621 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

This 14 night voyage is my 13th cruise with Cunard and it is a few years since I have written a review. However, as this cruise was one of Cunard’s ‘special event’ and themed voyages and the longest single cruise I have done, I think ... Read More
This 14 night voyage is my 13th cruise with Cunard and it is a few years since I have written a review. However, as this cruise was one of Cunard’s ‘special event’ and themed voyages and the longest single cruise I have done, I think its time to share my thoughts again. At only 26 and 29 years old my husband and I are quite a bit younger than the stereotype Cunard passenger, however we enjoy the ambiance; dressing for dinner; the formality and the tranquility that a Cunard voyage provides. Indeed, with the addition of options such as the Gin & Fizz Bar Cunard is very much on trend and I feel many of my own generation are missing out. Embarkation and disembarkation was efficient and painless; in 13 cruises we have never had a bad experience in this area. We were on board by 11.30am. This cruise was the 2019 Voyage du Vin with guest speakers including Oz Clarke. We enjoyed a conversation with him and Cunard's Beverage Manager in the Commodore Club one night; they were engaging and approachable. There were a series of wine themed talks and events and overall, these made a pleasant addition to the Mediterranean itinerary. Many of the events were at an additional cost but those that we partook in were worth the additional spend. We are very interested in wine; it is a stroke of luck that this cruise was made the Voyage du Vin after we booked it. We would certainly consider booking a themed cruise again after the experience. This was our first time on Queen Victoria in nearly 4 years with Queen Elizabeth being our favourite ship. I was very excited to see her after her major refit a couple of years ago. The extra and more varied seating options on deck are a welcome addition and the Britannia Club restaurants looks very stylish and comfortable. I have already mentioned the Gin & Fizz Bar; we spent a lot of time here in the evenings. It is a new and innovative concept with an exceptional range of cocktails to complement the wide range of gins and sparkling wines. The move towards specific menus in specific venues around the ship adds variety and choice and is preferable to me to the generic bar menu that existed when we first travelled with Cunard. I would particularly recommend The Mary Rose cocktail. Bar prices are frequently mentioned in these reviews. I have no issue with Cunard’s prices; they are not dissimilar to London bar prices or indeed bar prices at a more average bar elsewhere in the UK. And remember Cunard use larger U.S. measures. The variety of canapes and nibbles served with drinks continues to impress again especially in the midships Gin & Fizz Bar. The food and service in the Britannia Restaurant was generally good throughout. There were some surprisingly good dishes such as ravioli with salmon caviar and some more average dishes. My lobster was a little tough one evening but was still very nice. Overall the food was pleasing, and we ate there all but one nights. We normally dine in the Verandah some nights however I am still of the opinion the Steakhouse concept is just not in keeping with the Cunard brand; we tried it QM2 and hated it feeling that it represented a major reduction in standards compared to the old Verandah menu. That said, I don’t eat beef and love elegant French cuisine. We didn’t try the Verandah this time. I feel that service aboard was very good; it wasn’t outstanding, just consistently good and reliable. Our cabin steward was faultless and the purser’s desk quick and efficient. Occasionally the sommelier was a bit slow in the restaurant or drinks took a while to come in bars at busy periods. Perhaps a couple of extra sommeliers or bar waiters in those areas would have improved this, but it really wasn’t a major issue and I am picky about service. It was interesting talking to other guests though that have travelled with different lines and feel that Cunard’s service is always better. We took several Cunard shore excursions for ease and peace of mind. We found all of them good value for money. We could possibly have done something similar ourselves for less but the avoidance of hassle and not having to worry about getting back to the ship was worth the additional expense of booking an excursion. The wine themed tour with tasting whilst in Vigo, where we visited the Albarino wine region was particularly good; it felt authentic with almost free flowing tasting and plentiful nibbles with the wine! There were a few niggles such as the air conditioning in our room not being very good; it was never so bad we actually got around to complaining so I can’t hold that against them. The Royal Court Theatre Vocalists were not great but the dancers were good. The hydrotherapy pool jets intermittently didn’t work in the first half of the cruise and the showers were cold, and indeed one morning the pool was empty. What was more surprising was that the spa staff didn’t know it was empty until we told them! Each time we mentioned an issue however it was fixed. We ate Alfresco one night for a small cover charge; the food was good and would have made a lovely change being able to watch a Mediterranean sunset had they not started jet washing and buffing the deck whilst we were eating. Obviously, this destroyed the ambiance. The maitre’d appreciated this and we were not charged. Clearly this was a communication issue between departmental managers. Despite these little problems I would give this voyage 4.5/5 stars overall. We had a wonderful time and I would happily book a similar voyage again. The combination of good food, good drinks, good service and excellent weather has made another memorable cruise. I can now start counting down the days until my next cruise of QE next year. A few notes regarding the ports of call. Vigo, Palma and Barcelona were all interesting and pleasant. In La Spezia we went to Florence and were disappointed; far too busy and polluted to properly explore its' history. In Cannes we went to Monaco. we absolutely loved Monaco; despite it being pricey I would recommend Cafe de Paris for lunch especially the profiteroles dessert. The Gothic quarter of Barcelona was very interesting and I highly recommend the little wine bar opposite Santa Maria del Mar. Finally Gibraltar was good; I recommend walking the Mediterranean Steps if able as it affords excellent views even when a bit cloudy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise on the Riviera. The food quality and service quality have fallen significantly over the past year. We went on our first Oceania cruise in 2014 on the sister ship, Marina, for a Baltic cruise. We could not ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Riviera. The food quality and service quality have fallen significantly over the past year. We went on our first Oceania cruise in 2014 on the sister ship, Marina, for a Baltic cruise. We could not believe how wonderful and attentive the staff was. The shore excursions were great and fairly priced. The food and drink service was outstanding. Last year we took Riviera for the Greek Island cruise. The food quality in the main dining room had dropped. The service had lessened. The shore excursions were much more crowded and over priced. The entertainment offerings were poor at best. This year we decided to try the ship again with some friends we met on the last cruise. Had it not been for the passengers we engaged with and a few outstanding staff members, the cruise would have been a disaster. This was the Northern Allure cruise from Southampton to Reykjavik. The first night we found shards of a broken glass on the bathroom floor. We brought this to the attention of the staff and insisted they re clean the bathroom floor. After that the cabin attendants never acknowledged us. Never greeted us and made an effort to turn away as we passed by. Our bathrobes were taken, but not replaced. Our bath mat was taken, but not replaced. These incidents required us the call the supervisor. The cabin had dust on the glass shelves - never cleaned in 2 weeks. The bathroom vanity handles were loose. The in room safe had a taped on piece of paper for a door handle, the plastic on the buttons was worn off and several numbers would not work, and the inside battery cover was held in place with a band aide. One evening in Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant, my desert glass was cracked through 2 sides. I spoke with the restaurant manager. I never received a formal apology, and offer to return to try them again - you could only book the 4 specialty restaurants once each on a 14 day cruise, or a free bottle of wine as an apology. In another specialty restaurant, the Polo Grill - the cocktail I ordered was not good. Instead of offering me another or something else, I was still charged for this. At the Waves outdoor grill, I asked for a simple smoothie of yogurt with milk and fruit. The staff informed me that they could only make the 3 combinations that were posted on the board. None of these were to my liking. One evening my wife requested pasta with only olive oil and cheese. She was told she could only have pasta with the sauces listed. How easy is this to make, especially since the pasta was in front of her and did not have sauce on it yet. The evening entertainment was hit or miss. Other less expensive cruise had far better shows, such as the Greek Crystal cruise from Montego Bay around Cuba. This time we booked our own shore excursions, except for the free included ones. They were less than half price and much less frenetic. Since NCL has taken over there appears to have been a precipitous decline in the care and attention to details. For over $7500.00/person for the cruise portion only, this is not inexpensive. At this price there are numerous other cruise lines. All of the above was written on the on line end of cruise review. We were informed that every review was to be read and considered for future enhancements?????? I seriously doubt we will every cruise with Oceania again. I would advise those reading this review to carefully consider other options before booking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal ... Read More
