Dining options on Queen Mary 2
One of the most joyous things about taking a voyage on Queen Mary 2 is the array of dining experiences that await you whilst you are on board. I can safely say that as far as inclusive dining options go, the quality and presentation food aboard Cunard and Queen Mary 2 is amongst the best I have experienced.
The assortment of dining options available ranges from elegant fine dining to casual (but nonetheless high-quality and delicious) snacks and treats. To fully appreciate all the dining options available I recommend you need no fewer than seven days on-board.
I put together this short guide to help you understand what dining options are available on Queen Mary 2. Before you read on, I feel I have a duty to warn you that you may get hungry before the end of this post.
Main Dining options aboard Queen Mary 2
When you sail with Cunard on any of their three (soon-to-be four) Queens, your stateroom grade is linked to its own dedicated restaurant. Aboard all Cunard Queens there are four main cabin grades: Britannia, Britannia Club, Princess Grill and Queens Grill. Be in no doubt that the offering available in each, from Britannia right up to Queens Grill is nothing short of exceptional.
The Britannia Restaurant is Queen Mary 2’s main restaurant. Here you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is a dining environment which really delivers a sense of occasion like no other I’ve experienced.
As you enter the restaurant on Deck 2 for the first time, I defy you not to gasp in awe at the majestic splendour which greets you. It’s like visiting a National Trust property – except you’re at sea, and you’re actually allowed to sit on one of the seats. If you’re lucky enough to cruise on Queen Mary 2 when she’s kitted out in all her festive finery (around the end of November), then you can multiply that awe a little more.
Breakfast and lunch are both a relaxed affair in the Britannia Restaurant with traditional cuisine freshly prepared to your liking (I tested this out with the crispy bacon at breakfast, and I was not disappointed).
There’s even an express breakfast option available (reservations required) if you’re against the clock for a day ashore or if you have a lot to pack in during a day at sea (which I found out is quite common as the enrichment programme on board the Cunard Queens is delightful banquet of a different sort, but that’s for another post).
Lunch is a traditional three course affair and reservations are required (Via on Board Reservations or the My Voyage digital planner).
Dinner is where the elegance and style are really out in force in the Britannia Restaurant. Even if you prefer more casual dining experience at night, try not to miss the Gala Evenings in the Britannia Restaurant for a quintessential Cunard experience.
The Britannia Restaurant still operates on a two-sitting basis – first sitting welcomes guests from 6.00 pm and Second Sitting welcomes guests from 7:45pm with last orders at 9.00pm. You will be pre-assigned your table size and and dining time.
Sample Menus: Britannia Restaurant, Queen Mary 2
Britannia Club Restaurant.
Nestled at the back of the Britannia Restaurant on Deck 2 on both the port and starboard sides (reached by Stairway D), you’ll find the Britannia Club Restaurant.
This section of the Britannia Restaurant is reserved for Britannia Club Guests. Britannia Club guests are treated to the more intimate surroundings of this stylish restaurant and can dine here for breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the added flexibility of enjoying dinner any time between 6.30pm and 9.00pm without the need to make reservations. Just walk straight through the small section at the back – there is no need to wait in line with other guests (an error I made on my first night).
In addition to the full selection from the Britannia Restaurant, Britannia Club guests can savour a range of enhancements for an extraordinary dining experience. Expect Crepe Suzette Flambe at tableside and a beautifully presented cheese trolley.
Sample Menus: Britannia Club Restaurant, Queen Mary 2
This restaurant is exclusively for guests staying in a Princess Grill suite. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available. Much like the Britannia Restaurant, Princess Grills guests can dine anytime in the evening from 6.30pm to 9.00pm, without reservations, just make your way down to the restaurant at a time which suits you in the evening.
Elegant cuisine and signature dishes are on offer, such as the Goats Cheese Souffle, Yellow Fin Tuna Tartare, Rack of Dartmoor Lamb, Pan Roasted Halibut, and a delicious Chocolate Pecan Terrine.
The restaurant is located at the aft (portside) and while it is disappointing that there are no spectacular views from any of window tables (like the Britannia and Britannia Club Restaurants) the ambiance is extremely refined and sublime.
Sample Menus: Princess Grill, Queen Mary 2
Located at the aft on Deck 7, Starboard, Queens Grill guests dine in the beautifully appointed Queens Grill Restaurant which provides the ultimate venue on board for dining sophistication. By all accounts this is a remarkable dining experience.
Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Queens Grill quests can expect flawless service and impeccably prepared dishes. On the menu you will typically find both contemporary creations and Cunard Classics.
Sample menus include a tempting selection of finely prepared fare; a Terrine of Kentish Goats Cheese, Devon Crab Cannelloni, Wild Atlantic Turbot, and Onley Grounds Chateaubriand, rounded off with the signature Grand Marnier Souffle.
Once again – most of the window tables look out to the promenade deck or the covered area of the promenade at the aft, and it is only the tables closest to the entrance which have a marginally clear view out to sea. But the star of this restaurant is the food, not the view. Plus there’s the kudos of having dined in the very same restaurant as Meryl Streep as featured in the film “Let them All talk”.
