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Sail Date: October 2012
The public rooms on 'Queen Elizabeth; are all decorated very elegantly and pleasantly, and after 3 years still look almost brand new. The impressive Grand Lobby, with the Viscount Linley marquetry/inlay panel is very reminiscent of ... Read More
The public rooms on 'Queen Elizabeth; are all decorated very elegantly and pleasantly, and after 3 years still look almost brand new. The impressive Grand Lobby, with the Viscount Linley marquetry/inlay panel is very reminiscent of the Golden Age of the liner. The Queen’s Room is one of my favourites with two royal portraits, the bronze bust of The Queen from QE2, as well as various pictures of royal residences. The room is used for the ‘white glove’ afternoon tea, dances and large gatherings. Our cabin [balcony stateroom on deck 7] was very pleasant; and I might have made more use of the balcony had our immediate neighbour not insisted on smoking whenever conceivably possible. I’m pleased to hear that from next year smoking will not be allowed on any of the balconies! The thing I noticed at night was the incredible silence: no cars, no city noise, no dogs barking  just total silence. Our fellow passengers seemed very considerate; and there were very few children on board. The lofty, two-tiered Britannia Restaurant [clearly Art Deco-inspired] did not disappoint either. The menus included some familiar favourites, and some intriguing soups and sometimes fusion dishes. I need not have worried about tea, as we could enjoy as many extra cups as we wished in the self-service Lido Restaurant. There’s plenty of beautiful artwork, polished wood, glittering chandeliers on board. There’s no neon or glitz on this ship. Every bar or lounge has something beautiful in it. I ventured into the Golden Lion pub only once for lunch, and enjoyed that. One has to self-disciplined about food on almost any ship, I guess. There is so much of it, 24 hours a day. Room service is included too at no extra cost. There’s live music all over the ship. A pianist played during afternoon tea. Then, in the evening, a harpist, pianist or string quartet played in the Grand Lobby. Many of the musicians come from Russia and the Ukraine. The evening performances in the theatre were excellent and very entertaining. Well done, Amanda Reid & Co. It was fun exploring the rest of the ship: the library, card room, bookshop, puzzle corner, tiny Fortnum & Mason section, the Harrods section, the bars. I did make it to the gym, but decided I preferred to walk briskly [or occasionally jog] around the promenade deck while admiring the views or taking in the sea air. After all that good food, exercise was sorely needed. I hadn’t been looking forward to the formal nights, but they also proved to be far more enjoyable than I’d expected. The Captain and the officers are all British, and friendly. The rest of the crew come mainly from the Philippines, India, Eastern Europe and are clearly very well trained and always polite. What I loved too was the ease with which we arrived in a different country: no immigration queues, no forms. Everything was handled by the company in advance, and we simply stepped ashore. So easy! In every port a shuttle bus was laid on to the town/city centre, and some passengers chose to use this for independent travel, but I do not regret booking excursions. We stepped off the ship, and on to coach and were whisked to a place of interest. The tours seemed reasonably priced. I saw many fascinating places and as I studied Latin for so many years, the ruins of Herculaneum had to be one of the highlights. The ruins of Ephesus are far more spectacular than I’d expected. We sailed from Civitavecchia to Salerno to Messina, Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Piraeus/Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Ravenna, and finally Venice. Santorini is picture postcard perfect! Several ships had docked in Piraeus the morning we arrived, and the Parthenon proved to be overcrowded. Still, I count myself fortunate to have seen the famous ruins. The tiny republic of San Marino perched in the mountains - also proved to be far more interesting and beautiful than I’d expected. We were lucky enough to see some of the famous mosaics at Ravenna too. And for the first time I got to see some of the many sights of Venice. For the whole time the sun shone and the skies remained blue. It was late October/autumn, but pleasantly warm. Only in Venice did the skies darken ever so slightly. Even there we did not feel a drop of rain. What luck! My only gripe: the internet [via satellite] seemed expensive at 75c a minute, or $24.95 for 2 hours. So would I like to cruise again? The answer must be a resounding YES! Perhaps it will be Queen Victoria next time, or Queen Mary 2. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2012
It was our first cruise ever for me and my grandmother. We carefully searched for a nice cruise and came across a 12 night Athens-Anthens Cruise on board Queen Elizabeth. We booked a Q3 Cabin 6106 which is a Penthouse Suite. Check in ... Read More
It was our first cruise ever for me and my grandmother. We carefully searched for a nice cruise and came across a 12 night Athens-Anthens Cruise on board Queen Elizabeth. We booked a Q3 Cabin 6106 which is a Penthouse Suite. Check in started chaotic but around 12:15 we boarded the ship. Our room was simply beautiful. There were two bottles of Champagne waiting and our butler introduced himself. Our room was cleaned twice a day including with Turndown service. We had breakfast in our room each morning as I tend to find breakfast in Queen Grill restaurant not so good. Lunch and Diner were both excellent and during sunny days we could enjoy our meal outside on the restaurants private terrace. Service and menu were outstanding. The Senior Maitre Mr. Beniamino Acer was undoubtedly the best staff member on board. There were some Tender port for which we received a priority card so we did not have to queue, however we skipped one port as it was too risky with high currents. We missed a visit to Olympia. Entertainment was good although the theatre was sometimes completely full. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
First time on Cunard, first cruise was on the Sea Princess some 35 years ago...things haven't changed as far as cruising goes. If not in port there is not a lot to do except bask in the sun by the pool, attend the show after dinner, ... Read More
First time on Cunard, first cruise was on the Sea Princess some 35 years ago...things haven't changed as far as cruising goes. If not in port there is not a lot to do except bask in the sun by the pool, attend the show after dinner, old time dance in the ballroom or kick up your heels in the disco, have a quiet drink listening to the piano in the yacht club or play trivia games and karaoke in the pub.. QE is one very beautiful vessel, the decor is lavish. The evening entertainment in the theatre was outstanding!! Apparently the entertainers were all new. The dancers were fantabulous, their stamina in doing two shows each night is amazing. The costumes were beautiful, colourful and the designs very relevant to the dance being performed. Food in the Britannia was great and serving portions just right for 3 course meals. Vegetarian meals were also on the menu. Even those on a diet were catered for. Steaks as requested were perfectly cooked . Duck and Lobster were delicious, we even had shrimp cocktail, souffles, snails. Watching people eat in the Lido buffet was a sight, plates piled high, anybody would think it was their last meal. I now understand the joke by cruise staff referring to cruises as a food marathon. Food was constantly replenished, you could get pizza and pasta on demand, crepes, eggs and omelets at breakfast. Burgers, sausages,fries and onion rings at the pool. There were Indian,Japanese and other special food days throughout the cruise. Some people really need to look at themselves and their eating habits if they think their was insufficient food on QE. All crew were nice, friendly and smiling and always around to help. Although the dinner waiter was a little too swift in clearing the table each night. My cabin was nice but an interior, so pitch black without the lights on, I was rarely in it. The shower was small but the water pressure and temperature was very good. My only complaint was the hair dryer in the desk drawer, the cord doesn't stretch far enough to get to the other side of my head. having long hair it was a nightmare to get dry and styled. As always hotels and cruise ships just don't cater for women! But at least they supplied hair conditioner, something you don't get in hotels. You do get the feeling of penny pinching when it comes to the add-ons. Gratuities, service charges and tips are added, added and added again. Ridiculous and so "American" Being an aussie we believe in a fair pay for a days work. Just pay your staff properly, price things accordingly and get rid of the add-ons, it so cheapens the experience. Being single traveller the cost was obscene, especially with regional pricing. Having said that I would still definitely sail on the QE again but travel with someone next time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Well,our second Cunard cruise and our second cruise.Not at all disappointed.We booked a Gateaway Deal and were very relieved NOT to get an obstructed view,all in all a very nice cabin on deck 8.This cabin 8049 is situated under the towel ... Read More
