Queen Mary 2

Cunard

Ship information

Queen Mary 2

About Queen Mary 2

The prospect of traveling onboard Cunard Queen Mary 2, the world's only ocean liner, is thrilling -- now more than ever -- following the ship's £90-million transformation in 2016. The ship holds a spot in the heart of many types of travelers, but especially those who love history, whether it's maritime history or Gilded Age.

The biggest change was in the Kings Court buffet, which features a completely fresh design. The redesign transformed the space from a chaotic feeding frenzy into a calm space for daily grazing. The area could still benefit from more tables; we spotted some passengers taking their plates to Carinthia Lounge at busy times.

Thanks to its starburst carpet, the Grand Lobby on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 feels like it has come to life and finally found its purpose.

The Cunard Queen Mary 2 Deck Plan Includes Elegant Lounges and Quiet Public Spaces

With four elevators removed and 50 new cabins added during the 2016 refurbishment, Cunard QM2 -- as the ship is sometimes known -- could have become overcrowded around the other elevators, but this doesn't seem to be a problem. Our transatlantic crossing sailed at capacity, yet the ship felt as spacious as ever. Remarkably, in fact, some areas often seemed quiet.

One evening in the Carinthia Lounge, for example, we were among only a handful of passengers in the room. A favorite area during the day, Carinthia Lounge felt lacking in character in the evenings, although the sophisticated tones and seating are a step up from the aged space it replaced.

Some things never change, though. There's still just the one daily captain's announcement at noon, which provides an update on the ship's progress. In some ways -- from the row of wooden sun loungers bearing the ship's royal motif on the Promenade Deck to the Art Deco-style Britannia Restaurant and abysmally slow and expensive internet -- QM2 does a decent job of allowing its passengers to feel that they've stepped back in time.

In other ways, however, it's difficult to tell whether you're sailing with Cunard or some other mass-market cruise line. Apart from Cunard Queen Mary 2’s Art Deco ambiance, stellar enrichment, afternoon tea offerings and sometimes confusing deck plans, the often over-romanticized vessel offers only a surface-level taste of what a passenger would have experienced during the golden age of ocean liner travel.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Voyages Are a Special Experience Despite Some Flaws

We like to say that Cunard is formal, but not luxury. On recent crossings, the ship under delivered in some areas, notably the (un)helpfulness of a couple of crew members and the quality of food in the ship's main dining room, Britannia Restaurant, where the majority of passengers eat.

One evening in the Britannia Restaurant we ordered the beetroot salad, which arrived with a few tiny cubes of beetroot hidden below a handful of mixed green leaves. On another occasion, a simple breaded chicken breast arrived soggy and inedible.

The ship's "remastering" was an opportunity not just for improved functionality and aesthetics, but for Cunard to improve on these areas, too, and we feel they haven't been addressed. However, the ship really excels in its specialty dining, both at Kings Court Specialty A La Carte -- the ship's daily changing themed restaurant -- and its new addition, The Verandah.

Despite these issues, traveling on QM2 still feels like a special experience, and there's a feeling of quiet excitement onboard. Dressing for dinner is taken seriously, and passengers enjoy the romance of walking the Promenade Deck, dancing in the Queens Room and experiencing the Planetarium. And the thrill of approaching the New York port (if you're on a Cunard Queen Mary 2 westbound crossing) becomes progressively more palpable the nearer you get to the U.S.

Passengers wanting to experience cruising at its most elegant and formal will love Cunard Cruise Line’s Queen Mary 2, but if you're looking for a more modern variety of relaxed luxury -- a ship that provides top-notch service without fanfare -- QM2 is probably not for you.

A Transatlantic Crossing Is Not the Only Cunard Queen Mary 2 Itinerary Available

Although most people may immediately think of relaxing transatlantic voyages when imagining a trip on QM2, Cunard’s flagship vessel offers a wide range of itineraries. Sometimes combined with New York-to-Southampton crossings, 7-night Mediterranean itineraries offer an overview of the region with ports of call in Spain and Italy, including Sardinia.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Caribbean itineraries, as well as sailings to the Norwegian Fjords, The Netherlands and Belgium, Canary Islands, and the Northern Lights, among many others, are also available. Christmas cruises on the ship are always popular for their lavish decorations.

