Joseph and Judy Falzone
Number of Cruises: Man
Cruise Line: Cunard
Ship: Queen Elizabeth 2
Sailing Date: n/a
Embarkation: The check-in process at Southampton took approximately 30 minutes. As we had book a room in the Queens category, we had a separate line. Once on board the ship we were asked what our stateroom number was and were quickly escorted to the proper deck and cabin. When we arrived at our cabin (1046) our luggage was already there. This was a pleasant surprise as on other cruises we waited 30 minutes or more for our luggage to arrive.
Stateroom: The stateroom measured 385sf and was comfortable enough for three people. There was a walk in closet in our cabin that allowed the three of us to hang all of our clothing. The bathroom was quite roomy and had a standard size tub and shower. All cabins on the QE2 are equipped with a mini refrigerator and safe.
The QE-2: It takes a day or so to get used the layout of the ship, but if you look by the elevators you will see a directory of each deck. This will show you where each facility is located by deck and stairway. If you pay attention to this, you will be fine. If not, you might get confused. The ship has many areas that show you what cruising was like 35 years ago and there is a wall that has pictures of all the dignitaries, and movie stars that sailed on her as well as menus. Take the time to see this.
This ship was commissioned in 1969, and she is showing a few signs of age. Particularly, the deck chairs and railings are weathered and appear to have never been oiled or varnished. This took away from the glamour of the ship.
Restaurant: The Queens Grill is rated as the “Best Restaurant at Sea” by Berlitz and Fodor’s and after your first meal, you can easily see why. The service is outstanding and the quality, preparation, and presentation of the meals are superb. The wait staff: Daruis and Sheety are most attentive as is Alesander, the wine steward. The Queens Grill has an a la carte menu that remains the same each night and an additional menu that changes nightly. If you do not see what you like, just ask and the staff will make every effort to accommodate you. The Queens Grill has a mandatory jacket and tie requirement for dinner and on a seven night voyage there are two formal nights (tuxedo or dark suit/tie). The maitre d’ staff (Dennis, Gregory, Andrew) is the best to be found. After they meet you for the first time they will address you by you last name. Any special requests are handled by these fine, competent gentlemen.
Typical menu items include Sevruga caviar, Beef Wellington, Chateaubriand, Duck l’orange and Rack of Lamb.
Ports of Call:
Liverpool had a music festival going on when we arrived that drew 250,000 visitors so getting around was a slow process. The pubs had lines into the streets with people waiting to get in. Besides that, Liverpool is an old town with all modern features and I felt this detracted from the quaintness of Liverpool.
Dunmore East(Waterford), Ireland was a beautiful little town. The modern shops blended in with the village nicely, and there was a free shuttle from the ship to the city center. This ride took 20 minutes, but it gave you a chance to see the surroundings of Waterford. The shopping opportunities are plentiful (crystal, woolens, etc) and there are some local Irish pubs located off the main strip. If you want to visit the Waterford factory there is a tour but you can take the shuttle to the city center and then a local bus for a two mile ride. If you take the tour thinking the prices will be better at the factory, there won’t be. Waterford crystal pricing is established by the company and is the same at the factory or at Joseph Knox in the center of town.
Cherbourg, France was a great place. There was an open-air market were you could buy anything from souvenir t-shirts to home grown vegetables. You cannot walk the streets of Cherbourg without passing at least one bistro and bakery per block Here we took a tour called “an Introduction to Cherbourg” that took us to a botanical garden, natural history museum, and a chateau at a cost of $45 US per person. Here again, there is a free shuttle available from the pier to the town center. If I did this trip again, I would hire a taxi from the town center and visit the chateau.
St. Peter Port, Guernsey is a multi national town with Indian, Italian and French restaurants within walking distance of the dock. This is a beautiful town with winding streets, shops galore, a lovely cathedral, and a local pub call the Albion that you visit and lift a pint of Guernsey Super Smooth.
All in all this was a trip that will long be remembered and cherished.