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal sea state. The ship was rather quiet during this crossing, during the day and during the evenings. The day time program wasn't particularly exciting or eventful and the passengers didn't seem to want to stay up too late in the evenings, even during formal nights. By midnight, the ship was very quiet and the bars even started to close. This was not a "party" sail like my usual pre-Christmas crossing. Cruise critic organized an informal meet and greet on the second day of the voyage. It was well attended and it let me meet the people in the forums. I enjoy transatlantic crossings a lot and despite some negative comments here, it is almost certain that there will be a fifth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2 in my future. Ship: The Queen Mary 2 is a special ship and I've always enjoyed her design and layout. While there are some quirks and oddities about her design (i.e. Decks 2/3 between A and B stairwells and getting the Queen's Room and G32), she is beautiful ship in the art deco style. One never feels crowded on board the ship. The Carinthia Lounge remains the area to avoid on the ship (it has a very retirement home feeling). The ship is showing some wear and age, but overall maintenance is still very good. Cabin: I had an obstructed view cabin, but it was a good cabin, possibly the best obstructed view cabin because it was behind a small boat rather than a full sized lifeboat. Dining: Britannia Restaurant. The food in the Britannia Restaurant for this crossing was average, not as great as it had been in the past. It was still very good but didn't feel as special as previous crossings. Presentation remains excellent, but the menu wasn't that exciting. The desserts were also rather plain this crossing. King's Court. Always busy, especially at lunch. Finding a table next to a window is nearly impossible and the food is average, but consistent. Golden Lion Pub. The pub lunch is always a good choice when the menu at the Britannia restaurant doesn't appeal to me. It serves traditional pub classic dishes such as fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala. Room Service. It was decent. I usually get room service breakfast. The food/coffee/tea is never piping hot, but that's expected given that its being delivered and the galley is rather far away. Entertainment: Evening shows: Cunard has never been known for their evening entertainment, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular. The singing and dancing of the Royal Court Theatre Singers and Dancers was what I expected. Though other passenger's descriptions were harsher ("a high school production"). Lecturers: The selection of lecturers for this crossing was not the greatest. None of the lecturers really interested me and the comments from the other passengers were mostly negative as well. Planetarium: It's always nice to be able to attend the planetarium shows, but the show is always the same "stars above the north Atlantic." Service: The bartending staff remains excellent, my favourite bartender was on board and I have sailed with her for all of my voyages. My steward wasn't the greatest this year, but was still decent. The sommelier assigned to our table wasn't very good, rather than recommending me wines, he would just give me to the wine list and have me select the wine. I noticed there were a lot of trainees on board, so service was a bit slow. Shopping: Souvenirs remain a weakness of Cunard. The souvenirs are either overpriced and tacky or just overpriced. It would be nice if Cunard could get some decent and reasonably priced souvenirs. Their selection has improved over the years, but still has a lot of room for improvement. Embarkation: Very smooth this year, no queues, the fastest embarkation in Southampton I've ever had. But I found out that this was the case because there were a lot of people already on board who did not embark in Southampton. Disembarkation: Disembarking in Brooklyn is always frustrating. There was about an hour's delay from when I was scheduled to disembark to when I actually got off the ship. Then the queues to get through US Customs was a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our stateroom was not to the standard we had been accustomed to aboard other cruise ships. The room was very small and the bathroom tiny. A refurb is very much needed. The carpet was badly stained and there was masking tape all around the interconnecting door. We mentioned this to our steward who promptly removed it. Then we found out why it had been placed there - when the people in the cabin next to us opened their balcony door half a hurricane come through and a high pitch whistling noise accompanied it. Drinks on board were exceptionally expensive and the whole tipping policy has to be looked at as it clearly does not work from a service users prospective. Food was very tasty in the main restaurant but often the portions were small. Trying to obtain drinks in the restaurant was so bad that we resorted to purchasing drinks in the bars first and taking them into the restaurant with us. Everything onboard ship was geared up for the over 70s, so much so that on this transatlantic crossing of 7days we were bored. Shopping was very poor and the entertainment was awful. We have always looked forward to the shows on other cruises but these were the worst ever. The worst issue was disembarkation. Everyone is aware that American immigration is very slow and we were quite prepared for it. Despite Cunard regularly disembarking service users in New York the staff were clearly not prepared for it. We were told to vacate our rooms by 8am and to go to our particular meeting point. There they left us without communication, food or water for hours. When we did go to the restaurant to try and obtain some refreshments the staff were putting it away and quite clearly did not want us there. To add insult to injury when we disembarked the ship and went to retrieve our luggage one of our group had a suitcase stolen - and you’ve guessed it, no one wanted to know. Overall we were very disappointed with the cruise and we will not travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose Cunard because we wanted a classic cruise experience, a formal atmosphere, and an excellent itinerary. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth took us above the Arctic Circle in absolute style. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship ... Read More
We chose Cunard because we wanted a classic cruise experience, a formal atmosphere, and an excellent itinerary. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth took us above the Arctic Circle in absolute style. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship in a timely manner. We loved our forward balcony cabin (but we choose forward because we love ship movement when we sleep). The stateroom was beautiful and our steward was excellent. I cannot say enough about how much we liked our forward balcony. We participated in fencing classes, which we loved. We also thought the history lectures were outstanding. They enhanced our experience so much. The ship is gorgeous and serene, just what we wanted. It was peaceful and lovely. The Britannia main dining room was very delicious at dinner. We had a wonderful sommelier and good wait staff. Only one time did we receive an item of food that was not to our taste, but it was quickly replaced with a delicious option. Most of the drinks options were outstanding, in our opinion. Some people complain about the cost of drinks on here... but we found them well crafted and interesting. The MARY ROSE in the Midships Lounge is a truly lovely drink. We also loved the atmosphere and view in the Commodore Club. The aft deck drinks menu is fun for sailaways. The only drinks we were disappointed in was the regular complimentary coffee. For such a beautiful cruise, the complimentary coffee is not great. (It should be better, honestly) We ended up buying some specialty coffees at Cafe Carinthia, which were lovely- but for those is us who like coffee (coffee snobs) the regular coffee should be improved. We were also not overly impressed with the Lido buffet. The food was fast and convenient, especially for breakfast... but we have experienced better buffets on other lines in design and in taste. It is another area that could be improved in our opinion. The only other gripe we had with Cunard is internet. The internet needs to be brought to modern cruise standards. If the other lines can do so well with unlimited plans, so can Cunard. Many cruise passengers must use internet to keep in touch with family and with their business dealings. Back to wonderful comments... Our itinerary with Cunard to Norway was amazing, the nature was breathtaking, and our experience above the Arctic Circle was magical. Most of the ports we chose to independently rent cars, use public transportation, or hike. We did take two Cunard sponsored excursions, though... and both tours were well worth it. (It must be noted that this is our second trip to Norway- with the first being a land trip... we were prepared to drive in Norway since we did it before- which can be challenging.) We enjoyed the special guest entertainment brought into the theatre and the live musicians around the ship very much. Overall, Cunard was fantastic. I would absolutely take another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second Oceania cruise. We took one about three years ago on the Marina in the Mediterranean. While we enjoyed Oceania the first time, we were disappointed this time. One of the main