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241 Cunard Queen Victoria Luxury Cruise Reviews

Cunard, oh dear how should I start, I was always given to believe that this was the N0 1 cruise line, sadly I find that in my opinion, it no longer seems to be. Nearly everything was disappointing from the onset, or maybe it was that I was ... Read More
Cunard, oh dear how should I start, I was always given to believe that this was the N0 1 cruise line, sadly I find that in my opinion, it no longer seems to be. Nearly everything was disappointing from the onset, or maybe it was that I was comparing it to a previous cruise with Royal Caribbean, because to be honest there was nothing it truly could be compared with. Our stateroom was okay nothing great, and not as clean as I would have liked, but only meant to be slept in, the food wherever you ate was not great, the choice in the Brittania dining room was tasteful but minute, vegetables being in very small portions and not to everyone's taste, too many cold soups considering it was Nov/Dec, in the Lido it was nearly always the same and mostly only warm, again the choice was very poor, afternoon tea was exactly the same everyday. The actual ship was tastefully decorated but in an era long gone and also in need of a refurb in some places, Cunard really need to come into the 21st century, too much brown polished wood and carpets to match. The prices on board were all subject to a 15% service charge which pushed them up and they were expensive enough, a 4 bottle wine package was $196 then the service charge was added, the gratuity was also added to your overall bill, fortunately we were told that it could be cancelled, apparently returning cruisers knew to do this on the same or the next day after boarding. Had anyone wanted to shop on board, the shops were very few and very high end, Harrod's, very expensive jewelers and a top quality art gallery, selling beautiful paintings if you could afford them. I could go on complaining about a lot more things, photo's taken on board expensive, etc. There were only a few things that were enjoyed by my wife and myself , the pub was an entertaining stop after dinner joining in the quizzes and listening to the fabulous Funch singing and playing the piano, we also entertained by the couples on the dance floor competing with each other, although they were exhausted they never wanted to be the first to leave!! strictly it wasn't. Although there were a few younger people on this cruise, most passengers were elderly pensioners, who were just happy to sit and snooze the days away, the days entertainment was boring, well that is the polite way to describe it, I did not go on holiday to listen to lectures and talks on arthritis and the like. The evening entertainment was awful, except for a few acts that were flown in from the UK, the Cunard's own artist's were loud and not that professional, I dare not compare them with my previous cruise I would never stop singing their praises. The tours booked through Cunard for the ports that we visited were very expensive and a total waste of time and money, we went on a couple of tours booked at the port and they were more informative and cheaper that the ones we booked from the ship. Although when I complained to the pursers office, the promise of an answer to our complaint never came. We often spoke to other passengers and were very surprised to hear some of them agreed with our thoughts on this cruise, even those that have made many many return cruises with Cunard and honestly questioned themselves why. To be honest we went on a cruise to have a rest and be waited on, we rested a little more than we anticipated as there was nothing else to do, I read a book, and coming from someone who hardly ever reads anything other than a news paper, that really is an admission of boredom. We will be going on a cruise again but not a Cunard one for if this had been our first on we would have never gone on another............look out Royal Carribbean the Jones are coming back !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
For anyone who wants to be pampered you need to cruise on the Queen Victoria. There is virtually nothing the staff cannot do for you if you ask. The meals are superb and the service exceptional, sure the dress code can be a bit over the ... Read More
For anyone who wants to be pampered you need to cruise on the Queen Victoria. There is virtually nothing the staff cannot do for you if you ask. The meals are superb and the service exceptional, sure the dress code can be a bit over the top but once you get used to that just cruise on by and enjoy. Afternoon tea is a must and late night cocktails are to be tried Have tried lots of different cruise lines but we always come back to Cunard.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I have recently returned from a three night taster cruise with many members of my family to Bruges. It was an absolutely fantastic cruise and a great time was had by all. Room service, public spaces, food and dining experiences, ... Read More
I have recently returned from a three night taster cruise with many members of my family to Bruges. It was an absolutely fantastic cruise and a great time was had by all. Room service, public spaces, food and dining experiences, entertainment was all excellent as I have come to expect from Cunard. I would particularly like to single out the children's zone for the high quality of service and the on board entertainment and music. My understanding is that a new performance company has recently joined the ship. If the Hollywood movie showcase is anything to go by then future travellers will have much to look forward to. It was the first show ever that made my whole family want to see twice. The service in the bar areas and restaurant was faultless and the attention paid to the children and my relative with specific dietary requirements was much appreciated. No one wanted to leave the ship after such a short visit, so there is a mark of the success. but... For the first time ever in my experience the sea day advertised in the itinerary was simply the ship putting down its anchor just outside of zebruuge. This didn't create much of an experience for new or existing cruisers who like to feel the motion of the ship with a feeling of going somewhere rather than standing still. It may have contributed nicely to saving carnivals fuel bill, but it limited the experience of those on board and I know from talking to fellow cruisers that this did not go down well. If the ship has to stay still, make it an additional port day please! So high scores all round as the Queen Victoria is an excellent ship to sail on and will always be one of my favourites, but the itinerary could have been better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I have cruised more than ten times with Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Costa, Carnival, RCL and so on. This is the first time I tried Cunard and thought it should have been better than other cruise lines. Well, I was wrong. We chose ... Read More
I have cruised more than ten times with Celebrity, Princess, Holland America, Costa, Carnival, RCL and so on. This is the first time I tried Cunard and thought it should have been better than other cruise lines. Well, I was wrong. We chose it was because of the itinerary - Norwegian Fjords, we thought with the fine food, and excellent service in Cunard, it would make the whole journey pleasantly. Well, I was wrong, the food was lacking of varieties. Seemingly only caters to British clients. Every morning has same breakfast such as bacon, sausage, pan-friend muchroom and grilled tomato. After a week, really fed up . We dined at Britannia restaurant, the food was plain, not tasty at all, we had to switch to Buffet restaurant for a change, but dinner at buffet was a big mistake too. Lack of varieties, only British-style food, same thing every night. We had no choice but to go for fresh pizza. Pasta is simple dish, but they do not do fresh made one, no ingredients such as onion,ham, mushroom to stir fry with the sauce. ONLY PLAIN SAUCE with PLAIN PASTA. It was horrible. We had to tolerate entire 7 days and cannot wait to get off board for food. How did people comment Cunard serves finer food. It was really inaccurate information. Can't deny the public area of the ship is décor classic and nicely, but the staffs was liveliness, they were not happy at all. The activities in the ship suck ...no Zumba class, no golf putting tournament like the other ships do. I was so bored in the ship. In one word, I won't go back again for any Cunard at all.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Firstly, we are not regular cruisers but we have been on QM2, short trip around the Carribean shortly after she was commissioned and then transatlantic on QE2. Both these trips took place prior to Carnival buying Cunard. The differences ... Read More
Firstly, we are not regular cruisers but we have been on QM2, short trip around the Carribean shortly after she was commissioned and then transatlantic on QE2. Both these trips took place prior to Carnival buying Cunard. The differences between the previous voyages and the one we just took to the Baltic and Northern Europe were small but noticeable. Here are the differences we noticed as they affected us and our trip. The food was not quite as stunning as we had experienced during the two previous trips. The choice was equally a little more inferior. The service in the Britannia restaurant was very good, the sommelier - superb, but service in all other bars and lounges was sub-par. Waiting 15 minutes before a waiter noticed that we were sitting on a couch, was not acceptable. This happened frequently, not just once that could have been construed as an oversight. The food in the Lido restaurant also was a little sub par. Some of the fruit that was put out uncut was either bad, mushy or not ripe. The choice of hot meals was a little sparse although to be fair, you could always find something that was a good choice - not excellent - just good. The cabin steward was excellent - room service not quite so. We tended to have a light breakfast on sea days in our cabin. This was usually a pot of tea and toast for 2 persons. Invariably there was a forgotten item each time, either the milk, tea spoons, butter, napkins - one time they forgot the tea bags! We only participated in Afternoon Tea once - the sandwiches were dry, the staff most anxious to get us out as we were in towards the finishing time not waiting for the Tea to be served as many of the eager passengers were. The champagne bar lacked patronage throughout the voyage. At $16.95 with gratuity it was obvious why. If Cunard had offered glasses of champagne at $10 per glass, it would have been crowded especially for pre-dinner drinks. The Entertainment was very poor. There were some good acts that performed on several evenings. But, they were the entire show, not a headline or a part of the total. My memory of the shows was something that you found on Broadway or in the West End - the quality of the performance was so high. The high spots were the 2 guest lecturers, Robin Oakley being the most notable, who gave very interesting talks. The lectures on the Amber and Faberge were also very interesting. Then the Tours - who knew that a better way to go was either the hop on hop off buses in regular ports to see the City - or in the case of St. Petersburg, the jewel in this cruise - that a private Tour not booked through Cunard - would have been better. If you do not have this information in advance, then you can only book directly with Cunard. One of the tours was shown as low activity which in fact involved walking around for 2 hours on steep cobbled streets. Another involved at 3 hour bus trip away from the Port. Sadly our 2 one day tours in St. Petersburg were full of "fluff" so that we were unable to see much of the treasures of this incredibleCity. We do not consider spending an hour and a half at a lunch in a mediocre restaurant being entertained by a group of Folk Dances to be a good use of limited valuable time that we had in the City. The costs of the Tours was phenomenal - paying $98 to take a coach tour of Helsinki was very steep. The final thrust by Cunard was that they sold water to take on the tours at a cost of $2.90 per bottle. The money that the company was making on these tours, water should have been given away to each passenger. As I came down with a very bad cold and cough after a week, I was forced to stay in the cabin on a couple of nights, including one of the formal nights and to miss the tour with the 3 hour bus ride. It would not have been fair to any of the other participants nor could I have sat through such a long bus journey, so I had no alternative but to miss out. The tour cost was $102 each ticket - not something that was easily given up. And what possessed Cunard to add Warnemunde and Skagen to the itinerary???? At Skagen the ship could not tie up in the dock but had to anchor outside the harbor. This prohibited any disabled person, of which there were quite a few on the ship, to go ashore. Skagen's claim to fame appeared to be a drifting sand dune that buried a church, plus a landscape of dunes moving across the country. Then, to justify the outrageous price, we were treated to a Danish pastry, dry and uninteresting, then a visit to a very poorly kept castle who's beautiful artifacts were in danger of becoming seriously damaged beyond repair. My final comment is that the wifi was priced at $47 for 2 hours - or 75 cents per minute. Would it have been so bad if Cunard had offered free wifi for that 2 hours, or even throughout the cruise. Most people weren't on board to sit at computers but for those (including myself) who were required to at least look at emails daily, it would have been a welcome gesture. To summarize - I thought the ship very comfortable, spacious and the common areas decorated well. Our cabin had chipped paint and minimal space for clothes - given the 5 formal nights. How do the world cruisers manage for 120 nights in these cramped conditions and lack of hanging space. I guess they double up on their clothes for formal nights. No, I will not cruise again on Cunard, nor probably anyone else, but I will take QM2 transatlantic. I did like the majesty of the ship and Cunard, even though not measuring up as prior to their take over, tower above other cruise lines in their ability to impress. Perception is all! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Firstly, let me assure you that this stunning cruise ship is the epitome of traditional British elegance and exquisite floating luxury. How anyone can rate their Cruise Critic review for the beautiful Queen Victoria as only 1 or 2 stars is ... Read More
