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14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just a little history ,this was our 41st Cruise and our 3 rd on The QM2 , we've cruised all the major Cruise lines ,from inside cabins to Owners suites ,So we pretty much know what to expect . We choose this cruise because it seemed ... Read More
Just a little history ,this was our 41st Cruise and our 3 rd on The QM2 , we've cruised all the major Cruise lines ,from inside cabins to Owners suites ,So we pretty much know what to expect . We choose this cruise because it seemed like a good value and according to all the printed material we viewed online ,they were staying to 10 PM on 2 of our favorite Islands , St Maarten and Barbados . [ see attached pics] At the time In May when we decided to book on Cunard we already had a Cruise booked at the same time [RCCL Anthem] so we had to pay 200.00 to re-book the RCCL cruise to a later date and booked on the QM2 . All went fairly smooth as we live on long Island ,and had car service to the Pier . Embarkation was a little slow ,But we were on the ship within one hour . The ship itself is a very elegant, But showing wear in both the staterooms and common area's ,Like in many places there are "soft spots " in the floor ,where you step down and get the feeling that the Carpet is all thats supporting you ,some were actually marked with cones . The Good Here's some of the good, Nice Gym ,no problem with crowding ,excellent Library , The Kings Court was OK for breakfast ,good omelets, breads etc. Stateroom was adequate ,by no means spacious ,with enough storage for a 13 day cruise . My wife seemed to enjoy the Puzzles that were available on deck 2 forward ,she and a group of people she met onboard spent hours on these 1000 piece puzzles, [ I have no interest in this] My sea days started with a visit to the gym , which was never really crowded, I guess because a good portion of the passengers were in there 70 and 80s , then head up to the Buffet for breakfast , Had my omelet chef trained how I like my omelet by the second day , He was good as I'm picky about any oil in my omelet, I spent at lease 2 hours a day in the casino at the black jack table ,the first night one of my table mates hit it big ,had 5.00 chip on the Lucky Ladies , he was dealt 2 queen of hearts and the dealer had black-jack payoff ,I believe he walked away with 6,250.00 nice on a 5.00 bet , first time I ever saw that in my 10 years of playing blackjack The Bad After a few visits to, the Kings Court for lunch which was always crowded, the lunch selection were only OK limited sandwiches, Sushi was available on certain days and was fresh . Tried dinner [to avoid formal nights] a couple of times and it was not good , seems like they put the better quality cuts out first , but if you show up at 7.30-8.00 it's gone and what was left was either over cooked or Luke warm at best , I decided to rename the Kings Court the Canine Court ,as most of the food I tried was only suitable for a Canine , Instead of thinking what can I choose today ,it turned into what can I possibly stand to try today , most choices were either cold or overcooked . We expected the Britannia Restaurant to be much better ,but we soon found out that it's not much better than the Buffet, although the service was good the waiters tried there best to satisfy us ,but you can't blame the waiter if the steak is tough or the fist is cooked to death , . . Our last QM2 cruise was in 2010 and it was excellent ,overall both service and food has declined considerably since 2010 Our room Horrible pillows , use a Duvet instead of a top sheet , How to cook in the Caribbean, this might be OK for an Alaska Cruise ,but not for the Caribbean .Even with the room temp all the way cold its still way to hot . No interactive TV system ,But did have a nice flat screen TV Overall it appears Cunard is trying to Cut Costs and relying on its past reputation ,to target 1st time cruisers ,that don't have any history to compare more modern newer ships . The Deceptive On about the 3rd sea day we went to the Pursers office to check times in Port as they claimed to have changed the Itinerary , This is when we found out that they were not staying to 10.00 pm in either St Maarten or Barbados , we were told that they never stay past 5.30 and that our travel agent had printed the wrong times . Very Unhappy ,we talked to about 6 other couples that had viewed the same info from different travel agency's, one couple offered to let us make copy's of the Itinerary they had with them ,we brought that to the pursers office ,but they claimed it didn't have enough info . the next day were in St Thomas ,we called out travel agent and had them email a copy of the Itinerary to the ship. Sure enough St Maarten and Barbados were listed as staying to 10.00 PM . They claimed they had to contact Corporate office , a few days later we were contacted by the person in charge of the Pursers claiming that even though we proved them wrong they had the option of changing ports and times at there digression. I kind of expected this ,but they offered to write a letter stating that the itinerary was changed and we might get some compensation from our trip insurance . Right Good luck with that . I feel like we got scammed , these are tricks that you might expect from a used car dealer ,not a claimed 5 star cruise line . We paid for 10 extra hrs as advertised [ bait] and than got zero with no compensation [switch] I would have been satisfied for the 200.00 it cost us to change cruises . I Can't recommend this cruise or ship when they pull stunts like this ,avoid them, even if this was listed by mistake ,they should have offered a retraction ,before we made the final payment ,Not while we had started out cruise. We won't set foot on this ship ever again . