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TheOldBear

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About Me

  • Location
    LI NY
  • Interests
    photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Transatlantic

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  1. I would suggest reading the exact wording in the 'trip interruption' section of your policy. On mine there is some coverage for failures of 'common carrier' transportation - but nothing I would interpret as coverage for returning late to the ship.
  2. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is the current transatlantic specialist - scheduled for many crossings not just seasonal repositioning sailings . Our upcoming sailing is a round trip from New York to Southampton, Hamburg, Southampton again, LeHavre and back to NY If you are just interested in the October westbound crossing to NY, you could board in Hamburg on 15 October, Southampton on 17 October or LeHavre on 18 October - disembarkation is 25 October at the Brooklyn Cruise terminal. You may want to check on Cunard's web site for the dates of westbound transatlantic crossings in September, November & December.
  3. The current bridge cameras have all been out for several years - I don't recall seeing recent announcements. You may want to consider rental or used equipment instead of purchase. The FZ300 / FZ330 / Leica VLux 4 is a small sensor camera - it is weather sealed, with a constant f/2.8 aperture zoom lens. I would rate it as 'most likely to replace my FZ50'. The compact size, reasonable price and bright lens for the zoom range are all tied to the smaller sensor. The Nikon P950 and P1000 are the kings of zoom magnification - they put a huge lens in front of the small sensor. The 'one inch' sensor cameras Panasonic [FZ1000, FZ1000mk2 [Leica VLux5], FZ2500] and Sony RX10 series have a different set of compromises. The larger sensor requires a larger lens for the equivalent zoom range, along with larger overall size. The Sony RX10mk4 is weather sealed, and has the fanciest electronics so is most suited for action photos.
  4. We've done the New England / Canada sailing twice [as Brooklyn round trips to Halifax not Quebec] in both a Sheltered Balcony Category BY [4181 deck 4 aft of staircase 'D'] and glass fronted balcony Category BF [8003, deck 8 two doors from the Library]. Both rooms were almost identical in interior fittings - 4181 has a connecting door, but the neighbors were quiet [heard nothing]. 8003 was a bit of a walk to Britannia, that helped counteract sea air shrinkage of clothing 😉 Since then we have done mostly round trip crossings, and have favored midships sheltered balconies
  5. Generally the ships clocks are adjusted to match local time as the ship cross time zones. The time of day when the adjustment takes place is at the captain's digression - on my recent sailings eastbound adjustments were made at noon, and westbound adjustments were made in the early morning 'midwatch' time period.
  6. I would suggest visiting the MSC section of the forums for cruse line and ship specific advice [might vary between the older/smaller ships and the larger current generation ships] Cruise lines generally divide between assigned seat dining and 'anytime' open seat dining. From what I recall seeing of MSC reviews the main dining is open seating - you can likely request different table sizes. For their extra cost specialty restaurants you likely will use their 'app' to reserve a table/ We opt for assigned seating, and generally that is the case. When we or our table mates are dining elsewhere we tell the matre d so he knows we will be elsewhere [and our open wine bottle can find us]. I am not familiar with that bit of etiquette - not even on longer or more traditional voyages. If you are on assigned seating you likely will want to give some notice. If you are on open seating / anytime dining there is no one to tell [different wait staff & table mates for each of your seatings anyway] That varies, for example on Cunard's QM2 some guests in the higher price points (Queen's Grill, Princess Grill, Britannia Club] have the same table and seat waiting from them for all meal service in their assigned 'main dining room'. The large Britannia dining room serves breakfast and lunch [available for all passengers] without reserved seating - we usually request a mid sized table.
  7. We have had 5 Southampton 'turn around' days so far and have found that Cunard at least rarely has a worthwhile excursion. [In 2017 -our first visit- there was a half day excursion to Winchester, that brought us back to the ship for lunch] There was a thread on this forum last year "Southampton on Sunday" with many contributions of local knowledge from John Bull. This included many DIY tour suggestions from Salisbury & Stonehenge, the New Forest, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, or Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. We have met up for lunch with some of Mrs Bear's UK facebook friends, or visited some local sights [e.g. the SeaCity Museum, Tudor House] - mostly stuff in walking distance from the ship's shuttle stop near the "Bargate"
