First time on Cunard
Brian Booth | July 8, 2017 | Cunard | Queen Mary 2
We have cruised with P&O and Fred Olson before but never Cunard. We have never been on a mini-cruise but found that this was as cheap as a good hotel with the added bonus of professional entertainment. We drove to Southampton and arrived much earlier than our book-in time. I had arranged parking at the dock and the car was taken away with the customary efficiency after our cases were unloaded by a porter. We went into the departure lounge and were seen to almost immediately. As we had booked through a travel agent we did not need the e-ticket I has downloaded nor the copy of our insurance. We went on board after quickly clearing customs and were amazed to find our cases already waiting in our cabin and a complimentary half bottle of wine siting in an ice bucket on the table. We had a balcony cabin on the 4th deck and were lucky that we could spend quite some time in beautiful sunshine after having a meal in the buffet on the upper deck. The only disappointments were the meals in the Britannia Restaurant and the 15% surcharge added to every purchase (we have never had this on P&O). The entertainment was excellent but the drinks seemed expensive. Being priced in dollars didn’t help either. The Queen Victoria really is a beautiful ship and we were fortunate that the sea was very calm. We took the free shuttle bus to Blankenberge and managed to avoid being run down by all the cyclists in the area. Hilary O’Neil was a perfect entertainer for the age of most of the guests but some of the younger ones must have struggled with her impersonations, The balcony came in useful again after we returned from the shuttle trip. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable and the wardrobe was easily large enough. Before this trip I always imagined that a mini cruise would be a waste of time and money but I have now changed my mind.
Be prepared to manage your expectations.
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