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1 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Trans-Ocean

Passengers not allowed on observation deck; poor food quality, quantity and choice in Grills’ restaurants; fitness centre not up to UK safety standards; and rip-off prices for shore trips. All these on a cruise from Dubai to ... Read More
Passengers not allowed on observation deck; poor food quality, quantity and choice in Grills’ restaurants; fitness centre not up to UK safety standards; and rip-off prices for shore trips. All these on a cruise from Dubai to Southampton on Queen Elizabeth in April/May 2016. In the last four years my wife and I have completed 11 Cunard cruises including five on Queen Elizabeth. This one is likely to be the last we make on that ship. On the four previous cruises on QE there has always been access to the open observation area at the forward end of deck 9 for any passenger to take video and photos of entry into ports, etc. But on this entire cruise it was closed to passengers except for transiting Suez Canal. Three of the ship’s officers, including the captain, gave me different and contradictory excuses for it being closed. None of them were credible. The access to this viewing area - the only open forward-facing space for passengers - is from doors on the port and starboard sides of the fitness centre. Both were marked ‘Emergency Exit’ but both were locked. Asked why such doors were locked the fatuous excuse given by senior officers was that the doors were not an exit from the fitness centre onto the open deck, but were from the open deck into the fitness centre (as they could be opened manually from the outside). Asked how a person could get outside when the doors were locked produced silence or a quick change in conversation. No credible reason was given for the viewing area being denied to passengers or for the emergency exits being locked When I wrote to Cunard HQ with details of the matter - with names, dates and photos - the response from Customer Services was that if the captain decided to close that area that was his decision because he was in charge of the ship. They declined to reply in writing. Dissatisfied with being fobbed-off, I referred the matter to a director of Cunard. His response was that the area ‘is not an advertised passenger area’ and its opening is at the captain’s discretion. But no reason was given for it being closed and no comment was made on why emergency exits were locked. My request for an assurance that the deck would be open on future Queen Elizabeth cruises - and the identical Queen Victoria - were ignored. So passengers should be aware that if they sail on these ships their access to the deck in question is at the whim of the captain. My frequent visits to the fitness centre to check the doors showed that it did not meet UK safety standards. Bearing in mind almost all passengers were pensioners, no assessment was made of a person’s fitness to use the equipment, no training was given in its use and there was no continuous supervision. Anyone could walk in and use mechanical equipment or weights. One of the two trainers admitted they were not supervising all the time due to personal training commissions, taking classes and meal breaks. He accepted that a person could die if suffering a heart attack or stroke when using the gym on his/her own with no-one to call for assistance. The quality, quantity and choice of food served in the Princess Grill has deteriorated over the past year. The dining room staff said it was due to the menus being dictated by Southampton HQ instead of on-board ship and - like our cruise on QE at Christmas - said there was nothing they could do about it. Many items did not match the menu description; many descriptions were obscure; quality was often poor; and several meals were sent back. Vegetables seemed to be in short supply or pathetically small or both. Food in the Lido buffet was far better than in the expensive Princess Grill. As usual, all shore excursions were at a high price. For example, a day trip from Aqaba to Petra was $217 each. So for each 50-seat coach Cunard was raking in over $10,000. And, in Istanbul a private minibus (of unspecified seating capacity) could be had for $1,000 for a tour of some tourist sites for a day (8.30am to 5.0pm). Lastly, the ship’s itinerary listed Salalah, Oman as its second port of call. But QE did not go to Salalah but docked at the container port of Raysut over 20km to the south. Cunard provided a shuttle bus only from the ship to the dock gate. Getting to Salalah was a $100 taxi ride. And for the return journey the taxi drivers wanted even more cash. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Queen Elizabeth Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 5.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.5
Rates 4.0 3.5

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