Well,our second Cunard cruise and our second cruise.Not at all disappointed.We booked a Gateaway Deal and were very relieved NOT to get an obstructed view,all in all a very nice cabin on deck 8.This cabin 8049 is situated under the towel bar area for the midship pool.A little noise from above on a nice morning when the loungers are being put out,but may be we noticed it more because we are not very early risers! The black out curtains don't help nor does the incredibly comfortable bed. This cabin is a corridor walk and one flight of stairs away from the Lido buffet. The Lido food although very good does remind us of a BHS self serve cafe. Its horrible having to find a table with a tray full of food and drink,very difficult for some people, Gssss some of them take for ever to find a tea bag and even longer to dunk it!!! There is no shortage of staff in this restaurant and no reason why they cant help with finding the elderly or the less fit a table and taking their tray. No complaints about the Britannia Restaurant other than the food wasn't always hot enough,the head waiter let the kitchen know quick enough! The waiting staff were fab and very funny, I do like staff that can relax a little but still be pros. Oh that was a problem with the Lido, I had to mention there that the food wasn't hot although fresh. We felt 12 nights too long on this trip for us,we needed more shore days of interest.Baltic and Russia next. Our trip this time was made all the better for the table of 10 reducing to 9 that we shared with.good fun all. 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
Sail Date: June 2014
Overall the cruise was good but with a few irritations. Great ports of call but the on board experience was slightly frustrating. Accommodation The accommodation was excellent. We had the balcony cabin and the room was clean and ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good but with a few irritations. Great ports of call but the on board experience was slightly frustrating. Accommodation The accommodation was excellent. We had the balcony cabin and the room was clean and spacious. Excellent storage space and good power shower. The room was well maintained by the steward who was friendly. The only slight irritation was the TV. It was a 32 inch wall mounted flat screen but the picture was slightly blurry. Entertainment As a couple under 35 we found the entertainment choices limited. The daytime activities were quite poor in choice apart from the lectures which we found to be mixed. We had a few excellent speakers and a few not so excellent. Again the evening entertainment was at best mixed. We found a few of the guest entertainers quite enjoyable but the Cunard singers and dancers were not enjoyable to watch. Food and Drink We were seated in the Britannia Restaurant and overall the standard of the food was good. The food was much better than the food we have previously experienced on the Queen Mary 2. The waiters were attentive to diners with special dietary requirements and service was always with a smile. The food in the Lido buffet was mixed. We found breakfast to be of the same standard as the restaurant but other meals so be bland. We ate at two of the alternative dining venues in the Lido (Prime and Jasmine). We cannot recommend these highly enough. The quality of the food and service is well worth the extra small charge. You will not be disappointed. We attended afternoon tea in the Queens Room on just one occasion. I would say it is well worth going just for the tea. I'm not a tea drinker usually but I very much enjoyed the special blend. The sandwiches, cakes and scones were average and are the same as the ones that can be found in the Lido. As two non drinkers we purchased the soft drinks package. However as a diabetic I cannot have any sugary drinks so the only option available for me was Diet Pepsi. They had sugar free 7up available but as this did not come from the soda gun it was not included in the soft drinks package. The package was good value overall I just wish there was more choice. The other issue we found was that people who were drinking alcohol were better tended to and had offers of refills whereas we had to go back to the bar. Service We found the service to be mixed. The room stewards and waiters were attentive and overall excellent. However the several encounters I had with the tour office and pursers office left me feeling frustrated. The responses to questions were unsatisfactory and sometimes they didn't want to listen to the questions that were being asked. For example We enquired at the tour office the timings of one of the tours we had booked as we wanted to book some timed tickets for an art gallery. It took them 8 days and me making several trips to chase them up before we got an answer. When we eventually did get an answer it was too late to book the timed tickets online. Luckily we did manage to get some tickets on the day otherwise that would have ruined our trip to florence. The other slight annoyance we encountered was that twice we were automatically double charged for shuttle buses when we had been out on the tour in the morning and only got the shuttle bus back to the ship. We were then questioned when trying to remove these extra charges as if we had done something wrong. Tours Ten out of the eleven ports we booked the organised tours through Cunard. Overall we found the tours to be quite rushed and some were poor value for money. I would recommend booking tours when you get free time in places rather than the full organised tours. Overall the ship was beautiful and the interiors, public rooms and cleanliness cannot be faulted. However we feel the itinerary made this cruise rather than the experience of the ship itself. I would only book with Cunard again if the itinerary was better than other cruise liners.   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: July 2014
Our cruise got off to an inauspicious start with our TomTom breaking down just as we entered Southampton. With luck and memory we were able to find Alternative Cruise Parking in Marchwood and were transferred to the ship. Boarding was ... Read More
Our cruise got off to an inauspicious start with our TomTom breaking down just as we entered Southampton. With luck and memory we were able to find Alternative Cruise Parking in Marchwood and were transferred to the ship. Boarding was pretty straightforward and we were in stateroom 4006 by 12:30pm. We'd booked a getaway fair for the first time and were disappointed to find our balcony was metal fronted but more disappointed when we found out we were dining at 8:30. We dined that night on a table with two other couples who were also disappointed but really poor company because of it. After dinner my wife approached the Maître D who was being berated by another disgruntled diner and took an amazing amount of abuse from this person before politely telling him he wouldn't get a table for two. My wife spoke to him with trepidation but despite his previous experience was kindness itself and transferred us to an earlier dinning time, with our gratitude. Our cruise was probably the best we've had over three cruise company's. The ports were the usual Mediterranean stops with the exception of St Raphael in the south of France which was also a tender stop. Barcelona was as usual brilliant a town we always find something different to do. Livorno was a good stop but our Pisa tour could have done without the rain. Our stateroom 4006 was larger than most with a bed settee (not needed by us) and a larger balcony albeit with a metal front. Our main complaint was that the stateroom was directly above the stage of the theatre so we heard the show three times a day whether we attended or not. Rehearsals were in the mid afternoon, the early show we attended and the late show sounded as if it was outside our door. Luckily we brought ear plugs. Our stateroom steward, Noël could not be faulted, he was a delight and very efficient. The food in the Britannia Restaurant was excellent and when we dined elsewhere for a change we came across the same excellence. Our table steward and his assistant were from India and were attentive, friendly and knowledgable. Cunard seems to have tried to vary the entertainment with comedians, jugglers and magicians which suited us. They were mostly very good. Despite the metal fronted balcony and the noise from the theatre we had a wonderful cruise and cannot fault the genuinely friendly service from all the crew, so good we booked a Christmas cruise to the Canaries whilst we were on board.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our third cruise with Cunard (Qm2 transatlantic, Queen Elizabeth last summer Ito Norway and just back from the Queen Victoria). The ship was wonderful, staff superb including very reasonable Hair spa prices (Heidi in the Spa was ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Cunard (Qm2 transatlantic, Queen Elizabeth last summer Ito Norway and just back from the Queen Victoria). The ship was wonderful, staff superb including very reasonable Hair spa prices (Heidi in the Spa was outstanding) and the ports were all good though some more to our taste than others. St Raphael was a new port stop and we took the ferry to Saint Tropez. Seeing both towns was great. Having experienced all 3 ships, from an inside cabin to a balcony, we loved all. I do love the steadiness of QM2 and felt a true war ness from staff on Queen Victoria, even more so than on the Elizabeth. Hope to cruise again soon. Cunard has always met our needs and excelled in so many ways. Food is excellent and so is the nightly show. Better and better is our experience. Yes, expensive but not when you cost a four / five star hotel, nightly West end Show and superb - often Michelin star standard- food. We work hard all year for this. We truly hope to return. Excellent!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
The Queen Elizabeth provided the perfect base for our cruise around the Adriatic and Aegean Sea. We flew from Leeds Bradford in the UK via Amsterdam to Rome as part of a Cunard organised Fly Cruise package. We were met at the airport with ... Read More
