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10 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Entertainment Cruise Reviews

" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was pleasantly surprised to be let on board immediately. Embarkation was a breeze. To keep this review brief I will deal with the disappointments. I expected more of the food. It was very ordinary and at breakfast only one person was doing personalised egg choices. We gave up. Cheapest bottle of wine - $48 USD which equated to almost A$70. Toilettries were never replaced even after asking 3 times. In fact the steward was only seen three times and it was very poor service. Finalising of account queue on the last night. Both my partner and everyone in the queue were furious at the wait time with 2 people serving and another desk free being payment for tours with nobody at it. People eating at 8.30 pm session had to wait till 10.30 to see a show lasting sometimes till 12. My partner would have loved a tour of the ship's history perhaps as a speaking or walking activity. We spoke to others who agreed. It was both my birthday and our anniversary and there was no provision or opportunity/acknowledgement for anything special as with other liners where a sign and balloons are put on your door or they bring out a little cake to your group dinner table (sounds trivial and not that I wanted to be centre of attention but if it's a special occasion, it always goes down well). When I enquired about this they advised I should pay for the specialty restaurant or purchase one of their expensive gift packages. We did not go on a shore excursion with the ship as most were booked out and were quite expensive. We went on a private tour and it was the highlight for us. It was a public holiday in Burnie but as the operators were locals they knew all the places to go. We were stressing before we went as to how formal the gala dinner would be, what to wear and how this would be presented. It was over-rated and nothing special was done. On the positive side - room was comfy, smooth sailing, nice surprise of a bottle of bubbly in the room, entertainment good, good guest speaker talks, impressive fit out of ship and we particularly loved the bar near the theatre (can't think of name) where the meals there were better than most restaurants and were free with such a great atmosphere and we found the staff here to be the most welcoming and engaging of all Happy it was a sampler but wouldn't go again.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
ON the face of it not a lot seemed to have changed on the Queen Elizabeth since we last sailed on her seven years ago…and vowed never to do so again after the ship’s truly unforgettable inaugural voyage to the Caribbean. Roy Walker, ... Read More
ON the face of it not a lot seemed to have changed on the Queen Elizabeth since we last sailed on her seven years ago…and vowed never to do so again after the ship’s truly unforgettable inaugural voyage to the Caribbean. Roy Walker, star of the “Comedians” and “Catchphrase,” was still the biggest name performing in the Royal Court Theatre at night, a retired law enforcement officer was giving witty lectures during the day and there was still karaoke of very dubious quality in the Golden Lion pub. The entertainment on that Caribbean cruise had to been seen and heard to be believed. One of the highlights was a gentleman playing tunes on a vacuum cleaner. It’s true. Another was the comedian who started a stampede for the exits when he announced he was going to do a medley of Engelbert Humperdinck songs after half an hour of insulting the audience. The biggest laugh of his show was one of the stampeders sneaking back into the theatre to collect his wife’s forgotten handbag. What changed our mind to give the Queen Elizabeth another go was, quite simply, Cape Town. The first major stopping point, where we disembarked, is one of our favourite cities … and this was almost certainly the last time we will go there. We’re getting too old for 17 hours of flights … Cape Town to Dubai (nine hours) and Dubai to Manchester, eight hours. But, we discovered, to be scrupulously fair, quite a lot had changed for the better on the Queen Elizabeth after the much-heralded £ multi-million refit. We were late bookers so we had a very limited choice of balcony cabins ... just one with an uninterrupted view on Deck Four. The accommodation itself was OK, even though the metal-fronted balcony itself did rather resemble grubby old paint-strewn 1930s tanker or the local tip on windy day. Might be worth spending a few bob more, Mr Cunard. And the pleasant young steward had to be reminded gently and occasionally that we were the guests. There were only three stops … Vigo in Northern Spain (sunny, breezy and busy), Funchal in Madeira (warm, sunny and welcoming) and Walvis Bay, Namibia, where such a mullock was made of the disembarkation procedure for the day that many people elected to stay on board. Even the dear old Garden Lounge seemed to have changed its image to reading marathons, occasional live music and quizzes. Whatever happened to those superbly-named seminars? We can still imagine the late, great Tommy Cooper saying: “A friend of mine said ‘You want to go to the Garden Lounge today. They’re having a seminar on puffy legs. So I did. And I got ‘em!’ The Lido now seems to stretch the length of the ship and is quite the best we have seen on 20-plus cruises for quality, quantity and variety. But, perhaps the biggest change was the quality of the entertainment and the musicianship. It was unfortunate that the two girl singers with the Royal Court Theatre Group had severe colds and some shows were cancelled. The huge band split up to play various venues around the ship but got together for one memorable evening in the Queen’s Theatre. And a spin-off group played a couple of excellent evenings of Dixieland Jazz in the Golden Lion. Plus another fair lady ... Captain Inger Thorhauge. And, oh yes, Roy Walker, aged 78, was just as funny as ever. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in ... Read More
