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15 Cunard Queen Victoria Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was a one way fly cruise, 10 nights Southampton to Barcelona. I booked a one way car hire to Southampton, cruise only with Cunard and booked hotel and then flights back to Cardiff. It all worked really well and I would happily do ... Read More
This was a one way fly cruise, 10 nights Southampton to Barcelona. I booked a one way car hire to Southampton, cruise only with Cunard and booked hotel and then flights back to Cardiff. It all worked really well and I would happily do something similar if Cunard reintroduce fly cruises in the future. I booked an extra suitcase on the flight (approx £30) so there was no issue with luggage. Embarkation/Disembarkation Very easy on both occasions, we were a bit early for our 12.30 boarding time and were on board and eating lunch in the Golden Lion by then. We disembarked in Barcelona at 9 am. Food/Dining We had a shared table of 6 on second sitting. Food service was great but our Sommelier was very busy. We got into the habit of ordering wine at lunchtime or the previous evening to make it sure it arrived in time for the food. We found something good on most menus, often more than one. I was a bit worried when I read comments about new menus but overall it was an improvement. We never ordered more than one soup/starter/salad but we never have so that wasn't a problem. We had starters as main courses a couple of times. We enjoyed the light bites at lunchtime in the Chart Room and room service breakfast, the time slots are now 30 minutes which isn't great if you have an early. We made it to the Britannia restaurant for breakfast and lunch on a couple of occasions, always had a table for 2. Entertainment Never a priority for us but we enjoyed a couple of the guests performers, particularly the Comedy String Quartet, it doesn't sound very promising but it was very funny. It was good to see The Royal Court theatre orchestra and Caribbean band Changez playing in the Golden Lion. One of our favourite evenings was the deck party. Cabin We had a metal fronted balcony forward on Deck 4. The cabin itself was fine but there was some noise from the crew pantry opposite. Itinerary We only took one ship's excursion, the others were easy to diy. Santa Margherita was probably the highlight for us. Summary Another great cruise on Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Why did we choose this? Time, Cost, and Destination. Food was great--I know some don't think British Food is good but we really enjoyed it. Frog Legs, Escargot, lamb and more lamb, pub food, we enjoyed it all as well as the sweets. ... Read More
Why did we choose this? Time, Cost, and Destination. Food was great--I know some don't think British Food is good but we really enjoyed it. Frog Legs, Escargot, lamb and more lamb, pub food, we enjoyed it all as well as the sweets. The weakness of the cruise was its entertainment. Now I must say the Brits on board really enjoyed some of the entertainers but as an American they did not appeal to me. The Cunard singers and dancers were outstanding and so energetic. I don't know how they do it. Since we only had 3 stops I really enjoyed the onboard library. Got to read 6 books on the way over. Malcolm Nelson gave a great series of talks on the HM Customs service. My wife really enjoyed the movie selection including the one on Hawkins which was so timely as he passed away as we were on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was my 32nd sailing, my 6th with Cunard. I love Viking but Cunard may have the edge in terms of elegance and tradition. A beautiful ship, not too big, expertly run -- what more could one want? Well, ok, a couple things: I wish there ... Read More
This was my 32nd sailing, my 6th with Cunard. I love Viking but Cunard may have the edge in terms of elegance and tradition. A beautiful ship, not too big, expertly run -- what more could one want? Well, ok, a couple things: I wish there were more variety on the lunch buffet and I wish there was popcorn to go with the movies, but these are quibbles. The breakfast buffet had everything I could want and dinner in the dining room was excellent. Our waiters were professional yet friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, steering us toward things we might like (based on what we had already liked) and steering us away from a couple other things. The quality of the food was right up there with Viking. The theatre, the dance floor in the Queen's Room, the beauty of the public spaces in general and the lack of ship-wide announcements (except from the captain at noon) were all part of a wonderful voyage. And of course that great Cunard tradition, afternoon tea, was much appreciated. Finally, I attended six different classical music concerts -- who else at sea offers such sophistication? I don't go to shows much but I made an exception for a concert featuring ex-members of the Moody Blues and 10CC. It was great! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We very much enjoyed our 25 day Sydney-San Francisco cruise on Queen Victoria. It was made even more enjoyable by our upgrade to a Princess Grill Suite. The first benefit of the upgrade was the priority embarkation when we went ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our 25 day Sydney-San Francisco cruise on Queen Victoria. It was made even more enjoyable by our upgrade to a Princess Grill Suite. The first benefit of the upgrade was the priority embarkation when we went straight through Immigration and all the other checking in processes, avoiding the very long lines for others not so fortunate. The exclusive Princess Grill dining room is nice, but the dinner arrangements of the same people at the same table, arriving at any time between 6.30pm and 9pm, is not for us. As an example, we could have arrived at our table for 6 persons at 8pm and found the other two couples had arrived at 6.30pm, departing at 8pm. We dined each morning at breakfast in the Princess Grill and the staff were top class, addressing us by name from the second day. As Princess Grill guests we were given 135 minutes free internet time each, indeed a bonus! We relocated to the Brittania Restaurant for dinner, seated at a table for eight. This table for eight made dinner a delightful occasion for the duration of the