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8 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have previously travelled on many Celebrity ships and also Victoria and QM2. We loved Victoria and hated QM2; we liked Elizabeth as much as Victoria. They both compare plus/minus with Celebrity. I have to disagree with some of the last ... Read More
We have previously travelled on many Celebrity ships and also Victoria and QM2. We loved Victoria and hated QM2; we liked Elizabeth as much as Victoria. They both compare plus/minus with Celebrity. I have to disagree with some of the last few reviews posted. The food was good, service was good, the shows were virtually all good, Speakers were mostly very good. The balcony cabin was very good. The theatre was good. The Art Deco interior design is beautiful. Shore excursions varied but they always do. Embarkation and disembarkation were always good. So what is there to criticise? The temperature control round the ship was much poorer than Victoria and I suspect it was not being managed properly and was generally too cold so take your overcoat around the ship :-). Our cabin thermostat had a mind of it's own and the mid-point was incorrectly set. Our cabin at the front of the ship suffered in the Atlantic storm with constant loud banging with wave movement. Go for mid ships or rear if you can. Wine prices are completely silly so bring your own on board and drink in the cabin. Also Cunard keep pushing champagne. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was our third time on Cunard and our second on the Queen Victoria, so we had a good idea of what to expect: excellent service, excellent dancing and mediocre food. Our April cruise through the Panama Canal, from LA to Fort Lauderdale, ... Read More
This was our third time on Cunard and our second on the Queen Victoria, so we had a good idea of what to expect: excellent service, excellent dancing and mediocre food. Our April cruise through the Panama Canal, from LA to Fort Lauderdale, met two of those three expectations. The service was indeed excellent. Every crew member we encountered was friendly and eager to help. Our cabin steward, Joel, did an outstanding job of keeping our cabin clean despite our somewhat erratic schedule. When our in-room safe inexplicably refused to open, someone from the purser’s office responded immediately, diagnosed the problem as a dead battery, and quickly returned to replace it. And, the food was indeed mediocre. We learned on our first Cunard cruise that the food in the Britannia is not worth the time or effort involved. (Will Cunard ever acknowledge that anytime dining is the current standard?) In order to avoid that arbitrary schedule, we ate our meals in the Lido, even on formal nights, which meant we had to fetch our own food while wearing a long gown and tuxedo. I am a vegetarian, so steered clear of most of the offerings on the steam table. When we sailed on the Queen Mary last year, we were impressed by the salads and the array of grilled veggies in the Kings Court. Those recipes apparently haven’t made it to the QV: the vegetables were mostly overcooked and “buttered,” and the lettuce was consistently limp. The one bright spot was the pizza station, where the cook cheerfully made pizzas and calzones to our specifications. We tried the Golden Lion pub exactly once: The draught beer we wanted was not available, and my husband, who will eat pretty much anything, abandoned his fish and chips after one bite. We ordered room service breakfast twice, and both times the coffee arrived lukewarm. Fortunately, we had packed our own carafes, and the Lido staff cheerfully filled them for my husband to bring back to our cabin every morning. The QV retrofit may bring in-cabin “kettles,” as it did on QM2, but a cup of hot water and a packet of Nescafé is not actually coffee. We’ll keep toting those carafes. The QV has also eliminated trays, which means that putting together a decent meal in the Lido requires several trips between your table and the various stations. We ended up using a box lid to bring breakfast and our evening hors d’oeuvres back to the cabin. We probably could have sold the damn thing to the world cruisers facing another month on the ship As for the dancing . . . ah, there’s the rub. We cruise to dance, and we love the Queens Room and the opportunity to dance every evening to a live band on a spacious hardwood floor. The Queens Room orchestra was excellent, as usual, and we had a wonderful time dancing whenever they were on duty. The pre-recorded music was another matter. Ruth, the social hostess, monopolized each session, as well as the band’s breaks, with an endless round of sequence dancing. Most non-Brits don’t “do” sequence dances, and on previous cruises sequence dancing was thankfully limited to a single night or a single venue. This time around – not so much. Most nights, we simply gave up and left the room. We were also frustrated by the two “party nights,” one with an Abba theme and the other featuring a mediocre Frankie Vallee-style boy band. Synergy, the party band, played danceable music on both evenings, but the Queens Room was overrun by crew members dispatched to show us all how to have a good time. On the second night, when part of the floor was already taken over by the boy band’s ear-splitting sound system, the staff were so intent on performing their line dance routines that there was literally no room for the paying customers to dance. If Cunard wants to throw a staff party, that’s fine. We would just prefer that they do so elsewhere. The dance hosts were an impediment, as well. This was the fourth set of hosts we had encountered and certainly the least qualified. Several of the “single ladies” noted that the hosts didn’t so much lead as meander around the floor. Worse, they had no floor craft and frequently crashed into other dancers – one routinely took his partners through the middle of the floor, against the line of dance. He was also wearing beige orthopedic shoes, which should have been a clue to whomever hired him as a host. Finally, a note about Cunard’s famous dress code: We like to dress up, and we cruise Cunard for its emphasis on formal nights. On our second day we received a notice reminding us of the Cunard definition of “formal” and “informal.” That message seemed clear, but every evening we saw several men in the Queens Room without jackets – at least one guest interpreted “jacket” as a puffy down vest. However, the worst offenders were the dance hosts! They frequently appeared in shirt sleeves, and one once showed up in an untucked sport shirt accessorized with tennis shoes. Not quite the elegant atmosphere Cunard likes to pretend is the norm. Would we cruise Cunard again? Possibly. Dining is not a priority, so we can live with limp lettuce. Dancing, however, is. Sequestering the sequence dancing would be a good step in the right direction. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Past experience with sailing on at Cunard Ships - Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. I wanted to comment on the treatment we were given by our steward, Leo, our head waiter, Ryan, our waiter, Arnold (Arnie), and our ... Read More
Past experience with sailing on at Cunard Ships - Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary. I wanted to comment on the treatment we were given by our steward, Leo, our head waiter, Ryan, our waiter, Arnold (Arnie), and our assistant waiter, Dexter (Dex). We were totally treated by Leo in our cabin (there were 3 of us in 6197) - he asked us what he could do to help us but never was intrusive. I was so impressed that he knew each of our names and called us that when we saw him in the halls. We had a major issue with the commode - periodically would not flush and Leo saw to it that we had staff fixing the issue at least 5 times. We never had anything overflow. Leo continually asked us if things were all right and handled any requests with a smile and immediate attention. Our dining experience was great. We were at the late seating (table 291). We were at a table for 6 but only had more than the 3 of us for about 5 days. Ryan checked every day with how we were doing and saw to it that the requests we made of our waiters was taken care of with a smile. All three of them treated us with humor and respect. As a result, we were had shrimp cocktails every night, got fish or meats with sauce on the side and I frequently had a baked potato as my entree. When Arnie and Dex would see us at breakfast on the Lido Deck, they always made sure that we were taken care of and again addressed us by our names. I do want to give negative feedback on the Spa. Two of us joined the spa so we could get in the wet area and then go to the hot tables. I know that this is through the Canyon Ranch but you need to know that the jets in the pool were not working and when we complained, they said they had been fixed and they had not. In addition, the water in the coolers was not cold. The two of us finally said we wanted our money back - only got $100.00. I think you need to look at overseeing this private provider better. They are not providing the quality of care that the staff who are Cunard employees provide Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise to combine three things. To revisit San Francisco, to cruise on QV for a second time, and to transit the Panama Canal. Overall we were not disappointed. Our 4th time overall with Cunard, they continue to provide a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to combine three things. To revisit San Francisco, to cruise on QV for a second time, and to transit the Panama Canal. Overall we were not disappointed. Our 4th time overall with Cunard, they continue to provide a quality experience, for which we did, admittedly pay a high price. Suite, food, staff service, entertainment were excellent, as previously experienced. The service charge added to alcohol, as with some other cruise lines was a downer, but we did know before we went. The standard of entertainment was first class - west end show standard plus. Ports of call varied - the best was probably Grand Cayman. Aruba was not as interesting as we had hoped. Guatemala was a friendly place with La Antigua worth the drive, although standards of driving were, at times, frightening. Transit day through the canal was worth the wait. It took approx 11 hours and there wasn't a boring moment at all. Plenty of shipping action, plus watching the 'mule' guide locomotives was fascinating. And yes there were times when you could touch the lock wall from the ship, without leaning out. It was that close! Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our second Cunard cruise, the last, around a year ago on the Queen Mary, which was disappointing to say the least, and we had some trepidation about booking another Cunard Cruise, after all same company management, how is it ... Read More
This was our second Cunard cruise, the last, around a year ago on the Queen Mary, which was disappointing to say the least, and we had some trepidation about booking another Cunard Cruise, after all same company management, how is it possible things could change? From the moment we arrived at Fort Lauderdale to disembarkation at San Francisco just about everything went off to perfection. Boarding took no more than 30 minutes, yes we were early, but we joined a short line and were processed immediately, perhaps the lady processing us could have been more welcoming, but I guess a long day was ahead of her. As soon as we set foot on the Queen Victoria we noticed such a vast difference to the Queen Mary, this vessel was welcoming, it had character, the staff were there to please, meet and greet and ensure our trip was going to be above expectation. The balcony cabin on deck 5 was fine and well looked after by our steward the entire time, a bottle of champagne was on ice as we entered the cabin, nice touch, one piece of luggage made it within an hour, another took some tracking down, but was located at the pursers area some hours later, the luggage tag had been torn off during transfer, perhaps a stronger Cunard luggage material tag is required. Dining during the entire trip was above expectation, plenty of choice and the attention to detail by the waiting staff every day exceptional. On day one I informed the drink waiter the beer served wasn't quite cold enough, every day from then on it was chilled to perfection and served within minutes of sitting down. My wife's sherry was also served almost as soon as she sat down. Let the waiting staff know of your requirement on day one and from our experience they will attend to your requirements. Dining in other areas of the ship was also very good, we tried most outlets, good choices and tasty food was the norm. Entertainment most days great, a few duds, but more than satisfactory. No real complaints. Day to day activities were plentiful, lots of choice, of just sit back and watch the ocean pass by below. All up the cruise was as close to perfection as expected, the odd niggle here and there, but nothing that would stop me from booking another passage on the Queen Victoria. Perhaps management, crew and staff from the Queen Mary could learn a lot on customer service from the people involved in running the Queen Victoria. Disembarkation in San Francisco a little clumsy, but we found this was more to do with the US port authority than Cunard, something trivial about a dispute as to who's fork lifts should be used when unloading passengers luggage, but this was resolved quickly and we located our luggage and on our way to our hotel without further delay. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
