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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ... Read More
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ship from Hamburg, embarkation was fairly smooth the port was not crowded; it took us less than 30 minutes to board the ship. This is our 4th cruise on QM 2, still impressed by her elegance. We went to our balcony cabin on Deck 8 which is very spacious. The cabin 8058 balcony was partially obstructed by the life boats, lacks privacy as maintenance works done on the boats on and off. We went to King’s court for a bite to eat. On our return to our cabin, luggage was promptly delivered by ship staff. Our room stewardess very sweet Filipino lady Jeanette greeted us with a warm welcome. We went around the ship familiarize various facilities spread throughout the ship. At 5 PM we went to King’s court on Deck 7 for drill. We took a shower, dressed semi formally with a jacket tie for me and dress for Sharon. The ship had 5 formal night where Tuxedo or Jacket and tie for men and dress for ladies required. Our dining table was in Britannia Deck 3. Our waiter Rose was another fantastic Filipino lady. She knew my dietary requirements even before I sat on my chair. Tour able was # 336 and we met our tablemates, from Florida, Dallas Texas. The service in the Britannia dining was excellent. We enjoyed our table mates company very much we were frequently among the last tables to leave at our early seating, so we were not looking for quick dinner. Britannia offered a wide selection for dinner including a Canyon Ranch Spa selection with low calorie for the diet conscious as well as several vegetarian offerings indicated with a “V”. Then we went to a variety show at the Royal Theater. Sharon unpacked the luggage and put away all our clothes while I was whiling away on the ship finding my ways to Queens’s room and club G32 which were at the very back of the ship behind the dining room on Deck 3 one has go through a maze to find them. This is the only ship on high seas equipped with planetarium “Illumination” in the forward section on Deck 3 behind Royal Court Theater, which is also a lecture hall and movie theater. While walking between Deck 2-3 passage ways, there are rows of tables along the windows with variety of board games and jigsaw puzzles, or offered a place to watch the ocean streaming by. On Deck 8 the QM2 library is well stocked with 8000 books on various subjects from, biography, travel, mystery, fictions. I got 3 books written by Alex Rutherford on Moghul Empire, Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir. The ship has to wait for the low tide before her funnel can clear the bridges. The sail away occurred almost at mid night was unbelievable with the bright lights of Hamburg receding on the back ground. Queen Mary slowly glided on the Thebe River like a black Swan on a Pond. Then she passed under the various low Bridges her funnel was so close, look like she was almost touching the bridge. Every day between 3:30 and 4:30, a formal white glove tea is served with fresh warm scones, little sandwiches, and pastries while Big band era was playing. Every evening is a special time on QM2; we had 5 formal nights, 5 semi-formal nights (equally formal) and 3 smart causal nights. After dinner we went for little dancing and headed toward Royal Court Theater for evening shows. Every day we had different performances, some by Cunard Dancers and other performers from outside. All the shows were of 4 star qualities. Cunard big production show “Viva Italia” was great; “Apassionata” was quite good. At the end of each show we went to Queens Ball room where some times Cunard Orchestra played Big Band Era Music and other days other band played popular Music. One day we had Black and white Ball, another night we had Ascot Ball where ladies wore different fashionable hats, men wore Tux and some wore ascot and top hats. All in all it was fun to dance through the night. We called off our night around 11:30 PM. In the morning we had room service around 7 AM consisted of Danish, juice, cup of coffee or tea. On the sea days we walked 1-2 miles on the Promenade Deck (7). Three round the ship =1.1 mile The Planetarium had some great shows and we were sorry we only had time for two of them. A small grumble concerned the too frequent attendance of the photographers. Perhaps those who want to pay $25 for each photograph of every special evening and gangplank arrival could make a special arrangement, while the rest of us won't need to keep saying 'No, thank you'. Furthermore, with such an advance in digital photography available today, passengers should be in a position to view their photographs in their cabin TV monitors rather printing all the photographs and shredding the unwanted prints thus wasting all those papers and inks. To sum up, it really was one of the best ships we have sailed on; it was so elegant with excellent service throughout and the delight was in the details. We can hardly wait to book another cruise. Disembarkation due to high tide QM2 has to wait for the low tide to sail into the harbor. She was docked at 10 AM. We disembarked at 11:15 took a Taxi to Hamburg to catch our Amsterdam flight. KLM flight got delayed due to mechanical problem of the plane. We missed our connecting flight to NY. KLM booked us the first flight on Tuesday and also arranged accommodation at IBIS near the airport which is a descent airport hotel.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
We are fairly new to cruising having used Silversea,Celebrity and now Cunard. We sailed on the QM2 in January this year on the first leg to Capetown of her round the world voyage. I loved the QM2, so didn't expect the Queen Victoria ... Read More
We are fairly new to cruising having used Silversea,Celebrity and now Cunard. We sailed on the QM2 in January this year on the first leg to Capetown of her round the world voyage. I loved the QM2, so didn't expect the Queen Victoria to match the QM2. I underestimated!! As we travel a lot and have two trips to South Africa booked for 8 weeks and 10 weeks between October and March we booked the Baltic cruise quite late and availed of a "Saver" fare. This fare has some restrictions, but to be honest, this had no impact whatsoever to the great time which we had. Embarkation in Southampton was fast, efficient with smiling staff all the way. First impression on entering the QV wasn't the wow factor which we experienced on QM2, but very quickly, I came to love this elegant ship which for me had a much more intimate feel. Our stateroom on deck 5 was very clean and comfortable. Just a couple of minor issues. We asked for a king size bed and got two singles. Not a major issue. The bathroom is small, but manageable, but for me, the shower curtain was a no no!! I dislike them anyway, but the one in our shower was a little short, so had to be poisoned very carefully to avoid a very wet floor. The food on board was very acceptable. The Lido which could be a bit mental during busy times had enough choice to suit most palettes. It amazes me though how rude some people can be though. It was as if they were never going to get food again. The staff were by enlarge pleasant given the endless monotony of clearing tables, folding napkins etc. We had an excellent table on deck 3 in the Britannia Restaurant, which we only ate in for dinner. We liked to keep it as a treat. The food with a couple of exceptions was very good and our two waiters very good. The entertainment on board wasn't in my opinion as good as the QM2 trio, but still enjoyable. The Insughts lectures were very good in particular Lord Jeffrey Archer, who packed the Royal Court Theatre to the rafters each time. The shore excursions were very good although a little bit expensive.. We used Cunard for trips to Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Kristiansand. St. Petersburg is simply outstanding. We went to see Swan Lake in the evening, which was mesmerising. We used the hop on hop off bus in Copenhagen and despite negative reports, found it to be very efficient and very reasonably priced. It was just a few hundred yards to the pick up point from the ship. We had five formal nights on board, which by enlarge most people adhered to,although some didn't and it didn't seem to be an issue. All in all, I would recommend this voyage and the Queen Victoiria. The only thing which is missing on this delightful ship is Club Britannia which we used and loved on the QM2.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This cruise represented a few 'firsts' for us ...first time with Cunard, first time on a larger ship and first time 'sail out fly back'. It is very challenging to find a smooth way to travel from Scotland to Southampton ... Read More
This cruise represented a few 'firsts' for us ...first time with Cunard, first time on a larger ship and first time 'sail out fly back'. It is very challenging to find a smooth way to travel from Scotland to Southampton to board, so we spent some time in London and travelled down by the Cunard Coach from Victoria, which was a flawless experience, except for the arrangements at Victoria, which seemed a little haphazard. On arrival, the check-in at Southampton was very efficient and, having boarded QE, there were several people to help us to find our cabin (sorry Stateroom!). Having settled into our room, we found a place for everything and ample space for the two of us. Finding our way around the ship took a little longer! Starting with the positives ....everything was very well appointed and QE is a beautiful ship. The food was excellent, whether in the Britannia Restaurant, where our waiters were very attentive, or in the Lido where again every member of staff responded to a chat with a smile. To those who thought the staff less than welcoming, I would say perhaps you get treated as you treat others? The negatives (and this is personal) ...I found that the informal attire is still too formal for me ...I would prefer to be informal in a smart casual formal long-sleeved shirt with a tie, rather than the jacket with no tie, as preferred by Cunard! And now to my main concern .....Rome Airport(!!!). Having disembarked with normal Cunard efficiency, and with, as I recall, a promise that "we will arrange everything for you at the airport" (or some similar comment), we were abandoned at Rome Airport front door and then stood like refugees for three hours in various lines, first for check-in, then for security, then for passport control, then waiting for the plane, which was nearly one hour late. I do not consider myself disabled, but neither am I in the flush of youth, and by the time I reached the departure gate, the edge had been very firmly taken off our wonderful cruise. I cannot imagine the stress to those who were leaning on walking sticks etc., and who were obviously in a more difficult situation health-wise. Cunard please note ....check out your departure airports for ending future cruises!!! Overall, a great experience to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary, meeting great people, but spoiled by the journey home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
