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42 Cunard Senior Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date March 2017
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
Sail Date November 2016
Queen Mary 2 Remastered -- Myeh! The Queen Mary 2 was in dry dock in Hamburg from the end of May through the third week of June, resuming her crossings of the Atlantic just a few weeks before our Eastbound crossing on July 6, and our ... Read More
Queen Mary 2 Remastered -- Myeh! The Queen Mary 2 was in dry dock in Hamburg from the end of May through the third week of June, resuming her crossings of the Atlantic just a few weeks before our Eastbound crossing on July 6, and our return sailing from Southampton on August 1. The "remastering", as Cunard calls it, was advertised heavily for many months. So, I was looking forward to the wonders we would find aboard. I'm sure if we were occupants of one of the several brand new suites dropped onto the 13th deck while the ship was in dry dock, enjoyed some of the improvements in the other most expensive suites, or inspected the newly cleaned and painted hull or engine pods, we would have seen many great improvements. From our vantage point, staying in a middle-level balcony stateroom, the ship was beautiful, but the "remastering" was greatly over-hyped. To be fair, the Carinthia Lounge and the King's Court buffet, available to all, are very nicely redecorated. There is also much beautiful, new carpet in many of the public areas. In a giant leap forward into the latter part of the last century, the tiny TVs that sat on the counter next to the vanity have been replaced by 42" flat panel TVs mounted on the wall, opposite the bed and love seat. There are probably other areas that have been redone that we didn't use or didn't notice. The stench of old cigarette butts in the 6th deck "C" elevator area on the non-smoking QM2 was awful. I can only guess they used the container standing there to dump the ash trays from the deck 7 outside smoking area. Since we were "commuting" between New York and Southampton before and after our Celebrity Eclipse Baltic/Scandinavian cruise, it was helpful that the QM2 has several laundry rooms where guests can do their own washing, since the Celebrity Solstice-class ships don’t have any do-it-yourself laundries . It is a miserable experience, though, since theQM2’s laundry room is tiny and sweltering, The launderettes are a great convenience, but once the first loads of clothes of the day are washing, you don't have much choice but to stand there waiting for a machine to become available. The "remastering" didn't address the lack of ventilation or cooling. It is still hot as blazes in the launderettes. There were several excellent speakers on our two transatlantic crossings, and it was a treat to see Herbie Hancock and his group perform. When the Kings Court buffet was being redecorated, the floor plan was completely revamped. There are several small, quiet alcoves and nooks with 2 to 5 tables, giving a feeling of pleasant isolation from the hustle and bustle of the buffet. The chaos in the buffet, however, is worse than before the remastering. The renovation seems to be a designer's plan of form over function. There are four separate food serving areas in a line down the center of deck 7, separated by passages and cross corridors. While the intention seems to have been to separate the pizza and pasta station, the hamburger and hot dog section, the hot and cold beverage stations, and other food areas, the result is that finding a seat, selecting a salad, beverage, entree, or dessert requires long walks back and forth, in and around, from section to section, often getting disoriented, and then searching for your table which cannot be seen if it is more than a few yards from where you are standing. The milling of hungry guests through four food-serving rooms, carrying plates and sloshing beverages, trying to find a food item, and then having no idea where the table they left is, is a major, recurring frustration. A large, open serving area, within sight of the tables and alcoves, would be much more practical in a self-service buffet. Food in the main dining room was very good. Room service, however, was a big disappointment on the QM2 after our cruises on the Celebrity Eclipse and Reflection. The room service menu is very limited. It is mostly burgers, a few sandwiches, and a half dozen very simple hot dishes, like spaghetti Bolognese and quesadillas. Of course, there are two full pages with three columns of small print listing dozens and dozens of glasses and bottles of wine, beer, and soft drinks you can buy through room service. My wife had not been feeling well, and she was tired the last half of our Celebrity cruise and the first half of our homeward crossing on the QM2. When our waiter on the Eclipse noticed my wife missing for dinner one night, he suggested that I order whatever I thought my wife would like from the dining room menu, and he would have it delivered by room service. He happily did that five or six of the 14 nights. In my naivity I asked our waiter to do that one night on the QM2. It was as if no one had ever imagined the concept. It took multiple conversations with the waiter and his supervisor, who eventually got it done, but why was that such a production? Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were on the post-remastering cruise for the QM2, boarding in Hamburg immediately after the dry dock. We love the QM2 and love the experience of transatlantic crossings. This was our 20th cruise and our 6th time on Cunard. ... Read More
We were on the post-remastering cruise for the QM2, boarding in Hamburg immediately after the dry dock. We love the QM2 and love the experience of transatlantic crossings. This was our 20th cruise and our 6th time on Cunard. Re-Mastered Ocean Liner: The re-mastering was largely a success. The cabins have a more modern and subdued color scheme. New carpets throughout the ship, most with classy designs. The old problem of spongy holes in the carpets seems to have been fixed. The new furniture and design in the Carpathia Lounge and Kings Court are all beautiful and inviting. We did not like the changes in the atrium lobby so much as it now looks like a tired hotel lobby from the 70s. Food: We were in Princess Grill for the first time and enjoyed the food very much. It was old-fashioned cruise line cuisine done very well. We had lunch and dinner one time each in the new Verandah restaurant, enjoyed both meals, and recommend the experience for a little splurge. Verandah's cuisine is quite modern and inventive, much like fine dining