I really enjoy the Cunard Line, I am English by birth and American by choice. I choose Cunard because they provide Dance Hosts for the single ladies for any length cruise. The Queen's room dance floor and Orchestras are so perfect ... Read More
I really enjoy the Cunard Line, I am English by birth and American by choice. I choose Cunard because they provide Dance Hosts for the single ladies for any length cruise. The Queen's room dance floor and Orchestras are so perfect for Ballroom Dancing and themed parties. The service is excellent from white gloved afternoon tea to breakfast in bed. Their dining rooms are elegant and comfortable. If that is not your style you can eat in the Buffet. The shows are always first class entertainment and there is a Single's Club, with daily meetings for everyone to get together I highly recommend any of the Queens especially the QM2 for transatlantic crossings, "she is not a cruise ship, she is an ocean going liner" (direct quote from her Captain) If you like luxury cruising without luxury prices Cunard is for you. I am booked for another cruise on the QM2 later this year. Last year it was through the Panama Canal on the Queen Victoria. This will be my 15th cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
Given that the cruise industry is becoming very competitive these days, we would have thought that Cunard would have tried to keep up with the other "luxury" lines. First the good: The embarkation process was very quick and ... Read More
Given that the cruise industry is becoming very competitive these days, we would have thought that Cunard would have tried to keep up with the other "luxury" lines. First the good: The embarkation process was very quick and trouble free and efficient. We were Princess Grill passengers and would have to say that we were pleased that we paid the extra for that privilege. The food was excellent in the Princess Grill restaurant as was the service. Afternoon tea was delightful in the Grills Lounge. We did hear however from another Grills passenger who had friends in the Britannia and joined them for dinner on occasions, that the Britannia food certainly wasn't wonderful. The housekeeping service in the suite was prompt and of high standard. Lectures were fantastic - especially Buzz Aldrin and a lovely fellow from British Airways and we enjoyed all of these. Entertainment was also great - specialty entertainment was generally wonderful as were the singers and dancers. Then the bad: The internet service was the worst of any ship we have ever been on (14) - it was so slow that impossible to work on the ship at all - sure they give you extra minutes because of delays, but that's not the point. A competitor line this week was on tv stating that their internet service was the fastest on the sea, so why can't Cunard get their act together and upgrade the internet. The six formal nights on this voyage may be ok for the old diehards, but for us younger passengers, we couldn't care less about dressing up Sure my husband will put on a jacket for dinner, but the whole tuxedo affair is really old hat these days. My husband would have liked to have dinner without a jacket, but we know this is only possible in the buffet. We know the line is English, but there didn't seem to be much Asian influence in the meals - sure there was sushi one day in the buffet, but no Asian breakfast items up in the buffet. The Grills Lounge is fantastic, but why no music after dinner - we were not expecting live music (the showroom provides that) but surely some nice after dinner piped music through the speakers would be good. I put in a form to the purser's office re this issue, but of course, nobody bothered to even contact us to discuss the matter. And forget the laundry - even at opening time there are people there with a week's washing loading up the thee machines at once - no wonder there are so many stories doing the rounds on laundry blow-ups. The "Cunard Cough" reared it's ugly head, and we were left coughing near the end of the voyage - how that is to be fixed, we have no idea. Shopping was disappointing - fashion in the shops was just so-so, and no real incentive to purchase. Disembarkation was good and we were off the ship quite early - plenty of porter service on the NYC wharf. Would we sail again with Cunard - I wouldn't think so - we need to be on a more "modern" line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We were completely surprised by our experiences on board Queen Victoria. After our last cruise where my husband’s gluten and corn intollerances were completely ignored and he became very ill, we had given up on cruising. Thank goodness ... Read More
We were completely surprised by our experiences on board Queen Victoria. After our last cruise where my husband’s gluten and corn intollerances were completely ignored and he became very ill, we had given up on cruising. Thank goodness we trusted Cunard. They came through with flying colours, from the wait staff to the head waiter and chef, they understood the problem and we felt very safe. We have just completed the World Voyage segment from Los Angeles to New York and it didn’t disappoint. Our cabin on number 4 deck was perfect for watching the journey through the Panama Canal, you could look over the balcony and see the few inches to spare that the ship had when passing through the locks. The cabins above deck four do not reach out as far, so their view was obstructed. I am not sure if deck four cabins are a little larger because of this fact, but there was certainly enough storage space. There is ample hanging wardrobe space, three drawers in each night table and two massive drawers under the beds. If there is any complaint, it would be the bathroom space, but if you are aware, bring a collapsible small box for toiletries and keep them on the open shelf under the sink. The other useful items we brought with us were a three plug extension and a small electric clock. When you have to change time zones, it is helpful to keep up with the current time. The morning lectures were very informative and entertaining, not to be missed. In fact, we were sorry to leave in New York as the new presenters sounded very intriguing. From Buzz Aldrin to a Red Arrow pilot they all held our attention. The ports of call, apart from Cabo San Lucas, were good. Our main problem was the early departure from ports and getting back in time. Why we sailed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral overnight I do not know. It would have been better if we stayed overnight in one port to allow people who had long expensive excursions to Miami, Disney, Universal and Kennedy Space Center to really enjoy those tours. The entertainment could not be faulted, the resident singers and dance troupe were very good, the various entertainers who we picked up at ports along our journey were also varied and good. The resident orchestra and musicians could be found in various locations throughout the ship and of course, there was always dancing in the Queens Ballroom every night. We found the passengers on this cruise to be very interesting. From the British who started out in Southampton, to the Australians and New Zealanders who joined in their Countries to the Americans and various other nationalities, it made for fascinating conversations at meal times. All in all, we are thoroughly satisfied with our voyage are now looking forward to our next cruise with Cunard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We booked the Panama Canal transit, from LA to NY, in Princess Grille. We were delighted to find about 2 weeks from embarkation that we had been upgraded to Queens Grille, Q5, stateroom 4188 at the very rear portside. What a great room, ... Read More
We booked the Panama Canal transit, from LA to NY, in Princess Grille. We were delighted to find about 2 weeks from embarkation that we had been upgraded to Queens Grille, Q5, stateroom 4188 at the very rear portside. What a great room, because the balcony extends up the side, and around the back of the ship, so you could get sunshine or shade all day long! The staff in the dining room knew our names after the first night's dinner, and made us feel like royalty. The maitre d' (Sandro) is a credit to Cunard as he has the dining room just purring. Nothing is too much trouble, and the food is exquisite. There is a Grille's lounge available 24/7, and a sundeck with complimentary sunscreen and waiter service. Of course, tea and scones at 3.30 each day in the lounge, and canapes delivered to our stateroom each afternoon around 4.30pm. No wonder I put on 4kgs! Each guest is allowed one bottle of spirits or wine to be consumed in room, and the bottles are replaced when empty. The fridge and it's contents of mixers, beer, soft drinks and water is all complimentary in Queens rooms. Don't plan on doing anything on the ship's internet except getting your email, and even that's slow. Best to get onshore to a free wifi hotspot. I guess satellite internet shared amongst 3000 crew and guests has a way to go! Plenty of great guest speakers, including Buzz Aldrin, made for a great educational journey most mornings. Of course, there are quizzes each day for those interested, lots of activities, and good entertainment most nights if you can drag yourself away from the dining room experience. We chose a table of 8 (although 2 didn't appear, so it became a table of 6 after 2 nights) and met some fun and interesting people, as you usually do on these Cunard cruises. We generally stayed in the dining room until after 9, and then adjourned to the lounge unless there was something great in the theater. While the main reason for choosing this cruise was the Panama Canal transit which was just marvelous, the other shore excursions were mostly good as well. We had the trip of a lifetime, and it was sad to have to leave our new friends who were sailing on to Southampton. If you're wondering whether the Princess and Queens grilles experience is worth the extra, I'd say go for it if you can afford to. We've been on all 3 Cunard's, from interior staterooms, through Britannia, Princess and now Queens, and while they've all been great, the Grilles are just wonderful. Priority embarkation and disembarkation is a great benefit too. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the outdoor alfresco dining area shared by the Grilles, and if the weather is kind (and it was through the tropics) and not too windy, what a great spot for lunch or even dinner. The only part of the whole trip we didn't enjoy was flying from New York to Australia to get home. Flying just doesn't cut it after a cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Let me start by saying that we are Platinum members and have enjoyed many Cunard cruises in past years. Of course, like the other cruise lines acquired by Carnival LLC luxury & quality service has taken a back seat to costs. In reading ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we are Platinum members and have enjoyed many Cunard cruises in past years. Of course, like the other cruise lines acquired by Carnival LLC luxury & quality service has taken a back seat to costs. In reading some other reviews with 6 stars and glowing reviews, I find myself thinking that they are either employees of Carnival LLC or people with really low expectations so they can't be disappointed. We did this same cruise on the Queen Elizabeth three years ago, in the Club category NYC to San Francisco and had a wonderful time. Outstanding experience, so we were looking forward to repeating this trip with several different port of call. Embarkment - We should have embarked on Jan. 21st but due to weather conditions Cunard arrived a day later so we sailed on Jan. 22nd. We were told that Cunard would reimburse us up to $250 towards the cost of the hotel stay on the 21st. And reimburse us the per diem rate for the lost day aboard. Of course no one can predict bad weather and safety first. When we did board, we were instructed to present invoices for the hotel reimbursement to the Purser. They gave us a ship board credit (non-refundable) and also the per person per diem rate was added to our account as a ship boards credit, also non-refundable. I asked why I would not be able to get the actual cash, the Purser told me to contact Head Office. I also asked why the per diem rate did not include any taxes and fees I also paid. I was told they will check with Head Office. It took 8 days to be told no, I was not getting reimbursed taxes and fees on the per diem rates. Oh and try and ask to speak to the manager/supervisor, forget it. She is on a break, out to lunch or in a meeting. She will contact by phone and of course that never happened. On day 12, bingo, I did get reimbursed these costs too. Why was there such confusion? Why different stories? All the staff smiles but really did nothing. There were over 200 guests in the same situation as we were but no staff member had a clue. Cabin - We were in Britannia Club, so all cabins were on Deck 8. Cabin was fine and cabin stewart was great. Dining - All guests in the Club category go to the Club dining room. We paid more for this category to enjoy a small dining room with our exclusive table. Upon arrival