Queen Victoria Cruise Review by kittenkboo
- Sail Date: September 2018
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
- Cabin Type: Princess Suite
Stateroom: We were in 5089 Princess Grill. The room was just large enough and comfortable for two of us. The closet was spacious, but a tad dark on the floor. Found our shoes always messy. Wish we could have found a better way to store about 12 pairs. The bed and linens were very comfortable. I like having a normal bed with normal corners, unlike some other ships that like to round off the bed edge, which makes it feel smaller. It was nice having two TVs, refrigerator, hot water kettle and Illy coffee maker with pods. The balcony was comfortable with two loungers and stool. Lovely having a tub rather than some sort of space age shower tube, but prefer not having a shower curtain.
Grills: We loved having a pre-dinner drink in the Grills Lounge, prior to our Princess Grill dinner. Wait staff in both were wonderful. Tashar, our waiter, and Daryl, his assistant were very nice. Our table for two was placed in a wonderful spot in the middle section, not against the wall nor against the window. We liked being able to see the dining room without feeling compressed, and loved being able to see the horizon nearly from one end to the other. Can't necessarily do this sitting right at the window. Our sommelier was quick, efficient and helpful, not too chatty but never ignored us. The food and menus were interesting. We really didn't have a bad meal or course. We do like having our soups and salads, and the Grills didn't let us down. I did ask for mash potatoes one night and Tashar obliged without a problem. Desserts were tasty too.
Lido: We tried the Lido for breakfast the first morning on the ship. Horrible! I asked for an egg white and one egg yolk omelet and the cook seemed confused. He added the egg yolk when the omelet was nearly done, so it was similar to having an omelet with this random over medium egg piece mixed in. Bacon was WAY TOO SALTY! The hash brown potato triangles were good. The overall options were not that great. We ventured in one day for lunch and found options really disappointing, and chose room service. After that, we found breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner just perfect in the Princess Grill.
Overall ship: I seem to recall the Cunardia was more extensive 10 years ago, so perhaps with the recent refit, they reduced all the memorabilia, which is so fascinating. We thoroughly enjoyed the Chart Room for morning coffees and a pastry treat. We did purchase a 7 day spa pass, which was very well worth it. Loved sitting in on the art lecture in the gallery; heard some interesting tidbits about various artists. Another favorite for us was an after dinner cigar smoke in Churchill's for my husband. We had a couple Grand Marniers too. We typically had the room to ourselves, which is very nicely appointed, but service a bit slow and unreliable; the waiter also doesn't really know how to cut a cigar tip. We never felt any crowding issues anywhere at any time on the ship. We enjoyed the Lion's Pub twice for lunch, the fish and chips were very crisp and tasty. Utilized the launderette a couple times without any issue.
Any negatives? Not really. Just wish the wi-fi was free or were allocated some free minutes. I also wish the "alternative dining" was gratis, as it was 10 years ago. I know the chefs make wonderful Indian dishes, and since we were in the Princess Grill, it really didn't make sense for us to pay more for another dining option. While our waiter mentioned I could get something of Indian cuisine, but without a menu or options to read/see, it's hard for one to request this. The ship, which is very hard moving vessel to keep up, fighting people and sea salt wear and tear 24/7 is a task unto itself. The ship's condition was just fine, and things, surfaces, carpets all clean. We cannot complain about drinks either, as we had a drink package, albeit we may not have got our money's worth, but it was nice not having to worry about budget. We did not abuse, waste offerings or order things we really had no intention of drinking. We did bring three bottles of wine to dinner, and found the $20 corkage fee ($17 + 15% tip) reasonable.
Misc: The Entertainment Director was extremely boring, hard to understand and not really interesting to watch on the ship's TV station. Where is Alistar?? We need him back! He was wonderful. He provided great tips about the ship, ports, fun details for the day and his show opening song was Bill Wither's "Lovely Day". How can you go wrong? Not to mention he was everywhere on the ship! The current ED looked like he partied way too hard the night before and his interviews of dancers and show people was so not interesting. And we never saw him anywhere on the ship. And honestly, no one cares to hear a reading of who's birthday it is today; put it in a graphic, don't read it. Poor production quality.
Tours: We wish we had just another 30 to an hour in Taormina. What a lovely town! And this could be done, as we had to come back and not much to do in the port side portion of Messina. The Roma Train was a great comfortable way to transfer from CV to Roma, and it was a train all to ourselves. But suggest that the tour guides coordinate a better way from the bus to the station, as we were walking through some back alley, ghetto parking lot areas. Our tour on Korcula was cancelled due to inclement weather. anticipated in the early afternoon I give kudos to the Captain, as he still made the Korcula stop for a few hours, with a high noon departure, but could have easily said no and bypassed it altogether. It was nice to walk around the quaint little town.
Dress code: This was one part that always trips folks up, but in the end, everyone looked nice, dressed as best as they could and no one that we saw bucked the system and looked to stand out for negative reasons. Cunard, please don't change this standard.
We are looking to repeat another Cunard adventure, and not wait 10 years to do so. Our Grills experience spoiled us, but did offer some nice luxuries that we want to repeat again.
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