Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Solent Richard

Hello Victoria

Recommended Posts


On Sunday my wife and I were amongst 451 passengers who joined Queen Victoria in Singapore as she heads back to Southhampton having completed the Asian sectors of her 2019 World Cruise.

We are now one week into the cruise having called at Kuala Lumpur and Colombo and are currently heading across the Indian Ocean towards our next stop, Mahe.

 

So perhaps a good time to offer an update on how we are finding our return to Queen Victoria. 

 

We booked a Princess Grill suite some 18 months in advance, on a cruise only basis, for the 19 night Singapore to Cape Town leg:  arranging our own flights as and when they came into range and pre and post cruise stays at hotels of our choice.
 
Embarkation at Singapore got off to a bad start. Queen Victoria was one of two ships at the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. The other,  ‘Genting Dream’ - catering for Asian passengers was on a full passenger  turnaround. With no obvious dedicated priority boarding avenue there was one almighty scrum taking place as security screening took place prior to reaching the respective ship check-in desks.

Having convinced ‘security’ we were indeed entitled to ‘priority’ boarding we were eventually fast tracked down the ‘mobility issue’ channel and once through security on into the Cunard check-in area. Unfortunately having reached the check-in desk Cunard’s computers crashed en-masse and it took a further 50 minutes of re-booting before check-in could once again proceed.


It’s a while since we last did a Cunard fly-cruise and maybe my surprise at not being greeted by a photographic assault team may well be unfounded.

 

We sailed that evening and the following day was our first port of call, Port Klang for Kuala Lumpar.

 

The next three days were sea days as we headed out of the Malacca Straits and on to Sri Lanka and our call to Colombo.

While my wife and I continue to conduct ourselves to our own entire satisfaction we have come to notice a number of issues not to our entire taste while other aspects are more than satisfactory.

 

Perhaps the most noticeable observation is the decline in standards of dress and the lack of any real enforcement when a standard has been particularly set in certain areas. The Royal Court Theatre and the Queens Room most notably.

I do recall a thread on here some time ago lamenting the reduced area of the Chart Room. Well to date we have never seen it anywhere near full on any evening.

 

On a bright note I am more than happy to report that the food in the Princess Grill has been of a variety and standard that has far exceeded both our expectations.

 

Also spotted a number of members of Cruise Critic onboard and enjoyed a social drink with one or two.

 

Needless to say we are fully involved most days and regret that time does not always allow posting  on a daily or regular basis. I will however endeavour to make one or two more updates in due course.
 

 

 

Bellboys and Richard at embarkation.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice picture, Richard.  Sorry to read about embarkation.  Not one of Cunard's strong points, IMHO.  We were on the Vicky from San Francisco to Sydney and experienced lots of formal nights with fairly good compliance, although not perfect.  Hopefully things will pick up to meet your standards.  Oh, and we enjoyed the Princess Grill experience especially our wine steward, Csila.  I hope she is still around.  We loved her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the posting Richard. Your insights are very interesting and will be useful to us down the road as we plan our own voyages.

 

Jack

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far the two best nights in any of the bars has been a 'Rock n Roll night in the Golden Lion starring the Royal Court Theatre Orchestra and the Yacht Club where the current resident group has to be one of the best I have experienced across the fleet.

 

The other experience we are witnessing for the first time is the 'Gin and Fizz' at the 'Midships Bar'

1074578747_GinandFizz1.jpg.29c62b8505c898ce7d7368f00223c0c1.jpg

 

It was the Gala raj night last night and not all seats were taken in the Chart Room. One can only speculate that the 'Worldie' cruisers have maybe run out of OBC. 😂

 

Yesterday was also 'Pirate' Drill which seems to be taken quite seriously. Not Cunard but I thought It would probably make for a reasonable theme night in less serious circumstances. 

 

Hold on yo your parrot.

 

Internet seem pretty good in this part of the ocean, fingers crossed for the Chelsea match live in 75 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Richard!

 

Thank you for posting...I sailed on the QV this past Summer for three weeks.  A two week Baltic cruise and a connecting 7 Day Norway cruise to test out the QV post-refit.  The loss of the Chart Room which is replaced by a dining room is the biggest issue to me.  I loved that  former lounge with its very comfortable uncrowded seating and the live music every night pre-dinner and after dinner.  Before dinner, many passengers utilized it because it was so close and convenient to the dining room.  By day it was a great place to hang out to read and watch the ocean go by.  During the world cruise a section of it was roped off during the day for the full world cruise passengers.

