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59 Cunard Senior Cruise Reviews

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
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
Route: 11 day voyage: Ft Lauderdale - St Thomas - St Maarten - Grenada - Bonaire - Panama Canal (Gatun Lake only) - Ft Lauderdale 1. General Comments: A most pleasant and interesting voyage. This was the ship's only Caribbean ... Read More
Route: 11 day voyage: Ft Lauderdale - St Thomas - St Maarten - Grenada - Bonaire - Panama Canal (Gatun Lake only) - Ft Lauderdale 1. General Comments: A most pleasant and interesting voyage. This was the ship's only Caribbean run. It had completed Los Angeles - Ft Lauderdale, and after our voyage it was returning to its home base in Southampton. (According to the Captain, Cunard ships are "ocean liners" that are on "voyages." They are not "cruise ships," nor do they "cruise.") The ship was nearly full with ca 1,900 passengers. While the majority of passengers were American, next were the British, followed by the Germans. Most passengers were experienced, older, travellers. In the 11 days I counted only two infants and three grammar school-aged children on board. I saw no teenagers. We booked a Princess class stateroom in order to learn the Cunard standard for this level. We wanted something longer than a regular crossing, and we also were celebrating my wife's birthday. 2. Travel to Ft Lauderdale and Embarking: We made our own plane arrangements and arrived in Ft Lauderdale the day before the voyage. We took the hotel shuttle to the pier. Having checked in on-line, and using the separate check-in line for Grill class passengers, we got on the ship quickly. We arrived at the pier at noon, checked in, dropped off our carry on bags in our cabin, and were sitting down to lunch in the Lido at 1PM. Waiting for us in our cabin was a bottle of champagne on ice, a bowl of fruit, and a plate of sweets and chocolate-covered strawberries. This was an indicator of things to come. Our luggage arrived around 3:30, as did a bowl of fresh strawberries. 3. The Queen Victoria: A very attractive ship, enhanced by its smallness. Our cabin was a tad larger than a "regular" cabin with verandah. I think the extra size could be seen in the sofa; it was regular size instead of the smaller two-person type. Our cabin was perfect for two. Plenty of storage space (few drawers, but plenty of shelves), and the bathroom had a tub shower. There was a small safe and a small refrigerator (only filled with water and soft drinks, which we assumed were free. There was no liquor.). We had two TV screens (one for bedroom and one for sitting area) which received the usual news, movies, music, etc. However, there was no CNN nor ESPN. We did very well with BBC for international news, and CNBC for financial news. . You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are no announcements on the PA system. The Captain does his noontime report from the bridge, and that is it. You also get a daily newspaper (US, UK, or German, depending on your home), and weekdays you get an international financial news sheet.For the ship's public areas, see the films and descriptions on the Cunard website. They show you just about everything. While the audio may be a bit overblown, the pictures are accurate. 4. Meals: OK, we took Princess Class so we could have our own dining room. There are separate dining rooms for Princess and Queen Classes, and there is a lounge between the two. And, this area is restricted; you need your key card and a specific elevator to get to this level (11th deck). If you are celebrating a special occasion, save your pennies and go for this class. When you book, you indicate what size table you want. When you board, you receive a card informing you of your table. This is YOUR table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You only need to appear during the meal times. No reservations, no early or late seating... nothing. After you appear once, the maitre d', the wine steward, and your two waiters know you by name and your preferences. We only did dinner in our Grill; there was no way we would have been able to consume all three meals there. Dinners were uniformly outstanding, as was the service. I think the wine list is the same throughout the ship; you can get good wines for $40 and you can splurge $1,500 for a Bordeaux. The choice is up to you. Lido Buffet: Well designed, and very good food. The design is such that compared to other ships the Lido is relatively quiet. You can actually hear the background music on the speaker system. Selections for both breakfast and lunch were varied, and there was no rush. You could sit over a second cup of (weak) coffee and not feel that people were waiting to pounce on your table. Also different from other lines, there are no wine or beer carts going through hawking their wares. You want a glass of wine or beer? A crew member will get it for you. Oh yes, the Lido is open 24/7. Todd English specialty restaurant: My wife and I have mixed feelings on this. Food, service, and wine were great. However, when you are in the Grill Class, is this restaurant worth the $30 per person extra charge? We aren't so sure. The Grill dining rooms are already top flight. Yes, the Todd English menu is different, but not that much. We have no idea on the food and service in the Britannia dining room; we are sure it is