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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Food choices were not of my liking but sure for others it was great. I think too much seafood for sure being served in with pasta, also usually was served just luke warm. Entertainment not as good as usual. D-Day tour was not great ... Read More
Food choices were not of my liking but sure for others it was great. I think too much seafood for sure being served in with pasta, also usually was served just luke warm. Entertainment not as good as usual. D-Day tour was not great at all, terrible guide. Would have been nice if they would have arranged a D-Day tour for the 100 plus Canadians on Board. I think more thought has to be given towards things to do during the day on ship. Not just trivia. Maybe a little nice music around the pool. A better selection of drinks to be included also maybe do like Oceania and offer free specialty restaurants. Amazing evening was too short, too hot and not that great. Have seen much better in the past. Captain Jose always a pleasure to see as well as Russ and Phillip. Cabins have been renovated nicely. Still can't believe they didn't put glass doors on the showers with the refurbishment and why they were waiting to install the clothes lines in the showers I am not sure. Missed About Rose products the new products are just okay not 5* again cut backs I guess. Staff is the big plus on this ship. Very friendly and always willing to do what ever asked and with a smile. Our Cabins stewards were awesome and very attentive. Now about smoking: They did move to the opposite side of ship so not to have smoke going into the spa or gym. However, now the two luxury cabins have to smell the smoke when doors are left open. There really were not alot of smokers on this cruise and also in past cruises. So, why such a large area? Please consider not allowing cigars to be smoked. On this cruise there were 3 men who when they went for their smoke together one could not sit near the pool bar on the tables as the smoke and smell was aweful. I sure feel sorry for staff that has to put up with this day in and day out. Maybe move the smoking section up to 10th deck in covered area would be a good solution. Then everyone can enjoy the pool area. Just a thought. Fourth cruise with Azamara. Enjoy this small ship but would like to see some changes and improvements. Just my views. Still love Azamara. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Decided to make the short hop to Hamburg @ back to stock up on german goodies.. Encountered some interesting weather which was forecast well in advance. Had wonderful service, food and i am sure the entertainment would have been so too IF ... Read More
Decided to make the short hop to Hamburg @ back to stock up on german goodies.. Encountered some interesting weather which was forecast well in advance. Had wonderful service, food and i am sure the entertainment would have been so too IF i had chosen to make use of it. as an old QE2 superfan, any other ship struggles to compete, but having sailed the Mary and Victoria I was pleasantly surprised that the Elizabeth with her more subdued decor was the better of the 3. Only disappointment was the casino which looses all atmosphere with her reduced size , no bar and slots placed within feet of the cramped tables.felt more like an arcade than an adult gaming experience. plus side i saved lots of money by not being a regular. It might also have been helpful if All staff were aware of the "Vaping" policy on board and the fact that they don't produce smoke at all ... but these are observations and not complaints. My biggest bugbear are the moaners..Why do they bother to sail at all ? Cunard do everything to make even the shortest trip enjoyable,they can't control the weather and ships everywhere do bob up and down.and yes in winter we get wind near the uk...being late in was a bonus. nobody was billed for the extra meals provide. My favourite meeting point was the Churchill Lounge (for obvious reasons) The friendliest folk tend to pop in and out at all hours. with this trip due to the outdoor conditions being busier than most. So if you are a moaner stay away from Cunard... They continue to provide exactly what they claim too ..You get exactly what you are prepared to pay for..and on a 4 day hop leave all your pretensions and bad manners on shore. When the weather is inclement the crew have to work twice as hard and if only the brits would wash their hands before leaving the bathroom they couldn't even complain about having to sanitise so often. Yes I am a true brit but we as a nation have the worst statistics for bringing on the bugs. I enjoyed this trip as I always do.QE2 won't be coming back so don't waste time moaning and comparing. I certainly will be back but i do hope the moaners won't be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We were also on this I'll fated cruise. Embarkation was OK. Our balcony cabin looked lovely until we saw the toilet. Hence we had to clean it ourselves to remove the remnants under the seat from the last passengers, not a great start ... Read More
