36 Southampton Luxury Cruise Reviews

Very poor experience with company Customer service will never help you If they do it takes a month to get back to you Off ship tours not quality of what you pay for Poor service on airport pick up On board no one to help out ... Read More
Very poor experience with company Customer service will never help you If they do it takes a month to get back to you Off ship tours not quality of what you pay for Poor service on airport pick up On board no one to help out issues They just don’t care about there guests Most of the areas need to be redone Laundry machines broken Slot machines broken for the whole trip of 14 days There pre-cruise excursions were poor and very costly The Belmont train which was a special gift for our anniversary The food selection was Poor,with no choices of food selection Ireland was very hot this summer and there was no HVAC IN THE observation car nor dinning rooms The cabins were so small you could not get in the bathroom There was to be high tea every day but we never had it Rooms and train could have been cleaner Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I need to preface my remarks by saying that I have travelled extensively on Silversea and Regent Seven Seas - both are ALL Inclusive cruise-lines. So whilst I was quite prepared to have to pay for my drinks - wow - I was not prepared for ... Read More
I need to preface my remarks by saying that I have travelled extensively on Silversea and Regent Seven Seas - both are ALL Inclusive cruise-lines. So whilst I was quite prepared to have to pay for my drinks - wow - I was not prepared for the totally outrageous prices Cunard was charging - they have managed to take greed to a whole new level - for example - I can buy a bottle of Mateus Rose in Sainsbury's for £5 duty and tax paid - I paid $10.60 for a 250 mls glass of Mateus - roughly £8 - and with 3 measures to a bottle that equates to £24 per bottle and I am assuming that the bottle is tax and duty free????? Come on surely that tearing the arse out of it a bit but then they have the temerity of charging a 15% service charge on top. What is the justification? I have no idea other than "Pure Greed"? Do not know about you but long haul flights are becoming a major bore, so instead of a couple of weeks in Las Vegas or Macau, decided to seek a luxury cruise out of UK and the Queen Victoria provided the answer. I travelled Queens Grill and that was well worth it although I would have like to moved tables and met new people? The food and service were quite excellent. There was a Grill lounge which a true haven of peace and quiet. Due to being mobility challenged - I have artificial knees - I do not do a lot shore excursions as I used to, but I did do one on the cruise - tour staff were rude and very unhelpful - but our tour guide was fantastic and the tour itself was a lot of fun. Given that I was a Queen's Grill customer - the embarkation process was appalling and disembarkation process was a total and utter farce - I do mean a total farce - and this is meant to be an up-market cruise-line - sorry it is not - I was mown down by wheel-chair - basically 2000 passengers were trying to get off at the same through a single disembarkation terminal - it was utter chaos - just to add to pain - no-one told me that "Aqua" tags (Queen's Grill) were laid out separately????? Most depressing of all, is no-one from Cunard it prepared to talk about this? Have fun but if you want to go cruising try another cruise-line? Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This cruise was a short holiday a break from the stresses of work.. my boyfriend and myself decided to try club balcony room8045.. lovely room but really small shower for my boyfriend who’s 6ft..2..couldn’t stand under the shower ..no ... Read More
This cruise was a short holiday a break from the stresses of work.. my boyfriend and myself decided to try club balcony room8045.. lovely room but really small shower for my boyfriend who’s 6ft..2..couldn’t stand under the shower ..no chocolates and strawberrrys on arrival even though they had been payed for before so that started the holiday off bad.. next don’t get me wrong I can’t tie all Americans to the same brush but our room was sandwiched between the worst Americans loud talking late at nite outside our door the teenagers knocking on their parents patio door so loud I thought it was ours ..no respect for other people on the floor ..club balcony meal times we only did two we felt people looked down their noses at us.. in Britannia Restaurant plenty of bread rolls and water always comes your way but in club balcony had to wait ages for the meals .. I’ve never experienced soup in Britannia the bowl was always full and clean round the edge but we had all soup dripping all down the sides it was like a faulty towers scene..spent the rest of the meals in the lido.. the only other thing that was so disappointing was the destinations we went to.. the last two ports were not what we expected and to make things worst the last mooring was at a large ugly gas station I kid you not .. think this holiday was doomed from the start and the weather at home was hotter than away but all in all we enjoyed inside the Elizabeth but we won’t be doing club baloncy again..we didn’t rate any of the staff at the end of the cruise as white star but we did see a lovely staff member who was on the Victoria who was in the Lido.. Brian was lovely.. lastly like I said not all Americans are the same we did meet on the last evening in the lido at the area where you can get them to cook spaghetti at lovely couple in their mid 60s they were off on a another cruise as soon as they departed today lucky them lol we love cruising with cunard and I asked my boyfriend what his most memorable time was on the ship and he said getting off..sad but true.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The marketing for the Queens Grill makes all sorts of promises of excellence. This includes exclusive butler service that’s helpful, anticipatory, and will elevate your trip. Promotional videos show smiling butlers saying that they love ... Read More
The marketing for the Queens Grill makes all sorts of promises of excellence. This includes exclusive butler service that’s helpful, anticipatory, and will elevate your trip. Promotional videos show smiling butlers saying that they love going above and beyond for guests, and even get a kick out of being challenged with special requests. To borrow a very British expression: bullocks! To stay in the Queens Grill costs at least three to four times as much as the ship’s least expensive staterooms, and the largest Queens Grill rooms can be ten times as much and more. It’s supposed to be an ultra luxury experience inside a luxury liner. Butler service and access to the Queens Grill dining room are key exclusive perks for these high costs. Don’t bother. The fantasy spun in the advertising does not mesh with reality. The butler is supposed to attend to your needs, and even unpack your bags, so you can immediately begin enjoying your trip. Our butler didn’t show up at all. In fact, it wasn’t until the second day of our trip, after I went to the concierge and asked why we didn’t have any stateroom attendant at all that our “butler” suddenly appeared. No one had welcomed us to our room, given us a briefing about the ship, explained the amenities of our stateroom, or provided us with needed details about dining and the so-called exclusive benefits that come with paying for staying in the Queens Grill. I’ve been on more than a dozen ships, from the top ultra luxury to the bottom of the barrel. Even on a very basic Carnival party cruise to Ensenada we had a stateroom attendant who welcomed us on board and helped us get settled into our room. So on day two of the Queens Grill on the Queen Mary 2, instead of enjoying my trip, I found myself involved in several awkward conversations with the butler and ship managers about what had gone wrong. It wasn’t enough that I alerted them. Now I had to help them dissect the problem, and then revisit the details over and over and over again. There were many elaborate, contradictory and ridiculous excuses (“the butler was shaving and showering” was my favorite) as to why we were abandoned. It was clear that had I not spoken up on day two of our trip, it’s likely that no one would have served us the entire voyage. For some reason, our luxury suite had fallen into a void that no one intended to service. Making matters worse, I got the impression that I had gotten someone in trouble for coming forward, which made me feel very uncomfortable. After a rather long 5pm debriefing on day two (yes, this drama ate up the day) with one of the ship’s managers, I told her that I really just wanted to move on and enjoy the rest of my trip and didn’t want to discuss the matter again. An hour later another manager cornered me and wanted to unpack the situation all over again. As an apology, that manager offered to treat us to dinner in a specialty restaurant on the ship. But I had to point out to her that the restaurant she offered is actually considered inferior to the one we had already paid for. She just smiled and nodded her head. So any magic of having a butler was gone, and not getting briefed when arriving came with an additional cost. We didn’t know the “rules” for dining in the Queens Grill, which promotes itself as the best dining on the seas, with exclusive extras like caviar service and the ability to make requests for special meals. But when I requested the caviar, the waiter dismissed me like I was an idiot. They only serve caviar (and a large portion of the printed menu) if requested in advance. Oh, like through our butler, if one had shown up. It’s admittedly a bit pompous to order caviar in the first place, and then a nice twist when you’re treated like an ignorant rube for actually making the request. (Later in the trip I did get the caviar service, and it was Spartan presentation with just half a teaspoon of roe, making me wonder what the fuss was all about.) So on that first night I ordered a shrimp cocktail instead, which was worse than ordinary – small size shrimp with no extra flair or effort, the kind found in a round plastic container in an Albertson’s supermarket in Boise, served over a dab of flavorless mashed avocado. I’m not sure how less creativity could have been applied to this dish. For my main course I had steak that was allegedly dry-aged for 28 days. It had zero flavor, was overcooked and then smothered with a mushroom sauce to try to hide that it was an inferior cut of meat. The creamed spinach on the side was actually sautéed. The wine we bought was a much newer vintage than the year promised on the wine menu, and when I pointed this out to the wine steward (not a sommelier) and why the different years were genuinely significant to folks in the know about wine, he just smiled and walked away. The gourmet international cheese trolley consisted of plain goat cheese, cheddar, Danish blue, and