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Queen Victoria - Cunard Line - cruise ship review and photos

Heart of Queen Victoria is the three-deck high Grand Foyer with sweeping staircases, plush carpets and shiny marble. Done by Princess Cruises' in-house design team, you will notice more than one similarity between this atrium and similar spaces on Princess ships.  

Grand Foyer Grand Foyer
Grand Foyer   Grand Foyer

Still, you will be looking in vain for any glass elevators - Queen Victoria has none. Instead, the vessel's twelve guest elevators are grouped together in three clusters which makes orientation easy.

Stairwell with vintage Cunard photos
Stairwell with vintage photos

The attractive, wood paneled stair towers feature vintage photos of the stars of yesterday enjoying their "only way to cross" - a nice touch.

 

Queen Victoria's top decks are reserved exclusively for the rich and famous. On deck 10 a discrete sign in the amidships stairwell reminds you that you are approaching "Grill Class", accessible only to guests staying in any of the vessel's luxurious suites.

Grills Lounge Grills Lounge

Grills Lounge

  Grills Lounge

Overlooking a semi-private sun terrace, the Grills Lounge is small but beautiful and the perfect place for Grill Class passengers to enjoy morning coffee, afternoon tea and evening cocktails.

Grills Lounge
Grills Lounge

With its dark wood paneling, large windows and beautiful backlit glass dome this room breathes the exclusivity that Grill Class guests will come to expect. During the day, the intimate bar serves up cool drinks to the Grill Class sunbathers that are stretched out on oversized, cushioned lounge chairs outside. 

The Grills Terrace The Grills Terrace
The Grills Terrace   The Grills Terrace

The Grills Terrace, a semi-private sun deck overlooking the Pavilion Pool, is simply superb. Up on deck 12 is another open air area, the Grills Upper Terrace. Again, lounge chairs are ever-present, as is a feeling of space.  

Lounge chairs galore The Grills Upper Terrace
Lounge chairs galore   The Grills Upper Terrace

As wonderful as this top deck hideaway is, I do miss two things: teak decks and a Jacuzzi or small pool for Grill guests only.

 

On Queen Victoria, Cunard continues its old-world restaurant classification where guests in the lower stateroom categories head for the vast Britannia Restaurant. 

Princess Grill
Princess Grill

More fortunate souls move up to deck 11 where they will find the Queens Grill and Princess Grill dedicated to the art of wining and dining. Both are reserved exclusively for Grill Class guests.

Queens Grill Princess Grill
Queens Grill   Princess Grill

Passengers staying in any of the Grand, Master or Penthouse Suites will find their table reserved in the Queens Grill on the port side, while guests staying in slightly less elaborate suites head for the Princess Grill on starboard side.

Queens Grill
Queens Grill

Both restaurants are remarkably similar. Both offer breathtaking views through floor to ceiling windows and are compact enough to guarantee a relatively intimate dining experience. Menus differ between both restaurants and Queens Grill guests are welcome to order off-menu. So go ahead, order that lobster!

Queens Grill Princess Grill
Queens Grill   Princess Grill

With its beautiful backlit stained glass wall decorations, the Queens Grill is the more traditional  of the two restaurants. The Princess Grill has a slightly more modern feel to it despite the odd curtain arrangement. Funnily enough not all chairs have armrests; something you would expect in these sumptuous surroundings.

Queens Grill Queens Grill
Queens Grill   Queens Grill

The Grill restaurants have their own dedicated galley. All dishes are prepared to order and Cunard has an enviable reputation of offering old-world silver service on the high seas. A tradition that is thankfully continued on the Queen Victoria

Courtyard The Courtyard
The Courtyard    The Courtyard

Now, what to think of the Courtyard that is sandwiched between the two Grill restaurants? While I think that the idea of having an alfresco area to complement the two Grills is brilliant, the Courtyard looks like it has just escaped from Las Vegas. Instead of the tacky fountain and rubber decking (in a teak motive), I think the design team could have come up with a more stylish solution here. But then, perhaps it will all look different on a beautiful sunny day...

     

 

Photos and text: 2007-2008 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on February 10, 2008

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