We were also on this I'll fated cruise. Embarkation was OK. Our balcony cabin looked lovely until we saw the toilet. Hence we had to clean it ourselves to remove the remnants under the seat from the last passengers, not a great start for a 5* ship. We found the maître'd rude as it didn't fit into his plans when we asked for a table for 2 for lunchtime in the Brittania restaurant after receiving bad news that we were in fact not docking anywhere. We would never had gone on this trip if we had been given the choice. Apparently we were never going anyway, some staff had said the ship had technical diificulties and they wanted to get to Southampton a day earlier to fix this in time for the next big Xmas cruise, The excuse from the Captain was bad weather!!!! Hmmm. We saw P&O/Brittany ferries passing us regularly!! The food in the evening was poor either cold or the meat was grizzly, most worryingly was young kids and babies were near us on the late 2nd sitting making loud noises or crying!! Weve been cruising for years and have never seen this before. The wine waiter was rude. I asked for the cheaper merlot, he explained I should stick to the expensive one or even get that bottle, when I asked why he said the cheaper wine was a pain for him to get as he would have to make a big effort and go to the bar!!!! Why do these people get 15% gratuity??? By the way I suggested I would get my own drink if it was too much for him after all it was on the wine list he had given me!!!! Sadly after being stuck bobbing about on the English channel was making all of us stir crazy sad and very unhappy. At least we saw Dover the Dover again and maybe the coast off Cornwall. The Captain hardly communicated with anyone, I think the offer of 75$ pp to make it up to us was awful. The ship docked a day earlier and it was so sad seeing hundreds of people desperate to get off all with their suitcases. Do not use Parking4cruises they never answered anyone's calls or emails as they had our car we were forced to stay onboard. I so wanted to get off I had to stay on this ghost ship. Our table had gone so I just sat in my cabin crying it was that miserable. To add insult to injury, when I got home a few days a later I saw a rogue translation taken for 20$ on my credit card? I telephoned Cunard who managed to contact the ship and guess what it was a mistake!!!! How many others have they done this to? A few pounds here and there is theft. I got a refund within a day when I mentioned it was really a form of theft as it was taken off me on 24 Dec I wasn't onboard! The ship docked on 22nd???? Sadly we will not come back, their Queen Mary was better. We are awaiting to hear from Cunard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We went on a mini cruise to Bruges Christmas market. Did not like it at all, All the prices on the ship was in USA dollars, which was confusing, The entertainment was not good, pianist (Vic Cooper), harpist (Rhianwen Pugh) & Eos ... Read More
We went on a mini cruise to Bruges Christmas market. Did not like it at all, All the prices on the ship was in USA dollars, which was confusing, The entertainment was not good, pianist (Vic Cooper), harpist (Rhianwen Pugh) & Eos string quartet, Ballroom and Latin Dance music,.very boring, there was a disco in the Yacht Club, but it was too small, you could not get a seat. No tea & coffee making facilities in the cabin. The times of the restaurant was too restricting 6pm or 8.30pm in the Britannia restaurant, and the food in the Lido restaurant was rubbish. We wanted to go ashore to the Christmas market the price was about $66. So we asked for a timetable to go on the train, the timetable we were given and the price list was wrong. I definitely would not recommend this company. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present ... Read More
WE were ready and exited to go on a Christmas cruise to Amsterdam. I had even talked my brother into coming along, after myself and my wife having had a great time on the Queen Mary in October we booked this trip as our Christmas present to each other. We boarded and everything looked as it should even though there was a strong smell of fuel around the bar and casino area, they must just be refuelling we thought! We went for our evening meal on the first night and the staff looked in a zombiefied state, maybe it was the smell of fuel that was getting to them, however we did notice a very restrained atmosphere and that worsened as the voyage progressed. The next day at sea there was growing concern that we were not going to dock in Amsterdam as apparently the weather was bad, not that you would have guessed that by looking out of the window. The morning we were hoping to dock we awoke and it was deadly still, we turned on the TV and the entertainments director was advising the passengers to take an umbrella and wishing us a good and enjoyable day in Amsterdam. Excellent we are here, so leaping over and opening the curtain it was beyond a disappointment that we were actually heading back down the channel in the other direction and so that's how it remained for the next two days going up and down the channel with no