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About VintageCCG

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Hockey, Rugby, Historical Research, Maple Syrup
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Canadian Coast Guard
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  1. VintageCCG

    Sailing single

    I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but it sounds quite uncharitable to characterize solo travelers as "miserable" for want of their matching other people's expectations of socializing. In my two weeks aboard the QM2 I met exactly one "miserable" traveler (and not a solo at that) who hijacked a pleasant conversation on the aft deck into a racist rant about minorities in the UK. That's how I define miserable. Many people might be introverted, some to the point of being uncomfortable meeting and socializing with strangers. Some might be "delighted to meet you" and others might not ... I prefer to respect their respective boundaries. One lady on this discussion board was planning a solo trip in memory of her late husband and indicated a preference to be left to her own company. That is her choice and her right. One of the aspects of Cunard that I found desirable was an expectation that I could relax and enjoy a bit of solitude as a welcome break from my frenetic professional life. If I had wanted the sea-borne equivalent of a Butlins holiday camp, I could likely find that on several rival cruise lines. I have no desire to be badgered into fitting anyone else's presumptions of the "correct" level of participation in activities or socialization. Instead, Cunard allows one to opt in OR OUT of the social scene at one's leisure. I found ample social opportunities where I wanted them, but also enjoyed quiet times on my own, which for me was kind of the point of the voyage. For me, quiet personal time aboard a comfortable masterpiece of naval architecture was worth the price of admission. Just providing an alternate point of view.
  2. VintageCCG

    Sailing single

    Dunno if that is fair comment. I noticed maybe half a dozen passengers using mobility devices, so let's double that and call it a dozen. Out of 2000-plus passengers. And those weren't all necessarily elderly; in fact I'd imagine that any mobility-impaired traveller might find a large ship more accessible than a cramped aircraft. The average age trended older bien sur, but mostly they seemed like a pretty active older crowd ... just not necessarily looking to hook up.
  3. VintageCCG

    Sailing single

    On my trips there were certainly solo women travellers, as well as women travelling in pairs/groups. For the most part they seemed to stay with their own companions and, while I chatted with numerous ladies in passing, it didn't seem like any were seeking shipboard romance, if that's what you're asking about. I gather there are other cruise lines that cater more to that sort of singles demographic. I mean, I'm no pick-up artist, and most of the ladies seemed to be somewhat older or considerably younger than my own mid-fifties age-range ... but of course "your mileage may vary".
  4. VintageCCG

    Sailing single

    I made a solo return crossing on QM2 in Aug/Sept, having obtained a substantial discount on a Deck 12 balcony stateroom. I'd hoped that a companion could accompany me, which I was assured by Cunard could be accommodated up until 5 days before departure. When that didn't work out I was left paying the 75% single supplement, bringing my fare back about to the advertised rates prior to my discount, which still wasn't unreasonable.. This was my first trip aboard a passenger ship after several decades spent on and around working ships. Hey, why not start with the best, right? I found the voyage(s) very pleasant and relaxing. I'm not an overly sociable person by nature, but I found that there was as much company as I desired and for the rest I enjoyed the solitude. On the eastbound voyage I was welcomed warmly by the FoD group (despite my being straight) who met frequently in the lounge. I have long been friendly with numerous individuals from the LGBT community and I happened to find a friendly chemistry with several of the folks I met on board ... as a group they skewed closer to my age i.e. a bit younger than the typical Cunard demographic (40s-50s versus 60s-70s) and they happened to be witty, intelligent and simply excellent company. On the westbound voyage I hit it off with a Welsh gent I'd met in the pub, and ended up closing the bar with him on several occasions after his lovely wife had retired for the evening. I also enjoyed several chats on the aft deck with a charming Scottish gentleman who was staying in the Queen's Grill with his wife. I dined each evening at a table for 8, and I found most of my tablemates to be great company. I joined in a few of the solo travellers' coffee gatherings, but didn't make any real connections there. I attended a few of the lectures and other activities, but generally just found quiet locations throughout the ship to relax with a book, or on my balcony enjoying the salt air and sounds of the waves splashing against the hull. The library was a favourite spot (the seats facing the forward windows), as was the open observation deck on Deck 11. I even enjoyed a very relaxing spa day (probably should have worked in a few more of those!) If you are more social than I then you should have no problem meeting like-minded, interesting folks. It certainly helps if you are comfortable in your own company, since Cunard's programs are not really geared to forced entertainment in the same manner that I gather some cruise lines offer. My closest travel equivalent was taking Amtrak's California Zephyr solo from Chicago to Oakland several years ago ... three days of watching the scenery pass by, socializing at meals and in the observation car otherwise simply enjoying the experience. I hope that reassures you somewhat. PJ
  5. VintageCCG

    Commodore Rynd retired ?

    Well, not "just an honourary title". RMS was a designation given (since 1840) to certain companies that denoted they were officially designated under contract to carry the Royal Mail. This was considered a prestigious service, and implied an inherent reliability in terms of safety and schedule. In past eras this provided a significant marketing boost to the designated ships. So long as Cunard is entitled to apply that prefix to the QM2, it is highly unlikely that they would not maintain that status. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail_Ship
  6. VintageCCG

    Dress code enforcement.

