1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Cunard Line
  4. Cunard Line Cruise Reviews

29 Cunard Hong Kong Cruise Reviews

We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been ... Read More
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been retired for a year, we are originally from the UK and have lived in Maryland USA for the past 30 years. We have predominantly cruised on Celebrity, but recently have become a bit jaded with them and have started to try out other cruise lines, including Azamara and Oceania, to see if we can find one that’s a “better fit”. So, why pick this cruise? My husband lived in Hong Kong as a child and had wanted to visit again. I wanted to cruise the QM2 for a second time. Cathay Pacific introduced a new 16 hour non-stop flight from Washington DC to Hong Kong (as opposed to 24 hours via anywhere else), and February 17th 2019 would be our 30th wedding anniversary. It seemed like the stars had aligned for us and this trip would be the perfect way to celebrate! How was that non-stop flight? We flew out of Washington Dulles to Hong Kong at 00:15am on the 15th, and I had hoped to get some sleep on board. We had booked Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy, and enjoyed the hot towel and champagne welcome and the expedited meal service, (served with real cutlery!). The premium seat had a decent recline, a large pillow and nice thick blanket, but I still only managed about an hours sleep. Ugh. I did get to read a lot and watch 3 movies though, and we did arrive about 45 minutes early which was a bonus. The plane took a route north over the USA and Canada, over the pole and down through Russia, Mongolia and China. A 15 hour non-stop flight really takes its toll though, and I was super grumpy when we arrived. How was the hotel? We had booked a harbour view room at the Royal Pacific Hotel, (part of the Sino Hotels chain) in Kowloon for 4 nights, and as our flight was due in at 5am, we reserved the room from the previous night and advised them of our very late arrival, so we could get to bed straight away. We had also asked for hypoallergenic bedding as I am allergic to feathers. Everything was prepared as requested, but grumpy me thought the room looked seedy, and after fighting and losing with the nespresso machine, tripping over the step in the bathroom and giving up on getting the shower to work, I went to bed. What a difference a few hours sleep makes! I woke up, pulled back the curtains to find an amazing view over the harbour to Hong Kong Island and The Peak, and then discovered a huge bathtub as well as a separate shower in the bathroom, and a kettle in the cupboard. Hooray! What did you get up to in Hong Kong? Saturday was sunny and warm so we had lunch at the Satay Inn in the hotel, and then walked through several shopping malls to the Star Ferry, crossed to Hong Kong, took a taxi to The Peak and walked back down to the ferry via the University where my husbands father worked as registrar in the 1960s, and Robinson Road where my husband lived in his teens. The apartment block is still there, but dwarfed by the surrounding tower blocks, and the harbour view has gone. 15,000 steps later we had a quick dinner in the hotel, had a glass of wine in bed and watched the laser light show on the harbour through the window and had an early night. Sunday 17th was our wedding anniversary, and also the Hong Kong Marathon and everywhere was crowded and chaotic and frustrating, so we celebrated with a sulk and a light lunch at the Mandarin Oriental and a relaxing Shanghainese dinner with fizz at Ye Shanghai. The weather took a turn for the worse during the afternoon and we had booked a tour to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island on Monday. The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms, so we called and rescheduled the tour for post cruise. Monday we were lazy, bought a few supplies (wine!) for the cruise, and decided on a light dinner at the hotel bar. So far the hotel clientele had been predominantly asian, but tonight the bar was full of english people. We walked in and were met with a chorus of “I bet you are going on the QM2 tomorrow”. It seems that the Royal Pacific Hotel was one that Cunard uses for its customers on fly cruise holidays. We chatted with a few soon-to-be fellow passengers, and bizarrely never bumped into any of them again once on board! Boarding Day! How did that go? We had originally booked a guarantee BV sheltered verandah cabin with late seating, and when we got our cabin assignment about 5 week before sailing, we had been upgraded to a BU cabin, midships, deck 6, with a 2:30pm boarding time. Two weeks before the cruise we got another upgrade notice, this time to a BA cabin, Britannia Club deck 12, 1pm boarding. What a nice surprise! The morning of the cruise we checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Kai Tak cruise terminal. When I first flew to Hong Kong over 30 years ago, planes landed at Kai Tak airport. It was a scary place to land as final approach was a steep plunge down through the skyscrapers, and if you survived that there was always the chance of ending up in the harbour if the pilots didn’t brake fast enough! Kai Tak airport closed a few years ago and the old airport runway has been turned into a cruise terminal. We dropped our bags and entered the terminal where we were given boarding number 7. We waited and waited, well past 1pm and 2 pm. Boarding groups A, B, C, D were called, then finally they started on numbers. Eventually we got on board around 3pm. I was frazzled. I like to get on board early and get organised. We dropped our bags in the cabin and went to the buffet. There was hardly any food, and what there was looked old and dried up. Not a good start. We did muster drill, unpacked and then headed up on deck for sailaway. There was a Caribbean band playing reggae music, drones flying after us, a lovely sunset and skyscrapers slowly lighting up. Probably one of the best sailaways I’ve ever experienced! How was your Britannia Club Cabin? First of all our cabin was about as far as it could possibly be from the Britannia Club dining room, apart from the Club cabins on deck 13! We got plenty of exercise walking to and from meals! Our cabin was configured with a king size bed, and prepared with hypoallergenic bedding. The bathroom was a decent size and the water pressure in the shower was good. The toiletries were nice. We found two bottles of sparkling wine in the cabin, along with canapes which were a gift from our travel agent. Our tour tickets were waiting for us along with our dining table assignment. Our cabin steward, Chris, kept the cabin clean, changing out the towels and emptying the trash twice a day. How was the Britannia Club restaurant? We enjoyed our time in the Britannia Club restaurant, and were seated at a table for 2 in a row of 4 tables for 2, so effectively a table for 8, as there was less than a foot between each table. Our waiter explained the dinner menu with the selections that changed daily at the front and the a la carte always available items listed in the back. He explained how everything was prepared “a la minute” in Britannia Club, (I think he was fibbing about that), and that if you wanted the a la carte duck you needed to order it the day before. I like eating fish and enjoyed many of their smoked salmon appetisers, and salads. I am not sure that the main course fish dishes were prepared “a la minute”, especially if we went to dinner at 8:30, as the fish seemed dried out, as if it had been hanging around under a heat lamp, or had been grabbed from the main Britannia galley. It was also difficult to get a steak cooked medium. One thing I did notice was that after bringing a course and wielding his pepper grinder, the waiter never came to check on whether the dish was OK. On the whole the food was pretty good. I only had one dud meal, a chicken and corn consomme that was actually more like a very heavily salted thick corn chowder. I couldn’t eat more than a couple of spoonfuls of that. The waiter never enquired as to why I hadn’t eaten it, nor did he offer to bring me something different. That same night I ordered a filet mignon medium. It arrived beyond well done, and was tough and gristly. My husband ate it as he didn’t want me to complain, and I enjoyed part of his chicken tikka masala. The fact that one disappointing meal stands out, is probably a sign that overall the food was really good! Desserts weren’t outstanding, but I loved the variety and quality of the cheeses offered on the cheese trolley. Wine service in the restaurant was OK, although initially the pouring was slow. I did notice that other people tended to only have one glass of wine a night and made a bottle last 2 or 3 nights whereas we prefer to enjoy the entire bottle in one sitting. Once the sommelier realised this, he was very attentive at keeping us topped up! We particularly enjoyed the french rose that came in a shapely bottle, and a very reasonably priced Cava. So that’s dinner taken care of, how about your other meals? We had a couple of breakfasts in Britannia Club, and appreciated it being available on disembarkation morning. However the poached eggs were cold both times I ordered them, and they didn’t have chocolate croissants either time we ate there, so not a great experience. Room service was a better breakfast option, especially as they had an excellent scrambled eggs and smoked salmon which always arrived piping hot, and they had chocolate croissants :) We did enjoy lunches in Britannia Club as it was quiet and relaxing. There was a fish curry for lunch one day that was a real standout dish. After the boarding day lunch we never ventured back into the Kings Court buffet. The Corinthia lounge was a nice place for a specialty coffee and a bite to eat. Breakfast offerings were quite eclectic, ranging from fresh fruit bowls to yoghurt parfaits, from breakfast burritos to shiitake mushroom and scrambled egg croissants, and (my favourite!) quails eggs over peppers, chorizo and potatoes. They offered nice salads for lunch too. Another favourite lunch spot was The Golden Lion Pub. We had excellent fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash there. Another nice coffee spot was Sir Samuels, the Godiva Chocolate cafe. Lots of lovely chocolatey treats there, that we enjoyed looking at but never were hungry enough to sample! What was the bar scene like? I am used to cruising with drinks included, but the drinks package offered by Cunard was an eye-popping $69.99 per person per day, and required both people in the cabin to have the same package, plus there was an $11 price limit on things that were included. It didn’t seem worth it so we opted for paying as we went, and probably ended up spending under $100 dollars a day, including a bottle of wine with dinner, Perrier, tea and coffee, and pre and post dinner drinks. I thought the individual drink prices were quite reasonable. We enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in the Chart Room. They often had either a harpist, string trio or jazz combo playing there. We tried the Commodore Club one night and while we enjoyed listening to the pianist we found the venue dark and claustrophobic. The Golden Lion also had a really good guitarist in the early evening, and in the late evening he performed as part of a pop duo. I was really impressed with the quality of the live music on board the ship. How did you keep busy on sea days? We felt that Cunard excelled in the quality and variety of activities they offered during the day, compared to other cruise lines we have sailed on. Usually we find very little to interest us so bring books and puzzles to keep ourselves busy. On this cruise we were spoilt for choice for things to do. We enjoyed the talks about QE2, Titanic, The Royal Yacht Britannia, The Apollo Space Programme, The History of Japan, and the music masterclasses on Pink Floyd and Peter Green. We missed the talks on China, the QM2, the talks from the sports commentator Henry Blofeld and the masterclasses on Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. We never got chance to go to the cooking demonstrations as we were so busy. Chinese language, calligraphy, painting and craft classes were also offered, along with dancing lessons and bridge lessons! Trivia was also a favourite activity, offered 3 or 4 times a day in varying formats and taken very seriously by some passengers. We actually won “Name That Tune 1980’s”, and the prize bottle of white wine was very drinkable! What’s the deal with the dress code? We had 4 “gala” nights (including Black and White, Night in the Orient and Madam Butterfly Balls), where the dress code was tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and gown or cocktail dress for ladies, with the remaining evenings designated “smart attire”, jacket but no tie for gentlemen and cocktail dress or pant suit for ladies. My husband fell foul of what we jokingly called the “6pm jeans curfew” one night when he lost track of the time and tried to order a drink in the Chart Room at 6:15pm in polo shirt and chinos. The waiter, who had served us many times discretely came up and asked him if he would be “popping up to his cabin to put on his jacket on”. My husband looked confused, and the waiter added “It’s 6:15 sir, you need to be properly dressed if you are going to have a drink here”. I loved dressing up as I don’t get the chance to at home, my husband not so much, but he went along with it! Any passengers who didn’t want to dress for the evening had the option of dinner in the buffet, and then drinks and entertainment in either the Corinthia Lounge or the Golden Lion Pub, and boogieing the night away in the nightclub, G20. What about the ports? There were six port days on this cruise, with Shanghai and Beijing being the highlights. Both cities were quite a drive from where the ship docked. Usually we book private tours, but we struggled to find fellow passengers on the roll calls to share with, so we ended up with Cunard tours instead. All the visas were taken care of for us by the cruiseline. We noticed that as well as having guides, Cunard tours also have a crew member, (pianist, dance escort and bridge teacher), acting as an escort on their tours. They monitor things, make notes of any problems, and bring up the rear and double check everyone is back on the bus! How was Shanghai? In Shanghai we took one day tours. The first was Best of Shanghai, and the second Shanghai Old and New. The Chinese authorities took longer than expected to clear the ship in Shanghai so our Best of Shanghai tour started and ended late and the order of the sites had to be reorganised as the lunch was at a fixed time. We started with an hour in the Shanghai Museum, then had lunch in the function room on the top floor of the Shanghai Theatre. The Chinese meal, served family style, was really well organised and the food was fresh and tasty. In the afternoon we visited the temple of the two Jade Buddhas, the Yu Gardens and the bazaar, and ended with a stroll on the modern side of The Bund. Day 2 we were surprised to see we had the same guide as the day before! He was very concerned that we would be revisiting a couple of places from the day before, but we didn’t care. We started with a ride to the top of the Shanghai Centre, (the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world), in the worlds fastest elevator! The view from the top was incredible! Next we walked around the french part of The Bund, had a dim sum lunch (again delicious and well organised by Cunard), visited the Yu Gardens and the bazaar again and ended with a walking tour along the old side of the Bund. Shanghai is a really vibrant city, full of energy and very forward looking. The weather both days was overcast and smoggy and over 200 on the air quality scale which was really unhealthy. What did you do in Beijing? We booked ourselves on Cunards Beijing 2 Day Discovery tour, along with 500 of our closest cruisemates! It was a very popular tour! We started with a 3 hour drive to Beijing, followed by a 20 minute ride in a trishaw. It was a cold day and whizzing round in an open vehicle was absolutely freezing. We noticed that people not on a tour had a leisurely ride wheras tour people were driven at breakneck speed. Our driver probably did the circuit in 10 minutes, jammed his brakes on and said “out!”