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69 Cunard Sydney (Australia) Cruise Reviews

Booked this on board QM2 when the QE's Asian itineraries were all scrapped. Crazy cheap price made this unmissable. Compared to the QM2 this is the inferior ship in almost every single area. The vaunted decoration of the ship ... Read More
Booked this on board QM2 when the QE's Asian itineraries were all scrapped. Crazy cheap price made this unmissable. Compared to the QM2 this is the inferior ship in almost every single area. The vaunted decoration of the ship looked a bit tacky, a bit Vegas casino, the public rooms felt cramped and crowded. You can't walk to the front of the ship, the gym seems tired. What most surprised me was the surly attitude of many of the staff; some of those in the Lido buffet were downright rude. The Lido never seemed to have any spare tables for either breakfast or lunch. The food was a smidgen better than the QM2 but again the serving staff were brusque. The theatre is outstandingly good, and the performances (particularly from the inhouse entertainment) were MUCH better than the QM2. Shout out to Ronel, Head of Customer Services, for helping me with my cabin issues. However, it is highly unlikely I will ever choose to sail on this ship again as the price premium Cunard imposes for the supposedly White Star service is simply not worth it. I'd rather save my money and go on Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise as have never been on Cunard before. As it tied in with our time frame, was a good deal and no Princess cruises available, we wanted to experience it. We are Elite Princess travellers with 23 cruises already taken, ... Read More
We chose this cruise as have never been on Cunard before. As it tied in with our time frame, was a good deal and no Princess cruises available, we wanted to experience it. We are Elite Princess travellers with 23 cruises already taken, so had a lot to compare. Embarkation without priority was very quick and smooth.. surprising with virus scares.(filled in form, had temperature taken, sanitised and off we went to check-in. Our cabin was ready and bags came quickly. The ship smelt nice most of the time and the buffet was generally good ( we don't eat alacarte). We were surprised that Crew didn't offer water or tea) coffee. They were polite but Princess crew more helpful. Last night was disappointing as after coming out of a show after 2100pm, found no buffet open. As we hadn't had dinner, I was not too happy as starving. We had to wait until 2130 for them to open another section. But now we know, won't do that again. The performance entertainment, both cruise team and visitors, have been brilliant. We didn't get to see the comedian but others enjoyed it. Musician's around the ship were wonderful (harpist, violinists and strings, pianists and others). The decor is plush with elegant staircases and once we got used to the layout, could navigate our way around better. Beware that all prices are in USA dollars and there's automatic gratuities which is not standard for Aussie waters. Gratuities can be cancelled at pursers office and you make your own donation. Like many ships, there was an occasional waft of sewerage and too many smoking areas. Docking of ship was super smooth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I had never been on a curnard cruise before and have been put off by rumours that they are quite formal cruises. However I booked the cruise just a couple of days out before embarktation at a ridiculous price. So let's on the cruise ... Read More
I had never been on a curnard cruise before and have been put off by rumours that they are quite formal cruises. However I booked the cruise just a couple of days out before embarktation at a ridiculous price. So let's on the cruise Overall I can discount a.lot of the critiscim i read on the formality of curnard although on gala nights there is a need to dress up. From boarding the ship and throughout the cruise I loved the white glove service The service level by all staff is very high. There was a bit of administration issues around dining appointments and table allocation and it did fustrate passengers because there were no dinning room.managers available until the first sitting at 5.30pm Quite a few people including myself had dining room arrangements cancelled by their computer system. To their credit the managers worked very hard and got it sorted out quickly. Dining room experience with waiters was excellent. Range of food and quality was high. If a dish wasnt to your tasting it was quickly replaced by the waiter. The size of the meals were and dishes were served hot. They did a very good job My cabin was well appointed and maintained. The service from my cabin stewardess was excellent my room and bathroom were always spotless. What I noticed was the high number of cleaning rags used by the staff. They were using a separate group of rags per cabin. The shower was a little bit smaller than what I expected, water pressure and temperature were excellent. The buffet was very good for breakfast and lunch. I particularly like sushi and there dishes available both for lunch and dinner. Sometimes I would call in early for a small plate of sushi before my main meal. On the subject of allegey food, the selection of gluten free food was better at dinner time, they had an entire bay of gluten free meals at nights. Also in the afternoon tea time, there was also a very good range of gluten free sandwiches and cakes. Overall, the staff were very helpful and service was excellent. If you like reading and need a quite place, this ship offers a number of venues and places just to let you get away from the crowds and just enjoy and occasionally falling off for 10 minutes. The old cigar room which has been relocated to level 3 is now the admiralites room, lovely quite place to read. The promenade deck on level 3 is totally under cover. Whether you relax on a deck chair with a blanket or walk around the ship, you can relax or excerise or watch the clouds go by. It is one those classical decks from a bygone era which seems to be lost in some of the modern ships. The pool.deck gave me mostly joy but a little of disappointment. Pools are fine and unlike the more ships don t have 50 children jumping in and around. It is more refined because of t h e clientele. There are lots of places to sit including a reasonable amount of shaded seating. However the spas are incredibly small and can either fit 2 to 3 people. They are in the sun. If the ship needed a refit, this is one thing that needs to be replaced. They are ridiculous small and ineffective. For non smokers,the amount of space offered to people who consume tobacco is the highest I have ever seen on a ship. Most companies are reducing these areas. On a bad day you can only go down one side of the ship to avoid these passengers. Entertainment was not to my tastes. Except for the trivia and kareoka at the pub, i found the entertainment was 1930s era. I didn't go to one show at the threatre and the number of sessions allocated to ballroom dancers and the number of participants at the queens room couldn't justify the event. There was a reasonable population on the ship to justify a dj and some more modern dance music. Embarktation and Disbarktation service was well coordinated. The tender service at port Arthur was well managed. The nunever of tenders operating and their frequency just made the whole process flow so smoothly. I did two short excursions and found that well organised from the purchase, meet and greet and the service provided by the operators. However when it came to cost, we didn't realise that the price offered was in American dollars. A lot of ships that operate in Australian waters during their stay offer australian prices. I found curnard did not clearly disclose this fact. As a result not only did we have to the equivalent in American dollars but the currency conversion rate was very high.disappointed with this lack of disclosure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
