What have been your best Cunard experiences ?


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#1
Vale of Glamorgan
4,747 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
All my trips have been great but 2 stand out -
- the first on QE2, the whole experience was amazing, a round trip from Southampton to Athens in her final season.
- the 3 Queens in Liverpool in May 2015, we were on QM2, what a wonderful day.
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#2
Milton Keynes, UK
690 Posts
Joined Nov 2009
The first time I boarded Queen Victoria at Southampton.

My previous cruise had been on board P&O's Arcadia and I couldn't believe how elegant QV was in comparison. The bell boys welcoming you on board and passing the Queens Room for the first time.

The same voyage was when Kate and William were married, so the extra formal night to celebrate - right down to a "piece of wedding cake" on returning to the cabin.

On QM2, the premium champagne tasting on New Years Day 2012. 5 superb champagnes and so well matched by the chef with hot and cold canapés for each glass.
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Jon : email: cruiser1955 at hotmail dot co dot uk
Future cruises
Arcadia - J814 - Italy, France & Spain - 3rd Oct 18
Queen Elizabeth - Q915A - Japan & Alaska - 5th May 19, Arcadia - J916 - Adriatic - 10th Oct 19, Queen Victoria - V929 - Canaries - 8th Dec 19
Saga Spirit of Discovery - Northern Lights - 16th Feb 2020

Sailed on:
Swan Hellenic - Minerva II x7 (now P&O Adonia), Minerva
P&O - Arcadia x8, Artemis x3, Azura x3, Oceana, Oriana, Ventura x7
Cunard - Queen Victoria x5, Queen Mary 2 x3, Queen Elizabeth x2 inc World 2013
Celebrity - Solstice x2 - New Zealand and Australia circumnavigation
Voyages of Discovery - Discovery - south Pacific
Holland America - Zanndam x2
Orient Lines - Marco Polo - south America & Falklands
Danube - Johann Strauss
Nile - RA2, MISR Serenade, MISR Rhapsody, Prince Abbas
Santa Cruz (Galapagos)
Victoria Cruises (Yangtze)
#3
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
386 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
1. Cruise marking QE2's 40th year since launch at Clydebank - my first ever Cunard "event" cruise. Celebrations on the Tyne, Clyde and Mersey were significantly memorable

2. 175th anniversary crossing on QM2 - really felt part of something special, the Liverpool Cathederal event as an example

All other voyages wonderful of course but these two in particular are unforgettable.

M-AR
#4
At Sea
5,459 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Hard to pick just one favourite ...
QM2 Crossing 2006 (First trip with Cunard).
QM2 Crossing 2014 (10th Anniversary Celebrations).
QM2 Caribbean Cruise 2016 (First time in QG).
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Pepper........... (Cunard & QM2; "It is not the only way to cross, but it is the only way to cross")
QM2 - QE - QV - QE2 - interiors. QM2 cabin photos & ship tour. Crossings & Cruises - photographs here . . .
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...over Four Million visits, thank you.
Sailed: QM2, QE, QV, QE2.
#5
Gower Peninsula, Wales
3,274 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I think my favourite was on QM2 Singapore to Southampton in 2014. It was QM2s's 10th birthday and we had the three ships in Lisbon, followed by sailing out in convoy, then side by side up the Atlantic.

It culminated in the sisters playing Happy Birthday on their whistles as we slowly slid into our berth at Southampton. A magical experience.


The whole cruise was fantastic.
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Gill

QM2 - March 2019 Hong Kong - Dubai
QM2 - March 2019 Dubai - Southampton
Ventura - February 2020 New Orleans and Caribbean
#6
S.W. England
773 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
A hard choice between QM2 maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, memorable for the storms, or 2008 on QM2 tandem voyage with QE2 on her last Transatlantic from New York.
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QM2 April 2004 Maiden Westbound Transatlantic; QM2 Transatlantic 2005, 2006, 2009; QM2 Cruises 2006/7/8/10/11/12/14; QM2 Oct 2008 Eastbound Transatlantic - tandem voyage with QE2; QV Cruises 2008/2009/10/11/13/14/16/17; QV WC Segments 2011/16/18;QE 2012/13 x2/14; Celebrity Equinox 2009; Celebrity Eclipse 2010/12/13; P&O Azura 2013
QV Caribbean Nov 18. QE South Africa Nov 19.






