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2 Cunard Queen Victoria Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - British Isles & Western

This was our 6th cruise on the QV and the 2nd New Year trip to Amsterdam. We travelled down to Southampton on the 28th Dec and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express just off the motorway and Ideally suited to get to the West Quay shopping ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the QV and the 2nd New Year trip to Amsterdam. We travelled down to Southampton on the 28th Dec and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express just off the motorway and Ideally suited to get to the West Quay shopping centre for a bit of retail therapy before embarking the ship. We were pleased to see the ship berthed at Ocean Terminal. We arrived at noon and were processed fairly rapidly but had to wait again to go through security as the ship wasn’t ready to take on passengers. The wait wasn’t too long though - our cabin, Deck 1 outside midships was ready and waiting for us. We dumped our stuff and went to the lido for lunch before it got busy - the ship was full and the Lido the only place to eat if you are not in Grills. The ship was still decked out in its Christmas Finery and looked fantastic. This was our first time back on the QV since her refit. The new wall mounted flat screen TVs are a great improvement. And at last Cunard have put in tea and coffee making facilities in the cabins. Hemispheres is now the Yatch Club and Britannia Club dining is now available for those who want to pay the extra. She does look a little drab in parts though - but not in the main passenger areas. Before we left S’ton, and just after muster stations, Commodore Rynd announced that due to the high winds and sea state we would not be going to Bruge but heading straight to Amsterdam to up our chances of getting into Ijmuiden and the North Sea Canal. This turned out to be a good call. There was a force 8 blowing for most of the journey over to Amsterdam. The QV proved to be very steady given the weather conditions. This gave us an extra sea day to relax. Very welcome after a busy Christmas. We were disappointed not to visit Bruge but I have visited Bruge on a number of occasions inc a long weekend (which I would recommend to give it justice). We took the opportunity to lunch in the Verandah Restaurant. It costs $20 but we think it’s worth it. It was already fully booked up for Dinner throughout the trip. I attended one of the guest speaker presentations - it was OK. It was interesting to hear a barrister talk and how Programmes such as Judge John Deeds give such a false impression of how the law works. We arrived in Holland about 9pm ships time (the QV stays at GMT throughout the trip). It takes about 3 hrs to get through the lock and North Sea Canal into Amsterdam - but lovely calm waters. On New Years Eve We breakfasted in the Britannia Restaurant where we took most of our meals. We then set out for the railway station that is a short walk away from where the ship berthed. We decided to visit Delft as it was a miserable day weather wise and we have “done” Amsterdam on numerous occasions before. There are regular trains to Delft, a lovely little city famous for its pottery and the home of one of the Dutch masters Vermeer. It takes about an hour to get to Delft and cost €26 return each. The journey takes you to the Hook of Holland. You really get a sense of how low lying Holland is and how vulnerable to the North Sea. The Vermeer exhibition is worth a visit if you are interested in how Vermeer worked with light and texture. We arrived back on the ship at 5 ish. Grabbed a scone or two from the Lido and relaxed with a drink before getting ready for New Year’s Eve Celebrations. The QV is much more a party ship on the 5 day trips. The average passenger age must drop by a half. I think there were more people from Japan, Germany and the USA than I remembered from the trip we did 2 yrs before. Everyone I saw was glammed up and the ship and it’s occupants looked fantastic. There was lots going on all over the ship. We watched the Dutch New Year fireworks at 11pm ships time. The Dutch had been letting off fireworks throughout the day and it really goes ballistic at midnight with displays taking place everywhere you look. This time there was literally our own display just off the bow of the ship - amazing. Luckily it had stopped raining too so there was many of us out on deck watching the show with lots of oohs and wows. We then celebrated GMT New Year with the Commodore and ships company in the Atrium and a Champagne Waterfall followed by a boogie in the Yacht Club. We left Amsterdam at 9am on New Year’s Day. This was the first time we had traversed the North Sea Canal in day light and was quite interesting. We ate in the Verandah restaurant again and had a fantastic view of the scenery and lock. We were heading for Cherbourg so effectively another sea day and another very relaxing day - busy doing nothing. We went to the show Hollywood Rocks that we enjoyed. The standard of singers and musicians throughout the ship is fantastic. It’s what sets Cunard apart for us though on a completely different level Thomson/Marella’s Entertainment teams are also second to none. The weather in Cherbourg was dismally wet and windy - but this is winter in the North Sea and Channel so our expectations were not high. We wandered the town, bought wine in Carrefour and