This cruise represented a few 'firsts' for us ...first time with Cunard, first time on a larger ship and first time 'sail out fly back'. It is very challenging to find a smooth way to travel from Scotland to Southampton to board, so we spent some time in London and travelled down by the Cunard Coach from Victoria, which was a flawless experience, except for the arrangements at Victoria, which seemed a little haphazard.
On arrival, the check-in at Southampton was very efficient and, having boarded QE, there were several people to help us to find our cabin (sorry Stateroom!). Having settled into our room, we found a place for everything and ample space for the two of us.
Finding our way around the ship took a little longer!
Starting with the positives ....everything was very well appointed and QE is a beautiful ship. The food was excellent, whether in the Britannia Restaurant, where our waiters were very attentive, or in the Lido where again every member of staff responded to a chat with a smile. To those who thought the staff less than welcoming, I would say perhaps you get treated as you treat others?
The negatives (and this is personal) ...I found that the informal attire is still too formal for me ...I would prefer to be informal in a smart casual formal long-sleeved shirt with a tie, rather than the jacket with no tie, as preferred by Cunard!
And now to my main concern .....Rome Airport(!!!).
Having disembarked with normal Cunard efficiency, and with, as I recall, a promise that "we will arrange everything for you at the airport" (or some similar comment), we were abandoned at Rome Airport front door and then stood like refugees for three hours in various lines, first for check-in, then for security, then for passport control, then waiting for the plane, which was nearly one hour late. I do not consider myself disabled, but neither am I in the flush of youth, and by the time I reached the departure gate, the edge had been very firmly taken off our wonderful cruise. I cannot imagine the stress to those who were leaning on walking sticks etc., and who were obviously in a more difficult situation health-wise.
Cunard please note ....check out your departure airports for ending future cruises!!!
Overall, a great experience to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary, meeting great people, but spoiled by the journey home.
Amazing experience to see how the other half lives!