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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just ... Read More
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just so amazing, and she was missed. And we decided that the only way to go was the Queen's Grill, as we had done before on our last Cunard cruise in 2008 just before the Old Girl went out of service and was packed off to Dubai. It mystifies me that the QM2 was designed with the lifeboats hanging from Deck 8, just below the Queens's Grill Deck 9 suites. So all the views from the most spacious and consequently expensive cabins on the ship have partially obstructed views of the ocean below from their windows and balconies. Not so bad in the winter when the balconies are too cold to be used, but for a sailing the rest of the year, this is just nuts. Partially obstructed cabins usually go for a large discount. Apparently Cunard learned from this huge design mistake, and the later built Victoria and Elizabeth do not have this problem for the Queens Grill cabins, nor for the QG or Princess Grill Dining Room, as discussed in the next paragraph.. Furthermore, the Queens Grill Dining Room is on Deck 7. The outdoor walking track that goes all round the ship is on the perimeter of Deck 7. So all day long the Queens's Grill diners, and the Princess Grill on the other side, get the pleasure of a constant stream of walkers and runners by, looking in often on the diners, and distracting to the fine dining experience. My wife and I found this most disconcerting. Again, why did they design the ship this way? The QG food is way above average, with caviar and foie gras on request at dinner all the time, with a little notice, plus special orders, but one does get tired of the featured standards like Orange Duckling, Beef Wellington, Tenderloin steak, Broiled Lobster and Dover Sole. More variation would be good. Appetizers need more creativity. Vegan selections boring. Sandwiches at lunch few and boring. Waiting staff excellent. Lunch menu choices could use a little sprucing up. The Maitre De takes very good care of his precious guests. Nice wine offerings. Staterooms in the Queens Grill category other than the view problem are very nice. Large bathrooms, although I would have preferred a stall shower rather than this tub/shower. Better in rocky seas for safety and just leaning against the shower walls when necessary for stability . Beds very comfortable. Large walk in closets and lots of storage space. At over 500 sq ft the Queens Grill stateroom is very nice and comfortable indeed. The last of the Ocean Liners is large at over 125,000 tons and sails very steady and mostly smoothly, even in strong winds and bad seas, but when strong winds slice across the ship's path, it is going to get rough, as for any ship. So it was on one day of the seven days crossing the pond from NYC to Southampton and a night or two. I am not a great sailor, not like my wife, but most days the rolling I can take. It is the combination of the rolling and pitching in the North Atlantic that does me in. As this one bad day proved, once again. The ship is large - 2600 passengers, although today there are the many 4,000- 5,000 passenger behemoths that have destroyed European ports such as Venice and most of the Caribbean Islands. We prefer the small Seabourn size ships, of 450 passengers and took this cruise mostly out of convenience to get to Europe. Three formal nights out of seven is just excessive to our way of thinking, but most of the Brits on board loved it that way. A really big dress deal for both men and women. Not at all the casual dress style growing so fashionable on so many other smaller ships today, such as Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent. Dress standards are very important to maintain, but so many other cruise lines have dropped standards and let people take advantage these days. It has gone in the other direction. No tuxedos for me however, so it was dark suit and tie these formal nights. Other nights it was a pleasure to wear a sports coat and tie, as were all the other gentlemen for the most part in the Grill dining rooms. A handsome crowd of men and women, elegantly attired. The main Theater has very bad seating, whereby people crowd in next to each other on long couch type seats. Not too many rows of seats have a separate seat for one person. Too many bodies get crammed in this way, but not to my liking. Just when one thinks he or she is settled in, along comes another person or two and they just push their way in. Very tight, and with coughing and sneezing, not good. The other large entertainment and lecturing room Illuminations, has very nice separate seating and is much more comfortable. Lectures and performances almost non stop all day long. Most very good. Whether about the Cold War and submarines in WW2, being kept captive in Lebanon or piano performances. The only planetarium at sea has some fantastic shows. The QM performers team put on at least one extraordinary production number. Fourteen dancers and singers, with many costume changes, and a fine orchestra. We enjoyed immensely the large collection of Hollywood and Broadway passenger celebrity photos on the old QM and QE displayed in many areas throughout the ship, and many photos of the old fleet itself. It will be a while before we take another Cunard cruise, and I do not think it will be on the QM2, although we enjoyed this one very much despite its shortcomings in QM category cabin and DR placement. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Booked late deal outside cabin on Queen Elizabeth to Norwegian fjords. Cabin number 1107. The cabin is located aft on deck 1 and suffers from continuous vibration problems from the engine room. The vibrations can even be felt when in ... Read More
