Cunard Queen Victoria Review
In this review, we cover our experience over the four days of our cruise and look at the onboard facilities.
Table of Contents
|PROFILE & STATS: Cunard Queen Victoria|
|Operator:||Cunard Cruise Line||Passengers:||2081|
|Year Built:||2007 (Refit in 2017)||Crew:||900|
|Registry:||Hamilton, Bermuda||Passenger Space Ratio:||43.7|
|Builder:||Fincantieri (Marghera shipyard)||Passeneger to Crew Ratio:||1 : 0.4|
|Class:||Vista||Decks:||12 passenger decks|
|Gross Tonnage:||90,000 GRT||Length:||964.5 ft (294 meters)|
|Berlitz Rating:||4 Stars||Beam:||106 ft (32.3 meters)|
|Christened by:||Camilla, Duchess of Cornwell||Call Sign:||ZCEF3|
The Voyage Itinerary
The stateroom size is relatively small at 192 sqft with a balcony of 54 sqft. Overall the cabin is compact. On the wall opposite the bed, there is a 40inch TV which disappointingly did not offer any interactive Smart Tv facilities like Account status, On Demand movies, booking restaurants etc. All a bit primitive compared with other cruise line offerings.
The bathroom was small by modern standards and definitely what we call a ‘one-person’ bathroom—a single vanity basin with a marble surround and plenty of shelving for all your toiletries. The shower cubical was small and featured a plastic shower curtain! These are still around on Cunard ships, and they don’t do it for us. Various soaps and other toiletries were provided, but nothing ever felt special.
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Dining and Restaurants
As we were in a Britannia Class stateroom, we were assigned to the Britannia Restaurant, which is the main Dining room onboard Queen Victoria. The restaurant is large, has a traditional art deco feel, and has around 300 Tables seating about 800+ guests. There are two levels: Deck 2 is used for open seating up to 500+ in one sitting Seats up to 300+, by reservation, and Deck 3 is for guests who have opted for fixed first sitting at 6.00 pm or second seating at 8.00 pm with an allocated table.
We found the restaurant to be civilised, but service was intermittent and slow at times.
Even though we opted for anytime dining, we found that you had to book your slot in the dining room using the Cunard My Voyage system. We did this, yet we still had to queue to get a table each night. The queues some evenings were probably 100 deep with long wait times. We didn’t like this and didn’t consider this ‘open seating’ or anytime dining.
The food quality could have been more exciting and refined but it offered a good choice. Vegetarian options were good.
Britannia Club Restaurant
This is an exclusive enclave for guests in Britannia Club Staterooms, which can seat up to 90 guests. (window seats only in big demand.)
On Deck 2 starboard, this restaurant offers a more refined and exclusive dining experience for a limited number of guests. The restaurant can seat up to 90 guests. It looked lovely, and there were never any queues.
Princess Grill Deck 11
This is our go-to choice when it comes to dining on Cunard. This exclusive restaurant is reserved for guests staying in the Princess Grill Suites and offers a luxurious dining experience.
The menu in Princess Grill is a step above the Britannia Restaurant, focusing on gourmet cuisine and fine dining. Each night, guests can choose from a selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts, all expertly crafted by the ship’s talented chefs.
The service in Princess Grill is exceptional, with attentive and friendly staff who go above and beyond to ensure that every guest has a memorable dining experience. The elegant atmosphere and stunning ocean views add to the restaurant’s overall ambience.
Queens Grill Deck 11
An even more exclusive dining venue is the Queens Grill. Again this exclusive restaurant is reserved for guests staying in the Queens Grill Suites and offers a more formal but luxurious dining experience. We find the tables are a little too close together and prefer the layout in the slightly less formal Princess Grill.
Steakhouse at the Veranda Deck 2
Deck 2 up to 100 guests
Celebrating the provenance of the US, British Isles, and Australia, the chefs craft delicious appetisers and entrees with succulent prime cuts cooked to order, tantalising seafood and delightful desserts $30US pp for lunch, $50USD pp evenings
Dinner at the Lido – La Piazza – Deck 9
Italian Cuisine 25USD pp cover charge
La Piazza pays homage to Italy’s proud culinary traditions with locally grown ingredients and dishes heralding from mainland Italy and its Islands.
All Day Dining options
Lido Restaurant – Buffet – Deck 9
We found the food in the Lido to be generally quite good, with an extensive range of dishes ranging from lite bites, delight, salads and hot foods. There can be a lack of seating at mealtimes when the ship is full, and folks endlessly wander around looking for somewhere to sit. We gave up on one occasion and missed a meal!
The other thing we found was that there was absolutely no food available in the Lido at certain times of the day. For example, you were out of luck if you wanted a cookie with a cup of tea. When querying this, we were told we could use room service – that’s not the point.
Golden Lion Pub Deck 2
Always a popular destination, and again difficult to get a seat when the ship is full. A truly British Pub atmosphere with a selection of traditional British pub food and beers available.
One of our cruising favourites. When travelling in a Grill Suite, you are offered afternoon tea in the Princess Grill Restaurant. This sophisticated experience offers a fine range of sandwiches, cakes, scones, and teas.
