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Everything posted by Ynox

  1. You've maybe convinced me otherwise! Half bottle is one option, but it means going out and picking one up, as opposed to just grabbing one from my stash here in my garage. That's a good point. I don't think my wife would be that happy if I drink 6 glasses of champagne on my own whilst she looks on enviously. Maybe if it was 6 glasses of Pol Acker it might be different though (she'd probably pity me 😁)!
  2. I've taken on board gin, mixers, beer, champagne and wine before. No problems. Also picked up some in port occasionally - once in Kiel I had the staff at the port try stopping me, but a quick check with a Cunard employee and I was good to go. I think it's a fair policy. I still spend a lot in the bars on board, but I also quite like picking up local beers / wines in ports. All these are strictly for stateroom consumption though (it's kind of trashy behaviour to go and fill up your glass from your in room stock whilst being sat in a bar on board!). I'll be taking some beers with me on Tuesday I think. Normally it's a bottle of champagne for sail away, but given my wife is pregnant I'm not sure drinking an entire bottle of champagne on my own before going to the Commodore Club for pre dinner drinks is the best idea!
  3. Thanks for your trip reports! Boarding on Tuesday - looking forward to it!
  4. From my (and my wife's) memory, we think it may come with a mixer from the soda gun included in the price of the 1oz. Not Fever Tree though. I'm a little on the fence about having a drinks package next week. The savings are marginal for me so I wonder if it's more of a pain than not having one (case in point, wanting a Fever Tree mixer and not having to pay twice for it!).
  5. Yeah, I'd say so. I can't think of any other bars with a bigger scotch collection from memory. I've sat down and ran the numbers on a drinks package a few times. Usually I can't make it work as my wife likes cocktails over $12 (I tend to mostly drink beer then wine with dinner and the odd gin). Back on board on Tuesday. This time we're thinking we might go for a drinks package (we're only planning on disembarking in 2 ports), although only if they'll allow me to have the alcoholic one and my wife the premium soft drinks one - she's pregnant so no pricey Commodore Club cocktails this time! If there's no leeway in this then we won't bother as it's not a great deal (a quick calculation worked out it'd cost me $250 extra over paying as we go).
  6. Very good point. I was thinking this from the summer cruise perspective for the UK pax. BBC News have leaked that restrictions are likely to continue until 21/7. It's anyone's guess as to how long people will have to quarantine etc when coming into the UK. I'd hope we'll see some improvement on that though (I'm fed up of border closures, supposed to be in Melbourne in December for my brother's wedding which I've now accepted won't be happening!).
  7. Whilst nothing official has been said, I think it’s likely that the 21/6 will be postponed. Would this necessarily impact the cruises though? My understanding is we’d remain at the same state as we are now, and MSC Virtuosa is sailing (although they couldn’t dock in Scotland).
  8. If you search this has come up a few times. I was 30 when I took my first trip (6 years ago now) for my honeymoon. A westbound transatlantic followed by a trip up the eastern seaboard to Halifax and Boston. 6 years later I've done 8 trips on Cunard if I remember right, with a 9th now booked (a UK circumnavigation in September on the QE). This would have been higher if it wasn't for the covid situation! My favourite thing to do on board is to hang out in the Golden Lion with my kindle or ipad, reading with a few beers. My wife occasionally drags me to Hemispheres / The Yacht Club / G32 also. Lectures can be hit and miss personally - seen some incredible ones (A POW, a Concorde pilot, D-Day veterans), and also slept through some not so good ones. As someone who lives in jeans or shorts and tshirts, it's also nice to have an excuse to wear more formal clothes! Edit - the drinks tastings can also be excellent. Martini Mixology is well worth going to, as is the Gin tasting (this has descended into chaos if fun the 2 times I did it with everyone getting fairly inebriated in the afternoon) if offered. Also the vodka tasting and the beer tasting. Only one I haven't done is the whiskey one! (there's a theme here...). Also Cunard have no problem with you bringing on drinks for stateroom consumption. I've had some port staff get dodgy occasionally but a quick ask for them to check the rules and it's been fine. On the subject of the Chart Room - I quite like it for a post dinner drink. Before dinner has to be the Commodore club on a vista class ship usually though. On QM2 it's the Golden Lion for the quiz before dinner.
  9. As a Welsh expat and a lot of friends and family down in Cardiff and the Vale still, I kind of feel sorry for you all. Coming from England it does feel as if the WAG has to be seen to be doing more than Westminster, regardless whether it's the right choice (for which I'm not entirely convinced lockdowns are personally). I've heard rumours that places in Wales will be closing at 6pm on Monday, but nothing concrete nor from a reputable source. On a better note, my wife (who also posts on here occasionally!) has successfully taken our puppy through the first round of his puppy training, and I've got a new bike so getting back into mountain biking. Got to somehow fit into my suits and dinner jacket by June next year for a TA (NY to Soton) we have booked!
