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18 Cunard Melbourne Cruise Reviews

" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Just completed the Melb-NZ cruise 18-30 March 19. Seemed like a good way to see a little of NZ in comfort. Massive delays and chaos at boarding in Melbourne. Burst water main leaving cabins without water until 9:30 AM one day. Casino ... Read More
Just completed the Melb-NZ cruise 18-30 March 19. Seemed like a good way to see a little of NZ in comfort. Massive delays and chaos at boarding in Melbourne. Burst water main leaving cabins without water until 9:30 AM one day. Casino flooded and smelling. Long queues for shuttle bus into Dunedin with USD 8 charge each way. Long queue for tender from ship to Akaroa even at 11:00AM. Stale cheese board crackers in upgrade Verandah restaurant; reported to maître d' who took no action and continued serving from the same supply on the cheese cart. Drinks overpriced in US dollars and even more expensive when converted to AUS and 15% service charge then added. No ushers in cinema with very elderly people entering in the dark after the film started with one gentleman falling badly on the stairs near my seat. No assistance/supervision in the gym in the early mornings with elderly people on machines. Cabin clean and comfy. Staff very polite and efficient. Food plentiful and good but silly corner cutting like complimentary food from room service but charging for tea/coffee delivered with food. Evening shows too much of the same "song and dance" type routines. Good classical music program and ballroom dancing lessons. Overall the company are milking the Queen Elizabeth name. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After a great cruise on the Queen Mary in 2017 we had great Expectations of First Class service on Queen Elizabeth in March 2019. Our cruise from Melbourne started poorly with a Cunard Computer glitch at the Port check in causing long ... Read More
After a great cruise on the Queen Mary in 2017 we had great Expectations of First Class service on Queen Elizabeth in March 2019. Our cruise from Melbourne started poorly with a Cunard Computer glitch at the Port check in causing long delays. In fact as we boarded the crew were in their life jackets directing all passengers to their muster stations for our safety drill. Obviously they were leaving on time no matter what. Anyway these computer problems do occur but we missed that welcome aboard photo, the officer’s greeting and the champagne. Not to worry we were on the Queen Elizabeth heading out of Port Phillip Bay heading for New Zealand on a 12 day cruise with one of the best ships on water. Generally the waiters in the Lido Dining Room were just not interested in providing service to their guests with avoidance of eye contact and little interest in meeting our needs. At Britannia Dining Room the service was improved but still it was no better than that of a café . Drinks service was appalling. On day six they ran out of scotch in the dining room so served Jack Daniels without asking if OK. Bourbon is not Scotch. Despite all bars on the ship having plenty of scotch (one had 31 bottles) the waiter said he could not borrow or restock and we would need to ask head office why not? Really? Our table of ten ordered 4 bottles wine throughout the cruise with 3 of them out of stock. These were all listed on their wine menu. Food was Ok with rather small portions and limited selection and variety compared to previous cruises. Drinks service at the Golden Lion Pub was very slow whether they were busy or not. Staff seemed disinterested in good service. Plumbing issues began on morning one when our toilet would not flush. Maintenance responded after my 2nd call adjusted something and it worked. Great til morning three when same problem same result after my 2nd call again. Morning four Toilet won’t flush. By now we are “Not Happy Jan “so again after my second call maintenance arrives and I indicated you can’t just keep adjusting this thing every day or we will have to move. He pulled the whole thing apart found the component that was faulty and surprise surprise it was fixed for good. Happy with the outcome but we did not need three goes to get that result. I am sure this is a regular problem so they will be aware of what needs to be done. On morning eleven toilet would not work but neither did the water supply. Seems they had a main water pipe burst and the entire ship was without running water. To be fair these things happen I guess but I got the impression this was not the first time. Anyway the Casino, Shops and many Staterooms were flooded as this occurred during the night. We were without running water until 9.30am just as Captain Simon Love had announced at about 8am. The flooded areas had poker machines and tables in pieces trying to dry them out before the next cruise that started the next day. We did speak to some guests whose rooms were flooded and the crew were helping dry out their clothes and belongings. Our Stateroom Staff were very efficient and friendly. Our room was in good condition but the balcony was in need of rust treatment and painting roof and rails. It doesn’t make it appealing when it looks grubby. We found the entertainment nightly was very good with entertainers of high quality well presented. Well Done! The Thermal Spa and the Gym were very well equipped with helpful enthusiastic staff. Well done! Ports of call were good with even a tendering port Akaroa being not problem at all. Cruising through Milford Sound was a highlight with an onboard commentator who gave great descriptions of the entire area with the Captain and crew placing the ship perfectly for viewing throughout the ship. Well Done! In summary we found the ship was as expected with good facilities and décor but the service and staff are letting the Cunard Experience down badly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have travelled on Queen Elizabeth previously and had a wonderful time. We flew to Melbourne to join the ship at our allotted time of 12.00 only to be told you can’t board until after 2.00 pm come back later. They did take our luggage ... Read More
