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15 Cunard Queen Elizabeth Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service ... Read More
Took easiest and most comfortable way to meet Oceania Nautica in Cape Town. Excellent port calls. Better than flying. 5* Art Deco furnishings. 3* service. Staff does not smile and does not greet guests unless guest talks first. Service seemed to be a burden on crew. Our cabin steward was the exception. Smaller than Phone booth size showers drove many to use showers in the fitness center. Balcony ok for two. Glass and rails were cleaned twice. Entertainment and lecture series outstanding. Am now on Oceania Nautica where food quality and presentation are far superior. The Brits seemed to like and praise the food but we could not. Stewards pushed guests aside with service carts in the buffet line. They had no other path to transport clean or used tableware. Paper napkins in the buffet at night are not in step with the smart dress code requested. Maybe the Queen is intended as transportation rather than cruising. It does that well at 22+ knots. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
No white glove welcome at Southampton. A junior rating called out welcome and that was that - find your own way. After 4 hour wait for our one piece of luggage I went to hunt it down - cabin stewardess said she would find it for us - ... Read More
No white glove welcome at Southampton. A junior rating called out welcome and that was that - find your own way. After 4 hour wait for our one piece of luggage I went to hunt it down - cabin stewardess said she would find it for us - that did not and was not going to happen - finally tracked it down behind the door where the luggage arrives at the deck. Food better than we expected but entertainment and activities very disappointing. Have not been on Cunard for 13 years and do not plan to cruise with them again. Due to rough seas the first port of call Bermuda was cancelled and substituted by an afternoon visit to Ponta Delgada in Azores. Now this port does not compensate for Bermuda. I did write and request a refund (or partial refund) of port taxes which would have been fair but after 3 weeks the reply was no refund. Activites (such as putting a golf ball in a plastic cup) were on a landing outside of the elevators which was not only dangerous but totally unacceptable did not take part in any more! Were glad to disembark and go home. Not a enjoyable cruise even though we have taken 50+ this was one of our worst. We did expect better entertainment/activities for the start of a world cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
We had heard how wonderful Cunard were and how much better than all their rivals. We should have seen a red light when our first two encounters were being told to board a few hours later than planned due to novovirus being rampant on the ... Read More
We had heard how wonderful Cunard were and how much better than all their rivals. We should have seen a red light when our first two encounters were being told to board a few hours later than planned due to novovirus being rampant on the boat and that the boat was no longer calling at Sharm el Sheik (on our itinerary). This was our 16th cruise in 5 years and we were both so looking forward to the experience. However in every department in which we had been led to believe that Cunard excelled, they failed. Now being able to make the choice, give me the honesty of Thomson's any day. There was a deeply unpleasant smell of sewers and drains on the Lido deck, with lots of flies outside the lavatories by the burger kitchen. Why it was necessary to be painting parts of the Lido deck during the Suez transit was beyond me, also cleaning the windows of the Brittania restaurant during dinner service, and why close the pool all day when the boat was in port at the extremely hot Cochin, also shutting off one set of stairs between 9th and 10th decks for painting for the best part of three days. The food was seriously not good, with most things very salty and the meats being bad cuts and tough. The excursions were a complete rip-off. I booked three for about £450....the first being in Vietnam....after three hours we were still waiting, whilst being told by Cunard staff to keep 'cool and BUY bottles of water @ $1 each. We gave up on this outing. The second one was Muscat, where and when we were dropped at three different locations from a coach to be on our own for about 45 minutes at each (£120 give or take)....and finally Wadi Rum, which was a bit of burnt chicken in a tourist trap, again over priced, and where the guide on the coach refused to drop us in Aqaba (where the boat had shuttle buses taking passengers to) and a Cunard employee on the coach refused to help or call the boat to seek permission. In Dubai, a woman in a position of authority with the boat entertainment was handing out transit cards, and we asked her details of the shuttle bus return times...and she told us she had no idea...'ask the driver'. She was also soon to do a 'live commentary' during the transit of the Dardanelles, none of which could be deciphered due to her mike. The entertainment...not good! The choice of films was odd...the best and most recent were shown on port days when no-one would attend. The screening of 'Suffragette' broke down three times, and one film never even began, but it took a member of the audience to find out that the film would not be shown. For the entire cruise, the left hand side of the screen was completely covered by a yellow and green blur. The captain of the boat kept telling us how honored we should feel to be on a boat bearing its name in the year of the Queen's 90th birthday. No mention of us having had to pay Cunard for 'the privilege'.....oh, well. I wish I felt differently because the awful thing is that I had already booked another Cunard cruise for later this year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We booked this trip as the 'holiday of a lifetime', it certainly was not. The cabin we were allocated 1041 had plumbing that did not always work, apparently because of the rough weather - this seemed to be a known problem, I ... Read More
We booked this trip as the 'holiday of a lifetime', it certainly was not. The cabin we were allocated 1041 had plumbing that did not always work, apparently because of the rough weather - this seemed to be a known problem, I would have paid more money not to have had this cabin had I known! The pursors office on the whole were unsympathetic (we are full so we cannot move you), they suggested writing a letter to the Head of Customer Services we did and received no reply. Eventually the problem seemed to be cleared and we were given a complementary bottle of wine but this was not handled well and left a very bad taste in the mouth.We were never honoured with a meeting with the Head of Customer Services. Some things about the cruise were good, some good speakers and occasionally good entertainment. The cabin steward was very good. The food was mediocre and the waiters uncaring, except to get rid of us so they could lay the table for breakfast as quickly as possible. There were many options that we were never offered, for the first week we were unaware that sweets were available with the coffee. We liked to have a brown roll with our meal, we were asked every night and often they still did not have them. A table for 6 was only a table for 6 on 2 occasions in spite of frequent requests. Small things but they could have made such a difference. Tinned fruit in the caribbean? In common with other reviewers we felt that Cunard were trying to extract every last penny from us, was this because they had to pay out a lot of money to cover late arrivals owing to the bad weather? There were so many small problems, the ship's newspaper was rarely accurate, obviously not read through before printing, once offering a discount on internet time which having tried to use we were told was 'a mistake'. We have cruised 5 times before with P&O or Princess, we believed the advertising and thought Cunard would be better - what a mistake.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal. That's where the chaos ... Read More
