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3 Cunard Queen Victoria Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to South America

We recently sailed South America 50 days roundtrip from/to Fort Lauderdale on Queen Victoria. Main reason for selecting this cruise was the destination ports of - Barbados, Rio, B Aires, Montevideo, Santiago, Lima, Montechristo, Equador ... Read More
We recently sailed South America 50 days roundtrip from/to Fort Lauderdale on Queen Victoria. Main reason for selecting this cruise was the destination ports of - Barbados, Rio, B Aires, Montevideo, Santiago, Lima, Montechristo, Equador home of Panama Hats and passage through the Panama Canal - Belize was also a pleasant surprise. The service we received from our cabin steward and restaurant and bar staff were excellent - these were by far the most helpful and best people onboard. The ships decor was very good, although a little dark in the main areas and too bare in the deck corridors (a few pictures would help). However, i would never cruise on this ship again and possibly never again with Cunard. Embarkation was a 5 hour nightmare, leaving Miami hotel at 10.00 am on a 45 min journey to FLL to then be left sitting in a waiting room with hundreds of passengers for 3.5 hours without water or any real explanation for delay. - Cunard are not good at organisation or communication - they appear oblivious to the frustrations of their customers, many of whom were as equally upset. Unfotunately this problem continued throughout the trip - we booked many shore excursions and were herded along lengthy queues into either the ballroom or theatre to sit for minimum 45 mins whilst the ship berthed or cleared immigration etc with little recognition from the shorex staff as to the poor quality of communication and organisation - only a condescending thank you for your patience over the speakers. Our final disembarkation was the worst experience and poorest organisation I have ever encountered. We were asked to vacate cabin by 8.00am latest and removed from ship by 8.15am to queue for almost 2 hours as we cleared US immigration (could have been done onboard as with other ports) - then transferred to a nearby hotel curbside and placed in a ballroom with hundreds of other passengers to await instructions about transfer to airport. There was no Cunard representative to be found, only an outsourced contractor service agent. Shuttles were arranged throughout the day - ours being the final transfer at almost 5.30pm to travel through Miami rush hour for nearly 2 hours - why we were not taken to Miami in the morning begs belief. Our driver dumped us outside departures some 25 to 30 mins haul with multiple suitcases to our check in desk. Ship to check in desk took almost 12 hours - if that is Cunards idea of hospitality and Customer service, then we, as will many others we spoke to, will not be enduring with Cunard again. The ship suffered many problems during this Exotic World Cruise - power failures, near disaster rounding Cape Horn as crew were stranded trying to take photos from a jet boat that took over 5 hours to rescue due to extremely hazardous waters and weather conditions, multiple outbreaks of throat infections, flu and gastro illness plus noro virus isolations and 5 days emegency hygienne controls due to a reported 4% incident level. If you like ballroom dancing, playing cards and dont mind paying extortionate wine prices, being entertained by acts from Britains got Talent style shows and like to be in bed between 8.30 and 9.30pm - Queen Vic may be for you, but not us. WiFi is more dial up than broadband. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Desire to visit the listed countries in South America and good experience in the past with Cunard . Cunard and imagine cruises got my name wrong and despite numerous attempt to correct this up to 6 weeks before the trip commenced. ... Read More
Desire to visit the listed countries in South America and good experience in the past with Cunard . Cunard and imagine cruises got my name wrong and despite numerous attempt to correct this up to 6 weeks before the trip commenced. Air tickets Transfers etc. We're all issued in the wrong name. Hence I'm having difficulty claiming my frequent flyer points with B.A. And other connected airlines. The name was corrected on the site but didn't get through anywhere else??? Boarding in Rio was hell . Confusion everywhere . The guide left us in a bus garage ! We were very disappointed with the food and service in the Britannia restaurant. We were on the Queen Victoria 8 years ago and were very impressed with the excellent standard of food presented everywhere , particularly in the restaurant. However we finally gave up and chose to pay to dine in The Verandah which served the standard of food and service we had experienced in precious cruises including the Queen Mary just one year ago, we also dined in La Piazza which was very average . We were and are not alone in our commentary . Everyone we spoke to who had sailed with Cunard previously felt the same I.e. That the standard had dropped enormously. Some will never travel with Cunard again . I found it extraordinary that few spoke up about this when we had the opportunity to do so . However they won't be back, In addition some of the guides onshore were truly dreadful . The staff in the travel section were pretty average . Again compared to previous cruises. The cabin crew and Purser's staff were very good and of the same standard we had found previously. There's no doubt economy is in the air but I truly believe it's 'short term gain and long term pain' the amount of custom they have lost must be enormous. Still perhaps they're looking at a different clientele . Who knows. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
