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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise as it visited Visby, Klaipeda and Oslo, which we had not been to before, plus some old favourites like Skagen, Copenhagen and Kristiansand. A 16 night cruise with 5 formal nights and plenty of sea days. (To be honest we ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it visited Visby, Klaipeda and Oslo, which we had not been to before, plus some old favourites like Skagen, Copenhagen and Kristiansand. A 16 night cruise with 5 formal nights and plenty of sea days. (To be honest we would have happily missed St Petersburg as every Baltic cruise goes there and there is a limit to what you can do) We've travelled on the QV several times before, always choosing a restricted view outside cabin as it gives you a light cabin without the cost of a balcony, and the view is perfectly adequate unless you plan to spend a lot of time in the cabin. As usual the cabin was kept immaculately clean by our steward. The QV is like a comfortable slipper...everything just seems right. Plenty of quiet spaces, a lovely library, good shows in the evening and attentive staff. We also had the bonus of Captain Andrew Hall, who was friendly and approachable, although his weather forecasts always seemed wrong. Plenty of choice food wise, morning, noon and night. We tended to eat in the restaurant most nights apart from a few port days when our early sitting didn't fit in with our return to the ship. Rest assured that the food in the Lido was excellent in the evening and in some cases, surpassed that in the main restaurant. Our only disappointment was we felt the quality of meet had declined from previous voyages. Highlight of the trip for us was Oslo, even though it rained most of the day. The city has some lovely buildings, open spaces and public art. We ended up walking about 14 miles around the city. Klaipeda in Lithuania also surpassed expectations....a lovely old centre, best explored on foot following a guided tour supplied by the local Tourist Board. It pointed out old buildings and some lovely art that we might have missed had we stuck to the centre. Our only disappointments were that a) a few guests choose to ignore the formal evening dress code and were allowed into the restaurant wearing polo shirts with no jacket, when everybody else were in their finest tuxedos and b) the QV was virtually full of Brits this time. On previous voyages we have found a more varied international makeup which we think adds to the trip. Its always lovely to talk to someone from another country to get a different perspective of things. Overall - would always recommend the Baltic for first time cruisers and the QV for anyone who likes to dress up a little and recreate a bit of glamour. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
A lot of positive reviews have been written about the Queen Victoria and to be fair I agree with a lot of what has already been said especially about the public areas, facilities and the staff, all very good. However, the age demographic ... Read More
A lot of positive reviews have been written about the Queen Victoria and to be fair I agree with a lot of what has already been said especially about the public areas, facilities and the staff, all very good. However, the age demographic on board our cruise I would put as an average of 70 maybe even 75 with many obviously much older, ok that's not a problem if you fall into that age range, I'm in my late fifties and I looked like a spring chicken, honest. Consequently the public rooms were full of old people doing old people things-sleeping, reading books and playing cards. The evening venues were relatively quiet because there weren't a lot of people who wanted to party (apart from the Queens room). If you identify with people who walk around the ship carrying their latest novel (even when going to the theatre) then your quids in. We saw about two families on board I guess they had all the childrens facilities to themselves which must have been good for them. The princess grill was good, the service was excellent the food generally good but not earth shattering and at times below the standard expected. We got a 6 wine package from the Captains table list, the wines were absolutely nothing special, it was quiet amusing to listen to the sommelier wax on about a $11.75 bottle of wine and then charge $57.00 for it (I have the photos but couldn't upload them due to their small size the wine was a J.LOHR Merlot 2016 Los Osos, look it up.). So having paid upwards of £11000 for the cruise and an onboard account of £800 was I happy with the outcome? Generally yes, would we do it again? No. Finally cruising isn't for everyone we had a good time but it didn't quite live up to expectations. 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
2 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
5 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
2 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This Cruise was chosen as our first with Cunard because we have always wanted to visit St Petersberg & other venues along the way, which did not disappoint. Our cabin was ideal being kept very clean & comfortable. Our evening ... Read More
This Cruise was chosen as our first with Cunard because we have always wanted to visit St Petersberg & other venues along the way, which did not disappoint. Our cabin was ideal being kept very clean & comfortable. Our evening dining experience in the Britannia Restaurant was exceptional with the most delicious food every day, along with exceptional service ...