The Queen Elizabeth provided the perfect base for our cruise around the Adriatic and Aegean Sea. We flew from Leeds Bradford in the UK via Amsterdam to Rome as part of a Cunard organised Fly Cruise package. We were met at the airport with a relatively easy transfer to the port where 5 or 6 cruise ships awaited their new passengers. Check in was very quick and efficient. Our Cabin (P2 class on an upgrade from Britannia Class) was well appointed in mid ships and had the luxury of a bath and a larger seating area. We ate in the Princess Grill and had access to the Grills area. I would certainly not refuse an upgrade if ever offered one again. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. We sailed passed Stromboli and through the Messina straights arriving in Corfu the next day. It was a Sunday but most shops were open. We were surprised to find that cricket is played on Sundays on the large green square. We visited the old fort. Our table mates were German and Australian and fascinated by Prince Philip's ancestry as he was born on Corfu. Our next port of call was Koter in Montenegro. We were late in arriving due to a massive storm during the night that prevented the ship entering fford like channel. The journey through the fford (actually a Ria) was quite magical and the nearest thing to a Norwegian fford in the Med. Koter is a lovely old walled town with a lot of history. It was a tender port. The sailaway was also excellent as the ship, in the very capable hands of Captain Inger Thorhauge manoeuvred through a very narrow straight back into the Adriatic. Next stop Dubrovnik where we were the only ship in port. We walked around the steep walls (cost 10 euros). Great roof top and sea views. The fresh red roof tiles gives an Inkling about how much damage the city sustained during the Serbo Croat war. We finished the first leg of our journey with a two day stay in Venice. This is also where our table mates left us. Cunard runs this cruise in 7 day segments with passengers getting on and off at the main cruise terminals at Rome, Venice and Athens so not repeating its ports of call apart from those 3 ports for 28 days. Most passengers seemed to be on for either 7 or 14 days though some on for 21. Venice was as to be expected. The sail in and sailaway are amazing. We took the hidden Venice walking tour and really enjoyed finding out more about Venice away from the crowds at the Rialto bridge and St Mark's Square. Cunard offered a launch service from the ship to near St Marks for 35 euros each for the 2 days. It is worth checking out the People Carrier and vaporetto water buses as an alternative. Our first port of call on the second leg of our cruise was Korcula in Crotia. We took the Highlights of Peljesac tour. The journey to Ston gave amazing and vertiginous views across the sea and Dalmation peninsular. We only had a short stop (almost a comfort break) in Ston before we set of for our return journey by the same route. We stopped in the village of Kuna where we visited the church, a donkey farm and were given a tradition snack of cold meats and cheese with wine (not a wine tasting). The trip was disappointing in that we only spent a very short time in Ston - it deserved more time. The village of Kuna was much nearer the ship and could have been a seperate trip. The coach trip is the only time I felt sick in the 14 day holiday!! Korcula is lovely and we wished we had not bothered with the trip. Our next port of call was Crete. We regularly holiday in Crete but have never visited the Museum in Heraklion that contains the artefacts from Knossos. What a wonderful experience and an easy walk from the ship. Other shipmates took the hop on hop off bus just outside the cruise terminal and said it was really good value. Rhodes followed and we visited the old town which is easily accessible from the ship. Lovely place and one to spend more time in in the future. Ephesus from Kusadasi, we took the Ephesus and Terrace Houses trip and was glad we did. Excellent guide. The Terrace Houses are amazing. Ephesus is busy so it is worth getting there early. We were the only cruise ship in in the morning but the day before there had been 3. Unless you are particularly interested in Turkish carpets suggest you avoid the optional visit. It's interesting but there is a danger you will leave with a rug!! Disembarked at Athens. As on fly cruise we did not leave ship until 2 pm though had to clear cabin by 8.30. We could have gone on tour or of ship but just chilled out till we left. Regarding the ship. We enjoyed the cruise so much we have booked for next year to do the trip from Istanbul to Rome tho next time in Queen Vic. All the staff we met were pleasant and very hard working. The cruise director excellent, the shows very good and the food in the Grills very good and in the Verandah restaurant fantastic. Next time we will cancel automatic gratuities and go back to the system of tipping personally. My personal tip is to take your own travel kettle and tea and coffee for an early morning brew. It is something that P and O get so right and Cunard should emulate. Room service coffee and tea do not match a fresh brew.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Although a regular 'Cunarder' this was my first time on the QE. My son and I booked it very last minute as it was his birthday during the 7 night stay. I was a bit dubious about doing fly cruise, as I live fairly near to ... Read More
Although a regular 'Cunarder' this was my first time on the QE. My son and I booked it very last minute as it was his birthday during the 7 night stay. I was a bit dubious about doing fly cruise, as I live fairly near to Southampton and the thought of flying did not fill me with joy. However on a positive note, one the pain of airports and transfers was out of the way and we arrived onboard it was was fabulous to be straight out in the sunshine rather having a few drab sea days with very little to do. The ship had an eclectic mix of international passengers of varying ages, which was interesting and amusing. We were luckily allocated second seating but unfortunately stuck with two old couples who had no other conversation other than cruises and ships they had been on and a desire to brag about them! We moved tables..... My son and I love the deck sports- quits, shuffleboard and on the QE even croquet, however it is always disappointing on Cunard as you get the felling that the nets staff doing them are trying very hard to get it over with as quickly as possible, and do not organise proper tournaments, instead they give your their version of the various sports, and although I am not a great P and O fan, it's the one thing they do so much better. They had some very attractive gentleman hosts on this voyage too ladies... I could have danced all night.... That aside the ship was looking good, the for was excellent. usual tired old shows and clapped out comedian, a new cruise director with fresh ideas would certainly help! However, on the whole, it was a great holiday and the atmosphere on the ship was positive and happy- heard no moans which was great!   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
We have just had a wonderful time on the Queen Elizabeth and here are a few thoughts and tips to enjoy it as much as us. We got a late deal fly cruise from Manchester from the ice house and the plane was aTitan Air charter. No problems ... Read More
We have just had a wonderful time on the Queen Elizabeth and here are a few thoughts and tips to enjoy it as much as us. We got a late deal fly cruise from Manchester from the ice house and the plane was aTitan Air charter. No problems apart from slow check in. Easy flight too as well as excellent transfer to port then very speedy embarkation. Inside cabin was lovely as we normally do balconies so were pleasantly surprised at space and amenities. Deck 6 was ideal, slightly aft but near the stairs and lifts. Now the specifics....... Dining-late sitting was ideal on our table for 6. We met 2 wonderful couples and got on great, what a hoot each evening. Food was excellent but the sommelier seemed to be very stressed when we ordered wines etc. We had breakfast in there twice, room service 3 times and had a try at the lido which was quite a mad scramble for seats. Lunch at the lido was very good and seats easier to come by. So overall the food was plentiful and very nicely presented although the staff are not very smiling and effusive. Entertainment- terrible what we saw, a very poor comedian, average shows and bar singers apart from the Commodore club pianist, who was very good. Bingo , quizzes as well but as we do our own thing that did not really matter. Movies were good at the theatre in the afternoon. The captains cocktail night was very good as was the other formal night, BUT...... we were very surprised how quiet the ship was at night/evening time in all the bars etc etc. Then we realised maybe why, the price of alcohol in all the bars plus the illegal mandatory 15% gratuity on each drink. A pint was around £4.00 with some wine at £10.00 a GLASS!!! for a Marlboro Sauvignon Blanc. (retails at £6.50 in shops) However we did not let this detract from the cruise as we thoroughly enjoyed these bars and lounges and it was easy to get seats. Ports-very nice but the ships excursions were very expensive and again we did our own thing. e.g. we went to Pompeii from Naples on our own for £30.00 all in for the 2 of us by train, great fun but watch out for pickpockets and gypsy singing groups. Santorini was beautiful but the trip up to the town from the docks was a lottery with crowded cable cars or the donkey derby up and down the stepped path. Very cruel for the donkeys, Cunard should stop docking here till the cruelty of the owners (and the fat, lazy tourists riding them) to these creatures is stopped. Send for Liz Jones I say!! Kotorkolon was small but pretty and Bodrum very nice too. We just sat at the dock of the bay, wasting time while whistling. Disembarking was fine and easy to negotiate as was Rome airport, so for the lateness of the booking and the price it was a fabulous holiday and thanks to Peter and Karen and Andrew and Sonia who were brilliant dinner companions. We would definitely do Cunard again and would recommend them. It would be even better if they paid staff the living wage and stopped this tipping malarkey as well as the silly drinks pricing. It might get the social areas an atmosphere in the evenings!!!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ... Read More