cruise. The Queens Lounge which is shared by Queens and Princess Suite guests, is very enjoyable for reading quietly and conversation, and the daily afternoon tea is certainly a treat. Afternoon tea in the Queens Lounge is the ultimate in pampering: a private lounge for suite guests, Cunard do afternoon tea brilliantly: white gloved waiters serving finger sandwiches, petit fours, scones with jam and cream. There is a Captain’s Cocktail Party for Princess and Queens Grill guests, there is a feeling of spaciousness throughout the ship, with all staff being pleasant and attentive. Guest speakers, lecturers and entertainment are of a very high standard. Two stand-out guest speakers were Midge Ure and John McCarthy. Midge Ure was a member of the group Ultravox and had an extremely interesting story to tell, including his partnership with Bob Geldorf, forming Band-Aid and Live-Aid. John McCarthy was a journalist, taken hostage in Beirut and kept prisoner for 1,943 days, in company with others, including Terry Waite. The Queen Victoria Library has 7,000 books, an excellent reference section, and along with Queen Elizabeth, the best we have experienced in all our years of cruising. Criticisms The Princess Suite bathroom is no larger than any other cruise ship balcony stateroom we have experienced, indeed, the lighting is worse than others. There was no TV channel in our suite or indeed in the entire ship, that showed AFL football live or delayed, even though there were more Australians on the ship, Sydney-San Francisco, than any other nationality. It is worth noting that in the Golden Lion Pub, which was saturated by televised soccer, rugby, golf and every other imaginable sport, they could not find a spot for AFL. Our observation was recorded in writing as part of the end of cruise questionnaire. As a contrast, on Celebrity Solstice in 2016, Sydney-Honolulu, AFL live broadcasts went to every cabin. Dress standards While dress standards are a big plus for Cunard, we wonder whether they have gone a bit too far to the extreme in wanting to have a point of difference. Jackets are required, not only every night at dinner, but everywhere on the ship other than the Lido Buffet and the semi-outdoor Winter Garden after 6pm. You could not even enter a bar or the coffee shop after 6pm unless a jacket was worn. Perhaps one night in four of smart casual, where men are required to wear long trousers with an open neck, long sleeved shirt, or polo top, would be welcomed by guests. Whilst our Queen Elizabeth cruise was in 2012, we think that the dress standard at that time included a “Smart Casual” evening option. Summary Cunard’s Queen Victoria was everything we expected: a beautiful ship, well maintained, with excellent food, entertainment and lectures. We would definitely cruise with Cunard again, depending on the time frame, itinerary and cost. Gratuities are discretionary and can be negotiated at the Purser’s Office. From the Commodore/Captain down, all staff were professional and courteous, with a high degree of visibility around the ship daily. Queen Victoria is very shortly going in for a refit, there will be more suites/passengers, elimination of some public areas and with no additional crew. Hopefully this will only have minimal effect on the amount of public spaces. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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
Recently returned from a Transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton on the Queen Victoria and it was am amazing cruise, such that when we berthed in the UK we didn't want to disembark. I am a wheelchair user and the cabin we ... Read More
Recently returned from a Transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton on the Queen Victoria and it was am amazing cruise, such that when we berthed in the UK we didn't want to disembark. I am a wheelchair user and the cabin we were allocated was 5110 (amidships) and was very spacious with a large balcony. There was plenty of room for me to manoeuvre and the bathroom excellently laid out with a good number of handrails and easy managed shower. Each cabin has a steward to attend to domestic matters, and ours, Ali, was quietly efficient and most helpful. Most days we did not see him but you knew he had been as the room was always spotless, towels always changed and anything else required carried out whilst we were out enjoying ourselves. If we needed anything and he wasn't in sight, a quick call to the Pursers reception and he was there within minutes to carry out the assistance we requested. We were amidships which is the most stable part of the ship in case of turbulence but having said that the crossing was so smooth, most times you could not tell you were on board a ship. There was only one day when you felt the ship moving and even that was enough to cause disconfort. We were probably lucky with the weather as it was warm enough to sit outside and relax in the sun. We had to cross the Bay of Biscay overnight, which is notoriously stormy, but we never even noticed. Cunard Line prides itself on its exceptional service and it was even better than we anticipated. We ate in the Britannia restaurant and the choice of meals would suit every appetite. We were served by Jane and her assistant waiter Jo and both were unfailingly courteous, helpful, friendly ,efficient and went to every effort to make sure we had everything we wanted. Not only was the food delicious, it was served quickly and with no long wait between courses. Special commendation should also go to Ritish the wine waiter and Joaquin, the Head Waiter whose service equalled that of Jane and Jo. In fact, throughout the voyage there wasn't a single member of staff that didn't meet an exceptional standard of service. It would take too long to describe what was available on the menu, there was something different every day and each was as good, with especial commendation to the desserts, which were so "moreish" and delightfully "naughty but nice". If you wanted Self Service or decided to eat outside of restaurant hours, the Lido deck offered a buffet that was the equal in quality and service of the Britannia restaurant. Though you could help yourself, the staff were always willing, and even offered without prompting, to serve whatever we wanted. I went to the Fitness Centre every morning in an effort to work off the