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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: January 2019
Very disappointed certainly not what we expected. Our embarkation at Southampton was the worst one I have ever experienced and I have cruised since the 70's. Our cabin was ok. Can't say we were very happy with our cabin steward ... Read More
Very disappointed certainly not what we expected. Our embarkation at Southampton was the worst one I have ever experienced and I have cruised since the 70's. Our cabin was ok. Can't say we were very happy with our cabin steward we were in cabin 525. The day before we were due to arrive in Haffia Richard told us we must be out of the cabin before 11-30 other wise it wouldn't be serviced he was going to Jerusalem for the day. We hardly ever had spare toilet rolls or tissues. The food was very disappointing, also the service, the head waiter would come to ask if everything was alright before looking to see that it certainly wasn't . Didn't feel the atmosphere was a very happy one. The Captain certainly seemed a very nice person. The entertainment on the second night was absolutely dreadful, it was the ships entertainment team, so very loud and not appropriate for the age group that was on board. Thought the ports of call visited were badly planned Sunday Cadiz, Friday, Saturday Haffia, no public transport or anything open on Friday? Certainly didn't like 2 sittings for dinner. Shall I be sailing on another Cunard ship, definitely not. Sailed on Regal Princess October 2018 what a joy that was, absolutely perfect, such a difference.. Definitely seen a change in cruising over the years, but sadly not for the better, for one thing different class of people, lower standards. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service ... Read More
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service seemed to be a burden on crew. Our cabin steward was the exception. Smaller than Phone booth size showers drove many to use showers in the fitness center. Balcony ok for two. Glass and rails were cleaned twice. Entertainment and lecture series outstanding. Am now on Oceania Nautica where food quality and presentation are far superior. The Brits seemed to like and praise the food but we could not. Stewards pushed guests aside with service carts in the buffet line. They had no other path to transport clean or used tableware. Paper napkins in the buffet at night are not in step with the smart dress code requested. Maybe the Queen is intended as transportation rather than cruising. It does that well at 22+ knots. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
The cruise was chosen as a means of picking up the Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. This review does not try to compare the small premium Oceania ship with the four/ five star QE. We have traveled with the Queen Victoria previously. ... Read More
The cruise was chosen as a means of picking up the Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. This review does not try to compare the small premium Oceania ship with the four/ five star QE. We have traveled with the Queen Victoria previously. Comparing our previous Cunard experience there were noticeable differences. Menus have been seriously reduced. There was always something to our liking and it was well cooked and presented. We were definitely not spoilt for choice. What happened to the cheese trolley? A couple of times we had lunch in the Golden Lion pub. The food served there was very good pub grub worthy of the best country pub. Well done Cunard for maintaining the formal nights. Four were about correct for this length of cruise. There were ample day time activities but the evenings were dire. String ensembles, light opera and a comedian who has been using the same material for years. Oh and a juggler. Make your own mind up about that. The big, big problem with the theatre was the volume of the music/ performance. It truly did hurt at times. Summing up. If Cunard wish to continue calling themselves a five star experience they need to start getting it all right all of the time. Bring back a proper cheese board in the main dining room, please, it's what good restaurants do. