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6 Cunard Transpacific Cruise Reviews

Summary: Beautiful ship. Disappointing experience. Details: Just got back from 22 day cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco to Hawaii, Bora Bora, Tahiti, New Zealand, Sydney, returning home to San ... Read More
Summary: Beautiful ship. Disappointing experience. Details: Just got back from 22 day cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco to Hawaii, Bora Bora, Tahiti, New Zealand, Sydney, returning home to San Francisco via 13 hour Quantas flight. It was our 20th wedding anniversary and I wanted to do something special for my wife. Especially since we had planned a Tahiti cruise on the Paul Gauguin in 1999 but job changes for both of us caused us to cancel. Cunard was running a free balcony upgrade incentive, so I booked this cruise and reserved a table for 2 so we could have some intimacy. We arrived at the Upper Britannia dining room the first night and were shown to a table for 4 people. I went to the maitre d' and asked if we could please have the table for 2 which we requested 3 months earlier. The maitre d' sarcastically quipped "Only three months" and then refused to provide the requested accommodation. The pursers office were extremely annoying. It took them 4 days, requiring us to come to their desk each day, to get our credit card authorized. The coffee was appalling. As an ex-pat, it grieves me to see how badly the Brits make coffee. We've been through this before when we visited the UK. Way too strong. The drink prices were ridiculous, averaging $14 each. We don't drink alcohol but Virgin Mary's and Cokes were still dear at $4.50 and $3.75 respectively. The food was un-imaginative "Carnival Cruise" fare although the fish and chips in the pub was decent as was the afternoon tea, stale sandwiches, scones with no clotted cream (unheard of).. The toilet in our cabin was ridiculously loud. A man came to fix it but we noticed no improvement and he never returned despite our asking. There was a terrible smell of raw sewage outside our cabin one night. They fixed it. But no apology offered. There were so many sick people onboard that the main Theater sounded like a diphtheria ward with so many people hacking away. My wife contracted the same flu-like infection and remains sick even after we returned home and got her an antibiotics prescription. Discussions with other passengers indicated the onboard sickness problem had been occurring since the ship left New York a few weeks earlier. Not sure why I escaped. Perhaps it was because of all the anti-bacterial lotion I applied hourly to my hands, nose and face every day. The weather was rough for at least 10 of the 14 "at sea" days". Not Cunard's fault, but the promenade deck was frequently roped off due to the rough seas so no walking possible. Regrettably, it's unlikely we will be taking any Cunard cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My husband and I were passengers on the Queen Elizabeth for the San Francisco to Sydney Cruise which took place on February 5, 2018 to February 28, 2018 to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. This was meant to be a trip of a lifetime. ... Read More
My husband and I were passengers on the Queen Elizabeth for the San Francisco to Sydney Cruise which took place on February 5, 2018 to February 28, 2018 to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. This was meant to be a trip of a lifetime. We are both in our mid/end-70’s and generally in good health, up to date with our vaccines, and pride ourselves on our immune strengthening nutrition. We truly appreciated the frequent reminders on board regarding sanitizing our hands and the general cleanliness on the ship. However, as the Cruise went on and we were well into the main part of our trip, we both caught a severe and deep seated cough that lasted well beyond our trip and after we returned home. We had noticed that an ever-increasing number of passengers were apparently plagued by the same, very nagging, illness. About a week after the situation had gotten worse, we visited the Medical Office on board. We were reluctantly told that we might consider a shot of some sort. However, after talking to a passenger who been given this shot, we were told that they had felt no improvement. Based on this information and lack of contact to our physician, we stuck to cough medication bought on board and on land to at least suppress the cough when we left our state room. Needless to say, our ‘trip of a lifetime experience’ was dampened by an illness we had not prepared for but was obviously known to occur. Unfortunately, we were not able to fully enjoy the beautiful offerings this cruise, the ship and cruise line had to offer. Furthermore, while visiting Sydney afterwards, we noticed that the ‘Cunard Cruise Ship Cough’ was a well-known reoccurrence. We were repeatedly approached, while waiting for our luggage, by other passengers asking us whether we caught the ‘Cunard Cruise Ship Cough’ as well. This was an eyeopener for us since we then realized that many other passengers had the same symptoms! We couldn’t help but wonder if the spread of this virus throughout the ship could have been prevented with a more adequate air filtration system. If this is a known situation, we wonder whether we should have been warned beforehand and possibly been given the opportunity to evaluate our decision to join this cruise? Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this cruise mainly because of its itinerary: San Francisco (I live nearby), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Sydney. Luckily we got on one the the queens. Service was superb, food was generally very ... Read More
