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159 Cunard Romantic Cruise Reviews

After being on the regular cruise ships so many times I’ve decided to try a voyage on the only existing ocean liner, the famous Queen Mary2… Generally speaking, I liked the food, service and the atmosphere on this ship as being very ... Read More
After being on the regular cruise ships so many times I’ve decided to try a voyage on the only existing ocean liner, the famous Queen Mary2… Generally speaking, I liked the food, service and the atmosphere on this ship as being very quiet and kind of old fashion as opposite to the circus like, “bells and whistle” things going on aboard the other mega-passenger ships. However, I was really disappointed to see certain lack of proper maintenance done to this ship, that bear the name of queen and ultimately it has been acclaimed the pinnacle of luxury at sea… Below is the list of some of the problems Ive noticed during my vac trip (Canada/ New England, Sept 1-8, 2019). In addition, as “a picture is worth a thousand words” Im posting some photos as well. Hopefully, it will motivate the Cunard’s management to fix whatever needs to be fixed or improved… 1.The curtains in the main-grand “Britannia Restaurant” were dirty - really dirty and ripped off in clearly visible spots. It was truly unbelievable - after all, people wearing their best outfits, night gowns and tuxedos coming there and ultimately sitting beside those dirty curtains… 2.Lots of rust visible on the Deck 7th (Promenade), especially around the lifeboat’s davits. Also, lots of rust and pilling off paint can be seen on the ship’s hull, at the water line near the side door-platform where all the tenders dock whenever passengers go ashore – it really hits the eyes. 3.The carpet in all passenger cabin’s hallways look quite tired/ faded out of colors – unsymmetrical design of the patterns gives impression that one side of the carpet (plain-gray in color) is constantly dirty/ stained. Who has designed it - really?! 4.The black carpet/ floor-mat at the staircase’s exit, near one of the wooden door on the Sun Deck, (“Boardwalk Café” area) was literally sticky of old dirt and stains of drinks and residue of the “fingers’ food”. 5.The heavy wooden door leading to the “Boardwalk Café” was covered with a large mold-water stain at its bottom – fresh coat of varnish needed badly. 6.The tarp covers of some extra deck’s chairs stored on the Sun and Aft Decks were very dirty, dusty with some blackish residue on them – a simple power wash/ spray would do the trick with cleaning it and making looking in top shape – otherwise its true an eye’s sore, especially that its located on the “lounging decks”. 7.The most of the exit doors on the Deck 7th (Promenade) is the wooden-old fashion swing doors that are very heavy to open and all of them slams terribly loud whenever closing. All senior passengers had problem to use them as lots of strength/ push was needed to deal with those doors, especially on the windy days. 8. The illumination of the massive neon-sign/ marquee “Queen Mary 2” on the Sun Deck – was never turned on. It seems like its permanently out of order. Actually, the ship doesn’t have any illumination that might emphasise her beauty, even the side-flood halogen lights on the Deck 7th, near the life boats were always off. This grand ship’s silhouette was always in darkness at the night – so pity. 9. On occasions, when the ship was in the port, a special security warning banner “Keep away from the ship” was hanged out on Deck 7th. This banner was old, badly damaged by wind, ripped off all around – it looked like a piece of rug hanging from the ship. It was really quite shabby accent to the look of the ship. 10. The crew - not so friendly, not so courteous…On many occasions, I experienced crew members passing me without exchanging any greetings, smiles or even friendly eye’s contact, which is rather very unusual on the other cruise ships… Also, it was quite striking that some of the “entertainers aboard” (e. g. the reggae music band) were dressed very casual while on the stage… plain t-shirts, unmatched pants and tight leggings along with simple running shoes don’t seem like the right outfit for the performer on the “Queen Mary2”, even when the playing music is reggae. More finesse, glamour and good taste would be appreciated. Well, honestly the above list could go on and on, but I don’t want to sound too petty... All the above problems could be eventually excusable and tolerated on the other ships, but the title of the “ROYAL-FLAG SHIP” (!) of the oldest LUXURY cruise line should obligate and comes with certain responsibility in maintaining high standards, not only strictly about service aboard, but also about the appearance of the ship - it seems like this doesn’t mean much to the Cunard these days... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our stateroom was not to the standard we had been accustomed to aboard other cruise ships. The room was very small and the bathroom tiny. A refurb is very much needed. The carpet was badly stained and there was masking tape all around the interconnecting door. We mentioned this to our steward who promptly removed it. Then we found out why it had been placed there - when the people in the cabin next to us opened their balcony door half a hurricane come through and a high pitch whistling noise accompanied it. Drinks on board were exceptionally expensive and the whole tipping policy has to be looked at as it clearly does not work from a service users prospective. Food was very tasty in the main restaurant but often the portions were small. Trying to obtain drinks in the restaurant was so bad that we resorted to purchasing drinks in the bars first and taking them into the restaurant with us. Everything onboard ship was geared up for the over 70s, so much so that on this transatlantic crossing of 7days we were bored. Shopping was very poor and the entertainment was awful. We have always looked forward to the shows on other cruises but these were the worst ever. The worst issue was disembarkation. Everyone is aware that American immigration is very slow and we were quite prepared for it. Despite Cunard regularly disembarking service users in New York the staff were clearly not prepared for it. We were told to vacate our rooms by 8am and to go to our particular meeting point. There they left us without communication, food or water for hours. When we did go to the restaurant to try and obtain some refreshments the staff were putting it away and quite clearly did not want us there. To add insult to injury when we disembarked the ship and went to retrieve our luggage one of our group had a suitcase stolen - and you’ve guessed it, no one wanted to know. Overall we were very disappointed with the cruise and we will not travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose Cunard because we wanted a classic cruise experience, a formal atmosphere, and an excellent itinerary. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth took us above the Arctic Circle in absolute style. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship ... Read More
We chose Cunard because we wanted a classic cruise experience, a formal atmosphere, and an excellent itinerary. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth took us above the Arctic Circle in absolute style. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship in a timely manner. We loved our forward balcony cabin (but we choose forward because we love ship movement when we sleep). The stateroom was beautiful and our steward was excellent. I cannot say enough about how much we liked our forward balcony. We participated in fencing classes, which we loved. We also thought the history lectures were outstanding. They enhanced our experience so much. The ship is gorgeous and serene, just what we wanted. It was peaceful and lovely. The Britannia main dining room was very delicious at dinner. We had a wonderful sommelier and good wait staff. Only one time did we receive an item of food that was not to our taste, but it was quickly replaced with a delicious option. Most of the drinks options were outstanding, in our opinion. Some people complain about the cost of drinks on here... but we found them well crafted and interesting. The MARY ROSE in the Midships Lounge is a truly lovely drink. We also loved the atmosphere and view in the Commodore Club. The aft deck drinks menu is fun for sailaways. The only drinks we were disappointed in was the regular complimentary coffee. For such a beautiful cruise, the complimentary coffee is not great. (It should be better, honestly) We ended up buying some specialty coffees at Cafe Carinthia, which were lovely- but for those is us who like coffee (coffee snobs) the regular coffee should be improved. We were also not overly impressed with the Lido buffet. The food was fast and convenient, especially for breakfast... but we have experienced better buffets on other lines in design and in taste. It is another area that could be improved in our opinion. The only other gripe we had with Cunard is internet. The internet needs to be brought to modern cruise standards. If the other lines can do so well with unlimited plans, so can Cunard. Many cruise passengers must use internet to keep in touch with family and with their business dealings. Back to wonderful comments... Our itinerary with Cunard to Norway was amazing, the nature was breathtaking, and our experience above the Arctic Circle was magical. Most of the ports we chose to independently rent cars, use public transportation, or hike. We did take two Cunard sponsored excursions, though... and both tours were well worth it. (It must be noted that this is our second trip to Norway- with the first being a land trip... we were prepared to drive in Norway since we did it before- which can be challenging.) We enjoyed the special guest entertainment brought into the theatre and the live musicians around the ship very much. Overall, Cunard was fantastic. I would absolutely take another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were on QM2 for the 21-day roundtrip cruise from NYC to Norway. This was our first voyage back on QM2 since the refit. She received a very nice face-lift along with improvements in food and cabins. (A few quibbles will be noted) ... Read More
