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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our second time on Queen Mary 2. First trip was transatlantic a decade ago. The ship looks still to be in great shape. The food in Britannia was uniformly excellent. Beef tenderloin, sirloin, pork Wellington, venison, and lots of ... Read More
Our second time on Queen Mary 2. First trip was transatlantic a decade ago. The ship looks still to be in great shape. The food in Britannia was uniformly excellent. Beef tenderloin, sirloin, pork Wellington, venison, and lots of excellent fish including cod and trout. We did not mess with the “buffet“/Kings Court: Even at breakfast, one could sit down and have a lovely multi-course meal serve to you within half an hour in the restaurant. Entertainment was very good. Shipboard lectures excellent. Staff were uniformly a professional and polite. The shore excursions in Norway were well handled. Transportation from Heathrow to London and from London to the ship and from the ship back to Heathrow was seamless. However, we found our experience with Cunard disappointing in terms of booking the trip: Their website is not very good. The voyage personalizer page is not very well designed. I think we significantly overpaid for the London hotel which we booked through them. We booked airfare through Cunard as well and ended up having to pay significant extra premiums in order simply to have seat assignments. “Air Cunard“ seemed unaware that our flight from JFK to Heathrow that they booked had been canceled; and there was much last minute scrambling between the Cunard travel desk and American Airlines and British Airways in order to re-schedule us. Also, the entire Wi-Fi system on the ship is archaic. Additionally, although they “include gratuities“ and you pre-pay them, sometimes there is a gratuity line that you are asked to complete on receipts. I would prefer that either they leave gratuities up to the passengers or they make it a truly all-inclusive price and you are not expected to tip. Right now it is some kind of weird hybrid and you never really know who to tip or who is getting what tip. But, in the end, Queen Mary 2 is an amazing ship with first Street service. Go for it! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
I wanted to experience a Cunard cruise.....and it exceeded my expectations. Elegant, traditional ship, no noisy pool side cinema screen..... a plus for me! Lovely cabin....deck 5, cabin 5006, amazing food.....with lots of excellent ... Read More
I wanted to experience a Cunard cruise.....and it exceeded my expectations. Elegant, traditional ship, no noisy pool side cinema screen..... a plus for me! Lovely cabin....deck 5, cabin 5006, amazing food.....with lots of excellent choices in included venues....Red Lion pub lunches extremely enjoyable...fantastic library, wonderful afternoon tea. Great sun loungers...with mattresses interesting celebrity speaker. The dress code is quite formal...but I liked this. Lovely canapés at captain’s reception. Very good captain....present around ship....he seemed to take a personal interest. There are always some cons: very overpriced alcoholic drinks...taking advantage of being a good quality ship, I think. Extortionate prices for excursions...again playing on being a good quality ship. Generally service was good to excellent...particularly our cabin steward...but waiters in Britannia restaurant...with exception of wine waiter...did not appear happy. Service was bordering on dude and surly. Nevertheless, for me the pros far outnumbered the cons. I loved this ship and can’t wait to take another Cunard cruise. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. ... Read More
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. First of all, it is not a young person's cruise. The average passenger on my cruise was 70+ years old. If you have trouble with elderly people walking very slowly in front of you and stopping suddenly for no apparent reason, you may be frustrated at times. At the height of the summer cruise season for families, there were hardly any children on board. Secondly, It is largely a British clientele, which I found charming. The average cruiser was well educated and well mannered. No line jumpers of chair hogs, which was refreshing. I could strike up a conversation with almost anyone I met and found most of them interesting. However, if you want to shoot the breeze about NASCAR, baseball and the NFL, you may be disappointed. Check-in was smooth on the dock, but scattered and unprofessional on board. No one met us in the lobby. There was no sign telling us where to go. We were boarded on the open deck three and had to find our own way inside. Even inside, no one greeted us or offered to help us find our cabin, lunch, etc.. We had to ask! Talk about a bad first impression. It got better after that. We had a suite and were dining in the Queens Grill. Our butler met us at the door (Suite 7050), took our alcohol orders for the in-room bar, showed us how to work everything in the room and walked us to the elevators to show us how to access the private Queen's Grill dining room. She was amazing throughout the cruise. She set up a cocktail reception in our room for a half dozen guests (the complimentary appetizer platter was huge and delicious). Lourdes took care of last minute laundry requests and kept our suite spotless. She also restocked the bar any time we were running low. The suite has a boxy crowded configuration which made the room seem much smaller than it was. There were plenty of electrical outlets with both American and British sockets. We had no problem keeping two cell phones, two tablets and two fitbits charged. The love seat is fine. There is adequate storage space and the butler stowed our empty luggage so we wouldn't have to worry about it. TIP: Don't remove your stateroom luggage tags. You'll need them to find your luggage at disembarkation! The balcony was large enough for a table and three chairs plus two loungers. The bed was very comfortable, however they do not use typical American sheets, on board, but rather European duvets. Very comfortable, but not what I'm used to. The bathroom was functional, with a private toilet room and a private room for showering and bathing, The tub was jetted and offered a very relaxing bath with bubbles. The towels were not soft at all, The teri cloth material made for the worst towels I've experienced in 25 cruises. The suite's bar was stocked with loads of teas, coffee and cookies. My wife and I each chose a brand of alcohol. I requested Crown Royal, even though it was not on the list offered by Cunard. The butler made it happen! The fridge was stocked with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, tonic nd soda water, Carlsberg Beer and plenty of water, Again, our butler replenished our bar twice a day! We dined in the Queen's Grill, which is the best dining experience on the seas, in my opinion. The menus are very similar to those in the Princess Grill and Britania Dining Room. The difference is we were invited to order off the menu at every meal, and the dining staff did their best to accommodate us. Among the items I ordered off the menu were: Caviar, shrimp cocktail, Dover sole, chateaubriand, lobster, veal parmasean, fettuccine Alfredo, pistaccio ice cream, french onion soup and several different salads. Basically, the sky's the limit, if they have the ingredients on board, The tables are close together. My wife and I were seated at a table for two, but conversed easily and often with diners at nearby tables. When we wanted privcy, we were left alone. However, we all became instant friends. Here's a tip: Be the first to say hello to someone and do it early in the cruise! Coincidentally, one gentleman, at a six-top next to us, turned out to be a Cruise Critic member I had conversed with on line! He and his wife were positively charming! I found the entertainment on board to be excellent. The big production shows were good, but not amazing, Headliners like the magician and acrobatic dance team were marvelous. And it seemed on any given night there were six or more venues offering music and fun. I've never experienced such a wide variey of musical enterrtainment on any ship I've sailed. It truly was a highlight of th cruise.And it meant fewer crowds. We never had a problem finding a table or a seat in the showroom for the late shows. The only bummer was the Grills Lounge never had live entertainment. The enrichment activities were a disappointment. Cunard offers wine tasting seminars on its web site. High end wine seminars. However, after pre-booking a very expensive tasting, we got on board to learn the wine seminars were canceled. In fact our sommelier told us they han't done the high end wine tastings in six months. Cunard refused to credit the money from my canceled wine tasting to my shipboard account and told me I'd have to try to get refunded when I returned home. