In Singapore we joined a Queen Elizabeth world cruise, booking a Princess Grille cabin for a 35 day cruise to Southampton. This is the second top tier in their 'class system' aboard, so we expected top class service having paid over $40,000 for the privilege.
We have previously enjoyed a similar cruise onboard Queen Victoria, where the food, staff, service, ambience and cabin we could not fault. Unfortunately I can not say the same for Queen Elizabeth. The biggest disappointment was the Maitre 'D in the Princess Grille restaurant, who ignored us the whole time, even though we noticed him giving extra attention to certain other guests. Each time we were leaving after a meal he would turn his back on us, or feign ignorance that we were even at our table. Not a good thing for such an important staff position. We felt like we didn't even want to go up for our meals. The meals themselves were certainly nowhere near as good as on Queen Victoria. Cold toast, tasteless scrambled eggs for breakfast, and the worst hot chocolate I have ever had. Bread rolls were always cold and dry - they could have warmed them up! The variety on the menu each day was also lacking and repetitive.
Afternoon tea was served by the white gloved staff, no smiles, no going out of their way to be nice. They all looked like it was a misery working there. The scones were dry and we always had to ask for extra cream which was usually warm and tasteless.
The day excursions were ultra expensive, and never as good as what they advertised. A 2 hour boat ride up the canals in Cochin turned out to be a 40 minute boat ride out on a dirty lake, with 3 hours of a cramped bus ride.
Trying to get on board after your excursion was a problem, with crew pushing ahead trying to get back on the ship before the guests. No manners at all. All in all you would be hard pressed to find many pleasant staff members on board.
Charging $2.50 for a small bottle of water? Ridiculous to say the least. You pay good money for a cruise that includes meals - they will give you fruit juice for free but heaven forbid if you want a bottle of water or a diet coke - there is always a charge for even the most simplest of requests. Extra money to go to the sauna, extra money to go to a yoga class, they wanted extra money for just about everything they could think of.
The cabin was always kept clean but you always had to ask to have your bed sheets changed. As for the laundry - approximately 350 people on each deck sharing one small laundry with 3 washers and dryers and one single iron. Sometimes I would go down to the laundry 8 times a day just to try and get a shirt ironed. And at one stage the iron didn't work at all for 2 days. There should be triple that many laundries on each deck. Why are they always trying to cut back on service for their guests? This is supposed to be a luxury cruise liner but is anything but. And then they wanted to charge $16 per day per person for gratuities.
The photographers on board were always in your face, and to be charging $25 for every photo they took of you was ultra expensive to say the least. If you didn't buy the finished product then they just threw them in the rubbish. It would have been better to offer them for $10 each, which we would happily have paid for.
As for entertainment, this was very poor quality and repetitive. It wasn't even worth walking down to the theatre to see it most of the time. Daytime activities were certainly geared to the "very old" and it would have been nice to find something to do during the day that was interesting. If they could charge extra for anything they would have.
In the end we were so disenchanted with the very poor service and lack of things to do we disembarked after just 12 days, losing most of the money we had saved years for. The attitude was "You want to get off? ..... ok, we don't care".
Don't waste your money going on Queen Elizabeth - if you do want a Cunard experience I would suggest you try Queen Victoria where at least you felt appreciated on board.
A very sad experience for us that is for sure. I hope someone from Cunard reads these comments so that they can improve their service to their paying guests.