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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Loved the ship.The interior was beautiful.The meals in the Brittania restaurant were very good and our waiter was cheerful and helpful. Not too impressed with the entertainment.although the Harpist and string trio were very good. ... Read More
Loved the ship.The interior was beautiful.The meals in the Brittania restaurant were very good and our waiter was cheerful and helpful. Not too impressed with the entertainment.although the Harpist and string trio were very good. Embarkation was a fiasco and disembarkation wasn't much better .StateRoom and table for dining not assigned when we boarded the ship. Don't bother with the Verandah as I thought the meal wasn't worth the extra although the service was good On the whole though the food in all the other restaurants was very good. The two gala nights weren't what I would have called special.The Roaring Twenties night was neither roaring or Twenties, dancing was done to contemporary music,a big let down for me and my partner. The ports of call were lovely apart from Corfu and the excursions were overpriced for what they were.i shan't talk about the exhorbitant drink prices and the added 15% "for your convenience" charge. On the whole it was an enjoyable cruise but not quite the experience that I was hoping for. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My wife and I choose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary just the 2 of us, and to visit Venice the first time; this ship docked overnight in Venice which is perfect to see this amazing city. We searched many cruise ships, and ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise to celebrate our 27th anniversary just the 2 of us, and to visit Venice the first time; this ship docked overnight in Venice which is perfect to see this amazing city. We searched many cruise ships, and choose this one due to the brand name "Cunard" for luxury cruises. We found out to be over exaggerated. First the cabin is not comfortable due to the air conditioner in the stateroom is not able to turn off; you can set the temperature from cold to hot, but it won't turn the air off !!! We can't sleep with air running in high speed all the time, and made us sneezing most of the time; it's terrible. Checked with the room stewardess and he confirmed that it is centralized control. Secondly, the food is not that fantastic compared to our previous experiences with Holland America and Princess cruises. We, from time to time, ran into dirty glasses and plates. Also we felt sometimes 2nd class passengers because we could not attend the Queen Grill restaurant. 3rd the entertainments are not that great. They repeated the show; we have experienced during this 21 days cruise. And 4th we felt uncomfortable with the service and tender staff, because they spoke in their own Filipino language, and wished that they used English as their official communication. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We spent 7 days on a cruise on Queen Vic. From Venice to Athens. I knew it was not ther cruise for me when i noticed on the daily activity “Chair aerobics”. Excellent food,excellent staff service and operasrting BUT! Bars mostly empty ... Read More
We spent 7 days on a cruise on Queen Vic. From Venice to Athens. I knew it was not ther cruise for me when i noticed on the daily activity “Chair aerobics”. Excellent food,excellent staff service and operasrting BUT! Bars mostly empty due to high cost of drinks-but the pub was full every days wplaying darts and cards and trivia. Ballroom dancing each night most popular b it you would not want to go and break out on a dance. Most Aussies wondering why the decks were empty at 10pm.oh and for single ladies they did supply officers to dance with you- looked like they had stepped out of a coffin! So if you want a happy cruise of fun this would not be the one to choose, It seems they are relying on all the Brits who want to practice their ballroom dancing and stay in the pub and play darts.And there are plenty of these so no need to change. Basically a shame as had great expectations for a masquerade ball and 20”s evening- a flop unless you had a partner and did proper ballroom dancing moves. Lack of atmosphere and only highlights were good food and good ports.Oh and 1 good comedy show otherwise just ships entertainment. Shops well stocked with quality. Tried fencing but only 12 people allowed for. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was the 14 night cruise, Venice to Rome. This was our third cruise on this ship and fourth with Cunard so we know the standards that CAN be achieved. (Most recent previous experience was in March this year - Auckland NZ to ... Read More
This was the 14 night cruise, Venice to Rome. This was our third cruise on this ship and fourth with Cunard so we know the standards that CAN be achieved. (Most recent previous experience was in March this year - Auckland NZ to Wellington NZ via Australia - part of the world cruise. On that occasion the poor standard of food in the Britannia restaurant caused us to look seriously at abandoning the September Mediterranean cruise. But we persevered. Thankfully the quality of produce and skills of the chefs had improved considerably since last time. But we still think that on most evenings offering half of both the main courses and appetisers as "vegetarian" is far too many. Waiter service in the restaurant was first class, though the sommelier left more than a little to be desired. Drinks waiter service in the Lido (lunch) was (as before) patchy. You should not have to go looking for a waiter to order a drink. Similarly, overall service in the Golden Lion was also a bit hit and miss. The Lido pool area could do with some more shade. We recall there were umbrellas before - none now. We didn't go to any of the evening shows in the theatre - mainly because nothing appealed. However we feel the string musicians playing around the ship could do with a bit of makeover - the performances were rather hard work for us an an audience. Top marks to the young lady who was our stateroom steward. Our modest requests were never too much trouble and she did a good job keeping things today. Well done Edna! The makeover of the staterooms during the recent refit was very good, particularly the much larger TV and providing facilities for making tea or coffee. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Have traveled on other cruise lines and for what we were paying - I had expected more. The embarkation was a mess. The ship was at Terminal C at Athens, where we got dropped but we then had to walk over to Terminal B to actually check in ... Read More
Have traveled on other cruise lines and for what we were paying - I had expected more. The embarkation was a mess. The ship was at Terminal C at Athens, where we got dropped but we then had to walk over to Terminal B to actually check in (not a short walk). Instructions and signs poor. Ship - good, cabin - clean although steward had to be asked to replace shampoo etc when we run out! Food bland and had expected from dishes from the countries we were in. Entertainment average - some of the acts really didn't appeal to most on board. Service - good and 2 of the Ports, I'm not sure why we went there. Not much to see or do except the ship tours for megabucks and not sure they did much either. We wouldn't choose Cunard again unless it was the only option for the time and ports. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We originally booked this cruise to experience a different cruise line, and port destinations, expecting to have a great first class summer escape from our winter. Regrettably reality did not meet expectation. Embarcation went very ... Read More
