624 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

The 16 night Med Cruise was the first long cruise after the ship had been launched. We were advised to pre register and print our bookings, which we did before we left home. We were allocated a time slot to book in. We were directed ... Read More
The 16 night Med Cruise was the first long cruise after the ship had been launched. We were advised to pre register and print our bookings, which we did before we left home. We were allocated a time slot to book in. We were directed to a car park where we unloaded and left our cases to be collected by the staff in vans. As we walked in to the Cruise Terminal we were immediately approached by a lady holding a Tablet computer, who scanned our forms, asked for and checked our Passports and green stamped our papers to which was attached our Tracking Luggage Labels. No queuing, no hassles, and we found it so easy and very quick. The staff were all very helpful and smiling. Although I am disabled and use a small mobility scooter, a disabled cabin was not necessary in our case. Our cabin was on Deck 13 and was available from 13.00 on day of embarkation. Cabin doors were open and once inside our Sea Pass and a silicon RFID wristband, that looked like a watch, were waiting. You had to use the Sea Pass to get on and off the ship, but the wristband could be used to swipe for entry to cabins, to pay for items on board and were waterproof, so you could keep it on all the time. No fear if you lost it, as you could report it at Guest Services, give your cabin No. and, unknown at the time, they could see you were the right person as your photo also came up on their screens. The cabins are nicely furnished with tea/coffee facilities, large flat screen TV, fridge, and hairdryer. Our balcony, although not huge was ample with comfortable chairs and footrests and a table. Wardrobes, with ample space, were on either side of the bed with additional storage in 2 overhead cupboards. The safe was in the wardrobe that was more suitable for a man to hang jackets and trousers in. There were also draws in the bottom half. The dressing table also had draws on either side. We felt there was ample storage space. We had pre-booked Dinner at the various Restaurants beforehand as well as booking for "We Will Rock You" in The Royal Theatre. You can do this on line, but our Travel Agent did it for us. We also had to book another show in the Two70 which we did once on board. When we booked the Restaurants, we had no idea of the times of the Theatre Entertainment, but found it exceptionally easy to change any bookings to times more suitable. The Windjammer Restaurant is the same as on any other Royal Caribbean ship with a wide selection of food. On this ship before entering the Windjammer you were directed into an area to wash your hands first before going in. This wasn't a problem. The staff were all very happy and helpful, cleared tables quickly and kept asking whether they could get you tea, cofee, water, etc. Sorrento's is situated on the Royal Promenade and served tea, coffee,cold drinks, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches and pizzas all day and late night. Getting a seat was never a problem, but there were long queues to get drinks at certain times, especially when the Theatre emptied. We had lunch several times in The Cafe @ Two70 which also gave a good selection of food and their Roast Beef was delicious. We did try the Divinly Decadence Restaurant once for lunch where everything served is 500 calories or less . Unfortunately we didn't enjoy this one at all. The choice of food for us was very poor and there wasn't any fresh fruit available. There are 4 Main Restaurants for Dinner which are Complimentary. We never had to queue to go in, which was initially a worry to us because of the amount of guests on board. We went to the desk, gave our Stateroom numbers and were immediately shown to a table. Silk serves a good selection of Asian styled food. All our meals were hot and very tasty. The staff were happy, smiling and very helpful. There are no Formal Nights as such, but the Grande Restaurant is the formal restaurant. Men have to wear jackets but no ties. Ladies dress very smartly. There were men in Dinner Suits, ladies in long dresses but on the whole we felt it didn't matter how you dressed as long as it was smart, and the men wore jackets. Chic offers a wide variety of contemporary food. Dress is smart Casual. Again the food was excellent, always hot and served by happy smiling staff. American Icon Grill offers comfort-style, regional cuisine. Dress is smart Casual. We enjoyed the food here too. Once again the choice was good, the food served hot and the staff always welcoming, happy and smiling. All these Restaurants are beautifully furnished, stylish, serving an excellent choice of food with very helpful staff. Our meals were always hot and beautifully presented. We had a served breakfast every morning in the American Icon Restaurant (although this is not clearly indicated in the daily Cruise Compass) where there was a good selection of buffet breakfast items, as well as a choice of breakfasts from a menu. We normally had breakfast items from the menu, but our friends had both. Self service breakfast were available at other restaurants. We also tried Chops Grille which had a supplement to pay of $39 per person. We had Fillet Steak which was cooked to perfection. Felt it was very dark in there as the decor was dark brown and dimly lit. The meal was delicious but we felt that why pay a supplement when there was such an excellent choice of food in the other restaurants. The Cruise Director, Joff Eaton, was brilliant. He was seen about the ship day and night, and worked very hard. He did the Progressive Quiz which took place every sea day, and made it such fun. Joff has a wonderful sense of humour and is a very talented guy. We think he is one of the best, if not the best, Cruise Director. The Entertainment in the Theatre was the usual mix of Singers, Comedians, Hypnotist, etc. The only big show was "We Will Rock You" for which the cast got a standing ovation. It was brilliant. We were informed that there was going to be a second Production show from the next cruise. With over 4000 people on board, we never ever felt hemmed in or even knew that many people were on board. Perhaps the only time you felt hemmed in was when they held their special $10 Sales - but who doesn't like a bargain, and it was fun to watch the crowds trying to get their bargains!!! Our friends went Sky Diving, went on the bumper cars and in the North Star and loved the excitement of them all. In summary, we are Pensioners who loved the concept of Dynamic Dining, as well as the Originality of the ship, the unusual Artwork, the Technology, etc. We found the staff were wonderful, helpful, obliging, cheerful, kind and nothing was too much trouble. We had been to many of the Ports of call before, but wanted to try the Anthem of the Seas. We loved the experience of being on this ship, and wouldn't hesitate to go on it again if the opportunity arose Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
It was nice to be a part of history, and the food was quite better. The grandness one sees is fake, however. For example, the handrails in the too-long passenger corridors are plastic-laminate covered plastic poles that are peeling. There ... Read More
It was nice to be a part of history, and the food was quite better. The grandness one sees is fake, however. For example, the handrails in the too-long passenger corridors are plastic-laminate covered plastic poles that are peeling. There is black mold in the tile grout of the bathrooms. Attendants do a poor job of cleaning beyond cursory wipes. To be truly grand, it needs to be real and pristine, or at least real and real clean. It was disappointing enough to ensure never being selected again for even basic transportation. Cunard makes RC look better. Got quickly tired of the baking-soda carpet vacuum sprinkle smell, and made me ashamed I used to use that 20 years ago. Lavender Surprise smells like 'Surprised to Be Alive' after the first 817 applications and vacuum-ups. It would be a fun time, they said. It would be, IF I HAD ONE. Cunard had one job to do, one. Ok, well they did do that one. Just poorly. The dining room head manager was a snob that refused to help us with the muster drill because neither of us got all of the information that blared out on the speakers, even when it was pointed out to him that I am hearing-impaired. He said "just copy what everybody else does". Well maybe he's right, I should copy him and be an arrogant snob that doesn't give a toss, but he was supposed to be working for Cunard, I was supposed to be the snobby passenger with my nose up in the air but I could not get over the Lavender Surprise yet. It would be grand, they said. Grand! Well it was a grand pile of ______. Other than that, it was a pleasant time partaking in oxygen consumption. Very nice oxygen it was. IF I HAD GOTTEN ENOUGH. The embarkation and disembarkation was the first time experiencing what it must be like to wait 980 years in the lobby of the spirit realm as portrayed in the movie Beetlejuice. It made me wanted to say his name three times, just to make any progress, even if only one inch. Went to the bathroom three times as exercise just to keep the blood under my fingernails circulating. Mind you, however, the boat did stay on top of the water, despite the sinking feeling. Rose, promise me you will have thousands of babies and when they grow up promise me they will never sail Cunard as I want you to be happy, I want them to be happy, I want everyone to live on, and on - and not go on and on about it like I do. We did see a whale towards the end of the journey as we approached the coast of America. It was the second time experiencing such a sight on the same cruise. Unfortunately the first time was just the stateroom mirror. The day before the last day, there was an injury in the laundry room, an employee got hurt. He got hurt bad enough that the US Coast Guard sent a helicopter and a plane to do a medical evacuation. They would not let us out onto Deck 6 outside to see what was going on. Do suspect they knew we would try to catch a ride with them, just to get off the boat one day sooner. Hope he is OK, though. I will have to stop here, before you feel like getting onto one of the Cunard Queens just to get away from this review. My wife and I met on the internet in 2001, got engaged in 2002, and married in 2003, and we now enjoy cruising together. Travel To Port of Embarkation We cruised to Barcelona, flew to Bristol, rode to Southampton, and embarked QM2 there. Hotel Info (if any) None - stayed with relatives in Tiverton for two days. Embarkation As stated previously, it was a long drawn-out unorganized process. A glance at other reviews show this to be correct. Stateroom 6295 on Deck 6 - the last cabin to the rear. Dining We did eat in the main dining room Brittania a couple of times, but enjoyed the King's Court Buffet more. Activities Watching the helicopter was fun, and the Planetarium was unique. Children's Clubs N/A - Do no have any children, despite being petulant at times. Staff & Service Food Staff and Service excellent for the most part, Dining and Stateroom Staff and Service not so much. Entertainment The Planetarium was good entertainment. The museum-like halls with pictures entertained as well. Shore Excursions There were no excursions, as it went from Southampton to New York with no stops. Disembarkation Almost as bad as Embarkation. Summary In all, we ain't gonna do this again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Special trip to celebrate my retirement. I travelled with a friend. We flew down from the North on a Flyby flight to Southampton the day before. We increased our baggage allowance to 23Kg (it cost £6) and saved having to worry too much ... Read More