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise as an opportunity to visit some places we’d never seen and get away from a grey British winter. Cunard has a problem. They seem to be massively popular with the over 75s but leave the ‘younger pensioner’ ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an opportunity to visit some places we’d never seen and get away from a grey British winter. Cunard has a problem. They seem to be massively popular with the over 75s but leave the ‘younger pensioner’ wondering whether they really care. The entertainment is poor, comedians that have struggled to leave 1973 behind, lectures about the lives of singers my Nan adored (and I’m 61!), the Golden Lion pianist did what he had to do for the money - an endless stream of 50s classics (he did slip in a Radiohead number at one point which, I suspect, was as refreshing to him as it was to me), jugglers, magicians etc. etc. I understand that Cunard don’t wish to turn their older base away but at sometime they will have to cater for us newer retirees. We’ve been brought up on Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Ben Elton and Steve Coogan. OK, so I don’t expect to see Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend belting out ‘My Generation’ on the Queen Elizabeth but maybe a tribute band or two would go a long way. The funniest comedian on this trip was one of the Entertainment Team, Laura, a brilliantly humorous lady who, when she’s on a roll, had her audiences crying with laughter. Learn from her Cunard, we won’t be happy with beige offerings going forward. The food was average compared to other cruises and the Britannia Restuarant lacked character. We didn’t like the 2 set dining times of 6 (too early) or 8.30 (too late), anytime dining would have suited us better. The staff, though, at all times were professional, attentive and friendly. Drinks were crazily overpriced which, I guess, was good for our livers but left us wondering how much more they would sell if prices were taken down a notch or two (other cruise lines prices are cheaper). We didn’t take any excursions as they looked over priced but, to be fair, that apples to all cruise companies. We did have a couple of bad experiences with their shuttle service in particular in Cape Town - the last shuttle back to the boat was scheduled for 8pm so we got to the pick up area at 7.30. By 8.10 pm no bus arrived so we were forced to walk at great speed back to the boat just making the 8.30 ‘all aboard’ time. We complained heavily to the customer service desk who said they would talk to the shuttle company and come back to us. Of course no one ever did get back to us. Are Cunard terrible? No, that would be unfair, but they are distinctly mediocre. In insisting on several formal nights and high tea in the Queens Room they give a veneer of ‘higher quality’ but, beneath this, it doesn’t really have that much to make you want to come back. But, their problem is that some of their older established customers clearly believe that they are sailing with the creme de la creme whilst the rest are a bit uninspired by the overall experience. How do they change to attract us younger oldies? Or do they even want to? Until they do change we’ll pass on Cunard. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our second in Queen Victoria. But the first since the 2017 alterations. Our reason was partly because the first was so good - not always the wisest reason - and the second because we wanted to get away. Embarkation at Mayflower ... Read More
This was our second in Queen Victoria. But the first since the 2017 alterations. Our reason was partly because the first was so good - not always the wisest reason - and the second because we wanted to get away. Embarkation at Mayflower Terminal, Southampton was flawless. No filling of health forms, no waiting on not so comfortable seats, straight to a check-in desk and on to the ship. I do not know why it was so quick, perhaps because we were latish for boarding. Be that as it may, by far the most efficient and fast. Our cabin on deck 4, with balcony was quite adequate, albeit the shower/toilet cubicle could hardly have been much smaller - significantly less than on our Brittany Ferry just a few hours before. But adequate overall, comfortable bed and well looked after by our steward whom, apart from initial contact, we never saw again. Deck 4 is I think at the lower end of cost structure, but the balconies are larger. Also closer to the theater and Britannia Restaurant levels. But a longish trek for the Lido self service, unless you take the lift. Eating at this catagory of cabin is at the Britannia Restaurant, either first or second sitting, for dining, which for us is either too early or too late, but that is the system. There is no freedom dining on Cunard unless you chose a specialty restaurant or a much more expensive catagory of cabin. There are now on Queen Victoria some very,very luxurious staterooms with restaurants to match, but we were never privileged to experience them. But the entertainment, such as it is, is common to all. Food, then, in the Britannia Restaurant is, for dinner, three courses. Quantity for us was ideal, but for some the portions are small. Quality and variety was on the whole good. Sometimes, very good. Waiter service was attentive skilful and courteous. On occasion however, our team was overpressed by having to deal with the cabin's table immediately alongside us. But overall, dinner