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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the ... Read More
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the welcoming party, there were no staff to direct us to our cabins! Therefore, after the initial 'pomp' there was no actual organisation. We managed to find our way to our cabin - some feat on a vessel this big I can tell you. Waited a further two hours to have our suitcase delivered after being told it would be outside our door when we got there. Let that go... The cabin was lovely, usual up-market hotel room, bit disappointed with the balcony being 'sheltered' which we found out means three quarters enclosed by steel... we were under the impression we had a glass balcony. Let that go too... Afternoon tea - I was expecting mini sandwiches and fancy cakes - but it was hot dogs, burgers, and old looking pizza. And not a lot of any of it either! Let it go... Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
To give my wife an experience of a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords was the task to help celebrate our 10th! Frankly the thought of being cooped up with thousands of people did not appeal and we had put off cruising for years. After a lot of ... Read More
To give my wife an experience of a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords was the task to help celebrate our 10th! Frankly the thought of being cooped up with thousands of people did not appeal and we had put off cruising for years. After a lot of research we went for an 'Early Bird' on the QE, choosing an outside cabin, midships on deck 1 to minimise any 'rocking and rolling' as my wife was concerned about the ship's movement. Booking direct with Cunard was easy and my naive questions were fully answered without condescension. We arrived early for embarkation, as our taxi pulled up a very polite porter took our bags and directed us to check in. 'Check In' was fast, efficient and as soon as we were on board, as our cabin wasn't ready we were directed to a lounge to sip tea and take in the view. Our cabin was surprisingly (to us) spacious and very clean, the bed was so comfortable and the window at ideal height to sit by. Lots of room for clothes, cases etc etc. The shower area was compact but had enough space and there were lots of lovely fluffy towels and a robe & slippers for each of us. We have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world and the cabin was on a par with some of those. Our Steward Gio was very helpful & friendly even apologising when he missed a call as he was off duty!! The restaurant for dinner and breakfast was excellent, the staff; are so well trained and professional putting many so called 'top restaurants', we have dined in to shame. The menu selection was so wide there was always something to tickle the palate - as usual the only thing that was below par was the attempt at Chinese food but we are used to that....being from HK. The buffet meals were all fresh and top class and the layout such that it was very easy to meet other passengers. So the BIGGEST surprise was that rather than being, 'cooped up' there was plenty of space and we met some delightful people. There is so much room on-board you can always find a quiet spot. Being newbies we booked excursions at every stop - yes we could have done our own thing but it was so nice to sit back and let someone else take the strain. Most of the guides were excellent and the one tour that was below par we got a partial refund for - the next day. The only real downside was the $49.99 minimum charge for access to the ship's internet that we passed on; so our roaming charges were high. The entertainment wasn't really our kind of thing but our fellow diners went every night and enjoyed it. The outdoor swimming pools were crowded at peak times so I did my swimming exercises outside of these hours or when it was raining! All in all it was a great experience! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this QM2 cruise because we had never done a crossing and the seven day length seemed a good way to try it. We were in the middle group, Princess Class, anbd dined eveninns in the Princess Grill. For breakfst adn lunch we chose ... Read More
We chose this QM2 cruise because we had never done a crossing and the seven day length seemed a good way to try it. We were in the middle group, Princess Class, anbd dined eveninns in the Princess Grill. For breakfst adn lunch we chose the Kings Buffet (the larage cafeteria that served the whole ship). The voyage included three formal nights, and in the Queens Griolle most men wore dinner jackets (although dark business suits were acceptable). Women ranged from smart pants oufits to gowns. Three series of lectures covered serious topics and were of good quality. If you missed alecture it ran for the next day on closed circuit tv. Each day there were two or three films running on the closed circuti tv, and a film library at the desk that was available if requested. Dining in the Queens Grille was very good with a British accent (many of the dishes were mildly spiced, but all were very nicely presented). An experience i would happily repeat. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I don't like to fly was the main reason for taking this cruise. getting on and off the ship was a nightmare. 2500 people and it took hours for the process. We are used to 5000 people and have it take half the time. Maybe if they ... Read More
I don't like to fly was the main reason for taking this cruise. getting on and off the ship was a nightmare. 2500 people and it took hours for the process. We are used to 5000 people and have it take half the time. Maybe if they pulled their noses out of the air they could work faster. The breakfast buffet was great, the midday buffet like wise. the evening meal was segregated and the atmosphere was cold. Our servers were very good and became friendly after the second day. The food was good and came as ordered. The lack of an alternative menu was disappointing because the entrees were not always very appealing. I guess you could say they lost something in the translation of upper crust to common folk. We wont be going on Cunard again even though it wasn't that bad overall. We did enjoy the promenade deck because it wrapped the around the whole ship without stairs. The entertainment had hard working dancers and singers that weren't prime time, the comedienne was not just over the hill but he should have stayed retired from the TV show he was on 40 years ago. Maybe his British humor lost something i translation also. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience the Suez Canal and for that the cruise was very successful. How did I rate the cruise overall - average I suppose? The food was good, especially buffet breakfast and lunch, loved the stir-fry and Thai noodle soup. The Kings Court always felt crowded, unless you dined early or late. The ship must have had over 2500 on board, but apart from the buffet and the rush to find a seat at the theatre, this huge number was managed well. We enjoyed most of the shows, but some of the seats available were only suitable for children with small posteriors!! During our first week, out of Dubai the meat quality provided in the Britannia restaurant was poor, somewhat dry and tough to eat. We had a table of eight and after a couple of days the other six table companions left us to have their dinner in the buffet, they preferred the quality provided in the Kings Court Buffet. So, for two weeks we were left on our own on a large table of 8. After the first week, the meat improved. The service in the restaurant was always to a high standard and Ryan & Jarold looked after us very well. Sunbathing on the deck could be an issue sometimes. Some of the wooden deck chairs on the Promenade Deck could not be adjusted and those that could were often reserved, sometimes for long periods. This was discouraged, but nothing appeared to be done about it. We always abandoned our chair when going to lunch, but we often appeared to be the exception. For three days, the chimney blew out specks of soot, this landed on sunbathers on the top deck and bathers reported staining issues. I reported this to the Pursers office and was told ‘We know’! During the first week, the ship suffered from Norovirus and restrictions for serving food etc. were put in place. This was generally handled very well and the virus restrictions were eventually successfully lifted. My partner was poorly on the last day after catching a tummy bug, given some prescriptions by the medical centre to help us travel home, hopefully avoiding any embarrassing incidents!! We were offered to be escorted off the ship. I thought this would help us get away promptly to catch a taxi to the station - wishful thinking. We were escorted off the ship and at the bottom of the gangplank told 'Have a safe journey home' We then had to find our case, queue for 20 mins for a taxi, all with a wife struggling to get around. So not a good end to the cruise really? So, the cruise overall? We enjoyed our holiday, We have never not enjoyed a cruise before on any ship or cruise line and we have been lucky enough to have enjoyed 28 cruises, including with Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Royal Caribbean , P&O, Tui, Celebrity, but this proved to be perhaps the least enjoyable. A shame, because in many ways Cunard and the crew try very hard to put on a good show. I still believe three classes of passenger is old fashioned, it is restrictive and reduces freedom to go anywhere on the ship, also reduces space available to Britannia class passengers. I suppose Cunard is trying to provide a different experience, their choice of course. Yes we enjoyed our cruise again, but.... Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with ... Read More
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. It was more 4 star. Everything you need but not "plush". Embarkation was initially a bit of a disappointment after walking up the gang way and greeting by a empty deck, with no directions as to where to go. However, one passing staff member felt sorry for us and pointed us in the right direction. Not a great start. Once we were greeted you were pretty much left to your own devices. I wasn't sure what to do but I headed to my cabin (more on the cabin later). I am very independent but as it was my first cruise, Cunard should have had someone proactively greeting and helping passengers. There were a lot of crew there mainly promoting the spa and beauty services. This promoting continued through the cruise every time I entered the Lido deck and go very annoying after a while. I was very interested to do some enrichment lectures and selected a session in Acupunture. A complete waste of time because it was another promotion where the practitioner wouldn't answer questions without you making an appointment. Truly awful! After that I didn't attempt anymore enrichment. I liked the shows on board a comedian and a group of guy singers from the UK. Both very good, though the shows were short. The singers seemed to have a limited rehearsed list of songs as some were repeated the second time I saw them. In saying this I think the entertainment was pretty good. Food was generally good in the Brittania restaurant but lunch there on one day was lacklustre. The pub was fun for a meal. I did not like The Lido at all. I don't like buffets and I don't like the lack of hygiene factor. Cunard really try but so many passengers are not conscious of practising good hygiene. Consequently, people got sick and then there was some kind of red alert resulting in cling film being plastered over the serving areas and staff serving resulting in big queues. Looked like a large cafeteria in a 1960's department store. I was advised before boarding that we had to buy our drinking water on board. That is so not ok with me...this is Cunard, this was water (a basic to live) it should be free of at least very inexpensive. It was not! Wine was obscenely expensive. I bought two bottles of wine and they were $90 Aud each. I am not a cheapskate but I am not wealthy and I think that was an absolute rip-off. I paid it because I like a glass of wine with dinner but I detest being ripped off. I may be painting a bleaker picture than the reality, it was a good cruise and I really enjoyed myself but I guess I had loftier expectations than the actual reality. I have found a new interest in cruising and would still consider Cunard except they are not going to the destinations I am considering for my next trip. I think I am going to try Crystal next time as it might suit me more and they are going where I am interested. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
Since we were celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, we wanted a special cruise and at the same time sample a Cunard ship. As we didn't see much of San Francisco and Hawaii when we visited six months prior this cruise gave ... Read More
Since we were celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, we wanted a special cruise and at the same time sample a Cunard ship. As we didn't see much of San Francisco and Hawaii when we visited six months prior this cruise gave us the chance to see both for longer. We enjoyed the activates on board, in particular darts and trivia's, the entertainment staff were the best we have ever encountered. The food was very good and in the dining room, not over facing, if you wanted more you could receive more (other cruises tend to put too much on a plate, which means a lot of wastage). Our friendly waiters, Marina and Glen, went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our meal The taste of the food, in particular Cheddar Cheese, brought back memories of how it should taste. I was able to have kippers every other day, and the waiters didn't think I was asking for 'capers'. After this first cruise with Cunard we were very impressed, and may have now become our favourite Cruise Line, but future cruises would depend on the itinerary. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Always wanted to cruise on Queen Mary 2 and experience the legend, Cunard and the past splendour of a transatlantic ocean liner. It was also my first cruise. Sailing from Sydney to Tasmania - return seemed a good way to enjoy this ... Read More