in a major world city. But while the King's Court design had been re-mastered, the food had not been and was pretty much the same as before and as in the buffet on all Cunard ships. In fact I think Cunard has standardized it across the line. Kings Court food was so mediocre that we tried it only once and never went back. Service: Adequate. All bar and drinks staff did a great job. Abelardo, the sommelier in Princess Grill was outstanding. Unfortunately we had the worst cabin steward of all of our cruise experiences. Day after day, things would be not quite right and communications were poor. Service in Princess Grill (other than Abelardo) was just OK, not close to a luxury level. Note that the pillow menu is no longer available in Princess Grill cabins, even though Cunard's PR info claims that it is a benefit at the Princess level. And note that it is no longer possible to order off-menu in Princess Grill. Queens Grill yes, but not possible in Princess. Entertainment: Loved, loved, loved the jazz performances in the Chart Room, our favorite room on board. Enjoyed the guest performances by the Overtones and the Beatles tribute band. But the big shows ("Rhythm of the Night") were the same-old same-old fare on all cruise ships, not our cup of tea, and we did not stay. Internet: Extremely slow, much slower than other cruise lines. We roamed the ship trying to find a WIFI hot spot that was truly "hot." The best we found was only mediocre, and it was impossible to deal with files that were at all large. The service was completely turned off at midnight on the last night, so those of us with remaining minutes lost them, and I was unable to conduct vital business to make arrangements for our arrival in New York. Customers were pissed off. Embarkation in Hamburg: Again I reiterate that we love the QM2, love crossings, and we have booked another. But I feel obligated to warn people about the terrible job Cunard does at embarkations. We had a substantial delay in Hamburg, and since we have also experiences big delays in New York, Los Angeles, and Cape Town (the worst, 3 hours!), it now feels like a clean sweep. Once again, systems were not ready, hundreds of people arrived with no place to sit, no refreshments, no organization. The lines were huge and chaotic and Cunard sent only one staff person out to manage the hundreds of passengers. No announcements, no explanations of what was wrong. We have never ever experienced anything like this on the other 7 or 8 lines we have cruised and where you pretty much step out of your taxi and walk on board the ship. This chaos and delay seems to be a trademark of the Cunard experience. Staying on Board in Southampton: As we were in transit and the weather in Southampton was grey and rainy (big surprise!), we decided to stay on board. The process was a total disaster and breakdown. First we received no written information on what we should do, apparently an oversight of our cabin steward or housekeeping. The concierge assured us that all we needed to do was get our passports stamped by UK immigration officials on board and recommended that we wait until most passengers had disembarked. So at 10:30 we went to the immigration guy who stamped our passports. Then a second immigration official insisted that we exit the ship and pushed us toward the Cunard staff who were scanning key cards for those leaving. The second official told us that we could immediately re-board. Over our protests, we followed along like good soldiers and were forced to make a complete exit down to the Southampton dock where Cunard was throwing a champagne party for travel agents to promote the re-mastered ship. We went completely through the layers of security to re-board the ship, only to be confronted again by the same immigration official who told us that we could not re-board. I reminded her that she had told us 15 minutes earlier that we could re-board, but she seemed to have amnesia. The Cunard staff did not know what to do, and it was chaotic as there were now several disabled passengers who wanted to stay on board, but who were being forced to exit. Cunard staff did manage to herd us into a holding pen in champagne lounge (alas, no bubbly available, not even any water), and our unhappy group were told that Cunard had no idea how long we would be jailed there. A number of us made a very vocal protest, and eventually Cunard staff went around the lounge and wrote down our names and cabin numbers, and once that was complete, allowed us to re-enter the rest of the ship. So while embarkation and the Southampton debacle were unacceptable, we will be returning to Cunard and the QM2, mostly because we love the ship. We wish that we could love certain parts of the experience. Cunard seems to devote resources to marketing and PR (champagne parties for travel agents, glossy brochures full of handsome models), but often has only mediocre follow through with its actual delivery. But in spite of this, we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Booked on a whim on basis of offer from Imagine Cruising, who performed excellently and with whom we would book again. First the positives 1. The check in and boarding proceedure was quick and efficient. 2.Our Britannia ... Read More
Booked on a whim on basis of offer from Imagine Cruising, who performed excellently and with whom we would book again. First the positives 1. The check in and boarding proceedure was quick and efficient. 2.Our Britannia restaurant waiters and wine waiter were professional and pleasant. 3. We arrived safely in Southampton and on time. 4.The dissembarcation was as painless as the embarkation. Now unfortunately for the negatives 1.The layout of the ship is appalling with the two and three story public spaces- theatres, dining etc. clustered in the midship section of the vessel with the consequence that access was restricted by sloping corridors, half deck changes, steps etc- a nightmare for the mobility impaired , which seemed to apply to the majority of the octogenarian guests. Apart from this , whilst clean and generally well maintained the ship shows it's age. 2. Entertainment, the least said the better, well below village hall level. 3. Enlightenment lectures, attended two , both a waste of time, the lecturers had only a perfunctory grasp of their subjects- possibly reading from someone else's notes. 