As we had only previously cruised on an NCL 'freestyle' cruise we decided to experience a more formal type of cruise and so decided on Cunard.
Embarkation at Southampton was a dream. From arrival at the terminal to sitting in our stateroom took just 20 minutes, all handled by very friendly and efficient staff. Luggage arrived around 15 minutes later. The cabin was spacious and beautifully presented with a large 'sheltered' balcony. The bathroom was adequate with a small curtained and, strangely, unlit shower. We were slightly disappointed in the sheltered balcony since the front is steel and sitting on the deck chairs you have no view.
Walking through this huge, magnificently appointed ship was quite awesome. The decor is mainly art deco and the public rooms and areas are extremely impressive. Special mention here for the Commodore Lounge,the stunning Library and the Britannia Dining room. Due to the size of the ship it does take a little time to find your way around and the maps provided in your cabin are invaluable.The size of the ship and the fact that it was designed for transatlantic crossings means that it is extremely stable and comfortable to be on. No rocking or rolling for this ship!
We found the food in the Kings Court, on the few occasions we used it, to be very good but the customer flow through the restaurants took some time to get used to. The various areas of the Kings Court are converted in the evening to different restaurants eg Chinese,Italian and a carvery which can be booked if required. We preferred to use the Britannia for breakfast and lunches on sea days although we did indulge in room service breakfast on 3 occasions. Impressive that the food had to come a long way but was always lovely and hot. The standard of food in Britannia was excellent and we managed to sample frogs legs,snails,lobster tail and surf and turf. The service in this restaurant was 1st class and would shame most 5star hotels. Our only disappointment was the Todd English(additional payment)restaurant.The menu was typically american and the food seemed to lack finesse. Definitely not worth the extra!Wine and drinks on board were reasonable and positively cheap compared to NCL. The boardwalk cafe area on deck 12 needed more shading for the the very hot days we had.
Tours from the ship were all good, if a little expensive and the guides were all extremely patient and informative.Ports of call with the exception of Vigo were great choices.
On board the entertainment was varied from theatrical shows to guest speakers. The planetarium was particularly interesting.
We found the staff to be very willing and with seemingly endless patience, particularly with the older passengers of whom there were many. We loved the formal and gala nights where the ship and Briannia restaurant positively buzzed. We had chosen a table of 6 and were so fortunate to meet two delightful couples with whom we became great friends.
Disembarkation was as well organized as our arrival on the ship but came all too soon.
We loved this beautiful spotless ship with it's marvellous service. What a wonderful way to travel the high seas