food I had eaten the day before, but I feel that was more to do with giving me an excuse not to refuse the offerings and so ease my conscience a little. Still, the whole point was to pamper ourselves, and this ship certainly offered that opportunity in abundance. I cannot comment on all that the ship offered, our days were so filled with eating and relaxing that we never found the time to engage in the daily activities, which had a variety to suit everyone. Indeed, the whole ambience of the cruise was to relax and enjoy yourself and you couldn't fail to do that on this ship. I will mention the Library though. Usually I take a book or two with me and a crossword book but their library was so well stocked you can yourself the trouble of packing books as there will be something of interest for all tastes. A lot has been said before about tipping and it is an american culture and we British can tend sometimes to be rather parsimonious. Cunard Line is american owned and 15% is taken off automatically to cover tips for all the staff. I had felt this was unfair as we had paid for service we had not yet experienced but all i can say is that it not only removes the need for tipping each and every time you dealt with the staff, but they fully deserved it and were worth every penny they received. All I can say is that if you have reservations about tipping, you will, I'm sure, be convinced as I was, that it was merited. I could write pages detailing everything we did or experienced but all I should say is that if you are hesitant or not sure about crusing, then take the chance on the Cunrad Line and you won't be disappointed. We were a little unsure but we took the chance and were mighy glad we did. We shall certainly cruise again with Cunard, whether it be on the Queen Victoria or the other two ships in the fleet. After this I have no hesitation in assuming each ship, and whatever cruise I select, I am confident the standard set by this voyage will be met. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We booked this trip because there were two port we really wanted to visit Venice and South Carolina We received a letter the week we had paid telling us South Carolina had been taken off Then the day we got to Heathrow was given i piece ... Read More
We booked this trip because there were two port we really wanted to visit Venice and South Carolina We received a letter the week we had paid telling us South Carolina had been taken off Then the day we got to Heathrow was given i piece of paper folded tell us due to fog were not going to Venice that day either Nobody actually knew too much we arrived in Venice Airport and that was a mess too we were told to get on a coach to Triest Being in a Mobility scooter had to wait over an hour before having to get up the steps of the coach we drove to the post ad sat outside in the cold for another hour no drinks were offered or nobody from cunard came to tell us what was happening They then said if you are able to walk and have your hand luggage you can get off but we had to sit on the coach for another 40 mintues the port was a mess cables everywhere and nobody to help us We were eventually shown to the ship and to get on was a really steep slope does nobody on cunard care We were told that we would possibly be in Venice the next morning but that didnt happen and all the paper work was set up for tours in Trieste We didnt get our luggage until 10.30 pm we were unable to get ready for bed we had been in the same clothes since 4 am that morning We were informed that their was a Virus onboard had they informed us of this prior to boarding we would not on gone on as my husband doesnt have a sleen so his is didnt want to walk into illnesses Entertainment was very poor We paid for the Bath house for the whole cruise and the Jacuzzi wasnt working they kept on telling us it will be looked at tomorrow It never worked The Jacuzzi in the pool area was really dirty with sand at the bottom and very cloudy Our Cabin Steward was wonderful so was out Waitress in the Brittania Restaurant We booked at trip in Maderia and when we went to the meeting point we were told we werent booked on the trip the travel rep was so rude to us spoke to us like we were idiots they said we could do another trip but that was more expensive which we did had of known we were not booked we could of gone off shore earlier when we got back to out cabin at the end of the day our tickets were on our bed and they tried to charge us for two trips on the same day Some of the staff need more training in personnal including some of the entertainment crew the Head of Entertainment was wonderful In my opinion Cunnard have really cut corners Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Having read all the previous reviews, I found that all the positive experiences and observations about the fabric of the ship were borne out on this transatlantic cruise. Cunard's pricing policy on beverages encouraged me to take ... Read More
Having read all the previous reviews, I found that all the positive experiences and observations about the fabric of the ship were borne out on this transatlantic cruise. Cunard's pricing policy on beverages encouraged me to take care of my liver function, although it was really good that Cunard are relaxed about guests having a private supply in one's cabin for a pre-dinner snifter. We chose to travel White Star steerage class, and we found Brittania dining perfectly acceptable. The segregation of Grills and Brittania facilities/guests is not discrete; it is not my 'cup of tea' and will influence whether I cruise with Cunard again. Embarkation was disrupted by matters outside of Cunard's control. Because of fog the ship couldn't berth in Venice and went to Trieste, and guests were bussed from Marco Polo to Trieste (2 hours). The difficulties were further aggravated by fog and delays to flights from the UK and continental airports with guests boarding from 2 hours to 3 days late! In the circumstance, matters were handled reasonably well BUT communication could be much improved as well as the reorganisation on the ground. Disembarkation at Fort Lauderdale went smoothly. I think the FL home security services must have gone to a better class of Charm School than at other US ports/airports! Getting onto buses and then transferring from the 'holding' hotel to airport was again somewhat disorganised. One wonders how the Americans managed to put a man on the moon (or was that a spoof event as some suggest.) I cannot fault the cruise experience itself, but I have come to the conclusion that No Fly cruises from the UK has great attractions. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We are from the UK travelling on our second Cunard cruise out of about 30 in total. We tried the QM2 in her inaugural year and been slightly underwhelmed, nothing to put us off Cunard particularly but we felt it lacked the value for money ... Read More