We originally booked this cruise to experience a different cruise line, and port destinations, expecting to have a great first class summer escape from our winter. Regrettably reality did not meet expectation. Embarcation went very well but was spoiled by an unpleasant smell from the embarkation deck that never seemed to go away. Disembarcation also was one of the best we have encountered. The cabin real estate was probably the smallest we have ever had with a shower so small you needed to be a contortionist if you dropped the soap, however it was well serviced and always clean and tidy. Then things started to go downhill. The ship has a rigid policy of requiring a jacket for men and cocktail dress for women, and all this in 38 degree heat. Apart from formal nights where you had to dine at the assigned table we opted to go to the buffet. The food offering was typical british stodge reminiscent of boarding school. There was little in the fresh or healthy options , with food mostly out of a tin, or with a "commercial" flavour like it was bought in and cut up, or from a frozen packet. No fresh berries or avocado or tomatoes etc. The bread had a day old aspect to it. All the musicians, dancers and entertainers were among the best and professional, but the singers should stick to karaoke. The round ship service staff seemed slow and apathetic in their task and hard to find. The exception to this were for people who had already tipped these individuals separately. The drinks were incredibly expensive. I heard the phrase "mega ripoff" used by another passenger. I went to the trouble, for the first time on any ship ever, to make a complaint about this - it was not responded to. Clearly the line doesn't care. The ship was old fashioned with poorly utilised spaces. It seems to be begging for a rethink on how things should be done to get the best from it. The shore excursion book was missing from our room. On querying this we were told it was stolen by a previous passenger and was irreplaceable. They were kind enough to lend the desk copy to us to select excursions from the comfort of the lobby but we were told to give it back. The selections were limited and aimed mostly at the elderly. In summary, if you are over 80, prepared to pay anything and like a stuffy atmosphere and stodgy food, this is the cruise line for you. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Started cruising in August 2012. The first cruise was on the Queen Elizabeth to the Norwegian Fyords. Fabulous. Since then we have sailed on 13 Cunard cruises. I believe we are now diamond grade. We enjoy our cocktails in the Commodore ... Read More
Started cruising in August 2012. The first cruise was on the Queen Elizabeth to the Norwegian Fyords. Fabulous. Since then we have sailed on 13 Cunard cruises. I believe we are now diamond grade. We enjoy our cocktails in the Commodore Club and the excellent service we have always received. This was our 3rd cruise with Cunard this year with view to booking another before 2017. You could say it was almost like returning home as most of the staff would recognize and acknowledge us from the previous voyages. Not everything has been perfect but we would not expect that as minor problems occur from time to time. We have witnessed guests complaining about the lasagne being the wrong shape or the G&T having 5 pieces of ice when it should have only been 4. Guests taking coffee from the Lido into the Commodore club because they don't want to pay for the coffee. We don't do that, we were happy with Cunard. We booked a BE grade on Q615. Quite happy with this grade as we don't want an obstructed view. Was allocated 4178. Embarkation was perfect, up to the Commodore club for our first cocktail. First Guests there ,we sat by the panoramic window perusing Southampton. Waiting to be served, 3 waiters talking at the bar. Waited 15 minutes went to ask if they are serving drinks yet ? A curt yes was the answer. OK its only a blip , things would be normal come the evening. Went back at 7.15 ish for an aperitif yes served OK. struggling get a second drink though, waiters too busy, don't even make eye contact. Enjoyed the evening meal on the second sitting, retired to the stateroom around midnight. A lot of creaking in the cabin , but have experienced this before and usually quietens down as the seas calm. Did however notice a lot of clanking noises until the early hours. Woken before 7oclock with noises from outside the cabin , the filling of ice buckets ? Day 1 sea day. Nice relaxing day around the ship. Little tired from lack of sleep but OK. Commodore club again for aperitif. Yes same again , first drink no problem then second drink problem again getting the waiters attention. Back to the stateroom around midnight, creaking has settled down but more rattling and clanking till the early hours. Tried to sleep with the TV on to drown the noise. Yep before 7 o'clock , ice buckets! Day 2 Sea day. Pleasant day around the ship but really tired because of the lack of sleep. Up to the Commodore club in the evening, first drink no problem ,second forget it, down to Café Carinthia to get served. Back to the stateroom getting a little anxious now. A lot quieter , good nights sleep , awake before 7 , ice bucket!! Day 3 Cadiz. Gave up on the Commodore and went to Midships (staff very attentive). Decided to complain at the pursers telling them they need more staff serving at the Commodores and told them about the noise in the cabin. Was advised to phone the pursers if the noise happened again. Back to the stateroom clanking noises again until 00.30, awake again before 7 with the ice buckets!! Day 4 Sea day. Commodore club for an aperitif, served at 19.24 finished at 19.50 , empty glass for 1/2 hour was asked at 20.20 if we want another drink. Was a little curt with the waiter saying I had spent 1/2 hour trying to catch his eye as now going down for the evening meal. Called at the pursers to make a stronger complaint about the Commodore club, never has it been so hard to spend our money on Cunard!!! Back to the stateroom at 00.30 more clanking. Little irate and very tired phoned the pursers about the noise. “Noise, what noise is it “I was asked. Its the noise from the galley that I have already complained about. “Do you want me to send someone to your room to listen” I was asked. Yes !!! Waited 3/4 of an hour , noise still intense no sign of anyone coming to the room. Phoned the pursers again 1.15 in the morning. The response from the pursers was unbelievable Quote `” I haven't the authority to send anyone to your room, would you like some one to come now.” Yes !!! Two ladies arrived at 1.30 in the morning saying they had been to the Galley and were not happy with the excessive noise down there , but they had had a health and safety inspection and everything was having to be cleaned, was told an official complaint would be logged and it would go to the captain. What about when we complained earlier we asked. “Don't know anything about that as we have only just started our shift.” Up again at 6,45 ice buckets!!!! Now looking for a flight home from our next port of call. Completely cheesed off and ready to get off. Got a call from Tara about 5.30 ish. She tried to persuade us the problem was now sorted and apologized for any inconvenience. When I asked why it had taken so long she said she had only just had the message passed to her. When I complained messages were not being passed on she said it was not logged on the computer. As I was getting more irate with the excuses I was offered an alternative stateroom 4165. Same grade just on the other side of the ship.If this was available, why not offer it in the first place. It took a 10 to 15 minute irate phone call with Tara before this was offered. Tara apologized again saying we had wasted 