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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal ... Read More
This was my fourth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2, but the first during the summer season. This was not the most memorable Overall: The weather was excellent for this transatlantic crossing, very sunny and minimal sea state. The ship was rather quiet during this crossing, during the day and during the evenings. The day time program wasn't particularly exciting or eventful and the passengers didn't seem to want to stay up too late in the evenings, even during formal nights. By midnight, the ship was very quiet and the bars even started to close. This was not a "party" sail like my usual pre-Christmas crossing. Cruise critic organized an informal meet and greet on the second day of the voyage. It was well attended and it let me meet the people in the forums. I enjoy transatlantic crossings a lot and despite some negative comments here, it is almost certain that there will be a fifth transatlantic crossing on board Queen Mary 2 in my future. Ship: The Queen Mary 2 is a special ship and I've always enjoyed her design and layout. While there are some quirks and oddities about her design (i.e. Decks 2/3 between A and B stairwells and getting the Queen's Room and G32), she is beautiful ship in the art deco style. One never feels crowded on board the ship. The Carinthia Lounge remains the area to avoid on the ship (it has a very retirement home feeling). The ship is showing some wear and age, but overall maintenance is still very good. Cabin: I had an obstructed view cabin, but it was a good cabin, possibly the best obstructed view cabin because it was behind a small boat rather than a full sized lifeboat. Dining: Britannia Restaurant. The food in the Britannia Restaurant for this crossing was average, not as great as it had been in the past. It was still very good but didn't feel as special as previous crossings. Presentation remains excellent, but the menu wasn't that exciting. The desserts were also rather plain this crossing. King's Court. Always busy, especially at lunch. Finding a table next to a window is nearly impossible and the food is average, but consistent. Golden Lion Pub. The pub lunch is always a good choice when the menu at the Britannia restaurant doesn't appeal to me. It serves traditional pub classic dishes such as fish and chips, or chicken tikka masala. Room Service. It was decent. I usually get room service breakfast. The food/coffee/tea is never piping hot, but that's expected given that its being delivered and the galley is rather far away. Entertainment: Evening shows: Cunard has never been known for their evening entertainment, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular. The singing and dancing of the Royal Court Theatre Singers and Dancers was what I expected. Though other passenger's descriptions were harsher ("a high school production"). Lecturers: The selection of lecturers for this crossing was not the greatest. None of the lecturers really interested me and the comments from the other passengers were mostly negative as well. Planetarium: It's always nice to be able to attend the planetarium shows, but the show is always the same "stars above the north Atlantic." Service: The bartending staff remains excellent, my favourite bartender was on board and I have sailed with her for all of my voyages. My steward wasn't the greatest this year, but was still decent. The sommelier assigned to our table wasn't very good, rather than recommending me wines, he would just give me to the wine list and have me select the wine. I noticed there were a lot of trainees on board, so service was a bit slow. Shopping: Souvenirs remain a weakness of Cunard. The souvenirs are either overpriced and tacky or just overpriced. It would be nice if Cunard could get some decent and reasonably priced souvenirs. Their selection has improved over the years, but still has a lot of room for improvement. Embarkation: Very smooth this year, no queues, the fastest embarkation in Southampton I've ever had. But I found out that this was the case because there were a lot of people already on board who did not embark in Southampton. Disembarkation: Disembarking in Brooklyn is always frustrating. There was about an hour's delay from when I was scheduled to disembark to when I actually got off the ship. Then the queues to get through US Customs was a nightmare. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
U.K. Cruise – Queen Victoria – August 2019 Pre cruise in London We stayed at the Holiday Inn Kensington High Street. The staff was wonderful and the location was perfect -BUT- the rooms were tiny tiny tiny! We did not have room ... Read More
U.K. Cruise – Queen Victoria – August 2019 Pre cruise in London We stayed at the Holiday Inn Kensington High Street. The staff was wonderful and the location was perfect -BUT- the rooms were tiny tiny tiny! We did not have room for our luggage. We got them to move us in what turned out to be a handicapped room which was adequate. The breakfast was included and was wonderful. We took the Original Tour, hop on hop off bus and had a great one-day tour of London (which was extremely busy!) We did not get on the included river cruise because it was just too busy. We had lunch in Leicester Square which was great (Belle Italia) Cunard transfer to Southampton We took an Uber from Kensington to Victoria Coach Station (15 pounds) and were bused to the port. Boarding was a breeze because we arrived at about 2:30 and most had boarded already. We went straight to our room and one of our bags beat us there! Amazing. The other arrived shortly after we did and we were able to unpack and get ready for muster drill. The ship Queen Victoria is what I would call understated compared to other ships we have been on. Classy but not flashy. The pools are very small and there are almost no loungers that are in a covered area. This was not too much of an issue for this trip as it was cool, but would be an issue on warm weather trips. We used the Chart room bar for pre-dinner drinks. It was fine. The dining room is standard design, nothing special. The theater was the best we have seen on any ship. We were able to sit in a private box for every show! We generally did not have dessert or coffee with dinner (6 p.m.) so we were able to arrive at the theater early and get the private box. Our cabin was a standard balcony cabin. Very small but adequate shower. Lots of storage space. (more than our hotel room in London!) Service on the ship was, with some exceptions, quite cold and impersonal. Most “good mornings” sounded like an obligation rather than a true greeting. The bartender in the chart room was great. The waiters were below average the room steward was just adequate. We expected for the price we paid to get super service…..we didn’t. Food Dining room was good but they had no items that were available every day (needed!) Some menus just did not have anything that we really wanted. Good food, again. Not outstanding. The Lido buffet was quite good. They had a good variety that changed every day. I think it was one of the best buffets we have seen. We did not see a grill facility although there may have been one. Theater and Entertainment Most of the shows were very good. The ships singers and dancers were hit and miss (as usual). We went to the show most every night. There was lots of dancing in the Queens Ballroom (which is gorgeous) but we did not partake except for the last evening. Ports Newcastle – we did not go on tour. We just went to the adjacent shopping mall (free shuttle) Edinburgh – After the tender in Newhaven we took a bus to the town center and met with previous cruise friends who live close by. We did a Hop on Hop of bus first, then we climbed the Scott Monument to get great views of the city (and the Queen Victoria at anchor). WE had a pub lunch and coffee at the Dome. A great day in a great town. Invergorden – We stayed in the small town and walked about. We had a complimentary tea and biscuit at the church and bought some souvenirs. Greenock – We decide not to go to Glasgow and instead stay in Greenock. The Inverclyde Tourist Group provided us with a free bus tour of the area which was very enjoyable. We saw the town hall and a local church as well as magnificent views of the whole area from high in the hills. Belfast – We booked Allen tours to take us around Northern Ireland. We saw the “troubles” area (which seem to continue!) then we went to The Dark Hedges, Bushmills, and the Giants Causeway and were back on the ship in time for our 6 p.m. dinner. Allen’s