We have travelled on Queen Elizabeth previously and had a wonderful time. We flew to Melbourne to join the ship at our allotted time of 12.00 only to be told you can’t board until after 2.00 pm come back later. They did take our luggage and manage to lose 1 piece. We eventually got to our cabin at 3.45 pm after much queuing. People were passing out in the heat in the lines. Very poor. The food in the buffet was very ordinary and repetitive. The food in the main restaurant was appealing but lacked taste. We had room service but it was cold and the selection was small. The entertainment had too much Cunard singers and dancers and not enough other entertainment. The guest speakers were poor compared to other cruises we have been on. We were asked to disembark at 7.00am. They put on early breakfast in the Lido but while we were at breakfast our room was stripped even though we still had items in the bathroom and on the bed. We felt given that we had to leave so early the room steward could have waited till we had left. When we arrived home we had been charged for water that was given to us when the cabins had no water due to a burst water pipe. It was refunded after we complained but complimentary usually means free. Queen Elizabeth is a beautiful ship but not the high standard it was. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I previously sailed on the Queen Elizabeth two years ago, San Francisco to Auckland and enjoyed every minute apart from one or two minor irritations. So, when the opportunity to cruise Melbourne to Melbourne came up, I jumped at the ... Read More
I previously sailed on the Queen Elizabeth two years ago, San Francisco to Auckland and enjoyed every minute apart from one or two minor irritations. So, when the opportunity to cruise Melbourne to Melbourne came up, I jumped at the opportunity. Cruise 911, Melbourne, Picton, Wellington (overnight), Akaroa, Dunedin (Port Chalmers) and cruising the Fiordland National Park. The itinerary was great, enjoyed all of the ports and cruising Doubtful and Milford Sound was wonderful. Embarkation was a total shambles and if I hadn't been using a walking stick who knows how long it would have taken me to board. My boarding pass/ticket stated embarkation time was 12.30pm. I joined an exceptionally long queue in sweltering heat - no shade - and when I got to the top of the queue was told embarkation time was 1.30pm. A friend who had 1.30pm on her ticket, was told her embarkation time was 3.30pm. Seriously? I understand some people fainted because of the conditions. It seems to me that the Victoria Port Authority need to lift their game if Melbourne wants to attract more cruise ships. While their staff tried hard, it doesn't help that the facilities are hopeless. Thank goodness Cunard's check in staff were fabulous. I received an unexpected upgrade from Britannia to Princess Suite. My cabin steward was fantastic, the room was exceptionally clean and the fruit bowl was replenished on a regular basis. Dining in the Princess Grill was out of this world. But there were aspects of the cruise I found disappointing. No pen in the cabin. Previously there was always a pen. This was the most commonly discussed annoyance among passengers. Why provide a notepad if you're not going to provide a pen? The cost of those pens, as marketing tools, is probably negligible. I know it's not a big deal and I did have my own pen but still, it rankled because if this is how Carnival are going to strip down the Cunard brand it's a pretty stupid thing to do. I ate in the Lido a couple of times for lunch and with a group of non Grills friends at dinner. What can I say? Presentation was dreadful, selection seemed to be limited and I noticed that people were queuing up for whatever was going to be cooked on the spot - there was nobody to cook it! On one occasion one side of the Lido was blocked off because the "chef wasn't ready!" It was 12.20pm for goodness sake. For the first few days I had breakfast in my room. Big disappointment. Again, presentation was zero, portion sizes were so small I began wondering if I ought to order two breakfasts. A piece of bacon that measured less than 13cm in length (5 inches for non metricated folks), scrambled eggs - almost cold, presented in two small rounds. Coffee cold - every single time. Yes, I had a coffee maker and I could have made my own, but I chose not to because previously the coffee was always hot. On three occasions I had no knife on my tray, so not sure how I was expected to eat my breakfast and spread butter on my toast. Lucky I had that fruit bowl because I had a knife I could use. Yes, I could have probably complained to somebody about my breakfast but I also understand the logistics of keeping food warm etc. The lack of cutlery was another problem altogether which I felt reflected the lack of care I sensed in the Lido. Maybe the variety in the Lido was due to the fact we were cruising in the southern hemisphere when many northern hemisphere items (especially fish etc.) are not available. But the overall impression I had regarding the Lido was that the staff didn't care. Food ran out and was not replaced in a timely manner. Despite these issues, I still enjoyed the cruise and have booked another one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise after enjoying a Queen Mary 2 circumnavigation of New Zealand a few years ago. Our boarding time was 2.30pm and we arrived at Station Pier, Melbourne, 10 minutes before the scheduled time to encounter a long and ... Read More
We chose this cruise after enjoying a Queen Mary 2 circumnavigation of New Zealand a few years ago. Our boarding time was 2.30pm and we arrived at Station Pier, Melbourne, 10 minutes before the scheduled time to encounter a long and mutinous queue stretching along the pier. We had to queue for 40 minutes on Station Pier in 30 degree heat. Several elderly passengers were becoming quite distressed. Passengers were being allowed into the Cruise Terminal in groups of about 20. Here we queued for a further 40 minutes in a hot, stuffy antiquated building - the air conditioning unable to cope with the passenger numbers. I understand the problem was due to multiple computer crashes and a passenger who fainted in the airless terminal having to be medivaced. Cunard could, and should have handled the situation better. They could have sent a ship's officer down onto station pier to explain the situation first hand. They could have set up the cold drink stations and gazebos on the pier as they did at every port stop. They could have provided temporary seating for elderly passengers. An apology would have been nice. Maybe even a voucher for a complimentary drink once on board. This was hardly Cunard's famed White Star service and the problem was exacerbated by Melbourne Port's antiquated facility. Overall the