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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It has to be said, we were apprehensive about the way Cunard is expressed as being for the upper class, the snobs and the like. well there are a few on board, but the vast majority were like you and me, worried hard for what we have and ... Read More
It has to be said, we were apprehensive about the way Cunard is expressed as being for the upper class, the snobs and the like. well there are a few on board, but the vast majority were like you and me, worried hard for what we have and want to enjoy the fruits, as we grow older and being aware.... there are no pockets in a shroud and no safe in the coffin. The ease on which you board the ship in Southampton, is foremost. 20 minute's... your on and sorted. The first impression's are of it being dark and old fashioned, but believe me, this will soon grow on you. it is comfortable, cosy, in splendid art deco style and this ship has style by the bucket. The staff from the first step on board, are very, extremely curious. From the very first ,moment, everyone says hello, and it is not felt to be false. The rooms are small, same as all cruise ships, but these ships are Liners, not cruise. they cut through he water, the hull being designed to cut water, Blue Water! not sheltered sea's. Those who boat on the water will know. A small sailing craft will cut through the water, a small cruiser will need so much more power to make the same speed and efficient passage, therefore far more fuel efficient. I did not like the smoke she emitted at sea, but the fuel was visibly changed when near port. Back to the room's.... A much larger than average bed, memory foam and comfortable. The bed cover, in their coat of arms gives the right appeal and class of the company. It is not cheap and tacky, but refined and clearly announcing it is a Queen amongst ships. The bed pillows are pure class and comfortable, the welcoming half bottle of Champagne, a nice way to ease you into the Cunard scene and way of looking after you in style. Yes I liked it, but boy, how it grows on you! dining. Self service or waiter, from the first level into their dinning, at Red card ( first time clients) the Lido self serve experience is less fussy as to how you are dressed, and the food is (and i do not say this lightly) Excellent with a capital 'E'! No matter how fussy an eater you are, there is something to set you an happy dinning experience! On the ONLY REAL NEGATIVE! There is no drinks package! Wine packages, yes, but no all round package! Cunard could do worse than see how this basic to mid range package is run so successively as to try it on an MSC ship! It makes the cruise, and the ship money, but mostly, it en-hances the dinning and social experience. There is one other small negative, we found, but many commented on, throughout the ship at Lunch and Dinner. Broken by two good acts from off-board acts, the ships singers , can't sing! that may be cruel, but the one young lady had a terrific voice at and on certain songs, but screamed on others! ear peircingly. The standard was not good enough for such a ship, though it has to be said the shows were energetic, if poorly performed. but with Jugglers and a decent comic, plus a really good humorous classic 4 piece string quartet, were excellent and a joy to watch! Again Cunard should take an MSC cruise and see how to enthral their passengers, 9at least, that is our experience on 5 cruises and one other is booked for Cir-du Solie in early 2019. But! it has to be said, we will return time and again to Cunard. Once experienced, all others fall into the lower experience levels of excellence. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Brittania sheltered balcony #5151, starboard side (sunny side!) with late seating. From the great sail away at front of top deck (best place to be), holding your breath as QM2 sneaks under VNB to disembarking at Southampton, it was ... Read More
Brittania sheltered balcony #5151, starboard side (sunny side!) with late seating. From the great sail away at front of top deck (best place to be), holding your breath as QM2 sneaks under VNB to disembarking at Southampton, it was one of those special crossings where everything aligned. Pods of pilot whales, flying fish and dolphins chasing the ship, above average food in Brittania and King's Court, the pleasure of 3 great Canyon Ranch spas and one acupuncture treatment (I'm a spa cruiser), solid entertainment options (though I didn't go there), the highlight of the week, as it tends to be with all crossings, was beautiful sunny weather, calm seas and wonderful staff dispositions. Only reason I didn't judge it a 5 is because I think there's always more that can be done... eg. greater hot options in King's Court and opening Brittania on departure day in first come, first served style. Still, it was a great Cunard moment from which I'll have nice memories. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
In late 2018 we waited to find another amazing bargain on an off-season trip on Cunard from Barcelona to Southampton. Given the increased demand for cruises, this was not to be. The backup plan was to re-create the original idea for our ... Read More
