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2 Cunard Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

Queen Victoria Voyage 105, Los Angeles-Ensenada-Los Angeles, February 2011. This was a short 4 day sampler cruise, drawing many passengers from the US West Coast. This cruise was per day, the most expensive I have ever taken, and chosen ... Read More
Queen Victoria Voyage 105, Los Angeles-Ensenada-Los Angeles, February 2011. This was a short 4 day sampler cruise, drawing many passengers from the US West Coast. This cruise was per day, the most expensive I have ever taken, and chosen because of Cunard's brochure hype about dancing. I therefore applied high standards to the dance environment on the ship. I was able to obtain information from passengers who had been on the previous Hawaii cruise, and also from experienced Cunarders, to verify my observations. Music and Dancing. The Queens Room is a large, two-deck high area supposedly based on one of Queen Victoria's residences The extra height, opening into the next deck, seems to help air circulation when full. The dance floor is about 25' x 50'. It is the most attractive ballroom I have seen on a ship. Hemispheres is located on Deck 10, behind the Commodore Club. Although much small than the Queens Room, is is also an attractive dance venue. The dance floor is large enough for Latin but unfortunately, the floor while wooden, includes a metal inlay. As one might expect, the metal and wood are shrinking at different rates, resulting is some rather uncomfortable raised edges. The following is the text of a letter sent to Cunard regarding the music. I was recently on Queen Victoria V105, Ensenada. I chose this trip over Cunard's competitors (notably, Cunard's sister line Costa) based on the promise of good music and dancing. I am pleased to report the recorded music played between band sets was excellent. While the DJ was not a dancer and did not always get the mix quite right, it was among the best I have ever heard on a ship. Whoever is responsible deserves a good bonus. However, I am being generous to say the Queens Room Orchestra was a disappointment. What music was within British Dance Council tempo ranges, was often by accident, something else having been announced. The noise emanating from the wind section was inexplicable. Several bars into the music, one of the horns would start inane tootling, totally out of sync with the tempo. Almost all of the complaints I heard about off-tempo music actually originated there. Even experienced dancers found it difficult to follow, the drummer not being very strong either. The Orchestra also had the usual problem of playing on and on; one passenger timed an already too-fast cha-cha at 7 minutes. As a Carnival shareholder, I question what cost/benefit calculation is being done, to justify such mediocre music. I was told that voyage V104, passengers walked out in disgust, leaving the band to play to an empty room. I understand some easy-listening, non-dance music is required, but what is the demand for "bossas" and "shuffles", whatever they are? The band Changez was capable of decent Latin rhythms, even some nice ballroom, when they tried, although they often slipped into Caribbean-y mishmash for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. I like many things about the Queen Victoria, but with such unreliable music, I cannot recommend it to any of the dance groups I travel with. The Commodore Club is not a dance venue, although it is one of the most attractive lounges at sea. Food The menu and portion sizes are geared to British tastes. I was very satisfied with the food, but there were just a few too many not-quite-right issues to warrant an unqualified 5. Pub lunch is available in the Golden Lion, and is very popular. Cabins Cunard operates a three-class system. Each class has its own restaurant. Queens Grill and Princess Grill are open seating, Britannia is fixed dining. The Grills also have a (small) reserved lounge and deck area. Otherwise, the ship is open to all. I was traveling in Britannia class. I found my cabin to be nearly identical to most others I have traveled in, one notable item being a shortage of shelves in the bathroom. Dress Code- When Cunard says formal, they mean it: tuxedo, or a dark suit. Jackets required every night in the restaurant (not the buffet). For a short, US West Coast sailing, the dress code was well respected, I saw only one t-shirt/blue jeans. This is apparently better than a UK Bank Holiday cruise. Activities- As this was a very short cruise, only a few activities were scheduled. There were no Captain's receptions. Value For Money- Average, with the proviso that the live music did not live up to the brochure hype. For me, that meant the cruise was not worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Starting my 30th year as a cruise ship traveler I booked on the new QM2 (delivered Jan 2004) for the Three Continents cruise from March 26 to April 12th............ The QM2 is a large ship and it is difficult to get around due to its ... Read More
Starting my 30th year as a cruise ship traveler I booked on the new QM2 (delivered Jan 2004) for the Three Continents cruise from March 26 to April 12th............ The QM2 is a large ship and it is difficult to get around due to its size 155000 tons and the poor arrangement of the public areas and the vast endless corridors of cabin doors. At first sight the interior and public areas of the QM2 are impressive but after a few days onboard these areas seem less impressive and in some cases without merit. Outside Veranda cabins on Decks 4,5 and 6 are approx 250 square feet and the veranda is cluttered with two huge lounges and a table which make movement on the veranda next to impossible. The interior of the cabin is adequate and somewhat cramped due to too much furniture, closets and the king size bed. The bathroom is rather small and does not compare favorably with other newer cruise ships facilities. One of the most important features of the newer cruise ships is the variety of food choices and the QM2 is no exception. Unfortunately the food preparation, presentation and service misses its advertised goals and falls far short in passenger expectations. The main dining room for the majority of passengers, The Britannia, is overwhelming in size and noise. The decor is stunning but that is where this dining venue starts and stops. The King's Court (cafeteria style) doubles for special restaurants during the evening and serves the traditional breakfast and lunch buffet. One restaurant that hardly rates comment is the Todd English Grill ($30 cost). It is a disaster from food service/presentation/menu selection and horrible wine stewards. Entertainment during my voyage on QM2 was without a doubt the worst I have ever seen on any ship. The Royal Court theatre is the main venue for the evening entertainment and is a stunning room and unfortunately the production shows and featured performers did not measure up to the quality of the Royal Court theatre facilities. Shore excursions were fine but not notable, neither was the Tour Office staff who appeared to be stressed out and overworked from the get go. Would I cruise again on the QM2, most likely NOT primarily because the ship and the media attention and kudos from Cunard and the shipbuilder never came close to my expectations. I had truly hoped that the QM2 would bring in a return to the "grand" days of cruise liners and it did not... Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
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