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Sail Date: May 2018
We just booked this at the very last moment as it was sailing from Cape Town to Southampton and were delighted there was space. This was our first Cunard experience, but I think virtually all other passengers were long-time fans of ... Read More
We just booked this at the very last moment as it was sailing from Cape Town to Southampton and were delighted there was space. This was our first Cunard experience, but I think virtually all other passengers were long-time fans of Cunard. I really cannot find anything to complain about. Check-in was professional and we received our suitcases relatively quickly. The cabin was a decent size, as was the wardrobe and small balcony but perfect for two. We chose late dining and never once had repeat food. It was excellent, as was the service. We mostly had a late breakfast in the Lido where the choice was as good as I have ever had in a top Hotel. Lunch we occasionally took in the dining room, but there were so many opportunities to eat we had to choose between lunch or afternoon tea. We ate in the dining room every night. Talks were excellent, particularly Ian Brown and John McCarthy. Entertainment was mostly professional, bar staff were attentive. The daily quiz was a daily challenge. If I were to have one gripe, and I really shouldn’t, the drinks were expensive. But that’s nothing in the scheme of things. Really, it was 17 nights of pure joy. It’s not a cruise for youngsters, the dress code is jacket for gents every night, and formal on four nights, but there’s something very pleasant about a dress code. Well done Cunard - we will be back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
First experience on a Queen. Embarkation was easy The buffet was fabulous and varied The shows were wonderful The cabin was spacious and comfortable. Loved having a kettle with tea and coffee available. Wonderful pillows The ... Read More
First experience on a Queen. Embarkation was easy The buffet was fabulous and varied The shows were wonderful The cabin was spacious and comfortable. Loved having a kettle with tea and coffee available. Wonderful pillows The alcohol was too expensive and prices were not properly listed. $27 for 2 glasses of wine and $10 for Scotch Getting off in Guernsey was horrific. Only 2 tender boats, long wait for tickets. Almost impossible for people with disabilities. The lineup at the restaurant was often terrible, we retreated to the buffet After many people bought masks for the Masked Ball there was no entertainment staff to lead the party and not enough seating so the evening was flat. I guess they had a parade but we gave up after half an hour of standing around. General opinion was too many people for the space and number of staff. We would return knowing the downsides still a lovely cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Choose a taster cruise as we were unsure of how "stuffy" we would find Cunard to be. We were pleasantly surprised and loved it. Embarkation was very good/efficient. Room Balcony on deck 4; nicely appointed, clean, super ... Read More
Choose a taster cruise as we were unsure of how "stuffy" we would find Cunard to be. We were pleasantly surprised and loved it. Embarkation was very good/efficient. Room Balcony on deck 4; nicely appointed, clean, super bed/pillows, nice to have a decent quality TV for ships information etc. Evening dining was fine, excellent choices and good quality. We preferred the buffet breakfast simply because it was easy, it's nice to have a buffet that isn't chaotic and cramped. The afternoon tea was a little disappointing, we were lucky in that we were already in the Queens Room when they started to lay the tables so we stayed on. Service was a bit slow and the sandwiches (bread) was a little dry. There were queues later on. Nice to have but I wouldn't bother again. Service from the bars could have been much better, on the whole this let down what was and excellent trip. Entertainment was fine and popular. The tender operation in Guernsey was dreadful, we waited an hour from getting a ticket to actually boarding at a time we thought most passengers would have already gone off. It was fine coming back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Once again we had a short, but excellent cruise on board Queen Victoria. The service throughout the ship was outstanding and the food to an excellent standard. We were told that this was a "party cruise" but having sailed for ... Read More
Once again we had a short, but excellent cruise on board Queen Victoria. The service throughout the ship was outstanding and the food to an excellent standard. We were told that this was a "party cruise" but having sailed for the first time the weekend previous on a Celebrity ship, they were in our opinion a million miles apart and it was refreshing to embark on a ship of such quality and standards We are so looking forward to our next voyage onboard a Cunard vessel Please do no lower the dress standards or take away the Captain or Officer of the Bridge announcements. The ship is well maintained, our cabin was immaculate with as usual high standards of cleanliness. We had a minor issue with a lock in the stateroom but this was dealt with promptly. The service within the dining room was excellent and our request for a table for3 was met with no issues. Thankyou Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Boring food in the Britannia restaurant. Food in buffet was good and always easy to find somewhere to sit. Evening entertainment poor. We were never asked if we wanted a drink when we were in a bar or at the pool. the waiters were ... Read More