Special trip to celebrate my retirement. I travelled with a friend. We flew down from the North on a Flyby flight to Southampton the day before. We increased our baggage allowance to 23Kg (it cost £6) and saved having to worry too much about meeting the 20Kg free allowance. We stayed in the Holiday Inn on a Fly, Stay Cruise package so were met by the taxi driver at S'ton airport and taken to the hotel. We had a room on the 9th floor overlooking the Solent and where we knew the QM2 would dock (46-48). To get into the mood we had booked an afternoon tea at the Grand Cafe. This was once the Station Hotel and then the Cunard offices - one of the waiters kindly showed us the main entrance and the first electric lift in the UK - amazing and worth asking to see. We really enjoyed the afternoon tea as well. Popped over to the West Quay shopping centre to buy last minute bits and bobs - only a short walk from the hotel. Woke up to a gloomy early morning and watched the Anthem of the Sea, the Queen Victoria, Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and the Balmoral (I think) dock. Taxi picked us up and took as to embarkation at 12 noon. Very chaotic at check in. Lots of people waiting. Lack of clarity re priority check in (we were travelling in Grills). that said we were on the ship by 12.15. I know from talking to others that it was not so smooth for everyone and there were long delays. I heard later there has been a change to the company who do the check in. The welcome signs were still for the Britannia from the day before when we got on! The problems with check in caused the muster stations to be delayed and we were late sailing. This was a special sailaway as all three Cunard ships sailed together - great spectacle - shame about the delay though as many in the Britannia restaurant had to leave to go and eat. I have sailed on the QV and QE before so used to the Cunard style of cruising. The layout of the QM2 is quite quirky and it took a while to find our way around - especially on deck 3 with its lower deck. that said we had 7 long days (most were 25 hours) to get used to it. The weather was quite stormy at times with high seas. This ship comes into her own then as she is very stable. It is possible to walk all around the ship on deck 7 and many did when the weather allowed. The public areas are well kept and the theatre and cinema (Illuminations) were well used. The Disco allows smoking so did not appeal to us. As every day is a sea day there is quite a lot to keep you amused and my friend and I kept ourselves busy with Bridge and Watercolour classes (tutors could do with a bit of help re adult learning styles!). We quizzed and met a great range of fellow passengers from all over the world - though mostly Americans & Brit baby boomers - like ourselves. The food in Queen's Grill was mostly excellent so we didn't eat anywhere else apart from breakfast in bed served by our Butler - a bit of a shock at first. We booked Princess Grills so the upgrade to Queens was a pleasant surprise and we were very well looked after - difficult to adjust to coming home and having to look after yourself again! I treated myself to 3 day pass in the SPA - thoroughly enjoyed it but the 5ft deep pool has very strong currents so be careful how you get it as you can get knocked off your feet and its very hard to grab onto anything if you are not a good swimmer. Very funny comedian and very good musical performances by young pianist, Electra and String quartet. Emergency lift off of member of the crew near Nantucket caused quite a drama as the US coastguard helicopter came to take the person off for emergency care. Too foggy to see the Statue of Liberty and not a clear view of the Bridge. Fairly straight forward disembarkation included a tour of Manhattan on the way to JFK airport. My friend and I really enjoyed this trip - we were well looked after. The Captain kept us informed about the weather and what was happening generally. The weather was inclement but this was the Atlantic in May. If we had the time and money we would have willingly sailed back on the QM2 to Southampton. We felt we had only had time for glimpse of what is on offer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We are veteran cruisers and like to book voyages that are different or unique (we've done three Maiden Voyages as well as the Titanic Memorial Cruise - all one-offs). Therefore we were looking forward to the unique "Lusitania ... Read More
We are veteran cruisers and like to book voyages that are different or unique (we've done three Maiden Voyages as well as the Titanic Memorial Cruise - all one-offs). Therefore we were looking forward to the unique "Lusitania Remembered" cruise offered by Cunard on board the Queen Victoria. In addition 2015 is the 175th Anniversary of Cunard, and the cruise line had put on a number of special events to mark this. We boarded at Southampton, where all three Cunard Queens were in port together, waiting to leave in a convoy. Queen Victoria was at the back of the procession, which allowed us to get some great photos of the QM2 and QE. Seeing all three queens leaving together, their foghorns blasting away, was quite an experience. We were allocated cabin 4119, a standard outside cabin which was spacious and immaculate. The king-size bed contained very comfortable and crisp cotton sheets, pillowcases and duvet. The cabin also contained a settee, coffee table, ample wardrobe and drawer space and a well-appointed bathroom with a selection of toiletries. The flat-screen television had an extensive selection of channels and programmes. There was also a fridge containing a mini-bar, and our excellent cabin stewardess kept our ice-bucket filled. We ate in the Britannia Restaurant for dinner and (usually) the Lido buffet or the Golden Lion for lunch, and the food was never less than excellent. In the Britannia we were given special "Lusitania" menus to keep as souvenirs, and the service from our waiter, sommelier and bus-boy were superb and professional. The daytime activities were plentiful and varied, and we were often spoilt for choice as what to do. The guest lecturers were superb; we had maritime historians who really knew their Cunard stuff, and there were two truly excellent presentations given by former BBC news reporter Martin Bell, who is a natural and enthusiastic orator. The evening shows were also brilliant and varied. The ship's own production company put on a couple of very original shows, and the star guests included an excellent 1960s tribute band called "The Overtures", accomplished flautist Claire Langan, and former TV show host and comedian Tom O'Connor. We never saw a duff show at all. Although we didn't stray very far from Britain, the ports of call were interesting and charming. We visited St. Peter Port, Guernsey; Le Havre, France, then around to Cobh, Ireland for the highlight of this cruise - the "Lusitania Remembered" ceremony on 7th May 2015 which marked 100 years since the tragic sinking of this great Cunard ocean liner in the 1st World War. The president of Ireland attended, as did other dignitaries such as the chairman of Cunard Line, Ambassadors from Britain, USA and Germany as well as the Queen Victoria's master, Commodore Christopher Rynd. Each made an eloquent and emotional speech about the Lusitania, which culminated in the Queen Victoria, berthed behind us in the port, giving a blast on her foghorn to mark the exact moment at 2.10pm when the torpedo hit the Lusitania 100 years before. This was followed by a minute's silence, and the whole remembrance ceremony was so dignified and a fitting way to remember the 1200 dead. As well as the Lusitania ceremonies, there were also a number of other things going on in Cobh, such as an open-air musical concert. The evening finished with a flotilla of small boats carrying white lights sailing past the Queen Victoria at 9.30pm, to mark the return of the lifeboats to Cobh with the rescued survivors 100 years before. It was certainly a sight to behold, and we were so privileged to be a part of it. Our final port of call was Dublin, before a day at sea and our return to Southampton. Throughout the cruise the weather certainly left a lot to be desired, but that's something that we (and Cunard!) are unable to do anything about. So all in all, there is absolutely nothing we can fault about this cruise - the ship, the food, entertainment, ports of call - everything met and even exceeded our high expectations and it is easy to see why Cunard are still a leading cruise line after 175 years. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
After spending a couple of weeks in Britain with my family, we ended our travels with a Transatlantic crossing. I had previously been on one of the maiden voyages of the Carnival Magic, which had almost convinced me never to take another ... Read More
After spending a couple of weeks in Britain with my family, we ended our travels with a Transatlantic crossing. I had previously been on one of the maiden voyages of the Carnival Magic, which had almost convinced me never to take another cruise vacation. Fortunately, the Queen Mary 2 could not have been a more different experience. The Queen Mary 2 is a beautiful ship whose engineering more than makes up for the differences that many of the reviews criticize. The ocean was fairly turbulent on the third day of our voyage and it was fairly apparent that the ship handled the waves much better than other vessels. Watching the weather in relative comfort was a highlight of the journey. For its age, the Queen Mary 2 is in excellent condition and remains well maintained. Some minor details needed repair (i.e. a couple of carpets require reattachment on the stairwells), but the crew seemed fairly attentive to on-going maintenance. Apart from a limited group of other passengers, including one moron who thought it appropriate to confront my wife and I about "how does a man your age have the resources to be on a trip like this" and to tell a random set of British retirees that they "had to go to ground zero," our time could not have been more pleasant. The crew was genuinely nice, particularly the Head Chef--Nicholas, the Captain--Christopher Wells, our senior waiter--Roy, our steward--Nick, and the Entertainment Director--Jo Haley. Even at fancier restaurants in the U.S., I have not had better food than I enjoyed on board. The Britannia Restaurant runs very efficiently with a consistently good presentation. The simplicity and British focus of the cooking made each meal excellent, with many approachable options. We did not spend too much time in the Kings Court buffet, though at different times it seemed like the food might be very good. A published menu might improve the buffet experience, but I question why anyone would want to go there with the Britannia Restaurant or the other upper class dining rooms providing a much better experience. In particular, I have to give a lot of credit to the kitchen for accommodating the gluten-free dietary needs of some in our party. Each day, the senior waiter would provide the next day's menu and the kitchen would make each chosen option with substitute ingredients. The best part of our voyage was the opportunity to relax and to get away from our ordinary stressful lives. I hope that Cunard continues doing the things that it does extremely well. Subdued atmospheres in the bars and restaurants themed around the original Queen Mary make the Queen Mary 2 an elegant experience. Likewise, entertainment that focuses on guest lecturers, theater, jazz music, dance music, and the transatlantic crossing distinguish the Queen Mary 2 from other cruise experiences. Formal nights also help underscore how a voyage is an escape from ordinary life. I only hope that more people in our demographic (29-40) will discover how nice it is to travel on the Queen Mary 2. Because of our positive experience, my family will make a point of travelling on the Queen Mary 2 as part of trips to the UK and Europe. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Admittedly, we were on the final leg of QM2's world cruise, but still - boarding her in Cape Town, we then stopped only in Namibia, Gran Canaria and Madeira. There were at least five other interesting places I felt we could ... Read More
