You've decided to cruise on the QM2 - you've chosen a date, decided on dining early or late at a smaller or larger table - now you must choose a cabin. Too many choices...lots of things to consider and #1 may be your budget - #2 your itinerary, and #3 the time of year.
PENTHOUSES: In this luxury category are a few two story penthouse suites with butler service overlooking the aft pool. These have a super sized deck, his and her bath and dressing rooms, King master suite, office and now amble on down the spiral staircase and on the lower level you'll find a living room, dining room another bath and a butler pantry. Even an elevator to take you directly into the Queen's Grill dining Room.
SUITES: Suites with butler service are mainly located on Deck 9 and 10 - Many have a separate living area and all have balconies and butler service. Depending on which category suite you choose, you are assigned to either the Queen's Grill or Princess Grill Dining Rooms - the best advantage with these private dining rooms is that you are assigned a table for the evening - you may dine at any time between 6:30 and 9pm and these two dining rooms feature specialty items - lobster, truffles and foie gras on a regular basis. You also have access to a private cocktail lounge, pool, and club room with free Internet and small food offerings throughout the day.
VERANDAH ROOMS: The best of the category (deluxe) are on Deck 11 and 12 - These rooms are good sized and have a pull out sofa and sliding glass doors opening on to a plexiglass balcony with cushioned, teak lounge furniture. Booked into these rooms, you have the advantage of seating in a separate section of the main dining room with a flexible schedule to dine - anytime from 6:30 - 9pm. Verandah rooms other than on Deck 11 and 12 are assigned to either an early or late seating in the main dining room (Brittania).
PREMIUM BALCONY ROOMS: Don't be fooled by this name..."premium does not mean better...it means better value "aka" cheaper... These are also known as "hull balconies". If you look at the QM2's deck plan, you'll see that the decks below the life rafts have rectangular opening - this is the "window" that is cut out of the hull for the balcony...so...if you are sitting out, you feel enclosed by the metal. You cannot see the water unless you stand up, but you do have a view of the sky. This hull also makes your room quite dark. Balconies above the life boats have plexiglass rails allowing unobstructed views. I do not recommend these verandah rooms. Some guests were "upgraded" from an oceanview to this type of balcony and they were not happy... Beware!
OCEANVIEW: These rooms are spacious and have large windows and most have a pull out sofa. The price varies according to the deck they are situated on. These are blow the lifeboats but have a good view and brightness in the room - recommended...
OBSTRUCTED OCEANVIEW: The least expensive of the oceanview rooms, but on this ship the view is truly almost totally obstructed...I walked in and thought we are in a dockyard! The lifeboats are very large and are truly an eyesore. A hint...If you look carefully at the deck plan (Deck 8 )...there is one smaller life boat - so that cabin may be more acceptable.
ATRIUM: Only a few in this category...the newest kind of room in the past few years. They overlook the atrium. A nice idea instead of an inside cabin...but...basically, you have no privacy. Nice to look out and see what is going on on the floors below...but...people can see in because the glass elevators run alongside the 12 or so rooms on each of three
decks. Of course there are shades that you can draw - but it's not the same feeling as looking out at the water and knowing that no one will see inside without the draperies drawn.
INSIDE: We chose an interior room on our trans-Atlantic cruise because of the "special pricing". We rationalized that it would be fine because it was April and the ocean waters were cool, the ship travels at a high speed and that there were no views of land for 6 days...but I was still skeptical, because we usually opt for a balcony. We were pleasantly surprised. One of the better interior cabins that we've had, both in way of size and decor. The interior rooms on the QM2 have their own corridor, making them very quiet, since there is no traffic, except for the guests in the five or six cabins around you.
HINTS: On a trans-Atlantic crossing, there is nothing to see but water - (yes it is nice but you'll see it all day long), you won't be coming into ports daily and you won't see islands, other ships or any lights from shore. The QM2 sails at 25 knots, making for a very breezy sailing - your balcony or any outside deck will be quite cool. Traveling in winter months in the Atlantic or Mediterranean, it will be very cool because of the water temperature. If you ever need to sail on a budget - this is the time...
In the Caribbean - a different story - at least an oceanview cabin would make your vacation more interesting and a balcony would be worth the splurge...Cappuccino when you come into port and wine on your deck as you depart make for wonderful memories.