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7 Cunard Queen Victoria Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Whether it’s far into the most remote and hostile reaches of the Atacama desert, deep in the abyss of the Marianas trench or in the bowels of a seething volcano there will be no place on the planet where some inconsiderate ... Read More
Whether it’s far into the most remote and hostile reaches of the Atacama desert, deep in the abyss of the Marianas trench or in the bowels of a seething volcano there will be no place on the planet where some inconsiderate knuckle-dragging cave dweller has not foisted his screaming, bawling brat toddler on the sensibilities of peace-loving holiday makers. Thus it was both in the Britannia and the Lido buffet restaurants of Cunard’s magnificent Queen Victoria. In general, Cunard’s customer base would be well-off retirees with a smattering of younger inquisitive explorers who feel the need to be acquainted with the reputed delights of the cruise scene. Cunard promotes the excitement of travel in various grades of luxury with the added novelty of dropping in for a day or two at resort ports around the world so that tastes of exotica can be sampled with the reassurance of coming back to the mother ship at the end of the day. There are distinct attractions in this leisure market but some disappointments for the unaware. Cabin is a long bygone term and modern guests enjoy “Staterooms”. The degree of stateliness is directly proportionate to the price paid and this might vary from a few hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds for the same cruise which might be from 3 to 100 or more nights. Dining options and degrees of restaurant sumptuousness vary with the stateroom grade, though the menu will be impressive throughout. Standards of dress at the twilight of the day are expected to conform to smart semi formal or full evening dress depending on ship’ schedules. Food is of consistently high quality, free and abundant for better than 22 hours a day but alcohol is an extra at breath-taking, some say obscene, prices and in US dollars. Various supplements, additions and extras will rack up a hefty load on the unprepared wallet accompanied by a 15% surcharge on shown prices. Liberal use of Wi-Fi might set you back hundreds of dollars. Cash on board is considered somewhat vulgar and cruisers are issued with an identification card which is used for ingress/exit for the ship, stateroom doors and payment. At port visits, shuttle busses are arranged to ferry the troops to town centres or on numerous ship’s excursions arranged by a dedicated team but the cost of the any trip will considerably exceed the same expedition if arranged in port at the roadside or via local taxi. Entertainments aboard ship will satisfy practically every whim with dancing, theatre entertainments, recitals, concerts, lectures from celebrities, art exhibitions, film shows, card games and instruction in subjects as diverse as computer use and painting classes. Cunard identify very strongly with the romance of ocean travel from the golden era of the 20th century and this is reflected all over the ship with prominent images of famous liners of the past and photos of film stars, celebrities and luminaries sporting camelhair coats, wide flared trousers, pearls and silk scarves. Many of the traditions and customs from the past including deck quoits and the cigar room remain along with clumsy 1900 era slatted wooden deckchairs on the outer decks which are cripplingly uncomfortable. Titanic passengers must have been delighted to get off. Whilst lifeboat drill is no longer practised, passengers will get a stern telling off if they fail to attend the safety lecture which includes instructions and practice on the donning of lifejackets. Stateroom televisions show the ship’s progress in the manner of an airliner screen, a bow camera, updates from the entertainment director, lectures you may have missed, dress code for the evening and a selection of films and News broadcasts in various languages with repeats of popular UK TV shows. Sundecks are screened from the wind and surround at least 3 swimming pools with towels to hand for those intrepid enough to be thrown up and down the pool in rough weather. The ship’s furnishings and décor outdo the extravagance of the finest hotel and stateroom refinements and comfort are particularly impressive with the caveat that bathrooms might be bijou. As with all ocean travel Queen Victoria is not immune to vagaries of weather and rough seas can bring on the misery of seasickness. Modern developments in ship design include stabilisers under the waterline which reduce the amount of roll and larger ships such as Victoria suffer less from the pitching motion you might have experienced on cross channel ferries. Daily, the captain announces progress and expectations of weather conditions with times of arrival. If you consider yourself tolerant of motion sickness, happy with confinement in a big village for a few days and fancy brief samples of holiday destinations which would otherwise takes years to achieve, then the ocean wave may be the life for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Superlative in every respect, including food, which some other reviewers have criticized. i can't see why. The selections in the Britannia restaurant were well-varied and appealing. The Spa selections show that you could achieve the ... Read More
