After a great cruise on the Queen Mary in 2017 we had great Expectations of First Class service on Queen Elizabeth in March 2019.
Our cruise from Melbourne started poorly with a Cunard Computer glitch at the Port check in causing long delays. In fact as we boarded the crew were in their life jackets directing all passengers to their muster stations for our safety drill. Obviously they were leaving on time no matter what.
Anyway these computer problems do occur but we missed that welcome aboard photo, the officer’s greeting and the champagne.
Not to worry we were on the Queen Elizabeth heading out of Port Phillip Bay heading for New Zealand on a 12 day cruise with one of the best ships on water.
Generally the waiters in the Lido Dining Room were just not interested in providing service to their guests with avoidance of eye contact and little interest in meeting our needs.
At Britannia Dining Room the service was improved but still it was no better than that of a café .
Drinks service was appalling. On day six they ran out of scotch in the dining room so served Jack Daniels without asking if OK. Bourbon is not Scotch.
Despite all bars on the ship having plenty of scotch (one had 31 bottles) the waiter said he could not borrow or restock and we would need to ask head office why not? Really?
Our table of ten ordered 4 bottles wine throughout the cruise with 3 of them out of stock. These were all listed on their wine menu.
Food was Ok with rather small portions and limited selection and variety compared to previous cruises.
Drinks service at the Golden Lion Pub was very slow whether they were busy or not. Staff seemed disinterested in good service.
Plumbing issues began on morning one when our toilet would not flush. Maintenance responded after my 2nd call adjusted something and it worked.
Great til morning three when same problem same result after my 2nd call again.
Morning four Toilet won’t flush. By now we are “Not Happy Jan “so again after my second call maintenance arrives and I indicated you can’t just keep adjusting this thing every day or we will have to move.
He pulled the whole thing apart found the component that was faulty and surprise surprise it was fixed for good.
Happy with the outcome but we did not need three goes to get that result. I am sure this is a regular problem so they will be aware of what needs to be done.
On morning eleven toilet would not work but neither did the water supply.
Seems they had a main water pipe burst and the entire ship was without running water.
To be fair these things happen I guess but I got the impression this was not the first time.
Anyway the Casino, Shops and many Staterooms were flooded as this occurred during the night.
We were without running water until 9.30am just as Captain Simon Love had announced at about 8am.
The flooded areas had poker machines and tables in pieces trying to dry them out before the next cruise that started the next day.
We did speak to some guests whose rooms were flooded and the crew were helping dry out their clothes and belongings.
Our Stateroom Staff were very efficient and friendly. Our room was in good condition but the balcony was in need of rust treatment and painting roof and rails.
It doesn’t make it appealing when it looks grubby.
We found the entertainment nightly was very good with entertainers of high quality well presented. Well Done!
The Thermal Spa and the Gym were very well equipped with helpful enthusiastic staff. Well done!
Ports of call were good with even a tendering port Akaroa being not problem at all.
Cruising through Milford Sound was a highlight with an onboard commentator who gave great descriptions of the entire area with the Captain and crew placing the ship perfectly for viewing throughout the ship. Well Done!
In summary we found the ship was as expected with good facilities and décor but the service and staff are letting the Cunard Experience down badly.
Cabin was well presented with no issues apart from as stated above.