#7
East Lancashire
2,827 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Mid-Atlantic Ridge
1. Cruise marking QE2's 40th year since launch at Clydebank - my first ever Cunard "event" cruise. Celebrations on the Tyne, Clyde and Mersey were significantly memorable

2. 175th anniversary crossing on QM2 - really felt part of something special, the Liverpool Cathederal event as an example

All other voyages wonderful of course but these two in particular are unforgettable.

M-AR
You have good taste, I was on also on these two cruise and agree that they were truly special. Sadly I was only on QM2 from Southampton to Liverpool, but the event in the Cathedral was wonderful.


The QM2 tenth birthday celebration was something special for my mother. We were on QV not QM2 but she loved being woken up by the Queens playing Happy Birthday as it was her birthday as well.
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QE2, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 (twice) 2005, 2006, 2007 (twice) and 2008 (twice). Caronia 2002 and 2003, QM2 2009, 2010 (twice), 2011, 2014 and 2015, QV 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, QE 2012 (twice), 2013, 2015 and 2017. Braemar 2015 (once was enough) Oriana 2017, Good but I still prefer Cunard.
#8
Farmville, VA USA
40 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
My first trans-Atlantic crossing on QM2 in 2014 is still my favorite trip, as it was my first ever cruise. That trip was planned so that I could check a trans-Atlantic crossing off my bucket list, but turned into an expensive addiction, now that I try to sail aboard QM2 at least once every six months!

Nice Cunard memories include bumping into our waiter from the year prior on Christmas, and him remembering all our names and getting to catch up with him. Also boarding right behind Captain Wells and his family in Brooklyn for the 2015 Christmas cruise. Departing Southampton on QM2's first "remastered" crossing was also special.

I'm hoping to make some new happy Cunard memories soon!
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#9
Valley of the Sun, Arizona
7,954 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
In the early days on QE2 sharing time with the likes of Sean Connery, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart. Actually approachable on QE2 in those days. But the highlight must have been the invite to the Pig & Whistle for a pint (or two) and darts. Sometimes they really were the "good old days".
#10
Canyon Country, California
3,517 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
In 2000 we won a charity auction for a 21 day European cruise aboard the Caronia. First experience with Cunard. The ship, food and service were top notch. Nothing has compared since but we keep cruising.
#11
Virginia
24,482 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by cruiseluvva
I think my favourite was on QM2 Singapore to Southampton in 2014. It was QM2s's 10th birthday and we had the three ships in Lisbon, followed by sailing out in convoy, then side by side up the Atlantic.

It culminated in the sisters playing Happy Birthday on their whistles as we slowly slid into our berth at Southampton. A magical experience.


The whole cruise was fantastic.
I agree with you. I was on QE and it was amazing. I still have the flag they gave us as we were all sailing away from Lisbon.
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Evangeline - Nassau - 1960
Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt - EB TA - 1962
Queen Mary - WB TA - 1962
Raffaello - Caribbean - 1968
MV Three Gorges - Yangtze River - 1988
Atlas - Nile River - 1995
Olympic - Aegean Sea - 1996
Constellation - Baltic Sea - 2005
Disney Fantasy - Caribbean - 2012
Queen Elizabeth - World Voyage 2014
Queen Elizabeth - Southampton to Fort Lauderdale - 2015

Westerdam - FLL to Seattle with the "Sail-away Gang" - 2015
Liberty of the Seas - Canada/New England - 2015
Westerdam - Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Marquesas with the "Pearls of the Pacific" - 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 2016
Amsterdam - Grand World Voyage - 2018
#12
Horsham, UK
352 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Tough to choose, but:

1) QE2 2000: First Cunard experience on a very empty charter trip to the Millennium Open Golf at St Andrews. Great opportunity to explore the ship in relative peace and quiet. Dined in the Princess Grill with the inimitable Andrew Nelder; one of many great Cunard characters.