Booked late deal outside cabin on Queen Elizabeth to Norwegian fjords. Cabin number 1107. The cabin is located aft on deck 1 and suffers from continuous vibration problems from the engine room. The vibrations can even be felt when in bed and through the pillow. A more annoying noise comes from a service duct which is located in the wall separating cabins 1107 and 1109. The duct carries away waste from the Britannia Restaurant kitchen located on the floor above. Both cabins experience a noise like a toilet is being constantly flushed - a very loud suction noise. The ship is very aware of the problem and in an attempt to pacify the cabin occupants they switch of the system off between 11.30pm and 9am. Throughout the day it can be flushing at any time for long periods so forget trying to enjoy the cabin for any sort of relaxation during operational hours. We complained and after 3 days were moved to a balcony cabin. Several other passengers along that row of cabins complained about vibration problems and asked to be moved. The cruise to the fjords called in at the regular ports of call (Bergan etc) but also included two ‘maiden ports’ inside the arctic circle. One was Narvik which is a small uninspiring town. A quick look around a few local shops was the best on offer. Hopefully Cunard will find a more exciting port of call on future cruises. Other aspects of the cruise were fine, excellent food and service in Britannia restaurant. Excellent theatre shows performed by the ship’s singers and dances. Same guest artists seem to circulate around the same few ships so if you sail regulalrly with Cunard or PandO expect the same artists to be on the bill. Guest speakers were acceptable but the topics (about WW2 and the BBC) were quite dull and only attracted small audiences. Specialist speakers on photography were more popular. Overall passenger service was as good as ever, all staff helpful and smiling throughout the cruise. Ship’s photographers seemed to be more in the background on this cruise and not as intrusive as on previous cruises (a welcome thing) but they still insisted on disturbing passengers enjoying their evening meal to to take ‘a memorable shot’. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This is the first time we have every cruised on a Cunard ship. We have been on others thought so can compare. We did a five day Big Band Dance Cruise Southampton, Brugges, Amsterdam and Cherbourg. Fabulous, from the time we got to ... Read More
This is the first time we have every cruised on a Cunard ship. We have been on others thought so can compare. We did a five day Big Band Dance Cruise Southampton, Brugges, Amsterdam and Cherbourg. Fabulous, from the time we got to embarkation until we stepped off this morning. Such a warm welcoming ship. The food in the main restaurant and the Lido Buffet was superb, the staff couldn't have been more helpful, they work so hard. Cabins good and the beds divine, so comfy. If I had one criticism it would be that the dance floor wasn't big enough as it was advertised as Big Band they under-estimated how many people did Ballroom Dancing. The resident band though were brilliant, they played great party music when you wanted a change from the Ballroom. All said and done we wouldn't hesitate to cruise on her again and now want to try Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We are fortunate to travel every few months all over the world and try many different cruises and travel experiences. To date we have been on Princess, Holland America, Azamara, Celebrity, Carnival, Crystal and many other ocean and river ... Read More
We are fortunate to travel every few months all over the world and try many different cruises and travel experiences. To date we have been on Princess, Holland America, Azamara, Celebrity, Carnival, Crystal and many other ocean and river cruises. This was our first time on Cunard (sailing) and we were excited to experience this legendary 175 year old company. Well the excitement ended not too long after boarding when it was very evident that the crew on Queen Elizabeth was not in a good place. The service was distant and cool to a point that a number of previous reviews have mentioned, it is almost a level of disinterest. I even had a conversation with one of the staff in the Lido to try to ascertain if this aloof service was a directive from the ship or a result of long term interaction with the passengers, many of whom were not too friendly either. It was hard to get a decent answer that could be shared here clearly. The two areas that were good were the decor and the food in Britannia Restaurant. The meals were tasty and most entrees quite nice. The Lido Alternative ($17.50 pp) was also very good with nice service. Having been cruising for 26 years, I would highly suggest you direct your hard earned pennies somewhere else, our Trans-Atlantic cruise on Brilliance of the Seas two months earlier blew this right out of the water in both service, entertainment and positive energy. With so many stellar ships and cruise lines out there, don't pay a premium for an average experience and that is what is offered by the Queen Elizabeth. It's a true shame. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this trip via Imagine Cruising because the trip to India after the cruise was the added attraction.Boarding at Singapore was abbismal as they said the computers were down ,meaning long waits and even longer queues as 2000 people ... Read More
We chose this trip via Imagine Cruising because the trip to India after the cruise was the added attraction.Boarding at Singapore was abbismal as they said the computers were down ,meaning long waits and even longer queues as 2000 people were waiting.On board at last we found orientation around the ship difficult for the first two or three days and would describe the layout as higgle piggile.But having said that she is beautiful ,stylish and upmarket ,all public area are gorgeous and also she is so stable you are completely unaware that you are at sea.This part of the cruise was through Malaysia and the Indian Ocean and was incredibly hot and humid but Adora's was an oasis if coolness.Meals were on late sitting and we had a table of 6 ,they were friendly and sometimes it was difficult to speak to everyone ,food was very good most of the time but occasionally as with everything some were just OK.Drinjs as usual were rediculouly overpriced so wine was not purchased.The pub was a good place to meet and enjoy the old g and t.Shows we also found to be hit and miss but the theatre is amazing and would not be out of place in the Westend.The cinema/lecture auditorium was also first-class.Drinks parties given by the Captain were fun and you got a FREE drink and met fellow cruisers ,most we talked to are looking forward to the Indian Adventure.Disembarkation was also chaotic with people unaware of which coach was correct for them.The heat at Dubai was draining and after waiting ages we just got on any bus going to the airport,missing our private transfer in the chaos and then finding our own way to the correct terminal for our direct flight to Delhi with an Indian airline.Most of the Imagine Cruisers were booked on Emirates and we luckily missed the further chaos at Delhi airport where they took more than two hours to clear evisa entry.We particularly enjoyed the pool and jacuzzi in the late afternoons as the heat in this area of the world is stifling. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
For 799 USD on a balcony incl. 850 USD OBC you better go than staying home. Embarkation was "disappointing" since the weather was foggy and rainy. So not a real welcome feeling with a great farewell out of New York like we had ... Read More
For 799 USD on a balcony incl. 850 USD OBC you better go than staying home. Embarkation was "disappointing" since the weather was foggy and rainy. So not a real welcome feeling with a great farewell out of New York like we had in November 2014. Crew was fantastic - was mostly like reunion-party. Was NY Times Readers voyage incl. many lectures from NY Times. Wanted to join many but at first day many items canceled from my personal agenda and from second day never had a look again to daytime activities. Production shows were great. Violin-artist plus Diva of the Seas with Whitney Houston song fantastic. Only Opera Boys were a little weak compared to the level of the other shows. Food unchanged. But The Verandah. Too overpriced and too upscale compared to Todd English before. So only had one time but three times on last voyage. Alternative dining (Coriander and Smokehouse night) was nice. But the last Coriander food experience on QUEEN VICTORIA recently was better. Service experience as good as before. New King's Court with long ways to beverages. Best was fresh squeezed juices for breakfast. Cabin was fine. Nice balls and parties. Internet services better since it is no more MTN but Telenor. Better quality if it runs. But if it did not run it was terrible. Only regular debarkation deck by deck was too old-style. But friends with purser's office was helpful to get me off the ship at my time of convenience. Something they could do much better by asking the guests when they want to leave the ship. VERY NICE for Gays. Last transatlantic we were only 2 FODs. This time around 40. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Sadly this cruise was totally miss-sold as a Big Band Cruise, as the only sign of the theme was on the Saturday Night with a Big Band Ball in the Queens room (The theatre orchestra joined up with the Queens Room orchestra) Most of your ... Read More