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SEVICE on that! Tip: Do NOT PRE-ORDER WINE TASTINGS! There were 3 speakers on board. One was a retired fighter pilot, who offered some fun anecdotes about his flying career. The other two sounded so boring, I cannot even remember them. I believe one woman was discussing the film career of an actor I've never heard of. We did not use Cunard for shore excursions. We booked everything independently. I suggest you consider private independent shore excursions as well. Remember, every group tour moves as fast as its slowest member. Everyone else has to wait on the slow poke. You may only have one shot to visit some of these ports. Do you relly want to wait on that last person? Additionally, Cunard builds profit into its excursions. The independent tours are almost always cheaper. Cruise Critic has an excellent section devoted to independent tours. Disembarkation for this cruise was difficult, because we got off in Kiel. It is an hour+ drive to Hamburg from there. It's pricey and difficult to reach the airport in time to make flights to the USA. Many people opted to spend an extra day in Hamburg. Don't take the negative aspects of my review as an indication I was disappointed. I was not. I will definitely cruise Cunard again if I can find the right itinerary. And I will definitely book Queens Grille for the dining experience. These reviews are supposed to help future cruisers prepare, I hope I have! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just come back from one of the best Cruises we have ever been on.We decided to try a new Cruise line for our Journey to Norway and Iceland and went with "Cunard" Queen Victoria.Having never been with Cunard we were a bit ... Read More
Just come back from one of the best Cruises we have ever been on.We decided to try a new Cruise line for our Journey to Norway and Iceland and went with "Cunard" Queen Victoria.Having never been with Cunard we were a bit apprehensive especially about the more Formal side of the Cruise. Embarkation at Southampton was the quickest we have ever done,from getting off the Coach to stepping onto the Ship less than 20 mins!!!!The Ship was everything Cunard(White Star Lines) stands for,taking us back to the heady days of the majestic Liners of the 40s and 50s.we were met by the Staff in White Bell Boy Uniforms,the Staff friendly and welcoming.The Interior was impressive with Wood,stained Glass,Iron works on stairs,Atrium was beautiful and the 3 Violinists playing were Icing on the cake The Inside Cabin was slightly bigger than other Cruise lines we have been in,bottle of Champagne waiting,Dressing Gowns and slippers and very Clean and Tidy. The Food was very good in all areas,Buffet Breakfast and Lunch had lots of variety,and dinner was again very good and varied and waiters were very attentive.Entertainment was great,Shows at night were varied,and something for everyone.Guest Speakers were also excellent especially Lord Digby Jones(very entertaining) All the Staff very very nice and nothing seemed to much trouble,Neil our Entertainment Manager was great as were his Staff. Although we were a bit worried about how Formal the Ship was especially having to wear a Jacket in Dining Room on all non Formal nights,it wasn't as bad as I feared.Of Course you can dress down in certain areas of Ship ie Golden Lion Pub and Lido Buffet areas so it was not that Formal as I had feared. On the downside Drinks were very expensive and had 15% Gratuties added on ,Spa Treatments also very expensive,but we didn't indulge too much in any of those so just beware as Drinks packages are always a bit pricey. Itinerary was very Good,Olden and Alesund in Norway, Akeyuri,Isafjordur and Reykavik in Iceland and Stornorway in Outer Hebrides. Overall this was one of our best Cruises we have done,and have to say Queen Victoria is one of the best Ships we have sailed on,we will be definitely booking Cunard again Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I was on a Mediterranean cruise in 2015 on the Queen Victoria. That was my first Cunard experience. It has spoiled me forever now. I have been on two other Ocean cruises with Crystal. Nothing to complain about on Crystal however they ... Read More
I was on a Mediterranean cruise in 2015 on the Queen Victoria. That was my first Cunard experience. It has spoiled me forever now. I have been on two other Ocean cruises with Crystal. Nothing to complain about on Crystal however they have changed there format since being purchased by Carnival and now are less formal and the dining was "freestyle". One of the reasons i chose Cunard was because i like the formal nights and the set dining. It is one of the best ways to meet people that may eventually become friends off ship. I departed from my home port which is located 4 blocks from my apartment so super easy. Embarkation was longer than i thought it would be but not irritating. Note to cruisers departing from Vancouver...its a lovely city please add two or three nights pre or post trip. The cabin i had was an inside so not much to say except it was very well appointed and was serviced professionally and serviced twice daily. I like the amenity products. Food was spectacular. Never a bad meal. I started to order in room service for breakfast after going to the Lido the first two mornings. Room service provided fresh and hot food on time as ordered. High tea is not to be missed. As Vancouver has very similar landscape to Alaska i booked this trip to relax on an elegant ship. Cunard delivers. I can literally go 40 minutes from my house in September to see 100+ eagles in a tree and feeding on Salmon so it was quite funny when on the excursion, everyone was ooing and awwing over one lone eagle in a tree almost too far away to make out. Very few children on board which is a plus. I would definately book another Cunard cruise but would not go to Alaska again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This is our first cruise with Cunard and it was excellent in most ways. We have sailed with TUI Marella and P&O before and we expected Cunard to to head and shoulders better....it wasn’t though. Now that’s not to say it was ... Read More
This is our first cruise with Cunard and it was excellent in most ways. We have sailed with TUI Marella and P&O before and we expected Cunard to to head and shoulders better....it wasn’t though. Now that’s not to say it was poor, because that’s not true....it was wonderful, but it just says to us that tge other cruise lines are also good. The quality of food and in particular the amount of free-space was welcomed and certainly different to what we found on the rather cramped and poorly organised Azura. The Q.V. is lovely and all staff were helpful, polite and professional. Before going we were concerned that there may be a “class system”....but there certainly wasn’t, we felt very welcomed and the service and food in food in the Lido Restaurant was wonderful.....one very small point, they could do with a few more waiters offering beverages in there. Not everyone wants to dine in tv more formal venues, borne out by the fact that tge Lido Restaurant was always busy, but not cramped....to have an offer of a drink would have been nice. Entertainment was fine, we have seen better productions on TUI and P&O but the shows were fine. The outside acts were fabulous however....We are very confused why we were charged a daily service charge, PLUS, if we had a drink from the bar we had a further service charge added.....it’s like a double insult!.....other than these very small points, it was outstanding and we would recommend to everyone. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We set off on this cruise in a state of trepidation.....would we manage the formal evenings with two under 30s?, would the food be mediocre? would the service be lacking? Well we were blown away! I wondered if I should write this review as ... Read More
We set off on this cruise in a state of trepidation.....would we manage the formal evenings with two under 30s?, would the food be mediocre? would the service be lacking? Well we were blown away! I wondered if I should write this review as this ship was so amazing that I didnt really want to share! Anyway here we go.... Food in Britannia restaurant was better than Celebrity, ...halibut, turbot, lobster in a week. Lovely Japanese options including an excellent miso soup, Italian pasta we couldn't fault, tea and coffee and home made marshmallows and chocolate creams to finish. Breakfast in Britannia was excellent, go there if you can. Afternoon tea......what can I say...lovely. Lido restaurant was a full step ahead of other cruise lines, you really didn't think you were in "motorway services". Tea and coffee for breakfast served to your table, no battling with teapots etc etc Room steward, excellent nothing too much trouble. Take on a bottle or two, top up at a port call......you need to do this as alcohol is extortionate! So service better than someone like Celebrity. Formal nights were a breeze, do as you will. Just join in, fellow passengers are lovely! Never worry you will find somewhere to sit on this ship wherever you are, seats and beautiful sitting areas a plenty. Don't forget the library, amazing! Any downsides? She can be a little noisy but not enough to spoil your holiday. Please don't tell anyone about this beautiful ship...keep it a secret please? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and also the QM. We are regular passengers on other lines. This was the first time we had tried Princess Grill and it was a real treat. We were on board for the ship experience and not the ports. ... Read More
