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14 Southampton to Cruise to Nowhere Cruise Reviews

Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean ... Read More
Sailed on the Norwegian Escape for my partner's mother's Birthday (one night cruise from Southampton). Firstly - the ship was beautiful with fantastic restaurants, good food from what we experienced, good facilities, nice clean staterooms and overall great potential. However, on this occasion we were extremely disappointed by the NCL customer service, complete lack of organization and very poor communication between staff and towards customers. The first example of this concerns evening dining - we were told early in the day there would be no need to book a table at the complementary restaurants as we would not have a problem getting a place. However, when we arrived for dinner that evening we were met with an hour long queue, with no staff seeming to know what was going on or willing to offer an explanation or any help or assistance. Eventually we were turned away along with many customers who HAD booked tables (having been given the opposite advice to our party). The customers at the back of the queue were not kept updated or informed of the situation and continued to queue long after those at the front had been told there would be no spaces for over an hour. This situation was the same for all complementary restaurants and we ended up paying to eat at one of the fine dining restaurants. On this occasion - after a great deal of complaining - NCL did the right thing and refunded us for this meal, but there were many customers who were not so lucky and this did not detract from the stress and time taken out of our one night on board the ship. The second issue concerned lost property - An hour or so after leaving the ship my partner and I realised we had left both our passports and my purse in the safe in our cabin. A very stupid mistake on our part but one which NCL dealt with extremely poorly. I called the Southampton office straight away and was told they'd call me back promptly and would do everything they could to reunite me with my belongings. They did not call me back. I called again later that day and again they failed to call me back. The next day, having been told everything would be done to track down the belongings, I was simply told I would have to send an email describing my belongings as they had all the lost property in boxes which had not been checked yet. Over the next few weeks I had to call again and again and explain the situation over and over again, each time I was told they had not checked the lost property yet and would call me back with information and each time they did not. It was about 4 weeks later that I was finally informed that my passports were in an office in London and about a month after my cruise I got them back. My purse, which had been with the passports in the safe in cabin had somehow 'gone missing' and could not be returned. No effort was made to look further into this by NCL. Overall, a cruise with fantastic potential ruined by NCL's incompetence. Would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a ... Read More
My husband and I were invited by our travel agent to spend a night aboard the Norwegian Escape on a taster cruise. It was for one night only. Embarkation was fine. The balcony cabin, in our opinion was badly laid out. There was a tiny bedside table on each side of the bed, so small it was a waste of time. The wardrobe was alongside the bed, making it difficult to put clothes in and out. My husband was pleased to see there was a coffee maker, buy alas no coffee! We did enquire about the coffee but was told the coffee makers were not in use at this time, however, we could use it to make a cup of tea (if we wanted to walk upstairs to get T bags that is)!! After unpacking we decided to have a drink and then explore. The first two bars didn't have any pino grigio, even though it was on their menu. The same with the draft beer. The drinks on this ship were very expensive. The most expensive we have ever found on any ship and we sail generally with P & O, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. To give you an idea, two medium glasses of red wine cost us £20!! We then went to book a table for dinner and was told we couldn't book a table, just turn up!! We attended the show, Million Dollar quartet, which my husband enjoyed and then decided to have a drink before dinner. The bars were mayhem! No waiter service (at least at the bars we attended)! We eventually got a drink and decided to go for dinner. The queues were incredible. I am on holiday, I don't queue. We ended up in our finery, along with a lot of other people, in the main buffet. The food was fine but not exactly the ambiance we had hoped for. We then had a stroll around the shops and couldn't face fighting our way to get another drink so went back to our stateroom, to be greeted by loud music coming from one of the venues just below our stateroom. Yes, NCL have put an entertainment venue in amongst the staterooms, well, good luck with that NCL. We are so grateful for our travel agent inviting us to try this ship. It has made us determine never to cruise with NCL again. If you like queuing, very expensive drinks and noisy staterooms, this ship is for you. We will not be returning. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We went on this one day taster cruise to compare the experience of NCL with Celebrity and Princess cruises. The first mistake that NCL make is forcing you wait nearly 2 hours to board the ship. Once we managed to get on the ship we ... Read More
