Because of lack of maintenance during Cuvard, the ship's hull had not been de-fouled to the satisfaction of the New Zealand authorities and thus not being able to enter a number of ports including Milford Sound, the number one cruise attraction for New Zealand. The deception was the fact the Cunard did not advise passengers of this in order for passengers to consider alternatives. Compensation started from $100 per passenger early in the season to partial or full refund late in the season, but only after the deception was finally made public.
In addition to this, as a couple who has done 29 cruises with 7 different cruise lines, including the Queen Mary, it was very obvious that the meal selection and quantity had been reduced substantially There are more than 20% of the Australian population over 65 with Type 2 Diabetes, a substantial market for any cruise company. This was our first cruise where there was not a day where a Sugar-Free dessert was on the menu. My wife requires a Gluten Free diet and while the Queen Mary was excellent, the Queen Elizabeth was far below par ,to a degree that I would recommend to anyone to think twice before booking. The staff was excellent and the entertainment first class. But to try and cut back on costs when it came to food quality and selection is an example of accountants currently running the business and not management who want to rebuild their business.
From past experience, we were happy to have booked a further cruise in September on the Queen Elizabeth, but after our recent experience, we are having second thoughts.