we go to the dining room for lunch, with our dining reservation card/table #. Tatiana, the maitre d, walks us to a table for 8. We booked a table for 2. She said we are wrong, her computer is correct and this is our table. When I insist that, no we booked with a table for 2 she said "Prove it". And until we prove it, she can do nothing. Her dismissive attitude was appalling. Now we are mad. She stated we should come back for dinner, after 9:00 p.m. and she will see what she can do. We arrived at 7:00 p.m., as we were not arriving when she wanted us. She had done nothing and still insisted that we must sit at the table for 8. We demanded the Restaurant Manager, Oliver shows up. He arrived, saw us really annoyed even more so by the condescending attitude of Tatiana. One half hour at the Club entrance and the boss , Oliver, said go to the main dining and he would get us table for 2. No way, we didn't pay twice as much for our cabin and they put us in the main dining room. Why are you now downgrading us, why not let us eat in the Grills or change our accommodations to a cheap inside cabin. He makes a phone call and then escorts us to The Veranda, the alternative dining venue and states that there will no extra charges and enjoy dinner at this specialty restaurant. It is one hour since we arrived for dinner. When we were finished, what was a wonderful and outstanding meal, Oliver arrives and states that beginning on day 2, we now have a table for 2 in the Club dining room. All the aggravation, upset and outstandingly gross attitude of Tatiana we now get a table! Why didn't she just do that in the first place. No, can't, won't, couldn't and shouldn't are the norm with her and many of her colleagues, (as we found out later). Food/Menus - Abysmal is the first word that comes to mind. Now we have the table for 2 we booked but the menus are weird and the food terrible. Every and I mean every entree had tomatoes of some sort on them. Jarred gravies swimming over the steak, baked potatoes still hard and undercooked and obviously microwaved. Gravies swimming on fish and anything considered an entrée. Lunch menus are the worse. One day it was so bad we went to the buffet and they had wonderful sushi. The Club had done. Oh and Tatiana told us that if we wanted anything, off menu, we must give her 24 yrs. notice! Fish and chips served daily in the Pub, just down the hall but if you wanted them, 24 yrs. notice. I could go on and on but you get the picture. Now we are not overly picky and as you get to meet people in and around your table you see that everyone is returning food, uneaten. Complaints about poor quality, tough steak and those sauces all over. We never saw this Club dining room crowded. Lunch was almost empty. 4 couples from the UK near us went to the Pub or Lido buffet every day for lunch and said they would complain to their travel agents when they got home. All agreed that this would be their cruise with Cunard. Sommeliers - We had one in the Club dining room. Never got his name but another Eastern European with a lousy attitude, chip on his shoulder that he was doing us a favor by serving us and no customer service skills. He was so bad, we demanded that he not come near our table. We brought our dinner cocktails in with us from the bar down the hall. And we went without dinner wines for the balance of the cruise. So our dining experiences were really bad and we of course kick ourselves for spending so much money in the Britannia Club category. And not enjoying the dining room. The only saving grace was our server Lhea. She was charming and friendly and tried so hard to help us. But again, she worked in the shadow of Tatiana. I guess if you complain to these Eastern Europeans (and Cunard seems to hire many of them) they get even. The Veranda - You would think you were on a different ship altogether. The staff is outstanding, the maitre d is charming and adds to the special meal. The menu and food are 5 star. So why can't the Britannia Club be run in the same way? We loved this restaurant so much the first night we went back at the end of the cruise and gladly paid extra for the privilege of experiencing another wonderful evening at The Veranda. Excursions - We have learned that the excursions are getting more expensive and you get so little in return. We plan our own excursions and/or take a local taxi. The locals in all these ports are wonderful and friendly. At a third of the price you get a wonderful experience. And in some cases the locals are so great you end up spending more money it tips and the occasional treating them to lunch. At least Carnival LLC doesn't get the money. Overall - The company owners are getting rid of more and more of the Asian staff and putting Eastern Europeans in their place. Not the lower end but in all the public areas and supervisor/manager jobs. With few exceptions, these Eastern Europeans have no people skills, can't or won't smile and present an attitude of total indifference. The Asian staff are wonderful and so many of them, working on these ships for years can never get promoted. Why? It sure was obvious on this cruise. With our dining room stories and interacting with the Pursers office showed us that the Queen Elizabeth is now run just like her two sister ships. Unless Carnival LLC brings back quality, caring, attention to detail and a bit of the luxury that is currently non-existent we probably won't be sailing on any Cunard ships anytime soon.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
9th Cunard cruise - Platinum Status - (103rd cruise overall) What we liked - -Embarkation - not a long line, but no one in the Platinum line - went right on. -Dancing in the Queen's Room - great orchestra and singer - if you like ... Read More
9th Cunard cruise - Platinum Status - (103rd cruise overall) What we liked - -Embarkation - not a long line, but no one in the Platinum line - went right on. -Dancing in the Queen's Room - great orchestra and singer - if you like ballroom dancing - this is the place to be! -Lido for breakfast and lunch - food generally quite good and fresh - although salad bar had same 4 ingredients all 15 days! --Entertainment - The evening show entertainers were some of the best we have ever seen. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers - not so much - but they did not do very much so worked out well! -- Wine steward. Absolute delight, hard working and fun!. The only staff member we left an extra gratuity for. What we didn't like - 2 deck steep gangway climb (with carryon) to board ship on deck 3 - Also used for wheelchairs - scary! and time consuming. In Ft Laud exited from deck 1 - - MDR food some of the worst ever on any ship. Menu descriptions and what was received always a surprise. Ex Chef from Ski Lanka - need we elaborate! - Staff and service - some of the worst ever on any ship including other Cunard - white star service - a very bad joke - in the queens room my wife asked a waiter for water one evening - he pointed to the other side of the room and told her to get it herself! - no coffee or beverage service in lido - coffee machines frequently out or order or out of coffee - long walk to another one which often was also out. waiters only remove dirty dishes and trays - otherwise no service of any kind. -- much of the staff never speaks to you and goes about their mission without regard to your presence. Have found that on QM2 although much improved on recent cruises. - 3 cocktail parties - almost impossible to get a glass of wine. saw food, but never got near enough to the one waiter to serve everyone in the queen's room. - senior cocktail party for platinum and diamond with senior officers - mob scene just like the one for all returning passengers. Almost impossible to get a drink and never got close to food - and this is for their most valuable passengers - note to others - better bring your own life jacket! - Asst waiter squirted lemon juice on us on a number of occasions, as well as dripping salad dressing on my hand. - Room steward not too bad, but never got clean glasses, no turn down service on the last night and took the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN ! - Did not need the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN on last night because (with a 10:15 departure) the Commodore was in the cabin at 7:30 welcoming us to Ft Lauderdale and telling us the shuttle bus for the mall was leaving at 9:30 -- 5 minutes later the Officer of the Watch was in our cabin telling us not to smoke on the open decks due to bunkering -- Shortly thereafter another announcement that those persons with bus transportation who were missing need to go immediately - the ship doesn't wait - certainly the busses don't need to! -- Then at 8:31 the cabin steward knocking on the door - remember he took the DND sign! -- 15 min later he is back again. -- The platinum wine tasting (to which you can bring a guest for $30 but free for us). I must preface my comments bu "I am not making this up!" We had to take the invite letter and our platinum card to gain admittance - but nobody looked at either - it soon became apparent why. About 20 of us went to a table with a table cloth. A waiter put a glass in front of us and it got a dollop of white wine. They talked about it and we drank it (one sip). Then - and here is where it gets better!!! - we took our glass and walked by the waiter who put water in it and we dumped it out on our way to the next table with a different wine. When we left that table and washed and dumped our glass we got a red as we walked to the third table and again for table 4. In all fairness they did not make us wash the glass the last time! Apparently there is a severe shortage of wine glasses on QV! We called it the drive by wine tasting. What a joke - Never sailed on Carnival, but I bet they do it better! -- Speakers - There were 4 whose talks on sea days were from 9-noon every day. As ballroom dancers and late night people, this was not a good schedule for us. We did make 2 of them. One by a Captain of some sort on the Panama Canal was clearly copied from a guide book on the PC. The actual narrator for the canal boarded in Panama. The other was a former Concorde pilot and while his photos were interesting, his Scottish brogue was so thick we could not understand hardly anything he said. One of the others that we did not attend was on a British doctor that murdered 250 of his patients! Great stuff for cruise ships! --The ship broke loose from its moorings in San Francisco due to winds according to the Commodore and shortly after leaving Costa Rica the ship went dead in the water for about 1/2 hour. AC limited following that for a couple of days. I only include this because to us it shows that the lack of training and experience is not limited to the serving staff. We are cancelling our fall cruise on QV even though we have $2000 shipboard credit. We are confirmed Princess people and interestingly we met a number of others who had the same impressions. Those folks who had little prior cruise experience were happier with the ship than we were. We will confine our Cunard travels to the QM2 (which has improved quite a bit over the past several years) and is far better than flying! Cunard continues to provide an inferior product at a highly inflated price! Save your money and go elsewhere! Forewarned is ............   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Food and service good Entertainment marginal Scotch tasting good On shore excursions marginal at best Ball room dancing good Value for money marginal Cabin service good Port & excursion commentator very poor ... Reading a script ... Read More
Food and service good Entertainment marginal Scotch tasting good On shore excursions marginal at best Ball room dancing good Value for money marginal Cabin service good Port & excursion commentator very poor ... Reading a script with no life and depressing Commodore's club great... But same singer/piano player all the time ... Mix it up a bit folks Water color classes good Table waiters and servers excellent The entertainment director Sally was very subdued verses out last trip when she was a highlight... The commodore was approachable and informative... Two ship issues caused concern... Loss of power on the ocean for close to an hour... And a dock issue.. Did I say the entertainment was marginal... Service in the golden lion pub was mixed.... Food was good but always the same thing... Over and over... Mix it up folks Afternoon tea was excellent This was our third Cunard cruises. Loved the other two cruises and on balance this could have been better but enjoyed the experience Just booked a 22 day cruise on the Queen Elizabeth to Sydney to complete our three Queen experience   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2014
I've sailed with Cunard before, but always on Queen Mary 2, so this cruise was an opportunity to experience one of the other two Cunard ships. The cruise was 42 nights long including transiting the Panama Canal and stops in Fort ... Read More
