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Queen Elizabeth Cruise Review by Vivienne Windle

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Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth
Member Name: Vivienne Windle
Cruise Date: September 2011
Embarkation: Southampton
Destination: Canada & New England
Cabin Category: A1
Cabin Number: 5167
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Queen Elizabeth Cruise Reviews | Canada & New England Cruise Reviews | Cunard Cruise Deals
Member Rating   1.0 out of 5+
Dining 1.0
Public Rooms 1.0
Cabins 1.0
Entertainment 1.0
Spa & Fitness 3.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 2.0
Service 1.0
Value-for-Money 2.0
Rates 2.0
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Ship Facts: Queen Elizabeth Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Queen Elizabeth Deck Plans
British all the way
We were apprehensive about the many sea days on this Transatlantic voyage, but need not have worried. Our standard balcony room was comfortable, especially the beds, and had all the facilities we needed, including an enthusiastic, helpful but unobtrustive steward. Check-in was easy at Southampton, we boarded the ship, met the steward in the room and went up to the Lido restaurant for lunch. From then on we had everything we needed provided for us. The entertainments every evening were mostly excellent, the dinners in the Britannia restaurant high quality, with dishes such as steak and fish showing no evidence that the chefs were catering for 2,000 passengers. Waiters upheld the White Star service Cunard is so proud of. We had the early sitting, otherwise we would have missed the shows, as second sitting's shows started at 10.30. On two of the last sea nights they had their show at 7pm, and I was surprised that not more people took advantage of this. Most of the passengers were elderly and tended to avoid the late night disco in favour of an early night, although they were scarily enthusiastic on the ballroom dancefloor, with even the mobility scooter users joining in on the sidelines. With a handful of exceptions, the passengers were British, and appreciated the Golden Lion pub with its traditional pub food at lunchtime, and the afternoon tea served in the Queens Room every day with accompanying string quartet, harp or pianist. I think the strong British culture was a bit much for the minority of Americans and other nationalities, though. Having experienced the loud behaviour of US guests on Carnival, and to some extent Royal Caribbean, the 'sorry', 'excuse me' and 'would you mind' around the ship was welcome to me, but would have baffled people used to a different ship board culture. Entertainment in the day consisted of fascinating lectures, the occasional new release movie, and a wonderful rendition of Twelfth Night by the resident theatre company. No belly flop or hairy chest contests on deck - people who like this sort of thing on cruises might have been disappointed. An excellent libary on two floors with a spiral wooden staircase separating fiction from non-fiction, a globe, maps and guidebooks with armchairs for reading was a joy, and as we walked around the ship on seadays when the weather was not so good, most of the bars and lounges had people sitting and reading (and a few knitting and embroidering). The Spa was good, but costly, which led to some annoyance when so many of the facilities were not working on certain days.

A number of passengers liked to complain, but I could not understand what they could possibly have to moan about. They referred to the old days on the QEII and the Queen Mary, but I had to wonder if it was a case of looking at the past through rose tinted spectacles.

We had attended a number of lectures on skyscrapers by Seth Gopin, who had slides of arriving in New York on the Queen Mary 2. This encouraged us to get up early to see the arrival in New York, which was magical, as we went past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, with a commentary by one of the other guest speakers.

The final Port of Call was supposed to be Sydney, but ended up being changed to Corner Brook because Sydney was full of cruise ships. The people of Corner Brook were very friendly and welcoming, offering us free luggage labels and lapel pins, and a shuttle bus (school bus) to the shops. We walked the Corner Brook Stream trail, which was created by the paper company when it put in the pipe to extract the water for their factory, next to the dock. When the QE arrived it blew its horn, and the paper factory replied with its own factory horn. There was a cafe on the hill above the dock with free wifi, and this seemed to be a popular place. There was another walk up to Captain Cook's lookout and a museum, but we didn't visit them, as we were a bit tired by the time we finished the walk. (This is included because Corner Brook is not on the list of ports of cal)

I would highly recommend the Queen Elizabeth, and particularly enjoyed the theatre company, the resident dancers, the food, and the service. I would recommend this cruise to people who enjoy ballroom dancing, access to a large supply of good reading, interesting lectures and good quality entertainment. I would not recommend it to people who like loud noise, lots of bingo and rowdy entertainment, or for families with children (although there was provision for children on board if there had been any).

The only thing that spoiled it for me was the constant moaning by some of the other passengers, but I think they were in a minority.

Publication Date: 10/12/11
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