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441 Cunard Cruise Reviews

Just completed the Melb-NZ cruise 18-30 March 19. Seemed like a good way to see a little of NZ in comfort. Massive delays and chaos at boarding in Melbourne. Burst water main leaving cabins without water until 9:30 AM one day. Casino ... Read More
Just completed the Melb-NZ cruise 18-30 March 19. Seemed like a good way to see a little of NZ in comfort. Massive delays and chaos at boarding in Melbourne. Burst water main leaving cabins without water until 9:30 AM one day. Casino flooded and smelling. Long queues for shuttle bus into Dunedin with USD 8 charge each way. Long queue for tender from ship to Akaroa even at 11:00AM. Stale cheese board crackers in upgrade Verandah restaurant; reported to maître d' who took no action and continued serving from the same supply on the cheese cart. Drinks overpriced in US dollars and even more expensive when converted to AUS and 15% service charge then added. No ushers in cinema with very elderly people entering in the dark after the film started with one gentleman falling badly on the stairs near my seat. No assistance/supervision in the gym in the early mornings with elderly people on machines. Cabin clean and comfy. Staff very polite and efficient. Food plentiful and good but silly corner cutting like complimentary food from room service but charging for tea/coffee delivered with food. Evening shows too much of the same "song and dance" type routines. Good classical music program and ballroom dancing lessons. Overall the company are milking the Queen Elizabeth name. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After a great cruise on the Queen Mary in 2017 we had great Expectations of First Class service on Queen Elizabeth in March 2019. Our cruise from Melbourne started poorly with a Cunard Computer glitch at the Port check in causing long ... Read More
After a great cruise on the Queen Mary in 2017 we had great Expectations of First Class service on Queen Elizabeth in March 2019. Our cruise from Melbourne started poorly with a Cunard Computer glitch at the Port check in causing long delays. In fact as we boarded the crew were in their life jackets directing all passengers to their muster stations for our safety drill. Obviously they were leaving on time no matter what. Anyway these computer problems do occur but we missed that welcome aboard photo, the officer’s greeting and the champagne. Not to worry we were on the Queen Elizabeth heading out of Port Phillip Bay heading for New Zealand on a 12 day cruise with one of the best ships on water. Generally the waiters in the Lido Dining Room were just not interested in providing service to their guests with avoidance of eye contact and little interest in meeting our needs. At Britannia Dining Room the service was improved but still it was no better than that of a café . Drinks service was appalling. On day six they ran out of scotch in the dining room so served Jack Daniels without asking if OK. Bourbon is not Scotch. Despite all bars on the ship having plenty of scotch (one had 31 bottles) the waiter said he could not borrow or restock and we would need to ask head office why not? Really? Our table of ten ordered 4 bottles wine throughout the cruise with 3 of them out of stock. These were all listed on their wine menu. Food was Ok with rather small portions and limited selection and variety compared to previous cruises. Drinks service at the Golden Lion Pub was very slow whether they were busy or not. Staff seemed disinterested in good service. Plumbing issues began on morning one when our toilet would not flush. Maintenance responded after my 2nd call adjusted something and it worked. Great til morning three when same problem same result after my 2nd call again. Morning four Toilet won’t flush. By now we are “Not Happy Jan “so again after my second call maintenance arrives and I indicated you can’t just keep adjusting this thing every day or we will have to move. He pulled the whole thing apart found the component that was faulty and surprise surprise it was fixed for good. Happy with the outcome but we did not need three goes to get that result. I am sure this is a regular problem so they will be aware of what needs to be done. On morning eleven toilet would not work but neither did the water supply. Seems they had a main water pipe burst and the entire ship was without running water. To be fair these things happen I guess but I got the impression this was not the first time. Anyway the Casino, Shops and many Staterooms were flooded as this occurred during the night. We were without running water until 9.30am just as Captain Simon Love had announced at about 8am. The flooded areas had poker machines and tables in pieces trying to dry them out before the next cruise that started the next day. We did speak to some guests whose rooms were flooded and the crew were helping dry out their clothes and belongings. Our Stateroom Staff were very efficient and friendly. Our room was in good condition but the balcony was in need of rust treatment and painting roof and rails. It doesn’t make it appealing when it looks grubby. We found the entertainment nightly was very good with entertainers of high quality well presented. Well Done! The Thermal Spa and the Gym were very well equipped with helpful enthusiastic staff. Well done! Ports of call were good with even a tendering port Akaroa being not problem at all. Cruising through Milford Sound was a highlight with an onboard commentator who gave great descriptions of the entire area with the Captain and crew placing the ship perfectly for viewing throughout the ship. Well Done! In summary we found the ship was as expected with good facilities and décor but the service and staff are letting the Cunard Experience down badly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have travelled on Queen Elizabeth previously and had a wonderful time. We flew to Melbourne to join the ship at our allotted time of 12.00 only to be told you can’t board until after 2.00 pm come back later. They did take our luggage ... Read More
We have travelled on Queen Elizabeth previously and had a wonderful time. We flew to Melbourne to join the ship at our allotted time of 12.00 only to be told you can’t board until after 2.00 pm come back later. They did take our luggage and manage to lose 1 piece. We eventually got to our cabin at 3.45 pm after much queuing. People were passing out in the heat in the lines. Very poor. The food in the buffet was very ordinary and repetitive. The food in the main restaurant was appealing but lacked taste. We had room service but it was cold and the selection was small. The entertainment had too much Cunard singers and dancers and not enough other entertainment. The guest speakers were poor compared to other cruises we have been on. We were asked to disembark at 7.00am. They put on early breakfast in the Lido but while we were at breakfast our room was stripped even though we still had items in the bathroom and on the bed. We felt given that we had to leave so early the room steward could have waited till we had left. When we arrived home we had been charged for water that was given to us when the cabins had no water due to a burst water pipe. It was refunded after we complained but complimentary usually means free. Queen Elizabeth is a beautiful ship but not the high standard it was. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We ... Read More
We chose a 3 night Sydney - Burnie - Melbourne cruise as a sampler and introduction to Cunard cruising. Embarkation was reasonably painless. We arrived a little earlier than the allocated boarding time and was told to board anyway. We dropped off bags, queued for about 15 minutes and then found ourselves on-board. Finding our cabin was easy as we were escorted by our cabin steward who did a good job of explaining our cabin facilities. The cabin was comfortable and clean, though no larger than what we've previously experienced. Power is via British and American sockets, which is no problem, but there were no USB sockets. The bathroom was small but everything worked as expected. The bed was comfortable, but I found the pillows too soft. A nice touch was a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on ice in the cabin. As a tip for Cunard though, next time source a wine that is drinkable. Two lunches and breakfasts were in the Lido buffet. As a buffet, the food was reasonable quality with a good variety. Shouldn't have to pay extra for espresso style coffees though. One lunch and dinners were in the Britannia Restaurant. This was disappointing. The food was no better than a reasonable RSL club bistro. The service was reasonably attentive though a little hit and miss. After our first night's dinning I found myself with someone else's keycard. This was quickly fixed up at the purser's office and provided a lesson to check the card after purchases. A highlight of the food experience was the high tea, which we experienced on our second day. Being our only day at sea, it was very popular and the overflow ended up in the Britannia Restaurant. The tea (or coffee) was plentiful and hot, the food, sandwiches, scones and sweets, were spot on and the service was attentive. Drink prices were on the expensive side, especially once you remembered to convert from USD and add the gratuity. Being Australian, gratuities, and tipping in general is a pain. If it is part of the standard or expected cost, just roll it into the overall price and be done with it. Then we can decide to tip if we feel the service deserves it. Overall though, the service was good. We didn't take in a show but did experience some of open the entertainment on other nights. The bands were what you would expect and reasonably entertaining. We took in a talk by a historical expert regarding WWII Japanese hold-outs (refusing to surrender after the war) in the Pacific. I found this interesting as I enjoy the historical aspect, but it wasn't to my wife's taste. My wife though did sample the shopping, fortunately without much success. Our one port day was in Burnie, Tasmania. This a good, honest working town, but not a very inspiring cruise destination, especially as it was a public holiday and would have been completely dead if it weren't for hundreds of cruise passengers wandering around looking for something to do. There were very few cafes and you couldn't even have a beer and lunch in a pub as they were all closed. At least the mayor was there to greet us when we came down the gangway. We didn't do any organised shore excursions, but my sister, who was part of our cruise group, did, and enjoyed the Cradle Mountain excursion. Overall, the ship had a decor in keeping with it's image and wasn't overcrowded. We weren't disappointed, but now feel we've done the Cunard experience and probably won't be sampling it again. We are going on a longer Oceania Mediterranean cruise later this year. It will be interesting to compare that experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this review to celebrate a milestone birthday with family. Food was very average to say the least. Had better food in on our Royal Caribbean cruises and better service too. Everything seemed to be an extra cost plus 15%. Wine was ... Read More