tours were efficient and friendly and 1/3 they cost of the ship’s tours. Liverpool – again. Cruise friends met us at the pier and took us up to Lancashire for the day. We got to meet their family in Burnley (and visit Smackwater Jack’s!) We had a nice British lunch and then got a brief tour of Turf Moor where the Premier League Burnley Clarets play. We toured an old mansion and got to see some Narrowboats at the Barrowford Locks. They took us to the Preston Train station and we rode the train back to Liverpool Lime Street station where we walked back to the ship. Saint Peter Port Guernsey – This was a great stop as the weather got nice and warm! We tendered into the town and walked about looking at the shops. The town and the island are beautiful. Southampton – We had a Cunard transfer to Victoria Coach Station Post cruise in London We stayed at the Park Plaza Victoria. The rooms were very nice and the breakfast the next morning was Full English. We went the Victoria Palace Theatre to see “Hamilton” that evening. The show was magnificent but the seats in the grand circle were too small for even a small human being! I am glad the show was so good because my wife and I were uncomfortable the entire time. WE booked a car to take us to Heathrow for the trip back to Canada Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This was our 3 rd cruise aboard a Cunard ship. Booking was made through Cunard/Hamburg. Service here is in need of getting used to it. Very impersonal for the class we booked. A mere call center processing. Never beforehave I ... Read More
This was our 3 rd cruise aboard a Cunard ship. Booking was made through Cunard/Hamburg. Service here is in need of getting used to it. Very impersonal for the class we booked. A mere call center processing. Never beforehave I received such poor service in this section. We were even forced to print out our own luggage tags. I am willing to spend the money - but I am not willing to accept the lousy Cunard travel agency service. ( asserted Service ??? ) Also I am fed up with wasting my time on the phone trying to get connected for what they call service. Cheap Internet attitude. I was very disappointed and upset. Cunard Southampton did not even bother answering my letter regarding this issue. The service in the Queens Grill was very good again. Very attentive. Quality of food and beverage also very good. The whole atmosphere in the restaurant is inviting. The sameapplies for the Afternoon Tea Service. Laundry service also very good. Excursion service aboard the ship also lacks an attitude. Personally I do not like guided tours. Take a taxi instead and speak to the locals. Shops here are not very inviting. Variety very small. Many items are of very poor quality -sold at premium prices. After returning to Southampton again we were invited to a Windsor tour. Here we have to emphasize the very good support given by the bus driver and our tour guide. Thank you Port service was fast and effective. Most members ofthe staff are well trained. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Having cruised with Princess previously due to work commitments and a desire to cruise the Baltic we chose Cunard. Booked through Igloo cruises and will do so again, very helpful and good deal. Paid over 6 months with all trips included. ... Read More
Having cruised with Princess previously due to work commitments and a desire to cruise the Baltic we chose Cunard. Booked through Igloo cruises and will do so again, very helpful and good deal. Paid over 6 months with all trips included. Booked a balcony room and table for two in the main restaurant. So far so good. Embarkation was smooth and swift, staff helpful and friendly - We scored big time with the cabin. Due to the lines of the ship we had a balcony on the curve of the ships side giving us an extra third floor space of both the room and the balcony !! result. We didn't get our choice of dining table, but were aware that it was subject to availability so no big deal. We ate in the buffet at sea, and the dining room alongside. Best of both worlds.. Grub was of the standard expected. As i'm sure most passengers do, we smuggled a tot or 7 on board ! Just as well the bar prices were eye watering !! I'm used to cruise ship prices and the 15% but Cunard you are taking the micky................... Entertainment was brilliant, sorry cant remember their names but both piano playing comedians................Brilliantly funny. Also speakers on military music and astronomy equally as enthralling. The critic who mentioned the zimmer frame is an idiot. Haven't mentioned the ship itself - Dated, Rusty and in places dirty. Bit like the passengers. Would I sail again with Cunard ? Only if Princess weren't going were I wanted to go. Both my wife and I agreed the staff were a bit aloof - Just Saying !! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We are regular Cunard cruisers and found our Baltic cruise over the last couple of weeks disappointing. Cabin standards and food up to scratch but the entertainment programme left something to be desired. No sign of a Cunard singers ... Read More
We are regular Cunard cruisers and found our Baltic cruise over the last couple of weeks disappointing. Cabin standards and food up to scratch but the entertainment programme left something to be desired. No sign of a Cunard singers & dancers show in the first week and only two shows in the second. We were told the company only boarded with us at Southampton and had to rehearse in the theatre. Sadly their first show looked like they were still rehearsing and some of they costumes looked cheap. Second show was much improved. We didn't appreciate the use of individual artists twice. If you didn't like them the first time you missed another night when they were put on a second time! The speakers programme was also thin, we'd seen a couple of them last year on previous cruises, one speaker had 5 slots in two weeks and on a couple of sea day there wasn't much to choose from. We found ourselves wandering around looking for things to do, which we've never had before. We were also disappointed in the change of the Verandah restaurant to a steakhouse. Although the steaks were fabulous, the sense of a special occasion was lacking without all the additional touches such as 'amuse bouche' between courses and dramatic serving glasses. It also felt that several of the waiting staff were also finding their feet. Hopefully just a blip but can't help feeling costs and corners are being cut. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Into each life some rain must fall and in my case it came in the form of a bucketful delivered on Day 12 of the cruise. But before sharing the details, let me say that cruises don’t get much better than this: the best European itinerary ... Read More
Into each life some rain must fall and in my case it came in the form of a bucketful delivered on Day 12 of the cruise. But before sharing the details, let me say that cruises don’t get much better than this: the best European itinerary enjoyed from the luxury and comfort of Cunard Queen Elizabeth. My first sea cruise was to the Baltic and it remains a favourite. Every port offers such tantalising glimpses into the history of northern Europe and however many times you return, there is always something new to discover. If you’ve yet to do a Baltic cruise, I urge you to book one. In Stockholm the beauty of Gamla Stan (the old town) contrasts with the grandness of Royal palaces, in Copenhagen Christiansborg Palace offers rich history whilst the Abba museum offers history of a different sort – not just the chance to thank Abba for the music but also to join in with their songs. St Petersburg, rightly known as the Venice of the North with its network of canals and bridges, provides access to the largest art collections in the world – it would take a lifetime to view every exhibit in the Hermitage – whilst the views from a river cruise bring to life the chronology of the 1917 Russian revolution and the fall of the Tsarist monarchy. Then there is Helsinki, its stern beauty underlining for me by grey skies and early morning rain. Very different is sunny Warnemünde, a pretty seaside town of tree-lined streets and colourful window boxes. Expressionist painter Edvard Munch lived here but for most visitors the main attraction is the friendly cafés and bars along the Alter Strom canal, a five-minute walk from the berth. After days ashore there is much to do on board Queen Elizabeth. On sea days guest speakers cover a range of topics. Lt Colonel Graham Jones, music director for different regimental bands