There's a lot to like about QV, but the food in the Britannia dining room, an important part of cruising, is not one of them. Tough steaks, dry roast pork, tasteless sea bass, endless steamed vegetables, in fact the only way to ... Read More
There's a lot to like about QV, but the food in the Britannia dining room, an important part of cruising, is not one of them. Tough steaks, dry roast pork, tasteless sea bass, endless steamed vegetables, in fact the only way to describe the meals is ordinary. Except perhaps for the deserts there was very little else that was delicious. Also strange combinations of ingredients e.g. a slice of cold tomato with roast veg. And how excited I was to see Rockefeller oysters on the menu one night. Expecting to see 3 oysters served in their shells on a large plate, well what I got was a large plate with 3 tiny oysters all crammed together on a small round slice of toast with a thick dressing on top. Awful !
OK you get a symphony of waiters, but the food in Britannia was so ordinary ( I understand the Exec. Chef was from Malaysia. Probably very good at Asian food, but not much of an idea about Western ) that we thought it was not worth getting dressed up for ( and yes, we'd bought new outfits before we left) that we often found ourselves eating in the Lido buffet where the food while not gourmet was always very tasty. Harsh comments I know, but really Cunard you can do better.
On a very positive note the beautiful and elegant ship was well presented even if the air con was constantly on cold no make that freezing.The Chart room, the Commodores Club, the Winter Garden were always a joy to be in especially when the Imprezza Strings, an all female string quartette were playing. The afternoon tea was always a treat and so very civilised. Well done Cunard ! The service by the extremely friendly and accommodating waiters was outstanding . I understand there were 190 on board all Professional polite with nothing being too much trouble. My wife's Gluten Free intolerance was always well looked after. Joel serviced our stateroom twice a day and kept it spotless. Absolutely no complaints in that area.
Departing from Civitavecchia we chose the 14 day Med. cruise with the Queen Victoria for the great itinerary. Some places we had visited before, but also several we had not.
Malta.Having previously visited the Co-Cathederal we chose the ship's tour of Mdina and the hidden gem Palazzo. An excellent tour with a very competent guide.
Kotor. Our second visit so we just wandered the interesting old town.
Zadar. A free shuttle to the old town which was new to us.Not really much to see, but the Octopus salad I had for lunch was fabulous.
Venice.Paid $35 pp of OBC for 2 day unlimited travel on a motor launch from the port to near San Marco, well 4 bridges away. A bargain even if the departure from the ship to the launch was a 10 min. walk in sweltering heat.
There were 8 cruise ships in Marritima, the port of Venice, during our overnight stay. Ridiculous. Venice is so overcrowded with tourists in the San Marco area that it is spoilt for everyone and the authorities are doing nothing about it. Having visited Venice many times we stayed well clear of San Marco and after lunch at the excellent Pensione Wildner ( €25 for 3 courses, very good value for Venice) we visited the Venice Biennale and being from Melbourne, the Australian Pavilion and Tracey Moffat's fantastic photography. On the second day we crossed the Accademia bridge to our favourite sestiere and one we have previously stayed in, Dorsoduro where you will find the Accademia museum, the Peggy Guggenheim museum, Ca Rezzonica, great little shops, terrific trattorias in Campo San Barnaba and away from the bridge area, virtually no tourists ! Oh, and 2 ATMs for money even if the exchange rate was terrible.
Dubrovnik. Our third visit so boarded the ship's free shuttle for the walled old town to visit on our own. Again Octopus salad for lunch, not quite as good as Zadar, but still delicious .
Corfu. Having read many of their books and enjoyed the TV series we chose the ship's tour of "In the footsteps of the Durrells" An excellent tour with a wonderful guide. The tour ended with lunch at the White House, the family home of the Durrells.
Katakolon. At the large orange building on the corner of town you can buy a return ticket to Olympia for €10 pp, yes €10 ! So we did that. The air conditioned bus departs at 9:30am returns a t 1:00pm. The Olympia Museum is excellent and well worth the €12 admission fee.
Heraklion . A €5 taxi ride from the port is the Venetian Fort and Harbour. Many shops, many Taverna and not that many tourists.
Having previously sailed with Celebrity I certainly did miss the fun of the ship,
the delicious French onion soup and the specialty restaurants, however I did not miss the aggressive on selling, something mercifully non existent on Cunard. We only attended two shows and they seemed more suitable for an English music hall rather than a Royal Court theatre. The three guest speakers that we attended were very good with the former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia being outstanding.
Overall despite the disappointment of Britannia, we had a most enjoyable cruise to some wonderful places. The weather while hot, was otherwise perfect and the Med. for all 14 days was like a lagoon. Read Less