Dining on the Queen Mary 2

by  Amber Nolan | Jun 18, 2009
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship
Cunard's Queen Mary 2 cruise ship / Photo courtesy of the cruise line

The cuisine on the Queen Mary 2 is deserving of an entire blog post. At one point, I was wondering how the days have been going by so quickly, and I have concluded it is largely due to the time I have devoted to sampling nearly every restaurant on the ship. When dining with Cunard, there is very little of “let’s grab a quick bite to eat.” Passengers can look forward to each meal and dinner preparations begin hours in advance with the ever daunting task of choosing what to wear.

The QM2 is a class ship, so restaurant options are based on what type of stateroom you select. Interior cabins and balcony staterooms are typically assigned to the Britannia. This restaurant stretches over two floors, and when entering through the double doors on the upper level, you are greeted by grand winding staircase. The lower-level dining rests on the second floor, so tables near the windows offer views of the crashing waves, and sunsets over the horizon. The menu changes daily, but you can expect items like Chateaubriand, oven-roasted salmon, or roast duck à l’orange.

Executive Chef Jean-Marie Zimmermann emphases that he only uses the freshest ingredients are used in any of QM2’s dining venues, and all everything is prepared the same day that it is served. He’s currently designing an all-new menu which should roll out in October. I’m interested in how he can top what’s already being served, but he says that he’s aiming for a Michelin star in the Queens Grill.

Passengers booking the “Grill Suites” may dine in the Princess Grill, or the Queens Grill, depending on which type they stay in. I frequently dine in the Princess Grill, and I must say the desserts are what make me return again and again. So far I’ve had a mango and passion fruit crème brûlée, butterscotch pie with toffee sauce, and a chocolate and raspberry crepe with vanilla sauce. The staff is very accommodating and they can always create individual dishes if you had your heart set on something that isn’t being offered that evening.

I’ve eaten in the King’s Court a few times for lunch, and if I had to find fault in the cuisine of the QM2, it would be here. It is a popular lunch spot because many people schedule early afternoon shows and don’t have the time to dine in the restaurants. It’s been hit or miss in this venue, and there isn’t much variety, but that can be expected in any buffet. There are plenty other options onboard including the traditional British pub food in the Golden Lion Pub or the Mediterranean cuisine of Todd English (which is an additional $30, but well worth the price.)

I’ve heard the director of the Planetarium make the same joke a couple times now as people were waiting for the last show to let out so that they can go inside. He says “Step aside please folks, these people leaving haven’t eaten for the last twenty minutes.”

It’s true. I don’t think I’ve said “I’m really hungry,” at all thus far, but there seems to be a chorus of passengers saying “that meal was incredible.”

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