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40 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Family Cruise Reviews

We travelled on Queen Elizabeth's Festive Debut as virgin Cunarders, and we weren't disappointed. We boarded swiftly and were greeted, by smiling crew, all offering to help as we were travelling with my mother and two ... Read More
We travelled on Queen Elizabeth's Festive Debut as virgin Cunarders, and we weren't disappointed. We boarded swiftly and were greeted, by smiling crew, all offering to help as we were travelling with my mother and two small children. The cabin size was fantastic, we had 3 cabins, my mother in one and the 2 cabins between my husband myself and the 2 children, unfortunately one of the cabins must have been occupied previously by a heavy smoker, and the smell remained throughout the cruise, even after cleaning, so we all slept in one cabin, which was fine, as there was a pull out sofa bed. The sail away was wonderful with carols quayside, and excitement in the air. We dinned in the Upper Britannia Restaurant which was fabulous, the waiters went over and above service, and always ensured that the children were looked after, and arranged special meals for them. Yes the wine was a little pricey, but I gathered before we left, so was determined not to get hung up about it. The shows were always fabulous, and varied - the children thoroughly enjoyed them all - although Des O'Connor, seemed to over run slightly, it didn't matter, the youngest just fell asleep. The Queens room had dancing each night which we would watch whilst the children had a go, and then we would go up to The Yacht Club and dance away to Serious Sounds, the DJ was a little disappointing as he couldn't download any recent music??? The Islands we visited were truly breath taking and we were all amazed at the sheer beauty of them all, we didn't book excursions through Cunard - we went independently as this offers more flexibility - especially with children, and this option was cheaper too. Christmas day was wonderful with Father Christmas appearing and giving everyone who wanted one a gift. The children's club was fantastic too, although we only let the children go in for 2 hours on a sea day, was amazed that some parents put their children in on Christmas day???? All in all it was a very relaxing cruise, my only trouble was with the other passengers complaining it made me cringe - we all knew the schedule before we booked, so to complain seems pointless, yes shops were closed, but IT WAS THE HOLIDAYS!!!!! Also my family were in the small minority who hadn't travelled Cunard before and to be honest it was a little boring hearing the constant "its not as nice as the QE2" Well your are on the Queen Elizabeth - so just enjoy it!! I must admit I am looking forward to my next trip to catch up with the crew, and it will most definitely be with Cunard - as to coin the company's phrase "We are Cunard!!" Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
The Queen Elizabeth is basically identical to the Queen Victoria, same size, same layout same venues. The ship lacked vitality and excitement. It was boring and Cunard made no effort to make our holiday experience anything better ... Read More
The Queen Elizabeth is basically identical to the Queen Victoria, same size, same layout same venues. The ship lacked vitality and excitement. It was boring and Cunard made no effort to make our holiday experience anything better than staying in a good quality hotel for a few days. The attitude was simply "you should be honoured to sail with us" The truth was very different. The entertainment programme was very poor save for the one excellent Act and the in-cabin entertainment was poor and depressingly repetative.The ship had no buzz about it. Everybody looked fed up! The great standards of past Cunard Cuisine were not apparent. Cunard has lost its way. It does not seem to know what product to serve up. Striving to maintain old world class mixed with a modern cruise holiday experience does not work. We all agreed that we would not return. Sad really, because I have always looked up to Cunard as the leader of cruise excellence. Not anymore. The ship is beautiful but there are few venues to enjoy. Inside bars are few, no signiture restaurants and the queens room is totally under used. One solo musician actually held a concert when no one at all was present. Now that is what I call out of touch. Sad really. Gordon Stead, EXPERIENCED CRUISER Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
As this was a first time on Cunard for us we felt excited to try Queen Elizabeth, after all she is barely 8 months old.Embark cation went very smoothly, after security we waited about twenty minutes in the lounge before our colur code was ... Read More
As this was a first time on Cunard for us we felt excited to try Queen Elizabeth, after all she is barely 8 months old.Embark cation went very smoothly, after security we waited about twenty minutes in the lounge before our colur code was called.Cabin location was easy, the carpet in the corridors has a red strip for left hand side (port) and green for right hand side (starboard) that's very useful when getting your bearings. The ship's decor is very subdued, compared say to NCL or Costa, we liked it very much. An interesting point for ship lovers, Cunard commissioned a series of beautiful oil paintings of current and past Cunarders, these can be found on the forward staircases and also in the Commodore Club lounge. Dining: Lido self serve on deck 10 aft was very satisfactory, my only gripe would be that at certain times traffic can be heavy, we avoided simply by having an early breakfast (before 8 am) Dining in the Britannia restaurant was delightful, we had a first sitting at 6 pm, we shared a table for eight but 4 of our table companions invariably used the Lido instead, but they did join us for the formal night. Cunard had said in their literature that tables for two were not available, however we saw many tables for two, but for variety and interest we prefer the larger tables. The food was excellent every meal, I just can't understand some of the reviews complaining about choice and portion size. A very important note for Gluten Free devotees: Mrs Brady is a Coeliac and this can present problems when eating away for home. Full marks to Cunard for taking very good care of her. For example they bake fresh bread every day including gluten free, also the menu can be adjusted each day to provide for her tastes, she was delighted with the dining experience. Cabin: quite spacious, however the bathroom is small, and yes the shower curtain can get a bit friendly, however do not be put off by this. Overall we had a lovely 5 day cruise, no gripes at all, we found the staff from dining to bars to bedroom quite excellent. Would we travel on Queen Elizabeth again? You bet Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We embarked on the Queen Elizabeth on for a cruise around the fjords and the northern cost of Norway. We only have experience of Cunard and only after the company was taken over by Carnival, however, our 10 year old son loves his holidays ... Read More
We embarked on the Queen Elizabeth on for a cruise around the fjords and the northern cost of Norway. We only have experience of Cunard and only after the company was taken over by Carnival, however, our 10 year old son loves his holidays aboard and we have a great time too. If there is a downside it is that we do not see our son enough, as he spends as much time in the "Zone" as he is allowed. As soon as we embarked we made our way to our cabin to which our luggage had already been delivered. Within a short while our cabin steward came to introduce herself (this is something that has happened on each of our cruises). We were warmly welcomed back on board. The Britannia restaurant was everything we had hoped for - excellent (and plenty) food presented beautifully and served by friendly waiters. While our sommelier was rushed off his feet, his guidance was always worth following. The "Zone" (children's area) was available between the hours of 9 - 12, 2 - 5 and 8 - midnight. Thank goodness it was close some of the time so we actually saw our son. The activities were well suited to his age and he enjoyed the company of the other children. We didn't use any of the organised shore excursions, having undertaken a little research before we had travelled. Experience had taught us that these tend to be very expensive, so we undertook our own excursions and enjoyed the freedom those offered. The ports of call were excellent with plenty to see and do with the notable exception of Stavanger the Sunday after the Norway shootings. Understandably the food festival had been cancelled, leaving little to do. However we did not feel like being in the holiday mood while the country was in mourning. We visited the Cathedral, signed the book of condolences and returned to the ship. Our stateroom was more than spacious enough for three people during the day, however the placing of our son's bed did limit access to the balcony at night - this was something we knew in advance and were able to work around. How good was our cruise? We have booked to go again with the same cruise line. Enough said! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The first thing you will notice is that this review will sound really negative, yet I have given 5 stars for most of the areas. The truth is that we all had an amazing holiday. We saw some fantastic places, met lots of nice people and ate ... Read More