We left NY on August 5 from JFK and took Air France to Hamburg via Paris CDG Airport. We stayed one day in Hamburg at Holiday Inn Express St. Pauli which is very close to Hamburg historical Port and other city attractions. We boarded the ship from Hamburg, embarkation was fairly smooth the port was not crowded; it took us less than 30 minutes to board the ship. This is our 4th cruise on QM 2, still impressed by her elegance. We went to our balcony cabin on Deck 8 which is very spacious. The cabin 8058 balcony was partially obstructed by the life boats, lacks privacy as maintenance works done on the boats on and off. We went to King’s court for a bite to eat. On our return to our cabin, luggage was promptly delivered by ship staff. Our room stewardess very sweet Filipino lady Jeanette greeted us with a warm welcome. We went around the ship familiarize various facilities spread throughout the ship. At 5 PM we went to King’s court on Deck 7 for drill. We took a shower, dressed semi formally with a jacket tie for me and dress for Sharon. The ship had 5 formal night where Tuxedo or Jacket and tie for men and dress for ladies required. Our dining table was in Britannia Deck 3. Our waiter Rose was another fantastic Filipino lady. She knew my dietary requirements even before I sat on my chair. Tour able was # 336 and we met our tablemates, from Florida, Dallas Texas. The service in the Britannia dining was excellent. We enjoyed our table mates company very much we were frequently among the last tables to leave at our early seating, so we were not looking for quick dinner. Britannia offered a wide selection for dinner including a Canyon Ranch Spa selection with low calorie for the diet conscious as well as several vegetarian offerings indicated with a “V”. Then we went to a variety show at the Royal Theater. Sharon unpacked the luggage and put away all our clothes while I was whiling away on the ship finding my ways to Queens’s room and club G32 which were at the very back of the ship behind the dining room on Deck 3 one has go through a maze to find them. This is the only ship on high seas equipped with planetarium “Illumination” in the forward section on Deck 3 behind Royal Court Theater, which is also a lecture hall and movie theater. While walking between Deck 2-3 passage ways, there are rows of tables along the windows with variety of board games and jigsaw puzzles, or offered a place to watch the ocean streaming by. On Deck 8 the QM2 library is well stocked with 8000 books on various subjects from, biography, travel, mystery, fictions. I got 3 books written by Alex Rutherford on Moghul Empire, Humayun, Akbar and Jahangir. The ship has to wait for the low tide before her funnel can clear the bridges. The sail away occurred almost at mid night was unbelievable with the bright lights of Hamburg receding on the back ground. Queen Mary slowly glided on the Thebe River like a black Swan on a Pond. Then she passed under the various low Bridges her funnel was so close, look like she was almost touching the bridge. Every day between 3:30 and 4:30, a formal white glove tea is served with fresh warm scones, little sandwiches, and pastries while Big band era was playing. Every evening is a special time on QM2; we had 5 formal nights, 5 semi-formal nights (equally formal) and 3 smart causal nights. After dinner we went for little dancing and headed toward Royal Court Theater for evening shows. Every day we had different performances, some by Cunard Dancers and other performers from outside. All the shows were of 4 star qualities. Cunard big production show “Viva Italia” was great; “Apassionata” was quite good. At the end of each show we went to Queens Ball room where some times Cunard Orchestra played Big Band Era Music and other days other band played popular Music. One day we had Black and white Ball, another night we had Ascot Ball where ladies wore different fashionable hats, men wore Tux and some wore ascot and top hats. All in all it was fun to dance through the night. We called off our night around 11:30 PM. In the morning we had room service around 7 AM consisted of Danish, juice, cup of coffee or tea. On the sea days we walked 1-2 miles on the Promenade Deck (7). Three round the ship =1.1 mile The Planetarium had some great shows and we were sorry we only had time for two of them. A small grumble concerned the too frequent attendance of the photographers. Perhaps those who want to pay $25 for each photograph of every special evening and gangplank arrival could make a special arrangement, while the rest of us won't need to keep saying 'No, thank you'. Furthermore, with such an advance in digital photography available today, passengers should be in a position to view their photographs in their cabin TV monitors rather printing all the photographs and shredding the unwanted prints thus wasting all those papers and inks. To sum up, it really was one of the best ships we have sailed on; it was so elegant with excellent service throughout and the delight was in the details. We can hardly wait to book another cruise. Disembarkation due to high tide QM2 has to wait for the low tide to sail into the harbor. She was docked at 10 AM. We disembarked at 11:15 took a Taxi to Hamburg to catch our Amsterdam flight. KLM flight got delayed due to mechanical problem of the plane. We missed our connecting flight to NY. KLM booked us the first flight on Tuesday and also arranged accommodation at IBIS near the airport which is a descent airport hotel.   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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
We usually cruise with Princess or Royal Caribbean which are both 4 star, so having booked with Cunard on the 5 star Queen Elizabeth we expected a fabulous holiday.We were pleased with our cabin and the luxury and decor of this beautiful ... Read More
We usually cruise with Princess or Royal Caribbean which are both 4 star, so having booked with Cunard on the 5 star Queen Elizabeth we expected a fabulous holiday.We were pleased with our cabin and the luxury and decor of this beautiful ship, however everything else was pretty poor. The pool area smelled of sewerage and was overcrowded, the lido restaurant served up the same bland repetitive offerings each day, and no vegetarian alternative. Being vegetarian I struggled with this but my complaints were ignored.the food in the Britania restaurant along with its service was hit and miss, it lacked variety, quantity and quality.There was rarely any music playing in the background and there was little atmosphere. It really felt like a care home. The activities were aimed at much older people, with bridge, ballroom dancing and even knitting! The evenings entertainment was mainly a one act show lasting for 45 minutes.The ship overall seemed dirty and unloved, with a layer of dust and filthy windows in all the public rooms.The service was often too much trouble and it felt like everything was designed to extract extra money from us. I went to one 45 minute Pilates class's at a cost of 13.5 dollars!! Things which should have been included weren't, and staff didn't care .i wouldn't recommend Cunard to anyone under the age of 104. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2014
This was our second time on Cunard and the QE. WE was an amazing last minute deal going from Rome to Venice back in August 2014, I travelled with my five year old in an inside cabin. It has to be the most luxurious inside cabin of any ... Read More
This was our second time on Cunard and the QE. WE was an amazing last minute deal going from Rome to Venice back in August 2014, I travelled with my five year old in an inside cabin. It has to be the most luxurious inside cabin of any cruise line complete with bathrobes and half a bottle of champagne on arrival. These touches are what a proper cruise holiday are all about in my opinion. This was our second time on Cunard and the QE. WE was an amazing last minute deal going from Rome to Venice back in August 2014, I travelled with my five year old in an inside cabin. It has to be the most luxurious inside cabin of any cruise line complete with bathrobes and half a bottle of champagne on arrival. These touches are what a proper cruise holiday are all about in my opinion. Embarkation was very straightforward and quick. The Southampton Ocean Terminal could learn a thing or two from this. Room service was brilliant with a decent choice of hot and cold dishes and drinks, and often any request could be catered for. Lunches were not bad but the highlight was dinner. The lobster for me won hands down it was delicious. The staff were friendly and my son enjoyed the kids club. We used the pools and jacuzzis as well as played table tennis, paddle tennis, deck quoits and shuffleboard. The onboard entertainment varied but was decent overall. Lots of live muic as well. The professional photographers were not pushy at all unlike other cruise lines when they wanted to take pictures all the time. The ship is amazingly spacious and doesnt feel crowded. If you like reading the onboard library has a spiralling staircase betweem two floors of a decent selection of books. Imternet is the dearest of anylines I've travelled on but you can receive free packages of internet time the more you cruise. Dressing up was more than most cruiselines but expected. I thought it was fun and so did my son, who everyone thought he was a lovely little boy. A few kind words can really make a difference. My overall experience was a big step up compared to my first cruise with Cunard im happy to say. The only negative point yet again was regarding the kids club. They still don't do kids dinners nor do they get taken to shows but they did at least explore round the ship this time. Afterall its a holiday for kids too and that was lost from the first cruise. Im glad i gave Cunard a second chance. If the price is right we will definitely be back. A very good 8 out of 10 cruise from starr to finish. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