We were on QM2 for the 21-day roundtrip cruise from NYC to Norway. This was our first voyage back on QM2 since the refit. She received a very nice face-lift along with improvements in food and cabins. (A few quibbles will be noted) Top 5 things both husband & I liked: Food across the venues was very good to fantastic. Party band (Purple Haze) played fun mix of funky Motown, disco and on to modern dance hits Sales personnel (stores, photos, spa) were truly helpful and never pushy (in contrast to our most recent cruises on other ships) Tea & coffee making available in the cabin Free 2-hr internet pkg for Gold+ level Cunard cruisers (best used in Connexions area) Additional top 3 for me: “Aqua Therapy Centre” (aka thermal suites) pass for $120 a week Afternoon Tea in the Queen's Room (traditional) or Corinthia (fabulous scone/jam options) Two Balls per voyage segment Additional top 3 for husband: Larger, clearer TV on wall with multiple news & sports stations New fitness equipment, esp. good weight machines No more smoking allowed in casino or disco (G32) More things we liked/appreciated: FREE self laundry including free detergent on almost every deck with cabins. Chocolate lovers should watch for the chocolate buffet in the King's Court offered during lunch (on last day of Transatlantic, first day of Norway voyage). Watch the daily bulletin because the KC also had a seafood buffet on occasion that was also very good. Sushi bar is wonderful! Even included vegetable rolls. Seafood offered everywhere was very good. If you go to the Verandah restaurant, definitely have Lobster cocktail (fantastic!). The seafood platter is an additional $20 (just for platter NOT each person). This is a LOT of seafood but all served cold. We would have preferred the lobster (2 x 1 lb) and crab legs heated. On a later visit to the Verandah, husband had steak and I had the sole. Both were excellent and we were well advised by the wait staff on which items to choose for entree and sides. Each portion of our trip included good enrichment lectures/programs. Transatlantic portion from NYC to Southampton was fashion week and we had a great time at the hat fashion show (also walked away with a nice swag bag!) Norwegian portion of cruise included author Lynne Truss (“Eats, Shoots & Leaves”), astrophysicist Dr. Chris Crowe and speaker Jane Davey. All were wonderfully entertaining in addition to the knowledge they shared. Awesome planetarium shows – pick up your tickets in Connexions lobby after 9 am (usually gone by noon) They still offer ballroom dance classes with their professional dance team and line dancing classes if you have that kind of early morning energy. Quibble – internet access is better and we really appreciate free time for repeat cruisers. Unfortunately, signal is not strong outside immediate area of Connexions. I've also been spoiled by other cruise lines that provide an app for smart phones that give me access to account information, events lists, maps and menus. This would have been very helpful. I had to go to the purser's desk every time I wanted to find out my account balance and if we lost or left our day's program somewhere. I enjoy most of the tradition and formality of QM2, but this update is really overdue. Quibble – on our first voyage with QM2, she had wonderful art at almost every turn. They even provided an audio guide to do a tour on the ship. It was like being on a floating art museum and I loved it. There is no longer an audio guide because the focus has turned to more historical posters & art. I can appreciate this but do miss the portrait of Jimmy Hendrix in the stairwell leading up from the reentry door and the aristocracy created from small metal fittings that previously hung in one of the main stairwells. Our favorite port stop in Norway was Flam. It was like a postcard village at the end of a long, beautiful fjord. There was the Mall of Norway with lots of souvenirs but very crowded. The tourist office was connected and provided FREE wi-fi! We did the Flam Train excursion which was fantastic for it's views. Have your camera ready for the stop at the large waterfall where they put on quite a good show. At the turnaround, the guides vaguely recommended people “switch seats”. Later we found out this was so everybody got a good view of both sides. However, we were not on the train when this happened so were a bit surprised to find our seats occupied when we returned and a bit of confusion as people tried to figure out where to go without causing a fight (some people chose not to participate and remained in the seats they had from the beginning). You may want to make arrangements with the people across the aisle when you get settled on the first leg of the journey. Quibble: Excursion guides should have done a better job explaining this from the beginning. We ended up sitting across from a couple that were obviously not pleased to have us there on the return journey. In Stavagner, we took the miniboat tour out to Pulpit Rock. As advertised, we found this to be “exhilarating & fun”! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed ... Read More
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed with fine weather and calm seas; there was some movement on the north Atlantic but not enough to bother most people. Try to get your stateroom as close to the middle of the ship and as low as possible; it will minimize the rock-and-roll if there is any. Embarkation from Manhattan Terminal was perfect. From street to stateroom in 30 minutes. The ship is very elegant as others have said. it is sparkling in its art-deco appearance and it is very well-maintained, inside and out. Painting and maintenance are ongoing when we were at port. It is the very model of an elegant luxury cruise ship. We had 4 formal nights on the 15 day cruise; men in dark suits or tuxedos; women in gowns or smart cocktail dresses. Casual during the day but formal at night; it was not mandatory but for those not dressed up they had special dining locations those evenings. After the 3rd night I could get into my tux in 10 minutes, much faster than the first night. It was a chore the first night but it was special to dress up on this elegant ship. It takes a day or two to discover all the places on the ship and I'm sure I missed some. There are many public spaces where you can relax and read; many bars and cafes throughout the ship. Overall you get both a big but also intimate feeling on this ship. The library was very impressive; two stories with dark wood furnishings. My wife and I reserved the Queen's Grill Suite (Q4) Room 7088. On the QE there are 3 passenger classes: Britannia, Princess Grill and Queen's Grill. If it were a plane, Britannia would be economy, PG would be business and QG would be first-class. There is also Britannia Club which is a step above Britannia. The PG and QG restaurants are two, separate but similar restaurants on Deck 11 with similar menus and service. It is hard to tell the difference. They share a common lounge between the restaurants for PG and QG passengers. Apart from that, the rest of the ship is available to everyone. The PG and QG meals are served in their respective restaurants, including afternoon tea. For Britannia class, there is a large impressive restaurant in the aft of the ship; afternoon tea is served in the Queen's Room which is also the dance floor. The staterooms are of course larger for the QG than for the PG than for Britannia. Overall I think the QG is not that much different than PG. Service and attentiveness was very good. The big difference for the Grills is that you can have dinner anytime after 6 pm. For Britannia there is an early and late seating. We found the flexibility of the QG/PG to be very convenient. There are a mix of 