including the Coldstream Guards, attracted good audiences. He was a natural speaker and his stories about rehearsing for great state occasions such as the Trooping of the Colour were witty and laced with stirring musical pieces. The Clarendon Fine Art gallery on Deck 3 was a popular destination, with a varied range of original art work exhibited. Consultants David and Rachel shared their enthusiasm and made sure there was always something new to see. Towards the end of the cruise contemporary wildlife artist Colin Banks came on board to give a painting demonstration; his creation of a lion’s face was awesome and we peppered him with questions as he worked. Elsewhere on other decks there were ice carving displays, wine tastings, quizzes, bridge classes, croquet, the lot – and because the weather was so warm and sunny, plenty of time to relax on the sun decks as well. With my interest in painting I found the art classes led by Penny Wilton good fun. During the cruise she taught us different techniques and we completed pictures inspired by the ports we visited, like the Little Mermaid of Copenhagen and the lighthouse at Warnemünde. Each evening the Royal Court theatre was packed. John Martin, a Liverpudlian comic delivered two shows of non-stop jokes and anecdotes. His style reminded me of Ken Dodd in his heyday and so it came as no surprise to learn that John not only sold jokes to the King of Knotty Ash but was also a pallbearer at his funeral. On three evenings the Royal Court Theatre Company presented shows of music and dance with great energy. This was their first contract and they performed brilliantly together, ably supported by the ship’s orchestra. Less impressive for me was the Royal Arcade of shops. Yes, the range of goods is now more extensive and includes top-end brands such as Dunhill, Rolex and Montblanc, but I expect a sales team to have some knowledge about their products. With a generous amount of onboard credit to spend I found myself looking at a Montblanc pencil with a price tag high enough to make my eyes water. How disappointing to find that the sales assistant was unable to explain its features! Better by far was the team who came on board to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for Russian lacquered boxes. Service across the ship was memorable for all the right reasons . . . Ranji in Security for his cheerful welcome whenever returning after a day ashore, Ash in Mareel Spa for a great haircut mixed with good conversation (prices can sometimes be discounted on port days) and Gilda, my cabin steward, for ensuring my home on Deck 2 was maintained perfectly. In the Britannia restaurant, waiters Cleford and Angelo made every dinner special with their friendly manner and insights into the different menu choices. The quality of the food was first class and hot courses arrived at the table piping hot. The beef Wellington was moist and tender and a grilled turbot fillet I had on another evening was packed with flavour. A highlight every day was afternoon tea at 3.30. In the elegant Queens Room, white-gloved waiters serve finger sandwiches, cakes and scones and it is best to arrive early to avoid queuing. I loved the atmosphere but just as good, if not better, was the self-service tea in the Lido on Deck 9. Trays of warm scones are temptation enough but piled high next to them are tubs of clotted cream. Yes, an entire tub to yourself! What a good job I managed to visit the gym most days! But what happened on Day 12? Well, those gorgeous teatime tubs vanished to be replaced with whipped cream! Cunard’s commitment to reducing the use of plastics means that tubs are no longer acceptable. However, all is not lost. I was assured that clotted cream will continue to be served – not in tubs but as individual servings. What a relief - the world is saved, and so is my favourite Cornish cream. 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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My husband and I have completed several cruises over the past ten years. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we decided to visit the Baltics. This was actually a 14 night cruise and we enjoyed every minute. The cruise ship is ... Read More
My husband and I have completed several cruises over the past ten years. To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we decided to visit the Baltics. This was actually a 14 night cruise and we enjoyed every minute. The cruise ship is spotlessly clean and very comfortable. The service is exceptional. The very vast majority of staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Food in the Brittania restaurant was delicious. We did eat in the Lido some evenings and that was good, although not quite as good! We were incredibly lucky with the weather on this voyage which certainly helps. That said, the ports of call in Denmark, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany were all wonderful. Our cabin was on Deck 8 Aft. We like the location near to the Aft stairwell and we would choose this location and deck again. Our cabin was comfortable and our steward was always happy to help us. Entertainment on this cruise wasn't quite as good as we have known it to be before but that might be down to personal taste. We enjoyed the shows and musicians.Guest speakers were interesting and the Celebrity Speaker, John Peters, was completely inspiring. There is so much to love about cruising with Cunard. We'll be back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, ... Read More
Just wanted to experience a (mini)cruise to see what it would be like and if it would suit us (myself and my wife) for a future trip. We found the Queen Elizabeth a great fun experience! The meals were excellent quality, not oversized, and appeared to be nutritious (ie not rubbish American style food - fruit and veggies were included). We travel (sometimes up to 3 months per year) and eat out a lot and to us the service was excellent. The only other cruise we have done is a Ponant Antarctica cruise with 200 passengers and I found it interesting/amazing that it didn’t appear to be to different (ie. overcrowded) on this ship with 2000 passengers. The entertainment varied from having some excellent musicians (ex Moody Blues, Cliff Richard backing band members, etc ( they were great!) to having terrible dancer/Caberet acts (same as on the Ponant cruise!) but that’s just our preferences. The ship couldn’t stop at Guernsey because it was to rough to disembark passengers (disappointing) but they went to LeHavre instead and we went to HonFleur nearby which was lovely. For us we did conclude that touring by cruise ship was probably not for us as you could not get to really know a place you visited (like we would want to) because of lack of time but as a self contained experience a mini cruise was a fun experience and we would be happy doing a transatlantic crossing on one of these Cunard ships which is what we tried to do in the first place but we couldn’t fit it into our timetable. We would recommend a mini cruise as a fun experience. Whether you would want to tour on cruise ship (ie use a cruise to visit different places) depends on how you want to travel. We had fun on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets ... Read More
I’ll keep this short as I find I stop reading if people write to much. In bullet point fashion. Embarkation: great Cabin steward: absolutely marvellous and they always are. Ship: a bit tired looking, could do with new carpets and paint etc. Staff: reception: awful. If a smile is all your after, that’s all you will get. They really are dreadful. Waiting staff: at breakfast they are miserable and slow even though we were all extremely polite and patient. The evening the attitude is slightly better. Other guests: Rude, arrogant and miserable. Honestly why come on holiday if your going to be like that. I’ve found this to be true on Victoria as well. I think this contributes to the mood of the staff. Food: very good. Kids club: great Pools: dirty (all of them) I went in with my son wearing goggles and wished I hadn’t! Perhaps I’ve gone on too much but really I don’t expect anything to change and if Your only interest is to tell people you’ve been on Cunard you’ll probably continue to put up with it. Holland America beats them hands down (I’m English btw). Enough droning as I’ve definitely gone on too long. Happy cruising Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Second time on QM2 & first since a supposed re-furbishment. As always Cunard smugly bang on about their heritage with artefacts & pictures everywhere yet overall the Cunard experience whilst generally very good it's not ... Read More