Firstly, let me assure you that this stunning cruise ship is the epitome of traditional British elegance and exquisite floating luxury. How anyone can rate their Cruise Critic review for the beautiful Queen Victoria as only 1 or 2 stars is just ridiculous. The outstanding service starts the moment you arrive at the embarkation building. Porters whisk your luggage away straight to the security scanners as you step out of the taxi, leaving you a carefree, lightweight meander into the large and airy terminal building. Check in was quick and painless, with a swift move through security and onto embarkation. As you set foot onboard, you are greeted by the most amazing decor, almost like stepping back in time to the elegant Victorian days, lightly feathered with a modern twist. The cabins are very spacious, immaculate and very comfortable. We were greeted with a chilled bottle of champagne on ice by our bedside, with slippers and dressing gown to relax in whilst we waited for our luggage which was also very prompt to arrive. The ship has so much to do onboard, (but dont expect endless energetic activities like you find onboard Royal Caribbean or P&O ships). The Queen Victoria, as with all Cunard ships, has far more elegance and to be honest, a far better clientele, than you find on other cruise lines. This ship is a grand lady, gently gliding through the waves with such grace. The food can only be described as spectacular. The daily menu is brimming with an endless choice of truly delicious delicacies and professionally prepared dishes. Your daily activities programme is overflowing with things to do, but again dont expect rock climbing walls, ice skating, surf boards and bumper cars as you get on other cruise ships- you will instead receive a choice of knitting, needlework and scarf tying classes! I jest you not, this is genuine, but dont be alarmed, there are also lots of more modern pass times to enjoy, such as screenings of the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies, pub quizzes, dance lessons, fantastic spa treatments and a games room, for both young children, teenagers and adults. The evening theatre shows and guest entertainers are of West End standards, and indeed some do actually hail from there. The staff are very friendly, every single one smiles and says hello as you pass by. The whole ship is kept immaculate, and despite there being 2000 or so passengers onboard, the ship is large enough, yet also personal and privately compact enough to enjoy spacious, un-interrupted "you" time. The daily afternoon tea is a MUST!! But make sure you arrive at least half an hour before the opening time to get a table, as this is very popular. The sandwiches and cakes are fantastic. We all know that the weather is a major factor in most people's holidays, and we were very fortunate to enjoy superb sunshine at every port we visited and also whilst sailing at the north sea which was a very pleasant surprise! The Norweigan Ffords have the most breathtaking natural scenery I have ever encountered, and I would strongly recommend you visit when you can. The first three ports we visited (Stavanger, Olden and Flam) were lovely, especially the latter two, who boasted stunning unspoilt views across the most spectacular mountains. Bergen was a bit of a disappointment compared to the stunning views of the previous ports, as this is a city with high rise buildings and shops. We soon returned to the luxury of our ship to enjoy the daily entertainment programme, or simply relax in the roof top "winter garden". Passenger ages range from (mainly) retired guests, but plenty of 30 and 40 somethings, and not overrun with screaming children which was a blessing! Something for everyone, and a true delight. My family and I will be definitely travelling with the excellent Cunard company for many years to come. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was the latest of many cruises on QV. Still living up to its reputation as among the best cruise ships in the world. Entertainment is becoming rather boring as we have seen the star show so many times now. How about a change or two? ... Read More
This was the latest of many cruises on QV. Still living up to its reputation as among the best cruise ships in the world. Entertainment is becoming rather boring as we have seen the star show so many times now. How about a change or two? Staff as always the star attraction for us. Accommodation is first class in comfort. Restaurant service cannot be faulted. Enrichment lectures were the normal top productions. Especially Lord Digby Jones. Internet connections used regularly and first rate except when out of satellite range. Tours from ship are becoming very expensive and we avoided them this time. Cocktail parties were well presented with plenty of a welcoming staff at all times. As expected another very good crui8se on a familiar and well-loved ship in the Cunard colours. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was a short three night cruise visiting Belgium and France and was booked for our wedding anniversary. My Wife is disabled and a wheel chair user so I have commented on each part on any good and bad experiences in each of the ... Read More
This was a short three night cruise visiting Belgium and France and was booked for our wedding anniversary. My Wife is disabled and a wheel chair user so I have commented on each part on any good and bad experiences in each of the sections. Hotel We stayed at the IBIS budget in Southampton, which is as basic as it gets but it was clean and well located, on 10 minutes from the dock gates. The price of hotel room was very competitive, you do have to pay to park (£6), although it is free for those with a blue badge. There is a TGI and McDonalds on the site and restaurants in the other two hotels (Novotel and IBIS) that you can use. The hotel was great for accessibility and we were immediately allocated an accessible room which made life easier for us. The service from the front desk was very good indeed. Embarkation We sailed from Dock Gate four, which we have done before and used the on site parking which as normal was first class and highly recommended. The check in was quick and easy, although we were allocated to a special section for wheel chair users, I think everyone else probably checked in quicker than we did. The welcome to the ship was very good, professional and even had a red carpet laid out. We got on the ship just after 12 and asked when the rooms would be available and were told that they have been available since 10 a.m. which is very impressive. The Queen Victoria She is a beautiful ship, not as big as some of the competitors but stylish in most ways and spotlessly clean everywhere. Although a smaller ship, she is longer than I expected as it still seemed to take some time to walk from one end to the other. It did get a little crowed at times as she is narrower than other boats, with only one corridor running from front to back on some decks. Service The staff were very polite and attentive to all needs and we found the service in all bars and restaurants to be very good with not feeling of being ignored or rushed though meals which was nice. The wine waiter was very knowledgeable about the wine and automatically adjusted his comments and suggestions to our budget after we had ordered the first bottle of wine, which saved any awkward conversations. Dinning The food was outstanding in the main dinning room, which a good choice each night and staff that knew about the food which is helpful. Any requests for adjustments to the food, leaving out one ingredient etc. was never an issue and did not slow up the service. The buffet was of good quality and with a reasonable selection, but like all boats it is what it is and we did not struggle to find something to eat when we had lunch there. Activities Being only three days we did not take part in many activities, which the exception of having the afternoon tea which is served in the spectacular Queens Ballroom. It is the perfect setting to have your tea in fine bone china, eat tiny sandwiches and cakes and enjoy quiet music from a quartet or piano. Civilisation at its best and would highly recommend. Entertainment We did take in a couple of shows which were not the best that I have seen to tell the truth, one of which we left after about half an hour. One disappointing factor is that the boat has twelve disabled cabins but only 8 disabled spaces in the theatre, so we have to get there earlier to ensure we see the show. When we asked at the reception desk they suggested that we pay the $57 per person to sit in one of the boxes if we wanted to guarantee that we got a seat. The matter was not helped with the number of non disabled people that were sitting in the companion sits and in the second show that we went to we saw a number of other guests in wheel chairs come and go as they was no where available for their carer to sit. Again the staff seemed uninterested in helping the situation. Ports Zeebrugge We had ordered a taxi to pick us up at the boat and were disappointed that it did not arrive, however there are plentiful taxis available at the port to take you where you want to go. An advantage of using these official cabs is that the fares are fixed (50 euros to Bruges). The lady that drove the taxi was fantastic, helping my wife in and out of the car and delivering us to the very centre of Bruges and picking us up from the same spot exactly when we asked her to later in the day. Bruges itself is a beautiful city with lots of little shops to look at, although with all the cobble stones it is not the best place for wheel chairs, but the shops and restaurants were very obliging to helping us get my Wife to tables and around the tiny shops. We had a lunch in the main square at 'De Beurze' and found the food to be exceptional with very reasonable prices. Cherbourg Cherbourg is a pretty little port, that is undergoing a significant amount of work and we enjoyed the morning walking around the towns streets and stopping for coffee on the front. Getting on and off the boat in both locations was very well organised and we received assistance with the wheel chair in both ports. No real waiting was evident in either port, although we always waited about an hour after docking to avoid the main rush. Summary In summary we really enjoyed out short stay on board and would be happy to take another cruise with Cunard. The only caveat to this would be that I would not take my children, as although there is a kids club, the few children on the trip did look bored most of the time. The trip represented good value for money and was relaxed and enjoyable at all times. I have reviewed the cabin separately.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Listed as three separate cruises we arrived via Queen Mary 2 from NY and after this British Isle cruise returned back to NY via the Queen Mary 2. This was our third time on the Queen Victoria. Embarkment was a transfer from the QM2 to the ... Read More