We went on this one day taster cruise to compare the experience of NCL with Celebrity and Princess cruises. The first mistake that NCL make is forcing you wait nearly 2 hours to board the ship. Once we managed to get on the ship we immediately made our way to our Cabin which was sold to us as a Midship Cabin whereas in reality is at the rear. The cabin, in comparison with the same class of cabin on Celebrity, was extremely small although it had a very nice balcony. The pleasant bathroom has body wash, shampoo and hand wash dispensers exactly like those that you get in the budget hotels such as Premier Inn. We then went up to the 16th deck to get some lunch. Although the types of cuisine provided were very basic the food was quite good but unfortunately there are not enough tables and chairs so you have to walk around and around, with your food getting cold, until you find some. If you want a quiet relaxing "pre dinner" drink where you can meet fellow cruiser then this ship is not for you as it does not have anywhere to sit and relax. NCL have mixed a Bar area with the area that is used for quizzes, bingo and karaoke at the same time The service in the " freestyle" restaurant " Savour" was very slow and all of the courses were served either " Luke warm " or cold. The Buzz boy servicing our table had no idea what to do so the waiter had to clear away the plates. There is also a charge for a "post" dinner coffee which cannot be taken at your table. The " Free " entertainment was very good but you must remember to book otherwise you will not be allowed into the very small theatre and don't expect to be able to get a drink whilst you watch the show as it more like a cinema than a theatre. If you forget to book the free show then NCL will charge you up to $50 per person to see any of the other shows. I think that you should you NCL a wide berth unless you like cruising with a Premier Inns set up. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were ... Read More
There were 7 people in our group, all of whom have cruised many times before. This was our first time with NCL and if this is any indication of their standards - never again! Having arrived we took a number and after about an hour were called to check in. We then had to sit down again (or stand as there were no seats available) and wait another hour to be called to board. Service on board was very slow and the drinks were very expensive (2 rum and cokes $21.50 plus 18% tax). Waited half an hour to be seated in the main restaurant and 2 hours later (having only eaten starter and a main course, both of poor quality) we left. At no time did we see a wine waiter. After dinner we went to the District Brewhouse where the live pianist was very good; unfortunately all the best seats were taken up by crew members who seemed to treat it as their own private club. Overall we have left with the opinion that NCL is very expensive (all restaurants except the main restaurants carry a surcharge or are a la carte), the service is slow and standards are not as high as other cruise lines we have experienced. The only good thing about this taster cruise was the Million Dollar Quartet show which was excellent! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up ... Read More
Spent one night on the ship as a celebration to end of year of challenges taken on to raise money for a local children's charity , well this was spoilt by the whole experience . Firstly on Arrival at room , which was not even made up , told by housekeeping on this cruise no coffee in cabin , tea bags but no kettle . Can live with that . First meal , well food was cold , staff rude not attentive at all , when received bill was horrified to find they had added an 18 percent gratuity , well the Services was not worth , your find this is standard company policy . Evening meal in the Manhattan ,we booked this 6 plus weeks ago , 8.30 sitting , we were still waiting at 9, to be told we still need to make up the table , the queues were out the door , people standing in the lobby it was like a crowd at a football match . Once seated we were given one menu between 8 of us , eventually more were handed out , we ordered our meals including dessert told this was to save time !!! Starters arrived , not up to much really , after some 45 mins our dirty plates were still on the table no one had been near us to even offer drinks or water . We had to call a manager over to ask what was happening , she showed no interest at all and thought by giving us a bottle of wine would make it right . Meals arrived , all cold , parsnips with steak which was like rubber , menu said chips , chicken so dry could not chew it . Crisps served with chicken and gravy , that did it called manager again (Corrine) , she said she would be back in 5 mins never came back . So we left with no dinner and ended up with a bar snack . We decided to make the most of our time , well had missed all the entertainment and no on board night club , everything shut at 1 ,on speaking to guest relation , was told its not a proper cruise , well we paid. Proper over rated price for what can only describe as butlins on water . I would not recommend this ship or company to anybody , could go on for ever Jusy don't bother wasting your money Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O, Princess, Cunard and Royal Caribbean so thought we'd try NCL so took a one night taster on the Escape. Well that's exactly what we'd