We are fairly new to cruising having used Silversea,Celebrity and now Cunard. We sailed on the QM2 in January this year on the first leg to Capetown of her round the world voyage. I loved the QM2, so didn't expect the Queen Victoria to match the QM2. I underestimated!!
As we travel a lot and have two trips to South Africa booked for 8 weeks and 10 weeks between October and March we booked the Baltic cruise quite late and availed of a "Saver" fare. This fare has some restrictions, but to be honest, this had no impact whatsoever to the great time which we had.
Embarkation in Southampton was fast, efficient with smiling staff all the way. First impression on entering the QV wasn't the wow factor which we experienced on QM2, but very quickly, I came to love this elegant ship which for me had a much more intimate feel. Our stateroom on deck 5 was very clean and comfortable. Just a couple of minor issues. We asked for a king size bed and got two singles. Not a major issue. The bathroom is small, but manageable, but for me, the shower curtain was a no no!! I dislike them anyway, but the one in our shower was a little short, so had to be poisoned very carefully to avoid a very wet floor.
The food on board was very acceptable. The Lido which could be a bit mental during busy times had enough choice to suit most palettes. It amazes me though how rude some people can be though. It was as if they were never going to get food again. The staff were by enlarge pleasant given the endless monotony of clearing tables, folding napkins etc.
We had an excellent table on deck 3 in the Britannia Restaurant, which we only ate in for dinner. We liked to keep it as a treat. The food with a couple of exceptions was very good and our two waiters very good.
The entertainment on board wasn't in my opinion as good as the QM2 trio, but still enjoyable. The Insughts lectures were very good in particular Lord Jeffrey Archer, who packed the Royal Court Theatre to the rafters each time.
The shore excursions were very good although a little bit expensive.. We used Cunard for trips to Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg and Kristiansand. St. Petersburg is simply outstanding. We went to see Swan Lake in the evening, which was mesmerising. We used the hop on hop off bus in Copenhagen and despite negative reports, found it to be very efficient and very reasonably priced. It was just a few hundred yards to the pick up point from the ship.
We had five formal nights on board, which by enlarge most people adhered to,although some didn't and it didn't seem to be an issue.
All in all, I would recommend this voyage and the Queen Victoiria. The only thing which is missing on this delightful ship is Club Britannia which we used and loved on the QM2.
Good cabin close to laundry.