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40 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Family Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
We chose this review to celebrate a milestone birthday with family. Food was very average to say the least. Had better food in on our Royal Caribbean cruises and better service too. Everything seemed to be an extra cost plus 15%. Wine was ... Read More
We chose this review to celebrate a milestone birthday with family. Food was very average to say the least. Had better food in on our Royal Caribbean cruises and better service too. Everything seemed to be an extra cost plus 15%. Wine was very expensive. Got a suprise of $US 34.50 for each person on our bill. $US30 to play bingo? Had 8.30 seating for dinner which meant the plays were at 10.30 what a joke. Perhaps they should do what other cruises do so if you have 6.30 dinner you do 8.30 show and vise versa. First & second night entertainment was dismal. Last nights comediam was excellent. Highlight was Burnie where we organized our own amazing tour. So unbelievably disappointed would never go again! Oh I divot to say that afternoon tea was so packed people started trying to get a seat at 2 for 3.30 afternoon tea! Something is so wrong with the coordination of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Visiting norway and iceland Again Queen Elizabeth has technical problems : can‘ t therefore landing in Isjafordur. Excursions are cancelled; yesterday night the ship could‘t drive all the time with her max. speed, so we had a ... Read More
Visiting norway and iceland Again Queen Elizabeth has technical problems : can‘ t therefore landing in Isjafordur. Excursions are cancelled; yesterday night the ship could‘t drive all the time with her max. speed, so we had a delay in Akureyi. I remember my cruising by QE 2 years ago: in St. Petersburg we could‘t depart; by the way: it has been the same captain Why cunard is not able to remove the known technical problems? I hope they will solve theses problems to the next cruise we have booked with Queen Elizabeth in may 2019: from yokohama towards alaska and to vancouver. I ithink cunard requires too much of this ship. Captain says that we shall have understanding for her decision. This will be difficult because things repeat. Summery: crew- specially in restaurants, bars, on deck and the butler in the staterooms is very courteous and friendly. The german hostess sometimes was arrogant and complacent. The (english) travel tours hostess rattled off the explanation of the trips. Dining in Queens Grill had been excellent; cabin was luxurious and calm. We will return and hope that technical problems will be solved. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
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
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
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
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
We took a family party of 8, ages 5-73 on this to experience Alaska for the first time. We had 3 balcony cabins near the bow on level 5. The ship, was outstanding, elegant, and British-traditional in an updated version. I would recommend ... Read More
We took a family party of 8, ages 5-73 on this to experience Alaska for the first time. We had 3 balcony cabins near the bow on level 5. The ship, was outstanding, elegant, and British-traditional in an updated version. I would recommend this cruise and ship to anyone wanting to see Alaska. I feel it necessary to contradict some of the negative reviews about the crew made by others. Our cabins were excellent, the stewards were friendly and attentive, responding to our requests, and dining was varied enough to suit the tastes of our 3 generation party. Britannia was excellent, food, service and setting. Not a single time did we feel the staff was inattentive or anything less that friendly and professional. Lido was excellent for buffet breakfast and lunch. Never overcrowded, clean, beautiful views, good food, good variety. Port selection was good, and excursions were generally worthwhile. If you are booking these, I caution you that there will be much less time at the sites you visit, and in Port, than you would think, based on the overall port time and the advertised length of the excursion. Once you deduct the boarding and travel time from the advertised length of the excursion, and build in the desired margin to reboard the ship timely, you generally will feel very rushed, and will find shore time in Port rushed or non-existent. Cunard should provide a realistic estimate of the ACTUAL time you will be at the excursion site for trip planning. Another note: I am no techno-wizard, but the technology of the Voyage Personaliser is pathetic, outmoded and in need of a complete overhaul. The site did not save your login info, or auto fill the necessary basic info, so every time you want to do a search, make a change, anything, it’s necessary to repeat all that key boarding. Since **we were booking excursions for travelers in 3 cabins, who were often NOT taking the same excursions, it was incredible that we could not book individuals in separate cabins on an excursion with a single booking, but had to make 3 separate reservations. We thought we were just too dumb to figure a work around, but several in out group tried, and we contacted Cunard by phone and were told it could not be done! Another suggestion, is that Cunard should make available for purchase a Nautical Chart covering the length of the itinerary. I am a small sail and powerboat enthusiast with over 50 years experience and naturally wanted to plot our course and study the channels and tributaries along the way. I learned ahead of time that there might be nothing on ship to purchase, and was stunned, so I went online and found a poor substitute. When I boarded I asked around and no one I spoke to had any idea what I was talking about. Only after we had gotten over half way along the trip did we see Charts for the area on sale in a small store, but by then it was too late. Back to our party. The Kids Zone was a terrific hit with the younger ones and their parents, the fitness area was well done, entertainment and activities were varied and enjoyable and there was much more to do that we had time for, so there was no issue with boredom on days at sea.. Finally, embarkation in Vancouver was crowded, hot and chaotic. We arrived slightly earlier, as instructed by phone ahead of time, than our assigned time and it took about 2 hours. Whether that is an acceptable time frame I will leave to travelers more experienced that I. In the final analysis we would highly recommend this ship and voyage to anyone wanting to see Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Cunard oozes tradition at every turn; and the 'best of British' but is it suitable for families and kids ? Well we just arrived in Melbourne after a 6 night cruise from Fremantle with a 7 year old boy for my mother's ... Read More
Cunard oozes tradition at every turn; and the 'best of British' but is it suitable for families and kids ? Well we just arrived in Melbourne after a 6 night cruise from Fremantle with a 7 year old boy for my mother's 80th birthday present. We probably would not normally have chosen Cunard with a child but my mother had a lifetime dream which we wanted to fulfill of traveling aboard the QEII so this was our best option. Embarkation in Fremantle was a little 'hit-and-miss' with the requested wheel chair for mum nowhere to be found and her walker arriving just before the 4:15pm safety briefing. The staff were all very accommodating but this really wasn't the best start given our previous wonderful experiences with P&O departing out of Fremantle. Yes, there is a kids-club with ages separated into 2yrs to 8yrs and 8yrs to 14yrs. The staff were delightful and so attentive to the 12 children travelling. You can rest assured that the kids will have plenty to do with the club open from 10am -12noon, 2pm - 5pm and then 6pm - 11pm on sea days. While there are no fancy water slides or fun character shows or bumper cars there are the traditional shuffleboard, bowls, tennis and a wonderful library and card room with plenty of board ganmes to borrow. This is traditional cruising the way it use to be with none of the frills and excitement that family orientated ships now include. So come prepared for the occasional 'I'm board' because there is not 24/7 entertainment - kids have to make up their own fun for a change ! The age profile is very much slanted to the older end of the spectrum which means plenty of adopted grannies and pas around who are mostly young at heart and only too delighted to engage with young, well mannered little people. However, it's a bit like visiting Grandma's home where there are rules to obey. The ship's decor is all in a magnificent Art Deco style with plush interiors and carpets. So running through the atrium in a bathing suit with an icecream is absoultutely NOT OK !! The food options more than cater for kids with free flowing icecream, fish and chips, plenty of delicious choices and the chef will even adapt to various food alergies if required. Somehow the needs of both old and young are often very similar ! The rooms are all wonderfuly comfortable and cater for famileles of up to 4 in a room. The room stewards are all very helpful and room service is free for those nights when you just want a pizza and a movie in bed. Cunard would not be our first choice for young children as there is a need to really encourage a slightly older approach to cruising that relies on children being able to makeup their own fun and not be constantly entertained. Having said this, that's not necessarily a bad thing but parents will need to be ever present. We had the most wonderful 'multi-generational' cruise and 6 nights was the perfect length. Having done 8 cruises now as a family we were fairly well prepared for this type of holiday but it's not for everyone and you need to do your research. Thank you Cunard and Her Majesty QE for a most delightful and charming walk back in time to an eara of gracious opulance when kids were well behaved and had to use their own imgination to have fun ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise to the Canary Islands in November in order to enjoy the last of the sun without flying. We thought the amenities and entertainments on this great ship were outstandingly good. Our accommodation was also excellent, ... Read More