things that was bothersome was the ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We took one about three years ago on the Marina in the Mediterranean. While we enjoyed Oceania the first time, we were disappointed this time. One of the main things that was bothersome was the terrible internet service onboard. We experienced this last cruise, but thought that with time, they might improve it. Alas, they did not. Think of old school dial up. That is how bad it is to connect. And, if you are traveling with another person in the same room, you both can't use the internet at the same time. It's not like I want to surf the web all day, but we would like to stay connected with our family at home and our businesses. For this cruise, we had 2 days at sea (1 scheduled, 1 unscheduled) and just could not even get emails, text our friends or family or upload our photos. My phone got full and I was unable to take pictures the last day of the cruise! We weren't the only ones complaining, either. Almost every other passenger we talked to was irked by this issue. Also, we felt like the Marina was in dire need of a refresh. We do understand that it is coming by the end of the year, but we were shocked that the overall appearance of the ship and our room was not of the standard we have come to expect from Oceania. Third, if you are tempted to go on an Oceania cruise for the speciality restaurants, be prepared to have a hard time getting into them at a reasonable time. Within hours the reservation desk was open to reserve online (45 days prior to sail date), almost every 6:30 and 7:30pm seating was gone for 3 people. That means we ate very late in the specialty restaurants which is not desirable. Forget getting help with this onboard, either. If the computer didn't have the spot free, you were SOL. The reason, we were told, was that the reservations open to elite customers first. Hence, they take all the good spots. This is not very fair... Another pet peeve was that Oceania seems behind the times with excursions. Ex - the guides do NOT offer ear pieces. We are not hard of hearing, but it is great to have the tour guide speaking directly in your ear so that you are not on top of one another and can walk away to take pictures at your leisure. Plus, many of the guides have thick accents and it is difficult to understand them to begin with. Additionally, if you did not book an Oceania excursion, the staff is not helpful at all with information about the ports. Nobody at the excursions desk knew anything and were unwilling to give advice about the stops we were about to go to. For ex - I did my research online first, but we decided to try to lunch at one of the ports. Without internet access to vet choices, we had to rely on advice from Oceania folks. The only thing they did offer was a local person sitting at a desk near the door in the mornings after docking. But, it was so competitive to talk to these people. Many of us were in the same boat and yearning for information and maps about the port if we did not have a plan. To be fair, Oceania had a pre-recorded video on the tvs for the ports the next day, but they were so boring and not a live person to speak to, which is what would make sense. Finally, disembarking Marina at the end of the cruise was a nightmare and so competitive, many of us were stressed out. This shouldn't happen at the end of our vacation. Apparently, we got in late to port and they got behind in letting groups out. The entire lobby was filled with wayward people trying to understand what was happening, where we should go to wait and if we were going to make our scheduled pickups to the airport. My mother-in-law also is elderly and incontinent. With the delay and the crowd of people, she was unable to sit and had trouble finding a restroom... The things I will compliment Oceania about is the food and service. The main dining room was consistently good and the people who work the dining rooms and stewards who clean our rooms were also very friendly, humble and great people. We enjoyed speaking with them on a daily basis. But, it is not enough for us to overcome the other problems. We won't be sailing with Oceania again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Cunard boasts that the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only true ‘ocean liner’ afloat in the world today, though I have not yet discovered why it is said to be different from, for example, the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, the other ... Read More
Cunard boasts that the RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only true ‘ocean liner’ afloat in the world today, though I have not yet discovered why it is said to be different from, for example, the Queen Victoria or the Queen Elizabeth, the other two Cunard ships currently in service. (A fourth ‘Queen’ is due to be launched in a couple of years’ time). The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) is the largest of the three at present in service with a length of 1132 feet, a crew of 1292 and capable of carrying almost 2700 passengers. It is the flagship of the Cunard fleet and one of only two RMSs (Royal Mail Ships) in the world. Being that size, the corridors are very long and it is extremely easy to get ‘lost’, though there are nearly always helpful crew members on hand to guide passengers who feel disoriented. Everything about this ship is on a grand scale and very spacious. It has a charming, ‘old world’ style to it which distinguishes it from most cruise ships. It is elegant, rather than flashy, and the majority of its passengers tend to be that little bit older, though there are exceptions. In our view, the directional signage around the ship could be improved and we feel that, whilst it is intentionally fairly discreet, it should be re-evaluated to help ‘lost and confused’ passengers. For example, because the Britannia Restaurant is designed to be split level and straddles two decks, it is not possible to walk all the way through to the theatres without first going up in a lift (elevator), walking along a couple of decks higher and then descending again in another lift. This took us (and many others) quite a while to fathom out! We had decided to celebrate our 45th wedding Anniversary in August, 2019, by trying a Cunard ship for the first time. (We had been on numerous cruises in the past with different cruise lines, mostly in the northern hemisphere, but never before with Cunard). Our two-way transatlantic crossings saw us travelling from Southampton to New York and back, with just a day in the ‘Big Apple’. We just love ship life and found it quite relaxing knowing that we hadn’t any shore excursions to think about, except for in New York itself, of course. It was our intention to spend a relaxing two weeks at sea. We knew from past experience that there would be plenty on board to keep us occupied and stop our becoming bored, but we would also have plenty of opportunities to simply take it easy. The extensive library on board the QM2 is excellent and the Planetarium feature is also well worth a visit. We were checked in very efficiently at Southampton. Based on our past experience of being required to wait, on occasions for a couple of hours, in a lounge on board, we enquired if our stateroom was ready for us. We were told that it was, but that there had been a leakage of water so there might be a large fan in the room. That seemed OK to us and we proceeded on board and up in the lift (elevator) to our deck 10. Arriving at our stateroom (10097), we noticed a hive of activity in the vicinity and were quickly advised that our room had been flooded so that we could not enter. In fact, the furniture (including the bed) had been removed and the room was being re-carpeted! We couldn’t even leave our carry-on bags in the room. (We particularly did NOT wish to have a Butler and this affected our choice of stateroom). We were able to enter our stateroom after about 90 minutes and it looked just perfect. No-one would have been aware of the earlier problems, except for an unpleasant smell from the drains under the bathroom which persisted throughout both legs of our voyage. We drew this to the attention of our Cabin Steward, Dave, and were visited soon after by Emerson, our Deck Housekeeper. He acknowledged the problem and offered us a change of stateroom to another farther down the same corridor but we declined politely as we had, by then, unpacked all of our clothes and couldn’t face the disruption that would have been involved in a move. He offered us a concession which we accepted with gratitude and handled the situation extremely well. Dave had left a bowl of fruit in our stateroom which was replenished daily, as was the refreshments tray. Complimentary still and sparkling water was also provided each day. We had hoped for a walk-in shower so were disappointed to see a shower over the bath which my partially disabled wife found particularly difficult to use. (She is not in a wheelchair). We had all of the usual facilities in our room. The bed was very comfortable, as were the pillows, and we slept well every night using the simple temperature controls. There was plenty of drawer space and more than enough hangers to meet our needs. We had an in-room safe too. There were fresh fluffy towels, warm bathrobes, a coffee making machine, plus tea and coffee making facilities. It was great to be able to relax on our balcony (with 2 chairs and a table) on sea days. Our ‘smart’ TV was very good and, in addition to BBC World News, BBC HD, SKY News, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News, a Cunard lectures channel, and a Cinema Channel, we (sorry, I) was delighted to be able to watch ‘live’ soccer matches from the English Premier League! The Master in command for these two ‘voyages’ (NOT cruises!) was Captain Aseem A Hashmi. What an excellent communicator he is and so personable too. He inspired confidence and proved to be a most entertaining speaker. He was regularly seen around the