I booked the 14 day trip with a Travel agent , in another state. Originally booked D7, when price dropped I was upgraded to B2. I also booked the Transport/Hotel/transport package with Cunard. I booked my flight (through my agent) with Jet Blue from Fort Myers to New York, since Jet Blue is non stop but Cunard uses Delta, which takes twice as long and requires change of plane, terminal in Atlanta.
On arrival in New York I was met by two Cunard reps who helped me with my cases and took me to the transport, which proved to be a limo just for myself.Very good arrival indeed.
At Hotel (Hilton) thereceptionist informed me that the room allocated would not be ready until 3.30 but if I would accept a handicap room I could go straight up. I accepted the room of course, the only difference being a walk in shower in place of a tub. Stay was very pleasant.
Next day again two Cunard reps, there on time and very helpful . I think Cunard has switched the agency they use, as in the past the rep at the hotel (same person each time) has been at least one and half hours late getting there, walking in with coffee in one hand and her breakfast in the other,and often missing when the transport arrived. This time was so very different, and very good
Embarkation went as usual, arived at my cabin, checked my dinner seating card,freshened up and went to Kings Court , obtained a deli sandwich, a desert and took these to my cabin . No sign of my steward.
Went to muster, back to cabin to change for dinner.
Still no sign of steward, and no sign either of my luggage, although supposedly I had Priority handling on my tag.( It arrived after I had left for dinner)
Went into bathroom to shower, no soap or toiletries. Fortunately I do carry these in my carryon. When ready since there was still no sign of my steward I left a note asking for missing items.
Went to Chart room, asked for glass of Pinot Grigio , told this was not available. This has happened before, but this time instead of buying the more expensive drink they offered I said that if they had no Pinot Grigio then I would simply have a glass of water. Waiter went to bar, conference with bar tender, and returned with my requested glass of Pinot Grigio.
Strange to relate, exactly the same thing occured a week later on the night we left Southampton!
The ship does need the overhaul she is to have in November, the number of "soft spots" in the floors have multipied considerable. Seats in Illuminations are broken.
Dining:- Food is subjective, so I will not comment except to say that the alternatives are not listed on the menu, and the servers did not mention them either. Since I ordered an alternative on several nights I was able to inform my dining companions they could do so also.
This should be addressed by whomsoever is in charge of menu.
Shops:- Not really my scene, however I did have need of a cosmetic, only to find that the shop was closed for 2 days when we left Southampton , excuse was they were arranging for a big sale on perfume!
Shows:- These are the same ones as they have been for past 5-6 years, Cunard really needs to bring in some new programs. This is true also of several of the individual acts, same people, same act.
Parties:- As noted on the main page of CC, no invites for parties on the Soton/NY cruise, no bottle of wine in the cabin either on that section.
Believe this policy has now been reversed.
Steward:- This was the invisible man. I never saw him, there was no cart outside my door when I left for breakfast at 8.30 each day, and every day he would "forget" something when cleaning my cabin. After first day he never put the coverlet and throw pillows back on the bed, he would make it but the cover etc remained rolled up in corner., some nights no clean towels to replace the used ones he had taken away, no wash cloths on another night, It was always something he failed to attend to. I played a game with myself every night trying to guess on my way back to my cabin what it would be that night. A notice re change of venue for CC meet reached me 2 days after the meet took place.
He was very odd indeed.
One day the daily event sheet had an item that some of the staff had not completed their training and passengers were asked to be tolerant of their shortcomings.
Personally I think that Cunard need to be more concerned re the lack of service to passengers because of untrained staff rather than asking us to be tolerant. We pay for "White Star service" we should receive this.
I am a loyal Cunard passenger, because I like to do Transatlantic and I like the formal atmosphere. I will be on the QV in Feb for 17 days LA to New York.
I hope Cunard takes care to keep up the standard not let things slip.