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4 Cunard Rio de Janeiro Cruise Reviews

Desire to visit the listed countries in South America and good experience in the past with Cunard . Cunard and imagine cruises got my name wrong and despite numerous attempt to correct this up to 6 weeks before the trip commenced. ... Read More
Desire to visit the listed countries in South America and good experience in the past with Cunard . Cunard and imagine cruises got my name wrong and despite numerous attempt to correct this up to 6 weeks before the trip commenced. Air tickets Transfers etc. We're all issued in the wrong name. Hence I'm having difficulty claiming my frequent flyer points with B.A. And other connected airlines. The name was corrected on the site but didn't get through anywhere else??? Boarding in Rio was hell . Confusion everywhere . The guide left us in a bus garage ! We were very disappointed with the food and service in the Britannia restaurant. We were on the Queen Victoria 8 years ago and were very impressed with the excellent standard of food presented everywhere , particularly in the restaurant. However we finally gave up and chose to pay to dine in The Verandah which served the standard of food and service we had experienced in precious cruises including the Queen Mary just one year ago, we also dined in La Piazza which was very average . We were and are not alone in our commentary . Everyone we spoke to who had sailed with Cunard previously felt the same I.e. That the standard had dropped enormously. Some will never travel with Cunard again . I found it extraordinary that few spoke up about this when we had the opportunity to do so . However they won't be back, In addition some of the guides onshore were truly dreadful . The staff in the travel section were pretty average . Again compared to previous cruises. The cabin crew and Purser's staff were very good and of the same standard we had found previously. There's no doubt economy is in the air but I truly believe it's 'short term gain and long term pain' the amount of custom they have lost must be enormous. Still perhaps they're looking at a different clientele . Who knows. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
What a difference a year makes. Early 2016, Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, great cruise, great service, could not wait to book a cruise on this vessel for 2017. Early 2017 Rio to Valparaiso. ... Read More
What a difference a year makes. Early 2016, Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, great cruise, great service, could not wait to book a cruise on this vessel for 2017. Early 2017 Rio to Valparaiso. Apart from being on the same vessel just about everything else was just plain bad. It started in Rio, took three hours to check in and the chaos had to be seen to be believed. No Cunard staff to be found when we turned up, were given a number and told to go sit by Cunard appointed ground crew and we just sat. Finally movement, the crowd moved as one towards the single entry point, which created more chaos as people with the wrong numbers were turned away. Line jumping was rampant and the few Cunard personnel that were now standing behind the desk just let it happen making those that were trying to remain orderly more angry than they already were. Finally we were on board, and found our way to our cabin. Standard balcony on deck 7. No surprises, we had been here before and everything in the cabin was fine. Booked a Britannia first sitting table for 6, received a table for 10, company was fine, but the Britannia room first sitting was far from full and we could so easily have been allocated our preferred dining sitting. The Britannia dining experience was an experience for all the wrong reasons. It was obvious to us the bean counters (aka accountants) had taken control of the kitchen both in food quality and quantity. At times the serving team was very embarrassed to be serving up such miniscule portions. Not a day went by when food was not left on plates around our table and even though the serving staff enquired as to why we were leaving food, we were just too polite to let them know the real truth. Food in the Lido was no better, bland, poorly cooked and just plain and tasteless most of the time. Service in the Lido just about non-existent, with poor table clean up and the best way to get new cutlery was to go and get it yourself. Our only tour booked was to see the Penguins in Puntas Arenas. Yes the weather was iffy, but fine and sunny with a breeze blowing but far from what could be considered dangerous. Due to late arrival our tour departure time was changed, but we turned up on schedule and left for the short trip to shore ten minutes late. On shore there was no one to tell us where to go, but sheeplike we all followed each other and found our appropriate coach number and boarded. The coach left the dock area and our tour guide started to tell us of what we were going to see. In mid-sentence he stopped, told us the trip had been cancelled and we were going back to the port area. We arrived back, no Cunard people in sight and were left to work out what to do next. We chose to amble around the town. To this day we have not heard from Cunard as to why the trip was cancelled, or received an apology or any other acknowledgement apart from a curt letter in our room that night telling us our trip payment had been refunded to our credit card. (and even that had a difference of $20.00, I suppose for credit card fees etc. going against us) Could things get worse after the chaos in Rio, yes they could, try getting off in Valparaiso? The vessel arrived 4 hours late, but several time the Commodore announced the vessel would still be leaving on time that evening, I guess nothing stops a Queen from leaving on time. We were told via announcements that general departure from the vessel would be about 30 minutes behind schedule, it wasn’t. We sat with about 1000 other passenger trying to depart and waited, and waited. Then it was our turn to slowly make our way through the chaos to the departure point, wait for a bus to take us to the terminal and then wait inside the terminal for our baggage to arrive. Finally our bags arrived, brought out on airport style luggage trollies, about 4 bags at a time. We left the departure area glad to be away from the Cunard fiasco. So what has gone wrong with Cunard? Food quality, portions and service deteriorated to unbelievable levels in just a year. This factor alone was the talk of the vessel. Can’t see us lining up for another Cunard cruise. Cabin steward great. Entertainment, good some nights, dull and boring other nights. Speakers really good and interesting, perhaps the best part of the cruise. First time we have ever removed gratuities from a shipboard account and just gave to those that we thought deserved. And we know we weren’t the only one to do that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise so we could see the Magellan Straits from our balcony (even chose starboard side to make sure of the best view) and the ship sailed through the Straits in the dead of night! That was disappointing, but cruising by ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could see the Magellan Straits from our balcony (even chose starboard side to make sure of the best view) and the ship sailed through the Straits in the dead of night! That was disappointing, but cruising by the islands and coast of the deep south of Chile, glaciers and all, almost made up for it. Service on board was amazing. Cruise lines -- and not just Cunard -- owe a great deal to their Filipino staff. They are friendly without being over-friendly. They remember your name and your likes and dislikes. Our lovely cabin steward soon realized that we liked to leave the bathroom light on, and left it that way. He learned our hours, so the cabin was always made up when we returned from breakfast. Food in the Britannia was the best of all the three Queens. Not so marvelous in the Lido buffet, but eating in the main restaurant was always a pleasure. The duck liver pate and the roast breast of duck were divine. Again, wonderful service. We never had to choose bread or order dessert and tea, as the waiters knew what we liked from the first day. The lectures and entertainment on the Queen Victoria were not up to the standard of the other Queens. Apart from Mike Gibson's lecture on Eva Peron, which was wonderful, the presentations were awkward. The Royal Court orchestra is wonderful. The dancers and singers did their absolute best, but they were obviously working at it. It made you feel tired, rather than uplifted. The costume designer is amazing, as is the stage management. Changes of costume were very deftly done. The cabin was the same design as on Queen Elizabeth, but much more annoying. On the QE, the full length mirror is on the outside of the wardrobe. On the QV, it is stuck on the inside of the door. Every time you want to check your dress, the door swings back at you. It is very dark by the wardrobes, too. And the wall at the end of the bed has no pictures. It made for a very boring and annoying cabin. But it was kept spick and span Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
After a shaky start boarding at Rio we finally boarded around 2p.m. It would have been nice to be given champagne or escorted to cabin, but i appreciate this is difficult on such a large ship. First impression was that everything seemed ... Read More
After a shaky start boarding at Rio we finally boarded around 2p.m. It would have been nice to be given champagne or escorted to cabin, but i appreciate this is difficult on such a large ship. First impression was that everything seemed very clean the staff friendly that despite the fact we had 3 sharing a cabin -- was big enough with plenty of wardrobe space. We had Britannia restaurant and had the most wonderful American couple as dinner companions. I know we were very lucky having listened to the moans of others! Our waiters Robert and Ivan couldn't do enough for us. The fist meal went down a treat. Our first day was at sea, a bit choppy now and then but o.k. We explored the ship, went to a very funny lecture by A. McCall smith (Ladies No.1 Detective Agency), enjoyed the planetarium and put in details for the trips we wanted to go on. Due to the problems QM2 had earlier in the voyage (pod being damaged) our stay at Montevideo was cut short by a day. Getting off was easy. We chose to walk around on our own, but others that went on trips said they had a good time. We actually sailed in the very early hours of the morning. We also visited Puerto Montt, Ushia and Port Arenas. We went on organised trips for the most part and they were all excellent. Going round the Horn was definitely a highlight and although it was rough, it added to the excitement. We were each given a certificate to say we had sailed the Horn. We also visited the Pio V1 glacier which was fantastic. There was a real mixture of people onboard, mostly avid cruisers, some first timers ages varied but i would say mainly 65 and over, although some like us were under 55. There were a few families with small children, but not many and I only remember seeing one teenager. Personally I thought the ship was lovely, kept in beautiful condition inside and out. There were enormous displays of fresh flowers, all the tables had fresh flowers on them. the only time it felt crowed were during disembarkation for trips and after the shows, other than that you could always find a room or space with no one else around if you wanted to. The Library was better stocked than our local library at home, so you don't need to pack books. The King's Court did get crowded and sometimes a little frustrating, but we always found a table, you just need to walk a little way. The selection and quality of food was always first class. The chef's galley at lunchtime did fresh hot dogs and burgers plus sandwiches, was never crowded so makes a good choice. The Britannia at lunchtime was also a good choice, you can chose to sit with others or on your own. Throughout the cruise the food was fantastic, i am a vegetarian and they offered me a separate menu or said I could order from the main menu minus meat. I couldn't fault the food or the service. We ordered extras -- had soup instead of dessert, etc nothing was too much trouble, and the food was always hot,  even in self-service. If i had a negative it would be that the entertainment wasn't quite up to the mark. There were only 2 production-type shows and the rest ere mainly solo artists asked to do a 45 minute slot, a flautist was on 3 nights in a row, once on her own and twice for 15 minutes as support act for others. Also some of the enrichment talks had boring and not very competent guests, others thought the same..The quizzes were also very alike, geography for 2 days and then a mixture. We asked if there were ever any music quizzes and were told these had already been done in the first part of the cruise....come on guys sort it court and have a variety....only little niggles though. Generally I would give the ship 5 stars for cleanliness, food, staff, etc. perhaps 3 stars for entertainment. The Queens room does get very crowded on ball nights, and stays that way until it closes. Before I go if you only do it once have afternoon tea...it's simply lovely and the scones are to die for!! We did appreciate the fact there were very few announcements. We spent ages choosing evening wear, but despite the info in the brochure, the men could have got away with evening or dark suit and one other change, we had most informal nights--  men had to wear collared shirt (no tie) and the ladies skirts/slacks etc. Despite the moans and groans of others... one woman at the airport told me it was the worst cruise/holiday she had ever had and one of her complaints was the sheets hadn't been changed for 3 days...well, I don't think that matters and as for people saying the quality and lack of choice for food, I would love to know where they eat all the time?! In our opinion, it was better than Celebrity for overall ship and food and a little under for entertainment. definitely better than Royal Caribbean. I guess its all down to personal choice but we would say go and enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
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