  10. Next trip is going to be a TA in June next year, so it'll be a pint of Sierra Nevada in the Golden Lion most likely.
  11. Kind of surprised at that. It's now illegal to charge for using a credit card, but I found SCC to be pretty decent. Sure, they're not the cheapest but they have a great fleet of vehicles (nice S class Mercedes) and the service was overall good. I tend to use Smiths for Airports predominantly instead as I can get a car with more luggage space than an S class (we travel heavy!) and they're a little cheaper. You probably won't get an S class from them though, but otherwise they also provide exceptional service. I've used them a load of times. I'd probably avoid the train. Did it once to Soton for a 5 night cruise before Christmas and found it to be such a pain with baggage that paying out for a taxi makes sense personally (I live near Heathrow).
  12. Agreed. From memory Carnival UK's IT systems are on Windows - they're a Microsoft place. I saw a solutions architect role advertised that I was kind of tempted to apply for but my experience is more on the Java / Linux side than MS.
  13. If Carnival are complying with GDPR legislation then all data should be encrypted (and if they're not GDPR compliant then that's a big problem). As others have said we don't know what Carnival brand is affected by this. But I'm not hugely worried personally as I'd hope stuff was encrypted as above. I suspect this is something like a network share was left open for people working remotely or similar. One machine had a ransomware installed (e.g. someone gets emailed a dodgy attachment) then it spread via the network share to other machines (e.g. servers) and encrypted them. Hopefully they had good back ups! (i do this kind of stuff for my job!)
  14. I showed this to my wife. I think it'd probably suit him, although he'd probably bite me if I made him wear it! Some nice dogs here!
  15. Debating booking an Alaska trip for July next year to use my credit with Cunard. May hold off though - if social distancing / masks etc are still required then I kind of think I'd maybe rather not be on a ship. First time in years that I've had nothing booked! Otherwise lockdown life isn't too bad, although the puppy (not a lockdown one - we'd been planning on getting one for over a year before the breeder said she had a litter!) is a bit crazy and hard work at times (he seems to like to scratch and bite me for fun).
  16. A Cardigan Corgi (my wife had one when she was a child, and I grew up in Cardiff so a Welsh breed is a good thing)! Just need to try to find a good kennel for him for our next trip!
  17. Supposed to be heading off on the Queen Victoria to Norway on Sunday. Have cancelled a week of leave and am just taking 1 week off next week instead (not really had a break since Christmas). Had my trip to Alaska on QE in August cancelled also. Hoping to book something with the 125% deposit but may hold off until stuff is a bit more settled. That said, maybe the cancellation was somewhat lucky - our puppy is turning up on Thursday so our time will be spent puppy training!
  18. Had my Alaska trip in August cancelled today. They'll be another time to go. It's a shame though - I've gone from 2 cruises this year to zero! I booked my Alaska trip using a future cruise deposit I bought onboard. Does anyone know what's happening with these? Would I get it back to use on another trip?
  19. I'm on the 3rd May cruise from Soton to Norway on the QV. Norway has banned people from outside Nordic countries (i'm a Brit and will be boarding in Soton) until the 26th March. Hoping it doesn't get extended as I'd kind of like to go on this trip. Got a truckload of OBC! It's super unprecedented times.
  20. Pretty sure the machines are Nestle - https://www.nestleprofessional.us/nestle-vitality/vitality-express-dispenser-nestle-vitality-juices Contents, not sure. I guess maybe Nestle.
  21. For me: * Curry in the Golden lion on embarkation day with either a pint of Sierra Nevada (if QM2) or San Miguel (QM / QV - shame there's no Sierra Nevada on tap on those!) * Drinking a bottle of champagne on the balcony once we get moving (the Pol Acker I either make cocktails with, or bring home - I've got a few bottles of it in my garage...) * Corned beef hash at breakfast * Quercus toiletries < 100 days to my next trip now!
  22. Hmm, group flight kind of fills me with dread. I was hoping to be able to select seats etc in advance and not sure I will be able to now. I think left luggage and then back into Vancouver is a good idea. As a mountain biker a trip to Whistler is tempting though!
  23. Ynox

    St Petersburg

    We did a 2 day tour with Alla. It was a great tour, although we crammed a lot in (a couple of long days). Mini bus was comfortable and provided food was ok-good. Russian immigration asked me on the first day if I was police or military, then admitted me into the country with proof of the tour being booked. Pretty easy. I'd echo the comments about the weather. It was very mixed when we were there (mid May).
  24. Ended up booking yet another trip earlier today (off to Alaska on the Queen Elizabeth in August). However it's looking as if the return flight is likely to be around 9pm or so from Vancouver. Has anyone has experience of disembarking early and then having a late flight? Do Cunard offer tours?
  25. As a Brit, I tend to swerve between leaving nothing, or maybe a buck or 2 depending on how service is and what kind of drinks I've ordered. Has always worked well for me.
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