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12 Cunard Fitness Cruise Reviews

Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in ... Read More
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in cabin within 30mins. We chose earlyt dining (6.30pm) on table of 8 and had good company - we moved round the table as the cruise progressed. Formal dress (jacket a must), but informal dress at the all day Lido restaurant, which we chose on three occasions. Food and service in the Britannia restaurant were excellent, but be warned, alcoholic drinks are pricey. Lido food also very good with great choices for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. We didn't use any of the other restaurants (eg Verandah) were there is an additional charge. Evening entertainment was very good, and excellent at times, though we didn't see all the one hour shows. At 60 and 67 we were probably in the younger 10% on board. Only impact was the day time entertainmeent and some shows are aimed at the older age group. It didn't bother us at all. Excellent range of activitiess each 'sea day', including lectures/talks on forensics, historical evcents and politics. Also food demos, Bridge classes, line dancing, cinema and much more. Excursions are pricey, but good guides. We did two and found nearest Tourist Info and explored on foot in Cadiz, Venice, Hvar, Dubrovnik and Cagliaria. Need to book a tour for Sicily as Messina is just a dock port. Not much in Gibraltar either except tour of fortifications, which was very good. High street is like any British city. Gratuities are pricey (about £21 per day), but we went to Reception and asked to remove this from our bill - done without fuss. We arranged our own (well earned) gratuities at the end of the cruise to Head Waiter and Cabin Steward. Sockets in cabin are American and British. Tea and coffee makig facilities in cabin and all day in Lido, but hot drinks were reasonably priced in cafes on board. All in all, excellent experience - our first cruise, if a little pricey overall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our World Voyage. Hamburg-Hamburg from 8th January - 12 May 2016. The cruise lasted 125 days, The service was excellent.. The crew were fantastic and we would definitely repeat a cruise with Cunard. We planned this ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our World Voyage. Hamburg-Hamburg from 8th January - 12 May 2016. The cruise lasted 125 days, The service was excellent.. The crew were fantastic and we would definitely repeat a cruise with Cunard. We planned this cruise 12 months in advance and did 5 overland tours plus the normal stops. A voyage like this is really what you personally put into it. We did a lot of research on the destinations we would be visiting. We have cruised many times before so yes, we are experienced travelers. We both joined in a lot of sport activities on the ship and really enjoyed the possibilities offered. Our Cabin was most comfortable. We travelled as a retired couple (65). This voyage gave us the possibility of visiting many destinations that were still on our bucket list and get a good impression of whether we wanted to return. Which was our highlight? There were many highlights:. Namibia, Africa, Australia, China, Japan, The Lost city of Petra in Jordan, Malta. So many wonderful destinations. Thank you Cunard and thank you to all members to the Queen Elizabeth for making this an unforgettable "One in a Lifetime Experience" Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first sailing on Cunard, and hopefully won’t be our last. We quickly got used to the Cunard “ocean liner” experience, as compared to the experiences we’ve had on 20 or so past “cruise ships”. The following is ... Read More
This was our first sailing on Cunard, and hopefully won’t be our last. We quickly got used to the Cunard “ocean liner” experience, as compared to the experiences we’ve had on 20 or so past “cruise ships”. The following is pretty detailed; however, I appreciate the detailed reviews I’ve read here, so I trust this one will help others. Our crossing was Westbound: Southampton to Brooklyn. Embarkation: Very short waits at the port. Our luggage arrived within an hour. Cabin: We had an inside, which was fine, since there’s not much to see at sea! The bed was comfortable and the cabin had plenty of storage. The bathroom tiles were a bit dated, but the amenities were very nice. Lots of storage areas in the cabin. I wasn’t impressed with the cabin steward; she was reactive, rather than being proactive. Dining: The Britannia (MDR) is quite stunning. Cunard’s food was good, but not anything better than Princess. Getting free cappuccino/espresso, etc. after dinner was a nice touch. Drink prices were average for a cruise ship and the bars had a good selection of British beers on draught. Cocktails seemed to be on the skimpy-liquor side. The buffet setup is a bit odd, with the King’s Court spread out over a large area. While it was never crowded, unless you had a table by a window (they jutted out over the Promenade) you were stuck in an interior area, which, frankly looked dumpy. Afternoon tea, either served in the Queen’s Room, with white-gloved service, or via buffet in the King’s Court, was a nice touch with many selections of tea as well as finger sandwiches, pastries, and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. We did the upcharge Indian dinner (Coriander) available the last 2 nights of the cruise. There was plenty of good (not great) Indian food in the King’s Court buffet area, which was converted to a sit-down restaurant. Public Rooms: This is where the QM2 shines. Corridors are broad, the public rooms very large. The Queen’s Room is the largest ballroom afloat. It was wonderful seeing people ballroom dancing. We attended 3 cocktail parties there. G32, the disco, seemed dark and is hard to find. Illuminations (the planetarium cum lecture hall) is beautifully decorated in Art Deco style. The Golden Lion Pub was very comfortable with pub lunch food daily and the Chart Room bar very spacious. The gym had a good amount of weight training equipment and free weights, along with cardio equipment. Unlike most other ships, however, the cardio equipment didn’t face broad windows. I didn’t use it, but took a peek at the Gold Canyon Spa….looked elegant. There were also additional nooks for card playing, and quiet times. There’s a large selection of gift shops, though many were geared toward jewelry and high-end items. One highlight of the ship is the amazing library with stacks categorized by topic and the full-time librarian. In addition, there’s even a bookstore! Entertainment—I was worried about not enough to do, since this was my first crossing, but was NEVER bored. Cunard had 5 lecturers on board, from the former director of the Bank of England to a speaker on musical theatre. Most were attended well. In addition, there were the popular planetarium shows. I even found a quiet place forward on the ship with dim lighting for real stargazing. At least 4 trivia contests are offered daily, though the prizes are only given at the end of the cruise and are skimpy at that. There was a nice (and usually empty) casino, with amazingly low table stakes ($3 in the afternoon, $1 one day). One nice touch is that there are no announcements made during