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2 Hamburg to Europe - British Isles & Western Cunard Queen Elizabeth Cruise Reviews

Always wanted to try Cunard and expectations were set high, so we booked a mini-cruise Kiel to Southampton in an ocean view room. The good.... Stateroom was nice size, good decor and well serviced. 1/2 bottle of fizz on departure ... Read More
Always wanted to try Cunard and expectations were set high, so we booked a mini-cruise Kiel to Southampton in an ocean view room. The good.... Stateroom was nice size, good decor and well serviced. 1/2 bottle of fizz on departure was a nice touch. Quality Penhaligon's cosmetics were also lovely. Plenty of storage for a longer cruise. The passenger areas in general were very tasteful and elegant, spotlessly clean and lots of space to spread out. Some of the artwork of the other Cunard liners was really lovely and took lots of pics with it as backdrop. Unlike some of the other cruiselines, i didn't feel that the photographers were intrusive / persistent and i didn't feel like we were being continuously nickel and dimed like you are on Celebrity. The drinks were reasonable and the bar service generally in the commodore club was very attentive and courteous. The staff in the lido buffet were attentive and courteous, though the lunch / dinner selection was very poor compared to the other cruises we have been on. Breakfast was quite good. The entertainment was of good standard in the main theatre with good singers, musicians and comedy performances. There was also a lot of pianist based entertainment and string quartet entertainment leading to a sophisticated background ambience in the public areas. The bad... In two words - Britannia Restaurant. I don't know if they are understaffed or under-trained but this was a dreadful dining experience compared to Celebrity or Princess. The waiters, though polite, were as polished as the Chuckle Brothers with no sense of occasion or service delivery. Bread was thrown onto the plate, meat was cooked entirely different to the ordered spec and timing was very slow. The executive Chef is clearly past his sell by date as his plate combinations were just plain odd. One starter i had was a 'green salad with goats cheese.' What arrived was a few pieces of iceberg lettuce with a sad looking tiny piece of french stick and some dried out smeared goats cheese. The 'gala dinner' was lobster (1/2 tail, not full tail as on all my other cruises) service with rice and a congealed seafood sauce. On another evening, my partner ordered prime rib medium-well, what arrived was raw meat, bloody and impossible to cut or eat. As usual, our waiter didn't reappear until we were all finished, so too late to exchange the meal. Deserts were uninspired, missing classic staples such as a top notch cheesecake or creme brulee which everyone likes. Petit fours rarely ever include choco rice crispy cakes!! They did on this ship.... Poor interactive / no interactive TV service or onboard wifi apps - this should be copied from your colleagues at Princess.... The ugly... White glove afternoon tea....complete and utter shambles and the manager of this should be offloaded. I was expecting a calm sophisticated environment with string quartet and elegant white glove service (think Cunard brochure). What was delivered was sitting at a table for 15 minutes with 1300 other folks without even being acknowledged by the few staff which weren't selling champagne. Getting sick of waiting for service, we attempted to get some of our own food from the self serve area, but this was as calm as the opening doors at an Asda Walmart black Friday event. We left early in disgust at what should have been a highlight being a memorable disaster. Again, this was in the Britannia Restaurant, so a common theme appearing here..... Note to Cunard: I'm in my early forties and have a lot of disposable income spending several thousand £'s each year on cruising. If you only want to appeal to older passengers that can afford to be in Grill Suites and have the better service levels, then you have achieved your goal and should convert to Grill only ships. The rest of your passengers will recognise they can get better value, feel more valued and get significantly better service and not darken your doors again. It is highly unlikely you will receive another booking from me, certainly not if there's an alternative cruise line on the same route. I had very high expectations of you, you didn't meet them. This saddens me as a Brit wanting to have great British service and support a great British brand (i know you are Carnival, but let's gloss over that....). Many of the faults i found are free to fix and cost neutral, so you have no excuse. The next time i pull into a harbour alongside one of the Queens, rather than envy, I'll be thankful to be on an alternative vessel. You would do well to take some guidance from Princess and stop delivering Titanic steerage class levels of food and service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We have just come back from a Northern Europe cruise on board the Queen Elizabeth and we can honestly say that it was one of the most wonderful experiences we have ever had. Embarkation was a breeze - we got to the ... Read More