The first thing you will notice is that this review will sound really negative, yet I have given 5 stars for most of the areas. The truth is that we all had an amazing holiday. We saw some fantastic places, met lots of nice people and ate way too much first class food. I read lots of reviews before departure and I was specifically interested in the negative ones. Most of them seem to be from people that are used to having perfection all the time whereas most of us can enjoy a holiday for what it is and not get caught up on the bad points. Cunard are trying to appeal to a broad range of people here. The expectations of someone paying £1500 for a cabin are going to be wildly different to the sort of person who is paying £15,000. I know the grill dining areas are apparently better than the Brittania (quite how the Brittania food can be improved upon is beyond me) and they get their own deck, but all the public areas are the same so there are bound to be people who aren't happy with things. If that is enough to ruin your holiday and make you give 1 star reviews then perhaps you should think about chartering your own private boat in future. The boat is fantastic and we saw no evidence or wear and tear or bad workmanship. The decor was lovely and finished to a really high standard. The staff is all well trained and everything ran smoothly. I can't help but feel it is a shame that when designing the boat they had an opportunity to create something magnificent and push the boundaries of what luxury cruising will be in the future. Instead they dug out the old QV plans and said lets save a few quid and build another one of these. The two boats aren't just similar, they feel identical. Yes the lobby is a little different and the games deck has a new look but these all feel like minor cosmetic difference. 99% of the ship is the same which is a shame when you think about what they could have done with a skilled team of nautical architects. The cabins are lovely although with the sofabed pulled out (which the maid does from 6pm if you have kids) you can't access the balcony or fridge. The beds were comfortable and the climate control worked well even if it was a bit noisy. The onboard entertainment didn't feel quite as good as the QV but maybe our expectations were set too high. There just didn't seem to be as much variety, plus the shows were 45 min whereas I'm sure they were an hour on the QV. It was a lot of singing or dancing with only the comedy juggler and pickpocket acts bringing in something new. They were both absolutely brilliant though and more than made up for the lack of other different acts. The in-house dancing and entertainment teams were all fabulous and if you are into musicals and dance then you would be very happy every night. One thing people might be interested to hear about is the kids facilities as this is an area not many people have written reviews about so far. We have 2 boys who were aged 8 and 5. The younger was in the Play Zone and the older one was in the Zone. Both rooms are amazing and the kids couldn't wait to get there after meal times. All of the staff were brilliant with them and always managed to keep smiling even after 8 hours of looking after 10 - 15 kids! Izzy deserves a special mention as she really took an interest in every child and would go the extra mile to make sure everyone's needs were catered for. There are a few things I felt could be improved however. 2 years ago we went on a Med cruise on the QV. Both kids were in the kids club most days and at the end of the 2 weeks they came out with a huge folder stuffed with the things they had been making, painting, colouring, moulding e.t.c. This time I think we had 3 or 4 sheets of colouring in. The reason for this is clear. Both clubs are very video game focussed and if you give a kid a choice of playing on a Wii or PS3, or doing some colouring I expect most would choose the video games every time. The older club had a big screen with a Wii and about 6 or 7 LCD screens connected to PS3's and XBox's. There was also an air hockey table and table football so at least the kids were getting plenty of exercise. We didn't really mind them playing games so much, it was just nice that last time they spent so much time doing creative things and this time they didn't. It felt like a step backwards. The other big downside is that you can drop the younger kids off at 6pm (there is a special kids dinner in the lido at 5pm every day) but the older kids aged 8+ can't be dropped off until 8pm. This is a real pain if you are on early sitting for dinner (as we were) and fancy an adults evening. The problem is that the older teenagers are given the Zone from 5pm - 8pm so the others can't be in there. I don't see why they couldn't go in the Play Zone for those 2 hours to watch a film or something, they were rarely busy in the early evenings. In addition to this, you can only leave your kids on the boat all day when you are in port IF you have booked a tour through Cunard. There were a couple of days when we would have preferred to leave the kids on the boat for the day rather than dragging them around museums that they have no interest in (St Petersburg for example). We paid a lot of money for the holiday and you expect everything to be included which in this case it wasn't unless you spent more money with the. So this brings me on to our biggest gripe - tipping. Now I don't mind giving money in return for good service. This is the point of a tip as far as I know. At what point do we get to decide if we have had a good service? Certainly not before the holiday so why assume we will be happy? I think it was 11 dollars a day per person which includes the 8 and 5yo so for our family it was 44 dollars a day for 15 days, that's 660 dollars. They say it is fair so everyone gets a share but why would I want to tip the barman in the commodore club that I never went to, or the health club workers that I never saw? I've also never in my life felt the need to tip a chef or pot washer. They aren't giving me a good service, they are doing their job. If they aren't paid enough and Cunard need to use our tips to top up their salary then something is wrong. It gets worse though. They justify this auto-gratuity as a way of people not having to worry about leaving tips throughout the day. That's fine but why then does EVERYTHING have a 15% gratuity added on? You want a beer from the bar? That's 5 dollars plus 15% gratuity, a bottle of wine with your meal? 40 dollars plus 15% gratuity. Even a one dollar can of sprite from the mini bar has it added on! It starts getting expensive should you decide that 100 dollars is good value for a health treatment. Where does all this money go? I'm not ashamed in any way to say we asked to have all gratuities removed from our bill and we left cash for out chambermaid and our waiters who all really exceeded our expectations and gave us an excellent service. I'm assuming by using cash they actually get to keep the money. Other gripes include photographs - why are they so expensive? Make them half the price and you'll sell twice as many and have happier customers. Also, you really can't expect people to buy a photo of you standing next to a tacky life ring with the name of the port in the middle. Other ships we saw had people dressed up in local costumes to greet people as they disembarked. The casino was good fun but they really need someone who understands poker to run the tournaments. I think the buy-in was 40 dollars (no gratuity but the house too a decent chunk of the pot). We each got 1500 chips and the tournament started. Those who have played poker before would assume the staring minimum bet (or blinds) to me 5 and 10 chips, maybe 10 and 25 at a push, these then go up every 5 minutes to give a tournament that lasts about 60 - 90 minutes. With this one the starting bets were 100 and 200 chips and they went up every 5 minutes. It wasn't about playing poker it was about getting lucky in the few hands that were dealt. I think the whole thing lasted 20 minutes at the most and we all felt really cheated. We questioned the casino manager who said it was policy from the shore and they couldn't change it. We all agreed we wouldn't play again under those rules and the boat didn't try and put any more one. This becomes even more crazy when you realize there was always 2 or 3 people paid to stand next to the roulette and blackjack tables with no customers at all. Poker is a massive game globally but the high buy-in and short format was a real disappointment. They could have had 5 or 10 tournaments a day if they were cheap and fun. These were neither. I guess it all comes down to the central theme of this review. You don't feel like you are stepping onto a luxury ocean liner, you feel like you are entering a giant machine designed to extract every penny it can from you. For the most part people overlook this and get on with enjoying the experience but look closer and you will see what I mean. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We travelled on the Queen Elizabeth round trip from Southampton through the Caribbean, as we had done last year with our two young children and Mother, and whilst we had an enjoyable trip, it was as good as last year, perhaps it was due to ... Read More
We travelled on the Queen Elizabeth round trip from Southampton through the Caribbean, as we had done last year with our two young children and Mother, and whilst we had an enjoyable trip, it was as good as last year, perhaps it was due to the last cruise being over Christmas and New Year, or whether it was because the ship was still new, I'm not sure. We had to pay full price for the children as all the free child places were gone - we later discovered our children were the only passenger children on board, as we had 3 staterooms, and my mother booked 2 weeks later than ourselves, I asked before we sailed could my mother be moved to a similar area to us, as she suffers from panic attacks, she was the opposite end to us so would take a good 10 minute walk, and she isn't very mobile, they said to ask the purser on the first day which we did, I was told they would let me know when a cabin became available, and I am still waiting!!! I since have found out a number of passengers were moved throughout the voyage, so I am a little annoyed to say the least. We ate in on the first seating, and had the worst waiter, I have ever had the misfortune to encounter, he wouldn't engage in conversation, the bread, was thrown down on your plate, dressing for the salad had to be asked for, and was then slopped down on the salad, when cheese was ordered, after waiting 15 minutes, we asked for the biscuits, not once, twice, but three times, we decided to eat in the Jasmine in the Lido, chalk and cheese excellent service, as one would expect from Cunard, word, got back to the Britannia, and the said waiter, was replaced by the Head Waiter, Stephen would excellent, and much more to Cunard's standard. The Bar staff and waiters, were fabulous as always, Tricia, Branimir, Kresimir, Dave,Erica, Marvil, Natalie, and Emilian to name but a few, always smiling and nothing was too much trouble, especially where the children were concerned, and the children were delighted with the fancy mocktails they were given each night, as well as engaging then into the conversation. The kids club, with Kath, Jenna, Chris and Steph, were fantastic as ever, and nothing was too much trouble, they have a wonderful way with children. They entered the boat race for the children, and Kath went into the pool to supervise the children's entry, which won the first race, only to be told that actually the children's entry wouldn't be counted, as they missed the test sail, Ed - Entertainment knew they would be an entry to to announce this to the children when they had worked all week on this was despicable, obviously they wouldn't have been in line for the 'champagne' a bottle of Pol Acker, but a certificate wouldn't have gone a miss!!! The children used to dance in the middle of the Queens Room for one dance, allowing the pro's the outside of the floor, this was done early on so it wasn't busy, to be told by the drummer over the PA system to remove the children I thought was tactless, and as they were paying the same as everyone else, don't really see why they couldn't use the facilities also. The dress code in the restaurant was the final straw really, when I can dress my 5 year old son, in a suit, and a jacket on all nights, and yet grown men flout the dress code (no ties on Semi Formal, jackets off and shirt sleeves rolled up) I think it shows Cunard isn't what it used to be, when we questioned this we were told, that the dress code cant be enforced!!!! So it shouldn't state in the Daily programme that the dress code will be strictly enforced. On the whole, we enjoyed our trip, but feel that standards are slipping, please don't let this happen, as this is why we love Cunard!