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Everything posted by wenlyn

  1. Our QM2 booking for 1st Dec gave the option of 5.30 first sitting and an 'anytime dining ' option from 7.30 in place of a 2nd sitting 😞
  2. I can understand your concern - the responsibility for travelling companions happiness can weigh heavy. I'm not sure the pre sailing update would come through with enough time to implement a full vaccine course so for peace of mind I would email Cunard with the details of all the steps you've taken so far and what you understand the requirements to be and ask if you've missed anything. Hopefully that will prompt them to reply to you reassuring you and giving you a heads up on anything you may need to be aware of or alert you to changes that may come.
  3. Does anyone have any experience of sailing on a chartered Cunard ship? We didn't realise that's what it was until we had almost booked it so we'd be interested to know what if any difference it might make to the experience. Though tbf I will be extremely happy just to be on board once again. 🙂
  4. I don't have a definitive answer but we booked at the weekend and when I asked if they needed our Cunard numbers and they said no "because it isn't being run by Cunard so you don't get any of those benefits but you will still get your nights" I hope to get more clarification soon
  5. I've never been to the Caribbean but I've done a few QM2 TA the first before the refit that took out the lobby elevators and the rest since then and I've always found it enjoyable and elegant. There will be rust spots in places although the crew is constantly working to repaint them - but given her trademark atlantic crossings it's to be expected and I've never found it detracts from the overall glamour. The food is generally good although your personal preferences and tastes may be different to mine. Toast in the MDR at breakfast is never as good as freshly toasting it yourself in the buffet. 🙂 Leaving NY is stunning and arriving (although on TA's it's ridiculously early) should be experienced at least once, if only so you can think of those who travelled that way in search of a new life as well as the wealthy elite whose journey was so different. I've written a few reviews of our experiences on CC The insight lectures are really good, to the point you can find yourself sucked into attending ones you initially felt wouldn't appeal. We don't go to the shows so I can't comment but the ambience in the bars and live music around the ship does make you feel as if you are doing something special. The crossings allow you to make the journey whatever you want it to be. We've only done one port stop on QM2 and that was Halifax NS and that all went well so I'm sure they will be equally enjoyable in the Caribbean.
  6. Stratford is nice.if you've not been, as is Tewkesbury. Another option would be Stamford/Oakham/Rutland water area which would leave you with a sub 3 hour journey to port
  7. Sorry for delayed response. No because if protocols had been followed you'd know if there was any contagion around by then. 🙂
  8. I'd sail if the price was right. I'd happily take a rapid test pre boarding and another after being onboard for 4-5 days. I wouldn't want mandatory mask wearing on board except perhaps while boarding & during muster. Happy to be served in the buffet and to have spaces in the theatre. (I've been vaccinated & will have had my second by then)
  9. That sounds like a perfectly lovely way to spend your birthday. I too think/hope that retirement will bring more opportunities for a wider range of Cunard offerings
  10. I think you're quite right. By the time things resume and with the likely need to reduce passenger numbers yet still attract people to book, the upfront cost will rise but not enough for them to make the profit they need so I suspect every on board cost will rocket 😞
  11. Nice to see the old layouts. Late 2013 was the year we first sailed on her too. This is the first year since then it looks like we won't get a Cunard trip 😞
  12. We did a June B2B (My now husband proposed as we sailed away 😊) The weather was OK but not brilliant. I've had warmer weather on an October crossing! The Atlantic is that unpredictable. That said there were a couple of days nice enough to open the Boardwalk cafe and that was the first (only) time we've known that on a TA. With regard to the other part of your question we all can only live our individual lives and as an individual its not within your remit to solve all the problems. While you can perhaps feel guilt over the amount of pollution and waste your chosen cruise might generate people have been dying, unemployed, and in distress for every day of your life and will be long after we're gone. Given none of us know what tomorrow will bring do what brings you joy and be kind to those who cross your, path thats the best anyone can do 🙂
  13. You won't feel out of place on Cunard if you dress up but if you are unwilling to observe the dress code you shouldn't book with this line. The people on board are not stuffy or formal but they do wear lovely clothes - not necessarily expensive but chosen with care and consideration for the ambience and out of respect for their fellow travellers. Formal clothes needn't be uncomfortable although my husband does sometimes find he feels slightly overheated in the evenings in his jackets. You only have to wear a tie on gala nights and while lots of ladies do wear long dresses not everyone does as there are plenty of dressy trousers & cocktail dresses in evidence too. There are places around the ship where the dress code doesn't apply in the evenings (although denim jeans remain off limits after 6pm anywhere) and if you are content to enjoy yourself in those locations then there would be no problem but I feel you would miss out on much of what makes the line so special. If you care what people think and make an effort to fit in you will have a brilliant time if you are interested only in pleasing yourself & enjoying your holiday you will no doubt make the most of it but impinge on the ability of others to enjoy their trip.
