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Everything posted by ExArkie

  1. I wondered the same thing about the Solstice. We were on the transpacific (Yokohama - Seattle, originally to Vancouver) on April 24, 2022, which was also cancelled. A quick search shows the next scheduled Solstice sailing being out of Seattle on May 6, 2022. Will she sail from Singapore (current port, although she appears to be at sea at the moment) to Seattle without passengers?
  2. Does the itinerary show up on MyCunard as one gets closer to sail date? We're booked for December 2022 and the only information provided as regards itinerary is start and end date, embarkation and debarkation ports. Nothing else except a map that provides little information and a calendar showing booked activities (of which we have none). Or is this another of those differences between the UK and US Web sites?
  3. I'm still trying to comprehend "intimate" and "300 people."
  4. Virgin Voyages, according to what I have read, does not include alcoholic beverages in their price, nor do they offer a package for that. Each drink is charged to your cabin, although there is no gratuity automatically added to the price. If your comparison is included drinks, Virgin is not radically different from Celebrity. Drink prices, on the other hand, look to be lower on Virgin based on what I have seen. However, my comparisons are based on the experience as well as inclusions. Celebrity still provides my desired atmosphere and experience. Virgin, based on their marketing, likely does not. Loyalty perks are nice, and are factored into my cost/experience calculations. They are not typically the deciding factor that determines my choices.
  5. I just went back to find such information on our first Cunard trip in 2010 (QM2 TA immediately following the Iceland volcano episode...that's a story for another time), but it wasn't in my electronic files. Undoubtedly, I have a hard copy filed somewhere, but I'm too lazy today to go find it. I did find the electronic record for out 2011 QV trip. Evening dress codes were listed as formal (dark suit, tuxedo, dinner jacket), semiformal (jacket and tie), and elegant casual (jacket, no tie required).
  6. Called today and waited on hold for about 45 minutes. They were willing to book us on the 2023 sailing at the same price, same inclusions, etc., but were not able to match the same cabin category. Highest available category was Concierge Class. We decided that the experience of sailing in a suite was a big part of what we wanted, so did not rebook to the 2023 sailing. The terms on getting 125% FCC were to book by end of next April for a sailing before the end of next year, which we did not feel could be done based on our current plans and commitments. Requested a refund instead, which the rather pleasant lady on the phone submitted to the appropriate department. Now to see how long it takes to get that processed.
  7. We were on the transpacific April 24, 2022, on Solstice. This, too, is now gone, but I’m not in a position to call Celebrity until tomorrow (traveling today). We’d booked an S2 guarantee (only thing they were offering in suites), which is shown to be “sold out” on Celebrity’s Web site for the 2023 sailing. Did notice that some other sites were offering suite guarantees for the 2023 trip, so there may be some possibility…although at more than $1,500 per person higher price, we will probably take the refund and look for another option.
  8. Interesting. The idea that they wanted cruise line brands never even occurred to me. I listed my favorite brands in hotels, airlines, credit cards, and whiskies. My wife listed her favorites in grocery stores (she does most of the grocery shopping at our house and has favorites…I just go for lowest price at acceptable quality), hotels, champagnes, and cars. My suggestion to anyone offering an opinion poll is to be specific as to what type of information one desires. Or maybe the idea was to see how we interpreted what they wanted from the question…aside from the apparent consensus that it was an asinine question.
  9. Ian Fleming: "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action."
  10. The second picture is the Memorial Garden at the Lusitania Museum in County Cork, Ireland. The ship was sunk a (relatively) short distance from that point in 1915. I believe that the location is referred to as the Old Head of Kinsale. Nearest town is Kinsale.
  11. Usually, your local public library has printers for public use
  12. Actually, I have several photos from my visits to Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo, DR. They are of sterilization equipment being installed at medical device manufacturing sites and look a lot like clean rooms and manufacturing lines, not much like sea ports. I'm guessing they're not really applicable to this game.
  13. We were in a Q5 with a connecting door in 2017. I don't recall there being any issue with noise from the next cabin, so one would assume it was not significant. That, obviously, would vary according to who exactly is in the next cabin. As far as esthetics (see photo), the presence of the door did not bother me nor did I think it interfered with the decor. However, we were in the Q5 due to a multi-tier upgrade (it does happen occasionally), so there probably couldn't have been much I would've complained about. There are several images and videos of Q5 suites on-line. Just search for "Queen Mary 2 Q5 suite" and you should find many that will give you the information you want.
  14. Granted, and I understand that well, but your own explanation shows that Celebrity violates the definition of "always" - as in "on all occasions" or "under all circumstances" Much more descriptive if they had used names like Package Rate (or Perks Included or whatever) and Cruise Only Rate (or Base Rate or whatever). Obviously from the number of times the phrase has been dissected on these boards, the term "Always Included" creates confusion.
  15. Also failing the marketing test: "Always Included, Except When It Isn't"
  16. ExArkie