Sadly this cruise was totally miss-sold as a Big Band Cruise, as the only sign of the theme was on the Saturday Night with a Big Band Ball in the Queens room (The theatre orchestra joined up with the Queens Room orchestra) Most of your longer cruises have this same Big Band Ball on one the evenings, so this was nothing out of the ordinary, we would have expected far more on what was advertised as a themed cruise. On the other two nights there was nothing extra in the way of Big Band music or theme. We feel the cruise was miss-sold to us as a special Big Band themed cruise, and was actually no different to any other Cunard sailing. Boarding the ship in Southampton was a total pleasure, and really fast. This is a massive improvement of previous experiences with Cunard. The ship was well maintained as always, with bar and stateroom staff friendly and pleasant. Sadly the waiters in the Britannia Restaurant were miserable at best, avoiding any kind of interaction with us. We were not even asked if everything was ok with the food. The choice and food quality in the Britannia was the worst I have experienced in 60 cruises. The menu choice was tiny and the quality and presentation of the food you received lower than you would expect from a Weatherspoon’s! We felt this was really poor, to the extent that we did not go back on the second and third nights. We found the room service, casual dining, and Golden Lion Pub food to be of a far higher quality, better presented, with a fantastic choice. This was the first time on any cruise that I have not wanted to dine in the main restaurant because the food was not good enough. Something has really gone wrong with the quality, choice and service in the Britannia Restaurant, as the evening meals are supposed to be a special event, rather than mediocre at best. Sadly our thoughts on the Britannia Restaurant food were echoed by many passengers we talked to on-board. One afternoon we were waiting in the Queens Room for afternoon tea whilst the waiting staff were laying the tables, throwing the saucers down like Frisbees in front of you, ignoring all conversation we tried to make, with no smiles or niceties at all. This really is not what we expect from Cunard. Our stateroom attendant in cabin 1034 was a credit to Cunard. Polite friendly and efficient. If only the Britannia waiting staff could be like this. We did have some rough seas on the cruise, which is to be expected in November. The magnetic wardrobe door catches need to be reinstated in cabin 1034, as the wardrobe doors were banging open and close all night on two occasions. This did not do much for our sleeping. One final issue, we had reason to ask the front desk staff what the weather was like in Zeebrugge before heading ashore. The reply was a shrug of shoulders and “I don’t know” Maybe some training in customer service would be useful in this area? Over all this was not anything like the Cunard cruises I did in 2012 and 2013 and I am unlikely to return. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Queen Mary 2 Remastered -- Myeh! The Queen Mary 2 was in dry dock in Hamburg from the end of May through the third week of June, resuming her crossings of the Atlantic just a few weeks before our Eastbound crossing on July 6, and our ... Read More
Queen Mary 2 Remastered -- Myeh! The Queen Mary 2 was in dry dock in Hamburg from the end of May through the third week of June, resuming her crossings of the Atlantic just a few weeks before our Eastbound crossing on July 6, and our return sailing from Southampton on August 1. The "remastering", as Cunard calls it, was advertised heavily for many months. So, I was looking forward to the wonders we would find aboard. I'm sure if we were occupants of one of the several brand new suites dropped onto the 13th deck while the ship was in dry dock, enjoyed some of the improvements in the other most expensive suites, or inspected the newly cleaned and painted hull or engine pods, we would have seen many great improvements. From our vantage point, staying in a middle-level balcony stateroom, the ship was beautiful, but the "remastering" was greatly over-hyped. To be fair, the Carinthia Lounge and the King's Court buffet, available to all, are very nicely redecorated. There is also much beautiful, new carpet in many of the public areas. In a giant leap forward into the latter part of the last century, the tiny TVs that sat on the counter next to the vanity have been replaced by 42" flat panel TVs mounted on the wall, opposite the bed and love seat. There are probably other areas that have been redone that we didn't use or didn't notice. The stench of old cigarette butts in the 6th deck "C" elevator area on the non-smoking QM2 was awful. I can only guess they used the container standing there to dump the ash trays from the deck 7 outside smoking area. Since we were "commuting" between New York and Southampton before and after our Celebrity Eclipse Baltic/Scandinavian cruise, it was helpful that the QM2 has several laundry rooms where guests can do their own washing, since the Celebrity Solstice-class ships don’t have any do-it-yourself laundries . It is a miserable experience, though, since theQM2’s laundry room is tiny and