Queen Victoria – Sail Away

Day 15, October 11, 2022

We’re off – on a 12-night voyage on Cunard’s Queen Victoria. We’ll be stopping at 4 Norwegian ports: Andalsnes, Tromso, Narvik, and Stavanger, and, fingers crossed, get to see the northern lights.

It’s at this point where I’ll leave the journal for a bit – I’m sure you don’t want a day-by-day account of life on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria. You might though, have the same sort of questions we had before embarking and want to know what to expect about life on board…so over the next few posts we’ll be looking at that. Here goes…


We’d spent the previous two nights in Southampton at one of the hotels Cunard recommended, Leonardo Royal Hotel – although I booked it through booking.com rather than Cunard. Not only was it heaps cheaper this way, but we managed to get breakfast included. Bonus.

It was also just a mile from the ocean cruise terminal we were sailing out from. With all of us having wheelie bags and backpacks, and it being a lovely day we decided to walk rather than get a taxi – although the hotel was full of others obviously on the same cruise all hanging about waiting for taxis.

Once at the terminal our bags were taken and we were directed upstairs to where our paperwork and health declarations would be checked. At the time of travelling while we had to present evidence of double vaccination and boosters, the requirement for a pre-boarding covid test had been waived.

Then we waited in orderly lines and then orderly seated blocks. We’ve only done one cruise before – a P&O cruise of the South Pacific back in about 2010 – and I remember this part as being chaotic. Not this time. While there was quite a bit of moaning and complaining going on around us, for the most part, it was very civilised.

The Stateroom…

Upon arriving in our room we found the steward had prepared the bed with a protective cover to enable our suitcases to be placed on it without damaging the bedspread. Speaking of which, by the time we made it on board, our suitcases were waiting outside our room.

The bed was a UK King-size (Australian queen-size) and super comfy. The room, while small, had plenty of cupboard and drawer space for us to unpack and then slide the bags under the bed and out of the way.

There was a tiny (but serviceable) bathroom with Penhaglion (a British perfume house founded in the 1860s) toiletries, a lounge, a writing desk and also a table and chairs on the balcony.

As we were in the room next to our friends we asked for the interconnecting door between our balconies to be opened.

Settling in…

Once unpacked, and safety briefings were completed, a text from Heather alerted us to the fact that the ironing board in the laundry was free so Grant took the opportunity to get his dress shirts ironed before hanging them.

(On the subject of the laundry, there is one on every floor containing three washers and dryers. The facilities are free to use, but pick your times – it is both a place to get to know other people and also the one place on the ship fraught with tension. Woe betide the person who skips the queue or isn’t there to empty a washer/dryer when the cycle is complete. One woman told us how a previous cruise she’d been on actually evicted some passengers over fights in the laundry. #truestory)

A quick tour…

This ship, sorry liner, is massive but, by all accounts isn’t nearly as big as some. Whatever, you can certainly get your steps up walking around. In fact, I got my 10,000 daily steps every single day we were on board. Anyways, let’s go for a look around…

Sail Away

Arranging to meet the other two in the bar near the pool, Grant and I settle down to wave goodbye to Southampton.

It’s only when I get a text from Heather enquiring as to where we are that we realise there are two pools – both with bars – and we’re at the wrong one. No matter…we simply relocate and order another martini.

It’s a very good martini and our cruise is off to a great start.

Next time… Life on Board

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

9 thoughts

      1. After I read this post, your 101 items in 1001 days popped up, but the comments were closed. Word Press does weird thing, but I am glad this one showed up as it’s older, but I could see even more items that you can cross off on the next update. When I retired 4 years ago I kind of did this, without a formal sort of name, Covid certainly played havoc with some items but things like get good at French bread, make pasta and a while wheat break were easily completed. You’ve accomplished so much in your writing and travel and cooking ones.

  1. Looks like a fabulous ship. We love cruising and have been on about 8 cruises, Alaska, Caribean, Mexico, Mediterranean etc. All good. But we have never done a Norwegian cruise so I look forward to your posts.

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