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15 Cunard Queen Victoria Cruise Reviews for Luxury Cruises to Transatlantic

This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no ... Read More
This was our first Cunard experience, and we were not disappointed. We were on the first sector of the 2019 World Cruise; this would take us from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale, stopping at Bermuda and Port Canaveral. We were under no illusions with six sea days before the first port of call we would need to find plenty to do. Also, the North Atlantic in January could have been very rough (think North Sea trawler!), we were very fortunate and had a remarkably smooth ride. We had booked a Princess Grills mini-suite which was mid-ships and deck six. Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the City Terminal in Southampton. We had priority boarding and so did a lot of others, from arriving at the terminal to getting to the cabin took 45 mins. Check in took a bit longer as they had to confirm that we had valid US visas (ESTA). Disembarkation was more complicated because our flight was not until 18:00. A coach tour of Miami had been organised for those transferring to Miami airport. A couple of days before disembarking instructions and luggage tags were dropped off in our cabin. We had to be in the Royal Court Theatre for 07:45, no leisurely breakfast then. Once called, we were quickly off the ship and had collected our luggage; this was then put onto the coach. There was some confusion because some of the passengers on the coach had flights that were too early for the tour; they had to be taken off the coach. We had a comprehensive tour of Miami, with a detailed description from our knowledgeable guide Linda. There was time for some lunch in Miami Beach and a walk on Ocean Drive. We finally reached the airport for 13:30; this might have seemed early for an 18:00 flight, but with the queues at check in, immigration and security, the time soon passed. Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet We did have a small M&G on the first sea, a nice chat with quite a varied bunch. Dining As we were Princess Grill passengers we ate in the Princess Grill, and could have eaten there for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. We had an allocated table for two (103) which was ours for the whole cruise. Our waiters Tusha and Tutu (spelling guess) could not do enough for us, nothing was too much trouble. Meals are served at a leisurely pace, but when we turned up early one evening, they asked if we were going to the show and provided ‘express’ service, in and out in an hour! Every morning the lunch and dinner menus are delivered to your cabin, giving you plenty of time to consider your choices. If there was nothing on the dinner menu that you fancied, there was also a good selection of a la carte choices, though some did need to be ordered in advance. Memorable meals included Dover sole cooked at our table, the mixed grill, beef Wellington, Tornados Rossini and last but not least the chilli dog for lunch! A particular highlight was the wines that our sommelier Sheila, always managing to find interesting wines by the glass, that were below the $11 drinks package threshold, that matched our food choices, her service was prompt, efficient and very friendly. Although the food in the Princess Grill was amazing we did occasionally try other venues for breakfast and lunch. The Lido buffet for breakfast when we had early starts was better that many buffets that we have tried, at peak times it could be very crowded and difficult to find a table. Choices of food were very wide. The Lido Grill provided great hotdogs and burgers. We had fish and chips in the Golden Lion pub one day, this was very good, and served quickly. Bars We had decided to purchase the Beers, Wines and Spirits Option drinks package; this costs $69 per day per person. It worked for us, I don’t know whether we made or lost on it, effectively we saved the 15% service charge which is applied to all purchased drinks. There is a comprehensive set of terms and conditions that fill a sheet of A4 paper. Our favourite bar was the Grills Lounge where Patrick was the consummate host, nothing was too much trouble. The standard of nibbles served with drinks before dinner was very high, the crisps particularly, we were also offered hot canapes. Other favourites included the Commodore Club with its stunning forward view, and after dinner the Chart Room provided somewhere quiet and intimate. Prelunch drinks were either in the Golden Lion, which had a good selection of beers, or the Winter Garden, which could be quite crowded. Most of the time service was prompt, efficient and courteous. Most bars also served tea and coffee. Cabin Our cabin was starboard midships on deck 6 (6103), it was a very good size; it is described as a Princess Grill Mini-Suite. The décor and fittings were in good shape. Between the bathroom and