May 2014 - Queen Mary 2 to Transatlantic
My significant and I took the transantlantic cruise in May. We are an early 30s/late 20s couple... Going in May the first two days of the ship ride were very wavy and rocky. Even though the Queen Mary 2 is massive (I am sure smaller ships would not have weathered it as well...).. it was a rough go for two first time cruise goers. The ship is truly beautiful... even if you never go on it, just to see it pulled into Terminal is crazy. Our room was beautiful... and enough space for the two of us - I highly recommend a balcony, but at the same time maybe Ocean View in May as the weather is too bad for the most part to go out. OUt of the 7 days, only one day was truly beautiful... and when it was - boy was it fun!! We went up to the top deck and played paddle ball. The rest of the days the promenade was shut down and there were extremely high winds and cold. (this is obviously not the fault of the cruise line... Our cruise would have been much more enjoyable had the weather cooperated).
I felt the check in process was a bit of a zoo.. Alot of waiting... no matter what your listed time is. When we went to check in the guy treated my boyfriend like customs - I was not too pleased with this. He was entering the country on a K1 Fiance Visa, and he was asked "SIR HOW LONG ARE YOU STAYING IN THE COUNTRY?" and then we were asked "HAVE YOU ALERTED THE AUTHORITIES OF HIS ARRIVAL?" Seriously?! Not a great welcome on to the ship.
The people were horrible. Very rare to find a nice person on the ship. Most were 30+ years older than us (it probably did not help we awere on the end of a world cruise). Way too many people taking themselves way too seriously. I was headed to the gym early one day, in shorts and gym shoes... decided to cut through the hallways instead of the restaurants on the 7th floor, and got alot of snobbish "OMG what is SHE WEARING" looks... I was headed to THE GYM - water bottle in tow.
The food was AMAZING!!!! We mainly ate in King's court... and the selection was great. Very impressed with this and the hours they were avaiable.
NOW, for the thing that I was most impressed with - "THE HELP" OUr stewardess was amazing. All the workers greet you when they see and are very polite. One thing that absolutely floored me about White Star Service was I constanty saw management giving compliments and good feedback on there work - this is very rare to see in our world today!! It made me happy to see their workers truly appreciated.
Some tips for the cruise:
A) bring a bathing suit!! Even if it is shitty out there are tons of hot tubs on deck. I was self concious of my body so didn't want to bring one - let me tell you - after seeing all those old people in suits - lard and cottage cheese everywhere!!! I would have been fine.
B) Bring plenty of 1's for room service... they are the only ones you should tip on the boat.. they are always timely and polite.. breakfast in bed was especially exceptional!
C) Don't count on great coffee on the ship... I didn't like any of it.
D)If you don't plan on eating in the Britannia restaurant, ask them to remove the "added tip charge of $11.50/day/person" Give it to your stewardess instead!! We only ate in Britannia once - and we were on the upper level, and our table shook the whole time.... we gave them $160 of our room credit involuntarily.
E) THE FREE ROOM CREDIT DOES NOT APPLY TO CASINO CHARGES.... We had $450 room credit.. and found out the hardway this does not apply.
F) Booking a cruise?? Use Kristi Putman from she was amazing and very patient for a first time cruise - goer...
G) One last thing: At the end of the ride we were dropped off at NYC Brooklyn terminal.. Cunard wants you to pay a minimum of $40 - 90 per person for being brought into the city. TAXIS ARE NOT CALLED... we left as part of the early round... got out relatively quickly, and ENDED UP WAITING FOR 1.5 HOURS in NEW YORK CITY for A TAXI - NO PUN INTENDED. It was really bad. I feel bad for the people that came after us. The main reason for this was it was already rush hour in NYC (8:30) and CUNARD does not arrange for A TAXI CONCIERGE... it was pretty bad.
H) Oh yeah... and the planetarium is pretty cool - but outdated - The Cosmos has better graphics now than their short films... Also if you want tickets BE THERE at 9:00 they are free and passed out quickly.