  8. This is true even in Britannia - we has the same waiters in 2010, 2017 & 2022 - and on our 2019 sailing they stoped by to say hello.
  9. Some items are extra cost, but there is no delivery fee.
  10. On QM2 balcony rooms on decks 4, 5 & 6 are in the main hull, not in the superstructure above the promenade deck. Instead of a glass front, there is a large aperture cut into the hull just above handrail height. They are sheltered in that they remain usable even in extreme conditions - an oasis of calm when the weather decks are closed due to hurricane force winds. We tend to book midships, category BU or BV rooms. It is offered - but it may not be the best value for you. For us it is a moot point, as CunardCare is not available to New York residents. You may want to head down the page to the travel insurance forum or check with a specialty broker [the trip insurance store] Final fare payment is typically due about 120 days before sailing. For some insurance carriers and coverage [pre existing conditions] the policy must be purchased within a time window after making the initial deposit. I believe that Cunard can arrange both hotels and flights - we are fairly local so have not considered either. [Our dinner table mates for both our 2017 & 2019 sailings flew in the day of the cruise, and had misplaced luggage each time] They do seem to be well hidden before booking Internet plans at https://www.cunard.com/en-us/the-cunard-experience/staying-connected Drinks at https://www.cunard.com/en-us/activity-types/bars-and-lounges/a-world-of-drinks We use 'world club' credit to offset the internet prices - and do not feel that any of the drinks packages represent a good value for us.
  11. We explicitly book round trips - single cruise card for the Brooklyn to Brooklyn sailing. If it's booked as two separate 'voyages' - you will have two different six character 'booking reference' strings that you use to login to the 'voyage personalizer' [ my.cunard.com ]. If you have only been provided with a single 'booking reference' try logging in to my.cunard.com and see what it shows in the booking summary - if the booking is for the complete round trip, that should show in the summary page. [you will need to login anyway to complete cruise paperwork] If it only shows part of your vacation [like just the eastbound crossing], and you only have a single booking reference, get in touch with the travel agent - they should have received a confirmation for each booking.
  12. The typical cheapie surge protector has an internal part [a metal oxide varisistor] that shunts the live leg of the circuit to ground if about 130 volts are exceeded. This is typically a one time event for the life of the suppressor [MOV is fried, even if the power strip's circuit breaker or fuse trips] - and the reason why these devices are dangerous anywhere except north american domestic power outlets.
  13. If you have booked this as a single 'voyage' for the eastbound crossing, cruise and westbound crossing - you only need to unpack once, and you will be issued a cruise card [red on top as it's your first time] valid for the entire sailing. There will be an immigration check with an officer of the UK Border Force - these days it's an electronic passport stamp - so when the ship arrives in Southampton you can just walk off. [And when you want to get back on, your card identifies you as 'in transit' so you can walk past the folks waiting to embark] Cunard provides a shuttle bus to near the 'West Quay' shopping center, or you can take a taxi or Uber. [I plan on visiting the Solent Sky museum this October]. If rain is in the forecast, there are usually umbrellas available to borrow at the gangway. There _may_ be shore excursions for your visit [check on my.cunard.com] , there are none posted for our sailing. We have met with some of Mrs Bear's facebook friends for lunches at the Dancing Man or Duke of Wellington pubs for a pleasant afternoon. There are posts on this forum and the British Isles / Western Europe forum about some do it yourself tours - e.g. a rail excursion to Salisbury and Stonehenge. Look for postings by "John Bull" for local knowledge. That is also the forum for Bruge [and its port city Zeebruge] for your visit to Belgium. Norway is covered by the Northern Europe forum - and Iceland has been moved to a new forum.
  14. The word is 'layers' - including a lightweight, windproof, outer 'shell' layer [jacket]. Your cruise will likely not be taking the northern 'great circle' route of a crossing, so the weather trend will be warm - but as always there are exceptions that cannot be forecast.
  15. You [and your passport] are assigned a time to meet with a UK 'Border Force' officer, typically in the upper level of the Britannia restaurant. On of direct crossing in 2017 our passports acquired their first stamps - for later crossings its all electronic, no stamps. Apparently back in the steamship days, there was a similar arrangement with US officials on the westbound crossings - that arrangement likely ended about the same time the Queen Mary was retired to Long Beach.
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