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cwuer

Anyone here sailed Silversea and Cunard (in Grill suites)

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I have sailed on Silversea, but never on Cunard. I am looking for someone that has sailed on any of the luxury lines and also in the Grill suites section of Cunard to do a comparison. I realize the difference in what is included in the price, I am looking for a comparison of the overall experience and ambiance of this line as compared to the luxury lines. Thank you for any insight you can offer.

Edited by cwuer

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The restaurant experience is totally different. Cunard is much closer to land based fine dining. You have a designated table for the three meals and it is yours to come and go as you please. Caviar included upon request in QG.

Kind of like berries on SS.

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We are SS regulars but have sailed on probably all comparable lines. We recently did a crossing on QM2, in the Queen' Grill and were severely disappointed. The ship is terrific, ESP the Planetarium but they only had 2 shows over 7 days. The musical variety is really a treat. The food in the QG was a joke. We ate lots of fruit. We met others who felt the same way. You have to do it at least once and it is better than flying. East to west is probably better since you gain time daily. A nice Cunard touch: they adjust the clocks at noon when going west to east to make it easier on the crew.

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The comparison would have been very different ten years ago when the QM2 debuted. (Never mind the QE2 which was far superior in term of food and service.) But things have steadily declined even in QG in the past decade. Food is disappointing and nowhere near the quality it once was. If you want to call it fine dining I suppose you can but remember that most Holiday Inns have a restaurant where they offer "fine dining." Still, if you want a transatlantic experience on a true ocean liner it's the only option out there.

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Yes, you are correct. My mind was giving no thought to the actual food served and the response was referring only to service. Food quality on ships?

Interesting concept.

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I have sailed on Silversea, but never on Cunard. I am looking for someone that has sailed on any of the luxury lines and also in the Grill suites section of Cunard to do a comparison. I realize the difference in what is included in the price, I am looking for a comparison of the overall experience and ambiance of this line as compared to the luxury lines. Thank you for any insight you can offer.

 

Hello, thought an insight from a British point of view might be helpful, as I've travelled in Grills on Cunard & also on all of the luxury lines except Crystal.

I actually like all of them, but for different reasons & it's hard to compare.

What I would say is that once you leave the confines of the Grills exclusive areas (dining room, lounge, Grills deck) then you are on a big ship with all that entails.

The USPs of the luxury lines are that you soon become recognised to the staff by name, get to become familiar with other guests & I find it far more sociable as dare I say, no one has to put their hand in their pocket for a round of drinks & you are all sharing the same space & by & large, the same accomodations.

Open dining on the luxury lines is a big plus - it's hard to move from your designated table for 2 (or 4 or 6 etc.) on Cunard if you meet up with other folks you'd like to share a meal with & if these folks happen to be in the Britannia Restaurant, you'd have to go the alternative evening 'pay' restaurants, you can't invite them into the Grills areas. A win for the luxuries on that one, flexibility being a big advantage.

Food is very subjective, but I enjoy being able to have the option of 3 meals a day in the Grills restaurant, I'm not a fan of buffets, so here, for me at least, Cunard wins on that score as the luxury lines appear to me to be closing their MDRs at lunch time. However, the range of alternative venues now being offered as standard on the luxuries is a plus for them, especially if you like to shake it up a bit!

Entertainment is good on Cunard, shows mostly lavish west end type productions & comedy is no doubt geared towards a British audience. But, again, you'll be in amongst a large number of guests & you'll lose that intimacy you find on the other lines, especially as the night draws on in the bars & the club. However, if things like ballroom dancing & big band music is to your liking, you'll enjoy Cunard for it's Queens Room , especially on a formal evening.

If the OP is looking towards a Transatlantic, I've got to say go with QM2 - the enrichment programmes will fill your days, the elegance of the formal nights will charm & just the majesty & heritage of the ship will endear you to it. As I said, there are alternative eating venues if you wish to have a change one day, & the Golden Lion pub for lunch is a good one. Plus you must experience at least one afternoon tea! The 5/6 day crossing will give you ample opportunity to get a taste of Britain of old.

But if a Med/Black Sea/Baltic etc. go with the luxury lines as getting back to the ship after port intensive days to find you need to put on a tux or a gown instead of a nice smart outfit to match the weather will soon grate, as will the formality of the fixed dining issues & the problems that come with leaving the ship when there's larger groups of people on board.

With offerings of things like Marina days & overnight stays in smaller ports, the more relaxed ambience with a smaller group of guests, the opportunity to spend quality time with matching service out on deck, the luxuries will always be my way to go in Europe.

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Haven't sailed both myself but asked the same question this cruise of someone who had.

 

My main takeaway from the comparison was that due to the size, the Queens don't get into the same ports, or if they do, you have to tender, not walk straight off the ship. For this person (a lecturer), that meant getting into port was a problem since they were only allowed to leave the ship after all the tours had left, which reduced their time ashore.

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Hello, thought an insight from a British point of view might be helpful, as I've travelled in Grills on Cunard & also on all of the luxury lines except Crystal.

I actually like all of them, but for different reasons & it's hard to compare.

What I would say is that once you leave the confines of the Grills exclusive areas (dining room, lounge, Grills deck) then you are on a big ship with all that entails.

