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Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this cruise because of the Panama Canal Transit and San Francisco We live in the Bay area so coming home was part of the choice. Our thoughts of a exciting and fun cruise never appeared. It was almost creepy walking back to ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the Panama Canal Transit and San Francisco We live in the Bay area so coming home was part of the choice. Our thoughts of a exciting and fun cruise never appeared. It was almost creepy walking back to our cabin after 11PM. Most bars were closed and not a person was around. During the nice weather around the pool, there was only one activity in all 19 days. The service was good and the crew could not have been more helpful. Although there were not many smiles or much personality involved. While the dining room is beautiful the food was only OK. When you expect so much and OK is delivered. I brought dressy clothes and formal wear, they were hardly necessary. The entertainment was as good as on most other cruise lines, nothing special. I am a Travel Agent and would not think of Cunard first when a client wanted a special cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
just done transatlantic on Queen Elizabeth, first time on Cunard bought new suit and my wife bought new evening wear, we needn't have bothered people where dressed in all sorts, even saw one man go in to restaurant in jeans (not a formal ... Read More
just done transatlantic on Queen Elizabeth, first time on Cunard bought new suit and my wife bought new evening wear, we needn't have bothered people where dressed in all sorts, even saw one man go in to restaurant in jeans (not a formal night) we had afternoon tea, was poor a waiter arrived with a serving dish that only had 3 sandwich"s on it , never got offered a cake, did get a scone but when i asked for extra clothed cream he complained said no one asks for that, well i did entertainment on a night was poor, how a guy playing a vacuum machine can be top main theatre entertainment on any ship i will never know tv showed very old films most of the time would have expected better bar was soul less one gentleman said to us i didn't pay $20,000 to listen to a pub quiz every night on the plus side food was very good and so where all the staff and restaurant staff good and quick would we go again yes Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We are easy to please - pleasing surroundings and public areas, excellent food, quality entertainment, good service, and comfortable cabin. Whilst cabin service could not be faulted and the cabin was great, everything else fell far short ... Read More
We are easy to please - pleasing surroundings and public areas, excellent food, quality entertainment, good service, and comfortable cabin. Whilst cabin service could not be faulted and the cabin was great, everything else fell far short of expectation. In no particular order. The cheap plastic seats in the Britannia dining room make your legs sweat profusely and a horrible feeling when you stand up. Britannia food was poor, with lunch especially bad, appetizers too cold and mains warm. Repetitive and unimaginative with such things as custard with ice cream, and gnocchi in duck gravy....go figure. The buffet was worse.Occasional smell of sewer in the dining room - I guess when they are pumping out somewhere. Attentive service in the dining room though you felt rushed so they could get tables cleared. Outside in the public areas you have to create attention to get served. Entertainment, "Disco" and on-board talks were appalling. For some reason Cunard has it in its head that older people like old things. A headline entertainer making a trumpet out of a Zimmer-frame sums up the whole on-board entertainment programme. The disco played old 70's/80's music guaranteed to clear the floor - I requested some Sia and Beiber and it was buzzing...the young girl running it had no idea. If you like brown and plastic you will love this ship, like something from the 40's, very depressing, and definitely not Deco. If you like ballroom dancing you will love this ship, if you like pubs, watching football, karaoke, trivia games you will love this ship, If you are in your 80's/90's you will love this ship. For me, my death gene is not yet switched on, I am young at heart and looking for new fun, interest and excitement....instead, and like other contributors to reviews, we found ourselves going to bed early to escape the pain. We sailed out on the QM2 which was far better though still felt more like a ferry than a luxury cruise. Never sailing with Cunard again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Assuming that we would receive a five star experience; we booked this crossing but in reality we have experienced better food and service at chain motels.The ship is beautiful but not entirely functional. Our room butlers were superb but ... Read More
