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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review... Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, ... Read More
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review... Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, Cunard had other plans as they had enlisted - what can only be described as - a "B List" Captain and Team of Senior Staff. We had previously cruise on this ship 4 times before and found it to be absolutely wonderful. Hence, we were excited to spend a few days on the ship before Christmas. However, right from the start this cruise felt a little flat with staff very unmotivated and an absence of senior staff. Embarkation was good and the ship departed Southampton on time. In the early stages of the cruise there was no indication from the Captain that there would be any problems with the cruise. I had also checked the weather prior to leaving and knew that there would be some strong gusts in Amsterdam, but the Captain had indicated none of this. Later in the cruise the Captain mentioned strong winds in the Amsterdam area; again I was not overly concerned as only the previous year the ship failed to dock in Amsterdam because of high winds, but did dock at Rotterdam; the wind were not as bad as last year. The Captain then said that there was a 10% we may dock at Amsterdam and that we would sail all the way to the entrance and see what conditions were like. Eventually we were told we would not dock and alternatives would be considered. We then spend a considerably long time just sailing round with no updates. Finally we were told we would not dock anywhere because conditions were so poor. By now the mood of the ship had somewhat changed and this was very noticeable to both passengers and staff. To make matters worse the Captain then announced we would be arriving back in port a day early due to ‘essential works’. I think this pushed passengers over the edge as we then had lots of moaning and complaining. The atmosphere on the ship for the last two nights was pretty ugly. I am not really complaining that we did not go to Amsterdam as I appreciate that is a difficult port to get in and out of. However, its pretty poor to suggest that the entire west coast of Europe was inaccessible due to strong winds; especially when 12 month earlier the Queen Elizabeth had encountered far worse conditions and docked at Rotterdam. Not to mention the ship departed Southampton in Hurricane Force 12 winds Christmas 2013…if that was safe then Cunard have no excuse for not calling at any alternative port. I also understand that other cruise liners also docked at Amsterdam that night. I was also surprise that the ship had a strong diesel smell in the casino and pub; this was pretty disturbing as it appeared there was a problem with the ship. Why was this? Was it safe? Where Cunard cutting corners to save money? Cunard’s poor management and handling of the cruise meant many passengers just disembarked when the holiday was cut short by the Captain. It was not at all enjoyable having a meal in The Verandah Restaurant watching people lining up to get off on one side of the restaurant and Southampton dock on the other side. It was meant to be a pleasant night at sea sailing back from Amsterdam. The port cancellation was only one of several issues with this cruise. The majority of the staff and crew were either absent or not engaged in keeping passengers happy - well below the standards I have experienced with Cunard in the past. The Entertainments Director was a complete Misogynist asking young female colleagues how much they weighed on the TV feed. All in all, the cruise was rubbish. After the cruise, I did think of writing and complaining, but decided not to. However, Cunard contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd like to cruise with them again....they had a chance to win our custom back, but instead managed to make matters worse by saying "we are not giving any compensation" when I never complained or asked for this and was simply never going to cruise with them again. Only the arrogance of Cunard could make a customer service call escalate to the point of "rubbing salt into the wounds". Thankfully, we've found Celebrity so we won't bothering Cunard again...and we'd advise anyone not to bother with Cunard either! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not ... Read More
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not only slipped, but slid quite away. The daily activities was virtually none existent, take the bridge classes, Spa Ranch, pub quiz, bingo and minority group meetings from the daily program and there was very little left. The guest speakers were a welcome break from the monotony, although not all were to my interest the auditorium was packed out on each of their presentations. The evening shows were second rate although the Cunard Dancers were very professional only let down by the Cunard Singers whose singing was amateur to say the least. The two comedians, one of home who is a house hold name in the UK had material not changed since the 70s and the other’s humour or lack of it was to take the mick from different nationalities. However, on the East Bound Atlantic crossing back to Southampton the Fly Rights were brilliant, we had to wait 3 weeks for some decent entertainment, which was this. One afternoon and one afternoon only the entertainment staff along with the production staff acted out a Murder Mystery Suspense Thriller to music where the audience participated. Very slap stick but the audience loved it. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was adequate and served cold on more than a few occasions although this was rectified each time we complained. The food in the Kings Court Buffet was acceptable and a good variety in choice. I’m afraid Cunard has had its day, surviving on its history and White Star Service which is a shade of grey now. Most people we talked to were very disappointed and talked of other Cruise Lines they had been with being far better. Cunard, your Platinum and Diamond members are not going to live forever and you need interest the future generations or sail with empty ships.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2011
