This review has been so long in coming because I have waited the best part of 6 weeks to receive a reply to my correspondence to Cunard. I will not bore you with details of the ship (very nice) or the cabin (mouldy smell immediately the door was opened) however I will tell you about the food and the itinerary, both of which were extraordinary.
First the itinerary: this was a 5 night cruise with just two stops. One in Hamburg - great, never been there before and looking forward to it and one in Le Havre (supposedly for Paris which is 3 and a half hours away). We had been informed before sailing that there was going to be a marathon going on in Hamburg. OK, no problem. Reality was what we hadn't been told and that was Germany on a Sunday is rather like Britain used to be like some years ago. Shut. Yes, closed for business. No cafes, no restaurants, no buses, no transport, no museums, biggest shopping mall in Europe - all shut.
Next, Le Havre where we had decided to take public transport to Honfleur after deciding sitting in a coach for 7 hours wasn't our thing. Arrive - France is shut! Yes folks, we arrive on Labour Day where the whole of France is closed. No buses, trains, few taxis. No cafes, no restaurants, no people. Devoid of people. Forced to pay 125 euros to get to Honfleur to be able to actually enjoy the day.
So the upshot was that this cruise really didn't go anywhere at all. As I said in my email to Cunard this was an expensive and decorative ferry to drop off passengers after completing a world cruise. They must have thought, hey, you know what, why not create a 5 night cruise and sell it to unwitting English folks when we stop at Southampton before we drop off the French and German passengers? Nowhere in any brochure did it say the two stops would be null and void because the countries would be closed.
As for the food, don't get me started. Cunard believe their own hype and are seriously resting on their laurels. We have been on a serious number of cruises before (never with Cunard I might add) and I have never, ever been served frozen vegetables or tinned fruit before! Outrageous! The buffet lunch was one of the worst I have ever experienced. Cunard need to take a trip on Celebrity or Azamara to see how food should be cooked and displayed. Variety was non-existent. It was the same old, same old every day. Disgraceful. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.
So I guess you know what's coming next. We would never cruise with Cunard again. There are far better cruise lines that deserve my hard earned money.