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69 Transatlantic Luxury Cruise Reviews

My wife and I are British, fit 70+ and have sailed with several cruise companies, both all inclusive and standard however Regent is at the bottom of our list now. As we were sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona we reserved through ... Read More
My wife and I are British, fit 70+ and have sailed with several cruise companies, both all inclusive and standard however Regent is at the bottom of our list now. As we were sailing from Rio de Janeiro to Barcelona we reserved through Regent two extra nights in the city. The hotel was in the process of refurbishment in preparation for the World cup and was far from luxury in any sense of the word. 1) We flew from England to Rio to pick up the seven seas mariner for the transatlantic cruise. No problem with the cruise other than it was nicknamed "The crypt kickers cruise" because of the predominance of ancient passengers! Consequently after about 10.30pm we thought everyone had jumped overboard!! The night before embarkation in Rio was in with the overall price however because we wanted to see Rio we booked through Regent two extra nights at the Rio Sheraton. They charged £382 per person for the priviledge of staying in a hotel that was in the middle of refurbishment for the World soccer cup.Below is a list of just some of the problems. 1) There was no bar inside the hotel, only a small makeshift bar in the middle of the dining room. 2) There was no evening dining in the hotel, only two external restaurants which were only average. The barbeque restaurant's meat was tough. 3) The air con in our room constantly dripped condensation. My wife slipped on the wet floor and almost injured herself. 4)We had no hot water for two days. After attention we had barely warm water. 5) The room iron did not work and had to be replaced. 6)The room hairdryer plug did not fit the socket and had to be replaced 7) The refurbishment team were noisy all day. We booked through Regent two tours for which they charged $219 per person per trip. One consisted of a coach ride through the city via Ipanema and Copacobana beaches and up sugar loaf mountain on one day and "Christ the redeemer" the next. A total rip off!!!! Think hard before you give Regent your hard earned cash. Never again!!! Considering the ship. It was due for refurbishment itself and judging by the state of the carpets it needed it. All in all the crew and staff in general were excellent however some of the meals were not top quality. The evening entertainment was good but there could have been more variety.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We have never travelled with Cunard before but have done many cruises mainly with RCL, Princess, P and O and Celebrity and never found anything to complain about Our expectations for this voyage were high as we expected everything to be ... Read More
We have never travelled with Cunard before but have done many cruises mainly with RCL, Princess, P and O and Celebrity and never found anything to complain about Our expectations for this voyage were high as we expected everything to be of a higher standard than we have had on all our other cruises, well how wrong could we be. We were told by some seasoned Cunard passengers that is was a voyage not a cruise and we were passengers not guests. We boarded following a snow storm the previous night which dropped about a foot of snow on New York . We managed to get a car to take us to the terminal and we got within about half a mile of the terminal and then sat for almost an hour in a long snowy queue to get to the terminal. Eventually we got to the terminal got out of the car and looked for someone to tell us where to take the luggage or even where to leave it, there was nobody someone said they had just left their cases with some others on the pavement so we did the same. Check in was very fast and so was security we then arrived in a huge cold shed and sat there for two hours, we eventually got on the ship at 3 pm. Due to the weather and airport problems we did not sail until 1 am. The ship The ship is very grand all dark wood and dark carpets everywhere was very clean and showed no signs of wear. Overall I found the ship very cold especially on formal nights the men in suits and jackets were OK but the ladies in evening dresses were cold. The layout of the ship is very confusing and even after a week we still had to use the plan to get around, there are lots of little corridors and small flights of steps,also you have to go up to go down in some places very confusing. Cabin If you are Queens or Princess grill passengers they call them staterooms for the rest they are cabins , so we were told. The cabin was immaculate and our excellent cabin attendant kept it very clean and it also showed no signs or wear . The TV , probably a 19 inch tv, was in a very odd place next to the window in the sitting area , with the bed next to the bathroom it was hard to read anything on the screen when in bed. Plenty of wardrobe space and underbed storage, good towels and toiletries , comfortable beds with lots of pillows. We never heard anything from our neighbours and slept very soundly. Food We ate each evening in the brittania restaurant our table was right next to the double doors which opened onto the stair well, it was like sitting in a wind tunnel. We di ask for the doors to be closed numerous times but they all said they were not allowed to close them. Our waiter said he was very hot as the uniforms were so heavy. The food was of reasonable quality but nothing exceptional , I have had better steak on other ships. We had to ask for more water , extra bread which often never arrived ,and often milk to go with the coffee. Service was ok but again we sat for long periods of time in front of dirty plates. Kings court This is like a long corridor with tables along it so unless you picked your table carefully there were people brushing past and trolley of dirty plates rumbling along. The food was acceptable , breakfast was ok reasonable selection but hot food did run out and involved a wait until more arrived. Lunch was also OK with probably 3 choices of main course and salads. Entertainment The lectures were excellent we enjoyed them all, astronaut, concord pilot ,Hollywood columnist, Crown Jewels, lifeboats. Dancers were excellent,however the singers were off key and not in harmony a lot of the time. The Flyrights were excellent, the lady singer unfortunately was not able to finish her show due to a chill and we did not go to the piano man. Orchestra in the theatre and the ballroom were excellent. The jazz band in the pub were good. Other entertainment in the bars was piano ,string quartet and harpists, which were not really our cup of tea. Staff We thought the same ranged from OK to downright rude,this includes the cruise director who when I mentioned to him that the captains 12 o clock message on the ships birthday was not broadcast in the theatre said it is in the brochure you will get tonight at dinner then turned his back and walked away from me. We heard that 50 % of the crew were leaving in Southampton so they were obviously not interested anymore and just wanted to get off. We never saw any officers walking round the ship and only briefly saw the commodore flash past once. Disembarkation. We had a train booked at 10 so did self help and were off the ship by 8.30 before anyone else. Summary Cunard was not what we expected, it certainly was not a level above RCL or the others we have sailed. We were surprised that the 6days at sea went very quickly and we enjoyed the relaxation. We would do another repositioning cruise with a more southerly route but will not be going with Cunard.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
When Cunard Line (well, Carnival Corp., really) re-flagged the three 'Queens' two years ago, hauling down the Union Jack after 172 years and raising the (convenience) flag of Bermuda, there was a great deal of concern among ... Read More
When Cunard Line (well, Carnival Corp., really) re-flagged the three 'Queens' two years ago, hauling down the Union Jack after 172 years and raising the (convenience) flag of Bermuda, there was a great deal of concern among Cunard regulars as to how this cost-cutting action would effect the onboard experience. After crossing to England aboard 'Queen Mary 2' last month, it is my impression that the re-flagging has resulted in not only the lowering of the British flag, but the lowering of shipboard standards as well. Two years ago my spouse and I boarded QM2 on January 3rd and sailed from New York to Southampton and on to Cape Town. The three-week voyage exceeded our high expectations in every way. The ship, the crew and staff, the service and the cuisine were all outstanding. We said at the time that the voyage - one of more than 100 crossings, cruises and line voyages we have enjoyed over the past 45 years - was one of the best ever. This year we sailed once again on January 3rd. But sadly, this most recent crossing bore no resemblance to that of two years ago; or any of our previous Cunard voyages. The bean-counters in Miami have been hard at work and their efforts to slash costs and remove traditional niceties are clearly evident onboard. We've purposely never sailed on a 'Fun Ship', but we disembarked at Southampton feeling distinctly Carnivalized. The staff aboard QM2 - in the past, one of the pleasures of sailing with Cunard - seemed distracted and less than satisfied with their jobs. Many of those serving in the lounges and dining room were