Cunard Queens Grille v Celebrity Suite Class


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#1
Bedford UK
407 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Could I solicit the thoughts of anyone who has experienced both - on the differences, positives and negatives of the experiences. Are they comparable?
We have done the latter three times on S class ships and now have taken the plunge and booked a first cruise with Cunard on Q.V. for October.
Any tips on getting the best out of the QG experience or indeed if there are any things to watch out for/avoid we would appreciate it ( forewarned is forearmed)
Thanks
#2
Gower Peninsula, Wales
3,098 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
We have sailed with Cunard a lot, mainly in the Grills in recent years. We have also sailed once with Celebrity but only in in a Sky Suite. Each have their pluses and minuses.


These are MY thoughts.


The restaurant - Illuminae - wasn’t a patch on PG muchless QG. It came nowhere near. Food wasn’t as good, choice for a vegetarian was downright poor and service left much to be desired.


Michael’s Club was a very nice touch, with the inclusive drinks, but the room itself was dark and gloomy so not conducive to spending much time there.


The Sky Suite was very nice, quite modern in appearance, which we liked, and was very clean and very comfortable, but there were no inclusive drinks soft or alcoholic in the ‘fridge and the fruit bowl consisted of three apples!


At the City Terminal, we were told in no uncertain terms a Sky Suite gave us no priority boarding, though I have since discovered this was incorrect. Boarding and disembarkation felt rather chaotic.


I am not really sure Celebrity is for us, but never say never.
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#3
UK
38 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
Whilst we can't coment on a comparison between Celebrity and Cunard, we have just returned from a cruise on QV in Queens Grill.

General advice is do ask for what you want in the restaurant and suite but be reasonable and allow time. Each evening there is a menu of the day plus a la carte. Some items on the a la carte need to be ordered by lunchtime. If you ask for the evenings menu at breakfast and see nothing that takes your fancy or if you have a favourite dish, even if it isn't on th a la carte, give your head waiter enough notice and he will try his best to accommodate you.

In the suite the butler will do his best to accommodate your needs, just let him know what you needvand he will try his best. There is a concierge in the Grills lounge who can deal with routine enquiries but not to the same standard as we have received on Royal Caribbean.
If the concierge is not on duty, your butler may be able to help. Please remember butler service is only available until 9.pm

Whilst you eat in a separate restaurant with no sittings and have accessbto the Grills lounge and sunbathing area, there are no perks such as reserved seating in the theatre or complementary cocktail hour. However you do get a complementary bar set up in your suite.
#4
Market Harborough, UK
818 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Happy Cruisers 67

Whilst you eat in a separate restaurant with no sittings and have accessbto the Grills lounge and sunbathing area, there are no perks such as reserved seating in the theatre or complementary cocktail hour. However you do get a complementary bar set up in your suite.
The Grills do offer a separate Afternoon Tea in one of the Grills areas (depends on ship) which in our opinion is a much more leisurely affair than the Queens room.
Butlers can be brilliant - our last one organised a quite elaborate drinks party for 8 in our suite prior to dinner.
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Trevor Lake
#5
253 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
Originally posted by scifimonkey
Could I solicit the thoughts of anyone who has experienced both - on the differences, positives and negatives of the experiences. Are they comparable?

We have done the latter three times on S class ships and now have taken the plunge and booked a first cruise with Cunard on Q.V. for October.

Any tips on getting the best out of the QG experience or indeed if there are any things to watch out for/avoid we would appreciate it ( forewarned is forearmed)

Thanks


Hi Scifimonkey,

We have sailed in QG on QV and a Royal Suite on Celebrity. Both lines only once, we are on X Silhouette again in May.

Both experiences were great, but for us, Celebrity had the edge (excuse the pun!).

Cunard
Embarkation was smooth and quick. We were greeted by our butler and taken to our cabin. Then had lunch in the QG restaurant.
We were in a Q1 and the room was amazing, the balcony was enormous - best balcony EVER!!
Service on Cunard was the best service we have experienced. The Grills restaurant was very nice and the food was mostly excellent. The Maitre 'd (Sandro) and his 2ic (I think Eduardo?) were brilliant as were our waiters.
Speciality dining - we did not try. Apart from the pub and buffet, there was only one alternative dining venue (correct me if I'm wrong) and the menu just did not appeal, luckily the food in the restaurant was good enough for this to not be a problem.
Our butler, Romil, was excellent and when requested he would bring no us the hot canapés from the Grills lounge instead of the cold canapés (although I seem to remember the normal canapés were also good, but the hot ones were delicious!)
The Grills lounge was good but rather small and it could be tricky finding somewhere to sit for both pre-dinner drinks and afternoon tea.
The Grills courtyard was sublime and a gorgeous space to eat al fresco when the weather allowed.
The Grills decks I didn't use very much due to being lucky enough to have such a huge balcony.
Entertainment - we found the ship very quiet. Plenty of ballroom dancing though if that's your thing, it was certainly fun to watch.