Gouda – a mix of ordinary I hadn’t seen since my last trip to a gas station convenience store. The service in the Queens Grill dining room was hectic and the staff seemed stressed and overworked. While serving us they were agitated with their eyes darting in other directions, apparently scoping out what they had to do next. Our table was next to one that had two screaming small children. None of this qualifies as one of the best dining experiences at sea. A Cheesecake Factory has better food and more attentive service. Other meals were better, but my husband put it best when he said he’d give the food in the Queens Grill a grade of B. That’s a failing grade for something that bills itself as “the best.” Honestly, we skipped some meals. On the final morning of my trip I ordered a boiled egg for breakfast. When I cracked it open, the egg was still raw inside the shell – it had not been cooked. That egg pretty much sums up Queens Grill dining. Other perks that come with the Queens Grill include exclusive access to a special lounge and deck, but in reality anyone can walk into these places. No one checks, and these areas aren’t superior to other lounges and decks. In fact, nuts served in the Grills Lounge were always soft and stale, as if they’d been left outside in the sea air for weeks. Everyone, regardless of how much they paid, has full access to the ship itself, which is beautiful and impressive. So if you’re paying for the Queens Grill, the bonus amenities are not worth three times or more the cost. And like the cheapest cruise lines, Cunard nickel and dimes for nearly everything. Even attending a yoga class will cost you an extra $12. There’s a charge for access to the steam, sauna and large whirlpool, even though that pool was out of service. None of these petty charges are waived if you pay extra to stay in the Queens Grill. Our stateroom, however, was attractive and large. Not serviced until we spoke up, but lovely. I can’t say what the rooms are like on the ship outside of the Queens Grill, but from the photos online they look pretty nice, especially considering that they cost a tiny fraction of the price we paid. Many years ago I sailed on the old QE2, and I was fortunate to be in the Queens Grill back then. Dinner was elegant, literally served with white gloves, and the service at every level was so excellent that the memory of it makes Downton Abbey’s staff look like a bunch of sloths. Those days are long gone. I can’t recommend Queen Grill now, based on the cost versus the experience actually provided. Cunard did not deliver. It felt like a fraud. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I have just returned from the first two and a half legs of a QM2 world cruise. We were both in excellent health when we boarded this vessel but are now both suffering from coughs which we caught on QM2. I started coughing on ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from the first two and a half legs of a QM2 world cruise. We were both in excellent health when we boarded this vessel but are now both suffering from coughs which we caught on QM2. I started coughing on 6th day of a 39 day cruise and although I paid to see the ships doctor the best he could do was offer a cough medicine, In Cape Town we did manage to get antibiotics which appeared to be working , the cough nearly cleared up but after a few further days came back with a vengeance, My wife's cough started about 4 weeks into the cruise and she had to visit a doctor in Melbourne as we were worried about the long flight home. About 1800 passengers left the cruise in Cape Town, about 25% of these were coughing. Coughing on the ship quietened down for a few days and then returned. Speaking to several long term Cunard cruisers it appears they either bring antibiotics and steroids from home or alternatively buy these in Tenerife which was our second stop. The onboard shops carried a few brand medicines and “strepsils” were being sold sometimes on the tables outside the shops they were so popular Although the cough is blamed by the captain on passengers getting on in Northern Region I feel there is a bug endemic to the ship probably spread through the air conditioning system. Be as it may when a cruise of this type is booked we should be warned of the possibility of getting a cough as this is something the cruise lines themselves will never take responsibility Turning to the Cruise itself we did not realise the wind and gales that would occur which for a lot of the time people were unable to sit on the side of the ship or at the top. This meant that the only place to sit out was at the rear at which there was no shade. With regards to facilities on the ship we dined in The Britannia dining room, the food was good and the service was first class. Our cabin 4133 was again very good and the cabin steward could not have been more helpful. Reception staff, contrary to what I have read in some reviews were always courteous and extremely helpful. I also liked the way they handled our passports, Once we had cleared South African customs the passports were taken from us and returned a couple of days before we reached Freemantle when we had face to face with Australian customs officials onboard. This made our visit to Australia so much easier. Entertainment Shows were good and some of the speakers, both celebrity and enrichment were first class. My view of this cruise is obviously tainted by the continuous coughing affecting the ship, My wife and I have done in excess of 25 cruises and hopefully this will not be our last but we will be very careful in choosing length of cruise, time of year and cruise company. This cruise was to get away in January and February but from now on we will stick to Canaries Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Because it was over Christmas and New Year and visited Madeira which is a lovely port especially at this time of year. We were disappointed that the rules regarding smoking cigarettes in the Churchill lounge were not adhered to. We ... Read More
Because it was over Christmas and New Year and visited Madeira which is a lovely port especially at this time of year. We were disappointed that the rules regarding smoking cigarettes in the Churchill lounge were not adhered to. We spoke and wrote to the Captain but still the room was filled with female smokers - totally against the so -called rules. We have never experienced this attitude in our previous cruises with Cunard. After seven days of poor service in the Britannia restaurant in the evening we went to the Buffet where the food was amazingly better, as was the service.The waiters in the Restaurant just gave their attention to the Large number of Oriental guests who spent the whole time swopping tables and constantly taking photographs. We enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in the Carinthian lounge where the service was excellent. Would we go on Wueen elizabeth again I doubt it, Will stick to Queen Mary! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The bad service was from start to finish Cunard talk about pride and quality and high standards please let me tell you Cunard are fooling themselves if they think this is true twice i went on the Queen Mary 2 and 2 times they break my ... Read More
The bad service was from start to finish Cunard talk about pride and quality and high standards please let me tell you Cunard are fooling themselves if they think this is true twice i went on the Queen Mary 2 and 2 times they break my suitcase on loading a great way to start the holiday wasting time at the Pursers desk I am sure that there are many happy customers but that is when nothing goes wrong and they have a trouble free voyage what you fail to do and understand customer service begins when there is a problem this means you look listen and try and resolve the problem ASAP not quote company policy and refuse to use Comon sense and help the customer my problem lasted the whole week why ???????? my case was repaired by using black silicon and i was pushed away told dont worry we did a good job Everyday I went to see the Purser wasting my own time when I should have been on holiday this cruise was something we saved up for for 3 years this was a present for my mother who is 86 years old a present to my wife as we were married last year and did not have a honeymoon instead it cause us to argue and fight over a suitcase as we had to go every evening to talk to the purser as without the case how was I able to make our onward travel When Cunard broke the case the first time I vowed never to go back on the Queen Mary or use Cunard again but as I said my mother is 86 and wanted so much to go again as she felt comfortable on the ship as it would be familiar to her I really did not want to book but after my first cruise on the Queen Mary I was sent a e mail apologising and making a promise if I was to return that I would not be dissapointed again and Cunard would make it special well I can say that you made it special you broke another case and made my holiday hell I thought I was going on The Cunard flag ship shame it was run like a Dover ferry So let's go right back to the start as the booking experience was a total nightmare I had to make many calls from Turkey at a premium rate to sort out Mothers luggage tags and try to sort out her world club status that I must say was never sorted even after many calls and promises I know it not a lot but Mother would have loved to be able to show her Silver key card instead of the standard first time card so as you can see your booking experience is hard the way to contact was expensive and difficult and the response and again ability to sort out small problems was to hard for Cunard staff this is when I had my first doubts and realised that you don't want happy customers you just want their money as I had paid at this point and I was no longer important Also I booked online and booked a early savers rate we had been saving a long time so saving a few hundred pounds was important after a few phone calls I was told with the rate I booked I could not grantee my cabin being close together and even being able to have a double bed so with my mother being 86 we needed to be close by and as we booked together and to be then told this by the sales team was a concern and to get a cabin with separate beds really ??? So guess what I was talked into changing my booking in fear as to get what I needed so well done the sales team they took more money from me no problem that was the easy part but did I get my problems sorted or better servive no again Cunard robots did their job took the money and gave nothing This brings me to another complaint as I paid for the upgrade and got what you call a queen bed ? Which was in fact two single mattresses which to me was a joke let's look at it another way I paid for a queen bed and got two singles pushed together not what I call quiality I have had better beds in the travelodge and the premier inn So moving on to the facilities on board last time I was