. We had lunch at a restaurant in a jade shop near the Great Wall, and then visited the wall itself. Wow! What a fantastic sight! I got halfway up the steps, looked back and thought “OMG if I don’t turn round now I’ll never get back down”. The steps were a foot high in places and very uneven, and not for people with vertigo. My husband got all the way up onto the wall and walked past three guardhouses until he was finally able to get a photo with no one else in it! Our overnight accommodation was at the China World Shangri-La Hotel and it was awesome! So awesome in fact, that we decided to forego that evening’s Peking Duck Banquet in favour of a nap, a few drinks and a light meal in the hotel lobby, a long soak in the fabulous hotel bath and an early night! We also took an executive decision to not bother with the 5:30am buffet breakfast, and enjoyed an extra hour in bed, ate the apples we found in our room, and headed downstairs for our 7am start, raring to go! There was a fair bit of whingeing and moaning on the bus about how people only got 5 hours sleep, about how disappointing the food at the banquet was, and how exhausted they were! Glad we passed on that! Day 2 in Beijing had us at Tiananmen Square by 7:30 and The Forbidden City by 8:30. We loved the guided tour of the Forbidden City and were surprised at how big the complex was. We had an early lunch banquet and then took a 40 minute Bullet Train ride to Tianjin. It got up to 215 mph, and was really quiet and smooth. Very impressive! The ship was scheduled to depart at 5pm, but 6pm came and went and at 7 they started calling certain passenger names and asking them to see the purser. We were still in port at 8pm and the Captain announced that there were problems with the Chinese authorities and some of the special tourist visas the ship had obtained for us. By the time the issues were resolved, and a slot in the river traffic had been assigned to us, we finally left around 11pm, six hours late. Next stop Kitakyushu. Where on earth is that? It is on Japan’s Kyushu Island, and it was a maiden port for QM2. We docked in a container port, where a makeshift passenger terminal had been created out of tents for us. We arrived to an incredibly warm welcome, crowds cheering and waving, and brass bands playing. I heard there were fire boats streaming plumes of red, white and blue water as QM2 entered the port! Because of the delay leaving China, and despite making up some time, we finally arrived at 11am instead of 8am, so the tours started later and the itineraries were rearranged. We had booked Best of Kitakyushu, and our first stop was at a local hotel for lunch. We were each presented with a Bento Box with lots of tiny portions of exquisitely flavoured food. It was delicious and a nice change of pace to the Chinese banquets. 

I am not a fan of public loos, but I made an exception here and went to check out the Japanese toilets I’d heard about. These didn’t disappoint and although I did like the heated seat I wimped out of pressing any of the other buttons! Compared to Shanghai and Beijing, there wasn’t a lot to do in Kitakyushu. We visited a museum with a very good robotic dinosaur exhibit, looked at the outside of Kokura Castle, which was closed for renovations, went up the Mojiko Retro Town Observation Tower and a wander around the town.

The locals treated us to a fantastic firework display as we left port. Did you go anywhere else? Yes, our final port was Seogwipo City, on Jeju Island, South Korea. Another new country for me and another maiden port for QM2. We were the first cruise ship to dock at their brand new cruise terminal. We were greeted with music, K Pop bands, speeches and free packs of facemasks, (as in skin care!) for everyone! Todays tour was Seogwipo City Highlights, our bus had disco lights in it, and our guide introduced himself and told us not to look out of the windows. Huh? It turns out that the new cruise terminal and nearby naval base had been a bone of contention for some of the locals, and along with “Welcome QM2” banners, there were some not so welcoming ones that he hadn’t wanted us to see. We walked over the longest pedestrian bridge on Jeju Island, and did a brief walk around Saeseom Island and then over to Cheonjiyeon Falls. Our final stop was to a local food market, which I always find fascinating. How was disembarkation? It was surprisingly easy! Immigration was all done behind the scenes for us by Hong Kong officials who boarded the ship in South Korea. We picked up our passports on the last evening and our Hong Kong visas were already inside. We put our cases out late on the last night, reusing the tags we used for boarding. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8:30am, so had a quick breakfast in Britannia Club, and then headed up to the Carinthia Lounge, where we were scheduled for a 9am departure. Our number was called at 8:50am. Disembarkation was quick, we found our bags, cleared customs and waited about 10 minutes for a taxi. Couldn’t have been better. We checked into the Royal Pacific Hotel again, and after a walk around the shopping centres next door to kill time, managed to be in our room by noon. Hong Kong Part 2, how was that? The miserable weather that had followed us for most of the cruise continued in Hong Kong. It varied from fog to drizzle to torrential rain and put a bit of a downer on our post cruise plans. Our rescheduled tour to Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha took place in awful weather. We visited a beach in the rain. Had a tour of a market and a river boat ride in a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The skies briefly cleared when we visited the Buddha, and then the fog descended for the rest of the day. We visited the Po Lin Monastery for lunch and their vegetarian banquet was fantastic, probably the best “included lunch” we had on any of our tours. Sightseeing was really not possible so our Plan B inevitably was food! Highlights included Jimmy’s Kitchen for a “ Classic British Food From The 1970s” fix, the Pho Boozer for a ridiculously cheap 3 course lunch in either Indian, Malay, Thai or Vietnamese style and Bombay Dreams, with its Michelin Star winning Indian lunch buffet. Our “last hurrah” was at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kowloon, where we went for drinks in their bar overlooking Hong Kong harbour and had front row seats for the 8pm laser light show, which was spectacular. It was pouring with rain so we abandoned plans to find a restaurant for dinner and splurged on a selection of fabulous asian tapas right where we were. How was your journey home? We arranged for late checkout at 1:30pm and used the hotel limo service to the airport as we couldn’t face dragging our bags out in the rain and trying to get a taxi. It was money well spent. We weren’t expecting to find a hotel employee waiting at the curb for us when we arrived at the airport. He took care of our bags and fast tracked us to the Cathay check in desks, oversaw the check in procedure for us and directed us to immigration. He wouldn’t take a tip and said it was all part of the hotel service. What a nice surprise. All flights to the USA have extra security, and we were screened at the gate and again just before we boarded the plane. Our 16 hour flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm Hong Kong time and arrive in Washington DC at 8:30pm the same day. I planned to try and get a little sleep mid flight. The meal and drink service was more leisurely flying back. I had an excellent steak for dinner, 3 glasses of wine and watched a couple of movies before sleeping, amazingly, for 6 hours! They served beef sliders about 10 hours into the journey and then, bizarrely, breakfast a couple of hours before we landed in Washington in the evening. The omelet was really good. This time the flightpath skirted China, Japan and Russia, entering the USA over Washington state, then heading east, and we arrived a few minutes early into Washington Dulles. For once the Global Entry machines were empty, and they didn’t reject our passports, so we whizzed through immigration. We had a bit of a wait for our bags, and finally got a Washington Flyer taxi around 9pm and were home by 10pm. We were absolutely shattered. Is it good to be home? Yes! Absolutely! But wow, what an epic trip! I would definitely fly Cathay Pacific again, and I think we have found our new cruise home with Cunard. I can’t wait to sail on Queen Mary 2 again and look forward to trying out Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth too! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without ... Read More
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without a shore day. Cunard operates the most formal type of cruise, of all cruise lines. Every dinner is dressy, one night formal and three nights informal (jacket required) without a casual night. This appeals to some cruisers, as the experience is akin to Titanic days. Cunard aims to provide the old 'white star' service and on Cunard if this is not perfectly achieved it does convey the good old time atmosphere. This is the first time I cruised on Queen Elizabeth (having cruise twice and 33 days on QM2 the last two years) and I like the ship almost as much. It is a beautiful ship in Art Deco style. The simple Britannia cabin was not bad, having tea making facility not found on most ships. The dinner service is formal and the food is good for a big ship (though Cunard price is higher than other big ships). Restaurant service is professional. The buffet is very good and there was a great display of Easter eggs on the Sunday night. The buffet lasts until 2am. If not luxury (if not on Grill) it is premium. Activities include the acclaimed Queens Room high tea in the traditional manner, and its ballroom dances...all these you do not find in other ships. It is a very civilized ship that even has a book shop on it. It was a good short transit, and while I took only a small segment, it gives me the impression that if I were to take a full world cruise Cunard would be my choice. The ship somewhat achieve a combination of big ship facility with an air of intimacy. Staff courtesy was good except my chamber maid evicted me from my cabin at exactly 8:30, and I note that she evicted everyone in my row of cabins while not working on the rooms...the next embarkation is the next day. Another hiccup was that it took 2 hours to embark a mere few hundred from Hong Kong, probably due to the land agent. Overall I was happy on this shortest cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We like Cunard for still keeping the style of cruising. There are some formal nights with formal/cocktail dress ups, but we like it. We like that the company keep the same dress code for dinners at the restaurant. It is classical style. ... Read More
We like Cunard for still keeping the style of cruising. There are some formal nights with formal/cocktail dress ups, but we like it. We like that the company keep the same dress code for dinners at the restaurant. It is classical style. The ship is beautiful, very clean and service is outstanding. Embarkation and disembarkation both were very organized and went so smoothly and quick. Ports of call were new for us, we went out to shore excursions at each port. But we did not buy all shore excursions from the ship, some of them were expensive compare to some on-line companies that offered shore tours. The tours that we bought from the ship were very well organized and very informative too. This ship is not so good for children, there are no children playgrounds and pools are plain, without any slides. There are mostly elderly people on the ship and it did not bother me, but for young people there are not much to do in the evening: bars closed early and dance club is only one for the whole ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this ship for a very special holiday. It was our 55 wedding anniversary and my wife birthday and my 80th. We paid top money for a good kabin.We paid £16.500.00 For the trip. Flying to Hong Kong and sailing back to Southampton.The ... Read More
We chose this ship for a very special holiday. It was our 55 wedding anniversary and my wife birthday and my 80th. We paid top money for a good kabin.We paid £16.500.00 For the trip. Flying to Hong Kong and sailing back to Southampton.The facilities on the ship where all overcrowded. The buffet in the day was good that is when you could find a table. The evening meals were very poor. All the excursions where expensive The drinks were.The was an outbreak of the novo virus which I unfortunately court. We also spoke to many other passengers who had paid a lot less than We paid.0verall we did not like this ship at all. We would not recommend this ship to anyone. When we wrote to Cunard they never even had the decency to reply.This was a waste of time and money and we will never use Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This 7 night cruise was our 4th time aboard Mary, and our 5th week in terms of days. We were keen to see the changes made during the refit last year as we had spent 16 nights on her just prior (BNE/HKG) Boarding at HKG was great, we ... Read More