good. On other ships we felt that the specialty restaurant was a definite step up from the dining room. We are not so sure that Todd English is that much of a step up from the Grill dining room. You have to make your own decision. There are plenty of bars - but not food outlets - around the ship. You have to choose what appeals to you. We settled into the Grill lounge for a pre-dinner drink and the Commodore lounge for after dinner. In all bars you have to specify the brand of liquor you desire for your cocktail; there is no "standard" or "house" brand. Birthday celebration: I ordered flowers, a gift, and champagne for my wife's birthday from the on-line Cunard gift brochure a month or so before the voyage. Flowers were delivered in the morning by our steward. The gift came late that afternoon because it was from a different department. I checked with our maitre d' that the champagne would be waiting for us for dinner that evening (it was). Our waiters and maitre d' presented my wife with a simple and attractive birthday cake with only one candle and NO singing at the end of our meal. It was all very well done. 5. Cunard dress code: Cunard is serious here. If you don't want to follow their code, the staff and fellow passengers will make you wish you had taken a different ship. Nothing blatant, but subtle... like you are the only one in jeans at formal night. Before you leave home, you will receive from Cunard some literature on the ship, your shore excursions, etc. Included will be a listing of the evening dress for each night of the voyage. No more wondering; you have the schedule ahead of time. We were 11 nights: 4 formal, 3 informal (coat and tie), and 4 informal (jacket, but no tie). Formal nights were all on sea days. On formal nights, most men were in tuxedos; the rest in dark suits. A number had medals or ribbons on their tuxes. The ladies were in everything from elegant pants suits to ball gowns. Informal nights for men was not so much suits as it was blazers with ties. 6. Shore Excursions: Make your shore excursion reservations on-line! This saves you standing in line at the ship's tour desk. The on-line billing goes direct on your credit card and not on your shipboard account. If you know the ports of call and want to travel by yourself, then, of course, you don't need the ship's tour office. Tour prices are not cheap; you are paying for the convenience of having the ship organize the tour rather than you doing it after you get ashore. Also, if you obtain your tour through the ship's staff, you have support when there is a problem. There was a professor (geology) on board who lectured on all aspects of Panama and the Caribbean before we entered the canal. Many people commented on how pleased they were to have heard some, or all, of his lectures. Another lecturer boarded the ship when we entered the canal and provided a very good commentary - not continuous - of the entire tour; she left the ship only after we cleared the last lock before re-entering the Caribbean. 7. Shipboard entertainment: The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes: lectures, bridge, bingo, etc, etc. Don't forget fencing lessons! The bits of the evening shows we saw were fine; we heard good reports about them in the Lido. The ship's theater is that: it is a theater. There is no bar service as on other ships. There are also boxes. For a fee, you can reserve a seat in a box and be treated royally - to include champagne - while you watch the show. While art is for sale, and there are auctions, this is done discretely and without noise. Much of the art on board is generally nautical and specifically of Cunard's long history...and ships. While there is advertising for the art for sale, there is also plenty for the ship's spa. The casino was small and the machine payoffs did not seem to be much worse than Las Vegas. Card and roulette tables were present, but no craps tables. There was a small selection of duty-free liquor on board; you order your liquor and it is delivered to your cabin the day before disembarking. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship's photographers--pricey, but a good souvenir. There are various venues for night owls. 8. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts. The amounts are charged to each person's shipboard account. You have nothing more to do. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings your room service. Your bar and wine bill automatically adds 15 percent. If you want to tip, for example, the maitre d' because of his help in organizing your wife's birthday celebration, then you have to give him some cash in an envelope. 9. Settling of Accounts: During your voyage, anything you purchase on board (drinks, souvenirs, tours, duty free items, photos, etc) is punched into a computer; you sign one copy of the ticket and you receive a copy. On March 26, three days before our disembarkation, we received a preliminary bill. This bill not only lists every charge you have made, but also subtracts the charges from whatever ship's credit you may have received from your agent or elsewhere. Pay attention to this as contrary to other ships, your credit is per person and not per cabin. If you are the usual couple, the husband signs all the charge slips. His credit gets used up. Now you find out that the wife's "voyage credit" has hardly been touched, and the credits are NOT transferable. For the last days of the voyage, my wife signed all the charge slips, and we made out OK. In short, if each person does not use his credit, he will lose it. On the last morning you receive a paper final statement of your account. 