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About Seenie

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    near Ottawa, Canada
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    Travel, cooking, rv touring, reading, volunteering
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    On the water

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  1. Early July in Canada? Are you talking about the cruise that goes to NY, Boston and Bar Harbor as well? Mostly warm weather clothing: chances are good that it will be hot, and hotter and more humid in NY and Boston. Check the seasonal average temperatures. But you can also run into rain, wind a cool temperatures, so you'll need another layer or two in reserve. My backup cold weather gear that I take most of the time is a fleece pullover (jumper), a sleeveless insulated vest, and a hooded windbreaker. Those layers worn together will keep you comfortable in almost anything except a blizzard, and a blizzard is not going to happen in July, not even in Canada. How many suitcases? One: a carry on. Mix and match everything, including a carefully curated collection of lightweight separates that make three respectable formal night outfits. OK, flame me ... 🤣
  2. Port Royal, Sadly, that address no longer works. Meanwhile, my TA gave me the guest relations email address, guestrelations@cunard.com and we will see what comes of that. Thanks again.
  3. You are absolutely bang on, Victoria. I've already told my TA, and I've emailed Cunard. But maybe I haven't made what I'm trying to say clear enough. What I'm saying is that the welcome and the treatment that I received from Cunard throughout the week, in many of the ship's areas, was very different from that which I've received when I've booked in the exact same way, and with the exact same MO, on other cruise lines, airlines, in hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues over many years and in many countries. I've been travelling like this a long time, and I'm the same person, booking as I have always booked, giving the same notice and signals, and transacting and behaving as I always do. Despite that, the treatment which I received on Cunard was very different (and not in a good way) from my usual travel experiences. I should also say that I love travelling in the UK because the level of disability awareness and accommodation -- not to mention the spontaneous kindness with which I've been treated countless times by the British -- is so different from the reception and the service that I got on Cunard. I guess I had expected a British travel experience. I did say at the beginning that when I know that Cunard has received what I wanted to share (I'm aware that they sometimes read these boards, and I had no other way of giving feedback) this thread could be deleted. In the meantime, I'm grateful for the input people have given me, particularly Port Royal for giving me that email address, and you for suggesting that I speak to my TA about warning people about Cunard's booking process.
  4. Thanks again, Port Royal. I have just emailed Mr. Constable: Good morning Mr. Constable I disembarked QM2 without having received a feedback form, or an email with a link to a feedback tool. I posted my comments/review on Cruise Critic, and said that when I know that Cunard has seen what I have to say, I will have the thread deleted. One of the other members kindly supplied your email address. Here is the thread which contains my feedback. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2670189-disembarked-qm2-but-never-got-the-chance-to-give-feedback/?tab=comments#comment-57657415 Could you please confirm receipt and I will ask to have the thread removed from the board: as I said in my post, I do not like posting public criticism before providing direct feedback. Regards,
  5. Victoria, you are absolutely right. Here's what I sent my agent a few minutes ago: We're just back from our Cunard voyage, and it was not without problems. Below is a link to my CruiseCritic post, which describes what happened. I guess the bottom line is that I was not aware that Cunard really doesn't welcome passengers with mobility issues, and you didn't know that I have a mobility problem. I don't know whether you will want to make a note on my profile, or whether my comments have wider implications. Perhaps this has been all my own fault and somehow I should have known that I would be tolerated but not welcome onboard. This has been so different from my experiences on many other cruises, with several cruiselines. In any case, there was a lot about the cruise that we enjoyed very much, but we would never book Cunard again unless we were in a suite or a penthouse. And that's not about to happen anytime soon, unless we receive a surprise inheritance. The thread: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2670189-disembarked-qm2-but-never-got-the-chance-to-give-feedback/?tab=comments#comment-57657415 Your faithful client (and we will remain so despite this, LOL)
  6. Because I wasn't aware that it was a big deal on Cunard, but I am now! I'm very self-sufficient, and I learned many cruises ago that simply asking for the stool onboard saves a lot of peoples' time and emails. I was on RCI and told a head housekeeper that I felt so bad because of the time and effort that had been spent on pre-arranging a simple shower stool and her advice was "The easiest for us is if you just ask when you get onboard. It saves hours of messaging and notifications ..." Thought I had learned that. *Sigh* obviously not. But now I have learned about Cunard, so it all goes into my learning, coping and ever-expanding toolbox! Soon that toolbox will be too heavy for this old girl to lug about: we get old too fast and smart too late! Thanks for the comment, Victoria!