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and that it sailed from Southampton so no flying. Embarkation was seamless and our bags arrived promptly. The Cabin was fine (7090 balcony). On deck seven midship. The bathroom was small especially ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and that it sailed from Southampton so no flying. Embarkation was seamless and our bags arrived promptly. The Cabin was fine (7090 balcony). On deck seven midship. The bathroom was small especially the shower with a cheap curtain. Bed was very comfortable and our cabin steward was great and saw to our every need. We had trouble with the air conditioning in our cabin which was blowing freezing cold air despite the thermostat being set at maximum and complained about it everyday for 6 days. They did nothing to rectify this problem until I threatened to take it higher whereupon an engineer came and change the thermostat and fixed the problem. This was disgraceful service and was spoiling our cruise. The food was excellent in every restaurant and bar. We were on the second sitting in the Britannia restaurant at 8.30pm which was a bit late for us but preferable to 6pm which was too early and the only other option in the main dining rooms. The afternoon tea was delightful and a must do. Overall the staff throughout the ship all seemed a bit miserable and fed up and there was little interaction between customers and staff. The drinks on board are fairly expensive and there is no drinks package available plus they slap on a hefty 15% service charge.Thank god for the on board spending allowance we had which pretty much took care or it. We have to say that all though we appreciate that Cunard have a reputation for the elderly and disabled that this cruise had an abundance of them and did distract from a nice cruise experience. The entertainment was fairly good but only from the invited professionals and not the resident troupe who we thought were poor. The band however was excellent. We only did 2 shore excursions which were ok but overpriced and poor value. Doing our own thing proved much better value and was easy to organise at the ports. Personally we think Cunard need to up there game and look at the competition for advice. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the ... Read More
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the welcoming party, there were no staff to direct us to our cabins! Therefore, after the initial 'pomp' there was no actual organisation. We managed to find our way to our cabin - some feat on a vessel this big I can tell you. Waited a further two hours to have our suitcase delivered after being told it would be outside our door when we got there. Let that go... The cabin was lovely, usual up-market hotel room, bit disappointed with the balcony being 'sheltered' which we found out means three quarters enclosed by steel... we were under the impression we had a glass balcony. Let that go too... Afternoon tea - I was expecting mini sandwiches and fancy cakes - but it was hot dogs, burgers, and old looking pizza. And not a lot of any of it either! Let it go... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
entertainment and food very poor,,spent nine days at sea because we could not dock in the azores and no extra enterteainment laid on, very very boring. all prices higher than our previous cruise on the same ship at xmas 2015. staff not ... Read More
entertainment and food very poor,,spent nine days at sea because we could not dock in the azores and no extra enterteainment laid on, very very boring. all prices higher than our previous cruise on the same ship at xmas 2015. staff not very helpful. only one port visited was worth a visit. after a long strenous year we booked this cruise because of the experiance on a previous cruise on this ship, however we were totally disappointed with the overhaul cruise and we will have to think long and hard before booking a further trip.the cruise left us feeling let down and very subdued. we never ventured on any of the tours because of the charges and due to the fact my wife and i are both disabled we were unable to get around to easy except by taxi which was beyond our budget. since my wife and i started cruising in 1998 this was probably our most dissapointing yet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
50th anniversary. Wifi was expensive and a constant headache. Transfer to laguardia airport was mishandled. Not enuf buses, crowds of people waiting outside the ship for a bus, most of them quite elderly. No place to sit or get out of the ... Read More
50th anniversary. Wifi was expensive and a constant headache. Transfer to laguardia airport was mishandled. Not enuf buses, crowds of people waiting outside the ship for a bus, most of them quite elderly. No place to sit or get out of the elements. Thank goodness it did not rain. No excuse for Cunard not to know how many buses necessary for the transfer. This info is provided well in advance of the cruise. Just very, very mishandled! Shore excursions very pricey. Ship staff was generally pleasant and helpful. This cruise was the worst we have been on. We would not recommend this ship. Signage to gangways and other areas of this gigantic vessel was very poor. Getting from one place to another took more time than necessary because there were few directional signs. Self laundry was not available 24/7. Did not open until 7:30am and shut down at 9pm. Ugh! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Embarkation was quick and easy. Our room was ready and was overall impressed with the efficiency. Although this ship has recently undergone a remastering and will always be the Icon of the Seas - we still found it tired looking. I am ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and easy. Our room was ready and was overall impressed with the efficiency. Although this ship has recently undergone a remastering and will always be the Icon of the Seas - we still found it tired looking. I am not sure what the remastering included - but we had a 2 year old Daily Itinerary stuck between the artwork on the wall above our bed to stop it rattling. Evidently - they don't dust picture frames. The food in the Kings Court is akin to Luby's Cafeteria. Some days its ok - other days it looks remarkably like last night/this mornings left overs. Not at all impressed. The addition of the Godiva Lounge was our saving grace - the stodgy treacle pudding and vanilla sauce (custard that wasn't thick enough.........) was way too much for us on a hot sunny day on the ocean. So we took ourselves to Godiva for something cooler and more refreshing. The Lion pub is the Lion pub. Doesn't quite make it as a pub - but it is a nice place to meet people and while away on evening and the hostess "in charge" of introducing the entertainment did a wonderful job of keeping everyone engaged in a fun way - without demanding that everyone get involved. All in all, sad to say - we use the QMll as a means to get to England without jet lag and nothing more. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before ... Read More