Cabins

Queen Mary 2 has 30 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

6 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

3 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

3 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

3 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

12 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

9 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

12 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Shows and Theater

The ship's two-tier Royal Court Theatre (Decks 2 and 3) is a beautiful space with plush red seating wrapped around a central stage that features an LED screen. The theater features a variety of shows and talks during the afternoon and evening, including short productions and workshops performed on selected voyages by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) or the English National Ballet.

Nightly productions include two showings with daily changing productions performed by the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers. The shows are intermixed with pianists and vocal harmony groups.

Daily Things to Do on Cunard Queen Mary 2

If you're concerned that seven solid days at sea during a transatlantic crossing could make you stir crazy, don't be. QM2 has daytime activities going from early in the morning until evening entertainment takes over. All activities are listed in the ship's Daily Programme.

QM2's Illuminations theater (Deck 3) is home to the ship's Planetarium, with daily shows, such as "Cosmic Collisions" and "Stars Over the Atlantic." The space reserved for the Planetarium in the central part of the theater is limited to 150 seats, for which tickets are available each morning from the ConneXions Desk.

While shows take place usually three times daily, tickets tend to go quickly. Even if you don't manage to snag one, it's worth going in case there are no-shows. Whatever you do, don't be late. Not only could your spot be given to someone without a ticket, but once the doors close, additional passengers aren't allowed to enter.

Illuminations is also the location of the ship's renowned Cunard Insights talks, which sees speakers offer informative daily lectures about a variety of topics. Talks usually take place twice daily.

The 500-seat lecture hall is also equipped as a movie theater. Films are usually shown twice a day.

For another unique Cunard activity, passengers can try their hand at fencing in the Queens Room (Deck 3). Conducted by the ship's sports host, the daily morning class alternates between class 1 and class 2 levels.

Other activities include Transatlantic Olympic Games, bridge classes, darts competitions, themed quizzes, talent shows, various dancing classes, and games and tournaments in the Empire Casino. The Hostess Corner: Needlework and Knitting, is also available. It is not a class but a chance for passengers to get together and work on their individual projects. Some additional classes, such as watercolor art and flower arranging, are available for a fee.

Musical entertainment is also available during the day, including live jazz in the Carinthia Lounge, a pianist in the Golden Lion Pub and "Chart Room Melodies" in the Chart Room.

Nightlife on Cunard Queen Mary 2

Live music continues into the evening, with jazz, a string band, a harpist and a pianist alternating between the Chart Room, Golden Lion Pub, Carinthia Lounge and Commodore Club.

For something extra special, classical musicians perform concerts in Illuminations. Karaoke is also a lot of fun, particularly when it takes place in the Golden Lion Pub. Illuminations also schedules an evening and late-night movie show.

Empire Casino, just off the Grand Lobby, features blackjack, roulette, slot machines and three card poker. The casino hosts nightly special events, such as Happy Hour Slots and raffle prize draws.

The 10,500-square-foot Queens Room -- the largest ballroom at sea -- is an expansive space with tall ceilings and Art Deco touches. The venue hosts a mix of evening entertainment, usually focused on dancing, including ballroom and Latin dance music. Cunard also employs gentlemen hosts as dance partners for females sailing alone.

The ship's nightclub -- G32 (Deck 3), named for the code by which Queen Mary 2 was known at the shipyard during its construction -- is a surprisingly lively affair. Open daily until the wee hours, the club features live music, tribute acts and a DJ. The venue is open to adults (18 and older) only.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Bars and Lounges

QM2 offers a different bar or lounge to suit every mood -- a boon on a ship where you will spend the majority of your time onboard instead of in a port if you’re on a transatlantic crossing.

From the relaxed and informal ambiance of Carinthia Lounge to the elegant surroundings of the Commodore Club or the informal Golden Lion Pub, the ship has all bases covered, with live music throughout.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 drinks packages include: Regular and Premium Soft Drinks options, the Specialty Hot Drinks Option, and the Beers, Wines, and Spirits Option. Wine Collections offers passengers the chance to purchase a number of wines from around the world to enjoy in any of the ship’s restaurants, bars or lounges, or in their stateroom. This package includes two different collections; passengers can also design their own.