Chose this cruise mainly because of its itinerary: San Francisco (I live nearby), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Sydney. Luckily we got on one the the queens. Service was superb, food was generally very good, and the ship was elegant. Had some rough rides between SF and Honolulu, and on the Tasman Sea, but didn't get seasick. The downside was that there was a cough going around on the ship, but I do not fault Cunard for this. This coughing virus and flu were going around San Francisco during embarkation. Unfortunately, the air conditioning exasperated the cough. Our steward got a technician to adjust the AC, plus we kept the balcony door open, which helped stop the condition. My sis (who I was traveling with) got excellent care from the ship's MD. We had lovely dining companions; a couple from Southhampton and another couple from Canberra. We were pampered and catered to and had a very nice cabin, which was overseen by our excellent steward, Alfredo. The cabin and the ship were spotless. The beds were extremely comfortable. The three performances we saw were top-notch. I especially loved the acrobats from Cirque de Soleil. The lectures were excellent too. There was a multitude of activities available during sea days, and the offshore excursions were fun and informative. I loved playing the daily "Name that Tune" contest. Cunard is so civilized - you get to play parlor games onboard; something I never get to do in the real world. And we loved the afternoon tea! The only un-fun necessity was doing laundry, but I packed large and had to visit the laundry only once. I waited in line 15 minutes before it opened and got a machine, then it was a done deal. Each deck has a launderette consisting of three washing machines and three dryers. Very busy place. Anyway, to sum things up, I was a bit apprehensive about this ship as some of the reviews are pretty brutal. Please do not disregard it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We very much enjoyed our 25 day Sydney-San Francisco cruise on Queen Victoria. It was made even more enjoyable by our upgrade to a Princess Grill Suite. The first benefit of the upgrade was the priority embarkation when we went ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our 25 day Sydney-San Francisco cruise on Queen Victoria. It was made even more enjoyable by our upgrade to a Princess Grill Suite. The first benefit of the upgrade was the priority embarkation when we went straight through Immigration and all the other checking in processes, avoiding the very long lines for others not so fortunate. The exclusive Princess Grill dining room is nice, but the dinner arrangements of the same people at the same table, arriving at any time between 6.30pm and 9pm, is not for us. As an example, we could have arrived at our table for 6 persons at 8pm and found the other two couples had arrived at 6.30pm, departing at 8pm. We dined each morning at breakfast in the Princess Grill and the staff were top class, addressing us by name from the second day. As Princess Grill guests we were given 135 minutes free internet time each, indeed a bonus! We relocated to the Brittania Restaurant for dinner, seated at a table for eight. This table for eight made dinner a delightful occasion for the duration of the cruise. The Queens Lounge which is shared by Queens and Princess Suite guests, is very enjoyable for reading quietly and conversation, and the daily afternoon tea is certainly a treat. Afternoon tea in the Queens Lounge is the ultimate in pampering: a private lounge for suite guests, Cunard do afternoon tea brilliantly: white gloved waiters serving finger sandwiches, petit fours, scones with jam and cream. There is a Captain’s Cocktail Party for Princess and Queens Grill guests, there is a feeling of spaciousness throughout the ship, with all staff being pleasant and attentive. Guest speakers, lecturers and entertainment are of a very high standard. Two stand-out guest speakers were Midge Ure and John McCarthy. Midge Ure was a member of the group Ultravox and had an extremely interesting story to tell, including his partnership with Bob Geldorf, forming Band-Aid and Live-Aid. John McCarthy was a journalist, taken hostage in Beirut and kept prisoner for 1,943 days, in company with others, including Terry Waite. The Queen Victoria Library has 7,000 books, an excellent reference section, and along with Queen Elizabeth, the best we have experienced in all our years of cruising. Criticisms The Princess Suite bathroom is no larger than any other cruise ship balcony stateroom we have experienced, indeed, the lighting is worse than others. There was no TV channel in our suite or indeed in the entire ship, that showed AFL football live or delayed, even though there were more Australians on the ship, Sydney-San Francisco, than any other nationality. It is worth noting that in the Golden Lion Pub, which was saturated by televised soccer, rugby, golf and every other imaginable sport, they could not find a spot for AFL. Our observation was recorded in writing as part of the end of cruise questionnaire. As a contrast, on Celebrity Solstice in 2016, Sydney-Honolulu, AFL live broadcasts went to every cabin. Dress standards While dress standards are a big plus for Cunard, we wonder whether they have gone a bit too far to the extreme in wanting to have a point of difference. Jackets are required, not only every night at dinner, but everywhere on the ship other than the Lido Buffet and the semi-outdoor Winter Garden after 6pm. You could not even