My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. It was more 4 star. Everything you need but not "plush". Embarkation was initially a bit of a disappointment after walking up the gang way and greeting by a empty deck, with no directions as to where to go. However, one passing staff member felt sorry for us and pointed us in the right direction. Not a great start. Once we were greeted you were pretty much left to your own devices. I wasn't sure what to do but I headed to my cabin (more on the cabin later). I am very independent but as it was my first cruise, Cunard should have had someone proactively greeting and helping passengers. There were a lot of crew there mainly promoting the spa and beauty services. This promoting continued through the cruise every time I entered the Lido deck and go very annoying after a while.
I was very interested to do some enrichment lectures and selected a session in Acupunture. A complete waste of time because it was another promotion where the practitioner wouldn't answer questions without you making an appointment. Truly awful! After that I didn't attempt anymore enrichment.
I liked the shows on board a comedian and a group of guy singers from the UK. Both very good, though the shows were short. The singers seemed to have a limited rehearsed list of songs as some were repeated the second time I saw them. In saying this I think the entertainment was pretty good.
Food was generally good in the Brittania restaurant but lunch there on one day was lacklustre. The pub was fun for a meal. I did not like The Lido at all. I don't like buffets and I don't like the lack of hygiene factor. Cunard really try but so many passengers are not conscious of practising good hygiene. Consequently, people got sick and then there was some kind of red alert resulting in cling film being plastered over the serving areas and staff serving resulting in big queues. Looked like a large cafeteria in a 1960's department store.
I was advised before boarding that we had to buy our drinking water on board. That is so not ok with me...this is Cunard, this was water (a basic to live) it should be free of at least very inexpensive. It was not!
Wine was obscenely expensive. I bought two bottles of wine and they were $90 Aud each. I am not a cheapskate but I am not wealthy and I think that was an absolute rip-off. I paid it because I like a glass of wine with dinner but I detest being ripped off.
I may be painting a bleaker picture than the reality, it was a good cruise and I really enjoyed myself but I guess I had loftier expectations than the actual reality. I have found a new interest in cruising and would still consider Cunard except they are not going to the destinations I am considering for my next trip. I think I am going to try Crystal next time as it might suit me more and they are going where I am interested.
A solo cabin which was clean and comfortable. I get sea sick, so was happy I was on a low deck towards mid ships. It is very small but I didn't spend much time in there. I can't describe he cabin a luxurious more a small 3-4 star hotel room. It was very bland with very boring finishing touches and colour palette. As these solo cabins were retro fitted as pods recently, if the ship was slightly moving, I had horrible squeaking which impeded my ability to sleep. I had to call late at night and Cunard did temporarily fix the situation.
Even as a solo I think I would pay extra next time and have a nicer cabin. I visited friends verandah cabin on deck 7 and it was much, much nicer than mine....of course they paid more.
My stewardess Kristina was extremely pleasant, explained everything to me and kept my cabin very clean and tidy. As a result I was happy to give her a tip at the end of the cruise.