Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill. Cunard Standards Starting To Fall?


Cunard Queen Mary QM2 Q4 Penthouse Suite 10092

Cunard Queen Mary QM2 Q4 Penthouse Suite 10092

Cunard Queen Mary QM2 Q4 Penthouse Suite 10092

Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill is the flagship of the Cunard Fleet. Cunard’s flagship cruise liner ship, the QM2 will be 10 years old in 2014. The ship underwent a refit and refresh in Winter 2010. In this article I ask if a recent traveller experience in one of their more premium suites (a Q4 penthouse cabin) is evidence of slipping standards and wear and tear showing. Or was their experience an unfortunate exception.

The devil is in the details. So goes the saying. Most would agree that the overall experience on Cunard is fantastic however some cruisers do report frustrating slips and a lack of consistency in service and maintenance. The question that some cruisers are asking is: “ Is this is a trend? Or is it just inevitable blips and issues related to individual members of staff not following through on delivering the desired Cunard experience”?

The pessimists are concerned that Cunard is having to  “dumb down” through the demands and pressures of Carnival ownership. They believe that they are observing a trend of erosion of the high standards and quality that Cunard used to strive to and maintain.

The optimists believe that the less than superlative experiences are the inevitable challenges of having to deliver service consistently across a larger fleet. For a very long time Cunard had just one ship in the form of Queen Elizabeth 2. This meant it was easier for the company to maintain consistency. Now they have 3 ships with many more crew members and demands.

The Queen Mary 2 is heading towards her 10th year of service in 2014. The ship underwent a refresh and refit in November 2012, as I covered in my posting: “Refit of the Queen Mary 2: Details”. The refit was undertaken despite the ship having positive ratings of 95% from passengers about the state of the staterooms and public areas. However, despite the refit, not everyone has experienced a good outcome and so I wanted to find out what other travellers experiences were.

Richard from the USA, who has followed the blog and podcast for some time, sent some photos and comments about his stateroom that he had recently on the QM2. He had invested in a Penthouse Suite, for a unique and special experience, but had some frustrating issues and wants to know if his incidents were unusual, or if others have had similar experiences across the ship recently.

He writes: “ We booked a Q4 Penthouse Suite for our first crossing (thanks, in large part, to your YouTube video walk-through), and for the most part, we had a wonderful experience. But there were quite a few annoyances during the week that seemed largely related the butler and maintenance services.

The suites on the QM2 were partially redecorated as part of last Winter’s refit, but a lot of the work was quite shabby:

Cunard Queen Mary Queens Grill Penthouse: shower showing years of mildew growth.

Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill Penthouse Suite: The wallpaper in the ceiling panels was poorly applied and had obvious bubbles in it

Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill Penthouse Suite: Areas of the suite really showed their age, including lamps with broken shade brackets

Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill Penthouse Suite: Each of the low-voltage lighting fixtures in the room appeared to have been forcibly removed and replaced with no effort to retouch the surfaces around them

Queen Mary 2 Queens Grill Penthouse Suite: The poorly-cut carpet slipped right up at the corners—not properly fastened down

When we brought the lamps and shower to the attention of our butler, we heard more excuses than anything else: “we’re not allowed to use bleach” or “they won’t replace the lamps.” Not the kind of answers or the refit quality you expect from a company like Cunard.

Then there was the advertised list of Queen’s Grill services: packing and unpacking services, daily refreshed flowers, shoe shine services…none of which we experienced or received any information about. Simple information like where to put your shoes if you want them shined or what pillow options are available would go a long way to improve their service–that and replacing the dead flowers mid-week.

For what you pay for the QM2 suites, I expected something closer to perfection. At the very least, I expected better. I’d be curious to hear others experiences with the little details. On a macro scale, our trip was spectacular.

But have others experienced (or even noticed) these types of problems in the details”

What has your recent experience of the Queen Mary 2 been since the refit and updating? Please leave a comment on the blog or contact me by email or via Twitter. Contact details below or on the blog.

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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