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Sail Date: January 2015
We were very much looking forward to our cruise from Southampton to Dubai, via the Mediterranean and Suez Canal. Ship was great, food and staff very good. However, due to dredging in the Suez Canal we waited for 18 hours before being ... Read More
We were very much looking forward to our cruise from Southampton to Dubai, via the Mediterranean and Suez Canal. Ship was great, food and staff very good. However, due to dredging in the Suez Canal we waited for 18 hours before being allowed to enter, then we transmitted the canal completely through the night in the dark! This was obviously completely out of the captains control admittedly, but a further blow was, due to the delay, we did not have time to visit Aqaba, where we had booked a trip to Petra. This meant 10 days at sea continuously which was awful. Admittedly staff worked hard with the entertainment programme, which was difficult as the Entertainers had also got stuck on the ship, as the changeover had not occurred in Aqaba. We paid a lot of money for this cruise, and feel that Cunard failed to deliver the cruise thar we booked. Many passengers on the return flight were in agreement with this. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We have just spent 11 nights on the Queen Elizabeth in cabin 8174.Firstly we wish to point out this we considered this cruise superb value for money and the comments below are just points where we think there could be improvements. Our ... Read More
We have just spent 11 nights on the Queen Elizabeth in cabin 8174.Firstly we wish to point out this we considered this cruise superb value for money and the comments below are just points where we think there could be improvements. Our cabin was below the lido outdoor deck area.Although there was little activity in this area we experienced heavy footsteps early most mornings.It appeared to be one particular crew member(an officer)who did not wear deck shoes.We mentioned the problem to the Pursers desk and asked them to contact the area responsible but they said they couldn't and we would have to contact them when the event actually happened i.e. we needed to get out of bed at 5.15am to tell them !!!!....they thought this was an adequate response. Other minor niggles included the TV sailing chart & details beeing constantly wrong.I don't think it had the departure time of any port corresponding to the time show in the ships daily newspaper.It also showed the time to Oporto when the post had been missed and we were on our way to Vigo.Incidentally the Captain made one announcement that we were not visiting Oporto,which we and many others missed.The ships newspaper arrived that night to tell us that we were in Vigo but no mention of why we were not in Oporto? The daily ships newspaper was a constant source of enjoyment to spot the mistakes!!! We apparently had a sailaway from Bodrum when we left Lisbon...Champagne was spelt Champain.........the Cruise Questionnaire prize draw was showing to be held on the EVENING we arrived in Southampton.Just a few too many errors which were not spotted before the newspaper was issued to passengers. To end, we do wish to say we enjoyed the cruise and,as I said,it was superb value for money but just lacking that final piece of management   Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
First off, let me say the ONLY reason I'm taking the time to write this review is because of the constant nickle and diming of Cunard and their stingy ways. Otherwise I'd have just blown even the extra $3,500 off. But ... Read More
First off, let me say the ONLY reason I'm taking the time to write this review is because of the constant nickle and diming of Cunard and their stingy ways. Otherwise I'd have just blown even the extra $3,500 off. But they're just stingy and to the bone. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary mostly - however, I am confused why we called a couple ports - and because of Cunard's reputation and reviews. We had priority embarkation so that was flawless. The community rooms, except for the Lido dining area, of the ship are well decorated with stunning under stated taste. Cunard had a half bottle of complementary sparkling win in our room which was a nice touch. That's where my amazement ended. Embarkation is at 2:00 and coincidentally lunch is over at 2:00-ish. We dropped our stuff off in the underwhelming state room (See Cabin Review Section about the stateroom's decoration and abysmal bathroom.). When we headed up to the Lido, which is decorated circa 1995 in pale blues, ugly yellow and white wood and can be hot, we found that not twenty minutes after getting on the ship on a turn-around day, they were closing up shop for lunch. I had to find a manager to leave the salad bar open. There is literally nothing to eat but mostly bread, skimpy on the filling sandwiches and cookies - all fattening - between 2:30 and 5:30ish on the ship. I don't like bread. I ended up hording bananas and cereal in our room. Other