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444 Cunard Cruise Reviews

Background information: My partner and I are both from Melbourne Australia and are what most consider "too young" for Cunard, my partner having just turned 30 and I 26. I am what you would call an "ocean liner buff", I ... Read More
Background information: My partner and I are both from Melbourne Australia and are what most consider "too young" for Cunard, my partner having just turned 30 and I 26. I am what you would call an "ocean liner buff", I love passenger ships and anything to do with them, I have a major collection of books, documentaries, models, posters and all kinds of memorabilia, obviously a lot of it relating to Cunard as it is such a historical line, my favourite historical line to research in fact! We are experienced cruises having sailed on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and Holland America in the past, I decided that it was time for my partner and I to take another trip on the QM2, our last being in 2012 (Maiden Royal circumnavigation of Australia). As it was my partners 30th birthday this year, we decided to spend some time in Singapore and Hong Kong (2 places he has always wanted to experience) before boarding the QM2 in Hong Kong during her world voyage and returning the Darwin over 10 nights, stopping at Kota Kinabalo and Bitung along the way. I booked the cruise through an Australian cruise travel agency during a Cunard sale and originally booked a BB Britannia Balcony stateroom at a great price (previously we sailed in a P1 Princess Grill). I later upgraded our booking to a P2 Princess Grill suite during another sale as they were asking for Princess Grill what we had paid for Britannia and on all previous cruises we have taken on other ships, we have always travelled in a suite as we enjoy the larger a larger stateroom and the usual perks that come with having a suite on a cruise. Two week's before boarding we received a complementary upgrade to a Q5 Queens Grill Suite which was extremely exciting for us as you could imagine. For an ocean liner buff, naturally Cunard is that last tie to the old world experince of the golden age of ocean liners. Unfortunately I was too young to be able to have travelled on the QE2, but I never missed the opportunity to go see her whenever she docked in Melbourne when I was a child/teenager. We enjoy cruising and have enjoyed the other cruise lines for what they are and the experience they have to offer but obviously when we decide to travel with Cunard, we are looking for that certain type of experience, that old world sophisticated charm that the line represents and still uses as a major selling point when advertising their fleet. Dressing for dinner, sophisticated and eccentric fellow passengers, afternoon teas, pre/post dinner drinks, late night conversations over cigars and cognacs, the overall look and feel of being onboard a true ocean liner is what draws us to Cunard. As i mentioned, to me, it is that last link to the golden age of liners. One week before departure we received our pre voyage documentation and luggage labels, although the luggage labels were of no use as the stateroom number reflected our original Britannia Balcony stateroom not our Queens Grill suite we had received, so I had to print the labels off myself which were showing the correct stateroom number. Boarding the ship: After spending the first few days of our holiday in Singapore and Hong Kong which was a fantastic, most enjoyable experience (we will be back), the day arrived to board what I have come to affectionately call after our last experience onboard her, "our old friend". The morning of embarkation we stood at the edge of Victoria Harbour peering across to the Kai Tak cruise ship terminal in the distance, QM2's profile and bright Cunard red funnel just slightly visible through that morning Hong Kong haze. It is at that point you can truly appreciate and grasp the size of Hong Kong, the city dwarfs the normally Gigantic ocean liner as if she was nothing more than little ferry. The first time I ever saw her in person was when we were about to embark on her for the first time, in the city of Fremantle Australia, she was the largest thing in town that day, there was no missing the QM2 in Fremantle. Priority boarding time for the Queens Grill and platinum/diamond world club guests was 12pm so at about 11:30am we checked out of our hotel and took a cab to the terminal (a short 10-15 minute journey through Hong Kong), once we arrived at Kai Tak cruise terminal, it was still hard to truly grasp just how big the QM2 really is as the terminal itself is so large (probably one of the worlds greatest ocean liner terminals) that it too, dwarfed the ship! you could probably fit 3 QM2's lined up along that terminal all at once, it truly is massive. We made our way upstairs following the signs directing us where to board the ship, I believe the terminal is 4 or 5 stories high and would be rather easy to get lost in. Luckily as well as the signs, there was also quite a few terminal employees positioned around directing guests and pointing which way to go. We finally got to where we needed to be to check in and were rather shocked to say the least.. The amount of people already lined up was amazing, as if everyone had all come at once regardless of what time Cunard told them to arrive, "oh god, hear we go..." was first thing that came to my mind. We joined the queue of guests as there did not seem to be any sort of "priority" or "grills guest" line. Immediately we realised that the crowed was already quite annoyed as everyone around us was already complaining about this so called priority boarding time allocation. One lady in front of us in a wheelchair (being pushed by a terminal staff member) was furious that she had to wait in the queue and demanded to be taken to the front as she was meant to have priority boarding, we actually felt sorry for the guy pushing her wheelchair as you could clearly tell that he was in no position to be making such decisions. The overall tension and frustration of the crowed was already a bit of a dampener on the start of the trip as it should have been an exciting moment leading up to boarding the ship, none the less we waited patiently, we had done this many times and to be honest had probably expected to wait in a long queue even though we were supposed to be given priority boarding, the reality is (in our past experience) that you are never going to just arrive and be boarded in under 15 minutes. Looking around us, I noticed that other guest were holding health check forms so I peered around to see where they got these from, luckily enough there was an employee standing close by holding them (not offering them out to people who had just arrived) so I went and asked for the forms. Lucky I also had a pen on me to fill them out whilst we waited in line. After about 10 minutes of slowly but surely shuffling along we noticed that the queue did seem to fork into two separate lines. One shorter and one much longer. We were then confronted by an employee asking guests if they were in the grills and if they were could they please join the shorter queue. she came near us but didn't say anything so we asked her if that shorter line was for grills guest to which she responded "Yes, but are you even in the grills?" we responded "yes, Queens Grill" she then asked to see our boarding passes which we had to point out where exactly on it, it stated Queens Grill, she then directed us to the shorter queue and then we noticed her telling her other staff to check the boarding passes, she asked to use my boarding pass as a quick reference to show them where exactly to look to see if the guest was a Grill guest. I must admit I did feel a little deflated as it did seem at first that she didn't believe that us two young blokes would be the Grills, but again we are used to that kind reaction as we are young for Cunard guests let alone Queens Grill Guests. It probably took another 20 minutes to reach the check in desk, Im not sure how long the other queue would have taken, it was much larger than ours. Whilst waiting we spotted another Australian couple we had made great friends with on our last trip on QM2 which really added to the overall enjoyment of that trip so we were excited to seem them boarding again on the same trip as us! Check in involved all the usual things they do, but they had a problem when the check in girl assumed we would have both our accounts linked to the one credit card we then had to tell her that we would each have a separate card linked to our accounts, she then had to call a supervisor over to help her correct it. They then could not seem to get my partners credit card linked to his account, it just wasn't working every time they swiped his credit card (which was worrying as by this stage we had been standing at the check in desk for about 15 minutes) they ended up telling us to sort it out onboard. Finally we were ready to board the ship! Crossing the gangway and approaching the giant door that allowed guests to enter the giant liner, I immediately could smell something.. It was the smell of the QM2, the very same smell I could remember from last time we were onboard, a smell memory. I must admit that at this stage the long queue and check in issues were now a distant memory and excitement had again taken over. We were about to board the Queen Mary 2! Up ahead just through the giant square hole in that thick black hull i could see the warm lighting, red carpet and marble columns of the Grand Lobby, the sound of the harp softly playing started to grow louder as we approached the entrance to the ship. The first point of contact onboard is always the person who swipes your card when you embark/disembark the ship, these people are just grim to be honest, always stern and usually wearing sunglasses, every now and then they may grunt hello or something, I feel they would usually be more suited to welcoming you to prison rather than a luxury ocean liner. Once past "the guards" you are greeted by the warmth and welcome of the QM2, what a truly stunning space to enter, the Grand Lobby really is something special, more luxury old world hotel than "cruise ship" in decor, it is designed to impress and as we all know, first impressions count! You are greeted by suited staff, who ask for your stateroom number and give you directions of how to get there. At least this time we were acknowledged, as last time I remember them ignoring us and letting us just walk straight past them to find our own way. Still, I could tell that they almost seemed unsure of us as we are young and should they take us seriously, the look and vibe we get is almost like "are you crew?”, you shouldn't be up here!", this would not be the last time the crew made us feel awkward. Guests are guests as far as I am concerned; we've all paid to be onboard regardless of age and should be treated all with the same respect. The Suite/Butler service: We arrived in our Q5 Queens Grill suite 11130, the very last stateroom aft of deck 11 on the port side (right beside the grills terrace) There are only 4 Queens Grill suites on this deck, all aft and I must say the location is fantastic, much better than deck 9 (the Queens Grill suite deck), the view is high and unobstructed. We find the suites on deck 9 rather silly as they are only one level above the lifeboats, which really take away from the view. The layout of the suite is much like that of a Princess Grill suite, but larger with more room to move around, a larger bar area, larger balcony, larger seating area and an extra area with a dressing table just outside the walk in wardrobe before entering the bathroom. The bathroom itself features a shower over Jacuzzi bath set up with one basin. I believe for the extra price Queens Grill guests are charged, the bathroom really should feature a separate bath and shower and also feature two basins. The suite is large enough to accommodate a bathroom layout like that so I'm unsure as to why they didn't design it that way. The suite is lovely but I cannot really justify paying the extra for a Queens Grill Q7,6 or 5 over a Princess Grill P2&1 in terms of the suite itself, Princess Grill suites are just as adequate and come with a much more reasonable price tag. Q4,3,2 & 1 suites are completely different and are much larger suites so those I can justify the higher price. We received our Queens Grill suite as a complementary upgrade so we certainly weren't complaining. There was a bottle of Champagne on Ice as well as an extra bottle of sparkling wine and some divine looking chocolates awaiting us on the table. On closer inspection, the suite was a little tired. A few globes were out, some scuffs on the walls here and there, down lights not fixed into the ceiling properly, rust on the balcony, a dripping pipe above the balcony which dripped down onto one of the deck chairs (duct tape had been used to try stop the dripping pipe) and two cushions on the bed which smelt as if they hadn't been washed in years. Nothing too major, but keep in mind the premium price Cunard charges for this type of suite, from my knowledge they wanted over $10000 AUD per person for this suite on this trip. Had we paid that full price, I would have been outraged. note that the TV stations are boring and really need to be overhauled, also WIFI didn't work in the room. Our bags were left outside the suite in the hall when usually they are brought into the room. After an hour and the Butler (a Queens Grill feature) /steward both being a no show, I decided to unpack our bags. I was aware that part of the Butler service was to help you unpack and really I wouldn't have accepted the help, but I did want to see if the butler would actually offer to help as Cunard advertise this feature as a Queens Grill perk. After unpacking, drinking our bottle of champagne, eating our chocolates and taking a brief tour of the ship, say 4 hours after embarking, the Butler (David) and Steward (Joel) arrived at the suite to say hello. They were friendly enough and did offer to help with the bags but I had already unpacked them. We informed David of the blown light globes and he had them replaced that night. He also asked us to choose 2 bottles of spirits to have supplied in the suite and also informed us the mini bar was free in Queens Grill and would be replenished as would the 2 bottles of spirits! This was a great perk! I also asked him to change all the sodas in the mini bar to sugar free sodas, which he did. The mini bar also had beers in it. Tired and not wanting to miss the sail away party we opted for our first dinner onboard to be taken in the suite (another QG feature), David the butler gave us the menus from the QG dinning room and gave us some recommendations. He then set the table and delivered and served each coarse as if we were dinning in the restaurant, this was a great service and the food came quickly and was hot! The butler will always deliver your room service/breakfast if they are on duty and will set the table properly for it. They will also serve you afternoon tea in the suite if you request, again the table is set and all the scones, sandwiches and tea provided. The butler will also help you cater a party in your suite if you wish to have guests. We went to a pre dinner drink party in a fellow QG guests suite and the butler served canapés, hot/cold nibbles as well as drinks whilst we all chatted and had a laugh. Note that also every evening around 5pm the butler will bring pre dinner canapés to your suite, these were often hit and miss as far as taste/quality and they usually featured seafood. So all in all the butler device in QG suites is quite good and really the butler can do as much or as little for you as you wish. They do tend to just ring the door bell and let themselves in though which isn't very good for privacy I guess. The Ship itself: There is no denying the ship needs to be dry docked and overhauled! It seems to be a constant topic that has been arising of late on the Cruise Critic forums and I can confirm that yes, she does need it! Her last dry docking was for 2 weeks in late 2011 a few months before our last trip on her and even after that it seemed that not everything was attended too, well it is really showing now which is sad and frankly un acceptable really for the prices this "premium" line charges. It is hard to explain but I think I can, its as if at face value she look fine, her interiors are fine, but after a few days onboard and settling