We booked the Queen Elizabeth on this short cruise for two reasons:
1) We really enjoyed our transatlantic crossing in September last year on the Queen Mary 2 and wanted to try out another Cunard ship.
2) It was my partners 40th birthday and this journey was a perfect way to celebrate it.
As it was my partners birthday we thought we would make it extra special by booking a Q1 grand suite, namely 7177. We also booked and paid for four Britannia Balcony rooms for our family's so we could celebrate his birthday together.
We arrived at the Ocean Terminal at 12:00, checked in then proceeded to the Grills waiting area to wait for embarkation. When we embarked on the QM2 it was completed in stages which worked really well, there was little queueing and the boarding was easy. I expected the same boarding process for the QE however for some strange reason they opened embarkation to all Queens and Princess Grill passengers at the same time. This meant a large slow moving queue which I can only compare to boarding an Easy Jet flight. We were also not met onboard and escorted to our suite, this is not the level of service I had expected from Cunard.
Things started to get better when I opened the door to our suite, it was huge! The suite contained a separate lounge with comfortable seating, a dining table that could seat six and a well stocked kitchen. The bathroom was large with separate shower and a huge whirlpool bath. The bedroom was also large with a king sized bed and a good sized walk in closet. The balcony was large taking up half the back of the ship.
After unpacking we decided to have a slow walk to the Queens Grill restaurant to have some lunch, after which we exploded the ship.
Overall my first impressions of the ship were good, I especially liked the grand lobby with the wonderful print of the original Queen Elizabeth. All the public rooms were well appointed and tastefully decorated, the bars were all cosy especially the commodore lounge which has amazing views over the bow. The spa was ok but does not compare to he Canyon Ranch Spa on the QM2. The ship has two outdoor pools which were always busy. There is plenty of deck space and the ship also has a well quipped gym.
The Queens Grill Restaurant on the QE is simply wonderful, located on a high deck with good views out of the floor to ceiling windows. The Maitre d was the same one from the QM2 QG restaurant and he recognised us which was a nice touch. The menu had plenty of choice and the food was cooked to perfection, I really can't fault the restaurant. We were lucky to have a table by the window which added to the whole experience.
As our family were in Britannia we decided to eat in the Verandah restaurant on our first night so we could all eat together. The food and the service was faultless, I had the lamb which I highly recommend.
Our Butler was named Emily and she was very helpful, she and her assistant kept the suite very tidy and clean at all times and the bar was always well stocked with our favourite soft drinks and wine. We hosted a party in our suite for the eight members of family with us, Emily arranged for hot and cold canapes as well as well as a birthday cake for my partner.
Overall I loved the ship and would book another voyage on her or her sister the Queen Victoria but if I'm honest I don't think she compares to the QM2, not that it matters. The QE is a very different ship and I think thats why I liked her.
Below is a link to a short video of our suite