66 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

This was our second cruise on the Riviera. The food quality and service quality have fallen significantly over the past year. We went on our first Oceania cruise in 2014 on the sister ship, Marina, for a Baltic cruise. We could not ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Riviera. The food quality and service quality have fallen significantly over the past year. We went on our first Oceania cruise in 2014 on the sister ship, Marina, for a Baltic cruise. We could not believe how wonderful and attentive the staff was. The shore excursions were great and fairly priced. The food and drink service was outstanding. Last year we took Riviera for the Greek Island cruise. The food quality in the main dining room had dropped. The service had lessened. The shore excursions were much more crowded and over priced. The entertainment offerings were poor at best. This year we decided to try the ship again with some friends we met on the last cruise. Had it not been for the passengers we engaged with and a few outstanding staff members, the cruise would have been a disaster. This was the Northern Allure cruise from Southampton to Reykjavik. The first night we found shards of a broken glass on the bathroom floor. We brought this to the attention of the staff and insisted they re clean the bathroom floor. After that the cabin attendants never acknowledged us. Never greeted us and made an effort to turn away as we passed by. Our bathrobes were taken, but not replaced. Our bath mat was taken, but not replaced. These incidents required us the call the supervisor. The cabin had dust on the glass shelves - never cleaned in 2 weeks. The bathroom vanity handles were loose. The in room safe had a taped on piece of paper for a door handle, the plastic on the buttons was worn off and several numbers would not work, and the inside battery cover was held in place with a band aide. One evening in Toscana, the Italian specialty restaurant, my desert glass was cracked through 2 sides. I spoke with the restaurant manager. I never received a formal apology, and offer to return to try them again - you could only book the 4 specialty restaurants once each on a 14 day cruise, or a free bottle of wine as an apology. In another specialty restaurant, the Polo Grill - the cocktail I ordered was not good. Instead of offering me another or something else, I was still charged for this. At the Waves outdoor grill, I asked for a simple smoothie of yogurt with milk and fruit. The staff informed me that they could only make the 3 combinations that were posted on the board. None of these were to my liking. One evening my wife requested pasta with only olive oil and cheese. She was told she could only have pasta with the sauces listed. How easy is this to make, especially since the pasta was in front of her and did not have sauce on it yet. The evening entertainment was hit or miss. Other less expensive cruise had far better shows, such as the Greek Crystal cruise from Montego Bay around Cuba. This time we booked our own shore excursions, except for the free included ones. They were less than half price and much less frenetic. Since NCL has taken over there appears to have been a precipitous decline in the care and attention to details. For over $7500.00/person for the cruise portion only, this is not inexpensive. At this price there are numerous other cruise lines. All of the above was written on the on line end of cruise review. We were informed that every review was to be read and considered for future enhancements?????? I seriously doubt we will every cruise with Oceania again. I would advise those reading this review to carefully consider other options before booking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my 60th birthday and our 40th Wedding Anniversary, so it was very special and important to us. The embarkation at Southampton, despite the queues, was very well organised and slick. Our stateroom was not to the standard we had been accustomed to aboard other cruise ships. The room was very small and the bathroom tiny. A refurb is very much needed. The carpet was badly stained and there was masking tape all around the interconnecting door. We mentioned this to our steward who promptly removed it. Then we found out why it had been placed there - when the people in the cabin next to us opened their balcony door half a hurricane come through and a high pitch whistling noise accompanied it. Drinks on board were exceptionally expensive and the whole tipping policy has to be looked at as it clearly does not work from a service users prospective. Food was very tasty in the main restaurant but often the portions were small. Trying to obtain drinks in the restaurant was so bad that we resorted to purchasing drinks in the bars first and taking them into the restaurant with us. Everything onboard ship was geared up for the over 70s, so much so that on this transatlantic crossing of 7days we were bored. Shopping was very poor and the entertainment was awful. We have always looked forward to the shows on other cruises but these were the worst ever. The worst issue was disembarkation. Everyone is aware that American immigration is very slow and we were quite prepared for it. Despite Cunard regularly disembarking service users in New York the staff were clearly not prepared for it. We were told to vacate our rooms by 8am and to go to our particular meeting point. There they left us without communication, food or water for hours. When we did go to the restaurant to try and obtain some refreshments the staff were putting it away and quite clearly did not want us there. To add insult to injury when we disembarked the ship and went to retrieve our luggage one of our group had a suitcase stolen - and you’ve guessed it, no one wanted to know. Overall we were very disappointed with the cruise and we will not travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was our second Oceania cruise. We took one about three years ago on the Marina in the Mediterranean. While we enjoyed Oceania the first time, we were disappointed this time. One of the main things that was bothersome was the ... Read More
This was our second Oceania cruise. We took one about three years ago on the Marina in the Mediterranean. While we enjoyed Oceania the first time, we were disappointed this time. One of the main things that was bothersome was the terrible internet service onboard. We experienced this last cruise, but thought that with time, they might improve it. Alas, they did not. Think of old school dial up. That is how bad it is to connect. And, if you are traveling with another person in the same room, you both can't use the internet at the same time. It's not like I want to surf the web all day, but we would like to stay connected with our family at home and our businesses. For this cruise, we had 2 days at sea (1 scheduled, 1 unscheduled) and just could not even get emails, text our friends or family or upload our photos. My phone got full and I was unable to take pictures the last day of the cruise! We weren't the only ones complaining, either. Almost every other passenger we talked to was irked by this issue. Also, we felt like the Marina was in dire need of a refresh. We do understand that it is coming by the end of the year, but we were shocked that the overall appearance of the ship and our room was not of the standard we have come to expect from Oceania. Third, if you are tempted to go on an Oceania cruise for the speciality restaurants, be prepared to have a hard time getting into them at a reasonable time. Within hours the reservation desk was open to reserve online (45 days prior to sail date), almost every 6:30 and 7:30pm seating was gone for 3 people. That means we ate very late in the specialty restaurants which is not desirable. Forget getting help with this onboard, either. If the computer didn't have the spot free, you were SOL. The reason, we were told, was that the reservations open to elite customers first. Hence, they take all the good spots. This is not very fair... Another pet peeve was that Oceania seems behind the times with excursions. Ex - the guides do NOT offer ear pieces. We are not hard of hearing, but it is great to have the tour guide speaking directly in your ear so that you are not on top of one another and can walk away to take pictures at your leisure. Plus, many of the guides have thick accents and it is difficult to understand them to begin with. Additionally, if you did not book an Oceania excursion, the staff is not helpful at all with