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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
We sailed out of New York Jan 3, 2012 on the World Cruise. Cabins have been refurbished since the previous year but a lot of other changes that some newbies might not notice have taken place. First as we know,there are 4 classes. ... Read More
We sailed out of New York Jan 3, 2012 on the World Cruise. Cabins have been refurbished since the previous year but a lot of other changes that some newbies might not notice have taken place. First as we know,there are 4 classes. Don't confuse those in the Queens Suites(1st class) Princess Suites (2nd class) Britannia Club (third class) and then the steerage passengers as all being equal. The dining venue and quality of food is completely different. Not that the Britannia is bad just compare the grills with a Michelin star restaurant to a greasy spoon.But whether you are in a Queen's suite or down beside the anchor the public space is the same for everyone to enjoy. The Ship is no longer British registry. I am not fool enough to believe that this is to accommodate people wanting to get married. Think cheaper insurance, not having to pay overtime. Fewer staff but more work, including waiters in dining room.Food quality and variety. Now you have to pay for the so called venues to eat at in the evening. There was no charge before. Where you used to be able to go upstairs and eat at 3 very distinct areas, Asian, Italian or British in the evening that no longer exists. The ship is still the same with friendly staff and lots to fill your time. But the theatre shows are the same as previous years and the entertainment in the bars is repetitive. They are very accommodating to the passengers when we dock putting on buses when needed to take you into the centre of town and back if you do not choose to go on a tour. Would I sail on the QM2 again, yes I would. I like that it is a liner, the space, the clientele and the overall ambiance of the ship and staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2012
When a world cruise is not a world cruise -- Cunard Queen Elizabeth World Cruise 2012. It has taken me six months to distil my thoughts on the Cunard Queen Elizabeth's full world cruise 2012. I was travelling with my partner and ... Read More
When a world cruise is not a world cruise -- Cunard Queen Elizabeth World Cruise 2012. It has taken me six months to distil my thoughts on the Cunard Queen Elizabeth's full world cruise 2012. I was travelling with my partner and my brother. He was travelling as a single passenger and was paying almost as much as we were for both of us. I am a diamond Cunard world club member. On a personal level it was a trip of a lifetime and a most rewarding experience. Needless to say this experience could not have been achieved except in the context of the full world cruise. Of the 2000 passengers who sailed on board the Queen Elizabeth on 10 January, approximately 800 were on board for the full world cruise which returned to Southampton on the 27th of April. The voyage lasted a total of 107 days. In 2009 we had sailed on board the Queen Victoria for of the final two legs of its world cruise voyage from Singapore to Southampton. That voyage lasted 33 days. Through the advanced booking system for the year 2012 world cruise we had requested the two state rooms with forward views on deck six(6001 & 6002). The state rooms are classed ocean view C1. They are wonderfully positioned under the bridge and we enjoyed many hours throughout the trip gazing ahead and enjoying the views. My first serious observation is that the Queen Elisabeth is not a ship designed for transatlantic crossings. The Southampton to New York section of the voyage found the ship having to cope with very difficult sea conditions. In the words of the Captain "we will do what we can to make you as comfortable as possible. This is a cruise ship and not a transatlantic liner and its design means that we will bounce our way across to New York" and bounce we did! What was most difficult to cope with was the constant banging of the bulbous bow of the ship as she pitched through the very stormy Atlantic Ocean. We were also unlucky with the six day section of the voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii, when the ship again encountered rough seas. Yes I know that there are readers who would say "well what else would you expect" my answer is quite simple; you would expect to be sailing in ship capable of dealing with those conditions, without the passengers experiencing such a great deal of discomfort. My suggestion to those considering taking the full world cruise from Southampton is that they consider flying to New York and boarding there. You might also consider taking the Queen Mary2 to New York. My second observation relates to the expectations of passengers taking the full world cruise. We had been planning the trip for approximately 2 ½ years. Our expectations were very much focused on the AROUND THE WORLD aspect. This had conjured up in my mind a seamless and integrated experience which would last 107 days. My most serious criticism is that this expectation was not achieved. What Cunard provide is a cruise around the world taken in a number of stages or legs but NOT a world cruise. My expectation of the world cruise was shared by the vast majority of those full world cruise passengers with whom I spoke. Many of them were scathing