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This cruise was a part of Imagine Cruises Orient Express package-including Lake Garda and Florence. The other elements were fantastic but I will concentrate on the included 7 night cruise in this review. We have done a number of cruises previously mainly with Celebrity and RCI so have a fair idea about cruising. Our transfer from Florence to Civitavecchia went without problem and we were on board within 20 minutes of arrival. We were disappointed to find that Cunard do not do all in drinks packages and the on board prices were quite high with wine prices extortionate.We had a balcony stateroom on the 6th deck and we were pleased with its position near the forward lifts. There was lots of storage space and lots of hangers in the wardrobe(a plus). A welcoming half bottle of bubbly was waiting in our cabin- a nice touch. The cabin steward(Patrick) was efficient and unobtrusive. The ship was quintessentially old fashioned even though it was just over 10 years old - dark panelling was In abundance and understatement was the order of the day. Overall it was a very nice ship with a traditional feel. There were a mix of passengers on board with 1,300 Brits out of 2,000 total. There were a variety of different ages on board but the majority seemed to be over 65. Activities seemed to cater for this age group with ballroom dancing, afternoon tea and traditional games being predominant. The staff on board were excellent and were both polite and helpful. However, throughout the cruise we did not really relax as much as we expected. The cruise was a bit like going to your grandparents for tea - everything felt very nice but you needed to be on your best behaviour all the time in case anyone disapproved. This may have been down to the make up and age of the passenger complement but it felt a bit stifling at times. We ate in the Britannia restaurant in the evening and had either breakfast in our room or in the Lido buffet restaurant where we also had lunch. The food in the Britannia was different each night and of sufficient variety for most tastes. It was nicely presented and tasted ok but was not something that you would say “I could eat that again”. The waiting staff were friendly and efficient. Food in the Lido again was nicely presented and did what it said on the can - fast food for lots of people. It was our first time with fixed dining times so this put a bit of pressure on us time wise with 6.00pm dining rather a rush and 9.00pm dining too late for us. Freedom dining would have been better. Entertainment in the Theatre was good. The Queen Victoria song and dance group were standard for most cruises whilst the visiting entertainers were very good. Hannah Marie - a classical singer was very good, the comedian Phil Melbourne was hilarious and Revolver played lots of sixties songs quite well - catering for the age of the audience again. Tea dances, ballroom dances and line dancing were in evidence every day and various musicians played around the ship. The itinerary of the ship was very good with stops in Barcelona, Ajaccio, Villefranche and Livorno. It was possible to independently visit the first three but we did a ships tour to Pisa on the last stop. Overall, the cruise was a “nice” experience. Cabin, dining, staff and itinerary were all good or excellent. Other passengers -as with all cruises, were a mix of friendly ordinary people and others who had their own ideas of what a cruise was for and who should be on it. Entertainment in the Theatre was excellent and elsewhere catered for the Cunard clientele so we can’t really complain. Would we travel with Cunard again? Probably not. Nothing in particular and everything was very nice but not as relaxed as we had hoped. Disembarkation, in Civitavecchia was again easy with bags awaiting collection and the coach ready to take us to the airport. We were off and on the coach within 15 minutes of our allotted time.

Like going to grandparents for tea

Queen Victoria Cruise Review by ChrisMcG

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
This cruise was a part of Imagine Cruises Orient Express package-including Lake Garda and Florence. The other elements were fantastic but I will concentrate on the included 7 night cruise in this review. We have done a number of cruises previously mainly with Celebrity and RCI so have a fair idea about cruising. Our transfer from Florence to Civitavecchia went without problem and we were on board within 20 minutes of arrival. We were disappointed to find that Cunard do not do all in drinks packages and the on board prices were quite high with wine prices extortionate.We had a balcony stateroom on the 6th deck and we were pleased with its position near the forward lifts. There was lots of storage space and lots of hangers in the wardrobe(a plus). A welcoming half bottle of bubbly was waiting in our cabin- a nice touch. The cabin steward(Patrick) was efficient and unobtrusive.

The ship was quintessentially old fashioned even though it was just over 10 years old - dark panelling was In abundance and understatement was the order of the day. Overall it was a very nice ship with a traditional feel. There were a mix of passengers on board with 1,300 Brits out of 2,000 total. There were a variety of different ages on board but the majority seemed to be over 65. Activities seemed to cater for this age group with ballroom dancing, afternoon tea and traditional games being predominant. The staff on board were excellent and were both polite and helpful. However, throughout the cruise we did not really relax as much as we expected. The cruise was a bit like going to your grandparents for tea - everything felt very nice but you needed to be on your best behaviour all the time in case anyone disapproved. This may have been down to the make up and age of the passenger complement but it felt a bit stifling at times.

We ate in the Britannia restaurant in the evening and had either breakfast in our room or in the Lido buffet restaurant where we also had lunch. The food in the Britannia was different each night and of sufficient variety for most tastes. It was nicely presented and tasted ok but was not something that you would say “I could eat that again”. The waiting staff were friendly and efficient. Food in the Lido again was nicely presented and did what it said on the can - fast food for lots of people. It was our first time with fixed dining times so this put a bit of pressure on us time wise with 6.00pm dining rather a rush and 9.00pm dining too late for us. Freedom dining would have been better.

Entertainment in the Theatre was good. The Queen Victoria song and dance group were standard for most cruises whilst the visiting entertainers were very good. Hannah Marie - a classical singer was very good, the comedian Phil Melbourne was hilarious and Revolver played lots of sixties songs quite well - catering for the age of the audience again. Tea dances, ballroom dances and line dancing were in evidence every day and various musicians played around the ship.

The itinerary of the ship was very good with stops in Barcelona, Ajaccio, Villefranche and Livorno. It was possible to independently visit the first three but we did a ships tour to Pisa on the last stop.

Overall, the cruise was a “nice” experience. Cabin, dining, staff and itinerary were all good or excellent. Other passengers -as with all cruises, were a mix of friendly ordinary people and others who had their own ideas of what a cruise was for and who should be on it. Entertainment in the Theatre was excellent and elsewhere catered for the Cunard clientele so we can’t really complain. Would we travel with Cunard again? Probably not. Nothing in particular and everything was very nice but not as relaxed as we had hoped.

Disembarkation, in Civitavecchia was again easy with bags awaiting collection and the coach ready to take us to the airport. We were off and on the coach within 15 minutes of our allotted time.
ChrisMcG’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BE 6037
Cabin adequate. Beds very comfortable. Lots of hangers. Plenty of storage. Steward efficient and unobtrusive. Bathroom very cosy.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Pisa Walking Tour
    Coach from ship to Pisa. 9am start. 40 mins to Pisa. 15 mins walk from car park to Field of Miracles. Some walking and talking from guide then some free time. Lots of market stalls and shops and restaurants. Back to coach. Returned about 1pm. Quick lunch and onto complimentary shuttle to Livorno. Not much there - back on ship within an hour
    View All 80 Pisa Walking Tour Reviews