At sea sailing back to Sydney:
The final day has arrived so we thought we would make the most of it. For the past 4 days our morning routine included brisk walking on Deck 3, reading the Daily Programme, catching up with news on the television then breakfast.
We aimed to try the free facilities on Deck 11 and Deck 9 as it was a quiet morning on the Sport Court and Games Deck. It would appear a lot of our fellow passengers were busy packing for the disembarkation tomorrow, as we passed a lot of cases outside staterooms as we walked around. A best of three table tennis competition on Deck 9 stimulated our adrenalin before heading to Deck 11, a lovely garden setting which offers games of short bowls, paddle tennis, croquet and golf-shot practice in a netted area. We liked the paddle tennis, lots of running around and blood pumping, a perfect workout indeed!
For spa and body pampering, the Mareel Wellness and Beauty offers a variety of holistic approach spa treatments (we didn’t try this). There are also daily fitness classes which include yoga, stretch, pilates and group cycle for an additional fee alongside wellbeing seminars.
We fancied a combination of buffet food, so a plate of fish and chips cooked to order and some decadent deserts were shared by the pool area aft.
After lunch had settled, we jumped into the pool and did a few laps which helped stretched all the muscles before a relaxing finale in the warm waters of the whirlpools. Back to our stateroom for forty winks.
We saved our carry on bottle of Champagne Taitttinger for our last night. We watched the sunset from our balcony with a glass of bubbles in hand before heading out for our last dinner, it was such a sublime moment on our cruise as we reflected on the week that was. Dinner was at the Britannia Restaurant where we met our fellow regular diners.
With only a few hours left of the final night on board, the mood amongst the passengers and crew was lighter, more relaxed and casual, with plenty of goodwill handshakes and stories of past experiences blended with booked cruises to come. The shops were busy with last minute bargain hunters, bars and social areas a buzz, it was a great night.
Cruising with Cunard for the first time was certainly an experience, I enjoyed the atmosphere and sophistication of Queen Elizabeth. It certainly was different to the other cruises, especially the type of people that are attracted to this style of cruising. A lot of the passengers we met were more mature travellers and had been cruising for many years and knew all the ships, both old and new like members of the family, such is the loyalty of Cunard passengers. Table talk would often revolve around past world trips and the next cruise to come and what ship it was going to be. I think this sheer loyalty covers over some aspects that perhaps were not the best.
Buffet food always seems to be just that, it was good but not great, the main dining food also was good, but not great. I can only try to understand the overall complexity of attempting to cater for such a large ship and all onboard and the effect that can have, the service stood out and was fantastic, but some of the food and service items were not. As we prepared to disembark for our shore trip to Port Arthur, small bottles of water were for sale to passengers to take ashore, for sale? This was not a cheap cruise, yet Cunard couldn’t stretch to giving you a little bottle of complimentary water? That was a bit sorry. The ability to have some access to gym equipment and perhaps a sauna/steam without the need to book packages through the Wellness Centre would have been nice, but alas not.
All in all we would cruise with Cunard again, its history and foundations certainly are reflected in its overall presentation and general performance.
Queen Elizabeth docked at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal around 6:00 am. We had a quick breakfast before picking up our carry on bags and suit packs before disembarking at 7:30 am. As we opted to have our luggage collected we placed it outside our stateroom the night before, a good option to save you lugging it around on such a busy morning. Collection was a breeze as we were directed to where it was waiting us, bring to an end our cruise, Bon Voyage my Queen.
E_deliciou_S paid for this cruise.