‘Disappointed’ on Cunard’s Queen Eilzabeth

This item appears on page 29 of the December 2011 issue.
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I cruised on the Queen Elizabeth, Dec. 15, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011, embarking in Southampton, England, and visiting Madeira, then crossing the Atlantic to Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica and Tortola before recrossing the ocean to Ponta Delgada, Azores, and Southampton. Excluding airfare, the cost for my inside, single cabin was $8,010.

My category 7 cabin, No. 4163, was located very close to the bow. It was extremely noisy and, for me, uncomfortable, even in the least seas. In my cabin, there was no way to keep the bathroom door secured open. The result was that it would swing wildly back and forth and slam shut with the movement of the ship.

In my bathroom, there was a curtain in place of a shower enclosure, and there was no handheld shower unit. Also, there was no swinging mirror to enable me to see the back of my head.

On the cabin TV, the news channels were excellent, but the choice of movies was dreadful, in my opinion, and no first-run movies were shown in the theater or on TV during the entire voyage.

With one exception (“Frost/Nixon”), movies shown in the theater were also of a low standard, usually full of violence and totally unsuitable for the average age of the passengers. (I would say the average age was 70 to 90-plus, older than that on most other lines. There was a large number of passengers using wheelchairs.)

Although there were three lectures on the ship each day, it seemed that only one of them would be shown on the cabins’ TVs, repeated over and over. Invariably, I was unable to find any of the lectures I had missed.

The public rooms on the Queen Elizabeth had the usual Cunard elegance, but I felt the entertainment did not. In the past, on most evenings aboard the QE2 and QM1 I recall there being lavish entertainment production numbers with dancers and singers, but there were none of those on the Queen Elizabeth. Most shows consisted of one artiste or a band.

I did not have a high opinion of the Elizabethan Theatre Company on board. And the Barbados band Serious Sounds was so unbearably loud that I could not stay, even in the large ballroom, when they were playing.

My biggest disappointment in the entertainment department was there were only four gentlemen dance hosts instead of the six I had been promised when I phoned Cunard at the time I made my booking. Dancing is my main reason for cruising during the holidays. With more than 40 single women on board who wanted to dance, I was lucky to have two or three dances an evening. I consider this totally inadequate. There were nearly 2,000 passengers on board.

In the Britannia Restaurant, I found the food to be mediocre and boring except for the steaks and beef, which usually were good.

I had phoned the 800 number five days prior to the cruise to inquire about our docking time and location in Antigua. I was told that we would arrive mid morning. Based on this information, I made arrangements with friends. When I asked again, at the purser’s desk, two days before our arrival in Antigua, I was told that we were scheduled for an 8 a.m. arrival and that this had always been the case.

I was most unhappy and disappointed by the entire experience. I feel the ship is a far cry from the QE2.

I wrote to Cunard regarding the above and received an e-mail and a phone call in response. In our phone conversation, I reiterated that after such a miserable experience on board, I felt I was owed some type of recompense. I was informed in no uncertain terms that Cunard was not prepared to offer me anything.

MARY E. MERLE
Lee, MA

 

ITN e-mailed and mailed a copy of the above to Cunard Line (24303 Town Center Dr., Ste. 200, Valencia, CA 91355) and received the following reply.

 

We were sorry to hear that Ms. Merle was… displeased with several aspects of her voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth earlier this year, including bathroom amenities, cuisine in the Britannia Restaurant, entertainment offerings and the number of Gentleman Hosts who were on board.

Cunard strives to ensure that all of our guests truly enjoy the on board experience, and since receiving Ms. Merle’s letter we have communicated her valuable feedback to senior management, the ship staff and to the shoreside departments who handle these various operations.

While we are not in a position to offer monetary compensation, we are genuinely sorry that her voyage did not meet expectations, and hope that we may have a future opportunity to welcome Ms. Merle aboard again so that she may enjoy a more positive Cunard voyage experience.