Listed as three separate cruises we arrived via Queen Mary 2 from NY and after this British Isle cruise returned back to NY via the Queen Mary 2. This was our third time on the Queen Victoria. Embarkment was a transfer from the QM2 to the QV. It was supposed to be seamless and we were to board first as "in-transit" passengers. There were over 200 guests doing this transfer. The travel desk told us all that it was a piece of cake, they do this all the time. But no one told the staff at the terminals. Total confusion. It took some time to find anyone at the QM2 terminal that even knew about this transfer. And when we got to the QV terminal, again no one had any idea what to do with us. And finally we sat for 1 1/2 hours until we were allowed to board. Definitely not seamless. We had an inside stateroom on deck 5. Good clean room and a steward that was wonderful. All public rooms were wonderful, well appointed and clean. The Pub was a favorite. The Britannia Restaurant was just like the QM2 with the exact same menus and the same food on the same days. Each day we looked at the menu and said "didn't we have this last week?" If it is Tuesday, Carnival gives you lamb, on all the ships. Oh and the dress code is a joke. They state dark jackets for men. Old guys coming into the dining room wearing black windbreakers! Women in black flip flops! Jeans and shorts in the casinos every night and in the lounges and theater. One staffer stated that Carnival doesn't pay him enough to be the clothes police. So, if you personally don't care, you can wear whatever you want. No one will stop you. We specifically did this cruise because of the itinerary in the UK. No one could tell us why Ireland was listed as part of the British Isles. I guess no one at Carnival LLC knows current history. But the ports were wonderful. And we enjoyed every one of them. The excursions are becoming more and more expensive and you get less for your money, so do your research. Many stops we booked private tours and had a wonderful time without 45 other folks on a bus complaining about anything. The entertainment was just OK. I have been to many high school productions that were more professional and entertaining then the acts booked via Carnival. Various bars/lounges have wonderful piano players/singers that are over the top great. Oh and the transfer from the QV back to the QM2 was an even greater farce. We arrived again as in-transit guests. One women says stand in line here, then another one says no sit over there and a manager comes out, yells at the two ladies and tells all of us (200+) to move to another sitting area. That is when the revolt happened. We all got up and went on line and refused to move. We booked in and then sat, again, for 1 1/2 until boarding. This terminal was built for the Queen Mary 2 so why the confusion? All the Southampton staff act like it is their first day on the job. Not a great way to run a company but Carnival LLC doesn't seem to care about Customer Service, Customer Care or civility. If you are planning to book the QV keep your expectation low so you aren't disappointed. And remember that the QV along with the Queen Elizabeth are far better then the Queen Mary 2. But sadly Carnival LLC has taken a proud elegant company and changed it into a sad circus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My recent cruise on the Queen Victoria helped me understand what the term "quintessentially British" means in a Cunard context. It means a floating retirement village inhabited overwhelmingly by 1200 former Coronation Street ... Read More
My recent cruise on the Queen Victoria helped me understand what the term "quintessentially British" means in a Cunard context. It means a floating retirement village inhabited overwhelmingly by 1200 former Coronation Street characters. While I understand that the cruise was pitched at retirees and I fall into that category, it also pushes the line of elegance afloat and a cruise meant as a reward for people who have had some success in life (I know that sounds pompous but its only what Cunard peddles). Flannelette track suit pants, zimmer frames, bingo, stodgy food and a constant whingeing about the cost of things certainly took the elegance out of the cruise very quickly. Non-British passengers had to put up with constant jingoism which in a perverse way probably confirmed all the terrible British stereo types. My wife had previously been on a long QM2 "voyage" and recently on a Princess Cruise. Our expectations were high, overly high as it turned out. The entertainment served up was best characterized as suitable for Butlin's holiday camp. Mediocre and safe, inoffensive and brief. Well the dears might go to sleep and they did. Professional karaoke at best. The ports of call, however, were wonderful and a highlight of the cruise. The crew were all very helpful. Tour advice was sound, sommeliers had the knack of making you feel as if you too knew something about wine, the wait staff were friendly and tried hard but probably knew little about the food they were serving. An exception was the Verandah Restaurant. We had a fabulous night there and I can highly recommend it. I don't mean to carp but the Cunard part of the cruise was a disappointment. Obviously there is a profit imperative for Cunard and getting bodies on board is what its all about. But, Cunard markets itself as being above the pack, of being something desirable and that certainly was not my experience. I went back to back onto the QM2 and I had a much better experience, one much more in line with our expectations. If the Queen Victoria is a second category of Cunard experience, it should be marketed that way.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Being a World Club platinum member we knew what to expect in our cruise aboard Queen Victoria. Embarkation was smooth. Food quality and service in the Britannia dining room were very good, though short of being excellent. However our ... Read More
Being a World Club platinum member we knew what to expect in our cruise aboard Queen Victoria. Embarkation was smooth. Food quality and service in the Britannia dining room were very good, though short of being excellent. However our dinner one night at The Verandah restaurant was truly one of the finest we've had on land or sea! Remarkable! One peeve I had related to the "Coffee Card" , or whatever it is called. You pay about $ 35 and are entitled to ten coffee drinks at the Carinthia Cafe and other venues. The first day I wanted to use the card for a large iced coffee the waitress asked me for an extra $ 1.00 or so, saying the included coffee drinks were regular size only. That to me defeats the purpose of having the cards and not having to have your room card swiped, a receipt signed, etc not to mention it gives one the impression of being nickled and dimed. I tore up the card and forgot about having my coffee drinks for the length of the cruise. Our shore excursions were very good by and large. St.Petersburg turned out to be a tour de force, however. We had booked a two-day, small group shore excursion and it turned out to be a marathon. We saw as much as can be included in such a tour, it was truly comprehensive. The flies in the ointment were Russian immigration, which took forever to process the hundreds of travelers coming off the ship and getting back on at the end of the day and St. Petersburg traffic. Tour members that had booked evening activities and came back to the ship to change and for a bite didn't have time to do both before having to run off. Also, at the end of the second day when everyone was tired and the group was already late the suggestion was made to leave off the ride on the metro during the rush hour and to forget about the visit to a flower/gift shop but the tour guide would not hear of it, so we ended up being over an hour late getting back to the ship. The Soviet mentality is still alive and well. We think Cunard ought to look at the possibility of staying in port longer, beyond the customary 5 or 6 pm departure and giving passengers the opportunity to partake in evening activities in port. Finally, the quality of the evening entertainment in the Royal Court Theater was below par. The Cunard singers and dancers were of poor quality, their shows lacked any type of pizzazz. There were a couple of other acts that were good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
9th Cunard cruise - Platinum Status - (103rd cruise overall) What we liked - -Embarkation - not a long line, but no one in the Platinum line - went right on. -Dancing in the Queen's Room - great orchestra and singer - if you like ... Read More
9th Cunard cruise - Platinum Status - (103rd cruise overall) What we liked - -Embarkation - not a long line, but no one in the Platinum line - went right on. -Dancing in the Queen's Room - great orchestra and singer - if you like ballroom dancing - this is the place to be! -Lido for breakfast and lunch - food generally quite good and fresh - although salad bar had same 4 ingredients all 15 days! --Entertainment - The evening show entertainers were some of the best we have ever seen. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers - not so much - but they did not do very much so worked out well! -- Wine steward. Absolute delight, hard working and fun!. The only staff member we left an extra gratuity for. What we didn't like - 2 deck steep gangway climb (with carryon) to board ship on deck 3 - Also used for wheelchairs - scary! and time consuming. In Ft Laud exited from deck 1 - - MDR food some of the worst ever on any ship. Menu descriptions and what was received always a surprise. Ex Chef from Ski Lanka - need we elaborate! - Staff and service - some of the worst ever on any ship including other Cunard - white star service - a very bad joke - in the queens room my wife asked a waiter for water one evening - he pointed to the other side of the room and told her to get it herself! - no coffee or beverage service in lido - coffee machines frequently out or order or out of coffee - long walk to another one which often was also out. waiters only remove dirty dishes and trays - otherwise no service of any kind. -- much of the staff never speaks to you and goes about their mission without regard to your presence. Have found that on QM2 although much improved on recent cruises. - 3 cocktail parties - almost impossible to get a glass of wine. saw food, but never got near enough to the one waiter to serve everyone in the queen's room. - senior cocktail party for platinum and diamond with senior officers - mob scene just like the one for all returning passengers. Almost impossible to get a drink and never got close to food - and this is for their most valuable passengers - note to others - better bring your own life jacket! - Asst waiter squirted lemon juice on us on a number of occasions, as well as dripping salad dressing on my hand. - Room steward not too bad, but never got clean glasses, no turn down service on the last night and took the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN ! - Did not need the DO NOT DISTURB SIGN on last night because (with a 10:15 departure) the Commodore was in the cabin at 7:30 welcoming us to Ft Lauderdale and telling us the shuttle bus for the mall was leaving at 9:30 -- 5 minutes later the Officer of the Watch was in our cabin telling us not to smoke on the open decks due to bunkering -- Shortly thereafter another announcement that those persons with bus transportation who were missing need to go immediately - the ship doesn't wait - certainly the busses don't need to! -- Then at 8:31 the cabin steward knocking on the door - remember he took the DND sign! -- 15 min later he is back again. -- The platinum wine tasting (to which you can bring a guest for $30 but free for us). I must preface my comments bu "I am not making this up!" We had to take the invite letter and our platinum card to gain admittance - but nobody looked at either - it soon became apparent why. About 20 of us went to a table with a table cloth. A waiter put a glass in front of us and it got a dollop of white wine. They talked about it and we drank it (one sip). Then - and here is where it gets better!!! - we took our glass and walked by the waiter who put water in it and we dumped it out on our way to the next table with a different wine. When we left that table and washed and dumped our glass we got a red as we walked to the third table and again for table 4. In all fairness they did not make us wash the glass the last time! Apparently there is a severe shortage of wine glasses on QV! We called it the drive by wine tasting. What a joke - Never sailed on Carnival, but I bet they do it better! -- Speakers - There were 4 whose talks on sea days were from 9-noon every day. As ballroom dancers and late night people, this was not a good schedule for us. We did make 2 of them. One by a Captain of some sort on the Panama Canal was clearly copied from a guide book on the PC. The actual narrator for the canal boarded in Panama. The other was a former Concorde pilot and while his photos were interesting, his Scottish brogue was so thick we could not understand hardly anything he said. One of the others that we did not attend was on a British doctor that murdered 250 of his patients! Great stuff for cruise ships! --The ship broke loose from its moorings in San Francisco due to winds according to the Commodore and shortly after leaving Costa Rica the ship went dead in the water for about 1/2 hour. AC limited following that for a couple of days. I only include this because to us it shows that the lack of training and experience is not limited to the serving staff. We are cancelling our fall cruise on QV even though we have $2000 shipboard credit. We are confirmed Princess people and interestingly we met a number of others who had the same impressions. Those folks who had little prior cruise experience were happier with the ship than we were. We will confine our Cunard travels to the QM2 (which has improved quite a bit over the past several years) and is far better than flying! Cunard continues to provide an inferior product at a highly inflated price! Save your money and go elsewhere! Forewarned is ............   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