First time on Cunard, we were supposed to do back to back cruises from Sydney but the New Zealand cruise was cancelled due to the virus. The six day cruise itself was lovely, free from any dramas and we formed some lovely connections ... Read More
First time on Cunard, we were supposed to do back to back cruises from Sydney but the New Zealand cruise was cancelled due to the virus. The six day cruise itself was lovely, free from any dramas and we formed some lovely connections with the staff. Our room was the cleanest of any cruises we have ever been on, well done Cunard. Loved walking into a room where I don’t immediately think I had better start cleaning. The food was lovely, a bit repetitive in the buffet but still fine. I really want to say how wonderful Cunard itself has been. Having cancelled our second cruise they couldn’t do enough for the passengers. Booking accommodation, rebooking flights, booking us into a lovely hotel where we bunkered down until our flight back to Perth. Although it was sad to no be able to undertake our second cruise, the amazing manner in which the company and staff rallied around and provided one hundred per cent support helped in this disappointment. Many thanks to Cunard we’ll definitely travel with you when the time is right. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The good Beautiful ship, lovely decor. Uncrowded, always places to sit. Wonderful library. Spotless cabin, plenty of storage, tea and coffee facilities and wonderful beds/pillows. Food was very good on the main dining room, in the pub, ... Read More
The good Beautiful ship, lovely decor. Uncrowded, always places to sit. Wonderful library. Spotless cabin, plenty of storage, tea and coffee facilities and wonderful beds/pillows. Food was very good on the main dining room, in the pub, and reasonable in the buffet. Shows, OK but not up to standard of other ships. Embarktion and disembarkation quick and organised. Bad Trying to get early dinner sitting although requested when booking 8 months prior. The problem is the age of the guests mostly in 80’s, 90’s of course all want the early sitting, then the early show. You can walk through the ship after 9.00pm and think you are on a ghost ship. The type of entertainment at night, cello, violins, ballroom dancing may be a big factor. Certainly put us to bed. And daytime, whist, darts, canasta, bowls, croquet etc The ship could be classed as a floating retirement village. The high tea a major disappointment, held in the lounge with cold scones and stale sandwiches on offer, no pomp or glory! The shower in the cabin has to be the smallest shower of any of the 27 cruises to date, banged my head daily. This cruise is for the very elderly (I’m in my 70’s) . Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise at the last minute due to changes with our original plans and port restrictions in Singapore and Hong Kong. We decided to stick close to Australia/New Zealand. The Queen Elizabeth is a beautiful and classy ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute due to changes with our original plans and port restrictions in Singapore and Hong Kong. We decided to stick close to Australia/New Zealand. The Queen Elizabeth is a beautiful and classy ship with amazing ambiance and so many beautiful pieces of furniture and decore. We loved the main dining room and were struck by how very good the menu was on each and every night. We felt spoilt for choice. On some days, we dined there at lunch time also. We couldn't have been more impressed with the offerings in the MDR. The service was also fantastic on each occasion. It was our pleasure to attend the formal evenings and watch so many passengers join in the dancing with the wonderful band on board. We were told that the ship was formal, but we did not find it stuffy or snobby at at all. We met many nice, friendly people from all walks of life on board and from all over the world. We really enjoy being able to wear nice clothes to dinner every night and we appreciated that other passengers embraced the standards that Cunard has come to be known for. We also went to the nightclub on a couple of occasions, which was open until very late. We don't understand the reviews here that say that most people on this ship go to bed early. We didn't see it this way at all. The nightclub was quite full of many younger people and family groups of all ages each time we went there. We didn't think that the crowd on this ship was any older than on other cruises we've been on, and even if it was, we would never consider that to be a negative. We love talking to older folk as they tend to have had many interesting life experiences that they are happy to share (we are in our mid-50s). Overall, this was a really fun ship and a great cruise around Tasmania to Melbourne. We were sorry that this cruise was only 5 nights and that we didn't book a longer cruise. We were really sorry to get off and now that there are travel bans on, we don't know when we will be able to experience the Queen again. We hope it's not too much longer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Those paying an ultra-premium price in Queens/Princess Grill will receive high quality dining and service in their private part of the ship. The rest(majority) of us will receive an experience far inferior to lines competing in this price ... Read More
Those paying an ultra-premium price in Queens/Princess Grill will receive high quality dining and service in their private part of the ship. The rest(majority) of us will receive an experience far inferior to lines competing in this price tier(Celebrity,HAL,Princess). This Q. Elizabeth cruise displayed cost-cutting everywhere...even the limited floral displays were tiny! Quality and quantity of MDR food is sub-par at best and served in either an efficient or borderline brusque style by waiters assigned too many tables.A small piece of browned broccoli showed up on my "Gala Dinner" plate. The Lido buffet, laid out in the old-timey "alley" traffic style with decidedly underwhelming selections, is not a pretty sight at lunch, One evening,within a space of 20 minutes, I witnessed 6 guests (me included)trying to listen to a bar harpist "deseated" by the bar waiter as they didn't order a drink or requested ice water('we don't have any"}. Brought this to ship's attention and they said: "yep,it happened. we told waiter not to do it again." Never witnessed this in over 40 years of cruising. There is definitely something "off kilter" re the service culture on this ship. Q Elizabeth sports the tiniest cabin showers and public whirlpools on the seven seas. On a positive note,glassed balconies are spacious and comfortable and cabin attendant service is superb. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Not many people I spoke to could access the web site to do the on line check in,before we sailed. Web site told everyone to arrive at terminal at noon, so we spent more than two hours lined up before we got on board,some of that time it ... Read More