The USPs of the luxury lines are that you soon become recognised to the staff by name, get to become familiar with other guests & I find it far more sociable as dare I say, no one has to put their hand in their pocket for a round of drinks & you are all sharing the same space & by & large, the same accomodations.

Open dining on the luxury lines is a big plus - it's hard to move from your designated table for 2 (or 4 or 6 etc.) on Cunard if you meet up with other folks you'd like to share a meal with & if these folks happen to be in the Britannia Restaurant, you'd have to go the alternative evening 'pay' restaurants, you can't invite them into the Grills areas. A win for the luxuries on that one, flexibility being a big advantage.

Food is very subjective, but I enjoy being able to have the option of 3 meals a day in the Grills restaurant, I'm not a fan of buffets, so here, for me at least, Cunard wins on that score as the luxury lines appear to me to be closing their MDRs at lunch time. However, the range of alternative venues now being offered as standard on the luxuries is a plus for them, especially if you like to shake it up a bit!

Entertainment is good on Cunard, shows mostly lavish west end type productions & comedy is no doubt geared towards a British audience. But, again, you'll be in amongst a large number of guests & you'll lose that intimacy you find on the other lines, especially as the night draws on in the bars & the club. However, if things like ballroom dancing & big band music is to your liking, you'll enjoy Cunard for it's Queens Room , especially on a formal evening.

If the OP is looking towards a Transatlantic, I've got to say go with QM2 - the enrichment programmes will fill your days, the elegance of the formal nights will charm & just the majesty & heritage of the ship will endear you to it. As I said, there are alternative eating venues if you wish to have a change one day, & the Golden Lion pub for lunch is a good one. Plus you must experience at least one afternoon tea! The 5/6 day crossing will give you ample opportunity to get a taste of Britain of old.

But if a Med/Black Sea/Baltic etc. go with the luxury lines as getting back to the ship after port intensive days to find you need to put on a tux or a gown instead of a nice smart outfit to match the weather will soon grate, as will the formality of the fixed dining issues & the problems that come with leaving the ship when there's larger groups of people on board.

With offerings of things like Marina days & overnight stays in smaller ports, the more relaxed ambience with a smaller group of guests, the opportunity to spend quality time with matching service out on deck, the luxuries will always be my way to go in Europe.

 

Agree with everything you said. We have cruised the QM2 once plus all the other luxury lines many times ( except Crystal ). We wished to experience the QM2 which we did but never again ( the only exception would may be a TA )

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I've recently done my first SS cruise, I've done several PQ cruises with Cunard. There are some significant differences between the two lines that make if difficult to compare.

On QM2 you'll be sharing the public spaces with 2000 passengers on SS you'll be much more intimate, sharing with just a few hundred. On SS there are really no lines anywhere, unlike Cunard. In QG/PG you'll have a huge suite compared with what you have on SS. On Cunard there will be more organized activities during the day and a slightly more structured day, on SS you'll be on your own for entertainment during the day, there are evening shows but it's usually just the Artists of Silversea. If you enjoy having your own table and waiters you'll like QG/PG over SS where you can dine where you want when you want but you'll get alot of different waiters. Our last dinner on board the Silver Spirit was very disappointing, the waiter was very rushed and forgot a lot of things (including our salads), but we did have several very enjoyable meals. Food on the recent Silver Spirit was about par with Cunard's PG.

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I've only done crossings on QM2 (and QE2 before her), in Queens Grill. My observations are as follows.

 

The cabins are really much larger than a standard Silversea suite (which of course are quite well-sized and very nice in their own right). When we were on Silversea most recently, having been on QM2 the time before that, my husband commented that he thought the cabin seemed small. It's not a comment he had ever made previously, but he was obviously subconsciously comparing it to Queens Grill on QM2.

 

I would only use QM2 for a transatlantic crossing, not a cruise with port stops. On Silversea getting into ports and getting off and back on the ship is easy. On a large ship like QM2, all of this is more difficult. You may have a Queens Grill experience onboard, but this part is just the same as being on any large cruise ship.

 

I thought the food in Queens Grill and on Silversea is pretty comparable, particularly with being able to order off-menu in both.

 

When you are on QM2, you are on a large ship, with all the good and bad that brings. Overall, outside the special Queens Grill areas, it's not the most luxurious experience. But on the crossings, the enrichment lectures can be very interesting, more so than what is available on Silversea cruises.

 

My husband and I are going roundtrip transatlantic this summer on QM2 (although I still miss the QE2), and then our next cruise is a port-intensive itinerary in Asia on Silversea.

 

Hope this helps. It's a nice quandary to have.

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While we have done a TA on QM2, we much prefer QG on Queen Victoria.

Obviously, there are pros and cons but we are very happy on both cruise lines. We preferred the food and atmosphere of the QG dining room - same table (and waiters) for all meals if you wish but as has been mentioned the Silversea ships are smaller and more intimate.

Entertainment is much better on Cunard but if you do not like dressing up then stick with Silversea as there are far fewer formal evenings.

Queens Grill suites are much larger than any we have had on Silversea but maybe we did not pay enough!

We prefer to cruise in our winter - January/February and the itineraries on Cunard tend to appeal to us more.

All this is very subjective, I know, and could perhaps be a USA/UK thing but we have greatly enjoyed our cruises on both lines.

Having said all that, we are sailing on Oceania Riviera next week.

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