…. However, the breakfast service left a lot to be desired, after twice being left to ask when our breakfast was going to arrive & mistakes being made with other orders on our table, after that we ate in the Lido most mornings! Embarkation was a breeze making for a very pleasant, stress free start to our holiday. Plenty to do on board at all times. Excellent entertainment & speakers. Attention to cleanliness (offering hand sanitizers at entrance to all restaurants), health & safety was noticeably paramount. Spa experience & services offered therein were grossly overpriced. Drinks on board were vastly over-inflated, I paid 5 times what I would normally for a bottle of wine at home plus a service charge on top, which only added insult to injury! A drinks package on offer only allowed you to purchase the wine that Cunard chose! Cocktails were vastly over-inflated too.... We consider that if the drinks cost was reduced we would certainly have enjoyed more cocktails and wines across the board as would our other fellow passengers (a view not limited to ourselves but others we talked to), thereby increasing the feel good factor & increasing Cunard's revenue in a more pleasant way! Sadly, because of financial advantage taken by Cunard at every opportunity, (charging for water in room too)…. we will not be joining you again...…….. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Our cruise was a 14 day Baltic Sea sailing 28th April 2019. We have sailed on Queen Victoria many times, but sadly our recent cruise to the Baltic will likely be our last on this ship. The embarkation, the service, the food, the ... Read More
Our cruise was a 14 day Baltic Sea sailing 28th April 2019. We have sailed on Queen Victoria many times, but sadly our recent cruise to the Baltic will likely be our last on this ship. The embarkation, the service, the food, the elegance and the general ambience on the ship plus the choice of shore excursions were all as we have come to expect, excellent. But there were a couple of issues that spoilt the cruise. The cabin and the public spaces were uncomfortably cold. Firstly the cabin temperature was simply too cold to relax in, even withe temperature dialled up to maximum and wearing the heavy Cunard dressing gown. Some of the bars, particularly the Commodore Club were also much too cold to relax in, especially for ladies wearing evening dresses. This is our favourite place for after-dinner drinks, but we could only stay for one. We witnessed couples entering, shuddering and exiting. One group of four couples walked in and immediately all four of the gents gave their jackets to the ladies. I know we were far from alone in these views. Just about every conversation in the lifts and bars mentioned the low temperature. One lady told us she had been on Victoria SIXTEEN times and had never been this cold before. To be fair the temperature did improve in the public spaces during the second week, but not in the cabins. The second issue was the general shabbiness of the Queens Grill suites, (state rooms to the Americans). The sofa bed needs to be renewed or at least re-upholstered, and the carpet has staines. NOT the fault of the Cabin Stewards (Butler and Staff), who kept the room immaculate at all times. The usual complaint of the cost of drinks and the high service charge (10% should be more that enough), is well documented, but I guess the ships sail completely full, so why would that change? I do not agree with the complaints about the 'strict' dress code, (which enforcement is no longer as strict as it should be). Cunard make it quite clear what is expected and give very good reasons for it, (aside from the fact that dressing smartly, and appropriately, is a courtesy you extend to others). So if it is not to your taste, choose a different cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first sailing on the Victoria and it really is a most impressive ship . We had booked Balcony Club as we prefer the availability of dining when we choose . Shortly before leaving we upgraded to Princess Grill and considered ... Read More
This was our first sailing on the Victoria and it really is a most impressive ship . We had booked Balcony Club as we prefer the availability of dining when we choose . Shortly before leaving we upgraded to Princess Grill and considered the larger suite and good sized balcony well worth the extra cost . We were not , however, impressed by the Princess Grill dining room . It is large and caters for well over 100 people and is thus not an intimate venue . It compares unfavourably with the Club Balcony on the Elizabeth which ( on our earlier cruise) only catered for about 50 people . The waiters ( dedicated to a group of tables ) were polite and charming and very willing to please but on occasion did not notice when the plate was not as ordered. I could not fault the menus – 5 courses for Dinner and Lunch . We don’t have hearty appetites and never ate lunch there preferring to use the casual Lido restaurant where there was always a large range of different types of food where we could “graze” from the self service buffet . Even though we had the onboard spending allowance ( much of which was taken up by the automatic daily charging of staff gratuity charges of $27 ) I found the wine pricing exorbitant. In the restaurant a bottle of Cloudy Bay, Sauvignon Blanc had a basic price of $40 which was not too bad seeing that , tax free , in the UK it would be about £20 (c $26 ) . However a corkage charge of $25 was then added and ,on top of that , there was a service charge of 15% bringing the total up to $ 74.75 . I refrained from any further purchases there . Quite a number of people to whom we spoke also complained about drink pricing policy on the ship . The air conditioning throughout the ship was set low This was affecting the ladies, especially as they had to dress accordingly . A number complained that they had been unable to wear dresses which had been brought especially for gala nights . Perhaps this was a factor in the ship seeming deserted after 10pm . People were more comfortable in their suites. As regards the excursions we found these to be very well organised by Cunard staff as far as getting us off the ship was concerned but they varied in quality from place to place just as was mentioned in Cunard’s publications . They are dependent on local companies whose employees seem often to be students doing casual work . For example , in Mauritius , we had an early start one day and visited a charming old French colonial villa where we were given a bottle of water and offered a couple of very small deep fried battered vegetables . We then drove a long distance to an old sugar plantation factory which had been converted into a museum dedicated to the local spice industry. Here we were led around every section which , because of the time involved in slowly following other