3 days of our cruise and sent a bottle of wine to our table. We actually wasted 5 days. Moved cabin and slept well for the rest of the cruise. We were also called by the bar manager from the Commodore club, who apologised and said to let him know of any further problems. Things improved considerably from then on as we seemed to get a dedicated waiter. I won`t bother to complain about the 1 1/2 hour wait to get a tender to Korkula. This needs organising a lot better. In summary. As loyal customers who have spent a lot of money with Cunard we feel very disappointed and let down. We booked a BE grade and were given the worst cabin in this grade. This cabin is notorious for the noise coming from both the galley below and the ice room at the side. I know the staff are well aware of this problem even though some try and deny it. An alternative cabin was available from day one and only offered after persistent complaints. In my experience a company is judged by how they respond to a problem, on this occasion Cunard failed and have consequentially alienated 2 previously very satisfied customers. Oh and to cap it all, after the much improved service in the Commodore club ,we went for a final coffee on the last day. Only to be served with half the coffee spilt in the saucer. When we complained to the waitress she very helpfully put the napkin in the saucer to soak up the coffee. Photo taken if required. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We specifically chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. However over the two weeks on board we had 8 changes to the Itinerary. We understand that safety is important but perhaps cruise organisers need to have alternatives in place ... Read More
We specifically chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. However over the two weeks on board we had 8 changes to the Itinerary. We understand that safety is important but perhaps cruise organisers need to have alternatives in place that equal the original destinations. Sarande in Albania was a total waste and overall we ended up with an extra sea day - this is wrong. The ship is beautiful, well appointed and elegant. Stateroom s were fine but plenty of storage under the beds as well as the cupboards but lacking drawers. Balcony great. Meals great. Most service good but bar staff could not pour a beer. Some people like the formal attire but when you are doing other travel as well the extra luggage is a pain. Basically there seems to be no real purpose for the formal wear but this is a personal matter of opinion. One of our party was in a wheelchair and encountered problems. Basically was lied to about the availability of better chairs for on shore. Dining staff were fantastic with him. We have cruised with other companies and would probably not choose cunard again. The entertainment was quite good but the shows were all very short compared to other ships we have travelled with. Bars etc all very nice. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
A 40th wedding anniversary celebration. Transfer to port from airport too long and no water available on the coach. Arrived at port and sent to the ships pub for lunch! After lunch our cabin already had suitcases outside the ... Read More
A 40th wedding anniversary celebration. Transfer to port from airport too long and no water available on the coach. Arrived at port and sent to the ships pub for lunch! After lunch our cabin already had suitcases outside the stateroom. Great. Cabin was adequate we had booked late due to husbands recent operation, so there were no balcony cabins available. Britannia restaurant was great, evening meal, the staff were fantastic, thanks to jane and Robinson. Lido restaurant lunch was very good lots of choice. Brittannia restaurant for breakfast, service sometimes slow, tea sometimes stewed. But overall the food was good and staff were a mixed bag, some friendly and chatty others not so. Verandah restaurant. Excellent food, staff and wines. Entertainment. Queens room so old fashioned with formal dancing, plenty of room on dance floor, the only exception was the 50s group the blue jays, the room was packed and there was no room on the dance floor!! Cunard your majority of guest proved that this was what they wanted. Theatre. Crew group were dated and samey, synergie were loud and screamed out. Visiting guests. Tenors of rock amazing, 2 comedians very good, blue jays were the best entertainment of the two week stay. Shore excursions. Pricey but good. Only fail was Albania due to turkey being a no go area, Albania is a third world country and not what you would expect from Cunard, why oh why did we not go back to Corfu or somewhere else. We received no compensation for this very poor port. Corfu was a super trip, Trieste we did our own thing, Montenegro was beautiful would return, Venice was amazing loved both trips, Albania no thanks, Heraklion hot and lovely, santorini beautiful. Shops. More selection needed. I only purchased perfume and arm bracelets. Commodore. Never seen!!!! Verandah restaurant. Pay extra but very nice for a special occasion. Staff were fab. Two service charges extreme, a 15% charge on everything you buy, and I mean everything. Drinks, shops, excursions, bingo pen etc. plus around £320.00 for a couple for two weeks. This is for background staff! I like to tip for the service I get and I did. 40th wedding celebration. Non existent from Cunard, I emailed them at least 4 times prior to the cruise and did not receive 1 reply, very very poor customer service!! There is not a dedicated member of staff to assist you to make arrangements all done through bored purser desk staff!! No card from crew or commodore, I had to book the verandah restaurant and order a cake with 15% service charge. I think this is an overlooked area, a dedicated team member could easily organise this for passengers who are celebrating special occasions, other cruise lines and 5 star hotels offer this service and sometimes it is complimentary!! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
June 9th to 23rd Princess Grill Suite. First I must say that all of our travel arrangements were made through Cunard. Their air and pre-hotel package were included so this review encompasses more than just our cruise portion. We have ... Read More
June 9th to 23rd Princess Grill Suite. First I must say that all of our travel arrangements were made through Cunard. Their air and pre-hotel package were included so this review encompasses more than just our cruise portion. We have cruised with Cunard before on a 24 day 2 way Transatlantic and around Britain cruise 5 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then we have been cruising primarily on Regent 7 Seas and thought we would like to try and upgrade to a Grill Suite on Cunard and spend about the same as we would have on a Regent cruise including business class air. We liked the itinerary on the Queen Victoria and thought we would give it at try. We booked everything through Cunard thinking it would provide for smoother transfers. Getting to the cruise Well the vacation started a bit off with the BA flight departing 6 hours late from Dulles; however, the hotel transfer to Southampton went off without a hitch even with the six hour delayed landing. When we arrived at the hotel there were no bell hops to assist with the luggage (75 plus kilos) and it took awhile to find a trolley to put it on. The Hotel the, Hilton Southampton, is well out of town in the suburbs and when we went to check in they were quite surprised we did not have a car or a “mobile” phone. This package was only meant for locals who were leaving their car for duration of the cruise. The hotel was at best 2 star with no air conditioning and a mediocre dining room. We were so far out of town and so late we ate in