1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Australia & New Zealand Cruises
  4. Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

8 Cape Town to Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as a relaxing way to get home from South Africa. The ship gave a grand impression with wood paneling a feature. It appeared well maintained. For those who get sea sick, there was quite a bit of movement, even in ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a relaxing way to get home from South Africa. The ship gave a grand impression with wood paneling a feature. It appeared well maintained. For those who get sea sick, there was quite a bit of movement, even in relatively calm seas. We had a balcony cabin, we started in 5137- midship. This cabin had a tender boat directly underneath it , which obstructed our view down to the water. After a few days sailing we were able to move to 5159 , nil obstructions and a bigger balcony. The shower is tiny however hot water plentiful and towels fluffy. The staff were unobtrusive yet attentive. They seemed happy and were all polite. The food was enjoyable. They catered very well for food intolerance. My friend was given the following days menu to choose from and they made were able to adapt most choices to gluten free for her, with notice. The day spa's prices were exorbitant- eyebrow tinting $44 US plus tip , manicure $88 US plus tip etc- staff were stationed at the door trying to entice passengers in- if prices were reasonable people would have been lined up ! The demographic was 80+ with the activities and entertainment to match. The entertainment team lacked presence. There was an annual staff tug of war organised, which surprisingly drew a crowd, otherwise, unless there was a two for one trunk sale on, it was difficult to find other passengers ! I enjoyed the promenade deck, which enabled a full lap of the ship - 3 laps = .9 miles. The only down side was that there is a smoking area on the port side, so coped a lung full of smoke on each lap when exercising. There a two pools, the front one more sheltered, getting a deck lounge was nil issue. We only had 2 ports on the way home. As usual the excursions were pricey. On Re union island I opted for a visit to the turtle sanctuary, which was unguided and information written in French..... Mauritius we did a catamaran trip to snorkel , this was magical. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
What a fabulous cruise - wonderful ship, lovely food and just the best dancing ever. We booked this cruise because we love to dance - although we are only social dancers, we do enjoy it. There was a dance class each sea day taught by ... Read More
What a fabulous cruise - wonderful ship, lovely food and just the best dancing ever. We booked this cruise because we love to dance - although we are only social dancers, we do enjoy it. There was a dance class each sea day taught by the lovely Eugene and Darya and dancing each evening in the Queens room as well as great music in the Yacht Club. There are 6 male dance hosts that dance with single ladies as well as ladies who's husbands don't dace. These are lovely guys and were very good at maneuvering ladies around the dance floor. There was also a sequence dance taught each day that we could do in the evenings. This is the only cruise we've enjoyed where I have not put on weight...gotta love that! Embarkation was a bit disjointed as we went to the ship first before being re-directed to the convention center for check-in and then sent by bus to the ship. Lovely cabin -6094 - Princess Grill. Plenty of hanging space. Very quiet. Meals in the Princess Grill were good but a bit limited. Until that is, I requested salmon and was told that it was available - I just had to ask. Also, if I wanted anything from the lunch menu for that evenings dinner - again, just ask! We loved the dance demonstration each evening at sea by the professional dance couple - they were fantastic. We only went to the show 5 nights from the 16 and thought they were a bit amateurish although the magician was very good. There were other activities around the ship on the sea days but we didn't partake in any so cant comment on them. Cant wait for our next cruise on Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I sailed from Cape Town to Sydney and the the whole experience was fantastic. If only people would realise that the Queen Mary 2 is not a cruise ship it is a liner. If they want glitz go to the other companies where it is ... Read More