We chose this review to celebrate a milestone birthday with family. Food was very average to say the least. Had better food in on our Royal Caribbean cruises and better service too. Everything seemed to be an extra cost plus 15%. Wine was very expensive. Got a suprise of $US 34.50 for each person on our bill. $US30 to play bingo? Had 8.30 seating for dinner which meant the plays were at 10.30 what a joke. Perhaps they should do what other cruises do so if you have 6.30 dinner you do 8.30 show and vise versa. First & second night entertainment was dismal. Last nights comediam was excellent. Highlight was Burnie where we organized our own amazing tour. So unbelievably disappointed would never go again! Oh I divot to say that afternoon tea was so packed people started trying to get a seat at 2 for 3.30 afternoon tea! Something is so wrong with the coordination of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Queen Elizabeth is beautiful. The ship is incredibly elegant as it's namesake allows it to be. But unfortunately when the surface is scratched there are many imperfections that simply are a bit of a let down. Food... We were not ... Read More
Queen Elizabeth is beautiful. The ship is incredibly elegant as it's namesake allows it to be. But unfortunately when the surface is scratched there are many imperfections that simply are a bit of a let down. Food... We were not impressed by the food in the buffet area, Brittania dining room or specialty dining. It all tasted bland or the same - but it really did look great, so I guess that was the disappointment. Cabin... Our cabin was nice, but the bathroom extremely small, smaller than on other ships we've been on. One thing we noted was our television service was intermittent & the English speaking channels didn't show any of the movies being shown in the foreign languages which was weird. Service... We did not encounter many staff but those we did seemed to have very high expectations of the passengers. Our room attendant made mention that we should put the make my room up sign out because otherwise he didn't know, which is fair enough - but he went in our room anyway so.... We could not get a drink in Lido to save ourselves, it was almost if they avoided eye contact. In the main dining rooms service was far too slow with our drinks arriving at the end of our mains or dessert. Simply by being efficient they could have sold extra beverages so I thought they would be on top of it. Entertainment... There just wasn't enough, but this was only a small voyage. We have sailed Cunard in the past, and I really want to stress that despite my disappoints the ship was beautifully appointed - it really could be something remarkable with a few adjustments. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was pleasantly surprised to be let on board immediately. Embarkation was a breeze. To keep this review brief I will deal with the disappointments. I expected more of the food. It was very ordinary and at breakfast only one person was doing personalised egg choices. We gave up. Cheapest bottle of wine - $48 USD which equated to almost A$70. Toilettries were never replaced even after asking 3 times. In fact the steward was only seen three times and it was very poor service. Finalising of account queue on the last night. Both my partner and everyone in the queue were furious at the wait time with 2 people serving and another desk free being payment for tours with nobody at it. People eating at 8.30 pm session had to wait till 10.30 to see a show lasting sometimes till 12. My partner would have loved a tour of the ship's history perhaps as a speaking or walking activity. We spoke to others who agreed. It was both my birthday and our anniversary and there was no provision or opportunity/acknowledgement for anything special as with other liners where a sign and balloons are put on your door or they bring out a little cake to your group dinner table (sounds trivial and not that I wanted to be centre of attention but if it's a special occasion, it always goes down well). When I enquired about this they advised I should pay for the specialty restaurant or purchase one of their expensive gift packages. We did not go on a shore excursion with the ship as most were booked out and were quite expensive. We went on a private tour and it was the highlight for us. It was a public holiday in Burnie but as the operators were locals they knew all the places to go. We were stressing before we went as to how formal the gala dinner would be, what to wear and how this would be presented. It was over-rated and nothing special was done. On the positive side - room was comfy, smooth sailing, nice surprise of a bottle of bubbly in the room, entertainment good, good guest speaker talks, impressive fit out of ship and we particularly loved the bar near the theatre (can't think of name) where the meals there were better than most restaurants and were free with such a great atmosphere and we found the staff here to be the most welcoming and engaging of all Happy it was a sampler but wouldn't go again.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a short cruise Sydney-Burnie-Melbourne. It was my 5th cruise, 3rd on Cunard, first on QE. Other 2 Cunard cruises were on the Mediterranean and loved them I echo the other reviews that you see on here - lovely ship, quick ... Read More
This was a short cruise Sydney-Burnie-Melbourne. It was my 5th cruise, 3rd on Cunard, first on QE. Other 2 Cunard cruises were on the Mediterranean and loved them I echo the other reviews that you see on here - lovely ship, quick on-boarding, good service on dock, ordinary service on-board Had to visit the purser couple times and had to wait 30+ min each time. Whenever i walked by, always a queue. No such queues at tour desk where you need to pay for tours.On last night went there to pay bill and only 2 on desk. All waiting complained incl 2 poor souls who were locked out of cabin but had to wait for new keys with those waiting to pay. Issues in cabin - see below. It was very disappointing I wouldn't go on Cunard in Oceania again (but Med yes) , though my wife did enjoy, even with the issues. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
If you want a cruise with everything "English", pick this ship - lots of formal nights (suits and tie and lots of guys in penguin suits), indifferent staff (with a few very pleasant exceptions) many of whom would walk past and ... Read More
If you want a cruise with everything "English", pick this ship - lots of formal nights (suits and tie and lots of guys in penguin suits), indifferent staff (with a few very pleasant exceptions) many of whom would walk past and not even make eye contact (in complete contrast to the staff on our last cruise with Holland America who went out of their way to be friendly and pleasant), average food (some good - but outdoor grill food was terrible), and activities frequently disorganised and inefficient (e.g. up to 3.5 hours to get a tender to shore). Evening entertainment shows were excellent, cabin rooms very good but basic and overpriced, and poor value compared to other lines. Tours were reasonable to expensive but really good guides, but at one port ship arranged for all tour buses to get back to port at same time leaving 2000 passengers standing in the sun for up to an hour while 4 tenders struggled to get us back on the boat. We have done several cruises (P & O, Princess, Carnival, Holland America, Avalon) and rate this ship the lowest. Next time, back to Holland America (for sea journey) or Avalon (for river cruise) - both were 5 star. For veranda suite only one restaurant and buffet to chose from, two other restaurants had ridiculous cover charge with limited menu. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having cruised on other cruise lines we thought why not go upmarket with the Cunard QE. Our great expectations did not materialize, from embarkment at Sydney at 1.00pm an untrained lass was totally lost doing the paperwork constantly ... Read More
