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69 Transatlantic Luxury Cruise Reviews

My husband and I have cruised many, many times on different cruise lines. This was our first Oceania cruise and chose this particular cruise because the Riviera has a good reputation and this 17 Day cruise spent 3 days in Israel - in ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised many, many times on different cruise lines. This was our first Oceania cruise and chose this particular cruise because the Riviera has a good reputation and this 17 Day cruise spent 3 days in Israel - in addition to a number of Greek Islands and a few Italy ports. Oceania claims to have the best food at sea - and I tend to agree with that. Oceania also claims to have great service. Usually, the service is good but it lacks in a number of ways, including Cabin Steward service can be spotty. The Grand Dining Room service was so slow and poor that we never went back after our first experience there. We ate in the Terrace Café for lunch and dinner most of the time and the food there was mostly the same menu as the Grand Dining Room and you can get in and out much more quickly. Jacques Restaurant was good - both food and service. Tuscana (Italian) was my absolute favorite. The food and service were unbelievable and in my opinion could not be improved upon. Red Ginger was a disappointment - not because of the service which was very good, but because of the menu. Of course, Asian food is not my favorite but my husband really wanted to go and even he was disappointed that the items you would expect to be on the menu were missing. Polo Grill (Steakhouse) was definitely the most disappointing. The service was poor and the 20 oz. Porterhouse Steak my husband had was so tough and hard to eat that he could only swallow a small portion of the steak. He had really expected that experience to be exemplary but it was the worst of all. Unfortunately, the Reception Desk will tell you anything just to get you to "go on". Also, the Shore Excursions Department would tell us that we would be anchored in a particular area and then it would turn out to be a different place which would be must more inconvenient and harder to get to the desired areas - and more time consuming. If you do not take the Ship's own Shore Excursions, you are definitely at a disadvantage each day. Oceania says they provide transportation into "town" most of the time if they do not dock near the town. On this cruise, Oceania did not provide such complimentary transportation in areas needed. We had a Concierge Veranda and with the amount of money we invested in this cruise, we can honestly say it was tremendously over priced. We would much more recommend either Holland America or Celebrity (especially Celebrity if you are a "foodie") and take several cruises for the price of this one on Oceania. Yes, the food was good but not worth that many more thousands of dollars than say either Holland America or Celebrity. The bed was extremely comfortable - probably the most comfortable of any hotel, including the very premium hotels. Dr. Wulf, the Enrichment Speaker was very good and informative as well as interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Friends had fortunate experiences and we were looking to see if Cunard could be a standard way of traveling from the US to Europe, South Africa, Australia, and through the Panama Canal. The answer was a definite NO! we now don't even ... Read More
Friends had fortunate experiences and we were looking to see if Cunard could be a standard way of traveling from the US to Europe, South Africa, Australia, and through the Panama Canal. The answer was a definite NO! we now don't even want Cunard literature through the internet or by mail. The basic aspects of the cruise consisting of stateroom, entertainment, dining, library, and their associated service were excellent as expected. Areas of the ship suffered from severe smoker's stench despite smoking being restricted to two specific areas, The vaunted Planetarium showed an aged tape on construction of the space station and the age showed in its clarity. One had a feeling of being nickle and dimed throughout the cruise. The photographing was ubiquitous and expensive. The shopping was primarily for the wealthy although a few cheaper things could be found. My wife suffered food poisoning and we both suffered a major respiratory ailment by the time we left the ship. Embarkation was easy, provided you arrived early although they lost our picture and credit card so we had to have them re-entered, then they lost the credit card again, and again. it is disturbing that they had such problems with a critical piece of information. The debarkation was a horrific debacle suggesting they had never done it before. We were supposed to have priority to meet our shuttle buses to the airport to make our Cunard scheduled flights but wound up stuck in the assembly area for two and a half hours without any information and no Cunard staff so that food, drink, or bathroom breaks were essentially unavailable as we could be called at any moment. The luggage pickup indicated that we were the last people off the ship and there was no information in debarkation documentation or Cunard people that indicated where the shuttle buses were. The Shuttle drivers did not appear to know what airlines were at which gates at the airport, which extended the delay. We missed our flight, which began the real inexcusable aspect of our cruise. We had purchased, by heavy recommendation, Cunard "Care" which was supposed to provide complete protection and handling of our vacation from the moment we arrived at our home airport until we returned. Understand that Cunard scheduled everything and we paid a lot of extra money as both flights were one-way on different airlines. Because of the debarkation debacle we missed our flight and discovered that Cunard had not provided a phone number for Cunard Care in the debarkation documentation. Fortunately we found a Customer "Service" number which eventually routed us to Cunard Care after a multitude of "Please Hold" delays. Once reaching Cunard Care we were initially told that it wasn't their problem, further delays, and a clear indication that these people had no interest or understanding of how to solve our travel problems. One Cunard Care person told us to save our food and drink receipts because they covered that, but that turns out to be a falsehood. We essentially got home with the assistance of American Airlines in spite of Cunard "Care". After getting home, we requested reimbursement from Cunard Care through their insurance company and were rejected for interrupted travel expenses because "Cunard delayed our disembarkation" rather than a common carrier! We then experienced Cunard Customer Service which was an unending series of fatuous platitudes about how wonderful Cunard Care is despite how worse than worthless our experience with it proved it to be. Needless to say, Cunard apparently has no interest in making this right despite the promises made by Cunard in their literature. Our recommendation is to: 1. Find reliable trip insurance and avoid Cunard Care. 2. Do not use Cunard scheduled shuttles as our experience showed they were totally unreliable, neither arriving on time or knowing where they were going. 3. Do not use Cunard scheduled air transportation. 4. Do not trust Cunard to make things right. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Embarkation at Southampton was acceptable - much as other cruise companies. Our cabin, a sheltered balcony was, again, quite acceptable - and albeit winter, I in particular appreciated the balcony. But we were fortunate in having ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton was acceptable - much as other cruise companies. Our cabin, a sheltered balcony was, again, quite acceptable - and albeit winter, I in particular appreciated the balcony. But we were fortunate in having exceptionally calm weather on both crossings. Our cabin stewardess did her job adequately. But really, no more. What we booked was a cruise encompassing the Atlantic crossings and two weeks along the New England and Canadian coasts. It was the only way, we thought,of seeing a part of the United States and Canada without flying. So, 28 days on board the ship on a round trip. And this is where Cunard failed us. Because what that Company did was to create and market four seperate cruises: Southampton - New York; New York - Quebec; Quebec - New York; New York - Southampton. Everything turned on that weekly cycle. The menu repeated every week. And quite a limited menu at that. The entertainment repeated every week - you could have, for some the dubious, pleasure of the same singing and dancing shows four times. If you could have stood it. We had RADA on board and their main production turned on the same weekly routine. For a company of actors, knowing - because I told the principal on the second day - that many of the ship's passengers would be on the ship for 28 days, they did not extend themselves. Easier, of course, to do the same thing. Each week. But it was so obvious that this was four seperate week cruises. Each week we got the same notice that we were assigned the same table. Granted we were ofthe common herd in Britannia class. So I cannot speak for the higher grades. Those could well be worth the extra money because the standard of food was poor to fair. Never good. Falling well below the standards of P & O. What did change each week were the lecturers and some of these were very good and some were rather average. The emphasis, for the two weeks in the USA and Canada, was in favour of the American passengers and that was understandable. The ports of call were, for us who had never crossed the Atlantic by air or sea before, marvellous. The trips booked via Cunard were good, and other via Viator, excellent. The destinations were, save one, truly wonderful. Would we do it again? Yes. Would we travel on the Queen Mary 2 again? No. P & O have similar tours on Aurora and Arcadia, and, were we to do it again, we would use one of them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We have never been on any of the Queens and felt that the time had come to have this unique experience.. a time warp.. a visit to an era long past. We are experienced cruisers, being frequent passengers on the Celebrity, Regent and ... Read More
We have never been on any of the Queens and felt that the time had come to have this unique experience.. a time warp.. a visit to an era long past. We are experienced cruisers, being frequent passengers on the Celebrity, Regent and Seabourn. The Queen Suites are beautifully appointed, large , comfortable , a lovely bathroom with full bath/shower combination, single sink. The public spaces on this ship are generous, gorgeous, plenty of spaces to enjoy for reading, sea gazing, sharing a tea, coffee, drinks.. plenty of bars. Our frustration came with the Queen's Grill dining arrangements where you are expected to be wedded to your table, this is not the experience we've had on the Regent, Seabourn, and the Lumiae which is the suite restaurant on the Celebrity. I think this has to do with the tipping of the waiters but since the tips were included it is hard to justify this policy unless the staff is not sharing in the tips. If you had the bad luck of sitting next to a couple who will not even share a hello with you , well, tough. We asked for a change of tables and jaws dropped and it was made obvious to us that this was not done in the "Queen's Grill"... This is a very exclusive place( but it is not "Le Cirque") but you must play by their rules. The food was much overrated compared with our other cruise experiences. We love the buffet style restaurants that is available on all ships mentioned. The variety that this allows in both menu and social experiences is usually delightful. The passengers didn't disappoint, but the environment is very unpleasant unless you are one of the fortunate few who manage to occupy the much valued alcove window tables which are few in number, compared to the masses who frequent this restaurant the "Kings Court".. The King's Court experience is as if one is dining on the platform of the Leicester Square Piccadilly tube station..The tables are situated along a narrow corridor with masses of diners colliding with each other and wait staff who are emptying plates into large plastic bins, a cacophony of sounds and sights. The Cunard insists on charging a $20 corkage fee on bottles of wine, if consumed outside your suite, purchased thru Cunard, as sail away gifts, a $10 bottle of wine, with a $20 fee. There is a very special concierge available to passengers fortunate enough to be traveling in the Queen's Suites, it is still a mystery to us as to what was her role since we asked for 2 very simple requests and she was unable to cope with neither one of them Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
