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Reuben's 3rd

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  1. I am so sorry that this is souring you on Cunard. I am considering writing to Mr Palethorpe anyway; he may be unaware that this is happening and how counterproductive the matter is to Cunard's long term interests. I guess it depends on how long I "keep my Irish up". Red-headed stepchild, huh. Though now grey, I was the red-headed child of Scots -Irish immigrants. I always rather liked it! Karen
  2. Dear OP, I can well understand your frustration. I had intended to take this further, but Cunard granted me my OBC, so I don't have to. In searching for those higher up the food chain, Cunard's and Carnival's sites were useless, but I did find the following through Elliott Advocacy: elliott.org/company-contacts/cunard/ This shows their suggested primary contact as Simon Palethorpe, Senior Vice President, Cunard, simon.palethorpe@cunardukgroup.com. I pass it along to you. I intended to put to him that the Future Cruise Deposit was in effect a contract between the purchaser and Cunard. Cunard got the use of the purchase price for up to 4 years, as well as tipping the purchaser towards booking again. The purchaser was motivated to purchase because of the OBC it carried. The exclusions were clearly outlined in the FCD document. If a trip did not fall within the exclusions, the OBC should be honoured. To fail to do so would dry up subsequent purchases of FCD's. If Cunard intended to exclude ANY reduced fare, they could have said so in the exclusions. It does exclude any fares inside 120 days, the final payment date. In my opinion, to deny the OBC beyond the exclusions on the certificate would be a breach of contract. Dealing with Cunard is frustrating; just look at the mess that is "My Cunard". But being on the QM2, oh-h, that is magical! I hope that you won't let corporate ineptitude stop you from enjoying that delight. Karen
  3. Reading this topic, I became concerned. We had purchased future cruise credits while on the Queen Victoria last November. At Christmas, we decided to do the QM2 crossing leaving New York on July 31 2020. Early January, our agent booked us. Cunard's invoice specified that we could not use Cunard's future cruise credits for the deposit. No problem, I would apply them to the final payment. Last Thursday, I checked the President's Day Sale. Those rates would save us in excess of $1200 Cdn, and so I had my agent rebook this for us. I then read this topic, became concerned, and had him check for me; Cunard told him that because this was the President's Day Sale rate, I would loose the $600 US in onboard credits, the only reason that we had bought these deposits in the first place. I checked the certificates. As someone else has stated, they say “The Future Cruise Deposit is not combinable with Last Minute Deals, Sailing Soon Savings and other fares offered inside final payment.” Sailing is July 31. This was not a “Last Minute Deal”. Cunard has “Sailing Soon Savings”, but this was not one of them. Final payment is due April 2, 2020, so this is not a fare offered inside final payment. If other people's certificates read as mine does, then Cunard was not living up to the terms of the deal as agreed on purchase. I was ready to go up the food chain, but thought that I should first check, using the contact number shown on my certificate, 1-800-728-6273. I reached a pleasant young woman. I explained that I wished to confirm that I would not loose my onboard credits. She checked, came back telling me that I would. I pointed out that the President's Day sale was not one of the specified exclusions. She checked with her supervisor. Her supervisor applied our credits to our amount outstanding, and gave us our onboard credits. I asked what confirmation I would receive, and she said that it would be sent to my travel agent. He has sent me a copy, complete with onboard credits. Now, at one point in our conversation, she tried to tell me that July 31 was “sailing soon”, which is of course a matter of opinion, but given that Cunard does have “Sailing Soon” named sales, I begged to differ on this interpretation. The certificate capitalizes “Sailing Soon Savings”, implying to me that it refers to something named that. So, be persistent. It worked for me.
  4. Wow, this topic does seem to bring out the vitriol! My husband prefers to wear a tux on Gala nights, but there have been trips for us without the tux. He wore a navy blue blazer and navy trousers or a black blazer and dark grey trousers, a white shirt, white pocket square and navy or black and grey bowtie. I wore those "flowy" pants (palazzo's) and a silk top. Never heard a single "tsk-tsk", either as we walked by or from our table mates. We have had several lovely gala night dinners, enjoying the company of one or two male tablemates wearing lighter colour jackets or suits. No one questioned their right to be seated. I have seen the maitre "d" chatting pleasantly with a gentleman in a burnt orange suit, as he walked with him to his table, on a Gala night. Relax. For whatever reason, many people seem to be more forceful in their opinions on this site than I have ever seen in 10 Cunard trips. Look as if you have made an effort and all will be well.
  5. The original poster wanted a variety of experiences, so here goes. We like the transatlantics. Our 1st was Princess Grill, late April 2013. We enjoyed it, but it was really just a "bucket list" check off. Then for the following November, we we offered an eastbound crossing, Britannia class, for about $900 Cdn each. That is the trip that hooked us. We could do all of the things that we enjoyed, the lectures, the music, the promenade, and we got to meet more people over breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Britannia restaurant. It could have just been the crossing that we were on, but we found Princess Grill rather stiff. My husband, not a dessert eater, would request coffee instead but never succeeded in getting it until everyone at the table had finished dessert. His request generated some puzzled, some horrified looks, but no coffee. This second trip was 5th deck, midships aft. We encountered converging storms, gale force 10, but did not even have a shampoo bottle fall over. I have a cranky knee, and appreciated the walk in shower over the PG bathtub. The space in Princess was pleasant, but we find Britannia class more than sufficient. Martin has no trouble getting his coffee when he wants it!