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and also the QM. We are regular passengers on other lines. This was the first time we had tried Princess Grill and it was a real treat. We were on board for the ship experience and not the ports. Priority check in but when waiting at the Mayflower terminal the suite guests were just huddled in a separate area no real advantage. We just sat in the main area as there was more room. We had researched about the Grills experience - strange but the Britannia Restaurant is described as the Britannia Grill? Anyway we knew pretty much what was in store for us. This was a no holds barred cruise so if we wanted it we bought it. First this was a spa package as we did not expect to be able to use the outside pool so we bought this for 2 for 7 days no discounts so this came off our on board credit. I know from experience that drinks prices on board the Queens are about the highest afloat but so to is the quality. So we had decided that we would buy 2 full drinks packs for the full 7 nights this was $69 a day each so $138 so with our exchange rate it was £109 a day so £763 for the week. We were told that we could only buy this on board so we went to the Grills lounge and asked. It would seem that there have been problems with this package as people have not really read the small print. You are limited to the number of alcoholic drinks - 15 each per day. But the soft drinks and mixers are unlimited. Some staff had difficulty understanding what unlimited soft drinks meant! OK so I like a drink and this is for 7 days. I tried my best but I really could not get through 15 alcoholic drinks in one day! We have been on other ships with these packs and we see people simply ordering the bar taking a sip from each and throwing the rest away just because they can. So a limit is sensible if in some cases a bit frustrating. We eventually bought the pack and ordered drinks. At the end of the cruise we worked out that had we paid over the bar it would have cost us over £1660 and I never manager 15 alcoholic drinks in a day and neither did my wife! Food is next and the menus in the Princess Grill are fabulous, service to was the best we have experience so far and we have been in suits in Celebrity ships. We had the same table for all our meals which was fortunate in being next to the window - we were lucky I guess. Drinks before dinner in the Grills lounge where they brought round a selection of 3 hot and cold canapes. Dinner was 7 courses including cheese board and coffee. We ordered wine by the glass from our package and this was perhaps a bit limited. Menus were everything we were expecting - fillet steak every night if you wanted, lobster twice that week. There were specials that you could order at lunch time so they could be ready for you in the evening. We did this once with Duck L'Orange where a whole duck was cooked for us to share - has to be cooked so long and it was fantastic. You can also ask the Maitre'D to do Crepes at the table Weather was not too great but toward the end of the cruise there was a bit of a heat wave. So much so that we were able to dine outside in the Grills terrace. The lunch time menu is a bit smaller but quality was top. Breakfasts were again at our table and usual range with just about everything on call - eggs Benedict, fillet steak and eggs and the ubiquitous English breakfasts. Didn't go much on the entertainment this time. Saw Mick Miller on the second night but after that I we were not really too fussed and went to the commodore club to listen to the lady piano player and singer. Only did afternoon tea once which was in the Princess Grill restaurant. Very goo but too much. We were served tea on the grills terrace in Rotterdam which was also very nice but had to be careful because dinner is just around the corner though you can go in at any time and your table is waiting for you. Tipping is always controversial and Cunard apply a daily charge to your account. Our rate was $13.5 per day. We usually remove one of the daily charges from one of us and then give individually the same amount or indeed usually more to staff who have stood out. I am now not to sure that this achieved what we wished. On the last night I handed out envelopes to both waiters, sommelier and Maitre'd. I also gave cash in dollars to our room steward. We paid out more than if we had had the automatic gratuities but at least I know they actually go to who I wish without interference from Cunard. My wife was therefore startled the following morning to see the waiters and all staff making a big fuss over another table and thanking them for their tips whilst our service was a bit flat. I seem to think that they thought that we had only given them half of what they expected yet we have given them more! This did leave a bit of a sour taste. I will talk a bit about the drinks pack we bought. We worked out roughly how many drinks we were likely to have each day including coffees, water and soft drinks. A large gin and tonic would have cost around $15 which would include the mixer and the 12%service charge. On the pack you could have any drink up to $11 but you were then given the mixer free so to speak and did not have to worry about the service charge. Coffee in the lounge was around $4 so a couple each in the morning after breakfast would soon mount up. We also ordered a bottle of water with nearly all our drinks the pack limited you to small bottles but you could have as many as you liked during the day. There had to be around 10mins between each alcoholic drink order. This was starting to get complicated. As I said I never got through 15 alcoholic drinks in a day though I did try! I could not keep this up for any longer but this was a holiday. Now saving for the next one. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We cruise with Cunard most years, but found to our shock that it was ten years since we had been on QM2, so we booked this cruise. Basically it was a cruise made up of bits of other voyages, so did not have quite the same feeling as a ... Read More
We cruise with Cunard most years, but found to our shock that it was ten years since we had been on QM2, so we booked this cruise. Basically it was a cruise made up of bits of other voyages, so did not have quite the same feeling as a cruise where almost everyone embarks and disembarks at the same time and place, and was a bit lacking in things like World Club parties. But we expected this and did not mind. Rather unexpected was the four formal nights. We had forgotten how truly magnificent the ship is, with vastly impressive public rooms and huge expanses of real teak decks. This of course means that distances between venues can be quite great, particularly as our cabin was near the front and our restaurant at the back. This means you walk off more of the food you consume. The ship always seemed restful and tranquil, never crowded, though I believe it was, to all intents and purposes, full Our Q6 cabin was very nice with an expansive balcony and a blissfully comfortable bed. The bathroom unfortunately, though spacious, is poorly arranged. There would be plenty of room for a separate shower, but it doesn't have one, a great shame. Food in the Queens Grill was good with a wide choice, though the coffee was sometimes warm rather than hot. We did not eat anywhere else, prefering to enjoy the restaurant comfort, quality, and excellent service. Indeed the service was a great highlight. Both the restaurant staff and our butler and assistant were thoughtful, courteous, efficient, and kind. We could not have been better looked after. Our sommelier had a great knowledge of wine and great ability to convey his enthusiasms. Embarkation and disembarkation at Southampton were both very smooth, aided by our priority status. We were on the ship at midday and off by 8.20. We called at Hamburg twice, and QM2 always gets a great welcome and sendoff. This time we celebrated fifteen years of the ships association with the port. It is a most attrative city to wonder round. We also visited Gent on a Cunard transfer, and that too is a city worth seeing. While in some ways this cruise was harder work than one on the smaller ships, it was very much an experience, and one I would recommend. Best of all would be an Atlantic crossing on her. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
As someone who always believed inside cabins were sufficient I was dazzled by my first time in a suite (albeit the smallest suite possible). Still, a walk-in closet on a ship and a bathtub! We really enjoyed our cabin and our roomy ... Read More