Always wanted to cruise on Queen Mary 2 and experience the legend, Cunard and the past splendour of a transatlantic ocean liner. It was also my first cruise. Sailing from Sydney to Tasmania - return seemed a good way to enjoy this experience. The QM2 sailed from Sydney to Port Arthur, Hobart and return to Sydney. From the moment you board QM2, you are taken to a past luxury and the best of British sailing history. The ship is truly large, beautiful and an experience to do at least one in your life. Staff were always friendly and always able to help you. Service is a hallmark of the QM2, so is the dining experience and entertainment. Tenders to Port Arthur were well organised and presented with no problems. Major Likes: The Veranda Restaurant - you have to book early to dine at this signature restaurant, but the service and meals were truly wonderful and the price extraordinary value. Food at all the ships dining establishments was good. Entertainment was refined and so was dressing formal. Everything about QM2 is grand. Things to be aware of for maiden passengers: QM2 is not really a shopping mecca. There is a handful of stores and except for the two stores, the others are very upmarket and expensive. Also be aware that when buying on ship (like all ships), they pre-approve funds from your account and it can take 7 to 10 days to clear from your account once the bills have been processed. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Embarked at Adelaide on a16 day cruise of several Australian ports.The ship handled well in a force 7 gale at night with 8metre waves with no roll but with a gentle pitch to lull you to sleep.The public rooms are large and with 2700 people ... Read More
Embarked at Adelaide on a16 day cruise of several Australian ports.The ship handled well in a force 7 gale at night with 8metre waves with no roll but with a gentle pitch to lull you to sleep.The public rooms are large and with 2700 people on board one never felt crowded,in some areas there were 20 to 30 people.This vessel is not for people who want nightclubbing.There are 2 floorshows each evening with singers,dancers& other international quests.Dancing in the Queens room every night accompanied by a full orchestra is a popular event.In the same room afternoon tea is served in a grand manner every day.We had any time dining in the Brittania Club restaurant where the food was of a very good standard.The wait staff & sommelier were knowledgeable and friendly.The guest speakers spoke about past court cases,forensics,astronomy,Wreck of the Titanic,and more.We found tendering to be very organised with care taken with older people.A true ocean liner in the grand tradition with lots of room without feeling cramped. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
1. Price! 2.. The food was very good indeed and I am fussy(!) I do not eat pork products and I was supplied each night with the menu for the following day to choose and some dishes were certainly made specially. The vaiety was very ... Read More
1. Price! 2.. The food was very good indeed and I am fussy(!) I do not eat pork products and I was supplied each night with the menu for the following day to choose and some dishes were certainly made specially. The vaiety was very good. I did ask on 2 occassions for kedgeree and although they said its not normal in Britannia dining room to have specially made dishes they did it and it was great ... Cunard is of course dressier than most cruise lines. I had bought a tux specially and in a 11 day cruise there were three formal nights and I found that i enjoyed them more as went along. If you really dont like dressing up you may wish to choose another cruise line.- having been on NCL Carnival and Princess we will certainly use Cunard again at the right price. It is certainly true that having to wear a jacket on informal nights does mean that Cunard informal is on a par with formal nights on some other cruises. I enquired about booking for next year and was quoted almost 3 times what I paid for this cruise. One bugbear was the price of wine which is of course priced in USD and of course includes the 15% service charge on top so easily works out at over £10 per glass . This may explain why we and so many passengers drank water with meals . It must be possibble with duty free rules applying to provide wine at non=profiteering rates. The enlightenment activities particularly talks by Martin Bell were extremely good and on one occassion I had to sit on the steps as there were no seats in the theatre . . . Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
For 799 USD on a balcony incl. 850 USD OBC you better go than staying home. Embarkation was "disappointing" since the weather was foggy and rainy. So not a real welcome feeling with a great farewell out of New York like we had ... Read More
For 799 USD on a balcony incl. 850 USD OBC you better go than staying home. Embarkation was "disappointing" since the weather was foggy and rainy. So not a real welcome feeling with a great farewell out of New York like we had in November 2014. Crew was fantastic - was mostly like reunion-party. Was NY Times Readers voyage incl. many lectures from NY Times. Wanted to join many but at first day many items canceled from my personal agenda and from second day never had a look again to daytime activities. Production shows were great. Violin-artist plus Diva of the Seas with Whitney Houston song fantastic. Only Opera Boys were a little weak compared to the level of the other shows. Food unchanged. But The Verandah. Too overpriced and too upscale compared to Todd English before. So only had one time but three times on last voyage. Alternative dining (Coriander and Smokehouse night) was nice. But the last Coriander food experience on QUEEN VICTORIA recently was better. Service experience as good as before. New King's Court with long ways to beverages. Best was fresh squeezed juices for breakfast. Cabin was fine. Nice balls and parties. Internet services better since it is no more MTN but Telenor. Better quality if it runs. But if it did not run it was terrible. Only regular debarkation deck by deck was too old-style. But friends with purser's office was helpful to get me off the ship at my time of convenience. Something they could do much better by asking the guests when they want to leave the ship. VERY NICE for Gays. Last transatlantic we were only 2 FODs. This time around 40. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Xmas/New Year Getaway: Was Wonderful. This is our 16th cruise & my spouse claims it as the BEST. We were familiar with NYC because we live in Montreal & had been there many times so we simply flew down, stayed in a nice ... Read More
Xmas/New Year Getaway: Was Wonderful. This is our 16th cruise & my spouse claims it as the BEST. We were familiar with NYC because we live in Montreal & had been there many times so we simply flew down, stayed in a nice inexpensive Ramada eastside hotel that included breakfast. Our cabin was nicely presented, the sheltered balcony was way better than expected and, while I do want to travel again on this ship, I do not feel I need upgrade next time (& there will be one) from the "sheltered". The customers were a mix of nice and very nice. Our late dining table was assigned & the upper outboard reaches of deck 3 & couldn't have been better. Service "white glove" throughout. The 4 Balls were so enjoyed & our advice is get there early because the biggest dance floor @ sea still isn't enough if you like to dance. We tried to steer a couple of our widowed table mates to the excellent dance hosts but failed there. A word on the ship's bands/orchestras/ singers/dancers: Best we have seen yet @ sea. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was the 2nd time that we embarked on the carribean cruise but first time with transatlantic crossings. The staff were as last time, wonderful. The room on deck four was adequate but we could hear the old guy in the room next ... Read More