the dining room which had a very limited meat and potatoes selection. The Web advertised complimentary shuttle to the city was not available (they told us to call a taxi). First impressions The next day we transferred to the ship with no problems. The registration was smooth as was our embarkation. One thing I did notice was that there was no steward to escort us to our suite something that we had become accustomed to on may other cruises Holland America, Disney, Regent and interestingly on the Cunard QM2. The Princess Grill suite was very nice. It had a comfortable bed, it was well set up and in a good location. The luggage arrived in short order and our steward came in to introduce himself. Little did I know this is the last time I would see him without calling for him. I have never been on a cruise where the steward did not do an outstanding job. This was the first exception. Usually you see the steward when you go to dinner in the morning etc, I never once saw our steward. The room was made up every day but in a haphazard way. The Duvet and pillows were always a bit disheveled. My wife used her shower cap the first day and discarded it. The cap was not replaced, I ran out of conditioner and had to call to get another. I had a bad insect bite that needed to be covered and I ran out of Band-Aids. The concierge provided me with more and said she would send some additional to the steward to put in my room. Two days later no band-aids so I called the steward and tried to explain what I wanted and his first reaction was “we don’t supply those” not “how can I accommodate you”. I had to explain to him all he had to do was get them from the concierge. During the 14 day trip I had exactly 4 interactions with him all initiated by myself. I thought this was a new policy but when I asked other passengers they told me they saw their room steward morning and night just as on any other ship. Dining The dinning room was very nice with great views and good service. The dinning policy was a bit awkward as we sat at a table of 8 but people could you show up at any time during a two hour period. Our dinning companions were very nice but one couple choose to eat later and usually came in during our main or at dessert time and we all were not exactly in sync with our courses. I would rate it 4.5 out of 5. The Maitre D’ was exceptional. He was Turkish and my wife and I had lived in Turkey for a few years. I asked just for a simple Turkish breakfast one day (Feta cheese, Calamata olives and French bread) and we talked a bit about my love of Turkish food. He took it upon himself to have the chef make me three Turkish meals during the cruise which we both thoroughly enjoyed. We had to eat in the Lido buffet a few times because of excursion times and I found the selection to be limited (usually because it was an off hour) and basically stale as it had been sitting there for hours. I would rate it at 2.5 Operations Ships operations were flawless Queen Victoria is a very sea worthy ship with little movement. No complaints about any of the equipment not working (air conditioning, toilets etc.) which had not been the case on other cruises 5 out of 5 for this. Fellow passengers. What we did not realize was that since this cruise was round trip Southampton of the 2000 or so passengers 54 were American and less than 100 were from elsewhere. The inside and Oceanview cabins were heavily marketed in England at greatly reduced prices. There are many things we share with our British cousins but there is much we don’t. For instance the Enrichment programs were highlighted by a locally famous B grade actor I never heard of and the trivia games had questions about Manchester United and obscure members of the Royal family. During the cruise the European football cup was going on and large areas were dedicated to loudly cheering fans. I certainly am not faulting the Brits for being British this is entirely on me for not realizing this cruise would be as Anglo-Centric as it was but something we must, in the future, consider when booking any cruise. Excursions The excursions were at best a bit uneven depending on the port. Our excursion in Rome I would rate a 1 out of 5. The bus was overcrowded with every seat including the rear bench seat taken, the air conditioning did not work in the rear of the bus and the bus was dirty. The tour guide did not speak English well enough or slow enough for anyone to understand. When I asked her to slow down she gave me the Italian shrug of the shoulders. When she spoke about local places she pronounced them in the proper (Italian) way but as fast as she would to a native speaker so as to be completely un-understandable to a non-native speaker. The tour was supposed to be an overview Panoramic tour and turned into a tour of Rome’s traffic. We did see the Coliseum ( the only reason I would give this 1 star instead of 0) which was good but our drive past the Vatican did not occur because of traffic. The guide claimed that the street was closed but I could clearly see other vehicles going up to the square all we got was a half second fleeting glance at the Dome some 5 blocks away. When I returned to the ship I went to the tour desk and lodged my complaint which they assured would be reviewed and get back to me within two days. They did call and left a message saying they were sorry that our experience was not what we expected but no indication of any corrective action taken and no form of compensation offered. In my more than 15 cruises and more than 70 excursions this was by far the worst I have ever been on. Contrasting, at the next port Livorno, the excursion was wonderful, the guide was understandable, a bit funny, and the bus was clean and comfortable. Cost controls The overall cheapening (cost controlling) of service and amenities was noticeable even in the Grill Suites. The first inclination I got that Cunard (CCL) was cutting back was when we received or should I say downloaded our E tickets and received luggage tags online. These tags which we were supposed to print on a 8 x 10 letterhead and perform some sort of “Origami” on to transform them into our luggage tags. Well the bean counters must have never used a ink-jet printer and know the colors are not permanent and if they got wet on the tarmac some place, or even rubbed hard, they would be unreadable. I encased them in plastic and hoped for the best. If your spending well past 15k with a cruise line they could at least send you real luggage tags. Overall satisfaction: I would give this cruise a 3.5 out of 5 rating. Mostly due to the overcrowding of the ships facilities (especially the elevators), the poor cabin service, poor food on the Lido deck, the non-inclusive nature of the activities/entertainment if you were not British and the poor pre-night hotel. I also noted that the crew was not very friendly (or maybe unhappy?). Many times I would greet a crew member in the hall and get no response. This even occurred with a ship’s officer once. On other cruises it would be very unusual for a passenger not to get a greeting from a crew member when passing. We will probably be back on Regent for our next cruise Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Mixed feelings and experiences cruising on the Queen Elizabeth with Cunard. Enjoyed good food, and some (but not all) good entertainment. But with Cunard setting the bar so high, the voyage was not without some shortcomings. First and ... Read More