was a pleasant experience, and for those careful of their weight, no great risk to it. As to drinks, we did not take any, simply because we live in France and the cost differential was just too great. The sommelier took this in good heart. Fort us, the disillusionment stemmed from the entertainment. This was a ten night cruise, with five sea days, and four ports of call. That results in a lot of time on board the ship. Filling that constructively and interestingly we found difficult. There were four guest speakers. Each was an expert in his given field - not always the case. Each we found interesting but others we spoke to did not. That is the risk. But in each case the lectures - Cunard call them Insight Lectures - were during the morning, often one after the other with just time to change the programme on the computer display machine. After that, for the rest of the day, there was a void until dinner time. So, on a cruise with several sea days, be careful to decide what you are going to do. With inclement weather at this time of year to be expected, you may have to amuse yourself. Reading a book brought from home may not be a memorable way of passing expensive days onboard. On the other hand, this ship has an impressive and extensive library. Evening entertainent: five singing and dancing shows, active but not elegant, with singing at the top of the voice And not the greatest at that. Apart from this, which is fine if you like it, there was one male entertainer, one female pianist who played with over panache apart from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue which she clearly loved, one ancient TV show star, and two French acrobats of outstanding ability. Apart from this there was a number of specific interest groups such as story writing, knitting, ipad instruction ( at a cost), gin tasting ( at more cost), and speciality groups which we did not recognise So a comfortable and quite elegant ship with, for us, not enough to do in it Excursion bookable through Cunard were predictable if you have been this way before, which many passengers had. One, the moonscape walk on Lanzarote was outstanding. One in GranCanaria was pleasant. One in Vigo which we wanted to go and booked, was cancelled through lack of take-up. Something which in our experience, happens quite often. Homework before you go may well lead you to local tours at far less cost. As well as cost, if booked, the excursion will go ahead, unless Cunard cancels it. Just as well, in the event, since Vigo was blessed with poor weather. If all else fails, take the Vigo ferry across the estuary. It runs every twenty minutes, costs 2 euros and is fun. If you like that sort of thing. At least close to the water and sometimes pretty rough. Disembarkation is by stateroom catagory, the most expensive first. At deck 4, we were the second to last catagory, but the buffet was open throughout, the table tennis freely available, and offloading the passengers well ahead of schedule, so quite painless. This is a ship which still looks like a ship, even though for some, the alterations to the tiered deck stern has spoilt its lines. If that is not important to you, that does not matter. Would we go on this ship again? Not unless it was something really special. As was our first trip the Lusitania centenary. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife & I have done many cruises over the last 10 years,And this has to be the the lower end of all we have done,If this had been our 1st it would have been our last,1 With CMV, 1 with Tui/Marella/Thomson,2 with Cunard & about 16 ... Read More
My wife & I have done many cruises over the last 10 years,And this has to be the the lower end of all we have done,If this had been our 1st it would have been our last,1 With CMV, 1 with Tui/Marella/Thomson,2 with Cunard & about 16 with P&O,The check in at Southampton was amazingly quick,15 mins from pulling up to cabin is the fastest we have ever experienced,After that it was nothing special,We were experiencing a banging noise outside our cabin,we did contact the pursers desk,the head deck steward did respond very quick,after 30 minutes or so,The desk phoned and said it was a faulty part on the deck above,deck 9 lido,and was required for operational purposes from 07:00 to 23:00 hrs.,They did give some compensation & ear plugs.We were hoping that the faulty part was going to be repaired or replaced at our 1st. stop,Madeira,but no it wasn't and we had to endure this noise for the whole of the Voyage.The there's the entertainment,Or lack of it,There was an illness with 1 of the theatre group,OK I can understand that the show had to be rearranged,so accepted that,but the rest was poor,Pat Patton the the Golden Lion EVERY night,not that good either,A Juggler on the theatre,Come on,we are not 10 year olds,There was 1 night they had a