embarkation was a tedious, unpleasant experience. Most reasonable people accept that things can go wrong. Unfortunately, the bad embarkation experience got the cruise off to a bad start with some passengers just looking to find fault wherever they could. Once on board things changed considerably for the better. Our cabin was spotlessly clean and well appointed. Our steward, Alfie, was an absolute treasure. There were a couple of minor issues with our cabin - a blown light bulb and blocked toilet. Both were fixed very promptly following a call to the Pursers office. Like one of the other reviewers, i was slightly irritated that there was no pen provided in the cabin. On our QM2 cruise there was a nice faux "Mont Blanc" style pen. Cost cutting to save a couple of dollars on a cruise costing several thousand dollars just doesn't make sense. The ship itself is fabulous with its art deco interior, artworks and magnificent staircases. It is only spoiled somewhat by the gaudy poker machines that occupy too much premium space. Surely they could have been placed somewhere less conspicuous (preferably down on Deck 1). I find it hard to understand why some reviewers complain about the food. The dining choices are many and varied. We ate most of our meals in the Britannia Restaurant where the meals were excellent, as was the service (and we're fussy). We had a couple of meals in the Lido buffet where there was plenty of variety and we had no problem with service. We loved the Golden Lion pub and the English fare. The Fish 'n Chips were great and I enjoyed one of the best chicken curries I've had in a long time. Our favourite bar was the Commodore Club for pre-dinner drinks. Service was always excellent and the complimentary canapés were a nice touch. Our only problem with service was in the Verandah Bar where we once waited 20 minutes to get any service. The waiter seemed more interested in chatting with the barman than attending to guests. Drink prices were high for guests paying in AU dollars. Beer was best value with prices being about what you would pay in a good quality hotel, even after conversion. Wine was expensive for Australian travellers who love their wine. The wine list provided an excellent selection from around the world and I enjoyed attending the wine tasting and sampling wines that are not easily available in Australia. Our sommelier was very knowledgeable and happy to share his expertise. The enrichment lectures were of a very high standard as were the song and dance routines accompanied by an excellent band. We had no problem with the embarkation and disembarkation by the ship's boats in Akaroa as reported by another reviewer. We also opted for the Train excursion in Dunedin which was well organised and well catered for. The train came right onto the Jetty at Port Chalmers. The highlight of the trip was the navigation of Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound which was accompanied by an excellent commentary form a local expert. Would we book Cunard again? Definitely. We have already booked the QE Christmas and New Year cruise to NZ. I'm pleased to report that the disembarkation ran a lot more smoothly than the embarkation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Apart from having to queue for 90 minutes to check in due to Cunard computer crashing several times, the cruise was everything we expected and more. There was a bottle of champagne waiting in our cabin, robe and slippers supplied and ... Read More
Apart from having to queue for 90 minutes to check in due to Cunard computer crashing several times, the cruise was everything we expected and more. There was a bottle of champagne waiting in our cabin, robe and slippers supplied and lovely toiletries and the beds were so comfortable. There was plenty of choice in Lido restaurant for breakfast and lunch and dinner in Britannia restaurant was excellent for quality, choice and service. Golden Lion pub served excellent British food for lunch, the Atlantic cod, chips and mushy peas were a favourite. Afternoon tea served in Queens room by waiters wearing white gloves was an experience. There was plenty of activities to take part in if you wanted to and plenty of seating if you just wanted to read. We took up the offer of 'book inside cabin and get free upgrade to balcony'. However it was not used very much as the weather got quite rough crossing the Tasman Sea and travelling down the east coast and round to Fiordland, so unless the same deal offered next time, an ocean view would suffice. Definitely recommend this trip to New Zealand. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We ... Read More
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We dropped off bags, queued for about 15 minutes and then found ourselves on-board. Finding our cabin was easy as we were escorted by our cabin steward who did a good job of explaining our cabin facilities. The cabin was comfortable and clean, though no larger than what we've previously experienced. Power is via British and American sockets, which is no problem, but there were no USB sockets. The bathroom was small but everything worked as expected. The bed was comfortable, but I found the pillows too soft. A nice touch was a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on ice in the cabin. As a tip for Cunard though, next time source a wine that is drinkable. Two lunches and breakfasts were in the Lido buffet. As a buffet, the food was reasonable quality with a good variety. Shouldn't have to pay extra for espresso style coffees though. One lunch and dinners were in the Britannia Restaurant. This was disappointing. The food was no better than a reasonable RSL club bistro. The service was reasonably attentive though a little hit and miss. After our first night's dinning I found myself with someone else's keycard. This was quickly fixed up at the purser's office and provided a lesson to check the card after purchases. A highlight of the food experience was the high tea, which we experienced on our second day. Being our only day at sea, it was very popular and the overflow ended up in the Britannia Restaurant. The tea (or coffee) was plentiful and hot, the food, sandwiches, scones and sweets, were spot on and the service was attentive. Drink prices were on the expensive side, especially once you remembered to convert from USD and add the gratuity. Being Australian, gratuities, and tipping in general is a pain. If it is part of the standard or expected cost, just roll it into the overall