Whether it’s far into the most remote and hostile reaches of the Atacama desert, deep in the abyss of the Marianas trench or in the bowels of a seething volcano there will be no place on the planet where some inconsiderate knuckle-dragging cave dweller has not foisted his screaming, bawling brat toddler on the sensibilities of peace-loving holiday makers. Thus it was both in the Britannia and the Lido buffet restaurants of Cunard’s magnificent Queen Victoria. In general, Cunard’s customer base would be well-off retirees with a smattering of younger inquisitive explorers who feel the need to be acquainted with the reputed delights of the cruise scene. Cunard promotes the excitement of travel in various grades of luxury with the added novelty of dropping in for a day or two at resort ports around the world so that tastes of exotica can be sampled with the reassurance of coming back to the mother ship at the end of the day. There are distinct attractions in this leisure market but some disappointments for the unaware.
Cabin is a long bygone term and modern guests enjoy “Staterooms”. The degree of stateliness is directly proportionate to the price paid and this might vary from a few hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds for the same cruise which might be from 3 to 100 or more nights. Dining options and degrees of restaurant sumptuousness vary with the stateroom grade, though the menu will be impressive throughout. Standards of dress at the twilight of the day are expected to conform to smart semi formal or full evening dress depending on ship’ schedules. Food is of consistently high quality, free and abundant for better than 22 hours a day but alcohol is an extra at breath-taking, some say obscene, prices and in US dollars. Various supplements, additions and extras will rack up a hefty load on the unprepared wallet accompanied by a 15% surcharge on shown prices. Liberal use of Wi-Fi might set you back hundreds of dollars. Cash on board is considered somewhat vulgar and cruisers are issued with an identification card which is used for ingress/exit for the ship, stateroom doors and payment.
At port visits, shuttle busses are arranged to ferry the troops to town centres or on numerous ship’s excursions arranged by a dedicated team but the cost of the any trip will considerably exceed the same expedition if arranged in port at the roadside or via local taxi.
Pretty much OK with a slightly too cosy bathroom