Empire Casino (Deck 2): A full bar service is available inside the ship's casino, with a selection of barstools situated around the bar, although many passengers enjoy a drink over the casino's gaming tables.

Golden Lion Pub (Deck 2): This all-day venue is a lively Cunard QM2 favorite, featuring an extensive wine list, a wide selection of beers on tap and in bottles, and cocktails. The large L-shaped bar is flanked by barstools with leather-clad booths and individual pub-style tables filling the space. There's a dartboard in the pub and regular entertainment throughout the day.

Chart Room (Deck 3): One of the ship's somewhat understated bars is one of our favorites. Why? On a westbound transatlantic crossing, it offers the perfect sunset view -- a glimpse of dolphins in the water, too, if you're lucky -- and a refreshing glass of Champagne to the backdrop of live music.

Sir Samuel's (Deck 3): The ship's coffee bar, serving specialty illy coffee and other drinks, has struck up a partnership with luxury chocolate brand Godiva, offering a selection of confectionary, chocolate cakes and Godiva's incredibly indulgent ice creams.

The Tasting Room (Deck 3): The Tasting Room is hidden away -- perhaps to give it more of an exclusive feel -- by the side of Sir Samuel's. Although we didn't see any tastings taking place during our voyage, the venue hosts food and wine pairing events and themed wine tastings. The typical cost of a wine tasting is $115 per person.

Champagne Bar (Deck 3): Located in the ship's Grand Lobby, the iconic Champagne Bar is known for serving a particular brand of Champagne. Caviar tastings are also available to complement your glass of bubbles.

Carinthia Lounge (Deck 7): With striking mustard yellow and peacock blue furnishings and decorative bronze room dividers subtly breaking the space up, the ambiance inside the Carinthia Lounge is refined yet relaxed. Well used during the day, the room is a low-key affair in the evening, with live music and a focus on Iberian sherries, wines and a special vintage port collection.

The theme of the Iberian Peninsula is a connection to Britain's maritime past, in case you're wondering. If you're not a fan of Spanish wines, a selection of other drinks is available, including hot and cold illy cocktails, beer, cider, spirits, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

If you are a fan of port, though, check out the large collection on offer. The menu features over 60 varieties, including 46 vintages and a bottle of 1840 Ferreira worth thousands of dollars! There's also an amusing port etiquette guide at the back of the menu to entertain passengers.

Grills Lounge (Deck 7): This lounge is reserved exclusively for Grills passengers. Its elegant and luxurious style has the feel of a business lounge.

Terrace Bar (Deck 8): This table-service poolside bar offers an informal spot to enjoy a large selection of cocktails, "softails," beer, cider, wine and sparkling wine. Terrace Bar has a casual feel and is perfect for watching the sun set. We never had a problem getting a table there, despite the small number available.

Churchill's Cigar Lounge (Deck 9): Churchill's comes to life at night, when the ship's cigar-loving passengers indulge in cognac, whiskey -- among other drinks -- and conversation.

Commodore Club (Deck 9): The ship's observation lounge is just as popular for a morning coffee or daytime beverage as it is an evening cocktail. Tip: Try the Transatlantic Love Affair cocktail, which is prepared tableside by your server with a theatrical final twist.

Pavilion Pool & Bar (Deck 12): One of two poolside bars onboard, Pavilion is ideal for those seeking refreshments by the covered pool.

Dining

Like it or not, the ship's class dining system still exists. This means those cruisers staying in non-suites are allocated to the Britannia Restaurant or Britannia Club, while suite-class passengers eat their meals in either the Princess or Queens Grill restaurants. If suite passengers would like to experience the Britannia Restaurant, it is possible, upon request.

We found that while Cunard Queen Mary 2 menus cover all tastes and requirements, food is hit and miss in the main dining room. It lacked in quality and culinary flair. Dishes were often overcooked, and as a result, they were short on flavor and texture. Vegetables tended to be overcooked, and some elements of a dish, such as a potato dauphinoise on one occasion, had dried out because of overheating.

Health-conscious passengers are well catered for, however, with Canyon Ranch healthy options listed on the main dining room and Grills menus.