We are from the UK travelling on our second Cunard cruise out of about 30 in total. We tried the QM2 in her inaugural year and been slightly underwhelmed, nothing to put us off Cunard particularly but we felt it lacked the value for money of, say, NCL, Princess or Celebrity. However, we bought some cheap one-way airfares with the intention of doing a westbound transatlantic cruise this year and when we started to compare the itineraries on offer the QV itinerary stood out a mile, by calling at both Madeira and Bermuda it took a southern route with only 4 days at sea to cross the Atlantic (I don't mind a few sea days if it is calm and sunny but not too many at a time, especially if the sea gets choppy). Price-wise it was only slightly more expensive for 16 days than most of the other lines were offering for less interesting 12/14 day voyages and we were pleased to have the chance to give Cunard another try. Sadly it got off to a bad start before we even left home. First, shortly after booking and a couple of months before departure, we got an 'emergency notification' that the unusual port of Charleston has been cut out apparently due to lack of customs officers to perform the US immigration procedures. We later found that the same thing had occurred on the QV's eastbound crossing earlier in the year. I fully understand that many guests were put out about the substitute port of Nassau, after all that is a much visited port for the American guests in particular, but having never been to either Nassau or Charleston we were not particularly bothered - any cruiseline changing itineraries after taking bookings gets a big black mark from me on principal, but in this case a beach day quite appealed. However, one of the big attractions of this itinerary was the late arrival into Fort Lauderdale at 11am, we had thought how lovely it would be NOT to be thrown off the ship at the crack of dawn for a change especially as Miami-London flight invariably depart in the evening. Now the substitute of Nassau meant that we were scheduled into Fort Lauderdale at 6am to clear customs there so no relaxing last day after all - oh well, we cancelled our airport shuttle that had fitted beautifully between scheduled arrival and earliest possible flight and booked a hire car instead so that at least we have somewhere to keep our luggage, and I will now be able to take advantage of some of Miami's shopping opportunities. Next communication from Cunard was that departure from Venice was brought forward from 9pm to 5pm on the 2nd day. Oh well, we thought, we have been to Venice a few times, not a problem but a shame for anyone visiting for the first time to have their time cut by 4 precious hours. A week or so before sailing another 'emergency notification' this time regarding Madeira, apparently QV had originally been scheduled an afternoon and evening in port on the first day there, which I had seen on some documentation and thought it odd as our schedule said 6pm arrival, but apparently this was another change for the early bookers - oh well, it does not affect our expectations. At this point I noticed that the Bermuda stop had also been extended by an hour until 5pm and that our guarantee inside cabin which had already been upgraded to an obscured view outside had now been changed again to a 'proper' outside so emergency notifications are not always bad news. So the evening before departure we were packed and ready to go and I logged into our CC rollcall for the last time and what do I see but a Cunard Emergency notification - yes another one but we had not received it - saying that Venice is fogbound and the ship is in Trieste and that we have to proceed to Venice port as normal and a shuttle coach will be provided from there. By this time the UK office was closed so I phoned the US office (not inappropriate as we had booked through a Canadian travel agent friend, a fact that had caused Cunard's UK office to tell me they could not help me when I phoned with a simple query just after booking). The person I spoke to told me curtly and word for word exactly what the kind CC person had already posted, I asked whether there would be a shuttle into Venice on the Monday but he just kept repeating that the ship is in Trieste and will depart at 5pm on Monday. Oh well, we have been to Venice before, Trieste will be a new port for us, but anyone taking a long flight in the hope of seeing Venice must be very disappointed. In fact on arrival at Venice airport about 8pm, nearly 2 hours late, we were met by 2 very pleasant Cunard representatives who confirmed that the ship was indeed in Trieste, 2 hours drive away, apologised for the inconvenience and told us to leave or luggage with the porter and wait about 20 minutes for the bus. In fact it was quite a lot longer until the bus came but there were only a dozen or so of us so we were soon underway and the time soon went, check in was smooth and we were on board shortly after midnight. Very hungry by then, we found our cabin, which was very nice and larger than most, dumped our carry on bags and headed for the lido buffet, to find everything covered in clingfilm. I took this to mean it was closed but in fact one section was open with staff serving over the clingfilmed-off displays meant for self service. It soon became apparent that this was because of an outbreak of norovirus on the ship. This cruise was starting badly. By the next morning our luggage had arrived (along with somebody else's, inexplicably intended for deck 4 - they were delighted when we reported it as they had waited up most of the night for it). After breakfast at the 'buffet' we headed out to explore Trieste, along with most of the ship, to find that it was freezing cold and most shops close on Mondays. But it is an attractive city, we wandered around for about 3 