After a crazy 9 days in the USA, which we arrived at on the Carnival Vista, (my Review is “Loving The Vista Loca”) we were looking forward to joining Queen Mary 2 for a slightly more subdued crossing back to the UK. Firstly, who ... Read More
After a crazy 9 days in the USA, which we arrived at on the Carnival Vista, (my Review is “Loving The Vista Loca”) we were looking forward to joining Queen Mary 2 for a slightly more subdued crossing back to the UK. Firstly, who ever had the stupid idea to put the port all the way out in Red Hook, Brooklyn!! The roads around the port were full of taxis and cars and that meter kept creeping up, and with hardly any bus or subway access, it was a bit of an expensive trip. The Ship. QM2 halfway through her full Re:Mastering looks great. Kings Court is a 1000% better than the dingy original and the new Carpathia lounge is a very nice space, (but turned into a reading room on this voyage)..more about that later. We got a lovely upgrade from an outside to a restricted view balcony, which was great. As usual the room was clean and tidy with the most amazing pillows on the already comfy bed! Of course the ship sailed beautifully as usual, and the “parties” for all of us Platinum and Diamond card holders were very pleasant, with a good selection of drinks and canapés..(if you are quick!). Drinks! So far,so good. After a chilly but fantastic goodbye to NYC, we got ready for our first night. I don’t normally find the drinks expensive…(especially when the dollar was $1.60 to the pound), but the mark up on wines is extortionate. Most drink prices are around those of a London bar, (£5 ish for a pint £6.50 for a large G&T) but the wine is the price of an expensive restaurant, a whopping £13 for a medium sized glass of (bog standard) Zinfandel or Pinot Grigio!! I don’t mind paying in a posh restaurant, but I do not like being fleeced in a bar on a ship. At nearly £8 for a glass of Proscecco I thought the Champagne worked out better value. After having Drink Packages on all our recent cruises (including the Elizabeth last December), we found we had many fewer drinks and paid out more on this holiday. DINING. We were seated on a table for 2 right at the back of the Britannia on the top floor, in a corner, (horrible dark area), next to a French speaking couple, who spoke no English, and it was so hot, we asked if we could move and were told the air flow/conditioner in that area was faulty, and we quickly given a new table nearer to the entrance for the rest of the voyage. The food was good, but nowhere near as good as it used to be. Steaks were tiny, one was full of fat and gristle, the portions have also been cut down, my Sea Bass looked like an oversized spratt! Only one salad available too, no choice. Soups were ok, but nothing amazing. The roast chicken dinner was shocking, Half a breast on the bone and an undercooked (red near the bone) thigh!! And it was steam cooked, so flabby skin and soggy “roast” potatoes…it was like a bad wedding reception meal, and nowhere near Cunard’s past quality. Best meal of the cruise was the gala night, with Beef Wellington and/or Lobster. We usually had a late breakfast and light lunch so we were hungry and on most occasions had the whole five courses plus the fish served as a “fish course” (they don’t offer it, but if you ask!) Desserts have been reduced to what was really a lot of slightly posh “Angel Delight” type mousses, very little real cream, and made with a lot of gelatine, there were hardly any Brulees or anything wonderful. Even the Chocolate soufflé which was quite nice was overly sweet. A Pear tart with custard was like hospital food, bland with a soggu bottom (Mary Berry would not have approved)/ The “Cheeseboard” was the worst we have ever had on a ship..Tiny bit of Cheddar, (Postage stamp size), Danish blue mashed up to a Blue/purple paste and either a tiny squirt of cream cheese or a small slice of Port Salut…No Brie/Camembert/Stilton or Gorgonzola. The staff however were fantastic, as usual and could not apologise enough about the quality of the Steak. In fact our Head waiter took it to the kitchen to berate them for sending such a terrible piece of meat out. I would also say that the food in Kings Court was very good, always hot and great selection. We did not try “The Varandah” as the menu was far too fussy for us, but the room looks lovely, much nicer than the Todd English. Entertainment (or the lack of…) If you go on holiday to read and sleep in a bar, this voyage was for you. I can only say this from my point of view, as a young 54 year old who loves modern music and a lot of fun…I WAS BORED TO DEATH on some occasions. Cunard are definitely going all out for their target audience, the 65+ . Daytime FUN included “Adult Colouring In”…Plays about Shakespeare, “Lectures about the US presidential campaign” (as if we hadn’t had enough) and um.. other non thrilling activities. The Planetarium had one new show, which was ok. And one Lecture about Space Travel was very good. Fencing (which I would of liked to do) was at ridiculous time of 9am..I don’t go on holiday to get up early. The films they screened were not major new blockbusters, but “safe” films like “Dollys Parton’s Coat of Many Colours” (I don’t think that was a smash hit at the Vue!) and everything was aimed at the older generation, which I understand as the ship was full of “older guests” but surely they need to start to appeal to us younger 50’s (When my Mum and Dad were 50 they were old, but now we 50’s have a new fresh outlook and are not all pipe and slippers 50 is the new 40 etc!)… The band Vibz, the band (who I am sure have been on the ship forever) are still playing the same 20 songs, and a steel drum in a small enclosed swimming pool area has to be heard to be believed..IT WAS LOUD!! They are fair musicians but even they looked bored rigid. Don’t even start me on the “Rhythm Of The Night” show, which was unbelievably bad and looked and sounded like a BBC Saturday night show from the early 70’s. It was truly awful. I was laughing all the way through at the awful dance routines, so I enjoyed it, but for the wrong reasons. And somehow they managed to sanitise the songs like “She Bangs” and “Livin La Vida Loca” to such an extent that they lost any of the latin vibrance…do you remember those cheap 10shillings (50p) LPs from Woolworths with the “not by Original artists”…They were better than the songs in this show. Here is my main complaint though, and I know it really annoyed some of the other people on the ship. At lunch times “The Golden Lion” has become another restaurant ..OK the food is good, and very “English Pub Grub”, that finishes at 2.30, but then at 3pm it’s a Bingo Hall, then at 4pm it’s a Quiz show…If you want to watch any sport, tough, the TV is switched to bingo or quiz…even if the game/race wehatever is halfway through or near the end. This also means there is nowhere to just go and have a nice afternoon pint and a chat anymore. We ended up in the Casino bar..Which has limited bar seating. While the new Carinthia lounge has become a reading and snoozing room during the day (as is the Chart Bar/ The Commodore/etc) and is not really used for anything, Sir Samuels is still as empty as ever, and maybe should be made into a sports bar or Bingo/Quiz bar, you know something a bit more 2016 !!! OR…Put the Bingo back in the Queens Room or the Theatre where it belongs. The band in the Queens Room were very good, and this is where Cunard excel, if you like Ballroom/Sequence dancing you will not get any better ballrooms than this one. And it was packed every time. The G32 nightclub is still playing the same old Abba/ Village People type music..nothing wrong with a 70s hour, 80’s hour etc but it was every night..Then although it had about 40-50 people still in it..They closed!! Never seen that before, except on last nights. GOING BACKWARDS. The new TV’s don’t even have on demand movies or Account info anymore, its like they are regressing (QM2 was one of the first ships to have in room computer access and all the on demand films) so if I wanted to see a film you had to be in my cabin at the time they played it, rather than choosing when to have a cabin hour with a film. Maybe I have got used to the excellent facilities offered on other ships now, but I did not feel that the QM2 offered me anything special. It’s all so old fashioned. But this is an objective review, and if you want “Traditional” cruising like it used to be, you will love the QM2. If you are after a fun experience and want to be entertained , look elsewhere. I do understand, the Americans want a bit of “Downton Abbey”, and the QM2 is filling that slot. Also the “Strictly Fans” who love and fill up the fabulous Queens Room. The ship was full, but everywhere you looked there were people asleep. We have had many great times on board the QE2, QM2, Elizabeth and Victoria…but I don’t think we will be back for a while, I’m 54 not 84, Musically, I like Motown, The Beatles, Queen, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd, Madonna but also modern new records by Sia, David Guetta, Timberlake, Beyonce etc..these do not exist on Cunard its all "classic pop". The funny thing is about people who say P&O and RCI “its like Butlins at Sea”..well this was like “Sunny Pines Rest Home at Sea”, give me the fun of Butlin’s any day.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Review QM2 Nov 2016 I was so excited at the thought of sailing on the QM2, the ‘crème de la crème’ of ships, however I was disappointed. I am fairly new to cruising having only cruised twice on Celebrity in 2016 but I did expect ... Read More