2-tables, 4-tables, and 8-table sizes. My wife and I enjoyed our dinner mates very much at the 8-table size and we became friends. Food was very good but not great. The Verandah ($39 supplement) had much better steaks than at the QG; our dinnermates and we decided to go down there one night just to get something different and we all agreed that V was much better. Of course not everyone wants to pay a supplement for dinner when they have already paid for the cruise which could explain why the Verandah was not very busy. But it was worth it for the food. Age group was mainly in the 65+ crowd although there were some people in their 30s and 40s with children (ages 6-10) but this younger group was less than 10% of the passengers. Most were from UK, US, Australia, New Zealand. With QG there is refreshed wine and liquors in your stateroom each night, as well as refilled min-fridge at no charge. An Illy coffeemaker with refreshed tea, creamer, and coffee is provided. As well as evening canapes. This is in QG. Certainly nice touches but I think you could scrape by on PG or Britannia depending on what you are looking for. Activities on the ship were fine with lectures and high production value shows every night at 8:30 and 10:30 each night. Lectures on Broadway, Weather Prediction, Space Exploration, the upcoming ports were very good. The port excursions were generally well-organized and interesting. They are not inexpensive! And you may be able to find better value with some planning. But be sure to return to the ship on time! There are a few washing machines and dryers on each deck but not anywhere enough, so there was jockeying and some harsh words in the competition for them. Better to do your own delicates and send out the rest to the ship laundry which has a charge. I agree with others about the atrocious internet. Slow to connect, slow to use, and slow to disconnect. At $45 for 2 hours, Cunard probably makes as much on the internet as the cruise! You can't just shut off the computer because your account is still open until you sign off which was so slow I didn't know if I signed of at all. I had to call the purser every time to make sure they signed me off. Fortunately the long-suffering IT guy gave me back 45 minutes which was spent trying to get on and off the service. Befoe leaving home,sign on with your local wireless provider to use the port-days with discounted International Roaming. It is much faster and less expensive. Disembarkation was also perfect.Remember to leave some day clothes out before you go to sleep on the last night. Your luggage will be off the ship overnight so make sure you have something to wear on the last morning! We had a great time and we would do it again although we might try PG or Britannia Club for comparable value since 90% of the rest of the ship and activities are open to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and ... Read More
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. It was a world away from our usual quiet life in rural Tasmania, but we had high hopes that the Queen Elizabeth would give us a truly memorable cruising experience, and we were not disappointed. Check-in: We boarded at the Manhattan cruise terminal which was easily accessible from our central NY hotel. Our cruise was the final leg of a much longer itinerary that had started in Vancouver, so this was not a full change-over day for the ship. Consequently there were only a few other passengers arriving at the same time, and the whole process was quick and easy with no queuing. We had been given a 12.30 check-in time and within 20 minutes we were in our cabin with luggage already delivered. It probably doesn't get any better than that; our holiday was already off to a perfect start. Cabin: We had dug deep for our anniversary treat and booked a Q4 Penthouse midships on deck 7. This was truly wonderful; a large and well appointed room with plenty of space to relax both inside and out on the balcony, a walk-in wardrobe with more than enough hanging space for 15 evenings of dress-up finery, a huge comfortable bed, and a bathroom with shower, deep spa bath and separate toilet. Nothing about the room was a disappointment, and the experience was made extra special by the butler Manny and his team. They were incredibly attentive with the room fully cleaned while we were at breakfast, everything restocked including the complimentary bar, fruit and flowers replaced regularly, canapes delivered each afternoon, and refresh/turn-down every evening while we had dinner. One of the really nice Cunard touches is that the staff know you by name and make a genuine effort to remember and deliver on your personal preferences. Meals: We ate mostly in the Queens Grill restaurant but also tried a couple of pub lunches after days ashore, and had room service occasionally. All were good, but the Queens Grill is exceptional for both the food/drink and for the service. It is a relatively small restaurant, less than 100 guests, and because you can eat at the time that suits you (for example, arrive for dinner anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm) it never seemed overly busy or crowded. There was really nothing that we could say to fault this restaurant; the range and quality of food was outstanding, plus a dedicated chef would try to produce anything off-menu if given a few hours notice and if they had the ingredients onboard. We asked for rabbit pie one evening which really wasn't much of a challenge for the chef but was duly produced and served at our table with theatrical panache. The Queens Grill provides a very sophisticated and indulgent silver-service atmosphere, part of the overall Cunard theme of reprising the 1940s/50s heyday of transatlantic voyages. In keeping with this, most Grills guests dressed “smart casual” for breakfast and lunch, then everyone dressed more formally for the evenings in keeping with the designated dress code of the day. Activities: During sea days there was always plenty to do onboard, both for organised activities or do your own thing. You can be as active or inactive as you like. We really enjoyed the outdoor games areas with quoits, croquet, carpet bowls, shuffleboard and paddle tennis, plus swimming and table tennis. Entertainment: The main entertainments included a classical concert most afternoons and then ballroom dancing and 2 theatre performances each evening. We found the shows to be mostly of an okay standard; enjoyable, glitzy and good enough for free onboard entertainment but not really outstanding. The theatre has a number of private 2-person boxes which can be reserved at an extra cost with champagne and nibbles on some evenings but are otherwise available freely to anyone who arrives early. Stewards are on hand to bring drinks. All passengers are expected to respect the after-6pm dress code in the theatre and ballroom. Final reflections: We researched Cunard here on Cruise Critic and elsewhere before deciding that they were likely met our needs. We were aware that a number of reviewers have not been happy with their Cunard experience but this often seems to be related to differing expectations of the type of cruise that these three “Queens” offer. This is not a party boat, and not primarily targeted to families and other younger cruisers although there are some facilities for children. The target market is very clearly aimed at a generally older group who enjoy a slower and more genteel pace of life. Other frequent criticisms of Cunard seem to focus on the so-called “class” system, the after-6pm dress code, and the price of drinks. In our experience this “class” distinction is really a non-issue; it's no different from most airlines where you can book economy and get a good service or book a more expensive seat that gives you perks like shorter queues at the airport, more personal space on the flight and a larger choice of meals. It's a choice for everyone to make, unlike a real class system in which there is usually no choice. The after-6pm dress code seems to annoy some people but in our view is central to understanding what Cunard is offering its passengers. Things like the flamboyant art-deco style throughout the ship, the white-gloved waiters, the traditional afternoon teas, the ballroom dancing, the silver-service ambience in the main restaurants, are all designed to create an evening atmosphere of old-world elegance, charm and sophistication. The ship and the crew deliver on this, and the passengers are also expected to deliver. The entire Cunard cruise is a piece of theatre in which passengers live the retro experience of an age when good manners and gracious living were valued. Nobody is forced to dress formally – there are areas of the ship that are more relaxed – but clearly for the vast majority of passengers the evening elegance is an important part of what makes the cruise special. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. ... Read More
