1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Cunard Line
  4. Cunard Line Cruise Reviews

219 Cunard Senior Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date June 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
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 May 2012
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
Sail Date December 2011
We are from the UK travelling on our second Cunard cruise out of about 30 in total. We tried the QM2 in her inaugural year and been slightly underwhelmed, nothing to put us off Cunard particularly but we felt it lacked the value for money ... Read More
We are from the UK travelling on our second Cunard cruise out of about 30 in total. We tried the QM2 in her inaugural year and been slightly underwhelmed, nothing to put us off Cunard particularly but we felt it lacked the value for money of, say, NCL, Princess or Celebrity. However, we bought some cheap one-way airfares with the intention of doing a westbound transatlantic cruise this year and when we started to compare the itineraries on offer the QV itinerary stood out a mile, by calling at both Madeira and Bermuda it took a southern route with only 4 days at sea to cross the Atlantic (I don't mind a few sea days if it is calm and sunny but not too many at a time, especially if the sea gets choppy). Price-wise it was only slightly more expensive for 16 days than most of the other lines were offering for less interesting 12/14 day voyages and we were pleased to have the chance to give Cunard another try. Sadly it got off to a bad start before we even left home. First, shortly after booking and a couple of months before departure, we got an 'emergency notification' that the unusual port of Charleston has been cut out apparently due to lack of customs officers to perform the US immigration procedures. We later found that the same thing had occurred on the QV's eastbound crossing earlier in the year. I fully understand that many guests were put out about the substitute port of Nassau, after all that is a much visited port for the American guests in particular, but having never been to either Nassau or Charleston we were not particularly bothered - any cruiseline changing itineraries after taking bookings gets a big black mark from me on principal, but in this case a beach day quite appealed. However, one of the big attractions of this itinerary was the late arrival into Fort Lauderdale at 11am, we had thought how lovely it would be NOT to be thrown off the ship at the crack of dawn for a change especially as Miami-London flight invariably depart in the evening. Now the substitute of Nassau meant that we were scheduled into Fort Lauderdale at 6am to clear customs there so no relaxing last day after all - oh well, we cancelled our airport shuttle that had fitted beautifully between scheduled arrival and earliest possible flight and booked a hire car instead so that at least we have somewhere to keep our luggage, and I will now be able to take advantage of some of Miami's shopping opportunities. Next communication from Cunard was that departure from Venice was brought forward from 9pm to 5pm on the 2nd day. Oh well, we thought, we have been to Venice a few times, not a problem but a shame for anyone visiting for the first time to have their time cut by 4 precious hours. A week or so before sailing another 'emergency notification' this time regarding Madeira, apparently QV had originally been scheduled an afternoon and evening in port on the first day there, which I had seen on some documentation and thought it odd as our schedule said 6pm arrival, but apparently this was another change for the early bookers - oh well, it does not affect our expectations. At this point I noticed that the Bermuda stop had also been extended by an hour until 5pm and that our guarantee inside cabin which had already been upgraded to an obscured view outside had now been changed again to a 'proper' outside so emergency notifications are not always bad news. So the evening before departure we were packed and ready to go and I logged into our CC rollcall for the last time and what do I see but a Cunard Emergency notification - yes another one but we had not received it - saying that Venice is fogbound and the ship is in Trieste and that we have to proceed to Venice port as normal and a shuttle coach will be provided from there. By this time the UK office was closed so I phoned the US office (not inappropriate as we had booked through a Canadian travel agent friend, a fact that had caused Cunard's UK office to tell me they could not help me when I phoned with a simple query just after booking). The person I spoke to told me curtly and word for word exactly what the kind CC person had already posted, I asked whether there would be a shuttle into Venice on the Monday but he just kept repeating that the ship is in Trieste and will depart at 5pm on Monday. Oh well, we have been to Venice before, Trieste will be a new port for us, but anyone taking a long flight in the hope of seeing Venice must be very disappointed. In fact on arrival at Venice airport about 8pm, nearly 2 hours late, we were met by 2 very pleasant Cunard representatives who confirmed that the ship was indeed in Trieste, 2 hours drive away, apologised for the inconvenience and told us to leave or luggage with the porter and wait about 20 minutes for the bus. In fact it was quite a lot longer until the bus came but there were only a dozen or so of us so we were soon underway and the time soon went, check in was smooth and we were on board shortly after midnight. Very hungry by then, we found our cabin, which was very nice and larger than most, dumped our carry on bags and headed for the lido buffet, to find everything covered in clingfilm. I took this to mean it was closed but in fact one section was open with staff serving over the clingfilmed-off displays meant for self service. It soon became apparent that this was because of an outbreak of norovirus on the ship. This cruise was starting badly. By the next morning our luggage had arrived (along with somebody else's, inexplicably intended for deck 4 - they were delighted when we reported it as they had waited up most of the night for it). After breakfast at the 'buffet' we headed out to explore Trieste, along with most of the ship, to find that it was freezing cold and most shops close on Mondays. But it is an attractive city, we wandered around for about 3 hours, found a couple of department stores and some supermarkets open, saw the Roman amphitheatre which is right in town, admired the typical Italian architecture, and generally enjoyed being somewhere different - but Venice it is not, of course. It was indeed very foggy and we could understand why a big ship could not safely navigate into Venice. There was no shuttle bus back to Venice and, surprisingly, the only tours on offer were a walking or bus tour of Trieste - cancelling the Venice tours must have cost Cunard a fortune. The next day at sea was cold and wet and got quite rough as the day went on.We attended the first of an interesting series of lectures about the Olympic games which, along with an ex-BA pilot who spoke about navigation, kept us interested throughout the voyage. Our allocated dining table was right by the aft windows, above the propellers, unfortunately the position I could most feel the ship's motion and also very awkward for DH to weave his mobility scooter through the tables and people to the back to the restaurant. I would have liked to have moved but it seemed so rude to our table companions, who were delightful so we opted not to leave them. We arrived into Katakolon to find that the weather had improved and the sun was shining. My research had led me to have low expectations of this port, the main attraction of course being nearby Olympia, but we long ago gave up on visiting ruins with the scooter. However Katakolon itself is a pretty village with a street of quite a few tourist orientated shops and several bars and restaurants long the seafront. We set off somewhat ambitiously towards the 'best beach' of the area at Agios Andreas. Surprisingly we made it, although the beach was nothing spectacular and nothing was open there, it was a truly beautiful walk about 2 miles each way through peaceful quiet countryside edged by orange, lemon and olive trees. One elderly lady saw us admiring her garden and presented us with a freshly picked orange, which was amazingly sweet. We walked back a slightly differerent route along Katakolon beach itself, which is compressed enough to take the scooter without getting stuck in the sand as the locals, bizzarely, drive their cars along it. Nice sandy beach but covered in washed up seaweed and large jellyfish, some the size of dinner plates, not somewhere I would want to swim even if it was warm enough. Our short morning call at Gibraltar was pleasant, Cunard surprised us by NOT collecting up duty free alcohol purchased ashore, maybe redeeming themselves slightly for the unforegiveable faux pas of stating in the previous 2 daily programmes that we were (I quote) "en route for Gibraltar, SPAIN" ! We got back on board to find the norovirus precautions ended, so the buffet was back to normal and the other food outlets - Cafe Carinthia, Todd English and the Lido burger bar - open for the first time. Actually we struggled to see why they were ever closed as none of them have the same potential for cross infection as does the buffet, I suppose just to minimise the number of places to be sanitised each time. Madeira was also very nice, we docked at 6pm on the first day, at the furthest berth from the city, there was a free shuttle bus into town but it was complete choas, we walked/scooted there along the seafront and got back on board just in time for our evening meal. On the Monday we used the shuttle, explored Funchal town, market, 3 or 4 shopping malls and 2 lovely parks and then walked/scooted back to the ship. Funchal has developed almost beyond recognition since our last visit about 10 years ago, another lovely day. The Atlantic crossing passed quite well, some days pleasantly sunny and others windy with rougher seas. It was particularly rough when we arrived in Bermuda and some doubt as to whether we would be able to dock. After a few attempts and with the aid of a tug and a rope taken across by the pilot boat we made it into Heritage Wharf, part of the old Royal Naval Dockyard. This was another itinerary misdescription by Cunard as it was listed as Hamilton but we had long ago checked the Bermuda Port Authority website (thinking it unlikely that a ship the size of QV would get into Hamilton port itself) so we were prepared. However I was furious to find that our departure time had been brought forward to the original 4pm rather than 5pm as it had been extended to following the loss of Charleston. There was no emergency notification, in fact no notification or explanation at all, just the all aboard time printed in the daily programme delivered to our cabin the evening before. I rang pursers desk to see whether it was another printing error (as had happened in Gibraltar) but no, we sail at 4pm and they did not know why it had been changed. We wanted to see as much as possible so joined with 2 other couples and hired a taxi van for the day which cost $40 each,it was supposed to be a 3 hour tour but we left at 10am, drove to several beaches along the south cost, the lighthouse, a couple of the best hotel, a private golf course, nearly to St Georges, then had a free hour in Hamilton and got back to the ship about 2.30pm, our driver was called 'Hop', he is 79 and a really fantastic guide to his beautiful island. It is over 20 years since we went to the Bahamas on our first ever cruise, it was grotty then and does not seem to have improved much, judging by the condition of Nassau. That said we spent most of the day wandering around the town, looking at the shops and the Straw Market, and a couple of hours on Junkanoo beach, so not such a bad day. Things we liked about the Queen Victoria: The air conditioning - it sounds stupid but my sinuses invariably