We chose this cruise for the unusual itinerary and the ship. We had been on the Queen Elizabeth for the entire maiden World Cruise in 2011 , and were curious to discover the changes that had taken place in the recent refit , and to see whether Cunards high standards were being maintained. We were not disappointed.
We flew Avianca Business Class from Fort Lauderdale via Bogota to London and it was a huge disappointment in service and cuisine .
We stayed overnight at the hotel in Southampton used by Cunard , the Double Tree by Hilton. It is located in a suburb and there is nowhere to go or walk from the hotel.
Our waiter at dinner advised that of the 12 wines on the list, only 4 were available .
As for service , there was none. He then told us that we were the first people that he had ever served. That was unnecessary as he obviously had never been given any training.
A breakfast buffet is set up in a ante room to the kitchen where the staff would normally keep extra dishes and tablecloths , etc. it was a poor buffet and we could not imagine why Cunard would ever use this place for guests to stay who were embarking on a long expensive cruise
Cruise. Even worse is that Head Office is here , so there is no excuse to ever recommend such a place to Cunarders. The charge for the terrible buffet breakfast was removed on checkout.
As for changes , most are for the better , since the recent refit. They are, in our opinion, as follows: dinner is now available in the pub, large 42 inch TV screens in the cabin, much better TV programming, 8 music channels including a very good classical channel, a liquor store with lots of samples, beautiful flower arrangements and orchids in profusion, free shuttle buses between the dock and downtown in every port, and wonderful folkloric shows in every port prior to departure.
A magnificent fireworks display took place in Southampton just prior to our departure.
Our stewardess Margot was Austrian and quite simply the best we have ever encountered. Everything we needed appeared without asking.We never returned to our room to find it not made up. Not once did she ever knock on our door. She provided us with the utmost in privacy throughout our voyage. All bath towels provided to us were very white and fluffy.
There were 22 sommeliers aboard .Ours in Britannia Club was Paul. His recommendations were always spot on. We sat at two different tables for 2 and all of the waiters were polite . We were always referred to by name by all Dining Room staff. The maitre dhotel graciously took special orders. I had a different salad created for me every day at lunch. The food was much more British than on the World Cruise, but of course 95 per cent of the passengers on the first segment to Capetown were British. The cuisine however is neither creative nor innovative. There is not much dining anticipation.There were however a plethora of birds served on the way south to Capetown but not afterwards to the Australians. There were 2 formal nights per week. The Verandah is now nothing but a not very good , over priced steak house and was mostly empty. There were 3 lectures on each sea day . However the most amazing part was the variety and scope of the live musical entertainment. We saw Top Hat 4 times . There was an 8 piece dance band in the ballroom, with male and female vocalists, a 7 piece band for shows, 2 cocktail pianists, a classical trio, a harpist, a Dixie land jazz band, a guitarist in the pub ,and a classical pianist and violinist.
There was quite a bit of rust on the exterior and paint was constantly flaking off the sides and ended up on our balcony. As part of the casino was removed to make room for a new section of single cabins , many slot machines have been moved out into the lobby and elevator area outside of the pub which in our opinion detracts from the elegant on board experience. The interior of the ship, carpets ,walls furnishings etc.look the same or better than they did on the Maiden voyage.
All crew members were very polite, smiling , always gracious and accommodating.
Nice to have that extra space in the cabin and the corner balcony aft facing, out of the wind. The voyage was too hot to use the balcony near the equator then too cold the rest of the way to Capetown as a very cold current comes up from Antarctica . The cabin was spotless , everything worked perfectly , our stewardess Margot was the best and all towels were very white and fluffy.
Walked around Fremantle all day. The goal is worth visiting
Hardly worth getting off the ship.
Probably the best beaches I have ever seen but water too cold to swimView All 8 Cape Le Grand National Park Reviews