My husband and I sailed on the QM2 in June of 2014 after a seven week tour of Italy. My husband no longer flies so we decided to use the QM2 as transport back to North America. Unfortunately, that decision was the biggest mistake of our ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the QM2 in June of 2014 after a seven week tour of Italy. My husband no longer flies so we decided to use the QM2 as transport back to North America. Unfortunately, that decision was the biggest mistake of our trip. We had taken another cruise ship from Miami to Europe and expected the QM2 to be far superior as we paid 3 times the price for the QM2. How wrong we were. Transport to Southampton: We were told to meet the Cunard representative at St. Pancras station in London for our trip from London to Southampton. We were told only to look for the Cunard representative and not given a specific location to meet. After wandering around St. Pancras for about half and hour, we met another couple, also wandering around looking for the Cunard rep. A plan was formed for the wives to stay with the luggage and the husbands would attempt to find the rep. One person asked someone at an information desk if they knew where we should be, and of course they did not but they did call Cunard and got the same storey, look for the rep! The rep did finally arrive (he was late) and started to collect the passengers. He took us to another area of St. Pancras where we waited another 2 ½ hours for other passengers to arrive. It became apparent that we should buy some form of lunch at the station as we would not be arriving at the ship until well after lunch. We were finally taken to a bus, loaded our luggage and ourselves and we were off to Southampton. Not an auspicious start to our trip. Embarcation – was relatively fast and easy. We did not appreciate being put through a very slow line to have our pictures taken before we had to pass through the security check. We were tired and had no intentions of purchasing overpriced photos of our drooping selves! After the photo shoot, we went through security where we even had to take our shoes off to get on board while managing all of our luggage. Reception: Shades of things to come! We were herded on board and given no direction of where to go. Very poor organization. In general there was no direction for anything on board this ship. Potholes in floor: We immediately noticed large “soft” spots in the floor. These were very dangerous for the elderly folk traveling on this cruise. We witnessed several missteps and I tripped several times due to the soft spots. I would think that Cunard would be more concerned with the liability aspect of a person falling and hurting themselves due to the condition of the floors. This ship needs some serious risk management! Condition of stateroom: We had been upgraded to a restricted balcony room and while it was nice to see some light….. that was all we could see as the lifeboat hanging outside the balcony blocked all else. The balcony was extremely rusty and needed painting. One morning there were workers outside our balcony on a walkway and they could easily see into our room. Not a very private stateroom! The furniture in the room was to the standard of a 3rd rate hotel with chipped paint and tables not working in room. The bathroom was a nice size and we had no complaints with the water or any smell. Stateroom staff: Our steward was hardworking and conscientious. He seemed unfriendly, but we feel that was due to his lack of English. One major problem we had, which was not his fault, was that the day before we arrived at our destination we were told to have our bags packed as we were going to take advantage of the express debarcation. The steward did not come to our room to make our bed until the afternoon as he was in a training course. We could not pack until the bed was made so this put us behind in having our luggage ready. Again very poor organization and lack of concern for the passengers! Sound: The ship is certainly not soundproof but we did not expect the noise we experienced. We were unfortunately next door to two young men who thought it was great to come into their room late at night and slam doors and laugh loudly and this sounded like it was in our room. These young men woke us up many times during the cruise. We complained and were told basically, as the ship was full, they could do nothing about the problem. Entertainment: The lack of interesting entertainment was a shock. We were expecting something more than reading (which was almost impossible in the library as it was very noisy) or board games (if you could get a table to play). We did go to a very good show in the Planetarium, but that was also spoiled by the fact that the seats were broken and did not recline to a comfortable position for your neck. The trip was very boring. Cunard should know that the North Atlantic is usually iffy for good weather (it rained 4 of the 8 days of the cruise) and have some interesting indoor games and learning experiences for their guests included in the price. Dining staff good: Our waiter and wine steward in the Britannia room were very good. They remembered our names and our wine selections and gave us very good recommendations for our entrees. Formal nights: As we had been in Italy for 7 weeks prior to our sail on the QM2, we did not bring formal attire as we were already at our maximum weight for our luggage. We assumed from what we were told by a Cunard representative on the phone prior to our trip that there would be only a few areas where “formal” dress was required. As it turned out, this was not the case. We were made to feel that if you were not formally dressed, you should stay in your stateroom. On this sailing there were an excessive 4 out of 8 nights designated “formal”. We really feel that there should be areas designated as “relaxed” attire on the formal nights. The passengers who are in formal dress should not need to pass through “relaxed” areas which would provide a better experience for both groups. Possibly one deck designated formal and one deck designated relaxed. With the current luggage weight restrictions by the air lines, we are amazed that the “formal” night designation for the entire ship is still being maintained. As the QM2 is the only regular transatlantic passenger ship that we found, it would be nice if Cunard could understand that not everyone making the crossing is there for the “QM2 experience”. There are many of us with other reasons and we would appreciate a little consideration! We unfortunately, must agree with another reviewer and say that this was the first and definitely the last time we would ever sail on a Cunard ship. It was not worth the money.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
We have been with Cunard now on 3 occasions and whilst they are not our most favoured cruise line we chose this cruise because of the destinations which were part of the 2014 World Cruise which for this segment visited Singapore, Kuala ... Read More
We have been with Cunard now on 3 occasions and whilst they are not our most favoured cruise line we chose this cruise because of the destinations which were part of the 2014 World Cruise which for this segment visited Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Colombo, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We have been to Singapore and Dubai before but missed Abu Dhabi on a previous cruise because of civil unrest but as the other destinations had not been visited we thought that the itinerary appeared very good. We had a few days in Singapore before the cruise started and were surprised how it had expanded since our previous visit but it is still a very nice and safe place to visit with lots to see and do and very pleasant and helpful people. The pre voyage documentation received from Cunard was very helpful and personalized for this part of the World Voyage and whilst we had asked for a table for 2 persons and this was stated on the agents paperwork we only found out that we were on a larger table when we joined the ship and it would have been more helpful to know this in advance. The other surprise was the cost of the India 6 Month Visa which when you add the cost of postage and photograph amounts to over £120 for a 1 day visit and had we have known this before the cruise we may have decided not to book this cruise. The embarkation process was good and not too much of a delay and our cabin was on Deck 4 but having been on the QM2 and Queen Victoria previously we had expected the ship to be a little better which appeared to have been the view shared by some other passengers that we spoke to. In fact quite a number expressed the view that they would not choose Cunard again which is also the view that we expressed. We have travelled on quite a number of other ships and without doubt the food on this cruise was some of the poorest that we have experienced in recent years. The choice was very poor; the quality was low and the service very mediocre. On the first day we attended the afternoon tea and whilst I did not taste the cream my wife indicated that it had gone off and so we pointed this out to the waitress who notified her supervisor who indicated that he had received some other complaints and would notify the chef who would get back to us which he never did. Some of the other problems that were noted included: • Mold on food. • Staff serving food without protective gloves. • Staff preparing food without protective gloves. • Very small portions of food. • Lido Restaurant not cleaned from previous day. • Wrong orders in the Britannia Restaurant. • Guests ignored in the Britannia Restaurant. I was pleased to see that the ship had Stella Artois on tap as this is what I normally drink at home – I am not sure what they have done to it but it tasted like flat cheap beer with a 15% service charge on it so this was another disappointment but at least it saved me a lot of money. About half way through the cruise there was an outbreak of Norovirus on the ship and the self service restaurant was changed into a staff service facility but this created long queues and we were informed that a strict sanitation programme was being implemented but this was continually breached by staff and sometimes by guests who lost their temper. In one instance a lady threw her tray and contents over the counter and several guests voiced angry concerns at the long queues and waiting periods. Once, when I was in the Lido a passenger helped herself to some food and the serving assistant told the passenger that it was necessary for her to serve the food because passengers were not washing their hands after going to the toilet. There appeared to be no overall control of the sanitation programme as even managers were observed breaching the controls. One person that I spoke to indicated that he had been confined to his cabin for 3 days with the virus and asked to pay £70 but refused indicating that he informed the staff that as he had got the virus from the ship and would not pay. On another occasion there was a wine tasting event and plates of cheese were made available where passengers were allowed to pick the cheese without any control by staff – in my experience this is one of the best ways to spread infection. One control that they had in place was the wedging open of public toilet doors, which was obviously to stop the transfer of infection by hand, but in some toilets you could see into the men’s toilet quite easily. At the end of the first week the Captain was asking for blood donors for some of the passengers and shortly afterwards the ship was diverted to transfer 2 people to hospital. Whilst we were never informed exactly how many people had Noravirus from the number of passengers that we spoke to we felt that the number could have been quite high and unfortunately my wife was also one of those affected? The evening entertainment programme was heavily biased towards singing, dancing and music and I felt that this could have been varied a little more and one guest informed me that he was on the ship 18 months ago and the dance routines were the same as then. The excursion programme was quite comprehensive and there was something to cater for most people although if you carried out some research there were better value private tours available together with companies that guarantee to get you back to the ship. One other problem that we noted and caused a number of accidents was that the ship appeared to have leaks in a number of locations and buckets were placed beneath them and on several occasions guests tripped over buckets. When I asked about these leaks I was informed that they were "condensation" leaks, which occurred, in hot climates. Whilst we enjoyed the places that we visited, we together with quite a number of other guests felt that the Queen Elizabeth had fallen far short of meeting our expectations. At the end of the cruise we had a few days in a hotel in Dubai and the service was excellent in every respect and I remember watching the chef at breakfast cooking eggs, omelets and pancakes at the same time as wearing gloves and I thought that this hotel could certainly teach Cunard a thing or two and also how to keep and serve Stella Artois.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I boarded the QE on January 10, 2014 for a West-bound Transatlantic cruise immediately following my East-bound Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2. Both were beautiful experiences, though very different. The QE is much smaller than the Queen ... Read More