The Pros: The ship is very modern with some state of the art features which do not reflect in the way the cabins are fitted out. On the whole the staff are very hardworking and trying to please. You can see certainly the cabin ... Read More
The Pros: The ship is very modern with some state of the art features which do not reflect in the way the cabins are fitted out. On the whole the staff are very hardworking and trying to please. You can see certainly the cabin stewards working almost around the clock. The embarkation process was smooth and efficient and our luggage arrived to our cabin very fast. The Cons. 1. ACCOMMODATION/HOUSEKEEPING On arriving on the QV we were quite happy with our accommodation even though we found some old fruit underneath our dressing table and some dirt on the walls which had not been wiped clean. We considered this an oversight and did not make a fuss about it. Underneath the lockers on each side of the bed we found some old medication and pins. We would have felt happier if we had thought a thorough cleaning had been carried out. On the second day using the Ladies Changing Room on the Spa floor I noticed no conditioner - towels on the floor having fallen out of the overflowing used towels basket. The sauna itself was very clean and has a fabulous viewing window. In fact the ship really is very well set out and the decor is lovely. The only thing that lets Cunard down is the lack care taken with regard to cleanliness. The day prior to our departure we were told by our cabin steward that he could not give us any more tissues in our cabin as we were leaving -â€" we subsequently sorted this matter out by having to go down once again to the Pursers' desk. They contacted the housekeeper who said we could have more tissues but we are still wondering what happened here. We felt that now we were leaving our comfort was no longer important. The TV in our A1 cabin was an old cheap TV which went to black and white when a program was on .Very limited and usually 4 very old films a day .No Sport.Cant even match the Princess TV package. 2. LIDO During our first few days in the Lido we raised the following issues with the Maitre D' and then with the Pursers' Desk as we felt we were getting nowhere fast with the Maitre D'. A. We noticed a number of flies floating around and when we raised the matter with the Maitre D' of the Lido and the Purser's Desk we were given to understand that to implement measures to get rid of the flies would not be allowed for H&E reasons - I cannot see that leaving flies on food could be healthier. We are Elite members of Princess and have never been on a ship before where we have encountered flies in an enclosed eating area. B. We had read with much anticipation about the Indian Buffet nights in the Lido and very much looked forward to the same but they did not happen. Instead this buffet had been moved to the Todd English restaurant for a higher charge of $20.00. This feels like a very cynical move. Reading about the Indian Buffet in the Lido formed part of our decision to come on this cruise. C. During first few days on 7 occasions we went to have our meal there to find that the hot water and coffee had run out. I would have thought that the basic requirement for even the most mediocre of restaurants is a supply of coffee/hot water for tea. I noticed that the burners underneath the various pots had been allowed to go out. I had to point this out to the waiter and asked him to re-ignite the burners and bring new ones. The queues of disappointed people at the tea/coffee points was full of frustration. I don't know if this was allowed to happen because of inefficiency, not caring, and simply not being good enough. D. Food temperature -â€" in the Lido I don't believe we at any time had what could be called a hot meal (or even a warm one) for some reason we could never get anything that was not just "Lukewarm". Quite spoilt our appreciation of most dishes. We heard similar complaints about the Britannia restaurant. E. On Princess we always eat in Horizon because of the great freedom and also the choice and being able to eat when and where and help ourselves to exactly what we want. However, on the Queen Victoria during the outbreak of Novovirus on the ship which continued for almost a week we found our choices of food in the Lido restricted, inconvenient, and like a school canteen. Not at all what we needed to complete the Lido experience. 3. ENTERTAINMENT I am married to an Irish person and quite frankly I was rather taken aback by a comedian on board who made some "Irish" jokes in very poor taste (intimating that Irish people are stupid!). He made fun of the Welsh but only of high pitched voices and fun of the English for being reserved - I would not have minded if he said we are too proud, drink too much even but being stupid is not a character trait one wishes to hear. I felt very uncomfortable and walked out with my husband. I work in a law firm and know that even on television now such jokes would not be acceptable. Jokes about race are not acceptable. I made my views known to the cruise director and all I got was a patronising response. In this day and age of PC correctness I hope Carnival the owners of Cunard stop this before this becomes a serious issue - I did not hear any jokes about Chinese nationals or French nationals etc. and there were a lot on board - I think you might find they would not find such jokes about their race acceptable either. 