298 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

Having only traveled in the past by air, automobile, or train, it was high time I tried a cruise, and a transatlantic cruise to me, seemed most adventurous. Seven days alone, afloat on the temperamental Atlantic, inside a large ship ... Read More
Having only traveled in the past by air, automobile, or train, it was high time I tried a cruise, and a transatlantic cruise to me, seemed most adventurous. Seven days alone, afloat on the temperamental Atlantic, inside a large ship filled with strangers, filled me with mild anticipation and intrepid fearfulness of what lay ahead on my crossing. Was I to perhaps be cut off from the outside world completely, and at the mercy of mother-nature and her sudden outbursts? Was I to go overboard on some stormy night? Was the ship sturdy enough to endure the perilous high seas, and was the Queen Mary II as majestic and elegant as all the legends had told? I embarked at Southampton on November 3, 2019, and there were no lines or delays. It was a very simple affair and within 10 minutes I found my way to my stateroom which was on deck 4. I had an inside room with no views or balcony. The room was clean, tidy, and smelled good. The bathroom was small but sufficient and again, clean and smelled like it had been just been serviced. I put away my clothes and had a look around the room. The television was already on and tuned to the information channel explaining to me that later that day I would have to attend an emergency drill along with all the passengers and crew. This was a matter of great importance and mandatory. However, that was not until around 5 pm which gave me a couple of hours to explore the ship. I took my Daily Programme with me, which was provided to me every day and left outside my room in a small mail slot. It contained a detailed explanation of each day’s events, details of special events, and the opening closing times of the bars and lounges. I went down to the lobby and was wowed; the lobby was magnificent and elegant. The lighting and colors were well placed and very pleasant and the ambiance was much becoming of such a legendary ship which surpassed her grandeur. There are many places to eat on the QM2. I mainly frequented the buffet which was open most of the time day and evening and also late at night. The food was good for a buffet and if traveling alone it was more than sufficient to meet my basic appetite and dietary needs. Of course if one wished to dress up in a jacket or suite then the stateroom assigned dinning at the Britannia Restaurant was always there if you felt the need to dress formally and take part in the quintessence of fine dining on the QM2. Really though, I never felt like a lower class passenger because I did not like to dress formally. I knew the rules and abided by the ones that suited my whims. I found that attending formal afternoon tea at 3:30 pm everyday satisfied my desire to be a part of the upper crust (or in this case, scones). If you can’t stomach being asked 25 times in 15 minutes by numerous waiters if you wanted more tea or would like more cucumber sandwiches, then this would not be for you. However, each time I went to tea, I met a different solo passenger who I would pressgang and join for afternoon tea. I really enjoyed meeting many unique people with so many stories. I met an established author, a dancer, and an elderly old couple on their 20th cruise to name a few. In the evenings I would frequent the pub and then go to a show or movie. There was so much to do all the time that the days passed too quickly. Next time I go on the QM2 I will spend more time reading or relaxing as I always felt the need to attend the RADA workshop, or a lecture, or the planetarium, or the Royal Court Theatre, or the solo traveler’s coffee meet-up, or go to the internet lounge and connect to the outside world. There was also the night club which was usually quite sparsely packed. It was a fun place to mingle with like minded fellow passengers and it was definitely not a place to hook up. Most solo passengers were attached or married and were just there to let loose a little, have a few drinks and pretend they were 25 once again (without all the drama). The future of the QM2 cruises will more than likely change a little bit with the times, and a new younger crowd will eventually meld into the aging culture of the aristocratic idioms of a traditional crossing. I imagine that with more health conscious activities, a better gym, a faster internet, a more hip and younger crowd will slowly change the old stuffiness that still prevails somewhat. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed that old stuffiness; and that is why it will not entirely die out! It will change slowly and perhaps morph into something that appeals to the younger generation who don’t necessarily want to go on a Carnival Cruise and who may want something that has some class, allure, elegance and sophistication, not found elsewhere, especially on a cruise ship. To take cruise alone definitely does feel a little daunting at times. The reputation of the Cunard business model can seem a little off-putting and stuck in its ways. But I never really felt alone on the ship. I ended up feeling at one with my entire fellow passengers and crew. After all, we all had a combined experience and had survived the transatlantic crossing, all on board the beautiful Queen Mary 2. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This 14 night voyage is my 13th cruise with Cunard and it is a few years since I have written a review. However, as this cruise was one of Cunard’s ‘special event’ and themed voyages and the longest single cruise I have done, I think ... Read More
This 14 night voyage is my 13th cruise with Cunard and it is a few years since I have written a review. However, as this cruise was one of Cunard’s ‘special event’ and themed voyages and the longest single cruise I have done, I think its time to share my thoughts again. At only 26 and 29 years old my husband and I are quite a bit younger than the stereotype Cunard passenger, however we enjoy the ambiance; dressing for dinner; the formality and the tranquility that a Cunard voyage provides. Indeed, with the addition of options such as the Gin & Fizz Bar Cunard is very much on trend and I feel many of my own generation are missing out. Embarkation and disembarkation was efficient and painless; in 13 cruises we have never had a bad experience in this area. We were on board by 11.30am. This cruise was the 2019 Voyage du Vin with guest speakers including Oz Clarke. We enjoyed a conversation with him and Cunard's Beverage Manager in the Commodore Club one night; they were engaging and approachable. There were a series of wine themed talks and events and overall, these made a pleasant addition to the Mediterranean itinerary. Many of the events were at an additional cost but those that we partook in were worth the additional spend. We are very interested in wine; it is a stroke of luck that this cruise was made the Voyage du Vin after we booked it. We would certainly consider booking a themed cruise again after the experience. This was our first time on Queen Victoria in nearly 4 years with Queen Elizabeth being our favourite ship. I was very excited to see her after her major refit a couple of years ago. The extra and more varied seating options on deck are a welcome addition and the Britannia Club restaurants looks very stylish and comfortable. I have already mentioned the Gin & Fizz Bar; we spent a lot of time here in the evenings. It is a new and innovative concept with an exceptional range of cocktails to complement the wide range of gins and sparkling wines. The move towards specific menus in specific venues around the ship adds variety and choice and is preferable to me to the generic bar menu that existed when we first travelled with Cunard. I would particularly recommend The Mary Rose cocktail. Bar prices are frequently mentioned in these reviews. I have no issue with Cunard’s prices; they are not dissimilar to London bar prices or indeed bar prices at a more average bar elsewhere in the UK. And remember Cunard use larger U.S. measures. The variety of canapes and nibbles served with drinks continues to impress again especially in the midships Gin & Fizz Bar. The food and service in the Britannia Restaurant was generally good throughout. There were some surprisingly good dishes such as ravioli with salmon caviar and some more average dishes. My lobster was a little tough one evening but was still very nice. Overall the food was pleasing, and we ate there all but one nights. We normally dine in the Verandah some nights however I am still of the opinion the Steakhouse concept is just not in keeping with the Cunard brand; we tried it QM2 and hated it feeling that it represented a major reduction in standards compared to the old Verandah menu. That said, I don’t eat beef and love elegant French cuisine. We didn’t try the Verandah this time. I feel that service aboard was very good; it wasn’t outstanding, just consistently good and reliable. Our cabin steward was faultless and the purser’s desk quick and efficient. Occasionally the sommelier was a bit slow in the restaurant or drinks took a while to come in bars at busy periods. Perhaps a couple of extra sommeliers or bar waiters in those areas would have improved this, but it really wasn’t a major issue and I am picky about service. It was interesting talking to other guests though that have travelled with different lines and feel that Cunard’s service is always better. We took several Cunard shore excursions for ease and peace of mind. We found all of them good value for money. We could possibly have done something similar ourselves for less but the avoidance of hassle and not having to worry about getting back to the ship was worth the additional expense of booking an excursion. The wine themed tour with tasting whilst in Vigo, where we visited the Albarino wine region was particularly good; it felt authentic with almost free flowing tasting and plentiful nibbles with the wine! There were a few niggles such as the air conditioning in our room not being very good; it was never so bad we actually got around to