main room is a spacious hanging area that really works well. The beds are high enough to take some pretty big suitcases underneath. There were also two deep drawers under the foot of the bed. There is a spacious sitting area with a sofa, chair and coffee table. The balcony does have an overhang and is quite sheltered, but it is a good size. Our steward Jaypee looked after us well, and was always keen to do more. This grade of cabin comes with fluffy bathrobes, and on embarkation Champagne. This cabin was very quiet, nothing rattled. The bathroom had an over-bath shower and lots of storage. Along with a kettle there was also a coffee maker. Large bottles of water are provided complimentary. The only slight downside was that the hairdryer was not very good and really needed upgrading. Entertainment I enjoyed the lectures in the Royal Court Theatre by Professor Bob Donaldson ‘Global Threats in the 21st Century’ might sound a bit on the heavy side, he presented an interesting perspective on international relations. We both enjoyed talks by retired cricket commentator Henry Blofeld. We also went to evening shows with Phillip Browne, Roy Walker and juggling comedian Goronwy Thorn. These were hosts by Entertainment Director Neil Kelly. It was very pleasing not to have to get to the theatre 30 mins before a show started, there were always seats available. Photography We were pleasantly surprised by the ship’s photographers and their low key approach, only taking your picture when asked. We did have a picture with the captain, but it was not good enough for the $30 price tag. Gym A very good gym with everything you could want, some of the machines looked to be new. As usual it could become congested at peak times. My only suggestion would be to add a sit-up bench. Shops Lots of shops to choose from, but not everything had a price tag which was a bit off putting. Ports of Call Bermuda, after six days at sea we were very glad to stretch our legs on land. We stayed around the Royal Naval Dockyard, taking in the Clocktower Shopping Mall, the Dockyard Glassworks and the Frog and Onion Pub. Bermuda is not a cheap place, $7 for half a pint of local lager. Port Canaveral, Florida We originally booked on the Kennedy Space Centre Up Close Tour, but this was downgraded to the standard tour because of the US Government shut down. It was a long day and started with negotiating US Boarder Control formalities. The Space Centre sent buses to the port to collect us (I think there were 10 busses in all). We had a very knowledgeable guide in Julie, who also kept very good control of the group. Julie warned us that the Space Centre had become very ‘Disneyish’, with stirring music blasting out, rather than a history lesson more an experience. The tour lasted from pick up at 08:30 to back on board 16:45, not for the faint hearted it’s a long day and hard on the feet, but I thought it was well worthwhile and enjoyable. Top tip, if you purchase anything in the Space Centre retail outlets; ask for the cruise passenger 10% discount. Anything Else? We were under no illusions that there were a lot of sea days on this trip, but Cunard offered plenty to keep us occupied. The level of service on the ship exceeded our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The Cunard queens have enjoyed a reputation for elegant cruising that we wanted to experience. The 14 day T/A on Queen Victoria was offered at a reasonable rate and we booked it for our first Cunard cruise. We found the public rooms ... Read More
The Cunard queens have enjoyed a reputation for elegant cruising that we wanted to experience. The 14 day T/A on Queen Victoria was offered at a reasonable rate and we booked it for our first Cunard cruise. We found the public rooms spacious and well appointed. The theater/showroom is large enough to accommodate all of the passengers in the two shows each evening without reservations. There is a large ballroom where nightly big band dancing is held. The main dining venue, Britannia, and the buffet are nicely decorated and of adequate size. There is a promenade deck that goes completely around the ship. Our balcony cabin was clean and of average size with a balcony that was slightly larger then the average cruise ship balcony. The food was of the same quality one would find on Celebrity or Princess. The service was slightly better than average. We were concerned about the assigned table dining for two weeks, but found our other six table mates most enjoyable. Surprisingly, there are only two alternative dining venues, a French restaurant at a $40 per person up charge and a pub with a smaller up charge (not counting a corner of the buffet that was roped off where one can dine at a $20 up charge). Entertainment on the ship was geared to the mature audience. Shows by the cruise ship staff were better that those on the average cruise ship. Shows by other entertainers were mixed, some better, some not so good. There were at least three speakers