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Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby isleofwightferry » 08 Jan 2018 17:59

Just returned from a New Year’s Eve cruise on Cunard’s Queen Victoria, to Bruges (although we didn’t make it there), Amsterdam and Cherbourg, and wish to relate what was undoubtedly the worst service I have ever experienced on any cruise ship.
The highlight of the cruise was to be in dock near the middle of Amsterdam for the spectacular fireworks display put on by the Dutch to welcome in the New Year. Cunard did their best to ruin the event for us.
Arrived in the Britannia restaurant in full black tie as required, at the scheduled time of 8.30pm. By 9.30, no food at all had been served to us. I complained, and was told they were busy (?) by a supercilious senior waiter who pointedly checked the time on his phone when I said we’d been waiting over an hour. Eventually the starter arrived, and MUCH later the main course. As this was finished, the fireworks display to welcome in the New Year was starting!!
I complained again, this time to the maître d’, but by then it was apparent that if we wanted to be on deck to witness the arrival of the New Year, we would have to abandon the rest of the meal – which still hadn’t turned up. We were just about the only table left in the restaurant at this time, as everyone else had finished their meal in good time, and had exited to watch the fantastic display outside.
The following evening the maître d’ apologised for the dreadfully slow service which meant we weren’t able to complete the meal, and offered us each a glass of house red wine and a better steak meal as compensation. Derisory!
I went to the Purser’s Office to complain. I wasn’t happy at having to pay the service charges for such appalling service. I was at the Purser’s Office for 40 minutes(!) before finally the Ship’s Officer in charge, Stephen Smith, told me that there was no-one on the ship who had the authority to refund the service charges!!
A number of questions;
1. Is this true?
2. Does anyone know how to get the service charges refunded?
3. Are Cunard legally entitled to keep the service charges when the customer requests a refund? (they are certainly not morally entitled to keep it!)
4. Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, how was it resolved?
I would be grateful for any advice.
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Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby judgegeoff » 09 Jan 2018 11:22

Hi isleofwightferry,

I'm afraid that I have never (yet) sailed with Cunard, or indeed experienced bad service like you describe on any of our many cruises, so I am afraid that I will not be able to help you, although I am confident that other members will.

I would however like to welcome you to our forum, it is always good to see new members. :wave:

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Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby adogap » 09 Jan 2018 13:14

Hello isleofwightferry,

Welcome to the forum.

I have never sailed on Queen Victoria but have on QM2 and QE. My understanding is that Cunard will allow gratuities to be amended / removed providing you contact the Pursers office prior to the end of the cruise.

I suggest you write a letter of complaint to -

Guest Relations
Cunard Line
Carnival House
100 Harbour Parade
SO15 1ST

Or Email them -

Cunard website states -

A Guest Relations Representative will then be allocated your case who will carry out any investigations necessary and respond to you as soon as possible.  Our preferred method of communication is telephone so please ensure you include your telephone number in any correspondence you send to us.
We are members of ABTA and adhere to their code of conduct, code 5B refers to our commitment when communicating with clients, further details are below:
Code 5B
Members shall deal with all correspondence with Clients as promptly as possible and, in any event, within the following time limits:
(i) an acknowledgement shall be sent not later than 14 days from the date of receipt of correspondence and
(ii) a detailed reply, or a reply containing a detailed explanation for any delay, shall be sent not later than 28 days from the date of receipt of correspondence. 

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Re: Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby khkate » 09 Jan 2018 20:49

I have a couple of occasions when we have had very slow service in a dining venue on board a Saga ship. Here the grats are included in the fare, so no need to get worried about service charges. The worst time, there were two of us and we sat a table set for 4, and another couple joined us later (not friends of ours). They got served with their meal and departed before we had even received ours - and I kicked up a stink with both the waiter and the maitre d'- and the response I received was very similar, "sorry but we're busy". I think I had ordered a steak and they said it was because it required extra preparation. I was very unhappy and did go down to Reception to voice my complaint - and upon returning home at the end of the cruise, wrote and notified Customer Services. After voicing my concerns at reception, I actually got an apology from the chef, waiter and maitre d whilst on board - and for the rest of the cruise, they went out of their way to ensure our service was exemplary. Customer services also responded and apologised and we got some OBC on our next cruise too.
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Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby sparkiethecruiser » 13 Jan 2018 19:51

question was the gratuities prepaid before you boarded the ship?? If so then that may have been why they couldn't reverse the charges. Otherwise I have no idea why they couldn't or wouldn't remove the charges.

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Re: Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby Seamouse » 14 Jan 2018 18:18

Welcome to the forum. What a shame you had such bad service, on your Cunard cruise. I assume your gratuities were prepaid, before embarkation. Perphaps you will have more success of a refund, and an apology, if you follow Adogaps' advice. Lets' hope so. Never been with Cunard, as yet. Have heard mixed reviews about them.
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Re: Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby Camela » 15 Jan 2018 18:51

I'm guessing that you were on a 'mini cruise'. No excuse for poor service, though I have read several reviews that bear out a reduction in standards on such cruises.

PS Welcome, let us know if you have a cruising history. Or if this was a first hope you're not put off totally!!
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Poor Service on QueenVictoria

Postby tobysgranny » 20 Aug 2018 13:57

We have cruised on all three Queens and have fortunately never had bad service. We are on a QV in November for 24 nights so I am hoping the service will be up to scratch. If not I will be very quick to complain.

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