Left Southampton nearly 12 hours late, after a real mess up with the embarkation. 1000 passengers were held in a football stadium and the other 1000 were sent, after the stadium was full, to the terminal. That's where the chaos started, and no one seemed to know what to do......even the Director of Operations -Cunard. We finally got to our cabin at 2030hrs. Having been nearly 6 hrs in the terminal. $50 on board spend for EVERYONE was wrong, as only 50% of the passengers were affected? This incident left us and a lot of people around us very unhappy......we have all paid a lot of money for the privilege to be on the Queen Elizabeth. However, the crossing to NY was interesting......force 11 gales and 30 foot waves.....too much for some, but we enjoyed it all. Had a big problem with the internet charges on board. Although I had brought my minutes when I paid for my voyage in October, I was NEVER told that the charges were by the MINUTE and not by the second used. This is a racket, as in our case we paid for 270 min and only used 178 min...the difference was the overcharge of 112 min. When I brought this to the attention of the internet manager, he at first told me I was wrong and it didn't happen. On further evidence shown to him, a photo of the last internet page, which clearly showed the charges and the missing mins, he admitted that they did charge by the minute, but would not reimburse mine. I was not satisfied with this excuse and went to see the Purser.....I am afraid to say a one ringer, junior Purser, thought is was a good idea to shout back at me.....this incensed me further....I have since laid an official complaint with Cunard Southampton. This was never resolved and needs to be addressed by Cunard. All quests were complaining, but it would seem, accepted the situation. Stateroom: 8033, was on a slight corner, and gave us a larger cabin and balcony. This we had specially booked when we made our booking. The Stewardess was good and efficient. Dinning: We found this to be excellent in the Britannia Club. Our Steward, MARC was also excellent. We had two head waiters, both were outstanding. The wine steward ,we found to be very knowledgeable, witty, and entertaining. We used the Lido a few times, and we found it ok. The Veranda was excellent, both service and menu and food, well worth the extra surcharge. We also tried the alternative dinning for Asian food and alfresco dinning. Both very good. Entertainment" We found this to be poor. We did expect a high standard of shows, but only two evenings did they reach our expectations. We used the "boxes" on all occasions, and they are well worth the extra charge too. Shopping on board: Very limited and expensive. For some reason (I guess profit) Cunard will only allow you to buy duty free on board, for consumption on board, once every 30days......? However you can go ashore and buy as much as you like??? Shore excursions: Very expensive for what you get, Whiles the trips are good, the guides are poor, as you learn very little about the country you are in. We found it much better, and cheaper to go by ourselves. Met more local people, and saw more, at a fraction of the cost. Whale watching in La Hania really was appalling, as we were all sure, we saw the same 3 whales,3 times, all very close to the QE. How convenient for the guides. Tipping: We cancelled the daily tipping as soon as we got on board. 15% is added to every bill in all bars and restaurants and shops. We instead tipped our table and room stewards weekly throughout the cruise. We continued to get outstanding service from both of them throughout the voyage. Overall, we found the cruise a bit long for a first timer. The Queen Elizabeth is beautiful and by and large the crew were very good. However the Pursers department needs to learn what customer service is all about and not "speak down" to the older generations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
In October I found a good deal (interior, OV, and balcony all the same price) for the first 11 days of QE's 2015 World Voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale. I let Cunard book my one-way airfare to London and got a great deal ... Read More
In October I found a good deal (interior, OV, and balcony all the same price) for the first 11 days of QE's 2015 World Voyage from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale. I let Cunard book my one-way airfare to London and got a great deal (about 20% of what booking airfare on my own). By the time I arrived in Southampton (two days early) there was already talk that QE might be delayed returning to Southampton. The day before we embarked Cunard notified us that there would be a delay and we were to go to St. Mary's Stadium instead of the terminal. Messages were sent by e-mail, text messages, and letters left in the major hotels. At the stadium, things were handled very well. At arrival, luggage was taken directly to the terminal. Although it was a long afternoon, we were well taken care of including visits from Cunard officials. It did not take long to get checked in, go through security, and get on board once we arrived at Ocean Terminal. I gave Cunard five stars on "Embarkation" because of the way they handled this situation. We left Southampton just before midnight. Unfortunately, we were forced to follow a southerly route because of a storm which put us behind. Two days before we were due into New York, Captain Clark announced that due to the bad weather conditions we would not make it into New York until noon. Because of this, we would overnight in New York, get to Fort Lauderdale a day late, and for those proceeding on, the stop in Nassau was cancelled. Cunard would take care of changing flights for those booked through them and there were free phone calls for the others. All in all, I was impressed with the way Cunard handled these problems. As for the cruise itself, I enjoyed my time (and extra day!) aboard. We had interesting speakers including Kate Adie, Diane Janes and Steve Rivellino. Entertainment was good although I had seen some of the performers and all of the shows last year. About a month before sailing I had been upgraded to Britannia Club. For those who don't know, the major advantage of this is eating in a small restaurant with open seating. I was at a table for eight and had a very congenial mixture of people (most of us had been upgraded). The food was good (same menu as Britannia for the most part although some items were cooked at the table). Service was excellent and one nice thing about open seating was that you did not have to wait for everyone to finish before the next course. The Britannia Club staterooms are on deck 8 (below a public deck). I found it much noisier than my deck 7 stateroom last year. I enjoyed the experience of Britannia Club but as a solo traveller I would never pay the difference for it. I had only two very minor gripes. Although I like the new large screen TVs put in during the drydock last year, for me the location was not the best. With the old ones you could sit at the desk and watch the TV (which I did frequently). The best viewing location with the new ones is from the bed (not my favorite location). The second thing was the lack of cookies in the Lido at lunch. Last year I liked to grab a couple for my midnight snack. I only saw them twice out of 12 days this year and that was during tea time. (I did say they were minor gripes.) Disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale was fairly easy. After claiming my luggage it took about 25 minutes to get through customs and immigration because there were only two officers working. There were plenty of taxis as well as shuttles to the airport. I enjoyed my voyage immensely (and my extra day) and look forward to my next time on Cunard.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I boarded the QE on January 10, 2014 for a West-bound Transatlantic cruise immediately following my East-bound Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2. Both were beautiful experiences, though very different. The QE is much smaller than the Queen ... Read More
I boarded the QE on January 10, 2014 for a West-bound Transatlantic cruise immediately following my East-bound Transatlantic on Queen Mary 2. Both were beautiful experiences, though very different. The QE is much smaller than the Queen Mary 2, but she is every bit the Queen. The QE decor details were spectacular and the intimacy of the ship was very special. The food was remarkable but the service from all areas was outstanding with staff that showed they were happy with their work demonstrated wonderful client services. As a solo 65 year old female traveler I felt most comfortable and welcomed as most of the ship were people of my 'vintage'. With the multiple music venues and food areas, if one was lonely it was their own fault. I did not meet a stranger for all the passengers were very friendly. My balcony cabin was wonderful. The cabin was beautiful and most comfortable. I enjoyed the balcony views of the sea. The warm tones of the room were very classy with golds, cream tones, navy blues...lovely. The bed was very comfortable and beautifully appointed with plush pillows with wonderful attentive cabin stewards. Spacious with a little sitting area and flat-screened tv with 24-hour something on to enjoy. I would highly endorse this beautiful ship. Sailing with Cunard is not a cruise....it is an experience...! I understand why most passengers were former Cunard Cruisers for once you sail Cunard you fall in love with the Queens. We cruised through gale-force winds and high waves most of the week. The boat does move about, but that is expected and wanted by the majority of the cruisers as part of the Transatlantic experience. I developed my sea-legs as we set sail and enjoyed the entire voyage and found the motion of the seas so very beautiful. I would encourage others to experience the Cunard Lines at least once in their life and I intend to set sail with the Queens again as I must try the Queen Victoria next! Treat yourself and sign up for a voyage on one of the Queens! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