4.Spa, so overpriced that even my wife baulked, I wanted a simple sauna but would have had to purchase a whole day pass. 5.Food- Brittania restaurant, the menu read a lot better than the actual food, which was of four star hotel level and clearly pre cooked in bulk. Queens court cafeteria, poor pre cooked food( even the omelettes) compounded by an inefficient layout and marginal service- allowances have to be made for the Novovirus outbreak, but as the only real alternative to the Brittania simply not good enough. Special restaurants, we only tried the "Coriander" for Indian food which was so poor( we live in a country with a size able East Indian population) that we did not risk another option. General -there was no option anywhere on the ship to get freshly cooked food, even a simple hamburger by the pools, or a breakfast dish. 6.Beverages- small and overpriced spirits( a double was necessary), generally uninteresting and overpriced wine menu. Outside of the restaurants coffee had to be paid for. Most guests seemed to drink beer which is fine if you like it. 7. Ports, Dubai - great, glad we flew out a week in advance. Muscat OK but limited. Aqaba, Salelah, ship not allowed to dock due to Norovirus. Limasol, scruffy and a little pointless. Haifa, a disaster as the ship docked for two days, the last day of Passover , the following day being the Jewish sabbath and a public holiday which gave the Arabs a field day as they were the only ones working and charged accordingly. The Baha'i gardens however were worth a two hour visit. Kusadesi a real improvement and access to Ephesus which is staggering. Naples, dirty, congested, expensive and deteriorating fast, no charm whatsoever, however if interested in Pompei or Hurculanium OK. Cadiz a pleasant and much cleaner city than we remembered from our last visit there but other than tours to Jerez or Seville very limited in options. We concluded that overall the ships itinerary was predicated on the ability to sell what seemed to be overpriced bus tours, from our perspective we were glad to get ashore if only to go to a restaurant for a freshly cooked lunch. 8. Health, after the Novovirus subsided most passengers , including my wife, a hospital doctor and immune to just about every thing, and myself came down with a cold and persistent cough which the regular Cunarders referred to as the "Cunard Cough" so clearly a recurrent issue. 9. Ambience, the frequency of formal nights(dinner jacket/ evening dress) nine of the nineteen, and the requirement for jacket (tie optional) on others together with the predominantly geriatric English clientele was a pretense at an atmosphere that seemed false and outdated. Conclusion. We would not travel on Cunard again unless the start and end points were paramount to us, for example Transatlantic. However this should not dissuade those who aspire to this scenario, of whom there were many on board judging from the large number of generally satisfied repeat Cunard customers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that ... Read More
One of the things you have to remember about joining a Cunard Round The World Voyage, is that the people who can spare the time and money to take a trip like this are likely to be retired and spending the kids inheritance. This means that many of them have had decades to perfect their rudeness. On this, my third Cunard cruise, I was amazed at the sheer number of bad mannered people with sharp elbows determined to be first in any line up. It was I admit the first time I had seen a woman use her husband in a wheelchair as a battering ram to get a window seat in the buffet. However it was not the first time and not unexpected when passengers “booked” chairs on deck with hats, books, towels etc. despite signs asking them not to. I would have loved to see the threat of possessions being removed to the purser’s office carried out. I am sure that the staff must take courses in how to deal with the rudeness of guests who for some reason think shouting at a waiter is the way to go. When one gentleman not looking where he was going fell over a waiter, he compounded the act by swearing at him for being in the way. And it is no use telling people not to video the shows in the theatre if one man repeatedly does so in the front row of the balcony. So enough about my fellow passengers, most of whom I must admit did not treat the staff as second class citizens. What about the Cruise itself? The food was excellent. Probably the most imaginative menu I have seen so far. One recent review complained about precooking food. Exactly how did that reviewer expect 2000+ guests to be fed? Individual portions cooked to order? It was all well cooked and often beautifully displayed. However, where it all went wrong was in the management of staff. Waiting 20 or 30 minutes for that first cup of coffee at breakfast never puts me in a good mood for the day. Nor does a wait of 40 minutes for my starter while watching other tables having their main courses cleared and desserts served at dinner in the Britannia Restaurant. Complaints resulted in little or no improvement, and on one occasion I actually left after the 40 minutes and went to the buffet. Profuse apologies from the Maitre d’ in my section resulted in improvement for three days during which time we hardly had time to finish a plate before it was cleared. However on the last night at sea, was it really a good idea to have me as the only person on our table who did not get his desert? For the first time ever, I did not tip the staff. The problem obviously was with management. On one evening we were treated to an officer I took to be the reserve captain sprawling at a table and entertaining two obvious VIPs. A pity he could not be bothered to introduce himself to the people next to him. Nor did he take the slightest notice when a wine waiter and food waiter managed to push past either side of a lady with a walking stick right in front of him rather than waiting a few seconds for her to pass. Obviously the crew had no control over the Norovirus outbreak, but I felt that it was treated efficiently and did not spread out of control. Staff cleaning efforts must be complimented. One of the problems in having so many people isolated in a tin can at sea, is that infection can spread like wild fire, that it did not is entirely down to the staff. Oh yes, several of us got a cough or cold. Not surprising, and calling it the Cunard Cough is merely facile. What was surprising was that the entertainment staff made no attempt to provide additional amusement for the passengers incarcerated for eight days at sea, due to not being able to visit Salalah and Jordan. In fact the on board entertainment was abysmal. The jazz trio, solo cocktail jazz pianist and the professionals in the bands were excellent. Visiting artists with two exceptions were not even third rate. I am sure I was not the only one thinking Hi De Hi whenever the entertainment director walked on stage. And only three Cunard singers and dancers shows in three weeks. Were they on a work to rule? When we did at last manage to get a couple of Captain’s cocktail parties, was it really a good idea for the entertainment staff and other officers to stand around talking to each other? I was always taught that the staff’s function at occasions like this is to circulate, talk to the guests and even, shock horror, encourage them to talk to each other. Good management in the entertainment industry is all about the customer, not the bottom line or tick boxes. You are better than this Cunard. Get your act together. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We are experienced cruises using many different cruise lines but this was the first time that we had used Cunard. The main reason was that two ports of call were in India which we had yet to visit. Singapore was as usual a delight have ... Read More