information coming from the captain, not only that, I don't think anyone saw the captain during this whole ordeal, he still didn't appear when hundreds of people were chanting we want the captain at the reception area. Had he lost his spine? It was then announced that the ship was going to have to dock early at Southampton as work had to be done on the fuel tanks , this was no doubt why we had to put up with the smell of fuel for the whole of this saga. By this time hundreds of passengers were itching to disembark as soon as possible and that is why hundreds of people did disembark a night earlier, The entertainments laid on were lacklustre the shows lasted a pitiful 45 minutes and were mediocre at best. This had been a terrible experience so when we got home we made a complaint and expected carnival/cunard to do the honourable thing of offering a reasonable compensation package to us hard working people that had been taken for a ride on this so called cruise to Amsterdam . It took three or more weeks for a reply offering $25 off another cruise with them. What an insult. If you are looking for an uncaring corporate company that are happy to hide behind a force majeure clause to avoid paying compensation even when, according to the Amsterdam cruise port website, the Britannia Beaver tanker and the Merlin Diver vessel docked at Amsterdam during this time . Then good luck. We however after being treated like this will never set foot on any carnival / cunard / p&o line, So it looks like they wont have to honour their enormously insulting $25 offer. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
My wife and I just completed the World Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. When we thought of taking the cruise we researched as much as we could; but little success. So here is our review of Cunard and the 2014 QE World Cruise. We booked a ... Read More
My wife and I just completed the World Cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. When we thought of taking the cruise we researched as much as we could; but little success. So here is our review of Cunard and the 2014 QE World Cruise. We booked a Penthouse mid-ships and the Queens Grill. The total cost of our trip was just under $200k. On Cunard, you pay for everything; drinks laundry, internet, etc. Cunard Getting on and off The Embarkation process with Cunard was a disaster in San Francisco. Cunard had no staff to direct you to the ship. We ended up a few feet away from another ship before realizing it was not the QE. The group with us was not too pleased. The Debarkation Process in Southampton was unpleasant. You had to gather your luggage, find a porter, go thru Customs, then get it a Cunard Truck (we were transferring to the Queen Mary to return to the US), and then board a Bus to the QM Terminal. There was no Custom’s inspections since we were “In-Transit). So Cunard should have transferred our bags to the Queen Mary. The experience was a disaster. Grills (Princess and Queens) Cunard’s offerings in the Grills do not meet its advertisements. The food is just average. Cunard says you will have private areas on the ship to take in the Sun etc. This is not the case. Non- Grill passengers used all the areas without incurring the expense. Cunard did have signs on Saying for “Grill Passengers Only” but no enforcement. On average the Grills offering costs passengers $35,000 per person extra. What you receive in return is not worth the expense. You would be better off using the Britannia Club for your food and book some of the larger staterooms. Religious Cunard stopped having Priests or Rabbi on the QE and QV. I can understand that in 2008, but not today. We will not be sailing on a Cunard Ship until they provide this offering. Advertising Cunard’s corporate office used the QE as its advertising tool at the expense of its passengers. When the QE was approaching Sydney Harbor, the access to the ship’s forward decks was locked to passengers. The ships’ deck crew was busy putting up a 200’ Flag saying “Happy Mardi Gras” to celebrate Gay & Lesbians Mardi Gras in Sydney. The ships passengers were furious over the inability to take pictures and enjoy the arrival. Queen Elizabeth The QE is a fantastic ship. If you have sailed on the QV, you will find much the same. The service in the Grills was beyond belief. The head Maître, Ico and Kruno were the best team, I have experienced in 40 years of taking cruises. The food in the Gills was average. We took the maiden voyage on the QV back in 2008. The food on the QV was exceptional. So we were a disappointed in food offerings. The Butler service was exceptional. Our butler was Natalia. She gave us such great service. We had Penthouse mid-ships, Suite 4101. It was fantastic in that we had minimal ship movement when the other passengers Forward and Aft, we experiencing the effect of big waves. The Suites back Aft, experienced both the waves and the vibration of the ship's screws. A good friend staying in the QE's largest Suites said it perfectly “I didn't pay $250,000 plus for a vibrator; if I wanted one, I would have brought we me. The crew on the QE was outstanding. Everyone went