We expected much from the QM2 in the dining arena, having heard so much about White Star Service. Our cruise was short and we did not try Todd English, the specialty restaurant with a surcharge.
The restaurant has a door to a pool area, which is used by many during the lunch service. This certainly detracts from the atmosphere. Just from observation, we did see servers telling bathing suit-clad passengers to use a different exit to the pool. The real problem was those exiting from the pool area and cutting through the dining room. Perhaps, that door should have a sign indicating that there is no passage way through Todd English to the rest of the ship – or vice versa.
Our table mates tried Todd English one evening and enjoyed the food and the experience.
The layout of this area reminded us of a hospital cafeteria; it was not inviting at all. The area is quite large with many different specialty areas throughout. In the evening, you have the choice of Lotus (Asian Food), The Carvery(meats and potatoes style), La Piazza(Italian) and the Chef’s Galley(an open kitchen – very limited space here). The Chef’s Galley was free when we sailed, but a service charge has since been instituted.
This eatery provides typical English lunch offerings like a Ploughman’s lunch, fish and chips and shepherd’s pie. Although it would appear that there would be a host for seating, it is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis and finding an empty table was difficult. There was no order to this at all. It seems that it would be more pleasant all around if names were taken as in a restaurant and diners given a beeper. The service here was slow, but the food was tasty.
Located up on Deck 12, this venue was difficult to find. (It’s right around the corner from the kennels.) This is the spot to grab a quick bite and eat in the open air. There aren’t many tables in the area, which also made it more difficult to find this eating spot.
Sailing with the regular class, we were assigned to late dining in Britannia. We had pleasant table mates, although two of them only showed up for one evening.
Having read some much about White Star Service, we had certain expectations. Surely, the service would be better than on mainstream or premium cruise lines. Actually, we were quite wrong. Rarely were we offered the option of wine with dinner, and getting refills on our glasses of water was impossible. On other lines, our glasses were refilled constantly; not the case on the QM2. Is water at a premium on this ship? Did they think that passengers on a short cruise don’t get thirsty?
The food was edible and unimpressive; the service lackluster. My question about White Star Service again came to the forefront. Why would anybody name their service after the company that owned the Titanic? You know, that ship that hit an iceberg and sank.
Click on the menu tab above for some menus from the QM2.