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16 Cunard Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

Decided to make the short hop to Hamburg @ back to stock up on german goodies.. Encountered some interesting weather which was forecast well in advance. Had wonderful service, food and i am sure the entertainment would have been so too IF ... Read More
Decided to make the short hop to Hamburg @ back to stock up on german goodies.. Encountered some interesting weather which was forecast well in advance. Had wonderful service, food and i am sure the entertainment would have been so too IF i had chosen to make use of it. as an old QE2 superfan, any other ship struggles to compete, but having sailed the Mary and Victoria I was pleasantly surprised that the Elizabeth with her more subdued decor was the better of the 3. Only disappointment was the casino which looses all atmosphere with her reduced size , no bar and slots placed within feet of the cramped tables.felt more like an arcade than an adult gaming experience. plus side i saved lots of money by not being a regular. It might also have been helpful if All staff were aware of the "Vaping" policy on board and the fact that they don't produce smoke at all ... but these are observations and not complaints. My biggest bugbear are the moaners..Why do they bother to sail at all ? Cunard do everything to make even the shortest trip enjoyable,they can't control the weather and ships everywhere do bob up and down.and yes in winter we get wind near the uk...being late in was a bonus. nobody was billed for the extra meals provide. My favourite meeting point was the Churchill Lounge (for obvious reasons) The friendliest folk tend to pop in and out at all hours. with this trip due to the outdoor conditions being busier than most. So if you are a moaner stay away from Cunard... They continue to provide exactly what they claim too ..You get exactly what you are prepared to pay for..and on a 4 day hop leave all your pretensions and bad manners on shore. When the weather is inclement the crew have to work twice as hard and if only the brits would wash their hands before leaving the bathroom they couldn't even complain about having to sanitise so often. Yes I am a true brit but we as a nation have the worst statistics for bringing on the bugs. I enjoyed this trip as I always do.QE2 won't be coming back so don't waste time moaning and comparing. I certainly will be back but i do hope the moaners won't be. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We went on a mini cruise to Bruges Christmas market. Did not like it at all, All the prices on the ship was in USA dollars, which was confusing, The entertainment was not good, pianist (Vic Cooper), harpist (Rhianwen Pugh) & Eos ... Read More
We went on a mini cruise to Bruges Christmas market. Did not like it at all, All the prices on the ship was in USA dollars, which was confusing, The entertainment was not good, pianist (Vic Cooper), harpist (Rhianwen Pugh) & Eos string quartet, Ballroom and Latin Dance music,.very boring, there was a disco in the Yacht Club, but it was too small, you could not get a seat. No tea & coffee making facilities in the cabin. The times of the restaurant was too restricting 6pm or 8.30pm in the Britannia restaurant, and the food in the Lido restaurant was rubbish. We wanted to go ashore to the Christmas market the price was about $66. So we asked for a timetable to go on the train, the timetable we were given and the price list was wrong. I definitely would not recommend this company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present ... Read More
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present to each other. We boarded and everything looked as it should even though there was a strong smell of fuel around the bar and casino area, they must just be refuelling we thought! We went for our evening meal on the first night and the staff looked in a zombiefied state, maybe it was the smell of fuel that was getting to them, however we did notice a very restrained atmosphere and that worsened as the voyage progressed. The next day at sea there was growing concern that we were not going to dock in Amsterdam as apparently the weather was bad, not that you would have guessed that by looking out of the window. The morning we were hoping to dock we awoke and it was deadly still, we turned on the TV and the entertainments director was advising the passengers to take an umbrella and wishing us a good and enjoyable day in Amsterdam. Excellent we are here, so leaping over and opening the curtain it was beyond a disappointment that we were actually heading back down the channel in the other direction and so that's how it remained for the next two days going up and down the channel with no information coming from the captain, not only that, I don't think anyone saw the captain during this whole ordeal, he still didn't appear when hundreds of people were chanting we want the captain at the reception area. Had he lost his spine? It was then announced that the ship was going to have to dock early at Southampton as work had to be done on the fuel tanks , this was no doubt why we had to put up with the smell of fuel for the whole of this saga. By this time hundreds of passengers were itching to disembark as soon as possible and that is why hundreds of people did disembark a night earlier, The entertainments laid on were lacklustre the shows lasted a pitiful 45 minutes and were mediocre at best. This had been a terrible experience so when we got home we made a complaint and expected carnival/cunard to do the honourable thing of offering a reasonable compensation package to us hard working people that had been taken for a ride on this so called cruise to Amsterdam . It took three or more weeks for a reply offering $25 off another cruise with them. What an insult. If you are looking for an uncaring corporate company that are happy to hide behind a force majeure clause to avoid paying compensation even when, according to the Amsterdam cruise port website, the Britannia Beaver tanker and the Merlin Diver vessel docked at Amsterdam during this time . Then good luck. We however after being treated like this will never set foot on any carnival / cunard / p&o line, So it looks like they wont have to honour their enormously insulting $25 offer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I am sure by now you will have heard all about the 4 nights and 5 days of going around in circles,the strong smell of fuel, the very bad service in the Britannia restaurant the food cold having to wait up to three quarters of an hour in ... Read More
I am sure by now you will have heard all about the 4 nights and 5 days of going around in circles,the strong smell of fuel, the very bad service in the Britannia restaurant the food cold having to wait up to three quarters of an hour in between courses, because people were sending food back,even in the shops because they had to mention that on top of the high prices we also had to pay VAT because we did not get out of our waters,and so it was take it or leave it, so we left it.I have been on all the queens my first being the Victoria some years ago when the the service was the top of the industry as far as I was concerned,and I could not wait to return and go on her sister ship but what a shock.As I said in my title" So Sad So Bad " Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were also on this I'll fated cruise. Embarkation was OK. Our balcony cabin looked lovely until we saw the toilet. Hence we had to clean it ourselves to remove the remnants under the seat from the last passengers, not a great start ... Read More