the day, save for the Captain’s midday communication. One thing that set Cunard apart was the quality of the live music. At the Queen’s Room, you might find a 20 piece dance band. At other venues a string quartet or harpist. We even had piano recitals in Illuminations during the afternoon. If that wasn’t enough, I attended a 1-hour version of Hamlet acted by students of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A downside were the evening production shows. The costumes were beautiful, but they lacked a theme, decent music, and dancers who can also sing. A full wrap-around Promenade deck was always full of people walking or jogging (1.3 miles for 3 laps). The deck chairs were padded with pillows. One downside is that Cunard hasn’t banned smoking yet. The aft area was always had a few smokers. The Commodore Club has large windows forward on the ship and was always a popular place for reading during the day, listening to live piano music, or cocktails in the evening. The ship provided an area there for an LGBT cocktail hour. Unfortunately, Churchill’s cigar lounge is next to the Commodore and when the door opens, the smell often ruined the ambiance of the Commodore Club. A worse scenario occurs on the 2nd floor of G32, where it was just uncomfortable unless you were a smoker. One remarkable story: On the penultimate day, we had an almost-emergency on the ship. At about 5:30 all of the staff were called to their muster stations. Cabin stewards put on their life jackets and all waiters left their 1st seating dining passengers to get to their assigned places. Apparently, there was a chemical spill in the engine room. Captain Wells made numerous announcements keeping all passengers informed. While we never had to get our life jackets, it was memorable. Several crew members told me it was the only time in 8 years this had ever happened. Kudos to the staff and crew for being ready! Disembarkation: Very smooth getting off the ship. US Immigrations, however, was very slow, with only 5 people on duty. Finally, the Cunard experience isn’t for everyone. Like most others on the ship, we brought our formal clothes, and in keeping with ship policy remained dressed at the shows, ballrooms, and disco. It made for a classy cruise….or should I say “crossing”!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My partner and I recently returned from a 12-day Mediterranean cruise onboard Cunard's QUEEN ELIZABETH. This ranks as one of those trips that was just about as near perfect as one could wish for. For those only interested in the ... Read More
My partner and I recently returned from a 12-day Mediterranean cruise onboard Cunard's QUEEN ELIZABETH. This ranks as one of those trips that was just about as near perfect as one could wish for. For those only interested in the pictures, and there are over 600, here is the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eroller/sets/72157637358470363/ We flew to Rome nonstop from Miami on Alitalia. The agent took a liking to us and blocked four seats just for us in the center section. Off to a great start! The flight was very comfortable with good service, and it's the first time I've experienced live cameras providing a forward and ground view on the in-seat monitors. I thought that was pretty cool. Upon arrival in Rome we were met by Cunard's airport staff who really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. They took our luggage and the next time we saw it was in our cabin. We only had to wait about 15 minutes before we were on the bus headed to the ship ... or were we? Actually since we were so early Cunard provided a motor coach mini-tour of Rome before heading to Civitavecchia where the ship was docked. This was certainly an unexpected surprise, and what a difference from our Costa experience in April where we basically had to loiter around the airport for almost four hours before they took us to the ship. Embarking QUEEN ELIZABETH was a breeze, with no lines, no waits, and a very simple check-in process. Disembarkation in Venice 12 days later was just as painless. I was anxious to see QUEEN ELIZABETH having already sailed on her sister QUEEN VICTORIA and the Cunard flagship QM2. The QE is the same basic design as QV but with some minor changes to the layout and a more art deco interior design. I quite liked it and immediately felt very comfortable in my new surroundings. The ship was spotless and essentially looked brand new. QE is a Vista Class, but with a custom layout for Cunard that includes far more multi-level spaces and public areas that are more airy and bright compared to her counterparts sailing for Holland America. In fact you would be hard pressed to realize QE was even related to her HAL cousins unless you knew in advance. The overall ambiance of QE is Cunard through and through. For those not familiar with Cunard, it's truly the last seagoing experience that beckons to a bygone era of tradition, formality, and civility. The atmosphere onboard is sophisticated, spacious, elegant, and yes very British! Our passenger compliment was probably around 60% British, 30% American, and 10% a mixture of Japanese and Europeans. Daytime activities include enrichment lectures, an afternoon message, lounging by the pool, and of course afternoon tea. Since this cruise was so port intensive, most days were spent ashore. In the evening a jacket is required after 6pm as the minimum dress code. Everyone honored the dress code which was a breath of fresh air. Not a single T-shirt or flip flops spotted in the dining room! Cunard cherishes its history, and is probably the only cruise line with an authentic bookshop onboard selling Cunard memorabilia as well as ocean liner books, cards, and puzzles. My partner who has little interest in ocean liner history really loved the Cunard experience, and surprisingly wanted to stop by the bookshop almost every night. It was something unique that he had not experienced on any other ship. To accompany the book shop is a fully stocked two level library complete with librarian. Proudly displayed all over the ship is artwork and artifacts from Cunard's illustrious past. If you require even more reminding that you are sailing with a company steeped in tradition and history, then a channel on your TV is dedicated to programs about Cunard history and its past vessels. Needless to say this was my favorite channel! Evenings on Cunard are quite elegant and formal, with music throughout the ship, costume balls in the Queens Room, ballroom dancing complete with gentleman hosts, big band, production shows of a fairly decent quality, and yes even disco dancing! The fine art of paying attention to the details is not lost on Cunard. There are nice touches like sparkling wine upon arrival, turndown service with chocolates on your pillow, Gilchrist & Soames bath products, robes & slippers, and even a daily newspaper delivered nightly with news from your home country. Many cruise lines have done away with these amenities, but Cunard continues to uphold the tradition. What you won't find on Cunard are endless revenue producing announcements, obnoxious art auctions, constant nickel & diming, bellyflop contests by the pool, rock climbing walls, shorts in the dining room, or buckets of beer. If these are things you will miss then Cunard is clearly not for you. We opted