Queen Elizabeth Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Second Mate

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Queen Elizabeth was a wonderful experience. Not quite as luxurious as I expected.

Sail Date: September 26, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Balcony

Cabin: 5048

My friend and I recently took the 1 week Mediterranean Cruise from Rome - Florence- Monaco- Toulon-Barcelona-Rome.  While the Queen Elizabeth was a very nice ship, excellent appointments and amenities, excellent service, great food, I guess our expectations were of even more luxurious cruising than we had.  We have sailed Celebrity, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean and thought the Cunard would be at the top of the luxury lines.  We were disappointed.  There is definitely a "first class" for those who can afford it, the grill suites.  The rest of us were excluded from their restaurant, couldn't even take the elevator to their level 11.  Felt like we were back in the 1910's on the Titanic.  We love the formal elegance of assigned dinner time and seating, the formal nights, the diversity of passengers fit our "niche market" perfectly.  Many wonderful people from Britain, Canada, Australia, U.S., Japan, etc. 

We had a terrible experience when we docked in Toulon, France and I don't feel like Cunard handled it at all.  We did not have an excursion planned, it was a rainy, miserable day and most people stayed on the ship.  We took a cab into town, where at a local mall, a strange man came up to my friend, said something in a language we did not understand (not French) and made a slicing motion across his neck, suggesting he wanted to "behead" her.  He did it twice.  There was absolutely no security or police presence to report it to, we left immediately.  When we returned to the ship, I tried to report our experience to the purser and asked for the Director of Security to report this incident.  We were basically "blown off" and told there was nothing they could do since we were not on an excursion.  I understand you go ashore at your own risk, but we were not referred to someone in higher authority and our concerns for future passengers safety in this port were ignored.  It really scared both of us and left us with an unpleasant experience both in Toulon and Cunard's handling of our concerns. 

Our balcony stateroom was comfortable, attractive, but less areas to place personal items than on previous cruise lines we had sailed.  The entertainment options in the evening especially left a lot to be desired.  No one "folded towels like animals", there was no brunch with carved fruit like we have had on previous cruises.  We missed those luxuries and our expectations for Cunard were set too high for what we experienced.  We did get our money's worth as I bought our tickets on a discount site, but don't sail the Cunard expecting total luxury, at least the Queen Elizabeth.  I guess the Queen Mary is their top of the line ship.

Cruise Photos

Ship Quality
Consistent with mid-priced cruiselines we have sailed like Celebrity.
Food and Dining
Not quite as wonderful food as we expected, although it was good, selections limited - I ended up having fish 3 times in 7 days because steak options very limited.
Service and Staff
Ivan in the salon was fantastic - highlight of the trip. He styled my hair twice and was friendly, helpful in making suggestions and gave me the nicest style I have had in years.
Very little that we were interested in - went to an Ipad class and it was a waste of time. Did enjoy the "astronaut" who talked about space experiences.
Onboard Activities
Destinations and Excursions
Most excursions were full, rushed, crowded, impersonal and some guides, especially in Monte Carlo were downright rude.
Cabin / Stateroom
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
Need more time in Florence - Forget Toulon and give us more time in Florence.
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Trip to Nice in AM, Monte Carlo in afternoon. Beautiful port, easy to get "hop on bus' if docked close to the city.
Toulon, France
Don't go ashore unless you have an excursion. We felt like we were in great danger and almost "beheaded".
Barcelona, Spain
Gaudi tour


Don't sail the Queen Elizabeth expecting total luxury - it is basically a mid-value cruise ship. I guess the Grill Suites were luxurious, but we were definitely excluded. Missed the turn down surprises and fruit carving brunch on last day at sea.

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