We were also on this I'll fated cruise. Embarkation was OK. Our balcony cabin looked lovely until we saw the toilet. Hence we had to clean it ourselves to remove the remnants under the seat from the last passengers, not a great start for a 5* ship. We found the maître'd rude as it didn't fit into his plans when we asked for a table for 2 for lunchtime in the Brittania restaurant after receiving bad news that we were in fact not docking anywhere. We would never had gone on this trip if we had been given the choice. Apparently we were never going anyway, some staff had said the ship had technical diificulties and they wanted to get to Southampton a day earlier to fix this in time for the next big Xmas cruise, The excuse from the Captain was bad weather!!!! Hmmm. We saw P&O/Brittany ferries passing us regularly!! The food in the evening was poor either cold or the meat was grizzly, most worryingly was young kids and babies were near us on the late 2nd sitting making loud noises or crying!! Weve been cruising for years and have never seen this before. The wine waiter was rude. I asked for the cheaper merlot, he explained I should stick to the expensive one or even get that bottle, when I asked why he said the cheaper wine was a pain for him to get as he would have to make a big effort and go to the bar!!!! Why do these people get 15% gratuity??? By the way I suggested I would get my own drink if it was too much for him after all it was on the wine list he had given me!!!! Sadly after being stuck bobbing about on the English channel was making all of us stir crazy sad and very unhappy. At least we saw Dover the Dover again and maybe the coast off Cornwall. The Captain hardly communicated with anyone, I think the offer of 75$ pp to make it up to us was awful. The ship docked a day earlier and it was so sad seeing hundreds of people desperate to get off all with their suitcases. Do not use Parking4cruises they never answered anyone's calls or emails as they had our car we were forced to stay onboard. I so wanted to get off I had to stay on this ghost ship. Our table had gone so I just sat in my cabin crying it was that miserable. To add insult to injury, when I got home a few days a later I saw a rogue translation taken for 20$ on my credit card? I telephoned Cunard who managed to contact the ship and guess what it was a mistake!!!! How many others have they done this to? A few pounds here and there is theft. I got a refund within a day when I mentioned it was really a form of theft as it was taken off me on 24 Dec I wasn't onboard! The ship docked on 22nd???? Sadly we will not come back, their Queen Mary was better. We are awaiting to hear from Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the “notorious” Christmas Markets in Amsterdam Cruise on MS Queen Elizabeth. This was our first cruise, chosen so that we could sample the Cunard experience. The ship could not dock in Amsterdam as planned due to adverse ... Read More
We were on the “notorious” Christmas Markets in Amsterdam Cruise on MS Queen Elizabeth. This was our first cruise, chosen so that we could sample the Cunard experience. The ship could not dock in Amsterdam as planned due to adverse weather conditions. Complaints from just five passengers were the basis of a Daily Mail report which stated, “Around 2,100 passengers on board the Queen Elizabeth were furious at the decision to turn back”. This claim that all passengers were furious is an utter lie. The photograph of the so-called mutiny at Reception shows less than 30 people, around 1% of the 2,100 passengers. We were completely unaware of the demonstration at the time and certainly would have avoided it if we did. So, what was our view of the cruise? We liked the service and food. That in the Britannia Restaurant was very good; our special meal in the Verandah Restaurant was absolutely superb. Our basic inner State Room was well-appointed and spotless and our steward was very helpful and friendly. We enjoyed lectures by Martin Bell and Michael Whitehouse plus entertainment by The Beatles Experience. However the “Royal” Cunard Singers and Dancers were not our favourites. We disliked all extras being charged in US dollars. Charges were fairly expensive anyway and more so due to tourist exchange rates offered by banks and credit cards. I disliked the sale of low-cost ex-demonstration watches on board, which I thought cheapened Cunard’s brand image. We did notice the unpleasant smell of oil in the Golden Lion Pub. We do not know whether this was diesel or heavy fuel oil, but neither aroma goes well with your pie and a pint. Of course we were disappointed when Captain Alistair Clark announced that the ship could not dock at Amsterdam, but we accepted that this was due to bad weather. Perhaps the ship could have made it into the port but not sailed in time when the weather worsened, thus delaying the lucrative Christmas Cruise to the Canaries that followed ours. Who knows? In any event we were satisfied with the Captain’s announcements and pleasantly surprised when 75 dollars per person was deducted from everyone’s on-board bill. Our Clot of the Cruise award goes to the Entertainments Officer. On the morning that we did not dock in Amsterdam his TV programme welcomed us to Amsterdam and warned us to take umbrellas on shore due to the weather forecast. Maybe this stupid error contributed to the “mutiny”. We have learned two lessons on this cruise: 1. Do not believe anything you read in the Daily Mail. 2. Give P & O a chance next time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I just completed the World Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. When we thought of taking the cruise we researched as much as we could; but little success. So here is our review of Cunard and the 2014 QE World Cruise. We booked a ... Read More
My wife and I just completed the World Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. When we thought of taking the cruise we researched as much as we could; but little success. So here is our review of Cunard and the 2014 QE World Cruise. We booked a Penthouse mid-ships and the Queens Grill. The total cost of our trip was just under $200k. On Cunard, you pay for everything; drinks laundry, internet, etc. Cunard Getting on and off The Embarkation process with Cunard was a disaster in San Francisco. Cunard had no staff to direct you to the ship. We ended up a few feet away from another ship before realizing it was not the QE. The group with us was not too pleased. The Debarkation Process in Southampton was unpleasant. You had to gather your luggage, find a porter, go thru Customs, then get it a Cunard Truck (we were transferring to the Queen Mary to return to the US), and then board a Bus to the QM Terminal. There was no Custom’s inspections since we were “In-Transit). So Cunard should have transferred our bags to the Queen Mary. The experience was a disaster. Grills (Princess and Queens) Cunard’s offerings in the Grills do not meet its advertisements. The food is just average. Cunard says you will have private areas on the ship to take in the Sun etc. This is not the case. Non- Grill