returned to the ship. We were told by the Commodore that the weather would be very poor - storm force 10 with 9m waves. He would hug the French coast till 10.30 pm then make “a run for it” my words not his, The winds would be hitting us broadside so to expect some sudden movement and keep fingers away from doors! And so it proved. The QV handled the storm very well. We had chosen midships and deck 1 as it’s the most stable part of the ship and apart from the odd bump it was not an uncomfortable night although the noise of the waves hitting the ship was quite loud - the downside of being so low. However we did suddenly list to the left and kept listing for quite a long time before gradually righting. It certainly sent things flying off shelves - a reminder that we are not in a state hotel. We learnt next day we had a 7 degree list. The high winds in Southampton also meant we were unable to dock at the Ocean terminal where our car was - coaches therefore would ferry us back to ocean terminal. Disembarkation was reasonably straight forward though having to wait for coaches delayed our journey home by an hour but at least we were all safe and sound. A very enjoyable trip. In general. The cabin was well looked after by our steward, the food and choices were excellent, we only saw one show and that was very good. It was reasonable value for money. I would recommend the Verandah lunch if you are Britannia Class Cunard’s drink prices are getting very steep and worse for us sterling using Brits - the service charge on drinks is an American habit that is not necessary. A free glass of bubbly at midnight would have been graciously accepted especially as Cunard changed its World Club criteria from 5 + night’s to 6+ night’s just before the 5 day cruises took place - so World Club members didn’t get a cocktail party and us platinum members didn’t get a wine tasting or priority embarkation. We didn’t take any excursions as happy to do it ourselves. Would we do it again - there are other places to celebrate New Year we’ve yet to try. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Having cruised several times before on other lines, namely Princess, we decided to try Cunard this year. Princess also offers a British Isles (some different port calls and 2 days longer) which was about half the price of this one and in ... Read More
Having cruised several times before on other lines, namely Princess, we decided to try Cunard this year. Princess also offers a British Isles (some different port calls and 2 days longer) which was about half the price of this one and in restrospect I'm sorry we didn't stick with Princess. (1) The Ship Itself While the decor of the Queen Victoria is more luxurious than that on Princess ships it is marred somewhat by the fact that there was water leaking from the ceiling in several locations including the card room and the Lido Buffet. Our balcony cabin was similar in size and amenities to what we've had on Princess so certainly nothing there to justify a large price differential. The meals in the dining room were not creative or inventive although they were presented nicely. Items that we have seen in the past on every nights menu i.e. steaks or crab legs or shrimp cocktail were not ever offered. The Lido Buffet was smaller than we're use to erg. selection of salad was rather sad and for for parts of the day the Buffet was closed i.e. during afternoon tea nothing else was available, the ice cream machine's were broken or under service and the ice machines were frequently out of ice. Would recommend the made to order pizza's and sandwiches in the Buffet. Atfernoon Tea in the Queens room - I was expecting the typical tiered plate with finger sandwiches, petit fours and scones with clotted cream. You are served each ndividually by waiters walking around wth plates and the scones come with a miniscule amount of cream (which was not clotted cream) --- overall not a proper "cream" tea in my opinion. (2) The Service Dining Room - On past cruises we have opted for the anytime dining which generally means a different waiter(s) every night. We've always been advised with fixed seating you get better service from waiters in anticipation of tips on the last day. This was probably more disappointing than any aspect --- meals that came that were wrong, glasses of water than never came. Advice was never offered or given on menu items - poor level of service given that this was fixed seating on a supposedly higher end cruise. Cabin Steward - Very acceptable level of service - nothing above and beyond though - and again we've had some excellent stewards aboard Princess ships who gave us tips on everything from less busy dining rooms, to worthwhile tour excursions, to good sunbathing spots. Entertainment - pretty standard fare, a troupe of singers and dancers, a comedian and an opera singer. I think Cunard may be suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. If you're going to market yourself as a high end cruiseline with superior service, dining and entertainment and your going to charge quite a bit more than your sister cruiseline Princess you have to be able to deliver on it!! If you don't passengers are simply going to feel ripped off and that they could have had as equally as good a vacation on another cruise line/ship for a lot less money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
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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