price and be done with it. Then we can decide to tip if we feel the service deserves it. Overall though, the service was good. We didn't take in a show but did experience some of open the entertainment on other nights. The bands were what you would expect and reasonably entertaining. We took in a talk by a historical expert regarding WWII Japanese hold-outs (refusing to surrender after the war) in the Pacific. I found this interesting as I enjoy the historical aspect, but it wasn't to my wife's taste. My wife though did sample the shopping, fortunately without much success. Our one port day was in Burnie, Tasmania. This a good, honest working town, but not a very inspiring cruise destination, especially as it was a public holiday and would have been completely dead if it weren't for hundreds of cruise passengers wandering around looking for something to do. There were very few cafes and you couldn't even have a beer and lunch in a pub as they were all closed. At least the mayor was there to greet us when we came down the gangway. We didn't do any organised shore excursions, but my sister, who was part of our cruise group, did, and enjoyed the Cradle Mountain excursion. Overall, the ship had a decor in keeping with it's image and wasn't overcrowded. We weren't disappointed, but now feel we've done the Cunard experience and probably won't be sampling it again. We are going on a longer Oceania Mediterranean cruise later this year. It will be interesting to compare that experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We suggested to a friend who suggested to others and before you knew it, there was a bunch booked for this 6 Night cruise Melbourne to Tasmania and Port Arthur. Our friends plan to check out QE high reputation, dance a bit, sight see and ... Read More
We suggested to a friend who suggested to others and before you knew it, there was a bunch booked for this 6 Night cruise Melbourne to Tasmania and Port Arthur. Our friends plan to check out QE high reputation, dance a bit, sight see and spend sometime together. We enjoyed the good weather, smooth sailing and with excellent views of the Tasman Peninsula from Mt Wellington. Hobart and Salamanca Place was alright ( there was a big public demo infront of State Parliament for climate change to add some excitement ) and so was Richmond with its iconic arched sandstone bridge built by the colonial convicts to keep them mentally and physically occupied and be a better person after prison, unlike those today. We enjoyed the fresh Tassie scallops and hot scallop pies for lunch at a friendly bakery. But our visit to Port Arthur was most pleasant and enjoyable. See the photos. They speak a thousand words of the wonderful day and the views but not our personal experience. Entry to the penal settlement was free and so was the catamaran cruise in Mason Cove which allowed me to take some beautiful photos.This was a big unexpected bonus. The ship public areas itself, is beautiful and elegant throughout as to be expected of Cunard. So pleasant to stroll along. So was the individual customer service from cabin stewards to dining stewards to dance hosts and especially, the entertainment director, Neil who also happened to be our zumba instructor. Same thing happened in our previous Queen Victoria cruise to Norwegian fjords. Entertainment director was also the zumba instructor. But Neil, was funny and easy going and the zumba exercises was always full and enjoyable. Line dancing was carried out by various staff from the Royal Court Theatre and were equally well instructed, enjoyable and again, pretty much fully attended. Many of the guests enjoyed the recorded music ( it was good selection ) sequence dancing hosted by Lesley. She was well assisted by the many good dance hosts especially Jane and " Tarzan " from Wales. Our friends enjoyed the many ballroom and latin dancing to the live sounds of the Queens Room orchestra and especially when they were joined by the Royal Courth Theatre orchestra. What fabulous sounds and great ambience for the night. Jack Kennedy while talented and handsome and does sing well and plays the guitar, too appears to us,to be a bit jaded and flat on several occassions which kind of kill the song and hence, the dance altogether. So we kind of skip the dance altogether when that happens. Jack may do better singing on alternate nights to get the sparkle and be more engaging like Damian Dodd from the QM2 cruise in Feb 2018. Still, there is always some crowd on the dance floor but it peters off very quickly after 10.30pm which was unlike the QM2 and QV cruises that we were on last year. It was going strong till midnight. Okay, we we had other missions. Our friends very, very often have a late night supper in the Lido and catch up on various affairs and with other people we met on the ship. Dancing can be consuming despite what we already ate at dinner. So it was all good. Note, while there was afternoon tea, there was no live band and dancing like those of QM2 afternoon tea. Maybe this is the thing in QE with more dancing in the night instead. Dining and service in the Britannia was excellent throughout. Dining among good friends, it was even better. Each of us, took our complimentary bottle to share as the sparkling wine does not hold overnight. Entertainment was very good although it can be a hit and miss from the guest artists. The British comedian who perforned on the 2nd night was hilarious but not the other Aust comedian who was quoting jokes without much consideration as to its appropriateness to the ladies and wives. The lead solo female lady singer ( Lisa ) was superbwith strong vocals and crowd engageent. I remembered seeing her on the Wheelhouse Bar in Rhapsody of the Seas on the Pacific cruise some 10 years ago and she was good then. She may have put specs and a kilo or so, like me as we aged but she still looked marvellous and entertaining, not me or what a shame. Overall, a fantastic cruise and highly recommneded. We are on the next QE cruise to Yokohama and we will let you know what happened on the next post Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first cruise - three nights Melbourne-Burnie-Sydney. Unfortunately the first impression was a negative one of just over an hour in the queue to board. Apparently everyone (several hundred people) had been told to arrive at the ... Read More