My partner and I recently returned from a 12-day Mediterranean cruise onboard Cunard's QUEEN ELIZABETH. This ranks as one of those trips that was just about as near perfect as one could wish for. For those only interested in the ... Read More
My partner and I recently returned from a 12-day Mediterranean cruise onboard Cunard's QUEEN ELIZABETH. This ranks as one of those trips that was just about as near perfect as one could wish for. For those only interested in the pictures, and there are over 600, here is the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eroller/sets/72157637358470363/ We flew to Rome nonstop from Miami on Alitalia. The agent took a liking to us and blocked four seats just for us in the center section. Off to a great start! The flight was very comfortable with good service, and it's the first time I've experienced live cameras providing a forward and ground view on the in-seat monitors. I thought that was pretty cool. Upon arrival in Rome we were met by Cunard's airport staff who really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. They took our luggage and the next time we saw it was in our cabin. We only had to wait about 15 minutes before we were on the bus headed to the ship ... or were we? Actually since we were so early Cunard provided a motor coach mini-tour of Rome before heading to Civitavecchia where the ship was docked. This was certainly an unexpected surprise, and what a difference from our Costa experience in April where we basically had to loiter around the airport for almost four hours before they took us to the ship. Embarking QUEEN ELIZABETH was a breeze, with no lines, no waits, and a very simple check-in process. Disembarkation in Venice 12 days later was just as painless. I was anxious to see QUEEN ELIZABETH having already sailed on her sister QUEEN VICTORIA and the Cunard flagship QM2. The QE is the same basic design as QV but with some minor changes to the layout and a more art deco interior design. I quite liked it and immediately felt very comfortable in my new surroundings. The ship was spotless and essentially looked brand new. QE is a Vista Class, but with a custom layout for Cunard that includes far more multi-level spaces and public areas that are more airy and bright compared to her counterparts sailing for Holland America. In fact you would be hard pressed to realize QE was even related to her HAL cousins unless you knew in advance. The overall ambiance of QE is Cunard through and through. For those not familiar with Cunard, it's truly the last seagoing experience that beckons to a bygone era of tradition, formality, and civility. The atmosphere onboard is sophisticated, spacious, elegant, and yes very British! Our passenger compliment was probably around 60% British, 30% American, and 10% a mixture of Japanese and Europeans. Daytime activities include enrichment lectures, an afternoon message, lounging by the pool, and of course afternoon tea. Since this cruise was so port intensive, most days were spent ashore. In the evening a jacket is required after 6pm as the minimum dress code. Everyone honored the dress code which was a breath of fresh air. Not a single T-shirt or flip flops spotted in the dining room! Cunard cherishes its history, and is probably the only cruise line with an authentic bookshop onboard selling Cunard memorabilia as well as ocean liner books, cards, and puzzles. My partner who has little interest in ocean liner history really loved the Cunard experience, and surprisingly wanted to stop by the bookshop almost every night. It was something unique that he had not experienced on any other ship. To accompany the book shop is a fully stocked two level library complete with librarian. Proudly displayed all over the ship is artwork and artifacts from Cunard's illustrious past. If you require even more reminding that you are sailing with a company steeped in tradition and history, then a channel on your TV is dedicated to programs about Cunard history and its past vessels. Needless to say this was my favorite channel! Evenings on Cunard are quite elegant and formal, with music throughout the ship, costume balls in the Queens Room, ballroom dancing complete with gentleman hosts, big band, production shows of a fairly decent quality, and yes even disco dancing! The fine art of paying attention to the details is not lost on Cunard. There are nice touches like sparkling wine upon arrival, turndown service with chocolates on your pillow, Gilchrist & Soames bath products, robes & slippers, and even a daily newspaper delivered nightly with news from your home country. Many cruise lines have done away with these amenities, but Cunard continues to uphold the tradition. What you won't find on Cunard are endless revenue producing announcements, obnoxious art auctions, constant nickel & diming, bellyflop contests by the pool, rock climbing walls, shorts in the dining room, or buckets of beer. If these are things you will miss then Cunard is clearly not for you. We opted for a standard outside cabin thinking it would be too cold to make use of a balcony. Were we ever wrong on that one. The weather was amazing the entire two weeks with warm air and cloudless sunny skies. It might be the best weather I've ever experienced on a cruise. The seas were as equally calm as the skies, and never once did we feel the ship move. I was actually a little disappointed in that fact, but it was perfect for my partner who is prone to motion sickness. I really enjoyed our cabin and its location on Deck 1. Our midship Deck 1 location was perfect for a port intensive itinerary. The gangway was never too far away and the main lounges were a short jaunt down the hall or up a deck. The window and its opening was large enough to sit in and read a book. Bedding was very comfortable and decor was soothing. Our cabin stewardess Rosalina was one of the best we ever encountered. Three things lacking were drawer space, a proper shelf in the small shower, and an interactive TV. We did order room service on occasion and it was always delivered right on schedule and delicious. The dining experience on QE was quite good. We opted for late sitting and a table for two. We were in a nice section near the windows very close to three other tables for two. Two of the tables were next to us and another behind us. If you were looking for a private dining experience this arrangement would not have been ideal, as the tables were quite close to each other. As it turns out we got along great with our fellow two-tops and enjoyed some great conversations (thanks Dee & Michael!). Our serving team did a great job as did the wine steward who appeared every night almost as we sat down. I'm glad Cunard has kept the wine stewards and not placed the task on the already overworked wait staff as many cruise lines have done. One option missing from the experience was an "always available" selection on the menu. This is offered on most other lines and usually includes a steak, fish, salad, and chicken option. It's always nice to have such options in case nothing appeals to you on the main menu. Luckily we never had that problem but I'm surprised it wasn't offered in the Britannia Restaurant. We dined in the Britannia Restaurant every night except two. For my birthday we dined in the Verandah Restaurant, which is an a la carte speciality dining experience drawing its roots from the original QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN MARY. I opted for the tasting menu which was very French and very unusual for my taste buds. I quite enjoyed it but it was a lot of food. The overall experience was quite nice but I still feel Celebrity Cruises has the best speciality restaurants at sea. Another night we dined up in the Lido Restaurant with the Spa Manager and the theme was a steakhouse. The upcharge was $10 per person. It was satisfactory but the steak was certainly no better than what was offered in the main dining room. Lunch was taken either ashore or in the Lido Restaurant & Grill. The quality was good as was the variety. This cruise was very port intensive, with only two days at sea out of twelve. For those ports where we docked in a remote location, Cunard provided a complimentary shuttle service into the center of town. This was certainly not expected as most cruise lines charge for such a service, but it was certainly welcomed! In almost all the ports we enjoyed lunch or at minimum some coffee/tea/soda at a cafe in order to take advantage of free internet. It's so much faster than what is offered on the ship. I'm not going to detail much on the ports, but I will let you know how we enjoyed each one ... Salerno. We booked a Cunard shore excursion to Pompeii. I was really fascinated with Pompeii and it was a great way to spend the day. Cunard did and excellent job with the organization of the entire tour. Highly recommended. Messina. We booked a Cunard transfer shore excursion to Taormina. Basically it was a motor coach ride to and from the small cliffside town of Taormina with free time once you are dropped off. Again highly recommended. Taormina is charming and picturesque. We enjoyed shopping, people watching, and lunch at an outdoor cafe. Santorini. One of my favorite Greek islands. We went into town on our own, taking the funicular up to the main town of Fira. We enjoyed some shopping, ship spotting, and an amazing lunch with a view to die for. Pretty much a prefect day in my book. Rhodes. Since we have been to Rhodes several times, we opted to walk the walled city on our own, again enjoying the sights and a lunch at one of the main squares of the old city. Kusadasi. We were here fairly recently and toured Ephesus. This is a must and we strongly considered going back for a 2nd look, but instead took it easy and strolled around the waterfront near where the ships dock. Athens. In that past we have toured Athens quite extensively, so again it was a light day of strolling around the port area of Piraeus. This is a great area for ship spotting if you're into that sort of thing. There is a hop-on-hop-off bus that circles Piraeus and another that goes into Athens itself. These are great options if you prefer to save a little money and have a bit more freedom to plan out your day. Both leave from the port area just outside where the ship docks. Corfu. We really loved Corfu. It's quite different from other Greek islands due to its location and the fact it's so green. It feels more like Italy to be honest. A free shuttle was offered into town but we felt like walking. We strolled around the waterfront and then into the city. Chris went to a "fish spa" where these little fish suck all the dead skin and calluses off your feet! It was an interesting experience for him and fun to watch. Dubrovnik. This was probably my favorite port of the entire cruise next to Venice. We took the free shuttle from the ship into the walled city and just spent the day exploring all the amazing sights this beautiful city has to offer. This is someplace I would truly like to return to for a week or more. Some of the cliffside hotels outside the walled city looked quite inviting. Ravenna. Probably the most disappointing of all the ports. The ship was supposed to overnight in Venice but due to port congestion the overnight was canceled and Ravenna was added in its place. The closest major city is Bologna and tours were offered there, but we were not interested enough to book one. The ship docks in a fairly industrial area and it's about a 30-40 minute ride into Ravenna itself. We were there on a Sunday and things were pretty quiet, but if you're into Mosaics then this is the place for you! Ravenna is quite famous for them and they are beautiful, but I would have preferred the overnight in Venice. Venice. We took a water taxi from the port area directly to our hotel which was really cool. I quite enjoyed the experience but be forewarned that water taxis are very expensive. Roughly 80 Euros for a 15 minute ride. Our hotel was the Westin Europa & Regina located right on the Grand Canal. We had a superior room facing the Grand Canal and I can tell you it's not a view I would ever tire of. I highly recommend the hotel and a visit to Venice in general. It's one of those places that really lives up to every expectation and perception and even exceeds them! From Venice we took a train to Milan and spent a night there before our flight home. I was disappointed in Milan as it lacks all the Italian character we came to enjoy in Venice, Salerno, Messina, and even Ravenna. We stayed at the Sheraton Malpensa which is actually connected to the airport. This is without question the most modern and luxurious Sheraton I have ever stayed in. Since the hotel is connected to the airport, it made catching our 9am flight to New York JFK quite simple. We flew home in Business Elite on Delta and it was a fantastic way to end a truly wonderful vacation. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, this trip was nearly perfect in every regard. We loved the ship (including the food, service, and entertainment), the new friends we made, all the ports, and were treated to picture perfect weather. The logistics of getting to and from the ship went without a hitch, and spending some time in Venice at a truly gorgeous hotel helped ease the disappointment of having to part ways with the lovely QUEEN ELIZABETH. What I've found is the best way to get over a great vacation is to have another planned, and next up is ROYAL PRINCESS this coming Sunday! Please enjoy the pictures and let me know if you have any questions. Ernie   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Background:I consider myself an experienced cruiser, and have sailed most of the world. While my favorite line is Crystal, I like to cruise more than I can afford with them and have also sailed with Windstar, Silversea, RCI, Cunard, HAL, ... Read More
Background:I consider myself an experienced cruiser, and have sailed most of the world. While my favorite line is Crystal, I like to cruise more than I can afford with them and have also sailed with Windstar, Silversea, RCI, Cunard, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival. I have now sailed all recent Cunard ships, QM2,QE2,QV, and now QE. Hotel Info: Pre-cruise:I stayed at the Gem Hotel at 449 W 36th Street. The location was superb and the hotel was fine, but I was a bit surprised that as a member of the Choice group they don't provide a breakfast. Post-cruise:I had a same evening (19:35) flight out of Heathrow and arrived at the airport just after 11. I booked a cabin at the Yotel Heathrow. It was well equipped but tiny. It was a good option for a few hours, but I don't think it would be either very comfortable or a great value for an overnight stay. Ship: At 90,000 tons and somewhat over 2,000 passengers the ship to me is big but is small to medium size in today's market. It is a very modern ship, as would be expected having been built in 2010. Everything is well laid out and there are ample open spaces. Service: Very Good. My waiters and room steward did an excellent job and service was generally good around the ship. Port & Shore Excursions: This was a direct transatlantic crossing with no ports. There were 2 things that might have come under the heading of "tours". 1. I booked the behind the scenes tour on the ship. We saw pretty nearly everything on the ship, backstage, mooring deck, medical center, engine control room, a fire locker, trash area, print shop, food storage area and galley, bridge, and perhaps some things I have overlooked. At $120 it covered a lot and I believe was somewhat less expensive than similar tours on other ships. 