This 7 night cruise was our 4th time aboard Mary, and our 5th week in terms of days. We were keen to see the changes made during the refit last year as we had spent 16 nights on her just prior (BNE/HKG) Boarding at HKG was great, we were in the 4th group called and were on board by 1pm and by 2pm we had squared all our clothes away and were enjoying the complementary sparkling wine on our balcony. Refit Changes - As mentioned by many others, the carpet is a little odd, not the design (I think the starburst design is good) but mainly the faded aspect of one side of the passageways. The Carinthia lounge is much better than the Wintergarden but alas, we liked it before because it was so quiet and now it is very popular, so that is a success for the ship, we still spent a fair bit of time there for lunch. The new deck 13 cabins provided a "deck 14" viewing option which is awesome (see photos), gives a really good aspect without detracting from Mary's overall look.We talked to one lady who was in the new single cabins and she offered us a look, these (as expected) were fantastic, lovely marble bathroom, king single bed and a chaise lounger to look out the large window, the wife and I wish we could book one of these for us as a couple - so roomy! Food possibly was not quite as good as previous voyages, we dined at the Veranda and that was top notch quality, ambiance still poor as there were only a few diners, Cunard need to reduce the price to get more people dining, last year it was USD50 for us both in Todd English, now the V charges USD50 each and I dont think we would go back again unless it was bustling. Smoker's still occupy a small area on the main pool deck 8 as well as deck 7, I think they should be confined to deck 7 as aft as possible. Our cabin being balcony deck 11 was terrific, bed just as relaxing as ever, loved the balcony, hopefully the next refit will see the bathroom improved which is now a little dated, especially seeing the new single stateroom bathrooms. Our only port stop was Laem Chabang and we did not feel like a long bus trip to Bangkok and wanted to maximise our time on the ship.Overall another great trip on Mary, shame it was so short but this was a great value trip for us and looking to book our next trip to continue our round the world trip on her, one sector each year..... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love ... Read More
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love dancing and spend most of each evening on the dance floor. So the starting and ending ports are all that matter and the ports in between, we have been to more times than we care too. We went with pretty high expectations after wonderful experiences on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary, we were quite disappointed with the Queen Elizabeth. Embarkation in Hong Kong was a breeze, we arrived a few hours before the sated embarkation time ( at 1pm instead of 3:30pm) and encountered no queues anywhere. Our complaint was that the staff posted around the terminal building to direct people were not very proactive and maybe a bit racist. A couple dragging a carryon bag with Cunard tags and a sheaf of documents would obviously be looking for the Cunard check-in desk, no? They did not smile or point the way out to us but were quick to greet and direct any Caucasian walking past, even if they did not have a suitcase! We were able to go straight to our cabin which was ready, with a bottle of champagne chilling on the table. Our cabin was quite large(see cabin review) and close to all the things we wanted to get to however, very noisy on the last night as it was next to all the crew working areas. We booked early and so had early seating with a quiet table for 2, much in demand I heard, which was set well away from other tables- unlike another cruise where it was separated from the next table by 10cm. Our waiter was the 2nd worst we have had on any cruise. He was unsmiling, distracted and constantly facing away from his tables, fiddling with the silverware over and over instead of looking at his tables to see if we needed anything. He did not try to make any conversation not even to greet us on arrival! He never tried to make any food recommendations, never asked the standard " how is everything?", did not remember simple requests from the previous night (I asked for a slice of lemon in my water, the next night there was a small plate of sliced lemons on his service table but he never brought it to us). We had excellent service from other wait staff at lunch and breakfast so perhaps it was just the one person. Unfortunately the MDR waiter is the person we interact with the most on a cruise and so this gave a poor impression of the service levels. We had informed Cunard that we were celebrating our anniversary. We got a card in the room but not a whisper in the dining room. Food was disappointing but beautifully plated. All the fish was dry and over cooked. The only edible poultry was the duck and even that was just passable. Only the red meats were good. The side dishes did not complement the mains well. We went for the afternoon tea on the first day, white gloved service wasn't too happy we asked for Earl Grey instead of the generic tea they were serving. Sandwiches were dry and fillings were miserly. They only had dry raisin scones that were COLD! Cakes were poor quality ( we later found that they use Cadbury's cooking chocolate now - so brownies and chocolate cake did not taste of chocolate!).We did not bother to make it for subsequent teas. In previous cruises, this was one of the highlights of the afternoons. The best part of the cruise was the dance lessons - Sergey and Olga were amazing. They were able to teach more than 60 people, mostly beginners, in 45 minutes to dance quite complicated steps with good technique. Although we already dance well, we were still able to learn a thing or two from them. We spent most evenings on the dance floor in the Queens Room. It was large and a beautiful space to dance in when there was recorded music. The band spoilt it a little as they were not open to requests and there was a lot of down time between songs. They said they had a set of songs to play ( hence not keen to allow requests and yet did not seem to know which song it was they were going to play next and there was a lot of discussion between members before playing each song). The vocalist really ruined it. Everytime he appeared, you could almost hear the groans from the serious dancers. He was full of himself and used the same lame jokes every night that were very insulting and disrescpectful of his several ex-wives. Lots of talk before each song, called out the wrong dance ( could not tell the difference between a Viennese waltz and a Slow waltz) and switched tempos ( a big no-no in dance music) midway and always ended with a sudden stop which gave no time for any nice end to our dancing. The dance hosts on this cruise were all good dancers and all the single ladies seemed well catered to. We enjoyed having a matinee show in the Royal Theatre called La Danza - put up by the ships singers and dancers. They were not very good but certainly helped pass the time nicely. The magician/comedian on one of the nights was very entertaining. The rest of the programming was quite boring with hardly anything of interest to do in the afternoons. We did not join in the ship excursions as we had already visited both ports ( Nha Trang and Phu My) several times. Instead we took the free shuttle to Cho Dam ( market and bought lots of fish sauce - a specialty of Nha Trang and vietnamese coffee, followed by a very cheap and excellent massage at Sen Spa. We took a small group tour ( just 4 of us) with " Best Tours in Vung Tau" to visit the Long Phouc tunnels, local market and a fruit farm with an excellent home cooked lunch and accompanied by a very hospitable guide-owner. Both activities are highly recommended for people who have already done the usual tours in the 2 ports. Nha Trang was a tender port and it was a nightmare. While I totally understand the extra caution that QE was taking ( after the tragic incident they had on the same sector 2 years ago). Only 3 tenders were running and the waiting time to board one was almost 2 hours. We witnessed a poor family of 8 given tickets for tender number 22 who were told to go away for a coffee and come back in 45 minutes as the Queens Room was too full ( we were told the same thing as we were behind them and given the a number for 2 boats later). We remained in the Queens Room. No annoucements were made in the ship when the tender numbers were called, only in the Queens Room. When that family came back 35 minutes later, they were told they had missed their boat and given new tickets for 32! which meant another 1 and a half hour wait. Amazingly they remained cool! Perhaps there were safety constraints that prevented putting on more tenders so the wait may have been unavoidable BUT there were many ways they could have improved the experience like providing pastries and coffee while people waited, making ship wide annoucements if tender numbers came up before the expected time etc which they did not do. I was not impressed. As Gold members we had 2 hours of free internet each which was a nice perk. The connection was slow but good enough for confirming tours and quick checkins home. Part of the thing about cruising is getting away from computers anyway. It was the shortest cruise we had on Cunard ( previous ones were 8 and 9 days) but we were actually quite glad to get home in Singapore as the overall experience was not great. We did self help disembarkation in Singapore at 7am and it was quick and efficient as usual. There was a little glitch at immigration as they had not put up the guide ropes to allow Singaporean passengers to use the automated passports gates, soon rectified. Lots of taxis were waiting so we did not have to use Uber. We will probably cruise Cunard again but we will take the Queen Mary and never Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT ... Read More
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT - Food was too British - No gala performance as on other cruises - only a single act each night: like it or leave - not much group activity - the men's restroom near the dinning room was out of order for 3 days The staff was very polite and helpful - except the head of the dinning area spoke very derogatorily about passengers. Overall, the ship was lovely, more conservative than RCL. Meals were beautifully presented, but lacked variety and great flavor. My fiance was disappointed in the entree selections. lt is unlikely that we would cruise Cunard again. Thanks to the great company, we still had a memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with ... Read More
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. It was more 4 star. Everything you need but not "plush". Embarkation was initially a bit of a disappointment after walking up the gang way and greeting by a empty deck, with no directions as to where to go. However, one passing staff member felt sorry for us and pointed us in the right direction. Not a great start. Once we were greeted you were pretty much left to your own devices. I wasn't sure what to do but I headed to my cabin (more on the cabin later). I am very independent but as it was my first cruise, Cunard should have had someone proactively greeting and helping passengers. There were a lot of crew there mainly promoting the spa and beauty services. This promoting continued through the cruise every time I entered the Lido deck and go very annoying after a while. I was very interested to do some enrichment lectures and selected a session in Acupunture. A complete waste of time because it was another promotion where the practitioner wouldn't answer questions without you making an appointment. Truly awful! After that I didn't attempt anymore enrichment. I liked the shows on board a comedian and a group of guy singers from the UK. Both very good, though the shows were short. The singers seemed to have a limited rehearsed list of songs as some were repeated the second time I saw them. In saying this I think the entertainment was pretty good. Food was generally good in the Brittania restaurant but lunch there on one day was lacklustre. The pub was fun for a meal. I did not like The Lido at all. I don't like buffets and I don't like the lack of hygiene factor. Cunard really try but so many passengers are not conscious of practising good hygiene. Consequently, people got sick and then there was some kind of red alert resulting in cling film being plastered over the serving areas and staff serving resulting in big queues. Looked like a large cafeteria in a 1960's department store. I was advised before boarding that we had to buy our drinking water on board. That is so not ok with me...this is Cunard, this was water (a basic to live) it should be free of at least very inexpensive. It was not! Wine was obscenely expensive. I bought two bottles of wine and they were $90 Aud each. I am not a cheapskate but I am not wealthy and I think that was an absolute rip-off. I paid it because I like a glass of wine with dinner but I detest being ripped off. I may be painting a bleaker picture than the reality, it was a good cruise and I really enjoyed myself but I guess I had loftier expectations than the actual reality. I have found a new interest in cruising and would still consider Cunard except they are not going to the destinations I am considering for my next trip. I think I am going to try Crystal next time as it might suit me more and they are going where I am interested. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Sydney to Hong Kong 28 days on the ship.First stop Brisbane in a container terminal.shuttle bus into the city, next stop Cairns then PNG then it was good by to sunshine until we reached Hong Kong .We had a lot of See days on this cruise ... Read More
Sydney to Hong Kong 28 days on the ship.First stop Brisbane in a container terminal.shuttle bus into the city, next stop Cairns then PNG then it was good by to sunshine until we reached Hong Kong .We had a lot of See days on this cruise with limited activities due to bad weather.Accommodation and food was good ,free 24 hour room service,or ongoing food in the Lido deck up to 2am each day.This ship has a wonderful theatre with a different show each night that we really enjoyed .The ship has a very good ball room if you like to dance and for any single women wanting to travel they have several dance hosts that will dance every dance.On our cruse they had eight formal nights I found this two many due to the amount of luggage you needed but you have to remember you still have a luggage allowance when you fly home so you need to be creative with your outfits.There are free washing machine and dryers on each floor and washing powder is provided free. Shore days getting of the ship especially if you went by tender could take up to three hours to get of then going through customs in each country also took up a lot of time we were often late getting on our tours so we were often very rushed to get back on time.My favourite place was Japan they made us very welcome I would definitely go back there one day.The culture on the ship was like upstairs downstairs the staff didn't engage in conversation if you asked a question they would answer with no further discussion all the staff did there job well but they didn't look happy.I loved the ship and would love to go on it again in better weather Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I've taken over 20 cruises usually of 21 night duration on Cunard, Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.Solo (single) traveller thus usually paying a 75-100% surcharge. For what it's worth I'm a gold ... Read More