Mixed feelings and experiences cruising on the Queen Elizabeth with Cunard. Enjoyed good food, and some (but not all) good entertainment. But with Cunard setting the bar so high, the voyage was not without some shortcomings. First and foremost, on the most important "make or break" key factors of food, accommodation and service; Cunard delivered the goods, and delivered them very well indeed. The ship was cruising at full capacity of over 2,000 people, and it soon became clear that it could not cope well with this number. Lifts were often full, gangways congested, and it was a struggle to find a table in the very badly designed main self service dining area (The Lido), with seats being grabbed and reserved for friends and family. This was exacerbated by the very high percentage of passengers with mobility issues. The average age of the passengers must have been approximately 75, if not more. I found it ironic that when I used to visit my late Mother in residential accommodation, there were fewer people around with mobility issues than on this ship! I have every sympathy for people in this predicament but unless there is a quota for wheel chairs etc. the culture of the ship is in danger of changing from one of high end holiday/relaxation to one of residential care and support. Besides this I had serious reservations that in the event of an emergency how would the crew be able to cope with such large numbers of wheelchairs, walking aids etc. We had two well known celebrity speakers: John McCarthy (who was held hostage in Lebanon) and Edwina Currie. Both used the Theatre to address their audience. This caused a major problem since the Theatre capacity was designed for only 50% maximum capacity, where ordinarily the entertainment was repeated later in the evening for the other half of the passengers who were on the later dinner sitting. This meant in order to be assured of a seat and not have to stand or sit on the steps, you had to arrive very early indeed, so early that you had to interrupt and gate crash the previous event / lecture being held in the Theatre, much to the annoyance of those who were legitimately there. In the case of Edwina Currie, the Theatre was previously being used for a Sunday morning church service, and I was not prepared to join an unseemly rush of people pushing their way into a religious service with no intention of being there other than for being early and having a seat for Edwina Currie. So I missed it. A Jazz concert in the Garden Lounge and a "Gala afternoon Tea" also had to be missed due to uncomfortable overcrowding, and it was a similar story trying to get a place to sit outside in good weather. The first three issues could have easily become rectified by the issuing of tickets. Just finding a seat in the main areas to relax and maybe people watch or read, or get a decent (extra charge) coffee often proved challenging. We had a "State room" which is Cunard speak for "Cabin", there was nothing wrong with it, in fact it was very pleasant, well furnished, spacious and with a nice balcony, but why not call a spade a spade? We travelled "Britannia Class" which in plain English means "Standard Class", and was the lowest although by far the most populous of the three classes. Having paid all that money, I discovered I was not "Grill Class" which meant part of the ship was off limits. I couldn't help feeling that if space was allocated to everyone equally, the ship would have been better equipped in coping with maximum volume. Despite the clinking of champagne glasses, the dazzling chandeliers, thick pile carpet, dinner suits, diamonds (you get the picture), this was still not good enough for those one or two classes above us, and it would not do for "Queens Grill" or "Princess Grill" (In plain English 1st & 2nd class) passengers to mix with the likes of us - they had their own quarters accessed by a special key. Class and privilege appeared to play a large part in Cunard's culture, although I noticed that privileges bestowed upon regular clients, did not actually cost Cunard very much. Another irritation was that despite the cruise departing and arriving back at Southampton with unsurprisingly 95% of us British, the ship's theme being the Queen and the Royal Family, the onboard currency was US Dollars, electrical sockets mainly US, and the language American English. I also found it difficult to reconcile the opulence of the ship with some of the excursions. On one excursion we were treated to a refreshment break that included a pastry wrapped in a paper serviette together with fruit juice in the cheapest plastic cup possible. A far cry from cutlery and dinner service used by professional waiters dining under huge chandeliers for our evening meal! On another trip the coach was dirty with unwashed windows, and dust inside. However I reiterate that the most important aspects of the cruise i.e. Food and service were exemplary. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
We boarded our cruise in Trieste Italy ( not Venice) with expectations of excellence from the Cunard brand. Sadly this was not to be. Embarkation was late starting and we had problems with our passports not registering properly. We were ... Read More
We boarded our cruise in Trieste Italy ( not Venice) with expectations of excellence from the Cunard brand. Sadly this was not to be. Embarkation was late starting and we had problems with our passports not registering properly. We were expecting the staff at embarkation to look immaculate but instead were greeted with staff in messy outfits of white shirts and skirts or pants that looked like they needed a good iron.Little thing but first impressions count. there are sooooo many little things that happened but we were determined to make the most of it and tried not to be whiners. Our room steward was ok for the first week and then changed in the second week. Everyday there was something including 1 day our room had still not been serviced at 2.30 pm when we arrived back on board after shore.Not acceptable. There was certainly not a lot of activities to do on board, certainly not like other ships. The night time entertainment on board is ok. It is geared very much to the old fashioned type of entertainment of years gone by - string quartet,pianist,harpist etc. There are no proper deck parties like other ships. The wines etc. are very expensive as are the photos. Our formal photo was $34.95 USD but the other photos were $24.95. You pay an extra $10 just because it is formal night? The wines by the glass were expensive but you could get a wine for around $7 USD for 75mls. Seriously? That's not a glass, that's a taste. Most of the ports are good but a few more shuttle buses provided by Cunard would be nice. The food in the dining room was beautiful and the experience was enhanced by our fabulous waiter Dennis who made recommendations every night. The buffet food is very typical of all buffets. The afternoon teas in the Queens room is very nice and traditional. The dress code on board is not adhered to. There is a big emphasis put on passengers wearing the right attire after 6pm. Gentlemen to wear trousers with shirt and jacket. We personally didn't care but if you have a dress code - stick to it. Some young women came into the dining room at night with short cut offs and sandals. Children running around unsupervised on open decks at 11pm at night when no children were to be out and about after 10. Cunard shouldn't have these rules if you are not going to adhere to them. We were reminded about the dress code when we tried to buy a coffee in the coffee shop at 6.10pm. We were wearing shorts etc. and had just walked in from the deck area. We thought, you have got to be kidding? No consistency Cunard. We are glad that we did this cruise as we have cruised with many different cruise lines prior to this. We believe that Cunard should take a look at the way some other cruise companies operate and not just rest on the Cunard name. Excellence in Service is promised but not always delivered. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
