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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
From the first of our 6 cruises with Cunard we have respected the dress,hand gel,guest conduct expected by Cunard that results in many guests returning,however!!! We wish to offer the following observations whilst on board for 26 nights ... Read More
From the first of our 6 cruises with Cunard we have respected the dress,hand gel,guest conduct expected by Cunard that results in many guests returning,however!!! We wish to offer the following observations whilst on board for 26 nights recently over Christmas and new year. 1. Some Guests refusing to use the hand gel on entrances to food areas giving the following excuses. I washed my hands earlier in the cabin I take vit C tablets each day It makes my hands sticky It has an affect on my skin I washed my hands earlier in the toilet All these excuses even though they all used hand rails,buttons in lifts and handles on doors on the route to the food halls and restaurants. When the staff are asked why they did not insist the guests to use the gel,the staff said they were accused of harassment and did not get backing from their supervisors. 2. Guests using the beautiful coffee tables in lounges as foot rests with and without shoes. Again when staff asked guests not to do this they refused,claiming they paid the bill not the staff. 3.Guest wearing baseball caps,sporty tee shirts,torn jeans some looking like they have just come off a building site,around the ship and in the restaurants on formal nights sitting amongst smartly dress guests who had followed the issued instruction on dress code. Again when staff tried to insist on the code they were accused of harassment not getting support from their supervisors. 4. A guest walking around the ship and through the kings hall carrying a dog. Nobody stopped and challenge this action 5. Male and female guests in the kings hall wearing only swim wear and bath robes Again when staff tried to challenged this they were accused of harassment. No support given by supervisors. 6. Guests laying full length along the beautiful settles in the lounges with and with shoes on. Again when challenged by the staff the offenders claimed harassment ,without support from supervisors. 7. More and more guests failing to attend the compulsory safety drill claiming they did not care and having to do it the next day in the lounge disturbing other guests comfort. When questioned about the guests conduct,the officer just shrugged his shoulders. All in all this made the cruise quite disappointing and we will question wether we would want to go on Cunard in the future. What was great was the captain and staff,so friendly and polite,the serving waiters,excellent as always. Cunard please take note!! Many of these offending guests were not British, give it some thought. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many ... Read More
As a critic, it becomes a nightmare to fulfil your dreams, as you are always on duty you never switch of. I choose Queen Mary2 because I still believe she is the most elegant ocean liner that’s sails, awaiting the new queen, many whispers on what she will be called “Queen Anne” is my answer now to wait and see, the cruise set sail and began its magnificent voyage to New York seven sea days. I was disappointed to find the ginger bread village had been cut only a quarter of the village displayed and they didn’t bring it out until we continued onto the Caribbean. The Cunard guest choir was outstanding. The staff always serving at such high standards. The North Pole making connection to say Father Christmas arriving the children amazed .. perfect xmas voyage - finally I could switch off.. place my sun hat upon my head and relax as we headed towards the Caribbean feeling the warmth as my body began to tan. New Year’s Eve the 8 o’clock party to bring in the new year in the golden lion was absolutely one of the best parties I have been too for bringing everyone together. The veranda head waiter and his staff for me shone more than any one with exception to Clyde and Romas in the golden lion. The Britannia restaurant food was of a good standard Christmas Day was exceptional. The spa for once on a cruise ship had a hairdresser that actually could do your hair. Maya. The events planner deepsha was professional in organising my event to perfection. The itinerary packed with things to do what ever your day you desired to fill with. The water colour class was a great class as 35 dollars also the floristry class with mikey and jay lo absolutely outstanding 50 dollars for a two day course. You practiced with beautiful flowers and Cunard never cheated you to gain money , they gave an exceptional class to ensure you had a five star experience. I took myself off to the 9.am fencing club now able to use a sword beware this critic can now defend herself. Midge Ure was performing and also gave lectures this was received well with passengers, whilst I carried in the moves with his daughter Molly in the fabulous G32. Until Dawn broke. The queen Mary2 suffered a complete power failure through out the ship on New Year’s Eve late in the evening. Darkness hitting the ship no power for around 25 minutes. The ship drifting as the chief engineer and his colleagues desperately trying to find a solution, alongside the captain who took almost 10 mins to make his announcement try to get to grips with what was happening to the ship before trying to let passengers know the details, some passengers complained this was too long but for the captain safety being his first priority. Three times they tried and Queen was back under command. A ship where no panic hit due to the training given to ensure passengers were safe and not frightened at this time. Another negative the social hostess was the worst I have ever come across, dosnt interact with passengers is very off putting Thai I was shocked to see, but I didn’t downgrade a star because I know Cunard will deal with it . So yes Queen Mary2 as you as sail keep on making dreams a reality. Yes she is a little more pricey but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Cunard provide excellence I await to sail again Lady Kendal Jaggar Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my first cruise and I was not looking forward to it! However, the transatlantic crossing was high on my husband’s bucket list, so I booked a Princess Grill cabin for the 7 night cruise to New York. Embarkation from Southampton ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was not looking forward to it! However, the transatlantic crossing was high on my husband’s bucket list, so I booked a Princess Grill cabin for the 7 night cruise to New York. Embarkation from Southampton was fast, greetings from the crew as we boarded were lacklustre and we could have had some help as we wandered around looking for our cabin. However, on entering our cabin we were spellbound! It was large, luxurious, inviting (champagne and chocolates awaiting) and the big wall of windows looking out onto the balcony was perfect. Our cabin was so nice we spent a lot of time in it with room service breakfast and occasional lunch and dinner. The Stewards and waiting staff were excellent. The Queens Grill lounge was lovely for afternoon tea and the the Princess Grill dining room was very elegant. The meals were small but very tasty, the service was unobtrusive but friendly. We sat at a table of six and the other four guests were fascinating. The art work around the ship was fabulous. The theatres were spectacular. We loved the lectures especially those on the Titanic and the Concord. We did not go to any of the musical shows or balls but they seemed popular. The Kings Court buffet restaurant we avoided as it always seemed impossibly crowded. The Verandah Restaurant was very nice but it was just a steakhouse and frankly a steak is rather ordinary fare and not a gourmet experience. We enjoyed the dress code I loved ‘checking out’ the other ladies! It was very cold as to be expected in November and it snowed one night. However, that was exciting to us, our cabin 1067 was very stable. My husband caught a cold, as did many others on board but this often happens when traveling. HINT the ship is run at a cool temperature so take a shawl for a little extra warmth. It was too cold to be out on deck for long so I didn’t use the pool, etc. Overall, very few complaints, it was an unforgettable experience. My first cruise will not be my last - we have already booked a six night cruise on Queen Elizabeth in March. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just ... Read More
Having last sailed the TransAtlantic crossing on the Old Girl the QE2 in 1993, our trip to Europe from NYC coincided with the QM2's early November sailing date, so we decided to take the ship instead of flying. The Old Girl was just so amazing, and she was missed. And we decided that the only way to go was the Queen's Grill, as we had done before on our last Cunard cruise in 2008 just before the Old Girl went out of service and was packed off to Dubai. It mystifies me that the QM2 was designed with the lifeboats hanging from Deck 8, just below the Queens's Grill Deck 9 suites. So all the views from the most spacious and consequently expensive cabins on the ship have partially obstructed views of the ocean below from their windows and balconies. Not so bad in the winter when the balconies are too cold to be used, but for a sailing the rest of the year, this is just nuts. Partially obstructed cabins usually go for a large discount. Apparently Cunard learned from this huge design mistake, and the later built Victoria and Elizabeth do not have this problem for the Queens Grill cabins, nor for the QG or Princess Grill Dining Room, as discussed in the next paragraph.. Furthermore, the Queens Grill Dining Room is on Deck 7. The outdoor walking track that goes all round the ship is on the perimeter of Deck 7. So all day long the Queens's Grill diners, and the Princess Grill on the other side, get the pleasure of a constant stream of walkers and runners by, looking in often on the diners, and distracting to the fine dining experience. My wife and I found this most disconcerting. Again, why did they design the ship this way? The QG food is way above average, with caviar and foie gras on request at dinner all the time, with a little notice, plus special orders, but one does get tired of the featured standards like Orange Duckling, Beef Wellington, Tenderloin steak, Broiled Lobster and Dover Sole. More variation would be good. Appetizers need more creativity. Vegan selections boring. Sandwiches at lunch few and boring. Waiting staff excellent. Lunch menu choices could use a little sprucing up. The Maitre De takes very good care of his precious guests. Nice wine offerings. Staterooms in the Queens Grill category other than the view problem are very nice. Large bathrooms, although I would have preferred a stall shower rather