Assuming that we would receive a five star experience; we booked this crossing but in reality we have experienced better food and service at chain motels.The ship is beautiful but not entirely functional. Our room butlers were superb but the rest of the staff is a horror. We lost water and heat several times during the crossing and in one case there was no heat for 15 hours. In trying to resolve the problem, it was discovered that the majority of staff has an attitude. I was put in my place by a telephone operator, told by another staff member that she had made a phone call so what else did I want. It is necessary to almost rant and rave to get problems resolved. This attitude permeates most of the staff.......spa, pursers, library, concierge. The food was ok. There was a strong start but quality declined as we got into the trip. Our servers were excellent and competent but that cannot compensate for mediocre offerings. The ship is massive and it took 7 minutes for me to walk to the library from my suite. It had to be a chore for some people forward to reach the Grill's Restaurants during the heavy weather. The Queen's Grill is long and narrow and the tables are set too close to each other, fortunately we had great neighbors or it would have been horrible. It sits on deck seven where other passengers walking by can literally stop and stare at you eating or evaluate your menu choices.It is a moderately attractive room. The brilliantly remastered Kings Court Restaurant resembles the Clara Barton rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike and after one meal there; the food is certainly better on the Turnpike. The food looks and tastes like my high school cafeteria lunches. Entertainment is standard ship board fare although several of the lectures were excellent especially the multi part talk on airline safety. You should get the message, by this point that Cunard, and the QM2 do not deliver on the promises in their advertising and they are selling a mediocre product.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We sailed over New Year’s Eve, out of Southampton, with family & friends. This was our first time on Cunard. Windstar, by far, remains my favorite. We stayed 2 nights pre-cruise in London, it was a good choice. The ride ... Read More
We sailed over New Year’s Eve, out of Southampton, with family & friends. This was our first time on Cunard. Windstar, by far, remains my favorite. We stayed 2 nights pre-cruise in London, it was a good choice. The ride to Southampton was almost 2 hours. Embarkation was smooth and trouble free. The ship itself was very nice. It was a bit glamorous and was still decorated for the Christmas holiday. All public areas were very clean and the ship itself is spacious. It was larger than I expected. The cabin seemed to be of almost standard size compared to other cruises, but had a very small bathroom – 1 sink, and a tiny shower. I found the number of electrical outlets to be adequate for us. The bed was very comfortable with extra pillows (5). Closet space was tight. There were plenty of bars on board, including an English Pub and a Gin Bar. Entertainment was fairly respectable: top floor had a piano player in one lounge, and then a live band mixed with a disc jockey in the dance room next door. Occasionally there was a Harpist or a quartet in the main lobby. Also the orchestra would play once in a while in the Queens Room. There were 2 shows each night in the Main Theater. I’d give each venue and performance a 4 out of 5 rating. Something I thought was interesting – one show was called Hollywood Rocks. They performed some song & dance from Hollywood for almost an hour, then ended with 7 Abba songs (which was the best part) … but Abba has nothing to do with Hollywood. The main dining room was very nice – good menu and very good service (incredibly speedy service from my experiences with main dining, and always with a smile). The buffets were always good but especially the New Year’s Eve midnight buffet (however, I missed it, but my travelling companions went on and on about how nice it was). The New Year count down was great. We were in port in Amsterdam for the midnight count down(11pm ship time) & an impressive fireworks display, then down to the main lobby for the ships countdown(midnight ship time). Cunard did it right; providing multiple venues on board to choose from. We chose the Queens Room where the orchestra was playing. Count down, hats, noise makers, balloon drop, and glasses of Champagne were provided. The casino was lively and the dealers made it enjoyable. The casino used American dollars which surprised me. Due to poor weather our stop in Belgium was cancelled, creating a 2nd sea day. We had 2 activities pre-booked for Bruges via the internet, confirmed 3 weeks prior to the cruise. We lost both with no refund. My advice would be – Do Not pre-book anything unless it’s through the ship itself. The other 2 stops were interesting - Amsterdam & Cherbourg. However …. The ships staff seemed to be put out – especially the bar staff at the Pub. Wow, these guys were terrible. They were always grumpy with a short attitude. With the other staff it was hit or miss with how we’d be greeted and treated. Maybe it's just the British attitude, I don’t know, but I certainly didn’t like it. The daily activities were hit or miss too – people would show up, but the event might be cancelled, you just never knew. The fellow passengers on Cunard were ok, but a little stand off-ish and boring. Dare I say "non-adventurous"? We are used to warm weather cruises, to destinations like the Caribbean and Mexico; usually with Americans, and I’ll say that Americans are much more enjoyable to be with. Dressing up in the evenings was very nice, our group enjoyed that, with Tuxedos and formal gowns for New Year’s Eve. Another cruise on Cunard? I might be talked into it one day. But my next cruise will find me back on Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise having previously travelled with celebrity and expecting the Cunard name to be synonymous with quality. It seems that the name Cunard was