This was the 2nd time that we embarked on the carribean cruise but first time with transatlantic crossings. The staff were as last time, wonderful. The room on deck four was adequate but we could hear the old guy in the room next door coughing every day/night and the TV from the room on the other side. We were given a choice of deck 4, 5 or 6 when we booked and after visiting other passengers rooms on deck 6, they were exactly the same it just meant we could easily walk down one flight of stairs when going to dinner and the entertainment downstairs. We were midship as we found out that it is the steadier/quieter part on our last visit. The transatlantic crossing over was quite rocky with waves crashing up as high as the dining room on deck 3 and many were complaining of feeling unwell but after 3 days people seemed to get used to it better. Sea sickness pills were sold without having to see the doctor. A cold/flu outbreak began in that week and was still very evident on week 4 with many people coughing. With not much to do on the transatlantic crossing it was a surprise to see they had reduced the casino down and had removed the craps table and other space. This has been done so they can received more income from the single cabins they have put in the space but it doesn't give the casino any identity to make it so small, may as well just take it out completely as it is too crowded at night and people don't stay very long because of this. So if you enjoy a casino as part of your cruise experience then this one is not very good. The lion pub has an extremely strong smell of cigarette smoke outside it, not surprising when the staff smoking room is below that area. The passengers however are not so lucky to have a sheltered smoking area unless they are a man. Very sexist for Cunard to provide a cigar/pipe smoking room (churchills) and yet I lost count of how many women in cocktail dresses were forced to brave the bad weather on deck 7 because there was nowhere else for them to go. I understand people want to smoke on their vacation but what a terrible way to enforce it. Another note...deck 7 smokers area was the most socialable area on the ship. In the evening it was always packed full of smokers and non smokers chatting and drinking whereas in the lion pub people tend to sit in small groups an not interact. Never enough tables and chairs but still always very busy. On deck 7 there was also a lot of joggers which other passengers on deck 6 said was very annoying as they could hear them bounding around. The spa area was very nice but after buying a week pass on my first week, I went to buy another for the second week and was told that they were not selling them anymore because too many had been purchased. I wanted to use the spa pool and looked to see how busy it was....4 people in there. Seems as though management would rather turn away my money an issue a block ban on purchases rather than try to accomodate or work with the passengers to try to make everyone happy. I was informed by another passenger that I could have bought a 4 week pass for all my cruise but Cunard did not inform me of this at all. On a daily basis the ships photographers would take photos...warning they cost a fortune. 20 images on a disc for $525. RIP OFF. Better to take a camera of your own and stand next to their photographers to take it. The food was fantastic with something to suit everyone. The carribean islands were good but I would give Tortola and Dominica a miss as they felt very unsafe. It rained all day in Dominica and apparently this is the norm. Finer touches have been replaced with cost saving and the quest for implemented gratuities is evident. Everything seemed to have a 12.5% gratuity on automatically and that's on top of the daily gratuity that has to be paid per person at the end of the cruise. Bingo was very expensive at $30 a time for 4 quick games on a daily basis and it would be interesting to know how much Cunard make from it as the prizes do not reflect the number of people playing. Interesting to see how many new embarkes at New York were queuing at the pursers office to complain in the hope of getting an free upgrade on their room. The alternative dining was very good, staff made it a great experience. Cleanliness of the ship was okay but staff were slow to act on a couple of occasions such as it took more than 20 minutes to clean up a toilet that had leaked and the water fountain had a customer vomit in it which took more than 20 mins again after being reported. Net curtains in Queens room desperately need a clean as they are very yellow and smokey coloured. Technically the ship is way out of date. Daily iternary papers printed and given to each customer are ok but do I really want to carry it around with me all day to see what is happening. Why not have customer information screens around the ship so people can see what is happening around them and when. Would say it is definitely not a ship ran with children in mind, more elderly people. All in all though I loved being on the ship for 26 days as I love the motion of the ocean, especially when it's a rocky ride and I would definitely do this trip again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We saw this deal last August for three nights in New York and return by QM2. We had never been to this city before and always thought that we would try one of the "Queen's" at sometime so the two came together nicely. ... Read More
We saw this deal last August for three nights in New York and return by QM2. We had never been to this city before and always thought that we would try one of the "Queen's" at sometime so the two came together nicely. Neither disappointed but this is Cruise Critic so lets confine ourselves to the ship. We have been on most of the other lines, Princess, Celebrity etc, but this is undoubtably the premier ship. She is stunning, perhaps helped by a complete refit a few months before we joined her. We passed through some very rough weather but she was as steady as a rock. She is the only fully classified transatlantic liner, as opposed to just a cruise ship, and it shows. We had an obstructed balcony cabin as we couldn't imagine wanting to sit out on the balcony in midwinter Atlantic, which proved correct. Everything about the cabin was more than satisfactory from layout and cleanliness to the tireless room steward. Nothing was too much trouble and all with a smile. The public rooms are majestic, particularly the main central corridor leading to and from the atrium, and you could easily imagine yourself in a five star hotel ashore. The only slight niggle we had was the food which although delicious was very small portions. After the second night when i had been presented with a main course smaller than my starter I complained to the maitre de. I was immediately offered a second portion, which i declined as my wife had already finished hers and would have had to wait for me, but said i would have cheese and biscuit for dessert to compensate for volume. I was then presented with the largest portion of cheese and biscuits I have ever seen which my wife helped me finish. After that my card was marked and i certainly did not have cause to complain about small portions for the rest of the cruise. Drinks are expensive and you have the usual 15% gratuity added automatically with space left for you to add more if you wish. We didnt. 