groups of visitors, we found intensely boring . It was over by around 2pm and there had been no allowance for lunch and we still had another town to visit . What was annoying was to find that the factory had a very pleasant outdoor café facility of which we were totally unaware and unable to use as we were then driven off for another 2 hours unfed, and with no opportunity of buying a snack anywhere , until we returned to the ship. Our cruise was part of the Victoria’s World Cruise and covered Singapore to CapeTown . When we boarded it was clear from the amount of coughing noted that there was a “bug” in situ . This was clearly recognised by the Medical Centre which had a prominent notice saying that they did not prescribe antibiotics for this bug which they said was a Cold/Flu infection . They admitted it was virulent and could take up to a month to clear completely . My wife caught this after a week aboard and was prescribed only basic cough medication and paracetamol. She saw the doctors twice and , it not improving , was then told that that was the only medication that they could/would prescribe . Her condition worsened and , when we disembarked in CapeTown , she immediately saw a doctor who diagnosed acute bronchitis and prescribed strong antibiotics and steroids and certified her unfit to fly ( we were due to leave 3 days later and this had to be extended by a further 3 days ) . We thus incurred considerable extra cost and had no opportunity of making the most of our time there . Regarding the entertainment (in the magnificent theatre) there were very good lectures during the day e.g. antiques , topical history and politics and regional cuisine but we found the evening shows and performances mediocre . All in all this was a rather like the proverbial curate’s egg – good in parts . For us however it was a disappointing cruise . Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The ... Read More
As part of a HoA package from DRW to SIN. Embarkation in DRW was a fiasco as 3hours after boarding we had to disembark to retrieve our passports from immigration, only to be immediately taken off us by a member of crew in the terminal. The terminal was also full of people wanting tax refunds with no clear delineation of which "queue" was which ! Mind you we never needed a Chinese visa, another smart move by NT politicians! Balcony cabin was quite good, 5124. although the tenders were directly below the balcony which obstructed the view a little. Half bottle of champers was appreciated, gave a false impression of what was to come such as paying for a nondescript bottle of Australian water. Samsung TV was a smart TV, however, nobody on board smart enough to fully use its technology, eg., no bill display, no menu displays, no details of going ashore, nada ! In fact the secretariat generated piles of expensive heavy glossy paper, must do wonders for fuel consumption. No welcome aboard at DRW or cocktail invitation, in fact the only welcome aboard was when we returned to the ship in HKG. HKG arrivals also received invites, we did not. Major interest appears to be "Dress code" when what you really want to know is where do we need a tender. There were several "Gala h" evenings for which I wore my Galah tie !!. Had to wear a jacket in the Britannia restaurant. Food, service was excellent although several spelling mistakes on the menus & the Sea Brass, aka Bass, provenance was always from the last port of call, amazing how these Bass get around. Bottle of house red, which was from a good vintners in London, ended up at US$40 a bottle ! We found the Lido cafeteria most acceptable, as always pick your times, avoid 1pm. If you have a "see food" allergy it could be a problem, I see food & eat it ! The answer is to use room service for breakfast at least. Amazingly no extra charge, always arrived on time but often with elements missing, no QC on the trays going out ? Saving grace was the pub which served excellent lunches (no extra charge) with Guinness at US$6.90 a pint. Never bothered with the so called "speciality" restaurant, especially when you see the cover charge. Was neither fish nor fowl & did not offer anything special. One day out the Royal Arcade liquor store had a special so eg 2litres of Famous Grouse for US$42, which kept us going to SIN. All this kerfuffle about taking alcohol onboard is rubbish. We took a bottle of champers in carry on & our bags contained 1 litre of Plax mouthwash which had changed colour, funny that. If your bags are correctly labelled they are whisked away through the x-ray by the handlers Excursions, aka a necessary evil in some places. Nha Trang return to ship was a catastrophe with all the tour buses returning at the same time with just one tender in operation. Enormous queue of people, mostly open to the elements, until someone at least told bus drivers to keep passengers on board with the AC on. Reason given that only facilities for one tender were available. Appears to be a normal problem otherwise how come there were staff distributing cold towels & water? Disembarkation in SIN was a breeze once you eventually got off as the port staff had bags clearly defined by tag & colour, beats BNE hands down. In conclusion, if you are loaded, don't mind spending hours for something to happen when going ashore & into all the social climbing bling then no problem. Otherwise we shall stay with P&O which has a much more egalitarian approach. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are in our early 60's and fit and healthy. The Cunard line represented to us elegance, fine dining and an association with the Grand Queens of the Sea. Though there were some good points to the ship including the Common Areas, ... Read More