This was our first cruise - three nights Melbourne-Burnie-Sydney. Unfortunately the first impression was a negative one of just over an hour in the queue to board. Apparently everyone (several hundred people) had been told to arrive at the same time of 12 noon. We were standing in a slow moving queue like cattle. Very poorly organised and managed. Once on board we were seriously impressed by the beautiful decor and high quality throughout the ship. Our Balcony Stateroom (category BA) was more than we had expected. Our Stateroom 5110 was a disabled accessible cabin with far more space than the regular ones in this category. Our balcony was large enough to hold two banana lounges and two chairs! Meals were generally high quality with plenty of choices, especially in the Britannia restaurant where we took dinner each night (early sitting). Service in that area was a bit hit and miss however. On one occasion the next table had their second course before we got our first. On another night we had to ask twice for the wine list. We enjoyed lunch in the Golden Lion pub and had two other lunches at the Lido buffet. The Lido was just ok, salads in particular were extremely plain and unimaginative. Room service breakfast was mixed - lovely scrambled eggs with sausage and hash browns but a really basic and tasteless fruit salad. Toast was also tasteless. I suspect the sliced bread had been frozen but rolls and scones seemed to have been freshly baked. Breakfast in Britannia was excellent however, although on the sea day with everyone on board it was rather slow. The Royal Court Theatre put on two good shows (the house singers/dancers plus a Beatles tribute band) but you had to be early to get seats, especially if you wanted to sit with friends. We really enjoyed an art lecture and a talk by a cinematographer about the Titanic. Drink prices were on the high side of reasonable but internet pricing was extortionate. At about A$1 per minute we decided to go without, which did us no harm but meant we had a pile of emails and texts when we docked in Sydney. No tissues in our stateroom. As first time cruisers we were very surprised that we had to put our luggage outside our room the night before arrival. Had we known this we would have taken an airline carry on bag for use in the morning. Overall a terrific experience but with a few shortcomings that would not be hard for Cunard to address. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Two years ago, my friend and I arranged a 'cake decorating cruise' with Princess cruises which was successful in every way. (We held cake decorating demonstrations on board on the 'at sea' days) For these ... Read More
Two years ago, my friend and I arranged a 'cake decorating cruise' with Princess cruises which was successful in every way. (We held cake decorating demonstrations on board on the 'at sea' days) For these demonstrations, we were allocated a dining room and appointed times, in both the morning and afternoon, and it worked perfectly. We decided to arrange another and did so with Cunard who I had always held in the highest regard, It was a 7 day cruise Melbourne, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne. Unfortunately, Cunard's Administration is an absolute disgrace and requires urgent investigation. Two years of planning on our part was spoiled by Cunard's inability to honour pre-arranged and confirmed committments and their 'don't care' attitude. This was embarrassing to me, disappointing to the people in my group and very damaging to the Cunard name. An important aspect of our cruise was the 'goodie bags' we had packed for each person in our group. These were to be delivered to each cabin, on the first night, whilst the passengers were at dinner. Apart from being a 'nice surprise' and a happy start to the cruise, these bags also contained all the necessary information required for a 9am start the next morning. ALTHOUGH THIS WAS PRE ARRANGED AND ASSURANCES GIVEN, THE BAGS WERE NOT DELIVERED AS ARRANGED. This was a major problem. By the time we discovered this, as it was too late to ring cabins or knock on cabin doors, we slipped hand written notes under each door to advise of the starting time and location for the next morning. This was very late at night. Whilst we were running from deck to deck doing this, we discovered our bags finally being delivered but being hung on the outside cabin handles, leaving them susceptible to theft. The bulk of our bags we found left unguarded near the reception area. This was a terrible start to our cruise, reflected badly on us, and no explanation or apology (although requested) was given. Once on board, our pre arranged 'Welcome Cocktail Party' was cancelled and we were asked to select another date. We obliged and chose the last night of the cruise - it was to be a 'Farewell Cocktail Party'. Cunard printed the invitations - inviting our guests to a 'Welcome Cocktail Party' - on the last night! The platters of food that had been pre arranged, also did not eventuate. Again, no explanation given. I have written to Cunard outling our experiences in detail but have not yet received a reply. Apart from the problems we had ON the cruise, I was amazed by, pre-cruise, their inability to treat all passengers as individuals. For example, baggage labels printed with one name only. Why not leave blank and allow people to insert their own name? One booklet per cabin with both names printed on the front cover. Beautifully presented, but one copy only for two passengers. Do they not see the obvious problems with this practice? Fortunately, our travel agent had the foresight to arrange an extra copy for our passengers thereby avoiding any conflict in this regard. Post cruise - I am insulted that again, some passengers receive the opportunity to complete an on line questionairre whilst others do not. Dining arrangements - despite table arrangements being given, this too was ignored. I was disappointed that our group of 43 were not seated in close proximity for dining and that the table seating arrangements I had requested were changed. Unfortunately, this resulted in some ill feeling between some of our guests. Cunard should allow groups to organise their own table seatings This is such an important aspect for a successful cruise. On a positive note, the food was excellent as were our waiting staff. I appreciated too, the Maitre D coming to the table regularly to ensure all was well with us. The High Tea too, was excellent as expected and did not disappoint. I also enjoyed having breakfast in the dining room. The menu was extensive and the waiting staff very efficient. They were very obliging