My husband and I sailed from Cape Town to Sydney and the the whole experience was fantastic. If only people would realise that the Queen Mary 2 is not a cruise ship it is a liner. If they want glitz go to the other companies where it is virtually impossible to get a sun lounger but with QM2 it was no problem and lots of space. The liner is elegant as it should be I admit there are a few issues but that is just being picky. We have been on many cruises and the Kings Court yes was busy but all I can say is don't rush for lunch at 1.00 leave it for half an hour w,hen things calm down. The Britannia restaurant I thought was going to be a problem as I have a few food problems but the maître de bought me a menu every evening so my choice could be adjusted. The shows were excellent I really cannot think of one which we disliked. Unlike other cruise lines they were varied and enjoyable. I think one thing that I think people ought to realise is find your way around its a huge liner and needs a bit of research but personally I have started saving to go again. Can't wait. Thank you Cunard we'll done. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We boarded Queen Mary 2 and immediately went back in time with the Art Deco design. Our balcony cabins were superb and the first time in all our cruising experience (more than 50 cruises) enough wardrobe space!!!! The dining room, ... Read More
We boarded Queen Mary 2 and immediately went back in time with the Art Deco design. Our balcony cabins were superb and the first time in all our cruising experience (more than 50 cruises) enough wardrobe space!!!! The dining room, Britannia was an incredible experience. The food was great and such fantastic Kosher cuisine!!!! Thank you Cunard for looking after us so well. One could eat all day if one so desired. Afternoon high tea was a really special event. It was something that we got too used to. Not good for the waistline. The entertainment was superb, such variety. We also had a good choice of movies as well. There were many special evenings. To be very honest, we as a family enjoyed dressing up for the formal evenings. One does not get a chance at home, so for us it was great. To see other passengers all looking so glam and so in keeping with the surroundings. Our cabin was very well situated, very close to a lift. Of course we got exercise walking around the ship. One never felt claustrophobic and hemmed in. The behaviour on the ship was exceptional and the staff were wonderful and extremely polite. Queen Mary 2 we will be back!!!! Holiday of a lifetime!!!!!!! We have travelled with so many of the new ships, but sorry they do not have the class and stature of the Queen Mary 2   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
The QM2 is a magnificent ship and looked so as we boarded in Cape Town. Embarkation was very slow and we noticed immediately there were few smiles. Once on board we spent some time trying to find our stateroom without much help. The ... Read More
The QM2 is a magnificent ship and looked so as we boarded in Cape Town. Embarkation was very slow and we noticed immediately there were few smiles. Once on board we spent some time trying to find our stateroom without much help. The stateroom itself was adequate with a great bed and pillows. We also had a protected balcony which proved very useful and attractive. Exploring the ship was difficult as there were so many 'dead ends' most of which occurred because of the 'classes' - areas where the ordinary passenger could not go. Throughout the cruise we experienced the continued emphasis on classes. Having 3 classes and 'never the twain shall meet' is very old fashioned. Friends in Queens Grill were not allowed to invite us to dinner because we were not in that class! The Brittania Restaurant staff were very much like the rest - few smiles and poor service. The qualty/variety of menus and food in Brittania Restaurant was average. Every night there were extra vegetables - the same (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots) every night for 14 nights. We also very seldom sighted an officer and there was certainly no mixing with passengers or conversation. We found the quality of performers in shows was average and a very annoying aspect of the shows was that for 2nd dinner sitting guests (8.30pm) the show started at 10.45pm which was very late for our age group. We also found ourselves having to pay for many of the offerings (IT classes, art classes etc)and the beverage prices were high for very average wine. Add to this the 15% service charge on everything made for an expensive trip. We were 13 hours late departing from Cape Town because of high winds which meant we missed our Mauritius stop over. Durban was our only stop over. Our one shore excursion was to the Valley of a Thousand Hills which included a visit to a Zulu village. The excursion was a waste of time and money. We did not use any other Cunard shore excursions as we did not stop at our second port of call - Mauritius. We are very unlikely to cruise on a Cunard ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Lots of pluses but some significant negatives for the Queen Mary 2 on our recent trip. The good stuff first. Our voyage was a short one, only Cape Town to Fremantle, and being virgin cruisers this was a treat that we had long been looking ... Read More