problems with the Lido dining are lack of service in at breakfast and on deck and surcharges to eat on the Lido in the evening. In the morning, there is NO table service. The food is good - in fact, except for the specialty restaurant - it is basically the only excellent food on the ship. The food is fresh prepared daily on the ship, there is a wide variety of foods, and the eggs and omelets are prepared to order. However, the beverage area is a free for all - Seriously. Oceana, or any high end hotel, has a server bring water, coffee and juices. Not Cunard. And forget any service on the deck in the pool area if you aren't ordering something that you have to pay for - like COKES. Yes, the charge nearly $3.00 for soft drinks. The Britiana dining room has food that is obviously not prepared on site. It is bland. It all tastes the same. The beef was TOUGH. And forget a vegetable. Well unless you like your vegetables drowned in the same brown gravy the meat is drowned in - day after day. So we tried the Lido one night. Um, no. The food is fresh prepared and not bad, but there is a surcharge to dine there of nearly $18.00. And the other side is a buffet style, lunch place. No, just no. The specialty restaurant was pretty good, but as per usual, they were stingy. They served a seven course meal that was quite good, but the wine paring - which was NOT INCLUDED - was two SHORT, AND I MEAN VERY SHORT glasses of wine for six courses! That's a sip of wine per course literally. And the wine didn't necessary pair well with all the courses it's supposed to pare with. WHAT?!? Normally it's a different wine per course or SOMETIMES a restaurant will combine two courses such as specialty breads and a light soup for just one glass of wine. The final course came with a so-so desert wine. And before all the diners had left the dining room they were clanking own the cages over the bar and making OBVIOUS attempts to move us along. Which brings me to the beverage prices on board. I already mentioned the charge for sodas. Wait for this. There is NO complimentary bottled water on board. There is no specialty fountains for filling Nalgenes or any other portable water device. Bottled water, wait for it, is $19.25 for a six pack of a liter and a half bottles or $3.00 for a half a liter - No, I'm not kidding. Wine? Expensive. Ordinary, and I mean nothing stellar, bottles of wine were $50 and up. Our wine package was $425 and it was only good in the Britiana which is the main dining room. Couldn't use it in the specialty dining room. OMG, and a glass of wine in the bars or in any dining room was $13.50 - nothing special either - plus 15% gratuity. Service in the Britania was so-so. And now we get down to the real cheap part. They CHARGED US $22 PER HEAD TO GET FROM THE SHIP TO SAINT MARK'S SQUARE IN VENICE. Yes. That happened. On one of our excursions that was eight hours, LUNCH WASN'T INCLUDED! And the coup de gras, and actually why I'm writing this review, is we bought a wifi package - expensive BTW, and the wifi was so horrible I couldn't get onto my bank. I talked to the lady who runs the cybershop's boss and he told me I needed to go ashore to get good wifi. Going ashore in this particular case was a fifteen minutes walk - and of course, as cheap as they are, they had no shuttles to take you to the terminal building. Anyway, they REFUSED to refund me the whole time I was logged on trying to get onto my bank. That's just stupid. I told them I would write a negative review, and nada. Another bone of contention is they have you all aboard at 5:00 to 5:30. Why? So they can sail at nine knots and save on fuel costs? I've never been on a ship that had you on board consistently at that time. Anyway, we talked to a lot of people that are looking to move away from Cunard since they got bought by Carnival. And bottom line, our $6,500 cruise ended up costing us an extra $3,500. Sail at your wallet's own risk. We're going back to Oceana and/or we've heard great things about Crystal and Viking's new, ocean going cruises. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth in 2013, I thought that I would 'complete the set' by joining the QM2 on the final leg of her 2016 World Cruise from Dubai to Southampton. How things ... Read More
Having previously cruised on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth in 2013, I thought that I would 'complete the set' by joining the QM2 on the final leg of her 2016 World Cruise from Dubai to Southampton. How things have deteriorated in 3 years! My 2013 experience of Cunard was excellent service from friendly staff in all areas and excellent food - even during a Force 10 gale. Not so on the QM2. I had to find my own way to my cabin - it was a cabin, not a stateroom - on deck 11. My case arrived 5 hours later. Bathrobes are no longer standard - you have to request one. Pillows are no longer feather filled - lumpy man made fibre. Britannia Restaurant night one - menu thrown at me whilst slopping water into a glass and then demanding 'Had I chosen?' The food served