For many regular cruise passengers, onboard entertainment is almost more important than the shore excursions. There are those who prefer something queter and may not want spectacular floor shows, but they will still check out the talks, the demonstrations and the musical options available before booking cruise deals. Cunard has always had a reputation for securing top-flight entertainers, eminent speakers for their lectures, and best selling writers and journalists for onboard talks.
On the Queen Mary 2 opportunities for onboard relaxation are endless. She was built for long sea voyages, so she is equipped with a wide range of entertainment to help while away the hours at sea. QM2 has a two-tier theater, the Royal Court, which has seating for 1,100, and the productions compare favorably with the best West End shows.
Passengers with a penchant for tripping the light fantastic should head for the Queen's Room. At 134-feet wide, with one-ton chandeliers shimmering from the high ceilings the ballroom is the largest afloat, and with its glamor and size, could probably host Strictly Come Dancing. When it's not acting as a dance venue the room becomes the setting for the captain's cocktail receptions, the ship's horse races (not real horses ... they are all cardboard cut-outs) and the popular trivia contests.
As well as plenty of relaxing public lounges, for passengers who like a flutter there is the casino, and for those with champagne tastes there's the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar. Strategically positioned between the ballroom and the theater, what better way to start the evening than with a glass of bubbly served in a Waterford crystal flute?
Queen Victoria's Royal Court theater has the ultimate in theater going for passengers occupying accommodation accommodation - private boxes on the upper level of the theater. Audience capacity is less than on the QM2, so with this arrangement of seating everyone has an unobstructed view of the stage.
Like her sister ships, Queen Victoria has a health club and spa with the latest beauty treatments available, and for anyone needing to burn off those extra calories there is a gym with the very latest in cardiovascular exercise machines.
For something more sedentary, the library, a striking two-deck space, lined with mahogany paneling and equipped with comfy leather furnishings, has 6,000 books to browse through, plus the services of full time librarians.
Retail therapy is always available on Cunard Cruises and on Queen Victoria 4,000 square feet of deck space has been allocated for shopping. The Royal Arcade, modeled on London's grand Regency arcades, is conveniently located close to the Casino. More shopping opportunities are available in the Cunardia shop attached to the Cunard Museum, where Cunard devotees can stock up on memorabilia.
The new addition to the fleet, Queen Elizabeth, will have all the entertainment, exercise, retail, and relaxation opportunities of her sister ships, with one or two unique innovations of her own, such as a bowling green and a croquet lawn using artificial grass , thus negating the need for a lawnmower.