2. At the end I had a transfer to Heathrow. We were moved up in the departure sequence and our bus was pretty uncrowded. Our arrival was delayed by close to an hour for one party that couldn't be located. I don't believe anyone had tight flight connections but it could have been a problem. Summary: While Cunard talks about ocean liners, QE is a cruise ship through and through. QM2 handles a crossing much better than QE does. As a cruise ship, it is very nice. Travel To Port of Embarkation: I used Amtrak the day before for about the 2 1/2 hour journey from BWI to New York. For me the hotel was within walking distance and an uptown bus took me within walking distance of the dock. Stateroom: My inside stateroom was a bit small but more than ample for one. It was very well appointed with US(2), UK, and European electrical outlets and a mini-fridge. One thing to be careful about is the electricity. The lights are controlled by inserting your room key in a slot by the door. If the key is removed one or perhaps 2 of the outlets will be active but the rest will lose power. The bath was quite tiny with only a small shower. Leaving the TV on the bridge channel gave a good idea of what conditions were outside. Dining: As is traditional with Cunard, your cabin category determines your dining arrangements. The 3 upper categories (about 15% of passengers) have a reserved table for all 21 meals per week with about a 3-hour flexible time period. I was with the 85% of passengers who dine in Britannia and the food and service were very good, at least in line with other mainstream cruise lines. The cold fruit soups were one of my favorites. The lido was set up cafeteria style and lines occurred but were generally pretty short. There are stations for custom omelets, pancakes, waffles, and pizza. It does have a cafeteria feeling but all the food I had was good. I had lunch in the extra cost Veranda restaurant. For me, it wasn't worth the price for regular use but it was an excellent meal. Entertainment:The Royal Cunard singers and dancers were excellent. I thought the guest entertainers on board were of variable quality. There were a number of bands, pianists, and small musical groups in various places around the ship with a wide variety of entertainment choices. Disembarkation:There is one nice thing about Cunard crossings that happen before we even get to our destination. UK immigration officials sail with the ship so there is no need for the traditional checks as we disembark the ship. Disembarkation times are mostly by deck. Since I had a transfer I was fairly early in the process, but things seemed to be moving fairly smoothly up to that time, and i assume it continued that way after my departure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Just got off the Queen Elizabeth in Ft Lauderdale,after a 14 day transatlantic & Caribbean cruise ,14 days of purgatory,what a boring & truly lifeless ship with no atmosphere. Most passengers on board think they are someone they ... Read More
Just got off the Queen Elizabeth in Ft Lauderdale,after a 14 day transatlantic & Caribbean cruise ,14 days of purgatory,what a boring & truly lifeless ship with no atmosphere. Most passengers on board think they are someone they aren't because they are on a "Cunard " ship.As one chap said one day when we were cuing to get back on board after a day on a beach,a woman pushed past us up the gangway, "There goes one of the Cunard Mafia ". Embarkation from Southampton was very well organized & when we got on board our cases were already in our cabin.The ship is quite old fashioned inside but very well set out, plenty of Bars etc,but the noise from the engines is very loud on deck 2 especially in the cafe/bar & the vibration in our cabin on deck one was very noticeable. The service on our table in the Britannia restaurant was disgusting ,not once did our waiter call us by name as we have always have been on Celebrity & Royal Caribbean & was very rude to other guests & we had to order our desert with our starter & main course .One evening he cut his finger & carried on serving us ,dripping blood onto the table cloth,the Maitre D stood by & said nothing.The food was acceptable but nothing out of the ordinary. The Lido buffet restaurant was a joke.Tables took ages to be cleared & were hardly ever wiped down when the were.The breakfast selection was always hot but quite limited .The only ray of sunshine was the young chef who fryed our eggs every day ,she was lovely & new how we wanted them cooked after the very first day 10 out of 10 to her !!.The lunch selection was o.k. with made to order food available as well as the normal buffet food. Now onto the entertainment or should I say lack of it unless you like violinists, harpist,piano recitals,trivia (4or5 times a day),ballroom dancing & bridge & more bridge.One day there was even scarf folding (please bring you own square scarf ).The evening entertainment was not much better with people constantly walking out of the shows & to top it all one evening the show was A FILM,(not in the evening ) The library containing 6000 books says it all, you hardly ever saw any body walking around or sat without a book in hand. Bar waiter service around the ship was good the waiters being very attentive once they knew who liked a drink.No drinks served in the theatre. We were sat upon deck one morning above the Lido pool & all that could be heard was the splashing of the water in the pool as the ship rolled,the sound of ping pong being played & the snoring of the Mafia NO music being played Or the sound of people having FUN. If you have not got a plum in your mouth & are not up your own ar--,don`t even think about it. To cap it all once we arrived in Ft Lauderdale we were supposed to disembark at 8-30 am to pick up a rental car to continue our holiday in Florida but it was 12-15pm when we finally got through customs,due to a lack of customs officials so we were told ???. After now having been on over 25 cruises on various lines ,this has to be by far the WORST to date & we will have to be hard pushed to venture onto a Cunard ship again !! well perhaps when we have " ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE " Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
The Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are the same size and smaller ships laid out in the same way. The QE is much newer being just over 2 years old so is very modern. I've not been on the QV yet. We found the QE to be very quiet ... Read More
The Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are the same size and smaller ships laid out in the same way. The QE is much newer being just over 2 years old so is very modern. I've not been on the QV yet. We found the QE to be very quiet with hardly any engine noise at all. There are laundry rooms on every deck but you must take your own washing liquid. Irons, ironing boards and kettles are not provided in any of the rooms. The plugs were a weird assortment. I would recommend you take lots of adaptors including a shaver and toothbrush one. The hairdryer was very good. Many people are very concerned about the position of their stateroom ie: fore, aft or midships. We've stayed in staterooms midships and aft and found little if any difference. There are 2 or 3 formal nights on each voyage and everyone complies with the dress code. The ladies love it and the men moan about it! Stateroom: Princess Grill: - QE -- P3 -- a very nicely decorated room. There was a nice walk in wardrobe with shelving and cupboard with safe and under bed storage. The bathroom was compact but very useable. There is a long vanity unit with a single bowl, the loo and a bath with shower over. The bath is very easy to get in and out of being very low. When you read some of the comments on Cruise Critic they make comments about the nasty shower curtain but it's not it's fine. It's a nice material and doesn't billow. The room was beautifully furnished. My only gripe was that the room was very narrow, only around 8'6" wide but probably around 25' long. We were on deck 4 and the balconies on this deck are deeper from front to back than those on higher decks. They were around 3 feet deeper. The balconies are very compact and the people next door were forever falling over their furniture. The soundproofing between the rooms is very good. Princess Grill: We really didn't know what to expect having never travelled Princess Grill before. We were really pleasantly surprised and thrilled. The service was 1st Class, the food was fantastic and if you wanted anything special they would prepare it for you. Why pay to eat somewhere else when you can eat here all in. It was so good. They looked after us like royalty. Entertainment: The Theatre was really lovely and the entertainment was very good. Much better than the QM2. Well done! The comedian was very good and flautist was enjoyable too. Spa: Unfortunately the spa has been transferred from Canyon Ranch. I wasn't impressed with the management of it. The girl in the gym was VERY loud. She was taking a stretching class and everyone was well over 60. She didn't ask any of them if they had any problems before starting. They had to ask twice for the music to be turned down. It was blaring all day. If you got up there early, before she started, you could work out in peace. I wasn't keen on my treatment and I was not allowed to use the spa pool after. To use that very select area you had to buy a ticket for every day of the cruise which was very expensive and they only sold 40!!! Bring back Canyon Ranch!!!! I really like the position of the Queens Room. It's in the middle of the ship and you can walk through it so you can see if events are going on. It's also easy to access and find. It's cosy. They serve afternoon tea in there every day and it's not to be missed. http://youtu.be/_0CSi4oIWLM Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Queen Elizabeth -- From Southampton to New York -- 10th to 18th Jan 2012 This was our first time on any Cunard Ship, in this case the Queen Elizabeth, and our first time sailing across the Atlantic. We were to sail out of Southampton and ... Read More