Lots of pluses but some significant negatives for the Queen Mary 2 on our recent trip. The good stuff first. Our voyage was a short one, only Cape Town to Fremantle, and being virgin cruisers this was a treat that we had long been looking forward to. The ship is startlingly beautiful and we kept on finding lots of interesting new nooks and crannies. Everything on the ship was sparkingly clean -- I would love to find a hospital somewhere in the world that measures up in the cleanliness stakes. Our cabin, nay, stateroom, was fine...well designed, with excellent storage, a good little bathroom - all pristine and shipshape. The excellent bed linen seemed to be changed every other day and bathroom towels were replenished daily. We found the in-hull balcony just slightly oppressive but it was certainly sheltered from the wind and quite ok - except for a very distasteful sewage smell which I will come to later. The sun was directly overhead on our voyage but in a month or so either side of Jan/Feb it would slant in quite nicely if you were on the appropriate side of the ship for private sunbathing. Our cabin steward, Larry, was excellent and most efficient. We just loved the grandeur of the Britannia dining room with its wonderful table settings and delightful waiting staff. In fact, did we meet any unfriendly, unhelpful crew members? No, not one. Where on earth do they find all these people? The food at first seemed gluggily British but in retrospect I think that was due to our unlucky choices early on. We got smarter as the days went by, and found that copying the menu choices made by our very Cunard-experienced tablemates yielded some excellent meals. Lunches in the Britannia room are not at set tables and these proved to be good experiences - meeting four or six new people every day resulted in some lengthy, hilarious and interesting lunches with nice people and only one chap who was a clunker in the entire 14 days of lunch companions. Our regular table of six for dinner each night was a treasure trove and I suspect we were very lucky to have been assigned to that table. The Commodore Club was our favourite place, a divine piano bar right at the front of the ship with a gazelle-like Russian waitress who is supremely watchable and elegant; second place went to the library where we sat for hour-long periods in superb chairs looking out at the prow of the ship and reading or, dammit, nodding off. The public rooms are well described by other reviewers and consequently they matched our expectations. A crazy mixture of humanity comprised the complement of passengers. Before boarding in Cape Town we seemed to be surrounded by lots of old frumpies or over-tanned animal-print-wearers. But once on board everyone sorted themselves out and the frumpies obviously didn't bother dressing for dinner so I expect they would have spent most of their time in the English pub sort of bar or the casino, neither of which appealed to us, and then would probably cram themselves into the ghastly food court for their meals (24-hour hot and cold food, can you believe it) instead of Britannia. Now for the bad bits which I feel compelled to mention, in spite of our enjoyment of the voyage. We didn't leave Cape Town until the morning after scheduled departure because of strong winds apparently. But isn't the QM2 supposed to be the most manoeuvrable ship of 'em all? Maybe the ghost of the sad old Costa Concordia affected this decision. The ship obviously took it easy going up to Durban, arriving a whole day later than planned, and after leaving Durban the commodore revealed his cunning plan of skipping our Mauritius stop altogether so that the ship could trundle at leisure (and economically) across to Fremantle. Curious, but he might have been rather more frank about that decision. We had ten straight days at sea and that isn't good, even on the QM2. People were disappointed, if not furious. And the Queen Mary 2 with her much vaunted "pods" and engine efficiency failed not once but TWICE on the ten days from Durban to Fremantle. The first time was late one morning in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I was still in our room and my other half was playing, er, "golf" (yes, simulated golf but apparently rather fun) when I heard a hideous graunching noise down below and suddenly everything went deathly quiet. Emergency strip lighting came on in the passageway and when I looked out, I saw some alarmed faces peering from inside cabins which were apparently in total darkness (another good reason to have a balcony I figured). The commodore was being interviewed downstairs at the time, presumably about the wonders and efficiency of the QM2(!) and had to scarper up several flights of stairs to the bridge so his voice over the tannoy sounded alarmingly puffed. We were pleased to hear it was physical exertion, not panic, that caused his breathlessness. He assured us there was no shipping anywhere near us -- er, was THAT reassuring? About 15-20 minutes later, after lots of wobbly attempts, rather like granddad pulling on the cord of the old lawnmower to get the motor started, the huge engines kicked into life and we were off. I thought it was to be a one-off occurrence, but at about 1:52am on the night before arrival in Fremantle it happened again. This time for much longer -- it was not till about 2:45am before the constant thrum of engines could be heard after lots of "engine cord-pulling". This time they got away with it because most people were fast asleep, so there was no announcement made and most people were none the wiser on our arrival in Fremantle. I