out of their way to make you feel you were a part of their family. Tours and Pictures: Both of these offerings are done by companies that service Cunard’s ships; Outsourced. Our experience with the Tour Department was so bad. We started off my taking tours via Cunard’s coaches. I am 6’1 and 240lbs. The coaches were so small; my knees were in my chest. In addition, a respiratory infection took hold of the passengers. The coaches became a “Petrie Dish” with many of the passengers spreading the infection to other passengers. Our solution was to take the Private Car option. It should have been a great decision but the Tour Department screwed up most of the bookings. You can plan on paying approximately double over the market rate on shore. We finally did this in the last two ports. We had new Mercedes, great drivers and tour guides at half of the price of Cunard. My only recommendation if you decide to stick with the ship’s Tour Departments offering is to demand detailed confirmations 3 days before you reach the port of call. In Haifa, the Tour Department, failed to give the driver our points of interest we wanted to visit. In addition, the provided only a driver who served as a guide; not good. Demand both a driver and guide so you can enjoy your visit. Summary: The World Cruise on the QE was worth the costs. We will not take another on Cunard since they ceased having Priests or Rabbi(s) on board the QE and QV. I would stay away from using the Tour Departments’ Private Car option. In addition, I would bring 4 Z-Packs of antibiotics for infections. The ship’s Medical Department ran out of Z-Packs mid-way in our cruise. We had 4+ deaths on the ship which is normal for a World Cruise. Cunard handled the sad event with so much compassion for the affected families. This department in Cunard is to be praised for their handlings of such unexpected events.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2012
We decided to do this "Cruise To Nowhere" immediately after doing it last year. Crystal, I believe, has only done this itinerary a couple of times. Starting in San Pedro, it heads North to Santa Barbara, spends 2 days in San ... Read More
We decided to do this "Cruise To Nowhere" immediately after doing it last year. Crystal, I believe, has only done this itinerary a couple of times. Starting in San Pedro, it heads North to Santa Barbara, spends 2 days in San Francisco before returning south to Ensenada and San Diego. Being from Southern California and having spent a lot of time in all of these destinations, we termed this the "Cruise To Nowhere" last year. We were taking this Thanksgiving Cruise primarily to enjoy the ship, the food, and the usually stellar service. I am rating the overall cruise a 4 star, but in reality it's more like a 4.5 or 4.6. I unfortunately cannot rate it a 5, at least from our perspective. Here, in no particular order are my observations: Cabin: We were on the fifth deck, Category D. Cabin was in a great location. Lower deck right outside the main lobby and the Crystal Dining Room. It's a bit small, but typical of most outside cabins. Bathroom with 2 sinks and great toiletries was nice. Shower/Tub had a hand set shower unit with nice power. Downside is the quality of the beds. Mattress is very firm and all of the pillows were too soft. They tried a trick with an egg crate upside down, but it did not help much. Crystal needs to redo the beds. Many would agree. 4 stars Food: Nothing more to say than ...SIMPLY AWESOME!. We had no complaints whatsoever. The food in the MDR was 5 star or better every single meal. From the fish to the bread to the soup to the venison, it was a taste sensation every meal. Even one step higher were the Specialty restaurants: Silk Road and Prego. Outstanding preparation and my hat is off to the chefs and servers throughout the ship. 5 stars plus All Inclusive Drinks and Wine: We had a great Sommelier and the wines offered were quite nice. Our mixed drinks at the bars were also served quickly and were quite good. I cannot complain at all about this aspect of AI. We are not big drinkers, but apparently you can also have 2 bottles of complementary hard liquor or champagne in your stateroom. See your stewardess and she will get you all set up. 5 stars Enrichment: Because we only had one sea day, the Crystal Enrichment program was at a bare minimum. This was unfortunate. Last year we at least had Art and Music classes, and I was expecting it again this year. It was even listed in the itinerary on the web. The Speaker, Louis Rene Beres, an international law expert focused on the middle east, was excellent, but they only gave him one day to speak. He had apparently prepared four lectures. I do understand that on Port Days, the ship expects everyone to be out exploring. But on this particular cruise, I'd say a good proportion of people stayed on the ship, a lot. Ensenada, in particular, seemed to have very few "adventurers". we were fine with not having many activities on the sea days, as our objective was just to relax, but to have the option of a few things would have been nice. Last year, for instance, we did some art and actually had it