4. ITINERARY We were bound in Alexandria for an extra day due to inclement weather. However, we noticed that an old Fred Olsen ship left without coming to any harm. There was a lot of bad feeling on the ship and speculation as no-one believed the Captain when she said it was bad weather. We therefore missed going to Katakolon which was for us one of the highlights of the trip. In Venice where the port closed due to fog -â€" we noted that although the ship was stationary until about 10am in the morning outside Venice we were only told about 5pm that evening that the ship would be going to Trieste and that we had to make our own way to Venice airport. Subsequently we were told by the Pursers' Desk that we would be provided with a transfer to Venice airport and they told us to cancel our taxi pickup previously booked -â€" which cost us (£60.00). The purser then came back to us and told us that Cunard would not provide us with transport to the airport that we would be dropped off at the port and would have to reinstate our original plans which we had cancelled. We are aware of how things can be done correctly on board a ship to make the passengers trust the Captain and the staff but we found that the command structure and communication on the QV was less than acceptable. This was a top down problem and the staff seemed very lacking in motivation because of no clear leadership or direction. Sometimes it seemed as if everyone was working at cross purposes. In conclusion we do not honestly think we would ever consider cruising with Cunard again after all the unnecessary stress, lack of clear management, hygiene and racial issues that we have been subjected to. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2011
We were really looking forward to this particular cruise as it was our 25Th Wedding Anniversary the previous month. We have cruised many times previously with both Princess and Royal Caribbean. We booked Cunard as we were under the ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this particular cruise as it was our 25Th Wedding Anniversary the previous month. We have cruised many times previously with both Princess and Royal Caribbean. We booked Cunard as we were under the illusion that we were booking something exceptional and of a more elegant and superior quality. The ship itself is beautiful in the main public areas if a little 'plastic' in appearance. We could not fault the staff who carried out their work with dedication and attention to detail but all appeared to lack any sense of ownership of the Cunard brand. Many appeared unhappy or at the most just getting through the daily grind. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was not equal to what we have experienced on both Princess and Royal Caribbean. The Duck on all of the nights it was served was tough. The portions were also smaller and in many cases lacked imagination especially after the build up it receives in the brochures etc. The waiter staff were excellent and very attentive but again they seemed to lack enthusiasm for 'the Cunard brand'. On one of the many formal nights (which by the way were difficult to distinguish from the ordinary semi-formal/smart casual nights other than on one formal night we had Lobster)when the kitchen/waiter staff paraded around the restaurant the announcer tried to muster enthusiasm with the cry because.......WE ARE CUNARD!! there was a very obvious lack of response from the staff - it was lack luster and they appeared embarrassed. The Lido restaurant was very disorganised. The hassle of trying to find a table was tedious. Standing in line to make a cup of tea was not something we expected on this ship. On our first day we were approached about the 'special offer' spa experience. $350 for two people for the 18 day cruise. It was sold to us as unlimited use of the Spa facilities. As it had a steam room we paid for this. On other ships the spa area especially the steam room and indoor pool have been free. As we were at sea the next day we thought this was perfect and accepted that perhaps the experience would be more than we had had before. We attended and received our gowns and went into the spa area. Although not together we found two beds and duly left our gowns and belongings on them whilst we had a dip in the pool. Another couple followed us in but could not find a bed. They proceeded to reception, The girl who had booked us in two minutes previously arrived into the spa area and removed our dressing gowns and put them in the bin!!! Apparently you cannot leave a bed and use the pool. Once you leave it you have forfeited it. What a rip off --- We demanded our money back. They apparently have fifty places which can cater for a ship of this size. They were also selling day passes so could not cope with the volume. The photographs taken were either at port or the supposed formal occasions were very poor with little or no attention to individual preferences or positioning. Because of this and the extortionate price $25 each they struggled to sell many. Cunard needs to think and ask why this is. Entertainment was very poor. The theatre productions were at best the standard of an am dram group. Very little variety. Afternoon tea! Beautiful scones etc which you could have for free in the Lido or pay $25 for the privilege of a white gloved waiter serving them to you in another area. Nothing explains how ludicrous this is more than the following... We sat in the Conservatory one day eating our free scones whilst on the other side which had been roped off the white gloved waiters served some people who had paid the above mentioned charge for the same scones. They also had the pleasure of the harpist who sat on their side. We also had the pleasure as we listened from our side!! What a shame that they have got so much wrong. Cunard really need to look and listen to their customers. We are genuine lovers of cruising and would have loved to continue to experience what Cunard purports to offer as it advertises. The reality is very different. As for us we will stick with Princess or Royal Caribbean or try others. Read Less
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