As someone who always believed inside cabins were sufficient I was dazzled by my first time in a suite (albeit the smallest suite possible). Still, a walk-in closet on a ship and a bathtub! We really enjoyed our cabin and our roomy balcony, having breakfast on the balcony almost every day. It was also great fun on the balcony waving to all the boats that accompanied us out of Hamburg. The Princess Grill was superb every night except the first. The fish that night was average and we, two older women, were seated way off in a corner. Eating in the Princess Grill had been on my bucket list but I felt that I was still on the outside looking in. However, the (very entertaining) maitre d quickly moved us to the center of the part of the room that overlooked the promenade deck and we were much happier there. The food was very good, mostly well executed classics, and anyone looking for more trendy choices might be disappointed. We loved the Dover Sole and the Chateaubriand and the Cherries Jubilee (you get the picture). Mostly we loved the atmosphere of muted, leisurely meals in an attractive room with excellent service. Dinner became our evening activity and we often missed the planned entertainment as a result. What else did we do? We enjoyed the singers and dancers when we did make the shows and regretted missing the violinist. The planetarium was moderately interesting as were the speakers. We tried to visit all the bars but gave up and pretty much settled on the Carinthia where we could have a light meal with our wine. Zumba was fun but the pools were rather cold. The Golden Lion Pub offered good fish and chips. Afternoon tea in the Queen's Room was a disappointment -good food but a mad rush to get in and get a table. The library was lovely and the Promenade Deck was a comfortable place to sit or get some exercise walking. Service was excellent and we appreciated the young man who brought our room service breakfasts, our assistant waiter, and all the nameless crew members who smiled and made us feel welcome. We only took one shore excursion - to Bruges - which left us needing to do a lot of walking to get to the center of town but was well organized and on time. We explored on our own in Hamburg and Guernsey. Regarding the ship, she is showing her age (I had sailed on her in 2005) but just barely. She is still a magnificent "grande dame". Just don't expect glitz and glitter and instead settle into a leisurely, relaxed way of life. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a ten day round trip itinerary that left and returned to Vancouver. It didn't' go to Glacier Bay, but the times in port were good and the ten day itinerary allowed us to visit extra ports. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a ten day round trip itinerary that left and returned to Vancouver. It didn't' go to Glacier Bay, but the times in port were good and the ten day itinerary allowed us to visit extra ports. We were also hoping to get some dancing in because we'd found the dance floor on our previous cruise was far too small. The cruise more than met our expectations. We had some lovely table mates in the main dining room and the food was excellent. We usually ate in the Lido for lunch and tea and very much enjoyed the food there as well. It had some great views . The tea in the Queen's Ballroom was also fantastic. The ports were great. We did a private tour with Wild Wolf Tours in Ketchikan and very much enjoyed it. In Juno, we took the shuttle to the Mendenhall Glacier and were glad we'd chosen the tour that gave us the most time there. In Skagway, we took the train to Bennett Lake and the bus back. It was a great experience, but next time I might go for a smaller tour so that we'd have more flexibility. In Icy Strait, I went whale watching while my husband stayed on shore and watched the whales breaching behind our boat. Luckily we some some on the boat as well as eagles, sea otters, and sea lions. Our Captain and crew showed their true colours at the Hubbard Glacier because they were able to manouver us very close to the glacier. We had a great view of the glacier calving and the small boat tour didn't get that much closer to the glacier (maybe 200 metres) than we did. The naturalist on board was very impressed with how close we got. In Sitka, we walked around the port by ourselves and found it very easy to do and I particularly enjoyed the walk in the Natural Park with the huge trees. In Vancouver, we took the ships tour to Butchart Gardens, but I found it very rushed and would have preferred longer in the gardens. A private excursion that would let you take as long as you want would have been nicer. There were a few dance groups on this cruise, so there were some high level dancers. This lead to a packed and intimidating dance floor in the Queen's Ballroom, so we often went up to the yacht club and danced there because it was less intimidating. However, I was able to hold my own during the line dance lessons and we eventually got up the nerve to dance on the floor in the Queen's Ball room and we did fine. We also enjoyed the shows in the theatre. They had a new one every night and we always managed to find a seat if we left our cabin about 15 minutes before the show started. My biggest disappointment with the cruise was the fact that they cancelled the line dance and ball room lessons on the last sea day because the dance classes are the favourite part of my sea days. But all in all, it was an excellent cruise. They staff seemed happy and pleasant and we really enjoyed our waiters in the Britannia and the dance couple that taught the lessons. We plan to go on another Cunard cruse again because it seems to do the three things we like to do on a cruise very well (dance, read a book (their library was fantastic), and promenade around the deck). We were the only ship disembarking in Vancouver and I found the process fairly well organized. We waited in the theatre until they called our deck and then proceeded to the gangway where I picked up the ulu knife that had been confiscated after I went shopping in Ketchikan. They showed us to the deck five luggage area and we picked up our bags and got into the taxi lineup. It took us about an hour to get through that lineup, but it was an organized process where we snaked through the lineup corral until we were given a taxi stand to stand at. Anyone needing a handicapped vehicle was sent through a different lineup and I noticed that they did allow someone who I suspect had issues standing jump the taxi lineup corral and go straight to the assigned taxi station just before ours. Our disembark time was 9:10 and I think we got off the ship at 9:25 and we made it to the airport by 11. If a lot of ships were disembarking at once, I would probably consider the ships shuttle instead of the taxi even though it was more expensive. I our case, I knew we'd have time to do the taxi lineup because our flight wasn't due to leave until 1pm. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I choose a transatlantic cruise onboard the magnificent QM2 which departed New York in mid June. I was looking for a complete break after a particularly hectic period and couldn’t have imagined how thoroughly revitalising the experience ... Read More
I choose a transatlantic cruise onboard the magnificent QM2 which departed New York in mid June. I was looking for a complete break after a particularly hectic period and couldn’t have imagined how thoroughly revitalising the experience would end up being. I travelled solo and was amazed at the sheer quantity and variety of things to do - along with the choice to do as much or as little as you like. A typical day for me consisted of breakfast in bed, a walk and sometimes a long sit on the Upper deck, a light buffet lunch, one of the activities in the afternoon (often a short insight tour) or a visit to the library, a workout or pool visit and then the nightly LGBT happy hour each evening at 17:00 in the Commodore Club. I’d then have a late sitting dinner in the Britannia restaurant, where the food was good restaurant quality, on an excellent table of 8 great fellow voyagers, followed by a drink or maybe a spot of roulette in the casino - and repeat! Guests were super friendly and very sociable everywhere onboard and this was really noticeable from day 2, when people started to relax and get into the swing of the voyage. The LGBT happy hour was an absolute blast and a great way to meet like minded people - I met some fantastic people there and also stayed in touch with some of my table colleagues. Service everywhere was genuinely exceptional and the ship is meticulously run - in terms of organisation. As for the ship - she is magnificent in so many ways and I’m so grateful that Cunard had the vision to build a genuine ocean liner to replace the QE2. Gazing out into the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean From the promenade decks is a humbling and wonderful way to spend some reflective tine! I left Southampton totally revitalised with some amazing memories - so much so that I’m doing another crossing, this time from Southampton to New York, just before Christmas and for less than the price of a premium economy airfare. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated ... Read More