I've sailed with Cunard before, but always on Queen Mary 2, so this cruise was an opportunity to experience one of the other two Cunard ships. The cruise was 42 nights long including transiting the Panama Canal and stops in Fort Lauderdale, Aruba, Limón, Puntarenas, San Francisco, Hawaii, American Samoa, Tonga and New Zealand. Embarkation was in New York and disembarkation was in Sydney. Embarkation: In a word… shambolic. I've experience Cunard embarkations in Southampton, Singapore and Sydney and each one of those ports managed to process passengers through security and onto the ship without the terminal staff displaying an almost hilarious inability to communicate with personnel on the ship and each other. Announcements that should have been made on a loud speaker weren't. Terminal staff weren't aware (or didn't care) about priority embarkation for Grills passengers as passengers in wheelchairs were boarded ahead of priority guests. The whole thing took much longer than it needed to, with terminal staff unable to make up their mind when to start the embarkation process. At one point they let about 15 people through security then decided to halt the process leaving the 15 people standing in a no-mans land between the security scanners and the check-in counters. The remainder of the guests waiting to board were kept back behind the security scanners. This lasted for about 15 minutes. Nobody knew why, least of all the terminal staff... I'm guessing. This shameful exercise in ineptitude was capped off by the check-in staff member incorrectly swiping my credit card details. I know this because each sector I had to go down to the Purser's office and have them swipe the card again. I don't lay the blame for the ridiculously inept boarding process at Cunard's door. The terminal staff seemed confused with all aspects of the embarkation procedure and I'm not sure that anyone from Cunard could have done anything to improve the situation. I say I am "not sure" because I really don't know - perhaps they could have done something? It seems to me that if the Cunard brochures say that Grills guests receive priority embarkation than they should get priority embarkation. If Cunard can't be bothered ensuring that this happens than they should remove it as a selling point from their brochures. Stateroom: I was in suite 5198 and I could not have been happier. The suite is large with extremely generous wardrobe space and plenty of amenities. The view from the stern is simply awe-inspiring and I particularly enjoyed hearing the gentle roar of ocean and watching the wake from the stern. The bathroom is large with a full sized spa bath and separate shower with glass door. The shower is generously proportioned with room for two people to shower together (if so inclined to do so). The shower and bath area are separate to the toilet and vanity area (there is however a connecting door) which is handy as it enables two people to use the facilities at the same time. The bed was very comfortable and the sheets are very soft. I particularly liked the large three seater sofa with two accompanying single chairs. You can have quite a number of fellow guests for drinks and not feel crowded at all. This suite is practically perfect, if you're looking at one of the stern suites than look no further than this one. Be warned though, the suites at either side of the ship (with the wraparound balconies) are much smaller on the inside than the three middle suites as the space for the side balcony is at the expense of inside space. This only applies to decks, four, five and eight as decks six and seven are the Q1 suites. You should also be aware that the interior of the middle stern suite is slightly different to the suites on either side, they have a long bench under the window which the middle suite doesn't have. Any of the three middle Q6 suites on deck 5 would be fine, do not let them upgrade you to a Q5 with the wraparound balconies, you will be disappointed with the lack of space inside those suites. You've been warned. Food: Let's just say that the food in the Queens Grill is excellent, there's really no other way to describe it. The choices for breakfast and dinner are extensive and in the evening the à la carte menu provides more than enough dishes for even the fussiest of eaters to choose from. With the exception of about 7 nights, I ate all my evening meals in the Queens Grill and didn't experience one dish that was poorly presented or incorrectly cooked. I will say though that the scrambled eggs on the breakfast menu are the powdered variety, which should not be the case in the Queens Grill. There's no point being in the Queens Grill and eating powdered eggs, so follow my lead and request scrambled eggs made from real eggs; the staff don't care, they're more than happy to oblige. And really, Cunard should be embarrassed at dishing out powered scrambled eggs in the Queens Grill. McDonald's uses real eggs for their breakfast menu, why can't Cunard use them in the Queens Grill restaurant for scrambled eggs? Off-menu requests were happily acquiesced to including dishes where I provided a list of ingredients and explained how I wanted the dish prepared. I was impressed with all aspects of the off-menu process including the requesting of and the dishes themselves. This is one of the selling points of the Queens Grill and it's something Cunard (well the head waiters really) does very well. One Queens Grill perk is that you can choose from the restaurant menu when dining in your room. I did this a couple of times for lunch and for about three days when I was sick. It's nice to have more choices than just the room service menu and I appreciate this particular convenience. Other dining venues I experience include the Verandah restaurant and the Lido (including the alternative dining venue on the Jasmine night). The food in the Verandah restaurant is wonderful, with the exception of the Bresse Chicken (boring), the Pork Rillette and the Duck Foie Gras with Pears (both disgusting). The scallops and langoustines, sautéed in a lime butter, with herb printed pasta was incredible, as was the Milk Fed Rack of Lamb. The deserts were very nice including the Delicate Custard and Hot Vanilla Soufflé. The food in the Verandah restaurant was, overall, very very good and if I had been travelling in Britannia I would have dined here more often. During this cruise I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food in the Lido. I had lunch here a couple of times and thought the variety and quality of the food was very good. A particular favourite with (seemingly) everyone on board was the self service ice-cream machine, I highly recommend treating yourself after a day sun baking out on the deck. The cooked to order pasta and pizza station is also a recommendation if you're looking for a quick and easy lunch. The pizza I had was quite good, the pasta was just okay. In my opinion the pasta dishes in the restaurant are better. One night a group of us ate in the alternative dining space in the Lido on the Jasmine night. The asian food was very good, there was a lot of it and everyone at the table was very complimentary about the food. Afternoon tea was probably the only culinary disappointment on this cruise. Queen Elizabeth does not have the little fruit tarts that Queen Mary 2 has, the QE has similar pastries that are not as good and are more pastry than filling or fruit. Very disappointing. I was so looking forward to these and was quite disappointed to find out they only have an inferior substitution on board QE. Apart from that one item the afternoon tea offerings (scones etc) are the same as on board Queen Mary. Although, having said that, I do think the scones on Queen Mary taste better. Service: When you're on board for 42 nights you end up having a lot of interaction with a lot of crew members on a daily basis. Overwhelmingly, the crew are professional, polite and good at what they do. The staff in the Queens Grill restaurant were excellent with the waiter and junior waiter providing possibly the best service I have ever had on board a Cunard ship. The maitre d and the head waiters in the Queens Grill were also excellent, very friendly and overall very good at what they do. They never failed to greet us with genuine smiles and made sure to visit the table every night to say hello. The staff in the Queens Grill lounge were also very good, they quickly remembered names and drink preferences and were efficient and friendly. This was also the case in Cafe Carinthia where, incidentally, they make the best strawberry daiquiris. Afternoon tea service in the Grills Lounge was generally good, although on some occasions the staff covering the afternoon tea service were very substandard. One one occasion two Indian staff members conversed in a language other than English whilst setting up the lounge for afternoon tea, this is in direct contradiction to what they're supposed to do (speak English in the guest areas). Following on from this one of the same Indian staff members tried to resist getting me a cucumber sandwich. "No more left" he said whilst indicating to the nearly empty tray of sandwiches he was holding. This being the start of the afternoon tea service I knew they would have more trays of sandwiches available so I persisted. Amazingly, so did he with his explanation that there was no more and that I should just pick from what he had left on his tray. Eventually I looked him in the eye and said "get some". He shrugged his shoulders and returned with a fresh tray of sandwiches, including the cucumber variety. He really was appalling, but happily he's an anomaly amongst the crew. The Verandah Restaurant is supposed to be the place to go for a special event like an anniversary. Surprisingly then I found that the service in the Verandah was not as good as the Queens Grill restaurant, no where near as good. Now either I got very lucky in the Queens Grill or the staff in the Verandah restaurant are not as good as they think they are. I think it's the latter. The decor in the Verandah restaurant is lovely, the food (barring the three dishes I mentioned) is wonderful, it's the service that needs to improve. I'm not saying the service is bad, I'm just saying that it could (and probably should) be better. I had two butlers and two stewards (one lot for each sector). They were all very good and really added to my enjoyment of the voyage. I like having a butler, they're more concerned with fulfilling any requests you have rather than cleaning the room, it's more preferable to just having a steward. I also like that the butler lays out the tablecloth and sets the table as though you were eating in a restaurant when you dine in your room. In summary, 98% of the crew are excellent at their jobs and provide great service. The rest don't and that's not entirely unexpected when you're dealing with human beings. Only one unfortunate incident prompted me to put in a complaint, but it was handled to my satisfaction, which pretty much just involved them (Cunard) listening to what I had to say and apologising, which was all I really wanted. Overall, Cunard's service is excellent. Food, service and accommodation are generally the things that impact on a cruise the most so I wanted to cover those in quite a bit of detail. The following are some general observations. The ship itself: A lovely cruise ship, does the job with no unexpected issues. The amenities are all quite lovely and the decor is generally very pleasing to the eye. The grills amenities are excellent, the views from the restaurants and grills lounge are wonderful. There is a lot of open deck space for grill passengers on decks 11 & 12, but as there is no shade whatsoever the use of this space is limited. A major disappointment is the promenade deck on deck three. Compared to the promenade deck on QM2 the QE version is claustrophobic and unattractive. There are no sweeping vistas like there are on QM2. QM2's promenade deck makes you want to walk around the ship, QE's doesn't as it's all a bit sad and depressing - especially after experiencing QM2's. One interesting aspect of QE's promenade deck is that you can look into the Britannia Restaurant as you walk around the stern. On Cruise Critic, a lot is made of the fact that you can do the same with the Grills restaurants on QM2 (with the inference being that this makes the location substandard) however no one seems to make the same inference regarding the Britannia restaurant on QE? The smaller size of the QE (when compared to QM2 and other larger ships) makes it attractive to older passengers who apparently don't like the distances required to walk on QM2 and other larger ships. I was surprised by the much, much older age demographic on these two sectors of the world cruise, much older than the transatlantic I experienced and the other two previous world cruise sectors on QM2. If you are looking for a much older demographic to cruise with, then the smaller Vista cruise ships (QE & QV) are a better bet than the larger QM2 - generally speaking. Excluding children, there was probably less than twenty passengers under 50 on both sectors. The gym is of a reasonable size however the five treadmills in the centre near the glass windows are the only ones that tall people can use (for running) as the remainder are under the low ceiling. Low ceilings are ever present throughout this ship by the way. The spa is not as well laid out or as inviting as the spa on Queen Mary 2. The change rooms are down the hall and big glass windows make it easy for people to see into the spa pool area where guests are relaxing on loungers and/or swimming. It's not relaxing laying on a lounger in the spa watching the hustle and bustle of the pool area outside as people wander around eating hot dogs and ice creams etc. I also don't find the spa value for money. On QM2 you get access to the spa amenities all