in, getting to know the ship, you can really notice all the issues. Externally, she needs to be completely repainted. EVERYTHING! the black hull is rusty and scratched, faded her and there and the red colour of the keel is no longer red at the water liner but a slimy, rusty green, the white stripe dividing the black and red is now hardly visible and is hardly a line or even white for that matter anymore. Now lets keep in mind that the ship itself is an advertisement for Cunard, she makes the news wherever she goes and people always come out to see her in the flesh when she visits ports all over the world, some ports are maiden calls so the ship has never been seen by the people of those ports. If you watch your local news when she arrives in your town, you will be bombarded with images of luxury and wealth, stories of her high fares and impressive passenger lists, but then to see her in person you are confronted with this poorly presented and maintained vessel which up close (one of our ports was tendered so we got a very close look) could pass for the hull of a container ship! a very disappointing sight indeed. Her outdoor areas look tired and old, deck chairs with miss matching cousins, some royal blue with the Cunard symbol, others beige and white stripped, some plain beige, some no cushions at all. The pools and Jacuzzis are all worn and torn, the grills Jacuzzi on the grills terrace we often used needs to be completely replaced as it is no longer pure white, with damaged chipped paint showing the brown material that it is made of and is quite rough to touch...the outdoor pool tiles are faded, damaged and hardly look appealing especially when you think of these luxury oasis like pools on offer onboard other ships which truly do look inviting on a hot day at sea. QM2 pools and Jacuzzis look dirty and old. WIFI onboard is a disgrace, it is 2015, its no longer a gimmick to have internet at sea, the technology to do so has been around for years and it is just expected by guests now and should/can run perfectly, update your systems and sort it out otherwise don't charge people as the service is so poor! Stateroom Corridors (the worst of all the deck 9 Queens Grill suites corridor) are in terrible condition. Deck 9 corridor has damaged ceilings and actually drips water in many spots long the corridor, often into a light fixture below (safety hazard?), the smell of dampness in the air, doors and door frames are dented and scratched. There are random pot holes all over the ship under the carpets which is weird as you will just be walking along then you randomly step into one, again safety hazard. In the day spa, as you lay back relaxed in the therapy pool you can't help but notice the missing lights, mold and damage on the ceiling or the chipped tiles around the pool, the broke showers that don't work properly, the overall dirty look of the tiles and it costs money to use this day spa? Most of the seats in the planetarium are broken so cross your fingers you get a good one. Overall the ship just isn't up to standard not only for a ship which people pay to travel on but for a Cunard ship, the line, which charges more than most lines because of its "premium" reputation. Why do I point out all these faults? Its not because I'm picky or a snob or have un realistic expectations, it is simply that based on what Cunard advertises, charges and claims to offer simply does reflect in the quality of the product they are truly offering and you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise! It truly is sad to have to view the ship in this way and yes it is disappointing after some people pay fortunes to be onboard for the trip of a lifetime, the last ocean liner and this is what is presented to them, it just isn't right and its time Cunard/Carnival understand that you simply cannot hide behind a "good name", you must deliver, you cannot continue to charge premium prices and deliver guest a low budget product. I take this hard stance with Cunard because I believe that if people do not speak up, they will continue to let the ship go down hill and I do not want to see that happen, I want the line to continue on successfully and offer ships that truly live up to the historical Cunard reputation and inspire new generations to keep the old liner traditions alive not to mention retain their loyal client base, many of which have been with them since the original Queen Mary was in service. They deserve better. Food: Food and service in the Queens Grill was top notch! we truly had a lovely time whenever we dined in there and the waiters were fabulous. The food is not really that much different from Britannia, but it is presented better I feel and there is also dishes on offer that are finished tableside and are truly amazing and tasty! Please try every one if you can but you do need to let them know you wish to order it not later than lunch time that day. Note that those dishes are large servings! They really were fantastic dinners. The staff in the QG are lovely and remember everything you like, couldn't fault them. Many lovely nights were had in that dinning room and the other guests seated around us were lovely to meet. The only negative I will say is that the breakfast hours need to be revised, currently it is served between 8am-9:30am, we feel that 7am-10/10:30am would work better and give you a bigger window as after a few days we started sleeping in until 9 and it was often to late to make it to breakfast. 9am isn't exactly a late sleep in in our books. Kings Court, as most people who have travelled on the QM2 will confirm, is terrible. School cafeteria is probably the best way to describe it, confusing and not worthy of such a ship. The layout is shocking and the food is just sad looking. It’s a shame because on other ships we always enjoy the buffets and find them exciting. Not on QM2. It also feels like they often pack up areas well before the finish times listed, we often would arrive just to grab something and next minute they starting packing up shop, with plenty of food and at 1:50pm, we really couldn't understand why. Todd English, fabulous! You must try it! Probably some of the best food/service onboard and for such reasonable cover chargers, you will not be disappointed. Although i had pre booked a table for two before boarding on the night of my partners 30th birthday and then changed it to a table of four once we realised friends were onboard and wanted them to dine with us that night, I went the restaurant to make the change and was assured all was fine. Well on the night our extra guests arrived before us and were told there was no booking for four just two which was highly embarrassing but was addressed quickly upon our arrival and we were all easily seated. Afternoon tea, we often had in the QG lounge, couldn't fault it, food and service, Devine. Room service, pretty good for ship standards, they often took a while to deliver 30+ mins but it was always pretty good. Boardwalk cafe, much like king’s court but worse, we walked in, took one look at the sad food and walked away. Disappointing, as the idea of an outdoor cafe is great, but Cunard have it all wrong. Golden Lion, a great place to try some English inspired food at no extra cost! Very tasty pies! but get in quick as seats fill fast! its a shame about the music in their though during lunch hours, relaxation spa music? we were expecting some British classics for a British pub! Sir Samuel's, One night I said "we must try the coffee there" as we had never done it and I do like good coffee, so we gave it a shot. I ordered a large iced mocha! (it was after dinner) the picture and description in the menu grabbed me! It did look wonderful, tall glass, ice cold mocha coffee with lashing of whipped cream on top! What arrived was a tall glass, filled with Mocha and ice. I looked at the waiter and said "no cream?" he responded, "only if you ask for it.." and walked away. Another glance at the menu told me that cream was included. Do they not no their own drinks? so I drank my watery semi boring mocha and never returned. We were disappointed that during the whole 10 nights not once was there an open air buffet on deck or dessert buffet at night which most ships seem to do these days just for a bit of extra excitement. The weather was fantastic the whole voyage so we found it unusual to not have any on deck buffets. Entertainment: Shocking seemed to be the general review from most guests. Paul the cruise director needs to go, he's tired, outdated a has been, in my opinion. The ship has no atmosphere to it, even on the open decks on a beautiful day or sailing away from a beautiful port, they seem to have some music and drinks for a minute then just as soon as its started they pack it all up and finish. Spas & pools also covered over by 7pm so don't even think about a night swim. Service: In all Grill areas (dinning room, Concierge lounge & Grills lounge) service was great and as expected! In all other areas, service was good (in some areas) and poor in most others. Most bar staff were average and dull. If they asked you the first time if you wanted a drink and you replied no, they certainly would never ask again (even after 3hrs of sitting there). The retail shop staff were too casual; they were probably the youngest staff on the ship and seemed more interested in gossiping loudly amongst themselves rather than providing a helpful service. My overall vibe from the staff (outside of the Grill areas) were that they truly didn't understand what Cunard stands for, what the line is all about and the historical value of the line. My guess is most of them a just moved around the carnival fleet and don't really care to be honest, just after some cash and free travel for a few months. The worst service of all I have ever seen in my life (at sea or ashore) would have to have been from the hotel manager. One night on deck 7 aft (smoking area) we were seated and a cigarette as most the other smokers were and out there with us were two staff members in white uniform (male and female) having a glass of wine and a smoke. I'm not sure why but they were. An elderly couple (veteran Cunarders we late learned) must have started a conversation with the staff members about the smoking policy and lack of smoking areas onboard, which turned a bit heated. Next minute the guest were arguing with the staff and the staff were arguing back. One of the guests asked who this lady staff member was and what she did onboard? Her response was "I’m the hotel manager and it is my job to make you lot spend more money!" which I think is a hideous thing to say to the guests. The argument about smoking continued to and at one stage the hotel manager told the guest that they shouldn't be smoking anyway as its bad for them. This is not how you deal with guests, you do not get into a silly argument with them, nor do you judge that way. You simply just take onboard what they are saying and let them know you will pass it on. it was truly a sight to behold, this hotel manager arguing with these guests with a glass of wine in her hand. The guest involved were furious afterwards and in their own words "had had it with the Cunard line and never again!". It is my belief that this hotel manager should loose her job, as it truly was a rude embarrassment to behold. Churchill's/Smoking policy: We enjoy a Cigar in Churchill's with a drink at the night time, every night it was always the exact same 4 or 5 people in there and we all became very familiar with each other. it was a great little "crew" to be apart of and we really enjoyed our nights in there. The only problem was that the ship was lacking most cigar brands they had on the menu and also many of the expensive Cognacs. The attendant in Churchill's also was not educated in the topic of cigars and cognacs as opposed to when we last sailed onboard the attendant in Churchill’s knew everything there was to know about the matter! The attendant on this trip, didn't even have a cigar cutter at the start so everyone had to bite their cigars before lighting them. On average we all probably spent $200+ each per night, every night in Churchill's. Most people who frequent Churchill's are not short of money to be honest. so you would think that Cunard would value these particular guests. Some in our group often enjoyed a glass or more of Cognac worth $120 per glass. Money was hardly an issue. But still even in Churchill's Cunard's slipping standards were taking over. we had issue we not being able to smoke cigarettes in there, last time the policy was "if you ask all other cigar smokers in the room first and they give the ok you can smoke in there" this time it was "no smoking cigarettes" full stop. It got so bad that even the captain told a lady at one stage, she could smoke in there as long as the cigar smokers said they didn't mind. well can they just please make that the policy again? our group were the only cigar smokers and we didn't mind if each other smoked in there! On QM2 there is 3 smoking areas all aft of the ship, an area on deck 8/7 and in G32 upper level. All smokers are irritated by this policy as for example if you are situated at the front of the ship, say in Churchill’s or even your cabin, you need to walk all that distance in order to have smoke. Furthermore, even in the smoking areas there were always non-smokers sitting at the smoking tables that asked you not to smoke or had something rude to say about it! The none-smokers have 90% of the ship, please be kind enough to let the smokers enjoy their small smoking spaces. I laugh as most none smokers call smoker selfish.. Well this shows a different side. Smoking is also not permitted on the stateroom balconies. This apparently does not include the Grand Duplex suites aft of the ship as we often saw this guests smoking on their balconies with a Cunard supplied ash tray. I would rather G32 be none smoking, and another outdoor area be made smoking. also Cunard need to update their stateroom books as they do not state the current smoking policy correctly. Our book said we could smoke on the grills terrace on the starboard side but the current policy is no smoking on the grills deck not even on one side which is ridiculous because it then meant I had to go smoke on deck 8, why should I when I’ve paid to have my own private terrace? but anyway times are changing in regards to smoking, it will be interesting to see how the policy further changes in the years to come especially as every smoker is un happy with the current policy. On a final note I will say that the night we ate in Todd English, we engaged in an interesting conversation with the head waiting about the slipping standards onboard and received quite a surprising response.. He couldn't agree more! He stated that Carnival was now running Cunard on a Carnival style budget and that staff like him were so frustrated that they are receiving less and less to work with! he stated that he keeps ordering cognac and expensive alcohol to service in Todd English and his orders keep getting denied by shore based management. he confirmed that the line was running on more of a budget than it ever has before and yes that was affecting the service onboard and the products offered. He actually got somewhat emotional about it to be honest as you could tell he was one who truly enjoyed his job but could see the standards slipping. This is sad to see this happen to Cunard and I hope that with enough complaints they turn it back around, but in the meantime, I really cannot justify the premium pricing they charge, as it is not a premium line anymore. Next time we want to try QE/QV just to see how they compare as many fellow passengers told us those two ships are in much better condition than the QM2. Lift your game Cunard; you cannot continue providing your loyal guests with this type of inferior product. I’ve been told that if you truly want luxury, only Seaborne & Crystal are the way to go. So what is Cunard going to do about that?   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Beautiful ship. Lovely and immaculate public areas. Excellent service. A comfortable cabin. But the food! It varied between poor and good, subject to the venue and the day. The so-called "King's Court" buffet area resembled ... Read More
