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TouchstoneFeste

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Everything posted by TouchstoneFeste

  1. If I may ask, how are they weird? Just the same names formatted differently?
  2. Yes, @Mr. B is quite right, that's the phrase. Sorry, I didn't have access to my stored email when I first replied. More keywords, maybe: My document actually says just "Gifts and Services Summary" at the top, and it's titled "SSGConfirmation-[booking number].PDF". It came in a separate email immediately after my main booking confirmation arrived. The email subject line was "Booking-[booking number] [my name] - Special Service Order Summary". So I suppose any variation on that would work. I would not feel at all uncomfortable about pursuing this. Neither my wife nor I consume much alcohol, but it meant we never had to think twice about getting a coffee, a soft drink, or a house wine. Our final statement was remarkably uncluttered.
  3. For our two bookings, I never saw this on the website (US version), but did receive separate booking confirmation emails listing only the added perk.
  4. We did a transatlantic in May and enjoyed it so much we decided to do it again next May. I booked last Friday using the phone number on the US web site. I found I had made a minor error in the booking and called again on Monday to correct it. Yesterday, five days later, I was surprised to receive a phone message and an email from a California-based Cunard Cruise Vacation Planner, giving me a direct phone number and extension and an email address for the planner (not a generalized customer service email address). We didn't get such a contact last time. Is this the norm for repeat passengers? Could it be related to our having "issues" that needed to be corrected?
  5. Sorry, didn't mean to get all "teachy" on you, @techteach. Obviously, you hit my "finally I can help someone" button. :) and I didn't read carefully. I just looked through some QM2 formal night pictures, and I guess you're right ... it appears that cummerbunds (or nothing at all at the waist!) are the norm. My personal take would be to get the waistcoat made now so you can be certain the fabrics match; cummerbunds are relatively easy (and cheap-ish) to come by later. I find the waistcoat option more flattering in any case - it's what I wear on formal occasions. You'd also asked about shirt fronts. I'd guess that pleated shirts are the norm, but I prefer pique/marcella, so he wouldn't be totally alone if he did as well :) I'm sure the regulars will have better answers ...
  6. Either a vest or a cummerbund is acceptable in modern wear (some traditionalists would insist on a cummerbund but the vest has a legitimate black tie history at least back to the 30s; further for white tie). (May as well say it up front - in modern formal wear, almost anything goes ...) With the vest, normally wear a standard-collar shirt with a long black silk necktie. A bowtie is fine, too; I've seen many wear a vest with a wing-collar shirt and bowtie, as well. (Never a cummerbund with a long necktie, though.) Either a pleated (= pintuck?) shirt or a pique (also called "marcella") is acceptable with either option. Severe traditionalists may call for the pique, but the pleated shirt is more common. A plain front is not usually worn. In either case, ensure the pleated/pique section is long enough to reach the vest or cummerbund comfortably. Normally they are cut for this purpose, but you never know. And all men are shaped differently in that area ... It gets VERY complicated :) https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/tuxedo-black-tie-guide
  7. So this is what it looks like on formal nights?
  8. Internet is included in new bookings? That was not my recent experience, but the original booking was done years ago, delayed and rescheduled due to COVID.
  9. I'll be interested to see what @tv24 has to say, but when we boarded on May 1, the line of people waiting for taxis was the entire length of the waiting area (a hundred yards?), and it appeared to be moving very slowly. This was complicated by unusual citywide traffic issues, though ...
  10. They did deliver a four-page (A4 size) news sheet every day. Other than that, you may have to rely on wi-fi.
  11. Sorry if I sounded contentious @Victoria2. I didn't mean to be. But it does sound like it's a persistent problem involving multiple lines (mostly or all Carnival at this terminal, yes?). They ought to be able to bring enough pressure to bear to get some action.
  12. Yeah, I didn't realize that bit about generic staff in multiple uniforms. Not sure it excuses Cunard, however. They really should insist on better treatment for their customers.
  13. I was surprised by this, too, but on my May 1 boarding the only people not in Cunard staff uniforms were the ones running the actual security operation, like the X-ray. The people organizing the crowd, checking boarding papers, guiding people to the security lines, etc., (both before and after the security check), appeared to be Cunard staff.
