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8 Cunard Queen Victoria Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Hawaii

The Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship. The cruise to Hawaii had a total of eight sea days and only four ports in Hawaii and one final port, Ensenada. We enjoy the atmosphere aboard ship and the sea days were nice, but the weather was ... Read More
The Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship. The cruise to Hawaii had a total of eight sea days and only four ports in Hawaii and one final port, Ensenada. We enjoy the atmosphere aboard ship and the sea days were nice, but the weather was surprisingly cold. So for most of the trip you couldn't use the pool. We have traveled on the Queen Victoria before and find the staff outstanding. We have taken many cruises with Cunard, on all of their ships, and find the tour office really lacking in proper tours. What they advertise and promote as Cunard tours and at an expensive price, are not in reality the tours you get. I have found that if you go ashore and find your own guide for a tour, you save almost 75% of what Cunard charges and you get a much better tour. Cunard also nickles and dimes you with fees and charges. $2.00 for a bottle of water + 15%, 15% gratuity on anything you purchase on board including, corking charges for wine, the wine at meals and the carefully measured cocktails are not cheap with the added 15%. At the first Hawaiian port hundreds of people were purchasing sodas and liquor to bring back on board. And this happened all additional ports too. Forget the ship's laundry service, $4.00 to clean a shirt. So if you can get a good discount on a Cunard cruise to places you wish to visit and can avoid their lousy tour office recommendations and avoid the bar purchases and extras, the ship itself and the staff are wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This was our first trip on the Queen Victoria having made a number of prior cruises on the Queen Mary 2. Embarkation at the rather huge cruise terminal at LA, was relatively hassle free and we were soon on board. Our luggage arrived at ... Read More
This was our first trip on the Queen Victoria having made a number of prior cruises on the Queen Mary 2. Embarkation at the rather huge cruise terminal at LA, was relatively hassle free and we were soon on board. Our luggage arrived at our cabin on Deck 8 just a few minutes after we did, so it was a quick unpack and off the to explore the ship and what a beautiful ship it is. Our cabin was of a good size, and yes the bathroom was miniscule, but that is the same on most modern cruise ships. The cabin stewardess, La Rosa from the Philippines was very attentive and kept the cabin spotless. There could have been some loungers instead of the upright chairs on the balcony and possibly some more storage space but these are relatively minor issues. Given that the cruise was from LA to Hawaii there was always going to be more days at sea than on most cruises and more opportunities for the traditional Cunard formal themed Balls in the Queens Room. OK, we appreciate that some people might not particularly like so many formal nights, but hey, Its Cunard! Having said that it was noticeable that staff on the ship was not strictly enforcing the dress codes as evidenced by one particular Canadian gentleman who wore jeans, sneakers and a baseball cap for every occasion! Struck it lucky with our table partners, 2 couples from California and a Canadian Couple who know live in Mexico. We enjoyed all the food on offer In both the Britannia restaurant and the Lido. We particularly enjoyed the social "banter" with the waiters at our table. Especially with the wine waiter from the Ukraine. There were four lecturers on this trip. There was a couple talking about Hawaii, it is always difficult to do a "double handed" lecture but this couples presentations were dire to say the least. There was an excellent motivational speaker, how could you not attend a lecture entitled "Are you the person your dog thinks you are?" There was a military historian who spoke about the war in the Pacific and in particular about the men involved in the iconic "raising of the flag" on Iwo Jima picture, it turned out that his late father was one of the men involved. He was a truly excellent speaker. Then we had a travel writer with a series of lectures called "America 101" again really interesting and informative. The entertainment Staff, led by the least pretentious and self-promoting Entertainments director we have met did a wonderful job. The Royal Court singers and Dancers did some fantastic production numbers worthy of any Broadway or West End shows. There was a lady violinist - she was excellent as was the solo pianist. The other acts, a singer (a Nat King Cole tribute) a comedic juggler and an American comedian were good but didn't stand out. Were the excursions on offer value for money? Probably not, as at each island equivalent "local" tours were available at a cheaper price. However in Honolulu, we were advised to get