Is Cunard Too Posh For Me? I Cruised on Queen Mary 2 To Find Out

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I’ve taken over 40 cruises but I’d never really fancied Cunard.

With over 300 cruise ships at sea and striking differences between them, I always say that there’s a cruise line for everyone. And honestly, I didn’t think Cunard was for me.

Cruise Mummy wearing sunglasses smiles at the camera while standing on the deck of the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship, with the ocean and a setting sun in the background. The ship's deck features a pool and sun loungers.

When I think of Cunard I think of butlers wearing white gloves, afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches and time spent doing not much more than crossword puzzles and starting at the ocean.

And while it’s true that you can do all of those things on a Cunard cruise, there’s more to it than that, as I would discover.

Is Cunard stuffy?

As a working-class mum with two young kids, I thought that I was far from the typical Cunard cruiser. I expected to stand out like a sore thumb amidst a sea of grey-haired couples who reside in the Home Counties and speak using the Queen’s English.

Cunard is synonymous with Royalty, with the ships named after famous British Queens. The logo features a crown, a lion and a laurel wreath, signifying the connections to the British Royal Family.

Cruise Mummy smiles at the camera while holding a glass of champagne on the deck of the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship. She is sitting on a blue lounge chair with a regal emblem embroidered on the headrest.

And while yes, there are quite a few guests on board that wouldn’t look out of place at a Buckingham Palace garden party, on this cruise, the clientele were mixed.

As I took a short sailing from Southampton and Hamburg and back (which was a segment of the longer transatlantic voyages that Queen Mary 2 is famous for) there were plenty of Germans and Americans on board too.

While some of the Brits like to don a bow tie for breakfast, the international guests were a little more relaxed. And yes, some were even wearing jeans!

I booked this cruise because I spotted it on sale for £198pp for four nights – a price that was less than half of the going rate. I shared the deal on my Facebook page and with my email list and the remaining places were sold that day.

If you’d like to hear about the best cruise deals I find each week, you can leave your email address here and I’ll send them to you.

Cunard and P&O Cruises are both part of the Carnival group and there are many similarities between the two brands.

I love P&O Cruises but, like many, I’ve noticed that what’s included in the fare has become gradually less over the years, with the little extras like a nightly turn-down with chocolates on the pillows no longer part of the service.

Read more: 20 Things That P&O Cruises Used To Offer That They No Longer Do

On Cunard, all the little extras are there for you. Each cabin has a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge, there’s 24-hour room service at no charge and the crew members seem to be extra friendly and helpful.

My hand holds a bottle of Pol Acker sparkling wine inside a cabin on the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship. The background shows part of the cabin with light wooden furniture and a balcony with a glass door.

Yes, there are some niggles, and there will always be those who like to focus on the things that aren’t perfect rather than those that are. But on the whole, Cunard offers a level of luxury that matches the price point.

Queen Mary 2 is an older ship

The last of the world’s great ocean liners, Queen Mary 2 is iconic. She’s one of the fastest passenger ships in operation, with a maximum speed of 30 knots.

Of course, she’s been fully refurbished many times since her launch in 2004 and some areas of the ship look brand new. However, she is an incredibly quirky ship by design.

I’ve never known a cruise ship that was so difficult to find my way around. The lower decks, in particular, are like a maze, with certain areas only accessible by taking unusual routes that you wouldn’t expect. Without the paper deck plan that Cunard gives to every guest on embarkation, you will most definitely get lost.

A deck plan of the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship, showing labeled diagrams of each deck from Deck 1 to Deck 13. The plan includes a side view of the ship with corresponding deck sections and details on various facilities and amenities.

The Planetarium and the G32 nightclub are two areas that some cruisers never manage to discover, even on a week-long crossing.

Some unusual features

One of most fascinating things about Queen Mary 2 is that she is the only cruise ship in the world that allows guests to bring their pet dogs and cats onboard. Indeed, the ship has its own kennels where pets can stay for transatlantic crossings.

