Dispatch, QM2: Casual and formal feasting

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Donna Tunney

Travel Weekly's Donna Tunney is on a transatlantic cruise on the Queen Mary 2. Her sixth and final dispatch follows. Click to read her first, second, third, fourth and fifth dispatches.

My guess is that the Queen Mary 2 represents a refreshing throwback to a more gracious time for a lot of American passengers.

Elderly men arrive at the buffet breakfast in a shirt and tie. White-gloved servers cater to guests in the four dining rooms, which are assigned based on stateroom category.

Even the staff members who deliver room service wear starched uniforms and white gloves.

Afternoon tea is served with traditional British elegance, delighting the guests with pretty trays of scones and tiny, crust-free sandwiches.

During the course of a seven-night crossing, I heard nothing but raves about the food from Americans, Germans and Brits alike.

Menus lean toward British favorites — plenty of lamb and beef, plus kippers, frog legs, roast pheasant, Dover sole, haggis and black pudding in the dining rooms. The Golden Lion Pub serves fish and chips and a plowman’s lunch.

The Queen Mary 2 has one dinner seating in three of the four dining rooms: Queen's Grill, Princess Grill and Britannia Club. There are two seatings in the Britannia Restaurant.

All dining rooms are open for breakfast, lunch and four-course dinners.

Queen’s Grill is for guests booked in the highest-grade suites. These guests also have exclusive use of the Queen’s Grill Bar.

The Todd English restaurant charges $20 per person for lunch, $35 for dinner. Passengers dine on Mediterranean cuisine in a lovely setting overlooking the pool terrace. I didn’t dine there but I did peek in and glance at its menu, which revealed a selection of steaks and seafood.

And for those seeking a casual atmosphere, the spacious Kings Court serves hot and cold breakfasts and lunches buffet-style, with everything from fresh eggs and pancakes to beef stews and burgers.

Decorative screens transform the court into four distinct dining areas at night — La Piazza (Italian), Lotus (Asian), the Carvery (British) and Chef’s Galley, a kitchen where guests can watch their meals being made.

The Golden Lion Pub serves lunch only, and snacks are available all day at the outdoor Boardwalk Cafe.

Like its accommodations and public areas, the dining experiences aboard the Queen Mary 2 offer guests the level of sophistication expected on a luxury liner.

Dining room staff members very quickly learn passengers' names, and that brings a personal touch to each meal. It makes each guest feel important, and on this ship that's what it's all about.

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