We chose this cruise to the Canary Islands in November in order to enjoy the last of the sun without flying. We thought the amenities and entertainments on this great ship were outstandingly good. Our accommodation was also excellent, but so it should have been in the most expensive category. We found the best food in the no-frills Lido buffet although the service and ambience of the Queen's Grill made an enjoyable and upscale dining experience. There are two alternative restaurants available at a supplement of 20 or 25 dollars per person. We tried them both and enjoyed the change of scene and the somewhat better cuisine. I gave this ship only four stars because of the evidence here and there of crude cost-cutting at the expense of the passengers' experience. Cocktails were served in miserable pours and were vastly overpriced, fourteen dollars for a glass of ice with what looked like half a pub measure of spirit. The company would make more profit if it offered better value for money in this area. Wine was also pricey for what it was. The excursions were also expensive for what they were. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Embarked smoothly on previous cruise at Ocean terminal and disembarked this one at Mayflower - so anyone who had parked at the port had to have their cars transferred. We had used Airlynx who shuttled us to their car park after we ... Read More
Embarked smoothly on previous cruise at Ocean terminal and disembarked this one at Mayflower - so anyone who had parked at the port had to have their cars transferred. We had used Airlynx who shuttled us to their car park after we disembarked. The guests on this cruise were of quite an older average-age (we are early 50's) and so it was quite a subdued atmosphere relative to others, but still very pleasant, and probably due to the fact that is was the pre-Christmas cruise so extremely good value for 12 days and with generous on-board credit that virtually covered our drinks bill. Dining was excellent, although there were a couple of hiccups with time and table selection. We also ate in the Lido a couple of times and were invited to dine with a couple of the officers one evening. Very entertaining learning about life on the ship. Cafe Carinthia was a nice place to have coffee in the day and pre-dinner drinks/canapes in the evening. Daytime activities were average. Hard to please everyone I suppose but there could always be more to do. We went to every dance lesson with the excellent Dan & Alyona. There were lectures and movies in the theatre approximately every sea day and similar with art lectures, painting classes etc. The shops on board are very good if you have the spare cash for those high-end brands. Football was shown most days in the Garden lounge. Evenings in the Queens room were aimed mostly at ballroom and sequence dancing. We are learning to join in with this but had hoped to enjoy the Yacht Club on the top deck. Unfortunately despite the very brave efforts of the excellent lead singer of the house band 'Synergy', the atmosphere was spoiled completely by DJ Michael, who I'm afraid is simply not cut out to do that job. The dancefloor was never full and his insistence on playing requests betrayed his inability to judge the crowd and keep things going. More than any other thing, this detracted from our enjoyment of this particular cruise. On Queen Victoria last summer, we had some great party nights, but this time, we just went to bed early to escape the pain. Cunard really need to give the man a different role. Photos: average Casino: good, if smaller than some Library: good Pools: both heated, if a little small Loungers: easy and light to move, and towels very nice and clean Promenade deck: narrow but goes all the way around the ship for good walks in bad weather! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We greatly enjoyed our trip to Norway. This review will be particularly helpful for families and travelers with disabilities, since we brought our 6 year old and two year old children on this vacation. Our precruise stay was in London. ... Read More
We greatly enjoyed our trip to Norway. This review will be particularly helpful for families and travelers with disabilities, since we brought our 6 year old and two year old children on this vacation. Our precruise stay was in London. We stayed at the Dolphin House Service Apartments, which is conveniently located within a short walk or cab ride to many major London tourist attractions. The hotel is very clean, well designed and spacious – we had a 3 bedroom suite and the kids were so excited that my son said it was the perfect hotel to play hide and seek in. Families should consider staying in executive apartments which are primarily designed for long term business stays, because they often have a one bedroom apartment with a living room and kitchen for the price of a regular hotel room. The concierge and hotel staff were extremely helpful and friendly, and this hotel is an excellent choice for families. Our son loves Harry Potter, so his first request upon learning we would be visiting London was to see Kings Cross station. They kindly let you pose for free with a Hogwarts scarf and wand (and let family members take pictures), but please note that since this is free and each individual gets to make several poses, there can be a very long line (we visited midweek in May and waited 20 minutes – the photographer said it could be over an hour wait on weekends during the summer). Please also note that Kings Cross is about 20 minutes away from Westminster Abbey via the Underground or cab, so you might want to know that it isn’t that close to most tourist attractions before promising your kids they can go (I didn’t realize this, but my son loved it so it was all worth it in the end). If you love Harry Potter, there are a lot of options listed here: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to...resQQm5GdUx.97. If you like the movies, there might be better places to visit than Platform 9 ¾, particularly the Warner Brothers Studio tour, which is located 20 miles from London. We visited the London Eye (and bought the more expensive tickets that let you bypass the lines, since the kids were tired and jet lagged and we only had one day in London) and then took a double decker bus that got us halfway to Kings Cross station. Our next day was an excellent tour of Stonehenge and a visit to the amazing Salisbury Cathedral (and I was absolutely shocked when my 6 year old told me that the Salisbury Cathedral was his favorite attraction on this cruise). The people at www.salisburystonehengetours.co.uk provided us with an outstanding tour. Our tour guide, Jeff, is extremely knowlegeble about the history of Stonehenge, and even brought books along for our children to learn more about the history of Stonehenge. Anyone who would like an in depth understanding of these sites would greatly enjoy this tour. One of the questions that often gets asked on the cruise critic Baltic forums is which cities should one visit in Norway. We chose this particular cruise because it visits both Geiranger and Flam (and as it turned out Olden was also quite impressive). The highlight of Stavanger is Pulpit Rock. If you aren’t able to make this hike (and please note that it is rated as an easy hike, although it may take about 2 hours each way) you can still have a nice day in Stavanger, but it isn’t a must-see city if Pulpit Rock is not accessible for your family (or if the weather is bad, since you won’t be able to see much from the top if it is foggy). Because of our two year old and six year old, we decided not to attempt to hike Pulpit Rock. Our ship docked very close to the Old Town of Stavanger, and we enjoyed a pleasant and easy walk through the charming streets. We visited the Petroleum Museum, which was a bit underwhelming but a nice place to spend some time. Children will like the crane where you can knock down giant foam blocks, and there is a lovely playground right across the street from the museum. We greatly enjoyed our Fjord cruise