Beautiful ship. Lovely and immaculate public areas. Excellent service. A comfortable cabin. But the food! It varied between poor and good, subject to the venue and the day. The so-called "King's Court" buffet area resembled an airport cafeteria, with frenzied diners who would have been better equipped with shovels, rather than knives and forks. The overly salty bread and rolls were in contrast to the excellent quality readily available at most Singapore supermarkets.  The pastries were second class. Decent lettuce was not to be found; only shreds of the ''frisee" type. The fare in the Britannia Restaurant, sometimes, was not much better: an insipid sole; tasteless monkfish; a miniscule game hen served with rice drenched in sauce. Onboard, there are wonderful photos of celebrities who sailed on the ''first" Queen Mary.  My thought was, "the food had to be better." Indeed, it would be nice if Carnival sold this ship to an outfit who would offer cuisine compatible with its reputation. The reason for this may well be the fare structure. The lowest fare for the 8 day cruise was US$800-900 per person for certain cabins, while others were priced in the thousands. Cunard has 1300 cabins to fill and probably deems it necessary to draw in the bargain hunters as ''economic ballast." This doesn't make those who paid a bit more ecstatic. Would I cruise with them again? Only if the itinerary was compelling, with few options amongst the competition. One advantage of Cunard, is that their ships actually go places. For this trip, we sailed from Singapore, to Cambodia, to China, to Hong Kong. I would have preferred Crystal, but incredibly much of their Asian itinerary entails sitting in various ports for days on end. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We sailed on a segment of the Queen Victoria's world cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney. In many small ways this was a disappointing experience. For example: This was the only cruise where we were not welcomed on board with a glass of ... Read More
We sailed on a segment of the Queen Victoria's world cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney. In many small ways this was a disappointing experience. For example: This was the only cruise where we were not welcomed on board with a glass of Champaign or given a bag to use for purchases. Although the food was good, it was difficult to find out about alternative items on the menu and ordering them required the aid of the dining room manager. Cookies were hidden behind the counter somewhere in the Lido buffet and you had to ask the correct person for them. During the first couple of formal nights, the food was nothing special and the dining room was never decorated for any occasion. The waiters in the Golden Pub were not service oriented. We went for lunch one day and were told that all the tables were taken but we could go around and ask people if they would be willing to share their table with us. On another occasion, we were not told the kitchen was closing and sat at the table with empty plates for 20 minutes until it was too late to order dessert. The lectures were very good and well attended but there was very little to do in the afternoons. It seemed like trivia was the only thing available morning, afternoon and evening. We were never given a cruise review form to fill out despite asking three times for one. Prices seemed high in the shops and there was no change in the items for sale during the entire cruise. Happy hour meant the too high prices for drinks were 25% off. On the plus side, the beds were comfortable with a lot of pillows and there was no charge to use the washers and driers in the passenger laundry. Also, the library had a nice selection of books.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
First impressions are always the ones that last the longest and our first impression of our holiday with Cunard on board their Queen Mary 2 hasn't been the most pleasant. In fact as time and incidents have passed I have become quite ... Read More
First impressions are always the ones that last the longest and our first impression of our holiday with Cunard on board their Queen Mary 2 hasn't been the most pleasant. In fact as time and incidents have passed I have become quite nit-pickie. I suppose having as a child travelled quite extensively I felt Cunard would have the edge on its organisation quality and service. The first hiccup was the luggage labels they arrived printed for the Queen Elizabeth. An email arrived several days later apologising for the error. The second hiccup was embarkation time on the E ticket clearly stated 3pm. All necessary time arrangements were made with various folk like house sitter and taxis. Three days prior to embarkation an email arrived stating embarkation was now 12 midday. As all arrangements had been made with the house sitter and the taxi it was impossible to change without inconveniencing them. At this point my confidence in Cunard’s organisational skills were not good, but then arriving at Southampton to find I had to join an hour long queue outside in the January cold that zig zagged like sheep being corralled for dipping just took the joy from what should be a wonderful entire experience. Once in the terminal building although warm cosy and inviting, again the queue zigzagged for another half hour to check in. I surrendered my passport in exchange for an ID swipe card which at the time I was unaware was damaged. Many of us were given damaged ID cards which meant queuing on all excursions in order to have our written details taken before entering the coach as the damaged card could not be read by the automatic card reader! Queuing through security was relatively quick however, I was manually scanned twice as the wand the security lady used she casually mentioned didn't work properly so she would search for the one that did work. My confidence in Cunard was now at zero. Finally boarding was less than overwhelming as there was absolutely no one guiding us to where we should go, just a group of very pushy photographers wishing to record all our very happy grateful faces at finally after over 2 hours now having the immense pleasure of boarding this magnificent ship. Over the past 15 days there have been many other minor nit-pickie hiccups which is a norm on any holiday but I close with my first words … First impressions!!! Would I travel again with Cunard? Yes but only if there was no alternative! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Joined QM2 for the first leg of the round the world cruise, through the Med, Suez Canal and onto Dubai. What a disappointment, starting with 3 hour wait standing in the Shed to get. On. could Could Cunard not organise for its passengers ... Read More
Joined QM2 for the first leg of the round the world cruise, through the Med, Suez Canal and onto Dubai. What a disappointment, starting with 3 hour wait standing in the Shed to get. On. could Could Cunard not organise for its passengers to sit down in empty lounge if they were going to take that long to board passengers. The ship is tired and shows it's age, the burst water pipes at 3 in the morning was indicative. Whilst appreciating that some of the itinery changes were beyond Cunard's control, the cancelling of the Egypt stops, but the fiasco at the Suez Canal surely could have been anticipated? Not calling at Aqaba as a result upset most passengers and the resultant 10 days at sea with no port calls got earning. Entertainment director and deputy has no personality and the theatre shows generally not as good as on other lines. (Who designed a ship with pillars in the theatre?) The saving grace were the house "orchestras",rather an overstatement for 7 & 8 piece bands, but when they got together as a jazz big band it was terrific. QM2 lacks amenities. There is a shortage of seating areas, no large panoramic lounge at front of the ship as on others, the Commodore lounge is small, has useless tiny window and stinks of cigars, the smell coming from the Churchill lounge where passengers can still puff and give cancer to the rest of us. Wine prices were ridiculous, by the time service was added if basic wines were $40+ . The famous white glove afternoon tea serves dried up sandwiches, although the scones and cakes were much better. Cunard stop living on your past reputation and start giving the service you claim! Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
As a first time cruiser on the Queen Mary 2 we looked forward with high expectations to the cruise from Dubai to Singapore late January through early February. We were disappointed. It started badly with a 2 ½ hour check in at Dubai. We ... Read More
As a first time cruiser on the Queen Mary 2 we looked forward with high expectations to the cruise from Dubai to Singapore late January through early February. We were disappointed. It started badly with a 2 ½ hour check in at Dubai. We unfortunately arrived dockside just minutes after what seemed like 1500 or so other passengers arrived on buses. Begs the question why buses are not designated check in time same as individuals. The 2 lines meandered outside the terminal to just get through the security. Then the wait to proceed to the Cunard check in, hand over passports, give credit cards details, obtain on board identity cards and at last pointed in the direction of the ship and boarding. Took another few minutes to find the way but finally we walked the red carpet and on board. No welcome, no meet and greet, just find your own way to the elevators with other slightly bemused passengers all working their way to find their respective cabins. Not a good start but with the excitement of being on board the fabled Queen Mary 2 the rest of the cruise could only get better, one lived in hope. The Cabin: Great. Deck 8, unobstructed view, clean and comfortable. Room steward always seemed to be on duty and eager to please, polite and keen to ensure our comfort was taken care off. Once he forgot to replace towels, easily rectified and constantly apologising for his error. Perhaps the best of the crew we came across. The Food: When it was good, it was very very good, when bad, terrible. We ate 1st sitting in the Britannia room. Day one we ate alone, not what we asked for, we asked for a table of 6, day two another lone sitting, but luck came our way and two escapees from a bad table took the opportunity to ask if they could join us and from that time onwards dining was a pleasure. Good company and perhaps ongoing friendship. First week the service was great, but week two it became very much hit and miss. The waiting team around us seemed to lose interest and this affected their manner. At no time did we ask for anything out of the ordinary or a demanding table. The food was hit and miss in the Britannia room, great one day, plain poor the next. One day rack of lamb, the best ever tasted, then next a mish mash of inedible and unpronounceable offerings. Memo Cunard, calling bad food by fancy names will not make it taste better. The food in the Kings Court overall not a great deal better than Britannia, but one has the choice and ability, if choosing wrong, to get up and change. Sometime hot, sometime not so hot, plenty of choice. We chose to eat lunch and breakfast here and on most days were satisfied without being wowed. Waiting staff were generally polite and quick to clean tables and move dirty dishes. A very busy place and the need for patience was necessary. The Entertainment: Good, bad and just plain awful. We went most evenings and there were times we wanted to follow others and leave mid performance, but we stuck it out to the end out of respect to the performers. If one could only know in advance whom was good you would avoid the rest of the performances. The Activities: After a few days one could see a sameness appearing in the daily information sheet, perhaps if as much attention to detail was given to the activities as to the daily sales brochures things would be better. Yes plenty to do and see and listen to (and who picks those films?) but as time wore on and it did through sea days that long list of activities just got boring. Shore days: We did two Cunard arranged shore trips, both overpriced and not worth the high cost charged. We booked these pre boarding so “as not to miss out” but found these same tours available almost to the time of tour departure. The other four shore days we did our own thing at far cheaper rates and no doubt better served by locals. Just left the ship and arranged things on shore, plenty of choice and easy to do. We never heard of any passengers doing their own thing getting into trouble or missing departure. Other Passengers: Have no illusions, based on our sector and from what we heard of the first sector the average age of fellow passengers seems to be around 70. If you are looking for this age bracket and this is what you want from fellow passengers then the QM2 is for you, however if young or young at heart it is suggested you look elsewhere. But and this is a very big but, if you want to be virtually guaranteed your fellow passengers will obey the rules, and dress appropriately for each and every occasion, you can be assured this age bracket will be a pleasure to be amongst and I suspect this is the allure of the QM2, it follows custom of a distant past and tries hard to replicate the magic of a bygone age. The Ship: In need of a face lift, rust showing inside and out, in the restaurants, cabins and balconies. Daily maintenance by the crew working hard to contain this problem but it seems a losing battle. The QM2 is far from a rust bucket, but the ship is not in pristine condition. Inside, age is showing through, carpets need changing in places and where changes are being done it is piecemeal instead of entire sections. However there is still a wow factor as one moves around the ship and if overlooking the obvious maintenance issues one can see how this ship is the grand vessel of the seas. Health: It took only three days for my wife and I to go down with the “Cunard Cough” and like others it did interfere with our enjoyment. Warm outside and cool inside is a recipe for ailments and many passengers on this sector of the voyage were afflicted. Our cough was mild compared to others and our own medication kept us away from the Cunard medical centre and no doubt high costs, however we did not hear of any other major illnesses in this sector associated with cruising, so perhaps we were lucky after all. Departure: After the 2 1/2 hour boarding problems we were hoping for an easy departure, after all this is efficient Singapore, what could go wrong. We collected our passports the night before and ensured our departure documents were in order and stamps in place in our passport. We went to our designated departure lounge at the designated time and waited. Not bad, only 10 minutes behind schedule and we were on our way, well almost, perhaps 100 hundred yards and we came to a halt, congestion in the departure hall we were told, stand around and we will have you on your way as quickly as possible. 10 minutes later another 100 yards, before finally departing the ship and heading into the chaos of the Singapore customs hall. Every passport had to be inspected. Ok not Cunard’s fault, but it took time, then every item of luggage had to be X rayed and long delays eventuated, again not Cunard’s fault. I guess Singapore authority have their reasons. And this reason soon became apparent. Every passenger that had a bottle(s) of alcohol, no matter if full or opened was unceremoniously escorted away from the x ray machines with offending contraband and passport in hand taken to the far side of the customs area to face the music. The crime, smuggling. As the QM2 had called at 2 Malaysian ports on the way to Singapore, Singapore does not allow a duty free allowance on alcohol and as such every passenger bringing alcohol into Singapore and not making a declaration and paying duty is effectively smuggling and as such will be fined and charged duty. So you may ask what this has got to do with Cunard, not their fault if passengers don’t know the rules, is it? Let me quote you from the departure sheet handed out by Cunard to departing Singapore passengers………………..”Singapore Landing Arrangements”…………………….Customs Allowances, Alcohol: 1 litre of wine or spirits for each guest aged 18 years or over Well done Cunard, you have made criminals out of several hundred of your passengers by giving them the wrong information. It is you that should refund all costs incurred by passengers in this Singapore sting (pun intended). Conclusion: Would we travel again on the QM2, no, would we recommend it, no, based on our experience. Were there good points, yes certainly, calm seas all the way, no hold ups and arrival and departures on time every port, but unfortunately for us not the cruise we expected and for the price paid and the expectations a big letdown.