Before we set sail on 13 September 2012, we were told of the ship's engine problems and the fact that the itinerary would be changed because of her slower speed. Oporto would be replaced by Vigo. A further change came later in the cruise when civil unrest in Greece meant that Piraeus would be replaced by Catonia in Sicily. At no time did we suffer any inconvenience from the engine problem; perhaps a little more vibration in The Brittania Restaurant than usual, but nothing to remark upon.
Food was excellent and we were fortunate with our dining companions, two New Zealand couples in addition to my brother and his wife with whom we were travelling.
Entertainment in The Royal Court Theatre was of a very professional standard but we found the sound volume too great at times.
Drinks were very expensive; a G&T costing Â£5.27, a pint of Boddingtons Â£4.60, and a bottle of wine Â£15.60 (cheapest) to infinity. All prices include the compulsory 25% bar service charge and are based on Â£1 =$1.6. However, despite their official policy, Cunard were very liberal over alcohol in cabins (sorry, staterooms). Room service even delivered glasses to our stateroom for a small drinks party we gave, and drew the cork of our own bottle of wine for us.
Queen Victoria is a beautifully appointed ship and, despite sharing her with over 2,000 others, never felt crowded. Embarkation, disembarkation and shore excursions were all well organised.
The passengers were probably 90% British yet all on-board expenses were charged in US dollars. That seemed a little strange.
Our balcony stateroom (8138) was below a window cleaning platform. It cast a shadow onto the balcony at certain times. A minor inconvenience.
Constanta in Romania was a port of call we could have done without. The town is very poor with little of interest to see, and walking is dangerous because of missing gully grids. It was possible to take an excursion from here to The Danube Delta, largely for bird watching. That might have been the thing to do.
This cruise was mostly sea days (with which I have no problem) but, when they came, we had four ports of call in four days. It would have been better to mix sea days with ports of call more evenly, but I can see that geography mitigates against that.
I think that the Â£125 per person per day that we paid for the cruise represents excellent value for money. It was our first time on Cunard but it will not be our last.