with Rodne cruises. The only bad reviews for the fjord cruises in Stavanger on Tripadvisor were written by people who were disappointed because they had seen most of these views on the ship during the sail-in. We had two interior cabins, and were chasing two kids around, so we didn’t see much of the sail-in and therefore cannot address these concerns. It was a pleasant and lovely cruise for our family, and a nice way to get out of the rain. The Rodne boats have a covered interior downstairs and an open top on their ships, so you can be completely protected from the rain if you choose to stay on the bottom level. The ship is very safe for young children, and most of the bottom floor of the boat is childproofed so a small child cannot fall in the water (the exception is the back of the ship, where there is a tiny area with a railing with wide gaps. That section isn’t very dangerous, but you would need to stay close to a young child since they can wriggle through wide railings quickly). One of the cities we chose this itinerary for was Flam, and it is an absolutely beautiful place to visit. We had one very bad experience in Flam. We didn’t book the earliest Flam railway train since the port was listed as a possible tender, and we didn’t want to worry about making the earliest train. That left us with 2 hours of free time in the morning. I was a little concerned about traveling all the way to the Stegastein viewing platform because I was worried that if we were delayed we’d miss our tickets on the Flam railway. There is a small tourist train that travels around Flam called the Rallartoget, which departs near the Flam railway. According to its website, it departs every hour on the hour starting at 10 am, and returns 45 minutes later. As soon as we arrived in Flam, I went straight to the Rallartoget booth and asked their employee to confirm the schedule. He assured me the train would leave at 10 am and return at 10:45, which would leave us plenty of time to make the train (and get on line ahead of time to ensure we have good seats). At 10:07, the train hadn’t left and they were still selling tickets to people on line. I went to the railway operator and told him we were promised this train would leave at 10 am, and that we needed to be back on time to ride on the Flam railway. He told me he wouldn’t let the train leave until the train is full and told me that it wasn’t guaranteed I’d make the Flam train so I should just get off the train and take a refund. We left the train, and walked to the Flam railway platform where we could still see the tourist train. The tourist train did not depart until 10:14 am, which is an unacceptable delay for a 45 minute ride when the train had been sitting at the terminal all night long. We’ve previously taken our children on several of these small tourist trains (they’re usually nothing special but kids tend to really enjoy them) and they have always been advertised in the past as departing whenever they are full. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with the trains waiting until they are full to depart as long as they are honest with people about their schedule. By the time we exited the train, it was too late to go to the Stegastein viewing platform, and we wound up having to spend two hours in Flam with two young children waiting around. We would have been able to visit the viewing platform if the Rallartoget employee had been honest when I asked him at 9 am about the train schedule. When we were on the Flam train, another couple came up to us and told us they’d been on the Rallartoget with us and that we didn’t miss anything – apparently the route travels much of the same way the Flam train goes, plus there was a lot of construction so they didn’t see anything scenic. If you want to ride the amazing Flam railway, you should book this first, since the railway tickets tend to book up quickly during the height of the tour season. The Flam railway is a five minute walk from where you dock or tender, so this can easily be undertaken as an independent excursion. We booked our tickets online at the Norwegian Railways site at https://www.nsb.no/en/?gclid=CMuvnubiitMCFYoy0wodZb8BnQ . If that site is showing that everything is booked, other cruise critic posters have mentioned trying http://booking.visitflam.com/en/to-do/a1488268/the-flåm-railway/showdetails , and other posters have stated that this site has access to different tickets and sometimes has availability even when the Norwegian railway site lists no availability. Also, people have reported on the forums that when the train was initially sold out, they kept checking and eventually tickets opened up due to cancellations. Another option is to check with your cruise line – it will be more expensive to purchase this excursion through the cruise line but worth it if you cannot purchase the tickets independently. A quick online search seemed to recommend that you should sit on the right side of the train on the Flam to Myrdal journey. The view on that side was quite lovely, but might also be on the other side. In Flam, we had a lovely afternoon visiting a goat farm, exploring the beautiful town of Undredal (the inspiration for the movie Frozen), and then eating local cheeses (including brown caramel goat cheese) and a delicious lunch that was organized by Flam Guide Service ( http://www.fjordsafari.com ). Fjord Safari's booth is located about a minute away from the Flam railway platform, so you will have no problem finding your tour. You can combine this tour with a hike and boat ride along the fjords if your group is all physically fit. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable excursion, which I would highly recommend. We traveled in May, before the goats move to their summer farms so this excursion had to be individually arranged. Flam Guide service stayed in contact with us and gave us updates as they worked to book this reservation, and they also helpfully provided car seats for our children. Our tour guide was highly knowlegdable and helpful and this tour was one of the highlights of our cruise. One of the other cities we chose this cruise for was Geiranger. Visitors should please note that if you are planning on driving to the beautiful scenic viewpoints at Dalsnibba that Road 63 opens between mid-May and early June, depending upon how long it takes to clear the snow and when the avalanche risk has ended (the engineers wait until the big spring avalanche occurs before opening the road). You should consider choosing a cruise that visits later to ensure you will be able to experience all of the beauty of Geiranger. It would be helpful if the cruise lines adjusted their itineraries and put Geiranger last on May cruises, since Road 63 opened the on our last port day, when we were in Bergen, but they may have logistical reasons for leaving the port stop in Geiranger earlier. We were told in Flam that the waterfalls all looked gorgeous in May because they are currently filled with snow runoff. This will melt, and then the waterfalls won’t be nearly as impressive later in the season so that might be one reason to choose a May cruise. Crowds also tend to be a bit thinner in May, so you may experience more availability about booking tickets on the Flam railroad (we booked at the last minute and might have been shut out if we’d tried to book last minute tickets in June) and changing the troll car in Olden. Cunard requires passengers to pass a “step test” in which you step across two pieces of tape 18 inches apart in order to demonstrate that you are physically capable of boarding a tender without requiring crew assistance. The people running the tender insisted that my 2 year old would need to pass this test prior to our family being issued tender tickets. My husband offered to take the test while carrying our 2 year old son, but the people running the tender refused to allow this. We went to the purser’s office and after a half hour wait we were eventually issued a tender ticket by them. When we went to tender, the Cunard crew did exactly what the crew on the Coral Princess did when my older son was two and we sailed through the Panama Canal – they picked our child up and placed him into the tender boat. We were prepared to carry him ourselves, but completely agreed with the crew members that letting them transport the toddler was the safest option. I support step tests for passengers in general because I believe that crew members or passengers could be injured if crew members try to lift an adult with a disability, but lifting a two year old child shouldn’t endanger the crew. After the cruise, I emailed Cunard and they confirmed that a parent should be allowed to take the step test carrying a small child and if they pass they should be issued a tour ticket. So if you have any problems with this issue, please go to the purser’s office and ask them for assistance. This unfortunately caused us to be an hour late for our private tour, which upset our tour guide. We were scheduled to start tendering at 8 am, and weren’t able to get off the ship until 10. In Geiranger, Geiranger Fjordservice is the dominant tour operator. We booked a private limousine tour for just our family to visit the various scenic viewpoints. When I was organizing the tour, I emailed the company