Cunard was the only shipping line I considered. Reason being, that the choice was about the class and quality of the ship and its services, what a misguided perception. Sadly Cunard no longer represent either their own publicity nor their past. Verve afternoon tea was a no show with no prior notice. Normal afternoon tea on Queens Room was a sad affair of bland slightly stale sandwiches, scones that could have been used as a weapon and some very ordinary cakes.
On conclusion of the tea service we were immediately all asked to vacate for another function. There was no air of elegance, ceremony or tradition. We did not repeat this "must not be missed" event. We dined in the Britannia Club section, first day's menu was a disaster. I foolishly ordered 2 plates from the a la carte section, both seafood disasters. First was a seafood cocktail comprising of a dissected prawn and a scoop of what I can only describe as an apology for crab meat. If it was not tined it must have been frozen, no Australian crab could be that tasteless. The next plate sadly was pan seared scallops. Oh my. Even the waiter looked perplexed as he set it down, four I believe about the size of peas, cooked beyond redemption and having cast off any vestige of moisture. My travelling companion had ordered chicken parmagania this on the other hand looked like it had been prepared for a road digger. A giant schnitzel sat atop of pasta and some sort of sauce amongst other bits. Some of future offerings showed signs of improvement such as the chateaubriand which was good and also rib beef which was only let down by the fact that is was served rare instead of medium.
We had booked in advance for the "special" dinner at the Veranda Restaurant. Oh dear what a circus. First of all three separate tables were under the impression that we had booked for a three course meal only to be told, no, it was a a seven course semi degustation meal. The first plate was the same sad crab story as before but this time with one small orange addition of a sea urchin segment. The highlight of this meal was the mushroom consumet. The lobster main was a confusion of tastes and could not seem to make up its mind what it was about. A very small and almost tasteless lobster tail was for no reason accompanied by a piece of red mullet sitting atop of octopus rings, textures of cauliflower were in fact tiny cauliflower flowerets dry and hard. All three tables were disappointed with the food. As far as I am aware red mullet is not a local fish so once again it would seem that Australian seafood was not used. Offerings in the Carinthia Lounge and Kings Court would as a whole seem to be more diverse and fresher, however on an elegant and refined shine would expect that table dining would be the focal point.