Previous Cunard experience on Queen Victoria and sailing back home instead of flying. The relaxation of being aboard for 7 days without having to get up and out for excursions. Looking for a truly relaxing vacation being treated royally. These are the reasons we needed a Cunard vacation. We were not disappointed. Nothing, really nothing, went awry. The embarkation process was amazingly smooth. We boarded the ship and about a half hour later our luggage arrived. This proved to be just the preview of how things were to play out for the rest of the trip. The cabin, see the cabin review, was beautiful. The dining experiences again amazing. Yes the menu options were grand, but Osman the Matre' D would come to the table and ask and give recommendations for off menu options. Foie Gras, an iceberg salad made to order, the Grand Marnier souffle, ask and it was yours. The casino was small. Not very many options. Roulette, Black Jack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold'em type game (not against players but similar to 3 Card Poker) and a few slots. One woman hit the same machine for 4 jackpots in 2 days. The beauty of the ship, the cleanliness of the decks, I walked the decks about 3 in the morning and found more than a few people vacuuming and cleaning the common areas. Loved it so much we booked next year's trip onboard already. Wish we found this years ago. So very happy we found it at last. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced ... Read More
We brought this crossing, Southampton to New York, as an alternative to flights. Little did we know it would provide the tranquility we craved following two weeks of sightseeing. Cunard QM2 has the best entertainment ever experienced at sea. The service is impeccable. While we would rank the food at the Brittania restaurant as rather unremarkable, the Kings Court (buffet) was excellent! Their specialty salads were outstanding. One can also order pasta or pizza, prepared from menu choices (non-buffet), while at Kings Court. We did this, one evening craving pizza. It was fresh from the oven to our table, piping hot. The beds are so comfortable! The evening entertainment included a vocalist, a flautist, along with the ship’s Royal Court Dancers. Top notch. Don’t forget the band, also superior to other ships! Lounges provided a stringed-quartet, a harpist, and jazz band. The latter group did a Dixieland Jazz lunch which was just plain fun. Kudos to Cunard! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method ... Read More
Pricing for this crossing was less than one way business class airfare, so we decided to come back to the USA in style after crusing over to Dublin on a Celebrity Cruise ship. What a GREAT choice! We will definitely choose this method of travel again. Loved the food, the service and the ship. I tend to sea sickness and we were on deck 11, very high up. With 30 foot waves, this is the smoothest sailing ship I have been on. No rocking and rolling, just like a baby's cradle at night. You can do as much or as little as you want on this sailing. Entertainment is OK, but the lectures are very interesting. Warning, everyone likes them and afternoon tea, so get in line early, there is a lot of "waiting in line" for activities. But who cares, it is much better than a flight home from Europe and getting jet lag. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I fell in love with the QM2 when I did the transatlantic crossing last October. I booked another transatlantic so wanted another one in between. Because the single cabins had gone then the cost was extra expensive so a short cruise was ... Read More
I fell in love with the QM2 when I did the transatlantic crossing last October. I booked another transatlantic so wanted another one in between. Because the single cabins had gone then the cost was extra expensive so a short cruise was needed. This visited p places id not been to before as well. I was on a table of 8 for the 6pm and the writing staff were friendly efficient and very professional. There wasn't a meal I didn't enjoy. The main meals are a little short of vegetables but we asked for extra and they were provided for us every night. I chose to eat all my meals in the Britannia apart from breakfasts on tour days when I had room service and late night snacks when I used the kings court. People are very friendly and so I never lonely and shared tables at lunchtime. There were lots of activities to do and I enjoyed them all. I did a couple of spinning classes but don't why these have to be paid for as other classes were free. I arrived early for embarkation but that was not an issue and I was on the ship in under 30 mins. I self disembarked so that was equally smooth. The tours are great. I went on the walking tour and canal ride in bruges. The tour guide was very informative and with doing four a first visit. On Guernsey I did the sea kayaking. This was great was it was the other side of the island di we had chance to see the island and the instructor was very friendly and from the island so very informative. Highly recommended. The entertainment was mixed. Some very good, some ok and some not quite up to it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. ... Read More
I stayed in an interior cabin on this recent cruise and found it to be just what I needed for a comfortable bed in the evening. Linens, pillows, comforter - all great. Cabin attendee was warm hearted and helpful with anything needed. Bathroom was starting to show its age, but great shower pressure, size and heat. Spa services were wonderful, took advantage of some of the discounts onboard during slower times and found the value to be good, especially considering you get use of the in-spa jacuzzi and pool. Ate in the main dining room twice out of the five nights and probably would reduce this number on the next cruise. Service was not nearly as good as specialty restaurants, though I had no issue with the food quality. Our waiter in the second seating was rude, always trying to rush and never in sight after the order was given. It also took a long time for the sommelier to get to our table, he clearly had his hands full and the two times we ate there he would arrive at our table around the time we were eating our appetizer. I don't fault the ship for this and give a 5 star review because this was easily solvable by eating at the specialty restaurants where all these issues were more than solved. The Veranda was wonderful (ate there twice) as was the rotating restaurant - we had Indian and it was great. Loved grabbing lunch at the golden lion pub in the afternoons. Pool decks were nice and public spaces in part because there were far less children on this boat than many other carriers. This kept things more organized. My wife and I are in our early 30's and felt well placed in the crowd. Overall a great experience and great value. Will be back and would like to try the princess grill on the next voyage. Cheers Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew ... Read More
We have done this trip before and wanted to go back at a different time of year. We always sail with Cunard having experienced the cattle market of other lines sailing from Southampton. As always the service was impeccable and crew are always happy to have a chat, they smile and are sincere. Formal nights are now called Gala nights but the themes remain the same. One of the main reasons we sail with Cunard is because we like the formality of dressing up properly in the evenings. We also enjoy dancing in the ballroom to live band music. The singers can vary in ability though and this time we had an excellent lady singer and a dreadful male. Cunard are very clear that ‘dressing’ is a requirement and you know what you are signing up for before you embark. There are areas that can be accessed for those who wish to dress more casually. As for drinks prices - if you are used to London prices, cocktails and beer are comparatively priced, however wine is expensive. This trip followed the aforementioned Baltic, and I see that a previous passenger complained that the ship was too cold. I guess that they changed the air con to suit this as we spent our trip too hot! If you have never done the fjords trip, you really should. We’ve done it twice now, both times on QV. The weather was amazing, 24c in Haugesund. Norway is expensive, however the scenery is fantastic and there are things you should see before global warming has its way. The Briksdal glacier for instance, is a shadow of its former glory and yet remains an awesome sight. So if you are someone who likes to dress properly, enjoys politeness and old fashioned service, Cunard is for you. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
65th Husband's birthday in May 2019. Sailing time evening. We arrived 2 pm. Relaxing start to cruise was the Southampton embarkation and disembarkation. Never sailed from Southampton before always fly cruised. Felt the start of ... Read More
