|Subject: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:50 pm|| |
I know, it took me forever to get this written...
Dates: December 11, 2008 - January 2, 2009
Ports of Call
Azores; Antigua; St Kitts; St Lucia; Grenada; Barbados; Madeira; Vigo.
We checked into our hotel for the evening the De Vere http://www.devere-hotels.com/our-hotels/grand-harbour/the-hotela and let me tell you guys we HAVE use this hotel again for the Inaugural of QE. It's wonderful. The rooms are very generous in size and the location can't be beat. After a leisurely morning at the hotel we arrived at the cruise terminal.After a speedy check-in we went through to a the departure lounge. We were given a card with a number on it. At intervals a number was announced and people were asked to proceed and board the ship. Very organized, it worked well. We were kept entertained by a brass band playing Christmas carols. It was a charming beginning to what would be an excellent cruise experience.By 12.30pm we were embarking the Queen Victoria for the first time via the Grand Lobby. She is every inch a queen! Beautiful architecture!
Queen Victoria's design is a bit different than that of QM2. As you probably know, QM2 has most cabins clumped together with Princess and Queen Grill accommodations located on different decks from the other cabins. On QV, the cabins are mixed, meaning Grill accommodations are on the same decks as the other cabin - leading to a more social experience in my opinion. I loved this concept. I was traveling with my parents and we had two side by side cabins on deck five. I walked in to find 2 champagne flutes and a full sized bottle of sparkling wine in an ice bucket waiting for me. A very nice surprise!
I had my bed made up in the Queen configuration (can be twin) and it was very comfortable. The cabin had plenty of space and storage including the wardrobes (closets to my American friends)
The balcony was larger than I remember on Queen Mary 2 but, that could have been my imagination. Nonetheless, I did put it to good use
The cabin itself was decorated in beige tones with a red carpet and drapes. The red theme was the norm for the port side and corresponded to the port side passenger deck corridors. The starboard side is carpeted in blue (colour coded carpets is useful when exiting a lift as you know immediately which side your cabin is on). I will mention here that the stairways are also different colours so you can identify if you are
forward (A – Red), midships (B – Green) or aft (C – Blue). Now you'll never get lost on QV! The bathroom and shower cubicle was typical in size and as usual, one felt like a crowed. There were plenty of towels and toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion) in the bathroom which were replenished daily.There is a small glass shelf either side of the sink (for toiletries) and a larger shelf the width of the bathroom under the sink (also containing a waste bin). My cabin steward was attentive, unobtrusive and friendly when I did see him, although that was not often. And, in all fairness, I never called upon him for any special requests or services.
We were sent on our way to the tunes of the brass band playing Christmas carols and Santa Claus even waved us off!!
As already mentioned this lobby is simply beautiful. The ‘sculptured’ carpets are absolutely wonderful and are complimented by marble floors. You have to see it to appreciate it as photographs just don’t do it justice. Especially when QV is dressed up for Christmas.The Christmas decorations were absolutely wonderful and gave a true Holiday atmosphere. They had strung Santa in his sleigh and the reindeer across the lobby atrium so that it appeared to be flying across the ship. Very clever idea! They aslo had a life size fairytale scene with Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs set in a
‘village’ on deck one of the lobby. Throughout the ship there were several Christmas Trees and decorations. In addition all the bars and public spaces had hand made Ginger Bread Houses filled with cookies, chocolates and candies.
Our assigned restaurant was the Britannia. This is a two tiered in layout and located at the stern of the ship. At the time of booking over a year and a half in advance we had asked for a table for second sitting. The Britannia restaurant has Art Deco inspired design features and, the main focal point of the room is a fantastic illuminated globe and is at the head of the Captain’s table. (The Captain on QV is Christopher Rynd) The menu choice and food that was available in the restaurant throughout the cruise was of a high standard and always arrived hot. Yippee! They finally got it right!
This was ideally situated to have a pre-dinner drink as it was outside the Britannia Restaurant on deck 2.
Champagne Bar The Champagne bar is located on deck 2 of the Grand Lobby. It echoes the one that is on the Queen Mary 2 and you can get a selection of champagnes here including Veuve Clicquot, and, those who already know me, know how much I enjoy my bubbly! So you know this where I could often be found.
Café Carinthia You have to buy your hot beverages in this bar/café although there are a variety of free light snacks available throughout the day. The prices were reasonable, with coffee and tea from a $1.00 upwards.