to request that they provide a car seat booster for my 6 year old. I was told that they did not have this, and we’d need to bring it. This was the only transfer on our trip that refused to provide a booster seat, and it required us to transport 2 car seats to Europe. After the cruise, I learned that transportation services in Norway are required by law to provide car seats upon request. I had also emailed them ahead of time to request that we stop at a goat farm by a lake we were scheduled to visit. Their company told me in email that they could not arrange a visit ahead of time, but we could stop our car and visit with the goats if they were along the fence. This delay in being issued tender tickets caused us to be late for our private tour. I had called the company at 8:30 in the morning since our tour was scheduled to begin at 9 and requested that we please move it to 10. The woman who answered the phone said, “oh, it’s no problem – your driver will just be here whenever you arrive.” I told her we were having difficulties getting off the ship and could be delayed longer and she assured me there were no problems and to just come whenever we were able to leave the ship. When we were finally able to exit the ship, the driver told us he’d been waiting a long time and had almost left without us. It was unfortunate that his office chose not to tell him about our delay, and we explained that we’d tried to leave a message with the main office. Geiranger Fjordservice runs buses to the attractions we visited, but we booked a much more expensive private tour for our family so we’d have control over the itinerary, which is important when you are traveling with small children. Unfortunately, when we asked if we could stop at the goat farm that was just down the road from our last stop, our driver told us that in Norway it was illegal for anyone to visit a farm without proper vaccinations. If this is correct, then it would be quite odd since Norway’s travel website includes a link to the goat farm experience we undertook in Flam. My kids were starting to get a bit carsick after the long drives through the hairpin roads in Geiranger, so I didn’t argue with the driver about the fact that we were told by the office in email it would be possible to stop (we saw the goats from the road so it would have been easy to visit). If other families are trying to visit please note that the goat farm that is located at the first curve off Eagle road from Geiranger, near the lake they will probably take you to. Hopefully other families will have more luck being able to visit there. Visitors should note that the viewing platforms in Geiranger are amazing (especially on a clear day) but there are hairpin roads to reach them, and it could be a little challenging if you are prone to car sickness. I would not recommend using Geirangerfjordservice for private transportation, but they do run a bus to the panoramic viewing stations and it seems unlikely travelers would experience the problems we did on a group bus tour, since most of the reviews on tripadvisor are positive for this company. At the end of the tour, we decided to stop for lunch in Geiranger. We were a little scared to stop at Braserie Posten, since it is in a tourist trap location right near the cruise ship terminal, but the yelp reviews were positive and the food was excellent. There is seating with a beautiful view of the harbor in the back of the restaurant. We went through two bowls of fish soup, since the kids were so happy eating all of it. It is a very short walk from this restaurant to the dock, so this is a nice way to conclude your day in Geiranger. We were extremely fortunate to learn that the Loen Skylift opened three days prior to our arrival in Olden. I was a bit anxious about the logistics of visiting a brand new attraction with small children, and the owner of Olden Adventures was very patient and reassuring about the logistics of reaching the skylift. As it turned out, the weather was a bit rainy on the day we arrived, so there were very few crowds. It was still a very beautiful location, with a gorgeous viewing platform. On nice days, paragliders take off from the mountain (that happened the day before we arrived) and that must be spectacular to see if you are lucky enough to get good weather. The food in the restaurant was excellent, especially the sample platter of local meat. It’s unsurprisingly expensive, but the view is outstanding and the food delicious. The Loen Skylift is only a 6 km bus ride from Olden, so it isn’t very difficult to get there. Olden Adventures ( http://www.oldenadventure.com/ ) is running shuttles to the Loen Skylift, right next to their buses to the Biksdal Glacier so it would be very easy to travel to both attractions through Olden Adventures. Both buses leave from the only petrol station in town, which is a very short walk from where your ship will dock. You can also take a cab to the Loen skylift. It is a 40 minute ride to the Briksdal Glacier, so a cab there would probably be quite a bit more expensive. Please note that cabs will refuse to transport children without car seats, and although they are required to provide them upon request we were unable to fill any taxi requests we made (we only emailed the taxi companies 2 days in advance; you might have better luck if you contact cab companies far in advance). The most economical option for getting to the Briksdal Glacier is a public bus that runs from June –August. The Norway tourist office stated that in the 2017 season the bus left Port Olden at 9:58 am, and departs Biksdal Glacier at 1:30 pm, and is currently listed as costing 132 NOK for each adult ticket. You might want to contact the tourist office to see if there is any way to purchase tickets ahead of time or if they can run additional buses if the first one is full. The Briksdal Glacier has been hit hard by global warming, but the 40 minute bus ride there is quite scenic and lovely, as is the hike itself to the glacier so overall this excursion is a very good choice as long as you realize ahead of time that the most beautiful pictures online of the glacier showing lots of ice are not recent and don’t represent what you will see at the glacier. For travelers with young children or mobility issues, there are troll cars available for rent to reduce the length of your hike. These golf carts travel most of the way to the glacier, leaving you with a very pleasant and relatively flat 700 m walk. Since we didn’t expect my 2 year old to make it all the way to the glacier, my husband and 6 year old went ahead of us. To my surprise, my 2 year old slowly but steadily made the entire hike in the allocated time (they tell you what time to return to the platform to catch your return troll car). Reservations are required for troll cars in May and October, and recommended during the summer months (the troll car season runs from May-October). The only challenging thing is that they do request that you tell them what time you’d like to ride on the troll car, which is hard if you want to chose a time to do this excursion based upon the weather forecast (although it is completely understandable they ask you to pick a time, since otherwise there might be a lot of people trying to get on a troll car at one time and this would cause really long delays). I don’t know if the troll car operators are always flexible about the time of your reservation, but we changed our minds about what time to visit the glacier on the day we traveled since we wanted to visit the Loen skylift in the afternoon when the weather was scheduled to be better. I emailed the troll car operators at 9 am as soon as we got on the bus towards the glacier, and they had already switched my reservation by the time we arrived at the troll car office. We traveled in May, when things are less crowded so I don’t know if they will be able to accommodate a change in reservation time during the busy summer months. The troll car website where you can make your advance reservation is available at: http://www.oldedalenskysslag.com . Near where you pick up the troll car is a small café off the souvenir shop; they have excellent waffles. They are best freshly made, so if you have time keep an eye on the plate where they store the waffles and order them when everyone else bought up the older waffles. My family started off by ordering 4, and ended up eating 12 (the kids really loved them and since they’d just finished hiking to a glacier without a single complaint I wasn’t going to say no), so we were able to get a lot of fresh waffles. We arrived in Bergen on what the ship’s employees described as one of the worst weather days in Bergen – and that says a lot considering the fact that it rains in Bergen 240 days a year! Due to the poor weather, we actually did not experience any lines for the funicular. On a clear day, the lines can be quite long so pre-purchasing your tickets online can help you avoid at least one set of lines (there could still be lines waiting to get on the funicular even if you already have pre-purchased your tickets). The top of Mt. Floyen has a lovely playground and nice restaurants, and is probably a wonderful place to visit when the weather is nice. The Bergen fish market is nearby, where adventurous eaters can sample