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Everything posted by ClipperinSFO

  1. You have made a very good choice - and I second everything that @jack dawson wrote above. We are due to sail once again on a TA in mid-December and I am counting down the days -- and the calories, so I can fit into my own formal wear. There are several good first timer threads on here where people ask about what its like and responders (like me) go on and on about how great it is, and the myriad of experiences, foods, performances, lectures etc. that there are to do.
  2. Wait, Mark is going on a line *other* than Cunard??? Can't wait to hear about that!
  3. Then Cunard definitely *is* for you. Lovely ships and beautifully dressed fellow passengers. There is nothing like walking throughout the elegant QM2 on a formal night and seeingeveryone all dressed-up. The scene is visually harmonious and a unique experience. Fancy hotels at holiday time are probably the closest one can come to a typical formal night on a Cunarder. The vibe isn't "we're better than you" snobbery, but rather a "isn't this the greatest ever?" child-like enthusiasm. Or is that just me? Do yourself (and your dinner jacket and/or ball gown) a favor and give it a try. 🙂
  4. The movie is kind of “meh” but I watch it every now and again just to see the QM2 on a TA. There are a few small, annoying errors/liberties/stretches (e.g. tea in the Chart Room, when two characters meet at the “Verandah Bar” and a mixed cabin grade table in the QG) but otherwise it does capture the ship well. During the pandemic lockdown it was the closest I came to being aboard.
  5. Huge fan or Gary Bembridge's Tips for Travelers. He is kind of my go to for "cruise porn" (as I call it), and he is extremely knowledgable across a broad section of lines and ships. Happily, in recent months he has become a little less coy about being gay and now frequently mentions his partner Mark, and what lines are good for LGBTQ travelers. I also appreciate that like me, he is a big Cunard fan. Watching his videos and live streams really helped me get through the shut down and the multiple cancellations!
  6. Exactly! I may have mentioned it elsewhere, but we are staunch traditionalist and wear black tie 5 of 7 nights on a TA regardless. On the unofficial black tie nights, I get a bit more creative with my tie and cummerbund.
  7. Thanks for this. Wow -- only 2 formal nights on a TA. Was 3 in the past iirc. Sic transit gloria mundi...
  8. We like dressing up on QM2 because the formality of the dining room(s) and the route (TA) seem to warrant it. For us, sailing the North Atlantic between Southampton and New York inspires tradition and formality, so on a TA we tend to be formal 5 of the 7 nights, regardless of the official dress code. The ship is so "dressy" in and of itself that it just feels right to be more formally attired. Of course on the first and last nights we are just jacket and tie, as per TA custom -- since presumably the steamer trunks containing our formal wear are somewhere deep in the baggage room and are unavailable. 🙂 However, I'm not sure what my feeling would be if I were on a cruise on QM2. The same rules/feelings towards dress code would not seem to apply due to port days, a more relaxed holiday vibe and a warmer brighter climate etc.
  9. I think they are giving us the option of disembarking upon arrival in New York, so the stay on the ship for the extra two days would be optional. I just don’t relish the thought of being captive to their shore excursions, nor spending two days looking across the water to Manhattan without being able to go there independently.
  10. We are booked on the December 15 crossing, so this shortens our time in London and gives us too much time in New York at the other end (especially given we might be limited to canard organized sure excursions/“stuck” in Brooklyn) No matter, we are keeping original air reservations in place. I think things will continue to change between now and December 13, so I am not planning on spending a lot of time rebooking and re-paying for airline space. Has anyone seen a deadline to make a decision for asking for a FCC or refund? Looks like our booking has already been transferred to the new sailing dates.
  11. Yes, alas. I had heard elsewhere that the ship might be headed to Brest. Oh well. Hope to see some good pictures from dry-docking there.
  12. Thank you so much for the info. I am now even more excited for my first visit to Hamburg. I would imagine seeing the QM2 at the B+V dry dock is the next best thing to sailing up the Elbe on her.
  13. @germancruiser where is Elbe 17 located within Hamburg? We will be visiting HAM in two week’s time and it would be an extra treat to see our favorite ship while we are there.