    Yes that does sound immodest, doesn't it. Not intended that way. I simply meant that this group of gents was in the lounge every day consuming quite liberal quantities of pricey libations with suitably generous gratuities. Always polite and personable, and dressed elegantly even when not yet suited up in the dress of the evening. Some but not all were quite wealthy and occupying a variety of staterooms from steerage to the Grills. I should clarify that I do not consider myself to be a member of the coveted demographic, but I was graciously invited to join in the fun. And as I say, a skilled server can ensure standards are maintained discretely and without causing any fuss or embarrassment.
  7. VintageCCG

    Dress code enforcement.

    On one evening in August I was in the Commodore lounge with several friends, enjoying some drinks and conversation prior to the late dinner sitting. The 6pm threshold came and went, and we were still ensconced, dressed nicely but not in black tie. The server came to refresh our drinks about 6:10, and discretely mentioned that after 6pm the dress code came into effect. We asked if we were being kicked out and he responded "oh no, sir and you are welcome to stay ... I am merely providing a reminder." I thought that was a very appropriate and professional manner of addressing the situation ... respectful of both the rules and of the customers. Obviously there was no need to alienate a highly desirable group of patrons by giving them the bum's rush at the tick of a clock, yet relying on their own sense of decorum not to abuse the privilege. By 6:30 all had headed off to dress for dinner.
  8. VintageCCG

    Rude and ill-mannered theatre goers

    Sorry but my previous comment was posted prematurely, and I was unable to edit or delete it ... in its incomplete form it was not accurate. The point I was seeking to make is that recording a live dance performance is not necessarily "illegal" (in violation of copyright) so long as a number of conditions are met: recording is for personal use and not distributed or shown for consideration (payment) steps must be taken by the presenters (i.e. Cunard) to prevent people from recording the performance (such as announcements, confiscation of recording devices, or ejection of violators) otherwise - in the context of a passenger ship where recording of many activities is allowed or encouraged - consent might be implied recording a performance that has been not been "fixed" (i.e. recorded) or otherwise expressly copyrighted is a grey area there is indeed a proscription of "bootlegging" but cases such as this would almost never meet the threshold of prosecution Having said all that, if you are interfere with others' enjoyment of the show through your actions, then that is itself presumptuous and impolite and you would warrant the highest level of passive-aggressive tut-tutting.
  9. VintageCCG

    Cost for QM2 soda package and internet packages

    Also note that if you get the internet package, it is very slow - even during quiet hours - and sometimes will not connect properly despite burning up 5-10 minutes of fruitless buffering in the attempt. Also you must remember to disconnect each time from the internet (merely shutting off your computer or disconnecting from WiFi will NOT disconnect the time being charged), although the IT dude will refund such time if you ask him very nicely. In truth he spends most of his day refunding time mistakenly depleted by passengers. Also beware of false or duplicate charges, which occasionally occur. Nevertheless, prudent use of internet can still be worthwhile ... for instance be smart and pre-type any long text messagesbefore logging on, so that once you connect you can simply paste it and send. And forget about streaming audio or video ... the bandwidth simply won't accommodate it.
  10. VintageCCG

    Cost for QM2 soda package and internet packages

    Bear in mind that those packages are charged per person times ALL persons in the stateroom, even if only one person makes use of it. Consensus is that one would have to REALLY want those drinks and must consume a lot every day to make the packages worthwhile. Of course, if they're thrown in as a free perq then that is another matter. During my recent 2-week return trans-Atlantic voyage on QM2, I chose instead to bring on board a few 710mL bottles of my preferred soft drink as padding around my bottles of wine and port inside my soft-sided cooler bag. Along with a few snack items (that were not offered on board anyway) I reckon I saved about $150 versus purchasing the same amount on board, and I got to enjoy exactly what I wanted in my own cabin.
  11. VintageCCG

    What to do in Southampton, England?

    Let's speak in facts, shall we? Christopher Columbus (in Spanish Cristóbal Colón) landed in the Bahamas, then later visited Cuba and Hispaniola (a.k.a. Haiti / Dominican Republic), several other Caribbean islands, and landed on the coasts of South America and Central America. He never set foot on what is now the continental United States. This occurred centuries after Vikings made voyages to what is now Canada, and likely many years after Basque and Portuguese fishermen had begun frequenting western shores (although there is little or no documentation of those activities. And of course, the Indigenous Peoples had already been inhabiting North American continent for thousands of years.
  12. VintageCCG

    Southampton Disembarkation

    Well sure, if the timing of your ground connections align with your check-in times in London, then do that. The alternative would be to request an early check-in, or to arrive early in London and leave your bags at the desk while you enjoy some extra time in London. Or make a stop en route. Otherwise yes, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and disembark after the crowd.
  13. VintageCCG

    Diamond world club 'free lunch'

    Here is the link for the deck plans https://www.cunard.com/Documents/2019-deck-plans/QM2-deck-plans-2019.pdf
  14. VintageCCG

    A day in Southampton

    My friends in Portsmouth informed me that 10 hours in Southampton is about 8 more than is necessary ...
  15. VintageCCG