Second time on QM2 & first since a supposed re-furbishment. As always Cunard smugly bang on about their heritage with artefacts & pictures everywhere yet overall the Cunard experience whilst generally very good it's not 'that' special. Cabin immaculate except that the wooden ornamental balcony railing had come adrift from its metal frame. As to be expected public areas including lounge & bar areas immaculate & rather grand - with one exception ( see later ). Britannia dining room staff utterly charming & food was fine but evening meals taken to the accompaniment of frequent screeching of babies or hyper-active infants not Cunard's fault of course, but why take babies on a cruise it's not a floating creche? The self-service café or Kings Court or whatever still has all the ambience of a 1960's Wimpy bar with many seats in a sort of corridor or in bay windows that have some sort of blue tint on them - weird. The Kings Grille always empty & on the sole occasion I ventured there to get a cheese burger it was tasteless (the burger that is). McDonalds could teach Cunard a thing or two. Food from the café was never ever hot enough, so much so I played safe & stuck to cold meats etc. Given that class division is so obvious on the ship I doubt whether those in Princess or Queens Grille class would ever risk soiling their Gucci loafers in such a place. A certain aspect of the posh Commodore/commode Club was a disgrace. In several places the wood edging to the window apertures had split, come adrift & hanging loose. The inside of the toilet door adjacent to the library was covered in rust. It seems the QM2 is long overdue for it's next mild re-furb. Theatre entertainment was obviously on a low budget e.g. a shrieking girl singer & a so so conjuror/comedian - all a bit village hall I fear. BUT...a guitar concert was a joy as was a talk in the picture gallery. Good selection of day time activities too. Places visited were second time around so need to be ripped-off by over-priced excursions. Took lots of my own photographs including a photograph of a photograph taken with the captain - $35 for one print ! - no way Cunard. However enough good points to be looking forward to next booked Cunard cruise but NOT on QM2. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Tried this same cruise last year but bas weather cut the itinerary so decided to try again. Weather this time was sunny in all ports, scenery was spectacular. Yes there was a force 9 gale on the final day but on this ship you would hardly ... Read More
Tried this same cruise last year but bas weather cut the itinerary so decided to try again. Weather this time was sunny in all ports, scenery was spectacular. Yes there was a force 9 gale on the final day but on this ship you would hardly have noticed it. Being a transatlantic liner there was hardly any movement so if you are concerned about sea sickness this is the ship to try. The cabin being an atrium view was small but comfortable. The crew were friendly and efficient. The international mix of passengers resulted in some interesting conversations. Yes the drink is expensive but the food was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for the waiting staff. The feeling of space on this ship is amazing. When is the last time you went up on deck on a sunny day and found less than a dozen loungers in use? Yes this ship is in some respects traditional but on the other hand it manages to strike a good balance between tradition and a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Being a 150,000 ton ship with only 2600 passengers there were very few queues, with the possible exception of afternoon tea. We didn't have to wait more than 20 seconds for a lift throughout the voyage. Ports of call were really interesting and all arrivals and departures were on time. Best cruise we have ever had. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our second time on Queen Mary 2. First trip was transatlantic a decade ago. The ship looks still to be in great shape. The food in Britannia was uniformly excellent. Beef tenderloin, sirloin, pork Wellington, venison, and lots of ... Read More
Our second time on Queen Mary 2. First trip was transatlantic a decade ago. The ship looks still to be in great shape. The food in Britannia was uniformly excellent. Beef tenderloin, sirloin, pork Wellington, venison, and lots of excellent fish including cod and trout. We did not mess with the “buffet“/Kings Court: Even at breakfast, one could sit down and have a lovely multi-course meal serve to you within half an hour in the restaurant. Entertainment was very good. Shipboard lectures excellent. Staff were uniformly a professional and polite. The shore excursions in Norway were well handled. Transportation from Heathrow to London and from London to the ship and from the ship back to Heathrow was seamless. However, we found our experience with Cunard disappointing in terms of booking the trip: Their website is not very good. The voyage personalizer page is not very well designed. I think we significantly overpaid for the London hotel which we booked through them. We booked airfare through Cunard as well and ended up having to pay significant extra premiums in order simply to have seat assignments. “Air Cunard“ seemed unaware that our flight from JFK to Heathrow that they booked had been canceled; and there was much last minute scrambling between the Cunard travel desk and American Airlines and British Airways in order to re-schedule us. Also, the entire Wi-Fi system on the ship is archaic. Additionally, although they “include gratuities“ and you pre-pay them, sometimes there is a gratuity line that you are asked to complete on receipts. I would prefer that either they leave gratuities up to the passengers or they make it a truly all-inclusive price and you are not expected to tip. Right now it is some kind of weird hybrid and you never really know who to tip or who is getting what tip. But, in the end, Queen Mary 2 is an amazing ship with first Street service. Go for it! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I wanted to experience a Cunard cruise.....and it exceeded my expectations. Elegant, traditional ship, no noisy pool side cinema screen..... a plus for me! Lovely cabin....deck 5, cabin 5006, amazing food.....with lots of excellent ... Read More
I wanted to experience a Cunard cruise.....and it exceeded my expectations. Elegant, traditional ship, no noisy pool side cinema screen..... a plus for me! Lovely cabin....deck 5, cabin 5006, amazing food.....with lots of excellent choices in included venues....Red Lion pub lunches extremely enjoyable...fantastic library, wonderful afternoon tea. Great sun loungers...with mattresses interesting celebrity speaker. The dress code is quite formal...but I liked this. Lovely canapés at captain’s reception. Very good captain....present around ship....he seemed to take a personal interest. There are always some cons: very overpriced alcoholic drinks...taking advantage of being a good quality ship, I think. Extortionate prices for excursions...again playing on being a good quality ship. Generally service was good to excellent...particularly our cabin steward...but waiters in Britannia restaurant...with exception of wine waiter...did not appear happy. Service was bordering on dude and surly. Nevertheless, for me the pros far outnumbered the cons. I loved this ship and can’t wait to take another Cunard cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked ... Read More
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked to toughness. First day party impressive poolside and music was excellent as we watched NYC fade away. Our eight-person seating companions at dinner each evening were excellent and we promised to stay in touch. Disappointed in repeated shows in planetarium. Was hoping for something other than dark matter and meteorites. Arson lecture was really good. As was lecture on British history. Live shows excellent in theater but very short. My very favorite restaurant was the Golden Lion. Trivia contests and space sharing brought us in contact with so many fine people for the fun competitions. My biggest concern was uneven flooring that felt like rotting wood under carpets, especially in the casino. With all the alleged grandeur, this seemed dodgy. Would not opt for balcony cabin again. North Atlantic, even in dead summer, is not conducive to enjoying outdoors. We didn’t use it. Food good in Britannia but as I don’t drink much alcohol, waiter acted as if I was less than when I ordered a soft drink with my dinner. Public spaces are beautiful. I might do it again, but looking at nothing but water for seven straight days was trying. I was excited on day six when I saw actually spied a bird as we approached land. All in all, I wasn’t all that impressed after reading all the glorious reviews about this glamorous ocean liner. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Normally we don't like many sea days but we'd never been with Cunard and never been to Iceland and we got a good deal so we decided to book. We both really enjoyed it as the food was excellent, the service great and the ship ... Read More