Not many people I spoke to could access the web site to do the on line check in,before we sailed. Web site told everyone to arrive at terminal at noon, so we spent more than two hours lined up before we got on board,some of that time it rained,lucky for us only drizzle. Web site definitely needs to fixed. Cabin and food good,Lido service area a bit cramped at times. We had two helicopter evacuations, we were not allowed into Rabual,and mechanical fault in Cairns that delayed our departure from there by three hours. Staff not very friendly but very efficient.Staff in the main restaurants moved very fast and had no time to talk or explain menu items. Very clean,but I think staff should make sure all passengers use the hand cleaner before entering a food area. Good choice of drinks, but there is a service charge on everything. Leaving the ship was very quick. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
First time cruises we alwways travel independently - but my partner's health made cruising an option to PNG - which is hard to get to otherwise. We are ballroom dancers so we chose Cunard. I was highly intimidated by the dress ... Read More
First time cruises we alwways travel independently - but my partner's health made cruising an option to PNG - which is hard to get to otherwise. We are ballroom dancers so we chose Cunard. I was highly intimidated by the dress code snobs online before we cruised - it appeared you needed a different dress for every night -and that if you didn't pay a lot of money for clothes comments will be made! This wasn't true. There were women in long beautiful gowns on gala nights - but they were the majority. The rest of us wore cocktail length dresses or evening black trousers with a glittery top. I saw someone else wearing a a $20 glittery number which I bought for a gala nigh from Millers (cheap Ozzie chain). Jackets are optional for men on smart attire nights in Australian season - and few wore them except on galas. Most took them off to dance or in Britiannia MDR which was pretty warm at night in the tropics., and we were late sitting. Also on gala nights there were a number of men wearing white dinner jackets and apparently that was fine too - despite what the code says. I did see someone wearing shorts in the Commodore Club after 6 refused service. During the day sandals and shorts were the norm - though in places the ship was cold a extra layer was useful. 4 gala thems were advertised online before hand - but only 2 actually happened - the other galas weren't themed. The food was fantastic - we ate quite a lot in the MDR at night but only once (each) for lunch and breakfast . Although service is efficient its just too much sitting around for us. The service was subtle but not in your face. There was no feeling of hands out for tips. We didn't want to deal with the whole handing over cash at the end so we left the auto-gratuities in place and we didn't feel pressured. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss. One of the guest speakers wasn't good - he had an interest in Conflict Island and seemed totally under-prepared. The astronomer and the pilot were both fantastic. The shows by the ship's company were excellent - as was the NZ tenor. We heard the comedian was racist and sexist but didn't go. The dance professional couple were superb teachers for beginners - very impressed with them. Their demos were good too. The dance hosts were a mixed bag - 3 men one woman - the woman was excellent lead and follow - one of the men was dreadful, one was good and one was an OK social dancer. The music was pretty good. The sequence dancing had quite a bit of Australian New Vogue - which despite the music lady having no idea what it was she found the right music tempi. Now to the bad. The embarkation was a debacle - we waited 2 hours in a line to get on. After comparing notes it appeared that every passenger had been given the same check in time 11pm! We finally got on board about 2:30pm. No water was provided and frankly I'm pretty fit and I was tired of standing by the time we finally got on. The internet appears Victorian - but not in a good way -payign for a minute and requiring a logout is incredibly last century. Its the biggest negative for us as I have to stay in contact. The ports were good - didn't get into Rabaul because of local politics. Alotau we booked a local operator with a new bus. Some of the info given onboard was misleading suggesting Cunard had the best buses - yeah nah - some of theres were no-AC - and it was HOT, Conflict don't bother paying the over- the-top prices -snorkeling of the beach is amazing. Bring your own gear. Cairns timing is unfortunately - all aboard was 3;30pm -which meant if you were doing an excursion - you really need to do a ships tours because you are pushing it to get back on time. The ship was gorgeous and we enjoyed it all - always immaculate - as was our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this review to celebrate a milestone birthday with family. Food was very average to say the least. Had better food in on our Royal Caribbean cruises and better service too. Everything seemed to be an extra cost plus 15%. Wine was ... Read More
We chose this review to celebrate a milestone birthday with family. Food was very average to say the least. Had better food in on our Royal Caribbean cruises and better service too. Everything seemed to be an extra cost plus 15%. Wine was very expensive. Got a suprise of $US 34.50 for each person on our bill. $US30 to play bingo? Had 8.30 seating for dinner which meant the plays were at 10.30 what a joke. Perhaps they should do what other cruises do so if you have 6.30 dinner you do 8.30 show and vise versa. First & second night entertainment was dismal. Last nights comediam was excellent. Highlight was Burnie where we organized our own amazing tour. So unbelievably disappointed would never go again! Oh I divot to say that afternoon tea was so packed people started trying to get a seat at 2 for 3.30 afternoon tea! Something is so wrong with the coordination of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Queen Elizabeth is beautiful. The ship is incredibly elegant as it's namesake allows it to be. But unfortunately when the surface is scratched there are many imperfections that simply are a bit of a let down. Food... We were not ... Read More