Having cruised on other cruise lines we thought why not go upmarket with the Cunard QE. Our great expectations did not materialize, from embarkment at Sydney at 1.00pm an untrained lass was totally lost doing the paperwork constantly requiring supervisor assistance for 30 minutes with no seating for semi-disabled senior passenger doing the procedure. On way to ship entry no Cunard photographer or photo opportunity for souvenir. Balcony cabin was ready and comparable with other lines, however the cabin steward never introduced him/her self during entire cruise. Half bottle of sparkling wine in bucket of ice was appreciated and a thoughtful touch. Unfortunately, sleeping at night was difficult as other passengers seem to enjoy slamming cabin doors plus our cabin door was directly opposite cabin steward's kitchen with much banging and clattering of metal seemingly oblivious of passengers comfort. First night main restaurant dining at 8.30pm (we had no choice) no "my-time dining". Sat down at table for two and waited 25 minutes for waiter to notice our presence. Took our order which came after 30 minutes further wait. During this time we did not sight a drink waiter, nor during the entire meal so that was a saving no less. The second night was "Gala" night, formal black tie. Service was better , main course had choice of lobster that my wife and self selected. My lobster came but not my wife's. She did not want to cause a scene so declined to complain and missed out. The idea of semi-formal attire after 6.00pm was to be commended for such a ship but in reality it was somewhat of a joke to see what some people considered this dress code to be and was rather comical. We ate mostly in the Lido buffet, rather than otherwise at 9.00pm, and the food here we found limited and not overly impressive. Roasts were disappointing, one night only one roast meat on offer, lamb, undercooked and so trough was 'rubbery"and inedible. Other cruises always offer a choice of three roasts each night... why not Cunard.It's not as if we aren't paying for it big-time. Much of the upper decks and restaurants are verboten to the lesser guests putting us well and truly in our place.... perhaps that is where the good service is found. One person on board needs an attitude make-over and she is a young "lady" in the purser's office front counter. For someone being one on one with the public she seems to have a big "chip" on her shoulder. She continually and rudely insisted that my partner and I were entitled to $75.00 each on-board spending money only for us to find on departure that this was not the case, naturally after we had in fact spent the $150.00 on useless overpriced souvenirs. Is this the face of Cunard? Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise to visit Vietnam and Hong Kong and finish with a stint in Singapore. this segment was 22 days. - we were medically disembarked on day 18. Please read on to the Cunard Cough Embarkation was so smooth and took just ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit Vietnam and Hong Kong and finish with a stint in Singapore. this segment was 22 days. - we were medically disembarked on day 18. Please read on to the Cunard Cough Embarkation was so smooth and took just minutes. The Cabin 8114 was clean, comfortable and the steward wonderful. Dining in the Lido Buffet offered a wide variety of choices of excellent food. Unfortunately the furniture in the Lido needs a very good clean and the chairs were very grubby and the salt and pepper shakers were the main source of germs. The main restaurant was very disappointing. The offerings were average at best and the service was not up to the food and service standard that we experienced on the Queen Elizabeth a few years ago. Mock cream was offered with desserts. MOCK Cream!!!!! when you can get fresh whipped in the Lido buffet - that was not logical, fine dining Vs buffet and we got mock cream. Might sound picky, but the rest of the food followed suit. The entertainment nightly and offerings during the day were very good. Excursions were well managed, Tender ports took forever to get off, so get down early if you are doing a self-tour as these leave after the excursions. MEDICAL CENTRE - excellent service for all those who became sick, and those with the dreaded CUNARD COUGH. Yes, it has a name, This cough is a virus and was rampant on our cruise. It put too many passengers in sick bay and resulted with us getting pneumonia and having to leave the cruise early to get specialised hospitalisation and treatment. Many passengers didn't like getting treatment on the ship as their travel insurance was not top notch and they didn't want to pay, therefore they coughed and coughed and gave it to many others. The doctors and medical staff we give 1000%, we would not be here writing this without them. Yes our travel insurance paid up but we were very honest with them and took out extra and got their approval to cover pre-existing conditions. Would we go again - no, we felt the overall standard on this cruise was not what we enjoyed a few years ago, and on review we will not take the health risks. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
× I awarded my cruise of 2017 5 stars no problem × I struggled to award 3 stars on this cruise, just 2 years later. WHY Pre embarkation × met at Brisbane airport by a Princess Cruises representative! × taken, without P C ... Read More
× I awarded my cruise of 2017 5 stars no problem × I struggled to award 3 stars on this cruise, just 2 years later. WHY Pre embarkation × met at Brisbane airport by a Princess Cruises representative! × taken, without P C rep, to a local hotel who had no knowledge of us and were not expecting us × later driven to Cruise Terminal by an aggressive, unhelpful taxi driver. He even refused to lift our luggage into the boot Post embarkation and cabin × cabin as expected with helpful staff Dining x poor. Food never hot enough. Vegetables undercooked. Fancy menu not relecting what arrived on my plate x Lidl...sorry Lido, an horrendous dining experience. Gueste seen eating food from their plates on the way to their tables. Decor, plastic, pastel, ( un ) pleasant Entertainment etc x poor, particularly the ballroom catering for the minority not the majority x Service...excellent from x purser's desk x housekeeping x all maintenance crew Ports and Shore excursions x never leave anything to chance...book a private tour or research own Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Went on a three day Melbourne - Burnie - Sydney cruise and having been on QM2 in 2017, we were really looking forward to a great time as we had on QM2. I have to agree with others, the embarkation was messy. The ships decor is ... Read More
Went on a three day Melbourne - Burnie - Sydney cruise and having been on QM2 in 2017, we were really looking forward to a great time as we had on QM2. I have to agree with others, the embarkation was messy. The ships decor is beautiful and very impressive. The ship is also better laid out than QM2. We decided to pay a little more for the Britannia Balcony Club which simply gives you your own restaurant. We arrived, the manager introduced himself, walked us to our table and as I was sitting, preceded to tell me in front of other passengers that my dress was acceptable tonight but tomorrow I should were a jacket (no formal night this night), despite me wearing a sleeveless frock coat. Short story, complained, Maitre D apologised and stated that I was a good example for the ship to accept more modern dress modes - the main issue was the public berating, I could have been asked quietly as I entered. Dinner at the Veranda Restaurant was spectacular, the food totally amazing with great service and atmosphere. Our cabin steward was brilliant. Generally, staff need better training, when used asked them simple questions we were referred to the Purser's Desk or told to listen for announcements, bit much when you only wanted to know what timer the shops opened or directions to an activity. All staff on QM2 knew their drill. I found the ship dancers somewhat tardy and lack lustre compared to QM2. Maybe Cunard is struggling to adapt to Australian passengers. Personally, for the money, I was somewhat disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Being Cunard we expected something better that Holland, Princess and Royal Caribbean but we were disappointed. We booked some months in advance and requested the early dining @ 6pm but found we had been allocated 8:30pm. No good for me ... Read More
Being Cunard we expected something better that Holland, Princess and Royal Caribbean but we were disappointed. We booked some months in advance and requested the early dining @ 6pm but found we had been allocated 8:30pm. No good for me with gastric reflux issues. We saw the Maitre D' who was disinterested but put us on a waitlist of 2 pages of other people. This meant we ate in the Lido Buffet for the first two nights - the food was typical cafeteria food and nothing special. After 2 night of poor food we complained to the Purser that we didn't book the QE for poor quality food. Next day we were given the early dining. We joined in Adelaide but 2 people on our table joined in Melbourne and had only booked 3 days before and were given early dining - pathetic. TV picture quality in Balcony room 6119 was poor, given that we were cruising in Australian waters there were no Australian channels for news. At the time we had bush fires in TAS, NSW and floods in QLD and parliamentary chaos federally and in NSW so news would have been nice to hear. The shows were excessively loud, even with ear plugs and pretty boring. Service in the main Dining room was very good once we got access to it. Service in the Lido buffet was not good, especially if you were old and with a walker (not us). We helped an old lady get a glass of water because none of the staff would and she said she had to get only a half-full glass because it would spill carrying it back on her walker. A couple of the lectures were interesting 1. Lowry the painter and his stick people paintings; 2. RAF pilot and his experience of being shot down in the 1st Gulf War and being captured. In addition there were water colour painting classes which were very helpful. On shore tours were the usual price of most cruises but there were some interesting ones. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Last year we really enjoyed a 14 night Baltic cruise on Queen Elizabeth in a Princess Grill room. Decided to try the Queens Grill on this short cruise and regretted the decision to move up from the Princess Grill. The Queens Grill room was ... Read More