passengers used all the areas without incurring the expense. Cunard did have signs on Saying for “Grill Passengers Only” but no enforcement. On average the Grills offering costs passengers $35,000 per person extra. What you receive in return is not worth the expense. You would be better off using the Britannia Club for your food and book some of the larger staterooms. Religious Cunard stopped having Priests or Rabbi on the QE and QV. I can understand that in 2008, but not today. We will not be sailing on a Cunard Ship until they provide this offering. Advertising Cunard’s corporate office used the QE as its advertising tool at the expense of its passengers. When the QE was approaching Sydney Harbor, the access to the ship’s forward decks was locked to passengers. The ships’ deck crew was busy putting up a 200’ Flag saying “Happy Mardi Gras” to celebrate Gay & Lesbians Mardi Gras in Sydney. The ships passengers were furious over the inability to take pictures and enjoy the arrival. Queen Elizabeth The QE is a fantastic ship. If you have sailed on the QV, you will find much the same. The service in the Grills was beyond belief. The head Maître, Ico and Kruno were the best team, I have experienced in 40 years of taking cruises. The food in the Gills was average. We took the maiden voyage on the QV back in 2008. The food on the QV was exceptional. So we were a disappointed in food offerings. The Butler service was exceptional. Our butler was Natalia. She gave us such great service. We had Penthouse mid-ships, Suite 4101. It was fantastic in that we had minimal ship movement when the other passengers Forward and Aft, we experiencing the effect of big waves. The Suites back Aft, experienced both the waves and the vibration of the ship's screws. A good friend staying in the QE's largest Suites said it perfectly “I didn't pay $250,000 plus for a vibrator; if I wanted one, I would have brought we me. The crew on the QE was outstanding. Everyone went out of their way to make you feel you were a part of their family. Tours and Pictures: Both of these offerings are done by companies that service Cunard’s ships; Outsourced. Our experience with the Tour Department was so bad. We started off my taking tours via Cunard’s coaches. I am 6’1 and 240lbs. The coaches were so small; my knees were in my chest. In addition, a respiratory infection took hold of the passengers. The coaches became a “Petrie Dish” with many of the passengers spreading the infection to other passengers. Our solution was to take the Private Car option. It should have been a great decision but the Tour Department screwed up most of the bookings. You can plan on paying approximately double over the market rate on shore. We finally did this in the last two ports. We had new Mercedes, great drivers and tour guides at half of the price of Cunard. My only recommendation if you decide to stick with the ship’s Tour Departments offering is to demand detailed confirmations 3 days before you reach the port of call. In Haifa, the Tour Department, failed to give the driver our points of interest we wanted to visit. In addition, the provided only a driver who served as a guide; not good. Demand both a driver and guide so you can enjoy your visit. Summary: The World Cruise on the QE was worth the costs. We will not take another on Cunard since they ceased having Priests or Rabbi(s) on board the QE and QV. I would stay away from using the Tour Departments’ Private Car option. In addition, I would bring 4 Z-Packs of antibiotics for infections. The ship’s Medical Department ran out of Z-Packs mid-way in our cruise. We had 4+ deaths on the ship which is normal for a World Cruise. Cunard handled the sad event with so much compassion for the affected families. This department in Cunard is to be praised for their handlings of such unexpected events.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Thought the QM 2 was a lovely ship. Difficult to find one's way around in the five days! Would love to do the transatlantic trip with her as the activities we understood to be on offer on those trips would have been marvellous. ... Read More
Thought the QM 2 was a lovely ship. Difficult to find one's way around in the five days! Would love to do the transatlantic trip with her as the activities we understood to be on offer on those trips would have been marvellous. Just a few negatives: The check in was very slow, people not due to check in until the afternoon had arrived in the morning and were processed which seemed to annul totally the point of staggering check ins. We arrived at the designated time 12 md and were left an hour and a half. The couple we sat with were due to check in at three but had arrived at 11 and were processed as we arrived. There seemed be a great deal of negativity amongst the staff particularly in the cafeteria where internal wrangles were obvious. There was insufficient bar staff particularly in the Casino but those that were there 1 or 2 were excellent considering the pressure they were consistently under. All in all we had a great trip enjoying Rotterdam, Zeebrugger and Le Havre. Used River Taxis in Rotterdam, Trams in Zeebrugger and a taxi with 4 others in Lehavre to go to Hons Fleur. Fun! Car Parking Firm However, we would just like to extol the virtue of and say how efficient the Car Parking Service of APH, Airport Parking & Hotels were and we felt that their charges were very reasonable too. All we had to do was to phone a number 20 mins before arrival, a member of staff was then alerted to our arrival, gave us instructions to park in the short term car park where he awaited to take the car over. All took five - ten minutes. The same procedure on the way back. We left the ship at 0855 and were on the road on our way home by 09:10 hrs. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
When my husband and I saw this mini cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for 5 days to and from Southampton (we live about and hour away) we thought what an ideal opportunity to try this iconic brand. Our past experience consists of seven cruises ... Read More
When my husband and I saw this mini cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for 5 days to and from Southampton (we live about and hour away) we thought what an ideal opportunity to try this iconic brand. Our past experience consists of seven cruises on Celebrity, Royal Carribean and more recently Azamara Club and Oceania.We were expecting great things from Cunard! Embarkation from start to finish took about 50 minutes so no complaints and there was a welcome bottle of champagne in our stateroom. The stateroom itself was a bit basic in decor considering Queen Elizabeth is only 2 years old but that sort of thing dosen`t spoil a holiday for us. What does however is bad service and mediocre food. The Lido buffet was like a bun fight at breakfast and lunch, with not enough food areas open and the standard of food was the worst we have had on any of the mentioned cruise lines. I ordered a fresh pizza one lunchtime which was O.K. but received such surly service from the chef I wanted to apologise for being so awkward! The Britannia dining room food was nice enough but again the worst out of all the cruise lines mentioned. The service was good apart from the sommelier who had so many tables to look after we got to our main course before he had time to take our wine order. You could not