acquired but most of the quality of service and cache associated with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise having previously travelled with celebrity and expecting the Cunard name to be synonymous with quality. It seems that the name Cunard was acquired but most of the quality of service and cache associated with the name was lost. The buffet food was excellent but in all honesty was the only area other than the general style of the ship, that came even close to surpassing that which was experienced on the celebrity cruise we took in the Autumn. It was extremely annoying to many guests to discover that passengers on the same decks and with identical cabins, booked within days of each other, had paid up to £3k less on a 14 day cruise. We all know that discounts are available and repeat custom is often rewarded, however discounts on the same product of almost fifty percent are an insult to full fare paying passengers. Overall extremely disappointing and we will certainly not be travelling with this company again.. Cabin TV choice was very limited with no pay peri view or movie channels. Formal dining ( second sitting) felt rushed and portions were small. Staff were often unhelpful and occasionally aloof. Cunard need up their game with services and the attitude of some staff because this was not up to our expectations.. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Let's see if I can make a sensible balanced up-date ? 1. Cruise Overall the cruise was very good. I loved sleeping on the sea days with my balcony door open. Looking at miles of empty sea and seeing the broken waves slide past was ... Read More
Let's see if I can make a sensible balanced up-date ? 1. Cruise Overall the cruise was very good. I loved sleeping on the sea days with my balcony door open. Looking at miles of empty sea and seeing the broken waves slide past was exciting. 2. Stateroom My stateroom was excellent. Small bottle of 'shampoo' with an ice filled ice bucket was a nice touch on arrival. The facilities in the room were great. The telephone system was dreadful. I was called a couple of times and could only hear a muffled voice a long way away. 3. Bed The bed was huge but, I struggled to get the pillows right and had cramped neck muscles every morning. 4. Air Conditioner/Heater This unit was over the bed so as you experimented with the right setting you either were blown with cold or hot air, very uncomfortable. 5. Food The overall standard of the food was excellent. The Britannia restaurant every evening kept up a very high standard. If anyone on our table was not happy with any dish, alternatives were quickly arranged. The Lido buffet restaurant (breakfast and lunch) was also very good. 6. Service Overall the service on board was excellent 6.1 Stateroom My stateroom steward Ramon, was friendly and always seemed to be on duty. My stateroom was always immaculate. Even my PJs folded. 6.2 Britannia Rest. The team of two Romeo Busaco and Danijela Stamenkovic were totally professional, friendly and very helpful. An American women on our table could be very trying. The head waiter had to come and listen to her moan on several nights. On one occasion the Chef came and listened to her tell him how to cook ! 6.3 Bar Carinthia This was my regular bar before dinner every evening. It was where there I made friends with two couples. We then generally met each evening. The lady who then permanently served me knew after the first evening not only that I drank G&T but my favourite gin, Tanquery. She was extremely professional. proficient, friendly and helpful - Katarzyna Samczuk. 6.4 Entertainment Entertainment was OK. Not easy I guess to please everyone. The main dance floor had ballroom and Latin every evening. But ballroom is not my strongpoint. I did dance quite often with an Danish women from America who could dance some Boogie with me. For me the party band - Synergy - were brilliant, wild party on News Year eve in the main foyer. Every sea day Dan and Alyona, a professional dance pair from the Ukraine, gave an hours dance class. I went to each one. After the first lesson I chatted to them and asked about Boogie Woogie. Neither of them knew Boogie. When I showed her my basic steps she said it was similar to ballroom jive (it is). She then promised to dance with me to Synergy that evening. When and wherever Synergy played they would stand around in the middle of the dance floor. Obviously willing to dance but no one had the courage to ask one of them to dance. Well I was on a promise and Alyona and I strutted our stuff the first of many times whenever Synergy played. She was as a professional, brilliant and we wowed the onlookers. After that quite a few women approached me and said 'I watched you dance, you are really good' 7. Drinks The drinks were often outrageously expensive. I bought mineral water for my stateroom, reasonabley priced. I didn't need a 'soft drink' package. The wine packages were outrageously expensive. I never drank during the day. In the evening before dinner in the Carinthia Bar I would have two G&T's. At dinner I would order a bottle of wine which I could stretch to two nights. Cheap Italian wine ended up at USD 40 a bottle. My drinks bill was ca. USD 900 with moderate drinking. No cocktails no cognac etc. 8. WIFI Bloody joke, if you wanted WIFI you had three expensive options x hours, x hours etc. One of the tour buses in the Canaries even had free WiFi. As soon as you left the ship my Telekom local partner kicked in and I got all my mail. Every bar or cafe you walked past kicked my WiFi into action. 