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LadyL1

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  1. Thank you. I enjoyed your diary and photos of the trip. Roll on January! Not sure if I will do another blog, as that might be one too many!
  2. I just looked at a January voyage, and it still shows all “unavailable “ if you click on different sections of the ship. It has been like this for some while. We also have a voyage booked, where I do not think we have the intended stateroom because of number misalignment, as previously mentioned on this thread.🤔
  3. I will be very interested of your comparison with Celebrity “Retreat” v QG.
  4. I am sure that the bean counters are trying every way possible to save money. Not just in Cunard but all lines, as they have been haemorrhaging money for over 18 months! They need to get back into profit. While it lasted FCD was a great benefit. Sadly all things have changed: at least we still have ships to give us a holiday, even if the cost will be more expensive in the future. Other lines offer free this, that and the other, but it is all included in the cruise price. No company could afford to give thousands of passengers free drinks every day of the year or free flights, It is just going to be the case of being subjective when you book, to get the most appealing and cost effective package for one’s aspirations.
  5. It seems that Cunard may not have updated their FAQs. In the guidance “sailing with confidence” this can be found which ties up with postings from staycation cruises.Changes to the Britannia dining experience. You will still be able to confirm your dining preference in advance of travel at the time of booking or through My Cunard. Those booking on the Cunard Fare will still benefit from first priority for chosen dining time. First sitting: guests selecting this option will have tables reserved at 6.00pm each evening for the duration of the voyage. Second sitting: guests selecting this option can dine any time from 7.45pm, with last orders taken at 9.00pm. Reservations can be made daily on board.
  6. I seem to remember that first sitting was 6.00pm (doors close 6.15) then open bookable dining from 8.00-9.00pm, at the beginning of this month. So things change and possibly will do so in the future as the % pax increases.
  7. Q203N 18-30 Jan 2022 Western Med 20th Black & White 23rd Masquerade 28th Roaring Twenties I have to say that I prefer the "Cunard to the Masquerade Ball"! The red, gold and black theme see some stunning evening wear.
  8. I have a voyage in January and just looked up “My Cunard” (UK). Clicking on the calendar I found all the formal evenings and themes.
  9. LadyL1

    Rotterdam

    Perhaps I can help a little as know this area quite well. Definitely talking about the Netherlands! The trip from Rotterdam to Amsterdam will not be a “transfer” but an excursion. The distance time by coach, probably 80 minutes minimum each way. However, Cunard used to run the coach from ship to Rotterdam central, by shuttle to near the station. From here, one can take the train about 15mins, to Delft, known as the mini Amsterdam. It is glorious, less crowded, very historic and the Dutch royal tombs can be visited. Google Delft, and then look at “images”! I am sure you will not be disappointed. Beautiful cafes/restaurants, walks by canals, open squares and all less crowded. Certainly a mini Amsterdam and an absolute pleasure. Rotterdam was destroyed in the war, so not historic, but worth a quick look if you have time to spare. The swan bridge is a great piece of modern engineering, near the normal berth for Cunard ships.
  10. You will have whatever is available, regardless of deck!
  11. We have taken many cruises since the 20’s theme night became a regular fixture. I love it, and it has become evermore popular. Our cruise (departing 3rd Sept 21) had one such night, and the interaction was huge! For the ladies, the dresses are easy, for a gent white silk scarf, shoes, hats and other attire were on show. Perhaps because people really wanted to enjoy themselves after lockdown, this was a wonderful evening. Do not be afraid to participate: it need not be outrageous, just go and enjoy!
  12. When onboard last week, I heard of no dissenters! A mask is easily forgotten when moving from open decks, but all was taken in humour … rushing to find one in your bag or halfway down the stairs and nipping back to room. This was a condition of booking the staycation cruises: we felt very safe as did others. Maybe this element of cruising will be extended, as we just do not know how this COVID disease will progress. If it does become mandatory and anyone has a severe issue to the wearing of a mask, just avoid cruising!
  13. The entertainment personnel were strict re mask wearing. They would walk up to passengers and ask them to wear masks, both during lectures and in the evening!
  14. Still going shoreside with tours only, as of today.
  15. We never found out why Holyhead was cancelled for our now completed cruise. However, the change to Belfast was very well received, with some great excursions for the area.