 

Now all that is gone and that beautiful piano sits forlornly in a corner no doubt lonely since no one plays it anymore.  Its a disgrace.  An unplayed piano is lost and depressed.  Perhaps Cunard should give the piano away to a care home where it can be played and appreciated.  Also, if the piano is taken away to a care home and off the ship passengers may soo forget it was even there, may soon forget there was ever a real Chart  Room.

 

The joke of a new Chart Room is crowded often with uncomfortable seating.  Many of the chairs sit close to the floor which makes it difficult for some elderly passengers to get  up.  Many of the chairs have no arms.  Some seating are just uncomfortable stools.  AND THERE IS NO LIVE MUSIC IN THIS LOUNGE!  Any music played comes from across the deck or below in the lobby.  You an barely hear it.

 

The so called midships bar has no LIVE music and has the buzz of a broom closet .

 

I have spent many many days on the QV before the refit.  The ships has its flaws especially  the  tiny showers and the lack of storage space.  As many of you know, Cunard thought they solved that problem by installing drawers under the bed.  I don't know about you but I am no spring chicken and getting down on my hands and knees to utilize those drawers is  almost out of the question.

 

Also, it may be my imagination but the Britannia Dining room seems more crowded with the additional new passengers.

 

The service on the ship is almost flawless.  I love the crew!!  I love the Commodore Club.  I love the Yacht club and Golden Lion Pub although it does not have the light of the one on the Queen Mary.

 

Even with all its positives, the loss of the Chart Room is a deal breaker to me.  I will stick to the Queen Mary.

 Richard, enjoy the res t of your voyage.  Like many others I look forward to your new reports.

 

Deck Chair

 

Edited by deck chair

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2019 at 10:50 PM, deck chair said:

Hi Richard!

 

Thank you for posting...I sailed on the QV this past Summer for three weeks.  A two week Baltic cruise and a connecting 7 Day Norway cruise to test out the QV post-refit.  The loss of the Chart Room which is replaced by a dining room is the biggest issue to me.  I loved that  former lounge with its very comfortable uncrowded seating and the live music every night pre-dinner and after dinner.  Before dinner, many passengers utilized it because it was so close and convenient to the dining room.  By day it was a great place to hang out to read and watch the ocean go by.  During the world cruise a section of it was roped off during the day for the full world cruise passengers.

 

Now all that is gone and that beautiful piano sits forlornly in a corner no doubt lonely since no one plays it anymore.  Its a disgrace.  An unplayed piano is lost and depressed.  Perhaps Cunard should give the piano away to a care home where it can be played and appreciated.  Also, if the piano is taken away to a care home and off the ship passengers may soo forget it was even there, may soon forget there was ever a real Chart  Room.

 

The joke of a new Chart Room is crowded often with uncomfortable seating.  Many of the chairs sit close to the floor which makes it difficult for some elderly passengers to get  up.  Many of the chairs have no arms.  Some seating are just uncomfortable stools.  AND THERE IS NO LIVE MUSIC IN THIS LOUNGE!  Any music played comes from across the deck or below in the lobby.  You an barely hear it.

 

The so called midships bar has no LIVE music and has the buzz of a broom closet .

 

I have spent many many days on the QV before the refit.  The ships has its flaws especially  the  tiny showers and the lack of storage space.  As many of you know, Cunard thought they solved that problem by installing drawers under the bed.  I don't know about you but I am no spring chicken and getting down on my hands and knees to utilize those drawers is  almost out of the question.

 

Also, it may be my imagination but the Britannia Dining room seems more crowded with the additional new passengers.

 

The service on the ship is almost flawless.  I love the crew!!  I love the Commodore Club.  I love the Yacht club and Golden Lion Pub although it does not have the light of the one on the Queen Mary.

 

Even with all its positives, the loss of the Chart Room is a deal breaker to me.  I will stick to the Queen Mary.

 Richard, enjoy the res t of your voyage.  Like many others I look forward to your new reports.