2) QE2 2007: A wonderful Autumn Colours trip from Southampton, which included an afternoon arrival into New York which was truly special.

3) QE 2011: Round Britain on our first QE voyage which made us instant fans. One highpoint was a service in Liverpool Cathedral to mark the latest Elizabeth to come to Cunard's spiritual home. The Band of The Welsh Guards, Simon Weston and many links made to QE2 ensured there was hardly a dry eye in the house.

4) QE 2014: Three Queens meet in Lisbon and sail home. As Scrapnana has said - magical.

I could go on, but then I'm sure we all could.
#13
Vale of Glamorgan
4,747 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Thanks for sharing your stories everyone, one repeating theme seems to be to be on one of the ships when they are all together.
Southampton for the Jubilee in 2012 would have made my list if the weather had been a bit kinder !
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#14
Inverness, Scotland
861 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I suppose there's (at least) two different ways to look at this.

There are the 'occasion' memories. For me these would include Vistafjord's final voyage, Caronia and QE2 in New York together, QM2's maiden arrival into New York, QE2's 40th anniversary, Queen Victoria's Maiden voyage, QM2's 10th anniversary amoungst many others.

There's also the small 'moment' memories. Walking into the restaurant on the first day and the maitre 'd, a man we'd never met before, knowing exactly who we are.

Going into a lounge on the first night, after a three year absence, and the steward just appears with 'our usual'.

Getting to the front of the line at the welcome party and the hostess doesn't need to ask our names, and the captain doesn't need to wait for us to be introduced.

Bypassing the line and going in the back door to the welcome party. Sitting with another couple who had done the same, he had just finished telling us that he was sure if the captain really wanted to shake his hand he would come and find him when I saw his jaw drop. I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders and a voice behind me says, "So. You thought I wouldn't see you sneaking in. Trying to avoid me are you?" This has happened twice, with two different captains, so now we wait in line. It's less embarassing that way.

Having been at the Captain's Table on our first crossing (in the days when that was your table for the whole voyage) we turned up at the restaurant on the first night of our second crossing to be greeted at the door with, "Good evening. We have your usual table for you."

The trip where we had more than our fair share of birthdays, anniversaries and one couple on their honeymoon so almost every night we had a cake and the waiters singing at the table. We discovered that the waiter also had a birthday. On the appropriate night when he returned from the galley with the desserts he found the table decorated with balloons and streamers and a cake that had all been hidden under the table. We sat him down and all sang Happy Birthday to him. (Revenge is sweet.)

There's always the waiters that you remember, and who remember you. Twice we've had waiters become fathers during our cruise and seeing their joy, not just at the time, but when you ask about 'the baby' ten or fifteen years later.

We've watched a deck steward and a bus-boy both climb the ladder to maitre 'd. One of the cruise staff, and two dancers all rise to cruise director. Junior, and senior, officers promoted all the way to captain.

But an elderly friend has the best memory. A fire in the early hours of the morning had us all heading for our muster stations (on the open decks in those days). After several flights of stairs she had to sit down to catch her breath but she was picked up and carried the rest of the way by a six-foot tall, blond, Swedish barman, wearing nothing but his boxer shorts. The highlight of her cruising life!

Regards, Colin.
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#15
Inverness, Scotland
861 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Oh! And the Cruise Critic get-together and Cabin Cavalcade on QE2 where, unknown to most of us, one of our number was the captain's wife.

We ended our trip round all the cabins in the captain's cabin for afternoon tea.

Well done Lanky Lad for organising that one.
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#16
UK
2,308 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
1) DH and I boarding the Queen Mary 2 (in New York) for the very first time.
2) Watching DD's face as she boarded the QM2 (in Southampton) for her first ever cruise.
3) Every single voyage we've ever taken on the QM2

Is No. 3 a bit of a cheat? Can't honestly separate one wonderful experience from another and with a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth early next year I'm sure we will be adding to our experiences.
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Past Cruises:
2018 Southampton-San Francisco - Cunard. 2017 Eastbound T/A - Cunard. 2016 Westbound T/A - Cunard: Bahamas & Florida - NCL: 2015 Eastbound T/A - Cunard: 2014 Westbound T/A - Cunard: Norway/Iceland - P&O: 2013 Canary Islands - NCL: 2011 Eastbound T/A - Cunard: 2011 Southern T/A - Celebrity: 2011 Australasia - Princess: 2009 Australia/New Zealand - Royal Caribbean: 2005 Norway - Louis Line: 2004 Alaska - Celebrity: 2000 Eastern Caribbean - Royal Caribbean
#17
East Lancashire
2,827 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Colin_Cameron
Oh! And the Cruise Critic get-together and Cabin Cavalcade on QE2 where, unknown to most of us, one of our number was the captain's wife.

