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About VintageCCG

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Hockey, Rugby, Historical Research, Maple Syrup
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    Canadian Coast Guard
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  1. VintageCCG

    Queen Mary 2 Deck 12

    I did a return crossing last summer in 12.001, the very first cabin on the starboard side. Mine was just a bog-standard Britannia rather than a Club. Perhaps not the most popular location for everyone, but it was ideal for me. - I could look from my balcony into the stbd bridgewing through the aft-facing windows - it was mere steps to the wheelhouse observation alleyway - a scant few more steps to the open observation deck on Deck 11, and to the lightly-used Deck 11 fwd launderette - immediate access to the little-used 'A' elevators and to the scenic glass elevators - it was "downhill" by stairs to the library and the Commodore lounge (and to all the other activities) if an elevator was not immediately forthcoming - almost noiseless except for the sound of the waves through my open balcony door, and no sense of vibration whatsoever - just enough motion during Force 7 near-gales to rock me gently to sleep. And all for the regular cost of the cheapest inside cabin (purchased for a reduced price about 5 months prior to departure). I would take that cabin again in a heartbeat, or any others on Deck 12!
  2. VintageCCG

    New Menu in Verandah on QM2

    FWIW, I dined in the Verandah steakhouse aboard QM2 in August, and the quality and ambience was far removed from the King's Court Smokehouse. I would still have preferred the quaintly anachronistic traditional Verandah fare, so that I could have sampled the sort of menu that would have impressed my unsophisticated parents in the 1950s. But instead I got an excellent steak dinner, nicely served. Hardly a novel experience for any North American, but it was a very enjoyable dinner nonetheless. PJ
  3. VintageCCG

    Remastered QM2 – New tonnage measurement?

    For those who are confused how "tonnage" (gross or net) can be a measure of volume rather than weight (which is referred to as "displacement" and measured in tonnes), it can be useful to visualize that the archaic origin of volume tonnage was based conceptually on a measure of how many "tun" barrels would fit within the cargo spaces. A tun barrel holds 980 litres, or 216 gallons (259 US gallons). For ships built after 1982 (as mentioned above), both GT and NT are obtained by measuring the ship's volume and then applying a mathematical formula. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) : - Gross Tonnage is based on "the moulded volume of all enclosed spaces of the ship" and - Net Tonnage is based on "the moulded volume of all cargo spaces of the ship" (and cannot be less than 30% of the GT). And yes, in this context passengers are the cargo.
  4. VintageCCG

    Oversized bag Cunard /Atlantic crossing

    Since it is the Brooklyn porters at issue, I would put more stock in the American perspective than the British view, where tipping is not such a part of the culture. As a Canadian myself I am not a fan of mandatory tipping, yet I would consider $2/case the barest minimum that I would consider without insulting the porter. If i want special care taken of my bags at a critical juncture (from curb to ship), I would not bat an eye at dropping $20 for the set. The difference amounts to $10, which is equivalent to a brace of downtown coffees. It's not like you can easily handle four cases plus two carry-ons and a pooch all by yourself, so I would simply consider it the cost of doing business. Cunard does not cater to a bargain-basement clientele, so why quibble when you can protect your valuables for the cost of an extra ten bucks? Free yourself up to focus on your beast, rather than fretting about your bags. PJ
  5. VintageCCG

    QM2 and Scrubbers

    For the record, I offer props to Chengkp75 for his always intelligent and insightful responses w.r.t. all things technical in the cruise ship milieu. Your posts are always appreciated! Not to mention your patience with the sometimes dumb questions and opinions that occasionally get posted here. (Sir, you are a better man than I.) As a former inhabitant of the sun-filled atrium of the ship known as the wheelhouse, I have always had great respect for the inhabitants of the engineroom, that dark smelly space that generates noise and power. All the best of the season to you, Chief. Fair winds and following seas. PJ
  6. VintageCCG

