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Sail Date: January 2010
Luckily for Cruiser Ted, he missed the cruise segment Southampton to New York. CJSH is nearer the mark. We crossed the Atlantic with the Queen Mary 2 in May 2006 It was a full, wonderful Cunard experience. From that time we have saved for ... Read More
Luckily for Cruiser Ted, he missed the cruise segment Southampton to New York. CJSH is nearer the mark. We crossed the Atlantic with the Queen Mary 2 in May 2006 It was a full, wonderful Cunard experience. From that time we have saved for a dream holiday on the Queen Victoria. VICTORIA; PRE VOYAGE INFORMATION. THE Southampton pier address was wrong.The New York terminal was given in error as Brooklyn. We travelled with clothes to match the dress code summary. It was wrong. There were three nights formal not five as shown. BOARDING Arrived at Pier 4 Southampton at 1250 on 04 January. A computer failure caused a delay in the Terminal processing until 1535. It happens. During the delay, the only facilities available to some 1800 waiting clients was a small unit, with long queues, serviced by two ladies selling Instant coffee at £1.50 a cup. Cunard service it was not. This was a world cruise. VIRUS Two days after departure, passengers were made aware that novo virus was on board. After midnight on day four, my wife became violently ill. The medical centre advised the infirmary was full, many cases had already been reported and the Medical Officer was snatching a few hours sleep. He arrived at 0500 hours confirmed the symptoms and diagnosed the virus. Understandably, the Medical Officer and crew had to react. He closed THE LIDO Buffet except for beverage service provided by waiters. Closing the Buffet for days on end threw a burden on to the Britannia restaurant. The servers became mechanical, with little interaction and eye contact. After several days absence by four of the six guests from his table our server had no time to welcome us back or ask how we were. We wrote to Cunard on 22 January and four weeks later received a reply. Cunard wrote nine lines on the importance that food contributes to any holiday, one line hoping I had made a full recovery and stressed the importance of customer satisfaction. Ready made paragraphs. Because we had enjoyed the food, we made no comment about it and my wife was ill not me. On all levels, including the entertainment, the QM2 beat it hands down. We will travel Cunard again, but never the Victoria and can only look forward to another QM2 crossing or a voyage on the Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date: April 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: 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
Sail Date: October 2010
Review of Cunard Queen Victoria This is our first cruise on a Cunard ship. We have always been hesitate to make a reservation due to the "class distinction" that we have read about. We will discuss this later in the ... Read More
Review of Cunard Queen Victoria This is our first cruise on a Cunard ship. We have always been hesitate to make a reservation due to the "class distinction" that we have read about. We will discuss this later in the review. This is approximately our 30th cruise in the last thirty years. We are in no way connected with the cruise or travel industry and make all of our travel arrangements independently. The Ship---The Cunard Queen Victoria is relatively new ( first voyage December 2007) and one will find it modern and elegant. The exterior may look like many other ships one has cruised on however the interior is very tastefully done. The company brags that this is part of the youngest fleet on the seas and this is certainly reflected with the interior. The ship the day we boarded was spotless and appeared well maintained. Later we will discuss individual; aspects of the ship. There are 990 cabins that can accommodate 1980 passengers. During our cruise of 12 days the cruise was very smooth. EMBARKATION—We embarked in Venice. In the booklet we received there was check in time listed as 1400, 1430 and 1500. The weather was bad and we had to check out of our hotel by 1200 so we proceeded to the ship by private water taxi. Believe me that is the way to arrive at your ship when in Venice. Luggage is taken at the hotel by the taxi operator and unloaded at the pier without you having to handle the baggage even once. The next time you will see the baggage is outside your stateroom. Now about check in. You have no doubt traveled enough by cruise ship to realize that check in time given you is not always precise. In our case we arrived at the check in pier around 1230 and after filling out a health form we were immediately ushered to a check in counter. The clerk could have cared less about the form we had completed earlier and in fact did not even look at the "e-ticket". He only wanted our name. After checking our passports and signed out credit card form we were given a number to wait to be called for boarding. We waited approximately 20 minutes and went aboard. The process was quick and professional. We went directly to our cabin on deck 5. The cabin was ready however our luggage had not arrived so the four of us headed for Lido for a lunch. Lunch time was uncrowded and was more than adequate. After an hour of so we proceeded to our cabin and to our delight our bags were waiting in the hallway. This has been an extremely good embarkation. You will be ask to surrender your passport which you will not receive back until a day or two before the end of the cruise. Retaining your passport is nothing new as the British were doing this at their hotels decades ago. Is it necessary now---I seriously doubt it however it does provide the cruise line with a sense of control over its passengers. You may encounter some problems in certain ports that you visit. For example in some situations when you exchange currency you will need your passport, otherwise they will not exchange money with you. This is also true in some case where the purchase is large such as the purchase of an expensive watch of jewelry. You may find the lines long on a ship of this size when they decide to return the passport and you pick it up. For almost 2000 passengers there was one line and two clerks. TIP—When boarding a ship always proceed as you know exactly where you are going. If you get lost , ask someone, just don't stop on the gangplank and ask a dozen questions, as there are others behind you waiting to board. It seems that everyone wants to be the first on board and naturally the first to disembark. It just isn't going to happen that way, so build in some patience into your schedule. THE CABIN---I could not believe the staff that referred to your stateroom or cabin as a room. They also must have considered this ship a boat. We were on deck five—mid ship. This is a large ship so sailing should be smooth, however we play the game as some others will and tried to be a cabin in mid-ship to make the ride as smooth as possible. If you travel agent tries to give you an alternate cabin he/she may not be doing their job very well. In this day and time of the internet you can often find out exactly which cabins are available and if you study the ship's layout, ship size, etc. you can come out a winner. Remember I wrote this is a fairly new ship, well the cabin we had certainly reflected this. The cabin was spotless. Nice towels, plenty of amenities in the bath, refrigerator, hair dryer, safe---you know the usual you fine aboard ship. The electrical outlets are particular nice. Recall when you had to carry a lot of adapters to get that charge battery charged or to use the electric razor. This cabin had lots of 100 and 220 volt outlets making recharging very easy. The carpet was very clean thus you don't mind walking around the cabin in your socks. The bedding was very good, however I still have problems with the single beds being pushed together to make a single king size bed. Seems like I always end up sliding toward the middle where the two beds join. The sheets were very good as was the duvet. The cabin took on an air of elegance. Not really large however with the balcony there was a reported 220sq ft. (I did not measure). Excellent lighting in the cabin and one actually had enough light to read by. Everything worked as it should in the bath. We had a small (perhaps 21 inch) flat screen TV. The TV set itself was of poor quality and thus the picture was not very good. The telephone has all those numbers on it such as programming in your own wake up calls automatically. The refrigerator is stocked with soft drinks and water. The prices are very reasonable with Cokes being only $1.95 per can. Our room had a complimentarily half bottle of Champagne waiting for us upon arrival. TIP----I provided a little extra touch for both my spouse and the couple traveling with us by ordering a dozen carnations before the