In almost all regards, the journey on the Queen Victoria met or exceeded our expectations - to use cruise evaluation jargon!
The ship is beautiful in a very classic way. The exterior is just what a ship should look like and the interior is understated but lovely. Being almost new was a real plus in our opinion as everything was in perfect condition. There is extension use of wood everywhere and the fresh flowers in the public areas were gorgeous.
Our balcony stateroom was nice but unremarkable - much like ones on Celebrity - but the best part was that the balcony doors opened to our family's balconies on either side of us; that was a real plus. We liked the granite counter in the bath and there were very nice Gillchrist and Soames toiletries.
Very exceptional were the excursions arranged by Cunard. They were the best we've ever taken with excellent guides and very easy methods of leaving the ship. We also really like the fact that there were free More
shuttle buses when we chose to tour on our own.
The food did not disappoint in any way. Both the Brittania Restaurant and the Lido buffet were very good. The service in both the dining room and stateroom was excellent if a little impersonal. Since we were six people all with the same surname, it seemed as if it we might have been greeted by name a little more often.
We were apprehensive about the formality of the dress code, but the husbands didn't kick too much so it wasn't a problem. All three wore black suits on the four formal nights and they definitely were in the minority as most men wore tuxes.
On the same note, we found our fellow passengers - 1100 some Brits to about 300 Americans - to be formal in demeanor as well. It made for an almost staid atmosphere, but it certainly was not unpleasant. The theater was a marvel and the entertainment was outstanding and Warren, the Entertainment direction was articulate and sophisticated - really excellent. Very little pushing of products, from drinks to photos, was done that we could see.
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary, but we enjoyed all parts of it and would recommend Cunard for those who would like a quiet, classy atmosphere. Less
St. Petersburg is the big draw of course and our tour of the Hermitage was wonderful. Also terrific was an evening performance of Russian Folk Dancing put on by Cunard. The city is, by turns, spectacular and depressing though it's working hard to put its east block look behind it. Well worth visiting and especially important to us as our precious daughter-in-law is Russian born.