  7. Canoncruiser, I know, I sound like a collector but I assure you I'm not. If I was, I'd have to stay home! Travelling as a mobility-impaired person requires determination, ingenuity, the ability to roll with the challenges and most of all a sense of humour. I've been travelling like this for a good while and usually cope pretty positively with the many challenges. The best tool in my coping toolbox is my sense of humour, but I'm afraid I ran out of that commodity on Cunard. Maybe I need to change the first line of my post to read: She's beamy, substantial, stable and elegant: a bit like me, really ... no, I'm joking about the stable and elegant part!
  8. No, I'm not. But I realize now that my TA needs to know about this problem. Thanks for pointing that out. I can't be their only mobility impaired pax. Will get in touch with them. Thanks for the helpful comment.
  9. Ha, I was looking for that! Nope, never got one. Mistake? Yes, let's be optimistic. Good to know. Thanks, Blue Marble!
  10. Yes, saw this, but not until after we had booked and made all of our other arrangements. Naive of me, but had no idea that any cruise line would do this, although I do now. Good point that you made, though Hattie: we didn't book through a Cunard website, but through an agent that we have used for many years. Yet another reason not to hurry back to Cunard: clearly they don't want passengers with special needs. (And indeed, there weren't very many of us onboard.) And that's OK, we've got the message, it's obviously working well for them.
  11. I have, but I'll double check, Hattie, in case they sent it today. It's three days today. There was no questionnaire, although the dining room staff asked us to be sure to fill it out. They obviously thought there would be one.
  12. They had already been snapped up before we booked. TBH, I normally don't book an accessible because I prefer to leave those to the people who are wheelchair bound, or really can't do without the extra space and facilities. I am aware that there are people who will use their blue badge parking permit to book these cabins mostly for the extra elbow room.😟 Good to hear that there may still be hope for receiving an invitation from Cunard for feedback. Thanks, Pear.
  13. Does Cunard have a mechanism for feedback? Here's what I want to tell them: She's beamy, substantial, stable and elegant: a bit like me, really ... no, I'm joking about the elegant part! As lovely as the QM2 is, though, we wouldn't go out of our way (or pay a premium) to board a Cunard ship again. Only if the itinerary and price were right -- which it was this time -- would we do so. OK, when I inherit my surprise fortune, and I can afford a suite, I'd definitely give it another try. But at the moment, I'm underwhelmed. The welcome and the service on our TA sailing (Southampton to New York) last week really wasn't up to snuff. Not that it was terrible, you understand, but we thought it was well below that which we've enjoyed on Celebrity/RCCL and what we recall of Princess. Bear in mind, though, we were not in the suites or penthouses. And I have a feeling that's the key with Cunard: it seems to me that they divert staff resources to the better class of people upstairs so that prices are competitive for the riff-raff like us. For those of us in third class, the service, in comparison with the more mass market brands, certainly reflected that. And I'm suspecting that's the way Cunard intends it to be. The food was good, though with the exception of gorgeous clotted cream, cut-above smoked salmon and "proper" cheeses , no better than the other lines. The coffee was the best that we've had on a cruise ship, but we haven't been on any other line in the last year, so I don't know. Boozy bevvies seemed a wee bit cheaper, but considering the small amount that we drink, not a significant factor. The big downside difference for me was the welcome for a passenger with a disability. Our opening greetings at Southampton consisted of three people informing us individually, one after the other, that my scooter would not fit through the cabin door (yes it will), well maybe it would but it will be a tight squeeze (no it won't be a squeeze) why hadn't I booked an accessible or a suite (No accessibles left, and I can't afford a suite) did I know that I would not be allowed to store my scooter in the companionway (Yes I read the policy in the cruise contract) had I ever had it on a cruise before (many times, and trains, ferries and planes too) did I know that I'd have to store it inside the cabin and there would not be room for that (yes I read the policy, and it takes apart into four lightweight pieces that will fit