the ship excursion to the USS Arizona memorial as the tickets to the memorial are provided with the tour. If you did do it yourself you would have had to take pot luck on getting a ticket, dependant on what other cruise ships might be in port and you would almost certainly had a long wait to get to the memorial which was not the case with the ship provided excursion as we were at the memorial within 45 minutes of arriving at the site. Would we travel with Cunard again? certaiinly Would we travel on the Queen Victoria again? certainly Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We sailed on the Cunard Queen Victoria 2-week Christmas voyage from Los Angeles roundtrip to Hawaii in the Queen's Grill level of service this year -- December 21, 2011 through January 4, 2012. I have to say, the service, ... Read More
We sailed on the Cunard Queen Victoria 2-week Christmas voyage from Los Angeles roundtrip to Hawaii in the Queen's Grill level of service this year -- December 21, 2011 through January 4, 2012. I have to say, the service, accommodations, food and itinerary were outstanding. I have been a frequent traveler on Crystal Cruises (Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony) over the years. In comparison, I would give a slight edge to Crystal for their fewer passengers on board, and better embarkation/disembarkation experience. Otherwise, the Cunard experience was really really tremendous. Stateroom Accommodation -- I travelled with my mom and her service dog. While I love my mom, we do like our space. Also, although our service dog is small, a deck was essential. Our stateroom was QV4188. The room was one of the larger Queen's Grill "standard" suites (same price as most others), and had over 700 sq ft (including the balcony). (Thanks to Joe at PG Travel who helped arrange this!) It was at the stern of the ship on the 4th deck. As a corner unit, it had an unusually large wrap around balcony. The balcony was also deep. The balcony easily held 2 lounges, 2 tables and 2 chairs -- with lots of room to spare on the other side. Being at the back of the ship, we did get a bit more noise -- perhaps from the stabilizers. Certainly we got some noise from the anchor being lowered and raised. Our neighbor passenger requested to move because of sensitivity to the vibration/humming, but we did not find this to be a problem. I note that we did seem to roll on the waves a bit -- other passengers commented on this too. Not sure if we had rougher seas, or the ship's size contributed a bit. That said, my mom really liked being in this location, she says it was the best spot on the ship, as you could watch the wake, see the rainbows in the rain, and be lulled to sleep by the rocking. Inside the stateroom, we had a decent sized "living" area for the sofa, desk table and chair. We had 2 twin beds, which was a bit cozy, but for 2 weeks we managed. We each had separate closets and my mom used the separate dressing area/table just outside the bathroom. The bathroom was rather large with 2 sinks, and tub with jets and a separate shower cubicle. The room also had a nice granite counter, small cooler fridge and bar sink. We were very comfortable. Internet/Television. The internet service was spotty at best. Don't even think about Skype -- the bandwidth is just too small. Honestly, the television availability was terrible -- but you are not on a cruise to watch tv, right? Bring DVDs. (The library is very extensive, too, and has lots of books peruse and DVDs to watch). Dining. I was very impressed with our dining experience. In the Queen's Grill, the facilities felt small and intimate. We had our own table for 2, but were able to get to know our neighboring diner's a bit without being "stuck" with them for 2 weeks. The food was exemplary. My favorite were the breakfasts. I splurged and had eggs benedict with the eggs perfectly poached on most days. Dinners were an event! Being a native Californian, I did notice a scarcity of greens -- fresh lettuces, broccoli, etc., but no worries. We had an amazing Christmas dinner with all the trimmings -- turkey, gravy and stuffing. My mom is partial to caviar, and had it several times -- properly served with all the trimmings! Our sommelier was outstanding -- I was able to try wines and send them back if not pleased -- most of the time, I was very much pleased! I did note a smaller selection of European wines than available on the Crystal. Afternoon tea is very special. Tea is served in the Queen's Room -- a beautiful room -- and accompanied by a string quartet (quite delightful). Usually the tea service is packed. We visited on the "Ensenada" day when most people were out on the town. The scones lived up to English expectations. Lounging. Queen's Grill and Princess Grill passengers had their own designated bar/lounge area. This was especially nice at cocktail time, as we got to see the same people and get to chat with them a bit. We also had our own private deck areas to lounge in so that you didn't have to "fight the masses" for a deck chair near the pool. Service. The service for Queen's