This review is going to be fairly long to cover all points we wish to make.
We booked direct with Cunard who were then and up to leaving from UK very helpful.
At LAX we were kept waiting for over 90 minutes after going through immigration and collecting our luggage for a coach to take us to our hotel. The Cunard staff did not inform us why until several of us got fed up with waiting and some decided to make their own way to hotel.
Hotel was 1st class and attached to Kodak theatre which had held the Oscars the previous night. We expected Holywood Bvd to be a nice upmarket area but found that it was run down with many empty shops & cracked pavements which were easy to trip over.
We were due to leave hotel at 1pm and when we asked to Cunard staff if we would be in time for lunch was told that by the time we got on it would be finished due to the traffic and time to get through check in.
2.30pm we were sat in The Lido having lunch. (thank goodness we had got away from Cunard's USA staff).
After lunch it was to the cabin to unpack. Yes our cases were there.
We had an A4 balcony that was lovely. The bathroom was small with only a shower. On our previous cruise with H&A whilst packing I pulled the sofa out to see if anything had fallen behind and was amazed that that area had not been cleaned for many months. One of the first things I did in this cabin was to look behind sofa which was clean.
We ate breakfast & lunch in The Lido every day and dinner in The Britannia Restaurant. The Lido was fine with a good selection. The Britannia was excellent in all ways. One evening I did send my steak back as too tough and it was replaced without question.
Every evening on arriving at our table we were greeted by our waiters by name and the wine waiter was over with our drinks without having to order.
The ship is in excellent condition I mention this as some people in their reviews have complained. All I can say is that ever day the crew were cleaning & painting the outside and on 2 occasions we found Crew members on their knees scrapping the dirt up from where the wall meets the carpet and obviously the vacuum cleaner cant get in there.
Entertainment was very good, maybe not as good as some ships that go in for more of the west end type shows but we had some great acts.Throughout the ship there were musicians playing a variety of instruments every day.
The dancing in The Ballroom was very entertaining probably because we were lucky enough to have several Asian couples who were very good and seemed to be in competition with each other, however the final dance competition was won by a couple in their seventies doing the jive.
This ship is not big looking at some of the vessels having been produced recently but due to the number of guests there is always somewhere to sit and relax. Alternatively you can wander the public spaces and look at the many interesting things to see or read.
The staff were very friendly and helpful except the pursers or reception. We were enjoying the cruise so much we asked if we could stay on to Southampton as we were due to leave in New York. We had been told other people had been asked if they wanted to stay on. We went 3 times each time seeing a different person and each time being told they would get back to us. The didn't. After again asking we were told to do and see the cruise sales department who told us that as we were already on a cruise it was not their job but would get someone to get back to us. They didn't. This is the only complaint we have with Queen Victoria.
The ports of call were Manzanillo Mexico. Went on organised trip waste of money.Wont be going back.
Huatulco Mexico nice little port but not very interesting. Wont be going back.
Puntarenas Costa Rica. went on organised trip called forest tree top walk. We were taken to this place where the only wild life found was a group of ants moving leaves. the tree top walk was over 3 bridges about 20 metres above gulley's no where near the tree tops. The highlight of the day was seeing around 15 crocodiles on a mud bank. Wont be going back to this side but I hear the Caribbean side is worth a visit.
Then on to The Panama Canal. Great day, it took around 7 hours from one end to the other and it was very interesting.
We then had a half day in Cartagena Columbia. What a beautiful old town and could have spent more time here. Be happy to go back.
Aruba again organised tour interesting but we wont be going back.
St Thomas USVI. Picked up local tour bus at port. 3 hour tour round this typical Caribbean island would be happy to go back.
Finally our table guests who were 4 Americans were good company but 2 of them kept on about how Queen Mary is so much better in terms of ride, food, entertainment and service. So I guess that's the ship we will have to go on next time.
We hope you find this useful.