ship speaking to passengers and answering their questions with the utmost patience and a friendly smile. He was always approachable and a great example to other crew members. We dined in the Princess Grill on table 18, a table for 6, where Carmelia, Vincent, Jayson and Sommelier, Christian, looked after us well. Generally speaking, the food was good, but we all thought it lacked that extra something we had been led to expect from Cunard. I can give three specific examples to illustrate why we were a bit disappointed. First, one of us ordered the Lobster Bisque one evening and it was nothing like any bisque I had ever seen or tasted – more like a consommé! Second, one my wife ordered a cheese soufflé one night but the texture and taste were all very substandard. Third, my wife and I ordered (a day in advance) the duck a l’orange to share one evening. It looked great when it was cooked and served expertly at the table, but was dry and chewy – not at all enjoyable, I’m afraid! (Overall, we all agreed that the Celebrity ships’ Aqua Class food was better, which we found surprising!) Our best meal by far was one night in the Verandah Restaurant, for which there is an additional charge of $40 per person. That was truly excellent with great service! As my wife has a partial disability, we decided to opt for the in-room breakfast because it was easier for her. The efficiency of this food service could not be faulted but, whilst realising that there are logistical problems in offering such a service on board such a large ship, we have to say that the food was only ever lukewarm. We used the efficient on-board laundry service and the self-service laundrette – a most useful facility for 7+ days at sea! The Canyon Ranch Spa Club is extremely expensive and exploits its captive clientele. Moreover, we all felt it is an absolutely appalling disgrace in this day and age for Cunard (and they are not alone) not only to charge for the use of the Wi-Fi facility, which is both slow and variable in quality of signal anyway, but to apply exorbitant charges – 30 minutes for just $15; 120 minutes for $45; and 480 minutes for $135 – when most public spaces in the 21st century, including public transport, provide the facility free! This is tantamount to taking unfair advantage of Cunard guests for what is, in any event, an unreliable service! The entertainment shows in the main Theatre were very good and, as a former competition dancer, I must say how very impressed I was with the dance troupe and the 4 main singers. There were several good guest speakers on board too, including a Canadian astronaut and a costume designer, who were most interesting. We also had the pleasure of watching the English National Ballet workshops and performances. Even though we are not ballet fans, we enjoyed them very much. We were not impressed by the Entertainments Director, Paul O’Loughlin, who seemed to imagine he was a ‘star’ in his own right! Our ‘special places for a coffee or an alcoholic drink were the Chart Room and the Commodore Club. We also greatly enjoyed the Carinthia Lounge at lunchtime for a delicious light snack and a drink. We found that the Golden Lion Pub was also very comfortable, but it can be difficult at certain times to find a table as its popularity, especially with British travellers, means it can be pretty busy. All of these venues had ‘live’ entertainment from time to time, usually in 45 minute slots. We didn’t really use the Queens Lounge (?) except for the Captains Cocktail party but it is a beautiful, large venue. All drinks on board carry an automatic 15% service charge. Before we had set off from home to catch the Queen Mary 2, we had been advised that a film crew would be on board on the return voyage back to Southampton. We were even given the opportunity of applying to be ‘extras’. The advance warning advised that there might be a few restricted areas when filming was taking place but gave an assurance that any disruption would be kept to a minimum so as not to spoil our enjoyment of the voyage. Well, we were never inconvenienced and only saw the filming a couple of times. At no stage was there a problem on such a large ship, and we were pleasantly surprised to see such ‘A listers’ as Meryl Streep, Candice Bergen and Gemma Chan (and others) at work. (We understand the film is to be released in 2020). In summary, the Queen Mary 2 copes well with everything the North Atlantic can throw at it so it was a smooth sail in both directions, in spite of 14 feet waves at one point. We did enjoy our first Cunard voyage, but not quite as much as we had expected. We might sail Cunard again in the future, but it probably would not be our first choice unless the itinerary particularly appealed to us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our 3 rd cruise aboard a Cunard ship. Booking was made through Cunard/Hamburg. Service here is in need of getting used to it. Very impersonal for the class we booked. A mere call center processing. Never beforehave I ... Read More
This was our 3 rd cruise aboard a Cunard ship. Booking was made through Cunard/Hamburg. Service here is in need of getting used to it. Very impersonal for the class we booked. A mere call center processing. Never beforehave I received such poor service in this section. We were even forced to print out our own luggage tags. I am willing to spend the money - but I am not willing to accept the lousy Cunard travel agency service. ( asserted Service ??? ) Also I am fed up with wasting my time on the phone trying to get connected for what they call service. Cheap Internet attitude. I was very disappointed and upset. Cunard Southampton did not even bother answering my letter regarding this issue. The service in the Queens Grill was very good again. Very attentive. Quality of food and beverage also very good. The whole atmosphere in the restaurant is inviting. The sameapplies for the Afternoon Tea Service. Laundry service also very good. Excursion service aboard the ship also lacks an attitude. Personally I do not like guided tours. Take a taxi instead and speak to the locals. Shops here are not very inviting. Variety very small. Many items are of very poor quality -sold at premium prices. After returning to Southampton again we were invited to a Windsor tour. Here we have to emphasize the very good support given by the bus driver and our tour guide. Thank you Port service was fast and effective. Most members ofthe staff are well trained. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I have completed several cruises over the past ten years. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we decided to visit the Baltics. This was actually a 14 night cruise and we enjoyed every minute. The cruise ship is ... Read More
My husband and I have completed several cruises over the past ten years. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we decided to visit the Baltics. This was actually a 14 night cruise and we enjoyed every minute. The cruise ship is spotlessly clean and very comfortable. The service is exceptional. The very vast majority of staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Food in the Brittania restaurant was delicious. We did eat in the Lido some evenings and that was good, although not quite as good! We were incredibly lucky with the weather on this voyage which certainly helps. That said, the ports of call in Denmark, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany were all wonderful. Our cabin was on Deck 8 Aft. We like the location near to the Aft stairwell and we would choose this location and deck again. Our cabin was comfortable and our steward was always happy to help us. Entertainment on this cruise wasn't quite as good as we have known it to be before but that might be down to personal taste. We enjoyed the shows and musicians.Guest speakers were interesting and the Celebrity Speaker, John Peters, was completely inspiring. There is so much to love about cruising with Cunard. We'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics ... Read More
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics and coke on board as our mixers. We have never sailed Cunard before, previously only sailing on more casual cruise ships, so were somewhat apprehensive about the dress code. Dress Code - The apprehension was missplaced completely. In the two week cruise there were 3 ball nights, and we knew the ladies and gents dress codes for them. Apart from that, if you were going to eat in the main Brittania restaurant men had to wear trousers, jacket and shirt (no tie necessary) and ladies normal smart going out clothes. If you wanted to wear jeans and t-shirt and stay completely casual, you could eat in the Lido buffet and drink in the Golden Lion pub, but could not go to the ball room, other bars, the main Brittania restaurant or the theatre. Some nights we stayed completely casual. Staff customer service - staff always had a smile and a 'good morning/afternoon/evening' whenever they walked past you or dealt with you. We had an enquiry at embarkation when a case was missing. The customer service team where friendly and helpful, finding the case within 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was friendly and welcoming, keeping our cabin immaculate and was always able to bring additional towels or other items we wanted without delay. Other facilities - there was access to several lauderies on the ship, and these were free!! This included the washing powder as well. The laundry included washers, dryers, washing sink, iron and ironing board. An invaluable resource on a cruise of 14 nights. State of the ship - the ship was kept spotless and any faults seemed to be sorted quickly - there was some water ingress in the ceiling of the central buffet area in the Lido. When in port the ship looked stunning and traditional in comparison to other cruise ships. The decor of the ship is art deco, with lovely wood panelled interiors and themed art work for each stair well. Food - there was excellent