I boarded the QE on January 10, 2014 for a West-bound Transatlantic cruise immediately following my East-bound Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2. Both were beautiful experiences, though very different. The QE is much smaller than the Queen Mary 2, but she is every bit the Queen. The QE decor details were spectacular and the intimacy of the ship was very special. The food was remarkable but the service from all areas was outstanding with staff that showed they were happy with their work demonstrated wonderful client services. As a solo 65 year old female traveler I felt most comfortable and welcomed as most of the ship were people of my 'vintage'. With the multiple music venues and food areas, if one was lonely it was their own fault. I did not meet a stranger for all the passengers were very friendly. My balcony cabin was wonderful. The cabin was beautiful and most comfortable. I enjoyed the balcony views of the sea. The warm tones of the room were very classy with golds, cream tones, navy blues...lovely. The bed was very comfortable and beautifully appointed with plush pillows with wonderful attentive cabin stewards. Spacious with a little sitting area and flat-screened tv with 24-hour something on to enjoy. I would highly endorse this beautiful ship. Sailing with Cunard is not a cruise....it is an experience...! I understand why most passengers were former Cunard Cruisers for once you sail Cunard you fall in love with the Queens. We cruised through gale-force winds and high waves most of the week. The boat does move about, but that is expected and wanted by the majority of the cruisers as part of the Transatlantic experience. I developed my sea-legs as we set sail and enjoyed the entire voyage and found the motion of the seas so very beautiful. I would encourage others to experience the Cunard Lines at least once in their life and I intend to set sail with the Queens again as I must try the Queen Victoria next! Treat yourself and sign up for a voyage on one of the Queens! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
Somewhat disappointed with our cruise on the QM2. We never eat in buffets so were limited for choice for lunch on embarkation day, to their Sir Samuel’s café. Nice coffee ( charged for) very limited snacks. On the matter of food the ... Read More
Somewhat disappointed with our cruise on the QM2. We never eat in buffets so were limited for choice for lunch on embarkation day, to their Sir Samuel’s café. Nice coffee ( charged for) very limited snacks. On the matter of food the servers in the Britannia restaurant, in the main, had no clue as to table etiquette, leaning across guests, not serving or retrieving plates from the correct sides. Again about the food, so as to restrict our intake, we always, when on cruises, for breakfast , use room service and slip a couple of dollars to the deliverer, never had a word of thanks. This room service was a bit hit and miss, as in our case, once there no knives another time just one cereal spoon, another time food items missing and another time as our time slot had passed I had to phone room service to chase the delivery. Lunch in the Britannia was so poor I had to send some fish back which I can only describe as having been cremated. Dinner, well I had beef three times and each time it was a failure. Mind you their starters and sweets were served very prettily. One good thing where Cunard did excel, over other cruise lines we have been on, was their entertainment. All the shows in the theatre were top rate. It’s a shame that the theatre itself had lots of seating with restricted view. As my wife is fairly wheelchair bound we had to get to the theatre very early, so as to get an accessible seat. It was then quite comical, in a sad way, when we observed loads of people bobbing up and down and moving about the theatre trying to get a good seat. All in all it’s back to other cruise lines for us. A shame because we liked the dress code on Cunard (sometimes abused with no control) Perhaps we are just of another generation, when right was right and wrong was wrong, with no if’s or buts in the middle.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
My elderly father and I embarked upon the QM2 for a 12 night cruise to New England, the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec. Whilst we usually cross the Atlantic on the QM2 for holidays, we decided to venture a "cruise". As usual, we ... Read More
My elderly father and I embarked upon the QM2 for a 12 night cruise to New England, the Canadian Maritimes and Quebec. Whilst we usually cross the Atlantic on the QM2 for holidays, we decided to venture a "cruise". As usual, we were delighted by the experience. We ate daily in the Britannia restaurant and found the food exceptional. We're a little curious as to why anyone would waste their money on Todd English and not eat in their assigned restaurant, but to each their own. As has been discussed on other parts of this board, there was a outbreak of Norovirus on the journey. We think the Captain and crew did an exceptional job controlling this potentially catastrophic virus from taking over. Why I say "catastrophic"? I would estimate that 80% of the passengers were elderly, some quite old and frail. Norovirus can be life-threatening to someone with a compromised immune system, such as the elderly. Captain Oprey was doubtlessly aware of this and he and his crew did everything possible to maintain a pleasant atmosphere whilst still containing the virus. Some reviewers question the "authenticity" of the measures taken. I have experience in Public Health, and know that it's always a balance between the health and welfare of the passengers and their (natural) desire to enjoy themselves. The balance was carefully and considerately done, and apparently, only a handful of passengers actually got sick (news reports have it at between 8 and 15 out of a passenger complement of 2000+) All this aside, the rest of the journey was extremely pleasant and fully up to the high standards of the QM2. We enjoyed our ports of call (though I was disappointed at the cancelation of my bike trip in Bar Harbor, but the fog was really bad). Our excursions were lovely, and our guides quite knowledgeable. I've noticed on my several journeys on the Queen Mary 2 that many passengers make it a sport to complain about [fill in the blank]. As the last of her species, the QM2 is a wonderful exemplar of how to balance the needs of modern (and quite querulous) passengers with the mystique of long-ago ocean travel. To be sure, it's not for everybody. Many folks are less interested in the nautical aspects of a journey and more into the entertainment, food, bars, whatever. If you want to take a journey back in time, enjoy days of peace and quiet and see a real ship in action, I highly recommend the QM2. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
Loved the ports of call. Newport mansions wonderful. Boston hop on and off, Bar Harbor the Nation Park, eating in a local restaurant, lobster yummy, St John not really much to see, the high tide waters meeting not awe inspiring. Halifax, ... Read More
Loved the ports of call. Newport mansions wonderful. Boston hop on and off, Bar Harbor the Nation Park, eating in a local restaurant, lobster yummy, St John not really much to see, the high tide waters meeting not awe inspiring. Halifax, you need two days, must see Titanic museum, and cementary, but if you have done those then go out of the city to the country, must see two small fishing villages, Manhony Bay and Lunnderburg(sp). Charming, Charming Charming. Quebec wonderful, charming, picturesque. If you can do Tea at the Hotel F on your own great but the ships tour was awful tea and old pastries, two candies for 65 dollars!!Have to say the tour that goes with it was good. Great guide. Getting off to tenders was poor, they should have it down pat by now. Ship was elegant but seem to have a poor floor plan compared to the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. Not a clear cut floor plan to get to different places, they seemed to be up a half floor, or around behind someplace or through someplace. Wonderful people, gregarious, outgoing. Easy to meet people and lots of single people.( 55 to 95) Many came just to dance on the wonderful dance floor. Many came year after year because they loved it, We met people who at had traveled 29 and 46 times on this ship! Not impressed with the food. We had a few bad meals but waiters would have exchanged it if we had asked. Meat over cooked. Fish once was dried. Desserts nothing to write home about. We had a code red out break of the norovirus. Crew very diligence in washing down rails, buttons, doors, anything touched by people. All in all a wonderful delightful cruise!   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
When I booked this voyage, it was a last minute something to do over the summer. It was one of the best ever, and I started sailing in 1949 with the Queen of Bermuda from New York to Hamilton. My husband and I did a lot of cruising and ... Read More
When I booked this voyage, it was a last minute something to do over the summer. It was one of the best ever, and I started sailing in 1949 with the Queen of Bermuda from New York to Hamilton. My husband and I did a lot of cruising and river cruising, and now that I am widowed, I still enjoy this form of travel. You meet wonderful people who are fellow travellers and can contribute to conversations over dinner regarding where they have been and what is not to be missed at various ports. My cabin was called a "sheltered balcony" on deck 6,and was cut into the hull rather than out over the side of the ship. Wonderful - even though it was a bit chilly to sit out, I did enjoy watching the calm seas through the glass door as we sailed. The room had wonderful closet space and a nice refrigerator for my spare cheeses. My bed was very comfortable, the shower nice and hot, and the cabin steward very attentive to doing his tidy-up the minute I left the room. The lecture series were something I had never had on another line, and I attended just about all of them. The subjects were varied, and the speakers certainly knew what they were talking about! I enjoyed the Titanic lecture so much on the eastbound trip that I went to it again on the westbound leg. The young man has facts and information I had never heard before, and was amazed to hear this time. The planetarium shows were also something new and different, and most enjoyable. It is a bit difficult to get the tickets, but I did stand in the long 9:00am line to get them on several days. Never regrated it! I found the Apassionata show simply wonderful - saw it in both directions and was most appreciative of the Vienese walty opening and the Russian dance later in the show. How they can change those fabulous costumes so quickly is another wonder - and where or where can they store all of them? I must take another trip with the QM2 just to be able to enjoy all of the daily activities that I missed because of other things I had to do the first time.   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
I'm an active senior solo veteran traveler with 38 cruises experienced. As a child, my family went to a bon voyage party on the old Queen Mary, and I still remember the elegance and tradition of that grand old ship. With Carnival ... Read More