inexperienced, and while unfailingly kind, were not sure of themselves, and in many cases not comfortably conversant in English. There also seemed to be a real shortage of staff. Night after night, our second-seating dinners in Britannia reminded us of a chaotic first night at sea. None of our meals were served with any sense of pacing or flow. Our waiter (mostly without a busboy to assist him), was absent for long periods of time and we would see him hurriedly serving tables some distance from ours. Our empty water glasses and bread basket sat ignored. One night the menus for our table of four turned out to be different from all the others in the dining room. Our waiter wrote down all our choices, only to return - rattled and apologetic - having been informed by the galley that none of the appetizers, soups or entrees we had ordered were available that night. (!) The meals we were served, throughout the crossing, at breakfast, lunch and dinner, were never more than merely satisfactory. We never once took a first bite and said "Wow!" And we were never able to relax, as every meal was served in a rush, as though the staff couldn't wait to get us fed and out of the dining room. The entire week-long dining experience was disheartening, failing as it did in every way to live up to the standards we've previously enjoyed onboard QM2. Only in Todd English did we find the superb cuisine and service unchanged. If we do decide to cross again on the 'Mary' (a booked Grill crossing in November has been cancelled), we will take as many meals as possible in this extra tariff restaurant, which remains (for now anyway!) a delight, and worth every penny. Carnival, by constantly catering to the very lowest denominator, has done a thorough job of ruining Costa Cruises, and a pretty good job of ruining Holland-America and Seabourn. It seems they won't be content until they've ruined Cunard as well. I would caution both Cunard and Carnival that it is possible, by using ever cheaper and cheaper ingredients, to make a pizza that anyone can afford - but no one wants to eat...   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I will try and be as constructive as possible. First can I say that we are regular cruisers (20) but have only sailed with cunard twice before. We are loyal Celebrity Cruisers and nothing on this cruise will serve to change that. In all ... Read More
I will try and be as constructive as possible. First can I say that we are regular cruisers (20) but have only sailed with cunard twice before. We are loyal Celebrity Cruisers and nothing on this cruise will serve to change that. In all ways design/decor/layout/food/entertainment and staff Celebrity wins hands down. On our last winter crossing with QM2 I found the layout incredibly annoying. Nothing flows! My partner did enjoy it for the dancing etc. This time because of the terrible weather (not blaming Cunard for that!), the dancing was not going to be enjoyable. Because of being locked inside for 5 days the drab (not grand or elegant)decor was incredibly depressing. One positive: the food in Britannia appears to have improved slightly in two years BUT still not great compared to Celebrity. Most of the shows were cancelled because of said weather although the actual evening that the Italian show was on turned out to be not that choppy but the pooe dears hadnt had time to rehearse (having done the same show about 100 times find that a bit much!). Went to a few lectures. Astronaut very interesting, the one with a supposed doctor discussing after death experience I found incredibly biased and very Evangelical Christian. Boarding and disembarking went smoothly although the porters managed to break one of the suitcase trolley handles leading to five days of arguing about compensation. This finally got sorted day before we left the ship! Staff were surly and very unfriendly and Im sorry I dont accept that Cunard train them to be like this for British customers. I like to talk to people as people not as some sort of subservient slave! I havent even talked about the horrible decor in staterooms. It felt like a gps waiting room (no bright colours). All in all we were both more than happy to get off this ship!. How it won the large category in cruise awards I will never know! These people that only go with Cunard need to try others because they are not the best company by far! Transatlantic South only from now on and never with QM2 where ever it goes!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We wanted to see what a luxury cruise line was and what would be different than the wonderful cruises we have had on Celebrity. Best I can say is that nothing was as great as the experience we have had on Celebrity and it seemed like the ... Read More
We wanted to see what a luxury cruise line was and what would be different than the wonderful cruises we have had on Celebrity. Best I can say is that nothing was as great as the experience we have had on Celebrity and it seemed like the ones who loved it were phobic against large ships and loved the smaller ports these lines go to. On that basis, Azamara is ok but not GREAT. The finesse of Celebrity where everyone seemed to anticipate your needs was missing. On several calls to guest relations, the phone was answered by "I'll call you right back!" and no return call was made. I made an inquiry about terms of my package and was told that "They cannot answer these questions" and offered no desire to find out. On any cruise I was always told, we will get an answer and advise! Azamara is the ONLY cruise lines to flatly reject our desire to extend our stay and no explanation was ever offered. The "package" was set in concrete and there are no variations! We always ask for extension to enjoy the new location. One part of a day is never enough to search out the richness of a city. Crew was exception with the best Captain we have ever had and the entertainment (cruise director staff) were of the highest caliber we have ever enjoyed. Hotel staff and restaurant staff had some bright spots like YAN-YAN the waitress. However that "finesse" was missing-like serving a warm glass of Chardonnay and then - to correct - was about to pour the chilled bottle into the warm contents!In our questionnaire, we said that we would not enter any restaurant that had dirty windows. The windows on this ship were so dirty that when the sun was on the window, you could not see beyond the crud that had accumulated! The excuse was that they could not do this on a transatlantic, but the windows were dirty LONG before we got on board! The worst issue we have is that the cruise line arranged our stay at the Melia Sevilla Hotel. Put us on buses to the hotel, then had NO ROOM to check into until 3 PM! The buses dropped us at the hotel about 9 AM! When we went in with our baggage, the hotel staff said that they were not permitted to help us and that the cruise staff would help! The cruise staff was ONE WOMAN and ONE MAN and there were three bus loads of passengers and the baggage! The woman deferred to the man about everything so we guessed she was a trainee, and the man KNEW NOTHING. He recited the instructions that we are to fill out the registration forms and then leave the bags in the lobby to be delivered to the rooms! The problem was that he had no way of identifying who owned what bags. When my wife asked about this, he looked blankly and them went to the hotel manager who (FOR THE FIRST TIME) told him we needed to put claim checks on the bags. The man gave us 4 of the 8 tags given to him! We were then told to vacate until 3 PM and "go to something!" and did not offer ANY assistance as to what we could do. The Hotel manager simply pointed us to Taxi stand on the other side of the street who all quoted us 10 Euros to the Cathedral! This is much higher that the reviews have shown us since this was only a few blocks away! The anger was very bad as the majority were older people that could not stand for too long, etc. It was like cattle cars dumping us on to the hotel and having no plans to care for any of us until 6 hours later!!! We have no desire to book Azamara again. We saw no value to the expense, no value to the loyalty issue that have us highest level due to the Celebrity status we have. I had the driest Fillet I have ever eaten. No a jucy, tender beef, but a dry beef that would never qualify as such here in Texas! Food was middle of the road. Complimentary wines were ok, but not above the $6-8 a bottle class of wines. In short, this is a small ship middle of the road cruise that I see no value in the higher cost to be justified! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Just got off the Queen Elizabeth in Ft Lauderdale,after a 14 day transatlantic & Caribbean cruise ,14 days of purgatory,what a boring & truly lifeless ship with no atmosphere. Most passengers on board think they are someone they ... Read More