 

Deck Chair

 

 

Hi Deckchair.

 

Sadly the Commodore Club is not the venue I remember. Somehow Sally Sagoe - my least favourite Entertainment Director - has seen fit to programme guitarists for the early evening/ pre dinner sessions. They are too loud and ruin conversation while totally detracting from the cocktail lounge ethos.

 

We now prefer the Chart Room of Gin and Fizz for pre-dinner drinks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a real shame Roscoe isn't still on board. Between us we could have sent a message on what style and dress are all about...

 

290277426_RichardJacket.jpg.52ce2d36bf25386932eb715fadcf2b87.jpg

 

2043349981_RajNight1.jpg.beea0f36a014071f2925c23c7583315c.jpg2043349981_RajNight1.jpg.beea0f36a014071f2925c23c7583315c.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sally Sagoe seems to manage to put a lot of people’s backs up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She certainly does....

 

Following our excellent day in Male yesterday we now have two sea days as we head to Mauritius.

 

We decided to take a break from the formality of a grills lunch and headed for the Golden Lion for a pub lunch.

 

Shock horror - six passengers playing some kind of darts tournament and every table bar two empty. 

 

Having chosen a pretty central table we were approached by a waiter and ordered our drinks. As an afterthought I asked him what time the music would start. 

 

No lunch-time music sir, just lunches.

 

Take a pause on our order I say and,  after a short consultation,  we decide to head somewhere else.

Any wonder the place was empty?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two days after sailing from Singapore I thought it very generous of Cunard to offer a package whereby passengers could purchase ‘Duty Free Liquor’ for stateroom consumption…

 

1129260594_DutyFreeLiquorforconsumptiononboardVoucher.jpg.56aa600c17ba6065e6cc58379096edc8.jpg

 

While the offer was valid only for one day on this particular leg (Singapore to Cape Town) the shop assistant assures me that it will be repeated on the next leg, Cape Town to Southampton.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We sailed from Seychelles minus two passengers. 

 

Mr and Mrs W of Deck 5 were the subject of many public broadcasts after the 'all onboard' time.

 

Confirmed this morning that we definitely sailed without them and they will rejoin us at Mauritius subject to funding.

 

Apparently their taxi arrived at the jetty when the Queen Victoria was some 300 yards away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If Roscoe is looking in Dragana, Voyage Sales,  sends her best wishes to you. 

 

She joined my wife and I for a Veranda Lunch today...1506911102_FanzineLunch.jpg.271edb1fab3bf62ccdd215f2caeb4c23.jpg

 

I'm pleased to say I fully approve of the new verandah concept. The lunch was excellent.

Edited by Solent Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep em coming Richard !   enjoying all the updates, are you making use of the Court Yard  from time to time. 

 

By the way, have a word with the Social Host to sort those Gentlemen Hosts out in the Queens Room  ( onboard your Q.Vic trip) They either wear a 'jacket or waistcoat' when 'on the dance floor'. 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/3/2019 at 2:16 PM, Solent Richard said:

 

 

Hi Richard we are joining QV in Cape Town would you be able to advise who the professional dancers are ?

thanks ellie 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/2/2019 at 4:24 PM, Solent Richard said:

It's a real shame Roscoe isn't still on board. Between us we could have sent a message on what style and dress are all about...

 

290277426_RichardJacket.jpg.52ce2d36bf25386932eb715fadcf2b87.jpg

 

2043349981_RajNight1.jpg.beea0f36a014071f2925c23c7583315c.jpg2043349981_RajNight1.jpg.beea0f36a014071f2925c23c7583315c.jpg

Good Evening All - a little off-topic but - I have always admired how smart these asian silk shirts are (as per blue one above) - what is the actual name for these?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, johnsuttoncoldfield said:

Good Evening All - a little off-topic but - I have always admired how smart these asian silk shirts are (as per blue one above) - what is the actual name for these?

 

Mines actually made of silk and I had it made in Thailand some years ago. We smilingly refer to it as my 'Nehru' jacket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, ukellie said:

Hi Richard we are joining QV in Cape Town would you be able to advise who the professional dancers are ?

thanks ellie 

 

Ellie, I will endeaver to get their names for you by my next broadcast.