Todd English Todd English is a paid supplement restaurant - $30.00 Dinner; $20.00 Lunch. We enjoyed two dinners and two lunches here; the food was delicious and the service was exemplary. In our opinion we felt it was worth the extra charge, especially on a longer voyage.
Golden Lion Pub
This was another favorite sport of mine for lunch with choices such as traditional fish & chips (very nice), ploughman’s lunch, pies etc.
Empire Casino & Bar
The casino was one of the few public spaces where passengers were allowed to smoke, so it was quite smoky. Yes read again - SMOKING IS ALLOWED.
As per my usual luck, I loved the casino but, it didn't love me. However, I chalked it up as part of my entertainment and, still really enjoyed the time I spent in the casino.
Now if you know me, you know my middle name is dance. And, I wasn't going to let this facility to go unused. Being a single lad, it was easy to find dance partners every night and it was especially fun during ABBA night, where, you guessed it, the music of ABBA was featured.
My parents favorite spot on QM2 and now on QV. The Commodore Club is located at the bow of the ship on deck 10 and offers wonderful views of the waves during the day and sunsets in the evening.
Queens Room This was a favourite for all those passengers that enjoyed dancing; yes that means me too! But, I was missing my favorite dancing partners (Marina, Christina and Tina) and, while it was enjoyable the times I went here, I did enjoy Hemispheres Nightclub a bit more.
Royal Court Theatre The theatre is the most opulent and authentically styled (traditional west end) as it is in the brochure. It really is a fabulous theatre with unrestricted views from wherever you sit. There are 8 private boxes at each side of
the theatre which have a surcharge and, we did take advantage of it and, felt it was worth the extra money of $50 the two nights we booked it and the fee includes a small bottle of champagne and chocolates. A nice touch!
Winter Garden This is a light and airy pleasant space on board and was popular with most of the guests. It is located between the Lido restaurant and the Pavilion pool on deck 9. It does seems to get more use than it's counter part on QM2.
The food we ate from the Lido was good and might I add HOT. I think Cunard finally got the message that passengers like HOT food and not lukewarm or cold! The design of Lido is superior to King's Court on QM2. The wait staff often asked us if we would like drinks and they would assist any passenger who appeared to have their hands full or who were older such as my parents.
Cunard is proud of this library and rightly so! The two story library is reported to have 6000 + books and contains something for everyone from autobiographies, true crime, history, fiction and non-fiction. There is also a selection of daily papers and magazines for passengers to read when visiting the library.
Royal ArcadeThe shops on board of are the upscale market variety where you can buy Faberge Eggs, Fine Art and branded watches and jewellery. The shops were supplemented by $10.00 stalls that sold toiletry sets, belts, bags, ties, jewellery, watches etc. These were ideal as affordable gifts for either people back home or the
cruise staff.There is also a shop that carries a range of everyday toiletries, over the counter medications and plasters etc.
I purchased a ‘5 day’ spa passes ($85.00) and thoroughly enjoyed visiting the spa after a day’s sight seeing. The passes do not need to be used on consecutive days, which was a huge plus.
The spa is a wonderful tranquil space and the hydra-therapy pool is excellent. It is furnished with wooden steamer chairs & fresh towels. There is a water cooler and fresh fruit platters for the passengers’ replenishment.
Ports of Call
This I will not be including the ports of call since I already reported those in my Live from QV report. https://cruisefreekforums.forumotion.com/cunard-f26/greetings-live-from-queen-victoria-t1949.htm
A truly enjoyable cruise was had by myself and my parents. While my usual sailing companions were sorely missed on this journey, I was beyond pleased with my entire experience on Queen Victoria, and, I cannot wait to return to her again. I will work on getting photos uploaded to supplement this review.
|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:33 pm|| |
Great review, I can't wait to see the pictures.
|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:35 pm|| |
I'll try to get more photos including my scuba photos up over the weekend
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|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:38 pm|| |
Great review Patrick! The ship looks great! Glad you had a nice time.
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|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:31 am|| |
Great review! Makes me wish I were there!
How do the box seats work in the theatre? How many seats are in each box? I found that concept intriguing!
|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:39 am|| |
absolutely beautiful ship
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|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:54 am|| |
Great review Patrick. Looking forward to sailing with you again on QM2 and, we do need to finish that dart tournament we never finished at the Golden Lion!
|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:10 pm|| |
Excellent review Patrick! I'll have to write my QM2 Christmas 2008 review and get it up too.
|Subject: Re: Cunard Queen Victoria Christmas Review December 11 2008 || |