happy to past the time by using the gym and signing up for the free classes there was 3 one early one before lunch one and one around 4pm giving enough time to wash and prepare for my early dinner this year the last session did not give enough time as it finished about 5.30 how can you do this class and get back rest and shower and prepare fore dinner the first night I was told by dining staff I was late I was made to be uncomfortable I was rushed to order and was not able to enjoy so after two nights stopped going to the dinning room and yes I know I could have asked for second seating but mother can not eat that late So the classes where not available you also charge for more of the classes as you have removed all the free ones and the times that were good for the classes for me were swaped to talking about excerise and diet and not physical classes also two of the classes were cancelled as first day the room was being used to store bed mattresses and the last day the room was used to store the suitcases ready for departure also as Cunard call the Queen Mary luxury why is the gym a dark hole in the bottom of the ship stuck by the store were you have to dodge staff and fork lift trucks which is dangerous and a joke So as you can see so far Cunard high standards and service is where ???????????? During the time of the voyage I spoke to many staff including the Pursers front desk staff and no one seems to have any long service on board the longest serving member on the desk was just over a year a lot seemed to be new also I would look at why this is as to build up good customer service experience would be required to give good service this clearly shows their inexperience and maybe why do they not carry on and serve longer ?????????? Also I spoke with a lot of passengers that were unhappy for other reasons and they shared my view that the Pursers staff wher poor I spoke with 3 passengers that also had suitcases broken so clearly a regular problem and stil happening after 3 years and pleas I remind you I traveled many miles from Turkey to UK and New York to Heathrow I stayed in many hotels in the UK traveled on many trains and my cases where handled by many airport staff and various hotel staff and nobody broke my case not once Cunard did it twice Its is not just about my suitcase damage I wasted so much time in my 3 days in New York looking time i could be sight seeing I only stayed just 3 nights so at least one day was wasted doing this as I said I paid a lot of hard earned money to go on this cruise only to be treated like a second class person I need you to understand I paid over £4,000 and as I see it a waste of money for what service ????? So read think and let me know is Cunard interested in customers as people are you interested in making customers return ? Or are you just intrested in making as much money as possible as there are always more fools out there that will accept this and say nothing I think its all about the money you clearly have a class divide on board and your service and treatment is based on how much you have spent i recomend people avoid Cunard and choose another cruise as there are plenty out there the Queen Mary is just a name that you are paying extra for Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We have cruised with Oceania several times over the past several years and it is apparent that Oceania is in decline as an organization. We just competed two cruises on the Marina (Norway and British Isles), and though there are lots of ... Read More
We have cruised with Oceania several times over the past several years and it is apparent that Oceania is in decline as an organization. We just competed two cruises on the Marina (Norway and British Isles), and though there are lots of good staff on the Marina, there seem to be corporate decisions that are having a strongly negative impact on the service we received lately. First, there were numerous situations for which there were not enough staff to handle things, in restaurant/wine staff, housekeeping staff, and security staff. Individual Marina staff members were wonderful, but when you don't have enough security staff assigned to the gangways during a time period when lots of passengers are coming from excursions and heading to excursions, you end up with serious bottlenecks. Also, I don't know how many times we had to wait for a wine steward to come to our table to take our order, while the first course of food was being brought to the table. We'd look around the room and see only one wine steward trying to serve the entire specialty restaurant. Oceania is not providing sufficient staff for the cruises anymore. The wine lists are a scam. We repeatedly were given a wine of newer vintage, even though the wine list said they had an older one, with sometimes as much as five years in difference. Yet, the wine list only listed the older vintage and the newer wine was sold at the same price as the older with no notification about this difference in vintage. This is a serious problem, given the partnership between La Reserve and Wine Spectator. Also, La Reserve has gotten stale, in their menus and service. The staff didn't seem all that interested in our experience this last time on the Marina, and the food was pedestrian. We no longer purchase the Oceania excursions, because they are wildly overpriced and have not been very good lately. We booked private tours on this last trip, and that worked fine. Finally, we sent an email to Oceania Guest Services regarding various issues about our cruise, as soon as we got back from the cruise. Two weeks later, we have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of our email. They simply are not interested in customer service anymore. It is very unlikely that we will use Oceania again. It seems that getting bought up by Norwegian made some major changes to the corporate philosophy, and Oceania is now into pinching pennies, rather than striving for better customer service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Booked it 3 weeks prior to departure,knew had a cabin with a metal frame balcony but when being checked in in Southampton was told my cabin had been changed to 5131.I did not remember agreeing to be "upgraded",after complaining ... Read More
Booked it 3 weeks prior to departure,knew had a cabin with a metal frame balcony but when being checked in in Southampton was told my cabin had been changed to 5131.I did not remember agreeing to be "upgraded",after complaining to Cunard was told I did agree to it at the time of booking.At the time of booking I was also given a credit of $195 but on board was told as I did not register a card to settle the final bill and was going to pay with cash,my account was not credited with the $195. As a platinum Cunarder I had some wonderful times on the Queen Mary and the Queen Victoria,but this timethe unpleasant feeling remained throughout the cruise and nothing I did had made the slightest difference to make it better..The cruise was absolutely the worst cruise I have ever been on. As a matter of principal had decided to spend on board the absolute minimum . Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I don't normally do reviews, especially bad ones so I apologise if it rambles instead of following some format. Chose this cruise to travel with some friends, some issues were our fault as we did not give it as much research time ... Read More
I don't normally do reviews, especially bad ones so I apologise if it rambles instead of following some format. Chose this cruise to travel with some friends, some issues were our fault as we did not give it as much research time as we would normally such as the ridiculous price of wine which we would not boost Cunard profits by paying for it, 5 formal nights on a 16 night cruise was too much, we did all formal nights and enjoyed them but cruise was 3 cruises really so this was why so many, however main issue with dress code was ALL other nights required jacket for dinner which made it impossible on some port days so maybe this could it'd be relaxed to smart casual - even if that meant long sleeved shirt etc, and dress codes were not enforced outside restaurant, seeing nearly everyone in formal dress in theatre after dinner and some in t shirt, shorts and sandals was a bit galling especially as air conditioning was not really effective. Another thing we didn't realise when we booked it was the price of drinks, especially wine - with all drinks having 15% service charge (what service) made drinks so expensive, A British Style cruise on a British ship...... not really, it was all so American, but let's look at it in a bit more detail. The ship, nice on the whole, rear deck huge since refit but shade areas not adequate, even some of the crew questioned why this was not done better, The pool was in parts out of action first 2 days with steps and woodwork around pool being sanded and oiled..... it's just come out of a refit ! and last 3 days pool was roped off half at a time to have woodwork oiled again.... and the smell of teak oil in the heat especially with people having breakfast and dinner on deck was terrible. Food... pretty abysmal really, often bland and poorly presented on the plate - if several people had same dish every one was presented differently sort of taking the edge off a restaurant dinner visually, it made it somewhat easier to accept that after arriving back from an excursion or port day and not eating in the Britannia restaurant as we didn't have time to dress up,in fact once we discovered on the whole food in Lido was better we chose to eat there some days. Lido food was ok, it was pretty obvious in all restaurants food was on the whole frozen and stored from start, bread was often cold in middle and soggy on surface, pastry was often like tasteless cardboard - maybe bread rolls were fresh ? But croissants came out frozen in a huge plastic bag. Breakfast was best meal of the day, and evening supper in Lido was not fresh like so many other ships I have been on, it was dinner left overs on the hot plate. On the whole cold food was slightly warm and hot food was......warm Good curries in the Lido though Stateroom 7035 was generous size being on the corner, room and balcony were bigger than normal. Air conditioning above bed was at times to strong in its direct delivery but not so efficient at the ambient feel, and too noisy directly above the bed. Stateroom steward was nice and fairly efficient, seemed a general thing on board that bedding was not changed often, maybe once during the 16 nights..... that is only a maybe ! Service, even though 15% added to all drinks orders the service was terrible.... now let me clarify that, the waiters were good, some were really friendly and a pleasure to get to know BUT there were not enough of them, most of the time on the new bigger rear deck that was always busy there was often only 2 waiters, at a sail away there was a few more but so many people having to go to bar to get drinks or at least to get a waiter. Entertainment