9. Excursions As I had never been to any of the destinations, apart from a quick trip to Lisbon, I had excursions booked everywhere, again not cheap. The quality of the excursions was very good all the guides were very knowledgeable. I now have a good idea of which of the Canary Islands I would go back to. Very reasonably priced packages always available from Germany. I felt much much younger than most of the other pax. It was like being in an old peoples home. I have never seen so may geriatrics wobbling around. Walking sticks, crutches. Zimmer frames, electric scooters galore. My hip surgeon would have been in heaven and salivating with scalpels in both hands. 10. Captains cocktail party, well I was never inviteed is this an honour only for frequnt cuisers ? Many evenings I sat at the Bar Carinthia and watched hords off to Captains cocktail parties: I must admit I felt very left out ! 11. Overall I feel the total cruise was too expensive. My final bill leaves little from EUR 10,000 !! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Because it was over Christmas and New Year and visited Madeira which is a lovely port especially at this time of year. We were disappointed that the rules regarding smoking cigarettes in the Churchill lounge were not adhered to. We ... Read More
Because it was over Christmas and New Year and visited Madeira which is a lovely port especially at this time of year. We were disappointed that the rules regarding smoking cigarettes in the Churchill lounge were not adhered to. We spoke and wrote to the Captain but still the room was filled with female smokers - totally against the so -called rules. We have never experienced this attitude in our previous cruises with Cunard. After seven days of poor service in the Britannia restaurant in the evening we went to the Buffet where the food was amazingly better, as was the service.The waiters in the Restaurant just gave their attention to the Large number of Oriental guests who spent the whole time swopping tables and constantly taking photographs. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the Carinthian lounge where the service was excellent. Would we go on Wueen elizabeth again I doubt it, Will stick to Queen Mary! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Like to be away over holidays & this cruise use to be wonderful lst cabin - Royal Theater over my head. Vibrating dancing & music til 11 @ night Hotel manager told me nothing can be done in a few days, they'll change my ... Read More
Like to be away over holidays & this cruise use to be wonderful lst cabin - Royal Theater over my head. Vibrating dancing & music til 11 @ night Hotel manager told me nothing can be done in a few days, they'll change my cabin 6 days later I was moved. Moved to a lovely cabin w/a balcony. Tv did not work. No heat at night..it cut off & I had to sleep w/robe, socks & cover myself w/my raincoat. Was told problems on the ship w/.a valve Toilet one day would not flush....& when it did, hardly any water. Not just my cabins, many others had no toilet for a day Called for maintenance..only 7 men that were working..& I had to wait.. Soap, I had 1 bar in my bathroom..tipped up front so I got stuff that I should have had to begin with. Linens stained...washcloths had brown stains. Comforter dirty..not washed..never used it...got 2 top sheets instead. Very disappointed..took this same cruise & it was wonderful....not this time...everything changed. & not for the better...Even 1 night the lobster was fabulous! A few nights later, no one at the table could chew it..very tough & dry. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The 26-night Christmas/New Year cruise on Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York, the Caribbean and return to Southampton revealed the on-going cost cutting, rip-off prices and declining restaurant food provided by Cunard. It failed ... Read More
The 26-night Christmas/New Year cruise on Queen Mary 2 from Southampton to New York, the Caribbean and return to Southampton revealed the on-going cost cutting, rip-off prices and declining restaurant food provided by Cunard. It failed to provide shuttle buses when berthing some distance from a town; the ship’s toilet system failed on four occasions; and the entire water supply failed on another day. I can safely comment on the decline of Cunard after many cruises on the company’s ships. The first problem was the check-in at Ocean Terminal. Cunard says my World Club Diamond membership gives me priority boarding but it is a second-class priority. On arrival I was told to sit and wait to be called even though the ‘priority’ check-in was open and was checking-in the occasional passenger. These, I was told, were ‘Grills passengers’ who had priority over my priority - even if they were first-time Cunarders with no loyalty to the brand. In the cabin I was pleased to see a bottle of water available but not pleased to see its price label. The 1.5 litre bottle was $3.95 and, in very small print, a note that 15 per cent ‘service charge’ would be added. In Sterling that comes to about £3.40. At Waitrose a 2 litre bottle of comparable water costs 47p. An ice bucket in the cabin contained the usual bottle of Pol Acker blanc-de-blanc sparkling wine. But the accompanying compliments’ slip wrongly described it as Champagne. At subsequent receptions, a flute containing what was referred to as champagne would be offered but it was merely sparkling wine. Perhaps the Commité Champagne - who control use of the Champagne