First I will start by saying my wife and I are travel agents whom when on any cruise we look at it from the point of view, could we place a client on this ship or this cruiseline, with confidence? We do compare with other cruiselines and ... Read More
First I will start by saying my wife and I are travel agents whom when on any cruise we look at it from the point of view, could we place a client on this ship or this cruiseline, with confidence? We do compare with other cruiselines and with what the cruiseline is portraying in their pre-cruise advertising, basically "will my client receive the treatment that (in this case) Cunard is selling." On this Cruise, Cunard missed totally. It seemed that everything was based on what was convenient for Cunard not the Passenger. EMBARKATION I will start with EMBARKATION IN ATHENS- We had arrived in Athens 3 days prior to departure and decided to take a taxi from the Hotel to the port. We arrived approx. 11am and were on the ship immediately after they started the embarkation process. Embarkation went very smooth as there seemed to only be, approx. 250 people who arrived early. We were also allowed to enjoy our stateroom right off the bat and were surprised upon entering, that our luggage was ready for us outside our room, that was great. Cunards policy is to take your passports for the duration of the cruise which I find is a blessing as we did not have to worry about it for the entire voyage, although I have heard that some people refuse to hand it over, which is their prerogative. (We will get to that later) STATEROOM We booked an Interior room as we are smokers who have decided that, with the balcony non-smoking policy and the fact that we have cruised the Medit. previously, there was no need for the extra cost and love the total darkness you can get with the inside room. Stateroom was impeccable other than the previous passengers sock and clear bags being left in the drawer. We are not hard reviewers, and are easy to please but being Travel agents we must analyze these things, personally, it didn't bother us, but it might offend some of our clients. The bed and pillows were the most comfortable we have slept on which came in handy as the entertainment was a little lacking and repetitive. Bathroom was a good size and storage was excellent. It could have been cleaner but with the turnaround time we were happy with our stateroom and attendant. STATEROOM ATTENDANT- was excellent, I only request my ice bucket filled daily and we give many days off to our attendant as we feel these people work very hard and always attain 1 of the 12 rules of the staff which is "to always smile". - Posted about the ship is 12 rules that Cunard requires of their staff at all times and can be found on their website and on the ship, we found that Cunard employees fail to reach 6 out of 12, regularly. The biggest was "We never say NO, we find an alternative"- It was very disappointing to hear more "no"s on this ship than all our 7 cruises in the last year and half put together. As well, I forgot that upon embarkation I had asked where the smoking areas were to the girl working at the Pursers desk on the ship, she broke another RULE that "our employees are well prepared and know everything about the ship hence she could not tell us where the Smoking lounges are- not a big deal but Disappointed. Back to the stateroom, it was excellent as well as attendant. ENTERTAINMENT- The shows were adequate but the same, Cunard Singers and Dancers were mediocre at best. 1 Comedian for 1 night, who was very good and broke up the singing and dancing theme, hence we did not go to every show. The library was excellent but the cases are locked up most of the time which I thought was a slap as with the type of clients on this ship I thought there would be more trust. The extra charges for there tutorial type classes was disappointing as there was really not much else to do as an alternative for us- we don't drink. I will say that my wife and I are really not suited for the type of entertainment that was offered and we knew that going in so we really could not put down the type offered, but the variety and quality was not there. PORTS- well this is where it gets very DISAPPOINTING- after cancelling Tunis 2 weeks before departure (mind you with good reason- Safety!!) the alternative was Albania- nice if it was July or August. This port is still in the begining stages and we were tendered in which is no big deal but there was nothing to do unless one visited the Archeological site(Butrint) It seemed to me that this port was picked out of convenience and financing as I am sure it did not cost much for Cunard to float in the bay for the day and use the lifeboats as tender ships, there are loads of Greek Isles they could have picked in place of "OLD CARTHAGE"- and Albania Disappointing again. MONTE CARLO- Well this is the biggest "lunchbag letdown" I have ever witnessed and actually took me to the point of anger. Many, many of our fellow passengers as well as ourselves chose this Itinerary for the port of Monte Carlo. 8 hours could have been filled very nicely with a visit to the Princes Palace and Casino and glimpsing at the very expensive Yachts that frequent this City State. I was dying to see this port. THE SAGA-The day before Monte Carlo, we arrived in Livorno. It was raining in Livorno and Pisa on and off for the day. With everyone back on the ship for the night and ready for the journey to Monte Carlo during the night. Early dinner was being served and a few minutes in to dinner, the Captain comes over the speaker to inform all passengers that due to the "possibility" of rough seas, 30 knot winds and rain, that for safety reasons, she would be cancelling MONTE CARLO the next day and we would be staying in Livorno the next day. WHAT!!!!, the whole dining room went into a heavy sigh- MAJOR DISSAPOINTMENT-. This was the talk of the ship for the next few days. Now I know you are saying to yourselves "well these things happen, but safety first, it has happened before, what are you going to do?" and yes I have had this happen to us many times as well. But to cancel it 12 hours ahead of time for medium seas???? We watched The Costa ship leave heading to Savonna, ferries galore, container ships and a Seaborn Yacht leave for the same Ligurian Sea we were going to be crossing, so we are thinking whats up with that? How come these ships are not worried? The reason I am so upset about this is because after the announcement, the wife and I went to the Pursers desk to change some American to Euros, It was only us and 3 other people standing there, while standing there we overhear the attendant calming these 3 people down saying " Don't worry the Captain is aware , all is good you will be able to go to the embassy tomorrow in Livorno and we have already talked with them, you can get new passports, it is already looked after, no worries.. Now I am more disappointed, as this is 15 minutes after the M.C. cancelling announcement. We have been on a Disney Cruise with many families and young children in October, we were following around a hurricane which had devastated many Caribbean Islands and YES it was rough, but HEY we are on a cruise ship, a huge ship, this is what they are built for. All passengers know that there is the possibility of some rough seas, but we are cruisers we can handle it, we will all be in bed on the way to Monte Carlo so no Biggie. So now I am thinking that here we are not going to Monte Carlo so these people can get their passports the next day, hold the whole ship hostage for 3 people who obviously decided contrary to most of us, not to hand their Passports over. BAD DECISION ON THE CAPTAINS PART. and the BIG KICKER it was sunny, 60 degrees and 6 kph winds in Monte Carlo all day the next day. The second day in Livorno was the worst weather, we stayed on the ship and I checked the weather