than this tub/shower. Better in rocky seas for safety and just leaning against the shower walls when necessary for stability . Beds very comfortable. Large walk in closets and lots of storage space. At over 500 sq ft the Queens Grill stateroom is very nice and comfortable indeed. The last of the Ocean Liners is large at over 125,000 tons and sails very steady and mostly smoothly, even in strong winds and bad seas, but when strong winds slice across the ship's path, it is going to get rough, as for any ship. So it was on one day of the seven days crossing the pond from NYC to Southampton and a night or two. I am not a great sailor, not like my wife, but most days the rolling I can take. It is the combination of the rolling and pitching in the North Atlantic that does me in. As this one bad day proved, once again. The ship is large - 2600 passengers, although today there are the many 4,000- 5,000 passenger behemoths that have destroyed European ports such as Venice and most of the Caribbean Islands. We prefer the small Seabourn size ships, of 450 passengers and took this cruise mostly out of convenience to get to Europe. Three formal nights out of seven is just excessive to our way of thinking, but most of the Brits on board loved it that way. A really big dress deal for both men and women. Not at all the casual dress style growing so fashionable on so many other smaller ships today, such as Oceania, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent. Dress standards are very important to maintain, but so many other cruise lines have dropped standards and let people take advantage these days. It has gone in the other direction. No tuxedos for me however, so it was dark suit and tie these formal nights. Other nights it was a pleasure to wear a sports coat and tie, as were all the other gentlemen for the most part in the Grill dining rooms. A handsome crowd of men and women, elegantly attired. The main Theater has very bad seating, whereby people crowd in next to each other on long couch type seats. Not too many rows of seats have a separate seat for one person. Too many bodies get crammed in this way, but not to my liking. Just when one thinks he or she is settled in, along comes another person or two and they just push their way in. Very tight, and with coughing and sneezing, not good. The other large entertainment and lecturing room Illuminations, has very nice separate seating and is much more comfortable. Lectures and performances almost non stop all day long. Most very good. Whether about the Cold War and submarines in WW2, being kept captive in Lebanon or piano performances. The only planetarium at sea has some fantastic shows. The QM performers team put on at least one extraordinary production number. Fourteen dancers and singers, with many costume changes, and a fine orchestra. We enjoyed immensely the large collection of Hollywood and Broadway passenger celebrity photos on the old QM and QE displayed in many areas throughout the ship, and many photos of the old fleet itself. It will be a while before we take another Cunard cruise, and I do not think it will be on the QM2, although we enjoyed this one very much despite its shortcomings in QM category cabin and DR placement. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air ... Read More
The sun decks on the ship were soulless. They were spartan and devoid of any character. The ship had just had a refurb and we were surprised how poor the ship was turned out. In the theatre it was either very cold due to the air conditioning or extremely hot. This ship has no WOW factor at all. It would be better “dry docked” and opened as an old people’s home. The entertainment in the theatre from the ship’s cast was extremely poor. One show was entitled “music from the Blues Brothers” but when they started singing “under the boardwalk” that was our queue to leave. The cast weren’t so much as singing the songs more like screaming the songs. The guest entertainment was fine, no problems with them and very entertaining. The guest speakers were also first rate although the ship’s technicians let them all down badly on more than one occasion. Either the microphone or the visual aids weren’t working. We felt annoyed and embarrassed on behalf of the speakers. The hygiene in the restaurant in respect of hand sanitising was hit and miss. New Year’s Eve was a “Free for all” to get into the dining room and we had to ask for the sanitising gel. On average the food was good but the majority of waiters just weren’t interested. On NY Eve one of us ordered medallions of beef and that is all that was on the plate, no vegetables or potatoes, just beef! The food at breakfast was cold most of the time. Cabin steward provided excellent service. All one side of the ship, Port side, was smoking which made it very uncomfortable walking around the ship and sitting in certain areas, I.e. certain parts of the Belvedere restaurant. We are in our 60s and would not consider sailing on the Arcadia ever again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The bad service was from start to finish Cunard talk about pride and quality and high standards please let me tell you Cunard are fooling themselves if they think this is true twice i went on the Queen Mary 2 and 2 times they break my ... Read More
The bad service was from start to finish Cunard talk about pride and quality and high standards please let me tell you Cunard are fooling themselves if they think this is true twice i went on the Queen Mary 2 and 2 times they break my suitcase on loading a great way to start the holiday wasting time at the Pursers desk I am sure that there are many happy customers but that is when nothing goes wrong and they have a trouble free voyage what you fail to do and understand customer service begins when there is a problem this means you look listen and try and resolve the problem ASAP not quote company policy and refuse to use Comon sense and help the customer my problem lasted the whole week why ???????? my case was repaired by using black silicon and i was pushed away told dont worry we did a good job Everyday I went to see the Purser wasting my own time when I should have been on holiday this cruise was something we saved up for for 3 years this was a present for my mother who is 86 years old a present to my wife as we were married last year and did not have a honeymoon instead it cause us to argue and fight over a suitcase as we had to go every evening to talk to the purser as without the case how was I able to make our onward travel When Cunard broke the case the first time I vowed never to go back on the Queen Mary or use Cunard again but as I said my mother is 86 and wanted so much to go again as she felt comfortable on the ship as it would be familiar to her I really did not want to book but after my first cruise on the Queen Mary I was sent a e mail apologising and making a promise if I was to return that I would not be dissapointed again and Cunard would make it special well I can say that you made it special you broke another case and made my holiday hell I thought I was going on The Cunard flag ship shame it was run like a Dover ferry So let's go right back to the start as the booking experience was a total nightmare I had to make many calls from Turkey at a premium rate to sort out Mothers luggage tags and try to sort out her world club status that I must say was never sorted even after many calls and promises I know it not a lot but Mother would have loved to be able to show her Silver key card instead of the standard first time card so as you can see your booking experience is hard the way to contact was expensive and difficult and the response and again ability to sort out small problems was to hard for Cunard staff this is when I had my first doubts and realised that you don't want happy customers you just want their money as I had paid at this point and I was no longer important Also I booked online and booked a early savers rate we had been saving a long time so saving a few hundred pounds was important after a few phone calls I was told with the rate I booked I could not grantee my cabin being close together and even being able to have a double bed so with my mother being 86 we needed to be close by and as we booked together and to be then told this by the sales team was a concern and to get a cabin with separate beds really ??? So guess what I was talked into changing my booking in fear as to get what I needed so well done the sales team they took more money from me no problem that was the easy part but did I get my problems sorted or better servive no again Cunard robots did their job took the money and gave nothing This brings me to another complaint as I paid for the upgrade and got what you call a queen bed ? Which was in fact two single mattresses which to me was a joke let's look at it another way I paid for a queen bed and got two singles pushed together not what I call quiality I have had better beds in the travelodge and the premier inn So moving on to the facilities on board last time I was happy to past the time by using the gym and signing up for the free classes there was 3 one early one before lunch one and one around 4pm giving enough time to wash and prepare for my early dinner this year the last session did not give enough time as it finished about 5.30 how can you do this class and get back rest and shower and prepare fore dinner the first night I was told by dining staff I was late I was made to be uncomfortable I was rushed to order and was not able to enjoy so after two nights stopped going to the dinning room and yes I know I could have asked for second seating but mother can not eat that late So the classes where not available you also charge for more of the classes as you have removed all the free ones and the times that were good for the classes for me were swaped to talking about excerise and diet and not physical classes also two of the classes were cancelled as first day the room was being used to store bed mattresses and the last day the room was used to store the suitcases ready for departure also as Cunard call the Queen Mary luxury why is the gym a dark hole in the bottom of the ship stuck by the store were you have to dodge staff and fork lift trucks which is dangerous and a joke So as you can see so far Cunard high standards and service is where ???????????? During the time of the voyage I spoke to many staff including the Pursers front desk staff and no one seems to have any long service on board the longest serving member on the desk was just over a year a lot seemed to be new also I would look at why this is as to build up good customer service experience would be required to give good service this clearly shows their inexperience and maybe why do they not carry on and serve longer ?????????? Also I spoke with a lot of passengers that were unhappy for other reasons and they shared my view that the Pursers staff wher poor I spoke with 3 passengers that also had suitcases broken so clearly a regular problem and stil happening after 3 years and pleas I remind you I traveled many miles from Turkey to UK and New York to Heathrow I stayed in many hotels in the UK traveled on many trains and my cases where handled by many airport staff and various hotel staff and nobody broke my case not once Cunard did it twice Its is not just about my suitcase damage I wasted so much time in my 3 days in New York looking time i could be sight seeing I only stayed just 3 nights so at least one day was wasted doing this as I said I paid a lot of hard earned money to go on this cruise only to be treated like a second class person I need you to understand I paid over £4,000 and as I see it a waste of money for what service ????? So read think and let me know is Cunard interested in customers as people are you interested in making customers return ? Or are you just intrested in making as much money as possible as there are always more fools out there that will accept this and say nothing I think its all about the money you clearly have a class divide on board and your service and treatment is based on how much you have spent i recomend people avoid Cunard and choose another cruise as there are plenty out there the Queen Mary is just a name that you are paying extra for Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Just returned from three back to back cruises aboard QM2.....two across the Atlantic and one from New York to the Caribbean. I fine it hard to fault any aspect of the total package that they offer, as its level of quality and service ... Read More