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Voyage Number Q201 Queen Elizabeth Dec 20Th 2011 to Jan 5Th 2012,A Christmas and New Years Cruise, Main complaint about this cruise was the LOW very LOW standard of so called entertainment.My age is 79 80 in AUG 2012.wife Margaret 75. ... Read More
Voyage Number Q201 Queen Elizabeth Dec 20Th 2011 to Jan 5Th 2012,A Christmas and New Years Cruise, Main complaint about this cruise was the LOW very LOW standard of so called entertainment.My age is 79 80 in AUG 2012.wife Margaret 75. iT TOOK 10 DAYS YES 10 DAYS BEFORE WE GOT A LAUGH,THEY THRN MANAGED TO GET MICK MILLER WHO USED TO BE ON TV WITH THE COMEDIANS,THE THEATRE WAS IN UPROAR THEY LOVED HIM.. One night we had two 25 minutes of The Odd Couple.the Planet Spirit,we wondered what we were looking at,quite a lot of guests walked out. Another night,Introduction of entertainment staff,after 10 minutes we were left there nothing else happened, We had a horrid Welsh singer,we had violin scratching,OK for one night BUT not for two. Ships pantomime,stage props consisted of one settee,one armchair. Ships dancers came on one night,good dancing BUT stage props consisted of something for the dancer to cock their legs on and ond held a sword really pathetic. Communion service,Priest had to ask for a pianist,also someone to help with the chalice. Ship had NO HAIR SPRAY FOR SALE IN THE SHOP OR IN THE spar,WIFE BOUGHT SOME IN Madeira PRICE EURO 18, NO SHOWER CAPS ON THE SHIP. Britannia restaurant poor menu,foreign gentleman keep looking at me saying poor.Lido restaurant self service good BUT would be difficult on a round the world cruise.. I have written to Mr Peter Shanks president of CUNARD UK Hope I get a reply, The entertainment director on board was a AMANDA REID I dare not repeat what was said about her.I did wite out a complaint and about two days later she spoke to me on the phone,but no face to face contact ALL she could talk about was how wonderful thing were going to get,they didn't. Singer on stage informing us she was a grandmother,so was 80% of the guests. Entertainment staff would all the time praise each other up. IT WAS THE WORST ENTERTAINMENT WE HAVE EVER HAD.P&O wonderful shows,beautiful costumes. This cruise was not value for money.I really think Cunard knew they had a boat load of pensioners and give them everything CHEAP.it was a great disappointment to us. Almost got run over with a heavy man in a motorised wheelchair coming out f the Internet centre at full speed,remember people have been killed by these thins at speeds of 8 MPH.Almost crushed in the lift by an elderly lady who had little or no control of her wheel chair.. Shows at night,information about the use of cameras and video was mentioned 4 times,almost every show there was flashing cameras. I could go on BUT TO CONCLUD WE BOTH WERE VERY DISAPOINTED WITH QUEEN ELIZEBTH Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Cruise started with booking in, 45 minutes from arrival to being in cabin, luggage already there. Excellent organisation. Staff are very well trained and efficient, this was especially noticeable with our friend who was disabled, he ... Read More
Cruise started with booking in, 45 minutes from arrival to being in cabin, luggage already there. Excellent organisation. Staff are very well trained and efficient, this was especially noticeable with our friend who was disabled, he received a first clas service from all members of the crew, certainly an improvement on the previous cruise. Cabin very clean well laid out, one gripe that we did have on the cruise was our neighbour smoked on his balcony making it virtually impossible for us to sit out on our balcony due to smoke and ash blowing in our faces. Purser stated they could not do anything as no other cabins available to move us, they did apologise but having paid extra for a cabin with a balcony we felt a bit annoyed not being able to sit out. The Brittania Restaurant was excellent we could not fault the service or the food, this was first class. Lido self service had a wonderful selection of food of very high quality and again could not be faulted,the staff were very helpful and friendly The theatre had many day and evening talks and shows, the weather being good limited our attendance what we did see was adequate . There were many Australians on the ship doing the cruise on the three Queens, we were told that the comedian on the QE had been on the QV the week before and therefore the same material was heard again. Overall a very cruise and emotional return to Southampton.One gripe that always crops up is the gratuities, the Australians I spoke to on board do not agree with the tipping system. I agree to stop tips automatically isnot in my opinion acceptable although if you visit the Purser you can stop the cabin fee. However if you buy from the bar you're charged a extra 15 per cent and if in Spanish waters a further. 8 per cent is added I do feel that it's about time this matter is sorted out, it can add quite a sum to your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We booked the Queen Elizabeth on this short cruise for two reasons: 1) We really enjoyed our transatlantic crossing in September last year on the Queen Mary 2 and wanted to try out another Cunard ship. 2) It was my partners 40th ... Read More
We booked the Queen Elizabeth on this short cruise for two reasons: 1) We really enjoyed our transatlantic crossing in September last year on the Queen Mary 2 and wanted to try out another Cunard ship. 2) It was my partners 40th birthday and this journey was a perfect way to celebrate it. As it was my partners birthday we thought we would make it extra special by booking a Q1 grand suite, namely 7177. We also booked and paid for four Britannia Balcony rooms for our family's so we could celebrate his birthday together. We arrived at the Ocean Terminal at 12:00, checked in then proceeded to the Grills waiting area to wait for embarkation. When we embarked on the QM2 it was completed in stages which worked really well, there was little queueing and the boarding was easy. I expected the same boarding process for the QE however for some strange reason they opened embarkation to all Queens and Princess Grill passengers at the same time. This meant a large slow moving queue which I can only compare to boarding an Easy Jet flight. We were also not met onboard and escorted to our suite, this is not the level of service I had expected from Cunard. Things started to get better when I opened the door to our suite, it was huge! The suite contained a separate lounge with comfortable seating, a dining table that could seat six and a well stocked kitchen. The bathroom was large with separate shower and a huge whirlpool bath. The bedroom was also large with a king sized bed and a good sized walk in closet. The balcony was large taking up half the back of the ship. After unpacking we decided to have a slow walk to the Queens Grill restaurant to have some lunch, after which we exploded the ship. Overall my first impressions of the ship were good, I especially liked the grand lobby with the wonderful print of the original Queen Elizabeth. All the public rooms were well appointed and tastefully decorated, the bars were all cosy especially the commodore lounge which has amazing views over the bow. The spa was ok but does not compare to he Canyon Ranch Spa on the QM2. The ship has two outdoor pools which were always busy. There is plenty of deck space and the ship also has a well quipped gym. The Queens Grill Restaurant on the QE is simply wonderful, located on a high deck with good views out of the floor to ceiling windows. The Maitre d was the same one from the QM2 QG restaurant and he recognised us which was a nice touch. The menu had plenty of choice and the food was cooked to perfection, I really can't fault the restaurant. We were lucky to have a table by the window which added to the whole experience. As our family were in Britannia we decided to eat in the Verandah restaurant on our first night so we could all eat together. The food and the service was faultless, I had the lamb which I highly recommend. Our Butler was named Emily and she was very helpful, she and her assistant kept the suite very tidy and clean at all times and the bar was always well stocked with our favourite soft drinks and wine. We hosted a party in our suite for the eight members of family with us, Emily arranged for hot and cold canapes as well as well as a birthday cake for my partner. Overall I loved the ship and would book another voyage on her or her sister the Queen Victoria but if I'm honest I don't think she compares to the QM2, not that it matters. The QE is a very different ship and I think thats why I liked her. Below is a link to a short video of our suite http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEmbSltYWHw Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
The public rooms on 'Queen Elizabeth; are all decorated very elegantly and pleasantly, and after 3 years still look almost brand new. The impressive Grand Lobby, with the Viscount Linley marquetry/inlay panel is very reminiscent of ... Read More
