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3 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Canary Islands

Gaining our shipboard experience from many (much) earlier Atlantic crossings on Cunard, and other Lines, we are trying, like Cunard, we felt, to 'get our heads round' the present-day 'cruising' culture. Having sailed ... Read More
Gaining our shipboard experience from many (much) earlier Atlantic crossings on Cunard, and other Lines, we are trying, like Cunard, we felt, to 'get our heads round' the present-day 'cruising' culture. Having sailed in several 'Vista' class of cruise ships, we were interested to see how Cunard delivered a 'similar' experience. Basically, as one might have expected, it was much the same, although Cunard charged more for the 'twiddly bits' than other Lines. Our cabin was clean, the Britannia waiters attentive and the food adequate, but the wines were FAR TOO EXPENSIVE. We found the onboard 'entertainment' not to our liking, but the harpist, string quartet and the jazz bands were excellent. Although we did not partake in the ballroom dancing classes, these looked enthusiastically supported. We particularly liked the Garden Room and didn't mind paying for a decent cappuccino there, as opposed to the very 'regular' coffee, freely available in the adjacent Lido Buffet. The forward swimming pool did not have the benefit of a sliding roof, as with other Vista vessels, and was quite cool at only 27degC. However, we did use it a little. We thought the Spa charges too high but were thankful, and surprised, that the sauna was free! Chris Wells, whom we had already met on the QE2 and QM2, is a first class Captain. We found his officers and crew a happy band, always being very professional, courteous and attentive. As already remarked above, both we and Cunard are having a problem with the 'cruising' mindset. Of the several Lines operating 'Vista' ships, we think that Holland America is the best, but it does mean flying to their cruises. (P&O 'shot themselves in the foot' by using that dreadful Mayflower Terminal at Southampton, where we had to stand out in the January 2011 cold for over an hour.) All in all, we enjoyed this cruise. It fulfilled its purpose of Christmas and New Year away from home, for a change. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
To be fair our perspective will have been affected by the serious difficulty we had in getting to Southampton from Scotland because of the appalling weather. The colder weather also affected even Spain and Portugal to a degree. But ... Read More
To be fair our perspective will have been affected by the serious difficulty we had in getting to Southampton from Scotland because of the appalling weather. The colder weather also affected even Spain and Portugal to a degree. But the ship, though very attractive, did not seem quite ready to go. One of the three propulsion pods was not working, so that they had to fly out an engineer from Italy to Gran Canaria to try to fix it: this on a brand new ship! The staff need much more training and supervision, because they fell down on many things, small in themselves but cumulatively giving a less than excellent impression - and we have learned to expect excellence from Cunard. We couldn't get into the island of La Palma because of winds; so there was an extra at sea day. Then getting into Funchal resulted in the bumpiest ride we've ever experienced. We had an outbreak of norovirus. It was contained but it led, reasonably, to various restrictions on board. There was no self-service in the Lido - fair enough - but the Lido was then badly managed: not enough staff, not enough areas open for those queuing, leading to long queues at main meal times, and staff not being very helpful at all. The captain advised people to dine in the main restaurants instead, bu they didn't extend the restaurant hours to compensate. The captain seemed very casual about all this and we barely heard the word "Sorry". I agree with those who say the drinks prices are outrageous, especially with the automatic 15% surcharge. We do not like either the automatic addition of $11 or $13 per person a day to your onboard bill for general gratuities (Hotel and Dining Charge it's called). True, you are given warning of this. We now go to the Purser's Office on the last but one day and say we do not wish to pay this charge. It is in fact optional, but you do have to personally opt out like this. In fairness, we've never had a problem in getting the amount dropped. A brief explanation such as "We prefer to tip people directly" will satisfy the desk clerk. But, for the positives: we just loved the alternative dining in the Verandah. Superb food, a succession of delights, excellent service and fairly priced. Book a table and its your for the duration - one night my wife and I entered at 7.30 and left just before ten feeling relaxed and very well fed and watered. The Royal Spa is very good too - a day pass for $35 to the steam and hot rooms,, warm beds, spa pool etc, on a do it yourself basis. Luxury. In summary, a lovely ship and we will go again, but quite a lot needs to be done before they can truly talk about "White Star Service." Cadiz - not included in the ports for review below: a lovely city, excellent for ambling round in an unplanned way, lots of serendipity and you can't really get lost. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My family, along with the other fortunate people, on that early April 2009 morning, when in the first 26 minutes of the booking opening, were able to book the October 12, 2010 QE maiden cruise, and were very excited. Then about 6 months ... Read More
My family, along with the other fortunate people, on that early April 2009 morning, when in the first 26 minutes of the booking opening, were able to book the October 12, 2010 QE maiden cruise, and were very excited. Then about 6 months prior to sailing, Alastair Greener, QE cruise director, initiated a series of emails that continued to present a very special opportunity.To add to this, we had also recently cruised on other Cunard ships and were told that there were extra personnel on board training for their QE assignment. The maiden QE was going to be very special, to the extent, Queen Elizabeth would be at the Southampton ceremony. Little did we know that this did not include the paying passengers, we got to watch on a video screen set up in a Southampton park. Upon questioning this at Cunard's Southampton office we were told that we booked through Cunard NA and we really needed to discuss the matter with Cunard NA not Cunard UK. Once on board the QE we quickly found out our expectations were quite wrong. Our cabin steward had little if any training. For example, she did not know that beds required mattress pads or simply how to set up a bed. We requested a table for 8 and were assigned a table with just one other couple. Our table steward work alone and was responsible for at least 3 tables. His focus was only to get through the evening as fast as possible. He took orders early and served courses at different times. Often our table mates were finished their entire serving long before we our first course was served. The deck crew for the most part had very little training. They could not perform simple functions such as turning on the swimming pool water current motor, or regulating the hot tub temperatures. They had no idea what the temperature settings were or fit of the hot tubs drainage covers. Daily ship activity communications of were poor. The office personnel were not willing to resolve issues and most often tried to turn the issues around as if the passenger was at fault. Indicative of the way the QE operates, we still receive weekly Alastair Greener emails and can not stop getting them as there is no unsubscribe link. Cunard lost a wonderful opportunity to develop a loyal customer base to the extent that we cancelled further bookings and have shifted to other cruise lined. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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 3.6
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.5

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