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Everything posted by seacruise9

  1. Hi, I agree that this is an excellent book. His other books also are wonderful. I had the pleasure of meeting John Maxtone-Graham on several different Cunard and Princess sailings. He was an outstanding writer and speaker. Chuck
  2. Hi, I agree with the posts above that it is difficult to generally categorize the cruise lines. Within a particular cruise line, some ships offer a better product than others. Also, large ships that have a small "luxury class" may actually belong in at least two categories. Furthermore, the quality of the product may vary based on a ship's itinerary. For example, the same cruise line may offer three-day Bahamas cruises and 11-day Caribbean cruises, but the cruise product may differ. Based on the cruise product that a line offers to the majority of its passengers, I would categorize the main lines as follows: Mass market: Carnival, MSC, NCL and Royal Caribbean Mass market plus: Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America and Princess Premium: Azamara, Oceania and Viking Luxury: Crystal, Regent, Seabourn and Silversea Chuck
  3. Hi, I recommend at least trying the Britannia Restaurant. This is a beautiful room and the other passengers on this ship generally are very friendly. If you limit yourself to the buffet (which can be chaotic at times), you won't experience much of what makes this ship so special. Also, be sure to try the afternoon tea in the Queens Room. The ship also offers many excellent lectures during the day on a variety of interesting topics. I recently did a transatlantic crossing on this ship (April 28 - May 5, 2019) and had a wonderful time. Chuck
  4. Hi, I have been following the development of this hotel and think it looks great. I don't usually fly into JFK, but I really want to stay here. I hope that this hotel is a huge success. Chuck
  5. Hi, I also agree with this. This is a beautiful port. In September 2018, I took a cruise on Cunard's Queen Victoria that departed from Venice. There were many cruise ships in port (such as Holland America's Oosterdam and Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas), but they did not exceed 90,000 tons. In June 2014, I sailed from Venice on the Regal Princess (one of the ship's first cruises). This was before the size limit was enacted. Chuck
  6. Hi, Thanks, it is always good to hear from people who love crossings on the QM2. I was fortunate to miss the unseasonable snow storms. I currently live and work in downtown Chicago, but I used to work in Riverwoods (at an office located on Lake Cook Road). Chuck
  7. Hi, You probably will see deals as the cruise date approaches. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas generally is a less expensive time to cruise. I have done many cruises in early December for this reason. Chuck
  8. Hi, I also like the sheltered balconies (particularly for crossings). Last week, I enjoyed my sheltered balcony on Deck 5. These balconies are fairly well protected from the weather and wind. Chuck
  9. Hi, I'm glad that you enjoyed the review. The QM2 truly is a magnificent and very special ship. I have done both cruises and crossings on this ship, but the crossings are particularly wonderful. Cunard offers an incredible variety of activities during the day. Because Cunard has been doing crossings since 1840, they really know how to do sea days. 😃 I hope that you have an excellent crossing. Chuck
  10. Hi, You definitely should bring your book. Stephen Payne is very interesting. I met him during a crossing and asked him to autograph one of his books. Last week, during a crossing on the QM2, I asked Ted Scull to autograph a book for me. Chuck
  11. Hi, Fortunately, I did not see this person. 😃 Chuck
  12. Hi, This seems expensive, but it is a holiday cruise. 😄 Chuck
  13. Hi, I agree that Princess does a great job with these credits. I have owned my Carnival Corp. stock for many years, but I usually submit my request for the credit about six weeks prior to the sailing. I didn't realize that you could submit a request so far in advance of a cruise. Chuck
  14. I sailed on the Queen Mary 2’s April 28 – May 5, 2019 transatlantic crossing and had a wonderful time. Background: This was my seventh sailing on the QM2. Previous sailings on this ship: (1) 2004, Caribbean; (2) 2006, Canada; (3) 2009, Canada; (4) 2014, transatlantic; (5) 2016, Canada/New England; and (6) 2017, World Cruise segment from Hong Kong to Singapore. I also sailed aboard the QE2 seven times between 1984 and 2005. In recent years, I also have cruised aboard the Queen Victoria and current Queen Elizabeth. This was my sixth Cunard transatlantic crossing (three on QE2, two on QM2 and one on Queen Victoria). I had a sheltered balcony stateroom on Deck 5 and had dinner in the Britannia Restaurant every evening. On most days, I had breakfast and lunch in the Kings Court, but had breakfast and lunch in the Britannia Restaurant on a few occasions. I also had lunch at The Verandah. Prior to the crossing, I spent some time in London and then used the Cunard transfer service from Victoria Coach Station to Southampton. Embarkation: The boarding process was not good. There were computer problems and boarding was substantially delayed for many passengers. Fortunately, I had priority boarding as a Cunard World Club Diamond member. The ship departed behind schedule due to this delay. During the first night, the captain made an announcement at 2:30 am that there was going to be an emergency medical evacuation by helicopter. At approximately 10:00 the following morning, there was a second emergency evacuation. Daily activities: I was very active during the day and usually attended two or three lectures. The lectures were excellent and very popular. They covered a wide variety of diverse and interesting topics. In addition, I saw two plays performed during the day by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) actors. I went to afternoon tea nearly every day. On one day, RADA performed a scene from an Oscar Wilde play during afternoon tea. A tea dance was held during the final day. Of course, there was a variety of other activities such as movies, dance classes and trivia. Evening activities: I attended the main show each evening. There were two production shows, including a new show, Be Our Guest. I enjoyed the production shows as well as the guest performers on the other evenings. My favorite performers were the Three Tones (a male vocal group). I also liked an evening show, Cunard Street, which was held in the Carinthia Lounge. This was performed by RADA and featured the history of Cunard. Dining: I was seated at a large table for 10 (second seating) on the lower level of the Britannia Restaurant with mostly independent travelers. The food and service were fine. I particularly enjoyed lunch at The Verandah. My meals in Kings Court were okay, but this venue usually was fairly chaotic. However, I never had trouble finding a table. Due to my busy daily schedule, my meals here usually were very quick between various activities. Passengers: I learned that 432 people were doing back-to-back crossings roundtrip from New York. There were a fair number of passengers that recently had completed the Queen Victoria’s World Cruise. As usual, I greatly enjoyed meeting the other passengers. They were very polite and interesting. It is very easy for a solo traveler to meet people on this ship. Debarkation: The ship was delayed docking in New York due to a mechanical issue. As a result, debarkation was approximately 45 minutes behind schedule. I purchased the Cunard transfer to LaGuardia Airport. There were various delays and my bus did not leave the pier until 11:20 am. There were street closures due to a bicycling event. I barely arrived at the airport in time for my 1:30 pm flight. Conclusion: I greatly enjoyed my time on the QM2 and met many interest people throughout the crossing. The ship is beautiful and I truly appreciate its design, style and atmosphere. The QM2 remains my favorite ship. I highly recommend a transatlantic crossing on this incredible ship. Please let me know if you have any questions. Chuck
  15. Hi, The new Britannia Club restaurant on the Queen Victoria is a very attractive space. During a cruise on the Queen Victoria in September 2018, I visited the restaurant late in the evening and took some photos. I was impressed with the decor. Chuck
  16. Hi, I just did a crossing on the QM2 (April 28-May 5) and attended many lectures. I agree that there is no special door or reserved seating for Grills passengers. I was always able to find a seat, but usually arrived fairly early. The lectures are very popular. As you mentioned, the lectures can be viewed on television at a later time. Chuck
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