day if you book a treatment. On QE you get access to the spa amenities for one hour only - before or after your treatment. Needless to say I think the spa situation on QM2 is better. Of course you can buy a spa package which allows you daily access, something I've done on QM2 as I think it's a worthwhile thing to do, but not on QE. Entertainment: The Royal Cunard singers and dancers between New York and Sydney were the best I've seen on a Cunard ship. I enjoyed all their shows with the exception of 'Royal Hotel' which was not to my taste. The singers in particular were very good. The guest stars were okay, I enjoyed the ones I saw. The lectures I attended were all well formatted and well presented, Cunard performs highly in this area and generally has interesting lecturers aboard. As is expected, the entertainment on board is geared towards people in their 70's and 80's. The ship dies after about 10:30 and there are only small pockets of life left, generally the Yacht Club and Commodore Club. Cunard continues its bizarre practice of having a live Caribbean band play in a nightclub and the DJs continue to play music that is (on the whole) 30 to 50 years old. It's rare to hear modern music in the ship's nightclub and it's almost always at the request of a passenger. Generally speaking the evenings in the Yacht Club are frustrating as on the rare occasions the DJ plays a couple of modern songs he always abruptly changes gear and plays something from the 50's or 60's. All the younger people then sit down and the older generation gets up to slow dance. This frustrated me for the first couple of weeks but then I realised that Cunard are not interested in reaching out to a younger demographic. If people under 50 happen to book on a Cunard ship then Cunard will happily take their money but there's no chance Cunard is going to bother attempting to provide an entertainment venue or age-appropriate music for anyone under the age of 50. Anyway, one of the entertainment options I enjoyed the most was the availability of DVDs from the Grills concierge to watch in the suite. There's a really good range of movies available and I enjoyed kicking back and watching a few movies every now and then. I also got a lot of reading done. Bring your own books or load up your IPAD as I'm convinced I caught a cold as a result of borrowing a book from the library. Tours: The shore tours I booked with Cunard were all reasonably interesting and and well organised. The tour in American Samoa was probably the least interesting but that's hardly Cunard's fault as there is not much to see in American Samoa. On two occasions I booked island tours which involved nothing more than swimming and lying on the beach, these were at Aruba and Tonga. I enjoyed these very much. The Hobbit tour in Tauranga in New Zealand was also very interesting. The two occasions that tendering was required I thought that everything was as well organised as it could be and there was certainly no excessive queues or wait times to board a tender. Fellow passengers: I've always found that the vast majority of people I meet on a Cunard ship are interesting, intelligent and friendly. Generally speaking this voyage was no different. Having said that, due to the older demographic, you do run across people for whom the sight of homosexuals is as horrifying and fascinating as a car crash - they just can't look away. Happily, these people are in the minority and I imagine you'd get them on any and all cruise lines. Overall: Cunard has a very good product and most people will be happy enough cruising on a Cunard ship. If you're under 50 you should ideally look to QM2 as your first option as this is (in my experience) the ship with the younger passenger demographic. Regarding the Queen Elizabeth, the food & service on board is (rare exceptions aside) of a very high standard as is the maintenance of the ship and the decor and layout. I enjoyed this cruise and had a really good time.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We purchased the Cunard transfer from LAX airport to the embarkation site. We arrived at LAX at 8:30 AM and were not met by any Cunard personal. We called the 800# and finally were met at 9:00AM, after we got our luggage and were wondering ... Read More
We purchased the Cunard transfer from LAX airport to the embarkation site. We arrived at LAX at 8:30 AM and were not met by any Cunard personal. We called the 800# and finally were met at 9:00AM, after we got our luggage and were wondering around the airport. We were told the transfer bus would arrive at 10:00 AM. The bus did not arrive until 11:30 AM!!! And then made 4 more stops at the airport and we finally arrived at the ship at 1:30 PM....5 HOURS after we arrived in L.A. Disembarkation was a nightmare. We were told to be in the Theatre at 8:00 AM for disembarkation between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM. There was an announcement saying the terminal was quite empty with no lines for Customs. Well, we sat in the Theatre until 11:00 AM and finally told we could disembark. Cunard personal told us the delay was due to it Customs problems. We were in line with people in tears due to missed plane flights home. As we were standing in line at Customs, an excursion tour (#13) walked right past us and walked thru Customs. This is after Cunard kept us on-board for close to 3 hours waiting to disembark. I can only assume the excursion tour people were still paying customers to Cunard and people disembarking did not need to be tended to. Once at Customs, 3 different agents told us the delay was the fault of Cunard, with the Queen Elizabeth docking 45 minutes behind schedule. We have been on a number of cruises and never had a 3-hour wait amongst such disorganization. It certainly put a damper on our cruise. Entertainment was fair, food was good, customer service was poor. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
This cruise was from LA to New York. 18 days total, also last but one segment of QE World cruise. Embarking at LA. Some passengers informed embarkation would be delayed , others received no information. I got through documentation ... Read More
This cruise was from LA to New York. 18 days total, also last but one segment of QE World cruise. Embarking at LA. Some passengers informed embarkation would be delayed , others received no information. I got through documentation without delay, then told to "sit over there", where I sat for nearly 3 hours, (place was full of passengers "sitting and waiting") FOOD. Mostly good, but problems with service. Eggs that were supposed to be "cooked until hard" came up so undercooked as to be almost raw, had to send back again and again. Main dining dinner, two passengers at table ordered Pasta with meat and tomato sauce, pasta arrived with NO SAUCE at all, waiter asked to provide sauce, replied "it is coming" then he served 5 other passengers entrees, then went on to serve other tables. The pasta went cold , and others at table finished entrees and still no sauce. Decided to "forget entree". Verandah, This was not open for 3 days. Shore tours, I did not take these as have mobility problems, but 3 couples at my table took various different tours at different ports. Very dissatisfied, tours started as much as an hour late, finished early, or did not cover stated routes. Production shows. Most entertainment was solo performers, lack of production shows very obvious. Immigration at Fort Lauderdale. I tried to register for wheelchair assistance, 3 days in advance, told "No wheelchair assist available at Fort Lauderdale". 24 hours later learned there would be wheelchairs, but no information as to where to meet . Finally told to meet at Casino at 8a.m , there was no list of names, and no Cunard staff to organize. Waited over 2 hours to get off ship, passport control took less than 5 minutes, then told "sit over there" so we sat and waited and waited, and waited . after 2 hours of shivering , we saw a group of Travel agents, being escorted aboard by Cunard Staff all smiles and good will.. Angry passengers asked why we fare paying passengers where being kept waiting, but received no answers, and no help, just told to "SIT DOWN". Finally allowed back on board around 12.45p.m. Total time out of cabin or off ship, almost 5 hours. No apologies, no explanation, but it was clear delay was not Immigration fault, but due to problems with Cunard. Disembarkation. 2 days before received 3 separate envelopes (all at same time) containing 3 different areas to meet at 3 different times, and with 3 different coloured luggage tags. Had to visit Pursers desk, stand in line to sort out which was correct. New York, again told to meet at Casino at 8.am, to disembark at 8.30a.m. Wheel chairs and "pushers " there but no movement. We sat and waited and waited. Meaningless and confused orders over public address as to which deck gangway was located, Passengers milling around, as no one knew where or when they could leave ship. Finally the wheelchair passengers got off at 9.45a.m, found luggage, found bus to JFK, many passengers upset as it seemed they would be late at JFK and miss flights. My flight was at 4p.m so I was fine for time, but not pleased at the long wait. Other problem areas :- the TV guide delivered 4th day of cruise, Daily event news often delivered middle of night, so did not know of events or times in advance. No menus on tables in cafe for several days. Dead flowers on dining table in Britannia, In cafe they removed dead flowers, leaving just green leaves, told they had "run out of flowers" It seemed Cunard totally unable to get their act together, they (administration) lurched from one problem to another. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
Some friends took a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth (QE) at Christmas last year and did nothing but complain. Also, I traveled on the QE2, several times before her retirement and quite liked her. So,I didn't expect much from the ... Read More
Some friends took a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth (QE) at Christmas last year and did nothing but complain. Also, I traveled on the QE2, several times before her retirement and quite liked her. So,I didn't expect much from the newest Queen. But, I got a good deal on the web a few weeks before the cruise and decided to book the Los Angeles to Ft Lauderdale leg of the QE's world cruise. For the on board experience, the QE is pretty closed to the QE2. The public rooms are quite nice and well maintained. There is plenty of deck space and there was never a problem finding a deck chair. It was a pretty old crowd on board and I didn't think the walker and wheel chair crowd took to the tropical heat of the Panama Canal very well. There was even plenty of road on deck while going through the Canal. I ate most meals in the Britannia Restaurant. Service at dinner, where we had the same waiter, was excellent. Breakfast was a bit more varied. It seemed as if a quite a few of the staff were being trained. Food was quite good. Fish, Spa Menu, and Vegetarian dishes being the best. Some deserts were great, like the souffle and some were weak, like the tart with canned pudding. The lobster was a disappointment, but fortunately I had some great lobster in Nicaragua and Grand Cayman. If you like spicy food, look elsewhere. I was on board for Passover. A Passover Seder (Dinner) was held in the Lido. Food and service was quite good and the Rabbi was awesome. My cabin was a cheap inside on Deck 5. It was bigger than expected and was well serviced by the cabin steward. Towels were available for on shore trips to the beach. The entertainment was actually quite good. Good singers, musicians, and various other entertainers. If you like Big Band music, this is your ship, especially when the two ship bands combine to form a very large band. The casino had a live Texas Holdem poker game most afternoons and evenings. A good poker crowed provided a fun game and some great gossip. Apparently, two people were put off the ship for fighting with the irons in the launderette and 8 people died on the cruise. (I said it was an older crowd). I include the other passengers as part of the entertainment. Mostly British, American, and Canadian, with quite a few Australians. The world cruise folks were a hoot. They would complain about everything and then discuss which cabin to book for next year. They also provided some great competition at lawn bowls, which I learned how to play on board. So why a 4 and not a 5? Food was good, but often not great. Service was great, but sometimes not at breakfast and lunch. Facilities, bars, and public area were great, but drink prices were high and they charged for some things that they shouldn't, like using some of the spa facilities and bottled water when leaving the ship. I would cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
A couple who we met on a transatlantic cruise on HAL in 2008 and bumped into again on another HAL cruise from Amsterdam to New York in 2010 emailed us about a sale of just a few days for a 15 or 18 day Panama Canal cruise on Cunard's ... Read More