whale. There are many other fish selections, including excellent fish soup and fish kebobs. There are heaters and blankets so even in the cold, rainy weather we were able to enjoy a very nice meal there. There really aren’t any public transportation options to the funicular from the port, but it is only a 10-minute walk if your ship docks close to town. Half of this walk is along the beautiful streets of Bryggn, and the other half is a little less scenic (but perfectly safe). If you have disabilities, you can try to arrange for a taxi ahead of time, but families should note it may be difficult to obtain taxis in Norway due to their stringent car seat regulations. Families should consider either the HOHO bus or the Museum Shuttle bus. The museum shuttle bus ticket includes entry to the Hanseatic Museum, Schotstuene and the Norwegian Fisheries Museum. We visited the Norwegian Fisheries Museum, which had some nice hands-on attractions for children. This isn’t a must-see museum, but the kids were very happy for a half hour and then the shuttle bus took us back to the city center. If I had been able to take a taxi, we would have visited the ViVite Science Center, which has very strong reviews. There is also the Bergen Aquarium, which can be reached via Beffen, a public ferry that runs every 10 minutes Monday-Friday starting at 7:30 am and also during the summer on Saturdays starting at 11 am. The aquarium’s reviews were a bit more mixed than the Science Center, but the Beffen itself is supposed to be a charming ride. Families should also note that there is a Vannkanten Waterworld to consider visiting. The museum bus does not visit these attractions, but it is quite possible the HOHO bus will. There are many positives about sailing on Cunard. We were very impressed with most of the staff, which mainly consisted of very hard working and dedicated employees. We sailed with a 2-year old and a 6-year old, and one night the head waiter noticed the 6-year old sharing his prawn dish with his brother, and brought over a second plate of food so they could both eat. The food was generally quite good. It is very difficult to cook for the entire main dining room at once, and understandably a few dishes fell short (which is exactly what happened on Princess and HAL, the other two lines I’ve been happy with their food). But some of the food was always excellent, and by ordering 3 courses each person was able to have a very strong dining experience overall. There was some very good food in the buffet – usually the ethnic food, the carved food station and the cooked to order fish station were excellent. The pizza was so bad that for the first time in his life my 6 year old actually refused to eat pizza, but there was always enough good food if you tried enough things in the buffet. The scones and bread were always very good, along with the custard deserts in ramekins. Please note that you will receive a card with your table number for assigned seating in your cabin. You should bring this card with you to the dining room on the first night. Patrons who did not have their card had to wait in a long line while the dining room employees checked their table number. Simply telling them your number was insufficient, as they would refuse to seat you (and I can guess that previous patrons may have gotten confused and given them the wrong number, leading to problems when they were seated at the wrong table). Guests who had their dining card were immediately escorted to their tables. There are a few things that families should be aware of prior to booking a Cunard cruise to ensure that sailing this line is the right choice for your family (and people without children can stop reading here, since the rest of the review is for families). Anytime dining is only available if you are staying in more expensive cabins. If you have two interior cabins like we booked, you will need to do fixed dining or the buffet or the specialty restaurants (and there is no discount for children ordering off the adult menu in the specialty restaurants). We were originally assigned late seating, which was after my younger child’s bedtime. I emailed Cunard prior to my sailing, and they very kindly cleared us off the wait list for early dining so the lack of anytime dining did not affect my family since the early fixed seating worked well for us. Please also note that formal dress codes apply to most common areas on the ship, not just the dining room. Most Cunard passengers are very dedicated to the dress code, and even in the buffet you can see women in evening gowns on formal nights. I need to dress for chasing around small children (which means I was wearing an ordinary black dress that would really be more appropriate for daywear and not eveningwear since I don’t wear anything that needs to be dry cleaned while my kids are small and stain everything) but people seemed tolerant of my clothing choices. The kids club is scheduled to close from 5-6 pm for dinner. Please note that there are no dining venues that serve dinner during this time – the buffet does not open for dinner until 6 pm. From 5-6 pm the buffet serves a lovely tea – there are very good scones and sandwiches available but there are no dinner options available during this time in the buffet or main dining room. Room service is available, and might be an option if you want to feed your child during the 5-6 pm slot. I was lucky and my kids were happy to wait until they left the kids club before going to bed to eat a late dinner in the buffet, since one of my goals on a cruise is to feed my children a lot of different ethnic foods they haven’t tried before. Thankfully, there was a large variety of foods available from the buffet so my 2-year old was able to add a lot of new foods to his diet. We also took our kids to the main dining room some nights, where the waiters did an excellent job. Parents should also note that the kids club staff requires at least one guardian to stay on board while their children are in the kids club, so it is not be possible to leave your children behind while you participate in an excursion that might be too difficult for them (such as hiking Pulpit Rock). The kids club generally opened at 2 pm on shore days, and was closed in the mornings on shore days. We normally take our children with us on excursions, so these rules and closures did not affect our family at all. Children are also required to wear bracelets identifying their muster station. If your child is unhappy wearing this bracelet, you can obtain a waiver from the purser’s office in which you agree that in case of an emergency, your child might not be brought to the correct muster location and you may be separated from your child temporarily. Our cruise options this year were limited to Cunard and Carnival, since I wanted to be on a ship with a kids club that would accept my 2 year old son. I am aware of the RC, Disney and Norwegian Escape nurseries but was a bit concerned that they might not have availability during the times I’d want to utilize them. Since we chose this cruise specifically for the kids club, it was disappointing that the staff was the weakest of the four lines I have sailed on with children (NCL, Princess and HAL all had stronger kids club staff employees). We traveled with our older son when he was two on Princess. Princess allowed children under the age of three to visit their kids club with parental supervision. Whenever my son went into the kids club the staff immediately started to interact with him, and ask him what he wanted to play with. They brought him toys and art supplies, and helped him complete the arts and craft projects that were designed as the activities for the older children. Even though I was required to stay in the kids club for insurance reasons, the kids club employees completely took on the responsibility of playing with him and setting up arts and craft activities for him. The staff on Cunard were not nearly as helpful in terms of interacting with children individually. We had sailed during the school year in both England and the US, so there were only 23 children on board, and I never saw more than 10 in the kids club at any one time so I expected that they would be able to provide some individual attention to the children. Our six year old greatly enjoyed the kids club, but our two year old needed help for 5-10 minutes following the drop off. He needed someone to play with him to distract him so he could transition into the kids club. After 10 minutes, he was perfectly fine and could play with the other children and participate in the activities without requiring individual attention from the staff. In fact, some nights when I went to pick him up, he told me he didn’t want to leave. But the staff had initially refused to play with him during drop off to help him with the transition, and when my husband asked why they weren’t interacting with our son he was told by a kids club employee that they “were overworked.” At the exact time of this conversation, there were two Cunard employees working in the younger kids club, and there were only three children in that kids club (the kids club for older children had two employees and no children). Two out of the three children in the younger kids club were playing a video game, so they were