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. First of all, it is not a young person's cruise. The average passenger on my cruise was 70+ years old. If you have trouble with elderly people walking very slowly in front of you and stopping suddenly for no apparent reason, you may be frustrated at times. At the height of the summer cruise season for families, there were hardly any children on board. Secondly, It is largely a British clientele, which I found charming. The average cruiser was well educated and well mannered. No line jumpers of chair hogs, which was refreshing. I could strike up a conversation with almost anyone I met and found most of them interesting. However, if you want to shoot the breeze about NASCAR, baseball and the NFL, you may be disappointed. Check-in was smooth on the dock, but scattered and unprofessional on board. No one met us in the lobby. There was no sign telling us where to go. We were boarded on the open deck three and had to find our own way inside. Even inside, no one greeted us or offered to help us find our cabin, lunch, etc.. We had to ask! Talk about a bad first impression. It got better after that. We had a suite and were dining in the Queens Grill. Our butler met us at the door (Suite 7050), took our alcohol orders for the in-room bar, showed us how to work everything in the room and walked us to the elevators to show us how to access the private Queen's Grill dining room. She was amazing throughout the cruise. She set up a cocktail reception in our room for a half dozen guests (the complimentary appetizer platter was huge and delicious). Lourdes took care of last minute laundry requests and kept our suite spotless. She also restocked the bar any time we were running low. The suite has a boxy crowded configuration which made the room seem much smaller than it was. There were plenty of electrical outlets with both American and British sockets. We had no problem keeping two cell phones, two tablets and two fitbits charged. The love seat is fine. There is adequate storage space and the butler stowed our empty luggage so we wouldn't have to worry about it. TIP: Don't remove your stateroom luggage tags. You'll need them to find your luggage at disembarkation! The balcony was large enough for a table and three chairs plus two loungers. The bed was very comfortable, however they do not use typical American sheets, on board, but rather European duvets. Very comfortable, but not what I'm used to. The bathroom was functional, with a private toilet room and a private room for showering and bathing, The tub was jetted and offered a very relaxing bath with bubbles. The towels were not soft at all, The teri cloth material made for the worst towels I've experienced in 25 cruises. The suite's bar was stocked with loads of teas, coffee and cookies. My wife and I each chose a brand of alcohol. I requested Crown Royal, even though it was not on the list offered by Cunard. The butler made it happen! The fridge was stocked with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, tonic nd soda water, Carlsberg Beer and plenty of water, Again, our butler replenished our bar twice a day! We dined in the Queen's Grill, which is the best dining experience on the seas, in my opinion. The menus are very similar to those in the Princess Grill and Britania Dining Room. The difference is we were invited to order off the menu at every meal, and the dining staff did their best to accommodate us. Among the items I ordered off the menu were: Caviar, shrimp cocktail, Dover sole, chateaubriand, lobster, veal parmasean, fettuccine Alfredo, pistaccio ice cream, french onion soup and several different salads. Basically, the sky's the limit, if they have the ingredients on board, The tables are close together. My wife and I were seated at a table for two, but conversed easily and often with diners at nearby tables. When we wanted privcy, we were left alone. However, we all became instant friends. Here's a tip: Be the first to say hello to someone and do it early in the cruise! Coincidentally, one gentleman, at a six-top next to us, turned out to be a Cruise Critic member I had conversed with on line! He and his wife were positively charming! I found the entertainment on board to be excellent. The big production shows were good, but not amazing, Headliners like the magician and acrobatic dance team were marvelous. And it seemed on any given night there were six or more venues offering music and fun. I've never experienced such a wide variey of musical enterrtainment on any ship I've sailed. It truly was a highlight of th cruise.And it meant fewer crowds. We never had a problem finding a table or a seat in the showroom for the late shows. The only bummer was the Grills Lounge never had live entertainment. The enrichment activities were a disappointment. Cunard offers wine tasting seminars on its web site. High end wine seminars. However, after pre-booking a very expensive tasting, we got on board to learn the wine seminars were canceled. In fact our sommelier told us they han't done the high end wine tastings in six months. Cunard refused to credit the money from my canceled wine tasting to my shipboard account and told me I'd have to try to get refunded when I returned home. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SEVICE on that! Tip: Do NOT PRE-ORDER WINE TASTINGS! There were 3 speakers on board. One was a retired fighter pilot, who offered some fun anecdotes about his flying career. The other two sounded so boring, I cannot even remember them. I believe one woman was discussing the film career of an actor I've never heard of. We did not use Cunard for shore excursions. We booked everything independently. I suggest you consider private independent shore excursions as well. Remember, every group tour moves as fast as its slowest member. Everyone else has to wait on the slow poke. You may only have one shot to visit some of these ports. Do you relly want to wait on that last person? Additionally, Cunard builds profit into its excursions. The independent tours are almost always cheaper. Cruise Critic has an excellent section devoted to independent tours. Disembarkation for this cruise was difficult, because we got off in Kiel. It is an hour+ drive to Hamburg from there. It's pricey and difficult to reach the airport in time to make flights to the USA. Many people opted to spend an extra day in Hamburg. Don't take the negative aspects of my review as an indication I was disappointed. I was not. I will definitely cruise Cunard again if I can find the right itinerary. And I will definitely book Queens Grille for the dining experience. These reviews are supposed to help future cruisers prepare, I hope I have! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We live in Vancouver and one night after too much wine drinking the Cunard Ad for Queen Elizabeth is coming to Vancouver showed up on my Ipad. I remember checking the itinerary and was amazed that when it left Vancouver we could sail all ... Read More
We live in Vancouver and one night after too much wine drinking the Cunard Ad for Queen Elizabeth is coming to Vancouver showed up on my Ipad. I remember checking the itinerary and was amazed that when it left Vancouver we could sail all the way to NYC. This seemed like a very rare opportunity to come to New York the old fashioned way aboard a Cunard Liner and sail around the North American continent while doing so. I originally booked an ocean view in Britannia but the next morning when I realized what I had done I was a bit shocked at how much I had bit off. I also read some reviews and had some misgivings that I had booked us on an Old Geezer cruise. My wife and I talked it over and she said it doesnt matter what's going on onboard as we always do our own thing and we will have a great time no matter what. After a couple months went by I realized 24 days is a substantial cruise and with a Panama Canal transit I should have got a balcony. I phoned Cunard and the lady informed me that there was only one balcony cabin left so I grabbed it. It was right at the front with the full metal enclosure below the railing which worked out great as it had a steel reinforcing girt halfway down giving us an extra shelf for our feet and drinks when enjoying the view. Embarkation day came and I drove our luggage to Canada Place early in the am, this went very smoothly as they were surprisingly well organized and I would recommend this for Vancouver locals. We took the bus and Skytrain in the afternoon with just our hand luggage no problem. I followed the 3:00 pm schedule and was a bit dissapointed at how much running around and up and down between US customs and boarding lounge was involved, that could give some frailer passengers a good workout. We checked into our room and the luggage was there, all looked good except the old couch, I've seen better on our sidewalks on large item pickup day. No problem the drawers under the bed held extra Royal Blue throws which dressed that thing up quite nicely. The rest of the room was fine with us and our 2 large KLIM bags fit under the bed no problem, plenty of storage in the closets and drawers. There was