Grill guests was super. We had a butler, and butler's assistant who were very good. With me, my mom and a dog, we were a handful. (I took care of all of the dog's needs, including potty clean up). Everything was tidied up and fresh towels available twice per day. We had fresh flowers in the room, canapés delivered every afternoon (around 5 pm) to give us energy for the evening activities. A special note about Cunard and my mom's service dog. The service and accommodation we received was commendable. The advance team was generally helpful and tried very hard to facilitate our departure. The Chief Purser, himself, greeted us at the embarkation area to help sort out getting us on board, and also made valiant efforts to help us with governmental officials in Hawaii. Most of the staff were delightful to us all, and my mom's service dog received lots of affection and attention. Note that travelling with a service dog is doable, but not a trivial task. I wrote a blog giving practical tips about cruising with your service dog, my experience with Cunard in particular, and the trials of dealing with governmental regulation in Hawaii. Please see www.travelindog.blogspot.com Spa & Salon. The salon was pleasant and huge! considering this was a cruise ship! There were 3 chairs for hairdressers (who were constantly busy), a manicurist station, waiting area, plus a whole labyrinth of rooms or spa treatments. My mom visited the hair dresser 3 times during the trip -- they were adequate. I visited the masseuse twice -- she was AMAZING! All services are pricey, but good. Shopping. Ok, I like to shop. Because of the ship's size there was a surprisingly good selection of goodies, clothing, jewelry and books -- all of very good quality. I especially liked that they tried to feature goods made in England, including "Harrod's" items, jams, chocolates, and some leather goods (including Radley of London). Live Entertainment. Top rate talent, and lots of it! Live string quartet every day at tea, concert pianist , cocktail pianists, bands and Broadway/West End level shows. Christmas Activities. The efforts by the Cunard staff were amazing -- they brought a wonderful holiday spirit to the entire cruise. First, the decorations were abundant! The main lobby area banisters were festooned with garlands over three decks. There were lighted Christmas trees in almost every public space. Special activities on board included gingerbread house making (a favorite with the younger "Under 10" set), Christmas carol singing (many of the crew and lots of passengers participated), a special non-denominational Christmas service (select crew read relevant passages from the Bible, and we had LOTS of singing of Christmas carols), and of course, a visit from Santa! There were also professional photographers almost at every event, and happily took your photo in front of a Christmas tree or with Santa for next year's Christmas card. Embarkation & Disembarkation. This was truly a disaster. On embarkation, we were in the cruise departure area -- a massive room holding all 2000 passengers - it seemed simultaneously. Though Queen's Grill passengers, we had to queue up for a solid 45 minutes -- even though in a separate line. Admittedly, there was some problem with the computer system, but this was ridiculous for my mom to be expected to stand that long (she did sit down, although others were told they could not). Disembarkation was a free-for-all. First, we had to completely leave our room by 8 am, and sit in one of the large public rooms. Again, even though we were Queen's Grill, since we were taking the Cunard-provided-bus transportation to the airport, we had to sit with the other 1000 or so others doing the same. We sat there for a solid hour and a half. Then, off we went to the massive cruise terminal; I raced across to find our bags and haul them to where I could flag down a porter. The bags themselves were definitely beaten up and mishandled (I can imagine the luggage crew hurling them off the deck into the bins). The porter was super, I must say. He got us out to the bus, and on we went. We got to the airport -- 3 hours early. I only blame Cunard in that we should have been taken to a nicer place to wait as Crystal Cruises does, if we had to get off so early. Using the tenders at one of the ports was also unpleasant. While Queen's Grill passengers have priority to get on a tender, I didn't know this, and waited 45 minutes to get off. Also, at the other end, we were stuck waiting in a line of about 100 other passengers in the hot sun to get back. In sum, the Queen Victoria is a big ship holding 2000 passengers and 900 crew. (In contrast, Crystal Cruise ships hold around 800 passengers and 500 crew). The Queen's Grill level of service, accommodation and dining are absolutely comparable to Crystal. Some of the features of a big ship are wonderful, including more variety. Some of the features are not so wonderful -- you will have to deal with crowds at some point -- embarkation/ disembarkation/ tenders, and certainly, don't go to the Lido Buffet at lunchtime! I have to say overall, this was one of the most memorable and most wonderful cruises we have taken. Certainly over the holidays, it is quite special. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Having travelled on the Queen Victoria in 2008 we were happy to be returning and knew how beautiful the ship truly is. Because we had 4 sea days in a row going and coming from Hawaii, we decided to treat ourselves and upgraded to a ... Read More