Admittedly, we were on the final leg of QM2's world cruise, but still - boarding her in Cape Town, we then stopped only in Namibia, Gran Canaria and Madeira. There were at least five other interesting places I felt we could have/should have stopped. Namibia was wonderful ; Gran Canaria just plain dull; and Madeira utterly fabulous. Overall, I personally feel that this ship is too large for her own good. I have made many transatlantic crossings on smaller ships, including my absolute favourite - the incomparable QE2 - and love the sailing experience, the smell of the sea, the waves, the seagoing atmosphere and the feeling of travelling somewhere. All this, in my opinion, is missing from the QM2. She frankly TOO stable - the feeling of being onboard a ship is lost! No gentle vibrations, no gentle rolling, too far to walk I order to see and smell the sea. I nearly always felt like I was in a big impersonal hotel rather than on a ship. Without wishing to be too rude, the Gentlemen Dance Hosts were of a very poor standard, with only one of them able to dance properly, and he was not a very pleasant person, according to several friends who did try to dance with him.I do love to dance, and luckily have a willing and able husband, but I did feel sorry for those women on the dance floor who were being shuffled around by some pretty lousy movers. The Sports Team were great fun and organised hilarious Decathlons and other games to fill those long days at sea. The entertainment team were excellent, and indeed organised 70 of us into a passable choir, and we even gave a concert of show tunes, which was quite well received, considering we were all amateurs ! The meals onboard are just fine, and the dining rooms quite splendid. Service, as ever on Cunard ships, is impeccable. Our next cruise is on a P&O ship, and it will be interesting to compare the trips. I'll not be sailing on the QM2 again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Just a bit of background.... We have cruised with NCL once, around a dozen times with Thomson and this is our third time on Oceana. This is more of a comparison between P&O and Thomson than a review. We are a middle aged couple ... Read More
Just a bit of background.... We have cruised with NCL once, around a dozen times with Thomson and this is our third time on Oceana. This is more of a comparison between P&O and Thomson than a review. We are a middle aged couple also travelling with an older couple one of them is in a Wheelchair. As we were in 2 cabins I list the details here. Cabin C532, inside midships. A good cabin, some music noise from winners bar just below, but not thumping bass, just the band until midnight, it never bothered us as it wasn’t too loud. We had it set out as a double, but there was much more usable space as 2 singles, we asked William to change it for us the next time he changed the sheets but he did it straight away. Ice and Lemon was delivered ever day as requested, they never missed once. Cabin B618, Balcony, midships/aft. Small balconies on Oceana, Water was not getting hot, but fixed straight away. Air con not getting hot and that took 3 goes to fix. Skimmed milk was delivered every day, missed only once. The bathroom was quite small, the inside cabin one was bigger, had a big shower too. Cabin Steward Vilas was excellent. Mini suites and suites have much wider doors so would be able to get a wheelchair through. Food. In general the food was better than Thomson, more fruit variety (eg, Strawberries) but less cakes at buffet breakfast, just pastries. Bacon and sausage much better quality, fresh mushrooms, not tinned, and both tinned and fresh grilled Tomatoes available. A speciality sausage each day and various changed dishes daily (eg, Devilled Kidneys). Coffee from machines was ground not instant and the fruit juices were proper from concentrate not like squash. Jams were good quality not the cheap Spanish stuff, tiptree in jars served in sit down breakfast. Quality yoghurt too, from Littletown Dairy. The served dining was also better than Thomson, better quality ingredients, more variety, eg Gressingham Duck, Monkfish, Lobster, Prime rib of Beef, Lamb Shank, well presented and well served. A proper cheeseboard with a quality choice not just a plate of small bits thrown at you. Always 2 after dinner drinks on offer at £2.50. Having Steak, Chicken and Salmon available from the left side of the menu meant you could always find something if the main choices were too fancy. No charge for the steak as well. We used Cafe Jardin a couple of times and the Horizon grill for burgers, again they were excellent. Entertainment. Much better than last time on Oceana. The Headliners have much improved, Grant from Spirit and Chris from the Dream are on the Summer team. They are now doing 4 shows a week during the summer. The Singers and Dancers are much better than previous, very little difference between them and Thomson’s usual standard. However it sounds like there is a very much overdubbed chorus backing track being played rather than the live chorus backing that all the Thomson showteams provide. The production of the shows is bigger and better than Thomson. This will be down to the budget rather than the staff, I know some of the Thomson production staff and the job they do is excellent. The Musicians around the ship are excellent and varied, I only found the trio playing blues and Steely Dan in the Pub on the last night, wish I had found them earlier. The Orchestra are also fantastic, how they back the performers so perfectly is amazing, they are real professionals. P&O also do more than just the one UK guest act a week, over 17 nights we had; 2 magicians, (one Matthew McGurk, was great, the other not so) a violinist, a classical guitarist, 4 vocalists, 3 Comedians, the Opera boys, and the Spinettes. Along with guest speakers on the sea days. A bit disappointed there was no crew show. Drinks. The drinks are a similar price, £3.95 for a pint, but the spirit & mixer works out dearer for a smaller measure. The 12 bottle wine package we bought was good, there were some really nice wines on there and that worked out at £13.50 a bottle, similar to the house wine price on Thomson. Clientele. There has been a lot said about this, but we found little difference, didn’t meet any snobs on this cruise and it was a livelier crowd than the past Oceana cruises. The disco was used a lot more. We did notice a difference between the 10 and 7 night portions of the cruise, the last week was younger generally and there was a lot more Children as you would expect over Easter holidays. I still think that Thomson attract more of a partying type of customer. People seem more reserved on P&O. Staff. A lot friendlier than before, not as standoffish and more amenable to a laugh and a joke. Service excellent in both the waiter served and buffet Restaurants, tables cleared quickly, empty food trays quickly replenished. Disability access. Better than Thomson, ship easier to navigate with a wheelchair than Dream or Spirit. Having some of the disabled toilets inside the normal toilets was a problem though, they are difficult to access, holding doors and going around corners at the same time. The best one is the opposite Starlights which is straight out onto the corridor. It’s a shame some people without any mobility problems think they can just use it rather than walk half the width of the ship to use the standard toilets. Getting on and off the ship is better too, there are 2 lifts that go down to deck 4 where the ramp without steps is situated, they put notices outside these lifts asking that they be only be used by those with limited mobility, a nice touch. We don’t think that the mobility questionnaire we completed beforehand was passed onto the ship, as the cabin steward didn’t know about the stool we requested and the head waiter didn’t know about the wheelchair (we were initially allocated a table at the rear and up a step). These small issues where dealt with calmly and efficiently, nothing was too much trouble. The wheelchair user has very limited mobility but found getting around the Balcony cabin OK, we took a couple of those suction cup handles and found they stuck well in the bathroom. They didn't work on the last two Thomson ships (Dream and Spirit) due to the textured surface. A great service on the Southampton transfer leg, a seat reserved on the lower deck of the coach at Manchester Airport, a 40 minute stop at the services and we were off the coach in Southampton at 12.15, sat in the Plaza having lunch by 1pm. Transfer back using Venice airport was good, the assistance staff provided by the port and airport all really nice, helpful and spoke good English, P&O gave us a note to reserve the front seats on the coach, and having the luggage bonded the night before was really good, next time we saw it was Manchester Airport. Summing up, the difference between P&O and Thomson is that P&O seem a bit classier, the ships are more modern, no juddering, smarter decor. Entertainment is improving and is a lot more varied. Staff are still not quite as friendly as Thomson, but the service is excellent and you could still engage with most of them. The food is better in many respects. Having another taste of P&O after a few Thomson cruises has us leaning more to P&O or another line for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We took a short cruise to Amsterdam & Zeebrugge from Southampton on 3rd March. Arriving at check in we were confronted by a large queue, fortunately a meet & greet gentleman noticed I was disabled & ushered us to a check in ... Read More