15% is more than enough. We are bridge players and played duplicate every afternoon run by a very experienced Canadian bridge director. Unfortunately whilst we were away we heard that a family funeral had been arranged for the day we were due to dock back in Southampton. After explaining the situation they gave us special passes so that we could disembark at 7am to enable us enough to time to make it. The only down side was that we had to handle our own luggage but that was only a minor inconvenience. Throughly recommend the whole experience. We met many Americans and Canadians who regularly make the round trip crossing as their two week holiday. One Canadian lady travelling on her own explained that she loved dancing and playing bridge so for her it was a perfect holiday and a chance to meet new people. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Beautiful ship-Wonderful to have Roger/Jim McGuinn on board for some great sit downs!!!!(Founder of the Byrds) But the nightly entertainment leave a lot to be desired. Same people night after night but in a new costume!! Very boring!! The ... Read More
Beautiful ship-Wonderful to have Roger/Jim McGuinn on board for some great sit downs!!!!(Founder of the Byrds) But the nightly entertainment leave a lot to be desired. Same people night after night but in a new costume!! Very boring!! The food was fine, lots of lamb, which I love!! Had late sitting (8:30) which I love. Portions were rather skimpy, so we just asked for more!! Not a problem. The price of drinks was just stupid. All were $10 or more with gratuity. When ordering a glass of wine you are asked if you want the"full measure:" which is $5 more than the puny lesser choice- Just a rip off. The so called full measure was less than what you would be served at dinner at any restaurant. The service out on the deck was ok, but the servers all looked very sad, never seemed to smile. I have never in my life been on a cruise that did not have a drink of the day. But no such thing on Cunard!! You are squeezed for every penny!!! But my reward was the lowest final bill charged to my account after I got home!!! I just did not drink much, because of the highway robbery price of drinks!!! My outside cabin was wonderful and spotless and spacious. I do not take the shore trips from the ship. I have been to all the islands many times before, so just took my time getting off and got a taxi to the beach. $4- in Tortola and St Martin St Thomas- Embarkation was a snap- I choose to self walk off the ship and was in a taxi to Grand Central Station at 7:30 am--Could not be smoother!! Ballrooom dancing each night in The Queens Room is a hoot to watch!!! And High Tea each day at 3:30 in the Queens Room was flawless. Tons of deck chairs at pool and prom deck Lunch buffet was great with lots of great choices and self serve ice cream machine. I would go again only if it was an offer I couldn't refuse!!! I brought on a bottle of wine in my checked suitcase and also one in my carry on bag-No questions asked!! And there was a corkscrew in the mini bar. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
entertainment and food very poor,,spent nine days at sea because we could not dock in the azores and no extra enterteainment laid on, very very boring. all prices higher than our previous cruise on the same ship at xmas 2015. staff not ... Read More
entertainment and food very poor,,spent nine days at sea because we could not dock in the azores and no extra enterteainment laid on, very very boring. all prices higher than our previous cruise on the same ship at xmas 2015. staff not very helpful. only one port visited was worth a visit. after a long strenous year we booked this cruise because of the experiance on a previous cruise on this ship, however we were totally disappointed with the overhaul cruise and we will have to think long and hard before booking a further trip.the cruise left us feeling let down and very subdued. we never ventured on any of the tours because of the charges and due to the fact my wife and i are both disabled we were unable to get around to easy except by taxi which was beyond our budget. since my wife and i started cruising in 1998 this was probably our most dissapointing yet. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We booked parking recommended by Cunard. We arrived at the ship and within two minutes our baggage and car had been taken, what a great start. Our balcony cabin was incredible and everything was spot on . We received a half bottle of ... Read More
We booked parking recommended by Cunard. We arrived at the ship and within two minutes our baggage and car had been taken, what a great start. Our balcony cabin was incredible and everything was spot on . We received a half bottle of complimentary champagne and we then familiarised ourselves with the ship before the safety briefing. We then went for drinks in the Chart Room and then went to the Brittania restaurant for 8.30 sitting. We had fantastic food and great service every night. The entertainment was great each night with the Rock tenors our favourite. We took two Cunard organised trips one from Le Havre to Rouen and one from Zeebrugge to Ghent. The organisation on the Ghent trip was better with ear pieces and hearing contact with our guide. The Rouen trip was not so good as you could not hear what the guide was saying unless you were next to her. The drinks are quite expensive but we consumed what we wanted and received a final bill of £285. We opted out of the tipping charge and gave personal tips to those who looked after us. The boat is immaculate and the only two niggles we had were on the masked ball night we had purchased masks and when we entered the ballroom only a small percentage of people had masks and all the seating was taken by people not wearing masks. The other complaint that we had was with one of the female waiters in the Chart Room who was not friendly and too busy chatting up and stopping other waiters from doing their job. We had a fantastic Romanian wine waiter who made our meal even better with his attentiveness. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were delayed going out to Barcelona with Titan Airways. When we eventually went through the gate there were buses to get us out to the plane. It was awful for the elderly - we were like sardines and had to wait over an hour on the ... Read More
