Cunard oozes tradition at every turn; and the 'best of British' but is it suitable for families and kids ?
Well we just arrived in Melbourne after a 6 night cruise from Fremantle with a 7 year old boy for my mother's 80th birthday present. We probably would not normally have chosen Cunard with a child but my mother had a lifetime dream which we wanted to fulfill of traveling aboard the QEII so this was our best option.
Embarkation in Fremantle was a little 'hit-and-miss' with the requested wheel chair for mum nowhere to be found and her walker arriving just before the 4:15pm safety briefing. The staff were all very accommodating but this really wasn't the best start given our previous wonderful experiences with P&O departing out of Fremantle.
A spacious inside cabin perfect for a family of up to 4 with plenty of space. We never worry about having a balcony because we spend so little time in the cabin and when we're there it's for sleep. Not having a window or balcony ensures a good sleep and no temptations for little people to throw things (or themselves) overboard !
Portside was very disorganised. We arrived at 11:45am for a 12noon embarkation. There were no wheelchairs available for my 80 year old mother and we didn't start embarkation until nearly 1pm. There are very limited facilities at the terminal building. The luggage drop-off process was also quite chotic. We dropped mum's walker off with the luggage attendant and asked for prioritiy delivery to the room. It did not arrive until just before the 4:15pm safety muster. Luggage for our room was also very slow.
There was a merry band welcoming us but to be honest we have had better welcomes in third world countries than what was offered here ! The welcomers were friendly and directed us to shuttle busses to the city. Unfortunately these buses took nearly an hour to get in to the city. We were told the busses would run every 20 min. Our return wait was 35min for a bus and then another 1 hour bus trip to get back on the ship. Surely 2,000+ well-heeled tourists could be treated a little better if you want to show off the best of your city and encourage repeat business?