65th Husband's birthday in May 2019. Sailing time evening. We arrived 2 pm. Relaxing start to cruise was the Southampton embarkation and disembarkation. Never sailed from Southampton before always fly cruised. Felt the start of cruise as soon as on the ship.Cases were at our cabin before we even arrived at the door. Was a bit concerned about whether the ship would be too posh for us and too big as previous cruises have only been with Marella Cruises tui but did need to worry at all. Lovely step up size. You can dress up and go over the top or just formal and smart, which was us. Men I do need suggest a black tie / or tie and and white shirt with a jacket. used most evenings in the bars and restaurants. 3 tiers to this ship money wise: but we on this ship but we did not feel out of place. even though they have the Britannia club, we went with our budget and was more than happy.We had booked an early saver for this ship and was very lucky as we had a balcony cabin on deck 5. Never had a balcony before. We went to eat in the Lido buffet as hungry. Good standard of food, although two buffet restaurants, one was geared to more Asian food.Although buffets were cleared sharply on time for change over meal times. Lovely views out of the windows. I requested early sitting at dinner, although not guaranteed we had been seated for 6 pm in the Britannia restaurant.Later I wished we had the later eating time because if you eat late breakfast or have afternoon cream tea lovely..... then you are not really hungry at 6 pm. Britannia restaurant is waiter service. Small portions, but four courses. Personally not a lot of choice but I managed as I am not a fussy eater. Enough for us.Although someone was on our table and had been on the ship before, so knew she could order soup as a starter. Pointer: if you drink alcohol and like your drink and do not want to be worrying about the cost of drinks every time you order one, then suggest the drinks package.15% is added to every drink and it is dollars.it can be expensive and not worth it if you are not going to use your allowance. Average 4 double gins and 3/4 beers a night is worth it. But my husband got more than his worth and did not worry about ordering which is what I wanted for him to enjoy his birthday week. As for me not worth it... I only had a couple on non Alcohol cocktails and a tea or coffee. But a tip''''' They say you have to buy two the same drinks package, I don't drink and only wanted the soft drinks package and my husband wanted the drinks package, they will not let you buy one of each..... but argue this if this is the case and they will let you in the end.You are given an on board card for all your spending and a sticker is put on if you take the drinks package. Don't keep your on board card next to your phone as it wipes your account and it is a pain to keep renewing it from the purser and you cant get into your room without it. Staff were from around the world We had some nice and some not so friendly.. so we asked for our gratuities back from the purser . we then tipped who we wanted. Some bar waiters really nice, some not so. Absolutely lovely meal in the special La Pizza restaurant. Extra $19 dollars each bookable. Need to learn the corridors when you come out the ship as you have a long walk otherwise. Deck 2 was where the reception was. Deck 3 was the lovely Gin Bar and the pub bar was the meeting place in the evening for karaoke and quizzes. other bars were relaxing,as so the extra places like the library etc. Music was played by musicians in the evenings as so dancing if you wanted it. if you book any birthday meals in the Veranda restaurant make sure you have your booking ticket with you. If you book a photograph go and see the photographer beforehand as they do not come to you. The Manager is lovely Warren such a lovely man.Made our evening really enjoyable and memorable. Joe the steward look for him he is good as well.Dennis is also good as so was Ronaldo. Casino staff good very friendly but easy to get hooked so be aware. lol. Excursions okay. Beautiful scenery even if you do not get off. You can do as much or as little as you want on or off ship in the way of exercise. We booked online before we left. Book before hand for Flamm as very popular and will not get booked up on ship. We were lucky with the weather, we had sunshine and 20 degrees in May. We actually swam in the ships pool and Jacuzzi. They have a spa and hydrotherapy pool but these are extras. Down sides ? a bit poor on the theatre shows and not much show of the captain and his staff unless you mix a bit upper class.Purser staff a bit offish with you when you have issues except for the younger girl staff.she was helpful. Cabin steward a bit aloof. Just did the basics.did not go out of his way at all.One or two staff unfriendly but then a very mixed employment of staff so some very helpful others not so. Same with some people on the ship s cruise.Best thing is to just enjoy your selves and not worry about the others. Disembarkation was a bit of a free for all. should have been a bit. more organised/. Britannia club and people with coaches go first then every body has to wait until these people are cleared. then they like release you all at once and every body wants to race to get off at once. so you have people coming from their designated areas from like 8 am and from their cabins or other waiting areas trying to leave and disembark at once. Overall a lovely week. will definitely cruise Cunard Queen Victoria again/ Cannot comment yet on the other ships. Will definitely sail Cunard Queen Victoria again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We've cruised some over the years: river, small ship, big ship. It's a great way to travel. Queen Victoria is the most gorgeous ship I've ever seen. I was so immediately "at home", all the positive reviews of her ... Read More
We've cruised some over the years: river, small ship, big ship. It's a great way to travel. Queen Victoria is the most gorgeous ship I've ever seen. I was so immediately "at home", all the positive reviews of her are true. I am grateful to Cruise Critic reviewers for all their information, it really made a difference. Actually, we found our cruise to be better than the reviews. While there certainly could be more horizontal space in the cabin for "your stuff", and the bathroom is tiny, that's about the only change I'd make. We dined mostly at the Lido buffet and the food was amazingly good with great variety. Service was adequate. The "activities" were fine, we didn't participate much. An artist demo was a waste of time, but Big Dave who manages the Goring, a luxe London hotel was great. The entertainment was mediocre to awful, the "Hollywood" production was the worst I've ever seen. Most staff was polite and professional; interesting to realize after a couple of days that they lack the seemingly-genuine friendliness of the crew on all the other cruises we've taken. Exception was the bar staff in the Chart Room ... most of them were barely civil. Embark and disembarkation was handled very well. Except for one thing: COMMUNICATION We had issues with the Drinks Package and were run around in circles almost 2 days. Communication overall was pretty awful ... and non-existent when it comes to the ports. Cunard is only interested in selling their own shore excursions and provides absolutely no real information on the ports. I found their shore excursions so expensive that I didn’t book an. $59 for a 2-hour walking tour of a small Norwegian town?? Sure, there's a 2-page information sheet delivered the every evening, but it contains very little solid information. A perfect example is Olden. Cunard’s map is a big blob of grey surrounded by more shades of grey, lines that might be streets ... and not a word on the map. I had no idea who to ask, so I visited the Purser's Desk. Looking down, we had seen three little trains, some large buses and lots of activity on the dock. I wanted to go out to the new Loen Skylift, and there might be some other activities we'd like. The clerk shrugged her shoulders when I asked about the map. I was told to sign up for one of Cunard's shore excursions. She said "it's a small town, there's little to do". Really? Then why are we here? What about those little trains? Another shrug. Other passengers were asking the same questions and being given the same answers: "who knows?". This was beyond aggravating. I had extensive research notes on this cruise, but as you all know, some details can't be verified until you arrive at the dock. I could have purchased hours of internet from Queen Victoria and done more research for several hundred dollars, of course. Based on previous cruising experience, I did expect some level of information from the ship. This is Norway, after all, not the Caribbean where most ports are often quite alike. Another example: we had received an email announcing our last port would be hosting a big festival in honor of Norwegian Constitution Day, so no shore excursions. I was really looking forward to Haugesund and the festival. The daily news told us about a couple of parades, and that there would be shuttle busses running all day to the festival for people with limited mobility. That was the extent of the info. They had added a couple of shore excursions. The walk was supposed to be "ten minutes", but we've heard that before. My husband has had a hip replacement, so we boarded one of the busses. It took us to the bottom of a huge bridge over a big river, maybe 3 stories. We were expected to walk up this bridge and down the other side, or perhaps there were several flights of stairs, we couldn't tell. Coming back, we'd have to climb to the top of the bridge again. This was too much for people with limited mobility, that's for sure. There was no sign of a festival of any kind. We asked a couple of people returning to the ship and they confirmed that "the morning parades were the festival, there were no stalls with Norwegian goods or foods, no music, nothing much except a long line of bars and restaurants" on the water". Very disappointing. These two examples are merely that ... Cunard is a wonderful cruise line, Queen Victoria is just a gem and we enjoyed almost every minute. We'll cruise on her again for sure. But someone is not doing their assigned job on Queen Victoria. There's no excuse for not giving passengers any real port information ... just a bunch of fluff and history ... little about the activities available. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
