630 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

Having cruised well over 15 times as a couple (and Cunard Carnival cruises) let's start by saying that the pursers office had a very negative attitude, both in person and on the phone. The cost of drinks is extortionate I.e. a bottle ... Read More
Having cruised well over 15 times as a couple (and Cunard Carnival cruises) let's start by saying that the pursers office had a very negative attitude, both in person and on the phone. The cost of drinks is extortionate I.e. a bottle of wine £5-6 uk over £40 on the ship plus 15 percent. Cost to us well over £350. The food is adequate at best the fish clearly cooked in a toaster. The speciality restaurant - we ordered fruits de mer not frozen de mer. Tasteless and watery. Their disembarkation procedure is manic. Whatever time it states you can get off is irrelevant. Ours was priority one as they allow the corridors to get chock a block with people and do not control it. Very dangerous. When going through security they do not even check the time you are supposed to get off. A free for all. We shall never go with this so called British company again . There is another American cruise company who do it better. Humbly disillusioned. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our fourth crossing of the North Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. As on the previous trips we opted for a obstructed view cabin on deck 8. We like the location, close to the gym, Commodore Club and buffet and outdoor promenade on ... Read More
This was our fourth crossing of the North Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2. As on the previous trips we opted for a obstructed view cabin on deck 8. We like the location, close to the gym, Commodore Club and buffet and outdoor promenade on deck 7. As it was a winter crossing we got some of the famous North Atlantic weather (motion of the ocean as the captain put it), two days of huge swells and waves and after that heavy wind. The ship pitched quite heavily but did not roll, it was a humbling experience to watch the sea wash by when enjoying a cocktail in one of the ships many comfortable bars. We had breakfast in our cabin for six days out of seven. It was delivered promptly as ordered but lukewarm. Lunch in the Kings Court buffet was a positive surprice, with good selection, no queues and wonderful views from the bay windows overlooking the promenade deck. We especially liked the sushi assortment. Lunch and dinner in the graceful Britannia restaurant was ok, with some hits and some misses. Food was always delivered quickly, service was impeccable and portions of good size. Some of the fish was a bit overcooked, some dishes lacking in taste, but in general we were always well fed. This time we chose late dining at 20:30 which in our opinion is better than the early 18:00 sitting, especially if you can't decline the delicious afternoon tea at 15:30. Late night buffet in the Kings Court was a bit of a disappointment. But you will never feel hungry on the QM2. As the outdoor promenade was closed for two days due to high winds we began our day on the treadmill in the gym. After that it was time for some tea, reading and wave watching in the Commore Club, followed by the nautical announcement at noon by the wonderfully entertaining captain Chris Wells. After lunch some more reading or attending lectures or simply having a nap before afternoon tea. Then a visit to the planetarium, some more reading perharps, enjoying the wonderful Ukrainian string trio in Carinthia Lounge with a glass of wine, before dressing for dinner. On day two everybody was invited to the Captain's Cocktail Party and on day four we attended Cunard World Club party, hosted again by the captain. After dinner it was time for the show, which we saw on four nights on this crossing. The performances consisted of some average singing and dancing, easy to watch for an hour but you weren't left hungry for more of the same. The music heard around in the ship in various locations by the harpist, pianist and the mentioned string trio was very good and fitting to the upscale surroundings. The lectures, pub trivia and planetarium shows seemed to be very popular as was ballroom dancing in the Queens Room and G32 disco for late night entertainment. The best thing to do on the Queen Mary 2 is to enjoy the wonderful public spaces of the ship. As the ship is designed for the Atlantic crossing where there may be days on end when you can't enjoy the open decks there must be enough interior space to accomodate the whole population of the ship without feeling crowed. In this the QM2 excels and you always manage to find a nice spot for yourself. Commodore Club, Carinthia Lounge, Chart Room and the Champagne Bar are extremely comfortable and classy spots to look at the waves and people passing by with a nice drink in your hand. Luckily the drinks are of good quality and made of premium brands, as the prices are not cheap. Tea in the Commodore $4, Vesper martini $15. A bottle of perfectly drinkable white wine in the Britannia can be had for $35 which is not that bad. Service in the bars was impeccable, friendly and courteous without being intrusive. Crossing on the QM2 is not for everyone, but if you feel even a little inspired go for it. Average age on this winter voyage was 60+, with just a handful of children and hardly any teens. It is the only ship in the world where you can relive some of the romance and thrill of the way how people travelled a hundred years ago in the first class of the grand ocean liners. It is a very well built quality ship and it's owners and officers are very proud of her. She was designed to feel classic and classy, not modern and she has aged well. With some attention to the cabins in the future she will an even more enjoyable experience. As this was our fourth crossing in five years I think it's now time for a brake but we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Having been on the QM2 previously in 2013 for a Canaries cruise and realising they had fairly recently Remastered her in 2016, we were keen to get back on board and savour her replenished splendid Character. CPS took the car as usual ... Read More
Having been on the QM2 previously in 2013 for a Canaries cruise and realising they had fairly recently Remastered her in 2016, we were keen to get back on board and savour her replenished splendid Character. CPS took the car as usual and being a rather dreary day its always so nice to just hand over the keys and leave the car in their hands and watch the luggage disappear into the building knowing within a very short time you will be re united with it outside your state room. Within 40 minutes we were on board and after a quick tour around we ventured up to kings court.This was where the difference was noticeable it seemed lighter brighter and large than we remembered and that one of the big bonuses of the QM2 in that its size to passenger ratio is the best we have experienced and that after 21 cruises and 7 different cruise lines and 14 different ships its still a favourite. The food was varied and a great choice possibly the best of the 3 Queens. The state room was very tastefully done ,though the covered balcony seemed rather drab compared to the Victoria or Elizabeth and paint was pealing off around the door lower panel The Blues was unfortunately the rattling door hinges when the ship was travelling at a rate of knots and with a fair wind blowing, it was noticeable when all you crave for is peace and quiet to sleep. The blues continued on table 339 where the vibration of the drive train was felt making the flower's in the vase the bottle of wine and us vibrate. I questioned this with the Waiter's - one told me it was all over the ship, the other that it was localised to a few areas in the dining lounge. So had this been more than a 3 nighter I would have moved and done something about the balcony doors but hey ho a short trip. The first show we had a comedian who was ok everyone who cruises a lot gets to hear similar jokes with a few new ones thrown in. The 2nd night we had the Broadway spectacular (again) but the dance troupe and singers were excellent. Evening 3 saw the 4 D's strut their stuff who with a name like that surprised us and had a standing ovation at the end great stuff. Drinks are served in the Show room and there are tables which is always a nice touch. Afternoon Tea or high tea in the Ballroom be warned --its a bit of a bum fight so get there early if you really want to make sure on a sea day of getting a seat then 3.30pm it starts so get there by 3.15 the latest to Queue up for a chance. Pub food in the Golden Lion a must lunch times all F.O.C and great food with a nice glass of Batemans --magic The main blues is looking at the wine list