The public rooms on 'Queen Elizabeth; are all decorated very elegantly and pleasantly, and after 3 years still look almost brand new. The impressive Grand Lobby, with the Viscount Linley marquetry/inlay panel is very reminiscent of the Golden Age of the liner. The Queen’s Room is one of my favourites with two royal portraits, the bronze bust of The Queen from QE2, as well as various pictures of royal residences. The room is used for the ‘white glove’ afternoon tea, dances and large gatherings. Our cabin [balcony stateroom on deck 7] was very pleasant; and I might have made more use of the balcony had our immediate neighbour not insisted on smoking whenever conceivably possible. I’m pleased to hear that from next year smoking will not be allowed on any of the balconies! The thing I noticed at night was the incredible silence: no cars, no city noise, no dogs barking  just total silence. Our fellow passengers seemed very considerate; and there were very few children on board. The lofty, two-tiered Britannia Restaurant [clearly Art Deco-inspired] did not disappoint either. The menus included some familiar favourites, and some intriguing soups and sometimes fusion dishes. I need not have worried about tea, as we could enjoy as many extra cups as we wished in the self-service Lido Restaurant. There’s plenty of beautiful artwork, polished wood, glittering chandeliers on board. There’s no neon or glitz on this ship. Every bar or lounge has something beautiful in it. I ventured into the Golden Lion pub only once for lunch, and enjoyed that. One has to self-disciplined about food on almost any ship, I guess. There is so much of it, 24 hours a day. Room service is included too at no extra cost. There’s live music all over the ship. A pianist played during afternoon tea. Then, in the evening, a harpist, pianist or string quartet played in the Grand Lobby. Many of the musicians come from Russia and the Ukraine. The evening performances in the theatre were excellent and very entertaining. Well done, Amanda Reid & Co. It was fun exploring the rest of the ship: the library, card room, bookshop, puzzle corner, tiny Fortnum & Mason section, the Harrods section, the bars. I did make it to the gym, but decided I preferred to walk briskly [or occasionally jog] around the promenade deck while admiring the views or taking in the sea air. After all that good food, exercise was sorely needed. I hadn’t been looking forward to the formal nights, but they also proved to be far more enjoyable than I’d expected. The Captain and the officers are all British, and friendly. The rest of the crew come mainly from the Philippines, India, Eastern Europe and are clearly very well trained and always polite. What I loved too was the ease with which we arrived in a different country: no immigration queues, no forms. Everything was handled by the company in advance, and we simply stepped ashore. So easy! In every port a shuttle bus was laid on to the town/city centre, and some passengers chose to use this for independent travel, but I do not regret booking excursions. We stepped off the ship, and on to coach and were whisked to a place of interest. The tours seemed reasonably priced. I saw many fascinating places and as I studied Latin for so many years, the ruins of Herculaneum had to be one of the highlights. The ruins of Ephesus are far more spectacular than I’d expected. We sailed from Civitavecchia to Salerno to Messina, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Piraeus/Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Ravenna, and finally Venice. Santorini is picture postcard perfect! Several ships had docked in Piraeus the morning we arrived, and the Parthenon proved to be overcrowded. Still, I count myself fortunate to have seen the famous ruins. The tiny republic of San Marino perched in the mountains - also proved to be far more interesting and beautiful than I’d expected. We were lucky enough to see some of the famous mosaics at Ravenna too. And for the first time I got to see some of the many sights of Venice. For the whole time the sun shone and the skies remained blue. It was late October/autumn, but pleasantly warm. Only in Venice did the skies darken ever so slightly. Even there we did not feel a drop of rain. What luck! My only gripe: the internet [via satellite] seemed expensive at 75c a minute, or $24.95 for 2 hours. So would I like to cruise again? The answer must be a resounding YES! Perhaps it will be Queen Victoria next time, or Queen Mary 2. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We had a fantastic time sailing around the Greek Isles and Turkey on the Queen Elizabeth. The ship is on the subdued side, activity and decor-wise, which meant we enjoyed it much more than some other lines we've been on. We're ... Read More
We had a fantastic time sailing around the Greek Isles and Turkey on the Queen Elizabeth. The ship is on the subdued side, activity and decor-wise, which meant we enjoyed it much more than some other lines we've been on. We're youngish for cruising -- I'm in my early 30s. But we loved the classic nature of this ship with its large library, vintage photographs and mosaics, nautical themed paintings, and deco design. It was nice to hear the captain describe all his maneuvering whenever we left port, and we liked watching the dancing in the ballroom. We live in the US, although I'm from Australia, so we also enjoyed the British touches like the pub, real scones and cream, baked beans for breakfast, etc.. We also found the food overall to be better than expected based on other reviews. We were traveling with a 22 month old, and while there was no child care for her, which was a shame, there was an area she could play in with toys, and books that we could take back to our cabin. We did not use the night nursery as we were diligent about wanting to keep her usual night time routine so she wouldn't wake in the night. The dining room staff were extremely friendly and accommodating, allowing us to order our meals a night in advance so we wouldn't have to be waiting with a restless toddler for the first course to arrive. She made an absolute disaster of the table every night, but the staff were all patient and never made us feel bad. Overall she was pretty well behaved and made friends with a couple of the other older passengers. The itinerary was outstanding. We spent a week in Athens ahead of the cruise and recommend that general approach for anyone traveling across timezones with a toddler. It took her five nights to get over jetlag and sleep through the night, and if those five nights had been on the ship, with a port a day, we would have been exhausted. Instead we got to see Athens in a leisurely manner, which in of itself was lovely, and then could enjoy the cruise. We got a great deal on this cruise. We will cruise Cunard again, but may have to wait for another affordable fare to come along. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Just as we got off the ship, we realised that I had left my diamond engagement ring on the ship. We were on the cruise to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We knew exactly were it was in the cabin and tried to ring the terminal. They ... Read More
Just as we got off the ship, we realised that I had left my diamond engagement ring on the ship. We were on the cruise to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We knew exactly were it was in the cabin and tried to ring the terminal. They said that no one had a piece of paper to write down my name or number and to ring the lost property line. This was an automated message asking us to leave a message and to wait for up to 3 weeks for a reply. It was not as though I had left a bottle of shampoo so I rang back to the terminal and I was put through to a lady who replied that no one could go and look if it was in the cabin as they were "up to their necks in it" and new guests were probably already in the cabin but they would not check the paperwork to see if my cabin was now occupied or not. I insisted it was important to look before they were put in obviously. After two hours of calling different numbers and speaking to various people, they finally agreed to go and look in the cabin but I had made at least 10 calls by then. They just kept saying that they were too busy except for one male at the terminal who said that someone simply had to radio across to the room attendant. Finally I persuaded a staff member to go and look. They refused to check the hoover in case it had been knocked onto the floor because there were 'hundreds of hoovers on board.' So after the cabin had been left open for over 2 hours and me begging, pleading and crying to the staff, it was concluded it was in fact me who was mistaken and I had lost my ring myself. It was shocking how open they were about how little they cared about my engagement ring. The staff were not quizzed and no investigation took place. I've now had to pay 200 pound excess to cover the insurance but looks like I'll never see my ring again because of the negligence and inconsiderate response. They simply don't care once they have your money. Incidentally there were extra charges on my card that I have to claim back from the credit card company because they tried to overcharge us also!! Not impressed. There were many lovely things about the cruise but the kids club was not one of them. There were two ladies in charge - one called Rihanna and they were so rude to my 7 year old and openly said he was not mature enough to be left with them and should be in the room with the babies and embarrassed him. Ironically, all the same children played by the pool each day and got on brilliantly, but when they got to the kids club, apparently our little boy was not mature enough dispite being the same age as 2 of the other children. They made him cry repeatedly and we had to come and collect him any time we left him. After he got so upset because of the staff, we did not take him anymore and subsequently we had no alone time whatsoever. It was a family holiday; however, we did envisage some alone time and the odd meal on our own. The waiters and kitchen staff were lovely and the meals were good. The journey was very bumpy and the first half of the cruise was spent by many of the people onboard being sick. There was a rush to the shop to buy sickness tablets. Overall, I would not sail again with Cunard because I know they only care about your money. Once you're off the ship, good luck to you in getting any type of service at all! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Checking in was a slow, hot, bothersome procedure. The staff were lovely, but Southampton needs a new terminal! The state cupboards were simply furnished, but looking a little tired. Strangely the wardrobes and the ... Read More