Just returned from three back to back cruises aboard QM2.....two across the Atlantic and one from New York to the Caribbean. I fine it hard to fault any aspect of the total package that they offer, as its level of quality and service almost harkens back to a bygone age. Throughout the 27 days the consistent level of service from the whole crew was exceptional; be it the cabin steward, the bar staff, the waiters or the sommeliers. In addition the quality of the food in all restaurants we visited was of the highest level. We were in the standard Britannia restaurant but ate out at the alternative dining Verandah, were invited for one meal in Queens Grill and also ate several times in the Kings Court buffet. All were of the highest level and it is worth mentioning the superb work achieved by the Maitre d's of each of these. In the Britannia, Atilla is totally on top of everything, as is Luis in the Verandah and Osman in the Queens Grill and the same is so with the sommeliers, under the masterful control of Domino De Four. In my view, The Verandah is at least one star Michelin Level both in terms of the food and the service and our one meal in the Queens Grill was also superb. Equally the new re mastered Carinthia Lounge is a superb venue and their snack breakfasts and lunches are wonderful innovations. Add to the above a host of thought provoking speakers including Jane Corben from Panorama, the superb historian Joshua Levine and one of President Bush's senior staff plus entertainment such as water colour painting, some outstanding wine tastings, fencing and the superb team from RADA and you have some really good things to do when crossing the 'Pond'. In the evenings the pick of the acts were Phillipa Healey and The MacDonald Brothers and in addition such recent films as Dunkirk and Churchill were being shown. Thankfully also Cunard do have proper standards of dress and behaviour plus they do not sell 'booze' packages and so there were no examples of drunken goings on, now so prevalent on such as P&O and Celebrity. Finally a word about the shore excursions.....we went on four and all of them were fantastic with great guides. Yes with Cunard you pay a realistic price for realistic quality and you need to like a level of formality. If either disturbs you then they are the wrong line for you but certainly as far as I am concerned they produced a level of service, quality and value for money that I regarded as exceptional. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I decided to try QM2 again after sailing on a transatlantic in 2012. I had heard about the fabulous re-mastering and wanted to see if the ship had been changed. I'm afraid that I was not impressed. Obviously the accountants had the ... Read More
I decided to try QM2 again after sailing on a transatlantic in 2012. I had heard about the fabulous re-mastering and wanted to see if the ship had been changed. I'm afraid that I was not impressed. Obviously the accountants had the whip hand in deciding what to do with the ship. QM2 always had an ergonomic problem. It is the worst vessel at sea to get around; so many blind alleys, blocked off areas, exclusion zones and without doubt the worst use of space ever. What they have done is increased the spaces available to make money, though curiously they have turned a wonderful casino into little more than a slot parlour. I was amazed to see that Queens grill and Princess grill dining rooms are located n a non-descript part of the ship with wonderful views of the super-structure, providing they don't mind being stared at by lesser mortals promenading outside their dining room windows. A poor substitute for QV and QE where premium guests have the views of Olympian gods from their dining room, unobserved by lesser mortals. I was most unimpressed by the huge waste of space in and around the Queens Room and other areas of the ship. so much more could be done in these spaces with very little effort. As for the Kings Court, OMG it is like dining in a tunnel on the London Underground. It was cold outside so everyone uses it as a thoroughfare from one end of the ship to the other, a nightmare at busy times negotiating your way to a table through the throng. The service, rooms, food, entertainment were all wonderful as you would expect. I will avoids this ship like the plague, I hate the general layout and find it to be the biggest waste of space on the high seas. One last thing, don't book a cruise on this ship id you are a smoker. Cunard considers smokers as lesser mortals who must be punished for their nasty habit and will confine them to the most uncomfortable out of the way parts of the ship with plenty of wind and rain to cleanse them of their filthy habit. If you smoke you may want to find a another cruise line because the only thing Cunard will help you with is purchasing smokes, god forbid you want to light up. Maybe during the next re-fit they will find a corner of the bilge tanks for the smokers to use. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Our first Transatlantic crossing on QM2. We had a great time,had an inside cabin which was roomy and very comfortable. The 7 days at sea passed very quickly, plenty to do on board if you wanted to be busy , plenty of places to just sit and ... Read More
Our first Transatlantic crossing on QM2. We had a great time,had an inside cabin which was roomy and very comfortable. The 7 days at sea passed very quickly, plenty to do on board if you wanted to be busy , plenty of places to just sit and relax to read a book if relaxing was a priority. Enjoyed the formal and themed evenings, for us the whole point is keeping up with traditional dress codes. Dining in the Britannia restaurant was good, excellent choice of food, attentive staff - take a torch as reading the menu in the dimly lit areas is quite a challenge !! A new shops company meant the evening we only saw one big show which was disappointing, the other supporting artists were excellent. Daily programme was OK, would have liked more craft activities, the Art course was expensive for those only aboard for 7 days - better value for those continuing to the Caribbean. The choir was great fun, we gave a ships performance !! Afternoon tea was lovely but get there early as tables quickly fill up, at times too cramped which spoilt the ambience , better on Queen Victoria. As always the ships photos were outrageously expensive - even though you order electronically - if cruise lines lowered the cost people would buy more !! Disembarkation was quick and easy as we used self service to save time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise on the QM2 for our first trip to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, due to two hurricanes passing through the Caribbean earlier this year, two of the scheduled ports were cancelled due to storm damage ashore. Two ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the QM2 for our first trip to the Caribbean. Unfortunately, due to two hurricanes passing through the Caribbean earlier this year, two of the scheduled ports were cancelled due to storm damage ashore. Two alternative stops were inserted into the program, and we accepted that this was necessary, and not the fault of Cunard, both Amber Cove and St Lucia were fine as replacement stops. We were told by others that our lost ports (St Barts and St Thomas) were better than the replacements, but as first timers we were not to know. A couple of criticisms :- In this day and age, I was a little disappointed to be charged a steep rate for the connection of internet access when aboard. The Cunard line is at the more expensive end of the market and purportedly highly provisioned. Most upmarket hotels now provide free WiFi in the room (or at least common ares), and Cunard should start to consider diong the same. Seasoned travelers thesedays are reliant on being connected for social media and emails to continue their lives while "on the road". Also, the cruise missed another port at Antigua, when the ship failed to set the anchor to enable tenders to operate a service to the shore. The reason given was that the wind direction was not favourable, and the anchoring location chosen had a sand seabed where the anchor continued to drag. No-one could understand why this specific location was chosen, the QM2 has obviously been to Antigua many times before, and the seabed and predicted wind directions would have been well known in advance of our arrival. Isn't there a Plan B for such circumstances, rather than sitting 1km offshore bobbing around waiting for the scheduled departure time? Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Just returned from our 19th Nov--15th December QM2 Caribbean cruise and thought readers might like to share our experience. Embarkation The lady checking us in was very slow and overly officious to the point we felt she was nervous. ... Read More