complaining so I can’t hold that against them. The Royal Court Theatre Vocalists were not great but the dancers were good. The hydrotherapy pool jets intermittently didn’t work in the first half of the cruise and the showers were cold, and indeed one morning the pool was empty. What was more surprising was that the spa staff didn’t know it was empty until we told them! Each time we mentioned an issue however it was fixed. We ate Alfresco one night for a small cover charge; the food was good and would have made a lovely change being able to watch a Mediterranean sunset had they not started jet washing and buffing the deck whilst we were eating. Obviously, this destroyed the ambiance. The maitre’d appreciated this and we were not charged. Clearly this was a communication issue between departmental managers. Despite these little problems I would give this voyage 4.5/5 stars overall. We had a wonderful time and I would happily book a similar voyage again. The combination of good food, good drinks, good service and excellent weather has made another memorable cruise. I can now start counting down the days until my next cruise of QE next year. A few notes regarding the ports of call. Vigo, Palma and Barcelona were all interesting and pleasant. In La Spezia we went to Florence and were disappointed; far too busy and polluted to properly explore its' history. In Cannes we went to Monaco. we absolutely loved Monaco; despite it being pricey I would recommend Cafe de Paris for lunch especially the profiteroles dessert. The Gothic quarter of Barcelona was very interesting and I highly recommend the little wine bar opposite Santa Maria del Mar. Finally Gibraltar was good; I recommend walking the Mediterranean Steps if able as it affords excellent views even when a bit cloudy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Cunard because we wanted a classic cruise experience, a formal atmosphere, and an excellent itinerary. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth took us above the Arctic Circle in absolute style. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship ... Read More
We chose Cunard because we wanted a classic cruise experience, a formal atmosphere, and an excellent itinerary. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth took us above the Arctic Circle in absolute style. Embarkation was easy and we were on the ship in a timely manner. We loved our forward balcony cabin (but we choose forward because we love ship movement when we sleep). The stateroom was beautiful and our steward was excellent. I cannot say enough about how much we liked our forward balcony. We participated in fencing classes, which we loved. We also thought the history lectures were outstanding. They enhanced our experience so much. The ship is gorgeous and serene, just what we wanted. It was peaceful and lovely. The Britannia main dining room was very delicious at dinner. We had a wonderful sommelier and good wait staff. Only one time did we receive an item of food that was not to our taste, but it was quickly replaced with a delicious option. Most of the drinks options were outstanding, in our opinion. Some people complain about the cost of drinks on here... but we found them well crafted and interesting. The MARY ROSE in the Midships Lounge is a truly lovely drink. We also loved the atmosphere and view in the Commodore Club. The aft deck drinks menu is fun for sailaways. The only drinks we were disappointed in was the regular complimentary coffee. For such a beautiful cruise, the complimentary coffee is not great. (It should be better, honestly) We ended up buying some specialty coffees at Cafe Carinthia, which were lovely- but for those is us who like coffee (coffee snobs) the regular coffee should be improved. We were also not overly impressed with the Lido buffet. The food was fast and convenient, especially for breakfast... but we have experienced better buffets on other lines in design and in taste. It is another area that could be improved in our opinion. The only other gripe we had with Cunard is internet. The internet needs to be brought to modern cruise standards. If the other lines can do so well with unlimited plans, so can Cunard. Many cruise passengers must use internet to keep in touch with family and with their business dealings. Back to wonderful comments... Our itinerary with Cunard to Norway was amazing, the nature was breathtaking, and our experience above the Arctic Circle was magical. Most of the ports we chose to independently rent cars, use public transportation, or hike. We did take two Cunard sponsored excursions, though... and both tours were well worth it. (It must be noted that this is our second trip to Norway- with the first being a land trip... we were prepared to drive in Norway since we did it before- which can be challenging.) We enjoyed the special guest entertainment brought into the theatre and the live musicians around the ship very much. Overall, Cunard was fantastic. I would absolutely take another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I have completed several cruises over the past ten years. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we decided to visit the Baltics. This was actually a 14 night cruise and we enjoyed every minute. The cruise ship is ... Read More
My husband and I have completed several cruises over the past ten years. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we decided to visit the Baltics. This was actually a 14 night cruise and we enjoyed every minute. The cruise ship is spotlessly clean and very comfortable. The service is exceptional. The very vast majority of staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Food in the Brittania restaurant was delicious. We did eat in the Lido some evenings and that was good, although not quite as good! We were incredibly lucky with the weather on this voyage which certainly helps. That said, the ports of call in Denmark, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany were all wonderful. Our cabin was on Deck 8 Aft. We like the location near to the Aft stairwell and we would choose this location and deck again. Our cabin was comfortable and our steward was always happy to help us. Entertainment on this cruise wasn't quite as good as we have known it to be before but that might be down to personal taste. We enjoyed the shows and musicians.Guest speakers were interesting and the Celebrity Speaker, John Peters, was completely inspiring. There is so much to love about cruising with Cunard. We'll be back! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics ... Read More
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics and coke on board as our mixers. We have never sailed Cunard before, previously only sailing on more casual cruise ships, so were somewhat apprehensive about the dress code. Dress Code - The apprehension was missplaced completely. In the two week cruise there were 3 ball nights, and we knew the ladies and gents dress codes for them. Apart from that, if you were going to eat in the main Brittania restaurant men had to wear trousers, jacket and shirt (no tie necessary) and ladies normal smart going out clothes. If you wanted to wear jeans and t-shirt and stay completely casual, you could eat in the Lido buffet and drink in the Golden Lion pub, but could not go to the ball room, other bars, the main Brittania restaurant or the theatre. Some nights we stayed completely casual. Staff customer service - staff always had a smile and a 'good morning/afternoon/evening' whenever they walked past you or dealt with you. We had an enquiry at embarkation when a case was missing. The customer service team where friendly and helpful, finding the case within 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was friendly and welcoming, keeping our cabin immaculate and was always able to bring additional towels or other items we wanted without delay. Other facilities - there was access to several lauderies on the ship, and these were free!! This included the washing powder as well. The laundry included washers, dryers, washing sink, iron and ironing board. An invaluable resource on a cruise of 14 nights. State of the ship - the ship was kept spotless and any faults seemed to be sorted quickly - there was some water ingress in the ceiling of the central buffet area in the Lido. When in port the ship looked stunning and traditional in comparison to other cruise ships. The decor of the ship is art deco, with lovely wood panelled interiors and themed art work for each stair well. Food - there was excellent choice in the Lido buffet most of the time, ranging from early breakfast, main breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, early main tea, later main tea, to later evening snacks (till 1.30am). There was shortages of some items, such as the clotted cream for the afternoon tea, hot chocolate drinks, earl grey teabags etc during the last few days - The main Brittania restaurant, we were on early sitting at 6.00pm, also had at least 4 - 6 choices for starter, main and dessert. On one occasion my daughter and I could not decide which dessert we wanted, and then asked if we could order two each - no problem at all. You left the restaurant feeling pleasently full but not stuffed. - There were snack options during the day available in the Cafe Carinthia. Lunch and dinner were also available in the Golden Lion Pub, we enjoyed Friday fish and chips at lunch time here. Waiter served afternoon tea was available on sea days in the Queends Room, this is not to be missed as the sandwich and cake selection is extremely appetising. We also use the Lido grill, deck 9 stern, at lunch time for fish, burgers and chips etc. - We did not try any of the paid restaurants and were not grills passengers. Room Service - On some mornings, and one evening, we chose to have breakfast and dinner in our cabin. It was such a treat being able to be served just what you wanted for breakfast rather than get up and queue up. The evening menu was not as varied, burgers and pizzas mainly. The room service menu was included in the cruise and not an additional extra, which was very good. Drinks - the bars and deck bars were all welcoming and very good, and we did treat ourselves to an