information about the ports. Nobody at the excursions desk knew anything and were unwilling to give advice about the stops we were about to go to. For ex - I did my research online first, but we decided to try to lunch at one of the ports. Without internet access to vet choices, we had to rely on advice from Oceania folks. The only thing they did offer was a local person sitting at a desk near the door in the mornings after docking. But, it was so competitive to talk to these people. Many of us were in the same boat and yearning for information and maps about the port if we did not have a plan. To be fair, Oceania had a pre-recorded video on the tvs for the ports the next day, but they were so boring and not a live person to speak to, which is what would make sense. Finally, disembarking Marina at the end of the cruise was a nightmare and so competitive, many of us were stressed out. This shouldn't happen at the end of our vacation. Apparently, we got in late to port and they got behind in letting groups out. The entire lobby was filled with wayward people trying to understand what was happening, where we should go to wait and if we were going to make our scheduled pickups to the airport. My mother-in-law also is elderly and incontinent. With the delay and the crowd of people, she was unable to sit and had trouble finding a restroom... The things I will compliment Oceania about is the food and service. The main dining room was consistently good and the people who work the dining rooms and stewards who clean our rooms were also very friendly, humble and great people. We enjoyed speaking with them on a daily basis. But, it is not enough for us to overcome the other problems. We won't be sailing with Oceania again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
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
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
Cabin was dowdy, old stained curtains, shower smelt of mold! The fan didn’t work so the mirror fogged up so much you couldn’t see a thing in it! Bathroom wasn’t cleaned properly! Black stain in the loo, and smelt of urine! Stain ... Read More
Cabin was dowdy, old stained curtains, shower smelt of mold! The fan didn’t work so the mirror fogged up so much you couldn’t see a thing in it! Bathroom wasn’t cleaned properly! Black stain in the loo, and smelt of urine! Stain of looked like dried on milk up the wall! They seriously need upgrading! The money Cunard have spent on upgrading has not gone into the balcony rooms, I guess it’s gone into the new luxury apartments! Cabin was not vacuumed for nine days! Had to ask for it to be done! Was not clean when we arrived! Food wasn’t great! The choice in the self service restaurant wasn’t good on some days! Shows were very good! Costumes were amazing! Commadores announcements were good, he kept us informed of the weather etc! The wine sommelier was excellent! The entry into Fort Lauderdale was long and tiring with only four immmigration officers to check in over two thousand Passengers! I felt sorry for the old and infirm of which there were many! The art classes were so busy with so many people we only went to a few then we gave up as it was to crowded! This was our tenth Qunard cruise! We won’t be doing another! Very disappointed! It is no longer a so called “luxury”experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise having previously travelled with celebrity and expecting the Cunard name to be synonymous with quality. It seems that the name Cunard was acquired but most of the quality of service and cache associated with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise having previously travelled with celebrity and expecting the Cunard name to be synonymous with quality. It seems that the name Cunard was acquired but most of the quality of service and cache associated with the name was lost. The buffet food was excellent but in all honesty was the only area other than the general style of the ship, that came even close to surpassing that which was experienced on the celebrity cruise we took in the Autumn. It was extremely annoying to many guests to discover that passengers on the same decks and with identical cabins, booked within days of each other, had paid up to £3k less on a 14 day cruise. We all know that discounts are available and repeat custom is often rewarded, however discounts on the same product of almost fifty percent are an insult to full fare paying passengers. Overall extremely disappointing and we will certainly not be travelling with this company again.. Cabin TV choice was very limited with no pay peri view or movie channels. Formal dining ( second sitting) felt rushed and portions were small. Staff were often unhelpful and occasionally aloof. Cunard need up their game with services and the attitude of some staff because this was not up to our expectations.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose the Muse because we have liked SilverSea based on our previous experiences and we like long transoceanic voyages. So we chose the 16 day UK to Montreal. We were extremely disappointed. Our disappointments went well beyond the ... Read More
We chose the Muse because we have liked SilverSea based on our previous experiences and we like long transoceanic voyages. So we chose the 16 day UK to Montreal. We were extremely disappointed. Our disappointments went well beyond the expected teething issues with a new ship and transplanted crew. SILVER SEA has obviously worked hard to CUT COSTS in the RESTAURANTS and the ACCOMMODATIONS. 1) All the restaurants REQUIRE RESERVATIONS FOR DINNER. It is nearly impossible to get a restaurant you want when you want it, even if you book months in advance. You are stuck with your advance bookings for the duration of your voyage. The preferable restaurants are fully booked all the time. 2) There is NO WALK IN DINNER RESTAURANT on the ship. Every restaurant is a reservation only "theme restaurant," a concept by some "restaurant consultant" who obviously knows little about high end cruising and what high end customers want and expect. 3) The RESTAURANT MENUS ARE FIXED and are VERY LIMITED. Each restaurant has a fixed menu of few items and the menu DOES NOT VARRY day to day. For 16 days we looked at the same food choices. UGH. And if you do not enjoy Asian or "pay extra" you are stuck with Italian or the limited Atlantide menu. 4) The lack of RESERVATION FLEXIBILITY means you cannot change your reservations mid-cruise to include new fiends or acquaintances. 5) The food was often POORLY PREPARED. I had a tuna steak, ordered MR, it was served brown on the outside and still frozen in the middle. The lettuce at the La Terrace buffet for lunch was freshly showered every single day, but not dried. 6) We had to accept a dinner reservation twice at the outdoor GRILL. Outdoor on the pool deck is fine in the Caribbean, but the North Atlantic in September? No. Windy and so cold we needed two hot stone cookers to cook our meal. Yes, they did serve blankets, but most guests gave up for room service. 7) ROOM SERVICE was slow and cold. We quickly gave up on that option. 8) STORAGE SPACE IS ABYSMAL. In the Silver Suite on the older ships we were used to storage space and shelves galore. Muse has NO storage to speak of. The refrigerator cabinet top is completely occupied with the coffee maker etc. There are two small sofa tables and a desk. The desk has two small drawers and the top is largely occupied by the various cruise materials. The vanity is small and without real storage. The hair dryer was stored in the trash can. The "dinning table" and chairs are fine. 9) Our Silver Suite had a big closet, but NO BUREAU, anywhere. The large closet had some closely spaced shelves located below counter level. The only way to access them was to bend way over and struggle to see what was on them. Accessing therm was nearly impossible. There were NO clothing drawers. 10) The furnishings were sparse and not suited to purpose. The big "comfy chairs" for relaxing and reading had no arms and were so uncomfortable that they were useless. Sitting and reading in them was impossible. The sofa (a pull out for a 3rd guest) was so deep that throw pillows were necessary to sit back, uncomfortably. 11) While I cannot point to any specific complaint my sense was that the ship is understaffed. Service in the restaurants was often slow and usually sparse in the lounge areas. 12) The overall operational attitude of the ship is illustrated by this example. The forward 11th deck lounge was teeming with people as we sailed from one port. I went to the bar and asked for a drink. The bar tender told me "no, it is not six o'clock yet." The clock above the bar displayed 5:58. The concept for the design and use of the restaurants and public spaces is poor for the purpose of the ship. The staff is well intentioned, if sparse. I was particularly impressed by the Sommelier and his team. Silver Sea can solve some of the problems with this ship over time, but her basic design will limit resolving most of them absent a total rework. She looks good but does not live up to the hyped brochures or the SS reputation. Silver Sea fumbled with this ship and the concepts supporting it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often ... Read More