Superlative in every respect, including food, which some other reviewers have criticized. i can't see why. The selections in the Britannia restaurant were well-varied and appealing. The Spa selections show that you could achieve the impossible if you wanted to: lose weight while eating well on a cruise! The Lido buffet was as sumptuous as you're likely ever to find in a buffet -- including such delicacies as venison. The ship was 100% sold out for our cruise of the Adriatic and Greek Islands, yet it never felt crowded. The shore excursions (and embarkation and disembarkation) were executed flawlessly without waiting and without making you feel like cattle on a drive. The dress code is a plus as far as I'm concerned. Two black tie nights out of seven is just right, and jackets without tie the others is dressy enough to be special without being burdensome. Most of the entertainment -- pianist, humorist, etc. -- was very good. Only the resident company of dancers and singers was disappointing. All in all, if you're looking for top-shelf service, food, ambiance, accommodations and general elegance, you'll love Queen Victoria. If your idea of a cruise is to stay in cutoffs and flip flops 24/7, then this ship is not for you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It was chosen by my father & mother in law to celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary.My wife & I and our four children travelled with them.The whole event was outstanding.It was my wife & I we experienced our first cruise and ... Read More
It was chosen by my father & mother in law to celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary.My wife & I and our four children travelled with them.The whole event was outstanding.It was my wife & I we experienced our first cruise and I would love to do it again,many times.The food was outstanding,the restaurant staff were outstanding as were the cabin staff,the whole event will be in our minds forever.The theatre provided great entertainment,as did the swimming pool and the 'sailaway parties' which occurred each time we left port,with dancing,music to suit all tastes. We were on the 8th deck in outside cabins.We also visited Santorini and went up in the cable car,a beautiful island.Then we visited Katakolon which is where we visited the original Olympic site and museum as I have stated elsewhere its a real essential place to visit. We visited Kotor in Montenegro a place with great character,nice & friendly people.We visited the world-wide known resort of Venice,again a memorable and beautiful place,full of character. We would recommend cruising to everybody,it was our first step and as I am slightly over 21 years of age,by many years I realise I should have done it a long time ago. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We flew to Venice and spent a couple of days at the Best Western Hotel Bologna in Mestre Venice - an ideal place to stay to explore Venice itself which is only a ten minute train ride from station right across from hotel. The hotel is ... Read More
We flew to Venice and spent a couple of days at the Best Western Hotel Bologna in Mestre Venice - an ideal place to stay to explore Venice itself which is only a ten minute train ride from station right across from hotel. The hotel is also ideal for transport from airport and again to cruise terminal. The hotel will organise transport. No lugging cases around Venice!! The check in at cruise terminal was swift and efficient. From thereon it seemed you had to make your own decision as to what to do next - a bit bewildering I would imagine if you haven't done it before. Despite all the hype about hygiene, the hand sanitizers were empty. We were able to go straight to our cabin where a small bottle of Champagne was awaiting our arrival - a nice touch. We went straight out onto the balcony and were amazed to see that, including our own, there were NINE cruise ships in port. The ship overall is very elegant and comfortable but somehow lacking in atmosphere. (And lacking in the fresh flowers which I remember throughout Holland America ship). The afternoon tea and captain's cocktail party are all in keeping with the ship. It is nice that everyone complies with the dress code and formal dress is on show throughout the ship. Like many cruisers - we enjoy dressing up in the evenings - it's part of cruising to us. And it's nice to see officers in formal dress. The cabins are very nicely furnished and quite spacious but are let down by the bathroom which only has a shower curtain and a fixed shower head and, apart from one shelf, no storage space. The door to the balcony is also a bit of a nuisance as it is not a sliding door but opens outwards and has no means of holding it open. The