A couple who we met on a transatlantic cruise on HAL in 2008 and bumped into again on another HAL cruise from Amsterdam to New York in 2010 emailed us about a sale of just a few days for a 15 or 18 day Panama Canal cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth in March. I checked and the sale was for balcony staterooms. The prices were considerably less than an inside statement. Our price was around $122 a day per person for the 15 days. It was under $100 if we had continued on to New York from Ft. Lauderdale at no additional charge. I tried to buy the trip through Cunard, but at the sale price they refused to sell trip insurance. I was able to get the price with trip insurance. However once I went through a travel agency I was basically persona non gratia with Cunard. There was no airport transfer for sale or a transfer from their hotel in Santa Monica to the LA docks in San Pedro. It was just as well. Cunard wanted $680 a night at their hotel prior to the cruise. I know it is vacation time and I shouldn't be counting nickels but that is ridiculous. I called around and found a room at the nearby Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey for $400 less. The cab ride from the airport to the Ritz was $20 and from the hotel to San Pedro and the ship was $80. I was happy to pay it, heck I had just saved $400. Embarkation was delayed. It was pushed back because there had been a norovirus outbreak during the trip from New Zealand to LA. It was hard to complain about an extra good cleaning before health inspectors boarded. However we were crammed into a departure terminal where I was thinking they should have served some ice tea, lemonade or other cold drinks. I was beginning to wonder about Cunard; that all changed for the most part when we got on board. Our bags beat us to the room. The room steward was there minutes behind us. The stateroom was small, but it was what we expected. The chair and table on the balcony were of high quality. It turns out the bed was great. There was not one morning with either of us waking up with a sore back. There was just one problem with the room...the shower. It was soooo small it was almost impossible to turn around. The size of the shower would not have been a problem if Cunard had simply had hand held shower heads. The usual cruise ship sign was present asking us to conserve water. It was impossible to do. Someone suggested soaping up the wall of the shower and try turning around. If you dropped the soap or a small bottle of shampoo you literally had to exit the shower to bend over and pick it up. I used twice as much water trying to position myself under the shower head than I would have used if there had only been a hand held shower nozzle. My wife quickly wised up and for most of the cruised showered in the spa. FOOD: Okay the English sausages are simply awful. Breakfast was average at best on the ship, with one exception. There were no long lines you become accustomed to on HAL or Celebrity. The fresh squeezed OJ would cost almost $5 a glass and didn't taste like OJ. Blueberry muffins were scarce, probably held back from the swells in the special dining areas. However the bagels were good the hot food was hot and the cold food was cold. However the good news for the English ship (owned by an American Corporation) is that it had a German chef. We mere people in balcony staterooms were pretty much the same as being in steerage 100 years ago. We did not get to sample the Queen and Princess Grills that the "suite dwellers" used but we didn't mind at all. The lunches at the Lido and the dinners in the main dining room served the best food I have ever had on a full size cruise ship. There was absolutely no need to spend extra money in The Verandah restaurant. My last trip on Celebrity included the use of a special dining area for suite customers. The everyday food on the QE was much better than the upscale food on Celebrity. The soups were also a treat. The wait staff was very attentive and close-by, unlike those waiters on HAL who saw their table count double after 2008. For two weeks if anyone at our table had a special request or wanted something not on the menu the response from the wait staff was always the same,..."No Problem." Beyond the Lido buffet was the hamburger and fries area on the rear pool deck. Burgers were as good as you will get on any cruise ship and better than most. On some days the onion rings were awful, simply frozen out of a bag. But on some days they made hand dripped O-rings right before your eyes. It was a great treat. In the Lion Pub there was lunch service also that included fish and Chips and Shepherd's Pie...definitely English and also good. The only non four-star item were the afternoon scones. The high tea held every day with music was a very nice touch, but the scones were average at best. It took about two days of an average Breakfast, an outstanding lunch followed by afternoon scones and then a great dinner to make you realize you had to dial it back and just participate in two eating things a day. Either skip breakfast and do lunch or enjoy breakfast and wait until dinner before eating again. You couldn't do both plus scones and dinner, it was just too much even if you are a big fat slob. . ACTIVITIES 1: I GOTTA DANCE: Geez there was a lot of dancing on this cruise. There were dance classes in the morning and afternoon. The dance floor was busy in the early evening with couples dancing to recorded music and the floor was packed later in the evening when the ships "dance band" was on stage. The beauty of the ship's dance band is that it Cunard is one of the last lines that since has a brass section. Most cruise lines eliminated trumpet and trombone players. Not Cunard. They have a trombone and trumpet player in both the dance band and in the theater band. The only drawback to the dance band was that the male vocalist was simply awful. BIG BAND NIGHT One night during the cruise the dance band and the theater bands were combined in the ballroom for a true big band. There are not any songs from the Maynard Ferguson or Stan Kenton playbooks, but they did a very good job on the classics. Although I was waiting to see a couple of heart attacks when they played Benny Goodman's very fast paced Sing, Sing, Sing and several 70-plus couples jumped onto the dance floor and kept up with the music. Everyone survived. STAGE ENTERTAINMENT: The ship's shows were average at best. The passenger list was led by Americans followed by Brits. But of the total the folks from the UK were probably 35-percent of the ship's passengers. You would not have known that from the fly-in entertainers. They were mostly British and were telling enough local jokes to lose most of the audience. Also I'm getting tired of comics who make fun of cruise ships, passengers and staff. I really don't enjoy paying for a cruise only to have the cruise line bring someone aboard to make fun of me. One complaint we heard from fellow passengers who had been on several legs of the cruise was how the entertainment began to repeat itself including guest entertainers. "Please let us see someone different" was their complaint. When they are booking large amounts of Americans they might be wise to add an American or two into the entertainment mix. THANK YOU...THANK YOU...THANK YOU: The QE was the first ship I have been on where the casino is smoke free. No more walks to the theater only to arrive reeking of cigarette smoke. Also the QE does not force you to wind through the casino. I was greatly appreciated. NIGHTLY MUSIC: The Commodore's Club on Deck11 is the most sophisticated "top of the ship" lounge I have ever seen. No bright colors and low furniture. This place really made you feel as if you were in a private club. Plus there was plenty of service. It was never annoying, but if you wanted something there was wait staff there to take your order. Perhaps the best part of this room was the musician at the piano. Graham Wellard during the early evening pre dinner times before 8:30 played wonderful songs from the "American Songbook" plus others from familiar composers of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Rodgers and Hart, Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern to songs from obscure Blossom Dearie albums made 50 years ago. The best part of enjoying Wellard was after dinner when he also sang. The number of songs with music and words this guy has committed to memory is very impressive. He was without a doubt the best performer doing "a single" act on the ship. The four women from the Ukraine playing as the EOS String Quartet were also very good. Unlike other string quartets I have seen on other cruise ships, the played the hits...the Classical Top 100...the pieces that most people recognized. They also mixed in arrangements of Broadway hits and some standards from the 40s and 50s. People who walked by or sat and listened could not help but have a smile on their face. Pianist Edward Watts also had a nice touch and a great smile. Actually the guy from London almost looks like a young Hugh Grant. He would play in mid ships area, at teas and in the dining rooms. The only negative observation about Watts was that due to his lack of songs he would play one song for 10 minutes. This ship had at least five pianos. I'm talking real life pianos and not the electronic Grand Slam models found on HAL ships. You open a piano on a Cunard ship and you find strings and not a storage area for prizes for Name That Tune contests. SOUR NOTE: The only negative thing to report from the ship's music department was pianist Robin Rose who was manning the 88 keys in the Golden Lion Pub. It was not that he couldn't play, but if the crowd was thin in the pub, he would quit playing and go have a pint with the customers. One night I was sitting at a large table with Aussies. The late night trivia game had just ended. The ship schedule showed Rose was supposed to play from "midnight until late." Rose arrived and one person said, "Good now we can hear some tunes." "No I just picking up my stuff there is no one here to play for," said Rose. "But the schedule says you are playing again at midnight," said a customer who had just ordered a drink. "There is nobody here," said Rose. "There is the six of us," someone else said. "Are you all going to be buying drinks," asked Rose as he picked up his belongings and left. I have never heard a cruise ship entertainer be so rude to customers. The cruise lines like to calls us "guests" but in reality we are paying customers. TOURS: The one area where Cunard is just like other cruise lines are their tours. They are always overpriced! We were able to walk a couple blocks away from the docks and find a taxi driver who would take us on great tours off the meter. My usual request to the driver is to take me where I will not see any tourists." Even at $100 or $120 for two or three hours, the per person rate is always cheaper than a ship's tour and more interesting. ACTIVITIES 2: They had lots of activities on sea days, even if most were geared to old people. The speaker series was actually quite good. The trivia or quiz contests were clearly geared toward Brits. Most Americans are not going to get the answer to the question, "Which London Underground line does not stop in Zone-One?" Englishman Michael Jackson and Laura of the cruise director's staff were just great and a lot of fun, regardless what activity they were hosting. NOT PLAYING TO YOUR CUSTOMER BASE: The first weekend of the cruise the Lions Pub TVs were all on the Premier English Football games. But with a ship of more Americans than any other nationality, the staff let down both the customers and Cunard when four days later they did not show any of the all-day first-round of the NCAA college basketball tournament. This pub would have been full all day selling lots of beverages to American college basketball fans. When I mentioned this to the staff they said they had never heard of the NCAA basketball tournament. This was simply poor planning by the staff. (The games were available on satellite TV received by the ship.) The other area of the staff not knowing the customers was one I see regularly on cruise ships. This ship had a large number of people between the ages of 70 and 85. They had a "Name that Tune" contest one evening. The least popular member of the cruise director staff, Tommie Hill, who was usually the least prepared, did what you see often. Tommie thought rock songs from the 90s or 1985 were ancient and perfect for the old people. However the older people wanted to hear songs by Vera Lynn or from Oklahoma, South Pacific or My Fair Lady. Something by Z.Z. Top left them with confused and disgusted looks on their faces. LIBRARY: This ship had a library consisting of over 6,000 books located on two different decks. It was the most books I have ever seen on a cruise ship. INTERNET SERVICE: Okay, the internet service was slow like on most cruise ships, but it seemed to be a little faster than on my last four cruises. FRONT DESK: You don't normally notice the front desk service, but I did on this cruise. No matter how frustrating the four prior customers might have been, the front desk staff were excellent. Most of the also appeared to be from England. CONGRESS AND CUNARD RUINED MY TRIP HOME: With the slow down for Federal services during the sequester, we found ourselves victims of Congress and Cunard. We had a 10:45 flight from the nearby Ft. Lauderdale airport. A five-to-10 minute cab ride away. We were promised we would be off between 8:30 and 9am. Only one custom agent showed up at 7:30 to clear the ship. That agent was joined by two more by 9am. This was Congress' doing. However Cunard did not allow us customers with morning air flights off first. No...they let passengers who were continuing on to New York or Southampton and who paid for a "ship's tour" off first. They put a few extra bucks in their pocket while leaving a bad taste in the month of customers disembarking from the cruise. The captain's apology over the loudspeaker sounded great until you realized that you missed your flight because people with $45 transfers to a shopping center were getting off before you. We missed our flight and got separated from our luggage. Even with this issue...I have to say I was spoiled. I will start looking for destination and sale prices first with Cunard in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2013
