Hi there it has been hectic here, but I thought I would give a very quick report back from my very quick trip onboard the Queen Elizabeth.
So this was a quick four day trip from Singapore to Hong Kong. I chose this because last year I did a segment in Asia as apart of the world cruise on the QM2 and enjoyed it. So I thought that this would be a fun way to experience the Queen Elizabeth (I had not sailed on her before) to see if I would enjoy sailing on her for a longer period of time. Quick background. I have sailed on the QM2 four times now, but have sailed many other times on many other lines. I have also stayed onboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach if that counts :). I am sailing solo and this is my first time in a inside cabin on Cunard. Check in: Because this was just a part of a world cruise check was fairly easy. I arrived around 4pm and there were almost no people in front of me. Quick easy and efficient. I have to say I miss being escorted to my stateroom. But I assume those days are long gone… This time, I stayed in a deluxe inside cabin, which was spacious for one, and had one of the best room stewards I have ever had. He was unobtrusive, efficient, friendly, and worked around my schedule in turning the room. I tried to vacate at the same time, but if I did not, I would let him know generally when I would return. He didn't reorganize my things, he just kept everything tidy and was very polite and friendly in a respectful way. The cabin offered a lot of closet space which I did not take advantage of fully as I was only onboard for 4 days and I was traveling solo. Food: Food is quite subjective, so who is to say, but I will mention that I missed the "local" cuisine that I had experienced on the previous year's sailing. I was looking forward to fruits, vegetables, and dishes that are "unique" to the locale to where we were sailing, but unfortunately I felt the choices were lacking. There were a bit of options, but not nearly the choice that I had experienced on the Queen Mary 2. I ate dinner in the Britannia Restaurant each evening. The best way I could describe the food in the Britannia, if it were a land restaurant, would be to say, "It is a restaurant I would go to if invited, but it would not be my suggestion. I feel you are 'paying' for atmosphere." I sat with a mix of passengers, two of which were on the world cruise, while the rest were disembarking in Singapore. The table was half full almost every evening, but the company was enjoyable. Layout: I was pleasantly surprised by the layout of the ship. After sailing on the QM2, admittedly it was nice not to have to go up and down flights of stairs to get to specific locations. I was worried it would feel too small, but it did not. Spaces I really enjoyed: The Games Deck. The minute I saw the green games deck I was in love. Croquet, bocce ball, paddle tennis. I thought that was a wonderful touch. What a perfect way to spend an afternoon at sea. And the weather was perfect to enjoy watching and playing. The Garden Lounge. I liked this space, I happen to be a fan of the old Winter Garden on the QM2 and I miss it, so it was nice to have a similar space that makes one feel like you are in a conservatory. Sip a cool drink, in climate control air while watching the world pass by in such a space was very nice. Deck 3 Promenade. I love love this, I like being able to walk fully around the ship without too much hassle. This was something I would do on the top deck and well as the lower deck, in the morning and in the evening. It was very relaxing and it was nice seeing fellow passengers read and listen to music on the chairs just watching us sail.
I liked the pub space on the Queen Elizabeth as well, it felt like a real (to me ..) pub. I don't understand the box seats in the theatre. I always had difficulty seeing because of the glass partisan, but other than that I liked the layout of the theatre.
This voyage was meant to be relaxing so, I spent time receiving spa services, and I did not participate in many of the activities onboard. But, if I am quite honest, I did feel like there were not a lot of options of things that I wanted to do during the day. There were a few things, but nothing that I saw, I thought I don't want to miss that, as I have thought in the past. But different people like to do different things, so everyone can't be happy all of the time.
One complaint I have is the public computers and printing. Why is there only one single computer that you can print from? I spent 2 days trying to print one single page, because I could never manage to use that computer. I tried early in the morning, and late at night, but the printer was not working properly. So I needed to wait for the "computer area" to be staffed, but then of course there would be another passenger sitting at that particular terminal (not printing anything) for large portions of the day (they must have had a lot of minutes :)) I am not sure why they don’t allow printing from the other terminals, but I definitely felt as if I spent waaaaay too much time trying to print my single page document.
Hmm… what should I say.Well let start that I am a big fan of Art Deco and was looking forward to seeing it on the Queen Elizabeth I struggled to find it at first but, I did see the subtle nods to the style. I think I personally was just expecting more.
Disembarkation: I don't know what to say…it was tedious. But it is over now so I will not think of it again…;) Transportation: To Hong Kong and the terminal Hong Kong Kai Tak
I took an airport bus from the airport to a few blocks away from my hotel (I walked the rest of the way) and I took a taxi from my hotel in Hong Kong to Kai Tak Cruise terminal. Again very simple and straight forward except for the fact that there were two Cunard ships docked and the taxi driver attempted to drop me off at the Queen Mary 2 first. I explained that I was at the other ship, further down. He drove me down further, not quite far enough, because the signage is quite confusing "B" starts at one end, but where one drops off one's luggage is at the complete other end of the "B" terminal but the walk was minimal(I have to say this was not the nightmare experience I had the previous year when the taxi driver REFUSED to drop me off a the correct location and I ended up having to walk to the complete opposite side of the terminal in the POURING rain with all of my luggage. (this was not a short walk to say the least) Luckily there was a really nice porter working with Royal Caribbean not Cunard who helped an older women with her luggage and showed us where to go, otherwise I would have been completely lost. Thank you again to that porter wherever he is)
The only reason I mention this at all, is that I am not mobility impaired, I am young….ish:) experienced traveler so having to walk around up and down flights of stairs with luggage is not an issue with me (annoying yes :) but not physically a problem) But for someone else it may be. So in addition having a written document or image of the address of the location to where are going in the language of the country to which you are traveling, if any way possible find out at what SPECIFIC birth your ship is sailing from and learn how to say wherever that is in the language of the country that you are in. That's my travel tip ;)) Transportation into Singapore. There are fixed rate rides that are right outside of the terminal. But if you want to take a regular metered taxi they are just past the immediate exit and closer to road. I did not have any issues at all with taxis in Singapore either to the city or to the airport. The one thing that I would mention would be that they have a "toll" system which I personally didn’t understand at first. So on the taxi meter it lists the meter fare, and right below it, it lists the amount of tolls, So your full passenger fare are the two amounts combined together (at first I didn't understand what and how I was being charged) All and all I had a nice time, enjoyed the ship. Based on the atmosphere, style and general vibe of the ship, I would definitely book a longer cruise on QE. I am also looking forward to sailing on the Queen Victoria later on this year as well. If you have any specific questions please let me know, I would be more than happy to answer. tmee