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Let me start by saying that we are Platinum members and have enjoyed many Cunard cruises in past years. Of course, like the other cruise lines acquired by Carnival LLC luxury & quality service has taken a back seat to costs. In reading ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we are Platinum members and have enjoyed many Cunard cruises in past years. Of course, like the other cruise lines acquired by Carnival LLC luxury & quality service has taken a back seat to costs. In reading some other reviews with 6 stars and glowing reviews, I find myself thinking that they are either employees of Carnival LLC or people with really low expectations so they can't be disappointed. We did this same cruise on the Queen Elizabeth three years ago, in the Club category NYC to San Francisco and had a wonderful time. Outstanding experience, so we were looking forward to repeating this trip with several different port of call. Embarkment - We should have embarked on Jan. 21st but due to weather conditions Cunard arrived a day later so we sailed on Jan. 22nd. We were told that Cunard would reimburse us up to $250 towards the cost of the hotel stay on the 21st. And reimburse us the per diem rate for the lost day aboard. Of course no one can predict bad weather and safety first. When we did board, we were instructed to present invoices for the hotel reimbursement to the Purser. They gave us a ship board credit (non-refundable) and also the per person per diem rate was added to our account as a ship boards credit, also non-refundable. I asked why I would not be able to get the actual cash, the Purser told me to contact Head Office. I also asked why the per diem rate did not include any taxes and fees I also paid. I was told they will check with Head Office. It took 8 days to be told no, I was not getting reimbursed taxes and fees on the per diem rates. Oh and try and ask to speak to the manager/supervisor, forget it. She is on a break, out to lunch or in a meeting. She will contact by phone and of course that never happened. On day 12, bingo, I did get reimbursed these costs too. Why was there such confusion? Why different stories? All the staff smiles but really did nothing. There were over 200 guests in the same situation as we were but no staff member had a clue. Cabin - We were in Britannia Club, so all cabins were on Deck 8. Cabin was fine and cabin stewart was great. Dining - All guests in the Club category go to the Club dining room. We paid more for this category to enjoy a small dining room with our exclusive table. Upon arrival we go to the dining room for lunch, with our dining reservation card/table #. Tatiana, the maitre d, walks us to a table for 8. We booked a table for 2. She said we are wrong, her computer is correct and this is our table. When I insist that, no we booked with a table for 2 she said "Prove it". And until we prove it, she can do nothing. Her dismissive attitude was appalling. Now we are mad. She stated we should come back for dinner, after 9:00 p.m. and she will see what she can do. We arrived at 7:00 p.m., as we were not arriving when she wanted us. She had done nothing and still insisted that we must sit at the table for 8. We demanded the Restaurant Manager, Oliver shows up. He arrived, saw us really annoyed even more so by the condescending attitude of Tatiana. One half hour at the Club entrance and the boss , Oliver, said go to the main dining and he would get us table for 2. No way, we didn't pay twice as much for our cabin and they put us in the main dining room. Why are you now downgrading us, why not let us eat in the Grills or change our accommodations to a cheap inside cabin. He makes a phone call and then escorts us to The Veranda, the alternative dining venue and states that there will no extra charges and enjoy dinner at this specialty restaurant. It is one hour since we arrived for dinner. When we were finished, what was a wonderful and outstanding meal, Oliver arrives and states that beginning on day 2, we now have a table for 2 in the Club dining room. All the aggravation, upset and outstandingly gross attitude of Tatiana we now get a table! Why didn't she just do that in the first place. No, can't, won't, couldn't and shouldn't are the norm with her and many of her colleagues, (as we found out later). Food/Menus - Abysmal is the first word that comes to mind. Now we have the table for 2 we booked but the menus are weird and the food terrible. Every and I mean every entree had tomatoes of some sort on them. Jarred gravies swimming over the steak, baked potatoes still hard and undercooked and obviously microwaved. Gravies swimming on fish and anything considered an entrée. Lunch menus are the worse. One day it was so bad we went to the buffet and they had wonderful sushi. The Club had done. Oh and Tatiana told us that if we wanted anything, off menu, we must give her 24 yrs. notice! Fish and chips served daily in the Pub, just down the hall but if you wanted them, 24 yrs. notice. I could go on and on but you get the picture. Now we are not overly picky and as you get to meet people in and around your table you see that everyone is returning food, uneaten. Complaints about poor quality, tough steak and those sauces all over. We never saw this Club dining room crowded. Lunch was almost empty. 4 couples from the UK near us went to the Pub or Lido buffet every day for lunch and said they would complain to their travel agents when they got home. All agreed that this would be their cruise with Cunard. Sommeliers - We had one in the Club dining room. Never got his name but another Eastern European with a lousy attitude, chip on his shoulder that he was doing us a favor by serving us and no customer service skills. He was so bad, we demanded that he not come near our table. We brought our dinner cocktails in with us from the bar down the hall. And we went without dinner wines for the balance of the cruise. So our dining experiences were really bad and we of course kick ourselves for spending so much money in the Britannia Club category. And not enjoying the dining room. The only saving grace was our server Lhea. She was charming and friendly and tried so hard to help us. But again, she worked in the shadow of Tatiana. I guess if you complain to these Eastern Europeans (and Cunard seems to hire many of them) they get even. The Veranda - You would think you were on a different ship altogether. The staff is outstanding, the maitre d is charming and adds to the special meal. The menu and food are 5 star. So why can't the Britannia Club be run in the same way? We loved this restaurant so much the first night we went back at the end of the cruise and gladly paid extra for the privilege of experiencing another wonderful evening at The Veranda. Excursions - We have learned that the excursions are getting more expensive and you get so little in return. We plan our own excursions and/or take a local taxi. The locals in all these ports are wonderful and friendly. At a third of the price you get a wonderful experience. And in some cases the locals are so great you end up spending more money it tips and the occasional treating them to lunch. At least Carnival LLC doesn't get the money. Overall - The company owners are getting rid of more and more of the Asian staff and putting Eastern Europeans in their place. Not the lower end but in all the public areas and supervisor/manager jobs. With few exceptions, these Eastern Europeans have no people skills, can't or won't smile and present an attitude of total indifference. The Asian staff are wonderful and so many of them, working on these ships for years can never get promoted. Why? It sure was obvious on this cruise. With our dining room stories and interacting with the Pursers office showed us that the Queen Elizabeth is now run just like her two sister ships. Unless Carnival LLC brings back quality, caring, attention to detail and a bit of the luxury that is currently non-existent we probably won't be sailing on any Cunard ships anytime soon.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
We did a back to back starting on the 7th December and finishing on the 29th December. Embarkation was okay, as we had booked the Hilton cruise package we had to arrive when the coach brought us which wasn't the time on our ticket. ... Read More
We did a back to back starting on the 7th December and finishing on the 29th December. Embarkation was okay, as we had booked the Hilton cruise package we had to arrive when the coach brought us which wasn't the time on our ticket. We got there about 12 and all the booking/reception staff were all at their stations with everyone waiting over half an hour before they started loading by priority passengers then followed by the ABC cards etc. As they have now changed the security layout at Ocean terminal there were more scanners and no delays, excellent. The ship lived up to our expectations, decorations in the grand lobby were lovely, elsewhere there were Christmas trees and more poinsettias than we have ever seen in one place at one time. Easy access to everything on board however over the two cruises it was the coldest ship we have ever been on. If they didn't wan't to turn the heating up all they had to do was switch off the air con, despite mentioning the coldness nothing was done about it. We had an oceanview cabin on lower deck 1 which was spacious with a large settee, plenty of wardrobe space, bed was so comfy and the pillows to die for shame about the TV, so old and dated it really needs to be replaced. We were in Brittania restaurant lst sitting and was okay certainly no better than P&O or Princess. Entertainment ,well, we had Leon St Croix on the first cruise and Sally Sagoe on the second cruise as cruise directors. The entertainment team compared to P&O and Princess were poor, one or two did stand out but the majority were just along for the cruise. The Cunard singers and dancers were just average they could have danced and sang the same to each production they were that boring. We did have a couple of good acts The Opera Boys for one. Back to the CDs, Leon was okay Sally should hang up her boots, what a waste of space, just our opinions. The cruise did not say anything about them being a 'ballroom' cruises but every night the Queens room wasn't used for anything other than ballroom, the odd occasion was the resident band Synergy doing a spot e.g Abba night. We feel this venue could be used far more productively if used for other than dancing all the time. Disembarkation was an absolute shambles. No senior officers in sight only junior and entertainment staff marshalling people. We have cruised with 8 different cruise lines and 30 cruises and Cunard nil points. As you can guess they won't be getting any more of our money. This is just our opinions as experienced cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We were on the Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands, we paid the Cunard Fare so we had a very nice cabin with balcony, The food was very good except for Christmas Day we were expecting something a bit special but were disappointed. the ... Read More
We were on the Christmas Cruise to the Canary Islands, we paid the Cunard Fare so we had a very nice cabin with balcony, The food was very good except for Christmas Day we were expecting something a bit special but were disappointed. the entertainment was very poor, in fact, some of it was an insult to our intelligence I have seen better entertainment at children,s parties. Santa visited the ballroom in the afternoon and then nothing , not even a little party for the children, just photographs. The staff were excellent in the dining room and the Lido and the cabin staff. The Entertainment needs shaking up a bit it was very poorly organised especially during the day. We booked a tour before we went on the cruise , it was in la Coruna, what a rip off. it cost us 75 dollars for two, it was an easy walking trip, The tour was for two and a quarter hours and we were stopped for one and a quarter, we went through the empty fish market to a lighthouse which was up a hill we couldn't climb, then on to a café for coffee and cake for 45 mins then 15 mins it took to return to the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our first cruise and I had high hopes that a brand like Cunard would offer the very best but they really let themselves down in a number of ways. It started at embarkation, the e-tickets had told us not to be late and not to be ... Read More
This was our first cruise and I had high hopes that a brand like Cunard would offer the very best but they really let themselves down in a number of ways. It started at embarkation, the e-tickets had told us not to be late and not to be early, so we got there on time. However, no one checked and all that happened was that we sat for 40 minutes before joining the queue for check in. Not a disaster but why? 80 minutes after arrival we were on board. No one to greet us or offer much help finding our cabin but we got there on our own. The cabin (Stateroom? I'm not fooled!) was nice, smallish as expected but perfectly adequate with a very comfortable bed. Shower room was again a bit small but I guess this is normal. Not sure why the shower head was only 5' 6" off the floor making hair washing a pain. No bottled water in the room on arrival but got one later that evening. We finished it but it was never replaced. Lots of ice though. So to lunch #1 in the Lido buffet — Lamb Jalfrezi wasn't hot and the rice was properly cold and finding a table was a chore. Mandatory lifeboat drill was a necessary evil but I'm a bit concerned that they didn't take us via the route recommended on the back of our cabin door but instead took us the alternate way, which involved the parts of the boat we already knew. Dinner #1. Nice food but over an hour between the starter and main course — they were unexpectedly busy, apparently! Breakfast #1. Ordered room service for delivery between 9.30 and 9.45 — arrived 10.15. When I phoned to chase them I was told they were unexpectedly busy! Lunch #2. Food was nice and a very god range but no drinks in the soft drinks dispenser. Told the waiter but the drinks never appeared (probably unexpectedly busy). Afternoon tea in one of the amidship bars. We sat for about 10 minutes being ignored and when we eventually flagged down a waiter he refused to take our order as there were already too many orders in the system. So tea at 4.00pm is a no no on a Cunard ship. Probably unexpectedly busy. We went to our cabin and ordered room service tea which arrived in about 10 minutes. Why can't they take it to the bar? Deb phoned and had a moan and they did send us some delicious chocolates as an apology but I would rather have had tea when I wanted it. Dinner #2. Excellent and served in a timely fashion. Breakfast #2. in the Lido buffet was fine but they don't manage the tables so lots of moaning from groups of more than two because there were no tables for four or more available. Excursion to Bruges. Had to turn up in the theatre to be allocated a coach. Called to coach 15, disembarked and, guess what, no coach 15. Stood for 10 minutes in the wind and drizzle watching coaches 16 and 17 fill up before they decided we could take over coach 18. Bruges was lovely, the Christmas market was rubbish! Dinner #3 was, again, excellent. Breakfast #3 in the main restaurant was again slow, our food took over 20 minutes to turn up, which really irritated the table behind us who had been waiting an hour! Deb ordered an omelette and I had a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, which arrived in kit form—as the waiter had removed my fork, eating it was less easy than it should have been. Very nice though. Small details again let them down, no milk on the table and when asked the waiter grabbed a part used one from another table which meant we had to ask again for our second cup of tea, which he delivered in a grumpy manner. So that was it really, we disembarked fairly efficiently and came home. Overall the whole experience was let down by some incredibly poor service, not what I expect from a company with the reputation of Cunard. Our table companions told us their experience on P&O was far better, so I may give them a go in future or maybe avoid the whole cruising thing all together. I had a nice break but I'm really pleased it was only a short one! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We met some friends who'd never been on a Cunard ship. They asked our advice about Queen Elizabeth as they were going on the 'Cunard Christmas Market Cruise to Amsterdam' commencing 19th December 2014. After long ... Read More