  16. Last night our meal was followed by a trip to the theatre to watch “The Beatles Experience”. Perhpaps off to a slow start but certainly finished on a high!Returning to our room at past 11.00pm, all cases cleared from corridor, and the crew access across from us (6098) closed down. Thankfully, gone are the days when people were taking advantage of last collection time, for the sake of the crew.We booked this trip very soon after release, and choice limited. I then read that someone had posted that this was a room with a lot of disturbance. Not so! We have also had similar for a P1, with no issue, and husband is a light sleeper.At 7.50am, and we were waiting in our room until our chosen disembarkation time: a good system for us!This has been a great all round experience. The masks 😷 become a habit, and easily forgotten to put on or take off as you move around🤣: one often sees someone come out of the cabin, close the door then have to nip back in again! A talking point with a smile. I did not come across any dissenters, but have to say some people had some lovely evening masks. This might be to consider if this arrangement remains.For any of you reading this, who have a staycation booked for the next few weeks, you have a lot to look forward to. Fear not of the new protocol, it is just great to be able to cruise again.Thanks to all the crew on this voyage.Home now and looking forward to the next cruise in January: maybe even sooner!
  17. Our cruise was just up the west coast to Scotland and back. Three ports of call taking 7 nights. It has surpassed our expectations.
  18. As we sailed from Belfast yesterday evening, the decks had started to clear , and it was getting cooler. We went back to watch from our balcony to see seals swimming past, which was an unexpected pleasure. Also an inbound Stena ferry passed us, and have to say I don’t think I have ever been in such close proximity to a moving vessel. The passengers certainly seemed delighted to witness the QE with much waving! The second formal night saw a wonderful array of bling, pearls and glam for the Roaring Twenties. Amazing how many gentlemen partook in the theme! In the theatre we saw one chap arrive with his cane and top hat. Now that must be a packing nightmare unless the hat was of the collapsible variety😉! Sally Sagoe (cruise director) seems to be on every voyage we take; hair never changing and always comes over full of enthusiasm with her rich and expressive voice. This morning it is very damp and foggy and to make it worse we have to pack. To date the sea has been so calm, but wondering if this is about to change as the furniture has been lashed down on the upper decks. I think I shall have to take a dip after we have listened to Gary Richardson being interviewed in the theatre, by Sally, as fear the pools might be netted later. The hot stone massage I had earlier in the week was wonderful, and had intended to go for another treatment or facial, but decided not to, to avoid the selling gauntlet. It would be so nice, If one was given a list of a few recommended products, that could be purchased at one’s leisure. However, I am not sure if these are priced in the beauty shop! One thing I have learnt from another guest, is that the menu prices are cheaper than that in the spa at Centre Parks!👍 I am sure some of you may remember a barman who has been on QM2 as well as QE. Known as SK, it has been a delight to see him again, a firm favourite to many and to my family. It is so good to see Cunard coming together again
  19. I will have a look later!
  20. Tuesday had been a glorious sea day, even a second swim before dinner. Because of the warmth the absent sun-bed hoggers around the pools were out in force. I do so wish cruise lines were a little more pro-active in preventing this. However, on the smaller “queens” the Grills deck space is delightful and spacious, but noticed a few couples creeping up there when not entitled: a difficult situation for the crew.Before dinner we had canapés and wine on the balcony, and after so many months of craving to return to a safe and enjoyable holiday, this seemed like “nirvana”! Our meal (mains) were turbot and fillet steak: both delicious and the coffee soufflé to die for!Thinking of the changes we have encountered , I will list a few.No communal jigsaws on deck 3I do not believe there are any bridge lessons etc, (but the painting classes are available)Obviously the cocktail parties have ceased, (one night a complimentary glass of bubbles given to each dinner and we received a second bottle of Pol Aker in our room last night. Sadly my brought on supply of cassis to make a tolerable drink, is no more!😬)In the bars it is all table service. The “gin and fizz” bar used to have a lovely ambience for the lucky few who could find a free bar stool, but that is no more, along with other venues.ConneXions on deck 1 appears to be permanently closed, but there seem to be a few computers for use in the libraryIf you book in the grills, I think you will find the changes less noticeable, mainly the dining arrangements.We have 2 further cruises secured by deposit, (Jan & Dec 22), but have to say if the current restrictions remain, we will not be cancelling! The world has changed, and we must accept changes accordingly. Cunard has spent a lot of 💰 to resume sailing and keeping us safe. Only once so far, have we encountered a “moaner”! All cruise lines have been bleeding cash for 18 months, we are lucky they are still around to give us a holiday!My first visit to Belfast, starts misty but with the promise of ⛅️ later on. From our balcony we can see the P&O Azura near twin giant H&W cranes. Not sure if she is here with passengers or to be spruced up!I intend to fit in my daily swim at some point. As the word has spread that the pools are warm more have taken the plunge, although the temperature fluctuates. Tonight is the “Roaring Twenties” theme, and the production in the theatre is Top Hat, which I think I have seen before. Personally, I love this night, and before the cessation of cruising it was becoming very popular, easy to dress for and pleasing to see the creations. Let us see what tonight brings!