To put this review into some kind of perspective, we are aged 38 and 40 and from North Yorkshire. I am a doctor and my partner is a local government officer. We enjoy fine dining (having eaten in several Michelin starred restaurants) and ... Read More
To put this review into some kind of perspective, we are aged 38 and 40 and from North Yorkshire. I am a doctor and my partner is a local government officer. We enjoy fine dining (having eaten in several Michelin starred restaurants) and staying in better than average hotels. Having travelled on Cunard's Queen Victoria in 2008 (and loved the experience) we thought we would try Queen Elizabeth this time. Having read so many negative reviews on here, we were worried that perhaps we had wasted (a lot) of money! Before embarkation, we spent 4 nights in Rome exploring the city and soaking up the atmosphere. Embarkation: We joined the ship at Civitavecchia having been driven by private car (arranged by our travel agent back in the UK). From central Rome (near the Colosseum where we were staying) it took around an hour to drive to the port (though we noticed that the driver was speeding from time to time!). At the port, our luggage was immediately taken away by porters, we checked in within 5 minutes (because there's a health declaration form to complete first) and were on the ship with our cruise ID cards within 10 minutes. All went very smoothly with no hitches. Stateroom: We were staying in a Q2 (Queen's Grill) suite on board Queen Elizabeth. There are just two of these on the ship, both midships and on deck 7 (opposite each other). We were in room 7091 (The Britten Suite - named after Sir Edgar Britten who was the first captain of the original Queen Mary). There are double doors leading to the suite which marks it out immediately from other rooms. Through the doors there is a desk area (you choose the layout of your personalised stationary which is delivered to your stateroom), followed by a seating area (two-seater sofa (which makes a sofa bed should you wish) and two comfortable arm chairs and a coffee table). A bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne was chilling in a wine bucket and chocolates were waiting on the coffee table. Canapes are left on your coffee table at around 5pm every day by your butler. This is followed by a kitchen area which is well-appointed (lots of glasses of varying types) and equipped with a mini bar (stocked with Heineken lager, Britvic soda water, Pepsi and Diet Pepsi - all replaced on a daily basis and free of charge in Queen's Grill suites). You also choose 2 complementary bottles of spirits (we chose gin (Gordon's) and our butler provided slimline tonic (Schweppes) and segments of lime. Cunard spring water is also provided free of charge. A pair of binoculars is provided for your use - but a top tip is take your own (Cunard's aren't very good and binoculars are a great boon to use from the balcony when you're sailing into port (or passing enormous private yachts!)). Adjacent to the kitchen area is the dining table with comfortable chairs easily accommodating six guests. A panel table completes the dining area. There is a large flat screen (Samsung) TV on the wall opposite the sitting area. A door leads through to a dressing area (large, illuminated mirror) and a large walk-in closet with ample hanging space, shelving and a digital safe (as well as life jackets). The bedroom area is beyond the dressing room - a comfortable, kingsize, Sealy Posturepedic bed (large bedside cabinets with very generous drawers) opposite which is another flat screen TV (large cupboard beneath and further wardrobe to the right with top shelf and yet more hanging space). Bedding is changed every third day (though you can ask your butler to do this on a daily basis should you wish) and there is a nocturnal turndown service (a summary of the day's news, tomorrow's ship's programme and Cunard chocolates are left for you along with a room service menu to request breakfast in your suite). A door from the bedroom leads to the ensuite bathroom (large, corner whirlpool spa bath beneath a picture window), double sinks with lots of storage space for toiletries, etc. and an enormous shower (glass door) with hand-held sprays as well as wall-mounted directional nozzles on both side walls for a thorough soaking. Toiletries are provided (bath and shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and hand and body lotion) - all Penhaligon's Quercus range. Six enormous bath towels and four hand towels are provided (along with fluffy bathrobes) - these are changed on a twice daily basis whether you wish them to be or not! To the right of the shower, a door enters to the toilet with its own washbasin and then through a further door to a vanity area (the idea being that the toilet and vanity area would be for your guests) before another door leads back to the entrance to the suite. French doors from the dining area and the bedroom area provide access to a huge balcony equipped with table and chairs, two sun loungers (padded seats) and a smaller table for drinks for each sun-lounger. Beach towels are left on your sun loungers (and stored away by your cabin steward at bedtime). The entire suite is beautifully carpeted, panelled in wood and finished with marble surfaces everywhere. The lighting is subtle with a beautiful art deco lamp above the dining table and wall lighting. An iPad is provided for your use (removed every evening to charge and update the daily UK newspapers (Daily Mail and Independent) which are added to it) and this enables access to the ship’s wifi so you can keep up with e-mails, etc. Two arrangements of fresh flowers were replaced throughout our trip and orchids were placed in the bathroom and dining area too. The suite is served by a butler (whom you can telephone directly from your desk area or bedside ‘phone) – we had breakfast in our stateroom every morning delivered by the butler, but used her for little else. There is also a cabin steward responsible for daily cleaning and tidying and the suite was kept in immaculate condition by these hard-working individuals. All in all, we loved our suite and would find it difficult to find much to criticise (OK – if you really push me, there were a couple of stains on the sun loungers on the balcony, there’s little choice on the TV and the light in the toilet couldn’t be switched on from the bathroom!). Ship: The ship is beautiful with lovely art deco decoration throughout and sumptuous carpets. It is beautifully clean – indeed crew members are constantly cleaning internal areas and painting and varnishing decks throughout your voyage. There are a reasonable range of shops (including a bookshop and duty free shop), stores selling clothing, luxury watches, and an outlet for basics such as antiperspirants, soaps, etc. The ship features a beautiful library (you may borrow up to two books at a time) over two decks with an impressive spiral staircase linking the two floors. The library is well stocked with something for everyone. The ship is relaxed during the day in terms of dress code. Beechwear is acceptable on open decks, with shirts and shorts inside during the day. Of an evening, jackets and trousers (optional tie) for men on informal nights, but most people make the effort and dress up in black tie when the dress code is formal (on sea days). If you’re not into dinner suits and dressing up, you can use the alternative dining Lido restaurant where this is not required, but we found it great fun and added to the experience – get into the spirit! Passengers (numbering a little over 2000) were mostly British, with Australians and Americans next – but in all there were over fifty nationalities on board (and 55 in the thousand-strong crew). Despite the sheer numbers of souls on the ship, it never feels crowded. There are several bars around the ship (some outdoors) most of which we didn’t use and the Winter Gardens area (off the Lido restaurant) is a pleasant area for inclement weather. For smokers, designated areas for smoking are available and there’s always Churchill’s cigar lounge for those wishing to smoke indoors. We hadn’t appreciated that often the ship will travel more miles than is actually required (e.g. you might travel quite a long way south overnight when your next port of call is in fact to the north) – this seems to be done to provide the experience of sailing into your next port at around 7am the following day. This was a magical experience in places such as Monte Carlo, Kotor and Venice – an experience not to be missed which hugely added to our enjoyment of the cruising itself. Some of the ports are tender ports (when the ship is anchored rather than moored on the quayside). The ship’s lifeboats are used and the crew efficiently ferry guests from ship to shore (and back) – warm towels and provision of cold drinks on the quayside for weary returning travellers were a thoughtful touch. Security is (thankfully) very tight on Queen Elizabeth. On leaving the ship (and rejoining again) in ports of call, your cruise card is scanned and your identity checked according to the picture taken at check-in. Airport-style security is employed to ensure the safety of all guests and crew. We found this to be very efficiently run – long queues on rejoining the