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Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The Queen Victoria - Three of a kind now!

Sorry it's a bit late but I've only just got around to taking the pictures off my camera. You may remember me mentioning back in July that I was off down to Southampton to visit the Queen Victoria.
I was especially excited as this would complete my Cunard set; trip Queens. I've now seen all three of Cunards current ships, although I'm still gutted that I only started cruising after the QE2 had already retired. Hey ho, such is life. 
So what did I think of her? Very nice. Still not a touch on the QM2 mind, (you can read my review of her here), but still nice. I think I preferred her to he sister ship the Queen Elisabeth, (you can read my review of her here), but it was a close run thing. The art deco theme done out in beiges and browns on the QE was nice but I think the QV was just that bit more traditional and more in line with what I expect from a Cunard ship.
But you don't need to take my word for it, check out the pictures I took onboard below.

My first view of the ship from the terminal. I love seeing that red and black funnel in the distance, I always know I'm in for a treat.

These were the first few shots I took when coming in from the lobby. As you can see everything looks very elegant, decked in in thick carpets and dark woods. You can't help feeling stylish walking along a Cunard corridor, almost as though you're cruising in a different age. At least that's the impression I'm always left with whenever I'm onboard.

These are a few shots of the Lido restaurant, or the self service restaurant. This is where I tend to come for breakfasts and lunches whenever I'm onboard saving the Britannia restaurant for the evening, (no I've never managed to do a Grill, not so far anyway!)

This was the top deck.
It was big enough but it  did feel a bit cramped to me. It may just be because I expect that little bit more from Cunard but it didn't strike me as anything special or different and the deck wasn't real wood!

The pools were a decent size though and there were a couple of them to avoid over crowding.

This is what I think makes a Cunard cruise though, the interior. Lots of wooden walls with big pictures commemorating Cunards prestigious past.

The kids club. Cunard isn't necessarily the first cruise line you'd think of when sailing with children but it's nice to know their are facilities for them if you do bring your children/grandchildren onboard.

The Queens Grill. Ok so maybe the view isn't the best in the world but I bet it looks a lot better when you're out at sea. I could go on and on about how fantastic it looked in the Grills, (these pictures really don't do them justice), but hopefully you get the idea. I swear to you I think the carpet was the thickest I've ever walked on as well. I didn't so much walk on it as sink in to it. very comfortable!

The Courtyard.
This is an area exclusive to Grill passengers where, (weather permitting), they can choose to dine outside in either the sunshine, or by starlight. I've been told it can be very romantic. 

These are some photos of the Gills sun deck area which I have to say I was a little disappointed in. It all just looked a bit plain an ordinary. What do you think? Is it the interior of these ships that makes Cunard so special? I'm starting to think so.

Still, you have to love that iconic funnel don't you?

And whose that handsome fellow in front of it?

I really do hate fake wooden floors. They look horrible. Either use real wood, (as they do on the QM2), or don't bother. The fake wood effect isn't fooling anyone.

This was the front pool, overlooked by the outdoors Grill area. Not sure how I'd feel taking a dip in this pool with all the Grills passengers staring at me.

Just a range of some of the spas and activities onboard from a hydro pool to table tennis.
These stone beds look really uncomfortable but I assure you they're anything but.

I'd of quite happily fallen asleep here.

A couple more shots of some of the decor. As I've said it's the interior of the ship that makes a Cunard cruise.

This was the nightclub where you can head for cocktails and dancing after your evening meal. As you can see the stage is set up for a live band, the only thing I was disappointed with was the size of the dance floor. I thought it was far to small for a ship this size.

By favourite bar, the Commodore club. Perfect for pre dinner or late night drinks in a chilled out atmosphere. It's quite nice during the day as well if you're at sea, just watching the ocean drift by.

The theatre was a decent size with comfy chairs. I thought the stage might of been a bit small for the amount of people the theatre could hold but it would be difficult to tell unless it was full. I thought the decor was very much in keeping with the rest of the ship and put me in mind of the Royal Albert Hall, (on a much smaller scale).

You can also hire out box seats for the evening with a waiter service to make your evening just that little bit more special.

Ah the Golden Lion. There's one on every Cunard ship. A traditional British pub, (or some American designers idea of one), but if you just one a quite drink away from it all this place is perfect.
I'll give you a tip though, they do a great 'traditional' pub lunch menu and their fish and chips is amazing!

Don't forget to get your picture taken under the clock.

There isn't a lot I can say about the casino. It was a lot bigger than some and a lot smaller than others but it had Blackjack and poker, roulette and fruit machines. I guess that's all a casino really needs.

As you can see this dance floor is a lot bigger than the night club one and is where all the formal ball room dancing is done of an evening which I guess says a lot about Cunard. Plenty of room for everyone here and they also give ball room dancing classes during the day for anyone worried about embarrassing themselves that evening.

Inside cabin

Balcony cabin

Balcony cabin, (sorry I didn't get shown any outside cabins).

Always one of my favourite parts of the ship, the library. It was well stocked and was decorated tastefully in line with the rest of the ship meaning it was a stylish, elegant corner of the ship in which to while away an hour or two on a sea day.

Right, well hopefully I've done the Cunards Queen Victoria justice; feel free to add your own comments below as to what you've thought of her. If you've been lucky enough to sail on her you'll have to let everyone know if these pictures live up to your memory or is the QV one of those ships you have to see in person?

Happy cruising.

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