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I'm considering a Cunard NZ cruise on Queen Elizabeth to replace the Pacific Princess cruise that is no longer going to Dunedin.

 

Onboard costs are in USD, yes?

 

Does Cunard still charge daily gratuities in our region or have they bundled them into the fare? None of the Australian websites I've checked mentions this one way or the other.

 

At the moment the only bookings available seem to be guarantee bookings which may be something to do with the sale they have on at the moment. I was considering a CA obstructed balcony but would hate to be "upgraded" to a forward balcony cabin so I think my best bet is a BD aft balcony. I'm not totally happy with booking a guarantee on a ship I don't know but the fares are good at the moment.

 

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I'm considering a Cunard NZ cruise on Queen Elizabeth to replace the Pacific Princess cruise that is no longer going to Dunedin.

 

Onboard costs are in USD, yes?

 

Does Cunard still charge daily gratuities in our region or have they bundled them into the fare? None of the Australian websites I've checked mentions this one way or the other.

 

At the moment the only bookings available seem to be guarantee bookings which may be something to do with the sale they have on at the moment. I was considering a CA obstructed balcony but would hate to be "upgraded" to a forward balcony cabin so I think my best bet is a BD aft balcony. I'm not totally happy with booking a guarantee on a ship I don't know but the fares are good at the moment.

 

Having done 3 long Cunard cruises. I would suggest BD category. We feel they are in great positions and is where are cabins  has been on both QE and QV. 

The currency is in US dollars and gratuities are not included as far as I know, but then 2 of our cruises were repositioning from Australia and other from outside of Australia.

We do enjoy the Cunard

package, but then also enjoy Princess and Royal Caribbean . I would have said that the entertainment is superior on Cunard, but not on our last cruise in April. The production shows are very good.

One advantage, if you like a drink, is that there is no limit to the amount of wine you can take on board. Also apparently spirits, although we did not take spirits.

There is the dressing to consider also, although we noticed many not bothering in April and we’re not turned away from the dining room.

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by resordanis
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We have done two Cunard cruises and they were both wonderful.  Yes, you can take all the wine on board as you wish, but there is a corkage charge of US$20 (I think) if you take the bottle to the dining room or anywhere else on the ship.  We also took a bottle of Scotch on board and had a wee bit while we were getting dressed - no problems.

 

The gratuities are not included, but you can have them removed by visiting reception and signing a form.

 

The dressing was not difficult - a jacket for hubby and a dark suit for formal nights.  He took his black suit and tie.  There were lots of Tuxes but no one made us feel bad about this.  I just took a couple of evening pants and one long skirt with a few tops for formal nights.  On regular dining nights I just wore some of my regular clothes that I wear to work - no jeans.  I read recently that Cunard have lowered their dress standards for the Pub in the evening.  And of course in the buffet you can wear anything as long as you are covered.

 

I agree that the shows are amazing - like really amazing, and they also have a great cultural program in the afternoons with opera/classical music which we really enjoyed.  You must do the afternoon tea - it is included.  We dined in their Verandah restaurant and it was also fantastic.  But really the food in the main dining room was absolutely lovely, we had no complaints at all.

 

The Queen Elizabeth is a great ship, very easy to navigate and very stable.  We did the North Atlantic crossing from Southampton to the Canary Islands in December and although it was a bit rocky the ship really handled the journey very well.

 

Loved Cunard... going on our first Princess journey in November so I cannot compare.

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Thanks, resordanis and aussiebossieboots, for the very useful information.

 

We have a BD guarantee booking on hold through a TA at a very decent fare, about $100pp below Cunard's own website but I'm waiting to see the booking T&Cs from that TA. The Cunard T&Cs are a bit out of date, stating $11.50pp for the daily gratuities but the TA confirmation showed $13.50. 🙄

 

We mostly cruise Princess, but have done three NZ cruises on Celebrity. Unfortunately the Celebrity itineraries for that year don't suit us. We were booked on the Pacific Princess NZ cruise but they've dropped Dunedin as a port. Since we cruise NZ to visit friends and family in NZ, particularly my brother in Dunedin, there is not much point in doing a NZ cruise that doesn't include Dunedin.