We are experienced cruises using many different cruise lines but this was the first time that we had used Cunard. The main reason was that two ports of call were in India which we had yet to visit. Singapore was as usual a delight have lived there in the past and visited on quite a few occasions. The check in was excellent within 20 minutes we were through all the formalities and on board the ship which without a doubt is beautiful, the art deco features on the ship are just wonderful, our balcony cabin on deck six at the rear of the whip was spacious there was sufficient wardroom and hanging space the bathroom was adequate, staff were as usual were extremely good attentive but unobtrusive. We were dining in the Britannia Restaurant on deck two, asked for a table for two got a table for six eventually sorted out,food of good quality and there was enough of a choice, portion size on some items left a bit to be desired, waiting staff were extremely good. Overall the entertainment was poor one nights entertainment consisted of main theatre two girls playing Indian Sitars a man playing classical piano in the atrium a man in the commodore club playing jazz in another part of the ship a lady on a harp and lastly four girls in a string quartertet playing you into dinner. The thing that epitomised the Cunard line to me was around 9.15pm in the lido buffet there was a table set up with three large thermos flaskes on it and a member of staff would dispence either hot chocholate Horlicks or ovaltine and by 9.45 the ship was a ghost ship with lots of people safely tucked up in bed. Cunard obviously know there market and pitch there services to that market and unfortunately at 64 it would seem that I am still to young for this ship. Someone put it very aptley "its not a ship you want to be giddy on" Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
A bit painful to pen this, since QM2 deserves much better care than she is getting from her owners. First, the positive: we still found many things to love as we did on our very first cruise in May last year. Many public spaces still ... Read More
A bit painful to pen this, since QM2 deserves much better care than she is getting from her owners. First, the positive: we still found many things to love as we did on our very first cruise in May last year. Many public spaces still sparkling, excellent service from her crew and the magnificence of the ship itself. We had fantastic weather and many fun people on board. Also paid a maiden call to Amber Cove which was a very enjoyable stop. The port area is nice. There is also a well organized taxi line where you can get a driver for a short period or all day. We went into Puerto Plata to the Amber Museum and Fortelezza San Pedro with a fantastic driver/guide. For us, the best stop on the trip! Sadly, a number of things were out of order: planetarium not working; broken fixtures in the spa (including the steam room, at least one day); a foul sewage smell on Deck 9 permeating into the Commodore Club the entire two weeks. This last point for us was especially unfortunate as the CC had been our favorite spot on the prior voyage. Also - very disturbing - quite a number of the public restrooms were filthy (bits of paper on the floor; water all over the floor; urine smell in one case). Especially bad were those near the Britannia DR, Queens Room and G32. She also had a steering pod issue/fault which kept us overnight in Tortola. To be fair, Captain Oprey kept us very well informed. Still, it left us with a feeling that this beautiful ship is not being cared for by the suits in charge at Head Office. They also need to address the cleanliness issue pronto! We will not rebook on QM2 until after reading reports post her one-month dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Given that the cruise industry is becoming very competitive these days, we would have thought that Cunard would have tried to keep up with the other "luxury" lines. First the good: The embarkation process was very quick and ... Read More
Given that the cruise industry is becoming very competitive these days, we would have thought that Cunard would have tried to keep up with the other "luxury" lines. First the good: The embarkation process was very quick and trouble free and efficient. We were Princess Grill passengers and would have to say that we were pleased that we paid the extra for that privilege. The food was excellent in the Princess Grill restaurant as was the service. Afternoon tea was delightful in the Grills Lounge. We did hear however from another Grills passenger who had friends in the Britannia and joined them for dinner on occasions, that the Britannia food certainly wasn't wonderful. The housekeeping service in the suite was prompt and of high standard. Lectures were fantastic - especially Buzz Aldrin and a lovely fellow from British Airways and we enjoyed all of these. Entertainment was also great - specialty entertainment was generally wonderful as were the singers and dancers. Then the bad: The internet service was the worst of any ship we have ever been on (14) - it was so slow that impossible to work on the ship at all - sure they give you extra minutes because of delays, but that's not the point. A competitor line this week was on tv stating that their internet service was the fastest on the sea, so why can't Cunard get their act together and upgrade the internet. The six formal nights on this voyage may be ok for the old diehards, but for us younger passengers, we couldn't care less about dressing up Sure my husband will put on a jacket for dinner, but the whole tuxedo affair is really old hat these days. My husband would have liked to have dinner without a jacket, but we know