hours, found a couple of department stores and some supermarkets open, saw the Roman amphitheatre which is right in town, admired the typical Italian architecture, and generally enjoyed being somewhere different - but Venice it is not, of course. It was indeed very foggy and we could understand why a big ship could not safely navigate into Venice. There was no shuttle bus back to Venice and, surprisingly, the only tours on offer were a walking or bus tour of Trieste - cancelling the Venice tours must have cost Cunard a fortune. The next day at sea was cold and wet and got quite rough as the day went on.We attended the first of an interesting series of lectures about the Olympic games which, along with an ex-BA pilot who spoke about navigation, kept us interested throughout the voyage. Our allocated dining table was right by the aft windows, above the propellers, unfortunately the position I could most feel the ship's motion and also very awkward for DH to weave his mobility scooter through the tables and people to the back to the restaurant. I would have liked to have moved but it seemed so rude to our table companions, who were delightful so we opted not to leave them. We arrived into Katakolon to find that the weather had improved and the sun was shining. My research had led me to have low expectations of this port, the main attraction of course being nearby Olympia, but we long ago gave up on visiting ruins with the scooter. However Katakolon itself is a pretty village with a street of quite a few tourist orientated shops and several bars and restaurants long the seafront. We set off somewhat ambitiously towards the 'best beach' of the area at Agios Andreas. Surprisingly we made it, although the beach was nothing spectacular and nothing was open there, it was a truly beautiful walk about 2 miles each way through peaceful quiet countryside edged by orange, lemon and olive trees. One elderly lady saw us admiring her garden and presented us with a freshly picked orange, which was amazingly sweet. We walked back a slightly differerent route along Katakolon beach itself, which is compressed enough to take the scooter without getting stuck in the sand as the locals, bizzarely, drive their cars along it. Nice sandy beach but covered in washed up seaweed and large jellyfish, some the size of dinner plates, not somewhere I would want to swim even if it was warm enough. Our short morning call at Gibraltar was pleasant, Cunard surprised us by NOT collecting up duty free alcohol purchased ashore, maybe redeeming themselves slightly for the unforegiveable faux pas of stating in the previous 2 daily programmes that we were (I quote) "en route for Gibraltar, SPAIN" ! We got back on board to find the norovirus precautions ended, so the buffet was back to normal and the other food outlets - Cafe Carinthia, Todd English and the Lido burger bar - open for the first time. Actually we struggled to see why they were ever closed as none of them have the same potential for cross infection as does the buffet, I suppose just to minimise the number of places to be sanitised each time. Madeira was also very nice, we docked at 6pm on the first day, at the furthest berth from the city, there was a free shuttle bus into town but it was complete choas, we walked/scooted there along the seafront and got back on board just in time for our evening meal. On the Monday we used the shuttle, explored Funchal town, market, 3 or 4 shopping malls and 2 lovely parks and then walked/scooted back to the ship. Funchal has developed almost beyond recognition since our last visit about 10 years ago, another lovely day. The Atlantic crossing passed quite well, some days pleasantly sunny and others windy with rougher seas. It was particularly rough when we arrived in Bermuda and some doubt as to whether we would be able to dock. After a few attempts and with the aid of a tug and a rope taken across by the pilot boat we made it into Heritage Wharf, part of the old Royal Naval Dockyard. This was another itinerary misdescription by Cunard as it was listed as Hamilton but we had long ago checked the Bermuda Port Authority website (thinking it unlikely that a ship the size of QV would get into Hamilton port itself) so we were prepared. However I was furious to find that our departure time had been brought forward to the original 4pm rather than 5pm as it had been extended to following the loss of Charleston. There was no emergency notification, in fact no notification or explanation at all, just the all aboard time printed in the daily programme delivered to our cabin the evening before. I rang pursers desk to see whether it was another printing error (as had happened in Gibraltar) but no, we sail at 4pm and they did not know why it had been changed. We wanted to see as much as possible so joined with 2 other couples and hired a taxi van for the day which cost $40 each,it was supposed to be a 3 hour tour but we left at 10am, drove to several beaches along the south cost, the lighthouse, a couple of the best hotel, a private golf course, nearly to St Georges, then had a free hour in Hamilton and got back to the ship about 2.30pm, our driver was called 'Hop', he is 79 and a really fantastic guide to his beautiful island. It is over 20 years since we went to the Bahamas on our first ever cruise, it was grotty then and does not seem to have improved much, judging by the condition of Nassau. That said we spent most of the day wandering around the town, looking at the shops and the Straw Market, and a couple of hours on Junkanoo beach, so not such a bad day. Things we liked about the Queen Victoria: The air conditioning - it sounds stupid but my sinuses invariably react badly to the cold air on a cruise ship, the QV temperature was comfortably warm and not the usual fridge-like temperature in the public rooms (except the front fews rows of the theatre) and it was the first cruise for ages that did not give me cold-like symptoms - wonderful ! The winter gardens - a really nice (and not air conditioned) seating area for when the weather was not good enough to be outside. Entertainment - good mix of original shows, guest acts, classical music, lectures, quizzes and comedy - probably among the best cruise entertainment we have experienced, not to mention the famous themed balls, which we did not really experience much as they seemed to be aimed mainly at early