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8 Cunard France Cruise Reviews

This was our first ever cruise. We chose the 4 nights trip from Southampton to Zeebrugge and then the trip to St Peter Port (Guernsey) returning to Southampton. We upgraded to deck 11 and had a lovely balcony in a luxurious state room. Our ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We chose the 4 nights trip from Southampton to Zeebrugge and then the trip to St Peter Port (Guernsey) returning to Southampton. We upgraded to deck 11 and had a lovely balcony in a luxurious state room. Our room number was 11074 and we were travelling with family who had rooms 11070 & 11064. We found the service and the facilities perfect. The crew were exceptional and made us feel so much at home and relaxed. Evening meals in the Britannia Restaurant was magical and it was a lovely touch that the waiters all stand in a line at the doorway in to greet you when you arrive each evening. Food in every Restaurant was absolutely brilliant and we all ate like kings for our whole voyage. The evening shows were superb as was the Planetarium show. If I had to say a negative about the cruise it was the very expensive alcohol on board. We really spent far to much money on this and really should have brought more with us to reduce the costing. The fact of the matter is that you pay extortionate prices for all drinks and then to slap you really hard in the face they then add on a Compulsory Automatic Service Charge. On our first night we selected two bottles of wine one Red & One White. The two bottles came to $112:50 and then they added on the Service Charge $16:88 which gave us a total of $129:38. This was far to much and kind of set the theme with costing which made us feel uneasy with Cunard and this policy. Even if you went to the bar yourself and bought two pints of draught San Miguel this would set you back $14:95 which included the service charge of $1:95. Not sure how they get away with this extra costing. One tip we took from friends was to visit the Pursers office when we first got on board and we requested they remove the Automatic Gratuity they put on each day. If we had not done this then the 6 of us would have had to have found between us approx. £300 sterling. Anyway forgetting the moan about the extra chargers we did have a great time and enjoyed a wonderful opulent experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Although only a mini cruise - 4 nights - we assumed it would be a fair reflection of a longer cruise. So given our experiences that longer cruise will never happen, Boarding was easy and our balcony cabin was very good. However the ... Read More
Although only a mini cruise - 4 nights - we assumed it would be a fair reflection of a longer cruise. So given our experiences that longer cruise will never happen, Boarding was easy and our balcony cabin was very good. However the following list illustrates where we felt let down compared to the (many) other cruise lines we have sailed with: - The ship's decore is very conservative - lacking in colour and imagination. - The food in the Britannia Restaurant was not good. In particular the lack of vegetables was unbelievable - eg carrots were on the menu, What arrived was one small slice of carrot. Broccoli was on the menu. What arrived was a microscopic piece of broccoli. The dessert was supposed to include a pancake - it did but it was the size of a 10p piece. - The waiter rushed the serving and was clearing the table and resetting it for breakfast before we hand finished. - We never saw anyone cleaning handrails, mirrors, carpets.worktops etc. Cleanliness is not a priority on QM2 - The staff were uncommunicative - and quite dour. All in all a very disappointing experience and one that will not be repeated.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our 3rd Cunard cruise this year. The first was on the Queen Mary 2 Atlantic crossing from West to East, as this was our 40th wedding anniversary treat we traveled Britannia Club class and we were very happy with it. We then ... Read More
This was our 3rd Cunard cruise this year. The first was on the Queen Mary 2 Atlantic crossing from West to East, as this was our 40th wedding anniversary treat we traveled Britannia Club class and we were very happy with it. We then treated ourselves to a Mediterranean cruise on the Queen Elizabeth, also Britannia Club class and, probably due to the superb restaurant service we enjoyed it more than the QM 2. We then saw an offer for a 4 day trip to France and Bruges on the QM 2 again and as it was my birthday we decided to go again. I phoned to inquire about prices for Club Class as I assumed the headline price was for an inside stateroom(cabin). They said for £50 pp more we could have a balcony. I asked about the price for Club Class as I had enjoyed the 2 previous trips on the QM2 & the QE. I was told there weren't any "special prices" on the better grades so we opted for the Britannia Class with a balcony upgrade, thinking it can't be much different and not worth the large price difference as it was only for 4 nights, how wrong could I be. The cabin was fine and comfortable but the dining was awful. Crowded without an option for first or second seating for dinner which meant a long time between lunch and dinner and late to bed after the show. The waiting