After a good journey by coach from north wales,, we were quickly and efficiently checked in at the new Oceans Terminal at Southampton; coach to cabin in less than an hour. The 'stateroom' was beautifully appointed, and above all practical in its design and layout. Our Stewardess Ludmilla from Ukraine (Ask her "are you from Russia?" at your peril) Was very helpful and pleasant, and couldn't do enough for us.
Food in the main restaurant was excellent, well presented, particularly the salads which were imaginatively different Evey day. Although since our last Cunard Cruise some 10 years ago, the number of courses and the 'expensive' ingredients have reduced. The Lido buffet was simply the best we have encountered in nearly 20 cruises. No Queues, everything cooked or prepared to perfection. special mention for the best English breakfast afloat.
The decor of the vessel is quite fantastic, reminiscent of a large and very grand hotel at the turn of the 19th century. The hotel illusion was heightened by the fact that the seas were flat calm throughout the voyage, absolutely no movement, or vibration. The shows and entertainment throughout the ship were much what we have learned to expect whilst cruising, they were just that little bit better', more professionally executed,on board singers and dancers just that little bit more talented and experienced. The outer deck were much as you would find on other ships. 2 good sized pools, plenty of sunbathing areas. although the one area we did find disappointing was the Winter Gardens with a retractable roof limited decor because of the roof made this area very plain; perhaps a fixed conservatory style glass roof wold have looked better. However we did not use the open decks much, as for most of the voyage the temperature was up in the low 90's, quite tropical. Not what one would normally expect at these northern latitudes!