We took a short cruise to Amsterdam & Zeebrugge from Southampton on 3rd March. Arriving at check in we were confronted by a large queue, fortunately a meet & greet gentleman noticed I was disabled & ushered us to a check in purely for those with a disability.We were soon on the ship but the cabin was not ready so we went to the Plaza self service restaurant. Again, we were met by a huge queue & when we finally selected our food Had a problem finding somewhere to sit. Eventually our cabin was ready, on entering I was surprised how small it was despite having a balcony. However being only a 4 day cruise we would not be too inconvenienced by the lack of storage space & cramped accomodation. The cabin steward was good & attended to our every need with courtesy & a smile. The theatre entertainment in the evening by the Headliners was not as good as previous tears with too much ensemble stage movement & singing rather than good solo performances. Other entertainment in alternative venues were much of a muchness & certainly nothing to get excited about. We had preferred dining but had a longish wait for a table so often dined in the self service diner. The food lacked a decent variety & would be very boring on a longer cruise & was often cold. We went on 2 excursions one an evening cruise of the Amsterdam canals with wine & cheese tasting & one a tour of the coutryside & outskirts of Bruge & a visit to a chocolate factory, both being very enjoyable although a little overpriced. All in all I feel that the standards of the Oceana have fallen since our last cruise on her (April 2014) Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Our experience with QM2 world voyage from Southampton to Southampton 2015. "Welcome to our gracious Queen Mary 2 for her 2015 World Voyage" we read in the presentation letter we received from our exclusive World Voyage ... Read More
Our experience with QM2 world voyage from Southampton to Southampton 2015. "Welcome to our gracious Queen Mary 2 for her 2015 World Voyage" we read in the presentation letter we received from our exclusive World Voyage Concierge first day on board together with a champagne bottle. Gracious? Not anymore! Every people have different reasons to join a world cruise, but many enjoy visit different places without having to pack and unpack meanwhile you can: eat delicious and international dishes, made new friends , know new cultures, visit interesting places, workout in the gym, take a bath in the hot tub with sea views, swim in the pool with warm water, practice tennis in open deck court surrounded by the sea, enjoy different shows in the theatre , go to disco to listen or dancing with music from the 80's or watch a new movie in the cinema every night. So, as cruise lovers we have some expectations when we board QM2 and it was very disappointing to find out that few things fell shorter than we expected. As Spanish couple, we were not sure what will be exactly a ship with British style. We assume that a company with that reputation will have high quality world cruises that will be memorable. So, let’s evaluate our experience with usual criteria: the ship, the accommodation, cuisine, service and entertainment. SHIP Maintenance: The ship needs many maintenance and upgrading. Many washing machines out of service, few fitness machines out of service. Exterior paint reflect the age of the ship, hot tub with large and abundant brown stains, open deck water taps roasted, public areas windows very dirty ( they doesn’t clean in all cruise long…100 days ), access area to indoor pool very dirty, several parts shows lack of maintenance Facilities: Theatre with a lot of blocked views and only second seat row have good views Decor: interior decoration brown colors. CUISINE The physical structure of display units in buffet are disappointing. You need extra-long arms to get the second line trays. QM2 have poor fresh ingredients and menus in buffets only varied in the way to cooking potatoes, other food it’s very basic…dry fish or not tender meat. The food and the service is quite decent in the Britannia Restaurant for dinner, although decidedly not as gourmet and fanciful that the brochures show. You may notice that lot of things cost extra, like orange juice, expresso café... I' m sure nobody who want to make the world voyage will chose the QM2 by the food. Quality of coffee is very bad, at least you have a huge selection of teas. There are not hot hord d' oevres in the bars, and the quality of the complimentary wine in the parties cocktails is almost undrinkable. SERVICE Crew on board have not a positive attitude with regard to hospitality and with little or not at all attention to details, well organized but impersonal and smile less. It is very hard to get “good morning” while you cross somebody. We have been cruising from Barcelona many times, and this is the first time nobody helps us with our baggage in the Port and we had not welcome party. We had to put the 4 suitcases on the security machine and then go up to the ship with everything. First we thought we maybe confuse the terminal, but not, there it is, if you want to embark you have to do it by yourself until the gangway. For embarkation nobody escort us to our cabin. First day we couldn't understand this embarking procedure, but as long the days where on and new embarkation ports comes we find the answer, we are going to start our world voyage in a Hop ON Hop OF cruise, where many passenger will have the same procedure than us almost in every single port. Dining room: professional maître D, steward manager and waiters. ACCOMODATION Beware of cabins next to Poultry Galley because the noise from room service waiters won’t let you rest. The interior cabin is small. There is a lack of space in a cabin supposed for two persons. Our backs tell us there are NOT premium mattresses. Small table where you only have space for the ice basket and a book. Air conditioning flow directly over bed . No interactive TV. Other extra cost: internet or computer classes, yoga or fitness classes, sauna and bubbles hot tub, ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment is good for the first 2 weeks, but successive weeks expect to have repetitions of shows, in every leg: Passionata, Crazy in Love , Viva Italia and Singers in Concert, tribute to Sting, they performed all of them 8 times !!! The only “special “ party is the evening with in vivo music and balloons dropping from above. They repeat it every 2 weeks. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Act didn’t supply company actors , so NO more Shakespearean performances. Very nice planetarium, but only 4 different movies to display, really poor for a 100 days cruise! Practice of sports in QM2 is very limited as there are only one tennis court, very small, and unattended from time ago, ground is in lamentable conditions. And another multipurpose court, same size, where some games are occasionally proposed like badminton, volley or cricket. After left our baggage in the smallest cabin we have never being, we went to the buffet for lunch. We walk around all the 3 courts but we couldn’t find any of the expected selected meals in a glamorous ship like that. OK, we think, maybe the ports day the meals are not so good. But, unfortunately that didn’t change in all the cruise long. All days we have the same poor buffet with: rice, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower, vegetables soup, and some dry meat or chicken or fish. To made friends is no so easy in QM2 that it’s supposed. There are only 250 world cruisers mixed with 2500 passengers, who are changing every segment. There are just 4 Cocktails Parties where world cruisers can meet together. OVERVIEW QM2 is extremely uncomfortable. The quality of food and service is poor and there is a lack of understanding of what is really takes to make a luxury cruise experience, despite is touted in Cunard brochures. After first week onboard we felt very disappointed and we wrote a letter to the purser office (annex). Nobody answer until we resend the letter to the central Carnival management. Then we had a meeting with our concierge cruise director and Maître D. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I have just read Grahambythesea blog, and agree very much with his review. I expected a high class standard of service, I gave had better !! We went for the formal dining. On the first night we were pushed into a small back dining area, no ... Read More
I have just read Grahambythesea blog, and agree very much with his review. I expected a high class standard of service, I gave had better !! We went for the formal dining. On the first night we were pushed into a small back dining area, no atmosphere and very draughty. We asked to be moved which was great, but the service was dreadful. On more than one occasion the waiter started to clear plates away before other quests on the table had finished, we had to tell them twice about it. Customer service was appalling. Trying to get a taxi booked from the ship was impossible. We were told to go to the info desk on the port. Anyone who has been to Dubai will know this is the biggest port in the world, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Entertainment on board was below par, apart from a couple of acts Not going to Aquaba was the biggest disappointment,I am sure the delay outside the Suez cauld have been avoided. Chipped cups and lack of clean cutlery in theKings Court. Won't be doing this again in a hurry Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We have just returned from a 2 week cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria – our first experience of cruising. We joined the ship at Southampton on 20 January for the first leg of her 2015 world cruise. The cruise included a visit to the ... Read More
We have just returned from a 2 week cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria – our first experience of cruising. We joined the ship at Southampton on 20 January for the first leg of her 2015 world cruise. The cruise included a visit to the Azores, British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Bahamas and Fort Lauderdale – flying back from Miami. We knew the ship was beautiful, following a taster day on her in August 2014, and the trip did not disappoint. The daily programme of events was more than adequate to keep us amused – in fact we were disappointed to have missed some of the pastimes because we just couldn’t fit them into our busy days. The gym was excellent and although I used the sauna almost every day I only ever saw one other lady in the changing rooms. As we were first time cruisers, we booked our excursions through Cunard. Most were good (apart from a very disappointing sightseeing/beach trip in the Bahamas). Swimming with Sting Rays in Antigua was an experience not to be missed. We soon realised that most passengers make their own arrangements when on shore and people were always willing to share a taxi around the island to do some sightseeing. Getting off and on the ship whilst in port was painless and queue free – a very efficient operation. The quality of the entertainment was mixed but we went to every show and did appreciate the problems of trying to please people of all ages and backgrounds. The theatre on Board Queen Victoria is beautiful and seats over 800 people. The food was fantastic (we ate in the Britannia Restaurant), the staff were lovely and the atmosphere was warm and friendly. Don’t miss the opportunity to share a table at breakfast time and hear the experiences of fellow travellers from all over the world. We shared our dinner table with 6 other people and rarely managed to get the meal completed within 2 hours because of the conversations we shared. The majority of passengers are elderly but if you are middle aged, don’t let this put you off – there are plenty of opportunities for all ages on board. There are facilities for children, although we did feel that the ship is definitely set up for largely adult passengers. There are always niggles when you are on holiday and probably our main ones were that the drink prices were high (due mainly to the added service charges) and a charge of $25 for a photo seemed ridiculous when so many were wasted every day of the cruise. Entry to the Spa could only be purchased for a 2 week period – surely day passes could be organised for more people to take advantage of this lovely facility? However, we were sad to leave this lovely lady – and very envious of many of our fellow passengers who were continuing on through the Panama Canal. We are now officially cruising converts and, having spoken to many other passengers, it seems that we definitely started at the top and a Cunard ship will be a very hard act to follow!