staff were either under pressure due to over crowding or poorly trained as there we often mistakes, such as the wrong cutlery, no cutlery, items missing off the plate and food not arriving at all. Breakfast was the worst affected meal for some reason. On the day at sea the queue for breakfast stretched past the gaming machines and when we were seated I saw that the upper level was empty. I asked our waiter why that was when there was such a queue to get in, "we don't have enough staff to man upstairs" he said. Strange, did they jump ship overnight? The first night the show was a group singing soul and blues not my favourite music but we decided we'd watch it. We arrived about 10 minutes before the show started so as to get a drink as they don't serve drinks during the show. We called waiter over and asked for the cocktail list, he went and got one and gave it to us, then left before waiting for our order. He didn't return before the show started so we didn't get our drinks. The group were nothing special but OK but they obviously thought they were better than they were. Not having a drink we left as without a drink to fortify us they were unwatchable. They were on again 2 nights later so we didn't bother to go, 50% of the entertainment and we didn't watch it, the entertainments director must have been dragging the bottom of the "buy one get on free bargain barrel". We had trouble getting drinks most nights as there didn't seem to be enough waiters, the upside being my drinks bill was unbelievably small. The last night was the ship's singers and dancers who were great but had recorded music instead of the ship's band which was a shame as from what we saw of them on the first night they were very good. Cunard obviously wanted to fill all the cabins, hence the "special price". Well if they want to go down the "£10 holiday route" they're welcome to do that but don't expect those who want a little bit more from their cruise to stick with them. We had a cruise but it certainly wasn't a "Cunard cruise" in my mind. I sent Cunard Customer Relations an email about my dissatisfaction and received an auto response, telling me it may take up to 28 days to reply. :-( Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth we were very much looking forward to a sampler trip on the Queen Mary 2 before booking a Trans-Atlantic trip. Unfortunately it failed to live up to our expectations in ... Read More
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth we were very much looking forward to a sampler trip on the Queen Mary 2 before booking a Trans-Atlantic trip. Unfortunately it failed to live up to our expectations in many respects. Our table in the dining room was in a very dark and dismal position and the tables in our section were long tables rather than the normal round ones. The food was "OK" but the waiters made no effort to engage with us. In fact we never leant their names. The Theatre was a little strange - to us it resembled an old time music hall kind of layout. The Commodore Club - our favourite on the other Queens was ruined by being attached at one end to a cigar saloon. This meant that most people crammed into one end of the Commodore club to avoid the very pungent cigar smell coming from this cigar saloon. As is usual with Cunard there were no tea/coffee making facilities in the cabin. Whenever we attempted to get some delivered to the cabin all we ever got when we telephoned was a recorded message saying that room service was busy. On our return to the ship in Cherbourg there was a problem with embarkation just at the point when all of the trips were returning. The queue to board was right along the quay, all the way into and out of the other side of the terminal - and it was raining ! - we all got very wet and very angry. Disembarkation at Southampton was a complete shambles. Rather than calling us to disembark in groups as normal, they continued to call groups even though the whole deck was jam packed with others waiting to disembark and we couldn't find anyone to ask to put a stop to the madness. We did email to complain. The initial response stated that it would take 28 days to respond to our complaint but if in the mean time we wanted to book another cruise we could use the link below !! The eventual response from Cunard was as disappointing as the experience of the QM2. Come on Cunard you can do much better then this. We travelled on the Emerald Princess earlier this year and although there were almost 1000 more passengers the organisation was brilliant.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I must say after reading some of these reviews, we were more than a little bit worried about cruising with Cunard! But We were very pleasantly surprised. I really can't see what Anyone would have to moan about?! I'm a non ... Read More