for a standard outside cabin thinking it would be too cold to make use of a balcony. Were we ever wrong on that one. The weather was amazing the entire two weeks with warm air and cloudless sunny skies. It might be the best weather I've ever experienced on a cruise. The seas were as equally calm as the skies, and never once did we feel the ship move. I was actually a little disappointed in that fact, but it was perfect for my partner who is prone to motion sickness. I really enjoyed our cabin and its location on Deck 1. Our midship Deck 1 location was perfect for a port intensive itinerary. The gangway was never too far away and the main lounges were a short jaunt down the hall or up a deck. The window and its opening was large enough to sit in and read a book. Bedding was very comfortable and decor was soothing. Our cabin stewardess Rosalina was one of the best we ever encountered. Three things lacking were drawer space, a proper shelf in the small shower, and an interactive TV. We did order room service on occasion and it was always delivered right on schedule and delicious. The dining experience on QE was quite good. We opted for late sitting and a table for two. We were in a nice section near the windows very close to three other tables for two. Two of the tables were next to us and another behind us. If you were looking for a private dining experience this arrangement would not have been ideal, as the tables were quite close to each other. As it turns out we got along great with our fellow two-tops and enjoyed some great conversations (thanks Dee & Michael!). Our serving team did a great job as did the wine steward who appeared every night almost as we sat down. I'm glad Cunard has kept the wine stewards and not placed the task on the already overworked wait staff as many cruise lines have done. One option missing from the experience was an "always available" selection on the menu. This is offered on most other lines and usually includes a steak, fish, salad, and chicken option. It's always nice to have such options in case nothing appeals to you on the main menu. Luckily we never had that problem but I'm surprised it wasn't offered in the Britannia Restaurant. We dined in the Britannia Restaurant every night except two. For my birthday we dined in the Verandah Restaurant, which is an a la carte speciality dining experience drawing its roots from the original QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN MARY. I opted for the tasting menu which was very French and very unusual for my taste buds. I quite enjoyed it but it was a lot of food. The overall experience was quite nice but I still feel Celebrity Cruises has the best speciality restaurants at sea. Another night we dined up in the Lido Restaurant with the Spa Manager and the theme was a steakhouse. The upcharge was $10 per person. It was satisfactory but the steak was certainly no better than what was offered in the main dining room. Lunch was taken either ashore or in the Lido Restaurant & Grill. The quality was good as was the variety. This cruise was very port intensive, with only two days at sea out of twelve. For those ports where we docked in a remote location, Cunard provided a complimentary shuttle service into the center of town. This was certainly not expected as most cruise lines charge for such a service, but it was certainly welcomed! In almost all the ports we enjoyed lunch or at minimum some coffee/tea/soda at a cafe in order to take advantage of free internet. It's so much faster than what is offered on the ship. I'm not going to detail much on the ports, but I will let you know how we enjoyed each one ... Salerno. We booked a Cunard shore excursion to Pompeii. I was really fascinated with Pompeii and it was a great way to spend the day. Cunard did and excellent job with the organization of the entire tour. Highly recommended. Messina. We booked a Cunard transfer shore excursion to Taormina. Basically it was a motor coach ride to and from the small cliffside town of Taormina with free time once you are dropped off. Again highly recommended. Taormina is charming and picturesque. We enjoyed shopping, people watching, and lunch at an outdoor cafe. Santorini. One of my favorite Greek islands. We went into town on our own, taking the funicular up to the main town of Fira. We enjoyed some shopping, ship spotting, and an amazing lunch with a view to die for. Pretty much a prefect day in my book. Rhodes. Since we have been to Rhodes several times, we opted to walk the walled city on our own, again enjoying the sights and a lunch at one of the main squares of the old city. Kusadasi. We were here fairly recently and toured Ephesus. This is a must and we strongly considered going back for a 2nd look, but instead took it easy and strolled around the waterfront near where the ships dock. Athens. In that past we have toured Athens quite extensively, so again it was a light day of strolling around the port area of Piraeus. This is a great area for ship spotting if you're into that sort of thing. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus that circles Piraeus and another that goes into Athens itself. These are great options if you prefer to save a little money and have a bit more freedom to plan out your day. Both leave from the port area just outside where the ship docks. Corfu. We really loved Corfu. It's quite different from other Greek islands due to its location and the fact it's so green. It feels more like Italy to be honest. A free shuttle was offered into town but we felt like walking. We strolled around the waterfront and then into the city. Chris went to a "fish spa" where these little fish suck all the dead skin and calluses off your feet! It was an interesting experience for him and fun to watch. Dubrovnik. This was probably my favorite port of the entire cruise next to Venice. We took the free shuttle from the ship into the walled city and just spent the day exploring all the amazing sights this beautiful city has to offer. This is someplace I would truly like to return to for a week or more. Some of the cliffside hotels outside the walled city looked quite inviting. Ravenna. Probably the most disappointing of all the ports. The ship was supposed to overnight in Venice but due to port congestion the overnight was canceled and Ravenna was added in its place. The closest major city is Bologna and tours were offered there, but we were not interested enough to book one. The ship docks in a fairly industrial area and it's about a 30-40 minute ride into Ravenna itself. We were there on a Sunday and things were pretty quiet, but if you're into Mosaics then this is the place for you! Ravenna is quite famous for them and they are beautiful, but I would have preferred the overnight in Venice. Venice. We took a water taxi from the port area directly to our hotel which was really cool. I quite enjoyed the experience but be forewarned that water taxis are very expensive. Roughly 80 Euros for a 15 minute ride. Our hotel was the Westin Europa & Regina located right on the Grand Canal. We had a superior room facing the Grand Canal and I can tell you it's not a view I would ever tire of. I highly recommend the hotel and a visit to Venice in general. It's one of those places that really lives up to every expectation and perception and even exceeds them! From Venice we took a train to Milan and spent a night there before our flight home. I was disappointed in Milan as it lacks all the Italian character we came to enjoy in Venice, Salerno, Messina, and even Ravenna. We stayed at the Sheraton Malpensa which is actually connected to the airport. This is without question the most modern and luxurious Sheraton I have ever stayed in. Since the hotel is connected to the airport, it made catching our 9am flight to New York JFK quite simple. We flew home in Business Elite on Delta and it was a fantastic way to end a truly wonderful vacation. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this trip was nearly perfect in every regard. We loved the ship (including the food, service, and entertainment), the new friends we made, all the ports, and were treated to picture perfect weather. The logistics of getting to and from the ship went without a hitch, and spending some time in Venice at a truly gorgeous hotel helped ease the disappointment of having to part ways with the lovely QUEEN ELIZABETH. What I've found is the best way to get over a great vacation is to have another planned, and next up is ROYAL PRINCESS this coming Sunday! Please enjoy the pictures and let me know if you have any questions. Ernie   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Great cruise on the QV from New York to San Francisco. PROS: - Fast embarkation in New York, since times were staggered and many had boarded in Southampton - Very comfortable, quiet, well furnished cabin with king bed, love seat and ... Read More
Great cruise on the QV from New York to San Francisco. PROS: - Fast embarkation in New York, since times were staggered and many had boarded in Southampton - Very comfortable, quiet, well furnished cabin with king bed, love seat and 3 closets on Deck 4. Had outside obstructed view cabin. View was only partially blocked by a lifeboat, and was definitely worth the small extra amount of money over inside. Was cozy and perfect for one, but would recommend either a larger cabin on Deck 1 or a balcony cabin for two. - Overall excellent crew. The tone was set by the very professional captain - the first female captain in Cunard history. Pleasant steward (though somewhat shy), good waiters (especially Nitin), some great bartenders (especially Bojan, Quentin and Roger), and good photographer (Lucas). Would give special commendation to Dan, the guest artist who taught the water color classes, Carlo, the brilliant pianist and singer in the Commodore Club, Graham, the DJ in Hemispheres, and Libby, the Entertainment Director for many of the trivia contests. - Beautiful decor overall, with thankfully little glitz. The emphasis on the history of the line is very nice. - Large, well staffed and stocked library and bookstore, and good variety of lectures. As usual, Cunard places more of an emphasis on intellectual pursuits than standard cruise lines. - Excellent gym and spa, with prices in line with luxury hotels, especially with the myriad on board specials. The royal bathhouse with the hydrotherapy pool and various steam rooms was especially good on the five chiller days at sea. Nicola did a great job leading classes, Silvio was a great massage therapist, and Francesca did great a facial - all had a wonderful attitude as well. - Ship is very well laid out, with good passenger flow. Despite being full, the ship never seemed crowded. - Emphasis on thoughtful activities, such as fencing and ballroom dancing, and the obligatory trivia contests. - Pool areas rather quiet, with soft music. Only poolside live music was mid-day by one pool, so it was easy to relax, read and sleep, rather than having to listen to dreadful Jimmy Buffett and reggae music. - Food is average to good in the dining room. The spa choices and simpler dishes were the best bets. Portions are small, so helped with trying to lose weight during voyage. Breakfast was good, as they did a good kippers with runny poached eggs. The dining room is beautiful, as well. Lido was good for a buffet restaurant, especially good for Sunday English roast lunch and Asian buffet, though pastries were rather sad, and a larger variety of ice creams would be welcome. Todd English was good, though not well marketed and never crowded. Golden Lion is good for pub lunches, though packed at peak hours, and they do run out of popular items later. - Not as much of a constant hard sell or nickel and diming as on other lines, especially Celebrity. - Enforcement of dress codes in the dining room - formal night means just that, and casual night is a jacket with no tie. Nice seeing people properly dressed for a change. Those on Cunard usually understand this going into a voyage, and are happy to adhere to the code. Those who want to wear flip flops and cut offs have other lines to sail. - Intelligent, well mannered, interesting passengers for the most part. CONS (very few): - Stewards seemed to have a lot of cabins to service, so it was hard for them to do extras such as fold clothes left on the sofa. - Several employees with a bit of an attitude - one of the Indian waiters in the Golden Lion became a bit of a joke as the worst employee on the ship. One of the male staff at the pursers desk and one of the female staff at the photography shop could have done with some lessons in customer service. But the vast majority of crew had a good attitude. - Minor caveat here, but they need to tone down the florescent lighting the hallways. PORTS: Cunard ran a shuttle in Fort Lauderdale to and from the Galleria, which was well used and very welcome. General consensus was that one day in Jamaica was enough for a lifetime. Montego Bay was quite charmless, and there was a constant feeling of being hustled. The Doctors Cave Bathing Club was a nice respite with a good beach, but unfortunately was overrun with a lot of loud, overweight Carnival passengers. Cartagena was charming as usual, and almost everyone wanted more time there. Huatulco was a happy surprise - small and safe with beautiful beaches and a pleasant center (La Crucecita) - the safety aspect was especially good for the number of elderly passengers on board. The transit of the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip. Fascinating nine hour trip from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean - well worth doing at least once. SUMMARY: Would sail on the QV again in a second. Surprisingly, preferred it to the QM2. As spectacular as the QM2 is, the QV is better laid out and on a more intimate scale. The ship had the right balance - big but not too big, plenty of activities, but plenty of quiet spaces. Well done Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Just returned home to Washington (DC) from France via a trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. My partner and I booked a Q5 suite because we had crossed once before (July 2011) in Queen's Grill and were very satisfied. This ... Read More
