When shipboard travel was an event aboard the SS Lurline… and a disappointment on Cunard’s mediocre cruise-ship Queen Victoria

A  wonderful photo of Matson Line’s SS LURLINE during the late 1930s.  The enclosed promenade deck.  A steward serving bouillon in the late morning before luncheon.  A boy looking out to the sea.  This is now a total memory.

I recently sailed trans-Atlantic aboard Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria.  The ship had no promenade.  There were no deck chairs similar to what see you above.  Still water, without the bottle, was $4.00 a glass.  Cunard is a total tragic remnant of what it was.  Everything included in the luxury of the above photo is now vanished.

(Left to Right: Cunard Line’s current headquarters, compared to the former New York headquarters.  Like K-Mart compared to Tiffany.)

Unfortunately, Cunard Line… which claims to be British…  is now just another cruise line operated out of a a boring Los Angeles suburb.  I thought I was alone in my complaints about Cunard Line but recent reviews on Cruise Critic proved my point.  The debut of Cunard’s Queen Victoria out of Los Angeles was nothing but flack hype.

Cunard Line’s only credit is that they have a great public relations staff… but the rest is from hunger.

There was nothing about the Queen Victoria – on my 7 day interminable trans-Atlantic crossing – that was reminiscent of the glory days of Cunard or anything British except the registry of the ship.  I sailed with my parents aboard the RMS Queen Elizabeth in the late 1960s… and the Queen Victoria in no way compared.  It was like a mishmash of dreadful ferryboat service.  Staffed by a disorganized group of “worldwide” inexperienced and disgruntled crew.  The waiter even had the gall to tell us how great the service was and then asked for a big tip in writing.

I will review my crossing aboard the Queen Vic5toria next week.   Much about the decline and fall of the Cunard Line.

I sailed in what is loosely described the Queen’s Grill class!   This ship basically had no class at all.  The Queen Victoria was more like a Vegas hotel such as Circus Circus afloat with a total false veneer of so-called British service.

If you are going trans-Atlantic… select a repositioning cruise… avoid Cunard…

More later…


About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…

Leave a Reply