The schedule and scenery was amazing - but our experience of the ship was not good. This was only the third time that Cunard had ventured into these waters. We were interested to go with Cunard as we feel we are culturally more aligned with Britain than the US (being from Australia) and there were some great things such as the high tea at 3 pm on the ship. However, we had some major issues with this ship and some of the staff. Very different to other cruise experiences. Embarkation was dreadful - we had to wait until 3 pm to enter after arriving at 7 am on a 15 hour international flight...had to line up for 1.5 hours to get through US customs....then there was no welcome or help when we eventually boarded - I had to beg a staff person to direct us to our room. We entered the room and it was filthy - had not been cleaned from the previous trip and had medical debris around the room - blood soaked tissues, tablets etc....this was the beginning of our distrust of the ship....although the housekeeper was very remorseful and apologetic which was helpful. After paying substantial more money to enjoy a deck and fresh air....we got a metal balustrading on the deck which meant you could not see out - had to lean on the balustrading and could not look out from the lounges or inside on the bed. The deck was located above the crew smoking area so if we went out on the deck - or opened our door to get fresh air into the room, we were flooded with cigarette smoke and later on ,a strong paint smell.....very upsetting .....however the meals were generally ok and the service in the restaurant was lovely. the best thing was the naturalist , Rachel Cartwright, who narrated a lot of the cruise, provided lectures and provided information to guests if required. Staff were generally unhappy and this was unsettling as a guest - there was no sense of joy and excitement from them....no welcome when you returned to the ship after an excursion. Shore excursions were abysmal - we booked three but cancelled the third one due to disappointment with the first two - booked two external excursions which were amazing due to the local tour operators....Cunard used university students from the southern states who had no connection to the area and were annoyingly facile in their approach. Entertainment was geared to the over 80's and on-board activities were sparse, involved extra cost and were not interesting - also for the over 80's - they sure needed more breadth of genre of music The gym was pretty good thankfully....if you liked ballroom dancing, there was opportunity to dance every night....so loved the visit to the area and the sense of being in such an amazing wilderness area - but we will be avoiding Cunard in the future.
Cabin was very awkward and pokey - the bathroom was tiny with the shower about 1/4 the normal size - it was difficult if you dropped anything as there was not room to bend to pick up. The height of shower was low which made it difficult to wash hair etc. Lots of hanging space and limited shelving...bed too hard, pillows too soft......couch was saggy and old - very uncomfortable. Carpet was stained.