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An Introduction To Cunard: Sail around the world in style

An Introduction To Cunard: Sail around the world in style

Cunard prides itself on their distinctive service that they offer their guests. From the moment they step onboard to the moment they disembark, passengers will get to really experience what Cunard is all about. They’ve redefined what traditional means within the world of cruising by retaining some of the classic elements you’d expect to find on one of their ships but with a modern feel.

Guests will get to enjoy special moments on board whilst visiting some of the greatest destinations the world has to offer. Cunard offers a regal experience for all who sail with them with their world-famous White Star Service. Each crew member has been highly trained to ensure each guest gets to enjoy a truly luxurious experience whilst on board. It’ll be hard to miss attention to detail during your cruise.

Meet the fleet

Queen Mary 2

Queen Mary 2 is the flagship with the Cunard fleet. She holds up to 2,691 guests and 1,292 crew member at a time and has a total gross tonnage of 151,400. Not only is Queen Mary 2 a very spacious ship due to her size, but she is also very elegant and legendary within the world of cruising. Experience mouthwatering food in the main dining areas or something a little more special in the onboard alternative dining restaurants. 

Queen Victoria

Since launching in 2007, Queen Victoria has become a firm favourite within the fleet. At 90,049 gross tonnage, she is the smallest within the fleet but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a lot to offer.  With unique features onboard as well as an expanded sun deck and the introduction of Britannia Club dining, there’s plenty to enjoy when cruising onboard this ship. 

Queen Elizabeth

Last, but by no means least, we have Queen Elizabeth who is the newest ship within the fleet. You’ll get to experience spacious decks as well as the flawless Cunard experience when sailing with her as well as luxurious accommodation and an array of dining options to choose from. She can welcome up to 2,081 guests onboard at a time as well as 1,005 crew members so you’ll really get to experience Cunard’s world-famous White Star Service.

Did you know? There is a carving of Homer Simpson hidden somewhere on-board of Queen Mary 2!


The grills experience

Onboard all three Cunard ships, guests can experience the very best the cruise line has to offer when it comes to their attentive service and luxury cruising in one of their Grill Suites. By choosing either a Queen’s Grill or Princess Grill suite, you’ll get even more space to relax in as well as exclusive services that include some of the following; 

Princess Grill Suites amenities; 

  • Concierge service
  • Sparkling wine and chocolates on arrival
  • In-suite dining from the Princess Grill menu
  • Illy coffee machine
  • Soft velour robes and slippers
  • Personalised stationery
  • Atlas
  • Priority embarkation
  • Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth: access to Courtyard, Grills Lounge and Grills Terrace
  • Queen Mary 2: access to Grills Lounge and Terrace.

Queens Grill Suites amenities; 

  • Butler service 
  • Champagne and chocolates on arrival 
  • Pre-dinner canapés 
  • In-suite dining from the Queens Grill menu 
  • Complimentary bar (stocked with two bottles of wine or spirits of your choice and soft drinks) 
  • iPad (Queen Mary 2 Q1-Q4 suites, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth Q1-Q2 Suites)
  • Books and atlas 
  • Priority tender services (all ships Q1-Q4 Suites) 
  • A Playstation 4 is supplied in Queens Grill Suites Q1 – Q4 on Queen Mary 2 (games available from the concierge library).

Dining experience

Dining onboard any Cunard ship is an experience in itself. With a variety of choice from fine dining to indulgent buffets, there’s something for everyone and for every mood. 

Main dining

Included in the price of your cruise, you can dine in Cunard’s main restaurant the Britannia Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast and lunch there’s a more relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and for dinner a more glamorous dining experience. 

Britannia Club guests can dine within the Britannia Club restaurant which offers a more intimate dining setting with flexible dining options for dinner where guests can sit down any time between 6.30 and 9.00. 

Princess and Queens grill guests will have exclusive access to their own restaurants with elegant surroundings for every meal of the day. Again, both will benefit from the flexible dining times in the evenings. 


Casual dining

If you’re looking for something a little more casual, guests can choose from a number of casual dining options including a 24-hour buffet, 24-hour room service and lunch and snacks offered in a number of venues.

Afternoon tea

As we all know, afternoon tea is a British tradition. At 3.00 pm each day guests can enjoy the perfect afternoon tea on board all three Cunard ships with freshly baked scones and exquisitely-cut finger sandwiches all served by white-gloved waiters. 

For an even more decadent afternoon, for an additional cost why not book in for Champagne afternoon tea or for chocolate lovers, Cunard’s Godiva chocolate afternoon tea on board Queen Mary 2 where you can taste a range of delicious Godiva treats. 


Alternative dining

If you’re looking for somewhere on board to celebrate a special occasion then Cunard has a number of alternative venues to book and dine in whilst you’re onboard. Tuck into a prime cut steak or some fresh seafood in the Steakhouse at The Verandah or relax and breath in the sea air with Al Fresco dining. 


Entertainment

You’ll be truly dazzled in one of Cunard’s Royal Court Theatres onboard their ships with West End calibre production shows including some serious dramatic performances and glittering musical performances. 

