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QM2 - Balcony suites

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How large are the balconies - can you sit on them? Is it worth the extra $$ to get one? Hubby and I are thinking of a crossing from South Hampton on the QM2 May 2006 - any tips or suggestions welcome. Also links to good TA or discounters.

Thanks!

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    Hello -- I crossed last month, and my fairly standard stateroom had a nice balcony. The new QM2 has many cabins with balconies. It is probably worth it in my opinion, although in May it might be chilly out there. There were two chaises longues and a little table on which to put books, drinks, etc. Very functional, but certainly not huge. Also, the balcony means you'll have a wall of glass windows in your room, which is quite beautiful to stare out of, even from bed.

    I posted a lengthy observation on the crossing on this site a few weeks ago which you can look for. I got pretty detailed in it, having traveled on Cunard for many years. I hope it's helpful and not too fussy.

    Lastly, I used a travel agent in NY on this trip who worked WONDERS with Cunard, including getting a beautiful cabin on a crossing that was supposedly completely booked. Her name is Siv (pronounced Seev) Wadlin and she's with Tzell Travel. Her number is 212.944.2121, x417. I've known her for years, but this was the first time I had used her for personal travel. The other possibility is American Express Platinum travel. It requires a $380 fee to get the Platinum card, but once you have it, Amex Platinum will book the trip and provide perks and benefits worth more than the annual cost of the card. Each person gets a $150 shipboard credit ($300 total) toward any purchases onboard. On top of that, they will credit your Amex account $150 when you book the trip, bringing your savings to $450. You also get invited to a VIP event or two onboard. Something to consider.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Michael

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    Hi Michael

    Thanks for the tips - I'll keep them in mind. My husband and I are fairly easy to please and I am really looking forward to the possibility of this trip.

    I have read some horrific reviews of the QE2 (not on service but on accommodations and lack of stability on the seas)

    Some of your comments on QM2 were disconcerting although overall you seemed to give a good grade.

    If you didn't have the stellar QE2 service to compare - how would you compare the QM2 service to another line or hotel? I just want to get an idea whether it falls short of the perfection your used to on the QE2 or if it falls short in general. Lack of good service can spoil an otherwise enjoyable experience. I know what you mean about slob wear - kind of how people push "casual business wear" at work to include sweats and leggings. Really some clothing should only be dorned at the gym or for household chores. These might be good nights to go to The Sweeny Todd restaurant you mention or eat in our room.

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    Hi again -- it's hard to compare the QE2 with the QM2. The QM2 is HUGE compared with the QE2, which was no small ship itself. The service very nice on QM2. I'm not sure what adjectives to apply, because it's all subjective. I just thought it felt more institutional on QM2 than on QE2. The service is not Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, that's for certain. But it's generally professional and pleasant, with the few exceptions I mentioned in my posting.

    As for "slob attire," I'm 38 years old, and at home or the gym or the beach I'm quite comfortable in slob attire. I just think there's a place for it, and that place is not the formal dining room of a transatlantic ocean liner. The crossing we were on was in peak summer, and it was loaded with kids, families. Some of the "lapses" in dress may have been a result of the time of year. I'm guessing in lower (and colder weather) seasons guests would probably dress more conservatively.

    Some people have stated in these postings that their impression is it's all old people and that wheelchairs abound. That's absolutely ridiculous and always has been untrue. The passengers are a very interesting mix of all ages, nationalities, backgrounds. The diversity of the passengers is part of what makes it such a rewarding trip.

    I love the whole experience of crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner, and QM2 is the sole legitimate and worthy heir to this great tradition. I think you will enjoy the trip thoroughly, even if you walk away with some critiques like I did.

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