help but feel sorry for him. Likewise service in the Golden Lion was not good/ bordering on chaotic; we waited 35 minutes for some drinks and when they came they were wrong. This seemed to be the norm rather than the exception. The service around the pool area and on deck was virtually non existant. If you wanted a drink you had to get it yourself and at one point I saw an old lady march off to find an officer and some waiters to come and clear the dirty glasses and cups that were on almost every table. Needless to say they did not make it up to the top level where we were, so we just sat staring at the mess! I don`t want to appear like a professional moaner so I must mention The Verandah restaurant which we paid to eat in on the 2nd night and went back to on our last night (also we could not face the Britannia dining room again). The food was worthy of a michelin star and the service was the best I have ever had.The head waiter made crepes suzette at the table which was impressive and delicious. The public areas on the ship were all very nice and we particularly enjoyed The Commodore Club and the Yacht Club. A fantastic pianist and an amazing Caribbean band made for great entertainment,and dancing in the nightclub. We aways try and make the best of any situation so it would be wrong to say we did not have a good time but it is with regret that we will not be travelling with Cunard again. Take my advise and try someone else where the food and service is up to scratch. I find it slightly amusing that Cunard insists on high standards of dress from its passengers and yet is unable to deliver high standards itself. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
After a 60 minute wait we boarded the ship at 1pm, dropped off our luggage at the cabin, and had a quick lunch at the Lido buffet. We enjoyed everything about our cruise, especially eating in the Britania Club restaurant, most of our ... Read More
After a 60 minute wait we boarded the ship at 1pm, dropped off our luggage at the cabin, and had a quick lunch at the Lido buffet. We enjoyed everything about our cruise, especially eating in the Britania Club restaurant, most of our meals were taken there, we were looked after most royaly by our waiters Emmanual and Dennis. Nothing was too much trouble for them, eg. extra sauces, extra vegetables. A bonus of eating in this restaurant was having the freedom to eat when we chose, without the cost of the grills. We ate fish and chips at the Golden Lion one lunchtime, always very popular,and sometimes hard to get a table. We had afternoon tea most days in the Lido buffet as there were long queues at the Queens room, and we had previously enjoyed this experience on the Queen Victoria. Ditno, out cabin steward soon knew our routine, and our cabin was always cleaned on our return from breakfast, he also regularaly checked if there was anything else we needed. We had a wonderful sailaway from Hamburg on the Sunday,the marathon had been held earlier in the day, and crowds lined the banks to wave us off. I have read previous reviews of this cruise, and I can only comment on our experiences. We had a wonderful cruise, we were treated with respect and friendliness by all,and we are counting the days for our next cruise on the Queen Mary for the Queens Jubilee. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
What other company design all their contracts so that THEY can break them at will and be so unforgiving when unfortunate circumstances occur to their customers. This was a round the world cruise of 106 nights on two liners QE and QM2 ... Read More
What other company design all their contracts so that THEY can break them at will and be so unforgiving when unfortunate circumstances occur to their customers. This was a round the world cruise of 106 nights on two liners QE and QM2 and booked 18 months before departure at a cost of 20,000+to include 7 day stay in Sydney ,all gratuities ,"round the world" dinners in Sydney and Dubai and on board spend and various other RTW goodies. Unfortunately I was sick 7 months before embarkation and did not get fit to travel until a day before embarkation date. Had to cancel first part due to the illness but advised Cunard and agent that I wanted to pick up the cruise ASAP hopefully New York. Got doctors clearance and approached agent (ROL). No problem but Cunard want full payment again!!!. I couldn't believe that this could be so and took to contact them myself, and it was this that should have sounded warning bells about Cunards attitudes, but to cut a long story short I managed after many calls to get them, or rather Amy, the only Cunard employee who had any resemblance of customer service about her, to re-instate the second half, Sydney home, and I paid for first half again on QE to Sydney from San Francisco. Swallow hard and get under way with the aim to enjoy ourselves and forget it. Embarked at San Francisco on QE then we felt the full force of Cunards meanness. They are completely soulless, have no empathy and only after the fast buck which they relieve you of by the bucket loads. They had removed our "round the world" status and cancelled all our benefits, no dinners in Sydney and Dubai, we received no invitations' to Cocktail parties etc, no onboard spend although I did manage to get a small amount on second leg, no tips paid, no gifts of shawl decanters etc and no 7 day hotel stay in Sydney, which left us to find our own accommodation . This after them collecting a cool £10,000extra, pure profit, from my unforseen circumstances and charging us again to get to Sydney, plus their usual make from RTW fare. No luck on QE so tried on QM2 and no amount of discussions with the pursers or senior officers had any effect and found that saying "NO" had to be a company policy and it will be sorted out by Southampton. The fact that we would not be back to Southampton for nearly 4 months didn't seem to feature in their thinking. They really couldn't have cared less from the Captain down. Two fellow round the worlders wrote to the Captain, no reply, and the Hotel Manager who invited us to sit on his table for dinner. Hopefully we might be getting somewhere but he never said a word about any of it. I suppose he patronisingly thought the honour of sitting on his table would remedy all. Wrong it made it worse and it was galling to see on their blog the treatment he received when he recently retired. This situation caused embarrassment to the rest of the party but we just had to get on with it and try not to let it affect our trip. Near impossible. So why wait some six months after disembarkation to do this review. It has taken this long to sort out two other minor matters that only the Cunard brick wall needed penetrating. Not easy and it was was only after court proceedings had begun for a ruined blazer that they very very grudgingly paid up. They, Cunard, spent 3 months arguing and stonewalling over a ruined blazer that was so obviously and blatantly their fault. To this day they cannot bring themselves to just confirm that one of my bags went missing on disembarkation. I did forget to collect it but contacted them 90 minutes after disembarkation. Of course nothing to do with Cunard all my fault even though the bag should have been kept secure by them. They even intimated that passengers collect their own bags and then claim insinuating that I was a liar. They did nothing to try