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Whirled Peas

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About Whirled Peas

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    travel, cooking and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard (w/girlfriends), Lindblad (w/DH) & NCL (w/family groups)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    anywhere warm
  1. Whirled Peas

    Rome embarkation

    I strongly encourage you to forego the Vatican on your embarkation day. Even with early entry, there will be a substantial line, and a visit to the Vatican takes several hours once you finally cross the threshold. Save it for when you have more time. I recommend that you spend embarkation morning in Ostia Antica, near the port. It is a very well preserved ruin of the ancient Roman port. Beautiful mosaic floors to be seen, and you can do the whole thing in three hours.
  2. Whirled Peas

    CC review gives false expectations

    On a September, 2017 QM2 cruise, in a QG suite, I had filet and scrambled eggs for breakfast one morning, and shirred eggs with caviar another morning. Basically, if I asked for it, I got it, despite what the menu offered.
  3. Whirled Peas

    Help Me Coax My Husband onto the QM2!

    Different cruisers have different experiences, I know. But I have been in QG on both of my prior Cunard cruises, and both times the experience was exceptional. Service was very attentive without being overbearing. The food in the Queens Grill was very well prepared (although traditional, not nouvelle) and I could (and did once or twice) order virtually anything I wanted "off the menu." The rooms were spacious and, especially after the remastering, very beautifully decorated. I haven't cruised on any other luxury lines such as Seaborne or Crystal, so I have no basis for comparison with those lines. But I have cruised in Royal and Penthouse suites on Celebrity, and I found my experiences on Cunard to be more to my liking, although Celebrity also provided an excellent product. Because of work, I only get to cruise about once every other year. So we book suites when we cruise because we don't get to do it very often. Since I am paying a lot, I expect a lot. Thus far, Cunard has given me more than I expected in Queens Grill.
  4. Whirled Peas

    Cunard flight info

    I can only speak from one experience. Last fall, I was able to purchase a first class one-way ticket from the US to London for a very favorable price through Cunard. The cost of a first class ticket was less than what I would have paid for premium economy purchasing myself online. In future, I always will check first with Cunard before purchasing tickets online. Good luck.
  5. Whirled Peas

    Queen Mary 2, Hamburg to New York, June 2019

    And try the fencing classes! Great fun!
  6. Whirled Peas

    Queen Mary 2, Hamburg to New York, June 2019

    Dance wherever and whenever you care to. In the ballroom, or in G32. Cunard is most welcoming of every persuasion. I have been on two crossings and have seen plenty of gay men and lesbian women enjoying themselves and fitting in well. You won't have any concerns in that regard. Most crossings have well-attended "Friends of Dorothy" gatherings every early evening in the Commodore Club. Make sure to join in at least once. They offer ballroom dancing classes most days on the crossing, so you can learn a few steps and take a turn around the dance floor. But be warned - there are some serious ballroom dancers on these crossings. While I wouldn't be concerned about being a same sex couple on the dance floor, I would be concerned if you can't make way for the more accomplished dancers. (I am not a good dancer, but I got out there a few times and had great fun.) I recommend the lecture series. It varies with every crossing, but always there are one or two speakers who are more than worth your time. The planetarium? IMHO, Meh, but some folks really enjoy it. The offerings are not new or innovative, but it is a planetarium at sea, and how often does that happen? You said one of you is a big "foodie." I recommend splurging on one meal in the Verandah restaurant. If you are traveling Brittania class, you will not be able to dine in the Grill restaurants (unless invited by a Grills guest VIP). But Verandah food is preferred to the Grills by some. Verandah cuisine is nouvelle, while the Brittania and Grills offerings tend to be quite traditional. There will be passengers your age on board. You are most likely to find your contemporaries in the gym, at the pool and in G32. My 33-year-old daughter did a crossing with me last Autumn and had a really wonderful time. She did not want for companionship with other passengers her age. But you also will enjoy getting to know some of the more "seasoned" passengers (says this 61 year old). A crossing is an opportunity to socialize with a vast array of people. Some of your fellow passengers will have dozens of Cunard cruises/crossings under their belts. They will have some great stories to share. I envy you this first crossing at such a young age. You will have a fabulous time.
  7. Men and women are expected to adhere to the dress code du jour in the theatre. But on informal nights, that requirement can be met with a sports jacket, buttoned shirt, and no jeans. Simple to pack and reasonably comfortable to wear.
  8. Whirled Peas

    Miami Hotel

    We really enjoyed The Betsy Hotel in South Beach. But only if you are looking to be part of the nightlife. Excellent restaurant and bar. Clean spacious rooms. A short Uber to the port. Very fun and, for lack of a better word, trendy-fun.
  9. Whirled Peas

    Little Mary Sunshine says......

