We have never travelled with Cunard before but have done many cruises mainly with RCL, Princess, P and O and Celebrity and never found anything to complain about
Our expectations for this voyage were high as we expected everything to be of a higher standard than we have had on all our other cruises, well how wrong could we be.
We were told by some seasoned Cunard passengers that is was a voyage not a cruise and we were passengers not guests.
We boarded following a snow storm the previous night which dropped about a foot of snow on New York . We managed to get a car to take us to the terminal and we got within about half a mile of the terminal and then sat for almost an hour in a long snowy queue to get to the terminal.
Eventually we got to the terminal got out of the car and looked for someone to tell us where to take the luggage or even where to leave it, there was nobody someone said they had just left their cases with some others on the pavement so we did the same. Check in was very fast and so was security we then arrived in a huge cold shed and sat there for two hours, we eventually got on the ship at 3 pm.
Due to the weather and airport problems we did not sail until 1 am.
The ship is very grand all dark wood and dark carpets everywhere was very clean and showed no signs of wear. Overall I found the ship very cold especially on formal nights the men in suits and jackets were OK but the ladies in evening dresses were cold.
The layout of the ship is very confusing and even after a week we still had to use the plan to get around, there are lots of little corridors and small flights of steps,also you have to go up to go down in some places very confusing.
If you are Queens or Princess grill passengers they call them staterooms for the rest they are cabins , so we were told.
The cabin was immaculate and our excellent cabin attendant kept it very clean and it also showed no signs or wear .
The TV , probably a 19 inch tv, was in a very odd place next to the window in the sitting area , with the bed next to the bathroom it was hard to read anything on the screen when in bed.
Plenty of wardrobe space and underbed storage, good towels and toiletries , comfortable beds with lots of pillows. We never heard anything from our neighbours and slept very soundly.
We ate each evening in the brittania restaurant our table was right next to the double doors which opened onto the stair well, it was like sitting in a wind tunnel. We di ask for the doors to be closed numerous times but they all said they were not allowed to close them. Our waiter said he was very hot as the uniforms were so heavy.
The food was of reasonable quality but nothing exceptional , I have had better steak on other ships. We had to ask for more water , extra bread which often never arrived ,and often milk to go with the coffee. Service was ok but again we sat for long periods of time in front of dirty plates.
This is like a long corridor with tables along it so unless you picked your table carefully there were people brushing past and trolley of dirty plates rumbling along. The food was acceptable , breakfast was ok reasonable selection but hot food did run out and involved a wait until more arrived. Lunch was also OK with probably 3 choices of main course and salads.
The lectures were excellent we enjoyed them all, astronaut, concord pilot ,Hollywood columnist, Crown Jewels, lifeboats.
Dancers were excellent,however the singers were off key and not in harmony a lot of the time.
The Flyrights were excellent, the lady singer unfortunately was not able to finish her show due to a chill and we did not go to the piano man. Orchestra in the theatre and the ballroom were excellent.
The jazz band in the pub were good. Other entertainment in the bars was piano ,string quartet and harpists, which were not really our cup of tea.
We thought the same ranged from OK to downright rude,this includes the cruise director who when I mentioned to him that the captains 12 o clock message on the ships birthday was not broadcast in the theatre said it is in the brochure you will get tonight at dinner then turned his back and walked away from me.
We heard that 50 % of the crew were leaving in Southampton so they were obviously not interested anymore and just wanted to get off.
We never saw any officers walking round the ship and only briefly saw the commodore flash past once.
We had a train booked at 10 so did self help and were off the ship by 8.30 before anyone else.
Cunard was not what we expected, it certainly was not a level above RCL or the others we have sailed. We were surprised that the 6days at sea went very quickly and we enjoyed the relaxation.
We would do another repositioning cruise with a more southerly route but will not be going with Cunard.