occasional glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at sail away, or cider/beer in the evening or day time. The only issue, is that with the value of the pound to the dollar the cost of drinks is very expensive, especially if you are from the north east of England! If we had not brought our own wine, gins, rums and ports on board, plus mixers, it would have been a somewhat dry cruise! Entertainment - the theatre was exceptional, with proper theatre tiered seating, boxes and an exceptional theatre orchestra!! The ships crew were good (but not exceptional) in the two shows we saw them do. We also saw The Opera Boys both times they performed, they were brilliant. We say a violinist once, she was excellent. There was also a pianist/commedian, Jon Courtenay for the last nights of the cruise who was extremely good. The ball room/Queens Room was a bit of a let down as it was almost like a corridor between the front and back of the ship to one side separating the seating, and there was not enough seating for the passengers who wanted to enjoy the dancing most evenings. There was a ball room orchestra as well, who were also excellent. We did attend some dancing classes during the day and put our steps into practice in the evening when we could. There are some very serious dancers on board, so it did make it a bit awkward for novice dancers if they felt they were getting in the way. Other entertainment we enjoyed was the band Next Steps, both on sailaway celebrations and at the Yacht Club. Also, most evenings, we attended, and enjoyed, quizes in the Garden Lounge and later in the Golden Lion pub - we even won the Husband and Wife quiz in the Golden Lion. As you wandered around the ship in the evening there were other muscians and ensembles to enjoy listening to, such as pianist Andy Law in the Golden Lion, who could play/sing anything. Sea days - My daughter and husband thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Robin Scagett, about astronomy, space and time - my daughter, as a primary teacher she took a lot away from those talks. My daughter and I both enjoyed the inspiring John Peters talk and question/answer session. There was another speaker throughout the cruise, but we did not attend his talks. I went to the beginners bridge classes with Chris Jarosz, which was pitched at the right level. I attended on my own and that was a slight problem as many others attended as a couple, but Chris found solutions to this. I certainly hope to continue to learn bridge. Otherwise, I loved the afternoon social craft group in the Garden Lounge. I did also treat myself to an afternoon in the spa pool, warm loungers and steam rooms but I did not have any spa treatments. My husband attended the ships choir, who gave a wonderful performance on the last sea day. He made many friends through this group. I would say that all but one of the passengers we encountered, or met through groups, were lovely, engaging and warm people and came from all over the world. Aside from what we did, there was a wealth of activities to enjoy on sea days, outside there was a full bowling green and other outdoor sports, plus two swimming pools and 4 bubble pools. Indoors, there were card tables, board games, puzzles and puzzle tables, and a two story library that gave out daily quizes, cross words and sudoko. If you just wanted to relax, there were lots of indoor and outdoor quite areas to relax, read and sleep. Disembarkation - we were going to take our own luggage off, but a very experienced cruiser said to put it out, and explained that at the port luggage was arranged by deck number. She said that you could take yourself off at your own convenience rather than follow the instructions if you wanted to make an early get away - we had a long drive back up north, so got off at 9.00am, and collected our luggage very easily ready for the pre booked taxi back to collect our car from the hotel. Overall, we would definately cruise with Cunard again. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with excellent choice of activities, ports that we wanted to visit and the chance to meet some fantastic people. Our party only did one shore excursion, my daughter and our friend did the segway in Copenhagen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was $99, which I could have booked on my own for about $79, but not for the times that were best for our days plans. As my daughter and our friend were novice cruisers we felt better leaving them in the care of the excursion team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, ... Read More
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, and appeared to be nutritious (ie not rubbish American style food - fruit and veggies were included). We travel (sometimes up to 3 months per year) and eat out a lot and to us the service was excellent. The only other cruise we have done is a Ponant Antarctica cruise with 200 passengers and I found it interesting/amazing that it didn’t appear to be to different (ie. overcrowded) on this ship with 2000 passengers. The entertainment varied from having some excellent musicians (ex Moody Blues, Cliff Richard backing band members, etc ( they were great!) to having terrible dancer/Caberet acts (same as on the Ponant cruise!) but that’s just our preferences. The ship couldn’t stop at Guernsey because it was to rough to disembark passengers (disappointing) but they went to LeHavre instead and we went to HonFleur nearby which was lovely. For us we did conclude that touring by cruise ship was probably not for us as you could not get to really know a place you visited (like we would want to) because of lack of time but as a self contained experience a mini cruise was a fun experience and we would be happy doing a transatlantic crossing on one of these Cunard ships which is what we tried to do in the first place but we couldn’t fit it into our timetable. We would recommend a mini cruise as a fun experience. Whether you would want to tour on cruise ship (ie use a cruise to visit different places) depends on how you want to travel. We had fun on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth . Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge ... Read More
We sailed in July with Azamara for the second time. Our first cruise with Azamarawas on the Pursuit in the Autumn of last year. The only real difference we could see between the ships was the Casino, when that is removed and the Lounge becomes bigger it is a definite improvement. However The Journey is a lovely ship, we did not notice any shabby areas, she gleamed! Add to the experience the wonderful crew, a Captain who was so personable and who made in scheduled ‘stops’ so the chef could source local Norwegian berries and cheese and you have a recipe for a fun time. We even did an oil rig safari! Not many can say that! The food, service and overall holiday was first class. We are already booking two back to back cruises with Journey in November, can’t wait. Caribbean here we come! Thank you Azamara for Azamazing holidays Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and also the QM. We are regular passengers on other lines. This was the first time we had tried Princess Grill and it was a real treat. We were on board for the ship experience and not the ports. ... Read More
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and also the QM. We are regular passengers on other lines. This was the first time we had tried Princess Grill and it was a real treat. We were on board for the ship experience and not the ports. Priority check in but when waiting at the Mayflower terminal the suite guests were just huddled in a separate area no real advantage. We just sat in the main area as there was more room. We had researched about the Grills experience - strange but the Britannia Restaurant is described as the Britannia Grill? Anyway we knew pretty much what was in store for us. This was a no holds barred cruise so if we wanted it we bought it. First this was a spa package as we did not expect to be able to use the outside pool so we bought this for 2 for 7 days no discounts so this came off our on board credit. I know from experience that drinks prices on board the Queens are about the highest afloat but so to is the quality. So we had decided that we would buy 2 full drinks packs for the full 7 nights this was $69 a day each so $138 so with our exchange rate it was £109 a day so £763 for the week. We were told that we could only buy this on board so we went to the Grills lounge and asked. It would seem that there have been problems with this package as people have not really read the small print. You are limited to the number of alcoholic drinks - 15 each per day. But the soft drinks and mixers are unlimited. Some staff had difficulty understanding what unlimited soft drinks meant! OK so I like a drink and this is for 7 days. I tried my best but I really could not get through 15 alcoholic drinks in one day! We have been on other ships with these packs and we see people simply ordering the bar taking a sip from each and throwing the rest away just because they can. So a limit is sensible if in some cases a bit frustrating. We eventually bought the pack and ordered drinks. At the end of the cruise we worked out that had we paid over the bar it would have cost us over £1660 and I never manager 15 alcoholic drinks in a day and neither did my wife! Food is next and the menus in the Princess Grill are fabulous, service to was the best we have experience so far and we have been in suits in Celebrity ships. We had the same table for all our meals which was fortunate in being next to the window - we were lucky I guess. Drinks before dinner in the Grills lounge where they brought round a selection of 3 hot and cold canapes. Dinner was 7 courses including cheese board and coffee. We ordered wine by the glass from our package and this was perhaps a bit limited. Menus were everything we were expecting - fillet steak every night if you wanted, lobster twice that week. There were specials that you could order at lunch time so they could be ready for you in the evening. We did this once with Duck L'Orange where a whole duck was cooked for us to share - has to be cooked so long and it was fantastic. You can also