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12 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

The ship was beautiful, very sturdy and we'll maintained. The staff in general were excellent, the service good, but the food was a real let down. It was either bland or too salty and overcooked. The Britannia restaurant was poor so ... Read More
The ship was beautiful, very sturdy and we'll maintained. The staff in general were excellent, the service good, but the food was a real let down. It was either bland or too salty and overcooked. The Britannia restaurant was poor so was the buffet on the Lido deck. So disappointing. Of the three cruise lines I have travelled on this was the poorest. My accessible cabin was wonderful, everything I asked for was there. The three companions I was with were happy with the service and the cruise generally. I I did not book any excursions as I travelled with a mobility scooter. The first shuttle bus was acceptable and helpful but at Lanzarote my companions and I boarded the bus and were dumped at the end of the new port. (Why go to a place closed on Sunday?) There were no shops or cafes available, and we were told we had to walk 20 minutes into town to see if anything was open. Alternatively we could risk taking a 20 minute taxi to the other side of the island to a possibly open market. As we did not know if we could get back we just got back on the bus and stayed on the ship. Overall very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics ... Read More
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics and coke on board as our mixers. We have never sailed Cunard before, previously only sailing on more casual cruise ships, so were somewhat apprehensive about the dress code. Dress Code - The apprehension was missplaced completely. In the two week cruise there were 3 ball nights, and we knew the ladies and gents dress codes for them. Apart from that, if you were going to eat in the main Brittania restaurant men had to wear trousers, jacket and shirt (no tie necessary) and ladies normal smart going out clothes. If you wanted to wear jeans and t-shirt and stay completely casual, you could eat in the Lido buffet and drink in the Golden Lion pub, but could not go to the ball room, other bars, the main Brittania restaurant or the theatre. Some nights we stayed completely casual. Staff customer service - staff always had a smile and a 'good morning/afternoon/evening' whenever they walked past you or dealt with you. We had an enquiry at embarkation when a case was missing. The customer service team where friendly and helpful, finding the case within 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was friendly and welcoming, keeping our cabin immaculate and was always able to bring additional towels or other items we wanted without delay. Other facilities - there was access to several lauderies on the ship, and these were free!! This included the washing powder as well. The laundry included washers, dryers, washing sink, iron and ironing board. An invaluable resource on a cruise of 14 nights. State of the ship - the ship was kept spotless and any faults seemed to be sorted quickly - there was some water ingress in the ceiling of the central buffet area in the Lido. When in port the ship looked stunning and traditional in comparison to other cruise ships. The decor of the ship is art deco, with lovely wood panelled interiors and themed art work for each stair well. Food - there was excellent choice in the Lido buffet most of the time, ranging from early breakfast, main breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, early main tea, later main tea, to later evening snacks (till 1.30am). There was shortages of some items, such as the clotted cream for the afternoon tea, hot chocolate drinks, earl grey teabags etc during the last few days - The main Brittania restaurant, we were on early sitting at 6.00pm, also had at least 4 - 6 choices for starter, main and dessert. On one occasion my daughter and I could not decide which dessert we wanted, and then asked if we could order two each - no problem at all. You left the restaurant feeling pleasently full but not stuffed. - There were snack options during the day available in the Cafe Carinthia. Lunch and dinner were also available in the Golden Lion Pub, we enjoyed Friday fish and chips at lunch time here. Waiter served afternoon tea was available on sea days in the Queends Room, this is not to be missed as the sandwich and cake selection is extremely appetising. We also use the Lido grill, deck 9 stern, at lunch time for fish, burgers and chips etc. - We did not try any of the paid restaurants and were not grills passengers. Room Service - On some mornings, and one evening, we chose to have breakfast and dinner in our cabin. It was such a treat being able to be served just what you wanted for breakfast rather than get up and queue up. The evening menu was not as varied, burgers and pizzas mainly. The room service menu was included in the cruise and not an additional extra, which was very good. Drinks - the bars and deck bars were all welcoming and very good, and we did treat ourselves to an occasional glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at sail away, or cider/beer in the evening or day time. The only issue, is that with the value of the pound to the dollar the cost of drinks is very expensive, especially if you are from the north east of England! If we had not brought our own wine, gins, rums and ports on board, plus mixers, it would have been a somewhat dry cruise! Entertainment - the theatre was exceptional, with proper theatre tiered seating, boxes and an exceptional theatre orchestra!! The ships crew were good (but not exceptional) in the two shows we saw them do. We also saw The Opera Boys both times they performed, they were brilliant. We say a violinist once, she was excellent. There was also a pianist/commedian, Jon Courtenay for the last nights of the cruise who was extremely good. The ball room/Queens Room was a bit of a let down as it was almost like a corridor between the front and back of the ship to one side separating the seating, and there was not enough seating for the passengers who wanted to enjoy the dancing most evenings. There was a ball room orchestra as well, who were also excellent. We did attend some dancing classes during the day and put our steps into practice in the evening when we could. There are some very serious dancers on board, so it did make it a bit awkward for novice dancers if they felt they were getting in the way. Other entertainment we enjoyed was the band Next Steps, both on sailaway celebrations and at the Yacht Club. Also, most evenings, we attended, and enjoyed, quizes in the Garden Lounge and later in the Golden Lion pub - we even won the Husband and Wife quiz in the Golden Lion. As you wandered around the ship in the evening there were other muscians and ensembles to enjoy listening to, such as pianist Andy Law in the Golden Lion, who could play/sing anything. Sea days - My daughter and husband thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Robin Scagett, about astronomy, space and time - my daughter, as a primary teacher she took a lot away from those talks. My daughter and I both enjoyed the inspiring John Peters talk and question/answer session. There was another speaker throughout the cruise, but we did not attend his talks. I went to the beginners bridge classes with Chris Jarosz, which was pitched at the right level. I attended on my own and that was a slight problem as many others attended as a couple, but Chris found solutions to this. I certainly hope to continue to learn bridge. Otherwise, I loved the afternoon social craft group in the Garden Lounge. I did also treat myself to an afternoon in the spa pool, warm loungers and steam rooms but I did not have any spa treatments. My husband attended the ships choir, who gave a wonderful performance on the last sea day. He made many friends through this group. I would say that all but one of the passengers we encountered, or met through groups, were lovely, engaging and warm people and came from all over the world. Aside from what we did, there was a wealth of activities to enjoy on sea days, outside there was a full bowling green and other outdoor sports, plus two swimming pools and 4 bubble pools. Indoors, there were card tables, board games, puzzles and puzzle tables, and a two story library that gave out daily quizes, cross words and sudoko. If you just wanted to relax, there were lots of indoor and outdoor quite areas to relax, read and sleep. Disembarkation - we were going to take our own luggage off, but a very experienced cruiser said to put it out, and explained that at the port luggage was arranged by deck number. She said that you could take yourself off at your own convenience rather than follow the instructions if you wanted to make an early get away - we had a long drive back up north, so got off at 9.00am, and collected our luggage very easily ready for the pre booked taxi back to collect our car from the hotel. Overall, we would definately cruise with Cunard again. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with excellent choice of activities, ports that we wanted to visit and the chance to meet some fantastic people. Our party only did one shore excursion, my daughter and our friend did the segway in Copenhagen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was $99, which I could have booked on my own for about $79, but not for the times that were best for our days plans. As my daughter and our friend were novice cruisers we felt better leaving them in the care of the excursion team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have been on 10+ cruises but this was my first Cunard experience. Embarkation went smoothly in Vancouver, not the fastest but not the worst either. Our room was large (accessibility means lots of space) with a large balcony. ... Read More