We were delayed going out to Barcelona with Titan Airways. When we eventually went through the gate there were buses to get us out to the plane. It was awful for the elderly - we were like sardines and had to wait over an hour on the plane due to a technical fault with the baggage hold. Then the same at Barcelona, more buses from the plane to the terminal as the plane was way away and there were also lots of steps. To top the lot, the transfer coach from the airport to the ship would not let us take our bag with all our valuables onto the coach as they said the bag was too big. Surely Cunard should advise what size the bag needed to be. Nobody took it off us on the way back!! We had all our money, jewellery, computers, iPad, kindles and didn't want to leave them in the hold so we had to get a taxi - 39 euros !!!! Nice start. Wouldn't book the flight ever again with Cunard or any of them for that matter. First time we did and it is the last. We usually arrive the day before and get a hotel with the saving on a cruise only basis. We took 3 cases going - paperwork said 23kg in weight and NOT how many pieces. On the way back at check in - Titan tried to charge us for a 3rd piece of luggage. Nobody said anything on the onward journey. We refused and they said they would make an exception!! Be careful. Apart from that we had a lovely cruise. Food in the Britannia was good, (beef wellington was lovely), Verandah - need to check the menu, we didn't and wish we had. The lamb made up for it and was really good. The Lido Alternative 'Coriander Night' was a bit disappointing and the 'Prime' night was just ok. Entertainment was good but nothing amazing. Staff were really nice. We used the Spa for one day which cost 35 dollars each. That was lovely. Don't bother with the hairdressers. Rip off. I booked for a blow dry and the price is 'from' $35 depending on the length of your hair. She said mine was medium. When I got to the till I was charged for long hair and it was $56. A big difference. It was as flat as a fluke and washed it the next day anyway. Never seen such a hash of bingo in all my life. Not the usual bingo tickets and everyone was making false calls. Pillows and bed were very very comfortable. We had a balcony mid aft 6127 nice room. Drinks are very expensive - $12.95 dollars plus 15% service plus 10% spanish tax for a glass of wine. $40-50 for a bottle of wine at the dinner table. I did manage to find a bottle of Picpoul de Pinet (french dry white) which was nice for $35. Again plus 15% plus 10% tax as we went from Barcelona. They have to add Spanish tax. Lovely ship and lovely cruise. Would go again but not using their transfers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Length and time of the year means little or no chance of children on board. Britannia balcony cabin on deck 5 toward the front was ideal for us and as we did not intend going ashore too often we were well placed for the ships facilities ... Read More
Length and time of the year means little or no chance of children on board. Britannia balcony cabin on deck 5 toward the front was ideal for us and as we did not intend going ashore too often we were well placed for the ships facilities and reasonable vantage point to view our entry into and out of ports. We are very regular travellers with Cunard, we are Diamond level, and we are disappointed at the extortionate price of drinks even before the 15% service charge is added and a further 10% when in Spanish waters!! All other activities now mostly carry an additional nominal charge from $150 to €15 The daily programme is mostly filled with tasters for the Spar so they can sell products and treatments at enormously inflated prices! As a result of the pricing policy the Captains, World Club and senior Officers parties have become a mass scramble for a free drink The ship now bears all the indications of grabbing margin at any cost, The White Star service which Cunard believe they are delivering is no longer there Evening entertainment is at best reasonabley good but never top rate or excellent Every seat everywhere on the ship need reupholstering they have all sunk! Harsh words but very very true and echoed by all our fellow passengers, Cunard really need to take notice of the views of Britannia level customers, where the volume and growth potential is and stop pandering to the Grills passengers Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
50th anniversary. Wifi was expensive and a constant headache. Transfer to laguardia airport was mishandled. Not enuf buses, crowds of people waiting outside the ship for a bus, most of them quite elderly. No place to sit or get out of the ... Read More
50th anniversary. Wifi was expensive and a constant headache. Transfer to laguardia airport was mishandled. Not enuf buses, crowds of people waiting outside the ship for a bus, most of them quite elderly. No place to sit or get out of the elements. Thank goodness it did not rain. No excuse for Cunard not to know how many buses necessary for the transfer. This info is provided well in advance of the cruise. Just very, very mishandled! Shore excursions very pricey. Ship staff was generally pleasant and helpful. This cruise was the worst we have been on. We would not recommend this ship. Signage to gangways and other areas of this gigantic vessel was very poor. Getting from one place to another took more time than necessary because there were few directional signs. Self laundry was not available 24/7. Did not open until 7:30am and shut down at 9pm. Ugh! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
And a very good experience too! Did not know what to expect but enjoyed this cruise very much. Although it is quite different from American cruise lines, we (my sister and I) found Queen Victoria restrained but very easy to ... Read More
And a very good experience too! Did not know what to expect but enjoyed this cruise very much. Although it is quite different from American cruise lines, we (my sister and I) found Queen Victoria restrained but very easy to navigate and quite nice. The food in the dining room was superb as were our waiter, Emmanuel, and his assistant, Marcelito. Very professional all the time. We really liked them. The cabin was pretty large and spacious. The ports were excellent and we enjoyed especially Zakynthos and Salerno. Quite different but both very enjoyable. The crew, unfortunately, is a little surly and perhaps a refresher course in just simple hellos and smiles would go a long way with crew-passenger relations. Most passengers were very elegant in both formal nights and even regular nights. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and we left having enjoyed our cruise with Queen Victoria to the Eastern Mediterranean feeling very pleased. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We are a group of friends, two couples in their 40's and two in their 60's. This was our first cruise, previously we have done two Transatlantics on the QM2. We booked our BF-category cabins almost a year in advance so had a lot ... Read More