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was my 10th cruise and my first on a Cunard ship. I've always held Cunard - with its British roots and regal history - in great esteem. Often when I look so forward to something and build it up in my head, I am bound to be ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise and my first on a Cunard ship. I've always held Cunard - with its British roots and regal history - in great esteem. Often when I look so forward to something and build it up in my head, I am bound to be disappointed. Not so in the case of Cunard and Queen Elizabeth. What I received was a well-polished cruise product on a beautiful, grand ship drenched in Anglo-rific maritime history. This is not a cruise for the ultra-active and uber-hip that so many other cruise lines seem to be going after. This is a cruise for those who appreciate an old-world, quiet, reserved, relaxed experience that celebrates history, the majesty of the North Atlantic and being at sea for 8 days straight in often stormy seas. The ship itself is beautiful and under-statedly elegant. Lots of exotic woods, creamy beiges, rich blues and warm leathers seems to be the general décor theme. Public rooms were stately and always very polished. My balcony stateroom (#8113) was not the largest I've enjoyed in recent years, but it was very clean, well-designed and had enough storage space for a week's cruise. The bed and bed linens were by far the best I have ever enjoyed on any cruise ship and in most hotels. At 48 my fellow passengers were a good 20-30 years older than me on average. For me, this only made the cruise more enjoyable. It's the first cruise I've been on where everyone easily had interesting and long conversations with complete strangers. I would say 65% were Brits, 15% American, 10% German and 10% from everywhere else. People adhered to the fairly formal dress codes - again adding to the experience for me. There were three formal nights - black tie for the gents - and five informal nights - jackets for gents, but ties optional. And people really did adhere to these codes. I never saw anyone in the dining rooms (or any of the public rooms) after 6pm in jeans or even khakis. Impressive and fun. The entertainment was good when it wasn't trying to be what other cruise lines offer. There was a harpist, and a violin quartet, and a concert pianist, and an opera signer. They were all wonderful and added to the special, old-world atmosphere of the ship. My favorite entertainer was the jazz pianist in the Commodore Club. His name is Graham Wellard and he has recently released an album. Both as a piano player and vocalist he perfectly captured the mood of the space and the passengers. Not as impressive was the ships group of singers and dancers. However, they were a new cast, and due to stormy seas we only got to see one show. But the one show we saw was - awful. Perhaps Cunard really needs to consider whether or not this type of show is really necessary on their ships. I don't think it is. The food was plentiful and terrific in every venue. I ate dinner every night with terrific tablemates in the Britannia Grill. I had no complaints. Our waiter and assistant waiter worked extremely hard and did a wonderful job, The Lido Buffet had a good selection of treats 24/7 and I never had a hard time finding a table. Room service was always on time - even early on several occasions - and the food was fine, although the room service coffee could use some real improvement. Staff throughout the ship were professional, efficient and charming without being fake or solicitous. However, some of the staff were beginning to show symptoms of disinterest as a result of compulsory tipping I expect. The best staff were found in the Commodore Club. They always demonstrated that perfect balance of chumminess with professionalism, so many others in our world are unable to master. Although the ship arrived late into Southampton and therefore embarked and left late, Cunard managed the chaos quite well and offered each passenger a $50 credit for any troubles. We also sailed through very rough seas most of the trip, and although the Captain tried to make up the time, was unable to get us into NY on time. I appreciated his regular updates and commitment to caution. My best experience on this cruise was the opportunity for a Behind The Scenes Tour. If you have the opportunity pay the $120 and do it. It's a three hour tour that includes several meetings with department heads. You go from the engineering control room up to the Bridge and everywhere in between. You learn so much about the ship and I found it all very fascinating. Well worth $120. Most of all I am writing this review because I don't want this type of cruising to disappear from the face of the earth. It is such a special experience, and I know there will continue to be a lucrative audience for it if Cunard and Carnival will continue to commit themselves wholeheartedly to it. Well done Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal. That's where the chaos ... Read More
Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal. That's where the chaos started, and no one seemed to know what to do......even the Director of Operations -Cunard. We finally got to our cabin at 2030hrs. Having been nearly 6 hrs in the terminal. $50 on board spend for EVERYONE was wrong, as only 50% of the passengers were affected? This incident left us and a lot of people around us very unhappy......we have all paid a lot of money for the privilege to be on the Queen Elizabeth. However, the crossing to NY was interesting......force 11 gales and 30 foot waves.....too much for some, but we enjoyed it all. Had a big problem with the internet charges on board. Although I had brought my minutes when I paid for my voyage in October, I was NEVER told that the charges were by the MINUTE and not by the second used. This is a racket, as in our case we paid for 270 min and only used 178 min...the difference was the overcharge of 112 min. When I brought this to the attention of the internet manager, he at first told me I was wrong and it didn't happen. On further evidence shown to him, a photo of the last internet page, which clearly showed the charges and the missing mins, he admitted that they did charge by the minute, but would not reimburse mine. I was not satisfied with this excuse and went to see the Purser.....I am afraid to say a one ringer, junior Purser, thought is was a good idea to shout back at me.....this incensed me further....I have since laid an official complaint with Cunard Southampton. This was never resolved and needs to be addressed by Cunard. All quests were complaining, but it would seem, accepted the situation. Stateroom: 8033, was on a slight corner, and gave us a larger cabin and balcony. This we had specially booked when we made our booking. The Stewardess was good and efficient. Dinning: We found this to be excellent in the Britannia Club. Our Steward, MARC was also excellent. We had two head waiters, both were outstanding. The wine steward ,we found to be very knowledgeable, witty, and entertaining. We used the Lido a few times, and we found it ok. The Veranda was excellent, both service and menu and food, well worth the extra surcharge. We also tried the alternative dinning for Asian food and alfresco dinning. Both very good. Entertainment" We found this to be poor. We did expect a high standard of shows, but only two evenings did they reach our expectations. We used the "boxes" on all occasions, and they are well worth the extra charge too. Shopping on board: Very limited and expensive. For some reason (I guess profit) Cunard will only allow you to buy duty free on board, for consumption on board, once every 30days......? However you can go ashore and buy as much as you like??? Shore excursions: Very expensive for what you get, Whiles the trips are good, the guides are poor, as you learn very little about the country you are in. We found it much better, and cheaper to go by ourselves. Met more local people, and saw more, at a fraction of the cost. Whale watching in La Hania really was appalling, as we were all sure, we saw the same 3 whales,3 times, all very close to the QE. How convenient for the guides. Tipping: We cancelled the daily tipping as soon as we got on board. 15% is added to every bill in all bars and restaurants and shops. We instead tipped our table and room stewards weekly throughout the cruise. We continued to get outstanding service from both of them throughout the voyage. Overall, we found the cruise a bit long for a first timer. The Queen Elizabeth is beautiful and by and large the crew were very good. However the Pursers department needs to learn what customer service is all about and not "speak down" to the older generations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We booked this trip as the 'holiday of a lifetime', it certainly was not. The cabin we were allocated 1041 had plumbing that did not always work, apparently because of the rough weather - this seemed to be a known problem, I ... Read More
