Any early reviews of the Queen Victoria?

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Dec 16th, 2007, 10:15 AM
  #1
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Any early reviews of the Queen Victoria?

My wife and I are taking the Eastern Med cruise on the Queen Victoria next November, just wondering if anyone has any early reviews of the ship after its first cruise (last month, right?)
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Dec 17th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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As much as I love Fodors, you will find a lot more information about cruises over at cruisecritic.com

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Dec 24th, 2007, 12:20 AM
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I was onboard Queen Victoria earlier this month for two nights. Although it wasn't the maiden sailing (in fact, we didn't leave Southamton--I was there for the Naming Ceremony), you can read my ship preview at http://cruisediva.com/Queen_Victoria_preview_1.htm

I hope that helps.

Linda Coffman
Author, Fodor's The Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises
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Dec 30th, 2007, 01:04 PM
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This does sound like the cruise from hell....

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,319067,00.html
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Dec 31st, 2007, 11:59 AM
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I sailed on the maiden voyage and thought the ship was fine. Yes, there were some glitches, but since it was the first time the ship had sailed with a full complement of passengers & staff, that didn't surprise me. From my perspective, the two noteworthy problems were lack of drawer space in the cabins (significant reduction from what's offered on the QM2) and the lukewarm food.

Here's my two cents:

Public rooms: Overall, the decor of the ship seems sophisticated - lots of darker woods, gold fabrics, burgundy & navy color themes. The upholstery on the chairs and sofas is very luxurious - tapestries, chenilles, damasks, but I wonder how they'll age with use? Gorgeous carpets - thick & soft with elegant patterns and colors. Queens Room is smaller than on QM2 and the balconies take a little getting used to (at first, it felt like we were the animals in a zoo, being watched by passersby from above!) The Golden Lion is the pub, and is cozier than on QM2 - wooden & etched glass partitions give the impression of small dens. Good location too - near the casino. The Commodore lounge was my favorite - great views up top and very elegant (not stuffy) but comfortable; great martinis. The Veuve Cliquot and Midships Lounges were both nice, but somewhat elongated along a main corridor so they were great for people watching but not terribly intimate. Chart Room was too brightly lit for my taste, but was a nice spot to read in the afternoon. Britannia - well designed with smart use of wood/glass partitions to break up the space. The Winter Garden is very different from on QM2 - it's between the Lido restaurant and the pool, and I'm sure will be well used on warmer-weather voyages. Library was nice (2-level) but smaller than on QM2; still plenty of books though - 6,000!

Food: In general, I thought the food was well prepared and flavorful. So often, ships are reluctant to use seasonings, so food can be bland. The menu options were varied and tasty. Having said that, they all suffered from being served lukewarm - in Britannia and in the Lido, at all meals. We got to the point where we automatically asked the waiter to microwave our food and it was piping hot and tasty. Clearly, so many people had complained that one staff told us were the "200,001st person to tell them" and that the warming units were not working, and the engineers were working on them...for the entire 10 days! Lido for dinner was nice because they offered an Indian bistro 4 or 5 nights, with table service, tablecloths, etc. Tasty food. Also a fondue restaurant another 4 or 5 nights (didn't try this one); and an English Carvery a few nights. These were in addition to the standard Lido dinner buffet. I had dinner in Britannia only twice, since the service was so slow - we weren't finishing our standard 3 courses until just before 11:00 pm.

Entertainment: Seemed a little skimpy, particularly for a maiden voyage. Had a singer, comedian (raunchy bathroom humor), magician, opera duo, two production shows, a variety show, a pianist and something else. Daytime lectures were good - John Maxtone-Graham who gave 3 lectures related to classic cruising, an ex-MI6 spy who went into great detail about the Falklands and an art expert. Assorted other lectures by the spa & jewelry personnel which were thinly disguised sales spiels. Team trivia at least once per day; karaoke a few times; passenger talent show. Gentlemen hosts kept the single ladies dancing in the Queens Room. Interestingly, no port talks.

I haven't decided whether I prefer the QM2 or QV yet - the QV is smaller and more intimate, yet the QM2 feels more grand to me. Did book the 10/10/08 trans-atlantic on the QM2 though.
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