Celebrity
Embarkation - we were greeted in the terminal by the MC host and escorted on to the ship and straight to Michael's Club to enjoy nibbles. We did both these cruises in 2015 and the 'suite life' or whatever they call it, had just been rolled out so I'll be interested to see how this is different on our cruise next month.
The suite was beautiful and, as Cruiseluva says, very modern with clean lines and plenty of space. The room is midships so a side balcony this time (we do prefer the aft) but still large - there is a bath on the balcony, which is a nice idea, but I would rather have had the extra space, especially on a Baltic cruise! Due to the bath there was only one sun lounger, which, again, was fine on this cruise as sunbathing opportunities were few and far between. I believe you can request an extra lounger if required.
Service was excellent, the MC concierge was especially helpful and ever-present. There were lots of nice touches - invitations to various events in MC and helipad sail away. Cruiseluva is also correct that MC is a little gloomy, but as we only really used it in the evenings we didn't find that a problem.
Luminae was very good, but QG was better. Luminae did serve the best burger I have ever tasted though......
Speciality dining - the best food I have eaten on any ship, ever. Tuscan Grill - delicious and fantastic views from the aft.
Q'sine - great fun with friends
Murano - wow.
Buffet - another big win for X. Very impressive. Great selection.
Entertainment- Celebrity wins. We found MC extremely convivial for pre and post dinner drinks. The bar staff were great and would bring your regular drinks as soon as you sat down. The Captain would occasionally be in there mingling with guests. I would say the evening entertainment was biased to a younger crowd - focussed more on bars and dancing than the ballroom focus of Cunard (absolutely nothing wrong with that - horses for courses)

For us Celebrity was somehow more conducive to meeting other guests and the atmosphere on board was more relaxed. We made some great friends on this cruise who we are still in regular contact with.

It's hard to put my finger on exactly why we preferred Celebrity, perhaps we just found Celebrity more sociable?

At the time we sailed, Celebrity still had the formal evenings so similar dress codes.


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#6
S.W. England
740 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Some years ago (its first season) we had a Sky suite on the Equinox. Very modern, but on the deck under the buffet and noise was an issue. This was before Celebrity introduced separate dining for suite pax and other amenities. Whilst we enjoyed the cruise, we found the music around the ship, especially at night, overpowering. It was a Norwegian fjord cruise and when we went to the top deck around 5.00am to take in the panoramic views, there was still music! This should have been a time for peaceful reflection.
We found the jazz bar of which the musicians were excellent, dark and annoying that it was also a thoroughfare to restaurants. The biggest downside of Cunard, has already been mentioned, and that is the Grills lounge can often be difficult (in cooler weather) to get a seat.
If Celebrity and Cunard were doing the same itinerary, we would choose Cunard.
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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
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#7
Charlotte
57 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
I tend to agree with almost everything that Ehg mentioned above. We have done TAs in PG a few times and QG once, all on QM2. We have made one transpacific in a Celebrity Suite on the Millennium. We found the experience comparable between the two with a couple of differences.

The formal dress code (almost) ship-wide on QM2 changes the atmosphere on those nights. There is a different, special occasion feel to everything, so that even just walking about the ship makes you feel a part of something significant. The Celebrity "chic nights" do not carry the same atmosphere, as the dress code is essentially voluntary and ignored fairly often.

Michael's Club on Celebrity has much more of a "club" feel than the Queens Lounge. Having drinks provided at no additional charge (nothing on any ship is "free") means that there is always a fairly good crowd in the room, leading to more interaction among the suite guests than I have observed on QM2. This is probably the source of the statement above that Celebrity seems to have more personal interactions among guests. There were also a good number of special programs offered in the Club, such as a sushi-making demonstration (we were going to Japan), that were very enjoyable. Something was offered in the Club almost every sea day (it was a two-week trip).

I found the food and service in Luminae to be comparable to QM2 PG, with perhaps a slight edge to Cunard, but the Celebrity service was not quite up to the QM2 QG standards. Part of the problem was that, perhaps as a cost-cutting move, Luminae was slightly understaffed on our crossing. One more server for the room would have made things run a lot smoother. It is, of course, a much smaller room than PG or QG restaurants, which should have made service easier to accomplish.