have liked to have done ESCAPE! Standards are shockingly low. Service is non existent and staff are not interested in hearing your complaints! The only positive was the rooms are beautiful and the thermal spa amazing. Everything else was well below average. You have to Book dinner and shows on touch screens and although we booked dinner for 9:15pm when we arrived at the Manhattan there must have been over a hundred people queuing to get in. When I explained to the waitress that we had booked our table she was rude and told us to just get in the que!!!! Whilst stood in the que she was taking people who HADNT booked tables through to eat!! I approached her again to be told it would be another hour and half before we could eat!!!! When we finally sat down it took 3 hours to serve a 3 course meal and the food was average at best. I didn't eat my main as it was truly disgusting and come midnight still had no dinner!!! The wine waiter was so rude we refused to buy any in the end. Went to reception to remove the tips and complain to be told NOT to write the reason we were refusing to pay tips on the form!!!! The receptionist wasn't interested in the fact we'd had such a shocking dining/ service experience and told us to just ring head office. He didn't even apologise!!! Furious and hungry we went to bed. Upon trying to disembark there was absolute chaos (same goes for embarkation) and there was a woman with a young son in a wheelchair trying to get through the chaos of bodies to get her son off the ship. When she approached a staff member I heard her being told "we don't offer special service to disabled passengers"!!!!!! We were disgusted!! On the point of disabled passengers there are only 2 sets of lifts, both of which you had to wait at least half an hour to get in and disabled passengers seemed to wait forever. There was of course a private lift for "Haven" passengers but they wouldn't even let the disabled passengers use that!!! And to top it off the cheeky Devils still took the tips off our cards so filling out forms was pointless. If you want rubbish food, rubbish service and you love to que then this is the ship for you. If however you have more discerning tastes then avoid this bargain bucket cruise line! What worried me most was the utter lack of organisation in EVERY area of the cruise. I would not want to be on that ship with those staff in an emergency situation!!! I know this is a long rant but this is our FIRST AND LAST ever cruise with NCL!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present ... Read More
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present to each other. We boarded and everything looked as it should even though there was a strong smell of fuel around the bar and casino area, they must just be refuelling we thought! We went for our evening meal on the first night and the staff looked in a zombiefied state, maybe it was the smell of fuel that was getting to them, however we did notice a very restrained atmosphere and that worsened as the voyage progressed. The next day at sea there was growing concern that we were not going to dock in Amsterdam as apparently the weather was bad, not that you would have guessed that by looking out of the window. The morning we were hoping to dock we awoke and it was deadly still, we turned on the TV and the entertainments director was advising the passengers to take an umbrella and wishing us a good and enjoyable day in Amsterdam. Excellent we are here, so leaping over and opening the curtain it was beyond a disappointment that we were actually heading back down the channel in the other direction and so that's how it remained for the next two days going up and down the channel with no information coming from the captain, not only that, I don't think anyone saw the captain during this whole ordeal, he still didn't appear when hundreds of people were chanting we want the captain at the reception area. Had he lost his spine? It was then announced that the ship was going to have to dock early at Southampton as work had to be done on the fuel tanks , this was no doubt why we had to put up with the smell of fuel for the whole of this saga. By this time hundreds of passengers were itching to disembark as soon as possible and that is why hundreds of people did disembark a night earlier, The entertainments laid on were lacklustre the shows lasted a pitiful 45 minutes and were mediocre at best. This had been a terrible experience so when we got home we made a complaint and expected carnival/cunard to do the honourable thing of offering a reasonable compensation package to us hard working people that had been taken for a ride on this so called cruise to Amsterdam . It took three or more weeks for a reply offering $25 off another cruise with them. What an insult. If you are looking for an uncaring corporate company that are happy to hide behind a force majeure clause to avoid paying compensation even when, according to the Amsterdam cruise port website, the Britannia Beaver tanker and the Merlin Diver vessel docked at Amsterdam during this time . Then good luck. We however after being treated like this will never set foot on any carnival / cunard / p&o line, So it looks like they wont have to honour their enormously insulting $25 offer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our first ever cruise and a 2 nigh "taster cruise", this has put us off cruising for ever. first two and a half hour wait in southampton in a humid marquee, arrived on time at 11am, to be herded into a marquee with no ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and a 2 nigh "taster cruise", this has put us off cruising for ever. first two and a half hour wait in southampton in a humid marquee, arrived on time at 11am, to be herded into a marquee with no explanation as to why, then endured 2.5 hours of waiting with insufficient seating. you could not get served in bars, half an hour wait minimum, with extremely rude staff, telling you to sit down for waiter service, but there were no waiters or waitress, if you went direct to bar to try and get a drink, you were spoken to very rudely and told to sit down. I dont think I talked to one other passenger who wasnt suffering the same, this continued through out the cruise., with arguments and complaints about lack of service and rude staff all over the place I will never, never use MSC again and if this was their idea of trying to get me to book a big cruise by "enjoying one of ther taster cruises, then they are living in cloud cuckoo land. a very disgusted and once only cruise passenger Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Like other passengers on this ship, we too have been on a number of cruises, so know how things work. We arrived early only to be herded In to a marquee where we waited for around 3 hours before boarding. The refreshments were chargeable, ... Read More
Like other passengers on this ship, we too have been on a number of cruises, so know how things work. We arrived early only to be herded In to a marquee where we waited for around 3 hours before boarding. The refreshments were chargeable, in view of the time waiting, these should have been complimentary. Finally we boarded and decided to purchase the two day drinks package. We were then told we had to queue at reception to get them activated. This took around 20 minutes. We then noticed that, although we and our friends had booked at the same time and asked to be seated together at first dining sitting, we were given second (not a problem) but were seated on totally different tables!! More queuing to get this rectified. Fine we thought, let,s get some lunch and chill with a drink from the bar. Firstly, before we could get any lunch, we had to clean our table, followed by some luke warm food from the buffet. Now to the bar to relax before the safety drill at 3.30. It took around 30 minutes to get a drink and several male passengers complained at reception without success. Evening meal was awful. This was to be at 8.30 the doors didn't,t open until 8.40 and we did not get a menu until almost 9 pm. There were no rolls or jug of water on the table. We were handed bread, eventually. Four times we asked for water and wine, but we're ignored. The five course meal was terrible. The mozzarella was tasteless, the soup watery, the salad was an iceberg lettuce floating in water and my turkey was rubbery. Our friend asked for the cheese and biscuits, but only received cheese. When he pointed this out, the waiter took the cheese away and then gave him a plate of crackers minus the cheese. What a shambles. It appeared to us that there were not enough staff, and those that were available were sullen and unhelpful. It seemed that the staff were left to muddle through without any leadership. The final straw was being told to vacate the cabin at 6.30 am.All the other cruises we have been on are around 8 am. Many of the passengers we spoke to said it was their first experience at cruising and would be their last. We told them that this was the worst cruise we had been on and would not cruise with MSC again., so not to be put off cruising by this weekend experience. There are much better cruise liners around. We feel that MSC missed a golden opportunity to showcase themselves, instead the blew it.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Although only a 3 day cruise, we lost most of our leisure time to queues. Good points: Ship and decor wasn't bad, shows were reasonable. Bad points: It took over 3 hours just to get to check-in - we were issued with a waiting ... Read More
Although only a 3 day cruise, we lost most of our leisure time to queues. Good points: Ship and decor wasn't bad, shows were reasonable. Bad points: It took over 3 hours just to get to check-in - we were issued with a waiting number (16) but their numbers only went up to 20, then they reissued 1 onwards. So after waiting 2 1/2 hours for 16 to come up, new passengers arriving were given low numbers and by-passed the queue! There was a SERIOUS lack of staff in the bars - the main bar held about 120 passengers, but there was only ONE waiter. Average wait for a drink: 45-60 minutes. When a friend complained to a passing officer, he raised his voice to her and told her to go to another bar if she wasn't happy! A glass of water with meals had to be paid for. No tea or coffee after the meal. Safety drill was a farce. Nobody could see the life jacket demo. MSC need to check out Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Princess to see how it should be done. Staff never smiled, never spoke unless they had to and bar staff avoided eye contact while ignoring you. Never again!!!