sitting diners. Things we disliked: DH hated having to wear a jacket every evening, even on 'casual' nights. The 3 gentlemen on our table all became uncomfortably hot on most evenings and DH felt it discriminatory that ladies could and did wear blouses or low cut dresses but he could not wear a smart shirt without a jacket. The most unnecessarily pompous part (in our opinion) is that the dress code applies in all public areas from 6pm, so in effect rules out staying out beyond that time in daytime clothes and making it a very long evening of hanging around waiting for late sitting dinner. On most lines we would not go to our cabin to shower and change until about 7.30pm. Fixed seating dining - I know, of course we knew about the dress code and the dining arrangements when we booked, and we could not have asked for nicer tablemates than on this particular cruise, but it made me appreciate the benefits of flexible dining times on other lines and that would certainly be our preferred option for the future. Cunard seem completely clueless about disability issues. We informed them we were bringing the scooter and that we did not need a wheelchair accessible cabin. We did not need or expect ant special treatment, but surely it would have been common sense NOT to allocate a scooter user to the least accessible table area in the entire Britannia restaurant ? In Madeira we were repeatedly told that we should use the deck 2 gangway 'because it is a slope' (even though it was 2 storeys high and an incline of close to 45 degrees that no scooter could possibly cope with) rather than the few tiny steps from deck 1, which as we demonstrated each time was dead easy for DH to walk and me to carry his folded scooter. On return in Madeira the low gangway was closed and the steep ascent was very difficult for him. Ok close a gangway during quiet times but surely keep open the more accessible one ! Now to the food, which is certainly not a dislike, we thought it was roughly on a par with Princess/NCL but nowhere near the standard of our all time favourite Oceania. The desserts, in particular, were disappointing. I usually struggle with too many sweet choices but on the QV I skipped dessert completely many times in both the buffet and restaurant because everything contained fruit, which I do not like. Once the buffet was properly open it was quite good, we liked the freshly made pizza and pasta stations. Cunard make a big fuss about afternoon tea in the Queens Room and it was nice but we have been spoilt by Oceania's far superior afternoon tea offerings. Evening meals varied from excellent to fair but our waiters were both always very pleasant and efficient, as indeed were all the crew. Will we book Cunard again ? Possibly but they are certainly not my line of choice and it would have to be a good enough bargain to be considered a ''mystery cruise" as I would not trust them to honour a published itinerary. Naturally the Venice situation was not anyone's fault, last minute changes happen occasionally and I think overall Cunard handled it very well. My problem is that they clearly have no qualms about substituting less desirable ports or changing shore times after bookings have been taken, airfares arranged etc leaving guests with no real option but to put up with the changes. We got a refund of $11 each on our account which we put down to the Trieste port tax being less than Venice, but would have far preferred to have followed the itinerary we booked and paid for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
This was our sixth time with Cunard and perhaps the most enjoyable.There were far more pluses than minus this time. The new class of Cunard ships is far ahead of the competition. The size is just about right and the layout is the most ... Read More
This was our sixth time with Cunard and perhaps the most enjoyable.There were far more pluses than minus this time. The new class of Cunard ships is far ahead of the competition. The size is just about right and the layout is the most convenient of any other ship that we have been. I never got turned around in the wrong direction as I have on other ships. The main theater and entertainment was of a better quality than any other ship we have been on in 25+ years of cruising. Drinks were only served in the private balconies so waiters were pestering people to buy a drink. There was no place to rest a drink in the auditorium if you brought one in with you. A big minus was the fact that there were no hand rails in the theater so it was hard getting up and down the stairs. I saw several people fall during rough weather.The lectures and lecturers were top notch as well as other entertainment. None of the venues were too crowded that you would have to come extra early to get a seat The cabin was about average in size and didn't have as large a TV screen as some other newer ships. There was adequate storage space but the closet door interfered with the bathroom door. The bathroom was way to small with a tiny sink that constantly spewed water all over. They shower was almost too small to use without getting water out in the bathroom and the shower head was fixed in place so you could not direct it around your body.There was no night light in the bathroom and nowhere to plug one in. We missed having a bath tub like Holland America and a few of the upscale cruise lines.The refrigerator was of an adequate size and not a lot on mini bar stuff jamming it up. The door to the balcony was on hinges instead of an inconvenient sliding door. Launderettes on each deck were small but very convenient. The ports of call were nice and it was easy to disembark and return. The main dining room was laid out good and had more room between tables that some of the other new ships. The food was good as well as the wait staff. the cafeteria was laid out well and the food was of a better quality than other ships specially the coffee and tea. Eating in the Pub was nice and it was not surcharged like some other venues. All in all it was a very pleasant trip and I am hesitant to back on other cruise lines when comparing the bottom line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We are retired in our 60-70's. Have cruised for 30+ years - elite on Princess, Celebrity and 3 star on HAL. We had been looking for a Cunard cruise for a few years to try. The recent Transatlantic with a stop in Cobh Ireland caught ... Read More