start of the cruise. They were absolutely beautiful and even after a week looked great. When ordering through the ship be sure to remember it takes time to complete the orders thus it is never too early to order. I try to do this a couple of months in advance of the cruise date. LAUNDRY---Why so early to provide a write up on the laundry. Just because it was across the hallway from our cabin. There were three washers and three dryers, open from around 0730 to 2100. Use of the machines was free and the soap was also free. Getting a machine was a challenge as they were always busy with lots of passengers waiting. Remember—I said FREE---so that helps with the wait time. There was also a iron which appeared to be on continually throughout the day. Laundry service is next day after pick up un less you want to pay extra. $5 for a shirt unless expedited then it $7.50. Shorts and socks are $2. We have had better deals on laundry on other cruise lines. The service quality of the clothing upon return was about what you would receive at a laundry in the US. Nothing special. DINING----This is a two class society ship thus if the class distinction disturbs you because you are in the middle class you might want to consider another cruise line. While we discussed this subject often, after getting aboard it no longer mattered. There are some "snoots" in a group no matter when one travels. The aristocrats and the Sultans, the Kings/Queens and those other nobles apparently would naturally be entitled to dine at the Queens Grill and Princess Grill. Since I am not of Royalty I really don't know what they ate as it took a special elevator key to reach their deck. Oh well---I had to settle for the Britannia Restaurant. The four of us had an excellent table located at the far rear of the ship just in front of a large window. This early seating location was excellent. Our waiter and his helper were both very good. They worked hard to please us each evening. The food was okay however I would not be ordering such entrees back in Texas. Too much emphasis put on the name of the entrEe and the presentation rather than the actual quality of the food. On two different nights the fish entrees was soft and mushy, not exactly a reflection of quality. The beef dishes was hard to cut and even harder to chew. Don't get me wrong, the presentation looked great. For dinner you had to order all your courses including desert at one time. Portions are small however always well presented. One tomato and one avocado could serve 50 guests the way the cuts and presentation were may. Now some folks really like this type meal---me I like a steak and baked potatoes---now isn't that gross? On deck two there is Todd English's place where one can have dinner. The place looked nice and generally empty most nights. The cost was $30.00 per person to dine there. We were not optimistic that we would get any better food that what was being served at the Britannica, thus we did not dine any at Todd English's place---perhaps next time old chap! Most passengers have breakfast and lunch at the Lido. The area is broken down into numerous serving areas each with its own kind of food. There was a great pizza and pasta bar at midship. Always plenty of fresh fruit for both lunch and breakfast. Omelets, waffles and eggs cooked to order. The area was always very clean and service was excellent. These young menu and women all seemed to work hard to accommodate the passengers. On Deck 9 at the aft of the ship one will find the Lido Bar & Grill where you can get hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries. You may find this an excellent change from the meals offered in the Britannica and on the Lido cafeteria style dining. The food was actually very good. SHOPPING---Like most cruise ships this ship has shopping at the Royal Arcade. There were some very competitive buys in perfume, leather goods and liquors. Sales are a common occurrence. BEAUTY SHOP -----My spouse seems to always locate and use the beauty shop. Service was good and the price reasonable. In addition she used the nail service in the same area. We did not use the spa service---an area where one can spend a lot of money in a short time. EMPIRE CASINO----This has to be one of the smallest casinos on the seas. Located on Deck two, there are enough slots, roulette and card games to keep one busy. They even have one cent slots. Remember this is an entertainment venue and not an area where one can make money. ROYAL ARCADE----This is shopping and as with most ships there is a small retail outlet where one can purchase from a limited selection of cloths, watches, jewelry, etc. There was a store selling drug items along with candy and a book store. They were nice---expect to pay full retail for most items. Just remember these purchases add to your weight for you place return back home and with that additional cost you may end up paying quite a bit for those extra items. Might I also mention those "duty free stores" you find at the departure of your flight at some ports. These are for the most part becoming high cost liquor and cigarette stores as the prices may be higher than your home town prices. For example the cost of perfume at duty free stores is much more than the cost of the same product aboard ship and in many cases that same product when on sale in the US is actually found at a better price. THE ROYAL THEATER----What a beautiful theater designed for the passenger's viewing without all the small cocktail tables that normally litter the theater area. The productions are what one can find at the college or back street venues. Singers are those that have in the past preformed at clubs or on other ships. Don't expect anything spectacular and you won't be disappointed. Surprisingly there was not one evening where the theater was completely full as there were always seats available at the start of each show. EARLY SEATING OR LATE SEATING----We normally opt for early seating however on this cruise we were rushed after shore tours, thus we noted many passengers had late seating reservations. In fact the late seating filled and there were no additional reservations. We suggest you check the times of your shore tours, decide if you would like to stay up late or retire early. All these should be factors, along with other facts, about your choice of dinner seating. DECK CHAIRS & SEATING----Really nice deck chairs on the cruise. Each has padded inserts and we never found an inadequate supply although we were on one of the last of the season sailings. INTERNET-----The pricing on the internet services is very reasonable compared to other cruise we have been on. Expect the service to be about the same---good on some days and not so many of the days. The internet manager was not found to be helpful thus if you have an issue plan on resolving it yourself. When I advised his I was having difficulty downloading even the New York Times front page, he remarked that I should just keep trying as it would eventually load. The bandwidth for this ship is apparently very narrow. The downloading of attachments has been blocked and the use of such service such as SKYPE has been blocked. I was able to connect from my stateroom on only one day with the rest of the time I had to go to the Internet room for a connection. The service at sea was very slow, sometimes taking 20 minutes to send an e-mail. There are several ship PCs and we always were able to use one when we tried. Many ports where we stopped had cafes with FREE internet service. The only problem was getting there before other passengers arrived. POOLS----One on the aft of deck nine and one in the mid section of the ship on deck 9. They were never full possibly due to the weather, temperature and the fact this is definitely a cruise composed of seniors. In side the stateroom was a couple of beach towels that could be used for the pool or deck chairs. Deck chairs were always available. YOUR FELLOW PASSENGERS-----This ship had about a third of the passengers from the United States followed by the UK and Australia. The remainder was truly a global mix. Many were seniors. Very few (perhaps less than a dozen) children were aboard. The ship's policies stress appropriate dress all over the ship. There write about "strict enforcement". Well maybe—maybe not. We saw many people that certainly did not have formal wear on during formal wear evenings. Even saw tennis shoes which according to the policy is strictly forbidden. Very few men had true formal wear and most had n ice suits or casual formal were such as a white jacket with dark trousers. Even the females tended not to be all that formal on formal nights. The trend away from such dress is everywhere and Cunard has failed to escape that march to a more relaxed and informal attire. I personally think the cruise line has gone somewhat overboard on their so called dress code. Too many formal nights and too many "elegant