found the second failure rather alarming. The first could perhaps be written off as human error, but a second failure makes you think. I wonder if there have been previous engine failures on the QM2? Finally, we are still trying to do a memory erasure on the smell of sewage on the ship. When we boarded in Cape Town the smell in stairwell D and the D lifts was sickening and I wondered how we could avoid that area during the trip. But it disappeared after day 2 and I noticed it in the stairwell on only one other occasion. However, the smell remained overpowering on our balcony for the first few days and on lots of subsequent occasions. We always opened our balcony door with trepidation and were relieved when we couldn't smell it out there. I mentioned it to a couple of people who had been on other ships and they laughed, saying it was just something that you had to put up with on cruise ships. Oh really? I rather wish the QM2 would conduct tours of their sewage treatment facility as well as their water treatment plant, both of which must be quite fascinating operations. I must say the water on the ship was lovely -- the iced water served at table was fantastic and was nice and "soft" in the shower. It's a peculiar thing, this shipboard life, yet people go back again and again. I think that next time we would stick to a course where we were able to disembark every two or three days. And personally speaking, for my first cruise, I didn't like being away from the e-world for such long periods. The erratic and expensive satellite coverage didn't cut it for me. But....ignoring the few negatives, it was a fascinating and enjoyable holiday at mass-market prices so perhaps we shouldn't complain. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We had booked the cruise from Cape Town to Adelaide 12 months in advance and I have been that excited to get on board. But months before departure I started reading many negative reviews about Cunard and the Queens in general. That I ... Read More
We had booked the cruise from Cape Town to Adelaide 12 months in advance and I have been that excited to get on board. But months before departure I started reading many negative reviews about Cunard and the Queens in general. That I started to get paranoid and was thinking should I cancel this trip. I even rang Cunard and raised my concerns. Well I am so glad I didn't. This was my wife and I 10th cruise, so we were not beginners. We had the best most relaxing time ever. The food was excellent, spa excellent, great movies , the addition restaurants with surcharges was some of the best meals I have ever tasted. The staff were excellent, we even tipped our restaurant staff on top of the Cunard's automatic tipping. Our standard inside cabin was spotless and excellent steward "Jason" kept it that way all trip. The decor was amazing, I just loved the art deco theme with the history mixed in. The wide passageways and the whole experience was very Grand. The trip on Queen Mary 2 was full of lifetime memories we will never forget. 1/ The minor negative to mention was when the Ship arrived in port and you had day tour guests and people planning to do there own thing the movement in the passages seems to be disjointed and there were never enough staff to guide people in the right direction. 2/On elegant casual nights men should be able to dine Jacket free. 3/When the get into Australian waters they should broadcast Australian Sky TV - not the one from London So I just cant get my head around so much negative feedback - things are always never perfect in life but when you are on holidays, there is no need to stress and whinge the whole time - enjoy life enjoy the fact that you had the funds to board a Cunard liner - Life is to short to whinge about every little detail. I know there are thousands of travelers out there that compare the QM2 to the QE2 that it's not as good but it's not the same liner and now it's not the same operators. Final Comment - Cunard in my mind is very good value for money if you are content to stay in a inside cabin (sorry stateroom). Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Embarkation in Cape Town: Brilliant! Booking at the International Convention Centre was so easy and so fast, easily the best embarkation we have yet experienced. Our Balcony Cabin: We were right down the stern, and it ... Read More
Embarkation in Cape Town: Brilliant! Booking at the International Convention Centre was so easy and so fast, easily the best embarkation we have yet experienced. Our Balcony Cabin: We were right down the stern, and it felt like we were also right over the propellers! We slept badly the first two nights until we got used to the "thud thud thud" and the rattling of items in the room from the vibration. Otherwise, the room was quite nice. Our cabin steward was great, an experienced Cunard staff. The room was kept very clean, regularly completely refreshed: absolutely no complaints whatsoever. Brittania Restaurant: Disapointing, on the whole. No where near the menu choice or varied range we have previously experienced, and really seemed to cater to perhaps the English taste? Mostly less expensive