We are retired in our 60-70's. Have cruised for 30+ years - elite on Princess, Celebrity and 3 star on HAL. We had been looking for a Cunard cruise for a few years to try. The recent Transatlantic with a stop in Cobh Ireland caught our attention, so we booked it thru a local travel agent in 2009. At the time we were very surprised that we received an on board credit of $600. We have had on board credits on other lines but not that much. We were not sure we would like Cunard because we generally special order with the Head Waiter in the dining room on other lines. Inquiries before we went on the cruise about the opportunity to do so on Cunard were mixed. Some folks suggested this was only possible in the suite categories and others suggested that doing so was inappropriate. Regardless, we decided to give it a try. Much to our surprise this was no problem at all in the MDR and for Room Service in our cabin. Cunard was most responsive to our requests. We had a table for 2 in the MDR. I also noticed others around us special ordering as well. We booked a A-4 category cabin, balcony on deck 5. Very pleasant and comfortable cabin, comparable to what we would have on other lines. Lots of closest space, drawer space is limited. Bathroom is adequate, shower only. We loved the entertainment options on the ship. Having dancing available both before and after dinner every night til midnight in the Queen's Room was most enjoyable. The singers and dancers and production shows on board were outstanding, better than we have seen on any line. We felt the Lido area which we did use for breakfast was spacious and comfortable. We had eggs to order and egg white omelets most mornings. The short order cook in the Lido making eggs was outstanding. He remembered everyone and what they wanted and did special things for many folks. The only negative on this cruise was the weather, quiet windy, crossing was more northerly then we have done in the past. Ship rocked a lot at night making sleeping soundly impossible. Crossing are like that, sometimes the weather does not cooperate. Regardless, we enjoyed the cruise so much that we decided to book the Queen Victoria again in October, next time in the Mediterranean out of Rome to the Holy Land. We booked on board and received another healthy on board credit. I am writing this review for anyone wishing to try Cunard. If you like dressing for dinner, dancing and good quality entertainment and very good service you will enjoy Cunard's Queen Victoria. Cobh Ireland was the only new port of us on this cruise. We enjoyed our visit there. Stayed in Cobh, visited the Irish Immigration Museum right there and walked and shopped in town. Charming peaceful place, wonderfully quiet. We enjoyed lunch on our balcony the day in port. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We sailed from L.A. to Hawaii roundtrip of 14 days on Cunard's Queen Victoria. It was very different from any other cruise line. It was a very British experience, with maybe 60% of the passengers of the old colonial British Empire ... Read More
We sailed from L.A. to Hawaii roundtrip of 14 days on Cunard's Queen Victoria. It was very different from any other cruise line. It was a very British experience, with maybe 60% of the passengers of the old colonial British Empire set. We dressed for dinner. We attended formal Balls. We had afternoon tea and scones from white-gloved waiters. We went to shows where we sung old music-hall songs and waved our Union Jack Flags to 'Land of Hope And Glory', and we observed all of the dress-code rules, including having Hats for Ascot, Masks for Masquerade, and Bustles for Victorian Balls. Ex-pat Brits (such as we) really loved it, but we can see that it might not be so jolly for everyone. We didnt like the 2 class Grills/Britannia system. The ship projected the eliteness of priviledge to which we were supposed to aspire. I left the UK to get rid of that. By the way, the stage shows were the best of any that I have seen on any cruise. Very professional, amazing dancing, ballet, costumes, singing and staging. Also the internal decor for the theater, the Queens Lounge/Ballroom, the bars, the lounges.....just amazing. The panelling, carpeting, and lounge chairs were like being in an exclusive London club. Nowhere was crowed. So why cant I give this a full 5-star rating? We did find the British cultural thing a bit over-whelming by the end. But there were some issues. First the food was British 'gourmet', meaning that courses were fussed with cosmetic minutia and you often had to ask what you had ordered because it didnt look like what you had ordered. The Brittania dining experience was very poor....about the worst ever among major cruise lines. The Lido was spacious, and at least had 24/7 fruit drinks and ice cream, but they did manage to mess up the scrambled eggs...a cardinal sin. Generally, not much selection and a low-budget affair. But we loved the pub lunches at the Golden Lion. The second issue was that the ship was poorly designed above deck. The two outdoor pools were just boxes. No childrens pool. The walking spaces were not available to make a complete loop on any deck. The two-class 'Grills' system kept us riffraff out of some of the high-deck areas. We had a nice stateroom (A4 deck 5) but it had a very small balcony overlooking a lifeboat...almost useless. The very comfortable bedding, towels, and facilities were excellent. The final issue was that we suspected that the ship may have real issues since it traversed almost calm water with excessive pitching...up and down. On it's first sea trials, surely someone said 'Oh, my God.....?"...the rear pool was flat, while the front pool was roped off for huge waves. I would like to try the QM2 for 10 days, but will revert to HAL for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
4th January 2010. Queen Victoria, Southampton. We arrived at around 1330hrs at the cruise terminal, it was in chaos from the start, it took almost 3hrs before we embarked, there were no refreshments laid on apart from small canteen serving ... Read More