 

We're not concerned about the dress standard as we love to dress up in the evenings. DH always takes his tux and casual dressy jackets as well, and I have built a nice cruise wardrobe of evening wear.

 

Great to hear the entertainment is very good, we enjoy shows rather than other types of entertainment (comedians etc) and enjoy opera, classical music and jazz.

 

aussiebossyboots, I think you'll find Princess is OK. Perhaps a bit more casual than Cunard. We like the Princess shows. Other entertainment depends on what ship you are on as the newer and larger ships tend to have most of the musicians perform in the Atrium, although there is often Jazz or lounge music in the Wheelhouse/Crown Grill Bar.

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1 hour ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Thanks, resordanis and aussiebossieboots, for the very useful information.

 

We have a BD guarantee booking on hold through a TA at a very decent fare, about $100pp below Cunard's own website but I'm waiting to see the booking T&Cs from that TA. The Cunard T&Cs are a bit out of date, stating $11.50pp for the daily gratuities but the TA confirmation showed $13.50. 🙄

 

We mostly cruise Princess, but have done three NZ cruises on Celebrity. Unfortunately the Celebrity itineraries for that year don't suit us. We were booked on the Pacific Princess NZ cruise but they've dropped Dunedin as a port. Since we cruise NZ to visit friends and family in NZ, particularly my brother in Dunedin, there is not much point in doing a NZ cruise that doesn't include Dunedin.

 

We're not concerned about the dress standard as we love to dress up in the evenings. DH always takes his tux and casual dressy jackets as well, and I have built a nice cruise wardrobe of evening wear.

 

Great to hear the entertainment is very good, we enjoy shows rather than other types of entertainment (comedians etc) and enjoy opera, classical music and jazz.

 

aussiebossyboots, I think you'll find Princess is OK. Perhaps a bit more casual than Cunard. We like the Princess shows. Other entertainment depends on what ship you are on as the newer and larger ships tend to have most of the musicians perform in the Atrium, although there is often Jazz or lounge music in the Wheelhouse/Crown Grill Bar.

The entertainment is generally very good on Cunard, but as I said not as good as in the past.

You will not find comedians in the Royal Court Theatre and the  production shows

are excellent.

There is always a string quartet, quite often a jazz night, depending on the length of cruise too.

We just found this last time there was too much dancing for us in the Queens Court, as we are not really dancers.

We will be on both Princess and Royal Caribbean in October and we enjoy all these lines equally, we just take it all as it comes.

There are also many lounges for a quite drink, but the Commodores is always a favourite. I do find Cunard include a few more extras.

We travelled with some people, who thought the Cunard package was excellent and they never dressed for dinner and always ate at the Lido, but really enjoyed their time.

You won’t be disappointed with a BD category!

 

 

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Our cruise on the QM2 was excellent, dressing for the MDR was relatively easy, sports/lounge jacket for most nights and I brought my Tux for the formal nights. Lots of activities and lectures, afternoon high tea and great food. There were lots of classy touches to make things that little bit more special. Entertainment was great. Our cruise (Perth to Capetown - part of a world cruise) didn't have the gratuities included and was in USD.

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Cunard has been on our wish list since we started cruising. Possibly even before that as both of us, separately, had dreams of one day doing a cruise and Cunard was the line we automatically associated with cruising way back then. And since we started cruising it was akways a case of either too expensive or we preferred a different itinerary on a different ship. Hopefully the stars have aligned to give us the opportunity at a very good price, even if it does mean missing out on Pacific Princess.

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Yes, I agree there was dancing every night almost in the Queens Court.  I love to dance but unfortunately married to a man who just can't and he has tried.  We did enjoy watching all the other people dancing pre dinner, we were on the late sitting and our routine was to go to the Queens Court, have a drink and enjoy watching.

 

We tried the disco a couple of times (once it was New Year's Eve) but it just didn't kick off early enough for us.