a card from our room Steward Mike, we got to know him quite well over the weeks to come and he was awesome, always had a greeting and a smile on his face couldnt do enough for us 5 Stars for him! Time to explore the ship and with blue skys and sunshine it doesnt get any better for a Vancouver departure than than this. I wasnt expecting an awesome Rock Band but they had one playing on the rear pool deck, they also played in the Yacht club, I could tell we were in for a great cruise. This ship is beautiful and it had a very relaxing ambiance throughout, its not a floating amusement park. We had many meals in the Lido and contrary to other reviews found the tables got cleaned off promptly and some sections there do have at table coffee service. You have to pay attention to the meal times which are posted as different areas come available at different times of the day which can lead to a bit of confusion. We had a lot of fun in the Brittania dining room, Oscar and Neil were our waiters and the place would not have been the same without Paco the wine Sommelier, he got a lot of laughs from many tables. I actually got used to dressing up collecting ties and shirts along the way during shore excursions, the Maitre'd lent me one and tied it for me the first time. We got to try some exotic dishes like pigeon, pheasant, wild boar etc all perfectly done, it helped the waistline by eating many meals in here. The food in the Lido was great Frank the French Chef was in charge and he was a lot of fun especially in the Chef's competitions in the Queens room. We liked the variety and the specialty nights, Indian, Asian, German after the Costa Rica stop awesome Pineapple and fresh fruits came aboard. No complaints about the food at all it was excellent at all times! I really thought we would spend more time in the Golden Lion Pub, we mostly enjoyed lunches and beers but found ourselves too busy with other activities. We had a good time at the jewelry auction, its a great way to get all the free champagne you can drink and my wife came away with a lovely modestly priced ring she really loves. There is actually plenty of free liquor to be had if you go to the tastings and special events available, we downed some expensive brands without spending a nickel, check the daily itinerary. We found the drinks onboard to be reasonably priced not more than at a descent hotel and they serve chips and nuts at no charge along with them and the ambiance of the Commodore Club is fabulous. The High tea is quite an event at 3:30 daily, never expected to enjoy it as much as we did and we took part often, it was wonderful! The walk around deck is also very cool we did 5 rounds a day of speed walking which kept us in shape for the shore excurions. This deck also has the old fashioned wooden padded lounge chairs, great for relaxing on with a drink and a book. We got to know some of the onboard entertainment staff as they also helped out with the Tenders and Port excursions. The shows were great and very well done, different entertainers got on and off at different ports and they got a lot of standing ovations they were that good! The laundry was a bonus all free including detergent, I even learned how to iron my fancy shirts from the Australians, that was a hangout for them. I tried to book the shore excursions privately but found the Prices through Cunard were much better especially in Sanfransico, Cabo, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama and the Everglades. The highlight was the July 4th fireworks where we were back to back with Cunards old Lead Ship the Queen Mary in Long beach. Our room key gave us free passage and tours of this old ship, the Cunard exhibit onboard the Queen Mary is not to be missed. We enjoyed all of our shore excursions especially the Pamana Jungle river canoe trip to the Embera Indian village, it was awesome! The Panama Canal transit is quite spectacular, the ship is a Panamax size hull which fills the entire lock and we had access to all the foredecks etc. great experience! All the ports were great but you have to watch your boarding time, it was surprisingly difficult to find a Taxi in Ft. Lauderdale to take us back to the ship, get that Uber App! There is nothing like sailing under the Varrazano Bridge and by the Statue of Liberty at the crack of dawn and up the Hudson to dock at ancient pier 90 in Manhattan, it was a spectaular Cunard experience and they have been doing this for over 100 years. We thoroughly enjoyed this voyage, it was not a Geezer Cruise even though there were plenty of them aboard, everyone seemed to be having a great time. There are always a few grumps on a ship like this but that is on them. The staff were most kind and helpful, they seemed funloving and enjoyed the activities as much as we did. The only negative we found was some passengers had a cough or a cold and were coughing into their hands instead of their elbows or holding a napkin to cough into. I expected more from mature adults and even spoke to a lady who just seemed to be coughing into her hands and touching everything like she was deliberately spreading it around, she told me to leave her alone and go away. We were sick for a few days because of people like her, dont buy the meds at the ships store they are expensive. Go down to the medical clinic and ask for some cold meds, they cost us 68 cents per box best deal on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on all 3 Cunard ships which are all beautiful and very well presented. The staff are second to none and very helpful. We chose this cruise and had booked a year in advance whilst still on board in 2018. It was our ... Read More
We have been on all 3 Cunard ships which are all beautiful and very well presented. The staff are second to none and very helpful. We chose this cruise and had booked a year in advance whilst still on board in 2018. It was our wedding anniversary on the 24th June so we like to go away the same time every year. We don't mind where to as long as it falls on our anniversary date and as long as we are on board a Cunard ship! Our stateroom was serviced twice daily and a turn down service for the evening with chocolates provided, just before bed time (as if we hadn't already eaten enough) and tomorrow's programme of events to browse through and plan tomorrow, before some very much needed zzzzzz's after such a fabulous day/evening. We usually chose a large table of 6 for dinner as we enjoy meeting like minded cruise buddies. Two of our 'tablemates' we'd met on a previous cruise the year before (we had arranged this with them and are certainly now lifelong friends). We met two other guests who were delightful. We all had a lot in common particularly when it comes to cruising! The food was very well presented and tasty. The Lido buffet on board is fabulous. The food is fresh and plentiful in choice. Despite being in the Grills, we still love a wander through and maybe a little nibble here and there ;) The entertainment on board is amazing. I particularly enjoy the Cunard singers and dancers and all the other shows and guests appearances/entertainers. Also during the day on sea days, we love going to the on board speakers insights/enrichment talks. They are very interesting and have met some really lovely speakers from famous sports people to pilots to ex-policemen/detectives. There is always plenty to do around the ship on sea days and of course there's the swimming pools and hot tubs and the gym if you feel you need to burn off a few gained pounds! The service on board from the stateroom steward to the waiters and sommeliers to the cleaning staff and pursers desk are always so helpful and nothing is too much trouble. They are always welcoming and are very polite and say 'good morning' or 'have a good evening'. The shore excursions are varied and interesting. The coaches are clean and comfortable and the guides are very knowledgable. I love the fact that we can book an excursion and know the ship will be waiting for us whether we are late or not. We have travelled with our grown up children who equally love the Cunard ships. We haven't got grandchildren yet but I'm sure they would love it with their very own special area and staff to entertain them on sea days. We will certainly book again soon. We just have to save up the pennies first :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. ... Read More
