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2 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Asia

" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Overview This was a very special cruise for my Husband and I; it was our honeymoon cruise! I am not very good at sitting still for long periods of time, so this cruise was the perfect mix of sea days and ports to give us a chance to ... Read More
Overview This was a very special cruise for my Husband and I; it was our honeymoon cruise! I am not very good at sitting still for long periods of time, so this cruise was the perfect mix of sea days and ports to give us a chance to relax and reflect on our wedding but also keep active and explore new places. The weather was constantly 30 degrees or above, which made for a lot of sunbathing, lovely cocktails on deck during the day and breakfasts and wine on our balcony. This is a great segment of the World Cruise to do and I would definitely recommend it on this ship. Restaurant and Service Our serving team was not the best we have had; our head waiter was attentive but somewhat aloof and our second assistant constantly changed so we felt no rapport with the team. I do not know whether this was because we were only doing a short segment of a world cruise, whether we were being overly sensitive or whether they didn't take us seriously as young passengers (we are both in our 20s) but whatever the situation I think customers should always be made to feel special. I stated on multiple occasions during the cruise that this was our honeymoon and nothing special was done for us until near the end of the voyage, and all it consisted of was a free cake... (which was lovely, but given how many times i had said "its our honeymoon, no one has said congratulations, put a nice message or flowers on our bed/ bath" to be given a cake after a heavy meal was a bit of a let down). The food however, was consistently excellent in the Queens Grill - we had the best rack of lamb we have ever had on this cruise, and have constantly talked about it since we got home!! We can't wait to have it again. Given how excellent the dining is, we have decided to give Cunard another go on a short cruise this coming week and hope the service point was just a one off. Our butler, Natalia, was the best butler we have had on a Cunard cruise. She was incredibly polite and professional at all times and enthusiastic to assist wherever possible. She brought us tea every morning dead on time, topped up our nuts and crisps and brought us hot canapés daily. Ports We started off our cruise in Singapore, which is an amazing city - we unfortunately only had one night so we couldnt see as much as we would like and have booked to go back. Embarkation at Singapore was smooth and quick. Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur is an interesting place and as we did a full day tour we felt one day was quite enough there! Our tour included visiting the KL Tower, the National Mosque, the Central Market (which sells a wide range of local crafts and souvenirs), the impressive Old Railway Station, Independence Square and the Petronas Twin Towers. The highlight for us was visiting the KL Tower, one of the city’s greatest landmarks. We took an express elevator to the Observation Deck, where we had a wonderful panoramic view of the city below. Although good to see the Central Market, we didn’t enjoy the amount of time we had to spend there as part of the tour, as we had no interest in buying any of the things on offer and were slightly more worried about security in such a closed environment. Mumbai We had to obtain expensive visas to even be on the ship given that we were passing through Mumbai so we thought that we may as well make the most of our visas and explore the city on arrival. We initially thought we would enjoy a full day tour but nearer the time we ended up deciding to explore the Heritage Precinct of Mumbai by way of an afternoon’s walking tour. This involved a guide taking us through the streets in very high heat; but our guide was excellent at finding us spots of shade. The first thing that hit us once we arrived at the heritage precinct from coach was the sheer noise of the city. I had been warned that it would be noisy but nothing can prepare the ears for the assault from the horns blaring out from the intense traffic. We started out at the Fort area of Mumbai and made a brief visit to and inside St Thomas Cathedral (Mumbai’s first Anglican church). After this we explored the historic precinct, passing the ornate Flora Fountain, the gothic style Mumbai University (the beautiful library of which can only be used by Law students) and High Court buildings. We ended our tour at the Gateway of India, erected to commemorate the visit of King George V. Abu Dhabi We went to Ferrari World as my husband is a big fan of roller coasters, so he obviously couldn’t miss the chance to go on the world’s fastest rollercoaster (3 times). The cruise was in port on a Sunday which meant the park was really quiet (Sunday being a work day in Abu Dhabi) with no queues for rides until the afternoon. Dubai Disembarkation was easy and quick, no complaints here. Amenities on the ship We spent one sea day at the spa; we had a couples massage together in the morning. This was a lovely experience together. When the spa staff messed up the price they were quick to try and remedy the situation giving us free spa passes for the rest of the day, and we had the spa all to ourselves! The view from the sauna rooms is incredible and we saw dolphins swimming whilst lying on the heated loungers. There is evening entertainment in the form of shows and musical performances in the bars throughout the ship, but we did not really attend these so cannot comment on the standard on this voyage. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Queen Elizabeth Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.5

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