on the occasions that they knew I did not have much time to linger and ensured I was served without any delay. Our cabin was very comfortable and another positive aspect is that Room Service of meals is available with no extra charge. However, having paid a high price for a balcony it is very inappropriate to expect access to it to paint the railings. This happened and rendered the balcony unusable for a day and no compensation was offered. Having said the above, I did enjoy the ship and the cruise. Had the Administration not let us down, I would be rating the cruise very highly. On a positive note, I liked the entertainment and, in particular, the ballroom dancing each evening. They have dance instructors, both male and female, who are very happy to teach if requested or just partner people who like to dance. For those who prefer to watch and simply enjoy the atmosphere, there are ample tables and chairs placed around the dance floor. The waiting staff, too, were excellent. Following the ballroom dancing, there was a change of pace with an excellent band who included a tribute to ABBA. That was a fantastic night, a highlight, which saw many non dancers even taking part. We then enjoyed the Commodore Club at the end of each night - a relaxing end to the day. great atmosphere and appropriate music. I liked the English theme throughout the ship and enjoyed time in the English pub. There was a lot to do whilst on board and, as is usual practice, the newsletter outlining the day's activities, was delivered to each cabin the night before. Unfortunately, I did not have time during the cruise to enjoy all the amenities and activities that the ship offered. Despite my disappointment with their administration as outlined above, I WILL travel on the Queen Elizabeth again BUT I will never trust Cunard with any special event that I may organise. I will travel strictly as a passenger only. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was a short cruise for a fortieth birthday Melbourne-Kangaroo Island-Adelaide. We have cruised on QM2 previously and enjoyed it very much but this cruise was decidedly ordinary. I must say the ship is nice and the food is good quality ... Read More
This was a short cruise for a fortieth birthday Melbourne-Kangaroo Island-Adelaide. We have cruised on QM2 previously and enjoyed it very much but this cruise was decidedly ordinary. I must say the ship is nice and the food is good quality but caters to a older crowd in taste and variety. We dined at Verandah twice and it was excellent, particularly the service, as this is where we met the happiest crew. BUT the vibe on this ship was lacklustre. It was brought down by the elderly crowd who were not particularly cheerful about being on holiday on a luxurious liner. This rubs off on the crew many of whom were very obviously not loving their jobs. Our room steward was well.. awful.. rude..a rough cleaner and made you feel like an inconvenience. We have cruised 6 times previously and i've never come across anyone like that before. Cunard have a real problem with atmosphere and try to be high end but fail on substance and execution. If you're under seventy you'll probably feel out of place like we did. We spoke to some people a few decades older than us who said it was like a floating rest-home with all the people nodding off everywhere. I told them we'd had a great time on QM2 but that was part of an international voyage and there were lots of interesting people of all ages. I'd hope the international voyages would be much better. Another lowlight was missing the Kangaroo Island port call because of 'high seas'. I'm sure the physical condition of the bulk of the passengers would have been on the Captains mind when she was considering the swells the tenders would have been bobbing around in. The usual SeaLink ferries to the island were not cancelled as the announcement had claimed. Overall it was just OK. The art collection and decor lifted the mood out of the doldrums and we did manage to make a good time for ourselves but that mixture of fun, excitement, relaxation and enjoyment we’ve experienced on every other cruise wasn't there. Unlike every other ship we've been on we were ready to get off. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this short cruise to get a taste of cruising as we were not sure we would like it. Well we need not have worried as it was all very well organised and a pleasure throughout. The embarkation was really quick. We arrived at the set ... Read More
We chose this short cruise to get a taste of cruising as we were not sure we would like it. Well we need not have worried as it was all very well organised and a pleasure throughout. The embarkation was really quick. We arrived at the set time and went straight through. Cabin was as expected and the steward friendly and helpful. Tried most restaurants and facilities ans did not find anything wanting. The food was really good andthe Verandah restaurant had the best dessert. The onshore excursions were not for us so we went ashore and went around on our own. The only thing I would improve is the TV and have less foreign language movies. We have already booked our cruise for next year and next time we will have a balcony with unobstructed view on thesame ship. We both enjoyed this for therelaxation and pampering for a short break. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I can only say this ship is excellent. The ship was clean, decor classy without being gordy, the service was excellent, the food was excellent and our cabin was clean and comfortable. The only show we attended in the main theater was the ... Read More