displayed at an "Art Show" on the ship. 3 stars Jazz Themed Cruise: Perhaps some of the minimization of the enrichment program was due to the Jazz we had on board. There were several musicians on board, playing for several hours every day at various venues. The Talent was superb Old Styled Jazz with top notch solos. The groups were part of an organization called "Jazzdagen". One of their band leaders is a guy named Pieter Meijers, who plays a Clarinet like you would not believe. I would rate this entertainment 5 stars plus, and was a unique experience we had not encountered in any of our previous cruises. Well done! Service: This was the surprise for us. Last year, we had the best service of any cruise we've ever been on. They made an effort to know our names. I would be up early and try to meet my wife later in the lido for breakfast. The Lido staff would be able to pinpoint me and direct my wife to my table. It was unprecendented. The Dinner staff were equally accomading. that Was last year. This year, for whatever reason ,was a complete reversal, at least for us. Our stewardess was just adequate, if not worse. We had early dining, and on 2 nights we returned to our room after dinner to find that she was still cleaning the stateroom. This was at 830pm! So she got embarrassed and said she would hurredly finish, meaning of course, not thoroughly cleaning perhaps. Our dinner waiter was equally incompetent, if I can use that term. We were a table of 8 at the very aft end of the room. We were invariably the last table to get served. Some orders were wrong: he forgot who ordered what, that sort of thing. We had to switch our plates after he served the wrong dishes to the wtrong people Desserts were forgotten. Coffee and Tea was not served with dessert, perhaps 5-10 minutes after dessert. I mean it wasn't all bad, but it was also not that great. He never recommended any meals or described how the dishes were prepared. I don't know, but for some reason, we got stuck with perhaps the worst waiter on the ship. Now our dinner mates were great, and our interesting conversations were able to carry us through the delays, but still, I like to eat in a timely fashion. All dinners took about 2 hours from start to finish. We were usually about the last people out of the dining room. Not because of lingerring to talk, but lingering for our after dinner tea or coffe to arrive. Surprising thing however...the lunch service was excellent. Maybe less crowded, but we were in and out on 45 minutes and completely satisfied. The waiters/eaitresses vary for lunch, so we had a glimpse of some others. Most were stellar, but a couple were again just not so good. Service is the most important aspect of a luxury cruisre, and we just felt that we were treated pretty mush average if that. In direct comparison to the best serviced cruise of our life, last year, we just this was on par with a mega ship, not a smaller luxury ship known for it's sevice. And Crystal is not inexpensive, so this was just a bit incomprehensible for us. Oh, one other thing, our stateroom toilet went out of service briefly. I went to the front desk to anounce it (front desk is 30 feet from our room if that). Then we heard that toilets were out on that entire side of the ship for our floor at least, including the public bathroom. Two elderly women came out of the bathroom to say the same thing (toilets not working) so I went right back to the front desk. I thought this was pretty important. The front desk staffperson did not and just non-chalantly said someone would be notified. I went back to the room a couple hours later and the toilet was working, thank goodness. Went to the same front desk person to say "thanks, it looks like our toilet is working again." She was sort of caught off guard and said, "Oh okay, thanks for letting us know". Bottom line: She didn't put any emphasis or care in the toilets being out, and had no idea that the situation was resolved nor did any announcement come directly to us that our staeroom toilet was working again. Not a shining Service moment for Crystal, IMHO. Overall Service: 3 Stars Summary: We had a great cruise, but it was not the "6 Star" luxury we had expected, coming off our truly "6 Star" treatment on the same cruise last year. Hard to say if it was due to the "All Inclusive" changeover this year, or just our specific bad luck of having a less than stellar stewardess and waiter. Could also be that several crew members may have been at their last week of their contract, i.e. burned out. The Symphony was heading to the South Pacific and Australia, so it would make sense that a new crew was being sent "Down Under". Still, it is the ship's responsibility to make sure everyone is adequately taken care of. The Jazz was great and the food was great and the wine was great. Service was only adequate, so the overall experince was a bit diminished. Would we sail Crystal again...surely, but the price would have to be commensurate with the service. In this case, it was not. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