We have just come back from a Northern Europe cruise on board the Queen Elizabeth and we can honestly say that it was one of the most wonderful experiences we have ever had. Embarkation was a breeze - we got to the terminal by taxi at about 11am and had our suitcases taken off us by a porter and were directed to check in. Once at the check in area we had to wait for check in to open which the staff said would be at noon but it was open by 11:30am. We were checked in by a friendly and efficient staff member and were then allowed to go on board straight after this. When we boarded we had a very warm welcome by the first crew members that we saw on board and when we got to the grand lobby all I can say is WOW! It is a lovely understated but grand ship and it was exactly how we imagined it would be. When we went down the River Elbe in Hamburg we watched as a hotel played "Land of Hope and Glory" waving sheets out of the window as we went past! Cabins Our group had 2 cabins - a balcony cabin (6041) and an inside cabin (6022). Even the inside cabin was nicely appointed and seemed very cosy (in a good way). The balcony cabin was quite spacious and had a nice sofa to relax on. Even though the balcony cabin was near the lifts we heard no noise whatsoever even on the night that we had to put out our bags (unlike MSC where there was just shouting and banging down the corridors!) The cabin steward for the balcony cabin was okay but missed things out - for example, we only had one bathrobe and slippers even though there were 2 of us and things seemed to be too much trouble. In fact she looked very tired and overworked! However the cabin steward in the inside cabin was excellent and nothing was too much trouble. The furniture in the cabin itself was of a very good standard - comfortable beds with soft duvets but the TV could have been a bit bigger. But then again you don't go on a cruise to watch TV! Food & Drink We had lunch one day in the Golden Lion which served traditional "pub grub". We had cottage pie, fish and chips (with mushy peas!) and a ploughman's between us. All 3 meals were delicious and piping hot and were very filling. We also had lunch and breakfast in the Lido which was also very nice with hot food. You could also get sandwiches, pizza and pasta made to order for lunch here which was a nice touch. Tables were cleared away quickly and it was never difficult to get a table. I just wish I had the mascarpone dessert that they had as it looked delicious but I did not see it again. We dined in the Britannia Restaurant on second seating. Our waitress, Agata, was absolutely fantastic and nothing was too much trouble for her. She worked very hard and even when one of us ordered a main course but did not like it when it came (nothing to do with the food itself, we just made a wrong choice off the menu) the dish was whisked away and an alternative swiftly provided so that we could all still eat our main courses at the same time. We were also provided with a folder of menus from the whole cruise which was a nice touch. The wine waitress was also very good even remembering my choice from the wine menu from a previous night and making recommendations where appropriate. The food in the Britannia restaurant was lovely and piping hot. It was not too much but you weren't feeling hungry at the end of it either. The chocolate volcano was to die for. We had afternoon tea in the Queens Room one day which was very much a traditional affair with a string quartet playing in the background whilst white-gloved waiters poured tea and coffee and served cakes, sandwiches and scones as many times as you like. There were also a couple of alternative teas if you did not want to have the standard tea. The scones were also served with clotted cream which was gorgeous. Breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant was nice and you could order al a carte off the menu or have the "Express Breakfast" which was the usual English Breakfast but we were surprised to see the lack of black pudding bearing in mind they market themselves as being very British. The waiters did seem quite rushed at breakfast on disembarkation day however and we did have to ask for some more coffee a couple of times. The service in all of the bars was very good and you didn't feel pressured in to buying a drink if you just wanted to sit and take in the view. The Ship The ship itself is very understated but grand at the same time. It did take a while to get our bearings as there are 2 main staircases on this ship - one in the grand lobby and one by the Golden Lion pub. The Queens Room is definitely one of the best rooms on the ship - very grand with a lovely dance floor. There was also a croquet lawn and short bowls mat if you wished to play. There was also a giant chess set on the Lido deck but a couple of pieces were broken. The grand lobby often had live music playing so was a very nice place to relax and read a book. This is a great place to have pictures taken as well. The Garden Lounge was a conservatory/winter garden area where you could have champagne afternoon tea if you wished for an extra charge or just have a drink or two. It was nice to have a room where there was plenty of light without going outside. The Commodore Club was at the bow of the ship and gave a good view of basically what the captain saw. We did see the spa but did not go in as I think there was an extra charge for using the indoor pool and facilities there. We did not use the pools on board as it was a Northern Europe itinerary and the weather wasn't that great but they seemed nice enough. Entertainment There was entertainment going on most of the time on board the ship but you didn't feel pressured into doing anything if you didn't want to. The shows in the Royal Court Theatre were very good including a very funny Liverpudlian comedian and on the final night a variety show including a singer, dancers and the comedian again. I do agree with a lot of other people on here that the boxes in the theatre have Perspex in front of them which way give you a distorted view of the stage. You can sit in these boxes for free unless it is a special night in which case you can pay and have champagne in the box. There were plenty of other things to do during the day such as a pub quiz, karaoke, bingo and live cooking demonstrations from the Executive Chef. At night there were many venues to choose from such as the Golden Lion with karaoke (with a strange selection of songs) and the yacht club which turned into a disco with live music earlier on and a DJ later. It was very lively on the 2 nights we went - unusual for a cruise ship. Conclusion We loved the QE so much that we have already booked to go on her again as part of the 3 Queens Event in 2012 and cannot wait! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Queen Elizabeth Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.5

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