10. Disembarking in Ft Lauderdale: Your bags have to be out between 5PM and 12PM. Crew personnel are constantly removing the bags; you must be careful placing your bags outside because they will be gone, and you will have no chance to add or retrieve an item. Breakfast is early, and you will be out of your cabin by 8:30. You must be out and waiting in your designated area because that is the only place where you will hear disembarking instructions. Nothing is announced on the TV or PA system. The system works very well. In our case we got off the ship at 8:30; were through customs and immigration, and arrived at the airport at 9:15; and were checked in, through security, and at the gate at 10:00. 11. Our only complaint: Several days into the voyage I received a rude form letter from the "chief accountant" accusing me of "failing to provide credit card information" and threatening to freeze my ship account if I did not provide this information. Not being in a good mood, I went to the Purser's desk to find out what was up. The clerk apologized that there was a transfer problem from the pier check-in computers to the ship's system. That was reasonable, and he was not thrilled when I pointed out the tone of the accountant's form letter. More apologies. Cunard literature emphasizes how the line trains its personnel in service, manners, etc. While this training is well reflected in the crew and officers on board, it does not seem to apply to the bean counters who have no contact with the passengers. 12. Conclusion: This was a most enjoyable trip. We learned about the Cunard system of running its ships and can easily see why there are so many fans of this line. We are not interested in doing a crossing, but whenever a Cunard ship is doing some sort of a voyage based out of the US, such as this one, we will be interested. If anyone has questions, send me an e-mail at LTC519@satx.rr.com.Fred GrothSan Antonio, TX Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
To be fair our perspective will have been affected by the serious difficulty we had in getting to Southampton from Scotland because of the appalling weather. The colder weather also affected even Spain and Portugal to a degree. But ... Read More
To be fair our perspective will have been affected by the serious difficulty we had in getting to Southampton from Scotland because of the appalling weather. The colder weather also affected even Spain and Portugal to a degree. But the ship, though very attractive, did not seem quite ready to go. One of the three propulsion pods was not working, so that they had to fly out an engineer from Italy to Gran Canaria to try to fix it: this on a brand new ship! The staff need much more training and supervision, because they fell down on many things, small in themselves but cumulatively giving a less than excellent impression - and we have learned to expect excellence from Cunard. We couldn't get into the island of La Palma because of winds; so there was an extra at sea day. Then getting into Funchal resulted in the bumpiest ride we've ever experienced. We had an outbreak of norovirus. It was contained but it led, reasonably, to various restrictions on board. There was no self-service in the Lido - fair enough - but the Lido was then badly managed: not enough staff, not enough areas open for those queuing, leading to long queues at main meal times, and staff not being very helpful at all. The captain advised people to dine in the main restaurants instead, bu they didn't extend the restaurant hours to compensate. The captain seemed very casual about all this and we barely heard the word "Sorry". I agree with those who say the drinks prices are outrageous, especially with the automatic 15% surcharge. We do not like either the automatic addition of $11 or $13 per person a day to your onboard bill for general gratuities (Hotel and Dining Charge it's called). True, you are given warning of this. We now go to the Purser's Office on the last but one day and say we do not wish to pay this charge. It is in fact optional, but you do have to personally opt out like this. In fairness, we've never had a problem in getting the amount dropped. A brief explanation such as "We prefer to tip people directly" will satisfy the desk clerk. But, for the positives: we just loved the alternative dining in the Verandah. Superb food, a succession of delights, excellent service and fairly priced. Book a table and its your for the duration - one night my wife and I entered at 7.30 and left just before ten feeling relaxed and very well fed and watered. The Royal Spa is very good too - a day pass for $35 to the steam and hot rooms,, warm beds, spa pool etc, on a do it yourself basis. Luxury. In summary, a lovely ship and we will go again, but quite a lot needs to be done before they can truly talk about "White Star Service." Cadiz - not included in the ports for review below: a lovely city, excellent for ambling round in an unplanned way, lots of serendipity and you can't really get lost. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Monday Nov 8th As we were in a Princess Grill suite we joined the priority queue. Two aquaintances of ours who had been on our coach were in Britannia so they joined the normal queue. We went on to security which took ages and we ... Read More
