Having cruised many times before with Princess, P&O and more latterly Celebrity we decided to try out the 'elite' end of the Carnival fleet, with a view to booking a longer journey if we liked it. We thought that the service would be excellent but were not too sure that the cultural difference that we expected from Cunard would be entirely to our liking.
However, the service was appalling. Bar waiting staff were uninterested and complacent - we sat in the Yatch Lounge for 2 hours one afternoon before we finally beckoned a waitress to serve us. No bath robes or slippers in our stateroom as promised - they appeared on the morning of disembarkation ready for the next passengers - who were taking a world cruise! Food was bland and unexciting compared to other cruise lines.
Cabin was similar to those on other Carnival ships we have cruised on (Princess and P&O). We were expecting something a little more exciting of Cunard but Carnival have obviously stamped their corporate stamp on the whole of their fleet. That being said, the cabin was clean, comfortable and perfectly acceptable. Shame the promised robes and slippers did not appear.
We were left feeling that Cunard do not really care about their short term cruise passengers, just wanted to get the money from us whilst time was filled in until the world cruise commenced.
They will not get any more custom from our party of four.
Took free shuttle bus from the port terminal (had to queue about 30 minutes) which took us to the city centre.
We then looked around the very old Town Hall and then a tour bus for a 2 hour tour of the City. This gave us enough information to decide that Hamburg is definitely worthy of a return visit for a few days.
The regeneration of this very large city is impressive and there seems to be many interesting places to visit, hence a return journey will be planned.