FIRST SECTOR OF 2014 WORLD CRUISE EMBARKATION We arrived at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton at 12:30 and were told there was about a half hour delay in boarding. We were nevertheless on board and in our cabin by 1:30pm. We then went up ... Read More
FIRST SECTOR OF 2014 WORLD CRUISE EMBARKATION We arrived at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton at 12:30 and were told there was about a half hour delay in boarding. We were nevertheless on board and in our cabin by 1:30pm. We then went up and found a seat in the Lido self-service restaurant and had a leisurely lunch. CABIN We had a balcony cabin on deck 8, directly below the Lido, from which we heard no noise during the cruise. The cabin was clean, in good condition, with little evidence of wear and tear. There are two wardrobes, with 40 hangers provided. There are also shelves and drawers, which should provide ample storage for a 2 week holiday, but perhaps not for a full World Cruise. The cabin was kept clean by the steward while we were at breakfast and dinner each day – excellent service. Dressing gowns and slippers are provided. The bed linen is very good quality fine cotton. The two beds can be arranged as twin or double. They are reasonably soft, yet supportive. There are two large pillows, one square and one oblong, with good quality foam filling. The shower room was also in good condition, except for some mould on the tile grouting in the shower area. The shower curtain is a heavy fabric material, rather than plastic, which is much more practical. This was very clean, presumably because it can be easily placed in a washing machine. The shower thermostat was not always very effective at controlling the water temperature, but we have had the same problem on other ships. The strength of the lighting was good and a shaving/make up mirror is provided. Gilchrist and Soames, soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion are supplied and replaced as used. The bath towels were fluffy and an adequate size, but certainly not bath sheet size. There are also small hand towels and flannels. The balcony has two chairs and a table, but no recliners. The small flat screen television in the cabin provided general information and often had a recording of one of the talks from the previous day. It had US news channels, plus Sky News and BBC World. A number of films were shown each day, but the quality of the picture was so bad that most were not worth watching. FOOD Britannia restaurant. We were on the second sitting at 8:30pm. Our waiter, Dennis, from Dubrovnik was a real character. He was full of advice about which choices to make and even sang to us on one evening. We were initially impressed, but soon realised that he spent too much time entertaining us and not enough time serving and his assistant struggled to make up the lost time. Unlike tables served by other waiters, we were asked to choose our desserts with the starters and main course, instead of deciding on a light or more filling dessert after our main course. This procedure meant that it provided extra time for Dennis’s entertainment. Unlike other sections around us, we were rarely offered the Petit Fours with our coffee. It will be interesting to hear other peoples’ experience with Dennis. The food itself was good to excellent and there was no indication of the budget being cut since our last Cunard cruise in 2012. It is certainly much better than that provided by P&O. In particular we enjoyed some superb steaks, of a quality one would expect in the best restaurants. We also ate breakfast in the Britannia Restaurant, where the quality and choice was consistently good. You can have the full range of cooked English breakfast, cereals, pancakes, fruit, yogurt, bread and pastries, etc, etc. We normally had lunch in the Lido, where there was always a good choice of hot and cold dishes, plus pasta and pizzas made to order. Chocolate and vanilla ice cream was always available from a machine – parents please note! When the weather was bad it was difficult to find a seat between 12:00 and 1:00. If it was really full, a more leisurely lunch was available in the Britannia Restaurant. When the weather is fine the Lido grill is open where you can dine outside. This mainly offers burgers and hot dogs, with chips or salad. They no longer serve steak, so that is one cut back on the budget. Cunard’s famous afternoon tea is still available in the Queens Room between 3:30 and 4:30. Even if you only go once, you have to experience it. It is just not the same to have a self service tea in the Lido. DRINKS As is normal on Cunard and many other ships, the drink prices are very high ( from around $10 for a glass of wine) and there is also a15% service charge. We noted that many only drank water with their meals. THE CRUISE The title “Lost at Sea” refers to the fact our 10 day cruise from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale was just that. The stop in the Azores was cancelled. After leaving Southampton we experienced 3 days of rough weather. At one stage speed was reduced to just 4 knots due to the storm force winds (Normal cruising speed 20 knots). On the third day (4th January) we were advised that our one and only morning ashore in Ponta Delgada in the Azores had been cancelled, as the weather would be too rough to enter the harbour. On the morning of our intended stop (6th January) the wind and sea conditions had moderated as we passed South of the Azores. Since the cost of fuel is now a major factor in running a cruise ship, it is clear that the cancelled stop had more to do with the additional cost of the fuel that would be needed to make up lost time, than the sea conditions. If you were in a restaurant at 9am or 12 noon when there was a report broadcast from the bridge, you would not hear these and the only way to monitor progress was on the “Report from the Bridge” shown on the television. This was often not updated and continued to show the previous day’s position, speed and sea conditions, or nothing at all. Despite the rough weather experienced at the beginning and a swell in the middle of the Atlantic, only a gentle rolling motion was experienced, except during the storm, when there was more rolling and pitching which some found uncomfortable. ENTERTAINMENT For the first few days we were entertained by a comedian and a singer. We did not find anyone who had ever heard of them. Presumably they work mainly on cruise ships. The Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers appeared towards the end of the cruise. We were told they were a new group and had to rehearse before appearing. Although the singers were good, the dancers were typical of those seen on cruise ships and lacked experience. They were certainly not up to the standard of those previously seen on Cunard cruises. There were also a number of musicians who performed in the theatre and around the ship and these were generally good. It had been intended that new acts (and Speakers) would join the ship in the Azores. Having cancelled this stop, the comedian ran out of jokes and the singer expanded her repertoire. We did have some interesting speakers. An adventurer, Adrian Hayes, who told of his mountain climbing, trips to the poles and trek across the desert. He was certainly entertaining. A retired policeman, David Bright, was less so and openly admitted that speaking was not his forte. He regularly over ran his allotted time and was unable to finish his story. It was more like listening to an ex-copper talking in the pub and as such was nevertheless fairly entertaining. An ex-BBC man, Peter Dorking, gave us a potted history of the BBC, with both archive film and sound. These were well produced talks. OTHER ACTIVITIES There were talks on how to dress (women), jewellery, learn to dance, fence (yes, with swords), get the most from your i-phone, i-pad etc., etc. There were also films shown in the theatre, cooking demonstrations, an audience with the Captain and many other things throughout the day. In fact it was often difficult to fit in time for your meals!! CREW Overall we found the crew courteous, helpful and very professional. Well done Cunard for the standard of training. One thing we did notice was there are now a much greater number of waiters from Eastern European Countries and they certainly were able to provide a better service, having a greater understanding of English and European culture, than many of the Asian crew members. DISEMBARKATION Where immigration does not take place on board, but in this case, ashore at Fort Lauderdale, be warned, it is a very long process. We stood “in line” for over an hour. The Americans certainly do their best to discourage tourists! CONCLUSIONS Firstly one has to bear in mind that as with most first sectors of a World Cruise crossing the Atlantic, the fares are heavily discounted and offer exceptional value for money. Even leaving this factor aside, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, which was followed by a few days of hot sunshine in Florida. We were certainly relieved to find that Cunard have not lowered their standards. I did hear one woman ask at the Purser’s deck “Can I wear jeans in the restaurant tonight?” “No” was the answer, “The description of semi formal clearly states no jeans”. As I say, Cunard have not lowered their standards.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the ... Read More
Our cruise began on the 21st Dec 13 at Southampton, the process of getting onboard was stress free, and took in total around 15 minutes. We pulled up at the ship dropped off the luggage (and my wife) I then drove the car over to the parking area where I gave the keys to CPS parking who took the car away to the parking area. Rejoining my wife who was on her mobility scooter. We were immediately told to go to the disabled desk to check in, to be honest there wasn't much of a que anywhere. We were booked in, photos taken and given our sail account cards and then followed the rest of the people to the security area. Again not much of a que. Once onboard we went direct to our cabin 6001, which was a disabled cabin with a balcony. It was at the very front of deck 6 on the stbd side. The cabin was bigger than we expected although quite an odd shape. Loads of drawer and wardrobe space. We didn't actually fill all the drawers up. One good gesture from Cunard was the half bottle of sparkling wine in the ice bucket. Which we drank almost immediately. The bathroom was of a good size with a pull down shower seat. One problem though was the size of the sink in the bathroom, very small kind of like you would add to a corner in your toilet at home (just big enough to get your hands in). Also there was very little space to put your toiletries with no cupboard space at all. There was a uk plug socket along with a European type socket, in the bathroom was a shaver type socket. Although I found that the uk socket was turned upside down, and there was no space really to plug a uk plug into the European adapter. Lunch was being served in the Lido on deck 9 which was quite nice although by the time we found a spare table the food was cold, and we were asked by the ships staff to move the scooter. We didn't mind that. As the cruise went on we found a table first my wife sat there and I went off to get the food and drink. The standard of food from the Lido was generally good, with quite a good variety on offer, the sweets were good also. Copious amounts of tea and coffee (although not very good coffee) and cold orange juice, lemonade and cranberry were always available. Plus a help yourself vanilla and chocolate ice cream. We knew from other cruises that the coffee was not always very good so took a pack of Kenco with us. Dinner in the Britannia was generally good although saying that the ribeye steak we had one night was so tough we couldn't eat it. My wife always found the food to be over salted. I usually put salt on my food but during our cruise I never put any on at all. The fillet steak was very good. We never went to any alternate dining restaurents so I cannot comment on them. When going to dinner in the Britannia it was either informal or formal dress. Informal was trousers, shirt (tie optional) and a jacket (always) The staff do tell you a jacket is required to dine. The formal nights (we had four on our cruise - including Christmas day and new years eve) were good. The waiters like to please and will get you anything you ask for. Again the coffee quality was not very good and my wife asked for a cappacino (sorry for the spelling) and they got her it (which was free of charge). Day time entertainment was in our view not