in theatre was generally not good, clashing vocals not in harmony, the orchestra were great and did some excellent music nights in the pub... they were terrific, as was the pianist/singer in the pub. Visiting acts were on the whole excellent. The team on the whole were good whether it was a quiz or introducing the acts but music on deck did seem like a private crew party, yes they need to encourage others to dance but they did take over at times, Corridors nearly always had cabin staff trolleys and trolleys with old room service trays on, previously on other cruises we have been amazed how invisible this appears, and cleaning stairs during the day making hand rails soaking wet..... surely this is normally done during the night ? Ports of call were generally good but not often though out, too short a time in port at times, for example most people thought an overnight in Kotor was preferred to visiting Zadar the next day. So many queues for bus transfers, in direct sun without shade whichever must have been awful for some of the elderly passengers, queue was so bad with no buses apparent in Barcelona we decided to walk and got back on ship before our friends who were at the half way point in the queue ! It became a joke that they should be renamed "Queuenard" Officers and managers didn't seem to do their job of ensuring things went smoothly, more uniformed officers needed to take control and maybe even speak to passengers. A lot of staff, especially Lido waiters and Lido Managers just walk in front of passengers at times blocking their route, I saw several times crew walking through doors and not only not holding the door for a passenger but just letting it go without a glance - some (especially Lido manager) needs to have some training in in basic manners. Several times especially when disembarking at ports of call uniformed officers tellingly crew to "wait!," Cunard need to try harder, maybe it's because Carnival now own so many cruise lines they are all blending into each other, but we were looking forward to our first cruise on "A Queen" and we felt so let down by Cunard, it could have been fantastic and yet turned out to be the worst of our 5 cruises to date even though it was the most expensive, Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been on over 30 cruises and are Platinum on Princess In November 2016 we contacted Princess and explained that my wife had recently been diagnosed with Gluten Ataxia, (a rare form of Coeliac Disease where gluten attacks her ... Read More
We have been on over 30 cruises and are Platinum on Princess In November 2016 we contacted Princess and explained that my wife had recently been diagnosed with Gluten Ataxia, (a rare form of Coeliac Disease where gluten attacks her brain) and that I was gluten intolerant. He assured us that Princess Cruises could provide us with a variety of good quality gluten free food providing we gave them the required notice which we did. Breakfast At breakfast in the dining room we were told there was only one type of gluten free bread and cereal. The rice bread did not toast very well. The cereal was corn flakes but they were sweet and tasteless.. The gluten free muffins were hard and had a horrible taste. Incidentally we also tried the gluten free scones available at afternoon tea which were hard, dry and tasteless so between the scones, bread and muffin afternoon tea was not an option available to us either. We were very upset by the attitude of a small minority of the waiters towards us. One particular waiter offered us pastries on the first morning and pressed us when we said no thank you so we told him we were gluten free. He shouted to all the other waiters, whilst pointing at us, that we were gluten free. Obviously other passengers looked at us. Quite honestly we felt embarrassed and humiliated. The requirements of other guests such as diabetics were not shouted out and they were not pointed at. After we complained about this he still came to our table every morning and said that he did not need to offer us pastries now that he knew we were gluten free so would not disturb us. We felt this was completely unnecessary and that he was being sarcastic Buffet We were advised to avoid the buffet because of the risk of cross contamination and on two occasions I saw food containing gluten in the gluten free desert section. When the ship was in port the only food available was in the buffet. We asked various chefs/staff what food was gluten free and got mixed messages, one person saying something was OK whilst another person said it contained gluten. The only safe items were jacket potatoes, some meat on the carvery but none of the sauces. We usually had the same lunch on port days. The desert section usually only had two options jelly/tapioca or crumble. Even the sous chefs, whilst they tried to be helpful, didn’t appear to understand the risk of cross contamination by other passengers with tongs and spillages. Main Dining On day one the only gluten free food available was fish. It had been overcooked. The head waiter took our order for the next day, again main dishes were limited. We were told that we could NOT choose a desert as these were specially made each day by the chef for passengers on special diets. At dinner we were seated at a table for nine which was a tight squeeze and ordering took a long time. On the first two nights my wife ordered fish but it had been kept hot and was tasteless and nothing was said even though my wife didn’t eat much of it. We complained in writing about the food. We spoke to the Maître d’ about the lack of deserts and the waiting staff at breakfast. He said he would send out an email to the We were moved to a smaller table but problems continued as some courses arrived at different times to others on the table and some items such as gluten free crab cakes were inedible. We had to complain before we were offered a desert choice. One night my wife was served a dish containing pasta which was not gluten free. Some things did improve slightly after we moved tables as we got carrot cake for desert thanks to Roberto along with chocolates and biscuits all on the same night! STEAMERS SPECIALITY DINING - we decided to go to Steamers, after speaking to Claudio the Assistant Maître d’ who escorted us to our table. After 10 minutes the chef told us he did not think he could prepare any gluten free dishes because of the danger of cross contamination in his small galley and it was arranged we could go to Freedom Dining. Once there we waited 45 minutes for our starter but 20 minutes later we were told the rest of our special pre-order had been lost. The waiter said he did not know what to do next so we left. There was almost nothing we could have in the buffet but we tried a jacket potato and some beef both of which were unacceptable, cold potato and tough beef. As a consequence we had some snacks we had brought on board plus fruit from the buffet in our cabin. To say we were upset would be putting it mildly. Most nights we were given a jelly/tapioca type desert. The one on the last night was plain tapioca with 2 berries and a strawberry slice made into a smiley face (see attached photo) which just added insult to injury. We complained to Roberto Roberto lost his temper shouting ‘I have allergies too but I never mention them’ He also said there was nothing he could do other than relay our comments to the chef Summary We were very disappointed and upset by these events which spoiled our holiday. We paid a lot of money for it and expected to be treated the same as all the other guests which did not happen. There was a diabetic on our table at dinner and his special diet was handled sensitively and with no fuss. We felt we were seen as a nuisance and quite honestly sometimes we were just very hungry. We were totally reliant on Princess for food during our holiday as it is not easy to find gluten free food immediately on arrival in other countries. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I booked this cruise for 4 people after having a taster cruise on the Victoria in 2015 which was beautiful however despite being advised that we would probably have an 'upgrade' we ended up feeling as though we had been down ... Read More
I booked this cruise for 4 people after having a taster cruise on the Victoria in 2015 which was beautiful however despite being advised that we would probably have an 'upgrade' we ended up feeling as though we had been down graded. The balcony was smaller and as we walked into the room past the bed my husband bumped his shoulder on the wall mounted tv due to lack of space. The room looked tired and dated and as we stepped onto the balcony we were faced with a view at our feet of rusting metal. We asked for an unobstructed view but had lifeboats just underneath and a protruding balcony above us. The food in the Britannia restaurant was fine and the service could not be faulted but the food in the lido was always barely lukewarm and the quality left something to be desired. I even asked if it could be heated up but was advised they didn't have the fascillity to do so. We also walked out (as many others did) of the theatre shows as they were either a repeat of previous cruises or just old hat for people who were born in the year 1900. Alright I know this is impossible but it just felt like it. Being over 60 doesn't mean you want to sing "we'll meet again". Venice and Dubrovnik were very interesting but would have liked more free time to explore in fact we had to be back at the jetty for 2.30 when in Venice. Other shore excursions/visits were disappointing also about 9 of the 17 days were spent at sea. (Full itinerary not showing at time of booking) Despite complaining to the persors office and on the customer satisfaction forms nothing was done and no redress or contact regarding our dissatisfaction has ever been made. We have never been able to obtain an email to make our views known. We would have liked to travelled on all three Queen ships but unlikely to now. Disappointing birthday cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My wife and I have cruised on over 10 different lines. This was a Special Anniversary Cruise. We spent Three days in London touring prior to Embarkation in South Hampton. Embarkation was a disaster. We had booked back to back cruises- ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised on over 10 different lines. This was a Special Anniversary Cruise. We spent Three days in London touring prior to Embarkation in South Hampton. Embarkation was a disaster. We had booked back to back cruises- Folklore and Fairytails - 19 days total cruise. All 136 people, 68 State Rooms whom booked the Folklore and Fairytails back to back, had the same experience. Oceania lost all our booking information. When we showed them our confirmations, they would NOT accept them. We couldn't board the ship in South Hampton for approx 3 to 4 hours. Oceania had lost our entire bookings. No one from the ship came to explain the problem, nor offered water or food or chairs, Totally ignored by Oceana staff. Upon finally boarding we found out that all of our Shore excursions, restaurant reservations were all lost. Oceana Staff would not accept the fact of the written confirmation proof of our booking and paid shore excursions. Staff at Destination services was Rude, Unapologetic & made it clear THEY DID NOT CARE. We had to fight to get anything from the Reservations Desk & Destination Services. We were to receive champagne in our suite. Upon arriving at our suite, the champagne was warm, the ice melted, the room was being made up. It took four days to begin to get information regarding our tours, mean time the destinations services booked other people into our tour slots. We then had to argue more that we had booked the excursions prior, before the Crew begrudgingly acknowledged the error and said "OK, you can go". Attitudes were surley, rude, arrogant. Managers were always unavailable. Oceania offered $75.00 ships credit each person with a half-hearted at letter of apology. Credit for lost Shore excursions took 12 days to get the ships dollars offered converted into US Dollars which we were charged when we booked. Fought Oceania to return monies owed in actual US Dollars. Most Shore Excursions were Fair to Good, but not exemplary. Internet Services worked 50 percent of the time at best. Continuous problems, Few Real Solutions. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We went to : Paris, France OK but hurried, Bruges, Belgium Cancelled by Oceania - fought to get money back, NO Reason for Cancellation. Antwerpe, Belgium, Good Tour, informative. Amsterdam, Netherlands, Fair Tour, Not outstanding, Guide went thru the motions. Hamburg, Germany, Good Tour, Informative, Colorful, Fair Guide. Kristianstand, Norway, Good Tour & Guide. Oslo, Norway Another Good Tour So-So Guide. Gothenburg, Sweden, Very Good Tour and seemingly interested Guide. 2 days in Copenhagen, Denmark, No Tours Available for Back to Back Cruisers, Oceania Dropped the Ball again. Not even helpful with information as to what to do or see on your own, Getting around town or anything. Helsingborg, Sweden, Not outstanding, Guide went thru the motions, Berlin, Germany, Good Tour, and Informative, Engaging Guide. Riga, Latvia, Another Good Tour, So-So Guide, Tallinn, Estonia, Tours were Poor at Best, watching movies of sites was not what I expected. Poor. 2 Days in St. Petersburg, Russia, Sites were interesting, Guide was Helpful, but Bus Driver was Rude and Uncooperative. While In St Petersburg, Russia, we went to the Ballet at the Hermitage. High School Students performance at best. Nice performance of Swan Lake, but NOT Real Ballet. Helsinki, Finland, Beautiful Sights, So-So Guide, More going thru the motions. Score out of 1 to 10, 4.5 at best, Stockholm, Sweden, Disembarkation, Spent One Night at a Hotel which Oceania offered, was Utter Chaos. Six Buses at one time, Luggage all over the Place, Oceania must Own part of the Hotel. Not Co-ordinated by Oceania at all. 300 people in the lobby at one time. Absolute Bedlam. More reasons NOT TO CHOOSE TO SAIL WITH Oceania. Your Dollar Spends better with other Cruise lines. Who also treat you like a Customer ! ! Crystal Cruises is far Superior in every way. I would be hard pressed to openly sail with Oceania again. They owe me for a 19 day FAILED CRUISE. NOT WORTH THE MONEY ! ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Whilst the destination was what we had hoped for, the Queen Elizabeth is a hopeless shambles. We chose Cunard as we have cruised on QM2 previously and that was superb in almost every way. On the QE, waiting staff appeared demoralised, ... Read More
Whilst the destination was what we had hoped for, the Queen Elizabeth is a hopeless shambles. We chose Cunard as we have cruised on QM2 previously and that was superb in almost every way. On the QE, waiting staff appeared demoralised, the Pursers desk was a "cant do" attitude to anything you ask. The Tour desk handed out poor quality maps and information sheets that bore no resemblance to each other. The ship looks tired with peeling paint on balcony furniture, and had problems in St Petersburg, although this was put down to the weather, it didn't explain the work at the stern of the ship at 23:30 when we should have set sail at 18:00. Some serious vibrations at the rear of the ship. The cabin was clean and satisfactory. Dining: Britannia Resturant: The Maitre de was arrogant, poorly prepared food, served in a rush because they were too few waiting staff. Lido Resturant was in contrast more relaxed, better food and better service. Entertainment: Only two shows came anywhere near acceptable. Cunard you really need to look at you choreography for your own dancers, it was somewhat weird and dark, one show was set as a Dance Agent interviewing dancers and giving jobs to those that appeared to please him????? Very weird concept to put in a show. Whilst the dancers were good, they were working against the odds with the weird choreography they were given. Again just very poor compared to QM2 Service: This ship has a "Cant Do" attitude. Whenever you ask someone something they pass you off saying you need to speak to "xxx". NEVER taking ownership. Particularly the Pursers Desk. Ports were fine with the exception that the ship skipped Skagen altogether, effectively we spent 5 days at sea after St Petersburg, WHICH WAS VERY BORING! Why do Cunard charge for shuttles to town? In Tallin they charged $6 to travel 1200 mtrs. Most people walked to the town, but it seems a con to charge the less abled to travel 1200 mtrs. Disembarkation was a complete and utter shambles, Because the ship was very late arriving at Southampton, many poeple chosed to Self Disembark. Cunard knew the numbers but took no action to control the queues, it was an unsupervised bun fight to get off the ship. I would never travel on QE again Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was the first half of the 2016 world cruise. The main problem was the entertainment staff. There was very little organised activities, and those that were were aimed at 6 year olds! These included a craft activity of making rubbings ... Read More
This was the first half of the 2016 world cruise. The main problem was the entertainment staff. There was very little organised activities, and those that were were aimed at 6 year olds! These included a craft activity of making rubbings of a dollar to remember you had been to the USA. Initially there were in excess of 50 plus wanting to do a craft activity, at the end of the leg there were three - the same activity was repeated every leg of the cruise. There was so little to do that hundreds wanted to join the beginners Bridge class, but obviously they could not take that number. Likewise line dancing and ballroom dancing classes. There was ONE film in the afternoon of the first leg - Crocodile Dundee, 30 Years old!!! In the evenings the Dance Troupe were not considered up to standard to do a public performance. In the theatre at night ships officers, entertainment staff, ON CALL medical staff were all taking seats while passengers stood.The publicised details of lecturers, etc, bore little resemblance to who turned up. The biggest disappointment was the failure to honour the time spent in the ports of call. Booked ships tours were given preference, resulting in one case with us only being allowed off for 2 hours. We queued for an hour at San Francisco to get off and then were told the mooring was insecure and we could not get off. A day of cruising through the New Zealand Sounds was completely missed out, and the other was done in the dark. We could list a problem at most of the supposed ports of call. At Port Canaveral we had to go through immigration off the ship, and then wait in a freezing cold room with nothing to drink or eat, for five plus hours. On complaining we were told it had taken over six hours on other occasions. Staff were repeatedly rude to passengers. However the Indian and Philippine staff were brilliant. We paid £14,000 for this cruise and have been promised £700 of a future cruise! DO NOT go on Cunard. We have, over the last fifteen years, been on most cruise lines - we have NEVER experienced anything like this before. Beware of financially supporting Maitre'd whose wife supposedly has cancer. You will find it is part of a scam with Carnival/Cunard/P&O staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our second cruise, the first had been in 2014 on the Celebrity Equinox, which had been an excellent experience in every way. This year we thought that we would try the Cunard line and booked a cruise on the Queen Victoria which ... Read More
This was our second cruise, the first had been in 2014 on the Celebrity Equinox, which had been an excellent experience in every way. This year we thought that we would try the Cunard line and booked a cruise on the Queen Victoria which turned out to be a dreadful experience, all except for the embarkation process in Southport which was extremely well organised. The main problem for us was that the air conditioning in the cabins could not be adequately controlled so we spent the entire cruise either freezing or being excessively hot, At first we thought it was faulty unit, but when the technician came he found that it was operating correctly. We checked with other guests who had the same issue, so operating correctly must mean that you just put up without being able to control the temperature to a comfortable level. The other problems were due to the age of the ship, because the stench from the toilet/bathroom was terrible and the fittings in our balcony cabin were archaic! The TV was so small that we had trouble viewing from our bed, it was slightly larger than an ipad in size, then when movies were on it halved again. There was a grubby 2 seater sofa which was so uncomfortable that we could only use it as extra bench space. Our cabin was on a corner of the ship on level 7 which meant the glass doors were positioned so that no view was possible unless one stood directly in front of them. We found ourselves waiting for the time to pass quickly and felt a great sense of relief to finally disembark in Athens. It's now been several months since our cruise, and looking back we can only remember how very uncomfortable we had been for the entire time. Such a waste of money and time. Travellers be warned, because the Cunard advertising hype does not match the reality of the on-board experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Having had a wonderful experience on Queen Victoria, last April we booked the first leg of the 2015 QM2 World Tour and waited with eager anticipation for our visits to Spain, Italy, Luxor and the Pyramids. Disembarking in Dubai. Firstly, ... Read More