We have been to London many times, but have not been around the British Isles very much. We read the reviews and looked at the brochures and felt we would have great time. The first issue was the WiFi, speed less than 1Mbps and often down, despite the recent "upgrades" A lot of people on the ship complained, but all we were give was excuses. The food was very good and decor nicely decorated. Cabins (Penthouse) a little smaller that we are use to, but the service was very poor. The tours from the ship were poorly handled and some of them involved a two hour bus ride to see the remnants of a roman wall or fort. Best tours were in Ireland and Scotland. The entertainment was poor to okay. It appears you have to go to the larger ships for entertainment, but that's not as important as the overall service which suffered. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our first cruise with Cunard after 14 years cruising with P&O. We were expecting a much better standard but were very disappointed. The Britannia Restaurant was not of the standard we were expecting in regards of the food, ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Cunard after 14 years cruising with P&O. We were expecting a much better standard but were very disappointed. The Britannia Restaurant was not of the standard we were expecting in regards of the food, it was at times very poor and not much of it and certainly not fine dining. One of the guests on our table sent their food back because it was cold, also our meals were not very warm. My husband had a shoulder of lamb which was very tough. The cabin was very good but there was no tea or coffee making facilities which you find in most good hotels. So had to either order by room service or go to the Lido Buffet to get a cup which was not always convenient. There was a very poor selection of sandwiches for afternoon tea in the Lido Buffet we had found there was a far better choice on P&O. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My partner is a florist. We chose the cruse "Festival of flowers" because we thought it would be interesting from his line of work. We assumed the ship would be full of flowers There was one main arrangement in the lobby which ... Read More
My partner is a florist. We chose the cruse "Festival of flowers" because we thought it would be interesting from his line of work. We assumed the ship would be full of flowers There was one main arrangement in the lobby which was dead and was for most of the cruise. When I mentioned this I was told by one of the purcers " I don't like flowers" the food in the Britainia Resteraunt was bland, dry, cold and totally uninspiring. We ate most of our meals in the Lido which is a glorified canteen. One day in the Britannia Resteraunt we waited 30 minutes for our breakfast and was told by the waiter the kitchen could not cope because 500 people came in at once.....rubbish.....then proceeded to tell us if we wanted quick service get room service! There is so much more but I don't want to write an epistle. We informed the "powers that be" but people just did not care. White star service Nill, customer care Nill, the person giving the flower demonstration was a joke one arrangement fell apart.....the main speaker was totally boring and cristised other people in her field of work from the stage which was unprofessional. The Cunard standard was not evident on this trip. The Caberet Artists were excellent as were Cunard dancers, the Cunard singers were appaling. This cruise was a joke and I am not laughing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I have been on Queen Elizabeth before and loved her very much. My son and his partner decided that they would like to take a short cruise so as I had always wanted to travel on the Queen Mary 2 we decided this would be a good one to try. ... Read More
I have been on Queen Elizabeth before and loved her very much. My son and his partner decided that they would like to take a short cruise so as I had always wanted to travel on the Queen Mary 2 we decided this would be a good one to try. Our embarkation was quite good as I have disabilities so we had priority boarding. The cabin was good too but we never once saw our cabin steward which is unusual. I was so excited to explore the ship was I really did not like the layout at all. I thought the buffet was so unorganised and the food there was not good. There were large queues and no tables. Also I just could not get used to it not being on one of the higher decks. Also being a smoker there was only one area to smoke in and that was at the back of the ship and there was a lack of ashtrays and lighting in the evening. Dinner was also a disaster, we met some lovely people at our table but when we dinned the next evening we were put on a different table and I was very disappointed. We also didn't think much of the food, the steak I had was really tough and everybody was moaning about it. We also waited on the second night for ages to get our wine and had nearly finished our meal when it arrived. This was not something I would expect from Cunard. Afternoon tea was also a disaster with no organisation at all. All in all it was the most awful cruise I have ever been on and I would never go on this ship again. I think they are not as good as they were when I sailed with them in 2015. They need to employ more staff, improve the quality of their food and look after their passengers a bit more. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the ... Read More
We were so looking forward to this cruise having heard lots of good stories from other cruise goers. More than disappointed. Easy embarkation at the port, then about 10 staff lining the entrance to welcome us aboard, but once past the welcoming party, there were no staff to direct us to our cabins! Therefore, after the initial 'pomp' there was no actual organisation. We managed to find our way to our cabin - some feat on a vessel this big I can tell you. Waited a further two hours to have our suitcase delivered after being told it would be outside our door when we got there. Let that go... The cabin was lovely, usual up-market hotel room, bit disappointed with the balcony being 'sheltered' which we found out means three quarters enclosed by steel... we were under the impression we had a glass balcony. Let that go too... Afternoon tea - I was expecting mini sandwiches and fancy cakes - but it was hot dogs, burgers, and old looking pizza. And not a lot of any of it either! Let it go... Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It was on my friends bucket list so that was the reason for the cruise. I have cruised with Thompson princess and silverseas before but I expected to be wowed when I eventually arrived on board from the worst embarkation I have ever ... Read More
It was on my friends bucket list so that was the reason for the cruise. I have cruised with Thompson princess and silverseas before but I expected to be wowed when I eventually arrived on board from the worst embarkation I have ever experienced but I wasn't. I guess you are paying for the prestige of the boat and the name Cunard .our friends who haven't experienced other cruises were wowed however, I thought the staff in general were lacklustre apart from our wine waiter who was joyous and enthusiastic. Good cabin space for clothes was a plus but very unpleasant smell in the bathroom throughout and a rusty balcony. Hadn't expected to have to pay extra for classes such as Pilates either. Food on the whole very good apart from the chaos of kings court at lunch time. By the 5th day looking at the ships itinerary was rather struggling to find enthusiasm for the same options. Special mention to the sports staff especially the golf guy who always had a smile . Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The overall package was very good value for money. The opportunity to sail around South America through the Magellan Straits, including a voyage up the Amazon to Manaus, plus a crossing of the Pacific past Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, ... Read More
