I recently went on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria to experience some traditional, elegant, British cruising. The interiors of the ship are luxurious marbles, woods and rich fabrics which exude elegance and luxury. As soon as you step on board, you arrive in the atrium which is the heart of the ship; from here you can visit reception, shore excursions, lounges and many bars, all accessible from the sweeping staircase.
If you are missing your home favourites, head to the Golden Lion pub for traditional pub food and drinks. Here you can find favourites like fish and chips or cottage pie whilst enjoying a great pint! After dinner head to the Commodore club for a nightcap before retiring to bed, or if you’re at sea, this venue offers great views across the ships bow. Hemisphere’s is the venue if you want to dance into the early hours, with its resident DJ. Other dining venues include the Verandah restaurant which French inspired dining, Bamboo offers Asian fusion, Coriander serves Indian cuisine and Prime is the spot for succulent steaks and seafood.
If you want to burn off some of the calories after over indulging, the well-equipped gym is open throughout the day. For pampering head to the Royal Spa, which offers massages, therapies and treatments. The hydro-therapy pool offers a place to de-stress and detoxify.
If you want to soak up the sun, head to the Lido deck with its swimming pool, Jacuzzis and pavilion bar to enjoy a cocktail on your sun lounger. The Winter Garden is a conservatory style venue, combines elements of indoors and outdoors, filled with plants, bathed in natural light and featuring a roof that opens in warmer climates.
If you want to experience the ultimate luxury, why not consider the Cunard Grills experience, rated amongst the finest afloat, you enjoy lavish suites and dining. There are private areas such as the Grills lounge with its open air deck space, exclusively for Grills passengers.
The Royal Court Theatre offers lavish broadway, West-end style shows every night of your cruise holiday. The venue is quite stunning and over three-tiers, if you fancy something extra, or are celebrating a special occasion on board, why not choose a private box?
There is a choice of staterooms, starting from interior, to ocean view, to balcony and to suites. All come with your own cabin steward to look afternoon, and all decorated with fine prints, soft colours of the sofas and the famous Cunard turndown service when it’s time to retire.
The newest vessel to join the Cunard fleet is Queen Elizabeth, named in 2010 by Her Majesty the Queen. As soon as you step on board, you notice the elegance & luxury of Cunard.
One of the first port of calls when you step on board is the top deck. With plenty of space and sun lounges, you can quickly sit back and relax with a drink and enjoy your cruise holiday, or take a dip in the pool or hot tub. The Games deck offers croquet, bowls or paddle tennis all under a canopy, should the weather be too hot!
The staterooms on board are light and modern and well equipped for every traveller, they range from Insides, Oceanview, Balconies & Suites. I was lucky enough to be on board for the launch of the ship and had a very spacious suite, with a butler! On my return to the vessel for a mini-cruise, I had a balcony stateroom, which was wonderful to have the sea views.
When it comes to food, Cunard know exactly how to do it! The Lido buffet is open all day with a variety of snacks, carvery, light meals and buffet offerings. The Britannia, is the main restaurant on board, spanning over two decks there is a great menu served every evening, and if you don’t want something off the menu, that’s fine, the staff will cater for you. The Verandah is Queen Elizabeth’s formal alternative dining option, with French cuisine served every day. The Golden Lion pub is like a local at sea! Serving drinks throughout the day, you can also order light meals here like fish & chips, which are all included in your cruise fare. When not serving meals, the Golden Lion pub is home to the daily bingo & quiz – it’s a must you are on holiday after all! The Garden Lounge is inspired by London’s Kew Gardens, it’s a great place to meet friends and enjoy sea views with floor to ceiling windows. Here you will also find traditional White Gloved Afternoon Tea, Cunard’s signature famous service.
After all that food, don’t forget to visit the well-equipped gym and also the Royal Spa. The Royal Spar has the latest therapies & beauty treatments to de-stress & detoxify your body. The library is extensive and on several decks, there is something for everyone here! For those days at sea, there are also plenty of board games and card games for you to enjoy. Something that you may not instantly think of with Cunard is children. Children are well catered for on board, there is a kids club with activities and play equipment to keep them entertained all day long!
There’s so much entertainment on board from the ship’s show company, and whether you want to enjoy a musician or a cabaret in a show lounge or a big west end style show, it’s all there for you. The Royal Court Theatre is impressive, with Royal Box’s on the upper level, these can be booked for special occasions on board, so you can enjoy the performance from the comfort of your own balcony box.
Before you depart for home, don’t forget to visit the Royal Arcade, here you will find all the shops & perfect souvenirs. Inspired by London’s Burlington Arcade, the shops stock brands never before been available at sea, including Hackett, Fortnum and Mason and much more. Of course, there is also the
Cunard branded collection too, including clothing, stationery & models.
I experienced 2 nights on board Queen Mary 2 with four colleagues and seven friends sampling the delights that this magnificent ocean liner had to offer.
We left Southampton from the Queen Elizabeth 2 Terminal and set sail for Cherbourg in France. We enjoyed a cocktail party on board before going to the main Britannia Restaurant for our evening meal, which was truly fantastic and can be cooked to your individual tastes and needs, we also enjoyed a bottle of house red wine which complimented the meal. After our evening meal we retired to the Royal Court Theatre to enjoy the comedian and impressionist who kept us laughing throughout the night. We moved on to sample the delights of the ballroom dancing in the Queens Room before partying into the small hours in G32 nightclub. After all the dancing we returned to the Kings Court to enjoy midnight snacks before bed.
On day 2, we decided to enjoy a traditional cruise breakfast in bed which was delivered by a friendly and
helpful waitress direct to our room, the breakfast has plenty of choice and was freshly cooked to order. Breakfast was also available in all of the main restaurants on board.
We enjoyed a leisurely morning on board and took a tour of the ship from top to bottom. Whilst on the top deck we took part in some of the leisure activities including a 2 hour game of tennis and also shuffle
There was an array of food selection at lunchtime including hot, cold, carvery, burgers and home made ice cream! We filled up before taking a further walk around the ship to take in the panoramic scenery around Cherbourg.
In the afternoon we visited the on board facilities including the Spar, Gym, Table Tennis, Shops, Casino, Library, Internet Room, Art Gallery and even played some Monopoly on board in the games room! In the evening we again sampled the entertainment on board and partied into the small hours in G32!!
The staterooms were clean, spacious and to a high standard. We had opted for a balcony on this occasion which gave excellent views across the ocean. The facilities in the stateroom were top class, Cunard had provided a complimentary bottle of Champagne for consumption in the stateroom and the bathroom was again clean and full of shower gels/creams which were complimentary for all to use.
The staff on board were helpful, pleasant and couldn’t do enough to go out of their way and assist with any queries or questions. The cabin stewardess was also friendly and took time to talk to us each day asking what we had been up to and if we had a good time.
Disembarkation was quick and easy in Southampton at the new Ocean Terminal.
We are certainly all looking forward to our next trip on board this ocean liner.!