Queen Elizabeth is beautiful. The ship is incredibly elegant as it's namesake allows it to be. But unfortunately when the surface is scratched there are many imperfections that simply are a bit of a let down. Food... We were not impressed by the food in the buffet area, Brittania dining room or specialty dining. It all tasted bland or the same - but it really did look great, so I guess that was the disappointment. Cabin... Our cabin was nice, but the bathroom extremely small, smaller than on other ships we've been on. One thing we noted was our television service was intermittent & the English speaking channels didn't show any of the movies being shown in the foreign languages which was weird. Service... We did not encounter many staff but those we did seemed to have very high expectations of the passengers. Our room attendant made mention that we should put the make my room up sign out because otherwise he didn't know, which is fair enough - but he went in our room anyway so.... We could not get a drink in Lido to save ourselves, it was almost if they avoided eye contact. In the main dining rooms service was far too slow with our drinks arriving at the end of our mains or dessert. Simply by being efficient they could have sold extra beverages so I thought they would be on top of it. Entertainment... There just wasn't enough, but this was only a small voyage. We have sailed Cunard in the past, and I really want to stress that despite my disappoints the ship was beautifully appointed - it really could be something remarkable with a few adjustments. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was pleasantly surprised to be let on board immediately. Embarkation was a breeze. To keep this review brief I will deal with the disappointments. I expected more of the food. It was very ordinary and at breakfast only one person was doing personalised egg choices. We gave up. Cheapest bottle of wine - $48 USD which equated to almost A$70. Toilettries were never replaced even after asking 3 times. In fact the steward was only seen three times and it was very poor service. Finalising of account queue on the last night. Both my partner and everyone in the queue were furious at the wait time with 2 people serving and another desk free being payment for tours with nobody at it. People eating at 8.30 pm session had to wait till 10.30 to see a show lasting sometimes till 12. My partner would have loved a tour of the ship's history perhaps as a speaking or walking activity. We spoke to others who agreed. It was both my birthday and our anniversary and there was no provision or opportunity/acknowledgement for anything special as with other liners where a sign and balloons are put on your door or they bring out a little cake to your group dinner table (sounds trivial and not that I wanted to be centre of attention but if it's a special occasion, it always goes down well). When I enquired about this they advised I should pay for the specialty restaurant or purchase one of their expensive gift packages. We did not go on a shore excursion with the ship as most were booked out and were quite expensive. We went on a private tour and it was the highlight for us. It was a public holiday in Burnie but as the operators were locals they knew all the places to go. We were stressing before we went as to how formal the gala dinner would be, what to wear and how this would be presented. It was over-rated and nothing special was done. On the positive side - room was comfy, smooth sailing, nice surprise of a bottle of bubbly in the room, entertainment good, good guest speaker talks, impressive fit out of ship and we particularly loved the bar near the theatre (can't think of name) where the meals there were better than most restaurants and were free with such a great atmosphere and we found the staff here to be the most welcoming and engaging of all Happy it was a sampler but wouldn't go again.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a short cruise Sydney-Burnie-Melbourne. It was my 5th cruise, 3rd on Cunard, first on QE. Other 2 Cunard cruises were on the Mediterranean and loved them I echo the other reviews that you see on here - lovely ship, quick ... Read More
This was a short cruise Sydney-Burnie-Melbourne. It was my 5th cruise, 3rd on Cunard, first on QE. Other 2 Cunard cruises were on the Mediterranean and loved them I echo the other reviews that you see on here - lovely ship, quick on-boarding, good service on dock, ordinary service on-board Had to visit the purser couple times and had to wait 30+ min each time. Whenever i walked by, always a queue. No such queues at tour desk where you need to pay for tours.On last night went there to pay bill and only 2 on desk. All waiting complained incl 2 poor souls who were locked out of cabin but had to wait for new keys with those waiting to pay. Issues in cabin - see below. It was very disappointing I wouldn't go on Cunard in Oceania again (but Med yes) , though my wife did enjoy, even with the issues. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having cruised on other cruise lines we thought why not go upmarket with the Cunard QE. Our great expectations did not materialize, from embarkment at Sydney at 1.00pm an untrained lass was totally lost doing the paperwork constantly ... Read More
Having cruised on other cruise lines we thought why not go upmarket with the Cunard QE. Our great expectations did not materialize, from embarkment at Sydney at 1.00pm an untrained lass was totally lost doing the paperwork constantly requiring supervisor assistance for 30 minutes with no seating for semi-disabled senior passenger doing the procedure. On way to ship entry no Cunard photographer or photo opportunity for souvenir. Balcony cabin was ready and comparable with other lines, however the cabin steward never introduced him/her self during entire cruise. Half bottle of sparkling wine in bucket of ice was appreciated and a thoughtful touch. Unfortunately, sleeping at night was difficult as other passengers seem to enjoy slamming cabin doors plus our cabin door was directly opposite cabin steward's kitchen with much banging and clattering of metal seemingly oblivious of passengers comfort. First night main restaurant dining at 8.30pm (we had no choice) no "my-time dining". Sat down at table for two and waited 25 minutes for waiter to notice our presence. Took our order which came after 30 minutes further wait. During this time we did not sight a drink waiter, nor during the entire meal so that was a saving no less. The second night was "Gala" night, formal black tie. Service was better , main course had choice of lobster that my wife and self selected. My lobster came but not my wife's. She did not want to cause a scene so declined to complain and missed out. The idea of semi-formal attire after 6.00pm was to be commended for such a ship but in reality it was somewhat of a joke to see what some people considered this dress code to be and was rather comical. We ate mostly in the Lido buffet, rather than otherwise at 9.00pm, and the food here we found limited and not overly impressive. Roasts were disappointing, one night only one roast meat on offer, lamb, undercooked and so trough was 'rubbery"and inedible. Other cruises always offer a choice of three roasts each night... why not Cunard.It's not as if we aren't paying for it big-time. Much of the upper decks and restaurants are verboten to the lesser guests putting us well and truly in our place.... perhaps that is where the good service is found. One person on board needs an attitude make-over and she is a young "lady" in the purser's office front counter. For someone being one on one with the public she seems to have a big "chip" on her shoulder. She continually and rudely insisted that my partner and I were entitled to $75.00 each on-board spending money only for us to find on departure that this was not the case, naturally after we had in fact spent the $150.00 on useless overpriced souvenirs. Is this the face of Cunard? Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
It was our first time on Queen Elizabeth and we had a wonderful time. It was a cruise from Sydney to Tasmania, we disembarked at Sydney. It is amazing ship and crew were friendly & helpful. The service all over the ship was ... Read More