Checking in was a slow, hot, bothersome procedure. The staff were lovely, but Southampton needs a new terminal! The state cupboards were simply furnished, but looking a little tired. Strangely the wardrobes and the "afterthought" under the bed storage was ill conceived. Usually so well sorted in these mobile hotel skyscraper.... Life on board. I think that the average age on board was in their early sixties but the entertainment throughout was pitiful. Certainly nothing to interest us (43 and47respectively.) deck quoets, bingo, and oldish films. The entertainment in the evening relied on the piano, string quartet, the dancers and some very old cruise ship fiddlers and crooners. Sad. Shame cos the theatre is a lovely space. The busiest area after dinner was the old time dancing. Though not very strictly come dancing! Two good singers/piano players stopped us from nearly going mad! The food was excellent from start to finish, and the speed that our table requirements was sorted was impeccable. Shame the maitre d forgot how to smile. The service was excellent, although some staff were old QE2, and you could tell! Not that any of them were less than fab but the edge wasn't there. Me thinks that the white star service has been compromised...... The lido restaurant was superb. Quite the best at sea, especially for breakfast. But finding a seat was a nightmare, even after the rush period! The major gripe came with the bar prices. I recall on the queen Mary 2 the currency on board was pounds. Now it's dollars, and very expensive it was. No wines were available at under 30 dollars. And that one was vinegar. The drinks were very very expensive and the added insult to add the fifteen percent gratuity "for your convenience" perhaps it was naive of me but an institution like cunard should be in pounds, with the cost of the bar staff hidden into the prices. ( a la P@O) then you can give a further tip should they deserve. ( the bar staff were great) Trips? Well you know that you will be robbed but the ship wanted 50 to get from the ship to Edinburgh. A return train journey was less than a fiver! Robbery. The photographers were not pushing but unsmiling and felt it was always just doing their job.... Not good. Disembarkation was interesting. Independent travellers are assigned a time to leave regardless of the time your forwarding journey begins. When I complained I was told I had to therefore get my own bags off!!!! Luckily a receptionist saw pity and found a wee loophole. But there was many old and confused people at the pursers deck. After that, getting off was easy. In conclusion, Cunard is living off old times, and now the scale and Americanisation of the whole hotel experience is diluting the white Star service. I understand that many more can travel, but I hope that's the unique Britishness of Cunard is not ships wash.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was truly a most beautiful amd relaxing destination. The scenery was breath taking and I would highly advise anyone to take this cruise. The Queen Elizabeth is an experience in itself and a most beautiful ship. The decor is stunning ... Read More
This was truly a most beautiful amd relaxing destination. The scenery was breath taking and I would highly advise anyone to take this cruise. The Queen Elizabeth is an experience in itself and a most beautiful ship. The decor is stunning and very art noveau . Cleanliness is of a very high standard and the majority of the staff are very friendly. However we did find that our cruise last year on the Adonia could not be faulted atall where the staff were concerned. Some of Cunards staff struggled to smile. The evening dining staff in the Brittania restaurant were amazing and Very friendly, attentive and just wonderful. On arrival day Service from port to ship was amazing . The only negative comments would be with the Spa on board ship. We found the treatments fantastic but be very aware of the hard selling of products after treatment. Absolute extortionate prices and tried to sell my husband of 64 eye cream! We were put off by this and decided not to have anymore treatments . We felt pressured which took away the feeling of relaxation. Overall an amazing experience. Thank you Cunard Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife and I cruised on the QE out of Southampton for 14 days. The ship was super and the ports were super! Over 35 cruises and this was one of the top ones for us. We had an Oceanview cabin and it was ok for an alternative to a balcony. ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the QE out of Southampton for 14 days. The ship was super and the ports were super! Over 35 cruises and this was one of the top ones for us. We had an Oceanview cabin and it was ok for an alternative to a balcony. As the weather was pretty cool but clear then a balcony would not have been of much use. The cabin was very nice and well laid out. The steward was excellent. The ships crew could not have been nicer and always smiled and spoke in passing. Seasoned and well trained. The Queens room ballroom was great for dancing in the evenings and dance lessons were held there for anyone on sea days. Orchestra dancing each evening was very pleasant for participants and onlookers. There was always an activity to do on the ship even when it was too brisk to be outside. The only ding on this whole cruise was the FOOD. Great ship, great crew, lousy food, except for breakfast. The dining room menu was not real appealing and the choices were usually a disappointment. Fancy names and descriptions, then bland and not tasty in fact. No alternatives dishes on the menu. No shrimp cocktail on the whole cruise. The steaks were tough and not edible. They need to fire the chef and ditch the menu and lean more toward other cruise line menus and preparation. Even the British guests were not pleased with the dinners. We ate in the dining room for breakfast almost every morning and I will say the breakfast there was very good. The lunches in the dining room were also ok. And, there is not much in alternatives to the dining room. the Veranda speciality restaurant was not appealing and was not busy ever. The Lido was just buffet food, except for the pasta made to order that was super. The ports were fabulous. St.Petersburg was a two day history lesson and was a highlight of the cruise. All the Scandanavian ports were real good. We took an outside tour in four of the ports with a tour company called Alla Tours. While some of the passengers complained about the Cunard tours our could not have been better. Especially the lady guide (Paulina) in St.Petersburg. The entertainment was very good and nicely done. Tea every afternoon was very nice but again the food was not tasty, even the scones were like they were canned storebought. Most of the passengers were British and as we were Americans we found them to be warm and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Hard to say anything more positive than has already been said about QE & this itinerary again and again. Thought I'd touch on some rough points, but keep in mind: the overall trip was excellent. We chose this trip for the time ... Read More
Hard to say anything more positive than has already been said about QE & this itinerary again and again. Thought I'd touch on some rough points, but keep in mind: the overall trip was excellent. We chose this trip for the time of year and the Itinerary, not the ship. CUNARD Arranged Flights: While a bargain, the seating on the SwissAir Airbus A330-300 to NYC > Zurich was hot (despite repeated requests from several passengers), cramped, and crowded. My seat in Economy was more like riding on a child's training toilet than a seat for adults. (having said that, return on UAL Boeing 767-400 was excellent. Clearly "Star Alliance" partner doesn't indicate much about comfort.). EMBARKATION: Venice is tough for the older or less mobile. Although we'd dropped our big suitcases at the "Left Luggage Office" overnight to keep from having to drag them over the bridges to our hotel the night before Embarkation [Left Luggage is next to the PeopleMover entrance right off the PR bus drop, where all the airport blue buses drop people]. The "hike" from the PeopleMover terminus end to the QE was long, hot, a hard pull on uneven pavement, and generally exhausting (would it have killed the ship to at least have a golf cart for luggage?). The three of us presented ourselves for check-in sweat-soaked, disheveled, and grumpy. This was particularly hard on the women (who like to "dress" for boarding). In any event, this was hardly the way one expects to begin a cruise. MDR: we skipped it after the first 6 dinners, eating instead in the superior Lido. Early Seating in the MDR was crowded, noisy, and the food --while fine-- wasn't "special." The wait staff were harried. By way of comparison, the Lido was cool, dark, and quiet. The Custom Pasta station was a standout. While the MDR was a pretty sterile environment, the smell of hot oil, cooked garlic, and frying onions permeated the Lido and made the experience far superior. DRESS CODE: I know Cunard takes a lot of flack over this issue. I'm of two minds. First of all, I think there should be different standards of dress, depending on the cruise. On TAs, where there is nothing to do all day but pamper oneself, then the Titanic Recreatiionists should have sway with the dress. However, on a cruise with this many ports and this much hardcore touring, the dress standards should be relaxed considerably. After 8-9 hours climbing to the top of the Acropolis and exploring Athens on foot, one is pretty deadened to the niceties of a coat and tie at dinner. By Santorini, everyone was pretty much numb to any downtime experiences. (Frankly, I have never seen more nodding off over dinner than I saw on this trip. This was a ship of hardcore tourists, not the Titanic Recreation crowd at all. This observation was confirmed by the waitstaff in 10 Forward, the Commodore Club, where they complained that nightlife was almost existent. ) More important was the problem of packing for Dress Standards vs weight and baggage hauling. This is particularly important in Venice, where baggage handling facilities and porters are virtually non-existent. A large number of passengers spent two days or more in Venice before the trip, often training off to Florence or Milan, cities not on the itinerary. And then spent several days in Rome at the end. We did both. In this case, ship's standard evening attire is just dead weight and a real bother when you're EuroRailing around Italy before and after the trip (and at $500 per bag, shipping the excess back wasn't very attractive). Having said that, I am aware of some hardcore ballroom dancers and other people who seemed to quite enjoy the dress-up part of the trip as much or even more than the touring. Make no mistake, this is a GREAT itinerary, the trip of a lifetime. The QE was fine. Everything about the ship was "fine," but rarely "special." Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We flew into Rome a couple of days prior to embarkation. This vacation was comprised of my mom, my dad, my sister & myself (Unfortunately, my brother wastherwise occupied with his university studies). This was to be my 9th cruise, but ... Read More