The overall package was very good value for money. The opportunity to sail around South America through the Magellan Straits, including a voyage up the Amazon to Manaus, plus a crossing of the Pacific past Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, Bora Bora and others on the way to Auckland and Sydney was very attractive. Cunard prides itself on its history and standards, but this is somewhat of a veneer. The cuisine in the Britannia Restaurant showed the influence of the German executive chef and the menu was repeated, monotonously, every 10 days or so with no variation. The food was nowhere near as good as I have experienced on smaller ships with less facilities. If you like German food, it may have been fine, but I found it not to my liking. Whilst the service of the attentive waiters couldn't be faulted, the disappointing food, plus the need to wear a jacket (including black tie on well over one third of the nights at sea) when sailing in the tropics drove me to eat in the Lido buffet on Deck 9 once we sailed into warm waters. The choice at the buffet was much better than in the restaurant, albeit the food often being unavoidably luke-warm. Unfortunately the Lido had all the ambience of a motorway service station cafeteria (with dirty windows - see below), and was not a place to linger. The number of black tie nights was hugely excessive in my opinion, especially when in tropical waters. Those who chose not to wear formal dinner suits were banned from most of the ship (including the evening entertainment in the Theatre) - only being able to sit in the Lido, or the Winter Garden on the same deck. The Winter Garden was attractive BUT was spoiled by 6 large TV screens blaring out noisy sport 24/7, which gave it the aura of a down-market, inner-city Pub. The whole of Deck 9 housing the Lido, the Winter Garden and Pavillion Pool had panoramic windows. Unfortunately these quickly became salt-encrusted on the outside and I don't believe were cleaned once in the entire voyage to Sydney. This greatly spoiled the enjoyment of these spaces. I appreciate that salt spray is unavoidable, but the failure to clean the windows when alongside in any of the 14 ports hardly fits with the high quality image Cunard likes to present. Though a minor point, the UK Red Ensign was flown at the mast when in foreign territorial waters, and a larger one at the stern in port. In fact the ship is Bermuda-registered, and I believe is only entitled to fly the Bermuda ensign, not the UK one. Moreover the flag at the mast was ragged and of very tatty appearance. I politely enquired half way through the voyage whether a more presentable ensign could be used but nothing was done. This doesn't quite fit the constant references to Cunard traditions and standards. On the plus side, the entertainment programme was excellent with a very wide variety of of music, dance, comedy etc and marvellous educational lectures. The Theatre on board was fantastic (such a shame I couldn't use it when I didn't want to wear black tie in outside temperatures in the eighties), but cold. The air conditioning was ferocious in some areas of the ship and this was probably the underlying reason why just about every passenger caught severe colds regularly throughout the voyage. If you have any kind of chest problems I suggest you give the Queen Victoria a very wide berth indeed. The sound of hacking coughs, morning, noon and night all over the ship will live in my memory for some time. I suppose you get what you pay for, but Cunard, seemed to me, to be trading on its illustrious past. The service for the most part was good, but I couldn't help noticing that the largely Filipino crew seemed morose and unhappy, though very polite. I have been on a ship with a Filipino crew before and missed their naturally cheerful and exuberant nature which was absent on this cruise. Shore excursions were very expensive and usually involved long waits and queues which I suppose is unavoidable on a ship carrying 2,000 passengers. The price of drinks on board was exorbitant when the compulsory 15% gratuity was added. Everyone I met on board mentioned this, and most people bought bottles ashore to drink in their cabins. At night, I like to view the moonlit sea and night sky when conditions are clear. Unfortunately the ship was lit up like a fairground and it was consequently impossible to gaze at the stars at all. Ironically, one of the Bridge officers made a broadcast about how clear the sky was at night in the Pacific, but he seemed totally unaware that passengers had no access to a dark space on deck. Overall, the experience of visiting some remarkable places was a good one, but it would have been so much better on a ship with decent food, a happy crew, clean windows and less fierce air conditioning. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
PART ONE Where am I ?, Well mid Atlantic actually, and travelling over a relatively smooth, rough ocean. The decks are closed again as they always seem to be on transatlantic crossings during the winter months and everyone appears to ... Read More
PART ONE Where am I ?, Well mid Atlantic actually, and travelling over a relatively smooth, rough ocean. The decks are closed again as they always seem to be on transatlantic crossings during the winter months and everyone appears to be inside sitting or eating mainly in the same place as I would like to be. It seems to me that as many cheap seats as possible have been shoehorned into this ship and it really shows as there are rarely any empty spaces in the popular venues due mainly to the fact that no deck seating is available in the periods of high wind and heavy seas, Perhaps you need a bigger ship guys!! The "Ships Time" is a very important factor during transatlantic crossings and it can be seen that the time changes on a regular basis either forward or backwards dependent on direction of travel. There are a few clocks to be seen, a couple on Deck 7, the promenade deck, three times around to a mile, but none anywhere really noticeable, some in the bars, restaurants or lounges, which seems strange, and most that are visible tell different times. In our Princess Suite there is no clock other than on The Voyage Information Chanel on the TV, which will reset itself after a while when you turn it on in the morning, it's certainly not high tech in any reach of one’s imagination and because it's confusing you may miss your dinner appointment or the quiz in the pub, perhaps even your lecture in advanced Astrophysics, yes you can get almost anything you want whenever you want as long as you keep up with what the time is. The more you pay for your accommodation the better the areas in which to eat and drink and Grill passengers have a Grill Lounge and terrace for their enjoyment. The cheap seats get the Britannia Restaurant and anyone can use Kings Court anytime they like to evade the dinner jacket requirement of some days at sea. Casual nights are a little more relaxed and gosh shock horror, you are not forced to wear a tie, what is the world coming too? Food is generally good although I will criticise Kings Court because when it's busy it is difficult to get a table, find the food you fancy and get it back to your seat before it's stone cold, I have found nothing in this area actually hot, neither plates nor food, the best bet is the cold cuts, cheese, sushi etc. and whilst they don't offer sandwiches as such you can with lateral thinking construct your own. There are massive amounts of ways to "enjoy" one’s time whilst on board, from a very well laid out gymnasium with many many machines, to lectures, classes and even a very regular 3 times a day Trivia Quiz in The Golden Lion pub, although it would be good if the "quizperson" had had the same level of training as the helmsman. Just a bit of fun can get screwed if the person creating the fun doesn't know the machine nor software. We through trial and error eventually have decided that our best bet food wise is to eat at our prescribed table in The Princess Grill at all occasions where the food is dependable and both hot and tasty, the service is also excellent, well mostly. We had an interesting stop in New York and after arriving at The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal we had a coach trip to Manhattan. Unfortunately, the delay in US customs shed left the trip starting later than we had expected and whilst