In late 2018 we waited to find another amazing bargain on an off-season trip on Cunard from Barcelona to Southampton. Given the increased demand for cruises, this was not to be. The backup plan was to re-create the original idea for our honeymoon over 30 years ago, a transatlantic cruise. Prices were decent on Queen Mary 2 crossings and frequent flyer miles /points could be used for flights and a Manhattan hotel as the school holidays were mostly over. Cunard requires or at least celebrates formal attire and dressing up, so for that one needs baggage. The New York yellow cabs in the form of small Nissan vans are ideal for jumbo suitcases. The cab to the Holiday Inn Flatiron from LGA was around $50 and the same from the hotel to the ship. After reading many postings online, we jumped in the cab right after hotel check-out at 11 and arrived at the Red Hook Cruise Terminal at noon. We were aboard and unpacking our checked luggage in our stateroom by 12:45. I tracked down several senior hotel officers at the welcome reception and thanked them personally for this amazing effort. The secret on the speedy luggage delivery was later revealed by one of the waiters – a draft of crew from other departments helps to expedite the ship turnaround and bag delivery. Once aboard the Golden Lion Pub did not disappoint. I am still slowly working my way down the beer list aboard, and a Jaipur IPA was a good choice. I managed over the week to try most of the excellent lunch choices. I started trying to decide between the fish and chips and the chicken tikka but ended up on the ploughman’s platter with the duck mousse, ham, chutney and an excellent soft bun. A glance at the program for embarkation day revealed ballroom dancing with the live orchestra was at 8:30, which was also the time of our dinner seating. We are early dinner people and the reported 260 person wait list and notice in the program and signs to not try to seek early dining were not encouraging. Buffets seem unsanitary and remind me of a school cafeteria no matter how classy they are. We are not steak people either, so Veranda was out (they had a six only week trial of a steakhouse menu) but the Italian alternative option – La Piazza -up in the buffet area ($14.50 on sale) seemed fine. They set up tablecloths and the china and the buffet wait staff did a credible job of providing fine dining for us. I had a shrimp and scallops entrée that was well prepared. The way to arrange early MDR seating if it is utterly sold out is to wait a day, then ask kindly for the dining room leadership to sort out a temporary place. The no-show rate is significant for assigned dinner places. You can also start a self-important rant as one woman we know did but that seems tacky. The dancing was good. The dance floor seemed smaller (or perhaps wider and shorter) than the one on Queen Victoria or even the NCL Breakaway. We loved the orchestra (seven pieces and a skilled vocalist). Dances included foxtrot, waltz and rumba. They would mix in a jive and quickstep and play also recorded sequence dances on the band breaks. Note a metronome as in use by the band leader. We were counting noses on the dance staff and came up short. There is usually a ranked dance couple aboard along with the hosts and hostesses. There was apparently last-minute incident involving the scheduled dance couple. The lead dancers from the theater filled in – the lessons were just right. I despise in room refrigerators and the one on our deck five sheltered balcony cabin tortured me. Every 32.8 seconds it cycled, ran a bit then shut off. I called the front desk and they came out to fix it. After a new motor it now cycled every 40 seconds. Our cabin attendant, Nancy, got wind of this and agreed to have it unplugged. In the cabin you get a real teapot and plenty of outlets. The drawer pulls are pretty but useless as reported. They had a blissful limit to piped in music and announcements broadcast over the PA- even on the morning of departure. Britannia dining was hit and miss. Several of us mentioned looking at the main dining room menus and the published-online “French” one for Verandah and being baffled as to what some of it was. The idea of mixing salads and starters on the menu was unusual. One of our table mates was surprised to see the fish course was fried with chips. It got better over the week- for those wanting lobster tails at no extra charge those were served the last formal night. The service was flawless. We had a lovely discussion over breakfast on Morocco with our fellow passengers (a trip on my bucket list) which is a feature of Cunard. The morning breakfast large tables never failed to produce fascinating conversation. The lectures were interesting- I am a bit of a cruise ship/liner historian and one of the retired staff – Maureen Ryan (who is a rock star brand ambassador) - from the Queen Mary and QE2 gave a stirring several first person account of life aboard. The idea of second seating dining continued to bother me until it was pointed out