Boring food in the Britannia restaurant. Food in buffet was good and always easy to find somewhere to sit. Evening entertainment poor. We were never asked if we wanted a drink when we were in a bar or at the pool. the waiters were impossible to find. Port excursions were well run. Assisted embarkation and disembarkation were excellent. Bridge players considered the games room belonged only to them. We only saw cabin steward on embarkation day. Had the toilet mended four times, engineer came very promptly. Breakfast in cabin always correct and arrived within timescale. Didn’t have afternoon tea in Queens Room due to long queues and it was very noisy. We expected this to be an elegant occasion. In the evenings attire was much less formal than on p and o. This was particularly noticeable on formal night. Ship was peaceful and we liked the plush carpets but would have liked pictures in the corridors. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
First, as always, was the embarkment procedure. It is usually a smooth experience (this is my third trip on the Queen Victoria), however, on this occasion, not everything was plain sailing. Unfortunately, there was a technical error, and ... Read More
First, as always, was the embarkment procedure. It is usually a smooth experience (this is my third trip on the Queen Victoria), however, on this occasion, not everything was plain sailing. Unfortunately, there was a technical error, and this subsequently caused a delay. Neverthless, once we made it on board, we found our luggage to be waiting for us, inside the immaculate cabin. From our room, we went straight to the Lido, and it was extremely busy, but the food was still kept at a good standard (unlike the burger-bar). As a vegetarian, I was always looking out for my options, and I was pleased by the array of nice salads. However, there was few veggie hot options, all except the tasteless bean casserole... which was recycled day-in and day-out. The Lido breakfast also fine, for there was a clear variety of well-prepared dishes. Despite this praise, the coffee served was really unpleasant. Likewise, I was pleased with the Britannia (evening) dining experience, since the service was excellent and the menu choices were great. The evening entertainment was not as strong, as compared to past performances. The Cunard Dancers do not seem to be the team, at least not those I have seen in the past. Similarly, many of the new acts were not to our taste, but we very much enjoyed the fantastic violinist and the clever comedian. Nonetheless, the best thing of all was a total surprise! On our voyage were we joined by Kathleen Turner. We attended her Q&A, and found her be extremely entertaining. Later in the cruise, we were honoured to be able to see her new show, ‘Finding My Voice’, which was a joy to watch. During the evening, we loved the gin bar. My partner had plenty of delicious cocktails to choose from, and the knowledgable bar-man was able to give some superb advice. I am not a gin-drinker myself, but I very much enjoyed the fizzy from New Zealand (Cloudy Bay). The alternatives venues were also fine: The Golden Lion with its fun quizzes, and the Commadore club with its soft jazz and cosy atmosphere. The improvements on the Queen Victoria, were really quite amazing, especially the back pool area. There is now ample comfortable seating around, and the Wintergarden peaceful environment is lovely, unless the football was on! Our first port was Rochelle, France. It had some interesting historic buildings, and a marina, but it was still setting up for the tourist season. On the whole, it is a nice little place, but it is not a particularly impressive destination. Our second port was Bilbao, Spain. It is a lovely place, but it absolutely hammered down with rain, so we opted for a indoors option: The Guggenheim Museum. We didn’t really understand the modern-art on display, so it receives a mixed review from us. Our third port was Gijión, Spain. From our previous experience this isn’t our favourite port in the world, so we arranged a trip with Cunard: Enchanting Oviedo. Although the tour guide was excellent, it was not what we were expecting. First, we visited a 9th century church. It had amazing views from the top, but note that the walk-up is steep. Second, we visited a Cathedral, where we were lectured on the story of Jesus, for over two hours! For a religious family this could serve as very interesting, but for a non-religious family this could end up being quite tiresome (we belonged to the latter group). The next place on the tour was a quaint pub. Although we did not venture indoors, we sat outside in the beautiful courtyard, where we tried some extraordinary tapas and cider. In all, the tour took 4.5 hours. The downside was that we expected to see more of Oviedo, rather than the interior of the Cathedral. On a side-note, there was an incident/traffic collision with the bus, but the tour-guide was excellent in sorting this problem out quickly. The port of call was Guernsey. To our surprise, this was our favourite port of all. We wondered up to Candie Gardens, which were divinely scenic. Whilst there we stopped for a wonderful cup of coffee, at the Café Victoria. From this point, you can spot an interesting tower, which is not too far away. It turned out to be the Victoria Tower, which was built in 1846, to commemorate the surprise visit of Queen Victoria to Guernsey. A guide, from another tour, told us that if we went to the museum they would give us a key. We so we did exactly that and enjoyed the incredible sites. Nearby, the tower has an interesting graveyard, which will take you back down to Candie Gardens. We then strolled around enjoying the peaceful town area. It is definitely worth a visit on your holidays. Early disembarkment, where one carries their own luggage, was really easy and prompt. Moreover, the Airlynx Cruise Parking, was great for our needs. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