sweltering, The launderettes are a great convenience, but once the first loads of clothes of the day are washing, you don't have much choice but to stand there waiting for a machine to become available. The "remastering" didn't address the lack of ventilation or cooling. It is still hot as blazes in the launderettes. There were several excellent speakers on our two transatlantic crossings, and it was a treat to see Herbie Hancock and his group perform. When the Kings Court buffet was being redecorated, the floor plan was completely revamped. There are several small, quiet alcoves and nooks with 2 to 5 tables, giving a feeling of pleasant isolation from the hustle and bustle of the buffet. The chaos in the buffet, however, is worse than before the remastering. The renovation seems to be a designer's plan of form over function. There are four separate food serving areas in a line down the center of deck 7, separated by passages and cross corridors. While the intention seems to have been to separate the pizza and pasta station, the hamburger and hot dog section, the hot and cold beverage stations, and other food areas, the result is that finding a seat, selecting a salad, beverage, entree, or dessert requires long walks back and forth, in and around, from section to section, often getting disoriented, and then searching for your table which cannot be seen if it is more than a few yards from where you are standing. The milling of hungry guests through four food-serving rooms, carrying plates and sloshing beverages, trying to find a food item, and then having no idea where the table they left is, is a major, recurring frustration. A large, open serving area, within sight of the tables and alcoves, would be much more practical in a self-service buffet. Food in the main dining room was very good. Room service, however, was a big disappointment on the QM2 after our cruises on the Celebrity Eclipse and Reflection. The room service menu is very limited. It is mostly burgers, a few sandwiches, and a half dozen very simple hot dishes, like spaghetti Bolognese and quesadillas. Of course, there are two full pages with three columns of small print listing dozens and dozens of glasses and bottles of wine, beer, and soft drinks you can buy through room service. My wife had not been feeling well, and she was tired the last half of our Celebrity cruise and the first half of our homeward crossing on the QM2. When our waiter on the Eclipse noticed my wife missing for dinner one night, he suggested that I order whatever I thought my wife would like from the dining room menu, and he would have it delivered by room service. He happily did that five or six of the 14 nights. In my naivity I asked our waiter to do that one night on the QM2. It was as if no one had ever imagined the concept. It took multiple conversations with the waiter and his supervisor, who eventually got it done, but why was that such a production? Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Having cruised with a number of cruise lines ( Royal Caribbean , P & O and Oceania ) we were interested to see how Cunard compared , the fact a refit had occurred recently would be even better . We were expecting higher standards ... Read More
Having cruised with a number of cruise lines ( Royal Caribbean , P & O and Oceania ) we were interested to see how Cunard compared , the fact a refit had occurred recently would be even better . We were expecting higher standards than RC and P & O but in our opinion the food was not as good in the main dining room . Most courses read well on the menu but were disappointing when they arrived . The main buffet for breakfast and lunch was generally good however one day my chicken was still raw in the middle !! Overall the ship was nice although it did lack the Wow factor in many areas and some of the hallways were very bland . You can see it is built as a transatlantic ship rather than an out and out cruise ship . The entertainment was Ok and we had a song and dance show on the final night 'The Rhythm of the night " which was very good . Pride and Prejudice was excellent and also a gymnastic show . The night club was very good . Having taken this cruise Cunard would not be our choice for an upmarket cruise , very much on a par with P & O but from our experience the food on P & O was better . We will stick with Oceania for the more upmarket experience . Sailing twice on Victoria later in the year so we will see how that compares . Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was better know as the 4th of July celebration with stops at Halifax Nova Scotia and Boston mass. The ship was exceptional in every aspect. Clean as could be and crew knowledgegdable about the ship. Dining was exceptional as ... Read More