Cunard Queen Mary 2 Restaurants Include a Chic Buffet and an Upscale Steakhouse

Specialty dining in the Kings Court buffet offers excellent value for money, with a daily changing themed menu keeping the options fresh. The Verandah steakhouse restaurant offers passengers a prix fixe fine dining experience reminiscent of a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Although predominantly a lounge bar, Carinthia Lounge offers an epicurean selection of dishes not to be missed at breakfast and lunchtime.

Vegetarian options are available on all menus, although some are more limited than others, particularly in The Verandah. While all dietary requirements can be catered for, it is advisable to contact the line to make any requirements known ahead of sailing.

Free Dining on Cunard Queen Mary 2

Kings Court Buffet (Deck 7): The ship's extensive buffet is open on a nearly continuous basis, offering early-morning Continental breakfast, full breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks, dinner, and late snacks.

The space is ultra-stylish and has a chic city canteen feel. It seats passengers at a mix of tall tables with stools and two-, four- and six-seat tables. In keeping with the ship's ambiance, the design features on-trend Art Deco-style floor tiles and gold lamps hanging over the food stations.

We enjoyed the food at Kings Court; it felt diverse, with a balance of staple dishes like chicken, steak and salmon, complemented with more unique dishes, such as a fall-off-the-bone lamb shank and baby back ribs. The cheese station was impressive -- and far better than the cheese board served in the Britannia Restaurant -- including several different types of cheese, chutneys, crackers and accompaniments like a selection of nuts.

Desserts at lunch and dinner usually include selections of dishes such as tiramisu, chocolate mousse cake and cheesecakes, along with one hot dessert. Think Bakewell slices (a traditional British pastry-based dessert consisting of a cherry base, a light sponge filling and an almond-flaked top) and custard.

There are three self-service ice cream machines offering vanilla and chocolate soft serve in Kings Court. Tip: Don't pull down on the ice cream lever with too much force; it can get messy! Cones are also provided.

During busier periods, it can sometimes be difficult to find a free table in the Kings Court -- particularly a window seat. Despite occasionally searching for a free table, the space didn't feel chaotic or congested during our voyage. The only time we experienced lines at the food stations was at lunch during one particular sea day when the chefs prepared several stations' worth of desserts that included fancy cupcakes, pastries and fondue.

Waiters are quick to attend to drink orders at the tables. Cutlery is neatly wrapped in cloth napkins, and both Wedgwood mugs and disposable cups are provided at the self-service drinks stations.

Breakfast includes fruit, cereal, pastries, cold meats and cheeses, smoked salmon, a range of breads and hot items, such as eggs cooked to order, two different types of sausages, back and streaky bacon, baked beans, black pudding, hash browns and sweeter dishes like pancakes with maple syrup.

Lunch includes salads, pastas, tiger prawns, smoked salmon, cheeses and meats, pizza, different types of fish and roasted dishes like beef and pork, complemented by items such as burgers and hotdogs in the Chef's Galley.

A similar offering is available in the evening, with a range of cold meats and cheeses, made-to-order pizzas in the Chef's Galley, salads (smoked chicken, Waldorf and orzo), steamed vegetables and usually two types of potato dishes, along with a selection of cooked meats and fish selections.

Complimentary drinks in the Kings Court include a selection of Twining teas, coffee, water and fruit juices (cranberry, pineapple, apple and orange). The beverage menu allows passengers to order soda, beer, wine and spirits, too.

Britannia Restaurant (Decks 2 & 3): The Britannia Restaurant is the largest of the ship's main dining rooms, serving breakfast, lunch and two dinner sittings.

The restaurant features a range of table sizes that accommodate from two to 10 people. Two-seat tables are more limited and often get booked up in advance. (Passengers can request a specific table size pre-cruise.) Tables are fixed, too, so diners sit at the same table with the same tablemates each day.

Britannia Restaurant is iconic. From the towering fabric Queen Mary memorial in the background to the stained-glass internal domed roof and sweeping staircases, the restaurant retains all of the glamor that is reminiscent of the Art Deco period. The room fills with energy during the evenings, and, particularly on formal nights, it has a fantastic atmosphere.

The breakfast menu is traditional, starting with a chilled juice followed by fresh fruit, compote and yogurt, hot and cold cereal, fresh bakery items and assorted cold cuts and cheeses. This selection is followed by a "main course" of Cunard's Get Up and Go Signature Plate, featuring eggs with smoked salmon and chives, bacon, sausage, hash browns, black pudding, tomato and sauteed mushrooms.

