accommodation grade and fare. Both are located aft and have, in theory, fine ocean-view windows – although walkers passing by on the exterior promenade deck can be distracting in the daytime. Canyon Ranch SpaClub recommendations and vegetarian options are provided on all lunch and dinner menus.The Verandah Restaurant. This reservations-only venue carries on the tradition of extra-tariff restaurants first seen aboard the originalQueen Mary andQueen Elizabeth. The room has intimate detailing and overlooks the Pool Terrace, for alfresco dining.Kings Court. This revamped, informal, open-plan eatery offers self-serve breakfast and lunch. Breakfasts are repetitive, but include British traditional standards such as eggs, bacon, kippers, and fried tomatoes. The lunch menu changes daily, and includes several popular Indian dishes. At night, decorated screens transform sections of Kings Court into extra-cost dining areas.Comfort foods are available in the outdoors Boardwalk Café, weather permitting, while pub lovers can find traditional British fare in the popular Golden Lion Pub. The multi-use Carinthia Lounge is good for extra-cost coffees and light items for breakfast and lunch; it includes a patisserie, and is also a good venue for socializing, and some evening entertainment.Note: You can also order from the restaurant menus and have breakfast, lunch, and dinner served in your own suite or cabin.

Entertainment: The Royal Court Theatre, a lovely venue, has tiered seating for 1,094, though some sight lines are less than ideal. It stages lavish West End-style productions and hosts headline entertainers and cabaret acts. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) supplies a company of actors to give Shakespearean performances, lead acting workshops, and take part in street-theater performances.

Spa/Fitness: Health Spa and Beauty Services are provided in a 20,000-sq-ft (1,858-sq-m) Canyon Ranch SpaClub, arranged on two decks. There’s a thalassotherapy pool, whirlpool, and thermal suite (at extra cost, but waived if you buy a treatment). There are 20 body and skincare-treatment rooms.

Berlitz Guide © Apa Publishing 2017

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