nights". While some are certainly in order there are too many on this cruise. I realize this just fits the personality of those aboard who believe most of us are "peasants" from another planet. Some might say "good morning" however looking in your direction must be forbidden. I have to put my two feet into the legs of my trousers to get them on---wonder how "they" do it? Suggestions----Say Good Morning or Good Day to everyone you meet on this ship. It will disgust the aristocrat however at the end of the day you will feel really good about all those "stuffed shirts" you met. TOURS ON SHORE----Cunard need to quickly resolve their shore tours issues. This was an area we found totally unacceptable and we will explain. Many tours originated from the Royal Theater where a Cunard person was to have been to pass out tour bus stickers and get the passengers to their bus. The person in charged was always late, floated around the area and frankly got little accomplished in his disorganized manor. He lover the microphone and made every attempt to be out early morning comedian which none of us found amusing. He just could not get an handle on organizations. Once the group ending up in the infirmary as they attempted to get off the ship and he was no where to be found although he was the one directly the group. We found some tours have lunch with them with lunches being all the way from excellent to very poor. There is really no way to know unless you have been on the exact tour before. One could find the exact opposite if the tour originated in the Queen's Room as they was well planned, orderly managed and the groups were all together. So you see Cunard can get it right! Shore tours in general are usually a "rip off" and I don't apologize for the statement. It is a money making operation for the cruise industry in general and the paying customers are treated no more than a herd of cattle. There are much better tours available on shore including private tours. The problem here though is the risk that is involved. Go with a ship's tours and the ship will wait if something unfortunate happens. Go with a private tour and you miss the ship's departure , then get ready to shell out some big dollars for the flight to the next port and even then you may not get out of town since more than likely the ship is holding your passport. On a private tour you can avoid the crowds, have personal attention, learn a lot more and dine for lunch at the restaurant of your choice. Just remember the risk involved. PURSER----We are among the very lucky passengers as we seem never to have problems with our last bill. TIP---Check on a regular basis to see if your charges are up to date and correct. Just ask the purser's office for a current copy. Usually the charges are very current and up to date. DAILY NEWS OR EVENTS----The ship provides both a daily news summary and daily events bulletin to your stateroom. The printing quality on the Queen Victoria is very poor. Some pages of our news was totally unreadable as the ink was too light. Watch for smeared ink on the slick paper daily bulletin as it was get on your hands and clothes. The English language in the bulletin is about as poor as my writing and language. Read carefully as we had two different times to arrive in port and the name of the port was listed as different locations. One never knows!!These were delivered nightly to your cabin. ORGANIZED SPORTS------The day of the real organized sports is fading from the cruise industry. Remember the days when you could go to the aft of the ship and skeet shoot. Those days are gone. There is now paddle tennis, ping pong and cards. Just kidding—there are no cards. SHIP TOURS-----Like organized sports the tours of the ship including the bridge and galley have but all disappeared in this day and time PHOTO GALLERY----I have written in the past and once again write in this review that the photo section of the ship a big money maker selling SNAPSHOTS. These are not professional portrait makers although they may try to sell you a large photo they label as a portrait. These are being shot with a camera like you and I carry on board and are being printed on printers like you and I have at home. The difference is they are may production people and wants they take and print is what they try to sell you. Forget the touch ups, the quality enhancement, they are just too busy to do this extra done by hand work. We noted the price of snapshots were $24.95 for what is actually a 5 X 7 photos on a slightly larger piece of photo paper. If you wasn't to pay those price , go ahead, however you are paying a lot for very little. Ay Ephesus there are young boys that have set up their own snapshot photo business. They take your photo while you are on tour, rush the memory card to a van where a printer waits to prints the images. These are taken back to the entrance of your bus and offered to you for approximately $5 per 5 X 7. In reality these pictures are worthless to these young men after you board the bus thus negotiations are always in order. I purchased my set for $2.50 each and got as good or better quality than those on the ship. DANCE ----The Queen's Room is very nice with a very large dance floor open every evening for your dance pleasure. There is also harp music and violin music in other venues aboard the ship. It's always interesting from a novice's standpoi8nt to be the Fred ASTAIR AND Ginger Roger's "want to be's". Even laughable at times and this dance floor was no exception. Look for the bright shiny dresses that are designed to get your attention as some couple no doubt want to be on Dancing With The Stars. For a great view there is the club on Deck 10 forward. BARS---There is the Queens Room, the Champagne Bar and the Chart Room---all elegant and a nice place to relax with a drink. The service was excellent. Then you will find the Golden Lion Pub and Dixieland jazz. At the Hemispheres there was DJ Graham & Changez. You can also find the Commodore Club, the Midship's Lounge and Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar. The PLAY ZONE---This is the children's area located on Deck 10. Although we never saw any children in this playa re it is very nice. The Zone is in the same immediate area and is for the pre-teen. There were computers and other such items for entertainment. CARD ROOM---One of the nicest card room on any ship. Very adequate for this ship and used by a large host of passengers. The pale is well lighted and elegance that matches others rooms in that area. An area that most passengers try to avoid is the MEDICAL CENTER located on Deck A. The area was clearly marked and very clean. We did not accommodate them with a visit however. ART Gallery---Like many large cruise ships there is an art gallery which sells , although they call it an auction, "pictures" and "paintings". Cunard's Fine Arts located deck 3 B stairway. FLORIST---Forgot to order those special flowers for a special passengers. Don't worry -just dial the florist or visit the Purser's Office to place an on board order. LIBRARY---This ship has the best library we have ever encountered aboard a cruise ship. Located on Decks 2 & 3, there are hundreds and hundreds of books that can be checked out. Even if you are not a reader visit this library. It is one of a kind. TELEPHONE SERVICE---As you are aware the telephone service aboard a cruise ship is very expensive. In order to avoid these expensive charges make arrangements with your carrier before you leave home by purchasing the international roaming service where the per minute calls can be reduced substantially. This calling will only work in port and then not at all hours. For example the ship turned their service on about an hour before we left the post at Santorini, this our phone no longer connected with our provider but rather with the more expensive ship service. Almost forgot the Cigar Room. The reason we never saw it open but could smell the smoke. Located on Deck 10. DISEMBARKATION------Well we just learned we are assigned to disembark at 0945. We have a tour guide meeting us in Rome at 0900. Looks like we will be late. We were assigned cream baggage tags and according to the purser's office cannot change this unless we agree to carry off all our baggage ourselves. That is not going to happen—thus we need to call Bruno and advise his we will be a little late. SUMMARY---This is a very nice and elegant ship. Would we travel on the Queen Victoria again? There is far too much formality for us. We are beyond the "dress up" and "tuxedo" status every night. Done that for years and now find since we retired, we would have a relaxed cruise. While the ship is really nice and most elegant, we more than likely will drop down a notch and go with a cruise line with less formality, less rigidness with a little more friendliness from the staff. This might very well be the exact cruise for you or perhaps you might want to try Cunard at least once. Expect to pay a little more as bargain cruise rates may be difficult to find. 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