choice in the Lido buffet most of the time, ranging from early breakfast, main breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, early main tea, later main tea, to later evening snacks (till 1.30am). There was shortages of some items, such as the clotted cream for the afternoon tea, hot chocolate drinks, earl grey teabags etc during the last few days - The main Brittania restaurant, we were on early sitting at 6.00pm, also had at least 4 - 6 choices for starter, main and dessert. On one occasion my daughter and I could not decide which dessert we wanted, and then asked if we could order two each - no problem at all. You left the restaurant feeling pleasently full but not stuffed. - There were snack options during the day available in the Cafe Carinthia. Lunch and dinner were also available in the Golden Lion Pub, we enjoyed Friday fish and chips at lunch time here. Waiter served afternoon tea was available on sea days in the Queends Room, this is not to be missed as the sandwich and cake selection is extremely appetising. We also use the Lido grill, deck 9 stern, at lunch time for fish, burgers and chips etc. - We did not try any of the paid restaurants and were not grills passengers. Room Service - On some mornings, and one evening, we chose to have breakfast and dinner in our cabin. It was such a treat being able to be served just what you wanted for breakfast rather than get up and queue up. The evening menu was not as varied, burgers and pizzas mainly. The room service menu was included in the cruise and not an additional extra, which was very good. Drinks - the bars and deck bars were all welcoming and very good, and we did treat ourselves to an occasional glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at sail away, or cider/beer in the evening or day time. The only issue, is that with the value of the pound to the dollar the cost of drinks is very expensive, especially if you are from the north east of England! If we had not brought our own wine, gins, rums and ports on board, plus mixers, it would have been a somewhat dry cruise! Entertainment - the theatre was exceptional, with proper theatre tiered seating, boxes and an exceptional theatre orchestra!! The ships crew were good (but not exceptional) in the two shows we saw them do. We also saw The Opera Boys both times they performed, they were brilliant. We say a violinist once, she was excellent. There was also a pianist/commedian, Jon Courtenay for the last nights of the cruise who was extremely good. The ball room/Queens Room was a bit of a let down as it was almost like a corridor between the front and back of the ship to one side separating the seating, and there was not enough seating for the passengers who wanted to enjoy the dancing most evenings. There was a ball room orchestra as well, who were also excellent. We did attend some dancing classes during the day and put our steps into practice in the evening when we could. There are some very serious dancers on board, so it did make it a bit awkward for novice dancers if they felt they were getting in the way. Other entertainment we enjoyed was the band Next Steps, both on sailaway celebrations and at the Yacht Club. Also, most evenings, we attended, and enjoyed, quizes in the Garden Lounge and later in the Golden Lion pub - we even won the Husband and Wife quiz in the Golden Lion. As you wandered around the ship in the evening there were other muscians and ensembles to enjoy listening to, such as pianist Andy Law in the Golden Lion, who could play/sing anything. Sea days - My daughter and husband thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Robin Scagett, about astronomy, space and time - my daughter, as a primary teacher she took a lot away from those talks. My daughter and I both enjoyed the inspiring John Peters talk and question/answer session. There was another speaker throughout the cruise, but we did not attend his talks. I went to the beginners bridge classes with Chris Jarosz, which was pitched at the right level. I attended on my own and that was a slight problem as many others attended as a couple, but Chris found solutions to this. I certainly hope to continue to learn bridge. Otherwise, I loved the afternoon social craft group in the Garden Lounge. I did also treat myself to an afternoon in the spa pool, warm loungers and steam rooms but I did not have any spa treatments. My husband attended the ships choir, who gave a wonderful performance on the last sea day. He made many friends through this group. I would say that all but one of the passengers we encountered, or met through groups, were lovely, engaging and warm people and came from all over the world. Aside from what we did, there was a wealth of activities to enjoy on sea days, outside there was a full bowling green and other outdoor sports, plus two swimming pools and 4 bubble pools. Indoors, there were card tables, board games, puzzles and puzzle tables, and a two story library that gave out daily quizes, cross words and sudoko. If you just wanted to relax, there were lots of indoor and outdoor quite areas to relax, read and sleep. Disembarkation - we were going to take our own luggage off, but a very experienced cruiser said to put it out, and explained that at the port luggage was arranged by deck number. She said that you could take yourself off at your own convenience rather than follow the instructions if you wanted to make an early get away - we had a long drive back up north, so got off at 9.00am, and collected our luggage very easily ready for the pre booked taxi back to collect our car from the hotel. Overall, we would definately cruise with Cunard again. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with excellent choice of activities, ports that we wanted to visit and the chance to meet some fantastic people. Our party only did one shore excursion, my daughter and our friend did the segway in Copenhagen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was $99, which I could have booked on my own for about $79, but not for the times that were best for our days plans. As my daughter and our friend were novice cruisers we felt better leaving them in the care of the excursion team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, ... Read More
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, and appeared to be nutritious (ie not rubbish American style food - fruit and veggies were included). We travel (sometimes up to 3 months per year) and eat out a lot and to us the service was excellent. The only other cruise we have done is a Ponant Antarctica cruise with 200 passengers and I found it interesting/amazing that it didn’t appear to be to different (ie. overcrowded) on this ship with 2000 passengers. The entertainment varied from having some excellent musicians (ex Moody Blues, Cliff Richard backing band members, etc ( they were great!) to having terrible dancer/Caberet acts (same as on the Ponant cruise!) but that’s just our preferences. The ship couldn’t stop at Guernsey because it was to rough to disembark passengers (disappointing) but they went to LeHavre instead and we went to HonFleur nearby which was lovely. For us we did conclude that touring by cruise ship was probably not for us as you could not get to really know a place you visited (like we would want to) because of lack of time but as a self contained experience a mini cruise was a fun experience and we would be happy doing a transatlantic crossing on one of these Cunard ships which is what we tried to do in the first place but we couldn’t fit it into our timetable. We would recommend a mini cruise as a fun experience. Whether you would want to tour on cruise ship (ie use a cruise to visit different places) depends on how you want to travel. We had fun on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge ... Read More
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge becomes bigger it is a definite improvement. However The Journey is a lovely ship, we did not notice any shabby areas, she gleamed! Add to the experience the wonderful crew, a Captain who was so personable and who made in scheduled ‘stops’ so the chef could source local Norwegian berries and cheese and you have a recipe for a fun time. We even did an oil rig safari! Not many can say that! The food, service and overall holiday was first class. We are already booking two back to back cruises with Journey in November, can’t wait. Caribbean here we come! Thank you Azamara for Azamazing holidays Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the ... Read More