this is only possible in the buffet. We know the line is English, but there didn't seem to be much Asian influence in the meals - sure there was sushi one day in the buffet, but no Asian breakfast items up in the buffet. The Grills Lounge is fantastic, but why no music after dinner - we were not expecting live music (the showroom provides that) but surely some nice after dinner piped music through the speakers would be good. I put in a form to the purser's office re this issue, but of course, nobody bothered to even contact us to discuss the matter. And forget the laundry - even at opening time there are people there with a week's washing loading up the thee machines at once - no wonder there are so many stories doing the rounds on laundry blow-ups. The "Cunard Cough" reared it's ugly head, and we were left coughing near the end of the voyage - how that is to be fixed, we have no idea. Shopping was disappointing - fashion in the shops was just so-so, and no real incentive to purchase. Disembarkation was good and we were off the ship quite early - plenty of porter service on the NYC wharf. Would we sail again with Cunard - I wouldn't think so - we need to be on a more "modern" line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I joined the Queen Victoria on the 11th March 2015 for the return passage to New York, arriving on the 25th April 2015. It was my present to her for her 70th birthday as a once in a lifetime experience. Whilst I must commend ... Read More
My wife and I joined the Queen Victoria on the 11th March 2015 for the return passage to New York, arriving on the 25th April 2015. It was my present to her for her 70th birthday as a once in a lifetime experience. Whilst I must commend the ship for its presentation, the quality of the food and the service provided to the "guests" as Cunard wish to call us, there were faults in the following. My wife and I took this cruise because it was for the senior person of our age and the dress code required formal and informal nights. As usual there were "guests" that did not enter into the spirit of the dress code and were allowed, by the staff of Cunard, to enter the dining room and the Lido in the wrong clothing. When I asked the matre de in the restaurant why this was being permitted, I was informed that the dress code had been relaxed on the return journey as it was relaxed on the outward journey. No body from Cunard informed us. The cost of the excursions were greatly overpriced and it was cheaper to arrange transport at the port. The cost of seeing the ships doctor was far to expensive at $92.75 for the preliminery consultation. I experienced wax in my left ear and was informed by the doctor that I had an inner ear infection, at the same time was informed that I should insert cotton soacked in olive oil into my ear three times per day and that would remove the wax.!!!!!!! My ear was cleaned by the nurse which solved the problem, but no medicine was given to me for the inner ear infection. My wife contracted the "Carnival Cough", as I and our friends also contracted in varying degrees, which lasted for the last three weeks of the cruise and totally spoiled that and the places we wished to see. On comming home my wife was admitted, via my 999 call, to the local hospital and was diagnosed with double pneumonia and on a points scale of 1-10 she was a 9. The next stage was intensive care. My wife spent one week in hospital and it will be another 5/6 weeks before she will hopefully recover. There were many, many "guests" on that cruise that suffered from the "Carnival Cough" and we know of friends that we made that when they returned home they to had to have anti-biotics from their doctors. This is a very serious matter that Cunard must prevent and not treat the "guests" as cash cows, $92.75 to see the doctor is far too expensive. We heard of a "guest" having to spend his holiday money for the doctors bill. The ship must be cleaned before it returns to cruising as those future passengers may well contract the "Carnival Cough". Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We have cruised many times, including several cruises on the QE2, but with a growing family, other expenses and priorities intervened and we have not cruised for some 10 years. Of all the cruise lines we have used, Cunard has always been ... Read More
We have cruised many times, including several cruises on the QE2, but with a growing family, other expenses and priorities intervened and we have not cruised for some 10 years. Of all the cruise lines we have used, Cunard has always been favourite - or maybe it was really the QE2 which held the magic? Either way, the whole Cunard experience was always so special that I felt it was worth the extra cost which Cunard represents. However, I was shocked when Cunard demanded £2,498 for a reduced cruise of only five days, with NO flights included. I did not need the flights because we have a a house in Corfu and I wanted to board the ship in Corfu on 27th July - two days into the cruise which started in Rome. This was an important date as, coincidentally, it was my husband's 60th birthday and this cruise was my surprise gift to him. the plan being that we would board on his birthday in Corfu, disembark in Venice five days later and then make our own way home. So as I was excluding FOUR flights (two flights from UK to Rome and two from Venice back to the UK) PLUS the first two days of accommodation and food, I was expecting a more meaningful reduction than the couple of hundred pounds which Cunard offered. I objected to the price, pointing out that it equated to £500 per day, but all Cunard would offer was an on board credit of 230 dollars each - and as the cruise was so perfectly timed for my husband's birthday, I still went ahead and booked it. The first problem was embarkation at Corfu as we were joining the ship two days into its itinerary and no one seemed prepared for this. After being checked by security three times, we were left standing at the gangway in the blistering heat for some 20 minutes before we were finally allowed on board. However, our cabin (sorry stateroom) was lovely and we were soon eagerly looking forward to a Cunard style dinner. Oh dear - what a disappointment! The menus throughout the cruise bore no comparison to the special gastronomic experiences of the old QE2 and dinners are now just three courses of pretty run of the mill food! Similarly the wonderful QE2 midnight feasts are, apparently, just history now and the food in general was nothing special. Overall we felt that the food had been ''dumbed down'' and this was even more true of the entertainment - which was dire! No