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: November 2010
To be able to go on a new Cunard ship, only a month after its maiden voyage, was a very exciting experience. Queen Elizabeth was everything one expects from Cunard and more ..... having experienced the QE2 and a trans-Atlantic voyage on ... Read More
To be able to go on a new Cunard ship, only a month after its maiden voyage, was a very exciting experience. Queen Elizabeth was everything one expects from Cunard and more ..... having experienced the QE2 and a trans-Atlantic voyage on the QM2, could Cunard offer better? My answer is without any shadow of a doubt, an outstanding "YES". The experience was somewhat short and sweet - 5 nights with a two-day stay in Amsterdam, a day in Zeebrugge and one in Cherbourg - but interesting and exciting at the same time. Parking in Southampton arranged by CPS was very efficient and a good start - no waiting, no problems. Embarkation was quick and efficient followed by lunch on board. On arrival at our balcony stateroom, our luggage had already been delivered. Leaving and arriving at ports in darkness is not very picturesque but leaving Southampton was somewhat enhanced by the city's lights. The English Channel is not the best water to sail but the QE took it in her stride on each occasion - the last time across from Cherbourg in high winds but the crossing was as smooth as one ever and the QE was greeted by one of HM's frigates which came alongside and fired a salute - very exciting. The QE experience was enhanced at dinner on each evening - the food was always so well presented - how do they maintain such standards on big ships at sea? The restaurant service - from Sheryllyn and Edward was the best yet - and Paco, our wine waiter was superb - but how could Real Madrid lose to Barcelona by five-nil - Paco was upset. Out and about on board was a pleasurable experience - the bars and cafes were welcoming - all the crew went the extra mile. In my experience, I would go so far as saying that overall this QE crew are the best ever! The shops were well stacked - no duty-free because we didn't venture outside the EU. The Golden Lion was pleasant - trivia quizzes were good - something for everyone. The entertainment from the ship's entertainers was very good - the guest comedian was the only disappointment - I thought he might be more suitable at a stag-night or a hen-party - few seemed to really enjoy his performance. Disembarkation was quick and efficient - the car was parked about 200 metres from the exit to the Terminal - and away we sped after an excellent new QE experience. Would I go again? Undoubtedly "YES". Read Less
Sail Date: November 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: December 2010
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: February 2011
It was slightly less than what we expected. The food was unsurprising,not imaginative or original. We understand they cater to varied tastes. What we disliked most were the pastries. Great wine list but rather expensive. ... Read More
It was slightly less than what we expected. The food was unsurprising,not imaginative or original. We understand they cater to varied tastes. What we disliked most were the pastries. Great wine list but rather expensive. Starting dinner at 8,30 pm followed by a show at 10,30 pm means a very late bed-time.Because of this we missed many shows. We liked the magician and the dancers. Dressing up each evening is a hassle. Dinner is a fussy affair on this ship. You have the option of the self service though. Cabin adequate with comfortable balcony. Staff most friendly and polite at all times. One great plus : the LIBRARY ! The weather during most of this cruise was frisky and cloudy. So we spent a lot of time there. One last BIG complaint. Not for the cruise line. Disembarkation took 4 hours because of long lines at re-entry U.S. immigration.We lost a full half day of our holiday because of this disagreeable interminable long wait. The cruise had a stopover in Ensenada. I would gladly have missed this kitschy,seedy tourist-trap if it had meant a faster disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We love QM2 so thought we would try QV. Embarkation, with priority boarding was a breeze,from drop off to on board about 20 minutes. Cabin 8040 is A-1 fwd with balcony. Very clean BUT the bathroom is so small one can brush teeth, pee, and ... Read More
We love QM2 so thought we would try QV. Embarkation, with priority boarding was a breeze,from drop off to on board about 20 minutes. Cabin 8040 is A-1 fwd with balcony. Very clean BUT the bathroom is so small one can brush teeth, pee, and shower all in one place...if you are tall..well, mind your head. Did manage to stow all of our stuff however..suitcases fit nicely under the bed. Our cabin steward, Rick, did a super job taking care of us. We liked the lay-out of the ship, nice feel in all the areas,even tho the ship was full did not feel crowded...we found the staff and passengers extremely friendly, did not encounter and grumps! Our recent experiences have been on QM2 PG dining room so we struggled with the Britannia dining room for dinner. Tho the service was ok the main courses were...tasteless...apps and soups and salads and desserts were good...several times we just had soup and salad. We did enjoy in the Lido, very good fresh made pizza, burgers and great fries, and a good salad selection. Also for breakfast fresh cooked eggs to order. Entertainment & speaker we are split on. I thought the after dinner shows were great the speakers good except for one who was teaching a class...in a dull voice! We had loads of laughs in the Pub for games after the show..or dancing every night in the Queens Room. Cunard has the very best ships for ballroom dancers afloat. Large dance floors! Afternoon tea or a classical concert. Cunard does a super job keeping passengers busy. Or a quiet read in the very nice library. If you enjoy meeting new people than you can't go wrong with a Cunard cruise, we have always found our fellow travelers very interesting and well traveled! We had 4 formal nights in 14 days...I love it... All in all the only problem we had was dinner in the Britannia dining room, we are Calif foodies...and we found the dinner hit and miss! Disembarkation in LA was very smooth. Our time was 8:50am we were at the curb by 9:15am! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
This was our third voyage on Cunard, the first two on the "Queen Mary 2", this one on the "Queen Victoria". Comparing the two ships was easy! They are both beautiful, but the "QM2" shines! She has that ... Read More
This was our third voyage on Cunard, the first two on the "Queen Mary 2", this one on the "Queen Victoria". Comparing the two ships was easy! They are both beautiful, but the "QM2" shines! She has that extra pizzaz and "wow factor" that is missing on the "QV". After talking with several fellow passengers, the consensus was the same. We loved our balcony cabin with it's tiny shower in the bathroom. One of our tablemates suggested that you soap the shower walls and then "twirl"! Didn't try it, but sounded like a hoot! We had plenty of drawer and closet space. Our room steward, Benny, was very efficient. He kept our cabin spotless and the ice bucket filled. The weather on this particular voyage wa quite cloudy and windy....not what we expected on crossing the Pacific Ocean in February. In the fourteen days we were sailing, we had two sunny days on the ship and only two of the four islands had sunny warm weather. Definitely not Cunard's problem! Our dinner in the Britannia every night was delightful. Sandy, our head waiter, was absolutely flawless in his presentations. He has many years experience with Cunard, and it shows! His assistant, Jacek, from Poland, was my favorite! He is young, eager and ready to go far in this world! What a smile! Our wine steward, Rao, was new on the job with this cruise, and learned his duties very quickly. Three out of the six at our table requested drinks with a little extra flair (blue cheese stuffed olives in their Manhattans and Martinis) and Rao came through! The food was delicious! We ate most of our meals in Britannia,and a few lunches in the Lido. The portions were just right, soups and entrees always hot and tasty. The desserts were spectacular! We had the same delightful tablemates at dinner every night, and sat with different people at breakfast and lunch. We saw all of the shows in the Royal Court Theater. Every one was professional and elegantly done. The costumes were amazing. Two shows featured John England, a pianist who "blew our sox off"! He played requests that passengers asked for during the trip. I do know that "As Time Goes By" will never sound as good as when he played it. My only complaint was that on a cruise to Hawaii, it would have been nice to be presented with a flower lei on landing at any one of the four islands. You could buy them after leaving the ship in the four ports, but that extra touch from Cunard wasn't there. There was no luau on board or offered in the tour packages on any of the islands. We had a wonderful vacation that was a year in the planning and flew by too quickly! I would sail on the "Queen Victoria" again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