I have been on 10+ cruises but this was my first Cunard experience. Embarkation went smoothly in Vancouver, not the fastest but not the worst either. Our room was large (accessibility means lots of space) with a large balcony. Enough storage space for all our clothes. The food in the Main dining room was good, a good variety of appetizers and mains and always yummy desserts. The downfall of the main dining room, in my opinion is the stringent dress code. Men are required to wear a sports jacket most nights which may or may not included a tie. If you walk in the dining room sans a tie,, the maitre de will hand you one before you can enter. I know people will say you should have know that ahead of time and yes we did but didnt think theyd be so strict. Therefore we ate in the Lido which had a more relaxed attire. Over all, as most cruises I have been on, the staff go out of their way to make you happy. An example of going above and beyond was our room steward, Alfredo. As a power wheelchair user, I need to charge my chair every couple of days. At the end of one day, I plugged the charger into my chair and nada. I first thought it was a charger issue but it turns out there wasnt enough juice coming thru the rooms electricity.. Alfredo go in contact with guys in the electric depot, who came and got my chair in the evening, charged it fully and brought it back in the am. I cannot emphasis enough how much this saved me. I was on a 10 day cruise and on day 2 my battery was dead. We were wondering what were our options, it was highly doubtful we would find a new one in Alaska. My eternal debt is to Alfredo! So if you are a power chair user, this is your heads up. My only real peeve is, ok I have 2 Firstly, their excursion personnel via email or in person has 0 knowledge of what an accessible excursion is. I explained I need a lift to get on any transportation and they had no clue where to get access info. I would have thought with the average age of their guests which was 65+, theyd have a clue. I gave up on them and booked my excursions straight from the company. My last peeve was disembarkation. They advise if you want to self disembark, we live in Vancouver, go to the Queens lounge by 7:20am with you luggage. We did as such and we waiting for over an hour with no staff around to organize the situation and alot of pissed off passenger. Eventually we gave up waiting, headed to the elevators with a huge crowd following us, to fight for an elevator with the other wrinklys. Good fun. A good trip but Cunard wont see us again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise had a good itinerary with plenty of stops in great places. My wife and I travelled in Princess Grill accommodation which was adequate ( this was our 31st cruise nearly all Cunard). We elected to avoid the Princess Grill dining ... Read More
This cruise had a good itinerary with plenty of stops in great places. My wife and I travelled in Princess Grill accommodation which was adequate ( this was our 31st cruise nearly all Cunard). We elected to avoid the Princess Grill dining room altogether and enjoyed buffet service in the Lido.. Now bearing in mind that cruising seems to be all about dining and its experience we definitely were 'off message' Efforts were made to encourage us to go to the Grills restaurant. The service we received was attentive and friendly and we had a great time doing our own thing. The shops were actually lacklustre with stuff we wouldn't normally buy, high end is great but very limiting. On this cruise the theatre was also a bit mundane although it was packed so glad that others enjoyed it night after night. we are back on the ship for 2 months next year ( 2019) so is indicative that things were good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Queen elizabeth no 801 23rd dec 2017 - 7th jan 2018. I am a regular passenger with cunard but i had a real problem with my cabin on this cruise. I was in cabin 6182, an inside cabin. I was traveling as a single person so had to pay ... Read More
Queen elizabeth no 801 23rd dec 2017 - 7th jan 2018. I am a regular passenger with cunard but i had a real problem with my cabin on this cruise. I was in cabin 6182, an inside cabin. I was traveling as a single person so had to pay the supplement for that grade. I think this cabin is not even fit for one person, most certainly not two. There is no desk space the way the cabin is configured at present. The tray for tea/coffee making equipment is a nice touch but in this cabin leaves no desk/dressing table space. There is also no causal chair . See attached photographs This meant that the whole time had to be spent on the bed. I complained to the purser (hotel general manager) she responded saying that all desk areas were the same except for queens and princess grills cabins. I have traveled in everything from a q1 downwards. The desk space is not the same in all cabins. In 6182 it was 69 cm. And in the other 84.5 cm. Thus they vary by 15.5 cms and the high space in the 6182 also not available as it is taken up by the tv. The customer service manager offered me cabin 4110 late in the voyage which was perfect. However this not really my point. I tried to load photograph but this proved impossible, however one desk was 69 cm the other 84.5 cm. This being 15.5 cm longer On the last leg of the world cruise, cape town to southampton i traveled in a single cabin on deck 1. This cabin was perfect. This time i was unable to book a deck 1 single through cunards site and had to go to an agent. I notice from the present 2018 site every single cabin for all cruises is marked “sold out” for the whole year. I find this unlikely and this would appear to be a crafty and dubious business practice. When i book a cruise i watch the website frequently and twice a day towards departure and it is obvious when cabins and fares are updated and consolidated. The amount i paid for my 6182 cabin was similar to the fare for a single on deck 1. This single was an oceanview. It therefore had a window, a settee, a usable desk area and plenty of space. Cabin 6182 has no window, no desk and no settee. All for a similar fare. I know very well you get what you pay for, but it is unconscionable to charge the same fare for totally contrasting cabin facilities, what, in one cabin, is provided for a particular fare should in another cabin have similar facilities. Anything else is unacceptable, unethical, sharp business practice and possibly illegal. To further compound this shadiness by “blocking off” all the single cabins on every cruise for the whole year, makes the situation worse. Primary points for attention are: SIMILAR CABIN FARES MUST EQUATE TO SIMILAR CABIN FACILITIES SELECTED CABIN GRADES SHOULD NOT BE DISPLAYED AS “SOLD OUT” WHEN THEY ARE NOT Single travellers are constantly being exploited. Do not let you agent or cunard book you in cabin 6182 on the queen elizabeth. SOLO TRAVELLERS Arising from this problem i have a further concern as to what is provided for “solo travellers”. On this cruise q801 there was very little and what was provided was a shambles. The first “meeting” was situated in an area too small for those wishing to attend. The “bubbly” and coffee had not been arranged and the “host” did not turn up till very late. On the second occasion the “host” did not turn up at all. He was being santa or something. Due to the first meeting not having taken place there was no list of “solos” so it was impossible to arrange invitations for the solo lunch. In port there was no hosting attendance, coffee or other provision other than a notification of the scheduled meeting place. The solo lunch eventually took place on the last day. Solo travellers pay a considerably higher fare than other passengers but receive virtually nothing extra. There was a group arranged in the ballroom on new year’s eve but it was inadequately notified and many people did not realise it had taken place. Many of these ‘solos’ are older and also disabled therefore triply isolated and left on their own. This demographic of cruise passengers is becoming an increasing part of your client base. Cunard need to take better care of them. Also, the years of people with the large pensions are drawing to a close. Where are your passengers going to come from then? Another problem with being sole on this cruise was the lack of the gourmet/wine dinner in the veranda. I like to eat in this venue but on my own it is little difficult. The gourmet/wine dinner gives solos a chance to eat at a made up larger table. This event was dropped from the usual programme, again to the detriment of sole travellers. Each passenger receive an allocated ‘spend on board”. Should a solo traveler not receive 175% of this amount as they pay 175% for their fare? Primary points for attention are: GIVE MORE APPROPRIATE ATTENTION TO PROGRAMMES AND FACILITIES FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS Increase the personal spend for these passengers. ENTERTAINMENT The christmas show was a disaster. I understand it was probably a one off as it was christmas but if the singers had just come on stage and had a ‘sing along’ of christmas carols it would have been preferable. The costumes did not fit the dancers, the choreography was very poor and dated. I have seldom seen so much fear and embarrassment on a stage. The dancers did not know the routines, could not commit to the choreography and were embarrassed by their ill fitting costumes. Happily they did prove their worth in the other shows later in the cruise. How cunard have the audacity to bill the shows as “new” is beyond belief. I have seen most of these numbers on other cruises and ships in the past. The other entertainers were of a reasonable standard, however the speakers/lectures were not particularly good. The lecture on bletchley park being the least well received. The yacht club dj was very poor. He appeared to be unable to work out the type of music the passengers liked. The band would leave after their set with the dance floor full. The venue would empty in seconds once the stared to dj. The bar service is also poor. Only one waiter had the right idea how to work a club/disco type of venue. He would welcome the passengers at the door, help find them a seat, and ask what they would like to drink. The two staff behind the bar were very slow considering the number of drinks they were serving and the other room waiter was slow to get to passengers and ascertain their requirements. This bar must run at a loss Primary points for attention are: ONLY PUT ON PROPERLY REHEARSED DRESSED AND CHOREOGRAPHED SHOWS Do not bill as “new’ shows that have been staged before. FIND A NEW COMPETENT DJ TRAIN THE STAFF HOW TO WORK A BAR SUCH AS THIS ALTERNATIVE DINING OPTIONS The food in general was very good. Good produce, well cooked, and pleasantly presented. The waiting and sommelier staff were excellent, as usual. However, there was on major issue. I visited the “alternative” dining venue one evening. It was the one billed as “coriander”. The starter was ok, well presented although additional chutneys would have been acceptable, also a dedicated rice dish is required. The main course i ordered was lamb pasanda. I was very very over salted and the lamb meat was extremely tough. I am certain it had only been “lamb” many years before it reached the ship. There was good lamb on board as i had a rack during the following days which cut like butter. To charge a supplement for what was provided is a ripoff. Primary points for attention are: Improve the standard of food in this venue if you are going to charge a considerable supplement. THE PURSER’S DESK On several occasions i was given incorrect information by the recaption desk staff and also by the hotel general manager (purser). The desk staff probably were new and inexperienced and not fully trained. I did not receive my customer questionnaire. I asked a number of times. I was assured it would be resent my cabin. It did not appear. I also asked for the assisted disembarkation information on a number of occasions. Again, this did not arrive until the very last minute. I did suggest it may have been because of my cabin transfer but was assured this was not the reason. The customer services manager was very helpful and understanding and did what she could to address my situation. Primary points for attention are: THE PURSER’S DESK STAFF REQUIRE MORE TRAINING AND BETTER COMMUNICATION The purser (hgm) neads to check the accuracy of information sent out in a letter before it is sent. THE RELIGIOUS SERVICE The service on christmas eve was advertised as an “anglican” service. Before the service started, while we were waiting for the pianist, the “reverend” addressed those attending. I may have misunderstood what he was saying but: he announced that he and his wife had set up a “mission” to minister to passengers at sea. I found this a little disconcerting. The prospect that an ordained priest should go around personally benefitting from providing the holy sacrament to passengers on cruise ships i found rather repugnant. Which church did he belong to? does he have a bishop who has sanctioned this activity? Where i come from, northern ireland, in the past we have had too many people set themselves up as “men of god’ in their own church. I did not take the sacrament in the end although i did attend the service. Primary points for attention are: Provide more information on who and what the priest providing communion is. THE PROVISION OF INTERNET SERVICES When i wanted to write my letter of complaint on the ship i enquired if there were computers on which i could write a letter and print it. I eventually discovered i could write an email and send it to the bureau. However, to do this i would have to be “logged on” for the time it took to compose it. This would have been wasting my very expensive internet minutes. I am partially dyslexic and have problems with handwriting. The hand written letter i did eventually did compose took me some considerable time and was very rough and probably difficult to read. I found this whole situation quite embarrassing and frustrating. Primary points for attention are: Make word processing facilities available to passenger without having to “log on” to the internet. I have always enjoyed my cunard cruises. I think the waiters, room stewards and public room waiters all work incredibly hard. I even, as a regular traveler, consider some of them as friends. I look forward to seeing them each cruise. However, most of my issues were rooted in the management and policies in force on the ship. Most are the responsibility of “head office” management. I put all the above issues in a letter to cunard. After some considerable time i received a response. Many of the issues were totally ignored and the one over the unsuitability and pricing of my cabin was hardly addressed at all. Hence i am writing this review as others deserve to know cunard's contempt for passengers genuine problems. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose Cunard - curious to sample the luxury service they claim to offer. The ship was indeed beautiful, clean and elegant. I was delighted with the stateroom - although anyone over a size 14 will have trouble fitting into their ... Read More
We chose Cunard - curious to sample the luxury service they claim to offer. The ship was indeed beautiful, clean and elegant. I was delighted with the stateroom - although anyone over a size 14 will have trouble fitting into their shower cubicle (and this applies to the higher costing staterooms as well) Plenty of storage space and the balcony was a little deeper than those on other cruise ships (this had been shaved off the length of the cabin - but worked ok) Usual naff hairdryer - but not worth bringing my own as the reduced power on ship makes it no better than the one provided. Nice toiletry bottles - no shower cap (although travelling friends had one in theirs) and I didnt have to ask for cotton balls and buds - these were there and waiting (you have to ask for them on Celebrity now) Pillows were so soft (I think they were filled with dandilion heads) they collapsed to nothing, so you had to fold them in half to get any support. Bedding good quality. However - for us the biggest disappointment was the staff behave as if you are invisible! Clearly they aim to have unobtrusive service - but this is to the point that no one gives the slightest interest as to whether you have had a good time ashore etc, They will reply if you greet them first - otherwise pretend you dont exist. (this is from officers down the line) and the impression is that they have been instructed not to engage in conversation with the guests. Our cabin steward joined the ship the same day we did. He was charming, efficient and smiling. (on the first day that was: although he remained highly efficient for the whole cruise - he looked exhausted after the first few days poor soul) Main dining room was a huge disappointment. Average to fair meals, served as if there was some race on! While eating desert - you had coffee cups slid under your arm while someone else was asking if you wanted petit fours as you tried to eat pud!!! This was every night. Every night I told our waiter - no thank you - I am allergic to pepper - every night he offered it again - he did remember I just wanted hot water and lemon after dinner though. Our waiters were nice enough chaps - just intent on getting us out asap. (had to smile when they gave us signed menus with the words 'exellent' written on them Clearly pleading for us to give them the high rating on survey forms. If you left your meal - other cruise lines always ask if there was a problem, or would you like something else - dont expect them to do that on Cunard. We became so tired of this that we began to eat in the Lido self serve buffet - where the food was so much better. Great choice, hot and better than the restuarant. They set the tables and you could have a relaxed meal and enjoy conversation with company without constact jostling and interuptions. The ship was packed with over 70s in wheel chairs and on sticks (75% were over 75 according to ships doctor and on previous cruise average age 85) also quite a few very young babies (who behave beautifully!). Not many young people and middle aged short in supply as well. Strict adherance to dress code after 6pm - companions had to make an emergency dash to the shop at 6.15 and passengers glared down their noses at them for not wearing evening dress - Drinks in bars were extortionate - we expect to pay premium prices - but doubles were being served without being asked for and they always serve the highest priced options if they could get away with it. Loved the formal nights - just a pity they decided to change all the days they had previously published and failed to tell us which themed night was which - plus we had two in close succession including one on a port day - never thad that before and hope not to again: far too rushed Entertainment was average. A new dance troupe had joined ship same time we boarded, and actually were very good (surprised me). There was an awful Irish comedian - whose material was about himself having survived a stroke and wanting us to applaud him for this alone, as his material was dire. Many passengers were upset by the content - having suffered strokes themselves and not wanting it used like this when they were getting on with it and not wanting to be reminded of the issues they face daily). So although I came back relaxed - I did not feel like I had had a fun holiday (unlike when we cruise with Celebrity) and we were more than ready to get off the ship and get home again. Glad I had the opportunity to try them but Cunard are clearly not for us - brace yourself Celbrity we are on our way back (you at least pretend to be pleased to see us !) Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We greatly enjoyed our trip to Norway. This review will be particularly helpful for families and travelers with disabilities, since we brought our 6 year old and two year old children on this vacation. Our precruise stay was in London. ... Read More
We greatly enjoyed our trip to Norway. This review will be particularly helpful for families and travelers with disabilities, since we brought our 6 year old and two year old children on this vacation. Our precruise stay was in London. We stayed at the Dolphin House Service Apartments, which is conveniently located within a short walk or cab ride to many major London tourist attractions. The hotel is very clean, well designed and spacious – we had a 3 bedroom suite and the kids were so excited that my son said it was the perfect hotel to play hide and seek in. Families should consider staying in executive apartments which are primarily designed for long term business stays, because they often have a one bedroom apartment with a living room and kitchen for the price of a regular hotel room. The concierge and hotel staff were extremely helpful and friendly, and this hotel is an excellent choice for families. Our son loves Harry Potter, so his first request upon learning we would be visiting London was to see Kings Cross station. They kindly let you pose for free with a Hogwarts scarf and wand (and let family members take pictures), but please note that since this is free and each individual gets to make several poses, there can be a very long line (we visited midweek in May and waited 20 minutes – the photographer said it could be over an hour wait on weekends during the summer). Please also note that Kings Cross is about 20 minutes away from Westminster Abbey via the Underground or cab, so you might want to know that it isn’t that close to most tourist attractions before promising your kids they can go (I didn’t realize this, but my son loved it so it was all worth it in the end). If you love Harry Potter, there are a lot of options listed here: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to...resQQm5GdUx.97. If you like the movies, there might be better places to visit than Platform 9 ¾, particularly the Warner Brothers Studio tour, which is located 20 miles from London. We visited the London Eye (and bought the more expensive tickets that let you bypass the lines, since the kids were tired and jet lagged and we only had one day in London) and then took a double decker bus that got us halfway to Kings Cross station. Our next day was an excellent tour of Stonehenge and a visit to the amazing Salisbury Cathedral (and I was absolutely shocked when my 6 year old told me that the Salisbury Cathedral was his favorite attraction on this cruise). The people at www.salisburystonehengetours.co.uk provided us with an outstanding tour. Our tour guide, Jeff, is extremely knowlegeble about the history of Stonehenge, and even brought books along for our children to learn more about the history of Stonehenge. Anyone who would like an in depth understanding of these sites would greatly enjoy this tour. One of the questions that often gets asked on the cruise critic Baltic forums is which cities should one visit in Norway. We chose this particular cruise because it visits both Geiranger and Flam (and as it turned out Olden was also quite impressive). The highlight of Stavanger is Pulpit Rock. If you aren’t able to make this hike (and please note that it is rated as an easy hike, although it may take about 2 hours each way) you can still have a nice day in Stavanger, but it isn’t a must-see city if Pulpit Rock is not accessible for your family (or if the weather is bad, since you won’t be able to see much from the top if it is foggy). Because of our two year old