that the clocks were to be set on hour later five times during the cruise at noon. So, after a while, late seating got earlier and earlier by our body clocks. And the band started at 9:45 after the first days. The only line all week was to enter the tea dance, which was well executed. We peeked in at one show – it was dancing – but a bit stylized for us. Cunard has onboard boxing rings- the guest laundries. If you chose to join the fray, don’t wander off after your washing is done as there is keen competition for washers and dryers. On the other hand, lost socks were politely placed in the basket. We had lovely mild weather all week- calm seas and Force 2-3 winds. This is apparently more common in summer – and Force 10 winds and matching storm driven waves are not unheard of in January as an example. The aft pool is a must have feature. There was still a bit of grousing about the cost of single cabins aboard- they at least have some. There were reportedly more than 300 single passengers aboard. The new spaces post drydock are attractive – I would have found a way to make the Britannia dining room and the dance floor larger, the rest of the ship layout seems sensible. There was not a trace of smoke from the modest casino or anyplace else on board, except, sensibly, the after outside teak deck, downwind. Several of the public rooms, such as the disco (G32) were quite stunning. And of course, the best feature, the wrap around promenade desk, was in constant use. The only real gap all week was the Edwardian Internet- the Connexons Internet Center was ground zero for angry guests and those filled with stress and worry about slowness, application access and the ancient logout.com feature not working. Cunard needs to a invest a little here in more satellite dishes- reliable Internet is as important to their guests as say tea or scones these days. On Saturday around 11am, it took exactly 50 minutes to download a 79.2-megabyte file. This is also a crossing not a cruise and historically, captains of industry dictated memos and managed business affairs by letter (and later telephone) all along. The days flew by. By the time we realized this it was Friday afternoon- and there was a good trade at the onboard booking office. My four novels, three movies and one (the shame of it) business book were finished. And life was good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Marking off another bucket list trip (transatlantic) our RT QM2 cruise couldn't have been any better (well maybe that's a bit of a stretch as there is room to improve). 14 days of no stress, being pampered, eating, nice accommodations, ... Read More
Marking off another bucket list trip (transatlantic) our RT QM2 cruise couldn't have been any better (well maybe that's a bit of a stretch as there is room to improve). 14 days of no stress, being pampered, eating, nice accommodations, entertainment and of course, more eating, is what cruising should all about. A few thoughts of our first Cunard experience (though not our first cruise, this one marks number 23). Embarkation (NY): we arrived 1:30ish about an hour before our stated embarkation time. Got through security quick enough with very little wait. The queue to check took us about 30 to 40 minutes. Interesting enough, the line for the priority check had about the same wait time. I would not have been a happy camper if I was in that line. Check in process was efficient. Going straight to our room, a mini-miracle - luggage was already there. High marks for the start of this journey. Room: 5098 (Deck 5, sheltered balcony). Larger than most balcony rooms we've had on other ships, King size bed, nice mattress, with a fluffy comforter which would have come in use if the weather was a bit colder. Pillows were not the best. Plenty of storage space under bed for suitcases, large enough closet, safe and drawers. Had to ask for robes but delivered on second day. Mini-fridge stocked but not used. Ice refilled twice a day. Balcony is deeper than most and like the sense of privacy you get with the sheltered balcony. Had two chairs that can recline and a small table. If tall enough you can see over the railing. Stateroom Service: our steward (Rhoderick) greated us promptly, kept the room in good order and never missed a beat in keeping me well stocked with bath towels. Called us by name and never saw him doing anything but smiling. Actually the entire staff was exceptionally friendly and polite throughout the ship. Food: The make/break for many cruisers. Had early seating in Brittania for dinner. Always found something to eat. No problems with the 'specials' asked for (baked potato each meal, plate of tomatoes and cucumbers w/o dressing). Portions were on the smaller side which helped not overdo it. The chocolate on this cruise actually tasted like chocolate. Way to go Cunard. Breakfast and lunch done in King's Court (actually sat in Chef's Galley as easier to find seats and near the best fries onboard the ship). Breakfast fare was typical buffet stuff. Lunch had some variety one of which (served once on each crossing) was German wurst. Best lunch on board any cruise ship