Sample Menus: Queens Grill, Queen Mary 2
Alternative dining options on board Queen Mary 2
Steakhouse at The Verandah.
Tucked away at the aft on Deck 8, and reached by Stairway D, your will find Steakhouse at The Verandah. This alternative dining venue is perfect for special occasions, or as an alternative dining experience to try out on longer voyages when you have more time to savour all the main dining experiences on board.
Steakhouse at The Verandah is open for lunch and dinner on sea days and is bookable on board. The menu at the features USDA prime cuts and sublime seafood; The ultimate surf and turf venue. Choose from many tempting options including, finished New York strip steak, Alaskan king crab, Salt Marsh lamb rack or Wagyu beef, short ribs, Maine Lobster or Scottish Langoustines.
There is a cover charge of around $50 per person to dine here. While it may be a tempting option to try if you are already dining in the Britannia Restaurant, it may not be such a draw if you are already dining in the Grills.
Sample Menus: Steakhouse at the Verandah, Queen Mary 2
Kings Court Alternative Dining
Located on Deck 7 and accessed via Stairway B or C, a section of the King’s Court is transformed into an alternative dining venue in the evenings.
Depending on the evening, this section becomes a formal Italian, Indian, Pan-Asian or Mexican venue. If you are dining in the Britannia Restaurant, this might be an alternative option on the occasional evening to add some variety to your dining experience on board.
A cover charge of $17.50 is payable for alternative dining in the evening. Table reservations are available via the My Voyage on board digital planner or by phoning On Board Reservations.
Casual dining options on board Queen Mary 2.
What might put some guests off a voyage with Cunard is the formal and segregated dining experience. While I admit being someone who will jump enthusiastically at any chance to dress up for dinner on board, having voyaged on Queen Mary 2, I can assure you it is quite easy to take the informal dining option on board. There is plenty on offer at all times of the day – cosy cafes, relaxed buffets, tasty snacks and even pub classics – no tuxedo or cocktail dress required.
During the day, the Chef’s Galley is almost another extension of the Kings Court, tucked away towards the aft. In the evening, this transforms into a speciality dining restaurant but pleasantly with no cover charge (however as this is a small venue, reservations are still required).
Between 6.00pm and 9.30 pm this small area transforms into a gourmet pizza and pasta venue. Each night the venue features a different specialty pizza, or you can design your own from a variety of toppings and sauces.
Healthy Corner: 7.00am – 11.00am
Burger & Hotdog station: 11.30am – 2.30pm
Pizza & Pasta Station: 6.00pm – 9.30pm
The area is very small (around 30 covers) with a quirky, raised area (in the past this was a demonstration kitchen). It has an intimate ambiance and might be worth a visit if you like Italian cuisine and wish to try a more relaxed dining alternative one evening.
The Kings Court is Queen Mary 2’s main buffet style restaurant. Located on Deck 7 and reach via Stairways B or C, Kings Court offers the convenience of freshly prepared food in a relaxed self-service environment from early morning until late. A relaxed dress code is observed day and night, providing an alternative to smart attire for guests who prefer casual dress.
On the menu is host of familiar and much-loved dishes, including continental, American and English cooked breakfasts, home-style pizzas, handmade sushi and sharing boards, inspired by dishes found in popular holiday spots throughout the world.
There are some pleasant little alcoves which jut out onto the promenade deck making this a light and airy self-service buffet. All the tables are pre-set, so you don’t have to queue for cutlery and the service is impeccable. While this can get busy at times – especially at lunch on a sea day (in which case I’d recommend heading to the Carinthia Lounge – see below), there is ample seating.
The Golden Lion.
Located on Deck 2 and accessed from Stairway C, The Golden Lion serves up a mix of authentic British pub cuisine with a great selection of beers, ales, lagers, and ciders. Expect live sport, quizzes, karaoke, and pub games; this popular venue can be found on all of the three queens in the Cunard fleet. Be warned – this venue can get very crowded at lunch so arrive early to grab a table.
The menu is packed to the delicious brim with pub classics all at no extra cost. The Beer Battered Atlantic Cod served with chips, minted mushy peas and Tartare sauce is very popular. As is the Steak and Guinness Mushroom Suet Pudding, Oven Roasted Cumberland Sausage, Chicken Tikka Masala, Cottage Pie, Golden Lion Ploughman’s, and Portobello Wellington. (I did warn you that you might get hungry reading this post).
Exclusive to the Queen Mary 2 is the Carinthia Lounge. Previously the Winter Gardens, this sumptuous venue can be found on Deck 7 and accessed just off the Kings Court via Stairway B. Always a hub of activity with a relaxed vibe throughout the day, I came to regard this space as an alternative ‘atrium’ on Queen Mary 2.
To start the day, enjoy light breakfasts, illy coffee, juices, and handmade patisseries. At lunch enjoy lighter plates and tasty dishes in a peaceful atmosphere accompanied by fine wines by the glass and live music. Alternatively, head here for a late snack in this refined lounge with Port, Sherry and Iberian wine served by the glass and tasting plates served until 10pm.
