Cruise line: Cunard Cruises,
The Queen Victoria is surely the jewel in Cunard’s crown. Superbly designed, with wonderful public spaces and well thought out rooms, she surpasses her larger sister, Queen Mary 2 for elegance and sophistication.
I was luckily enough to enjoy an overnight stay on her before she set sail on her inaugural cruise.
Upon embarking on deck 2, you enter the Grand Lobby.3 decks high and tastefully decorated like the rest of the ship in an Art deco style, the lobby sets the tone for the architecture and style that can be found throughout the ship. The lobby is the centre point of Queen Victoria, and here you will find the purser’s desk and tour office. A large depiction of the Queen Victoria emerging from a sun motif adorns the staircase landing and makes for a dramatic backdrop that can be seen from nearly every part of the Grand Lobby.
The Todd English restaurant is situated on deck 2 – better positioned than on Queen Mary 2 and it provides an intimate dining venue. If the standard of food and presentation is the same as on QM2 then I would thoroughly recommend a booking for dinner.
The library spans 2 decks and has an innovative spiral staircase in the centre. A good selection of fiction and non-fiction books grace the mahogany shelves.
The Golden Lion pub feels like a pub, (it has more atmosphere than the pub on QM2) and there is a live music here along with sports shown on plasma screens. Spacious and no doubt popular, the pub serves a selection of pub grub, like shepherds pie and fish and chips.
Based on the designs of architect Frank Matcham, the Royal Court Theatre is the first theatre on a cruise liner or ship to feature Royal boxes. Seating from two to eight guests each, the boxes are furnished with armchairs and cocktail tables where white-gloved theatre ushers serve savoury treats and Champagne. The Royal Court Theatre has perfect sight lines and has rich brocade fabric dressing the walls, a deep red velvet curtain and murals framing the walls above the stage. I thought this was an amazing space and the attention to detail was excellent. I saw the Victoriana show in the evening – a mix of Music Hall Victorian entertainment and contemporary choreography – with some audience participation too!
The Royal Arcade spans 2 decks and is the shopping area on Queen Victoria. The 4000 square foot arcade was inspired by both the Royal and Burlington Arcades in London and features a grand staircase at the forward end. The centrepiece of this area is a custom built Pillar clock built by clockmaker Dent & Co. I thought this area was very well designed with a good choice of shops including Sterns the jewellers.
The Queens Room has two chandeliers, and Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s retreat on the Isle of Wight, inspires the décor. A large dance floor and balcony level completes this beautiful room. Afternoon tea is served here, accompanied by a string quartet. This room is quite lovely!
The Britannia Restaurant is again decorated in an Art Deco style and is a double height room, however the design and layout of the table groupings make it feel intimate and cozier. The rooms’ focal point is a 10-foot tall illuminated world globe.
The Princess Grill and Queens Grill are up on deck 11 and are on the port and starboard sides of the ship, with The Grills Lounge separating them. These room are designed well and have a more exclusive feel to them than those on Queen Mary 2.
Suites and cabins are decorated in yellows, gold and reds and this colour scheme gives them a sophisticated look. Beds were comfy too.
I really liked Queen Victoria and thought she was very well designed, decorated and laid out. The public rooms flowed naturally into each other and it was easy to navigate around – the designers seemed to have taken the best of Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2 and made a truly wonderful ship.