After enjoying a wonderful cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in 2010 our special anniversary cruise on the QM2 was a huge disappointment and we wanted to get off 4 days into a 14 day cruise! We had more complaints about the cruise but the 3 ... Read More
After enjoying a wonderful cruise on the Queen Mary 2 in 2010 our special anniversary cruise on the QM2 was a huge disappointment and we wanted to get off 4 days into a 14 day cruise! We had more complaints about the cruise but the 3 major areas that Cunard need to address urgently are: Food, Cleanliness, Attitude towards passengers FOOD. This was really shocking especially in the King’s Court dining area where the majority of passengers will eat at some time. Poor quality, very limited choice, unimaginative menu which hardly varied, badly presented, small portions and often cold or alternatively dried out under the heat lamps. Only the occasional curry or stir fry reflected the local cuisine and these were bland and unappetising and only a couple of items cooked to order. Some examples of dishes served regularly were curly fries, Irish stew, roast chicken, skate wings, beef olives, pea puree, sponge pudding and custard, pork belly, lasagne. Breakfast was particularly poor but lunch and dinner were awful too, like being in a motorway café or a posh care home and we only ate eat here if we were really hungry, and we were often hungry (on a cruise!). There are alternative dining areas (we usually ate in the Britannia at night) but we sometimes we wanted a more relaxed buffet restaurant, didn’t want to wait to be seated in the Britannia restaurant and have waiter service. And we objected to paying nearly $40 extra per couple per dinner to sit in a cordoned off area of King’s Court to eat food which should have been included in the main buffet (e.g. Indian, Chinese, Italian, Mexican) or nearly $100 extra per couple to eat dinner in the Verandah. CLEANLINESS. The new design of the King’s Court restaurant is ill thought out with multiple entry points, no staff to encourage hand cleaning and you can enter the food areas straight from the outside deck without even passing a hand sanitizer. The food stations could have been cleaned more often during mealtimes. The windows and glass doors throughout the ship were covered with greasy finger marks and dirt and we never saw anyone cleaning them during the 2 weeks voyage. The window in the restaurant was so smeared with dirty cloth marks and finger prints that someone had written ‘CLEAN ME’ on it and that was still there when we left. Outside the decks looked dirty and marked with cups/ glasses/ plates not cleared away. Inside there were carpet stains, light fittings missing, some chairs were tatty, needing repairs and again cups, etc not cleared away. ATTITUDE. An arrogant, unfriendly attitude pervades the ship from the top down. Although some staff were excellent (our Britannia restaurant staff gave outstanding service) it felt like passengers were merely an inconvenience and many times myself and others had to stand aside to allow staff members, including the ship’s officers, to pass without even a thank you. We were often ignored or given the wrong item because people simply didn’t listen properly and we rarely saw any officers to talk to except when they had to attend the Captain’s cocktail party where they stood huddled together. This attitude affected the ambience of the ship which lacked energy, interest and warmth with many areas empty by 10pm. OVERALL OPINION. Cunard is trying to cut costs in the wrong areas, it is relying on it’s past reputation but not living up to it and it is targeting a increasing elderly clientele who may happily accept these standards but they won’t sustain future growth. Although many passengers will be loath to admit to their friends, family or even themselves that their cruise was overpriced and of a low standard I can honestly say that this experience was so bad that it has put us off cruising completely and I would not recommend the QM2 to anyone I know. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Booked this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary and to see for ourselves if Cunard is what they say they are. The itinerary was great, Cochin excepted but we expected that. We had three complaints about this cruise, first of which was ... Read More
Booked this cruise for two reasons, the itinerary and to see for ourselves if Cunard is what they say they are. The itinerary was great, Cochin excepted but we expected that. We had three complaints about this cruise, first of which was the visas for India. We had no plans to go ashore in Cochin but was told that we must have full tourist visas otherwise we would not be able to embark the ship in Singapore. Due to a lack of time we had no choice other than to use Cunards intermediary CIBT visas, at a significant cost to us. Due to a lack of communication it turned out the visas were not required pre cruise. We watched people board the ship who had no visas. Cunard have since agreed to reimburse us, but only because we complained. If you were on this ship and had a similar experience then complain, they won't contact you! Secondly the stateroom------ We were in 13024 which is a club balcony cabin. The room itself was very nice with a roomy balcony and was well maintained by the steward, thanks Salvi.There is tea making facilities in the room which is always a bonus. Further to the stateroom there is significant vibration most of the time which is apparent