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before the automatic door As many of the passengers were in the 60/80 age range I was the surprised that the unheated pool did not have graduated steps I could not get out of the pool, three swimming costumes were unworn . The entertainment was poor not enough to do in the daytime on sea days as most activities were in the morning. The set in the theatre broke down during a show also did the video for the piano players very poor maintenance. the whole ship was without water for six hours everyone went to dinner without be able to wash,it was very uncomfortable as well as being unhygenic Chairs on deck sticky and unwashed the food was excellent the service was very good cabin staff. Embarkation was swift Overall there were too many faults to overcome as I kept being caught in the heavy doors . Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
This cruise was a big disappointment. I am a travel agent and have been on several cruise lines and this was my worst experience. I chose this cruise line because I liked the short itinerary and the high level of service they advertise. ... Read More
This cruise was a big disappointment. I am a travel agent and have been on several cruise lines and this was my worst experience. I chose this cruise line because I liked the short itinerary and the high level of service they advertise. The service was poor from the time we entered the cruise terminal to check in until we disembarked. We were a group of 8 and 1 gentleman required wheelchair assistance which I specified when I made the booking 3 months ago. He sat and waited for 3 hours for a wheelchair. When he was taken to the special check in line, he had to wait another 25 min. as there were people in the line who did not need special assistance. The whole time he was there, there was no water for him or anyone else to drink. The other 6 of us checked in in less time, but we were in a long line as many of the stations were not open. My friends were at a station where the camera was broken and the machine to scan their credit cards was not working. We had numerous problems over the next 5 days. On one evening, one of our cabins was not made up by 5:30 when my friends went to it to dress for the formal evening. We had condensation dripping on us and the table from the ceiling tiles while we were having lunch. Seems like a health problem to me if it dripped onto our food. 2 of the special elevators for handicapped people were broken during most of the cruise. I know of at least 2 chairs which were broken in the planetarium. One night our fish for dinner was so salty we couldn't eat it.The day we had to have our passports checked was a circus. The line went down the hall, made a big circle and then went back down the hall again with people cutting in front of those who had been on line for at least 30 min. When we went to the pursers desk to arrange disembarkation so we would not have to wait 3 hours for a wheelchair we were sent from place to place with each place giving us different info. I wrote a letter of complaint to the hotel manager 2 days before we disembarked and asked for a reply. You guessed it, I didn't event get the professional courtesy of a response. So many of the guests to whom I spoke were displeased and dissatisfied. I blame all of this on poor staff training, mismanagement and poor supervision. This is just a snapshot of what happened. I could go on and on. This ship just came out of dry dock where millions of dollars were spent to beautify and up date it, but it doesn't matter if the service is poor. They have to invest more in staffing, management and using modern technology to speed the check in process. I will not be cruising on or recommending this ship to anyone that I know. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was a trip with my husband and my 85 year old mother who was bereaved 6 months ago. My husband and I have cruised many times before with Cunard. First the good points, as always the cleaning, cabin, waiters etc staff second to non. ... Read More
This was a trip with my husband and my 85 year old mother who was bereaved 6 months ago. My husband and I have cruised many times before with Cunard. First the good points, as always the cleaning, cabin, waiters etc staff second to non. They work hard and are paid little but do it all with a smile fantastic. The ship was spotless, lovely. Now the poor points. My mother needed assistance to get on and off the ship, i.e she needed a wheelchair because of the distance to walk. A 90 min wait to get on the ship left her in pain because there was not enough people to take her on board. The debarcal to get her off was even worse, resulting in an argument with the company that Cunard employ to help the disabled. If they had been sheep in a transport box they could not have been treated worse, in a room to small for all the wheelchairs, far to hot, no water supplied, and then moaning under their breaths when people asked to move because they were feeling faint in the heat. Average age in the room was 80 easily. Disgraceful Cunard. Cunard have taken to pushing to sell extras all the time by just about every one you meet. Push for extra drinks, extra products in the spa, hairdressers and shops. No pleasure at all if you want peace and quite, learn how to say NO if you are not very good at it. Food was repetitive, and luke warm in the Lido restaurant,especially at breakfast. I booked an excursion on the Cunard site before I left home for the 3 of us as there was limited space. The night before no tickets arrived for the trip. We spoke to the purser who eventually put us through to the excursion manager. This pompus little man was far more interested in telling me how senior he was, and did I realise that. Well having been married to a Master Marina ( Captain) for 38 years I am afraid I was not impressed with his service style at all. Having said that, he did sort the problem very quickly once he realised I was'ent frightened of him. Cunard, please,please, please invest in some decent pillows, and some newer films !! Ann Widdecombe was excellent, and so was Phil Buy , weather was good, and the sea was very good for most of the trip, but this was by no means Cunards finest hour. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I am sure by now you will have heard all about the 4 nights and 5 days of going around in circles,the strong smell of fuel, the very bad service in the Britannia restaurant the food cold having to wait up to three quarters of an hour in ... Read More
I am sure by now you will have heard all about the 4 nights and 5 days of going around in circles,the strong smell of fuel, the very bad service in the Britannia restaurant the food cold having to wait up to three quarters of an hour in between courses, because people were sending food back,even in the shops because they had to mention that on top of the high prices we also had to pay VAT because we did not get out of our waters,and so it was take it or leave it, so we left it.I have been on all the queens my first being the Victoria some years ago when the the service was the top of the industry as far as I was concerned,and I could not wait to return and go on her sister ship but what a shock.As I said in my title" So Sad So Bad " Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