We met some friends who'd never been on a Cunard ship. They asked our advice about Queen Elizabeth as they were going on the 'Cunard Christmas Market Cruise to Amsterdam' commencing 19th December 2014. After long discussions, and having no other commitments over that five day period, we said that we'd accompany them to show them around the ship and the city. We didn't book until late in November and were lucky to get one of the last available balcony cabins. They'd booked earlier in the year but we notified Cunard that we'd be travelling together and gave them a TWID number so that our bookings could be aligned and we'd be sitting at the same dining table. The alarm bells started to ring when the electronic brochure of shore excursions arrived. Amongst the tours to the Anne Frank Museum, canal rides, tours of windmills and cheese making farms, there was no mention of a Christmas Market! I looked at the Amsterdam tourist website and discovered that the Dutch celebrate Christmas on 5th December, a fortnight before our cruise was due to set sail. On that website there was no mention of Christmas markets continuing into late December. I rang our travelling companions and informed them. She, not one who accepts second best, 'phoned Cunard. The Cunard representative admitted that the company was aware that there were no Christmas markets during our stay in Amsterdam but her feeble response was “well it will still feel Christmassy!” However, there was still an air of excitement as we 'sailed' through check-in. The ship seemed full (we were later told that there were 2147 passengers). Ocean Terminal had been rearranged since our last visit and more security gates added so boarding was quicker. We entered the terminal at 11:05AM and were sitting in a deserted Lido Buffet by 11:40AM. We had not been on the Elizabeth since December 2013. We started noticing tiny differences almost immediately. On that boarding day coffee was only dispensed from machines; there were no sachets of Nescafé decaffinated. We found a waiter walking around the buffet with insulated flasks of tea and coffee and we found that the coffee from his flask was more palitable than that dispensed from the self-service machines. Later, when we went to our balcony cabin on Deck 7, we found that the Gilman & Soame toiletries had been replaced with ones from Penhaligon. Dainty little bottles but very little content. The shower gel was barely sufficient for one person to have a wash. Our steward did replenish them every day however. The first problem was when we met up with our friends, who had travelled down separately. They were on a table for two, on first sitting, in the Britannia Restaurant. We, on the other hand, were on a table for ten on the second sitting. (I'd requested no more than six and to share with them). So much for 'Travelling With ID' (TWID) numbers. We spoke to the Maitre d' and he promised to see what he could do but the first night would have to be taken on the tables/sittings assigned. Our friends were surrounded by tables with noisy children which did not go down well as they are a deliberately childless couple. Our table, on second sitting, comprised of four pairs of diners. One man was an ex-Merchant Seaman. He insisted on dominating every conversation and telling us how the Captain should be running the ship. On the first night we had a senior waiter and an assistant waiter. Service was slow but we just managed to finish the 8:30PM sitting by 10:30PM and get to the Welcome Aboard Show. The waiters never told us their names or had any conversational interaction with us. I have noticed this to be the case on many cruises where auto-gratuities are imposed. After the first night we had to survive without an assistant waiter. No explanation of his absence was given, but service became even slower. We were near a servery station. One thing I did see was another waiter sneeze over a full basket of bread rolls and then attempt to serve the rolls to another table. Without an assistant waiter empty water glasses were not replenished, crumbs not removed after the entrée service, we had to ask for sugar for our coffees; little things you take for granted did not happen. As I said there were only four couples on our table of ten seats. We thought that our friends would be put on our table but, on the second day, the Maitre d' stated that all places were taken and they could not be moved off first sitting. This was galling as those two seats remained unoccupied throughout the cruise. Every night service became slower. On night two I timed the period between taking the dessert order and everyone receiving their dessert at 35 minutes. The second night I and another guest timed the same at 38 minutes. In fact on that third night we all deserted the table before coffee as it was 10:40PM and we wanted to see the show. Only on the first night were we offered petit fours. The cheese selection now comes plated up. On the last night the only biscuits we were offered with cheese were Rich Tea! Not what you expect from Cunard. On night three I had the audacity to ask for a second cup of coffee. Our waiter had to find dregs from another stations and pour them into a pot to make up one cupful. We were never voluntarily offered a second cup at dinner. On previous cruises there have always been plates of mint crisp chocolates offered on exiting the restaurant. These are no longer in evidence. By night 3 we, as a group, complained to the Head Waiter. That night three of us had opted for lamb. It was inedible due to large amounts of gristle. Two had ordered red snapper. That was dry and crisp. By the time the Head Waiter came over and offered us an alternative it was 10:30PM. He did however admit that his tardiness was due to the number of complaints he'd received about that evening's meal. That is enough about the dining room. Now we come on to the cruise itself: During the afternoon of day 2, a sea day, Captain Clark announced that due to forecasted high winds we might not be able to dock in Amsterdam. The cruise was supposed to dock there on Day 3, stay overnight, depart on Day 4 and return to Southampton on Day 5. We were left in limbo as he said that the final decision, about approaching Amsterdam, could not be made until we reached the pilot station at 4AM on Day 3. If we woke up on Day 3 docked we'd be in Amsterdam, if we were still at sea he'd be looking for an alternative port. Day 3 dawned and we were still at sea. Information was sparse and we only found out later that he'd been unsuccessful in finding space at Rotterdam and Zeebrugge. Instead we sailed up and down the English Channel for three days without landing. One man I spoke to lived in Weymouth. He told me that we'd passed his house four times! When the Captain did make announcements they were not overly informative and this caused rumblings amongst the more vociferous passengers. I witnessed some very irate scenes at the Purser's Desk. Passengers were demanding to see the Captain face to face but were having to make do with venting their frustrations on the overworked desk staff. At 4PM on Day 4 the Captain announced that we would be returning to Southampton at about 8PM that evening. This was some twelve hours earlier than scheduled. He explained that technical problems due to be fixed at Amsterdam would have to be undertaken in Southampton necessitating our early return. Anyone wishing to leave the ship that evening could do so but if we wished we could stay aboard overnight while docked and depart in the morning. Those of us with cars locked in secure car parks were unable to take advantage of this evening disembarkation. Of course anyone leaving would have to carry all of their own luggage. By way of compensation Captain Clark offered every passenger an additional $75 onboard credit to their accounts. (As non-drinkers this was of little use to us as the onboard shops and casino had to shut at about 5PM as we entered British waters. We also already had $130 onboard credit we had not spent). My Wife did get a pendant which she would not normally have bought, but we still left the ship with $22 unspent. I witnessed many passengers becoming very merry as they tried to drink their extra $75 throughout the evening. We have room service breakfast each morning. On this cruise we had a different waiter deliver breakfast each day. They seemed to be very rushed and one told us that the room service department was inadequately staffed. This was causing mistakes and delays in service. We love our Queen's Room afternoon tea. On the first day we were surprised to be offered a choice of just four types of sandwiches, cucumber, egg, ham or tomato. These were tired and dry. On previous cruises the waiters bring the trays of sandwiches around a second, or even third, time but not that day. We had the tea on three days and the sandwiches slightly improved on days 3 and 4 with the addition of turkey and tuna varieties. Entertainment standards were variable. The group Changez had a new lead vocalist since our last cruise and I did not feel that he was as good as his predecessor. The welcome aboard show and Palladium Nights Show were exactly as previous ones we'd seen. On the night we were docked in Southampton they could only play recorded music in the Queen's Room as so many of the orchestra were ill! The Beatles Experience, whom we've seen previously, were excellent and very suitable for the age group of the majority of passengers. Martin Bell was one of the guest speakers and was very well received. I did not see the speaker on the Red Arrows as we've seen him on previous cruises. By 9PM on Monday evening long queues had formed as passengers tried to leave the ship. The Atrium was heaving. We went to the second Beatles Experience show and far from the 'standing room only' on their first night, the Royal Court Theatre was half empty, as was the Yacht Club disco and the Commodore Club. I think that half of the passengers had left the ship, as had our travelling companions. Disembarkation on Tuesday morning was the smoothest I've ever experienced. There was hardly any luggage to search through in the baggage reclaim and we drove straight out of the docks. From ship to main road took about 15 minutes. On previous cruises it has taken us over an hour to collect baggage and get out of the docks onto the main road. In retrospect I can see that Cunard are cutting corners and making many cost saving changes. What shouldn't change is the White Star Service and we found that lacking on this cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Awful choice of Vegetarian Food. This is not our first transatlantic crossing. When we sailed 18 months ago we had informed Cunard that we were vegetarian and they told us we would be catered for. This did not happen, the Kings Court had ... Read More
Awful choice of Vegetarian Food. This is not our first transatlantic crossing. When we sailed 18 months ago we had informed Cunard that we were vegetarian and they told us we would be catered for. This did not happen, the Kings Court had no vegetarian option available on an afternoon or late evening, the dining room offered exquisitely prepared for dishes, which were all vegetables, possible with a little goats cheese on. No balanced diet, no protein and we came away from dinner still hungry. We complained both on the ship and when we returned home. Nothing has changed. November 2014 we take the QM2 again. Hoping and praying that this time they would have listened. Again disappointed. We were offered a very minimalist menu list to choose from for the entire crossing. What was even more alarming was having dinner in Todd English, we made a reservation only to find the menu was the same as the Britannia restaurant menu for vegetarians !!! Credit where it is due, the staff in Todd English were brilliant and said they would try to help us find a meal as long as we gave 24 hour notice, so we putt off our dinner and talked about what we would like, they came through with a lovely curry. Every meal was either pastry & vegetables, rice and vegetables or cheese. On option for tofu..For world class chef they lack imagination. No quorn or no nuts, simple additions that would make a difference. At one point I asked with a Biryani on the menu the next day with veg could I have some lentils, I needed some protein, it was like I had asked for the world, it would require consultation and on and on. They did give me a some lentils which I knew they had from the Coriander restaurant. The Kings Court buffet was grim. Lots of different meats available with trimmings and veg. not a single vegetarian option. When I asked the chef he was less than polite and offered me a plate of carrots. I am not a vegetarian for some fad or diet. Like many through out the world this is a religious requirement. I was offended, but was delighted to find a friendly manager who went out of her way to go and get me a meal from Britannia restaurant even though I was up in the Kings Court, that I may have a meal. --Cunard, if you cannot cater for vegetarians, then just say so, rather be honest and up front that have us disappointed. Chaos disembarking Ok so you have thousands to get off a ship. But the chaos as we left and came through customs was ridiculous. No trolleys for cases, many elderly struggling with bags. Then our issue, after the customs hall not a SINGLE member of staff giving directions, like many other we had no idea where to go for our bus to the air port. It was freezing cold, no trolley so we were lugging all our cases to where we directed by a taxi driver only to find, the wrong bus. Eventually we arrived, just in time as the bus was ready to leave, some passengers were asked to get off the bus as their luggage was unable to fit in to hold… they stood outside, with no shelter waiting for another bus. The bus driver dumped us all at one end of the terminal so if you were like us on an American Airlines flight be ready for a hike, it would have been no effort to drop us off at both ends of the terminal. It felt like our money was taken for the transport and once handed over no one cared. – I have learned my lesson next time just get a taxi from outside. Friends of Dorothy Love the fact they have the space to meet the room was packed. always a bonus. RADA what a performance, they never disappoint.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The cruise was ok, not fabulous as I was expecting. The book in was good, no problems apart from loosing a case for a short while. The Kings Court food hall or as I would describe it canteen was poor throughout. Food was at best slightly ... Read More
The cruise was ok, not fabulous as I was expecting. The book in was good, no problems apart from loosing a case for a short while. The Kings Court food hall or as I would describe it canteen was poor throughout. Food was at best slightly warm, staff surly, food usually cold and overcooked. The Nova virus meant that everyone had to be served. That meant rationing, I challenged the tiny portions and asked why we couldn't have a tray. The Officer I spoke to said that it was to stop greedy people taking too much!!!!! It is the only cruise I have ever been on where I lost weight. Gym was good and the entertainment was excellent but the ship was a little tired in places. The food in Britannia Restaurant was reasonable to good but normally cold. The best bit was the pay extra Restaurants, I really didn't expect to eat in them as much. The crew were varied. The usual far Eastern, and Western European staff great as always but the newer staff ranged from aloof to surly, I couldn't believe the attitude of some of them, it was a disgrace and Cunard should be ashamed. What a shambles, wont travel with them again, second rate, not at all what I would expect on an alleged 5 star ship. Cunard did not respond to the letter I wrote on board, to the form I filled in and after 2 weeks to the phone follow up. Why do you bother if you don't want to know?   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Following a 12 night trip on the Queen Mary 2 to the Canary Islands my wife and I feel impelled to express our concern about falling standards on Cunard's flagship. This was our fifth trip on the QM2 and we feel that the ambience of ... Read More