ship were not a problem. Dining: Exiting our suite we turned left to the lifts which (by insertion of cruise card into a slot) provided access to decks 11 and 12 (reserved for grills guests only). Deck 11 has the Queen’s and Princess Grills restaurants (effectively first and second class, respectively – though these terms are never used on Cunard), the grills lounge with a terrace and deck 12 - a high deck equipped with padded sun-loungers, awnings for shade and waiters provided free water, fruit juices and ice cream throughout the afternoon. The restaurants have an intimate atmosphere with comfortable chairs and art deco furnishings. Crisp white linen table cloths and napkins along with heavy EPNS cutlery and Cunard glassware complete the look. On entering the restaurant, you are greeted by the maître d’ and offered alcohol hand-gel. We had requested a table for two in the Queen’s Grill restaurant and were delighted to be placed next to the window which of course affords incredible views. There are two waiters attending you at any one time (though others also help) along with a knowledgeable sommelier who will suggest wines to complement your meal (we ordered by the glass in order to sample the range). The lunch menu is extensive and it’s possible to have three courses every day (followed by coffee). Dinner is a much more grand affair with a daily changing menu and fixed a la carte choices (don’t miss the lobster thermidor, chateaubriand and duck a l’orange from this section – the latter two being finished to perfection by the head waiter at your table). So-called Royal Spa selections are available at both lunch and dinner for those looking for a lighter meal (values for calories, fat and fibre content are provided next to the choices). In Queen’s Grill, you can ask for whatever you wish (provided you give the maître d’ a little notice) – diners on the next table requested pate de foie gras (which doesn’t appear on any menus owing to objections from some guests) and were delighted with it as a main course. Overall, we thought the food was excellent and there is little to criticise here – it’s true that we enjoyed some dishes more than others, but to those who state in other reviews that the food is mass-produced, of poor quality, or not up to the standards they’re used to at home, one wonders where they are accustomed to eating on dry land! On our final sea day, we thought we might sample the Verandah Restaurant (an alternative dining venue for which there are modest charges) – this is billed as ‘the finest dining experience at sea’, and though good, we felt it had no edge over the food and service offered in the Queen’s Grill restaurant. It’s worth mentioning that I did hear guests in the Britannia Restaurant complaining about the food and standards of service – I guess you get what you pay for with Cunard. Service: Our butler Natalia and cabin steward Larry were both excellent and always seemed to be around when needed. In the restaurant, our waiters Francis and Norbert were attentive and friendly and sommelier Jennifer was pleasant and informative without the “hard sell” we’ve experienced in other establishments. The maître d’ (Ico) was exceptionally accommodating – one evening I mentioned how much I’d enjoyed dessert and he replied: “let me know when you’d like it again sir, and I’ll have the pastry chef make it for you.” We found all crew members to be helpful, polite and attentive – but then we treated them with respect and made sure that they knew we were grateful for their efforts (I do think this makes a difference). Activities: There were lots of activities available on board – many sporting which we didn’t use. We did make use of the gym’ which is well equipped. I normally keep fit with an exercise bike at home, but on the ship I found that the gym’ wasn’t adequately air conditioned resulting in heavy perspiration – this put me off a little! Others had no problem with this – so it must be just me. We did pay extra for access to the Royal Spa ($400 for two for the fortnight) – this was very enjoyable giving access to the hydropool, thermal suite, heated recliners, etc. Water and fresh fruit are always available. We also paid for a couples massage which was very enjoyable. We also purchased a behind the scenes tour of the ship for $120 each – these are limited to roughly 13 guests and take place on sea days. The price seems high, but involves tying up two members of staff (a guide and someone from security) for more than three hours as well as various members of the crew in the areas visited. We took in: backstage in the theatre, the rope room, recycling area, bakery, Britannia galley, food stores, crew accommodation and dining areas, safety officer (shown the fire fighting equipment) and the bridge (the engine control room was unavailable owing to an emergency during the tour). The tour culminated in a cocktail party with senior officers in the Commodore Club and we were provided with an official photograph of the group on the stage, lapel pins and a Cunard apron. The tour was fascinating and really well worth the cost. Cunard employ an “enrichment programme” consisting of guest lecturers providing talks on sea days. I attended a number of these and found them interesting and informative. It was possible to chat to the lecturers around the ship afterwards and ask questions. For those wishing to sunbathe, there are two swimming pools surrounded by sun loungers. We didn’t use these but they were very popular with guests. Entertainment: The entertainment was run by Leon de Ste. Croix, our cruise director who started the day with a TV programme every morning at 6am (repeated until midday). Sadly, we found his approach hackneyed and reminiscent of a seventies comedian with tired, irritating gags – but that was just our preference, others thought he was wonderful. His morning TV show featured crew members, guest lecturers and performers as well as the inimitable “Laura Sunshine” who provided weather forecasts which it would not be possible to describe – you have to see to believe! Shows from the Royal Court Theatre singers and dancers impressively supported by the orchestra under the direction of Bill Gibson were first rate and hugely enjoyable. Guest performers included comedian Roy Walker (much better than we’d anticipated – and an absolute gentleman when he and I chatted in the gym’ at a later date), sopranos Annette Wardell and Justine Balmer, piano entertainer David Haworth, pianist and flautist duo Tranquillo and magician Marc Oberon. All in all, we enjoyed the shows which were professional, free, and just two minutes’ walk down the hall – what’s not to like? Around the ship are harpists, string qaurtets, a dance band in the Queen’s Room (together with ballroom dancing should you wish to) and cocktail pianists. We made friends with Adam Allinson, cocktail pianist who was great fun and became a friend. Port and Shore Excursions: We booked many of these and found them all (but one) to be reasonable value for money, interesting and informative. We felt that we learnt much more joining excursions than had we gone it alone and it’s a hassle-free way of seeing the important sights. One excursion (a walking tour of Dubrovnik) was escorted by a guide who had a hypnotic voice and seemed fairly disinterested – it proved hard to keep our attention on a very hot and sticky day! I know there are cheaper ways of doing it, but on the whole, we would recommend the excursions as an easy way to learn about your port of call and see the important sights. Disembarkation: As Queen’s Grill guests, we had priority disembarkation which ran very smoothly indeed. Large suitcases are packed the night before and left outside your stateroom door where they are taken away by the crew. These are collected from the terminal building the following morning. We assembled in the upper tier of the Britannia Restaurant for 7.45 and within minutes were escorted to the gangway for disembarkation – a smooth and hassle-free process. Summary: We loved our time aboard Queen Elizabeth and there is little about the ship which we would choose to change. It seems that there are people who join cruise ships with the express intention of finding fault with everything – a lot of moaning takes place! If you approach your holiday with that attitude, you won’t enjoy it – our advice is to go with an open mind – don’t expect perfection (the ship’s run by human beings – no-one’s able to provide perfection 100% of the time). It’s true that cruising isn’t a cheap way of seeing the world (there are lots of comments about the cost of drinks, for example – they’re priced similarly to drinks in UK restaurants) – but we ought not to forget that Cunard are running a business the aim of the game being to make a profit from guests (since that’s what businesses do!). If you’re looking for a five star floating hotel with excellent food and service then it would be hard to better travelling in the grills aboard a Cunard vessel. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
The trip started with a kindly gentleman noticing my wife and I looked out of place and confused. He offered advice, answered questions and made us feel very welcomed. As the trip progressed we found the entire crew possessed the same ... Read More
The trip started with a kindly gentleman noticing my wife and I looked out of place and confused. He offered advice, answered questions and made us feel very welcomed. As the trip progressed we found the entire crew possessed the same attitude. The accommodations were excellent. The activities were excellent and the tours provided were well organized. The best part of the trip however was the service. From room service to the casino to the activities everyone was friendly and happy to provide us with excellent service. Our nights eating in the Princess Grill were amazing. The food the service the atmosphere WOW! If you go please say hello to Vikash for us and I recommend the cheese bread. We were unsure of the wine list but this was not a problem the gentleman serving the wine had excellent taste and selected several wines for us to try. We will be enjoying his recommendations for many years to come. Overall this was a 5 star experience. The captain told us that there were 2 crew members for every passenger. It seemed more like 5 crew members per passenger. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
