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3 Cunard Brisbane Cruise Reviews

After many cruises we decided to try a Cunard luxury cruise (from their advertising blurb) on Queen Vic. First impression Arrive up the gangway & be security checked. Find your own way to your cabin (you have been given a ships ... Read More
After many cruises we decided to try a Cunard luxury cruise (from their advertising blurb) on Queen Vic. First impression Arrive up the gangway & be security checked. Find your own way to your cabin (you have been given a ships map) Other ships at least have staff to direct you to your cabin, not Cunard 2nd impression 1st night in dining room. No breads on table, waiter serves you one bread roll & one portion of butter. Other ships have plates of ass. rolls on table & plenty of butter, you don't have to ask for a second roll. Hardly a luxury approach to dining. 3rd impression When ordering the main meal (entrée) I asked for a Caesar salad & told it was not available I could only have that which is on the menu. A little off-putting when Cunard tell you that you may have anything. It was available upstairs in the Lido bistro not in the dining room. At this time my idea of luxury travel has suffered a major set back. 3rd impression 1st morning breakfast in Lido, asked for grapefruit & told it was only available in the dining room, asked for smoked salmon, "sorry it is only available in dining room" So next day we ventured to the dining room for breakfast & had grapefruit & smoked salmon with an omelette which had been in a Bain maree for a considerable time, underdone toast & one portion of butter with cold coffee. So much for the luxury breakfast experience. Upstairs, hot coffee, stale bread rolls & yesterdays croissants but made to order omelettes, whoopee. The sad food experience goes on with a very poor selection in the bistro compared to Princess or Celebrity. Entertainment in my opinion was one step short of a disaster with English "comedians juggler, magician" & other guest entertainers of very ordinary talent performing 9 nights with the exception of the ship's singers & dancers; they were great but after 4 night in 18 they got a bit boring. You would see better shows at the local hall not on a 5 star luxury ship. Credit where credit is due; the ship was beautifully maintained, bar staff were top class, wait staff did a good but not spectacular job. Segregation of world cruisers & the hop on hop off crowd (1000 Aussies) was annoying; if Cunard want to segregate them & us they should go back to the 30'es & not run a hop on hop off boat The dress code didn't seem to be enforced very well as there were people around the ship in the evening not dressed according to the ship's rules. Many people ignored the hand sanitizers in the Lido & I'm surprised that there wasn't an outbreak of norovirus. On the health issue the ship was full of people with a cold or flu, we avoided the dreaded lurg by keeping clear of the cougher crowd & spray disinfecting our room every time we went in after a theatre or lounge visit. Another evergreen is the criticism of ship's tours & transfers, Cunard didn't let us down with their overpricing, e.g Hong Kong airport transfer US$35 (HK $ 280 pp) local taxi HK $ 230 for 2 pax incl luggage & a 34 minute ride door to door with no waiting for Cunard to fill the bus before departing. In Bali we hired a car with driver for the day cost was A$76 for 6 pax not A$ 75 per person on Cunard bus I wouldn't consider going on another hop on hop off cruise if it was free. The Cunard experience was not what I expected compared Princess, Celebrity or Holland America Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was a very short cruise to experience the excitement of life on the Queen Mary 2 - the great dame of the sea, the 5 star experience, I would like to point out we paid full price for our 2 days, in fact, more than what some passengers ... Read More
This was a very short cruise to experience the excitement of life on the Queen Mary 2 - the great dame of the sea, the 5 star experience, I would like to point out we paid full price for our 2 days, in fact, more than what some passengers on board paid for their nine days. Price is not something I ever bought up in discussion but some fellow passengers delighted in telling you about their bargains. Unfortunately I think Cunard has dropped its standards to accommodate the budget traveler. Pre cruise was a shambles, our cabin changed from middeck to aft without notification, our boarding tags were for Queen Elizabeth. Embarkation was quick and easy.Our balcony cabin was on the 8th level close to the library and was good although a little tired.The phone was not in working order and was not fixed during our stay. Service was excellent ,our cabin steward was excellent, room service was efficient and the restaurant staff were always cheerful and welcoming- so much so when they asked how our meals were we always said fine because there is nothing they could do to alter the quality. We went to shows both nights and they were both entertaining. Britannia Restaurant is a beautiful space, the food and wine service was very good and breakfast was more than adequate.Lunch and dinner unfortunately was exceptionally poor. I believe if I walked into the ship's kitchen it would be hard to find any fresh food- it appeared everything was cooked from the freezer. It was obvious the kitchen was working on a very tight budget as menus were all based on cheap ingredients.In fact at each meal time it was hard to find anything that was even appealing on the menu Food presentation was abysmal .Food was always warm ,never hot. Soups on offer were all very watery and had little flavour. The chowder was a milky liquid, void of any pieces of fish or seafood. Seabass presentation was appalling but at least tasted ok. Korma curry with vegetables and cashews, was a sloppy mess with no cashews and only a few very over stewed vegetables . Sirloin was cooked perfectly to order but was tasteless and chewy, fish batter was not crisp and chips cold- I won't go on as there is nothing good to say. It appears the standard on this ship has dropped enormously over the last few years. 2 star cruise at 5 star price. I was pleased we were only on board for a few days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We're first time cruisers and really looked forward to QM2, even after reading some of the more critical reviews here. That said our embarkation was relatively painless. No problems with photo's or credit card details, but a ... Read More