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Posted (edited)

Been on QM2, Sydney to HK couple of years ago. Bit snobby for me, mainly Brit world cruisers on board, all doffed up.  One morning for breakfast whilst at sea we hit the Britannia MDR, put on a table, a geezer there at 0800 resplendent in blazer, tie and strides, I kid you not.

 

Overall I thought the QM2 was a lovely ship, but service, food, entertainment was no better than Princess or P&O UK, just a posher clientele.  Until 300 Aussies boarded in Sydney !!!

Edited by NSWP

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30 minutes ago, aussiebossyboots said:

Yes, I agree there was dancing every night almost in the Queens Court.  I love to dance but unfortunately married to a man who just can't and he has tried.  We did enjoy watching all the other people dancing pre dinner, we were on the late sitting and our routine was to go to the Queens Court, have a drink and enjoy watching.

 

We tried the disco a couple of times (once it was New Year's Eve) but it just didn't kick off early enough for us.

On the QM2 they have dance hosts (mainly men but one women) to dance with anyone who wants to dance, whether that be singles (men or women) or the partners of those who don't want to dance.

For our cruise, we had the disco ' G32' just about to ourselves which was great, we could just ask for any song we liked when the band wasn't playing.

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Posted (edited)

The Cunard cruise is booked and the Princess cruise is cancelled.

 

It sounds like there will be plenty to do and see on QE. Since she's based in Australia that summer I expect the demographic will be similar to Princess ie less British than the Cunard world cruises. 

 

Actually it will be interesting to see the mix of nationalities and ages. Our last three NZ cruises have been on Celebrity with a higher percentage of Americans and British than the Aussie-based Princess cruises we've been on.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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The Cunard summer season is being promoted quite heavily over here. On TV most nights. 

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There has been quite a bit of advertising here as well. We'd originally dismissed it for our 20/21 NZ cruise as it was too expensive compared with other alternatives. But the promo they have at the moment is about 25% cheaper but only for guarantee cabins. That brought it in to line with other options we were considering so we decided to do it despite only getting a guarantee cabin.

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37 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

There has been quite a bit of advertising here as well. We'd originally dismissed it for our 20/21 NZ cruise as it was too expensive compared with other alternatives. But the promo they have at the moment is about 25% cheaper but only for guarantee cabins. That brought it in to line with other options we were considering so we decided to do it despite only getting a guarantee cabin.

There are no bad cabins on cruise ships, so it will be fantastic. The only thing I would say is that the Cunard package is no better or worse than most other cruise lines these days, so jut don’t go with expectations that it will be much better. We love Cunard, but also Princess and Royal Caribbean!

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21 minutes ago, resordanis said:

There are no bad cabins on cruise ships, so it will be fantastic. The only thing I would say is that the Cunard package is no better or worse than most other cruise lines these days, so jut don’t go with expectations that it will be much better. We love Cunard, but also Princess and Royal Caribbean!

Judging by some of the comments I've read here on Cruise Critic there are a few bad cabins but, like food, it can be subjective. Under the pool deck would be a bad location for me if there is early morning noise with deckchairs being arranged.

 

I'm expecting something along the lines of Princess and Celebrity, which we've mostly cruised on so far, but a little more formal. I'm sure we'll love it. We haven't done a cruise yet that we haven't enjoyed although some have been better than others for various reasons, and some cruises have had highlights and not so good parts - like our last cruise on Celebrity Solstice. The highlight was when the captain did a 360 right up close to Sterling Falls in Milford Sound and the low points was the loud volume of music and announcements, much louder than on our previous two Solstice cruises. 

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47 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Judging by some of the comments I've read here on Cruise Critic there are a few bad cabins but, like food, it can be subjective. Under the pool deck would be a bad location for me if there is early morning noise with deckchairs being arranged.

 

I'm expecting something along the lines of Princess and Celebrity, which we've mostly cruised on so far, but a little more formal. I'm sure we'll love it. We haven't done a cruise yet that we haven't enjoyed although some have been better than others for various reasons, and some cruises have had highlights and not so good parts - like our last cruise on Celebrity Solstice. The highlight was when the captain did a 360 right up close to Sterling Falls in Milford Sound and the low points was the loud volume of music and announcements, much louder than on our previous two Solstice cruises. 