and six year old, we decided not to attempt to hike Pulpit Rock. Our ship docked very close to the Old Town of Stavanger, and we enjoyed a pleasant and easy walk through the charming streets. We visited the Petroleum Museum, which was a bit underwhelming but a nice place to spend some time. Children will like the crane where you can knock down giant foam blocks, and there is a lovely playground right across the street from the museum. We greatly enjoyed our Fjord cruise with Rodne cruises. The only bad reviews for the fjord cruises in Stavanger on Tripadvisor were written by people who were disappointed because they had seen most of these views on the ship during the sail-in. We had two interior cabins, and were chasing two kids around, so we didn’t see much of the sail-in and therefore cannot address these concerns. It was a pleasant and lovely cruise for our family, and a nice way to get out of the rain. The Rodne boats have a covered interior downstairs and an open top on their ships, so you can be completely protected from the rain if you choose to stay on the bottom level. The ship is very safe for young children, and most of the bottom floor of the boat is childproofed so a small child cannot fall in the water (the exception is the back of the ship, where there is a tiny area with a railing with wide gaps. That section isn’t very dangerous, but you would need to stay close to a young child since they can wriggle through wide railings quickly). One of the cities we chose this itinerary for was Flam, and it is an absolutely beautiful place to visit. We had one very bad experience in Flam. We didn’t book the earliest Flam railway train since the port was listed as a possible tender, and we didn’t want to worry about making the earliest train. That left us with 2 hours of free time in the morning. I was a little concerned about traveling all the way to the Stegastein viewing platform because I was worried that if we were delayed we’d miss our tickets on the Flam railway. There is a small tourist train that travels around Flam called the Rallartoget, which departs near the Flam railway. According to its website, it departs every hour on the hour starting at 10 am, and returns 45 minutes later. As soon as we arrived in Flam, I went straight to the Rallartoget booth and asked their employee to confirm the schedule. He assured me the train would leave at 10 am and return at 10:45, which would leave us plenty of time to make the train (and get on line ahead of time to ensure we have good seats). At 10:07, the train hadn’t left and they were still selling tickets to people on line. I went to the railway operator and told him we were promised this train would leave at 10 am, and that we needed to be back on time to ride on the Flam railway. He told me he wouldn’t let the train leave until the train is full and told me that it wasn’t guaranteed I’d make the Flam train so I should just get off the train and take a refund. We left the train, and walked to the Flam railway platform where we could still see the tourist train. The tourist train did not depart until 10:14 am, which is an unacceptable delay for a 45 minute ride when the train had been sitting at the terminal all night long. We’ve previously taken our children on several of these small tourist trains (they’re usually nothing special but kids tend to really enjoy them) and they have always been advertised in the past as departing whenever they are full. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with the trains waiting until they are full to depart as long as they are honest with people about their schedule. By the time we exited the train, it was too late to go to the Stegastein viewing platform, and we wound up having to spend two hours in Flam with two young children waiting around. We would have been able to visit the viewing platform if the Rallartoget employee had been honest when I asked him at 9 am about the train schedule. When we were on the Flam train, another couple came up to us and told us they’d been on the Rallartoget with us and that we didn’t miss anything – apparently the route travels much of the same way the Flam train goes, plus there was a lot of construction so they didn’t see anything scenic. If you want to ride the amazing Flam railway, you should book this first, since the railway tickets tend to book up quickly during the height of the tour season. The Flam railway is a five minute walk from where you dock or tender, so this can easily be undertaken as an independent excursion. We booked our tickets online at the Norwegian Railways site at https://www.nsb.no/en/?gclid=CMuvnubiitMCFYoy0wodZb8BnQ . If that site is showing that everything is booked, other cruise critic posters have mentioned trying http://booking.visitflam.com/en/to-do/a1488268/the-flåm-railway/showdetails , and other posters have stated that this site has access to different tickets and sometimes has availability even when the Norwegian railway site lists no availability. Also, people have reported on the forums that when the train was initially sold out, they kept checking and eventually tickets opened up due to cancellations. Another option is to check with your cruise line – it will be more expensive to purchase this excursion through the cruise line but worth it if you cannot purchase the tickets independently. A quick online search seemed to recommend that you should sit on the right side of the train on the Flam to Myrdal journey. The view on that side was quite lovely, but might also be on the other side. In Flam, we had a lovely afternoon visiting a goat farm, exploring the beautiful town of Undredal (the inspiration for the movie Frozen), and then eating local cheeses (including brown caramel goat cheese) and a delicious lunch that was organized by Flam Guide Service ( http://www.fjordsafari.com ). Fjord Safari's booth is located about a minute away from the Flam railway platform, so you will have no problem finding your tour. You can combine this tour with a hike and boat ride along the fjords if your group is all physically fit. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable excursion, which I would highly recommend. We traveled in May, before the goats move to their summer farms so this excursion had to be individually arranged. Flam Guide service stayed in contact with us and gave us updates as they worked to book this reservation, and they also helpfully provided car seats for our children. Our tour guide was highly knowlegdable and helpful and this tour was one of the highlights of our cruise. One of the other cities we chose this cruise for was Geiranger. Visitors should please note that if you are planning on driving to the beautiful scenic viewpoints at Dalsnibba that Road 63 opens between mid-May and early June, depending upon how long it takes to clear the snow and when the avalanche risk has ended (the engineers wait until the big spring avalanche occurs before opening the road). You should consider choosing a cruise that visits later to ensure you will be able to experience all of the beauty of Geiranger. It would be helpful if the cruise lines adjusted their itineraries and put Geiranger last on May cruises, since Road 63 opened the on our last port day, when we were in Bergen, but they may have logistical reasons for leaving the port stop in Geiranger earlier. We were told in Flam that the waterfalls all looked gorgeous in May because they are currently filled with snow runoff. This will melt, and then the waterfalls won’t be nearly as impressive later in the season so that might be one reason to choose a May cruise. Crowds also tend to be a bit thinner in May, so you may experience more availability about booking tickets on the Flam railroad (we booked at the last minute and might have been shut out if we’d tried to book last minute tickets in June) and changing the troll car in Olden. Cunard requires passengers to pass a “step test” in which you step across two pieces of tape 18 inches apart in order to demonstrate that you are physically capable of boarding a tender without requiring crew assistance. The people running the tender insisted that my 2 year old would need to pass this test prior to our family being issued tender tickets. My husband offered to take the test while carrying our 2 year old son, but the people running the tender refused to allow this. We went to the purser’s office and after a half hour wait we were eventually issued a tender ticket by them. When we went to tender, the Cunard crew did exactly what the crew on the Coral Princess did when my older son was two and we sailed through the Panama Canal – they picked our child up and placed him into the tender boat. We were prepared to carry him ourselves, but completely agreed with the crew members that letting them transport the toddler was the safest option. I support step tests for passengers in general because I believe that crew members or passengers could be injured if crew members try to lift an adult with a disability, but lifting a two year old child shouldn’t endanger the crew. After the cruise, I emailed Cunard and they confirmed that a parent should be allowed to take the step test carrying a small child and if they pass they should be issued a tour ticket. So if you have any problems with this issue, please go to the purser’s office and ask them for assistance. This unfortunately caused us to be an hour late for our private tour, which upset our tour guide. We were scheduled to start tendering at 8 am, and weren’t able to get off the ship until 10. In Geiranger, Geiranger Fjordservice is the dominant tour operator. We booked a private limousine tour for just our family to visit the various scenic viewpoints. When I was organizing the tour, I emailed the company to request that they provide a car seat booster for my 6 year old. I was told that they did not have this, and we’d need to bring it. This was the only transfer on our trip that refused to provide a booster seat, and it required us to transport 2 car seats to Europe. After the cruise, I learned that transportation services in Norway are required by law to provide car seats upon request. I had also emailed them ahead of time to request that we stop at a goat farm by a lake we were scheduled to visit. Their company told me in email that they could not arrange a visit ahead of time, but we could stop our car and visit with the goats if they were along the fence. This delay in being issued tender tickets caused us to be late for our private tour. I had called the company at 8:30 in the morning since our tour was scheduled to begin at 9 and requested that we please move it to 10. The woman who answered the phone said, “oh, it’s no problem – your driver will just be here whenever you arrive.” I told her we were having difficulties getting off the ship and could be delayed longer and she assured me there were no problems and to just come whenever we were able to leave the ship. When we were finally able to exit the ship, the driver told us he’d been waiting a long time and had almost left without us. It was unfortunate that his office chose not to tell him about our delay, and we explained that we’d tried to leave a message with the main