Normally we don't like many sea days but we'd never been with Cunard and never been to Iceland and we got a good deal so we decided to book. We both really enjoyed it as the food was excellent, the service great and the ship elegant with lots of public spaces. We're not fans of dressing up in the evening so didn't attend any gala dinners and had to avoid most public spaces from 6pm as we weren't in smart enough attire (we were asked to leave one of the bars at 6.15pm once as we had jeans on, there are casual bars but we went back to our cabin instead and stopped buying cocktails). We ate mostly in the Lido and had plenty of choice all the time and it was good quality. We only ate once in the dining room as 6pm is too early but the 8.30pm sitting was too late plus I'm not keen on having to dress smartly every night. Loved the food in the Red Lion and the choice in the Chart Room and the barista coffee was passable. I can't comment on the entertainment as we don't normally go to any or partake in most activities (there wasn't an option to say not applicable in the ratings) but we did like some of the guest speakers during the day. The gym isn't good if you like to do lots of weights. There are dumbbells but only two benches and the machines aren't worth using (they try and cover multiple exercises with one machine) and there's no lat pull down machine, Smith machine etc which other ships of this size have. It does open at 6am which is perfect. The ports were interesting. We booked independent tours for each port apart from Dublin which we did on our own. There isn't an not applicable option for shore excursions in the ratings so my 1 isn't realistic as we didn't do any. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous experiences that cemented our enjoyment of cruising. What we didn't know was that Cunard really only cater for people over 70. For people in this age category the cruise would have been a wonderful experience. All activities, meals, shows, events, excursions cater for this group. Even the entertainment coordinator was bland. The comedy shows were by people from the 60's and 70's where racist and sexist jokes were the norm. Sadly these acts hadn't changed their material. The only activities appeared to be quizzes or card games or ballroom dancing. There were no live bands playing popular music, sing alongs around the piano bar, live music and comedy shows around the pool. Frankly it was boring. The internet is also the slowest that we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. When on board we also found that for people who booked in Australia the cruise was for 15 days, whereas those from the UK had 18 days which included the Guernsey. Both were the same price! Not sure why Australians were given a different deal. Cunard also doesn't seem to care if people complain as they do not respond promptly if at all. Very disappointed. Perhaps when I am 80 I may consider another cruise with Cunard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother ... Read More
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother company, built a number of these vista class ships for its various fleets and aside from the two Cunard ships,a good number were built for Holland America, Costa and P&O, Having previously sailed on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam and Eurodam, I felt very much at home with the general layout of the Queen Elizabeth. However, by comparison, I found the Holland America ships to be far superior in many ways to the Queen Elizabeth: 1) Contrary to other Carnival owned cruise lines, Cunard ships have three distinct classes of guest accomodations: the Grill, the Britannia Club and the Britannia. Both the Grill and the Britannia Club passengers enjoy exclusive restaurants with the Grill passengers also enjoying indour and outdour exclusive areas. As a result. there is obviously less additional common areas to be enjoyed by Britannia class passengers. There is only one specialty restaurant available to all passengers ($40 per person). 2) Although the food quality is comparable to that found on Celebrity and Holland America ships, the service, especially in the Lido buffet restaurant leaves much to be desired. For instance, at breakfast, there is no coffee or juice service at the table and the coffee in the large coffee machines is constantly being re-heated leaving a bitter taste. Also, there is not enough personel cleaning and setting tables in the Lido (I presume this would not the case in Grill and Britannia Club restaurants). 3) Although the Queen Elizabeth is the more recent version of Vista Class ships, it lacks certain characteristics of older Vista class sister ships; There is no retractable roof over the pool (a must for transatlantic passages) nor are there automatic sensor doors to the rear and central parts of the ship which I found annoying when attempting to open doors with a drink and plate in hand. 4) The internet is terrible. If you are paying a premium price for an internet package you should not experience sporadic reception and you should not expect to pay for the many minutes it takes to log in and log out. If you are into serious Ball Room dancing you will be vary happy. There were the same few dozen couples who regularly took part in dancing while the rest of us enjoyed their performance. I would estimate that the average age of passengers is around 75. The entertainment is geared to this age group with music of the 50's and 60's together with a dose of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole era songs. It felt like I was visiting a floating senior citizens residence. Cunard passengers are very loyal but I wonder how it will go about recruiting a younger generation of passengers. Cunard should be commended for the quality of guest speakers and the range of topics is excellent. If I do take another Cunard cruise it would be for the destination and not the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed ... Read More
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed with fine weather and calm seas; there was some movement on the north Atlantic but not enough to bother most people. Try to get your stateroom as close to the middle of the ship and as low as possible; it will minimize the rock-and-roll if there is any. Embarkation from Manhattan Terminal was perfect. From street to stateroom in 30 minutes. The ship is very elegant as others have said. it is sparkling in its art-deco appearance and it is very well-maintained, inside and out. Painting and maintenance are ongoing when we were at port. It is the very model of an elegant luxury cruise ship. We had 4 formal nights on the 15 day cruise; men in dark suits or tuxedos; women in gowns or smart cocktail dresses. Casual during the day but formal at night; it was not mandatory but for those not dressed up they had special dining locations those evenings. After the 3rd night I could get into my tux in 10 minutes, much faster than the first night. It was a chore the first night but it was special to dress up on this elegant ship. It takes a day or two to discover all the places on the ship and I'm sure I missed some. There are many public spaces where you can relax and read; many bars and cafes throughout the ship. Overall you get both a big but also intimate feeling on this ship. The library was very impressive; two stories with dark wood furnishings. My wife and I reserved the Queen's Grill Suite (Q4) Room 7088. On the QE there are 3 passenger classes: Britannia, Princess Grill and Queen's Grill. If it were a plane, Britannia would be economy, PG would be business and QG would be first-class. There is also Britannia Club which is a step above Britannia. The PG and QG restaurants are two, separate but similar restaurants on Deck 11 with similar menus and service. It is hard to tell the difference. They share a common lounge between the restaurants for PG and QG passengers. Apart from that, the rest of the ship is available to everyone. The PG and QG meals are served in their respective restaurants, including