Five-night cruise on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 (QM2)

Hayley Bass on 28 May 2019
From the moment I arrived at Southampton Port, I felt looked after by the staff who collected my luggage ready to deliver to my cabin.

Being a cruise novice didn’t matter as all the staff were friendly and looked after me 100%. It was so easy to check-in and wait for my 'letter' to be called out to go through security (like the airport but much quicker).

I was greeted by the QM2 crew who welcomed me on board and directed me to easily find my cabin. My cabin was a Sheltered Balcony Cabin on deck 5, this was perfect in my opinion (of course I’d love to be in one of the Suites, but this was perfect for me on my own). I certainly wasn’t short on storage/wardrobe space and if I had been sharing a cabin there still would’ve been loads of room and plenty of hangers too; so important for my clothes, dresses and all my shoes!

Next, my cabin steward knocked on my door to introduce himself very briefly. I’ll tell you later why he impressed me so much in ‘Highlight 1’

I explored the ship and thankfully there were plenty of deck plans to refer to, to find my way around. When it was for time for the Southampton Sailaway party, I took myself outside on one of the high decks to get the best views looking back towards Southampton. I felt a real sense of occasion as the ship began to move, with everyone on deck waiving Union Jack Flags kindly handed out by the crew and the live band was playing making the whole occasion feel magical. .

I really could write a book about my time on the QM2 as I truly loved my experience, but I’ll tell you about some of my highlights instead.

Highlight 1: I felt valued and like a VIP Remember my cabin steward I mentioned earlier? I was so impressed when he saw me walking down the corridor he said ‘Hello Mrs Bass’ He didn’t even see me exit my cabin yet he made me feel like a VIP. How he remembered my name and knew who I was I'm not sure! It’s all part of the Cunard White Glove service.

Highlight 2: Bubbles on ice On entering my cabin I was greeted by a bottle of fizz on ice. Every single cabin gets this no matter what cabin category you book. What a fabulous way to start your cruise.

Highlight 3: The Spa I purchased myself a pass to cover my full duration of 5 nights and it was only $95 USD for unlimited use of the Spa pool, saunas, and steam rooms. What incredible value! This is the cost of one day back home.

Highlight 4: I didn’t feel out of place I was worried I may not be the right ‘class’ to be on board the QM2. Instead I felt comfortable, right at home, I could really dress as I pleased with my casual clothes and footwear during the day, no segregation of classes, I was welcomed anywhere. If you didn’t want to dress up at night (after 6pm) then you didn’t have to at all and you could choose to eat in one of the more casual areas such as the British Pub (The Red Lion) or in the buffet area. I for one lavished the chance to dress up every night and especially on the Gala night when it was a black-tie event in the Britannia restaurant and in the ballroom.

Highlight 5: There was so much space! I was amazed at how the ship hardly ever felt busy even though it was at full capacity! Even the spa only ever seemed to have around 5 or 6 other people in it even on ‘At Sea’ days.

Highlight 6: My private sunrise Watching the Sunrise every morning from my own private balcony was magical. Each night my steward left a newsletter for the following day listing detail such as sunrise/sunset times, and a what’s on guide. If it was a day at port there would be information about that too.

Highlight 7: There's so much to do! The QM2 has so much to offer from concerts, comedians, dance productions, musicals, insight lectures, film screenings, quiz nights, Karaoke, Pub games, Ballroom dancing, Sequence dancing, board game, Afternoon tea, G32 night club, Themed nights, Swimming pools, Sports coverage and so much more. With so much choice I really could not see or do everything in just 5 nights. I loved to walk on deck and take in the atmosphere, taking a dip in the Jacuzzi on the very back on the ship felt amazing. I went shopping, I tried ballroom dancing (if you didn’t have a partner there were hosts on hand to whisk you around the dance floor). I could party the night away in G32, the nightclub on board located next to the ballroom. I went to the cinema for a late-night showing of The Greatest Showman and I watched Bohemian Rhapsody in my cabin! There was even a ‘kids club’ for younger guests.

Highlight 8: Guest speaker John McCarthy I didn’t expect to have someone so well known on board speaking about such a historic moment. John McCarthy told the emotional and even comical story over two talks in the theatre. There wasn’t a spare seat in the house and the audience was transfixed on everything he had to say as he told his story from the moment he was held hostage in the Lebanon as a British Journalist for 6 years, until the day he was released. He really is incredible, and I feel privileged that I had the opportunity to hear him talk.

Highlight 9: Ports of call It goes without saying that the ports of call to both Zeebrugge to visit Bruges and Guernsey St Peters Port were excellent days, however one thing I was really impressed with was how smoothly and quickly we could exit and re-enter the ship. Even in Guernsey when we had to travel by tender boat (the QM2 lifeboats) into port, it really was very easy to do. They even had a lift for those less able to exit the ship and the only criteria was to step from the ship to the actual tender boat itself.

Highlight 10: Room service I loved the luxury of ordering room service whenever I wanted to. I made the most of this by ordering breakfast to my room, this was easy to do by simply hanging my order outside my cabin door the night before. Perfect for the mornings, I got up early to watch the sunrise. Alternatively, I could have breakfast in the buffet of Kings Court or I could have table service in the main Britannia restaurant.

I’m now a cruise convert. I didn’t expect to love cruising quite as much as I did. It really was one of the best holiday’s I’ve been on and I loved every single moment.

I really could go on telling you more, the highlights alone really aren't enough information to tell you everything about why I loved it so much. If you’d like to hear more please do let me know and I can help you decide if the QM2 is for you.