Although this was our tenth cruise it was our first with Cunard. Our expectations at the outset were high due to Cunard's reputation and for the most part were fully justified. The expectations that were not met were due to a bizarre ... Read More
Although this was our tenth cruise it was our first with Cunard. Our expectations at the outset were high due to Cunard's reputation and for the most part were fully justified. The expectations that were not met were due to a bizarre mix of Cunard and Carnival cultures or perhaps it was American vv British cultures. Either way I suspect neither group of passengers were completely happy. Embarkation was fast an efficient and the whole process took less than half an hour. We arrived at the port five minutes after our scheduled time of 12.30 and walked into our cabin 30 minutes later. Bags took a further two hours during which time we had lunch in the Lido restaurant. Full marks to all concerned. Disembarkation at the end of the cruise was chaos as there was a delay due to mechanical failure of port equipment, after which everyone left at once! Finding 4 cases out of circa 2000 was not an easy matter. Queen Victoria is fabulous in every respect. Our cabin (8116) was comfortable and sufficiently spacious with ample room under the beds for all cases and sufficient drawers and cupboards for clothing. The only downside was the air conditioning which was difficult to control and was either very cold or warm. All of the public areas were exceptionally well designed, very comfortable and exactly what we expected of a Cunard ship, tasteful and sophisticated with lots of polished teak and brass, thick tasteful carpets and a touch of elegance. One of the ships real plusses is it's stability and we only felt slight motion on one day out of twenty four and that was with a force 9 gale blowing. The Britannia Restaurant was well appointed and the service was good on the whole but several points are worth making. The menu was varied but did not always suit our tastes and there was no basic fallback to a basic fish or chicken dish if you wanted a blander meal. Also, vegetables were on the plate for decoration so there was a need to request additional vegetables for most meals. A request on one evening for an alternative meal was referred to the Head Waiter who then accosted me with "you don't like the meal sir !!" Request met but was the fuss worth it. After the first week, we followed the example of other passengers and checked the menu during the day outside the restaurant and if it didn't suit our needs used the Lido Restaurant instead. This was well used even on formal nights and had the advantage that you were able to eat exactly what you wanted in quantity, content and quality, always hot, and the restaurant was much quieter. It could also be used at a time of your choosing thus avoiding fixed sittings. The Entertainment was a mixture of excellent and poor. The afternoon concerts given by professional pianists were superb and several of the professional entertainers in the evening shows were equally good. However, the Cunard show team were mediocre and not helped by the fact that they had clearly been told to "belt it out" and then been given maximum amplification. We left several of their earlier performances after the first two songs, along with at least 20 on one occasion, because the sound level was unbearably painful and then stopped attending the shows. The show content was also biased to American tastes and music from the 60's and 70's. A huge disappointment and certainly not up to a reasonable standard. With so much good music available there is no need to deliver such low quality. Service and Gratuity charges are automatically added to your bill - 552US$ or circa £437.00 in our case - and it was interesting to hear from many of my fellow passengers that they go straight to the Pursers Office and ask for it to be deleted and then tip individually as they see fit. A form is available, no questions are asked, but there may be a small queue on the day the interim accounts are issued ! Gratuities are added to all purchases, even a bottle of water gets an additional 15% added with the invitation to add a further gratuity should you feel it appropriate! In Conclusion, we had an excellent holiday and for the most part it lived up to our expectations. Cunard is certainly better than a lot of cruise lines but is not as good as the best. We will use Cunard again if the destination suits our needs but will also return to Fred Olsen for the genuine personal service and intimacy which Cunard lacks.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Thought I would let you all know how much we enjoyed our first Cunard cruise on Queen Elizabeth. We were on a 2 week port intensive cruise from September 26 to October 10. We met great people had wonderful food in Brittania Dining room. ... Read More
Thought I would let you all know how much we enjoyed our first Cunard cruise on Queen Elizabeth. We were on a 2 week port intensive cruise from September 26 to October 10. We met great people had wonderful food in Brittania Dining room. The staff was great! We felt taken care of without being pestered all the time. Our balcony room 5060 was very nice and had plenty of electric outlets for curling irons and hair dryers. The shower was very small with a very friendly shower curtain....lol. We did many tours from the ship as there were so many ports. Most were very good. A few not so much. You learn as you go when it comes to tours. Most of our tours were "Highlights of or The Best of" tour, meant to give an overview of the area and port. It really all depends on the guide if we liked the tour. Most were pretty crowded but we expected that. We enjoyed the Golden Lion pub on many evenings. Also did a few of the dances on the evenings we had a little more energy. There were plenty of places to sit and read our books. We are not to much for sunbathing but liked sitting on the loveseats in the shade by the pool. I would say that we got what we expected from this cruise. It was quiet and still fun for us. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our first time with Cunard havinng cruised with P&O twice in recent years. We joined the cruse in Venice and left in Rome two weeks later. Flights, transfers and embarkation went very smoothly. We had a BA balcony cabin mid ... Read More
This was our first time with Cunard havinng cruised with P&O twice in recent years. We joined the cruse in Venice and left in Rome two weeks later. Flights, transfers and embarkation went very smoothly. We had a BA balcony cabin mid ships on deck 6. The cabin was well appointed with plenty of storage space, the balcony was larger than we have had previously and had decent chairs and tables making this a nice place to relax. The new flat screen TVs have an added bonus in that there are HDMI and USB ports that we connected our cameras to and reviewed our photos when we left each port. There is only one British 13 amp plug socket and we bought a 4 way extension lead that proved very useful. The electric shaver charge socket in the bathroom only accepts thin two pin leads, if you have a larger two pin lead you can borrow an adapter from the Pursers desk at no charge. Our cabin was very close to a laundrette. Laundrettes are small but have very good washing and drying machines and soap powder sachets are provided free. Overall the cabin was very good and the bed was comfortable. We ate in the Britannia dining room first sitting at 6pm. Our waiting staff, Visham and Claire were excellent and the food was also excellent, very tasty, well presented with sensible portions. We did not eat in any speciality restaurants as the food in the Britannia was so good. We did eat in the Lido one night due to a late return from a shore excursion, this was also very good. We took a Cunard shore excursion in each port visited, some may consider these expensive but we found them to be very good with extremely knowledgeable tour guides and would do the same again. The entertainment was also first class, even the ships own singers and dancers put on a really good show. Niggles. The photographers were far too intrusive, and expensive, at $24.95 a shot. They were everywhere and took over parts of the ship every night making it impossible to avoid them I was afraid to open a toilet door in case one of them was lurking behind it. Wine was ridiculously overpriced, Cote du Rhone at £35 a bottle! All of our table guests (10) would have had wine with dinner but none did out of principle. A look around the restaurant indicated that 70-80% did not have wine with dinner. Spa treatments are also ridiculously expensive. My wife had a back neck and shoulder massage that cost $122. To add insult to injury Cunard then have the audacity to add 15% to everything "for your convenience". It is very much "for Cunard's convenience" But these niggles did not detract from an excellent cruise. We would have no hesitation in cruising with Cunard again (without photographs, wine, spa treatments and service charges).   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Sailing on board the Queen Elizabeth was absolutely amazing. We embarked at Rome- Civitavecchia. We took a private car to the port for 140 euros. Checked in around 4pm. Disembarked in Venice, nice terminal. Took a public taxi straight to ... Read More
