Queen Victoria - Gallic Getaway - Review
A short 3 night cruise to Cherbourg and Zeebrugge, with my wife and two young children.
Boarding: This was easy. CPS Parking really helps, a cheerful baggage handler and no waiting to board. Very painless.
Disembarking: Easy also. We were late for our call, having children's 'things' to pack. But the queues moved quickly, both to disembark and to collect our car keys. Just make sure you have your 'pink slip' at hand for CPS.
Room: The room was 'smaller' than the picture but fine. In fact we had two rooms, adjacent to each other, both with balconies. Certainly for us there was plenty of wardrobe space, the steward (Dennis) was friendly and helpful, and two bottles of chilled wine - most welcome. The amenities were excellent overall, and the daily news and programmes as well as the turn down service were all very welcome. No complaints at all!
Food: We opted for the early dining in the Britannia restaurant. We were always made to feel welcome, our waiters were kind and helpful, and the service swift and efficient. We all liked the food. The fish and beef were especially good, and the capon delicious too! The children eat the same food, but often opted for ice cream for dessert. On formal nights we were ALL in formal attire. At the exit take advantage of the free mints and ginger too! Afternoon Tea - busy, but yummy. The Lido was also good. Mostly self service, but all worked well. Accept it for what it is and you won't be disappointed. A good choice of hot and cold, and an ice cream machine! I had a very nice vegetable curry - recommended.
Entertainment: We watched two shows; Victoriana and an Irish themed show, as well as a comedian on day one. All were excellent. The theatre was pretty much full, with just a few seats free. The dancing and singing was all excellent - really VERY good indeed.
Excursions: We took no formal excursions but relied on the excellent shuttle busses. They work really well, and can work out much cheaper if you are happy to be more self sufficient.
Overall: We loved it. A large ship that does not feel too big. Good facilities, nice food, friendly and polite staff. We had no cause for complaint at all. Whilst the QV cannot ever emulate the feel of the QE2 it is still an enjoyable experience. One couple did mention that they felt standards had slipped a little. Certainly Cunard need to keep standards high, but overall they achieved that.