Having travelled on the Queen Victoria in 2008 we were happy to be returning and knew how beautiful the ship truly is. Because we had 4 sea days in a row going and coming from Hawaii, we decided to treat ourselves and upgraded to a Princess Gill cabin. It was worth every penny and I hope to do it again! The Princess Grill dining room was excellent and we had one of the best tables for 2 (109). Our waiters were Rajesh and Edwin and they did an excellent job of taking care of us. The Queen Grill lounge was a nice place to relax before lunch or to enjoy afternoon tea, however it does get VERY crowded at tea time and just before lunch. Cunard might want to expand this space just a little, because at peak times compared with everywhere else onboard I felt very crowded in this space. Embarkation The embarkation at the Port of Los Angeles was the worst of all 18 cruises we've taken. We arrived at the port shortly after 11am and were handed a card with a number 3. Our cruise documents indicated we should plan to arrive a 12pm, however our documents mentioned priority embarkation and we were very eager to get onboard. After passing the security check we were told to have a seat and wait for our number to be called. After waiting for over an hour the room was quickly filling up and with no announcement or information about the delay we asked one of the staff if we would be given priority boarding, the response we got was yes, but just please sit and wait. At 12:35 a shore side staff person standing toward the front of the crowded room started calling number one, but since no one could hear clearly what she was saying, everyone just rushed for the line. We had to push our way into line and stand there for 45minute to be given our room keys. There was no priority embarkation for grill passengers and it was pretty much a free for all, we later learned it was like this all day long, even passengers arriving at 3pm were greet with long waits a bigger lines. This could have been handle much better with just a small amount of planning or thought towards passengers. We were given multiple reason for the delay but each one conflicted with the other. Our luggage was among the very last bags on board and we received them after the lifeboat drill. Just before the muster drill I went up on deck and looked over to the pier, there was 3 cages of bags left to be brought onboard and sure enough our bags were on the top of the last cage, this was NOT the priority luggage service the Cunard advertised for Gill passengers!!! Dining and Food We loved the Princess Grill and our table. We could eat when we wanted, however a very loud and someone ignorant group at a table for 4 seated nearby meant that we had to adjust our dining times to avoid having to listen to them argue to call the waiter by yelling "hey mister". The service was excellent and I really love flambe desserts so Thomas (Maitre'd) made sure that I had one almost every night. Our Christmas dinner was excellent. Our waiter Rajesh quickly learned that we like to play and joke around a bit, and a couple of nights later made a great joke with our menus,by giving us a menu in a different language, a few nights later we were given breakfast menu for dinner. We enjoyed most of our meals. However, there were a few entrees that we thought weren't what we'd expected them to be. The steak Diane wasn't flambe'd at the table and what was presented was a big disappointment. One of my soups didn't resemble anything like what I expected or what was described on the menu. Rajesh and Edwin (assistant waiter) were very quick to observe when it appeared we didn't like something and they discretely asked if they could replace something. Cabin We loved our cabin and it was close by to the elevators, in fact it was too close to the elevators and there was some occasions when you could hear screaming kids running down the stairs. We were just forward one of the Carpathia suites(7070) on the port side. I wouldn't choose this location ever again, it was handy being steps from the stairs or the elevator, but I found this to be more of a sound problem. A couple of nights I was awoken because there was a service door very close by and there was linens in a huge being banged around. There was also a service closet for the suite which was beside us and when the linen carts were being stocked it banged very loudly on the cabin walls. On the last night I was kept awake for over 2 hours while the luggage dragged, thrown scraped down the service stairwell as it was being taken off the floor. By 3am after asking the staff twice to please be quiet because we couldn't sleep, I finally