I've taken over 20 cruises usually of 21 night duration on Cunard, Celebrity, MSC, Holland America, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.Solo (single) traveller thus usually paying a 75-100% surcharge. For what it's worth I'm a gold level Cunard Club member. I returned on 09 April 2017 from an unpleasant and unenjoyable 3 weeks on Queen Mary 2 - Hong Kong to Singapore sector of the QM2 world voyage. I confidently booked this cruise having been delighted last year by a 21 night cruise on Queen Victoria from Cape Town to Southampton. The QV was sophisticated, gracious with passable food (buffet always better than dining room food), excellent speakers and entertainment and a stable compliment of sophisticated fellow passengers. Along with most cruise enthusiasts I was exposed over recent years to Cunard's “hype” and “propaganda” about the QM2. Thus I was looking forward to cruising on QM2. However, my experiences on QM2 sadly did not come close to my expectations. In fact I was bitterly disappointed and disillusioned. I found the ship poorly designed as a cruise ship with limited available deck space (especially in wet weather), public rooms inconveniently located, cramped and relatively small library (quite unlike the double storey, gracious QV library/internet cafe), uncomfortable theatre seating (were those Ikea discount barrel chairs and sofas designed to slip one on to the floor?) and endless narrow corridors and difficult layout especially forward on decks 2 and 3. The unattractively decorated Queens Room is tucked behind the Britannia Dining Room down a corridor which doubles as an "art" gallery. Some public rooms are tucked away inaccessibly and for the size of the ship they were small. The decor has suffered the unstylish, minimalist approach of tasteless designers leaving many spaces feeling more like a shopping mall than a supposed luxurious cruise/liner. As usual on cruise ships the food looks good but is usually tasteless and poor quality. Consequence of mass production? The QM2 Britannia Restaurant food was mostly unappetising/tasteless requiring a visit to the Kings Court buffet directly afterwards. Usually buffet food is more tasty and varied than dining room food. However, on QM2 the food seemed equally tasteless, lacking flavour and the salad selection worse than on any other ship on which I've travelled. The Kings Court Buffet must be one of the worst designed buffets afloat. I renamed it the Rabbit Warren due to the numerous narrow corridor seating areas, small inaccessible alcoves with often no table availability at peak eating times. The food display area was sterile, unattractive looking and user unfriendly. Food variety was very limited and ever changing in location resulting in passengers milling around looking for their food choices. The customer service from the Purser's Office was usually inefficient, non personalised and sometimes rude. The experience of the constantly changing passenger complement was akin to a mass transit ferry, rather than an elegant cruise liner. Furthermore the ship’s decor suffered from her recent refit looking more like a semi modern shopping mall than an elegant ship. “Liner” versus “cruise ship” propaganda from Cunard?! The Chart Room, Corinthia Lounge and Illuminations Cinema/Planetarium/Lecture Hall were however redeeming features of the ship. The itinerary was tedious and ports of call not conducive to independent sightseeing. This was exacerbated by miserable weather for 18 of the 21 days. Singapore, the port of disembarkation, was a notable exception with easy access along a 600m covered walkway to the MRT (underground) station. Transfer to/from Changi Airport is an easy 45 min ride in air-conditioned comfort costing S$2.50 each way. Access to sites such as the Botanic Gardens easy using the MRT Matters aboard were made worse by my 6th deck balcony cabin (6251) being relentlessly noisy from the promenade deck above and the laundrette across the corridor. Slamming deck, balcony and passenger doors ruined any chance of peace in my cabin or on the awful balcony. The sheltered balcony was so unpleasant with a 1,2m high balustrade and noisy that it was unusable other than letting fresh air into my cabin in-between noises from above and around my cabin. There was no view of the sea from inside the cabin. Rectification of some of the causes of my complaints took 2 weeks. Noises continued for the duration of the cruise. The Maitre ‘d took the liberty of moving a group of 5 friends (2 couples and their solo friend) on to my under sized table for 6 where two of us solo travellers were already seated. Thus 7 of us were cramped around a table. I thus withdrew from the table only after objecting to the unilateral, high handed attitude of the maitre 'd and happily sat alone at a table squeezed between several other tables for two. We may all just as well have sat at a large table as there was no privacy between tables for two guests! As it happens I spent little time in the Britannia dining room because within minutes of most meals I realised I’d need to retreat to the Kings Court “rabbit warren” to try to find a meal that had taste. For the first time in over 20 cruises, I instructed the QM2 Purser’s Office to remove all pre-paid gratuities from my on board account due to the tardy service and disappointments on QM2. My other woes were added to as the Finance Manager on board, sent three letters to me in the first week of the cruise instructing me to provide my credit card for on board payments. Of course presentation of my credit card and “reserving” funds on my credit card were done in the embarkation process in the Hong Kong Terminal but apparently had not correctly reflected on the ship’s system. However, charges reflected immediately on embarkation on my credit card and was advised me via SMS on my iPhone. This indicated poor and un-coordinated admin and non personalised service for which an apology was never forthcoming. Furthermore repeated account statements appeared OUTSIDE my cabin door ( for all passing passengers to view) for the duration of the cruise. The deck and balcony noise as well as slamming doors continued for the duration of the three week cruise. The quality of entertainment was disappointing. “Sing along” and audience participation sometimes started within minutes of a show commencing. Awful. Decent speakers and quality performers not needing “audience participation” appeared once we sailed from Hong Kong for the third week of the cruise. However, soloists such as Lara the Harpist and the pianists were excellent as were the string quartet, duo performers on stage and the speakers after the second Hong Kong call. The Theatre productions were mostly average to poor. "Class" distinctions on the QM2 have increased with the advent of Britannia Club. Amusingly, Queens and Princess Grill guests are delightfully "on view" through picture windows into their dining rooms and private lounge while us other guests are promenading on deck Embarkation in Hong Kong was chaos between 11:00 to 14:00 with almost unheard announcements, poor queue management and a very lengthy wait of three hours from time of transfer drop off at the terminal to boarding the ship. Ports of call, excluding only Singapore and Nagasaki, were mostly inaccessible for easy independent sightseeing or they required 1-2 hours in shuttle buses to get from the berth to centres for sight seeing. As usual Cunard Shore Excursions are over priced and often tedious. Clearly Cunard used the itinerary to promote QM2 to as many Oriental guests as possible for short duration cruises hence the shifting population of guests for the three weeks of my cruise. I shall never return to QM2 and may even revisit my previously held positive view of Cunard following my superb experience on Queen Victoria I had last year on the 3 week, last sector of the world cruise, between Cape Town and Southampton. I feel that I wasted my time and money on the QM2. I have cancelled a booking I had for a long cruise in September 2017 on QM2 from Southampton to Quebec/St Lawrence disembarking in NYC. I am now a disgruntled GOLD level Cunard guest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
To enjoy a leisurely time visiting various far east ports we had looked forward to this cruise for months, unfortunately the reality proved to be a disappointment. The embarkation was a slow process, which we christened FTS,( ie.. first ... Read More
To enjoy a leisurely time visiting various far east ports we had looked forward to this cruise for months, unfortunately the reality proved to be a disappointment. The embarkation was a slow process, which we christened FTS,( ie.. first time syndrome - perhaps they had never done this before!) This FTS continued throughout the cruise with poor organisation apparently emanating from the purser's office. The daily info.sheets had many mistakes or lack of necessary detail. Now for the criticism. The shows were disappointing and walked out of 4 of those went to. They were even made laughing stock by subsequent comedians.The films were poor , walked out of 3. Some of the lectures were very good, special mention must be made of Park Sim, an American who lectured on the Oceans, Tidal Power, Heat Pumps, Lasers and the USAF in UK. He had a lovely style and made each lecture a pleasure. The price of drinks, which I had complained about to Cunard before even joining the ship ( I had already booked) was extortionate. Cunard in their reply was bragging about being on a par with 5 star London hotels and other cruise lines. They must realise that a) not everyone uses London hotels and b) they have to include 20%VAT and a large percentage of alcohol duty.For Cunard to then add a further15% gratuity (tax) on each and every drink alcoholic or otherwise is just extortionate. I have never seen so little alcohol consumed at lunch or dinner. One goes on a cruise to enjoy dining and to have it complimented with a glass of wine or two, especially when there is no driving home after the meal to be considered. We went on one Cunard tour. This was because we were virtually blackmailed into it in order to avoid ridiculous visa payments to China. The one tour was a bus trip in a two and a half hour traffic jam to a multi storey tower block in order to go up to the 88th floor in 45 seconds for a view of a fog shrouded Shanghai!. Back on the bus for a further two hours drive in a traffic jam back to the QM2. All for $154 for two. Two days prior to arriving at Colombo,Cunard sort fit to ask for $30 each for a visa for Sri Lanka. We had been told before cruise that there was no visa requirement for Sri Lanka. After many complaints Cunard changed their minds saying that their agent had given them the wrong information. We joined the ship on the first visit to Hong Kong just after 1200 Australians had disembarked.It was only the next day that I discovered that they had drunk the draught ale on the ship dry! No one had the foresight to have replenished the stock. Never got to Kuala Lumpur, Seoul or Bangkok because of distance from ship and cost of tour and subsequent long journey required. Used shore excursions by shuttle bus to local areas in some cases. Not very exciting especially so in Colombo where the organisation was so chaotic and the quality of the bus so poor. This is an American owned (Carnival) ship pretending to be a British ship and passing it off as though it was still in the glory years of cruising of the 1930's - similar to a lot of the decor.We live in an entirely different age now. The class system for the decks is also an antiquated fashion. No free wi-fi on ship - $47 for 120 minutes. You could just about get emails but the reception was poor. As entitled altogether DISAPPOINTMENT. First and last time on Cunard. Many other passengers, even frequent Cunarders were expressing the same feeling. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Just returned from the aforementioned cruise; our third on QM2. How service, food and entertainment have disintegrated in the last 9 months.Embarkation was a joke, nobody seemed able to do their job. They simply did not understand ... Read More
Just returned from the aforementioned cruise; our third on QM2. How service, food and entertainment have disintegrated in the last 9 months.Embarkation was a joke, nobody seemed able to do their job. They simply did not understand English. They looked pretty and professional, bu looks are certainly deceiving. Service in the dining room was so bad, I went to the Purser's desk to ask if this was a designated training cruise. I was assured it was not, yet orders @ breakfast and lunch were delivered haphazardly, and generally inaccurately. The staff did not understand what we were asking for. QM2 is one of the rare ships that has laundry (self service), but with broken machines and thousands of passengers, it was an impossibility to do a little wash. I am thankful we were only on for 9 days and not for anything more than that. Shops on board offered the same merchandise every day, how boring. Entertainment was mediocre at best, well this isn't Manhattan, so what should one expect? Activities on board, ha, ha; this was a giant infomercial for Canyon Ranch, trying to hawk it's services and products. Port talks and pictures looked great, when in reality they were expensive and useless. We didn't expect to go to SE Asia again, so we took excursions in each port. Sadly these ports were not ready for prime time. They were more than primitive and with few exception, polluted and dirty. This was especially true in Cambodia which I now call the bowels of Asia. Shame on Cunard for including this horrific port on it's itinerary. People who decided to self tour had the best option both in Hanoi and Cambodia-they could return to the ship. We were held captive for hours. Bangkok was a disaster. 6+ hours of travel and about 2 hours to tour, include in this was a lunch and shopping break, and soooooooooo expensive to boot. Dinner times were rigid and those of us on early seating had to rush from the bus to the dining room with nary 15 minutes to change. This was very poor planning on the part of Cunard. We have sailed 4x on Cunard to date, and I doubt there will be a fifth. What a major disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had heard how wonderful Cunard were and how much better than all their rivals. We should have seen a red light when our first two encounters were being told to board a few hours later than planned due to novovirus being rampant on the ... Read More