I'm an active senior solo veteran traveler with 38 cruises experienced. As a child, my family went to a bon voyage party on the old Queen Mary, and I still remember the elegance and tradition of that grand old ship. With Carnival owning the Cunard brand, however, I did not expect anything special on my first voyage on a Cunard liner. I liked the idea of spending the Fourth of July week on a ship and booked the cruise when I saw that Boston was a port stop. I rode Amtrak from my Northeast home city, and stayed at a mid-range Hilton near Times Square - a favorite hotel which welcomes me as family on my many visits to New York City. I used the Carey Limo Embarque reasonably priced limo service from mid-town Manhattan to the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, and while it costs a bit more than the usual NYC cabs, it is well worth it for a serene, clean ride with a polite driver. I always "position" the day before a cruise, rather than risk stressing over a late train, plane, etc. Cunard politely requests passengers to arrive at the cruise terminal for embarkation at "staggered" times to avoid crowding and expedite the boarding process. Times are given on the e-ticket. I arrived an hour early, and was still allowed to process through the usual security, filling out of health forms, and waiting in a slow-moving but cheerful line of eager passengers anticipating a nice getaway. It took 40 minutes to process, despite many agents at the check-in counter. The Brooklyn cruise terminal is a huge building, but there are chairs for those needing to sit, restrooms, and blessed air conditioning. Lots of passenger service agents are there to answer questions and make things easy. There is the usual security screening. Baggage is handed over to porters in front of the terminal entrance, and reappears in staterooms on board. The first view of the Queen Mary 2 is stunning - absolutely enormous vessel towering over the pier. It looks like a traditional ocean liner of earlier times until ones sees the tiers of balconied staterooms and the taller profile. The ship has an elegant grace to it, and appears solid and capable. The traditional Cunard red, white and black coloring is lovely, and the ship appeared well maintained. Boarding is like a scene from an old movie, with rows of smiling uniformed crew waiting to greet the passengers. Entrance is into the gorgeous center rotunda area of the ship, where huge fresh flower arrangements are visible. There are columns, graceful curving staircases, and beautiful red and gold carpeting and plush furniture. Helpful crew are stationed everywhere to direct passengers to their staterooms. There are four main stairwells within the ship, all identified by letters. There are also helpful maps of the ship near elevators and stairs. Be prepared to hike - this is an enormous ship,, and elevators are small and usually crowded. Most of the public spaces are on the lower decks, with cabins above. Pocket-sized maps wait in the staterooms, and getting around is very easy with a little practice. Once out of the main rotunda and public areas, there are beautiful and informative wall displays with information about Cunard, historic ships, and historic events in this venerable line's history. There are also original paintings and lovely marine portraits of Cunard ships in the stairwells all over the ship. Being British-themed, there are several impressive portraits, information displays, and memorabilia of the British Royal Family as well, including items for sale with signatures of Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and other Royals. The colors within the ship are muted, and seemed to feature tans, brown, gray, and the decorative scheme looked more 1950s than traditional of earlier times and liners. It certainly wasn't elegant compared to the main public areas. The dining room was a two-story impressive venue, but again, rather colorless other than its decorative ceiling, impressive metallic marine-themed wall sculpture, and curving staircases. It has a faint resemblance to the original Queen Mary dining room in its columns. All varieties of seating are available, and there is enough room to get through the tables without a struggle. This particular ship is fanatical (to their credit) about sanitation. Embarkation TV messages about Norovirus and proper shipboard sanitation are very prominent. Purell dispensers are found all over the ship, and the first 48 hours at sea, buffet diners are handed their eating equipment, and this after a smiling and gracious crewman personally squirts hand sanitizer into your hands for you. It takes a second to prevent problems, and it's well worth it. Sanitation procedures seem above-average and consistent on this ship. My stateroom was a BD category lower aft sheltered balcony accommodation, and very large compared to the usual similar balcony cabins on other ships. The shower was huge, and the bathroom itself was spacious for a ship's facility. Everything looked very clean, but a bit dated with tile walls and a plastic shower stall. High-end British body lotion, shower gel, and shampoo were provided, as well as shower caps (my containers were empty - very peculiar), and there are is a lovely container of cotton balls and Q-tips provided as well, and of course Kleenex and plenty of towels. The bath soaps are also high-end and of sufficient quality to not melt into gooey messes, or dry out my skin for once. This ship practices green conservation, as well, with repeated towel usage encouraged. I suspect the bed linens are not changed daily, either, but I never actually saw what took place. The towels were very tired, with some faint stains visible, and so worn out that they were very scratchy with almost no material left on most of them. Beds are twins convertible to king-size, and very comfortable with high-quality linens and seven pillows, plus a medium-weight cozy duvet, all in white with gold thread trim. The closet space is more than adequate, as are the drawers, considering this ship cruises the world. There are wood hangers in tandem on one hook tops. There is a safe in one closet. There is a vanity table and chair, small coffee table, love seat, and flat-screen TV with good variety. There are two night tables flanking the bed. My cabin had a "within the hull, sheltered balcony", and was one of the largest I've ever seen, complete with two adjustable chairs and a small table. While not being able to see the water below while sitting on the balcony, the viewing above the solid wall and railing was still expansive and delightful. The shelter from the wind was also welcome, and I can imagine it would be great on a transatlantic crossing. The spray from our high speed did reach all the way to 5 Deck, and this was just a "local" cruise! There is a wall of glass and glass door which opens, not slides, from the cabin to the balcony. The colors were a bit depressing in the cabin, with a dark brown print in the carpet, and white bedding, and brownish furniture and light walls with a few nice art prints. There was the usual cruise ship variety of ceiling and wall and table lighting. Cabin doors looked like fake wood, but were heavy polished metal. The corridors are narrow, and two people have trouble passing comfortably. There was a laundromat nearby, with gleaming clean new appliances. My cabin was mercifully away from the midship engine vibration and noise, and I noticed almost nothing when it came to any motion - a surprise, as I was located about three-quarters of the way aft on the ship. I heard nothing through the walls, but some voices in the corridor were audible now and again. There is excellent climate control in the cabin. Internet or wifi is subject to the ship's location, and usually OK in the cabin but better in the ship's internet venue. It is also very expensive, and very slow. All amenities in the cabins may be far better in the "Grills" level on the ship, but I was in the regular "Britannia" class and wasn't able to see what the other services provided. There are several alternative restaurants, but I did not use them this trip. There is also a cheerful pub which was very popular when I stopped by on a walk through the ship. There is a designed cigar smoker's lounge, and restricted smoking access on the ship - however, tobacco smoke was noticeable throughout most of the ship to varying degrees, and also on deck where the smokers were in their area aft. No smoking in the staterooms. The crew was visible doing routine maintenance on the ship and deck areas every day, and most of them seemed happy to be working on this ship. The crew attitude on the whole seemed far better than any ship I've been on to date, and there was total unfailing courtesy, respect, and helpfulness from all the crew I interacted with. Most seem to be young international people who are multilingual, and as with most ship crews these days, it appears that most are either from Asia or what used to be Russia and Middle Europe. Their ability with languages is enviable. I did not see any officers, but had a unique meeting with the ship's Commodore while waiting to board in Halifax. He is a very gracious, personable, and well-spoken gentleman who knows his job depends on passenger satisfaction, and he obviously loves what he does He made clearly audible and informative announcements daily at noon from the bridge. There was no formal "meet and greet" with him this short voyage, unfortunately. This is the fastest ship I've traveled on to date, and while it is huge, and goes fast, the ride is incredible smooth. We had good weather, other than fog, and the usual small seas off the New England and Maritimes coastline. I asked several crew if the ride was this good on transatlantic crossings and they replied that it is indeed, unless there is a severe storm. The ship goes even faster on the transatlantic crossings. I noticed a tiny bit of rolling the first night, but after that the seas were a bit smoother, and the ride was delightful. The shore excursion variety is more than adequate, and there is something for everybody. I did not take tours this trip, having seen both port cities numerous times. Activities on board, once again, offer something for all interests, although it did not seem that children would enjoy this particular cruise line. Most activities are aimed at mature adults with interests in more cultured activities than the usual "knobby knees" type of fun things found on other cruise lines. The casino had its fans, bridge players found each other, and the unique planetarium on the ship was quite a feature - I missed that due to other activities. There is so much going on it's hard to get it all in. Nobody could be bored on this ship, and activities are ongoing from dawn until the wee hours of the night. There is a stunningly beautiful and huge well-stocked library, complete with a book store, and the famous Canyon Ranch Spa featuring a huge variety of personal body treatments to spoil anybody, but at the usual high shipboard prices. A variety of hot tubs and swimming pools were scattered around the beautiful traditional open teakwood decks, and plenty of deck chairs, towels, blankets, and deck stewards to attend to any needs. The ship travels far faster than most cruise ships, and watching the waves rushing past the ship, and the bow wake, and hearing the sea sounds and smelling the salt spray were heavenly and soothing. I'm a runner and workout fan, and was very happy simply running the 1.1 mile every three laps wooden promenade deck which ran all the way around the ship. The fitness center has the usual weights and machines, but is considerably smaller than usually found on cruise ships, p;perhaps a nod to the age demographics on this ship and line. There were "enrichment" lectures which were very popular, but I missed those due to trying to do something else. You can't do it all, even if you try, as the schedule overlaps at times. This is not a ship for children, with the older crowd and more sedate behavior. There were at