very good at all. if reading a book and falling asleep in the chair is your thing then its good. On our previous cruises with other cruise lines there were usually someone playing a guitar and singing or a dj playing tunes etc. but nothing like this at all on the Victoria. The same in the evening, except for hemispheres where their four piece band played. Elsewhere in the ship there was a harpist, a four piece violin/cello and in the Queens room was a band playing ballroom type music. In the Golden Lion pub there was usually a chap playing the piano which was a bit more lively. They also had quizzes every night which on the whole were quite good. Bar staff and bar waiters were good, especially Quinton in the Golden Lion. One thing to remember though is that they charge you for soda water, as though it were lemonade. We enquired as to how much a jug of pimms would be with diet lemonade instead of the full fat stuff. The normal price is $18 however they would charge you extra for the diet lemonade. Bit of a rip off really. Next time we will purchase an unlimited soda ticket as it would be cheaper in the long run. Christmas day festivities were a bit of a let down, with nothing special being put on. New years eve was a bit better however the festivities centered around the central staircase (over three decks) and unless you got there very early there was not a seat to be found free. we saw the new year in there and wandered off to the Golden Lion pub to listen and join in with the singsong and pianist. Just by the Golden Lion pub is the casino, which is quite small, around four tables and 20 or so one arm bandits. My wife did win $500 on the card machine so it is not all bad. In the theatre there is very limited disabled seating. On deck 2 there is enough room for 2 wheelchairs or scooters on either side of the theatre. There is also very limited seating for the disabled persons escort. There is however power points very near the disabled areas so if your low on power you can plug in, providing you have the relevant adapter for your charger, we had the US and European with us so covered all options. There is also a couple of disabled spaces in the stalls on deck 1 but its a bit of a job getting the wheelchair or scooter in the right position. We usually got to the theatre half an hour prior to the start of the show only to find the spaces already gone. We left our scooter at the back and walked down to the seats (which my wife could fortunately do) if you cannot then you may not be able to see the show. It seemed to us that at the slightest bad weather the outside decks were closed off, which was a shame really. You can always go out onto your balcony (if you have one), although I had to fight with the door to open it, with the strong wind and the inside pressure. On port days we were always in quite early. Queen Victoria always laid on shuttle buses to the local town which was good of them. One thing though is that there is only usually one disabled bus so you may have to wait some considerable time to get on it. Fortunately for us my wife could walk a little so we put the scooter into the bus hold and got onto the bus. On the whole we enjoyed the cruise (as we always do) but were disappointed with the entertainment. It could have and should have been better. I hope my review helps you in your decision to go with Cunard Queen Victoria. For us though it is a one off with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was the first time we've been on a Cunard ship, I knew all the history, Queen Mary, Elizabeth, QE2, QM2 etc and always wondered what it would be like. We went as a family of nine to have the ultimate Christmas and New Year to ... Read More
This was the first time we've been on a Cunard ship, I knew all the history, Queen Mary, Elizabeth, QE2, QM2 etc and always wondered what it would be like. We went as a family of nine to have the ultimate Christmas and New Year to remember. Ages from two to early 60's. Queen Victoria is a beautiful ship, she looks stunning. The first thing you see inside is the Grand Lobby, that sets the tone for the rest of the ship. We had a ocean view cabin on deck one and we were impressed. The best cabin we've stayed in so far. Queen Victoria is big enough to hold her own, but small enough to feel intimate. Actually it's the first time we've built up relationships with the crew. I love the feeling when you wake up early and it feels like you're the only one on board. Magically feeling. You can feel the history and spirit of the past, but in a modern setting. The Playroom (2-7 year olds) kids club is amazing. The best kids club on the seas. The team transformed our voyage by providing the best care possible for our two year old son, just enough time for us to have a break but able to leave him with confidence. Queen Victoria provided carol singing on Christmas Eve in the Grand Lobby, kids party with presents from Santa in the Queens Room. New Years Eve was very special, amazing atmosphere, the best one ever. Negatives: Some of the older passengers can be rude and at the start of the cruise look down at you because you have kids. But then again we're Cunard's future passengers and the crew made us feel amazing and loved the kids, they made such a fuss of them, they got to know them on first name terms. And by the middle of the cruise the older generations had mellowed out and enjoyed the company of the kids. We were really impressed with Cunard's Queen Victoria, the history oozes out in the right way on an ultra modern ship. We can't wait to get back on board or even try out Queen Mary 2 or Queen Elizabeth.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We recently returned from an extremely enjoyable 10 night voyage on Queen Victoria. Before I booked we were rather spectacle about what to expect as had heard many stories about class and different dining options, but this was transparent ... Read More
We recently returned from an extremely enjoyable 10 night voyage on Queen Victoria. Before I booked we were rather spectacle about what to expect as had heard many stories about class and different dining options, but this was transparent and we didn’t notice any difference or visible ‘grills’ class only areas. This was our 1st time with Cunard, but have cruised many times with others. We booked a restricted view ‘oceanview’ on a late deal and were extremely happy with the cabin allocation, as it was mid ship on deck 4 and proved to be more comfortable in rough sea’s in the rather angry bay of Biscay. Embarkation and check in was quick and no hastle. We arrived at 2pm (later that we normally check in) due to the morning fog, and waiting till it cleared before we travelled down the M3. We used CPS for parking and were extremely happy with the service, especially on the return when the weather was miserable and there had been a terminal change – no problem for CPS – the brought the cars to the new terminal (undercover), no queuing or delays or getting wet in the rain. Our cabin was spacious, we were pleased we booked the oceanview, as it was more spacious than the inside. Others have commented about the small bathrooms, but this was nothing different to P&O, RCI and Holland America, and we are not ‘small’ people but found the shower cubicle large enough. The welcome bottle of sparkling wine was a nice touch. We ate in the Britannia restaurant 2nd sitting, and no complaints. Our dining companions were lovely too, and a good time was had by all. Breakfast and Lunch were mostly in the Lido. I’m not a lover of buffets, but appreciated the freshly made pancakes for breakfast and the freshly made to order pasta station for lunch. We also ate in the Golden Lion one lunchtime, very popular for fish & chips. We had an enjoyable afternoon in the Queens Room but as it was a tea dance and we were seated by the dance floor, found it very busy with people constantly walking past. The Royal Cunard Singers/Dancers were some of the most talented we have seen at sea. Being involved in theater, we appreciated that shows were rather unusual and not the normal type of shows based on songs from movies or musicals, but there were of a very high standard. The “singers in concert” was astounding… We are not ‘dancers’ and found that the evening themed balls were more concentrated around the dance activities in the Queens Room and being 2nd seating dinner, missed most of the highlights. However, there were still lots to do after dinner, including lots of activities in the Golden Lion, great Karaoke, and the band in Hemispheres were fab too. All staff were extremely friendly and nothing seemed to be a problem. The South African barman in the Golden Lion was a pleasure and gave some very good advice on how to cope in rough seas. Our only negative comment would be the high price of onboard internet/wifi. But this is the same for all cruise lines…! Repeat guests seemed to have had free onboard minutes, but as we were 1st time Cunard, this was not available to us… We were extremely impressed with the whole cruise and would definitely choose to sail with Cunard again, if the price and itinerary were to our liking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We cruised for the first time two years ago and have caught the bug. Accuse us of lacking in imagination if you must, but based now on two experiences with Cunard, we’d need a good reason to go elsewhere. As last time, we sailed with the ... Read More
We cruised for the first time two years ago and have caught the bug. Accuse us of lacking in imagination if you must, but based now on two experiences with Cunard, we’d need a good reason to go elsewhere. As last time, we sailed with the Queen Victoria (chosen for timings and itinerary, rather than the ship). The only poor aspect of the cruise was embarkation at Southampton. We had priority check-in, which worked perfectly, but then queued for what must have been almost an hour to get through the security x-rays and on board. Even Heathrow at holiday time does it better than this. The Cunard experience is a gloriously willing suspension of normality. Diets were put on hold and the excellent cuisine embraced. The only time something wasn’t up to standard (Steak Diane), it was whisked away and replaced. My partner had two very good pub lunches during the cruise, but I was happy to stay in the Queen's Grill restaurant which served just about everything my greedy palate desired. Shirred eggs with caviar had disappeared from the breakfast menu, but were provided when I asked. Caviar was off the dinner menu, but one of our fellow diners requested it, and forth it came. Last time we had an aft suite (4191) which was fabulously spacious with a huge balcony. This time we opted for 8163, aft starboard corner, which gave an even bigger wrap-around balcony, although less internal space. There are always pros and cons. This layout didn’t have the split bathroom of most QG suites, but it did have two basins. The wardrobe space seemed a bit smaller too, although we did pack rather heavily... We hosted a sailaway party from Lanzarote; the aft balconies are perfect for leaving port. A word to our butler and volumes of hot canapés were provided, as were extra ice, tonic, glasses, ice buckets. All we had to do was be there to say hello. And when we drank our way through our included QG bottle of gin (we asked for Bombay Sapphire rather than the suggested brand), the butler whizzed in with a replacement. Of course, none of that cost us anything! Apart from eating, this time we discovered the sauna in the gym area. What a design delight. I’ve never sat in a sauna before with sea views, but will again. Most evenings we went to the theatre and enjoyed the shows, but sometimes it was fun just to sit in a bar or two listening to the talented live musicians. We also enjoyed the lectures on astronomy, which were fascinating, well-paced and delivered with a relaxed warmth. The other thing we discovered, thanks to a more experienced fellow-diner, was the wine packages. Inevitably there are varying opinions on these, but we found that, for under $500 (including the gratuity) we chose from 12 great bottles of wine, some of which were genuinely stunning. Many people comment on the formality of Cunard. For us, this is one of its selling points. We love the atmosphere when everyone is dressed up in the evenings and it certainly doesn’t hinder the overall friendliness of the ship. Apart from a ship tour (Jeep safari) in Tenerife, we did our own thing. We have no enthusiasm for coach trips, so booked private tours in Madeira and La Palma, hired a car for the day in Lanzarote, and used Lisbon as a chance to see a friend. All of this worked very well and gave us a great mix of experiences and sights. And the Cunard ethos. This is summed up by my experience at the Purser’s desk. I’d booked a private tour in La Palma, only to discover we were docking much later than I had expected, indeed when we should already have been down the coast to meet our tour guide. I presented my dilemma to the purser. It wasn’t Cunard’s problem since these were private arrangements, but he picked up his phone, rang my tour operator and handed the phone across to me. Problem solved. Goodwill escalated. Exemplary service demonstrated.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Booked a Princess Suite on guarantee and got Cabin 6105. Cabin. Just a longer regular balcony cabin. It has some extra wardrobe space and a bath. Cabin overall I rated as poor, not enough drawer space, dressing table drawer and bedside ... Read More
