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Queen Victoria Berlitz Review

Queen Victoria Hero Image

Berlitz Rating:

Families with Children
Ship Beam (ft/m):
Ship Builder:
Fincantieri (Italy)
Ship Cabins (for one person):
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Ship Casino (gaming tables):
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Ship Elevators:
Ship Entered Service:
Dec 2007
Ship Former Names:
Ship Hot Tubs (on deck):
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Ship Length (ft/m):
Ship Library:
Ship Onboard currency:
Ship Passenger Decks:
Ship Passenger Space Ratio:
Ship Passengers (lower beds):
Ship Propulsion:
diesel-electric (64,00kW)/2 azimuthing pods
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Ship Size:
Mid-size Ship
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A pretend ocean liner that really suits traditional British tastes

Cunard Cruises - Queen Victoria

Overview: Queen Victoria, a very comfortable, likeable cruise ship posing as an ocean liner, is best suited to a couples and solo travelers who enjoy traditional British ocean liner-style decor, world-wide itineraries, and dressing for dinner. Note that scores given in the Berlitz’s Ratings box are the averages for all accommodation grades.

The Ship: Queen Victoria is aimed at the North American and British markets, but will appeal to any Anglophile, because Cunard is still a British experience, although it is to some extent marketing hype, since British members of staff are rather thin on the ground.Basically a stretched, modified platform and layout as the Vista series of ships (examples: Arcadia, Carnival Legend, Costa Atlantica, Costa Luminosa, Costa Mediterranea, Oosterdam), the Cunard version has an additional passenger deck, a specially strengthened hull lengthened by 36ft (11m), giving the ship more of an ‘ocean liner’ feel. It also has a more traditional interior layout reminiscent of yesteryear’s ocean liners.The interior decor is ‘traditional’ in Cunard-speak, with many public rooms finely decorated in Edwardian/Victorian styles, with wrought-iron balustrades on staircases and in some bars. The three-deck-high Grand Lobby has a sweeping staircase and sculpted balconies. The Cunardia museum’s glass cabinets display models of former Cunard ships, old menus, and daily programs.The Royal Arcade houses a cluster of seven shops, including Harrods, Royal Doulton, and Wedgwood, set in an arcade-like environment.The Library is a stunning two-deck-high wood-paneled 6,000-book facility with full-time librarians, but few chairs; the upper deck features eight internet-connect computer terminals.A Golden Lion Pub is a must aboard a Cunarder, and this one lies along the starboard side. It’s a good gathering place for karaoke, singalong, and quiz enthusiasts, plus it does tasty pub food.The Commodore Club acts as a large observation lounge, with its ocean views on three sides, and late-night room for low-volume interactive entertainment.The adjacent Churchill’s Cigar Lounge, on the starboard side, is a smokers’ haven.Chart Room Bar, adjacent to the Britannia Restaurant, is a place for a quiet drink before dinner.Hemispheres, positioned aft of the mast and adjacent to the Commodore Club, overlooks the wood-decked Pavilion Pool; this is the high-volume disco and themed nightclub.There’s also a casino (no smoking) on the port side of the lower level of the Royal Court.A grand conservatory (Winter Gardens) has a moveable glass wall to an open-air swimming pool. Rattan furniture and ceiling fans help to conjure up the area’s colonial theme.Queen Victoria, a very comfortable, likeable cruise ship posing as an ocean liner, is best suited to a couples and solo travelers who enjoy traditional British ocean liner-style decor, world-wide itineraries, and dressing for dinner. Note that scores given in the Berlitz’s Ratings box are the averages for all accommodation grades.A per-person, per-day gratuity is charged to your onboard account, and a 15 percent gratuity is added to all bar and wine accounts. Gratuities – called a ‘Hotel and Dining’ charge – of $11.50–13.50, depending on accommodation grade – are automatically added to your account daily. The onboard currency is the US dollar – another reason to take the Britishness claims with a pinch of salt.

