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Queen Elizabeth Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
543 reviews
23 Awards

Queen Elizabeth Christmas Markets Cruise

Review for Queen Elizabeth to the British Isles & Western Europe
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South Coaster 123
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2013

We have recently returned from a Christmas Markets cruise on QE. (13th to 23rd December). In recent weeks, it had been heavily discounted. This was probably due to its close proximity to Christmas, and sailing on Friday 13th! But even so, we sailed with an under capacity, 1700 out of a possible 2000 odd. This did affect the ambience on board, due both to the low numbers and the fact that no-one was spending in the bars etc. ( Perhaps when some were spending £40 per night all found, £6 a drink seems expensive!) It seemed like a ghost ship, but it did make many things much easier, eg not queuing overlong for the afternoon teas or shuttle buses, waiting for the lifts, choosing a seat in the theatre etc.

The ports of call were the usual ones for Christmas Markets. Having been to Bruges and Brussels markets previously, when we docked in Zeebrugge, we decided to explore Blankenberge which was more interesting than the name suggests.

High winds prevented us from docking in Amsterdam and we made a detour to Rotterdam, all expertly handled by Cunard in terms of reorganising shuttles etc.

Cabin Review

We stayed in a Britannia Club balcony grade cabin. The cabins are on deck 8, so the highest deck, but as they are midships, it was a comfortable position, although we were not tested by heavy seas, unlike the next cruise! You could hear the footfall from the deck above, which could be more noticeable in the summer. The balcony was the biggest we have had in balcony grade, really roomy. We were given a whole bottle of bubbly and some chocolates. The so called pillow menu was a choice of two, synthetic or feather. The synthetic was lovely and soft, and the pillows were huge to match the bed. We are considering ordering a Cunarder mattress when ours is a little older! The bedding is of a higher quality, so altogether this enhanced our sleep. The steward was also one of the best we have had in over a dozen cruises, so I assume they match the more experienced stewards to the cabin grade?The restaurant was lovely, and the staff were excellent, soon remembering your little likes and dislikes. It holds about 80 pax, but as we were only numbering 24 on this particular cruise the service was amazing! There is also an a la carte section to choose from. One of the best points for us was that we could arrive any time as it suited within the opening hours, so tables for two seemed a sensible option to choose. And to be honest, and especially after having experienced a very "sociable" rail journey holiday the previous month, it was a lovely change just to relax and enjoy our own company! Another bonus was that we could order anything from the menus to be sent up for room service, which we did on two occasions, and it was lovely. The food was also the best we have experienced across Cunard and P&O, whether this was down to being in Club, I cannot say. The menu seemed the same in the main restaurant, apart from the a la carte section.

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