Personally I have never been interested in going on a cruise but it was the choice of in laws and I ended up being dragged along. After initially booking Britannia we ended up taking advantage of a cheap upgrade offer to Queens Grill.
It didn't start well at Embarkation when there was a scrum of people surrounding the doors into the hall in Southampton and no indication of where the priority booking queue was. Asking people working their didn't get us anywhere until one guy told us to go straight into the hall which meant forcing our way past the people in the main queue who were rightfully unhappy with us pushing past them where at last we saw the signs for priority booking. Given there are multiple doors into the hall surely it can't be that hard to put signs up outside as well. Though not as bad the disembarkation was also chaotic with little in the way of clear directions.
First impressions of the ship were ok, some of it looked a bit tired but much of it very nice. The cabin was nice and spacious and we were glad to have upgraded.
Food wise the Queens Grill was ok more of a decent chain restaurant than anything else though. Some really nice food, the beef wellington for example, alongside some pretty run of the mill stuff. The formality of the place and the dressing up got a bit wearying after a while particularly as you weren't usually eating food that lived up to it. It also led to some oddities like if you ordered a pie they brought out the pie dish and then spooned the entire contents onto your plate which took ages. Just serve it in a pie dish guys, my poor husbands cottage pie just looked a mess. Apart from that the staff were almost uniformly excellent and they were fine with us not all turning up and ordering at the same time. Went to Kings Court occasionally but it was nothing special.
Entertainment wise some of the lectures were interesting but the entertainment was mostly end of a pier stuff, the planetarium pretty dull and the pub ok but quite small so you had to get to things like trivia early to get a seat. On that note the entertainment team in the pub were generally very good though the lady who liked to make the 'twist' question in the evening trivia easy really needs to learn the point of quizzes. Their didn't feel like there was much on though in general, certainly not much of any interest. I suppose mostly aimed at the elderly regulars.
The gym was good though having no sauna or steam room other than having to pay in the spa is a mistake. Outside areas also ok though not that well used given the pretty average weather on most sea days. We spent a lot of time in the smoking area and got chatting to some very nice, fun people there, other than that there was little interaction on board.
The casino was quite fun and they made it easy to play if you didn't have much experience, only issue was the crumbling floor so you had to watch your step the whole time. The floor is also starting to give way in the main lobby which was somewhat alarming.
Stops wise Liverpool (helped by the weather) and Reykjavik were both very nice, with lots to see. We didn't go on any excursions as you can book the same trips yourself for half the price. Had a fantastic lunch at Islenski Barinn in Reykjavik. Halifax was ok but it's essentially a mid sized city with not much in the way of history to see. Corner Brook however may be the dullest place on Earth and I have no idea what they were thinking in stopping there.
Overall a real disappointment, for all their talk about the glamour of the transatlantic crossing there was painfully little of that in evidence.
The Cabin was probably the highlight of the trip sadly. Nice and spacious, well looked after by the butler and generally pleasant to spend time in.
Only real issue was for a taller person such as myself the shower is a bit of a squeeze and the bathroom in general looks tired compared to what you get in good hotels these days.