Booked a Princess Suite on guarantee and got Cabin 6105. Cabin. Just a longer regular balcony cabin. It has some extra wardrobe space and a bath. Cabin overall I rated as poor, not enough drawer space, dressing table drawer and bedside cabinet drawer constantly catched each other. TV both of them had a rubbish picture and no choice. Cunard could learn from RCCL here. Fruit was not always fresh, and as a suite it was not worth the extra. What was worth the extra was the Princess Grille Restaraunt. Food was ok, not really anything special and most of what was on the menu was also available in the MDR. I really enjoyed the extra attention given to us by Rakesh and Olga. After three days they new your likes and disslikes. We sat at a table for two by the window with fantastic views, the ability to eat dinner anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm was fantastic. This was our table for the duration of the cruise. With this came a private lounge and outdoor area. Really was a nice experience but would I pay the extra again ? not sure. Entertainment was ok, One thing my wife and I both commented on was the cabin corridors - they had no photographs or art work and it looked a bit tired and sad as you walked down them. Plenty has been said on the usual ports of call but I always like Madeira and Lisbon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Overall, a pleasant cruise but needs improvement in some areas. This was our 5th Cunard cruise and 26th cruise overall, previously sailing mostly as a family with Holland America (9), Disney (4), Princess (4), Celebrity (2) and Royal ... Read More
Overall, a pleasant cruise but needs improvement in some areas. This was our 5th Cunard cruise and 26th cruise overall, previously sailing mostly as a family with Holland America (9), Disney (4), Princess (4), Celebrity (2) and Royal Carribean (2). Our previous Cunard cruises were two QE2 transatlantic crossings and two on the QM2, once to the Carribean and the other to Canada and New England. We were on the last cruise to the Baltics region for 2013 and hope this information is helpful to those planning a trip for 2014 or later, either on Cunard or another line. I will start with the three areas on the QV which we see needing improvement. 1. There were unusual noise issues with category BA balcony cabin 8113. This is located midship just under the Lido buffet but there were no noise issues with the buffet seating area above us. Upon embarkation, we asked our stateroom attendant why there was a unique tapping and clicking noise which we later found out was a problem with the dishwasher plumbing in the Lido, so we were told. As experienced cruisers, we know to expect engine humming and vibration noises, especially depending on where the stateroom is located; however, this noise was very unique and became very annoying during the night. The noise was analogous to someone coming to your room every 15 minutes, then knocking on your door for 5 minutes, with this cycle repeated throughout the day and night. Very annoying and prevented us from getting any decent sleep. After a few nights, we met our neighbours in stateroom 8111 who had reported the same issue, as the problem seemed to affect only these two rooms. Although the technical department tried different remedies, after we spent four nights in this room and two nights in a “sleeping room” (used for short term stays by entertainers and passengers who have major stateroom problems such as broken toilet or plumbing), we reluctantly agreed to move to an inside room as the ship was sailing 99% full and there was nothing else available. At the last minute, an oceanview stateroom became available for some reason and we spent the remaining eight nights in 1066. We received a refund of the difference in price of the balcony and inside room, and as additional compensation, we also received a future cruise credit which we thought should have been higher, but accepted anyway and then tried to make the most out of the remaining time on board. The balcony furniture is made of very cheap looking plastic and steel, very Walmart, more at home on Carnival than Cunard. 2. The itinerary could have been improved. Firstly, the time in Warnemunde was 08:30 am to 6 pm. Most other cruise lines such as Princess or Holland America remain in port later, usually until 11 pm, to allow excursions into Berlin. I understand that it is a long day with the travel to Berlin but if you are travelling a great distance and you are interested in seeing only the essentials, then Cunard’s decision to leave by 6 pm is disappointing as there are 5 days at sea during the voyage to gain the extra five hours. Secondly, instead of Kristiansand, Norway, perhaps more effort could have been made to go to Oslo instead. 3. With the demographics of the majority of passengers, this comment will not affect many people but we were disappointed that the Pavilion Pool midship on deck 9 did not have a retractable glass roof to allow the pool to be used in inclement weather or cold temperatures. On to the review of the remainder of our voyage and the ship. We started with our flight from Toronto on Air Canada’s Dayliner flight, leaving at 9 am and arriving at Heathrow at 9 pm. Without the overnight flight, you lose a full day for travelling and incur an additional cost for a hotel stay upon arrival but we find it really helps to reduce the jet lag. We have always been pleased with our stay at either of the Sheratons at Heathrow. The next day, we took the National Express coach direct from Heathrow Coach Station to Southampton Coach Station. Cost was GBP 18 per person. We stayed at the Novotel Southampton which is a 5 minute walk from the coach station. The next morning, the cost of the taxi ride to the port was GBP 7. We arrived at the port at Ocean Terminal at 10:30 am and were onboard by noon. Staterooms were ready. Overall Impressions of the ship The QV is a very beautiful ship which is based in Southampton, mainly for the British market. Everyone of the crew we encountered were very friendly. A very thoroughly British ship and it was a nice change from our normal cruising routine. Fellow Passengers Over 90% were from the UK and we think that over 95% of these had an average age in the 70s. Many in wheelchairs had to take regular staterooms (as we saw on one deck) as the demand exceeded the supply of rooms for the disabled. We were met at four different ports by ambulances and we heard two Code Alphas (for medical emergencies) over the public address system although I am sure there were more. Cunard ships probably have the best equipped medical facilities on the oceans. Other passengers were mostly Canadians, Americans or Australians. Out of the 2000+ passengers, there were perhaps no more than 50 passengers under the age of 50 (including us), along with a handful of children. Dining We were on the Britannia first sitting with a table for two. We enjoyed the meals, the variety, the quality and taste. Meals were always very hot which we appreciated very much. We did not dine at the alternative Verandah Restaurant ($15 for lunch and $24 for dinner) nor did we try any of the Alternative Restaurants in the Lido Buffet during the evenings. These were the Coriander for Indian, Prime for steaks or Bamboo for Asian. A service charge of $10 per person applies for each of these locations. We ate the occasional breakfast or lunch in the Dining Room, but mostly ate these meals in the buffet so we could get a large variety and quick service. We had fish and chips and also curry in the Golden Lion Pub one day. As always, we loved the Afternoon Tea in the Queen’s Room whenever we could get to it. Entertainment The entertainment, along with the ports and dining, are the highlights of our cruises. There was a welcome aboard and a farewell show, four major productions (A Stroke of Genius, Celtic Heartbeat, Victoriana, Dance Passion), five musical acts (vocalist Eve Sherratt, soprano Gordana Kostic, Tenors Unlimited, Royal Cunard singers, flautist Tara Whittaker), comedian Jeff Stevenson and magician James More. All were excellent although some of the vocals (Tenors Unlimited) were stronger than the Royal Cunard Singers. The Cunard dancers had incredible energy, especially during Dance Passion. Lots of other activities such as Cunard Insight Lectures, ballroom dancing, etc. We enjoyed everything, but did not always understand the UK jokes but after talking to some of our fellow passengers from the UK, we now know who Yorkies are. Ports If cost is not an issue, I recommend the ship’s tours. Otherwise, unless you have mobility problems, we think that you can see all ports on your own without the ship’s tours, with the exception of St. Petersburg. Get yourself a guidebook on the cities to be visited and prepare yourself for what you would like to see. Cunard’s destination guides provide a lot of detail including a basic map, much better than what we have seen from other lines, so you can get by on seeing just the major sights on your own. Stop for a bite to eat, have a coffee or beer, or just shop. There are also Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) buses in Helsinki and Stockholm but the HOHO buses are not useful in Talinn because of the layout of the town. In Stockholm, there was a free shuttle bus to the City Centre for Cunard passengers. Once there, we saw the Gamla Stan (Old Town), Nobel Museum, the Storget which is Stockholm’s oldest square, the Parliament buildings and the Royal Palace. In Talinn, there was also a free shuttle bus into town for Cunard passengers. It can take you most of the day to explore Upper Town, Lower Town, the various towers such as Tall Hermann, Alexander Nevsky Castle, Town Hall Square and Pikk Street. Really beautiful here. Interesting to hear about the tensions with the Russians who make up about 40% of the population. In St. Petersburg, we arranged for and received an excellent private tour for the full two days with SPB Tours. Key highlights include the Church of Spilled Blood, early entry to Hermitage, canal and Neva river boat ride, various squares, Yusupov palace, Peterhof, subway station to view mosaics, Peter and Paul’s Fortress, sit-down lunches on both days, all admission fees and personal audio sets to hear everything clearly. We only had 12 people in our group but each tour is guaranteed to be limited to a maximum of 16. Here is my review of our two day excursion at tripadvisor.com. Compared to the ship’s tour of $415 (not sure if this included gratuities), we paid $345 (300 + 45 gratuities) to SPB. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298507-d2216909-r178077184-SPB_Tours-St_Petersburg_Northwestern_District.html#REVIEWS In Helsinki, you had to pay for the shuttle bus into town. It was advertised as a day return ticket (which we interpreted as one outward and one inward journey) but we were allowed to use it to go back and forth to the ship all day. Cost was GBP or euro 8 or USD 10. We walked everywhere and saw all the major sights such as the Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Lutheran Cathedral, Market Square and the harbourfront market, then spending a couple of hours in the Stockmann department store which is the largest department store in town, with a great gourmet supermarket in the basement. In Warnemunde, we took the local train to Rostock for the morning, with the intention to spend the afternoon closer to the ship in Warnemunde. It was just cloudy when we left the ship in the morning but by lunchtime, there were heavy winds and rains. We just went back to the ship and stayed there. Public transport is easy to Rostock. It’s the end of the line so all trains go back to Rostock (local trains S-Bahn 1, 2 or 3). Get off at the Hauptbanhof which is the main train station in Rostock, about a 20 minute ride later, and transfer to the trams number 5 or 6. You can walk another 20 minutes instead of taking the tram to get to the town centre. There are a couple of stops close to the city centre but we exited the train at the Neuer Markt stop which is adjacent to the town square and town hall. Walk down the Kropeliner Strasse which is the pedestrianised street and shopping area. A one way ticket at the railway station in Warnemunde is 1.80 euro and includes the ride on the tram, so no additional ticket is required. Don’t forget to validate your ticket in the yellow (or was it orange?) box on the platform before you get on the train. You can buy tickets at Neuer Markt to get back to the ship for another 1.80 or you can also buy a 4 euro all day pass in Warnemunde. There is also the boat option to get from Warnemunde to Rostock but it was too cold and windy for us. An option you can consider if it’s a nice day. In Copenhagen, the QV docked at the Langelinie Pier, which is a 10 minute walk and north of