pianist in 3 different bars/venues at the same time,John Martin "comedian" seriously needs new material,He's been on cruise ships for years & is still using the sames gags,Keeps going on about being from Bootle,I thought Liverpool was full of comedians,John not one of them.Entertainments teams didn't mix with the passengers,Cunard like to call us guests,Equinox were good stuck up in the club,but that was empty,with no atmosphere,They did the Golden Lion one night & the Queens room on the last,both were rocking when they were there,I did tick the poor box on the feed back,And the Entertainment Director phoned my cabin & asked if I/We could have a talk about my poor comment,I felt like a naughty child being summonsed to the head teacher,But he was OK,Don't know the average age,We are both in our late 50s.,were very young compered to others,We mention this to the director that Cunard need to move with the times.and start looking after today's generation of cruisers and not who are in the latter years of life,He did seem a little shocked at that comment,But when he thought about it,knew what we meant,they need to rotate the entertainers,We were asked about a cigarette stump/butt on our balcony & we don't smoke, Everything else was great. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
it was our golden wedding anniversary and my wife wanted to go to new york. as i had spent 17 years working for american IT companies in europe and been to new york for a weekend some 38 years ago, i wasn't bothered. so i booked on ... Read More
it was our golden wedding anniversary and my wife wanted to go to new york. as i had spent 17 years working for american IT companies in europe and been to new york for a weekend some 38 years ago, i wasn't bothered. so i booked on the qm2 to go to new york and the caribbean. as expected the food in the britannia restaurant and the service was first class. the other features of the cruise showed that it was greatly overpriced. i am in a wheelchair so i booked an adapted cabin. this was very small. it was the smallest of all cabins on all of our 9 cruises, so far, and was only useable with the wheelchair, after our cabin steward removed some of the furniture. the entertainment was very like the curate's egg. the onboard song and dance company gave some of the worst shows i have ever seen. avoid new york unless you enjoy being forced to sit in US immigration sheds, even if you are not going into new york or any parts of the USA. as usual the weather in the caribbean was very nice. though the towns are not wheelchair friendly. lots of formal nights with the men dressed as penguins. i do not like formal nights. tried the buffet one night, to be informal. the food was below par. will not use cunard again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Hi. We just returned from November Ney York/ Carrabian this year Well this is a liner with no real identity.. and all the atmosphere of a lift not helped by the Choice of depressing pipped music all over the ship don’t forget this is ... Read More
Hi. We just returned from November Ney York/ Carrabian this year Well this is a liner with no real identity.. and all the atmosphere of a lift not helped by the Choice of depressing pipped music all over the ship don’t forget this is only my opinion and observations of being on other cruise lines. The Mary suffers from dated decor and some odd design features read on, our Statroom was on deck five near stare well B a good location for getting about the room itself was fine and well serviced by staff,. So first to Kings Court Buffet, but I must add that Hygene on entrance to Buffet is very poor often empty gel dispensers and no one at entrance to help, we found this at most places, surprising as I would have thought hygene paramount, the layout is very odd and poor with pods to sit in either side, and an isolated larger area further on but dull, you need to get a seat before you get your meal as it can be a long walk to seat, and you can’t generally see out as there are corridors very odd, and lacks atmosphere, the food was good and varied and as with all cruises plentiful, I would add the staff was brilliant and service very helpful. Britannia Restaurant Silver service was really good Breakfast and Dinner were excellent as was service, this is where QM2 scored well. And the Resaraunt is a lovely room. The Lounges generally were much the same not what we expected, just given different names, the Red Lion Pub for instance is just a boring lounge we only new we were in it it because there’s a sign outside the size of a postage stamp saying so? Cunard missed a big trick hear we were expecting a good old English Pub in the days of themed pubs and fit out,this just fails on any level, and they need to get some proper good old Piano Player Entertaininer type musicians in there