more spectacular shows or famous names - just a very tired, second rate comedian (whose biggest round of applause came when he announced he had no DVD's for sale), a couple of OK pianists and one good live band. On one particular night the choice was a dance exhibition in the Queens Room or a dance troupe performing in the Theatre - great planning! As for the famous ''white star'' service, well this, too is a thing of the past. Cunard boast that they never say no to a passenger, they always offer alternatives. Really? Then explain this: Late one evening we went to the Golden Lion (the on board pub) and noticed that the food menu looked rather inviting - although it did not indicate when food was served. We checked in our Daily Newsletter and it also contained no times and so we assumed that food must be served throughout the Golden Lion's opening hours. The next day we arrived at the Golden Lion at about 2.20. We were the ONLY people in the place, but, as was par for the course throughout this cruise, it was at least 10 minutes before a waiter appeared. We ordered our food - only to be told that food service ended at 2.30. By this time it was 2.32 and, although we pointed out that we had been seated and waiting to order BEFORE 2.30, the answer was NO. We went to the Lido Buffet, where sandwiches, cakes and scones were all laid out - but with trays covering them and when we asked if we could take some, we were told NO. Apparently, the food was laid out for tea time and it was still only lunch time - perhaps someone should have told the waiter in the Golden Lyon??So we went to choose something from the lunch buffet and, as we preferred the cold food, we asked for some cold plates (as only hot plate section was stocked) - and guess what, we were told NO. Think you'd better revise your claims Cunard! Our on board credit was soon swallowed up with Gratuity charges, ridiculously over-priced wine and unbelievable internet and phone charges. Most bars and restaurants offer free internet access these days, but Cunard charge an incredible 75 cents per minute. And to make things worse, the service is unbelievable slow AND it does not always log off properly. We estimate that we paid over 50 dollars for about 15 minutes of effective internet access. Trying to maintain communication with family by phone is just as expensive as Cunard don't permit incoming or reverse charge calls and charge a ridiculous rate for outgoing calls. Apart from service in the restaurant and the stateroom, the service throughout the ship was dire - slow, inefficient and sullen - sometimes even rude. We lost count of the times that we gave up and went to the bar to get drinks for ourselves. In fact standards generally have fallen way below the level we have always associated with Cunard and there is a sloppy attitude to dress codes and even behaviour. For example there was group of teenagers who had, apparently, met up on our cruise, whose parents all seemed happy to let them roam around on their own 24/7. In spite of the age restrictions in the Yacht Club and the designation of the Lido Pool for families, this group comandeered both and we did not see one crew member take them to task about their foul language and anti social behaviour and intimidated passengers felt compelled to retreat to other parts of the ship to escape the offensive mayhem. In spite of all the problems, we still enjoyed our cruise - but it will be a long time before we consider doing it again because at Cunard's prices it needs to be a special experience - and, although cruising on the QE2 was always VERY special, this cruise on the Queen Elizabeth just didn't come close! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
First of all the ship itself is beautiful, the staterooms are well appointed and bathrooms adequate. What let the ship down was the niggardly approach to food, you had to request smoked salmon and when you did, you were served a minuscule ... Read More
First of all the ship itself is beautiful, the staterooms are well appointed and bathrooms adequate. What let the ship down was the niggardly approach to food, you had to request smoked salmon and when you did, you were served a minuscule portion! Sandwiches were a disgrace, thick white bread, spread with margarine and with fillings so sprayed on you could not tell what they were at all! Cream tea was a disappointment, no clotted cream here only whipped stuff. None of the advertised white glove service either. Service was mixed. We ate in the Britannia restaurant and had wonderful waiters who really looked after us but I think we were lucky. When we had lunch in there the service was slow and indifferent. The food was okay but not great and there was no everyday choice you could have if the menu did not appeal. There was very little in the way of pleasant service around the ship, surly was the best description, especially in the Pursers Office where one was met with a blank expression more often than not. Most requests were a bit too much trouble. All in all we enjoyed our cruise but Cunard need not consider themselves the gold standard, they are very much par for the course cruise wise. It's a shame really, a proud Britsh name has been weakened by American ownership and bean counting. Don't pay top dollar for Cunard any more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I will try and be as constructive as possible. First can I say that we are regular cruisers (20) but have only sailed with cunard twice before. We are loyal Celebrity Cruisers and nothing on this cruise will serve to change that. In all ... Read More
I will try and be as constructive as possible. First can I say that we are regular cruisers (20) but have only sailed with cunard twice before. We are loyal Celebrity Cruisers and nothing on this cruise will serve to change that. In all ways design/decor/layout/food/entertainment and staff Celebrity wins hands down. On our last winter crossing with QM2 I found the layout incredibly annoying. Nothing flows! My partner did enjoy it for the dancing etc. This time because of the terrible weather (not blaming Cunard for that!), the dancing was not going to be enjoyable. Because of being locked inside for 5 days the drab (not grand or elegant)decor was incredibly depressing. One positive: the food in Britannia appears to have improved slightly in two years BUT still not great compared to Celebrity. Most of the shows were cancelled because of said weather although the actual evening that the Italian show was on turned out to be not that choppy but the pooe dears hadnt had time to rehearse (having done the same show about 100 times find that a bit