We are in our early 60's and fit and healthy. The Cunard line represented to us elegance, fine dining and an association with the Grand Queens of the Sea. Though there were some good points to the ship including the Common Areas, the Afternoon Tea, Library and some entertainment, the rest of the experience left a lot to be desired. We were in Cabin 6123 Starboard with balcony. We were assigned Britannia early seating. The main food options available are the Britannia Restaurant on Decks 2 and 3 and the Lido Restaurant on Deck 9 which is the main outdoor activity Deck on the ship. The Lido has very poor quality food - think Cafeteria style - with little flavour and no fresh produce, only cold storage items. The Lido restaurant itself looks like an Aged Care Facility with boring pastel shades and Ikea style furniture. The Grill bar out near the pool area again has no decor - just a plain service counter with precooked burgers and battered fish, but mainly batter, available in hamburger buns - just awful. The Britannia Restaurant is the formal dining offering where jackets for men at Dinner are mandatory and where waiters and a Sommelier in attendance. The menu changes daily but hardly any of the dishes were recognisable as chef quality. Some of the dishes were a mystery with the most ridiculous additions that did nothing for the hero of the plate - either fish, lamb or beef. What is the Head Chef thinking? We brought on board our own wine from Australia as we had the foresight to check out the wine prior to boarding. This was a good move, and though we paid $20 US for every bottle opened, at least we got to drink good wine at a reasonable cost. Our sommelier, Roberto was excellent and had a thorough knowledge of wine and his service was impeccable - thank you Roberto. All drinks are expensive on board the ship and you pay in US dollars - add to that a 15% surcharge plus gratuities every day. We did eat at The Golden Lion a few times, and the pub meals were good and at a standard of most pubs in England. The Daily Programme was nothing short of tedious and repeats of the same thing every two or three days. Think trivia challenges. The Gala Evenings (7 in 24 days) were of no consequence. We all put on our finery, went to dinner, went to the show, then came back to the Queen's room and watched a dozen or so of people on the ship who could ball room dance - there was no allowance for any type of other dancing as the floor was taken with Fox Trot, Samba etc. with couples swirling around the whole dance floor. Why have a Ball? Nothing was done to include the 90% of guests in more modern dancing or being part of a 'ball atmosphere". There was dancing in the Yacht club. However, this venue was as dead as a door on the few occasions we visited. 'Under 30's' are scheduled for 10.30 pm (the only under 30's on board are crew) and there's a disco on from mid-night. A 'Beatles' band joined the ship for the remaining 4 nights with the band playing in the Queens Room on the last night and everyone got up and danced and had a great time - the only one night throughout the duration of the 24 days. The lectures - some were interesting and others were terrible - a right royal buffeting of Princess Anne, and World War II British lectures on how the war was won (don't mention the war!) with over 350 Germans on board - goodness know how well that went down with the Germans.... The ship has apparently had an upgrade, but you were hard pressed to tell. We spent a large amount of time on the back verandah near the swimming pool and the condition of the decks, pool surrounds, and rusty areas needs to be attended to immediately. At times, the belching of the smoke from the funnels created great piles of soot deposits which spoilt our clothes and left us covered in black spots - unhealthy to be inhaling too... The windows on the ship always seemed to be dirty so if you were sitting in the Britannia looking out to sea, there were rust and salt encrusted streaks in your vision. The Tender service process was terrible. We managed to finally get ashore at the Whitsundays at quarter to twelve after having milled about in the Queens room with hundreds of people waiting to be called for the Tender. People who had booked tours that day, ended up not doing a different tour because of time constraints. The same process for every Tender port ensued and although there was some improvement in the process, the queues and delays were very frustrating. Oh, and to top it off, and notwithstanding the crew's best efforts with hand sanitisers, a flu like bug went through the ship which had people coughing incessantly. Difficult to stop once it starts. Perhaps food handling in the kitchens needs tighter control given we observed on one occasion when the kitchen doors were open one of the 'chefs' coughing into his hands then handling food without washing and sanitising his hands. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We went on the worldwide cruise with Cunard in Jan 2019 and have vowed never to cruise with this company again. The ship was tatty and the furnishing were mediocre. Air con was cold throughout the ship and you could not turn this off in ... Read More
We went on the worldwide cruise with Cunard in Jan 2019 and have vowed never to cruise with this company again. The ship was tatty and the furnishing were mediocre. Air con was cold throughout the ship and you could not turn this off in your stateroom. It would have been nice to have been able to open our balcony door but if we did this the air con went into ‘overdrive’ and dripped. I am sure that the air con throughout the ship did not help with the problem of the prevalent cough/cold that circulated - everyone we met had this and we also fell victim, myself twice with one occasion necessitating me having to stay in our cabin for 6 days to recover! Internet availability/connection was poor and expensive if you did not qualify for free wi fi (this was dependant upon your length of trip/previous cruiser as to whether you got some ‘free minutes’). Cunard organised trips were poorly thought out bearing in mind that the average age of the passengers was 65+. Some of the destinations offered coaches that were suited to the local ‘slight’ population and not to northern hemisphere population with no air con or PA system. Next time we will book with an independent luxury cruise ship which offers better quality and value Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no ... Read More