to liven it up, The Entertainment is below average we found the general daily bands on board were mediocre and lacked fun and drive creating no atmosphere, some extremely dull..on that the whole ship lacks of any atmosphere at all there is no buzz of excitement or vitality so doesn’t feel alive. The Shows are ok but again lack sparkle not helped by a stage void of backdrops or few props the group are working hard but just lacks Showbiz. You do not see the dancers out about at any events or evenings, The Royal Court Theatre in must be the worst at sea, it’s like they bought some bench seats from a 70s pub in put them in, you have a job to find a seat where you can see the stage properly even in the gallery a very odd theatre and disappointed and dated. The Queens Room again is very dull and just lacks atmosphere on Gala or themed nights. The Illussions Theatre by contrast is exceptional good tiered seating fresh and bright, and must be the best Cineama at Sea with 3D Movies and a Plantatrium this venue is a plus for the ship, also a brilliant library. The Spa is overrated and expensive , we found unfriendly and a little Shabby save your money and use the Pavilion Pool. On that note the pool areas are very small you will end up sitting around the deck seats around deck 7 as you will not get near pools on sunny days. As with other Cruse Lines they all need to address Drinks are very expensive topped by a service charge, why anyone buys photos is beyond me at the staggering cost in today’s digital age, and and generally anything on board is way overpriced. Generally I wouldn’t say we had a bad trip the service and food is excellent, but this ship need a good Entertainment Director to get hold of it and transform its whole atmosphere, its crying out for a 30s40s style music to fit with decor, and lift its spirit, otherwise it’s just a floating Rest Home. As I say we enjoyed our trip and shore excisions sunshine etc were fun, we would not cruise with Cunard again as we found them dated and did not come away wowed. But Happy Cruising Have Fun and being at Sea is a great way to holiday Happy Days. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their ... Read More
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their offer this last summer to, effectively for free, include two nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square (room only – normally c300$ per night), plus transfers from JFK to the hotel and from the hotel on the 11th to the cruise terminal. You had to book by telephone or via a travel agent and not online. I insisted on an early morning flight for Friday 9th, this meaning we would have at least 50% of Friday in NY + all-day Saturday, rather than arriving late-pm US time as most did. We booked the cheapest inside cabin for this voyage as there is not much to see from a balcony but sea, mist, waves and rain at this time of the year. How did it all go? The flight was with BA leaving at 0830hrs UK time arriving in JFK c1100hrs US eastern time. BA actually supplied a decent breakfast and service was fine and flight ok. We pre-booked our seats and checked-in online before the flight. On exiting JFK Arrivals, we were met by two very nice Cunard reps’ who greeted us by our first names. It turned out we were the first two on the day of a 100+ total, but the only Cunard passengers on that flight. As a result, they had provided a taxi just for us and we were in our hotel room by 1pm – fantastic. Cunard have a desk in the hotel foyer, manned at certain times and later in the day we were able to confirm transfer times for the Sunday to the ship. Transfer to the ship? This was 100% fine at 1100hrs on the Sunday. Luggage was collected from rooms by porterage before departure, but we had to eyeball it before boarding the coach and likewise at the cruise terminal. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is basically a large shed with not much to commend it, but as Platinum Cunard World Club Members we bypassed the already mounting huge queues and were onboard by 1300hrs and the large cases arrived shortly afterwards. The cabin? We had 6209, which is an Inside on Deck 6 and as it so happens is directly under the so called ‘Chef’s Galley’ at the after end of the Kings Court Buffet on Deck 7. It is a smallish cabin, albeit with the usual shower and w/c etc., large double bed and sufficient storage space. Unfortunately, during the day one could hear from time to time, food trolleys being moved overhead and at night the distant sound of vacuuming. This was not a terminal problem, but might really irritate some people. If you have a choice, do not choose any cabin anywhere on Deck 6, as Deck 7 is the main self -service buffet, Grills Restaurants + promenade/lifeboat deck are all immediately above. Food? Super meals in Britannia Restaurant (we were second dining) but