Check-in at terminal Cunards own terminal at Southampton made this a smoother experience than some of the ones I have had with Silversea. Staff friendliness was on par.
First impression of the ship when entering
Cunard certainly wins on the wow factor when you enter the ship, although the area around the lifts was very very crowded, and little direction provided.
On Silversea we have only stayed in a balcony suite, on Queen Victoria we splashed out for a penthouse. Size and layout of the Penthouse was probably in line with a Medallion suite. Preferred the penthouse on Queen Victoria.
We were in the Queens grill, who's food was on par with Silversea, but not as much choice. I was expecting a different menu to that served in the Brittania Room, however it was always the same, and tended to be luck warm. There was an extra a la carte menu that on longer cruise would have been available, but not on this one.
Lido grill on Queen Victoria - only visited this once and would not go back - people were jostling and pushing in as if they had never seen food before.
Afternoon tea - I was looking forward to this on Queen Victoria as its one of Cunards signature activities, however due to the short cruise this was only offered on one day, and the queues were unbelievable. After 1/2hr of queuing I gave up. Lots of people were complaining. Silversea wins hands down on this.
The theatre on Queen Victoria wins by a head. The changed design on Silver Spirit from the Whisper or the Shadow leaves a lot to be desired - seats are uncomfortable and the drink tray too small to hold a wine glass.
This was a short cruise so only saw a comedian and a show on Queen Victoria, however the show dancers and singers far surpassed the Silver Spirit entertainment team.
Bought a 2 day pass to the thermal spa on Queen Victoria, but there were so many people using the facilities that despite visiting several times a day was unable to spend time on the thermal beds, or the beds by the hydro pool, which in my opinion was too small for the 2 water jets. Silver Spirits thermal area has never been busy when I have used it, so wins hands down.
Cunards idea of having Princess and Queens Grill customers go to the lounge to await departure sounded good, however the room was not big enough, and getting from the suite to the room, as I have already said, was a nightmare. When trying to get off the ship, the lifts were still as bad, and once we got downstairs had to then go up a floor to join the end of the queue. In comparison disembarkation from Silversea is a breeze.
Queen Victoria is a lovely looking ship, light and airy, staff were friendly and approachable. Our penthouse suite was amazing, and if the weather had been better I would have spent lots of time on the balcony. I did not like the lido, disappointed about afternoon tea, and the lifts were a complete nightmare - embarkation morning we queued for 1/2hr to get from our room to the 11th floor, where we had been instructed to wait. Why doesn't the ship have a dedicated lift for Princess and Queens Grill customers. I appreciate that the Silversea fleet have lot smaller vessels, but they win hands down for their lift service.
Would I go on another Cunard cruise? Possibly, but if I did then I would have have to stay in a Princess or Queens Grill suite as no way would I want to have to use the Lido restaurant. After adding up what we spent on drink, suite cost etc, Silversea, if looking at a balcony suite, still comes out the better option cost wise.