given to you by the Sommelier and knowing that the Australian Black Shiraz thats listed at $40 dollars plus tax is sitting in your local co op for £10.50 or has been known at £8.95. On a 14 nighter it can be come very expensive and their wine packages are a better deal but still pricey. Cocktails in the commodore club around $10 Gratuities $11.50 per night more blues getting on the 48 seater shuttle coach outside the ship waiting till it fill's up then travelling 150 yards and for some anti Brexit reason told to get off ,with the pretext of showing your pass port to the official in the cruise terminal at Zeebrugge ,finding no one wants to know anything about anything and just usher's you through and points to a door at the side of the building and getting back on the same coach still clutching your passport wondering what the hell was that about ?. happened 2 days running. Off at Blankenburge and a very short walk over the road to the station to buy the tickets to Ghent.Having been to Bruges 5 times before thought we would have a change ,There you find a very nice guy speaking perfect English who hand's you a return ticket for both of you for just 20 euro's on a very nice smooth clean train. At the time it was platform 6 at 10.54 going out so, every hour at the 54 minute out and on the 25th minute coming back on platform 9. Its a 30 minute walk to the town of Ghent --its up Albert street opposite the station initially, then straight across both the road's curving round the green and up to the Canal then right up to the main canal 200 feet, then left and follow into town an easy walk in or nos 2 tram from the station Really worth a visit --great place to shop and relax with a Belgian beer in some lovely place's We got the tram back a number 1 and dont be fouled into thinking you have to deal with the ticket machines as its all coins ,the driver will change up your money when you enter a massive 3 euro's. will get you back to the station in about 12 minutes. So total expenditure for the 2 of us was 26 euro's -- £ 21 Excursion on the ship called "Ghent on your own" a bus ride $ 110 = £84 your choice. Recommendation for a character Beer haven "Duel Griet" 500 different beer's address = Vrijdagmarkt 50, 9000 Gent Besides the small points ,this was a really nice 3 nighter = excellent food ,great service in lovely surroundings. Enjoy Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
1st Cunard experience and sad to say we have B2B booked with them in Aug/Sept 2019, 1st time ever I'm only half hearted about an upcoming cruise !!!!!! I'm sure the locations will cover any Cunard shortcoming. Let me start by ... Read More
1st Cunard experience and sad to say we have B2B booked with them in Aug/Sept 2019, 1st time ever I'm only half hearted about an upcoming cruise !!!!!! I'm sure the locations will cover any Cunard shortcoming. Let me start by saying that while nothing was really wrong it's just that there was nothing that stood out or made the cruise an unforgettable 5 (or even 4) star experience. We cruise to relax and unwind, enjoy new locations and enjoy the company of cruisers from different parts of the world .... being a Luxury category cruise line with a bit of nostalgia thrown in we expected to be treated to something special, we dressed the part, as Cunard expect/insist, but were totally disappointed with the level of service provided. Perhaps suite guests get to experience this sense of "luxury" in their dedicated dining room ..... for others it appears non existent (cattle making up the numbers providing a bit of profit to Cunard ?). Embarkation went smoothly enough, there was an initial problem with the gangway but once this was resolved, no problem, guests were quickly able to board. Had read that a few previous QE guests indicated the ship was looking a bit tired and dated, apart from from minor carpet issues on a couple of decks we saw, and had no issue with the ships condition .. ours was the last cruise before a scheduled refurbishment. We almost always travel in oceanview and our cabin (1076) was as expected, about average size and fit out compared to previous (non Cunard) cruises. Our Steward (Mario) was overly quiet and shy but always offered a greeting when we met, no problem or issue there. Having left London early a quick snack for lunch was enjoyed in the buffet, all tastes were provided for and we never really had an issue with quick meals that we had there after shore excursions and such. Same can't be said for the Lido Grill on the pool deck where the 'chef' seemed to think that cooking was a chore. The only thing that kept us sane during dinner was the company of fellow cruisers, we're asked to dress to a 5 star standard but service was at a 2 star level ..... the meals were unimaginative, bland, small, lacking in variety and very below par for a 5 star cruise liner .... this was the 1st time ever that an incorrect meal was provided, not once but twice !! Initially they indicated a 'wine package' would be available, no details were ever offered or suggested/recommended (yes we could have asked for it but should that really be necessary?). perhaps being the 2nd sitting was a little too strenuous for staff. After dinner most cruise lines offer a reasonable show ..... we sat through about 5 minutes of 2 offerings and quickly departed, extremely poor, worst offering we've ever experienced. One or 2 of the 'enrichment' talks' apparently were quite good, but may have meant little for non British guests. Shore excursions/tours were about average in cost (they're all on the pricey side) but were well managed with minimal hassles. One of the issues many people have is being hassled for drinks every 5 minutes .... let me assure you this will NOT happen .... indeed drink service was extremely hard to obtain, always quicker to walk up and order yourself rather than wait for service staff to ask (5 star prices with 2 star service). After a day or 2 we established a rapport with the wait staff in the midship bar and had no problems there, initially. Being on a late dinner sitting we always made our way there before changing for dinner .... after 5 or 6 days of sitting there between 5 - 7 pm enjoying a martini I was asked to leave "sorry sir, no jacket, no service after 6pm" .... was OK for at least 5 days but must have got someones nose out of joint ???? Being scheduled for refurbishment resulted in most "shops" shutting down 2 or 3 days before the end of the cruise ... not a great experience for guests to have staff moving bits and bobs into storage while the cruise is still underway. Disembarkation could have been as efficient as boarding if it wasn't for the fact that workmen were crowed around waiting to board as guests were being offloaded. In closing the QE will be doing sailings out of Australia from Feb 2019 ..... I wish them luck, cruising tropical waters during an Australian summer is about daytime shorts and evenings with light, neat casual clothes to match the conditions (forgot the jacket) ..... not sure the Cunard dress standards will be appreciated by Aussie cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Getting on board in Southhampton was a breeze. Ship is beautifully decorated. The ship’s library was huge, with more books than some schools’ libraries. Our stateroom (with balcony) seemed slightly larger than similar rooms ... Read More
Getting on board in Southhampton was a breeze. Ship is beautifully decorated. The ship’s library was huge, with more books than some schools’ libraries. Our stateroom (with balcony) seemed slightly larger than similar rooms we’ve had while cruising. Dining room meals were varied and creative, with some occasional misses. Lunch buffets were very good; breakfast could use some variety. We were highly pleased with our waiter team. Slot machine odds in the casino seemed more generous than other ships we’ve been on (meaning we won). Shows were uniformly excellent. Most guest speakers were entertaining. The in-house singers/dancers, band, and guest artists were great. Overall, great value for the money: we had a package with 5 nights London hotel for a modest price. That being said, we have some suggestions for improvements for Cunard • TV needs to include US sports. We got American cable news, but only Brit sports, other than one NHL game. At least show NFL in the lounge, not to mention the World Series. • Rooms need to have clocks, or have the phone (which has the time) next to the bed. • Internet connection on public computers needs to be faster or cheaper: it’s slow, as on other ships, and overpriced (like a lot onboard) for what you get. • The room assigned to bridge games was too small, limited to 13 tables. People had to be turned away. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in ... Read More