ask the Maitre'D to do Crepes at the table Weather was not too great but toward the end of the cruise there was a bit of a heat wave. So much so that we were able to dine outside in the Grills terrace. The lunch time menu is a bit smaller but quality was top. Breakfasts were again at our table and usual range with just about everything on call - eggs Benedict, fillet steak and eggs and the ubiquitous English breakfasts. Didn't go much on the entertainment this time. Saw Mick Miller on the second night but after that I we were not really too fussed and went to the commodore club to listen to the lady piano player and singer. Only did afternoon tea once which was in the Princess Grill restaurant. Very goo but too much. We were served tea on the grills terrace in Rotterdam which was also very nice but had to be careful because dinner is just around the corner though you can go in at any time and your table is waiting for you. Tipping is always controversial and Cunard apply a daily charge to your account. Our rate was $13.5 per day. We usually remove one of the daily charges from one of us and then give individually the same amount or indeed usually more to staff who have stood out. I am now not to sure that this achieved what we wished. On the last night I handed out envelopes to both waiters, sommelier and Maitre'd. I also gave cash in dollars to our room steward. We paid out more than if we had had the automatic gratuities but at least I know they actually go to who I wish without interference from Cunard. My wife was therefore startled the following morning to see the waiters and all staff making a big fuss over another table and thanking them for their tips whilst our service was a bit flat. I seem to think that they thought that we had only given them half of what they expected yet we have given them more! This did leave a bit of a sour taste. I will talk a bit about the drinks pack we bought. We worked out roughly how many drinks we were likely to have each day including coffees, water and soft drinks. A large gin and tonic would have cost around $15 which would include the mixer and the 12%service charge. On the pack you could have any drink up to $11 but you were then given the mixer free so to speak and did not have to worry about the service charge. Coffee in the lounge was around $4 so a couple each in the morning after breakfast would soon mount up. We also ordered a bottle of water with nearly all our drinks the pack limited you to small bottles but you could have as many as you liked during the day. There had to be around 10mins between each alcoholic drink order. This was starting to get complicated. As I said I never got through 15 alcoholic drinks in a day though I did try! I could not keep this up for any longer but this was a holiday. Now saving for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been on all 3 Cunard ships which are all beautiful and very well presented. The staff are second to none and very helpful. We chose this cruise and had booked a year in advance whilst still on board in 2018. It was our ... Read More
We have been on all 3 Cunard ships which are all beautiful and very well presented. The staff are second to none and very helpful. We chose this cruise and had booked a year in advance whilst still on board in 2018. It was our wedding anniversary on the 24th June so we like to go away the same time every year. We don't mind where to as long as it falls on our anniversary date and as long as we are on board a Cunard ship! Our stateroom was serviced twice daily and a turn down service for the evening with chocolates provided, just before bed time (as if we hadn't already eaten enough) and tomorrow's programme of events to browse through and plan tomorrow, before some very much needed zzzzzz's after such a fabulous day/evening. We usually chose a large table of 6 for dinner as we enjoy meeting like minded cruise buddies. Two of our 'tablemates' we'd met on a previous cruise the year before (we had arranged this with them and are certainly now lifelong friends). We met two other guests who were delightful. We all had a lot in common particularly when it comes to cruising! The food was very well presented and tasty. The Lido buffet on board is fabulous. The food is fresh and plentiful in choice. Despite being in the Grills, we still love a wander through and maybe a little nibble here and there ;) The entertainment on board is amazing. I particularly enjoy the Cunard singers and dancers and all the other shows and guests appearances/entertainers. Also during the day on sea days, we love going to the on board speakers insights/enrichment talks. They are very interesting and have met some really lovely speakers from famous sports people to pilots to ex-policemen/detectives. There is always plenty to do around the ship on sea days and of course there's the swimming pools and hot tubs and the gym if you feel you need to burn off a few gained pounds! The service on board from the stateroom steward to the waiters and sommeliers to the cleaning staff and pursers desk are always so helpful and nothing is too much trouble. They are always welcoming and are very polite and say 'good morning' or 'have a good evening'. The shore excursions are varied and interesting. The coaches are clean and comfortable and the guides are very knowledgable. I love the fact that we can book an excursion and know the ship will be waiting for us whether we are late or not. We have travelled with our grown up children who equally love the Cunard ships. We haven't got grandchildren yet but I'm sure they would love it with their very own special area and staff to entertain them on sea days. We will certainly book again soon. We just have to save up the pennies first :) Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
As someone who always believed inside cabins were sufficient I was dazzled by my first time in a suite (albeit the smallest suite possible). Still, a walk-in closet on a ship and a bathtub! We really enjoyed our cabin and our roomy ... Read More
As someone who always believed inside cabins were sufficient I was dazzled by my first time in a suite (albeit the smallest suite possible). Still, a walk-in closet on a ship and a bathtub! We really enjoyed our cabin and our roomy balcony, having breakfast on the balcony almost every day. It was also great fun on the balcony waving to all the boats that accompanied us out of Hamburg. The Princess Grill was superb every night except the first. The fish that night was average and we, two older women, were seated way off in a corner. Eating in the Princess Grill had been on my bucket list but I felt that I was still on the outside looking in. However, the (very entertaining) maitre d quickly moved us to the center of the part of the room that overlooked the promenade deck and we were much happier there. The food was very good, mostly well executed classics, and anyone looking for more trendy choices might be disappointed. We loved the Dover Sole and the Chateaubriand and the Cherries Jubilee (you get the picture). Mostly we loved the atmosphere of muted, leisurely meals in an attractive room with excellent service. Dinner became our evening activity and we often missed the planned entertainment as a result. What else did we do? We enjoyed the singers and dancers when we did make the shows and regretted missing the violinist. The planetarium was moderately interesting as were the speakers. We tried to visit all the bars but gave up and pretty much settled on the Carinthia where we could have a light meal with our wine. Zumba was fun but the pools were rather cold. The Golden Lion Pub offered good fish and chips. Afternoon tea in the Queen's Room was a disappointment -good food but a mad rush to get in and get a table. The library was lovely and the Promenade Deck was a comfortable place to sit or get some exercise walking. Service was excellent and we appreciated the young man who brought our room service breakfasts, our assistant waiter, and all the nameless crew members who smiled and made us feel welcome. We only took one shore excursion - to Bruges - which left us needing to do a lot of walking to get to the center of town but was well organized and on time. We explored on our own in Hamburg and Guernsey. Regarding the ship, she is showing her age (I had sailed on her in 2005) but just barely. She is still a magnificent "grande dame". Just don't expect glitz and glitter and instead settle into a leisurely, relaxed way of life. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used ... Read More
We had tried to get a group of friends together to tour the British Isles for a few years, but it never happened. My wife and I decided to take a British Isles cruise on Regent's Explorer instead, and are very glad we did. We used the included business class to arrive in Southampton a day early. We mainly used the day to shake off jet lag, and the next day used the hotel's complimentary car service to get to the port at around 12:30. Embarkation was a breeze; we were the only passengers there, and had a choice of 10 people to take care of us. We had cocktails on the pool deck, and were in our room with our luggage just after 2:00. That couldn't have been easier. The room was an F2 (Superior) suite. It had a large walk in closet, with more hangers than we needed (and we overpacked). The bathroom was nice with double sinks, a bathtub and a separate shower. All of the surfaces were luxurious marble. The bed was very comfy and faced the veranda, the veranda was big and had nice wicker chairs,and our room attendant dropped off a bottle of scotch and a bottle of bourbon. No complaints about our room at all, and it was one of the bottom end suites! We spent some time touring the ship, and were frankly amazed at how nice all of the public areas were. It's maximum luxury, almost obsessively so. Everything was spotless and appeared to be in perfect shape. Explorer has been in service for about three years, and looks like it's a brand new vessel. It's supposed to be refurbished this fall, but the passenger-visible areas don't seem to need it. We split our dinners between Compass Rose (the main dining room) and the specialty restaurants. We like to eat late, and that made it easy to get additional reservations at the specialty places. We can honestly say that we didn't have a single dish that we were unhappy with. The service was also great, everything was perfectly paced. One or both of Prime 7 and Chartreuse are open for lunch each day, and that was really nice. All in all, it couldn't have been better. We don't pay much attention to the entertainment. Since we eat late, the show has usually started by the time we're ready. But what we did see was pretty good. Cruise director John Barron's show was excellent. He's really a great CD, the best we've run across. They had an Irish flute player that we liked. The real highlights were two groups that John brought on board. In Belfast there was a troupe of musicians and dancers that told the Belfast story. But the topper was in Liverpool where he had the Cavern Club Beatles on stage. They are the house band at the Cavern Club, the place the actual Beatles play hundreds of times. The theater was definitely rocking that night! Cons: 1. The theater has too many obstructed vision seats. The steps are tricky when the lights go out, and we saw a woman fall and break her ankle. She had to be airlifted off the ship the next day. 2. British weather. Pros: 1. Literally everything else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated ... Read More