Last year we really enjoyed a 14 night Baltic cruise on Queen Elizabeth in a Princess Grill room. Decided to try the Queens Grill on this short cruise and regretted the decision to move up from the Princess Grill. The Queens Grill room was larger but didn’t provide a significant upgrade over the Princess Grill. The Queens and Princess restaurants have the same menu and waiting staff rotate through the range of restaurants so there was no upgrade there. The menu in the Grills restaurants is very conservative and quite bland but the waiting staff were excellent and dealt very well with some very rude passengers. The singers and dancers currently on the Queen Elizabeth are much better than the previous group and the entertainment was really good on this cruise. The room staff, waiting staff and other service staff were very good but the security staff who manage the port disembarkation/embarkation were awful and on a number of occasions were rude and overly officious with passengers attempting to get on or off. The things that annoyed us with the earlier Cunard cruise, very expensive Internet and the gratuity/service charge gouging, haven’t changed and we’ve decided we won’t travel with them again until this is improved or they are offering free gratuities and Internet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were on the 21-day crossing of the Pacific from San Francisco to Sydney. We have been on 32 cruises on various lines and have sailed with Cunard many times before. We chose this crossing as a way to get us to our 2-month adventure in ... Read More
We were on the 21-day crossing of the Pacific from San Francisco to Sydney. We have been on 32 cruises on various lines and have sailed with Cunard many times before. We chose this crossing as a way to get us to our 2-month adventure in Australia. We were very happy with the transportation, but not too thrilled with the Queen Victoria nor the cruise ship features of this crossing. While we found the Victoria to have a lovely interior design, we couldn't help but compare her to the Queen Mary 2, which we prefer for her spaciousness and a couple of grand public rooms, like the Chart Room. The Victoria was very crowded with long waits for elevators and to disembark at ports. The activities and entertainment were aimed directly at most of the passengers who were very old retirees. There were almost no young people on board which is probably a good thing since they might have been quite bored. The most popular activities were ballroom dancing, dance lessons, and chair aerobics. Everyone was in bed by 11:00. Cunard, and especially the Queen Victoria, have defined their niche as nostalgia for the features of ocean-liner travel from decades ago. Thus lots of formal nights with a dress code strictly enforced, and very subdued entertainment. The food? Well it was cruise ship food with lots of dishes, like steak Diane, which pretty much don't exist on land anymore. We dined in the Princess Grill, which was OK, but I have a very hard time remembering any dinners in particular. Just dull. We tried the Lido buffet a few times but found the food like a school cafeteria. No complaints about the service. We were happy to reach Australia safely and without jet lag. But we were also happy to leave the ship and move on to our next adventure. We will return to Cunard and the Queen Mary in September for an Atlantic crossing, which will be fine since it's not a cruise, but I doubt if we will return to the Queen Victoria and the cruise ship style of Cunard. Finally I want to state that we did not get value for money. This cruise was very expensive, maybe because it was a segment of the popular World Cruise. We have traveled on a couple of luxury lines at much lower per person per day rates and received much more in various features. Still it was probably cheaper than flying first class to Australia. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The cabin D7017 is small and poorly appointed with a small dressing table, minimum storage facilities, particularly if a long voyage. The bathroom small but manageable however the shower cubicle is pokey! Television channels are ... Read More
The cabin D7017 is small and poorly appointed with a small dressing table, minimum storage facilities, particularly if a long voyage. The bathroom small but manageable however the shower cubicle is pokey! Television channels are extremely limited and there is no interactive channel. Frankly it looked rather 'tired'. Room service is available but our experience has been that nothing arrived 'hot'. Lukewarm seems to have been the best that could be managed. Public areas of Queen Victoria are comfortable and the waiter service excellent. Dining is tedious with a two seating arrangement at 18.00hrs and 20.00hrs. 18.00 rather too early especially if returning from shore excursions. The shopping on board was as appears to be the case with most cruise ships directed toward high end buying with selections of 'watches and jewellery' endlessly tedious. Bar prices are definitely high. Personally I wouldn't choose a Cunard ship again...there's far better value for my hard earned cash out there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Excellent for special diets ie lactose free gluten free etc Good standard of food overall No where to eat outside. Very disappointing Kings court food area feels like motorway service station No basketball Main Sunbathing ... Read More
Excellent for special diets ie lactose free gluten free etc Good standard of food overall No where to eat outside. Very disappointing Kings court food area feels like motorway service station No basketball Main Sunbathing decks obscured by lifeboats Entertainment in the main theatre generally good Embarkation procedure in Dubai was a nightmare. Disorganised. Took 7 hours! We were given a bottle of basic red wine by way of apology but we felt complaints had fallen on deaf ears Drinks on board eye wateringly expensive but we were able to bring a bottle of gin and wine on board No proper deck to exercise/walk a circuit in the sunshine Sea day activity programme variable. Some good days some not Canyon ranch spa charging 58 dollars for a haircut or gel nails. Also 28 dollars for gel removal Excellent art lectures On board shops very expensive Ship totally unsuitable for children Planetarium is excellent and most unusual to find at sea Overall ship is quite dated. More suited to the elderly Air con is very cold outside your cabin. We needed more warm clothes in the ship especially the theatre. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise as it meant i did not have to fly home after visiting South Africa. Embarkation was very good in Capetown, Cabin seemed a bit smaller than other lines (balcony). Very impressed with all the seating areas that were ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it meant i did not have to fly home after visiting South Africa. Embarkation was very good in Capetown, Cabin seemed a bit smaller than other lines (balcony). Very impressed with all the seating areas that were available and they were not closed for half the day.for art auctions. Did expect a bigger menu range at the dining room, and did find the gravy on what seemed all the food quite annoying. The waiter did sort this out by the 2nd night and from then on all sauces and gravy were served separately on the side.The dining staff were extremely helpful and were definitely above average as was our cabin steward. The entertainment was very mediocre and there were very few lectures that I bothered to go and see, and evening shows I avoided all together, although my partner did say that there were a couple of performers that were outstanding. I did like the kettle in your state room this was so good if you woke up early and did not want to go to the lido for an early cuppa I always carry my own jar of coffee so only had to ensure that I had some milk in the fridge,only tried one cocktail on this cruise mostly due to the high prices of alcohol, but fruit juices available 24 hours a day. Only did one Cunard tour off the ship in Mauritius, the tour itself was good but the guide was a little confused and instructions were not very clear and for what was involved was quite pricey. Visited the gym on two occasions when could not walk the decks like a lot of ships very limited space for the group classes good range of equipment but very crowded. Did find that a lot of the windows were very grubby, I know its a ship but on a different ship everytime we were in port they would be out cleaning the windows. All in all an interesting cruise and a good way to sample the Cunard experience, but for the price was just an average experience, in some respects Holland America, and other cruise lines I have been on match or in some areas were a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is a tricky review to write. We spent 19 days on the Queen Mary 2, and it was a lovely break. We’ve often cruised before, but this was the first with Cunard who came recommended. We booked the Queen’s Grill service – this is the ... Read More
This is a tricky review to write. We spent 19 days on the Queen Mary 2, and it was a lovely break. We’ve often cruised before, but this was the first with Cunard who came recommended. We booked the Queen’s Grill service – this is the First Class tier, and as Cunard claims the First Class level in general, I suppose this was the First Class of the First Class. So we had high expectations. The service was really good by and large, our cabin was spacious and well-appointed and the staff mostly charming, motivated and friendly. But we also had issues some of which were serious – things which Cunard really should address or assist with, and these often took the edge off the experience. Hence the title – ‘Close…but No Cigar’. In the interest of balance, I have also asked Cunard to respond at the end which is why it’s taken a few weeks to post this review. Cunard accept all the issue and are very apologetic. They have refunded some items such as the tours described below and they compensated us unasked for others (£1200.00 as a credit). But I also awaited their response to publish here – which as I say is at the end. You can judge from the response whether Cunard address the issues and actually change anything. So what did we like? Lots. We saw wonderful things and places, and had some great experiences. An example is our Butler. Friendly, helpful where he could be, in a role many will say is not clearly defined beyond stateroom cleaner and servicing. But twice he saved us specific upset. The first was the late arrival (by several hours) of one suitcase – with all Mr’s clothes in. Krishna (the Butler) went the extra mile to track it down in security and bought it to us, just as we prepared (indeed so we could dress) for dinner on the first night. On another occasion my wife lost her ‘Fitbit’ watch as we hurried late for a shore excursion. Not hugely