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in cabin within 30mins. We chose earlyt dining (6.30pm) on table of 8 and had good company - we moved round the table as the cruise progressed. Formal dress (jacket a must), but informal dress at the all day Lido restaurant, which we chose on three occasions. Food and service in the Britannia restaurant were excellent, but be warned, alcoholic drinks are pricey. Lido food also very good with great choices for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. We didn't use any of the other restaurants (eg Verandah) were there is an additional charge. Evening entertainment was very good, and excellent at times, though we didn't see all the one hour shows. At 60 and 67 we were probably in the younger 10% on board. Only impact was the day time entertainmeent and some shows are aimed at the older age group. It didn't bother us at all. Excellent range of activitiess each 'sea day', including lectures/talks on forensics, historical evcents and politics. Also food demos, Bridge classes, line dancing, cinema and much more. Excursions are pricey, but good guides. We did two and found nearest Tourist Info and explored on foot in Cadiz, Venice, Hvar, Dubrovnik and Cagliaria. Need to book a tour for Sicily as Messina is just a dock port. Not much in Gibraltar either except tour of fortifications, which was very good. High street is like any British city. Gratuities are pricey (about £21 per day), but we went to Reception and asked to remove this from our bill - done without fuss. We arranged our own (well earned) gratuities at the end of the cruise to Head Waiter and Cabin Steward. Sockets in cabin are American and British. Tea and coffee makig facilities in cabin and all day in Lido, but hot drinks were reasonably priced in cafes on board. All in all, excellent experience - our first cruise, if a little pricey overall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a tester cruise. I thought I would start with my perception of the best. Not sure that was true. There were some disappointing features generally and other passengers I spoke with did feel the service decreased over the weekend of ... Read More
This was a tester cruise. I thought I would start with my perception of the best. Not sure that was true. There were some disappointing features generally and other passengers I spoke with did feel the service decreased over the weekend of the short cruise. They had been on the ship for a longer cruise running into the short cruise. The food was not as good as we had hoped. It was definitely 3 star. Can't complain about the amount of a available food. You really can eat all day. Staff were pleasant enough but not overly so. The shore trip was well executed but unfortunately the shopping was poor as most shops were closed. Overall it was a good weekend but not value for money. I will try other companies to be able to compare with Cunard. On balance I think that my expectations were too high. Set them lower and you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I only have one complaint. The choreography on the ships own companies show was appalling. I am not sure that I was the target audience to be honest, which is strange as a 55 year old female theatre and musical theatre goer, I believe I ... Read More
I only have one complaint. The choreography on the ships own companies show was appalling. I am not sure that I was the target audience to be honest, which is strange as a 55 year old female theatre and musical theatre goer, I believe I should have been pretty near the demographic? There was no flow between the songs, the vague attempt at a storyline at the start then dwindled and stalled to a halt before the audience could get engaged with any characters that were being developed nicely at the start. If its a review, make it a review, if its a story make it a story, a journey don't mix it. We were on Britannia in March and Ventura in June this year. I think somebody should take a look at whats on offer on P&O, their sets are far in advance of the set you were using. The tiny (for a stage) TV screen starting showing the most uninspired cartoon of fish, suddenly somebody pushed a singer onto the stage, in a mermaid costume, sitting on a fake rock on wheels, it reminded me of a school play. The costumes didn't fit and dancers were pulling at their clothes as they turned away, the styling was uninspired and had no WOW. The sound quality of the band was really badly balanced, has anyone bothered to sit with an audience and actually listen to the sound and whats going on? There was little life in the sound and it made the musicians sound dull and bored. There was so much talent on stage, working hard at getting the best out of what they had been given to work with, being let down by people, who in my opinion are simply not up to the task of producing work that is of a quality that I expected from Cunard. Goodness me, go the National, RSC, go to The Fringe, go see some physical theatre, get inspired, shake it up or you will be left behind, your audience is a lot more educated than you think and its insulting to be served this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose the Queen Elizabeth on this occasion as we wanted to sail from the UK. We did not consider PO this time as there standards on previous cruises has slipped too far. We travelled down on cruise connections service from Wetherby.this ... Read More
Chose the Queen Elizabeth on this occasion as we wanted to sail from the UK. We did not consider PO this time as there standards on previous cruises has slipped too far. We travelled down on cruise connections service from Wetherby.this was the only do downside as the there was insufficient leg space on the coach. On arriving at Southampton we completed embarkation very quickly and within 10 minutes of finding our cabin all of our luggage was delivered. The ship was looking immaculate even though a big refit. is coming soon.The cabin was a good size.shower area was very small There was a big picture window and a sofa and plenty of storage space. We requested second sitting for dinner and a table for 2 this is what we got ,the table being perfectly located. Food was excellent throughout with a good choice,food was quality rather than quantity. If any one needed any extra food there was always the lido self serve which always looked good.We did use the lido restaurant on occasional lunch times.and for area breakfasts but we did prefer the Grand dining room for breakfast.We never had any problem getting a table for 2. Afternoon tea at 3.30 in the Ocean lounge was excellent every day Shows in general were very good. Roy Walker comedian very clean and excellent show Bernie Flint another comedian from a while ago but very good The Overtures.A group who did a lot of different tribute bands were excellent The ship theatre group were also very good Lectures on the ship were one of the highlights,we saw all the talks on Concorde ,the history of Cunard and a speaker on how drugs have changed the world The service every where on the ship was excellent Overall the cruise was very enjoyable the only Downside being the very high prices of drinks on board. As a result of the prices very little wine was consumed in dining rooms and bars which tends to spoil the atmosphere I do not know why prices are so high .I am sure that with a reduction in prices a increase in profit would result With regard to the dress code nights are either smart attire or formal. This rule was very well adhered to as most of the passengers were from the UK..It was very nice to see this observed very well. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It has to be said, we were apprehensive about the way Cunard is expressed as being for the upper class, the snobs and the like. well there are a few on board, but the vast majority were like you and me, worried hard for what we have and ... Read More