We are a group of friends, two couples in their 40's and two in their 60's. This was our first cruise, previously we have done two Transatlantics on the QM2. We booked our BF-category cabins almost a year in advance so had a lot of time to imagine how the experience would be. Some expectations were fulfilled, some not. Smiths for Airports transported us from Heathrow to Ibis Southampton Centre the day before embarkation. As usual their service was excellent. Next day after breakfast we walked to the WestQuay Shopping Centre to buy some boarding champagne. We arrived at the Mayflower Terminal around 12.30pm and were in our cabins in less than half an hour. Excellent! Cabin was as expected with lots of storage space, nice light colours, big balcony and a full bottle of sparkling wine greeting us. Before the drill we went to the Lido buffet for lunch. It took us some time to find the main serving area, the staff was not very active in helping us to find anything. But the food was good. First impression on embarkation was the much smaller scale of the ship's interior in comparison to the QM2. The ceilings are lower, stairways steeper and corridors narrower, she looks much bigger in pictures. Some spaces are impressive, like the midships atrium, the central well in the Britannia restaurant, the Verandah restaurant and the Royal Court theatre. But the decor in the Commodore Club, the Lido and Garden Lounge is a bit tired and dated. It is quite evident that the ship is lacking at least one public room. The Cafe Carinthia serves the role of the non-existing Chart Room, my second favourite space on the QM2 and the Midsips Bar is a crowded combination of champagne bar and a place for aperitifs. I'm not sure if there really is the need for all that space for a card room, internet room and the shops of the Royal Arcade. The Queen's Room is an impressive two deck high ballroom used for various activities during the day and dancing in the evening, but to some extent it suffers from being divided by the main corridor on deck 2. The Golden Lion pub is big and seemed to be very popular. The Commodore Club is a vast space with wonderful views over the ship's bow. In the evening there is a pianist playing, which perfects the mood for a cocktail bar but if you are seated next to the piano forget about conversation. The adjacent Yact Club night club serves it's purpose and the library is beautiful with a good stock of books and magazines. We had a table for four at the stern on the upper level of the Britannia restaurant. The view was nice but we were so far from the central well that it was easy to forget about the lower level and the size of the restaurant. Here QM2's Britannia wins hands down. Food was good with swift and even a bit hurried delivery, we were out of the restaurant in little more than an hour. Service was efficient and correct but not very personal. We ate a couple of luches in the Lido buffet but found the layout a bit confusing. It was hard to find a free table and the walk from the service area was sometimes long. Plus for some reason the napkins there must have been washed with paper as you were covered in white dust all over as soon as you unfolded it! Fortunately the same problem did not occur in other restaurants. One day we tried the pub for lunch which was nice, but due to lack of staff we had to fight to be served. Breakfast in the Britannia restaurant was good, but again service was not very enthusiastic. We took most of our breakfasts in the cabin and they were delivered promptly before the ordered time, with lukewarm coffee and tea. One morning my partner was given a youghurt with best before-date two weeks old. A new one was brought swiftly with apologies and later the room service manager sent us some chocolate strawberries as a compensation, a nice touch. The best meal of the cruise was our dinner at the Verandah restaurant. I had big expectations and it fulfilled and exceeded them all. The service was impeccable and the food delicious, our dinner took over three hours. It was worth every single dollar and more. We took the afternoon tea almost every day. The sandwiches, cakes and scones were delicious, but the service was better executed on the QM2, where you didn't have to ask for additional servings as they were automatically offered. The drinks selection in the bars was good. Overall service was a bit lacking in enthusiasm. Nobody was rude or unattentative but it felt like they were not proud to be working on the QE, again a stark contrast to how the staff were on the QM2. Best were the staff at the bars. The Britannia dining room staff were getting better towards the end of the cruise so they deserved the tip which we first thought to withhold. My friend took a massage package in the Spa and said praises of the staff there. We didn't take any of the Cunard's excursions as we felt they were overpriced and anyway our main motivation for the cruise was the dining and the ship itself. In Vigo we walked around the city centre, everything was closed as it was Sunday but in the end we found a cafe and sat there for a while before heading back to the ship for lunch. We all know Lisbon well so took two walks in the city with a lunch onboard in between. The sailing into the port was a fabulous sight, with just a few meters clearance to the bridge. Porto was very interesting, shame about the 30 minute shuttle from the port to the city. We took a port wine tasting there and spend most of the remainin time in a traffic jam, so have to go back there some day to explore the city properly. Cherbourg was nice, the weather there was cold and windy and not much to see in the city centre, except for the Maritime Museum located right next to the terminal. I guess we are seaday people because we enjoyed those the most. Breakfast in the cabin, jog on the treadmill, some lazy reading and then the fabulous formal dinner in the evening, followed by some drinks in the Commodore Club. Entertaintement was good, especially the harpist and violinists. The Royal Court theatre looks great, but if you are seated in the boxes or on the upper level the safety glass obscures your vision. Disembarkation was efficient. We had an early breakfast in the Britannia, had to vacate our cabins before 8:30 and then sat in the theatre for some 45 minutes before being let out. Smiths took us to Heathrow, where we checked in our bags and took the tube to visit the Osterley House before our late evening flight back home. Overall we had a fabulous time. We like Cunard and the Queen Elizabeth is a nice ship, well maintained and clean. Most of the other guests onboard were elderly Brits, with some 200 Japanese giving a bit of international feeling. The weather in Spain and Portugal was very good and the Bay of Biscay was gentle on us. But now we also know that the Queen Mary 2 is something very special, so most propably we'll book a crossing for next year to see how she looks after the remastering. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Cunard Queen Elizabeth 7 Day Iberia cruise October 2016 We are experienced cruisers, but have been ‘resting’ since 2012. It a bit long and rambling I’m afraid. This was our second Cunard cruise, but were classed as first ... Read More
Cunard Queen Elizabeth 7 Day Iberia cruise October 2016 We are experienced cruisers, but have been ‘resting’ since 2012. It a bit long and rambling I’m afraid. This was our second Cunard cruise, but were classed as first timers as there are no records of our first cruise on QE2 in 1991, a 2-day voyage to nowhere, a prize in a competition. Been lucky in competitions, Paris and Vienna and 2 luxury hotel breaks in the UK as well! As always we travelled down the day before and stay in a hotel near Southampton, in this case the Holiday Inn near Winchester, a modern clean hotel with good service we have used before. As we had a 12.30 check in, so we had a little retail therapy at M&S at Hedge End, which we managed to squeeze in the cases, before we set off for the Mayflower terminal. We arrived around 11.20, the car was quickly unloaded and we made our way to check in. We were in a Princess Grill suite, and were directed to the Suite check where we were quickly checked in, and directed straight on board, passing through security on the way. Up to our suite on deck 6, no cases, but I wasn’t surprised considering how fast we boarded. Loved the room, we had seen one on a ship visit, and viewed some videos online, And it was