Queen Elizabeth -- From Southampton to New York -- 10th to 18th Jan 2012 This was our first time on any Cunard Ship, in this case the Queen Elizabeth, and our first time sailing across the Atlantic. We were to sail out of Southampton and fly back to Heathrow. This leaves us with a problem of where to leave the car -- at Southampton or Heathrow. So we decided to drive down to Heathrow, stay overnight in a Hotel then drive to Q-Park, where we left the car ready for our arrival back in the UK. We were then transported to Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3, to catch Cunard's Coach to Southampton. We arrived at Southampton about 1230 hours. The cases were taken to our cabin by the Baggage Handlers and we boarded Queen Elizabeth shortly after 1330 hours. The Wife was overwhelmed with the size of our cabin -- 6108 - and very large 'L' shaped balcony. After drinking our complimentary bottle of champagne we then headed for the Lido restaurant for lunch. After which we wandered around to familiarise ourselves with each deck and the facilities. We noted the two outside pools were too cold to use at any time during the crossing. The mid ships pool should have been covered over to keep the warmth inside the pool area as the only other option was the indoor Spa pool which was very small and so overcrowded. No swimming on this Transatlantic Crossing then! As we left Southampton, Queen Mary 2 was just in front and there was a huge display of fireworks to help send both ships on their way. The QE was starting her world cruise by crossing the Atlantic. The QM2 was off towards Africa. Because our cabin was on the Port side we could see the fireworks from our very large balcony on deck six. We were allocated a table for six, first sitting, in the Britannia Restaurant and met our dining companions on the second night which was a formal dress night. We had three formal nights, three semi-formal nights and two smart casual dress nights and were expected to adhere to the dress code for the whole evening. After each evening meal we made our way to the Theatre where we were entertained by an operetta singer, clarinet player, comedian and the Cunard Show team who were excellent. During the day we walked around the shops (very expensive) attended various seminars and learnt to dance ballroom and Latin dances. There was a well stocked library, a room full of computers for internet access (at 50p per minute), art displays which could be purchased ($800 and upwards), bingo ($20), deck games, cookery demos, spa treatments and hairdo's (from $35), gym and fitness classes. Up until Friday 13th January 2012 we had sunny weather all day with moderate seas and an air temperature of 14 degrees Celsius. On the Friday, we hit the 'lumpy seas' as Captain Wells described them. Lumpy was an underestimation. The seas were 4.5 metres high and splashing right over the bow to the top decks. The poor Queen was shuddering and causing banging and squeaking noises all night long. It was difficult to stand up and even more difficult to keep the wine in the glasses and the food on the table during the evening meal. As a result the Captain slowed down to 10 knots from 22 knots which made us 7 hours late for our arrival in New York. This completely messed up our meeting with our Manhattan Relatives planned for 1100 hours at Pier 90. A couple of days before arriving in New York we also had ice and snow which restricted all the activities to those held indoors only. By the weekend the seas had calmed down and we were getting used to the rattles, bangs, and squeaks on board as the Queen rode the smaller three metre waves. Our course into New York was described affectively by the second in command right from the entrance to the Bay, under the Verazzano Bridge, past The Statue of Liberty and into Pier 90 on the Eastern side of Manhattan. Deck five was opened up at the front of the ship for anyone wishing to watch the journey in the open air. For those who wanted to keep warm, the Commodore Club on deck 10 was a more sensible place to view everything. We were then heading for a very frustrating disembarkation shortly after docking. The US Customs wanted everyone, all 1800 people, to provide fingerprints, from both hands, as well as passport checks. This was further delayed by letting those on an Excursion leave first followed by a restricted flow through to Customs, deck by deck. Trying to inform our Relatives of the delays was impossible as our mobile phone didn't work and neither did the ship's telephone. So, not until 1530 hours could we finally land and meet our Relatives. It's a funny feeling walking on terra firma after seven days at sea. We were also informed that the next day, the final day on board would mean we had to get off the ship at 0800 hours. It was chaos as people were shoving and pushing to beat the queue and load suitcases onto coaches. All the coaches were full and so extra ones had to be ushered in. All this in freezing cold winds blowing down our necks. The Coach Staff, who were coordinating passengers onto the coaches, didn't have a clue as to who was boarding which coach and kept saying British Airways only. We were on a Virgin flight. During the subsequent boring six hour tour of Manhattan we had only one hour to look at the shops and that was including lunch time. My Wife was very angry about this as her main aim for the trip was to visit places she once new and to shop in New York. Finally we arrived at JFK Airport and then had to wait four hours for our flight to Heathrow. A sad ending to an otherwise enjoyable cruise. Quality of Food We preferred breakfast via room service or in the Lido Restaurant. Lunch was normally taken in The Lido and the evening meal in the Britannia. The food choice was excellent in all cases. Entertainment Harpists, pianists, guitarists and string quartets were playing all the time at various points on the Ship and during the evening meal. The evening shows were good except for the plays. Theatre boxes were available at $170 per box including drinks but their view of the stage must have been restricted. Shore Excursions We had to cancel the Evening Tour due to the late arrival in port. The freebee tour, taking us to the airport, was a time wasting event. The Coach Rep was an American Comedienne who spoke in an incomprehensible accent. Staff The Cabin Steward brought us the wrong case and didn't provide tissues until three days at sea. In fact most of the Staff were aloof and did not engage in any conversation with the Passengers. This is unlike any other cruise where Staff have been very accommodating and friendly. Onboard Activities We were not involved in many activities either because they were of no interest or there was an extra cost. We did enjoy the dance lessons, line dancing and some of the seminars. The shops were not worth the space they occupied because everything was mortally expensive and not particularly interesting. Cabins -- 6108 was very large, the size of a Princess suite, with a large shower and very large 'L' shaped balcony. The Wife was impressed. Overall Rating Having cruised fourteen times before I would rate the QE about three star. Poor communication, poor forward planning and organisation let the Cruise down badly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We were apprehensive about the many sea days on this Transatlantic voyage, but need not have worried. Our standard balcony room was comfortable, especially the beds, and had all the facilities we needed, including an enthusiastic, helpful ... Read More