react badly to the cold air on a cruise ship, the QV temperature was comfortably warm and not the usual fridge-like temperature in the public rooms (except the front fews rows of the theatre) and it was the first cruise for ages that did not give me cold-like symptoms - wonderful ! The winter gardens - a really nice (and not air conditioned) seating area for when the weather was not good enough to be outside. Entertainment - good mix of original shows, guest acts, classical music, lectures, quizzes and comedy - probably among the best cruise entertainment we have experienced, not to mention the famous themed balls, which we did not really experience much as they seemed to be aimed mainly at early sitting diners. Things we disliked: DH hated having to wear a jacket every evening, even on 'casual' nights. The 3 gentlemen on our table all became uncomfortably hot on most evenings and DH felt it discriminatory that ladies could and did wear blouses or low cut dresses but he could not wear a smart shirt without a jacket. The most unnecessarily pompous part (in our opinion) is that the dress code applies in all public areas from 6pm, so in effect rules out staying out beyond that time in daytime clothes and making it a very long evening of hanging around waiting for late sitting dinner. On most lines we would not go to our cabin to shower and change until about 7.30pm. Fixed seating dining - I know, of course we knew about the dress code and the dining arrangements when we booked, and we could not have asked for nicer tablemates than on this particular cruise, but it made me appreciate the benefits of flexible dining times on other lines and that would certainly be our preferred option for the future. Cunard seem completely clueless about disability issues. We informed them we were bringing the scooter and that we did not need a wheelchair accessible cabin. We did not need or expect ant special treatment, but surely it would have been common sense NOT to allocate a scooter user to the least accessible table area in the entire Britannia restaurant ? In Madeira we were repeatedly told that we should use the deck 2 gangway 'because it is a slope' (even though it was 2 storeys high and an incline of close to 45 degrees that no scooter could possibly cope with) rather than the few tiny steps from deck 1, which as we demonstrated each time was dead easy for DH to walk and me to carry his folded scooter. On return in Madeira the low gangway was closed and the steep ascent was very difficult for him. Ok close a gangway during quiet times but surely keep open the more accessible one ! Now to the food, which is certainly not a dislike, we thought it was roughly on a par with Princess/NCL but nowhere near the standard of our all time favourite Oceania. The desserts, in particular, were disappointing. I usually struggle with too many sweet choices but on the QV I skipped dessert completely many times in both the buffet and restaurant because everything contained fruit, which I do not like. Once the buffet was properly open it was quite good, we liked the freshly made pizza and pasta stations. Cunard make a big fuss about afternoon tea in the Queens Room and it was nice but we have been spoilt by Oceania's far superior afternoon tea offerings. Evening meals varied from excellent to fair but our waiters were both always very pleasant and efficient, as indeed were all the crew. Will we book Cunard again ? Possibly but they are certainly not my line of choice and it would have to be a good enough bargain to be considered a ''mystery cruise" as I would not trust them to honour a published itinerary. Naturally the Venice situation was not anyone's fault, last minute changes happen occasionally and I think overall Cunard handled it very well. My problem is that they clearly have no qualms about substituting less desirable ports or changing shore times after bookings have been taken, airfares arranged etc leaving guests with no real option but to put up with the changes. We got a refund of $11 each on our account which we put down to the Trieste port tax being less than Venice, but would have far preferred to have followed the itinerary we booked and paid for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
My husband and I just returned from a transatlantic crossing on the QM2. It was an anniversary celebration and an opportunity to experience a transatlantic crossing. We were in a Britannia stateroom...very nicely appointed except for the ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from a transatlantic crossing on the QM2. It was an anniversary celebration and an opportunity to experience a transatlantic crossing. We were in a Britannia stateroom...very nicely appointed except for the very small bathroom! Unlike previous reveiwers, we found the dining room to be very good in terms of both food quality and service. We also enjoyed the Chef's Galley for dinner where you watch each course being prepared, recipes discussed and then given to each guest. Well worth the $10 charge but be sure to book ahead as it fills up every nite. The afternoon tea was lovely. The food was great and beautifully served in the Queen's room where a full orchestra played. The dining room always had a Canyon Ranch excellent offerring so it was easy to keep to a diet. The buffet however was dreadful so we only ate there once. We have taken several cruises and feel we are in a position to make comparisons. For the price point, our QM2 trip was an excellent value. Be careful when you book because the fares and on board credits vary tremendously. We found the "funny" tube like balcony disappointing since you cannot see the sea unless you stand up so I suggest a regular balcony. We had some rough seas but the ship is so well built for this type of crossing, we never felt a thing and were able to sit and walk on the promenade deck the whole time. Service all thru the ship was fine, easy on and off the ship despite having to take care of 2600 passengers. Don't worry about not having enough to do without ports...there's lots scheduled everyday but a lot depends on who they have for the lectures. We especially enjoyed Bill Miller who gave 4 lectures on the history of travelling by ship...he really made us feel like we had stepped back in time on the QM2. The planetarium shows were also very good. It's truly a ship for dancing with lessons given everyday and orchestras playing all evening long. People do dress on the QM2...almost all were in long gowns and tuxedos. Day wear is casual and "nice" jeans are accepted everywhere during the day. While there were some excellent singers, the resident singers and dancers were just fair. The RADA group were excellent as were the musicians from Julliard. Overall we really enjoyed the trip...it was like going thru the Panama canal...a one time event for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
A CRITICAL SUMMARY OF OUR CROSSING ON QM2 The Queen Mary 2 is big.  Too big to be easy to get around, although, not too big for the task of scheduled crossings on the north atlantic where her size means that even in poor weather ... Read More
A CRITICAL SUMMARY OF OUR CROSSING ON QM2 The Queen Mary 2 is big.  Too big to be easy to get around, although, not too big for the task of scheduled crossings on the north atlantic where her size means that even in poor weather the ride is quite comfortable.  She also has a rather peculiar arrangement of decks and public rooms. If you are traveling in "Grills" class you will have a very nice room, unusually good service, a spotless environment and excellent food.  All of which are important when you are at sea for a week or more.   The experience comes very close to my presumption of what the good old days of trans Atlantic voyages were like. Entertainment is a very personal matter.  The intellectual and educational programs while well done are offset with a dreadful selection of movies running in the theatre.  Since we are not night-clubbers we can't speak to the quality of that side of the entertainment. The tacky bazaar that is laid out every morning in the ship's central lobby on deck three confirms that the Queen has something of a split personality. Perhaps these ships were always this way with their first, second and third classes.   When you leave the calm of the "Grills" areas the atmosphere changes noticeably and feels as though the line is trading on past glories or perhaps the assumption that the past was glorious.  Perhaps the reason that there are  poor online reviews is that for those in Britannia class the experience doesn't  match the line's marketing. It appears that the Britannia class trip is no better than a cruise on an "ordinary" ship.  The initial impression of the art deco interior of the public spaces eventually begins to resemble the feel of Disney World's instant plastic history.  The massive bas relief art deco wall panels turn out to be vacuum formed plastic coloured to simulate bronze and pewter. So strip away the marketing and nostalgia and what is left is a replica of what people wish to believe life on the ocean liners was.  It is a cruise wrapped in a facade of glamour and history.  A very nice cruise in "Grills" and maybe a very ordinary one in "Britannia". Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
SUMMARY: We loved everything about Cunard and the Queen Victoria. The Cunard people were amazingly organized and efficient. The ship has an understated elegance with a very comfortable feel. It was easy to find our way around the ship. ... Read More
SUMMARY: We loved everything about Cunard and the Queen Victoria. The Cunard people were amazingly organized and efficient. The ship has an understated elegance with a very comfortable feel. It was easy to find our way around the ship. The elevators were never very busy or crowded. In short, everything worked. The itinerary did not disappoint. Venice and Istanbul are two indescribably interesting and beautiful cities. We could have easily spent an additional week in each city. The other ports each had their own charms but were only worth a one-day stopover. Split, Corfu, Piraeus-Athens, Kusadasi-Ephesus and Santorini were as expected. Rhodes was a pleasant surprise. BACKGROUND: My wife and I are in our mid 60s. We are physically active with no mobility problems. This was our 20Th cruise but the first with Cunard. We had been to Venice and Rome prior to this cruise but all the other ports were new to us. We like to explore on our own so we do not book ship excursions unless it is something that we can't do on our own or it is something that would take us far from the ship. On this cruise we did not book any ship excursions. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and booked it through the cruisecompete.com web site. PRE-CRUISE: As is our normal practice, we flew into Venice the day before the cruise. Since we spent the first night of the cruise on board the ship, we had two full days in Venice. Upon our arrival at Marco Polo Airport we took the Express Bus (5 Euro PP) to Piazzale Roma. From there we dragged our bags about ten minutes to Ca' San Rocco, the small hotel where we stayed for the first night. It was well located in a very quaint neighborhood. We had a high-ceiling room with a large king-size bed. The included breakfast was served on a tree shaded terrace. It was a great place for a pre-cruise stay in Venice. We spent the evening and morning before the cruise walking and riding around Venice. EMBARKATION: We dragged our bags back to Piazzale Roma where we took the "People Mover" to the cruise dock. It was about a two hundred yard walk from the station to the ship. Getting on the ship was a breeze. We were at the registration building at 11:30 AM and within an hour we were in our stateroom. By the time we came back from lunch all our bags had arrived. THE CABIN: We booked an obstructed view outside cabin on deck four. It was roomier than similar cabins we have had on other cruises. There was more than enough room for our clothes. It was well located and very quiet. We especially liked its proximity to the free laundry. The bathroom , as usual, was small and tight. Our steward was polite and unobtrusive, and kept the cabin clean and tidy. THE SHIP: The Queen Victoria has an understated elegance. It is not as tacky as a lot of the cruise ships today. We thoroughly enjoyed the traditional British ambiance. The ship is well laid out and it was easy to find our way around. There was never a long wait for an elevator, nor were they ever overcrowded. The Captain was young and brought some humor to his job. He was around the ship a lot and was always making interesting announcements. Our only complaint was that the Promenade Deck does not go all the way around the ship. THE PASSENGERS: The average age of the passengers was said to be 57 years old. I would have guessed a bit higher. Needless to say, we felt very comfortable in that demographic. Half of the passengers were British and about one fourth were from the USA. We loved interacting with the various non-USA passengers. THE FOOD: On port days we ate breakfast in the Lido Buffet, usually having either a custom-made omelet or a custom-made waffle. They were always delicious. The choices for meat, breads, fruit and beverages were excellent. On the two at-sea days we ate breakfast in the Britannia Dining Room where we had classic Eggs Benedict. The Lido Buffet was never too crowded and the service in the Britannia Dining Room was prompt and attentive. Because this was a port-intensive cruise, we almost never ate lunch on the ship. At most, we grabbed something quick from the Lido as we came back to the ship. At night we always ate in the Britannia Dining Room at the early seating. We chose to eat at a larger table with other couples. We enjoyed our dinner conversations and looked forward each night to catching up with our table mates about their activities on shore. We were always one of the last to leave the dining room. The food was as good as any we have had on a cruise ship. The service was excellent and the food was well prepared. The menu was different every night and offered more than enough choice. THE ENTERTAINMENT; We never missed any of the shows. The Royal Court Theatre is a good venue with no blocked sight-lines, comfortable stadium seating, and no drink tables. Every seat was a good seat. We usually arrived about 15 minutes before showtime, which gave us our choice of seats. The entertainment was the usual mix of song and dance productions, singers, and comedians. All the shows were worthwhile, but none were spectacular. Even though we are regular ballroom dancers, we only danced a few times in the Queens Room. The dance floor and the music were fine. We were usually too tired by the end of the evening, and we were usually back in our cabin by 10 PM. I can't comment on the gym and the spa since we didn't use it. THE WEATHER: Late September is a great time of the year to visit the Eastern Mediterranean area. The weather in each of the ports was wonderful. Not too hot and not too cold. We were comfortable walking around in just a short-sleeve shirt. We saw no rain whatsoever in any of the ports. At the Acropolis in Athens it was sunny and warm and there was a gentle breeze. Ephesus was the same way. Those were the two places where we were worried about the heat. In Istanbul and Santorini it was much cooler than we expected. In both places there were strong winds which almost required a light jacket. THE PORTS: Venice: We spent the better part of two days walking and riding around Venice. Even though we had been to Venice three years before, there was still much to see. A map, a vaparetto pass, and a good pair of walking shoes is all you need to enjoy the wonders of Venice. In fact, just meandering aimlessly around the city is all you really need to do. We enjoyed the sail away from Venice with drinks on the Promenade Deck. Split: To our surprise, we tendered in Split, but the tendering was hassle free. Once on shore, we took the "Spirit of Split" combo tour that included a 45 minute guided open top bus tour of the Split area and a 45 minute guided walking tour of Diocletian's Palace. We finished the day by walking around the medieval town next to the palace and walking along the harbor front promenade called "The Riva." Corfu: It was a short day in Corfu- 9AM - 2PM. We took a free bus from the ship to the terminal and then a free Cunard bus to the edge of Corfu's "Old Town." We spent a little time walking around the "Old Town", but spent quite a bit of time at the Old Fortress. The fortress had great views of the city, the harbors, and the beaches. It also had a quaint Romanesque church on site. Piraeus and Athens: After getting off the ship, we walked through the terminal and got on the Piraeus hop on/hop off bus. It included an English language audio guide. We toured Piraeus and got off the bus at the Acropolis. It took about a half hour to get to the Acropolis. The Acropolis provided several surprises. Since it was Sunday, there was no admission charge and the top of the Acropolis was not nearly as warm as we were expecting. There was a cooling breeze and quite a bit of shade. We spend l l/2 hours following Rick Steves' self-guided tour. What's more, the climb to the top was not as arduous as we were led to believe. We just had to be careful when walking on the slippery rocks. We did see a woman take a fall. We got back on the bus and did the full Athens tour without getting off again until we returned to the Acropolis. There really wasn't much to see. Athens is not a very attractive city. Before heading back to Piraeus we walked around the neighborhood at the base of the Acropolis where we had lunch at an authentic Greek restaurant. Kusadasi and Ephesus: A month before the cruise we booked a private tour with "Ephesus Shuttle." We chose "Ephesus Shuttle" because it was rated the #1 thing to do on Trip Advisor. Our private tour included a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary and a guided tour of the Ephesus ruins, including the Terrace Houses. A similar tour through the ship would have cost about the same but would not have included the Terrace Houses. We finished the tour with the required stop at a rug store. The sales pitch was not too aggressive and the rug making demonstration was actually quite interesting. The tour was excellent though a bit rushed. Before returning to the ship we walked around Kusadasi and had a small glass of raki. Istanbul: We watched our arrival in Istanbul in two comfy seats in the Commodore Lounge, high up in front of the ship. Like Venice, Istanbul is a great city for just walking around. There is an inexpensive tram that runs from the cruise docks right through the tourist area, but it is all very walkable. Because the ship's dock space was not available when we arrived, we were tendered off the ship. Cunard supplied a free bus to the Grand Bazaar. On the first day in Istanbul we toured the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia and spent time at the Grand Bazaar. We had a light Turkish-style dinner at an outside restaurant that was next to the tram line. Among other things, we had a blown-up pita pocket that was the size of a football. On the second day in Istanbul we visited the Topkapi Palace, the spice market, and the Underground Cistern. Rather than take the tram, we walked across the Galata Bridge back to the ship. Two days in Istanbul were enough to take in all the major sites, but we could go back and easily fill up another couple of days in Istanbul. Rhodes: Rhodes was a surprise. The town is very picturesque. The ship was docked right next to the town's fortifications. The town is a walled city filled with medieval architecture, small touristy shops, and interesting restaurants. As we walked around the town we visited the "Master's Palace" and stood at the head of the Old Harbor where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood. Santorini: We were on the very first tender off the ship. There was no wait to get on the cable car to the town of Fira. We immediately headed for the bus station to take the half-hour bus ride to the town of Oia where the picture-postcard scenery is. Once in Oia we walked along the streets that follow the edge of the caldera, taking photos the entire way. The views were spectacular. The town was filled with music as there were strolling groups of musicians everywhere. Just as the town was getting crowded we headed back to Fira where we walked around a bit and had a drink overlooking the caldera with the Queen Victoria sitting in the middle. There was a short wait for the cable car back to the cruise dock. Since we were the only large cruise ship in Santorini that day the crowds were not as bad as they can be. It was an easy day in Santorini. DISEMBARKATION: We chose the Cunard provided bus transfer from the port of Civitavecchia to the Rome airport. Three years ago we ended a cruise in Civitavecchia and, on our own, took two different trains to Fiumicino Airport. The trains worked fine, but it was a little tight making our flight due to the chaos that is the Rome Airport. We left the ship at 8:30 A.M. and we were at Fiumicino Airport about an hour later. Since our flight was at 1 P.M. we had over 3 hours to spare. As was the case three years ago, we easily ate up that time checking our bags and getting through security. By the time we got to the gate, they were just starting to board the plane. We didn't have time to so much as buy a newspaper. My advice to everyone is that you have to allow a lot of time because of the inefficiency and disorganization at Fiumicino Airport. Getting there is not the problem. Being there is the problem. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My spouse and I have more than 30 cruises behind us on various lines. He had sailed Cunard before and I was really excited about my first time with Cunard. We will sail with Cunard again but perhaps with our more realistic expectations. ... Read More
My spouse and I have more than 30 cruises behind us on various lines. He had sailed Cunard before and I was really excited about my first time with Cunard. We will sail with Cunard again but perhaps with our more realistic expectations. We had just completed 20 days in the Mediterranean on another cruise line and I will be honest the cost of a QM transatlantic sail home was not much more than a flight from Rome so we flew to London and decided this was a good way to test the waters so to speak and give the QM a go. We took the train from Waterloo Station and grabbed a taxi for 8 pound to the Cunard Pier. We sat on comfy blue couches until they called our number. Staff then guide you to the next available wicket. This was probably one of the best embarkations we have had. The ship is beautiful, immaculate and elegant. The passengers were very polite and all the teens and little ones that we met were all well behaved. We had ordered an obstructed balcony (lifeboat) but it was bright and cheery and we could still get a breath of fresh air and see snippets of the sea. A complimentary bottle of champagne was waiting for us. Our steward was very, very good. I never tired of walking the main halls with the wonderful art and murals. The venues for dancing, the Queen's ball room, the theatre, the 3D cinema with the planetarium are all brilliant. The library is wonderful and the Winter garden room is charming. The entertainment was great. The dance troop was fabulous, excellent choreography and variety of numbers. In all our cruising we have never seen dancers like these, especially the men. The night when all the musicians (20+) performed together was very good. I enjoyed Hamlet as put on by RADA. The female guest singer was wonderful so I caught part of her second show too. There was the usual a juggler, sigh. The lecturers were so good if we missed them we watched them later, on our room TV. The games room for bridge at the front of the ship on level 11 is terible for bridge lessons. It is less than ten feet wide, long and narrow. Everyone was jammed in like sardines and it was noisy. In the Gym/Spa, the area for the machines is cramped, crowded and dingy. No ocean views here. The area for the