We boarded at Southampton the embarkation process was extremely smooth and we were on-board ship within 45 mins. Our luggage had arrived before us and we found the cabin well prepared. Our steward Nelson introduced himself shortly after we arrived and kept the cabin spotless throughout the cruise. We quickly unpacked and had a light lunch in the Lido which had an excellent selection - for the first two days food was plated due to health regulations but I did not find this to be a problem.
This was our second trip in QE after many on QM2 and I was very much looking forward to another wonderful experience. However we had an upsetting problem due to part of our luggage going astray prior to boarding - on our flight in to Southampton. This included my son's suits and one of my evening dresses. As Cunard's dress code specifies that men must wear a jacket at all meals we simply could not dine in the Main Dining Room or use any area of the ship after 6pm. There is a rental facility for dinner suits but none were suitable sizes. I was more than a little upset at this turn of events but had no option than to make the most of the situation. In the evening the Lido has an Alternative Restaurant as well as the buffet area and on the third night - their first night open - we made a reservation in the hope we would be OK re dress. The same dress code is in operation in this venue but as it is small and accessed without going through any public area and also as prior to our Cruise the dress code both in QM2 and QE in these restaurants had been "fluid" we hoped for a positive outcome. This was not to be the case, my son was dressed in classic trousers, shirt & tie, myself in a formal outfit. The female Supervisor on duty looked my son "up and down" and said a jacket would be required whereupon I explained the situation, hoping for a sympathetic hearing - there were no other guests in the dining room. She called her boss and then said we could "dine tonight - but not again" despite my protestations she would not yield. The meal was excellent and the waiting staff attentive - when we left there were two other couples dining - we had been seated at the very rear at the service door - one gentleman was dining in shirt sleeves having removed his jacket. This situation meant that all our evening meals were taken in the Lido Buffet. On a positive note I must say that most of the meals were excellent, varied menus each evening and we were well looked after by the Supervisor Danii who knowing our plight went that little bit extra to make sure everything was to our liking.
Lido - table clearing very slow.
We found the tours excellent value for money and well managed.
Speakers were both extremely interesting.
Films shown were recent releases.
In room films and TV very poor.
Gym, which my son used most days - many machines out of order and poorly maintained - unable to use spinning bikes as they were chained unless being used in a class.
Cafe Corinthia/Garden lounge/Commodore Club - excellent.
Shops - pleasant to stroll through, could have had more varied choices.
Afternoon tea in the Queens Room - very pleasant.
Shocked to discover that Cunard no longer have Catholic Priests on board, therefore no Sunday Mass.
Evening entertainment - we could not attend.
Queens Room art talks, dance classes, etc very entertaining
Cabin - several nights into the Cruise an extremely loud knocking noise kept us awake which I reported. A new cabin was assigned until the problem was solved - a structural problem was discovered which was above the Midships Bar.
Disembarkation was faultless - being Platinum members we enjoyed coffee and pastries in the Commodore Club whilst we awaited our departure time.
Despite our problems we made the most of our time on board and overall enjoyed a very peaceful holiday albeit very restricted.