had to go to the pursers desk to complain. Entertainment There were some shows which we enjoyed and couple which we had to walk out of. The casino was ok, many of the slot machines really need to be updated and they could reduce the number of tables and increase some of the slots. During the busy times in the evening all of the slot machines were quite full but there was two tables were totally empty with dealer just standing around. We loved watching the Strictly Cunard competition however it was really hard to find a seat. Some of the lectures were quite interesting and overall for a longer sea voyage I would chose Cunard over any of the other lines because the daily activities are better organized. Disembarkation Because of the nightmare we experienced boarding we choose self disembarkation also because I arranged for a car to take us to LAX and we had a 11:55 flight. We were the 3rd and 4th passengers off at 8:15am The shore side staff were a little more helpful this time. I loved seeing Hawaii and it was made even more enjoyable because we did onboard my absolute favourite cruise ship! I really hope I get to enjoy the Queen Victoria again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Crusing for me is one of the best ways of spending my vacation time. My partner enjoys it as well. This cruise was the longest we have ever vacationed. As you can imagine we loved having other take care of the chores while we endulged. ... Read More
Crusing for me is one of the best ways of spending my vacation time. My partner enjoys it as well. This cruise was the longest we have ever vacationed. As you can imagine we loved having other take care of the chores while we endulged. There were some highlights. Alison Farr played spectacularly on piano with fellow inspiring violinist for several concerts. I was messmerized and thrilled by their flawless interpretations. Another gift of the voyage was a former airline captain who kept audiences in stitches on several occations with his commentary and naughty film publicity clips. The people onboard were mostly mature and cultured guests. Only on rare occation did I witness passengers behaving poorly. One such occation, followed an accupuncture talk, where a senior citizen cut in front of the few people waiting to make appointments with the ship's therapist, ignoring those clearly waiting before her. The ship's staff did not ask her to wait for her turn. Another complaint was that a couple of the guests with electric wheelchairs would drivers into other passengers. Nobody was injured, but nerves were freyed. There were multiple stories told about ill-tempered passengers who hogged laundryroom equipment. One such incident only ended after the ships armed security staff had interviened. For myself, the one incident that could have been handled differently, was Cunard's standard response after having damaged my new luggage. It was considerate of Cunard's staff to use a piece of silver duct tape to close the hole they made in the $150 luggage. But, it seems odd to be told by the perser's staff that one's only recourse is to file a insurance claim, providing I had the forethought to protect my investment from Cunard's carelessness. All in all, there are a lot of words above devoted to describing what passengers might see on any cruise. I would like the reader to take away the notion that I was generally happing with staff's service, decor, weather, safety, and much more. I recommend going on this cruise. Do not let my discription of the few Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
It was slightly less than what we expected. The food was unsurprising,not imaginative or original. We understand they cater to varied tastes. What we disliked most were the pastries. Great wine list but rather expensive. ... Read More
It was slightly less than what we expected. The food was unsurprising,not imaginative or original. We understand they cater to varied tastes. What we disliked most were the pastries. Great wine list but rather expensive. Starting dinner at 8,30 pm followed by a show at 10,30 pm means a very late bed-time.Because of this we missed many shows. We liked the magician and the dancers. Dressing up each evening is a hassle. Dinner is a fussy affair on this ship. You have the option of the self service though. Cabin adequate with comfortable balcony. Staff most friendly and polite at all times. One great plus : the LIBRARY ! The weather during most of this cruise was frisky and cloudy. So we spent a lot of time there. One last BIG complaint. Not for the cruise line. Disembarkation took 4 hours because of long lines at re-entry U.S. immigration.We lost a full half day of our holiday because of this disagreeable interminable long wait. The cruise had a stopover in Ensenada. I would gladly have missed this kitschy,seedy tourist-trap if it had meant a faster disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We love QM2 so thought we would try QV. Embarkation, with priority boarding was a breeze,from drop off to on board about 20 minutes. Cabin 8040 is A-1 fwd with balcony. Very clean BUT the bathroom is so small one can brush teeth, pee, and ... Read More