Sailing on board the Queen Elizabeth was absolutely amazing. We embarked at Rome- Civitavecchia. We took a private car to the port for 140 euros. Checked in around 4pm. Disembarked in Venice, nice terminal. Took a public taxi straight to our hotel in Venice which was close to the airport, 45 euros. Everything was in perfect order from check in to check out. We have not one complaint. When can you ever say that? Very well organized, no detail missed. The crew, everyone working for Cunard on board our ship, was customer service oriented. Our room steward, Helen, was exceptional. The waitress we had in the Britannia named Wong was delightful and so efficient. We looked forward to seeing her at dinner time. She took special care and concern for each person at our table. Making sure we all were satisfied. I am vegetarian and she made my life so easy! Speaking of the food! Oh my, where to start.....breakfast at the Britannia was delicious. great choices and a beautiful setting. Dinner, no matter what venue, was always incredible. Prime steakhouse alternative dining was superb. Britannia dinners were very well thought out and delicious. Could not be more pleased with all the food options. We took a bottle of wine each night to dinner, usually from the port we just were at and we paid a corkage fee of $20 I believe. Happy to have that option.The Spa and bath house are a must. The Spa has daily specials and it is well worth the splurge on a sea day. Gym is super clean and modern with the best view. We had an inside room on Deck 8 and it was quite comfy. Plenty of space. The tours/ashore excursions we purchased through Cunard were great. Made our life much easier when we arrived at each port. I loved the fact that the duty free shops on the ship (and everything else) was in U.S. dollars! The crowd was very mature and worldly which we loved. We met very nice people who had extensive travel history and we had great conversations. There is always something scheduled for each day...you will never get bored. The nice thing is that you get a brochure each evening that tells you in depth about the goings on the next day, history of the port city etc... The boat is very clean and we appreciated that. We cannot wait to take our next cruise on board the Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
Cunard, oh dear how should I start, I was always given to believe that this was the N0 1 cruise line, sadly I find that in my opinion, it no longer seems to be. Nearly everything was disappointing from the onset, or maybe it was that I was ... Read More
Cunard, oh dear how should I start, I was always given to believe that this was the N0 1 cruise line, sadly I find that in my opinion, it no longer seems to be. Nearly everything was disappointing from the onset, or maybe it was that I was comparing it to a previous cruise with Royal Caribbean, because to be honest there was nothing it truly could be compared with. Our stateroom was okay nothing great, and not as clean as I would have liked, but only meant to be slept in, the food wherever you ate was not great, the choice in the Brittania dining room was tasteful but minute, vegetables being in very small portions and not to everyone's taste, too many cold soups considering it was Nov/Dec, in the Lido it was nearly always the same and mostly only warm, again the choice was very poor, afternoon tea was exactly the same everyday. The actual ship was tastefully decorated but in an era long gone and also in need of a refurb in some places, Cunard really need to come into the 21st century, too much brown polished wood and carpets to match. The prices on board were all subject to a 15% service charge which pushed them up and they were expensive enough, a 4 bottle wine package was $196 then the service charge was added, the gratuity was also added to your overall bill, fortunately we were told that it could be cancelled, apparently returning cruisers knew to do this on the same or the next day after boarding. Had anyone wanted to shop on board, the shops were very few and very high end, Harrod's, very expensive jewelers and a top quality art gallery, selling beautiful paintings if you could afford them. I could go on complaining about a lot more things, photo's taken on board expensive, etc. There were only a few things that were enjoyed by my wife and myself , the pub was an entertaining stop after dinner joining in the quizzes and listening to the fabulous Funch singing and playing the piano, we also entertained by the couples on the dance floor competing with each other, although they were exhausted they never wanted to be the first to leave!! strictly it wasn't. Although there were a few younger people on this cruise, most passengers were elderly pensioners, who were just happy to sit and snooze the days away, the days entertainment was boring, well that is the polite way to describe it, I did not go on holiday to listen to lectures and talks on arthritis and the like. The evening entertainment was awful, except for a few acts that were flown in from the UK, the Cunard's own artist's were loud and not that professional, I dare not compare them with my previous cruise I would never stop singing their praises. The tours booked through Cunard for the ports that we visited were very expensive and a total waste of time and money, we went on a couple of tours booked at the port and they were more informative and cheaper that the ones we booked from the ship. Although when I complained to the pursers office, the promise of an answer to our complaint never came. We often spoke to other passengers and were very surprised to hear some of them agreed with our thoughts on this cruise, even those that have made many many return cruises with Cunard and honestly questioned themselves why. To be honest we went on a cruise to have a rest and be waited on, we rested a little more than we anticipated as there was nothing else to do, I read a book, and coming from someone who hardly ever reads anything other than a news paper, that really is an admission of boredom. We will be going on a cruise again but not a Cunard one for if this had been our first on we would have never gone on another............look out Royal Carribbean the Jones are coming back !! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
For anyone who wants to be pampered you need to cruise on the Queen Victoria. There is virtually nothing the staff cannot do for you if you ask. The meals are superb and the service exceptional, sure the dress code can be a bit over the ... Read More
For anyone who wants to be pampered you need to cruise on the Queen Victoria. There is virtually nothing the staff cannot do for you if you ask. The meals are superb and the service exceptional, sure the dress code can be a bit over the top but once you get used to that just cruise on by and enjoy. Afternoon tea is a must and late night cocktails are to be tried Have tried lots of different cruise lines but we always come back to Cunard.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our first cruise on Cunard Queen Elizabeth.cruise number Q420B We normally cruise with P & O and have always enjoyed our times on their ships . We booked on the Queen Elizabeth on this 25 day cruise in August . We were under ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Cunard Queen Elizabeth.cruise number Q420B We normally cruise with P & O and have always enjoyed our times on their ships . We booked on the Queen Elizabeth on this 25 day cruise in August . We were under the impression that this was one complete cruise. We flew to Rome on easyjet which had a luggage limit of 20 kllo's. Not really enough for 25 days cruising So we paid an extra £10 for our excess.Everything went to plan at Rome and we were shown to our cabin which was a good size and and very comfortable . The Queen Elizabeth is a beautiful ship . We had booked a table for 2 on the early sitting..The waiters were very polite and helpful . We had a day at sea and arrived at Corfu on the third day It was a beautiful day and we went ashore sightseeing. In the middle of the square a fell up a step which caused me to develop a huge haematoma on my left leg.. I managed to board the ship and was taken to the ships doctor. She disembarked me and my husband and sent me to a corfu hospital . The cruise went on to Dubrovnik and then on to Kotor which we obviously missed The ships doc had said that we could join the ship further along in the cruise at Venice We used our original cruise cards but when we boarded the ship we were told that we could not have our original cabin.I had previously spoken to Sam at cunard office and he said that we should have the original cabin I put this to the staff on the desk who said then that we were lucky to have the cabin.All was okay and we ate at our table for two. The next day we were told that we were being transferred to the the late sitting on a table of six When i ask why? i was told that it was not one cruise in fact it was 3 cruises not one continuous cruise The woman in charge of the restaurant was very rude But eventually we managed to keep our table for two . ..We had to renew our cruise cards and have our photo taken 3 more times. also we had 3 letters stating that we had not given them details of our credit card. Halfway through we were given $400 dollars on board credit but the next day they cancelled the credit saying that we should have used it all on the one day we were given it stating that this was a different cruise. We were not made welcome at all by the desk staff who blamed the whole fiasco on our tour agent. saying that they should not have sold it to us as a complete cruise. But in our cruise book and in the Cunard book it was offered as a complete cruise. This was not a happy cruise We had paid nearly £6,000. for it ! We will never cruise with Cunard again. We will stick with good old P & O. Read Less
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