The boarding experience was poor, nearer to chaos than an organised system. The first check-in person we met could not speak proper English, French or German and my Italian is poor. They insisted 'No drinks on board' on the ... Read More
The boarding experience was poor, nearer to chaos than an organised system. The first check-in person we met could not speak proper English, French or German and my Italian is poor. They insisted 'No drinks on board' on the pretence that passengers might bring some unspecified disease with them - in reality so they could charge, charge and charge again. In the cabin (they called it a suite) they provided a coffee machine AND CHARGED ONE EURO for each coffee capsule. At lunch unless you were quick, they fixed 'being cleaned' notices to all the coffee machines, so you had to go and buy a cup from their expensive bar. No wine was served included in the price, even in the premium restaurants. In the allocated one, the food reminded me so much of my military service; in other words, you could live on it, but you would rather not as it was of such low quality. The wine list was poor, but you did have a small choice, but most of the wines were also very low quality, but at Premiere cru prices. On their 'show-off' night, all the waiters were lined up with sparklers- a bit less stupidity like this and better food would have pleased us. The staff, from all over the world were mainly pleasant and tried to be helpful, but they were fighting the CMM (Costa Management Mafia). Decor is of course subjective, one man's bling is another's luxury, but in general it was so vulgar and 'in your face' that I am only glad there was nobody I knew on board. Italians are renowned for style, but on this boat, they had no style left, so made it vulgar instead. In the 'luxury' restaurant, the ceiling was made of some plastic disks; it looked seriously stupid - was it designed by an illiterate child? It was our 5th cruise and all-in-all, it was a horrible experience; the other four were all good, including one from the same overall group. It is a pity to complain about Costa after the Italian tragedy, but how they can justify such rapacious greed is beyond me. Do they not think how it puts people off them? At ports where you could not wander off by yourself and you did not go on their tours, they mainly charged for a coach to get you to the nearest town. We went on two tours and they were VERY expensive and really bad. One tour guide spent most of the time explaining how badly he was paid and how he needed tips to live. Even if true, it is not what I want to hear. He also got many of his facts totally wrong, so it was not worth the cost. On the other, they had a guide who spent most time speaking Spanish - not English as advertised. Is it worth re-naming the boats Costa Capone 1, Costa Capone 2 etc.? If you are going to "stick it" to the customers let them know in advance. I cannot think of any redeeming feature on the cruise - except we got back alive. We hated it!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2012
What other company design all their contracts so that THEY can break them at will and be so unforgiving when unfortunate circumstances occur to their customers. This was a round the world cruise of 106 nights on two liners QE and QM2 ... Read More
What other company design all their contracts so that THEY can break them at will and be so unforgiving when unfortunate circumstances occur to their customers. This was a round the world cruise of 106 nights on two liners QE and QM2 and booked 18 months before departure at a cost of 20,000+to include 7 day stay in Sydney ,all gratuities ,"round the world" dinners in Sydney and Dubai and on board spend and various other RTW goodies. Unfortunately I was sick 7 months before embarkation and did not get fit to travel until a day before embarkation date. Had to cancel first part due to the illness but advised Cunard and agent that I wanted to pick up the cruise ASAP hopefully New York. Got doctors clearance and approached agent (ROL). No problem but Cunard want full payment again!!!. I couldn't believe that this could be so and took to contact them myself, and it was this that should have sounded warning bells about Cunards attitudes, but to cut a long story short I managed after many calls to get them, or rather Amy, the only Cunard employee who had any resemblance of customer service about her, to re-instate the second half, Sydney home, and I paid for first half again on QE to Sydney from San Francisco. Swallow hard and get under way with the aim to enjoy ourselves and forget it. Embarked at San Francisco on QE then we felt the full force of Cunards meanness. They are completely soulless, have no empathy and only after the fast buck which they relieve you of by the bucket loads. They had removed our "round the world" status and cancelled all our benefits, no dinners in Sydney and Dubai, we received no invitations' to Cocktail parties etc, no onboard spend although I did manage to get a small amount on second leg, no tips paid, no gifts of shawl decanters etc and no 7 day hotel stay in Sydney, which left us to find our own accommodation . This after them collecting a cool £10,000extra, pure profit, from my unforseen