least 20 children on board that I observed, and they were not well behaved and probably bored. Parental supervision is encouraged on this ship, but it was missing with the kids I saw. They were fighting with each other, and running and screaming throughout the ship's corridors and stairwells, nearly knocking an elderly couple down the stairs at one time. I also did not see that many families - mainly older couples, or older people traveling together in small and large groups. This cruise featured one formal evening with spectacular formal evening wear on display. The dress code did not seem to be enforced, however, and amongst the tuxedos and long gowns I did see some people who chose to wear very casual clothing as they would every day at home. There was a "Black and White Royal Ball" on formal night in the unique Queen's Room, the ship's ballroom. There is a live full orchestra who plays fantastically and in great variety with its music, as well as guest groups which are smaller. I loved the rare chance to wear a long formal evening gown, and my small tiara, and indeed felt like royalty for the night. Formal portraits were taken this night, and every night ($24 for an 8 x 10), and the ship's photographers have far better ability than average. For women traveling alone, six extremely personable "gentlemen hosts" are available as dance and social partners on the ship, and they can really dance! They are at least in their late 50s for the most part, and very professional social hosts who enhance the cruise tremendously for those of us who are widows and traveling alone. I love to dance, and this was my chance to shine! I danced every evening for nearly three hours, late into the night, and loved it while meeting others who partnered the single ladies when the hosts were dancing with other ladies. All types of dance styles are provided, but seemed to be mainly the typical Latin and ballroom and swing-type varieties. Each night's music and dancing in the ballroom is themed to something special and specific. The "shows" were rather subdued, featuring a very good classical string quartet one night, an Olympic gymnast another, and fabulous Russian-trained professional dancers who put on the best shows, backed by a big stage with good costuming, lights and live orchestra. There was also a MoTown performance for the younger passengers. Various singers, pianists and others performed in the lounges around the ship. Dining was an experience, as the food presentation and variety are British-themed. There are plenty of the usual American foods, however, for those less adventurous. The King's Court buffet is enormous, with big trays, big plates and real linen napkins, and big utensils. There did not seem to be quite the variety found on other cruise lines, however. The usual beverage services are available, and an elegant English tea takes place every afternoon which could easily substitute for the evening meal. Many hot food items on the buffet were not hot, but lukewarm or even cold. I did not see any sandwich or lighter fare available, but there is a small cafe higher up in the ship which makes fries, burgers, and related items, and a pizza place is also there. Soft-serve ice cream was everybody's favorite! Dining room menus in the Britannia class restaurant had something for all tastes, and special foods could be ordered for medical reasons or dietary preference. There was always pasta, fish, meat, poultry and various very British "sides" and salads. Deserts were good, but again, British themed. Portion size would be considered a bit on the small side for some items, and sensible size by most of us. Nobody left the table hungry! Servers were nice, and very accommodating to requests. However, the dining service at my table for 6 was appalling slow, with some mixed-up orders. It may have been a problem in the galleys, as our waiter literally ran to get our food once it was available and couldn't be faulted for his pleasant service. It was also very hard to get water glasses refilled or even really cold water - perhaps another nod to the British not drinking water much or using ice. Nice silverware, china, and table linen at the spacious table for six I enjoyed right next to a huge window. I peeked into the Grill-class dining areas and their table settings were fancier and more elegant in a smaller venue, and their menus were also more extensive and elaborate. There is a somewhat limited room-service menu available in the cabin. My cabin had a small refrigerator, stocked with various sodas and waters, for a small fee. Ice was not replenished after the first day without requesting it. Upon embarkation, a chilled ice bucket containing a large bottle of champagne was on my table in the cabin, with two champagne flute glasses, on a linen tablecloth - complimentary and very nice. Complimentary pink or white champagne was also offered around the ship upon sailing from the ports, too. Halifax is a great port city, and while I did not take a tour this visit, I did get off the ship and walked the harbor-front boardwalk, visiting with friends I know in town. I was surprised to find the Pier 21 terminal mostly closed for renovations, and this has displaced the skilled and sociable crafts vendors and small booths found within the terminal - it makes ship-side shopping such a pleasure in a sheltered facility, especially for those who can't walk far. By the end of August, however, the shops will be back in position, or so I was told. The port call to Boston was unforgettable, as it was on the Fourth of July. Even the British and Europeans on board celebrated with those from the USA (the voyage before mine was westbound transatlantic). On a brilliantly sunny and brutally hot day, the ship was in port from dawn until 1 AM, with plenty of shore tours for those interested. Nothing, however, could top what the city did for itself to celebrate the Fourth - the incomparable old US warship "Constitution" was under her own (motor) power out in Boston harbor, accompanied by many ships of varying sizes, and the harbor's fire boats spraying red, white and blue water plumes to honor "Old Ironsides". It was extremely moving to see this ancient wooden and rather small historic warship making its dignified progress through the water, and we could all see it perfectly from the ship's upper decks for more than an hour. It was quite a contrast to see the 21st century aircraft taking off above the "Constitution", as Logan Boston airport is directly on the harbor area. It was a perfectly clear night on the Fourth, and many passengers went to the top decks of the ship to view the spectacular and colorful fireworks displays, clearly visible around the entire horizon. Small displays sparkled from various neighborhoods, and then the famous Boston "official" display began and thrilled the viewers for nearly 30 minutes. We could not hear the famous "1812" overture, other than its cannons, but the entire July Fourth celebration in Boston was magnificent and very special, considering it was viewed from a British ocean liner. The dance in the Queen's Room ballroom that evening was themed to the Big Band era music, with red, white and blue balloons in a net above, and which released onto the delighted celebrants at midnight, complete with singing the Star Spangled Banner as a group with the orchestra. Shopping was plentiful despite a rather limited number of shops, with the usual "sidewalk bargain sales" during the sea days, and featured everything from affordable small souvenirs to high-end cosmetics, accessories, clothing, books, artwork, and logo items and children's gifts, with a section devoted to gifts from the famous London Harrods department store. Disembarkation was typical but orderly, with color-coded and timed departures for most, and the fastest walk-off with your own baggage option I have ever used. I was off the ship and into my waiting limo in 10 minutes, at 7 AM. A very early and full breakfast was provided to fuel the homeward-bound. For those wishing to book their next voyage on a Cunard liner, there are on-board booking discounts and nicely reduced deposit amounts available. This ship also gives single travelers a small price break (charging 175% for single occupancy rather than 200%) There are no real "bargains" on pricing that I could see, as there are just a very few cabins extremely fore and aft which don't have balconies, and not that many inside cabins (which appeared very large when viewed from the corridor) where savings might be possible. While this short cruise was not exactly what I expected, it was foremost a marvelous ride on a unique vessel, impressive enough that I hope to do a transatlantic crossing soon. I could happily spend a week just riding across the ocean for the voyage without a lot of other activities. The chance to mingle with many international passengers is a definite plus. This is not a cruise for "party animals", but appeared to be aimed mainly at the more mature, dignified, and perhaps older passengers. The "Grills" level of service and amenities is supposed to be more elaborate and spectacular, but I received enough positives with my Britannia level voyage which was affordable for my circumstances. The ship is 10 years old, and could use some updating and renovation, but appears well maintained. My only wish is that I could have experienced the original Queen Mary in all its famous British traditions, rather than a somewhat generic version generated by the Carnival corporation.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We loved our cruise around the British Isles. It was probably one of our favorite cruises but we had two big complaints. We don't know whether Cunard has gone downhill or whether after sailing on Azamara Journey this spring we have ... Read More
We loved our cruise around the British Isles. It was probably one of our favorite cruises but we had two big complaints. We don't know whether Cunard has gone downhill or whether after sailing on Azamara Journey this spring we have become very spoiled. The Lido buffet has always been very very not white star to us ( more like a school cafetaria than a luxury liner!) but what especially got to us this time was that with all of the wait staff around you have to queue up for juices and coffee and or tea. Then you have to carry it back to your table yourself ( sometimes at personal risk of being jostled or pushed while carrying hot coffee. Couldn't they take a leaf from Azamara's book and at least have the wait staff ( who do come around for drink orders at lunch and dinner) serve you coffee and juice or if that is not possible, at the very least, have many more coffee stations available. As the dining room on port days often closes for breakfast at 9am the Lido is the only place on the ship for many of the passengers to get free coffee. Could it be a little more elegant and a little less like a school cafetaria? Our only other complaint was that with the push to sell shore excursions, we were not told early on how inexpensive and cheap it was to get into cities that are near the ports from the ports. This was true with both Edinburgh and Dublin where there were shore excursions listed for each of these cities on your own that were over $30 or $40 per person when for less than $5.00 each passenger could easily use public transportation without even having to transfer or change to get into these cities My husband and I are avid bridge players and I do appreciate that the Cunard ships all have card rooms when many other lines have done away with them and there are always great bridge programs as well as guest lecturers also Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Background:I consider myself an experienced cruiser, and have sailed most of the world. While my favorite line is Crystal, I like to cruise more than I can afford with them and have also sailed with Windstar, Silversea, RCI, Cunard, HAL, ... Read More