office. Geiranger Fjordservice runs buses to the attractions we visited, but we booked a much more expensive private tour for our family so we’d have control over the itinerary, which is important when you are traveling with small children. Unfortunately, when we asked if we could stop at the goat farm that was just down the road from our last stop, our driver told us that in Norway it was illegal for anyone to visit a farm without proper vaccinations. If this is correct, then it would be quite odd since Norway’s travel website includes a link to the goat farm experience we undertook in Flam. My kids were starting to get a bit carsick after the long drives through the hairpin roads in Geiranger, so I didn’t argue with the driver about the fact that we were told by the office in email it would be possible to stop (we saw the goats from the road so it would have been easy to visit). If other families are trying to visit please note that the goat farm that is located at the first curve off Eagle road from Geiranger, near the lake they will probably take you to. Hopefully other families will have more luck being able to visit there. Visitors should note that the viewing platforms in Geiranger are amazing (especially on a clear day) but there are hairpin roads to reach them, and it could be a little challenging if you are prone to car sickness. I would not recommend using Geirangerfjordservice for private transportation, but they do run a bus to the panoramic viewing stations and it seems unlikely travelers would experience the problems we did on a group bus tour, since most of the reviews on tripadvisor are positive for this company. At the end of the tour, we decided to stop for lunch in Geiranger. We were a little scared to stop at Braserie Posten, since it is in a tourist trap location right near the cruise ship terminal, but the yelp reviews were positive and the food was excellent. There is seating with a beautiful view of the harbor in the back of the restaurant. We went through two bowls of fish soup, since the kids were so happy eating all of it. It is a very short walk from this restaurant to the dock, so this is a nice way to conclude your day in Geiranger. We were extremely fortunate to learn that the Loen Skylift opened three days prior to our arrival in Olden. I was a bit anxious about the logistics of visiting a brand new attraction with small children, and the owner of Olden Adventures was very patient and reassuring about the logistics of reaching the skylift. As it turned out, the weather was a bit rainy on the day we arrived, so there were very few crowds. It was still a very beautiful location, with a gorgeous viewing platform. On nice days, paragliders take off from the mountain (that happened the day before we arrived) and that must be spectacular to see if you are lucky enough to get good weather. The food in the restaurant was excellent, especially the sample platter of local meat. It’s unsurprisingly expensive, but the view is outstanding and the food delicious. The Loen Skylift is only a 6 km bus ride from Olden, so it isn’t very difficult to get there. Olden Adventures ( http://www.oldenadventure.com/ ) is running shuttles to the Loen Skylift, right next to their buses to the Biksdal Glacier so it would be very easy to travel to both attractions through Olden Adventures. Both buses leave from the only petrol station in town, which is a very short walk from where your ship will dock. You can also take a cab to the Loen skylift. It is a 40 minute ride to the Briksdal Glacier, so a cab there would probably be quite a bit more expensive. Please note that cabs will refuse to transport children without car seats, and although they are required to provide them upon request we were unable to fill any taxi requests we made (we only emailed the taxi companies 2 days in advance; you might have better luck if you contact cab companies far in advance). The most economical option for getting to the Briksdal Glacier is a public bus that runs from June –August. The Norway tourist office stated that in the 2017 season the bus left Port Olden at 9:58 am, and departs Biksdal Glacier at 1:30 pm, and is currently listed as costing 132 NOK for each adult ticket. You might want to contact the tourist office to see if there is any way to purchase tickets ahead of time or if they can run additional buses if the first one is full. The Briksdal Glacier has been hit hard by global warming, but the 40 minute bus ride there is quite scenic and lovely, as is the hike itself to the glacier so overall this excursion is a very good choice as long as you realize ahead of time that the most beautiful pictures online of the glacier showing lots of ice are not recent and don’t represent what you will see at the glacier. For travelers with young children or mobility issues, there are troll cars available for rent to reduce the length of your hike. These golf carts travel most of the way to the glacier, leaving you with a very pleasant and relatively flat 700 m walk. Since we didn’t expect my 2 year old to make it all the way to the glacier, my husband and 6 year old went ahead of us. To my surprise, my 2 year old slowly but steadily made the entire hike in the allocated time (they tell you what time to return to the platform to catch your return troll car). Reservations are required for troll cars in May and October, and recommended during the summer months (the troll car season runs from May-October). The only challenging thing is that they do request that you tell them what time you’d like to ride on the troll car, which is hard if you want to chose a time to do this excursion based upon the weather forecast (although it is completely understandable they ask you to pick a time, since otherwise there might be a lot of people trying to get on a troll car at one time and this would cause really long delays). I don’t know if the troll car operators are always flexible about the time of your reservation, but we changed our minds about what time to visit the glacier on the day we traveled since we wanted to visit the Loen skylift in the afternoon when the weather was scheduled to be better. I emailed the troll car operators at 9 am as soon as we got on the bus towards the glacier, and they had already switched my reservation by the time we arrived at the troll car office. We traveled in May, when things are less crowded so I don’t know if they will be able to accommodate a change in reservation time during the busy summer months. The troll car website where you can make your advance reservation is available at: http://www.oldedalenskysslag.com . Near where you pick up the troll car is a small café off the souvenir shop; they have excellent waffles. They are best freshly made, so if you have time keep an eye on the plate where they store the waffles and order them when everyone else bought up the older waffles. My family started off by ordering 4, and ended up eating 12 (the kids really loved them and since they’d just finished hiking to a glacier without a single complaint I wasn’t going to say no), so we were able to get a lot of fresh waffles. We arrived in Bergen on what the ship’s employees described as one of the worst weather days in Bergen – and that says a lot considering the fact that it rains in Bergen 240 days a year! Due to the poor weather, we actually did not experience any lines for the funicular. On a clear day, the lines can be quite long so pre-purchasing your tickets online can help you avoid at least one set of lines (there could still be lines waiting to get on the funicular even if you already have pre-purchased your tickets). The top of Mt. Floyen has a lovely playground and nice restaurants, and is probably a wonderful place to visit when the weather is nice. The Bergen fish market is nearby, where adventurous eaters can sample whale. There are many other fish selections, including excellent fish soup and fish kebobs. There are heaters and blankets so even in the cold, rainy weather we were able to enjoy a very nice meal there. There really aren’t any public transportation options to the funicular from the port, but it is only a 10-minute walk if your ship docks close to town. Half of this walk is along the beautiful streets of Bryggn, and the other half is a little less scenic (but perfectly safe). If you have disabilities, you can try to arrange for a taxi ahead of time, but families should note it may be difficult to obtain taxis in Norway due to their stringent car seat regulations. Families should consider either the HOHO bus or the Museum Shuttle bus. The museum shuttle bus ticket includes entry to the Hanseatic Museum, Schotstuene and the Norwegian Fisheries Museum. We visited the Norwegian Fisheries Museum, which had some nice hands-on attractions for children. This isn’t a must-see museum, but the kids were very happy for a half hour and then the shuttle bus took us back to the city center. If I had been able to take a taxi, we would have visited the ViVite Science Center, which has very strong reviews. There is also the Bergen Aquarium, which can be reached via Beffen, a public ferry that runs every 10 minutes Monday-Friday starting at 7:30 am and also during the summer on Saturdays starting at 11 am. The aquarium’s reviews were a bit more mixed than the Science Center, but the Beffen itself is supposed to be a charming ride. Families should also note that there is a Vannkanten Waterworld to consider visiting. The museum bus does not visit these attractions, but it is quite possible the HOHO bus will. There are many positives about sailing on Cunard. We were very impressed with most of the staff, which mainly consisted of very hard working and dedicated employees. We sailed with a 2-year old and a 6-year old, and one night the head waiter noticed the 6-year old sharing his prawn dish with his brother, and brought over a second plate of food so they could both eat. The food was generally quite good. It is very difficult to cook for the entire main dining room at once, and understandably a few dishes fell short (which is exactly what happened on Princess and HAL, the other two lines I’ve been happy with their food). But some of the food was always excellent, and by ordering 3 courses each person was able to have a very strong dining experience overall. There was some very good food in the buffet – usually the ethnic food, the carved food station and the cooked to order fish station were excellent. The pizza was so bad that for the first time in his life my 6 year old actually refused to eat pizza, but there was always enough good food if you tried enough things in the buffet. The scones and bread were always very good, along with the custard deserts in ramekins. Please note that you will receive a card with your table number for assigned seating in your cabin. You should bring this card with you to the dining room on the first night. Patrons who did not have their card had to wait in a long line while the dining room employees checked their table number. Simply telling them your number was insufficient, as they would refuse to seat you (and I can guess that previous patrons may have gotten confused and given them the wrong number, leading to