We sailed on Queen Victoria from Rome on 15 October, heading to a number of places on my all time wish list. I finished work a few months ago and this was my retirement cruise.
We were on a Cunard charter flight from Heathrow which was delayed for about an hour - and had us all wondering if those stories you hear about them a)sailing without us or b) holding the ship for a planeful were true. It was dark by the time we got to the ship, and we had missed the drill, which we had to do the following day, but the luggage had arrived in the cabin by the time we got back from dinner, much to our relief.
Our balcony cabin on Deck 6 was perfectly fine for our needs, storage was sufficient with plenty of wardrobe space and large drawers under the bed. The bathroom was small but adequate. Our steward kept it spotless for us.
We ate in the Britannia restaurant (second sitting) and the Lido. We had lunch one day in the Golden Lion and we took afternoon tea one afternoon in the Queen's Room. I think we managed to sample all of the bars on the ship (not all on the same evening, you understand!). The food was good and it was necessary to do a lot of walking and stair climbing to try to counteract the effects.
The ship had been described to us as warm and cosy. Possibly a little too brown for my taste - but I loved the library with its spiral staircase and the Midships Bar with Erte prints and statuette. I was not too keen on the "tat" tables which appeared every evening around the shops.
I loved the live music around the ship and the fact that in the evening it was possible to walk from a string quartet to a piano to a harpist to jazz. We went to the theatre several times, apparently it sleeps 700 - and I could nudge my husband on my right but not the snoring gentleman on my left.......
We had a late disembarkation, so although we had to put out our luggage the night before and vacate our cabin by 8.30am, provision was made for safe storage of hand luggage and we were able to use the ship's facilities and even go ashore on disembarkation day. We also had lunch in the Lido before we left.
Apart from the well known places we visited we also spent time in two smaller Greek Islands - Samos, where I lunched on freshly caught red fish in a back street taverna, and Zakynthos, which was pretty - but forgettable.
These were dream destinations and an incredible holiday.