Victoria's Winter Garden
Relaxation & Recreation
As much as I loved my crossing last year on Queen Mary
2, the one spot aboard that I found lacking was her Winter
Garden. Oddly placed, it seemed devoid of warmth. That's not the
case on Queen Victoria—her
Winter Garden is just what I expected—a colonial style
garden retreat with fountain and greenery, cushy rattan furnishings,
ceiling fans turning lazily and a retractable ceiling and glass wall
panels to let in ocean breezes on balmy days. Even on a dreary
afternoon in Southampton, it is a bright and cheerful spot adjacent to the
swimming pool and hot tubs.
Nearby, the Royal Spa & Fitness
Center will set health enthusiasts' hearts aflutter.
Facilities include the exclusive Thermal Suite and Hydrotherapy Pool
(day passes can be purchased for those who don't book a spa
treatment) and a state-of-the-art gym. The aerobics studio offers
Pilates, Yoga, resistance workouts, and Zumba, the hot Latin dance
workout that really gets your blood pumping. A full menu of spa
treatments includes exotic-sounding rituals that incorporate oils,
soothing music, room atomizers, and, of course, the art of massage.
Men aren't overlooked when it comes to some pampering. While the ladies may swoon over beauty
regimes that cover hair, nails, and skin, the guys can choose to be
barbered, shaved, and revitalized with a massage or manly-man skin
treatment. I was delighted to learn that experts from Harding
Brother Spa are in charge. Their programs are unabashedly designed
for pleasure and make no false "medicinal benefit"
promises the way other spa operators do.
Even the smallest passengers aboard Queen Victoria
have something to look forward to at sea. British nannies supervise
the Play Zone Nursery & Children's Center where children
age one through six have a full schedule of activities from story
time to arts and crafts, games and movies. In The Zone,
children from seven to sixteen can test their skills on 28
PlayStation 3 video games, watch movies, and challenge one another
to air hockey and foosball. Teens age 16 and up are also invited to
take daily fencing lessons with an instructor in the Sports &
Recreation Center. A large outdoor deck area is reserved for
family fun and parents may join their children for traditional
Your Home Away From Home
for the naming ceremony I was comfortably ensconced in a Category A1
stateroom with a balcony on Deck 8. The soft golden yellow and navy
blue decor appealed to me, as did a balcony deep enough to use
without feeling cramped. However, the one quirk about my new
quarters that struck me almost immediately was a lack of drawer
space. The desk/vanity contained a shallow drawer under the desktop
and a deeper one below the television held a built-in
hairdryer, leaving limited space for incidentals. Other than a tiny
drawer in each nightstand, that was it. While there was plenty of
hanging space in the closets, a single floor-to-ceiling bank of shelves housed the
safe on one shelf and life vests on another, leaving little useable
room for personal items. Oddly, a couple more shelves could have
been added, but it seems that room was left at the bottom for
storing luggage or bulky items. It's a simple fix—just
add more shelves.
Other accommodations I viewed also made
ample use of lemon-gold fabrics with assorted accent colors. If you
decide to book a suite in either of the Grill classes, you won't
have any problem with storage. The Queens Grill accommodations are
As on all Cunard liners, where you dine is
determined by the category of accommodations you occupy. All square
footage figures include balconies.
- Grand Suites: 1,918 to 2,131 square feet
- Master Suites: 1,100 square feet
- Penthouses: 520-707 square feet
- Queens Suites: 508-771 square feet
- Princess Suites: 342-513 square feet
- Balcony: 242-472 square feet
- Oceanview: 180-210 square feet
- Inside: 151-243 square feet
Former passengers of Princess Cruises will
recognize Queen Victoria's Princess Suites as being
very similar to Grand-class mini-suites. Everyone should sleep well
on the super-comfy beds with ultra plush pillows.
is an intriguing ship; a blend of classic liner and (dare I say it!)
contemporary cruise ship. Stately and dignified, she incorporates
places to relax and have fun that should satisfy an international
mix of passengers as she roams the globe. While a decidedly British
atmosphere prevails, there's a lot for everyone to love.
Over the years I've been fortunate to sail on nearly one hundred
ships and I can honestly say that some of the finest meals I've
enjoyed were served during my two days aboard Queen Victoria.
My brief preview left me yearning for a voyage on the newest jewel
in the Cunard crown.
© Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com
Victoria -> Part One
Victoria -> Part Two
© Linda Coffman, CruiseDiva.com
From Cruise Diva's Blog