There is also a selection of other breakfast entrees, including eggs cooked to order, a variety of omelets, additional sides, pancakes and waffles.

The lunch menu includes a selection of appetizers, salads and sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Typical dishes include spaghetti carbonara or grilled swordfish steak.

Dinner service includes six appetizers, six entrees and six dessert options. On our voyage, starters included dishes such as beef consomme, frog legs and a mushroom feuillete with a mascarpone and herb cream sauce, followed by a salad course. Entrees included chicken curry, roasted rack of spring lamb and fillet of haddock. Vegetarian dishes -- usually two per menu -- might include vegetable moussaka and a potato pancake with Quorn croutons and bean cassoulet.

The dessert menu features classics like caramelized pears, chocolate fondant and dulce de leche. There's always a cheese board featured among the dessert options -- although we found it a poor choice -- and there's also a spa selection of low-calorie dishes.

While service in the Britannia Restaurant was generally very good -- our servers were professional and charismatic -- the food was generally subpar. Dishes felt mass produced, and there appeared to be a lack of quality control. For example, the quality of the cheese board deteriorated during the voyage.

Britannia Club Restaurant (Deck 2): Serving the same menu as the Britannia Restaurant, but set off in a smaller, more intimate area, Britannia Club passengers can have breakfast, lunch and dinner here. Dining times are flexible in the evening.

Princess Grill (Deck 7): Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served in the Princess Grill for Princess Grill suite passengers only.

Lunch options include a selection of low-calorie Canyon Ranch Spa dishes, such as a cream of tomato soup followed by a chicken meatball sandwich and finished with a fruit plate. The regular menu starts with appetizers and soups, followed by salad and sandwich options, entrees and desserts. Typical dishes include grilled pork cutlet with horseradish mash, wild mushrooms and a Madeira sauce or a pasta dish with arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and a chicken sauce.

Two menus are available in the evening -- the Dinner and A La Carte -- allowing Grills passengers more choice. Appetizers include dishes such as zucchini and goat cheese tart and terrine of ham knuckle. This is followed by a salad and a selection of entrees, such as Scandinavian arctic char, New York strip steak au poivre or caraway-roasted pumpkin risotto.

There's also a daily Cunard Signature Classic dish, which must be ordered by lunch on the same day. On our sailing, this included a Dover sole meuniere. Typical desserts include parfaits, panna cottas and souffles, and for those who have saved space, the cheese trolley is presented at the end. Food is notably improved in the Princess Grill, with ingredients of a better quality and dishes that are more creative.

Queens Grill (Deck 7): Breakfast, lunch and dinner (are served in the Queens Grill for Queens Grill suite passengers only. Queens Grill, which has the feel of a private club restaurant, has extra tables for two for those who prefer to dine as a couple.

The menu works in the same way as in the Princess Grill. Breakfast flows with several courses, including fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt and smoothies and bakery items to start, with a choice of pancakes and waffles and/or a breakfast entree dish to follow. Entree dishes range from a full English or American breakfast to a more extravagant petit fillet mignon with fried eggs and hash brown potatoes.

Lunch includes a three-course Canyon Ranch option plus a series of appetizers and soups, salads and sandwiches, entrees and desserts. Typical dishes include an avocado and grapefruit cocktail and a broiled ocean perch with sauteed spinach.

Typical dinner dishes include quail breast saltimbocca, crawfish salad and roasted pumpkin veloute to start, followed by a salad and a selection of entrees. Entrees include dishes such as fillet of hake with a sweet corn risotto; rack of Romney Marsh lamb; and usually at least one dish designed for sharing, such as the chateaubriand.

Desserts include several options, from the fruity to the chocolatey. This is all rounded off by a cheese trolley. Better quality ingredients, improved cooking techniques and the clever pairing of ingredients make this one of the most refined restaurants onboard.

Boardwalk Cafe (Deck 12): The ship's fast-food restaurant on Deck 12, by the Kennel Suite, serves burgers, fries, hotdogs and soft drinks, but has no seating, and, as a result, is weather-dependent. Opening times vary; we didn't see it open once on our sailing.

