Panama Canal and Transatlantic Repositioning
Ruth and Michael Topper | September 3, 2022 | Cunard | Queen Elizabeth
Boarded in San Fransisco and sailed down Pacific Coast stopping in Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas and Punta Arenas before transversing the Panama Canal and then sailing to Aruba, Ft Lauderdale, Punta Delgado (Azores), Madeira, Cadiz and Barcelona where we debarked.
We were in a Queen’s Grill suite (Q4)
1.Good Butler – attentive and responsive – could perhaps be a bit more proactive.
2.Dining Room staff ranged from good to Excellent.
Dining Room experience very good but not yet up to the standard of the QM2
3.Courtyard Restaurant excellent for Lunch
4. Grills Deck superb comfort and excellent attention during the day with drinks, water, ice cream and afternoon tea. The upper deck now has an awning which gives a kind of cabana affect and shelters from the extreme heat of the sun for those of us who do not wish to return home burnt to a crisp.
5. Good to excellent speakers – very informative and enjoyable
6. Excellent Singers and Dancers – performed several varied and brilliantly produced shows
7. Covid Tests (twice on board) nowhere near as stressful as on the QM2 – but question the continuing need for these now.
Not so good
1.Internet access appallingly bad. Benefits package has changed and loyalty rewards are in the guise of money off the internet package rather than free minutes. Cost of keeping in touch is exceptionally high – cheapest cost is $15 per device per person per day. There is a more expensive faster option at $20 per day but this is no use when satellite is ‘down’ (allegedly). Overall Internet package a complete rip off. (we did get a substantial refund on monies paid). There were days when the internet did not work at all (same for staff !).
2. Did not get to Bermuda due to new requirement for a travel permit (why was this not advised to us in advance by Bolsover or Cunard). Wasted a couple of hours whilst the ship attempted to facilitate these for many guests and in the end Captain announced that we would be going to the Azores instead. These travel permits cost $40 and last for a month. Required for all visitors even if they do not intend to get off the ship. Certainly Bermuda will be off our visiting list from now on !
3. Complementary alcoholic drinks in the suite have been changed to cheaper options. Soft drinks still freely available.
4. Requirement still to wear masks around the ship and in the theatre.
5. For a portion of the cruise the number of people per lift was restricted to 4. This is insufficient to service the needs of the guests.
6. Guest entertainers were at best average.
7. Lack of porters in Barcelona made debarking stressful.
8. The carpet in our suite was filthy – needs a real good deep clean. The balcony never seemed to be cleaned even though it was tidied up.
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