and trace it. I have two letters from the same person written on the same day giving four different dates, none of them for the day I reported it. So what about the cruise itself. Even though we had our problems the plus side was definitely the QM2 which was very smooth and only showed any sign of being affected by the wind while crossing the Bay of Biscay. The down side of the QM2 though was that we lost complete power on 2 occasions to add to the 2 on the outward trip. Glad it happened on calm days. A rough sea would have been a more unpleasant experience. The cabins were adequate but not over spacious, we found the food pretty good in Britannia restaurant and also the speciality nights in the Kings Court very good. Not so in the Todd English restaurant which I thought was disgusting and very over priced and over hyped. They could not even cook a scallop, well they could and did for god knows how long and they emerged like marbles. The staff were excellent in the Britannia restaurant and the cabins, the entertainment was very average to poor and why do they keep employing singers whose only repertoire consists of Les Miserable and Phantom. Believe me after 3 months you run for cover whenever they open their mouths. No not impressive, nor do I recall one memorable show. Some lectures were good. Gerald Scarfe brilliant, sometimes near the mark, and a lecturer from the salvage firm of Schmidt, whose name escapes me was knowledgeable and a very good presenter and was involved in the Russian submarine sinking. "Cruising" is somewhat of a misnomer, you are in fact just subsidising a huge ferry to get round the world. As round the world customers, well we weren't in CUNARDS eyes, but we were in fares if not in miles, and were treated no differently than those that used it to do short segments. These caused disruption to the routines and changed the character of the ship every time, and sometimes not for the better. As many as 1500 can come and go at some major ports. Shore trips very expensive and comes under the heading things they don't tell you. The main problem is that QM2 is so large that most cruise terminals cannot accommodate it. This means that it has to dock in container terminals, not attractive and usually a long way from where you want to be. Worst example was Bangkok. 3 hour coach trip to have just 4 hours there and then 3 hours back and this was often the case and well you can imagine the driving conditions in some of these places. Even Hong Kong was a 40 minute tender trip to shore. These are some of the other extortionate schemes they devised to relieve you of your cash.. The internet is like pouring money down the drain. It just does not work and you pay for all the down time. A picture that they take by the hundreds will set you back $25, every drink you buy they add 15% irrespective of any service and all activities in the Spa will set you back a pretty penny. They then have these supposedly luxury shops who then transform themselves into market traders to try and get rid of there very average goods by setting up in the corridors and blocking the way for those trying to get through. If you have been to Petticoat Lane you will have a very good idea of what they were like. Having booked early CUNARD dropped three important ports of call from the itinerary at their whim. Hiroshima which we were particularly looking forward to and replaced by an extra day in Sydney (we had already had 7 days there) Napier NZ where we were to meet up with friends. They didn't even bother to advise us that this was cancelled. The last one was Lisbon which was replaced by Malaga!! From a senior officers comments it appeared that they would not pay for the extra fuel to run the gas turbines. Of course there is no comeback, it is all in the small print and not their fault. You would have thought they might establish these visits long before the cruise date and not advertise them and cancel them after you have paid. Never mind they always have the small print. This must be a CUNARD habit as there were a number of seasoned cruisers who could not recall missing a scheduled call on any other line except for weather. The final confirmation that CUNARD are not the company to do business with was after writing a personal letter addressed to the MD Peter Shanks, addressee only , just asking him for "his" comments to our CUNARD experience, not customer services comments as I already had a large file of them. You probably guessed, he did not even read it and it was answered by a customer service clerk with the usual insincere clap trap. I thought it was just me who had problems and so I had a quick look at others comments before I put it on the critics sites and it was somewhat re-assuring to see that It was not only me who had become bitter and twisted but there are many others with similar views of CUNARD and seemingly angrier than me. e.g." All the gloss on the surface and deeply cold and uncaring to the core" " The Internet, In essence a divisive and sly 'con'" "Will I go on a World cruise again, never we are the forgotten passengers." "Once they have your money, you're almost forgotten" "Their replies to complaints have been grossly insulting implying I am a liar." And one from someone whose mother died and they would not transfer names so he forfeited his money in disgust. We also experienced all of the above. So there it is you pay your money and take your choice. I am sure many people like Cunard probably because they haven't had a problem. Make sure you know the rules if it all goes wrong because there is absolutely no one who you can turn to for help on shore or on ship. Come to think of it if there was someone they would not help as I found to my cost as it is not one of Cunards mission statements to deal with customers other than to relieve them of cash. On the plus side we met many new friends who have kept together since and some ports of call were good, Vietnam to name one. The only fly in the ointment are CUNARD themselves. Their inability to deal with any complaint is obviously company policy and they will swear black is white and treat you like an imbecile or even worse a liar. So farewell CUNARD. It would be nice to think that someone of some authority in Cunard reads these and just might think we may have a problem here. Dream on, we believed the hype and we paid for it, literally. We shall not be tempted again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
In my mind, this appears to be.... 'the mother of all ships'. I'm interested to see that there are other large liners on here that get higher votes. I like that. It gives me other options. This ship is immense, beautiful, ... Read More