the buffet was so-so for lunch. Breakfast in the same ‘served’ restaurant or the buffet was 100% fine – decent choices, but probably hotter in the ‘served’ restaurant. The only comment on the dinners is: Why cannot they simply do as any of their eight choices a meat or fish dish without it being covered in fancy sauces. Even roasted Haddock had to come with a weird coconut sprinkling over it all, making it look like a cheap pullover. Tasty it was, but bog-standard fried cod and chips would have been nice as an offering. You can get this in the Golden Lion ‘pub bar’ as one of their lunch menu items, but this was always jam-packed from c1130hrs every day. We had to pretend to be interested in ‘Killer Darts’ between 10.45hrs and 1130hrs to get a table for two for a somewhat early lunch. Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room? Nice, but join the queue early! Speakers and Entertainment? John McCarthy was the headline speaker (Beirut hostage crisis) + a variety of other speakers including a retired RN officer talking about submarine warfare in three sessions + Commodore Connell talking about ‘defence matters’ – he is/was UK Naval Attaché in Washington at the time of the voyage. In the evenings it was the usual diet of song and dance, comedians you haven’t heard of, specialist musicians (finalists but not winners in Britain’s got Talent etc.). On the last night the entire Cunard team did Broadway Rocks, which was very good. Service? Always good and friendly. The downside of the voyage. We will never have an inside cabin again unless it is a cruise with numerous ports of call – 7 days was, for us, claustrophobic. It is nice to have some natural light though a window, or door. Drinks are massively overpriced in comparison to P&O and there is a 15% auto gratuity on every one purchased. For example, the Californian Rose wine we like at dinner was a total of 41.40$ a bottle (say 4 glasses) compared to the same on P&O for a flat £17.50. Cunard are now offering a drinks package for, wait for it, 69$ per day per person when all in the same cabin. That would mean you would spend 966$ for the seven days for the two of you for a half-decent reduced selection of drinks from the menu and some of, but not all, the speciality coffees/teas and water. We did not choose that option – did anyone? Auto gratuities? I joined the long queue on the first day at reception having them removed or reduced. P&O are removing them entirely in May 2019. Champagne Bar? – rarely saw anyone in it in the evenings. A few young people onboard including one or two babies, but by far the average age of passenger must be 60+. Cunard must advertise heavily amongst the LBGT community because there was a significant and noticeable presence onboard – some going out of their way to dress and appear radically different from everyone else. Cunard have dedicated meetings for LBGT, Friends of Dorothy as well as Friends of Bill W on all their ships. This is fine by us, but might be offensive to some. On the other hand, Mrs Essex Man noticed that many of our older ladies seemed to feel that ‘glitter’ in its various forms was the in-thing this year. Evenings can be boring – you either have the bars, usually with some form of musical accompaniment, the theatre, G32 which is a small dance floor with a group or DJ who seems to like ABBA, or the Queens Court huge dance floor and seating area. This is predominantly for ballroom dancing which is not everyone’s cup of tea nowadays in-spite of Strictlys’ success. Films – poor choice and always at wrong times. Dinner in Britannia – Cunard must introduce Freedom Dining like P&O and other cruise lines ASAP. 8.30pm is too late to dine for many of us, but 6pm is also too early for some and why go to the buffet when you are paying a lot of money for proper service? We have never had a problem getting a table in Freedom Dining on P&O, particularly if one is prepared to share a table for 6 or 8. It is nice to meet other people – and you will probably never see them again on the same voyage if they are boring. In summary, the whole thing was okay, but Cunard are now living in a bygone era and having trouble filling QM2 (at least trans-Atlantic). Captain Wells (a great guy) admitted as much when he mentioned that QM2 will be trialling voyages going via Dublin, Liverpool. Iceland and Canada before arriving at NY – in other words, more of a cruise than a straight seven-day voyage A to B. And price? It was £1240 each including the cabin for 7 nights, flights, hotel and all transfers for the total of 9 days, so it was a bargain. We spent a grand total of 419$ on drinks, a photo + a reduced gratuity of 50$ each for the 7 days. To be honest though, we had more fun on MSC Magnifica in early-October for £700 each INCLUDING their standard Classic drinks package and all in a Balcony Cabin for 7 days around Northern-Europe, and we did not starve either! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