Review QM2 Nov 2016 I was so excited at the thought of sailing on the QM2, the ‘crème de la crème’ of ships, however I was disappointed. I am fairly new to cruising having only cruised twice on Celebrity in 2016 but I did expect that this would transpose the enjoyment and sheer luxury I had experienced on my previous cruises. Our cabin, 5067 was a sheltered balcony almost mid ship. The cabin was fine and the cabin steward Roma excellent, however the bathroom was much smaller than I expected and the cabin although not much smaller than celebrity felt cramped. Being a November crossing it was far too windy/cold to utilise the balcony but it was worth the minimal additional cost because we would prop the balcony door open once light, while still in bed, and relish the bombardment of fresh air. Embarkation in Southampton was regimented and took just over an hour but as we ignored our stated boarding time of 3.45 we didn’t mind the wait. Disembarking in New York was a dream. Having been warned about the potential turmoil of immigration, we took our own suitcases off the ship and departed at 8.00 am eager to embrace the sights of New York ASAP. We were in a taxi heading for our hotel before 8.30. Some reviews have commented on how confusing the ship layout is – we found that by focusing on the desired stairways A to D rather than the deck number, we could always find our bearings. As I was travelling with my daughter we were classed as ‘singles, and were billeted on a table for 10, all of whom were solo passengers. An interesting mixed bunch. Food in the MDR was, as many state, somewhat bland but my daughter is both vegan and gluten free and her choice of specially prepared items was amazing. All credit to Jesus the speciality chef. The one jewel we found was the Corinthian lounge next to the Kings Court buffet. It offered a limited choice of light dishes but it was very convenient to make selection in KC and take into the Corinthian, which was spacious, comfortable and nowhere near as crowded as KC. Every evening we had the next day’s bulletin of activities delivered to our cabin which although extensive was somewhat too highbrow and not to our taste. However we took full advantage of the complimentary stretch sessions and the $ 13.5 yoga sessions. We found the 5 nights of hour change very disruptive to our sleep pattern and would much rather have had one - 5 hour amendment at beginning of crossing. We woke every morning at about 2.30 am and this lack of sleep disrupted the whole crossing. I think it was a mistake doing a transatlantic crossing in winter and overall I found QM2 to be somewhat pretentious, no more luxurious than Celebrity and decidedly twee. It wasn’t for me Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was a first for us- I would consider us well travelled but always by air. The glamorous image of this crossing was appealing. It was for a special occasion so we booked a Queens Grill suite, expecting a luxurious experience. The ... Read More
This was a first for us- I would consider us well travelled but always by air. The glamorous image of this crossing was appealing. It was for a special occasion so we booked a Queens Grill suite, expecting a luxurious experience. The suite was more 4* than 5* hotel standard (grubby vents on the bath, vent in the dressing area open and broken, chipped table, even small issues like ripped pages in the information folder...) In 11153 - kennels above - do you like dogs barking at 6a.m? Queens Grill restaurant:on boarding we went for lunch:placed at a table where I could see the serving door constantly opening/closing,staff notice board and stacked trays. On leaving I asked the manager if this was our appointed table throughout; when he said yes I said I wasn't happy and asked for table to be changed. There was no apology (I understand someone has to sit there) but,,,the table was changed. Didn't eat breakfast once in the QG, no lunch there again and of 7 nights ate dinner 5 times (one of which I couldn't stomach and so left). Other times we ate in the Kings Court (a noisy, no frills buffet, but there were so many diners the food was always hot, fresher and tasted much nicer than QG). The famed "afternoon tea"? QG lounge: stale sandwiches, clearly if you get there late you get what's left...Mai Entertainment? Great - if you like ballroom dancing; home-made talent contests; "colouring in for adults"; "embroidery (bring your own project)";lectures;stage presentations on "death in Shakespeare": NOT JOKING! The two production shows were o.k, but as the theatre is small we had to stand to watch the 2nd. The nightclub was an 80's throwback, but, as the ents. director said, most passengers were in bed by 1 a.m..In fact, I walked from the club to the suite at 12.30 a.m:quite a walk - saw NO-ONE (including crew):just a thought: what if I'd been ill or other problem? Other areas seemed as though they were preparing me for a senior citizen's home:lots of standard chairs with no atmosphere whatsover. Now, onto my HUGE issue. I am a smoker. The only smoking area was on deck 7 fwd with no cover or heating in the middle of the Atlantic in November.I raised these issues with Cunard whilst on board. I was told it was "international maritime law" - I was lied to! The crew have a bar on board with a smoking area but adult £££ paying passengers are not deemed valued or responsible enough to be afforded the same consideration - you cannot even smoke on the balcony of your suite/cabin...The bizarre thing is: if you pay ? and smoke a cigar you can do so in the Churchill lounge, but you pay ??? you can't smoke a cigarette! One passenger (at least) on this crossing elected to pay to fly back from New York due to this issue. I received the following (from Cunard) onboard account refunded (whilst paying 15% on any drinks?)+£150 cheque+2 bottles of wine plus tiny box of chocolates. From other reviews online I think I must be grateful, but I'm not. I would also add that the tips situation is disgraceful. Can someone explain it please? I pay a price for a product. That price has been established by the Company providing the product. Don't expect me to subsidise giant companies - you should pay your staff members accordingly. In short:NEVER AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I chose this ship and this cruise for the following reasons; a) My partner and I are pass cruisers with this line. b) we had completed six weeks in Europe and this was the perfect way to return to US. c) ship newly ... Read More
I chose this ship and this cruise for the following reasons; a) My partner and I are pass cruisers with this line. b) we had completed six weeks in Europe and this was the perfect way to return to US. c) ship newly refurbished. Embarkation for us was early and wonderful. Cabin was ready before expected. Cabin, Category A1 was nothing special. It was clean and well finished off. Our outside veranda was roomy, however the floor drain was clogged for the entire trip. This rendered the deck not so usable. The food was beautiful and not anything to complain about in both the specialty restaurants and main dining room. The Terrace Cafe however was disappointing and congested. Tables were too close, isles were too small, servers were not helpful and spook and understood limited English. We had the unfortunate event to go to Hospital which was the most expensive thing I did while on the ship. Two batches of pills, for 10 days, were over $550.00USD which was not disclosed prior. My efforts to speak with ship officers about the high price went no where. Having had just completed a 30 day cruise on Sirena's sister-ship, Nautica, We also sailed on a 30 day cruise on Marina and thought that Sirena's refurbishment was short changed and not worthy of a repeat visit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of the route and stops on this cruise The cruise was from Bergen Norway stopping at the Shetland Islands, the Farro Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Viking archeological site in Newfoundland, and then down the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the route and stops on this cruise The cruise was from Bergen Norway stopping at the Shetland Islands, the Farro Islands, Iceland, Greenland, the Viking archeological site in Newfoundland, and then down the St.Lawrence River to Montreal. This was the first transatlantic crossing for the Viking Star which was first put into service in 2015 and had been in service in Europe. We have done Viking river cruises and since we liked the stops on the route we thought we would try a Viking ocean cruise. The ship is new and quite nice. It is very well maintained and the crew is friendly and helpful. The food was excellent with a very nice variety. Overall I would rate the cruise as average. First of all the cruise is not all inclusive which in today's market is really out of place. You will be charged $14 per person per day as gratuities for the staff. On our 15 day cruise that added an additional $420 to the cost of the cruise. Viking apparently doesn't want to tell you the true cost of the trip by including these costs in the ticket. Beer, wine and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner and you are charged for them at all other times. You can purchase an all inclusive drink package but the cost is quite costly There is a mini fridge in your room and you have four soft drinks in it. You can drink them without charge but if you want more you are charged $2 for each soft drink. I personally find it to be insulting that soft drinks are not included in the price of the cruise. Service in the restaurants was spotty at best. At times service was acceptable but never really good and other times it was just plane bad. I never saw any service around the pool or lounge areas. There is one main bar on the first deck with a few tables around it and here there was service. In the surrounding lounge area if there was service I never saw any. We always had to go to the bar and get our own drinks. One aspect of the restaurant service that I found especially discusting was when you finished one course of your meal the waiters would remove your dishes but would place your used silverware on the table for you to use on the next course. I would expect this type of service in a truck stop but not here. Overall I would rate the cruise experience as average. You will have a good time and you will enjoy the cruise but Viking is not one of the top tier of cruise lines. Don't expect a Viking ocean cruise to be the same as a Crystal or Seaborne cruise. These cruise lines have better amenities and service. However as I said you will still have a good experience on Viking Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise due to an exceptional offer conveyed via our Travel Agent. Queens Grill Level, with almost-all additional charges that would be normally incurred "included" at no charge. These were Suite attendant, Dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to an exceptional offer conveyed via our Travel Agent. Queens Grill Level, with almost-all additional charges that would be normally incurred "included" at no charge. These were Suite attendant, Dining Room servers, and any beverage (alcohol or special coffee) under $12.00. No charge. Plus, at the Queens level--Butler service; large stateroom; availability of Concierge Lounge; and separate Grills Lounge. What is not to like? So, yes. My wife and I have been cruising for 21 years, almost-always on smaller, "all inclusive" lines--Silversea, Seabourn, Regent, and Crystal. Our only previous Cunard experience was aboard the Queen Victoria in 2011 on an extended Atlantic crossing from Miami to the 'Med; then to Southampton. This was at the Britannia level. No concerns, given the size of that ship. But still, quite a change from a "cruise ship" concept with no more than 900 passengers (usually 450 to 700) to a real "ocean liner" accommodating 2600+ passengers. QM2 was the largest ship we have ever sailed on. Itinerary on Segments M614 and 615 began at New York (Brooklyn Terminal) on August 9th. We were in Suite 9007. On to Southampton; then Hamburg, Germany; stay for 12 more days cruising to various Norwegian ports; returning to Hamburg for disembarkation on August 30th for return home. First: the QM2 is the best "appointed" ship we have sailed on. Certainly, this ambience was enhanced due to a very-recent refit. Next: absolutely no issues with any onboard personnel. Everyone from suite attendants to dining room servers was professional and friendly. Suite 9007 was generous in size and appointments. Prompt response to any request(s) which were very-few. Our Concierge handled any questions promptly, and even repaired my broken eyeglass frame. However--Reality The reality is that it is difficult to maintain a consistently high level as to cuisine. Queens Grill lunch and dinner offerings were standard--nothing special. Also, we had to comment on more than one occasion that main courses were not sufficiently heated. Steaks