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Queen Elizabeth Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
570 Reviews

How the Titanic Would Have Returned to the UK If Things Had Worked Out Better

Queen Elizabeth Cruise Review by jupiter224

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jul 2019
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse

Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed with fine weather and calm seas; there was some movement on the north Atlantic but not enough to bother most people. Try to get your stateroom as close to the middle of the ship and as low as possible; it will minimize the rock-and-roll if there is any. Embarkation from Manhattan Terminal was perfect. From street to stateroom in 30 minutes.

The ship is very elegant as others have said. it is sparkling in its art-deco appearance and it is very well-maintained, inside and out. Painting and maintenance are ongoing when we were at port. It is the very model of an elegant luxury cruise ship.

We had 4 formal nights on the 15 day cruise; men in dark suits or tuxedos; women in gowns or smart cocktail dresses. Casual during the day but formal at night; it was not mandatory but for those not dressed up they had special dining locations those evenings. After the 3rd night I could get into my tux in 10 minutes, much faster than the first night. It was a chore the first night but it was special to dress up on this elegant ship.

It takes a day or two to discover all the places on the ship and I'm sure I missed some. There are many public spaces where you can relax and read; many bars and cafes throughout the ship. Overall you get both a big but also intimate feeling on this ship. The library was very impressive; two stories with dark wood furnishings.

My wife and I reserved the Queen's Grill Suite (Q4) Room 7088. On the QE there are 3 passenger classes: Britannia, Princess Grill and Queen's Grill. If it were a plane, Britannia would be economy, PG would be business and QG would be first-class. There is also Britannia Club which is a step above Britannia. The PG and QG restaurants are two, separate but similar restaurants on Deck 11 with similar menus and service. It is hard to tell the difference. They share a common lounge between the restaurants for PG and QG passengers. Apart from that, the rest of the ship is available to everyone. The PG and QG meals are served in their respective restaurants, including afternoon tea. For Britannia class, there is a large impressive restaurant in the aft of the ship; afternoon tea is served in the Queen's Room which is also the dance floor. The staterooms are of course larger for the QG than for the PG than for Britannia. Overall I think the QG is not that much different than PG. Service and attentiveness was very good. The big difference for the Grills is that you can have dinner anytime after 6 pm. For Britannia there is an early and late seating. We found the flexibility of the QG/PG to be very convenient. There are a mix of 2-tables, 4-tables, and 8-table sizes. My wife and I enjoyed our dinner mates very much at the 8-table size and we became friends. Food was very good but not great. The Verandah ($39 supplement) had much better steaks than at the QG; our dinnermates and we decided to go down there one night just to get something different and we all agreed that V was much better. Of course not everyone wants to pay a supplement for dinner when they have already paid for the cruise which could explain why the Verandah was not very busy. But it was worth it for the food.

Age group was mainly in the 65+ crowd although there were some people in their 30s and 40s with children (ages 6-10) but this younger group was less than 10% of the passengers. Most were from UK, US, Australia, New Zealand.

With QG there is refreshed wine and liquors in your stateroom each night, as well as refilled min-fridge at no charge. An Illy coffeemaker with refreshed tea, creamer, and coffee is provided. As well as evening canapes. This is in QG. Certainly nice touches but I think you could scrape by on PG or Britannia depending on what you are looking for.

Activities on the ship were fine with lectures and high production value shows every night at 8:30 and 10:30 each night. Lectures on Broadway, Weather Prediction, Space Exploration, the upcoming ports were very good.

The port excursions were generally well-organized and interesting. They are not inexpensive! And you may be able to find better value with some planning. But be sure to return to the ship on time!

There are a few washing machines and dryers on each deck but not anywhere enough, so there was jockeying and some harsh words in the competition for them. Better to do your own delicates and send out the rest to the ship laundry which has a charge.

I agree with others about the atrocious internet. Slow to connect, slow to use, and slow to disconnect. At $45 for 2 hours, Cunard probably makes as much on the internet as the cruise! You can't just shut off the computer because your account is still open until you sign off which was so slow I didn't know if I signed of at all. I had to call the purser every time to make sure they signed me off. Fortunately the long-suffering IT guy gave me back 45 minutes which was spent trying to get on and off the service. Befoe leaving home,sign on with your local wireless provider to use the port-days with discounted International Roaming. It is much faster and less expensive.

Disembarkation was also perfect.Remember to leave some day clothes out before you go to sleep on the last night. Your luggage will be off the ship overnight so make sure you have something to wear on the last morning!

We had a great time and we would do it again although we might try PG or Britannia Club for comparable value since 90% of the rest of the ship and activities are open to everyone.

jupiter224's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin Q4 7088

Very well organized. It is almost 'circular'. You come in the door and the couch and desk are on your left. Walking straight ahead you find the large balcony, which during our cruise was a pleasure to sit and read. Across from the couch is the king-sized bed which was very comfortable indeed. Ask for the pillow concierge for the type of pillow you need. The one provided was much too soft, so I got a firmer one. The 'bedroom' can be separated from the couch by a drawn curtain. The couch is a fold-out bed if you need it. From the bed is the bathroom with a separate tub and free-standing wonderful glass-sided shower. The toilet and sink (only one sink unfortunately) are in an adjoining powder room to the shower and bath. The powder room has two doors--one from the shower/bath and one to the small foyer, completing the circle. The service was fine; lots of storage and closet space; two televisions and the remotes were cross-talking; turning one tv on turned on the other! Space was not a problem. Of course, the luggage was stored under the bed. There is a second desk with drawers next to the bed. We loved the suite and were spoiled. The butler and steward were very attentive and friendly. We had a full dinner in our room served one course at a time..

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Hiking Tour

We had a great time but if you have any mobility issues, be warned; there are lots of uneven rocky parts to the trail;; not much grade, but the coastal hike was very windy as well. it was a great 2-hour walk . Probably around 2 miles. The description on the ship was too vague and some of the passengers had to have assistance through the hike. Everyone made it but it could have been otherwise.

View All 2 Hiking Tour Reviews

We toured a small fishing village. The whole of Iceland is very stark of course, but it was interesting to have a guided tour of this small village, its fishery, and to taste some local fare. We also relaxed at a coffee shop at the end. Very mild walking in the village.

Golden Circle

Lots to see and not much time. There was always a tardy passenger returning to the bus 10 min late; that meant that there was not much time to see some of the later sites. Tip: if possible walk to the site and see it before having lunch. Our lunch took too long to be served and we were madly rushing for a few minutes to see the spectacular Gullfoss waterfalls. Tip: for the Geysir geyser get up close and 'behind' it if you want to catch the moment it bubbles and erupts (every 6 minutes). You can get within about 30 feet of the geyser; be prepared to have a warm shower though!

View All 122 Golden Circle Reviews

As with Greenock, not much time. We enjoyed our tour of Trinity College and the Irish National Gallery of Ireland.

Greenock (Glasgow)

Greenock is about 30 min by train from Glasgow and the train station is about one mile from the dock. Since the stay was only 8:30-4:30 we had to be pretty quick to get on the train, to Glasgow, to see the city, and get back by train.

Not enough time even to enjoy Hop-On-Hop Off very much so we just went to the Kelvingrove Museum; don't miss the Dali, Christ of St. John of the Cross. We just had enough time for lunch, a walk downtown, some souvenirs, and then back on the train.

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