Background:I consider myself an experienced cruiser, and have sailed most of the world. While my favorite line is Crystal, I like to cruise more than I can afford with them and have also sailed with Windstar, Silversea, RCI, Cunard, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival. I have now sailed all recent Cunard ships, QM2,QE2,QV, and now QE. Hotel Info: Pre-cruise:I stayed at the Gem Hotel at 449 W 36th Street. The location was superb and the hotel was fine, but I was a bit surprised that as a member of the Choice group they don't provide a breakfast. Post-cruise:I had a same evening (19:35) flight out of Heathrow and arrived at the airport just after 11. I booked a cabin at the Yotel Heathrow. It was well equipped but tiny. It was a good option for a few hours, but I don't think it would be either very comfortable or a great value for an overnight stay. Ship: At 90,000 tons and somewhat over 2,000 passengers the ship to me is big but is small to medium size in today's market. It is a very modern ship, as would be expected having been built in 2010. Everything is well laid out and there are ample open spaces. Service: Very Good. My waiters and room steward did an excellent job and service was generally good around the ship. Port & Shore Excursions: This was a direct transatlantic crossing with no ports. There were 2 things that might have come under the heading of "tours". 1. I booked the behind the scenes tour on the ship. We saw pretty nearly everything on the ship, backstage, mooring deck, medical center, engine control room, a fire locker, trash area, print shop, food storage area and galley, bridge, and perhaps some things I have overlooked. At $120 it covered a lot and I believe was somewhat less expensive than similar tours on other ships. 2. At the end I had a transfer to Heathrow. We were moved up in the departure sequence and our bus was pretty uncrowded. Our arrival was delayed by close to an hour for one party that couldn't be located. I don't believe anyone had tight flight connections but it could have been a problem. Summary: While Cunard talks about ocean liners, QE is a cruise ship through and through. QM2 handles a crossing much better than QE does. As a cruise ship, it is very nice. Travel To Port of Embarkation: I used Amtrak the day before for about the 2 1/2 hour journey from BWI to New York. For me the hotel was within walking distance and an uptown bus took me within walking distance of the dock. Stateroom: My inside stateroom was a bit small but more than ample for one. It was very well appointed with US(2), UK, and European electrical outlets and a mini-fridge. One thing to be careful about is the electricity. The lights are controlled by inserting your room key in a slot by the door. If the key is removed one or perhaps 2 of the outlets will be active but the rest will lose power. The bath was quite tiny with only a small shower. Leaving the TV on the bridge channel gave a good idea of what conditions were outside. Dining: As is traditional with Cunard, your cabin category determines your dining arrangements. The 3 upper categories (about 15% of passengers) have a reserved table for all 21 meals per week with about a 3-hour flexible time period. I was with the 85% of passengers who dine in Britannia and the food and service were very good, at least in line with other mainstream cruise lines. The cold fruit soups were one of my favorites. The lido was set up cafeteria style and lines occurred but were generally pretty short. There are stations for custom omelets, pancakes, waffles, and pizza. It does have a cafeteria feeling but all the food I had was good. I had lunch in the extra cost Veranda restaurant. For me, it wasn't worth the price for regular use but it was an excellent meal. Entertainment:The Royal Cunard singers and dancers were excellent. I thought the guest entertainers on board were of variable quality. There were a number of bands, pianists, and small musical groups in various places around the ship with a wide variety of entertainment choices. Disembarkation:There is one nice thing about Cunard crossings that happen before we even get to our destination. UK immigration officials sail with the ship so there is no need for the traditional checks as we disembark the ship. Disembarkation times are mostly by deck. Since I had a transfer I was fairly early in the process, but things seemed to be moving fairly smoothly up to that time, and i assume it continued that way after my departure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2013
Our previous two cruises were both with Celebrity so it is in this context that I comment on our QM2 experience. First the good points: Our cabin even though it was a 'port-hole' class on Deck 6 near the bow was excellent and ... Read More
Our previous two cruises were both with Celebrity so it is in this context that I comment on our QM2 experience. First the good points: Our cabin even though it was a 'port-hole' class on Deck 6 near the bow was excellent and I couldn't fault it. Our steward was quite shy and retiring; he did the job but we saw little of him. The beautiful Art Deco theatre called Illuminations was excellent and had a superb Planetarium feature. The gym, once we found it, was very good. I say 'once we found it' as the various direction signs and listings didn't mention that it existed. The Ballroom and the teas served there in the afternoon was excellent and the evening dancing and band was very good.The shows in the main Royal Court Theatre were generally good; in particular the acrobatic duo. The session speakers were mostly good and the Jackie Stewart talks were excellent. Service from staff was generally efficient. The main restaurant, The Britannia, was very attractive with excellent decor. Now, the downside: I guess food is what we would be most critical of. It was no-where near up to the standard of Celebrity cruise dining. The food in the Britannia restaurant was mostly bland with very poor sauces. Sometimes portion sizes were small and our waiters served us extra vegetable dishes to make up. The on-board chefs seem to have little understanding of sauces and flavouring. Other reviewers have mentioned cost-cutbacks but herbs and spices cost little so there really is no excuse on a top cruise line. The selection of food in the Kings Court self-service restaurant was only average. Hygiene control in the Kings Court was very poor with staff not attempting to make visitors use the hand-cleansers. Again you would not have been able to do this with Celebrity and I understand QM2 had had some norovirus a few weeks before our cruise? Service from staff in the restaurants and elsewhere was efficient but the staff appeared a bit cowed. We felt that the crew were quite aloof and did not mix with lower level staff or passengers in the way we had seen on our previous cruises where the crew generally ate with the passengers. Drinks were expensive and wine pricing in particular was silly. On the other hand there was good British Real Ale and with almost normal UK bar prices; spirits were reasonable and sometimes cheaper than the average wine. The speciality restaurant, Todds, had good, flavoursome food but portion sizes were a bit on the small side. The ships' decor varies in an almost random way around the ship; sometimes it's just a mess occasionally very good. The main Royal Court Theatre is well equipped and comfortable but the seating upstairs is bizarre in it's layout. Off-shore trips varied in cost and value. The arrangements for gathering before dis-embarking were not ideal with everyone meeting in the main theatre resulting in queuing. As someone else has mentioned in another review, arrangements for the final dis-embarkation morning were not followed by the crew and you had to largely use common sense. The promenade deck 7 was the place to get some outside exercise but sadly there was a constant smell at the rear of the ship so you needed to move fast through that part! In summary, we talked to other passengers who had travelled with Cunard before and/or other cruise lines. Many felt that Cunard could try harder bearing in mind the Cunard branding and some said that QE and Victoria ships were superior. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2013
The Queen Victoria is the smaller version of Cunard style than the Queen Mary 2. The ship is simpler in design. The public rooms on deck two and three are located on one corridor that runs the length of the ship. Most of these bars and ... Read More
The Queen Victoria is the smaller version of Cunard style than the Queen Mary 2. The ship is simpler in design. The public rooms on deck two and three are located on one corridor that runs the length of the ship. Most of these bars and entertainment venues are open to the hall making them less private. The food was mediocre. The food in Britannia is "dumbed down." The portions are now nouvelle cuisine size. The sauces are less refined and sugar based. There is a vast difference in food from just two years ago. The Lido restaurant is adequate for main courses but the side dishes were mainly potato based. This is not the place to try to be on a healthy cruise. This is not the place for someone with special food needs. The Lido pastries were seriously lacking. Most desserts were gelatin based. They actually had Jello in different colors available. The entertainment is similar to the Queen Mary 2 but less extravagant. There were few classical concerts. There was a Russian pianist who was excellent. It was shame that she played in the Queens Room on a seriously out of tune piano which was amplified. This exaggerated the inadequate piano even more. Attendance is always sparse for classical concerts aboard Cunard. The poor state of the equipment even made me stay away after two concerts. There was a comedic cello concert with the Cunard band. This seemed to be English schtick similar to Heny Youngman which is out of style in the US but much enjoyed by the packed house here. I found it painful. The lecturers were excellent, as usual. There were lectures on the environment, art, history and local cultures. The lecturers are always well educated, enlightening and entertaining. The outdoor pool area was packed in good weather. It was well attended by the leather skinned crowd and the pale trying to find warmth on this winter cruise. There does not seem to be an indoor pool except for a small soaking pool in the spa which was usually empty. That pool is visible through large windows on the way to the Lido food areas. The Queen Victoria is an excellent ship for someone who does not want to maneuver around a huge ship, such as the Queen Mary 2. The layout is simpler and easy to get around. The people on the Queen Victoria world cruise segment were more cruise savvy than the average Transatlantic passenger. They dressed better but still casually in the daytime. They looked comfortable even in their formal clothing at night. The Captain, Inger Klein Olsen, is an absolute delight. She is a warm, genuine person who confidently controls the ship while being engaging with the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
The public rooms on 'Queen Elizabeth; are all decorated very elegantly and pleasantly, and after 3 years still look almost brand new. The impressive Grand Lobby, with the Viscount Linley marquetry/inlay panel is very reminiscent of ... Read More