Just got off the Queen Elizabeth in Ft Lauderdale,after a 14 day transatlantic & Caribbean cruise ,14 days of purgatory,what a boring & truly lifeless ship with no atmosphere. Most passengers on board think they are someone they aren't because they are on a "Cunard " ship.As one chap said one day when we were cuing to get back on board after a day on a beach,a woman pushed past us up the gangway, "There goes one of the Cunard Mafia ". Embarkation from Southampton was very well organized & when we got on board our cases were already in our cabin.The ship is quite old fashioned inside but very well set out, plenty of Bars etc,but the noise from the engines is very loud on deck 2 especially in the cafe/bar & the vibration in our cabin on deck one was very noticeable. The service on our table in the Britannia restaurant was disgusting ,not once did our waiter call us by name as we have always have been on Celebrity & Royal Caribbean & was very rude to other guests & we had to order our desert with our starter & main course .One evening he cut his finger & carried on serving us ,dripping blood onto the table cloth,the Maitre D stood by & said nothing.The food was acceptable but nothing out of the ordinary. The Lido buffet restaurant was a joke.Tables took ages to be cleared & were hardly ever wiped down when the were.The breakfast selection was always hot but quite limited .The only ray of sunshine was the young chef who fryed our eggs every day ,she was lovely & new how we wanted them cooked after the very first day 10 out of 10 to her !!.The lunch selection was o.k. with made to order food available as well as the normal buffet food. Now onto the entertainment or should I say lack of it unless you like violinists, harpist,piano recitals,trivia (4or5 times a day),ballroom dancing & bridge & more bridge.One day there was even scarf folding (please bring you own square scarf ).The evening entertainment was not much better with people constantly walking out of the shows & to top it all one evening the show was A FILM,(not in the evening ) The library containing 6000 books says it all, you hardly ever saw any body walking around or sat without a book in hand. Bar waiter service around the ship was good the waiters being very attentive once they knew who liked a drink.No drinks served in the theatre. We were sat upon deck one morning above the Lido pool & all that could be heard was the splashing of the water in the pool as the ship rolled,the sound of ping pong being played & the snoring of the Mafia NO music being played Or the sound of people having FUN. If you have not got a plum in your mouth & are not up your own ar--,don`t even think about it. To cap it all once we arrived in Ft Lauderdale we were supposed to disembark at 8-30 am to pick up a rental car to continue our holiday in Florida but it was 12-15pm when we finally got through customs,due to a lack of customs officials so we were told ???. After now having been on over 25 cruises on various lines ,this has to be by far the WORST to date & we will have to be hard pushed to venture onto a Cunard ship again !! well perhaps when we have " ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE " Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We sailed on the beautiful QM2 early January from NY to Southhampton. We boarded about 5 hours late as the crew was disinfecting the ship because of a norovirus outbreak on their previous Caribbean sailing. We scoped out the whole ship ... Read More
We sailed on the beautiful QM2 early January from NY to Southhampton. We boarded about 5 hours late as the crew was disinfecting the ship because of a norovirus outbreak on their previous Caribbean sailing. We scoped out the whole ship before leaving NY and were spellbound by the size and spaciousness. That's where the thrill ended however. We dined in the Britannia and Todd English restaurants. The food in the Britannia was dull, flavorless and cold when we were served. The restaurant staff in the Britannia seemed disinterested and in a rush to get the food out above anything else. The sommelier seemed put off that we decided to drink water and even grimaced at my companion when she ordered club soda. Todd English was decent and the staff quite good. The Kings Court buffets were fair at best. They had the same food options every single night, with no change in the menu whatsoever. Quite dull. It seems they took the leftover finger sandwiches from the afternoon tea time and put them out for the buffet hours later - nicely dried out, bricks for the buffet. Enough about food... For a week long transatlantic crossing the entertainment was pretty pathetic. Unless you like ballroom dancing. Certainly the seas were rough a few of the nights and they couldn't put on any shows in the Illuminations Theater. The planetarium was great, and lecturer Bill Miller was fantastic and drew big crowds. Our balcony cabin was amazing as was our cabin steward. The ship is so huge but there are many vacant, unused areas. It would be great if mgmt planned another unique restaurant or two for the ship, and had more unique entertainment in the future. It was telling how many other guests we talked to that were disappointed. We kept hearing from them how Celebrity puts Cunard to shame, and they do. Our last transatlantic crossing on Celebrity was amazing, and the food superb. What a shame a billion dollar transatlantic liner has to be so dull. We expected so much more from this cruise and were let down. Several friends back home were waiting with baited breath to know how the QM2 was and if we recommend it. Definitely not, unless they plan on offering more for the money especially the cuisine. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Crystal is a bit better than the average cruise line, but in no way is it '6 star cruising' and certainly not worth the extra cost. I don't believe it represents good value for money, and personally wouldn't cruise with ... Read More
Crystal is a bit better than the average cruise line, but in no way is it '6 star cruising' and certainly not worth the extra cost. I don't believe it represents good value for money, and personally wouldn't cruise with them again. Cabins are really small. We'd booked one for two adults, a three year old in a bed and a baby (6 months) in a cot. The three year old was OK in a chair which folded out into a bed (but I wouldn't want to put a child who was much older than that in there). But when the bed was folded out the table in the room had to go under the dressing table, the chair from the dressing table had to be removed from the room completely and the baby had to sleep in our bed as there was absolutely no room for a cot. This wasn't great, but given the fact we had to pay for the baby when he had nowhere to sleep and no food provided it wasn't acceptable. We were told the lowest category of cabin with a fold out bed available was Cat C. We would have much preferred adjacent cabins with an adjoining door in Cat E but we were told this wasn't available. Very frustrating then that someone we were travelling with was allocated just such a cabin and it definitely did have a fold out bed. The size of the cabin meant there wasn't enough room for all our clothes -- I think we would have struggled with just two people in the cabin -- but with two children quite a lot of our clothes had to remain in the suitcase under the bed, which we could only get out when the fold out bed was folded up. Liked the mini-bath in the bathroom, great for bathing the kids. The twin sink looks great, but as you can't get more than one person in the bathroom at a time it would actually been better to have one bigger sink. Loved the Aveda toiletries. The waiting staff and the room stewards were generally excellent but the reception staff ranged from dismissive to downright unhelpful. Personally I found the entertainment poor. The program didn't vary day to day -- bingo at 10, quiz at 11, dance lessons at 2.30, etc -- the only thing that seemed to change was the guest lecturers. There are obviously a certain portion of people this appeals to but it completely lacked imagination and innovation, nothing that hasn't been done for years. The brochure advertises that there are dedicated rooms for kids but that is quite literally all they are, just a room -- no entertainment at all is provided and there were no toys whatsoever available in the room (which was quite often closed as it was being used by the golf program or the photographers). I understand that there are no dedicated staff available outside of selected cruises but that is absolutely no excuse for not having toys available in the kids room. If nothing else that would mean the children would have somewhere to play away from passengers who didn't want children on-board. There was a kids menu in the dining room but this didn't vary at all, and unsurprisingly my son was getting bored of eating the same things after two weeks on-board. There was very little that was suitable for children otherwise, and absolutely no baby food was available. The food in general was good, and portion sizes in the main restaurant were ideal. The lunch buffet was quite repetitive though, and only a few hot dishes varied day to day, with other counters not changing at all during the two weeks. I found the opening times of both the restaurant and the lunch buffet too limited (trying to fit in getting the children fed and naps meant that quite often I missed the buffet and had to eat at the lido). Other people who ate breakfast quite late or were on the late sitting for dinner might also have found the lunch closing at 1.30 to early also. After 6.30 the only options were the restaurant or the food being served in the restaurant as room service. With the kids asleep in the room, room service was not an option so it would have been nice to have somewhere else to go. Crystal might argue that there isn't the demand for it but the long wait for a table on the two nights there was casual dining in the evening in the buffet room would suggest otherwise. We really struggled to get bookings at the speciality restaurant at suitable times, in the end we only got a booking at all by e-mailing Crystal. We were therefore really annoyed when we did get in to find that we were the only fare paying passengers there save for one other table. All the other