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. Bathroom was starting to show its age, but great shower pressure, size and heat. Spa services were wonderful, took advantage of some of the discounts onboard during slower times and found the value to be good, especially considering you get use of the in-spa jacuzzi and pool. Ate in the main dining room twice out of the five nights and probably would reduce this number on the next cruise. Service was not nearly as good as specialty restaurants, though I had no issue with the food quality. Our waiter in the second seating was rude, always trying to rush and never in sight after the order was given. It also took a long time for the sommelier to get to our table, he clearly had his hands full and the two times we ate there he would arrive at our table around the time we were eating our appetizer. I don't fault the ship for this and give a 5 star review because this was easily solvable by eating at the specialty restaurants where all these issues were more than solved. The Veranda was wonderful (ate there twice) as was the rotating restaurant - we had Indian and it was great. Loved grabbing lunch at the golden lion pub in the afternoons. Pool decks were nice and public spaces in part because there were far less children on this boat than many other carriers. This kept things more organized. My wife and I are in our early 30's and felt well placed in the crowd. Overall a great experience and great value. Will be back and would like to try the princess grill on the next voyage. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We love to travel but have never had the urge to cruise. Wanting to see the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, we felt that a cruise would be the best option. After extensive research, we opted for Cunard as we enjoy fine ... Read More
We love to travel but have never had the urge to cruise. Wanting to see the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, we felt that a cruise would be the best option. After extensive research, we opted for Cunard as we enjoy fine dining, dressing up and don't like large crowds of people so thought a smaller ship would suit us best. We also prefer to keep ourselves to ourselves and so opted for a Princess Grill Suite so that we could request a table for 2 and eat when we wanted to eat rather than at set meal times. The added bonus of a private deck area also appealed as we felt it would be less crowded and Cunard also seemed to have more of a traditional style and less glitz which we felt would be perfect for us. Aged 46 and 50, we were rather nervous that cruising was for 'older' people and that there would be nothing for us to do other than watch the scenery go by, however we couldn't have been more wrong. What a stunning ship she is and so much space everywhere you never felt like there were more than a few hundred people on board! We never got bored - in fact i never really had a chance to just sit quietly and read during the week. We listened to some really interesting speakers during the sea days in the theater, attended gin tasting one afternoon, used the golf nets for some light exercise and never wanting to miss the delicious afternoon tea, found ourselves in the restaurant rather a lot of the time! The service in the Princess Grill restaurant was outstanding and the food was amazing at every single meal. From breakfast to lunch to afternoon tea to dinner, the menus were varied, interesting and the food just delicious. The Grills lounge was also a wonderful quiet area to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or two. We stumbled across the commodores club halfway through our cruise and enjoyed some fabulous cocktails in there each evening served with canapes and listened to some lovely live music. There was always a low level buzz in this large bar area and we loved the atmosphere. We loved dressing up for dinner each evening and the 2 gala evenings were great fun as the atmosphere on the ship racked up a notch! The theater blew us away! We visit London regularly to take in shows and the theater on board was on a par if not better than most west end theaters. The entertainment was varied and good fun and we found ourselves attending the late show every single night, before popping to the casino or one of the bars to finish off the evening. With so many beautiful public areas and bars, you could always find somewhere quiet to sit and enjoy a drink, however with such amazing weather and spectacular scenery we found ourselves up on the Grills deck on the super comfy loungers watching the world go by most of our spare time. We booked a couple of excursions through Cunard and both were really enjoyable and well organised. All four ports we visited were interesting and we liked the fact we could just get on and off the ship throughout the day if we chose to. We stayed in cabin 6099 - a Princess Grill suite which was the perfect size for a one week cruise and we enjoyed watching the scenery go by on the balcony. Our steward was lovely and we had no issues at all. We wanted flexible dining times and a guaranteed table for 2 which is the main reason for choosing the suite. Also the added private deck areas were important to us as we are very quiet people! We had no complaints with embarkation or disembarkation. Both were effortless and so much nicer than the airport environment. All in all, we had an unexpected amazing week and didn't want it to end. We were so impressed, we have booked a 2 week cruise on the Queen Victoria next summer to The Baltics to experience some more wonderful countries of interest which we probably would never get to visit. We have pushed the boat out and booked a Queens Grill suite so that it will be a slightly different experience and are really looking forward to our second cruise :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
April 2019 trans Atlantic from Southhampton to New York City. It's our 2nd Cunard cruise, we were on the Queen Elizabeth in the Med in 2012. We've been on small ships like the Thomson Dream at 42,000tons and the topic of ... Read More
April 2019 trans Atlantic from Southhampton to New York City. It's our 2nd Cunard cruise, we were on the Queen Elizabeth in the Med in 2012. We've been on small ships like the Thomson Dream at 42,000tons and the topic of todays review; the QM2 at 149,000tons, was the 2nd largest we've been on. Food: -The buffet and dining room food was just ok. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian ships have better. Service: Cabin and dining room crew: It's the same on all ships. Uniformly excellent on all cruise lines. QM2 specifics: -For her size, she feels much much smaller. Even the public areas have poor vistas. To get to some public rooms you have to walk through a public room. -Shopping areas are tiny. -The public area where the purser and shopping is is all white paint. There is a grand descending staircase here which was a yawn. -There are 2 theatres, which is nice. -The lending library is Outstanding! -We were in an inside cabin. It felt like any other ships inside cabin. Other passengers: -Mostly older folk of the upper middle class variety. They dress up, some splendidly (custom tailored tuxes on the men) and spend evenings in the lounges drinking. Many seem to know each other. Would I do it again? Yes. It's a very relaxing ship with an older passenger crowd. The whole feel is very 1940s. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The ... Read More
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The cabin... smallish yes, but everything there. And it is a ship, so space obviously won’t be the same as in a hotel. We had a balcony and enjoyed the fresh sea air. The service... probably the strongest part for Cunard. Quiet, efficient, friendly without being pretentious. Our waiters Ganesh and Arnold were particularly good. Any wish was catered for and next time quietly repeated. My husband was looking for a toothpick and there was one there every time. The food.... lovely food, good variety and in one word delicious!! Afternoon tea was a treat and always a spectacle. Entertainment... during the day there was lots to do and I enjoyed the fact that I would join activities, I wouldn’t normally do. Lectures on air travel, a dance class. In the evening we enjoyed the shows, yes some of the dancing wasn’t what I would ordinarily choose to see, but I still enjoyed it as part of the experience. Some of the shows were exceptional, Francis Ruffelles fro the West End was fantastic. Dancing in G32 was fun and a drink in your Sunday best in the Commodore’s Club is special! Embarking and disembarking was easy a very organised. Maybe my only criticism would be that drinks are very expensive. We loved every minute and can’t wait to see you again QM2 ❤️ Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We ... Read More