My husband and I sailed on the QM2 in June of 2014 after a seven week tour of Italy. My husband no longer flies so we decided to use the QM2 as transport back to North America. Unfortunately, that decision was the biggest mistake of our ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the QM2 in June of 2014 after a seven week tour of Italy. My husband no longer flies so we decided to use the QM2 as transport back to North America. Unfortunately, that decision was the biggest mistake of our trip. We had taken another cruise ship from Miami to Europe and expected the QM2 to be far superior as we paid 3 times the price for the QM2. How wrong we were. Transport to Southampton: We were told to meet the Cunard representative at St. Pancras station in London for our trip from London to Southampton. We were told only to look for the Cunard representative and not given a specific location to meet. After wandering around St. Pancras for about half and hour, we met another couple, also wandering around looking for the Cunard rep. A plan was formed for the wives to stay with the luggage and the husbands would attempt to find the rep. One person asked someone at an information desk if they knew where we should be, and of course they did not but they did call Cunard and got the same storey, look for the rep! The rep did finally arrive (he was late) and started to collect the passengers. He took us to another area of St. Pancras where we waited another 2 ½ hours for other passengers to arrive. It became apparent that we should buy some form of lunch at the station as we would not be arriving at the ship until well after lunch. We were finally taken to a bus, loaded our luggage and ourselves and we were off to Southampton. Not an auspicious start to our trip. Embarcation – was relatively fast and easy. We did not appreciate being put through a very slow line to have our pictures taken before we had to pass through the security check. We were tired and had no intentions of purchasing overpriced photos of our drooping selves! After the photo shoot, we went through security where we even had to take our shoes off to get on board while managing all of our luggage. Reception: Shades of things to come! We were herded on board and given no direction of where to go. Very poor organization. In general there was no direction for anything on board this ship. Potholes in floor: We immediately noticed large “soft” spots in the floor. These were very dangerous for the elderly folk traveling on this cruise. We witnessed several missteps and I tripped several times due to the soft spots. I would think that Cunard would be more concerned with the liability aspect of a person falling and hurting themselves due to the condition of the floors. This ship needs some serious risk management! Condition of stateroom: We had been upgraded to a restricted balcony room and while it was nice to see some light….. that was all we could see as the lifeboat hanging outside the balcony blocked all else. The balcony was extremely rusty and needed painting. One morning there were workers outside our balcony on a walkway and they could easily see into our room. Not a very private stateroom! The furniture in the room was to the standard of a 3rd rate hotel with chipped paint and tables not working in room. The bathroom was a nice size and we had no complaints with the water or any smell. Stateroom staff: Our steward was hardworking and conscientious. He seemed unfriendly, but we feel that was due to his lack of English. One major problem we had, which was not his fault, was that the day before we arrived at our destination we were told to have our bags packed as we were going to take advantage of the express debarcation. The steward did not come to our room to make our bed until the afternoon as he was in a training course. We could not pack until the bed was made so this put us behind in having our luggage ready. Again very poor organization and lack of concern for the passengers! Sound: The ship is certainly not soundproof but we did not expect the noise we experienced. We were unfortunately next door to two young men who thought it was great to come into their room late at night and slam doors and laugh loudly and this sounded like it was in our room. These young men woke us up many times during the cruise. We complained and were told basically, as the ship was full, they could do nothing about the problem. Entertainment: The lack of interesting entertainment was a shock. We were expecting something more than reading (which was almost impossible in the library as it was very noisy) or board games (if you could get a table to play). We did go to a very good show in the Planetarium, but that was also spoiled by the fact that the seats were broken and did not recline to a comfortable position for your neck. The trip was very boring. Cunard should know that the North Atlantic is usually iffy for good weather (it rained 4 of the 8 days of the cruise) and have some interesting indoor games and learning experiences for their guests included in the price. Dining staff good: Our waiter and wine steward in the Britannia room were very good. They remembered our names and our wine selections and gave us very good recommendations for our entrees. Formal nights: As we had been in Italy for 7 weeks prior to our sail on the QM2, we did not bring formal attire as we were already at our maximum weight for our luggage. We assumed from what we were told by a Cunard representative on the phone prior to our trip that there would be only a few areas where “formal” dress was required. As it turned out, this was not the case. We were made to feel that if you were not formally dressed, you should stay in your stateroom. On this sailing there were an excessive 4 out of 8 nights designated “formal”. We really feel that there should be areas designated as “relaxed” attire on the formal nights. The passengers who are in formal dress should not need to pass through “relaxed” areas which would provide a better experience for both groups. Possibly one deck designated formal and one deck designated relaxed. With the current luggage weight restrictions by the air lines, we are amazed that the “formal” night designation for the entire ship is still being maintained. As the QM2 is the only regular transatlantic passenger ship that we found, it would be nice if Cunard could understand that not everyone making the crossing is there for the “QM2 experience”. There are many of us with other reasons and we would appreciate a little consideration! We unfortunately, must agree with another reviewer and say that this was the first and definitely the last time we would ever sail on a Cunard ship. It was not worth the money.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