Having had a wonderful experience on Queen Victoria, last April we booked the first leg of the 2015 QM2 World Tour and waited with eager anticipation for our visits to Spain, Italy, Luxor and the Pyramids. Disembarking in Dubai. Firstly, the good points. Our embarkation was excellent, although I believe later arrivals experienced chaos. The main lobby is very impressive, beds exceptionally comfortable and cabin very quiet, good selection of library books and delightful afternoon tea. Nice pub for watching sport. Good free launderettes. Bad points on ship, layout somewhat confusing,food court like motorway food outlet,. nasty little café on top deck that reeked of onions, inside cabin absolutely tiny, bathroom size of closet and awful shower. Not enough loungers and no shade, main dining room food cold or tepid ad service really slow Worst entertainment imaginable, unimaginative cheap shows, boring lectures and very obscure films. Good if you are interested in astronomy! Hand cleansing or use of tongs not enforced in self service areas, it was enforced in the main dining room and in the Queens room. I have no idea if this is the reason so many people suffered from what became known as the Cunard cough. Personally, although I am rarely ill, I cannot recall being as ill as on this trip, and still suffering, with the virus I caught on QM2. Now I realise most of the above is subject to opinion, but the rest of my review is not! After paying the balance in September we were informed that due to security reasons, we would no longer be visiting the Valley of the Kings or the Pyramids, but instead would be calling at Petra and Oman. Apparently according to the small print this change would not entitle us to a full refund. The day before entering the Suez Canal we were told there was dredging being carried out in the canal which would delay our entry; This resulted in our passing through the canal at night and cancellation of our visit to Petra. A second port in Oman was given as a substitute. However people seemed to think that the canal is in fact being widened and shipping lines would have been aware that travel would be subject to delays. Furthermore the Holland America Rotterdam, a Carnival ship like the QM2, visited Egypt and passengers did all their tours during the period QM2 was supposed to do it. I have now written to Carnival to ask why one member of their fleet cruised Egypt while another did not. Instead all we had were 3 ports in the Med followed by 10 days at sea and 2 obscure ports in Oman. The captain's facetious announcement on disembarkation that Cunard had fulfilled their contractual obligation by stopping at the required number of ports, was not helpful! I think most cruisers would have preferred Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids or Petra to 2 obscure ports in Oman. Furthermore I did hear that Cunard cancelled Egypt on the 2014 world tour, but have no proof of this. I now await a response from Carnival Corporation   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Our very first cruise and we were so looking forward to sailing on QM2 but by the time we arrived back at Heathrow from Dubai I could have kissed the ground so glad were we to be back. I suppose the omens were starting to show when we left ... Read More
Our very first cruise and we were so looking forward to sailing on QM2 but by the time we arrived back at Heathrow from Dubai I could have kissed the ground so glad were we to be back. I suppose the omens were starting to show when we left Southampton on the 10th January and the Queen Elisabeth was late arriving so instead of the two queens leaving to mark the start of Cunard's 175th year we left alone. It was the two Egyptian ports, pyramids and Valley of the Kings that attracted me to this cruise. These of course were cancelled soon after we paid the balance of the fare and I am sure the chances of QM2 ever visiting any Egyptian ports were slim to say the least, without these ports however I very much doubt if the first leg of the QM2 World Tour would have been booked by so many. Over 2000 passengers disembarked in Dubai, many very, very disappointed after so many cancelled ports, 10 says at sea, a dire replacement container port and other disappointments outlined by others on this website. Even experienced cruisers told us it was one of the worst cruises they had been on and we were very unlucky. Will we ever cruise again, I very much doubt it as we were stir crazy by the time we reached the final destination and very annoyed at the captains statement upon disembarkation that they had been to the number of ports scheduled - maybe Cunard would be better off advertising mystery tours! Cunard need to learn a few new words one of which is 'sorry'. As first time cruisers we have nothing to compare but if Cunard are supposed to be one of the top drawer cruise lines then I can only say that standards must be slipping as there was a range of items that in our opinion was not up to the supposed white star service some highlighted by others who were also on this very disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My wife and myself saw this cruise to Dubai advertised and jumped at the opportunity to book this cruise,and how disappointed we are with the cruise. The first ports of call were good although we had been to 2 of them with P&O, but ... Read More
My wife and myself saw this cruise to Dubai advertised and jumped at the opportunity to book this cruise,and how disappointed we are with the cruise. The first ports of call were good although we had been to 2 of them with P&O, but after leaving Italy the cruise went completely down hill. To begin with I think Cunard covered-up the fact that the Suez Canal was being dredged and they did not know about it !!! Who were they trying to kid, surely their agents in Egypt would have notified Cunard of what was going on !!! They decided to take us through the Suez in the middle of the night wso that we saw dam all !!, is it because Cunard pay less to go through the canal at night rather than the day??. To add insult to injury they then cancelled the trip to Aquaba and Petra, which the majority of the passengers had booked even before the cruise had started. Could you imagine the disappointment of all the passengers that had booked to see the pink city of Petra !!! In return Cunard decided to keep us at sea for 10 boring days at sea, with boring activities and films, till we reached the port of Muscat which was ok if one liked shopping, and then added a God forsaken port of Khor Fakkan which was a container port where no cruise ships had ever been to,and Cunard must have thought we can show the passengers how containers are loaded !!! Because there was nothing else to see. To add to this, there were a lot of passengers who had bad chesty coughs and colds on board, and had to visit the medical unit on board which was not cheap. I have had 2 other cruises with Cunard and this Dubai cruise must rate as the worst for letting passengers down. Having spoken to several passengers, they all said they would. Not travel with Cunard again, and as for me I will never recommend or travel with them again. Also the standards in the Kings Court restaraunt is very poor at night as some were walking in with swim shorts and sleeveless vests and some in t-shirts and shorts and no one to stop them. So much for saying at night you have to be properly dressed!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review... Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, ... Read More
As you may have guessed this is not going to be a positive review... Cruise Q423 to Amsterdam for the Christmas Markets 2014 was meant to be a nice little pre-Christmas break to relax and unwind ready for the festive season. Obviously, Cunard had other plans as they had enlisted - what can only be described as - a "B List" Captain and Team of Senior Staff. We had previously cruise on this ship 4 times before and found it to be absolutely wonderful. Hence, we were excited to spend a few days on the ship before Christmas. However, right from the start this cruise felt a little flat with staff very unmotivated and an absence of senior staff. Embarkation was good and the ship departed Southampton on time. In the early stages of the cruise there was no indication from the Captain that there would be any problems with the cruise. I had also checked the weather prior to leaving and knew that there would be some strong gusts in Amsterdam, but the Captain had indicated none of this. Later in the cruise the Captain mentioned strong winds in the Amsterdam area; again I was not overly concerned as only the previous year the ship failed to dock in Amsterdam because of high winds, but did dock at Rotterdam; the wind were not as bad as last year. The Captain then said that there was a 10% we may dock at Amsterdam and that we would sail all the way to the entrance and see what conditions were like. Eventually we were told we would not dock and alternatives would be considered. We then spend a considerably long time just sailing round with no updates. Finally we were told we would not dock anywhere because conditions were so poor. By now the mood of the ship had somewhat changed and this was very noticeable to both passengers and staff. To make matters worse the Captain then announced we would be arriving back in port a day early due to ‘essential works’. I think this pushed passengers over the edge as we then had lots of moaning and complaining. The atmosphere on the ship for the last two nights was pretty ugly. I am not really complaining that we did not go to Amsterdam as I appreciate that is a difficult port to get in and out of. However, its pretty poor to suggest that the entire west coast of Europe was inaccessible due to strong winds; especially when 12 month earlier the Queen Elizabeth had encountered far worse conditions and docked at Rotterdam. Not to mention the ship departed Southampton in Hurricane Force 12 winds Christmas 2013…if that was safe then Cunard have no excuse for not calling at any alternative port. I also understand that other cruise liners also docked at Amsterdam that night. I was also surprise that the ship had a strong diesel smell in the casino and pub; this was pretty disturbing as it appeared there was a problem with the ship. Why was this? Was it safe? Where Cunard cutting corners to save money? Cunard’s poor management and handling of the cruise meant many passengers just disembarked when the holiday was cut short by the Captain. It was not at all enjoyable having a meal in The Verandah Restaurant watching people lining up to get off on one side of the restaurant and Southampton dock on the other side. It was meant to be a pleasant night at sea sailing back from Amsterdam. The port cancellation was only one of several issues with this cruise. The majority of the staff and crew were either absent or not engaged in keeping passengers happy - well below the standards I have experienced with Cunard in the past. The Entertainments Director was a complete Misogynist asking young female colleagues how much they weighed on the TV feed. All in all, the cruise was rubbish. After the cruise, I did think of writing and complaining, but decided not to. However, Cunard contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I'd like to cruise with them again....they had a chance to win our custom back, but instead managed to make matters worse by saying "we are not giving any compensation" when I never complained or asked for this and was simply never going to cruise with them again. Only the arrogance of Cunard could make a customer service call escalate to the point of "rubbing salt into the wounds". Thankfully, we've found Celebrity so we won't bothering Cunard again...and we'd advise anyone not to bother with Cunard either! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present ... Read More
