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About Canuker

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Hawaii - bar none

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  1. Late October is late for the Fall foliage season. You may be greeted by bare trees. End of Sept / early Oct would be better for this - and a tad warmer and drier.
  2. And here's a map, cruisincorgi, showing the 4 cruise terminals (red blobs A,B,C,D) and the railway station (green blob A). You can see by the scale shown that it's not very far to the station from any of the terminals (I've walked it before). Cunard prefers terminal D, but it's not guaranteed by the port. The rail station has elevators to all platforms and refreshments, newspapers etc. are available there too. Assuming you will pre-clear UK immigration while on board ship (usual for Cunard crossings), just grab your bags, and you're away. Your route takes you through Salisbury, Bath, Bristol and some lovely scenery in between - much nicer than the run up to London.
  3. Echo wenlyn's suggestion. Frequent trains. Take the one at or about 11 minutes past the hour; it takes you to Cardiff without changing trains, in the shortest time - about 2.5 hours. Be aware, these trains usually have no first class or refreshment facilities. You can buy tickets through https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ up to about 3 months before travel date. Fares vary, so be careful. Some are around GBP80, others around GBP20, one way. 20 pounds (about US$25) is a nice price. If you still want to go via London, consider taking the train into Paddington (change at Reading) with a hotel nearby, making it easier to negotiate London with baggage and for your onward trip to Cardiff (out of Paddington, as you say).
  4. Please stop mentioning 'CBH'. I think I'm addicted to it when on board.
  5. Ah, yes, remember your younger days when all you needed to take were shorts/bikini and a credit card.
  6. I've tried to reply to two recent emails from this address and both have been returned "undeliverable". Unbelievable!
  7. You did, kmerlin14 and a very good one. Recommend it to anyone considering Cunard / Alaska.
  8. It may have had a mate and/or a nest aboard the ship. I recall an artificial green hedge, on the open deck outside the buffet, of a ship that was home to a bevy of house sparrows, stowing away (or returning?) from North America to Europe. Plenty of scraps to feed on. They made it across.
  9. When it comes to "land tours":, most people think of Denali, Fairbanks, etc. Not surprising, since that's where the packaged tours go. We are booked on our first Alaska cruise in July, out of Vancouver and have decided to: 1. Put together our own 'land' cruise. 2. Go South, not North. Vancouver (which we know) is not the start of the Inside Passage. The Seattle area (which we don't) is, in Puget Sound. So here's what we are doing, pre-cruise: Day 1. Arrive Vancouver. Queen Elizabeth Gardens. Evening brewery tour. Overnight Vancouver. Day 2. Ferry to Vancouver Island. Butchard Gardens. Downtown Victoria. Ferry to Seattle. Seattle by night. Overnight in Bremerton (across the Sound from Seattle). Day 3. Tour city of Seattle, incl. coastal boat tour. Train, Seattle to Vancouver. Overnight Vancouver. Day 4. Stanley Park. Board ship. The train hugs the coastline for much of its journey. So we should have a good feel for the south end of the Inside Passage before we head north on the big boat. Looking forward to it.
  10. I once suggested a meet-up the evening before a cruise, as many RC members were staying in the embarkation port overnight, pre-cruise. Went over like a lead balloon.
  11. I just Googled "passengers on average cruise ship". Response: 3,000. So, on your next cruise, the 100 people on your RC would be around 3%.
  12. Choose your NY airport carefully for the departure time (and transit time) that you need, especially if its a weekday (traffic). The good news is you have about a dozen n/s flights to choose from (flight time about 2.5 hours).
  13. It's for a whole different generation who look at a very different world (spoon-fed through a video screen) than, shall I say, a conventional cruiser. In a way, a cruise for that demographic seems paradoxical. I recall a late teenager having a temper tantrum at our table because she couldn't get any phone signals. There's a forum on here for over 55's. How long before there's one for under 40's? There's already a forum here for the Virgin cruise line. I have to agree with the 'sizzle not steak' comment above, having traveled by Virgin rail in the UK and South Florida. Virgin partly owns and operates the Brightline rail service between West Pam Beach and Miami. Used it once. Once was enough. Lots of promise and little delivery. Steak and sizzle. That's Virgin. I'll give it no more than 3 years before it collapses. It's no coincidence that Richard Branson is constantly jumping from one marketing phenomenon to the next. But, hey, no-one has taken a Virgin cruise yet, so I'll be glad to be proved wrong. Rant over.
  14. Well, firstly, as I think OP is suggesting, west of VI is definitely not the Inside Passage. It's open Pacific Ocean. Secondly, the Cunard website these days leaves a great deal to be desired. Those same maps, for our booked cruise, has us arriving in one port at midnight! Thirdly, because of the departure time from Vancouver (and despite the short summer nights), much of the IP is transited in darkness. Lastly, where the ship goes is ultimately the skipper's call. But I take your point, OP.
  15. Yes, the jazz trio nightly on the QM2 is such a perfect way to end the day. With as G&T for the Missus and a pint of decent beer for me. Perfect.
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