The public rooms on 'Queen Elizabeth; are all decorated very elegantly and pleasantly, and after 3 years still look almost brand new. The impressive Grand Lobby, with the Viscount Linley marquetry/inlay panel is very reminiscent of the Golden Age of the liner. The Queen’s Room is one of my favourites with two royal portraits, the bronze bust of The Queen from QE2, as well as various pictures of royal residences. The room is used for the ‘white glove’ afternoon tea, dances and large gatherings. Our cabin [balcony stateroom on deck 7] was very pleasant; and I might have made more use of the balcony had our immediate neighbour not insisted on smoking whenever conceivably possible. I’m pleased to hear that from next year smoking will not be allowed on any of the balconies! The thing I noticed at night was the incredible silence: no cars, no city noise, no dogs barking  just total silence. Our fellow passengers seemed very considerate; and there were very few children on board. The lofty, two-tiered Britannia Restaurant [clearly Art Deco-inspired] did not disappoint either. The menus included some familiar favourites, and some intriguing soups and sometimes fusion dishes. I need not have worried about tea, as we could enjoy as many extra cups as we wished in the self-service Lido Restaurant. There’s plenty of beautiful artwork, polished wood, glittering chandeliers on board. There’s no neon or glitz on this ship. Every bar or lounge has something beautiful in it. I ventured into the Golden Lion pub only once for lunch, and enjoyed that. One has to self-disciplined about food on almost any ship, I guess. There is so much of it, 24 hours a day. Room service is included too at no extra cost. There’s live music all over the ship. A pianist played during afternoon tea. Then, in the evening, a harpist, pianist or string quartet played in the Grand Lobby. Many of the musicians come from Russia and the Ukraine. The evening performances in the theatre were excellent and very entertaining. Well done, Amanda Reid & Co. It was fun exploring the rest of the ship: the library, card room, bookshop, puzzle corner, tiny Fortnum & Mason section, the Harrods section, the bars. I did make it to the gym, but decided I preferred to walk briskly [or occasionally jog] around the promenade deck while admiring the views or taking in the sea air. After all that good food, exercise was sorely needed. I hadn’t been looking forward to the formal nights, but they also proved to be far more enjoyable than I’d expected. The Captain and the officers are all British, and friendly. The rest of the crew come mainly from the Philippines, India, Eastern Europe and are clearly very well trained and always polite. What I loved too was the ease with which we arrived in a different country: no immigration queues, no forms. Everything was handled by the company in advance, and we simply stepped ashore. So easy! In every port a shuttle bus was laid on to the town/city centre, and some passengers chose to use this for independent travel, but I do not regret booking excursions. We stepped off the ship, and on to coach and were whisked to a place of interest. The tours seemed reasonably priced. I saw many fascinating places and as I studied Latin for so many years, the ruins of Herculaneum had to be one of the highlights. The ruins of Ephesus are far more spectacular than I’d expected. We sailed from Civitavecchia to Salerno to Messina, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Piraeus/Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Ravenna, and finally Venice. Santorini is picture postcard perfect! Several ships had docked in Piraeus the morning we arrived, and the Parthenon proved to be overcrowded. Still, I count myself fortunate to have seen the famous ruins. The tiny republic of San Marino perched in the mountains - also proved to be far more interesting and beautiful than I’d expected. We were lucky enough to see some of the famous mosaics at Ravenna too. And for the first time I got to see some of the many sights of Venice. For the whole time the sun shone and the skies remained blue. It was late October/autumn, but pleasantly warm. Only in Venice did the skies darken ever so slightly. Even there we did not feel a drop of rain. What luck! My only gripe: the internet [via satellite] seemed expensive at 75c a minute, or $24.95 for 2 hours. So would I like to cruise again? The answer must be a resounding YES! Perhaps it will be Queen Victoria next time, or Queen Mary 2. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We have a special fondness for the old QE II and so we were a little apprehensive about how we would feel about the Queen Victoria. Whilst the QE II remains our favorite the Queen Victoria runs a respectable second. By todays standards I ... Read More
We have a special fondness for the old QE II and so we were a little apprehensive about how we would feel about the Queen Victoria. Whilst the QE II remains our favorite the Queen Victoria runs a respectable second. By todays standards I would class it as a medium size ship (around 2000 passengers I think) which is just right for us. The size of our cabin was adequate rather than generous and although my wife felt that there was a lack of drawer space we had no trouble storing our two weeks worth of clothing and stashing our luggage out of sight. Overall it was clean and comfortable. The general atmosphere of the ship was modern with a hint of olde worlde. The public rooms were light and airy and as a general rule never felt overcrowded. There were plenty of places to sit and have a quiet drink or read (or both). But there were alternatives that offered a more lively atmosphere. Our favorite was the Commodore Club on deck 10 at the front of the ship that gave us a panoramic view. The theatre was the best we have encountered on any cruise liner with boxes, at extra cost, if you so wished. However we were told by a couple that had taken a box one night that the glass front caused a reflection that hindered their enjoyment of the show. On the subject of shows, those on offer varied in quality. Cunard's resident singers, two males and two females, were excellent. All four of West End quality I would say. The resident dancers were also very good. The two comedians (two shows each) were enjoyable but the Beatles tribute group was pretty awful. The food in the Britannia restaurant was very good without being spectacular. We never had any problems finding something on the menu that was appealing to us and portions were just enough. The Lido offered alternative buffet dining that was varied and enticing. The serving platters were frequently replenished with freshly cooked food and tables were quickly cleared and cleaned by the staff. Even at busy times we were always able to find a table. We also ate one evening at the Todd English restaurant at extra cost. The food and service there was first class but the restaurant lacked atmosphere because of the lack of clientele (one other couple and a group of 4 the night we were there), a factor that we noticed whenever we peered into the restaurant during the course of the voyage. Afternoon tea is a Cunard tradition that is done very well. We looked forward to this and were not disappointed. The crew/staff on the ship were, without exception, brilliant. Friendly, smiling, helpful and efficient, they were all an absolute credit to Cunard and helped make our cruise an extremely enjoyable experience. My main criticism of this cruise were the prices charged, particularly for drinks. The cheapest bottle of wine on the restaurant menu was around US$30 (plus 15% service charge) and there were comparatively few at this price. A bottle of water was US$3.50. There were three ports of call that are not listed in the 'Port Review' section of the cruise critic form so I will mention them here:- a)Malaga (Spain). We chose to do our own thing here rather than go on an excursion. We were pleasantly surprised by the town. It was easy to stroll around with a very pleasant park close to the port area and an interesting roman ruin in the town centre. b) Cephalonia (Greece). We went on the best of Cephalonia tour here and were glad that we did because passengers that chose to do their own thing in the port said that there was nothing there (a Greek Blackpool was one description). The tour included a drive to the north of the island where we stopped off at a lovely little fishing village in the north of the island. Getting there involved driving along roads with steep drops to the ocean but the reward was spectacular views. We also visited a cave where the 'roof' had fallen in many years ago to create a small lake. The tour included a short rowing boat ride on the lake. c)Korcula (Croatia) We did our own thing here. Korkula is a smaller version of Dubrovnik and was perhaps our favorite of all the destinations. A myriad of small bustling streets that can be comfortably covered in a couple hours. And we still had time to have an al fresco meal in a restaurant that overlooked the Adriatic. We took a chance both here and in Dubrovnik by not taking any local currency with us. In fact we found that most souvenir shops and bars/restaurants were happy to take Euros. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Queen Elizabeth ship is all that i expected and more, Our luggage was taken from us as we arrived at terminal by CPS parking, our motor home keys were taken from us as we arrived at port, authority had to park our van because of health ... Read More
Queen Elizabeth ship is all that i expected and more, Our luggage was taken from us as we arrived at terminal by CPS parking, our motor home keys were taken from us as we arrived at port, authority had to park our van because of health safety reasons.HMMMM!!!! Embarkation went smoothly despite alarm sounding where all had to leave building Using my mobility scooter, Liteway Rascal, i negotiated all obstacles OK going up ramps,into lifts on my own, avoiding ankles and toes of others, Partner and i found a nice resting place Corinthia Cafe where we had a most welcome coffee and pastry, coffee paid extra, REMEMBER PASSING CARD OVER YOU ARE PAYING, why worry we are on holiday, don't we pay for drinks ashore. Negotiated lifts ok, now to cabin, you are not allowed to leave scooter outside of cabin for very good reasons, we had balcony cabin on deck 4 near to lifts aft of ship, with a bit of organising asking our steward lady to take away table, moved bedside table near to window pushed bed over to sofa gave us room to park scooter, it worked well maneuvering scooter a bit tight but we done it. Our cases arrived, too exhausted to unpack so we left them for following day. had dinner at Lido cafe,nice selection of food YIPEE gluten free PIZZA choice of topping, afternoon tea lovely cakes gluten free, HMM i have put on weight. Dinning we choose 1st sitting,which is better for digestion, we found it to be very slow between courses which only gave us time to seat ourselves in theatre Shows OK room for improvement there, nice way to relax after dinner. After show there is a choice of many things commodore club gentle music as you watch the lovely views passing by, we preferred listening to CHANGEZ in yacht club lively music to dance to or listen, then DJ music. On port days we done our own thing, STRAVENGER a very pretty port cobbled streets not good for scooter, sadly it was a Sunday ALL SHOPS CAFE CLOSED but nice to look around taking in the beauty of this lovely town. FLAM where we docked very scenic, left scooter at little village train stop enjoyed a 1hr plus ride through a lovely valley, 150 kroner for 2 people worth money, ship do NOT tell you about this train. TROMSO shuttle service provided a few places to see turn right when you get off shuttle, Shuttle very good for scooter, wheelchair, drivers very helpful. NY ALESUND (Spitsbergen) ship tendered on a very nice sunny day, you can see all from ship, but nice to go ashore, always a me first to get off ship by other passengers pushing and shoving unbelievable of some rudeness some disobeyed the rules ashore which Commodore had to sign an agreement not to disturb wild life. we choose not to go ashore just to admire the beauty from deck of ship. MAGDALENA FYORD the most beautiful place i have been to, the glaciers ice flows WOW what a site to behold, how the Commodore turned the ship in this fjord just simply amazing, a big THANK YOU for letting us to see this wonderful place. OLDEN another lovely place ship docked, no problem in getting off ship with scooter, again we left scooter to take a little train ride up this lovely valley we were able to get off train where there is some nice shops. leisurely walk back to ship The lovely houses in the valley one house had George flag hanging from their balcony and waving us all a bon voyage how nice that was.TRONDHEIM shuttle bus one special bus for disable passengers, very helpful drivers, a lovely town nice shopping centre good shops, a beautiful Cathedral doors were opened for me to take scooter in,buy tickets in cafe next to Cathedral. Bergen,Shuttle bus again very helpful, beautiful city plenty to do and see HO HO buses in main square you can take scooter or wheelchair 1hr guided ride around city, good value. Now i am going to put all the stunning pictures on my lap top to remind me of this lovely holiday. Embarkation simply lovely well organised , even time for a nice breakfast before homeward to DEVON UK ENJOY TO ALL FUTURE PASSENGERS!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2012