Monday Nov 8th As we were in a Princess Grill suite we joined the priority queue. Two aquaintances of ours who had been on our coach were in Britannia so they joined the normal queue. We went on to security which took ages and we had to remove coats, belts and heavy jackets, then go though a scanner. This was supervised by a couple of extremely slow-moving security staff apparently recruited from Cell Block 9. When we got on board we were just behind our non-priority friends. Due to bad weather and heavy traffic our coach had been delayed and it was 3.30pm when we reached the room, just in time for lifeboat drill. The captain warned us about very heavy seas in the Bay of Biscay so he decided to stay in the English Channel overnight. We met our two friends, both ladies of a fairly advanced age, and they told us that when they arrived at their cabin two men were already installed there. Luckily they both have a sense of humour as everyone they mentioned it to asked if it was a new Cunard service. It isn't and they were moved to a new cabin. At dinner we had been assigned to a table for six in the Princess Grill. I usually ask for a table for two as I can only hear in one ear but I hadn't bothered this time which was lucky as the other two couples turned out to be extremely nice. Many people ask if it is a problem on a large table if people want to eat at different times but in practice it doesn't matter, even if you arrive as the others are finishing their dessert or vice versa. Tuesday 9th Heavy seas today so the ship is proceeding at only 12 knots to wait out the rest of the storm. They say it will be at its worst this evening. Went to a lecture this morning by Gerald Scarfe which was very interesting. He was helped while setting up by his wife and the people behind us kept commenting on how she looked like Jane Asher. Eventually my wife couldn't stand it any longer, turned round, and told them that, yes, he was married to Jane Asher. Luckily they took in good part our listening in to their conversation and even thanked us while I cringed in my seat. Wednesday 10th Left the Bay of Biscay mid-morning. The wind last night was force 9 and the sea state rough. The scheduled singer, Annette Wardell, was too seasick to perform in the theatre at night so a flautist, Suzanne Godfrey, who had been scheduled for the following evening, played instead. She was very good despite the fact that one of her stilleto heels stuck fast in a join in the stage as she entered so she delivered the first number rooted to the spot,trying to keep her balance while the ship moved about and a stagehand tried to free her shoe. A truly professional performance! The Cruise Director was Alistair Greener, he of the Cunard blog, and he is one of the less cheesy cruise directors although I do wish that they would not attempt to tell jokes as they introduce the shows. Yes, I know that Alistair is a professional actor but they employ comedians to tell jokes (this wasn't just my opinion - from time to time we would have a Table Consensus (TC) at dinner and we were all agreed on this point) Today is sunny and the sea state about 8 metres with a 20mph wind. Due to hanging back in the Channel we are missing Malaga and going straight to Malta and we should arrive there on Friday. My wife enrolled in fencing class this morning, as she had fenced at uni, but found it hard going with the movement of the ship. Thursday 11th The Insights lecture this morning was The siege of Malta, 1659, presented by Dr Nick Slope, which was very interesting. Thanks to modern technology people can present their talks using a laptop linked to a video projector and it worked very well. There did seem to be an ongoing problem later in the voyage where the house lights were left on, and on at least one occasion the lecturer requested that the lights be turned down and it took about thirty minutes for it to happen. The sound and lighting techs were only at the back of the theatre so why they didn't respond is a mystery. The show at night was the much-hyped "A Slice of Saturday Night" which involved the theatre company and the ship's dancers. Whoever chose this show should be ashamed of themselves. It is supposed to be an established West End musical that has toured the world but I find that hard to believe. Not only are the songs non-memorable yet curiously reminiscent but the story is negligible. There is a single set with one moveable item. The cast all look too old for their parts and overact enthusiastically. The costumes look like a 2010 take on what Sixties clothes looked like. Even the mini-skirts were too long which is surely a missed opportunity! My wife fell asleep during the show which is normal for her but so did the entire row in front of us. The show has a single joke at the end where a male character is sitting with a shoe box on his knee and a female character is lured into groping his genitals through it. No, I didn't make it up. When you think that other ships are presenting shows like "Chicago" and "Hairspray" perhaps Cunard should realise that it's no use having a magnificent theatre unless you stage suitable shows. In fairness I should point out that the above was my personal opinion and the TC was "not bad". Friday 12th Insights this morning was another talk by Gerald