Queen Elizabeth Cruise Review by countryman: Brilliant service, a few poor destinations and first time cruiser's ra
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Brilliant service, a few poor destinations and first time cruiser's ra
First, how brilliant the Elizabeth was - service, food, entertainment - various reviews said entertainment was not up to scratch - it was. Steaks were superb not tough and the fish and seafood good. A great time. Room service was excellent for teas and snacks. Cabin (aka stateroom) was very comfortable, clean and well equipped.
Some ports of destination were dreadful - Heraklion and Messina to name two - others were OK if you liked classical antiquity - Katakolon (for Olympia) and Kusadasi (for Ephesus) but otherwise a little boring. How Naples gets such a poor reputation in English press is amazing - vibrant and busy place with lots of shops etc and excursions to diy to Vesuvius, Herculaneum and Pompeii. Other super places were Santorini (once crowds avoided), Rhodes (outstanding), Corfu, Mykonos.
Ramblings of a first time cruiser and previous independent traveller. Would I go again - jury out - there is one problem the whole thing seems to be run for the benefit of More the cruise line rather than the customer. You fly to Athens with plenty of time to spare - why can the coach at least not go past some antiquities on way to port as the road to Piraeus passes Athens (they want to get you on board as quickly as possible to spend money??). Timescales in port - 5.30 or 6pm departure - get you back in time for first dinner sitting at 6pm if I was being cynical?? You arrive early in the morning (8-830am) but you are on holiday so don't necessarily want to be up with the lark to make best use of a day given the very early departure times. and they are desperately keen to get rid of you on departure day (7.15 am departure for an 1145 flight with excuse of 1 1/4 hour trip to the airport (took 45 minutes and none of the check-in desks for 250 passengers) were open so huge queues. There is something vaguely schoolike about cruising and being organised......
The cost of excursions was outrageous as was the cost of wine but perversely spirits were quite reasonable and the cocktail of the day and the liqueur coffee of the day very well priced. Spa and internet were also excessively priced - no doubt they would get more business and possibly more profit if they priced a tad more competitively (ie two large g&t/s before dinner and drink water with dinner and have pint of beer afterwards - same price as half a bottle of their cheapest wine). Almost everywhere in Greece had reasonably priced cafes with free internet access.
Whatever the price (unless I was going somewhere chilly in winter) the balcony was so worthwhile - would always pay the extra - as it happened only bought a balcony cabin by accident as they could not guarantee uninterrupted view from the non-balcony cabin - extra money was worth every penny and more. Less
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