stretch, yoga and Pilates classes is on level one in the bowels of the ship. The room is alright but one must sign up for classes the day before. So the first day 30 of us arrived for the free stretch class and we were told that only the first 20 could attend. We then had to scramble as fast as we could to get up to the spa on level 7 at the other end of the ship and get our name on the list for the next day. Those of us who got into the class at 8:00 a.m. then had to run up the stairs or get on an elevator first, run to the spa and join the line up. The signup papers are then supposed to be put out at 8:45. By 9:00 there are 50 people in the line up hoping to get into the next day's classes. I was always on the waiting list and some people didn't show up so I got into the classes but it did not seem right that those who could run faster through the ship always could grab a spot and slower folks were left behind. I asked one of the staff about this and suggested having a second stretch class and I was told "no don't worry by the fourth day there is lots of room". That's true the numbers dropped to 20 because many people just gave up. And the classes were quite good. We dined in the Britannia first seating. We had very nice table companions, We had a rectangular table for six on the top level and it was very noisy. You really could not talk easily. This is a ship which requires a jacket for the men for every evening meal and tux or black suit for the formal nights. Fancy attire every night is not our favourite thing but I understand it. However on the last night when many men had already packed their clothes, they had to keep out their suits jackets out. Country club casual that one night would have been appreciated. On the whole the food was fine, but not exceptional. We felt the food did not match the attire requested. The dinner menu is more limited than most of the ships on which we have sailed. Food quality was on par with most Holland America and a few Princess ships but not as good as Azamara or Celebrity. Our table waiter and his assistant were very accommodating and did their absolute best. For example everyone at our table requested extra green vegetables and a variety arrived automatically every night from then on. The King's Court which is the buffet area, really feels like a college school cafeteria and is not very pleasant but it is functional and one can of course go to the buffet dressed smart casual. We found the lunch buffet did not have as much variety but the quality was much, much better than many ship's lido decks. I will take quality over variety anytime. The Kings Court has special dinners at night. A cooking demonstration meal (we attended Indian night which was fun and different), a carvery and Asian and Italian. One pays an extra $10 for these. I have a special diet. I have a gluten intolerance and it is my responsibility to communicate my needs. As with all other lines I pre registered. Perhaps because this is a seven day transatlantic run, there really isn't the time do develop a rapport with staff but there is a lack of communication between several staff even within departments. Suffice it to say that I got my gluten free items only after daily requests and finally after four days I received a few cookies and some cereal. I was then told that there were waffles, muffins, pancakes available and there were at least ten other passengers needing gluten free . On day five I attended the high tea and there were even gluten free scones with clotted cream..yum. My husband and I decided to book a future cruise but as we did not want to pick a specific cruise we wanted to put down the $300 deposit each on a future cruise and we would then fit one into our travel schedule. Like everyone else, I left it to the second last day and I queued up when the office opened at 10:00. At 10:30 the line had not moved and I had another commitment so I chose to come back in the afternoon. Once again I queued up but I was quite surprised when the young woman was very resistant to my request. She wanted me to pick a cruise anytime up to 2013. When I explained that we wanted to cruise again but wanted to put the cruise into our travels like a segment of a world cruise, she again insisted I pick a cruise. She then said that I could just keep cancelling with my travel agent until I got the cruise I really wanted. I replied that I did not think that was fair to my agent because of the extra work. So I asked if Cunard does allow a non specific cruise credit. She said yes but if I lose the piece of paper then I lose the credit. I was flabbergasted and there was a queue behind me so I asked if she had a form that I could fill out and she said I could call her line later if I was really interested. I found this off-putting so I did not try to call her later. Disembarkation could not have been easier. We arrived to Red Hook Pier in Brooklyn at 7:00 a.m. on Labour Day. We chose to take our luggage with us and disembarked around 8:30 and we caught a cab right away to La Guardia Airport. With a tip it was less than $35. I have since contacted Cunard customer relations to have them clarify the future cruise credit policy and they were straightforward enough to tell me that I had been given the wrong information and non specific cruise credits are accepted and they are automatically connected to our world cruise numbers. Do we want to try the Queen Mary again? Absolutely, the ship is gorgeous, the entertainment great fun and the food was fine. The positives far out weighed the negatives. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have recently returned from Norwegian Fjords Cruise on QM2. The whole experience was amazing from start to finish. She is a wonderful liner full of exuberance and elegance. Enhanced by the elegant dress code which is fitting to her ... Read More
We have recently returned from Norwegian Fjords Cruise on QM2. The whole experience was amazing from start to finish. She is a wonderful liner full of exuberance and elegance. Enhanced by the elegant dress code which is fitting to her style. Accommodation was a balcony room with restricted views, which was clean, comfortable and spacious. The White Star service was second to none with friendly courteous staff who go that extra mile to please. Dining in the Brittania Restaurant was a pleasure, great food and great service. There are two sittings, 6pm and 8:30, we chose the latter to make the most of the tours and sail-away's. The sail-away parties are great fun but Hamburg was unforgettable with hundreds and thousands of people lining the River Elbe to wave us off. Favourite ports of call were Flam, a quaint little village with stunning views and scenery. Well worth a trip on the railway to the top of the mountain and cycle ride back down. Hamburg, a vibrant city with lots to see and do. Christiansands,a charming port with marina, castle and wonderful lakes to explore.  A trip of a lifetime which exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
In August 2011, my wife and I took our second 14 day transatlantic roundtrip with the QMary2 and as a result of our satisfaction with the cruise (and its price) reserved for a third transatlantic roundtrip, this third time not limited to ... Read More
In August 2011, my wife and I took our second 14 day transatlantic roundtrip with the QMary2 and as a result of our satisfaction with the cruise (and its price) reserved for a third transatlantic roundtrip, this third time not limited to repeating the 14 day crossing (which would have been in June, 2012), rather expanding it to the 25 day extended roundtrip in August, 2012 (which includes Germany and Scandinavian countries). Our first crossing in June 2010 was on a A1 cabin, realizing it was no better than a A2 cabin, just more expensive, so took our second crossing in August 2011 on the latter and saved about 50% on a room just a few doors away. We therefore recommend anyone contemplating an A1 cabin to closely compare with A2 cabins before committing. The Atlantic ocean behaved even better this time, several times forcing us to look out the balcony to make sure we indeed were on a ship crossing the Atlantic, not a mere lake large enough to not let us see the coast. As in our first crossing, the food, the service and the entertainment were more than just acceptable. Actually better, especially the entertainment, with classical piano and guitar shows, 3D movies, a wonderful harpist and an even more wonderful violin quartet. Of particular interest and appreciation was seeing the opera Carmen on 3D. The eatery on deck 7, called Kings Court, was no better or worse. Just crowded with the same food. However, the Britannia restaurant was much better, both food and service. The wine, however, was equally expensive and equally of low quality, unless one is willing to spend over $60 for a bottle costing $20 or less in a local store back home. We recommend having lunch and dinner at the Britannia, leaving the Kings Court buffet for breakfast, although the Britannia also offers breakfast a la carte. The only really negative comment we have has to do with the violations of the dress code for men by many many guests and the ship staff's unwillingness to do anything about it, as we experienced when we consulted with staff on three different occasions. This is not a major issue, but it does upset those who follow the rules even to their dislike, which suggests that Cunard should rethink its dress code policy for men. Either maintain the present dress code policy and require its compliance from violators, or change it by making it strictly voluntary and requiring only the informality of coats and ties, or doing away with coats and ties entirely, as have done other cruise lines. We are, of course, referring to the eight (8) formal nights "requiring" tuxedos or dark suits for men, and two (2) informal nights "requiring" coats and ties for men. The worst is to pretend the codes are obligatory and then refuse to have violators comply. As usual, main street on the QMary2, where all the stores are, was a constant sidewalk market with people spending their money as if they had received it as a Christmas present or as an unearned work bonus. The only thing missing was a sidewalk cafe, where men would be able to sit and sip a cup of tea or coffee while watching the women shop. A real treat to see so many people enthusiastically buying just because the tickets said the items were on sale, often buying regardless of the resulting net price. My wife was one of those, in her case buying for our grandchildren, primarily, although she did end up buying a couple of things for herself, because of the "terrific" prices. The greatest satisfaction about this second cruise, to me at least, was that we spent 14 days without having to disembark for tours a single time. Next year it will be different if we indeed take the reserved 25 day crossing, disembarking for tours in several northern cities to enjoy rides and walks surrounded by the cool weather of Scandinavia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Days at sea - so full of things to do - there just aren't enough hours in the day. Don't misunderstand me it's all VERY relaxing, but between bouts of eating splendid food, the activities available on board are so varied, ... Read More
Days at sea - so full of things to do - there just aren't enough hours in the day. Don't misunderstand me it's all VERY relaxing, but between bouts of eating splendid food, the activities available on board are so varied, there's always something for you to engage with that suits your tastes. From talks on wartime events, thru classical concerts, modern music, line dancing, superb theatre entertainment; the list is extensive. All hosted by professionals, well versed in their own discipline. Then there's the hotel staff who look after one's well being - beautifully serviced staterooms, restaurants, bars - in fact every on- board facility. What goes on 'behind the scenes' - which you never see - for you to receive such excellent care must be a powerhouse of activity. A toast to the kitchen staff, the laundry, and of course the ship's crew, who steer you away from a possible rainstorm - just for your comfort. How good is that ? Only one real complaint - due to security considerations - the really interesting parts of the vessel are out of bounds. i.e. the bridge and the engine room - I'd love to have seen them both 'in action'. I've seen both on many vessels during refit, but never at sea. A small disappointment. Then there's the port visits. Whether you take a well organised excursion, or just idle your way through the port itself, taking in the local flavour - they are the highlights of the cruise. And to end up in Venice - arriving by sea - is something everyone should experience. All in all, I'll remember it for a very long time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