We flew into Rome a couple of days prior to embarkation. This vacation was comprised of my mom, my dad, my sister & myself (Unfortunately, my brother wastherwise occupied with his university studies). This was to be my 9th cruise, but my first with Cunard. This was also my first European cruise. The name of this cruise was "Greek Isles and Holy Land Explorer", as the ports included were: - Olympia (Katakolon), Greece- Santorini, Greece - Haifa, Isreal (2 days, overnight) - Limassol, Cyprus - Rhodes, Greece (my personal favourite port. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Castles and old architecture everywhere) - Crete (Heraklion), Greece - Naples/Capri (Sorrento), Italy Embarkation: It was smooth and painless, quite efficient actually. They handed out slips of paper which had a number printed on it, showing which group number you were to check in with. Priority boarding cruisers were given smaller numbers so that they would be let on first. Once you had finished checking in, they led you to a mandatory photo op (It was apparently to also get an identification image too). Crew members distributed squirts of hand sanitizer to everyone (get used to it), and you were let on in a jiffy. You were led to the escalator area and directed to your room (which was surprisingly ready already!). After setting down your things, you would continue to eat your embarkation lunch in the Lido. Public Rooms: I found they classical and gorgeous. It gave off a very elegant, high class feeling. The rooms were always kept very clean, and nicely maintained. The atrium is absolutely beautiful by the way. There is often live music played around the area in the evening. Fitness & Recreation: My sister and I hit the gym every afternoon for about 2/3rds of our cruise and found the facilities to be wonderful. There was an abundance of treadmills and work out equipment. There was also an area in which you could do yoga (& there were yoga mats) or dance/stretch. My personal favourite was the punching bag & boxing gloves. There were also weights and whatnot in the corner. The gym was connected to the spa, which was nice for those who wanted to get pampered after working out. Enrichment Activities: Almost everyday, we had a guest speaker (Harvey something?) who had lectures on different subjects in the theater. He discussed and presented things such as "Who killed JFK?" and other interesting subjects. There were also port lectures on the upcoming ports we were to soon dock at. They provided interesting and good information as to where the sweet spots of the city lay, and how to get there. Dining: We had had quite high expectations for the dining, as we heard heard very much about it. To be honest, we were not all that impressed. It wasn't that it was bad, it was just that.. there weren't too many dishes that I would consider ordering for a second time. To put it simply, out of 10 dishes, I would say 3 would be gross, 4 would be okay, 2 would be good, and 1 would be REALLY good. I felt the hit and miss rate was too high. I personally am not picky, but if our family of 4 can reach the same verdict, I think we have a pretty solid consensus. Their soups were often too salty (to my parents at least, my sister and I usually thought they were alright), and their entrées did not have enough salt. (My mom once commented that the soup and entrée chef should switch for a day ^^). The steaks for the most part were quite well done, but the lobster was just disappointing. I recall quite a few lunch options were very good, lunch had a higher chance of having a delicious dish than dinner did. All in all, I wouldn't say bad, I'd just say .. too many "eh"s. We dined in the Britannia by the way. The lido buffet was actually pretty good. It's kind of sad when we sometimes liked dinner in the Lido better than in the restaurant. Entertainment: I thought the entertainment was quite good, the acts brought on were all very good, and some quite impressive. I left the theater many times, absolutely delighted. There was a trend though, there was a very obvious British theme. I frequently missed jokes and didn't recognize songs because I am from Canada, but it never put a damper on my enjoyment. Service: We were very disappointed by our dinner service this time. We had a team of servers that did not click at all. Our head server would run around frantically, while our assistant server IGNORED US for over half of the trip. I literally had no idea that we even had an assistant server until day 5!! We found that completely outrageous. This was just our bad luck, because every other lunch team we got (lunch = random set of servers) were absolutely wonderful! It was kind of ridiculous. The other people in our section complained about how our servers were working. We decided to give them a chance before saying anything. That turned out to be our mistake. Our assistant server simply served those who had complained. Seriously? Anyhow, all of the other staff around the ship were great, very professional, helpful and polite. Shore Excursions: We only did one shore excursion, in Haifa. This was a Jerusalem and Bethlehem tour that went into the city. We enjoyed it very much. Our tour guide was absolutely fantastic. He seriously went out of his way to accommodate us. He even pushed to have us tour the trove in which Jesus was born, even though it wasn't part of the tour! He really deserved the tip he got. Value for Money: We got the cruise on a great deal, so how can I complain? The ship was gorgeous, the service (for the most part) was excellent, the food was alright, the the ports were plentiful! I'd say it was pretty worth it. Overall: Not bad. Yes, I would cruise with them again, but pray to God that I get a better serving team next time. They seriously make a huge impact on the enjoyment of your cruise! If you enjoyed my review or found it at all helpful, please hop over to my extremely-in-depth trip report over on the Cruise Critic Message Board Forums. It covers my trip from the point I left my house, to my time spent in Rome, all the way to my cruise and back! It is full of (extremely HD) pictures and it depicts the story of my vacation! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1947801   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Having cruised many times before with Princess, P&O and more latterly Celebrity we decided to try out the 'elite' end of the Carnival fleet, with a view to booking a longer journey if we liked it. We thought that the service ... Read More
Having cruised many times before with Princess, P&O and more latterly Celebrity we decided to try out the 'elite' end of the Carnival fleet, with a view to booking a longer journey if we liked it. We thought that the service would be excellent but were not too sure that the cultural difference that we expected from Cunard would be entirely to our liking. However, the service was appalling. Bar waiting staff were uninterested and complacent - we sat in the Yatch Lounge for 2 hours one afternoon before we finally beckoned a waitress to serve us. No bath robes or slippers in our stateroom as promised - they appeared on the morning of disembarkation ready for the next passengers - who were taking a world cruise! Food was bland and unexciting compared to other cruise lines. Cabin was similar to those on other Carnival ships we have cruised on (Princess and P&O). We were expecting something a little more exciting of Cunard but Carnival have obviously stamped their corporate stamp on the whole of their fleet. That being said, the cabin was clean, comfortable and perfectly acceptable. Shame the promised robes and slippers did not appear. We were left feeling that Cunard do not really care about their short term cruise passengers, just wanted to get the money from us whilst time was filled in until the world cruise commenced. They will not get any more custom from our party of four. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Last minute booking--£999 per adult and £699 for our 4year old son flying from Manchester to Venice on Titan Air on a Balcony grade. Titan Air--make Ryan Air look like first class on Emmirates--a very old and tired Boeing 737 with ... Read More