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My wife and I have sailed with a number of cruise lines , but to be honest Royal Caribbean has never been one we have through personal choice fancied travelling with. However, in light of the extensive media there is in the UK as to how ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed with a number of cruise lines , but to be honest Royal Caribbean has never been one we have through personal choice fancied travelling with. However, in light of the extensive media there is in the UK as to how 'wonderful' their cruises are my wife and I decided to give them a 'fair and open' chance to prove us wrong by taking a two day sampler cruise to nowhere. We specifically chose this cruise as there was not a planned port of call as we know that when in port, venues etc are closed onboard and therefore with them being open it would gives us a good opportunity to in effect make a personal review, to decide whether we would book a longer cruise at a later date. About 4 days prior to sailing, we received an email to say the ship would now make a port of call stop to Cherbourg (France) which defeated the reason why we chose the cruise in the first place. Day one - Embarkation at Southampton, this was swift and fairly painless and was much inline with our normal experiences of the port. At check there were people giving out information sheets advising of the revised cruise to include Cherbourg due to Custom & Excise regulations which would have prevented them opening the spa and casino etc......... As they needed to be seen to dock in international waters. Once checked in we went onto the ship and having not eaten anything we made our way up to the buffet restaurant. This was about 11:30 in the morning, and already the hot food was not only 'Luke warm' but totally tasteless. I had two different types of chicken, which were in addition to being Luke warm, were so over cooked I could have leathered the soles of my shoes with them. As a couple who previously owned the rights to use a 3 bedroom time share villa in Orlando, we are fully appreciative of our experiences of American service, but as we sat and ate our meal, the body language and indeed verbal language of some of the staff, really surprised us. Later in the day, after un-packing our luggage in our cabin, we made our way to the 'freedom' style restaurant to make a reservation for a table for two for our preferred eating time, to be advised that they only make reservations for tables for two at 17:30 or 17:45. When we sat down for our meal (which typically on previous cruises we would expect to take around 90 minutes over) we were in and out in less than 40 minutes...was like being on a conveyor belt, indeed the waiters were clearing plates of the first person, before the second had finished. Day Two - the buffet restaurant started cooked breakfast from 7am, because of medical tablets I have to take, this was absolutely perfect, however on reaching the buffet at 07:02 yet again the so called 'hot food' was at best described as Luke warm.......... My hash browns were actually cold. We chose not to get off at Cherbourg having been there número use times independently. Our evening meal experience mirrored that of the previous night....... Conveyor belly, but unlike the previous night where the food was quite tasty, the main course was at best described as tasteless. We ended up in the drinks/ entertainment lounge on deck 5 that has an eastern name (had a mental block as to it's name as I write this). We were two of about 18 people in there and after waiting 10 minutes for a drinks waiter to come to us, we walked out. During this time, the waiter spent the whole time chatting to the person behind the bar, and took drinks to one table only........ Totally appalling! Day one and two......... During the cruise the open air 'inline skating' rink was shut because the track was wet!!!!! ............... The general store (duty free) was shut displaying a sign, that as the ship was not leaving territorial waters for international waters they could not open; but that is exactly why they added the port call to Cherbourg for to ensure they were in international waters. My wife wanted to go rock climbing but on each occasion we went to the wall it was shut, and I was advised by a teenager that he had been told it was shut for the duration of the cruise. The most ludicrous issue was that on a Cashless cruise to play the casino including slots, we had to go to the casino cashier to physically 'BUY' dollars as the slots could not be used by entering your cruise card as the facility was not available on the cruise. So we were charged 3% to buy dollars, whereas had we known, we could have brought some along with us, as we keep a supply of dollars at home. To be honest we feel totally let down by Royal Caribbean, indeed the UK Head Office has not even responded to a let of complaint sent, which does lead us to a total negative experience. We fully appreciate others will say RCI is the best thing since sliced bread, but it would be interesting to see what your genuine thoughts would be if you experienced what we did! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
When my husband and I saw this mini cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for 5 days to and from Southampton (we live about and hour away) we thought what an ideal opportunity to try this iconic brand. Our past experience consists of seven cruises ... Read More