JACKIE CHASE, Manager, Public Relations, Cunard Line

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I cruised on the Queen Elizabeth, Dec. 15, 2010-Jan. 5, 2011, embarking in Southampton, England, and visiting Madeira, then crossing the Atlantic to Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Dominica and Tortola before recrossing the ocean to Ponta Delgada, Azores, and Southampton. Excluding airfare, the cost for my inside, single cabin was $8,010.

My category 7 cabin, No. 4163, was located very close to the bow. It was extremely noisy and, for me, uncomfortable, even in the least seas. In my cabin, there was no way to keep the bathroom door secured open. The result was that it would swing wildly back and forth and slam shut with the movement of the ship.

In my bathroom, there was a curtain in place of a shower enclosure, and there was no handheld shower unit. Also, there was no swinging mirror to enable me to see the back of my head.

On the cabin TV, the news channels were excellent, but the choice of movies was dreadful, in my opinion, and no first-run movies were shown in the theater or on TV during the entire voyage.

With one exception (“Frost/Nixon”), movies shown in the theater were also of a low standard, usually full of violence and totally unsuitable for the average age of the passengers. (I would say the average age was 70 to 90-plus, older than that on most other lines. There was a large number of passengers using wheelchairs.)

Although there were three lectures on the ship each day, it seemed that only one of them would be shown on the cabins’ TVs, repeated over and over. Invariably, I was unable to find any of the lectures I had missed.

The public rooms on the Queen Elizabeth had the usual Cunard elegance, but I felt the entertainment did not. In the past, on most evenings aboard the QE2 and QM1 I recall there being lavish entertainment production numbers with dancers and singers, but there were none of those on the Queen Elizabeth. Most shows consisted of one artiste or a band.

I did not have a high opinion of the Elizabethan Theatre Company on board. And the Barbados band Serious Sounds was so unbearably loud that I could not stay, even in the large ballroom, when they were playing.

My biggest disappointment in the entertainment department was there were only four gentlemen dance hosts instead of the six I had been promised when I phoned Cunard at the time I made my booking. Dancing is my main reason for cruising during the holidays. With more than 40 single women on board who wanted to dance, I was lucky to have two or three dances an evening. I consider this totally inadequate. There were nearly 2,000 passengers on board.

In the Britannia Restaurant, I found the food to be mediocre and boring except for the steaks and beef, which usually were good.

I had phoned the 800 number five days prior to the cruise to inquire about our docking time and location in Antigua. I was told that we would arrive mid morning. Based on this information, I made arrangements with friends. When I asked again, at the purser’s desk, two days before our arrival in Antigua, I was told that we were scheduled for an 8 a.m. arrival and that this had always been the case.

I was most unhappy and disappointed by the entire experience. I feel the ship is a far cry from the QE2.

I wrote to Cunard regarding the above and received an e-mail and a phone call in response. In our phone conversation, I reiterated that after such a miserable experience on board, I felt I was owed some type of recompense. I was informed in no uncertain terms that Cunard was not prepared to offer me anything.

MARY E. MERLE
Lee, MA

 

ITN e-mailed and mailed a copy of the above to Cunard Line (24303 Town Center Dr., Ste. 200, Valencia, CA 91355) and received the following reply.

 

We were sorry to hear that Ms. Merle was… displeased with several aspects of her voyage aboard Queen Elizabeth earlier this year, including bathroom amenities, cuisine in the Britannia Restaurant, entertainment offerings and the number of Gentleman Hosts who were on board.

Cunard strives to ensure that all of our guests truly enjoy the on board experience, and since receiving Ms. Merle’s letter we have communicated her valuable feedback to senior management, the ship staff and to the shoreside departments who handle these various operations.

While we are not in a position to offer monetary compensation, we are genuinely sorry that her voyage did not meet expectations, and hope that we may have a future opportunity to welcome Ms. Merle aboard again so that she may enjoy a more positive Cunard voyage experience.

JACKIE CHASE, Manager, Public Relations, Cunard Line