What a difference a year makes. Early 2016, Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, great cruise, great service, could not wait to book a cruise on this vessel for 2017. Early 2017 Rio to Valparaiso. ... Read More
What a difference a year makes. Early 2016, Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco via the Panama Canal, great cruise, great service, could not wait to book a cruise on this vessel for 2017. Early 2017 Rio to Valparaiso. Apart from being on the same vessel just about everything else was just plain bad. It started in Rio, took three hours to check in and the chaos had to be seen to be believed. No Cunard staff to be found when we turned up, were given a number and told to go sit by Cunard appointed ground crew and we just sat. Finally movement, the crowd moved as one towards the single entry point, which created more chaos as people with the wrong numbers were turned away. Line jumping was rampant and the few Cunard personnel that were now standing behind the desk just let it happen making those that were trying to remain orderly more angry than they already were. Finally we were on board, and found our way to our cabin. Standard balcony on deck 7. No surprises, we had been here before and everything in the cabin was fine. Booked a Britannia first sitting table for 6, received a table for 10, company was fine, but the Britannia room first sitting was far from full and we could so easily have been allocated our preferred dining sitting. The Britannia dining experience was an experience for all the wrong reasons. It was obvious to us the bean counters (aka accountants) had taken control of the kitchen both in food quality and quantity. At times the serving team was very embarrassed to be serving up such miniscule portions. Not a day went by when food was not left on plates around our table and even though the serving staff enquired as to why we were leaving food, we were just too polite to let them know the real truth. Food in the Lido was no better, bland, poorly cooked and just plain and tasteless most of the time. Service in the Lido just about non-existent, with poor table clean up and the best way to get new cutlery was to go and get it yourself. Our only tour booked was to see the Penguins in Puntas Arenas. Yes the weather was iffy, but fine and sunny with a breeze blowing but far from what could be considered dangerous. Due to late arrival our tour departure time was changed, but we turned up on schedule and left for the short trip to shore ten minutes late. On shore there was no one to tell us where to go, but sheeplike we all followed each other and found our appropriate coach number and boarded. The coach left the dock area and our tour guide started to tell us of what we were going to see. In mid-sentence he stopped, told us the trip had been cancelled and we were going back to the port area. We arrived back, no Cunard people in sight and were left to work out what to do next. We chose to amble around the town. To this day we have not heard from Cunard as to why the trip was cancelled, or received an apology or any other acknowledgement apart from a curt letter in our room that night telling us our trip payment had been refunded to our credit card. (and even that had a difference of $20.00, I suppose for credit card fees etc. going against us) Could things get worse after the chaos in Rio, yes they could, try getting off in Valparaiso? The vessel arrived 4 hours late, but several time the Commodore announced the vessel would still be leaving on time that evening, I guess nothing stops a Queen from leaving on time. We were told via announcements that general departure from the vessel would be about 30 minutes behind schedule, it wasn’t. We sat with about 1000 other passenger trying to depart and waited, and waited. Then it was our turn to slowly make our way through the chaos to the departure point, wait for a bus to take us to the terminal and then wait inside the terminal for our baggage to arrive. Finally our bags arrived, brought out on airport style luggage trollies, about 4 bags at a time. We left the departure area glad to be away from the Cunard fiasco. So what has gone wrong with Cunard? Food quality, portions and service deteriorated to unbelievable levels in just a year. This factor alone was the talk of the vessel. Can’t see us lining up for another Cunard cruise. Cabin steward great. Entertainment, good some nights, dull and boring other nights. Speakers really good and interesting, perhaps the best part of the cruise. First time we have ever removed gratuities from a shipboard account and just gave to those that we thought deserved. And we know we weren’t the only one to do that. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
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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