Queen Victoria. Venice to Istanbul Sept/October 2015
Launched: 2007 Dec
Refurbished: 2011, 2015
Length: 964 ft.
Draft: 26 ft.
Speed: 24 Knots
Berlitz Cruising and Cruise ship Guide 2015, rates Queen Victoria No 5
Harvey World Travel-Bruce Blacklock, Wellington helped/arranged much of the travel plan.
Hi. I am a regular cruiser, principally on Princess and Celebrity Lines, but on this occasion tried Cunard, Queen Victoria, Venice to Istanbul, 14 nights.
We flew Emirates economy to Dubai via Sydney (19 hours and a 2 night stopover IBIS Mall of the Emirates -pleasant), Dubai to Venice (5 hours). Water Taxi to the lovely Hilton Molino Stucky Hotel, Venice (Highly recommended 3 nights) and then the cruise, flying home to Auckland from Istanbul via Dubai again.
We are “short dosage cruisers”, primarily go for the ship and enjoy sea days, and ports of call, the odd bus tour etc., and also walks around the port/town e.g. Rhodes, Mykonos
Queen Victoria a superb ship, overall the best we have experienced, Celebrity Solstice goes close but different styles. The formal approach adopted re dress standards after 6pm every evening, is not us, but it appears to have assisted maintaining elegance and standards. The Britannia dining room was elegant with superb service, the 12 Royal Cunard and dancers and 4 singers produced Cabaret style shows with a difference, and entertainment from evening. Piano or String quartets, to formal dance lessons were all done with a touch of class. Quality experience and while the ship was full, queues were never an issue; the ship appeared to have so much space, the library and many lounges all conducive to relaxed elegance, dining facilities and options always available with virtually no wait.
A highlight was observing from 500 meters offshore-Gallipoli, the three large monuments and the cliff scale was awesome.
JOINING THE QUEEN VICTORIA
We took a water taxi from our Hotel to the docks. There was a 500 metre walk or shuttle bus option to the Queen Victoria. Our ticket said board at 3pm, but we got there at 12.30 and no problem getting on. Queue was light. Straightforward entry.
One enters straight into the Grand Lobby. This is a spectacular central area, extending over 3 decks, and reminiscent of a film set of the impressive staircases of the old Ocean Liners. Our room was on Floor 1, Cabin 1088 a deluxe standard interior, loved the location.
Queen Victoria is simple to find ones way around, she has just three sets of lifts and stairs, labelled A, B and C. The rooms are numbered as if in a traditional hotel, with cabins on Decks 1, 4,5,6,7, and 8. Deck A, with the medical centre, is below Deck 1, and then the decks continue upwards until the highest cabins on Deck 8 and the public areas on Decks 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 and 11. Main Dining room Floor 2/3, Buffet Level 9, Gym etc. on 9 also
Our Cabin 1088 was one of the cheaper cabin options, but we loved the location and the roominess. Being a Deluxe inside cabin, a settee is included, a great addition to the normal 156 sq. feet of a standard interior cabin., and comprises twin beds which are convertible to a king size, two bedside drawers, desk and chair with fridge and drawer, small table and the settee. There is a nice fridge, safe and we fund ample wardroom space and place to put our luggage. Flat screen TV. The bathroom was small but functional and the shower pressure excellent. We found the quality of air conditioning excellent, but you could not turn it off, only adjust temperature. Normally we find the air conditioning is marginal, but not on the Queen Victoria
BRITANNIA RESTAURANT: We were allocated Table 700, a table for 2 on the second level, the first time in over 20 cruises that our pre cruise request was accepted, and we did not have to hassle the Maître a de, re table allocation. We prefer dining alone in the evening, and those tables for 2 are hard to obtain. I understand Cunard adopts the practice of allocating table requests based on booking date, and that seems fair. Many of course like sharing a table with 4/6/10 persons, but we prefer evening dining on our own. The main Dining Room, the Britannia Restaurant, seating 878 guests is one of the most remarkable rooms at sea, spanning two desks at the stern on Decks 2 and 3 at Stairway C. It evokes memories of classic ocean liner restaurants with sweeping staircases and art deco pillars and arches. The design was inspired by the dining car of the Golden Arrow train that linked London to Paris. The restaurant's Art Deco design is captured in its original artwork, wall scenes, and a combination of authentic finishes including polished wood, bronze, mirror and gold leaf. The room's focal point, an illuminated world globe 10 feet tall, is a sizeable yet elegant reference to Cunard's rich history plying the world's oceans. The service was impeccable and the quality of food excellent. I took a top NZ Pinot to try; this approach copped a US$20 corkage charge-standard across most cruise lines. The wine list available was excellent.
VERANDAH FRENCH RESTAURANT: This alternative Restaurant has a French flair, and looked enticing. Surcharge was $15USApp at lunch and $25 pp at night. We did not utilise on this trip, but comments from other passengers were favorable.