A dog on a leash walks along the deck of the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship, near a red fire hydrant. The deck area is designated for pet kennels, with city views in the background through the glass panels.

The prices aren’t cheap, at $800 to $2000 for a dog (depending on the size) and $1600 for a cat. But for anyone relocating across the pond with their pets, it provides a handy way to travel.

Queen Mary 2 is also the only cruise ship to feature a planetarium. With its domed ceiling and fully reclining seats, it’s an attractive feature designed to make you feel as though you’re in space. Unfortunately, the planetarium wasn’t open during my four-night cruise, which was disappointing.

The interior of the planetarium on the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship features rows of plush, patterned seats facing a central stage and screen. The room is adorned with ornate decorations and has a large circular ceiling design, creating a luxurious and immersive atmosphere.

Those with an interest in maritime history will be sure to enjoy the Maritime Quest exhibit which chronicles the history of Cunard with rare artifacts, photos and interactive displays. There’s also an extensive library, one of the largest at sea, with over 8,000 books.

Cunard cruisers are a loyal bunch

Upon arriving at the main dining room, I was offered the option to share a table or sit alone. I always opted to share, as I love to meet new people and learn about their lives. One thing that struck me was that almost every person I dined with had cruised on Queen Mary 2 many, many times already.

Some of these had tried other cruise lines too, but described these as ‘just not Cunard’. It’s clear to me that for many people, Cunard ticks every box, prompting them to return every year.

The main dining room on the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship features an elegant, two-story space with a grand stained-glass ceiling, large mural, and marble columns. The dining area is set with round tables adorned with white tablecloths and floral centerpieces, creating a refined and luxurious dining atmosphere.

So, is Cunard for me?

I love all kinds of cruise ships, from 6,000-passenger mega-ships, to yachts and river boats that accommodate just a couple of hundred. I also enjoy all ends of the luxury scale, with an appreciation for £30-per-night bargain breaks to ultra-luxury boutique yacht-style vessels.

My trip on Queen Mary 2 offered just what I needed for my solo trip – a quiet space to work, delicious food that met my dietary needs, an extensive gym and promenade deck for exercise and a super-comfortable bed. And, luckily, lots and lots of warm sunshine!

Cruise Mummy wearing sunglasses and a colorful bikini relaxes on a lounge chair covered with a striped towel on the deck of the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship. She is enjoying the sunny weather, lying on a spacious deck area with additional lounge chairs in the background.

But, if I were to take a week-long cruise with my family or friends, with an absence of sunshine, I’m sure that we would quickly become bored.

While many people delight in spending days with their head buried in a book and evenings listening to the sounds of a tinkling piano with a glass of the finest whiskey and a cigar, that’s not for me.

A cozy lounge area on the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship features several plush leather armchairs arranged around small tables with glass ashtrays. The space includes a wall of wooden cabinets displaying a collection of cigars and other items, creating an inviting atmosphere for relaxation.

I prefer a jam-packed schedule, acrobatic performances, water slides and rock climbing walls.

So, while Queen Mary 2 is a beautiful ship that’s just perfect for many people. She’s not my favourite. And that’s okay. 

Cruise Mummy in an orange top gives a thumbs-up while sitting on the deck of the Cunard Queen Mary cruise ship. Behind her, an orange lifeboat is visible, along with some outdoor seating and railings. She appears to be enjoying her time on the ship.

I made a vlog of my Cunard cruise. You can see that below if you’re interested and subscribe to my YouTube channel to see future videos.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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1 thought on “Is Cunard Too Posh For Me? I Cruised on Queen Mary 2 To Find Out”

  1. We have looked at Cunard, but after many years in the corporate word no thanks. I married aged 23 to my husband nine years older. From then on I always had to keep my hair styled clothes in my wardrobe for last minute dinners etc. We are now retired it does not make any difference to our income etc what we ware. So now we relax in MSC buffet with our glass of wine.

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