My wife and I have just completed a very satisfying short cruise on board Cunard's Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to Hamburg and return.
This was very much a last minute decision looking with the intention of killing two birds with one stone. Firstly a number of members of the "We Are Cunard' Facebook Fanzine were planning a get together and secondly, we were very keen to visit the delightful German couple with whom we made friends on our Europa 2 cruise last September.
Check-in at Southampton's Ocean Cruise Terminal was both smooth, efficient and well organised and Cunard were still operating the priority check-in system for their Grills and World Club members.
We were not accommodated in the Grills on this occasion but qualified for 'priority embarkation due to our 'Cunard World Club' level.
Queen Elizabeth has recently undergone a refit where a number of improvements and technical innovations resulted.
This was the second time we had sailed on Queen Elizabeth though the first time in the Britannia Restaurant. All be it that this was a short cruise we had an excellent time. Accommodation was as expected, clean, comfortable and well serviced.
As we sailed from Hamburg the Captain included in his announcement that the weather forecast for the next 48 hours was not good and that there was a likelihood that our arrival back in Southampton would be delayed.
At Hamburg a large number of German guests had embarked who were destined to continue, after the Southampton stop, on the world cruises of both Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary 2.
He promised that if our arrival into Southampton was delayed additional entertainment and on-board activities would be organised as well as special assistance for those who would need to alter their onward travel arrangements. Complimentary telephone lines were opened for those who needed them.
He was as good as his word. We were kept reliably informed of the situation and the sea and weather conditions reminded all passengers of exactly what the situation was. Having said that Queen Elizabeth proved equal to the often 70 mph winds and rode the swell well.
We eventually arrived at Southampton some eight and a half hours after schedule and, considering the priorities of various groups, disembarkation ran very efficiently.
A full review of this cruise is now available on my Cruise Blog...