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no illusions with six sea days before the first port of call we would need to find plenty to do. Also, the North Atlantic in January could have been very rough (think North Sea trawler!), we were very fortunate and had a remarkably smooth ride. We had booked a Princess Grills mini-suite which was mid-ships and deck six. Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the City Terminal in Southampton. We had priority boarding and so did a lot of others, from arriving at the terminal to getting to the cabin took 45 mins. Check in took a bit longer as they had to confirm that we had valid US visas (ESTA). Disembarkation was more complicated because our flight was not until 18:00. A coach tour of Miami had been organised for those transferring to Miami airport. A couple of days before disembarking instructions and luggage tags were dropped off in our cabin. We had to be in the Royal Court Theatre for 07:45, no leisurely breakfast then. Once called, we were quickly off the ship and had collected our luggage; this was then put onto the coach. There was some confusion because some of the passengers on the coach had flights that were too early for the tour; they had to be taken off the coach. We had a comprehensive tour of Miami, with a detailed description from our knowledgeable guide Linda. There was time for some lunch in Miami Beach and a walk on Ocean Drive. We finally reached the airport for 13:30; this might have seemed early for an 18:00 flight, but with the queues at check in, immigration and security, the time soon passed. Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet We did have a small M&G on the first sea, a nice chat with quite a varied bunch. Dining As we were Princess Grill passengers we ate in the Princess Grill, and could have eaten there for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. We had an allocated table for two (103) which was ours for the whole cruise. Our waiters Tusha and Tutu (spelling guess) could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. Meals are served at a leisurely pace, but when we turned up early one evening, they asked if we were going to the show and provided ‘express’ service, in and out in an hour! Every morning the lunch and dinner menus are delivered to your cabin, giving you plenty of time to consider your choices. If there was nothing on the dinner menu that you fancied, there was also a good selection of a la carte choices, though some did need to be ordered in advance. Memorable meals included Dover sole cooked at our table, the mixed grill, beef Wellington, Tornados Rossini and last but not least the chilli dog for lunch! A particular highlight was the wines that our sommelier Sheila, always managing to find interesting wines by the glass, that were below the $11 drinks package threshold, that matched our food choices, her service was prompt, efficient and very friendly. Although the food in the Princess Grill was amazing we did occasionally try other venues for breakfast and lunch. The Lido buffet for breakfast when we had early starts was better that many buffets that we have tried, at peak times it could be very crowded and difficult to find a table. Choices of food were very wide. The Lido Grill provided great hotdogs and burgers. We had fish and chips in the Golden Lion pub one day, this was very good, and served quickly. Bars We had decided to purchase the Beers, Wines and Spirits Option drinks package; this costs $69 per day per person. It worked for us, I don’t know whether we made or lost on it, effectively we saved the 15% service charge which is applied to all purchased drinks. There is a comprehensive set of terms and conditions that fill a sheet of A4 paper. Our favourite bar was the Grills Lounge where Patrick was the consummate host, nothing was too much trouble. The standard of nibbles served with drinks before dinner was very high, the crisps particularly, we were also offered hot canapes. Other favourites included the Commodore Club with its stunning forward view, and after dinner the Chart Room provided somewhere quiet and intimate. Prelunch drinks were either in the Golden Lion, which had a good selection of beers, or the Winter Garden, which could be quite crowded. Most of the time service was prompt, efficient and courteous. Most bars also served tea and coffee. Cabin Our cabin was starboard midships on deck 6 (6103), it was a very good size; it is described as a Princess Grill Mini-Suite. The décor and fittings were in good shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. There were also two deep drawers under the foot of the bed. There is a spacious sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table. The balcony does have an overhang and is quite sheltered, but it is a good size. Our steward Jaypee looked after us well, and was always keen to do more. This grade of cabin comes with fluffy bathrobes, and on embarkation Champagne. This cabin was very quiet, nothing rattled. The bathroom had an over-bath shower and lots of storage. Along with a kettle there was also a coffee maker. Large bottles of water are provided complimentary. The only slight downside was that the hairdryer was not very good and really needed upgrading. Entertainment I enjoyed the lectures in the Royal Court Theatre by Professor Bob Donaldson ‘Global Threats in the 21st Century’ might sound a bit on the heavy side, he presented an interesting perspective on international relations. We both enjoyed talks by retired cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. We also went to evening shows with Phillip Browne, Roy Walker and juggling comedian Goronwy Thorn. These were hosts by Entertainment Director Neil Kelly. It was very pleasing not to have to get to the theatre 30 mins before a show started, there were always seats available. Photography We were pleasantly surprised by the ship’s photographers and their low key approach, only taking your picture when asked. We did have a picture with the captain, but it was not good enough for the $30 price tag. Gym A very good gym with everything you could want, some of the machines looked to be new. As usual it could become congested at peak times. My only suggestion would be to add a sit-up bench. Shops Lots of shops to choose from, but not everything had a price tag which was a bit off putting. Ports of Call Bermuda, after six days at sea we were very glad to stretch our legs on land. We stayed around the Royal Naval Dockyard, taking in the Clocktower Shopping Mall, the