interesting enough was in some ways disappointing. We did though have the opportunity to sample two bars in Manhattan, Sean's Bar and Kitchen and The Croton Reservoir, both very good and a shame more UK bars aren't like them. We were awoken on Friday morning at a few minutes before six by a ships announcement of the captain asking for a passenger from Deck 4 to contact the reception desk. After another request, a few minutes later we noticed that the ship was changing course and before long we were retracing our track and a search was beginning for the lost passenger. It transpired that the crew were tasked with searching the ship for the elderly British lady but were unsuccessful. The ship was later assisted in its search by a US Coastguards cutter and air support in the form of fixed wing search planes and helicopters. By mid-afternoon the search continued and may possibly have continued in the morning but as dusk approached the captain announced that the ship had conducted a search pattern in agreement with the US Coastguards and that all their combined efforts had been fruitless and that the search was being called off due to the lack of light. We do not know if any further search would be carried out but the coastguards but QM2's part in it was over and at full speed the ship regained its previous course and the captain advised us that we would arrive in St Phillipsburg on St Maarten in The Netherlands Antilles at the scheduled time. Those able to access the internet saw that both UK and US news services including the BBC were aware and reporting the incident but no further mention has been made by the Captain or printed in the daily hand sheet that passengers receive. It may be that there will be questions asked when we make landfall on Boxing Day. It is Christmas Day on board the QM2 and only another few hours of those tedious repeated cash cow songs remain to be heard, yippee I hope! The Chief Executive of our stateroom has advised me that we are shortly to arrive in the "tropics" and I have already seen some "flying fish" which generally herald that the waters are much warmer. These same creatures will feature on many menus on land in the next several days but in the wild they are most intriguing. We arrived at Phillipsburg, St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles an island of two parts the larger French, the other, where we were, Dutch. We walked about and had a beer and some lunch, quite a lot of exercise, most needed and then returned to our ship after about five hours. We were due to sail at 17:30 hrs but the ships tannoy announced a call for two passengers to report in, some men by the last remaining gangplank were scratching their heads and using radios, what's afoot here one thought. Well it appears a foreign gentleman had decided to leave the ship and had not told anybody, quite naughty, as it caused concern with the islands immigration service who were not impressed, just what our captain needed after "The Incident" It is also one’s impression that since " The Incident" that service in some areas is now not as good as before, it's slight but tangible, maybe when the crew rotas resolve themselves they will be more attentive. One instance of this is the ships information page says that some decks are closed forward due to high winds, even when moored in port, in the sunshine,how's that work? We find ourselves today Tuesday 27th December berthed next to TUI Discovery, from the Thompson's stable, a somewhat smaller ship than us in Roadtown, Tortola, British Virgin Islands. One must applaud Cunard in their wisdom of bringing us to an island that in many ways is so British, I suppose BVI gives the game away a bit, but unlike the U.K., here most things seemed to be shut unless you wanted anything from Diamonds International. The whole point of BVI is sorting your dosh away to escape tax etc., it also seemed that the bars and restaurants that were open actively were not interested in cruise ships and would given half a chance rip you off. Back on board QM2 we were serenaded by a quite good jazz ensemble courtesy of the Thomson crowd next door, Jolly warm here, what old chap!! And the fellow doing the quiz next door could be heard clearly, my wife got 17 out of 20 correct, almost a record, and on a different ship even. We will now await our own QM2 quiz with Pete and the three other P's and take interest in who fails to show for departure. Tomorrow is Dominica, I wonder?? PART TWO Well after the disappointment of Tortola which was always our fault for trying to do the single handed crack and not going on an organised tour I stood on deck and watched the cast-off performance, and yes again the ships tannoy asked for various passengers to make themselves known, including funnily enough the "Russian Gentleman" who had absconded without paying his bar tab the previous evening. What is going on!!! One might ask. Anyways at the point that the last ramp had been dragged back into the ship some frantic waving by a shore based security lady meant that an obviously not Russian rotund chap made it back on board much to the delight of TUI Discovery passengers, much cheering as the poor guy strode up the gangplank, probably for a right royal reaming by "El Capitano" or one of his his sidekicks. As we left Tortola in the growing dusk many light executive jets headed into the islands airport, tail to tail, busier than Heathrow it seemed, maybe they were all arriving for the banks to reopen the following morning or are fetching up to transfer to Sir Richard Branson's island hideaway, just a stone’s throw away. Our waiter at dinner told us that Roseau might prove to be less interesting than Tortola, it would have to try hard, but the ships nightly gumph does tell us that there are many restaurants and the better ones take credit cards. When push comes to shove, we may get a cab to a seaside bar restaurant, chill, and attempt to be back on board before too late. I found myself chuckling at the thought of Frank Durabont and his initial thoughts on The Walking Dead, a satellite and internet streamed tv show, and where they happened, a crowded shopping mall would be too chaotic as would be Black Friday as the doors opened at Macy's, but as we were leaving the ship at Tortola I found myself auditioning for the show, a little more makeup and we were a go, but I suppose that even our shambling mass wasn't as awful as what Rick has to put up with on a weekly basis, close run thing though!! There is a lot going on in Roseau, in Dominica accompanied by much rain, but then again it wouldn't it be as green without it. We arrive at Basseterre in St Kitts and Nevis at approx. 16:30 hrs on Thursday 29th December 2016 and not long afterwards are joined at the pier by Celebrity Summit another Carnival Cruise company ship, like us. Carnival own most of the ships that you are likely to see at any one destination, Royal Caribbean own most of the others and those are sometimes the larger vessels carrying the most passengers. It appears that a new ship is being built that will launch soon with a compliment of over 6000 passengers plus crew, phew that's gonna be a big boat!! Anyways this Celebrity ship is a lot quieter than the last one we rocked up against a few years back whilst on The Queen Victoria funnily at the same island which was populated by head banging ganja fuelled Mexicans who had every available watt of music power blasting us from their decks. These guys don't look or sound as if they've had a spliff yet today but it's still early, we will wait and see shall we. Next, it's off to the Circus. After many more fantastic shopping opportunities it's back to the ship, sorry I should say Liner as it is said Queen Mary is an ocean liner and not a cruise ship, the majesty of it all!! Back in the USA and yet another zone for cell users at St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and a bus trip to see some sights and guess what, some shopping ops! We go to Mountain Top for a view, and a Banana daiquiri should you feel so inclined at 09:00 hrs, I surprised myself by declining, It’s a little early even for me. Then on to The Great House, which appears to be a restaurant and is not open during day time, but there are the Botanical Gardens, so live and dream. The bus driver seemed to have a penchant for stopping for even the vaguest view with associated shopping opportunities so it appears that we missed going to "DownTown" cos we was late bro', so we never knew wot was missed. Back on board for the daily sandwich, have a snooze, do five laps of deck 7, get another beer, make