just right for us, doubt we will ever bother to go up to Queens Grill grade one. The dreaded Pol Acker was there, and put in the fridge for safety. We bought it home to use when we have unwanted guests! Lunch was at one o’clock, so we went to the Queens Lounge for a soft drink (my wife cannot tolerate alcohol), and started wondering what sort of table we would be getting, we had requested a ‘quite’ table for two, and had suggested one we had seen in photo’s of the restaurant. The Princess grill opened, the Maitre' d greeted us and showed us to the table we had asked for, what a result! We soon met the rest of the team, and we were ready to enjoy the service! All I can say that the food and service we received that week for far superior to any we have received on our other cruises. As new comers to Cunard, we did not notice the menu cuts, and always found some thing to please us, although the menus in the suite sometimes did not coincide with the restaurant! Although I tend to go for vegetarian options, I do appreciate a well-cooked meal, and the tenderloin beef was the best I have ever had, the vegetarian scotches egg and stuffed pepper were also excellent. The whole team in the restaurant were excellent, the only problem I had was a vegetarian spring roll that nearly set my mouth on fire, and it was so hot, a change was quickly offered, but I carried on! My wife prefers small portions of food and Tio our waiter and the chefs really catered for her requests. As for the entertainment, the dance show was OK, but not really our scene, on the other hand Allan Stewart was fantastic, we had seen him before, but it was either new material, or we had forgotten his act! Seeing comments on some reviews about the condition of QE, she looked OK to us, yes, there is rust in places, but it must be a nightmare to keep her ship shape. The bay was a bit bumpy, so we took a Sturgeon when we got up, and it was no problem. And so to the ports, we have done all the tours we want to do, so it’s just DIY these days. First port was Vigo, on a Sunday! A quick walk round, a few shops were open and a few Euros spent on presents for our grand children, then back to the ship. Lisbon the next day, and although we were fairly close, it was to far for us to walk as we both have slight mobility problems, so as we had been before, decided to enjoy the ship instead. Lunch in the Courtyard was memorable that day. Then Porto, a shuttle in, but it dropped us in a completely different area from where we had been before, so we did a little exploring and shopping, then back to the ship for lunch. We often used to dine ashore for lunch, but no way were we going to miss the PG for lunch! Back across the bay and on to our last port, Cherbourg, which was new to us. Again a shuttle in, and it was market day which we found quite interesting, and we had made quite a few purchases there, its somewhere we would like to go to again sometime. The shuttle bus also called at a shopping centre, which we had a look in. There was a Carrefour there, so a few food purchase were made there as well. Disembarkation like boarding was a dream. We had an 8.15 time, and had to assemble in the Britannia restaurant deck 3. A full breakfast was served in PG, our waiter would not believe that on our last cruise on Celebrity we were given paper plates and cups in the disembarkation lounge. We docked exactly on time, self disembark was scheduled for 7.15, but I saw people walking off at 7.05. We went to the Britannia about 7.45 and newspapers, snacks and drinks were available, we were called at 8.05 and soon located our cases and collected our car, and were well on our way home by 8.30. Children, dress code and smoking, those emotive subjects! We only saw 2 children on board, both under fives I would guess. Smoking, never saw it or smelt it. The dress code was well followed, just the odd person who think the rules don’t apply to them, but that goes on any line or ship! After 2 disappointing trips on Celebrity, this cruise really restored our faith in cruising. One or two small niggles, but they can’t have been that bad, as I can’t remember what they were! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I booked with Queen Victoria mainly because I liked the itinerary. The Queen Victoria is an amazing boat - spotlessly clean and shiny, elegant and comfortable! It was just beautiful! The staff were very attentive and provided excellent ... Read More
I booked with Queen Victoria mainly because I liked the itinerary. The Queen Victoria is an amazing boat - spotlessly clean and shiny, elegant and comfortable! It was just beautiful! The staff were very attentive and provided excellent service, mainly in the Britannia Dinning Room and my cabin steward. Some staff were a bit aloof but generally ok. They were going to varnish the balcony rails on one port stop however I mentioned I had issues with solvents so they said they wouldn't do my balcony and they did stick to their word on this which was great. I booked a midship balcony as I get seasick. The room was spacious, well decorated and the bed was incredibly comfortable, I was pleasantly surprised it was very spacious and meticulously maintained. The room steward was fantastic. The food was also delicious - breakfast was pretty typical cruise fare with a great choice but from lunch on it was wonderful. Dinners in the Brittania were fabulous and I have to commend the staff there were a few people at our table with allergies and gluten issues and every day they discussed with the manager with regards to the following nights men, so their food could be cooked separately or changed to suit their medical needs. There is a great choice on the menu and the staff are always attentive and remember your likes and dislikes from the previous evening. I was seated at a table of 8 as I was travelling solo, this was great everyone at my table appeared to be solo travellers too. I ate two meals in the Verandah Restaurant and really enjoyed this experience and meal. The entertainment was really great. I went to two lectures and these were interesting and well prepared - not too long just the perfect length of time. There is something for everyone. I did a couple of tours with Cunard but I must say they are expensive for what you seem to get. I had to complain on both tours about the bus driver using the mobile phone while driving and some roads were really scary bendy. The Corfu bus driver was telling the tour guide to tell us not to go in the water at the beach stop of the tour as he didn't want to get sand in his bus...I didn't find that appropriate. I felt rushed on both tours I did. I may have not booked this tour if i realised it was such a formal dress requirement, however I have to say I did enjoy dressing up for dinner and felt not everyone was complying with this requirement. There is a sense of hard sell for the Spa products and at the shops onboard. I guess this goes on all the time, so you just ignore and move on. My embarkation and transfer was smooth and quick as was the disembarkation to the airport. In all i really enjoyed my experience with Queen Victoria, I felt a little left out at times but enjoyed the ports of call. I am sure i would travel with Cunard again should the opportunity arise. I value staying safe and well and you feel this on Cunard. Read Less
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