    Hotel in Brooklyn

    FWIW in September I stayed at the (Marriott/Starwood brand) Aloft Brooklyn (about 4 blocks from your Marriott), upon arriving from a return Trans-Atlantic voyage on the QM2. I'm quite fond of the Aloft chain, and I could see the ship at Red Hook from my window.Good food choices nearby and lots of convenient shopping for any last-minute articles to take on board (Trader Joe's, Nordstrom Rack, Century 21, Whole Foods and even a Target for sundries) for those embarking from the hotel. I used Starwood/Marriott points for one night and a reduced rate under US$200 for the other. Prior to leaving NY two weeks earlier I'd stayed at the upscale W Hotel in Lower Manhattan (about a block from the WTC) for an even greater reduction (US$161/night). Great experience at both, although each time I parked nearby off-site to reduce parking fees by about US$50/night.
  7. VintageCCG

    Bag Weights to Measure Up

    As with all such policies, Cunard appears to be somewhat casual about enforcement, yet reserves the right to apply the rules when they deem necessary.. There are legitimate OSH reasons for weight limits on bags that must be handled, so it behooves passengers not to abuse the privilege. A bag weighing 24kg won't likely be refused, but if anybody shows up with seriously overweight luggage, then they should probably check their sense of entitlement and make alternate plans.
  8. VintageCCG

    I need some advice please

    I mean, if all else fails you could check the Cunard website ... https://www.cunard.com/life-on-board/what-to-pack/ the site also describes tuxedo rentals on board, if packing a suit is inconvenient.
  9. VintageCCG

    Cunard latest new build

    Not sure if you're aware, but the NERC Polar Research vessel submission actually got the meme wrong. Figure if people are going to riff on it, they should use the meme correctly. To be more correct the NERC ship submission should have been "Floaty McBoatface", not just repeating the same word. The etymology goes back to at least the 1990s, first made widely popular in the 2000 episode of "Friends" S06E18 'The One Where Ross Dates a Student' Ross: Oh uh, I had trouble remembering everyone’s name, so I-I kinda came up with nicknames. Like the guy on the other side of you was Smelly von Brownshirt. Elizabeth: Oh yeah. So umm, did you have a nickname for me? Ross: Umm, no. No. Elizabeth: Yes you did! What was it? Ross: Umm, it’s Cutie McPretty. In 2004, the film 'Anchorman' further popularized the meme when Will Farrell's co-anchor, played by Christina Applegate, was introduced as a euphemism for 'Boobs' McGee, and from 2005 onwards "Grey's Anatomy" made frequent use of the 'Mc' prefix (particularly Doctors McDreamy and McSteamy). To use the meme correctly in this context, one would have to call the new ship something like "Cunard McCruiseship" or "Newqueen McKdamclone". Just saying ...
  10. VintageCCG

    Transatlantic advice on flights/hotels

    FWIW, personally I'm a fan of the Starwood/Marriott family of hotels. I used them before and after my return voyage in Aug/Sept. I stayed at the upscale W Hotel in Lower Manhattan (about 2 blocks from WTC) for US$161/night before departure, then the Aloft Brooklyn for US$200 after returning (it was the Sept 11 anniversary so availability was low). This was about half the normal rates at each location (and 1/3 the rates available through Cunard), and I booked directly through the SPG/Marriott website. I always book directly after experiencing some booking problems through the consolidator websites. If you have a car, Manhattan on-site parking can be US$75/night or more. There are parking websites such as Parkwhiz or Bestparking that can find you parking within walking distance, typically in the range of US$30.
  11. Here's an idea ... if Bermuda fails to act responsibly then why not re-flag all Carnival's fleets under Canadian flag? Regrettably we still fall short in certain respects, but we pride ourselves in being LGBT(etc.)-friendly, and in recognizing Gay Rights as fundamental Human Rights. Yes, I know it is totally impractical for other reasons (crewing, port state control, etc.) But we would certainly welcome the Cunard Queens, as well as their sister cruise lines. The red Maple Leaf would look mighty fine adorning their sterns.
  12. VintageCCG

    Flights to Quebec from Manchester, UK!!