We have been with Cunard now on 3 occasions and whilst they are not our most favoured cruise line we chose this cruise because of the destinations which were part of the 2014 World Cruise which for this segment visited Singapore, Kuala ... Read More
We have been with Cunard now on 3 occasions and whilst they are not our most favoured cruise line we chose this cruise because of the destinations which were part of the 2014 World Cruise which for this segment visited Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Colombo, Mumbai, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We have been to Singapore and Dubai before but missed Abu Dhabi on a previous cruise because of civil unrest but as the other destinations had not been visited we thought that the itinerary appeared very good. We had a few days in Singapore before the cruise started and were surprised how it had expanded since our previous visit but it is still a very nice and safe place to visit with lots to see and do and very pleasant and helpful people. The pre voyage documentation received from Cunard was very helpful and personalized for this part of the World Voyage and whilst we had asked for a table for 2 persons and this was stated on the agents paperwork we only found out that we were on a larger table when we joined the ship and it would have been more helpful to know this in advance. The other surprise was the cost of the India 6 Month Visa which when you add the cost of postage and photograph amounts to over £120 for a 1 day visit and had we have known this before the cruise we may have decided not to book this cruise. The embarkation process was good and not too much of a delay and our cabin was on Deck 4 but having been on the QM2 and Queen Victoria previously we had expected the ship to be a little better which appeared to have been the view shared by some other passengers that we spoke to. In fact quite a number expressed the view that they would not choose Cunard again which is also the view that we expressed. We have travelled on quite a number of other ships and without doubt the food on this cruise was some of the poorest that we have experienced in recent years. The choice was very poor; the quality was low and the service very mediocre. On the first day we attended the afternoon tea and whilst I did not taste the cream my wife indicated that it had gone off and so we pointed this out to the waitress who notified her supervisor who indicated that he had received some other complaints and would notify the chef who would get back to us which he never did. Some of the other problems that were noted included: • Mold on food. • Staff serving food without protective gloves. • Staff preparing food without protective gloves. • Very small portions of food. • Lido Restaurant not cleaned from previous day. • Wrong orders in the Britannia Restaurant. • Guests ignored in the Britannia Restaurant. I was pleased to see that the ship had Stella Artois on tap as this is what I normally drink at home – I am not sure what they have done to it but it tasted like flat cheap beer with a 15% service charge on it so this was another disappointment but at least it saved me a lot of money. About half way through the cruise there was an outbreak of Norovirus on the ship and the self service restaurant was changed into a staff service facility but this created long queues and we were informed that a strict sanitation programme was being implemented but this was continually breached by staff and sometimes by guests who lost their temper. In one instance a lady threw her tray and contents over the counter and several guests voiced angry concerns at the long queues and waiting periods. Once, when I was in the Lido a passenger helped herself to some food and the serving assistant told the passenger that it was necessary for her to serve the food because passengers were not washing their hands after going to the toilet. There appeared to be no overall control of the sanitation programme as even managers were observed breaching the controls. One person that I spoke to indicated that he had been confined to his cabin for 3 days with the virus and asked to pay £70 but refused indicating that he informed the staff that as he had got the virus from the ship and would not pay. On another occasion there was a wine tasting event and plates of cheese were made available where passengers were allowed to pick the cheese without any control by staff – in my experience this is one of the best ways to spread infection. One control that they had in place was the wedging open of public toilet doors, which was obviously to stop the transfer of infection by hand, but in some toilets you could see into the men’s toilet quite easily. At the end of the first week the Captain was asking for blood donors for some of the passengers and shortly afterwards the ship was diverted to transfer 2 people to hospital. Whilst we were never informed exactly how many people had Noravirus from the number of passengers that we spoke to we felt that the number could have been quite high and unfortunately my wife was also one of those affected? The evening entertainment programme was heavily biased towards singing, dancing and music and I felt that this could have been varied a little more and one guest informed me that he was on the ship 18 months ago and the dance routines were the same as then. The excursion programme was quite comprehensive and there was something to cater for most people although if you carried out some research there were better value private tours available together with companies that guarantee to get you back to the ship. One other problem that we noted and caused a number of accidents was that the ship appeared to have leaks in a number of locations and buckets were placed beneath them and on several occasions guests tripped over buckets. When I asked about these leaks I was informed that they were "condensation" leaks, which occurred, in hot climates. Whilst we enjoyed the places that we visited, we together with quite a number of other guests felt that the Queen Elizabeth had fallen far short of meeting our expectations. At the end of the cruise we had a few days in a hotel in Dubai and the service was excellent in every respect and I remember watching the chef at breakfast cooking eggs, omelets and pancakes at the same time as wearing gloves and I thought that this hotel could certainly teach Cunard a thing or two and also how to keep and serve Stella Artois.   Read Less
