We enjoyed the 13-night, Brisbane to Kobe leg of Queen Elizabeth's 2017 world cruise.
Embarkation at Brisbane's temporary international cruise terminal at Fisherman Island was smooth and we were quickly in our balcony cabin 6030. The cabin was quiet and comfortable although we initially found the air-conditioning to be cold and drafty even at the highest temperature setting, but after being adjusted by one of the ship's technicians it was fine.
It's a beautiful, well-maintained ship. I particularly liked the Royal Court theatre, the Queens Room, the Golden Lion pub and the two-level library with its quirky spiral staircase. Almost all of the public areas of the ship are attractive, well laid-out and easy to navigate. I also liked the Pavilion Pool area and was able to swim laps in the pool late in the afternoon most days, at times when the pool was usually uncrowded.
We had a table for two during the second (8:30 pm) dinner sitting in the lower level of the Britannia Restaurant. Although the portions were generally small the food was tasty, nicely presented and we had two fantastic waiters. However, we found the second sitting a bit too late and if we go with Cunard again we would try to get reservations for the first (6:00 pm) sitting or to upgrade to the Britannia Club, which has open seating from 6:30 pm. We had breakfast and lunch in the Lido Restaurant where the food was of reasonable quality although the service was, perhaps understandably, somewhat impersonal and definitely less friendly than the Britannia Restaurant.
We particularly liked some of the guest performers in the theatre but were not so impressed with the Cunard in-house performances, where we found the singing in the Broadway and West End productions a bit repetitive and shrill. The theatre's resident band was, however, very impressive. The musicians in the ship's various lounges and nightspots were also very good.
Being from Queensland we had visited Cairns several times before, so my wife elected to stay on board during the ship's first port of call, Yorkeys Knob. I made a quick return trip to shore, primarily to get some photos of the Queen Elizabeth at anchor, despite the inclement weather. The second port of call was a sunny, but very hot and steamy Alotou (Milne Bay), Papua New Guinea, where we both took the opportunity to have some cold drinks at the Alotou International Hotel located nearby, on the bay. The third port of call was Okinawa, Japan, where we just visited one of the main shopping streets on a fairly damp, overcast day. The final port on this sector was Kobe, Japan, where we dis-embarked and stayed at the Okura Hotel in a room having a great view of the harbour. From there we saw the Queen Elizabeth depart later that day.
Overall, a great cruise on a beautiful ship with a friendly crew (and a very personable captain). Hopefully we'll get the opportunity to travel with Cunard again.