tables were taken up by staff, some of them with their guests. I understand that staff might want to take their guests in, but this should not be to the detriment of fare paying passengers, who should get preference. Many of the staff seemed to treat the passenger areas as their own, often taking up tables in the bistro and the lido area, leaving no seats available for the paying passengers. This also meant that the waiting staff were having to serve them drinks, etc increasing the length of time passengers were having to wait. I really didn't think this was acceptable. The boat itself has recently been refurbished but it really is beginning to show its age. We experienced rough weather but I've been on rougher seas in other boats and they were able to cope much better than this ship did. We were scheduled to call at 4 ports -- Dublin, Akureyri, Reykjavik and Halifax. Two of these stops were cancelled due to bad weather (which although the boat made hard work of it wasn't that bad). We were also delayed for over 5 hours getting out of Reykjavik, this was put down to the sea being too rough but the Brilliance of the Seas was out at sea waiting for our berth to become available and didn't seem to be experiencing any problems. As 'compensation' for missing two of the four stops we were given 100$ per person. Unfortunately this was only given to the full fare paying passengers, so no compensation at all for the baby, not even a pro-rata rebate. This works out in the region of 1% of the total cost of the holiday, and given that we missed 50% of the stops we though this was somewhat insulting. One formal night was cancelled, as it was a bit choppy, and never reinstated on another night. And no effort was made to change the entertainment program to alleviate the boredom of spending endless unplanned days at sea. I found that the tours were excessively expensive. For example we did a tour to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. It seemed expensive but we though this might be because the entry to the Blue Lagoon was expensive, but this wasn't the case. We were also under the impression that the tours were free for the under 4s. In fact they charged us 50% of the full fare for our 3 year old. This was despite the fact that it was completely free for him to get into the Blue Lagoon. So effectively we had to pay $60 for a bus trip which was less than half an hour each way. Needless to say we didn't take any more trips, and would have struggled to do so as the stops were cancelled anyway! The debarkation was the worst I have experienced. Crystal have a no passenger announcements policy, which generally is OK but when their organisation goes so spectacularly awry they are really needed. Debarkation was scheduled to commence from around 8am, with passengers being told to wait in the Starlight lounge at specific times and passengers would be directed from there. However 9am came and went with no sign of anyone getting off. The two staff present were hopelessly inundated and had no idea what was happening. By 10am it felt like the entire ship was trying to fit into the lounge and when they did begin letting people off the first ones off where the last ones to arrive as those who should have been let off were trapped in the lounge by those who had arrived for a later departure. Utter chaos, and I'd be surprised if people didn't miss their flights because of it. Especially frustrating as we could see passengers on the Carnival ship, which arrived after us, getting of before us. But this event summed up the entire cruise -- lack of customer care, staff largely absent and uninterested and no better (and quite often worse) than any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This was our 5th crossing on QM2...in a very spacious well maintained cabin. Probably our favorite cabin type afloat...boarding is always very well organized and efficient...luggage delivered promptly...then off to lunch...just a salad and ... Read More
This was our 5th crossing on QM2...in a very spacious well maintained cabin. Probably our favorite cabin type afloat...boarding is always very well organized and efficient...luggage delivered promptly...then off to lunch...just a salad and soup...no taste! Our first dinner was very nice...things are looking up! but truth be told most of the food was mass market banquet quality..with some dishes at dinner so bad I could not eat it! When lobster was served had to ask for sauce...and lemon... on the alternative menu some items had to be ordered in advance and no escargot on the menu! The service seemed less that attentive...clearly a tired group...one breakfast our table mates had to ask several times for the some thing....one night our table mate was already eating when we arrived at table...when I asked him what he was having he told me they would not give him a steak...I insisted that he have a steak...which caused quite a fuss & did make not me very popular with the wait staff ...but how ridiculous was that..We might have to cross the QM2 off our ships we like...just because of the lousy food! The best part of the trip was using Smiths for airport service we found on cruise critic...both Simon's were excellent...pick-up at LHR into London and London down to Southampton....don't bother with anyone else! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
I know that many people love Crystal Cruises, in fact most of the passengers on my cruise had sailed Crystal numerous times, but I am not one of them and do not plan on sailing Crystal again. I was bored out of my mind!!!!Daytime ... Read More
I know that many people love Crystal Cruises, in fact most of the passengers on my cruise had sailed Crystal numerous times, but I am not one of them and do not plan on sailing Crystal again. I was bored out of my mind!!!!Daytime activities were limited to one trivia and 1 bingo per day plus some lectures, a mid-afternoon movie and dance classes. I read a lot of books on this crossing! The food and service were no better than what I have experienced on many cruise lines that charge much less than Crystal does. I did not find the food or the service excellent or exceptional (except for Prego - see below). The boring breakfast buffet at the Lido Cafe was the same ever morning and the lunch buffet was quite limited and boring also. Food in the dining room was OK, except for my medium rare steak arriving overcooked every night except for the first one. Most passengers loved the free drinks and the wines flowed freely. I don't drink but was happy to have all the Coke Zeros and bottled water I wanted. 2 good things - the delicious cupcakes in the Bistro Cafe and my dinner at Prego- only in that restaurant were the food and service exceptional. It was the best meal I had while on the cruise and I can see why it was fully booked every night. My balcony cabin was much smaller than a balcony cabin on any other cruise line I have sailed, the bathroom was tiny and the bed was as HARD AS A ROCK. If I hadn't been able to get a puffy mattress pad that made the bed a little softer I would have slept on the floor. The pillows were plentiful and wonderful, however. The bathroom was very small with a tub/shower combo. Good water pressure and plenty of hot water and bath sheets that actaually went all the way around me. Thankfully, very few (maybe 10) children on the cruise. Passengers were well-heeled and well-traveled but fun to be with and not snooty at all. Everybody seemed to actually stick to the daily evening dress code. You saw very few (if any!) around the ship in shorts or tee-shirts after 6PM. As this was a big band theme cruise, there was plenty of dancing and gentlemen hosts to dance with some of the single ladies. Many places around the ship to listen to various types of music. Casino-old slot machines that did not pay and ate your money. There were some interesting classes such as beginning Berlitz Spanish, Yamaha keyboard and various computer classes. I prefer a cruise with many more daytime activities that I like to do. You won't see me on a Crystal ship again anytime soon! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
The ship itself is beautiful but apart from the food everything else you have to pay for. There are a few activities that you can do for free but mainly movies and talkies in different subjects. Also some actitivies like line dancing that ... Read More
The ship itself is beautiful but apart from the food everything else you have to pay for. There are a few activities that you can do for free but mainly movies and talkies in different subjects. Also some actitivies like line dancing that are scheduled in the morning would be better in the afternoon especially on the eastern voyage where you loose an hour every night. There is a nice spa on board but you need to pay to use it. Some classes you need to pay to do it. Some exercise classes you need to pay to do it. The photographies are very expense U$ 25.00 a shot. Some which take the photographers less than 3 seconds to take. The food was ok but not great, certainly not better than any other cruise I have taken and the selection at the buffet not as varied. Service slow. The afternoon tea was good in the Queens Room. If taking the the eastern voyage I recommend the first seating as with loosing an hour every night if you got to the after show dinner and a drink when you see it is 2 o'clock before you go to bed. The white star service is not different from any other cruise. Maybe carnival who owns most cruise companies should look at their own P&O and see how they do it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This was the first transatlantic crossing for my wife and I, and our first trip on the Queen Mary 2. We booked the cruise only two weeks before departure from New York as we were in California on vacation and decided at the last minute to ... Read More
