Our second crossing lived up to and even surpassed our good memories of the first. Embarkation in Southampton was substantially improved from the first time. We arrived and were on board in what seemed like minutes. Very efficient.
We had been upgraded to an obstructed cabin – likely a benefit of crossing in November. The extra space for the love seat was enjoyable and we even went out to stand in the fresh air occasionally. The upgrade did seem to cause two minor glitches – our dining time was changed to late dining and the computer lost that we were second time cruisers. Minor stuff.
Room steward was competent and unobtrusive. Was hopeful in King’s Court buffet that service had improved when we were handed tray and cutlery by staff the first day. But that ended quickly and it returned to entirely self-service with slow clearing of tables. This should be an easy fix with some attention since there appears to be lots of staff in King’s Court. Let me hasten to add that service in Britannia, Chart Room, Commodore Lounge and Sir Samuel’s was great. Our waiters and wine steward were professional, prompt and courteous.
Entertainment and activities were first class. Harpist, singers, chamber quartets were all tremendous. A fascinating speaker on movie icons – Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Doris Day and George Gershwin. We had taken dance lessons and thoroughly enjoyed the Queen’s Room each evening. Good band leader and orchestra. Closed out the room each evening.
The crossing was a bit rocky due to the gale force winds most days, seas running at six metres. Disembarkation was a shambles. Delayed for about 2 hours by a US Coast Guard scenario test. Not Cunard’s fault, but would suggest that you request either early disembarkation or self disembarkation.
Will we do the crossing again? Absolutely. It is an experience unto itself. Beautiful ship, open ocean, the romance of a crossing. Much more pleasant than flying and no luggage restrictions.
Highly recommend for winter crossings. The sheltered balcony is protected from the elements but still offers a breath of fresh air. Continue to be impressed by the spacious and elegant bathroom.