who each put on a series of talks during the cruise. All were interesting and educational. A string quartet and a harpist provided classical entertainment daily during tea in the ballroom and at other times in the atrium. The orchestra/big band provided ballroom dance music daily. The dances were well attended and the ship provided male and female dancers so singles could enjoy dancing. Give Cunard a try if you find a cruise that interests you or if you enjoy ballroom dancing. Don't feel you're missing something if you stay with your regular cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Cabin was dowdy, old stained curtains, shower smelt of mold! The fan didn’t work so the mirror fogged up so much you couldn’t see a thing in it! Bathroom wasn’t cleaned properly! Black stain in the loo, and smelt of urine! Stain ... Read More
Cabin was dowdy, old stained curtains, shower smelt of mold! The fan didn’t work so the mirror fogged up so much you couldn’t see a thing in it! Bathroom wasn’t cleaned properly! Black stain in the loo, and smelt of urine! Stain of looked like dried on milk up the wall! They seriously need upgrading! The money Cunard have spent on upgrading has not gone into the balcony rooms, I guess it’s gone into the new luxury apartments! Cabin was not vacuumed for nine days! Had to ask for it to be done! Was not clean when we arrived! Food wasn’t great! The choice in the self service restaurant wasn’t good on some days! Shows were very good! Costumes were amazing! Commadores announcements were good, he kept us informed of the weather etc! The wine sommelier was excellent! The entry into Fort Lauderdale was long and tiring with only four immmigration officers to check in over two thousand Passengers! I felt sorry for the old and infirm of which there were many! The art classes were so busy with so many people we only went to a few then we gave up as it was to crowded! This was our tenth Qunard cruise! We won’t be doing another! Very disappointed! It is no longer a so called “luxury”experience! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
A customary trip to the Caribbean in Princess grill, the suite was fine with a very efficient cabin attendant, the kitchens made a good efforts with the food and the service in the Princess Grill was commendable. The Concierge Seltran ... Read More
A customary trip to the Caribbean in Princess grill, the suite was fine with a very efficient cabin attendant, the kitchens made a good efforts with the food and the service in the Princess Grill was commendable. The Concierge Seltran Ebillo was personable and efficient. The evenings entertainment was good particularly from the group called the Rewind Project. However the trip itself encountered bad weather and in particular on the return trip there was storm force 11 and if you have ever been in that you would know. There was little respite at night or day for around 48 hours. Waves hit like torpedos, and everything rocked and creaked. If I had a complaint it was the tannoy system. the Captain clearly liked to speak for far to long and repeat himself( - must have come from a holiday ship or something, experienced captains don't do that) and often announcements were made through the cabin speakers when they needn't have been, ie crew exercises etc. Not great when you are trying to catch up on sleep. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
we were picked up by coach and had a great journey down and embarkation was quick and easy. The ship was great and the food was excellent. The entertainment was very good but we are getting a bit fed up of Roy Walker who seems to ... Read More
we were picked up by coach and had a great journey down and embarkation was quick and easy. The ship was great and the food was excellent. The entertainment was very good but we are getting a bit fed up of Roy Walker who seems to have been on every cruise we have had. We had a couple of stormy days one was a force 10 the day after leaving Ponta Delgarda and the other one was sailing back through the Bay of Biscay which was force 11. In fact the captain (who only looks about 17) came on the speaker in the middle of the night to pacify the passengers. The only complaint was the passengers, we have never come across such a miserable ignorant bunch, The ship seems to attract them so no more Queen Victoria for us. One last thing, do not get on the mini buses in Barbados because the way they jam you in with the fold down seats its just a disaster waiting to happen Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
What should have been the cruise to beat all others turned into a nightmare as Cunard lost my luggage at the port. The cruise should have been memorable for the lovely cabin and facilities. Unfortunately my main memory will always be ... Read More
