The experience was somewhat short and sweet - 5 nights with a two-day stay in Amsterdam, a day in Zeebrugge and one in Cherbourg - but interesting and exciting at the same time.
Parking in Southampton arranged by CPS was very efficient and a good start - no waiting, no problems. Embarkation was quick and efficient followed by lunch on board. On arrival at our balcony stateroom, our luggage had already been delivered. Leaving and arriving at ports in darkness is not very picturesque but leaving Southampton was somewhat enhanced by the city's lights.
The English Channel is not the best water to sail but the QE took it in her stride on each occasion - the last time across from Cherbourg in high winds but the crossing was as smooth as one ever and the QE was greeted by one of HM's frigates which came alongside and fired a salute - very exciting.
The QE experience was enhanced at dinner on each evening - the food was always so well presented - how do they maintain such standards on big ships at sea? The restaurant service - from Sheryllyn and Edward was the best yet - and Paco, our wine waiter was superb - but how could Real Madrid lose to Barcelona by five-nil - Paco was upset.
Out and about on board was a pleasurable experience - the bars and cafes were welcoming - all the crew went the extra mile. In my experience, I would go so far as saying that overall this QE crew are the best ever! The shops were well stacked - no duty-free because we didn't venture outside the EU. The Golden Lion was pleasant - trivia quizzes were good - something for everyone. The entertainment from the ship's entertainers was very good - the guest comedian was the only disappointment - I thought he might be more suitable at a stag-night or a hen-party - few seemed to really enjoy his performance.
Disembarkation was quick and efficient - the car was parked about 200 metres from the exit to the Terminal - and away we sped after an excellent new QE experience.
Would I go again? Undoubtedly "YES".