Last minute booking--£999 per adult and £699 for our 4year old son flying from Manchester to Venice on Titan Air on a Balcony grade. Titan Air--make Ryan Air look like first class on Emmirates--a very old and tired Boeing 737 with laminated drinks menus--very dirty interior--not a great start to the Holiday. Arrive in Venice (thankfully) and collect baggage in the hall with all of the other excited Cunarders to be herded towards locals holding up Cunard boards--tell them our names and show our travel documents to a "I don't have you on our sheet" type answer. Finally persuade the afore mentioned clip boarder to allow us on the bus after we have signed a document stating that we will pay 209 US Dollars for the 15 minute coach ride to the pier. "Don't worry they will reimburse this on the ship", they tell us in their own unique way. If only I knew then what would happen regarding this later!!!! Ok we are on the ship. We are excited to see our balcony stateroom as promised in the booking confirmation--5112 to be precise. We open the door and our young son rushes in--it looks lovely inside!! We enter--the smell of sewerage was overwhelming--we open the curtains and balcony door to allow some air in the room to be confronted by a white crane and lifeboat number 12. Our view from our Balcony is a derrick style crane and the top of lifeboat number 12--things are starting to go south rapidly. We call the Pursers office to inform them of the stench in the room only to be informed that it is coming from outside from the water in Venice--really??? It doesn't smell on the lifeboat deck i.e. our balcony. It didn't smell bad when we stayed on the Equinox in Venice last summer. We ask our Cabin Steward to smell our room who agrees that it is indeed very bad and states that it is coming from a wet carpet from next door. Engineering arrives and we are asked to leave the room for 15 minutes whilst he investigates. We return to be told that the stench is due to works being carried out on the ships funnel. I reluctantly decide to visit the pursers desk. I explain our predicament to a lady who is really not interested in what I have to say and who repeatedly tells me that the ships full and that there are no upgrades--"I am not here for an upgrade, I have no wish for an upgrade I tell her" "I only want a balcony stateroom that doesn't smell, is not a health hazard and that we can perhaps see at least some of the sea from", is my repeated answer. "Wait a minute" she says and runs off to the office. 8 minutes later enter stage left Tara "the boss". I have been on the ship for less than an hour and I am already in the office of the head purser?? I feel like I'm in the headmasters office about to get into trouble--Tara listens to my predicament intently and then reverts to "the ships full there are no upgrades available"--WTF!!!!!--I leave somewhat bemused by my telling off!! Not wanting to return to our gas chamber we decide to visit the restaurant to see when our dining time was. We are not the only ones to embark on this course of action. It seems that at least half of the ship are yet to find out their dining times. We decide not to join the ever growing throng as we can see that arguments are already starting to occur--White Star Service, this is not. We eventually go to dinner at 8.30pm--meal and service were both fantastic--a little faith restored and the smell in 5112 is starting to subside or are we getting used to it?? We keep smelling the same awful smell over the next couple of days and regularly call Tara and her gang to inform them of this with no response at all. My last call is a request for the email address of the Cunard Chief Exec as I have had enough--10 minutes later I am being shown stateroom 7083 a princess grill suite by Tara. It doesn't smell of sewerage and we can see the sea--3 days into our 7 day cruise we have got what we booked albeit a slightly larger cabin and 2 televisions instead of 1 (yes--that's the difference between a balcony and Princess Grill suite--as well as an extra £10,000 in cost). To be fair we did enjoy the last 4 days of the voyage a lot more than the first 3. However it really did not meet with expectations having previously cruised on QM2 and several other lines. It seems to us that Cunard despite building modern ships need to modernise their approach to cruising. We were constantly being reminded on board about how British Cunard are and how their White Star Service is second to none. Sadly in both cases this is simply not the case. Queen Elizabeth is a ship that was built in Italy, registered in the Caribbean, captained by a German, owned by Americans and mainly crewed by South East Asians and Eastern Europeans. Whilst you can dress anybody up in a white suit with gloves there is no guarantee that this automatically guarantees good service. The modern cruiser expects great service on a constant basis. The crew of Queen Elizabeth miss the basic markers in guest service. Dinner in Britannia is hit or miss—sometimes exceptional with a prompt friendly service and sometimes dismal with poor food, slow lacklustre service. Lido buffet despite the constant leaking roof from the AC (surely a major health concern) is on the whole a very good experience. But on several breakfasts we saw again a lacklustre service from a very tired looking bunch of individuals. Several mistakes in room service ordering. Sommeliers who smell the scent of the dollar rather than the boquet of the wine. Perhaps the cruise lines should look at the way they treat and compensate their crews. 7 days a week, 14 hours a day for a minimum wage and depending on gratuities for a living must create a negative working environment. It really shows on Queen Elizabeth. I guess that as a young family travelling we were somewhat shocked by the demographic of the guests. I think it is best summed up by one guest who described it as a "floating care home". With this I guess comes a little friction between the crew and passengers the later constantly complaining about the smallest things possible and constantly demanding the impossible-(stinking staterooms not withstanding). All I all a very very disappointing experience with Cunard. We felt that we were treated like 2nd class citizens and were made to feel like we were trying to scam a free upgrade which in our book is disgraceful. I think that it is no coincidence that Cunard were the only company to have last minute availability on all of their ships as people are looking for value for money, good service and to be treated with just a little respect. And a final nail in the coffin for us--our final stateroom bill. It included the $209 for the 15 minute bus trip from Venice Airport to the pier despite assurances from Cunard staff that this would not be included as we had already paid for this. Back to our beloved Pursers office where I was told " well, you signed the document so you have to pay for it!!" "but I was assured that this would have to come off the bill" was my retort. "there is nothing I will do about this today, you will have to pay for it and take it up with shore side when you disembark" was the curt reply. Placed a call from the ship to Cunard HQ in Southampton--at last service on a grand scale from the wonderful Mary(not sure if that was her real name).” I,m so sorry Mr Wise, I will deal with this now, I will call you back when resolved”--surely this shining star cannot be associated with the same people we have dealt with. Well done Mary in customer services whoever you are!! We are home now—24 hours after leaving the ship--my wife and son are upstairs in bed with severe nausea and diarrohea as I have had as well---I will say no more.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Athens to Athens Cruise July 4, 2014 A very Happy 4th of July!!! My first cruise on a large ship was fabulous! We had a smooth check in and our bags were sent to our stateroom. The cabin was spacious for the three of us; two adults and ... Read More
Athens to Athens Cruise July 4, 2014 A very Happy 4th of July!!! My first cruise on a large ship was fabulous! We had a smooth check in and our bags were sent to our stateroom. The cabin was spacious for the three of us; two adults and a pre-teen. We had enjoyed the balcony and sat out only in the early morning with our coffee. I enjoyed the fitness center and met my family for breakfast in the Britannia restaurant. The servers are all top notch! I didn't have to wait for elevators and the ship seemed quiet. You did see everyone at dinner though. Turkey: We toured the Sultan's Palace in Istanbul and had a lovely lunch at the Four Seasons Hotel. Mykonos: We took a cab to Paradise Beach and ate lunch right under our beach umbrella. The food service on the beach is fantastic! Mykonos town is wonderful and the Greeks are very helpful and friendly. Volos was another stop which was so enjoyable. We took the local bus to a beautiful beach for the day. I love everything about Cunard. I couldn't tell if the ship was in motion. The food was good and I was happy with the Spa Menu! During our days at sea, I enjoyed the Spa!!!! Excellent service and I enjoyed the Spa locker room with sauna. Our disembarkation was just as smooth as our check-in. The entertainment was good, the casino was fun and lectures were very informative. Can't wait until my next Cunard Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time to relax and catch up. We booked the cruise approximately 6 weeks before departure and we were happy we were allocated rooms next to each other as we were advised this may not be the case. We had not travelled on the Queen Elizabeth before but soon realised it was almost identical to her sister ship the Queen Victoria and the itinerary was very much the same. I am not the sort of person to sit around all day and I love to take part in all the sporting activities which happen throughout the day. It is a good way of meeting other people and forming friendships whilst on board. When on a sea day it is a good way of breaking up the day, but I feel more time could be taken to plan the activities better so there is no overlap and you are able to take part in all activities on offer. The entertainment staff on board were excellent, they made activities fun and worked very hard at making sure everyone involved had a good time. Since going on the QM2 five years ago we have noticed standards in the restaurants have fallen year on year. It is certainly not fine dining any more with poor quality food and a limited choice. Our waiter this year was rude, when a fellow diner on our table was not ready to order the waiter retorted 'and', this resulted in some bad feeling between the guest and the waiter for the rest of their trip. The same waiter also resorted to dressing down another waitress in front of other diners in the restaurant. This year we found that the strict dress code was not enforced and one diner turned up in a pair of jeans and an anorak to a formal night in the Britannia Restaurant. On another occasion when ordering drinks at the bar, the barman asked my daughter for ID. I explained that she was 23, but she showed him her ID card whereby the barman insinuated it was mine. I was taken a back that not only did the barman not believe me when I told him my daughters age but then went on to insinuate that I would give her my own ID card. We were due to arrive in the port of Athens the next day so we went to the information desk to get details of how best to travel to Athens on our own. We were assured that there would be a shuttle bus to the end of the port and then there would be a 15 minute walk to catch the Metro. However there was no shuttle bus and we still had not reached the Metro 50 minutes later, we had to get a taxi had we known this we had got a taxi at the port. The evening entertainment this year was disappointing with not enough variety, each night there would be an all singing and dancing extravaganza but it was very repetitive and some evenings we would give it a miss. We spent most of our evenings in the Golden Lion Pub where there was a nightly quiz which proved very popular with a lot of guests. On our day of disembarkation we were told to vacate our rooms by 8.15 and be in the Britannia Restaurant by 8.30. There seemed to be a mix up with the colour of our disembarkation tags and we didn't seem to be on any list to leave the ship, but we were put onto a coach anyway and taken to the airport 7 hours before our flight. There was not seats to sit on in the airport and we were pushed from pillar to post by airport staff. This was a very disappointing end to our holiday as we felt Cunard just couldn't wait to get us off the ship even though there had been a huge communication break down regarding when we should have disembarked. Overall the holiday had its good and bad points, but the poor food and lack of respect by some members of staff has left us wondering if we should travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just got back from Kiel to London mini cruise with the in-laws on Queen Elizabeth. We were a little worried about the recent negative reviews, but ended up having a great time. The service/staff were very attentive, polite and ... Read More