  14. We will be in Hamburg in 2 week’s time and can report if we do (hopefully) indeed see her in dry dock.
  15. I notice the same thing. The fact that most (all?) of the November/December crossing are now shown for sale give me some hope they will operate. If they are closed for sale (in addition to my strongly suspecting they are not sold out), then it makes me think Cunard is going to cancel them.
  16. I would absolutely go for a Q6 cabin far forward on Deck 9. We had a Q6 on our last EB crossing (9011) and loved it. Best aspect was that to get to meals in the QG, it was a nice scenic journey: turn right out of the cabin, go forward into the CC, down the scenic elevator to Deck 7, then out along the promenade deck, ducking back into the superstructure of the ship right at the door leading into the QG/GL. The weather mostly cooperated (despite being a December crossing), and since I think the promenade on Deck 7 is one of the best features of QM2, it was a wonderful way to use it heading to and from meals.
  17. @frankp01 you are a man after my own heart! Love winter TAs, and your spreadsheet is perfection. Interestingly from the parallel thread @bluemarble reported availability showing for the TA's through 3rd party sites. Could be sub-blocks, who knows, but its certainly adds to the mystery as to what's going on.
  18. Yes, it's curious that some QM2 voyages are still showing available. Thats good news and does point to the TA's being full of either through pax to/from the Caribbean or we point-to-pointers. Was wondering, is your view of the availability from the website, or did you talk to Cunard? Sometimes, they just shut down sales pending imminent cancellations, much as the airlines do if they are going to cancel a flight. Hard to believe that the TAs are sold out, but that said, there is *a lot* of pent up demand out there, even for the N Atlantic in winter (our favorite time actually), and of course there is all the connecting traffic through from the UK. I'd be very happy if they were indeed sold out!
  19. Thanks @bluemarble - it's so hard to read the tea leaves from all this! I will feel more comfortable the crossings in Nov/Dec are going ahead when I see them available for sale.
  20. There is a related thread going on this board (link below) that talks about the weirdness around QM2 TA zero availability for the Nov/Dec crossings as well as the misalignment between QM2's published schedule the Southampton ABP website showing expected ship movements. We are booked on the 15 Dec TA but I am getting increasingly pessimistic about it going forward. I am expecting "the email" from Simon (with all the update and cancellation emails he has sent me, I feel we are on first name basis) any time now.
  21. I don't envy the Cunard/Carnival UK HQ staff at all. This has to be a nightmare for them. So many unknowns. Following @pkpon's OP above, I checked out the Southampton ABP site, and it still shows QM2 arrivals and departures misaligned with the published Cunard schedules, as he mentioned. E.g. in SOU on Dec 15, but returning the Dec 29th (highly unlikely if it were continuing on the the Caribbean from NYC on the 22nd). Could be placeholder slots only, but still... Worth a look for all you ship geeks out there: https://www.southamptonvts.co.uk/Live_Information/Shipping_Movements_and_Cruise_Ship_Schedule/Cruise_Ship_Schedule/ (Thanks @pkpon! )
  22. I was poking around the Cunard website this morning and noticed the zero availability on QM2 itins for November and December with the exception of the Christmas markets. My thinking is that the likelihood of cancellation for that period is growing, so Cunard doesn't want to take any new bookings. We are booked on the 15 Dec WB crossing -- and so looking forward to it -- but the recent turns of the pandemic has really thrown a(nother) spanned/wrench in the works!
  23. We made a reservation for a specific time and it looks like it only allows for a two hour visit. So I would say yes, they do time limited visits. It looks like they allot 10 bookable entry tickets for every hour. For $35 pp entrance fee looks like a reasonable insurance policy against a mobbed and uncomfortable waiting area.
  24. Thanks for this update. Just went in and booked two pre-paid entries into the Graycliff lounge at 12p on our day of departure. Return flights are at 3p and 4p. Reading all these horror stories has helped us prepare better — like having to check bags on our respective departing carriers (AA and UA). We also have GE so hopefully the process will be relatively painless.
  25. Sounds like a nightmare. But could you please prove a few more details?Was the issue with the transfer to the airport (if so, was it private, taxi or ?) or at the airport itself? If so what was the time of your flight and issues at the airport. How about Getting through security and passport control? thanks so much!
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