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated royally. These are the reasons we needed a Cunard vacation. We were not disappointed. Nothing, really nothing, went awry. The embarkation process was amazingly smooth. We boarded the ship and about a half hour later our luggage arrived. This proved to be just the preview of how things were to play out for the rest of the trip. The cabin, see the cabin review, was beautiful. The dining experiences again amazing. Yes the menu options were grand, but Osman the Matre' D would come to the table and ask and give recommendations for off menu options. Foie Gras, an iceberg salad made to order, the Grand Marnier souffle, ask and it was yours. The casino was small. Not very many options. Roulette, Black Jack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold'em type game (not against players but similar to 3 Card Poker) and a few slots. One woman hit the same machine for 4 jackpots in 2 days. The beauty of the ship, the cleanliness of the decks, I walked the decks about 3 in the morning and found more than a few people vacuuming and cleaning the common areas. Loved it so much we booked next year's trip onboard already. Wish we found this years ago. So very happy we found it at last. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced ... Read More
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced at sea. The service is impeccable. While we would rank the food at the Brittania restaurant as rather unremarkable, the Kings Court (buffet) was excellent! Their specialty salads were outstanding. One can also order pasta or pizza, prepared from menu choices (non-buffet), while at Kings Court. We did this, one evening craving pizza. It was fresh from the oven to our table, piping hot. The beds are so comfortable! The evening entertainment included a vocalist, a flautist, along with the ship’s Royal Court Dancers. Top notch. Don’t forget the band, also superior to other ships! Lounges provided a stringed-quartet, a harpist, and jazz band. The latter group did a Dixieland Jazz lunch which was just plain fun. Kudos to Cunard! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew ... Read More
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew are always happy to have a chat, they smile and are sincere. Formal nights are now called Gala nights but the themes remain the same. One of the main reasons we sail with Cunard is because we like the formality of dressing up properly in the evenings. We also enjoy dancing in the ballroom to live band music. The singers can vary in ability though and this time we had an excellent lady singer and a dreadful male. Cunard are very clear that ‘dressing’ is a requirement and you know what you are signing up for before you embark. There are areas that can be accessed for those who wish to dress more casually. As for drinks prices - if you are used to London prices, cocktails and beer are comparatively priced, however wine is expensive. This trip followed the aforementioned Baltic, and I see that a previous passenger complained that the ship was too cold. I guess that they changed the air con to suit this as we spent our trip too hot! If you have never done the fjords trip, you really should. We’ve done it twice now, both times on QV. The weather was amazing, 24c in Haugesund. Norway is expensive, however the scenery is fantastic and there are things you should see before global warming has its way. The Briksdal glacier for instance, is a shadow of its former glory and yet remains an awesome sight. So if you are someone who likes to dress properly, enjoys politeness and old fashioned service, Cunard is for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. ... Read More
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. Bathroom was starting to show its age, but great shower pressure, size and heat. Spa services were wonderful, took advantage of some of the discounts onboard during slower times and found the value to be good, especially considering you get use of the in-spa jacuzzi and pool. Ate in the main dining room twice out of the five nights and probably would reduce this number on the next cruise. Service was not nearly as good as specialty restaurants, though I had no issue with the food quality. Our waiter in the second seating was rude, always trying to rush and never in sight after the order was given. It also took a long time for the sommelier to get to our table, he clearly had his hands full and the two times we ate there he would arrive at our table around the time we were eating our appetizer. I don't fault the ship for this and give a 5 star review because this was easily solvable by eating at the specialty restaurants where all these issues were more than solved. The Veranda was wonderful (ate there twice) as was the rotating restaurant - we had Indian and it was great. Loved grabbing lunch at the golden lion pub in the afternoons. Pool decks were nice and public spaces in part because there were far less children on this boat than many other carriers. This kept things more organized. My wife and I are in our early 30's and felt well placed in the crowd. Overall a great experience and great value. Will be back and would like to try the princess grill on the next voyage. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We love to travel but have never had the urge to cruise. Wanting to see the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, we felt that a cruise would be the best option. After extensive research, we opted for Cunard as we enjoy fine ... Read More
We love to travel but have never had the urge to cruise. Wanting to see the spectacular scenery of the Norwegian Fjords, we felt that a cruise would be the best option. After extensive research, we opted for Cunard as we enjoy fine dining, dressing up and don't like large crowds of people so thought a smaller ship would suit us best. We also prefer to keep ourselves to ourselves and so opted for a Princess Grill Suite so that we could request a table for 2 and eat when we wanted to eat rather than at set meal times. The added bonus of a private deck area also appealed as we felt it would be less crowded and Cunard also seemed to have more of a traditional style and less glitz which we felt would be perfect for us. Aged 46 and 50, we were rather nervous that cruising was for 'older' people and that there would be nothing for us to do other than watch the scenery go by, however we couldn't have been more wrong. What a stunning ship she is and so much space everywhere you never felt like there were more than a few hundred people on board! We never got bored - in fact i never really had a chance to just sit quietly and read during the week. We listened to some really interesting speakers during the sea days in the theater, attended gin tasting one afternoon, used the golf nets for some light exercise and never wanting to miss the delicious afternoon tea, found ourselves in the restaurant rather a lot of the time! The service in the Princess Grill restaurant was outstanding and the food was amazing at every single meal. From breakfast to lunch to afternoon tea to dinner, the menus were varied, interesting and the food just delicious. The Grills lounge was also a wonderful quiet area to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or two. We stumbled across the commodores club halfway through our cruise and enjoyed some fabulous cocktails in there each evening served with canapes and listened to some lovely live music. There was always a low level buzz in this large bar area and we loved the atmosphere. We loved dressing up for dinner each evening and the 2 gala evenings were great fun as the atmosphere on the ship racked up a notch! The theater blew us away! We visit London regularly to take in shows and the theater on board was on a par if not better than most west end theaters. The entertainment was varied and good fun and we found ourselves attending the late show every single night, before popping to the casino or one of the bars to finish off the evening. With so many beautiful public areas and bars, you could always find somewhere quiet to sit and enjoy a drink, however with such amazing weather and spectacular scenery we found ourselves up on the Grills deck on the super comfy loungers watching the world go by most of our spare time. We booked a couple of excursions through Cunard and both were really enjoyable and well organised. All four ports we visited were interesting and we liked the fact we could just get on and off the ship throughout the day if we chose to. We stayed in cabin 6099 - a Princess Grill suite which was the perfect size for a one week cruise and we enjoyed watching the scenery go by on the balcony. Our steward was lovely and we had no issues at all. We wanted flexible dining times and a guaranteed table for 2 which is the main reason for choosing the suite. Also the added private deck areas were important to us as we are very quiet people! We had no complaints with embarkation or disembarkation. Both were effortless and so much nicer than the airport environment. All in all, we had an unexpected amazing week and didn't want it to end. We were so impressed, we have booked a 2 week cruise on the Queen Victoria next summer to The Baltics to experience some more wonderful countries of interest which we probably would never get to visit. We have pushed the boat out and booked a Queens Grill suite so that it will be a slightly different experience and are really looking forward to our second cruise :) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making ... Read More