valuable, but it was a Christmas present from our son, so sentimental. We knew it was lost between our stateroom and the theatre. Again, after we’d asked the Purser for several days if it had been handed in, we asked Krishna if he could help. He went to security, and they checked the cameras along the entire route from stateroom to theatre. They found where it was dropped, and a passenger who then picked it up was spotted. A polite call by the Butler and security to his cabin, and apologies that he’d not yet handed it in, and it was returned. This is particular is probably the best piece of Customer Service we have ever seen…well done. The food was excellent as expected, and the dining staff like all others, engaging, interested, keen to help. Both the daily menu and a la carte were simply superb and to our taste. The sommelier was knowledgeable and engaging and added to our experience. The talks on board, the Planetarium, afternoon tea, the films, the range of games, the choir we joined (after abandoning dance – see below) were again all great fun and world class. So…what went wrong? It was several things – some serious, some less so but none the less all were surprising. And (to note) I deliberately left it two weeks before writing this review (and then longer to allow Cunard to respond) to allow some perspective and objectivity – but these did really affect our experience. Our arrival The stateroom was spacious, and we went in. The very first thing I noticed was (apart from one orchid flower in a bowl of water) no flowers. There’s a shelf right by the door where they are placed in all pictures from Cunard – so the first thing you see. Small detail but we like plants and flowers around us, and we had noted their provision with pleasure from the brochure. In the end we bought flowers for the room on day two, but then three days after sailing an orchid potted plant did arrive unannounced. Just as you’ll see in all the brochure pictures. We didn’t mention it to the Butler as we found a more serious fault described below and didn’t want a general ‘moan’, but a room is either prepared or not. And had I known these were coming (and when we ordered through the Concierge I did explain why I was buying), I’d not have bought more flowers. And totally get this really is a first world problem! But also on arrival anywhere, I tend to hunt for electric sockets – charging both phones, tablets and so on, we need power, and often I find a hidden socket behind bedside lockers so we can keep these on our bedside tables. No sockets. But what I did find behind my locker was a lot of filth and dirt, what looked like a dead insect or cockroach, and other mess (as you’ll see in the pictures accompanying the review). My wife’s was worse – among the filth and piles of dust were coins and a number of the QM2’s internal newspaper. Dated August 2018 (again you can zoom into the picture). This means the last time the room was properly cleaned was more than five months before our arrival – and judging by the dust a long time before that. But demonstrably not since August 2018. This we did raise with the Butler, and it was sorted out the next morning (he did offer that night but we just wanted to get on). There were also hairgrips all over the walk-in wardrobe floor and under the dressing table – my wife picked up about 20 over the next week – presumably the vacuum cleaner rejects these. So not only had this room not been cleaned properly (for months) but also (if you’ve ever seen TV programmes) Cunard shows the highest level of pre-guest inspection, with each room being checked before being released for new guests. I sort of understand that occasionally in a difficult turnround this may be missed. But half a year – not cleaned and/or inspected? And you have to wonder what else was missed or short-cut? Sorry, that’s not good enough in any hospitality venue, let alone Queen’s Grill on QM2. In the walk-in wardrobe the bottom two of four drawers were broken (we assume someone tried to climb on them to check the shelf above). We unjammed them and they worked after a fashion. But as above, either they were inspected before we arrived and ignored, or simply not checked after previous guests. And finally a detail (see picture again) but outside on the balcony a large piece of the paintwork was peeled off and peeling. QM2 is a working ship, we get that. Conditions can be harsh. But we don’t live with broken furniture or peeling walls at home, so why should I on holiday, especially with such a large maintenance staff? The paint loss must have been noticed as the missing pieces, the size of a couple of dinner plates had been cleaned away. The Entertainment Honestly, some of the shows seemed under rehearsed and the in-house troupe didn’t match other cruise lines we’ve been on. It’s subjective, and some on the other hand we did get to see, particularly external entertainers, were excellent. But it didn’t matter – as after the first few days we really gave up on the Theatre as a regular event. The problem is that most passengers (in Britannia class) eat dinner from 1800. They finish around 2000 – and head to the Theatre where the shows begin at 2045. In Queen’s Grill though the service starts at 1830 – and you don’t finish until 2015-2030 – unless you hurry your meal or miss courses (and as I’ve said the food is excellent). But by the time you get to the Theatre, it’s basically already full. Three nights in a row (the first three nights) the only seats we could get were high up on one end of the balcony, which wraps around the stage so you’re actually just behind the action and actors. You can’t see the set, band or whatever as they’re hidden from view by the side of the stage. The acoustic high up is also pretty dreadful. The second show is 2230 ending at 2315ish – that’s too late for us, and we don’t want to hang around for two hours after dinner anyway. And we couldn’t eat after the 2045 show as these are 45 minutes long and end at 2130 plus. The Queen’s Grill restaurant take last sittings at 2130, and even if we snook I late – who wants to eat alone with the staff hanging around? On two nights the show timings were bought forward to 1900 for the first show. This worked well both times and we enjoyed the entertainment. On another night we really wanted to see the show so ate at the self-service Kings Court which was good – but not a choice for every night simply to see the entertainment. There are easy fixes – for example open the Queen’s Grill at 1800 – or move the show time to 1900 regularly (clearly it can be done). Put aside some seats for Queen’s Grill – after all we’re paying a huge premium. On Celebrity in Suite Class, the Butler saves a seat or two for First Class guests on a roped off row. Again an easy fix and something the Butler could do over and above being a stateroom cleaner. And then on Celebrity the Butler will bring you a drink – there’s no service in the balcony on Cunard. This issue I did raised with the Concierge – many people talked about the shows – but we felt we missed out. I think the final straw was a show with apparently fabulous backdrops – we weren’t even aware there was a set from where we had to sit. The Concierge said she’d talk to the different teams – and acknowledged this was a complaint she’d heard before from others. A week later she asked if the Assistant Entertainment Manager had been in touch – he/she hadn’t. They never did. We came to the conclusion that ‘I’ll talk to the Management’ was Cunard crew’s way of Kicking issues into the Long Grass – more below. Again, this was a disappointment. Dancing Mrs B and I have only tried dancing lessons once – 20 years ago. After lesson three we considered calling lawyers. But this time I thought I’d really give it a go. She loves to dance, and it must be possible to master something. And Cunard do say ‘Try/learn something new’. The easiest seemed to be Line Dancing, so we attended the first lesson. Within five minutes we were into ‘So that’s two grapevines, a slide, a chasee, then a pivot…’ which meant nothing to me. I was sunk. So afterwards I went to the two dance instructors and said ‘It’s clear everyone had experience, do you have a beginner’s class, for those who’ve not line danced before?’. The response was abrupt. No, they expect everyone to come with at least two years’ experience. So much for learning a new skill. But actually they felt it was such a good idea, such a revelation, they’d raise it with their Manager (see Kicking into the Long Grass above) and they took my Stateroom number. I didn’t hear another thing. It’s interesting to note that out of 50-60 people in the Line Dancing class, only five were men – we don’t generally do these things outside a holiday or leisure and the gender mix reflects this. So we moved onto Ballroom. Again two excellent instructors, and at the end of the first hour, I felt I’d got the real basics of waltz. Just needed developing and repeating. But next day we did Cha-Cha. OK, try to master two in quick succession from no skill at all. And day three was the Tango. Again I was lost. An hour isn’t long enough, and two or three days on each dance would really have consolidated things. Again though ‘that’s not how it’s done’, previous experience is clearly required. My Dancing Days will have to wait for another time… Trips Ashore We pre-booked some Cunard excursions – Seville, Delphi (Greece), and the Holy Land. We’re pretty young and fit, and also well-travelled. We tend to be adventurous so the first two tours we booked were described as arduous, lots of walking, uneven surfaces, hills and so on. Cunard call these ‘High Activity Level’, as explained on the booking form. Other activity levels are offered on other excursions. For Seville, the problem started before we even went on board the QM2. A key destination there is the Cathedral – the third largest in Christendom. It was central to the tour when we booked and our reason. But an email a few weeks before departure explained that because we were there on a Sunday, the Cathedral was closed to visitors. Now it was always a Sunday, so who didn’t check such a thing when creating the programme? No matter we went ahead anyway (and will return another time to see the Cathedral – it’s