It has to be said, we were apprehensive about the way Cunard is expressed as being for the upper class, the snobs and the like. well there are a few on board, but the vast majority were like you and me, worried hard for what we have and want to enjoy the fruits, as we grow older and being aware.... there are no pockets in a shroud and no safe in the coffin. The ease on which you board the ship in Southampton, is foremost. 20 minute's... your on and sorted. The first impression's are of it being dark and old fashioned, but believe me, this will soon grow on you. it is comfortable, cosy, in splendid art deco style and this ship has style by the bucket. The staff from the first step on board, are very, extremely curious. From the very first ,moment, everyone says hello, and it is not felt to be false. The rooms are small, same as all cruise ships, but these ships are Liners, not cruise. they cut through he water, the hull being designed to cut water, Blue Water! not sheltered sea's. Those who boat on the water will know. A small sailing craft will cut through the water, a small cruiser will need so much more power to make the same speed and efficient passage, therefore far more fuel efficient. I did not like the smoke she emitted at sea, but the fuel was visibly changed when near port. Back to the room's.... A much larger than average bed, memory foam and comfortable. The bed cover, in their coat of arms gives the right appeal and class of the company. It is not cheap and tacky, but refined and clearly announcing it is a Queen amongst ships. The bed pillows are pure class and comfortable, the welcoming half bottle of Champagne, a nice way to ease you into the Cunard scene and way of looking after you in style. Yes I liked it, but boy, how it grows on you! dining. Self service or waiter, from the first level into their dinning, at Red card ( first time clients) the Lido self serve experience is less fussy as to how you are dressed, and the food is (and i do not say this lightly) Excellent with a capital 'E'! No matter how fussy an eater you are, there is something to set you an happy dinning experience! On the ONLY REAL NEGATIVE! There is no drinks package! Wine packages, yes, but no all round package! Cunard could do worse than see how this basic to mid range package is run so successively as to try it on an MSC ship! It makes the cruise, and the ship money, but mostly, it en-hances the dinning and social experience. There is one other small negative, we found, but many commented on, throughout the ship at Lunch and Dinner. Broken by two good acts from off-board acts, the ships singers , can't sing! that may be cruel, but the one young lady had a terrific voice at and on certain songs, but screamed on others! ear peircingly. The standard was not good enough for such a ship, though it has to be said the shows were energetic, if poorly performed. but with Jugglers and a decent comic, plus a really good humorous classic 4 piece string quartet, were excellent and a joy to watch! Again Cunard should take an MSC cruise and see how to enthral their passengers, 9at least, that is our experience on 5 cruises and one other is booked for Cir-du Solie in early 2019. But! it has to be said, we will return time and again to Cunard. Once experienced, all others fall into the lower experience levels of excellence. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise as our wine shop was sponsoring the trip for customers. We had 46 people in our group. We were in Cabin 8052 which was right next to the elevators and stair well midship. We had our doubts as to the possible noise ... Read More
We chose this cruise as our wine shop was sponsoring the trip for customers. We had 46 people in our group. We were in Cabin 8052 which was right next to the elevators and stair well midship. We had our doubts as to the possible noise level for the location, but it was never a problem, we had no noise at all from the elevator and stairwell traffic. The room itself was very good with lots of storage and plenty of room to move about without any problems. The only issue is if you are not agile the tub presents a problem as it is a high step into the tub. Once in tub area to shower your head is practically touching the ceiling, I am 5'8" and clearance was about 1 inch, so if you are over 6' you will have to scrunch down. Otherwise the bathroom size is good. The Club Continent Suite comes with a stash of free liquor, Bombay Gin, Sotli Vodka, Rum, and Johnny Walker Red. The balcony was a bit tight but not an issue. I suggest that when you board, if you have a Club Continent Suite or higher the specialty dining is free, you book the specialty restaurants for every day you are on board, then cancel the day(s) you do not use on those schedule days, otherwise you are on a wait list the whole trip. The food is not spectacular on board, but very good. The surprise restaurant is the The Patio, poolside. Order a bone in sirloin steak that was as good as the steak house specialty restaurant Prime C. The menu at The Patio is very good. The best food of the entire cruise occurred on White Night when the food is superb everything from lobster, pork, steak, frog legs, calamari, etc. is available. Tons of desserts, too. Entertainment on board is good, nothing to write home about. The singers, magicians, and band are fine, good way to spend an hour relaxing on board. For dancing and drinking the Living Room is the place to be where they have a DJ and combo for entertainment. My favorite location was the Spirits bar in the Den which seems to be the gathering place on the ship most nights, cocktail lounge atmosphere with piano player. The bartenders were exceptional at the Spirits bar, but I learned they are not permanently assigned but rotated through the ship. The bartenders we had were Alex and Vlad, Alex was assigned to work the Mosaic Coffee bar and Vlad the pool bar on the next cruise, too bad as they are truly good at the bar. We booked three tours on board. We were very disappointed with 2 tours and loved the 3rd tour. This is hard to judge for future cruises as they rarely return to the same ports, but keep moving across the Mediterranean Sea and beyond. So it just could have been the locations we chose to see. Look into Viatour or local tour companies in port. Staff was friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. One nice feature is fewer passengers so embarkation and disembarkation at ports is never crowded, easy on and easy off was nice instead of waiting in long lines. The ship is small so navigating decks and going to bow to stern takes no time at all in getting around the ship. Would I do Azamara again, yes, now that I "know my way around and the tricks" The ship does not attract the younger crowd, families with children, or serious partiers so the atmosphere is laid back for people in the 50's and over age croup Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Thoroughly delightful! Our second cruise (and for me, my 11th Cunard cruise/crossing since 1977) in QUEEN ELIZABETH numbers among the very best… in all departments and for all good reasons. This was our first Princess Grill ... Read More
Thoroughly delightful! Our second cruise (and for me, my 11th Cunard cruise/crossing since 1977) in QUEEN ELIZABETH numbers among the very best… in all departments and for all good reasons. This was our first Princess Grill experience in QE having enjoyed the Grills in QE2 and QM2 and I’d have to rate it the best (even more than QM2 Queens Grill) in service, cuisine and especially the “ship within a ship” experience imparted by the private deck space and lounge. Cuisine: consistently excellent and for breakfast, luncheon and dinner. We certainly had no reason or need to dine elsewhere so we enjoyed one of the great benefits of the Grills: having your own private table throughout and the same stewards who came to know our preferences. This something you’ll never get with “freedom” dining or open sittings. The menu was fulsome and varied, sufficiently tempting that we seldom availed ourselves of the additional “a la carte” menu except for the treat of Dover sole and a superb rack of lamb. The preparation, presentation etc of every dish was outstanding abetted by an excellent wine by the glass selection. Cunard also sets a proper table with fish forks/knives and soup spoons and if you’ve ever sailed in an American market ship you will appreciate this. Make no mistake this is classic Old School Ocean Liner dining that few if any lines can match, including Oceania. A fascinating tour of the Grills galley showed the meticulous planning and skill that goes into it, too. None of this happens by accident and efforts pay off. Service: “Madam, nothing is too much trouble up here” said a steward to a diner at the next table during our first dinner aboard. And that pretty summed up the service we enjoyed and not just in the Grills decks and dining room, but throughout the entire ship. We never encountered a single crew member who was not unfailing pleasant, personable and professional. The bar service was outstanding. And unlike last year’s cruise, the deck service was, too. The Princess Grill wine steward (from Serbia) was exceptional and personable as were our two table stewards, both from India. Our cabin stewardess, Rowena, was simply the best in some 40 years of cruising… simply brilliant. So efficient, we never once came back from breakfast without the cabin "done" and immaculate. The service on the Grills open decks is.. amazing. Cold towels, fruit, sandwiches, ice cream and full afternoon is served by trolley, something we remember on QE2 in First Class “back in the day”. Cabin: We had a P2 on Deck Four and found it larger that it appears in