Posts in the “Cunard” category...
by Continental Club on May 12, 2014 | Leave a comment • Tagged as: Cunard, Cunard Line, Cunard World Voyage, Fort Lauderdale to Southampton, MS Queen Victoria, Queen Victoria, QV World Voyage, Stateroom CA Grade, Transat
If regular readers identify something of a recent pattern, it’s that the lure of the sea has proved irresistible of late; two Transatlantic crossings on the Queen Mary 2 in the past two years have certainly impressed us with their almost unique opportunities to relax in an environment still (almost) completely removed from the frenetic pace of modern life ashore and aloft.
This Easter, we embarked once again to cross the Atlantic, though this time as part of one of Cunard’s three World Voyages. The Queen Victoria had set out from Southampton on 2nd January and had sailed West to the Americas, through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific to New Zealand and Australia. We boarded for the final ‘sector’ of the grand voyage, her return from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades to Southampton’s Ocean Terminal. En route, we put into the garden island of Madeira.
The Victoria is a smaller vessel than the Queen Mary 2, not only in overall dimensions, but also in scale. She’s just very slightly snugger all-round, not quite as awe-inspiring as Mary, but very much a sister ship. The fixtures and fittings, furniture and decorations are definitively traditional Cunard and, subjectively, they’re perhaps also slightly more luxe than the flagship’s. It’s a marginal difference though, and the appointments do much to disguise the fact that Queen Victoria, like Queen Elizabeth, is a modified Vista-class cruise ship, rather than a unique and bespoke liner like the Queen Mary 2.
There’s a lot to like, not least the famed ‘White Star Service’ which sees crew operating consistently to the very highest standards. We’ve seen it on both previous voyages, but the skills and consistency of detailed conscientiousness from everyone; waiters and bar tenders, stewards and hands is absolutely five star. To tour the ship, here’s our video from on board:
We also took our camera around to capture some of the sights in a little more detail, including Easter Sunday morning.
Our Stateroom 6081 balcony:
Steamer chairs on the Promenade Deck for when you want to mix reading and relaxing with a little al fresco people and wave-watching.
The 6,000 book Library keeps the reading material supply well topped-up.
Even just wandering aimlessly around the ship is a very pleasant pastime, with public areas such as the Grand Lobby to take a seat in.
Or a pre-dinner promenade to watch the sun sinking over America.
The ship’s wake tracing our progress from the New World back to the Old.
While preparations for the night and lazy new day ahead are made by the tireless crew.
For more information on the Cunard fleet, available voyages and to book, click on the Cunard website at cunard.co.uk.
To read our reviews of 2012 and 2013 crossings on board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, visit:
Continental Club paid £499 per person (twin share) for this Fort Lauderdale to Southampton crossing in April 2014.
However, we enjoyed the Transatlantic experience so much that less than 9 months later, we were back on board to sail the reverse journey. This time, we took a video camera to capture some slightly different angles of this one-of-a-kind vessel.
Our Summer 2013 booking was for stateroom grade BD, although we found ourselves upgraded slightly to a BB stateroom once again. Whilst BD are to be found on the 2013 deckplans to the fore and aft of the ship, BBs are more midships.
Having sailed for just a few hours, it was clear (and something of a relief!) that everything onboard was just as it had been on the first crossing last year. Indeed, much about the Cunard ‘White Star’ service has an air of timeless consistency to it. At no time does any part of it suggest that, at anytime in the last 174 years, anyone has suggested trying it ‘a different way’.
During this voyage, as before, our stateroom ice bucket was replenished twice a day; waiters remembered names and drinks orders, seating preferences and even pinkness level for when steak was the order of the day.
Throughout the trip, deckhands worked continuously and discreetly to lubricate lifeboat arms, strip and re-varnish teak and remove rust spots and repaint handrails. Indeed, one afternoon whilst we were out reading on deck, our own balcony was completely repainted. The two crew seen vacuuming the boards of Deck 12 in a mid-Atlantic Force 4 may possibly have misinterpreted that day’s instructions, however….
For now though, here’s our tour of the ship in full sail.
You can of course read what’s still the completely up-to-date original Westbound review here:
Continental Club paid £899 per person (twin share) for a Westbound crossing in August 2013. For more information and to book, visit cunard.co.uk.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the European Cruise Council and Passenger Shipping Association, 20.6 million people took a cruise holiday in 2011, and a record 1.7 million of those call Britain home. And there’s little doubt that cruising traces its roots back to the days before mass-transport by air; a time when the only means of travelling ‘long haul’ was by ocean liner, and where ports-of-all were necessary purely for provisioning, not for pleasure.
It’s unlikely that many of the passengers who coined the word POSH – for whom Port Out & Starboard Home afforded the most comfortable passage – would recognise the style and scale of some of today’s cruise ships. It’s likely, however, that they’d find plenty familiar on board the ships of Cunard – the only remaining operator of the true ocean liner, and the last remaining crest under which the 21st century commercial passenger can undertake a ‘crossing’ rather than a mere cruise.