Queen Victoria Cruise Review by Nikki Houghton
- Sail Date: March 2011
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
- Cabin Type: Balcony
However, the entire cruise was marred by obnoxious staff, norovirus, lack of cabin space - especially in the 'bathroom' (squashed, tiny facilities), dreadful embarkation/disembarkation arrangements, a steward who never changed the sheets (I found his utility cupboard and did it myself!) and terrible shore excursions. We received 30% back on one after complaining.
Food is exceptional, but as a vegetarian I would rather have had Royal Caribbean standard and paid less!
Nice pools, close too early. Ditto deck amenities; you want to star gaze? No way. They remove all chairs at night and leave the deck lighting up. Rubbish way to run an ocean liner.
And the entertainment was the worst I have ever ever had the misfortune to sit through. Apart from the juggling comedian, the lecture on Freda Kahlo and the wonderful lecture on the Panama Canal the rest were abhorrent....Jenny Bond in particular was awful, made me very ashamed to be British.
The library was great but you couldn't take the books out due to the illness which shut the ship down! We never met one sick person, wonder if it was a cynical cost cutting exercise? When I asked what would happen if I booked a tour then got sick they said I would have to get a doctors note - which you had to pay for! Unbelievable, but luckily we didn't get sick and as I say we met no one else who had - so I think Cunard were just in it for what they could get.
Room service was excellent except the day we had a really early excursion and they completely forgot us! There was a note apologising when we got back but seriously, a note? It's not exactly compensation! On sea days many of the outside seating decks were closed for maintenance, as was our stateroom balcony on more than three occasions.
The highlight of the trip was the traversing of the Panama Canal which itself was marred by the lack of vantage points. The Captain opened up several of the crew decks but these became very crowded; I am a photographer and I must say the best places to take pictures from all seemed out of bounds to the customer!
On the positive side there are never any queues for the purser or tour booking desks but I would strongly suggest that the ongoing weekly bills are put into envelopes (as they are for the Princess/Queens grill staterooms) when they are left in the post rack outside the staterooms. RCI put your bill on the TV thus avoiding paper, time and nosy neighbours.
On balance I would not go with Cunard again unless they were the only company going to my chosen destination.
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