The Cunard experience is the ultimate in luxury: both elegant and classic, this cruise line is a timeless British institution sailing the sea to wonderful destinations. But don’t go thinking this makes Cunard stuffy and outdated! Let us show you five reasons why guests from all walks of life visit Cunard ships.

1. You can dine in a proper pub

A waiter bringing traditional pub grub to guests in Cunard's Golden Lion pub

Between the fine dining experiences and exclusive areas, you may be surprised to find that Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is home to the Golden Lion, a quintessential English pub with all the trimmings – darts, karaoke, live sports and ale. Alongside the dainty afternoon teas and black-tie dinners, this is a breath of familiarity and homeliness offered at no extra cost, so you can fully enjoy the typical pub atmosphere. Enjoy a classic pub lunch including favourites such as sausages and mash, cottage pie and fish and chips, while taking part in a pub quiz. Pens at the ready!

2. White Star Line service comes at no extra cost

A white-gloved waiter pouring tea for a guest during afternoon tea

White-gloved waiters and silver platter sandwiches paint a picture of indulgent luxury – one which many consider to be out of budget or a little too ostentatious. However, on-board all three of Cunard’s ships guests can attend an afternoon tea in one of the largest ballrooms at sea without any extra cost or the suit and tie.

The ships include this dining experience in your fare and, being such a treasured British tradition, it is not to be missed. With a looser dining dress code, enjoy being served a range of finger sandwiches, cakes and pastries, accompanied by a harpist or string quartet to set the mood. Choose from a range of 19 varieties of tea included in the specially selected Twining’s Ritual collection – these also come with a set of three hourglass timers, each depicting the relevant time for your selected tea to brew.

Afternoon tea is a daily event on-board Cunard, but the Queens Room can only hold a select number of guests, so it is best to get there early.

3. There is a planetarium on-board

A speaker giving a lecture in Cunard's on-board theatre

Cunard isn’t all black tie events, gallery viewings and classical recitals. Enlighten yourself with Cunard’s Enrichment Programme to learn a new skill or develop a hobby, as well as Cunard’s INSIGHTS®, a programme of talks from experts in film-making, politics, science, history and astronomy. Lecturers are invited to celebrate Space Week, Fashion Voyage or The New Yorker Voyage, including guest speakers such as Olympic champions, Broadway stars and a former head of MI6.

Even the Royal Astronomical Society visits occasionally! On-board the Queen Mary 2, visit the only Planetarium at sea as it plays host to ‘Illuminations’ – a show of high tech astronomy and virtual reality paired with informative talks and guided stargazing from the RAS.

4. You can bring your dog

A Cunard crew member in traditional dress holding a dog wearing a Queen Mary 2 jacket

Seeing Cunard’s ornate décor and luxury furnishings, you would find it hard to imagine it being a home for four-legged family members. Nevertheless, boasting the only kennels at sea, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 appeals to our nation of dog lovers – offering pet friendly holidays for guests taking transatlantic cruises between New York and Southampton.

With an outdoor pet play area, dog walking zone and a selection of additional benefits for you pooch – fleece blankets, premium food and biscuits – you can now cuddle your cat or canine while cruising with Cunard.

5. Cunard cruises aren’t as expensive as you think

The sophisticated interior of an Oceanview room on-board a Cunard ship

Cruising with Cunard isn’t as expensive as you may be led to believe. Though the Grills experiences can be outrageously opulent, there is no reason to rule out this cruise line completely.

Even the cheapest staterooms on-board a Cunard ship still boast luxurious attention to detail. Britannia staterooms have cosy king-sized beds, Penhaligon’s toiletries, fluffy bathrobes and slippers, as well as a cheeky chocolate on your pillow after the nightly turndown service. On embarkation, each guest is welcomed with a half-bottle of sparkling wine in their stateroom; something to enjoy before joining your specially reserved table at the Britannia. You won’t miss out on the joy of luxury travel; just the luxury price tag!

It is true that Cunard is one of the more luxurious and exclusive-feeling ships at sea, but that doesn’t mean strict dress codes and a stuffy atmosphere. Guests have a wide choice of dining options and casual entertainment without a grand surcharge and have ample opportunity to dress down.

Take a look at our fantastic Cunard cruise deals or call our Cruise Concierge team on 0207 980 2847 to find the perfect itinerary for you and your family (and family pet)!

*Prices accurate at the time of writing.

Emma Smith
Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

One Response to “Five things you didn’t know about Cunard”

  1. Matt

    I tried to take a transatlantic crossing to permanently move to the Uk with my French bulldog and was laughed at in a condescending manner by the Cunard booking staff for thinking I could bring my dog on the cruise. It is gross disinformation that Cunard is pet friendly and if you’re one of the celebrities or Royalty I was told the kennels are reserved for you are not allowed to see your dog for almost the entirety of the cruise. This article, as well as the Cunard website, is falsely advertising.


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