When my husband and I saw this mini cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for 5 days to and from Southampton (we live about and hour away) we thought what an ideal opportunity to try this iconic brand. Our past experience consists of seven cruises on Celebrity, Royal Carribean and more recently Azamara Club and Oceania.We were expecting great things from Cunard!
Embarkation from start to finish took about 50 minutes so no complaints and there was a welcome bottle of champagne in our stateroom. The stateroom itself was a bit basic in decor considering Queen Elizabeth is only 2 years old but that sort of thing dosen`t spoil a holiday for us. What does however is bad service and mediocre food.
The Lido buffet was like a bun fight at breakfast and lunch, with not enough food areas open and the standard of food was the worst we have had on any of the mentioned cruise lines. I ordered a fresh pizza one lunchtime which was O.K. but received such surly service from the chef I wanted to apologise for being so awkward!
The Britannia dining room food was nice enough but again the worst out of all the cruise lines mentioned. The service was good apart from the sommelier who had so many tables to look after we got to our main course before he had time to take our wine order. You could not help but feel sorry for him.
Likewise service in the Golden Lion was not good/ bordering on chaotic; we waited 35 minutes for some drinks and when they came they were wrong. This seemed to be the norm rather than the exception.
The service around the pool area and on deck was virtually non existant. If you wanted a drink you had to get it yourself and at one point I saw an old lady march off to find an officer and some waiters to come and clear the dirty glasses and cups that were on almost every table. Needless to say they did not make it up to the top level where we were, so we just sat staring at the mess!
I don`t want to appear like a professional moaner so I must mention The Verandah restaurant which we paid to eat in on the 2nd night and went back to on our last night (also we could not face the Britannia dining room again). The food was worthy of a michelin star and the service was the best I have ever had.The head waiter made crepes suzette at the table which was impressive and delicious.
The public areas on the ship were all very nice and we particularly enjoyed The Commodore Club and the Yacht Club. A fantastic pianist and an amazing Caribbean band made for great entertainment,and dancing in the nightclub.
We aways try and make the best of any situation so it would be wrong to say we did not have a good time but it is with regret that we will not be travelling with Cunard again. Take my advise and try someone else where the food and service is up to scratch. I find it slightly amusing that Cunard insists on high standards of dress from its passengers and yet is unable to deliver high standards itself.