were consistently sub-par. So, we stopped ordering steaks. Dining room managers acknowledged our concerns, but that situation was not addressed until more than half-way through the cruise. This was a disappointment, as Cunard keeps touting the quality of food service. Quality is average. Only utilized Kings Court on one occasion for a late lunch following a shore excursion. Totally chaotic. This dining venue may have been reconfigured, but it remained noisy and confusing. Room service for one breakfast was prompt and food quality good. Enrichment Activities, specifically guest lecturers were top-class. Classical pianists on both segments were gems. Same as to the Fitness Center. Everything worked! Major concern--which we expressed in a detailed letter to Cunard Guest Services following return to Redmond, WA--was the manner in which disembarkation at Hamburg Port to the Airport; and then use of Icelandair for flight(s) back to Seattle were handled, or mishandled. Really sub-par. Which will inform our decision as to whether to sail w/Cunard; and certainly confirm we will not fly again on Icelandair. This aspect is important, as Cunard put us on Icelandair. No Cunard representative stayed on the bus from Terminal to Airport; and no Cunard representative was at the Airport to guide guests to the proper check-in counters. The bus driver, who never spoke a word to us in either German or English, just stopped the bus at a parking level on the opposite side of a congested departure lane. Oh, BTW: our bus driver managed to close the luggage door, twice, at the Terminal. Result: shearing off a leg from one of my wife's suitcases. Thus, based on my 26+years' prior experience as an Army Officer--this would be classified as a combat loss. To cut to the chase: we were at the "Saga" level onboard Icelandair from Hamburg via Reykjavik, then on to Seattle. What a disappointment. Long waiting lines at Hamburg Airport; chaotic situation at Reykjavik and no use of Saga Lounge due to "construction"; diffident attitude of Icelandair gate personnel and flight attendants. What a waste of money. Food offerings were not even at the "Coach" level. Never again on this airline. To be fair: did receive a telephone call from a Cunard Customer Representative in response to our letter of concern(s). He acknowledged the situation at Hamburg Terminal-Airport should not have happened. But--it did. As to the destroyed suitcase--no comment. Probably not a repeat on Cunard in 2018 or beyond. We are already-booked on two extended Regent sailings in 2017. Look forward to being back aboard smaller, all-inclusive ships affording a consistent level of service. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Special birthday trip. Expected it to be a trip of a lifetime so disappointed with overall experience. First time cruise so selected Cunard believing it to be the best cruise line Discovered it is trading on past reputation. Carnival ... Read More
Special birthday trip. Expected it to be a trip of a lifetime so disappointed with overall experience. First time cruise so selected Cunard believing it to be the best cruise line Discovered it is trading on past reputation. Carnival taking over Cunard is like the Co-op taking over Harrods !! The ship is magnificent. Beautiful to the eye and simply magical feeling to be aboard. However we discovered the remastering / refurbishment of the ship that had recently taken place had not been co pelted whilst the ship was in dry dock and many aspects of the work still going on whilst we were on board. We were disturbed by noise of workmen using grinding equipment on deck immediately above our room, we had dirty black water coming through our shower toilet and hand basin over two days. Despite Cunard making much publicity of the refurbishment we discovered the many areas of the ship had not been included and the spa facilities in particular remain out dated and were not maintained to a high standard whilst we were aboard. We found this unfair to the spa staff who provided a really good service and treatments despite poor working conditions and facilities. Excellent hygiene standards maintained at all times in both public areas of ship and in our accommodation Embarkation was nightmare. We flew into New York and no staff were at airport to meet us. They arrived late and were argumentative and rude blaming passengers for not being able to find them!! . Strange how clients travelling separately were able to find each other in a busy airport but not Cunard staff !!! Despite their late arrival there was still no transport available for us and this caused further delay . EMbarkation was a nightmare. By the time we arrived port side there were horrendous queues. Whilst standing In a moving queue for an inordinate length of time in uncomfortably hot temperature and ill equipped to do so we were expected to complete custom documents for Canada our next port of call! , Clientele on this cruise predominantly elderly and many observed to be infirm. Despite this there was a marked lack of customer care from Cunard staff at this stage of journey. No complaints with stateroom or the member of staff looking after it for us. He was a lovely hardworking pleasant man and well deserving of the financial tip we personally handed to him as we ldisembarked and the praise we provided through Cunard questionnaire. However we found waiter in Britannia retardant provided consistently poor service. They were inattentive, and slow , our meals were often lukewarm and when iour concern was raised we were advised by a waiter to ASK for hot meal to be served on a hot plate!!! I think that advise sums up the attitude of the staff in Britannia Restaurant. needless to say we then ate most of the time by choice in other parts of the ship where service was much better, and the food served hot . Loved the idea of a cashless ship but disgusted anddDisappointed to discover all the extra hidden service charges we had to pay once on board. This is really not acceptable . Expected Cunard staff to have disembarkation of passengers off to a fine art but they haven't! Came to conclusion they would not be able to cope with evacuation of ship in emergency. It was made even more difficult by staff who themselves did not know their way around this huge ship. What should be an easy exercise was componded by staff who insisted on taking a convoluted route walking us an inordinate distance around the ship presumably to avoid crowds congregating at gang ways . Bad experience if your disabled or your mobility is limited . Good choice of port excursions but we don't like being herded like cattle so opted for hop on hop off tours to get good overview of location before going off on our own To p,aces we wanted to see. Though their is a strict dress code on Cunard ships we found this was not enforced . Wehad gone to great lengths and expense to ensure we had the correct attire with us and so were mildly annoyed to discover some passengers dressed casually on formal nights and got away with it. We found the Eastern European staff on the ship to be particularly surly and one young man was extremely rude to us on one occasion when we called back to the photographic shop to collect a previous purchase, having the audacity to question our honesty. Maintaining Standards we concluded must be a problem on this ship as on more than one occasion we witnessed staff being verbally admonished in public areas in front of customers by their managers . Half way through our trip I made a formal complaint of our experiences and concerns to the Pursers Office to discover they don't have complaint forms, only complimentary forms. This was another practise we found highly distasteful - staff actively seeking praise and handing out forms to customers asking them to complete them commending them to management for excellent service!, This I'm sure would never have happened under the old Cunard. We were told we would be sent a feedback form to complete after we arrived home. Still waiting. So I sent my observations of our trip to them. I didn't ask for refund or anything in return, just wanted then to know of our experience and disappointment . I was assured of a reply within 28 days...... Still waiting.... But then the new Cunard do not like complaints ...only compliments. My advice is to talk to as many people you can who have extensive experience of cruising before you choose and book We discovered much from talking to longstanding Cunard passengers on board who have themselves observed the fall in standards. They had lots of advice on which rooms to book on the 3 Queens, or rooms to avoid, the best time to book and how to get the best deals . It seems our first mistake was to book direct with Cunard We should have gone through a cruise agent Iinterestingly many of the passengers revealed their preference now for Silversea and Seabourn im sure we will cruise again. I would like to experience all 3 Queens but at the moment I'm in no hurry to return to Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Crystal gets such wonderful reviews that I definitely wanted to experience the line and its self proclaimed 6*+ cruising. The itinerary was perfect for us as we prefer long times at sea. Dining: The food on the Symphony was ... Read More
Crystal gets such wonderful reviews that I definitely wanted to experience the line and its self proclaimed 6*+ cruising. The itinerary was perfect for us as we prefer long times at sea. Dining: The food on the Symphony was disappointing. It does not come near the food served other luxury cruise lines. We had a number of dishes that were inedible, e.g. under-cooked pancakes, tough and dry duck and tasteless shrimp. Now there were some excellent dishes, but the quality was inconsistent. The chef was miserly with vegetables. Fish was served without fish knives. The menus were full of typos, spelling mistakes and grammar errors. Sorry I am being picky, but this is supposed to be a superb high quality line. Prego was excellent, but Silk Road was reasonable sushi bar at best. Silk Road's much touted black cod was overly sauced with teriyaki so that it was impossible to taste the cod. Eating in the casual venues such as the Bistro and the Trident Grill was always a pleasure. The sandwiches at tea were dry. (We went twice.) We chose Dining by Reservation. This was a mistake. I don't think the ship is structured to handle the flexibility of this programme. Usually we were placed in the middle of the dining room, which meant that it was also the center of the hub-bub as the staff prepared for the second sitting. Service: The service was impeccable in the dining room, the bars and all drinking and eating venues. It was impressive how quickly the staff learned personal preferences. The concierge desk went out of the way to offer us a cheaper, yet very comfortable transfer at the end of the cruise. Embarkation: This was very pleasant and handled with ease. One felt welcomed on the ship. Entertainment: The main shows were abysmal. Most of the cast were talented, but they could not rescue the amateurish material with which the had to work. Ill fitting costume and wigs added to the bad community theater feeling of the shows. The two solo performers were excellent. The lounge/bar performers were all excellent, especially the charming Mark in the Avenue Saloon. Shore Excursions: These were ordinary. Possibly because the two ports are very small Crystal had no choice of suppliers, but they were certainly not the promised "Crystal Adventures." The Ship: The re-fit of the ship has created many elegant and comfortable spaces.The cabins are silent and the bathrooms make amazing sue of small spaces. Unfortunately the refit stopped at the aft end of the ship. The dining room is a dark and noisy space with light fixtures that are dated and probably always ugly. The placing of the serving stations may be efficient, but they increase the noise level.The Stardust Club is an underused, undefined and dated space. My fantasy would be to change it into a second dining room so that open seating would be possible. The announcement-free environment was superb. Enrichment and Daytime Programmes: All excellent. Cruise Director: I do not usually point out individuals in a review, but the Cruise Director on this cruise was completely useless. Although he was always smiling, he was not friendly and certainly did not play the role of the host that most cruise directors assume. His emceeing was so bad it was embarrassing. At disembarkation he did not know what was happening and managed upset some very elderly passengers. He walked away from them (still smiling) completely unaware of the chaos he created. Small Complaints: A formal night on the last night this segment was inconvenient. As the next day was at sea for the ongoing passengers, a last formal night could have been scheduled then. One of our two day laundry orders took 4 days to arrive in our cabin. The attendant's explanation was a shrug and a giggle. We used express check out. Our bill arrived 15 minutes before we were to board our transfer and was full of mistakes. I have never had this happen on any other line. Summary: Would I sail on Crystal again? Maybe, if they offered a really spectacular itinerary. I would certainly board with 4* expectations and maybe I would be surprised. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Cruise 5331 was an Atlantic crossing (Lisbon to Miami), with only two brief stops along the way (Tenerife and Key West). My wife and I took this cruise for its long string of sea days, not the port stops. We’ve taken the Crystal ... Read More