There’s no point beating about the bush. Booking my first cruise filled me with dread; at one stroke I was destroying my credibility as an independent traveller. 15 years and 40 cruises later, I admit I couldn’t have been more wrong. ... Read More
There’s no point beating about the bush. Booking my first cruise filled me with dread; at one stroke I was destroying my credibility as an independent traveller. 15 years and 40 cruises later, I admit I couldn’t have been more wrong. Sea travel has opened up a new world of exploration and last week I repeated my first ever cruise, but this time with Cunard. Would the grand histories of the Baltic ports be matched by the royal splendours of Queen Victoria? THE PORTS Every city on the Baltic itinerary is steeped in history and if palaces, galleries and cathedrals are your thing then this cruise does not disappoint. And if, like me, you appreciate Scandinavian art and design, the ports have some wonderful specialist shops and art studios as well. Be prepared for eye watering prices, however. A cup of coffee and a pastry in Copenhagen for £9 is one thing, but £925 for a cake slice is quite another, albeit an exquisite one designed by Georg Jensen. St Petersburg remains the highlight destination and these days there is more of an effort to make visitors feel welcome: immigration formalities have been streamlined and stern faces replaced with occasional smiles. This is one port where organised excursions are the only way to enjoy the city’s palaces and museums because independent sightseeing is impossible without a visa. I started with a four-hour walking tour, led by a witty and knowledgeable guide who was as happy to be quizzed about Salisbury as she was to rib Putin. One of many highlights was the Church on Spilled Blood with its onion domes reaching to the sky, still beautiful despite a major programme of renovations. Stockholm’s royal palaces are as good a starting point as any for understanding the city’s history but there is so much more. The Museum of Modern Art on the island of Skeppsholmen is worth a visit, its gardens home to colourful and zany sculptures. Although there is a shuttle bus service available, I found it as quick to take the riverside walk past the Film Museum and enter Stockholm via the warren of narrow streets in the Old Town. Of the other ports, Tallinn is compact and the easiest to explore on foot. My starting point was the 13th century cobblestoned main square where I enjoyed a coffee in warm sunshine. From there I walked up to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, an orthodox and gloriously ornate cathedral funded by public donations. Kiel on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast was less impressive. It is twinned with Coventry but has not been as successful in rebuilding after the devastations of war. The Rathaus, or Town Hall, with its ornate interior survived the bombing but Kiel is one place where the best plan might be to book an excursion. THE SHIP Ask loyal Cunarders which is their favourite ship and the answer more often than not is Queen Victoria. I can see why. My cabin was spacious and the public areas luxuriously comfortable, with deep sofas and armchairs waiting to help relieve tired legs after busy days ashore. The dark wood veneers, deep pile carpets in golds and creams, and art deco marble tiling all recall a golden era for passenger ships. The elegant Queens Room on Deck 2 is a popular haunt, not only for afternoon cream teas served by waiters in white gloves but also because it is a ballroom where every evening there is dancing to live music. Cunard dance hosts offer to partner single guests and during the day there are classes led by a professional dance couple. Guests Jane and Robert from Harlow in Essex are keen dancers and the ship’s ballroom was one of the reasons they booked the cruise. “The setting is beautiful,” Jane told me. “We love dancing and enjoyed our times in the Queens Room – but more opportunities for sequence dancing would have been nice.” The handsome two-storey library is well-stocked and the two librarians impressed me with their courtesy and knowledge. At the Purser’s Desk, international receptionists like Lisa from Berlin, Martin from Vienna and Charles from Cambridge were fine ambassadors for Cunard, cheerfully responding to my questions and often providing me with additional maps before going ashore. I cannot think of any area where service was less than excellent. On deck and in the bars, stewards were attentive however busy they were and in the Chart Room ($4.83 for an Illy cappuccino), waiters Julito, Martina and Rolando made every visit special thanks to their professionalism. It was the same in the Britannia Restaurant with waiters Gede and KC delivering faultless service at our table, and Cyril offering expert wine advice. The House wines were good although $14 for a glass of red made my eyes water! The galleys prepare around 5000 meals a day and standards are high. My beef sirloin and pork medallions were first rate, piping hot and full of flavour, and the fish was also excellent, whether the roasted monkfish or the grilled turbot. When I asked for chips, they were delivered immediately. For desserts, and knowing that coffee and chocolates or petit fours would follow, I generally restricted myself to the ice creams. Yes, there were disappointments but they were remedied quickly. My roast turkey one evening was lukewarm and Gede handled the matter without fuss, apologising and returning promptly with a hot replacement meal. There was a wide range of activities to choose from on sea days, from bridge and watercolour art classes to port presentations and talks from guest speakers, all of them well attended. Captain Tomás Connery was seen around the ship every day – always a good sign - and at midday updated us with navigational details. In the evenings, The Royal Court Theatre Company presented music and dance shows to packed houses and there were guest artists too. My favourites were Roy G Hemmings who spent ten years as a singer with The Drifters and Jon Courtenay, an energetic pianist comic. Perhaps because of the Baltic itinerary, there was an international dimension to the cruise. The majority of passengers were British but there were several other nationalities as well – mainly Australians, Americans, Germans, French and Dutch . . . and one South Korean. Does such a mixture have a major influence on menus? Not according to Jackie Bott, the ship’s Hotel General Manager (HGM). “People generally come to Cunard because it’s Cunard,” she told me. “Our international guests tell us that they don’t want to be served with their local dishes. They want to taste British food.” Nancy and John Keisman, guests from Brandon in Mississippi, took the same view. “We loved this cruise,” said John. “Not only for the ports with their different cultures but also for the opportunity to enjoy some great British food - Yorkshire pudding was new to us but we kinda liked it!” Nevertheless some of the food did reflect Continental tastes. The variety of bread and pastries served at breakfast in the Lido restaurant on Deck 9 is one example, with white, black, rye and brown breads, along with bagels and croissants, available each morning. WORTH BOOKING? The Baltic itinerary features throughout the Cunard 2019/2020 brochure and, although I have now done it twice, I would happily do it a third time because each port offers such a diverse range of history and culture. But the real star of this cruise was Queen Victoria and I can’t wait to return on board. HGM Jackie Bott unwittingly summed up the ship’s success when she told me what appealed most about her work in leading a department of 800 officers and crew. “Passengers think it must be the chance to see the world that is the best part of the job, but ports are secondary to people and in any case I’ve visited most ports more than once. People are far more interesting and complex and they are central to everything we do at Cunard.” No surprise, then, that Queen Victoria delivered such a successful cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Writing this review, especially for those considering taking the transatlantic who prefer NOT to wear tuxedos or dark suits with ties. I took on 4/28 from England to NYC. Before I took chance I read 100+ reviews on this site. Now I want to ... Read More