This was the first transatlantic crossing for my wife and I, and our first trip on the Queen Mary 2. We booked the cruise only two weeks before departure from New York as we were in California on vacation and decided at the last minute to travel this way home.The embarkation process was fairly speedy and from road side to ship took about an hour. The only problem was for the taxi getting to the drop off point, as there was a long queue and it wasn't moving very fast, mainly because of coaches dropping off. We, along with others, got out of our taxi and walked the last couple of hundred yards.The stateroom was fairly nice, we had a sheltered balcony on deck 5, and overall were fairly pleased with it. The ship was a true Liner and the public areas were all very grand but a little bit difficult to navigate sometimes. We have only travelled on Princess Cruises before so I can only give my comparisons based on this and would start off by saying that I felt that the Island princess was a nicer ship overall. Why you might ask, well I felt it had a much grander atrium and much more space everywhere. The food was certainly better on Princess in the main dining rooms, where it was silver service, in the speciality restaurants, in the buffet areas and room service, which were very sub-standard and lacked choice.Crew on the QM2 were satisfactory and most, very pleasant, but not a touch on the Island Princess crew who were in a different league.There were four formal nights on the 7 night voyage, which was a bit much, but I suppose it was all part of this golden age of the Liners. We were lucky as after an unsatisfactory change of table we were given the option of an Officer hosted table for 8, which worked out very well as we all got on fairly well and on formal nights it was free wine and plenty of it. So if you get the opportunity to do this, it's worth taking. The food in the Britannia Restaurant quite good but choice limited.We didn't eat in the King's Court on any evening and only about twice on the whole crossing, good decision, as we were not very impressed with the set up and again the food was not as good as Princess. If you did want to use the King's Court in the evening because you didn't to get suited and booted, it was split into four sections, three of which attracted a $10 surcharge and as far as I could see could not be justified.The entertainment onboard was reasonable and the best on our trip, in my opinion, was the RADA group who performed Canterbury Tales and Much ado about nothing with their own interpretation. I didn't have much need to use the Customer Services desk (Pursers) but again they were not as good as the impression left by Princess who exceeded expectations. I suppose this was the overall difference of my two experiences, Cunard QM2 was about what I expected whereas the Island Princess certainly exceeded my expectations.The arrival at Southampton seemed well organised and a good Terminal to disembark through. We carried our own bags off the ship and were first group off but other with baggage handled weren't far behind. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We were anxious to try the transatlantic sailing of the Queen Mary 2. Other reviews that you read are "spot on" so we won't repeat or duplicate totally. It was so very sad. There is a lot of attention paid to ... Read More
We were anxious to try the transatlantic sailing of the Queen Mary 2. Other reviews that you read are "spot on" so we won't repeat or duplicate totally. It was so very sad. There is a lot of attention paid to pretentious formal dress (which is/was fine - we have all of the necessary clothes and jewelry), but nothing much parallels that environment. The food was pedestrian - under/over cooked - serving sizes our watier apologized for - service was slow - one night we waited 40 minutes for our starter. The enrichment lectures/movies/plantarium are wonderful. Service at the King's Court was unreal - waiters in the way - ice cream machines that worked intermittingly - coffee/cup layout that had little or no traffic pattern. Other side things - I had a spa appointment and the stylist told me when I inquired that tips weren't included - they were. I have a high level contact in Carnival Lines (owner of Cunard) and we did receive a follow-up phone call but clearly she had "drank the kool-aid" or just came from customer service trainging because the call did not express geniune concern for the issues we addressed at all - just keep saying - yes, we understand...... Cuanrd now has competition - great cruise lines like Holland and Celebrity who serve wonderful food and even if you're in a suite or steerage - you truly are treated the same ship wide. Disembarking was a diaster with no porters - some kind of union walk-out on the docks - but Cunard had no grasp of the issue and it was chaos until the union personnel walked back on - no back-up plan - a diaster. If you want transportation and the basics - this is a great trip - if you want true cruise experience go Holland or Celebrity - and have less angst and no matter what consistenet service. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
GENERAL: On boarding the Queen Mary 2 do not expect a Cunard experience but rather a Carnival experience. It is not an elegant sailing experience any more, thanks to the Carnival bean counters and the practice of deeply discounted last ... Read More
GENERAL: On boarding the Queen Mary 2 do not expect a Cunard experience but rather a Carnival experience. It is not an elegant sailing experience any more, thanks to the Carnival bean counters and the practice of deeply discounted last minute cruise offers. Last August, we booked a cabin (Balcony Deluxe) on the maiden Transatlantic crossing of the Queen Elizabeth and then the cruise from New York to Cape Town on the QM2, through White Star Cruises in England. On the first leg of our voyage we met numerous passengers who had booked their cruise through English newspapers and were bragging about how little they had paid. Many had not paid for the transatlantic crossing (which we had) and received $400 onboard spending (which we did not). One passenger had booked the same trip, paid for an inside cabin, been upgraded to the same category cabin as ours on top of not paying for the transatlantic crossing. To add insult to injury one of these couples was upgraded to the Britannia Club on the QM2, while we were not. As a result of this last minute discounting fares, about half of the passengers on the QM2 looked "rough", as another passenger put it. We were surrounded by the tattooed, obese, polyester clad, socks in sandals, tight perm, blue rinse brigade. We were sharing our space with people we would never have otherwise met socially. We changed tables six times in the hope of meeting like-minded passengers. We sat with people who did not drink wine but water or iced tea, because it was free, they said. At one table, one lady only drank port and lemon with her food! We met passengers who had travelled on QM2 eighteen months ago and they all agreed there has been a serious degradation of the food and the type of fellow passengers. DINING: This was not fine dining. BRITANNIA RESTAURANT: Breakfast: excellent with fresh fruit, smoked salmon and a wide selection of food including full English breakfast. Lunch and dinner: we could not believe the poor quality of the food we were served. There was an abundance of rice, pasta, potatoes and carrots, with only small amounts of green vegetables. We were offered breaded, deep fried food like deep fried catfish, fish and ships, deep fried onions and for a change chicken pie, shepherd's pie, chicken livers, meat loaf and numerous dishes with sugary sauces - all in all stodgy and fattening menus. I would guess the food budget to have been less than $10 per passenger per day. KINGS COURT is a cafeteria alternative on the 7th deck, which we did not bother with. TODD ENGLISH RESTAURANT: serves fine dining at a charge of $30 per person. This is the type of food we expected would be served in the Britannia Restaurant. The chefs on board can prepare excellent food, but only at an extra cost. It is unacceptable that we paid thousands of pounds for this cruise and were expected to pay extra to eat the fine dining promised by Cunard. WINE: $35 minimum for a bottle of wine - which compares favourably with prices charged in American restaurants. Wine waiters were friendly and efficient. BARS: always full with passengers, mostly sipping their glasses of water - made it difficult to find a seat to enjoy our pre or after-dinner drink. Waiters were excellent. ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME: Good and varied. CABIN: Perfect. Well appointed and plenty of storage space. However, you can quite clearly hear sounds from the next cabin if you have adjoining doors. CREW: the hard working, international crew, from the Captain down were brilliant. They were courteous, efficient, smiling and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. The Eastern European contingent was particularly attentive and professional. LAUNDRY ROOM: also known as "laundry as a combat sport". Laundry rooms are available on all decks and also have irons and ironing boards. Very useful. Always busy and did bring out the worst in fellow passengers. Some clothing was stolen. SHIP: beautiful and very well maintained. PUBLIC SPACES: it felt very crowded at all times probably because passengers were, for most of the day, sitting in public rooms, sucking on their ubiquitous (free) mugs of coffees. LIBRARY: Excellent with very helpful and knowledgeable librarian. BEAUTY SALON: good, but very expensive - $65 for a short hair wash and dry. ACTIVITIES: the duplicate bridge was oversubscribed and we had to cut our lunch short to ensure we had a table. Other activities included line dancing, bingo, and more of the same. Again, not what you expect on a 5-star liner. There was no sign of the dramatic RADA programme widely advertised on Cunard's web page. Where did it go? EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION: very good and straightforward. PORTS OF CALL - SHUTTLE SERVICE: free, frequent and excellent especially in New York. CONCLUSION: should you decide to sail on QM2 for all her good points (beautiful ship, excellent cabins, great crew, good ports of call), ensure that you get a newspaper or last-minute discounted offer which will give you value for money. We did not and felt complete idiots for the whole cruise as our fellow passengers never tired of mentioning how little they had paid.. Finally, I find the publicity shots on Cunard's webpage and brochures very deceptive. Some passengers were as elegant as the models depicted on the photos but, to represent the full reality of sailing on QM2, the webpage should be amended to include photos of the majority of the real passengers, who could accurately be represented by the cast of characters of the BBC series "Benidorm". For our American friends, they would be well represented by the cast of "All in the family" sitcom. Archie Bunker would have felt right at home on our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
I am not normally one to complain but the experience we have just had on the Queen Mary 2 beggar's belief. It was a comedy of error from the start. We decided to take the taster cruise on the Queen Mary 2 with the intention, if we ... Read More
I am not normally one to complain but the experience we have just had on the Queen Mary 2 beggar's belief. It was a comedy of error from the start. We decided to take the taster cruise on the Queen Mary 2 with the intention, if we enjoyed it, to book a cruise to New York the early part of next year. We arrived on ship without any greeting; we were just told "turn left to the elevators". It was not explained where our rooms could be found or which restaurants would be open for refreshments. We had been travelling and waiting for a long time. On previous cruises with Royal Caribbean. We were greeted on arrival. It was explained how to get to our rooms and which restaurants were open for our convience. With Cunard we were just left to sort ourselves out. At dinner on our first evening the food was cold and our wine arrived near the end of our second course, and that was only because I asked where it was. The reason we were given was that there was only one wine waiter on and they were very busy. Breakfast the next morning: - we received our coffee, pastry and fruit. When we finished it was cleared. We waited and waited, about half an hour, eventually a waiter stopped and asked what we had ordered as our order had been lost. They apologised and said they were very busy. We decided to go for afternoon tea in the Queens Room. After queuing for ages, we were seated, offered tea quite quickly, eventually offered a small selection of cakes as they had run out of scones and tartlets, as they were busy !!! never had sight of any sandwiches On disenbarkment, there again, no direction as to what was to happen. The first we knew about collection of cases, the evening before departure, was when the porter knocked on the door for collection, we were just leaving for dinner. We had to come back after dinner and pack, not what we were expecting to do on our last night. If we had been told we would have packed before dinner. We were given no information on time of departure. I called the pursers office for this information, after eventually getting through. I have just highlighted some of the issues but the general feeling was that it was a cruise that had been fitted in between longer cruises, with little staff and little facilities. I was looking forward to the Planetarium. The staff were doing their best and this is not a reflection on them, in fact my heart went out to them as they were in the firing line and I know there was a lot of unhappy people on board. It was a standard joke that the company had been renamed 'Queuenard' as we had to queue for everything. After cruising with Royal Caribbean, which I have to say you could learn a great deal from, I was expecting even better from you as I believed that the Cunard ships were the best. I truly struggle to rate it above a 3* The Queen Mary 2 let down the Cunard line but most of all it let down its guests, that in good faith paid good money for a standard of cruising they did not receive. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We have just returned from a 12 day canary island cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria.The water was a little rough for about 8 of the days and the ship really cant handle it.There was a constant rolling motion and loud banging throughout ... Read More
We have just returned from a 12 day canary island cruise on the Cunard Queen Victoria.The water was a little rough for about 8 of the days and the ship really cant handle it.There was a constant rolling motion and loud banging throughout the night.We dont get seasick but many people on board were ill for most of the trip.We have been in rougher seas on other ships and never had this problem,so there was much speculation amongst the passengers as to why a big newer ship would be like this.The cabin was of average size,but I thought the bathroom was tiny even by cruiseship standards.The food was just Ok.I cruised on Celebrity Constellation last year,and thought the food was by far superior on Celebrity.It seemed to be an even older crowd than most cruises we have been on and needless to say any excursions we booked that indicated a little adventure,were cancelled due to lack of interest.In all fairness this happens a lot on the cruises we have been on.Due to a passenger having a medial emergency and the rough seas we were behind in schedule and one of our ports of call had to be cancelled,which was a disappointment but not the fault of Cunard.In Cunards favour ,their staff are very efficient and attentive and embarking and disembarking are the best of any cruise line.Their entertainment is top notch and varied.In closing I guess with Cunards long standing reputation,I really expected more but I found them only average compared to other lines Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
As a long time SSS member and Radisson cruiser, we have continued our cruising with the Regent product and each time, bringing our expectations and hopes that the experience remains the same despite the corporate change of hands. Our most ... Read More
As a long time SSS member and Radisson cruiser, we have continued our cruising with the Regent product and each time, bringing our expectations and hopes that the experience remains the same despite the corporate change of hands. Our most recent foray was on the Voyager from Athens to Rio. Sadly, that Radisson famous service is no longer available. For the very things that used to make cruising unique on this line and encourage longetivity and loyalty amongst their guests, all have gone by the wayside in favour of the bottom line. A fellow SSS passenger reported to me that the new president Frank DelRio himself gauchely stated to guests that he no longer wanted to world cruisers or long-term travellers, "there was no money to be made off them". In essence, it's a slow destrcution or "Carnivalization" model this company is moving towards, and they are taking no prisoners, and in our opinion going the entirely wrong way about it. Solid shoreside staff who used to be well equipped to deal with the unforseen, or resolving issues pertaining to guest relations have been replaced by managers with no practical business experience and who have instead ridden up the corporate ladder and weild their newfound power with an unqualified sword. One such manager (name eludes us- French guy?)was apparently boarding in Puerto Rico but outright refused to meet with any guests despite a group of us approaching the chief purser. Perhaps he was ill equipped (crew told us he was a former maitred!!) to deal with questions on his and other's decision making that are substantially affecting the cruise experience itself. Consequently, they are allowing all those wonderful and memorable staff you would recall from past cruising who genuinely cared about the company to mass exit, and instead replacing them with crew who will work for less, and be entirely too busy to pay attention to the finer details we had all come to love. Less crew and more work means they aren't happy. We noted a number of the former crew have relocated employers on our last Silverseas cruise, and in conversations with some of the key individuals still onboard, expect to see more of them mass exiting in future with little or nothing to be done in attempting to keep the very folk who made these ships worthwhile. Indeed, a sad state of affairs and points very much to the possibility of unqalified and foolish corporate decision makers. This is the only reasoning as to why they are willing to destroy the very product that set them apart from the rest of the