Cruise 5331 was an Atlantic crossing (Lisbon to Miami), with only two brief stops along the way (Tenerife and Key West). My wife and I took this cruise for its long string of sea days, not the port stops. We’ve taken the Crystal Serenity (1,000 passengers) over a dozen times in the past several years. We treat it as a comfortable boutique hotel where everyone knows your name. It’s consistently a nice getaway that lacks all that herding, hustling, and hollering for which cruises are stereotyped. Nevertheless, there are some real limits on what the Serenity offers all of us who don’t stay up there in those elite penthouses. Travel agents who want to book repeaters should use caution to avoid an expectation gap. Regardless of the fancy ads, this aging ship doesn’t meet the assumptions for unabashed “ultra luxury.” There are simply too many little “no’s” and missing touches for that. Overall, I rate this cruise as a “3” (on a scale of 5) when judged against Crystal’s asserted standards of “all exclusive” and “ultra luxury.” But there are definitely some pockets of real luxury on the Serenity, including some crew members who consistently offer a luxury level of service. Among the latter are the cruise director and the famous Lido waiters -- true masters of making you feel welcome. So we enjoy what’s there, and overlook what’s not. And we keep coming back. For customers that insist on absolute pampered perfection, travel agents should carefully brief them on the market’s offerings and realities. DINING: The quality of food on the Serenity was quite variable during this cruise. For my taste buds, the following hodgepodge was delicious and memorable: monkfish (a rare treat where we live); fishermen’s platter (perfectly breaded); salzburger nockerl (custom dessert from our Austrian head waiter); homemade corned beef hash (a breakfast treat); Ovaltine (a childhood memory); all that super-creamy ice cream (including arcane flavors like lychee and green tea). As in the past, the Lido Cafe’s steaks, hamburgers, and chimichurri beef were consistently delicious. And my wife had a good filet in the dining room. But the rest of the ship’s beef cuts lacked flavor at best, and were hard to eat at worst. (I actually pushed two servings aside.) One of the Serenity’s pasta offerings (spaghetti with meat sauce) was quite tasty. With that one exception, the ship’s pasta was disappointing. One serving lacked flavor and arrived lukewarm. Another serving arrived so cold that I reported it to the head waiter for replacement. The Serenity is a good choice if you like the treasure hunt of sampling the world’s cuisine. It may not be a good fit for those who passively expect meals of predictable perfection (that is, eaters with little tolerance for uncertainty and experimentation). On the other hand, the head waiters on the Serenity are outstanding and, with a day’s notice, will arrange just about any food you want (as close as we come to having a personal chef). And this option for customized, off-menu items is indeed a luxury. Last spring, Crystal’s president expressed her understandable need for “making sure every berth is full every sailing” (Wall Street Journal, 4-23-15). That apparently means marketing to more than us empty-nesters, as well as steps like deformalizing the dining room a bit for those who wear the “$400 jeans” (as she expressed it in an onboard video of a March 7 passenger briefing). The apparel debate has now been addressed in a 350-word “Dress Codes for Your Cruise,” which was distributed at the start of the voyage. After dissecting the document and looking at the diners’ attire, I concluded that the dreaded jeans are now permissible anywhere and anytime except the two formal nights. Once again, the key is for travel agents to openly cover this issue with their shoppers. If customers prefer more or less formality, they can vote with their checkbooks. But it’s not just about the ups and downs of the food (or even the tuxes). We much enjoy our table talk with some of the world’s most interesting people. All those people who do things we’ll never do ourselves. And those dining conversations are the real luxury for us. In fact, we often remember those chats in more detail than what we ate at a given feeding. MUSIC & LECTURES: This was a repositioning cruise with less than 1,000 passengers. But it was definitely the land of luxury for musicians and music lovers. The little ship was saturated with three bands, two pianists, nightly music shows, a Mozart tea, and a Russian string quartet. Three lecturers did a memorable series of 11 presentations about the “American Songbook.” And the Serenity provided free wireless access to 300+ videos of its past lectures. However, the ship’s online portal needs to label these videos by topic, rather than just by the name of the lecturer. STATEROOM & PUBLIC SPACES: Cruising need not mean crowding. Though a small ship, Serenity was somehow built with “endless” nooks and crannies in which one can limit contact with other humans to the desired degree. On this cruise, as before, we found the Serenity’s basic veranda stateroom to be adequate and comfortable. The housekeeper was thorough, attentive, pleasant, and dependable. However, the ship’s voicemail system was broken for most of the cruise. This frustrated messages from passengers and crew. Crystal’s daily newsletter acknowledged the problem on December 16, 20, and 21. But the failure to provide this basic service is not consistent with luxury cruising. The broken voicemail reminded us of our cruise last year, when the Serenity’s connection to the Internet was broken across much of the Pacific. Again, this is an aging little ship with limitations that travel agents should alert their customers to expect. PRE-CRUISE & POST-CRUISE: We’ve given up on using taxicabs due to various incidents over the years. A problem with a cab driver can be a real spoiler at the beginning of a trip. Thus, in Lisbon, we reserved a private driver to meet us at the airport. In setting the pickup time, be sure to make a pessimistic allowance for baggage claim and the passport line. Before the cruise, we built in a “cushion day” at the Sheraton Lisboa hotel. Great place to park for the day of waiting, but be sure to read your bill before paying. The Sheraton felt free to tack on an unrequested donation to a charity. They took it off when I spotted it. We used a private driver again for the ride down to the Serenity. At the end of the cruise (Miami), we rode Crystal’s bus from the ship to the airport. If Crystal offers a transfer bus, it’s a good deal and we take it. HEALTH & SAFETY: There’s a lot to like about the Serenity, but one concern is hard for customers to assess because it’s hard to see. At the start of this cruise, the Serenity’s daily newsletter asserted that “Crystal Cruises consistently receives the highest scores from the United States Public Health service after inspections of our culinary operations.” Crystal is referring to the inspections that cruise ships get from a federal health agency (Center for Disease Control) based in Fort Lauderdale. These inspections can occur when the ship docks at a U.S. port (the CDC Vessel Sanitation Program). CDC considers inspection scores from 86 to 100 to be in the passing range. I checked CDC’s website for the last inspection before our cruise. CDC gave the Serenity a score of 88 in its May 2015 inspection. This score is 3 points above CDC’s “not satisfactory” threshold of 85. CDC issued a 15-page report that detailed 62 deficiencies. Per CDC’s website (visited 12-29-15), the agency has conducted 230 inspections of cruise ships during 2015. Serenity’s score of 88 was among the 16 lowest scores, that is, in the bottom 7%. These inspection reports are publicly available (in all their technical tedium) at www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp. Travel agents can read for themselves and discuss any item of concern with their doctors that deal with travel health. Part of the “value added” by a travel agent can be a realistic assessment of the risks of an itinerary. Another option, which I’ve found quite helpful, is a pre-cruise consultation with a national chain of travel medicine clinics (see www.passporthealthusa.com). CDC hopefully did a re-inspection when this cruise ended in Miami. And the Serenity hopefully got a better score (which will ultimately be reported on CDC’s website). Crystal continues to boast that it caters to the “top 2% of the world’s wealthiest.” (See the marketing interviews on Fox News (12-14-15) www.youtube.com/watch?v=1--zYYGJukQ, and on CNBC (4-23-15) http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000373868 ) But an inspection score in the lowest 7% is not consistent with luxury cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We booked a Princess Grill stateroom aboard the QM2 for a transatlantic voyage to celebrate a significant wedding anniversary. This was our third time on the QM2 and we have also travelled on the QE2 and Queen Victoria. A short time before ... Read More