This cruise was better know as the 4th of July celebration with stops at Halifax Nova Scotia and Boston mass. The ship was exceptional in every aspect. Clean as could be and crew knowledgegdable about the ship. Dining was exceptional as well as the shows and n liner.ambience of this modern liner. Pools were great and never crowded. The casino was a little small but the pubs were super. All I can say that I have been on 20 plus cruises and the qm2 was the most dynamic ship I have been on. Crowd was old average age 70 but people from England Germany and us all wear fun to be with. Also enjoyed teatime which all should attend at 330 pm. Tours were also well done and priced fairly. Excellent cabin and steward as well as the entire staff. Ports visited were fine and we loved walking in Halifax on the pier. Boston 3 hour tour was very informative. Overall 5 stars. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The Queen Mary 2, as we expected is a beautiful, spacious ship. The amenities offered are wonderful. We took this trip because Crosby Stills and Nash, a 1960s rock group were slated to do 3 concerts onboard. But the lectures offered ... Read More
The Queen Mary 2, as we expected is a beautiful, spacious ship. The amenities offered are wonderful. We took this trip because Crosby Stills and Nash, a 1960s rock group were slated to do 3 concerts onboard. But the lectures offered every day and the Planetarium were bonuses. The shows offered were either great, Mr. Doyle, a Welch entertainer, singer/comic was terrific. The magician was also great. The disco had a wonderful ship band. But we found the staff to be mostly stiff, except for Agnes a server in the Lounges and at shows, Christopher,, an American server in the Kings Court buffet, who actually asked if he could get us another cup of coffee (unheard of at a buffet) and the Maitre'd and our meal servers in the Brittannia Dining Room, Omar and Edwin. There were 2600 passengers. So I assume because of the venue size of the Royal Theate (900), each cabin was only offered tickets to one of the 3 CSN concerts. I understood why they wanted to be fair to all passengers. However, some of us approached the entertainment staff and pointed out that with the age of the population there would probably be wasted tickets. So our suggestion was to make it generally known that if you were not interested in the concert, please turn in the tickets for fans to go to more than one concert. This was pooh poohed and we were told we could put our name on a list if people did turn in tickets. Later that day we received 2 more tickets, however to the same show we already had tickets for. Fortunately, the first night of concerts, one of our tablemates was passing by the venue and saw people going in because there were at least 40% of the seats empty. So we ran and were able to see the group twice. Now I don't understand why a plan was not in place to take care of such a situation. Another problem we had was our dining room seating assignment. Before the cruise we contacted the Cunard Line and had our reservation and friends reservation linked so we would be assigned early seating at the same table. We arrived onboard and our seats were for late seating and at tables 15 and 161. This was rectified for the second night and thereon by the Maitre'd in the Brittannia Room but it was not available for early seating. I guess I was surprised that for such an old established line, there was lack of organization and disinterest. Even your account was not available to be viewed every day on the TV like other cruise lines. I enjoyed the cruise but would not do a transatlantic cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We are veteran cruisers and like to book voyages that are different or unique (we've done three Maiden Voyages as well as the Titanic Memorial Cruise - all one-offs). Therefore we were looking forward to the unique "Lusitania ... Read More
We are veteran cruisers and like to book voyages that are different or unique (we've done three Maiden Voyages as well as the Titanic Memorial Cruise - all one-offs). Therefore we were looking forward to the unique "Lusitania Remembered" cruise offered by Cunard on board the Queen Victoria. In addition 2015 is the 175th Anniversary of Cunard, and the cruise line had put on a number of special events to mark this. We boarded at Southampton, where all three Cunard Queens were in port together, waiting to leave in a convoy. Queen Victoria was at the back of the procession, which allowed us to get some great photos of the QM2 and QE. Seeing all three queens leaving together, their foghorns blasting away, was quite an experience. We were allocated cabin 4119, a standard outside cabin which was spacious and immaculate. The king-size bed contained very comfortable and crisp cotton sheets, pillowcases and duvet. The cabin also contained a settee, coffee table, ample wardrobe and drawer space and a well-appointed bathroom with a selection of toiletries. The flat-screen television had an extensive selection of channels and programmes. There was also a fridge containing a mini-bar, and our excellent cabin stewardess kept our ice-bucket filled. We ate in the Britannia Restaurant for dinner and (usually) the Lido buffet or the Golden Lion for lunch, and the food was never less than excellent. In the Britannia we were given special "Lusitania" menus to keep as souvenirs, and the service from our waiter, sommelier and bus-boy were superb and professional. The daytime activities were plentiful and varied, and we were often spoilt for choice as