ever. Burgers were a bit tasteless. Hot dogs were good. Pizza wasn't. Pasta bar was always good. Entertainment: Plenty of things to do. Some very good guest lecturers. Not impressed with the Fashion Week stuff, just not an interest. Planetarium was pretty boring. If you want to see what it's about wait until mid-cruise as everyone rushes to grab tickets on day one and two. Evening shows were hot/cold. The dancers were ok, ship singers were pretty bad. The guest stars were pretty good. Shore excursion: Spent our partial day on land between the B2B on an excursion to Winchester, UK. Would have liked it to be a couple of hours longer and would recommend doing it on your own rather than take the ship excursion. Disembarkation: best ever. Did self assist. Off ship at 7am, breeze through passport control (well had a bit of a wait as the biometric visa process for our visiting friends from some countries is a bit temperamental), and grabbed cab by 7:15am. Overall: Cunard does it right. Sure not perfect, but the little things that didn't go as planned (i.e. some of the more popular talks could have used a larger room) didn't detract from the overall experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I chose this cruise to avoid jet lag on a return from vacation. I had sailed QM2 previously and really enjoyed it. I have recently been travelling on Regent and wanted something comparable so I booked a Queens Grill cabin. I have been ... Read More
I chose this cruise to avoid jet lag on a return from vacation. I had sailed QM2 previously and really enjoyed it. I have recently been travelling on Regent and wanted something comparable so I booked a Queens Grill cabin. I have been on approximately 35 cruises so am not new to the experience. Overall the experience was really nice. The cabin was huge and the butler (Vishal) was great and very attentive. The food in the Queens Grill was excellent and the service good but not quite 5 star (I shouldn't have to ask at every meal to have my water glass refilled). Embarkation was really smooth and we were some of the first on the ship which was nice. No champagne to greet you (although there was a bottle in the cabin) and you find your own way to the cabin. The food in Kings court was good despite some of the bad reviews I have read on here. Not really sure what some of the people are complaining about and I also found the staff there attentive. So why not 5 stars? When you look at the total value for this level cabin it is not there. I was paying a total of $2,000 per day (for two people) and really felt nickel and dimed to death. Internet was $89 and works but is slow. To use just the whirlpool and sauna another $105 per person for five days. Drink in the lounges are comparable to most bars but should be complimentary at this price point (ok - just charge me a service charge). For the masquerade ball (which was fun) we came across a crew member handing out masks. My initial thought was how nice - they want everyone in the spirit - so lets grab two. I did and they were $15 a piece for a $2 dollar mask. I left the ship owing another $1,100 in drinks and extras that in my mind should have been included. One other issue Cunard needs to address is the lack of activities. Most of them seem to revolve around selling you something (Canon Ranch seminar, Omega seminar, etc). Ringing the bell in the lobby at noon is not an activity. Trivia is fun but only 30 minutes. Had I not played backgammon, I would have been bored out of my mind (my travel mate was!). The disco is not really a disco. They played music from the 80-90's that was not really danceable. I am from Miami and they need to come and listen to the regular radio stations for some dance music. I dont think I heard a single song newer than 2010 or so. I asked for one song played in Miami for well over a year - sorry - not on the playlist. This voyage was $14,000 for 7 days plus another $1,100 in extras. A seven day on Regent would run much less and include - literally - everything. I hope this is not seen as total criticism because I did have a good time but there is definitely room for improvement. Make everything at the Queens Grill level complimentary as it should be. Am I glad I did it? Yes. Would I pay for Queens Grill again? Not unless they up the value proposition. I would likely go Britannia Club and keep the extra in pocket. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Visiting norway and iceland Again Queen Elizabeth has technical problems : can‘ t therefore landing in Isjafordur. Excursions are cancelled; yesterday night the ship could‘t drive all the time with her max. speed, so ... Read More