Following a 12 night trip on the Queen Mary 2 to the Canary Islands my wife and I feel impelled to express our concern about falling standards on Cunard's flagship. This was our fifth trip on the QM2 and we feel that the ambience of the ship has deteriorated from five to three-star. We twice had to summon a plumber when the flush mechanism failed on our cabin toilet, the second time as my wife was preparing for the final formal evening of the cruise. We had to miss the special dinner as a result. Nothing was done about an intermittent fault in the ceiling down-lighters. They periodically switched themselves off, then on again. We complained about the lack of carpet cleaning and were informed that this was because of a minor Norovirus outbreak although we fail to see the link with a stomach bug. We had to repeatedly wash our cabin drinking glasses and request that clearing crockery and dirty glasses should be an automatic part of cabin cleaning. Bedlinen was not changed often enough for a 12-night voyage. We were disappointed with the updated navigational details given on Channel 41 of our cabin TV. These are difficult to follow for the layman. Previous graphics showing the progress of the voyage, wave height etc, were excellent. Contacting 24-hour room service was difficult. The number frequently rang without reply or went to a recorded message to "try again later". We understand that the cruise was fully booked but this failed to meet the high standards we have always appreciated. We found that espresso coffee was no longer available from room service. In its place we were served strong "stewed" ground coffee. I also noted economising in the Britannia restaurant when I was served a Grand Marnier soufflé that lacked spirit. Because of the Norovirus outbreak staff were serving in the self-service area. In the evenings, the dessert section was at the rear of a taped off stand. Staff had to be asked to explain what they were. Several spoke heavily accented English making communication difficult to follow. Surely a menu of desserts could have been placed where passengers could make a choice. The graciousness we expect on a Cunard cruise was sadly lacking on occasion. The company sadly need to raise its sights.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our 3rd Cunard cruise this year. The first was on the Queen Mary 2 Atlantic crossing from West to East, as this was our 40th wedding anniversary treat we traveled Britannia Club class and we were very happy with it. We then ... Read More
This was our 3rd Cunard cruise this year. The first was on the Queen Mary 2 Atlantic crossing from West to East, as this was our 40th wedding anniversary treat we traveled Britannia Club class and we were very happy with it. We then treated ourselves to a Mediterranean cruise on the Queen Elizabeth, also Britannia Club class and, probably due to the superb restaurant service we enjoyed it more than the QM 2. We then saw an offer for a 4 day trip to France and Bruges on the QM 2 again and as it was my birthday we decided to go again. I phoned to inquire about prices for Club Class as I assumed the headline price was for an inside stateroom(cabin). They said for £50 pp more we could have a balcony. I asked about the price for Club Class as I had enjoyed the 2 previous trips on the QM2 & the QE. I was told there weren't any "special prices" on the better grades so we opted for the Britannia Class with a balcony upgrade, thinking it can't be much different and not worth the large price difference as it was only for 4 nights, how wrong could I be. The cabin was fine and comfortable but the dining was awful. Crowded without an option for first or second seating for dinner which meant a long time between lunch and dinner and late to bed after the show. The waiting staff were either under pressure due to over crowding or poorly trained as there we often mistakes, such as the wrong cutlery, no cutlery, items missing off the plate and food not arriving at all. Breakfast was the worst affected meal for some reason. On the day at sea the queue for breakfast stretched past the gaming machines and when we were seated I saw that the upper level was empty. I asked our waiter why that was when there was such a queue to get in, "we don't have enough staff to man upstairs" he said. Strange, did they jump ship overnight? The first night the show was a group singing soul and blues not my favourite music but we decided we'd watch it. We arrived about 10 minutes before the show started so as to get a drink as they don't serve drinks during the show. We called waiter over and asked for the cocktail list, he went and got one and gave it to us, then left before waiting for our order. He didn't return before the show started so we didn't get our drinks. The group were nothing special but OK but they obviously thought they were better than they were. Not having a drink we left as without a drink to fortify us they were unwatchable. They were on again 2 nights later so we didn't bother to go, 50% of the entertainment and we didn't watch it, the entertainments director must have been dragging the bottom of the "buy one get on free bargain barrel". We had trouble getting drinks most nights as there didn't seem to be enough waiters, the upside being my drinks bill was unbelievably small. The last night was the ship's singers and dancers who were great but had recorded music instead of the ship's band which was a shame as from what we saw of them on the first night they were very good. Cunard obviously wanted to fill all the cabins, hence the "special price". Well if they want to go down the "£10 holiday route" they're welcome to do that but don't expect those who want a little bit more from their cruise to stick with them. We had a cruise but it certainly wasn't a "Cunard cruise" in my mind. I sent Cunard Customer Relations an email about my dissatisfaction and received an auto response, telling me it may take up to 28 days to reply. :-( Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Ship Beautiful up-market furniture, with traditional touch but lacks the diversity of decoration and atmosphere among the restaurants/bars. Our inside cabin was on the eight floor adjacent to the utility room so we had noisy moments on ... Read More
Ship Beautiful up-market furniture, with traditional touch but lacks the diversity of decoration and atmosphere among the restaurants/bars. Our inside cabin was on the eight floor adjacent to the utility room so we had noisy moments on board. Cleanliness and Hygienic standards were not very impressive in both the cabins and public areas. General facilities are meant for the senior passengers (too many WC, Card Room, Library, 3 Conference Rooms etc..) Customer Service We had to complain about the blocked sink on several occasions, the incident has been not handled appropriately and we had a phone line cut in one occasion. Mixed quality of staff service, in genral friendly but young which certainly inexperienced. However, we received 2 Champaign bottles as a returning passengers on Cunard which was a nice gesture. Route They decided to remove Toulon due to 'bad weather'. We missed our appointment with a friend there who claimed that weather was fine ! Food Main restaurant meals were good but in a very small portions Buffet was very limited, repetitive options and few passengers commented on the presentation. (Green salads were left looking dry all day. Mixed Salads were not inspiring and hardly touched) Entertainment The In-house dancers/singers/band were very good in couple of the shows. Visiting performers mainly Pianist or Violinist which did not match every one choice in my respect. Over all The Ship is targeting the British pensioners market(daily Ball Dance parties, medical seminars, quizzes/Bingo shows and a whole around activities designed for their age range. Traditional strict dress code if you are looking for free dining. Would you book this Ship again? NO unless the calling ports were interesting or I'm reaching my sixties.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
First I will start by saying my wife and I are travel agents whom when on any cruise we look at it from the point of view, could we place a client on this ship or this cruiseline, with confidence? We do compare with other cruiselines and ... Read More
First I will start by saying my wife and I are travel agents whom when on any cruise we look at it from the point of view, could we place a client on this ship or this cruiseline, with confidence? We do compare with other cruiselines and with what the cruiseline is portraying in their pre-cruise advertising, basically "will my client receive the treatment that (in this case) Cunard is selling." On this Cruise, Cunard missed totally. It seemed that everything was based on what was convenient for Cunard not the Passenger. EMBARKATION I will start with EMBARKATION IN ATHENS- We had arrived in Athens 3 days prior to departure and decided to take a taxi from the Hotel to the port. We arrived approx. 11am and were on the ship immediately after they started the embarkation process. Embarkation went very smooth as there seemed to only be, approx. 250 people who arrived early. We were also allowed to enjoy our stateroom right off the bat and were surprised upon entering, that our luggage was ready for us outside our room, that was great. Cunards policy is to take your passports for the duration of the cruise which I find is a blessing as we did not have to worry about it for the entire voyage, although I have heard that some people refuse to hand it over, which is their prerogative. (We will get to that later) STATEROOM We booked an Interior room as we are smokers who have decided that, with the balcony non-smoking policy and the fact that we have cruised the Medit. previously, there was no need for the extra cost and love the total darkness you can get with the inside room. Stateroom was impeccable other than the previous passengers sock and clear bags being left in the drawer. We are not hard reviewers, and are easy to please but being Travel agents we must analyze these things, personally, it didn't bother us, but it might offend some of our clients. The bed and pillows were the most comfortable we have slept on which came in handy as the entertainment was a little lacking and repetitive. Bathroom was a good size and storage was excellent. It could have been cleaner but with the turnaround time we were happy with our stateroom and attendant. STATEROOM ATTENDANT- was excellent, I only request my ice bucket filled daily and we give many days off to our attendant as we feel these people work very hard and always attain 1 of the 12 rules of the staff which is "to always smile". - Posted about the ship is 12 rules that Cunard requires of their staff at all times and can be found on their website and on the ship, we found that Cunard employees fail to reach 6 out of 12, regularly. The biggest was "We never say NO, we find an alternative"- It was very disappointing to hear more "no"s on this ship than all our 7 cruises in the last year and half put together. As well, I forgot that upon embarkation I had asked where the smoking areas were to the girl working at the Pursers desk on the ship, she broke another RULE that "our employees are well prepared and know everything about the ship hence she could not tell us where the Smoking lounges are- not a big deal but Disappointed. Back to the stateroom, it was excellent as well as attendant. ENTERTAINMENT- The shows were adequate but the same, Cunard Singers and Dancers were mediocre at best. 1 Comedian for 1 night, who was very good and broke up the singing and dancing theme, hence we did not go to every show. The library was excellent but the cases are locked up most of the time which I thought was a slap as with the type of clients on this ship I thought there would be more trust. The extra charges for there tutorial type classes was disappointing as there was really not much else to do as an alternative for us- we don't drink. I will say that my wife and I are really not suited for the type of entertainment that was offered and we knew that going in so we really could not put down the type offered, but the variety and quality was not there. PORTS- well this is where it gets very DISAPPOINTING- after cancelling Tunis 2 weeks before departure (mind you with good reason- Safety!!) the alternative was Albania- nice if it was July or August. This port is still in the begining stages and we were tendered in which is no big deal but there was nothing to do unless one visited the Archeological site(Butrint) It seemed to me that this port was picked out of convenience and financing as I am sure it did not cost much for Cunard to float in the bay for the day and use the lifeboats as tender ships, there are loads of Greek Isles they could have picked in place of "OLD CARTHAGE"- and Albania Disappointing again. MONTE CARLO- Well this is the biggest "lunchbag letdown" I have ever witnessed and actually took me to the point of anger. Many, many of our fellow passengers as well as ourselves chose this Itinerary for the port of Monte Carlo. 8 hours could have been filled very nicely with a visit to the Princes Palace and Casino and glimpsing at the very expensive Yachts that frequent this City State. I was dying to see this port. THE SAGA-The day before Monte Carlo, we arrived in Livorno. It was raining in Livorno and Pisa on and off for the day. With everyone back on the ship for the night and ready for the journey to Monte Carlo during the night. Early dinner was being served and a few minutes in to dinner, the Captain comes over the speaker to inform all passengers that due to the "possibility" of rough seas, 30 knot winds and rain, that for safety reasons, she would be cancelling MONTE CARLO the next day and we would be staying in Livorno the next day. WHAT!!!!, the whole dining room went into a heavy sigh- MAJOR DISSAPOINTMENT-. This was the talk of the ship for the next few days. Now I know you are saying to yourselves "well these things happen, but safety first, it has happened before, what are you going to do?" and yes I have had this happen to us many times as well. But to cancel it 12 hours ahead of time for medium seas???? We watched The Costa ship leave heading to Savonna, ferries galore, container ships and a Seaborn Yacht leave for the same Ligurian Sea we were going to be crossing, so we are thinking whats up with that? How come these ships are not worried? The reason I am so upset about this is because after the announcement, the wife and I went to the Pursers desk to change some American to Euros, It was only us and 3 other people standing there, while standing there we overhear the attendant calming these 3 people down saying " Don't worry the Captain is aware , all is good you will be able to go to the embassy tomorrow in Livorno and we have already talked with them, you can get new passports, it is already looked after, no worries.. Now I am more disappointed, as this is 15 minutes after the M.C. cancelling announcement. We have been on a Disney Cruise with many families and young children in October, we were following around a hurricane which had devastated many Caribbean Islands and YES it was rough, but HEY we are on a cruise ship, a huge ship, this is what they are built for. All passengers know that there is the possibility of some rough seas, but we are cruisers we can handle it, we will all be in bed on the way to Monte Carlo so no Biggie. So now I am thinking that here we are not going to Monte Carlo so these people can get their passports the next day, hold the whole ship hostage for 3 people who obviously decided contrary to most of us, not to hand their Passports over. BAD DECISION ON THE CAPTAINS PART. and the BIG KICKER it was sunny, 60 degrees and 6 kph winds in Monte Carlo all day the next day. The second day in Livorno was the worst weather, we stayed on the ship and I checked the weather in Monte Carlo every 2 hours on the internet just to get more Dissapointed. I and most did not get off the ship for round 2 in Livorno. The weather was brutal it downpoured all day with thunder and lightening in LIvorno all of day 2. Here is my conclusion- The weather for the night crossing was the perfect excuse to not dock in the one of the most expensive ports in the world to visit (for the cruiseline) thus saving Cunard money and conveniently now they will be able to get these passengers passports. Now this is just my opinion but c'mon 30 knot winds is not that bad- and this brings me to the reasoning again that this cruiseline looks after what is good for Cunard not what is good for their passengers. I am not the only person who felt this way, it was the talk of the week, there was no reason not to go to Monte Carlo- there must have been more to it than the rough seas. TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT. DINING-Food was Hit and Miss, no garlic butter. Again another "no" I even asked after the first "NO" the week before that if there was Lobster the next Wednesday, please could I have garlic butter. Come Wednesday "sorry sir but "NO" there was no garlic butter. I saw chopped garlic upstairs for pizza and I had butter on my table- how hard would it have been to put together some Garlic Butter??? No cold milk anywhere for cereal???. It seemed that first nights pork went a heck of a long way with pork related dishes lasting for about 4 days. Lack of desserts 3 at dinner and Minimal desserts offered at the buffet Compared to, say, Princess, who has that wonderful International Cafe with wide selection of changing desserts constantly. Food was definateley nothing special, coupled with missed salads and no Garlic butter, hmmm!! DISSAPOINTING. As for Cleanliness, we never saw anybody outside picking up stray glasses or cups. Very infrequently you would see someone clean outside, some cups would be there all day and into the next day. VAT tax of 22% for the second week of the cruise in international waters was odd!! or for some people their whole week cruise. Charging to get from the pier to port entrance in Barcelona was silly, 4.50 euros each way. If you are going to take us to a port, it should be your obligation to take us to the action. The whole outside areas of ship put away at 5pm every day apparently an S.O.G forcing passengers to be inside all night, 5pm- just never seen this. Never was I offered a drink in the buffet, waiters had to be asked, everybody just found this odd. I had to put the burning ashtrays out on deck 3 approx. 