When my husband and I saw this mini cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for 5 days to and from Southampton (we live about and hour away) we thought what an ideal opportunity to try this iconic brand. Our past experience consists of seven cruises on Celebrity, Royal Carribean and more recently Azamara Club and Oceania.We were expecting great things from Cunard! Embarkation from start to finish took about 50 minutes so no complaints and there was a welcome bottle of champagne in our stateroom. The stateroom itself was a bit basic in decor considering Queen Elizabeth is only 2 years old but that sort of thing dosen`t spoil a holiday for us. What does however is bad service and mediocre food. The Lido buffet was like a bun fight at breakfast and lunch, with not enough food areas open and the standard of food was the worst we have had on any of the mentioned cruise lines. I ordered a fresh pizza one lunchtime which was O.K. but received such surly service from the chef I wanted to apologise for being so awkward! The Britannia dining room food was nice enough but again the worst out of all the cruise lines mentioned. The service was good apart from the sommelier who had so many tables to look after we got to our main course before he had time to take our wine order. You could not help but feel sorry for him. Likewise service in the Golden Lion was not good/ bordering on chaotic; we waited 35 minutes for some drinks and when they came they were wrong. This seemed to be the norm rather than the exception. The service around the pool area and on deck was virtually non existant. If you wanted a drink you had to get it yourself and at one point I saw an old lady march off to find an officer and some waiters to come and clear the dirty glasses and cups that were on almost every table. Needless to say they did not make it up to the top level where we were, so we just sat staring at the mess! I don`t want to appear like a professional moaner so I must mention The Verandah restaurant which we paid to eat in on the 2nd night and went back to on our last night (also we could not face the Britannia dining room again). The food was worthy of a michelin star and the service was the best I have ever had.The head waiter made crepes suzette at the table which was impressive and delicious. The public areas on the ship were all very nice and we particularly enjoyed The Commodore Club and the Yacht Club. A fantastic pianist and an amazing Caribbean band made for great entertainment,and dancing in the nightclub. We aways try and make the best of any situation so it would be wrong to say we did not have a good time but it is with regret that we will not be travelling with Cunard again. Take my advise and try someone else where the food and service is up to scratch. I find it slightly amusing that Cunard insists on high standards of dress from its passengers and yet is unable to deliver high standards itself. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
What other company design all their contracts so that THEY can break them at will and be so unforgiving when unfortunate circumstances occur to their customers. This was a round the world cruise of 106 nights on two liners QE and QM2 ... Read More
What other company design all their contracts so that THEY can break them at will and be so unforgiving when unfortunate circumstances occur to their customers. This was a round the world cruise of 106 nights on two liners QE and QM2 and booked 18 months before departure at a cost of 20,000+to include 7 day stay in Sydney ,all gratuities ,"round the world" dinners in Sydney and Dubai and on board spend and various other RTW goodies. Unfortunately I was sick 7 months before embarkation and did not get fit to travel until a day before embarkation date. Had to cancel first part due to the illness but advised Cunard and agent that I wanted to pick up the cruise ASAP hopefully New York. Got doctors clearance and approached agent (ROL). No problem but Cunard want full payment again!!!. I couldn't believe that this could be so and took to contact them myself, and it was this that should have sounded warning bells about Cunards attitudes, but to cut a long story short I managed after many calls to get them, or rather Amy, the only Cunard employee who had any resemblance of customer service about her, to re-instate the second half, Sydney home, and I paid for first half again on QE to Sydney from San Francisco. Swallow hard and get under way with the aim to enjoy ourselves and forget it. Embarked at San Francisco on QE then we felt the full force of Cunards meanness. They are completely soulless, have no empathy and only after the fast buck which they relieve you of by the bucket loads. They had removed our "round the world" status and cancelled all our benefits, no dinners in Sydney and Dubai, we received no invitations' to Cocktail parties etc, no onboard spend although I did manage to get a small amount on second leg, no tips paid, no gifts of shawl decanters etc and no 7 day hotel stay in Sydney, which left us to find our own accommodation . This after them collecting a cool £10,000extra, pure profit, from my unforseen circumstances and charging us again to get to Sydney, plus their usual make from RTW fare. No luck on QE so tried on QM2 and no amount of discussions with the pursers or senior officers had any effect and found that saying "NO" had to be a company policy and it will be sorted out by Southampton. The fact that we would not be back to Southampton for nearly 4 months didn't seem to feature in their thinking. They really couldn't have cared less from the Captain down. Two fellow round the worlders wrote to the Captain, no reply, and the Hotel Manager who invited us to sit on his table for dinner. Hopefully we might be getting somewhere but he never said a word about any of it. I suppose he patronisingly thought the honour of sitting on his table would remedy all. Wrong it made it worse and it was galling to see on their blog the treatment he received