to both port and starboard. Theses staterooms were a recent addition made during the last refurbishment. Cunard of course are aware of this and I'm told by a guest services executive that they are looking at ways of factoring it into the brochure stateroom descriptions. Too little to late for us, Cunard got our money, my wife got no decent sleep. As a matter of interest the vibration has nothing to do with sea conditions as it was present when the ship was on its mooring lines. Finally, the food--------I was served raw ( yes you read it right, raw) chicken with bloody juices running from it! As you can imagine there was mayhem, the servers, maitre d, chef and executive chef all arguing amongst themselves as to who was at fault, with fellow diners looking on in disbelief. I left the dining room and went for a meal. The outcome of this was that I was not allowed to make a formal complaint at the pursers desk,I wanted a case number so that I could take the matter up when I got home but was refused and told to drop the matter.I was given a complimentary meal in the Italian specialty restaurant, special it wasn't. Since being home Cunard agree that we have had a shocking experience with the three complaints and have offered us 20% of the cost of the cruise plus reimbursement of the cost of the visas. Is this commensurate with the cruise experience ? The service in the dining room was, we found, fine. The food in general in the dining room was adequate, but no more. A bit hit and miss. The service in the bars was, at times dreadful. Gone are the days of being escorted to seat and waited on for a drink, like it used to be. More often than not I got my own drinks at the bar and carried them back to where we were sitting. Staff work hard enough but there just isn't enough of them. The experience made me that I was at home in my local Wetherspoons. The entertainment for us was a mixed bag with no hint of a wow factor. The two productions shows were very poor and most certainly the entertainment was geared toward classical recitals and ballroom dancers with some jazz thrown in. The resident orchestra was very good as was the dance band. All in all we found the entertainment to be low key and not to our taste. Some of the sea day lectures were good though, as was the planetarium. Shore excursions were robbery but they are everywhere. The price of drinks was also robbery but we have seen worse, can't remember where. In the end we were glad to get home. Would we cruise Cunard again? Highly unlikely. For the life of me I can't see any evidence of a White Star experience, perhaps it's reserved for the grills? As for us we will continue cruising but methinks we will body swerve Cunard in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Whilst this ship - like its sister ship Queen Victoria - is well-designed and its public areas spacious and artistically decorated, Cunard’s failings are the way it treats its passengers both on board and at ports of call. ... Read More
Whilst this ship - like its sister ship Queen Victoria - is well-designed and its public areas spacious and artistically decorated, Cunard’s failings are the way it treats its passengers both on board and at ports of call. Cost-cutting on food and services has resulted in a deterioration of standards over the years. Coupled with rip-off prices on drinks and tours it is no longer the leading cruise line of years gone by and certainly does not give value for money. My wife and I have been on many cruises on all Cunard Queens. This was our sixth on Queen Elizabeth but our first in its Britannia restaurant. We decided the food served in the Club and Grills restaurants - which the brochure describes as the “finest food” - was simply not worth the high extra cost. And, though the brochure states food in the Britannia restaurant is “superb”, we found that it was unsatisfactory. Over the years, food has become of poorer quality, the quantity has been reduced and its presentation unappetising - except for the extra-charge Verandah restaurant. Several times we ate in the self-service Lido and the Verandah. Even fish and chips in the Golden Lion pub were far better than the similarly described meal in the Britannia - where only 4 chips accompanied the fish. Complaints on board the ship and, in the past, directly to Cunard management have had no effect. The midships balcony cabin we occupied could not be described as roomy but the main problem was the small size of the bathroom. We booked a cabin with shower but the moulded-plastic shower cubicle was the smallest we have ever experienced, being only 70cm wide and 58cm deep. It was not possible to bend down in it to pick up the fallen soap so it was a case of having to step out of the cubicle to recover it. The cost of drinking water in the cabin was $4.54 for a 1.5 litre bottle - about 10 times the price in a UK supermarket. The mark-up on retail prices of wine was about 300%. Malacca was said to be the ships ‘maiden call’ there. I hope it will be the last. It became clear Cunard had not done sufficient work to eliminate the major problem which arose. Arrival time was listed as 8am and departure 5pm. The ship anchored a long way from the port and passengers were advised to allow 45 minutes for the tender journey. It appeared there were not enough tenders to do the job and some local pleasure boats were also used to take passengers ashore. An announcement was that there some delay in the tendering operation so my wife and I left it till 11am to collect a tender ticket from the Queens Room. Hundreds of people were waiting there for a tender. We were told it was unlikely we would get a tender before 12 noon. At 12.45 it was announced a ticket was no longer required. As