As we live in Southampton, getting to the port is very quick and easy. And as Mother in Law is Platinum Cunard member, we were all whisked to the front of embarkation line with her - very pleasant surprise! We arrived just after 11 and ... Read More
As we live in Southampton, getting to the port is very quick and easy. And as Mother in Law is Platinum Cunard member, we were all whisked to the front of embarkation line with her - very pleasant surprise! We arrived just after 11 and were on board around 12.00 - it was lovely to be able to explore the ship when it was so quiet. Also had lunch in the Lido buffet - very nice food, much better layout than the QM2 buffet, and much better standard of food - something that was continued throughout all food venues on board. The ship was full to capacity, and it showed on sea days, particularly as the weather was not so great for the first and last couple of days, making it a bit of a bun fight for a seat. The entertainment was a real mixture, with 1 night being the resident Queens Room lounge singer as the headline act,and another night the Theatre Orchestra headlined with Dixie Jazz themed night. It did seem like Cunard were penny pinching - I expected more headline acts. Having said that, the Dixieland Jazz night was great, and the flautist and west end singer were exceptional. Unfortunately, they also had a dated British comedian, David Copperfield, who seemed to think it was ok to make fun of gay people and told some rather off colour jokes. A lot of people found him very funny, I didn't. This weird mix of culture and low brow entertainment seemed very odd. It's almost like someone has told Cunard to go for more 'mass appeal' with some light entertainment. Problem is, they've crossed the line into tasteless and sometimes offensive entertainment. One afternoon was an on deck game 'I'm a Crew Member, Get Me Out of Here' where crew members had to complete a range of tasks to stay in the competition. Many of the tasks were funny and silly, like finding a pair of false teeth, or rescuing an inflatable croc from the pool. Some were in poor taste, like clenching a coin between the buttocks, waddling across the deck and 'pooping' it into a glass. Contestants were blindfolded for the elimination, females having buckets of ice poured down the inside of their t-shirt, and males having the same down the open front of their shorts - all this while the entertainment director clapped and cheered. And the production show 'A Slice of Saturday Night' has been mentioned in other reviews, I will just add that I don't expect to see a cast member pretending to have someone fondle him on stage, and simulate an orgasm - on ANY cruise ship - I want to be entertained and not offended. If you are on late seating dinner, eating at 8.30, with a show at 10.30, finishing at 11.15-11.30, that doesn't leave a lot to entertain you after dinner. Many of the 'alternative' activities, like quizzes and karaoke, started whilst we were still at dinner, which meant we missed most of them - pushing these back by 15-20 mins would take the emphasis off all being geared to early diners. The ship is beautiful , I preferred the layout to that of the Queen Mary, The staff were unfailingly polite and helpful, and the food was excellent. As on our previous Cunard cruise, most entertainment ended at midnight, leaving us with not a lot to do but find a bar, but we were expecting that this time, so it wasn't such a surprise. Overall, I enjoyed the QE more than the QM2, particularly as the food and service was so much better, but Cunard seem to be going in the wrong direction in terms of entertainment. One final word about our Cabin 4115 - I don't know what exactly was the source of the noise, but every night it sounded like there was a huge bathtub of water sloshing around above our heads. This was so loud that it kept us awake, and made for a very tiring voyage, as we didn't get much sleep. The cabin is also opposite a crew cupboard/closet and so is very noisy early and late - don't book this cabin if you are a light sleeper! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first holiday cruise - we'd been pampered on business-related cruises twice before - so we had some trepidation and I would say only average expectations. Delighted to say the Queen Elizabeth and staff excelled despite ... Read More
This was our first holiday cruise - we'd been pampered on business-related cruises twice before - so we had some trepidation and I would say only average expectations. Delighted to say the Queen Elizabeth and staff excelled despite the efforts of Baltic weather which, disappointingly, meant we couldn't get into Stockholm which was going to be one of the highlights. We had booked probably too many excursions. Kristiansand and Oslo would have been better done at one's own speed and interests and you can go on your own to an ice bar (which had been the draw in Oslo). Copenhegan is a massive roadworks at the moment and, therefore, again self touring would have been preferable to being ensconced in coaches. We had tried six months in advance to book into Noma voted the best restaurant in the world (!) at 1401 Kobenhaun, tel +45 3296 3297, but only succeeded in making the waiting list. Despite regular texts with the owners, who were extremely courteous, we failed and were advised better luck next time (which we will certainly pursue). We did Helsinki ourselves and that was well worthwhile although retail prices are on the high side. We would thoroughly recommend the Kamp Cafe (part of the only 5-star restaurant in Helsinki) at Pohjoisesplanadi 29, reservations +358 09 5840 9539. We had decided to push the boat out(sic)in St Petersburg and subscribe separately ($455 a time) for two x 4-hour private car tours with driver and English-speaking guide to The Catherine Palace and The Peter Palace. The guides were good if a little guarded - the shadow of Communism still lurks - and each palace was over an hour's drive which, therefore, reduced the time on site to less than two hours. Despite this it was well worth the extra money and enabled you to leapfrog the queues which were of epic proportions (as was the gold leaf). The highlight, however, was a Cunard-organised evening tour and concert at the Hermitage which was simply magical. The Hermitage is closed on Mondays but was opened especially in the evening for I would estimate around 200 people (all from the Queen Elizabeth) split into groups of 25 which were given exclusive tours of many of the Hermitage exhibits - we didn't see all four million ! After that there was a glass of champagne and a 50-minute concert by the Symphony Orchestra of St Petersburg with Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Igor Ponomarenko in the Great Skylight Italian Hall. Truly memorable. A MUST (even at $396 for two). The next stop was Talinn where, again, we would recommend missing the organised tours ! Sadly, Talinn is completely swamped by cruise ships and is becoming something of a second-rate Disneyesque "attraction". The final stop was Zeebrugge where I elected to go on the Flanders' Fields tour which includes an excellent museum where you can browse on your own. Driving rain at the first military cemetery added to the poignancy. I was glad I went but the sadness and waste of life was palpable. More cheerfully and back on Board I only have praise for the lecturers (which included Lord Geoffrey Archer on our cruise, plus lectures on The Battle of Jutland (1915), the Heroes of Telemark (WWII), the Falklands Wars and the Faberge Eggs. I also "took in" lectures on the i-Pad and using mobile phone cameras, both of which were pedestrian, and my wife tells me the abridged version of Twelth Night (Sixth Night ?) was well worth missing. Alas, poor Shakespeare! We chose to go Brittania Club which meant open dining and you could elect for tables of two which we did and this worked very well. Service was impeccable and the sommelier added substantially to our enjoyment. The food was good and occasionally excellent. The 22-hour buffet restaurant was also first class and exceeded expectations for a midnight feast post the Hermitage St Petersburg evening. Room service for breakfast was also excellent. Finally, if you like a pub, they have one and I can vouch for the Draft Guinness and the pub fare. The cabin was also spacious (the shower was a little cramped) with plenty of hanging space and under-bed storage. All in all, an excellent holiday. We are hooked. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was our first time cruising with Cunard and like many others on board we had been tempted by the significant reduction in the price of this cruise. With the cost of a balcony cabin being about half that ... Read More
This was our first time cruising with Cunard and like many others on board we had been tempted by the significant reduction in the price of this cruise. With the cost of a balcony cabin being about half that originally advertised, we were concerned it would result in a reduction in the service provided. We were therefore relieved to find this was not the case. In fact, with a few minor exceptions, the whole experience was extremely pleasant. I should say that the comparisons made in this review are with previous cruises with P&O, Princess, Celebrity and Azamara. We booked direct with Cunard, as their price was the same as that offered by the cheapest on the internet. The whole process was very straightforward. EMBARKATION We arrived at 12:30 and there was little delay in checking in and boarding. Our cabin was ready for us (unlike P&O, where there is usually a delay). Lunch was available in the Lido self service restaurant. We decided to have a freshly cooked pizza, which was excellent. These are available each day with various toppings, as well as fresh pasta dishes prepared while you wait. These are in addition to a wide variety of cooked and cold dishes, plus daily specialities. Unlike others who have complained about the food served in the Lido, we found it offered a consistently high standard with a good variety each day. At peak times, on sea days, it could be difficult to find a seat, but by not arriving at 1 o'clock for lunch, this could be avoided. There was always the option of eating lunch in the Britannia restaurant, where there was always a good choice of food. (Not on embarkation day). CABIN Our standard A4 grade balcony cabin was comparable in size to other ships with similar facilities. One thing it lacks, which P&O provide, is tea and coffee making facilities. These can, however, be supplied by room service and are also available from the Lido. The hanging space is very limited, with two wardrobes, each being only 20 inches wide. As Cunard have a more formal dress code than other ships, more hanging space would have been useful. There are three sets of fairly small drawers, plus shelves for clothes which do not need to be hung up. If you bring more than two large suit cases, there is insufficient storage space under the beds (which have the option of twin or double configuration). This is because Cunard have installed large drawers under the ends of the beds, taking up much of the normal storage space for cases. These drawers are for the storage of duvets etc for the alternative bed configuration, not additional storage space