what to do. The guest lecturers were superb; we had maritime historians who really knew their Cunard stuff, and there were two truly excellent presentations given by former BBC news reporter Martin Bell, who is a natural and enthusiastic orator. The evening shows were also brilliant and varied. The ship's own production company put on a couple of very original shows, and the star guests included an excellent 1960s tribute band called "The Overtures", accomplished flautist Claire Langan, and former TV show host and comedian Tom O'Connor. We never saw a duff show at all. Although we didn't stray very far from Britain, the ports of call were interesting and charming. We visited St. Peter Port, Guernsey; Le Havre, France, then around to Cobh, Ireland for the highlight of this cruise - the "Lusitania Remembered" ceremony on 7th May 2015 which marked 100 years since the tragic sinking of this great Cunard ocean liner in the 1st World War. The president of Ireland attended, as did other dignitaries such as the chairman of Cunard Line, Ambassadors from Britain, USA and Germany as well as the Queen Victoria's master, Commodore Christopher Rynd. Each made an eloquent and emotional speech about the Lusitania, which culminated in the Queen Victoria, berthed behind us in the port, giving a blast on her foghorn to mark the exact moment at 2.10pm when the torpedo hit the Lusitania 100 years before. This was followed by a minute's silence, and the whole remembrance ceremony was so dignified and a fitting way to remember the 1200 dead. As well as the Lusitania ceremonies, there were also a number of other things going on in Cobh, such as an open-air musical concert. The evening finished with a flotilla of small boats carrying white lights sailing past the Queen Victoria at 9.30pm, to mark the return of the lifeboats to Cobh with the rescued survivors 100 years before. It was certainly a sight to behold, and we were so privileged to be a part of it. Our final port of call was Dublin, before a day at sea and our return to Southampton. Throughout the cruise the weather certainly left a lot to be desired, but that's something that we (and Cunard!) are unable to do anything about. So all in all, there is absolutely nothing we can fault about this cruise - the ship, the food, entertainment, ports of call - everything met and even exceeded our high expectations and it is easy to see why Cunard are still a leading cruise line after 175 years. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
We boarded the ship in NY and were impressed with the embarkation process. We had an opportunity to have access to our room and were very impressed with the size of the Princess Grill room. The room was big and gave us room to walk ... Read More
We boarded the ship in NY and were impressed with the embarkation process. We had an opportunity to have access to our room and were very impressed with the size of the Princess Grill room. The room was big and gave us room to walk around without bumping into each other. The additional closet space was a gift with all the clothes we had packed. Our room steward, Rommel, was very helpful and kept our room spotless. The ship as a whole was impressive and very regal. Does not have the glitz and glamor of other cruise ships. It has lot's of wood railings and paneling. The ship was constantly being cleaned. I found the ship's staff very personable. Always wishing us a good day. The food in all areas was very good. We had moments when we didn't feel like getting dressed formally and enjoyed the option of having a meal as we desired in the buffet. We also enjoyed the Todd English restaurant. Very good and the service was exceptional. Our service in the Princess Grill was very memorable. The whole restaurant staff were very personable and we were greeted at all meals with a smile. Our staff included Robert, Gordon, RoseMarie and Sanntosh. Our sommelier, Silvanna was very knowledgeable and gave us exceptional service. Patou and Yonell....... our Maitre D's were proper and meticulous. We enjoyed coming for our meals and having the exceptional service we expected at that level. The shore excursions were wonderful. The only caveat may be the cigarette smoking. As a non smoker...... it was not comfortable to have your next door neighbor smoking on his deck. We would have to close our deck door for a while. And parts of the interior had a smoky aroma. We have taken a few cruises and know there are glitches. We accept those as part of traveling. We have met so many new friends that we keep in contact today on previous cruises and this cruise is no exception. I was involved with an informal aviation group meeting on sea days and enjoyed the impromptu discussions. The disembarkation was easy and orderly. Our concierge finalized our arrival and made the journey a wonderful memory for my beautiful wife and our 25th anniversary. Read Less
Sail Date: September 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: November 2009
Cruise of Nov 17th out of New York , D8 cabin booked upgraded to D2 , Deck 12 inside, traveling solo. Flew to New York via Jet Blue (excellent flight) from Fort Myers FL, not arranged by Cunard, however I did book a Hotel package with ... Read More