For something a little more interactive as well as traditional, why not take part in some ballroom dancing in one of the Queens Room ballrooms where you can dance the night away to a live orchestra.

If you’re a bit of a night owl and want to dance the night away, then you should head to the onboard nightclub with a live DJ and resident band where you can really let loose. Don’t forget to look out for themed nights from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties!

Families

Children are welcome onboard any Cunard ship with a variety of children’s facilities available to families who sail with them. The Youth Team onboard will supervise kids and keep your children safe and busy during their time here with dedicated games and activities including sports, arts and crafts, friendly challenges as well as games consoles. 

If you’re looking for a little break from the kids during the evening, Cunard offers a night nursery service for children ages 6 to 23 month open from 6 pm to 11 pm. 

There is also a dedicated Teen Zone for children aged 13 to 17 with activities more suited to their age group including sports, discos and games around the ship. 

Amenities 

As soon as you arrive at your embarkation port you will be greeted by porters who will collect your luggage before you check-in. For shorter cruises, you are welcome to take your own luggage to your cabin if you prefer. 

Cunard is all about attention to detail and that doesn’t stop when it comes to the small touches and services you can expect to see onboard one of their ships. For those special nights you want to look your best, you can simply speak to your cabin steward about getting your shoes shined. They’ll take them away and return them shined. You’ll also be supplied with a number of coat hangers within your cabin and are welcome to bring more if you have a different outfit for every event onboard. 

Having a nice cup of tea in the morning is very important as well as the brand of tea as we all know. All three Cunard ships have Twinings tea available within your cabin so they’ve got you covered when it comes to your tea. 

Cabins are supplied with hairdryers and if you require an iron, you can find on in the onboard laundries to use free of charge. Bed linen will be changed every three days or daily if requested.

If you’re looking to purchase some duty-free goods whilst on your cruise, you can do so on all three ships within the shops. You can also pre-order your purchases through the shops to pick up at the end of your cruise. 

When your ship has docked in a port you will be able to take advantage of the free shuttle bus service if you have booked a Cunard Fare. If you’re booked on Early Saver or Late Saver you will be charged an additional fee.

With your cabin, you’ll also find a small refrigerator as well as both UK 3 pin and US 2 pin plug sockets onboard all Cunard ships to make life that little bit easier.

If before you left home for your cruise you weren’t interested in attending one of Cunard’s formal nights and after joining change your mind, Cunard offers a tuxedo renting service onboard including shirts, trousers and dinner jackets. They currently don’t offer a hiring service for ladies formal wear but a range of woman’s evening wear is available to purchase from one of the onboard shops.

Each day you’ll be delivered a daily programme that will keep you up to date on what is happening onboard including where and when shore excursions are departing from, opening times for bars and restaurants as well as the entertainment for the day/night and much more. 

If you’re travelling with young children, Cunard has a huge range of equipment they can provide to you for no additional cost to make your trip as smooth as possible including bottle warmers, bottle sterilisers, high chairs, booster seats, cots, baby food, baby baths, bed rails and nappy disposal units.

It’s always interesting to find out how the crew run such a big ship isn’t it and with Cunard you can book a “Behind the scenes” tour at the tours office onboard. You’ll get to see how everything is pulled together and meet some of the crew members as well. 

Did you know? If you’ve ever worried that you aren’t fit to defend the ship from pirates (and we’re talking Jack Sparrows here…) then fear not, because you can take fencing lessons onboard their ships. Just don’t get carried away and make your friends walk the plank!

Gratuities

A Hotel and Dining charge will automatically be added to your onboard account to not only tip the White Star service you receive whilst onboard but also any crew who are working hard behind the scenes.

For all bar and wine purchases, a 15% service charge is added to your account and this will be shared amongst beverage staff. A 12.5% salon service charge is passed directly to the crew member who has looked after you which again is added to your account.

If you feel like you want to tip any member of the crew over and above these amounts, you are free to do so at your discretion.

Dress code

One of the best things about Cunard is the balance between being able to dress as your please during the day and then having the chance to really dress up in the evenings for dinner or one of their famous Gala nights. If you want to dress casually throughout your stay on board, then you are more than welcome to within a selection of their casual dining and entertainment venues. 

Here’s a quick style guide to help you know exactly what to pack for your Cunard cruise;

Smart attire

In most venues in the evening, you’ll be expected to wear smart attire. Feel free to dress to impress but don’t worry about dressing formally as this can be saved for Cunard’s Gala celebrations.

Gala evening attire

During a seven-night cruise, you can attend up to three Gala evenings (sometimes themed) where it is encouraged that you dress in your most glamorous attire. 


Relaxed evenings

If you’ve had a busy day ashore you may just want to take it easy the evening and opt for a more relaxed style. Many of the bars and lounges will welcome you in your more casual clothes during the evening. They do ask guests to refrain from wearing torn or tattered clothes, shorts, sandals or sleeveless shirts. 

If Cunard sounds like a cruise line you’d like to sail with, why not take a look at some of their available cruises, here

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