Just returned from our 19th Nov--15th December QM2 Caribbean cruise and thought readers might like to share our experience. Embarkation The lady checking us in was very slow and overly officious to the point we felt she was nervous. It transpired she also hadn't taken our debit card details properly so we had to be called to the pursers office once on board to register the same debit card again. Cabin Regarding our A2 Cabin issues included an intermittent vacuum problem with our toilet not flushing on seven or eight occasions but resolved itself within a few hours, however it was very disconcerting sitting on it when the flush returned! The only other thing was whistling wind when at sea through the sliding patio door seals but the thick curtains helped. Our cabin was one of the new cabins on the 13th deck and a great improvement over standard cabins. The Club cabin living area looked similar in floor area but more luxurious than a standard Britannia balcony cabin. Our cabin had extra framed pictures and a very attractive bevelled mirror made up of six segments above the desk area. My wife did laugh though as she thought this was designed by a man because when she sat down for makeup and to dry her hair, her head reflected right into the bevelled areas of the central mirror segments. She looked like something out of the hall of mirrors and had to therefore stand up to do this which proved more than a little tedious throughout the cruise. The wall mounted television was central at the end of the bed and in a good position to view from there though we had to be a little careful passing the end of the bed as the screen protruded a few inches from the wall. From what I can remember there were mainly a few movie channels, BBC & Sky News and BBC HD and channel with soaps including East Enders, Coronation St, Emmerdale & White Chapel that might be welcome especially for longer cruises . Despite the recent dry dock there were still no movies on demand so we usually ended up seeing part of a film rather than all of it despite the programme times advertised in leaflets. We found the on board itinerary made it difficult to catch up for the start of films. Many of the cabin surfaces on our 13 deck cabin were roll tops of a luxurious marble look and very attractive. The bathroom surfaces were again of a marble look and the shower had large attractive light beige stone style tiling with a clear shower door that opened inwards or outwards, there were clear rubber seals on the door edges that prevented any water from escaping into the main bathroom area. We thought the doors also opening outwards very sensible for larger people. The shower itself was lovely! A light touch on the button on the shower head delivered four different settings! The bathroom itself had plenty of storage both under the basin and corner shelving. The Ship We felt the Carinthia Lounge was a great improvement over the old Winter Garden. Clearly much thought had been made to the new furnishings and dividing spaces where we sat in comfort while listening to the harpist or pianist. The area where snacks were served seemed like a good idea too. The newly improved Kings Court proved much easier to navigate and the new seating was very comfortable on the few occasions we used this. The films we saw in Illuminations were mostly very recent releases, and interesting films too (well done Cunard!) films like Dunkirk, Churchill, The Mountain Between Us, Kingsman II The Golden Circle etc. There were plenty of piano recitals. Our favourite past time was listening to the young talented harpist and pianists in the Carinthia and Commodore Lounges. The Theatre The newly boarded singers and dancers were in our opinion not worth watching, perhaps they will improve given time. Other acts seemed to be far more entertaining. Many of the speakers we found fascinating. Speakers Popular talks included the Costume Designer for The Greatest Showman and other well know films, the well respected author, actor & historian Joshua Levine talking about the blitz and Dunkirk; and a Canadian Astraunaut talking about his International Space Station experience. Such interesting speakers is one of the reasons why we book with Cunard. The Club Restaurant After an initial hiccup in the starboard side Club restaurant we asked if we could move to the Port side Club. This was because we felt the atmosphere was very tense, a couple of servers really did appear not to be team players and seemed disinterested to the point where my lovely DW was afraid to ask for another tea for fear of constant rolling eyes. A very unusual occurance and thankfully the Food and Beverage manager and head Maitre' D got back to us straight away and this was quickly dealt with. After the move we found Dominic and his team truly wonderful, his flambé seemed regularly available at table for customers who asked and Bruno our sommelier knew all the wines and gave us invaluable advice to the point where we left him to choose our preferred non EU New World wine selection. A suitable wine is an important part of our Cunard holiday and Bruno completed the 26 day challenge very well. Our table servers were lovely too, Carlo & Gonzalo were courteous and extremely capable. Overall we found the anytime dining experience suited our needs and the tables were spaced out well but close enough in many cases for neighbouringt ables wanting a quick chat. Food The food in the Club mirrored Britannia with the addition of the back page A La Carte section which remained the same throughout the trip but provided welcome additions such as scallops and beef tornados, the latter being my favourites. We found the quality and selection of the dinner menu very good indeed. The food in Kings Court was a little hit and miss, the minute steaks weretougher than my old boots but the succulent chicken kebabs were a hit with us. Late night KC offerings included savaloy hot dogs but I noted gone were my beloved KC late night burgers, oh how I mourn for them!. We also found that on occasion for lunch when there might be nothing on the Britannia Club lunchtime menu or KC to our liking, a better alternative was the in cabin food service. The sirloin steaks were OK and the club sandwich and delicious burgers were of a very good quality and delivered hot. Also Rose who answered our in cabin orders was always polite and helpful. Itinerary Amber Cove and St Kitts seemed a reasonable replacement to the islands of St Martin & St Thomas that had suffered the recent storm damage. Just a couple of observations though regarding the anchor tender ports. We noticed announcements for independent passengers disembarking were not made until 11am. Not a great deal of time to explore when the last call for tender was in some cases 4.30pm though I guess not entirely surprising for a ship with so many passengers. Something to be aware of if not on a ship excusion. Also Antigua the last port of call, an anchor port, happens to be our favourite was cancelled. The captain made an announcement that the anchor was dragging on the sand bed and with the 15mph on shore winds this left the ship at risk of drifting towards the shore. It was announced that a handful of passengers had already got off so the ship would have to maintain position using thrusters etc until they could be brought back on board which transpired to be not until 5.30pm that evening which left the ships passengers we spoke to disappointed to say the least! Nothing was offered from Cunard for the huge disappointment of missing one out of 5 Caribbean ports and it being the last and arguably the best, not even a drink! The itinerary experience of missing out on the last port really was the biggest downside. I will have to review sailing on the QM2 to the Caribbean in future because of the problems with tender ports.I hope this will help anyone who is thinking about booking a similar cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was the longest cruise we had ever done and I wasn't sure we would find enough to do during all the sea days. I certainly needn't have worried, the days just flew by, if it wasn't our best cruise it came pretty darn ... Read More
This was the longest cruise we had ever done and I wasn't sure we would find enough to do during all the sea days. I certainly needn't have worried, the days just flew by, if it wasn't our best cruise it came pretty darn close. Check in in Southampton was smooth and quick, we arrived at the port at our allotted time and within minutes we were on board. No sooner had we checked out our cabin (BB grade balcony, more roomy than expected with a 2 seater sofa) than our luggage arrived. Our steward Ariel was very kind, always with a smile and our cabin was always beautifully clean. We were in the Britannia dining room and very pleased with both the quality of the food, the choice and the service. We like to attend the shows during the evening and apart from the ventriloquist we enjoyed all the entertainment, in particular comedian John Courteney and 1960's tribute band The Revolvers. The Queen Victoria is a lovely ship, decorated in a traditional style with lots of wood panelling. The overall impression is one of space and light. We never struggled to find somewhere to sit in any of the public rooms or bars, indeed we felt the ship was half empty although we knew it was fully booked. There is a 'proper' promenade deck, something missing on lots of the larger and newer ships. This deck has a very wide space with lovely wooden steamer chairs. 3 laps of the deck equals 1 mile and was a very popular form of exercise. We took advantage of the beginners bridge classes on every sea day, excellently taught by Margaret, some of the beginners dancing lessons and spent some time in the two storey well stocked library. Jigsaw puzzles are available as are a number of games to play. The Queen Victoria is the most formal cruise ship we have been on, it was nice to dress up and fortunately 95% of passengers made the effort. The only down side was the cost of the alcoholic drinks in the bars, far too expensive. To summarize, the Queen Victoria is a classic cruise ship, there is lots of space both inside and on the open decks, dressing up in the evening is expected and our experience was of a sedate holiday with older guests. The size of the ship meant that everywhere was easily accessible and we look forward to sailing with Cunard jn the future, we just wish their itineraries included more ports of call. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
To begin with, it’s only fair to say that all things considered, our time with the P&O Azura on this 15 night Caribbean cruise was good. The crew, accommodation, facilities and entertainment were excellent. The restaurant food was ... Read More