industry. Compass Rose The best this has to offer is the flexibility for it's diners in both menu and seating. The food has certainly gone downwards, and although they do their best to disguise it, in quality it is apparent. Maitre'd Luis was on for part of our segment and is the consummate professional. The sommolier Craig is the finest we've come in contact with and knows his wines inside out. Ordering items that are off the menu still permits for those with discerning tastes, and this is a gesture appreciated in the ever-evolving cruise industry. A good meal, but has lost it's sparkle. Verandah Buffet style, and often destination based, the offerings up here are hit and miss. Certainly kudos go out to the effort in which it takes to serve up a large variety, and it does break the monotony of the other onboard offerings. But expect chewier, cheaper cuts of meat, less exotic fruit and veg, and instead more mass production. When we requested a specific regional wine, we got the impression that we were somehow putting them out, and yet, throughout our lengthy voyage this was the same wine we had requested with nearly every suited meal. No strike against our hard working wine sommolier or waiter, as it was apparent they were not the ones at fault. Evening and Day Entertainment Although the lecturers are still for the most part, top notch, the narration while arriving or going through interesting spots at sea or in ports has been lost, and the captain is the only one who manages to deliver some personality in his announcements. The shows are decent, but dated, but some recognition should be given to the Cruise Director Lorraine who seems to be everywhere at once, and even if out of breath, always professional. Elsa is a living doll and is also full of boundless energy and compassion, and from our observations, along with Elsa really took the solo travelling people under her wing. Ports- no complaints here- we chose this run based on our past visits to the same ports. Our only problem wast that the french tour manager was exteremely difficult to understand in her announcements, and attempts to coral the geusts at times were noteably futile. Onboard Activities There were good cooking classes, excellent crafts instruction and activities with Marsha,, interesting and relevant computer courses up for offer, and a large internet cafe and in-room wireless internet that was although agonizing in it's lack of speed, left one in good hands with the gracious female computer instructor. The gift shops were polished but lacked local and seasonal items, staffed with friendly folk and not too many of them! It always seemed someone onboard could dig up whatever it was a passenger lacked, which is also lost on the larger ships. There is no photo department any longer which is refreshing,although there were times a picture would have been great to have the option to buy. Not having the ability to purchase camera related items like memory sticks, etc was a let down. The manager onboard Englebert seemed to be more of a yes man than a man who got things done. Friends of ours in a gruop onboard had somewhat unpleasant dealings with him and although he had some decorum and professionalism, he clearly had limited or no power to change or adjust the arrangements that had been problematic. His overall impression he gave off was that of padding/bandaging the issues rather than truly working to fix things. All in all, rather ineffective. Debarkation was fairly smooth and the low passenger count definitely makes this a difference of night and day compared to much larger vessels. All in all, if you are expecting the personalized, stand-out treatment of the Radisson days, that is all but lost, along with most of the staff who facilitated that. Decent value but overpriced for the service they are touting that just simply isn't the same. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
After 10 years of travelling on 4 star cruise ships and last year on Silversea, we decided to splurge and try the "yet to be built Seabourn Odessey". Travelling from Australia to start your cruise from an overseas port can be a ... Read More
After 10 years of travelling on 4 star cruise ships and last year on Silversea, we decided to splurge and try the "yet to be built Seabourn Odessey". Travelling from Australia to start your cruise from an overseas port can be a very expensive exercise, but almost 2 years before the Odessey was built we booked our cruise on the inaugural Transatlantic crossing as we thought it would be a special 6 star experience with some added highlights as it was the first time it crossed the Atlantic. To say the cruise was a disappointment is an understatement. Whilst the staterooms were spacious and comfortable and offered decent facilities, the rest of the ship was a let down. Corridors were often lined with laundry trolleys for most of the day, carpets throughout the corridors and public areas were badly stained (looked like the cleaning product bleached the stains), carpets had been patched in many places (badly and this is in a ship that was barely about 4 months old. How could this happen? We also felt that the ship lacked artwork throughout, furnishings were dull and there was a mish mash of different carpets in areas that didn't blend in well with the colour scheme. It is always nice to see scuptures and paintings around and we missed this. There was also a distinct lack of sofas/chairs scattered around that offered a quiet place to sit or wait for friends. The theatre was badly planned. What could have been prime seating next to the aisle centre to the stage was blocked by large columns, and the timber stage floor was a dark brown flat stain finish that was scuffed and looked grubby. During the second half of the cruise we booked the exclusive and supposedly very upmarket private spa area for a cost of $300. No one informed us that the pool was initially freezing then emptied, the day beds and all outdoor facilities were covered with soot and some facilites were not in operation. We asked for a refund as did 4 others that we knew of. This was a huge disappointment as we had planned to use the spa on the Crossing. The rear of deck 4 had no ambience. Cushions on the outdoor furniture were stained and most days were missing altogether. Much more could have been done to brighten it up. A photo shoot was being conducted on board for the first 10 days of the cruise and paying guests of Seabourn had to watch from the sidelines whist the main pool and whirlpool was taken over by photographers/models etc. Various other locations around the ship were also out of bounds on various days. This was not acceptable and we should have told this was going on as the shoots went on and on for hours and hours each day. Hello -----we were paying guests who couldn't use the facilities. We also found out that the photo crew/models/hangers-on had been allocated much better staterooms than we had and we felt that in the interests of good customer service, this shouldn't be so. Our stateroom was located next to a service area and after the first couple of days of not being able to rest due to metal grinding through to 7 pm we asked to be moved to a quieter cabin. To cut a long protracted story short, our request was denied. Apparently there was no spare rooms. 4 days later and by this time the noise was driving us crazy and we continued to request a quieter room. Then whilst we were at breakfast on the 5th day, our belongings were moved to a disabled room without our knowledge. The disabled room was awful. Our things were moved back to our noisy cabin. Then after we let management know that we were unhappy with the way they were handling things, they "found" an empty cabin. We were shown an identical room on the next floor up, same location, same everything. The cabin was full of the models/photographers baggage and had been empty of guests for the whole 5 days we were requesting a move. NO SPARE ROOMS !!!Meanwhile another couple on deck 4 were upgraded to a quieter room due to similar noise we were experiencing. NO SPARE ROOMS!! The day after we changed cabins, we were preparing to go on tour when a huge noise rumbled through our room and water started pouring into our bathroom and under the door. Outside, the roof had caved in after a water pipe had burst. We missed our tour, we were soaking wet and very unhappy. It was beginning to be a nightmare. Our room had a mouldy smell for the rest of the cruise, carpets were lifted up outside in the corridor, noisy fans were working most of the day to dry out the carpets, the roof was being repaired and pieces of carpet were being cut out and patched with old carpet pieces that didn't match. It was, and looked dreadful. Nice relaxing cruise so far !!!! We felt that senior management treated us poorly and were lacking any compassion. The rest of the cruise was uneventful but the Hotel Manager ignored us for the rest of the cruise and seemed unconcerned about what had happened. Our friends who travelled with us were very unimpressed and will not sail Seabourn again. After returning home we have corresponded to Head Office and we have been given a discount on a next cruise, but to be honest, we would have rather been treated like valued guests on the cruise we were on at the time. Seabourn needs to lift their game. We probably will not be able to use the discount so we have ended up with nothing but a bad experience and a depleted bank account. Shame on you Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