photos and deck place. There was ample hanging space in the walk-in closet, but the drawer space is almost non existent. Little details like hat hooks and a tie hanging rail are also much missed. My wife loved the full tub bath, too. But the bathroom is nothing like the gorgeous luxurious ones on Oceania’s MARINA and RIVIERA. And yes everything…. Is beige. The veranda furniture, too, is leagues behind that expected for suites on most ships. Décor: And yes everything on QUEEN ELIZABETH is beige. Or brown. Or shades in between. Oh except the endless sheets of pale gray sheeting that line the endless accommodation passageways. It’s relentlessly depressing. Made worse by the “Art Something” decorative touches that’s supposed to evoke the Great Liners and instead often looks like the phony wood fascia board on 1970s cars. QE is due for a refit this November and one can only hope someone discovers there are other colours in the sample book instead of dung brown and band-aid beige. Condition: overall the ship was in better condition in terms of paint work etc. than last year. We did have two bouts of plumbing troubles including about five hours with no hot water. But yes carpets and upholstery need wholesale replacement. It was all very clean just a bit tired. Entertainment: we are not into cruise ship “shows” etc, but really enjoyed evenings in the Yacht Club with an excellent band (as good as last years) and great atmosphere. The string orchestra was good, too. The ship has two pianists and oddly the best (by far), the delightful Campbell Simpson, was related to the Midships Lobby most evenings. Ports etc: a wonderful itinerary with lots of sea days abetted by simply wonderful weather contributed enormously to a good time. Sailing into and out of Venice by ship remains sublime even if the place is heaving with selfie stick tourists. Dubrovnik was far worse and that once enchanting place has been simply and utterly ruined by “Game of Thrones” groupies. We don’t ever want to go there again. Sibenik, on the other hand, was charming and delightful. As was the splendid Spanish city of Valencia. The only tour we did was Giardini Naxos (Taormina) which was to the various villages used in the filming of the “Godfather” films and a wonderful introduction to the beauty of the Sicilian coast and hilltop villages. Cunard does an enviable job with tendering in ports and general organization. QUEEN ELIZABETH Princess Grill is an exemplary product across the board and a now rare exemplar of “proper” traditional ocean liner cruising. It’s adult, it’s quiet, it’s elegant and it’s adult… not some floating theme park or Las Vegas resort. Long may Cunard remain so! We only lament Cunard has decided to all but give up its traditional cruises to the Med... BIG mistake!! Not everyone wants the Baltic and Scandinavia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
No real complaints, comparable to P&O and royal carrabian, but with all the "white star" service promotion we expected Cunard to be better! Not the case here. At this level I expect good service and high quality food and ... Read More
No real complaints, comparable to P&O and royal carrabian, but with all the "white star" service promotion we expected Cunard to be better! Not the case here. At this level I expect good service and high quality food and entertainment. Yes it was good, but no better than other Cruise lines. I was expecting this to be another step up and it wasn't. We didn't feel looked after as much either. The quality of service is certainly high. But P&O look after their passengers better with more personal care and the food was definitely better on royal carrabian. One definatate complaint is the price of the wine and service charge. This is outrageous with 2 large glasses of the cheaper wine costing $32 and a bottle just over $40! The average age of passengers is quite high with the majority over 60. We didn't find this an issue and enjoyed their company but some younger people my find Cunard too stuffy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting ... Read More
My attempt at a more objective and comprehensive review of Oceania Nautica: ITINERARY – London to Stockholm, 14 nights 1 sea days, 3 nights at St Petersburg - an excellent itinerary. • This is a port intensive cruise visiting major cities like, Berlin, Helsinki and Copenhagen, Stockholm, St Petersburg whilst also visiting quieter destinations such as Kristiansand, Klapeida, Tallinn, Karlskrona, Riga (listed in order of increasing preference). • 1- 2 more sea day would be relaxing but we had to fly out. There were scammers who attempted to scam us at London and Berlin. • Mostly smooth sailing with minor waves at night time in the Baltic seas. We do appreciate good stabilisation system with deep hull in the ships. EMBARKATION – No lines, straight through at the later part of the day. ROOMS – Very neatly appointed, the smaller bathroom meant a larger ratio of living space. • The showers are small but have been told they will refurbish in the near future. • The cabin is kept clean and stewardess Rosario was nice. I personally like the current bed style a lot and find the new design of the proposed refurbishment a bit tacky. • The bed and pillows are very comfortable, probably the best I have had at sea. PUBLIC SPACE – Spacious, lots of elegant seating in different decks. A few other cruises I have been on, felt like you must buy a drink to sit in the bar area, or must purchase this to lounge at a corner, i.e. less inviting. This ship had a lot more “free” space that you can comfortably sit and have a chat with friends. Dining alfresco in the Terrace café is great when warm; the sunset view (quick photo) is worth the chilly wind! OTHER PASSENGERS – most demographics lean towards retirees from North America, Europe Australia etc. • Some passengers are very warm and friendly, some others were very discerning, a few were ageist and slightly chauvinistic towards non Anglos because there is hardly any non Anglo passenger on board – no wonder other Asian male passengers were mistaken for crew and there were lots of staring. • In Australia, we see a variety of nationalities like Middle East, East and South East Asia, Africa, South American people. Perhaps with a few of the passengers, they don’t see much of the greater world as much and developed more curiosity as such, hmm. • I have also witnessed a few passengers been rather rude to the crew and are quite demanding, my guess is there is a correlation between more luxury cruises with more discerning cruisers. Contrastingly, I have witnessed people pushing in lines at buffet…but you probably expected this on any cruise. • Passengers on other mass and premium lines saw happier looking passengers who are on holiday, Nautica passengers appears that this is the everyday life (probably because they cruised with Oceania a lot and this became their normal home). CREW – Mostly excellent and friendly: only some very minor hiccups with some waiter and lady at the bar near the casino area. John the cruise director was amazing and the chef (not sure of the name) grilling lobsters, steak and fish in the terrace cafe for most part of the cruise is a master, the best grilled lobsters I have ever tasted. The chef changed on the last two days, the lobster quality dropped significantly and not cleaned properly (accidental slice of the excretory glands by the chef when cutting the lobster meant a unique taste…). FOOD - Having cruised with Celebrity (same menu in different ships rotating), RCL, Carnival, Princess, this line has the best food out of the above. Celebrity and princess are still decent and I enjoyed my meals with them. Carnival was good value for money and fun, but RCL was cost cutting. 1. If food is important to you, as it is for me, you are likely to enjoy this cruise. 2. The only comment I will make is that the sashimi is not that great, i.e. powdery and breakfast was getting boring after 2 weeks of continental breakfast. This is likely because I am spoiled in Australia where the café brunch options are excellent and access to other cultures like Chinese dumplings, dim sums with congee and fresh sashimi etc. I am not sure how adventurous the other passengers are with trying “non-western” style breakfast. .. 3. The fruit options for breakfast are impeccable and fresh. I can’t rave enough about the grilled lobster done by that particular Chef in the buffet, simply the best, he needs a bonus. 4. The main dining room is mostly great, tip: the daily menus are better than the Pepin inspired ones. Miso glazed Sea Bass was delicious. 5. The Russian evening buffet was outstanding with lots of choices and interesting dishes. We really appreciated trying other cuisines and the culture, especially when the food is made nicely. 