for you! Dressing gowns and slippers are provided. The mattresses were moderately hard, but not uncomfortable. A small flat screen television is provided. The picture quality varied from day to day. It has satellite news channels, including Sky and BBC World, plus a range of films, music channels and recordings of earlier lectures in the theatre, plus presentations on the ports of call. There is a useful morning program presented by the Entertainment Director, telling you about what was going on during the day, as well as interviews with members of the crew and some of the lecturers. There was also a "weather forecast" which was invariably wrong. It would forecast rain, when there was warm sunshine and vice versa, but it was presumably recorded the night before. In the shower room Gilchrist & Soames shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion are provided, but strangely, no shower cap. The towels are thick and of adequate size, but certainly not large, or fluffy. Face flannels are also provided. In our shower room the grouting between the tiles was starting to discolour and there was mould in the corners. This was one of the few areas where the ship was starting to show some deterioration. It was noted that during the cruise there was ongoing maintenance and sections of worn carpet were being replaced. The thermostatic shower always provided a strong, hot supply of water. The shower drainage was very efficient, unlike that experienced on some other ships, where the bathroom would often flood because the water did not run away fast enough. Again, unlike some other ships we did not experience the toilet drainage system becoming blocked - through no fault of your own making! BRITANNIA RESTAURANT All but those in the Suites eat dinner in the Britannia Restaurant, spread over two decks, with two sittings, 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm. This is where Queen Victoria excels. The quality, presentation and choice were very good. For vegetarians there were always a number of choices, but I do not pretend to be an expert on this subject. Generally, I would rate the quality of the food from very good to excellent. Unlike P&O, who still provide "Silver Service", the appropriate vegetables were provided with each dish. P&O provide a separate serving of often inappropriate, under or over cooked vegetables. Breakfast and lunch are also served in the Britannia Restaurant. Service for breakfast could be erratic. If you were lucky enough to have an experienced waiter, the service was excellent, but if not,there were times when the wrong combination of cooked food arrived and your tea or coffee was not automatically topped up. ALTERNATIVE DINING As we were more than satisfied with the food in the Britannia Restaurant, we did not try the Todd English fine dining restaurant, where you pay according to your choice from an a la carte menu. Those who did eat there were very impressed. There was also the option of themed dining in a section of the Lido each evening, with the Indian theme the most popular. There was a cover charge of $10, plus 15% service charge. AFTERNOON TEA This is another area where Cunard excel. Served in the very attractive Queens Room, by waiters and waitresses wearing white gloves. A truly special occasion, equal to that provided in top hotels. DRINKS This is probably the biggest criticism of Cunard and many other ships, other than those operated by P&O. The prices are very high and then they add a 15% service charge. They are approaching twice the prices charged by P&O. This means that many tend to drink less, but presumably not to such an extent that Cunard still make an equal profit to P&O, where the lower prices result in more drinks being sold. I suppose that with the cost of cruising continuing to fall, in relative terms, the cruise lines have to extract as much as possible from us once you are on board. As a result, drinks and excursions (I will not have a rant about tour prices) are extortionately expensive. SERVICE This is another area where Queen Victoria excelled. They claim to provide a "White Star Service" and it shows. The crew consisted of a mix from most corners of the world and with only a few exceptions, they were, friendly, polite and efficient. We have not experienced such consistently good service on any of the other ships on which we have cruised. One of the exceptions was our stateroom steward. He would sometimes forget towels or to replace the shower gel. He would however, always clean the room efficiently while we were at breakfast and dinner, thus causing us no inconvenience. ENTERTAINMENT This is an area where I am usually very disappointed. The normal standard of entertainment in the theatre on the ships is very amateurish. On Queen Victoria the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers were truly of West End theatre quality, as were the costumes, lighting, sound, choreography and music. OK, so some may have found the amount of dancing a bit monotonous, but you could not fault their skill, or desire to create different forms of dance. There was an outstanding comedian/singer/impressionist. Sorry, I do not recall his name. He was deservedly given a standing ovation. There were also some interesting lecturers during the day. The theatre itself was stunning, it really is just like a traditional West End theatre, complete with boxes. PORTS OF CALL - ALTERNATIVE TO ORGANISED TOURS COPENHAGEN. Docked a short walk from the town and only a few minute's walk along the waterfront from the Little Mermaid. Hop On Hop Off buses were parked next to the ship and charged about 24 Euros for the day, which included all three routes around the town. STOCKHOLM. Docked well outside the town, but free shuttle buses took you to the centre of town. Hop On Hop Off buses also stopped at the port. HELSINKI. Docked well outside the town. A shuttle bus was provided at 8 Euros for a return fare. Hop On Hop Off buses stopped next to the ship. ST PETERSBURG. Docked a long way outside the town. Without a pre-arranged tour, with Visa, you were not allowed to leave the port. There was no form of independent transport available. Therefore, if you want to travel independently, make sure the local tour operator has provided you with tickets and Visas. One couple had arranged a private tour, but their tickets and Visas were on the other side of the passport control and they were not allowed to leave. TALLIN. Docked a short distance from the town, but free shuttle bus provided. Also Hop On Hop Off buses at the port. ZEEBRUGGE. Docked in the commercial port, but free shuttle buses took you to the adjacent seaside town of Blankenberge. This had a good range of shops, cafes and restaurants. DISEMBARKATION Leaving the ship at Southampton could not have been more straightforward. Our allotted time to leave was 8:30am. We were off the ship, had collected our cases and were in our waiting taxi by 8:50. OTHER PASSENGERS The average age of those on board, excluding the small number of children, was probably mid fifties to early sixties, unlike our experience on P&O cruises from Southampton on Aurora, where the average age is probably late sixties, with a much greater number in wheelchairs, or charging around on their mobility scooters. CONCLUSIONS We had always wanted to try a Cunard cruise and the reduction in price was sufficient to persuade us to book Queen Victoria. We boarded with no high expectations, but we were very pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. Cunard/Celebrity have obviously fine tuned the design of these modern ships and basic services, such as plumbing, heating and lighting work efficiently. There is also good sound proofing between the cabins, sorry, staterooms! One also has to bear in mind we were on a cruise operating at full capacity and whereas this has caused problems on other ships, we were not aware of any such difficulties on Queen Victoria. I am sure there will be others on the same cruise who perhaps did encounter problems, but we appreciate that when there are around 1000 crew members, however good the training may be, it cannot be perfect all the time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Ten months ago (Sept 2010) I bounded down Queen Victoria's gangway in Civitavecchia following a 10 day Med and Black Sea cruise declaring her a fantastic ship and my best cruise in 7 years' experience. So it was with great ... Read More
Ten months ago (Sept 2010) I bounded down Queen Victoria's gangway in Civitavecchia following a 10 day Med and Black Sea cruise declaring her a fantastic ship and my best cruise in 7 years' experience. So it was with great anticipation and optimism that my partner and I boarded Queen Elizabeth on 26 July for the Norwegian Fjords and Waterfalls cruise. After all, if QV had ticked all my boxes, QE must be at least as good! Oh dear! How wrong can one be? We got off to a great start: using the pre-booked car-parking facilities at Southampton we were met by very helpful, friendly staff. We whizzed through the check-in procedures and had no difficulty in finding our cabin. Because we booked the cruise quite late, we had had to take a "guarantee cabin" arrangement whereby the actual cabin number is not allocated until close to the sailing date and were pleased to be located close to the lifts and stairway, port side, forward. The room itself was, as expected, spacious, soberly decorated and comfortable. Luggage was delivered very quickly and our stewardess soon came to introduce herself. I suppose things started to go down hill on the first night in the Britannia Restaurant. We don't usually go to the restaurant on the first night of a cruise - preferring to save the restaurant experience for the first formal night - but on this occasion we decided to do things differently. It was first sitting and quite a few tables were unoccupied so there was really no excuse for the slow service and long gaps between courses. We were on a table for 6 and for the first 30 mins we were alone. Then another couple arrived, they studied the menu, then promptly got up and left. And I could understand why: the menu was unexciting, unimaginative and uninspiring. But then this was the first night - it was sure to be better tomorrow night. Wasn't it? A day at sea followed, with the Captain's Reception that evening. The lay-out of QE is identical to that of QV and at no time did we need to consult the ship's deck plan to find our way around. But as the day wore on I began to feel depressed by the dEcor - drab colours in the Lido buffet, the Garden Lounge resembled a care home and the crew members apparently not a happy bunch. Crunch time came at the Captain's party on the second evening. Our cruise had been intended as a birthday celebration for my partner, albeit the actual birthday isn't for another couple of months. Consequently we were quite happy to pay for Veuve Clicquot champagne at $87 a bottle (including Cunard's 15% service charge) during the trip and had indeed done so on the previous evening. However, at the Captain's party the "champagne" offered by white-gloved waiters is in fact a cheap French sparkling wine. This might sound snobbish but, since Cunard widely promotes Veuve Clicquot on all their ships, I think the least they could do is serve it up on Captain's evenings. We had no complaints about the itinerary: Stavanger, Alesund, Geiranger and Bergen. Each of these was an interesting and scenic stop. Our one shore excursion was in Geiranger: well organised with a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide. We gave 10 out of 10 for room service - never a long wait, courteous service with a smile. We would have marked our stewardess "excellent" on the feedback form too if only she had managed an occasional smile. As the week wore on we encountered other passengers with similar gripes about the lack of atmosphere onboard, the dull food, the poor standard of food service. I came across dirty cutlery on more than one occasion and cracked cups in the Lido Buffet. My other moans include the mega $$$ charge for internet access - even if you take your own wireless device onboard you still have to pay (per minute) a ridiculous amount for a connection. Photographs taken by the ship's photographers were of an appalling standard for $24.95 each. At the Southampton Sail-Away a photographer approached us for a picture and then seemed never to have held a camera before. It took him sometime to get the focus right and by then the moment had passed. This was not our first cruise by any means and, as previously mentioned, not our first with Cunard. There is something seriously wrong here on QE. Cunard is a world famous brand name in the cruising industry yet there seems to be little to back it up in practice. I have been on far less expensive cruises with far more exciting food, a more amiable crew and a generally happier atmosphere. There was a frequently shown film on TV during the cruise charting the construction, the fitting out and launch of QE. There was a boast that it was the fastest time in which a liner of this size had been completed - perhaps that's part of the problem. It seems to me that Cunard were so eager to build on the popularity of QV that they figured another, identical ship would double their success and profits without having to put in too much effort. A bit like 2 for the price of 1. After my very positive reaction to QV in 2010 and QM2 in 2008, QE came as a huge disappointment. I was pleased to get back to home-cooking and am unlikely to choose Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Having persuaded friends who have never cruised before to join us we were slightly apprehensive having read some of the negative comments. I would like to reassure people who have future bookings with Queen Elizabeth that we completely ... Read More