We booked a Princess Grill stateroom aboard the QM2 for a transatlantic voyage to celebrate a significant wedding anniversary. This was our third time on the QM2 and we have also travelled on the QE2 and Queen Victoria. A short time before sailing we were offered a chargeable and discounted upgrade to Queens Grill and as it was a special anniversary we took advantage of this. We had also booked three nights at the Grand Hyatt hotel with transfers included as a precursor to the voyage; all arranged through Cunard. The overall experience was good BUT there has been a significant deterioration in the standards of accommodation and service since our earlier travels on QM2. It started with there being no driver at the airport to take us to our hotel. Yes, there was a Cunard driver but he was waiting for other passengers, we were not on his list. Two hours after touch-down the driver's passengers still had not emerged so he kindly took it upon himself to take us which resulted in us dragging our luggage across and through the car park to his vehicle. The hotel was ok but 'bed and breakfast'? You get an allowance for breakfast. If you choose to eat in the restaurant instead of the 'sit in reception' market place then your allowance doesn't buy you much more than a bowl of fruit. A cooked breakfast with coffee will cost much more than your allowance. Cunard representative available? Yes, on the day of our departure. We raised the issue of the earlier transfer; the representative would make some enquiries and asked us to see her later. Her response was that the transportation people understood that our flight had been diverted so didn't send anyone. We were on the plane we'd been allocated and arrived at the correct airport at the correct time. Then on to the ship: transport was fine. Priority boarding for Grill passengers and this was ok though the receptionist was a bit ruffled. Onto the ship, obligatory photograph then: nothing, we were just left there, no-one to give directions, no assistance. We found the lifts and arrived at our corridor where we asked a steward for directions. The room was very good, large and comfortable. The bathroom was not so good - broken tiles, drilled tiles where a fixture had been removed, scruffy Jacuzzi bath. After these initial disappointments the following seven days were generally good - good food, good entertainment, good lectures. The 'white glove' afternoon tea that Cunard makes a big play of was not as good as previous cruises: half the staff were not in white gloves, you had to attract the eye of a steward to get served, and there wasn't a lot of food to go round. The fabric of the ship is quite poor. The carpets along the corridors to our stateroom were badly stained, and not small stains either. There was a lot of rust around the funnels and in places along the deck. Stair carpets and carpets at the lifts are badly worn. There were many other little issues - overall our experience indicates a drop in Cunard's standards since our previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was not our first time on board the QM2 and we've sailed also on Queen Elizabeth as well. We are Gold Members and love all things Cunard until this sailing. We first sailed on her in 2012 and were blown away by her grace ... Read More
This was not our first time on board the QM2 and we've sailed also on Queen Elizabeth as well. We are Gold Members and love all things Cunard until this sailing. We first sailed on her in 2012 and were blown away by her grace impeccable pristine flawless style. We boarded the ship to in Brooklyn to find that the Britinnia Balcony cabin to our dismay was rundown. We also found that our Cabin floor was wet in half of the room as the cabin next door had flooded. I would have thought they would have checked adjacent areas for damage. A warning sign to us should have been the industrial fan in front of the door of the adjacent cabin when we arrived. As soon as we discovered our floor was wet (by taking off shoes) we mentioned this to our room attendant but it took 6 hrs after mentioning this to her and follow up calls for this matter to be look at. We ended up with an industrial fan in our room for 2.5 days to dry the floor. There was also notable dents dents in walls and cupboard doors. Paint work was dirty. The shower handle bracket kept falling off whilst using the shower and toilet didn't flush properly and blocked during the voyage. We reported blockage on day it happened after breakfast and it was still blocked after dinner we were on late seating 830pm. We discovered the room safe was not working on embarkation and we were told the battery needed replacing, unfortunately this to required follow up calls to finally get this fixed. The lifts were not all working and mirrors in lifts were all damaged/rust marks and in urgent need of replacement. The general decor in some places of the ship was very run down. To add to our woes the Planetarium was not working. This was one of the main reasons for sailing again on this ship. No other substitute entertainment was organised in replacement except for a couple of unknown very old movies and movie documentary about Amy Winehouse. The ships program was a unfortunately was boring too many Canyon Ranch Spa promos. Being the QM2's 250th Crossing I expected at least the same callabore of what was experienced previously if not more. The entertainers and lectures were better by far in 2012. I love this Ship and am dismayed at how she has been allowed to deteriorate even if she is going in for complete overhaul next year. There also appeared to be a lack of communication between staff with the assumption that someone else was looking after a particular issue. They are removing Todd English after going into dry dock something else we love and went on the ship for. The food in Todd English is absolutely amazing and worth every cents of the extra $$ you pay to dine there. The Britannia Restaurant Staff were brilliant and the food was good. Our room attendant was also excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
While we are not serial cruisers, we have enjoyed cruises on Regent and Celebrity. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the fact that Oceania is advertised as a "premium-luxury" cruise line. While there were no ... Read More
While we are not serial cruisers, we have enjoyed cruises on Regent and Celebrity. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the fact that Oceania is advertised as a "premium-luxury" cruise line. While there were no really big things wrong with the cruise, the little things added up so that we would be very hesitant to use this line again. The best thing was that it is a very clean and well-kept ship. Reasons for concern: 1 - The theater is really a lounge with very poor visibility and not enough seating. We saw less than half of the evening shows. Also, as far as entertainment, if you did not get a seat in the theater, you would have to wait for the show to be over to get any lounge entertainment anywhere else. Aside from the pianist in the lounge - Constantine - the entertainment was mediocre at best. 2 - If you were a frequent cruiser, you knew how to game their system to get the best seating at dinner. If you were not on line at 6:30 you had no chance for a table for two for at least 2 hours. I don't know about you, but to spend 2 hours at dinner every night with 4- 6 new people is very exhausting. We retreated to the buffet upstairs so we could relax at dinner. 3- Wait staff was skimpy -- trying to get a cup of coffee at a meal or a water or soft drink refill was spotty. 4- Two port stops were reduced in time. We had planned to drive to Quebec City for the day and to tour Newfoundland's coast and park but our time in port was cut in half so we could not do those things. I am sure the timing did not interfere with those tours that were arranged by the Oceania cruise line. We offered our concerns to the concierge and all he told us to contact our travel insurance company for refunds -- nice, that wasn't the point and found his attitude inadequate. 5- In our opinion, the captain did not appear to be comfortable with a North Atlantic voyage. We had an ice pilot on board but still the trip seemed like the trip was attenuated nevertheless. We skipped a port in Iceland, they said, because of the weather. We were really looking forward to horseback riding at that port but that had to be skipped. 6- The Captain's report at noon everyday consisted of telling us what time it was and the current weather. There was even a day where he did not mention the name of our next port. Thirty seconds a day from the captain seemed a bit skimpy. 7- If you are a large person, don't even consider the Insignia- the bathrooms are microscopic. 8 - On sea days, there was not much to do unless you played bridge or did arts and crafts or photography. There was a morning lecture on the ports which was enjoyable. With the day we skipped ports, you would think they would have an afternoon movie. Regent does this. 9- On the whole, if you like activities of a retirement village, you would like Oceania. It is not my or my husbands cup of tea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We chose & booked this cruise over a year ago, for the itinerary. We embarked in Montreal which was easy and fast our intent was to check-in and leave to go back and spend more time with our friends. Once on board we found out the ... Read More
We chose & booked this cruise over a year ago, for the itinerary. We embarked in Montreal which was easy and fast our intent was to check-in and leave to go back and spend more time with our friends. Once on board we found out the safety drill was at 5:00 p.m. That put a crimp in our plans a bit, but the ship was leaving at 11:59 p.m. The first few days and ports, Quebec, Trois-Rivieres were, great, except in our cabin, 7081 During the night, entering the bathroom almost required a gas mask, the odor of sewage was overwhelming. After a few days of the plumber blaming the housekeeping staff and the reverse we complained on the mid-cruise form. We were immediately called by the concierge Javier who offered to move us. We really didn't want to move, but it was obvious the problem was not going away, now wafting in our cabin. Staff helped us move and we now had a balcony cabin and they sent up a nice bottle of wine. Very good, they solved our problem and were gracious about it. About that time an announcement was made by the Cruise Director, not the Captain that over 2% of the passengers had norovirous. Food was taken away from the Barista, laundry rooms closed and everything was being wiped down with staff positioned at each door way making sure you used the sanitizer. I was not surprised to learn of this, since on the previous cruises on the Marina had experienced the same issue. When we disembarked in Southampton a team of 15 men in hard hats were waiting to board, don't know if that had anything to do with the on board illnesses, I have never encountered that before. All of the ports we went to were freezing, no problem that was my expectation. However most port towns were closed down for the winter and not opening until June, such as Cornerbrook (the worst), Sydney, Nova Scotia and St-Pierre. Saguenay was pretty much closed as well, but the locals at the port were wonderful and welcoming and I had booked a tour to the park. Should have eliminated Cornerbrook, it became a joke for the comedian on board. When we embarked at Montreal we were asked for our passports. No specific reason was given, I just assumed it was because one of our ports was Belfast. A couple of days before we docked at Belfast we were told to report for a face-to-face with Northern Ireland officials. It amounted to them looking at you and stamping your passport?????. The passports were kept and we were told we would get them at a later date, although they did not say when. Since our passports are our property the ship should have given us a lot more information on whose authority they were confiscating our passports and why. They never did, even though we asked to when we would get them 2 days before the cruise ended. We had been on the Marina previously and this was our 3rd cruise with Oceania. I do see the changes everyone has been talking about since the merger with Norwegian. The food in the speciality restaurants was definitely not up to our first experience. The Grand Dining room food seemed to be over cooked, or under cooked and salty and we only ate there once. We ate most of our meals in the Terrace, where you could be a bit more particular since you can see it before it's on your plate. Note: don't ever chose fish that is covered in sauce, it took me 2 times to learn, the fish is bad if there is sauce on it. Having said that the Terrace Cafe staff is the BEST! On the subject of the missed ports, Holyhead, Wales and Guernsey. I don't appreciate being lied to and I felt the Marina staff did