We (2 couples) chose this cruise to return from a European vacation rather than fly back to the US. We knew the cruise would be very formal but as one English passenger said when I queried him about his experience on the 2nd day of the cruise, "They are quite serious". LIkes: We booked the Brittania Club, therefore we had our own private dining table for four each night with the same servers. The food was truly excellent, on par with Oceania Cruise line, which is noted for it's food. (Kudos to our servers, Brendo and Orsulah). We ended up eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in the restaurant. We only gained an average of 2 pounds per person for a 7 day cruise and we believe that is because we mostly avoided the Kings Grill, which is very chopped up, located in several separated rooms with a limited selection of food. We understand it had been upgraded in 2016 from the original design. I cant see how it could have been much worse then. Also, the brewed coffee in the restaurant is very good, unlike the machine coffee in the Kings Grill. We had dinner one night in the Verandah steakhouse restaurant for a small upcharge of $39 per person and it was the best steak we have ever had. 35 day aged beef. The Enrichment and Art seminars, Tea Time and Gala Evenings were spot on great! We didn't mind the tuxedo and formal dress evenings and enjoyed the Masquerade Ball. The planetarium and Queen's Theatre were great venues also. Dislikes: Probably because we have been spoiled by cruises on Oceania Marina, Rivera, & Insignia and Holland Statendam and Koningsdam, we didn't appreciate the QM2 as much as we should. Even with the retrofit in 2016, she looks a bit tired. Very chopped up, no flow to the design. What's with the Churchill and Chart room locations? You have to go through the Brittania Dining room to access the Queens Ball room or go through the Art Gallery up and down stairs to access. Also, the aforementioned non functional Queen's Grill area. The Library boasts 8 thousand books and a room the size of an average family dining room and each passenger is restricted to 2 books at a time with the shelves locked during night hours? That's when most insomniacs need to find a book. We found this very unusual as Oceania ships boast great libraries with a barrista next door. Their libraries are unlocked and open to all cruise passengers 24/7. Finally, what ever you do don't buy the liquor package!!! Very limited pours (50 ml) which makes no sense, as it requires the staff to service you more often. (However, once they see you have a drink sticker on your card, they avoid you like the plague, and you practically have to tackle them to get service). This occurred in every lounge but was particularly acute in the Golden Lion Pub! The wine steward in the Brittania Club restaurant also was put off by our asking for wine refills at dinner, until 3 days before the cruise ended, when he finally increased the pours, which saved him extra trips. (We were not heavy drinkers, drinking no more than 2-3 50 ml pours at dinner) or any other sitting. The package was very restrictive, nothing over $11. If you want to purchase a $20 cocktail, you have to pay $16 (purchase price less 20%), which begs the ? why purchase the liquor package? Also, our traveling companions, (one who drinks and one who cannot drink because of medical reasons), cleared with Cunard corporate that if she brought a Doctor's excuse that he could by the package but she wouldn't have to. We spent the better part of the first afternoon being shuffled between the Purser's office, the G. L Pub and were even sent to the spa, because no one could or would make a decision on allowing our friend to purchase the liquor package alone. Finally, a bartender in the G.L. Pub told us in great whisper (I am not exaggerating) that he would allow it if our non drinking friend would purchase the $30 per day beverage package (water, soft drinks and coffee). You could not purchase wine by the bottle at dinner like on Oceania or HAL only by the 50 ml glass because of the liquor package restriction. The ship was good in the water, you never really felt any motion. However, it felt as if It was designed more for sailors than passengers and the staff was not there to serve you as much as ensure that all rules and regulations would be followed and not be infringed on! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and also the QM. We are regular passengers on other lines. This was the first time we had tried Princess Grill and it was a real treat. We were on board for the ship experience and not the ports. ... Read More
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and also the QM. We are regular passengers on other lines. This was the first time we had tried Princess Grill and it was a real treat. We were on board for the ship experience and not the ports. Priority check in but when waiting at the Mayflower terminal the suite guests were just huddled in a separate area no real advantage. We just sat in the main area as there was more room. We had researched about the Grills experience - strange but the Britannia Restaurant is described as the Britannia Grill? Anyway we knew pretty much what was in store for us. This was a no holds barred cruise so if we wanted it we bought it. First this was a spa package as we did not expect to be able to use the outside pool so we bought this for 2 for 7 days no discounts so this came off our on board credit. I know from experience that drinks prices on board the Queens are about the highest afloat but so to is the quality. So we had decided that we would buy 2 full drinks packs for the full 7 nights this was $69 a day each so $138 so with our exchange rate it was £109 a day so £763 for the week. We were told that we could only buy this on board so we went to the Grills lounge and asked. It would seem that there have been problems with this package as people have not really read the small print. You are limited to the number of alcoholic drinks - 15 each per day. But the soft drinks and mixers are unlimited. Some staff had difficulty understanding what unlimited soft drinks meant! OK so I like a drink and this is for 7 days. I tried my best but I really could not get through 15 alcoholic drinks in one day! We have been on other ships with these packs and we see people simply ordering the bar taking a sip from each and throwing the rest away just because they can. So a limit is sensible if in some cases a bit frustrating. We eventually bought the pack and ordered drinks. At the end of the cruise we worked out that had we paid over the bar it would have cost us over £1660 and I never manager 15 alcoholic drinks in a day and neither did my wife! Food is next and the menus in the Princess Grill are fabulous, service to was the best we have experience so far and we have been in suits in Celebrity ships. We had the same table for all our meals which was fortunate in being next to the window - we were lucky I guess. Drinks before dinner in the Grills lounge where they brought round a selection of 3 hot and cold canapes. Dinner was 7 courses including cheese board and coffee. We ordered wine by the glass from our package and this was perhaps a bit limited. Menus were everything we were expecting - fillet steak every night if you wanted, lobster twice that week. There were specials that you could order at lunch time so they could be ready for you in the evening. We did this once with Duck L'Orange where a whole duck was cooked for us to share - has to be cooked so long and it was fantastic. You can also ask the Maitre'D to do Crepes at the table Weather was not too great but toward the end of the cruise there was a bit of a heat wave. So much so that we were able to dine outside in the Grills terrace. The lunch time menu is a bit smaller but quality was top. Breakfasts were again at our table and usual range with just about everything on call - eggs Benedict, fillet steak and eggs and the ubiquitous English breakfasts. Didn't go much on the entertainment this time. Saw Mick Miller on the second night but after that I we were not really too fussed and went to the commodore club to listen to the lady piano player and singer. Only did afternoon tea once which was in the Princess Grill restaurant. Very goo but too much. We were served tea on the grills terrace in Rotterdam which was also very nice but had to be careful because dinner is just around the corner though you can go in at any time and your table is waiting for you. Tipping is always controversial and Cunard apply a daily charge to your account. Our rate was $13.5 per day. We usually remove one of the daily charges from one of us and then give individually the same amount or indeed usually more to staff who have stood out. I am now not to sure that this achieved what we wished. On the last night I handed out envelopes to both waiters, sommelier and Maitre'd. I also gave cash in dollars to our room steward. We paid out more than if we had had the automatic gratuities but at least I know they actually go to who I wish without interference from Cunard. My wife was therefore startled the following morning to see the waiters and all staff making a big fuss over another table and thanking them for their tips whilst our service was a bit flat. I seem to think that they thought that we had only given them half of what they expected yet we have given them more! This did leave a bit of a sour taste. I will talk a bit about the drinks pack we bought. We worked out roughly how many drinks we were likely to have each day including coffees, water and soft drinks. A large gin and tonic would have cost around $15 which would include the mixer and the 12%service charge. On the pack you could have any drink up to $11 but you were then given the mixer free so to speak and did not have to worry about the service charge. Coffee in the lounge was around $4 so a couple each in the morning after breakfast would soon mount up. We also ordered a bottle of water with nearly all our drinks the pack limited you to small bottles but you could have as many as you liked during the day. There had to be around 10mins between each alcoholic drink order. This was starting to get complicated. As I said I never got through 15 alcoholic drinks in a day though I did try! I could not keep this up for any longer but this was a holiday. Now saving for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on all 3 Cunard ships which are all beautiful and very well presented. The staff are second to none and very helpful. We chose this cruise and had booked a year in advance whilst still on board in 2018. It was our ... Read More