We love QM2 so thought we would try QV. Embarkation, with priority boarding was a breeze,from drop off to on board about 20 minutes. Cabin 8040 is A-1 fwd with balcony. Very clean BUT the bathroom is so small one can brush teeth, pee, and shower all in one place...if you are tall..well, mind your head. Did manage to stow all of our stuff however..suitcases fit nicely under the bed. Our cabin steward, Rick, did a super job taking care of us. We liked the lay-out of the ship, nice feel in all the areas,even tho the ship was full did not feel crowded...we found the staff and passengers extremely friendly, did not encounter and grumps! Our recent experiences have been on QM2 PG dining room so we struggled with the Britannia dining room for dinner. Tho the service was ok the main courses were...tasteless...apps and soups and salads and desserts were good...several times we just had soup and salad. We did enjoy in the Lido, very good fresh made pizza, burgers and great fries, and a good salad selection. Also for breakfast fresh cooked eggs to order. Entertainment & speaker we are split on. I thought the after dinner shows were great the speakers good except for one who was teaching a class...in a dull voice! We had loads of laughs in the Pub for games after the show..or dancing every night in the Queens Room. Cunard has the very best ships for ballroom dancers afloat. Large dance floors! Afternoon tea or a classical concert. Cunard does a super job keeping passengers busy. Or a quiet read in the very nice library. If you enjoy meeting new people than you can't go wrong with a Cunard cruise, we have always found our fellow travelers very interesting and well traveled! We had 4 formal nights in 14 days...I love it... All in all the only problem we had was dinner in the Britannia dining room, we are Calif foodies...and we found the dinner hit and miss! Disembarkation in LA was very smooth. Our time was 8:50am we were at the curb by 9:15am! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This was our third voyage on Cunard, the first two on the "Queen Mary 2", this one on the "Queen Victoria". Comparing the two ships was easy! They are both beautiful, but the "QM2" shines! She has that ... Read More
This was our third voyage on Cunard, the first two on the "Queen Mary 2", this one on the "Queen Victoria". Comparing the two ships was easy! They are both beautiful, but the "QM2" shines! She has that extra pizzaz and "wow factor" that is missing on the "QV". After talking with several fellow passengers, the consensus was the same. We loved our balcony cabin with it's tiny shower in the bathroom. One of our tablemates suggested that you soap the shower walls and then "twirl"! Didn't try it, but sounded like a hoot! We had plenty of drawer and closet space. Our room steward, Benny, was very efficient. He kept our cabin spotless and the ice bucket filled. The weather on this particular voyage wa quite cloudy and windy....not what we expected on crossing the Pacific Ocean in February. In the fourteen days we were sailing, we had two sunny days on the ship and only two of the four islands had sunny warm weather. Definitely not Cunard's problem! Our dinner in the Britannia every night was delightful. Sandy, our head waiter, was absolutely flawless in his presentations. He has many years experience with Cunard, and it shows! His assistant, Jacek, from Poland, was my favorite! He is young, eager and ready to go far in this world! What a smile! Our wine steward, Rao, was new on the job with this cruise, and learned his duties very quickly. Three out of the six at our table requested drinks with a little extra flair (blue cheese stuffed olives in their Manhattans and Martinis) and Rao came through! The food was delicious! We ate most of our meals in Britannia,and a few lunches in the Lido. The portions were just right, soups and entrees always hot and tasty. The desserts were spectacular! We had the same delightful tablemates at dinner every night, and sat with different people at breakfast and lunch. We saw all of the shows in the Royal Court Theater. Every one was professional and elegantly done. The costumes were amazing. Two shows featured John England, a pianist who "blew our sox off"! He played requests that passengers asked for during the trip. I do know that "As Time Goes By" will never sound as good as when he played it. My only complaint was that on a cruise to Hawaii, it would have been nice to be presented with a flower lei on landing at any one of the four islands. You could buy them after leaving the ship in the four ports, but that extra touch from Cunard wasn't there. There was no luau on board or offered in the tour packages on any of the islands. We had a wonderful vacation that was a year in the planning and flew by too quickly! I would sail on the "Queen Victoria" again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
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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