Cunard's Queen Victoria
Nice ship, lousy cabins
That, alas, is the verdict of the Miami Herald, the cruise industry's home town newspaper.
Weighing in on the much-ballyhooed new vessel Sunday in a lengthy review, the Herald's Jay Clarke echoed other reviewers who have expressed shock at the poor design of the Queen Victoria's cabins.
As one passenger put it, says Clarke, "the Queen has no drawers."
While that's not entirely accurate, as Clarke points out, it's pretty close. "The most numerous stateroom type, a balcony cabin, has only two usable drawers, one each at the bottom of the two small night tables," Clarke gripes. "In the center closet are four shelves, but one is occupied by the safe, the other by extra pillows. Two other large shelves in the closets are used for storing life jackets."
Clarke rightly notes that "that's hardly enough storage for a weekend cruise, much less the 105-night world cruise the ship is now embarked upon, even if you stow pillows and life jackets under the beds."
Cruise Loggers will recall I wasn't all that smitten with Victoria's cabins, either, when I toured it in December, my biggest complaint being the ho-hum beige and gold decor. But I was charmed by the Cunard newcomer's public areas, which are wonderfully designed -- and it seems Clarke was, too.
"Rich woods, muted colors, marble floors in some areas and tasteful furnishings lend an aura of understated elegance to the ship," writes the former travel editor of the Herald, who has reviewed ships for decades. "Service is quiet and efficient, in keeping with British tradition."
Clarke also calls the ship's theater a "stunning space," and he raves about its Todd English restaurant, among other on-board amenities.