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We dropped off bags, queued for about 15 minutes and then found ourselves on-board. Finding our cabin was easy as we were escorted by our cabin steward who did a good job of explaining our cabin facilities. The cabin was comfortable and clean, though no larger than what we've previously experienced. Power is via British and American sockets, which is no problem, but there were no USB sockets. The bathroom was small but everything worked as expected. The bed was comfortable, but I found the pillows too soft. A nice touch was a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on ice in the cabin. As a tip for Cunard though, next time source a wine that is drinkable. Two lunches and breakfasts were in the Lido buffet. As a buffet, the food was reasonable quality with a good variety. Shouldn't have to pay extra for espresso style coffees though. One lunch and dinners were in the Britannia Restaurant. This was disappointing. The food was no better than a reasonable RSL club bistro. The service was reasonably attentive though a little hit and miss. After our first night's dinning I found myself with someone else's keycard. This was quickly fixed up at the purser's office and provided a lesson to check the card after purchases. A highlight of the food experience was the high tea, which we experienced on our second day. Being our only day at sea, it was very popular and the overflow ended up in the Britannia Restaurant. The tea (or coffee) was plentiful and hot, the food, sandwiches, scones and sweets, were spot on and the service was attentive. Drink prices were on the expensive side, especially once you remembered to convert from USD and add the gratuity. Being Australian, gratuities, and tipping in general is a pain. If it is part of the standard or expected cost, just roll it into the overall price and be done with it. Then we can decide to tip if we feel the service deserves it. Overall though, the service was good. We didn't take in a show but did experience some of open the entertainment on other nights. The bands were what you would expect and reasonably entertaining. We took in a talk by a historical expert regarding WWII Japanese hold-outs (refusing to surrender after the war) in the Pacific. I found this interesting as I enjoy the historical aspect, but it wasn't to my wife's taste. My wife though did sample the shopping, fortunately without much success. Our one port day was in Burnie, Tasmania. This a good, honest working town, but not a very inspiring cruise destination, especially as it was a public holiday and would have been completely dead if it weren't for hundreds of cruise passengers wandering around looking for something to do. There were very few cafes and you couldn't even have a beer and lunch in a pub as they were all closed. At least the mayor was there to greet us when we came down the gangway. We didn't do any organised shore excursions, but my sister, who was part of our cruise group, did, and enjoyed the Cradle Mountain excursion. Overall, the ship had a decor in keeping with it's image and wasn't overcrowded. We weren't disappointed, but now feel we've done the Cunard experience and probably won't be sampling it again. We are going on a longer Oceania Mediterranean cruise later this year. It will be interesting to compare that experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff ... Read More
We took a cruise from Singapore to Dubai, on part of the QM2 around the world trip. The cabin with sheltered balcony was great and we had an ice bucket with champagne waiting for us when we embarked. The ship is beautiful and the staff were helpful and efficient. The negatives for me were firstly the standard of food in the Britannia Restaurant which we were assigned to. The food was generally not prepared in a manner fitting the ship or the price of the cruise, meat and fish were dry and needed sauces, the vegetables were often hard - beyond al dente and almost uncooked, and the desserts were tasteless and unimaginative. The chefs seemed to focus more on presentation than the taste and texture of the food. We went to the buffet on deck 7 quite often which had a bigger variety of better prepared food and enjoyed it more than the restaurant. The other negative is the fact that there are two very small pools for a large number of people, the limit in each pool is 14 (I think) and there was hardly any room to move around if there was half that number in the water. As the temperatures were around 30 degrees and more, a lot of people were in and out of the pool especially on sea days. I preferred my previous cruises on smaller ships that had better food and bigger pools. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was pleasantly surprised to be let on board immediately. Embarkation was a breeze. To keep this review brief I will deal with the disappointments. I expected more of the food. It was very ordinary and at breakfast only one person was doing personalised egg choices. We gave up. Cheapest bottle of wine - $48 USD which equated to almost A$70. Toilettries were never replaced even after asking 3 times. In fact the steward was only seen three times and it was very poor service. Finalising of account queue on the last night. Both my partner and everyone in the queue were furious at the wait time with 2 people serving and another desk free being payment for tours with nobody at it. People eating at 8.30 pm session had to wait till 10.30 to see a show lasting sometimes till 12. My partner would have loved a tour of the ship's history perhaps as a speaking or walking activity. We spoke to others who agreed. It was both my birthday and our anniversary and there was no provision or opportunity/acknowledgement for anything special as with other liners where a sign and balloons are put on your door or they bring out a little cake to your group dinner table (sounds trivial and not that I wanted to be centre of attention but if it's a special occasion, it always goes down well). When I enquired about this they advised I should pay for the specialty restaurant or purchase one of their expensive gift packages. We did not go on a shore excursion with the ship as most were booked out and were quite expensive. We went on a private tour and it was the highlight for us. It was a public holiday in Burnie but as the operators were locals they knew all the places to go. We were stressing before we went as to how formal the gala dinner would be, what to wear and how this would be presented. It was over-rated and nothing special was done. On the positive side - room was comfy, smooth sailing, nice surprise of a bottle of bubbly in the room, entertainment good, good guest speaker talks, impressive fit out of ship and we particularly loved the bar near the theatre (can't think of name) where the meals there were better than most restaurants and were free with such a great atmosphere and we found the staff here to be the most welcoming and engaging of all Happy it was a sampler but wouldn't go again.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Xmas and new year cruise to the canaries From embarkation to disembarkation it was everything we expected Arrived at the port 10.15 checked in and on by ten fifty five Balcony Cabin 4042 near stairway A no issues quiet location ... Read More
Xmas and new year cruise to the canaries From embarkation to disembarkation it was everything we expected Arrived at the port 10.15 checked in and on by ten fifty five Balcony Cabin 4042 near stairway A no issues quiet location the balcony had a solid front which didn’t cause any issues A very calm transit through the Bay of Biscay Food and waiters in Brittania we’re excellent best we have had (Alex and Jeffrey) New Year’s Eve was spectacular We enjoyed all the ports, disappointing that we didn’t get into Madeira, this was due to the weather, it was not safe for the tenders, very scary watching other tenders going into port Would highly recommend a very good cruise The only negative I have is the high costs of the drinks and the cost of spa treatments, if only they reduced the prices t am sure more people would indulge Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Overall, it is difficult to imagine anyone who is executing the overall shipboard experience better than Cunard and their flagship Queen Mary 2. From the big pieces, ship design and maintenance, to the fine details, cool towels and ice ... Read More
Overall, it is difficult to imagine anyone who is executing the overall shipboard experience better than Cunard and their flagship Queen Mary 2. From the big pieces, ship design and maintenance, to the fine details, cool towels and ice water waiting for guests returning from ashore, everything was executed brilliantly. We were on the Christmas holiday sailing roundtrip from New York in a sheltered balcony stateroom and we took our meals in the Britannia Dining Room at the late sitting. Some areas that may be most interesting for those considering a voyage. EMBARKATION Absolutely seamless. We arrived via car service at the pier and were through check-in, had our photo snapped, dropped off our hand luggage in the room and were eating in the Kings Court in less than 30 minutes. Our luggage was delivered before 4PM. STATEROOM Our sheltered balcony was well-appointed, with more than adequate storage. The room was spotlessly clean and in overall excellent condition. There were two minor issues, we had some very warm but not hot water for about 24 hours, but the problem was documented and corrective action taken and our room was able to be cooled just adequately, but didn't really offer the ability to make it delightfully cool. FOOD Food in the Britannia Dining room was outstanding. The menu had a very broad and deep offering with diverse flavors always on display. Portions were perfectly sized for a multi-course meal