I must say after reading some of these reviews, we were more than a little bit worried about cruising with Cunard! But We were very pleasantly surprised. I really can't see what Anyone would have to moan about?! I'm a non confined wheelchair user, in other words I can, on a good day, walk a Little. We drove to southampton and had prebooked our car in with CPS. We were directed to the kerb and I was helped out of the car into my chair whilst my husband unloaded the luggage. The luggage was taken on board and placed in our room whilst a very chatty gentleman wheeled me through security, passports and check in and then to our room! The room was more than big enough with 2 doubles and 1 single wardrobe, several drawers a table and sofa, dressing table, fridge, hair dryer etc and the bathroom although small had everything you needed plus complimentary toiletries. Everything was so simple and nothing was too much bother. Every single member of the crew greeted us with smiles and fell over themselves to help. Each meal time ( we decided the Lido was a better fit for us) they carried my tray reached over and got whatever I asked for and then escorted us to the table. They would come over several times to ask if you wanted anything else! The food was varied and plentiful, even a fussy eater like myself was able to find plenty to eat from the selection of cold meats, cheeses, salads, breads, fruit, vegetables, hot meat, fish, etc. oh and dont forget the pudding 😊 there is also a grill by the pool at lunch times for hotdogs/burgers etc, a pizza bar, vanilla & chocolate ice-cream on tap as well as nightly specials. From 6am until 11pm there is food available and soft drinks, tea & coffee. We had one night in the Britannia restaurant and they even did me a special meal with plain chicken when I couldn't find anything I liked on the menu! The jacuzzis and pools were great, everything was clean and the bar service excellent. Disembarkation was just as easy, there were lots of men waiting to help with the disabled passengers (make sure you advise them of your disabilitys and fill in the medical questionnaires when you book) they took us straight down to check out, straight through customs and was met by another man that collected our cases and then both took us to our car and helped pack the car up. FANTASTIC! The only thing that would have made it better for me would be to have a parasol as I did burn quite badly but other than that it was perfect. Very mobility friendly and We will definitely be going again.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was a short three night cruise visiting Belgium and France and was booked for our wedding anniversary. My Wife is disabled and a wheel chair user so I have commented on each part on any good and bad experiences in each of the ... Read More
This was a short three night cruise visiting Belgium and France and was booked for our wedding anniversary. My Wife is disabled and a wheel chair user so I have commented on each part on any good and bad experiences in each of the sections. Hotel We stayed at the IBIS budget in Southampton, which is as basic as it gets but it was clean and well located, on 10 minutes from the dock gates. The price of hotel room was very competitive, you do have to pay to park (£6), although it is free for those with a blue badge. There is a TGI and McDonalds on the site and restaurants in the other two hotels (Novotel and IBIS) that you can use. The hotel was great for accessibility and we were immediately allocated an accessible room which made life easier for us. The service from the front desk was very good indeed. Embarkation We sailed from Dock Gate four, which we have done before and used the on site parking which as normal was first class and highly recommended. The check in was quick and easy, although we were allocated to a special section for wheel chair users, I think everyone else probably checked in quicker than we did. The welcome to the ship was very good, professional and even had a red carpet laid out. We got on the ship just after 12 and asked when the rooms would be available and were told that they have been available since 10 a.m. which is very impressive. The Queen Victoria She is a beautiful ship, not as big as some of the competitors but stylish in most ways and spotlessly clean everywhere. Although a smaller ship, she is longer than I expected as it still seemed to take some time to walk from one end to the other. It did get a little crowed at times as she is narrower than other boats, with only one corridor running from front to back on some decks. Service The staff were very polite and attentive to all needs and we found the service in all bars and restaurants to be very good with not feeling of being ignored or rushed though meals which was nice. The wine waiter was very knowledgeable about the wine and automatically adjusted his comments and suggestions to our budget after we had ordered the first bottle of wine, which saved any awkward conversations. Dinning The food was outstanding in the main dinning room, which a good choice each night and staff that knew about the food which is helpful. Any requests for adjustments to the food, leaving out one ingredient etc. was never an issue and did not slow up the service. The buffet was of good quality and with a reasonable selection, but like all boats it is what it is and we did not struggle to find something to eat when we had lunch there. Activities Being only three days we did not take part in many activities, which the exception of having the afternoon tea which is served in the spectacular Queens Ballroom. It is the perfect setting to have your tea in fine bone china, eat tiny sandwiches and cakes and enjoy quiet music from a quartet or piano. Civilisation at its best and would highly recommend. Entertainment We did take in a couple of shows which were not the best