This was our sixth time with Cunard and perhaps the most enjoyable.There were far more pluses than minus this time. The new class of Cunard ships is far ahead of the competition. The size is just about right and the layout is the most ... Read More
This was our sixth time with Cunard and perhaps the most enjoyable.There were far more pluses than minus this time. The new class of Cunard ships is far ahead of the competition. The size is just about right and the layout is the most convenient of any other ship that we have been. I never got turned around in the wrong direction as I have on other ships. The main theater and entertainment was of a better quality than any other ship we have been on in 25+ years of cruising. Drinks were only served in the private balconies so waiters were pestering people to buy a drink. There was no place to rest a drink in the auditorium if you brought one in with you. A big minus was the fact that there were no hand rails in the theater so it was hard getting up and down the stairs. I saw several people fall during rough weather.The lectures and lecturers were top notch as well as other entertainment. None of the venues were too crowded that you would have to come extra early to get a seat The cabin was about average in size and didn't have as large a TV screen as some other newer ships. There was adequate storage space but the closet door interfered with the bathroom door. The bathroom was way to small with a tiny sink that constantly spewed water all over. They shower was almost too small to use without getting water out in the bathroom and the shower head was fixed in place so you could not direct it around your body.There was no night light in the bathroom and nowhere to plug one in. We missed having a bath tub like Holland America and a few of the upscale cruise lines.The refrigerator was of an adequate size and not a lot on mini bar stuff jamming it up. The door to the balcony was on hinges instead of an inconvenient sliding door. Launderettes on each deck were small but very convenient. The ports of call were nice and it was easy to disembark and return. The main dining room was laid out good and had more room between tables that some of the other new ships. The food was good as well as the wait staff. the cafeteria was laid out well and the food was of a better quality than other ships specially the coffee and tea. Eating in the Pub was nice and it was not surcharged like some other venues. All in all it was a very pleasant trip and I am hesitant to back on other cruise lines when comparing the bottom line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
A little background: I'm a solo traveler by choice, love to be on my own, don't like being held to a schedule, and am very happy if I do nothing more each day than sleep late, read my stack of books, and spend time on the ... Read More
A little background: I'm a solo traveler by choice, love to be on my own, don't like being held to a schedule, and am very happy if I do nothing more each day than sleep late, read my stack of books, and spend time on the internet. I wanted a voyage that would allow me to do things my way instead of being regimented, and I wanted to avoid all sorts of crowds, queues, announcements in my stateroom, and distractions of any kind. I also very much wanted great food and service in an intimate setting. Queen's Grill on Cunard's Queen Victoria gave me all of that and more. Embarkation in Ft Lauderdale was effortless; I arrived about 2PM, was taken directly to my suite, and within 15 minutes my bags had arrived. Galvin, my butler, helped me unpack and in less than an hour clothes were hung and bags stowed under the bed. Next I checked with Maitre'd Andrew Nelder in Queen's Grill and was delighted to learn that my request for a table for one had been arranged. I felt very lucky as I had dreaded sitting for hours at a large table, and at that moment Andrew became my hero!The most important event for me each day was dining in the Queen's Grill. I have crossed on the QM2 in QG but thought the dining room was one of the least attractive high-end restaurants I've ever been in. Not so on QV . . . the room is drop-dead gorgeous and the lighting superb. And additionally, Andrew Nelder is the archetypal Maitre'd, both in appearance and in the professionalism that radiates from him. Hollywood casting at its best couldn't have done any better! He looked after me so well during those 16 days that I was nearly in tears when the time came to say goodbye. We sailed on schedule and my first dinner in QG set the pattern for the entire trip. Very good wait staff, a wonderful sommelier named Stalin, and simply marvellous food and service... that first night I knew I'd found a very special place where I was sure to come back to. The great thing about QG is ordering off-menu and I did this several times, but always with 24 hours notice. My favorites were Chateaubriand for one, dover sole, steak Diane, crepes suzette, cherries Jubilee -- all done at table with flames and flourishes. I also loved the cold fruit soups, especially the raspberry with sloe gin which I repeated at dinner one night in a soup plate, giving me about 3 portions instead of one that comes in the soup bowl. When my waiter learned that I was fond of cinnamon ice cream a supply was kept in the freezer for me. Best of all, I requested a dessert made with lemoncello and the next night I was offered a choice of two: roulade or lemoncello jello. The roulade was excellent, but the following night I tried the jello... it was the star and I had two servings of it.My suite was midship on deck 7 and although we had four days of strong gales I was never bothered by the motion. The bed was a dream... lots of wonderful down pillows and bedding of the highest quality. Loved the configuration of the suite: sitting room and bedroom separated by a heavy curtain, ample storage space and a good clothes closet. With this set-up I could order a cold breakfast (hot coffee in the thermos) and sleep as late as I liked knowing that when I awoke my breakfast would be on the table. The piEce de resistánce of my suite was a huge deep jacuzzi tub with separate shower in one room, and a toilet and hand basin in an adjoining one. There were high quality toiletries and plenty of shelf room at each end of the counter. Marble galore... floors, walls, counters, everywhere. I was surprised that there was no double sink in the bathroom, especially as this Q6 suite was to become Q4 on the voyage following ours. I skipped entertainment completely -- no shows, no lectures or concerts, and no scheduled activities. Used the fitness room a couple of times and liked their equipment. Had a manicure and pedicure at the spa (very good) and also a scalp massage and treatment for my dry hair (massage was great, treatment was not). Checked out the library and was surprised not to find a single biography of Queen Victoria. But there were prints, watercolors, sketches and photos of Victoria, Albert and the family (including favorite dogs) scattered about the ship and I loved seeking them out and putting names to the faces. We called at seven ports: I didn't leave the ship in Cape Canaveral, did a stroll around Nassau, another stroll at the port in Bermuda where there was a very nice 'shopping mall' -- architecturally rustic and quite attractive with some good shops. Then came the Azores where I joined up with two other cruisers whom I'd met on the cc roll call for a wonderful drive through the most amazing countryside. The island is a treasure -- green, lush, fabulous plants and flowers in riotous colors, cloud-covered mountaintops -- totally unspoiled and breathtakingly beautiful. The time there was all too short, I so hope that I'll be able to return one day.Next stop was Lisbon. I had arranged for a full day private tour with a highly recommended guide; as I had spent time in Lisbon before we headed north to the hill town of Óbidos, a beautifully preserved example of medieval architecture lying 100 km north of Lisbon. The streets and squares were filled with color and bright flowers were everywhere. We also stopped in Sintra, a World Heritage Site, and then drove along the coast where many once-royal personages had lived in exile, and finally back to the ship. Cohb, Ireland was charming, I did my usual stroll around with some friends, and