We booked this trip as the 'holiday of a lifetime', it certainly was not. The cabin we were allocated 1041 had plumbing that did not always work, apparently because of the rough weather - this seemed to be a known problem, I would have paid more money not to have had this cabin had I known! The pursors office on the whole were unsympathetic (we are full so we cannot move you), they suggested writing a letter to the Head of Customer Services we did and received no reply. Eventually the problem seemed to be cleared and we were given a complementary bottle of wine but this was not handled well and left a very bad taste in the mouth.We were never honoured with a meeting with the Head of Customer Services. Some things about the cruise were good, some good speakers and occasionally good entertainment. The cabin steward was very good. The food was mediocre and the waiters uncaring, except to get rid of us so they could lay the table for breakfast as quickly as possible. There were many options that we were never offered, for the first week we were unaware that sweets were available with the coffee. We liked to have a brown roll with our meal, we were asked every night and often they still did not have them. A table for 6 was only a table for 6 on 2 occasions in spite of frequent requests. Small things but they could have made such a difference. Tinned fruit in the caribbean? In common with other reviewers we felt that Cunard were trying to extract every last penny from us, was this because they had to pay out a lot of money to cover late arrivals owing to the bad weather? There were so many small problems, the ship's newspaper was rarely accurate, obviously not read through before printing, once offering a discount on internet time which having tried to use we were told was 'a mistake'. We have cruised 5 times before with P&O or Princess, we believed the advertising and thought Cunard would be better - what a mistake.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was my first cruise and I was unsure what to expect. I read the reviews on here so went with an open mind. Embarkation was a bit of a shock as there were so many people waiting to check in. I stupidly expected to walk straight on. ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was unsure what to expect. I read the reviews on here so went with an open mind. Embarkation was a bit of a shock as there were so many people waiting to check in. I stupidly expected to walk straight on. That was the only thing though, the rest was brilliant. Our stateroom was lovely with a balcony, it was very very clean and the staff amazing. The food was brilliant and you could eat whenever you wanted in the Lido restaurant with no worry about dressing up if you didn't want to. The dress code is confusing as basically you can wear what you want so long as you are not scruffy! Even on the formal night some people were not dressed up that much. We met some lovely people who gave us plenty of tips for future cruises. You can also smoke in the Churchill Cigar and Pipe lounge but didn't discover this until our last day. It does however state that it is for cigar and pipes only but it seems that everyone in there were smokers of cigarettes. On the whole a brilliant time. Cannot wait for my next one now. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Decided to make the short hop to Hamburg @ back to stock up on german goodies.. Encountered some interesting weather which was forecast well in advance. Had wonderful service, food and i am sure the entertainment would have been so too IF ... Read More
Decided to make the short hop to Hamburg @ back to stock up on german goodies.. Encountered some interesting weather which was forecast well in advance. Had wonderful service, food and i am sure the entertainment would have been so too IF i had chosen to make use of it. as an old QE2 superfan, any other ship struggles to compete, but having sailed the Mary and Victoria I was pleasantly surprised that the Elizabeth with her more subdued decor was the better of the 3. Only disappointment was the casino which looses all atmosphere with her reduced size , no bar and slots placed within feet of the cramped tables.felt more like an arcade than an adult gaming experience. plus side i saved lots of money by not being a regular. It might also have been helpful if All staff were aware of the "Vaping" policy on board and the fact that they don't produce smoke at all ... but these are observations and not complaints. My biggest bugbear are the moaners..Why do they bother to sail at all ? Cunard do everything to make even the shortest trip enjoyable,they can't control the weather and ships everywhere do bob up and down.and yes in winter we get wind near the uk...being late in was a bonus. nobody was billed for the extra meals provide. My favourite meeting point was the Churchill Lounge (for obvious reasons) The friendliest folk tend to pop in and out at all hours. with this trip due to the outdoor conditions being busier than most. So if you are a moaner stay away from Cunard... They continue to provide exactly what they claim too ..You get exactly what you are prepared to pay for..and on a 4 day hop leave all your pretensions and bad manners on shore. When the weather is inclement the crew have to work twice as hard and if only the brits would wash their hands before leaving the bathroom they couldn't even complain about having to sanitise so often. Yes I am a true brit but we as a nation have the worst statistics for bringing on the bugs. I enjoyed this trip as I always do.QE2 won't be coming back so don't waste time moaning and comparing. I certainly will be back but i do hope the moaners won't be. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Having had a wonderful experience on Queen Victoria, last April we booked the first leg of the 2015 QM2 World Tour and waited with eager anticipation for our visits to Spain, Italy, Luxor and the Pyramids. Disembarking in Dubai. Firstly, ... Read More
Having had a wonderful experience on Queen Victoria, last April we booked the first leg of the 2015 QM2 World Tour and waited with eager anticipation for our visits to Spain, Italy, Luxor and the Pyramids. Disembarking in Dubai. Firstly, the good points. Our embarkation was excellent, although I believe later arrivals experienced chaos. The main lobby is very impressive, beds exceptionally comfortable and cabin very quiet, good selection of library books and delightful afternoon tea. Nice pub for watching sport. Good free launderettes. Bad points on ship, layout somewhat confusing,food court like motorway food outlet,. nasty little café on top deck that reeked of onions, inside cabin absolutely tiny, bathroom size of closet and awful shower. Not enough loungers and no shade, main dining room food cold or tepid ad service really slow Worst entertainment imaginable, unimaginative cheap shows, boring lectures and very obscure films. Good if you are interested in astronomy! Hand cleansing or use of tongs not enforced in self service areas, it was enforced in the main dining room and in the Queens room. I have no idea if this is the reason so many people suffered from what became known as the Cunard cough. Personally, although I am rarely ill, I cannot recall being as ill as on this trip, and still suffering, with the virus I caught on QM2. Now I realise most of the above is subject to opinion, but the rest of my review is not! After paying the balance in September we were informed that due to security reasons, we would no longer be visiting the Valley of the Kings or the Pyramids, but instead would be calling at Petra and Oman. Apparently according to the small print this change would not entitle us to a full refund. The day before entering the Suez Canal we were told there was dredging being carried out in the canal which would delay our entry; This resulted in our passing through the canal at night and cancellation of our visit to Petra. A second port in Oman was given as a substitute. However people seemed to think that the canal is in fact being widened and shipping lines would have been aware that travel would be subject to delays. Furthermore the Holland America Rotterdam, a Carnival ship like the QM2, visited Egypt and passengers did all their tours during the period QM2 was supposed to do it. I have now written to Carnival to ask why one member of their fleet cruised Egypt while another did not. Instead all we had were 3 ports in the Med followed by 10 days at sea and 2 obscure ports in Oman. The captain's facetious announcement on disembarkation that Cunard had fulfilled their contractual obligation by stopping at the required number of ports, was not helpful! I think most cruisers would have preferred Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids or Petra to 2 obscure ports in Oman. Furthermore I did hear that Cunard cancelled Egypt on the 2014 world tour, but have no proof of this. I now await a response from Carnival Corporation   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We booked the first leg of QM2 round the world cruise and it turned out to be nothing but a huge disappointment. We did not like the queen mary - the layout is so weird you need to take a cotton reel otherwise you will get lost - some ... Read More
We booked the first leg of QM2 round the world cruise and it turned out to be nothing but a huge disappointment. We did not like the queen mary - the layout is so weird you need to take a cotton reel otherwise you will get lost - some people describe it as quirky. Food in the Brittania restaurant was excellent but oh dear the Kings Court buffet reminded me of a very busy motorway service station, the same food, tables not cleared and very noisy. The shattered dreams really came to the fore with the ports of call. The cruise was advertised with two calls to ports in Eygpt giving access to the pyramids and Luxor. These were cancelled and in their place was Aquaba in Jordan giving access to Petra but the other port added was Some god foresaken container port in the UAE which had absolutely nothing to offer - Hardly a like for like replacement. The other highlight of the cruise was "cruising the Suez canal". We were held for over 24 hours at Port Said and eventually sailed through the canal overnight - much to the annoyance of lots of passengers. To make matters worse this delay resulted in Aquaba being missed and eventually Muscat was added as a replacement, again hardly like for like. The response from Cunard was "read our terms and condition" and from the Captain when we reached Dubai. He was sorry if any passengers were disappointed but he had called at the number of ports he was contracted to call at.!!!!!!!! Finally lot's of felloow passengers who had cruised on other Cunard ships said that QM2 was very poor compared to Victoria or Elizabeth. Cunard will have to try very hard for me to use them ever again Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our very first cruise and we were so looking forward to sailing on QM2 but by the time we arrived back at Heathrow from Dubai I could have kissed the ground so glad were we to be back. I suppose the omens were starting to show when we left ... Read More
Our very first cruise and we were so looking forward to sailing on QM2 but by the time we arrived back at Heathrow from Dubai I could have kissed the ground so glad were we to be back. I suppose the omens were starting to show when we left Southampton on the 10th January and the Queen Elisabeth was late arriving so instead of the two queens leaving to mark the start of Cunard's 175th year we left alone. It was the two Egyptian ports, pyramids and Valley of the Kings that attracted me to this cruise. These of course were cancelled soon after we paid the balance of the fare and I am sure the chances of QM2 ever visiting any Egyptian ports were slim to say the least, without these ports however I very much doubt if the first leg of the QM2 World Tour would have been booked by so many. Over 2000 passengers disembarked in Dubai, many very, very disappointed after so many cancelled ports, 10 says at sea, a dire replacement container port and other disappointments outlined by others on this website. Even experienced cruisers told us it was one of the worst cruises they had been on and we were very unlucky. Will we ever cruise again, I very much doubt it as we were stir crazy by the time we reached the final destination and very annoyed at the captains statement upon disembarkation that they had been to the number of ports scheduled - maybe Cunard would be better off advertising mystery tours! Cunard need to learn a few new words one of which is 'sorry'. As first time cruisers we have nothing to compare but if Cunard are supposed to be one of the top drawer cruise lines then I can only say that standards must be slipping as there was a range of items that in our opinion was not up to the supposed white star service some highlighted by others who were also on this very disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My wife and myself saw this cruise to Dubai advertised and jumped at the opportunity to book this cruise,and how disappointed we are with the cruise. The first ports of call were good although we had been to 2 of them with P&O, but ... Read More