that I have seen to tell the truth, one of which we left after about half an hour. One disappointing factor is that the boat has twelve disabled cabins but only 8 disabled spaces in the theatre, so we have to get there earlier to ensure we see the show. When we asked at the reception desk they suggested that we pay the $57 per person to sit in one of the boxes if we wanted to guarantee that we got a seat. The matter was not helped with the number of non disabled people that were sitting in the companion sits and in the second show that we went to we saw a number of other guests in wheel chairs come and go as they was no where available for their carer to sit. Again the staff seemed uninterested in helping the situation. Ports Zeebrugge We had ordered a taxi to pick us up at the boat and were disappointed that it did not arrive, however there are plentiful taxis available at the port to take you where you want to go. An advantage of using these official cabs is that the fares are fixed (50 euros to Bruges). The lady that drove the taxi was fantastic, helping my wife in and out of the car and delivering us to the very centre of Bruges and picking us up from the same spot exactly when we asked her to later in the day. Bruges itself is a beautiful city with lots of little shops to look at, although with all the cobble stones it is not the best place for wheel chairs, but the shops and restaurants were very obliging to helping us get my Wife to tables and around the tiny shops. We had a lunch in the main square at 'De Beurze' and found the food to be exceptional with very reasonable prices. Cherbourg Cherbourg is a pretty little port, that is undergoing a significant amount of work and we enjoyed the morning walking around the towns streets and stopping for coffee on the front. Getting on and off the boat in both locations was very well organised and we received assistance with the wheel chair in both ports. No real waiting was evident in either port, although we always waited about an hour after docking to avoid the main rush. Summary In summary we really enjoyed out short stay on board and would be happy to take another cruise with Cunard. The only caveat to this would be that I would not take my children, as although there is a kids club, the few children on the trip did look bored most of the time. The trip represented good value for money and was relaxed and enjoyable at all times. I have reviewed the cabin separately.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We undertook a short taster cruise with Cunard , to Zeebruger and La Harve. Embarkation was the high point of the cruise. We booked quay side parking. Drove up beside the boat,unloaded luggage, and car was parked for us. Check in was quick ... Read More
We undertook a short taster cruise with Cunard , to Zeebruger and La Harve. Embarkation was the high point of the cruise. We booked quay side parking. Drove up beside the boat,unloaded luggage, and car was parked for us. Check in was quick and painless. Arrived at our cabin luggage had been placed inside, Could not get into our room as cases were blocking the small entrance into the main room area. Room was well presented, clean and tidy. A free bottle of sparkling wine on a small coffee table. Bathroom not large but serviceable. We found boat information in the room very sparse. We would have have loved a tea or coffee, but alas no facilities in the room to make one. No information in the room,as to where to get one. Yes there was a booklet giving you the name of bars and eateries , but did not say, tea room, snack bar etc. just the name of the bar/ eatery. Food in the buffet , in our opinion , was lacking in choice. To obtain a seat was well, hard work. If there was any available seats you, had too, either squeeze ibetween tables ,that are placed very close together. Or walk with your food along several different areas until you found a empty table that had been cleared.There is not a main area to dine in, in the buffet area. the facility's just seemed to be spread out all over the place. Very untidy and confusing layout. Entertainment very limited. Mainly bars with a fellow on a piano, the only bar that had different entertainment was the pub, which held the odd quiz and karaoke. Due to that fact, the bar was packed,no seats available, and when there was, the bar service was terrible. In short there was very very little to do, except drink. At $21 for a vodka and brandy with mixers, not a very cheap option. We got the impression ,that it was all about getting as much money from us as possible. You are charged your $11 per person per day service charge,then you are charged another 15 % service charge on all beverages you purchased. So for example a small mixer came to nearly $4 . You are then presented with a cheque to sign with yet another opportunity to give even more gratuities on top of the ones you have given already. We would not have minded so much, if the service had been good, but on several occasion, we were served the incorrect drink. It was my partners birthday while we were, they made a great fuss about this , by sending her a pre printed, pre signed birthday. Ok don't expect hearts and flowers but a few chocolates , would not be a problem to them surely . It seemed as if a lot of guest were aboard the boat celebrating one thing or another. So another