when he recently retired. This situation caused embarrassment to the rest of the party but we just had to get on with it and try not to let it affect our trip. Near impossible. So why wait some six months after disembarkation to do this review. It has taken this long to sort out two other minor matters that only the Cunard brick wall needed penetrating. Not easy and it was was only after court proceedings had begun for a ruined blazer that they very very grudgingly paid up. They, Cunard, spent 3 months arguing and stonewalling over a ruined blazer that was so obviously and blatantly their fault. To this day they cannot bring themselves to just confirm that one of my bags went missing on disembarkation. I did forget to collect it but contacted them 90 minutes after disembarkation. Of course nothing to do with Cunard all my fault even though the bag should have been kept secure by them. They even intimated that passengers collect their own bags and then claim insinuating that I was a liar. They did nothing to try and trace it. I have two letters from the same person written on the same day giving four different dates, none of them for the day I reported it. So what about the cruise itself. Even though we had our problems the plus side was definitely the QM2 which was very smooth and only showed any sign of being affected by the wind while crossing the Bay of Biscay. The down side of the QM2 though was that we lost complete power on 2 occasions to add to the 2 on the outward trip. Glad it happened on calm days. A rough sea would have been a more unpleasant experience. The cabins were adequate but not over spacious, we found the food pretty good in Britannia restaurant and also the speciality nights in the Kings Court very good. Not so in the Todd English restaurant which I thought was disgusting and very over priced and over hyped. They could not even cook a scallop, well they could and did for god knows how long and they emerged like marbles. The staff were excellent in the Britannia restaurant and the cabins, the entertainment was very average to poor and why do they keep employing singers whose only repertoire consists of Les Miserable and Phantom. Believe me after 3 months you run for cover whenever they open their mouths. No not impressive, nor do I recall one memorable show. Some lectures were good. Gerald Scarfe brilliant, sometimes near the mark, and a lecturer from the salvage firm of Schmidt, whose name escapes me was knowledgeable and a very good presenter and was involved in the Russian submarine sinking. "Cruising" is somewhat of a misnomer, you are in fact just subsidising a huge ferry to get round the world. As round the world customers, well we weren't in CUNARDS eyes, but we were in fares if not in miles, and were treated no differently than those that used it to do short segments. These caused disruption to the routines and changed the character of the ship every time, and sometimes not for the better. As many as 1500 can come and go at some major ports. Shore trips very expensive and comes under the heading things they don't tell you. The main problem is that QM2 is so large that most cruise terminals cannot accommodate it. This means that it has to dock in container terminals, not attractive and usually a long way from where you want to be. Worst example was Bangkok. 3 hour coach trip to have just 4 hours there and then 3 hours back and this was often the case and well you can imagine the driving conditions in some of these places. Even Hong Kong was a 40 minute tender trip to shore. These are some of the other extortionate schemes they devised to relieve you of your cash.. The internet is like pouring money down the drain. It just does not work and you pay for all the down time. A picture that they take by the hundreds will set you back $25, every drink you buy they add 15% irrespective of any service and all activities in the Spa will set you back a pretty penny. They then have these supposedly luxury shops who then transform themselves into market traders to try and get rid of there very average goods by setting up in the corridors and blocking the way for those trying to get through. If you have been to Petticoat Lane you will have a very good idea of what they were like. Having booked early CUNARD dropped three important ports of call from the itinerary at their whim. Hiroshima which we were particularly looking forward to and replaced by an extra day in Sydney (we had already had 7 days there) Napier NZ where we were to meet up with friends. They didn't even bother to advise us that this was cancelled. The last one was Lisbon which was replaced by Malaga!! From a senior officers comments it appeared that they would not pay for the extra fuel to run the gas turbines. Of course there is no comeback, it is all in the small print and not their fault. You would have thought they might establish these visits long before the cruise date and not advertise them and cancel them after you have paid. Never mind they always have the small print. This must be a CUNARD habit as there were a number of seasoned cruisers who could not recall missing a scheduled call on any other line except for weather. The final confirmation that CUNARD are not the company to do business with was after writing a personal letter addressed to the MD Peter Shanks, addressee only , just asking him for "his" comments to our CUNARD experience, not customer services comments as I already had a large file of them. You probably guessed, he did not even read it and it was answered by a customer