It was our first time on Queen Elizabeth and we had a wonderful time. It was a cruise from Sydney to Tasmania, we disembarked at Sydney. It is amazing ship and crew were friendly & helpful. The service all over the ship was fantastic. The day core of the Queen Elizabeth was lovely and had plenty of nice areas to look out at the sea & read a book. You could do looks or just relax. We enjoyed great shows, Lectures, Entertainment and of course the tasty food. I am on a Gluten Free diet and I enjoyed lovely and tasty meals. The Activities on board was very good. Last time we were on a Cunard ship was 20 years ago, on board the QE2. That was our first ever cruise. We just love cruising. It was wonderful having the Queen Elizabeth in Australia and we love it so much we had booked it again for next year 2020. Mum and I cant wait. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are in our early 60's and fit and healthy. The Cunard line represented to us elegance, fine dining and an association with the Grand Queens of the Sea. Though there were some good points to the ship including the Common Areas, ... Read More
We are in our early 60's and fit and healthy. The Cunard line represented to us elegance, fine dining and an association with the Grand Queens of the Sea. Though there were some good points to the ship including the Common Areas, the Afternoon Tea, Library and some entertainment, the rest of the experience left a lot to be desired. We were in Cabin 6123 Starboard with balcony. We were assigned Britannia early seating. The main food options available are the Britannia Restaurant on Decks 2 and 3 and the Lido Restaurant on Deck 9 which is the main outdoor activity Deck on the ship. The Lido has very poor quality food - think Cafeteria style - with little flavour and no fresh produce, only cold storage items. The Lido restaurant itself looks like an Aged Care Facility with boring pastel shades and Ikea style furniture. The Grill bar out near the pool area again has no decor - just a plain service counter with precooked burgers and battered fish, but mainly batter, available in hamburger buns - just awful. The Britannia Restaurant is the formal dining offering where jackets for men at Dinner are mandatory and where waiters and a Sommelier in attendance. The menu changes daily but hardly any of the dishes were recognisable as chef quality. Some of the dishes were a mystery with the most ridiculous additions that did nothing for the hero of the plate - either fish, lamb or beef. What is the Head Chef thinking? We brought on board our own wine from Australia as we had the foresight to check out the wine prior to boarding. This was a good move, and though we paid $20 US for every bottle opened, at least we got to drink good wine at a reasonable cost. Our sommelier, Roberto was excellent and had a thorough knowledge of wine and his service was impeccable - thank you Roberto. All drinks are expensive on board the ship and you pay in US dollars - add to that a 15% surcharge plus gratuities every day. We did eat at The Golden Lion a few times, and the pub meals were good and at a standard of most pubs in England. The Daily Programme was nothing short of tedious and repeats of the same thing every two or three days. Think trivia challenges. The Gala Evenings (7 in 24 days) were of no consequence. We all put on our finery, went to dinner, went to the show, then came back to the Queen's room and watched a dozen or so of people on the ship who could ball room dance - there was no allowance for any type of other dancing as the floor was taken with Fox Trot, Samba etc. with couples swirling around the whole dance floor. Why have a Ball? Nothing was done to include the 90% of guests in more modern dancing or being part of a 'ball atmosphere". There was dancing in the Yacht club. However, this venue was as dead as a door on the few occasions we visited. 'Under 30's' are scheduled for 10.30 pm (the only under 30's on board are crew) and there's a disco on from mid-night. A 'Beatles' band joined the ship for the remaining 4 nights with the band playing in the Queens Room on the last night and everyone got up and danced and had a great time - the only one night throughout the duration of the 24 days. The lectures - some were interesting and others were terrible - a right royal buffeting of Princess Anne, and World War II British lectures on how the war was won (don't mention the war!) with over 350 Germans on board - goodness know how well that went down with the Germans.... The ship has apparently had an upgrade, but you were hard pressed to tell. We spent a large amount of time on the back verandah near the swimming pool and the condition of the decks, pool surrounds, and rusty areas needs to be attended to immediately. At times, the belching of the smoke from the funnels created great piles of soot deposits which spoilt our clothes and left us covered in black spots - unhealthy to be inhaling too... The windows on the ship always seemed to be dirty so if you were sitting in the Britannia looking out to sea, there were rust and salt encrusted streaks in your vision. The Tender service process was terrible. We managed to finally get ashore at the Whitsundays at quarter to twelve after having milled about in the Queens room with hundreds of people waiting to be called for the Tender. People who had booked tours that day, ended up not doing a different tour because of time constraints. The same process for every Tender port ensued and although there was some improvement in the process, the queues and delays were very frustrating. Oh, and to top it off, and notwithstanding the crew's best efforts with hand sanitisers, a flu like bug went through the ship which had people coughing incessantly. Difficult to stop once it starts. Perhaps food handling in the kitchens needs tighter control given we observed on one occasion when the kitchen doors were open one of the 'chefs' coughing into his hands then handling food without washing and sanitising his hands. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
× I awarded my cruise of 2017 5 stars no problem × I struggled to award 3 stars on this cruise, just 2 years later. WHY Pre embarkation × met at Brisbane airport by a Princess Cruises representative! × taken, without P C ... Read More
× I awarded my cruise of 2017 5 stars no problem × I struggled to award 3 stars on this cruise, just 2 years later. WHY Pre embarkation × met at Brisbane airport by a Princess Cruises representative! × taken, without P C rep, to a local hotel who had no knowledge of us and were not expecting us × later driven to Cruise Terminal by an aggressive, unhelpful taxi driver. He even refused to lift our luggage into the boot Post embarkation and cabin × cabin as expected with helpful staff Dining x poor. Food never hot enough. Vegetables undercooked. Fancy menu not relecting what arrived on my plate x Lidl...sorry Lido, an horrendous dining experience. Gueste seen eating food from their plates on the way to their tables. Decor, plastic, pastel, ( un ) pleasant Entertainment etc x poor, particularly the ballroom catering for the minority not the majority x Service...excellent from x purser's desk x housekeeping x all maintenance crew Ports and Shore excursions x never leave anything to chance...book a private tour or research own Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I'd previously been on the QE2 which was a beautiful ship that oozed class and was an amazing experience. Last year my husband mentioned he'd love to see New Zealand from a cruise ship. A short while later, after having my DNA ... Read More