Just got back from Kiel to London mini cruise with the in-laws on Queen Elizabeth. We were a little worried about the recent negative reviews, but ended up having a great time. The service/staff were very attentive, polite and professional. We never had to hunt down someone to take our drink orders, staff were always available. We paid an up-charge for the box seat theater package (we were party of 4) and it was wonderful! Highly recommend this! Lots of fun! We only ate in the main dining room (Britannia) so can't comment on the buffet or the specialty restaurant. We found the food to be lovely - no complaints. I have a severe food allergy and Cunard went above and beyond to accommodate it. The cabin was clean and the bed was comfy. Ballroom dancing on the formal night was as much fun to watch as it was to join in. Spent one afternoon at the spa - the prices are high but worth it. All in all, great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Boarding was first class, they gave us a 3.30pm slot but we drove down from North London without a stop and thats the first time for ages, so we were early and on board by 1.30 ish CPS wizzed the car off and the luggage was taken on ... Read More
Boarding was first class, they gave us a 3.30pm slot but we drove down from North London without a stop and thats the first time for ages, so we were early and on board by 1.30 ish CPS wizzed the car off and the luggage was taken on board within minutes. This was definitely the fastest we have embarked in all 16 cruises. My Nephew and Niece followed not far behind arriving later and by 2.30 we were all enjoying a nice meal in the Lido restaurant. This was our third Cunard cruise having sailed on the other two ships previously so we knew more or less what to expect. The whole cruise was most enjoyable -this time we had an inside cabin on deck 7 which was fine a tad smaller than the P&O ships we have sailed on recently but well presented and a very comfortable bed. We attended most of the talks given by the relevant speakers and enjoyed the insight into cricket - Custom officers and their roles - and an in depth view of shipping.We attended just one film "the Martian" as we do not really feel that an afternoon in a dark theatre is the place to be, unlike the QM2 which had some late night viewing. It has to be said that the food on board was possibly the best we have encountered as a good standard of food was experienced by all on our table of 6. The only exception was the unfortunate choice of using the specialist Veranda restaurant where we all had a laugh at the expense of the poor waiters who thought that this 6 course taster was "a taste of France" - well it wasn't - my Niece and Nephew having lived in France for some time and myself and my wife travelling and staying many times in different areas of France have never come across Pigeon livers cooked in thick dark chocolate and covered in the sauce so thick you couldn't see the livers -the only saving grace was the small piece of steak in another dish as the rest was awful ,cold and tasteless.I asked what part of France the chef came from? and the response was "the Philippines" "hhm not so close then".We even had the waitress laughing and standing talking about the non French - French food. That said we never complained as it would have cast a shadow over the fun we had. We paid for one excursion to Santiago de Compostela which we enjoyed from La Coruna. We hired a car in Madeira and enjoyed the chance to see Porto Moniz -Cabo Girao and Curral das Freiras or valley of the nuns.The cost for all four was just 38euro plus a bit of juice and we had the car back by 3.15 pm from 10 am in the morning so forget coach excursions that wouldn't have covered all those points for something like $300. The port of Lanzarote was a non runner due to high winds the maximum being 40 knots and that was exceeded apt. So we only had 3 ports of call in all a very low ratio for ten nights. But we had a really enjoyable time well worth the money we paid even though the bar bill's and gift purchases plus tips plus personal tips came to over $1000 we had a ball. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We embarked in Southampton, we were booked for 14:30 but arrived at about 13:10. CPS took the car straight off us, and the luggage porter was helpful. There we no queues, and we were on board straight away, very smooth. Oh by the way ... Read More
We embarked in Southampton, we were booked for 14:30 but arrived at about 13:10. CPS took the car straight off us, and the luggage porter was helpful. There we no queues, and we were on board straight away, very smooth. Oh by the way this was our first ever cruise, we were a group of 5, my parents myself, hubby and pre-teen daughter. We really enjoyed the cruise, the food in the Britannia Restaurant was fantastic, we had chateaubriand, lobster, lots of seafood the baked Alaska was divine. Our waiters Romeo & Joy were excellent, actually all of the staff we came into contact were marvellous, and I think this made the cruise for us. The Lido had a good variety of foods, however at times it can be a bit of a scrum to get a table, especially for 5, but we managed this. I think at peek times Cunard could maybe allocate the seating, or come up with a system to help with this. The Lido was always very clean and tidy. It was quite windy at times and we had a day where we were most ill, and taken to our cabins. My husband visited the ships doctor and came back with some marvellous tablets, which meant were could fully enjoy the cruise, ( we did take some other tablets with us , but they were not working at all)!! We very much enjoyed the insight lectures particular Malcom Nelson who was a customs officer, even my daughter was totally enthralled by his presentations. We went to about 4 shows as a family. We enjoyed David Copperfield, although an older guy, we did enjoy that older generation humour ( bearing in mind most of the audience were well into there 60's ++). The dancers were good, but let down a little by the 4 singers, the 2 women need a bit more tone to there voices, and were a bit shrieky at times!! We missed one port of call due to bad weather. I have no qualms with this, and would rather be safe, we sailed straight onto Gran Canaria, the captain kept us up to date at all times. We thought the crew were very professionally, and the Captain safety conscious, they even had an extra crew drill whilst we were in port. We paid for 2 excursions, as we were new to cruising, we were a bit apprehensive about been back on time, but both excursions were well organised, particularly Madeira. Rosa was our guide, and as we were travelling as a party of 3 ensured we got a family basket for our toboggan ride, which I recommend. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Whilst the destination was what we had hoped for, the Queen Elizabeth is a hopeless shambles. We chose Cunard as we have cruised on QM2 previously and that was superb in almost every way. On the QE, waiting staff appeared demoralised, ... Read More
Whilst the destination was what we had hoped for, the Queen Elizabeth is a hopeless shambles. We chose Cunard as we have cruised on QM2 previously and that was superb in almost every way. On the QE, waiting staff appeared demoralised, the Pursers desk was a "cant do" attitude to anything you ask. The Tour desk handed out poor quality maps and information sheets that bore no resemblance to each other. The ship looks tired with peeling paint on balcony furniture, and had problems in St Petersburg, although this was put down to the weather, it didn't explain the work at the stern of the ship at 23:30 when we should have set sail at 18:00. Some serious vibrations at the rear of the ship. The cabin was clean and satisfactory. Dining: Britannia Resturant: The Maitre de was arrogant, poorly prepared food, served in a rush because they were too few waiting staff. Lido Resturant was in contrast more relaxed, better food and better service. Entertainment: Only two shows came anywhere near acceptable. Cunard you really need to look at you choreography for your own dancers, it was somewhat weird and dark, one show was set as a Dance Agent interviewing dancers and giving jobs to those that appeared to please him????? Very weird concept to put in a show. Whilst the dancers were good, they were working against the odds with the weird choreography they were given. Again just very poor compared to QM2 Service: This ship has a "Cant Do" attitude. Whenever you ask someone something they pass you off saying you need to speak to "xxx". NEVER taking ownership. Particularly the Pursers Desk. Ports were fine with the exception that the ship skipped Skagen altogether, effectively we spent 5 days at sea after St Petersburg, WHICH WAS VERY BORING! Why do Cunard charge for shuttles to town? In Tallin they charged $6 to travel 1200 mtrs. Most people walked to the town, but it seems a con to charge the less abled to travel 1200 mtrs. Disembarkation was a complete and utter shambles, Because the ship was very late arriving at Southampton, many poeple chosed to Self Disembark. Cunard knew the numbers but took no action to control the queues, it was an unsupervised bun fight to get off the ship. I would never travel on QE again Read Less
Sail Date May 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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