Cruise of Nov 17th out of New York , D8 cabin booked upgraded to D2 , Deck 12 inside, traveling solo. Flew to New York via Jet Blue (excellent flight) from Fort Myers FL, not arranged by Cunard, however I did book a Hotel package with Cunard, I arrived early into New York but the Cunard rep was there. As I was the only Cunard passenger on that flight a Lincoln town car was provided to take me to the Hilton. At Hilton, checking in was easy, the room had recently been renovated and was very clean and bright. However the agency handling the transfers hotel to ship had not left any information with the reception desk . It took two phone calls before getting this at 8.30pm This was a letter but the date of ickup from hotel to ship was given as Nov 16th , the correct date should have been Nov 17th. If you choose to stay at the Hilton, I would suggest tht you make plans to go out to eat , there are quite a few places nearby. The Hotel itself only had one restaurent open for dinner, mostly pasta and very expensive. The breakfast is buffet style, little choice, few actual dishes, and again very expensive. I had juice, tea, sausage , tomatoe, beans, toast, and the bill was $38. Bus to ship on 17th , was without incident, but at port a Longshore man came onto the bus before we were allowed to get off, and made it clear, the handlers expected to be paid for handling the cases to the ship. Paid $5 for one suitcase. Cabin , normal inside cabin, I asked the steward at 1.30p.m to please leave me a full size blanket for the bed when he made up the room for the night. However at 10.30p.m when I went back to the room that night, no blanket.Called steward on cabin phone, he was off duty, called housekeeping , no service after 9.30p.m. Spoke with front desk to be told,it would be difficult to get me a blanket that late, that I should have asked for it earlier! There were sparkles scattered over the carpet obviously from last occupants gowns, so the cabin had not been vacumed before I occupied it. Same sparkles still there when I disembarked 13 days later, so again it was obvious the cabin had not been cleaned very well in that time. Took 3 days before a robe appeared ( I had my own but not every passenger would bring one since Cunard say this is provided) One day he removed the used face cloths and failed to leave fresh ones, so had no face cloths until next day, another day same thing happened with Bath towels,I only had small hand towels for use after shower. Dining, I was in Britannia,first seating Table 95, a table for 7, when #6 and #7 failed to appear we requested table be laid for 5. My companions were great.Two ladies from FL travelling together, a married couple from Canada, and myself. We all found the waiter very morose, he never smiled, never gave any information on the alternatives to menu ( I had to tell my table companions that). One night we were given another tables meals . This was the first cruise out of many that I have not given extra tips 'under the table' to my cabin steward or waiter.None of other four gave any extras either. Every evening I would go into either the Golden Lion or the Chart room for a glass of wine. In the Lion entertainment was a piano player, the the Chart Room it was either a Harpist or a String Quartet. I enjoyed both locations. Each day I would go to Sir Samuels for mid morning 'goodies', sometimes I also had a light lunch there. I also went to the Lion a couple of times, good food but the Trivia event would sometimes run over into the so called lunch hour, so the pub was very crowded and rather noisy. There were several new shows in the Theatre, which I enjoyed, also Classical Piano recital, again very good. I did not go to the see other individual acts, but that was a personal choice.My table companions from Canada seemed to enjoy them. Queen Room Balls, these did not start until 9.45p. and unless you went in by about 9p.m seats were difficult to find. For those travelling as a couple who liked to dance I am sure these were enjoyable. However as a senior solo traveler they had little attraction for me. My two female table companions did comment that the dance hosts seemed to dance with the same females all the time, and you would need to sit at the tables at the side of the dance floor to attract the hosts attention. The hosts did not go into the main body of the room to choose partners. Sales tables/Photographs, The sales tables were extremely tacky, and prevented normal foot traffic . The shops themselves appeared to have limited stock, even though we had sailed from New York. In order to go from one end of ship to the other you had to 'evade' at least 4 areas set upfor portaits night after night.also in the dining room, simply saying a polite "no thank you" did not always work As always I loved the ship itself, but felt that the service needs to be improved, There did seem to be a lack of respect for the passengers wishes It seemed that the staff's wishes,or way of doing things, were of more importance than pleasing the paying customers. Read Less
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