the Little Mermaid statue. You may dock somewhere else so do check. We chose to take the public transport bus # 26 which is at the end of the pier and the shops. Cost was about 4 euros which we took all the way to the west part of the central city core, disembarking at the Radhauspladsen (Town Hall Square), adjacent to Tivoli Gardens and the Hans Christian Anderson statue. Everyone speaks English here. From there, we took our time and walked through the shops and the various side streets, along the Stroget which is the grand pedestrian boulevard, then seeing the major sights such as Christianborg Palace (Parliament), Amalienborg Palace (residence of Royal Family), Nyhavn (New Harbour), Gammeltorv (old Square), Nytorv (New Square), Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square). There are two canal boat companies at Nyhavn and they both offer the same tour. However, one company does not advertise their price and is much higher. We read about a company called Netto which is half way down the Nyhavn canal on the city side and is much cheaper at 40 DKK or 6 euros for a one hour tour. It goes all around the harbour, past the Little Mermaid statue, the Opera House, and also through Christianshavn. Then there was lots of shopping on Amagertorv. A walk back from Nyhavn to the ship at Langelinie Pier took about 30 minutes at a slow and leisurely pace on the harbour route, past the Little Mermaid. Final port was Kristiansand, Norway. Nice size city of 70,000, which is fifth largest in Norway. Nice 10 minute walk from the ship to centre of town. There is the Christiansholm Fortress, a cathedral, Baneheia Forest to the north of the city and within walking distance at about 15 minutes north of the city. Nice main street with lots of shops but every expensive, this being Norway. We would preferred to have gone to Oslo. Arrival in Southampton. We chose the self-disembarkation option by carrying all our luggage off by ourselves. No customs to go through unless you had something to declare beyond allowable limits. We took a private transfer for GBP 67 from www.smithsforairports.com and left at 9 am, and 90 minutes later with not much traffic enroute, we were at Heathrow in plenty of time to catch our flight home. In summary, despite the problem with having to reluctantly downgrade our category of stateroom, we made the best out of a bad situation and tried to enjoy ourselves after moving out of our balcony room. We are on the Queen Elizabeth to the Mediterranean in November (to use up the future cruise credit as you must book a cruise within a year or you lose it!). Let’s hope this is a better experience.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Voyage 308 Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands. This was our 30th Cunard voyage and it will be our last, Cunard is not synonymous with quality anymore it is merely a badge, this is sad because Cunard was a company with great history and ... Read More
Voyage 308 Norway, Iceland and Faroe Islands. This was our 30th Cunard voyage and it will be our last, Cunard is not synonymous with quality anymore it is merely a badge, this is sad because Cunard was a company with great history and traditions which Carnival UK chooses to dismiss. On this voyage the lecturers, Robert Powell and Neil Kent were excellent but the Captain and most of the officers let Cunard down as they did not attend Officers Parties and were remote and aloof if present. We paid £403ppn for a Q5 suite, the butler was at best a stewardess and the waiters at our table in the Queens Grill were lazy and frequently absent when we needed service. The menus on Formal Nights had only one meat dish at dinner and on two occasions I was presented with effectively half a meal, Turf without the Surf as I cannot eat fish and the Steak portion of the Steak Diane had been cut in half and put on two plates which were served to another passenger and myself on the same table! We did have one dinner which was Cunard standard as we knew it, this was when we were invited to dine in the Britannia Restaurant, the Beef Wellington was excellent, cooked to perfection rare and the service was first class. When we asked Customer Services shoreside why there was only one meat dish on the menus and why was I served half portions they implied we were ridiculous, we have therefore concluded we would be ridiculous to sail with Carnival UK masquerading as Cunard ever again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Having just returned from the Fjords and Waterfalls voyage with the Queen Victoria and I thought I would share my thoughts. This was our first trip on the Victoria and our first visit to the Fjords and I had high expectations ….. did it ... Read More
Having just returned from the Fjords and Waterfalls voyage with the Queen Victoria and I thought I would share my thoughts. This was our first trip on the Victoria and our first visit to the Fjords and I had high expectations ….. did it meet them? We live in Brighton so decided to drive to Southampton which takes around an hour and a half, Cunard offer free car parking so we didn't have to worry about the car when we got there. We arrived in Southampton just before midday and as we drove over the Itchen Bridge I got my first view of the Queen Victoria and started to get excited, our voyage was about to begin. Much has been said about the looks of the Victoria and her Vista twin but in my opinion they are both good looking ships, I think the Victoria has a slight edge due to her tiered stern. Of course they don't have the look of the QE2 or other classic ships but compared to most modern monstrosities they are miles ahead. ( need i mention the Oasis of the Seas or the Norwegian Breakaway …. YUCK!! ). Anyway I digress ………. Arriving at the Ocean Terminal or cases were quickly taken by the awaiting porters and our car collected by the CPS staff and we proceeded to the terminal. We were travelling Queens Grill so get priority boarding which makes life so much easier. Check in was quick and easy and we proceeded to security where a queue had already formed, we proceeded through security and were on board the ship around fifteen minutes after arriving at the terminal. ( that wouldn't happen at an airport!! ) Once on board the ship we were met by our butler Sanu who greeted us warmly took our carry on luggage and escorted us to our suite which was a Q1, 7142 the Aquitania suite located at the stern of the ship. What can I say about the Suite …… its large and well laid out, the sitting room is in the middle with the dining area to the left and the bedroom to the right. The sitting room had a large sofa, two opera style chairs and a large coffee table, there is a flat screen TV and separate DVD player, in a cupboard under the TV is a selection of board games including: Monopoly, Chess, Scrabble, backgammon, packs of cards. The bedroom has a large walk in closet with more than enough storage space, the bed is the usual kingsize Seely bed which of course is very comfortable. The bathroom has a huge ….. really huge whirlpool bath! and a good size shower, it contains the usual bath products and there is plenty of storage, it contains three wash basins! The dining room has a table which can seat up to six. There are three doors which lead out on to the balcony, one in the dining room, the sitting room and the bedroom. The balcony itself is massive ….. We have stayed in a Q1 on the Queen Elizabeth and I would say that the balcony on the QV is over double the depth! The balcony is half the rear of the ship and offers great views, there is a table that can seat six, three sun loungers, and two chairs with foot rests. Sounds perfect doesn't it? well it is …… nearly. The furniture on the balcony is metal rather than the lovely teak found on the QM2 and the paint on the furniture itself has started to peal and the cushions are a little stained. Half the balcony is visible to anyone looking down from the above cabins or from the pool area on deck 9, this was particularly bad during sail away parties and at times I felt as if I was in a goldfish bowl with everyone looking upon us. Im sure they weren't but I still found myself retreating at times to the rear half of the balcony. That being said the suite itself was very comfortable and well furnished and kept immaculate by the butler and his assistant. Our butler Sanu was very friendly and helpful and offered us lots of advice about the different ports we were visiting, he wasn't quite as efficient as Adreas from the QM2 but wasn't far from it. Sanu quickly worked out which drinks we were drinking and kept our fridge stocked accordingly, he also brought snacks each day including crisps and nuts. We had a lovely table by the window in the Queens Grill restaurant, the waiter, assistant waiter and sommelier were attentive and worked very hard to make sure we were happy however ……… for the first time I noticed that there seems to be less staff than usual and they all seemed to be a little rushed. The food was good, very good but not perfect. I wish I could explain why it wasn't quite perfect but I can't …… have I become too spoilt by Cunard? are my expectations too high? Anyway caviar and foie gras are no longer on the menu but the maitre d can arrange these items for you. I know I shouldn't eat foie gras but its so yummy and the chefs did a really good job of preparing it. The ship …. Queen Victoria is beautiful, all her rooms are well appointed and tastefully decorated, she doesn't have the grand feel of the QM2 but she has an elegance all of her own. I loved this ship, she had an atmosphere on board that made me feel very comfortable and at home. She is very easy to navigate around and has plenty of outside space, she never once felt overcrowded …. even on the two sea days. The spa is a little disappointing and no where near as nice as the Canyon Ranch Spa on the QM2. Other passengers, well I'm 32 years old and I have never felt so young, but that said everyone on the whole was fun and friendly which is what I have come to expect from the Cunard Clientele. The new dress code is now in place and on the whole was adhered too, I did however see two men in the dining room without a jacket which suggests the dress code is not being enforced. We visited four ports in Normay: Stavanger, Olden, Geiranger & Bergen. What a beautiful place Norway is ……. stunning. I could talk in length about each port but Im trying to keep this short. ( which is proving a little difficult ) We didn't do any of the Cunard excursions as we wanted to do our own thing, Olden and Geiranger were my favourites. We hired bicycles in Olden and spent the day sightseeing, we saw the two churches, cycled around a nearby lake and around part of the Fjord itself. In Geiranger we walked up to a viewing area which offered amazing views down towards the ship which was anchored in the fjord nestled between the beautiful snow capped mountains and the waterfalls. It was truly a sight to behold. The sail away from Geiranger was amazing one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen! Infact I loved every sailaway, sitting on the balcony watching the beautiful world pass us by whilst sipping on a cold glass of wine…….. total bliss! Be warned that Norway is very expensive, And don't bother going to the aquarium in Bergen. It cost £20 each and was so disappointing, any local sea life centre would provide a better day out. Anyway I only wanted to do a short review and I have waffled on far to much! Just to sum up I loved this trip, Norway is beautiful and well worth the visit. Queen Victoria herself is a wonderful ship, I loved her ….. and she has become my new favourite ship! I never thought anything could beet the QM2 but the QV has done it. I really recommend her, she has an atmosphere about her that is just very welcoming, warm and comfortable ….. well done Cunard! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We treated ourselves to a Getaway in Queens Grill so had priority embarkation as did our friends who were travelling with us but in Balcony accommodation, we left our car with the parking service as usual and were very speedily on the ship ... Read More