1st Cunard experience and sad to say we have B2B booked with them in Aug/Sept 2019, 1st time ever I'm only half hearted about an upcoming cruise !!!!!! I'm sure the locations will cover any Cunard shortcoming. Let me start by ... Read More
1st Cunard experience and sad to say we have B2B booked with them in Aug/Sept 2019, 1st time ever I'm only half hearted about an upcoming cruise !!!!!! I'm sure the locations will cover any Cunard shortcoming. Let me start by saying that while nothing was really wrong it's just that there was nothing that stood out or made the cruise an unforgettable 5 (or even 4) star experience. We cruise to relax and unwind, enjoy new locations and enjoy the company of cruisers from different parts of the world .... being a Luxury category cruise line with a bit of nostalgia thrown in we expected to be treated to something special, we dressed the part, as Cunard expect/insist, but were totally disappointed with the level of service provided. Perhaps suite guests get to experience this sense of "luxury" in their dedicated dining room ..... for others it appears non existent (cattle making up the numbers providing a bit of profit to Cunard ?). Embarkation went smoothly enough, there was an initial problem with the gangway but once this was resolved, no problem, guests were quickly able to board. Had read that a few previous QE guests indicated the ship was looking a bit tired and dated, apart from from minor carpet issues on a couple of decks we saw, and had no issue with the ships condition .. ours was the last cruise before a scheduled refurbishment. We almost always travel in oceanview and our cabin (1076) was as expected, about average size and fit out compared to previous (non Cunard) cruises. Our Steward (Mario) was overly quiet and shy but always offered a greeting when we met, no problem or issue there. Having left London early a quick snack for lunch was enjoyed in the buffet, all tastes were provided for and we never really had an issue with quick meals that we had there after shore excursions and such. Same can't be said for the Lido Grill on the pool deck where the 'chef' seemed to think that cooking was a chore. The only thing that kept us sane during dinner was the company of fellow cruisers, we're asked to dress to a 5 star standard but service was at a 2 star level ..... the meals were unimaginative, bland, small, lacking in variety and very below par for a 5 star cruise liner .... this was the 1st time ever that an incorrect meal was provided, not once but twice !! Initially they indicated a 'wine package' would be available, no details were ever offered or suggested/recommended (yes we could have asked for it but should that really be necessary?). perhaps being the 2nd sitting was a little too strenuous for staff. After dinner most cruise lines offer a reasonable show ..... we sat through about 5 minutes of 2 offerings and quickly departed, extremely poor, worst offering we've ever experienced. One or 2 of the 'enrichment' talks' apparently were quite good, but may have meant little for non British guests. Shore excursions/tours were about average in cost (they're all on the pricey side) but were well managed with minimal hassles. One of the issues many people have is being hassled for drinks every 5 minutes .... let me assure you this will NOT happen .... indeed drink service was extremely hard to obtain, always quicker to walk up and order yourself rather than wait for service staff to ask (5 star prices with 2 star service). After a day or 2 we established a rapport with the wait staff in the midship bar and had no problems there, initially. Being on a late dinner sitting we always made our way there before changing for dinner .... after 5 or 6 days of sitting there between 5 - 7 pm enjoying a martini I was asked to leave "sorry sir, no jacket, no service after 6pm" .... was OK for at least 5 days but must have got someones nose out of joint ???? Being scheduled for refurbishment resulted in most "shops" shutting down 2 or 3 days before the end of the cruise ... not a great experience for guests to have staff moving bits and bobs into storage while the cruise is still underway. Disembarkation could have been as efficient as boarding if it wasn't for the fact that workmen were crowed around waiting to board as guests were being offloaded. In closing the QE will be doing sailings out of Australia from Feb 2019 ..... I wish them luck, cruising tropical waters during an Australian summer is about daytime shorts and evenings with light, neat casual clothes to match the conditions (forgot the jacket) ..... not sure the Cunard dress standards will be appreciated by Aussie cruisers. Read Less
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