    There has been a fair bit of disappointment and overall negativity expressed on this board recently. I completely understand that people have high expectations for their hard-earned holidays and they can become quite disillusioned when the event doesn't meet their expectations in every detail. I also appreciate that all cruise lines engage in strong marketing campaigns, putting their best foot forward, and sometimes overstating the nature and quality of the experience offered. This is life. That is capitalism. I just wanted to take a moment, however, to recount why I choose to cruise with Cunard whenever possible, even after having good experiences on other lines. So I am noting a few of my favorite things here. 1. Cunard's décor is lovely overall. Not overwhelming (like some of the NCL ships before their refits), and not too dull. The promenade decks are wonderful and are going the way of the dinosaur on too many other lines. 2. There is a sense of occasion on Cunard that does not carry over to other lines. This is due in part to the dress code, and in part to the long White Star history. But it also is because the crew, every single one I ever have met, have demonstrated a real desire for me to have a spectacular time and to feel pampered. 3. My fellow passengers consider a more refined and sophisticated experience (with dress balls and intellectually stimulating speakers) to be a lot of fun. A Cunard cruise is not a study in excess or raucous behavior. I have never seen a Cunard passenger ordering up a bucket of beer or asking about the belly flop contest. 4. The closets are the most spacious I have seen and the beds are the most comfortable. 5. The food is above average to very good in every venue I have tried, as compared with Celebrity and Norwegian. In my limited experience with this line, they offer a package that meets most of my wants and desires. Have there been a few glitches? Of course. And are they offering me top shelf wine and cocktails at bottom shelf prices? Of course not. Has the product deteriorated over time? I can't say, but I love the experience they have been offering me recently. The cruises I have enjoyed on Cunard have been consistent with the parameters of their marketing and suit me well. When I read of fellow passengers who are disappointed with their afternoon tea experience or disgruntled at the cost of a gin and tonic, I do understand and I am sorry. But I have come to accept that no experience is perfect and no exceptional experience is free (not even falling in love!:hearteyes:). I believe that I do myself a favor by focusing on the positives as much as possible. Couldn't justify the price of dinner with wine pairings in the Veranda on my last cruise, but the fish and chips in the pub were awesome. When you focus on the minor missteps rather than the positives, or when you brood about what you couldn't do rather than what you got to do, you exacerbate your own disappointment. For me, I will continue to make Cunard cruises an important part of my holiday experience (as well as silly cruise romps on other lines such as NCL). And I will try very hard to remember the upside to all of those experiences. Do any of you have any positive or uniquely Cunard experiences that have left a long-term impression on you?
  10. Whirled Peas

    Help Me Coax My Husband onto the QM2!

    Thanks, Blue Marble. My husband already found the other "place of sacrifice" and he is now conducting a rigorous search to find a guide who can take us to both sites. I have volunteered not to join him on this "sacrificial" hike so as not to slow him down. (My "sacrifice" is his gain, right/) We have been waiting decades to be able to schedule multiple vacations and joint adventures such as Peru. We plan to travel extensively once we both are retired. We don't plan to leave a penny for our children when we fall off a mountain or temple somewhere!
  11. Whirled Peas

    Help Me Coax My Husband onto the QM2!

    Thanks for the link, Blue Marble. It does look like quite a hike, but my husband will take it on like a mountain goat and I will struggle along behind him! Did I mention that we cut a deal? He does this cruise with me, to include the most expansive tour of Petra we can find. In exchange, I agree to climb with him (that's right, I said CLIMB!:eek:) to Macchu Picchu in October. So while the hike to the Petra Monastery will be a challenge, I am afraid it's just a warm-up for Peru later in the year. (I don't suppose Cunard does a cruise to Peru? No? Too bad.....) Thanks again, all. Vanessa
  12. Whirled Peas

    Favorite Cunard Ship 2017

    I dined in QG this past September. Lighting was mellow, as in the past. No real change in the lighting. But the room itself seemed a bit brighter, with the new soft goods. As if it had a well-executed face lift. I have only sailed on QM2, so that is my favorite thus far!
  13. Whirled Peas

    Help Me Coax My Husband onto the QM2!

    It worked! After a few days of gentle cajoling, my DH visited this thread and decided that we would take this cruise. The comments from all of you, especially Blue Marble's suggestion that we consider an independent tour in Petra, combined with the fact that a Q4 suite opened up, made all the difference. While I am more comfortable with a Cunard excursion to Petra, because the ship won't leave without us, I am willing to look at independent tours that show more. (I am reasonably fit and he is fitter, so we can scramble quickly to the Monastery.) That option, plus the sudden availability of the more spacious Q4 (with a second half bath), combined with all of your insights, did the trick. We are booked! Can't thank all of you enough. Soon to be retired Vanessa!
  14. Whirled Peas

    Finally Did It

    Might I suggest a tux with a vest, rather than a cummerbund? (I know I probably spelled that wrong. I haven't had to type that word often enough to commit the spelling to memory.) At any rate, my husband used to be portly, before he became a fitness freak. He was much more comfortable in a vest with his tux.
  15. Whirled Peas

    Help Me Coax My Husband onto the QM2!

    Well, I am not surprised, but I am delighted, by these very helpful responses. I will ask my husband to come on and view them himself. The challenge for him is not so much dressing up as it is dressing up all the time. I think that's one of the absolute benefits of being in QG. If you don't want to dress, you can dine in your room with lots of choices. The limited time in Petra will be a problem, possibly a deal breaker for my husband, but we will see. I was afraid that it might be impossible to see that entire site in a single day on a cruise tour. But honestly, I can't imagine taking a land tour just to spend two or three days there. There is nothing else in the area that I would be dying to see, to justify the trip. So I will let you know what we decide. Thanks so much, Vanessa