We have been on all 3 Cunard ships which are all beautiful and very well presented. The staff are second to none and very helpful. We chose this cruise and had booked a year in advance whilst still on board in 2018. It was our wedding anniversary on the 24th June so we like to go away the same time every year. We don't mind where to as long as it falls on our anniversary date and as long as we are on board a Cunard ship! Our stateroom was serviced twice daily and a turn down service for the evening with chocolates provided, just before bed time (as if we hadn't already eaten enough) and tomorrow's programme of events to browse through and plan tomorrow, before some very much needed zzzzzz's after such a fabulous day/evening. We usually chose a large table of 6 for dinner as we enjoy meeting like minded cruise buddies. Two of our 'tablemates' we'd met on a previous cruise the year before (we had arranged this with them and are certainly now lifelong friends). We met two other guests who were delightful. We all had a lot in common particularly when it comes to cruising! The food was very well presented and tasty. The Lido buffet on board is fabulous. The food is fresh and plentiful in choice. Despite being in the Grills, we still love a wander through and maybe a little nibble here and there ;) The entertainment on board is amazing. I particularly enjoy the Cunard singers and dancers and all the other shows and guests appearances/entertainers. Also during the day on sea days, we love going to the on board speakers insights/enrichment talks. They are very interesting and have met some really lovely speakers from famous sports people to pilots to ex-policemen/detectives. There is always plenty to do around the ship on sea days and of course there's the swimming pools and hot tubs and the gym if you feel you need to burn off a few gained pounds! The service on board from the stateroom steward to the waiters and sommeliers to the cleaning staff and pursers desk are always so helpful and nothing is too much trouble. They are always welcoming and are very polite and say 'good morning' or 'have a good evening'. The shore excursions are varied and interesting. The coaches are clean and comfortable and the guides are very knowledgable. I love the fact that we can book an excursion and know the ship will be waiting for us whether we are late or not. We have travelled with our grown up children who equally love the Cunard ships. We haven't got grandchildren yet but I'm sure they would love it with their very own special area and staff to entertain them on sea days. We will certainly book again soon. We just have to save up the pennies first :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Very poor experience with company Customer service will never help you If they do it takes a month to get back to you Off ship tours not quality of what you pay for Poor service on airport pick up On board no one to help out ... Read More
Very poor experience with company Customer service will never help you If they do it takes a month to get back to you Off ship tours not quality of what you pay for Poor service on airport pick up On board no one to help out issues They just don’t care about there guests Most of the areas need to be redone Laundry machines broken Slot machines broken for the whole trip of 14 days There pre-cruise excursions were poor and very costly The Belmont train which was a special gift for our anniversary The food selection was Poor,with no choices of food selection Ireland was very hot this summer and there was no HVAC IN THE observation car nor dinning rooms The cabins were so small you could not get in the bathroom There was to be high tea every day but we never had it Rooms and train could have been cleaner Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
As someone who always believed inside cabins were sufficient I was dazzled by my first time in a suite (albeit the smallest suite possible). Still, a walk-in closet on a ship and a bathtub! We really enjoyed our cabin and our roomy ... Read More
As someone who always believed inside cabins were sufficient I was dazzled by my first time in a suite (albeit the smallest suite possible). Still, a walk-in closet on a ship and a bathtub! We really enjoyed our cabin and our roomy balcony, having breakfast on the balcony almost every day. It was also great fun on the balcony waving to all the boats that accompanied us out of Hamburg. The Princess Grill was superb every night except the first. The fish that night was average and we, two older women, were seated way off in a corner. Eating in the Princess Grill had been on my bucket list but I felt that I was still on the outside looking in. However, the (very entertaining) maitre d quickly moved us to the center of the part of the room that overlooked the promenade deck and we were much happier there. The food was very good, mostly well executed classics, and anyone looking for more trendy choices might be disappointed. We loved the Dover Sole and the Chateaubriand and the Cherries Jubilee (you get the picture). Mostly we loved the atmosphere of muted, leisurely meals in an attractive room with excellent service. Dinner became our evening activity and we often missed the planned entertainment as a result. What else did we do? We enjoyed the singers and dancers when we did make the shows and regretted missing the violinist. The planetarium was moderately interesting as were the speakers. We tried to visit all the bars but gave up and pretty much settled on the Carinthia where we could have a light meal with our wine. Zumba was fun but the pools were rather cold. The Golden Lion Pub offered good fish and chips. Afternoon tea in the Queen's Room was a disappointment -good food but a mad rush to get in and get a table. The library was lovely and the Promenade Deck was a comfortable place to sit or get some exercise walking. Service was excellent and we appreciated the young man who brought our room service breakfasts, our assistant waiter, and all the nameless crew members who smiled and made us feel welcome. We only took one shore excursion - to Bruges - which left us needing to do a lot of walking to get to the center of town but was well organized and on time. We explored on our own in Hamburg and Guernsey. Regarding the ship, she is showing her age (I had sailed on her in 2005) but just barely. She is still a magnificent "grande dame". Just don't expect glitz and glitter and instead settle into a leisurely, relaxed way of life. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the ... Read More
We were booked in a concierge level cabin and it was kind of a disappointment. The bathroom was quite small and was tight on storage. Our cabin steward was not the friendliest and hardly spoke to us. The only benefit we had of the concierge level was the use of laundry facilities. Internet was sketchy much of the time and we had even purchased a $299 internet package. We found a lot of the staff to be not always considerate of the passengers - frequently we had them walk across right in front of us, without as much as an excuse me. Breakfast and lunch were like on any cruise we’ve been on and dinners were very good, especially in the speciality restaurants. The Grand dining room was also good, but some nights the menu was hard to find something appealing. We did shore excursions in every port and most were very good. A couple of them made us very aware that the guide can make or break a tour. Sometimes the departures seemed a bit unorganized. Overall the ship seemed a bit tired and could use some updating. The passengers overall weren’t as friendly as on other cruises. The alcohol packages were ridiculously expensive. A cooking class was a highlight of the cruise. Our disembarkation experience was less than stellar. We left the ship with our assigned group and when we went to get our luggage, one piece was missing. We asked for help and they didn’t seem to know what to do. After a frantic 45 minutes of looking a lady came in with the luggage that she had taken without verifying that it was hers. It seems like there could be some way to prevent this from happening. Overall, I doubt we sail with Oceania again. For the money we had a much, much better experience with Viking Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used ... Read More
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used the included business class to arrive in Southampton a day early. We mainly used the day to shake off jet lag, and the next day used the hotel's complimentary car service to get to the port at around 12:30. Embarkation was a breeze; we were the only passengers there, and had a choice of 10 people to take care of us. We had cocktails on the pool deck, and were in our room with our luggage just after 2:00. That couldn't have been easier. The room was an F2 (Superior) suite. It had a large walk in closet, with more hangers than we needed (and we overpacked). The bathroom was nice with double sinks, a bathtub and a separate shower. All of the surfaces were luxurious marble. The bed was very comfy and faced the veranda, the veranda was big and had nice wicker chairs,and our room attendant dropped off a bottle of scotch and a bottle of bourbon. No complaints about our room at all, and it was one of the bottom end suites! We spent some time touring the ship, and were frankly amazed at how nice all of the public areas were. It's maximum luxury, almost obsessively so. Everything was spotless and appeared to be in perfect shape. Explorer has been in service for about three years, and looks like it's a brand new vessel. It's supposed to be refurbished this fall, but the passenger-visible areas don't seem to need it. We split our dinners between Compass Rose (the main dining room) and the specialty restaurants. We like to eat late, and that made it easy to get additional reservations at the specialty places. We can honestly say that we didn't have a single dish that we were unhappy with. The service was also great, everything was perfectly paced. One or both of Prime 7 and Chartreuse are open for lunch each day, and that was really nice. All in all, it couldn't have been better. We don't pay much attention to the entertainment. Since we eat late, the show has usually started by the time we're ready. But what we did see was pretty good. Cruise director John Barron's show was excellent. He's really a great CD, the best we've run across. They had an Irish flute player that we liked. The real highlights were two groups that John brought on board. In Belfast there was a troupe of musicians and dancers that told the Belfast story. But the topper was in Liverpool where he had the Cavern Club Beatles on stage. They are the house band at the Cavern Club, the place the actual Beatles play hundreds of times. The theater was definitely rocking that night! Cons: 1. The theater has too many obstructed vision seats. The steps are tricky when the lights go out, and we saw a woman fall and break her ankle. She had to be airlifted off the ship the next day. 2. British weather. Pros: 1. Literally everything else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated ... Read More