Sail Date: 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: March 2011
The Queen Victoria is far from being a Queen in my book. Starting with disorganized and delayed embarkation and again with disembarkation process that nearly caused us to miss our flt. Very poor service in the dining room as many nights ... Read More
The Queen Victoria is far from being a Queen in my book. Starting with disorganized and delayed embarkation and again with disembarkation process that nearly caused us to miss our flt. Very poor service in the dining room as many nights one (1) of our servers in our table area was apparently sent elsewhere for much of the dining time, leaving the area with only one person who could not keep up with any kind of reasonable time service. A very rude server in the Golden Lion lounge/ restaurant on 2 separate occasions. Last on the list was the stateroom having nearly no drawer storage space at all and using shelves in the closet was not very desirable. After I wrote a letter of our dissatisfaction to Cunard Guest Relations, I received a phone call that the end result was their calling and general purpose was to simply call and get off the phone. If you do not mind paying top dollar for this kind of service, then you should go on the Victoria but if not you may want to look at other quality cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
We were first time cruisers on Cunard but are platinum members because of cruising Royal Viking several years ago. We were in a Q6 category cabin. We met many great people on this cruise including JimsGirl, Keith and Richard. ... Read More
We were first time cruisers on Cunard but are platinum members because of cruising Royal Viking several years ago. We were in a Q6 category cabin. We met many great people on this cruise including JimsGirl, Keith and Richard. Our room was large and clean. The furnishings in the room are worn and tired with the bedspread looking like it was taken from a homeless man on a New York street. The food and service in the Queens Grille was for the most part very good. I found nothing that would distinguish Cunard from any other cruise line or the ship from any other cruise ship. The deeply discounted price we paid for this cruise was still not worth the price. I do have to wonder what the fashion police thought when they saw the couple in the lobby on the first formal night in jeans and NASCAR T shirts. Have to agree with a previous poster on the bumps and holes in the deck. We have sailed all the mass market lines many times. This line is extremely over hyped. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Having booked over a year agowe had plenty of time to anticipate the trip,we even went on th Victoria to tesr the water. Arrived at the Southhampton Hilton as prvious cruise cant fault it well organised clean tidy food good staff the ... Read More
Having booked over a year agowe had plenty of time to anticipate the trip,we even went on th Victoria to tesr the water. Arrived at the Southhampton Hilton as prvious cruise cant fault it well organised clean tidy food good staff the same as last year,apart from noone manning Cunard desk,must have cut the staff back. Good nights sleep,breakfast supposed to have been famous,was last year, this time no staff no food,perhaps they too where cutting staff,never mind on the coach and of to the ship. Boooking in procedure very efficient. Up the gangplank wheres the ship,never mind plenty of days to see ino farewell do must be cutting staff back. Find the cabin our friends are next door but one,we are 8025 our friends 8029,into the cabin,open the door to the balcony,same view as last year feel at home already,back in the room sharpish,smoking next door,smoke drifting over. Off to the leaving party,experienced cruisers lol,playing the game dodge the photographers,party my elbow been to better wakes. You bored yet,full of anticipation of we go to the Britannia restuarant,staff superb,food good. LIdo,tea making facilities poor after first day laid out wrong probably due to hot water system for tea making failed,Burcos arrived after 11 days. Britannia breakfast must be rated amongst the top one in the world,sorry I mean in the list for poor quality,its appalling,i repeat its the worst I have ever had anywhere Cant use the balcony smoke worse corridor wreaks, air conditioning pushing smoke through vents in door from next door. REad the brochure carefully,smoking allowed in the rooms,pity the people who had room 8027 this week,they arrived to clean the room with specialised vacuum cleaners even beforethe ship was vacated so they knew they had a problem. The lady mentioned the Dorothy club,what a gay time was had by all,like packs roaming the ship,best entertainment I had all week was watching some Americans trying to take some upskirt photos of a man wearing a kilt,true outside the toilets on the way to the Britannia restuarant. Entertainment.comedian brilliant band brilliant,saw the lady with the flute on the Victoria,was good but already seen the act,multiplaying muscian DIRE,singers leave a lot to be desired. If you drink,be prepared to wait for service,shall we discuss the measures,be warned all is not what it seems,never seen so many short measures in my life,why they bother to stock take at the end of the night amazes me.Drink at casino bar only chance of a fair measure. Casino,odds beyond me,only one history showing on roullette, table broken they said on the one table,could cunard please check the system they play,I admired the staff for the way they could get double zero. The lady in the previous report said she was home for 12.30,we were stuck in the garden room for hours waiting to disembark excuse was the weather,bullshit it happens every time priorities given to other passengers if you stay at the hilton you leave last. Im not by nature a complainer,this I find to be a fair critic of our time on this cruise,it is not White Star service,it does really fall short. No good sending me any more offers Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
My family, along with the other fortunate people, on that early April 2009 morning, when in the first 26 minutes of the booking opening, were able to book the October 12, 2010 QE maiden cruise, and were very excited. Then about 6 months ... Read More