enter a bar or the coffee shop after 6pm unless a jacket was worn. Perhaps one night in four of smart casual, where men are required to wear long trousers with an open neck, long sleeved shirt, or polo top, would be welcomed by guests. Whilst our Queen Elizabeth cruise was in 2012, we think that the dress standard at that time included a “Smart Casual” evening option. Summary Cunard’s Queen Victoria was everything we expected: a beautiful ship, well maintained, with excellent food, entertainment and lectures. We would definitely cruise with Cunard again, depending on the time frame, itinerary and cost. Gratuities are discretionary and can be negotiated at the Purser’s Office. From the Commodore/Captain down, all staff were professional and courteous, with a high degree of visibility around the ship daily. Queen Victoria is very shortly going in for a refit, there will be more suites/passengers, elimination of some public areas and with no additional crew. Hopefully this will only have minimal effect on the amount of public spaces. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I booked the San Francisco to Auckland leg of a World Voyage on the Queen Elizabeth. This was my first cruise and I'm pleased I chose Cunard. I had one and a half days in SFO before embarkation, booked as part of the cruise and I ... Read More
I booked the San Francisco to Auckland leg of a World Voyage on the Queen Elizabeth. This was my first cruise and I'm pleased I chose Cunard. I had one and a half days in SFO before embarkation, booked as part of the cruise and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in that lovely city. Embarkation was a bit chaotic, not helped by pouring rain, disembarking passengers arriving at the hotel at the same time as those who were checking out however, once we were at the pier, things ran smoothly. I found my stateroom with the minimum of fuss and fell in love with the space that would be my home away from home for the next 17 days. The stateroom (5062) was spotless and throughout the voyage I couldn't fault the effort that went into maintaining cleanliness. Likewise service elsewhere in the ship was always courteous and obliging. I had no reason to seek out the Purser. I dined in the Lido buffet for lunch and most dinners. As a solo traveller I found dining in the Britannia restaurant disappointing having been seated at a table with 2 other couples and I was uncomfortable. However, I couldn't fault the waiters in the Britannia and I liked the food. The ship stopped at Honolulu, Lahaina (Maui) Samoa and Auckland. We were scheduled to stop in Nuku'alofa however, because the captain had concerns regarding strengthening winds, a decision was made to bypass this planned stop. After obtaining permission from the Port of Auckland Authority, we were granted permission to berth in Auckland a day ahead of schedule. I would definitely go again. This same cruise stops at Tahiti next year and I'm very tempted. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We sailed 2 sectors on the world cruise in 2015. When an unbelievably cheap fare was offered for a trans--Pacific crossing we couldn't help ourselves. About 1,000 other Australians took up the offer and flew to Santiago to join Queen ... Read More
We sailed 2 sectors on the world cruise in 2015. When an unbelievably cheap fare was offered for a trans--Pacific crossing we couldn't help ourselves. About 1,000 other Australians took up the offer and flew to Santiago to join Queen Mary 2 in Valparaiso. We were zonked out for several days due to the ten hour time shift but all came good as we headed towards Easter Island. The vessel was in better shape than we saw it in March and April last year. There is a constant effort to keep it sparkling and regal looking despite it being due for a major refit. The large number of Aussies on board made it a less formal atmosphere than it could have been and a lot of passengers ignored the evening dress code. The entertainment, lecturer program and other onboard activities were outstanding. Guest speakers included George Negus and Prof Tim Flannery. Movies included Spectre and The Martian in 3D. The best of the shows included The Jersey Boys. There is never a shortage of things to do on sea days for our age group - early 60s - bridge, trivia, talks, planetarium, games, library, swimming, matinee performances and formal afternoon teas. The Queen Mary 2 is not perfect. It is slightly eccentric with its theatre having some view-less seats and its buffet being spread all over the place. However, once you understand it then you can come to love it. I love the soft-serve - delicious and not too sweet. I love the free soft drinks and complimentary room service. I love the free washing machines. You are not hassled to buy drinks. You don't need a coffee card. We finally had our sail past of Easter Island and saw the Moia statues. We had a longer stay due to the need to transfer a passenger ashore for medical treatment. Next was a wet Tahiti and a very humid Moorea. New Zealand was fantastic as usual with a perfect day ashore at the Bay of Islands. We used our $500 of on-board credit to purchase opera tickets in Sydney for the Barber of Seville - outstanding. It was great to see Queen Mary 2 lit up at night beside the harbour bridge walking back from the Opera House - a perfect end to a perfect cruise - 22 nights - pre-paid gratuities - on-board credit - less than $3,000 for both my wife and I - all-inclusive. It was cheaper than living at home. Why weren't you there? Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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