meals - eg: Roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, pies, rather stodgy food, not the light flavourful meals we usually prefer and one can usually get on other ships. Service at night was great, again because we had a very experienced waiter. At breakfast and lunch, though, much less so - one really had the impression that at good percentage of the staff only made the effort when they thought there might be tips at the end of it: hence the more lackluster efforts at breakfast and lunch. We were also regularly "hurried" away from tables. Kings Court: On this voyage, some of the Aussies dubbed this "the Coles Cafeteria", and I have to say that pretty well sums it up. This would have to be the WORST buffet experience we have ever had on any cruise. Long queues for a very small range of very uninspiring dishes. Then, there was the business of parts of the buffet becoming a-la-carte at night and charging $10 a head. What the???! It really seemed like Cunard either wanted to funnel people into the Brittania dining room or paying the extra charges, as no one could possibly call the evening buffet a desirable alternative choice. I honestly couldn't believe what a poor standard this was. WHY were we paying so much more for so much less??! Decor: At first I was inclined to find the decor rather oppressive and uninspiring, but then became interested in the history tour around the ship, which was excellent. The public rooms were reasonably comfortable, although some venues definitely didn't have enough tables to cater for demand: Pub Lunch at the Kings Lion was the obvious one, it wasn't worth trying to go until 1.30 because of the crowds. Entertainment: Loved the Planetarium, and its popularity was indicative of how good it is. HOWEVER: the practice of staff just dumping the tickets at 9 am on a counter and walking away is REALLY bad. People queue there for ages, and then don't end up getting a ticket, mainly because people at the beginning of the queue will take up to 6 or 8 tickets each for all their friends.I met one lady who had queued for 3 days running before actually getting a ticket. The movies: Well, I thought some of the choices were not good choices, especially for older folks. THE QM2 would be the perfect place to showcase old classic films during the day, instead we had only mostly dodgy recent releases, repeated 3 times a day. As for the entertainers: very mixed. One was appalling, (long waits of five minutes or more for costume changes, many people walked out), others were just ok. The comedian was just great. Late afternoon tea dances in the Queens Room were rather nice, a lovely spectacle even if one didn't dance. Not a terribly good range of afternoon tea items, though - again, no where near as good as experienced on other ships. Ports: We enjoyed Dunedin, even though the ships tour we took to Howick Falls and Ardmore Pottery Studio really wasn't worth what we paid. Howick Falls was great, but we only had 20 minutes there (so no chance to explore what looked like some fabulous shops), as opposed to an hour at Ardmore Pottery Studio - indeed amazing pottery, but too expensive if one only wanted gift souvenirs, which was our main interest. Our tour guides also got quite lost, and we ended up back-tracking twice and turning the bus around, which wasted about an hour all up. We did enjoy the day, though. If Cape Town was the best embarkation, Mauritius was the worst dis-embarkation we have yet experienced. People queued for over an hour to get off the ship, only 4 customs officers processing and taking their time to boot. Watch out for the dodgy taxi services, too: a sign read" 150 euro for half a day, 1-4 passengers). There was a fellow "speaking for" the taxi drivers, and it was he that informed us it was 150 euro EACH PERSON! WHAT?? $600 AU for a taxi for half a day?? GET OUT! Something very wrong there..... So we took the shuttle : 45 minute wait in the queue for one, and then 30 mins to get into town because of all the road works. Disembarkation: We needed an early one because of an earlier flight, and have to say this wasn't really done as well as it could have been. Instead of smaller tenders, they had bigger cataramans which took ages to fill up - thus creating more time pressure, and then also created longer queues at Glebe Island. We were in the first group to supposedly disembark, and still didn't get away from Glebe Island until nearly 11 am. General: There is no doubt that, as a ship, she is beautifully steady and handles rougher weather with great ease. This would have been the smoothest trip we have experienced, and the seas weren't necessarily slight all the way, either. Would I go again on QM2? Quite frankly, I would rather spend the same amount on another cruise line and get much more "bang for my buck". Sorry to say, but we definitely found QM2 to be the worst value for money yet, nowhere near the standard its hyped up to be. The only real plus is that it IS QM2, and there is a fuss made when she comes into port - that was rather fun - but is she worth the fuss? Quite frankly,we didn't think so. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click