the pub quiz at 16:00, job done, Caribbean done, stand and watch for latecomers, same old, same old. The food in the Grill restaurant is good but unexciting, certainly not "historic" as dear Mr Winner used to say and one supposes, it will soon become terminally boring. The bigger problem is that there are very few other venues. The Kings Court is ok for breakfast, that is if you can find a table away from the shambling masses, but lunch is always teeming as is dinner on days at sea. There are frankly far too many people on this boat guv! My memory of Queen Victoria food experiences was that a smaller crowd fitted well into an albeit better designed layout, for instance the QV Lido was far more open planned and views were not blocked by deck furniture nor self-loading freight, that's you and me by the way. I have absolutely no knowledge how one’s on board experience is if you are accommodated in an inside cabin on the lower decks, that whilst affordable, leave one with little opportunities on sea days when the decks are closed due to a hoolie blowing, other than eating and drinking coffee all day. My commanding officer has now informed me that we have now sailed north out of The Tropics and one hopes that our freshly cleaned warmer clothing shall be returned in time for the expected rapid drop in temperature as we travel north to New York. Several things concern me as we travel northwards, one being what I call The Ashcan where smokers consume roll ups, cigars and whatever at tables with steward service at the rear of the ship on Deck 7. Deck 7 is the food and booze deck, it also is the only deck upon which an uninterrupted circumnavigation can be made and in doing this, and not forgetting that three times round is a mile, one has to pass through The Ashcan. It stinks, it is disgusting and whatever consumed the architects of the RM2 makeover to put all the fagash mob smack in the path of the healthy exercise folk. Heads should roll, it's an abortion I can tell you, So There!!!! All things can of course be turned on their heads and being perverse we binned the prescribed route for New Year and the "Formal" requirement and went to the bar and Kings Court for our evening meal where we met several interesting people both crew members and a band playing gigs on board and really had a good time but still retired early as is our way. We watched some of the ships tv feeds in our stateroom and failed to see any major worldwide chaos despite the obvious interest of international news media for the obverse side of the coin. Come on guys don't forget the old axiom, Never mind the facts get the story!! I am almost certain that our dawn may bring a world that is not majorly changed and that our ongoing passage to New York will be as expected, I'm not holding my breath. Interestingly as one watched the year shift via a variety of media channels I was almost consumed with the desire to scream about the massive waste as country, yes country after country burnt millions of pounds of their children's money on fireworks. Come on guys stop telling the kids to unplug their phone charge at night and turn of lights not needed and conserve what we have and not waste. And then wham bam thank you mam, we plug in 8000 lights, cut down numerous trees, and set fire to millions in the streets, perhaps children have a right to be confused. I am!! See you next year?? Everyone is saying Happy New Year to me this morning, why, I say happy Sunday in return as it is less full of danger, why build up all yours and others hopes with a statement that will surely not reach fruition. So, Bah Humbug! I've still got loads left from job lot I bought for Christmas. We were aware of a plague of coughing aboard, mainly apparently featuring on Deck 4 (cheap seats) mostly, but this added cruising attraction now seems to have reached Deck 10. As long as it's not called Nora we should survive. The Chief Exec or XO in naval terms in this region has been spluttering and coughing and has been taking LemSips to ease her symptoms, I had some Beechams with me but nowhere near enough and whilst one of the "boutiques" on Deck 3 has a small range of self-administered medications it can't suffice for 2500 souls. It's easier to buy a Rolex or Cartier than a cold remedy. Perhaps the Medical Centre on Deck 1 in the bowels of the ship has more as we may choose to stay on board in New York as the weather is forecast cold and wet, very wet so the weather map says. I did indeed go to the lower innards and found that Boots Pharmacy does not exist in this region either and with half the ship coughing and wheezing a veritable orchestra of respiratory discharges there may be a bit of rapid shelf filling going on. I wonder how many people are turned back from immigration tomorrow morning for being "infected", they do have cameras that register body temperature!!! We arrive in New York for the second and the first time this year feeling like death warmed up. We had decided to bin the Manhattan bus trip, it wasn't the trip that we thought it was, the one we had chosen was cancelled, so perhaps someone decided to upgrade us, we couldn't cancel under 48 hrs prior, so chose to kiss goodbye to a bunch of dollars and stay in bed. US immigration had other ideas and demanded even those transit passengers not wanting to leave the ship must, and go through immigration and then sit in an aircraft hangar sized building for a couple of hours, after which they chose to release a virtual stampede back on board. How they can get something so screwed up without giving anyone any information is beyond me. It maybe that The Manhattan Cruise Terminal used by most the major players does this better, but I shall never return any time soon, make that never, to test the waters. Sucks!!! What better way to treat a bunch of ill people, the number coughing and wheezing could not be counted, almost half and there has not been any mention of this virulent viral infection in any way from anyone, yeah Sucks BigTime!!! So, we have both been feeling ill and without energy, off our food and probably dehydrated, totally crook, voyage ruined, at least the last ten days of at least and one doesn't suspect a stampede of offers of compensation. End of!!, possibly. Wait and see. Luxury is a relative term as one man’s luxury is another's slum hovel but in this respect my own viewpoint is that there is little luxury here for me in such an overcrowded ship. Woody Guthrie sang about Alice's Restaurant where you could get anything you wanted but I suspect there can never be a song about Kings Court or Disease Central as I know view it in my mind where you will not want most of what is on offer food or otherwise. A big shame considering The Queen Victoria Lido restaurant is so much nicer in some many ways on so many levels. We shall be home in approx. 50 hrs when and where I shall review this monologue and publish it for all to see, too late for those already on the world cruise or joining in Southampton. So! My end view is Big Ship, Far too many passengers and a lack of communication which is surprising considering how much was spent in recent months “remastering” QM2. And a general feeling that this really isn’t the “tightest run” of ships. Sad Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
A beautiful ship with spacious staterooms, good entertainment, good food at all times, pleasant and helpful staff. Expensive shops, expensive photographs, and a disgraceful rate of dollar to pound. All in all, all needs and wants were ... Read More
A beautiful ship with spacious staterooms, good entertainment, good food at all times, pleasant and helpful staff. Expensive shops, expensive photographs, and a disgraceful rate of dollar to pound. All in all, all needs and wants were catered for as you would expect from a holiday such as this. Unless you're a smoker, that is. Then they put you in serious trouble on this line. Flew out to New York, and arrived back having travelled on Queen Mary 2. Very taken with all the glamour and attention given initially, realising that for me, this was the holiday of a lifetime. Not so. One area, outside, at the very back of the ship, with NO protection from any of the elements, was one small area designated for cigarette smokers. However, if you should be a pipe or cigar smoker, you will be treated as a human being who has paid for their expensive holiday, as we all did, and receive comfortable and safe conditions inside the ship's Churchill Room. So I'm so much less than they are then?! All forms of disability, including service veterans had to go to that area without exception. Here's a thought for you Cunard. Why don't you just stick your neck out all the way and make your ship or line, the first non-smoking line. Not only, I'm sure, will you be applauded by many, you will stop people like myself paying an 'arm and a leg' to be told they have no entitlement to be treated as any other person on board your ship. Thanks for the rest of the experience, but had I known better, I would never have sailed with you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Having read some of the other reviews for my cruise I feel it must just be me and as such I am going to just keep this factual. Where to start, well we arrived at Southampton with happy heart looking forward to the trip. We cruise often ... Read More