  14. We will cruise again as soon as we can so long as whats on offer resembles a crossing/cruise as we know it and costs no more than we feel it's worth. It might be a deadly disease but I run a risk of death or injury driving to the port and I don't feel inclined to greatly restrict my activities to avoid/delay one of the few certainties we are born with. That said I am happy to take steps to ensure my hands are always being washed and I remain aware of myself & my environment to minimise potential exposure - I'd happily retreat to my cabin if I felt I was being exposed to risks that I deemed unacceptable, but ultimately I feel life is to be lived as fully as one chooses and accept that may make it shorter
  15. In some ways we could do worse than just adjust to living with increased risk. 13 out of 712 people died of CV19 on Diamond Princess. I'm sure there will be treatments and vaccines developed over time but the more understanding we gain about this the harder it seems to be to pin it down. It's not really highly lethal (well it is but a 95% survival rate is a lot better than some cancer & strokes) it seems perhaps more likely it causes death by triggering underlying problems that people may or may not have been aware were weaknesses? Given the speed at which we can grow population these days it might be we just have to adjust to living with the expectation and respect for death that we lived with 50 or so years ago before we had defeated and contained so many diseases.
  16. Do you have things you want to do in London? Only asking because you can get a direct train to Cardiff from Southampton and it would mean less travelling time and I should think it could be done cheaper too.
  17. Arriving in our cabin to a "welcome back" note and the knowledge we've got a week to enjoy everything on offer. Pre dinner drinks & nibbles in the Commodore Club. Sitting reading while listening to some live music being played in the Carinthia Lounge and also being tempted by the breakfasts & snacks they offer. Watching the sunset. Meeting people who are on their first Cunard voyage and hearing them love it as much as we do. Seeing everyone dressed up and feeling elegant, especially on formal nights.
  18. While its possible for things to go wrong I never understand how people can have such awful experiences on board as everytime we've travelled with Cunard we've been enjoyed the experience. Maybe we are just easily pleased. The sheltered balconies on QM2 usually have some rust marks but I expect that on an ocean going liner. The crew are always out on deck cleaning painting and repairing various things so if anything is amiss I pur it down to the rigours of the location. Occasionally you'll see plates or cups left outside by inconsiderate guests and depending on the weather and what else is going on they sometimes loiter longer than you might expect but if it bothered me I'd take them in myself or mention it to a crew member. Food in Britannia is always good, sometimes the beef is a bit tough in our opinion and if something is particularly delicious I might think the portion too small but with so much to eat all day I welcome the fact I would have to ask for extra if I wanted to over indulge - I'm sure the scales thank me for it 🙂 The bathrooms are nothing to write home about but given the available space theres not a lot to be done, I suppose they do look a little "tired" if comparing to the newer cabins on the top deck & the singles by the casino (not that I've stayed in one but going by pictures) but they are no worse than when we first sailed on QM2 7 years ago so I don't register any disappointment. Our cabin stewards have always kept our room clean & tidy. I'm pretty sure you'll have a great trip. Theres nothing like wandering around the ship on formal nights and seeing everyone looking so lovely while hearing live music being played in so many places.
