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Qm2 Mini Cruise - A Curate's Egg! by White, Southampton

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  • Leake, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - Commented on this review

    Hi Enjoyed your balanced review. I would like to add that NO cruise line uses silver service these days (this includes the more up market Silversea and Seabourn, P&O do offer partial sllver service but only vegetables). The added tips on Cunard and drink prices are pretty much par for the course these days (P&O, Saga, Thomson's and Fred. Olsen being four the exceptions the much more expensive luxury market).

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    • White, North Baddesley - Commented on a comment by Leake (21 Jan 12 11:49)

      Thanks for the comment, you have reminded me of another positive point! I agree the Silver Service, when you get it, is only partial - though for some specific dishes, such as Beef Wellington, there is still a main course fully served on P&O. Even where only partial for vegetables, it lets you make a selection and I think still adds a sense of occasion. The problem with fully plated meals is that the vegetables can often be very sparse - and if you don't realise you can ask for an additional selection (and we did this on the mini-cruise and were well supplied - forgot about that in the main review and it's a plus) then you can get a less than fully rewarding impression.

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    • Richard, Lee-on-the-Solent - Commented on a comment by White (25 Jan 12 08:25)

      Such a shame you did not mention the additional vegetables in the body of your review. It is a big plus. P&O, Fred Olsen and Cunard all offer additional vegetables but I know which of those three I prefer to be with - and I have cruised with each one over the last 9 months.

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    • White, Southampton - Commented on a comment by Richard (25 Jan 12 12:57)

      Hi Richard, I've not been on P&O for a couple of years having been more RCI, Cunard and FO of late. We were supposed to be on Adonia for this January's reposition from Naples to Southampton which was cancelled due to a requirement of urgent repairs. A shame that, as I was looking forward to trying an R Class ship with P&O/Carnival presentation. As for who I prefer - it comes down to which ship is going where and at what price, they all have strengths and weaknesses I guess. Cheers - Rich.

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  • Malcolm Oliver, Essex - Commented on this review

    QM2's strong backbone, designed for the rigors of the North Atlantic makes her layour confusing. That's why Kings Court is long, but not so wide. Wide open-plan buffet designs are not strong enough!

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  • Bradbury, Billinge, Nr.Wigan Lancashire - Commented on this review

    Drinks exhorbitant? Visit a 4/5 star hotel anywhere in this country and you will pay more, which does not include a double brandy I found in Eastbourne and near Marlow at £135 and that was 5 years ago! The barman told me the bottle(cut glass) was £3500 plus. Over the year reviews on all these short cruises appear a curate's egg c.f. a full cruise. Why it should be I would not even suggest a reason.

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    • Smith, London - Commented on a comment by Bradbury (23 Jan 12 09:48)

      People are always saying the drinks are exorbitant. I think it's because they never go into a city centre or bar where £4 ( or more ) for a pint of lager is not unusual. My old man would fall off his bar stool if someone asked him for £4 a pint ! Some cruisers need to get out a bit more and see what drinks actually cost.

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    • White, North Baddesley - Commented on a comment by Smith (24 Jan 12 07:45)

      As I said, for the price of the cruise I was expecting Cunard to make some money somewhere and the drinks are obviously one avenue they use. However, having "been out a bit more" and extensively travelled the world since 1958, I have noted that some Lines (P&O, Fred Olsen etc) charge far, far less - around £2.20 for a pint and for an after dinner drink from as little as £1.50 on P&O - with no additional 15pc loading (which is affectively a service charge on top of tips already prepaid at double-three times some other Lines suggested rates). RCI have a similar policy to Cunard in this respect. Round the world it differs too - find the right bar in Eastern Europe and you can get a beer for the equivalent of 25p, sit down in St Marks square in Venice and you will pay EUR 10 for a coffee. It's horses for courses, you make your own choices when presented with differing prices.

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  • Caudle, Hutton - Commented on this review

    We are going to be taking the same cruise in June. Would you please tell us what you did in the ports, is there anything we shouldn't miss?

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    • White, Southampton - Commented on a comment by Caudle (25 Jan 12 12:47)

      Le Havre is OK for a wander round, there are some historic sites, shops and fine gardens (the best are a mile or so hike up a steep hill - though these close between noon and 2pm so timing is important). There are buses to Honfleur. Zeebrugge port has to be exited (supposedly) by the courtesy bus that goes to Blankenberge which has a great beach, shops, bars and on a fine day in June is a good place to unwind. The courtesy bus stops outside the railway station where for around EUR 5 you can get a return ticket to Bruges (20 minutes ride). The Station in Bruges is a 10 minute walk to the city centre (direct) or 20 minutes via the scenic Lake of Love. Ticket queues at Blankenberge Station can be long when big ships are around - if you get on a train without a ticket the frequent ticket inspectors will charge you double, so make sure you are there in good time to get a ticket. I think the trains run hourly at 24 minutes past the hour. Have a good trip - Richard.

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