service clerk with the usual insincere clap trap. I thought it was just me who had problems and so I had a quick look at others comments before I put it on the critics sites and it was somewhat re-assuring to see that It was not only me who had become bitter and twisted but there are many others with similar views of CUNARD and seemingly angrier than me. e.g." All the gloss on the surface and deeply cold and uncaring to the core" " The Internet, In essence a divisive and sly 'con'" "Will I go on a World cruise again, never we are the forgotten passengers." "Once they have your money, you're almost forgotten" "Their replies to complaints have been grossly insulting implying I am a liar." And one from someone whose mother died and they would not transfer names so he forfeited his money in disgust. We also experienced all of the above. So there it is you pay your money and take your choice. I am sure many people like Cunard probably because they haven't had a problem. Make sure you know the rules if it all goes wrong because there is absolutely no one who you can turn to for help on shore or on ship. Come to think of it if there was someone they would not help as I found to my cost as it is not one of Cunards mission statements to deal with customers other than to relieve them of cash. On the plus side we met many new friends who have kept together since and some ports of call were good, Vietnam to name one. The only fly in the ointment are CUNARD themselves. Their inability to deal with any complaint is obviously company policy and they will swear black is white and treat you like an imbecile or even worse a liar. So farewell CUNARD. It would be nice to think that someone of some authority in Cunard reads these and just might think we may have a problem here. Dream on, we believed the hype and we paid for it, literally. We shall not be tempted again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Findings from the 2011 World Tour maiden voyage of the Queen ElizabethFood and drink: Did not eat a piece of fruit that was ripe and ready when it looked like it was rotting. Vegetables were never done and very little so ask for more was ... Read More
Findings from the 2011 World Tour maiden voyage of the Queen ElizabethFood and drink: Did not eat a piece of fruit that was ripe and ready when it looked like it was rotting. Vegetables were never done and very little so ask for more was not an option if it is not done. Lots of lamb and poultry like duck and guinea fowl. Tasty meat was a few times. Coffee was one day too weak and too strong the other day. Really good but a few times. And endive salad was just lettuce with very few ingredients. Potatoes were not cooked and was therefore mostly rice. Quality food absolutely no 5 *. Only the Veranda restaurant, met the 5 * (super).Operation: Waiters fought a lot among themselves and were only controlled by their superiors. Mostly lazy and uninterested staff and often to clear the table mid-meal. In short, they do not know their stuff.Entertainment: In a world cruise repetitions and often shows for kids like morons, or a juggler or magician. There were beautiful costumes but we have seen them only 2 times. The theater was seldom full and people rarely walked quickly away. The sound of the orchestra was often more important and thus harder than the performing artist as a harpist and singer. Shortly, quality was very poor.Accommodation: The air conditioning was sometimes off and sometimes in some places it was 15 degrees and often in the restaurant almost 30 degrees. The coffee machines have been broken for days and a cup of cappuccino could not be donated. The TV has two British and two American stations but only one sports channel in the air for three weeks. Furthermore you missed all the sport.Dress Code: Lots formally a malfunctioning air conditioning does not contribute to a nice meal. Always one to suit what's wrong with a nice shirt or a polo.Passengers: On board Russians and Muslims in their own way travel experience. This is very different from the other passengers. Many children on board which is not helping to create a pleasant cruise.Information: Every day there will be a newspaper (daily program) that cut and paste is put together and full of errors. Furthermore, we did not enter Aruba and Bali but it is canceled for some unknown reason why we never communicated. This seems to be normal. Daily also published a newspaper in your own language, but you have to ask 4 times before this is settled. Furthermore, also in English (especially the cruise director) is not known that other countries in the world than England.Disembark: Upon arrival at Southampton, I had to first pick up the car. Asked when leaving the ship on 3 persons of security or should I return after the car was retrieved. No problem if you show the boarding pass but there is no problem. After all, you paid for these days and this date is also mentioned. Showing you never come back on board and after information from four individuals showed that this was impossible. So the telephone to call the ship and asked if anyone wanted to empty my cabin (there were 3 bags) it lasted a whole 2.5 hours and the result that the train to France that was made was not reached. It costs nearly 100 euros over again.Summary: The Queen Elizabeth is a 5 star ship and the whole earn less than 4 stars it was also evident in the evenings where a retirement home just after eleven which was 95% in bed Read Less
Sail Date January 2011

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