6. Desserts – I have not had a bad dessert on board and have gotten seconds, very nicely presented and produced. You will be eating with nice silverware and plates. Afternoon tea with string quartet is very good but often hard to find a seat. SHORE EXCURSIONS – • Did a private tour for SPB for Catherine palace + Peterhof and it was great. • The complimentary shore excursion to Hermitage was disappointing, I could only look and take pictures of the ceiling because it is too crowded to see artworks on the side. Perhaps I needed to grow a few inches taller. Good thing that the ceilings were intricately beautiful. Because of the massive crowds, I did not see the peacock clock. Your face is literally up behind someone’s back. It was like a battle against time and the 50-60k people per day to take a quick peak of some highlights and get out ASAP. Don’t get me wrong though, the rooms within the hermitage were very opulent. • The local guide who gets on board at the ports Is quite good – provides a local maps with tips and answers. Also the shuttle to city centre, both very nice touches added by Oceania. • The complimentary tours for the 3 cathedrals however, were very good. See the ports info below for tips. • In general the ship excursions and transfers are very expensive for what they offer. ENTERTAINMENT The lectures on history of the ports were interesting and John’s magic show and talks were excellent. You are more or less expected to entertain yourself on board, which is perfectly fine given the intensive itinerary. Take the extra time to recharge, read a book and relax somewhere. I will be more than happy if Oceania spends the money on other things to improve vacation experience. There was minigolf and a shuffle board. Summary of tips: take naps in the very comfy bed and deck chairs with good cushions, try the afternoon tea listening to strings, try Toscana, try the miso glazed sea bass, eat the desserts, relax in the public areas, read in the library and relax after a long day (30k steps per day sometimes) of sightseeing ! Baltic cruises are definitely not only for the retirees. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We were on the Nautica cruising the Baltic. We thought food was nothing special. It was good quality, but it lacked any special flavours. It was nowhere as good as we experienced on our previous Oceania cruise. The service was fine but the last few days the service in the Terrace Café fell away significantly. The entertainment was outstanding for relatively small cruise ship. The berths at the ports were varied with some close to the city and others some quite a distance from the city. The excursions were just okay. We found them to be rushed and not very informative. They charged the equivalent of $150 USD for a walking tour that you can pick up at the local tourist office for $10 USD. There was too much free time, wasted time, long toilet breaks and waiting for people who get lost. I am aware that some other cruise lines have two guides, one at the front and one at the rear. Good idea. Wine prices were nothing short of extortion. French village wines which would retail in France for 20 Euro per bottle were about 15 Euro per glass plus 18% gratuities. They would charge 80 Euro for a reasonable quality bottle plus 18%. The enrichment talks were okay but they were fairly shallow for those of us interested in history. There was only limited time spent on the history of cities on our itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise for the amazing itinerary--circumnavigating Iceland (we're still reeling at the stunning beauty of the landscapes and seascapes we saw), touring both Ireland (Dublin and Waterford) and Northern Ireland (the Ards ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the amazing itinerary--circumnavigating Iceland (we're still reeling at the stunning beauty of the landscapes and seascapes we saw), touring both Ireland (Dublin and Waterford) and Northern Ireland (the Ards Peninsula outside of Belfast is beautiful), and cozying up to Fowey, Cornwall. The great advantage of a small ship like the Azamara, Pursuit is that it can enter what seem like impossibly small harbors; in Fowey, we were literally docked among the rowboats. The other pluses of the Azamara Pursuit were the efficient and helpful and friendly staff (the embarkation and disembarkation were a piece of cake) and the surprisingly good food in the buffet restaurant, which is usually the low point of cruise cuisine; on the Pursuit, the plenitude of choice at breakfast was probably the best we've encountered on any luxury ship and there were great international buffet occasions (we especially liked the Indonesian buffet). The daily gelato choices were absolutely delicious. But, otherwise, the Azamara Pursuit was a big disappointment. The mostly-beige new refurbishment was more blah than the advertised "understated elegance" (this was only the second voyage for Azamara) and the public rooms, though comfortable enough and serviceable, were the least impressive of any luxury-class ship we've experienced (on, for example, Silversea, Regent, Crystal, Viking, Oceania, and Celebrity). I won't go into the tackiness of what passes for "art" on that ship, which sometimes left me shaking my head in disbelief. Our standard balcony stateroom was so small that the furniture simply didn't fit it. I laughed when we realized that we would have to move the coffee table to be able to open the door to get to the balcony. We weren't expecting great entertainment on a ship this small but we were expecting good lecturers; there was only one (on astronomy) and I would say that he was only just ok. How great it would have been to have had a lecturer who could hold forth on Iceland! But perhaps the biggest disappointment and surprise was the mediocre and uninspired food in the ala carte restaurant and in the specialty restaurants. This ship had, hands down, the most undistinguished food we've ever encountered on a cruise ship. I always consider the soups the best test of a restaurant; in this case, nearly every soup we tried was so watery and bland as to be inedible. Even the highly-touted "Chefs Table" French meal was nothing special, certainly not worth the hefty additional fee. We met people who had been on many Azamara cruises--but I think I can say with certainty that this will be our last. The Azamara Pursuit simply isn't worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The shame of P&O's fleet, the Adonia, returns from dry dock transformed into the luxury, five star, country house hotel experience aka The Pursuit. What are the chances of that happening? What a load of old blether. The cabin ... Read More
The shame of P&O's fleet, the Adonia, returns from dry dock transformed into the luxury, five star, country house hotel experience aka The Pursuit. What are the chances of that happening? What a load of old blether. The cabin was hideously dusty, the 'bathroom' cramped and badly designed, and the first time since the Heysham ferry I've hated the way a ship performed in slight 'weather'. This from someone who's felt perfectly fine going through a hurricane with 100ft waves in the QEII. Stick a funnel on a margarine tub and you get the picture. I feel thoroughly ripped off. Never having used Azamara before (we're itinerary driven cruisers) we asked other passengers was this the usual Azamara experience? All said a resounding 'no' and 'that the service was way below par'. We met a couple who'd been on the Adonia just before Azamara took her over and said there was little difference save a coat or two of paint! I accept this was only the second voyage for the ship but the crew really need better training. Having young officers openly mocking passengers whilst using the dining facilities is frankly appalling. On seeing an overweight disabled passenger one young officer shouted out 'I can see a whale' as the poor soul struggled past. Shame! Worse still the senior officer present didn't rebuke them. The Captain really has to take responsibility for this. I don't don't want a big 'happy family' of a crew I want a well-structured/disciplined professional framework of command and leave the jokes to the Cruise Director (who incidently was the best thing on the ship). Incidentally first time a ship's crew have tried to alter reality to cover their failings. Howsabout admitting fault, apologising, and try to do better? You will get caught out otherwise. I will never use Azamara again. Emperor's New Clothes Outfit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have seen very beautiful pictures of the Norwegian Fjords. What better way to see than by cruising into the spectacular fjords. Flam to Gudvangen via the Nareoy fjord ( need separate 3 hour catamaran cruise ) and the sailing ... Read More