Edited by Solent Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning we arrived at Port Louis, Mauritius, an island we have visited on many occasions for land holidays and once on a ‘Line Voyage’  with QE2.

So it was an easy decision for us to head for a local beach. Cunard was providing shuttles into Port Louis but these weren't scheduled to start till 9.00 am.

We crossed the gangway at 08.05 and walked the 15 minutes to the Independence Square Bus Terminal, caught a 215 air-conditioned Express coach to Grande Bay and walked a further three hundred or so yards to the next beach…

 

1968244309_LaCuvetteBeach1signpost.jpg.4c4459d8b2d311c3e4204739b889c41d.jpg

 

We were having our first dip in the water by 9.20 am…

 

1286832159_LaCuvetteBeach2Beach.jpg.2a9a45da54b8e71ade89fcf6fd86981d.jpg


…and stayed till just after midday before heading to a local food outlet for a ‘Creole Fish with Ginger’ lunch before heading back into Port Louis for our planned hike up to Fort Adelaide…

 

745624988_FortAdelaideMauritius1.jpg.e862db357c94ad36fe9bcce0cdf9a684.jpg
…to enjoy the view down over Port Louis and Queen Victoria….

 

1789842121_FortAdelaideMauritius3Shipview.jpg.0b18a1e39bbc3d9bf25979d81d746169.jpg


Interesting to note that as we were leaving the beach  we recognised a number of staff from the ship and a small coach with a notice saying Cunard Crew Beach Shuttle.

Also interesting to note that our return ticket on the Express Bus totalled 136 Mauritian Rupees (around 3 GBP) for the 25 minute ride each way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2019 at 3:47 AM, ukellie said:

Hi Richard we are joining QV in Cape Town would you be able to advise who the professional dancers are ?

thanks ellie 

 

Hi Ellie.

 

As promised here are the names.....Yumika and Mathew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today Queen Victoria arrived at Reunion Island where I pre booked a tour with a local guide.

 

This was a share with 6 other passengers...

 

366081106_ExperienceReunion1Transport.jpg.a9b81f2d00abfb663e2b3ebe55992513.jpg

 

708940783_ExperienceReunion2BarbaraandHeloise.jpg.40691dfd0533d0bef0f066046ffb0162.jpg

 

...whom I had recognised from the Cruise Critic Roll Call though I had taken the recommendation of a friend on one of my Cunard Facebook groups who used the same guide last year on Queen Elizabeth.

 

Our guide, Heloise, of 'Experience Reunion' was superb and arrived at the meeting point well ahead of the agreed start time.

 

The tour was centered on the islands volcanic craters and the Cirque de Salazie, a sunken vertiginous mountain volcanic floor surrounded by multiple waterfalls and tropical vegetation...

 

739585179_CraterCommerson3.jpg.554c10e6434220d47e07fdd65b84bb96.jpg

 

493450339_Salaziewaterfalls1.jpg.4a4dd0eda2c05f9af3f856a79803c8fa.jpg

 

...and also included a visit to the attractive village of Hell-Bourg.

 

Weather wasn't altogether on our side but, all the same, we had a great tour and saw some amazing natural sites.

 

 

Meanwhile things looked up onboard last night. Dear Sally had programmed in a pianist for the Commodore Club and guess what - the place was back to its atmospheric norm with hardly a table spare.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/4/2019 at 11:41 PM, Bell Boy said:

Keep em coming Richard !   enjoying all the updates, are you making use of the Court Yard  from time to time. 

 

By the way, have a word with the Social Host to sort those Gentlemen Hosts out in the Queens Room  ( onboard your Q.Vic trip) They either wear a 'jacket or waistcoat' when 'on the dance floor'. 😉

 

Hi Bell Boy.

 

Thanks for your kind comments.

 

I'm afraid there is little point in talking to the Social Host, my personal view of course but I don't think he is anywhere near what some Cunarders appreciate and love.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds as if he is a new boy on the block, you couldn't possibly be referring to Sediki ? ? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you will find Sadiki is onboard QM2 at the moment as is shortly leaving Cunard altogether. He will be missed a great guy with a wonderful sense of humour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 He certainly is.  One of the best 'Male Social Hosts' ever to grace a Cunard ship. Outstanding !  

Edited by Bell Boy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...