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Everything posted by TouchstoneFeste

  1. I've been able to find out the probable speakers just by asking customer support: cunardonboardservices@cunard.com They may not know much at this point, and things can always change.
  2. There are pre-tied ones where the hardware is under the bow itself. But the clips for adjusting the length aren't hideable even if your tie isn't pre-tied. I've ended up with three different length bowties to adjust to my variable neck :)
  3. I never realized that! Thanks for the info.
  4. First, I should say (as many others on this forum have also said) that it doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the evening if a few individuals aren't "up to code". I think it really would bother me if a large proportion of people disregarded the dress code - it would change the overall atmosphere. But that's not the case (yet?) A few comments, though: Certainly the idea of black tie is dated, but I would dispute that it's inherently elitist ... not if you can get a Marks and Spencer tuxedo for £100. Or perhaps it's elitist, but in an acceptable way? In modern, but still fully formal, dress, either winged or "standard" collars are acceptable. Likewise either cummerbunds or waistcoats. With the appropriate tie! The dress code for formal nights does specify a "dark" suit and a tie. This is really always a discussion about men's wear. From my experience, the women on gala nights are virtually always appropriately dressed. And often spectacular :)
  5. Not at all. That and/or the dark grey would be very nice, I should think.
  6. A standard collar is fine in black tie as long as it's an actual formal shirt (cufflinks and studs) - doesn't have to be a wing collar. Likewise, a standard black silk necktie is fine - doesn't have to be a bow tie. I know I'm sounding like a prig, and gala nights are not black tie per se. Just sayin' - if you want to dress black tie, go full black tie. Anything less can look sloppy (in my opinion, of course), and you'd be better off just going with the "dark suit". (I'll give ground on the cummerbund, as long as you keep your jacket buttoned.)
  7. If the fabric of the trousers matches the fabric of the jacket, I would call it "a dark suit with an interesting lapel". (If the fabrics don't match, I don't know what to call it. An upscale sport-coat-and-slacks?) Actual black tie includes the stripe-y trousers, a formal shirt and a waist covering - either a cummerbund or a waistcoat (to disguise the fact that your shirt studs don't go all the way down). However, given what passes for formal wear on the red carpets of the world ... (I just skimmed a page of images of "James Bond tuxedo", and apparently Daniel Craig doesn't wear a waist covering, although I think all of the others do. But in any picture where he isn't "en deshabille", the jacket is buttoned.)
  8. The problem is they regard them more as guidelines than as actual rules.
  9. On our recent crossing there were several people in egregious violation of the code on a gala night (sweatshirt and baggie jeans in the Commodore Club; at dinner in the Queens Grill a man whose concession to formal dress was to put a sloppy sport coat over his open-collar tattersall shirt) and no one corrected it.
  10. On our recent QM2 voyage our ship's account wasn't updated until after halfway through the voyage. Odd, since the servers now all have a terminal strapped to their waist.
  11. On our recent voyage it appears they were being somewhat flexible in applying the limit. Some (not all) wines over $12 did not appear on our account. We also received an unexplained nearly $60 refund after the voyage. I couldn't make it match up exactly to the drinks charged, but the only other less-than-$60 purchases on board were some small items from the shop. Or perhaps I should be thanking Cunard for the gift of George the Cunard bear.
  12. For anyone else facing this dilemma: I find that Pisa's airport has a Fast Track to security (not less security, just "jump to the front of the line") for €12. Here's the reply I received from the airport operator, Toscana Aeroporti: "The possibility to book the priority lane online in advance is not currently provided, but you will certainly be able to purchase it once you arrive at the airport, at the customer service on the Arrivals side of the Pisa Airport (the desk it is a few meters from the departures area)." (It appears that many airports now have this feature, so it's probably always worth checking.)
  13. Short answer is "yes". Connectivity was dramatically improved in December versus an equivalent cabin in May of 2022. Basically indistinguishable from our connectivity at home except for occasional disconnects. But I did love this topic, and thank you for it.
  14. I was idly checking a voyage and got this message for most of the Queens Grill staterooms - "can't accommodate 2 passengers". I tried it for 1, 2, 3, and 4 people with the same result. I've seen "sold out" previously and, in fact, this morning it now shows all the QG classes as available. Anyone know what this means?
  15. There's a forum dedicated to Cruise Technology. You might find fuller answers there: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/677-cruising-technology/
  16. With careful searching and many grains of salt (read the reviews!), you might find some tours with "special access" - for example, before the official opening hours. We once joined up with a "sunrise at Stonehenge" tour because we thought that would be fun, and realized later that we'd be there before almost anyone else and that we had access to the inner ring of stones (not accessible to the general public). Another tour took us through the Vasari Gallery in Florence - again, not accessible to the general public.
  17. I get tired of hearing the same Christmas music over and over during the course of the season, and onboard it was relentless. (Other than that, I enjoyed all of the Chrstmas-y things.)
  18. Thanks so much for these toughts. I feel better about our preferred flight.
  19. Sugar-free drinks are available everywhere. Mostly you will see bottles, not cans. Two years ago right after the pandemic restart they actually ran out of bottled/canned but it was still available in the lounges from the "tap" (=fountain). This wasn't a problem on our most recent crossing.
  20. Ents are the tree-people in J.R.R. Tolkien's books - a popular crossword puzzle answer if nothing else. (I know their also onboard entertainers.)
  21. That must have been on a very large bus, but at least you wouldn't lose them in a crowd at a tourist site.
  22. Curious ... what are "other duties"? Do the same conditions apply to the "headliners" (the lounge pianists and harpists)? I presume not to those who appear in the theater?
  23. Yes, it's the traditional "can I make my flight?" posting, this time from the port at Livorno to Pisa International (PSA). We'll be disembarking a small ship about 8am (per the cruise company) on a September Sunday and want to catch a 10:30am flight. I know the drive time to the airport is around 1/2 hour. So .... 1) Is this remotely feasible? 2) Are there reliable car services available? Would a taxi work? (The cruise line offers free transport, but we don't know when it would depart.) 3) How manageable is PSA? If we get to the airport before 9am, do we have a chance of making it through the pre-boarding ritual in time? We can change to a different flight, but it would involve considerable inconvenience. Anyone with experience, your response is welcome.
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