Having persuaded friends who have never cruised before to join us we were slightly apprehensive having read some of the negative comments. I would like to reassure people who have future bookings with Queen Elizabeth that we completely disagree with several comments. For the first time we had booked car parking with CPS. On arrival at Southampton porters were waiting to take our luggage and there were plenty of representatives from CPS waiting to drive our car away. There were only two passengers ahead of us at check-in and we were inside our cabin within 10 to 15 minutes of arriving at the port. We have been on several cruises before, including the QE2 and Queen Mary, and traveled on most classes from very basic to a suite with butler service. This time we had gone for the cheaper option of a Britannia Oceanview stateroom on Deck 1 (1105). We were not expecting very much but were pleasantly surprised. The state room was spacious with plenty of wardrobe and storage draws and ample hangers. The dEcor was plain but there was a tasteful print above the bed. The TV was an adequate 19" but then who goes on a cruise to watch TV? The bathroom was well designed with shelves either side of the mirror and a large storage shelf below the basin. The shower was large enough that the shower curtain did not wrap round you as you showered. As well as bath-robes and slippers there were plenty of toiletries which were replenished regularly. Our steward, Ramone, quickly came to introduce himself and our main luggage arrived before we had unpacked our hand luggage. Our steward was excellent and always kept our cabin and bathroom immaculate. The Muster drill probably only took 20 minutes but was mainly delayed by people being at the wrong muster station or unable to master putting on the life-jacket. As we had opted for the second sitting we had plenty of time to explore the ship before changing for dinner. The corridors outside the cabins were plain but the remainder of the ship was beautifully decorated throughout in an Art Deco style. As usual there were plenty of places for a quiet drink, game of cards or to read a book. On deck there were plenty of steamer chairs and tables and chairs. On our first night we were afraid we would be kept awake by the engines but we all fell asleep very quickly. We ate most of our meals in the Britannia Restaurant where the food was always excellent and well presented. In particular some of the meat was the best we have eaten compared to many restaurants. Our waiter, Edgar, assistant waiter and wine waiter were always very pleasant and could not do enough for us. Not once did they mix up our order and they never ran out of anything. A previous comment was made about the size of the meals but we found the cooked breakfast, three course lunch and four course dinner more than enough although possibly appreciated more by those who want quality rather than quantity. If people were still hungry there was plenty of opportunity for snacking 24/7. We ate lunch a few times at the Lido self-service restaurant which was well presented with plenty of hot meals or salads. We could only manage afternoon tea twice but although very busy there were plenty of dainty sandwiches, small cakes and scones with jam and cream. The entertainment in the theatre was very good most of the time although there were a couple of evenings we did not enjoy. It is difficult to provide something each night for 11 nights which is not to everyone's taste. Throughout our stay we found all the staff from cleaners up to officers all most attentive and always smiling and greeting us when we passed them in the corridor. As usual there was plenty to occupy people each day. Going to Norway we did not expect the weather to be sunny everyday but were very fortunate that it was fine and often sunny each time we went on one of the tours. We went on 4 tours which were well organized. The guides very knowledgeable and given the high cost of everything in Norway the tours were good value for the price charged. We also did some walking tours around towns ourselves. In conclusion we felt the ship was more suited for people who prefer Claridges/Savoy to a floating Butlins. We could not fault any of the staff who worked very hard. On the other hand we did come across guests who were rude to the staff. Our friends were very impressed with their first cruise and will definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This being our first ever cruise I was very apprehensive having read previous cruisers negative comments. I shouldn't have worried,this was the most wonderful holiday we have ever had, despite my husband being 'cabin bound' ... Read More
This being our first ever cruise I was very apprehensive having read previous cruisers negative comments. I shouldn't have worried,this was the most wonderful holiday we have ever had, despite my husband being 'cabin bound' for 4 days due to a prolapsed disc (more about that later). We arrived at Southampton at 11.45am and were very impressed by the efficient way our car and luggage were taken from us. By 12.10pm we were in our cabin, unpacking. We were in a Queens Grill Penthouse Q4 (having been upgraded by our sons and brother from Britannia Club). We were amazed at the amount of storage space, a lot of which we never managed to fill!! Our Butler Natalia and her deputy Ronald were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food in the Queens Grill was excellent and the waiters and sommelier looked after us very well. During the evening of our third day my husbands back became painful so we decided to fore-go our Roof of Norway tour the next day(Monday) and that he would stay in bed to rest. Therefore we ate in our stateroom, being able to order whatever was on offer in the Queens Grill that day. Unfortunately the back worsened and at 6.30am on the Tuesday I had to call in the medical team who diagnosed a prolapsed disc. They were absolutely brilliant- Dr Alan Ward and nurses Ellie and Selina looked after him so well that he was up and walking...very carefully...on Thursday. He could not have been treated better anywhere ashore and we can't praise the medical staff enough. Natalia our Butler really looked after us throughout this difficult time. We cancelled the rest of our planned tours on the doctors advice and were reimbursed for all of them. When we returned to the Queens Grill for our meals we were really made a fuss of and looked after so well. Although this spoilt my husbands enjoyment a little we were just happy to spend the time soaking up the atmosphere and wonderful surroundings and wouldn't have missed it for the world. I have never wanted to go on a cruise but my husband always has and I gave in eventually. I'm so pleased I did. I loved it and really hope we are fortunate enough to cruise on Queen Elizabeth again (free of back trouble!!). I certainly wouldn't want to cruise with any other line than Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
From the moment we embarked in record time-15 minutes, we were welcomed, made to feel comfortable and began to relax in the majestic surroundings of QM2. The food was incredibly good, Todd English restaurant could not do enough to make our ... Read More
From the moment we embarked in record time-15 minutes, we were welcomed, made to feel comfortable and began to relax in the majestic surroundings of QM2. The food was incredibly good, Todd English restaurant could not do enough to make our anniversary dinner special and delicious. Our stateroom was immaculately pristine complete with champagne and spirits, ice and mix. The service in the Queens Grill would be hard to beat in the finest establishments, simply put - we felt very spoiled! To top things off, we had been upgraded from Princess Grill, which in previous trips we have found to be outstanding! What a fine start. We attended all of the lectures on Shakespeare by Emma Smith (very good!) and all of those by John Maxtone-Smith on cruise ships (excellent) but were disappointed with Dr. Ruth, so left early. There was so much to do, even Julliard Jazz musicians were superb, pianists were great and the dancing/galas wonderful. One could not manage all the activities available - choices had to be made. Captain Paul Wright was a most friendly guy and Cunard will miss him as he retires after this trip. Oh, almost forgot, did the personal trainer thing each day and it was very good at Canyon spa. Tip: buy a 3 day spa pass and use the thallasotherapy pool and sauna/steam room, a good bargain! The TA crossing was mostly quiet seas running although we did have 24' waves one day, but the motion was minimal on QM2, nobody missed dining,nor walking nor jogging. We left home a day early as is our pattern to join the cruise and stayed in a hotel of our choosing, allowing for morning shopping in NY. We were first off the ship (0715) in Southampton to limo it to catch an early flight to Ireland (expensive limo but got us to Ireland in time for Guinness!). Put a QM2 TA on your list, we will do it again and enjoy it ever so much, simply a great experience! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
After reading other reviews of this crossing, we must have been on a different ship. We spent the first day exploring the ship, locating the planetarium, theater, dining areas, and other activity venues. At every elevator lobby there is a ... Read More