We had heard how wonderful Cunard were and how much better than all their rivals. We should have seen a red light when our first two encounters were being told to board a few hours later than planned due to novovirus being rampant on the boat and that the boat was no longer calling at Sharm el Sheik (on our itinerary). This was our 16th cruise in 5 years and we were both so looking forward to the experience. However in every department in which we had been led to believe that Cunard excelled, they failed. Now being able to make the choice, give me the honesty of Thomson's any day. There was a deeply unpleasant smell of sewers and drains on the Lido deck, with lots of flies outside the lavatories by the burger kitchen. Why it was necessary to be painting parts of the Lido deck during the Suez transit was beyond me, also cleaning the windows of the Brittania restaurant during dinner service, and why close the pool all day when the boat was in port at the extremely hot Cochin, also shutting off one set of stairs between 9th and 10th decks for painting for the best part of three days. The food was seriously not good, with most things very salty and the meats being bad cuts and tough. The excursions were a complete rip-off. I booked three for about £450....the first being in Vietnam....after three hours we were still waiting, whilst being told by Cunard staff to keep 'cool and BUY bottles of water @ $1 each. We gave up on this outing. The second one was Muscat, where and when we were dropped at three different locations from a coach to be on our own for about 45 minutes at each (£120 give or take)....and finally Wadi Rum, which was a bit of burnt chicken in a tourist trap, again over priced, and where the guide on the coach refused to drop us in Aqaba (where the boat had shuttle buses taking passengers to) and a Cunard employee on the coach refused to help or call the boat to seek permission. In Dubai, a woman in a position of authority with the boat entertainment was handing out transit cards, and we asked her details of the shuttle bus return times...and she told us she had no idea...'ask the driver'. She was also soon to do a 'live commentary' during the transit of the Dardanelles, none of which could be deciphered due to her mike. The entertainment...not good! The choice of films was odd...the best and most recent were shown on port days when no-one would attend. The screening of 'Suffragette' broke down three times, and one film never even began, but it took a member of the audience to find out that the film would not be shown. For the entire cruise, the left hand side of the screen was completely covered by a yellow and green blur. The captain of the boat kept telling us how honored we should feel to be on a boat bearing its name in the year of the Queen's 90th birthday. No mention of us having had to pay Cunard for 'the privilege'.....oh, well. I wish I felt differently because the awful thing is that I had already booked another Cunard cruise for later this year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was difficult to know who was in line for what. I think many of the 1,500 people thought the ship was going to leave without them the way they pushed and shoved to get in line to embark. Anyway we finally got on. Our cabin was ready and our stewardess, which was a pleasant change from having a man, was wonderful. She was like having a personal maid all to ourselves. The cabin although spotless was showing signs of wear and tear. The ship is going into dry dock this spring for a refit. It looks like they are making major changes for the better. The food in the main dining room was excellent as always. I think I only had one main course that was not up to par. Ditto the food in the Upstairs cafeteria, it was much improved, except for these darn steam table vegies. The waiters and waitresses all deserve a gold medal for putting up with some of the "Guests" . As I said to someone who was berating his steward for some minor detail," they are stewards not slaves". The entertainment, well what can I say, it was the same review shows I have seen several times on this ship. The first timers I am sure enjoyed the shows. Too many comedians for my taste but again that is a personal thing.. The ship set sail from New York at the beginning of January and everything was fine till we got to Dubai. A large contingent about 1, 500 got off and 1,500 new people got on and brought Nora virus with them. The people who were sick knew they had it before they got on but lied on the form you fill in before embarking hence it went through the ship like wild fire. This disrupted the whole itinerary as Oman would not allow us to dock nor would Jordan. My daughter who especially wanted and booked to go to Petra did not get there. There we are floating at sea waiting for our turn to go through the Suez canal, we were too early due to not stopping in Oman then too early again for the next port because we did not stop in Jordan. I think it was a good thing they did not say who the first people were that got sick as there might have been a massacre at sea. The tours in Vietnam were interesting and fun and the shopping is great at the large market in Ho Chi Minh , Ben Thanh market. If you don't like bargaining stay in the outer ring of the market where the prices are fixed. Then move in if you think you can bargain for a cheaper price. Bangkok is a must see as the palace is beautiful, but hope it is not too hot as there is not much shade. Cambodia, I did not take a tour just the Cunard bus into the town. It was interesting but the people although very friendly were living in poor conditions. The roads were unpaved in many places, the market although indoors lacked tables. Most of the goods were laid out on the floor. I think the area that the bus took us to was planned so that we would be forced to take a "TUK TUK" as we were inundated with them the minute the bus stopped. The drivers were so insistent to the point it was so unpleasant we got back on the bus to return to the ship. Malaysia is a shoppers paradise and Kuala Lumpur is easy to get around. Langkawi Island is beautiful. That is the island that the movie THE KING AND I was filmed.I did not take a tour this time as I had been there before but stayed at resort and enjoyed the day ashore. Colombo, Sri Lanka well what can I say. If you take the Cunard bus you will only be taken to three different tourist shopping traps with the same overpriced trinkets as all other tourist shops that are part of any tour be it Hong Kong, Bangkok, Israel, India, Egypt, or wherever you are. If the tour shows shopping you can bet it will be in a warehouse that is only for to sell to tourists. Locals do not shop there. The standard line of the tour guide will be that they know the best places and the other will only rip you off. As this was an extended tour with numerous stops I could go on but I am sure by now you will be bored reading this. I travelled with my adult daughter who had not been on a cruise before and she had a great time. We each did our own thing. In the evening we preferred the G37 nightclub rather than the staid Queens room where the dance floor was taken up with more professional type dancers rather than couples enjoying a twirl or shuffle around the dancefloor. There was lots of entertainment, small bands and piano players and singers in the evening, interesting lectures and speakers on numerous topics during the day. The ship was geared to a more mature group, I would say age 45 up to 95. Very few children on board although they have a very good children's programme. We disembarked in New York and almost everyone got off. There was the odd few that were returning to Southampton. It is a slow process as all the luggage has to be off first then we can go. A tip- if you are disembarking in New York, first, get in line for a porter and have him get your luggage. They have a fast track line through customs and immigration otherwise you will be struggling with you luggage in a very long line of people to clear immigration. It is ten dollars well spent. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We booked a Hong Kong to Cape Town cruise and WOW, what can I say... From the very start of our holiday being picked up from our front door by the Emirates chauffeur car service, to them dropping us back at our front door 33 days later, ... Read More
We booked a Hong Kong to Cape Town cruise and WOW, what can I say... From the very start of our holiday being picked up from our front door by the Emirates chauffeur car service, to them dropping us back at our front door 33 days later, everything was simply first class and stress free. Fantastic flights with Emirates (as always), great central hotels and an excellent cabin aboard the Cunard Queen Victoria. We have cruised for over 40 years aboard the various cruise lines but this ship truly stands out from the rest. We have done all the world cruise stages aboard P&O ships as well as sailing aboard the old QE2 and the Queen Mary. But The Victoria can only be described as truly superb. The food was excellent, The gala dinners, entertainment and the cabin fabulous. We will most certainly be sailing aboard her again in the near future. We did a 5 night stay in Hong Kong prior to boarding the ship and a 1 night stay in Cape Town before flying back to Manchester. Thank you Emirates, Cunard Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The ship is majestic in every way - it is like stepping back 100 years with all the modern trimmings! The staterooms have ample room and are maintained immaculately by the stewards - you fell that nothing is a problem to them and pamper ... Read More
The ship is majestic in every way - it is like stepping back 100 years with all the modern trimmings! The staterooms have ample room and are maintained immaculately by the stewards - you fell that nothing is a problem to them and pamper you incredibly (you could say the same for all of the crew). The set and buffet meal are available throughout the day / night and quality is excellent. You can be kept busy every day from early morning to late (or early next morning!) attending the lectures, getting involved in exercise (the gym is excellent) or walking around the ship (deck 7) and taking in fresh sea air, shopping at the ships shops (great variety and not overly expensive), visiting the ships library, attending the cabaret evenings which are top-class entertainment, visiting the NiteClub til the early morning! - the list goes on but there is something for everyone. Visiting Bitung in Sulawesi was a first for the ship and crew and shore excursions were interesting and exciting to say the least! The Sail Away from ports visited is exhilarating and sailing into Sydney Harbour was a buzz. We will be back :-) Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
we were told we had accommodation in Hong Kong which happened to be new years eve which never happened and were lucky to have any accommodation at all. even though we had an email saying we had they would not cover our accommodation. So we ... Read More
we were told we had accommodation in Hong Kong which happened to be new years eve which never happened and were lucky to have any accommodation at all. even though we had an email saying we had they would not cover our accommodation. So we cannot trust what they say. One may have enjoyed the trip if they did not pick up the worst disease for 25 years one has ever had. The Ship is a floating incubator. Poor hygiene on the ship did not. we applied alcohol gel twice every time we ate and still got sick. I was off work for 3 weeks after the cruise thanks very much. The staff were very nice especially in the dinning room. The most enjoyable thing I did on board was the watercolor classes but once I got ill I could not get out of bed to do anything for 3 days. I agree it is the smoothest ship on the ocean but the ship is aging and is looking tired. Entertainment was generally good with some exceptional entertainers and some ok ones. Our second and last trip on this vessel. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We embarked in Hong Kong for the leg to Australia. Our first problem was our cabin which had creaky floors before we even set sail so we asked to be changed. We took the third cabin on offer. We had inadvertently booked a sheltered ... Read More
We embarked in Hong Kong for the leg to Australia. Our first problem was our cabin which had creaky floors before we even set sail so we asked to be changed. We took the third cabin on offer. We had inadvertently booked a sheltered balcony. What a mistake.... no view when sitting down and furnished with two rusty and chipped chairs and a tiny rusty table. Dining. We did find the Britannia dining room very nice. We found the food to be very varied and well cooked and we were lucky to have interesting and friendly dining companions. So no complaints there. BUT, the Kings Court was another matter. Shabby furniture, chipped tables and stained chairs and a poor selection of food compared to other ships, notably the Oceania cruise line. We mostly had salads in this area as the hot food looked uninviting. The Queens room for tea was lovely, with delicious food. However what completely ruined the cruise for us was that my husband became extremely ill a few days out, with the most horrendous cough and muscle weakness. He had to attend the surgery along with many other fellow sufferers. He was laid up in bed for about 4 days and was unwell for at least 8. Many other passengers were also seriously ill. I have never seen him so unwell in all our married life. People were allowed all around the ship and restaurants with their terrible coughs, spreading the virus everywhere. Ship's facilities. Promenade deck. Dirty and stained chair covers. No towels provided for them unless you walked all the way to the pool area to collect them yourself. Boardwalk cafe. Appalling. Looked like a roadside van serving hamburgers. NOT good enough for a line considering itself to be Premier. Very little shade in the back deck pool areas and what there was, was taken up by smokers. Top deck, a totally wasted area. Entertainment. Was good on the whole. Good shows by the show dancers and singers and some very good guests. Planetarium. Very interesting Lectures. Some good, some less so. Excursions,. We only went on two as my husband to ill to go on any more. They were very interesting. We had to miss the Great Barrier Reef. What a disappointment. Service. Good service by room steward, and bar staff and we had very good dining room waiters. The nurse that had to attend my husband in the middle of the night was excellent. As this was part of the world cruise, we found passengers embarking and disembarking at every port of call making the atmosphere of a hop-on hop-off ship. Luggage left around in the corridors at all times. Stewards cleaning materials and buckets were in evidence all day long. To sum up, the QM2 is in need of a complete overhaul, particularly the cabins, Kings Court area and the deck areas. We would not travel on her again, due to the unfortunate experience we had with illness. I have reported in length to the powers that be and have been given numerous apologies, but no real explanations and suggestions on how they could improve their hygiene programme. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Background information: My partner and I are both from Melbourne Australia and are what most consider "too young" for Cunard, my partner having just turned 30 and I 26. I am what you would call an "ocean liner buff", I ... Read More