was awful - I had only a starter and main - the starter was a couple of prawns in Marie-Rose sauce followed by a fillet of Baramundi that had given it's life in vain. It was so overcooked that I could have re-soled my shoe with it. I asked if I could have a drink with my meal and was told that the Sommelier was the only one that could take drink orders - he arrived half way through the main course. Night 2 in the Restaurant was no better, in fact, worse as the Sommelier did not even turn up. By now, the ship was in the grip of Norovirus and the Captain took great delight in making announcements including words such as vomiting and diarreah during lunch or dinner and I took the remainder of my meals in the Self Service Canteen on deck 7, where the food was unappealing and the staff were surly to rude. I stuck to pasta, cooked to order, toast and bananas. Cunard failed to control the Norovirus - if one person in a double occupied cabin was showing symptoms, they were confined but the other person was allowed to roam the ship at will, infecting anyone and everyone! We were denied access to the port of Dohar and we were also denied access to Jordanian Territorial Waters, meaning that Aqaba and Petra were off the list. This was my 15th cruise in 4 years and I chose to leave the ship in Cyprus, 10 days into the cruise, because I was so disappointed by every single aspect of the cruise. Something that I have never, ever considered before. The Carnival Cuts are apparent in every area of the ship - although I should qualify that because so many areas of the ship were restricted to 'normal' passengers and reserved only for World Class, Britannia Club, Queens Grill etc. passengers - perhaps the cuts are less evident there. Never again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We travelled with friends and liked the itiniery, especially Venice and Lake Garda (this was an add on arranged by Imagine cruising. I use a wheelchair and gave all dimensions to Cunard before setting off. Despite this, my chair would not ... Read More
We travelled with friends and liked the itiniery, especially Venice and Lake Garda (this was an add on arranged by Imagine cruising. I use a wheelchair and gave all dimensions to Cunard before setting off. Despite this, my chair would not fit through the cabin door. The "stateroom" was just very average and not very big so my chair, even when folded, took up a lot of space. We ate in the Britannia restaurant and whilst the food quality was OK, there wasn't a great deal of choice. One of our friend is gluten free and the choice was poor. She had to choose what she wanted a day in advance!!!!.Each night, there was a selection of wines recommended to go with the menu. These ranged from $50 to $150 per bottle. The cheapest bottle on offer was $30 and the only glass available cost $20. Then they have the cheek to add 15% service charge. All other drinks also far too expensive. Gin and tonic $10 for 1 oz of gin and tonic from a dispenser. I could go on, but you get the picture. We ate breakfast and lunch in theLido Restaurant and there was a huge choice and quality generally very good.However, the staff in there need a course in customer service.Theyare a miserable bunch and no help at all. Getting a coffee served at our table was like asking for the crown jewels. To cap it all, Cunard want $11.50 PER PERSON PER DAY for tips. Yes, you can opt out or reduce the amount. We were also shocked to find that many of the daily activities were chargeable. Foe example, a talk on how to use your ipad cost $15, use of the hydropool cost $149 for the week. Would we recommend Cunard? NO. Would we ever go on another Cunard cruise? Never Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The bad points. we had to pick up case at airport. Rome airport and organisation was a nightmare! Embarkation was marred by not getting case until evening even though we were on boat early afternoon!. Entertainment was fairly poor! The ... Read More
The bad points. we had to pick up case at airport. Rome airport and organisation was a nightmare! Embarkation was marred by not getting case until evening even though we were on boat early afternoon!. Entertainment was fairly poor! The main band were good but unless you ballroom dance there was not a lot to do. The pop band were good but once you had seen them the set was the same everyday. Disco played outdated music, the same music every night! The sound system in ball room sounded like music was played in a goldfish bowl.. Several staff were rude and had to make formal complaint!! Bar service very poor. We sat by pool and waited 3 hours for someone to come to offer a drink! In the end went to bar and then got a service charge! Outdated and stuffy! Some excursions good some not. Drinks extortionate price! Positives Cabin good and our cabin stewardess was brilliant. Food and dining service was excellent. The management in charge of all restaurants should be running the boat! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