In my mind, this appears to be.... 'the mother of all ships'. I'm interested to see that there are other large liners on here that get higher votes. I like that. It gives me other options. This ship is immense, beautiful, and finished to a very very high standard. We selected club dining so had a table that we could use at anytime. It really worked for us. The staff were brilliant. The wine waiter Jakob was fantastic. We couldn't have asked for more. Nothing was too much trouble. Jakob took us on a journey each evening with our wine choices. He knew roughly what we liked so we accepted his choice. Very very entertaining. Stunning food. Fantastic dining area. We loved it. The entertainment onboard was equally as fantastic. There was sooo much choice. The Red Lion pub quizzes were a big hit. The bands playing in the various bars equally good. A cinema on board with a few hundred seats. A fantastic theatre. A beautiful ballroom. We loved the black tie captains evening. We loved Blake on the last night. Lots of stuff to keep people entertained whilst crossing the Oceans, (not for me I'd rather get on once it's crossed). LeHavre was a pleasant enough port. Not much there. I wanted to visit Hornfleur but with so much to see on the ship in such a small time slot we decided not to. Brugge was beautiful. A lovely lovely city. We took a cab from the side of the QM2 and used the same people to get back. We loved every minute of this once onboard. A little glitch getting on board as the ship wasn't ready and we kind of got stuck for a couple of hours in a holding area in Southampton. Not too much of a problem though. Thank you Cunard for creating a really special experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I have recently returned from a weekend trip on the QM2 to Cherbourg in France. I am a seasoned cruiser have done over 20 cruises with both P&O and Royal Carribean (many times) and NCL (twice) so I feel I have a lot to compare it ... Read More
I have recently returned from a weekend trip on the QM2 to Cherbourg in France. I am a seasoned cruiser have done over 20 cruises with both P&O and Royal Carribean (many times) and NCL (twice) so I feel I have a lot to compare it with. How disappointed I am with so many aspects of the trip. I imagined Cunard to be "the creme de la creme of cruising" service, food, entertainment and the ship itself but this was not really the case in most parts: 1. The service in the restaurant at dinner was appalling - we were sat with empty plates on our table for over 20 minutes before our next course came, the water was never topped up, no service with a smile and most things too much trouble. All in all the food was rubbish, lukewarm and very poor quality and the service was really slow. We were told they were short staffed so assumed this was because it was a weekender and therefore had allowed staff days off but this should not be the case just because its a short trip. 2. The layout of the ship is absolutely unbelievable. There is no open pool in the middle of the sun deck like on most ships, to get to the queens room you have to cut through one of the restaurants or go a deck higher/lower than the queens room and go up/down - this was awful especially at mealtimes when you felt you were disrupting the diners. The buffet style restaurant was even worse, set out very oddly with little bits of islands here and there but nothing with any substance so you felt you had to walk around it all in case you missed anything - it just wasn't in one large area like most ships I have been on. 3. The choice of food was very poor - I am a vegetarian so it was even harder for me but even the meat eaters in our party struggled and was disappointed. The only thing I can say that was a good experience was the afternoon tea, our cabin steward did a really good job and the bands were great. If it was my very first cruising experience I would not have been impressed and certainly would not have the cruising bug. One of our party was a first-timer and she certainly wasn't impressed and just thought it was ok! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Findings from the 2011 World Tour maiden voyage of the Queen ElizabethFood and drink: Did not eat a piece of fruit that was ripe and ready when it looked like it was rotting. Vegetables were never done and very little so ask for more was ... Read More
Findings from the 2011 World Tour maiden voyage of the Queen ElizabethFood and drink: Did not eat a piece of fruit that was ripe and ready when it looked like it was rotting. Vegetables were never done and very little so ask for more was not an option if it is not done. Lots of lamb and poultry like duck and guinea fowl. Tasty meat was a few times. Coffee was one day too weak and too strong the other day. Really good but a few times. And endive salad was just lettuce with very few ingredients. Potatoes were not cooked and was therefore mostly rice. Quality food absolutely no 5 *. Only the Veranda restaurant, met the 5 * (super).Operation: Waiters fought a lot among themselves and were only controlled by their superiors. Mostly lazy and uninterested staff and often to clear the table mid-meal. In short, they do not know their stuff.Entertainment: In a world cruise repetitions and often shows for kids like morons, or a juggler or magician. There were beautiful costumes but we have seen them only 2 times. The theater was seldom full and people rarely walked quickly away. The sound of the orchestra was often more important and thus harder than the performing artist as a harpist and singer. Shortly, quality was very poor.Accommodation: The air conditioning was sometimes off and sometimes in some places it was 15 degrees and often in the restaurant almost 30 degrees. The coffee machines have been broken for days and a cup of cappuccino could not be donated. The TV has two British and two American stations but only one sports channel in the air for three weeks. Furthermore you missed all the sport.Dress Code: Lots formally a malfunctioning air conditioning does not contribute to a nice meal. Always one to suit what's wrong with a nice shirt or a polo.Passengers: On board Russians and Muslims in their own way travel experience. This is very different from the other passengers. Many children on board which is not helping to create a pleasant cruise.Information: Every day there will be a newspaper (daily program) that cut and paste is put together and full of errors. Furthermore, we did not enter Aruba and Bali but it is canceled for some unknown reason why we never communicated. This seems to be normal. Daily also published a newspaper in your own language, but you have to ask 4 times before this is settled. Furthermore, also in English (especially the cruise director) is not known that other countries in the world than England.Disembark: Upon arrival at Southampton, I had to first pick up the car. Asked when leaving the ship on 3 persons of security or should I return after the car was retrieved. No problem if you show the boarding pass but there is no problem. After all, you paid for these days and this date is also mentioned. Showing you never come back on board and after information from four individuals showed that this was impossible. So the telephone to call the ship and asked if anyone wanted to empty my cabin (there were 3 bags) it lasted a whole 2.5 hours and the result that the train to France that was made was not reached. It costs nearly 100 euros over again.Summary: The Queen Elizabeth is a 5 star ship and the whole earn less than 4 stars it was also evident in the evenings where a retirement home just after eleven which was 95% in bed Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This cruise was for the 4th of July celebration. There was 5 of us in total. Previous cruises have been with P and O Celebrity and RCCL which we enjoyed. So we were expecting something really special from the QM2. The embarkation process ... Read More