Background information: My partner and I are both from Melbourne Australia and are what most consider "too young" for Cunard, my partner having just turned 30 and I 26. I am what you would call an "ocean liner buff", I love passenger ships and anything to do with them, I have a major collection of books, documentaries, models, posters and all kinds of memorabilia, obviously a lot of it relating to Cunard as it is such a historical line, my favourite historical line to research in fact! We are experienced cruises having sailed on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and Holland America in the past, I decided that it was time for my partner and I to take another trip on the QM2, our last being in 2012 (Maiden Royal circumnavigation of Australia). As it was my partners 30th birthday this year, we decided to spend some time in Singapore and Hong Kong (2 places he has always wanted to experience) before boarding the QM2 in Hong Kong during her world voyage and returning the Darwin over 10 nights, stopping at Kota Kinabalo and Bitung along the way. I booked the cruise through an Australian cruise travel agency during a Cunard sale and originally booked a BB Britannia Balcony stateroom at a great price (previously we sailed in a P1 Princess Grill). I later upgraded our booking to a P2 Princess Grill suite during another sale as they were asking for Princess Grill what we had paid for Britannia and on all previous cruises we have taken on other ships, we have always travelled in a suite as we enjoy the larger a larger stateroom and the usual perks that come with having a suite on a cruise. Two week's before boarding we received a complementary upgrade to a Q5 Queens Grill Suite which was extremely exciting for us as you could imagine. For an ocean liner buff, naturally Cunard is that last tie to the old world experince of the golden age of ocean liners. Unfortunately I was too young to be able to have travelled on the QE2, but I never missed the opportunity to go see her whenever she docked in Melbourne when I was a child/teenager. We enjoy cruising and have enjoyed the other cruise lines for what they are and the experience they have to offer but obviously when we decide to travel with Cunard, we are looking for that certain type of experience, that old world sophisticated charm that the line represents and still uses as a major selling point when advertising their fleet. Dressing for dinner, sophisticated and eccentric fellow passengers, afternoon teas, pre/post dinner drinks, late night conversations over cigars and cognacs, the overall look and feel of being onboard a true ocean liner is what draws us to Cunard. As i mentioned, to me, it is that last link to the golden age of liners. One week before departure we received our pre voyage documentation and luggage labels, although the luggage labels were of no use as the stateroom number reflected our original Britannia Balcony stateroom not our Queens Grill suite we had received, so I had to print the labels off myself which were showing the correct stateroom number. Boarding the ship: After spending the first few days of our holiday in Singapore and Hong Kong which was a fantastic, most enjoyable experience (we will be back), the day arrived to board what I have come to affectionately call after our last experience onboard her, "our old friend". The morning of embarkation we stood at the edge of Victoria Harbour peering across to the Kai Tak cruise ship terminal in the distance, QM2's profile and bright Cunard red funnel just slightly visible through that morning Hong Kong haze. It is at that point you can truly appreciate and grasp the size of Hong Kong, the city dwarfs the normally Gigantic ocean liner as if she was nothing more than little ferry. The first time I ever saw her in person was when we were about to embark on her for the first time, in the city of Fremantle Australia, she was the largest thing in town that day, there was no missing the QM2 in Fremantle. Priority boarding time for the Queens Grill and platinum/diamond world club guests was 12pm so at about 11:30am we checked out of our hotel and took a cab to the terminal (a short 10-15 minute journey through Hong Kong), once we arrived at Kai Tak cruise terminal, it was still hard to truly grasp just how big the QM2 really is as the terminal itself is so large (probably one of the worlds greatest ocean liner terminals) that it too, dwarfed the ship! you could probably fit 3 QM2's lined up along that terminal all at once, it truly is massive. We made our way upstairs following the signs directing us where to board the ship, I believe the terminal is 4 or 5 stories high and would be rather easy to get lost in. Luckily as well as the signs, there was also quite a few terminal employees positioned around directing guests and pointing which way to go. We finally got to where we needed to be to check in and were rather shocked to say the least.. The amount of people already lined up was amazing, as if everyone had all come at once regardless of what time Cunard told them to arrive, "oh god, hear we go..." was first thing that came to my mind. We joined the queue of guests as there did not seem to be any sort of "priority" or "grills guest" line. Immediately we realised that the crowed was already quite annoyed as everyone around us was already complaining about this so called priority boarding time allocation. One lady in front of us in a wheelchair (being pushed by a terminal staff member) was furious that she had to wait in the queue and demanded to be taken to the front as she was meant to have priority boarding, we actually felt sorry for the guy pushing her wheelchair as you could clearly tell that he was in no position to be making such decisions. The overall tension and frustration of the crowed was already a bit of a dampener on the start of the trip as it should have been an exciting moment leading up to boarding the ship, none the less we waited patiently, we had done this many times and to be honest had probably expected to wait in a long queue even though we were supposed to be given priority boarding, the reality is (in our past experience) that you are never going to just arrive and be boarded in under 15 minutes. Looking around us, I noticed that other guest were holding health check forms so I peered around to see where they got these from, luckily enough there was an employee standing close by holding them (not offering them out to people who had just arrived) so I went and asked for the forms. Lucky I also had a pen on me to fill them out whilst we waited in line. After about 10 minutes of slowly but surely shuffling along we noticed that the queue did seem to fork into two separate lines. One shorter and one much longer. We were then confronted by an employee asking guests if they were in the grills and if they were could they please join the shorter queue. she came near us but didn't say anything so we asked her if that shorter line was for grills guest to which she responded "Yes, but are you even in the grills?" we responded "yes, Queens Grill" she then asked to see our boarding passes which we had to point out where exactly on it, it stated Queens Grill, she then directed us to the shorter queue and then we noticed her telling her other staff to check the boarding passes, she asked to use my boarding pass as a quick reference to show them where exactly to look to see if the guest was a Grill guest. I must admit I did feel a little deflated as it did seem at first that she didn't believe that us two young blokes would be the Grills, but again we are used to that kind reaction as we are young for Cunard guests let alone Queens Grill Guests. It probably took another 20 minutes to reach the check in desk, Im not sure how long the other queue would have taken, it was much larger than ours. Whilst waiting we spotted another Australian couple we had made great friends with on our last trip on QM2 which really added to the overall enjoyment of that trip so we were excited to seem them boarding again on the same trip as us! Check in involved all the usual things they do, but they had a problem when the check in girl assumed we would have both our accounts linked to the one credit card we then had to tell her that we would each have a separate card linked to our accounts, she then had to call a supervisor over to help her correct it. They then could not seem to get my partners credit card linked to his account, it just wasn't working every time they swiped his credit card (which was worrying as by this stage we had been standing at the check in desk for about 15 minutes) they ended up telling us to sort it out onboard. Finally we were ready to board the ship! Crossing the gangway and approaching the giant door that allowed guests to enter the giant liner, I immediately could smell something.. It was the smell of the QM2, the very same smell I could remember from last time we were onboard, a smell memory. I must admit that at this stage the long queue and check in issues were now a distant memory and excitement had again taken over. We were about to board the Queen Mary 2! Up ahead just through the giant square hole in that thick black hull i could see the warm lighting, red carpet and marble columns of the Grand Lobby, the sound of the harp softly playing started to grow louder as we approached the entrance to the ship. The first point of contact onboard is always the person who swipes your card when you embark/disembark the ship, these people are just grim to be honest, always stern and usually wearing sunglasses, every now and then they may grunt hello or something, I feel they would usually be more suited to welcoming you to prison rather than a luxury ocean liner. Once past "the guards" you are greeted by the warmth and welcome of the QM2, what a truly stunning space to enter, the Grand Lobby really is something special, more luxury old world hotel than "cruise ship" in decor, it is designed to impress and as we all know, first impressions count! You are greeted by suited staff, who ask for your stateroom number and give you directions of how to get there. At least this time we were acknowledged, as last time I remember them ignoring us and letting us just walk straight past them to find our own way. Still, I could tell that they almost seemed unsure of us as we are young and should they take us seriously, the look and vibe we get is almost like "are you crew?”, you shouldn't be up here!", this would not be the last time the crew made us feel awkward. Guests are guests as far as I am concerned; we've all paid to be onboard regardless of age and should be treated all with the same respect. The Suite/Butler service: We arrived in our Q5 Queens Grill suite 11130, the very last stateroom aft of deck 11 on the port side (right beside the grills terrace) There are only 4 Queens Grill suites on this deck, all aft and I must say the location is fantastic, much better than deck 9 (the Queens Grill suite deck), the view is high and unobstructed. We find the suites on deck 9 rather silly as they are only one level above the lifeboats, which really take away from the view. The layout of the suite is much like that of a Princess Grill suite, but larger with more room to move around, a larger bar area, larger balcony, larger seating area and an extra area with a dressing table just outside the walk in wardrobe before entering the bathroom. The bathroom itself features a shower over Jacuzzi bath set up with one basin. I believe for the extra price Queens Grill guests are charged, the bathroom really should feature a separate bath and shower and also feature two basins. The suite is large enough to accommodate a bathroom layout like that so I'm unsure as to why they didn't design it that way. The suite is lovely but I cannot really justify paying the extra for a Queens Grill Q7,6 or 5 over a Princess Grill P2&1 in terms of the suite itself, Princess Grill suites are just as adequate and come with a much more reasonable price tag. Q4,3,2 & 1 suites are completely different and are much larger suites so those I can justify the higher price. We received our Queens Grill suite as a complementary upgrade so we certainly weren't complaining. There was a bottle of Champagne on Ice as well as an extra bottle of sparkling wine and some divine looking chocolates awaiting us on the table. On closer inspection, the suite was a little tired. A few globes were out, some scuffs on the walls here and there, down lights not fixed into the ceiling properly, rust on the balcony, a dripping pipe above the balcony which dripped down onto one of the deck chairs (duct tape had been used to try stop the dripping pipe) and two cushions on the bed which smelt as if they hadn't been washed in years. Nothing too major, but keep in mind the premium price Cunard charges for this type of suite, from my knowledge they wanted over $10000 AUD per person for this suite on this trip. Had we paid that full price, I would have been outraged. note that the TV stations are boring and really need to be overhauled, also WIFI didn't work in the room. Our bags were left outside the suite in the hall when usually they are brought into the room. After an hour and the Butler (a Queens Grill feature) /steward both being a no show, I decided to unpack our bags. I was aware that part of the Butler service was to help you unpack and really I wouldn't have accepted the help, but I did want to see if the butler would actually offer to help as Cunard advertise this feature as a Queens Grill perk. After unpacking, drinking our bottle of champagne, eating our chocolates and taking a brief tour of the ship, say 4 hours after embarking, the Butler (David) and Steward (Joel) arrived at the suite to say hello. They were friendly enough and did offer to help with the bags but I had already unpacked them. We informed David of the blown light globes and he had them replaced that night. He also asked us to choose 2 bottles of spirits to have supplied in the suite and also informed us the mini bar was free in Queens Grill and would be replenished as would the 2 bottles of spirits! This was a great perk! I also asked him to change all the sodas in the mini bar to sugar free sodas, which he did. The mini bar also had beers in it. Tired and not wanting to miss the sail away party we opted for our first dinner onboard to be taken in the suite (another QG feature), David the butler gave us the menus from the QG dinning room and gave us some recommendations. He then set the table and delivered and served each coarse as if we were dinning in the restaurant, this was a great service and the food came quickly and was hot! The butler will always deliver your room service/breakfast if they are on duty and will set the table properly for it. They will also serve you afternoon tea in the suite if you request, again the table is set and all the scones, sandwiches and tea provided. The butler will also help you cater a party in your suite if you wish to have guests. We went to a pre dinner drink party in a fellow QG guests suite and the butler served canapés, hot/cold nibbles as well as drinks whilst we all chatted and had a laugh. Note that also every evening around 5pm the butler will bring pre dinner canapés to your suite, these were often hit and miss as far as taste/quality and they usually featured seafood. So all in all the butler device in QG suites is quite good and really the butler can do as much or as little for you as you wish. They do tend to