Just completed the Panama Canal cruise on the Queen Victoria. It was our first time on Cunard cruise and may be the last. If this is what Cunard has become under Carnival ownership, it's a lost cause. There are simple better options for the same price.
There was none of the great style and service Cunard is noted for. Our cabin steward was pleasant and did a nice job. The Britannia dining room was seriously lacking. The food was bland and boring. Example: the hollandaise sauce was just a tasteless yellow blob on the eggs benedict. I had to request various condiments to 'doctor' it up to have an approximation of a good hollandaise. The deserts were fair to good. Their idea of cheesecake was more like a gelatin pudding, not at all rich. The soups were the exception - all great. So too were the hamburgers in the pool grill.
Service in the dining room was spotty. At breakfast one morning, we (the whole table) waited 50 minutes for our meals to be served and then the wrong orders were delivered. Dinner service was highly variable. One night, about 30 minutes elapsed between starters and entrees. Another time, all the elements were brought for coffee - cup and saucer, cream, sugars, spoon - but no coffee. But another night, we were whisked in and out so fast, we were there less than an hour - too fast. As soon as we set down our forks, our plates were grabbed away. And the servers continually confused the orders of the 2 gentlemen at the table. Our server was very nice and usually attentive, so maybe it was the kitchen that caused some of the delays. But refills for water, coffee, etc. are not kitchen issues. Similarly the service was very much 'hit or miss' in the Winter Garden bar. The one woman server managed to ignore us quite easily, but the male waiters were very attentive.
All these things might have been overlooked because the cruise stops after Mexico were all good - interesting, well run tours. The entertainment programs each night were also great.
However, the real 'deal breaker' was the purser. What could have been an easily remedied misunderstanding instead left a very sour taste because of her rude, dismissive attitude. She had two opportunities to provide an appropriate solution with grace and good manners and failed in both interactions. This is not the Cunard my parents and grandparents sailed on by a long shot.