  19. wenlyn

    Time Limit

    We arrive on QM2 and stay stateside for a week -10 days flying back from DC. It would be quite possible to do this the other way round. Just make sure you get the ESTA for when you arrive in the States not when you board the ship. As Underwatr states ESTA's are good for 90 days continuous stay (but valid for 2 years overall so you can make more trips of up to 90 days within that period)
  20. Interesting answers so far. We echo the thoughts of ClipperSFO For myself I wonder if it is something to do with the availability of the transatlantic crossings that keep us coming back. Are there many people who regularly sail Cunard but don't do/enjoy the TA? We've mainly done TA ourselves, though we did honeymoon on Queen Elizabeth in 2018 and enjoyed that experience too. I think the dinner formality is one of the key things that makes the line feel so special - it feels like people mean it rather than just playing at dress up as on other lines (I should say our only other cruise experience was P&O Ventura and we had nothing to compare that to - outside the local pub 🙂so thought it was nice dressing up on that) We have no cruise or crossing booked at the moment as we have a long planned trip to see friends in Australia that we're looking forward to but are both starting to feel quite edgy about needing a Cunard fix and I think that craving for all that the line offers is what makes a Cunarder of the human variety 🙂
  21. We bought a 7 day pass on our crossing last April, it was our 6th crossing & we thought we really should try it out and we thought it might be a wet crossing so we wouldn't do as much deck walking (they were only offering full week passes then) While its a nice spa I wouldn't bother spending the money to do it again - I might consider a 3 day pass if it was on offer & the weather was bad. The pavilion pool is fine for swimming on a crossing though doesn't have the water features of the spa pool but its 1 hot tub gets a lot of use. I'd suggest you do a spa tour when you board having had a quick look at the other pools on offer and decide if its worth it to you. That said if you want sauna/steam on QM2 thats the only option unlike the other ships where a same sex sauna is available in the changing rooms. Gym is fine though can be busy in the mornings. Haven't done yoga though my son took the fencing classes & enjoyed them. My husband wears short sleeves around the ship I tend to wear a cardigan/ long sleeved top during the day. In the evenings he often feels too warm in his jacket if a room is full but we know cooler corridors or a brief step outside will cool him down. I usually take a chiffony type wrap to be on the safe side but rarely feel I need it - and I usually feel the cold. In the cabin I set the temp a couple of notches above midway. You'll need a coat for walking round outside (& should take hat & gloves in case of needing to abandon ship it says in the brochure!) though weirdly you may get a day you feel you can sit in the outside hot tubs 🙂 I'm sure you'll have a lovely time exploring the ship & gazing out across the ocean. Congratulations on your anniversary.
  22. Arecibo, when you book, tell you to call when you are through & they'll be there in 5-10 minutes. Dial7 you book a time and I'm sure you could call them if you were seriously delayed. As you walk out of the customs building the taxis are across the road ahead of you and the car services are pulled up to the kerb along to the left, near the ferry pier. Depending on the day you arrive and time you disembark agreeing a price with a taxi can be as good as anything else. Dial 7 have always been good for us, we self disembark & so are through customs and in the car before 8am. The worst thing cost wise we ever did was get a green taxi to JFK. But we've used the limos to Penn station and Dial 7 to Newark & Hells Kitchen with no problems.
  23. I tend to feel the cold in day to day life but have rarely felt cold inside on board and my husband who generates lots of heat tends to find it too warm for comfort on occasion - more noticeable when rooms have lots of people in them the dining room included. Only once has he felt so uncomfortable he had to ask our table mates if they objected to him removing his jacket though he has been keen to leave the table to cool down at other times. Temperature is so subjective and I hate places with icy AC especially if I'm eating as food goes cold so fast.
  24. We always think this fits the mood and start playing it at odd moments in the run up to a crossing 🙂 Or when we feel the need to book another - which I now feel I need to do having played it just now!
  25. My husband proposed to me on QM2 a couple of years ago, very unexpectedly as we'd been together almost 10 years by then and it we were both quite happy with that arrangement (you can guess what I said 😊) We were in a sheltered balcony cabin and as sailaway approached we opened a bottle of champagne as is our habit on board and I suggested we drank it on the balcony as it was a relatively warm day - he demurred, strangely I thought at the time, and said lets stay in the cabin and by the time I came back in he handed my my glass and the ring was in it at which point he got down on one knee. I liked the privacy of being in our cabin and I'm sure in a Grills cabin it would be even lovlier (& have a little more room for kneeling 😄) It was lovely when we went up to the commodore club later and one of the bar staff remembered us from before so we could share our news with him. That said it was our 3rd time setting sail with QM2 and had it been our first I think it might have been nicer to have fully enjoyed the excitement of just being on board and looking around and orientating ourselves for the first time and then had the proposal the following day as someone else suggested, perhaps after dressing for dinner which would be a formal affair so giving a good excuse to look smart for any pictures being taken. In your case I would think getting the butler & photographer to liaise to ensure a seamless surprise if you wanted to be in your cabin or the champgne bar or elsewhere if the congratulations of your fellow travellers would add to the joy of the moment. That way you get to savour the enjoyment of each moment rather than filling one moment so full memories of it get blurred by the intensity. You'll have to judge which you & your intended will treasure more. Good Luck & let us know how it goes.
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