Scarfe, this time about his work in film, the most famous being "The Wall". Again, a very interesting lecture accompanied by slides and video. The show at night was a magician, Phillip Hitchcock, who I enjoyed immensely. His final trick defied description so I wont attempt it. Saturday 13th Finally we arrive somewhere, Valletta, Malta to be exact. As it's our maiden call at this port we are greeted with a several-cannon salute as we enter the harbour and a band on the quay. We had arrived early as the captain had made full speed for Malta after missing out Malaga. We had been to Malta before (my wife and I, not the QE) so instead of a tour we got on the circular bus which starts at the quay and does a circle around the city, stopping in the centre. This bus is a bargain. It costs one Euro for the return trip. Before we sailed a group of people wearing medieval costumes paraded along the quay and played bugles and fired cannons. Unfortunately it was almost pitch dark but still they were appreciated. The show at night was "Sing", which was a collection of song and dance numbers. I thought that it was better than "A Slice of Saturday Night" and my wife, who has a dancing background, enjoyed it. Afterwards we went to the Yacht Club for a drink and to listen to the resident band. I don't drink a lot but I ordered a margarita which tasted of nothing at all. When I complained the waitress took it away to add some more tequila but it still didn't taste remotely alcoholic so for the rest of the voyage I stuck to beer. Sunday 14th At sea again. The entertainer tonight was Kenny Martyn, a multi-instrumentalist. We didn't go as he majored heavily on the clarinet and Benny Goodman and it's not really my thing. The TC is that it's about time that we had a comedian. There are three piano players on the ship which is great if you like the piano. I don't. There is also a harpist and a string quartet. Enough said. Monday 15th Arrived at Venice. It was so foggy that the harbour-master wouldn't let us in. After about an hour it cleared and a Costa ship that was also waiting was allowed in. According to our captain that was because their captain was the harbour-master's cousin but he might have been joking. Or not. Eventually we docked an hour late and we went on a walking tour which turned out to be a good idea. The place is quite small and we got to see the side streets that you might normally miss. Got back to the ship at 3pm but the PG was closed and so was the main buffet so there was little choice of food. It was a pity that they didn't put the meal times back an hour or so. We left Venice two hours later than scheduled just as the fog was closing in again. Tuesday 16th Arrived an hour late at Dubrovnik due to our late departure from Venice. The weather has picked up and is pleasantly warm There are shuttle buses into town and we take one. It's a beautiful city. On the way back we nearly got a free tour as we got on the wrong bus, one that was going on somewhere else, but the tour guide spotted that they had two extra and turfed us off. We heard later that a few days after we left Dubrovnik was flooded, with a metre on water in the streets. The entertainer tonight was Kenny Smiles. At last, a comedian! He was billed as a comedy vocalist and he was an excellent singer but the main thing was that he was a brilliant comedian, heavily into audience involvement which I like as long as I'm not on the receiving end. Wednesday 17th At sea. The evening show was "Hotel Royale" by the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Company, which wasn't bad, alhough the plot was similar to that of "A Slice of Saturday Night" - wimpy boy fancies attractive girl, is rebuffed, gets her in the end, although this time she didn't get to fondle his genitals through a shoe box. Or, indeed, through anything else. Thursday 18th Kusadasi. Like most people we had booked the Ephesus tour as there is very little to see in Kusadasi. We had originally booked the Miletus, Didyma and Ephesus tour but suddenly realised that it was eight hours long so we changed it for the "The best of Ephesus" which was a mere six hours and thank goodness that we did. Even in November the weather was really warm and the place was packed with tourists. We first saw the house of the Virgin Mary and after Ephesus we went to St John's Basilica then the Ephesus archeological museum. This was followed by lunch "in a five star hotel" which was actually a resort complex where a buffet was laid out in an enormous room. The food was adequate but obviously not as nice as that on the ship. As we were nearing the port on our return the guide, who in fairness was very good, tried his best to get us to visit a carpet-making demo which would only last fifteen minutes and there would be no pressure to buy, although with these prices we would we pretty stupid not to (his words). Luckily the rug factory was just opposite the dock gates so we made our excuses and left. The entertainer tonight was Sarah Chandler, a saxophonist. I am not unmusical. I play guitar, keyboards and harmonica but somehow an evening of "three different saxophones" didn't appeal so we missed it. Friday 19th Piraeus, Greece. This is of course the port for Athens and having seen a lot of Athens at a conference some years ago plus being worn out from all the walking at Ephesus we stayed on board, just popping out to buy a newspaper. The ship