Visiting norway and iceland Again Queen Elizabeth has technical problems : can‘ t therefore landing in Isjafordur. Excursions are cancelled; yesterday night the ship could‘t drive all the time with her max. speed, so we had a delay in Akureyi. I remember my cruising by QE 2 years ago: in St. Petersburg we could‘t depart; by the way: it has been the same captain Why cunard is not able to remove the known technical problems? I hope they will solve theses problems to the next cruise we have booked with Queen Elizabeth in may 2019: from yokohama towards alaska and to vancouver. I ithink cunard requires too much of this ship. Captain says that we shall have understanding for her decision. This will be difficult because things repeat. Summery: crew- specially in restaurants, bars, on deck and the butler in the staterooms is very courteous and friendly. The german hostess sometimes was arrogant and complacent. The (english) travel tours hostess rattled off the explanation of the trips. Dining in Queens Grill had been excellent; cabin was luxurious and calm. We will return and hope that technical problems will be solved. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
A real dissapointment the food was awful .The trips dreadful.The rep on.Hamburg highlight tour bus 4 was upsetting and no apology even when we were.told we would.get one !.The tender to.shore at Elisinore was joke. No way of getting ... Read More
A real dissapointment the food was awful .The trips dreadful.The rep on.Hamburg highlight tour bus 4 was upsetting and no apology even when we were.told we would.get one !.The tender to.shore at Elisinore was joke. No way of getting back into see Oslo again otherwise the tour bus only stopped for 30mins at Ski jump .The food was the worst we have ever had awful in fact. Even the shows were not that good .what happened to the standards on this ship if this ship is the fleets top.ship.its a joke and not at all what we expected.We even.had rubbish in.our canin.wardrobe when we.arrived. The dancing class was the only above standard item on.this.ship.we.had saiked on.Queen Elizabeth and thought.this ship.would be the same.no no not in.a.milion years. The lifeboat drill.was a farce.a.complete farce .Tge crew did not even.check that they were even done up correctly,I would have thought this check was vital Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We always felt that this was going to be a pigs ear of a cruise. It started somewhat inauspiciously when we headed through blinding torrential rain along the M27, heading for our usual Dock Gate 4. Suddenly my wife caught a fleeting ... Read More
We always felt that this was going to be a pigs ear of a cruise. It started somewhat inauspiciously when we headed through blinding torrential rain along the M27, heading for our usual Dock Gate 4. Suddenly my wife caught a fleeting glimpse of a roadside sign saying Queen Mary 2 was berthed at Dock Gate 8. As I glanced to my right I saw the ship so we made a hasty turn and headed for the correct berth. We subsequently found that the berth was changed at the last minute and details were posted on the personaliser but having filled in all the details weeks before sailing I saw no reason to check the night before. Now for the cruise - was it one cruise, two cruises or three? Various members of staff gave us varying answers. It was, to us, initially a nine-day cruise from Southampton to Hamburg, Elsinore, Oslo and back to Hamburg, before returning to Southampton. Simple? Hardly! Our first two days seemed to be in limbo but then we realised we were joining the ship at the end of a transatlantic crossing from New York to Hamburg. At Hamburg the majority of passengers disembarked and we took on many more Germans, making them the largest group on board. We then embarked on a five-day cruise proper. We were allocated our table for dinner - no surprise as it was the same one we were allocated at Southampton. The five day cruise ended and we then embarked on a two-cruise to Southanpton which also happened to be the start of a transatlantic crossing from Hamburg to New York. The QM2 is our favourite ship and we have spent many happy days on board but for a variety of reasons (mainly the big C) we have been unable to take a voyage since the big refurbishment and we wanted to see the new-look ship. Verdict? Main difference is the Kings Court and the new Carinthia lounge. The former, we found even more of a works canteen, the latter we thought a big improvement. Now for the nitty gritty. Food - we thought food in the Kings Court was superb, both quality and variety. Breakfast, as always, is a scramble but eventually you can find a table and it was worth the wait. Lunch was remarkable for the variety of dishes. Dinner in the Brittania was a big improvement on previous trips, mainly because the food was hot as opposed to lukewarm. The choice, we felt, was not great and there were nights when thrre was nothing on the menu to suit us. Entertainment. The poorest we have ever experienced on any Cunard ship - no afternoon recitals, piano, guitar etc. Evening shows not to our taste mainly catering to those who prefer the old variety theatre - magicians, jugglers, high wire acrobatic acts etc. Add to that a Beatles tribute band who concentrated on early Beatles numbers and that was it - apart from the ever present Appassionata and that was it. Port visits were mixed. We stayed on board for our first visit to Hamburg, choosing to get off on the return. Our decision to get off by tender at Elsinore proved more difficult than we envisaged. On our first foray to the Grand Lobby at around 9.45 we found hundreds waiting to get off; a quick word with the man in charge saw us return an hour later, to find even bigger crowds - we were advised to return later but we admitted defeat and stayed on board. Oslo proved an easier destination as did Hamburg the second time _ though we did query the need to park the shuttle bus just north of Cologne (or so it seemed!) Summing up this is not the sort of cruise we would contemplate again but we shall be back on the QM2 next year and in he meantime their is the Queen Elizabeth waiting for us in six weeks time. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was chosen for several reasons, it fitted in with our family routine, my grandad cruised on the original Queen Mary and I have said one day I will experience the Cunard way of life and that I knew that we would see the 3 Queens ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for several reasons, it fitted in with our family routine, my grandad cruised on the original Queen Mary and I have said one day I will experience the Cunard way of life and that I knew that we would see the 3 Queens together. The embarkation was very slick once we were at the correct terminal as our E ticket stated that we were to start from the Ocean Terminal ( luckily we were early and had time to get to the correct place) Sail away was something special as the 3 Queens went 3 abreast down the Solent and then the Red Arrows put on a fantastic display when you could see it as they were flying into the setting sun at times. This was an unusual cruise to us as the first port of call was Hamburg were there were some passengers disembarked and some embarked to go on further. The sail away was different as the ship decked out with blue lights as were the small boats that went so far down the river Elbe with us. This is something that happens twice a year with the blue light. The next port of call was Elsignor Denmark where the ship anchored off shore and used the tenders to get us ashore. We went with a guide on a walking tour of the town and the castle. The lady who did the tour did as so at very leisurely pace which was good if you stopped to photo something you had time to catch up with every one. The next port was Oslo where we did our own thing of exploring as we had been here before. Then it was back to Hamburg where again there was a lot of coming and going of passengers. As we had done a tour earlier we opted for the free shuttle bus into town. Our cabin was very clean and comfortable and we had to remark on how very little we could hear our neighbours. We opted for the late dining and got a table for two with only one other table for two next to us which was occupied by two French gentlemen of who we got a good rapport with them. The two waiters were brilliant right from our first night they welcomed us with our surnames and they had a very good sense of humor. The food was fantastic well presented and well cooked how ever we asked for it. The shows were very varied but the only gripe we had was after the show had started there were several people coming in and disturbing those already seated at one stage there were some entering with only 5 mins to the end how rude!!! All in all we enjoyed this beautiful ship and the very smooth cruise thank you Cunard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Two cruises back to back were chosen for the itinerary and no other line seemed to cover the majority of our bucket list in the Baltic and Norway Fjords. The cruise did meet our itinerary expectations and the weather was on the whole very ... Read More
Two cruises back to back were chosen for the itinerary and no other line seemed to cover the majority of our bucket list in the Baltic and Norway Fjords. The cruise did meet our itinerary expectations and the weather was on the whole very conducive to touring each area. The ship was as we expected and sadly no better than we expected. Cunard has a strong positive and that is the staff on board Queen Victoria. The staff focus on customer service has definitely improved since our Queen Elizabeth 35 days last year. Without the wonderful staff the Cunard experience would be unbearable. The food reminded many of school dinners. So that means stoggy and greasy and bland. The menu was only a 2 week cycle. So for our second cruise we knew exactly what was on each night. Last year on Elizabeth the menu was more interesting and tasty and the cycle was much greater. The on board evening entertainment was more suited to the local bowlo. The cruise director spent the majority of her time chatting to her family who happened to be on board. Daytime activities were fine if you are in to Bingo. Might as well have been a Resident in a Nursing Home. Definitely not to a standard that one expected from Cunard. Room service menu was disgraceful and now there is a charge if you want a steak or a cheese platter. Room service food was totally unacceptable. Would we suffer another Cunard cruise ...... no way,not even if a good itinerary. Not good value. Not enjoyable and not to be repeated. Read Less
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