Just returned home to Washington (DC) from France via a trans-Atlantic crossing on the Queen Mary 2. My partner and I booked a Q5 suite because we had crossed once before (July 2011) in Queen's Grill and were very satisfied. This voyage (November 20 - 27, 2012) was much better than our first experience. First, the time of year enabled us to secure a Q5 mid-ship suite for a few thousand dollars less than we had paid for our Q6 on the July 2011 crossing. Second, the clientele on this late-November voyage was more social, friendly, and gregarious than had been the case on the earlier summer crossing, which had included large numbers of families with kids. Third, the mid-ship position of our room really made the ride much smoother through the rougher seas at this time of year. The refurbishment that had been undertaken since our last QM2 crossing still looked fresh and nice, though I feel the new stateroom carpeting (dark brown) does not do justice to the other improvements in the decor. My partner and I made extensive use of the Canyon Ranch Spa on this voyage, and we certainly got our money's worth out of the $95 each of us paid for a 5-day pass to the hydro therapy center. What an incredible feature of this amazing ship! The thalassotherapy pool alone was a sublime way to forget about the cold weather outside. Our butler and his assistant were both outstanding. Our assistant waiters were also excellent, which made up for the lack of service we received from our lead waiter. My only real complaint was the dreadful way Cunard handled the disembarkation in New York. Total chaos, with no communication going on among crew and staff who kept calling for more and more groups to head to Immigration when earlier groups were still waiting in the queue. The so-called priority for Grills guests still meant a wait of an hour to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
My first cruise was a great experience. I took the subway from Times Square to the first stop in Brooklyn then a $15 cab to the pier. I carried my bags on (and off at Southampton) so got on board very quickly. Fantastic departure under ... Read More
My first cruise was a great experience. I took the subway from Times Square to the first stop in Brooklyn then a $15 cab to the pier. I carried my bags on (and off at Southampton) so got on board very quickly. Fantastic departure under blue skies. Cloudy and cool with calm seas for most of the voyage which was fine when walking round the promenade deck. My premium balcony (quiet)cabin was great and the daily newspaper and programme were very informative. Food and service was good. I dined 4 evenings in the Britannia restaurant. I had asked for a table for 10 and got 5 (including 1 couple) ages 50-90, good company. No queues at the self-service King's Court. From day 2 I lunched in the Golden Lion pub. The highlight was a fantastic RADA 65 minute production of Merchant of Venice - one of the best I've seen, with an original and stunningly sung Jewish religious chant. Their Canterbury Tales was also excellent. Music (Juilliard jazz, Dixie, harp, string quartet and piano) in the Chart Room and Golden Lion was great.. I preferred the quieter Commodore Club for pre-lunch drinks, avoiding the quizzes (interesting though they were). I had great Cuban cigars and conversations in Churchill's. I used the 75c a minute cabin wifi with no problems. There were excellent lectures repeated on the good-sized cabin TV. The purser's office dealt with queries efficiently and there was only a short queue at lunch times. I did have to be persistent on 2 occasions: I wanted to settle my bill with 2 credit cards but was told that was impossible. I returned to complain and was told by another receptionist (in the presence of the first) that that was fine, by opening a secondary QM2 card account. I was told by the cigar bar manager and the purser's office that I had to pay a 15% service charge on a box of cigars to take home (no charge in the second deck shop on its very limited range). The purser's office manager to whom I complained immediately cancelled the charge. I recommend the informal solos coffee morning, ages 25-70; and if you get to the bars, lounges and eateries early, you get the best seats. Fellow passengers, mostly Brits and Americans were friendly. I hope to be back next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
My Mother, may she rest in peace, use to have a saying, "Some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope"... it must be because new ropes would be scratchy on your neck - a problem that wouldn't be worth ... Read More
My Mother, may she rest in peace, use to have a saying, "Some people would complain if they were hung with a new rope"... it must be because new ropes would be scratchy on your neck - a problem that wouldn't be worth complaining about for very long. My wife and I just completed our 45th overall cruise on the Queen Victoria. It was our 7th on Cunard. Our theory about all the complaints we always read about in cruise reviews and hear occasionally around the ships has always been simple. People have expectations that are unreachable. That coupled with "they paid too much" for the cruise, spent too much, drank too much and toured too much on the ship's tours. You can also ad in ate too much, exercised too little and you have a recipe for complaints and discontent. See... that's pretty simple. Oh... I almost forgot the review! We sailed on Queen Victoria from Ft. Lauderdale, FL on Dec. 6, 2011, heading to a number of places on my all time wish list. I'm 64 and my wife 56 are both retired and have been for 15 years. We flew in the morning of the cruise from Atlanta for $49.00 each on Airtran. The cab ride to Port Everglades is 3 miles and cost $14. No hotel, no lost bags, no hassles! We knew NOT to get to the ship before 3:00 pm for a 9:30 pm departure. We dropped our bags in the front receiving area and were on the ship in less than 10 min. If you get there at 11:00 am you'll wait 2-3 hours to get on the ship... but you learn a few basics after 45 cruises. When was "not knowing" a benefit? Be a traveler... not a tourist! We booked the cruise at the last minute on line $2,400. That's not $2,400 +++. That's $2,400 period... including all port charges, taxes, fuel surcharges and gratuities... EVERYTHING! That's $75 a day per person for a room, 3 gourmet meals a day, unlimited room service, 6000 miles of transportation, 5 Broadway style shows, comedians, pianist, lectures, entertainment, computers, computer classes, 4 hours of Free computer time, a two story library with enough books to read in 100 lifetimes, 2 pools, a complete gym open 24/7, all the clean pool towels you can use, soap, shampoo, body lotions and gels, hair dryer, iron, unlimited laundry service (self), 8 countries to visit, all the coffee, tea & juices you can drink... and 2,000 of your newest friends to pal around with for 2+ weeks and who have the same things in mind that you do! . After all, you're all on the same ship! We booked a "guarantee inside" but since we've sailed Cunard 6 previous trips, and the ship was not over sold, we were bumped up to an outside cabin with a large balcony. The balconies on the 4 deck are larger than any other floors do to the design of the ship. That part was just dumb luck on our part. Our balcony cabin on Deck 4 (4027) starboard side forward was perfectly fine for our needs, storage was sufficient with plenty of wardrobe space and large drawers under the bed. The bathroom was small but adequate. Our steward kept it spotless for us. The flat screen TV (20 inch) was a little small for the size of the room... but who goes on a cruise to watch TV? We ate all of our dinners in the Britannia restaurant (first sitting). We didn't eat lunch in the Golden Lion Pub but played cards there occasionally and the food looked and smelled good. We took afternoon tea one afternoon in the Queen's Room. Our table mates were from Beverly Hills, CA, Belfast, Ireland and Toronto, Canada. It was the highlight of the cruise. Table mates can make or break your cruise experience. Unless you bring your on party with you it's really a crap shoot as to who you get seated next to. We just hit a home run on this cruise with ours! We enjoyed the food, for the most part, and were happy with our meals. The Salads and dressings were great, the Lobster dinner was GREAT! I ordered surf and turf... a $100 meal at a landslide eatery. Breakfast was in the Britannia when at sea and the Lido in port as my wife and I are the "first off the boat" kind of people. The Lido was always very good for breakfast and but was slow if you wanted pancakes or waffles, but otherwise good, and with the bread, meat and cheese available, we could make sandwiches to take on shore excursions, which we liked. The ship we found to be truly lovely, like a country club, as usual with Cunard every member of the ship could not do enough for us, the food was excellent (getting too much for us by the cruise end!}, what ever we asked for the answer was 'yes'. The Panama Canal crossing was was what we call a true "pinch yourself" moment, a wonderful day that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime. In addition, the Theater is stunning with the first opera boxes at sea. , The boxes were always full, and a lovely touch if you wanted one for a special evening. They are extra for show nights but Free for all other events in the theater. Obviously there are going to be issues with any airline, hotel or cruise... especially when you're dealing with 2000 cruisers, not to mention an additional 1000 crew members from 100+ countries ... but our experience was that when these were brought to the attention of the proper person they were promptly addressed. We cannot speak highly enough of the officers and crew of the Queen Victoria and on the ship itself that provided all the service and comfort that was expected. We look forward to our next Cunard adventure and suggest to some of the critics should take a deep breath and enjoy themselves. Isn't that what cruising is all about? We went on board to enjoy every day of the voyage and the Queen Victoria made it just that. We are saving up for our next Cunard adventure. When the price and time are "right", we'll be there to take full advantage. See you aboard the ship on our 46th... coming to a ship near you! Overall, we will do Cunard again in a heartbeat. What's not to like when you use a little common sense and enjoy the moment... Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Previously we have been reluctant to book a cruise because we were told it was only frequented by elderly passengers who sit around habitually talking about their vast portfolio of cruising experiences. However, we wanted a change from our ... Read More
Previously we have been reluctant to book a cruise because we were told it was only frequented by elderly passengers who sit around habitually talking about their vast portfolio of cruising experiences. However, we wanted a change from our usual package holiday experience and decided to take the plunge. Compared to our recent holiday on a Greek Island we received absolute 5 star service from the moment we stepped aboard to the moment we left and when you consider the all inclusive extras the price comparison is very competitive. It is true to say that the majority of passengers are 65 plus; some of whom we met at our shared breakfast table. The conversation we found was very interesting and friendly. It was not at all staid and monotonous.In fact we found the whole dining experience first rate from the variety and quality of the menus to the service we received from our waiters Eddie and Gerco. We did hear some complaints from a minority of fellow passengers but in our opinion these were unfounded and unjust. We tended to skip lunch in favour of afternoon tea; in the Queens Room there were different pianists, a harpist and a string quartet which were all very entertaining during afternoon tea. There were plenty of on-board activities to keep us occupied during the sea days, so many in fact we were unable to attend any lectures , pub quizzes or planetarium shows. We did not make full use of the thermal spa and in retrospect we could have negotiated a better deal. The shows in the Royal Court Theatre were good especially the dancers and Allan Stewart a singer,comedian and impressionist. One afternoon we enjoyed a Classical Performance by James Sherlock. Being jazz fans we spent a lot of time in the Chart Room listening to the excellent Simon Galfe Trio. Sometimes, it was very crowded so it was difficult to get a seat at the beginning of the evening. The chart room bar staff looked after us very well especially Maya and Yuliya. The only disappointment was when a guitarist joined the trio and in our opinion drowned out the other instruments and effectively cleared the room by mid-night. We had an inside stateroom which was large enough for the two of us. The bed was really comfortable. The free shuttle buses to and from the ports were really convenient. Because you are only visiting for a few hours, at best you can only scratch the surface of each port of call. However, we considered Lanzarote to be our favourite port of call. There are less high-rise and commercial developments. The capital Arrecife is smaller and less congested than the other ports. There is a tree less lunar volcanic landscape which, whilst not to every body's taste, is very atmospheric and dramatic. We enjoyed every minute of our Iberian Adventure Cruise and can't wait for the next cruiuse. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
SUMMARY: We loved everything about Cunard and the Queen Victoria. The Cunard people were amazingly organized and efficient. The ship has an understated elegance with a very comfortable feel. It was easy to find our way around the ship. ... Read More
SUMMARY: We loved everything about Cunard and the Queen Victoria. The Cunard people were amazingly organized and efficient. The ship has an understated elegance with a very comfortable feel. It was easy to find our way around the ship. The elevators were never very busy or crowded. In short, everything worked. The itinerary did not disappoint. Venice and Istanbul are two indescribably interesting and beautiful cities. We could have easily spent an additional week in each city. The other ports each had their own charms but were only worth a one-day stopover. Split, Corfu, Piraeus-Athens, Kusadasi-Ephesus and Santorini were as expected. Rhodes was a pleasant surprise. BACKGROUND: My wife and I are in our mid 60s. We are physically active with no mobility problems. This was our 20Th cruise but the first with Cunard. We had been to Venice and Rome prior to this cruise but all the other ports were new to us. We like to explore on our own so we do not book ship excursions unless it is something that we can't do on our own or it is something that would take us far from the ship. On this cruise we did not book any ship excursions. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and booked it through the cruisecompete.com web site. PRE-CRUISE: As is our normal practice, we flew into Venice the day before the cruise. Since we spent the first night of the cruise on board the ship, we had two full days in Venice. Upon our arrival at Marco Polo Airport we took the Express Bus (5 Euro PP) to Piazzale Roma. From there we dragged our bags about ten minutes to Ca' San Rocco, the small hotel where we stayed for the first night. It was well located in a very quaint neighborhood. We had a high-ceiling room with a large king-size bed. The included breakfast was served on a tree shaded terrace. It was a great place for a pre-cruise stay in Venice. We spent the evening and morning before the cruise walking and riding around Venice. EMBARKATION: We dragged our bags back to Piazzale Roma where we took the "People Mover" to the cruise dock. It was about a two hundred yard walk from the station to the ship. Getting on the ship was a breeze. We were at the registration building at 11:30 AM and within an hour we were in our stateroom. By the time we came back from lunch all our bags had arrived. THE CABIN: We booked an obstructed view outside cabin on deck four. It was roomier than similar cabins we have had on other cruises. There was more than enough room for our clothes. It was well located and very quiet. We especially liked its proximity to the free laundry. The bathroom , as usual, was small and tight. Our steward was polite and unobtrusive, and kept the cabin clean and tidy. THE SHIP: The Queen Victoria has an understated elegance. It is not as tacky as a lot of the cruise ships today. We thoroughly enjoyed the traditional British ambiance. The ship is well laid out and it was easy to find our way around. There was never a long wait for an elevator, nor were they ever overcrowded. The Captain was young and brought some humor to his job. He was around the ship a lot and was always making interesting announcements. Our only complaint was that the Promenade Deck does not go all the way around the ship. THE PASSENGERS: The average age of the passengers was said to be 57 years old. I would have guessed a bit higher. Needless to say, we felt very comfortable in that demographic. Half of the passengers were British and about one fourth were from the USA. We loved interacting with the various non-USA passengers. THE FOOD: On port days we ate breakfast in the Lido Buffet, usually having either a custom-made omelet or a custom-made waffle. They were always delicious. The choices for meat, breads, fruit and beverages were excellent. On the two at-sea days we ate breakfast in the Britannia Dining Room where we had classic Eggs Benedict. The Lido Buffet was never too crowded and the service in the Britannia Dining Room was prompt and attentive. Because this was a port-intensive cruise, we almost never ate lunch on the ship. At most, we grabbed something quick from the Lido as we came back to the ship. At night we always ate in the Britannia Dining Room at the early seating. We chose to eat at a larger table with other couples. We enjoyed our dinner conversations and looked forward each night to catching up with our table mates about their activities on shore. We were always one of the last to leave the dining room. The food was as good as any we have had on a cruise ship. The service was excellent and the food was well prepared. The menu was different every night and offered more than enough choice. THE ENTERTAINMENT; We never missed any of the shows. The Royal Court Theatre is a good venue with no blocked sight-lines, comfortable stadium seating, and no drink tables. Every seat was a good seat. We usually arrived about 15 minutes before showtime, which gave us our choice of seats. The entertainment was the usual mix of song and dance productions, singers, and comedians. All the shows were worthwhile, but none were spectacular. Even though we are regular ballroom dancers, we only danced a few times in the Queens Room. The dance floor and the music were fine. We were usually too tired by the end of the evening, and we were usually back in our cabin by 10 PM. I can't comment on the gym and the spa since we didn't use it. THE WEATHER: Late September is a great time of the year to visit the Eastern Mediterranean area. The weather in each of the ports was wonderful. Not too hot and not too cold. We were comfortable walking around in just a short-sleeve shirt. We saw no rain whatsoever in any of the ports. At the Acropolis in Athens it was sunny and warm and there was a gentle breeze. Ephesus was the same way. Those were the two places where we were worried about the heat. In Istanbul and Santorini it was much cooler than we expected. In both places there were strong winds which almost required a light jacket. THE PORTS: Venice: We spent the better part of two days walking and riding around Venice. Even though we had been to Venice three years before, there was still much to see. A map, a vaparetto pass, and a good pair of walking shoes is all you need to enjoy the wonders of Venice. In fact, just meandering aimlessly around the city is all you really need to do. We enjoyed the sail away from Venice with drinks on the Promenade Deck. Split: To our surprise, we tendered in Split, but the tendering was hassle free. Once on shore, we took the "Spirit of Split" combo tour that included a 45 minute guided open top bus tour of the Split area and a 45 minute guided walking tour of Diocletian's Palace. We finished the day by walking around the medieval town next to the palace and walking along the harbor front promenade called "The Riva." Corfu: It was a short day in Corfu- 9AM - 2PM. We took a free bus from the ship to the terminal and then a free Cunard bus to the edge of Corfu's "Old Town." We spent a little time walking around the "Old Town", but spent quite a bit of time at the Old Fortress. The fortress had great views of the city, the harbors, and the beaches. It also had a quaint Romanesque church on site. Piraeus and Athens: After getting off the ship, we walked through the terminal and got on the Piraeus hop on/hop off bus. It included an English language audio guide. We toured Piraeus and got off the bus at the Acropolis. It took about a half hour to get to the Acropolis. The Acropolis provided several surprises. Since it was Sunday, there was no admission charge and the top of the Acropolis was not nearly as warm as we were expecting. There was a cooling breeze and quite a bit of shade. We spend l l/2 hours following Rick Steves' self-guided tour. What's more, the climb to the top was not as arduous as we were led to believe. We just had to be careful when walking on the slippery rocks. We did see a woman take a fall. We got back on the bus and did the full Athens tour without getting off again until we returned to the Acropolis. There really wasn't much to see. Athens is not a very attractive city. Before heading back to Piraeus we walked around the neighborhood at the base of the Acropolis where we had lunch at an authentic Greek restaurant. Kusadasi and Ephesus: A month before the cruise we booked a private tour with "Ephesus Shuttle." We chose "Ephesus Shuttle" because it was rated the #1 thing to do on Trip Advisor. Our private tour included a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary and a guided tour of the