My partner and I sailed on 10th Aug 2013 from the port of Southampton. We booked to go on the Cunard Queen Elizabeth in a Balcony stateroom for 8 nights.
Our Destination was to Norway on a Fjords and Waterfall Cruise.
Here is our experience with this cruise:
Embarkation- We went to the port of Southampton early in the morning, having travelled from Kent. We arrived in Southampton at around 10.30 and after a look around the town ( to kill time before our allotted time to embark) we drove down to the main terminal.
We were showed where to pull up in the car, from very helpful dock attendants. We had booked for our car to be valet parked and looked after while we were on the cruise. I would highly recommend this service ( cruise and passenger service) we had no problems with them and as soon as we pulled up a team of porters took our luggage and a car park representative came and within minutes the car was driven away and we entering the terminal.
Once inside check in was quite quick. We were given our key cards and once passed security we had our picture taken before going on the gangway to get on the ship. ( I felt though the photographs were a little forced on you. And I believe that you should have the option to say no and walk onto the ship) anyway, we were greeted be a small team of ships company and they told us directions towards our cabin.
We then got in the large lift to Deck 6 and found our cabin with ease.
Cabin- We were in Cabin 6163 a starboard side Balcony cabin. we placed one of our keycards into the slot to turn the electricity on and we were quite impressed with the room. we had a super large comfortable bed ( which could fit 3 persons in, it was that wide) and nice writing desk and two seated sofa. A large TV and mini bar.
In the bathroom, it was quite small but equally well equipped. a shower, toilet and basin with storage facilities and complimentary little lotions and cotton buds/pads. The Balcony was of quite good size and gave excellent views.
Our Cabin Stewardess Valentyna was very attentive and very friendly and approachable. She came in twice daily to make the room up and turn down our bed at night. it was quite remarkable as we never saw her do it. we went down for breakfast ( at different times each day) and when we came back, the room was spotless. the same was in the evenings unless we decided not to leave the cabin.
Dining- We were assigned to the Britannia restaurant ( the main dining room) and as requested by myself before the cruise, we got our two seated table in a secluded area of the room. our waiter Edward was a very nice chap whom was informative and did not rush you when making choices. our wine waiter though, we found quite in your face and rude. questioning you as to why we were not in the dining room sometimes through out the voyage and why we did not buy lots of wine!! because of him, we only ate in there twice through the whole voyage.
We instead dined in the Lido Restaurant and buffet. The food in there is the most loveliest food ever. a wide selection and self serviced, you were not questionable to anyone and the fresh pizza opens were the best!! a must try.
Room service was excellent and we had a few room service breakfasts, which is complimentary to all guests and staterooms.
Entertainment- very good. going to the theatre felt like you were in the West End. The ships singers and dancers were quite good but a little repetitive with moves. perhaps I noticed it more as I'm an ex West end performer. We on one formal night booked a private box. at an extra charge but well worth it. we had champagne chocolates and a small bottle of pink Champagne. we had pre Theatre nibbles and was escorted to our box by a bell boy. very nice.
There is also a very large ballroom for all you ballroom pros which has a house band with it.
Facilities on board- On the whole pretty good. The swimming pools and whirl pools were lovely. nice and warm and the decks were not that busy. Even in the heat. you were always guaranteed a lounger.
The select coffee bars were competitively priced and the staff were fast and friendly.
Alcohol on board was not over priced for what we wanted and a sunset Blush cocktail is a must. I had three and they certainly hit the spot.
The ship had a selection of shops and a casino. and there were quizzes and Bingo in the Golden Lion pub.
Our itinerary was a little more to be desired. our ports of call were Stavanger, Burgen, Gieranger and Olden.
1st port. Stavanger- a healthy little town with a selection of shops and places of interest. it only took us a couple of hours to look around it and went back onto the ship.
2nd port. Olden- Beautiful but boring. you are here for the longest time from 8am- 5pm and it was literary like 'Little house on the Prairie' with less interesting people and even less amount of buildings. the scenery was lovely and waterfalls and streams were also good. we, as most passengers on the ship, lasted about hour and a half to two hours before heading back on board.
3rd port. Gieranger- A personal highlight and what sold this cruise to me. it is a stunning little town, deep in the Fjords. we went passed the seven sisters waterfall and I got my picture taken with it in the back ground.
At this port it is a tender boat port. Queues off the ship were not that large and 4 boats were used to get us to shore. A delightful array of shops and quirky houses. We walked up a long road and the views were breath taking. though the walk almost killed me!!
4th and final port. Burgen- The larger of the ports of call. we were so glad that this one and not Olden was the last port. A large selection of shops and things to do. Including going up in a cable car to the top of a mountain. Sea front orientated place with a large fish market and market.
Sea Days- A wide variety of entertainment options available including an afternoon Cinema screening in the Theatre. There was also Bingo and quizzes in the Golden Lion Pub and enrichment talks from special guests on board.
Afternoon Tea was always served everyday between 3.30 and 4.30 in the Queens room.
On the whole, a very enjoyable and luxurious cruise ship, highly presented and the majority of the staff were very helpful.
we have decided that next time, we want to come back to Cunard but purchase a Princess or Queens Grill stateroom so we can have access to all areas of the ship.
We would say as a first time cruise on this cruise ship line, to go on the Norway itinerary to see if it is for you.
One thing I will say, It is a class ship. What I mean by this, it is set into two classes. First and second.
First Class- Queens and Princess Grills and maybe Britannia Club rooms
Second Class - Balcony, Outside View and Interior Staterooms.
you can tell who is in what class in terms of the rudeness to staff and the high almighty attitudes they process. ( from the first class)
I had to on several occasions pull rank on some First class passengers for the continual rudeness and disregard of others, both staff and fellow passengers. ( I am not saying all Queens and Princess Grills guest are like this, but there are a select few and from myself coming from a privileged and aristocratic background with title, I can say this)
We are looking forward to our next cruise with Cunard.