cabin steward was first class. The buffet restaurant is pretty good. The main dining room dinner menu could do with more variety and a couple of standard main courses. The food is very good and portions just right. Waiters very attentive. The service throughout the ship is EXCELLENT. With the exception of the purser's desk where we found the service to be dreadful - unbelievably bad. Missed being able to access account via tv in room. Could have avoided purser's desk had it been available Won't comment about shows - saw part of one and found it poor. We didn't join any excursions - we went ashore and did our own thing having visited some of the places before. Better signposting for exit gangways is needed - an area where unobtrusive signs are not really helpful. And again, directions to shuttle buses often missing.It is necessary to use elevators midships or forward to access gangway exit -Deck A We disembarked at Istanbul - a cruise terminal that needs modernising. Disembarkation was smooth. Taxis are easily available on exiting the baggage hall. Just ask for a price before taking taxi. We stayed at the Hotel Yasmak Sultan in the heart of the historic centre. This is a hotel we have used before and would recommend. All in all, an enjoyable and relaxing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I was ambivalent to say the least before embarking on this adventure with my husband and two teenage children, 14 and 17. If it ends up being the only cruise in my lifetime I can tell you it was an emotional, magical experience. The ship ... Read More
I was ambivalent to say the least before embarking on this adventure with my husband and two teenage children, 14 and 17. If it ends up being the only cruise in my lifetime I can tell you it was an emotional, magical experience. The ship is beautiful. The cleanliness, safety, general running of business impeccable. The cabins ( we had an ocean view) are pleasantly large and lovely. The ports were all easy walking distance to the ship. The two on board days were a welcome respite from pavement pounding different countries. Honestly, it was perfection. There was just enough teenagers there to entertain my kids although I'm certain they'd have been happy regardless. Formal nights are a feast for the eyes although my 14 year old son was made to feel like a second class citizen in his Polo shirt and Khakis (mostly by the staff) We had queried this with our travel agent and we were assured it was fine due to his age. It was not. The formal nights are taken very seriously without any sprinkling of irony or humour. It all feels like stepping back in time: no internet, formal dress, respect, a gentile feel. As a Brit living abroad I enjoyed the very British feel to this iconic ship. Thank you! The holiday would have been complete for my boy if he'd have been allowed to use the basketball net that was for crew only. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I've lived in several cruise ports, so because of my "disdain" of how busy and crowded places get on cruise ship days, I've always been reluctant to go on one. This time however it seemed like the best way to ... Read More
I've lived in several cruise ports, so because of my "disdain" of how busy and crowded places get on cruise ship days, I've always been reluctant to go on one. This time however it seemed like the best way to explore some Mediterranean islands, without hopping on and off planes and ferries. I am so glad I did! It even turned out to be timed just right to be a very special 30th birthday celebration. If you are looking for activities and entertainment, this may not be the cruise for you, as it doesn't appear to have as many programs and onboard entertainment as other cruises I've looked into. I however was looking for peace and quiet, so it suited me perfectly. My husband participated in the table tennis tournaments, the fencing lessons (both free) and the watercolor class ($35 for 3 lessons but provides the materials which he then took home). He was looking forward to the bridge lessons, but missed the first lesson and wasn't able to pick it up later. There were also some dancing lessons and other events, but I wasn't interested so I can't remember them all. I loved my first cruise experience. It was wonderful falling asleep and waking up in a new port and not having to had navigate buses, trains, boats or planes to get there. Highlights of this cruise would be the ample time in ports (morning arrival, evening departure) to discover the locations and the high tea everyday at 3pm! Though it may sound strange, another highlight was the laundry room! Free laundry (including soap) and ironing facilities, but also a great place to make friends! The standard food is English, which I preferred, but may not be everyone's cup of tea (don't expect hot dogs and hamburgers). Fellow passengers were mostly retirees from the UK, but that meant they had a wealth of knowledge and were very pleasant cruise companions. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and felt like family by the end of the cruise. I really enjoyed my first cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We recently chose Cunard for a family trip to the Mediterranean because we had heard such wonderful things about their line--its elegance, tradition, and prestige. I have never been so incredibly disappointed in a company. For ... Read More