Though Cunard are not the cheapest, the whole experience was slick and smooth. We booked a Britannia balcony cabin, with coach transfer as part of the deal. Excellent coach to Southampton with two stops on the way. Arrived on time and in cabin within 30mins. We chose earlyt dining (6.30pm) on table of 8 and had good company - we moved round the table as the cruise progressed. Formal dress (jacket a must), but informal dress at the all day Lido restaurant, which we chose on three occasions. Food and service in the Britannia restaurant were excellent, but be warned, alcoholic drinks are pricey. Lido food also very good with great choices for breakfast, lunch and evening meal. We didn't use any of the other restaurants (eg Verandah) were there is an additional charge. Evening entertainment was very good, and excellent at times, though we didn't see all the one hour shows. At 60 and 67 we were probably in the younger 10% on board. Only impact was the day time entertainmeent and some shows are aimed at the older age group. It didn't bother us at all. Excellent range of activitiess each 'sea day', including lectures/talks on forensics, historical evcents and politics. Also food demos, Bridge classes, line dancing, cinema and much more. Excursions are pricey, but good guides. We did two and found nearest Tourist Info and explored on foot in Cadiz, Venice, Hvar, Dubrovnik and Cagliaria. Need to book a tour for Sicily as Messina is just a dock port. Not much in Gibraltar either except tour of fortifications, which was very good. High street is like any British city. Gratuities are pricey (about £21 per day), but we went to Reception and asked to remove this from our bill - done without fuss. We arranged our own (well earned) gratuities at the end of the cruise to Head Waiter and Cabin Steward. Sockets in cabin are American and British. Tea and coffee makig facilities in cabin and all day in Lido, but hot drinks were reasonably priced in cafes on board. All in all, excellent experience - our first cruise, if a little pricey overall. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose this cruise mainly because of its itinerary: San Francisco (I live nearby), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Sydney. Luckily we got on one the the queens. Service was superb, food was generally very ... Read More
Chose this cruise mainly because of its itinerary: San Francisco (I live nearby), Honolulu, Bora Bora, Papeete, Moorea, Auckland, Bay of Islands, and Sydney. Luckily we got on one the the queens. Service was superb, food was generally very good, and the ship was elegant. Had some rough rides between SF and Honolulu, and on the Tasman Sea, but didn't get seasick. The downside was that there was a cough going around on the ship, but I do not fault Cunard for this. This coughing virus and flu were going around San Francisco during embarkation. Unfortunately, the air conditioning exasperated the cough. Our steward got a technician to adjust the AC, plus we kept the balcony door open, which helped stop the condition. My sis (who I was traveling with) got excellent care from the ship's MD. We had lovely dining companions; a couple from Southhampton and another couple from Canberra. We were pampered and catered to and had a very nice cabin, which was overseen by our excellent steward, Alfredo. The cabin and the ship were spotless. The beds were extremely comfortable. The three performances we saw were top-notch. I especially loved the acrobats from Cirque de Soleil. The lectures were excellent too. There was a multitude of activities available during sea days, and the offshore excursions were fun and informative. I loved playing the daily "Name that Tune" contest. Cunard is so civilized - you get to play parlor games onboard; something I never get to do in the real world. And we loved the afternoon tea! The only un-fun necessity was doing laundry, but I packed large and had to visit the laundry only once. I waited in line 15 minutes before it opened and got a machine, then it was a done deal. Each deck has a launderette consisting of three washing machines and three dryers. Very busy place. Anyway, to sum things up, I was a bit apprehensive about this ship as some of the reviews are pretty brutal. Please do not disregard it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
i picked this cruise as it was sold as a big band cruise and it was going to Amsterdam a city i haven't visited before. Unfortunately I didn't read the itinerary carefully enough the ship actually went into Rotterdam for Amsterda ... Read More
i picked this cruise as it was sold as a big band cruise and it was going to Amsterdam a city i haven't visited before. Unfortunately I didn't read the itinerary carefully enough the ship actually went into Rotterdam for Amsterda which was an hour and half journey away. As it turned out Rotterdam is quite an interesting city so enjoyed the visit. Amsterdam will have to wait a bit longer for a visit. Embarkation in Southampton went very smoothly - we were on board within 30 minutes of arrival at the terminal and our cases were already outside the door by the time we reached the cabin. We were in the Britannia Club and service in the restaurant was as good as ever. I wasn't impressed with the choice of dishes on the menu and had great difficulty finding anything to my liking. I am a very fussy eater and ended up having either melon or smoked salmon as a starer and grilled salmon every day for the main course. Dessert choice again not to my liking - I like fruit crumbles or pies, trifles etc. These were not available but strawberry cheesecake and mousse style dishes were, but we did have flambes on three evenings. So I had cheese from the trolley or a flambe. Now we come to the drink prices which are horrendous. Two two oz gins and a bottle of Fevertree tonic with the 15% service charge $25.93! So if you enjoy a drink be prepared! Entertainment was good. We had two big band evenings which everyone enjoyed, a group called the Overtures who were excellent and a very good comedian. Entertainment overall very good. Other than my problem with the food (which is down to me) we had a great time and already booked for Christmas. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We sailed from San Francisco (February 4, 2017), with final destination in Sydney. It sure beat having to fly from Orlando, to Sydney. There were stops in Oahu, Maui, Western Samoa, Tonga, Auckland, and Bay of Islands. I highly recommend ... Read More