I'd previously been on the QE2 which was a beautiful ship that oozed class and was an amazing experience. Last year my husband mentioned he'd love to see New Zealand from a cruise ship. A short while later, after having my DNA tested, I discovered I had an elderly cousin and his family in NZ. What a golden opportunity to do something special. Remembering the QE2 cruise, I felt we couldn't do better than to travel with Cunard again. What a terrible mistake I made. Every morning I woke up with swollen neck glands and was sea sick for most of the 12 day journey. I haven't been sea sick for years and as soon as I disembarked the symptoms disappeared. Next problem was when I turned up at the Concierge desk in the Britannia dining room to enquire about the table we would be seated at (4 of us). Concierge lambasted me for not letting him know 2 days earlier! I had made the arrangements directly with Cunard months earlier getting a TWID code and doing everything required. Next problem occurred when my cousin booked a tour and the guide didn't turn up. Several guests were left stranded and in the ensuing chaos my cousin's wife fell and cut open her chin requiring stitches (which the Ship's Doctor carried out well). I had finished my part of the cruise by this time but was not surprised at the shonky treatment they had from other Cunard staff. Oh, forgot to mention that on the two occasions I had to use the Concierge desk, I waited patiently in line for some time and on both occasions, just as it was my turn to be served, a young female in a pink dress, butted in and the Concierge who obviously knew her, and greeted her as Miss _____, attended to her first. It appeared she was acting on behalf of a group of 'special' passengers. Next was the food. I couldn't count how many times we tried to get something to eat and were told that we were too late! Here's an example. We arrived at the Lido dining room before 4:00pm and were told afternoon tea had finished and there was not so much as a biscuit available to have with a cup of tea. And that reminds me, Don't think you'll get served a cuppa with your breakfast. One dining room staff member walks up and down with a pot of tea in one hand and a pot of coffee in the other. Trying to catch his eye is nigh on impossible. The person who cleans the tables on the other hand is standing around with a cloth and tray in his hand doing nothing. We dined with many passengers during the cruise and couldn't believe how many passengers had complaints. People complained to us unsolicited, about everything from the food, to the miserable faces most of the staff had, to the lack of anything 'classy' about the whole experience. And lastly, a few days before our much anticipated voyage, we received a phone call from Cunard asking if we would change cabins. I said "No" but felt guilty in case the other passengers had a special need. However, I was offered $500 spending money (each) to change from my carefully selected balcony room which we paid $8,000 for to a cabin with a window, not a balcony. Which was just too big an ask for such small compensation. Then, on board we had at our dinner table a couple who proudly told us about their getting a phone call (they didn't know we'd had one too) and they were crowing about how they received one full fare refunded ($3,700) plus $500 to change from their balcony cabin on a high deck to a similar one but with a bigger balcony on a lower deck! Hearing that after my Concierge desk debacle left me totally bewildered. Please excuse the long review, I usually write much shorter reviews so this is unusual but then I've never written a review before where I've had so much to complain about. Usually I'll only write something if I can be mostly positive. This is a first. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Went on a three day Melbourne - Burnie - Sydney cruise and having been on QM2 in 2017, we were really looking forward to a great time as we had on QM2. I have to agree with others, the embarkation was messy. The ships decor is ... Read More
Went on a three day Melbourne - Burnie - Sydney cruise and having been on QM2 in 2017, we were really looking forward to a great time as we had on QM2. I have to agree with others, the embarkation was messy. The ships decor is beautiful and very impressive. The ship is also better laid out than QM2. We decided to pay a little more for the Britannia Balcony Club which simply gives you your own restaurant. We arrived, the manager introduced himself, walked us to our table and as I was sitting, preceded to tell me in front of other passengers that my dress was acceptable tonight but tomorrow I should were a jacket (no formal night this night), despite me wearing a sleeveless frock coat. Short story, complained, Maitre D apologised and stated that I was a good example for the ship to accept more modern dress modes - the main issue was the public berating, I could have been asked quietly as I entered. Dinner at the Veranda Restaurant was spectacular, the food totally amazing with great service and atmosphere. Our cabin steward was brilliant. Generally, staff need better training, when used asked them simple questions we were referred to the Purser's Desk or told to listen for announcements, bit much when you only wanted to know what timer the shops opened or directions to an activity. All staff on QM2 knew their drill. I found the ship dancers somewhat tardy and lack lustre compared to QM2. Maybe Cunard is struggling to adapt to Australian passengers. Personally, for the money, I was somewhat disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise as was on bucket list to cruise Cunard thinking it would be the best of the best. Embarkation painless, quick and very efficient. Cabin was clean but little shower pressure with antiquated shower curtain. Smallest ... Read More
We chose this cruise as was on bucket list to cruise Cunard thinking it would be the best of the best. Embarkation painless, quick and very efficient. Cabin was clean but little shower pressure with antiquated shower curtain. Smallest bathroom we have had, no ventilation and no shaving mirror. The excursions left much to be desired, booked a lunch on a Mississippi steam ship to find when we arrived qm2 customers had been allocated lunch on an old steel tub next door. Grey power rose and demanded to be taken back to the ship as the tub was not what we had booked. We were told we would receive a full refund. Back at the ship a line at the excursion bookings where staff turned up 45 mins late to the advertised opening time. The staff were rude and unhelpful telling us our refund would be credited to our ship account. We had all paid prior to sailing and wanted refund back into our original accounts. When refund was credited it was only 50%. Next a message from our invisible captain on loudspeaker to announce we would not be able to call in at Darwin because of the cyclone. We accepted this as it was a force mature spending a few more days at sea and everyone looking forward to docking at Bali. Once again an announcement from the captain saying we would not be docking in Bali as it was a public holiday and Cunard staff had been unable to get to Darwin to start the visa