We were apprehensive about the many sea days on this Transatlantic voyage, but need not have worried. Our standard balcony room was comfortable, especially the beds, and had all the facilities we needed, including an enthusiastic, helpful but unobtrustive steward. Check-in was easy at Southampton, we boarded the ship, met the steward in the room and went up to the Lido restaurant for lunch. From then on we had everything we needed provided for us. The entertainments every evening were mostly excellent, the dinners in the Britannia restaurant high quality, with dishes such as steak and fish showing no evidence that the chefs were catering for 2,000 passengers. Waiters upheld the White Star service Cunard is so proud of. We had the early sitting, otherwise we would have missed the shows, as second sitting's shows started at 10.30. On two of the last sea nights they had their show at 7pm, and I was surprised that not more people took advantage of this. Most of the passengers were elderly and tended to avoid the late night disco in favour of an early night, although they were scarily enthusiastic on the ballroom dancefloor, with even the mobility scooter users joining in on the sidelines. With a handful of exceptions, the passengers were British, and appreciated the Golden Lion pub with its traditional pub food at lunchtime, and the afternoon tea served in the Queens Room every day with accompanying string quartet, harp or pianist. I think the strong British culture was a bit much for the minority of Americans and other nationalities, though. Having experienced the loud behaviour of US guests on Carnival, and to some extent Royal Caribbean, the 'sorry', 'excuse me' and 'would you mind' around the ship was welcome to me, but would have baffled people used to a different ship board culture. Entertainment in the day consisted of fascinating lectures, the occasional new release movie, and a wonderful rendition of Twelfth Night by the resident theatre company. No belly flop or hairy chest contests on deck - people who like this sort of thing on cruises might have been disappointed. An excellent libary on two floors with a spiral wooden staircase separating fiction from non-fiction, a globe, maps and guidebooks with armchairs for reading was a joy, and as we walked around the ship on seadays when the weather was not so good, most of the bars and lounges had people sitting and reading (and a few knitting and embroidering). The Spa was good, but costly, which led to some annoyance when so many of the facilities were not working on certain days. A number of passengers liked to complain, but I could not understand what they could possibly have to moan about. They referred to the old days on the QEII and the Queen Mary, but I had to wonder if it was a case of looking at the past through rose tinted spectacles. We had attended a number of lectures on skyscrapers by Seth Gopin, who had slides of arriving in New York on the Queen Mary 2. This encouraged us to get up early to see the arrival in New York, which was magical, as we went past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, with a commentary by one of the other guest speakers. The final Port of Call was supposed to be Sydney, but ended up being changed to Corner Brook because Sydney was full of cruise ships. The people of Corner Brook were very friendly and welcoming, offering us free luggage labels and lapel pins, and a shuttle bus (school bus) to the shops. We walked the Corner Brook Stream trail, which was created by the paper company when it put in the pipe to extract the water for their factory, next to the dock. When the QE arrived it blew its horn, and the paper factory replied with its own factory horn. There was a cafe on the hill above the dock with free wifi, and this seemed to be a popular place. There was another walk up to Captain Cook's lookout and a museum, but we didn't visit them, as we were a bit tired by the time we finished the walk. (This is included because Corner Brook is not on the list of ports of cal) I would highly recommend the Queen Elizabeth, and particularly enjoyed the theatre company, the resident dancers, the food, and the service. I would recommend this cruise to people who enjoy ballroom dancing, access to a large supply of good reading, interesting lectures and good quality entertainment. I would not recommend it to people who like loud noise, lots of bingo and rowdy entertainment, or for families with children (although there was provision for children on board if there had been any). The only thing that spoiled it for me was the constant moaning by some of the other passengers, but I think they were in a minority. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I went on the 24 night roundtrip voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York and New England for my 30th Birthday. The ports of call themselves were beautiful, fantastic, everything I thought they would be and more even though ... Read More
I went on the 24 night roundtrip voyage on Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to New York and New England for my 30th Birthday. The ports of call themselves were beautiful, fantastic, everything I thought they would be and more even though the weather wasn't great. Going to New York has always been a dream of mine and to have that dream come into reality was bliss. However I shall keep this review about the ship, the ports of call can always be searched alternatively. Allow me to begin this review by stating that I chose the Cunard line for a purpose; I have a specific interest in maritime history and the days gone by as it were, and I wanted to relive the nostalgia of the vintage era. The ship lived up to it's name - the passengers, well, they were a different story altogether. I will start with the good points about the ship as there were many. First of all, the ship was pristine, glistening marble and wood, polished tables and stunning decor. The cabin, we were A4 Balcony, far exceeded my expectations. It was spotless, the bed was comfortable, our room steward was beyond fantastic - he put up with doing some extra cleaning due to my allergies and immunity etc. There wasn't a great deal amount of space for clothing etc but we managed and sitting on the balcony at 5am watching Lower Manhattan pass by slowly is something I will never forget and something one cannot experience if flying into New York. The Matri-D's were excellent, there was a man whose name passes me by now, but I nickednamed him Jose Marino for his slight resembelence to the Portugese manager. He was so friendly, he used to go out of his way to come and speak to us every day and say hello. Our restaurant Matri-D', Ali, was also friendly and rather amusing, one felt as if they were talking to old friends rather than staff of a large ship. We were seated in the Britannia Restaurant towards the back of the ship where we had glorious sweeping views of the sea as we ate. The food was excellent, simply excellent although I could have done with a slightly bigger plate as it was so delicious, the portions were somewhat small. The ship itself is furnished in wood and bronze with stunning art deco decor and a real feeling of being in the gilded age itself. You could not fault the design of the ship with its sweeping grand staircase and beautiful ornate furnishings. If you are looking for a ship with a pizzeria and a shopping mall, a duplex on sea then you are looking in the wrong place. Cunard is all about taste, refinement, elegance, tea in the afternoon served with white gloved waiters whilst listening to a harpist, classical music accompanying your dinner, ballroom dancing and old style glamour. This was fine by me, I suffer from a host of medical conditions and rest a lot so I felt the haze and rush of Royal Carribean would not have suited my needs. The entertainment staff were excellent, they really got the guests involved, especially the Head of Entertainment, Keith Maynard, who I gather has quite a following amongst Cunard fans (lucky Keith!). Not surprising, he cut a fine dash in his tuxedo and was funny, witty and professional, and dare I say it rather naughty in the Mr and Mrs Quiz! This brings me round to the question, and my first complaint, what was there to do? The answer was not much if you are under 65. This cruise was not marketed as an over 60's but may has well have been, Cunard know where their cash cow lies and do little to offfer much to any other demographic - every facility and design of that ship was catered with the over 60's in mind. Yes, one might argue, this is the greatest percentage of cruisers. But, what about the other 20 or 30%, does their money not matter? I am in my thirties and was quite honestly disappointed. As I stated above, I was not looking for nightclubs, a booze cruise so to speak but found myself wandering around at 8pm wondering what an earth to do with myself in my ballgown. The entertainment was not to my liking at all, apart from the odd thing like the comedian and magician who were both excellent. Shows and musicals are not my forte so unless one wishes to go to the Royal Court Theatre or wait from dinner till 11pm for the Golden Lion entertainment, especially if you are on the early sitting for dinner, there is little else to do. No evening films, no evening classes, nothing, apart from aimlessly wandering the decks. The same applied to the daytime activities. All were catered for the over 60's...bingo, bridge, ballroom dancing classes, lectures - none of that appealled to me. Whilst I would not have wanted to hang from a rock faced wall or skated on ice at sea, I wouldn't have minded something to do. I did however attend David Henderson's lectures on air travel which were excellently presented and Seth Golpin and Bill Millers lectures were also good