I can only say this ship is excellent. The ship was clean, decor classy without being gordy, the service was excellent, the food was excellent and our cabin was clean and comfortable. The only show we attended in the main theater was the movie on the day we spent in port, we would have attended more shows but the requirement to wear a jacket meant we were not allowed in. Also we did not attend the main dinning room, as again I did not have a jacket. Personally, even though they aim to keep up the standard of dress, I don't see why a Jacket is required. My only complaint is not the ship itself, but a few things I found lacking. Lets start with embarkation. Checking in was ok, although it was a long line and nearly one hour before we reached the desk but as we were walking towards the ship there was a photographer on the pier. Fairly normal for this to happen, however there was nbo background to say where we were. No picture of the ship, nothing so the photo was just a photo of us on the pier which I thought was strange. Next comes the fact we missed Kangaroo Island. Not a big deal as for us it was just a bonus as we were here for the cruise not the shore excursion. However that meant that we were going straight to Adelaide. Again not a big deal to us, as we intended to spend the day on the ship anyway. Problem was, nothing was open. Now for a seasoned cruiser you would have known that nothing opens in port, but I thought it would have been a good idea to announce the fact that everything would be shut in port and if you wanted to buy a souvenir then you should do it tonight. My wife was seasick on the first day, so we missed out on buying anything at all. Next the day tours in Adelaide. The Captain announced that there would be alternative arrangements made because we were going direct to Adelaide and tours would be organized. As we intended to stay on the ship we did not care anyway, However, there was no announcements and nothing in the nightly flyer about any tours. We know there was tours as we overheard others talking about them. Poor communication I think. Overall I would say that this was the best ship we have ever been on, however I would also say hat it is not the best cruise due to the high amount of movement in high seas and the requirement for a Jacket along with the minor problems mentioned. We would however go with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I thought the Queen Mary would be a luxury cruise. It was not! The food was terrible. Yes, it was fresh, but certainly not restaurant quality. It was VERY English! Thick gravy with everything. The toast for breakfast was uneatable. ... Read More
I thought the Queen Mary would be a luxury cruise. It was not! The food was terrible. Yes, it was fresh, but certainly not restaurant quality. It was VERY English! Thick gravy with everything. The toast for breakfast was uneatable. I requested sourdough or a think a toast slice of wholemeal... neither were available. The fruit was boring. There were no berries, no mango's, no paw paw and other types of fruits you would expect on a cruise like this. Certainly nothing had an asian flavour. Coffee came out of a machine - there was only one barrister on the whole ship and you had to pay for coffee made by him. I ordered steak one night - expecting an eye fillet or rump - but it was the oddest cut I had ever seen - and yes it came with Gravy! A rack of lamb was ruined by a thick coating - instead of having it frenchified and of course it came with thick gravy! You could get steamed vegetables but had to ask for them... The food in the buffet was practically cold. I have been on a number of luxury cruises and the food on the Queen Mary was by far the worst. Quite honestly some of it was uneatable. Fellow Australians all felt the same. It was if they were trying too hard and it didn't work.. Perhaps they need to hire Jamie Oliver. The entertainment was not was I had expected. I had expected to see RADA plays etc., - they were not there. The Planetarium was excellent. It was a relaxing cruise. There was a lot to do and if the food had been good I would have given it higher marks. I also feel a cruise like this should have had better entertainment with well known names -- it shouldnt be too difficult to do.. Surely Cunard could get different entertainers for different sectors --- Australian Sector -- Maria Prior (would be excellent) A David Williamson play? A author --- just for some examples. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We boarded the Queen Victoria in Melbourne Australia and cruised to the Milford Sound & coast of the south island New Zealand, we thoroughly enjoyed the 7 night cruise we had a oceanview room on deck one, was very nice and also quiet, ... Read More
We boarded the Queen Victoria in Melbourne Australia and cruised to the Milford Sound & coast of the south island New Zealand, we thoroughly enjoyed the 7 night cruise we had a oceanview room on deck one, was very nice and also quiet, really liked all the little touches in the room like toiletries all provided and fresh ice always in the ice bucket with a welcome bottle of champagne, very clean and always smelt nice, our room attendant was amazing spoiling us keeping it all nice at all times. we enjoyed the britannia restaurant each night at the 830pm dinning lots to choose from and fantastic service also went a few lunchtimes which was also excellent, the Lido was a good place to dine with lots of food to choose from, the waiters needed to clear the tables quicker as people were leaving, I noticed during lunch and breakfast service people were waiting for tables to be reset bit slow other than that very good selection and fresh tasty food, went to the indian affair one night it was free and an excellent selection with all the trimmings. The entertainment and activities on this shiip were great lots to do, we went to bingo & trivia a few times in the golden lion pub we had a lot of fun, saw a couple of shows and talk presentations in the royal court theatre which were very good and interesting. I had a few swims in the pools and spa pools which were warm and very clean. excursions were very organised getting on and off the ship into the tenders, missed our first onshore excursion into dunedin due to heavey fog and we were stuck in port for six hours, didn't really matter as their was lots to occupy ourselves with aboard the boat, next stop Akaroa Christchurch, awesome shore excursion lovely place, then next day Wellington where we disembarked the ship Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I fully agree with the comments by Coops51952 and others who were not happy but wish to tell people of some specific problems that we encountered. The Embarkation Debacle: 1. Went through embarkation procedure in the terminal – photos, ... Read More