That’s strange.Solstice is not our favourite and probably wouldn’t go again, but many love the Ship.

The Cunard package is good, but food and entertainment is subjective!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, resordanis said:

That’s strange.Solstice is not our favourite and probably wouldn’t go again, but many love the Ship.

The Cunard package is good, but food and entertainment is subjective!

It was strange. We'd enjoyed our first two Solstice cruises, we like the ship overall and the cabins, but the last one wasn't up to standard. Apart from the noise levels in the bars and even for the Captain's announcements which normally can't be heard properly in your cabin unless you open the door, but the bar service was almost non-existent in every bar. Which, in a round about way, is why we're now booked on a Cunard cruise for our next NZ cruise. 😊

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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3 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

It was strange. We'd enjoyed our first two Solstice cruises, we like the ship overall and the cabins, but the last one wasn't up to standard. Apart from the noise levels in the bars and even for the Captain's announcements which normally can't be heard properly in your cabin unless you open the door, but the bar service was almost non-existent in every bar. Which, in a round about way, is why we're now booked on a Cunard cruise for our next NZ cruise. 😊

Can’t wait to hear what you think of Cunard, but from what you have said I think it will be great!

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On 8/9/2019 at 2:30 PM, OzKiwiJJ said:

Judging by some of the comments I've read here on Cruise Critic there are a few bad cabins but, like food, it can be subjective. Under the pool deck would be a bad location for me if there is early morning noise with deckchairs being arranged.

 

I'm expecting something along the lines of Princess and Celebrity, which we've mostly cruised on so far, but a little more formal. I'm sure we'll love it. We haven't done a cruise yet that we haven't enjoyed although some have been better than others for various reasons, and some cruises have had highlights and not so good parts - like our last cruise on Celebrity Solstice. The highlight was when the captain did a 360 right up close to Sterling Falls in Milford Sound and the low points was the loud volume of music and announcements, much louder than on our previous two Solstice cruises. 

 

I did a Melbourne to NZ itinerary earlier this year, around the South Island. Fabulous itinerary which included going into three of the Sounds - what a great way to see them. You should love your experience on Queen Elizabeth - there were lots of Australians on the ship this year and not much sign of any 'snobbishness' that people sometimes talk about. It's expected that you dress for meals which seems reasonable to me. The food was very good. Be happy with your guarantee - they say you're more likely to be upgraded with a guarantee booking than if you book a particular cabin number.

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We had a sheltered balcony on QM2, it was fine. The only thing was we were just 5 nights out of a 120+ world cruise and many of the WCs seemed offended that we were allowed to interlope on their special trip.

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We had a sheltered balcony (the cut out of the hull type window), it was fine for sheltering from wind, rain and sun but we didn't use it that often as sitting on the balcony meant not be able to look out as the cut out was quite high.

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On 8/9/2019 at 11:21 AM, MicCanberra said:

On the QM2 they have dance hosts (mainly men but one women) to dance with anyone who wants to dance, whether that be singles (men or women) or the partners of those who don't want to dance.

For our cruise, we had the disco ' G32' just about to ourselves which was great, we could just ask for any song we liked when the band wasn't playing.

We really liked the QM2 and like you discovered the disco G32 unfortunately quite late in our cruise lovely spot and really enjoyed the ship, food and entertainment.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

We had a sheltered balcony (the cut out of the hull type window), it was fine for sheltering from wind, rain and sun but we didn't use it that often as sitting on the balcony meant not be able to look out as the cut out was quite high.

Had the same on QM2, Syd-HK.  That level balcony on decks 4 and 5 from memory are in the hull and of course designed for ye olde Atlantic Ocean.  Loved the ship, but some of the pax on it were a bit eccentric, like the Cunarder World Cruisers.  To me, food, entertainment and service on QM2 was no better than the overseas Princess ships.  After all, all running to the Carnival budget.

Edited by NSWP

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We thought the service and such was better than Princess and close to X, but then it can be a subjective thing. For me it was the little things like the china, glassware and cutlery that added to the sophistication, but then I would not normally want to pay for those extras.

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