Dockyard Glassworks and the Frog and Onion Pub. Bermuda is not a cheap place, $7 for half a pint of local lager. Port Canaveral, Florida We originally booked on the Kennedy Space Centre Up Close Tour, but this was downgraded to the standard tour because of the US Government shut down. It was a long day and started with negotiating US Boarder Control formalities. The Space Centre sent buses to the port to collect us (I think there were 10 busses in all). We had a very knowledgeable guide in Julie, who also kept very good control of the group. Julie warned us that the Space Centre had become very ‘Disneyish’, with stirring music blasting out, rather than a history lesson more an experience. The tour lasted from pick up at 08:30 to back on board 16:45, not for the faint hearted it’s a long day and hard on the feet, but I thought it was well worthwhile and enjoyable. Top tip, if you purchase anything in the Space Centre retail outlets; ask for the cruise passenger 10% discount. Anything Else? We were under no illusions that there were a lot of sea days on this trip, but Cunard offered plenty to keep us occupied. The level of service on the ship exceeded our expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Xmas and new year cruise to the canaries From embarkation to disembarkation it was everything we expected Arrived at the port 10.15 checked in and on by ten fifty five Balcony Cabin 4042 near stairway A no issues quiet location ... Read More
Xmas and new year cruise to the canaries From embarkation to disembarkation it was everything we expected Arrived at the port 10.15 checked in and on by ten fifty five Balcony Cabin 4042 near stairway A no issues quiet location the balcony had a solid front which didn’t cause any issues A very calm transit through the Bay of Biscay Food and waiters in Brittania we’re excellent best we have had (Alex and Jeffrey) New Year’s Eve was spectacular We enjoyed all the ports, disappointing that we didn’t get into Madeira, this was due to the weather, it was not safe for the tenders, very scary watching other tenders going into port Would highly recommend a very good cruise The only negative I have is the high costs of the drinks and the cost of spa treatments, if only they reduced the prices t am sure more people would indulge Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 45th anniversary in style so we chose the Queen Victoria. We have been on the other two Queens and were very pleased. We live in south Florida and just didn't want to do the Caribbean again. ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to celebrate our 45th anniversary in style so we chose the Queen Victoria. We have been on the other two Queens and were very pleased. We live in south Florida and just didn't want to do the Caribbean again. We booked our cruise in March of 2018 and were told by the agent who took the booking that if we took an interior guarantee we'd probably end up with a window or balcony. Wrong - we didn't get our cabin until just before we sailed and it was a very large interior but next to the pool pump for the Hydrotherapy pool on the floor above. To make up for the noise that went from 7AM to 10 PM the ship gave us a $300 on board credit. There were no other rooms for us to move into. The cabin stewards were wonderful, we never had to ask twice for anything. The entertainment was the best we've had on any cruise. The lectures were wonderful; Our one complaint was the food. Many nights the food was over cooked, dried out. We were so disappointed in the food that I doubt I'd take another cruise on this ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
See cabin review below. The Victoria was in very good order, and nicely decorated for Xmas and NY. No welcome drink despite slick embarkation and with bags in cabin immediately. Entertainment in the evening was above average and ... Read More
See cabin review below. The Victoria was in very good order, and nicely decorated for Xmas and NY. No welcome drink despite slick embarkation and with bags in cabin immediately. Entertainment in the evening was above average and during the day OK with good lecturers in the morning although the port lectures had funny timings. Plenty of quizzes and table & paddle tennis which suits us. The Lido restaurant was good with plenty of variety though just sometimes tricky to find a table . Dining in the Britannia Restaurant - The food was OK but often not exciting, though plates were hot. Service was professional but the waiter wasn't good at the socialising. Need to talk about Service Standards. The service overall wasn't as good as on other ships who do much much better in the Friendliness stakes and for going the extra mile. This was a surprise - not terrible but the others are much better, and we are experienced cruisers. I also suspect that staff were managed by the stick and not the carrot. Docking - Cunard was not in the best position at the docksides so longer walks and in Madeira were supposed to Tender and other ships were docked. Then the sea was rough so we did not get to Madeira! Luckily the NY fireworks were as good as ever - a real plus. Disembarkation was fine. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and it has always been a favourite of ours and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful suite with a full sized Christmas tree as an added bonus. The Butler and his assistant were fantastic and ... Read More
