On Friday we had the opportunity to sail from Sydney to Brisbane onboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and wow it a fantastic opportunity! Cunard have recently done a Grand refurbishment on QM2 being the most expensive in Carnival Corporation history! The overall ship had GBP 90 million spent with GBP 20 million alone being spent on the Kings Court (buffet style dining venue on Deck 7). Post-refurbishment QM2 now has 50 new cabins added to the ship with 30 Britannia Club, 5 Britannia Insides and 15 Britannia single cabins.
Immediately when you board you are greeted by a number of Cunard staff offering assistance and directing you to the nearest venue to start enjoying the onboard meals. At this moment you can also see all the newly renovated public areas - lounges, shops and main lobby. The décor I would describe as being classic elegance with a traditional European feel. The main atrium area is over two decks with the third having atrium facing rooms looking down over the Grand Lobby.
Our first day was spent exploring this wonderful vessel before meeting our group for pre-dinner cocktails as the Commodore Club. This was the perfect lounge as you got a prime view as you are sailing out of Sydney Harbour. Following cocktail hour, the group of us went to Deck 3 to enjoy a nice three course meal at the Britannia Restaurant located mid-aft over two decks. This is the main restaurant for all guests dining in Inside, Oceanview and Balcony cabins. All meals were served well-presented by the very attentive dining room staff. The evening was enjoyed at the English Pub - Golden Lion followed by Cunard's Nightclub G32!
The second day we had a group training session followed by an in-depth guided galley tour. This is a real eye-opener when you actually get to see the 'behind the scenes' and how everything operates in such a restricted time frame. Following this tour we were able to experience all of the ships wonderful facilities and amenities. Here I took full advantage of enjoying Cunard's famous afternoon tea that is held in the Queens Room. This venue is a Grand Ballroom and is a main venue on formal nights and traditional ballroom dance classes.
The second night, we were given a delightful experience to dine at the Speciality restaurant called 'The Veranda'. This is located towards the back of Deck 8 offering beautiful à-la-carte specialty menus carefully put together by the executive chefs onboard. This venue serves classic French cuisine and is exceptionally good and makes for a fine dining experience. Reservations are required to dine here and a small cover charge applies but is well worth it and highly recommended at least once during your cruise. Within our group we were lucky to have a few different meal options so we could taste a number of dishes. Here you will enjoy wonderful choices like Lobster, Duck, Rack of Lamb, Prime rib and the list goes on. Just when you think your course is finish, the chef brings another surprising dish to complement the previous dish.
After dinner there are a number of entertainment venues to cater to all passengers. Two shows are performed nightly in the main theatre, National Geographic documentaries at the first ever at sea Planetarium at Illuminations, and a number of other live music and dances at varies venues. For any past QM2 travellers, the famous Verve Champagne bar has now been replaced with Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
As the ship was sailing at full capacity we didn’t get the opportunity to see any vacant cabins, however our room alone was very well refurbished, very bright and spacious. The bed in the cabin was large and comfortable with a queen or twin configuration available.
Overall we both had a wonderful short break onboard QM2 to experience this ship firsthand. I hope this review and photos give you a good insight of what Cunard is about. I believe all cruise travellers should try a Cunard ship at least once!