and the service was attentive and professional. One of Cunard's signature benefits is lunch served daily in the dining room, even on port days, which we found very pleasant. The Kings Court was recently refreshed and the new layout is far superior to the previous version. While the overall selection may be slightly smaller than what is available on other ships, the quality of the individual dishes is outstanding and there certainly are dishes to suit a wide variety of tastes. We only had breakfast from room service, but the food arrived fresh and the order was correctly filled. It is a luxurious option to have a hot meal delivered in the morning. ENTERTAINMENT Cunard is unparalleled in their breadth of onboard entertainment. The guest lecturers were world class, the evening entertainers very good to exceptional and the days offered so many options that it would be all but impossible to take it all in. SHIP Queen Mary 2 remains unique among ships offering cruises. She feels more like a grand stately hotel than anything, but maintains a great maritime heritage. Despite the large number of passengers, the ship never felt crowded. Overall cleanliness and condition were absolutely marvelous. The crew's care and attention to detail was evident everywhere. ITINERARY While it was not the critical factor in our choosing this journey, the round trip out of New York and stops in Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten make for a great variety of experiences and of course it all begins and ends in one of the world's greatest cities. SUMMARY Cruising with Cunard is different than anywhere else. There is a formality and refinement that just isn't prominent elsewhere. This leads to a great environment that isn't stuffy or boring, but refined and thoroughly enjoyable. Between the magnificent ship, the fabulous food, the superior service and the warm waters of the Caribbean in December, this was a marvelous journey. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many ... Read More
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many whispers on what she will be called “Queen Anne” is my answer now to wait and see, the cruise set sail and began its magnificent voyage to New York seven sea days. I was disappointed to find the ginger bread village had been cut only a quarter of the village displayed and they didn’t bring it out until we continued onto the Caribbean. The Cunard guest choir was outstanding. The staff always serving at such high standards. The North Pole making connection to say Father Christmas arriving the children amazed .. perfect xmas voyage - finally I could switch off.. place my sun hat upon my head and relax as we headed towards the Caribbean feeling the warmth as my body began to tan. New Year’s Eve the 8 o’clock party to bring in the new year in the golden lion was absolutely one of the best parties I have been too for bringing everyone together. The veranda head waiter and his staff for me shone more than any one with exception to Clyde and Romas in the golden lion. The Britannia restaurant food was of a good standard Christmas Day was exceptional. The spa for once on a cruise ship had a hairdresser that actually could do your hair. Maya. The events planner deepsha was professional in organising my event to perfection. The itinerary packed with things to do what ever your day you desired to fill with. The water colour class was a great class as 35 dollars also the floristry class with mikey and jay lo absolutely outstanding 50 dollars for a two day course. You practiced with beautiful flowers and Cunard never cheated you to gain money , they gave an exceptional class to ensure you had a five star experience. I took myself off to the 9.am fencing club now able to use a sword beware this critic can now defend herself. Midge Ure was performing and also gave lectures this was received well with passengers, whilst I carried in the moves with his daughter Molly in the fabulous G32. Until Dawn broke. The queen Mary2 suffered a complete power failure through out the ship on New Year’s Eve late in the evening. Darkness hitting the ship no power for around 25 minutes. The ship drifting as the chief engineer and his colleagues desperately trying to find a solution, alongside the captain who took almost 10 mins to make his announcement try to get to grips with what was happening to the ship before trying to let passengers know the details, some passengers complained this was too long but for the captain safety being his first priority. Three times they tried and Queen was back under command. A ship where no panic hit due to the training given to ensure passengers were safe and not frightened at this time. Another negative the social hostess was the worst I have ever come across, dosnt interact with passengers is very off putting Thai I was shocked to see, but I didn’t downgrade a star because I know Cunard will deal with it . So yes Queen Mary2 as you as sail keep on making dreams a reality. Yes she is a little more pricey but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Cunard provide excellence I await to sail again Lady Kendal Jaggar Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably ... Read More
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably the best to date. We were also glad to see that Cunard were maintaining the dress code, I did not see anyone who was not dressed to the correct standard. The dress standard is what Canard is all about. The dining staff were extremely attentive and were very keen to try and please. The ship was decorated beautifully in readiness for Christmas, we even had a small Christmas tree in the room. Our Stateroom was very comfortable, the Cunard staff could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. The enrichment activities were wonderful, in particular the NASA talks by Jim Kennedy. Overall the evening entertainment was to a high standard in particular the Cunard show called Hollywood nights, especially the new introduction of the "Greatest showman" which we thought was stunning. Most of the evenings involved late night drinks in the Commodore club listening to a pianist/singer. Overall a fantastic cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife & I have done many cruises over the last 10 years,And this has to be the the lower end of all we have done,If this had been our 1st it would have been our last,1 With CMV, 1 with Tui/Marella/Thomson,2 with Cunard & about 16 ... Read More
My wife & I have done many cruises over the last 10 years,And this has to be the the lower end of all we have done,If this had been our 1st it would have been our last,1 With CMV, 1 with Tui/Marella/Thomson,2 with Cunard & about 16 with P&O,The check in at Southampton was amazingly quick,15 mins from pulling up to cabin is the fastest we have ever experienced,After that it was nothing special,We were experiencing a banging noise outside our cabin,we did contact the pursers desk,the head deck steward did respond very quick,after 30 minutes or so,The desk phoned and said it was a faulty part on the deck above,deck 9 lido,and was required for operational purposes from 07:00 to 23:00 hrs.,They did give some compensation & ear plugs.We were hoping that the faulty part was going to be repaired or replaced at our 1st. stop,Madeira,but no it wasn't and we had to endure this noise for the whole of the Voyage.The there's the entertainment,Or lack of it,There was an illness with 1 of the theatre group,OK I can understand that the show had to be rearranged,so accepted that,but the rest was poor,Pat Patton the the Golden Lion EVERY night,not that good either,A Juggler on the theatre,Come on,we are not 10 year olds,There was 1 night they had a pianist in 3 different bars/venues at the same time,John Martin "comedian" seriously needs new material,He's been on cruise ships for years & is still using the sames gags,Keeps going on about being from Bootle,I thought Liverpool was full of comedians,John not one of them.Entertainments teams didn't mix with the passengers,Cunard like to call us guests,Equinox were good stuck up in the club,but that was empty,with no atmosphere,They did the Golden Lion one night & the Queens room on the last,both were rocking when they were there,I did tick the poor box on the feed back,And the Entertainment Director phoned my cabin & asked if I/We could have a talk about my poor comment,I felt like a naughty child being summonsed to the head teacher,But he was OK,Don't know the average age,We are both in our late 50s.,were very young compered to others,We mention this to the director that Cunard need to move with the times.and start looking after today's generation of cruisers and not who are in the latter years of life,He did seem a little shocked at that comment,But when he thought about it,knew what we meant,they need to rotate the entertainers,We were asked about a cigarette stump/butt on our balcony & we don't smoke, Everything else was great. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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