What should have been the cruise to beat all others turned into a nightmare as Cunard lost my luggage at the port. The cruise should have been memorable for the lovely cabin and facilities. Unfortunately my main memory will always be the lack of customer care by Cunard, which has been compounded since my return. The speakers were very good as was the afternoon tea service. I was also impressed, as a single traveller, with the organisation of the get together so, through which I met lovely people who lent me clothes. Cunard as a company do not deserve their reputation of providing luxury, although I am sure that if nothing untoward happens this would appear to be true. Unfortunately if there is a problem the policy is to disclaim responsibility and make no recompense to the passenger that might alleviate their distress. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my third Cunard cruise, and as enjoyable as the others. I was happy to board 'Queen Victoria' and rest after days of walking around New York. Embarkation was very smooth and fast. Within 5 minutes of arriving at ... Read More
This was my third Cunard cruise, and as enjoyable as the others. I was happy to board 'Queen Victoria' and rest after days of walking around New York. Embarkation was very smooth and fast. Within 5 minutes of arriving at pier 90 I was on the ship. It was a lovely clear day as we slipped out of Manhattan. What a lovely way to enjoy the impressive skyline! And then we reached the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and did not see land again for 8 days. And so began the last leg of QV's round the world voyage for 2015. It does seem slightly odd that the ship has no large, striking portrait and/or bust of Queen Victoria to serve as a focal point. There are a dozen small pictures in the Queen's Room, but that's it. Queen Elizabeth has a portrait and bust of H.M. and some pictures. For the first time I tried an inside cabin, and it was fine for me. The food on all 3 ships is of the same standard. The service and food in Britannia were very, very good. QV seems to have the best run and certainly most peaceful buffet of the 3 Cunard ships. The Lido was fairly busy at breakfast, but comfortable at other times of the day. (The King's Court on QM2 can seem very busy and quite noisy.) Afternoon tea in the Queen's Room was very busy, so I generally went to the Lido and chose a few items to enjoy while looking out to sea. The days at sea slipped by most pleasantly. The conditions were described as moderate to rough at times, but overall it was a pleasant voyage. The entertainment did not disappoint. It included 3 tenors, the String Idols, an American comedian, an American illusionist. The main guest speaker was Terry Waite. A pleasant cruise, and excellent value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We have just returned from a 2 week cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria – our first experience of cruising. We joined the ship at Southampton on 20 January for the first leg of her 2015 world cruise. The cruise included a visit to the ... Read More
We have just returned from a 2 week cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria – our first experience of cruising. We joined the ship at Southampton on 20 January for the first leg of her 2015 world cruise. The cruise included a visit to the Azores, British Virgin Islands, Antigua, Bahamas and Fort Lauderdale – flying back from Miami. We knew the ship was beautiful, following a taster day on her in August 2014, and the trip did not disappoint. The daily programme of events was more than adequate to keep us amused – in fact we were disappointed to have missed some of the pastimes because we just couldn’t fit them into our busy days. The gym was excellent and although I used the sauna almost every day I only ever saw one other lady in the changing rooms. As we were first time cruisers, we booked our excursions through Cunard. Most were good (apart from a very disappointing sightseeing/beach trip in the Bahamas). Swimming with Sting Rays in Antigua was an experience not to be missed. We soon realised that most passengers make their own arrangements when on shore and people were always willing to share a taxi around the island to do some sightseeing. Getting off and on the ship whilst in port was painless and queue free – a very efficient operation. The quality of the entertainment was mixed but we went to every show and did appreciate the problems of trying to please people of all ages and backgrounds. The theatre on Board Queen Victoria is beautiful and seats over 800 people. The food was fantastic (we ate in the Britannia Restaurant), the staff were lovely and the atmosphere was warm and friendly. Don’t miss the opportunity to share a table at breakfast time and hear the experiences of fellow travellers from all over the world. We shared our dinner table with 6 other people and rarely managed to get the meal completed within 2 hours because of the conversations we shared. The majority of passengers are elderly but if you are middle aged, don’t let this put you off – there are plenty of