  14. None of the regular cruisers have answered, and I've only done land crossings into Canada, but here's what I know. Your profile, which you can set up anytime, includes: basic ID information (name, address, etc.), passport (or Nexus) number, vaccine types and dates, and a photograph or PDF of vaccine evidence. Be careful on the last of these items. For an entry last year (before they introduced permanent profiles) I accidentally uploaded an email confirmation of vaccination rather than images of our actual US vax cards, and this caused delays and a "random" test at the border. When I first started using ArriveCan (we go to Canada a half dozen times a year) I did a dummy entry ahead of time to figure out what the process would be - similar to a trial booking on a ship to find out what cabins are available - then bailed out before I did the final "submit". I'm sure you could do the same for a cruise ship entry. For each entry into Canada, you enter: date and time of entry*; port of entry; address you'll be staying at in Canada. I imagine the ship's name would be sufficient? certainly we've never entered a hotel room number. You'll also be asked a few questions about your current state of health - "Any COVID symptoms?", etc. * They won't allow you to enter a date further away than 72 hours. For time of entry I've just made my best guess. I'm not sure if they do "random" testing for ship entries, but if they do: the process is VERY cumbersome and they will phone you relentlessly afterwards to confirm you have completed it. Even after the results have been delivered. I use scare quotes around the word "random" because my wife has been "randomly" tested on three of our last four entries.
  15. Yes - the ArriveCan site now allows you to create a profile for each passenger, so the cumbersome tasks like uploading your proof of vaccination, entering passport numbers, etc., can be done in advance.
  16. Strangely enough, we got an unexpected *credit* on our account about two weeks after disembarking, with no indication why. I decided not to challenge it :) but it is indicative of something systematic being wrong.
  17. Very good observations overall. (I think a lot of our problems boarding that day were related to our early arrival.) Just wanted to emphasize the need to ASK if you are in the right line. I had the luxury of leaving my wife waiting in lines while I went over to an agent and asked "Is this the line for Grills?". That only helped once in our case (there was no line waiting outdoors), but it helped us jump the very long check-in line.
  18. On our May 1 eastbound in QG, we were assigned a time a few days before arrival; we weren't offered multiple choices. I assume we could have requested a different time. Our assigned time was perfectly satisfactory to us. We were checked off on departure, of course, so disembarking *before* our assigned time might have been problematic, but I can't see that departing later would have been so if something had delayed us.
  19. Our experience in Brooklyn on May 1: We arrived quite early (for various reasons) and we were held in the main entrance lobby of the terminal until the ship was ready for boarding. Because there were MANY roundtrip passengers who couldn't do daytrips into NYC, they were (re)boarded first, at around 11am. These folks (quite rightly) occupied the couple dozen chairs available in that lobby. Sometime around 11:15-11:30, we were taken into the first security line, passed through the xrays area and waited in a line for a health screening, then went through the actual check-in. This was all pretty quick, but we didn't reach the QG waiting room until about 11:45. There were plenty of seats in that lounge, and we boarded around 12:15-12:30 (which was the stated arrival time on our welcome letters). (As I mentioned in another thread, the entire process was a little ad hoc because the Five Borough bicycle race in New York confused matters. All of this contributed to our late departure from the dock, by the way.) Short answer: Nope, unless they refine the process, you won't be able to wait in a QG lounge before your stated arrival time. Check-in is the final step, not the first.
  20. Our experience on May 8 was as @Camgirl described it. We were issued a time a couple of days before arrival, although I bet we could have requested a change if we'd wanted.
  21. We were QG, and disembarked first (after the fast track folks), at 8am, in Southampton. I assume the others were as you suggested. Went directly from our stateroom to the Grand Lobby.
  22. Our boarding in Brooklyn was no picnic, although the complications may have been due to the race. My understanding is that all of the NYC daytrips were cancelled due to the race, so when we arrived (roughly 10am) the outer entrance area was already getting crowded with roundtrippers waiting to reboard and other early arrivals. By the time they were able to start reboarding the roundtrippers (11am?), the place was packed. Possibly because of this, they had a wacky check in process in the outer lobby. Staff members were checking the basic documents (including proofs of vaccination, by the way) before we even got into the snake-line, and initialing the boarding pass. But this must have been an ad hoc procedure - it was never actually announced for quite a while, different staff were doing it different ways, and there was much retracing of steps. After passing through security, there there was a line for making a declaration of health status; this was handled pretty cleanly and quickly. Then we were sorted into Grills (and diamond members?) and everyone else; we Grills waited an additional half-hour or so in the waiting lounge, then boarded ... about 12:15, which was the boarding time on our passes. We'd intentionally arrived early, expecting problems, but might have been better off arriving right on time. In any case, we just had a wonderful week on the Queen.
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