Having read some of the other reviews for my cruise I feel it must just be me and as such I am going to just keep this factual. Where to start, well we arrived at Southampton with happy heart looking forward to the trip. We cruise often and done the transatlantic crossing before and love sea days. Our allocated boarding time was 1pm and we turned up on time. The queue we had to join took almost two hours to get through. Even though the terminal is called the QE2 Cunard stated that the boarding was nothing to do with them and conducted by the port agents. Funny but when we boarded the Queen Victoria in June a similar occurrence meant we were standing around for a similar time. Anyway once on board we went to our cabin. A club balcony cabin on deck 12. Looking forward to the re-mastered interior. The brochure stated a complete refit. Well we did have new carpet and bed. The rest was as it was before except better. On entering the room it looked like it was snowing there so many white paint splashes on the balcony windows. The balcony door handle didn't work properly and had to be changed. The balcony floor and furniture was covered in paint splashes, white and black, and had to be sanded clean. The bathroom had a chipped sink and the toilet seat was so loose one couldn't sit properly on it and the flush popped out in your hand after being pressed. We also found that there were missing covers on some light switches. The guest relations manager who I insisted accompany me to the room looked shocked but stated that as the ship was full no other cabin was available, we were prepared to pay extra if necessary. It took three days for the faults to be rectified. The club restaurant service was good but we found the food mediocre, that of course could be just us. Bar service was so-so except for the Commodore Lounge on 9 deck which we found excellent. We had booked a Blue Note Jazz cruise with Gregory Porter as the main act. Cancelled at the last minute and replaced with Herbie Hancock. Yes it's in the small print, Cunard can change acts at any time. The ship sails well with hardly any motion and the kennels are A1. Entertainment is a personal thing so I will leave it at that. A few points for anyone reading this planning a trip. There are aspects of the ship which appear noisy when at sea. If I was every to travel on this ship again I would choose cabins in the forward section and not next to the lifts which give out a loud bell ring on arrival, Be aware of the drinks prices - look up the drinks menu on the Cunard site. All prices plus 15% service charge. The fitness centre was overcrowded nearly all of the time and the walkway around deck 7 full of runners. Felt sorry for the cabins underneath. Also if you are thinking of a grill experience look at the restaurants location, you don't look out at the sea but the walking/running walkway. Well having survived the trip I had cause to take up some matters with the parent company 'Carnival'. I will not say more other that it took a lot of time and trouble to get anywhere. All in all a very disappointing time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose Cunard and Queen Elizabeth to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. We wanted to have a few days away on a luxury cruise-liner. Regrettably Queen Elizabeth and its staff just did not live up to our lowest expectation. The ... Read More
We chose Cunard and Queen Elizabeth to celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. We wanted to have a few days away on a luxury cruise-liner. Regrettably Queen Elizabeth and its staff just did not live up to our lowest expectation. The only positive was embarkation at Southampton and having our luggage in our stateroom very speedily. Stateroom, in our opinion poor, it was small and the shower was very small in comparison to other cruiselines. The balcony was quite deep which took sapce off of the cabin, Worst really was the balcony could be overlooked by guests in an adjacent cabin. Bed wonderful. Brittania Restaraunt had the worst service and choice of food that we have ever experienced. Staff either blunt, rushing and no time taken to ensure guests were happy. People near us left plenty of food, which tells a story. The choice was so poor, that all we ate here was beef or steak. Starter choice was poor. Lido Buffet. Very little choice for us, food was the same everyday and all day. Hot food such as bacon was cold, beans were congealed and staff did not seem to care. when mentioning cold food, it was just ignored. When staff wanted to pass you, it wasn't excuse me, they just barged through--very poor. Theatre, some guests did not show much enthusiasm for the shows, but we went each evening and enjoyed ourselves very much--well done from us. Pools were over crowded on the one sea day and no seatscould be found anywhere. Nothing else to do on the ship for us but walk around, eventually ending up in the Commordore Club, where service was non existent. No one in the club, but still 20 minutes to get served and then it was the wrong drink. To sum it up the ship appears to be lacking in team spirit, officers setting the correct tone and staff that smile and say hello. One of the White Star Service mantras is we will make eye contact and smile. No they don't and the officers let everyone down by not living their ethos. We will go back to other cruise lines which is a shame, as we really wanted Cunard to be great not just average. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our 30th cruise, our 5th on Eclipse and the 3rd time we had done a Baltic cruise on Eclipse. It was only the 2nd time we had cruised since my wife was diagnosed with Gluten Axtaxia (1st in April on Ovation of the Seas was poor re ... Read More
This was our 30th cruise, our 5th on Eclipse and the 3rd time we had done a Baltic cruise on Eclipse. It was only the 2nd time we had cruised since my wife was diagnosed with Gluten Axtaxia (1st in April on Ovation of the Seas was poor re gluten free food in MDR) We chose Aqua Class to eat in the Blu restaurant so more care re food. Cabin 1549 had a very obstructed view with a large overhang with flaking paint. Cabin was quite dirty in places, ball of chewing gum and glass splinter on carpet and dust on some surfaces. Work tops had sticky marks which were NOT cleaned even after we complained and broken shower was not repaired. Blu restaurant could only offer 2 GF cereals chocolate stars and honey nut loops (okay if you are under 10) We brought our own which caused comments from staff and guests. We were allocated 1 waiter to serve us so service took a bit longer. Poached eggs were either hard or under cooked when my wife complained waiter stood over her and waited till she checked each one. We had to book our evening meal the night before but had NO choice of desert we were told one would be made specially for us. The previous cruise had norovirus so the 1st week staff in buffet served the food, took longer and buffet was full to bursting. My wife was given gluten, we suspect by staff using same tongs to serve gf and non gf food. Twice we had to point this out to supervisors. Entertainment was poor same tired comedians same tired jokes, same magician Talented singers and dancers but bizarre shows. Highlights were Stars of Russia and Ukeboxe. On final night waiter in Blu berated us for 10 minutes when my wife pointed out that the pudding was curdled. He said we had been given special treatment as my wife was "the only coeliac on the ship!" and kept asking what we were going to say in the guest survey. Ship looked tired with grubby worn chairs and holes in carpets- so disappointing after our previous cruises and several guests agreed with us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