8 times in 14 days due to smoke and at one point flames. They have no garbage cans on deck 3 promenade so people will use these odd shaped ashtrays which are attached to the pillars to put there garbage in and I felt it was really dangerous. Now, I know it seems like we are slamming Cunard pretty hard but they really have to take a look at what they are promoting and what they are offering. They push this "White Star Service" and for the most part we did not feel it was there, I have been treated way better on just about every other Cruiseline I have been on. Considering Carnival owns most of its competition they should really have a look at what they are promoting and see if it really is offered to the customer. They have a beautiful ship which is set up for great movement and no crowding but as stated I think the are missing the real concern for their passengers- SERVICE, Monte Carlo should never have been missed and I think they should all be compensated in some way due to the Mickey Mouse reason for missing it. If there was a real safety concern then fine, things happen, but c'mon -30 knot winds??, and to leave us in a thunderstorm in Livorno was ridiculous. Even if the Captain had apologized for a bad decision it would have been soothing - the least she could have done. She should not have cancelled Monte Carlo they should have cancelled Toulon- they take us to a port on a Tuesday whose claim to fame is being a Naval Base- -and the only day the Naval Museum is closed is on Tuesday, HUH!! We are not petty people and love cruising, all in al,l the base service on any cruise is some of the best you will see in the Travel Industry, BUT don't promote something so heavily, and not offer it. This is definately not high class service as promoted. The only thing high class about Cunard is the passengers being dressed up every night. We give it the Luxury status. There was one fella who worked in the buffet who should be teaching all other staff how to serve the passengers.Named Palo. Him and our stateroom attendant were the only two who made us feel like we were appreciated instead of a burden. Cruiselines - they are all great- but with Cunard the only really enjoyable thing was the the relax time. there was plenty of it due to the fact that there was very little to do that interested us, We had the most relaxing time. The ship is beautiful, The insights program would be great if there was more than 2 hours of lecture time a week- by each speaker. We don't play bridge, drink alcohol, or ballroom dance, we really enjoyed tea but those sandwiches are different. I don't know how they can physically put a "HINT" of the filler so thin on the bread.-Odd, I hope this wasn't a long whining review, that was not my intent, I am just looking at this from the point of view -"could I place my clients on this line confidently" and I am sorry to say that there was more negative than positive, but it could be fixed very easily, PUT the client first, not Cunard, their pocketbook and their employees. This Cruiseline must have a small, loyal following that keeps it afloat. As you can tell we were very disappointed and hope that maybe some of these things will change, as stated it was relaxing, and maybe that is the attraction for most of these positive reviews, but I think that it would be nice to have the option, not to be forced on you due to lack of activities,and please think of the all passengers first- not just 3 of them.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The QM2 is now getting on as she was conceived and built in 2001 an but did not sail until 2004.  She now is showing her age but she is not growing old gracefully. This is my third and last cruise on her. We have had over 30 cruises in ... Read More
The QM2 is now getting on as she was conceived and built in 2001 an but did not sail until 2004.  She now is showing her age but she is not growing old gracefully. This is my third and last cruise on her. We have had over 30 cruises in all on all ships. The cabins in Balcony and Club Balcony are exactly the same except the club one has a proper glass fronted balcony whereas the balcony cabins are more of a tin shed with no views at all from seated position. The club balcony gives you also free water, fruit and pillow menu for £65 per day each extra -wow? The cabins are very dated with clumsy furniture and poor electronics. Shower rooms small but usuable for normal sized people but hopless for 300 pounders. Cabins have an Old TV which has a picture not worth watching, rubbish films and ancient TV shows, whereas the newer sisters ships of Carnival are much more to date in décor and in room entertainment. The food is passable but portions tiny. Cooked by a small army of Asian chefs who do not know western tastes let alone how to prepare meals. The food quality is good but the cooking.......well, it is either well overcooked or undercooked in the case of vegetables. There are often 3 vegetarian dishes from a choice of only 6 entrees which is crazy but reflects the regions where the chefs come from. The wine prices are high plus the Cunard "VAT" of 15% on all you buy plus a cabin charge of $23 a day, bit of a rip off I say. The entertainment is usual semi amateur stuff with noisey singers and aged performers past their prime. The speakers are monotonous and lack enthusiam for their subject and do it for a free cruise.... shame. Overall the price is very high for what you get but is cheaper than business class to NYC so it may suit you if you have the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Having previously cruised on QM2 in 2007 from Brooklyn around the Caribbean, we were raving about our holiday when we returned, so we thought we would have a short break again on this lovely liner and it is lovely, however, we have ... Read More
Having previously cruised on QM2 in 2007 from Brooklyn around the Caribbean, we were raving about our holiday when we returned, so we thought we would have a short break again on this lovely liner and it is lovely, however, we have returned and are a tad disappointed, perhaps we are getting too picky. Booking was easy, price very fair for a balcony cabin, we used Cunard car parking and this again was so simple and easy, reasonable priced and friendly staff. From handing over our car and depositing our cases, we went through check in so quickly and the folk were again professional and welcoming. It had been pouring in Southampton and so looking like a couple of drowned rats we just wanted to get to our cabin and get sorted. Before you got to the scanning and security, you had to pass the photographic team, We were asked how many, and I replied that I did not want our photo taken, to which the staff member asked deadpan and even louder HOW MANY, I said I just did not want our photograph taken, and he gestured with his arm that way, I was a bit taken aback, what had just happened, so I returned and asked his name, I said that I was not hard of hearing and that he should not speak to people like that, so on we went. We quickly found our room and outside were our cases which impressed us. When we entered our balcony cabin, there was a bottle of bubbly welcoming us back, which was a nice touch. Rooms are okay, similar to those on RCI, NCL and P&O, we preferred the balcony on the Ventura, however we were not expecting too much sunshine and fresh sea air is a tonic. We had been allocated 6.00 pm dining and so I had to stand for almost one hour to change to the 8.30 dining, very glad we did. On NCL we had to give our cabin number at the Muster and those that had not attended were notified and had to attend, on QM2, this was not the case. We dolled ourselves up for dinner and then found we could not get into the Golden Lion Pub, too busy, so sat opposite in Samuel's bar which is a coffee bar through the day, and so a little calmer, however they did not have cocktail or bar menus, so the waiter had to go get these, then bring them, then go back through into the Golden Lion for cocktails, this happened on all four nights, you would think they would have twigged to put cocktail menus out on an evening. We were twice given the wrong key card back, on one occasion a chap sat close by asked if I'd had a pear cider, I thought he wanted a taste, he said I thought so, I have your card and took it out of his wallet, by chance he'd checked his receipt, this also happened to our fellow diners who were locked out of their room, this does give opportunities for abuse. Dining was just lovely, food first class, wine waiter so attentive, you could not complain, we sat with another two couples and got on very well. The first stop was Zeebrugge, I had read about the train and the shuttle bus, however as it was a Sunday and the trains were every hour, did not fancy taking a chance on missing the boat, so to speak, so we paid $63 each fare to and from Bruge. One couple on our table got on the free shuttle bus (there was a small notice in the Daily news-sheet) and paid €3 each way, so felt a little ripped off. Bruge was lovely, chocolates, history, canals, beer, and the sun shone, walked for miles. We were to have a sea day on Monday so went along to book the planetarium, which was full, the indoor pool had a capacity of 14 and so to get a lounger you did have to loiter a while, but they were emptying. I saw one man go into the ladies toilet and shower room, but there was no one around to mention this to, luckily there were no ladies in at the time, very odd. The seas were getting a little rougher, however QM2 hardly rolled, but when the Captain told us we were heading for Cherbourg as the weather was deteriorating and that we were just off The Isle of Wight, can you believe it, I think we were sailing in circles. The Black and White evening for me was a bit of a damp squib, but you make your own fun and we did, however on other cruises, I like to people watch and we did not see anÅ· Senior staff members at all or the gorgeous ball gowns. The men did scrub up well and almost all wore their dinner suits. The shows were again not spectacular, good, but not as good as other cruises, perhaps again this is because it for me Cunard was just killing time until their transatlantic cruise on Wednesday 8th October. Cherbourg, raining so, we had a quick walk around town, I would have loved to do Mont Saint Michel, however DH has mobility problems, everywhere in Cherbourg had Welcome QM2' so seemed like a big occasion for them, we got to speak a little class room French, found a beautiful patisserie which soon filled with QM2 fellow passengers sheltering from the rain. We returned on board early thinking, we would have fish and chips in the Golden Lion Bar while it was a little quieter, however, we could not get a waiter to make eye contact or come down to where we were sitting, as there were two couples, we eventually went up to the bar, our fellow passengers managed to get served and my DH just could not get served, one staff member serving everyone, not their fault, so returned to the table. this had started to be a quest. So, I went to the bar and was told I needed to give a table number, so went back to the table and there wasn't one. We eventually got these elusive fish and chips, order taken again by someone who could not make eye contact and seemed huffed with us for being a pain, and when lunch did arrive, it was poor, fish undercooked, mushy peas - black bits and crispy, mind just as well, still struggled with buttons at the end of cruise. There were a good number of older folk onboard and I think the pace and activities were geared towards these, we had a younger couple on our table and they were looking for things to do. We went to the pictures and saw Maleficent which was good. The cabin steward was super Romar, worked really hard, always seemed to be around if you needed him, but not in your face. The waiting staff were excellent, however the waiting staff in the Bars really let Cunard down, they seemed a bit miserable and some acted like they were doing you a favour. Would I do QM2 again, probably not, there are stacks of alternatives, we paid our gratuities almost $100 for two, $50 for three hours Internet, $126 for Bruge trip and then our drinks on top, so whilst initially cheap trip it can add up. On departure we sat in Queens Lounge awaiting our colour coded allotted departure slot, whilst waiting we were requested to stand in silence, while the Captain presented the Mayor of Southampton with sacred soil from War Cemeteries for transfer to the Imperial War Museum Garden, which we all gladly stood for, bearing in mind the age and infirmities of those on board, after ten minutes folk started looking around and I think after fifteen some sat down, communication seemed to be lacking, then we were told to make our way off the ship. It is just these little niggles that irked me, I did enjoy our short break, but for me there was very little of the star quality we had experienced on QM2 last time or on the other cruise lines, however previous cruises have always had sunshine, so perhaps that could be a factor, it may be a while before we do another cruise, especially on QM2.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Having listened to friends who have sailed on the QM2 we decided that we would take a trip on this ship to celebrate our anniversary, however, having arrived back home, I have to report that I was less than impressed by the QM2. The first ... Read More