    That's not really accurate. There are indeed numerous direct international flights in and out of Quebec, which last year almost doubled the size of its terminal; otherwise for most overseas flights you connect to Quebec through Montreal, Toronto, Halifax or a half-dozen other large international airports. From Manchester one could transfer via Heathrow, Gatwick or various other airports which can be reached direct from Manchester (AirCan seems to connect from MAN to Quebec via Newark, Brussels or Munich) or of course AirCan flies via LHR, or Westjet via Gatwick). As mentioned above, the major domestic carriers are Air Canada, Westjet and Porter ... flight times to/from Montreal are about 45 minutes in the air (and about 20 minutes taxiing on the ground). Porter serves from Montreal but as mentioned above they do not fly to Quebec from Toronto Pearson ... only from Toronto City or from Montreal, etc. Toronto Pearson is the only Canadian airport which requires a change in terminal if you mix airlines; otherwise mixing airlines is only a problem if you have tight connections (less than 60-90 minutes). VIA Rail or Orléans Express bus service (i.e. "coach" service) provide ground transportation from Montreal to Quebec City, with multiple trips throughout each day. Montreal is certainly worth a visit on its own merits, and hopefully you have allowed for a few days in Québec City, which is a beautiful historic city that enjoys UNESCO World Heritage status. Many gorgeous boutique hotels in Québec, especially in the "lower" vieux-Québec. Auberge Saint-Antoine is one of the nicest in the lower town, but there are half a dozen nice ones within a few blocks. Manoir Victoria is a favourite in the upper town, or of course the iconic Chateau Frontenac.
  13. VintageCCG

    High Balcony room vs. Single Oceanview

    Time of year is relevant. Would you be utilizing your balcony for extended periods or just looking outboard through the glass? The Single Oceanview cabins are low down so less motion, and the two large round windows give an excellent closeup view of rough seas. While visiting a friend in a S-O cabin I saw why the layout is so popular that pax will pay a premium price for the privilege. To compare: I loved keeping my Deck 12 balcony door open most nights in my crossings in Aug/Sept to smell the sea air and to listen to the waves breaking far below. I enjoyed the excellent view from my private vantage point, and enjoyed a bit of sun on favourable days. I don't mind a bit of pitching and rolling. And I found the location to be ideal: easy access to the open deck on 13, to the wheelhouse viewing on 12, to the open observation deck on 11 ... and everything else was "downhill" from 12 so I didn't have to wait for an elevator or break a sweat while walking to events on the lower decks.
  14. VintageCCG

    QM2 November 12-18, 2018 Voyage Notes

    For what it's worth Jack, I could offer few comments (I was on the 26 August eastbound QM2 voyage followed by a return westbound on 02 September): I had never before encountered a noontime clock change, but it seems best suited for those who can adapt and modify their mealtimes. I believe it might be a hardship for those who insist on having each full meal at its regularly-scheduled time. By nature I am a late riser (and late to bed) so on several shortened days I chose to eat a late-morning brunch of fruit and yogurt, then enjoy a late-afternoon coffee/tea and snack (self-serve at the King's Court as I found the "high tea" in the Queen's Room to be a bit precious and affected ... my British roots tend more to a "working man's" tea), and then the late sitting for supper. Several of my fellow passengers expressed frustration with having to rush from lunch to their planned early-afternoon activities. Luckily my chosen activities provided few if any conflicts that resulted from the jump from noon to 1300. Fortunately I enjoyed the trade-off of five prolonged days on the westbound leg. Given the choice I would book a 25-hour day for EVERY voyage.
  15. VintageCCG

    Cunard Pillows

    Not sure what answer you're looking for ... if the cabin fittings are not for sale then you're pretty much left with the options of (a) stealing a cushion or (b) going home disappointed. For the most definitive answer, instead of asking the punters on CruiseCritic one might try going to the source https://www.cunard.com/contact-us/ Once on board you will have to go to the Purser's Desk to request to speak to the Hotel Manager i.e. "The Purser". I mean, you could bang on the wheelhouse door too, and ask to speak with the Captain. You'll likely get the same response, with the bonus addition of some salty nautical invective.