Having cruised several times before on other lines, namely Princess, we decided to try Cunard this year. Princess also offers a British Isles (some different port calls and 2 days longer) which was about half the price of this one and in restrospect I'm sorry we didn't stick with Princess.
(1) The Ship Itself
While the decor of the Queen Victoria is more luxurious than that on Princess ships it is marred somewhat by the fact that there was water leaking from the ceiling in several locations including the card room and the Lido Buffet.
Our balcony cabin was similar in size and amenities to what we've had on Princess so certainly nothing there to justify a large price differential.
The meals in the dining room were not creative or inventive although they were presented nicely. Items that we have seen in the past on every nights menu i.e. steaks or crab legs or shrimp cocktail were not ever offered. The Lido Buffet was smaller than we're use to erg. selection of salad was rather sad and for for parts of the day the Buffet was closed i.e. during afternoon tea nothing else was available, the ice cream machine's were broken or under service and the ice machines were frequently out of ice. Would recommend the made to order pizza's and sandwiches in the Buffet. Atfernoon Tea in the Queens room - I was expecting the typical tiered plate with finger sandwiches, petit fours and scones with clotted cream. You are served each ndividually by waiters walking around wth plates and the scones come with a miniscule amount of cream (which was not clotted cream) --- overall not a proper "cream" tea in my opinion.
(2) The Service
Dining Room - On past cruises we have opted for the anytime dining which generally means a different waiter(s) every night. We've always been advised with fixed seating you get better service from waiters in anticipation of tips on the last day. This was probably more disappointing than any aspect --- meals that came that were wrong, glasses of water than never came. Advice was never offered or given on menu items - poor level of service given that this was fixed seating on a supposedly higher end cruise. Cabin Steward - Very acceptable level of service - nothing above and beyond though - and again we've had some excellent stewards aboard Princess ships who gave us tips on everything from less busy dining rooms, to worthwhile tour excursions, to good sunbathing spots. Entertainment - pretty standard fare, a troupe of singers and dancers, a comedian and an opera singer.
I think Cunard may be suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. If you're going to market yourself as a high end cruiseline with superior service, dining and entertainment and your going to charge quite a bit more than your sister cruiseline Princess you have to be able to deliver on it!! If you don't passengers are simply going to feel ripped off and that they could have had as equally as good a vacation on another cruise line/ship for a lot less money.