We're first time cruisers and really looked forward to QM2, even after reading some of the more critical reviews here. That said our embarkation was relatively painless. No problems with photo's or credit card details, but a number of other passengers who embarked in Brisbane did have those problems. Plenty to do onboard, the presentations that we attended between Brisbane and Hong Kong were superb and well delivered. Entertainment at night was less so, with shows only lasting 45 minutes being held at 8.30pm and 10.30pm. The formal night balls it was necessary to eat at Kings Court (Pigs in a Trough is the only description for this place) early so you could attend the ball that started at 9.45pm. Had to get to the Queens Room early (at least 30 minutes) in order to get a table/seat. Waiter service patchy with the balls, some waiters were really good, some seemed to hide in the shadows. Brittania Restaurant, the food was good. We got the 2nd sitting for Brisbane to Hong Kong and again between Hong Kong to Singapore, however our table mates made for excellent conversion. Our table mates were so good, we'd meet up in the Commodore Club for pre dinner drinks most nights. The service in Brittania was good be it breakfast, lunch or dinner however at times it felt very rushed and the menu's were nothing outstanding in terms of fine dining. The Commodore Club was an absolute gem, the diamond in the mud so to speak. It was a great spot to rest up during the day just reading a book or watching the world go by whilst sipping a coffee or something stronger if desired. The only complaint about the CC was the lack of dress standards after 6pm, jacket or jacket tie were required not shorts and t shirt as we saw on occasion. The staff did not pull up the passengers either. Cabin was an inside stateroom, that was quite adequate given we had it for 25 nights. Enough storage space provided (we had 4 large suitcases with us), the beds were okay, the air conditioning blows on your heads however and we both got head colds from this. The shower space in the ensuite could be slightly bigger which would make showering that little more pleasant, plus a good power point there would also help. We had no problems with the internal plumbing of our ensuite, but other passengers on our deck, deck 4 and 6 had to go without their toilets for a whole day due to plumbing issues (perhaps caused by passengers that do not understand English and therefore put things down the toilet that resulted in having the plumbing for half the ship out of action). Service by staff on the ship was very hit and miss. In Canyon Ranch Spa, it was UPSALE UPSALE by the staff. The photographery staff were pushy in getting photos of you taken in order to sell them at USD $30 a shot to you. Again in the photo gallery it was UP SELL UP SELL, the attitudes of the staff if you didn't take an UP SELL fell accordingly. Waiting staff in Brittania Restaurant were in general good. That said my partner asked 4 times for spinnach to be served with her eggs and 4 times she was told it was not available (it was when we spoke to a 5th waiter who was very surprised that she had not been able to get spinnach daily with her meal). The less that is said about Kings Court Restaurant the better. It was where the pigs came to eat and the shit began to fly. Menu wise was bland and the menu was repeated after 10 days. Waiter service was either pathetic or barely there with lots of junior waiters running around with absolutely no idea. Drinks service was pretty thin too. Fellow passengers, some were quite old and mobile others were clearly not so mobile. A number of passengers seemed to think it was okay to leave half empty coffee cups lying around all parts of the ship and on occasion we found half eaten meal plates left near the elevators by whomever had grabbed a meal from Kings Court. Some of the passengers clearly had "I'm King" attitude and lorded it over all the staff. Some of the staff had a "don't give a toss" attitude as well, which made us wonder just why they were on the ship in the first place. Some of the Ships Officers were not in my mind even Officer material, if they could find an excuse or disappear they would do so, they would certainly not be proactive. Our stateroom steward had to be asked repeatedly for soap, shampoo, slippers, fresh towels and oh yes to change the bed linen (done only twice in 25 days accordingly to my partner). The ships library is a highlight, very enjoyable with an excellent selection of books, the only drawback was the significant number of people talking to each other (libraries are supposed to be quiet but not here). The other plus was the library was just one deck directly below the Commodore Club, so you could easily grab a book/magazine and head for the Commodore Club for a read and drink. The ship itself is grand and in places stunning to look at. Its well maintained as it should be. Using the tenders to go ashore proved to be "interesting" at best and "woeful" at worst, whilst disembarkation in the 6 ports we visited (aside from Hong Kong) was at best "woeful". It could take a hour or longer to get off the ship (granted not always the fault of QM2), but when you are only in port for a day, losing an hour is not much fun. Ships tours in general were okay but do your homework before signing up. Not much point in doing a "active" tour if you have mobility issues and have to remain in the bus for most of the tour. In fact getting to the tour buses by our less active cruisers must have been difficult given the distances they had to cover in getting off QM2 and to the bus (again not QM2's fault). Overall, as first time cruisers we found the cruise "okay". That said we would not recommend QM2 or Cunard for cruising, as Carnival Cruises who now own Cunard have got their "cost cutters" into Cunard and its been reflected in all of the above comments. Its cut cut cut and if that means service gets cut or something is not available for a passenger too bad so be it, seems to be the current prevailing attitude of Cunard towards the paying passengers of QM2 today. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
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