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making our cabin home for the next 2 weeks. We had lunch in the Lido (self service restaurant), I had pork escalopes and salad vegetables - lovely. The Emergency life jacket and muster drill at 4pm was uneventful and hopefully will never need this equipment. Walked around deck and went to the sailaway party on the bow deck 9 around the Lido pool. Queen Mary 2 was in dock embarking passengers and both ships blew horns in respect to each other. Food - we eat in the Lido buffet restaurant, we can take our time eating with plenty of choice for breakfast (cold cuts of meat, fish, cooked breakfast items and cereals), lunch menu was varied and always good. Dinner ranged from roast meats, vegetables, cold meats and fish, salad vegetables, various soups especially New England clam chowder and roasted pepper and tomato - superb. Some evenings the food was presented from different countries e.g. Germany, India, China, America and celebratory e.g. turkey. The Italian cooking area (manned by a chef) was always busy and people seemed happy with the food being cooked live. The ship Queen Victoria is beautiful inside and out, and it is well cared for by the crew. My wife attended the water colour art class, including the live painting demonstration by Lynn Rodgie sponsored by the on board art gallery. We saw a live unveiling of a new picture by Lynn, unveiled jointly by Lynn and the Captain in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery. I attended the lectures in the Royal Court theatre - including lectures on NASA, Princess Diana, Carl Faberge (useful as he lived in St Petersburg one of our cruise ports), various cruise ports and various artist lectures e.g. L S Lowery and Sherree Valentine -Daines. I used the gym on aft deck 9 - dumbells, benches, weights machines and aerobic machines, fine for keeping fit. The weather - late April to mid May, sun shine, wind, rain at sea but not on the excursions, and cold. Snow overnight early hours of saturday 4 May 2019 sailing from Copenhagen to Stockholm. People wore fleeces, padded jackets and goretex outer layers. We had a terrorist alert for Stockholm requesting that nobody bring packages from unknown people on board. Security whilst embarking in Stockholm was tighter. We would visit the Baltic again on a cruise but maybe not for a few years as we want to see different areas of the World. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no ... Read More
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no illusions with six sea days before the first port of call we would need to find plenty to do. Also, the North Atlantic in January could have been very rough (think North Sea trawler!), we were very fortunate and had a remarkably smooth ride. We had booked a Princess Grills mini-suite which was mid-ships and deck six. Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the City Terminal in Southampton. We had priority boarding and so did a lot of others, from arriving at the terminal to getting to the cabin took 45 mins. Check in took a bit longer as they had to confirm that we had valid US visas (ESTA). Disembarkation was more complicated because our flight was not until 18:00. A coach tour of Miami had been organised for those transferring to Miami airport. A couple of days before disembarking instructions and luggage tags were dropped off in our cabin. We had to be in the Royal Court Theatre for 07:45, no leisurely breakfast then. Once called, we were quickly off the ship and had collected our luggage; this was then put onto the coach. There was some confusion because some of the passengers on the coach had flights that were too early for the tour; they had to be taken off the coach. We had a comprehensive tour of Miami, with a detailed description from our knowledgeable guide Linda. There was time for some lunch in Miami Beach and a walk on Ocean Drive. We finally reached the airport for 13:30; this might have seemed early for an 18:00 flight, but with the queues at check in, immigration and security, the time soon passed. Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet We did have a small M&G on the first sea, a nice chat with quite a varied bunch. Dining As we were Princess Grill passengers we ate in the Princess Grill, and could have eaten there for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. We had an allocated table for two (103) which was ours for the whole cruise. Our waiters Tusha and Tutu (spelling guess) could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. Meals are served at a leisurely pace, but when we turned up early one evening, they asked if we were going to the show and provided ‘express’ service, in and out in an hour! Every morning the lunch and dinner menus are delivered to your cabin, giving you plenty of time to consider your choices. If there was nothing on the dinner menu that you fancied, there was also a good selection of a la carte choices, though some did need to be ordered in advance. Memorable meals included Dover sole cooked at our table, the mixed grill, beef Wellington, Tornados Rossini and last but not least the chilli dog for lunch! A particular highlight was the wines that our sommelier Sheila, always managing to find interesting wines by the glass, that were below the $11 drinks package threshold, that matched our food choices, her service was prompt, efficient and very friendly. Although the food in the Princess Grill was amazing we did occasionally try other venues for breakfast and lunch. The Lido buffet for breakfast when we had early starts was better that many buffets that we have tried, at peak times it could be very crowded and difficult to find a table. Choices of food were very wide. The Lido Grill provided great hotdogs and burgers. We had fish and chips in the Golden Lion pub one day, this was very good, and served quickly. Bars We had decided to purchase the Beers, Wines and Spirits Option drinks package; this costs $69 per day per person. It worked for us, I don’t know whether we made or lost on it, effectively we saved the 15% service charge which is applied to all purchased drinks. There is a comprehensive set of terms and conditions that fill a sheet of A4 paper. Our favourite bar was the Grills Lounge where Patrick was the consummate host, nothing was too much trouble. The standard of nibbles served with drinks before dinner was very high, the crisps particularly, we were also offered hot canapes. Other favourites included the Commodore Club with its stunning forward view, and after dinner the Chart Room provided somewhere quiet and intimate. Prelunch drinks were either in the Golden Lion, which had a good selection of beers, or the Winter Garden, which could be quite crowded. Most of the time service was prompt, efficient and courteous. Most bars also served tea and coffee. Cabin Our cabin was starboard midships on deck 6 (6103), it was a very good size; it is described as a Princess Grill Mini-Suite. The décor and fittings were in good shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. There were also two deep drawers under the foot of the bed. There is a spacious sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table. The balcony does have an overhang and is quite sheltered, but it is a good size. Our steward Jaypee looked after us well, and was always keen to do more. This grade of cabin comes with fluffy bathrobes, and on embarkation Champagne. This cabin was very quiet, nothing rattled. The bathroom had an over-bath shower and lots of storage. Along with a kettle there was also a coffee maker. Large bottles of water are provided complimentary. The only slight downside was that the hairdryer was not very good and really needed upgrading. Entertainment I enjoyed the lectures in the Royal Court Theatre by Professor Bob Donaldson ‘Global Threats in the 21st Century’ might sound a bit on the heavy side, he presented an interesting perspective on international relations. We both enjoyed talks by retired cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. We also went to evening shows with Phillip Browne, Roy Walker and juggling comedian Goronwy Thorn. These were hosts by Entertainment Director Neil Kelly. It was very pleasing not to have to get to the theatre 30 mins before a show started, there were always seats available. Photography We were pleasantly surprised by the ship’s photographers and their low key approach, only taking your picture when asked. We did have a picture with the captain, but it was not good enough for the $30 price tag. Gym A very good gym with everything you could want, some of the machines looked to be new. As usual it could become congested at peak times. My only suggestion would be to add a sit-up bench. Shops Lots of shops to choose from, but not everything had a price tag which was a bit off putting. Ports of Call Bermuda, after six days at sea we were very glad to stretch our legs on land. We stayed around the Royal Naval Dockyard, taking in the Clocktower Shopping Mall, the Dockyard Glassworks and the Frog and Onion Pub. Bermuda is not a cheap place, $7 for half a pint of local lager. Port Canaveral, Florida We originally booked on the Kennedy Space Centre Up Close Tour, but this was downgraded to the standard tour because of the US Government shut down. It was a long day and started with negotiating US Boarder Control formalities. The Space Centre sent buses to the port to collect us (I think there were 10 busses in all). We had a very knowledgeable guide in Julie, who also kept very good control of the group. Julie warned us that the Space Centre had become very ‘Disneyish’, with stirring music blasting out, rather than a history lesson more an experience. The tour lasted from pick up at 08:30 to back on board 16:45, not for the faint hearted it’s a long day and hard on the feet, but I thought it was well worthwhile and enjoyable. Top tip, if you purchase anything in the Space Centre retail outlets; ask for the cruise passenger 10% discount. Anything Else? We were under no illusions that there were a lot of sea days on this trip, but Cunard offered plenty to keep us occupied. The level of service on the ship exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We selected this cruise specifically for the stability of the QM2 and Cunard's reported quality. We had never been on a long cruise previously and didn't know if we would even like the experience. In the event, we loved it and ... Read More
