Queen Elizabeth – A day visit

My wife and I recently had the  pleasure of spending a few hours on board Queen Elizabeth, Cunard’s latest addition to their fleet,  as guests, courtesy and jointly, of both Cunard and the Silver Travel Advisor website.

Queen Elizabeth was berthed at Southampton’s Ocean Terminal and on arrival we were immediately impressed by the efficiency and organisation of the Cunard Ship Visits’ team. There were approximately 70 visitors, taking part in yesterday’s Ship Visit, designed to give potential passengers an insight into Cunard. We were split  into smaller  groups of ten, each escorted by a Cunard Ship Visit Escort. Each couple were given a welcoming brochure which included details of the fleet,  future itineraries and an exclusive Ship Visitor , available for bookings made after their visit.

Once on board our guides endeavoured to take each group on a route that avoided a large congregation of visitors in one particular area: good news for those of us with cameras.

Our first impression once onboard was of the magnificent Grand Lobby

Central to the ship, The Grand Lobby acts as a hub for directions and navigating one’s way around. This majestic area spanning 3 deck levels is bounded by many facilities including the Reception desk, an impressive  two deck Library connected by a spiral staircase, Internet centre, shore excursion desk a number of elegant bars and the Verandah fine dining restaurant.

The Library

…before our group, led by Terry, now headed for a tour of a selection of the ship’s accommodation.

In turn we visited selected examples of the different grades of accommodation available.

An Inside Stateroom

A Standard Balcony Stateroom…

…and a Queens Grill Suite

We visited the Royal Spa with its Hydropool, Thermal Suites, massage and well equipped fitness and gymnasium facilities.

The Hydropool

…and Thermal Suites

Next stop on our route, the open decks – where we were able to see both the Pavilion Pool Deck midships  and the Lido Pool Deck at the stern of the ship. One cannot but be impressed at the available space in these areas, where one never feels crowded,  each area having its own bar and refreshment facilities: the Lido Deck additionally enjoying a  grill station.

Pavilion Pool Deck midships…

and the Lido Pool Deck at the stern of the ship…

We also took the opportunity to see the Grills Lower Terrace Deck

Also,  on the  upper decks, the Games Court Deck where a variety of traditional ocean cruising activities are available including quoits, shuffleboard, tennis and bowls.

One of the the Games Court Deck

What is most certainly clear from the outside  deck pictures is the large deck space Queen Elizabeth has to offer – it never feels crowded.

Adjacent to the Pavilion Pool deck is the ‘Garden Lounge’, a bright and airy conservatory style room inspired by Kew Gardens and where one can relax during the day or return in the evenings to dance and listen to live music.

Central to Queen Elizabeth’s  entertainment facilities are the  Queens Room and the Royal Court Theatre.

The Queens Room…

the grandest room on board where a live Dance Orchestra plays nightly while during sea days  traditional Cunard Afternoon Tea is a feature not to be missed. In addition regular dance classes are also held in the Queens Room.

And the  lavish Royal Court Theatre is a truly magnificent West End style theatre with its array of private boxes and tiered seating on three levels this is the venue for musical shows, plays,  visiting entertainment and late night movies.

Another entertainment feature of all Cunard Ships is the traditional English Pub, the Golden Lion, where no less than 6 draft beers are available together with a large selection of other favourite drinks …

Complete with its own kitchen to serve traditional English pub Lunches, it also hosts varied entertainment from live Jazz sessions to trivia quizzes and karaoke to popular game shows.

For those who favour late nights Queen Elizabeth also has its own Disco night club, the Yacht Club

At this point in our visit, we noticed that general embarkation was starting and it was noticeable that  ship wide preparations for the newly arriving guests were well in hand. One of the joys of sailing with Cunard is the fact that upon embarkation each passengers can go straight to their stateroom should they wish to, whereas on other cruise lines, cabins are not available until 2pm.

What is also ready are the  dining venues and final preparations in the  Lido Buffet Restaurant on deck 9, were spotted by our group…

Now how about this piece of Beef  for a first carvery lunch on board…

A Roast Steam Ship of Beef certainly made my mouth water.

Dining arrangements on board Queen Elizabeth is matched to a passengers  grade of accommodation booked plus there is an  alternative fine dining restaurant, which  charges a supplement, The Verandah

The passengers booked on Grills accommodation dine in either the  Princess Grill, shown below or the Queens Grill.

…offering one single seating dinner, anytime between 6.30 and 9.00pm.

Passengers booked in the Britannia category dine in The Britannia Restaurant, on decks 2 and 3. They offer two seatings for dinner, which needs to be confirmed at the time of booking your cruise. 1st seating 6.00 pm or 2nd seating  8.30 pm…

The Britannia Restaurant…

Cunard Ship Visits include lunch in the Britannia Restaurant

The Crab Tian…

The Halibut

The Dark Chocolate Fondant

And our group,  who came from as far afield as Bristol and St. Albans,  were unanimous that the visit to Queen Elizabeth was excellent and had been a great success…

In summary I would say  that, for any prospective Cunard passenger who was unsure of what to expect from Cunard,  these visits, for the relatively small fee charged, are great value.

The tour was comprehensive, the lunch and wines were superb and the information offered very helpful.  An excellent way of getting a feel for the class and style that Cunard are synonymous for. Not forgetting the opportunity to increase one’s On Board Credit’ by using the code in the specially produced brochure.

Every passenger area of the ship was available to view and all staff were friendly and helpful: all the more important when one considers the busy turn around period.

Well done Cunard and in particular those members of your staff who made this a memorable day out.

PS. Prior to embarkation it was announced that in the party of visitors was the one thousandth visitor on the scheme this year. Cunard made a short presentation and I eventually managed to capture the gentleman on camera after lunch…

Well done that man.

Attendance to the Cunard Ship visits is by invitation only, if you are interested in taking part on this programme, and I highly recommend it,  please email your details, including postal address to shipvisits@cunard.co.uk and hopefully you will also get to enjoy a fabulous day on board a Cunard ocean liner!

4 responses to “Queen Elizabeth – A day visit

  1. Thank you so much for this insight. Might be worth a try, since it’s so similar to the Queen Victoria, even though the winter garden is different. Keep on cruising 🙂

  2. Hello Richard.
    Glad you and your wife enjoyed the tour around the QE.
    It was a pleasure to meet you both.
    The photos were excellent especially the one I took!!
    Best regards, your tour guide, Terry

  3. Chuckle,,, First , a very concise , well presented review with pictures for Silver Travel 🙂
    Second,,, For a man who has done numerous Cunard cruises and has written so many reviews including having a Cunard banner for photo ops, this must have been a blast.

  4. Pingback: Queen Elizabeth Fanzine and Hamburg Cruise | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

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