problems when they were seated at the wrong table). Guests who had their dining card were immediately escorted to their tables. There are a few things that families should be aware of prior to booking a Cunard cruise to ensure that sailing this line is the right choice for your family (and people without children can stop reading here, since the rest of the review is for families). Anytime dining is only available if you are staying in more expensive cabins. If you have two interior cabins like we booked, you will need to do fixed dining or the buffet or the specialty restaurants (and there is no discount for children ordering off the adult menu in the specialty restaurants). We were originally assigned late seating, which was after my younger child’s bedtime. I emailed Cunard prior to my sailing, and they very kindly cleared us off the wait list for early dining so the lack of anytime dining did not affect my family since the early fixed seating worked well for us. Please also note that formal dress codes apply to most common areas on the ship, not just the dining room. Most Cunard passengers are very dedicated to the dress code, and even in the buffet you can see women in evening gowns on formal nights. I need to dress for chasing around small children (which means I was wearing an ordinary black dress that would really be more appropriate for daywear and not eveningwear since I don’t wear anything that needs to be dry cleaned while my kids are small and stain everything) but people seemed tolerant of my clothing choices. The kids club is scheduled to close from 5-6 pm for dinner. Please note that there are no dining venues that serve dinner during this time – the buffet does not open for dinner until 6 pm. From 5-6 pm the buffet serves a lovely tea – there are very good scones and sandwiches available but there are no dinner options available during this time in the buffet or main dining room. Room service is available, and might be an option if you want to feed your child during the 5-6 pm slot. I was lucky and my kids were happy to wait until they left the kids club before going to bed to eat a late dinner in the buffet, since one of my goals on a cruise is to feed my children a lot of different ethnic foods they haven’t tried before. Thankfully, there was a large variety of foods available from the buffet so my 2-year old was able to add a lot of new foods to his diet. We also took our kids to the main dining room some nights, where the waiters did an excellent job. Parents should also note that the kids club staff requires at least one guardian to stay on board while their children are in the kids club, so it is not be possible to leave your children behind while you participate in an excursion that might be too difficult for them (such as hiking Pulpit Rock). The kids club generally opened at 2 pm on shore days, and was closed in the mornings on shore days. We normally take our children with us on excursions, so these rules and closures did not affect our family at all. Children are also required to wear bracelets identifying their muster station. If your child is unhappy wearing this bracelet, you can obtain a waiver from the purser’s office in which you agree that in case of an emergency, your child might not be brought to the correct muster location and you may be separated from your child temporarily. Our cruise options this year were limited to Cunard and Carnival, since I wanted to be on a ship with a kids club that would accept my 2 year old son. I am aware of the RC, Disney and Norwegian Escape nurseries but was a bit concerned that they might not have availability during the times I’d want to utilize them. Since we chose this cruise specifically for the kids club, it was disappointing that the staff was the weakest of the four lines I have sailed on with children (NCL, Princess and HAL all had stronger kids club staff employees). We traveled with our older son when he was two on Princess. Princess allowed children under the age of three to visit their kids club with parental supervision. Whenever my son went into the kids club the staff immediately started to interact with him, and ask him what he wanted to play with. They brought him toys and art supplies, and helped him complete the arts and craft projects that were designed as the activities for the older children. Even though I was required to stay in the kids club for insurance reasons, the kids club employees completely took on the responsibility of playing with him and setting up arts and craft activities for him. The staff on Cunard were not nearly as helpful in terms of interacting with children individually. We had sailed during the school year in both England and the US, so there were only 23 children on board, and I never saw more than 10 in the kids club at any one time so I expected that they would be able to provide some individual attention to the children. Our six year old greatly enjoyed the kids club, but our two year old needed help for 5-10 minutes following the drop off. He needed someone to play with him to distract him so he could transition into the kids club. After 10 minutes, he was perfectly fine and could play with the other children and participate in the activities without requiring individual attention from the staff. In fact, some nights when I went to pick him up, he told me he didn’t want to leave. But the staff had initially refused to play with him during drop off to help him with the transition, and when my husband asked why they weren’t interacting with our son he was told by a kids club employee that they “were overworked.” At the exact time of this conversation, there were two Cunard employees working in the younger kids club, and there were only three children in that kids club (the kids club for older children had two employees and no children). Two out of the three children in the younger kids club were playing a video game, so they were not interacting with the kids club staff at all. After my husband complained that they needed to help our two year old transition into the kids club, they seemed more attentive and helped our two year old more during the transition. Although many employees on cruise ships are required to work more hours than they should, it seemed strange that the Cunard kids club employees stated that they were overworked since their kids club is open for fewer hours than those of other cruise lines. On a previous HAL cruise, I wrote in my evaluation that I felt that HAL needed to hire more staff, since on port days the kids club was open from 9-4, and 7-10, which I thought was too many hours for only two employees. Cunard’s kids club was only open on port days from 2-5, and then from 6-11, so there were a lot fewer hours to cover and a lot more employees (at least 4 were always working for 10 kids, although 2 were in a room that usually didn’t have any kids in it). If the Cunard cruise had a lot of children, I would have understood that the kids club couldn’t give any individual child attention even for 5-10 minutes, but in a kids club on a sailing with 23 kids (and some of them were children of officers who are only allowed in the kids club on a space available basis) it seems as though the Cunard staff should be able to help kids transition briefly. The other unusual part of the kids club is that they require parents to pick children up fifteen minutes prior to closing. On our previous Baltic cruise on NCL in August, there were a lot of children onboard and it could take 10-15 minutes to sign all the kids in and out, but on this cruise we never saw more than 10 kids in the kids club so there were never any delays in terms of signing children in or out of the kids club. My husband was admonished for lateness when he signed the children out at 11:55, when the kids club was supposed to be open from 9am-12pm. He was told the children need to be picked up at 11:45. The kids club staff first stated they needed time to sign everyone out, and when my husband insisted it wouldn’t take him 5 minutes to sign a sheet, they then said that they needed 15 minutes to clean up, and then stated they could not work overtime due to British overtime regulations. I’d suggest that Cunard implement technology like other ships in which the parent’s cruise cards are scanned instead of having people sign sheets if signing the children out needs to happen quickly to be in compliance with employee contracts (I don’t personally require this change, as it was never a problem to sign our child out but seemed to be an issue for their employees). Or at least Cunard should change the hours to 9-11:45, so parents don’t see that the kids club is listed as closing at 12 and get confused. Overall, we quite liked sailing on Cunard, but it just isn’t particularly reassuring to leave your children when you don’t feel the kids club employees are as dedicated to their jobs as the other ship employees such as the stewards and waiters. Therefore, we won’t sail with Cunard again until our children are older and more self-sufficient and don’t need support from the counselors (my 6 year old was very happy in the kids club because he didn’t need any personal attention.) The unfortunate thing is that since so few lines allow two year olds in their kids club, this is a really nice opportunity for Cunard to show young families what a great way to travel cruising is for families and to win the loyalty of young families to their cruise line. It is unfortunate because a lot of the Cunard employees really are quite sensitive to the needs of families traveling – the reservations people changed our seating to early dining ahead of time, we were able to skip the lines at embarkation, and the waiters in the main dining room always helped us feed our children quickly and get them food they liked. Families should also please note that cabs in Norway are not allowed to take children without car seats. Cab companies are required to provide car seats, but we were unable to get a cab service to agree to take us with the kids for a short ride (I emailed two companies in Bergen two days in advance, didn’t hear back from the first and the second apologized for not viewing my email until after we left Bergen). I’m not sure you will be able to get a cab to agree to transport you for a short ride if it means they have to bring and install car seats for you but others might have better luck if they contact the cab companies farther in advance to schedule transportation. On our previous Baltic cruise we rarely relied upon taxis because the public transportation system is excellent. But in the small towns of Norway, there just honestly just isn’t a need for an extensive public transportation system. So you can either walk (and a lot of attractions are within walking distance if the weather is nice) or take the HOHO buses which usually require some waiting. We found ourselves in the frustrating situation in Stavanger and Bergen in which it rained a lot and our kids were cold and didn’t want to walk, and the taxis at the taxi stands couldn’t transport us. And it meant that we saw a lot less in those locations than we would have if we’d been able to take cabs. So oddly even though the Baltic cruise seems like it should be logistically more difficult, Stockholm/Copenhagen/Helsinki/Tallinn actually was easier to navigate since they have a stronger public transportation system and taxis are available in a pinch. If I could do this over again, I’d have probably waited until my children were older to visit Norway due to the transportation difficulties. I emailed the Norway tourism office to ask at what age children no longer require car seats, but they said they didn’t know of an exact age and that cabs were legally required to provide them. However, families that prefer cruise tours or HOHO buses really won’t really experience any of these transportation issues. And because tourism in Norway exploded after the release of the movie Frozen, there are a lot of new attractions that make it much easier for children to experience the beauty of Norway. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before ... Read More