We sailed from San Francisco (February 4, 2017), with final destination in Sydney. It sure beat having to fly from Orlando, to Sydney. There were stops in Oahu, Maui, Western Samoa, Tonga, Auckland, and Bay of Islands. I highly recommend this ship; the best way to some up the ship, would be elegant. Karen (Activities Staff) made the time fly by and extremely fun!! My wife and I are Elite Plus with Celebrity, so we know what fine cruising should be!! When we crossed the Equator, the ship had a big ceremony for all the Pollywogs to trans form into Shellbacks. All the passengers and crew had to lineup to "Kiss the Fish." Some received more attention then others. Ha Ha We sailed on the Azamara Quest, in November, this is the type of ship we expected. The only thing some cruiser might not like, is you have to dress up for dinner, we enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I have read a couple of reviews from people who went on this trip and I cant believe we were on the same ship......the embarkation was smooth and easy...the ship was absolutely fantastic in every way including service, food quality and ... Read More
I have read a couple of reviews from people who went on this trip and I cant believe we were on the same ship......the embarkation was smooth and easy...the ship was absolutely fantastic in every way including service, food quality and staff attitude. Overall a much better experience than the Queen Mary 2 the last time we were on there. If other people found the crew / staff "Miserable at best" it was because they spoke to them like dirt in the first place, and we did see some of that. The Big Band theme was excellent with dance and swing music on all 3 nights with the biggest on the middle night. The Glenn Miller numbers made my hair stand on end....Everyone dressed up and made an effort which was lovely to see compared to the abject failure in adhering to the dress code on QM2 last year. It seemed like everyone on board (apart from myself) could dance well and has encouraged me to learn for the next one when I can take my wife round the dance floor. It was a shame Storm Angus was at night, we would have liked to have seen more of it. Must have been quite spectacular. We didn't go ashore but preferred to stay on board and take advantage of the quieter atmosphere and use all the facilities - pool - tennis - games etc and had a great day. Fed up with people using Trip adviser to try and get recompense for being miserable themselves on holiday. Bravo Cunard and thank you Queen Lizzy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I booked this cruise for 4 people after having a taster cruise on the Victoria in 2015 which was beautiful however despite being advised that we would probably have an 'upgrade' we ended up feeling as though we had been down ... Read More
I booked this cruise for 4 people after having a taster cruise on the Victoria in 2015 which was beautiful however despite being advised that we would probably have an 'upgrade' we ended up feeling as though we had been down graded. The balcony was smaller and as we walked into the room past the bed my husband bumped his shoulder on the wall mounted tv due to lack of space. The room looked tired and dated and as we stepped onto the balcony we were faced with a view at our feet of rusting metal. We asked for an unobstructed view but had lifeboats just underneath and a protruding balcony above us. The food in the Britannia restaurant was fine and the service could not be faulted but the food in the lido was always barely lukewarm and the quality left something to be desired. I even asked if it could be heated up but was advised they didn't have the fascillity to do so. We also walked out (as many others did) of the theatre shows as they were either a repeat of previous cruises or just old hat for people who were born in the year 1900. Alright I know this is impossible but it just felt like it. Being over 60 doesn't mean you want to sing "we'll meet again". Venice and Dubrovnik were very interesting but would have liked more free time to explore in fact we had to be back at the jetty for 2.30 when in Venice. Other shore excursions/visits were disappointing also about 9 of the 17 days were spent at sea. (Full itinerary not showing at time of booking) Despite complaining to the persors office and on the customer satisfaction forms nothing was done and no redress or contact regarding our dissatisfaction has ever been made. We have never been able to obtain an email to make our views known. We would have liked to travelled on all three Queen ships but unlikely to now. Disappointing birthday cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose it for the destination of Norway and Iceland in August 2016. All the ports were great and they give adequate time at each one to enjoy. The ship was smooth sailing and we loved every minute ,except for the formal nights ... Read More
We chose it for the destination of Norway and Iceland in August 2016. All the ports were great and they give adequate time at each one to enjoy. The ship was smooth sailing and we loved every minute ,except for the formal nights where you are required to wear a tie and coat - 4 nights in 13 is too many. All meals were first class and not one complaint. Good organisation get on and off and at all the ports. Ship was quiet and our cabin was very easy to sleep with wonderfull beds. All the crew give great service. Noting is too much trouble even my wife who needs gluten free meals was so well catered for and the meals were tasty too. Good narration by the crew as we travelled along the Fjords. Only found in Rejkavik doing a city tour for 2 hours in a TukTuk is most unsuitable for the type of clients on a QE cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Queen Elizabeth Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
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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