afternoon tea. For Britannia class, there is a large impressive restaurant in the aft of the ship; afternoon tea is served in the Queen's Room which is also the dance floor. The staterooms are of course larger for the QG than for the PG than for Britannia. Overall I think the QG is not that much different than PG. Service and attentiveness was very good. The big difference for the Grills is that you can have dinner anytime after 6 pm. For Britannia there is an early and late seating. We found the flexibility of the QG/PG to be very convenient. There are a mix of 2-tables, 4-tables, and 8-table sizes. My wife and I enjoyed our dinner mates very much at the 8-table size and we became friends. Food was very good but not great. The Verandah ($39 supplement) had much better steaks than at the QG; our dinnermates and we decided to go down there one night just to get something different and we all agreed that V was much better. Of course not everyone wants to pay a supplement for dinner when they have already paid for the cruise which could explain why the Verandah was not very busy. But it was worth it for the food. Age group was mainly in the 65+ crowd although there were some people in their 30s and 40s with children (ages 6-10) but this younger group was less than 10% of the passengers. Most were from UK, US, Australia, New Zealand. With QG there is refreshed wine and liquors in your stateroom each night, as well as refilled min-fridge at no charge. An Illy coffeemaker with refreshed tea, creamer, and coffee is provided. As well as evening canapes. This is in QG. Certainly nice touches but I think you could scrape by on PG or Britannia depending on what you are looking for. Activities on the ship were fine with lectures and high production value shows every night at 8:30 and 10:30 each night. Lectures on Broadway, Weather Prediction, Space Exploration, the upcoming ports were very good. The port excursions were generally well-organized and interesting. They are not inexpensive! And you may be able to find better value with some planning. But be sure to return to the ship on time! There are a few washing machines and dryers on each deck but not anywhere enough, so there was jockeying and some harsh words in the competition for them. Better to do your own delicates and send out the rest to the ship laundry which has a charge. I agree with others about the atrocious internet. Slow to connect, slow to use, and slow to disconnect. At $45 for 2 hours, Cunard probably makes as much on the internet as the cruise! You can't just shut off the computer because your account is still open until you sign off which was so slow I didn't know if I signed of at all. I had to call the purser every time to make sure they signed me off. Fortunately the long-suffering IT guy gave me back 45 minutes which was spent trying to get on and off the service. Befoe leaving home,sign on with your local wireless provider to use the port-days with discounted International Roaming. It is much faster and less expensive. Disembarkation was also perfect.Remember to leave some day clothes out before you go to sleep on the last night. Your luggage will be off the ship overnight so make sure you have something to wear on the last morning! We had a great time and we would do it again although we might try PG or Britannia Club for comparable value since 90% of the rest of the ship and activities are open to everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and ... Read More
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. It was a world away from our usual quiet life in rural Tasmania, but we had high hopes that the Queen Elizabeth would give us a truly memorable cruising experience, and we were not disappointed. Check-in: We boarded at the Manhattan cruise terminal which was easily accessible from our central NY hotel. Our cruise was the final leg of a much longer itinerary that had started in Vancouver, so this was not a full change-over day for the ship. Consequently there were only a few other passengers arriving at the same time, and the whole process was quick and easy with no queuing. We had been given a 12.30 check-in time and within 20 minutes we were in our cabin with luggage already delivered. It probably doesn't get any better than that; our holiday was already off to a perfect start. Cabin: We had dug deep for our anniversary treat and booked a Q4 Penthouse midships on deck 7. This was truly wonderful; a large and well appointed room with plenty of space to relax both inside and out on the balcony, a walk-in wardrobe with more than enough hanging space for 15 evenings of dress-up finery, a huge comfortable bed, and a bathroom with shower, deep spa bath and separate toilet. Nothing about the room was a disappointment, and the experience was made extra special by the butler Manny and his team. They were incredibly attentive with the room fully cleaned while we were at breakfast, everything restocked including the complimentary bar, fruit and flowers replaced regularly, canapes delivered each afternoon, and refresh/turn-down every evening while we had dinner. One of the really nice Cunard touches is that the staff know you by name and make a genuine effort to remember and deliver on your personal preferences. Meals: We ate mostly in the Queens Grill restaurant but also tried a couple of pub lunches after days ashore, and had room service occasionally. All were good, but the Queens Grill is exceptional for both the food/drink and for the service. It is a relatively small restaurant, less than 100 guests, and because you can eat at the time that suits you (for example, arrive for dinner anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm) it never seemed overly busy or crowded. There was really nothing that we could say to fault this restaurant; the range and quality of food was outstanding, plus a dedicated chef would try to produce anything off-menu if given a few hours notice and if they had the ingredients onboard. We asked for rabbit pie one evening which really wasn't much of a challenge for the chef but was duly produced and served at our table with theatrical panache. The Queens Grill provides a very sophisticated and indulgent silver-service atmosphere, part of the overall Cunard theme of reprising the 1940s/50s heyday of transatlantic voyages. In keeping with this, most Grills guests dressed “smart casual” for breakfast and lunch, then everyone dressed more formally for the evenings in keeping with the designated dress code of the day. Activities: During sea days there was always plenty to do onboard, both for organised activities or do your own thing. You can be as active or inactive as you like. We really enjoyed the outdoor games areas with quoits, croquet, carpet bowls, shuffleboard and paddle tennis, plus swimming and table tennis. Entertainment: The main entertainments included a classical concert most afternoons and then ballroom dancing and 2 theatre performances each evening. We found the shows to be mostly of an okay standard; enjoyable, glitzy and good enough for free onboard entertainment but not really outstanding. The theatre has a number of private 2-person boxes which can be reserved at an extra cost with champagne and nibbles on some evenings but are otherwise available freely to anyone who arrives early. Stewards are on hand to bring drinks. All passengers are expected to respect the after-6pm dress code in the theatre and ballroom. Final reflections: We researched Cunard here on Cruise Critic and elsewhere before deciding that they were likely met our needs. We were aware that a number of reviewers have not been happy with their Cunard experience but this often seems to be related to differing expectations of the type of cruise that these three “Queens” offer. This is not a party boat, and not primarily targeted to families and other younger cruisers although there are some facilities for children. The target market is very clearly aimed at a generally older group who enjoy a slower and more genteel pace of life. Other frequent criticisms of Cunard seem to focus on the so-called “class” system, the after-6pm dress code, and the price of drinks. In our experience this “class” distinction is really a non-issue; it's no different from most airlines where you can book economy and get a good service or book a more expensive seat that gives you perks like shorter queues at the airport, more personal space on the flight and a larger choice of meals. It's a choice for everyone to make, unlike a real class system in which there is usually no choice. The after-6pm dress code seems to annoy some people but in our view is central to understanding what Cunard is offering its passengers. Things like the flamboyant art-deco style throughout the ship, the white-gloved waiters, the traditional afternoon teas, the ballroom dancing, the silver-service ambience in the main restaurants, are all designed to create an evening atmosphere of old-world elegance, charm and sophistication. The ship and the crew deliver on this, and the passengers are also expected to deliver. The entire Cunard cruise is a piece of theatre in which passengers live the retro experience of an age when good manners and gracious living were valued. Nobody is forced to dress formally – there are areas of the ship that are more relaxed – but clearly for the vast majority of passengers the evening elegance is an important part of what makes the cruise special. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it was going somewhere we always wanted to visit. Also, we got a Queens Grill cabin for the price of a balcony, so the value was there. With the included drinks package, we thought we had gotten a great deal. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was going somewhere we always wanted to visit. Also, we got a Queens Grill cabin for the price of a balcony, so the value was there. With the included drinks package, we thought we had gotten a great deal. We sailed from Hamburg on July 16th, our first day being a sea day. The ship is very pretty, but a bit tired. Could use some sprucing up. The carpets were worn in many spots, and you could see rust all around the ship. Our cabin, 5190 was on the back of the ship and had a very large balcony. However, compared to other cruise lines, the suite was quite small. I was shocked by just how small it was. We sailed HAL two years ago and our suite was easily twice the size. Queens Grill dining made up for the tired ship and small cabin however. The dining room was beautiful and the food and service amazing. Anything you want you can have. It is never too much trouble, and offered with a smile. Everyone who works there seems to really care about the passengers. What a great experience. The included drink package comes with one caveat. Any drink over $12 will be charged in its entirety. Most popular drinks on the ship are priced at $12.50. Makes the package not much of a perk. The one shore excursion we took through the ship almost had a mutiny it was so bad. People were leaving in droves, and everyone complained about it. It was boring and hot. The guide was not very good at what he did, and almost everyone could not wait until it was over. As an example, they took us to a pier for a break and there were only two restrooms. We spent the entire time waiting on line. We saw only one show, which was ok. Most of our evening time was spent either in one of the lounges, or sitting on our balcony watching the ship move. Since it got dark so late, we really enjoyed it. Also, the included liquor supplied in Queens Grill didn't run up our charges. Considering all of these issues, we did have a good time. I would say I am only 60/40 as to whether I would cruise on Cunard again. With the dressing up, the state of the cabins and the boring evening entertainment, perhaps it is time to try one of the smaller luxury lines. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. ... Read More
Queen Victoria is a wonderful ship offering excellent entertainment options and an amazing dining experience. It does have some problems, as does every ship I've sailed on, but overall I think you'll enjoy your experience. First of all, it is not a young person's cruise. The average passenger on my cruise was 70+ years old. If you have trouble with elderly people walking very slowly in front of you and stopping suddenly for no apparent reason, you may be frustrated at times. At the height of the summer cruise season for families, there were hardly any children on board. Secondly, It is largely a British clientele, which I found charming. The average cruiser was well educated and well mannered. No line jumpers of chair hogs, which was refreshing. I could strike up a conversation with almost anyone I met and found most of them interesting. However, if you want to shoot the breeze about NASCAR, baseball and the NFL, you may be disappointed. Check-in was smooth on the dock, but scattered and unprofessional on board. No one met us in the lobby. There was no sign telling us where to go. We were boarded on the open deck three and had to find our own way inside. Even inside, no one greeted us or offered to help us find our cabin, lunch, etc.. We had to ask! Talk about a bad first impression. It got better after that. We had a suite and were dining in the Queens Grill. Our butler met us at the door (Suite 7050), took our alcohol orders for the in-room bar, showed us how to work everything in the room and walked us to the elevators to show us how to access the private Queen's Grill dining room. She was amazing throughout the cruise. She set up a cocktail reception in our room for a half dozen guests (the complimentary appetizer platter was huge and delicious). Lourdes took care of last minute laundry requests and kept our suite spotless. She also restocked the bar any time we were running low. The suite has a boxy crowded configuration which made the room seem much smaller than it was. There were plenty of electrical outlets with both American and British sockets. We had no problem keeping two cell phones, two tablets and two fitbits charged. The love seat is fine. There is adequate storage space and the butler stowed our empty luggage so we wouldn't have to worry about it. TIP: Don't remove your stateroom luggage tags. You'll need them to find your luggage at disembarkation! The balcony was large enough for a table and three chairs plus two loungers. The bed was very comfortable, however they do not use typical American sheets, on board, but rather European duvets. Very comfortable, but not what I'm used to. The bathroom was functional, with a private toilet room and a private room for showering and bathing, The tub was jetted and offered a very relaxing bath with bubbles. The towels were not soft at all, The teri cloth material made for the worst towels I've experienced in 25 cruises. The suite's bar was stocked with loads of teas, coffee and cookies. My wife and I each chose a brand of alcohol. I requested Crown Royal, even though it was not on the list offered by Cunard. The butler made it happen! The fridge was stocked with Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, 7-Up, tonic nd soda water, Carlsberg Beer and plenty of water, Again, our butler replenished our bar twice a day! We dined in the Queen's Grill, which is the best dining experience on the seas, in my opinion. The menus are very similar to those in the Princess Grill and Britania Dining Room. The difference is we were invited to order off the menu at every meal, and the dining staff did their best to accommodate us. Among the items I ordered off the menu were: Caviar, shrimp cocktail, Dover sole, chateaubriand, lobster, veal parmasean, fettuccine Alfredo, pistaccio ice cream, french onion soup and several different salads. Basically, the sky's the limit, if they have the ingredients on board, The tables are close together. My wife and I were seated at a table for two, but conversed easily and often with diners at nearby tables. When we wanted privcy, we were left alone. However, we all became instant friends. Here's a tip: Be the first to say hello to someone and do it early in the cruise! Coincidentally, one gentleman, at a six-top next to us, turned out to be a Cruise Critic member I had conversed with on line! He and his wife were positively charming! I found the entertainment on board to be excellent. The big production shows were good, but not amazing, Headliners like the magician and acrobatic dance team were marvelous. And it seemed on any given night there were six or more venues offering music and fun. I've never experienced such a wide variey of musical enterrtainment on any ship I've sailed. It truly was a highlight of th cruise.And it meant fewer crowds. We never had a problem finding a table or a seat in the showroom for the late shows. The only bummer was the Grills Lounge never had live entertainment. The enrichment activities were a disappointment. Cunard offers wine tasting seminars on its web site. High end wine seminars. However, after pre-booking a very expensive tasting, we got on board to learn the wine seminars were canceled. In fact our sommelier told us they han't done the high end wine tastings in six months. Cunard refused to credit the money from my canceled wine