great from the outside!). What this indicated was a general lack of attention to detail and ownership over the excursions. In the event, we had a lovely tour of this wonderful City and a Moorish castle, and apart from missing one fellow passenger after lunch (she sat with another group, and was completely unaware when we left, the Guide saying she seemed to be struggling with it all a bit) all was fine. Then, as we walked through the old town, an elderly American lady fell on cobbles. She had clearly been getting very tired and it was a long walk (‘high activity’), and couldn’t pick her feet up. Down she went, cutting her leg, and clearly in shock. Worrying for her and us – so the Cunard Rep (one on each coach plus the guide in theory) stayed with her, and we were hurried to the end point, so the Guide could then leave us for 45 minutes, and go back and bring this lady to us. She was at a guess 80 years old, clearly exhausted, and very upset. The next stop was Greece, for Delphi. We were late driving from the ship as our Cunard Rep didn’t turn up for the coach. After 15 minutes, long after two other coaches had departed for Delphi, our local Guide gave up and said we’d go without the support. The Oracle at Delphi is up a fairly long hard hill climb on smooth stones and broken ground with large steps, in the heat. As we got off the coach it was clear the Guide was weighing the group up. Some of the less fit were already struggling – so she said that we’d go up slowly, and stop every 50 metres or so people could get their breath back. It’s about a 10 minute climb up the stone steps for people such as us, but the regular stops meant it took 40 minutes to reach the temple level. We did try going ahead – but without the guide to explain we lost all the context. Eventually reaching the temple level, we had about 10 minutes at this Wonder of the Ancient World we’ve longed to see for so long. Other groups had had half an hour plus to explore – and we missed key things, it all felt rushed, and really not what we’d expected. We’d set off late, and then had a lengthy climb. Worse was to come. On the way down a British man, tripped and fell. He’d already spent his time sitting quietly apart at the top, and I’d asked him if he was OK, and he said he was tired. In the tumble he gashed his hand badly and again was shaken up. However after a slow descent he sat outside the museum restaurant and had a drink and seemed fine. Then after the museum (I think this gentleman sat outside) we went for lunch. Again, my wife and I found ourselves helping this man clearly a bit shocked still, and his wife. So we were last in the restaurant (remember, no Cunard Rep to assist on this trip as they overslept or whatever…). He wouldn’t bandage his hand as he said he wanted it to ‘dry’, so we sat through lunch on four person table with his blood dripping onto the table cloth and forming a pool beside him. What we did discover though was that he is 88 years old. And because of this, and he now felt he shouldn’t have done the trip, he had a furious and loud row on the coach with the guide on the way back when he refused to complete a Cunard accident form. Cunard have a clear and absolute Duty of Care to their guests. So I discussed this with the Concierge (same time as I raised the Theatre timing issue above). Fine, I get it that Cunard don’t know people’s fitness levels. But they do know our ages from the start, and permitting an 88 year old onto a trip marked ‘high activity’, up a long hillside in the bright sun, on smooth irregular marble steps and stones and lose earth. That’s ridiculous. They can clearly provide a clearer description – and the fact that in Seville they didn’t even spot it was Sunday when putting the excursion together shows a lack of attention to this sort of detail when selling the trips. We hope no one ever has a much more serious injury or health event. But if they do, someone old and frail pushing the boundary too hard, blame will be shared – Cunard are not taking their responsibility for welfare if they let people who are clearly going to struggle onto these trips. It’s not good enough to say an 88 year old should have read ‘High Activity Level’ and not taken part. Two trips in a row we saw potentially serious accidents, both resulting in blood loss. And, although it’s clearly of less importance, that totally spoils the experience for the rest of us. Our Champagne Evening One of the nice things about Queen’s Grill is we get out own deck at the back of the ship. So we decided on the last Gala (dressing up) night, to invite some (10) new friends to start the evening with a Champagne reception on the back deck as the sun set over the sea. We’ve done it before on other companies – Celebrity again for example. There, one call to the Butler, and it’s sorted. However there’s a bar on the Queen’s Grill deck so I asked there for starters which seemed logical. The barman tried to help, and said he’d have to ask his Manager if there would be room for ten people (a deck some thirty metres by ten!). Then he’d need to get us to talk to the restaurant team, and the drinks team to arrange the canapes and drinks. It was all too much, and he later came and said it would be best if we talked to the Concierge. So off we went. The Concierge said of course it was possible, but she’d need to talk to our Butler. She said there was no need for me to raise it with the Butler, she’d plan it, and she clearly then discussed it with the Butler. And thus, He came to us in our room to get more detail. Yes, entirely possible, he said. The champagne (we reckoned 4-5 bottles) and canapes can be brought to the room, and I could take them onto the deck. That’s not his role. But I explained that would mean I spent the entire event shuffling back and forth, pouring drinks and serving food and so on – not what I’d planned. I asked about glasses – he said well, you have four here already in your room, so I’ll bring another six. Again to be taken to the deck and then back to the room. This wasn’t the special black tie event I’d envisaged. So I went back to the Concierge. Her first comment was ‘I told you not to speak to the Butler’. That miffed me slightly – what were we supposed to do when he came to our room to discuss it? And unless he had, how would we know the planning was going slightly off line? Frankly I felt I got a bit of a telling off which was both inappropriate and undeserved. But the outcome was that the Concierge took arrangements back in hand. This was just as well as at the last minute (after invitations had been sent out etc.) she contacted us to say we had to shift the date forward as we’d were still in the security area south of Yemen, and because of the piracy risk decks were closed at nightfall. I said this was shame as I’d done invitations – and in passing, why had the original dates for the decks to be closed, announced before we planned the event and already taken into account, been changed? No answer really came forth apart from, a little later, she showed me the sunset chart (a Word document on her computer screen) from the Bridge which showed sunset getting later by about ten minutes each day, except oddly for the original date I’d planned the event. That day alone, sunset actually jumped back half an hour. And then the next night jumped forward 40 minutes. I queried this apparent phenomenon of nature – and asked for a copy of the chart as I really didn’t understand what I had been told. She told me that sunset times were in confidence for staff only! I’m pretty certain, like our Sunday trip to Seville, someone didn’t do the sums right to begin with, so the night deck closure was extended by one day, but was covered up with my own ‘sunset chart’ in apparent justification. It was really bizarre, but I may be wrong – this may have been a new bit of physics. I then talked with the Bar manager, the Restaurant Manager (who both rang the room, and were very understanding and efficient). Went round and reissued invitations with the new date. I also rang the photographers to get someone to come and take a picture – my responsibility apparently. And after days of too’ing and fro’ing it was finally a relief having talked to (I think) seven different people, all in different departments, that it was sorted out. But a long, long way from one call to the Butler or whoever and it gets arranged. And had I known at the outset how complicated it would be, I’d have had second thoughts. So the event went ahead, an area of the deck was roped off, chairs were put off, a lovely lady served the canapés and drinks and it was excellent and enjoyed by all. BUT there was a sting in the tail. In the phone conversation with the Bar Manager he said ‘What champagne would you like’. I said the Laurent Perrier they serve on board ($75 a bottle) would be fine, but then added as a throwaway, that my wife and I do prefer Taittinger, it’s what we have on special occasions, and if there was any that would be nice. The Bar Manager said he’d not got any, but would see if the Restaurant Manager had some. On the evening, when I arrived the champagne was in buckets with nice white serviettes round the necks. I asked the lady serving whether they’d found Taittinger and she said she was pleased to say they had. Full marks! When it was poured though I could see the bottles were a different shape and not a label I recognised. Tasted wonderful though. And we drank our way through five bottles. Guests departed, and I said I’d sign the bill. I then discovered the $75 a bottle Laurent Perrier had indeed been substituted with Taittinger as asked – but Vintage Taittinger, at $225.00 a bottle. Our bill was not $375 for the hour long soiree, but $1125. I’m circumspect, we and our close friends had a truly wonderful event as the sunset over the deck, and thus I paid without quibbling. But this may have really spoilt the evening for some, and when one asks for a substitute, I think it’s reasonable to expect some equivalence on aspects including price – and if not to be contacted again to check it’s OK to triple the price and cost. But there we go…lesson learned, and I hope we’ll prevent other also doing this the hard way. And frankly, the different departments, the tiers of bureaucracy – it makes doing anything special painful. The customer certainly isn’t king! Conclusion If you think we’re high maintenance, that’s fine. I really want to stress what I said at the start that we enjoyed our time away, and most of what Cunard does is world class. We found much – food, most staff, facilities, our stateroom (once it was clean) completely engaging and worthwhile. We’re not generally moaners, so there’s nothing lengthy here about internet (its cost and awful performance), the rude on board Israeli immigration staff I reported to the Concierge, the chaos of getting passports back (kept for Israeli immigration but it was mayhem when they were returned after our trip to Delphi – one person handing out 40 passports to a queue of 100 people and a total lack of security which means we could have walked off with any number of other persons’ passports). But from time to time I have been a ‘mystery shopper’ so I do spot things which aren’t right – especially customer services – and maybe that should also be taken into account here. Just playing fair. And frankly, Cunard could do with one or two ‘Mystery Guests’ to get the sort of feedback we’ve given! These are specific and detailed points, some of which are clearly serious. For that reason, and because I’ve never written a review like this before, before publishing I have invited Cunard Customer Services. Their response follows below. But now you will also see why this is called ‘Close…but No Cigar’. Response: Cunard Customer Services say: 'Thank you for your patience in regards to my response time, I have been feeding relevant information back to both ship and shore-side departments after our initial conversation we had. In regards to a reply about action that is taking place internally to answer the issues you have brought to my attention, unfortunately this is something that cannot be disclosed, as I’m sure you can appreciate takes several departments working closely together and also a time frame that can range anywhere from a couple of weeks into a couple of months. What I am more than happy to do is outline the issues we have discussed and how they have been addressed with management teams to ensure that hopefully we can prevent these issues reoccurring. Having taken the time to read your comments, I am most sorry to learn of the issues experienced during your voyage on Queen Mary 2 and that this voyage did not live up to your expectations as a first time guest on Cunard Line. As I am sure you are aware we endeavour to ensure that our passengers are offered clean, well presented accommodation. Our standards of housekeeping and sanitary procedures are very high and we make every effort to ensure that these are met. The conditions that you describe are certainly not reflective of the conditions that we expect for our guests. I would wish to assure you that we do have a policy in place and the stateroom stewards are very well aware of the standards we expect. If they deviate from this standard, action will be taken with both onboard and shore-side management. However, as I am sure you will appreciate there are in excess of 1000 staterooms on Queen Mary 2 and it is physically impossible to check each and every one before our passengers embark on turn-around days. We therefore do have to rely on the training given to the stewards who attend to the staterooms and the realisation of the importance of adhering to the standards laid down. I am pleased that the problems were rectified at the time, but I am sorry for the unnecessary inconvenience caused. Further to this, I am sorry that your walk in wardrobe was not up to the level of standard we expect in a Queens Grill suite and I fully appreciate what an important aspect of your cruise this facility is. I have logged your comments for senior management's review and I have sent this across to the Housekeeping Management team onboard the ship. In regards to the experiences you had with the theatre and the timing of the shows conflicting with your dinner arrangements, I sincerely apologise for the inconveniences this caused you. It would be virtually impossible to provide a venue onboard that could accommodate all passengers who simultaneously wished to attend and watch a particular event. Generally speaking, however, we find that passengers differing interests results in a reasonable availability of seats in the public venues. However, I regret that this was not what you experienced on this occasion and apologise for the inconvenience and disruption caused as a consequence. I have logged your comments about your Butler reserving seats or a separate section of the theatre being reserved for Grill Guests with the Entertainment Team onboard as well as the relevant team here that deal with the acts and production. This will be looked into and seen if something can be arranged to improve the operational side of the theatre, especially with our Grill Guests. In regards to the experience you had with our dance instructors onboard, this has also been passed onto not only the Entertainment Team, but the management onboard so this can be investigated further. Dance classes should not be exclusive to people who have experience as we promote ‘trying something new’ and it is not a necessity. I apologise that you were made to feel this way. I have also fed back your comments regarding the pace at which the classes are taught. This will also be looked into, mainly by the ship based management team to see if the way these classes are taught can be amended to ensure guests get the full experience they have signed up for, as well as actually learning a few dances. I would like to assure you that guest satisfaction is extremely important to us. We are constantly reviewing the services and facilities that we offer to our customers as we endeavour to ensure that all aspects of our holidays are maintained to the same high standards. We record all guests’ comments and these are reviewed on a regular basis in an effort to locate any trends, positive or negative, arising. In this respect, your comments and observations have been most helpful and I would like to thank you for taking the time to share them with us. I am most grateful to you for detailing your experiences in relation to the shore excursion, and it is disappointing that the tour did not operate as described. Although shore excursions do not form part of a passengers’ overall contract with Cunard Line, we understand and appreciate what an important contribution tours make to cruise holidays. As such, a great deal of research is carried out before we finalise our shore excursion programme to ensure that passengers are provided with a high quality service. I have highlighted as a matter of urgency and importance the safety issues you have brought to light regarding the two excursions you experienced issues on with both the Health and Safety departments onboard and shore-side. As I am sure you can appreciate the safety of our passengers is of upmost importance to us and would be at the forefront of any decisions made, therefore this will be reviewed by the Hotel and Land department in our Head Office that organise these trips. It goes without saying that we must rely heavily on local agents who operate the tours on our behalf, and in general terms, we receive a great deal of positive feedback. Nevertheless, your comments are very much appreciated and will certainly assist us in the future. Although of little comfort or consequence to you at this stage, I have ensured that your comments are forwarded to the appropriate management for their review and consideration with future cruise itineraries. In this respect, I must thank you for taking time out to outline the issues you experienced on two of your shore excursions. I would also like to sincerely apologise for the level of service you have received trying to plan a special evening with friends. After our discussion on the phone and all the issues outlined, I completely agree with you that in fact, the events that occurred were completely unacceptable and this has been fed back accordingly. The level of service offered to you by several members of staff onboard i.e. concierge, Butler and bar manager, I can assure you is not the luxury service we set our high standards to. As explained over our telephone call, a private event should have been as simple as asking your Butler and everything else simply falling into place. I apologise that you had to constantly go back and forth between several managers to get the evening organised. What I was concerned to read as well, was the choice of champagne not being confirmed with you before your evening commenced. This has been reported back to the management team onboard to ensure correct training is carried out and this mistake does not occur in the future – as you stated, this could have easily ruined a holiday without being budgeted accordingly. Thank you for your comments and criticisms, we do appreciate all feedback and I have passed on the comments to relevant senior management here in our Head Office for review as this as stated above, was unacceptable. I understand after speaking to you over the phone, you were looking for an answer, rather than compensation, but I do strongly feel it is necessary I offered you something an apology for all the inconveniences caused to you onboard and the level of service you experienced from members of staff onboard. We do look forward to welcoming you back onboard in the near future, as we will have the opportunity to fully restore your faith in the service we know we are able to offer.' Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first time aboard the QM2 or any other Cunard ship, but we are very seasoned cruisers in other cruise lines. We were really excited in anticipation of our crossing and the next 17 days aboard the QM2, since the second leg ... Read More
