We have been on 2 Cunard cruises - with a third booked next year.
Have been concerned to read elsewhere comments about the decline in some things since Carnival took over. One small example is that afternoon tea now comprises (cold) scones with jam and cream already in them instead of (warm) scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam being offered separately (by white-gloved waiters).
On the QE2 this year, there was plenty of evidence of money being spent on replacement carpet etc, so some of the changes are not for the worse - what do others think??
I can't give a first-person opinion since I have not seen the Cunard vessels, but I will say Carnival's influence is probably there to some degree, but more for the better than foir the worse. If Royal Caribbean had bought Cunard instead of Carnival, you would likely see far more hands-on management.
Actually, Cunard is now more closely aligned with Princess (also owned by Carnival) than with Carnival. All the head offices have been moved to the proximity of Princess's offices in California. I believe it was felt that Cunard's English roots would meld better with Princess's (ex- P & O company) roots.
my wife and i just spent 3 weeks on the Qe 2 and found it gastly. we had the same experience on windstar about 4 years ago after it was purchased by carnival. i will never again set foot on any carnival or cunard product.
I have travelled many times on the QE2 and QM2, QE2 pre Carnival.
I would say standards have certainly changed, it is very obvious. The choice of food in the restaurants has declined and it is very much a different experience now. It is in no way like going on a Carnival cruise but you can surely tell that cost restraints are in place, which I guess is a sign of the times, with passengers expecting great prices, I would be one of them.
It is a shame that Cunard has lost its identity though, it was lovely to see tea being served in the old way (and I am youngish), but it's just the way things are. I would certainly rather travel on another line if there was a choice for transatlantic. I just feel Cunard rip you off now. Sad but there it is.
Babs, I think it is a shame too. But both my wife and I saw hundreds of loyal QE2 cruisers having a wonderful time on the ship. to them it is not the condition, maintenance or cleanlinesss of the ship but the chance to have a good time with their peer group. But for me it really was a 'once in a lifetime' that I guarantee will not be repeated.
It is shame that something that was of such significance at one time could have been let into such a decline.