we ended up at a terrace cafe where we drank very good Irish coffee and watched the world go by. Final port was Le Havre but I stayed on the ship to get my packing organized for debarkation the following morning.For months before the sailing I had been apprehensive about clothes: five formal nights, six semi-formal and something different each night was the message I was getting from reading the boards. So I shopped too much and I packed too much and in the end I learned a lesson about 16 day cruises: no one cares if you wear the same outfit twice or even three times. And another thing, gowns don't have to sweep the floor, they can be ankle length or even shorter. I mention this as I read many other posters asking these questions and I want to reassure them that you can take less and feel completely comfortable and appropriately dressed.Debarkation was smooth with no glitches. I was sending a bag home with the White Star Luggage service and their representative had been very helpful on board taking care of the paperwork, so all I had to do was leave the bag at their pick-up point and be on my way. I stayed on in England for four days and when I got home last night the bag had already arrived safe and sound. Bravo White Star Luggage!My one quibble -- and it is an important one -- is the internet. The problem is that it's both incredibly sluggish and incredibly expensive. I've heard that nothing can be done about the speed but I don't think that's true. It's a simple matter of money; to upgrade the system to 21st century standards Cunard will have to invest money. I hope they will decide to do that... the internet is almost what makes the world go round these days. For me, this comes close to being a deal-breaker... without it a two week cruise would be my limit.Internet aside, Queen Victoria has turned out to be an excellent match for me. Although there were nearly 2,000 passengers aboard I never had the feeling of being crowded or overwhelmed. I could easily find the peace and quiet I craved without raining on anyone else's parade. I had come aboard with only two priorities -- being reclusive by day and dining superbly each night. Both of these were fulfilled far beyond my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: March 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
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: March 2011
Just completed the Panama Canal cruise on the Queen Victoria. It was our first time on Cunard cruise and may be the last. If this is what Cunard has become under Carnival ownership, it's a lost cause. There are simple better ... Read More
Just completed the Panama Canal cruise on the Queen Victoria. It was our first time on Cunard cruise and may be the last. If this is what Cunard has become under Carnival ownership, it's a lost cause. There are simple better options for the same price.There was none of the great style and service Cunard is noted for. Our cabin steward was pleasant and did a nice job. The Britannia dining room was seriously lacking. The food was bland and boring. Example: the hollandaise sauce was just a tasteless yellow blob on the eggs benedict. I had to request various condiments to 'doctor' it up to have an approximation of a good hollandaise. The deserts were fair to good. Their idea of cheesecake was more like a gelatin pudding, not at all rich. The soups were the exception - all great. So too were the hamburgers in the pool grill. Service in the dining room was spotty. At breakfast one morning, we (the whole table) waited 50 minutes for our meals to be served and then the wrong orders were delivered. Dinner service was highly variable. One night, about 30 minutes elapsed between starters and entrees. Another time, all the elements were brought for coffee - cup and saucer, cream, sugars, spoon - but no coffee. But another night, we were whisked in and out so fast, we were there less than an hour - too fast. As soon as we set down our forks, our plates were grabbed away. And the servers continually confused the orders of the 2 gentlemen at the table. Our server was very nice and usually attentive, so maybe it was the kitchen that caused some of the delays. But refills for water, coffee, etc. are not kitchen issues. Similarly the service was very much 'hit or miss' in the Winter Garden bar. The one woman server managed to ignore us quite easily, but the male waiters were very attentive.All these things might have been overlooked because the cruise stops after Mexico were all good - interesting, well run tours. The entertainment programs each night were also great. However, the real 'deal breaker' was the purser. What could have been an easily remedied misunderstanding instead left a very sour taste because of her rude, dismissive attitude. She had two opportunities to provide an appropriate solution with grace and good manners and failed in both interactions. This is not the Cunard my parents and grandparents sailed on by a long shot. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2011
We had quite a few worries before we arrived on board. I have to say that none of them were borne out. We enjoyed the trip immensely.We were a party of four: two elderly parents with two thirty-something offspring. Would there be enough ... Read More
We had quite a few worries before we arrived on board. I have to say that none of them were borne out. We enjoyed the trip immensely.We were a party of four: two elderly parents with two thirty-something offspring. Would there be enough to keep everyone interested? We took plenty of reading just in case. Very little reading was done; the on-board activities were many and varied. There was a show in the Royal Court Theatre every night - twice, actually: one for each dinner Sitting - and the standard of entertainment was high indeed. The Royal Cunard Singers, a close harmony group, were as good as you would find anywhere. We were really impressed. The dancers, too were excellent. Other acts, whilst making rather less of an impact on us, were also of high standard. The theatre itself is surprisingly large with none of the usual obstructions (pillars etc) we have seen on other vessels. Were it not for the gentle swaying of the ship you could imagine yourself in a medium-sized venue ashore. The ceiling is high and there are upstairs and downstairs seats.The ballroom is advertised as the largest afloat and I am prepared to believe it. Once again no compromise seems to have been made just because it is on a ship. It is a full-sized affair that would not disgrace your local venue. Here, in addition to the obvious balls, dancing lessons were given and the daily afternoon tea sessions took place: tea, sandwiches, and cakes served at table in typically English fashion. The third major venue is called "Illuminations." This is the world's only sea-going planetarium which doubles as a perfectly adequate cinema and theatre. Here it was we enjoyed "The King's Speech" - there was a different film every night: all up-to-date. Although there were some technical problems that delayed the planetarium presentations, we were astonished by "Cosmic Collisions" and "Search for Life" as we reclined on the special seating in almost total darkness. German guests had their own presentations. In was here, too, that the Cunard Insights lectures took place: talks on a variety of topics by expert speakers including astronomer Mark Butterworth and journalist Jerry Eskenazi.Especially enjoyable was the programme of events provided by the group from RADA. In addition to conducting an excellent series of workshops on storytelling, the group presented performances of "Canterbury Tales" and "Much Ado About Nothing" in the theatres, and read bedtime stories and ghost stories at other venues, as well as "Jazz Poetry" and "Passion and Piano" which we were not able to see: there was simply too much to do. Thus we did not use the pub, the casino, the Winter Gardens or the Chart Room, and spent only a little while in the Library. The youngsters spent quite a lot of time in the fitness room, and seemed pretty content with arrangements there.There was one major disruption to the programme of events on 29th April when the Royal Wedding was shown on TV in cabins and on the big screen in the Illuminations cinema. Many other events were poorly attended that day, which is not surprising. Most of the ladies loved it, and Cunard rose to the occasion with a special afternoon tea, dinner menu, souvenir menus, complimentary wedding cake for all guests, and special souvenir items on sale in the Mayfair shops. Dinner that night was Formal - an exception to the normal pattern. There are normally two formal nights when dinner suits are pretty well mandatory. On our trip, of course, there were three. It all adds to the overall atmosphere and fun. A few people let the side down by not adhering to dress codes, but then...We all love dining out and enjoy