circumstances and charging us again to get to Sydney, plus their usual make from RTW fare. No luck on QE so tried on QM2 and no amount of discussions with the pursers or senior officers had any effect and found that saying "NO" had to be a company policy and it will be sorted out by Southampton. The fact that we would not be back to Southampton for nearly 4 months didn't seem to feature in their thinking. They really couldn't have cared less from the Captain down. Two fellow round the worlders wrote to the Captain, no reply, and the Hotel Manager who invited us to sit on his table for dinner. Hopefully we might be getting somewhere but he never said a word about any of it. I suppose he patronisingly thought the honour of sitting on his table would remedy all. Wrong it made it worse and it was galling to see on their blog the treatment he received when he recently retired. This situation caused embarrassment to the rest of the party but we just had to get on with it and try not to let it affect our trip. Near impossible. So why wait some six months after disembarkation to do this review. It has taken this long to sort out two other minor matters that only the Cunard brick wall needed penetrating. Not easy and it was was only after court proceedings had begun for a ruined blazer that they very very grudgingly paid up. They, Cunard, spent 3 months arguing and stonewalling over a ruined blazer that was so obviously and blatantly their fault. To this day they cannot bring themselves to just confirm that one of my bags went missing on disembarkation. I did forget to collect it but contacted them 90 minutes after disembarkation. Of course nothing to do with Cunard all my fault even though the bag should have been kept secure by them. They even intimated that passengers collect their own bags and then claim insinuating that I was a liar. They did nothing to try and trace it. I have two letters from the same person written on the same day giving four different dates, none of them for the day I reported it. So what about the cruise itself. Even though we had our problems the plus side was definitely the QM2 which was very smooth and only showed any sign of being affected by the wind while crossing the Bay of Biscay. The down side of the QM2 though was that we lost complete power on 2 occasions to add to the 2 on the outward trip. Glad it happened on calm days. A rough sea would have been a more unpleasant experience. The cabins were adequate but not over spacious, we found the food pretty good in Britannia restaurant and also the speciality nights in the Kings Court very good. Not so in the Todd English restaurant which I thought was disgusting and very over priced and over hyped. They could not even cook a scallop, well they could and did for god knows how long and they emerged like marbles. The staff were excellent in the Britannia restaurant and the cabins, the entertainment was very average to poor and why do they keep employing singers whose only repertoire consists of Les Miserable and Phantom. Believe me after 3 months you run for cover whenever they open their mouths. No not impressive, nor do I recall one memorable show. Some lectures were good. Gerald Scarfe brilliant, sometimes near the mark, and a lecturer from the salvage firm of Schmidt, whose name escapes me was knowledgeable and a very good presenter and was involved in the Russian submarine sinking. "Cruising" is somewhat of a misnomer, you are in fact just subsidising a huge ferry to get round the world. As round the world customers, well we weren't in CUNARDS eyes, but we were in fares if not in miles, and were treated no differently than those that used it to do short segments. These caused disruption to the routines and changed the character of the ship every time, and sometimes not for the better. As many as 1500 can come and go at some major ports. Shore trips very expensive and comes under the heading things they don't tell you. The main problem is that QM2 is so large that most cruise terminals cannot accommodate it. This means that it has to dock in container terminals, not attractive and usually a long way from where you want to be. Worst example was Bangkok. 3 hour coach trip to have just 4 hours there and then 3 hours back and this was often the case and well you can imagine the driving conditions in some of these places. Even Hong Kong was a 40 minute tender trip to shore. These are some of the other extortionate schemes they devised to relieve you of your cash.. The internet is like pouring money down the drain. It just does not work and you pay for all the down time. A picture that they take by the hundreds will set you back $25, every drink you buy they add 15% irrespective of any service and all activities in the Spa will set you back a pretty penny. They then have these supposedly luxury shops who then transform themselves into market traders to try and get rid of there very average goods by setting up in the corridors and blocking the way for those trying to get through. If you have been to Petticoat Lane you will have a very good idea of what they were like. Having booked early CUNARD dropped three important