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before the automatic door As many of the passengers were in the 60/80 age range I was the surprised that the unheated pool did not have graduated steps I could not get out of the pool, three swimming costumes were unworn . The entertainment was poor not enough to do in the daytime on sea days as most activities were in the morning. The set in the theatre broke down during a show also did the video for the piano players very poor maintenance. the whole ship was without water for six hours everyone went to dinner without be able to wash,it was very uncomfortable as well as being unhygenic Chairs on deck sticky and unwashed the food was excellent the service was very good cabin staff. Embarkation was swift Overall there were too many faults to overcome as I kept being caught in the heavy doors . Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The Cunard liners are the only liners we travel on. They are of consistently of a very high standard. The accommodation in Queens grill suites is excellent with a fully stocked free in room bar. The grill dining room and lounge are very ... Read More
The Cunard liners are the only liners we travel on. They are of consistently of a very high standard. The accommodation in Queens grill suites is excellent with a fully stocked free in room bar. The grill dining room and lounge are very comfortable with excellent food and service. Entertainment is usually very good with great shows in a magnificent theatre. Overall I can find nothing bad to say about any of the Cunard liners. Luxury,all three. The embarkation is smooth and cases delivered to your suite quickly. Embarkation is much slower and patience is required . Excursions at each port are extensive and passengers can usually find more than one option to suit at each port of call There are usually shuttle buses ,to take you to the hereby city/town,if you decide not to take a planned tour. Voyages from Southampton have many wheelchair / Zimmer frame passengers and on the whole come from the UK. If a more international spread it is advisable to do a world cruise ,or part of it , which will involve flying at some point of the holiday In conclusion, I have no hesitation in recommending the Queens . Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Arrived on Queen Elizabeth on 3rd April, to a very warm welcome. Cabin excelled our expectations, very clean and comfortable. Cabin Steward could not do enough for you. Meals were exceptional, both waiting and drinks staff very helpful, ... Read More
Arrived on Queen Elizabeth on 3rd April, to a very warm welcome. Cabin excelled our expectations, very clean and comfortable. Cabin Steward could not do enough for you. Meals were exceptional, both waiting and drinks staff very helpful, and always smiling. The ship itself was sheer luxury and in the ten days on board every day was relaxed and never rushed. Made plenty of friends, the only thing I can think of is if you go to the Mosque in Abu Dhabi please if you are female DON'T WEAR WHITE as you won't be admitted,make sure you wear dark colours. Our first time , but hopefully not our last.(Pirates drill was unexpected, but you went with the flow) Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Queen Elizabeth ship is all that i expected and more, Our luggage was taken from us as we arrived at terminal by CPS parking, our motor home keys were taken from us as we arrived at port, authority had to park our van because of health ... Read More
Queen Elizabeth ship is all that i expected and more, Our luggage was taken from us as we arrived at terminal by CPS parking, our motor home keys were taken from us as we arrived at port, authority had to park our van because of health safety reasons.HMMMM!!!! Embarkation went smoothly despite alarm sounding where all had to leave building Using my mobility scooter, Liteway Rascal, i negotiated all obstacles OK going up ramps,into lifts on my own, avoiding ankles and toes of others, Partner and i found a nice resting place Corinthia Cafe where we had a most welcome coffee and pastry, coffee paid extra, REMEMBER PASSING CARD OVER YOU ARE PAYING, why worry we are on holiday, don't we pay for drinks ashore. Negotiated lifts ok, now to cabin, you are not allowed to leave scooter outside of cabin for very good reasons, we had balcony cabin on deck 4 near to lifts aft of ship, with a bit of organising asking our steward lady to take away table, moved bedside table near to window pushed bed over to sofa gave us room to park scooter, it worked well maneuvering scooter a bit tight but we done it. Our cases arrived, too exhausted to unpack so we left them for following day. had dinner at Lido cafe,nice selection of food YIPEE gluten free PIZZA choice of topping, afternoon tea lovely cakes gluten free, HMM i have put on weight. Dinning we choose 1st sitting,which is better for digestion, we found it to be very slow between courses which only gave us time to seat ourselves in theatre Shows OK room for improvement there, nice way to relax after dinner. After show there is a choice of many things commodore club gentle music as you watch the lovely views passing by, we preferred listening to CHANGEZ in yacht club lively music to dance to or listen, then DJ music. On port days we done our own thing, STRAVENGER a very pretty port cobbled streets not good for scooter, sadly it was a Sunday ALL SHOPS CAFE CLOSED but nice to look around taking in the beauty of this lovely town. FLAM where we docked very scenic, left scooter at little village train stop enjoyed a 1hr plus ride through a lovely valley, 150 kroner for 2 people worth money, ship do NOT tell you about this train. TROMSO shuttle service provided a few places to see turn right when you get off shuttle, Shuttle very good for scooter, wheelchair, drivers very helpful. NY ALESUND (Spitsbergen) ship tendered on a very nice sunny day, you can see all from ship, but nice to go ashore, always a me first to get off ship by other passengers pushing and shoving unbelievable of some rudeness some disobeyed the rules ashore which Commodore had to sign an agreement not to disturb wild life. we choose not to go ashore just to admire the beauty from deck of ship. MAGDALENA FYORD the most beautiful place i have been to, the glaciers ice flows WOW what a site to behold, how the Commodore turned the ship in this fjord just simply amazing, a big THANK YOU for letting us to see this wonderful place. OLDEN another lovely place ship docked, no problem in getting off ship with scooter, again we left scooter to take a little train ride up this lovely valley we were able to get off train where there is some nice shops. leisurely walk back to ship The lovely houses in the valley one house had George flag hanging from their balcony and waving us all a bon voyage how nice that was.TRONDHEIM shuttle bus one special bus for disable passengers, very helpful drivers, a lovely town nice shopping centre good shops, a beautiful Cathedral doors were opened for me to take scooter in,buy tickets in cafe next to Cathedral. Bergen,Shuttle bus again very helpful, beautiful city plenty to do and see HO HO buses in main square you can take scooter or wheelchair 1hr guided ride around city, good value. Now i am going to put all the stunning pictures on my lap top to remind me of this lovely holiday. Embarkation simply lovely well organised , even time for a nice breakfast before homeward to DEVON UK ENJOY TO ALL FUTURE PASSENGERS!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I went on the 24 night roundtrip voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York and New England for my 30th Birthday. The ports of call themselves were beautiful, fantastic, everything I thought they would be and more even though ... Read More
I went on the 24 night roundtrip voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York and New England for my 30th Birthday. The ports of call themselves were beautiful, fantastic, everything I thought they would be and more even though the weather wasn't great. Going to New York has always been a dream of mine and to have that dream come into reality was bliss. However I shall keep this review about the ship, the ports of call can always be searched alternatively. Allow me to begin this review by stating that I chose the Cunard line for a purpose; I have a specific interest in maritime history and the days gone by as it were, and I wanted to relive the nostalgia of the vintage era. The ship lived up to it's name - the passengers, well, they were a different story altogether. I will start with the good points about the ship as there were many. First of all, the ship was pristine, glistening marble and wood, polished tables and stunning decor. The cabin, we were A4 Balcony, far exceeded my expectations. It was spotless, the bed was comfortable, our room steward was beyond fantastic - he put up with doing some extra cleaning due to my allergies and immunity etc. There wasn't a great deal amount of space for clothing etc but we managed and sitting on the balcony at 5am watching Lower Manhattan pass by slowly is something I will never forget and something one cannot experience if flying into New York. The Matri-D's were excellent, there was a man whose name passes me by now, but I nickednamed him Jose Marino for his slight resembelence to the Portugese manager. He was so friendly, he used to go out of his way to come and speak to us every day and say hello. Our restaurant Matri-D', Ali, was also friendly and rather amusing, one felt as if they were talking to old friends rather than staff of a large ship. We were seated in the Britannia Restaurant towards the back of the ship where we had glorious sweeping views of the sea as we ate. The food was excellent, simply excellent although I could have done with a slightly bigger plate as it was so delicious, the portions were somewhat small. The ship itself is furnished in wood and bronze with stunning art deco decor and a real feeling of being in the gilded age itself. You could not fault the design of the ship with its sweeping grand staircase and beautiful ornate furnishings. If you are looking for a ship with a pizzeria and a shopping mall, a duplex on sea then you are looking in the wrong place. Cunard