My family, along with the other fortunate people, on that early April 2009 morning, when in the first 26 minutes of the booking opening, were able to book the October 12, 2010 QE maiden cruise, and were very excited. Then about 6 months prior to sailing, Alastair Greener, QE cruise director, initiated a series of emails that continued to present a very special opportunity.To add to this, we had also recently cruised on other Cunard ships and were told that there were extra personnel on board training for their QE assignment. The maiden QE was going to be very special, to the extent, Queen Elizabeth would be at the Southampton ceremony. Little did we know that this did not include the paying passengers, we got to watch on a video screen set up in a Southampton park. Upon questioning this at Cunard's Southampton office we were told that we booked through Cunard NA and we really needed to discuss the matter with Cunard NA not Cunard UK. Once on board the QE we quickly found out our expectations were quite wrong. Our cabin steward had little if any training. For example, she did not know that beds required mattress pads or simply how to set up a bed. We requested a table for 8 and were assigned a table with just one other couple. Our table steward work alone and was responsible for at least 3 tables. His focus was only to get through the evening as fast as possible. He took orders early and served courses at different times. Often our table mates were finished their entire serving long before we our first course was served. The deck crew for the most part had very little training. They could not perform simple functions such as turning on the swimming pool water current motor, or regulating the hot tub temperatures. They had no idea what the temperature settings were or fit of the hot tubs drainage covers. Daily ship activity communications of were poor. The office personnel were not willing to resolve issues and most often tried to turn the issues around as if the passenger was at fault. Indicative of the way the QE operates, we still receive weekly Alastair Greener emails and can not stop getting them as there is no unsubscribe link. Cunard lost a wonderful opportunity to develop a loyal customer base to the extent that we cancelled further bookings and have shifted to other cruise lined. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Queen Mary Is No Match for Crown Princess! We departed Ft. Lauderdale on May 1, 2010 on Crown Princess for a 53-day cruise to ten countries arriving Southampton, UK on June 23rd. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 on June 25th for a 6-day ... Read More
Queen Mary Is No Match for Crown Princess! We departed Ft. Lauderdale on May 1, 2010 on Crown Princess for a 53-day cruise to ten countries arriving Southampton, UK on June 23rd. We boarded the Queen Mary 2 on June 25th for a 6-day crossing to New York. Crown Princess is an excellent ship with great food, service, and entertainment. Our expectations were high that the Queen Mary 2 would be even better. We discovered Crown Princess is better than QM2!! Food: QM2 food was poor to fair. The maitre D confirmed one entree was an "inedible rubber fish". Also, Venison had no flavor nor texture. Side dishes were strange, e. g. guacamole filled twice-baked potato with re-fried beans. Food was rarely served at the right temperature - entrees were often cool; ice cream arrived half-melted. The QM2 menu was very small making it difficult to find something I wanted. Buffets served "cafeteria quality food" with extremely limited choices. I tried a cookie and almost broke my teeth. Food was consistently great/excellent on the Crown Princess. The menu was very large. Food was served at the right temperature and it had great flavor and texture. Compared to QM2's puny buffets, Crown Princess has huge buffets with lots of choices of freshly-prepared, delicious food! Princess also has well-stocked areas such as the International Cafe with lite fare meals, great snacks, deserts, and an excellent choice of flavored coffees. If you like frozen coffee, Princess serves about six flavors vs. one flavor on QM2. Likewise, there are four types of cookies, freshly baked throughout the day, on Princess vs. one type of cookie (baked weekly?) on Queen Mary. The QM2 buffet has "fake ice cream" from a machine. Princess has "real ice cream" and for $ 1.50 you can buy three scoops of delicious gelato. A passenger explained, "Of course food is better on Princess, but that's an unfair comparison. Princess has Italian chefs. They're passionate about food and world-renowned as the best. The priority on Princess is food taste/quality. Chefs offer freshly cooked food when passengers want it. Guess where the chefs are from on Queen Mary? They're Indians. Who ever heard of a world famous Indian chef? On QM2, the priority is cooking schedule. All food is prepared at once and much of it is frozen and reheated with a sauce poured on top. That's why entrees don't have natural juices, just toppings." At the cooking demonstration, the head Indian chef fried a steak and asked his assistant to taste it. The assistant answered, "I don't eat meat." OMG! The chefs don't taste food as a quality control measure. That's why my venison was tasteless with no texture. Food Service: Princess food service combines great service and having fun. Waiters are friendly and outgoing. They proudly announce which county they're from, engage passengers, and we become friends sharing stories and laughing together. Waiters are extremely attentive and personally committed to anticipate and immediately respond to passenger needs at the table. Queen Mary waiters are formal and reserved, limiting their conversation to "good afternoon". Waiters are not involved nor aware of passenger needs at the table. We had to ask, multiple times, for more water, coffee, bread, etc. Food would arrive and waiters didn't know who had ordered it - lots of mistakes and confusion. Queen Mary only had a few waiters (I think three) at the pub lunch. They couldn't keep up with orders nor bus tables. Princess has the number of waiters needed for quick, efficient service and busing of tables for pub lunch at the Wheelhouse Bar. Public Area Appearance, Cleanliness, Design, & Layout: Princess is beautiful. Queen Mary is both beautiful and elegant. Both ships have attractive, clean public areas. QM2 even has an automatic wash system to clean dining room windows at sea. Really slick! Design and layout of public areas on Crown Princess are excellent - thoughtful, practical, and good for mobility-challenged passengers. Facilities are organized logically and centralized at the Piazza with entertainment, the computer center, future cruise booking, lite fare food, a bar, a great coffee shop, wine tasting, deserts, etc. Public spaces are open with lots of seating so