My wife and myself saw this cruise to Dubai advertised and jumped at the opportunity to book this cruise,and how disappointed we are with the cruise. The first ports of call were good although we had been to 2 of them with P&O, but after leaving Italy the cruise went completely down hill. To begin with I think Cunard covered-up the fact that the Suez Canal was being dredged and they did not know about it !!! Who were they trying to kid, surely their agents in Egypt would have notified Cunard of what was going on !!! They decided to take us through the Suez in the middle of the night wso that we saw dam all !!, is it because Cunard pay less to go through the canal at night rather than the day??. To add insult to injury they then cancelled the trip to Aquaba and Petra, which the majority of the passengers had booked even before the cruise had started. Could you imagine the disappointment of all the passengers that had booked to see the pink city of Petra !!! In return Cunard decided to keep us at sea for 10 boring days at sea, with boring activities and films, till we reached the port of Muscat which was ok if one liked shopping, and then added a God forsaken port of Khor Fakkan which was a container port where no cruise ships had ever been to,and Cunard must have thought we can show the passengers how containers are loaded !!! Because there was nothing else to see. To add to this, there were a lot of passengers who had bad chesty coughs and colds on board, and had to visit the medical unit on board which was not cheap. I have had 2 other cruises with Cunard and this Dubai cruise must rate as the worst for letting passengers down. Having spoken to several passengers, they all said they would. Not travel with Cunard again, and as for me I will never recommend or travel with them again. Also the standards in the Kings Court restaraunt is very poor at night as some were walking in with swim shorts and sleeveless vests and some in t-shirts and shorts and no one to stop them. So much for saying at night you have to be properly dressed!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This voyage was a 4 night cruise from Southampton to Hamburg and back, and was my 6th cruise with Cunard and 4th aboard Queen Elizabeth; definitely my favourite ship of the fleet. Now I've experienced Britannia, Britannia Club and ... Read More
This voyage was a 4 night cruise from Southampton to Hamburg and back, and was my 6th cruise with Cunard and 4th aboard Queen Elizabeth; definitely my favourite ship of the fleet. Now I've experienced Britannia, Britannia Club and both Grills on Queen Elizabeth I thought I should share my thoughts of the ship. This cruise was in Britannia Club. Embarkation: Delayed, however this was due to passengers not adhering to their embarkation times and arriving 3 hours early. Passengers with embarkation times of 2pm who had arrived far too early boarded before me (my check in time was 12.30). Disappointing, however, I was reassured by the lady at check in that embarkation times are to be strictly enforced from the summer as the changes to the terminal, luggage and check in process are completed. The check in process and security checks were however efficient and quick; as I have always experienced with Cunard. Accommodation: Comfortable, not huge but plenty of space for most voyages. I feared I would miss the Q4 penthouse I had enjoyed on my previous voyage but I didn't. The larger suites are superb if you can afford them but the standard staterooms are still perfectly adequate. The stateroom was spotlessly clean including the bathroom; this was maintained by an excellent steward throughout. Complimentary chocolates and dipped strawberries are a welcome extra touch for Britannia Club staterooms. Also had 2 bottles of Pol Acker sparkling wine (not sure if this is a blessing or a curse!). It also has a spacious balcony and is on deck 8; not ideal for the stormy seas which followed as rolling movement is worst here. The safe was not working initially but this was promptly rectified by the steward when he came to introduce himself and check we were happy with everything; another pleasant surprise as many stewards do not do this. Food: I was not sure what to expect from the Britannia Club restaurant as there was some conjecture as to whether the menu was identical to Britannia and whether there was an a la carte menu as there is in the grills. I was pleasantly surprised. There was a small a la carte menu; ideal if nothing suits you on the main menu. It was far inferior to the grills a la carte menus but Britannia Club is a great deal cheaper. Cunard menus have been getting a bit repetitive on previous cruises. It was almost as if they heard my thoughts and catered accordingly; on the 2nd day onwards plenty of dishes appeared that I had never seen before. All of the food was very nice. Some dishes better than others but all enjoyable. The menus are the same as Britannia but were all very pleasant; I would highly recommend the smoked salmon bagel and poached haddock for breakfast. The restaurant itself is wood panelled and stylish; comfortable and cosy, with a more intimate service than the Britannia restaurant. It is also single seating which does make dinner far more relaxed than being fixed at 1 of 2 times. The Verandah restaurant was also absolutely sublime, and also has a new menu. The food here is Michelin Star standard and is extremely good value. The complimentary cleansing champagne sorbet served before the main course is delicious and refreshing. The restaurant itself is beautifully appointed with excellent service. The Lido buffet was slightly disappointing. I only eat here for snacks but noticed how it lacked the mountains of smoke salmon that was available on QM2 in the King's Court. However there was still plenty of choice. Bars and Main Rooms: The Queen Elizabeth is a beautifully appointed ship; far better than QM2 and Victoria in my opinion. The widespread wood panelling and art deco pays homage to the great liners of the past but it does not feel too old and out dated. It is warm, comfortable and relaxing yet still an ideal, stylish setting for formal nights. The Commodore Club is beautiful and used to be my favourite bar on QE with views over the bow of the ship, however service here was slow with too few staff on this cruise. The ambience however remained fantastic with evening music well suited to the setting, creating a lovely atmosphere. I spent more time in the midships bar (which has become QE's champagne bar in all but name). Situated in the Grand Lobby it is also stylish and comfortable with much better service and an enjoyable selection of Veuve Cliquot champages. Much is said about the high prices of drinks on board. They are similar to London bar prices; not cheap but not overly extortionate. Entertainment and Activities: I rarely indulge in the organised shows and other activities, nor pay much attention to them as they are aimed at an older generation (I am 21 years old). However I find Cunard's ships wonderfully relaxing and ideal if you are happy to eat, drink in a refined atmosphere, sleep, read, relax in the pools and hot tubs and wander the decks enjoying the sea air. I did book a private box for the Beatles Experience one evening. Boxes are very good value in my opinion as you receive a half bottle of Veuve, champagne truffles and pre show finger deserts, as well as the box. The Beatles tribute was superb, far better than I anticipated. The ship does offer a large library and a card room with board games as well as a games deck. You will find a gym on deck 9, which with a good variety of equipment. My partner and I enjoy getting up early and spending time here before relaxing in the spa and having breakfast. The Royal Bath House is an exclusive area that you must book for the whole voyage on short cruises. To prevent it being overcrowded passes for only 30-40 couples were sold on this voyage, and cost $200 for 4 nights; good value in my opinion it you make use of it. The bath house is very relaxing until you turn the large jets on which are far too loud and stay on for ages. It is very easy to fall asleep on the hot stone beds looking out to sea through the floor to ceiling windows. Ports: As for Hamburg, it was raining so we didn't do a great deal here but the Miniature Wonderland is excellent and well worth a visit. The British tourists all got very excited when a model BA Concorde took off with superb sound effects. There was bad weather with high winds and heavy seas delaying our return to Southampton. We were kept fully informed by the Captain and free telephone calls were available for all passengers needing to amend travel arrangements. Lunch was also provided on the last day (although many dishes bore an uncanny resemblance to the room service menu). Despite being a cruise ship (not an ocean liner like QM2) the QE was very stable in the 8 metre waves we experienced in the English Channel. To conclude, this was an enjoyable cruise and most passengers seemed happy. One gripe is that I wish the dress code was better enforced; one couple walking into the Commodore Club looked like tramps and I am not exaggerating! Virtually everyone in the Grills only areas dresses correctly. Elsewhere it is only a handful that are scruffy but many do stretch what is acceptable dress somewhat. The service can be lacking sometimes but is generally good. Cunard is ideal for anyone that wants a relaxing cruise in a refined atmosphere who enjoys formality in a stylish, traditional setting. I look forward to returning to QE in August for a cruise to the Fjords. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We first did a QM2 transatlantic in the summer of '12, and having found a tempting rate decided to see what might be different about a winter crossing. On the whole, we found the Queen much the same as it was two years ago, improved ... Read More
