Only one cruise line can profess to having three ‘Queens’ in their fleet and that is Cunard. The Queen Victoria is a shining example of luxury combined with traditional British style cruising. In 2007, she was unveiled to provide ‘Old World’ charm by reflecting the past amongst the modernity of the 21st Century cruise ship.
There is no uncertainty that the plush and rich design is reminiscent of the romance and tradition of the old transatlantic liners. Heavy woods and marble are commonplace throughout the ship with a touch of glitz. The ship’s theme plays and emphasises upon the long history of cruising, particularly with Cunard, which were famous for their cruises on steamers.
Photographs of past celebrities and famous figures who sailed on their great ships can be observed in virtually every part of the ship.
Queen Victoria can hold over 2000 passengers and there are over a thousand cabins with more than half offering verandas. The cabin system is very unique as it is divided into many different categories that have everything from small but cosy rooms with twin beds, balcony cabins to Grand Suites that have over 2000 square feet of space.
All cabins onboard the ship contain well appointed and state of the art features such as flat-screen television with international programming, a refrigerator, a hairdryer, a storage safe, a telephone and a daily paper about activities on the ship. Bathrooms come equipped with a small shower in the standard cabins with baths available in the more expensive staterooms.
There is an attempt to create a few special enclaves that have been an integral part to Cunard story with the class system. Consisting of the Queens Grill premium cabins and Princess Grill suites, passengers have access to exclusive restaurants as well as private lounges.
One bit of tradition that still follows in the Grills is high tea in the afternoons.
Cunard has placed quite a bit of effort into the other dining options as well onboard the Victoria.
One of the restaurants, the two story high Britannia Restaurant serves casual fare with a warm demeanour. There is also the Lido Café which is a buffet style restaurant. Another option is the Verandah on deck two which serves sophisticated and yet contemporary cuisine under the direction of world-famous Chef Jean-Claude Zimmermann.
There are also many lounges on-board including Churchill’s Cigar Lounge.
Don’t worry about being bored as the Queen Victoria has a wide variety of activities to keep you entertained. There are some very interesting shows every night ranging from Celtic dance to a comedic view of Victorian era life, Victoriana. The Hemispheres nightclub offers a wide range of music to get you out of your seat and into the groove
There’s a casino that, while it’s not too large, it contains all of the standard games to challenge your gambling instincts.
The Queen Victoria also plays host to the “world’s first floating museum”, providing insight into the rich history behind Cunard and it’s fleet. In addition, there are two standard swimming pools available that provide a perfect place to cool down after a long day. The young ones can spend time away from their parents at the children’s club on the ship.
For those who want to be rejuvenated, the best place to head to is the luxurious spa and fitness centre. The spa offers a large amount of treatments such as facials, oxygen treatments, “aroma soul” massages and deep tissue scrubs, all of which are guaranteed to make you feel younger. In addition, the fitness centre focuses more on health and cardiovascular rather than muscle tone.
The best part for those who reside in the UK is the Queen Victoria has made her home port in Southampton during the spring, summer and autumn. Travel to the Med, Canary Islands and then sail a transatlantic through the Panama Canal. She has a winter hiatus on the other side of the atlantic with sailings out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Cunard’s uniqueness is always offering the perception that there is something different about being on one of their ships. They certainly have made that possible on the Queen Victoria.
Written by Veronica Shine