process. Totally unacceptable as Cunard cruise organisers should have known it was a public holiday in Bali. After 9 days at sea we docked at Singapore where ot took two hours to disembark from the ship and get visas stamped. Queue after queue with many more frail passengers having to also stand in line, myself included. Passengers were extremely disillusioned with Cunard by now. It also took another hour of queuing to get back on board. Compensation for 9 days at sea was a bottle of wine. Most of the activities on the ship incurred a fee ave $35. We had also been looking forward to a stop at Brunei which were notified of cancellation a very while to departure date. Other passengers did not receive any notification and only found out when they tried to book an excursion at the office. The shops were pathetic and overpriced, we purchased very nice jewellery on a holland America cruise with far better pricing. Wine was extortionate in cost as was the wi fi which regularly dropped out and usage monitoring was not accurate. The food in the buffet was regularly dried up and unappetising. It was like a cattle market at lunchtimes and frequently there was not enough seating.The service in the Britannia restaurant was good, but the menu not enough choice. All the passengers that we spoke to, which were many and varied said that they would not travel on the QM2 again and had had much better cruises on other lines, some of these passengers had taken 30 plus cruises. Even passengers that had travelled before on the QM2 said that they would not travel again on her. Our cabin steward did a good job of keeping our cabin tidy, we found the staff in the Britannia restaurant were friendly, however the rest of the staff we did not find to be particularly friendly as on other cruise lines. The entertainment was good the first time but not so good on repeat. The movie cinema only showed a couple of recent movies. The tv channels were appalling frequently dropping out with outdated movies. We were very disappointed with this cruise and we had been really looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose the QM2 for a taste of old world, traditional cruising British style (a 14-day cruise Sydney-Singapore) with four expected shore stops, only two of which took place. A cyclone prevented one shore visit (entirely understandable) and ... Read More
I chose the QM2 for a taste of old world, traditional cruising British style (a 14-day cruise Sydney-Singapore) with four expected shore stops, only two of which took place. A cyclone prevented one shore visit (entirely understandable) and a right royal mess up (for which Cunard would accept no responsibility) prevented the other. For this, we were compensated with a bottle of red wine and a reduction of US$175-00 on our next Cunard cruise. The vessel is beautifully decorated and the public areas were certainly handsomely refurbished in the 2016 refit to reflect its past glory. However, noise containment between staterooms was not satisfactory (I had to move staterooms twice before I could get a relatively quiet room). The main dining room food was not really up to the standard of a luxury line (the Princess Line serves food just as good). The Indian special restaurant was fine but in the Verandah Restaurant (named after the legendary Verandah on the Queen Mary) -- for which hefty cover charges were levied at lunch and dinner -- the food quality and service fluctuated considerably. Compared with its equivalent on the "Celebrity Solstice", where I had the best meal I have ever had on a cruise ship in 2015, the Verandah was a big let down. I did complain and efforts were made to mollify me. However, I found this a dispiriting experience -- as did other passengers. Nevertheless, there were positives: friendly and efficient stewards and waiters, great musicians, the opportunity to participate in a choir and, of course, the usual range of shipboard activities. However, I have to say that, because of the noise problems experienced, the Verandah issues and the shambolic shore stop situation, I would never travel Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This is our fifth cruise on the Queen Mary 2 and this last trip was 63 days long and I really think they have lost sight on what sort of ship they are trying to have. Refinement seems to have disappeared and has been replaced with ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise on the Queen Mary 2 and this last trip was 63 days long and I really think they have lost sight on what sort of ship they are trying to have. Refinement seems to have disappeared and has been replaced with indifference. There is no contact in Sydney and speaking to someone in the Phillipines about a problem in Brisbane could not be resolved as the person on the other end of the phone was clueless where Brisbane even was. We were promised to be emailed on two occasions before we left in March and are still waiting. The food and service was anywhere between 2 to 10 out of 10 and not consistent. Queuing to get off the boat took hours and many people had walking sticks. I could go on and on with the problems we had. We used to love being on the Queen Mary but many of the staff could not have cared if they served us preferring to chat amongst themselves. Others bent over backwards to help. We missed Darwin because of a cyclone which was totally understandable but then missed Bali because of a religious holiday. Surely they knew about it before they worked out their itinerary. We also missed Naples and Brunei. We have also booked for this August on the other two Queens so at least our expectations are very low. They are now not sure if they can cater for my gluten free diet although we are now platinum members- over 100 days with them- so am hoping I do not get sick. There is no one to contact. They have our tier wrong on our personaliser and have told us for 4 weeks that it has been fixed. Still not fixed. Their idea of telling us things we want to hear rather than fixing things is unreal. There is no attention to detail. Very dissatisfied especially considering the cost Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Absolute thrill to spend 3 days on-bard the Queen Elizabeth from Sydney - Brisbane. Fabulous food, beautiful state-room. Stunning, commisioned works of art. Incredible/wonderful décor and design. Loved the Art deco style evidenced ... Read More
Absolute thrill to spend 3 days on-bard the Queen Elizabeth from Sydney - Brisbane. Fabulous food, beautiful state-room. Stunning, commisioned works of art. Incredible/wonderful décor and design. Loved the Art deco style evidenced throughout the ship. A truly unforgettable experience. I walked the passageways for the three days transfixed by the surroundings. Every turn produced something extraordinary. A wonderful painting or sculpture, a beautiful dining experience, incredible inlaid timber, beautiful furnishing/furniture/etched glass alcoves. The ship was remarkably stable. Leaving Sydney Harbour on the night of our departure was unforgettable. With A Caribbean-style band playing and the Bridge and Opera House as a backdrop the experience was excitement plus. The only gripe I have is the waiting time to book for future cruises. We were on board for just three days and would have loved to have had the time to sit and plan another cruise before we dis-embarked. The Cruise section was open for a limited time each day with lengthy delays and long queues of passengers enquiring about further cruises. I had three visits before I was able to speak to a Booking agent. She gave us a fabulous deal on a 2019 cruise but the route/ports of call didn’t suit us. The Cruise Office on board the Q.E. had two only Reps. and with a short duration cruise we didn't have the chance to sit thoroughly explore further options. The Dining experience was outstanding. The stewards in both the Lido Buffet Restaurant and the Brittania restaurants were exceptional. The choice of food/quality/the diversity of meals/the freshness and range were superb. Sharona from Queensland Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our first cruise since the ship was refitted in late 2016, just after we did the Cape Horn cruise on her. Some things are better like the Stateroom décor, the Carinthia lounge is a great improvement on the Winter Garden. I feel ... Read More