is all about taste, refinement, elegance, tea in the afternoon served with white gloved waiters whilst listening to a harpist, classical music accompanying your dinner, ballroom dancing and old style glamour. This was fine by me, I suffer from a host of medical conditions and rest a lot so I felt the haze and rush of Royal Carribean would not have suited my needs. The entertainment staff were excellent, they really got the guests involved, especially the Head of Entertainment, Keith Maynard, who I gather has quite a following amongst Cunard fans (lucky Keith!). Not surprising, he cut a fine dash in his tuxedo and was funny, witty and professional, and dare I say it rather naughty in the Mr and Mrs Quiz! This brings me round to the question, and my first complaint, what was there to do? The answer was not much if you are under 65. This cruise was not marketed as an over 60's but may has well have been, Cunard know where their cash cow lies and do little to offfer much to any other demographic - every facility and design of that ship was catered with the over 60's in mind. Yes, one might argue, this is the greatest percentage of cruisers. But, what about the other 20 or 30%, does their money not matter? I am in my thirties and was quite honestly disappointed. As I stated above, I was not looking for nightclubs, a booze cruise so to speak but found myself wandering around at 8pm wondering what an earth to do with myself in my ballgown. The entertainment was not to my liking at all, apart from the odd thing like the comedian and magician who were both excellent. Shows and musicals are not my forte so unless one wishes to go to the Royal Court Theatre or wait from dinner till 11pm for the Golden Lion entertainment, especially if you are on the early sitting for dinner, there is little else to do. No evening films, no evening classes, nothing, apart from aimlessly wandering the decks. The same applied to the daytime activities. All were catered for the over 60's...bingo, bridge, ballroom dancing classes, lectures - none of that appealled to me. Whilst I would not have wanted to hang from a rock faced wall or skated on ice at sea, I wouldn't have minded something to do. I did however attend David Henderson's lectures on air travel which were excellently presented and Seth Golpin and Bill Millers lectures were also good but I missed them and caught them on the TV. If one fancied a little music, the DJ did not start until so late that it was time for bed by the time he had put his first track on. I would like to have gone to Michael Jackson night but my condition means I need to rest early and everyone else was supping cocoa and reaching for their slippers by then. Which brings me around to my primary complaint: the people on board. I worked in PR and can easily mix with all types of people from all walks of life but I have never encountered such rudeness and hostility as the passengers on this cruise. A lot of these people were of retirement age, or older, and some obviously had a lot of money and were loathed to breathe the same air as anyone who they felt was beneath them. You walked into the elevator, for example, said good morning to someone and they snubbed you. I use a walking stick at times and twice was pushed over, the first time I was knocked off my feet outside the arcade shop by a man bustling past who did not even turn round to apologise even though I told him he had just knocked me over. I was speechless. The second time was in Quebec City, where a man did not wish to wait for me to hobble past, barged me out of the way and grabbed my arm and bruised it as I fell, he then walked off and turned around and shouted at me, in full view of other passengers, shouting that my stick was in his way. He carried on striding ahead and kept turning around and hesitating as if to start an argument but his long suffering wife, who was also disabled, with a stick, chastided him to the best of her ability. These people did not say excuse me whilst queuing for tea, they just pushed you out of the way, barged in front of you if you walked too slow and tutted if you said something they did not like. My mother takes medication that keeps her alive, without it she would be dead, simple as that. Whilst taking her medication at breakfast one morning, this hideous couple started whispering and pointing at my mother. The man then leans over and shouts "if you take any more of them your going to rattle". I was astounded, who made it his business. These people continued whispering and pointing at my mother whilst we were in Halifax much to our annoyance. As I said before, I sometimes use a walking stick. I suffer with a very rare genetic disorder which means my ligaments tear and the collegen that supports the joint does not exist and all my joints move, dislocate, fracture etc on mimimal exertion. This has also affected my heart and sometimes I need a wheelchair, other times I can manage. Because of this, I spent the entire cruise being stared at, people pointing at me, whispering and making nasty comments. One woman at tea was saying to her husband "one minute she has a stick, where is her stick now" as if God made it her business. Folded in my bag was the answer but I confronted her and she got very nasty. These people looked me up and down like they were eying up vermin, like I was something on the bottom of their shoe which I have to say, ruined my holiday, as I could not relax and unwind, I felt like I constanty had something to prove with people whispering and backstabbing. What do they know of rare genetic diseases and how ill I felt? The attitude of the ship's staff towards my disability left little to be desired. I boarded the ship in a wheelchair and made it known I would need assistance yet there was no protocol for assistance, no-one to ask where to go and what to do. When we got to New York we were told at the terminal there was no wheelchair assistance to get me on and off the ship and they left me standing there until I collapsed and was then given a chair to sit on. Of course I got filthy looks from passengers who had seen me walking a little bit without the need of a chair. It was only at the END of the cruise I was told that I needed to book the wheelchair from the pursers office to get on and off the ship and that they pick you up from your room. I had never been told this. I only found out through my horrific experience getting off the ship by tender at Bar Harbour. We were delayed due to bad weather so some tenders had gone, others were waiting. To get off, if you are part of a tour you went to the Queens Room, got your ticket and went when your ticket was called. If you were not part of a tour you were put at the back and had to wait till the very end to get off, apparantly the Captain announced 'open tender' and anyone could then disembark. I went to the Queens Room to ask for a wheelchair, to be told by a very rude man who SHOUTED at me "WHEELCHAIR, WE DON'T, YOU CAN'T HAVE A WHEELCHAIR". Then I was told to go the pursers desk, who then sent me back to the Queens Room to get a ticket despite me telling her I was not on a tour and needed a wheelchair. I was in tears by this time and feeling rather unwell with all the walking backwards and forwards. Eventually I braved the tender alone, thinking I'd use my stick and manage, only to be told "I wasn't disabled enough to use the lift, I had to walk". Excuse me I said, I cannot manage two flights of stairs? You are not in a wheelchair therefore you walk was the curt reply from the woman checking people off the ship. "How dare you" I fumed, "what is this, disability discrimination?" The Entertainments Manager luckily was there and told me to go ahead and use the lift. Who are they to judge my pain and condition, the Department for Work and Pensions? The Lido The staff in the Lido were horrific. Not all of them I must stress, some of them were lovely but the particular individuals I encountered were so rude and nasty I would not sail on this ship again. Some of the staff huffed and puffed and clearly could not be bothered to work. The tables were never cleared away, we had to ask each time for a table to be wiped of the previous passengers food reminants. One girl REFUSED to wipe the table, I had to get her manager. They could not be bothered to wait for people to get their drinks and barged in to do their job with little regard for the passengers. This lead to my having an accident. Two surly buffet staff were waiting to fill the coffee machine, there was a queue a mile long for tea and hot water. Instead of saying excuse me, or letting people get the hot water and tea whilst putting the coffee people to one side, they pushed in and huffed and puffed their way through the process of replacing the filter. I came to my turn of getting hot water and they would not move. I said 'excuse me' and they said 'you can get there'. I replied I could not and would they please move. They pointed at a tap next to me with hot water which I proceeded to use but instead of waiting for me to finish, these two buffet stewards pushed me and I scalded my hand with boiling hot water. I screamed, dropped my cup, and went to get some ice. We called the Matri-D over, a loathesome chap called Theo who strutted around looking down his nose at everyone. He came over and looked me up and down with a look of disgust and said he wasn't there therefore could not possibly comment. He saw my hand was burnt and red raw and stuck up for his staff, offered no apology yet looked at me with pure malice. I told him off for looking down at me and said with absolute horror "are you not going to offer me an apology". To which he repeated his first response of that he was not there. I could not believe the attitude of this man who was paid to wait on passengers, not make them feel two feet tall. Prices Everything on this ship was inflated, grossly overpriced. Hair Colour for $90 only to be charged an extra $30 to dry it, $15 to remove nail polish? Even the spa treatments were triple what I normally pay in the heart of London. The tours were grossly expensive as well, one could have picked up city buses in Boston and Newport for a few dollars rather than pay over $60 each. We did Quebec by ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed it. I only did a few tours, there were a lot of complaints about the organisation of the tours but the New York one I did was absolutely fantastic - couldn't have asked for a better experience although my fellow passengers were grumbling and glaring at me, grinning from ear to ear taking in the sights and squealing every time we got to a landmark. The Boston tour we did was also excellent. To sum up: I was truely ashamed to be British from the attitudes I got from my fellow passengers. There was no tolerance of others, no manners, no please and thank you. Yes I met a few nice people, I will not lie that there were some nice people on board but 95% were as described and I thought it was the younger generation wherein the problem lies.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Queen Elizabeth Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.5

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