ONBOARD EXPERIENCE & SERVICE We sailed with Cunard on 23rd of July 2016 from Athens. Our sailing points were Athens - Santorini - Katakolon - Kotor - Venice. To begin the journey with Cunard was unpleasant to begin with as we lost ... Read More
ONBOARD EXPERIENCE & SERVICE We sailed with Cunard on 23rd of July 2016 from Athens. Our sailing points were Athens - Santorini - Katakolon - Kotor - Venice. To begin the journey with Cunard was unpleasant to begin with as we lost our luggage at Athens airport. We embarked on Cunard with whatever we had with us and Cunard crew was being sympathetic with our issue. They told us to let them deal with our luggage, so we can enjoy the cruise experience. At first, we were relieved. But as day went by, we can feel something was odd. For every embarkation point, seems there wasn't any news and when we followed up with them, it was seems like an excuse after another. One of the excuses given was the baggage handlers in Venice were on strike, therefore they can't get our bags delivered to the ship. We weren't willingly accepting their explanations but we had no choice. Until we got ourselves the PIR report from the airline rep and all of the excuses given by Cunard were bunch of lies. Based on the report itself, our bags reached on the very same day as the ship anchored in Santorini water. But the Cunard Manager lied to us in the face, telling the bags were still being traced and they still had no news from the airline rep. Oh yes, regarding the baggage handler strike in Venice? It was another BIG LIE by Cunard. the last airport strike in Venice was las month. Based on the PIR report, after Santorini, our bags were being sent to Venice and it was there for a several days before being sent back to Santorini because nobody was picking it up. They had a week to sort our luggage stuff, but failed to do so. Meanwhile it took us only 3 DAYS to find and get our luggage after we reached home. The staff from Purser's office were also not that friendly, but grumpy. One staff even questioned us,"what do you want me to do?" when we came to see him about our cabin issue. After all of the post cruise feedback we gave to Cunard, Cunard didn't bother much but instead, wished us to change our mind in the future about them. To us, the crew, our on-board experience and services provided by Cunard were so terrible that we would never pick Cunard as our future cruise consideration again. FOOD Food was absolutely delicious. Breakfast, Lunch, Tea time, Dinner, Supper have a lot of selections and variety. However, the buffet coffee was average, much better in the restaurant. Their cafe had two attempts at making a latte, both were undrinkable. ENTERTAINMENT It was quite poor from our honest opinion. The stand up comedian performed two different shows over the week. The first night was okay, but the second night was lame. Instead of performing live, we were entertained by his performance from a few years ago through a projector screen. The Cunard performing group was absolutely terrible. The dance were not synchronized at all, the singing was cheesy and off pitch, and the plot was lacking in substance. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before ... Read More
this cruise was very disappointing as it was difficult to get around due to the heavy doors on the ship I unable to get out of my cabin my husband had open the door. The garden room was difficult to leave there was a heavy door before the automatic door As many of the passengers were in the 60/80 age range I was the surprised that the unheated pool did not have graduated steps I could not get out of the pool, three swimming costumes were unworn . The entertainment was poor not enough to do in the daytime on sea days as most activities were in the morning. The set in the theatre broke down during a show also did the video for the piano players very poor maintenance. the whole ship was without water for six hours everyone went to dinner without be able to wash,it was very uncomfortable as well as being unhygenic Chairs on deck sticky and unwashed the food was excellent the service was very good cabin staff. Embarkation was swift Overall there were too many faults to overcome as I kept being caught in the heavy doors . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Booked what was our 16th Cruise with Cunard and I have to say this was the one we enjoyed the least and will likely be our last. A new menu was imposed in the Grills which was a real retrograde step. What was once the hall mark of Cunard ... Read More