We ended our trip round all the cabins in the captain's cabin for afternoon tea.

Well done Lanky Lad for organising that one.
Thanks, we stayed in the Dolphin that trip, if memory serves me right, you were there as well and we passed in the stairs. By some miracle we were upgraded to a suit so an extra special treat.


I don't think it was the same trip but I also remember a cavalcade on QE2 which ended up with a visit to the Captain's cabin, but no afternoon tea for us.
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QE2, 1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004 (twice) 2005, 2006, 2007 (twice) and 2008 (twice). Caronia 2002 and 2003, QM2 2009, 2010 (twice), 2011, 2014 and 2015, QV 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016, QE 2012 (twice), 2013, 2015 and 2017. Braemar 2015 (once was enough) Oriana 2017, Good but I still prefer Cunard.
#18
Mississauga, Canada
1,517 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
I can't choose just one, but can narrow it down to two.

The first would be our first time on the QE2 in 1973 - a w/b crossing. Late arrival on the crossing from NY meant we departed Southampton after midnight - a full half day late. We arrived in NY on time - a crossing well under five days.

The second would be an e/b crossing of QM2 in 2010 when we were upgraded to Queen's Grill. A further bonus: the National Symphony Orchestra was on board. The Last Night of the Proms concert was a fantastic experience.
#19
West Midlands
551 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
1. The first time we had ever been on a ship - boarding the QM2 in NY for a QG transatlantic to Southampton.

2. QM2 for the Queens Jubilee short trip, despite the horrible weather.

3. Queen Elizabeth in 2014 Dubai to Southampton - great friends on board with us, met many others too. It was fantastic when all 3 Queens were docked together in Lisbon and the birthday whistle in Southampton from the QM2 upon our return.

Lots of other trips, but these were the most memorable.
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2019 QE Oct Norway & Northern Lights
2018 Voyager of the Seas Nov Singapore, Port Klang, Phuket
2018 Grand Princess Sep Alaska Inside passage from SF
2018 QM2 Aug Ston to Hamburg
2018 QM2 Jun Hamburg to Ston
2018 QM2 Mar Hong Kong to Singapore
2017 QE Dec Bruges/Nowhere
2017 QV Oct Adriatic & Aegean gems
2017 QM2 Sep New England & Canada
2017 Windsurf Apr Glitz & Glam in the Riviera
2016 QE Nov Canaries
2016 QV Sep Athens, Greek Isles, Albania & Venice
2016 Eclipse Apr Le Havre
2016 QE Mar Tokyo to Hong Kong (sector of World Cruise)
2015 QV Aug Istanbul & Greek Isles
2015 QE Jul Ireland, Iceland & the Faroes
2015 QE Jun Guernsey
2015 Ventura Apr Belgium
2014 QM2 Dec Christmas markets in Belgium
2014 QE Apr Dubai to S'ton (final sector World Cruise)
2013 QM2 Dec Winter Getaway
2013 QV Aug St Petersburg & Baltic Explorer
2013 QE Jun Fjords & Waterfalls
2012 QV Oct Autumn Adventure
2012 QE Aug Mediterranean Memories
2012 QM2 Jun Summer Getaway (Jubilee sailing)
2012 QV May Spring Getaway
2011 QM2 Oct Taste of France
2011 QV Aug Pearls of the Black Sea
2010 QV Jul Norwegian Fjords

2009 QM2 Nov Transatlantic
2008 QM2 Sep Transatlantic
#20
Vale of Glamorgan
4,747 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Some great stories, thanks everyone.
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