but I missed them and caught them on the TV. If one fancied a little music, the DJ did not start until so late that it was time for bed by the time he had put his first track on. I would like to have gone to Michael Jackson night but my condition means I need to rest early and everyone else was supping cocoa and reaching for their slippers by then. Which brings me around to my primary complaint: the people on board. I worked in PR and can easily mix with all types of people from all walks of life but I have never encountered such rudeness and hostility as the passengers on this cruise. A lot of these people were of retirement age, or older, and some obviously had a lot of money and were loathed to breathe the same air as anyone who they felt was beneath them. You walked into the elevator, for example, said good morning to someone and they snubbed you. I use a walking stick at times and twice was pushed over, the first time I was knocked off my feet outside the arcade shop by a man bustling past who did not even turn round to apologise even though I told him he had just knocked me over. I was speechless. The second time was in Quebec City, where a man did not wish to wait for me to hobble past, barged me out of the way and grabbed my arm and bruised it as I fell, he then walked off and turned around and shouted at me, in full view of other passengers, shouting that my stick was in his way. He carried on striding ahead and kept turning around and hesitating as if to start an argument but his long suffering wife, who was also disabled, with a stick, chastided him to the best of her ability. These people did not say excuse me whilst queuing for tea, they just pushed you out of the way, barged in front of you if you walked too slow and tutted if you said something they did not like. My mother takes medication that keeps her alive, without it she would be dead, simple as that. Whilst taking her medication at breakfast one morning, this hideous couple started whispering and pointing at my mother. The man then leans over and shouts "if you take any more of them your going to rattle". I was astounded, who made it his business. These people continued whispering and pointing at my mother whilst we were in Halifax much to our annoyance. As I said before, I sometimes use a walking stick. I suffer with a very rare genetic disorder which means my ligaments tear and the collegen that supports the joint does not exist and all my joints move, dislocate, fracture etc on mimimal exertion. This has also affected my heart and sometimes I need a wheelchair, other times I can manage. Because of this, I spent the entire cruise being stared at, people pointing at me, whispering and making nasty comments. One woman at tea was saying to her husband "one minute she has a stick, where is her stick now" as if God made it her business. Folded in my bag was the answer but I confronted her and she got very nasty. These people looked me up and down like they were eying up vermin, like I was something on the bottom of their shoe which I have to say, ruined my holiday, as I could not relax and unwind, I felt like I constanty had something to prove with people whispering and backstabbing. What do they know of rare genetic diseases and how ill I felt? The attitude of the ship's staff towards my disability left little to be desired. I boarded the ship in a wheelchair and made it known I would need assistance yet there was no protocol for assistance, no-one to ask where to go and what to do. When we got to New York we were told at the terminal there was no wheelchair assistance to get me on and off the ship and they left me standing there until I collapsed and was then given a chair to sit on. Of course I got filthy looks from passengers who had seen me walking a little bit without the need of a chair. It was only at the END of the cruise I was told that I needed to book the wheelchair from the pursers office to get on and off the ship and that they pick you up from your room. I had never been told this. I only found out through my horrific experience getting off the ship by tender at Bar Harbour. We were delayed due to bad weather so some tenders had gone, others were waiting. To get off, if you are part of a tour you went to the Queens Room, got your ticket and went when your ticket was called. If you were not part of a tour you were put at the back and had to wait till the very end to get off, apparantly the Captain announced 'open tender' and anyone could then disembark. I went to the Queens Room to ask for a wheelchair, to be told by a very rude man who SHOUTED at me "WHEELCHAIR, WE DON'T, YOU CAN'T HAVE A WHEELCHAIR". Then I was told to go the pursers desk, who then sent me back to the Queens Room to get a ticket despite me telling her I was not on a tour and needed a wheelchair. I was in tears by this time and feeling rather unwell with all the walking backwards and forwards. Eventually I braved the tender alone, thinking I'd use my stick and manage, only to be told "I wasn't disabled enough to use the lift, I had to walk". Excuse me I said, I cannot manage two flights of stairs? You are not in a wheelchair therefore you walk was the curt reply from the woman checking people off the ship. "How dare you" I fumed, "what is this, disability discrimination?" The Entertainments Manager luckily was there and told me to go ahead and use the lift. Who are they to judge my pain and condition, the Department for Work and Pensions? The Lido The staff in the Lido were horrific. Not all of them I must stress, some of them were lovely but the particular individuals I encountered were so rude and nasty I would not sail on this ship again. Some of the staff huffed and puffed and clearly could not be bothered to work. The tables were never cleared away, we had to ask each time for a table to be wiped of the previous passengers food reminants. One girl REFUSED to wipe the table, I had to get her manager. They could not be bothered to wait for people to get their drinks and barged in to do their job with little regard for the passengers. This lead to my having an accident. Two surly buffet staff were waiting to fill the coffee machine, there was a queue a mile long for tea and hot water. Instead of saying excuse me, or letting people get the hot water and tea whilst putting the coffee people to one side, they pushed in and huffed and puffed their way through the process of replacing the filter. I came to my turn of getting hot water and they would not move. I said 'excuse me' and they said 'you can get there'. I replied I could not and would they please move. They pointed at a tap next to me with hot water which I proceeded to use but instead of waiting for me to finish, these two buffet stewards pushed me and I scalded my hand with boiling hot water. I screamed, dropped my cup, and went to get some ice. We called the Matri-D over, a loathesome chap called Theo who strutted around looking down his nose at everyone. He came over and looked me up and down with a look of disgust and said he wasn't there therefore could not possibly comment. He saw my hand was burnt and red raw and stuck up for his staff, offered no apology yet looked at me with pure malice. I told him off for looking down at me and said with absolute horror "are you not going to offer me an apology". To which he repeated his first response of that he was not there. I could not believe the attitude of this man who was paid to wait on passengers, not make them feel two feet tall. Prices Everything on this ship was inflated, grossly overpriced. Hair Colour for $90 only to be charged an extra $30 to dry it, $15 to remove nail polish? Even the spa treatments were triple what I normally pay in the heart of London. The tours were grossly expensive as well, one could have picked up city buses in Boston and Newport for a few dollars rather than pay over $60 each. We did Quebec by ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed it. I only did a few tours, there were a lot of complaints about the organisation of the tours but the New York one I did was absolutely fantastic - couldn't have asked for a better experience although my fellow passengers were grumbling and glaring at me, grinning from ear to ear taking in the sights and squealing every time we got to a landmark. The Boston tour we did was also excellent. To sum up: I was truely ashamed to be British from the attitudes I got from my fellow passengers. There was no tolerance of others, no manners, no please and thank you. Yes I met a few nice people, I will not lie that there were some nice people on board but 95% were as described and I thought it was the younger generation wherein the problem lies.... Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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