Writing this review, especially for those considering taking the transatlantic who prefer NOT to wear tuxedos or dark suits with ties. I took on 4/28 from England to NYC. Before I took chance I read 100+ reviews on this site. Now I want to pay it forward. My wife and I took initially with reservations, as after 15 cruises, and being retired in Florida, we no longer enjoy dressing up on cruises. Also we did immediately after a 13 night repositioning cruise from Florida to England, and did not want to lug additional clothes for 2 cruises. We are very glad we took a chance, and encourage others to try. Our expectations were exceeded. Like other reviewers, with the same preferanceregarding dress, I would like to qualify my feedback. I knew from reading many reviews, that most QM2 travelers, preferred to dress to the hilt. I found about 75% of the travelers on my particular cruise fell into this category. I knew if I did not want to wear a tuxedo, or dark suit with tie, I could not dine after 6PM in the formal dining rooms. That was OK with me. Also knew that I probably could not attend the shows at night, but that was a trade-off I was OK making. Personally with about 25% of ship approximately preferring to dress casual at night, I think Cunard should bend a bit. Suggest they allocate a section, possibly balcony, to casual dressers, as a compromise. Also suggest they designate a small formal dining room or section, to those that would like to dress casually in the main dining room. That would give casual business casual dressers another option, but allow those that prefer formal to sit with those that prefer that option. We ate in the casual dining room and loved it. Our last few cruises were on Celebrity and the food on the QM2 casual dining room was superior to the Celebrity casual dining room, that was rather good. Some of my favorites in the casual DR were Rack of Lamb 2 nights, Rib Lamb Chops 2 nights, Sushi nightly, and Filet Mignon 1 night. Every night we say folks from the Main DR that opted for the casual DR because of the menu that night. Several days and nights, we watched movies, that included Academy Award movies. Never felt out of place at the movies, dressed casually. Enjoyed the afternoon tea, with 3 woman from Ukraine playing violins. Actually followed their concerts all over the ship. Enjoyed the concert pianist playing in the theatre, before 6PM :) Some days wore shorts, other days long pants, during day and night, throughout the ship. Found everyone on the ship extremely friendly although my dress was never better than business casual. Respected rights of those, to eat formally, in areas designated formal. Enjoyed the Winston Churchill Cigar Room very much, listening to classical music and watching the ocean. The Ocean Liner QM2 experience is unlike all the other cruises I have taken. Large percentage of British passengers, and ship seems very British. It looks differently than other cruise ships and handles the waves much better. We ate all our lunches in the Golden Lion Pub on the 2nd floor. Food is included with ticket, you just pay for drinks. Most days we were able to get small table right next to window. What an experience. We ate breakfasts and dinners in the casual dining areas. We enjoyed these areas, as they are really a bunch of spaces, rather than 1 room. Most days were were able to find tables in small alcoves overlooking the ocean. The QM2 accommodates casual dressed cruisers, but in my opinion, they could do more, without taking away anything from the experiences of those that prefer to dine dressed formally. However, to those of you, like my wife and I, that prefer not to dress formally, I encourage you to try the QM2. My wife and I both enjoyed so much, even with the limitations because we opted to dress business casual...that we will probably opt always to take the QM2 and or a repositioning cruise to from Europe. I took a chance on this cruise, because of the reviews on this site, by casually dressed cruisers. I encourage others to do the same. I also hope Cunard reads this type of reviews, and make additional changes to allow those of us onboard that prefer not to dress, to enjoy cruise even more. They can make these changes, in such a way, that respects the preferences of those that do not want to see any changes that effect them. Also by the way, just remembered to comment on the complimentary launderers onboard. On most floors, there is a room with 3 washers and 3 dryers. I picked a room close to the laundry, for convenience. We were never bothered by the laundry down the hall. Actually it was quite nice, the convenience of being close, and being able to do a load of clothes, when machines were empty. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making ... Read More
We had not sailed in the Baltic and this cruise sailed to all the ports that we wanted to visit. Boarded in Southampton on Sunday 28 April 2019 and were in our cabin by 1.31pm. Suitcases were outside the cabin, quickly unpacked making our cabin home for the next 2 weeks. We had lunch in the Lido (self service restaurant), I had pork escalopes and salad vegetables - lovely. The Emergency life jacket and muster drill at 4pm was uneventful and hopefully will never need this equipment. Walked around deck and went to the sailaway party on the bow deck 9 around the Lido pool. Queen Mary 2 was in dock embarking passengers and both ships blew horns in respect to each other. Food - we eat in the Lido buffet restaurant, we can take our time eating with plenty of choice for breakfast (cold cuts of meat, fish, cooked breakfast items and cereals), lunch menu was varied and always good. Dinner ranged from roast meats, vegetables, cold meats and fish, salad vegetables, various soups especially New England clam chowder and roasted pepper and tomato - superb. Some evenings the food was presented from different countries e.g. Germany, India, China, America and celebratory e.g. turkey. The Italian cooking area (manned by a chef) was always busy and people seemed happy with the food being cooked live. The ship Queen Victoria is beautiful inside and out, and it is well cared for by the crew. My wife attended the water colour art class, including the live painting demonstration by Lynn Rodgie sponsored by the on board art gallery. We saw a live unveiling of a new picture by Lynn, unveiled jointly by Lynn and the Captain in the Clarendon Fine Art Gallery. I attended the lectures in the Royal Court theatre - including lectures on NASA, Princess Diana, Carl Faberge (useful as he lived in St Petersburg one of our cruise ports), various cruise ports and various artist lectures e.g. L S Lowery and Sherree Valentine -Daines. I used the gym on aft deck 9 - dumbells, benches, weights machines and aerobic machines, fine for keeping fit. The weather - late April to mid May, sun shine, wind, rain at sea but not on the excursions, and cold. Snow overnight early hours of saturday 4 May 2019 sailing from Copenhagen to Stockholm. People wore fleeces, padded jackets and goretex outer layers. We had a terrorist alert for Stockholm requesting that nobody bring packages from unknown people on board. Security whilst embarking in Stockholm was tighter. We would visit the Baltic again on a cruise but maybe not for a few years as we want to see different areas of the World. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The ... Read More
This was our second Transatlantic cruise on QM2. We love this ship as it’s a proper ocean liner. Having read some reviews, all I can say is don’t listen. We had a wonderful time and I fail to see any issue with this cruise. The cabin... smallish yes, but everything there. And it is a ship, so space obviously won’t be the same as in a hotel. We had a balcony and enjoyed the fresh sea air. The service... probably the strongest part for Cunard. Quiet, efficient, friendly without being pretentious. Our waiters Ganesh and Arnold were particularly good. Any wish was catered for and next time quietly repeated. My husband was looking for a toothpick and there was one there every time. The food.... lovely food, good variety and in one word delicious!! Afternoon tea was a treat and always a spectacle. Entertainment... during the day there was lots to do and I enjoyed the fact that I would join activities, I wouldn’t normally do. Lectures on air travel, a dance class. In the evening we enjoyed the shows, yes some of the dancing wasn’t what I would ordinarily choose to see, but I still enjoyed it as part of the experience. Some of the shows were exceptional, Francis Ruffelles fro the West End was fantastic. Dancing in G32 was fun and a drink in your Sunday best in the Commodore’s Club is special! Embarking and disembarking was easy a very organised. Maybe my only criticism would be that drinks are very expensive. We loved every minute and can’t wait to see you again QM2 ❤️ Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
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