Carinthia Lounge (Deck 7): The ship's Carinthia Lounge isn't just a stylish space to meet with friends or enjoy a drink. It also serves some of the tastiest dishes on the ship. We often opted for the Carinthia Lounge for breakfast or lunch as an alternative to Kings Court because of its small gourmet plates.

Feast over a delicious breaded haggis ball or a gooey fried egg over spicy sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes. There are also classic eggs Florentine and breakfast panini, as well as a range of gourmet pastries, yogurt and granola pots available.

At lunchtime, passengers can graze on an equally appetizing selection of plates, including an addictive pulled barbecue beef flatbread; chicken, asparagus, mushroom and Gruyere cheese savory crepes; a charcuterie platter and club sandwich, among other dishes, with a selection of eclairs and cheesecake pots for after. All dishes are freshly prepared by the chefs behind the counter.

Queens Room (Deck 3): A signature Cunard service is the line's afternoon tea offering, which is served in the ship's Queens Room. Served daily to the backdrop of classical music, the traditional afternoon tea includes a selection of fine leaf teas, finger sandwiches, pastries and freshly baked scones with clotted cream and fruit preserves.

Golden Lion (Deck 2): The Golden Lion serves pub lunches with a menu that features dishes such as cottage pie, fish 'n' chips and other British pub classics.

Room Service: Twenty-four-hour room service is available to all cabins. The menu is varied with two salad options, one soup, sandwiches, a varied selection of hot dishes, hot sandwiches, burgers and desserts. The room service menu also has a limited number of vegetarian options, with five of the 18 savory dishes listed suitable for vegetarians. A service charge is not applied to food orders.

Although our room service arrived on time, the experience was hit and miss. The pizza and pulled pork tacos were lovely, but on another occasion, the toast we ordered to accompany our breakfast was forgotten.

On still another occasion, the Mediterranean frittata we selected arrived as an unappetizing and soupy mess, made with a poached egg on top instead of scrambled egg throughout. When we called to order a replacement, we added bacon and were told it's not normally available for brunch, which we found strange.

Fee Dining on Cunard Queen Mary 2

**Kings Court Specialty a La Carte (Deck 7); prix fixe: **In the evening, a section of the Kings Court is transformed into a specialty dining venue.

Every night is a different theme: Aztec, offering regional Mexican cuisine; La Pizza, which is a celebration of Italian cuisine; Bamboo, a Pan-Asian theme drawing on Japanese, Singaporean, Indonesian, Thai and Chinese cuisines; Coriander, focusing on Indian regional cuisines; and the brand-new Smokehouse, featuring classic American barbecued dishes.

Expect dishes such as buffalo chicken wings and Maryland crab cakes to start and coconut-crusted shrimp or buttermilk southern fried chicken and mac 'n' cheese on the Smokehouse menu.

Each individual menu also features a tailored selection of drinks. For example, the Smokehouse's menu plays on American wines and beers, while Coriander's drink menu features international wines -- including some Indian choices -- and Indian beer. Kings Court Specialty a La Carte offers great value for money; as testimony to its popularity, it was fully booked on every night of our voyage.

The Verandah (Deck 8); prix fixe: This elegant steakhouse is a nod to America's love for all things meat. Elegant but plush surroundings set a tone of decadence, which begins with delicious homemade pull-apart bread that's brought to the table covered in sweet butter and herbs.

Next, several cuts of meat are presented and explained to diners before they order. They include several sizes of 35-day dry-aged Scotch grass-fed Black Angus, 28-day aged prime USDA grain-finished Angus and Australian grass-fed wagyu beef, as well as seafood add-ons.

In terms of mains, passengers can choose from options like lobster cocktail, clam chowder or Caesar salad; entrees on offer include grilled whole Dover sole, a "Cunarder" Angus beef burger and a veggie burger; and a selection of side salads, veggies and sauces round out the offerings.

Before eating, cruisers are presented with a choice of knives with which to cut their meat. The interesting part? They all have names, are made from different materials and are designed to fit different hand sizes and shapes. For dessert, try the coconut and cookie crumble topped with sorbet.

Kudos to the restaurant's chefs who pack serious culinary flair into every dish. The result felt like dining in a Michelin-Starred restaurant.