in their commons and a significant number had decided by the end of the voyage that they would never sail with Cunard again. The result of the linked leg approach by Cunard to the world cruise is that routine and sameness are clearly established by the end of leg two of the six legs. Crudely and bluntly it was obvious that Cunard's policy is to keep the" leg passengers" happy. Instead of finding it possible for the full world passengers to get to know one another better as the cruise moved on, we in fact got lost and dissipated in the constant changes that were taking place as hundreds of passengers left and new faces arrived at the end of each leg. This policy impacts on the passengers who are taking the full world cruise. For example no accommodation was given in the dining room to the "jackets required" dress code policy. While sailing in the Pacific on warm and balmy nights the full world cruise passengers were still required to comply with the dress code policy. This was to keep the marketing image of Cunard in place, for those passengers who were taking shorter legs of the journey. Who would wear a jacket to dinner on 107 consecutive evenings in their own home? A further example of this "leg" policy in operation was that the only crew who knew who the full world cruise passengers were, was the restaurant staff and the cabin steward. This resulted in a sense of indifference from bar and deck staff in the public areas. My suggestion to those considering taking the full world cruise is that they alter their expectations in advance from the notion of a seamless 107 day experience, see it as a number of cruises which are linked together and which takes you around the world without having to move from one ship to the next. Look at other cruise lines other than Cunard and see who they approach the Full World Cruise concept. My third observation relates to the payment of our hotel charges. As full world cruise passengers our hotel charges were built into the ticket price. It was a shocking disappointment to find that while our hotel charges were taken at source that we were not allowed to see that those crew whom we considered to have given superior service, could not be singled out for special award from within the hotel gratuity. Passenger is who were taking shorter legs were allowed to cancel the automatic hotel charges and award whoever they liked! When we raised this matter with the hotel manager we were told that we could always reward any member of the crew whom we wished to. However this in fact means that we were required to make a double payment of the gratuity to those whom we wished to recognize. My suggestion is that you talk to your travel agent in advance of making your final reservation about this matter. Finally as I get the last of my photographs into my album, I can say that it was an incredible experience shared with my partner and my brother and many wonderful passengers and fantastic crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
We boarded the ship in NY and were impressed with the embarkation process. We had an opportunity to have access to our room and were very impressed with the size of the Princess Grill room. The room was big and gave us room to walk ... Read More
We boarded the ship in NY and were impressed with the embarkation process. We had an opportunity to have access to our room and were very impressed with the size of the Princess Grill room. The room was big and gave us room to walk around without bumping into each other. The additional closet space was a gift with all the clothes we had packed. Our room steward, Rommel, was very helpful and kept our room spotless. The ship as a whole was impressive and very regal. Does not have the glitz and glamor of other cruise ships. It has lot's of wood railings and paneling. The ship was constantly being cleaned. I found the ship's staff very personable. Always wishing us a good day. The food in all areas was very good. We had moments when we didn't feel like getting dressed formally and enjoyed the option of having a meal as we desired in the buffet. We also enjoyed the Todd English restaurant. Very good and the service was exceptional. Our service in the Princess Grill was very memorable. The whole restaurant staff were very personable and we were greeted at all meals with a smile. Our staff included Robert, Gordon, RoseMarie and Sanntosh. Our sommelier, Silvanna was very knowledgeable and gave us exceptional service. Patou and Yonell....... our Maitre D's were proper and meticulous. We enjoyed coming for our meals and having the exceptional service we expected at that level. The shore excursions were wonderful. The only caveat may be the cigarette smoking. As a non smoker...... it was not comfortable to have your next door neighbor smoking on his deck. We would have to close our deck door for a while. And parts of the interior had a smoky aroma. We have taken a few cruises and know there are glitches. We accept those as part of traveling. We have met so many new friends that we keep in contact today on previous cruises and this cruise is no exception. I was involved with an informal aviation group meeting on sea days and enjoyed the impromptu discussions. The disembarkation was easy and orderly. Our concierge finalized our arrival and made the journey a wonderful memory for my beautiful wife and our 25th anniversary. Read Less

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