This was our first cruise since the ship was refitted in late 2016, just after we did the Cape Horn cruise on her. Some things are better like the Stateroom décor, the Carinthia lounge is a great improvement on the Winter Garden. I feel though that the Kings court is a great big miss. The cool white marble type décor is not in synch with the rest of the ship which has a warm colour scheme. With the shades down before service it is just a great white blob. There is no flow and people mill around, those selecting food with those looking to choose collide with those using the area to access 1 side of the promenade deck from the other. The seating seems to be much closer violating one's sense of personal space. The glass dividers separating the seating areas from the walkways have been removed. Whoever thought that putting a high table for 2 in the telephone booth was a good idea needs to think again, I also noted that with the age of the cruisers on board the high tables were used as a last resort. The specialty dining area in the evening prevents access to the Kings court from stairwell D, OK in good weather but when Force 7 winds closed the outside deck this was a real nuisance. I miss the glass elevators! Food in the Britannia was often cold and my fish was twice not only cold but had a hard layer on it as if it had been sitting under heating lights too long. the service was slow and the wine waiter was not happy to be questioned over the wine and not at all helpful the first night of the cruise. He did improve later. Have they cut down on staff, 3 times we had to leave before dessert and coffee to get to the 10.30. show. Embarkation went smoothly even if most passengers turned up early, we are Platinum so had priority . Disembarkation was also smooth. Other than the dining room the service was very good, the pursers staff were very helpful. We enjoyed all the ports but as we are from NZ we already knew them all. Hobbiton Evening Feast was magical. Special thanks to the port staff in Tauranga who took the time to retrieve my sunhat left on the shuttle bus and see it got onboard to the pursers desk. We will go on the QM2 again but will tend to avoid the Kings Court. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The voyage was bought in August 2017 for a February-March 2018 Sydney to Sydney via NZ, 13 nights. The itinerary date above says Auckland 9 nights, wasn't an option as Auckland was off the itinerary anyway and we had two days in ... Read More
The voyage was bought in August 2017 for a February-March 2018 Sydney to Sydney via NZ, 13 nights. The itinerary date above says Auckland 9 nights, wasn't an option as Auckland was off the itinerary anyway and we had two days in Tauranga instead. I enjoyed the surprise birthday present in January and that followed through with the experience. From the Captain to the waiters and cabin staff, anywhere I saw a staff member in fact there was always a friendly acknowledgment. The Captain's meet and greet was slightly bewildering, once the photo was taken with the Captain we sat at a table for four and all of us were ignored by the waiters, it really was only a meet and greet with a not even drink at least. The cabin was smaller than I expected but plenty of storage and a very comfortable bed more than made up for that which I've read in other reviews. We had lovely companions at our table for six, attentive waiters who remembered small details. Milford Sound and two others were a spectacular sight, Dunedin was a self chosen itinerary where my husband went to the Speight Breweries tour very close to the Octagon and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Plenty of shops and cafes kept me occupied until he returned. A visit to the Albatross Colony will be next on our list. Akaroa is a pretty port, approximately 65kms north of Christchurch, tenders required. We chose to book the bus to Christchurch and have a quiet day wandering around the CBD. The onboard documentary showing the Wizard and Christchurch Cathedral is totally out of date, maybe 20-30 years judging by the fashions. Nothing could prepare us for the damage done, almost 7 years to the day, by a strong earthquake. However, on a different channel on our television, the onboard travel advisor did make strong references to the damage inflicted so we weren't totally surprised, just overwhelmed by the sights in the CBD. Wellington is a beautiful city and a brief shuttle ride from the berth. We chose to visit Te Papa which was an enjoyable experience in a modern museum. The Cable Car in the heart of the CBD was a nice surprise with a view of the city and harbour. Two days at the Port of Tauranga was also a pleasant time, the advertised Port of Auckland experience is cancelled for the time being and the extra day in the previous port gave us the opportunity to visit Hobbiton, all Lord of the Rings fans would enjoy the walk around a well set out film set with enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides giving us an insight to various scenes filmed there. We chose the day trip, the evening trip involves a meal on site and I'm sure it is a super experience listening to others who came back on board later in the evening. Our second day was again perfect weather and we explored the town which was also a relaxing time. Others visited Rotorua for different cultural events which was interesting for them, we had already visited all the attractions across the Bay of Plenty region in our own time prior to joining the Queen Mary 2. Bypassing Auckland did not worry me at all, we have plenty of good memories of the largest city in NZ. The Bay of Islands were waiting for us, north of Auckland. Paihia is a small town of around 5000 residents and the gateway to the tip of NZ, plenty of various tours are available including deep sea fishing, diving, boat and cruise tours etc. We chose to visit Russell and, for ourselves, visit a beautiful little church and graveyard which gave us plenty of history of the region. For more history of NZ, a trip to Waitangi Treaty House was considered but we chose the launch trip, 20 minutes perhaps, to Russell instead. Personally, I did not want the voyage to finish, 13 nights passed too quickly and the experience for us both was most enjoyable. I imagine we shall join the Queen Mary 2 in the future, maybe we'll look at the other two Queens, for now we have memories of an almost perfect experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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