much!). Went to a few lectures. Astronaut very interesting, the one with a supposed doctor discussing after death experience I found incredibly biased and very Evangelical Christian. Boarding and disembarking went smoothly although the porters managed to break one of the suitcase trolley handles leading to five days of arguing about compensation. This finally got sorted day before we left the ship! Staff were surly and very unfriendly and Im sorry I dont accept that Cunard train them to be like this for British customers. I like to talk to people as people not as some sort of subservient slave! I havent even talked about the horrible decor in staterooms. It felt like a gps waiting room (no bright colours). All in all we were both more than happy to get off this ship!. How it won the large category in cruise awards I will never know! These people that only go with Cunard need to try others because they are not the best company by far! Transatlantic South only from now on and never with QM2 where ever it goes!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
The Queen Victoria is the smaller version of Cunard style than the Queen Mary 2. The ship is simpler in design. The public rooms on deck two and three are located on one corridor that runs the length of the ship. Most of these bars and ... Read More
The Queen Victoria is the smaller version of Cunard style than the Queen Mary 2. The ship is simpler in design. The public rooms on deck two and three are located on one corridor that runs the length of the ship. Most of these bars and entertainment venues are open to the hall making them less private. The food was mediocre. The food in Britannia is "dumbed down." The portions are now nouvelle cuisine size. The sauces are less refined and sugar based. There is a vast difference in food from just two years ago. The Lido restaurant is adequate for main courses but the side dishes were mainly potato based. This is not the place to try to be on a healthy cruise. This is not the place for someone with special food needs. The Lido pastries were seriously lacking. Most desserts were gelatin based. They actually had Jello in different colors available. The entertainment is similar to the Queen Mary 2 but less extravagant. There were few classical concerts. There was a Russian pianist who was excellent. It was shame that she played in the Queens Room on a seriously out of tune piano which was amplified. This exaggerated the inadequate piano even more. Attendance is always sparse for classical concerts aboard Cunard. The poor state of the equipment even made me stay away after two concerts. There was a comedic cello concert with the Cunard band. This seemed to be English schtick similar to Heny Youngman which is out of style in the US but much enjoyed by the packed house here. I found it painful. The lecturers were excellent, as usual. There were lectures on the environment, art, history and local cultures. The lecturers are always well educated, enlightening and entertaining. The outdoor pool area was packed in good weather. It was well attended by the leather skinned crowd and the pale trying to find warmth on this winter cruise. There does not seem to be an indoor pool except for a small soaking pool in the spa which was usually empty. That pool is visible through large windows on the way to the Lido food areas. The Queen Victoria is an excellent ship for someone who does not want to maneuver around a huge ship, such as the Queen Mary 2. The layout is simpler and easy to get around. The people on the Queen Victoria world cruise segment were more cruise savvy than the average Transatlantic passenger. They dressed better but still casually in the daytime. They looked comfortable even in their formal clothing at night. The Captain, Inger Klein Olsen, is an absolute delight. She is a warm, genuine person who confidently controls the ship while being engaging with the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
As we live in Southampton, getting to the port is very quick and easy. And as Mother in Law is Platinum Cunard member, we were all whisked to the front of embarkation line with her - very pleasant surprise! We arrived just after 11 and ... Read More
As we live in Southampton, getting to the port is very quick and easy. And as Mother in Law is Platinum Cunard member, we were all whisked to the front of embarkation line with her - very pleasant surprise! We arrived just after 11 and were on board around 12.00 - it was lovely to be able to explore the ship when it was so quiet. Also had lunch in the Lido buffet - very nice food, much better layout than the QM2 buffet, and much better standard of food - something that was continued throughout all food venues on board. The ship was full to capacity, and it showed on sea days, particularly as the weather was not so great for the first and last couple of days, making it a bit of a bun fight for a seat. The entertainment was a real mixture, with 1 night being the resident Queens Room lounge singer as the headline act,and another night the Theatre Orchestra headlined with Dixie Jazz themed night. It did seem like Cunard were penny pinching - I expected more headline acts. Having said that, the Dixieland Jazz night was great, and the flautist and west end singer were exceptional. Unfortunately, they also had a dated British comedian, David Copperfield, who seemed to think it was ok to make fun of gay people and told some rather off colour jokes. A lot of people found him very funny, I didn't. This weird mix of culture and low brow entertainment seemed very odd. It's almost like someone has told Cunard to go for more 'mass appeal' with some light entertainment. Problem is, they've crossed the line into tasteless and sometimes offensive entertainment. One afternoon was an on deck game 'I'm a Crew Member, Get Me Out of Here' where crew members had to complete a range of tasks to stay in the competition. Many of the tasks were funny and silly, like finding a pair of false teeth, or rescuing an inflatable croc from the pool. Some were in poor taste, like clenching a coin between the buttocks, waddling across the deck and 'pooping' it into a glass. Contestants were blindfolded for the elimination, females having buckets of ice poured down the inside of their t-shirt, and males having the same down the open front of their shorts - all this while the entertainment director clapped and cheered. And the production show 'A Slice of Saturday Night' has been mentioned in other reviews, I will just add that I don't expect to see a cast member pretending to have someone fondle him on stage, and simulate an orgasm - on ANY cruise ship - I want to be entertained and not offended. If you are on late seating dinner, eating at 8.30, with a show at 10.30, finishing at 11.15-11.30, that doesn't leave a lot to entertain you after dinner. Many of the 'alternative' activities, like quizzes and karaoke, started whilst we were still at dinner, which meant we missed most of them - pushing these back by 15-20 mins would take the emphasis off all being geared to early diners. The ship is beautiful , I preferred the layout to that of the Queen Mary, The staff were unfailingly polite and helpful, and the food was excellent. As on our previous Cunard cruise, most entertainment ended at midnight, leaving us with not a lot to do but find a bar, but we were expecting that this time, so it wasn't such a surprise. Overall, I enjoyed the QE more than the QM2, particularly as the food and service was so much better, but Cunard seem to be going in the wrong direction in terms of entertainment. One final word about our Cabin 4115 - I don't know what exactly was the source of the noise, but every night it sounded like there was a huge bathtub of water sloshing around above our heads. This was so loud that it kept us awake, and made for a very tiring voyage, as we didn't get much sleep. The cabin is also opposite a crew cupboard/closet and so is very noisy early and late - don't book this cabin if you are a light sleeper! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Just completed the Panama Canal cruise on the Queen Victoria. It was our first time on Cunard cruise and may be the last. If this is what Cunard has become under Carnival ownership, it's a lost cause. There are simple better ... Read More
Just completed the Panama Canal cruise on the Queen Victoria. It was our first time on Cunard cruise and may be the last. If this is what Cunard has become under Carnival ownership, it's a lost cause. There are simple better options for the same price.There was none of the great style and service Cunard is noted for. Our cabin steward was pleasant and did a nice job. The Britannia dining room was seriously lacking. The food was bland and boring. Example: the hollandaise sauce was just a tasteless yellow blob on the eggs benedict. I had to request various condiments to 'doctor' it up to have an approximation of a good hollandaise. The deserts were fair to good. Their idea of cheesecake was more like a gelatin pudding, not at all rich. The soups were the exception - all great. So too were the hamburgers in the pool grill. Service in the dining room was spotty. At breakfast one morning, we (the whole table) waited 50 minutes for our meals to be served and then the wrong orders were delivered. Dinner service was highly variable. One night, about 30 minutes elapsed between starters and entrees. Another time, all the elements were brought for coffee - cup and saucer, cream, sugars, spoon - but no coffee. But another night, we were whisked in and out so fast, we were there less than an hour - too fast. As soon as we set down our forks, our plates were grabbed away. And the servers continually confused the orders of the 2 gentlemen at the table. Our server was very nice and usually attentive, so maybe it was the kitchen that caused some of the delays. But refills for water, coffee, etc. are not kitchen issues. Similarly the service was very much 'hit or miss' in the Winter Garden bar. The one woman server managed to ignore us quite easily, but the male waiters were very attentive.All these things might have been overlooked because the cruise stops after Mexico were all good - interesting, well run tours. The entertainment programs each night were also great. However, the real 'deal breaker' was the purser. What could have been an easily remedied misunderstanding instead left a very sour taste because of her rude, dismissive attitude. She had two opportunities to provide an appropriate solution with grace and good manners and failed in both interactions. This is not the Cunard my parents and grandparents sailed on by a long shot. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Luckily for Cruiser Ted, he missed the cruise segment Southampton to New York. CJSH is nearer the mark. We crossed the Atlantic with the Queen Mary 2 in May 2006 It was a full, wonderful Cunard experience. From that time we have saved for ... Read More
Luckily for Cruiser Ted, he missed the cruise segment Southampton to New York. CJSH is nearer the mark. We crossed the Atlantic with the Queen Mary 2 in May 2006 It was a full, wonderful Cunard experience. From that time we have saved for a dream holiday on the Queen Victoria. VICTORIA; PRE VOYAGE INFORMATION. THE Southampton pier address was wrong.The New York terminal was given in error as Brooklyn. We travelled with clothes to match the dress code summary. It was wrong. There were three nights formal not five as shown. BOARDING Arrived at Pier 4 Southampton at 1250 on 04 January. A computer failure caused a delay in the Terminal processing until 1535. It happens. During the delay, the only facilities available to some 1800 waiting clients was a small unit, with long queues, serviced by two ladies selling Instant coffee at £1.50 a cup. Cunard service it was not. This was a world cruise. VIRUS Two days after departure, passengers were made aware that novo virus was on board. After midnight on day four, my wife became violently ill. The medical centre advised the infirmary was full, many cases had already been reported and the Medical Officer was snatching a few hours sleep. He arrived at 0500 hours confirmed the symptoms and diagnosed the virus. Understandably, the Medical Officer and crew had to react. He closed THE LIDO Buffet except for beverage service provided by waiters. Closing the Buffet for days on end threw a burden on to the Britannia restaurant. The servers became mechanical, with little interaction and eye contact. After several days absence by four of the six guests from his table our server had no time to welcome us back or ask how we were. We wrote to Cunard on 22 January and four weeks later received a reply. Cunard wrote nine lines on the importance that food contributes to any holiday, one line hoping I had made a full recovery and stressed the importance of customer satisfaction. Ready made paragraphs. Because we had enjoyed the food, we made no comment about it and my wife was ill not me. On all levels, including the entertainment, the QM2 beat it hands down. We will travel Cunard again, but never the Victoria and can only look forward to another QM2 crossing or a voyage on the Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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