We have seen very beautiful pictures of the Norwegian Fjords. What better way to see than by cruising into the spectacular fjords. Flam to Gudvangen via the Nareoy fjord ( need separate 3 hour catamaran cruise ) and the sailing Geiranger fjord to Geiranger are the only 2 UNESCO heritage listed fjords in Norway. The listing tells you of its unique beauty. Need to wake up early 6 am though. The catamaran cruise is better than the return train ride from Flam to Myrdal. You can always do really spectacular Alpine train rides like those of the Bernina Express or even the Glacier Express in Swizerland. The 3 hour return bus trip from Geiranger to Fydals juvet ( gorge ) about 20mins away and then 1 hr to Mt Dalsnibba and then back to Geiranger and over to Eagles Bend Lookout is really worth it. On a good day, we got some really beautiful panaroma photos to treasure. We also enjoyed visting Bergen and up the funicular railway to Mt Floyen and walked around the beautiful lake which I had backpacked and camped overnight there 30 years ago. No internet or maps then. And hey, presto, we saw some campers on the exact same spot. How good is that. Haguesund harbour and town is okay. Free Cunard shuttle. We saw the their Hollywood Oscar equivalent ( the Amanda statute ) as they were celebrting their Norwegian Film festival on same day. BTW, we took a photo of Marilyn Monroe statute by the harbour. Apparently, townsfolk claimed she originated from there and I can't blame them as she does have a beautiful blondish look, right .... Queen Victoria is a beautiful and elegant ship, the travellers are easy and and enjoying themselves, the staff are at ease and offers good customer service both at the Lido, Britannia ( Nick from Boracay, Philippines, thanks for you excellent service ) and room service, our cabin staff always get our cabin clean with fresh towels daily, the food is very good and our dining companions ( Noel and Pam from Parramatta. NSW ) are a hoot and funny. Not bad for an Reserve army major. Loved your bright red coat. What more to expect. The nightly entertainment especially the musical cabarets are good. I attended one talk on the Quirks of Norway and found the facts very amusing. She was a Brit who lived in Norway for umpteen years and has a GOSH. That is the way to go. Our main purpose to dance nightly on one of the best ballrooms at sea with the well known Queens Room Orchestra and singer ( Vincent Wolf ), went very well. Sadiki, the handsome and friendly Caribbean born social host, was good in organising nightly 7.45pm sequence dances. He could have expanded the list a bit rather than the same every night, though. BTW, he is also our zumba instructor and boy, does he work you out in sweat and fun. Vincent belt out some nice waltz and foxtrot numbers during the evening black & tie dinner and royal cunard gala and during Cunard famous afternoon tea sessions. I think Damian Dodd ( singer in QM2 Feb 2018 ) was a bit more engaging with panache. Overall, my view is that dancing in the Queens Room during afternoon teas and especially in the evenings, with fantastic live music after excellent dinners and cabaret shows, is REAL TREAT for many of us. The floor is spacious and the atmosphere is great. It was fun to us. Thanks to some companions we met like Rain, Anthony, for catching us in the short video clips. Something to reminisce when we ride our mobile scooters in years to come. Give it 15 or 20, ok. Touch wood. Finally, thanks to all QV staff, the Queens Room orchestra, Vincent and Sadiki and our fellow companions. We will be on Queen Elizabeth in mid March and April next year and hope to see you. Just one very small tip to other cruisers who may be interested, don't expect too much, keep your fingers cross on weather etc, and play your part to respect and respond positively to others and often, you get back in return in spades. Such is life. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries ... Read More
Firstly the good points: Super speedy embarkation , fantastic food on board, two spectacular stops in Flaam & Gerainger. Bergen was Ok but Haugesaund was dreary. We travelled for the first time with Cunard last Fall to the Canaries and it was wonderful, 10/10. (Queen Elizabeth). This time there didn’t seem to be the same number of staff around. Longer waits to be served with drinks seemed the norm. The food as before was excellent both in the Brittania and the Lido Buffett. The Oriental night and the Indian night in the Lido were exceptional. Drinks are in my opinion pretty reasonable on both the Q.V. & QE , around the same price as you would expect to pay in a London hotel. (And of course you get on board spend which dilutes the cost) To be honest we will look to travel on the QE again next time as this cruise was a slight let down. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have used Viking three times and Azamara’s food and service beats them hands down. Don’t know what the previous reviewer meant by cliques, but our experience was excellent. All the staff and officers were friendly, engaging and ... Read More
We have used Viking three times and Azamara’s food and service beats them hands down. Don’t know what the previous reviewer meant by cliques, but our experience was excellent. All the staff and officers were friendly, engaging and approachable, especially Captain Carl, the Personnel Manager Beth, and the Hotel Manager as well. Once on Viking I complimented the captain on his new ship and he couldn’t be bothered speaking with a mere passenger. Not so on Azamara. Carlos in future cruises, the new female cruise director and, I believe Ruda was the server’s name In the Living Room and on the pool deck (he is from Romania) were delightful. Ruda always had a big smile and always remembered we liked sparkling wine at 6:00 p.m. We found the food excellent. We ate half the time in specialty restaurants and half the time in the main dining room. All were superb. The Chef’s Table was wonderful as well. Our criticism, and it is nothing that Azamara can really fix, is that the bathrooms in the club veranda rooms have a tiny shower with a shower curtain. It feels very dated, but Azamara is stuck with the existing configuration. When we take Azamara next, we will upgrade to the club continent suite which has a real showers with a real door. Another criticism was the Windows Cafe. The food was never appealing in terms of taste, appearance and aroma, and we tried it three times. We usually ate breakfast in the main dining room We found the shore excursions much more expensive than Viking and not worth the additional cost. There were three in our party and in Oslo, we hired a private guide and saw so much more for a much better value proposition. We shared our concerns with guest relations. The White Night was wonderful as was the Azamazing Evening of Greig’s music. Azamara did a wonderful job with the two buffet evenings, including White Night. The food was fresh, hot and delicious. Taking everything into consideration, we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and, as Captain Carl said, wait until the Pursuit has a few cruises under her belt and she’ll be amazing. We thought it was pretty amazing as it was! P.S The company needs to have its ground operations fine-tuned in Southampton. We arrived and had to wait almost two hours to board a ship that had no previous passengers. There were no beverages offered and we had to sit on hard airport-like seats after a 6-hour flight. There were also some baggage pickup hiccups in disembarking, but nothing that staff training and reinforcement can’t fix. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I had been on QM2 before in 2004 for her maiden Caribbean trip, 18 years ago and remember the experience as exciting (especially sail-away with a band playing us away on the quayside and free bubbly!), delightful and sophisticated. Maybe ... Read More