To begin with, it’s only fair to say that all things considered, our time with the P&O Azura on this 15 night Caribbean cruise was good. The crew, accommodation, facilities and entertainment were excellent. The restaurant food was most agreeable, however, it took us four days to get the freedom dining that we wanted. Initially, we had been assigned a late sitting, fixed table with fellow diners that were at least 30 years older than us. No disrespect to these people, but we had nothing in common largely due to the age gap and conversation was very stilted. When assigning tables I think the restaurant team should try and aim to have similar aged people wherever possible. As the cruise developed, there were numerous problems and events which made it unforgettable for all the wrong reasons (prompting one passenger we overheard in the atrium to call this the ‘jinxed cruise’). For us, it all started with the transfer coach from Manchester to Southampton which was struck by a pheasant. Speeding along the motorway, the coach collided with the hapless bird which smashed the windscreen forcing the coach driver to halt the journey at a service station until a replacement coach could be organised. This meant that we arrived as the ship was almost about to sail. However, in the embarkation terminal, we found that owing to some sort of IT issue, we could not be processed and so had to wait for what seemed like an eternity until we eventually boarded Azura. Because we then had to attend the lifeboat safety drill, it meant that the first day was pretty much over. A few days later at Ponta Delgada (Azores), the ship developed a technical issue which meant that we couldn’t depart and so had to spend another day in this unexciting port. Mechanical issues happen with something as complex as a cruise ship and the captain did his best to expedite things and get us on our way. However, because we were so delayed it meant that we had to cruise as fast as possible in a constant attempt to catch up. Despite this, we were delayed in getting to our next port of call and so had less time there than expected. Later in the cruise, we were shocked when an announcement was made that there had been an accident ashore in Dominica and one of the passengers had been killed. There was a road traffic incident in which their sightseeing mini-van was involved in a collision. There were apparently several injured passengers along with the passenger fatality. The driver was also killed. This was really sad news and to be honest, it was worrying since it was reported that some of the busses used for trips had seatbelts that were less than ideal and witnesses said that seatbelts had mechanisms that was so badly rusted they couldn’t close. Again, something P&O need to investigate thoroughly. Later, there were other incidents such as a small ferry that began to sink with cruise passengers on board and needed to be rescued. On another occasion, our departure from one of the islands was delayed again as one of the boats on an organised trip had mechanical difficulties (something to do with the propeller being snagged by fishing line). Of course, the incidents described could not be attributable to P&O, however they did have knock on effects and it is hard not to feel that some episode or other was likely to befall us. Some of the passengers on board did seem to be out of place and they did bring the tone down somewhat. For example, a man was exceptionally drunk and caused trouble in one of the bars. Eventually, he was restrained and put into isolation (I guess in the ships brig). When he had sobered up a little, he was interviewed and promised to behave, accepting that he would not be allowed access to any more alcohol - if he could be allowed to enjoy the rest of his holiday. Later, he was spotted drunk again as apparently, a friend had procured for him a bottle of spirits. To round the holiday off, after returning to the ship from a very exciting submarine trip, we were dismayed to find our cabin had been flooded. We were not upset by the flooding (water was coming in from the cabin next to us), but the way in which we were treated. For example, our door was open (a definite security risk) and the whole room was in disarray with carpets being pulled up and our belongings strewn haphazardly all over the place. Additionally, there were two large hot air blowers running noisily. Further, the cabin heating had been set to full (in an attempt to dry the carpets) however, this made the atmosphere like a sauna and it made our hanging clothes damp. Cutting a long story short, it took several frustrating hours to eventually be offered an alternative cabin. We understand that issues can happen with plumbing, however, after writing to P&O, they accept that things did not go smoothly and lessons would be learned. We have cruised with P&O nine times now. Despite the many things that happened on this particular trip on Azura, the unfortunate events have to be balanced against the positives. One of the highlights for us were the genuine, lovely people we met (shout-outs to Jim, Phil, John and Christine!). For that reason, coupled with the hardworking ships company, we would cruise with P&O again in the future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I'm astonished that it appears that over half of Britannia's passengers appear to have endured an unpleasant experience. Either their standards are infinitely higher than mine (possible) or they are more sensitive to ... Read More
I'm astonished that it appears that over half of Britannia's passengers appear to have endured an unpleasant experience. Either their standards are infinitely higher than mine (possible) or they are more sensitive to disappointment (equally possible). I've seen the decor complained about - others found it pleasing. I've seen the food complained about - others enjoyed it. I've seen the entertainment complained about - others had only praise for it. I've seen the staff complained about - I had no complaints. Are there niggles - of course. There were times when a mid ship staircase would have been appreciated and I found the deck area pretty slippery at times but I'm fortunate to be able to walk and it's no bad thing to watch your step. I probably wouldn't chose A Deck under the overhang again but my husband wasn't bothered by it at all and we had shade to read in the warmth of the Caribbean. The ship never felt crowded, the library was excellent and the performers in the Theatre exceeded my expectations. The talks that I chose to attend were informative and the Ship's Tour was one of the highlights of the Cruise. I would strongly recommend it. I think it's desperately sad if people didn't enjoy their holiday. What I find frustrating is that many of the reviews are both positive and negative but when it comes to rating Britannia they rate on the negative. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Always wanted to go to the Caribbean, having sailed with P&O to the med on the Ventura we were looking forward to this trip, so myself and family (1 14 year old son, partner and father went) We sailed from Southampton, the crossing to ... Read More
Always wanted to go to the Caribbean, having sailed with P&O to the med on the Ventura we were looking forward to this trip, so myself and family (1 14 year old son, partner and father went) We sailed from Southampton, the crossing to Port Delgarda (Portugal) was very rough, it took 4 sailing days to get there. Porta Delgarda was a welcome piece of land! It still was not hot. I think people were expecting Caribbean temperatures in Portugal in late October, it was around 17 degrees. An unusual place. I rather liked it because it was different. It was very quiet with unusual large open spaces (squares) and a small waterfall/park. Not many shops, we went on an excursion at each port. This one was to see the fire lake mountains. It was very foggy but on a clear day I imagine breathtaking views! We sailed out in the evening another 5 days at sea! In my opinion it is perhaps better to fly to your destination then cruise around the Islands, as we found it too long at sea, and the prices on board the ship were too expensive. I would have hoped soft drinks for children were free, but no such luck, as 1 coke for a child cost £2.75. The bottled water was also very expensive £1.50 for a small bottle that I'm sure P&O could have made cheaper considering our supermarket prices. The entertainment was good on the whole and P&O tried to cater for every taste. There were a lot of quizzes to do throughout the day and an unusual graphologist Sandra Grayson who was worth seeing she analysed famous people's hand writing and held calligraphy classes. There was lots of ballroom dancing and other lessons. Games like table tennis, quoits and a gym with everything in it, free to use. I do wish they had a spray tanning facility on board as my tan faded and I don't tan easily by the time we reached the Caribbean I was white again! Plenty of shows to see in the evening. I met Jaki Graham the incredible singer from the 80's who sang hits like 'set me free & step right up' she was one of the nicest people I have met, full of love, and had a lot of time for you. Lovely lady. Sam Bailey was also singing. The food choices were FANTASTIC! couldn't fault, so much choice! You could eat at anytime, the buffet was excellent, many people complained it was like a local caff but it was free (included) so we weren't expecting fine dining restaurant atmosphere. The restaurants were excellent! We had set dining with an option of 2 times, 6.30pm or 8.30pm these were done to fit in with show time performances. freedom dining was also a choice Any type of food, all you can eat. WIFI was so expensive so we went without for 15 days. prices ranged from around £8 to £24 a day! Also be sure to tick the 'opt out' for automatic £11 a day tipping charge you will get if you don't want to pay that. We preferred to tip our cabin steward personally as he was fantastic called Denzil. Having reached the Caribbean at last it was well worth the wait! We saw a lot of the islands that were not as touristy, we went on trips each day to see the mountains, the jungle and saw how the locals live. It was shocking to see so many thin stray dogs and cats but we were told about this. Apart from the constant 'You buy!' from the locals trying to sell their local produce everywhere you went it was well worth seeing the landscape. Some breath taking scenery. Yes it was hot, but it's the Caribbean!! This is not their hot season either. It reached 40 degrees in Barbados in the direct sun! Dominica was our favourite island simply because it was more natural, ramshackle buildings, beautiful jungles, waterfalls and hot springs. Away from the beaten track. Many preferred St Maartens but we preferred Dominica. This is where they filmed part of Pirates of the Caribbean. Rum punch was served on every tour and sold everywhere, some nicer than others. try the guavaberry punch it was lovely. Most of the islands had too many jewellery shops, every street had dozens of them all claiming to sell the cheapest gold, emeralds etc! The prices were not cheap and the hackling was too much, we felt pressured even looking in the windows the staff harassed you from the minute they saw you. I think the locals think all we are interested in is expensive jewellery and alcohol. maybe many are, but it wasn't all about that for us. The beaches in Barbados were like paradise! Accra beach was beautiful, white sand and clear blue sea. I wish we had longer to spend there. I could go on and on, I just wish there were less days at sea and more time to explore the islands. So next time we will fly direct. All in all a memorable fantastic holiday though. I'm sure I've missed lots out but hopefully this gives a rough idea, again it depends what you want from the islands, everybody is different, but I'm sure there's something for everyone there if you search. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Cruise chosen as a way of seeing the Caribbean and enjoying lengthy times at sea. Ship is a fantastic ocean going vessel and rides it so well. That's where it ends. Very tired and plain looking even after a recent refit. the ... Read More