The Queen Victoria is the smaller version of Cunard style than the Queen Mary 2. The ship is simpler in design. The public rooms on deck two and three are located on one corridor that runs the length of the ship. Most of these bars and ... Read More
The Queen Victoria is the smaller version of Cunard style than the Queen Mary 2. The ship is simpler in design. The public rooms on deck two and three are located on one corridor that runs the length of the ship. Most of these bars and entertainment venues are open to the hall making them less private. The food was mediocre. The food in Britannia is "dumbed down." The portions are now nouvelle cuisine size. The sauces are less refined and sugar based. There is a vast difference in food from just two years ago. The Lido restaurant is adequate for main courses but the side dishes were mainly potato based. This is not the place to try to be on a healthy cruise. This is not the place for someone with special food needs. The Lido pastries were seriously lacking. Most desserts were gelatin based. They actually had Jello in different colors available. The entertainment is similar to the Queen Mary 2 but less extravagant. There were few classical concerts. There was a Russian pianist who was excellent. It was shame that she played in the Queens Room on a seriously out of tune piano which was amplified. This exaggerated the inadequate piano even more. Attendance is always sparse for classical concerts aboard Cunard. The poor state of the equipment even made me stay away after two concerts. There was a comedic cello concert with the Cunard band. This seemed to be English schtick similar to Heny Youngman which is out of style in the US but much enjoyed by the packed house here. I found it painful. The lecturers were excellent, as usual. There were lectures on the environment, art, history and local cultures. The lecturers are always well educated, enlightening and entertaining. The outdoor pool area was packed in good weather. It was well attended by the leather skinned crowd and the pale trying to find warmth on this winter cruise. There does not seem to be an indoor pool except for a small soaking pool in the spa which was usually empty. That pool is visible through large windows on the way to the Lido food areas. The Queen Victoria is an excellent ship for someone who does not want to maneuver around a huge ship, such as the Queen Mary 2. The layout is simpler and easy to get around. The people on the Queen Victoria world cruise segment were more cruise savvy than the average Transatlantic passenger. They dressed better but still casually in the daytime. They looked comfortable even in their formal clothing at night. The Captain, Inger Klein Olsen, is an absolute delight. She is a warm, genuine person who confidently controls the ship while being engaging with the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
Great cruise on the QV from New York to San Francisco. PROS: - Fast embarkation in New York, since times were staggered and many had boarded in Southampton - Very comfortable, quiet, well furnished cabin with king bed, love seat and ... Read More
Great cruise on the QV from New York to San Francisco. PROS: - Fast embarkation in New York, since times were staggered and many had boarded in Southampton - Very comfortable, quiet, well furnished cabin with king bed, love seat and 3 closets on Deck 4. Had outside obstructed view cabin. View was only partially blocked by a lifeboat, and was definitely worth the small extra amount of money over inside. Was cozy and perfect for one, but would recommend either a larger cabin on Deck 1 or a balcony cabin for two. - Overall excellent crew. The tone was set by the very professional captain - the first female captain in Cunard history. Pleasant steward (though somewhat shy), good waiters (especially Nitin), some great bartenders (especially Bojan, Quentin and Roger), and good photographer (Lucas). Would give special commendation to Dan, the guest artist who taught the water color classes, Carlo, the brilliant pianist and singer in the Commodore Club, Graham, the DJ in Hemispheres, and Libby, the Entertainment Director for many of the trivia contests. - Beautiful decor overall, with thankfully little glitz. The emphasis on the history of the line is very nice. - Large, well staffed and stocked library and bookstore, and good variety of lectures. As usual, Cunard places more of an emphasis on intellectual pursuits than standard cruise lines. - Excellent gym and spa, with prices in line with luxury hotels, especially with the myriad on board specials. The royal bathhouse with the hydrotherapy pool and various steam rooms was especially good on the five chiller days at sea. Nicola did a great job leading classes, Silvio was a great massage therapist, and Francesca did great a facial - all had a wonderful attitude as well. - Ship is very well laid out, with good passenger flow. Despite being full, the ship never seemed crowded. - Emphasis on thoughtful activities, such as fencing and ballroom dancing, and the obligatory trivia contests. - Pool areas rather quiet, with soft music. Only poolside live music was mid-day by one pool, so it was easy to relax, read and sleep, rather than having to listen to dreadful Jimmy Buffett and reggae music. - Food is average to good in the dining room. The spa choices and simpler dishes were the best bets. Portions are small, so helped with trying to lose weight during voyage. Breakfast was good, as they did a good kippers with runny poached eggs. The dining room is beautiful, as well. Lido was good for a buffet restaurant, especially good for Sunday English roast lunch and Asian buffet, though pastries were rather sad, and a larger variety of ice creams would be welcome. Todd English was good, though not well marketed and never crowded. Golden Lion is good for pub lunches, though packed at peak hours, and they do run out of popular items later. - Not as much of a constant hard sell or nickel and diming as on other lines, especially Celebrity. - Enforcement of dress codes in the dining room - formal night means just that, and casual night is a jacket with no tie. Nice seeing people properly dressed for a change. Those on Cunard usually understand this going into a voyage, and are happy to adhere to the code. Those who want to wear flip flops and cut offs have other lines to sail. - Intelligent, well mannered, interesting passengers for the most part. CONS (very few): - Stewards seemed to have a lot of cabins to service, so it was hard for them to do extras such as fold clothes left on the sofa. - Several employees with a bit of an attitude - one of the Indian waiters in the Golden Lion became a bit of a joke as the worst employee on the ship. One of the male staff at the pursers desk and one of the female staff at the photography shop could have done with some lessons in customer service. But the vast majority of crew had a good attitude. - Minor caveat here, but they need to tone down the florescent lighting the hallways. PORTS: Cunard ran a shuttle in Fort Lauderdale to and from the Galleria, which was well used and very welcome. General consensus was that one day in Jamaica was enough for a lifetime. Montego Bay was quite charmless, and there was a constant feeling of being hustled. The Doctors Cave Bathing Club was a nice respite with a good beach, but unfortunately was overrun with a lot of loud, overweight Carnival passengers. Cartagena was charming as usual, and almost everyone wanted more time there. Huatulco was a happy surprise - small and safe with beautiful beaches and a pleasant center (La Crucecita) - the safety aspect was especially good for the number of elderly passengers on board. The transit of the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip. Fascinating nine hour trip from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean - well worth doing at least once. SUMMARY: Would sail on the QV again in a second. Surprisingly, preferred it to the QM2. As spectacular as the QM2 is, the QV is better laid out and on a more intimate scale. The ship had the right balance - big but not too big, plenty of activities, but plenty of quiet spaces. Well done Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
This review is going to be fairly long to cover all points we wish to make. We booked direct with Cunard who were then and up to leaving from UK very helpful. At LAX we were kept waiting for over 90 minutes after going through ... Read More
This review is going to be fairly long to cover all points we wish to make. We booked direct with Cunard who were then and up to leaving from UK very helpful. At LAX we were kept waiting for over 90 minutes after going through immigration and collecting our luggage for a coach to take us to our hotel. The Cunard staff did not inform us why until several of us got fed up with waiting and some decided to make their own way to hotel. Hotel was 1st class and attached to Kodak theatre which had held the Oscars the previous night. We expected Holywood Bvd to be a nice upmarket area but found that it was run down with many empty shops & cracked pavements which were easy to trip over. We were due to leave hotel at 1pm and when we asked to Cunard staff if we would be in time for lunch was told that by the time we got on it would be finished due to the traffic and time to get through check in. 2.30pm we were sat in The Lido having lunch. (thank goodness we had got away from Cunard's USA staff). After lunch it was to the cabin to unpack. Yes our cases were there. We had an A4 balcony that was lovely. The bathroom was small with only a shower. On our previous cruise with H&A whilst packing I pulled the sofa out to see if anything had fallen behind and was amazed that that area had not been cleaned for many months. One of the first things I did in this cabin was to look behind sofa which was clean. We ate breakfast & lunch in The Lido every day and dinner in The Britannia Restaurant. The Lido was fine with a good selection. The Britannia was excellent in all ways. One evening I did send my steak back as too tough and it was replaced without question. Every evening on arriving at our table we were greeted by our waiters by name and the wine waiter was over with our drinks without having to order. The ship is in excellent condition I mention this as some people in their reviews have complained. All I can say is that ever day the crew were cleaning & painting the outside and on 2 occasions we found Crew members on their knees scrapping the dirt up from where the wall meets the carpet and obviously the vacuum cleaner cant get in there. Entertainment was very good, maybe not as good as some ships that go in for more of the west end type shows but we had some great acts.Throughout the ship there were musicians playing a variety of instruments every day. The dancing in The Ballroom was very entertaining probably because we were lucky enough to have several Asian couples who were very good and seemed to be in competition with each other, however the final dance competition was won by a couple in their seventies doing the jive. This ship is not big looking at some of the vessels having been produced recently but due to the number of guests there is always somewhere to sit and relax. Alternatively you can wander the public spaces and look at the many interesting things to see or read. The staff were very friendly and helpful except the pursers or reception. We were enjoying the cruise so much we asked if we could stay on to Southampton as we were due to leave in New York. We had been told other people had been asked if they wanted to stay on. We went 3 times each time seeing a different person and each time being told they would get back to us. The didn't. After again asking we were told to do and see the cruise sales department who told us that as we were already on a cruise it was not their job but would get someone to get back to us. They didn't. This is the only complaint we have with Queen Victoria. The ports of call were Manzanillo Mexico. Went on organised trip waste of money.Wont be going back. Huatulco Mexico nice little port but not very interesting. Wont be going back. Puntarenas Costa Rica. went on organised trip called forest tree top walk. We were taken to this place where the only wild life found was a group of ants moving leaves. the tree top walk was over 3 bridges about 20 metres above gulley's no where near the tree tops. The highlight of the day was seeing around 15 crocodiles on a mud bank. Wont be going back to this side but I hear the Caribbean side is worth a visit. Then on to The Panama Canal. Great day, it took around 7 hours from one end to the other and it was very interesting. We then had a half day in Cartagena Columbia. What a beautiful old town and could have spent more time here. Be happy to go back. Aruba again organised tour interesting but we wont be going back. St Thomas USVI. Picked up local tour bus at port. 3 hour tour round this typical Caribbean island would be happy to go back. Finally our table guests who were 4 Americans were good company but 2 of them kept on about how Queen Mary is so much better in terms of ride, food, entertainment and service. So I guess that's the ship we will have to go on next time. We hope you find this useful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2012