it never seems crowded even with 3200 passengers. Designers of the Queen Mary failed interior design school. Public area design ranges from impractical to just plain stupid. There is no central hub with access to everything. Facilities are scattered all over the ship. You would think this helter-skelter layout would reduce crowding, but the Queen Mary public areas feel crowded with no place to sit even though it has 700 fewer passengers than the Crown Princess. Bad layout on QM2 is further complicated by different ceiling heights. To achieve a "luxurious feel", designers used 20-foot high ceilings (two-decks) in some areas which connect to two 10-foot ceilings/decks. When you exit the main elevator, you see two sets of stairs. One goes up/down 20-feet, the other goes ten feet. Queen Mary has manually controlled, tiny wheelchair elevators to go a single-story. They're the width of a wheelchair and deep enough for the chair and a person to push it. I pushed a wheelchair into the elevator. We went up one-story and discovered the manual door was at the other end. I couldn't reach over the person in the chair and couldn't walk beside her to reach the door. A passenger saw our predicament and opened the door. Another problem ramp-type floor to adjust from a 2-story deck to the adjacent single-story decks. I found it difficult to push a wheelchair up the carpeted ramp. Queen Mary poses a problem for all passengers trying to find their way around the ship and a special problem for mobility-challenged. Design of the Crown Princess is better because it is simple and intuitive to find your way around the ship and it's handicap-friendly. Queen Mary has two theaters; both pose problems. The Royal theater has twelve pillars about a foot and a half in diameter that block the view to the stage. Passengers see empty seats from the aisle, walk past seated passengers to the empty seats to discover they can't see anything. Then, they get up, walk past seated passengers again to the aisle. One man started to shout to passengers entering the Royal theater, "You can't see anything from these seats, that's why they're empty". By comparison, Princess has an excellent theater design with no pillars and good viewing from all seats. Acoustics are also better in the Crown Princess theater. The second theater on Queen Mary is Illusions. It's also the planetarium. A dome in the ceiling is lowered about 10 feet over 150 red color seats. The seats recline by pushing a button, but many are broken so you have to standup, push it back and jump on it quickly to keep it in the reclined position. All lights are turned off so you can watch a 23-minute video projected on the dome. There are only two, 23-minute computer generated videos using NASA images. The video is slightly blurry. If you like this kind of video, tune your TV to the History channel. They have much better and clearer videos with more information and cover more subjects. QM2 "hypes" this as the "only planetarium at sea". Other cruise companies are smarter about how they spend money. "Movies under the stars" on Crown Princess is a much better offering that QM2's planetarium. Embarkation on Queen Mary 2 in UK vs. Crown Princess in Ft. Lauderdale: Embarkation on Crown Princess was efficient and fast. We arrived at 2:00 PM at QM2 to avoid the early boarding crowds while comfortably in time for the 4:30 PM deadline. The terminal was very crowded and lines were NOT moving. I asked a Cunard employee how long she thought it would take for me to get onto the ship. She said, "Princess Anne was here today and that delayed everything." I said "Ma'am, Princess Anne is not in this terminal, I'm just trying to get past the six couples in front of me to the check-in lady." She said the problem is that passengers don't have all their documents ready for check-in. I said, "Ma'am, I've timed the process. It takes 15-20 seconds for a passenger to hand documents to the check-in lady and she takes 9 minutes and 45 seconds to complete the check-in. I think there's something wrong with your systems or procedures. It's not like Cunard didn't know my wife and I were coming to board this ship today." After check-in, I was told I had to wait until number 15 was called and that I should sit down in the terminal which was dirty, hot, crowded and had no air conditioning. The reason was "the gangway is full". I said, "Ma,am I can see the gangway all the way to the top at the ship entrance and there are only a couple of people on it. Why can't I just walk up the gangway to the air conditioned ship?" She said the gangway is not designed to handle a lot of people. I said, "Ma,am there are only a dozen or so people on that gangway. Princess ships load 3200 passengers and I've seen continuous lines of people on the gangway." She said, "You're in the UK now and this is the way we do it." I sat down and waited till number 15 was called. There was NO line on the gangway nor at the entrance to the ship. Later, passengers told me the delay in boarding was to give photographers more time to photograph passengers. That's amazing; Princess photographers quickly take photos so as not to inconvenience passengers. Summary - Why Crown Princess Is a Better Cruise Experience than Queen Mary 2: For Princess, it's all about the passengers. Their ships are beautiful and well-designed with all the creature comforts, services, entertainment, etc. I may want. The entertainment, food, and services are truly exceptional. Our cruise experience on Crown Princess was excellent because their culture of employee commitment involves everyone in a relentless effort to improve customer satisfaction. For Cunard, it's all about their "regal", $ 800 million ship. They don't realize the interior ship design/layout is impractical because they're pre-occupied with hull design, powerful engines, and ability of QM2 to crash through huge waves at very high speed so all passengers can throw up in a storm. Fortunately, we didn't encounter a storm. Cunard believes passengers are privileged to travel on the Queen Mary and the ship is exempt from critique. They assume I don't know what great food and service are. Rather than involve employees in a continuous improvement program, Cunard allows employees to distance themselves from customer satisfaction creating an employee culture of excuses explaining away and diminishing passenger problems rather than improving service to fix them. In the embarkation terminal, I heard a Cunard employee laughing at how dumb passengers are citing one who had packed his passport in his luggage. Princess employees would never regard a customer as dumb! Read Less
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