good food. The Britannia Restaurant did not disappoint. Far from it. The fare was consistently as good as our favourite restaurants at home. Furthermore, our special needs did not cause any problems. One of our party is vegetarian, and was able to select from an extensive vegetarian alternative menu daily - or select from the regular one. I am diet-controlled diabetic, and once more there was no problem. I did not need the special diabetic menu: the regular one had sufficient choice of suitable items.We were impressed by the overall standards of cleanliness, not only in the staterooms, but throughout the ship. We managed to get a glimpse into the kitchens. Absolutely shiny and spotless!A few grumbles: Internet access is expensive. So is the Hair Salon ($200+ for partial highlights: $120 quoted, but then a surprise $80+ for shampoo and blow-dry, as if there is any choice about this.) $11 per person per day is added automatically to your cabin account. No real problem there, the service was excellent and well worth it: I'd just prefer it included in the ticket price. But then another 15% gratuity is added to the price of drinks and some other services, and there is room on the payment slip to add yet an extra tip! A tip + a tip + a tip?A few tips:We discovered that getting a cab from Manhattan to Brooklyn can be a real problem around 3pm: the time that the taxi drivers change shifts. (We made our own arrangements in Manhattan.)There was no problem arranging for our cabin cards to open both cabins and getting different cards allocated to different credit cards.Laundry is not a problem. There are several self-service laundries with dryers and ironing facilities, and they are free to use but not available 24/7.You can get tea, coffee, snacks, etc in the King's Court just about anytime, and full meals most of the time - all free.Disabled access throughout the vessel is first-class. Lifts are provided wherever needed.Room service is free.We were glad we chose the early (6pm) sitting for dinner. Otherwise it's late nights if you want to include the shows.The clocks go forward one hour per day on the Eastbound crossing.There are phones located all around the ship and you can use these to ring you cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2011
Four of us [myself/wife/son/daughter-in-law, travelled on Monday 23rd May last,and stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express,in Southampton,because of the distance involved,over 250 miles..This allowed plenty of time,especially if ... Read More
Four of us [myself/wife/son/daughter-in-law, travelled on Monday 23rd May last,and stayed one night at the Holiday Inn Express,in Southampton,because of the distance involved,over 250 miles..This allowed plenty of time,especially if anything went wrong....[but didn`t]. We made our way to BCP Cruise International carparking in the morning of 24th May,and they then tranferred us to Southampton dockside,where our cases were taken from the bus and thats all we saw of them until a couple of hours later,outside our cabins.....Embarkation looked impossible when we eventually arrived at the booking section,so many people, but the card we were given "L" was called not too long afterwards and we were then processed and given our QM identification cards,which acted as "passports/credit cards" for the duration of our holiday period.the whole period of time from entering to actually being in our cabin took about an hour,including passing through Security,before allowed aboard. When we arrived at our cabin,and used the given card to enter,we were amazed at the interior, Enough storage space for three cases and a king sized bed, two seater[which would have acted as another double bed,small dressing table and a balcony [albeit with an "obstructed" lifeboat view-but nevertheless sufficient for our pleasure] After putting away some of our clothes,hunger and beihg of an investigative nature,the four of us went searching for dinner. The Kings Court on dect 7 was a hive if industry with all new passengers taking advantage of a wonderful spread and we were soon well fed. Because of a lot of passengers coming aboard at the same time,table space was at a premium,but suitable seating was soon found in one of the may available tables. We found details of our dining arrangements in our cabin and went looking for the restaurant..everything found to be fine,including the "Golden Lion" pub on deck two,the facilities on board the QM2 are unbelievable in that nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff at each location, a wonderful start to our cruise......Every evening our dinner table was served by two members of the crew and we were looked after very well by them for the 10 nights.[even to having a birthday cake-on 31st May-plus the birthday song by the serving staff] and at the end of the cruise,we were presented with a copy of the menu`s we had each evening Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We arrived at Heathrow and traveled to Southampton by car. The boarding process was smooth although made a little tedious. We had arrived early and although the pre-trip information stated boarding would begin at Noon, we watched ... Read More
We arrived at Heathrow and traveled to Southampton by car. The boarding process was smooth although made a little tedious. We had arrived early and although the pre-trip information stated boarding would begin at Noon, we watched 'priority' passengers begin boarding around 11:00. Once we were called the process was smooth and we were in our cabin by around 12:30. The cabin lived up to our expectations. We requested the bed in the king configuration--which worked well and likely gives just a little more space. Bathroom is small but this is a ship--I don't expect a large bathroom unless paying for premium stateroom. The provided bathrobe and slippers were a nice touch. We enjoyed the balcony--we were about midships, just below the Lido Restaurant. We had been upgraded from an A4 cabin. I overheard someone complaining about the noise from above but we only heard rolling carts at various times--not enough to disturb us. Perhaps there are cabins in other areas on the same deck that are more subject to noise disturbance--we experienced none really. This was my first experience with a balcony and we did enjoy--especially my cigar-smoking partner. This was also my first experience on a ship larger than about 1,000 passengers. I found the QV to be comfortable and did not feel crowded. I don't think I would like to try a larger ship but who knows what the future may bring.The Lido was great for breakfast, lunch, and snacking. I also enjoyed being one deck below the Lido entrance where I could get a cup of tea whenever I wanted. The overall decor pays homage to Cunard's history and I enjoyed walking the stairs, seeing paintings of various ships, and photographs of famous past passengers. The mid ship area around the pavilion pool is very nice, as is the back, open deck on deck 8. We did not have great weather so I didn't use the outside areas as much as I would have liked.Dinners were excellent. We (first seating) were seated at a table right near a window on the first level of the Britannia. I appreciate the fact that QV sticks to the formal night atmosphere (there were 3) and turns people away from the dining room if not in 'proper' attire. I really dislike having formal nights on a ship where some people turn up in jeans and a t shirt. There 2 days at sea and 4 ports. I appreciated the courtesy shuttle at Dublin and Bilbao. Our captain was particularly likable. First captain I've encountered who enjoys his social responsibilities as much as his naval chores. All in all a very nice experience. I've signed up for another QV cruise--in November of this year. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We wanted to see what this new ship was like. So on 23rd May we boarded her for a six-day min-cruise up and down the Channel. First impressions were good. The Queen Elizabeth is still so new that the paintwork sparkles, the ... Read More