we booked a package holiday with a Internet cruise company. we had a flight from Manchester to Las Vegas - the fight was very good as it was not full, Our daughter has a friend who is an air hostess on the route from Manchester to Las ... Read More
we booked a package holiday with a Internet cruise company. we had a flight from Manchester to Las Vegas - the fight was very good as it was not full, Our daughter has a friend who is an air hostess on the route from Manchester to Las Vegas and she arranged special treatment for us, Champs and chocolates and as the flight was not fully booked we had extra seat room were we could lie down and get some sleep. On arrival at LV we did have a slight problem with the transport to the hotel, first we had to go from one terminal to another to get to the mini bus that was to take us from the airport to the hotel, this did cause a problem as we were the last off, but when we got to the hotel the Venetian and we looked at the room we were lost for words as it was massive, we had three TV and two telephones a TV in the bathroom and a telephone in the toilet. LV is a city that never sleeps there is so much to see and do it is fantastic. On leaving LV we flew to Los Angeles as the flight was full we did not sit together but it was only about 1 hour, when we got to LA airport our only hiccup of the holiday occurred the transport to our hotel it took over an hour to get the transport to pick us up first of all, when we got to the hotel it was not what we expected The Crowne Plaza Beverly hills, certainly not 5 star we would only say 2 star. Our time in LA was well spent on organised tour around the city but as it was the Oscar weekend we could not get to Hollywood Drive, dut overall LA was great. The transport arranged to the cruise terminal was by private luminous and it got us there with about 15 mins before embarkation. We were shown to the grills waiting lounge where we could have had hot drinks if required. we boarded the ship at about 12.15 and went straight to our stateroom, well we could not believe it the size was enormous we had a separate bathroom ans shower from the washroom and toilet,we had more wardroom space than we needed, the living area was also very big and on the balcony we had a table 2 chairs and 2 sunbeds. What can one say about the Queens Grill dining room, the waiters were so attentive you only had to ask for something and it was at your table straight a way, The Metre D he was a perfect gentleman and the head waiter you could not fault him. the food in the grills - we had a different lunch and dinner menu each day and in addition we also had an AL a ca rte dinner menu which was supurd. In the grills lounge you could get hot drinks all day long if required and on the seating area on the deck you could always get a sunbed no matter what time of the day The entertainment on the ship was varied and the Cunard singers and dancer were brilliant, throughout the ship there was entertainment going on all day long, the daily lectures when the ship was not in port were excellent. During the day when at sea there was so much todo, bridge, golf shuffle board dancing lessons, to name a few It was our first time in the grills accommodation and we have said that it is the only way to travel, and we will be looking for our next cruise in this type of accommodation. The only problem we have with Cunard is there pricing structure they say book early to get the best deals, but when you do yes you get the pick of your cabin but later on you could get the next cabin to yours with a price a lot less and an amount of on board spend, Please Cunard help your loyal customers and if people book early and you then reduce the price please give the customer a refund, other wise you will lose customers Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We did the Panama Explorer voyage on Queen Victoria.The past few trips we've done the Grills. Our T/A booked us a "wheelchair room. It was larger than a Princess suite. We were offered a P-2 suite. It was not a free upgrade. On ... Read More
We did the Panama Explorer voyage on Queen Victoria.The past few trips we've done the Grills. Our T/A booked us a "wheelchair room. It was larger than a Princess suite. We were offered a P-2 suite. It was not a free upgrade. On checking the P-suite..It was more luxurious(as it should be)but smaller in size. The fact that the shower head was on a cord(in the wheelchair room) was a nice feature as well. I didn't expect the same service or quality, but still got a very good vacation. First off this ship is what I call the 65% ship. I mean that in comparing it to the QM2, which is what we've travelled on in the past. This ship is a "Vista" class cruise ship. It definitely tosses about in even rather minor seas.The interior is tastefully done in "Edwardian" style. There is much tasteful use of wood(veneers,& trim, mostly)and a nice amount of nice quality granite. It was more of a luxurious feel than most of the QM2. The carpets, however were a bit of a letdown, as they didn't have that rich feel of QM2.Overall, the ship is very easy to get around. No real crowding, even though it was full. Now for the food...The Lido had pretty good quality, better than Kings Court. Only real issue, is that folks enter from both sides & it can really jam up. This is an easy fix.At night the Lido(on one side)converts to Bamboo(Asian)Coriander(Indian)& Prime(American/Fusion)It goes for 3 nights as each mentioned restaurant. There is a $10 fee. The food here was easily better than Britannia.The night in Bamboo was, in my opinion our best meal aboard. Britannia(first seating)Food was generally good to at times bordering on excellent. The Salmon was outstanding.There were 2 nights that weren't as good..one was when the pork loin was rather tough(still good flavor)The other was the celebrated "Top dinner night", when the chefs do their(I think corny)parade. I had the Lobster Thermidor. They used the inferior "Rock Lobster" from the Caribbean. In the Grills you get American/Canadian(the good stuff)The portion was minuscule, to say the least.I should have asked for 2 servings. Entertainment..The orchestra was much smaller & less quality than QM2. Shows were OK, but not a strong point. The singers & comedians we had seen on QM2, so they were fine. It's obvious the budgets here are less than QM2(and it shows)Lots of great dancing in the Queens Room. If you like ballroom dancing, Cunard is the way to go! Panama Canal: It was excellent to see this engineering marvel.We went through 3 locks. They raise you up about 90 feet to Lake Galut. We didn't stop, but cruised about the large lake. It was full of vessels going in & out.You could see off to the side the new set of locks being built for ships the size of the QM2. It should be complete in a few more years. My only real negatives were the embarkation. They need to tell Priority members(Grill/Platinum/Diamond)that they do not have to wait in the terminal. We knew this from the last time we were here,but there's much confusion. The other issue, is the amount of Floridians(retired New Yorkers,actually)These were for the most part, a real group of totally classless people. They dressed well, but were amazingly rude.They'd cut you in line & give you the dirty look etc.Just totally rude to much of the staff. I did admonish several on their behavior.Some who know me, know I won't take this type of behavior lying down. I don't know how many times I had to apologise to staff for these ignoramuses. Our friend, Liz, who travelled with us noticed this as well & commented it was nowhere near this bad last year on QM2. It seems the "round trip" voyages from Ft. Lauderdale bring these types aboard. Money certainly can't buy class.A real shame! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to read my review. This is my 31st cruise & second on Cunard. The first was in 1995, Alaska, so it was time to cruise with them again. Cunard was all I had hoped it would be, and more! I was hoping ... Read More
Hi! Thank you for taking the time to read my review. This is my 31st cruise & second on Cunard. The first was in 1995, Alaska, so it was time to cruise with them again. Cunard was all I had hoped it would be, and more! I was hoping the ship would be a bit more classy then, Holland America's Noordam, & it was. I was hoping the food would be a bit better then all the other mid level cruises I have taken, and it was. And I was hoping the staff would be even more friendly and smiling then others,and they were! A +++ to Cunard! We had an informal meeting of our Cruise Critic group on the first day at sea. We met in the Commodore Club at 11:30 AM. Everyone was wonderful! We enjoyed going around the room, and telling a bit about ourselves. It's wonderful to know you have built in friends and a support group on board! Yay! To Cruise Critic for this great service. This could get long, so I will try to shorten it a bit. Food: We ate in the Britannia Dining room for dinner 7 of the 11 nights. The food was always hot, and served extremely promptly, as we had a table for two. I was surprised at how many tables for two there were. We loved this! The head waitress was exceptional. Her name is Mihaela. I told her I had missed the scallops and she had a special meal made just for me that was not on the menu. It was fantastic. The 4 nights we didn't go to the dinning room we went to the starboard side of the lido which as a 10.00 charge for alternative dining. Bamboo(Asian) is a choice, Coriander(Indian)& Prime(American/Fusion)are offered for 3 nights each. All fantastic, all GREAT service. We wrote in healthy tips, as it was well worth it! Our favorite was the Prime night, with fillets and breaded lobster bites. We also stayed in and had room service one night. They came within 20 minutes every time we called them. The Tempura turkey burger is not to be missed! The only disappointing area was high(afternoon) tea. We were looking forward to this so much too! We even brought dressy clothes for tea. Cunard allowed shorts and sandals which I was not happy about. They also did not give you a choice for tea. All the tea was already brewed and was English Breakfast tea only. The mini sandwiches were uninteresting and thin, as were the pasties. D minus! We were in cabin 4180. It was fantastic. It has a double size balcony. We had two lay down chairs on it, three sit up chairs, and a table. There was still plenty of room for walking! Ports: We went to St Thomas, 4th time there, Antigua 3rd time there, Grenada first time there and Bonaire 24th day there. Also went through the Panama canal into Gatun Lake and out. Several things to say about each one. But, maybe too much to type. If you want more info, free free to email me. I'm Natasha708@aol.com Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
This was my first QV trip although I am a Diamond Cunard World Club member. In the recent past most of my Cunard trips have been on QM2. I was extremely satisfied with this QV experience and found that it was in most respects superior to ... Read More
This was my first QV trip although I am a Diamond Cunard World Club member. In the recent past most of my Cunard trips have been on QM2. I was extremely satisfied with this QV experience and found that it was in most respects superior to QM especially is the areas of food and service. The ship is beautiful, and although full handled the crowds well with many small spaces to "get away", read etc. The decor is beautiful, mostly in a Victorian fashion, with much Cunard memorabilia etc. On this trip Americans were a minority being outnumbered by citizens of the "British empire", along with French, Japanese, Chinese etc. Embarkation was easy, cabins ready when we got aboard, early luggage delivery, very comfortable staterooms, with the exception of an overly small bath and limited shelf storage for belongings. Food in the Britannia Dining Room was excellent as was service. As an American I wished that there were fewer formal nights - 4, and that "elegant casual" didn't mean "suitcoat required"; however others dress up more than we. I must say that very few attempted to violate the evening dress code and they were shunted off to the Lido. The trip thru the Canal was fine, Pacific ports in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cost Rica and Mexico were as they always are - which is to say "not much"; however most people were there for the Canal passage, I was there for the extensive "sea days" and a beautiful ship. We arrived at Los Angeles on time and as so often happens ran into difficulties with our overly aggressive ICE personnel who refused to clear the ship until many were delayed in their transfers etc. O well - you learn to expect it with ICE. A very enjoyable trip with Cunard; however unfortunately neither QV nor QE will be making hardly any cruises from US ports in 2012-13. Too bad. Read Less
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