in Monte Carlo every 2 hours on the internet just to get more Dissapointed. I and most did not get off the ship for round 2 in Livorno. The weather was brutal it downpoured all day with thunder and lightening in LIvorno all of day 2. Here is my conclusion- The weather for the night crossing was the perfect excuse to not dock in the one of the most expensive ports in the world to visit (for the cruiseline) thus saving Cunard money and conveniently now they will be able to get these passengers passports. Now this is just my opinion but c'mon 30 knot winds is not that bad- and this brings me to the reasoning again that this cruiseline looks after what is good for Cunard not what is good for their passengers. I am not the only person who felt this way, it was the talk of the week, there was no reason not to go to Monte Carlo- there must have been more to it than the rough seas. TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT. DINING-Food was Hit and Miss, no garlic butter. Again another "no" I even asked after the first "NO" the week before that if there was Lobster the next Wednesday, please could I have garlic butter. Come Wednesday "sorry sir but "NO" there was no garlic butter. I saw chopped garlic upstairs for pizza and I had butter on my table- how hard would it have been to put together some Garlic Butter??? No cold milk anywhere for cereal???. It seemed that first nights pork went a heck of a long way with pork related dishes lasting for about 4 days. Lack of desserts 3 at dinner and Minimal desserts offered at the buffet Compared to, say, Princess, who has that wonderful International Cafe with wide selection of changing desserts constantly. Food was definateley nothing special, coupled with missed salads and no Garlic butter, hmmm!! DISSAPOINTING. As for Cleanliness, we never saw anybody outside picking up stray glasses or cups. Very infrequently you would see someone clean outside, some cups would be there all day and into the next day. VAT tax of 22% for the second week of the cruise in international waters was odd!! or for some people their whole week cruise. Charging to get from the pier to port entrance in Barcelona was silly, 4.50 euros each way. If you are going to take us to a port, it should be your obligation to take us to the action. The whole outside areas of ship put away at 5pm every day apparently an S.O.G forcing passengers to be inside all night, 5pm- just never seen this. Never was I offered a drink in the buffet, waiters had to be asked, everybody just found this odd. I had to put the burning ashtrays out on deck 3 approx. 8 times in 14 days due to smoke and at one point flames. They have no garbage cans on deck 3 promenade so people will use these odd shaped ashtrays which are attached to the pillars to put there garbage in and I felt it was really dangerous. Now, I know it seems like we are slamming Cunard pretty hard but they really have to take a look at what they are promoting and what they are offering. They push this "White Star Service" and for the most part we did not feel it was there, I have been treated way better on just about every other Cruiseline I have been on. Considering Carnival owns most of its competition they should really have a look at what they are promoting and see if it really is offered to the customer. They have a beautiful ship which is set up for great movement and no crowding but as stated I think the are missing the real concern for their passengers- SERVICE, Monte Carlo should never have been missed and I think they should all be compensated in some way due to the Mickey Mouse reason for missing it. If there was a real safety concern then fine, things happen, but c'mon -30 knot winds??, and to leave us in a thunderstorm in Livorno was ridiculous. Even if the Captain had apologized for a bad decision it would have been soothing - the least she could have done. She should not have cancelled Monte Carlo they should have cancelled Toulon- they take us to a port on a Tuesday whose claim to fame is being a Naval Base- -and the only day the Naval Museum is closed is on Tuesday, HUH!! We are not petty people and love cruising, all in al,l the base service on any cruise is some of the best you will see in the Travel Industry, BUT don't promote something so heavily, and not offer it. This is definately not high class service as promoted. The only thing high class about Cunard is the passengers being dressed up every night. We give it the Luxury status. There was one fella who worked in the buffet who should be teaching all other staff how to serve the passengers.Named Palo. Him and our stateroom attendant were the only two who made us feel like we were appreciated instead of a burden. Cruiselines - they are all great- but with Cunard the only really enjoyable thing was the the relax time. there was plenty of it due to the fact that there was very little to do that interested us, We had the most relaxing time. The ship is beautiful, The insights program would be great if there was more than 2 hours of lecture time a week- by each speaker. We don't play bridge, drink alcohol, or ballroom dance, we really enjoyed tea but those sandwiches are different. I don't know how they can physically put a "HINT" of the filler so thin on the bread.-Odd, I hope this wasn't a long whining review, that was not my intent, I am just looking at this from the point of view -"could I place my clients on this line confidently" and I am sorry to say that there was more negative than positive, but it could be fixed very easily, PUT the client first, not Cunard, their pocketbook and their employees. This Cruiseline must have a small, loyal following that keeps it afloat. As you can tell we were very disappointed and hope that maybe some of these things will change, as stated it was relaxing, and maybe that is the attraction for most of these positive reviews, but I think that it would be nice to have the option, not to be forced on you due to lack of activities,and please think of the all passengers first- not just 3 of them.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Cunard our preferred cruise line, our party consisted of myself, my husband, my daughter aged 23 and my son aged 25. We go on holiday together as a family every year as we lead busy lives and it gives us time to relax and catch up. We booked the cruise approximately 6 weeks before departure and we were happy we were allocated rooms next to each other as we were advised this may not be the case. We had not travelled on the Queen Elizabeth before but soon realised it was almost identical to her sister ship the Queen Victoria and the itinerary was very much the same. I am not the sort of person to sit around all day and I love to take part in all the sporting activities which happen throughout the day. It is a good way of meeting other people and forming friendships whilst on board. When on a sea day it is a good way of breaking up the day, but I feel more time could be taken to plan the activities better so there is no overlap and you are able to take part in all activities on offer. The entertainment staff on board were excellent, they made activities fun and worked very hard at making sure everyone involved had a good time. Since going on the QM2 five years ago we have noticed standards in the restaurants have fallen year on year. It is certainly not fine dining any more with poor quality food and a limited choice. Our waiter this year was rude, when a fellow diner on our table was not ready to order the waiter retorted 'and', this resulted in some bad feeling between the guest and the waiter for the rest of their trip. The same waiter also resorted to dressing down another waitress in front of other diners in the restaurant. This year we found that the strict dress code was not enforced and one diner