had announced that a vendor was coming on board to sell newspapers but after buying one we realised that it was yesterday's edition. Luckily a shop in the port had todays. Unfortunately by now I had developed a persistent cough and other unpleasant symptoms. It may have been some variant of Norovirus but after one day I was left with just the cough. I skipped dinner and the show, although my wife went to both and said that the entertainer, Adrian Walsh, a comedian, was OK but not as good as Kenny Smiles. Popped into the ships shop to buy some cough mixture but they had apparently had a run on it and all that was left was some Venos which I bought. Through the years I must have sold hundreds of bottles of Venos to people and I had no idea how awful it tastes! A retrospective apology to all of you. Saturday 20th At sea. Still coughing. Didn't visit the Doctor as I was told that those who had (and there were quite a few) were just given an antibiotic shot which I know to be useless in the case of a virus infection. Missed all meals and the show. Sunday 21st At sea. Again missed meals and was disappointed to find no apparent difference to my weight. Monday 22nd Alicante. A beautiful port. The temperature was about 20 degrees C but here was a strong wind so it felt a bit chilly. There was a free shuttle from the ship to the dock entrance but Cunard had said that it was just for those with walking difficulties so we went on foot, which took about fifteen minutes. Coming back we joined the shuttle as it appeared that almost everyone on the ship had walking difficulties. We were told that there was an open-topped bus which gave a tour of the town and district for seven euros. This had not been mentioned on board. Tuesday 23rd Gibralter. Unlike most people we had never been here before and had read quite a few negative reports here on CC so I wasn't really looking forward to it. It was about 18 degrees C and a lovely sunny day. We hadn't booked a trip as they seemed over-priced but at the terminal entrance taxi drivers were offering a trip for £22 each that lasts an hour and a quarter and goes to all the interesting places like St Michael's Caves, the Barbary apes, etc, and finishes on Main Street. They needed six people in the taxi to run the trip. One of our group had difficulty walking and the taxi driver went out of his way to help her so I was quite impressed. By now I was recovering quite well and even popped into the buffet for some lunch. A very nice Scots gentleman took pity on my cough and insisted that I take the remainder of his cough sweets as he said that he had suffered from the same problem but was now cured. The show tonight was Katzenjammer, two guys who play a piano four-handed. They were good but I found their humour a bit laboured. Wednesday 24th At sea.Feeling a lot better now, possible due to anticipation of arriving home. We were on Victoria in June, in Queens Grill and apart from the fact that we had a stern cabin on QV I haven't really noticed much difference. In QG we were seated at a banquette away from the windows (serves me right for asking for a table for two) and now in Princess Grill we are on a table for six, beautifully situated at the front of the restaurant with a far better view and of course the service is just as good if not better. Our waiter had moved from QM2 and on probing didn't seem too keen on the move but he had brought the QM2 standard of service with him. I had expected to be overwhelmed by the newness of the ship but in truth I didn't notice any obvious difference.The library was unfortunately the same. Why other ships allow you to take out and return books 24 hours a day yet Cunard only open for restricted hours (which they stick to rigidly) I don't know. Are Cunard books more valuable? Are the passengers less trustworthy? We didn't try the alternative dining arrangements. Having paid extra to be in QG or PG why on earth would I want to pay even more to eat somewhere else? Logically QG and PG guests should be allowed to eat elsewhere free. The theatre is very impressive. I don't know whether it was because we always went to the 10.30pm show but it was never full and the sight lines are excellent. The TC was that they should show films in the theatre (or smewhere else), especially on sea days. I suspect that when not open to the passengers the theatre is being used for rehearsals. Even on the TV they don't screen pre-release films One odd thing about the P3 balconies is that they are about two feet deeper than those on the higher decks which I really appreciated as I like to keep as far away from the balcony rail as possible due to vertigo. So if your cabin is on a higher deck you pay more and get a smaller balcony. Not only that but in heavy seas you get more movement. Thursday 25th Nearly home. To sum up - a nice ship, but our next cruise is on the Crown Princess in June. For the same price that we paid on QE we get a Vista suite at the stern with a huge balcony, free internet and free laundry. If I don't pick up any illnesses that will be the icing on the cake. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
NY-Hamburg-Hamburg-NY April 29-May 21, 2010 This was our third Cunard Cruise, our first with this line in 3 years, we have done 20 cruises with Princess, 8 cruises with HAL, 14 with RCCL and 12 cruises with Celebrity. We booked a B4 ... Read More