We recently chose Cunard for a family trip to the Mediterranean because we had heard such wonderful things about their line--its elegance, tradition, and prestige. I have never been so incredibly disappointed in a company. For background: I am in my early thirties, American, was traveling with my extended family, and have cruised with everyone from Carnival to Crystal. This cruise was like paying Crystal prices for a Carnival experience. I know Crystal is more expensive upfront, but by the time Cunard is finished nickel-and-diming you, it is honestly about the same price. The worst thing overall was just the complete lack of customer service. It felt like WORK being a passenger on Cunard. There was never anyone around to help with anything or to even take a drink order. The Purser's Desk acted like you were at best inconveniencing them and at worst a total idiot. At one point, our travel agent had paid for an hour-long cocktail party for our group. We had the PDF confirmation FROM CUNARD. When we showed up, the entertainment manager told us that she had no record of it and couldn't help us. Our travel agent (who was absolutely mortified) had to contact the company in Southampton to get it worked out and rescheduled--even then, they scheduled it during our dinner seating on our last formal night. We got, at best, a shrug from the staff. I knew I was going to pay for drinks. Fine. I bought the "soda package" that they sell hard that first day--supposedly unlimited soft drinks for $6-7 a day. Great deal if you drink two or more a day and I figured I could use it as mixers for any liquor I bought in port towns. HA. What they don't tell you is that it is next to impossible to get a drink on this ship. Sailing away at 5:00 from a beautiful city with a couple hundred people on deck? One bartender on duty. Beautiful day at sea with hundreds of people at the pool? Ideal time to have waiters around taking orders--NOPE. And then they tell you that the soda package doesn't include ginger ale... or drinks in the dining room... or that waiters will purposefully not bring you your order because you have the soda package... or that you can't order a drink from anyone in the buffet and have to bring it in with you. Super customer service. Then there's everything else you pay extra for: $24 for a roundtrip shuttle into Venice because we docked at the pier; $12 roundtrip for shuttles into the middle of all other port cities; $3 for a bottle of water as you were getting off the boat to go on tour (and signs warning you off filling up your own water bottles from their drinking fountains for "hygiene" reasons); $15 for the WORST meal in their "alternative dining" option, Bamboo (really just half the buffet closed off and set menu). I understand that all of these things cost money, but for the love of cruising, just include it in the ticket price and stop making me take my card out every two seconds. The ship itself is adequate, but no better or worse than any other luxury liner. The cabins were small and cramped--especially the bathroom. A room that same size (balcony, king bed, small sitting area) on Crystal included a full size tub. This bathroom had one sink and a tiny shower. The dress code was not a strict as you would think, but I always tend to overdress anyway. Nice cocktail attire was fine for formal nights. Shore excursions through Cunard were horribly organized. You get herded into one of the common areas at the appointed time... and then you wait. Sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes an hour. Not OK. They obviously know they have to split the groups--why not go on and do it ahead of time so that we're not wasting vacation time sitting in a windowless room when we could be either sleeping or enjoying a port city. The food is terrible. Maybe it's better in the Queen and Princess grills, but the regular dining room was either trying too hard or not trying at all... I am not really sure which. The Lido buffet was downright disgusting. Breakfast was the exact same every morning and was very English--which I get, but the lack of options was disturbing. Lunch and dinner were usually extremely heavy and served lukewarm, with people fighting over places in line because there was absolutely no flow to the space. Fortunately, the places we went were amazing, because that is the only thing that saved this trip. Needless to say, our group of seventeen people will not be traveling with Cunard ever again. They need to stop resting on their laurels and realize that if they are to compete with the true luxury liners, they need to put the guests first and live up to their reputation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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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