After reading other reviews of this crossing, we must have been on a different ship. We spent the first day exploring the ship, locating the planetarium, theater, dining areas, and other activity venues. At every elevator lobby there is a diagram of the ship indicating the location of each area we wanted to visit. Our cabin was reasonably sized with generous closet and storage space. We paid extra to have an unobstructed view from our balcony and consider it money well spent. We spent many evenings on our balcony after returning from the evening's entertainment with a cocktail promptly delivered by room service. Our steward kept our cabin very clean every day. We even had fresh towels and the tv turned to important reminders for the next day every evening when we returned from dinner. Whenever we met him in the hallway, he greeted us by name and was an excellent source information. We as well as our table-mates agreed that there were plenty of options for appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. Our wait staff greeted us by name every time we arrived for dinner, knew our drink preferences, and promptly kept our water glasses and bread plates filled. Even when in the King's Court or at breakfast, when we ran into our dinner servers, they greeted us by name. We enjoyed walking around the outside deck even though some areas were closed off on some days because of high winds. We explored all the decks at some point during our week on ship. We truly enjoyed our week and everyone seemed really willing to answer questions, or offer alternatives if they were unable to meet our requests. A special request to tour the engine room was accomodated and a highlight of our trip. We especially thank the waiter in the pub who made an excellent iced tea; the wine steward at dinner who always had a cold budweiser waiting at our table; the servers who served us dessert as our entree as we requested; our steward whom we wanted to stow in our luggage and take home with us. We also thank our travel agent who made suggestions which we heeded for this alternative way to travel to England. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We enjoy all our cruises and have travelled on all class of ships. Booking with Cunard we were hoping for the best, but were disappointed overall. As a first time cruiser we did not get to meet the captain, in fact did not see her or any ... Read More
We enjoy all our cruises and have travelled on all class of ships. Booking with Cunard we were hoping for the best, but were disappointed overall. As a first time cruiser we did not get to meet the captain, in fact did not see her or any of the officers during the two weeks, unless you include their visit to the Pub in the evening. Every time I visted the Lido I had to ask for items missing, such as plates, cutlery, juices, napkins etc. Certainly they were obtained, but I should not have to keep asking! Supervision overall was very poor. Brittania & Lido Restaurant Management appeared to like standing around and looking smart, yes they looked very smart. Did they circulate? No. Did they enquire if diners left their foof on the plate? No. Did they chase up tables where delays were being experienced? No. Just overall very shabby. The food was acceptable but boring compared with other ships we have sailed with. The cabin was small and the fitting looked cheap. Drawers were in short supply. Overall the Queen Victoria lacked mangement and supervsion in key areas. The cabins were well attended too, the medical was professional and the Library was to die for. Embarcation etc was well controlled. It did appear as if the staff lacked motivation. On the Holland America, Princess ships etc, Officers can be seen circulating, smiling and motivating their staff. On Victoria we often sat at a table on the Lido with dirty crockery left by the previous occupants. In most ships a Supervisor would see this was promptly cleared or even clear it himself, not on Victoria, not a supervisors responsibility! On only two occasions did anyone approach us to enquire if we wanted a drink! I enjoyed the cruise but was embarrassed for Britain. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Four of us [myself/wife/son/daughter-in-law, travelled on Monday 23rd May last,and stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express,in Southampton,because of the distance involved,over 250 miles..This allowed plenty of time,especially if ... Read More
Four of us [myself/wife/son/daughter-in-law, travelled on Monday 23rd May last,and stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express,in Southampton,because of the distance involved,over 250 miles..This allowed plenty of time,especially if anything went wrong....[but didn`t]. We made our way to BCP Cruise International carparking in the morning of 24th May,and they then tranferred us to Southampton dockside,where our cases were taken from the bus and thats all we saw of them until a couple of hours later,outside our cabins.....Embarkation looked impossible when we eventually arrived at the booking section,so many people, but the card we were given "L" was called not too long afterwards and we were then processed and given our QM identification cards,which acted as "passports/credit cards" for the duration of our holiday period.the whole period of time from entering to actually being in our cabin took about an hour,including passing through Security,before allowed aboard. When we arrived at our cabin,and used the given card to enter,we were amazed at the interior, Enough storage space for three cases and a king sized bed, two seater[which would have acted as another double bed,small dressing table and a balcony [albeit with an "obstructed" lifeboat view-but nevertheless sufficient for our pleasure] After putting away some of our clothes,hunger and beihg of an investigative nature,the four of us went searching for dinner. The Kings Court on dect 7 was a hive if industry with all new passengers taking advantage of a wonderful spread and we were soon well fed. Because of a lot of passengers coming aboard at the same time,table space was at a premium,but suitable seating was soon found in one of the may available tables. We found details of our dining arrangements in our cabin and went looking for the restaurant..everything found to be fine,including the "Golden Lion" pub on deck two,the facilities on board the QM2 are unbelievable in that nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff at each location, a wonderful start to our cruise......Every evening our dinner table was served by two members of the crew and we were looked after very well by them for the 10 nights.[even to having a birthday cake-on 31st May-plus the birthday song by the serving staff] and at the end of the cruise,we were presented with a copy of the menu`s we had each evening Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We arrived at Heathrow and traveled to Southampton by car. The boarding process was smooth although made a little tedious. We had arrived early and although the pre-trip information stated boarding would begin at Noon, we watched ... Read More
We arrived at Heathrow and traveled to Southampton by car. The boarding process was smooth although made a little tedious. We had arrived early and although the pre-trip information stated boarding would begin at Noon, we watched 'priority' passengers begin boarding around 11:00. Once we were called the process was smooth and we were in our cabin by around 12:30. The cabin lived up to our expectations. We requested the bed in the king configuration--which worked well and likely gives just a little more space. Bathroom is small but this is a ship--I don't expect a large bathroom unless paying for premium stateroom. The provided bathrobe and slippers were a nice touch. We enjoyed the balcony--we were about midships, just below the Lido Restaurant. We had been upgraded from an A4 cabin. I overheard someone complaining about the noise from above but we only heard rolling carts at various times--not enough to disturb us. Perhaps there are cabins in other areas on the same deck that are more subject to noise disturbance--we experienced none really. This was my first experience with a balcony and we did enjoy--especially my cigar-smoking partner. This was also my first experience on a ship larger than about 1,000 passengers. I found the QV to be comfortable and did not feel crowded. I don't think I would like to try a larger ship but who knows what the future may bring.The Lido was great for breakfast, lunch, and snacking. I also enjoyed being one deck below the Lido entrance where I could get a cup of tea whenever I wanted. The overall decor pays homage to Cunard's history and I enjoyed walking the stairs, seeing paintings of various ships, and photographs of famous past passengers. The mid ship area around the pavilion pool is very nice, as is the back, open deck on deck 8. We did not have great weather so I didn't use the outside areas as much as I would have liked.Dinners were excellent. We (first seating) were seated at a table right near a window on the first level of the Britannia. I appreciate the fact that QV sticks to the formal night atmosphere (there were 3) and turns people away from the dining room if not in 'proper' attire. I really dislike having formal nights on a ship where some people turn up in jeans and a t shirt. There 2 days at sea and 4 ports. I appreciated the courtesy shuttle at Dublin and Bilbao. Our captain was particularly likable. First captain I've encountered who enjoys his social responsibilities as much as his naval chores. All in all a very nice experience. I've signed up for another QV cruise--in November of this year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We wanted to see what this new ship was like. So on 23rd May we boarded her for a six-day min-cruise up and down the Channel. First impressions were good. The Queen Elizabeth is still so new that the paintwork sparkles, the ... Read More
We wanted to see what this new ship was like. So on 23rd May we boarded her for a six-day min-cruise up and down the Channel. First impressions were good. The Queen Elizabeth is still so new that the paintwork sparkles, the woodwork glows and the whole ambience is fresh and bright. The subdued Art deco style is restful and reassuring, evocative of the great days of ocean liners. Layout is thoughtfully planned, with spacious public areas and easy-to-follow routes around the ship. The downside? Our A3 cabin was decidedly smaller than those we are used to in this category. Whilst it is neatly laid out and well appointed, we're not sure we would want to spend a longish time (eg for a world cruise) in so small a space. However, the beds were splendidly comfortable and a feather pillow was found for Caroline, so we slept well. The staff seem to be highly motivated, cheerful and well trained, mastering the art of being helpful without being obtrusive. We like the way in which tips are added automatically to one's account. Then if anyone deserves something extra, one can always add it. The food was excellent. We're always astonished at what a chef can achieve on board a cruise ship, and this catering was exceptional. Plenty of choice, creative ideas on the menu and the Lido buffet was definitely a notch above the usual standard for this level of eating. But we missed those intimate little (often Italian style) alternative eateries which we have come to enjoy on other ships. Instead, the huge Lido buffet is turned into a partially alternative eating area providing a different menu (eg Asian, Mexican, South American) each evening. The snag with this is that whilst the food may be quite exotic, the setting is still that of a conventional buffet. Added to which, the Lido is long and rambling with no consistent scheme for the display of food. Confused couples drift back and forth wondering where they should start their search for a meal. The Royal Court theatre is quite astounding - a real theatre with stalls, circle and boxes, with none of the usual problems with sight lines and seating. Shows were of a good standard with a particularly amusing comedian/pianist. The library is also spectacular. It occupies two decks, joined by an impressive spiral staircase, and one can choose from some 6,000 books, many of them almost new. This is the best ship's library we have ever come across. Afternoon tea is quite genuinely a special experience. In the Queen's Room white-gloved waiters and waitresses serve a choice of teas with accompanying scones, sandwiches and cakes. It's all very elegant and "Cunard". Poor weather meant that we really couldn't make best use of the ports visited (apart from a few hours in Amsterdam and a trip to Blankenburg) but we noted that Bruges, Paris, WW1 battlefields and other interesting locations were included, which could be ideal for some visitors. We thoroughly enjoyed our mini-cruise, but would a sparkling ship, fine cuisine and attentive staff compensate for a smaller than usual cabin on longer trips? We're still undecided. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click