Booked what was our 16th Cruise with Cunard and I have to say this was the one we enjoyed the least and will likely be our last. A new menu was imposed in the Grills which was a real retrograde step. What was once the hall mark of Cunard has now been diluted down way too much. As a result the dining experience was poor. The Atmosphere in the dining room definitely suffered as a result. The passengers who had traveled on the old Qe2 were probably the most disappointed as we know what it used to be like. Cunard used to protect is Brand values fiercely but it seems now the Carnival conglomorate has ground it down. The style and class has definitely gone and we became increasingly exasperated at the continual mercenary attempts to squeeze more money out of the guests at every available opportunity. The world club events and guest cocktail parties were terrible. The line gives you cruise appraisal cards to have your say but in the all time we have been on we have never seen anything improved or added as a result of filling them in. Each time we board there is always something that has been taken away or changed for the worse. To be fair the staff are excellent but clearly they have little control or influence over how things are done. If anything we felt sorry for them particularly the ones with many years service. The shore excursions we did were very expensive and at times chaotic. Catching the tour bus from the Rome on your own tour outside the Marcello theatre was a shambles with buses double parked, people getting lost, coach drivers arguing and being cautioned by police and general chaos! We had previously booked our voyages on the Elizabeth for next year and are going to take a week or two to think about it but will almost certainly cancel them. it means that we lose our deposit but there is no point throwing good money after bad. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We were a party of three adults who were extremely excited to be sailing on the Cunard Lines, Queen Victoria. We have cruised many times, mainly with Holland America. Because of the higher cost of a Cunard Cruises we expected a higher ... Read More
We were a party of three adults who were extremely excited to be sailing on the Cunard Lines, Queen Victoria. We have cruised many times, mainly with Holland America. Because of the higher cost of a Cunard Cruises we expected a higher standard of service and higher quality meals. In our opinion, the standard of food was not up to the quality of Holland America or other cruises we have taken. Our first disappointment was at our first breakfast which we ate in the Lido restaurant. I asked for Eggs Benedict and was informed that they were not served in the Lido, only served in the main dining room. We prefer the Lido for breakfast as we never know what time that we will be ready to eat. While sailing with Holland America they happily made any type of Eggs Benedict that I requested in their Lido Restaurant. We looked forward to attending the much advertised English Tea served in the afternoon. We were stunned when they served the scones which were shaped round like baseballs and almost as hard. We think that the baker left out the shortening or used very little and for the liquid, did not use heavy cream, but used water instead. They were tasteless and very dry, not soft or rich tasting as correctly made scones should be. They were the same throughout the cruise, so it was not just a bad batch. The steaks that we had were also sub standard. One of our party limits himself to dessert on his last night aboard ship. He was really looking forward to ordering a cheesecake which was on the menu for that evening. We all ordered the same dessert and on first bite, our friend actually spit it out as it was like eating sawdust. Dry, tasteless, and no richness at all. Once again, it appeared that lesser quality ingredients were used. We found that in general most meals lacked intensity of flavour. We made it a point to ask many fellow passengers if they had cruised on other lines and most had also previously sailed on Holland America. We asked how did they compared the food from other cruises to the Queen Victoria meals. Without exception, not a single person said that the food was better on the Queen Victoria. The lack of quality of ingredients seemed to us to be the problem. Another huge disappointment is that I had a credit from the casino on my ships card which I intended to use when settling up our bill at the end of our cruise? I was told that I could not use that credit and that the casino contractor would mail me my refund within 2 to 3 weeks. It is now 4 months since our cruise and I am still trying to get my money. I have called Cunard's North American head office many many times and am on a first name basis with a supervisor who has been attempting to assist me. He called me the other day, very embarrassed, to have to advise me that he has been informed that the casino company does not do refunds. He said that his office is "cutting a cheque" for me and mailing it within a week. It should be the policy of Cunard Lines that if any passenger has a credit on their onboard card with the casino or any store on board ship, that this credit can be applied to their cruise bill. Needless to say, when we discuss our cruise, we do not recommend Cunard Cruise Lines. 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
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
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
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