it had taken at least 4 hours to get passengers ashore, we considered, in view of the sail-away time, it would not be worth going ashore. Many other passengers were of the same mind and were angry. Later, the captain apologised for the shambles stating it was due to the port authority (we did not have the authority’s version) and passengers who had been unable to go on their tours would get their money back. Whatever the problem was, it should have been sorted out by Cunard before Malacca was specified in the itinerary. If the problem could not be solved the ship should have gone elsewhere. A similar planning failure occurred in Colombo where a tour highlight was a visit to the cathedral. When we arrived there it was closed. At Penang a shuttle bus was provided from the ship to a shopping mall but some passengers were told a charge of $6 would be made for a single journey. At Colombo a shuttle bus was provided by the port authority from the ship to the dock gate and a handicraft shop. At Port Victoria, Seychelles the ship berthed within walking distance of the town and at Port Louis, Mauritius a limited service was provided to a shopping area - limited, we were told, due to taxi drivers’ opposition. On this latter service, the small buses used would not have complied with UK bus regulations. Small, ‘occasional’ seats attached to each pair of seats folded down onto the gangway and thus completely blocked the gangway. Not only that, but their small, hard backrest was completely unsuitable for the age group on this cruise. At Réunion we docked at a container port 9 miles from the island’s capital St. Denis. A shuttle bus was provided but it did not take passengers north to St. Denis but to Gilles les Bains, a coastal development, 15 miles to the south. It was little more than a boat marina with cafes; lots of concrete steps; and a beach nearby. Completely inappropriate for passengers with an average minimum age of at least 65. Passengers could go to St. Denis on a Cunard tour which cost $79 each or take a taxi. A similar situation arose at Port Elizabeth where a shuttle bus took passengers from the container port where we docked to the Boardwalk Shopping Centre to the south of the city centre. A Cunard tour of Port Elizabeth was priced at $71 each. I asked a senior crew member why shuttle buses were now taking passengers to shopping centres instead of city centres - as they used to do - and he said it was a “commercial advantage” for Cunard. The only open, forward-facing deck on the ship from which passengers could take photos and video was still closed off. It is at the forward end of deck 9 and accessed through the fitness centre. Until 2016 it was open to passengers but was then kept locked even though the doors, port and starboard, are labelled ‘Emergency Exit’. No credible explanation has been given for this situation. Now a ‘Crew Only’ label has been attached to the door ! Photo attached. Who has ever heard of an emergency exit being confined to crew ? What about the passengers ? Does every member of the crew have a key for the locked doors ? The ship’s dress code is that men should wear a jacket after 6pm. If a person wants to dress more casually he can dine in the Lido and relax in the adjacent Garden Lounge, says Cunard. However, we saw men allowed into the Britannia restaurant for dinner not wearing a jacket and, on formal nights, wearing a casual sports jacket or blazer and grey trousers. At evening performances in the theatre many men were in short-sleeved shirts with no jacket. Clearly the dress code is not enforced and, consequently, non-compliance will get worse. So what is the point in having it ? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without ... Read More
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without a shore day. Cunard operates the most formal type of cruise, of all cruise lines. Every dinner is dressy, one night formal and three nights informal (jacket required) without a casual night. This appeals to some cruisers, as the experience is akin to Titanic days. Cunard aims to provide the old 'white star' service and on Cunard if this is not perfectly achieved it does convey the good old time atmosphere. This is the first time I cruised on Queen Elizabeth (having cruise twice and 33 days on QM2 the last two years) and I like the ship almost as much. It is a beautiful ship in Art Deco style. The simple Britannia cabin was not bad, having tea making facility not found on most ships. The dinner service is formal and the food is good for a big ship (though Cunard price is higher than other big ships). Restaurant service is professional. The buffet is very good and there was a great display of Easter eggs on the Sunday night. The buffet lasts until 2am. If not luxury (if not on Grill) it is premium. Activities include the acclaimed Queens Room high tea in the traditional manner, and its ballroom dances...all these you do not find in other ships. It is a very civilized ship that even has a book shop on it. It was a good short transit, and while I took only a small segment, it gives me the impression that if I were to take a full world cruise Cunard would be my choice. The ship somewhat achieve a combination of big ship facility with an air of intimacy. Staff courtesy was good except my chamber maid evicted me from my cabin at exactly 8:30, and I note that she evicted everyone in my row of cabins while not working on the rooms...the next embarkation is the next day. Another hiccup was that it took 2 hours to embark a mere few hundred from Hong Kong, probably due to the land agent. Overall I was happy on this shortest cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
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