Ephesus ruins, including the Terrace Houses. A similar tour through the ship would have cost about the same but would not have included the Terrace Houses. We finished the tour with the required stop at a rug store. The sales pitch was not too aggressive and the rug making demonstration was actually quite interesting. The tour was excellent though a bit rushed. Before returning to the ship we walked around Kusadasi and had a small glass of raki. Istanbul: We watched our arrival in Istanbul in two comfy seats in the Commodore Lounge, high up in front of the ship. Like Venice, Istanbul is a great city for just walking around. There is an inexpensive tram that runs from the cruise docks right through the tourist area, but it is all very walkable. Because the ship's dock space was not available when we arrived, we were tendered off the ship. Cunard supplied a free bus to the Grand Bazaar. On the first day in Istanbul we toured the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia and spent time at the Grand Bazaar. We had a light Turkish-style dinner at an outside restaurant that was next to the tram line. Among other things, we had a blown-up pita pocket that was the size of a football. On the second day in Istanbul we visited the Topkapi Palace, the spice market, and the Underground Cistern. Rather than take the tram, we walked across the Galata Bridge back to the ship. Two days in Istanbul were enough to take in all the major sites, but we could go back and easily fill up another couple of days in Istanbul. Rhodes: Rhodes was a surprise. The town is very picturesque. The ship was docked right next to the town's fortifications. The town is a walled city filled with medieval architecture, small touristy shops, and interesting restaurants. As we walked around the town we visited the "Master's Palace" and stood at the head of the Old Harbor where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood. Santorini: We were on the very first tender off the ship. There was no wait to get on the cable car to the town of Fira. We immediately headed for the bus station to take the half-hour bus ride to the town of Oia where the picture-postcard scenery is. Once in Oia we walked along the streets that follow the edge of the caldera, taking photos the entire way. The views were spectacular. The town was filled with music as there were strolling groups of musicians everywhere. Just as the town was getting crowded we headed back to Fira where we walked around a bit and had a drink overlooking the caldera with the Queen Victoria sitting in the middle. There was a short wait for the cable car back to the cruise dock. Since we were the only large cruise ship in Santorini that day the crowds were not as bad as they can be. It was an easy day in Santorini. DISEMBARKATION: We chose the Cunard provided bus transfer from the port of Civitavecchia to the Rome airport. Three years ago we ended a cruise in Civitavecchia and, on our own, took two different trains to Fiumicino Airport. The trains worked fine, but it was a little tight making our flight due to the chaos that is the Rome Airport. We left the ship at 8:30 A.M. and we were at Fiumicino Airport about an hour later. Since our flight was at 1 P.M. we had over 3 hours to spare. As was the case three years ago, we easily ate up that time checking our bags and getting through security. By the time we got to the gate, they were just starting to board the plane. We didn't have time to so much as buy a newspaper. My advice to everyone is that you have to allow a lot of time because of the inefficiency and disorganization at Fiumicino Airport. Getting there is not the problem. Being there is the problem. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was our sixth cruise, we have "cruised" Alaska, the Caribbean, the Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands. As it was our Silver Wedding we wanted something a bit special. We chose the Fjord and Waterfall Cruise as we wanted ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise, we have "cruised" Alaska, the Caribbean, the Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands. As it was our Silver Wedding we wanted something a bit special. We chose the Fjord and Waterfall Cruise as we wanted to spend the longest day of the year as far north as possible (our anniversary), and to get a real sense of long days and short nights. Embarkation in Southampton took just minutes and we even enjoyed a delicious lunch, on returning to our suite the luggage had been delivered. We chose a Princess Grill Suite, on the Port side and more or less in the mid ship. The stateroom could not have been better. There was a huge walk-in robe, an additional wardrobe, loads of storage space, a spacious bathroom, balcony with two loungers, TV, mini bar, sofa, etc. Everything was perfectly maintained and our attendant Eugene did a wonderful job. The Princess Grill was excellent, we had our own table, very private and it was nice to have flexibility with meal times. Our waiters, Kim, Viktoria and Benelito were superb, soon noticing all our preferences and making the meals even more pleasant. We are not big wine drinkers but Bruno helped us with the wines and was a walking encyclopedia. I found all the staff excellent, very well trained and the service was perfect, lots of choice, we never had to wait long and when we did chat to Bruno about our love of Curries, he somehow arranged for us to be served a Curry dinner the next evening - with all the trimmings. The Grill didn't seem at all crowded and there was a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Afternoon tea served in the Queen's Grill Lounge was out of this world. I loved the QM2, compared to other ships there seemed to be a lot more space in the public rooms, I loved the library and bookshop, the shops were varied, and the Queen's Room is impressive. We enjoyed the shows in the theatre, we also went to the Guitar and Violin recitals- all excellent. The planetarium was excellent and we enjoyed looking up at the stars. We did tours in all four ports of call. Stavenger countryside, Norway in a Nutshell (Flam), Mountain Panorama (Geiranger) and Bergen through the ages. We enjoyed them all, and the fact that a crew member escorted us on the tours was nice. In Flam and Geiranger they were full day tours and the lunches included were very good, with non alcoholic drinks and tea and coffee. We had two full days at sea but there was so much to do. The spa circuit was very relaxing and it was even nice to lay on the loungers on deck (with the blankets). The weather was perfect, I don't think we had a single drop of rain and it was always the perfect temperature on the ship. Disembarkation at the end of the cruise was quick and very well organised (as it was at all the ports of call). This cruise really was perfect, not a single hitch. I would definitely cruise with Cunard again the Queen Mary is a magnificent Ship, even crossing the North sea she seemed to glide over the water with no movement noticeable, at times we forgot we were on a ship. All in all, a beautiful ship, excellent crew and Norway a great destination. Thanks for an unforgettable anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
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
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