This is the second cruise our family of 4 have taken. The first being a 10 day cruise with the Carnival Spirit in July 2017.
We thought our Carnival cruise was great, fantastic staff, good food and lovely atmosphere.
So when booking this 5-star Cunard cruise, I was assuming it would be of a higher standard that we experienced on the 3-4 star Carnival cruise.
Sadly to say, this was only marginally better then Carnival.
First the positives when compared to our Carnival cruise:
Food was lovely and the little touches like the Godiva chocolates were divine. It was slightly better then Carnival
The evening shows were of a very high standard and very professional.
Loved listening to the invited speakers on board, we had Dr Richard Harris taking about the Thai cave rescue and also a forensic dentist.
The library on board is fantastic.
The overall decor is very tasteful.
The afternoon tea is lovely and you can get the same afternoon tea items in the buffet restaurant
Our room steward was lovely and very helpful.
Lovely Penhaligion’s toiletries
There are some lovely spaces on board such as the Garden Lounge
and the Commodore Club.
Now for the negatives:
Staff were overworked and looked tired. And because of this, didn’t go out of their way to be friendly. But who can blame them when they are worked so hard.
The 15% service charge does not go back to the staff. I asked several different bar tenders if they got the money and they all were very hesitant at answering me. They’ve obviously all been told by management not to answer this question
The drinks were of a very measly pour. From a standard bottle of champagne, you can get 6 glasses. Cunard was easily getting 10 glasses. At USD $15 plus 15% tax, I was not impressed.
The daily tax per person. For our 5 day cruise, this would have come to $350 AUD , We chose not to pay this but to give our tips directly to the staff. It would be interesting to see if any of that money ever gets back to the staff.
All prices in USD, for a company that prides itself on its Englishness and their Whitestar service, I found this odd.
The tables often took a while to clear and finding a clean table in the buffet area was often difficult.
After chatting to several other Australian guests who are seasoned cruisers, we all had the same opinion. We all thought QE would have been of a higher standard the Carnival or Royal Caribbean.
I wouldn’t choose to cruise Cunard again but would happily cruise with Carnival again.
It was clean and tidy and the Steward was great. Lovely Penhaligon toiletries.