name - are unaware of this misuse of the protected name. An invitation to a ‘Complimentary wine tasting event’ ended with the words “A charge of $30.50 will apply”. My Oxford dictionary refers to complimentary as ‘given free of charge’. Wine in the bars and restaurants continues to be outrageously priced - a mark-up of double or treble shore prices. Not only is the 15% ‘service charge’ added, but the voucher a passenger signs has space for a gratuity. Why should this 15% be charged at all when Cunard makes a charge of $11.50 per person per cabin per day for gratuities ? The Cunard brochure - which dwells on standards of an era long-since gone and not present-day reality - says of the Britannia restaurant “the pace is unhurried, the service impeccable and the food superb”. But it is far from that accolade. For “unhurried” read long delays of up to an hour between ordering and receiving anything on a plate; poor service due to staff cuts; and food continuing to decline in both quality and quantity. It was often unappetising and bland. Food in the Kings Court self-service was often better but repetitive. Arrival at New York on December 22 was at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal - a collection of depressing, converted old buildings surrounded by industrial premises and far from the Christmas lights of Times Square and Fifth Avenue. Whilst the ship’s Daily Programme listed numerous places to visit in Manhattan, no shuttle bus was provided to take passengers to Manhattan and no information was given on how to get there. Berthing at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal - as QM2 and Queen Victoria did in 2015 when I was on board - would have been far more convenient. However, with a return-to-ship time of 4.30pm there was little time to do much in Manhattan, especially after the excessive time it took to get through US immigration. All passengers had to leave the ship to go through immigration including those not wishing to set foot in the US. Queuing to get through took at least an hour. Those wanting to re-board the ship had then to wait in the embarkation hall for up to two hours before being allowed back on board. A big waste of passengers’ holiday time. At Brooklyn, hundreds of passengers, including children of all ages, boarded the ship. From then until they left the ship on January 3 the vacuum-type toilets ceased to function on four separate occasions. There were no such problems on the Atlantic crossings. From the early hours of January 5 until late morning, no running water was available in the cabins and hot water was not restored until the afternoon. Not what you expect on Cunard’s flagship ! The first Caribbean stop was at Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The ship’s information sheet about the town said its Main Street was “one of the best shopping streets in the Caribbean” and was 2.5 miles from the ship’s berth. No shuttle bus was provided. At Antigua the ship was to anchor away from the land and passengers taken ashore by tender. The captain decided the sea-swell was too high for safe use of the tenders so the visit was abandoned. At Bridgetown, Barbados the berth was some distance from the terminal building and buses were provided by the Port Authority - not Cunard - to take passengers from the ship to the terminal. Unfortunately, they were mini buses of about 20 seats and difficult for old and infirm passengers to board. The final Caribbean stop was at Amber Cove, Dominica. This development, on the otherwise unspoilt coast, was created by Carnival Corporation, owners of Cunard and several other cruise lines. No shuttle buses were provided to visit the nearest town, Puerto Plata, about 10kms away. A taxi to the town cost $35 for two people but there were no taxis for two people - they had to travel in an SUV with at least two other people. A passenger who had been resident in Dominica told me the fare for that distance would be about $10 anywhere else on the island. As usual, there were a number of high-priced tours from the ship, so unless passengers paid for these or a high-priced taxi they were confined to Amber Cove and the high-priced shops owned by Carnival. Not a place I would wish to visit again. On return to New York all passengers had to leave the ship again at Brooklyn and go through immigration. Those not wanting to visit the city had to wait over an hour before being allowed to re-board. Sail-away was planned for 5pm but soon after that time the captain told everyone that the oil tanker due to fill the ship’s tanks had only just arrived - no reason was given - and would take until 9pm to top-up. He then went on to say that due to a storm at sea the ship would stay overnight at its berth. The ship left about 7am next day just as the heavy snow was starting to fall on the US east coast and we sailed straight into another storm. High winds and seas for the next two days slowed progress but, in that weather, QM2 was the ship to be on. Regarding Cunard’s failure to provide shuttle buses. A large proportion of the passengers on Cunard ships are elderly, disabled or inform and rely on the shuttle buses to get them into a nearby town centre. Cunard receives many hundreds of thousands of pounds on each cruise from them and should re-instate the buses or advise such passengers, before taking their money, that there will be no transport from ship to towns. The cost to Cunard would be far less than the revenue it would lose from loss of passengers. Read Less
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