    Queen Mary

    According to the Maritime History Archive glossary: "Donkey Man - The individual responsible for the Donkey engine, a steam-powered winch engine, which could be used to load or unload cargo, raise larger sails, or power pumps. It was invented in 1881" The anecdote that I heard about this job title was that the cargo-loading hoists in the days of wind propulsion were powered by a donkey team on the dock. The advent of steam power allowed the donkeys to be replaced by a mechanical hoist that did not rely on animals to work. The title for the person working the winch, though, appears to have held on.
  17. Weight limits may also be applied to excursions where one might not think it important, such as hiking trips through "remote" (or at least undeveloped, possibly questionable how remote it might be if a ship's excursion goes there) areas. These may be based on the ease of carrying someone back to medical help if they should become incapacitated. Pretty much most things are based on risk-avoidance, just a matter of who is making the decision.
  18. Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodo, Norway Identified by a friend who is a former Navy pilot (browsing CC this morning, with this post open on my phone when he showed up for coffee). He evidently knows the location and appearance of every aviation museum on the planet, based on his stories...
  19. For US-based airlines, (with some variability, depending on which plane configuration you are on) American usually has the best premium economy seat. I have, however, been disappointed in their service several times, but mostly from the ground-based personnel and not the cabin crew (Full disclosure: I have friends who have worked as flight attendants and pilots for AA). As for the worst, Delta is admittedly not worth the extra cost over their economy seats, but the one flight I had in premium economy on Aeroflot would have me running from the room screaming if one were to offer it to me again. (Plus, one would get the option of changing planes in Moscow when flying from Miami to Rome!)
  20. One other wrinkle specific to this itinerary - I don't know when you are flying (one post mentioned November?), but the current plans are that Alitalia will no longer exist after October 14. There will be a new state-owned airline called ITA (Italia Trasporto Aereo, or Italy Air Transport) taking over in its place. I have no idea as to what may happen to booked flights, quite possibly ITA will maintain the same schedule, but the implication in the AP story I read was that it would not. It'd be a good idea to talk to someone at Oceania. AP story from a couple of weeks ago: https://apnews.com/article/europe-business-alitalia-b3e41e3829440d4ca7ad71705caecd62
  21. Amazingly enough, I did an image search and something similar popped up - I rarely get positive results with image searches, so perhaps this being a Wikimedia Commons photo helped. What I found was the Vlaming Head lighthouse near Exmouth on Western Australia’s North West Cape. I haven't been to that part of the country, so cannot verify that from my own experience.
  22. This is the part I didn't understand about this whole discussion. Why would anyone pass on the opportunity to stay a day (or several) in Vancouver? I've been there many times (only once for a cruise) and always look forward to the next time. On the other hand, I am semi-retired and set my own schedule. Having a current full-time job in the US typically means having a limit on the number of days one can just enjoy themselves.
  23. Since those appear to be Algerian flags in the foreground, I'll hazard a guess that this is Algiers, Algeria, mostly because that's the only port on the unseen list above that is in the country (unless, of course, I missed one).
  24. To respond to the original question as to the tunnel size of x-ray scanners, that is dependent on the scanner in use. If the ones at the port are the same as the TSA carry-on screening devices, the typical tunnel size is around 29 inches by 22 inches. While there is some variation among manufacturers, I would guess that 90+% are of that size or substantially so. Note, though, that some TSA scanners have had plates with a smaller opening placed in front of the tunnel to more strictly limit the size of carry-ons, such that the effective opening size is less. Other baggage scanners have larger openings. For example, ones that are in use in Customs areas for some international airport destinations (i.e., pick up your checked bag, run it through the scanner before exiting Customs) have tunnel sizes around 1 meter by 0.8 meter. I doubt that these are in use at the port, but I have no information confirming or refuting that.
  25. In the midst of re-scheduling our lives and travels last summer, we booked the April 24, 2022, transpacific on Solstice almost exactly one year ago. The only suites on offer at that time were "Sky Suite Guarantee" that did include the four suite perks. All (except OBC) are noted on the booking confirmation, which shows the stateroom as "S2-GTY". However, that was a while back, so things are probably different now (isn't everything?). I was curious as to why only GTY was available roughly two years in advance. None of the regular suite categories were shown, not even to show "sold out." The booking engine just went directly to the Sky Suite Guarantee. Really interested to see what we get...assuming the sailing happens.
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