turned up in a pair of jeans and an anorak to a formal night in the Britannia Restaurant. On another occasion when ordering drinks at the bar, the barman asked my daughter for ID. I explained that she was 23, but she showed him her ID card whereby the barman insinuated it was mine. I was taken a back that not only did the barman not believe me when I told him my daughters age but then went on to insinuate that I would give her my own ID card. We were due to arrive in the port of Athens the next day so we went to the information desk to get details of how best to travel to Athens on our own. We were assured that there would be a shuttle bus to the end of the port and then there would be a 15 minute walk to catch the Metro. However there was no shuttle bus and we still had not reached the Metro 50 minutes later, we had to get a taxi had we known this we had got a taxi at the port. The evening entertainment this year was disappointing with not enough variety, each night there would be an all singing and dancing extravaganza but it was very repetitive and some evenings we would give it a miss. We spent most of our evenings in the Golden Lion Pub where there was a nightly quiz which proved very popular with a lot of guests. On our day of disembarkation we were told to vacate our rooms by 8.15 and be in the Britannia Restaurant by 8.30. There seemed to be a mix up with the colour of our disembarkation tags and we didn't seem to be on any list to leave the ship, but we were put onto a coach anyway and taken to the airport 7 hours before our flight. There was not seats to sit on in the airport and we were pushed from pillar to post by airport staff. This was a very disappointing end to our holiday as we felt Cunard just couldn't wait to get us off the ship even though there had been a huge communication break down regarding when we should have disembarked. Overall the holiday had its good and bad points, but the poor food and lack of respect by some members of staff has left us wondering if we should travel with Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our 7th cruise, but our first time with Cunard. Embarkation from Southampton was fairly rapid and hassle free and our luggage had arrived at the cabin before we did. My first impression of the ship was that it was rather dark and ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise, but our first time with Cunard. Embarkation from Southampton was fairly rapid and hassle free and our luggage had arrived at the cabin before we did. My first impression of the ship was that it was rather dark and gloomy, but it did have its own unique character and simple sophistication. The layout of the ship was difficult to master and we did struggle to find our way around (even during the second week) but it didn`t cause us any problems. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 midship and I did find the cabin very basic and not the kind of standard that we have been used to. Firstly, there was no kettle in the cabin, which struck me as odd! There was only one British plug socket, which caused us a few difficulties. The TV was terrible, the picture was distorted and it took ages to respond. The bathroom had no cabinet to store toiletries and the shower, although adequate, was not as good as other ships that we have travelled on. All in all, the accommodation was a bit over-rated and over-priced compared to other cruise lines. The food in the Lido was the best I have ever experienced and the service was excellent, (the chocolate desserts are especially divine!!!). However I was a little disappointed in the food at dinner time in the Britannia restaurant. Some nights the meat was a little bit tough and the veggies too hard. Our table for six near the window seemed to be directly under an AC unit which was freezing and very uncomfortable! We had the usual searching around for a towel free sunbed in the mornings, but that seems to apply to all the cruise lines, who don't enforce their deck policies. There wasn't any poolside activities happening, which actually appealed to me, as I personally don't like the Butlin`s experience, so that was a pleasant bonus. The onboard shops were boring and some of the staff seemed disinterested in selling anyway (especially the Harrods shop). Lots of the usual art for sale, which doesn't really interest me. Also, the formal photographers were below average in my opinion, yet the photographs were very expensive to buy. The ship was fairly quiet at night, as most of the entertainment centres around the ballroom and the nightly theatre shows were quite mixed. While the ships dancers were very good, two of the ships singers were awful....the female Irish singer was so loud that she shrieked most of the time and one of the male singers was also way too loud. Some of the other acts made up for this however, especially the comedian and the three male Opera singers who were all excellent! We couldn't really enjoy any of the bars as they were so cold, my feet went numb after a few minutes. The air conditioning was severe in certain areas of the ship and we spent more time on deck to get warm than inside the ship itself. All in all, we wouldn't choose to go back On Queen Victoria unless we found an itinery that we specifically wanted. I know there are good and bad points on every cruise ship, but I felt that overall, Cunard was disappointing for the price that we paid. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
having booked this cruise and knowing cunard's reputation we were expecting 5 star treatment all the way. our flights, balcony cabin, transfers at airports etc were 5 star our ports of call were great. the staff were wonderful the ... Read More
having booked this cruise and knowing cunard's reputation we were expecting 5 star treatment all the way. our flights, balcony cabin, transfers at airports etc were 5 star our ports of call were great. the staff were wonderful the evening meals were lovely, the various lounges very comfortable, walking deck great as were all the facilities. now for the downside lunch was average the usual salads,cheeses, cold meats were plentiful as was the very british fare example one lunch was sausage and mash or lancashire hotpot grilled fish with all the chefs from around the world where was variety of dishes from around the world the only time we had a stir fry it was tasteless. as a scot i expected an offering of haggis on st andrews day as a jewish festival was listed as japanese breakfasts and meals were on offer when it was mentioned to the captain by an english friend she was told :they want to be independant: she was very annoyed at this retort as were we so much for cross border relations...our other big dissappointment was the entertainment every night ballroom dancing mainly attednded by the oriental guests and elderly cruisers, the pub had a quiz every night then a pianist who every night had the same jokes and awful music the yacht club pianist was not any better the pub closed early and had no atmosphere except at lunch time. the theatre shows were out of the 30's and i know you can,t please everyone but we heard more complaints about the entertainment from lots of people. the entertainment staff seemed lack lustre between the ditsy blond routine that was boring and we felt they were only going through the motions the stage shows were bland overall if i had paid full price for this cruise i would be demanding money back it was worth every penny of the £699 for the ports of call and evening dinners but would not be rushing to book a cunard cruise it was nowhere as good as holland and america or celebrity for entertainment or food. i felt i was growing older by the day on this cruise it could have been so much better Read Less
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