not interacting with the kids club staff at all. After my husband complained that they needed to help our two year old transition into the kids club, they seemed more attentive and helped our two year old more during the transition. Although many employees on cruise ships are required to work more hours than they should, it seemed strange that the Cunard kids club employees stated that they were overworked since their kids club is open for fewer hours than those of other cruise lines. On a previous HAL cruise, I wrote in my evaluation that I felt that HAL needed to hire more staff, since on port days the kids club was open from 9-4, and 7-10, which I thought was too many hours for only two employees. Cunard’s kids club was only open on port days from 2-5, and then from 6-11, so there were a lot fewer hours to cover and a lot more employees (at least 4 were always working for 10 kids, although 2 were in a room that usually didn’t have any kids in it). If the Cunard cruise had a lot of children, I would have understood that the kids club couldn’t give any individual child attention even for 5-10 minutes, but in a kids club on a sailing with 23 kids (and some of them were children of officers who are only allowed in the kids club on a space available basis) it seems as though the Cunard staff should be able to help kids transition briefly. The other unusual part of the kids club is that they require parents to pick children up fifteen minutes prior to closing. On our previous Baltic cruise on NCL in August, there were a lot of children onboard and it could take 10-15 minutes to sign all the kids in and out, but on this cruise we never saw more than 10 kids in the kids club so there were never any delays in terms of signing children in or out of the kids club. My husband was admonished for lateness when he signed the children out at 11:55, when the kids club was supposed to be open from 9am-12pm. He was told the children need to be picked up at 11:45. The kids club staff first stated they needed time to sign everyone out, and when my husband insisted it wouldn’t take him 5 minutes to sign a sheet, they then said that they needed 15 minutes to clean up, and then stated they could not work overtime due to British overtime regulations. I’d suggest that Cunard implement technology like other ships in which the parent’s cruise cards are scanned instead of having people sign sheets if signing the children out needs to happen quickly to be in compliance with employee contracts (I don’t personally require this change, as it was never a problem to sign our child out but seemed to be an issue for their employees). Or at least Cunard should change the hours to 9-11:45, so parents don’t see that the kids club is listed as closing at 12 and get confused. Overall, we quite liked sailing on Cunard, but it just isn’t particularly reassuring to leave your children when you don’t feel the kids club employees are as dedicated to their jobs as the other ship employees such as the stewards and waiters. Therefore, we won’t sail with Cunard again until our children are older and more self-sufficient and don’t need support from the counselors (my 6 year old was very happy in the kids club because he didn’t need any personal attention.) The unfortunate thing is that since so few lines allow two year olds in their kids club, this is a really nice opportunity for Cunard to show young families what a great way to travel cruising is for families and to win the loyalty of young families to their cruise line. It is unfortunate because a lot of the Cunard employees really are quite sensitive to the needs of families traveling – the reservations people changed our seating to early dining ahead of time, we were able to skip the lines at embarkation, and the waiters in the main dining room always helped us feed our children quickly and get them food they liked. Families should also please note that cabs in Norway are not allowed to take children without car seats. Cab companies are required to provide car seats, but we were unable to get a cab service to agree to take us with the kids for a short ride (I emailed two companies in Bergen two days in advance, didn’t hear back from the first and the second apologized for not viewing my email until after we left Bergen). I’m not sure you will be able to get a cab to agree to transport you for a short ride if it means they have to bring and install car seats for you but others might have better luck if they contact the cab companies farther in advance to schedule transportation. On our previous Baltic cruise we rarely relied upon taxis because the public transportation system is excellent. But in the small towns of Norway, there just honestly just isn’t a need for an extensive public transportation system. So you can either walk (and a lot of attractions are within walking distance if the weather is nice) or take the HOHO buses which usually require some waiting. We found ourselves in the frustrating situation in Stavanger and Bergen in which it rained a lot and our kids were cold and didn’t want to walk, and the taxis at the taxi stands couldn’t transport us. And it meant that we saw a lot less in those locations than we would have if we’d been able to take cabs. So oddly even though the Baltic cruise seems like it should be logistically more difficult, Stockholm/Copenhagen/Helsinki/Tallinn actually was easier to navigate since they have a stronger public transportation system and taxis are available in a pinch. If I could do this over again, I’d have probably waited until my children were older to visit Norway due to the transportation difficulties. I emailed the Norway tourism office to ask at what age children no longer require car seats, but they said they didn’t know of an exact age and that cabs were legally required to provide them. However, families that prefer cruise tours or HOHO buses really won’t really experience any of these transportation issues. And because tourism in Norway exploded after the release of the movie Frozen, there are a lot of new attractions that make it much easier for children to experience the beauty of Norway. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Length and time of the year means little or no chance of children on board. Britannia balcony cabin on deck 5 toward the front was ideal for us and as we did not intend going ashore too often we were well placed for the ships facilities ... Read More
Length and time of the year means little or no chance of children on board. Britannia balcony cabin on deck 5 toward the front was ideal for us and as we did not intend going ashore too often we were well placed for the ships facilities and reasonable vantage point to view our entry into and out of ports. We are very regular travellers with Cunard, we are Diamond level, and we are disappointed at the extortionate price of drinks even before the 15% service charge is added and a further 10% when in Spanish waters!! All other activities now mostly carry an additional nominal charge from $150 to €15 The daily programme is mostly filled with tasters for the Spar so they can sell products and treatments at enormously inflated prices! As a result of the pricing policy the Captains, World Club and senior Officers parties have become a mass scramble for a free drink The ship now bears all the indications of grabbing margin at any cost, The White Star service which Cunard believe they are delivering is no longer there Evening entertainment is at best reasonabley good but never top rate or excellent Every seat everywhere on the ship need reupholstering they have all sunk! Harsh words but very very true and echoed by all our fellow passengers, Cunard really need to take notice of the views of Britannia level customers, where the volume and growth potential is and stop pandering to the Grills passengers Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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
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
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics ... Read More
