Cunard has an historic image of luxury,elegance with service and food to match. Those days are over with the take over by Carnival, which has dumbed down in all aspects into a mass market mid range cruise ship.
Some of reviewers need a little objectivity as Victoria does not compare with Crystal Symphony or Celebrity ,our last 2 cruises , but nor does the price. The majority appeared to pay from Â£50 to less than Â£100 a day from inside cabin to balcony and at this price the cruise was a bargain and attracted an eclectic mix of punters.
Only a few negative and positive points will be highlighted otherwise all as aspects on a par with all other cruise liners.
The ocean view room was large 212sq m but singularly badly designed in terms of storage space . The TV picture was appalling - hazy with poor luminance - even for internal dvds. There is a small shower but you manage.
Dining - a constant gripe was that food or plate was cold as at times coffee and really some good meals were spoilt. The Lido had a cafeteria feel and not unique in getting very crowded at times.
Service - staff levels have been reduced including work load for stewards - the majority looked down in mouth until you appreciate there come from so many countries with very poor English. Cunard should give basic English lessons otherwise you have limited rapport.
Gratuity - we paid 1000$ for cruise - that is 22$ a day plus 15% on all drinks which are pricier than on P&O . A pint beer plus sherry was 15$ and wine 35$. People did not drink and the custom of a preprandial cocktail was absent as most appeared to drink duty free in room - the only cruise liner that i know allows.
There were certainly jewels in crown - the theatre in 3 Decker with boxes was magnificent plus top quality shows if you could get a seat! Plus groups of singers and musicians were better than on any cruise before.
Floor 10 has walnut walls /tiles and lounge with views . Very up market corner.
As ex military the embarkation had looks of hospital ship with walking wounded etc. However this is the new market for the cruise ships catering for the elderly and disabled plus singles who otherwise would have no opportunity for a holiday . It has created a new dimension in later life for us all.
There were 50% aged 80 and over - we had a charming lady of 94 on our table - plus many wheelchairs plus motorised models.
My wife and I will not sail from UK port as we like a more eclectic mix of ages etc but the time will come to join these cruises.