THE LIDO is an airy self-service buffet restaurant which extends between Staircases B and C across Deck 9. It is open 24 hours, serving breakfast from 0400, followed by lunch from 1130, then afternoon snacks, dinner from 1800 until 2300 and finally evening snacks until breakfast begins. At breakfast there is the usual cereals, fruit including an endless supply of strawberries and fresh pineapple, cold meats and cheese and traditional cooked breakfast with omelettes cooked to order. Overall the Lido is very good and we often choose to eat lunch there; the variety is good and being self-service it is quick on the days in port. It was always possible to find a seat.
THE GOLDEN LION PUB on Deck 2 also does food. It is styled as a typical British pub with classic pub grub: fish and chips, chicken korma, steak and ale pie etc. Also shows live sport. Thoroughly enjoyed the fish and chips
ROYAL COURT THEATRE
The theatre is where all the lectures, films and many of the demonstrations take place as well as the shows in the evening. It is very large, with capacity for over 800 people. The gallery and the two rows of private boxes on each side, 16 in all, give the impression of a nice traditional theatre on shore. Most of the private boxes are for two although there are some for four. Imposing
THE PRODUCTION SHOWS AND THE PRIVATE THEATRE BOXES
The Royal Cunard Singers (4) and Dancers (12) were by a clear margin the best we have ever experienced. The shows were different to the standard Dance and Cabaret style of other cruises, and Queen Victoria has moved production shows to a new level. I went to everyone offered, both early and late a total of 8 shows. Great!!!!
Along with this a range of performers highlighted the evening entertainment, all of excellent standard. A male quartet (Troubadours) a solo flute player of European repute, and the usual array of singer/dancers/comedians were each of the highest quality
COOKERY DEMONSTRATIONS IN THE ROYAL COURT THEATRE
Cookery demonstrations, lectures by reputable academics have always been a popular feature of Cunard cruises and Queen Victoria was no exception, the lobby area on ground floor also utilised for this.
THE QUEEN'S ROOM
Afternoon tea is served in the Queen's Room, and this is the typical Cunard White Star and white gloved service. During the day the room is used for a variety of activities. On our cruise there were fencing classes, lunchtime concerts, dancing classes and Bingo. In the evening there is an orchestra for dancing, and it is lively and busy on the special themed evenings.
THE WINTER GARDEN AND LIDO AREA
The Winter Garden is between the Lido restaurant and the Deck 9 pool area and has a roof which can be opened in good weather and has a lot of very comfortable seats and tinted picture windows the whole length on both sides. This is an impressive area, a very interesting feature of the Queen Victoria
There are two outdoor pools and the other is aft of the Lido restaurant, also on 9 Deck. Ample deck space for sunbathing and sitting.
CLASSICAL CONCERTS AND RECITALS
There are a number of locations round the Queen Victoria where there is classical and light entertainment, often in the background. Queen Victoria has at least 3 grand pianos and lots of musicians. Grab a book and listen to music is very relaxing.
I always read a couple of books on a voyage. On Queen Victoria the library is complemented by a bookshop.
The library is a pretty two storey copy of a private library from Victorian days, with a spiral internal staircase both the bookshop and the library are organised by Ocean Books, who also set up the QE2.
INTERNET AND WIFI
Internet access is very good on the Queen Victoria, simple to set up, fast and reliable in the areas of the world we reached on this trip. There are twenty computers available in the Internet Centre and there is also Wi-Fi available over most of the ship. Personally we go on vacation to get away from the routines of home, and avoid e-mail and phone communications unless an emergency but observation would suggest we are a dwindling minority. Package costs for internet use are available and reduce costs
We are Gym users on a regular daily basis. The Queen Victoria Gym was well equipped, functional and pleasant to use. The incessant volume of noise we experienced on a recent Celebrity Solstice voyage did not occur. What a relief, music was principally background and a wide range
It is right at the front of the ship and there is a special magic in watch dolphins playing, the sun rising or a port approach as you are working on the cross trainer or treadmills before breakfast of fresh fruit in the Lido.
From the sublime to the essential. There are five self-service passenger laundry rooms, near cabins 4068, 5070, 6068, 7042 and 8060. Between them there are 14 standard Maytag machines and tumble driers, and each has one iron and ironing board. The laundries are open from 0730 to 2100. Laundries can be noisy, so it is best not to have a cabin opposite. Much to our surprise and pleasure use is free, and detergent powder is provided.
• Sat 26 Sep, Board Queen Victoria
• Sun 27 Sep, Zadar, Croatia
• Mon 28 Sep, Dubrovnik, Croatia
• Tue 29 Sep, At Sea
• Wed 30 Sep, Mykonos, Greece
• Thu 01 Oct, Rhodes, Greece
• Fri 02 Oct, Izmir, Turkey
• Sat 03 Oct, Istanbul, Turkey (Overnight)
• Sun 04 Oct, Istanbul, Turkey
• Mon 05 Oct, At Sea
• Tues 06 Oct, Marmaris, Turkey
• Wed 07 Oct, Heraklion, Greece
• Thu 08 Oct, Athens (Piraeus), Greece
• Friday 09 Oct, Cruise the Dardanelle’s-see Gallipoli
• Saturday 10 Oct, Istanbul Read Less