We prefer QM2 for the atmosphere and the formality of those special nights and will continue to travel on her as long as that policy holds. We would not have any hesitation about traveling in a suite on Celebrity again, with Michael's Club being a clear advantage over the QM2 Queens Lounge. With the exception of a few trips on other lines (Alaska, Norway, and Panama Canal), we have really only done transoceanic trips, and probably will continue to do only crossings, we will always check QM2 first, but are definitely open to Celebrity for another crossing.
#8
UK
275 Posts
Joined May 2004
We have experienced Royal and Sky suites on Celebrity and PG on QM2 & QV.
Being more traditionalist, we enjoyed the dressing for dinner and the atmosphere of the Cunard ships more although the Eclipse is a beautiful ship.
We thought that Laminae did not match the Princess Grill either in terms of service of taste of the food, which we found very bland. Maybe the Cunard menus are more designed for English tastes?
We loved the Grills sundeck on QV.
Our butler on Eclipse was totally outstanding.
For us - it is Cunard but Celebrity was pretty good!
#9
Bedford UK
407 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Thanks to all for your detailed comments. I have always found that understanding the brand and its pluses and minuses has helped us enjoy pretty much every cruise we have done whatever the line and to the extent that we had an issue, it was usually because we were unprepared for it.
It seems like the two options are quite comparable with only minor preferences either way so I am sure we will have a great time.
I look forward to the QG dining and will take note of the Grille lounge constraints compared to Micheals club.
I would be interested to hear what people’s favourite watering hole is on Q.V. and for why.
The commodore club looks to be a similar size and design to the crows nest on Britannia but hopefully with less pax it will be easier to get a seat in. We really enjoyed the ambiance of the Martini bar on the S Class X ships and to a lesser extent, since it was changed to the World Class Bar, the specialist Cocktail bar. What would be the Q.V. equivalent for a great cocktail or Martini and pleasant space for a sociable but not rowdy evening. (I’m sure that nowhere on Q.V. is rowdy but my vocabulary is temporarily letting me down for a less extreme word)?
#10
Vale of Glamorgan
4,161 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
The Commodore Club is a great spot, it can get busy but with the advantage of flexible dining you should be able to time it to avoid the worst of the rush.
We also like the Chart Room and the Midships Lounge (Gin & Fizz Bar). The liveliest place is the Golden Lion - evening trivia, game show type entertainment and karaoke takes place there.
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#11
1,416 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We found the Grills Lounge on QE to be fairly quiet most of the time. It was busy for afternoon tea on our cruise in 2016, but not late last year as the tea was served in the Princess Grill. We dined early in the evening, and went into the lounge afterwards at around 8pm, and there were very few using it , most people seemed to go elsewhere after dinner. It is said it is busier mid evening with people having a drink before dinner, but they had certainly gone when we came out.
#12
Near Windsor UK
222 Posts
Joined May 2002
We were certainly put off celebrity by the loud music. Hard to find anywhere peaceful other than in the cabin. We have stuck to Cunard grills ever since. I would be interested to know whether Celebrity have turned down the volume in recent years.
#13
New Hampshire
5,983 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by scifimonkey
Could I solicit the thoughts of anyone who has experienced both - on the differences, positives and negatives of the experiences. Are they comparable?
We have done the latter three times on S class ships and now have taken the plunge and booked a first cruise with Cunard on Q.V. for October.
Any tips on getting the best out of the QG experience or indeed if there are any things to watch out for/avoid we would appreciate it ( forewarned is forearmed)
Thanks
Ok, I'll try...I haven't done the Queens Grill since Dec.2010(QM2) On celebrity I've been 3 times on Eclipse. I haven't done Luminae, but know pax who have. Here's the differences: Queens Grill(and Princess Grill)are totally purposefully built restaurants. Luminae is "carved" out of a section of the MDR(Moonlight Sonata on Eclipse). In the Grills, the table you have is "yours" for your entire voyage: Breakfast, lunch & dinner. In Luminae you may not get the same table & may actually at times have to wait. Food is very good in Luminae, but in Queens Grill(unless this has changed)you have the option to venture "off" menu. In Luminae, I've heard it's more difficult to do so. Caviar(no longer the "good" stuff unfortunately) is complimentary in the Queens Grill not on Celebrity. Cunard was among the first to have the dining set up this way. MSC Yacht Club & the Haven on NCL would be similar to the Grills. If you wish you also have the option of dining "Al fresco" in the courtyard of the QV.I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with your trip on Cunard. Though you'll had Michael's Club, it pales in comparison to the Grills lounge. Most definitely do tea there when you can. Tea service is done in several areas about Cunard ships, you'll have a tea "menu". Do use it!! If not the attendant will just pour "any old" tea into your cup. There's very nice choices to be had.