I fully agree with the comments by Coops51952 and others who were not happy but wish to tell people of some specific problems that we encountered. The Embarkation Debacle: 1. Went through embarkation procedure in the terminal – photos, credit card details, issued with ship cards etc. 2. Noticed that photos not on computer screen when we boarded the ship – nothing said by staff. 3. Phone call from purser’s office when in cabin – seemed surprised that we were on board. 4. Went to leave ship on shore excursion in Sydney – no photos on system – had to have them done then – held up others wanting to leave the ship. 5. Returned from dinner in evening - letter in our pigeon hole - come to the purser’s office immediately – there is no method of payment (somewhat terse letter). 6. Went to the office – my credit card invalid – used a secondary credit card – OK. Got line out to check with bank (fearing that card had been blocked or something) – card OK. The cost of the call was refunded. 7. Returned to the purser’s office – checked my wife’s card (linked to the same bank account) – OK. Cancelled secondary credit card. 8. Bought item at shops the next day – asked “you have 2 accounts, which one did you want”. Used the second one. 9. Returned to the purser’s office – 45 min visit – problem with cards, need to talk to onshore IT (in London) – in the meantime use my wife’s ship card only. 10. Bought a photo from the gallery the next day (using my wife’s card) - asked “you have 3 accounts, which one did you want”. 11. Returned to the purser’s office – what do we do now? – told to use account 2A, all staff on the ship had been notified to use this account. 12. There were no apologies at any stage during this debacle, even though they knew something was wrong right at the start. The Gluten Free Meal Issue 1. Evening meal – Initial waiter aware of GF diet for my wife – no problems. He disembarked in Sydney and we had a couple of days where this info was not relayed to the new staff. Not a great issue. 2. Gluten free lunch and breakfast meals in the restaurant required pre-order during the evening meals the night before. How did my wife know if she was dining there on any particular day? The staff seemed unfriendly and put out if she turned up on the spur of the moment. 3. She did pre-order pancakes for Shrove Tuesday but it was missed by the chef anyway. Go figure. Had to wait 25min for them to make up the batter etc. No apologies. 4. My wife went to an afternoon high tea in the Queen’s Lounge and was ignored by several waiters after requesting gluten free – had to go and speak to the maître’d twice to get any food. 5. The following day we had lunch in the Golden Lion Bar – Three of us ordered pies and my wife ordered a plate of hot chips. 10 minutes later the pies arrived and the waiter asked my wife if she had ordered anything. Yes chips. 5 min later he returned to say the chips will be 5 more minutes. The rest of us had almost finished. She cancelled the order and missed lunch as she was going to a show. Told that the chips were ready as we were leaving!!! 6. We went to the afternoon tea again that afternoon and met with the same poor service. 7. I went to the purser’s office to complain and that I wanted to speak to the Hotel Manager. I gave a list of grievances and as told they will speak to the manager and then ring me. 8. I waited 24 hours and returned to the purser’s offices and asked again, finally making a time for the next day. I got to speak to the food manager (not the hotel manager) who was only interested in the restaurant (not the embarkation problems). There was an improvement at the afternoon tea the next day. 9. All this on top of several shore excursions where someone else on the tour had taken my wife’s pre-ordered gluten free meals (Sydney & Darwin). Also we tried to order a glass of sav blanc out of Sydney and were told there is none available on the ship. This was fixed after Brisbane. Other Issues 1. Had breakfast in the Britannia in Adelaide and ushered up to the upper level. Never dined up there before. It was a “keystone cops” breakfast. Obviously let the apprentices loose on us. My wife ordered peaches and a gluten free cereal (anything except corn flake as she had a reaction to them earlier). She got a compote of stewed fruit and (you guessed it) corn flakes. They were taken away. She then got the peaches and a little later the woman at the other end of the table was presented with the gluten free muesli. Don’t know what she would have got if she had ordered eggs. Most at the table also had issues. There was not one breakfast correct at the table. 2. The toilets on our deck were out of order on 2 occasions with no forewarning. That was embarrassing. 3. The waiter in the Golden Lion forgot the glass of ice with my Diet Coke and went off to get it and never returned. This is petty, but after all the other issues, it seemed significant. 4. We needed to phone our son while at sea and phoned the purser’s office to get a line out. After 10 minutes of “please hold the line” we got a messages “all staff are busy, ring back later” and the line went dead. 5. The tender process in Bali was a joke. Our bus tour was supposed to start at 9:15am. We did not get to the dock until 10:00am. We were bus 4 of 10. Bus 10 people probably didn’t even make it to the dock. 6. Our cabin had a joining door with the next cabin. The sound proofing was virtually non-existent so we could hear everything that happened next door. (and they could presumable hear us). All this on an expensive 5 star cruise!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
A Grand Lady but big isn`t always best. We tried hard to find the positives on this cruise as it was expensive and we had high expectations but these expectations were seldom met. WE boarded in Fremantle WA and disembarked in Sydney ... Read More
A Grand Lady but big isn`t always best. We tried hard to find the positives on this cruise as it was expensive and we had high expectations but these expectations were seldom met. WE boarded in Fremantle WA and disembarked in Sydney Service staff were good as was cabin steward. Entertainment staff have dropped the ball and seem to think that second best is good enough. Found staff in Mayfair shops could be RUDE as was a particular photographer ( a particular young dark skinned lady) who didnt think that thank you was necessary even if the customer says thank you first. Entertainment was on the whole BORING and minimal activities. I have cruised with four other cruise lines so I did have a bit to compare it with. As for the claim of latest movies , you will be disappointed Planetarium was good if you found a seat that worked ( you have to lay back) We had a cabin which had a lot of noise coming from a restaurant above us and we had to call the pursers office most night to get the noise stopped. Food overall was good but quality not consistent. We will not be cruising with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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