We wanted to see what this new ship was like. So on 23rd May we boarded her for a six-day min-cruise up and down the Channel. First impressions were good. The Queen Elizabeth is still so new that the paintwork sparkles, the woodwork glows and the whole ambience is fresh and bright. The subdued Art deco style is restful and reassuring, evocative of the great days of ocean liners. Layout is thoughtfully planned, with spacious public areas and easy-to-follow routes around the ship. The downside? Our A3 cabin was decidedly smaller than those we are used to in this category. Whilst it is neatly laid out and well appointed, we're not sure we would want to spend a longish time (eg for a world cruise) in so small a space. However, the beds were splendidly comfortable and a feather pillow was found for Caroline, so we slept well. The staff seem to be highly motivated, cheerful and well trained, mastering the art of being helpful without being obtrusive. We like the way in which tips are added automatically to one's account. Then if anyone deserves something extra, one can always add it. The food was excellent. We're always astonished at what a chef can achieve on board a cruise ship, and this catering was exceptional. Plenty of choice, creative ideas on the menu and the Lido buffet was definitely a notch above the usual standard for this level of eating. But we missed those intimate little (often Italian style) alternative eateries which we have come to enjoy on other ships. Instead, the huge Lido buffet is turned into a partially alternative eating area providing a different menu (eg Asian, Mexican, South American) each evening. The snag with this is that whilst the food may be quite exotic, the setting is still that of a conventional buffet. Added to which, the Lido is long and rambling with no consistent scheme for the display of food. Confused couples drift back and forth wondering where they should start their search for a meal. The Royal Court theatre is quite astounding - a real theatre with stalls, circle and boxes, with none of the usual problems with sight lines and seating. Shows were of a good standard with a particularly amusing comedian/pianist. The library is also spectacular. It occupies two decks, joined by an impressive spiral staircase, and one can choose from some 6,000 books, many of them almost new. This is the best ship's library we have ever come across. Afternoon tea is quite genuinely a special experience. In the Queen's Room white-gloved waiters and waitresses serve a choice of teas with accompanying scones, sandwiches and cakes. It's all very elegant and "Cunard". Poor weather meant that we really couldn't make best use of the ports visited (apart from a few hours in Amsterdam and a trip to Blankenburg) but we noted that Bruges, Paris, WW1 battlefields and other interesting locations were included, which could be ideal for some visitors. We thoroughly enjoyed our mini-cruise, but would a sparkling ship, fine cuisine and attentive staff compensate for a smaller than usual cabin on longer trips? We're still undecided. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2011
From the moment we embarked in record time-15 minutes, we were welcomed, made to feel comfortable and began to relax in the majestic surroundings of QM2. The food was incredibly good, Todd English restaurant could not do enough to make our ... Read More
From the moment we embarked in record time-15 minutes, we were welcomed, made to feel comfortable and began to relax in the majestic surroundings of QM2. The food was incredibly good, Todd English restaurant could not do enough to make our anniversary dinner special and delicious. Our stateroom was immaculately pristine complete with champagne and spirits, ice and mix. The service in the Queens Grill would be hard to beat in the finest establishments, simply put - we felt very spoiled! To top things off, we had been upgraded from Princess Grill, which in previous trips we have found to be outstanding! What a fine start. We attended all of the lectures on Shakespeare by Emma Smith (very good!) and all of those by John Maxtone-Smith on cruise ships (excellent) but were disappointed with Dr. Ruth, so left early. There was so much to do, even Julliard Jazz musicians were superb, pianists were great and the dancing/galas wonderful. One could not manage all the activities available - choices had to be made. Captain Paul Wright was a most friendly guy and Cunard will miss him as he retires after this trip. Oh, almost forgot, did the personal trainer thing each day and it was very good at Canyon spa. Tip: buy a 3 day spa pass and use the thallasotherapy pool and sauna/steam room, a good bargain! The TA crossing was mostly quiet seas running although we did have 24' waves one day, but the motion was minimal on QM2, nobody missed dining,nor walking nor jogging. We left home a day early as is our pattern to join the cruise and stayed in a hotel of our choosing, allowing for morning shopping in NY. We were first off the ship (0715) in Southampton to limo it to catch an early flight to Ireland (expensive limo but got us to Ireland in time for Guinness!). Put a QM2 TA on your list, we will do it again and enjoy it ever so much, simply a great experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2011
After reading other reviews of this crossing, we must have been on a different ship. We spent the first day exploring the ship, locating the planetarium, theater, dining areas, and other activity venues. At every elevator lobby there is a ... Read More
After reading other reviews of this crossing, we must have been on a different ship. We spent the first day exploring the ship, locating the planetarium, theater, dining areas, and other activity venues. At every elevator lobby there is a diagram of the ship indicating the location of each area we wanted to visit. Our cabin was reasonably sized with generous closet and storage space. We paid extra to have an unobstructed view from our balcony and consider it money well spent. We spent many evenings on our balcony after returning from the evening's entertainment with a cocktail promptly delivered by room service. Our steward kept our cabin very clean every day. We even had fresh towels and the tv turned to important reminders for the next day every evening when we returned from dinner. Whenever we met him in the hallway, he greeted us by name and was an excellent source information. We as well as our table-mates agreed that there were plenty of options for appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. Our wait staff greeted us by name every time we arrived for dinner, knew our drink preferences, and promptly kept our water glasses and bread plates filled. Even when in the King's Court or at breakfast, when we ran into our dinner servers, they greeted us by name. We enjoyed walking around the outside deck even though some areas were closed off on some days because of high winds. We explored all the decks at some point during our week on ship. We truly enjoyed our week and everyone seemed really willing to answer questions, or offer alternatives if they were unable to meet our requests. A special request to tour the engine room was accomodated and a highlight of our trip. We especially thank the waiter in the pub who made an excellent iced tea; the wine steward at dinner who always had a cold budweiser waiting at our table; the servers who served us dessert as our entree as we requested; our steward whom we wanted to stow in our luggage and take home with us. We also thank our travel agent who made suggestions which we heeded for this alternative way to travel to England. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2011
We enjoy all our cruises and have travelled on all class of ships. Booking with Cunard we were hoping for the best, but were disappointed overall. As a first time cruiser we did not get to meet the captain, in fact did not see her or any ... Read More
We enjoy all our cruises and have travelled on all class of ships. Booking with Cunard we were hoping for the best, but were disappointed overall. As a first time cruiser we did not get to meet the captain, in fact did not see her or any of the officers during the two weeks, unless you include their visit to the Pub in the evening. Every time I visted the Lido I had to ask for items missing, such as plates, cutlery, juices, napkins etc. Certainly they were obtained, but I should not have to keep asking! Supervision overall was very poor. Brittania & Lido Restaurant Management appeared to like standing around and looking smart, yes they looked very smart. Did they circulate? No. Did they enquire if diners left their foof on the plate? No. Did they chase up tables where delays were being experienced? No. Just overall very shabby. The food was acceptable but boring compared with other ships we have sailed with. The cabin was small and the fitting looked cheap. Drawers were in short supply. Overall the Queen Victoria lacked mangement and supervsion in key areas. The cabins were well attended too, the medical was professional and the Library was to die for. Embarcation etc was well controlled. It did appear as if the staff lacked motivation. On the Holland America, Princess ships etc, Officers can be seen circulating, smiling and motivating their staff. On Victoria we often sat at a table on the Lido with dirty crockery left by the previous occupants. In most ships a Supervisor would see this was promptly cleared or even clear it himself, not on Victoria, not a supervisors responsibility! On only two occasions did anyone approach us to enquire if we wanted a drink! I enjoyed the cruise but was embarrassed for Britain. Read Less
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