The Boardwalk Cafe located on Deck 12 and accessed via Stairway D (Port) is perfect for a tasty snack in sunnier climes. Offering a mouth-watering selection of favourites from the grill, expect tasty burgers, hotdogs and fries.
Queen Mary 2 offers complimentary room service, 24 hours a day.
A lazy breakfast in bed, a tempting afternoon snack, a delicious evening burger or an indulgent midnight treat, are all just a call away. Freshly prepared food is delivered direct to your stateroom and this option provides guests with a convenient way of dining within their stateroom or suite at no additional cost. Guests in the Grills suites can also order from the full Princess Grill or Queens Grill menus.
Room service breakfast should be experienced at least once on your voyage; just remember to fill in your order and hang it outside your door before 1am.
Having experienced room service breakfast in my Britannia Club Balcony, I urge you to order the hot chocolate at breakfast – it’s the best I’ve ever had (and this is from someone with a penchant for Chocolat Charbonnel); velvety rich and moreish, but not in the slightest bit sickly. My pro-tip is to order a small jug of cream to accompany it. Savour the pour, and then just slip away into a delightful chocolatey trance on your balcony as you stare out to sea.
Afternoon tea aboard Queen Mary 2
Some other cruise lines will typically offer one or perhaps two venue options for afternoon tea on board. Cunard offers this delicious tradition in a staggering 4 venues (5 if you’re staying in a Grills Suite). This alone warrants a separate section in this dining guide.
Queens Room Afternoon Tea
The original Afternoon Tea experience is served daily in the Queen’s Room and is Cunard’s grandest interpretation of Afternoon Tea. Complimentary to all guests, sip fine leaf teas next to the grandeur of the largest ballroom at sea. While there is no cover charge, you can upgrade the experience to include a glass of fizz.
White coated gloved waiters seem to levitate effortlessly to your table to serve you platter after platter of delectable goodies. This is an immensely popular event so expect queues to start from at the doors of the Queen’s room from 2:45pm on a sea day.
Champagne Afternoon Tea in the Laurent Perrier Champagne Lounge
If you want to make this decadent afternoon treat a little more special, then I suggest you head to the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Lounge for an enhanced selection of gourmet sandwiches, tea cakes and traditional scones.
Expect savoury bites like feta and mushroom filo tart and delightful individual desserts, including passion fruit and mango choux, all accompanied by a glass of Laurent-Perrier champagne. The Lounge is near the Grand Lobby on Deck 3 (Starboard) and accessed via Stairway B.
Godiva Chocolate Afternoon Tea
For a small cover charge this extraordinary afternoon tea on Queen Mary 2 includes a range of delicious Godiva treats. Served in Sir Samuels, this afternoon tea even is available on Queen Mary 2 every sea day.
Expect out-of-the-ordinary indulgent treats for two including Godiva signature cakes, Godiva white chocolate Key Lime scones served with lime marmalade and clotted cream accompanied by premium Tea Forté tea and Godiva pralines. By all accounts, this afternoon tea is not for the faint hearted.
Kings Court Afternoon Tea
If you prefer a more informal, yet nonetheless as delicious and full inclusive afternoon tea, then head to Kings Court. Expect all the usual favourites and treats but self-service. Afternoon Tea is available in the Kings Court between 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm.
Grills Lounge Afternoon Tea
The fifth option for Afternoon Tea onboard Queen Mary 2only exists if you are staying in a Grills Suite. Reserved exclusively for Queens Grill and Princess Grill guests, indulge in afternoon tea in the intimate Grills Lounge, served by white-gloved waiters.
What dining is inclusive on Queen Mary 2?
The following dining options are all included in your stateroom fare on Queen Mary 2:
- Britannia Restaurant (for Britannia Stateroom Guests)
- Britannia Club Restaurant (for Britannia Club Stateroom Guests)
- Princess Grill (for Princess Grill Suite Guests)
- Queens Grill (for Queens Grill Suite Guests)
- Kings Court Self Service Buffet
- Carinthia Lounge
- The Golden Lion
- The Boardwalk Café
- The Chef’s Galley
- Queens Room Afternoon Tea
- Kings Court Afternoon Tea
- Grills Lounge Afternoon Tea (for Princess and Queens Grills Suite Guests)
What dining do you have to pay a cover charge for on Queen Mary 2?
The following dining options attract an additional cover charge on Queen Mary 2: (2021 prices)
- Steakhouse at the Verandah – $45.00 per person
- Govida Chocolate Afternoon Tea in Sir Samuels – $14.95 per person
- Champagne Afternoon Tea (in the Laurent-Perrier Champagne Lounge) – $34.50 per person
- Alternative Dining (Evening only) at the Kings Court – $25.00 per person
I hope you’ve found this guide helpful and informative. If you have sailed on Queen Mary 2, I would love to know what dining experience you enjoyed the most. Please let me know in the comments below.