  6. I also sought advice on this thorny issue. You may find the following site as helpful as I did: “An Insider's Guide to Cruise Tipping” http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=132 . It is an opinion piece (that is, NOT Cruise Critic's suggestion) on the Cruise Critic site. It gives reasoning for “who”, “how”, “when” and “how much” over and above the daily levy, and I have found it a useful guide.
  7. As has been said before, the weather on the North Atlantic can change on a dime. On QM2 crossings, I have roasted in April and been chilly in late August. For on deck, you need to have layers available. I take a waterproof jacket, a sweater, and just in case, a beret. The decks can sometimes be wet, so you will not want slippery footwear. For inside, I wear chinos/jeans and a blouse. My husband wears chinos and a shirt. Have a wonderful time!
  8. Dear Lovetotraveltx: What you have described sounds perfect (nice cocktail dress for gala nights, nice trousers/dressy shirt other nights). Having agonized over this for my first QM2 trip, and having now completed 9, I came up with what I think is a simple test, one that works for both women and men. Here goes: Gala Evenings: Imagine that you are standing talking to two gentlemen. One is in full tuxedo, the other is wearing a dark suit, white shirt and tie. Given what you are wearing, would a passerby assume that the three of you are about to attend the same function? Non Gala Evenings: Same scenario, except one gentleman is wearing a regular business suit with a tie. The other is wearing a blazer, dress trousers, shirt, no tie. Would you be assumed to be heading to the same function? This, of course is just aimed at those who just want to fit in. My first trip, this little test would have made my wardrobe decisions much easier. Adjectives are so subjective (is my "dressy" someone elses's "Let's go to the movies"?). A word to the wise however; like most large spaces, sometimes it is too warm, sometimes a bit cool. I always pack a pretty (unclear adjective, again!) wrap. You don't have to put it on, but you certainly are glad of it when needed! Mostly, relax and enjoy! I have always found the QM2 a delight.
  9. Blue Marble, once again thanks! Your "bookprincess.com" link works for me, and it actually listed 4 of the 5 speakers on our Apr 28 to May 5 crossing (It missed Dr Robert Thirsk, in my opinion, the best of a very strong field). What a relief after Cunard, with a significant degree of irritation, had insisted to me that we would only have 2 speakers for our 7 day crossing! By the way, Cunard now assures me that they are still working on their website!
  10. Just an (irritated) update; yesterday, I once again tried to find out who the speakers were. I once again tried Cunard's "contact Cunard" number. A very pleasant young man, Lou, gave me the two names which appeared months ago. When I insisted that there must be more for a 7 day transatlantic, he checked with his supervisor, who confirmed that there were only two. Having been reassured on board last year, when I made this booking, that the lectures were staying, I protested. The young man tried to transfer me to customer relations; after 23 minutes on hold, I was disconnected. To his credit, Lou called me back, apologized, and asked if I wanted to try customer relations again, but there really didn't seem to be much point. I then tried to use the "contact Cunard" email provided. I chose "Complaint" , entered my issue, and attempted to send it off. It insisted that I choose a type of complaint from their dropdown menu; the menu was blank! I chose the blank; it would not accept my email! In this or the other similar post, Blue Marble, Roscoe 39 and MCC Retired have tried to provide links, but the first two's states "the attached is not available..." and MCC's leads to the speakers for 2016-17. I cannot believe that this is anything but misinformation. I shall be one unhappy camper if I board the QM2 on Apr 28 and there are only two speakers! We love the program, and plan our days around the schedule. QM2; love the ship and her staff, wonder how the Corporate powers that be manage to tie their shoelaces. Oh, I still haven't had a response to my January query to Cunard.
  11. Thank you, Blue Marble. I emailed Cunard two weeks ago to find out where this info was. So far, not even an acknowledgement of my email, much less an answer. I phoned last week, and got an ever so sympathetic young woman on the phone. She gave me the two names shown on your list for my Apr 28 QM2. I find it hard to believe that with slightly less than 3 months to go, they have only confirmed 2 speakers for a 7 day transatlantic. It's a good thing that the service on the ship is infinitely better than Cunard's apparent corporate abilities! The ship is delightful, and for us, one of the primary delights is the lectures.
  12. Having done QM2's 1st trip to Saguenay, (Quebec City to New York), I can tell you that Quebec City, Saguenay and Halifax are all comfortably docked. Saguenay built the dock specificly to accomodate QM2 and our welcome was fantastic. We booked 2nd seating and were glad that we did. She left at about 5:00 pm. We stood on the deck as long as there was light. The trip down the Saguenay River to rejoin the St Lawrence was breathtaking.
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