The Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill is Cunard’s first-class offering. In fact it is like a luxury cruise ship within a ship. This has pluses and minuses, as I will explain in this Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill review.
Detailed Queen Elizabeth Queen's Grill review
My review explains what makes the Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grills experience unique and also rates the amenities. In addition, there are video tours of the accommodation and the Queen’s Grill Restaurant so you can see what they are really like. Click on the tabs above to navigate to each part of this review.
- Spacious suites
- Excellent Queen’s Grill Restaurant
- Not all-inclusive
- The first-class feel disappears outside the Grills areas
- No direct access from Grills Terrace to the pool
- No in-suite breakfast on disembarkation day
About Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill
Queen’s Grill is first-class on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship. Queen’s Grill guests stay in the biggest suites and they also enjoy exclusive access to private areas of the cruise ship, like the Grills Lounge, the Grills Terrace and the Queen’s Grill Restaurant.
The Queen Elizabeth has a capacity of 2,081-guests, however there is usually only a maximum of 130-guests in the Queen’s Grill.
Queen’s Grill guests stay in suites ranging in size from 45 sq. m. / 484 sq. ft. to 139 sq. m. / 1,493 sq. ft. All of these suites were renovated in November 2018. This Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill review details one of the most popular suite categories, the Queen’s Suite. It’s worth noting that the Queen’s Suites are located at the very back of the cruise ship. So guests face a long walk through the austere corridors to reach the exclusive Grills Lounge and Restaurant.
The history of the Cunard Grills concept is interesting. Early last century Cunard assigned rooms based on the restaurant in which their guests ate. The most expensive ticket holders dined in the posh ‘Grill’ restaurant and they were given the best accommodation onboard.
Today those first-class tickets have become known as ‘Grills’ and Queen’s Grill guests still dine in the best restaurant onboard.
As this Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill review explains, there is fine dining and an elevated level of service as well as spacious suites. However, it’s worth noting that things can be different outside the rarified atmosphere of the Grills.
Grills guests share the rest of the ship with 1,951 other passengers. So inevitably this means queues and a reduced level of personal attention outside the Grills. Also, some of the amenities in the general public areas are below the standard of other luxury cruise ships.
Moreover, I think it’s the little things that let down the Queen’s Grill experience. For instance, on the morning of disembarkation there is no in-suite breakfast service and the Queen’s Restaurant is only open until 8:00am. It makes for an unnecessarily rushed departure. After this, guests are asked to vacate the Grills and wait in the main Britannia Restaurant. It’s not a first-class finish to a luxury cruise experience.
Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill dining
Guests staying in Queen’s Grill suites eat in an exclusive dining room called the Queen’s Grill Restaurant. In my opinion it serves some of the best traditional cuisine at sea. Indeed, I think dining there is the highlight of the Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill experience.
In some ways the Queen’s Grill restaurant reminds me of Simpson’s in the Strand – that most quintessential of English restaurants in London. It is elegant with a decor that echoes a more glamorous era.
The Queen’s Grill Restaurant serves classic dishes like Roasted Loin of Venison, Duck L Orange and Roasted Pheasant Breast. The menu changes daily, however there are some signature dishes that are available all the time. The dining section of this Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill review explains it all.
The wine list in the Queen’s Grill Restaurant is exceptional. In fact it’s like a bible of new and old-world vintages. If you enjoy wine you’ll delight in browsing the list each night.
The Grills sommelier has an excellent knowledge of his wines, so it’s worth asking his advice if you are unsure or simply can’t make up your mind!
What’s included in the Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill
Unlike other luxury cruise offerings, a Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill ticket is not all-inclusive. As a matter of fact the only things included in your cruise fare are the accommodation, dining, in-suite soft drinks, two bottles of spirits and a bottle of Champagne, as well as tea and coffee.
The Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill cruise fare does not include wines, spirits or cocktails. You can purchase these individually, or you may choose from a selection of Cunard beverage packages. However, it’s worth noting that the beverage packages have a somewhat limited wine selection.
The cruise fare does not include gratuities either. In fact, a 15% gratuity is automatically added to the cost of everything you order.
On the plus side, guests do have the services of a butler who can arrange almost anything, from restaurant bookings to shore excursions.
Also, there is an afternoon canapé service for Queen’s Grill guests and they may select two bottles of spirits for the mini bar on embarkation.
In some ports there are transfers to and from downtown.
Who are Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill passengers
The Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill has a loyal following, in fact many passengers are return guests. They know what they like and they like what they know. The Queen’s Grill guests are mostly discerning cruisers. They are also generally well-travelled and financially secure.
The age of most Grills guests is from 45 to 85-years old. They tend to be fit and mobile.
Like all the Cunard offerings the Queen’s Grill is also gay-friendly.
Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill review conclusion
Is the Queen’s Grill onboard Queen Elizabeth the ultimate luxury cruise experience? In my opinion the answer is probably not.
Make no mistake, the Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill has some great attributes, like the outstanding dining. However there are drawbacks too. For instance, the queues and a reduced level of personal attention outside the Grills areas can shatter the first-class feel in an instant.
In addition, Queen Elizabeth Queen’s Grill does not have the same inclusions as many other luxury cruise offerings. So luxury cruise guests should be mindful of this when making their choice.
It’s also worth mentioning that in-suite service declined at the end of my review voyage. For instance, water was not replenished on the last night and as previously noted, there was no in-suite breakfast service on the day of disembarkation.