that when we received a letter while in Belfast that we would miss the ports due to "weather". We would be spending an extra day in Dublin and then a "sea day: instead of Wales & Guernsey before arriving in Southampton to disembark. Why do I feel like it wasn't the weather? While in Dublin we were 60 miles from Wales, weather looked a lot better than crossing the Atlantic. Also one of the passengers, talked to her friend on our second day in Dublin and it was reported the channel and weather was fine for a ferry to cross. By the way the extra day in Dublin required we catch our shuttle bus from the city to the port before 6 p.m.. The ship did not leave until 10:45. The weather? No different than crossing the Atlantic earlier, so what was the reason we missed ports that everyone wanted to see, guess we will never know. For the most part the cruise was very nice, due to the staff and the ports. I do have some pros and cons. Pros: Shuttle buses offered in ports and the blankets & hot chocolate offered to us while waiting for the shuttle bus at the port in St-Pierre. Very nice touch, thank you staff! Cabins are nice, plenty of storage. Cabins staff, wonderful, thank you Cecellia! Most of ports were very nice. Wait staff in Terrace fantastic, Antonio, Laurence, Eli, Jose, all great! Especially the "special hot chocolate"Eli made for me one cold night. Cons: Ships tours are overpriced and severely lacking learned that on the 1st Oceania cruise. Entertainment, not good at all. Siglo band is the exception they are great. Lectures good. Lack of information to all guests regarding passports, missed ports, every day changes, etc. It's not a secret people, we are on a cruise! Lack of attention or care for a Cruise Critic meet & greet. We were given a space for 10 in Horizons with other parties going on, when were 30-40 people at least. Also not one offer of a refreshment at all. It's like they didn't want us there at all. Food quality has gone down considerably. Destination staff lack of information about each day's port--appalling. The passengers knew more about the port services, holidays, etc. One more thing: The ship sent a letter to each stateroom that if we were within 12 miles of the port of Dublin we could not use internet or phone services, on board something about authority from Dublin. That did not happen to us on a prior port visit to Dublin?????? Bottom line, will I travel on Oceania again? Not sure right now there are lots of choices. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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
Appalling, disorganised boarding....if I want a quarter glass of paintstripper prosecco I will sail Celebrity. Front line staff were for the most part very good,, but little effort made to learn customer names. Our Butler was too good ... Read More
Appalling, disorganised boarding....if I want a quarter glass of paintstripper prosecco I will sail Celebrity. Front line staff were for the most part very good,, but little effort made to learn customer names. Our Butler was too good for this ship, and was a complete star....Very flexible and accommodating. Our Grand Suite had a very usable, cleverly thought layout, but was let down by a tired and unimaginative decor, with lots of scuffs/stains/minor damage to both indoor and outdoor furniture. The suite was particularly quiet, and the fact that the adjoining suite (that would have been used to make this Grand 2 bedrooms) was unsold and unoccupied with no risk of noise through the adjoining door. This was pointed out to the very defensive Hotel Manager who seemed somewhat ineffectual. Food ranged from inedible to very good - Stars food concept and quality needs a radical rethink. Pool Grill was very average. Main dining room was fairly consistent with some very good dishes, and the always available gelato / cheese menu is a great idea. Seishin was a highlight with great food and staff. The downers foodwise were Le Champagne (I would have insisted on a refund had it not been included in our suite benefits), and a really poor afternoon tea. Bread and pastries were pretty dire in all venues.....on the upside I kept the carbs in check! Cruise Director Moss Hills was a star, and the entertainment was passable (unusual for a small ship)....The jazz duo in Stars were a particular highlight. The new boutiques were a waste of space - the lovely staff were always eager to chat but rarely sold anything other than passengers spending OBC. The pool area, and area to the aft of the observation lounge was populated by chain-smoking alcoholics who made the areas unusable. All in all this crossing was a wildly inconsistent experience, with a complacent management team. People watching on board made up for many of the shortfalls. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our first time on Azamara although we have cruised almost 20 times. Having said that, I must come clean and admit my favorite line is Seabourn. I also must admit that I compared the two lines and usually found Azamara came up ... Read More
This was our first time on Azamara although we have cruised almost 20 times. Having said that, I must come clean and admit my favorite line is Seabourn. I also must admit that I compared the two lines and usually found Azamara came up short. I think my biggest problem was in overall service. We quickly learned that we needed to order multiple drinks at the first and usually only opportunity at a meal...in other words, wine, water, tea,etc. Never once did a member of the wait staff offer a refill. I got it myself or overtly sought out someone to refill a glass. Service in bar areas was better, however. We also found the food in the main dining room to be average at best. Service was impossibly slow and the variety of choices was very limited. The buffet offered more variety and since it was self serve, the long waits were removed. Consequently we found ourselves there more often than in the main dining room. We enjoyed the entertainment for the most part and found the entertainers to be the most friendly and engaging members of the staff. We took private dance lessons which were the most enjoyable part of the trip. The only reason we would would consider another cruise on the a Journey would be to take more dance lessons from Alina and Alex before there contract ends. Our cabin was fine. The bathroom was the smallest we have ever experienced on a cruise. I am tiny and I could not shower without the curtain touching my body. My husband is 6', 195 lbs and it was a constant irritation for him. Our stewards did a fine job and our cabin was always well kept. I did not like being up sold. I would prefer to pay a little more and have all drinks, etc. included. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Awful choice of Vegetarian Food. This is not our first transatlantic crossing. When we sailed 18 months ago we had informed Cunard that we were vegetarian and they told us we would be catered for. This did not happen, the Kings Court had ... Read More
Awful choice of Vegetarian Food. This is not our first transatlantic crossing. When we sailed 18 months ago we had informed Cunard that we were vegetarian and they told us we would be catered for. This did not happen, the Kings Court had no vegetarian option available on an afternoon or late evening, the dining room offered exquisitely prepared for dishes, which were all vegetables, possible with a little goats cheese on. No balanced diet, no protein and we came away from dinner still hungry. We complained both on the ship and when we returned home. Nothing has changed. November 2014 we take the QM2 again. Hoping and praying that this time they would have listened. Again disappointed. We were offered a very minimalist menu list to choose from for the entire crossing. What was even more alarming was having dinner in Todd English, we made a reservation only to find the menu was the same as the Britannia restaurant menu for vegetarians !!! Credit where it is due, the staff in Todd English were brilliant and said they would try to help us find a meal as long as we gave 24 hour notice, so we putt off our dinner and talked about what we would like, they came through with a lovely curry. Every meal was either pastry & vegetables, rice and vegetables or cheese. On option for tofu..For world class chef they lack imagination. No quorn or no nuts, simple additions that would make a difference. At one point I asked with a Biryani on the menu the next day with veg could I have some lentils, I needed some protein, it was like I had asked for the world, it would require consultation and on and on. They did give me a some lentils which I knew they had from the Coriander restaurant. The Kings Court buffet was grim. Lots of different meats available with trimmings and veg. not a single vegetarian option. When I asked the chef he was less than polite and offered me a plate of carrots. I am not a vegetarian for some fad or diet. Like many through out the world this is a religious requirement. I was offended, but was delighted to find a friendly manager who went out of her way to go and get me a meal from Britannia restaurant even though I was up in the Kings Court, that I may have a meal. --Cunard, if you cannot cater for vegetarians, then just say so, rather be honest and up front that have us disappointed. Chaos disembarking Ok so you have thousands to get off a ship. But the chaos as we left and came through customs was ridiculous. No trolleys for cases, many elderly struggling with bags. Then our issue, after the customs hall not a SINGLE member of staff giving directions, like many other we had no idea where to go for our bus to the air port. It was freezing cold, no trolley so we were lugging all our cases to where we directed by a taxi driver only to find, the wrong bus. Eventually we arrived, just in time as the bus was ready to leave, some passengers were asked to get off the bus as their luggage was unable to fit in to hold… they stood outside, with no shelter waiting for another bus. The bus driver dumped us all at one end of the terminal so if you were like us on an American Airlines flight be ready for a hike, it would have been no effort to drop us off at both ends of the terminal. It felt like our money was taken for the transport and once handed over no one cared. – I have learned my lesson next time just get a taxi from outside. Friends of Dorothy Love the fact they have the space to meet the room was packed. always a bonus. RADA what a performance, they never disappoint.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Embarkation: As the previous poster mentioned: a bit chaotic. Having a concierge level room presented no advantages (we were in line with everyone).Cabin: Looks better in photographs. Nice bathroom. Closet and drawer space not adequate in ... Read More