We first did a QM2 transatlantic in the summer of '12, and having found a tempting rate decided to see what might be different about a winter crossing. On the whole, we found the Queen much the same as it was two years ago, improved in fact in some areas, and on the whole a very, very satisfactory way to spend a week's relaxing holiday. We traveled Britannia Club and can recommend it wholeheartedly. The difference in fare is, to my mind, more than justified by the significantly enhanced dining experience and the few other little perks that make the trip more fun. We sat this time in the separate rear dining room and found it an incredibly relaxing and serene place to eat our three meals daily (so pleasant, in fact, that we didn't try any venue, despite fond memories of the pub lunch in the Golden Lion). Our servers were very good, with special praise due to the assistant waiter (bravo Freddie!) who magically anticipated every need. On the whole, the QM2's food seemed rather better than it was two years ago, with especially delicious vegetables, salads, and marvelous fish. We eat less red meat, but nonetheless greatly enjoyed the rack of lamb, venison, and prime rib. Desserts, to our taste, were sometimes less successful, but in Britannia Club one can have a flambé dessert made tableside nightly, so that was our go-to choice. The added Club a la carte dinner menu is a nice option, with excellent choices such as sole and a prawn salad that gave us more to choose from when the usual menu didn't tempt (surprisingly rarely, although we usually make dinner a four- or five-course meal and so had more choosing to do). The food was consistently piping hot - something that we heard from fellow travellers in both the main Britannia restaurant and (more surprisingly) the Princess Grill was not always the case in their experience. We chose exactly the same cabin as we'd traveled in previously and found it in ship-shape condition - we love Cunard's mattresses and despite some occasional pitching (well, it was December in the North Atlantic, after all), slept beautifully. The bathrooms are, as others have noted, small, and we might have minded that more if we didn't rely so much on the spa, where we spent some or most of most days and frequently used its excellent showers instead of the smaller cabin one. Cabin service was unobtrusive but excellent. We're fairly self-contained travelers and so can comment less on the entertainment - the one or two things we went to were fine, although it seems the relationship with RADA has ended, as there was no drama troupe on board. Music everywhere was lovely - we do enjoy the range, from a string quartet to a jazz combo, and the wide range of timings and location of the live entertainment. As noted, we found the December crossing moderately rougher than the June one, but nothing the QM2 couldn't handle with ease - I was actually hoping for some wilder seas, just to see what it was like. Next time! I had feared that the proximity to Christmas might mean more children, but there were very few and all well-behaved that we saw. In general, the crowd did seem significantly older than on our last trip - in our early fifties, we definitely felt among the younger set. Even so, the nightclub was lively until well after midnight most nights, although most other venues emptied earlier. I'm an early riser who enjoys morning walks, so not a problem for us. We're a same-sex couple and found no issues at all in regard to that; in fact, there was a sizable gay tour group aboard and very lively gatherings at cocktail time in the Commodore Club. On the practical side, embarkation in Southampton went far more smoothly than it had in '12 - we arrived at 12:30 and were on board within an hour, with very little waiting in queues. Our departure was delayed by about eight hours for technical reasons, but the only effect on the passengers was that the casino remained closed the first evening. Disembarkation in New York was delayed by U.S. customs (seemed to be an understaffing problem), and for those in any hurry to get off, self-disembarkation was definitely the way to go. BC was scheduled to get off at 9:30, but we waited until 10:30 and only just caught a noon train (Once off, departure was fast and smooth - it was probably wise to hold passengers on board rather than crowding the rather chaotic departure facilities). So for not that much more than the price of the airfare, we got a lovely week on the high seas, on a ship of great beauty and very good service. If we can once again make schedules and fares align, we'll look forward to a third crossing on the last true liner. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I sailed on the QM2 in December for the mid-month crossing from Southampton to NY. This was cruise #43 for me; most of my cruises have been on Celebrity and Royal, and this was my 8th trip on Cunard, and the 4th time on the QM2. I’ve ... Read More
I sailed on the QM2 in December for the mid-month crossing from Southampton to NY. This was cruise #43 for me; most of my cruises have been on Celebrity and Royal, and this was my 8th trip on Cunard, and the 4th time on the QM2. I’ve had mixed feelings in the past about the food and service, but the trip was well-priced at a good time of year, and was with a group I knew and would be comfortable with, so I took the plunge. I’m very glad I did. OVERALL IMPRESSIONS I was amazed at how well-maintained the ship is. Nearly everything looks new or freshly refurbished. Literally - the only peeling paint I saw was on one of the deck chairs on my balcony. There are a few places where you still smell cigarette smoke, but overall the ship seems fresh, clean and extremely well-kept. Service was great, and the MDR food was among the best ever. I’m ready to go again. EMBARKATION in SOUTHAMPTON My documents said to arrive at noon. We arrived about 12:30 pm. There was no separate line for the higher loyalty tiers or suites visible. All guests were given a numbered tag and called in turn. We waited 90 minutes to be checked in. That was ridiculous. STATEROOM Well-maintained and comfortable. Great toiletries. The most comfortable bed on any ship I’ve been on,and it was truly a king-size bed. The bed is high enough to store most cases underneath, and if they don’t fit, your cabin attendant can store them for you elsewhere. That’s something not offered on most ships. Great shower with handheld. ROOM SERVICE I only ordered breakfast in the room, and that didn’t go as smoothly. Having selected a time, I was surprised to find it arrive 20 minutes early. When I asked why, the answer was “The kitchen is busy this morning.” They don’t call in advance, so you don’t know they’re coming. This seemed a bit less than “sophisticated” service. INTERNET So slow in the cabin as to be useless, but perfectly speedy in the Connexions lounge. BRITANNIA RESTAURANT Lunches were pre-plated so changes to preparation and sides were declined. Lunches weren’t terrific - good but not great. Dinners were terrific. Every meal was excellent, and the surf and turf on gala night included the best lobster I’ve ever had. Fantastic. There aren’t enough wine stewards to meet the demand. Cunard would have made a lot more money that week if the wine steward had been more available. TODD ENGLISH We had two meals there, both excellent. If you go just once, you can’t go wrong with the Garlic Shrimp, Love Letters, Filet and the Molten Chocolate Cake. That was my first night’s meal, and to my taste, it’s the best items they do. BEVERAGES Drinks in the Commodore lounge were terrific. Well-made, interesting cocktails, with a broad range of brands. Well-priced, too, if you used to big-city drink prices. Typical manhattan variation was under $11 including tip. However, Cunard doesn’t know what “nominal” means. For example, a $100 charge for a wine tasting is not “nominal.” CASINO The only way to get a payout is to post the winnings to your room card and present that. No option for an anonymous paper slip or coins. The casino was never busy, and a couple times there was no cashier on duty (“back in 15!”) I wasn’t interested in being tracked, and it was more trouble than it was worth. THE LECTURES These vary by cruise, but were all quite interesting. Professional, polished speakers on good topiics. THE SHOWS The real downfall. Awful. Pathetic. Apassionate is billed as their “Signature Production Show.” The singers and dancers were talented, but they weren’t given much to work with. Nothings but a disconnected set of songs with dances. Nice costumes, but nothing special. Most off-putting - at least 1/3 of the seats are on the SIDE of the stage, but 100% of the action was designed to be viewed head-on. Shame on the choreographers. Again, overall, a fantastic ship and service. I’ll be back.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I had an amazing crossing of the Atlantic sea on QM2 from Southampton (Dec 15) to NYC (Dec 22). Onboard, everything was exceptional: The crew, the service, the cuisine, the fabulous dining rooms, the Commodore club, the ... Read More
My wife and I had an amazing crossing of the Atlantic sea on QM2 from Southampton (Dec 15) to NYC (Dec 22). Onboard, everything was exceptional: The crew, the service, the cuisine, the fabulous dining rooms, the Commodore club, the lectures onboard, the very elegant evenings, the library with its 10,000 books, the high tea, etc. (only to mention a few) Every morning, I could not wait getting up for a run on deck 7 while admiring the sea around us We also enjoyed real friendship with fellow Cunarders that we met onboard. As a lover of the golden era liners (Mauretania, Queen Mary, etc.), QM2 itself was the destination and I was not disappointed.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We spent 5 nights on New Year's Cruise on QV. We have been on QM2 4-5 year's ago, so we were looking forward to an amazing New Year's celebration. The reason why we chose Cunard is that we love dancing, and Cunard is almost ... Read More
We spent 5 nights on New Year's Cruise on QV. We have been on QM2 4-5 year's ago, so we were looking forward to an amazing New Year's celebration. The reason why we chose Cunard is that we love dancing, and Cunard is almost the only Cruise line that caters for dancers. The Queens room is a fantastic venue, but the music was really disapointing. The Queens room orchestra doesn't reaally have any idea about ballroom dancing music and even less about latin music. Most of it was some kind of boring jazz of which they tried to make latin music by adding very vague basic latin rhythm. Most of their songs had extended jazz style solos that had nothing to do with either latin or ballroom dancing music. The Singer was propably the worst I ever heard. As I spoke with some of our fellow passagers who spent a lot of time on yte dance floor, they all shared my opinion. The band and DJ at Hemispheres played some real nice music for dancing and even asked what we wanted to hear, which saved the Cruise as far as dancing. I have red lots of comments about the quality of Cunard getting worse since it was bought by Carnival. Sadly, I'm inclined to aggree with those comments. I*m not saying that the food was bad (eccept one occasion) but it was nowhere close to what I expected after being on QM2..It was just average, no better than RCL or Costa- Our stateroom was very nice as expected, no complaints there. The service everywhere on board was friendly. Only the sommerlier at Britannia restaurant was slow. Tthe final evening he showed up when we had finished our apetizers, so we decided not to bother him and drank water . I have never complained about the system with gratuities being added to the bill automatically. This time however I asked Cunard to remove it ftom my bill.(which they did). The reaso for that was, that as a gift from our travel agent we got a voucher for de luxe canapes. We told the room service that we wanted them on New years eve. The room attendant got the signed voucher from our stateroom, but we never got the canapes. We did enjoy our Cruise and had (mostly) a good time, but as said, being on Cunard we expected more. Never say never again, but I don't think that Cunard will be our first choise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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