NY-Hamburg-Hamburg-NY April 29-May 21, 2010 This was our third Cunard Cruise, our first with this line in 3 years, we have done 20 cruises with Princess, 8 cruises with HAL, 14 with RCCL and 12 cruises with Celebrity. We booked a B4 balcony guarantee and was upgraded to a B2 balcony. We drove to New Jersey on 4/28 and stayed overnight at a Best Western motel. The morning of the 29th we had breakfast at the motel and took the 1 ½ hour drive to Red Hook where we parked our car for 22 days. We left our bags with the porter prior to entering the terminal. We check in and there was no line, but we had to wait in the lounge till noon when they allowed us to board. We were on the ship with in 20 minutes after the started boarding. Cabins: The cabin 6285 (cat. B2) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony was nice with two plastic lounge chairs and a table. The shower is similar to what we get on Celebrity with a hose and wand arrangement. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. My wife enjoyed the bath robes. The bed was comfortable and my wife liked the room. The balcony was sheltered and not as windy as those on the upper decks. Public Areas: The public areas are nice, but the ship is confusing. Finding the Queens room and ConneXions involved going down a stair and a long hall. The ship is large and feels that way. Enjoyed the Golden Lion Pub, my wife did the morning trivia each morning and I frequented the bar. They had good shows on board and we enjoyed the entertainment. There was plenty of activities to keep you busy all day including lectures and classes of all kinds. They had Planetarium shows in ConneXions and you had to pick up the free tickets early or you were out of luck, don't miss these. They had a fine library and I read a couple books on sea day. Shops were pricey, but I got several nice things on sale. Only got a washer to due our clothes in Southampton as it was always busy. Dining: I requested 2nd seating traditional dining when I booked and I got nice table for two #115 in Britannia with a good waiter too. We ate all our evening meals here, the people around us changed 5 times during the cruise. We went to open seating for breakfast and lunch in the Britannia Dining room every day when not on tour, and always had to ask for an English menu due to the high number of Germans on board. Were seated with Germans several times and were ignored. The main dining rooms was not full due to number eating in King Court. We had snacks from the Kings Court at tea time. The Britannia restaurant was nicely decorated and the food varied from excellent to good, but not up to Celebrity standards. The food in the King Court was also good. Tours: I did the tour to Berlin and enjoyed it despite the 4 hour bus ride at each end. It was rushed. We ate at a fine German restaurant, but the bus was 45minutes late in getting us and we has an hours stop at a museum cut to 15 minutes. You need change in Euro's to use the bathrooms on the trip going and coming which they did not tell till we got on the bus. Missed the tour in Oslo as they combined the Germans and us English speakers and I asked to leave early to get to our tour due to my wife's walking problem, but was given the wrong directions by the German tour guide. Enjoyed the bus tours of Copenhagen and Hamburg, both local currency was needed to use the rest facilities. Disembarkation: My car was parked at Red Hook and we had signed up for express walk off, but the dock was damaged by the Princess ship using the dock earlier in the week and we docked in Manhattan. The provided a bus for us 20 going to Red Hook, but we did not get there till 10:30 AM and I got on the road two hours later than I expected. Overall, I was satisfied. We celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on May 9th.with lunch at Todd English and dinner in the Britannia. I wrote a letter to the Captain asking for a letter on our anniversary like the Brits get in their anniversary package and I got it. That made my wife happy and we had a cake in both restaurants. The cruise stopped in both Southampton twice and Hamburg twice, Oslo and Copenhagen. On all legs of the cruise there were more Germans on board than any other nationality, except there were more Brits on the first leg. From Hamburg to Hamburg we had 2000 Germans on board and only 93 of us Americans on board. The send off we got in Hamburg was a sight to see, ships followed us down the river for two hours and the shore was lined with Germans seeing us off. They had a special lunch and tea for the Germans daily in the Winter Garden, which I enjoyed many times. They even had a German priest on board for mass from Hamburg to Hamburg. I was told for some reason the Germans love this ship, because Victoria did not get this reception when it went to Hamburg. With all the extra formal nights, 13 instead of 10, they included for the Germans my wife ran out of outfits and became tired of dressing up. They had no brochures for us Americans, but plenty for the Germans. I could not even get a quote from the future cruise consultant on several cruises I had an interested in, which is the reason I did not give them $600 for a future cruise this time. I enjoyed the cruise, but felt I was on a German ship. If I sail with Cunard again I will avoid cruises going through Hamburg. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
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