We treated ourselves to a Getaway in Queens Grill so had priority embarkation as did our friends who were travelling with us but in Balcony accommodation, we left our car with the parking service as usual and were very speedily on the ship and found a lovely spotless cabin in a superb position deck 5 right by the lifts but not noisy at all, walk in shower, large whirlpool bath, separate basin and toilet, comfortable bed, great balcony, very roomy. Our butler was marvellous very unobtrusive and highly efficient, tea served on the balcony, hot aperitifs' in the cabin when we gave a small party for some friends who were also aboard, nothing was too much trouble, we were made to feel so welcome. The food in the Queens Grill was superb, served exactly to our requirements, very attentive waiters, can't criticise anything, we asked at times for things not on the menu and they were supplied with a smile very promptly. The entertainment we saw was also good - we particularly liked the comedian who was genuinely very funny. The Astronomy talks were very good too but numbers attending suffered from competition from Wimbledon I think This is a lovely ship - not too big, personally I am not keen on the bigger ships, where there always seem to be queues. We had a walk round Stavanger but think it might have been worth taking the hop on and off bus and covering a wider area. We had a Cunard trip in Olden which was alas boring and pretty grim it involved a coach trip alongside a river and lake to a place with a view of the glacier in the far distance, a cold damp boat ride down the same lake and in our case a long cold wait for the coach to return us to the ship, the guide seemed very bored with the whole process, as I suspect were 95% of the trippers. Geiranger is beautiful - we had not been there before - we booked on a bus locally and it climbed the steep zig zag road up the side of fjord to a wonderful view point, definitely worth it - you would need to be pretty fit to walk up there I would have thought. In Bergen we had booked a Cunard trip in the cable car, charming guide and Cunard representative on this one, very entertaining, worth going to the top for the view again, we got off the coach at fish market and made some essential purchases Moose and Reindeer Salami amongst them, and then walked back to the Ship in time for afternoon tea. Afternoon tea did provide some queues in the Ballroom but everyone got seated in the end. All in all - we had a wonderful time and are really looking forward to our next venture Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Embarkation at San Francisco was not too well organized. As everyone joining Queen Victoria (over 1000 passengers) seemed to arrive at the same time, the queue started on the pavement well outside the terminal building. after about an ... Read More
Embarkation at San Francisco was not too well organized. As everyone joining Queen Victoria (over 1000 passengers) seemed to arrive at the same time, the queue started on the pavement well outside the terminal building. after about an hour, we arrived on board just in time to have some lunch. Our suite was spotless and we were well looked after for the whole cruise by our butler and cabin steward. We did not ask the butler to do very much other than ensuring that our drinks, fruit, crisps, olives etc did not run out! It would be very hard to find any fault with either the food or service in the Queens Grill - both were excellent and our waiters soon learned our preferences.As has been noted before, you can order just about anything you want provided you give 24 hours notice. After 5 sea days we reached Maui and the following day was the Big Island (Hawaii). For some reason, we did not call at Honolulu on Oahu - a disappointment to many on board. A few more sea days took us to Samoa then on to New Zealand with our first stop in Auckland followed the next day by a tender stop in the Bay of Islands - probably our favourite of the whole trip. We disembarked in Sydney after having spent the previous day there as well. No problems getting off and on our way to the airport. To sum up, this was our third cruise on Queen Victoria and was very enjoyable - particularly as we like the days at sea. The ship itself is well looked after and all the crew seem to be happy - long may it continue! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Great cruise on the QV from New York to San Francisco. PROS: - Fast embarkation in New York, since times were staggered and many had boarded in Southampton - Very comfortable, quiet, well furnished cabin with king bed, love seat and ... Read More
Great cruise on the QV from New York to San Francisco. PROS: - Fast embarkation in New York, since times were staggered and many had boarded in Southampton - Very comfortable, quiet, well furnished cabin with king bed, love seat and 3 closets on Deck 4. Had outside obstructed view cabin. View was only partially blocked by a lifeboat, and was definitely worth the small extra amount of money over inside. Was cozy and perfect for one, but would recommend either a larger cabin on Deck 1 or a balcony cabin for two. - Overall excellent crew. The tone was set by the very professional captain - the first female captain in Cunard history. Pleasant steward (though somewhat shy), good waiters (especially Nitin), some great bartenders (especially Bojan, Quentin and Roger), and good photographer (Lucas). Would give special commendation to Dan, the guest artist who taught the water color classes, Carlo, the brilliant pianist and singer in the Commodore Club, Graham, the DJ in Hemispheres, and Libby, the Entertainment Director for many of the trivia contests. - Beautiful decor overall, with thankfully little glitz. The emphasis on the history of the line is very nice. - Large, well staffed and stocked library and bookstore, and good variety of lectures. As usual, Cunard places more of an emphasis on intellectual pursuits than standard cruise lines. - Excellent gym and spa, with prices in line with luxury hotels, especially with the myriad on board specials. The royal bathhouse with the hydrotherapy pool and various steam rooms was especially good on the five chiller days at sea. Nicola did a great job leading classes, Silvio was a great massage therapist, and Francesca did great a facial - all had a wonderful attitude as well. - Ship is very well laid out, with good passenger flow. Despite being full, the ship never seemed crowded. - Emphasis on thoughtful activities, such as fencing and ballroom dancing, and the obligatory trivia contests. - Pool areas rather quiet, with soft music. Only poolside live music was mid-day by one pool, so it was easy to relax, read and sleep, rather than having to listen to dreadful Jimmy Buffett and reggae music. - Food is average to good in the dining room. The spa choices and simpler dishes were the best bets. Portions are small, so helped with trying to lose weight during voyage. Breakfast was good, as they did a good kippers with runny poached eggs. The dining room is beautiful, as well. Lido was good for a buffet restaurant, especially good for Sunday English roast lunch and Asian buffet, though pastries were rather sad, and a larger variety of ice creams would be welcome. Todd English was good, though not well marketed and never crowded. Golden Lion is good for pub lunches, though packed at peak hours, and they do run out of popular items later. - Not as much of a constant hard sell or nickel and diming as on other lines, especially Celebrity. - Enforcement of dress codes in the dining room - formal night means just that, and casual night is a jacket with no tie. Nice seeing people properly dressed for a change. Those on Cunard usually understand this going into a voyage, and are happy to adhere to the code. Those who want to wear flip flops and cut offs have other lines to sail. - Intelligent, well mannered, interesting passengers for the most part. CONS (very few): - Stewards seemed to have a lot of cabins to service, so it was hard for them to do extras such as fold clothes left on the sofa. - Several employees with a bit of an attitude - one of the Indian waiters in the Golden Lion became a bit of a joke as the worst employee on the ship. One of the male staff at the pursers desk and one of the female staff at the photography shop could have done with some lessons in customer service. But the vast majority of crew had a good attitude. - Minor caveat here, but they need to tone down the florescent lighting the hallways. PORTS: Cunard ran a shuttle in Fort Lauderdale to and from the Galleria, which was well used and very welcome. General consensus was that one day in Jamaica was enough for a lifetime. Montego Bay was quite charmless, and there was a constant feeling of being hustled. The Doctors Cave Bathing Club was a nice respite with a good beach, but unfortunately was overrun with a lot of loud, overweight Carnival passengers. Cartagena was charming as usual, and almost everyone wanted more time there. Huatulco was a happy surprise - small and safe with beautiful beaches and a pleasant center (La Crucecita) - the safety aspect was especially good for the number of elderly passengers on board. The transit of the Panama Canal was the highlight of the trip. Fascinating nine hour trip from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean - well worth doing at least once. SUMMARY: Would sail on the QV again in a second. Surprisingly, preferred it to the QM2. As spectacular as the QM2 is, the QV is better laid out and on a more intimate scale. The ship had the right balance - big but not too big, plenty of activities, but plenty of quiet spaces. Well done Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
CUNARD NEVER AGAIN---The worst cruise ever. I posted some concerns prior to my Cunard sailing this last Christmas - New Years Queen Victoria Cruise. I always contact the cruise company before hand about some health concerns we have. ALSO ... Read More
CUNARD NEVER AGAIN---The worst cruise ever. I posted some concerns prior to my Cunard sailing this last Christmas - New Years Queen Victoria Cruise. I always contact the cruise company before hand about some health concerns we have. ALSO the company lowered their prices drastically and unlike THIS year's price promise they would do NOTHING for those of us who booked early... loyal cruisers. I became more concerned that after two phone calls and six emails that their customer service was lacking. NOT because they would not refund me money or upgrade me BUT because they NEVER answered an email or a phone call, even about the health concerns. I even went to the headquarters in Valencia, California in person and was promised a call back within 24 hours. NO call or email. They still have NEVER responded to my emails or my calls or personal visit. Once on the ship I figured let's make this a wonderful cruise. Beautiful ship, GREAT CC members and folks on our table... but the WORST service of any of my 35+ cruises. Every time I ask for help or for an answer to something it was "we can not help you at this time". One woman was crying at the front desk because Cunard would not take her American Express travelers checks that she bought purposefully in dollars for her onboard expenses. She ask if they could help her figure out what to do and they answered "read the brochure". We had the worst dining room service (and I have traveled Carnival-once, little companies and the big ones) ever. I will say after seven nights of being brought the wrong order (expressly asking for NO gravy and having it swimming in gravy or for a potato instead of rice and being served extra rice), no cream for my coffee until everyone else was done with their coffee and only after asking EVERY night we (most of the folks at the table were angry) we got some relief. It was actually pretty funny. The waiter would bring the WRONG order, we figured we should just eat it and keep quiet then if someone said something he picked up the food (already being eaten) and passed it to the correct passenger. We laughed the time I ask for no croutons (as usual in my salad) and it came as usual, with them. The waiter started taking them off of my dish AS I WAS EATING... "I am eating the salad now, don't worry about it I can just push them aside". He put his serving spoon into my salad and started removing them, I said "PLEASE don't do that I am eating now", he kept taking them out -- the man next to me started throwing croutons into my salad as fast as the waiter could remove them... it was funny in a sad way. As a teacher I thought the waiter just needed some more training. We did take him aside and we (the table) told him he should write down the orders so he would get them right. He didn't listen and after the 7th night we complained to the head waiter and got a new waiter. Cunard still has not contacted me even though I wrote a long narrative on my comment card. As for my cruising I love cruising and will go back to RCCL or Celebrity or Princess where if I write an email I have an answer with 48 hours at the longest and have NEVER not been sent a reply to my pre or post cruise emails. Cunard NEVER AGAIN, and that is too bad. Princes is a great neighbor (Carnival, Princess and Cunard are headquartered here) in my city of Santa Clarita. They give generously to the charities I work with. Too bad about their sister company Cunard-WORST CRUISE EVER. GREAT CC GROUP. THANKS to everyone for making our Christmas exchange so nice. It was wonderful to pass some of you on our way to somewhere and have a friendly face look back at us. OF course a special thank you to Steve and Gayle who made the cruise extra special. We are still recovering from the whirlwind tour of their little corner of the world, Chipping Norton and everywhere possible north, south, east and west. What amazing hosts. AND I took Gayle to the 99Cents store in California! __________________ Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Queen Victoria Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 5.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 3.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 3.0 3.7

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