For Britannia stateroom guests, afternoon tea is served in the Britannia Restaurant and is adequate with a good range of offerings. Due to the number of guests being served, the waiting staff sometimes seemed overwhelmed. This is not a refined experience.
One of the highlights of the entertainment options on Cunard Queen Victoria is the Royal Court Theatre. This grand, two-story theater is the perfect place to catch a Broadway-style show or a stunning ballet performance. The theater is equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, ensuring that every show is a memorable experience.
For those looking for a more intimate entertainment experience, there are several bars and lounges onboard where guests can enjoy live music and entertainment. The Commodore Club, for example, is a sophisticated lounge that offers stunning panoramic views of the ocean and serves up delicious cocktails and live music.
In addition to the theatre and lounges, Cunard Queen Victoria also offers a variety of other entertainment options. Guests can participate in dance classes, attend lectures and workshops, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery from one of the ship’s many outdoor areas. With so many entertainment options, guests have a memorable and enjoyable experience onboard Cunard Queen Victoria.
Cunard Queen Victoria Top View
The Theatre on Queen Victoria
For the princely sum of $ 24 USD per day or $ 18 USD per day, if you buy for the entire cruise, you get the aptly named Essential Service” which provides web browsing, email, music browsing, podcast and social media. For $ 36 USD or $24 per day for the whole cruise, you can purchase the Premium package, which adds Downloads of Audio books and video streaming.
We opted for the essential internet plan, which cost 54 USD FOR 3 days.
The only problem is that it would barely work in our stateroom. Sometimes we could connect, but mostly not. From experience, we have found that moving around the stateroom and trying to find a hotspot would work, but not this time.
The only solution was to go to one of the public areas and hope for the best. In the end, we found the card room was the best location for a reliable connection, albeit slow. We measured download speeds of 1.32MB/s and upload s of 0.51MB/s
As Cunard World Club Gold members, we received a $45 internet credit.
In our opinion, this service is poor in quality and value for money and urgently needs upgrading.
Cunard Cruise App
Here you can view your dining reservations, review your onboard account, and purchase shore excursions and internet packages etc.
It was not as flexible as a standalone app as per most other cruise lines, buy we understand its features are constantly being upgraded.
Evenings on a Cunard cruise have a sense of occasion with a dress code to match. After 5:45 pm the dress code will be either Smart Attire or Gala. Details of the dress code are posted in the Daily program.
On Smart Attire nights, ladies wear blouses and skirts or stylish trousers and dresses. On the other hand, men dress in trousers with a collared shirt. A jacket and tie is optional. Cunard likens it to what you’d wear to a stylish restaurant or the theatre.
On Gala (or formal) nights, ladies are asked to wear an evening or cocktail dress, smart trouser suit or formal separates. Men should wear a dinner jacket, tuxedo or dark suit with either a tie or bow tie.
However, it’s worth noting that Gala nights may also adopt a theme. Cunard invites you to embellish or tailor your attire according to the theme. These themes include:
Black and White
Red and Gold
Boutiques & Onboard Shopping
The Royal Arcade is a stunning space with a range of boutiques offering everything from designer clothing to exquisite jewellery. Whether you’re looking for a new outfit for a formal evening or a unique souvenir to take home, the Royal Arcade has something for everyone. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are always on hand to assist with any questions or recommendations you may need. There is also a superb bookshop and Cunardia memorabilia store.
What’s Included in Your Cruise Fare
- Meals in the main restaurant and Buffet onboard
- Enrichment Lectures
- Shows and entertainment options
- Most daily activities, unless otherwise noted
- Use of the fitness centre
- Self-service laundry
- Room Service
- Afternoon Tea
What’s Not Included in Your Cruise Fare
- Shore Excursions
- Spa and salon facilities and treatments
- Personal training sessions
- The Casino
- Drinks packages and wine collections.
- Wine experiences
- Premium soft and alcoholic drinks.
- Alcoholic Beverages and speciality teas and Coffees
- Speciality Dining
- Speciality Afternoon Teas.
- Gift packages.
- On board retail and art gallery.
- Selected classes, tours and activities on board.
- Travel insurance.
Who Is This Cruise For?
Older couples and families who want a traditional cruise experience that is not all about theme parks, waterslides and a generally action-packed experience.
Families with small children or those looking for bold luxury on action-packed ships
We will not sail with Cunard again unless we can get Britannia Club or Grill Accommodation, as it is the dining arrangements in Britannia which we are at odds with. Having to queue for the restaurant is a complete no-no, and we prefer more intimate dining expereinces.
Nickel and diming are evident everywhere. We like all-inclusive – gratuities paid, alcohol when and where we like it, free laundry, and specialiality restaurants. Hopefully, one day Cunard will oblige!!!! but then again.
Sailing on a new ship is preferable as Queen Victoria is showing signs of age and in our opinion needs a refurbishment.
Hopefully, you enjoyed this Cunard Queen Victoria Review. Let us know if you have sailed on this iconic ship.