My partner and I sailed for the first time (on Cunard) in a Queen's Grill. We cruise only in large suites as we enjoy time away from the masses.
Embarkation: As some have mentioned it was a right mess. Not enough staff to take care of the Grills Suite passengers If all those reading this sense entitlement - you are correct. We expected service to match the Grill Suite price tag we paid. Not one of you would expect less for a cruise that topped $10,000 USD.
The weather and a surprise US cost guard inspection slowed the process, but that offers little solace for passengers paying for a 1st Class ticket...strike 1
Dress Code: If this was applied with the same vigour and zeal they advertise it in their brochure it would have been acceptable. However women dressed in cheap H&M blouses and skirts, evening dresses with flip flops, tarts wearing just enough to cover their bits with matching Payless slippers. Gentlemen: wearing a green kilt with a matching green T-shirt is not formal. The rest of the world does not care if kilts are formal in your country. The dress code states "Tuxedo or Dark Suit" Apparently this has been a thorn in Cunard's side for some time. Neither is having the letters " Q M 2" shaved into the side of your head considered "elegant or classy" Only 10% of the passengers were dressed formal or elegant. Which made the rest look like pigs wearing lipstick - wearing something black while leaving your hair unwashed nor combed doesn't mean you are "Elegant." Cunard's dress code is a sham - they allow non compliance to some - others they ask others to leave the common rooms because they are not dressed in black (wearing $300 of Brooks Brothers apparently gets trumped by a $20 outfit on a slag - just because it was black)
Food: Exceptional in both the QG and King's Court - in fact, other mainstream cruise lines could learn a lot from only offering 10-12 hot items (all done very well) instead of 40 items with little to no consistency.
Ship: as some have mentioned - some of the toilets around the ship kept having issues and were closed. The smell was quite awful and unfortunately lingered for some time in all directions of these affected WC's.
Carpets in some areas were worn, and some furniture legs were damaged in our suite. In a 506 sf' Q5 suite - what is a 26" TV doing there ? It is not a college dorm room - it is a Queen's Grill Suite. Unacceptable. Strike 3
Cunard tries to create an experience based on class. The cost of which and price you want to pay for is up to you. If you chose to pay for a Fist Class Cabin without baulking at the price (because you can) then that is what should be provided. Nothing less.
We heard that Cunard had a mass exodus of staff in NYC and there were many more leaving upon arrival in Southampton. Due to un paid wages. This might have explained why there were so many people with name tags on, but without uniform. Perhaps Cunard had to fill positions with staff from their land offices to handle this. Whatever the case, we have always voted with our dollars. Cunard does not execute the experience they advertise, and for that my money is going somewhere else. We have enjoyed service style and class for less money - but then again it isn't about the money, is it ?