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So, having previously sailed on short breaks, this was my first longer Cunard voyage. Not only that, my 12 nights were on the first segment of the 2016 World Cruise. The differences are clear to be scene! Firstly, the evening entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre featured different acts over the twelve nights, not limited to the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers. We enjoyed Izabella Zebrowska violin virtuoso), Roy Walker (Comedian), Troubadour (four part male harmony group), Philip Hitchcock (illusionist), Julian Lloyd Webber with his wife Jiaxin and a fantastic young pianist Yuanfan Yang, Joe West (singer, dancer and plays various instruments), and Jenny Williams (versatile opera and pop singer). Cunard Insight lectures were excellent and informative as always and featured forensic science, Bill Miller “Mr. Ocean Liner, Military Intelligence, Oceanography and Julian Lloyd Webber. It was disappointing on some days there were no Insight Lectures and films were cancelled due to rehearsals for the new show ‘One Way Or Another’. Perhaps some thought about rehearsal times could have gone in to this? All three Queens were departing Southampton commencing their World Voyages, enabling us to enjoy the sounds of the Queens Whistle exchanges, and the sights of spectacular fireworks from a barge as each ship passed by. On Queen Victoria we were entertained to a ceremonial marching display by the Band of the Royal Engineers. If you’ve read my recent reviews commenting on the disappointments of solo voyages with Cunard, I was pleased to receive on this cruise - a full bottle of Pol Acker Bon Voyage wine, full size (100ml) Penhaligon’s shampoo and shower gel and bathrobe and slippers! Petit fours were offered in the Britannia Restaurant each night and near the last part of the cruise, crystallised ginger was available by the restaurant doors and on one formal night, chocolate mints too. It would be even better to have this available every night though! The service in the restaurant from waiter Denis, his assistant Enzer and Sommelier Oleg was impeccable and the headwaiter and other staff certainly went the extra mile in looking after us. The food was superb and based on the Chef and Denis’s recommendations, I tried food I would not have otherwise tried and it was delicious. A particular highlight was a Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) Wine Dinner where I tasted wines (matched to food) I otherwise would not have been likely to have tried. That may also change in the future! Daniel the Head Sommelier was fantastic, friendly, helpful and approachable at this and another wine tasking event I attended “Walk Around the World of Wine”. These wines were mainly from the Ships wine list so it will certainly assist me on my next cruise to know which wines to choose and which are not to my liking. Staff on Queen Victoria are very friendly and helpful and having had the opportunity to attend a ‘Behind the scenes tour of Queen Victoria’ it was fascinating to see what the crew do in the background to ensure they facilitate passengers having a great cruise without knowing what is happening behind the scenes. Whilst embarkation was a breeze and I waited no more than 3 minutes until I started boarding (which I hadn’t expected on the World Cruise with a fully booked ship), the disembarkation was only marred slightly by the disconnection of the air bridge due to high winds and this was quickly rectified. The Cunard transfer to the airport was a disappointment, marred by poor hospitality at a local hotel in Fort Lauderdale. An absence of organisation and care and hotel facilities unable to cope with the number of Cunard passengers (arriving and departing) as there was nowhere to sit and drinks ran out and to top it off, passengers on the second coach did not receive a letter from Cunard explaining what was going on and when the coach would transfer us to the Airport. Passengers on the first coach received personalised individual letters. Upon enquiring at the Hotel a very rude staff member continually insisted we had all been told by Cunard all the details and begrudgingly agreed to contact Cunard for us to enquire. Fortunately he did so and flagged me down in the hotel to tell me the coach pick-up time. It just goes to shows he can be customer focussed if he wishes. I much preferred my longer cruise to the short breaks and look forward to more happy sailings with Cunard in future.

An Improved Experience

Queen Victoria Cruise Review by Gary999

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
So, having previously sailed on short breaks, this was my first longer Cunard voyage. Not only that, my 12 nights were on the first segment of the 2016 World Cruise. The differences are clear to be scene! Firstly, the evening entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre featured different acts over the twelve nights, not limited to the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers. We enjoyed Izabella Zebrowska violin virtuoso), Roy Walker (Comedian), Troubadour (four part male harmony group), Philip Hitchcock (illusionist), Julian Lloyd Webber with his wife Jiaxin and a fantastic young pianist Yuanfan Yang, Joe West (singer, dancer and plays various instruments), and Jenny Williams (versatile opera and pop singer).

Cunard Insight lectures were excellent and informative as always and featured forensic science, Bill Miller “Mr. Ocean Liner, Military Intelligence, Oceanography and Julian Lloyd Webber. It was disappointing on some days there were no Insight Lectures and films were cancelled due to rehearsals for the new show ‘One Way Or Another’. Perhaps some thought about rehearsal times could have gone in to this?

All three Queens were departing Southampton commencing their World Voyages, enabling us to enjoy the sounds of the Queens Whistle exchanges, and the sights of spectacular fireworks from a barge as each ship passed by. On Queen Victoria we were entertained to a ceremonial marching display by the Band of the Royal Engineers.

If you’ve read my recent reviews commenting on the disappointments of solo voyages with Cunard, I was pleased to receive on this cruise - a full bottle of Pol Acker Bon Voyage wine, full size (100ml) Penhaligon’s shampoo and shower gel and bathrobe and slippers! Petit fours were offered in the Britannia Restaurant each night and near the last part of the cruise, crystallised ginger was available by the restaurant doors and on one formal night, chocolate mints too. It would be even better to have this available every night though!

The service in the restaurant from waiter Denis, his assistant Enzer and Sommelier Oleg was impeccable and the headwaiter and other staff certainly went the extra mile in looking after us. The food was superb and based on the Chef and Denis’s recommendations, I tried food I would not have otherwise tried and it was delicious.

A particular highlight was a Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) Wine Dinner where I tasted wines (matched to food) I otherwise would not have been likely to have tried. That may also change in the future! Daniel the Head Sommelier was fantastic, friendly, helpful and approachable at this and another wine tasking event I attended “Walk Around the World of Wine”. These wines were mainly from the Ships wine list so it will certainly assist me on my next cruise to know which wines to choose and which are not to my liking.

Staff on Queen Victoria are very friendly and helpful and having had the opportunity to attend a ‘Behind the scenes tour of Queen Victoria’ it was fascinating to see what the crew do in the background to ensure they facilitate passengers having a great cruise without knowing what is happening behind the scenes.

Whilst embarkation was a breeze and I waited no more than 3 minutes until I started boarding (which I hadn’t expected on the World Cruise with a fully booked ship), the disembarkation was only marred slightly by the disconnection of the air bridge due to high winds and this was quickly rectified. The Cunard transfer to the airport was a disappointment, marred by poor hospitality at a local hotel in Fort Lauderdale. An absence of organisation and care and hotel facilities unable to cope with the number of Cunard passengers (arriving and departing) as there was nowhere to sit and drinks ran out and to top it off, passengers on the second coach did not receive a letter from Cunard explaining what was going on and when the coach would transfer us to the Airport. Passengers on the first coach received personalised individual letters. Upon enquiring at the Hotel a very rude staff member continually insisted we had all been told by Cunard all the details and begrudgingly agreed to contact Cunard for us to enquire. Fortunately he did so and flagged me down in the hotel to tell me the coach pick-up time. It just goes to shows he can be customer focussed if he wishes.

I much preferred my longer cruise to the short breaks and look forward to more happy sailings with Cunard in future.
Gary999’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BE 5025
Clean and adequate. Very comfortable bed. Good service from stateroom steward Ricardo.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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