This cruise was for the 4th of July celebration. There was 5 of us in total. Previous cruises have been with P and O Celebrity and RCCL which we enjoyed. So we were expecting something really special from the QM2. The embarkation process was smooth for us, we didn't have any problems, though a lot of people were complaining that they hadn't received their suitcases. An announcement was put out saying there was a problem with the staff doing the loading. So where do I start. It was lovely to see everyone really dressed up every evening, the ladies in long dresses the gents in their Tux. The entertainment was good. Cabin we couldn't fault. But it was the food! The service in the main restaurant was not as we thought it would be. Just little things, the waiter would start to clear the plates whilst our other diners were still eating, and once I had a plate whipped away, and I hadn't finished. The food was very mediocre, nothing special, very small portions, not that we are greedy, but comparing to other cruises we have been on, it came bottom of the list. We wondered if it was because this was a New york - New york cruise, stopping at Boston and Halifax, and not transatlantic, so they downgraded the service. Sorry can't remember cabin number, but it was clean, quiet, inside cabin on deck 6. Air con was great, not noisy and easily adjustable, TV was a bit out dated, they didn't have the service where you can check your bill. Plenty of hanging space, bathroom - plenty of space, and hot water. Towels changed morning and night. On the QM2 they have launderette facilities which we Brits love, but I should imagine if you have a cabin close to this area it could be annoying. deck 6 is great as it goes straight out to the pool area. Other complaint was the schedule was not as advertised, originally there should be a day and half in Boston, but only stayed one day, then cruised back to New york at a snails pace with the excuse being made by the captain that they needed to go slow because of the whales. Positive - had a great party on board July 4th, but couldn't really see the fireworks over Boston from the ship. Highlight of the cruise - sailing out of New York - just brilliant, very special. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Review: Queen Mary 2 Independence Weekend Sampler Cruise (July 2-5, 2005) Previous Cruises: Carnival Victory - Canada Voyager of the Seas - Western Caribbean Members in our Party - 7 My wife and me (late 40s), two sons (12 and 17), my ... Read More
Review: Queen Mary 2 Independence Weekend Sampler Cruise (July 2-5, 2005) Previous Cruises: Carnival Victory - Canada Voyager of the Seas - Western Caribbean Members in our Party - 7 My wife and me (late 40s), two sons (12 and 17), my two sisters (early 60s) and a family friend (51) Embarkation: A We used a car service to travel from Jersey City to the pier. They arrived early and we arrived at the pier in about 30 minutes at 10:45 a.m. Cunard's documents told us that no one would be boarded until 1:30 but you never believe your documents. We dropped off our luggage and went up to the waiting room in Customs Hall where chairs were set up. Your waiting area was based on the dining room you chose. At 12:30 they started the embarkation process. Less than a half hour later we were on board. As you entered the ship the Atrium was all decorated with flags and bunting for the Fourth and a line up of crew in tuxes and white gloves welcomed you aboard along with a harpist playing in the background. Cabins: A We had two outside cabins towards the front of deck 6. Very roomy with lots of storage space. Met Deirdre, our stewardess (her term), and asked her to put our beds together for us, which she did while we were at lunch. The Cunard policy is not to put the beds together if you have people in the pullmans above, but they will do so upon request. The concern is that the kids will fall out on top of you, but I'd rather have them fall on me and a mattress than on the hard floor hitting their heads on the end tables. The configuration on Carnival makes more sense. They have a sofa that turns into a single with the pullman above that. Cunard also has a tasteful vinyl mat that they put on the bed for you to place your luggage and nice throw pillows and shams. The beds were the most comfortable I've had at sea as were the pillows, and the featherbed comforter was terrific. Robes were provided for everyone. There are no animal folded towels on the QM2. The bathroom is adequate with the largest shower I've seen in an outside view stateroom. All the necessary soaps, shampoos, etc were provided. Pool towels were in the vanity. The safe was operated by combination or using a credit card's magnetic strip. When you enter your cabin the TV is already on and tuned to the video showing you how to use your life vest. The TV has limited channels but includes CNN and ESPN. Each morning, the cruise director hosted a show "Good Morning QM2" with the lead dancer serving as weather girl. The TVs also have a wireless keyboard for e-mail. Cost is $1.50 per message sent or received. Muster drill: A The muster drill on the QM2 is done in various rooms throughout the ship. Ours was in the gym. Food: B- Service: C The food in the dining room was very good, but the selection was limited. They try to be too fancy with sauces, etc. Carnival is superior and Royal Caribbean's is also better. One lobster tail had to be returned because it was rubbery and tasted bad. The prime rib and garlic shrimp were both excellent. The lemonade, iced tea and juices allowed us to get by without buying soda. Service in the dining room was sporadic and somewhat disorganized and slow. The layout is tight. Because of the fireworks in New York Harbor, the last night was open seating. We went at the usual time (early seating 5:45) and got seated right away. Those who came later had extremely long waits to get a table. The variety in the King's Court is good, but the food is nothing special (although the fresh fruit selection was wonderful) Again Carnival was much better while Royal Caribbean's Windjammer was the worst of the three. The King's Court has 4 sections; the Carvery, the Lotus, La Piazza and the Chef's Galley. The Carvery and Chef's Galley were the better choices. There were a great variety of desserts as well as soft ice cream dispensers. Breakfast in the dining room was painfully slow. Better to use the King's Court. My wife said that the Cream of Wheat was the best she's had. Cereal selections are limited with no pre sweetened for the kids. We did not try Todd English so I cannot comment on it. Entertainment: D The stage shows were amateurish, too slow and too long. On the first night "Apassionata " was a history of dance ending with swing. The second night "Rock @ the Opera" mixed opera with modern rock. We chose not to attend. The last show was "Zing Went the Strings" a tribute to Judy Garland. It started with a video that was not visible because of stage props. We left when the Judy Garland wannabe started dancing to the music of Austin Powers. The theater was only half full at the start of the show and many left during the show. Movies were shown each night in Illuminations (the planetarium) We went one evening to watch "National Treasure" which we had not seen before. The movie was good, but my surround sound at home offers better sound. The planetarium show is worth attending if just for the novelty of it all. You must get tickets ahead of time for the half hour show which is interesting if you can stay awake listening to the monotone narrator. Kid's