Embarkation - went quickly and smoothly, we had no problem with the alcohol we were brining on board at all - a box of wine, several bottles of wine and many mall bottles of gin, rum and port. At ports we had no problem bringing tonics and coke on board as our mixers. We have never sailed Cunard before, previously only sailing on more casual cruise ships, so were somewhat apprehensive about the dress code. Dress Code - The apprehension was missplaced completely. In the two week cruise there were 3 ball nights, and we knew the ladies and gents dress codes for them. Apart from that, if you were going to eat in the main Brittania restaurant men had to wear trousers, jacket and shirt (no tie necessary) and ladies normal smart going out clothes. If you wanted to wear jeans and t-shirt and stay completely casual, you could eat in the Lido buffet and drink in the Golden Lion pub, but could not go to the ball room, other bars, the main Brittania restaurant or the theatre. Some nights we stayed completely casual. Staff customer service - staff always had a smile and a 'good morning/afternoon/evening' whenever they walked past you or dealt with you. We had an enquiry at embarkation when a case was missing. The customer service team where friendly and helpful, finding the case within 10 minutes. Our cabin steward was friendly and welcoming, keeping our cabin immaculate and was always able to bring additional towels or other items we wanted without delay. Other facilities - there was access to several lauderies on the ship, and these were free!! This included the washing powder as well. The laundry included washers, dryers, washing sink, iron and ironing board. An invaluable resource on a cruise of 14 nights. State of the ship - the ship was kept spotless and any faults seemed to be sorted quickly - there was some water ingress in the ceiling of the central buffet area in the Lido. When in port the ship looked stunning and traditional in comparison to other cruise ships. The decor of the ship is art deco, with lovely wood panelled interiors and themed art work for each stair well. Food - there was excellent choice in the Lido buffet most of the time, ranging from early breakfast, main breakfast, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea, early main tea, later main tea, to later evening snacks (till 1.30am). There was shortages of some items, such as the clotted cream for the afternoon tea, hot chocolate drinks, earl grey teabags etc during the last few days - The main Brittania restaurant, we were on early sitting at 6.00pm, also had at least 4 - 6 choices for starter, main and dessert. On one occasion my daughter and I could not decide which dessert we wanted, and then asked if we could order two each - no problem at all. You left the restaurant feeling pleasently full but not stuffed. - There were snack options during the day available in the Cafe Carinthia. Lunch and dinner were also available in the Golden Lion Pub, we enjoyed Friday fish and chips at lunch time here. Waiter served afternoon tea was available on sea days in the Queends Room, this is not to be missed as the sandwich and cake selection is extremely appetising. We also use the Lido grill, deck 9 stern, at lunch time for fish, burgers and chips etc. - We did not try any of the paid restaurants and were not grills passengers. Room Service - On some mornings, and one evening, we chose to have breakfast and dinner in our cabin. It was such a treat being able to be served just what you wanted for breakfast rather than get up and queue up. The evening menu was not as varied, burgers and pizzas mainly. The room service menu was included in the cruise and not an additional extra, which was very good. Drinks - the bars and deck bars were all welcoming and very good, and we did treat ourselves to an occasional glass of wine with dinner, cocktail at sail away, or cider/beer in the evening or day time. The only issue, is that with the value of the pound to the dollar the cost of drinks is very expensive, especially if you are from the north east of England! If we had not brought our own wine, gins, rums and ports on board, plus mixers, it would have been a somewhat dry cruise! Entertainment - the theatre was exceptional, with proper theatre tiered seating, boxes and an exceptional theatre orchestra!! The ships crew were good (but not exceptional) in the two shows we saw them do. We also saw The Opera Boys both times they performed, they were brilliant. We say a violinist once, she was excellent. There was also a pianist/commedian, Jon Courtenay for the last nights of the cruise who was extremely good. The ball room/Queens Room was a bit of a let down as it was almost like a corridor between the front and back of the ship to one side separating the seating, and there was not enough seating for the passengers who wanted to enjoy the dancing most evenings. There was a ball room orchestra as well, who were also excellent. We did attend some dancing classes during the day and put our steps into practice in the evening when we could. There are some very serious dancers on board, so it did make it a bit awkward for novice dancers if they felt they were getting in the way. Other entertainment we enjoyed was the band Next Steps, both on sailaway celebrations and at the Yacht Club. Also, most evenings, we attended, and enjoyed, quizes in the Garden Lounge and later in the Golden Lion pub - we even won the Husband and Wife quiz in the Golden Lion. As you wandered around the ship in the evening there were other muscians and ensembles to enjoy listening to, such as pianist Andy Law in the Golden Lion, who could play/sing anything. Sea days - My daughter and husband thoroughly enjoyed the talks by Robin Scagett, about astronomy, space and time - my daughter, as a primary teacher she took a lot away from those talks. My daughter and I both enjoyed the inspiring John Peters talk and question/answer session. There was another speaker throughout the cruise, but we did not attend his talks. I went to the beginners bridge classes with Chris Jarosz, which was pitched at the right level. I attended on my own and that was a slight problem as many others attended as a couple, but Chris found solutions to this. I certainly hope to continue to learn bridge. Otherwise, I loved the afternoon social craft group in the Garden Lounge. I did also treat myself to an afternoon in the spa pool, warm loungers and steam rooms but I did not have any spa treatments. My husband attended the ships choir, who gave a wonderful performance on the last sea day. He made many friends through this group. I would say that all but one of the passengers we encountered, or met through groups, were lovely, engaging and warm people and came from all over the world. Aside from what we did, there was a wealth of activities to enjoy on sea days, outside there was a full bowling green and other outdoor sports, plus two swimming pools and 4 bubble pools. Indoors, there were card tables, board games, puzzles and puzzle tables, and a two story library that gave out daily quizes, cross words and sudoko. If you just wanted to relax, there were lots of indoor and outdoor quite areas to relax, read and sleep. Disembarkation - we were going to take our own luggage off, but a very experienced cruiser said to put it out, and explained that at the port luggage was arranged by deck number. She said that you could take yourself off at your own convenience rather than follow the instructions if you wanted to make an early get away - we had a long drive back up north, so got off at 9.00am, and collected our luggage very easily ready for the pre booked taxi back to collect our car from the hotel. Overall, we would definately cruise with Cunard again. A thoroughly enjoyable cruise with excellent choice of activities, ports that we wanted to visit and the chance to meet some fantastic people. Our party only did one shore excursion, my daughter and our friend did the segway in Copenhagen and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was $99, which I could have booked on my own for about $79, but not for the times that were best for our days plans. As my daughter and our friend were novice cruisers we felt better leaving them in the care of the excursion team. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
DW and her sisters wanted to visit the Norwegian homeplace, near Trondheim, from which her grandparents emigrated to the US. We chose this Cunard itinerary and arranged for a Trondheim tour guide and bus through the Trondheim visitors ... Read More
DW and her sisters wanted to visit the Norwegian homeplace, near Trondheim, from which her grandparents emigrated to the US. We chose this Cunard itinerary and arranged for a Trondheim tour guide and bus through the Trondheim visitors bureau. The QE is a beautiful ship. The only item that visibly needed refitting for her upcoming drydock in November is the love seat in our balcony cabin. The upholstery on the arms was frayed. As with many others we disliked the shower with a fixed shower head. HAL's shower head mounted on a flexible hose is a much better arrangement. Our cabin attendant was outstanding in every respect. The cabin was maintained in spotless condition and he was friendly and helpful at all times. With the exception of one meal (a lumpy "pate" was very unpleasant) the food was outstanding. Our server was extremely helpful but had some language problems with the menu. We loved the grandness of the QE's public spaces, as well as the small touches such as afternoon tea. The evening shows and the music in the public spaces were superb. We had unusually good weather during the cruise, with the exception of some rainy drizzle inside the Arctic Circle. The weather at Geirangerfiord was crystal clear, and it is one of the prettiest spots we have seen, especially from the excursion to the top of Mt. Dalsnibba. Overall the scenery during the entire cruise was spectacular. The bar menu is unusually comprehensive. I was able to enjoy both a Sazerac and a Ramos Gin Fizz, two New Orleans-based drinks that are usually not available in even first class bars. Cunard does a great many things right, and we would readily sail on the QE again. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Embarkation at the Ocean terminal was extremely quick and smooth, after arriving around 11:30am - we were on board and in the Lido for 12. We did a back-to-back with the next cruise, so didn't disembark this one. The other ... Read More