We have been on the Queen Victoria before and it has always been a favourite of ours and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful suite with a full sized Christmas tree as an added bonus. The Butler and his assistant were fantastic and nothing was ever too much trouble for them. Our suite was always kept pristine and we never lacked for anything. We travelled with our adult daughter so we wanted a second bedroom and bathroom and the suite provided both (although it could be too big for just two people, it all depends on what you are looking for). The Head Maître’ D and Head Waiter in the Queens Grill restaurant were brilliant (as usual) as were the rest of the staff. My daughter has food allergies and they could not do enough to ensure she had a great gastronomic experience. The ship is superbly appointed throughout and the crew in general are very friendly and courteous (just remember to return the friendliness and courtesy to them). We have always enjoyed the Enrichment Program and always proves to be very enlighting. The entertaiment on the ship we have always found to be very average with the occassional highlight. However we were disappointed that they did not have the fencing on this cruise. The ports and shore excursions were good but not brilliant but we knew this before the cruise so they met our expectations. If I have a criticism of the crew, it is with the officers of the ship that seem to refuse to engage with the guests and can be very stand offish. Cunard is the only cruise line that I have experienced this with. Just a point of note, the ship can be quite formal at times so if you like a laid back type of cruise you should do your research before embarking on a Cunard cruise. For us, we would like less formality but it is worth putting up with just so as we can experience the White Star service. We have already booked a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth for January 2020 and we are looking forward to sailing with Cunard again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably ... Read More
The voyage was to the Canaries from Southampton. At the start , we were a little apprehensive due to the Bay of Biscay but the ship handled it well despite the 4Mtr swells. We had superb food in the Britannia restaurant and Lido, probably the best to date. We were also glad to see that Cunard were maintaining the dress code, I did not see anyone who was not dressed to the correct standard. The dress standard is what Canard is all about. The dining staff were extremely attentive and were very keen to try and please. The ship was decorated beautifully in readiness for Christmas, we even had a small Christmas tree in the room. Our Stateroom was very comfortable, the Cunard staff could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. The enrichment activities were wonderful, in particular the NASA talks by Jim Kennedy. Overall the evening entertainment was to a high standard in particular the Cunard show called Hollywood nights, especially the new introduction of the "Greatest showman" which we thought was stunning. Most of the evenings involved late night drinks in the Commodore club listening to a pianist/singer. Overall a fantastic cruise Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We just arrived back home after sailing for 10 nights around the Canary Islands and Madiera. We originally were booked in a Queens Grill Q5 Cabin, but we received an offer from Cunard of purchasing an upgrade to Q1, which we chose to take ... Read More
We just arrived back home after sailing for 10 nights around the Canary Islands and Madiera. We originally were booked in a Queens Grill Q5 Cabin, but we received an offer from Cunard of purchasing an upgrade to Q1, which we chose to take up. For us it was very exciting to be sailing on the QV but to be sailing in a Q1 (The Aquataine Suite) was beyond exciting. We arrived at check in and everything went smoothly. We were on the ship very quickly and we were met at the entrance by our Butler who personally showed us to our suite. The Suite itself is amazing, absolutely huge and well fitted out. A bottle of Lauren Perrier Rose Champagne was on ice for us along with strawberries dipped in chocolate. Our Butler and Steward were both excellent and catered for all our needs. We missed our first lunch in the QG Restaruant as we were late arriving at the ship so we were both very much looking forward to dinner. When we originally booked our Q5 suite, 14 months ago, we booked it on board the QE and we specifically requested a window seat in the restaurant. However once we upgraded we felt that we would automatically be given a very good table. Much to our dismay on arriving in the restaurant we were placed on a table which was quite small and abutted a wooden pillar! Consequently my hb rather than being able to look out towards the sea view looked face on to the pillar.The table was also placed at an odd angle so my hb was also sticking out into the pathway of the waiters. Of course my hb spoke to the Maitre 'D who said he would try and move us. Ironically we found out later that the new couple who were in the Q5 suite we had previously booked, were on a larger table situated in the middle of the huge window! Anyway by the end of dinner the Maitre'D had been able to find us a new table which was as we originally hoped, with full window views. Our first night had therefore been tainted a little with this incident, but we didn't let it ruin which was so far a lovely time. However the first night in our suite was terrible! The sea was a little rough and consequently the ship was rolling a little, but this in itself didn't bother us as we have cruised many times. What was bad was that everything in the suite was rattling, creaking, banging...I felt that the whole room was going to break off and fall into the sea! Not what I expected at all. It was so noisy that both I and my hb just couldn't sleep. We informed the Butler the next morning but all he could offer was a door wedge for the worse offender! Obviously I believe this is a design fault in some way. There is a sliding door between the clothes hanging area and the doors to the toilets which just did not work, consequently it had been wedged open with a door stop. The Butler said he had informed maintenance as it had been like that for some time but nothing had been done so far. The rest of the journey continued to cause similar noises and bangs, depending on the severity of the sea. The engine noise was also very noticeable but we were expecting that being at the back of the ship. Our first morning we asked the Butler for our Ipad, which we had been told on our arrival would be brought each day and our choice of newspapers would be downloaded for our convenience. IT would then be removed in the evening in order for it to be updated. Unfortunately the Ipad never arrived, we asked the Butler twice, the concierge about 3 times but it never did arrive throughout the whole trip! The last disappointment was the width of our very long wrap around balcony. It was only approx 5 .5 foot wide and therefore the only way to stretch out in the (very little) sun was length ways, and the only way to look out to sea was by sitting upright on a chair. When we had been in a Q5 last year the balcony was much wider. It's a pity because I think they have unnecessarily sacrificed balcony space in favour of more room space even thought the rooms are already huge! Overall we had a fabulous trip but there were some downsides to this suite as I have pointed out. Would I go on QV again, yes without a doubt - would I choose this suite again....close call!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our second in Queen Victoria. But the first since the 2017 alterations. Our reason was partly because the first was so good - not always the wisest reason - and the second because we wanted to get away. Embarkation at Mayflower ... Read More