A ride on the QM2 cannot be compared with a 'normal' cruise ship, since its is built to cross the atlantic. We were (mostly) very pleased with the set-up. Cabin 11072 on the 11th floor was very comfortable (bigger than a ... Read More
A ride on the QM2 cannot be compared with a 'normal' cruise ship, since its is built to cross the atlantic. We were (mostly) very pleased with the set-up. Cabin 11072 on the 11th floor was very comfortable (bigger than a comparable cabin on the Crystal Symphony) and it had every one needs for 11 days (enough space in the bathroom (shower only) and in the closets for cloth. The Maid service was ok but not more. She did the minimum she had to do but nothing more (the windows and the balcony floor were very dirty during the entire 11 day cruise). The dining room (Britannia Restaurant) is huge, but we had for 4 days a table for two and for 7 day a nice table for 4 next to the window. The food was good however the service lacked standards of other cruise lines. The sommelier was always late with hour wine (after having had the appetizer). We ate once at Todd English (extra charge of US$ 30.- per person). Here the food was excellent and the portions were huge!! The self service Restaurant Kings court is the worst we have seen on any cruise ship. It is divided into 4 Restaurants in the evening and thus for breakfast and lunch the layout is very confusing. For BFST no fresh eggs are prepared and the buffets are small and crowded. We preferred to eat BFST at the Britannia Restaurant which offered a nice BFST Menu and good and mostly fast service. QM2 also features a large selection of Bars. We loved to have a drink at the Commodore Lounge (below the bridge), the Chart room (good music) or the Champagne Bar. For the best coffee on the ship and a light lunch we often went to Samuel's. We made 2 excursions which were organised by Cunard (in Olden and Flam). As on all Cruise ships the excursion are totally overpriced but at least well organised. We visited Hamburg, Oslo and Stavanger on or own since we knew these cities from earlier visits. The overpricing is also valid for the photo service ($25 for a single photo is robbery). Check-in and check-out were well organised and quite fast (we sneaked out earlier than mentioned on the check-out sheet we had received since we had organised our own transport to/from London Heathrow to/from Southampton with Smith for Airport/SfA(which we can definitely recommend to everybody). SfA is much cheaper than the limousine service offered by Cunard (UK£ 72.- compared to US$ 299.- !!!)and we had two excellent drivers with clean cars. Overall we were satisfied with the ship, the cabin, the Bars and Restaurants but the personal service did definitely not reach the standards of Crystal, Celebrity or RCCL. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2012
My first cruise was a great experience. I took the subway from Times Square to the first stop in Brooklyn then a $15 cab to the pier. I carried my bags on (and off at Southampton) so got on board very quickly. Fantastic departure under ... Read More
My first cruise was a great experience. I took the subway from Times Square to the first stop in Brooklyn then a $15 cab to the pier. I carried my bags on (and off at Southampton) so got on board very quickly. Fantastic departure under blue skies. Cloudy and cool with calm seas for most of the voyage which was fine when walking round the promenade deck. My premium balcony (quiet)cabin was great and the daily newspaper and programme were very informative. Food and service was good. I dined 4 evenings in the Britannia restaurant. I had asked for a table for 10 and got 5 (including 1 couple) ages 50-90, good company. No queues at the self-service King's Court. From day 2 I lunched in the Golden Lion pub. The highlight was a fantastic RADA 65 minute production of Merchant of Venice - one of the best I've seen, with an original and stunningly sung Jewish religious chant. Their Canterbury Tales was also excellent. Music (Juilliard jazz, Dixie, harp, string quartet and piano) in the Chart Room and Golden Lion was great.. I preferred the quieter Commodore Club for pre-lunch drinks, avoiding the quizzes (interesting though they were). I had great Cuban cigars and conversations in Churchill's. I used the 75c a minute cabin wifi with no problems. There were excellent lectures repeated on the good-sized cabin TV. The purser's office dealt with queries efficiently and there was only a short queue at lunch times. I did have to be persistent on 2 occasions: I wanted to settle my bill with 2 credit cards but was told that was impossible. I returned to complain and was told by another receptionist (in the presence of the first) that that was fine, by opening a secondary QM2 card account. I was told by the cigar bar manager and the purser's office that I had to pay a 15% service charge on a box of cigars to take home (no charge in the second deck shop on its very limited range). The purser's office manager to whom I complained immediately cancelled the charge. I recommend the informal solos coffee morning, ages 25-70; and if you get to the bars, lounges and eateries early, you get the best seats. Fellow passengers, mostly Brits and Americans were friendly. I hope to be back next year. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
This was our first trip on the Queen Victoria having made a number of prior cruises on the Queen Mary 2. Embarkation at the rather huge cruise terminal at LA, was relatively hassle free and we were soon on board. Our luggage arrived at ... Read More
This was our first trip on the Queen Victoria having made a number of prior cruises on the Queen Mary 2. Embarkation at the rather huge cruise terminal at LA, was relatively hassle free and we were soon on board. Our luggage arrived at our cabin on Deck 8 just a few minutes after we did, so it was a quick unpack and off the to explore the ship and what a beautiful ship it is. Our cabin was of a good size, and yes the bathroom was miniscule, but that is the same on most modern cruise ships. The cabin stewardess, La Rosa from the Philippines was very attentive and kept the cabin spotless. There could have been some loungers instead of the upright chairs on the balcony and possibly some more storage space but these are relatively minor issues. Given that the cruise was from LA to Hawaii there was always going to be more days at sea than on most cruises and more opportunities for the traditional Cunard formal themed Balls in the Queens Room. OK, we appreciate that some people might not particularly like so many formal nights, but hey, Its Cunard! Having said that it was noticeable that staff on the ship was not strictly enforcing the dress codes as evidenced by one particular Canadian gentleman who wore jeans, sneakers and a baseball cap for every occasion! Struck it lucky with our table partners, 2 couples from California and a Canadian Couple who know live in Mexico. We enjoyed all the food on offer In both the Britannia restaurant and the Lido. We particularly enjoyed the social "banter" with the waiters at our table. Especially with the wine waiter from the Ukraine. There were four lecturers on this trip. There was a couple talking about Hawaii, it is always difficult to do a "double handed" lecture but this couples presentations were dire to say the least. There was an excellent motivational speaker, how could you not attend a lecture entitled "Are you the person your dog thinks you are?" There was a military historian who spoke about the war in the Pacific and in particular about the men involved in the iconic "raising of the flag" on Iwo Jima picture, it turned out that his late father was one of the men involved. He was a truly excellent speaker. Then we had a travel writer with a series of lectures called "America 101" again really interesting and informative. The entertainment Staff, led by the least pretentious and self-promoting Entertainments director we have met did a wonderful job. The Royal Court singers and Dancers did some fantastic production numbers worthy of any Broadway or West End shows. There was a lady violinist - she was excellent as was the solo pianist. The other acts, a singer (a Nat King Cole tribute) a comedic juggler and an American comedian were good but didn't stand out. Were the excursions on offer value for money? Probably not, as at each island equivalent "local" tours were available at a cheaper price. However in Honolulu, we were advised to get the ship excursion to the USS Arizona memorial as the tickets to the memorial are provided with the tour. If you did do it yourself you would have had to take pot luck on getting a ticket, dependant on what other cruise ships might be in port and you would almost certainly had a long wait to get to the memorial which was not the case with the ship provided excursion as we were at the memorial within 45 minutes of arriving at the site. Would we travel with Cunard again? certaiinly Would we travel on the Queen Victoria again? certainly Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
Gaining our shipboard experience from many (much) earlier Atlantic crossings on Cunard, and other Lines, we are trying, like Cunard, we felt, to 'get our heads round' the present-day 'cruising' culture. Having sailed ... Read More
Gaining our shipboard experience from many (much) earlier Atlantic crossings on Cunard, and other Lines, we are trying, like Cunard, we felt, to 'get our heads round' the present-day 'cruising' culture. Having sailed in several 'Vista' class of cruise ships, we were interested to see how Cunard delivered a 'similar' experience. Basically, as one might have expected, it was much the same, although Cunard charged more for the 'twiddly bits' than other Lines. Our cabin was clean, the Britannia waiters attentive and the food adequate, but the wines were FAR TOO EXPENSIVE. We found the onboard 'entertainment' not to our liking, but the harpist, string quartet and the jazz bands were excellent. Although we did not partake in the ballroom dancing classes, these looked enthusiastically supported. We particularly liked the Garden Room and didn't mind paying for a decent cappuccino there, as opposed to the very 'regular' coffee, freely available in the adjacent Lido Buffet. The forward swimming pool did not have the benefit of a sliding roof, as with other Vista vessels, and was quite cool at only 27degC. However, we did use it a little. We thought the Spa charges too high but were thankful, and surprised, that the sauna was free! Chris Wells, whom we had already met on the QE2 and QM2, is a first class Captain. We found his officers and crew a happy band, always being very professional, courteous and attentive. As already remarked above, both we and Cunard are having a problem with the 'cruising' mindset. Of the several Lines operating 'Vista' ships, we think that Holland America is the best, but it does mean flying to their cruises. (P&O 'shot themselves in the foot' by using that dreadful Mayflower Terminal at Southampton, where we had to stand out in the January 2011 cold for over an hour.) All in all, we enjoyed this cruise. It fulfilled its purpose of Christmas and New Year away from home, for a change. Read Less
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