opportunities for all ages on board. There are facilities for children, although we did feel that the ship is definitely set up for largely adult passengers. There are always niggles when you are on holiday and probably our main ones were that the drink prices were high (due mainly to the added service charges) and a charge of $25 for a photo seemed ridiculous when so many were wasted every day of the cruise. Entry to the Spa could only be purchased for a 2 week period – surely day passes could be organised for more people to take advantage of this lovely facility? However, we were sad to leave this lovely lady – and very envious of many of our fellow passengers who were continuing on through the Panama Canal. We are now officially cruising converts and, having spoken to many other passengers, it seems that we definitely started at the top and a Cunard ship will be a very hard act to follow!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
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
Anyone hesitating whether to sail on the Queen Victoria - don't! After reading other reviews I did, but I am glad I decided to go on this wonderful ship. The food in the Britannia Restaurant and the service was first class and a ... Read More
Anyone hesitating whether to sail on the Queen Victoria - don't! After reading other reviews I did, but I am glad I decided to go on this wonderful ship. The food in the Britannia Restaurant and the service was first class and a request to change my table was met favourably. I only used the Lido Self Service Restaurant once for a snack lunch and wondered why anyone would want to queue up and search for a vacant table when they could use the Britannia Restaurant and be waited on. My balcony stateroom was very well equipped and spacious - the bathroom was small but adequate.The Cunard Insight lectures and the entertainment were first class. If I had any negative comment at all I would say I would have liked an indoor swimming pool and I thought the drink prices were a little over the top as they added 15% to the bar price list every time. One tip - pre book the Royal Spa Bath early. I tried to get a day pass several times but the were booked up. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
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
I managed to secure a VERY good deal on this Transatlantic Trip; the initial plan was to go to New York City, and on investigating travel options, I was able to include a seven night full board stay on the Cunard Queen Victoria ship, as ... Read More
I managed to secure a VERY good deal on this Transatlantic Trip; the initial plan was to go to New York City, and on investigating travel options, I was able to include a seven night full board stay on the Cunard Queen Victoria ship, as well as three nights at The New Yorker Hotel on arrival in NYC. On board, we had a balcony suite cabin, and champagne on arrival. I packed my formalwear dresses, as it is a requirement to dress for dinner, and there are several formal evenings during the crossing (strictly black tie for gentlemen). This journey was a fantastic opportunity, allowing me to travel in the footsteps of my great-grandfather, who made the journey to New York on The Cedric in 1910, where he settled. Travelling to New York from Southampton by ship affords you the ability to arrive at the destination 'fresh' and 'ready to go', a luxury that is amiss when taking this journey by aeroplane. The Queen Victoria ship is a marvellous machine; brute force and beauty in one massive metal package. I was in awe at the size of the ship as we drove into Southampton, and on embarkation (a much more civilised affair than the airport process) I was equally impressed by the interior; a luxurious and opulent environment, which I would happily call home for the next week or so. Dining was a pleasure, the entertainment of high quality and the cabin was spacious and clean. This holiday is forever etched on my mind as one of life's great experiences; not a cruise, but a journey. On the second day we enjoyed sunshine as we headed south towards the Canary Islands, days later, we were rounding a hurricane, and I witnessed enormous waves (I mean HUGE) crashing down, from the safety of my comfortable cabin; all passengers were confined to quarters, but we enjoyed room service with nature's amazing show. As we headed into the mid-Atlantic, I saw one side of the sky in total darkness, while the other had the tinge of sun-rise; amazing. They adjust the ship's clock by one hour, every day of the journey to allow for the time difference. I could write pages more about this incredible experience, but instead, I will simply recommend that you take a Transatlantic Trip; and if you do, you take it on a Cunard ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
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 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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