ports of call from the itinerary at their whim. Hiroshima which we were particularly looking forward to and replaced by an extra day in Sydney (we had already had 7 days there) Napier NZ where we were to meet up with friends. They didn't even bother to advise us that this was cancelled. The last one was Lisbon which was replaced by Malaga!! From a senior officers comments it appeared that they would not pay for the extra fuel to run the gas turbines. Of course there is no comeback, it is all in the small print and not their fault. You would have thought they might establish these visits long before the cruise date and not advertise them and cancel them after you have paid. Never mind they always have the small print. This must be a CUNARD habit as there were a number of seasoned cruisers who could not recall missing a scheduled call on any other line except for weather. The final confirmation that CUNARD are not the company to do business with was after writing a personal letter addressed to the MD Peter Shanks, addressee only , just asking him for "his" comments to our CUNARD experience, not customer services comments as I already had a large file of them. You probably guessed, he did not even read it and it was answered by a customer service clerk with the usual insincere clap trap. I thought it was just me who had problems and so I had a quick look at others comments before I put it on the critics sites and it was somewhat re-assuring to see that It was not only me who had become bitter and twisted but there are many others with similar views of CUNARD and seemingly angrier than me. e.g." All the gloss on the surface and deeply cold and uncaring to the core" " The Internet, In essence a divisive and sly 'con'" "Will I go on a World cruise again, never we are the forgotten passengers." "Once they have your money, you're almost forgotten" "Their replies to complaints have been grossly insulting implying I am a liar." And one from someone whose mother died and they would not transfer names so he forfeited his money in disgust. We also experienced all of the above. So there it is you pay your money and take your choice. I am sure many people like Cunard probably because they haven't had a problem. Make sure you know the rules if it all goes wrong because there is absolutely no one who you can turn to for help on shore or on ship. Come to think of it if there was someone they would not help as I found to my cost as it is not one of Cunards mission statements to deal with customers other than to relieve them of cash. On the plus side we met many new friends who have kept together since and some ports of call were good, Vietnam to name one. The only fly in the ointment are CUNARD themselves. Their inability to deal with any complaint is obviously company policy and they will swear black is white and treat you like an imbecile or even worse a liar. So farewell CUNARD. It would be nice to think that someone of some authority in Cunard reads these and just might think we may have a problem here. Dream on, we believed the hype and we paid for it, literally. We shall not be tempted again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2011
In my mind, this appears to be.... 'the mother of all ships'. I'm interested to see that there are other large liners on here that get higher votes. I like that. It gives me other options. This ship is immense, beautiful, ... Read More
In my mind, this appears to be.... 'the mother of all ships'. I'm interested to see that there are other large liners on here that get higher votes. I like that. It gives me other options. This ship is immense, beautiful, and finished to a very very high standard. We selected club dining so had a table that we could use at anytime. It really worked for us. The staff were brilliant. The wine waiter Jakob was fantastic. We couldn't have asked for more. Nothing was too much trouble. Jakob took us on a journey each evening with our wine choices. He knew roughly what we liked so we accepted his choice. Very very entertaining. Stunning food. Fantastic dining area. We loved it. The entertainment onboard was equally as fantastic. There was sooo much choice. The Red Lion pub quizzes were a big hit. The bands playing in the various bars equally good. A cinema on board with a few hundred seats. A fantastic theatre. A beautiful ballroom. We loved the black tie captains evening. We loved Blake on the last night. Lots of stuff to keep people entertained whilst crossing the Oceans, (not for me I'd rather get on once it's crossed). LeHavre was a pleasant enough port. Not much there. I wanted to visit Hornfleur but with so much to see on the ship in such a small time slot we decided not to. Brugge was beautiful. A lovely lovely city. We took a cab from the side of the QM2 and used the same people to get back. We loved every minute of this once onboard. A little glitch getting on board as the ship wasn't ready and we kind of got stuck for a couple of hours in a holding area in Southampton. Not too much of a problem though. Thank you Cunard for creating a really special experience. Read Less

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