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present to each other. We boarded and everything looked as it should even though there was a strong smell of fuel around the bar and casino area, they must just be refuelling we thought! We went for our evening meal on the first night and the staff looked in a zombiefied state, maybe it was the smell of fuel that was getting to them, however we did notice a very restrained atmosphere and that worsened as the voyage progressed. The next day at sea there was growing concern that we were not going to dock in Amsterdam as apparently the weather was bad, not that you would have guessed that by looking out of the window. The morning we were hoping to dock we awoke and it was deadly still, we turned on the TV and the entertainments director was advising the passengers to take an umbrella and wishing us a good and enjoyable day in Amsterdam. Excellent we are here, so leaping over and opening the curtain it was beyond a disappointment that we were actually heading back down the channel in the other direction and so that's how it remained for the next two days going up and down the channel with no information coming from the captain, not only that, I don't think anyone saw the captain during this whole ordeal, he still didn't appear when hundreds of people were chanting we want the captain at the reception area. Had he lost his spine? It was then announced that the ship was going to have to dock early at Southampton as work had to be done on the fuel tanks , this was no doubt why we had to put up with the smell of fuel for the whole of this saga. By this time hundreds of passengers were itching to disembark as soon as possible and that is why hundreds of people did disembark a night earlier, The entertainments laid on were lacklustre the shows lasted a pitiful 45 minutes and were mediocre at best. This had been a terrible experience so when we got home we made a complaint and expected carnival/cunard to do the honourable thing of offering a reasonable compensation package to us hard working people that had been taken for a ride on this so called cruise to Amsterdam . It took three or more weeks for a reply offering $25 off another cruise with them. What an insult. If you are looking for an uncaring corporate company that are happy to hide behind a force majeure clause to avoid paying compensation even when, according to the Amsterdam cruise port website, the Britannia Beaver tanker and the Merlin Diver vessel docked at Amsterdam during this time . Then good luck. We however after being treated like this will never set foot on any carnival / cunard / p&o line, So it looks like they wont have to honour their enormously insulting $25 offer. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I have cruised with Oceania before. The previous was last year on the Riviera, and I gave top marks for most areas that make cruise successful and worth the money. This time the whole cruise was poor. A small cabin, and a bathroom more or ... Read More
I have cruised with Oceania before. The previous was last year on the Riviera, and I gave top marks for most areas that make cruise successful and worth the money. This time the whole cruise was poor. A small cabin, and a bathroom more or less unusable. The first bad sign was boarding at midday to find no table left in Horizons. Obviously the American passengers have special privileges. I cannot think of anything about the ship that warranted paying more per day for an Insignia concierge cabin, compared to a penthouse on the Riviera. At least the Horizon restaurant chefs on the Riviera knew how to cook. The Insignia awful for quality and selection. A total lack of dishes that would be akin to a 5* ship. No Alaska crab legs, no crab and no roast Suckling pig with a crispy skin al' la Riviera.  The main dining room attempted the pig, but forgot to make it crispy. So the food was a no no. The ports of call were a mixture of dead boring, Honfleur [Sunday in the rain], Portland, Milford Haven and Verdon chosen as drop off, or pick up ports for ship tours. The interesting ones were Bilbao, Concarneau and St. Malo. I will never sail again on the Renaissance class ships again, not only with Oceania but other cruise companies such as Azamara, unless I was in a suite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was my 19th cruise - my first on Cunard and my last. The ship was full of mold - the dining rooms and photo galleries smelled of backed up sewage. There is so much hype and it did not live up to it - don;t waste your money - stick to ... Read More
This was my 19th cruise - my first on Cunard and my last. The ship was full of mold - the dining rooms and photo galleries smelled of backed up sewage. There is so much hype and it did not live up to it - don;t waste your money - stick to Royal Caribbean and NCL. The pursers desk was staffed by stuffy, rude people who were constantly making mistakes. The ship's crew had the attitude that we were there to accommodate to them. When I mentioned my concerns and the dramatic differences from my other cruise experiences, the answer was always this is an ocean liner, not a cruise ship - I have no idea what that means except that ocean liners are full of mold (stained damp carpets everywhere) and have sewage problems. My room steward was lovely, but I have never had anything but great room stewards. The entertainment was awful and really lacking. There was not much to do on the ship, The internet staff were rude and unhelpful. All this dress up business was a joke - to wear a long gown and tuxedo to eat in a room that stunk to high heavens!! The first night they told everyone to go the rear of the ship for a fireworks show which took place off the front of the ship. The food was bland and boring. Over done veggies and very few choices. I feel like Cunard should give our money back - this was a terrible, terrible ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
1. It took almost 3 hours to check in. The queue was mainly outside and we had to stand through the whole process. We went at the exact allocated time e mailed to us which said was to prevent all of this. Given the there were so many older ... Read More
1. It took almost 3 hours to check in. The queue was mainly outside and we had to stand through the whole process. We went at the exact allocated time e mailed to us which said was to prevent all of this. Given the there were so many older people and people with disabilities, the priority boarding seemed busier than the regular boarding. 2. Our toilet blocked x 3. Each time the ship rocked, the toilet water emptied into the shower room. My friend was unaware of this on the first occasion and thought I had left the shower room soaking. She showered, not realising she was wading through toilet water /urine. She was very distressed by this. 3. The ship was late to leave Southampton. We arrived in Barcelona very late. We had booked a half-day tour and planned to spend a half -day going around on our own. We only had time for the tour and nothing else. The ship got in at 12 noon but we did not get off until 2 pm. The tour was rushed and we had no free time. This was the first organised tour I had ever been on. I felt like a herded sheep. It was certainly not worth the money as was so rushed and all we saw of Barcelona. 4. There were queues throughout the cruise. We had to queue for so many things and hours were wasted in queues. It seemed like organised chaos. 5. The first time we went for breakfast, it took 40 minutes from getting to the buffet area to actually being able to sit down and eat. They regularly closed parts of the buffet area, making it a challenge to find a seat. We often had to queue for food, for drinks, to find a seat and then to wait for the table to be cleared. There was not enough staff for the first part of the cruise. I think additional staff may have come on at Barcelona. 6. Every single day, our toilet stopped flushing for a period of time. 7. I was not aware smoking had been banned from balconies until after the cruise was booked and paid for. There were only 2 places outside where you could smoke. As the journey was rough a lot of the time, Deck 7 (one smoking area) was closed. Deck 16 was not sheltered and very busy. This left 2 inside smoking areas, a part of the casino (open most days) and the cigar lounge. It was packed full with not enough seats and as a result was far to smoky. I do not like smoking indoors but felt I had to on occasion. My clothes and hair etc ended up stinking. 8. The menu of the TV in the cabin was blocked so could not be altered. It was fixed so that when there was writing on the screen, it could not be read. 9. Many things were over priced. This includes drinks, tours, bottled water etc. 10. Wifi was exceptionally expensive. I do not think there is a need for such expense when it is so cheap to provide, even onboard a ship. 11. The entertainment was abysmal. It reminded me of Butlins in the 1970’s. We tried various shows but did not manage to sit through a full one. It was dated and aimed at the 75+-age range. It was also mainly poor quality. I have seen much better at street fairs, karaoke and on a ferry. What was on the main stage is usually something you would see in a little bar or something. 12. The activities were again aimed at much older age group. Most of the talks were about physical ailments such as back pain and arthritis. They had a veterans group and a knitters and natters for example. We were left so, so bored. Something I have never experienced on a cruise. There is usually too much to choose from. 13. The company must have known prior to the cruise what the age group was and should have made this more public. There was no list or notification of who or what the “entertainment” was before we set of. This would have given a clear indication of the age range the cruise was aimed at. We would not have gone on this one if we had known this. Wartime songs, song sheets, sing a long, Bernie Flint! To name a few. 14. They ran out of milk at one point. How could this be for such a basic thing? 15. English breakfast tea was only available sometimes. They continually ran out and it was a challenge to try to find some or to wait for a long time before staff found some. 16. I got very sick after eating at the crab shack one night. I do not know for sure what the cause was however. 