We selected this cruise specifically for the stability of the QM2 and Cunard's reported quality. We had never been on a long cruise previously and didn't know if we would even like the experience. In the event, we loved it and have indeed book further world cruises with Cunard for 2020 and 2021. You need to book much earlier than we expected to even get on one of their ships! All Grill Suites for both were sold out while we were still on the ship in April. We appreciated most of the shows, not all to our taste or to the same quality, but there was something for everyone and we certainly enjoyed over 80% of the performances. The Guest Speakers were a real highlight and most were exceptional. Although the tours were expensive, they were well organised and Graham the tour Manager did an exceptional job presenting and "selling" the various tours. Again, another asset to the business as he has a real wealth of experience. On the down side, there were rather more medical emergencies among the ageing guests on board than we had expected and we had to make a few non schedule stops to facility these. Cunard however handled these really well and we never missed a planned port of call or were late arriving. We also though a good number of people complained and moaned a LOT more than we would have expected. There appeared to be a sizeable cohort of "professional moaners" on board, which we found hard to understand given the luxurious surrounding, excellent food and simply magnificent service. I wouldn't care but it always appeared to be people less use to these things who complained the most. In short, we loved the experience, which certainly exceeded our expectations. Expensive? Yes, very. BUT who goes on a world cruise at this level and expects it to be cheap? Well done to all the staff on QM2. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
For my first ever cruise I wanted it to be an unforgettable experience on what I thought of as a "classic" ship, ie one with a black hull, white decks & red funnels. Which is why I ended up booking my maiden voyage on a ... Read More
For my first ever cruise I wanted it to be an unforgettable experience on what I thought of as a "classic" ship, ie one with a black hull, white decks & red funnels. Which is why I ended up booking my maiden voyage on a Cunard ship! From the outset we were very impressed: the Art Deco interior appealed to us greatly, as did the attentive service and friendly staff. Not knowing whether I'd take to cruising, I booked the cheapest cabin option but was still content with the room, even though it was windowless. Frankly, it made little difference as we spent the minimum possible time in it as we enjoyed either the ship's facilities or going ashore opportunities to the full. It seems that Cunard has addressed the niggles mentioned by CC's official reviewer as, for example, the staff in the Lido restaurant were falling over themselves to fill & refill my coffee cup and were only too happy to help guests to their seats with their plates. The entire experience was most enjoyable and - compared to an equivalent stay in a 4.5 / 5 star hotel - excellent value for money. The rigourously enforced formal dress code after 6pm in most areas of the ship appealed greatly, as a welcome short-term respite to the "come as you please" trend that currently holds sway in society. Whilst we were prepared for - and attracted to - the inevitable maturity of our fellow travellers (we DID NOT want our first cruise experience to be on a "party boat"!) we did not expect, as a couple in our 50s, to be amongst the youngest people on board, which was the case. There were a couple of niggles but nothing too serious. For example, the use of the Spa area was an additional cost option, and the formal, complementary cream teas offered at 3.30pm daily were served by surly, seemingly disinterested waiters. But all in all it was a most enjoyable first foray into the world of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many ... Read More
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many whispers on what she will be called “Queen Anne” is my answer now to wait and see, the cruise set sail and began its magnificent voyage to New York seven sea days. I was disappointed to find the ginger bread village had been cut only a quarter of the village displayed and they didn’t bring it out until we continued onto the Caribbean. The Cunard guest choir was outstanding. The staff always serving at such high standards. The North Pole making connection to say Father Christmas arriving the children amazed .. perfect xmas voyage - finally I could switch off.. place my sun hat upon my head and relax as we headed towards the Caribbean feeling the warmth as my body began to tan. New Year’s Eve the 8 o’clock party to bring in the new year in the golden lion was absolutely one of the best parties I have been too for bringing everyone together. The veranda head waiter and his staff for me shone more than any one with exception to Clyde and Romas in the golden lion. The Britannia restaurant food was of a good standard Christmas Day was exceptional. The spa for once on a cruise ship had a hairdresser that actually could do your hair. Maya. The events planner deepsha was professional in organising my event to perfection. The itinerary packed with things to do what ever your day you desired to fill with. The water colour class was a great class as 35 dollars also the floristry class with mikey and jay lo absolutely outstanding 50 dollars for a two day course. You practiced with beautiful flowers and Cunard never cheated you to gain money , they gave an exceptional class to ensure you had a five star experience. I took myself off to the 9.am fencing club now able to use a sword beware this critic can now defend herself. Midge Ure was performing and also gave lectures this was received well with passengers, whilst I carried in the moves with his daughter Molly in the fabulous G32. Until Dawn broke. The queen Mary2 suffered a complete power failure through out the ship on New Year’s Eve late in the evening. Darkness hitting the ship no power for around 25 minutes. The ship drifting as the chief engineer and his colleagues desperately trying to find a solution, alongside the captain who took almost 10 mins to make his announcement try to get to grips with what was happening to the ship before trying to let passengers know the details, some passengers complained this was too long but for the captain safety being his first priority. Three times they tried and Queen was back under command. A ship where no panic hit due to the training given to ensure passengers were safe and not frightened at this time. Another negative the social hostess was the worst I have ever come across, dosnt interact with passengers is very off putting Thai I was shocked to see, but I didn’t downgrade a star because I know Cunard will deal with it . So yes Queen Mary2 as you as sail keep on making dreams a reality. Yes she is a little more pricey but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Cunard provide excellence I await to sail again Lady Kendal Jaggar Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably ... Read More
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably the best to date. We were also glad to see that Cunard were maintaining the dress code, I did not see anyone who was not dressed to the correct standard. The dress standard is what Canard is all about. The dining staff were extremely attentive and were very keen to try and please. The ship was decorated beautifully in readiness for Christmas, we even had a small Christmas tree in the room. Our Stateroom was very comfortable, the Cunard staff could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. The enrichment activities were wonderful, in particular the NASA talks by Jim Kennedy. Overall the evening entertainment was to a high standard in particular the Cunard show called Hollywood nights, especially the new introduction of the "Greatest showman" which we thought was stunning. Most of the evenings involved late night drinks in the Commodore club listening to a pianist/singer. Overall a fantastic cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and it has always been a favourite of ours and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful suite with a full sized Christmas tree as an added bonus. The Butler and his assistant were fantastic and ... Read More
