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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I’ve just been on Queen Elizabeth – Wow!

First impressions of the QE? Wow!
Well, once I was onboard anyway. My actual first impression from the outside was that the hull looked more matt grey than Cunards traditional jet black, but that’s only a very minor point on a gorgeous ship. If you click the read more button below you will be able to see some of the pictures I took whilst onboard with my opinions of the ship, although as always please forgive the photography, unless you're completely surrounded by her elegance any picture you see will never do her justice.



My first view of the ship from the coach. You can just see the iconic funnel in the background. 


See what I mean about the hull? That's not jet black.



This was an A3 balcony. I was pleased with how spacious it was, but did find the set up of the twin beds a bit strange. As you can see they are placed next to each other touching. When we called the steward we found this was normal for the QE, but he very nicely did move some furniture around so we could separate them.


Just a few shots from inside the Lido buffet restaurant. Very stylish, with lots of art deco furniture and glass work. I had breakfast here on the Sunday morning and the food was excellent, although I did find it a bit strange they only toasted by bread on one side. Is this normal for Cunard does anyone know?



Here's some shots from the rear of deck area.  They are good sized swimming pools with two Jacuzzi tubs that you can just make out in the background. There was a good amount of space on the deck area, but the only thing that let it down for me was the flooring which was a lino rather than wooden decking. I realise lino is much easier to clean but I've always thought hard wood floors up on deck look a lot nicer.


Bit of a weird shot this one. You're looking at a view of the back of the ship from the top deck. Now, on the Queen Victoria the back of the ship is staggered, making it look a lot more attractive from outside, but it does mean the lower balconies are overlooked by the higher balconies. As you can see, on the QE, the back of the ship is a lot more squared, but it does mean none of the balconies are overlooked. I guess only time will tell which design will prove more popular. What do you think?
One of the outside bars to serve all the sun worshipers out on deck.
Here's another good example of the lino deck. Real wood would have been so much more attractive.




I was actually really impressed with the kids’ facilities onboard. Cunard isn't the first cruise line to spring to mind when I think of family holidays but I really did like the kids’ rooms, (one located on either side of the deck). You can't make it out very well from these shots but there is also a row of computers at the back of the room for the teenagers.

                  The carpets up in the Queens grill. Very comfortable and very elegant at the same time.



The Queens grill lounge. I enjoyed it whilst I could as I'm not likely to see this area again, (although if any managers read this and want to give me a pay rise then maybe......)
The grills deck area. As you can see all the sun loungers are just that bit more comfortable.





Had to get a close up of that funnel. You really can spot a Cunard ship from miles away can't you?

Golf nets for anyone who wants to practise their swing whilst onboard. No you're not aloud to drive the balls of the back of the ship, (I checked).




These rather comfy looking seats are scattered all around the edges of the deck area to relax in during the day and at night.



The Royal Spa. You can't tell very well from these photos but there is running water all down the back wall to fill the indoor heated pool.

These pictures of previous ships are scattered right throughout the QE displaying the history and heritage of the Cunard line.



These next shots, (above and below), are of a Queens Grill cabin. The bathroom, (shown above), actually had three different rooms, all decked out in marble. One for the bath, one for the toilet and one for the wash basin. Overkill perhaps but it did look amazing.






These shots above aren't several different cabins; they are all the same Queens Grill suite! I couldn't believe the luxury. Back in my student days I've lived in smaller houses than this!



Those shots were of a Princess grill and you may have noticed that they weren't much bigger than the balcony I was stopping in. True, but you need to consider all the extra benefits you get with a Princess Grill. It's not always about the size of the cabin
I was very impressed with the size of these inside cabins. I would have been more than happy if I'd of stopped in one of these.







Some shots of the Britannia restaurant. It was elegant, classical and very tasteful. The art deco theme made it a perfect dining room to enjoy the formal nights in. I loved every minute of dinner, (although more about the food later). 

Just a random shot of a corridor, but it does give you a pretty good example of how the 1920's art deco theme is continued throughout the ship. 


The Britannia Club. Only available if you book an AA grade balcony. The dining room is a bit more intimate than the normal Britannia restaurant and you get to enjoy the option of Freedom Dining as well.






The Grand Plaza. An absolutely gorgeous centre to the ship. All the decorations are absolutely stunning without ever being tacky or over done. I loved it.





The library was absolutely stunning and I could easily see myself spending a few hours in here whiling away my time on a world cruise.
Still not keen on that lino decking.
A few more shots of the artwork displayed onboard, again reflecting the long history and traditions of Cunard.




The Royal Court Theatre - Spacious, comfortable, elegant with an amazing line up of shows and a talented cast. What more could I have asked for?
Dinner in the Britannia restaurant was delicious, (although I forgot to take a picture of my starter before I ate it, sorry)

And the dessert was even better, crème Brule with cinnamon and vanilla ice cream. Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm.


Strolling around the ship I found this little kids area specifically for younger children.


I also found this giant chess board, not sure I'd fancy it in stormy weather though!






Sorry those last few pictures are so dark but they were all taken quite late. These show the 'Garden area' towards the back of the ship with croquet, boules, paddle tennis and shuffle board and obviously the afore mentioned giant chess board.

And finally our tour of the QE completes with some shots of the Commodore club taken the morning after the night before - an absolutely fantastic cocktail bar where the bar staff know exactly what they are doing - they even served my martini 'stirred not shaken', take that Mr Bond! (A good vodka martini is a bit of a bugbear with me; please see my previous blog regarding it).


So that's it. What did you think? Was it everything you expected? Are you already booked onboard? Are you thinking about booking after reading this? If you are already booked have any of these photos worried you and if so why? Let me know back here.



Happy Cruising