Cruise chosen as a way of seeing the Caribbean and enjoying lengthy times at sea. Ship is a fantastic ocean going vessel and rides it so well. That's where it ends. Very tired and plain looking even after a recent refit. the biggest disappointment was the food. You would never starve but boring, bland old peoples food. No taste, no flavour etc.. I suppose they are catering for the age of the traveller(79 on this cruise). Even Sindhu served a Rogan Josh that had rubbery beef and NO chilli. No heat at all. Similar in the Medina and buffet(school cafeteria). The beach house served overdone lobster and scallops(twice, so disappointing) especially paying for the privilege. Having sailed on Celebrity Solstice previously the food was a major letdown. Dont go if food taste is a requirement. Plenty of areas to hide away. Crows nest is good. Peroni draught in Champions cold and fair priced at 4.95 Pint. If your a big drinker take your own spirits on. Friends took 12 litres of Vodka on an and took it on deck in water bottles. Bought mixers for a pound and you have a cheap drink. The real secret is the glass house. Very underused. The wines and champers are better and same price or cheaper than the bars. The food here is exceptional and worth paying extra for. Cabin ok, windows dusty internally. Be careful on longer cruises as the ages go up and the disabled are everywhere. Wheelchairs, walkers etc so all lifts are slow. Use the stairs. It is a worry how many disabled are really quite mobile when fighting over chicken legs, port days etc.. P&O again. Not for us Read Less
Sail Date: January 2016
I could not believe that they tell us to book early for the best deals and it dropped £500 pound per person as well as it being very cold most of the way over the Atlantic and having being told when I was sat in the pool area late at ... Read More
I could not believe that they tell us to book early for the best deals and it dropped £500 pound per person as well as it being very cold most of the way over the Atlantic and having being told when I was sat in the pool area late at night that I would have to travel 2 floors up to get a calIipso coffee I could have any other alcoholic drink but not a coffee with alcohol so much for service on a cruise ship Shall think twice to tervel with this company again that's 2 in the last 12 months that have disserpointed me with p/o cruises I will be looking at Fred Olsen I have heared good things with them they will not con me out of £500 pounds per person and I am sure they will fall over backwards for there clients Watch this space for me booking else where. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
As a widow I find Braemar to be an exceptionally friendly ship for single people. I have made friends with people so easily and have always asked for a table of 6 or 8 in the Grampian dining room which is a good social mix. The cabins ... Read More
As a widow I find Braemar to be an exceptionally friendly ship for single people. I have made friends with people so easily and have always asked for a table of 6 or 8 in the Grampian dining room which is a good social mix. The cabins are small but the new ones mid section are better and have bigger wardrobes and more drawers. I certainly would not consider storage adequate for 2 people but for me it is fine. The ship is kept spotlessly clean and the crew are very helpful and friendly. Embarkation is incredible as once your cases are checked in at the UK airport, the next time you see them is outside your cabin door when on board. The same process applies for returning home as all luggage is placed in sealed containers to go straight to the plane and does not have to be "identified" as with so many cruise lines, particularly thinking of my USA experience with Celebrity and Princess! I have cruised with Celebrity, Princess and Cunard but none remotely come up to the satisfaction level of Fred Olsen as their ships are too big and single people cannot make friends so easily. The dance hosts are wonderful and it is such a treat to be able to enjoy the dancing with a partner. Having enjoyed 3 F.O. cruises so far, I have another Caribbean one booked for next January and will be hopefully cruising on the Boudicca in the Indian Ocean later next summer. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Returned on the 8th Feb from a 35 night cruise on P and O "Oceana" from the Caribbean , I wrote to the CEO of P and O some two and a half weeks ago by recorded delivery. Had absolutely no response. I e-mailed a contact there ... Read More
Returned on the 8th Feb from a 35 night cruise on P and O "Oceana" from the Caribbean , I wrote to the CEO of P and O some two and a half weeks ago by recorded delivery. Had absolutely no response. I e-mailed a contact there attaching a copy of the letter. I did get a reply saying that the e-mail and attached letter had been received. Another working week has passed and absolutely nothing has been heard since. Ship is a disgrace, Rusty and generally in poor condition. The evening food in Adriatic restaurant has deteriorated dreadfully. We complained, sent food back, asked to speak to the Chef, he didn't bother to respond. Green Beans were a standing joke. WAITERS were JUST GREAT even though they got the brunt of our complaints. Food in other areas was OK. Our cabin was comfortable but we had lots of trouble with the air conditioning and shower temperatures. 5 visits from Ventilation engineer to sort aircon and 3 to sort the shower, I have the work cards. They told me the ship was old and things were worn out! The balcony had a mysterious powder escaping from the damaged aluminium panels either side of the doors. ASBESTOS? P and O have seen the pictures I took. Water cascaded at times making it hit and miss whether we could actually use the balcony at all. Not raining at the time so it wasn't just that. Lots of other things NEEDED FIXING. Same trouble with the aircon in the evening venues. The Entertainment was hit and miss. One entertainer's luggage and Guitar was lost on the way to the ship. The NEW captain was informed about the problems but he didn't bother to even acknowledge my on board letter. All very disappointing. We've been cruising many times before and not had so many Issues. Nothing is ever perfect but surely it should be better than this. Come on P and O shake yourself up Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the ... Read More
The food in the Meridian Restaurant and the service was appalling as was the food in the Belvedere, as a result I have managed to lose 8 lb in weight not what you would expect to lose on a cruise. We did not experience the food in the specialised restaurants as this should not be necessary apart from a special occasion. It would seem that Kersh used these restaurants as the norm so should not really comment about the two main restaurants. The entertainment was a joke most evenings, the Headliners were very loud and their dance moves were the same each evening they appeared but to different music. The comedians were light relief and the Beatles tribute act was good also Garry Barlow. The shopping area resembled Primark (for those who have heard of this shop)and they were not flexible on their perfume prices. We loved the little shop which we named the 99p shop because it sold everything and the salesmen were very pleasant. Who wants to eat Christmas Day lunch at 6.45pm on Christmas Day I certainly don't and neither do I want turkey roll, 2 undercooked sprouts, hard carrots and a pastry parcel which who knows what it contained. I didn't endeavour to find out. Very, very disappointing. Oh and £75 to see the Captain on the bridge and the behind the scenes of the theatre, I don't think so. Best of luck to those cruisers who are on the Arcadia travelling round the world. We met some lovely passengers and to them I thank them so much. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We departed Southampton for sunnier climes on Saturday 19 December. Unfortunately P & O did not get the boarding right for priority pax and it was a complete shambles. They just hadn't taken account of the large number of ... Read More
We departed Southampton for sunnier climes on Saturday 19 December. Unfortunately P & O did not get the boarding right for priority pax and it was a complete shambles. They just hadn't taken account of the large number of suites on Arcadia as well as the larger than average number of Ligurian pax as it was a long Xmas cruise, and then the ship not being ready to board at the usual time. The priority area is quite small and probably only about 70 % of pax had a seat. Nowhere for wheelchair pax other than blocking the walkways. Apparently for all non priority pax. it worked perfectly fine. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on B deck at the aft of the ship. These cabins have huge balconies and fantastic views of the wake and the ports as we leave them. Even though the balconies are large only standard furniture of 2 chairs, 1 footstool and small square coffee table are provided. Plenty of room for 2 sun loungers. We got plenty of sun on the balcony and I had taken a padded beach mat so that I could lie down in the sun instead of searching for a sun bed on deck. We spent many wonderful afternoons doing nothing but read and soak up the sun. There was a 3/4 size bath with shower over, storage shelf under the sink and a small cabinet on the wall. Wardrobes were adequate with lots of shelf space but the only drawers are in the bedside cabinets which are very shallow. There is not a drawer in the dressing table and only a very small triangular cupboard. There was a sofa with 2 pull out drawers under it which was useful for shoes. Fridge and tea and coffee making facilities were provided with biscuits replaced twice a day by the Cabin Steward who will also provided a bucket of ice if required. Lemon was delivered by room service every morning after I had requested it once. The Arcadia has a fabulous Spa area which includes a Hydro pool, steam rooms, aromatherapy showers, sauna and heated tiled beds. We always book this for the entire cruise as soon as we board the ship. For this cruise of 23 nights it cost £280 per couple. We use it every day early morning and sometimes twice a day if we have had a busy port day. The first few sea days were very choppy but the weather improved after our first port of call Ponta Delgada and improved dramatically a couple of days before we reached the Caribbean. Arcadia coped well with the rough seas. Capt We departed Southampton for sunnier climes on Saturday 19 December. Unfortunately P & O did not get the boarding right for priority pax and it was a complete shambles. They just hadn't taken account of the large number of suites on Arcadia as well as the larger than average number of Ligurian pax as it was a long Xmas cruise, and then the ship not being ready to board at the usual time. The priority area is quite small and probably only about 70 % of pax had a seat. Nowhere for wheelchair pax other than blocking the walkways. Apparently for all non priority pax. it worked perfectly fine. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on B deck at the aft of the ship. These cabins have huge balconies and fantastic views of the wake and the ports as we leave them. Even though the balconies are large only standard furniture of 2 chairs, 1 footstool and small square coffee table are provided. Plenty of room for 2 sun loungers. We got plenty of sun on the balcony and I had taken a padded beach mat so that I could lie down in the sun instead of searching for a sun bed on deck. We spent many wonderful afternoons doing nothing but read and soak up the sun. There was a 3/4 size bath with shower over, storage shelf under the sink and a small cabinet on the wall. Wardrobes were adequate with lots of shelf space but the only drawers are in the bedside cabinets which are very shallow. There is not a drawer in the dressing table and only a very small triangular cupboard. There was a sofa with 2 pull out drawers under it which was useful for shoes. Fridge and tea and coffee making facilities were provided with biscuits replaced twice a day by the Cabin Steward who will also provided a bucket of ice if required. Lemon was delivered by room service every morning after I had requested it once. The Arcadia has a fabulous Spa area which includes a Hydro pool, steam rooms, aromatherapy showers, sauna and heated tiled beds. We always book this for the entire cruise as soon as we board the ship. For this cruise of 23 nights it cost £280 per couple. We use it every day early morning and sometimes twice a day if we have had a busy port day. The first few sea days were very choppy but the weather improved after our first port of call Ponta Delgada and improved dramatically a couple of days before we reached the Caribbean. Arcadia coped well with the rough seas. Captain Hashmi kept us well informed and made an announcement at noon everyday. Parts of the ship were beautifully decorated for Christmas with a small decoration provided outside every cabin and a small Poinsetta plant inside each cabin. Some areas were not decorated at all but the main walk ways and small atrium were very Christmasy. Lots of trees dotted around the ship all beautifully decorated. The entertainment was very mixed with much of it either not to our taste or we had seen the same shows and entertainers on previous cruises. The dance instructors on board were Geoffrey and Brenda who are regulars with P & O . We do not go to the lessons but they are very well attended and Geoffrey and Brenda are excellent hosts for the evening dance sessions. The group Shades played and sang for the majority of the balls and dance evenings. They kept excellent tempo for dancing to and this is how we spent most of our evenings. We saw two of the headliner shows, The Christmas Special and the Queen Tribute. Both were fantastic and one of the best Headliner troupes we have seen. However the entertainment staff were very thin on the ground and did not impress us at all. I think they had too much to do making it impossible to do anything well. We rarely saw the Entertainment Manager or his deputy, who spent their time in the office. This left four entertainment staff to cover the whole ship and over 2,000 passengers. The sail away parties were a virtual non event and this must have shown in the bar takings. Lots of errors in the Horizon newspaper and show times changed with little notice. One of these shows was The Beatles Experience which was the Headline act on the Cruise and on New Years Eve. Mysteriously the show time was changed to 7:30. We were dining at 8 pm so we could only watch half an hour of the show. The theatre was 3/4 empty as the change of time had only been put in the Horizon that day, 1 st sitting pax were in dinner, 2 nd sitting pax decided to vote with their feet not wanting to get ready for the evening so early. The later show was timed for when 1 st sitting pax came out of dinner. What we saw of the show was excellent but I felt sorry for the group performing in such a lovely theatre to so few passengers. No doubt the 2 nd show would have been full to bursting. The food in the Main Dining Room was probably the best we have been served on ship. The menus were extensive with lots of choice and were well presented and served hot as well as being perfectly cooked. We had pre booked a special low fat diet and this information had been passed onto the ship. The special diet waiter gave us the next evenings menu each night and took a note of our choices for lunch and dinner. I cannot comment on the buffet as I never used it except occasionally for afternoon tea if we were too late back on ship for lunch in the dining room. The Neptune grill had a small lunchtime menu but the queues were often long as everything was cooked fresh and the officers made good use of it. We dined in the Marco Pierre White Ocean Grill on Christmas Night at a supplement of £20 per person. This included a glass of champagne each. It was a special Christmas menu and was worth every penny. We dined there on 2 other occasions trying both menu A and B and the supplement was £12.95 each. The last occasion was to celebrate my birthday and my desert plate had been iced with Happy Birthday. A nice subtle touch. Both meals were expertly cooked, served and tasted delicious. On New Years Eve we decided to try Atul Kocher's Sindu restaurant. The supplement was £15 but was not a special NYE menu. It could have been any other night of the year. The food was fabulous but it just didn't have any atmosphere. Perhaps we were expecting too much. We had 7 ports of call, Ponta Delgada in the Azores, followed by 5 Caribbean Islands Antigua, Tortola, St Maarten, St Lucia and Barbados, then Madeira on the way back to Southampton. The weather was hot in all of the Caribbean ports with some rain showers early mornings. Antigua - I had booked a snorkeling trip through P & O which was excellent. We snorkelled over a reef followed by a stop at a local typical Caribbean beach. Rum punch and snacks included and a friendly crew. Tortola - we had heavy showers in the morning followed by a glorious afternoon. I had booked another snorkel trip but this time on a fast dive boat. Another excellent snorkeling day with two different sites. The last one was snorkeling in caves. St Maarten - we took the water ferry over to the town and spent the morning shopping and visiting various bars to sample the cocktails. One of the better sail away parties as Oasis of the seas was docked next to us. St Lucia - New Years Eve on the beach at Rodney Bay. The taxis are well organised and are mini vans which take around 10 passengers. The cost was 8 dollars per person each way. At the beach you are given a ticket with the name of your driver and your preferred departure time. It was a very picturesque beach but lots of vendors touting their wares. Once they got the message that we were there for the sun sea and sand to relax they left us alone. Two Sun beds and a parasol cost 25 US dollars and the code for the WI FI was 5 dollars. The signal was very strong and we managed to FaceTime our granddaughters from the beach. A lovely beach day with crystal clear turquoise water. The only downside was the lack of facilities. No water in the washrooms so the toilets were disgusting. The Captain 'saved' New Years Evening. We had departed St Lucia at 5:30 pm but he turned the ship around and sailed back towards the island. This not only put the aft deck sheltered from the wind but also gave the passengers a wonderful view of the New Year firework displays along the coast of St Lucia. The group on deck playing for the NYE party were truly dreadful. Captain Hashmi along with the eldest member of the crew and the youngest rang the bell at midnight and the pyrotechnics were set off. No streamers or party poppers as according to the Deputy Ents manager they were an environmental risk. We had a great evening with friends we had met on board. Barbados- we were in port with 5 other ships including the Britannia. We went to the Boatyard along with most of the crew and other pax from all the ships. It was heaving and we were lucky to get there early as sun beds and parasols soon ran out. By 11 am they had closed the gates and no further entries were permitted. The cost was 15 US dollars per person which included a sun bed and a shared parasol, along with a free cocktail or soft drink. There was free Wi Fi but it was running so slow that we didn't use it after the first few minutes. The beach is soft and sandy and the water clear. It was extremely noisy and in future we will go back to our usual haunt the Tiki bar on Accra beach. It is a little further in the taxi and is quite lively but not nearly as noisy as the boatyard. A steel band came on the ship to play for the sailaway from our final port. Once again it was very poorly attended as there had been no notification that they were coming on board. Such a shame as they were very talented and a lovely goodbye to the Caribbean Islands. 5 lazy sunny sea days followed before we reached Madeira which was overcast but quite warm. P & O were charging saver fare £4 each way per person for the shuttle out of the port area which dropped us on the main road close to the town. We have visited Madeira many times so we just wandered around the town getting back our land legs and bought some cabin supplies from the local supermarket before finding a taxi to take us back to the ship. The taxi only cost 10 euros including a tip so less expensive than the shuttle bus. The sea became choppy again and the Captain informed everyone that he was going to increase the speed to try to outrun the storm before we reached the notorious Bay of Biscay. He was successful and the BOB was relatively calm for the time of year. Disembarkation was as shambolic as embarkation had been and P & O need to learn to manage passengers expectations better. As priority pax we were not given a designated lounge to wait in. We were told to proceed to the gangway at 8:45 for direct access. This we did along with the other 200 or so other priority pax but the cases were not all off the ship. Up to 8:45 regular announcements had been made that disembarkation was running to plan. After 8:45 silence. No further announcements. We were just left standing in the passage ways and stairwells until finally at close to 9:30 am we were allowed to leave the ship. We had a fabulous cruise with a few minor niggles but nothing that hindered our enjoyment of both the ship and the ports of call. Luckily we don't need entertaining as anyone on board for the entertainment must have been very disappointed. Arcadia seems to attract the moaners and this cruise was no exception but I find them quite easy to avoid. The most memorable moan was whilst waiting for the Headliners show to start. An elderly gentleman in the row behind stated that he already knew he wasn't going to enjoy the show as he couldn't 'stand' Queen music. Everyone sat near us who had heard him dissolved into laughter. Arcadia is our favourite ship of the fleet but I do hope that for our next cruise on her in September that the entertainment team have been sorted out. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our cabin was allocated I would advice anyone that wants a lay in to avoid all cabins on any floor in this location as it had a metal strip on the floor in the corridor so every time room service went passed with breakfast everything ... Read More