Accommodation: There are numerous price grades but just eight types of accommodation, ranging from ample to opulent. Nine cabins for solo-occupancy were added in 2015, and in 2017 Britannia Club-grade cabins will be added to the range.All accommodation grades have both British three-pin (240-volt) sockets and American (110-volt) and European-style two-pin (220-volt) sockets. Penhaligon toiletries are supplied to all passengers, and a hairdryer is stored in the vanity desk units. Some cabins have nicely indented ceilings with suffused lighting. However, the flat-screen TV sets are small – not good for bedtime movie watching.The regular cabins (Grades C/D) are small, but functional, although completely lacking in ‘wow’ factor. The cabinetry is a bit austere and lacking in character. There is a distinct lack of drawer space in a cabin supposedly designed for two persons; it’s very noticeable on long voyages, and additional drawers located under the bed may prove challenging for some to use. The premium mattresses are, however, excellent, as is the bed linen; European duvets are standard.The bathrooms are stunningly bland, with small washbasins, little storage space for toiletries, cold, tiled floors, and wall-mounted shower heads.In terms of sizing, the different types of cabin/suite are as follows:Interior (no-view) cabins: 151–243 sq ft (14–19 sq m).Outside-view cabins: 180–201 sq ft (17–19 sq m).Balcony cabins: 242–472 sq ft (22–44 sq m).Princess Suites: 342–513 sq ft (32–48 sq m).Queens Suites: 508–771 sq ft (47–72 sq m).Penthouse Suites: 520–707 sq ft (48–66 sq m).Master Suites: 1,100 sq ft (102 sq m). These are located in the center of the ship (Deck 7).Four Grand Suites:1,918–2,131 sq ft (178–198 sq m). These are located aft, with great ocean views from their private wrap-around balconies, with wet bar. In-suite dining from the Queens Grill menus is also available.

Cuisine/Dining: Cunard is respected for its cuisine and service, with a wide variety of well-prepared and presented dishes. The Britannia Restaurant – the name is taken from a former Cunard ocean liner of 1914–50 (not from P&O Cruises’ Britannia) – is located in the aft section. It is two decks high, with seating on both the main level (two seatings for dinner, but open seating for breakfast and lunch) and balcony level. A horseshoe-shaped stairway links both levels. While the lower-level diners have a good sea view through large picture windows, balcony diners get a promenade view. Waterford Wedgwood china is used, and there’s a wide range of wines (and prices).Queens Grill and Princess Grill, two Grill Class-only restaurants, with a single-seating arrangement, provide exclusive dining. On the port side, the 142-seat Queens Grill is for passengers in suites and top-category accommodation grades, and provides the best cuisine and service aboard. On the starboard side, the 132-seat Princess Grill is for passengers in middle-class accommodation grades.The Cunard Grill experience also includes alfresco dining in a seldom-used courtyard terrace (The Courtyard), suitably protected from the wind, and exclusive access for Grill Class passengers to an upper terrace deck, with dedicated staff as well as the Grills’ lounge and bar.The 100-seat, reservations required, extra-cost Verandah Restaurant (formerly Todd English Restaurant) focuses on classic French cuisine. It is on the second level of the three-deck-high lobby.The Lido Café, on Deck 11, has good panoramic views, indoor/outdoor seating for 468, and offers a fairly standard multi-line self-serve buffet arrangement. For excellent, but expensive Lavazza-family coffees from ‘Maria’ (the coffee machine), and light bites, there’s Café Carinthia, located one deck above the purser’s desk and adjacent to a Veuve Clicquot Champagne bar.For traditional British pub food, the Golden Lion Pub serves fish and chips, steak and mushroom pie, ploughman’s lunch, and bangers (sausages) and mash – particularly good at lunchtime – with a nice draft pint of bitter, naturally.

Entertainment: The 830-seat, three-deck-high Royal Court Theatre is designed in the style of a classic opera house, complete with royal boxes.

Spa/Fitness: The Cunard Royal Health Club and Spa has features including a beauty salon, large gymnasium and several body-treatment rooms.

Berlitz Guide © Apa Publishing 2017

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