just ring the door bell and let themselves in though which isn't very good for privacy I guess. The Ship itself: There is no denying the ship needs to be dry docked and overhauled! It seems to be a constant topic that has been arising of late on the Cruise Critic forums and I can confirm that yes, she does need it! Her last dry docking was for 2 weeks in late 2011 a few months before our last trip on her and even after that it seemed that not everything was attended too, well it is really showing now which is sad and frankly un acceptable really for the prices this "premium" line charges. It is hard to explain but I think I can, its as if at face value she look fine, her interiors are fine, but after a few days onboard and settling in, getting to know the ship, you can really notice all the issues. Externally, she needs to be completely repainted. EVERYTHING! the black hull is rusty and scratched, faded her and there and the red colour of the keel is no longer red at the water liner but a slimy, rusty green, the white stripe dividing the black and red is now hardly visible and is hardly a line or even white for that matter anymore. Now lets keep in mind that the ship itself is an advertisement for Cunard, she makes the news wherever she goes and people always come out to see her in the flesh when she visits ports all over the world, some ports are maiden calls so the ship has never been seen by the people of those ports. If you watch your local news when she arrives in your town, you will be bombarded with images of luxury and wealth, stories of her high fares and impressive passenger lists, but then to see her in person you are confronted with this poorly presented and maintained vessel which up close (one of our ports was tendered so we got a very close look) could pass for the hull of a container ship! a very disappointing sight indeed. Her outdoor areas look tired and old, deck chairs with miss matching cousins, some royal blue with the Cunard symbol, others beige and white stripped, some plain beige, some no cushions at all. The pools and Jacuzzis are all worn and torn, the grills Jacuzzi on the grills terrace we often used needs to be completely replaced as it is no longer pure white, with damaged chipped paint showing the brown material that it is made of and is quite rough to touch...the outdoor pool tiles are faded, damaged and hardly look appealing especially when you think of these luxury oasis like pools on offer onboard other ships which truly do look inviting on a hot day at sea. QM2 pools and Jacuzzis look dirty and old. WIFI onboard is a disgrace, it is 2015, its no longer a gimmick to have internet at sea, the technology to do so has been around for years and it is just expected by guests now and should/can run perfectly, update your systems and sort it out otherwise don't charge people as the service is so poor! Stateroom Corridors (the worst of all the deck 9 Queens Grill suites corridor) are in terrible condition. Deck 9 corridor has damaged ceilings and actually drips water in many spots long the corridor, often into a light fixture below (safety hazard?), the smell of dampness in the air, doors and door frames are dented and scratched. There are random pot holes all over the ship under the carpets which is weird as you will just be walking along then you randomly step into one, again safety hazard. In the day spa, as you lay back relaxed in the therapy pool you can't help but notice the missing lights, mold and damage on the ceiling or the chipped tiles around the pool, the broke showers that don't work properly, the overall dirty look of the tiles and it costs money to use this day spa? Most of the seats in the planetarium are broken so cross your fingers you get a good one. Overall the ship just isn't up to standard not only for a ship which people pay to travel on but for a Cunard ship, the line, which charges more than most lines because of its "premium" reputation. Why do I point out all these faults? Its not because I'm picky or a snob or have un realistic expectations, it is simply that based on what Cunard advertises, charges and claims to offer simply does reflect in the quality of the product they are truly offering and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise! It truly is sad to have to view the ship in this way and yes it is disappointing after some people pay fortunes to be onboard for the trip of a lifetime, the last ocean liner and this is what is presented to them, it just isn't right and its time Cunard/Carnival understand that you simply cannot hide behind a "good name", you must deliver, you cannot continue to charge premium prices and deliver guest a low budget product. I take this hard stance with Cunard because I believe that if people do not speak up, they will continue to let the ship go down hill and I do not want to see that happen, I want the line to continue on successfully and offer ships that truly live up to the historical Cunard reputation and inspire new generations to keep the old liner traditions alive not to mention retain their loyal client base, many of which have been with them since the original Queen Mary was in service. They deserve better. Food: Food and service in the Queens Grill was top notch! we truly had a lovely time whenever we dined in there and the waiters were fabulous. The food is not really that much different from Britannia, but it is presented better I feel and there is also dishes on offer that are finished tableside and are truly amazing and tasty! Please try every one if you can but you do need to let them know you wish to order it not later than lunch time that day. Note that those dishes are large servings! They really were fantastic dinners. The staff in the QG are lovely and remember everything you like, couldn't fault them. Many lovely nights were had in that dinning room and the other guests seated around us were lovely to meet. The only negative I will say is that the breakfast hours need to be revised, currently it is served between 8am-9:30am, we feel that 7am-10/10:30am would work better and give you a bigger window as after a few days we started sleeping in until 9 and it was often to late to make it to breakfast. 9am isn't exactly a late sleep in in our books. Kings Court, as most people who have travelled on the QM2 will confirm, is terrible. School cafeteria is probably the best way to describe it, confusing and not worthy of such a ship. The layout is shocking and the food is just sad looking. It’s a shame because on other ships we always enjoy the buffets and find them exciting. Not on QM2. It also feels like they often pack up areas well before the finish times listed, we often would arrive just to grab something and next minute they starting packing up shop, with plenty of food and at 1:50pm, we really couldn't understand why. Todd English, fabulous! You must try it! Probably some of the best food/service onboard and for such reasonable cover chargers, you will not be disappointed. Although i had pre booked a table for two before boarding on the night of my partners 30th birthday and then changed it to a table of four once we realised friends were onboard and wanted them to dine with us that night, I went the restaurant to make the change and was assured all was fine. Well on the night our extra guests arrived before us and were told there was no booking for four just two which was highly embarrassing but was addressed quickly upon our arrival and we were all easily seated. Afternoon tea, we often had in the QG lounge, couldn't fault it, food and service, Devine. Room service, pretty good for ship standards, they often took a while to deliver 30+ mins but it was always pretty good. Boardwalk cafe, much like king’s court but worse, we walked in, took one look at the sad food and walked away. Disappointing, as the idea of an outdoor cafe is great, but Cunard have it all wrong. Golden Lion, a great place to try some English inspired food at no extra cost! Very tasty pies! but get in quick as seats fill fast! its a shame about the music in their though during lunch hours, relaxation spa music? we were expecting some British classics for a British pub! Sir Samuel's, One night I said "we must try the coffee there" as we had never done it and I do like good coffee, so we gave it a shot. I ordered a large iced mocha! (it was after dinner) the picture and description in the menu grabbed me! It did look wonderful, tall glass, ice cold mocha coffee with lashing of whipped cream on top! What arrived was a tall glass, filled with Mocha and ice. I looked at the waiter and said "no cream?" he responded, "only if you ask for it.." and walked away. Another glance at the menu told me that cream was included. Do they not no their own drinks? so I drank my watery semi boring mocha and never returned. We were disappointed that during the whole 10 nights not once was there an open air buffet on deck or dessert buffet at night which most ships seem to do these days just for a bit of extra excitement. The weather was fantastic the whole voyage so we found it unusual to not have any on deck buffets. Entertainment: Shocking seemed to be the general review from most guests. Paul the cruise director needs to go, he's tired, outdated a has been, in my opinion. The ship has no atmosphere to it, even on the open decks on a beautiful day or sailing away from a beautiful port, they seem to have some music and drinks for a minute then just as soon as its started they pack it all up and finish. Spas & pools also covered over by 7pm so don't even think about a night swim. Service: In all Grill areas (dinning room, Concierge lounge & Grills lounge) service was great and as expected! In all other areas, service was good (in some areas) and poor in most others. Most bar staff were average and dull. If they asked you the first time if you wanted a drink and you replied no, they certainly would never ask again (even after 3hrs of sitting there). The retail shop staff were too casual; they were probably the youngest staff on the ship and seemed more interested in gossiping loudly amongst themselves rather than providing a helpful service. My overall vibe from the staff (outside of the Grill areas) were that they truly didn't understand what Cunard stands for, what the line is all about and the historical value of the line. My guess is most of them a just moved around the carnival fleet and don't really care to be honest, just after some cash and free travel for a few months. The worst service of all I have ever seen in my life (at sea or ashore) would have to have been from the hotel manager. One night on deck 7 aft (smoking area) we were seated and a cigarette as most the other smokers were and out there with us were two staff members in white uniform (male and female) having a glass of wine and a smoke. I'm not sure why but they were. An elderly couple (veteran Cunarders we late learned) must have started a conversation with the staff members about the smoking policy and lack of smoking areas onboard, which turned a bit heated. Next minute the guest were arguing with the staff and the staff were arguing back. One of the guests asked who this lady staff member was and what she did onboard? Her response was "I’m the hotel manager and it is my job to make you lot spend more money!" which I think is a hideous thing to say to the guests. The argument about smoking continued to and at one stage the hotel manager told the guest that they shouldn't be smoking anyway as its bad for them. This is not how you deal with guests, you do not get into a silly argument with them, nor do you judge that way. You simply just take onboard what they are saying and let them know you will pass it on. it was truly a sight to behold, this hotel manager arguing with these guests with a glass of wine in her hand. The guest involved were furious afterwards and in their own words "had had it with the Cunard line and never again!". It is my belief that this hotel manager should loose her job, as it truly was a rude embarrassment to behold. Churchill's/Smoking policy: We enjoy a Cigar in Churchill's with a drink at the night time, every night it was always the exact same 4 or 5 people in there and we all became very familiar with each other. it was a great little "crew" to be apart of and we really enjoyed our nights in there. The only problem was that the ship was lacking most cigar brands they had on the menu and also many of the expensive Cognacs. The attendant in Churchill's also was not educated in the topic of cigars and cognacs as opposed to when we last sailed onboard the attendant in Churchill’s knew everything there was to know about the matter! The attendant on this trip, didn't even have a cigar cutter at the start so everyone had to bite their cigars before lighting them. On average we all probably spent $200+ each per night, every night in Churchill's. Most people who frequent Churchill's are not short of money to be honest. so you would think that Cunard would value these particular guests. Some in our group often enjoyed a glass or more of Cognac worth $120 per glass. Money was hardly an issue. But still even in Churchill's Cunard's slipping standards were taking over. we had issue we not being able to smoke cigarettes in there, last time the policy was "if you ask all other cigar smokers in the room first and they give the ok you can smoke in there" this time it was "no smoking cigarettes" full stop. It got so bad that even the captain told a lady at one stage, she could smoke in there as long as the cigar smokers said they didn't mind. well can they just please make that the policy again? our group were the only cigar smokers and we didn't mind if each other smoked in there! On QM2 there is 3 smoking areas all aft of the ship, an area on deck 8/7 and in G32 upper level. All smokers are irritated by this policy as for example if you are situated at the front of the ship, say in Churchill’s or even your cabin, you need to walk all that distance in order to have smoke. Furthermore, even in the smoking areas there were always non-smokers sitting at the smoking tables that asked you not to smoke or had something rude to say about it! The none-smokers have 90% of the ship, please be kind enough to let the smokers enjoy their small smoking spaces. I laugh as most none smokers call smoker selfish.. Well this shows a different side. Smoking is also not permitted on the stateroom balconies. This apparently does not include the Grand Duplex suites aft of the ship as we often saw this guests smoking on their balconies with a Cunard supplied ash tray. I would rather G32 be none smoking, and another outdoor area be made smoking. also Cunard need to update their stateroom books as they do not state the current smoking policy correctly. Our book said we could smoke on the grills terrace on the starboard side but the current policy is no smoking on the grills deck not even on one side which is ridiculous because it then meant I had to go smoke on deck 8, why should I when I’ve paid to have my own private terrace? but anyway times are changing in regards to smoking, it will be interesting to see how the policy further changes in the years to come especially as every smoker is un happy with the current policy. On a final note I will say that the night we ate in Todd English, we engaged in an interesting conversation with the head waiting about the slipping standards onboard and received quite a surprising response.. He couldn't agree more! He stated that Carnival was now running Cunard on a Carnival style budget and that staff like him were so frustrated that they are receiving less and less to work with! he stated that he keeps ordering cognac and expensive alcohol to service in Todd English and his orders keep getting denied by shore based management. he confirmed that the line was running on more of a budget than it ever has before and yes that was affecting the service onboard and the products offered. He actually got somewhat emotional about it to be honest as you could tell he was one who truly enjoyed his job but could see the standards slipping. This is sad to see this happen to Cunard and I hope that with enough complaints they turn it back around, but in the meantime, I really cannot justify the premium pricing they charge, as it is not a premium line anymore. Next time we want to try QE/QV just to see how they compare as many fellow passengers told us those two ships are in much better condition than the QM2. Lift your game Cunard; you cannot continue providing your loyal guests with this type of inferior product. I’ve been told that if you truly want luxury, only Seaborne & Crystal are the way to go. So what is Cunard going to do about that?   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I travelled on a cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai as this was on the Queen Mary2 I was expecting and outstanding voyage .The trips ashore booked via cunard were faultless every country was different and enjoyable. The only let down on this ... Read More