Our cabin was allocated I would advice anyone that wants a lay in to avoid all cabins on any floor in this location as it had a metal strip on the floor in the corridor so every time room service went passed with breakfast everything rattled , it was also opposite the laundry shoot. On the whole we enjoyed the ship, lots of activities which was good as we had 16 sailing days. Ship well laid out, no problems finding quiet corners to sit and read, fantastic library which kept my husband busy so I could go off and do my own thing. So why have I only rated it as good. Service in cafe carinthia slow or non existent and in the main dining room they pushed us through so quickly that one night we had finished all three courses in less then an hour, not a relaxing atmosphere. Quality of meat poor especially the beef when I ask where it came from was told it was New Zealand. The best bit was that we did an unscheduled stop at Terceira in the Azores as we couldn't get to Horta. This island should be a regular stop, unspoilt , with lovely people we were all made to feel so welcome Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Hopes were high as Britannia is new and advertised as the flagship of the fleet. The outside decks have been really well designed and was impressed. The inside areas are neutral in colour so much so it appears very dark. The staff were ... Read More
Hopes were high as Britannia is new and advertised as the flagship of the fleet. The outside decks have been really well designed and was impressed. The inside areas are neutral in colour so much so it appears very dark. The staff were always pleasant,friendly and helpful especially my cabin steward.the lifts were nightmare far too small for the amount of people on board. Heard many complaints especially from wheelchair users who had no other option getting from one deck to another. The food on the whole was good. The entertainment was just ok. On the whole the inside of the ship appeared to be clean enough but the outer decks are disgusting and in need of a really good clean. In the morning the tables were still cluttered and dirty from the previous night and remained that way all day. The service on the outer decks was awful. On more than one occasion gave up waiting to be served!!! This was my first time with p and o and was so disappointed that it will probably be my last. Would not recommend this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
P&O staff lost 2 luggage cases from PO coach to ship, found by us later that night by luck outside the wrong cabin door midship after normal concerns associated. Party of 4. × 2 couples alocated cabins 200yds apart, and 3 decks ... Read More
P&O staff lost 2 luggage cases from PO coach to ship, found by us later that night by luck outside the wrong cabin door midship after normal concerns associated. Party of 4. × 2 couples alocated cabins 200yds apart, and 3 decks apart. Changed coach times the week before departure making expense of overnight hotel stay unessasary. Changed visit to Maderia to Teneriffe in last week before departure, we booked with interest in Maderia wasted time in Teneriffe as far as we where concerned. Long delays on boarding air lift faulty we were informed, still? Saw that fault on earlier cruise critics. Lifts and stairs poorly placed. Agree with other cruisers reports giving details of the hopeless design on these that would need a rebuild to rectify. Wheel chair and none stair climbers be advised accordingly. Lifts dont go to all decks, so get on 16 to go to 4 , go down to 6 get off go down a deck by stairs then get back on at 5 to go down to 4 or somthing like that, after 2 weeks passengers were still confused as to where the lifts went to and from, nonsense design. Electictic sockets in cabins not size for UK 2 pin plugs. (Shavers, tooth brush ect) Balcony cant look out to sea from chairs, too narrow, dirt and sludge around floor never cleaned in 16 days. Tea and coffee. Only available in room or 16th floor, OR £2.50 a small cup in the cafe/bars. No snack bars (included in cost) other than on 16 deck, other cafes or snacks at extra cost on the lower decks. Cant see from front of ship, reserved for special guests only. Deck 16 Buffet food for lunch 40% Indian based curry ect.staff: too many only can say yes even if it means no, or no understand, so it is a grab and go, taste it and see, system. Seemed a shortage of spoons so needed fork to stir tea. Breakfast fruit juices in the machines, good quality excellent .However, at lunch "water only sir" Seems a bit penny pinching there, (not so on other cruise lines). Restaurant food average to good, some days very good some days just ok, not up to P & O cruise hype though. Restaurant , first night staff poor, swopped restaurants as we had freestyle dining, and the waiters and their service was first class every night. None all inclusive meals in 4 or 5 restaurants £28 a head surcharge quoted upon enquiry. Much too crowded on lido dec. As we were heading for the Carribean, everyone wanted somewhere to sit..no chance, although it seems we british need loungers for our bags rather than our backsides. Although P&O should be following their own procedure/policy and remove any towels from loungers, if it is obvious they are not being used. They do on other ships. Headliners theatre, not enough seats ....and that is why people get there 30+mins before show. Simple figures prove it :theatre holds 900 × 3 shows = 2,700. Persons can see the show a night OK? But the ship carries 3,600 to 4,300 passengers, (call in 4000) that means 1,300 persons cant get in any night on average cruises. So thats why they get in earlier and earlier to avoid being one of the 1,300 Paying and checking your account, only by standing in line at desk, no TV / facility is this not the latest ship no interactive account facilities to at least see charges. Why big queues on check out days? Overheard at lot of mistakes to charges on accounts being rectfied, yes we had a charge of £10 put on that should have been £1.90 all niggles. But do all cruisers check their accounts, hmm, i wonder? Tv , only sky news and bbc world news, +films, latest films you have guessed chargeable. Shops of little interest to none handbag buyers, othrwise normal watch, polo and trinkets, but did not expect much anyway as regards shopping experiences. Brodies bar for evening quiz, people left theatre 5 mins before the lights went up to get a seat in the bar, much against the P&O safety warnings, so we never got a seat in Broddies in 15 nights of cruising as we complied with the rules and for respect to the artists who had entertained us. Finally dock at Barbados for a 2 days stay, on arrival at 10:00 they came and varnished the rails and table on the balcony, which in the 30 degree heat takes 2 days to be touch dry, so balcony was of no use there after, BUT it still did not get cleaned of the sludge around the sliding door rails and floor, (not the varnishers job you see neither for him to report it either) As said in other reviews, all the pomp when launched gave much expectation, but reality it looks like a shopping mall. Great shame. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Cruised from Southampton via Azores to Carribbean and Madeira. The Arcadia was fabulous and the staff in bars and restaurant superb,friendly and couldnt do enough for you. James,Philip and Amruta,Lenson,Sunjay. Had cabin d25 but ... Read More
Cruised from Southampton via Azores to Carribbean and Madeira. The Arcadia was fabulous and the staff in bars and restaurant superb,friendly and couldnt do enough for you. James,Philip and Amruta,Lenson,Sunjay. Had cabin d25 but there was a backdraft and it smelled of wee and pooh. Bathroom could of been bleached. The daytime activities need updating as yoga,waltzing,poetry,painting was the same day after and repetative. Need new activities for 40 -60 years old as we all dont have one foot in the grave. Activities for 70-80 year olds. Boring. The food was superb and good in all venues. However in meridian your food is plated and served where a few years ago with p n o was given a bare plate and served all veg etc. Standards have slipped or is it cutback or penny pinching. Had to ask my cabin guy for shampoo or whatever we were low on before getting the product. 15 mins to clean and hoover cabin not enough. Also pillows smelt of sweaty heads. Will take my own in future. Launderette superb and free on d deck d64. A band called sunshine were superb. Some acts as saxophonists,victor michael and beatles experience brilliant. Shows last 45 mins in evenings in palladium. Again major overhall needed. Cabins need overhall aa dated and bathroom need the smell of bleach. Captains lane and Hashmi superb and knowledgeable. Did not use fitness but spa expensive. Used room service and Erdan was superb. On time and couldnt do enough. Antigua shore trip and barbados bus superb. Redduit beach good but when you get there they torture you. Just a firm no sorts them out. Disapointed with cane garden bay as too rough to go in sea. Need to do away with lardy da was 5* the boat isnt. 3* at best. After 6pm unless u got long trousers u cannot get a drink in shorts. Good cruise but all activities need an overhall. Staff mentioned were superb. Need to be made aware of your allowances from day one in the horizon newspaper. Great getting on no probs but getting off long wait after an hour late disembarking from designated area of meridian. Never seen so many wheelchairs,crutches and benidorm buggies on a liner. Average age was 70-80. Film cocoon came to mind or floating care home. Watch the air con as you get a cough know as arcadia cough after few days. Want to cruise a better holiday and possibly do p & o again but there must be better lines and ships available. Read Less

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