tasting to my shipboard account and told me I'd have to try to get refunded when I returned home. VERY POOR CUSTOMER SEVICE on that! Tip: Do NOT PRE-ORDER WINE TASTINGS! There were 3 speakers on board. One was a retired fighter pilot, who offered some fun anecdotes about his flying career. The other two sounded so boring, I cannot even remember them. I believe one woman was discussing the film career of an actor I've never heard of. We did not use Cunard for shore excursions. We booked everything independently. I suggest you consider private independent shore excursions as well. Remember, every group tour moves as fast as its slowest member. Everyone else has to wait on the slow poke. You may only have one shot to visit some of these ports. Do you relly want to wait on that last person? Additionally, Cunard builds profit into its excursions. The independent tours are almost always cheaper. Cruise Critic has an excellent section devoted to independent tours. Disembarkation for this cruise was difficult, because we got off in Kiel. It is an hour+ drive to Hamburg from there. It's pricey and difficult to reach the airport in time to make flights to the USA. Many people opted to spend an extra day in Hamburg. Don't take the negative aspects of my review as an indication I was disappointed. I was not. I will definitely cruise Cunard again if I can find the right itinerary. And I will definitely book Queens Grille for the dining experience. These reviews are supposed to help future cruisers prepare, I hope I have! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Personally I have never been interested in going on a cruise but it was the choice of in laws and I ended up being dragged along. After initially booking Britannia we ended up taking advantage of a cheap upgrade offer to Queens Grill. ... Read More
Personally I have never been interested in going on a cruise but it was the choice of in laws and I ended up being dragged along. After initially booking Britannia we ended up taking advantage of a cheap upgrade offer to Queens Grill. It didn't start well at Embarkation when there was a scrum of people surrounding the doors into the hall in Southampton and no indication of where the priority booking queue was. Asking people working their didn't get us anywhere until one guy told us to go straight into the hall which meant forcing our way past the people in the main queue who were rightfully unhappy with us pushing past them where at last we saw the signs for priority booking. Given there are multiple doors into the hall surely it can't be that hard to put signs up outside as well. Though not as bad the disembarkation was also chaotic with little in the way of clear directions. First impressions of the ship were ok, some of it looked a bit tired but much of it very nice. The cabin was nice and spacious and we were glad to have upgraded. Food wise the Queens Grill was ok more of a decent chain restaurant than anything else though. Some really nice food, the beef wellington for example, alongside some pretty run of the mill stuff. The formality of the place and the dressing up got a bit wearying after a while particularly as you weren't usually eating food that lived up to it. It also led to some oddities like if you ordered a pie they brought out the pie dish and then spooned the entire contents onto your plate which took ages. Just serve it in a pie dish guys, my poor husbands cottage pie just looked a mess. Apart from that the staff were almost uniformly excellent and they were fine with us not all turning up and ordering at the same time. Went to Kings Court occasionally but it was nothing special. Entertainment wise some of the lectures were interesting but the entertainment was mostly end of a pier stuff, the planetarium pretty dull and the pub ok but quite small so you had to get to things like trivia early to get a seat. On that note the entertainment team in the pub were generally very good though the lady who liked to make the 'twist' question in the evening trivia easy really needs to learn the point of quizzes. Their didn't feel like there was much on though in general, certainly not much of any interest. I suppose mostly aimed at the elderly regulars. The gym was good though having no sauna or steam room other than having to pay in the spa is a mistake. Outside areas also ok though not that well used given the pretty average weather on most sea days. We spent a lot of time in the smoking area and got chatting to some very nice, fun people there, other than that there was little interaction on board. The casino was quite fun and they made it easy to play if you didn't have much experience, only issue was the crumbling floor so you had to watch your step the whole time. The floor is also starting to give way in the main lobby which was somewhat alarming. Stops wise Liverpool (helped by the weather) and Reykjavik were both very nice, with lots to see. We didn't go on any excursions as you can book the same trips yourself for half the price. Had a fantastic lunch at Islenski Barinn in Reykjavik. Halifax was ok but it's essentially a mid sized city with not much in the way of history to see. Corner Brook however may be the dullest place on Earth and I have no idea what they were thinking in stopping there. Overall a real disappointment, for all their talk about the glamour of the transatlantic crossing there was painfully little of that in evidence. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Was on the Iceland Canada crossing. Very smooth but there lacked things to do for anyone under 50. Also had a worrying fire on board one evening over the tannoy telling us it had broken out in the incinerator room. Could smell smoke. ... Read More
Was on the Iceland Canada crossing. Very smooth but there lacked things to do for anyone under 50. Also had a worrying fire on board one evening over the tannoy telling us it had broken out in the incinerator room. Could smell smoke. Also had a person helicopter lifted off. All quite eventful! Boat was clean and tidy and staff very nice plus the food was great. The buffet was very good especially the sushi etc. Did get a bit of a dodgy stomach from the mussels which upset my stomach for 24 hours but it soon passed. The entertainment in the theatre was very poor however. Some of the acts were dreadful including the resident singers. A very good guest French pianist though. Overall worth the money but be prepared to occupy yourself as there is very little to do on those long sea days if you don't do ballroom dancing or enjoy bingo etc ! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We decided to take this cruise to celebrate my son's 18th birthday, which was on the date of departure. We were upgraded to Princess Grill (for a cost) and I was beside myself with excitement, having been on the old QE2 some time ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise to celebrate my son's 18th birthday, which was on the date of departure. We were upgraded to Princess Grill (for a cost) and I was beside myself with excitement, having been on the old QE2 some time back. We are Celebrity afficionados, but we were excited to see what one of the Queens would be like. I found it a mixed bag to be honest. The Princess Grill suite was a real disappointment; nothing like a lowest grade Celebrity Sky Suite, and certainly not in line with suite expectations. The service from the steward was great, but no contact from the concierge at all. We had a lovely greeting with strawberries, fresh fruit and sparkling wine, which really set the mood. The Princess Grill restaurant was good. Lovely service, fabulous wine list. The food on the first night was indifferent; gritty scallops and a very tough steak. The restaurant redeemed itself on other meals, but I can't say that it met the expectations at this level, and certainly not at the price point that they would normally charge. The ambience in the restaurant was good, and no hint of the snobbery that others sometimes refer to. The gym was very good, and it was fun to play table tennis with the kids also. Lastly, the atmosphere on the ship was, for me, dead. Very little nightlife if you aren't into ballroom dancing. I felt the age demographic was much, much older than expected. Perhaps it's the itinerary. None of this would stop me travelling with Cunard again, as overall the ship is in good condition and the service was excellent, but I'd have to think hard about the class, the itinerary, and my travelling companions. My daughter can't wait to get back on Celebrity in a few weeks for Alaska! Read Less
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