A time to relax,chill and be cosseted in best Cunard style after a long hard winter. The food in the Britannia,be it QM2,Victoria or Elizabeth, has always been better than any place I have eaten in in London both in terms of presentation and taste. It is a huge surprise to read some of the reviews of this little rest break cruise where there are complaints about the food, the staff, the entertainments etc, etc. One fellow cruiser was complaining about the food on a day when I had the shrimp in brioche,a beautiful rocket salad followed by a tournedos steak perfectly cooked and so tender as to be cuttable with a fish knife-which my companion did to enjoy a taster of the meal. On another occasion we both had the liver and bacon which was melt in the mouth perfect.Lobster,rib of beef,steak,wonderful fish-cod, haddock and good vegetarian options. I begin to wonder if some of my fellow cruisers live in a strange parallel universe. All the staff we met from arrival to departure we gracious, helpful and very hard working be they clearing dishes in the Lido or cooking me a perfect ham omelette for breakfast (my idea of luxury!)Afternoon tea in the Queens room, better than in most London hotels, wonderful- a chance to chat with fellow passengers or just sit and sip.Yet there were those who were not prepared to wait 20 or 30 minutes for a seat if they arrived after tea has started. What is their problem? they are on holiday!!! Jo Jo our room steward,like me ,goes back to the old QE2/Caronia days wonderfully and quietly efficient. The link with the later Beatles tribute band was fun and indeed we went to all their performances both Theatre and for dancing. The Nat King Cole lecture was good (as I am sure the Sinatra one was)but we were either in the library or listening to the string quartet.
No trip is without incident however and to listen to a woman, clearly drunk, shouting at counter staff at the midnight snack bar because the pizza's were not ready (they were in the ovens with the timers showing some 9 minutes to go)spoke volumes about her particularly as the staff can't answer back. The perfect example of drinking and swearing going togeteher.No doubt it was the bar staffs fault for making her drink booze! On another occasion one fellow guest was having apoplexy over a piece of breakfast toast that had an air hole in it,actually shaking and complaining that 'its not good enough'. Its bread for gods sake that's how it comes. The other bone of contention seemed to be luggage arrival as in '....and by 6pm it still hadn't arrived' Do they not have spare shirts,socks etc in their carry on bags? Its only a 5 day cruise - how much luggage do they need. Our cabin was excellent-actually bigger than my little studio flat-and better laid out.Then I notice a comment like'..the bathroom is not impressive'- its a bathroom where I shave,shower and....Is there something I'm missing here am I missing black marble highlights and a place to put the champagne bottle? Well I'm sorry for anyone who didn't enjoy this little taster cruise
Hamburg was full of surprises, the marathon was on, I took some wonderful photos of the statues and fittings at the rathaus and through serendipity a little bridge covered in padlocks with sweetheart motifs - do locals go back there and remember when or who their padlock was for. In le Havre a beautiful tea and coffee shop for little pressies of tea and honey pots and a delightful bric a brac shop where I bought Christofle flatware and a 19th century WMF crystal and plate scent bottle-charming. Our table staff were charming and Yulia our table steward was,kind,beautiful and funny. The ships faux Art Deco interior works really well and the Britannia Restaurant has a genuine wow factor with the staircase and murals-a great visual. Great ship, great trip.