Queen Victoria Feb 14 to Feb 28 2012 Hawaii Cruise: Queen Victoria Cruise Review by DDBINK1

Queen Victoria 5
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Queen Victoria Feb 14 to Feb 28 2012 Hawaii Cruise

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Hawaii
Embarkation: Los Angeles
The Queen Victoria is a great ship of the Cunard Line. I thought I would walk through many of the aspects of this trip that I did enjoy and make some comments on the negatives also. Starting at the Beginning.

Getting on the Queen Victoria in Los Angeles has been problems for many who have previously commented on this site. I found that I was greeted by professional baggage handlers at the drop off who took the baggage quickly and handled it quite nicely as I stood and watched from the door area for a few minutes.
Walking into the port embarkation area was clearly marked. I stood in line for maybe 10 minutes to get into the building and another 10 minutes going through security and maybe 10 minutes getting through check in at the counter. I had a Q5 Suite booked and that put my entry in the que first. The staff had room / ID cards already made, they took my credit card information and passport quickly and when done I walked on the ship. I did note More that the Britannia Cabins were waiting to check in second and that it took them quite a few hours to get completed as my cabin balcony look over the entry gangway to the ship.

I was greeted nicely by staff dressed up in their finest uniforms at the entry to the ship and was offered directions to my cabin and there was a staff member at the elevators to call them for the passengers coming on board. Music was playing also. A nice touch in the Grand Lobby of a Cunard Line Ship.

Q5 Cabin 8163
Since I had studied the deck plan of the QV I knew were my suite was and found it easily. The cabin was in excellent shape, the assistant butler (Joel) came to the cabin within a few minutes of my arrival and asked if there was anything I needed. He said he would inquire about luggage that I had shipped to the port prior to my arrival and it showed up promptly. The room had been set up with champagne on ice and the liquors I had previously ordered and the fridge was nicely stocked with soft drinks. And there was a nice selection of fruit on the counter. The fresh flowers were very nice and the carnations doubled as boutonnieres on formal nights.
The Butler (one of only a few female butlers on Cunard Line) Jackie came in to visit and introduce herself after lunch in the Queens Grill Restaurant. She was also very professional and assuring that requests would be promptly met.
The room was cared for professionally and there were days that I thought it was magic because I would go to breakfast and the room was perfect when I returned. Bed made, bathroom spotless and the mess I make with papers all tightened up and I never saw who did all this work.
The first night I was exhausted after dinner and the bed was not yet turned down but I did it myself because I was going to crash. Jackie and Joel came to the room door when they saw I had returned and wanted to take care of all the necessary turn downs but I was so tired and had already done the necessary turn down myself. Both Jackie and Joel appologized for not completing the turn down. Jackie always came exactly on time with on mornings I ordered breakfast and one time for dinner I ordered by phone and it was there piping hot and she made sure there was a table cloth spread out on the table and all set perfectly. Just outstanding service every day.

This cabin is at the aft end of the ship and has an large balcony. Due to rain and colder weather I only got out on it one day and for brief periods to take pictures as the ship came into and out of port. My only comment about this Suite in general is that it is at the aft of the ship. The crossing of the Pacific is a rough thing mostly due to 16 foot waves on many days for this trip. Being at the aft end it bounces quite a bit with the natural pitch movement of the ship. I found I had trouble sleeping some nights and moving about the cabin in rough weather is an interesting undertaking. I think they should renovate this ship and move these Suites to a more central location to reduce to bouncing. And of course let those who pay less enjoy the bumping about the aft end cabin.

Dining on Queen Victoria:
My first meal on QV was in the Queens Grill Restaurant just after coming aboard. I was greeted nicely by Raul the Maitre D and the Head Waiter Eduardo and escorted to my table. The staff pulled out my chair every time I came to the restaurant and unfolded and placed a linen napkin on my lap each meal. My wait staff assigned was Francis the waiter and Emilio the assistant waiter. Both could not have been more attentive and accommodating. Great service and the food was spectacular. I have never had better service. I have to say I had the biggest laugh of the trip when I was delivered some nicely prepared salad/appetizer that was a perfect ball on the plate and Emilio leaned over next to me and said "Nice Ball". Emilio was from Croatia and I believe he meant to compliment the foods appearance and he totally missed why I cracked up and laughed the rest of the evening. I believe it was all in the translation as Francis heard the exchange and chided poor Emilio for the comment. It made my evening and I still chuckle about it now.

I dined in the Pub for a Fish and Chips Pub Lunch and it was great. I liked that the pub sat people dining there and were very attentive. Only negative was that there should have been some music playing during lunch.

Lunch in Todd English was very good and service was very attentive. My only negative is that it is al la carte pricing not a one time charge for the menu in Todd English. I didn't like that for some reason. And with the great service at the Grills Lounge and Restaurant I really didn't need to go to a speciality restaurant at all.

The Lido Buffet was good, Pizza for lunch was Great. Made on the spot and hot on delivery.
The Lido was always busy, finding a table was difficult at times of lunch and breakfast. But the staff were very quick to refill coffee mugs and to tidy up the tables for new arrivals. The buffet queuing by certain people was interesting to watch as I think different nationalities have a different concept of how to line up or not for a buffet meal selection. I am pretty easy going so it didn't bother me at all but I could see some getting upset with the issue.