4th January 2010. Queen Victoria, Southampton. We arrived at around 1330hrs at the cruise terminal, it was in chaos from the start, it took almost 3hrs before we embarked, there were no refreshments laid on apart from small canteen serving tea and stale sandwiches which was over priced. The first night on board was as expected allowing passengers to settle in and the first dinner in the Britannia was OK but nothing special. I spent the evening in the casino and retired around 0130hrs and the next morning went to the "Lido" on Deck 9 for a self service breakfast 1015hrs. Dinner that night was undercooked and lukewarm, the only good thing was the service, the staff in the Britannia were great. It then came about that there was a virus on board and the "Lido" was to close (Not really surprised being served partly raw meat) It should be mentioned that MANY passengers eat in the "Lido" You could obtain tea & coffee but you had to queue and this could be for over 40minutes, if you went to any of the bars for tea or coffee you were charged. The Britannia restaurant for breakfast & lunch only opened the lower deck and ended up with large queues and only after a lot of complaints did they open the upper deck, again, the food was sub-standard as this was supposed to be a luxury cruise ship. (This continued throughout the cruise) I, being one of the fortunate ones did not get sick but those who did were charged for the privilege. Some of the staff in the bars were completely rude. The entertainment on board was at least mediocre but there was a couple of good shows. Disembarking was more chaos as the tannoy system was turned off in the cabins so not many people new what was going on. This is ONLY A BRIEF DISCRIPTION as there is MUCH MORE I must mention that I did the same cruise last year and it was FANTASTIC. In my opinion This cruise was a complete disaster and despite what "Cunard" might say, MANY passengers were and will be complaining as they certainly did NOT get what they paid for. Almost forgot to mention Room Service, 49minutes on the phone then gave up, cabin next to me said he was on the phone for over 1& half hrs Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Luckily for Cruiser Ted, he missed the cruise segment Southampton to New York. CJSH is nearer the mark. We crossed the Atlantic with the Queen Mary 2 in May 2006 It was a full, wonderful Cunard experience. From that time we have saved for ... Read More
Luckily for Cruiser Ted, he missed the cruise segment Southampton to New York. CJSH is nearer the mark. We crossed the Atlantic with the Queen Mary 2 in May 2006 It was a full, wonderful Cunard experience. From that time we have saved for a dream holiday on the Queen Victoria. VICTORIA; PRE VOYAGE INFORMATION. THE Southampton pier address was wrong.The New York terminal was given in error as Brooklyn. We travelled with clothes to match the dress code summary. It was wrong. There were three nights formal not five as shown. BOARDING Arrived at Pier 4 Southampton at 1250 on 04 January. A computer failure caused a delay in the Terminal processing until 1535. It happens. During the delay, the only facilities available to some 1800 waiting clients was a small unit, with long queues, serviced by two ladies selling Instant coffee at £1.50 a cup. Cunard service it was not. This was a world cruise. VIRUS Two days after departure, passengers were made aware that novo virus was on board. After midnight on day four, my wife became violently ill. The medical centre advised the infirmary was full, many cases had already been reported and the Medical Officer was snatching a few hours sleep. He arrived at 0500 hours confirmed the symptoms and diagnosed the virus. Understandably, the Medical Officer and crew had to react. He closed THE LIDO Buffet except for beverage service provided by waiters. Closing the Buffet for days on end threw a burden on to the Britannia restaurant. The servers became mechanical, with little interaction and eye contact. After several days absence by four of the six guests from his table our server had no time to welcome us back or ask how we were. We wrote to Cunard on 22 January and four weeks later received a reply. Cunard wrote nine lines on the importance that food contributes to any holiday, one line hoping I had made a full recovery and stressed the importance of customer satisfaction. Ready made paragraphs. Because we had enjoyed the food, we made no comment about it and my wife was ill not me. On all levels, including the entertainment, the QM2 beat it hands down. We will travel Cunard again, but never the Victoria and can only look forward to another QM2 crossing or a voyage on the Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We have just returned from a 12 day canary island cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria.The water was a little rough for about 8 of the days and the ship really cant handle it.There was a constant rolling motion and loud banging throughout ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12 day canary island cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria.The water was a little rough for about 8 of the days and the ship really cant handle it.There was a constant rolling motion and loud banging throughout the night.We dont get seasick but many people on board were ill for most of the trip.We have been in rougher seas on other ships and never had this problem,so there was much speculation amongst the passengers as to why a big newer ship would be like this.The cabin was of average size,but I thought the bathroom was tiny even by cruiseship standards.The food was just Ok.I cruised on Celebrity Constellation last year,and thought the food was by far superior on Celebrity.It seemed to be an even older crowd than most cruises we have been on and needless to say any excursions we booked that indicated a little adventure,were cancelled due to lack of interest.In all fairness this happens a lot on the cruises we have been on.Due to a passenger having a medial emergency and the rough seas we were behind in schedule and one of our ports of call had to be cancelled,which was a disappointment but not the fault of Cunard.In Cunards favour ,their staff are very efficient and attentive and embarking and disembarking are the best of any cruise line.Their entertainment is top notch and varied.In closing I guess with Cunards long standing reputation,I really expected more but I found them only average compared to other lines Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
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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