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated royally. These are the reasons we needed a Cunard vacation. We were not disappointed. Nothing, really nothing, went awry. The embarkation process was amazingly smooth. We boarded the ship and about a half hour later our luggage arrived. This proved to be just the preview of how things were to play out for the rest of the trip. The cabin, see the cabin review, was beautiful. The dining experiences again amazing. Yes the menu options were grand, but Osman the Matre' D would come to the table and ask and give recommendations for off menu options. Foie Gras, an iceberg salad made to order, the Grand Marnier souffle, ask and it was yours. The casino was small. Not very many options. Roulette, Black Jack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold'em type game (not against players but similar to 3 Card Poker) and a few slots. One woman hit the same machine for 4 jackpots in 2 days. The beauty of the ship, the cleanliness of the decks, I walked the decks about 3 in the morning and found more than a few people vacuuming and cleaning the common areas. Loved it so much we booked next year's trip onboard already. Wish we found this years ago. So very happy we found it at last. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced ... Read More
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced at sea. The service is impeccable. While we would rank the food at the Brittania restaurant as rather unremarkable, the Kings Court (buffet) was excellent! Their specialty salads were outstanding. One can also order pasta or pizza, prepared from menu choices (non-buffet), while at Kings Court. We did this, one evening craving pizza. It was fresh from the oven to our table, piping hot. The beds are so comfortable! The evening entertainment included a vocalist, a flautist, along with the ship’s Royal Court Dancers. Top notch. Don’t forget the band, also superior to other ships! Lounges provided a stringed-quartet, a harpist, and jazz band. The latter group did a Dixieland Jazz lunch which was just plain fun. Kudos to Cunard! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew ... Read More
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew are always happy to have a chat, they smile and are sincere. Formal nights are now called Gala nights but the themes remain the same. One of the main reasons we sail with Cunard is because we like the formality of dressing up properly in the evenings. We also enjoy dancing in the ballroom to live band music. The singers can vary in ability though and this time we had an excellent lady singer and a dreadful male. Cunard are very clear that ‘dressing’ is a requirement and you know what you are signing up for before you embark. There are areas that can be accessed for those who wish to dress more casually. As for drinks prices - if you are used to London prices, cocktails and beer are comparatively priced, however wine is expensive. This trip followed the aforementioned Baltic, and I see that a previous passenger complained that the ship was too cold. I guess that they changed the air con to suit this as we spent our trip too hot! If you have never done the fjords trip, you really should. We’ve done it twice now, both times on QV. The weather was amazing, 24c in Haugesund. Norway is expensive, however the scenery is fantastic and there are things you should see before global warming has its way. The Briksdal glacier for instance, is a shadow of its former glory and yet remains an awesome sight. So if you are someone who likes to dress properly, enjoys politeness and old fashioned service, Cunard is for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. ... Read More
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. Bathroom was starting to show its age, but great shower pressure, size and heat. Spa services were wonderful, took advantage of some of the discounts onboard during slower times and found the value to be good, especially considering you get use of the in-spa jacuzzi and pool. Ate in the main dining room twice out of the five nights and probably would reduce this number on the next cruise. Service was not nearly as good as specialty restaurants, though I had no issue with the food quality. Our waiter in the second seating was rude, always trying to rush and never in sight after the order was given. It also took a long time for the sommelier to get to our table, he clearly had his hands full and the two times we ate there he would arrive at our table around the time we were eating our appetizer. I don't fault the ship for this and give a 5 star review because this was easily solvable by eating at the specialty restaurants where all these issues were more than solved. The Veranda was wonderful (ate there twice) as was the rotating restaurant - we had Indian and it was great. Loved grabbing lunch at the golden lion pub in the afternoons. Pool decks were nice and public spaces in part because there were far less children on this boat than many other carriers. This kept things more organized. My wife and I are in our early 30's and felt well placed in the crowd. Overall a great experience and great value. Will be back and would like to try the princess grill on the next voyage. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We love to travel but have never had the urge to cruise. Wanting to see the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, we felt that a cruise would be the best option. After extensive research, we opted for Cunard as we enjoy fine ... Read More
We love to travel but have never had the urge to cruise. Wanting to see the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, we felt that a cruise would be the best option. After extensive research, we opted for Cunard as we enjoy fine dining, dressing up and don't like large crowds of people so thought a smaller ship would suit us best. We also prefer to keep ourselves to ourselves and so opted for a Princess Grill Suite so that we could request a table for 2 and eat when we wanted to eat rather than at set meal times. The added bonus of a private deck area also appealed as we felt it would be less crowded and Cunard also seemed to have more of a traditional style and less glitz which we felt would be perfect for us. Aged 46 and 50, we were rather nervous that cruising was for 'older' people and that there would be nothing for us to do other than watch the scenery go by, however we couldn't have been more wrong. What a stunning ship she is and so much space everywhere you never felt like there were more than a few hundred people on board! We never got bored - in fact i never really had a chance to just sit quietly and read during the week. We listened to some really interesting speakers during the sea days in the theater, attended gin tasting one afternoon, used the golf nets for some light exercise and never wanting to miss the delicious afternoon tea, found ourselves in the restaurant rather a lot of the time! The service in the Princess Grill restaurant was outstanding and the food was amazing at every single meal. From breakfast to lunch to afternoon tea to dinner, the menus were varied, interesting and the food just delicious. The Grills lounge was also a wonderful quiet area to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or two. We stumbled across the commodores club halfway through our cruise and enjoyed some fabulous cocktails in there each evening served with canapes and listened to some lovely live music. There was always a low level buzz in this large bar area and we loved the atmosphere. We loved dressing up for dinner each evening and the 2 gala evenings were great fun as the atmosphere on the ship racked up a notch! The theater blew us away! We visit London regularly to take in shows and the theater on board was on a par if not better than most west end theaters. The entertainment was varied and good fun and we found ourselves attending the late show every single night, before popping to the casino or one of the bars to finish off the evening. With so many beautiful public areas and bars, you could always find somewhere quiet to sit and enjoy a drink, however with such amazing weather and spectacular scenery we found ourselves up on the Grills deck on the super comfy loungers watching the world go by most of our spare time. We booked a couple of excursions through Cunard and both were really enjoyable and well organised. All four ports we visited were interesting and we liked the fact we could just get on and off the ship throughout the day if we chose to. We stayed in cabin 6099 - a Princess Grill suite which was the perfect size for a one week cruise and we enjoyed watching the scenery go by on the balcony. Our steward was lovely and we had no issues at all. We wanted flexible dining times and a guaranteed table for 2 which is the main reason for choosing the suite. Also the added private deck areas were important to us as we are very quiet people! We had no complaints with embarkation or disembarkation. Both were effortless and so much nicer than the airport environment. All in all, we had an unexpected amazing week and didn't want it to end. We were so impressed, we have booked a 2 week cruise on the Queen Victoria next summer to The Baltics to experience some more wonderful countries of interest which we probably would never get to visit. We have pushed the boat out and booked a Queens Grill suite so that it will be a slightly different experience and are really looking forward to our second cruise :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019

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