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  1. Jet lag is invariably worse flying eastbound
  2. 1. It is a short taxi ride from Southampton station to the cruise terminal. At cruise time the trains disgorge batches of passengers all heading for the cruise, and if you get talking to someone it is sensible to share a taxi. If you have a lot of baggage, travel first class - it doesn’t usually cost that much more (booked in Advance). 2. The principal reason people prefer westbound is the drama of the arrival in New York. There is nothing dramatic about arriving in Southampton in the dark. The extra hour isn’t a big issue (except making it easier to digest all the food) - we
  3. If you are the kind of traveller who cares a lot about the location - near the lifts or not near the lifts, ditto the laundry, ditto any facilities on the ship that you intend to use a lot, then don’t volunteer for an upgrade. If you don’t mind about such things, then go for it; the upgraded cabin will be better in the round, and you’re not paying for it. Any consequential downsides you just take as part of the deal. On my 2019 TAs I booked cabins at the rear of the ship beneath the kennels, as I had a dog with me and knew I’d be going up and down to the kennels multiple times ev
  4. That is easily solved. Turn the cabin TV on, tune to the bridge webcam channel, and mute the sound. At night it’s almost a completely dark screen, with just a tiny bit of light from the ship’s lighting off cam (which will help you find the toilet in the night when you need it). When it gets light, the screen will get brighter and you’ll probably wake up before your alarm.
  5. Whilst tight connections are possible and I am sure there are more anecdotes from people who have done them, the general rule for embarkation day should always be safety first. Why put your whole trip at risk because of unforeseen events at sea or on land? If embarking, stay the night prior in a local hotel. If disembarking, don’t rely on connecting with anything before the afternoon. That way you’ll be able to relax, not fret about being allowed onto or off the ship, and with any luck have a few spare hours to orientate yourself before setting off on your journey.
  6. Inside cabins are no big deal. Yes, when you first walk in, it is dark and you briefly wonder how you are going to cope without natural light. Then, when the cruise is underway, you leave your cabin for breakfast each morning, and barely return for more than a few minutes until it is time for bed. One of the great things about QM2 are the numerous fairly quiet spots where you can take a book or catch a drink, and enjoy the day between the various activities and events. On my other TA I was upgraded to a window cabin, which was nice, but honestly I enjoyed looking out briefly to s
  7. Very early. I recently rebooked my cancelled 2021 TA crossing into autumn 2022 and they only had two single cabins left, of which I took one. And that was pre-Xmas.
  8. The lesson from the handful of attempts to restart cruising this year suggest that it is very difficult to deliver a guarantee of safety on a cruise ship. For example just 112 passengers on the first attempted restart in the Caribbean on SeaDream1 which, despite all the precautions, got hit by an outbreak. Even a false positive test can wreck the cruise for everyone else, as happened on the tightly restricted ‘cruise to nowhere’ from Singapore on the Quantum of the Seas earlier this month. By the time the passenger’s second negative test came through, all his contacts had been days in isolat
  9. Obviously, no-one really knows. My May TA is cancelled and I have rebooked for 2022. The first consideration will be whether you are vaccinated (noting that many of the vaccines require two doses three or four weeks apart) by the time you travel. You will know your local situation and be able to judge better than any of us - assume that you will need to be fully vaccinated by the time of the voyage to be able to make the trip. The second consideration is how quickly Carnival can reassemble a crew who have all been vaccinated. Or, as a second best, subject to a quarant
  10. Yes, the sad thing about the latest cancellations is that, by next May, there is every chance that almost all of Cunard's core demographic will have been vaccinated, both in the UK and US. In the UK thousands are now being done every day. The problem, I am guessing, is that the cruise lines know they won't be able to operate again until they have a vaccinated crew. Given the worldwide origins of their crew, this isn't going to happen in a hurry, and given that most countries will be prioritising people by age, Cunard will probably have to identify a private supply - which doesn
  11. Yes indeed, a Special Boat Squadron raid executed in nine minutes beginning to end.
  12. Maybe, having just watched the military storm a tanker out of my window, this evening it is safer to be on land.
  13. So when do we think Cunard will be releasing tickets for summer 2022?
  14. I’m going to post this one. The location is obvious, but the catch is that you also have to correctly identify the breed of the dog...
  15. Well. Whilst the prediction I made here way back in March, that there wouldn’t be any more Cunard cruising during 2020, now looks on the money, my booked May 2021 crossing to the US is starting to look vulnerable. If only the US could put its political divisions aside and respond to the virus challenge in a mature and sensible manner.
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