9th Cunard cruise - Platinum Status - (103rd cruise overall)
What we liked -
-Embarkation - not a long line, but no one in the Platinum line - went right on.
-Dancing in the Queen's Room - great orchestra and singer - if you like ballroom dancing - this is the place to be!
-Lido for breakfast and lunch - food generally quite good and fresh - although salad bar had same 4 ingredients all 15 days!
--Entertainment - The evening show entertainers were some of the best we have ever seen. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers - not so much - but they did not do very much so worked out well!
-- Wine steward. Absolute delight, hard working and fun!. The only staff member we left an extra gratuity for.
What we didn't like
- 2 deck steep gangway climb (with carryon) to board ship on deck 3 - Also used for wheelchairs - scary! and time consuming. In Ft Laud exited from deck 1 -
- MDR food some of the worst ever on any ship. Menu descriptions and what was received always a surprise. Ex Chef from Ski Lanka - need we elaborate!
- Staff and service - some of the worst ever on any ship including other Cunard - white star service - a very bad joke
- in the queens room my wife asked a waiter for water one evening - he pointed to the other side of the room and told her to get it herself!
- no coffee or beverage service in lido - coffee machines frequently out or order or out of coffee - long walk to another one which often was also out. waiters only remove dirty dishes and trays - otherwise no service of any kind.
-- much of the staff never speaks to you and goes about their mission without regard to your presence. Have found that on QM2 although much improved on recent cruises.
- 3 cocktail parties - almost impossible to get a glass of wine. saw food, but never got near enough to the one waiter to serve everyone in the queen's room.
- senior cocktail party for platinum and diamond with senior officers - mob scene just like the one for all returning passengers. Almost impossible to get a drink and never got close to food - and this is for their most valuable passengers - note to others - better bring your own life jacket!
- Asst waiter squirted lemon juice on us on a number of occasions, as well as dripping salad dressing on my hand.
- Room steward not too bad, but never got clean glasses, no turn down service on the last night and took the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN !
- Did not need the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN on last night because (with a 10:15 departure) the Commodore was in the cabin at 7:30 welcoming us to Ft Lauderdale and telling us the shuttle bus for the mall was leaving at 9:30
-- 5 minutes later the Officer of the Watch was in our cabin telling us not to smoke on the open decks due to bunkering
-- Shortly thereafter another announcement that those persons with bus transportation who were missing need to go immediately - the ship doesn't wait - certainly the busses don't need to!
-- Then at 8:31 the cabin steward knocking on the door - remember he took the DND sign!
-- 15 min later he is back again.
-- The platinum wine tasting (to which you can bring a guest for $30 but free for us). I must preface my comments bu "I am not making this up!" We had to take the invite letter and our platinum card to gain admittance - but nobody looked at either - it soon became apparent why. About 20 of us went to a table with a table cloth. A waiter put a glass in front of us and it got a dollop of white wine. They talked about it and we drank it (one sip). Then - and here is where it gets better!!! - we took our glass and walked by the waiter who put water in it and we dumped it out on our way to the next table with a different wine. When we left that table and washed and dumped our glass we got a red as we walked to the third table and again for table 4. In all fairness they did not make us wash the glass the last time! Apparently there is a severe shortage of wine glasses on QV! We called it the drive by wine tasting. What a joke - Never sailed on Carnival, but I bet they do it better!
-- Speakers - There were 4 whose talks on sea days were from 9-noon every day. As ballroom dancers and late night people, this was not a good schedule for us. We did make 2 of them. One by a Captain of some sort on the Panama Canal was clearly copied from a guide book on the PC. The actual narrator for the canal boarded in Panama. The other was a former Concorde pilot and while his photos were interesting, his Scottish brogue was so thick we could not understand hardly anything he said. One of the others that we did not attend was on a British doctor that murdered 250 of his patients! Great stuff for cruise ships!
--The ship broke loose from its moorings in San Francisco due to winds according to the Commodore and shortly after leaving Costa Rica the ship went dead in the water for about 1/2 hour. AC limited following that for a couple of days. I only include this because to us it shows that the lack of training and experience is not limited to the serving staff.
We are cancelling our fall cruise on QV even though we have $2000 shipboard credit. We are confirmed Princess people and interestingly we met a number of others who had the same impressions. Those folks who had little prior cruise experience were happier with the ship than we were. We will confine our Cunard travels to the QM2 (which has improved quite a bit over the past several years) and is far better than flying!
Cunard continues to provide an inferior product at a highly inflated price! Save your money and go elsewhere! Forewarned is ............