chance missed by Cunard to impress its clients. When we booked the cruise , we had high expectations, maybe too high. The Ship although very nice does not in our opinion have the WOW factor that we have experienced in the past, with other cruise lines. The dining was average in our allocated restaurant the Brittania ,the service was also average, and felt like we were being rushed. The standard of the food was fairly good, but a little mean with things like vegetables . Wine! well I'm not a wine expert, I have a idea of wines that I like and that I don't like. A cheap tasting Rose $40 are you sure Cunard?? We took up the option of self help disembarkation. We had to apply for tickets, not a bad idea in our opinion, as amount leaving can be controlled, also helps the cabin boys with there cleaning regime . The asked you to go to a allocated point , with your luggage by 6.45am. So we decided to pack the majority of our case and have a early breakfast. On our return to the cabin our cases had been moved our bed stripped and remade. In theory this was still our room to. 8.30 am. So getting it ready for the next guest was a little intrusive we felt. especially as we had emptied our safe . On arriving at the disembarking area about 6.30, we found ourselves in what is a corridor. The queue was quite long, blocking the asses to and from the six lifts in that corridor. The queue finally started to move at 07.35. Due to docking late. This was our 5th cruise this year and for us the . We have travelled with Royal Caribbean. , P&O , Thomsons etc and for us Cunard came bottom of the list. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having only cruised before on very small ships (e.g. Wind Star, Seabourn) we decided to test the waters of a large ship by taking a short cruise up and down the English Channel. We chose the Cunard Queen Mary 2 as it was being billed as ... Read More
Having only cruised before on very small ships (e.g. Wind Star, Seabourn) we decided to test the waters of a large ship by taking a short cruise up and down the English Channel. We chose the Cunard Queen Mary 2 as it was being billed as the most luxurious ship on the seas, the height of luxury and elegance, make-you-feel-special atmosphere etc. What a disappointment it proved to be - on several counts: 1. Firstly the concept of imposing a $11.90pp per day tip, then find when presented with a bill that there was an additional 12.5% 'service charge' and a space for an extra 'gratuity' which was markedly pointed out, grates. 2. Embarkation: quite smooth until we eventually got aboard (no fault of Cunard that we had a massive traffic jam for the last 500m of our journey, which took us over 2 hours). Then the grinning double line of crew members greeting us could only offer a trite 'Welcome aboard'. Information as where to proceed next, what lunch arrangements were available, whether our cabin was ready etc had to be extracted like teeth. 3. Food in the much-vaunted Princess Grill was very patchy. Service was for the most part pleasant but we were offered rubbery fish, tough meat, cold food, a 5-minute boiled egg which never hit the mark even after 5 attempts... not one truly memorable meal. None of the dining options appealed at all and we entirely agree with a previous review that describes the self-service buffet as being like a motor-way service station cafe, only less attractive. 4. The spa was a pleasant area and we had chosen the QM2 as it appeared to be the only cruise boat/liner to offer a heated indoor spa pool as obviously no outdoor pools, jacuzzis etc were viable at this time of year. We were amazed to find that there was a charge to use this facility - even though there was no alternative - unless certain massage treatments wee being taken (at an exorbitant price). 5. The shops offered a different 50% discount promotion each night and when it was running the area was like Oxford Street in the January sales. 6. Our Princess Grill Suite was pleasant but the bathroom was quite spartan for what was supposed to be a luxury room - no heated towel rail or magnifying vanity mirror, very basic toiletries... We were surprised that we had to pay for bottled water in our room. The Room Service Menu was pitifully limited and not very appetising. The quality of the tv picture was very poor. 7. On the plus side, The Concierge lounge was useful, with a helpful Concierge. We enjoyed the dancing in the Apassionata show (but the music was overly loud) and the classical string quartet and harpist were very pleasant. 8. General impression: the boat was so crammed full that it was difficult to appreciate the super art deco decor of the public spaces until the boat emptied on a shore day and we were able to tour the areas without having to push our way through crowds. In no way and at no time were we made to experience feeling in any way 'special', 'pampered' or enjoying the height of luxury on the seas that we had been promised. Would we cruise again with Cunard? Absolutely, definitely NO. It was a great disappointment all round and certainly defied the trades description act.. And finally, on retrieving our baggage on disembarking we were a suit hanger short. Supposedly it has been found but we are yet to receive it.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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