This ship is too big. I felt like I was on a bus. And the crowds at the Buffet! I started to feel claustrophobic. I caught a terrible cold on there. One cannot shut of the air in the cabins, and even with the balcony door open, the hallway air get's sucked into one's cabin under the large gap under the doors. They had CFL bulbs in the lamps, which give off an unnatural and unatractive light, and have also been proven to be bad for humans and the environment. Then fluorescents in the bathrooms and even in the Queen's Room! Like a nursing home! The swimming pools were cold, and closed at 9, so after the children were finished with them, we adults had no chance for a peaceful swim at night, which is also imperative for those of us who are pale, who can't be in the sun. When I went to the Purser to complain, she said: "No one ESLE has complained!" As if I was supposed to go back and tape record and video all the other patrons wailing about how freezing the water was? What happened to White Star Service? At my first table, our waiter was sullen, hostile and rude, also placing his hands and arms in front of the woman across from me's face all the time, not serving from the left and removing from the right etc., then cleared unused wine glasses half way through the meal, then proceeded to clear the table while we were STILL SITTING there!? As if we were gone!?
We moved, and got normal, wonderful service. I had a lifeboat outside my balcony, and while relaxing and drinking coffee, looked up to find a worker entering it, and squirreling around for 30 minutes, at one point disappearing down into the hold for another 30 minutes! I called to ask if something was wrong, and got a female purser who said: "What?! A WHAT?!" I said: "LIFEBOAT"! She kept repeating that she didn't understand what I was saying, then finally said: "Oh! Lifeboat!" ?! When one odered breakfast from room service, the man on the other end would sign off saying: "PLEAHHHHH-zahhhhh....", (Pleasure, I assume), sounding sarcastic and bizarre, as if it was definitely NOT a pleasure. Other mornings he changed it to: "Hev eh Nace DAYYYYYE...." - same sarcastic, weird tone. Really strange. Then lifeboat worker came back, or another. No privacy. When I first arrived, I called my Steward as I had no bathrobe, he came right over, (though I didn't need him, they were all being washed), and stared at me like a desperate guy in a bar at 3 AM. Traveling alone, and this being the man who would enter my room twice a day, and have access to all my personal belongings, I found this alarming and extremely disquieting. He wouldn't let me shut my door and end our stupid conversation, when I was jet lagged and tired, and then started accusing me of stealing some envelope supposedly left in the slot of the cabin next to mine?! I kept telling him, over and over, that NO, I had not taken anyone else's envelope, but only taken the one left for ME, in MY slot, which I was expecting, and I had opened it, and YES, it was mine, and addressed to ME! He wouldn't stop. I finally had to say: "OK. I'm closing the door now, and going away.", and basically slammed the door in the peering, face. This colored the rest of my voyage. understandably. Then every time I came out of my cabin, he was there, down the hall, and would exclaim: "Oh! Very pretty!" Or some such, unasked for nonsense. I was afraid to leave, or come back to, my cabin. Then in the 7th floor restaurant, they ran out of macaroons, so I asked a young woman if there were any more, and she just said: "NO". I walked a few feet and found 100 more, which I then brought over to show her, but she was completely uninterested. Just standing around, taking Cunard salary for doing nothing and being unpleasant.
When did White Star service mean ogling, harassing, arguing and being a sarcastic, lazy, unhelpful lump? What happened to manners, friendliness, just listening and taking note, and HELPING?! Genuinely? On our last day, up in the 7th floor restaurant, where there are so many useless employees lingering and shuffling about without doing anything, that one can hardly walk, I heard a young, male Cunard worker, watching the disorganization (no Nescafe, no hot chocolate, out of hot milk, and too many people: "White Star Service!" as he laughed disbelievingly to himself. I can't blame him, it was a joke. I don't understand any of this. What happened to Cunard? The lawn furniture on my balcony too, was old, chipped and rusty. My carpet was tattered and torn all along the edge, by the balcony, with a huge gap, showing the bare floor underneath. And there were a lot of decorating choices that were mystifying as well, cheap looking, flashy, Las Vegasy leopard print carpet and other things (paintings, the pattern in my cabin), that looked so completely out of place on an "elegant", classic, British Cunard ship!
The shower curtain in my shower was too short and too narrow, so that overtime you showered, the floor and bathmat got wet, making a mess, more time and work for the steward, and more money and energy lost on washing and drying perfectly good bathmats.
The hallway on Deck 8, Stairway C constantly reeked of cigarette smoke.
The hallway on Deck 8, odd number cabins, between Stairway C and B smelled like a toilet.
Don't go. Or if you do, bring plenty of cold and flu medicine for what you catch onboard. I think the air filtration systems need work. On my my first night, I saw a cabin a few doors down from me with it's door open, and two workers wearing surgical masks looking dismayed and disgusted. The hallway smelled like a toilet for the whole voyage, and I hate to think what was wrong in that cabin, being that we all share air vents which we can't turn off, and this cabin was so close to mine. What has happened? I am at a loss. Having been on the Victoria and the beautiful Elizabeth, which I adored being on so much, I didn't want to leave, I now doubt I will ever board another Cunard vessel. I am at a loss to explain what is happening, has happened to this line.