VEGETARIANS BEWARE! We had heard and read so many rave reviews about the QM2 food, Basically if you are a Vegetarian forget it, it was as if we were from another planet, We were served bacon in an Omelette and one main meal comprised ... Read More
VEGETARIANS BEWARE! We had heard and read so many rave reviews about the QM2 food, Basically if you are a Vegetarian forget it, it was as if we were from another planet, We were served bacon in an Omelette and one main meal comprised Spinach leaves with Grapefruit segments. They were useless and after offering the aforementioned salad seemed totally unable to cope. carnivores have a huge choice, our choice was non existent. Even the famous afternoon tea where the cakes were all covered in gelatine, they don't have a clue!!! The staff are all very friendly and offered to help, however, they did manage a nut roast, just a nut roast, no vegetables, no gravy, we had to ask for vegetables which when you are obviously in the minority somehow makes the situation worse. Complete waste of my money we expected the ritz and got the local burger bar. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was the second time on the Anthem this year. We were on the ship for the maiden voyage in April and couldn't fault anything. We had a great cruise just perfect. Our holiday in October was a bit different. Embarkation was ... Read More
This was the second time on the Anthem this year. We were on the ship for the maiden voyage in April and couldn't fault anything. We had a great cruise just perfect. Our holiday in October was a bit different. Embarkation was quick, and the cabin was clean. I noticed that the ship looked scruffy and dirty in some areas. Windjammer restaurant, tables were dirty and food on floor. One day when we went for our dinner there was no cutlery. We also had a drinks package, but you were charged for water. We were also charged for a couple of drinks and when we pointed it out the waiter was very rude. Entertainment was good, We will Rock You, The Gift and Spectres Cabaret being excellent but the house band Rock the boat, good first time we saw them but this time they looked like they couldn't be bothered. Luke Arrowsmith the cruise director, dull and boring. I wouldn't have believed the negative reviews about the Anthem but now I have experienced some of them. Disembarkation was fine. Royal Carribean needs to get their act together. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First my positive comments: The ship itself is great; spacious and comfortable. The ship's stabilisers were only used once during the 8 days and this was in Force 9 winds. The impact of the high seas was barely noticeable on ... Read More
First my positive comments: The ship itself is great; spacious and comfortable. The ship's stabilisers were only used once during the 8 days and this was in Force 9 winds. The impact of the high seas was barely noticeable on board. Our cabin was good, the bed was comfortable, we had sufficient space and it was quiet, despite the large numbers of people on board. The spa was excellent (though expensive), the gym was fairly well equipped with sufficient equipment that it was never fully occupied. The staff were generally welcoming and helpful. There is a very well stocked library, so if you want to spend your time reading, there is a wide range of choice. It is possible to eat for 22 out of 24 hours a day should you wish. Some of the food on board was great, but in our experience this tended to be the special restaurants which required an additional payment. There are a variety of places to sit on deck plus several small swimming pools, deck games and even a couple of tennis courts. However, transatlantic weather is not guaranteed to be good and most days during our trip it was windy, a bit too cold to sit outside or raining. This was a shame as I would happily have sat on deck with a book and an ocean view. Our main disappointments were these: The entertainment programme is frankly dreadful. Considering the facilities on board, a theatre, cinema, dance floor, planetarium, lots of social areas, etc the programme is boring, inflexible and massively old fashioned. I had expected (incorrectly as it turned out) to be able to do a variety of exercise classes, learn to ballroom dance, attend some interesting lectures and watch movies. There are very few exercise classes, they tend to only occur once a day so if the time doesn't suit you then you can't participate, and for things like Pilates, the classes cost an extra $12. Ballroom dancing classes only occurred for 1 hour at lunchtime and were very busy. In my opinion these should have run 2 or 3 times a day. There was 1 film a day in the cinema, shown 3 times. We only saw one movie each as the films shown were not exactly recent or blockbusters. The talks were mainly dry, of no interest or were really just sales pitches for the shops, businesses on board, .e.g. a talk about diamonds by the on-board jeweller followed by a view of their collection. A particular favourite of ours was the talk entitled "Can Chiropractic help my lower back pain? Is my Sciatica treatable?" Most people we spoke to were similarly unimpressed by the so called entertainment. The second disappointment was the access to technology/ wi fi. Our flight from Newark to Manchester offered free wi-fi but Cunard charge a considerable amount of money for a truly dreadful internet service. Not only is the service expensive, but it is charged by time. It could take minutes to get from connecting to the wifi to being able to actually read my email. However the lack of modern technology was not limited to the internet service. There are televisions in the cabins and we were given a list of movies we could watch, in addition to a smallish range of TV channels. There is a choice of 3 moves a day shown every few hours. Why is there not a digital library of hundreds of movies available to watch on demand? Communication of events and activities is via a printed, paper programme left at your cabin each evening for the following day. Why not a QM2 App that could be downloaded for those on board who like to use such things? The ship offers ( as part of the Entertainment programme) a range of istudy / ipad workshops. These were basic so I guess intended for people who have Apple products but don't really know how to use them. This is ironic as Apple products are known not to work well on the ship! We were even given an A5 sheet with a list of possible fixes to known iphone/ipad connectivity problems. I gave up on my iphone and used the non Apple PC's. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of our Cunard crossing was the similarity with a cheap flight. If I buy a plane ticket from a cheap airline I expect to be charged for everything and to be constantly offered more opportunities to spend money to "enhance" my travel experience. As Cunard's branding is not about cheap travel, I did not expect to encounter a similar experience. Even our welcome invitation to join fellow guests on deck for the "sail away" with a glass of champagne failed to mention that we'd have to buy the champagne!! Quite often the sales tactics were pressurised e.g. book now to get extra massage minutes; buy a photo today to get a free extra print, etc. I am left with the impression that many of the staff who work in the "outsourced" service providers are only paid tips and gratuities so need to sell in order to earn. My husband overheard a Spa therapist "high fiving" a colleague because she had got a customer to buy products. It leaves a feeling that the staff are selling for their own sake and not in response to genuine customer needs. My goals were to sail across the Atlantic and into New York. It was fabulous to be on deck, before sunrise watching the Manhattan skyline edge closer. This transatlantic crossing is not a cruise so if that is what you want, look at different ships/ itineraries. Other reasons to do this trip would be: if you don't or can't fly (for whatever reasons) and want to get between North America and Europe; if you want to take your dog with you (the kennels are being expanded later this year); or if you are elderly and you like the idea of assisted living combined with travel. In my opinion Cunard have lost the plot when it comes to customer service, I could not even find a means of providing customer feedback directly to them on their own website. If Cunard does not modernise its offering I rather think its days are limited, or it should be re branded as a glorified ferry!! 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Sail Date July 2015

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