Review: Queen Victoria
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
Day Visit to Queen Victoria
108 people found this review helpful
Queen Victoria is the sister ship to the Queen Elizabeth which I visited last week. This week was the turn of the Queen Victoria.
The Queen Victoria was built in Italy and entered service in December 2007 after being christened by the Duchess of Cornwall. Carrying 1,990 guests who are attended by 981 crew, creates a very good guest/crew ratio. At 90,000 tonnes, 106 feet in breadth and nearly 965 feet in length puts Queen Victoria into the large ship category.
Being checked through the booking in procedure and security at Southampton’s Ocean Terminal was a painless experience and in no time at all we were on the ship. The immediate impression is that of being transported into a world of elegance and luxury. This week it was a different guide but one who was again excellent, having an intimate knowledge of the ship and some interesting stories.
The first thing passengers see on boarding is the Grand Lobby. The lower level of this 3 deck high atrium with its double sweeping staircase is dominated by artwork that depicts the bow of a ship upon a globe. The beautiful wood, richly carpeted floors and sculptured balconies cannot fail to impress and gives the boarding passenger a taste of what lays in store for them.
One of the areas that will leave a lasting impression is the Queens Room. This is one of the few modern ships that still have a ballroom with gentlemen dance hosts. The floor is of a light wood illuminated by huge chandeliers. Here you can dance in the evenings or enjoy being served afternoon by white gloved waiters. Balconies where you can sit and overlook the proceedings whilst listening to the ships orchestra or just people watching.
All Cunard ships feature a Golden Lion pub. Based on a traditional British pub they offer a large selection of beers, ciders, spirits etc. The ‘Pub Menu’ includes of course ‘Fish and Chips’. They even have the high stools at the bar. Great place to meet for that lunch time pint which is so traditionally British.
For something a little more sophisticated try the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar. With its location overlooking the Grand Lobby passengers can select from 7 different Veuve Clicquot Champagnes and can order by the glass or by the bottle.
On deck 9 is the Winter Garden. Though similar to the Garden Lounge on Queen Elizabeth the notable difference is the retractable glass roof so that in sunny climates the roof can be folded away giving a true open air feel. It is somewhere that you can go and relax. The 3 tier fountain adds to the ambience. A group plays in the Winter Garden so if you want to dine in a different venue from your normal one and then dance under the stars on a warm night this is the place to be.
Dining for passengers takes place in 3 restaurants and depending on the grade of stateroom you have chosen will dictate where your main dining venue will be.
For those occupying the highest grade cabins the Queens Grill is the venue. Situated at the top of the ship on deck 11 it offers a more intimate dining experience with tables in the main for 2 and 4 persons. There is the Princess Grill for those in the appropriate stateroom grade. Similar in many respects to the Queens Grill, it is situated at the top of the ship adjacent to the Queens Grill. In both of these restaurants it is A La Carte dining. Passengers of both these grades have access to the Grills Lounge where they can enjoy pre dinner drinks or ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’. Another area exclusively for these guests is The Courtyard, a small sheltered and secluded area where you can dine Al Fresco in good weather.
The majority of passengers will dine in the Britannia Restaurant where the traditional set dining times of 6pm and 8.30pm are observed. Located over 2 levels the top level acting as a balcony this restaurant is reminiscent of a bygone era where large opulent dining rooms were the order of the day. Here there are tables accommodating up to 10 guests. The menu is excellent with a wide choice always available. For those who do not wish to have the set dining arrangements there is the Lido Buffet Restaurant on deck 9 where each evening there is a different theme with dishes selected to enhance the theme.
Still on deck 9 are the 2 swimming pools. At the stern is the Lido Pool with a vast sunbathing area. It has its own bar where you can cool down with a refreshing drink. At various times a group plays to sooth away the hours whilst sunbathing. In the centre of this deck is the Pavilion Pool and its surrounding sun bathing area. This is the larger of the 2 pools and again has its own bar. Both pools are complimented by jacuzzis.
Decks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are accommodation decks where nearly all the various grades of stateroom are located. 86% feature outside views and 71% have balconies. The lowest grade is the Britannia Inside Stateroom which starts at 152 sq. ft. Even they are very well appointed with on suite facilities, twin/double beds, dressing table etc. plus Interactive Television that have multi language film and music channels. Also Direct-Dial telephone, Refrigerator, a safe, and for the ladies, that all important hair dryer. Supplied for your use whilst on board is a Bath Robe & Slippers. On arrival there will be half bottle of wine awaiting you to celebrate the start of your cruise.
The staterooms then progress through those with outside view, to balcony, and finally the top level suites. The top level suites are something to behold. As an example the Queens Grill Penthouses vary between 520 – 707 square feet and have a separate living area. You will also have your own butler, marble bathrooms, whirlpool baths and large balcony’s. You can even have the refrigerator stocked with your own preference of drinks!! In these top suites you have a dining area where you can invite quests to have dinner with you and all the time looked after by your own attentive butler.
Whilst on board I took lunch in the Todd English Restaurant which is another of the alternative dining venues. Like the food on Queen Elizabeth it was delicious. Starting with the Cured Loch Duart Scottish Salmon, this was followed by Pan-roasted Fillet of Plaice, Baby Shrimp Fondue, Lemon-scented Baby Spinach, Pommery Mustard and Noilly Prat Sauce with Bacardi Lemon Crème Brulee to finish. This was washed down with chilled Chardonnay bearing the Queen Victoria label.
This ship has much to offer the cruiser who expects that little bit more. With luxurious fittings of polished wood, thick carpets and works of art gives an aura of elegance from the moment you step on board. There are many venues I have not mentioned and these include Hemispheres the ships night club, the Commodore Club with its pictures and models of Cunard ships, the magnificent Library with a wooden spiral staircase and of course the Royal Court Theatre with its tiered seating and private boxes. Add to this the different dining venues, magnificent ballroom, attentive service and much more it surely cannot fail to please even the most discerning passenger.
108 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.