This was our second in Queen Victoria. But the first since the 2017 alterations. Our reason was partly because the first was so good - not always the wisest reason - and the second because we wanted to get away. Embarkation at Mayflower Terminal, Southampton was flawless. No filling of health forms, no waiting on not so comfortable seats, straight to a check-in desk and on to the ship. I do not know why it was so quick, perhaps because we were latish for boarding. Be that as it may, by far the most efficient and fast. Our cabin on deck 4, with balcony was quite adequate, albeit the shower/toilet cubicle could hardly have been much smaller - significantly less than on our Brittany Ferry just a few hours before. But adequate overall, comfortable bed and well looked after by our steward whom, apart from initial contact, we never saw again. Deck 4 is I think at the lower end of cost structure, but the balconies are larger. Also closer to the theater and Britannia Restaurant levels. But a longish trek for the Lido self service, unless you take the lift. Eating at this catagory of cabin is at the Britannia Restaurant, either first or second sitting, for dining, which for us is either too early or too late, but that is the system. There is no freedom dining on Cunard unless you chose a specialty restaurant or a much more expensive catagory of cabin. There are now on Queen Victoria some very,very luxurious staterooms with restaurants to match, but we were never privileged to experience them. But the entertainment, such as it is, is common to all. Food, then, in the Britannia Restaurant is, for dinner, three courses. Quantity for us was ideal, but for some the portions are small. Quality and variety was on the whole good. Sometimes, very good. Waiter service was attentive skilful and courteous. On occasion however, our team was overpressed by having to deal with the cabin's table immediately alongside us. But overall, dinner was a pleasant experience, and for those careful of their weight, no great risk to it. As to drinks, we did not take any, simply because we live in France and the cost differential was just too great. The sommelier took this in good heart. Fort us, the disillusionment stemmed from the entertainment. This was a ten night cruise, with five sea days, and four ports of call. That results in a lot of time on board the ship. Filling that constructively and interestingly we found difficult. There were four guest speakers. Each was an expert in his given field - not always the case. Each we found interesting but others we spoke to did not. That is the risk. But in each case the lectures - Cunard call them Insight Lectures - were during the morning, often one after the other with just time to change the programme on the computer display machine. After that, for the rest of the day, there was a void until dinner time. So, on a cruise with several sea days, be careful to decide what you are going to do. With inclement weather at this time of year to be expected, you may have to amuse yourself. Reading a book brought from home may not be a memorable way of passing expensive days onboard. On the other hand, this ship has an impressive and extensive library. Evening entertainent: five singing and dancing shows, active but not elegant, with singing at the top of the voice And not the greatest at that. Apart from this, which is fine if you like it, there was one male entertainer, one female pianist who played with over panache apart from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue which she clearly loved, one ancient TV show star, and two French acrobats of outstanding ability. Apart from this there was a number of specific interest groups such as story writing, knitting, ipad instruction ( at a cost), gin tasting ( at more cost), and speciality groups which we did not recognise So a comfortable and quite elegant ship with, for us, not enough to do in it Excursion bookable through Cunard were predictable if you have been this way before, which many passengers had. One, the moonscape walk on Lanzarote was outstanding. One in GranCanaria was pleasant. One in Vigo which we wanted to go and booked, was cancelled through lack of take-up. Something which in our experience, happens quite often. Homework before you go may well lead you to local tours at far less cost. As well as cost, if booked, the excursion will go ahead, unless Cunard cancels it. Just as well, in the event, since Vigo was blessed with poor weather. If all else fails, take the Vigo ferry across the estuary. It runs every twenty minutes, costs 2 euros and is fun. If you like that sort of thing. At least close to the water and sometimes pretty rough. Disembarkation is by stateroom catagory, the most expensive first. At deck 4, we were the second to last catagory, but the buffet was open throughout, the table tennis freely available, and offloading the passengers well ahead of schedule, so quite painless. This is a ship which still looks like a ship, even though for some, the alterations to the tiered deck stern has spoilt its lines. If that is not important to you, that does not matter. Would we go on this ship again? Not unless it was something really special. As was our first trip the Lusitania centenary. Read Less
Queen Victoria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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