First, the Sommelier in the Queens Grill that was assigned to my table's area was Richard. Always a smile and a greeting and all the guests could tell that Richard liked his work and enjoyed talking with the guests. He had no issue with also helping pull out chairs for guests and placing napkins on laps and he took special requests for strange drinks without missing a step. I always try to order something that may not be in stock on the ship to see the reaction. They always had my request except for a Sky Martini. No Sky Vodka?? Some I met on the ship thought the amount of liquor received for a drink was not adequate but I never found that to be an issue. The staff were always available and quick on the service in all the venues.

I did enjoy High Tea in the Afternoon and the service was white glove all the way in the Queen's Lounge.

I am sure the rule of gaining a pound a day applied fully to my experience.

I do have to say, the dancing and singing in the shows was very professional. The shows were fantastic. I reserved a box for one performance and had a great time. The staff served champagne and sweets prior to the show and made sure I had a great time enjoying the box seat. I felt like they were going out of their way to make sure I was getting the most out of the experience.

I enjoyed the entertainment in the Commodore Club which was a piano entertainer. The night I went up to that lounge there was an entertainment quiz also based on James Bond movies. I did poorly at the trivia of course but between a few cocktails and the music it was a great night.

The Entertainment staff members were great at Bingo games and I did see them having a great time with the line dancing classes also.

I don't ballroom dance but I did see quite a few people dancing on those times when the orchestra was playing.

I went to the Captain's Party for the Grills Guests and met the Captain! She was very nice and spoke well of her crew. Also I met the Ships Doctor. She was very informative and since I am a Nurse Practitioner she offered a tour of the Medical Center. I did not take her up on it but it was very nice to have the offer. She spoke well for the ship and crew and introduced several other officers to me and took time to go over various aspects of ship functions and how the medical staff respond to emergencies and common issues of health for the crew. And the drinks were free !!! It was in Hemisphere's the ships night club. That space was very nice also. I did not seem to be busy on this trip, mostly because of the age of the guests. But I could see this space very full of fun during a shorter cruise with younger guests on board.

Spa and Bath House and Exercise Center:
This area is well done. The views from the equipment of the sea was fantastic. The area was well kept and the service there was great. I had a facial, and a stone massage and another treatment where the staff had warm oils flow on my third eye and over my head / scalp followed by a shoulder and head massage. All were well done. The staff was very professional. I did find that the fee for the Bath House pool use and sauna's was over priced and not a good value for my money as I did not get there every day. But the area was nicely made and well kept. The warm loungers outside the sauna area were great and the view out the windows made the experience all the better.

The excursions set up by Cunard were very good. I think they were a bit cheesy when the buses would stop for 10 minutes to take pictures and then get back on the bus to drive down the street to do the same thing over and over till we got to the main attraction. Of course I did get some great photos to remember my trip with. I took one excursion each port. They were all well organized and I give credit to the entertainment staff that they could keep it all organized as well as they did. The one announcer in the Queen's Room gathering place was confused about his Left and Right hand but it all worked out. I forgot my wallet of all things on one morning and had to run to my suite and get it and the escort for my tour held the bus and made sure I got on board before clearing the bus to leave the dock area. Very nice.

Over all Impression:
Beautiful Ship, Great Crew, Excellent Captain Olsen. A bit of a bumpy ride in rough seas but Well Done. Less

Published 03/04/12

Cabin review: Q58163 Queens Suite

8163 is a Q5 Suite at the Aft of the ship. It has a fantastic balcony that would be great in good weather. Especially in the Caribbean where the sun could be enjoyed for long hours. The Suite being at the aft of the ship gets quite bumpy in rough seas. We had 16 foot waves for several nights on the cruise to Hawaii and back and it was difficult to sleep. It was also difficult to walk some nights when the seas were rough. I did find it much nicer to stay mid ships during the rough weather where it was remarkable stable. The butler service and housekeeping was fantastic. The room is well kept with the furniture looking new. The bed linens were nice and of high quality. Closet space for the room was very adequate. A split closet for shirts / pants, and a double closet for longer clothing items, and lots of drawer space. About 6 days into the cruise I found large drawers at the end of each bed (under the bed) which I didn't have to use but they could come in very handy. Luggage fit nicely under the beds and there were two desk spaces. I would have re arranged the room to have the sitting area with large sofa facing out the balcony door instead of at the window in the room but just my preference. I never heard a neighbor or heard a door close outside of the entryway of the room. Very quiet room except for the 5 am placement of a few deck chairs on the Lido deck above. But I did note that the staff were very careful to do it as quietly as possible. This cabin had a door to the balcony that locked. I believe it needed to be locked at night and when not in the cabin as it looked very easy for someone to step onto the balcony from above and next door. Just as a precaution. Over all a nice cabin but for a Queen's Grill level 5 Suite, not good placement due to the natural bumping about the aft of the ships goes through in rough weather.

Read All Queens Suite (Q5) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Winery Tour

The first stop was primitive and did not have a good presentation area. The second winery was ok, and the host was very entertaining. The wine was good at both stops.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The volcano was great and the bus driver informative. But there were too many short stops on the way to the volcanos and park and on the way back also. Lunch was not very good but I only had the great food on the ship to compare it to.

Dinner Cruise

The crew on the dinner cruise were very attentive. The dancing was sort of low level and difficult to see. The dinner was decent and nicely prepared.

Wailua River

Very nice, saw the canyon and did the river excursion to see the fern grotto. Just wish there was some Fern growing in the fern grotto. It was damaged by a bad storm several years ago and has not recovered. A good trip though.

Waimea Canyon

The stop at the canyon was too brief.

Haleakala Crater

It was FREEZING on that crater. The bus ride again had multiple stops on the way there which I thought was not necessary. Some seem to be just to buy a tee shirt or get a trinket. The views were great. Over all it was worth it totally.

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