Exploring the Mediterranean with Sophia

We invited first time cruisers Sophia Cook and her husband to join Queen Elizabeth sailing around the Mediterranean from Barcelona. Sophia and her husband make sure they have time as a couple once a year and they were excited to explore some new destinations together.

During her time with Cunard, Sophia explored Old Town Ibiza and experienced a traditional Tuscan farm-to-table experience. Days at sea were spent exploring Queen Elizabeth's myriad delights.

"The food and service was some of the best we have ever experienced anywhere on land, or at sea! There is definitely a sense of occasion in the evenings on board a Cunard cruise. There were so many specialist restaurants and bars that we could dress to impress in our Sunday best.

The interior design of the Queen Elizabeth is a stunning homage to her predecessor, the original Queen Elizabeth built in the 1930s. Geometric patterns, mirrors, wood panelling, creating a sense of grandeur and opulence. But despite the ship's size, it never feels crowded. There is always a seat at the bar, a sofa to lounge on, and a small cosy space to relax in."

"Our first destination was Barcelona: no visit is complete without checking in on the progress of Antoni Gaudi’s mind blowing masterpiece, which is still under construction after 150 years. 

We stopped at Villefranche-sur-Mer, a very cute old fishing village in between Nice and Monte Carlo. We hopped on a train to Nice for sightseeing, shopping and Moules-frites.

In Italy, we visited Tuscany to tour a farm, eat its produce, and enjoy the scenic views. We sampled much pasta, drank Chianti, and learnt about the farm, which has been in the family for five generations.

We learnt how to farm aloe vera plants during the shore excursion in Ibiza, followed by a tour of the island to discover hidden picturesque viewpoints. 

We also enjoyed Valencia's iconic and stunning architecture, which transported us to a vision of the future."

What was your favorite food and drink on board?

Pre-dinner cocktails at the midship Gin and Fizz bar were a delight. I've never seen so many different types of gin, or sampled so many varied and delicious gin cocktails. Food was amazing everywhere we ate, but our favorite meal was probably the seafood platter at Steakhouse at the Verandah.

What was your most unexpected moment?

We woke up early one morning and headed to the top deck under the full moon. We had the whole ship to ourselves, and the moonlight and twinkling deck lights created a magical scene.

What tips would you give a first time cruiser?

Don't worry about getting your outfit perfect for Gala Evenings. A few accessories that nod to the theme are enough, but don't be afraid to go all out and get really dressed up—it's so much fun!