As my partner and I are considering a future world cruise, we took the opportunity to cruise on the Queen Elizabeth from Sydney to Brisbane. We are pleased we did, as we would not cruise on the QE again.
Embarkation went well, no line up and we were in our cabin within 25 minutes.
We were quite impressed with the grand, elegant ship and made our way to locate our cabin to unpack and have lunch.
Our cabin steward arrived immediately and welcomed us with a complimentary bottle of sparking wine on ice. After that we hardly saw him again. Our cabin was elegant and well furnished, slightly smaller than other cruise ships, overall the cabin was quite satisfactory. We booked the Brittania Club which entitled you to dine any time in the Brittania Club restaurant. We decided to have lunch and it took us a while to find the restaurant. When we arrived we were asked by one of the waiters whether we were entitled to dine in this restaurant? Why did they not ask our name and check their list. The menu was limited and not to my liking. The staff were quite sullen and reserved, a smile would have been welcomed as would have the wine menu. The salad I had was not fresh, limp salad and a dry tomato slice. We could not believe the standard and quality of the meals provided for lunch, we were hoping there would be an improvement at dinner. Not so.
After lunch we familiarised ourselves with the ship. We were quite impressed with the grand elegant decor and furnishings, however the ship did not have that atmosphere that you have on other cruise ships, light and open spaces and happy staff. Most of the staff seem to be reserved and avoided you unless you acknowledged them first.
We met fellow passengers who embarked previously in other ports (this cruise is part of world cruise). We all seemed to have the same opinions of the ship
and some were very disappointed as their cruise was much longer. Some of them preferred the QM and QV and felt the QE lacked the atmosphere and life that is felt on other cruise ships.
Overall we feel that the atmosphere, meals, service and staff attitudes were not to the expected Cunard standard.
There were other issues that contributed to our decision, but won't go into detail. The disembarkation in Brisbane did not go well. There was no announcement when or where to wait. We were ushered here and there, in the end we just walked off on our own accord.
We will continue cruising, however not on QE.