I had been on QM2 before in 2004 for her maiden Caribbean trip, 18 years ago and remember the experience as exciting (especially sail-away with a band playing us away on the quayside and free bubbly!), delightful and sophisticated. Maybe it's because I am older now and have become more demanding as regards to the finer things of a civilised existence that I found the recent crossing to New York quite depressing. Embarkation was delayed due to computer problems, the red carpets were rolled up and we finally reached our twin porthole 'stateroom'/cabin an hour late. Have the shower cubicles always been that small and unpleasantly plastic with a plastic curtain which did not quite hang to the floor? And I am sure the complimentary toiletries were for two people previously and of a higher quality. The ship may have been re-mastered but why so gloomily in places? Just like last time it took us quite a few days to get our bearings from Deck 6 Stairway A at the front of the ship to Deck 2/3 Stairway C where most of the important things were located. I walked barefoot, carrying my high heels to the Britannia restaurant. The two waiters were lovely, the sommelier supercilious when I ordered a medium-priced $60 bottle of wine and made it last three evenings. The food was excellent. However, the starters had turned into appetisers or amuse- bouches, the mains into slightly larger starters, artistically decorated with one French bean or two spears of asparagus. The puddings were small, the 'petit fours' apologetic along the lines of marshmallows, cloying chocolate truffles and crystallised ginger. Just as well we went to King's Court for breakfast and at lunchtime to choose our own food from a vast selection of very good international cuisine. It was not always easy to find a place for 3 friends to sit down as it was crowded all the time. I can't comment on the entertainment in the evening as we had the second sitting and did not feel like staying up. Anyway I do not like shows with singing and dancing and a lot of whooping and whistling, but that was my choice. The classical concerts during the day were excellent as were the lectures by a neurosurgeon, a little bit different and thought-provoking. The high-end shops were obviously overpriced in these days of internet shopping around and the market stalls in the Grand Lobby sold tacky stuff from the Far East to which any self-respecting person would give a wide berth. (Excuse pun!) Overall impression? The once so elegant QM2 now appears downmarket, overcrowded, serving expensive alcoholic drinks mainly consisting of ice cubes, eager to make money/profit at every opportunity. No such thing as a free lunch as you would have paid dearly for it initially. One consolation: With all that walking along endless corridors to get anywhere, I did not put on weight despite eating all the fattening things I would not normally have at home. The three added on days in New York were soul-destroying, boiling hot and humid, stinking, a cacophony of noise and a relentless tide of humanity. But that's another story. Never again....... Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise as it took in 7 ports of call of interest. This was our 5th cruise with P&O but the first time on Arcadia. Weather was fine and calm which helped, but everything from food to entertainment was the best we have ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it took in 7 ports of call of interest. This was our 5th cruise with P&O but the first time on Arcadia. Weather was fine and calm which helped, but everything from food to entertainment was the best we have experienced. In the past some dishes in the restaurant were a little soggy such as chips and battered fish therefore we had avoided them but not so on this ship. Executive chef was Trevor Glass, well done to him and his team. Entertainment we saw most included Jo and Liv, Blue Wave and the Headliners all of which were excellent. Ship was well maintained and clean, staff very friendly and attentive, although there was the odd Arcadia pipe leak with a bucket under catching the water until repaired but don’t let this put you off. Thoroughly enjoyed by my wife and myself together with our friends who were first time cruisers. Mark W Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Previously sailed on various P & O cruises but over the years their service and cut backs has put us off so we had heard from friends that Cunard was better. We love dressing up and the four formal evenings are what we wanted. They ... Read More
Previously sailed on various P & O cruises but over the years their service and cut backs has put us off so we had heard from friends that Cunard was better. We love dressing up and the four formal evenings are what we wanted. They insist on smart dress on all other nights, men wear jackets to dinner. Again we haven’t a problem with this. However, what we do object to is 15% surcharge on all drinks! The wine at dinner is unbelieveably expensive. Cheapest bottle of wine $29 plus the 15% surcharge! Bring your own wine and you pay a $20 corkage fee plus 15%! Did notice that quite a number of guests at dinner were not drinking. Meals are what you used to call ‘nouveau cuisine’ and although quite different, sometimes not very appetising. Coach from ship to port entry at Barcelona cost $6 each way per person. What they failed to tell you is that there is a local cruise bus which cost 4euro’s both ways and are regular. Shows on the whole are weak. On P & O we had celebrity guests. Not so on Cunard. Took trip to Pisa. Amazing place but..........no time to visit inside, Baptist, catherdral or the leaning tower. 50 mins all we had to look around outside. Far too many crowds to visit inside any of these attractions in the time allocated. Although entry to catherdral was free, you had to queue for a ticket to enter at a separate location, then queue to enter building. It could have been organised that tickets could have been obtained in advance so as guest could visit the catherdral directly. Would we use Cunard again, possibly not. The biggest bug bear is that they rip you off at every turn more so than P & O. Plus we still have to pay the service charge at the end of the cruise at $11.50 per person, per day. What the icing on the cake was that we paid nearly £6,000 for two. A couple on our table was on the same floor and with the same view & balcony who paid £2500 for the same cruise. If I had a cake, I would have dropped my head into it! (Purple Bricks ad - lol) Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
As a solo traveler I had hoped that this cruise would be enjoyable, it wasn’t. A lot of the time I felt that the ship was too crowded and it could be difficult to enjoy everything it had to offer. For instance, the sun loungers. Plenty ... Read More
As a solo traveler I had hoped that this cruise would be enjoyable, it wasn’t. A lot of the time I felt that the ship was too crowded and it could be difficult to enjoy everything it had to offer. For instance, the sun loungers. Plenty of them, but most draped with towels even though no one was using them. Obviously people would bag their lounger and keep it all day. The lido restaurant, often I had to eat later than I wanted to as there were no free tables. The staff were efficient at clearing the tables but the layout of the food areas was confusing. It would be better if the service area was more thoughtfully laid out. Lots of people seemed to be walking around looking for things. The cost of drinks on board was very high, not unlike London hotel prices. Fair enough, however, I was charged an exorbitant £25 for a large glass of Cloudy Bay wine in the restaurant! Plus all drinks carry an extra 15% service charge, and then they leave space for another gratuity. All this when you are also paying a “one off” service charge of $161 per person for the fortnight. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
All aspects of embarkation, room, public areas on board ship were excellent. The only thing that let the ship down was the extortionate charges for drinks and other amenities on board. In the first instance, the daily “service charge” ... Read More
All aspects of embarkation, room, public areas on board ship were excellent. The only thing that let the ship down was the extortionate charges for drinks and other amenities on board. In the first instance, the daily “service charge” for a couple is $23 per day (current exchange rate £1.27) which amounts to £18.11 x 14 night cruise amounts to £253.54. Then everything purchased on board is levied with a 15% service charge, no matter what. Cheapest bottle of wine in restaurant is $29. Average was around $45 plus 15% service change. If you take your own wine to the restaurant, then it’s $20 plus 15%! So if you are use to having wine with your dinner, it can get rather expensive. After dinner drinks are on average $20 each, so again things can mount up. Dining in the Veranda Restaurant will cost you close on $40 each plus of course any drinks you have during and after you meal. If visiting the theatre and you want a box for the shows, again this will cost you $60 plus 15%! But be aware the show is only on for 45 minutes. The shows on the whole were average, although the two nights with the comedians and the two nights with The Beatles Experience were first class. All other shows were passable, but bear in mind that this only accounted for 4 out of the 14 day trip! The two daily speakers were OK but one was about Customs and Excise, the other was about Military Bands, so if you are into either then it would be right down your alley – but not mine!. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018

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