MEDITERRANEAN ODYSSEY: 12 NIGHT CRUISE
Accommodation: Queen Elizabeth, Queens Suite Q6 4190
Ports of call: Civitavecchia, Katakolon, Athens, Mykonos, Ephesus (Kusadasi), Rhodes, Heraklion, Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia
The Queen Elizabeth
We stayed in Suite 4190, which was large, but an unusual shape in that we had an odd narrow corridor all the way into our suite. The bathroom (as for all cabins of this grade) was sizeable, very well equipped & most importantly it had a Jacuzzi bath!
All Queens Grill suites are assigned a butler and our butler on this cruise was very attentive. This was our first real ‘use’ of a butler in terms of asking for extras like nuts and crisps to be delivered to the room every day together with orange juice. Apart from our requests for tea every morning as a wake up call, some nuts, crisps and juice to be topped up when the normal room turnaround takes place, we didn’t really ask the butler to do very much but Cunard advertise that butlers would be happy to assist with unpacking of clothes, packing, serving of meals in your suite and even draw you a bath if you wanted! The weather over this cruise was mixed, but it didn’t stop us sitting on our large balcony (fully clothed with dressing gowns over the top…) to make the most of drinking through our complimentary minibar. On arrival, the minibar was stocked with beers, soft drinks and we chose our complimentary in suite-drinks (for which there is a choice of spirits and wine) which get replaced throughout the voyage.
We visited numerous ports on this cruise, our favourite being Kusadasi to visit the ancient city, Ephesus. Do not miss Ephesus if you are in this area! We had a guided tour of Ephesus, which is an incredible site and 100% worth visiting. Walking around the ruins of temples, the city squares, a bath house, an amphitheatre, a beautiful library and a brothel gave us an opportunity to imagine what this ancient city looked like and how people used to live there. Even though the site is full of signs and explanations a tour is really useful to make the most of what you are seeing, especially if you only have a short period of time to enjoy the site. Given that we were part of a cruise tour and that the ship was leaving in the afternoon, we only had half a day to explore, but the large site could definitely merit a full day visit.
Mykonos town is also really worth visiting; the view from the portside is stunning – the bright white houses clustered around the harbour is such a pretty site and wandering the narrow, whitewashed streets is a great way to spend a day.
Other port highlights:
As we were staying in a Queens Suite, we dined in the Queens Grill. The Queens Grill is located on top of the ship on Deck 11 with panoramic glass walls on the seaboard sides. The Queens Grill (in addition to the Princess Grill and Britannia Club) offers single seating so we could have breakfast, lunch and dinner at a time of our choosing.
On this voyage, Cunard suspended any upgrading to fill cabin classes up and sell more cabins at a lower level fare. This meant that the Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites were at quarter capacity, the Queens Grill restaurant was deathly quiet and the restaurant service consequently was outstanding. The table we were allocated, table 48, was amazing! We had a beautiful window view which was great every morning at breakfast to see either clear blue sea or our port of call.
We had Michael and Irena as our waiter and waitress assisting us in the Queens Grill, and they were the best team we have ever had in Queens Grill. Their service style was much more personal than the normal service, potentially by virtue of the fact the restaurant wasn’t full, and the fact of the cruise being a little bit longer in length. We had conversations with Michael and Irena about their lives and they seemed like lovely people as well as being on top of their game with their jobs; Michael would be over within a millisecond of a glass being empty or knife and fork being put down on a plate! He was so attentive that within a couple of days he knew both of our tastes, exactly what we would want or might be interested in trying and it made dining something to look forward to. On one occasion on this cruise Irena brought Hus three portions of a dessert he really enjoyed with no fuss and great humour! We are very late diners and on some cruises we have felt tension from staff in the restaurant as if they wish we would hurry up and leave but not once were we left with such an impression on this cruise. The dining was unstintingly excellent, and we had lots of lovely meals prepared by our Maitre D’ by our table. The a la carte menu is amazing, some of the highlights of which were chateaubriand, dover sole, crepe suzette, sabayon espresso semi-freddo:
This fly-cruise was one of the best holidays Hus and I have had together and one of our best experiences on Cunard. A Mediterranean cruise like this would be brilliant for those who would like a chance to visit multiple places over a short period of time with some culture thrown in. The ports were an excellent mix and dining in the grills restaurant was consistently top quality and an overview of some of the other dishes we had are here:
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