Program: B My 12 year old went one morning and enjoyed basketball, air hockey and X-box. The schedule seemed full with a number of options. The staff is small and you must choose morning or afternoon sessions ahead of time. Kids can attend more than one session per day only if room permits -- and on our cruise it did. As for my 17 year old, there were activities but none that interested him. There were only 65 teens on board. Instead he joined pickup basketball on the sports deck. Sports deck: C There was a small basketball court and paddle tennis court that had limited hours. The ping pong tables and paddles were in bad shape. Shuffle board was near impossible as the pucks refused to slide on the wood decks. You will have some success if you turn them upside down. Pools: A The pools were really nice. The Promenade pool on deck 12 had a roof for cool evenings. On deck 8 on the back of the ship was the Terrace pool And on deck 13 towards the front of the ship was a splash pool. Also in the back of the ship there was a family pool and a sprinkler areas for the kids. Unfortunately that pool had to be close on our last day when someone got sick and lost their lunch. A mandatory emptying, cleaning and 24 hour closure meant families then had to use the other pools. Itinerary: A As we left New York Harbor, the cruise director, Brian Pierce, pointed out the sights A fire boat led us out of the harbor with water spraying. This was a 3 day trip with fireworks scheduled for New York harbor. We got a bonus because Newport Rhode Island scheduled their fireworks for July 3rd. The captain decided that would be a good show so on Sunday night we anchored just off the fireworks sight in the harbor with the rear of the ship facing the fireworks. They were so close you felt as if you could reach out and touch them. It was a cool night so stewards came out and distributed blankets and towels to keep people warm. a nice touch. Patriotic music blared over the sound system adding to the festive evening. On Monday night we anchored just north of Staten Island for the Macy's New York fireworks extravaganza. Desserts and drinks were brought out along with a contemporary band for a party atmosphere. Blankets were again provided. Because of our distance, the fireworks were visible but seemed small. We were so glad that we had the show in Newport the night before. After the fireworks show we again left New York Harbor and went out to sea before returning to port on Tuesday morning. Misc.: B The ship itself and its size are incredible. You can't see the end of the hallway of the floor you are on. Because capacity is about 2,600 people the ship never seems crowded and at times feels downright empty. For comparison, the Voyager of the Seas which is only slightly smaller carries 3,800 people at full capacity) There is one staff member for every two passengers. Most of the staff are British and all are very friendly and helpful. Stewards remove towels from deck chairs that do not seem to be in use. The QM2 is the only ship with a permanent exhibit. "Maritime Quest" is basically a history of Cunard. It is fascinating and well worth it if you have the time to explore the various items. A guide is on the back of the fold out map you find in your cabin. The QM2 is also a quiet ship: no announcements except for the captain's update each noon. Yes there are are auctions, bingo, etc, but you need to read your Daily Programme to know what is going on. Shops are limited and expensive. We've always purchased a Christmas ornament of each ship we've been on but the QM2 did not have them. My son suggested buying 2 QM2 magnets which we can put together and then use a string to make our own ornament: a great idea if you check the polarity of the magnets to make sure they will go together. Pictures were the most expensive I've ever seen. Prints of your various activities and poses were available at $27.50 each! Another item i've always bought on cruses is a photo album with the ship's logo for 4X6 prints. usually these cost about $10 On the QM2 the only way to get such an album was to buy 15 professional images and the album for $49.49.95. you could not buy the album separately. On the second day of the cruise they sold 250 T-shirts made specifically for this weekend. The mob and lines for these limited edition shirts was worse than Macy's bargain tables at Christmas. The ship itself is incredible. The Promenade deck has wooden chairs with comfortable cushions and is wide enough for jogging and walking. Three times around equals 1.1 miles. Toward the front of Promenade there is an elevator that goes up the outside of the ship to an observation deck. Breathtaking views can be had from both. The ship's library is extensive and the gym is well equipped. The spa offers an all day pass for $29. There is a book store, an internet center called Connexions, a casino, several laundries and a number of lounges with a good variety of musical choices. . On Deck two there are game tables lining the side of the ship near windows with games such as Scrabble, Checkers, Chutes and Ladders and more. Disembarkation: A As with most cruise lines you get colored tags. The difference on the QM2 is that you also get the schedule for the colors so you know when your color will be called. We chose self disembarkation because our car service was scheduled to pick us up prior to our color being called. This also allowed us to keep our luggage and not have it collected the night before docking. The ship docked at 6:30 a.m. with disembarking scheduled to start at 8. we had a leisurely breakfast and walked on deck one last time. Self disembarking began at 7:30 with colors for tags starting at 8. There was no immigration processing because we had no ports of call on this trip. We left the ship shortly after 8. Once the car service van cleared security we were on our way home and arrived there before 9:30. Overall: B I took this short cruise because I wanted to be able to say i sailed on the QM2. I wanted to see the difference between an ocean liner and a cruise ship, and there were some differences. I've always been fascinated by the old liners and was delighted to have the chance to try the modern Queen. The weekend cruise was about what my budget could handle. This weekend schedule also worked as well for my sisters who hadn't cruised in 20 years. The last time they cruised they had tiny cabins with bunk beds and sections of the ship that they could not access. They had been on the Bremen, The France The Raffaello and the SS United States. I think they were amazed at how ships have changed. A cruise is what you make of it. People can always find things to complain about. For me though, I feel blessed to be able to take a cruise and will always enjoy what is offered. And I fully enjoyed my weekend. Just wish it was longer. The QM2 is indeed a tremendous ship and I am glad I sailed on her, but unless I am doing a transatlantic voyage, i will probably not sail on her again. There are better cruise offerings out there at better prices. Next month it is back to the Voyager of the Seas for a family cruise to Bermuda (with a balcony room and a promenade view room.. i can't wait. As you can probably tell, I am addicted. For pictures from this cruise go to http://homepage.mac.com/pekrause/PhotoAlbum16.html Read Less
Sail Date July 2005
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