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and it has always been a favourite of ours and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful suite with a full sized Christmas tree as an added bonus. The Butler and his assistant were fantastic and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Our suite was always kept pristine and we never lacked for anything. We travelled with our adult daughter so we wanted a second bedroom and bathroom and the suite provided both (although it could be too big for just two people, it all depends on what you are looking for). The Head Maître’ D and Head Waiter in the Queens Grill restaurant were brilliant (as usual) as were the rest of the staff. My daughter has food allergies and they could not do enough to ensure she had a great gastronomic experience. The ship is superbly appointed throughout and the crew in general are very friendly and courteous (just remember to return the friendliness and courtesy to them). We have always enjoyed the Enrichment Program and always proves to be very enlighting. The entertaiment on the ship we have always found to be very average with the occassional highlight. However we were disappointed that they did not have the fencing on this cruise. The ports and shore excursions were good but not brilliant but we knew this before the cruise so they met our expectations. If I have a criticism of the crew, it is with the officers of the ship that seem to refuse to engage with the guests and can be very stand offish. Cunard is the only cruise line that I have experienced this with. Just a point of note, the ship can be quite formal at times so if you like a laid back type of cruise you should do your research before embarking on a Cunard cruise. For us, we would like less formality but it is worth putting up with just so as we can experience the White Star service. We have already booked a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for January 2020 and we are looking forward to sailing with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My partner and I have been on several cruises before, mostly Princess. We wanted to try Cunard, so decided 12 nights for a winter sun break in the Canaries would fit the bill. We chose a balcony cabin in the standard Brittania class. ... Read More
My partner and I have been on several cruises before, mostly Princess. We wanted to try Cunard, so decided 12 nights for a winter sun break in the Canaries would fit the bill. We chose a balcony cabin in the standard Brittania class. Embarkation: the fastest we’ve ever got on board! From dropping off the car to stepping on board it took 17 minutes. Lovely check in staff and a nice smooth process. First Impression: Queen Elizabeth is gorgeous to look at. The Grand Lobby area is beautiful, with plenty of seating areas and plush carpets. The artwork suits the style and there is a calm and relaxed atmosphere on board. This ship is very quiet during the day, with more guests coming out in the evening. Always lots of space to sit down and relax. Cabin: balcony cabin on deck 8 (the highest deck for accommodation), towards the back of the ship. The cabin was pretty much the same as any other, however we were greeted with some sparkling wine, which was a nice touch. Lots of space to move around and a comfy bed. There was also a sofa, desk and wardrobe. The wardrobe had lots of hanging space, but less room to put things like undies and other folded items. The bathroom was standard sized, with a shower. Other reviews say the shower is small, but it was no different to other ships. Lovely toiletries included! Dining: we selected the early sitting in the Brittania restaurant for dinner and were placed on a table of 6. The food was beyond our expectations in both the main restaurant and the buffet. Every meal at dinner was fabulous, with plenty of choice. The waiters would chat and were always friendly, something we haven’t seen on all cruises. We ate breakfast in the buffet each day as the food was so good. We found the buffet was quiet early in the morning, getting very busy between 9 and 10am. The additional restaurants of Verandah, now a steak house, and the various alternative dining choices were excellent and worth the money. Entertainment: this cruise was definitely aimed st the over 50s, with entertainment certainly more geared towards older people. Ballroom dancing was on every night, and the theatre featured acts such as opera, piano and other singers. There was a comedian on one night who was great. On the whole, the entertainment was the weakest part of this cruise. The cruise director, Chris was boring as hell. Every day, the activity schedule was virtually the same as the previous day, with most evening activities centred around listening to music and ballroom dancing. Overall, we loved this cruise but there were definitely areas for improvement. The drinks are very expensive on board, with most alcoholic drinks costing upwards of $10. We bought a soft drinks package each, which was good value for our needs. We found that the crew were much nicer on this ship, with pretty much all crew greeting passengers around the ship. The onboard shops had a weird, unfriendly vibe. We strolled round the clothes shop, and the assistant stalked behind us constantly, making us feel unwelcome. All the shop staff were overly cautious of people looking at or touching their stock. We would definitely book with Cunard again, as the positives were so massively outweighing any negatives! Will also investigate some dance lessons so we can take part more... Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just ... Read More
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just so amazing, and she was missed. And we decided that the only way to go was the Queen's Grill, as we had done before on our last Cunard cruise in 2008 just before the Old Girl went out of service and was packed off to Dubai. It mystifies me that the QM2 was designed with the lifeboats hanging from Deck 8, just below the Queens's Grill Deck 9 suites. So all the views from the most spacious and consequently expensive cabins on the ship have partially obstructed views of the ocean below from their windows and balconies. Not so bad in the winter when the balconies are too cold to be used, but for a sailing the rest of the year, this is just nuts. Partially obstructed cabins usually go for a large discount. Apparently Cunard learned from this huge design mistake, and the later built Victoria and Elizabeth do not have this problem for the Queens Grill cabins, nor for the QG or Princess Grill Dining Room, as discussed in the next paragraph.. Furthermore, the Queens Grill Dining Room is on Deck 7. The outdoor walking track that goes all round the ship is on the perimeter of Deck 7. So all day long the Queens's Grill diners, and the Princess Grill on the other side, get the pleasure of a constant stream of walkers and runners by, looking in often on the diners, and distracting to the fine dining experience. My wife and I found this most disconcerting. Again, why did they design the ship this way? The QG food is way above average, with caviar and foie gras on request at dinner all the time, with a little notice, plus special orders, but one does get tired of the featured standards like Orange Duckling, Beef Wellington, Tenderloin steak, Broiled Lobster and Dover Sole. More variation would be good. Appetizers need more creativity. Vegan selections boring. Sandwiches at lunch few and boring. Waiting staff excellent. Lunch menu choices could use a little sprucing up. The Maitre De takes very good care of his precious guests. Nice wine offerings. Staterooms in the Queens Grill category other than the view problem are very nice. Large bathrooms, although I would have preferred a stall shower rather than this tub/shower. Better in rocky seas for safety and just leaning against the shower walls when necessary for stability . Beds very comfortable. Large walk in closets and lots of storage space. At over 500 sq ft the Queens Grill stateroom is very nice and comfortable indeed. The last of the Ocean Liners is large at over 125,000 tons and sails very steady and mostly smoothly, even in strong winds and bad seas, but when strong winds slice across the ship's path, it is going to get rough, as for any ship. So it was on one day of the seven days crossing the pond from NYC to Southampton and a night or two. I am not a great sailor, not like my wife, but most days the rolling I can take. It is the combination of the rolling and pitching in the North Atlantic that does me in. As this one bad day proved, once again. The ship is large - 2600 passengers, although today there are the many 4,000- 5,000 passenger behemoths that have destroyed European ports such as Venice and most of the Caribbean Islands. We prefer the small Seabourn size ships, of 450 passengers and took this cruise mostly out of convenience to get to Europe. Three formal nights out of seven is just excessive to our way of thinking, but most of the Brits on board loved it that way. A really big dress deal for both men and women. Not at all the casual dress style growing so fashionable on so many other smaller ships today, such as Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent. Dress standards are very important to maintain, but so many other cruise lines have dropped standards and let people take advantage these days. It has gone in the other direction. No tuxedos for me however, so it was dark suit and tie these formal nights. Other nights it was a pleasure to wear a sports coat and tie, as were all the other gentlemen for the most part in the Grill dining rooms. A handsome crowd of men and women, elegantly attired. The main Theater has very bad seating, whereby people crowd in next to each other on long couch type seats. Not too many rows of seats have a separate seat for one person. Too many bodies get crammed in this way, but not to my liking. Just when one thinks he or she is settled in, along comes another person or two and they just push their way in. Very tight, and with coughing and sneezing, not good. The other large entertainment and lecturing room Illuminations, has very nice separate seating and is much more comfortable. Lectures and performances almost non stop all day long. Most very good. Whether about the Cold War and submarines in WW2, being kept captive in Lebanon or piano performances. The only planetarium at sea has some fantastic shows. The QM performers team put on at least one extraordinary production number. Fourteen dancers and singers, with many costume changes, and a fine orchestra. We enjoyed immensely the large collection of Hollywood and Broadway passenger celebrity photos on the old QM and QE displayed in many areas throughout the ship, and many photos of the old fleet itself. It will be a while before we take another Cunard cruise, and I do not think it will be on the QM2, although we enjoyed this one very much despite its shortcomings in QM category cabin and DR placement. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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