Embarkation: As the previous poster mentioned: a bit chaotic. Having a concierge level room presented no advantages (we were in line with everyone).Cabin: Looks better in photographs. Nice bathroom. Closet and drawer space not adequate in comparison to other lines I've sailed. Ports: Cadiz, always nice. I have been there over six times. This time we rented a car at train station and visited three white villages. Tangier: Did a private tour to Chefchaouen. Nice trip. Pretty town and good guide. Cabo Verde: Did tour with CC group. That is about the only thing to do on this poor island with children shouting"money" at you. Scenery is nice but dry. Recife: Hired a taxi driver to Olinda and a beach. He was a bit of a crazy driver. Nice town, but poor again. Tenerife: Another cc group trip.Went to Mt. Teide. This a great trip . Do not miss. Downtown is a let down. Salvador. Some good local color. Poor. Buildings dilapidated. Depressing. Some interesting sights,but would not go back Rio: My favorite. Could have skipped the cruise and just spend a week in Rio. Food. Breakfast viennoiserie great! Fresh fruit of every kind! Terrace grill with unlimited lobster tails, great!! Foie gras items in dining rooms great! Desserts Okay! Good truffles and macarons. Bread good. Specialty restaurant were good but not great. Food was not hot. Veal chop breaded in Toscana a bit soggy. Should be crispy. Red Ginger tasty but not hot. Liked when they had fresh fish from port;you could taste the difference. Liked the 2 cooking demos. Should be more. Art class was a disappointement. 16 days to learn how to paint a vase of flowers, please!!!! Service and personnel always kind and helpful. Overall atmosphere was a bit boring. No one drinking. Shows put me to sleep. Perhaps when I'm 80, I will enjoy this kind of cruise. Right now , I prefer to eat in an authentic restaurant in a foreign country. Met some nice people ,saw nice sunsets. Nice library and free coffee. Do the math and see if you are getting your moneys worth. If you are not adventurous then this type of cruising is for you.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
The QM2 is now getting on as she was conceived and built in 2001 an but did not sail until 2004.  She now is showing her age but she is not growing old gracefully. This is my third and last cruise on her. We have had over 30 cruises in ... Read More
The QM2 is now getting on as she was conceived and built in 2001 an but did not sail until 2004.  She now is showing her age but she is not growing old gracefully. This is my third and last cruise on her. We have had over 30 cruises in all on all ships. The cabins in Balcony and Club Balcony are exactly the same except the club one has a proper glass fronted balcony whereas the balcony cabins are more of a tin shed with no views at all from seated position. The club balcony gives you also free water, fruit and pillow menu for £65 per day each extra -wow? The cabins are very dated with clumsy furniture and poor electronics. Shower rooms small but usuable for normal sized people but hopless for 300 pounders. Cabins have an Old TV which has a picture not worth watching, rubbish films and ancient TV shows, whereas the newer sisters ships of Carnival are much more to date in décor and in room entertainment. The food is passable but portions tiny. Cooked by a small army of Asian chefs who do not know western tastes let alone how to prepare meals. The food quality is good but the cooking.......well, it is either well overcooked or undercooked in the case of vegetables. There are often 3 vegetarian dishes from a choice of only 6 entrees which is crazy but reflects the regions where the chefs come from. The wine prices are high plus the Cunard "VAT" of 15% on all you buy plus a cabin charge of $23 a day, bit of a rip off I say. The entertainment is usual semi amateur stuff with noisey singers and aged performers past their prime. The speakers are monotonous and lack enthusiam for their subject and do it for a free cruise.... shame. Overall the price is very high for what you get but is cheaper than business class to NYC so it may suit you if you have the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We did two crossings May 16 to Southampton (then a British Isle cruise on the QV) and then a return cruise home June 5 out of Southampton to NY (Brooklyn). And we booked Britannia Club category on Deck 12 for both crossings. We now feel ... Read More
We did two crossings May 16 to Southampton (then a British Isle cruise on the QV) and then a return cruise home June 5 out of Southampton to NY (Brooklyn). And we booked Britannia Club category on Deck 12 for both crossings. We now feel that Carnival thinks we guests only do one cruise, period. So if they screw up or problems develop they will never see us again. Our stateroom was fine, initially. A smell of cigarette smoke was still evident in the cabin. Oh, forget all the smoking rules in the brochures and announcements made, smoking is prevalent throughout the ship. Our stewardess stated that she will continue to try to get the smoke out of the carpet & drapes. Obviously it never really went away. Our balcony was covered in rust and peeling paint on the trim and the deck furniture was peeling paint too. If you went out on the balcony we always got paint chips on ourselves. Not the elegant experience that is advertised. And these conditions were on both crossings, two weeks apart. In our area on the port side we had 9 cabins of smokers. At sea they would open the balcony door to "air" out the cabin. They only added their smells in the hall. And the whistling noise from the air pressure would wake us up at all hours of the late night & early morning. Purser writes down the complaint but nothing is done to stop it. 1. No repairs. The rust & peeling paint noted above. The leaky ceilings around the ship. Deck 9 outside of the Commodore Club, a yellow bucket collected water when we arrived on May 16th and still there when we got home on June 13th! Out of order signs in public bathrooms throughout the ship for the same amount of time. Oh and the sewer smells!!!!!!! Parts of the ship, from May 16 to May 23 smelled like open sewers. 2. Purser's Desk - Where do they get these people? Arrogant, rude and just plain belligerent. As if they are doing us a favor by speaking with us. With few exceptions no people skills whatsoever. The above problems were treated as if we were the ones causing the problems. Even when we knew others complained about the same issues, the staff at this desk treated us like unruly kids and just placated us. 3. The food - The Britannia Club category is half the price of the grills but with a lovely private dining room and attentive staff where you have your own table and can access it whenever you want. But the staff can not deliver quality food when the kitchen sends out crap. No presentation, no creativity, bland, almost every entree has a tomato based sauce or some other bottled gravy. We started creating our own meals with one item for A and one item from B and sometimes using salads as an entree size. We found out that our wonderful waiter was ordering each entree and remaking them at his prep station because the kitchen wouldn't make the changes we requested. Other couples around us would then see what we were eating and asking for the same. In my entire life I never saw so many meals, (breakfast too), returned as during our 15 days on the QM2. The poor waitstaff constantly apologizing for the inept kitchen staff and cutbacks from Carnival. Oh and if you are handicap you are now on your own while aboard the QM2. Our neighbor needed assistance with his wheelchair for long walks to the dining room. He and his wife have traveled for over 400 days on many Cunard ships. The first night they called the Purser's Desk, as was always done in the past, to request assistance to the dining room. His wife stated that the wheelchair was fine for her except with the thick carpets it is difficult. They were told that Cunard no longer provides this service and they are on their own. Our stewardess helped and took him down to the dining room on Deck 2. She was officially reprimanded to never do it again. Even when this couple offered to pay for the assistance. Oh and this couple are 80 & 82! For the rest of the cruise eastbound & westbound we helped out for meals and so did others. Guests all over the ship were assisting those who needed it. Why??? Oh and I mention this because we found out that this new policy is Not ship wide. The first class Grill people were assisted regularly by their butlers. Again, why? We will probably use Cunard to get from point A to point B without using the airlines. And only when the other cruise companies don't fit our itinerary. But will pay for a cheap cabin, have very low expectations so we are not disappointed. So as my title stated: When Carnival buys a good or even great cruise line, give them 3 years to pull a once proud and elegant company down to the level of a street circus. If you want a cruise of a lifetime, please don't waste your money on any Carnival LLC company. A good travel agent wouldn't recommend them anyway. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My wife and I just returned from a combined eastbound transatlantic, Norway (14 days), and westbound transatlantic trip for a total of 28 days. This was our 19th voyage with Cunard and 44th cruise overall. We have cruised on the QM2 10 ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a combined eastbound transatlantic, Norway (14 days), and westbound transatlantic trip for a total of 28 days. This was our 19th voyage with Cunard and 44th cruise overall. We have cruised on the QM2 10 times in the past and unfortunately the quality of the cruises have declined over time. As one cruiser quipped the " QM2 has been Carnivalized." The ship itself is still great with plenty of room, even with a full ship. Its four sets of stairs and elevator banks make moving about the ship easy. The ship handles the seas of the North Atlantic with the aplomb of the great lady she is. But a lot of little things have shown declines in quality over the years. The toilet paper and tissues in the staterooms are now below that found in the restrooms at Walmart. The paper towels in the public restrooms are smaller in size and disintegrate when moistened. (whatever happened to the clot towels of yesteryear.) The ship needs a through cleaning. We had two different waiters during our trip and both were excellent. The food they served was not. The appetizers were very good, the soups varied from thick to thin (for the same soup) and the beef (except for the beef wellington) tended to be on the tough side. The fish dishes were okay except for the night they served "monkfish tail" which was tough and fibrous. The entrees now consist of one pasta dish, two vegetarian dishes and a fish, a fowl , and a meat dish. It seems they have substituted a vegetarian dish for one of the regular meals, a cost cutting measure I'm sure. None of the meals we had were outstanding, about what we would get on NCL. There was no variety in the rolls served with dinner, the same three types night after night. We ate breakfast in the Brittania restaurant every day. The service at breakfast ranged from mediocre to awful. They have used the same breakfast menu for the ten years we have traveled on this ship. It would be nice if they could at least have breakfast special as they do on other lines. The food in the Kings Court (Lido) was ok but again very repetitive. The sandwich prep area has great chicken salad. One problem is that many time the self service items are unlabeled. Sanitation is an issue they should address. The table in the Kings Court are many times wiped off with the napkins from the last user and are not properly sanitized. We witnessed a crew member refilling the automated drink dispensers by getting up on the serving line in his dirty shoes with no effort to even wipe down the area when he was done. We reported this to a supervisor to no avail as we saw this happen three other times afterwards. During regular operations many of the hand sanitizers were empty and when coming back on board after shore excursions no attempt was made to provide hand sanitizer facilities of any kind. The entertainment was ok and because we have made so many trips on this line the efforts of the lecturers Bill Miller, Stephan Payne and other regular lecturers are getting to be a little jaded. They still do a good job. Again, to regular cruisers the Production shows, specially Apassionata, are getting somewhat dated. All in all this voyage would have been ok had it been on NCL or Princess but for the prices charged by Cunard for this product it should have been much better. We will no longer go out of our way to travel Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014

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