About us: This was our second cruise. Our first one was about 10 years ago - Western Caribbean on the Celebrity Infinity. We're a 50ish married couple. Hotel: We stayed at Clairidge's. This was our first time in London. We knew ... Read More
About us: This was our second cruise. Our first one was about 10 years ago - Western Caribbean on the Celebrity Infinity. We're a 50ish married couple. Hotel: We stayed at Clairidge's. This was our first time in London. We knew it was pricey but did not realize how much! We read in a review about the hotel that if you have to ask how much, don't stay here. Our 3 night stay with room, food (we ate dinner in the hotel each night), drinks and taxes was almost $4,000 USD. The exchange rate did not help (the US dollar is worth very little in the UK and Europe). The room was a decent size but rather dark with no view. The marble bathroom was updated and had the most fantastic shower and toiletries. Getting to the boat: We were in shock to find out Southampton (the embarkation point) was a 2-3 hour car ride from the heart of London depending on traffic. After calling several cab companies we found out it was ~$500 USD for a taxi or ~$800 USD for a private car from our hotel. A couple we spoke to on board the QM2 said they purchased the transfer from Cunard and it was ~$500 USD but a nightmare. They were sent to the train station with all their luggage and had to wait around for hours, then board the train where there was little room for your luggage. They were quite grumpy by the time they arrived aboard. By contrast, although quite expensive, we had a smooth and pleasant trip from the hotel to the ship. Embarkation: Had to wait a bit but was very smooth - no real problems First impression on boarding the boat: Not impressed. Expected a fabulous and glamorous entry / lobby. But it was sort of blah. Room: We had a Queen's Grill Suite (Q6). Very spacious room, nice sized closet, nice sized bathroom. The balcony was a good size (not as small as we had feared) - you could stretch out on a chaise lounge at a bit of an angle. On arrival, a chilled bottle of champagne with chocolate covered strawberries awaited us. The cabin butler greeted us, showed us the contents of the mini-fridge which included another bottle of complimentary champagne, canned soda and bottled water. She indicated that we were entitled to two bottles of wine and offered us a choice of red, white or both. This was a very pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there. The king size bed had no mattress on it. Instead it was a 2" foam pad over the box spring. When you tried to sleep at night, you felt the steel from the box spring in your back and a quite noticeable gap between the two sides of the bed. In the cabin, we heard a ship structural snapping and cracking noise in one wall. It sounded like the ship was going to come apart. We complained about the bed and the noise. They brought us 2 more duvets to put under the fitted sheet which helped but not enough. They told us the noise was normal and in all the rooms. We later learned that the cabins were constructed in modules with lots of plastic. When the ship twists / bends with the motion of the waves, the plastic in the walls creaks and snaps. The TV in the room was a modern flat panel. They played some great, newer movies around the clock at no charge. Room service was great. The butler and her assistant were friendly and attentive. We forgot to think about what side of the ship we should request a cabin. On these transatlantic voyages, one side of the ship is facing south the whole time. That is the side you want. So, go for port on Westbound and starboard on Eastbound. Food: The Queens Grill atmosphere was not the greatest. The food and service, however, was phenomenal. Plenty of choices on the menu, half of which changed daily. If you wanted something not on the menu and they had the ingredients available, you got it - no extra charge. In the Queens Grill, you do have an assigned table but no assigned time. You just show up during the dinner hours (I think they were 6-10) whenever you are hungry. Same concept for Breakfast and Lunch (same table). Each night, the cabin butler left us the next day's menus to preview. You can order as many appetizers or desserts or anything on the menu for that matter. No questions asked. This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. Strongly recommend the Dover Sole and the Short Ribs. The wine and liquor are reasonably priced. If you don't feel like eating at the Queens Grill the buffets were also pretty good with a nice variety of offerings. You can also bring your own bottle of vintage wine or champagne (brought from home or bought on board) to the Queens Grill for a nominal corkage fee. Bars: Our favorite was the Commodore which was just down the corridor from our cabin. It occupies the front of deck 9 and is a great place to view during the day. At night, there is a piano player. Nice, upscale bar. They also have an enclosed, ventilated cigar room. If you are a smoker, this is one of the few public areas where you can smoke. The cigars for sale there were mostly stale (not fresh) so recommend bringing your own. We also tried the Queens Grill Lounge but didn't like it as well as the Commodore plus it was at the other end of the ship from our cabin as well as being 2 decks below. Every time we decided to try one of the other bars, they were too crowded. Entertainment: We didn't go to any of the variety shows at night. We enjoyed some of the afternoon lectures and really liked a classical guitar concert offered. They claim to have the largest library at sea and it does have a good selection. Our cabin was one floor up from the library and very convenient. They also have a book club. Prior to the voyage, they will announce the book on the Cunard website. Or you can pick up copies in the library (purchase or borrow) when you board. Near the end of the voyage, they have a book club discussion. If you want to see a planetarium show, you have to pick up your tickets that morning. There is an observation deck where you can watch the Captain and crew "drive" the ship. Very interesting! If you want to use the golf simulator - book immediately. They fill up fast. One of the things we most enjoyed was simply walking around the deck. Be careful though, it can get very windy. If the winds come up it gets quite strong (if the ship is travelling about 25 MPH and the wind is 25 MPH in the same direction = 50 MPH effectively). Internet access: If you bring your own laptop, you can pay by the minute or buy a package. If you want to just check your email or don't have a laptop, there are computers in the library or in the computer center you can use. Same thing, either pay by the minute or buy a package. Cell phones: We didn't realize that they would work but they do! Had a signal most of the time but the per minute charges while away from shore can be pricey - I think they said it was $10/minute. While you are near land, you just pick up the normal cell signals. We had considered renting a satellite phone (for emergencies) but are glad we didn't'. Formal nights: There are 3 on the transatlantic and really are formal. Pets: There is a kennel on the top deck near the rear of the boat. They have a fenced area outside for them to run around in. We saw quite a few dogs and they looked like they were having fun. Casino: Was smaller than we expected. They did have a special table for Texas Hold 'em which is automated and there were plenty of tournaments if you like to play. Plenty of slot and bingo tournaments too. Ship: This ship is built for the transatlantic voyage. It is smaller than many other cruise ships for this reason. Very stable. You almost never feel the motion. If you are worried about being seasick, stop worrying. The length of the ship is dictated by the docking area in Southampton and the room to turn there. The height is dictated by the Verrazano Narrows bridge in NY (had to be able to sail under it). In general, the ship is looking a little outdated and is in need of a remodel. The passengers: This is an adult ship. We saw some kids but not that many. You don't need to worry about seeing a bunch of kids everywhere. The age group was mostly 45-80 years old although there were some younger couples. The mix was mostly UK citizens (about 2/3), followed by US citizens and a few from many different countries. Many of our fellow passengers were repeat customers. Definitely a gay friendly cruise. Tipping: They automatically add $13/pp per day for "service" (tips) and gratuity charges for liquor were 15%. But, on your check in the bars and restaurants they still have a line for tips. All of the staff are definitely looking for an additional tip the last day or so of the cruise. Disembarkation: Queens Grill passengers are one of the first groups off the ship. If you want to, you can not put your bags out the night before and leave the ship whenever. If you opt for a transfer, you report to the theater and are called in groups for your transfers. We did this. The cost was reasonable but our bus drive appears to have never been to JFK before and didn't seem to speak English. I think we drove around the airport about 10 times while he tried to figure out how to get to the terminal we needed. Note: We emailed Cunard after returning home regarding our uncomfortable bed and the noise in our cabin. We never received a reply. Although Cunard seems British, they are now owned by an American company. The attitude seems to be if you don't like it, go pound sand because they aren't changing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009

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