This was our first time aboard the QM2 or any other Cunard ship, but we are very seasoned cruisers in other cruise lines. We were really excited in anticipation of our crossing and the next 17 days aboard the QM2, since the second leg of our cruise was the beginning of thieir World Cruise which normally shows the cruise lines best efforts since the world cruise caters to seasoned and most likely repeat customers. We were in a Queens Grill suite Q5 which placed us almost at the top of the accommodations list. Embarkation went seeemless since indeed there was a line for the Queen’s Grill suites and in no time we were aboard. We had seen videos and pictures of similar cabins to ours but still it was not like walking in. The suite was much smaller than what we were used and it had less amenities. The bathroom only had one sink, no separate shower, no separate commode area. Closet and storage spaces were adequate. Our luggage arrive ñd increadible promptly after we checked which impressed us. Shortly after checking in the butler speared and gave us a Craps course on the suite and told us that we could order up to bottles of liquor complimentary but anything else would have a charge. This is not what we are used to since the cruise lines we were used to travel we could order as many different kind of liquor that we wanted and they were provided. We were excited about sailing out of NY harbor, although we have done is before, it’s always exciting sailing past the Satutye of Liberty. We were a couple of hours late leaving because of minor problems. We had a liquor package that allows to get any free drink that we wanted as long at it did not cost more than US$12 each. We ordered our first drink and promptly found out that the drinks were based on one ounce of the liquor, the bar tender measured the actual ounce. Have you a a “one ounce” drink lately? The bartenders do knit know what free pouring means. We learned fast that we had to tell the bartenders that we were in the under $12 drink program and if you asked them for a two ounce drink or larger, we could get it but the bartender would have to ring it as you had multiple single drinks that felt into the less than $12 pricing. Also you had to give your cruise card every time you order a drink and you have to sign a receipt every time. Total pain in the rear. We are used to travel in cruise lines were all drinks are inclusive so we never had to signed for anything other than when we boarded and registered our credit card for incidentals. In order to get a “decent” or “normal” glass of wine at dinner or lunch your sommelier has to charge you to single glasses since one ounce of wine doesn’t go very far. Another thing we did not like were the assigned tables. We sat in the same table for 26 days, breakfast, lunch or dinner as long as we are in the Queen’s Grill. There cannot be any expontinuity even if you meet new people during the voyage who are in the same Queen Grill category since it’s almost impossible to orchestrate the one time dinner without a major reassignment. On the very positive side the food in the Grill was outstanding and the maitre d’ came over at lunch time to find out if we wanted anything special, not in the menu, for dinner. We order caviar, beef Wellington, crepe Suzette’s, etc. All beautifully cooked and most of the special dishes prepared at the table including flambé at table side. We tried eating in other Venus but they were ver hective specially the huge King’s Court were there are all sorts of buffers but you had to fight other people to reach the buffet table or if you wanted an omelet or poached eggs you had to stand on a cue. The QM2 is two ships in one the Grills passenger and the rest of the passengers. Keep in mind that one can cross the Atlantic for less than $2,000 per person and you have the ability to have 6 or 7 meals a day plus all the shows, lectures, etc. We found out the hard way when we went to popular-we’ll-known lectures and/or featured entertainer that we could not wait till the last minute since people start curing up long before the starting time and we were in standing room. I could go on but I think you can get the drift of my experience. We were extremely disappointed with the QM2 experience. We had dreams of great ocean liners experienced that we have seen in the movies but it was really no very pleasant experience. QM2 allure, reputation and lore is bigger than the actual experience. We would not go back aboard this ship again, but if I were forced to go back I would take a crossing and that’s it. In our 26 nights aboard we noticed that the crossing lecturer, entertainers, etc. where global in orientation once we left Southampton to Dubai the lectures, entertainers etc, were very British-centered and you had to be able to understand their accents in many cases. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service ... Read More
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service seemed to be a burden on crew. Our cabin steward was the exception. Smaller than Phone booth size showers drove many to use showers in the fitness center. Balcony ok for two. Glass and rails were cleaned twice. Entertainment and lecture series outstanding. Am now on Oceania Nautica where food quality and presentation are far superior. The Brits seemed to like and praise the food but we could not. Stewards pushed guests aside with service carts in the buffet line. They had no other path to transport clean or used tableware. Paper napkins in the buffet at night are not in step with the smart dress code requested. Maybe the Queen is intended as transportation rather than cruising. It does that well at 22+ knots. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The cruise was chosen as a means of picking up the Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. This review does not try to compare the small premium Oceania ship with the four/ five star QE. We have traveled with the Queen Victoria previously. ... Read More
The cruise was chosen as a means of picking up the Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. This review does not try to compare the small premium Oceania ship with the four/ five star QE. We have traveled with the Queen Victoria previously. Comparing our previous Cunard experience there were noticeable differences. Menus have been seriously reduced. There was always something to our liking and it was well cooked and presented. We were definitely not spoilt for choice. What happened to the cheese trolley? A couple of times we had lunch in the Golden Lion pub. The food served there was very good pub grub worthy of the best country pub. Well done Cunard for maintaining the formal nights. Four were about correct for this length of cruise. There were ample day time activities but the evenings were dire. String ensembles, light opera and a comedian who has been using the same material for years. Oh and a juggler. Make your own mind up about that. The big, big problem with the theatre was the volume of the music/ performance. It truly did hurt at times. Summing up. If Cunard wish to continue calling themselves a five star experience they need to start getting it all right all of the time. Bring back a proper cheese board in the main dining room, please, it's what good restaurants do. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as an opportunity to visit some places we’d never seen and get away from a grey British winter. Cunard has a problem. They seem to be massively popular with the over 75s but leave the ‘younger pensioner’ ... Read More
We chose this cruise as an opportunity to visit some places we’d never seen and get away from a grey British winter. Cunard has a problem. They seem to be massively popular with the over 75s but leave the ‘younger pensioner’ wondering whether they really care. The entertainment is poor, comedians that have struggled to leave 1973 behind, lectures about the lives of singers my Nan adored (and I’m 61!), the Golden Lion pianist did what he had to do for the money - an endless stream of 50s classics (he did slip in a Radiohead number at one point which, I suspect, was as refreshing to him as it was to me), jugglers, magicians etc. etc. I understand that Cunard don’t wish to turn their older base away but at sometime they will have to cater for us newer retirees. We’ve been brought up on Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Ben Elton and Steve Coogan. OK, so I don’t expect to see Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend belting out ‘My Generation’ on the Queen Elizabeth but maybe a tribute band or two would go a long way. The funniest comedian on this trip was one of the Entertainment Team, Laura, a brilliantly humorous lady who, when she’s on a roll, had her audiences crying with laughter. Learn from her Cunard, we won’t be happy with beige offerings going forward. The food was average compared to other cruises and the Britannia Restuarant lacked character. We didn’t like the 2 set dining times of 6 (too early) or 8.30 (too late), anytime dining would have suited us better. The staff, though, at all times were professional, attentive and friendly. Drinks were crazily overpriced which, I guess, was good for our livers but left us wondering how much more they would sell if prices were taken down a notch or two (other cruise lines prices are cheaper). We didn’t take any excursions as they looked over priced but, to be fair, that apples to all cruise companies. We did have a couple of bad experiences with their shuttle service in particular in Cape Town - the last shuttle back to the boat was scheduled for 8pm so we got to the pick up area at 7.30. By 8.10 pm no bus arrived so we were forced to walk at great speed back to the boat just making the 8.30 ‘all aboard’ time. We complained heavily to the customer service desk who said they would talk to the shuttle company and come back to us. Of course no one ever did get back to us. Are Cunard terrible? No, that would be unfair, but they are distinctly mediocre. In insisting on several formal nights and high tea in the Queens Room they give a veneer of ‘higher quality’ but, beneath this, it doesn’t really have that much to make you want to come back. But, their problem is that some of their older established customers clearly believe that they are sailing with the creme de la creme whilst the rest are a bit uninspired by the overall experience. How do they change to attract us younger oldies? Or do they even want to? Until they do change we’ll pass on Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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