  21. Yesterday saw the sun shone on us most of the day, and the Liverpool waterfront is quite a pleasant place to be berthed rather than in some industrial area. The afternoon saw many going ashore on excursions. All aboard time was 8.30pm, so after dinner we decided to go on the upper decks to watch the departure. We were there just before that time to find the QE had already slipped her ropes and we were moving into the Mersey. No announcement from the bridge or which way we were heading for our day at sea. There were a few hundred people along the frontage some waving lights from mobile phones as we bade farewell to Liverpool. This morning the sun is blessing our southward journey and fortunately we are on the port side. After breakfast we took a walk around the decks, saw a few boats on the blue and calm sea. We could have been in the Mediterranean rather than the Irish Sea. We decided we would go to the theatre and listen to the BBC reporter, Gary Richardson, again and pleased we did so: slick and entertaining! The pool now beckons before lunch, and it seems it is a good time as the sun worshipers drift in for yet another meal. This afternoon we are once again travelling north so fortunate with the sun on the balcony, other wise would be a tad chilly. We will no doubt enjoy a glass of wine there before changing for dinner!
  22. I would think it is safer in the Britannia, that the guests are more spaced, and this is practiced throughout the ship at all times. If you recall some of the tables and chairs in the Queens Room certainly are not safely distanced: in fact exceedingly close in some areas!
  23. Afternoon is in the Britannia restaurant, but I am not sure if there is music. For Grills passengers, this is in the PG restaurant. I do not know how long this arrangement will last, but all done for safety. Maybe this is just for the “staycation”cruises.
  24. Our day in Scotland yesterday, gave us cool and miserable weather. As we left Greenock the heavens opened so we missed what would have been stunning scenery. Nevertheless, the day was still enjoyable, and I had a wonderful hot stone massage in the spa late in the afternoon. Our dinner was pre-ordered and so we enjoyed rack of lamb and crepes suzettes cooked to perfection by the head waiter. The food has been excellent and varied, beautifully presented, and we have missed this type of dining experience so much during lockdown. Even since “freedom” we have not ventured out too much as living in the southwest, the packed venues of land-based “staycationers” has just not appealed. We are now berthed in Liverpool on a warm and hazy day. Interesting watching the docking from deck 12 and noticed the bystanders looking on from the shore. The ship manoeuvred 180 degrees so we are set to sail straight out when we depart after 8.30 tonight. It is very noticeable that the ship still has a large compliment of passengers on board today, and to my horror 😲 the pools are actually busy! I must learn not to be possessive! I feel that I should mention the crew. They are so welcoming and obviously happy to be back. Our steward, Robert, was out of work for 18 months after he left the ship in Australia, and is so grateful to be here, even feeling for his friends who have not yet got a contract. Our waiter, Emil, is a treasure and instantly recognised us from the QV, so delighted to have him serve us. We have come across a few others we know, and these folk seem to have great memories! They have all worked so hard as the QE is in great shape (we have been advised our balcony is being cleaned today, (a previous detrimental comment to this effect on this thread noted) although it does not look in need. We have had seas like a mill pond so no salty spray on the decks. In fact, it has been so calm one is not aware of any movement. I think those of you who posted questions, may find they have already been answered. However, regarding the times for eating in the Britannia restaurant, may depend on the type of fare you book, for some certainty. I assume if you travel on the full Cunard fare, that you will have first choice, as was the case previously. Looking at today’s dining times in Britannia it says as follows Assigned Dining 6.00pm. Doors close at 6.15pm. Open Dining 7.45 -9.00pm. As I post this it is now a sunny and pleasant afternoon. (And I did swim before lunch with the pool to myself ☺️) We will not be calling at Holyhead, reason unknown, but heading for Belfast. Who cares? We are just relaxed and enjoying ourselves!
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