I travelled on a cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai as this was on the Queen Mary2 I was expecting and outstanding voyage .The trips ashore booked via cunard were faultless every country was different and enjoyable. The only let down on this holiday was the ship. too many formal nights 6 in 3 weeks and the staff appeared to be either lazy or undertrained when it came to service especially in the self service area as they appeared to be only table clearers which were not good when tables were left dirty for sometimes 30 minutes and the passangers were walking around holding trays of food with nowhere to sit. We avoided this and went into the dining room as much as possible. this was much better but having been given second sitting 8.30pm each night we all had to wait outside in the corridor while they got ready from sitting one(6.00)pm surely this could have been avoided. I must praise the shows put on each evening as they were brilliant especially the dancers and singers. Also the lectures were very entertaining so this ship did manage to get somethings right. having said all this I would not sail on her again as the other ships I use are much better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Queen Victoria is a very stable and organized ship. Everything from the shore excursions, activities, meals were run so very smoothly. Some of the public areas are very beautifully done, especially the library. The meals were very ... Read More
Queen Victoria is a very stable and organized ship. Everything from the shore excursions, activities, meals were run so very smoothly. Some of the public areas are very beautifully done, especially the library. The meals were very mediocre. The Lido buffet might as well have been on a Carnival ship with plastic vinyl chairs and cafeteria quality food. The alternative dining didn't really offer any real alternative. It was just a room off the lido buffet room with the same boring plastic tables and chairs. A real high tea cost $26 per person. The activities at sea were very sedate. You had to pay $11 a session for any of the stretch, yoga or pilates classes. All the ones arranged by the spa were just a sales pitch for the products(nothing fun or informative). The lectures and documentaries shown catered to the age group on the ship(generally 75 and above). My least favorite part of the cruise was making painful conversations with the people I was seated with at every dinner. They had difficulty hearing so I either have to speak VERY loud or dine in silence. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This was our first Cunard cruise so we were looking forward to travelling on the Queen Mary and the ship itself did not disappoint. However in many ways the cruise did not live up to our expactations for a few reasons. We were offered an ... Read More
This was our first Cunard cruise so we were looking forward to travelling on the Queen Mary and the ship itself did not disappoint. However in many ways the cruise did not live up to our expactations for a few reasons. We were offered an upgrade to a Princess Grill suite (for an extra charge) a few days before we left Australia. These cabins were lovely and have probably spoilt us for future cruises. Our cabin boy was everything he should have been - efficient yet very out of sight and low-key. The ship is so big that it took us a few days to familiarise ourselves with it. I'm sure it could go through a hurricane and still feel stable and comfortable. It was the level of service where we felt let down by Cunard. A lot of the bar/wait staff are Russian/Eastern European and they are just not jolly people. It was hard to find a staff who had a personality or sense of humour let alone someone who seemed happy in their job. We were told that about 1600 Australians boarded the ship in Hong Kong which is a large percentage of the total complement of passengers and you would think that if Cunard had done their homework they would know that Australians like to have a good time but good entertainment was hard to find. A couple of the "guest entertainers" were OK but there were too few. The 50's and 60's night was by far the best night's entertainment but it was quite late in the cruise and there was nothing else like it. We went to the trivia sessions in the Golden Lion Pub a few times but one of the Entertainment team obviously didn't like Australians very much. Apparently Cunard offered a lot of Australians greatly reduced fares to fill the ship so perhaps that's why the standard of entertainment was not so good in order to reduce the budget. We ate in the Princess Grill most of the time (where the service was great) and we found the food was very repetitive. There were no interesting choices e.g. Chinese, Italian, Thai - just the same old things which get monotonous after two weeks. We did try the Specialty section of the Food Court which charges $10 per head. The Indian was quite good but the Italian night was disappointing. There were only about five choices for main course and the only pasta dish was beef ravioli and when we asked what was the "special pasta of the day" we were told that it was the beef ravioli which was already on the menu as a standard dish. We had a couple of birthdays during the cruise so we tried the Todd English Restaurant for these. They charge a la carte but it is quite inexpensive considering the standard of the food and the service. Being in the Princess suites, Cunard charged us $13 per person per day upfront as gratuities. As well as this, they charge 15% on every drink that you purchase which really added up. We have been to the US a few times so don't mind the tipping system for good service but we feel that this system does not encourage the staff to give good service as they know they will get a tip anyway. Two of our friends have travelled on the Queen Victoria and they said that it was far superior. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
We had planned our trip on the Queen Mary 2 well in advance due to recommendations from our travel agent about needing to secure cabins due to popularity of ship (we had a group of 8 friends travelling together) and we had thought that ... Read More
We had planned our trip on the Queen Mary 2 well in advance due to recommendations from our travel agent about needing to secure cabins due to popularity of ship (we had a group of 8 friends travelling together) and we had thought that this cruise would be one of the best, having cruised many times before we just wanted to experience the excitement of the Queen Mary 2. We all paid for up-grades to Princess Grill Suites and thank goodness we did this as our suites turned out to be the best thing about our journey with Cunard. Pity we cannot say good things about the arrogant attitude of some Cunard staff - possibly this was due nationalities who are not comfortable with being in the 'service' industry and believe they are superior to the guests. We can speak highly of the wait staff in the Princess Grill and Todd English restaurants and our Suite Steward but that is as far as it goes. We were disappointed with the selection of food, all very bland and not a lot of variety- even by going to Todd English a-la-cart and paying a nominal fee the food selection was very much the same with no variation to the menu. The buffet(casual dining) was best left alone, however we did eat lunch there a couple of times when were were desperate to find something to possibly give some variety. Outdoor dining....they called it the Boardwalk Cafe...think it was an after thought in the ship's fit out - possibly was open 3 or 4 times in our cruise duration and was a farce as far as outdoor dining. Entertainment was sub standard, unless you wanted to do ball room dancing most nights - the best night being a '50's and 60's dance night - could hardly get a spot on the dance floor which should go to show Cunard that this type of entertainment/dancing is what most of the quests were looking for along with some lively music. On the positive side for the ship, it looks great from the shore and one would certainly feel safe in wild seas..such a pity that it was too big to dock at Hong Kong/Kowloon and passengers had to go through the complications of getting to the ship via taxi or train to Asia World Expo Centre then to back track via coach to the ship docked at a container wharf - then to shift the ship that night to Junk Bay so we endured another long tender trip to Hong Kong Island if one wished to go ashore the next day. Overall....Been there....Done that......Don't go back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was our first cruise with Cunard and it was with high expectations we boarded the ship in Hong Kong after spending an enjoyable, somewhat frenetic week in Honkers during Chinese New Year. EMBARKATION A very convoluted process ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Cunard and it was with high expectations we boarded the ship in Hong Kong after spending an enjoyable, somewhat frenetic week in Honkers during Chinese New Year. EMBARKATION A very convoluted process which I can only assume was necessary due to the large number of people (close to 2000 I understand) who boarded in Hong Kong. We were processed at the airport which s quite a trip from the city and then taken on a half hour coach ride to embarkation. Problem was there was little of no communication during the process. In fairness I should add that disembarkation was the opposite. Very smoothly done and well organised. ACCOMMODATION We were on deck 5 cabin 5181 which has obstructed view due to the balcony being enclosed up to about a metre - i.e. when sitting you could not see outside the ship. Room was your stock standard balcony view stateroom with nothing that would really set it apart from other ships. Plenty of hanging space and storage. The bathroom was slightly larger than we have experienced and it was refreshing that the shower stall itself had more space than those to which we have been accustomed. We did find out during the cruise we may have been able to upgrade for a fee and it was disappointing this had not been offered. FOOD We have been on about 12 cruises and the food on the Queen Mary was the best we have experienced. From full cooked breakfasts in our stateroom to five star quality food in the Britannia Restaurant and the Todd English speciality restaurant we could not fault the food. In fact this was the first time we have been on a cruise that we did not take a meal in the food court because we did not want to forgo the opportunity to have a quality meal with outstanding service. As an example of the food quality, on previous cruises we have steered clear of food such steaks and other like meat dishes because they can be very tricky to prepare. However on the Queen Mary no such problems. Special mention must be made of the beef wellington on day 16 of the cruise which was best I have ever eaten. In general terms the food was varied, servings generous (and you could always have more by request)and you could (as we did) design your own side dishes to have with main courses. One of the highlights for us was the afternoon tea which we took in the Queens Room and I would thoroughly recommend this to future QM2 cruisers. SERVICE As on all previous cruises service was outstanding. I must make particular note of our sommelier Andreas, waiter Baiba and our assistant waiter, Krishna. Their service was seamless, friendly, never obtrusive and very, very efficient. All three I would suggest have great futures in the hospitality industry. Our cabin attendant, Argie, was very attentive and accommodating, nothing was too much trouble. The high level of service throughout the ship, which, like the food, was the best we have experienced, made this a most pleasurable cruise. ENTERTAINMENT If there was a weak spot on the cruise it was entertainment which I could only describe as average. Only a few were of a standard you would expect on such a prestigious ship. After a few disappointments we didn't venture back. SHORE TOURS We only took one shore tour and it was well organised and good value for money. Our tour guide through Shanghai spoke excellent English, was knowledgeable and very experienced. OTHER PASSENGERS Generally in the older bracket. The ship is not really suited to children and teenagers and below thirties would probably find it difficult to keep themselves occupied on a long cruise. THE SHIP The star of the cruise is the ship. It is breathtaking with huge indoor spaces and never feels crowded. All facilities are impeccably maintained and with 2500 passengers on a 150,000 tonne ship there is plenty of space. The theatres are outstanding and the best afloat we have experienced. As a transatlantic liner outdoor areas such as pools are limited but this is more than compensated by the huge interior rooms, bars and other facilities. The library is a joy and a great place to relax and take in the view from the front of the ship. The casino was great fun and a hive of activity, often to the very small hours. Wide open decks complete the picture for this very impressive, well designed ship. SUMMARY Very enjoyable and would recommend. We will take another cruise on this ship when the opportunity arises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click