After many cruises we decided to try a Cunard luxury cruise (from their advertising blurb) on Queen Vic.
Arrive up the gangway & be security checked. Find your own way to your cabin (you have been given a ships map) Other ships at least have staff to direct you to your cabin, not Cunard
2nd impression 1st night in dining room. No breads on table, waiter serves you one bread roll & one portion of butter. Other ships have plates of ass. rolls on table & plenty of butter, you don't have to ask for a second roll. Hardly a luxury approach to dining.
3rd impression When ordering the main meal (entrée) I asked for a Caesar salad & told it was not available I could only have that which is on the menu. A little off-putting when Cunard tell you that you may have anything. It was available upstairs in the Lido bistro not in the dining room. At this time my idea of luxury travel has suffered a major set back.
3rd impression 1st morning breakfast in Lido, asked for grapefruit & told it was only available in the dining room, asked for smoked salmon, "sorry it is only available in dining room"
So next day we ventured to the dining room for breakfast & had grapefruit & smoked salmon with an omelette which had been in a Bain maree for a considerable time, underdone toast & one portion of butter with cold coffee. So much for the luxury breakfast experience. Upstairs, hot coffee, stale bread rolls & yesterdays croissants but made to order omelettes, whoopee.
The sad food experience goes on with a very poor selection in the bistro compared to Princess or Celebrity.
Entertainment in my opinion was one step short of a disaster with English "comedians juggler, magician" & other guest entertainers of very ordinary talent performing 9 nights with the exception of the ship's singers & dancers; they were great but after 4 night in 18 they got a bit boring. You would see better shows at the local hall not on a 5 star luxury ship.
Credit where credit is due; the ship was beautifully maintained, bar staff were top class, wait staff did a good but not spectacular job.
Segregation of world cruisers & the hop on hop off crowd (1000 Aussies) was annoying; if Cunard want to segregate them & us they should go back to the 30'es & not run a hop on hop off boat
The dress code didn't seem to be enforced very well as there were people around the ship in the evening not dressed according to the ship's rules. Many people ignored the hand sanitizers in the Lido & I'm surprised that there wasn't an outbreak of norovirus. On the health issue the ship was full of people with a cold or flu, we avoided the dreaded lurg by keeping clear of the cougher crowd & spray disinfecting our room every time we went in after a theatre or lounge visit.
Another evergreen is the criticism of ship's tours & transfers, Cunard didn't let us down with their overpricing, e.g Hong Kong airport transfer US$35 (HK $ 280 pp) local taxi HK $ 230 for 2 pax incl luggage & a 34 minute ride door to door with no waiting for Cunard to fill the bus before departing. In Bali we hired a car with driver for the day cost was A$76 for 6 pax not A$ 75 per person on Cunard bus
I wouldn't consider going on another hop on hop off cruise if it was free. The Cunard experience was not what I expected compared Princess, Celebrity or Holland America