Having listened to friends who have sailed on the QM2 we decided that we would take a trip on this ship to celebrate our anniversary, however, having arrived back home, I have to report that I was less than impressed by the QM2. The first major disappointment was the cabin, I naturally thought that this would be superior to the cabin we had on the Queen Victoria but this was not the case. The decor was extremely plain, cold and uninviting, the balcony was not clean, quite a bit of rust, flaking paintwork, and very poor quality repairs to the paintwork, where carried out. TV quality was poor, USB port on TV did not work, furniture was scratched badly, sofa had not been cleaned properly. The shower curtain should be binned, full of pulled threads with many stains on it. The bathroom lock was loose, the silicone mastic around the fittings was applied by an amateur. One bedside lamp, had a mind of it own and would turn off and on constantly. All in all quite poor. Other things that I was less than impressed with were, the state of many of the men's public toilets, they smelt as if they had not been cleaned, many loose taps, generally in need of attention. The shops were overpriced, staffed by people that were less than helpful and many of them had what can only be described as market stalls outside, not very classy. The main restaurant that we used was the Britannia, the food was extremely good most of the time as was the service from our waiter for the first four days, the service was not as good when his trainee took over, but hopefully he will get better. Can the head waited take note, please ask your staff to wait until everyone on a table has finished eating before they clear the plates, on more than a few occasions I had to stop eating whilst a waited leant over me to remove finished plates, this is rude. Wine and drinks were far too expensive for what we were getting. $49 for a bottle of wine that should really have been priced at $25, still Cunard are like most restaurants, they all rip off customers with drinks prices. Despite reminders and assurances, Cunard do not adhere to dress codes, there were some very poorly dressed individuals in the restaurant on formal nights, this is wrong, if they want to dress badly, then please eat in the Kings Court. Talking of the Kings Court, I found this crowded, dirty, and the cooked food appalling. Having sailed on the Queen Victoria, which had a really good buffet area, I expected the same or better on QM2, was I in for a shock. I had very little cooked food in the end as the majority of what was served did not look very appealing. The head chef should look for another job if he thinks the food is good enough to serve this way. To give a few examples, uncooked sausages, half cooked toast, greasy corned beef hash, underdone english bacon, over done american bacon, undercooked pizza. Most of which was poorly presented. Did anyone else suffer trying to extract food from some of the displays, my arms really needed to be another six inches longer to get to some items. Does the chef know that cold plates are best for salads etc. If you required very hot plates, then you were well served, if you required a cold plate, then tough. For the usage this area has the staff need to be much quicker clearing and cleaning tables. The entertainment was mediocre, the so called comedian should look for another profession, the dancers were ok but not great. The best act was the Beatles Experience, by far. The daily activities left a lot to be desired, not very well thought out and too much of the same every day. Cunard do not seem to cater for all ages which is a mistake. I enjoyed the quiz events, as did many other passengers, perhaps Cunard should hold more of these as they appeared to be very popular. The evening entertainment other than the big shows was ok. Steve on the piano was on the whole good but only when he was doing what he wanted rather than what the audience required. Outside, I got really fed up with having to hunt towels. If they are not enough staff to man all pools and jacuzzi's then please ensure there are a supply of towels near these facilities, especially on deck 12. I could probably go on and on but really cannot be bothered, much like Cunard. I will never sail on the QM2 again and will probably have to be dragged onto another cruise, as this experience was not the best way to have a holiday.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Embarkation in Brooklyn was a doddle, staff pleasant, security efficient, arrived at around noon and onboard by 12.30. I was surprised that there are no welcome aboard drinks, just staff pointing you in the direction of the elevators. ... Read More
Embarkation in Brooklyn was a doddle, staff pleasant, security efficient, arrived at around noon and onboard by 12.30. I was surprised that there are no welcome aboard drinks, just staff pointing you in the direction of the elevators. Nice that the cabin was ready for occupation. We had a balcony cabin, 11th deck, forward, starboard side. The cabin was fine, not very upmarket, clean. We had to ask for a bed topper as the bed was far to hard for us. We also requested feather pillows, both things were sorted by our excellent attendant. Plenty enough storage. Noisy, both from next door and along the corridor. Sound insulation is not good. The cruise itself was as expected, seven sea days, some rough weather, some good days. We were always able to walk on deck ( even if coats were needed). Food - Britannia Restaurant, second sitting. Food was not bad, worse than I expected, not as good as Celebrity Cruises. The service was fast, far to fast. Plates being cleared before others had finished, courses being served before the previous course had been eaten. Wine waiter was nowhere to be seen for the first couple of days, never had the offer of a second glass or dessert wine/ port etc. ( I know the UK was doing "Stay Sober for October" but that was supposed to be voluntary !!). Golden Lion Pub - Great place, great staff, great atmosphere. Favourite place on the ship. Good quizzes to. Lectures - Not bad, some interesting with a wide variety of subjects. Disembarkation - Absolute shambles…. On the whole not a bad voyage BUT ( as you can see a big but), we found many of the passengers far to snooty. It might be that the ship is not one for us but I have never found so many people who don't smile in the corridors, no chit chat in the elevators. I go away to enjoy myself and on this ship it seemed as if people were judging others at all times. And don't for heavens sake wear unsuitable clothing at 5.50pm unless you want to be tutted at!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I chose the Queen Elizabeth because the cruise included ports that we had not been to. The embarkation procedure went smoothly and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to the Brittania Club. The stateroom was ... Read More
I chose the Queen Elizabeth because the cruise included ports that we had not been to. The embarkation procedure went smoothly and we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had been upgraded to the Brittania Club. The stateroom was clean and tidy but the shower in the bathroom was a disappointment. Having travelled on both Celebrity and Oceania the immediate reaction was that it lacked that little touch such as room fresheners and refreshments. The food in the Britannia Grill was very good and the somewhat small portions could be supplemented with the help of the friendly waiters. However the Lido Restaurant was a disappointment. The food is acceptable and it is obvious that the chefs have to work with the quality of ingredients supplied. On a Mediterranean cruise you don't expect to get supermarket quality greenhouse tomatoes. As on most ships the number of desserts that can be made from a common base is amazing! At times the staff were clearly unsupervised with individuals running around appearing to be busy whilst ignoring the empty dishes. There also seems not to be enough crockery as, at busy times, it comes straight out of the dishwasher back to the restaurant. Salad and cold drinks with hot plates and glasses is not really acceptable. When this was pointed out to a supervisor the attitude was "so what" The prices for all services and beverages are extremely expensive. As on most ships, service charges are added to the account but here a drink incurs an extra service charge on top. The cost of excursions are the most expensive that I have encountered and do not appear good value. Having been on other cruises we know to steer clear of these and organise trips independently. A first time cruiser could spend a lot of money. In summary it's Carnival in disguise or "a VW Golf with a Rolls-Royce Badge. Cunard is a rather poor third behind Celebrity and Oceania. We won't be going back.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth we were very much looking forward to a sampler trip on the Queen Mary 2 before booking a Trans-Atlantic trip. Unfortunately it failed to live up to our expectations in ... Read More
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth we were very much looking forward to a sampler trip on the Queen Mary 2 before booking a Trans-Atlantic trip. Unfortunately it failed to live up to our expectations in many respects. Our table in the dining room was in a very dark and dismal position and the tables in our section were long tables rather than the normal round ones. The food was "OK" but the waiters made no effort to engage with us. In fact we never leant their names. The Theatre was a little strange - to us it resembled an old time music hall kind of layout. The Commodore Club - our favourite on the other Queens was ruined by being attached at one end to a cigar saloon. This meant that most people crammed into one end of the Commodore club to avoid the very pungent cigar smell coming from this cigar saloon. As is usual with Cunard there were no tea/coffee making facilities in the cabin. Whenever we attempted to get some delivered to the cabin all we ever got when we telephoned was a recorded message saying that room service was busy. On our return to the ship in Cherbourg there was a problem with embarkation just at the point when all of the trips were returning. The queue to board was right along the quay, all the way into and out of the other side of the terminal - and it was raining ! - we all got very wet and very angry. Disembarkation at Southampton was a complete shambles. Rather than calling us to disembark in groups as normal, they continued to call groups even though the whole deck was jam packed with others waiting to disembark and we couldn't find anyone to ask to put a stop to the madness. We did email to complain. The initial response stated that it would take 28 days to respond to our complaint but if in the mean time we wanted to book another cruise we could use the link below !! The eventual response from Cunard was as disappointing as the experience of the QM2. Come on Cunard you can do much better then this. We travelled on the Emerald Princess earlier this year and although there were almost 1000 more passengers the organisation was brilliant.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I must first say that we enjoyed the Cruise. The Queen Victoria is a fine, comfortable ship, and our cabin was excellent. However there were so many irritations, some of them avoidable, that we will think twice before going with Cunard ... Read More
I must first say that we enjoyed the Cruise. The Queen Victoria is a fine, comfortable ship, and our cabin was excellent. However there were so many irritations, some of them avoidable, that we will think twice before going with Cunard again. The primary complaint was the price of everything on board. The cheapest wine at dinner was $30 + 15% service charge (all drinks attract a service charge of 15%) . Photographs taken by the ever hopeful ship photographers were $24.95 each. A tour of the ship was on offer at $120. To join a wine tasting was about $50. I don't know why Cunard charge these silly prices, it just puts people off, and there were a lot of unclaimed photographs at the end of the cruise. We probably spent less than we would have if the prices had been reasonable. Entertainment was we thought of a high quality, but often spoiled by being over-amplified. The theatre is excellent. However the timing of some of the daily events was strange - there were often 3 talks in the morning and none in the afternoon. Cinema shows started about 1230 when people were having lunch. One of the problems of the ship is that it has only one theatre. Other functions have to take place in the Queen's Room, which is not an enclosed space. It was not therefore a good place for the Piano Recitals given there, as there were stewards and passengers moving along the passageways, and the noise of the air conditioning almost drowned out the performers. Also the seats are badly arranged for that type of event, and for the cinema which was held there. The penny pinching extended even to the Passenger Choir for which no music was provided - even the pianist had to play by ear. The food we found was mostly pretty good, not though as good as we had with Fred Olsen on Braemar a few years ago. Service was sometimes a bit slow. We enjoyed our trips though they are expensive. We were disappointed at the lack of shuttles - particularly in Istanbul where there was quite a walk to the centre. The ambience of the ship is supposed to be traditionally British. If that is so then it seems odd to have everything priced in dollars. Nor were the entertainments staff particularly British in attitude - everything was hyped to the maximum degree, and a bit of British restraint would have been refreshing. Incidentally the Captain (Commodore) was a perfect gentleman! Despite the above we did enjoy the holiday, but much preferred the Aurora on which we travelled round the world a few years ago. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time to relax and catch up. We booked the cruise approximately 6 weeks before departure and we were happy we were allocated rooms next to each other as we were advised this may not be the case. We had not travelled on the Queen Elizabeth before but soon realised it was almost identical to her sister ship the Queen Victoria and the itinerary was very much the same. I am not the sort of person to sit around all day and I love to take part in all the sporting activities which happen throughout the day. It is a good way of meeting other people and forming friendships whilst on board. When on a sea day it is a good way of breaking up the day, but I feel more time could be taken to plan the activities better so there is no overlap and you are able to take part in all activities on offer. The entertainment staff on board were excellent, they made activities fun and worked very hard at making sure everyone involved had a good time. Since going on the QM2 five years ago we have noticed standards in the restaurants have fallen year on year. It is certainly not fine dining any more with poor quality food and a limited choice. Our waiter this year was rude, when a fellow diner on our table was not ready to order the waiter retorted 'and', this resulted in some bad feeling between the guest and the waiter for the rest of their trip. The same waiter also resorted to dressing down another waitress in front of other diners in the restaurant. This year we found that the strict dress code was not enforced and one diner turned up in a pair of jeans and an anorak to a formal night in the Britannia Restaurant. On another occasion when ordering drinks at the bar, the barman asked my daughter for ID. I explained that she was 23, but she showed him her ID card whereby the barman insinuated it was mine. I was taken a back that not only did the barman not believe me when I told him my daughters age but then went on to insinuate that I would give her my own ID card. We were due to arrive in the port of Athens the next day so we went to the information desk to get details of how best to travel to Athens on our own. We were assured that there would be a shuttle bus to the end of the port and then there would be a 15 minute walk to catch the Metro. However there was no shuttle bus and we still had not reached the Metro 50 minutes later, we had to get a taxi had we known this we had got a taxi at the port. The evening entertainment this year was disappointing with not enough variety, each night there would be an all singing and dancing extravaganza but it was very repetitive and some evenings we would give it a miss. We spent most of our evenings in the Golden Lion Pub where there was a nightly quiz which proved very popular with a lot of guests. On our day of disembarkation we were told to vacate our rooms by 8.15 and be in the Britannia Restaurant by 8.30. There seemed to be a mix up with the colour of our disembarkation tags and we didn't seem to be on any list to leave the ship, but we were put onto a coach anyway and taken to the airport 7 hours before our flight. There was not seats to sit on in the airport and we were pushed from pillar to post by airport staff. This was a very disappointing end to our holiday as we felt Cunard just couldn't wait to get us off the ship even though there had been a huge communication break down regarding when we should have disembarked. Overall the holiday had its good and bad points, but the poor food and lack of respect by some members of staff has left us wondering if we should travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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