Embarkation at the Ocean terminal was extremely quick and smooth, after arriving around 11:30am - we were on board and in the Lido for 12. We did a back-to-back with the next cruise, so didn't disembark this one. The other passengers were a lower average-age for a Cunard trip, and seemed to include a lot of groups of friends or families - not too many children though. Consequently, the evenings were good (despite DJ Michael) and the final party night was fantastic in the Queens room, with a 60's band The Overtures. Our one and only port stop in Bruges was unfortunately cancelled due to the weather making it impossible to dock, so we got an extra day at sea. The Captain did warn everybody the night before, so we weren't surprised. It would probably have been a bad day to wander around outside anyway, and good travel insurance will help with this. Food and service in the Britannia restaurant were very good. We asked to be moved from 6pm to 8.30 dining after the first night, and they accommodated us well. In June '16, on Victoria, we had some really good party nights in the Yacht Club bar on the top deck, so were looking forward to the same on Queen Elizabeth. Unfortunately, after the (very good) band Synergy finished, we were subjected to 'DJ' Michael, who had no concept of how to keep people on a dancefloor and mainly took random requests, leading to a only a handful of people dancing to each tune. Unfortunately this continued on the next cruise and ruined any chance of a party atmosphere ever developing in there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We joined Queen Elizabeth on the 20th April in Cape Town. We had travelled on quite a few cruises on Queen Mary, but wow we were blown away by Queen Elizabeth. From the moment we stepped aboard, our holiday began and it was wonderful ... Read More
We joined Queen Elizabeth on the 20th April in Cape Town. We had travelled on quite a few cruises on Queen Mary, but wow we were blown away by Queen Elizabeth. From the moment we stepped aboard, our holiday began and it was wonderful the entire journey. From the food in the Lido to the Brittannia, we could not have asked for more. The shows were wonderful, with the exception of one show. Our entire experience was superb and we so look forward to being able to travel on Queen Elizabeth again. The cabin was in a lovely condition. It was really easy to navigate through the ship without getting loss. I certainly recommend a holiday on Queen Elizabeth. The staff on the ship were only too happy to go the extra mile, whether it was in Brittannia or at the buffet in the Lido. The friendliness was absolutely superb. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We booked this cruise to celebrate a 40th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary for myself, husband and our 3 year old son. We loved the refined, elegant, beautiful decor, the attentive and friendly crew and the food was excellent. ... Read More
We booked this cruise to celebrate a 40th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary for myself, husband and our 3 year old son. We loved the refined, elegant, beautiful decor, the attentive and friendly crew and the food was excellent. I have to commend Cunard for their recruitment process because the crew were all wonderful. Our cabin steward, Maribeth, in Princess Grill Suites was fantastic and took great care of us. We were on deck 8 and were very happy with the size and location of our stateroom. We left our room by 8am every day and it was always serviced and immaculate within 30 minutes. We used the spa, gym and hair salon most days and everyone was very professional, courteous and friendly and we loved relaxing in the bath house. My hair always looked great thanks to Nicolene. The food in Princess Grill was delicious and the service was impeccable. I have allergies and was well catered for with a special menu and the food was always fresh, well plated and full of flavour. There was also a wonderful range of wines and John, our sommelier, always recommended the perfect accompaniment to our meal. All the crew in the Princes Grill (Raul, Julian, Sushant, Jeffrey) and Grill Lounge were first class. There wasn't much atmosphere in the Grill Lounge although it was fine for a quick pre dinner drink and the bar steward, Dipak was always pleasant and welcoming and remembered our names and favourite drinks. The onboard photographers were amazing and were excited to have a little kid on board. They were very patient with him and thanks to them, we have very special mementos of our cruise. I have been very ill and am due more surgery so it really means a lot to us to have such beautiful family photos and video together to remember our trip. For our first few days on board I took my son into the Play Zone and stayed with him so he could settle in, but he loved it so much, he was happy to stay there with the amazing staff. The kids club staff are all experienced, well trained and wonderful and took great care of the few kids who were on board. The kids club have a great daily programme, plenty of toys/books (which we can also borrow) and good indoor and outdoor play areas. There is not much for them to do outwith the kids club and we found some of the other passengers made it obvious they hated kids because he was made to feel very unwelcome in all the public areas. Kids do pay full fare so it is unfair they are expected to be confined to the kids club, which can be a huge challenge when it's closed, as there is nowhere else for them to go. We tried the games deck (croquet, lawn bells etc) but it's not really suitable for his age and the other passengers take this activities very seriously and competitively. Our son couldn't eat in Princess Grill because the woman at the next table constantly told him to shut up and would jump out of her chair, waving her arms and dramatically hitting the ceiling if he made the slightest sound. Her behaviour was borderline aggressive, which actually made him noisier, as she would upset and frighten him. After 2 days we stopped taking him there and the staff very kindly had his food delivered to our stateroom. Another woman next to us threw her plate down in disgust on our first night, shouting "I paid a lot of money and I expect better". Our child was far better behaved than some of those entitled, petulant passengers. I heard so much rudeness directed at the crew around the ship, which upset me and some of the passengers complained about everything little thing. It did spoil our holiday not being able to eat together as a family. My husband would eat breakfast and lunch in the grill alone while I took my son to Lido as it was easier to avoid confrontation with the rude passengers. Thankfully my husband and I could eat dinner together while the kid clubs ladies entertained our son (Play zone is closed during breakfast and lunch). We would watch from our dining room window as the kids club whizzed past us in the deck below racing in the Little Tikes Cars. The ship does cater more for elderly passengers and many of the daily activities didn't appeal to us. The average age on our cruise was 74 and they already had 7 deaths by natural causes in the previous 2 months. The library is exceptional with a great range of books which helps to pass the time. Some of the behind the scenes tours are for over 16's and the kids club is closed at those times so we missed out attending those. We dined at 6.30pm so we could have our son in bed by 8pm, so we always missed the formal balls and the evening entertainment (which we didn't mind as we expected this to happen) but it was good fun dressing up for the formal dinners. We loved the midship bar for a quick glass of bubbly after dinner. We enjoyed all the shore excursions although they were a little slow due to a lot of passengers with mobility issues. On the tender port days it took forever to get everyone on and off the ship using the tenders due to wheelchairs and walking aids. The onboard shops were good although I was surprised there weren't more toys available to purchase given the amount of grandparents on board wanting to buy souvenirs for their grandkids. We were fortunate to have wonderful neighbours on our deck who made us all feel very welcome and many of the passengers will become lifelong friends. However given the cranky and selfish attitudes we experienced with some of the Cunard cruisers, I doubt I will sail on Cunard in the foreseeable future. There were constant arguments in the guest laundry over washing machines and 4 passengers at the world voyage Cocktail party were thrown off for fighting at the buffet table. We were constantly told how lucky we should feel to be on board even though we have travelled regularly many times as a family around the globe. It does seem like Cunard hide the kids away in the kids deck which encourages the idea that this is an adults only cruise ship. There are regular activities for solo adult travellers around the ship, who also have separate dining areas, so perhaps this may be an idea to extend to families too considering our kids will be your future cruise passengers. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
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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