17. Marseille port was a shambles. Nowhere did they tell us we had to wait in yet another queue to buy a ticket for the shuttle bus. We waited for about half an hour in the queue for the bus, only to be told when we got to the front that we had to have a ticket before hand. We then had to wait in another queue for a ticket before getting back in a queue for the bus again. It took over an hour overall. There was only one person selling the tickets, who was also giving port information. This is just appalling for a ship for over 3000 people. 18. The shuttle for Marseille was overpriced. There was apparently a local bus for only $2. I heard some had complained about the over charging of $8 each way (which we paid). Some said they got a refund. We did not. 19. If the ship docks far beyond the town / port, surely shuttles should be inclusive and not an additional charge, nor even more queues. Extortion! 20. We paid for a tour a whole day tour in Florence. It was way too busy. In fact of the 3 tours, we had to walk at a snails pace. There were at least 30+ tours going to the same spots at the same time. We were crowded and again herded like sheep. We only lasted about 15 minutes before asking to leave and meet up with them later to get back to the ship. Despite having paid for this, we could not bare it any longer and went off and did our own thing. 21. In Corsica, we were deafened by the microphone / speaker system on the tour bus not working. Each time it was switched on, it screeched. This did not deter them from continually trying to put it on. They did this to the point where I practically begged them to switch it off and I then had a headache. The tour guide then spoke without this, so could not be heard. Surely this should have been sorted/ in place before the tour took place. 22. Yes there was nightclub but it was usually empty with no atmosphere at all. I know the cruise company cannot force people to go but again, if we had known the cruise was aimed at a much older age group, we would not have gone on it. 23. The DJ in the nightclub had very little of the music we requested and she tended to play the same tracks every night we were there. This got monotonous. In the age of the Internet, surely the majority of music can be accessed. If they had been in my local club, they would not have lasted more than a week. 24. We were offered water and coffee on our first night in the dining room. We accepted without realising it had to be paid for. We did not know we had to specifically ask for un- bottled water and regular coffee for it to be included. 25. The drinks packages were excessive, over priced and inflexible. For alcohol, it was $49 per day but you had to buy for the whole 14 days, even for the days when you were off the boat. I don’t know many people who would drink that amount daily for 14 days! 26. We got charged room service for asking for a shower cap! 27. The photographers were very poor. I have never seen such horrible photos; even of people we met who were very good looking. They even managed to make babies look bad. 28. Other issues we had although I cannot blame Princess for but added to this being the worst holiday / experience of our lives included: a) Fellow guests wanting to debate Independence with us at every meal time, to the point we stopped going for dinner. Some being positively rude about it and making nasty comments. b) The weather and resulting rough seas, making my friend very sick and preventing access to the pools and decks for long periods, sometimes whole days. 29. Some of the movies were fantastic however the TV availability was very poor and so repetitive. Given this became our main source of entertainment; we ended up watching things more than once, just to pass the time. 30. The waste of paper. There was too much mail sent to our cabin every day and much of it repetitive and of no use. It would have been better to include port transport information for example, in the daily guide. This could have made getting off and on the ship smoother and faster. 31. Maintenance being done whilst we were on the ship, for example painting on the balcony and working on the toilets/ water systems. Surely this should be done when the boat it is not in use. This happened one day after another, so became inconvenient. 32. Due to the ongoing issue with the toilets, they were regularly worked on later in the evening, as were other problems, involving workmen being outside the cabin and making such a noise to prevent us from sleeping. 33. Lack of communication. For example, I rang to advise our toilet had stopped working one evening at 9.30 pm. I was advised someone would be there to fix it soon. As I had not heard anything by 11.40 pm and was keen to get to bed, I rang again. I was advised the whole area had been broken and they were working on this. I said I was keen to get to bed and asked for an estimated time of them coming to our cabin, only to be advised they did not need access as were working on it from outside. Surely they could have called me to inform me of this to save me waiting up for over 2 hours. 34. Given all our poor experiences with getting off the ship. We opted for the last disembarkation. We were due to get in to Southampton about 7 am. We decided to book to get off at 10.30 am. The plan was for us to stay as late as possible in the cabin, have breakfast then head off. It was not until after we did this were we told we had to be out the cabin by 8 am! This meant carrying all our stuff around for at least 2 ½ hours. To top this, we were then advised the breakfast area closed at 9 am! This is just ridiculous. I am well aware there is a turnover time but surely they could clean the rooms of the people who get off early first and continue to service them as more people get off. This outraged me. There was no leeway at all. To make it worse, they decided to close part of the buffet area at this time also. It was pandemonium up there, people with bags and cases, trying to get breakfast in limited areas, trying to find a clean table, seats etc. It was like a zoo!. The boat was also late at getting in, so made our wait even longer. We got a note in the evening to say this did not effect our time to get off then later at night, another note to say this was delayed. A fitting end to a disastrous holiday. 35. My sister was on time to pick us up but took about 40 minutes to get through the traffic jam at the port, caused by the next groups of people getting on as we were getting off. Again, more organised chaos. It is not like this is new to the company. Surely they could organise this better. I know it can be. I have cruised before and had such a contrasting experience. The last one was perfect in comparison with no issues what so ever. 36. I wrote a complaint about some of the above issues on Day 7 of the cruise. We were asked to meet with the Customer Services manager On Day 11 or 12. She asked what could make the remainder of the cruise better, my friend asked for a helicopter off the ship! We were offered a meal in one of the paying restaurants. I felt insulted by this. Between us, we spent over £5,000 for this trip. The cost of a balcony cabin, the cost to get to Southampton, the new clothes for the formal nights (of which we went to 1 due to the debating going on), my considerable onboard spend of over $1500, what was spent at the ports etc. It was for my friend’s 50th Birthday. It is advertised as a 5 star experience, a once in a life time experience. I certainly hope never to “experience” this again. We spent all of this and were offered a $20 meal to compensate! Unbelievable. I had said in the meeting that I had offered my friend an all expenses paid cruise in the Caribbean or somewhere, to prove to her it was not always like this but she declined. To add insult to injury, we got a letter after this, acknowledging the complaint and stating “we look forward to welcoming you back on to the Emerald Princess in the very near future” It made me doubt anything I had written or said in the meeting had been listened to at all. A standard response letter perhaps? Having been on cruises before and absolutely loved the experience, I persuaded my friend to come with me on this one. It was meant to be holiday of a lifetime for her. She made all sorts of negative references about her ideas of cruising. I dispelled all of this with facts about how enjoyable my previous experiences had been. She decided to come and saved hard for this “experience of a lifetime” It was just awful! I spent much of my time apologising to her, as I felt very responsible for having persuaded her. All she thought negative about cruising was experienced within the first couple of days. If we were not so close and having been on holiday several times together in the past, this could have ruined our friendship. I could go on but I think the above is more than enough to explain why it was so bad.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not ... Read More
We have just returned from the Caribbean Christmas and New Year’s cruise and can only say we were very disappointed. This had been out tenth cruise with Cunard on all of their three ships and can honestly say their standards have not only slipped, but slid quite away. The daily activities was virtually none existent, take the bridge classes, Spa Ranch, pub quiz, bingo and minority group meetings from the daily program and there was very little left. The guest speakers were a welcome break from the monotony, although not all were to my interest the auditorium was packed out on each of their presentations. The evening shows were second rate although the Cunard Dancers were very professional only let down by the Cunard Singers whose singing was amateur to say the least. The two comedians, one of home who is a house hold name in the UK had material not changed since the 70s and the other’s humour or lack of it was to take the mick from different nationalities. However, on the East Bound Atlantic crossing back to Southampton the Fly Rights were brilliant, we had to wait 3 weeks for some decent entertainment, which was this. One afternoon and one afternoon only the entertainment staff along with the production staff acted out a Murder Mystery Suspense Thriller to music where the audience participated. Very slap stick but the audience loved it. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was adequate and served cold on more than a few occasions although this was rectified each time we complained. The food in the Kings Court Buffet was acceptable and a good variety in choice. I’m afraid Cunard has had its day, surviving on its history and White Star Service which is a shade of grey now. Most people we talked to were very disappointed and talked of other Cruise Lines they had been with being far better. Cunard, your Platinum and Diamond members are not going to live forever and you need interest the future generations or sail with empty ships.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013

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