Queen Victoria Cruise Review by Christopher Martin: What a wonderful experience
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What a wonderful experience
Days at sea - so full of things to do - there just aren't enough hours in the day. Don't misunderstand me it's all VERY relaxing, but between bouts of eating splendid food, the activities available on board are so varied, there's always something for you to engage with that suits your tastes. From talks on wartime events, thru classical concerts, modern music, line dancing, superb theatre entertainment; the list is extensive. All hosted by professionals, well versed in their own discipline.
Then there's the hotel staff who look after one's well being - beautifully serviced staterooms, restaurants, bars - in fact every on- board facility. What goes on 'behind the scenes' - which you never see - for you to receive such excellent care must be a powerhouse of activity. A toast to the kitchen staff, the laundry, and of course the ship's crew, who steer you away from a possible rainstorm - just for your comfort. How good is that ?
Only one real complaint - due to security More considerations - the really interesting parts of the vessel are out of bounds. i.e. the bridge and the engine room - I'd love to have seen them both 'in action'. I've seen both on many vessels during refit, but never at sea. A small disappointment.
Then there's the port visits. Whether you take a well organised excursion, or just idle your way through the port itself, taking in the local flavour - they are the highlights of the cruise. And to end up in Venice - arriving by sea - is something everyone should experience. All in all, I'll remember it for a very long time. Less
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Cabin review: Queen Victoria Balcony Deck 6 6181
I like the word cabin - it's more friendly and homely than 'stateroom'. Our cabin was clean, very well serviced, and quite large enough for 2 - the balcony (veranda) also. The en-suite module could have been a little larger, with some more discreet storage (cupboards ?) for toiletries etc. As it was the vanity unit top was cluttered with all our bits & pieces. The air conditioning was excellent, and QUIET, which is not always the case on cruise ships. One small downside - the vacuum toilet system. Being an engineering designer who works on ships, I recognised immediately the loud knocking a loose pipe makes against the adjacent steel structure, every time someone on the deck above 'flushed' their toilet. No problem during the day - but can give you a severe shock when trying to, or are asleep. Needs sorting on the next refit.
Port and Shore Excursions
Having visited the old town - take the cable car to the top of the mountain on the landward side and marvel at the view. A superb experience. Whilst there, just ponder at the mindless shelling of the beautiful town from that vantage point in the war during the 90's, and appreciate how much has been done to revitalise the shelled buildings. It really needs more than one day to appreciate it all, at a more leisurely pace.
A return visit is a must. One piece of advice - go early/late season - the place was heaving during August and VERY hot. But you have to congratulate the locals - their transportation of masses of people to and from the ships (4 cruise ships in that day) was excellent. There were queues, but again dealt with well, and little time was lost in them.
We flew home to the UK from Marco Polo airport - pity they are not as well organised as the city is.