into the closet if necessary). All very polite. but clearly they did not want me and my scooter onboard, or at least in a standard sheltered balcony stateroom. Finally, a very smartly turned out chappie (with a very spiffy nautical uniform, gold stripes and all, and a Dutch (?) name) told me with a big smile that on board I should ask whether there might be an accessible cabin available. How nice and thoughtful of him! He wasn't promising anything but it never hurts to ask ... (and then I thought Codswallop, this ship is fully booked and you know that too.) Not a good start, and it didn't get any better on boarding. I needed a shower stool to be safe to shower in ocean motion. Immediately on boarding, I asked at the Purser's desk. Oh yes, ma'am, we'll make a note and send that up as soon as we can. No stool appears. The next morning after breakfast I go back to the PD (unshowered ...ewwww!) and ask how to get a shower stool. Yes, this is the place, we can arrange that, no problem. I respond, "No, I came here yesterday, and asking you doesn't seem to work." Oh, so sorry! We'll send one right up. In mid-afternoon I called and the agent was *shocked* that I still hadn't received the stool. We'll send one right up. And two hours later, TA-DA! Really, these special needs people ... they don't belong on a better class of ship like ours, do they? It was almost as if staff had orders not to offer help to disabled passengers. As I knew it would, the scooter fit through the door with room to spare. We tried dismantling it and storing the parts in the closet, but that left some little stains on the carpet, so we decided not to do that again. (I felt bad for sweet, ever-smiling and hard-working steward Gerry, who had to clean up. Gerry, in fact, was the only staff member on board who showed any genuine kindness towards me.) After that we discovered that with my virtuoso parking skills I could position the scooter in such a way that we could still move around the room and get into the bathroom. Imagine! OK, I did leave a few rubber scuffs here and there, sorry about that, Cunard. The reason for the policy (they explained several times) was safety. Yes, I do get that. Scooters in the hallways could be a problem in an emergency. My scooter hasn't been a problem on other lines, though, so a scooter ban cannot be required by international marine law. Besides, my machine has a far smaller footprint than any one of the many service carts that filled every corridor for 6-8 hours each day. And we are not even talking about the vacuum cleaners, laundry bags, buckets, and hampers that were out there at the same time. But that, apparently, isn't a safety issue. With my scooter in the room with us, to avoid a trip or a foot injury at night (talking safety now) we had to park it in such a way that it completely blocked the door. In a night time marine emergency, or in the event of a fire, we would have perished. We chose to protect ourselves from the more likely risk of falls and foot injuries instead. Then the small annoyances: the chaotic layout of the King's Court buffet and the lack of organizational imagination (for example, to solve the coffee cups and refills problem at breakfast) resulted in my having to negotiate the buffet on my badly deformed feet to avoid collisions and falls because of my scooter. I managed on my disease-damaged and painful feet, but only by keeping one hand on a buffet at all times, serving myself single-handedly with my plate on the counter, and doing 180 shoulder checks at every move. Carrying drinks was too risky, so I didn't. Not once was I offered help by a crew member, until I got back onto my scooter with my plate in one hand. (Thank you, but getting back to my table is dead easy!) Meanwhile, there usually seemed to be a fair number of glum staff and supervisors too who were empty-handed, chatting, and/or oblivious. Not very welcoming for any guest, but for those of us with a disability, it makes things difficult and dangerous, not to mention risks to other guests. At the end of the voyage, there did not seem to be an opportunity to provide feedback. No questionnaire, no post-voyage email feedback tool. Is this usual for bottom-tier passengers? Was this an error, or does Cunard not care to know, one wonders. Can someone suggest how I can direct these comments to Cunard? Normally I do private feedback before making a public complaint, but I'm not aware of how to make sure that Cunard gets my comments. When I know that Cunard has received my feedback, I'll take this post down.
  14. Thank goodess! Those nobs were downright painful. They look beautiful, though.
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